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High End Luxury Cars

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  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    ALG and KBB are two different businesses.

    Thanks for confirming what I just wrote.

    The fact that ALG and KBB have two different business models and have reached identical conclusions proves my point quite well which is the following: Retained values are the highest for the BMW brand and the 7 series maintains its retained values quite well relative to its competition.

    Business are in the busines of making profits, no necessarily objectivity

    Profit seeking negatively affects objectivity? If that is the case then most professionals in profit seeking organization cannot be trusted. IMO I think your views are a bit extreme.

    In fact any professional firm renowned for their tainted objectivity tends to become defunct real fast.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    There shouldn't be any debate. Lexus itself indicated about a year ago that it would increasingly target BMW customers. That doesn't mean that its cars will be precisely as driver-oriented as BMW, but it does mean that Lexus seeks a younger demographic than it presently has.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    There shouldn't be any debate. Lexus itself indicated about a year ago that it would increasingly target BMW customers. That doesn't mean that its cars will be precisely as driver-oriented as BMW, but it does mean that Lexus seeks a younger demographic than it presently has.

    Thank you for the reinforcement!

    Dewey does have a good point, however, when he mentions that Lexus will not steal away the die-hard BMW performance-oriented buyer.

    What needs to be realized, of course, is that there are MANY buyers out there that are not quite as demanding for the "umpteenth" level of handling. They can be targeted and swayed, and Lexus will get an increasing share of them.

    TagMan
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    Bill Ford Jr., for good or bad intentions, has chosen to step down from the Ford Motor Company. It has yet to be ascertained if this was under duress or not.

    So, where does this leave PAG? The report out today says that the company is even more serious about nixing AM and Jag from the lineup.

    On the other end of the spectrum, the company has vowed to infuse more energy and money into Volvo and Land Rover. The next gen Range Rover will be a from-scratch Ford/Land Rover design, not BMW. And with this idea comes major bucks, bucks the company is currently strapped for.

    And for Volvo, the company wants to make the cars more competitive as the new S80 and current S60 aren't exactly shining stars right now. But with cars like the C70 convertible, the maker is on the right path.

    Ford is still bleeding red ink. In order to stay afloat, the company has to either invest more or cut some programs, and the high-costs associated with Aston Martin and the crippled Jag line are huge burdens right now, so it makes all the sense in the world to sell off.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    And for Volvo, the company wants to make the cars more competitive as the new S80 and current S60 aren't exactly shining stars right now. But with cars like the C70 convertible, the maker is on the right path.

    Very interesting news. Volvo still needs a lot of work. Reviews for the new S80 have been ok, not fantastic. It's much more of a LPS contender than the last gen, which was more Toyota Avalon than BMW 5. It's still basically a FWD car though, which isn't going to make the 5 and E sweat. Also, as usual Volvo comes to battle with underpowered engines.

    The C70s reviews have also not been great, with most of the praise going to the trick roof. It's too heavy, its stuck with FWD, and like the last C70, its too much money. Why spend $40K on a slow, torque steer plagued Volvo when you can buy a 3 series convertible?
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    The report out today says that the company is even more serious about nixing AM and Jag from the lineup.

    What's your best guess for Jag?

    TagMan
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    What's your best guess for Jag?

    Hyundai has said they don't want Jag, which is good news since I think that would be a massive disaster. Of the major auto makers, I think it makes the most sense for Nissan\Renault AG to buy Jag, but I don't think they have any interest. The only interested party I'm aware of is an investment group led by Jaques Nasser, oddly enough.
  • should have put it up against the v-8 Cayenne... I don't even know why Porsche sells a v-6 version of that vehicle.

    The suspension, brakes, and motor for the v-6 Cayenne are identical to the Touareg, and they (IMO) stink.

    I know two guys with a Touareg and another with a v6 Cayenne - all have problems with the brakes wearing out too quickly, rotors warp, and the VW's both had electrical problems.

    The v8 Cayenne with the tighter suspension and bigger 340 bhp motor are another deal entirely - add the Air Suspension and drop it down one level, and you can almost imagine you're in a Porsche sports car - a 5000lb one, but close enough..

