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High End Luxury Cars

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  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The Crown series somewhat parallels our GS. They are on the same platform, and engine options are similar. The Crown Athlete and Royal have the new 2.5 and 3.0 V6s, while the Majesta gets the 4.3 V8. Interestingly, it sounds like the V8 powered Majesta offers AWD. It's hard to say how the Crown would do here if it was transplated here directly. While I like most of the design, I'm not crazy about the rear and the rather blatant copying that was done.

    image
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    I wonder if the Crown Majesta should have been the GS. It would have done more damage to an E-class than current GS will do to a 5-series IMO.

    I have to agree with you here, Len. The relationship between the ES and the GS300 has always been confusing to me, even understanding the large technical differences between them.

    For example, in about a year I will be looking for a replacement for my '98 E320 (extremely low mileage) that my wife is now driving, and I can't figure out what to get for her. She's no sports car driver, but unless an AWD version of the ES becomes available, I'm not sure I'd want to see her in a FWD car. And the GS300AWD is too small in the back seat to be practical, but the LS is more car than she wants. She's not going to like the interior of the 5-series, and neither of us can stand to look at the nose of the A6. And I'm not ready to assume that MB has fixed the reliability problems of the E yet, although perhaps by then I will be - but I think a new version will be coming out around then, and that really makes me nervous! All of which leads me to believe that if the Majestic has a better back seat than the GS (the pics make it look like it does), it might be the answer for her.

    Of course, the best answer may be to convince her to take my LS, and then I can justify getting the new one! :shades:

    Bottom line questions for lexusguy: wouldn't it be nice to have a "baby LS" in the showroom, rather than just a gussied-up Camry and 2 versions of an poorly-sized sport sedan? Would the Majesta fill that role?
  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    set aside their concerns over protectionist sentiment in the USA and EU. If that ever happens the ultra luxury market will get interesting fast.

    Toyota has engines and other systems in place that would enable them to roll out world class sedans, roadsters and coupes in the $100-250,000 bracket.

    They now have great cabin designs, at least at home. The interiors Toyota offers in Japan rival what the British and Italians are building.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Well, Lexus has no plans to bring the car stateside, so its not something you're going to be able to just get at your local dealer. What do you think of the Acura RL?
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    We've talked about Toyota in Japan as being "THE" luxury brand. I know this is somewhat off-topic for the HELM board, but does Toyota in Japan make cars that are more on our Toyota level, too?
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,663
    Gary - there are certain things you just look at and you know they'd be big hits. The Crown Majesta and the Imperial concept are two that come right to mind. If I'm a Lexus dealer I want that car here tomorrow and if I'm a Chrysler dealer I want the Imperial production starting tomorrow. An AWD Crown Majesta here will be a smash hit IMO and given it's more ES in size it would be viewed as a smaller LS. Now if they make that car become the next ES and restyle it with L-finesse than the ES sales - which are already quite high - will surge. I've read in a number of places the new ES will be distinctly different than the Camry, so maybe it's a possibility.
  • rjlaerorjlaero Posts: 659
    Sorry, but to me, that car looks circa 1992. Nothing special about the design and it's a very boring look.
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    What do you think of the Acura RL?

    Good suggestion, lexusguy. I never have looked at the RL closely. It had just come out when I got my LS in October '05. The early reviews all commented on the small size of the back seat, and that was a big deal for me (carrying 2-3 people in back for business meetings, and carrying my two teenagers on family outings), so I never pursued it. And the styling of the front of the car was singularly unexciting to me. But that certainly is something to consider if nothing else comes along before then that takes her breath away.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Deep under all that Mercedes love there is a very objective car guy. I've said that before in different words but I'll say it again. Excellent report.

    Of course I am, thanks! This year was like the best show ever since I've been going. The sheer number of concepts and production debuts were a lot to take in. I enjoyed going through the trouble of trying to do so.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Thanks. Wait until I get a chance to go to Geneva or Frankfurt. Those shows are like 5-10 times larger than Detroit!

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    It seems that Edmunds loves the new S-Class:

    image

    Article

    Also, Autolies has some gorgeous pics of the new S at a Phoenix AZ launch party.

