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High End Luxury Cars

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  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    I've read that this new locomotive of a car will reportedly get to 60 in 3.8 seconds. Now according to my calculations, and if I'm correct, this will put this car faster than the Flying Spur, which will destroy their claim of "the fastest production 4-door car ever", albeit they will still govern it at 155 mph, while the FS goes up to 200.

    I do have one reservation on this though. I'm a past owner of a '05 S65. I tried everything in my power to get this thing to hook up on launch, but even the slightest lurch of the pedal sent the car adrift. And with torque numbers rising even still, I'd imagine it'll be harder to get it going in a hurry. Maybe M-B has done some calibrations with the TRAC and ABC to get it to hook up earlier, but once under way, there is no stopping this car. The quickest time I posted at Willow Springs was 4.45 seconds, and I'm a novice.

    I did notice however that MB is using the 7-G in this car, as opposed to the excellent but dated 5-speed auto. It's been said that the AMG-spec 7-G trannies share only 20% of internal parts with the less powerful models, in order to keep from shredding them apart.

    So Mercedes has once again set the bar even higher in the hp wars. With this latest Mercedes only seeing a modest weight gain, better electronics, and a more refined chassis, I see no reason why it shouldn't keep it's "speed" crown in it's class.

    BTW, if anyone was paying attention, that 3.8 seconds to 60 is very close to the current SL65, which is over 600 pounds lighter.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    As much as I generally dislike the company, they have done a few car stereos that are quite decent. The top level system in the Infiniti M, for example, is excellent. The home division on the other hand.. dont even get me started.

    Interesting choice in Carver. Their ribbons of old were quite legendary in their day, but they aren't really known for speakers, or much of anything these days. I wonder why they didnt go with a German company, like Canton?
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Well, the Z4's Carver 10 speaker system has been THX certified-so it must be quite good.
    I would love to see Denon used for an integrated vehicle audio system-they put Bose to shame!
    I have a Denon home audio system coming within a few days to go with my 32" XBR.
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    I owned a 760iL last year, and if these new speakers are better than the ones that were in that car, which were incredibly clear and umm.... LOUD, then the THX-ceritfied units are sure to even cause temparary hear loss in rock musician.

    I had a chance to listen to this system in a Lincoln LS, which is probably the best part of the car, and it was mind blowing.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Yes-it has been used in the Lincoln Zephyr.
    Good to see BMW doing this what with the ML audio systems in Lexus vehicles.
    They have to keep up.
    HK just doesn't cut it anymore!
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    Nice, new thread. Refreshing to get away from the M/B vs. Lex debate.

    I find it interesting that some think that the Bose system is a rip off. It could be for all I know.

    When I bought my Porsche in December, 05 I clearly heard a difference in the $1200 Bose surround sound upgrade vs. the standard system. I went for the standard system though thinking that my listening tastes (country, right wing talk radio) and 61 year old ears which spent a whole year up close and personal with a mortar tube some 40 years ago wouldn't appreciate it. Now I regret it. Do you think that for $1200 I could get a meaningful aftermarket upgrade? Or would I be paying high retail for junk installed by a 20 something who will make a mess of the electrics?
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    which cars are the best at simultaneously delivering BOTH performance and luxury?

    Depends on how one defines luxury. To me, a luxury sedan should be as quiet as possible. But when we discussed CVTs, merc1 seemed to feel that even a luxury car should "sound" like a car, at least under acceleration. Nothing wrong with that view, it is just a personal preference.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Sorry. I don't know, but Lincoln is offering this great audio system as a $995 option on the Zephyr and BMW, $875 on the Z4, which sounds like a steal to me.
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    Tagman, is there any doubt? It has to be the XJR Jaguar or, even better, the Super Portfolio Jag (blown XJR engine in a longer wheel base edition). Great styling, sub 5 second 0-60 times, etc. etc.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Tagman, is there any doubt? It has to be the XJR Jaguar or, even better, the Super Portfolio Jag (blown XJR engine in a longer wheel base edition). Great styling, sub 5 second 0-60 times, etc. etc

    blckislandguy - great picks, IMO. You and I have already exchanged some of our similar preferences, and I thank you.

    There are others too, however, and I'm curious to hear what they will be.

    For example, is it entirely possible that merc will pick the CLS AMG?

    TagMan
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    Your car will arrive this fall: The all-new Audi S8. You can have your cake and eat it too. What's not to like. A turbine-smooth V-10 that rips to 60 in 4.8 secs, a ride/handling package so good at delivering track performance yet being able to be used as a daily driver, and the legendary Audi luxury.