    /DA
  • Interesting remark about thew Ridgeline - I did some digging and found a few reviews that compare some aspects of the Honda Ridgeline vs. a Land Rover LR3...

    Here for the LR3 review

    Here for the Ridgeline review

    Both reviews done by the same guy doing similar things with them...

    Interesting..
  • When I spoke with the Marketing sales group manager for Volvo, he told me flat out they did not expect to sell many C70's, and that the whole convertible line would operate at a loss intentionally. He actually told that to my face!

    That pretty much tells me that the whole reason for that car existing is to pull the other cars in the Volvo brand out of the "slow, safe, soccer-mom, we're boxy" category so people would think of Volvo's differently.

    Let me repeat that for those not paying attention:

    It exists not to sell and make profit - it exists to make the brand look sexier.

    /DA
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Interesting remark about thew Ridgeline - I did some digging and found a few reviews that compare some aspects of the Honda Ridgeline vs. a Land Rover LR3...

    The Ridgeline is a mostly pointless vehicle for people that think big trucks look cool. The Titan and Tundra actually work.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    It exists not to sell and make profit - it exists to make the brand look sexier.

    The one thing Volvo really got right with the C70 is that they styled it as a coupe, and then figured out how to get the top to match those lines. It escapes the akward "big butt" look of most other folding hard tops. If only the rest of the car was as good as the top.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    free easy registration:

    here
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The British reviews seem to vary as wildly as the U.S. ones do. In the latest issue of CAR they say that the S-Class has nothing to worry about in terms of speed or dynamics. Interesting.

    M
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Yes, the reviews vary. But if there is a consensus, it is that the new LS is better than the model it replaces, and is at the very least "closer" to the Germans when it comes to the qualities that many enthusiasts on this board care most about.

    I look forward to hearing your views after you drive them all at Taste of Lexus...not that I expect you to prefer the LS.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    registration is now open

    register here
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    There shouldn't be any debate. Lexus itself indicated about a year ago that it would increasingly target BMW customers. That doesn't mean that its cars will be precisely as driver-oriented as BMW, but it does mean that Lexus seeks a younger demographic than it presently has.

    I have difficulty understanding you and Tagman.

    Lexus indicated they wanted to target BMW customers years ago before the new GS was introduced. As in the case of the GS their proclamations did not translate intor reality.

    And what if the LS has younger demographics? So how does that translate into lost sales for the BMW 7 series. Younger and older auto buyers(yes I do know a few graying and balding boy-racers) may be attracted more to driver-oriented cars.

    Tagman why are you singling out the 7 series as the car that will lose sales from the LS? Why not the S Class or the A8?

    And yes as I repeated many times here the 7 series is among the oldest models in this segment and lower sales can be expected. But that wont last too long. The future generation BMW 7 series will be designed primarily to compete with Porshce's upcoming sedan and the S Class. I can assure you sales of the 7 series would self destruct if BMW tried to mimic Lexus (as Lexus tries to mimic BMW).
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    That was a fine review indeed and I particularly like the way the reviewer started right in with what the car is and is not.

    The only negative I can find is he much prefers the look of the A8.

    Unfortunately Lexus did not choose to include my area this time around for the "Taste" but I will sign up for the closest area.

    A nice incentive for a 260 mile Sunday drive. :)

    I am now registered and looking forward to driving the GS 450h (as long as I don't have to open the trunk) and of course, the new LS460 (hope they have both the regular and sportier versions, so I can compare)

    PS-Thanks for listing both the review and the "Taste" info.
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    Tag, my best suggestion for Jag would be to revamp the S and X-Type's, and infuse some more appeal to the otherwise competent XJ.

    The tired X will live on till at least '10, says the company, altho they admit that it's not promised that it'll remain in the US, hence the early departure of the wagon variation that is hugely popular in Europe, interestingly enough.

