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High End Luxury Cars

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  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    I totally agree with you on this one. The drier air does wonders for the cars in the way they maintain their "newness". In the older days, it used to be a statement to advertise a car as a "California" car, meaning that because of the mostly sunny and dry conditions, the car was in better shape than say a wet-from-the-winter New York-owned car.

    The only drawback(s) that a person would have on buying a Cali car is the Cali emissions(a few hp less than all other states), and if the car is used everyday, which can mean the car was idled extensively if driven in LA Freeway traffic.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Oac, you don’t sound like your ol’ self with regard to the new LS but I’d be surprised if you didn’t buy it. I gather you like the 07 3-series coupe? Please elaborate.

    The way I drive, I sure need an aggresive car…

    With an LS an LX you can’t rationalize trading the Matrix for the roller coaster ride? Heh, heh, it's easy helping people spend their money.

    ;-)
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    Tagman, speaking of fruits and nuts, half the people I talk with from the Left Coast have this Kato Catlin (of O J fame) non-linear way of thinking. If you know what I mean, dude.
  • drfillldrfilll Posts: 9
    Representin' H-Town, haven't seen many HELMs, outside of more than a couple SC430s and a Shelby Cobra. But then again, I do live in the Po' side of town.

    Kinda makes me wonder, does the Lincoln LT count? If so, I know where the customer base resides.

    Oac

    I'm surprised! Sounds like you have yet to see the Next LS? Having seen it live, and on tape, the styling is easily better than the S or 7, by generally taking less risks, while executing on the style upgrades they tried to make (Rocker panels, exhaust, chrome greenhouse surround, LED headlights).

    Drove the 745/750 for a spell. When you are right up next to it, it seems like a very aggressive design for the old-money set. And it takes door chimes to an Amedeus-level! Didn't expect a concerto without my iPod locked and loaded!

    DrFill
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Tagman, . . . half the people I talk with from the Left Coast have this Kato Catlin (of O J fame) non-linear way of thinking. If you know what I mean, dude.

    There's a certain style here, but it's often too easily misunderstood by Easterners. But I'd say that some folks are better represented by a slightly re-worded line from the animated movie Shark Tales, . . . "Deep down, they are very superficial".

    Anyway, I thank God that Steve Kilburn is from New Jersey, because otherwise he'd have ALL of us out here in California totally misrepresented . . . he's Right Coast . . . if you know what I mean, dude. ;)

    TagMan
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Oac, you don’t sound like your ol’ self with regard to the new LS but I’d be surprised if you didn’t buy it.

    Au contraire... I am certainly an LS460 buyer, sight unseen; I have said that repeatedly, even tho' I have NOT seen the car in person yet. Pics, I hear, do not do the new LS justice enough, especially the 600hL. I am so much looking forward to seeing the new LS series soon. For the life of me, I could not believe Lexus didn't even let us on the Left Coast see this car ! How so ? I mean, 50% of the LS460/600hL buyers reside right here in SoCal, so why diss us this way, Lexus ?

    I gather you like the 07 3-series coupe? Please elaborate.

    I saw a cameo of the new 3-er coupe (front and back) and it didn't look that pretty to me. Like I said, its 5-yrs away before I can justify downsizing the family truck once we become an empty-nester home... When the time comes to buy a sport sedan/coupe/convertible, I will ALWAYS consider a Bimmer... especially a 3-er. I was seriously thinking of an IS350/330i last year but the LX470 won... You know why, right ? :):) I drive my friends' e46 330ci/MT enough to love that car... BTW, me no likey the 5 or 7 !!

    With an LS an LX you can’t rationalize trading the Matrix for the roller coaster ride?

    Hehehehe.... That's a good one... The wife would not mind me getting rid of the Matrix, but I won't hear it. Need I repeat my oft stated love for my little Trix ? That car is very deceptive in speed. Its a damn dog going up the hill, but on flat or curvy roads, the car rocks... I am often at 90mph without even knowing it. Yes, I admit, I am lead-footed. Got to be out here, as you dang know very well Designman. You must be as well, I suppose, with a Boxter and a 530i... if you are not, I'd be shocked !!
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Oac

    I'm surprised! Sounds like you have yet to see the Next LS? Having seen it live, and on tape, the styling is easily better than the S or 7, by generally taking less risks, while executing on the style upgrades they tried to make (Rocker panels, exhaust, chrome greenhouse surround, LED headlights).


