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High End Luxury Cars

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  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,675
    I was starting to worry where you were, my friend. Excellent (and very objective) write-up. I agree on the Sixteen (Cadillac has to build it) and am wondering why you think Lexus will have a hard time meeting demand on the new RX330.

    I thought you'd come around on the G-35. Lastly -any excitement about the FX-45. What do you think of it?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well I don't know if you've noticed, but I'm the type that likes big-engined, heavy, GT type cars. The Cadillac Sixteen's engine alone is a about as gross-excess I've ever seen. A THOUSAND hp!! Unbelievable. I was also taken by the cars interior, very subtle, but very rich. The rear end does look like an Eldorado, true....but hey the car won't be built so I'm somewhat less critical on that because in the end it doesn't matter.....the car had so much else that was "right" about it. I was just taken by the whole presentation of the car.

    ljflx,

    It's been kinda quiet around here lately I see. Well I figure Lexus will have trouble with meeting demand for the RX330 because even I thought it looked much better than the previous RX300.
    The Infiniti FX45 was another surprise. I've already seen one on the road around here. It has the 1920's gangster look about it, you know the short, stubby, fat cars they used to ride in. In short I like it. I got a detailed, hands-on look at Detroit. This crossover is truly just that, and should be a bit hit for them.

    The only thing Infiniti isn't getting totally "right" is the interiors of these cars, the G35 Coupe deserves a better interior, with less of the tacky aluminum-look plastic. Other than some interior issues and the sort of longish-looking wheelbase I think the G35 Coupe will make my short list when the time comes.

    Infiniti seems to be alive now. All they need to do now in order to complete their makeover is a work on the Q45 and quit marketing it as a sports sedan (thats what the M45 is for) and something to replace the truly boring (but fast) M45.

    M
  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    What did you think of new XJ? If A8 was bit of a disappointment design-wise, this must be a big one! Do you think Jag can dig out from its current troubles? X Type's not selling because no one wants to pay $40K for a Mondeo-based car. S Type just placed last in a C&D comparo!

    Did you see the SRX? I wasn't too impressed by pics of the sheetmetal and interior!

    I heard a new M45 is coming within about a year. Even though it's new to the US market, the identical Gloria has been in Japan for quite a while. And it shows, as you said!
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well to tell you the truth I really couldn't get a good detailed look at the new XJ. Though from what I saw of it looked just like the old car, only larger. Jaguar only had one on a stand and it was all silver, you know that pure aluminum look. The one on the floor was crowded by people so there was no chance to get a "perspective".

    I've been on record for being critical of the X-Type. That said I think it's a decent car, but doesn't truly live up to the Jaguar theme of exclusiveness. Jaguar will try and tell you that they made it awd for an advantage, but the truth is that was done to keep it from being fwd. AWD just doesn't fit the Jaguar image. Nobody is thinking tough, winter, go-anywhere car when driving a Jaguar.

    The way I've always seen Jaguar is a small exclusive brand...well Ford doesn't want that, they want Jaguar to be a volume brand. Jaguar was never meant to be a "volume" shop on the same scale as Mercedes, BMW or the Japanese brands. Jaguars were always the type of car you either liked or didn't.

    I have no problems with the S-Type, as a matter of fact I'm quite fond of it, having done some seat time in a S-Type R. The 2003 model is so much better than the 2000-2002 model.

    I'll have to see the new A8 on the street to make my final judgement. I didn't like the exterior of the SRX at all. I couldn't see the interior, they only had one on a stand.
     

    M
  • rcf8000rcf8000 Posts: 619
    I don't think the public is ever going to fully accept aluminum bodied cars. Too difficult to repair. Otherwise, I think the new XJ is a big improvement over the old one. (Even if the styling is back to the old Series III look.)
  • The new XJ's panels "hang" off the car though, so that they can easily be replaced since the aluminum allow (aluminum alone would not hold the voluptuous shape of the Jag) is difficult to repair dents from. The A8 doesn't have this feature, which is why it may not have been accepted.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    You guys see Edmunds roadtest of the Bentley Arnage? As much as I love the new Maybachs, Bentley still has the better interior skills when it comes to woodworking. Those interior shots are unbelievable.