    With a base of $96k, sure it's pricey, but worth every buck. Before the riot begans, Audi isn't the only one. The latest MB AMG cars deliver on the promise on daily transport and sporting fun wrapped in a luxurious package so good you'll ask; Who to make the $180k check out to?
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    $1200 can get you a superb aftermarket upgrade, provided you go to the right place. Circuit City will sell you garbage installed by a 20 something who will make a mess.

    Go to a dedicated, high end car audio shop, a place that sells brands like MB Quart and Rockford Fosgate. Simply replacing the stock speakers should only cost a few hundred dollars, and will give you dramatically better sound.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The ultimate luxury performance sedan is the Quattroporte, no question about it.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    The all-new Audi S8. You can have your cake and eat it too. What's not to like. A turbine-smooth V-10 that rips to 60 in 4.8 secs, a ride/handling package so good at delivering track performance yet being able to be used as a daily driver, and the legendary Audi luxury.

    With a base of $96k, sure it's pricey, but worth every buck.


    Admittedly, in the past I was guilty of "Audi-ignorance", due to a significant lack of interest, but more recently Audi has really begun to catch my attention as a more legitimate player, and I would venture to guess that others feel the same way as well.

    Along with the '04 and forward new generation Jaguar XJ, it could be argued that Audi is also a winning candidate for the "most improved" award, IMO.

    TagMan
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    did notice however that MB is using the 7-G in this car, as opposed to the excellent but dated 5-speed auto. It's been said that the AMG-spec 7-G trannies share only 20% of internal parts with the less powerful models, in order to keep from shredding them apart.

    Actually the S65 AMG keeps the old 5-speed because the 7G-Tronic can't cope with the S65's torque.

    M
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    The ultimate luxury performance sedan is the Quattroporte, no question about it.

    Of course the Quattroporte is a spectacular looking automobile. Have you driven one? If so, tell me about the drive. I admit that I have not, and to tell you the truth, I do not know why I have not done so. Fortunately, there is a dealer near me, and I think I should make it a point to drive one in the near future.

    Thanks.

    TagMan
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I would say it is between the Quattroporte, CLS55 AMG, E55 AMG and something like the Jaguar XJR. Sure their are cars that are more hard core like the M5, but the "luxury" part suffers. Then there are more luxurious (i.e. better riding, quieter) cars, but they miss the mark on performance. The CLS55 is compromised in the back seat area for the sake of style, the Quattroporte's tranny doesn't function well automatic mode for around town driving, the Jaguar simply can't match the performance of the other two. That leaves the E55, performance of the CLS55 with the typical E-Class room/comfort. I think the E55 with its adjustable air suspension answers the question really well. I'd say either the E55 or the Quattroporte. However I do realize that this question will never be answered decisively for everyone with just one car. Then there is the slighly milder Audi S6 to think about.

    Then you have the next group of cars up like a Bentley Continental Flying Spur or the S65 AMG. Pure luxury and power to spare, but how sporting (handling wise) can cars of their size really be? There are others in the class particularly the Audi S8 that stands out in my mind as a very unique car with what promises to be scathing performance with an interior to die for. The S8 might be the best compromise here especially if they offered it in long-wheelbase form.

    I'd say over these would be the cars in the running as the best mix (compromise) between sport/luxury depending on your size/price criteria:

    Audi S8
    Mercedes E55/CLS55
    Maserati Quattroporte
    Mercedes S65
    Jaguar XJR/Portfolio
    Audi S6
    BMW 760i (short wheelbase with sport pack)

    While we're talking about this luxury-performance thing there is a comparo in the June issue of Car and Driver that puts the new S600 against the Rolls-Royce Phantom. They picked the S600 over the Rolls in nearly every catergory except sheer ride comfort.

    M
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I have a Denon home audio system coming within a few days

    Yes, congratulations . . . good choice. I use Denon's AVR-5803 THX 7.1 component and it is quite superb . . . literally ground shaking.

    I am not a Bose fan either. It's hype, with some exceptions.

    TagMan
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    merc - Nice list with good explanation. The Portfolio is one of my favorites, and I think it performs better than you might be indicating. Also, I realize that the Audi is truly a better vehicle than I have given credit or paid close attention to.

    But, is the Quattroporte really THAT good? Beyond it's incredible looks? Both you and lexusguy have referred to it very favorably, although lexusguy says it is the ultimate and you do not.

    Have you driven one? I asked lexusguy if he has. I have not.

    TagMan
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    merc - one more question for you. I've been seeing more new S-class cars around, although not lots, and I am bothered more by the rear trunk than I thought I would be. I thought it would grow on me, but it's getting worse and not better. Otherwise I think the car is as great as I originally said it would be.

    Do you dislike that trunk, too?

    TagMan
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Have you driven one? I asked lexusguy if he has. I have not.

