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High End Luxury Cars

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  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I'd rather see it in person, of course, but based upon that photo, the front is OK (designman is right about the R, but the R's problems are not the front for the most part.), most of the side is reasonable (up front) with exception maybe of that swooping upper side crease, but the rear is not up to the rest of the car. The rear glass looks suspect, and the lights and their placement are also the culprit, IMO, and remind me of . . . well . . . I dare not say it.

    Not a catastrophe by any means, but disappointing, IMO. It's especially a problem if the new CLK looks like this, too . . . in which case . . . they should have their heads handed to them on a platter.

    Another concern is the longer-term styling direction that might be emerging, although the S is terrific. When looking at the different models, there seems to be contradiction in the execution of styling.

    Troubles ahead?

    TagMan
  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 873
    this hotly debated subject comes down to a few important points.
    1. It seems as though Lexus is successful because of two fronts. Reliability/Luxury, and the ability to make these things known to the customer.
    2. When I have talked to many Audi employees they are very quick to point out that the majority of their customers are self employed/small business owners. In other words people who are more inclined to go a different route or a road less traveled so to speak. It's become apparent to me that Audi is sort of the nugget of gold that needs to be searched for, and dug up. Audi could definitely take a page out of Lexus's book as far as marketing go's [and maybe a few other lessons] but they seem to be content to not appeal to the masses. At the streets of tommorow event I constantly heard from employees that "Audi is not for everybody"
    In summation, if you want a car that ranks high in public perception then Lexus would be the way to go. For people who could give a fig about what other people think, well Thank God their are options
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    "As well what exactly has Lexus been late with?

    HMM? Where do I begin. It has taken the company all of 15 years to give it's flagship more than 300hp. In this same timespan, the company has failed to give the car proper suspension tuning. The Buick-derived styling won't stir many souls. Need I say more?

    Lexus is a great company as a whole. But it is definetely not without fault. Far from it's perceived "perfection". First you have a $63k SUV that is at least a decade old. Then there's a supposed hard-top crusiser that looks cartoonish without any provacative looks whatsoever(which also commands 60k), a midsize BMW 5-Series fighter that has lost the battle before it started.

    And now, the company is marching in the right path. With cars like the new ES350 and IS350(but still no 6-speed(yet), which are great entries, the company can finally put up a good fight. Late? A decade and half.

    BTW: How late is late. On what makes a HELM a HELM. Why does EVERY SINGLE HELM do well in Europe and abroad, EXCEPT FOR LEXUS?? After 15 years, still very little Lexus competition in Europe. They know that playing it safe in America and giving us pacifiers that won't make it off of the dock in Europe is the way to go.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Makes the Bangle 5 rear seem absolutely Michelangelic in comparison.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Merc would be so proud!

    I could get sucked it this brawl, but I'll pass.

    All I can say is, with such thoroughly inferior products, and with all of Audi's scary products, it doesn't say much for Audi being outsold 3 to 1.

    In less than a decade.

    By a garbage producer.

    With zero heritage.

    DrFill
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Merc would be so proud!

    I could get sucked it this brawl, but I'll pass.

    All I can say is, with such thoroughly inferior products, and with all of Audi's scary products, it doesn't say much for Audi being outsold 5 to 1.

    In less than a decade.

    By a garbage producer.

    DrFill


    C'mon Doc, you say that you'll pass, but you know that you're up to your eyeballs in this thing. You made plenty of contributions to the mess that went on for many preceeding days.

    Nobody believes that Lexus is garbage. But SOMETHING needs to be said to BALANCE out the extremism . . . and you've done plenty of shoveling.

    I will tell you the same thing again and again . . . Audi is a HELM. You may not like Audi, but to shun it the way you did for days was too much, IMO. I don't blame blkhemi for the posts, frankly.

    A bit more respect from you regarding the Audi would net you some respect for Lexus in return . . . although probably not a double scoop with sprinkles at this point. ;)

    Think about what I'm saying, Doc.

    TagMan
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    There is no point in arguing with him about it.

    How about we just move on?
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    "First you have a $63k SUV that is at least a decade old. Then there's a supposed hard-top crusiser that looks cartoonish without any provacative looks whatsoever(which also commands 60k), a midsize BMW 5-Series fighter that has lost the battle before it started."