    DrFill: Hope you are feeling much better now. No, I haven't seen the new LS series yet, sucks ! The pics are great looking tho', but nothing like seeing it in person, I'm sure. Got a call from my local Lex dealer that they were taking deposits. So I am on the list - Numero diez. Still think I should wait till March/April 2007 when the 600hL gets here to see if Lexus will deal on the LS460... I can hope, can't I ? BTW, the LED headlights are only on the 600hL. That car will be tough to beat when it gets here.
  • benzsterbenzster Posts: 152
    Something I thought was interesting.... My sister in law was driving an ES and replaced it with an RX300. She loves Lexus for all the reasons that everyone states. She is an empty nester and just replaced it with a top of the line Camry. Go figure right. About 2 weeks ago she stated that her next car was going to be a BMW. I thought, no way, has she even driven one? She said she wanted a "sporty hugging the road" kind of car. I suggested that she drive my CLK350 to see if maybe the handling and ride might be an easier transition for her. After driving she said it was very luxurious but not sporty enough. Well I was very surprised! One more for the German side! Maybe I will put her in a CLK6.5 hehehe
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    A few 07' model questions:

    1. Any price increase on the E-Class for 07'?

    2. In the new issue of Star there is a article about the diesels in which they confirm that a S320 will be added to the U.S. lineup early next year, any info as to whether it will be a LWB or SWB model?

    Unfortunately it implies that Mercedes is still wrangling with the EPA on how to sell these cars in those remaining 5 states so the ones coming this fall and early next year are 45 state only.

    3. The S65 AMG's price please?????

    4. Why oh why aren't the M and R getting the new V8s for 2007 when every other Mercedes is?

    Just a few questions sir....

    M
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    I haven't read anything on any price increases on the E-Class, despite the mild refreshening and the use of the 5.5L V-8 in the E550. The E63 is said to increase only nominally so. No biggie for arguably my favorite mid-size luxury, the super E55/upcoming E63(used to be the RS 6 before Audi pulled the plug on it, but the Euro's are still enjoying the M5 beating beast on the new A6 platform). Can't wait to drive the car as the E55 scared the living daylights out of me.(Hope they've dialed down ESP and dialed UP ABC and reworked Airmatic and brakes, like the CLS's system)

    As for the diesels, I've talked with my Jeep rep and he has confirmed to me that they will sell a variant of the Bluetec in the JGC and Commander, and possibly the Liberty, for the '08 model year. And they will get MB's 7-Gtronic tranny as the new engine is "supposedly" built around it, unlike that of the outgoing 3.2 CDI, which remains with MB's 5-speed Auto. So what does this means for MB? Judging from past marketing strategies, I don't think they'll let the Jeep come to market before the MB's are released. Maybe in unison, but not before. And I also here that Audi will encroach on the growing NA diesel market with release of their super clean(same technology as used on Bluetec, super-high capacity particulate and soot trap with only water vapor to exit the exhaust pipe) 3.0L V-6 TD that the Europeans have been boasting about since it's inception in '04. Hopefully the both of them will stick to the game plan.

    As to the S65's pricing, I read in Autocar that the S65 won't stray far from it's '06 pricing, meaning about 170k. Then I heard to expect a price of about 173-175k, not too far off the mark. The new S-Class' price hasn't increased drastically, so I don't think the car would be priced to far off the mark. The S63 isn't that far off the S55's mark. The only S to be priced drastically higher(so to speak) is the S600, but that's because they wanted the flagship model to have every possible option standard, except of course the eventual interior upgrades.

    I wondered too why the M and R aren't getting the new V8's for '07. The only new V-8 going in the M is the 6.2L for the ML63. But I've heard talks of the 4.7L out of the GL to be offered in the ML, to be priced 3-4 grand less than the bigger V-8. We'll see.
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    With Houston being the richest city in the Oil State, and one of the richest cities in the U.S. and 4th biggest city in the nation, it only makes since that there will be some pretty nice HELM's there, even on the Po'Side(lol). :P ;)
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I'm not sure if the S65 will remain in the 170's Autoweek is saying 200K...gulp! I'd bet on 185-190K.

