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High End Luxury Cars

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Comments

  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,677
    Are you guys the same person??
  • stevekilburnstevekilburn Posts: 359
    Hell No! But actually I am shocked Doc has almost exactly the same opinions on Lexus as I have. I guess we are both visionaries who are forward looking rather than follow the
    "TRIED AND PROVEN BUSINESS FORMULA AND KEEP DOING THE SAME OLD VALUE, CUT-RATE MANTRA". Though I still love and respect your opinions lj.
    But I am really very upset with some of his C-class related remarks since I drive a C230. :mad: I bought the C230 because it was sporty and I did not like the BMW styling that much. On most other issues I am in agreement with Doc. Keep it up Doc, we are brothers in arms.
  • stevekilburnstevekilburn Posts: 359
    QUATTROPORTE ROYALE: The name conjures fascination. Almost all of us would agree that Maserati is performing well-BELOW its true potential and is capable of flying much higher.

    The question is shouldn't quattroporte introduce a higher-end variant of quattroporte.

    Give quattroporte a long wheel base (6 inches or more than regular quattroporte), a detuned engine from enzo, a 600 hp something and price it head-to-head with flying Spurt at $180K to $190K.

    What do you guys think? Besides, its time for a break from Lexus LS value versus head-to-head debate.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Is there really any demand for a car like that? What sets the Quattroporte apart is its performance. You don't buy a Q to sit in the back. I dont think a LWB version is necessary.

    What Maserati seems more interested in is going after the Continental GT, as apparently a coupe and possibly even a convertible version of the Q are in development.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,677
    Love your fighting spirit to Steve. But it's you and doc against the world here nonetheless.
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    Steve, you've got some reading to catch up on. Not only the buff books but also the trade bible, the weekly Automotive News. The reason why Maser isn't selling isn't wheel base. It's the tranny. The auto trans (there is no stick) is awful with mucho slamming and banging. So much so that there are warranty problems and in general much anger. People think they are getting the equivalent of the Continental for a lot less money but this coarseness upsets them.

    Moreover, the engine IS from Enzo but it is too peaky with no low end torque. So you have to buzz around at four grand. Did you ever drive home from work after a stressful day at the dental practice at a minimum of 4000 rpms?

    Having said all of the above, I wonder what I could pick up a used 2005 Maser for in a couple of years? 60K? Maybe less if interest rates go up a little more and home equity loans dry up.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    They definitely have to come up with a conventional autobox before they do anything else. No one wants a $150K LWB super-lux sedan with a SMG.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The E320 coupe (not Cabriolet) was around $60k, the price of the current CLK430! I knew it, I knew it!

    I'm lost here Doc, where was the debate about what a E320 used to cost back in the day? You mentioning something so totally irrelevant is called a "my points have been blown out of the water" switch of subject.

    Now if you're making this claim about the price of the old E320 Coupe as to say that the current CLK500 (the CLK430 went out in 2002 Doc, gotta stay current!) is an evolution of that model then you're way off because the last E320 Coupe was in 1995. Surely the current CLK500 would cost a lot more today if were based on the E-Class chassis and not the C-Class chassis as it currently is. You missed the point by a country mile because the CLK is NOT an evolution of the old W124 E-Class Coupe. That car started out in 1988 as a 300CE and the price was 55-60K in 1988 Doc.

    You're just mad because I caught YOU bragging on how the C-Class IS NOT one of the 5 best sellers in the class. Maybe you should check YOUR boasts with a little research!

    A little review:

    1. You stated that C-Class sells in the 40K range per year and I proved that was wrong with the latest figures from 2004 and 2005.

    2. You also stated that the G35, CTS, ES, and TL all double the C-Class' sales. Again you were proven wrong with actual sales numbers YTD.

    What I see here now is that your reply has gotten a whole lot shorter because your rag on the C's sales has been proven wrong (with actual facts) at every turn. What would I be "mad" about when I proved you wrong quite easily with the actual sales numbers? Oh and about that top 5 claim I made I said "usually" as in maybe some years, not always Doc. Big difference from your claim about the competition doubling the C-Class sales and then not being able to admit you were wrong about that statement.

    And thank you for admitting that sales success is more important than dynamics when it comes to evaluating the relative value of a model, Merc. I'll offer you some cheese with your whine when the ES' sales accelerate again.

    Again, another spin. Where in any post did I admit anything. Again this is another twist of the debate.

    I mentioned that the current GS' sales are dropping and how it has never sold well and then you mention comparos.