    Ouch !!! I own that SUV and tho' dated, its still plenty nice. Every day I drive that truck I get lots of compliments. Old, yes... but what a great truck it remains. As to the SC, I am no fan but at only 13 days on dealer lot before it gets sold, its a winner for Lexus. The new GS came earlier than anticipated, with old carryover motors (4.3L V8), and a new but underpowered 245HP V6. Certainly Lexus looks to amend these with the GS350 and the GS450h. As to beating a 5-series, Lexus is NOT a performance-inclined company, thus far. Their forte is luxury, refinement, solid build quality and reliability. Infiniti comes close to matching BMW in the handling and performance areas, and so far are doing a heck of a job. But where is Infiniti in the large luxury sedan class ? Methinks the HELM plays to Lexus' strength, that is why it was easy for the LS to assume the #1 sales crown within such a relatively small timeline.

    And now, the company is marching in the right path. With cars like the new ES350 and IS350(but still no 6-speed(yet), which are great entries, the company can finally put up a good fight. Late? A decade and half.

    Lexus or Toyota can certainly put MTs in their cars. After the 2002 release of the IS300 5-MT, with no appreciable uptick in sales or interest, Lexus was wise to stick to its strength in the gen-2 release... The new IS350, even with a slushbox, outruns any in its class. BTW, do I not tote around town in a 6-MT Matrix ? That little buzzy car is fun to drive, and its all Toyota drivetrain and with a Yamaha motor rated at 100hp/L of displacement, and priced under $20K !!! What a deal ! Designman, take note: not all Lexophiles drive around in snoozemobiles... Sorry I digress :)

    A decade and a half, is all Lexus' history compared to the 100+ for MB, Audi and others... What do you expect ? Perfection ??? For its short lifespan, Lexus has achieved a level unheard of in automotive history. And the sky is the limit. The ES killed off every competition in its path. Ditto the RX, setting the bar for what a luxury car-based SUV should be. The LX continues its remarkable run on a solid LC platform, old as it is.... These are Lexus winners anyway you slice it....

    Talking of late to the party, how late was BMW and Audi to the SUV party ? How late are they to the hybrid party ? How late are they to the 8-speed tranny party ? How late are they to creating an ergonomic cupholder in their lux cruisers ? How late are they to simple, touchscreen DVD-based Nav ? Oh, don't tell me these things are unimportant, cos they are, otherwise MB, BMW and Audi won't have these in their cars as well.

    Doc put it best: how high does Toyota/Lexus want to go before pissing off our politicians in DC ? That, I submit, is Lexus/Toyota's achilles' heel !
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    There is no point in arguing with him about it.

    How about we just move on?


    Gotcha, boss. Just trying to keep the peace, but heck, that's your job, isn't it? :D

    TagMan
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Looks like the CL has lost some heft in this latest go-round style. Its taken on the banana-shaped CLS style. Goodie !!! Not... What exactly is the purpose of the CL again ? And for that matter, the CLS ? I can understand the CLK, the SLK, the SL, the C, E, S, even the ugly to death funeral box called the G (what an ugly truck that is), the R- and the GL, but the CL/CLS ???

    Oh well... styling is in the eye of the beholder ! But my beholding eyes give this new style a D grade...
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    Whoa...well I guess I gotta give 'em credit for one thing:

    Whenever I try and beat sheet metal with an ugly stick I never end up with such straight or gently curved lines...
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Designman, take note: not all Lexophiles drive around in snoozemobiles...

    Oac, your lead-footed testimony has been well noted. Now permit me edit that statement so it accurately applies to your case…

    Not all Lexophiles drive as if they are in snoozemobiles.

    ;-)
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Thanks, Designman.... My lead foot is killing me tho'. My Trix should be doing 25+ mpg, but I get barely 22mpg. Go figure ! In contrast, my LS mileage has increased from 18mpg to 20.2mpg, for a 9-yr-old car. Not bad, eh ? Don't even ask how the LX470 does in mpg... Not worth mentioning. ;)
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Makes the Bangle 5 rear seem absolutely Michelangelic in comparison.

