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High End Luxury Cars

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  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I agree that trunk space is a big problem with the current hybrids. I am personally VERY disappointed that the LS460 isn't going to come in an AWD version, because I really need/want AWD and don't want to give up trunk space by going with the LS600hL.

    However, when you write "This technology will be doomed to the fringes and never be a big seller" you are basically assuming that the technology isn't going to improve over time. I differ with you there. Toyota has already stated that reducing size by 50-75% and reducing cost is a priority with hybrid tech.

    Personally I believe that 10 years from now, the majority of the people on this board will be driving around in diesel-electric hybrids.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Here is a new twist, courtesy of the WSJ:

    The Environmental Protection Agency rolled out a "hydraulic hybrid" delivery truck that it says will boost fuel efficiency by 60% to 70% in stop-and-go city traffic.

    The truck has a system, patented by the EPA, that turns the energy from braking into stored energy that helps to turn the rear wheels. The test models will be delivery trucks used by United Parcel Service Inc., which helped design the prototypes. The U.S. Army, Ford Motor Co. and International Truck & Engine Corp., a unit of Navistar International Corp., are among those interested in pursuing the technology....

    EPA Administrator Steven Johnson said the system could save companies as much as $50,000 over the 10- to 20-year lifetime of a delivery truck....

    The EPA's system is different because it stores the energy in a hydraulic system that compresses nitrogen in a tank. When the compressed nitrogen is released into a second tank, it pushes the hydraulic fluid through a pump motor that turns the truck's rear wheels....

    He added that the system also reduces brake and engine wear.


    Sounds a little too kludgy for use in a sedan, but who knows?
  • cyclone4cyclone4 Posts: 2,284
    Do we know for a fact that the trunk space will be diminished in the LS600HL? And if so, how much smaller will it be?
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    Lexus has a long way to go if they even want to attempt Europe. The IS is a great start, and hopefully the new LS will be enough to compete with Europe's finest.

    I don't have to "gussy" up Audi as the company does that on it's on. I don't know what radar you've looked at but Audi's mainstream cars sell quite well, better than Lexus vehicles of the same price range(A4/IS v. A6/GS).

    And all this talk about Audi's demand is nothing short of blasphemy. The A8 is shorted by export, not by demand in the US. Some have said they see A8's on the lots frequent, I've never seen an A8 sit very long. And the cars I named aren't limited by choice as the QP sells are not nearly what Maser wanted them to be. The FS has a 2 year wait due to material shortage, and the XJ sales have plummeted worldwide. By choice?? No, you try again and bring a "bigger" difference...

    BTW: When you say that Audi isn't on people's radar screen then turn around and say it measures up shows exactly where your views are often slanted and unfortunately mis-informed
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I don't know too many people willing to cut their trunk room by 41% and give up a sunroof for a little better mileage and pay a big price premium for the inconveniences. ($3500 more for the GS450h over the GS430). (7.5 cubic feet of trunk space for the GS450h, 12.7 cubic feet for the GS430.)

    I might be willing to make certain sacrifices if the real world performance of hybrids was much better than it is now. I do a lot of highway driving, and a hybrid makes almost no difference there. Current Euro market diesels on the other hand can get mpg peformance similar to the Prius, but without the need for an ultra low drag "pod" body, zero grip tires (the video of the Stig on Top Gear trying to get the Prius to go around a corner is hilarious), and a hamster wheel engine.

    I for one am definitely not going to buy a sedan with 7.5 cu. feet of trunk space. The SC400 coupe from '91 had 9 cu. feet.
  • emaussemauss Posts: 151
    In this case, Blkhemi (as you know) you are preaching to one member of the choir, but...
    When I was ready to buy my last car and wanted a HELM, I was unsure what car to buy. I did the research and ended up with a short list of BMW, MERCEDES AUDI and LEXUS.
    The point is that IMO anyone who cares to "check it out" will find that ALL these vehicles meet similar standards. The choice of which one to buy is nothing but personal preference.
    A similar situation exists with motorcycles. I have a BMW 1200C cruiser. When I got rid of my Harley to get the Bimmer, a lot of my fellow riders couldn't understand how I could buy such an inferior bike. But the reality is there are no bad choices at this level, just different preferences.
    Eric
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I haven't seen Lexus officially state anything, but batteries are big. The only question is whether the 12 months between the GS450h and the LS600hL are enough for Lexus to make some technology changes that save some room. It wouldn't surprise me if the answer turns out to be no.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    DaimlerChrysler AG plans to announce next week that it will launch its tiny, two-door Smart car in the U.S. in 2007, a bid to turn around the unprofitable small-car unit, people familiar with the matter said....

    The unit has been unprofitable every year since its first model in 1998....