    It is sort of a letdown to find out that the Bluetecs won't go on sale until the 2008 model year, but there is a S320 on board for sometime next year. That will be real interesting to see how it does.

    There are so many new and/or facelifted MB products hitting the market in the latter half of this year its getting hard to keep track: E550, E63, CLS550, CLS63, ML63, S65, ML320, R320, E320, CLK63, CLK550 and a few more...gee whiz. :sick:

    They've said all along that they're going to share the bluetec technology so I'm not surprised that Jeep will be getting a version though I remember seeing a Bluetec Grand Cherokee at Detroit, not the Commander, but either or doesn't really matter I guess.

    I don't understand what Audi is going to do yet. I don't see the point of both a hybrid Q7 and a diesel version. One of them won't make the cut for the U.S. market IMO.

    M
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    "I don't understand what Audi is going to do yet......"

    You and I both. Prior to the release of the Q7 on our shores, Audi said that the Q7 would be available in the following sequence: the 4.2 V-8, followed in the fall by the 3.6L V-6, and then a V-10 " 50 state compliant-clean" TDI. Now they say that the 5.0L V-10 will be in short supply because the Toureag will take most of the orders and with Porsche contemplating a TDI/hybrid model of the hot Cayenne(no pun intended :P ), so hence the release of the less torquey("only 395lb-ft") V-6 version, already on sale in Euro markets, and elsewhere. I don't see this engine making the NA cut either to satisfy we power hunger Americans. It's likely that the Audi will be paired with the V-10 TDI because the hybrid versions are years off because of development/production delays. It's likely the hybrids won't get here until the new for '09 A8 gets here to compete head-on with the LS600hL if Lexus holds true to what the car will be, V-8/hybrid/AWD technology.

    BTW, I don't know if you knew or not, but VW/Audi and MB execs met with the EPA and DOT to discuss and finalize the approval on the Bluetec and TDI engines. My guest is they had to assure them that these engines are what they say they are. But surely the agencies will conduct in-house testing to certify they are. Funny how they can inprove emissions tests, which is well needed, but they can't improve or invent new ways of measuring fuel economy. Oh and the old CAFE increases are just a cute way of getting out of it. Why? Why? Why?

    $200k FOR AN S65 AMG????? WHAT????? :mad: Can we all say Flying Spur, which is faster at the same price. To go from 170 to 200k is flat out ridiculous. Very dangerous territory. And I was crying over the 160k that I laid out for my S65. Price increase of 30-fold, huh? So the S63 is looking even better know. ;) :P
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    $200k FOR AN S65 AMG????? WHAT?????

    Perhaps someone has started listening to Steve's pricing advice...but it isn't Lexus.
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    Thank goodness..
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    Let's hope not. I wouldn't think a company that's been around 120 years would charge for a car what "feels" right.

    170k isn't enough. 200k sounds better.(lol)
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    $200k FOR AN S65 AMG????? WHAT????? Can we all say Flying Spur, which is faster at the same price. To go from 170 to 200k is flat out ridiculous. Very dangerous territory. And I was crying over the 160k that I laid out for my S65. Price increase of 30-fold, huh? So the S63 is looking even better know

    Well that was just an estimate that Autoweek gave, nothing official yet. The Bentley may have a higher top speed, but the Benz will smoke it off the line and around the curves. Also, the Benz has the option of being de-limited as far as top speed goes.

    M
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Excuse my ignorance, Merc1 or blkhemi, but what other difference exists b/w the naturally aspirated S63 and the turbo-charged S65 ?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The S63 is or I should say will be a turbocharged V8 with "around" 570hp/610lb-ft of torque and and the S65 is a turbocharged V12 with 604hp and 738lb-ft of torque. The S63 will be the lighter, better handling of the two. Not sure what other differences Mercedes will make between the two.

    Think of them as having similar power but differnt personalities like the A8L W12 and the S8, both have 450hp, but they arrive at that figure differently and have different driving characteristics.

    M
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    "....but the Benz will smoke it off the line......"

    Oh for sure. And with the option of being de-limited from it's restraint of 155mph(for the States, not Germany), it may take the Flying Spur's claim of the fastest 4-door car.

