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High End Luxury Cars

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  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Shhhhhhhhhhhh!!!

    The word is the GS430 will be replaced by the GS450h ONLY! The GS will not offer 3 engines.

    No V8 powered GS will be available, at least for 2007.

    A V8 model is a slim possibility for 2008.

    That is all.

    DrFill
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    garyh1 - I also highly doubt that Lexus will change their formula, but the formula does certainly allow for improvement, IMO . . . and if the style can improve, so can some of the other important factors, such as handling.

    While I agree that the LS is not designed to be a performance car, I believe very much that Lexus is very aware of the years of criticism regarding the styling and handling. The LS is a very important car, and I highly doubt that they would only address the styling and intentionally leave the handling to remain the same.

    I expect that the increase in HP is only a part of the performance improvement that we will see from Lexus. This will, of course, give them better 0-60 times, and importantly, if they achieve improvements in cornering as well . . . then I would have to say that they will have achieved a very smart evolution of this vehicle . . . meaning improvements in styling AND genuine performance, as well as the ever-improving technological advancements and features.

    TagMan
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    That won't be fair to the S-class as it will be losing some of its steam by then with or without a new LS. If you want apples to apples go first 3-6 months LS vs first 3-6 months S-class and see if the LS holds its normal bandwidth. Both cars will get some added energy with additional models during each ones individual first year periods as well with the real noticable one being the LS hybrid in what is now supposed to be January rather than March, because of a huge base of interest.
  • cyclone4cyclone4 Posts: 2,284
    ljflx, when did the news come out on the new timeline for the LS600hl? That would be awesome. The sooner the better for me. I am #1 on the waiting list.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Very funny! Of course, your prophesy may come true. I may wind up with another Bimmer. But I will give the LS 460 the benefit of the doubt. I wouldn't expect it to handle like the Bimmer. But if I like the seats and the legroom and the perforated cool air from the seat on my old second plateau butt.....

    The 750 is not my kind of car-I don't need a big bloated Bimmer.
    It took me quite a long time to get used to the increase in mass of the 545 coming from 12 years of 3-series vehicles.

    The 545 will get me arrested. It is a dangerous vehicle-you can't drive it anywhere near the speed limit. And everybody on the interstate seems to speed up and try and pass me. They see my vehicle as a personal challenge.
    Today, this nut in a red G35 (good-looking car!) had me going over 100 but I finally let him get ahead of me. He would have gotten us both killed. I don't mind playing the game, but a death wish I do not have.
    They simply won't let me go from point A to B without taking me on.
    While you guys were sitting comfortably at your computers, I was out there fighting for my life on the interstate. :sick:

    I think I need a vehicle which "blends in" more, like a beautiful gray 2007 LS 460. :blush:
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    You are absolutely correct, of course. correct. Lexus will get an abnormal upward sales spurt for the new LS for at least October through December (to remember). and possibly all the way out to March.

    We should compare same variables for both cars.
    6 months of sales data from introduction of each vehicle going forward.
    Should prove interesting. Should also prove very close, IMO.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    ...the LS hybrid in what is now supposed to be January rather than March,...

    Hey, lj, my prediction will come true? Very nice.

    TagMan
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The word is the GS430 will be replaced by the GS450h ONLY! The GS will not offer 3 engines.

    So... their plan is to surrender 400-500 V8 sales a month to the competition? That doesn't make a lot of sense. They are only producing enough 450hs for a maximum of 166 sales a month. They've been able to move 600+ V8s a month in the past.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    So... their plan is to surrender 400-500 V8 sales a month to the competition? That doesn't make a lot of sense. They are only producing enough 450hs for a maximum of 166 sales a month. They've been able to move 600+ V8s a month in the past.

    LG - you think the doc has erroneous information?

    TagMan
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Been on a long Memorial Day vaction. What did I miss?

    hpowders - BMW should drop the 7-Series? I had to do a doubletake at the user ID when I read that post. No, they can't drop the 7-Series. As others have stated BMW's overall image would suffer relative to Mercedes' without the 7-Series. The 7 is really BMW's only car that competes in the high-end space with Mercedes on a regular basis. The Z8 and 850Ci before it didn't do much for BMW, but the 7-Series is sought out by BMW buyers who want that type of experience in a larger car, IMO. A 750i Sport has nearly the same ride (read: firm) as lesser BMWs, but of course they can't make it ride/handle like a 330i or 550i, the ride would suffer too much considering it is at heart a "luxury" car.

