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High End Luxury Cars

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  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    "Audi's most powerful engine is 450hp V12"

    It's not a V, instead it's a W-12. And you're right, the S cars aren't quite as edgy as the AMG or M cars. But to say that they're WAY behind is an overstatement. The car will hang in curves and keep up with the best of them, maybe not in a straight line, but definetely hold it's own. And in the typical Audi fashion, they will offer their hi-po vehicle at a much lower cost. I owned a 2002 S8, and the car was wickedly fun to drive and own. That is the primary reason we sold the CLS in favor of the upcoming S8. Not power overkill like the torquey AMG cars, and not so technologically advanced that you need a degree from MIT to operate it, much the case in the M5. The S8, get in it and go.
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    The Lexus may indeed have those as options, but the LED headlamps w/ swivel will be standard on the S8. Lexus does have the one up on the night-vision, which all these systems seems gimmicky given the fact that today's HID systems are much brighter than conventional lamps. And the night-vision is yet another feature to malfunction, and in the event put more doubt on a car's reliability rating.
  • Then Audi will ask for a retraction from Lexus. I opine that there is some technical issue which we are still missing, since it looks unlikely Lexus might make such a blunder.
  • deanedelldeanedell Posts: 16
    Are you sure the Audi LEDs are not LED DRLs as opposed to LED headlights like on the Lexus? If so, that could clear up some confusion...
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The night view assist in the big Benz has thusfar been bashed as a useless techno-gimmick in at least one review. I think it was Fifth Gear that tested it, and found that it failed to show a man standing on a dark empty street that was clearly visible when looking through the windshield with regular headlights.

    That is because they didn't read enough about to the system to know that the car has to be moving for the system to work. Sitting still doesn't fully activate the system. Infared headlamps don't work while the car is sitting still for liability reasons.

    I have to ask has anyone here even been in the new S-Class to know whether or not the screen placement is such a danger.

    syswei - Cadillac's system was positively ancient compared to Mercedes' for some of the reasons that Benzster listed. Regarding the W210 E-Class, are any of today's nav screens in one's direct field of vision? Seems to me they all still require one to look away from the road to some degree. All these things are peripheral vision things as far design goes.

    M
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I haven't seen either night vision system, which I think I made clear in my post. Maybe the MB system is indeed better all around than Caddy's, I haven't paid enough attention to reviews to see any (hopefully) unbiased opinions on the subject. I do know that $50 million fighter planes tend to have heads up displays for some important functions.

    On the navi screens I hope you'll admit that looking away from the road to a lesser degree (with a high-placed screen) is probably safer than looking away to a greater degree (with a low-place one)? Do you think that MB's night vision would be just as good if its screen was located a foot or more lower down?
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Infared headlamps don't work while the car is sitting still for liability reasons.

    Not sure I understand, who is potentially going to be harmed by infrared lamps when the car is sitting still?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    On the navi screens I hope you'll admit that looking away from the road to a lesser degree (with a high-placed screen) is probably safer than looking away to a greater degree (with a low-place one)? Do you think that MB's night vision would be just as good if its screen was located a foot or more lower down?

    Looking away from the road is pretty much looking away from the road period in my book. It really comes down to a person's peripheral vision along with that screen's placement. I see people driving that don't look like they can see period. They wouldn't be able to drive properly no matter where the screen is placed.

    Not sure I understand, who is potentially going to be harmed by infrared lamps when the car is sitting still?

    Me neither, but it is what it is. Who knows what MB's legal department came up with regarding liability for such a device.

    M
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    If the LS600h is supposed to be a halo car, then the GS450h should also carry the torch. The 5.2 secs 0-60 puts the GS450h right at the top of it’s class. BMW posts 5.4 for the 550 even though it was clocked in under 5 secs. I’m wondering why some of you are questioning RWD for a car that is being positioned as a performance sedan.

    Also, I’ve heard the GS hybrid criticized as being expensive but, if you ask me, at just $3K more than the GS430 with increased performance to boot, this seems to be the smallest hybrid increase percentage-wise, hence biggest hybrid bargain in its class to date.

    The question I have with these hybrids is what kind of performance they will post after 0-60 which is equally as important. The post-60 characteristics in the low-end cars are horrible. Plus they are being criticized for their quirky application of power. Is it reasonable to assume that Lexus, Wizard of Oz that it is, has this covered? The LS600h has to have upped the ante with smoothness and consistent power transmission at the range of speed. It has to be seamless. This very well could be an Achilles heal. Maybe maybe not, but there’s some Titanic euphoria here that I raise an eyebrow to. If it was a slam dunk they would be producing these cars in quantity. As it stands the GS450h will only have 2K cars produced in the first year.