    Heavens no, I wish! What has me about the Quattroporte is the interior, styling, and the sheer sound of it, which I have been fortunate enough to hear close up a few times. The Quattroporte also manages to be something that no other car is in this class - exclusive. Even in the richest of areas you won't see many Quattroportes while Mercedes and BMWs are a dime a dozen. Maser and Aston-Martin have managed to increase their sales dramatically in the last few years, yet you don't see them that often. Even the once super-exclusive Bentley is as common as a S-Class or 7-Series in some areas.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Nah the trunk doesn't bother me, only that rear wheel arch does in certain colors like Silver on cars without the AMG package. I still haven't been able to see one on the highway in order to perform my 2-3 lane test on how good it really looks. I think the best way to judge a car's looks is to ride beside one on the highway, preferably on 3 or 4 lane highway in which you can put at least one lane between you and the car in question. Then drop back a little so you can see the car from a rear 3/4 view while at speed. Then of course align yourself in the same position as the car in question, but still a lane or two over to see the side profile. Thest test will tell you all you need to know about a car's styling, IMO.

    M
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I just wonder if the "Q" just has a certain mystique about it that makes us place it highter on our list than it truly deserves, if you know what I mean.

    BTW, the new Bentley Continental GTC is such a terrific looking convertible. The root design is stellar without resorting to any gimmicks. I absolutely love its appearance.

    Let's go drive (I didn't say "buy") that Quattroporte . . . and quit wishing! ;)

    TagMan
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Definitely make it a point to drive one. I've driven the car on two occasions, its absolutely amazing. The suspension can go from firm but comfortable to "AMG killer" with the push of a button. Maserati's SMG is much better now than it was a few years ago, but it still definitely isnt as good as Audi's gold standard DSG. Keep it in manual though, and its a perfect match to the Ferrari 4.3L engine, matching revs as you downshift and letting you use every ounce of the engine's power, for a 0-60 dash in about 5 flat. No tip-tronic comes close.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I just wonder if the "Q" just has a certain mystique about it that makes us place it highter on our list than it truly deserves, if you know what I mean.

    Could be since I've never driven it. I think very highly of it, but for the daily grind and more straight-line oomph I think the Airmatic AMG cars are the better compromise or something like the S8. Then there is the issue of wanting/needing to keep shifting gears in the Quattropore. I suspect that would get tiring after a while and/or in everyday traffic, but for fun and 4-doors I don't see anything topping the Maser except the M5.

    I detest all these newer Bentley's looks so we disagree there.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    What exactly about the trunk don't you like? The Maybach look??

    M
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Ha . . . I like your highway design test. You might remember that I got a highway peek at a gun-metal gray new S-Class back when they first came out, and I was surprised to see it at the time. It looked great.

    There is a new silver S-Class that is in my community and sits about a mile from my home in front of this family's house in their circular driveway, and I'd swear they leave it outside just to show it off or something, because it is never parked inside the garage (unless the garage is full with Bentley and Ferrari or something . . . ha ha).

    But, I drive by that direction over there almost every day and I'm telling you, man, that trunk has grown little by little every day until it is now a monster of a trunk. :)

    TagMan
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I detest all these newer Bentley's looks

    detest is a strong word . . . says a lot.

    Even the Continental GTC? Oh well, go ahead, break my heart. :)

    TagMan
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yeah I can't stand the styling on these new "Bentleys". The coupe in particular looks like a shoe or boot of some type to me. I think its the VWish looking front fenders. The Flying Spur (or Brick as I call it elsewhere) looks somewhat better, but next to the Arnage these new Bentleys just don't look right to me. Now the convertible I haven't seen in person so I'll reserve judgement. Convertibles have been known to look better than their hardtop counterparts. ;)

    Don't get me wrong these new Bentleys have a presence on the road that shades any Mercedes(save the SLR)/BMW/Jaguar, but they aren't beautiful like Aston-Martins or stunning like Ferraris or Lamborghinis and they lack the old-world aristocrat look of the Arnage.

    Its the same thing I've always said about the BMW 7-Series. It is also a very big, bold, and attention getting car, but pretty or beautiful it is not.

    I am curious to know what Lexusguy thinks of these new Bentleys.

    M
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Maserati is working on a conventional automatic for the Quattroporte to make the car more appealing to customers coming from Benz or BMW.

    The Bentley Continental GT reminds me a bit of Jaguar's R-coupe concept from a few years ago. Its a good looking car, but I agree that it doesn't come close to something like a V8 Vantage. Now that you mention it, I can see the VW cues.

    http://www.seriouswheels.com/pics-jkl/Jaguar-R-Coupe-Concept-FA-1024x768.jpg
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