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High End Luxury Cars

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  • If you put the following vechiles up:

    1. previous ML320
    2. previous RX300
    3. current RX330
    4. current ML350

    You'd notice a lot of generalities that the current ML took from both the previous RX and current RX in its evolution from the previous ML. The very first time I saw the new ML350, about a year ago, I actually thought that was an RX.
  • Most "accolades" are qualified with "for a vehicle this large." It's like saying the new Odyssey handles like the 7 series ;-)

    IMHO, the main holdup in R sales, aside from the reliability concern, is the interior size utilization. I'm not exactly sure how MB managed to get a 200+" two-box design to yield only 80+ cu.ft. The RX does 80+ cu.ft with 185", and the 200+" minivans all offer 140+ cu.ft! MB should have consulted its Chrysler subsidiary on interior space utilization issues. Chrysler is actually very competent with that. People get vehicles of this type for interior space more than anything else.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Maybe I'm missing something here, but if HP has been such a huge determining factor, then why did the previous Lexus LS still kick butt, in spite of its HP rating? I question that HP has been all THAT important in the mix of so many other factors.

    Now that fuel efficiency has become a larger consideration, I think that HP will become even LESS of a concern. The very fact that the LS600hybrid will offer a significant HP rating will be ICING on the cake for those buyers . . . because I'd bet large that the LS600hybrid would sell well even if the HP were not so stunning, provided it was not deficient. The LS600hL will be, in essence, an ultimate vehicle, and the HP will be MORE than adequate.

    TagMan
  • You have a point there. Lexus doesn't want to be perceived as "inciting" the HP wars. It merely wants to be in S-class side-mirror in terms of power to impress upon Stuttgart and to assure them that they are not the only ones who know how to do it.

    The attitude is this that, we will not launch the missile first, but if you do we are ready.

    But lexus is still far behind mercedes in terms of true technological benchmark which is having a V12 in its line-up.

    Everyone knows that even though V12 does not make statement in fuel-consumption and ecological preservation, it does make a powerful statement in engineering depth.

    Those who are experts in mechanical engineering and mechatronics know very well how making a V12 is so much more complex and challenging than making a V8.

    At this point we do not know whether toyota and lexus are even capable of making a world beating V12 which can match S65 AMG's 600 HP.

    Can they? Thats the question we must ask.
  • There are few things which I would like to emphasize on hybrids and the Kick-butt LS 430.

    Lexus has overstated LS 430' acceleration times by almost 1 second. On lexus.com they claim 0-60 in 6.3 sec. Actual time is 7.1-7.2 sec.

    LS 460 is another story. They have 380 HP and are claiming 0-60 in 5.5 secs or less. I think these figures would be real if lexus can keep the weigh under 4200 Lbs for LS 460L.

    As far as hybrids go: LS 600hL is not the last word.

    Petrol or gasoline hybrids will be obsolete soon. The modern diesels are already outclassing them in fuel efficiency and emissions.

    However, and thats a very important point, there is a future possibility of diesel hybrids. In other words

    A. Petrol: Petrol Hybrids,

    B. Diesel: Diesel Hybrids

    The diesel hybrids might be 20-30 % better than diesels.

    In essence, if lexus can introduce a diesel-hybrid with a

    V8 engine and the latest Li Batteries instead of Nickel ion batteries then yes, the hypothetical LS600D-hL (the diesel version) will be the gold standard.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    sam - I still don't believe that Lexus has to "prove" itself to anyone at this point.

    This whole type of thinking reminds me of the days when each of the Marques just had to have a powerful or well-styled 2-seater sports car to prove itself. That was traditionally the place for such proof. The Corvette, the "Z" sitting right next to the freakin' Datsun B210 for gosh sakes, then the "Supra" sitting next to the Corolla, and there came RX7 to put Mazda back in shape, and Honda finally had the Acura NSX (even if there were no buyers), then the S2000, and Dodge finally decided to compete with the Corvette with the Viper, the "new" "Z" returned again because Nissan needed its image fixed. Too many to mention.

    The Japanese sedans started taking on the performance role slightly as the Maxima with the Z engine emerged to be followed by the Toyota Cressida and the powerplants from Japan increased their prowess over the years.

    The Germans have shown prowess with the AMG and M variants.

    But, the planets really must have aligned for Lexus, because at its conception, the potential for it was the size of the GRAND CANYON.

    Do we need these ICONS anymore? Beyond the flagship . . . something that represents the "extreme possibility" . . . y'know, the "look what we can do!" kind of vehicles? Do manufacturers need them . . . and if so . . . when and why? History has shown them to be successful at times, to restore the image of a failing marque, such as the RX7 and the new Z, or to simply bolster the performance perceptions of a marque like Dodge.

    sam . . . I think things have changed a little. YES there IS still merit to show the possibilities . . . but here's the differnce as I see it . . . today it is with TECHNOLOGY as much or even more than HP! A V12 is not needed, IMO.