    M
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    Hi Merc1,

    That shot of the birdseye looking maple is gorgeous.

    My temptation would be to buy a Benz instead and put a small, birdseye maple extension on the house, fill it with leather furniture, a good stereo and a GPS system and maybe have a few K left over.

    ;=)
  • jstylejstyle Posts: 129
    Anyone see this news? MB is releasing a 612hp bi-turbo V12 version of the CL600. I have a E500 and can't imagine what over 300hp more would do to performance, especially in a heavier car. Holy cow!
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Mercedes has gone nuts. I don't see the CL65 coming to America though, it'll probably be a Europe only car like the SL73 was. I would gather a 600hp CL was needed to combat the 550hp Bentley Continental GT. What I'm waiting for is something else from Maybach.

    M
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,675
    I saw my first Maybach on the road today - going into NYC via Lincoln tunnel. It was disgustingly dirty as are all my cars and just about every car on the road here. Wish we could get the type of rain you get in one of those heavy summer thunderstorms to get rid of the snow and road salt. Anyway I must say that I didn't think the car was as beautiful or regal as its pictures. In fact at first I almost thougt it was a Lincoln Continental. I had to look a few times because the back lights were clearly MB style but the fluted look threw me off. It was the 57 and though I know it is a massive car it just didn't look as big as I expected. But you can't miss the rear window curtains.

    Now remember it was dirty and I was driving on a very busy road so this is not a fair review. What is interesting is that when I got out of the tunnel and headed west I saw a black S-class pulling into a parking garage. This car was, somehow, spotless and looked like it had just been detailed. So it looked its best and the Maybach its worst from a cleanliness standpoint. I thought to myself that the S-class (it was a 2003) is a far more beautiful and elegant car than the Maybach. Despite all our differences over the years I'll also tell you that I honestly think the S is the most beautiful large sedan on the road - if not the most beautiful "ordinary" production car out there. But I prefer the Lexus LS for a host of different reasons.

    On a personal note - make sure you give career changes a lot of thought and don't hesitate to seek out advice from close friends and family. Stay well.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well what you saw only confirms what I've known all along about the Maybach...the styling is the car's weakest aspect. Naturally I agree with you about the S-Class' look. Thanks for the well wishes and advice.

    M
  • jstylejstyle Posts: 129
    I was wondering about anyones impressions of the new Bentley coupe. I've taken a look at a ton of pictures and from some angles looks really handsome and others well I don't know. Seeing one in person gives a much better indication. Any thoughts?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yes, at Detroit. Took pictures too. In my opinion next to the Arnage this newest VW derived Bentley just doesn't measure up. The interior isn't of the same materials and it's styling is like that of some large future VW. It's not ugly but it doesn't have nearly the effect of the the true Bentleys.

    M
  • rmorin2rmorin2 Posts: 110
    I am buying a 2000 740iL today and want to get a good aftermarket warranty. Am leaning toward Warranty Gold Diamond Plan. Would really appreciate some feedback from folks with experience on claims processing from WG and others. Thanks.
  • sysadbsysadb Posts: 83
    I bought the Diamond plan for my 740i last June, and had the occasion to use it for a small repair ($300) last month. I bought the WG plan because the Diamond has the most comprehensive coverage I could find, and WG gives you coverage from the date you buy the plan, instead of when the car was put in service. I wanted the extra time more than the milage.

    Making a claim was not a red-carpet experience, due to the adversarial position between the BMW dealer and WG. I suspect this would be a problem with other warranty companies as well, as they all use their price schedules to authorize the amount that they will cover. As you might suspect, that price was lower than what the BMW dealer wanted. In my case they cut the dealer about $100. The dealer grumbled but reduced the price, but I think I have a good idea what would happen if they tried to cut a $4,000 repair by 33%. One caveat - do not have service work done at the same time as the repair. The dealer may have buried the $100 in the other work. The authorization of the amount for the work may be much less of an issue if you use a shop with lesser repair charges than a BMW dealer, so that's something to weigh.