    I mentioned that the SC430 sucked in comparos, losing every single one of them usually placing last or next to last and then you mention sales numbers.

    See the twist and spin there. You simply use sales or comparos where possible to defend whichever Lexus is being talked about. Now tell me where in that does that prove which standard is more important than the other?

    Give it up Doc you've been outdone. Just admit you didn't have a clue as to what the C's actual sales numbers were before you threw out the "double" and "40K per year" assumpitions.

    M
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I recently read a Sports Car International comparo of the 330i, C350, IS350, and G35. The cars placed in that order. C&D did also mention in their review of the C350 that if it had been available for their entry-lux comparo, it would've been in the top 3. Pretty impressive considering that the C is a grandpa compared to the 3 and IS.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    The reason why Maser isn't selling isn't wheel base. It's the tranny. The auto trans (there is no stick) is awful with mucho slamming and banging. So much so that there are warranty problems and in general much anger.

    I am under the impression that the '07 model year (or in '07 calendar year) will correct this tranny issue . . . finally. Can you confirm this?

    This will improve an already amazing vehicle, IMO, if true.

    TagMan
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    You were right about C-Class sales. Ok! I missed that one. It sells much more than I thought.

    But you are also guilty of lack of research, and saying without knowing!

    You seem to like to pick on the GS, as I do the C-Class. For some reason you are quick to jump on BMW's bandwagon, while the E-Class gets passed over easily in comparisons, like it's bretheren, the C-Class (but that's discussion in another post).

    You seemed to pick on the Lexus interior, and mentioned it is "Good in a straight line".

    Regarding the BMW 540i vs the Lexus GS, and I quote:

    Save for it's compacted rear seat, the GS400's interior also received high marks, centered on the ergonaomically-friendly IP; and the backlit, sliver-blue-tinted instruments that automatically adjust to ambient light.

    Added to these appealing features is a sticker price of $50,347, the lowest of the group, and more than $5k less than the winning BMW. Based on such numbers (lower price, better skidpad numbers, better braking, better top speed, better economy at 24MPG, slower in 60 and quarter by .10 seconds), one could certainly question the Gs' second place finish.

    Suffice it to say that a one-point seperation on scores might be considered a tie. The GS is that good!

    Car & Driver, Nov. 1998

    Other significant facts:

    GS earns C&D "10 Best" in 1999.

    GS beats Mercedes & BMW in MT comparison in that year.

    GS suffers another incredibly close second in R&T the next year.

    Mercedes is beaten every time by Lexus, in performance, and price.

    Let's agree on this. If you need facts on Lexus success and history, get a hold of me. If I need Mercedes history and success stories, I'll call you, deal?

    And pick one bandwagon and stay on it, ok? When your team loses say, we lost, but we'll get you next time! I haven't heard you schill for BMW. You just did it to attack Lexus, which is beneath you.

    You're on a good team, stick with 'em! They'll turn it around, LOL!!

    DrFill
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    You got the love! Congrats on comin' aboard The Real Love Boat! You defintely know what's up! You really care about the Future of Lexus!

    Lj

    You're a good man! I trust you'll get on board soon enough. I believe in you, I don't care what they say about you!

    DrFill
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    You seemed to pick on the Lexus interior, and mentioned it is "Good in a straight line".

    Actually, that was me. Quoting myself: The V8 was very fast in a straight line, but handling was just average, and it had the all-time worst Lexus interior.

    There's a big difference between objective and subjective results on a car. The GS might be able to match the numbers, but it "felt" sloppy compared to the 540, espeically w/ sport package. I think you'll find that most journalists would agree with that.

    I didnt have any problems with the audio and HVAC controls, Lexus always has done those in a very simple and straightfoward manner, and the GS was no exception. The problem was the rest of the interior. The design was incredibly dull, and it did not befit a $50K luxury car. Nearly all of it was either plastic or vinyl. It is definitely the hands down winner for worst Lexus interior. The 5 series and especially the A6 were vastly superior on the inside, in both design and materials. I feel rather strange defending the Germans, but despite the GS's reliability and its 0-60 prowess, the 5 and A6 were just better cars than the last gen GS.

    Looking at the three of them, its amazing just how brilliant that A6 interior was. The E430, GS400, and 540i interiors all look quite dated now, but the A6 looks just as sleek and modern now as it did then.

    image
    image
    image
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    My bad! It was you, wasn't it! I must still be very ill.

    I expect that from Merc, I expect better from you, LG!