    The S, where do I start: This car's platform dates back to the beginning of this century. Every car in it's class has received a major update or two since then. This has caused this car to appear very dated, and rightfully so. In this class of car, very few can go as long as it has without losing out big time, save for the remarkable run that the '96-'03 E-Class Benz had. This car needs a new chassis that only is shared with PAG brands, in hopes of putting a premium on the car. But from what I hear, Ford is about to dilute the brand even worse by putting the S-Type on the global platform that the S80 currently enjoys. Yes they can stretch the car to be as big as a Ford 500, but why? Why is this company so adament about going full FWD when even the General has answered Chrysler's response with the maker to offer more RWD vehicles than front, currently vice-versa??

    Then there is the very cool but very hidden XJ. A car like this deserves to be sported around, yet Ford/Jag chooses not to even make a commercial for the car since '04. The technology is there. The AJ V-8s can be massaged to crank out 500hp NATURALLY, so why not use it.

    Of course the renewed XK is a gem in the lineup:

    I say: Keep with the moment of the XK(Ford willing), and this company should be on it's feet by decade's end. Wishful thinking tho....
  • Off topic but I disagree that the Ridgeline is for people that think big trucks are cool. Those people would by a traditional truck IMO. The Ridgeline is after a completely different market. People that think big trucks are cool buy the completely ridiculous Escalade and don't tow a darn thing, they want the bling. How many Ridgelines are in videos on MTV?
    Point being, not to many image conscience people buying Hondas IMO.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    should have put it up against the v-8 Cayenne

    The MDX uses a V6 so it seems fairer to compare it to a V6 rather than V8 Cayenne.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Tagman why are you singling out the 7 series as the car that will lose sales from the LS? Why not the S Class or the A8?

    Dewey - Singling out the 7-Series? Not at all! I think it's a no-brainer that the LS has targeted the S-Class for years and has had a large impact upon its sales. This is by no means the sudden end of that.

    It is, rather, an expansion or broadening of Lexus' sales ambitions. Lexus is addressing the years of criticisms that they were dull driving appliances with lackluster styling. Are you suggesting that you don't see the LS 460's improvement here?

    The question of the A8 is more sophisticated, IMO. I think the A8 buyer has honed in on certain features and dynamics that are best satisfied by the A8.

    Certainly the A8 along with the S-Class and the 7-Series all are impacted when it comes to Lexus' significant market share. The sales have to come from somewhere, and those are the other HELMS in the arena, so they are the ones that lose market share.

    TagMan
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    :shades:

    Funny, I don't have any interest in driving the new-and-improved ES.

    I would like to drive the LS, and it's "competition". The RX and it's "competition". And the Sc, to see if it's dynamics are as poor as Merc says they are.

    A lot of that rides on expectations. Considering the cars weight, run-flat tires, and plusher-than-Benz SL interior, I'm not expecting a go-cart.

    I know I'm gonna oversteer a couple of vehicles off-course. Gotta find their limits, ya no! ;)

    I'd figure you'd have to get a vehicle up to at least 40-50MPH to gauge it's true handling character when changing directions. Acceleration should be pretty easily guaged.

    For a driver like me, sitting in the HELMs will be nice, but I'm not expecting to fall in love with anything, even the mighty LS.

    LS engineers have stated that the 7-speed running in the S-Class is really a 6-speed spliced into an additional gear ration, not a true 7-speed, so they didn't think very highly of modeling their tranny after that.

    1-2 are super-low gears, and 8 is super-high, while the "sweet-spot" can be found in Gears 3-7.

    DrFill
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I say: Keep with the moment of the XK(Ford willing), and this company should be on it's feet by decade's end. Wishful thinking tho....

    The wonderful new XK isn't going to be enough here, IMO. Add to that the possible sale of Jaguar itself, and the current XJ gas tank issue, which is not yet resolved, and the serious decisions that are ahead regarding the X-type and S.

    With regards to the potential sales of Jag, Lexusguy indicated that the only interested party so far is an investment group led by Jacques Nasser. Well, he is, of course the former CEO of Ford, and some of his leadership at Ford was questionable, IMO.

    Nasser got blindsided in some respects by the world scene, but he was a poor planner, IMO, who lacked solid vision for the future.

    Oh well, at least the buyer benefits from the buyer's market on a terrific XJ Vanden Plas (once they resolve the gas tank issue, of course!)