    That said, I look forward driving the GS450h if it will be possible considering the limited production. It is at hand and is the performance-hybrid torch bearer here and now. It has the vaunted performance advancements that people are gushing over with the LS600h. I fully expect the latter to exhibit similar if not identical performance characteristics.

    From Automobile mag on the GS450h:

    “Floor the gas and hold it there, and you do get the sustained engine note that characterizes a CVT drivetrain-and bothers some drivers-but that's the only remaining whiff of unconventionality.”

    “Lexus makes much of the performance of the GS450h, and the numbers are indeed impressive. But the car is too computerized to really speak to the enthusiast driver the way, say, the BMW 5-series does. Still, the GS450h is a technological tour de force. We just wonder if its hybrid heart is in the right place.”


    If anyone thinks the LS600h will not garner similar commentary and slam dunk the performance crowds, even the luxury crowds, you could be kidding yourself. Like a musician who shows up at an audition for the New York Philharmonic, there’s no room for bluster, you have to play the instrument. Also, the press has been infatuated with fuel efficiency, just like the rest of the general public. Wait until they can truly focus on performance and these cars get into the hands of the performance buyers, then we will get a much better read.

    These cars aren’t even a slam dunk for Lexicans. I’m hearing stories about interest but not many have come forth with purchase intentions. I have to believe many of them are standing on the sidelines just like most others, wondering deep down if the early models will hold their resale or become obsolete quickly with upgraded versions ensuing, wondering when the mainstream products will appear and take root, wondering if they are worth the price premium right now. Sure, there will be someone else buying them, right?

    Keep an eye on Camry and the GS450h. The hybrid generation is in its ninth month of pregnancy. The birth of mainstream hybrid is this Fall and the birth of performance hybrid is in May. Will they be boys or girls? Doesn’t matter, as long as they're healthy.

    ;-)
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    If anyone thinks the LS460h [sic] will not garner similar commentary and slam dunk the performance crowds, even the luxury crowds, you could be kidding yourself.

    I, for one, think the LS600 is very likely to disappoint the performance afficionados. The Lexus press release is tilted toward luxury. I suspect that the hp being "only" 430+ may be the result of detuning toward the luxury end of the spectrum.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Woops, I knew I had typo in there somewhere... edited it.

    Anyway, I think the LS600h brings plenty with power if it dives under a 5 sec 0-60 as claimed. I have my antenna up for power above 60 and also transmission. It will have to be point and shoot with the throttle, no hesitations, no jerks, no quirks. Torque on demand. I would think they have the beat on this, but considering they really raised the bar high for themselves with this stuff, I just want to see the proof. There is an awful lot of tech that is very new and different here. I'm just thinking that hiccups could be probable, especially with regard to the luxury aspects of the drivetrain.

    I think luxury buyers take power transmission for granted and they should. They want to waft. One little gadfly characteristic could wind up pulling the rug right out from under it. So the car has to kick butt without wrinkling the tuxedo. That's a high bar they set for themselves considering everything involved.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Well, I've never driven a CVT before, but I imagine that if done right, it should be more luxurious than a 7 or 8 speed AT. As you say, we'll have to see if it they've done it right. I imagine so if they are going to put it in their flagship car.
  • 2001gs4302001gs430 Posts: 767
    I agree with you that the GS450h is looking like an excellent deal on paper.
    Based on Canadian websites, it is priced about CAD 11k cheaper than a comparably equipped GS430 and 2K more than the base model. I've already posted this next piece of info in the 2007 LS forum, but I will repeat it here; the GS450h is priced at the same level as a somewhat loaded BMW530i, so the 550i is not even close price wise.
    I am very interested in this vehicle. It will be among the top 3 vehicles that I will seriously consider as the replacement for my current car.
  • hybrid technology is still in an intense development phase and its far from being mature/saturated.

    By 2010 we should see considerable sophistication in gas-electric hybrids and a new high-growth exponential curve w.r.t. diesel-hybrids.

    By 2020 these two technologies will be mainstream and dominate the industry.
  • benzsterbenzster Posts: 152
    Easy there, IR will harm the eyes. MB feels that there is going to be someone out there that will want to "see" what it looks like. So, unless the idiot wants to jump on the hood for a ride...... ;)
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Ah, makes sense now.
  • benzsterbenzster Posts: 152
    As "wonderful" as this job is, I turn into a pumpkin at dusk.
    I asked around. The system will allow you to see a leaf in the road or read a road sign. It works perfect. Everyone said it was distracting, but they said that they were driving the vehicle just to test it. No long term feedback. It can be turned off of course. It is not available anymore due to excessive demand. MB thought 30% but has ended up being 80% of vehicles sold.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    It is not available anymore due to excessive demand. MB thought 30% but has ended up being 80% of vehicles sold.