    In an interview with The Wall Street Journal in January, Mr. Zetsche said that if DaimlerChrysler brought the Smart brand to the U.S., it wouldn't set up a separate dealership network for it, as it did in Europe -- a costly decision intended to help Smart create its own brand identity, but one that many industry analysts now fault.

    Instead, DaimlerChrysler has sought a partner, such as a dealership chain, to help sell the car in existing Chrysler and Mercedes showrooms. BMW AG used a similar strategy when it encouraged its BMW dealers to add showrooms to existing facilities to carry its Mini line.
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    That's the point I'm trying to make. I've stated several times that EVERY last car of topic has respect in it's own right. Each car is so different from each other that they'll never be equal, which is a good thing as this makes the class even better.

    About bikes: I ran into the same prob when pursuing my next fun toy. I had a H-D Fat Boy(still got it), but I was interested in buying a bike that was easier to maintain, and decided on Star Roadster, an unproven brand that has now become one of the most requested brand of bikes.
  • emaussemauss Posts: 151
    I believe that anyone who really thinks about it will agree. There are no bad choices at this level.
    Yes, I would have added dual pane glass to my car if I had thought more carefully about it, and the new rear-view camera looks great. But my car will serve me quite well for 4-5 years at 8K-miles or so per year.

    As for the bikes, my Dyna-Lowrider was great...and the V-Rod is quite impressive....but for in NYC (which has been 30K of the 31K on my bike), the Bimmer cruiser has been unbeatable.

    ...but again, personal preference....
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    I bought a V-Rod and my S65 AMG the same day last year. Two fast toys in the same day?

    I kept the V-Rod up until last January when I sold it for a 1 grand less than what I paid for it. They keep value very well.
  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 873
    a really good profile of the new LS in Automobile magazine. Styling is so subjective, and for the most part, it is of very little value to me. [Now here comes the bomb] But I don't get how the Lexus lovers can tout the new LS being a revolution in new design for Lexus when as of now this thing is a stretched out Camry. Maybe this will change by street date but please, don't talk about design being on par with any German maker including VW, as long as it looks like this.

    Let the war begin
  • atlas7atlas7 Posts: 126
    You are a walking contradiction.."styling is so subjective, and for the most part, it is of very little value to me" Your words exactly...then you comment on how YOU think the LS460 is a stretched out Camry...Hey, what happened to your earlier comment? Well, my two cents, your opinion about styling is subjective and is of little value. The majority of the buyers will like the Lexus styling and the LS460 will be a smash hit! The sales of this car will be phenomenal. The numbers will not be subjective, but quantitative and you will be proved wrong.
  • emaussemauss Posts: 151
    I took a picture of my Porsche convertible and my Cruiser...plates:
    HIGHYOAG and
    HYOAG
    and put a tag under them:

    Sunny Spring Day....Decisions decisions decisions....

    BTW, did you find the V-Rod slow handling because of its long fork extention? (longest of product bikes, I believe...great for highways but probably a bear in the city!)
  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 873
    :sick: :confuse: :P
    My point being is that if we are in a war of styling the Lexus people don't have much ammo in a Camry. If you read back some posts and catch up a little, maybe you'll have a better understanding of the conversation as a whole. Once again, the styling ie Camry thing is just my opinion. I have been proved wrong before, I'm sure it will happen again. I just can't imagine to many people wanting to plunk down 75-100k for a car only to find the "cheaper" version on the Toyota lot next door.
    Sells have nothing to do with it in the long run however, Lexus has proven that it can sell cars. This is mostly a styling debate which is subjective. you know what opinions are like, and everybody has one.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    "The A8 is shorted by export"

    What in the world does that mean? Ok - let's put it in real words - Audi shorts its export of the car because there's little demand for it on the import shores. Life is simple.
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    I bought a V-Rod and my S65 AMG the same day last year. Two fast toys in the same day?

    Sounds like someone perhaps needs a trip to "Big Boys' Toys Anonymous". ;)

    Or just my jealous streak coming out? :shades:
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Every hardcore German carfan has tried to say the LS is a big Camry. That's no bomb - it was as predictable as saying summers are hot and winters are cold. At least be original if you want to drop a bomb.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I agree. The re-styling is pretty similar across the board-Camry, Avalon, and from the photos, the LS.
    Not very exciting or stimulating.

    I don't care much for the rear tail-lights.
    I guess its Toyota's "tribute" to BMW's Bangle; pretty much the way Hyundai ripped off the tail-lights of the previous generation Accord.