    TagMan
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    LS engineers have stated that the 7-speed running in the S-Class is really a 6-speed spliced into an additional gear ration, not a true 7-speed, so they didn't think very highly of modeling their tranny after that.

    Doc - Please post the link where those Lexus transmission gurus made that statement.

    Now don't take this wrong, but using that reasoning, it could be stated that the Lexus tranny is then only primarily a 5-speed (3-7) with 1&2 only used to get the car out of the gate, given its serious lack of low end torque, and with 8 only used to achieve an EPA highway rating.

    TagMan
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Tag, my best suggestion for Jag would be to revamp the S and X-Type's, and infuse some more appeal to the otherwise competent XJ.

    I don't think there is any way that the X-type can be saved. It needs a compact, RWD based front-mid engine architecture, and Ford doesn't have anything like that. Neither does Mazda or Volvo. There's nobody to pull it from. If given the new Duratec 35, it would have reasonably competitive power, but thats not enough.

    This car needs a new chassis that only is shared with PAG brands, in hopes of putting a premium on the car. But from what I hear, Ford is about to dilute the brand even worse by putting the S-Type on the global platform that the S80 currently enjoys.

    Where is this chassis supposed to come from? Jag can't afford to use the XJ platform, and Ford doesn't have anything else. I thought the plan after dropping the XJ platform was to essentially continue on an updated DEW98 platform, rather than switch to the MKS\S80 platform. Did that change? At least DEW98 is RWD.

    The technology is there. The AJ V-8s can be massaged to crank out 500hp NATURALLY, so why not use it.

    Its a question of what Jaguar can afford to do, and that isn't much. Making the Euro market 2.7L diesel killed the F-type. The AJ would significant reworking and a large displacement bump in order to get near that kind of power. I dont think Aston Martin was holding back when they were only able to get 380hp out of a 4.3L version of the AJ.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    I would LOVE to hyperlink, but my computer has all the agility of an 8-track player, and the article is posted on a major automotive website, and is less than a week old. Weekly publication website. Look at it as a Treasure Hunt! ;)

    You can interpret the set-up how you wish. The LS engineers seem to use 1 and 2 for low-end torque, 8 for the highway, and the others as driving gears. As they tell it, there is enough difference in the gear ratios to be a true 8-speed.

    DrFill
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    The 8-speed tranny in the LS is much the same in that one used in the S-Class. The last two ratios are overdrive gears, meaning that they're there to conserve fuel. But the MB one ups the Lexus, it has the ability to drop 3 ratios instantly for for quick passing manuevers, hence the S-Classes 5.1 secs to 60 and a 30-50mph passing time of only 3.2 seconds. So much for the brilliant minds at Toyota in hopes of one upping MB.
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    As LG put it, it all comes down to what Jag is able to do and what Ford is allowing them to do.

    The company has way too many demerits that won't be fixed over time. Arguably the most honed nameplate behind Aston in PAG, it seems unfathomable that they'll desert as such, but they have.

    The S-Type is reported to switch to the S80/MKS platform for '08. Even with AWD, the little dynamics that are left in the car will for sure be erased with a nose-heavy FWD-biased platform. The only good thing to come from this would be that Jag would be able to fix the S-Type's very cramped interior.

    LG, you're right again. The X-Type can't be fixed. Yes they can put the corporate Duratec 35 in it to stay competive on the hp front, but the dynamics of the car won't change for sure.

    But there is one shining star: The XK. I saw the XKR in person in the City yesterday. The car is so stunning yet still Jag-stealth, and understandably so. The Taurus-esque grille is gone on this model, and Jag is getting serious with the performance of this car with next years 550hp+ XKR+R.

    The XJ: This car is one of those rides that lives a life of obscurity. Such a reliable package(according to many reports) and a much improved interior and exterior design, the car should've done for Jag what the LS does for Lexus. I personally like the car. The build quality is impecable, and the company has not wavered to far from the British charm of over 50 years.

    The car company is crippled but not dead. In fact, believe it or not, this company is in much better shape than Nissan was in the mid-to-late '90's and actually better than parent company Ford, who is currently losing $440k per day, massive even for Microsoft and Google.....
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