    OAC - Thanks for the award. I've been here since 1999, but strangely my start date is April 13, 2001, the same date as Lenn's???? Pat??? I also would like to state that for the record that I maintain nearly the same level of knowledge about all German cars (and cars period for that matter) as I do Mercedes-Benz. ;)

    Designman & ljflx - Touching stories. I haven't had to deal with anything like that, at least not yet.

    M
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    The 750 is not my kind of car-I don't need a big bloated Bimmer. It took me quite a long time to get used to the increase in mass of the 545 coming from 12 years of 3-series vehicles

    See, this is where you lose me. If the 750 feels "bloated" to you, how is an LS460 going to feel acceptable? I have to believe the LS is always going to feel bigger and higher off the ground than a 5 series, let alone a 3 series - because it is! If the LS460 handles as well as a 750, I think even TagMan would say Lexus has accomplished its goals.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    As ljflx pointed out Lexus has switched their emphasis over to their cars right in the nick of time because without the new ES and IS they'd be looking an YTD sales loss for the first time in many years. Their long-running SUV sales juggernaught is dying fast. That said, you can't stick Toyota at either end. While Ford, GM and now even Chrysler all post sales losses, Toyota posts huge gains based in part on their new smaller more efficient cars having found traction in the market. How brilliant this company is to be able to adapt so fast to changing preferences. If GM in particular can't keep the new full-size SUVs selling at a good clip until the end of the year they're in even more serious trouble, IMO. That was the gamble, bread and butter SUVs before the next generation of RWD cars.

    Is it me or is the Hyundai Sonata blatantly "similar" to the previous generation A6 in its overall shape and lines? It and the new Camry SE are some surprise lookers from the Asian corner in their respective segments.

    Mercedes-Benz is also having a sales party of their own. Sales up 21 percent in May 2006 compared to May 2006. The new GL is a hit if early sales are anything to go by. The E,SLK, and SL are also pulling their weight. They're giving away 06' E's ahead of the 07's landing at the end of the month. The only fly in the buttermilk is the R-Class, the only one not living up to projections.

    M
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I was implying that if I wanted a big vehicle, It wouldn't be a BMW.
    I like the 7 but for that size and price, I would prefer more luxury.
    BMW's interiors and seats are pretty much the same across the line.
    I would be spending more money, stare around me in the driver's seat and would be thinking, haven't I been down this road already?
    There are better choices in the HELM realm, IMO.
    For that size and price of vehicle, I would rather give up a bit of performance and go with a more comfortable vehicle, perhaps the new LS.
    After 13 years and 3 BMW's later, I may be due for a change.
    But then again, I have had these thoughts before and the competition couldn't convince me to change.
    I will drive the LS in the Fall and I'll see.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    CR will be publishing a comparo involving the new Camry next month.
    Which is the only trim they didn't test?
    You guessed it-the only interesting one, the SE!
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Figures.

    M
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Arrived in Tokyo late Monday (Tokyo-time) and should be here for the rest of this week. I'll try to dig up as much info as I could out here on anything Lexus. If I hear or find out anything about timeline changes for the 600h I'd sure pass it on.

    Welcome back, Merc1.

    LG/DrFill: Who makes the Crown Athlete again ? That car is stunningly beautiful. Its what the new GS should have looked like. Drove alongside one all the way from Narita Airport to downtown Tokyo (1+hr ride) and what a beautiful car it was.

    Shocked that I stared and stared at a Bangle-5 today on the streets of Tokyo (lots of Bimmers here of course) and couldn't help but admire it somewhat. It was dusk and the rings around the headlights were lighted low giving the car a lithe and menacing look.... I haven't paid that much attention to it until now... I'd say the best looking of the new Bimmer designs... ;) Did I just say that ??? Seems like I have this love-hate thing for the Bangle-5. Some days I am all over it, some days I just can't bear to look at it... What gives ! Am I the only one, or am I just paranoid about this car !!! And yes, Blkhemi, I like your diagnosis of the new IS v e90. The latter is just kinda subdued-looking. Cannot believe it. What saved it is the legendary drive... To that, BMW owes its success, certainly not the new look.

    New Accord is just plain ugly. The new Sonata is a blatant copy of the previous Accord. Of course, the worst rip-off copy of all is the new Jetta which is a total rip-off of the current Corolla - from the front all the way to the rear... New Camry is not bad-looking, especially if you dress it in the SE gab, with all that body-molding and dual exhaust ... very sporty look, for sure. New ES is equally good. Lexus should sell boat loads of it.