    That's a big difference. But the REAL reason it isn't available isn't due to excessive demand . . . it's due to deficient supply . . . due to poor planning . . . ;)

    TagMan
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Hi Benzster, I generally find your posts great to read and highly informative. Here I have a small bone to pick with you, not really you but with MB :)

    It is not available anymore due to excessive demand. MB thought 30% but has ended up being 80% of vehicles sold.

    Huh ! There was so much demand that MB felt the right business thing to do was to discontinue it ? Did I read that right ? Were they losing money on cars equipped with this feature ? Or was it some obscure issue of legality or safety ? I'd be curious on why MB would kill something that is popular to its buyers !!!! Or did Tagman nail the REAL reason ???
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Based on Canadian websites, it [450h] is priced about CAD 11k cheaper than a comparably equipped GS430…

    Did I read that right? Does the 450h have ~13k worth of standard equipment that is optional on the 430? Base prices from the Canadian website:

    300: $64,300
    430: $74,700
    450h: $76,900

    In any event, for a GS-luvin’ Lexican, indeed, your ship has come in.

    ;-)
  • benzsterbenzster Posts: 152
    BINGO! Toe-mato, To-may-toe
    They were afraid, if they stressed the supplier, it could lead to a vamping up of personnel thus the production by an untrained staff.
    BTW not a read, but info from the training person from NJ ;)
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    Only the S8 version of the A8 will have both LED headlamps/tailamps and DRL's. My W-12 are equipped only with the DRL's, and lesser A8's don't have either. So no, Audi need not make an apology. If Lexus does offer the LS460/600hL with night vision, then it needs to imply as such.
  • 2001gs4302001gs430 Posts: 767
    Did I read that right? Does the 450h have ~13k worth of standard equipment that is optional on the 430? Base prices from the Canadian website:

    300: $64,300
    430: $74,700
    450h: $76,900


    Yep, unless there is a mistake on Lexus.ca, it looks like GS450h buyers can have the cake AND eat it too. :surprise:
    This is creating a lot of headaches for the competitors.
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,870
    You are not going to get Merc1 to admit it (too much kool aid) but obviously just having to cut your eyes to the side would be easier and less distracting than having to look to the side and down.

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • killerbunnykillerbunny Posts: 141
    Just a quick question. Is the LED headlight much cheaper?

    I am EE background myself and I do know for a fact LEDs are much cheaper and reliable than comparable light source of other type. What I am confused about is that if they are cheaper, shouldn't we see them first on economic cars?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Huh ! There was so much demand that MB felt the right business thing to do was to discontinue it ? Did I read that right ? Were they losing money on cars equipped with this feature ? Or was it some obscure issue of legality or safety ? I'd be curious on why MB would kill something that is popular to its buyers !!!! Or did Tagman nail the REAL reason ???

    Well Tagman got it right, but we're talking about a 87K car that is selling in the 3-3.5K range per month so yeah they misjudged what the demand would be. The option isn't discontinued or anything like that, but yeah they didn't think that option would be so hot. All hot cars experience some type of shortage on options or models upon launch not a big deal.


    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well, I've never driven a CVT before, but I imagine that if done right, it should be more luxurious than a 7 or 8 speed AT.

    By luxurious do you mean it would be smoother? I've driven a few CVTs and they don't feel natural, its like you're always waiting for a shift to happen or the revs to drop but they don't. I can't see it being better in a luxury car over a conventional 7 or 8 speed automatic. I think that is where this dual model stuff comes in for the LS600hL something to make it feel like a regular automatic with the smoothness of a CVT.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    You are not going to get Merc1 to admit it (too much kool aid) but obviously just having to cut your eyes to the side would be easier and less distracting than having to look to the side and down.

    Right because the issue was really matterless in the first place. I think it comes down to the person driving along with where that screen is placed.

    M
  • benzsterbenzster Posts: 152
    I will clarify. If you order a S550 with night vision it will not be until January that it is built.
    BTW: backup camera is June build.
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    We had the same issues with Supercharged Range Rovers and Range Rover Sports a few months ago.

    If you wanted a supercharged model of either you had to wait a minimum of 6 months and I actually had a couple that took almost a year from order date to delivery.
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