    The reimbursement itself is handled one of two ways. If you sign the repair order the dealer can fax it to WG and get it paid via credit card. But this means you have to sign and fax it AFTER the work is done, and then wait for the dealer to call and get his money. My dealer was already disgruntled about long waits getting through, so I paid him and submitted the claim myself. That method takes about 30 days, though, to get the money.

    All in all, none of this is surprising, and I don't really mind the process. As long as the policy covers my expense I'm happy. I would like my BMW dealer to be a little more cooperative, but I didn't bank on that. I WOULD recommend that you discuss the coverage with your repair shop that you use 1st though, just to make sure they'll honor the plan.

    DB
  • jstylejstyle Posts: 129
    The fastest redesign in BMW history. Looks like they really listen to the drum of disappointment.

    http://www.autoweek.com/cat_content.mv?port_code=autoweek&cat- _code=carnews&loc_code=index&content_code=02012541
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    image

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    Test your skills (or multiple choice guessing ability)
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    Hope to see you there!
  • eric312eric312 Posts: 71
    I am looking to buy a 2001 740i with a sport package and about 25,000 miles on it. What would be a good price for such a car. Also was looking at the new E320 and 2001 S430 (roughly the same price range), any comments on similiarities, differences, preferences etc. appreciated.
    Thanks.
  • jstylejstyle Posts: 129
    Ok saw the picture of the CL55 drop top and it is a beautiful car. One giant convertible though, but I want one. Anyone else think it is the ultimate MB?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    How or where did you get the chance to see it so soon?

    M
  • nealm1nealm1 Posts: 154
    Merc, because you and other MB fans so relentlessly beat the copycat drum, I went to Google and searched for "images" of the 1990 LS (first year) and the 1990 MB 300 SE. I tried to copy the links here, but it didn't work. I just don't see it. Go do these 2 searches and come back and tell me: Is it really your position that the former is a copy of the latter?

    Now, I don't deny for a minute that Lexus viewed MB as the target, or that when it designed the LS, it used the MB S as its bogey. But do you really think the designs are so close as to justify the label "copy?" I don't, and I don't think a neutral observer (which leaves both of us out) would think so.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yes I mean copy, especially with the LS430. Now the first generation LS400 was not as blatant as the LS430 is now, I'll give you that. Actually the first generation LS400 took a lot from the S-Class and 7-Series of the time. No, not an exact duplicate (i.e. LS430) but still way too much similarity for me.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    On a different note, did anyone see the Rolls-Royce Phantom yesterday on MotorWeek? Except for the grille, I'm starting to like the car.

    M
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Gee, the LS430 has 4 wheels and 1 steering wheel! They must have copied both ideas from Mercedes!
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yet another sarcastic sypmton of denial.

    M
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Uhh... sarcasm is relatively counter-productive to an upfront and straightforward discussion of differing opinions.

    Seems to me that if we have faith in our beliefs, we really shouldn't need to use sarcasm to present them.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    OK, let us try an "upfront and staightforward" discussion. Merc1, exactly what did the 1990 LS "copy" from the S and 7 of that time? Exactly what does the current LS copy from the S?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Read through the many posts here and in other topics about the cars in question. If you really have to ask that then it's not worth going over, yet again.

    M
  • nealm1nealm1 Posts: 154
    From the A pillar back, the current LS favors the mid-90's S. No question about that. I wouldn't call it a copy, but merc1 does and there is no sense in arguing about it. The front ends look nothing alike. This doesn't bother me, because I thought those MBs were handsome automobiles. And, as is probably apparent, I am far less concered about the "originality" of a car's appearance than is merc1. So be it.

    But I think it is significant that merc1 starts this rant about all Lexi being copies and the alleged utter lack or originality of the marque, and when pressed, he cites only the current release of a single model (the current LS) as his proof. The RX is the trendsetter in its niche, not a "copy." The GS doesn't look like anything else, and neither does the IS. The LX? Looks like the TLC, but everything else in the market has followed them.

    As for the RR, I did see it on Motorweek, and thought it was just hideous on the outside. Really atrocious. One of the great, elegant traditional styles butchered. Forward of the C pillar, however, the 7 looks better and better to me. I love the looks of the interior. i Drive and poor reliability would keep me from buying one though, as would that unsightly tush.
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