    The new S remains a stunner ! Me likey the new S more and more...

    Looking forward to learning more about Lexus' plans and more importantly timelines and prices, if possible... Fat chance on prices, but maybe I'd learn a thing or two about release timelines and any testing of the 460, if any...
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    When you look a bit deeper at MB the sales jump is not as impressive as one would think. The year over year gain is 14k units and 11K come from the R and the GL, two models that weren't there a year ago. The rest of the brand is up 3K in vehicles sold and that is entirely because of the S-class which accounts for a 7K unit sales jump. In Wall Street terms it's like a same store sales analysis. Take out the new stores, in this case new cars (which carry a much higher cost burden) to see how the core is really going is the key tool used. In this case if you do that MB is virtually flat to 2005. In the case of Lexus and the S-class the jump is a re-generation of cars and is a standard cyclical jump albeit overstated in Lexus' case because they had left the IS dead for years.

    http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2006/06/01/009345.html
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    LG/DrFill: Who makes the Crown Athlete again ? That car is stunningly beautiful. Its what the new GS should have looked like. Drove alongside one all the way from Narita Airport to downtown Tokyo (1+hr ride) and what a beautiful car it was.

    In Japan, Toyota sells the Crown and the Aristo (Lexus GS). I think the Crown is intended for people who want a mid-sized version of the Celsior (Lexus LS). It's more conservative looking than the GS, and the interior is much more luxurious. You can buy the top version, the Majesta, with a V8 and AWD. I wish Lexus offered that in the states.

    image
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    I've been here since 1999, but strangely my start date is April 13, 2001, the same date as Lenn's???? Pat???

    I've been here since the early part of 1999 also. The best I can figure, that 2001 date is the date we switched to this platform, Web Crossing, from WELL Engaged. It's funny that it's a Friday the 13th. :P
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    LG - you think the doc has erroneous information?

    I dont know. I had assumed that the strategy was going to be similar to the Camry hybrid/V6, where the 450h would slot in the middle of the 350 and 460. Killing off the V8 instead basically hands 6,000 sales a year to the competiton. Even if they plan to majorly ramp up production of the 450h, that still doesn't account for people who might be willing to trade a few mpg for actual trunk space.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Points well taken.

    But I am amenable to this SHORT-TERM strategy! Let the 450h establish itself, build market share/awareness for awhile, let the LS460 tout the Next-gen Lexus V8, THEN bring back the GS460 for Fall 2007.

    Protecting the LS Launch, with the new V8, is the key part of this short-term plan. The new V8 can trickle down to the GS next year. Sound like a plan?

    The 450h has similar power to the M45, is FASTER than the GS430, yet gets considerably better mileage than both! So I think it should cover 6000 sales.

    And the new GS350 will see a nice sales spike, so between 'em, I'm not worried. Not worried in the least!

    Lexus can sell BOTH the 350 and 450h as having the power of V8's , but the economy of a six. Can you think of a better hot button these days than that?

    Let's say Lexus drops the ball here! The New LS' sales spike will more than cover any collateral damage! I see how Lexus has covered themselves on the top and bottom of the GS lineup.

    I believe that is the plan, and it's a pretty good one.

    DrFill
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Even if they plan to majorly ramp up production of the 450h, that still doesn't account for people who might be willing to trade a few mpg for actual trunk space.

    While trunk space is indeed important to some, I have never considered it to be a major factor, so long as there is ample room for golf clubs or typical luggage. Once that threshhold is met, the rest is just extra room ,IMO.

    The bigger factor, IMO, is that there are still plenty of folks who simply don't want to go hybrid, and they perceive it as a wasted "premium". That's the way consumer reports and the media have painted it . . . as a waste of money. I personally think that, overall, it does make economical, environmental and performance sense in the case of the 450h, but try to convince the general public.

    Toyota didn't just make the new Camry in hybrid format only, and I just can't imagine that the 450 would only be a hybrid. But then again . . . we'll see. I generally trust Lexus marketing, but I do not yet see the wisdom of this, if true. The doc's last explanation is plausible, however.

    TagMan
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    Welcome back, stranger. I've said from day one that the Sonata is recalling of the '98-'04 A6, particularly the rear quarter area. It's overall shadow is reminding of that car, which was a very elegant and intriguing car to mimic.