    I think the Benz gets to 60 in 4 sec. flat, while the Flying Spur needs 4.5 secs. And that car is much too heavy(about 700 pounds heavier than the MB) too hustle around a corner like the S.

    The only department it may have an edge is in ride and build quality, where it has to justify it's expensive cost of admission.

    BTW, to get the Benz de-limited, is that a factory option now? I had a guy in Miami who is a authorized Brabaus agent take the limiter off of my S65. I got it up to about 180(on a closed track of course), but the car had so much in reserve that I ran out ot track, and it was nowhere near redlining.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    In the new issue of Star there is a article about the diesels in which they confirm that a S320 will be added to the U.S. lineup early next year

    Well . . . how 'bout THAT! ;)

    TagMan
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yeah its one of those things that "if you ask" we'll do it. With the 030 AMG performance package on the CLS55, SLK55 and SL55 the limter is adjusted to 186mph on those cars. Of course with money in hand AMG will take it off completely from what I've read about the S65 AMG. We're talking 200 mph here I think!

    I agree about the Bentley's build and hand crafthing though, that is the real reason why one would buy a Bentley, not to race it. I just don't look them as being "pure" anymore when I know that they have a lot of Phaeton underneath, but that is my issue. I like the Arnage a lot more than the Flying thingy.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yes, imagine my reaction as I read that. A S320 diesel in time for spring 07'! Going to be a hot car if all those old S-Class diesels I see lumbering down the road come in for an upgrade.

    M
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    The Flying Spur is indeed not a "complete" Bentley. Bentley will argue that they used a lot of Phaeton underneath to keep relative(production) cost down. I can somewhat see that, but the average person(s) that buy these cars buy them because of the exclusivity and unobtainablity. And they have so much disposible income that they could care less about trying to make the car more affordable for those with "less". The Flying Spur is a great car tho. But the Arnage/T scream "all" Bentley with it's upright, somewhat boxy profile(classic Bentley), as do Bentley's extremely powerful 6.75L(engines).(What other car company can get away with giving their engine's a numerical symbol of 6.75L besides Bentley?)

    As to MB's diesels, yes the company has shortcomings as all car companies experience. But it has been my experience that MB knows a thing or to about diesels, especially in the homeland of Europe, where they set the tone and standard for new diesel technology. Heck, all of the old 300SD's still tugging along( some are close to 20-years old mind you) should be a testament about how well the company executes, refines, and innovate diesel technology, like no other. The S320 will surely be a welcome model in MB's ever-expanding model line-up. I wonder if we'll get the 292-hp(400lb-ft of torque!!) variant? I read that all U.S.-bound models will get this variant? Then again, who knows. I also wonder how did MB support their claim of this engine being as quiet(at start-up even) as a gas engine. They say at full throttle, the engine is more refined and QUIETER than the outgoing super-smooth 5.0L V-8. This will be interesting to watch.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well I think we'll only see the V6 diesel here. The V8 would be a very expensive addition and I don't think it would make sense to MBUSA to clean it up for 50-state duty. The new 3.0L V6 makes 224hp and 376lb-ft of torque, that would make the S320 a decent performer.

    M
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    I turned the S600 back in today(sadly so-I had it for a week and it was a blast to have) and I mentioned to the GM of the MB dealer that a lot of us fellas have debates over Lexus, Audi, BMW,MB, Jag, even Caddy and I asked him if he'd heard anything about the new LS being superior to the S in terms of technology and innovation. The only thing he would relate to me was that the LS wilil be a "total" departure from Lexus, BUT, it still won't have MB execs losing sleep, albeit, a few sales the first year tho. He did mentions also that the LS600hL will "be a technological force to be reckoned with".

    I also asked about the S65's pricing, and he says that MB will command about $185k for it. So about $15k from a year ago. But like the S600, EVERYTHIMG will be standard. Even as costly as the previous model was and the SL/CL65 were(are), they still had(have) options to be had. He also says that the SL65 will command OVER(yikes) $200k fully dressed. This is making the Continental GT look like a K-Mart Blue Light Special.