    Yeah, I'm not impressed. The previous CL wasn't my favorite car, but I think this is a step backwards, styling wise. It will be interesting to see what Maserati does with the Q coupe, as that should compete directly with the CL550.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    designman - merc says you might know a little about the Lotus Elise. I've been reading up on it, and I'm thinking of checking one out as it appears it could be a ton of fun. It also seems that the '06 may be improved.

    Have you driven it?

    TagMan
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    I respect your post, altho I do have a couple niggles with it.

    One, you say that Audi/BMW are late to the 8-speed slushbox party. Sorry, but everyone is late to that party as it doesn't exist until Lexus brings out the 8-Speed gearbox topping MB's wonderful 7-G only to be topped by Audi's 9-IHJ 9-speed gearbox, DSG, and CVT's in the next-gen A4's and A8's. (All this from a non-HELM?? That's mighty impressive, no matter how long the doc worked today :P )

    Secondly, you say that the RX and ES blew away the comptition . Then why is the RX's sales in the tank, despite the RX400h? Along with the Highlanders(and hybrids) that are dinosaurs on Toyota's lots. The competition has gotten smart......

    Lastly, I do appreciate the legendary build of the LC/LX. It had up until very recently unmatched quality and the trade off in ride/handling is very well despite the off-road suspension. And it continues with Lexus' tradition of hushed transport. BUT, it is old. Way older than normal update intervals usually are. BUT, both here and in Japan and especially the Middle East, it is still widely lovable. I'm still fond of it. But for $60+k, similar money will get you in newer and more technology-laden models, particularly the Escalade, and for a pinch more, the Range Rover HSE. But neither has demonstrated Toyota's uncanny reliablility(especially the Rover) like the LX.

    I do appreciate Lexus as a company once again. In this short 15-16 years, the company has transgressed into a force to be reckoned with. But it has had it's share of flaws nonetheless, particularly from '98-'05, where the product, while competitive, didn't quite have the bite like the early-mid '90's cars did.

    BTW: I didn't know if you knew or not, the Audi allroad was a certified sport ute, according to the EPA. I know, I know, it's still a A6 Avant at the end of the day. Trust me, the Q7 put's some SUV's to shame, which is a true SUV. And to be a true 3-Series fighter, and here we go, back to perception, the IS will need a manual to fully compete with it. I know it will blow dust 0-60 over most it's competition, but the manual will complete the package. This is something I've heard Lexus will address for '07. Hopefully awaiting...
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,682
    I read your comment as present tense and LS460 based. Thus my answer. Lexus is all of 16 years old so it hasn't been a trendsetter, though the initial LS 400 caused German strategy changes with everything from more powerful engines to quicker model cycles. One could also argue it caused MB to turn more sporty in handling and looks. But to be a trendsetter constantly while you are trying to establish yourself in a market like this would have been suicidal. But life is changing fast now. The LS is now the trendsetter with the 600HL and it has set the bar beyond the S550. Life changes once you are well established. Lexus' infancy and teenage years are history now.

    As for this whole argument about helms - I find it rather lame. Lexus reaches over $50K with 4 models - the LS, the LX, the SC and the GX. Under the right scenarios you can add in the RX hybrid too. It reaches over $60K with three of those 4 and over $70K with two of those four if they are fully loaded. With the new LS hybrid and the GT it will reach over $100K. I don't see how anyone can argue they are a one car Helm or even begin to argue they don't belong.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Tagman, I had an opportunity to drive an Elise at my local Audi dealer before they came to the US but turned it down since it was a hassle for the salesman to get out of the showroom. Only sat in it.

    It’s an extreme purist’s car, a real canyon carver and is all about the weight and low CG. It’s around 1950 lbs and was actually less last year I think. It is said to be the best handling car on the face of the earth but this comes at the sacrifice of any semblance of comfort, a real sardine can.

    I remember it being tough to get in and out of and I did it in a manner similar to doing dips on the parallel bars at the gym. You are nearly surrounded by only sheet metal like the roadsters of old and there isn’t much padding on the seats.

    Word is, it’s a Sunday ride that will wear out the hardest of men, an impossible daily driver. I’d like to get around to trying it one of these days. I usually don’t go for black cars but saw one and liked it… reminds me of a carpenter ant.
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    Okay, so now I'm experiencing some cognitive dissonance.

