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High End Luxury Cars

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  • porknbeansporknbeans Posts: 464
    If I hadn't seen the Audi logo on the front I would have thought I was looking at the Phaeton. The line of the bodies in that cover shot to me looks like the Phaeton.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well it was to be expected that they would favor each other...they share an awful lot. I like the A8's interior a lot better than the Phaeton's though. As much as I love VW and Audi I don't see how both of these cars are going to find there predicted amount of buyers in the U.S. It pains me to admit that. One or the other should be a hit, but they both can't be...I don't *think*.

    M
  • jagboyxtypejagboyxtype Posts: 241
    The new Bentley flagship is to share its platform with the Volkswagen Phaeton and Audi A8, the platform is internally known as D3. It will come with all-wheel-drive from Audi, an aluminum body, a six-speed automatic transmission, and a turbocharged 8.0-litre W16 engine producing about 1,000 horsepower from the new Bugattis. Its air suspension will come from the Volkswagen Touareg. Long and short wheelbase models will be offered, prices start at $350,000. Look for it around 2005.


    Bentley is also bringing out a new lower priced coupe and sedan to compete with BMW, Jaguar, and Mercedes-Benz. It should increase Bentley's yearly sales by 600%! It is not going to debut at an autoshow, but rather at a surprise location; most insiders believe it will make an appearance at a future Le Mans race.


    Jaguars are appearing in the new James Bond film along with their cousin, the Aston Martin Vanquish. Driven by 007's arch-enemy in this film is the new face-lifted Jaguar XKR convertible. The lustrous green paint it is bathed in is a mixture of a shade of Jaguar's own green paint and pure gold! That exotic mix cost over $2,500 per litre used on the car. And all Jaguar's feature 11 coats of paint, with up to six color coats = lots of $$$ for paint! During some chase scenes, they fitted the new XKR's body onto that of a Ford Explorer's shortened platform because they did not wish to damage an actual XKR if the ice were to break and it handled ice better. The chase scene is on a frozen lake in Iceland. Over $1.7 million was spent on this XKR and its sometimes-used Explorer platform for the movie. Equipment seen on this car that will not be found in Jaguar showrooms is a rather large machine gun fitted to the rear of the car that fires over the windshield, and stylish rollover bars like those seen on many roadsters. An insider stated, the face-lift included "lightly revised air intakes, neater light clusters and new alloys. Under the hood, the new car will be given a 4.2-liter version of the company's V-8 engine coupled to a six-speed gearbox and, in the flagship XKR model, a supercharger." Other Jaguar models will also be included in the film.


    The Vanqish with new XKR in background:

    <http://www.thecarconnection.com/images/gallery/5822_image.jpg>


    The new XKR:

    <http://www.thecarconnection.com/images/gallery/5823_image.jpg>

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Sounds good, but I just wish VW would let Bentley develop their own platform to base the Coupe, Arnage and all other Bentley products on. I don't like the idea of a awd Bentley sharing so much with a VW or Audi.

    One a different note. There has never been a better time to be a rich car nut. I can't believe all the high-end products that are being turned out. Between the new BMW RR01 Rolls-Royce, Maybach, new Bentleys, Bugatti and the usual players, Ferrari and Aston Martin....what is a rich person to do! None of these cars are under 200K in price!!!!!!!

    M
  • wishnhigh1wishnhigh1 Posts: 363
    I find it odd that they put an XKR body on an explorer because they didnt want to risk losing the car if the ice broke. BUT THEY SPENT 1.7 MILLION DOING THAT CONVERSION!!!!
  • linardlinard Posts: 59
    I have to admit, the new 7 is growing on me as a close friend just purchased a beautiful copper/bronze 745Li with chrome wheels, unfortunately, she has decided that one more problem and she will return it. In 1000 miles, she has had to return to the dealership 4 times for some niggling electrical issues. First, her check engine light came on and the dealership, Crevier BMW, did not know why it came on so they reset it. Then the computer said the airbags were malfunctioning and now her car says it has four completely flat tires when they are all within normal PSI specs and she has had another problem which I cannot think of now. None have been as bad as experienced in her previous car, a 99 Jaguar XJ8L which blew it's transmission (I guess maybe that's why they put the Benz S-Class transmission in all the supercharged 8-cyl Jags?) at 35,000 and was in the shop another 8 times for a faulty interior, an engine fan that wouldn't turn off after the engine shut off until the battery was dead, and many many other electrical and hardware issues. However, I cannot accept that an 87 grand car has had so many issue. I understand that while Hondas and Toyotas are much simpler, the price you pay for a Jag or Beemer should amount to better engineering etc. I have not met one person that fears a first year Honda or Toyota but a first year Beemer, Benz, etc? I wouldn't get one...
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yeah I saw a 745Li (silver) today too, with the factory rims chromed. Maybe it was the way and location it was parked, because it looked pretty darn good. But I still can't get over that trunklid.