    In my opinion, in today's world, it is now TECHNOLOGY in cars that makes one of the biggest statements of a manufacturer's capabilities.

    See? ANOTHER reason for Lexus success.

    Just my opinion, of course.

    TagMan
  • And a sweet pair of long boots!

    Talk about a question NOBODY was asking! Toyota, at the very least, if they cared to, could link the IS350's 3.5 to another 3.5, like VW did with the VR6 engine, and make a 600HP V12. No sweat.

    As you have already been advised, if you question Lexus' ability, you can't see the forest through the trees, my friend. They have nothing to prove to you, the Germans, or anyone else.

    If V12's are so hot, why did Jaguar drop it from the XJ? For the last 2 generations? How are those resale values?

    Lexus needs a V12 like I need a BeeGees T-Shirt!

    The Hybrid Age has successfully replaced the Dark Ages.

    If you don't believe me, try to get a LS600 in 18 months, and see how long a list you have to get on.

    Prius owners will be envious! :surprise:

    DrFill
  • Wow! I am so surprised at you! You, of all people, know better than that! :confuse:

    You know how hard it is to build a V8, especially to Lexus/Mercedes/BMW levels of smoothness and durability.

    You know Lexus isn't just throwing 50-60HP onto a car at the end of testing, just to amke a point, or keep up with the Joneses. They haven't done that before, so why start now?

    You KNOW they started on the engine, if not before, right after they agreed on a car design in 2001. Lexus isn't going to spend 4 years building a new LS, which they build with the attention of a Taj Mahal, just to add 50HP at the end. That much power enhancement will affect suspension, engine parts, emissions.

    Lexus didn't have 2-3 years to set an engine rating, they had less than a year before the NAIAS?

    Lexus has some great engineers, but that aren't that great!

    Maybe Mercedes engineers should train at Lexus, you know, an Apprenticeship, before heading back, and learn how to boost a Flagship's power 15% in 6 months, with no teething problems, like Lexus does?

    I guess you know something we don't! ;)

    :shades:

    DrFill
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    "Lexus has overstated LS 430' acceleration times by almost 1 second. On lexus.com they claim 0-60 in 6.3 sec. Actual time is 7.1-7.2 sec."

    Can you provide a source for this? Or did you just make it up? Edmunds managed to hustle the 2001 LS430, with the 5-speed, from 0-60 in 6.4 seconds. Keep in mind that Edmunds is usually .5-1 second slower in launching automatic cars from 0-60 than say Car and Driver, because they dont brake-torque. I think Lexus' 0-60 estimation is right on the money.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Looking at this further, the Mar 05 box says "TBD" which suggests that if the document is real, it is fairly old; so it is possible that there will be more stuff in cy2007 than is indicated.

    Here is the same pic in link form: picture
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    You might want to edit that post and put in a link, rather than a direct picture post. That is *a little* over the 500px limit imposed by the hosts.
  • The LS430 hit 60 in 6.13. ;)

    DrFill
  • lexusilexusi Posts: 65
    I saw this chart earlier, but it says LS900h! iam i blind? or its really LS900h?? anyone knows??

    Lexusi
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Thanks to improper picture sizing, I have to shop around for a 45" monitor!
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    And the addition of a sixth cog has made the car < 6 seconds. I have no idea where this supposed 7.2 number came from, thin air I suspect. The LS430 weighs less than the Acura RL, which is why its always been faster than its horsepower would suggest.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I agree of course that Lexus lacks a certain amount of prestige because they lace a V12, however I do think the LS600h (if it truly lives up to all the hype given around here) will partly make up for this. Now I'm reading that it won't be a $100K car, but will be 90K instead? So much speculation here and on the 2007 LS board. I'll just wait until they show the car in New York in April. Of course for some a V12 is a V12 and there is no substitue. That crowd I don't think would buy a Lexus anyway, V12 or not.

    At this point we do not know whether toyota and lexus are even capable of making a world beating V12 which can match S65 AMG's 600 HP.

    Well we know they could if they wanted too, but it wouldn't fit in the with green performance image Lexus is trying create with their hybrids and we know Toyota isn't going to do a V12 with 600 and hybrid with 500hp. One would render the other pointless - depending on the type of buyer.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well we know they didn't just throw 50hp on at the end, but they sure made sure they matched the S550. I'm sure anyone in the industry could have found out what the hp rating was long before the launch in Sept 2005. Not hard to do. You were the one that said they'd never go over 350hp!