    All I can say to your post is 3 major US mags disagree with you. They all came away quite fond of the GS, without qualifiers.

    I have NEVER seen a BMW interior that I would consider even decent. This picture verifies that. Mags coined the phrase "austere" when describing BMW interiors!

    Audi makes great interiors. BMW makes great driving machines. These are their strengths.

    When BMW makes a good, not great, interior, please post a picture! Something a step up from an Accord would be nice, for openers.

    Until then.....I'm trying to eat here!

    Merc is officially in the clear.

    DrFill
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    They may have disagreed in '98 or '99, but as I said before, once the A6 received actual horsepower, it was all over for GS as far as the mags were concerned. The '06 GS is the best one yet, but it still has the same fundamental problem that has been plauging the car since 1993. Lexus keeps over promising and under delivering with an akward car that has to find a small niche between the ES and LS.

    In fairness to BMW, that picture was not the most flattering I could find, but it fit the size and angle requirements to fit with the others. Here is a much better one, along with a similar GS photo:

    http://www.zett-eins.de/bilder/z540%20015.jpg
    http://carad.ebayimg.com/i20/01/a/07/04/a9/77_4.JPG

    While the previous 5 was hardly my favorite car interior, in my opinion it definitely bests the extremely flat and boring GS interior (CR called it "antiseptic"), which could easily have come from Accord town.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    You were right about C-Class sales. Ok! I missed that one. It sells much more than I thought.

    My bad! It was you, wasn't it! I must still be very ill.

    Doc, you are waving those Lexus pom-poms with irrational exuberance . . . even for the GS in areas it is not deserved. Also, you are mixing up the posters and posting major data errors. The good news is that you have good character and are man enough to admit it. I've got to respect that about you.

    It's definately time for you to "get out of Dodge" and take that nice trip to Tahiti or Hawaii or somewhere you love, so that you can r-e-l-a-x and nourish your health back. You deserve it . . . even if you are a die-hard Lexican full of Lexuses! ;)

    TagMan
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    Tagman, I read that in calender year '07 they will have this corrected. As one with a keen eye for value (e.g., your posts on used XJs) what do you think of a gently used '05 Maser traded in by a hedge fund manager's wife because she couldn't stand the tranny? Are we at 70K?
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    My eyes glaze over when I read the point-counterpoint between the Doc and Merc1. Its too much like the McLaughlin Report on television with (ex-Jesuit, Father) John McClaughlin's posturing.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,677
    Demand starting to really build now at these gas prices. I honestly think that anyone that buys a High HP low MPG car - luxury or otherwise - is going to get crushed in the used car market of the future. That big HP is going to cost a lot - upfront, at the pump and in lost resale value in the future.

    http://www.cnn.com/2006/AUTOS/05/17/used_compacts/
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I appreciate your comment, but the Q is a car I am only recently paying more and more attention to. Perhaps delinquent on my part, but the truth nonetheless.

    Are you considering one? If my failing memory serves me correctly, Lexusguy knows quite a bit about the Q.

    TagMan
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    lj - when I first mentioned this, I got the flame-thrower treatment, as though I was out of my mind, but I agree with you. This is only the beginning, I'm afraid. The world energy and political situation and the changing energy technologies will cause a MAJOR shift in the years to come. I expect hybrids AND diesels to pull in much larger market share over the years to come . . . as well as new gas injection technologies and better cylinder management.

    Right now, you can steal a large SUV. This is always the early warning sign.

    You will be glad you have that LS600hL next year. You might even save it for evenings and weekends and commute in a higher MPG vehicle, which seems to be an increasing trend. I believe that we will see some high MPG attractive 2-seaters in the near future that should provide a nicer way to achieve that type of approach, rather than an econobox.

    TagMan
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Isn't it though. When I read that comparo in SCI I was like they must have made a mistake when printing! The problem with the whole thing is though Mercedes facelifted the C-Class for the 2005 model year, but the engines didn't come until the 2006 model year. Both the engine and interior updates were badly needed and should have been done at the same time. The C350 would have been much more talked about if it come out in 2005 instead of 2006 when the new IS and 3-Series caught all the press glory.

    Still though, talk about giving an old man a new lease on life! That C350 likely isn't the desperate little piece that Doc claims it is! We know the C "Class" isn't in sales. ;)

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    You were right about C-Class sales. Ok! I missed that one. It sells much more than I thought.

    Bingo! Finally!

    But you are also guilty of lack of research, and saying without knowing!

    Nope. Not.