    On the one hand, you are into design. On the other hand, you like a car that reminds you of a carpenter ant.

    I like the looks of the Elise, too, but I squish bugs.

    Someone at work here has a yellow Elise. I wonder if it's the same person who occasionally parks the Noble GT in the garage (there was a 400 running around town here the other day, too).
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Cognitive dissonance… isn’t that from the LPS thread?

    Carpenter ants can wreak havoc and I also squish them at every opportunity even though it breaks my heart. I kind of like their anatomical design and movement.
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    "...the LS is now the trendsetter with the 600HL and it has set the bar beyond the S550..."

    While the LS600HL will be a fresh of breath air for the LS line, the LS600hL is touted not to compete with the S550, but the more established S600, a car whose nameplate has set precedent for others to follow. The LS460(L) will be more at home with the S550, by making basically the same power, albeit Lexus does it with smaller displacement, but MB gets it done lower in the powerband, thanks to higher displacement.

    At first glance, the new LS series looks to be yet another winner for LS. But I surely hope they've corrected the shortcomings of the line(I know for sure styling has been much upgraded). I also hear of a true Euro suspension offering with 20" wheels and adaptive suspension for both the standard and L models. Looks like they've got a hold on it. Let's hope......

    I too find it quite interesting that these fine automobile's status is in question. Like Lexus, Audi sells cars that easily fit into the category.

    The A4 fetches anywhere from $29k to $75k(RS4)
    The A6, $40k-$101k(S6- $110k for the soon to be released RS6
    A8, $70k-150k(fully laden W-12 with the extra leather option
    Q7- only V8's out now- $48k to $70k
    R8- 100 grand for a base model

    And yes the prices are steep, but judging from the 2-3 year wait list for both here in the States and Europe for the RS6, S8, RS4, and R8(up to 3 1/2 year wait), the cars are selling mighty briskly for a "2nd tier" company.

    BTW: I think MB is releasing the S600 CDI(with Blutec technology to ensure better econ than 600H) in response to the threat of the hybrid LS600hL. Doesn't help matters much that they're carrying the "600" in the name........
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    It is said to be the best handling car on the face of the earth but this comes at the sacrifice of any semblance of comfort, a real sardine can.

    Thanks for the perspectives on the Lotus Elise. I have been reading on it quite a bit and earlier I called the dealer for some information and was fortunate to get the manager who knew quite a bit about them. We had a decent chat. He tells me that there are much improved comfort and convenience items for '06 that were non-existent in '05.

    So, perhaps now the "best handling car on the face of the earth" is actually much more comfortable to drive . . . and the best way to find out is to drive one. He invited me to do so, but next week I will be going on a month-long vacation and probably won't get to it until the end of July or early August at the earliest. When I do finally drive it, I'll let you know what I discover and share it all with you.

    There is something VERY tempting about "the best handling car on the face of the earth". I imagine it's not quite THAT good, but I'm told it is damned close. I gotta know for myself. I'll keep ya posted.

    Thanks for the info. Really appreciate it.

    TagMan
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    In the mean time, here's a Top Gear Elise test for you. I certainly hope they've improved the roof since then..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SqOz7aP5y0&search=Top%20Gear%20Elise
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Inside Line is then completely at odds with Merc1, who has constantly maintained that car buyers couldn't give a damm about corporate financials or how well or bad a company is run.

    And they still don't, especially about how much money a company makes. That statement by IL doesn't go the same route as all the touting of Toyota's financials and what not that was implied to be on the minds of luxury car buyers. At one point here every single thing a MB or BMW exec said was a problem to the point where it was going to keep people from buying their cars. Buyers don't care about how a company is run when they go to buy a car, all that they care about is that the product is right and that the company isn't in any danger of going out of business tomorrow. Audi isn't held in high regard, in other words it doesn't make it onto enough shopping lists because it isn't promoted correctly. No argument there from me, but no one turly interested in an Audi is going to pass on one because of Audi isn't "run correctly" or because of how money they didn't make last year.