    M
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,851
    Has anyone out there bought a used luxury car such as Audi, Cadillac or Lexus recently?
    If so, and if you're willing to talk about it with a major daily newspaper, please send your vehicle and contact info to jfallon@edmunds.com no later than Friday, July 31. Thanks!

    MODERATOR
    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • bobbyknightbobbyknight Posts: 121
    Hey everyone, long time no see

    Since being back in the Chicago area for the summer, I have seen a large amount of new 7's on the road, and I have to say they are beautiful. They have a very aggressive look to them.

    A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to take a new 745i out for a lengthy drive and came away mostly impressed. The car I drove was a silver/black car with the ventilated comfort seats and expensive stereo package.

    The I-drive, although overwhelming at first, is a simple concept, but it seems as if BMW complicated it by adding useless functions to it. I figured out how to use it within the first 20 minutes and was comfortable by the end of my drive. But that doesn't say that I was extremely frustrated during that time, and I would probably would be in the future. I still much prefer the old knob or button to get things done.

    I found the performance to be breathtaking. The car is so quiet and smooth, sometimes you catch yourself going much faster than you thought. Brakes were outstanding, as was the handling. There really is NO body roll! It handled great but was not that much fun to drive, probably because it was so isolated from the road.

    Interior was very comfortable, loved the matte finished wood trim. Hated the metallic looking plastic trim, however. Interior was very comfortible.

    Overall, I was impressed. Unfortunately, my impressions changed as soon as I drove a 540i. Much faster, more fun to drive, and it had buttons and knobs!!!!
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well I've always said that BMW would have had a true "segment buster" if it weren't for the styling. I too at times think it's good looking car, but then I see one with the 18 inch wheels in the wrong color and then yuck(!). I keep seeing them in black with the 19's in chrome, makes a big difference. The car does have "presence" but I'm not it's not a good one...all the time. Only black even partially hides that trunklid, which is unforgivable.

    But I must say it's the most impressive car I've seen in quite some time, well I guess since 1999 when the S-Class came out. I just love the way BMW and Mercedes leapfrog each other with each re-design of their top sedans.......it sets the stage for all the rest to follow.

    Have you had a chance to read about the new A8 yet?

    M
  • bobbyknightbobbyknight Posts: 121
    I entirely agree with what you said. The 18inch wheel on the base car make the 7 look frumpy while the 19inch wheel on the Li make the car look sleek and appealing. I can't believe 1inch could make that much difference. So far, 90 percent of the ones I see on the road have the bigger wheels.

    Don't get me wrong, the car is impressive, but it didn't completely blow me away as I had expected it to. It was just boring to drive, more like a Lexus than a BMW. Plus, the i-drive is just too over the top to handle on a daily basis.

    So far the A8 looks nice, I just wish Audi would have taken the styling a notch further, especially since it has the conservatively styled Phaeton. As it is now, the car looks too conservative, I would of thought it would look much more Avantissimo-like. This should be the car that sets the design of Audis for years to come, not look like a bigger A4.

    The interior seems interesting though. Time will tell if Audi improved on the i-drive like system they have for controlling the functions of the car.

    Overall, I don't think that the new A8 will have any more success in the marketplace than the older one.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "Overall, I don't think that the new A8 will have any more success in the marketplace than
    the older one. "

    For some reason I think that will be true...at least in the U.S. The new car is handsome, but you're right it is very conservative. The Phaeton looks better, and will probably outsell the A8 in this country. Wouldn't that be something!

    But hey things are going to change with the 2004 A6, which "goes all radical" according to the European press. They are saying the new A6 will have a huge upright grille along with "fender haunches" unlike any other current Audi. Gawd I hope its not ugly!

    M
  • bobbyknightbobbyknight Posts: 121
    Boy, that gives us a ton of insight. What the heck does that mean?
  • whatupwhatup Posts: 26
    Hey,


    http://www.vwvortex.com/news/index_bentley_GTcoupe1.html


    This is the first official picture of the new Bently GT Coupe...which will probably be called the Continental when it comes out. It shares the same platform as the Phaeton, including the engine, suspension, and transmission. But the Bently has a twin-turbo W12 making 500+ HP, and it's made in Crewe alongside the car.


    But weren't Bently owners upset with the original Arnage because it had too many BMW influences? Isn't this new Bently much more VW than the Arnage was BMW? Nice machine though...