    Autospies Pics

    M
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    It does sound good, I hadn't read anything so detailed before.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Impressive, it sounds as though it makes short work of the A8 in terms of handling, thats unusual for a Benz. I really dont like those 800,000 identical silver buttons though, nor am I a fan of Mercedes' new steering wheel design. Not quite as bad as this one, which I think was the worst Benz wheel ever, but close.

    image
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I noticed that autospies had only the S550, S600, S65, and 4matic in their cy2006 timeline. When will a 450 appear? Will they sell a 350 here? Diesels?
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    A few observations:

    1. Technology: WOW. Sounds like they once again have achieved making a large car drive better than anyone believes it should. Seats and stereo sound amazing. But is there still no easy big dial to increase the volume of the radio? I love those 2 big rotary dials on my LS that let me (or my less tech-oriented spouse next to me) kick up the volume or slide up a few MHz to another station without having to think which button or combination of buttons I need to press. AND NOTE THE FOLLOWING: "Dynamic control invasive if the car begins to oversteer. And the system cannot be disabled." I wonder if germancarfans will knock this the way they knock the Lexus cars for this.

    2. Styling: I can't wait to see it in person to judge for myself. The wheel flares and trunk bulge still turn me off in the pics, especially in the light colors where the shadows exaggerate the design elements. Maybe I could live with it in real life? I'd hate to have to rule the car out just on a design, like I have had to do with the A8 based on its just too, too ugly nose. NOTE TO GERMANCARFANS: NOT MUCH WOOD ON THE DASH, BUT THERE IS ON THE STEERING WHEEL! Oh no, MB goes Lexus just where I dislike it the most....

    3. Reliability: Can you imagine trying to maintain this car once the warranty is over- even if MB's past problems are resolved? Scary....

    4. Pricing: Starting at $86K, and then adding $18K more in options! Ow. I don't suppose there will be a well-equipped S430 version for a lot less than that? But I guess MSRP (and to a lesser extent, long-term reliability)doesn't matter if you can lease it for no money down, $499/month for 36 months. ;)

    Any way you cut it, it's sure going to be interesting to compare the new S and the new LS!

    And Merc1, ditto everyone else's comments on a great and comprehensive report on the Detroit show! :D
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    no money down, $499/month for 36 months

    Where do I sign? ;)
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    I did read Edmund's review of the S550. It was glowing mostly... I concur that this car will make a HUGE impact on the HELM sector when it gets released (within weeks, I suppose). For such a big and large car to corner flat is amazing. I love the cool non-shifter "shifter". Now that is a really cool feature I'd love on any car. 80mph and barely nudging 2K rpm ? Nice. But 6.1s to 60, with 382HP and 5.5L sounds slow, or am I imagining things wrongly ? Doesn't the 278HP LS430 do 0-60 in under 6s already ???

    Overall, the technology in that car is impressive, the ride equally impressive, about the biggest complaint for me is the price - $86 to 104K ??? Ouch !!! That is serious money to shell out, lease or purchase. Maybe the lease rate will be generous and you can get one leased for under $1200/month... The car will be hot, and should do very well in the market.

    Good job, MB..
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    This is according to someone else, who got it from his dealer. Personally, I think the dealer is talking out of his [non-permissible content removed], but here goes:

    "LS460 Base $64,900 (fully loaded $85,000)
    LS460L Supposedly only comes fully loaded - $89,900
    LS600hL $115,000 (only comes fully loaded)

    He said Lexus is trying to reduce the number of packages available to make it easier for them to produce.

    Also, he said the new LS600hL will have 140hp more than the LS460. So, that equates to about 520hp. It will get 35MPG in town. 460L will get about 20-21 in town.

    LS460L and 600hL will have AWD standard."
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    "But 6.1s to 60, with 382HP and 5.5L sounds slow, or am I imagining things wrongly ? Doesn't the 278HP LS430 do 0-60 in under 6s already ???"

    Edmunds gets the lowest 0-60 times for all cars, probably because they don't torque brake. For example, the got 6.1s for the IS350.

    C&D got 5.3s 0-60 for the S550 in their recent test.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I noticed that autospies had only the S550, S600, S65, and 4matic in their cy2006 timeline. When will a 450 appear? Will they sell a 350 here? Diesels?

    I asked all these question to MB reps in Detroit. I was told by one person that there will be no S450 and that there will be by another. The first rep came over during our conversation and said that there will be NO S450. Doesn't make sense to me. They both agreed that the new S320 CDI will be sold here sometime in 2007. The S450 and S63 AMG remain a mystery at this point. There is no way Mercedes developed a new 4.6L V8 for just the GL450.

    M
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