    M
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    lexusguy - thanks. It seems that's an OLD review, BTW, and yes the car is MUCH more refined with MAJOR advances since then. Here's the Edmunds info in case you are also interested in the updated stuff.

    Man, this car is nothing short of amazing. If it is really THAT good, and THAT much fun, I'm pretty darn sure I'll have to have one.

    link title

    TagMan
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The definitions I provided permits more cars into the HELM space, and does not stratify these cars, like the tier structure.

    Yeah it more or less gives Lexus a free pass based on one car, but at the same time is doesn't allow VW in which has a car at the same level. Such a system is flawed. A "marque" is a brand not just one sedan.

    Besides, MB/BMW are not any more HELM than Lexus or Audi, except in the availability of low-selling hi-po variants.

    This isn't even close to being accurate OAC. Mercedes and BMW have it all over Lexus and their largely synthetic being. Lexus doesn't have anything on the level of MB/BMW in terms of models,racing,innovations,heritage or worldwide presence. To say that MB and BMW are no more HELMs than Lexus is just totally blind to the facts about BMW and especially Mercedes and their many, many accomplishments over the years, since the beginning regarding MB.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I KNOW you're not lumping Lexus in with Caddy and Audi, are you? The S-Class has a bad case of Lexus LS envy itself! Seen a S-Class interior lately? How pillowy soft is the S-Class suspension now, compared to days gone by? Where did those electroluminescent guages come from?

    Is that it Doc? Ever take a look at a LS430? It got its whole body from another brand of car. The S-Class still doesn't handle as poorly as the LS430. It actually rides as good according to some while actually being able to corner without keeling over. The LS has had S-Class envy since the first one was devised! The S-Class was the whole point of the LS' being.

    No, I'm not saying that Lexus is at the same level as Cadillac or Audi, what I'm saying is that it is matterless. Its a battle for second place at this point, not of a major concern to me.

    When is the last time Lexus pulled an Allante? Or a Cimmaron?

    The first generation IS was just that, a flop. Funny you should mention the Cimmaron. The first IS300 was just that, a Toyota rebaded as a Lexus that didn't fit within the Lexus family any more than that Caddy didn't 20 years ago! The GS has never been a hit for more than 18 months. While competitive, which the Allante was in its final year, it has never caused any concern among the competition just like the Lexus GS. Their are many similarities between those Caddys and certain Lexi.

    When has Audi sold anything over $50k? They have no marketing, no management, no image, and you want them in the same tier as Lexus?

    Totally absurd to say Audi has no image and no management, you're reaching here Doc. Nonsense.

    Lexus has DOMINATED the luxury scene, and is second to no one! Mercedes or BMW included. The only question is how dominant does Lexus want to be, without ticking off the US government!

    Yeah until you get to a certain price point, sure I'll give you that. However once you cross the 60-70K range (you know some argue that is where real luxury begins) Lexus doesn't mean squat. Here is a nice little article for you to look at. A quote:

    U.S. customers shell out slightly more than $90,000, on average, for an S-Class. By comparison, the selling price is $83,630 for the 7 Series, $58,091 for the Lexus LS430, and $46,339 for the Cadillac STS, the closest domestic competitor, according to automotive research site Edmunds.com.

    Lexus isn't at that level Doc. Yes, before you say it I realize that the LS460 will raise the LS's price point, but they still won't be selling at that price on average. Mercedes had and still has all over Lexus when folks go to spend big money Doc, which is but one reason why Lexus ain't Mercedes-Benz. Period.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well these photos have definitely been touched up to remove same tape, so I'll reserve judgement until that first official photo is presented. The S-Class caused the same reaction during the spy photo period and turned out just fine so......

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    But life is changing fast now. The LS is now the trendsetter with the 600HL and it has set the bar beyond the S550. Life changes once you are well established. Lexus' infancy and teenage years are history now.

    Not sure why you'd say this at this point? The car hasn't even been driven by anyone yet. The details of the thing haven't even been finalized and it hasn't even gone on sale yet. I can't wait to see what Lexus puts the LS600hL against. I suspect it will be the S550 because the LS600hL doesn't have a prayer of matching performance with the S600, but with 430hp and better MPG it will be the perfect competitor to the S550.