    I thought the new A8 was on a different platform than the Phaeton...doesn't the A8 have an aluminum spaceframe?


    That's it.


    Todd

  • jstylejstyle Posts: 129
    You know that is a very handsome coupe. Bentley's always look better in the flesh as well. I heard that this is a competitor for the CL600 and will cost around US$160,000. Does anyone know? I am sure at that "low" price (for a Bentley anyway) there will be a astronomical wait list because Bentleys production lines are SLOW. Imagine....Bentley interiors (quality!), next generation Audi A8 based electronics, a surround sound stereo system, and that enormous power. Sure wish I was richer, but I can complain....
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "Fender Haunches"....I know right. Oh well.

    whatup,

    Yes the A8 and big V-Dub use the same platform, though in very different guise.

    The Bentley coupe is supposed to be around 135K at which point it's going to hurt the current CL600. Mercedes recognizes this, thus the CL600 gets a power boost and other changes for 2003. Bentley is saying they want to sell 3000 of these in the U.S., a truly unobtainable figure.

    M
  • porknbeansporknbeans Posts: 464
    A8 and Phaeton in very different guise? Are you looking at the same pics that I've been seeing?

    I just went to Germancarfans.com and looked at the photos of both. Subtle differences (other than the grill and tail), but hardly very different,IMO.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Please post the links to those pictures instead of using the img src tags to display them. Otherwise, the Town Hall runs into copyright issues.

    Thanks.

    Pat
    Sedans Host
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The original poster asked me about the structure of both cars. That is what I was talking about.
    The Audi is much more aluminum intensive compared to the Phaeton. The VW is over 5K pounds, the Audi should be much lighter.

    M
  • porknbeansporknbeans Posts: 464
    Point noted and thanks for the clarification.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Speaking of the Phaeton, it was just tested on Auto, Motor und Sport TV tonight. It's an awesome car. I think VW can sell 5000 a year here, especially if the import the V10 (313hp/500lb-ft tq), and the V8 (335hp) versions also.

    M
  • jstylejstyle Posts: 129
    MB has released the press info on the 2003 S and documented the changes/modifications. There really isn't all that much except for engines (500hp V12 is nice) and 4-matic. Interior looks the same and exterior changes are hardly noticable. Worth checking out though

    www.germancarfans.com
  • whothemanwhotheman Posts: 169
    The face (front fascia) is awesome! The best in the class. The weight might be a problem, but it will imbue a feeling of solidity and composure.

    The three factors that will spell it's fate are:

    The buying experience. How will it change from the other VM purchases?

    The Price. Will it be more than a well-equipped LS ($60k)? More than a new 7 (High $60's)?

    The advertising. Will they get a Lexus ad campaign (Perfect), or an Infiniti ad campaign (lost)?
  • I think if they advertise it as the people's luxury car... like the car any democratic-minded person deserves after working hard for years.. it'll sell well. It's really a fantastic car.

    It's so heavy, however, that the base V6 (at least the V6 in Europe) only propels the car to 60mph in 9.0 seconds. A bit slow.
  • wishnhigh1wishnhigh1 Posts: 363
    I dont think you should worry about advertising...Volkswagen has already proven that they are one of the top corporations in the world(not just car corporations) in advertising effectiveness.
  • whothemanwhotheman Posts: 169
    VW can advertise with the best of them! But they can't use the same agency/approach they do with Jettas!

    The First W8 commercial, with the kid riding his bike was corny! That wasn't a good ad! To introduce a new level of power and luxury to a car company!

    The W8 and Pheaton need their own marketing arm, dealership location, and slogan/motto/tagline. Time to step up into the major leagues!
  • jstylejstyle Posts: 129
    Just took a look at the pics on the DC website. Nice front lights and AMG body update. 2003 S-Class rear lights and it looks like the interior buttons are sleeker and smaller. Much bigger 16:9 format COMAND display. But the real news a 500HP V8 with Paddle shifters on the steering wheel. Even an update to the ABC system. Again MB makes the mid cycle updates the best time to buy the car in the model life. Now for the question. With BMW 745i/Pheaton/Jag's 2003 XJ redesign/MB' S-Class update/Audi's new A8...Does anyone know of the rumored significant Lexus LS updates and when these will take place? Looks like all the European models are changed what about Lexus. Perhaps a performance model a la AMG.
  • Jaguar is building a larger XJ on the platform which is being called the X350. The X35 is supposedly the stretched platform of the Lincoln Ls/Jaguar S-Type. British papers supposedly confirmed but I don't know how true it is the Volvo S100 Inline 8 or Inline 10 Sedan.
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