    This is the same dealer that I purchased my '01 S500 and the S65 from and he's just waiting to pluck me from my W-12. I told him that I'll just have to wait until the S63 gets here to make a final analysis. But the S600 is very interesting and a marvel of a car. I can fully attest to MB stepping up huge in terms of quality and engineering on the W221 v. W220, and I thought the '05 S600 was impressive.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    "The only thing he would relate to me was that the LS wilil be a "total" departure from Lexus, BUT, it still won't have MB execs losing sleep"

    I always laugh at comments like this. It's almost as relevant as comments from the test drivers at the auto mags when they are asked what test car they'd buy if they could afford it. Let's look at this from a "REAL" business perspective instead of a homer perspective. That LS car is coming out to steal the thunder of the new S-class in the most important market in the world for the S-class and will cost $10K+ less (in many but not all cases) and will have a lot more horses and more technology. This isn't a one year thing - this is a tough long-term strategic initiative that Lexus is unveiling here and it's going to cause a lot of price problems, way more than the one dimensional pure American swb LS, and it's coming from a company that's on the top of its' game amd minting $16bln. a year in profits right now. Would you be sleeping soundly if you were an MB exec??? I sure as heck wouldn't be.
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    It's nice to think that the new LS will take the class by storm. But we can't dream forever and we must at one point come down on our artificial high.

    It's like '89 all over again. People and the industry predicted that the LS will be the surefire to end the production of the S, it's main nemesis. But MB counter-fired with the radical '92 S, much more edgy(and hugely bigger) than the classic outgoing '91. Lexus wanted this so badly that they imitated MB's designs for quite sometime in hopes of people forgetting about the world's luxury car.

    Lexus has one huge obstacle standing in it's way: EUROPE! People there are so set on the status quo that they don't care if the Lexus could do it's on maintanence, they aren't that willing to give up the MB's, Bimmers, Jag's , and Audi's. Yes the price will yet again undercut the S, and probably every other car in it's class, as a base model. But price doesn't tell the whole story with people shopping in this category. The 16 year-old Lexus just doesn't have the decades and decades of prestige and loyalty that most of it's competitors have, albeit it does have a high return customer rate.

    And this is not the first time that a redesign of the LS has stirred the pot. First the '95 redo, then '98, and '01 now comes '07. But the release of the '07 could prove detremental to the brand as the '01 didn't kick off like the S that came out only a year before it did.

    I'm not a MB fanatic, however I do appreciate the brand for it's innovation and continued push on safety and convience products. Sure the brand has recently been plagued with quality probs, but what brand hasn't, including Toyota/Lexus?

    MB's fan base is so much more superior to that of other brands that it proves unneeding for any other car company to try and overtake them. And judging from the sales of the W221, and the factory orders, which are both more than that of the W220 this time in it's release, yes, the MB execs can sleep for now.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    And in all that bluster MB's ink turned red, it's growth was undercut worldwide and went flat to down a tad in the US, it's costs skyrocketed, and it's quality slipped precipitously. I can't imagine an MB exec that sleeps with no fears. That's being quite unrealistic. The moment Lexus builds cars for the European market and builds them in Europe just watch how fast people there snap them up. Europe is nationalistic but foreign companies that build a quality product score very high provided they build their products there. As long as it's built there the Europeans consider the company one of their own.

    The 2001 LS sold 36K cars vs a planned 25K. Followu-up years all exceeded the targeted 25K unit sales planned im year one. That model was a huge success so I don't get your point at all.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    You'll have to forgive some of our resident Lexusfans, they'll try to put a business spin to everything like the cars themselves don't matter at all. Its all about the business and how MB execs are so worried and can't sleep at night and the always pending demise of Mercedes-Benz. It has been this way for years now. The Lexus LS is coming to compete with one car, the S-Class...not the others in the class so it is said. Only the S-Class will be hurt according to this theory and the same thing was predicted back in 2001 with that LS. Mercedes is always in dire trouble anytime Lexus introduces a new model.

    We'll now need to forget that Mercedes' sales are up a great deal this year both here and worldwide.

    Funny thing is others here predicted the same type of doom and demise last year about the E-Class and 5-Series because of the new GS, but the GS is already hitting the skids one year later. Go figure. I wonder what the business reason is for this?

    blkhemi - your comments are irrelevant, but all that business jazz (that most people couldn't care any less about) is somehow relevant.

    M
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