    As for this whole argument about helms - I find it rather lame. Lexus reaches over $50K with 4 models - the LS, the LX, the SC and the GX. Under the right scenarios you can add in the RX hybrid too. It reaches over $60K with three of those 4 and over $70K with two of those four if they are fully loaded. With the new LS hybrid and the GT it will reach over $100K. I don't see how anyone can argue they are a one car Helm or even begin to argue they don't belong.

    Sure Lexus has some cars in the 50K area, who doesn't? That doesn't say much, 50K isn't "high-end" anymore, even VW has a SUV at that price as does Toyota. Everyone from Acura to Infiniti has a 50K model on sale regardless as to whether or not it actually sells for that price. Two cars that barely get into (but don't sell for on average) the 70Ks doesn't put Lexus on par with MB and BMW, but it does put Lexus on a higher level than most other supposed to be HELM brands.

    Whether or not Lexus is a true HELM depends on where you draw the line. If the line is 50K then there are more HELMs to be added to the list, but here since most seem to focus on just HELM sedans, Lexus barely makes the cut which is where that one car comment comes in.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    A few points here Oac.

    A decade and a half, is all Lexus' history compared to the 100+ for MB, Audi and others... What do you expect ? Perfection ??? For its short lifespan, Lexus has achieved a level unheard of in automotive history. And the sky is the limit. The ES killed off every competition in its path. Ditto the RX, setting the bar for what a luxury car-based SUV should be. The LX continues its remarkable run on a solid LC platform, old as it is.... These are Lexus winners anyway you slice it....

    Often times reading here about Lexus does imply that they are perfection, now they aren't? I'm confused. The ES killed off the Infiniti I35 and probably caused Acura to change directions with the TL in trying to take it from crusier to sports sedan. The ES has never done any "killing" when it comes to the German competition. None of them make a fwd push-mobile. The RX didn't kill off anyone, it has more competition than ever. I'll give you that it did ignite and show the way for the segment, but others haven't tried to duplicate it either. Most other SUVs in its space can still venture off-road while the RX remains a bad weather vehicle at best. The LX is outdated and was outdone years ago by the Range Rover. A Range Rover will do anything the LX can do off-road or even better and the Supercharged model blows the LX away in nearly every way possible. The LX continuing its remarkable run is another way of saying that Lexus really has neglected it.

    Talking of late to the party, how late was BMW and Audi to the SUV party ? How late are they to the hybrid party ? How late are they to the 8-speed tranny party ? How late are they to creating an ergonomic cupholder in their lux cruisers ? How late are they to simple, touchscreen DVD-based Nav ? Oh, don't tell me these things are unimportant, cos they are, otherwise MB, BMW and Audi won't have these in their cars as well.

    Good questions and more importantly valid until you get to the 8-speed tranny. I seem to remember that when Mercedes came to market with their 7-speed tranny it was seen as nothing special, but now we're supposed to get excited about an 8-Speed tranny? There is no 8-speed party going on because no one else has one nor would they have had time to develop once since the Lexus unit was just announced. No one else has a 7-speed automatic yet to match Mercedes so MB and Lexus are both slightly ahead of the game there. Audi is ahead of them all when it comes to their DSG tranny, when is Lexus going to put something like that in one of their sporty cars? I guess that upcoming GT/LF-A is their best shot at something like that?

    When it Lexus going to join the manual transmission party currently going on in the sports sedan market is a more pressing question?

    As to the SC, I am no fan but at only 13 days on dealer lot before it gets sold, its a winner for Lexus. The new GS came earlier than anticipated, with old carryover motors (4.3L V8), and a new but underpowered 245HP V6. Certainly Lexus looks to amend these with the GS350 and the GS450h. As to beating a 5-series, Lexus is NOT a performance-inclined company, thus far. Their forte is luxury, refinement, solid build quality and reliability.

    Thats easy to do when sales are dropping, you limit production and that keeps the car scarce. You're acting like Lexus is selling every SC430 that they can make, NOT. The GS story is one of denial now for most Lexus fans. After all the talk from Lexus about how it will rival the 5-Series there has been nothing but apologies and excuses every since from Lexus fans as to why it hasn't done so.

    M
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