    You seem to like to pick on the GS, as I do the C-Class. For some reason you are quick to jump on BMW's bandwagon, while the E-Class gets passed over easily in comparisons, like it's bretheren, the C-Class (but that's discussion in another post).

    Well if I do it is because this time last year we heard one boast after another as to how the new GS was going to be a true BMW fighter (I won't even say killer) from both Lexusfans and their head guy alike. It didn't happen and when it didn't happen in the comparos, all Germancarfans got was how the GS is selling, selling and selling. I merely pointed out that now since its sales are already dropping in its second year, which happens to still be its first model year of the new re-design, I asked what will be the excuse from Lexuscarfans now? You took up the argument for the usual suspects because they'd obviously been outdone because the initial promises of a BMW threat weren't kept and now the sales wasn't looking to good either especially with the upstart Infinti M gaining on the GS. That was my point Doc. The Infiniti in particular it was said here didn't have a chance at outselling the GS because people didn't want a sportier car over the Lexus.

    You seemed to pick on the Lexus interior, and mentioned it is "Good in a straight line".

    I remember saying something about its interior when I first saw one on the local dealer's lot, but never anything that harsh, and it having better steering than the E500 when I drove the GS430 at the Taste of Lexus last year, but I don't remember saying that it was merely good in a straightline.

    Regarding the BMW 540i vs the Lexus GS, and I quote:

    Save for it's compacted rear seat, the GS400's interior also received high marks, centered on the ergonaomically-friendly IP; and the backlit, sliver-blue-tinted instruments that automatically adjust to ambient light.

    Added to these appealing features is a sticker price of $50,347, the lowest of the group, and more than $5k less than the winning BMW. Based on such numbers (lower price, better skidpad numbers, better braking, better top speed, better economy at 24MPG, slower in 60 and quarter by .10 seconds), one could certainly question the Gs' second place finish.

    Suffice it to say that a one-point seperation on scores might be considered a tie. The GS is that good!

    Car & Driver, Nov. 1998

    Other significant facts:

    GS earns C&D "10 Best" in 1999.

    GS beats Mercedes & BMW in MT comparison in that year.

    GS suffers another incredibly close second in R&T the next year.

    Mercedes is beaten every time by Lexus, in performance, and price.


    The problem with this Doc is that you're living in the past and you're doing the same switch of criteria as you did with the SC430. This data is as old as all getout and secondly Mercedes didn't market the E of that day as a BMW fighter nor did they promise a BMW fighter when the 2003 E appeared. Lexus did with the 2006 GS, that is why I use the BMW as a reference when talking about the GS. The 5-Series is the car that LEXUS said was the competitor, not the E-Class.

    It really looks kinda desperate to me for you to have to go back to the previous car and dig up a bunch of comparos that it most cases it didn't even win! What is the point?

    Lexus has stated that BMW was the target, not Mercedes in the middle segment.

    Let's agree on this. If you need facts on Lexus success and history, get a hold of me. If I need Mercedes history and success stories, I'll call you, deal?

    No dice to that because I didn't give a Lexus history lesson to begin with. I brought up the current GS' sales as my most important point and secondly as to how it has been no threat at all to BMW's 5-Series. All of that is true as can be Doc. Your listing of old comparos in which the Lexus only managed to beat the BMW once and came in 2nd all the other times only proves that the GS during its entire life has never a real threat to BMW! Let me try and pass off a "incredibly close second" placing of a Mercedes to a Lexus as something significant and watch how the circuits go off. A close second doesn't count Doc.

    Besides you were the one that was flat out wrong about the C's sales, not once but twice! I wasn't wrong about the GS never having been much of anything for BMW to worry about in either comparos (old or current) and certainly not in sales (not even close there).

    Infiniti has done what Lexus said they wanted to do in just the last 3-4 years with the G35 and now the M35/45, build a true BMW competitor, not a half-baked attempt smothered in typical Lexus detachment and luxury.

    And pick one bandwagon and stay on it, ok? When your team loses say, we lost, but we'll get you next time! I haven't heard you schill for BMW. You just did it to attack Lexus, which is beneath you.

    Oh I'm on the Germancar team, with MB being the marquee brand. I usually don't have to go to bat for BMW because they're hardcore fans are usually lurking, but I just couldn't resist in raking the Lexusfans over the coals about all the boasting done about the GS this time last year. I have no idea as to what you're talking about with "we'll get you next time". That is a GM apologist line, you know that. What was beneath you was to come and rag on the C-Class for no good reason and then to consistantly get the sales numbers wrong. I wasn't "wrong" about anything here Doc, the GS' record both past and current against the 5-Series in both sales and comparo speaks for itself. It all points out that BMW has nothing to worry about from Lexus' GS.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Edit: In further reading of the entire last page of posts it was one yours that said that about the GS. Whew, I didn't think I said anything like that having actually liked driving the GS430 last year!