    I guess the meeting in the Toyota boardroom went as follows:
    "Well, even though we will never be able to match the handling of the awesome Germans, at least our vehicles can at least look like their cars. That can count for something."
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    Your split between yourself and Audi is a personal thing that should get addressed immediately. Audi does not export many A8's to the states as they have a hard time keeping supply up in the real luxury market-Europe, where the car sells as fast as they can make them. I know, you don't care much about Europe, so what?? I'm Dutch-Irish(very European) decendent and could give rat crap about some other people, but do I single them out? No, not ever.

    This whole tyraid against Audi is so old that it is not even a topic anymore- except by only you.
  • emaussemauss Posts: 151
    When I was in Beijing recently I saw more Audis than any other large car. And there were PLENTY of large cars in that city. Europe and North America are not the only markets for cars!!
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    I have no problem with Audi except in your mind. They are a low volume seller here and that's all there is to it. As an American I couldn't care less about what Europeans buy or what they think of Lexus. If they sell themselves short that there's problem. I have nothing against europe or europeans - I've been there over 100 times, love it there and find the people quite friendly.

    But thanks for telling me about Audi's A8 capacity problem. Now I fully understand why they don't outsell the S-class in Europe or can sell many A8's here.
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,898
    "Sells have nothing to do with it." I think you mean "sales". Anyway, what a ridiculous statement. In order to have sales you have to have BUYERS. You attract buyers by giving them what they want: Luxury, performance, value, reliability and good looks.

    The statement, "You can't argue with success" really means something. Lexus has simply built a better helm at a lower price and most BUYERS recognize this. Try to spin it anyway you like but that is the truth. The marketplace does not lie.

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    And that indeed is part of the problem.
    The LS, like it or not, is perceived to be a "value HELM."
    I'm not knocking the car-just stating a fact-since it competes against the MB S-Class.

    Remember-all S-Class buyers can afford an LS, but surely not all LS buyers can afford to step up to a MB S-Class.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    "Remember-all S-Class buyers can afford an LS, but surely not all LS buyers can afford to step up to a MB S-Class."

    The average LS buyer earns $250K a year and that was a stat quoted 3 or 4 years ago. Not all of them may be able to buy an S-class but a very high percentage can. That argument is a weak one.

    "The LS, like it or not, is perceived to be a "value HELM." "

    That's how it is marketed so there's nothing to like or dislike. That's why Lexus won't stray too much on price as they are holding true to the tenets they built themselves on - as would any successful business. They still have ample room to increase price and still be a value and with the LS all Lexus cares about is the S-class. So it can surpass an A8 and even a 7-series and still hold to its value tenet.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Let's stick to the cars themselves and stop the insults, please.
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,898
    True, the LS costs thousands less than the S 430 initially, but after about 4 years of ownership, the LS is actually worth more than the S 430 according to Edmunds. This is the marketplace at work and it tells me that the new S 430 was way overpriced.

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,898
    I suppose the LS could be called a stretched out Camry. The Camry is, by the way, a very nice car.

    You could also say that the Audi is a VW with a nicer interior, Mercedes is a gussied up Chrysler, BMW in a big Mini and Jaguar is a fancy Ford Taurus. That would make about as much sense.

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • emaussemauss Posts: 151
    Saying that the resale value of a car is a "more true" indication of its worth than the price for which it originally sold doesn't seem to make much sense to me. The fact that a lot of people spend MSRP (or there abouts) for an S430 (or any other vehicle)means that these people feel it is worth that amount of money. I understand what you are saying, but find the price of a 4-year old vehicle not really more important than the MSRP. There is no "absolute" value of a car. A car(or anything else)is worth whatever people are willing to pay. If people are willing to pay 95K+ for an '07 S550, then, by definition, it is worth that!
    If you feel your money can be better spent elsewhere, then to YOU it is not worth that much money.
    This doesn't invalidate someone else's choice, or make it wrong (or right).
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    I feel bad for anyone that bought the S-class cars at MSRP prices. The truth of the matter though is most of those cars were subsidized by leases and the hit was taken by MB or financial institutions, many of whom went bankrupt or stopped underwriting leases as a result. The price was propped up to try to maintain an elite status and underwritten with unrealistic lease residuals and low interest rates. The fact is that the prices several years later do indeed reflect that the initial price was too high and someone has to pay the piper - either the buyer, the manufacturer or the lease underwriter. People aren't that dumb, they may get burned once - we all have - but they learn quickly. If you buy an $80K car that depreciates $40K in 3 years (as most S430's did) then you paid (without sales tax) about $18K a year to drive that car when you factor in the interest lost on the principal paid. You paid much more than that if you use Wall Street returns over the period. Against that type of cost there were many zero down lease deals in the $800-1000 range (9.6K - 12K per annum pure and maybe add $1K per annum for interest eventually lost on your cummulative payments) to lease the car. Hence if you were a buyer you were taken to the cleaners, paying far more and in some cases nearly double what a person who leased paid.
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