    M
  • V12 has never been a "true technological benchmark" for any automaker. Companies typically got their production V12 before their capability to make a production V8 by simply putting two 6-cyl engines together; e.g. BMW of the late 80's. V12's are usually sold in such small numbers that it makes no sense to start new engine technology R&D on production V12 engines; they just get whatever is available on the company's I6 or V6, in a double-shot.
  • A 23" does just fine. It's the horizontal pixel count that matters, most 45" monitors actually are video monitors that have relatively low pixel count.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Above the monsterous 2560x1600 Dell 30" 3007FP, nothing is higher than 1920x1080 (though granted thats still very high compared to a few years ago).
  • No kidding. If throwing in additional 50hp at the tail end of vehicle development cycle were that easy, why not throwing 5 more and trounce the S550?

    The whole point about Lexus "copying" MB on horsepower is ludicrous. If not for competition, none of the big three premium brands would be updating their products as frequently as they do. Of course all of them try to anticipate what the competitions offer and try to come up with products that are competitive.

    BTW, the leaders of a horse power race is usually the under-dog of the market segment. For example, BMW has had the leadership of sports sedan for two decades now; every new comer tried to out-power BMW in order to garner some market attention. For what it's worth, IMHO, in terms of product/engine development cycle and how long it takes to come up with a new engine, Infiniti Q45 was probably what started the current horse power war back when it was introduced with 340hp in early 2001 as a 2002 model when every other premium luxury cruiser had a flagship V8 in the 275-300 range. Even the V12's only made low to mid-300's back then in 2001-2002.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Unfortunately, for all the power that the VK45 had, really sloppy gearing ruined it. The LS430 was faster. It's hard to believe that the Q and the first M were introduced not that long ago. The Q seems like its 10 years old. Infiniti needs to get rid of it in a hurry. I will never understand why they actually spent money to refresh a car for '05 that nobody buys.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    It's safe to back up and read whatever you might have missed.

    :)
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,683
    Supposedly a model that will have a powerful V8 hybrid and a V12 that will be positioned over the LS and likely a 110K+ starting point. Some posts reference it on the 2007 LS board. I agree with those here that say a powerful V8 + hybrid renders a V12 useless. Is there room for a V12 hybrid in a $150K+ car? Maybe that is where they will go. As far as I'm concerned a car at that level is purely a halo strategy.
  • esfesf Posts: 1,020
    "You know how hard it is to build a V8, especially to Lexus/Mercedes/BMW levels of smoothness and durability."

    I know you were addressing somebody else, and I'm not trying to be rude to you...

    I just get a bit offensive of the "Lexus/Mercedes/BMW" claim. Where's Audi? I have an S4 Cabriolet- wonderful V8 engine. It's the most beautiful car I have ever owned, and it really gets me there! Audi V8s are smooth too.

    And, Lexus isn't relevant to German cars. The "German Big Three" are BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi. Case closed.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,683
    "And, Lexus isn't relevant to German cars."

    You may want to read this before making such a claim. If I am a Euro auto exec I'm concerned about every move Lexus is making - seriously concerned. Also there is a separate Euro high end board where Lexus is excluded anyway.

    http://car-reviews.automobile.com/news/best-in-show-lexus-all-new-ls-460/1671/

    Here's more on the Porsche VW investment. I've yet to read one positive story on this re VW.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/04/business/worldbusiness/04volkswagen.html?_r=1&- - oref=slogin
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    (sounds like designman's kind of site)

    ...the LS460 features a rounded but prominent body side crease, the new Lexus 'slingshot' DLO which kicks up into the C-pillar and a series of rather odd, curvy shut lines around the rear fender, bumper, light and trunk. Other notable elements are exhausts integrated into the rear lower valance, subtle chrome appliqué at the base of the doors and a faultless but rather conservative interior.

    The LS460 is a more distinctive design than its predecessor, although relative to the imposing BMW 7 Series, unusually dynamic S-Class and classically svelte Jaguar XJ and Maserati Quattroporte it is very much in the old school luxury car idiom. But given its new found sophistication, the brand's ever elevating position and its competitors arguably nonsensical abandonment of the luxury car middle ground, this might just be one of the best judged designs of the year.


    source article
  • Agreed. Like I said, Infiniti is the under-dog in the HELM market segment. It's relatively easy to introduce a new-fangled engine that is a cut above all others and lead off a horse power race, but the rest of the system integration is a lot harder. Q45 actually did pretty well in the first model year . . . then its sales fell off a cliff.
  • I can't find the word "German" in the forum title. As far as luxury brand sales volume ("big three") is concerned, Audi trails far behind Lexus, BMW and Mercedes (in that order) in the US, with Cadillac, Acura and Infiniti in between and all ahead of Audi. Out of all these brands, Acura is the only one without a smooth running V8 or any V8 produciton engine.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Interesting site. They seem to think the new Camry and LS460 have some common styling elements:

    Slightly reminiscent of the new Lexus LS460 also debuting at Detroit, particularly its rear three quarter view.....

    Other than that they seem to really like the new LS design.

    M
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