    M
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I've driven the car twice. What I like so much about it is that it combines more sportiness than a 750 with more luxury than an A8, especially on the Executive GT version, which has adjustable heated, cooled, and massage seats in front and back, fold-down picnic trays and privacy curtains in the back VDP style, and an Alcantara headliner.

    Perhaps its biggest strength is its exclusivity. The 760, S600 and A8 W-12 are all very exclusive cars, but they look just like the much more common V8 powered versions. The Q is unique and uniquely Italian, with no hints of German or Japanese influence. The only problem with that is the electronics in the car can't come close to matching the abilities of a Lexus or Mercedes. If you can get past the mediocre NAV system though, its an otherwise phenominal car.

    http://photos.ebizautos.com/5579/956726_3.jpg
    http://photos.ebizautos.com/5579/956726_7.jpg
    http://photos.ebizautos.com/5579/956726_8.jpg
    http://photos.ebizautos.com/5812/1009393_37.jpg
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    I'll let your last post slide, since I made a mistake.

    We'll hook up down the line. My beef is with Tag and LG.

    Peace!

    Tag

    I don't see you contributing anything! Lebron can't hit every shot, ya no? Words can't bring me down, even my own!

    LG

    The A6 was just beaten by the GS in a C&D comparison last year, coming in 5th behind the E, GS, RL, and M. So I wouldn't pump those pom-poms too much for a 5th-rate ride! It's not even as good as a Lexus I don't really like!

    DrFill
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The A6 was just beaten by the GS in a C&D comparison last year, coming in 5th behind the E, GS, RL, and M. So I wouldn't pump those pom-poms too much for a 5th-rate ride! It's not even as good as a Lexus I don't really like!

    Ok.. so were talking about the current gen A6 and GS now? I dont recall cheer leading for the current car. In fact, I've said on several occasions that I think the interior is a major step backwards from the last A6, which is IMO Audi's best work to date.

    As for that C&D comparo, I think a lot of the placing order was just as strange as Edmunds picking the GS as "Japan's best sports sedan". Their priorities were all over the place. In some instances it seems they wanted value, in others performance, and in others simple and intuitive controls. The only car that actually gets all three correct is the Infiniti M, and I completely agree with its 1st place finish.

    The problem with an all-inclusive comparison test such as C&D's is that each contender is not necessarily designed with identical goals in mind. For buyers looking mostly for luxury, I would rank the GS 1st and the E 2nd. For buyers looking for a blend of luxury and performance with AWD, I would rank the A6 1st, and the RL 2nd. For buyers looking for a true performance sedan, I would rank the M 1st, and the 5 2nd.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Apparently, C&D wants what every buyer of a $50k+ sedan wants. They only want it all! And if they can't get it, they will default to the most entertaining/powerful car in the class (M45 in this case).

    The public isn't as forgiving as C&D is of the RL, which they were highly impressed by.

    AWD is not a legitimate performance enhancer in California, where they do many of these comparos, or the South, or the Midwest. On a dry tarmac, the weight offsets the traction advantages, and it moves back in the standings.

    I LOVE the Evo (especially THE NEXT EVO X!), but not because it has AWD, because it has low weight, a good sized back seat, great power, and, apparently, it's AWD system makes it appreciably faster than you'd think it would be.

    A6 has underachieved in sales, and performance, from what I've seen. Maybe like the GS, the last one was better. I don't know.

    DrFill
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    My beef is with Tag and LG.

    "Aaaaaa . . . what's up, Doc?"

    Review my posts. I've joked with you a little here and there, told you I was glad you were feeling better, and when you glitched a little on your posts, I suggested you take a vacation, but you and I haven't gotten into ANYTHING like some of those heated discussions you've had with others.

    In fact, I've been so busy lately that I've been laying kinda low on the forum, so to quote the old BK commercial . . . "where's the beef"?

    :)

    TagMan
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I totally understand your admiration for this car. Since there is a local area dealership here, I still intend to get there and check this vehicle out. As I posted earlier, and blckislandguy confirmed, the tranny should be improved next year.

    I am surprised that the NAV is sub par.

    Regarding the Q . . . exquisite is the word that comes to my mind.

    TagMan
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