    The E-Class quite naturally will pull the grunt for MB, but shockingly to see it's sales this good as the freshened E350/new E550 on the horizon. The R-Class will remain a thorn in the side of DCX NA until they either abandon it State side or lower the price of admission to give it at least a chance, much in the same way Chrysler did the Pacifica. Speaking of, why not invest all of the R-Class' incredible architecture and design into Chrysler. It just seems more plausible to give this type of car to a more American company. Do you think that the 300 will be at home on a Mercedes lot with it's bold design? Probably not.

    And to hoot, a fully laden R500 will empty the bank to the tune of $70k, which is a lot of dough for a crossover. And with the GL and M hanging over it's head, it doesn't stand a chance here. Interestingly enough, the GL outsold the M for the month and is still pulling strong.

    As for Toyota/Lexus, Lexus' new/future car product is nothing short of applausible, but we're still in America, the home of the truck. Toyota will at some point have to revamp the luvable but quite old and expensive LX 470/Land Cruiser's as the competition is steadily improving, but those two are still with the status-quo. But they do remain some of the most comfortable to drive ladder-frame SUV's(save for RR and Escalade) around.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Hopefully.....HOPEFULLY, Lexus will offer the HPX concept as a replacement at some point, just a shade under $60k. A super-crossover that I loved in the 2003 NYIAS!

    Diggin' the Merc GL! Very nice! hard to believe it shares genes with the R-Class, but you can even see it in the rear-quarter view. Good job!

    Only problem is isn't this thing 5 years too late to the Full-size SUV party? If they built this when Caddy built the 2nd-gen Escalade, maybe Mercedes would have cornered that market? Not exactly Toyota-esque in reading the U.S. market, are they?

    DrFill
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Diggin' the Merc GL!

    I took a very close look at the new GL last week. This is a PERFECT vehicle for the upcoming diesel. I will seriously consider it at that time.

    TagMan
  • bfeng7bfeng7 Posts: 47
    Sorry for the very late response. It's probably just clutter for most of you folks.

    I couldn't resist having a look at:
    http://www.intellexual.net/bose.html
    The author appears to me to be pretty ignorant of relevant concepts of acoustics, audio, material science, and ... well physics in general. I'd be happy to elucidate on the fallacies in that url, upon request.

    John Feng
    email: bfeng7@yahoo.com
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    This dissertation has been "out there" for quite a while.
    Perhaps others will find it revealing as it exposes BOSE for what it is- the biggest over-priced rip-off in home audio.

    Very happy with my Denon system which for $1000 runs rings around an equivalent Bose for $2500.
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    Exactly right. If they would've brought out the vehicle at least close to the time of the bold and unique '02 Escalade, it probably would've been more of a tug-a-war than a single man's game, which the Escalade still arguably dominates.

    I too was diggin' on the HPX crossover concept at NY in '03. I thought it to be a huge step foward for the company but came away thinking that they'll never build it.

    Side note: I hear that BMW is going the route of MB and producing a full-sizer off of it's next-gen, car-like X5 platform in SC for a possible '08/'09 release. As the X5 abandon it's trucky character, the full size (likely to be called the X7 sources say) is said to measure up quite nicely with the GL/RR but a smidge smaller than the brawny 'Slade and QX56. And they also say that BMW will finally offer a 3rd row seat for both the X5/7. The powerplant choice will kick off the joint hybrid engine development with GM in this car to be trickled down to the next gen 7 and current 5 Series.
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    Disaggregating car sales into old vs. new models and zeroing in on sales of existing models ("same store sales") is a nice piece of analysis. Slight (and only a slight) problem: retail stores don't usually have a relationship between the years open for sale and total sales figures as cars models do. I think that sales decline over time for a model. Not necessarily so for retail stores. So there will be always a dialectic between new sales for new models (new stores) and slowing sales for old models (existing stores).
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    No question that cyclical model changes of existing cars/SUV's play a major role in sinking of one model and rising of another and keeping the checks and balances in place. But when you need new models altogether to keep raising the bar it is a costly approach. In this case MB needed to balance out that line-up with a bigger SUV/AWD offensive. But the R-class may have been a move that went too far and that investment may have been better suited to bringing the E and C new models in sooner. Naturally it is easy to Monday morning quarterback here. Personally I always thought the Lexus HPX would be a homerun so I can hardly fault MB for thinking the R investment would be a good one.

    Big issue for Lexus with the next gen SUV's is how do you play the hybrid game. Their desire is to go for power and I see that working better with cars than SUV's. If I'm Lexus I don't play the HP war on hybrid SUV's and go big time for luxury and MPG. That will quickly re-ignite their SUV sales to strong growth and push them toward 400K annual unit sales.
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