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High End Luxury Cars

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  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    to turn my shoulders like Freddy on his driver swing, my future posts would be coming from a hospital's orthopedic ward!
    Everybody was hoping for a Phil vs Tiger final pairing.
    That would have been awesome!
    Maybe we'll luck out at the US Open!
  • May be not. It was just a radical suggestion. I think lexus should focus more on high end (LX, LS) and enter the $100K+ heaven and convert more buyers towards sporty IS rather than ES, so that in future lexus has more sporty personality than now.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    May be not. It was just a radical suggestion. I think lexus should focus more on high end (LX, LS) and enter the $100K+ heaven and convert more buyers towards sporty IS rather than ES, so that in future lexus has more sporty personality than now.

    Want sporty personality ? Buy a Bimmer, a WRX, an STi, a Porsche, anything except a Lexus... The Lexus formula has worked to perfection on most of their line-ups. Except for a few, all their cars/SUVs have been runaway successes ! How do you go against what made you successful ? That makes no business sense whatsoever... Sorry... The new ES will sell briskly, and continue to lead its class in sales. If I had Toyota's midas touch, I'd be long retired and enjoying life somewhere on the Pacific Ocean front condo somewhere, playing golf and generally enjoying life. Toyota is as good as gold these days. They cannot seem to put any foot wrong... Gotta love or hate them ! And when gas goes to $5 a gallon, then what ? A survey showed almost 50% of Americans are interested in replacing their current car with a hybrid. Hmmmm !!! That LS600H will be a winner, I can just see it already. More power, more performance, more fuel efficiency, and more environmentally friendly, at a price many thousands below its competition. What is not to make it succeed ???
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    You may want to expand your reading choices as there are many publications that are crazy about the A4, in particular the Cab and S4 variants, which are said to be good M3 competitors.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I was thinking of mainstream Audi vehicles: A4, A6 and A8.
    I am well aware of the fantastic S4-the only thing negative I have read about it is it looks too much like the A4.
    I saw one a few weeks ago and except for the tiny "S4" on the rear, I thought I was looking at an A4.
    I surely wouldn't refuse one and those Recaro racing seats must be fantastic!
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    The new ES is just as wildly popular as the orginal ES300 in '92(post ES250). And Lexus has invested more time and energy into redeveloping the car to further distance it from the Camry, albeit it is still rather close.

    The ES is Lexus' bread-n-butter. No way are they to ever kill it. Were talking 80k+ units a year. It was never meant to be a performance ride. That's why they created the GS and IS. It was to be something for the middle agers to turn to when they don't want a Buick. No, there isn't much excitement in the ES. But it is a Lexus, in which it does furnish an impecable finish and solid assembly, and the continued reliablity of the ES line. And with a base price not likely to climb much further than the '06, even with all of the innovations and improvements, I'd say Lexus still has a winning recipe.

    Hope to get a closer look at the LS600h at New York.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Audi and VW need to capitalize on two things now, their German-ness and the new bond with Porsche.

    VW was the “people’s car” and it can become the “people’s Porsche” or the “entry-level Porsche.” It already has a young cult following in the US that has this sort of perception. It should be watered and nurtured. This latest round of Jettas and Passats went in the wrong direction—they went soft on ride to compete with the Japanese—big mistake. Redesign them ASAP. German cars are nothing without performance. BMW made its bones in the US with the athletic 2002 just as it was perilously close to going under. I believe VW can and should do the same with a blockbuster car that sits one price level below the mighty 3-series, a pure driver’s car.

    Audi already has good engineering and should somehow be positioned as “Porsche sedans” especially now that Porsche has partnered with VW on hybrid. Panamera will have a limited exotic market but the sky is the limit with production sedans.

    Needless to say, Mercedes and BMW are powerhouse German brands. Take the other potent brand—Porsche—endow Audi and VW with this persona and you’ve really got something. Canvas the world for the marketers who can pull this off, have patience, commitment and watch it flower.

    Porsche has to venture outside of its niche and want it to happen. They’re not exactly marketing geniuses either. I think much of their current success is a matter of riding the rising tide. But if they can put their badge on an elephant with shaky reliability and sell it in a market that was very saturated, think of what they can do with entry-level cars and sedans. Maybe they’ll never put their badge on VWs and Audis, but if buyers can make that connection, I think the marketing can be very successful in the US.

    Audi is like Fruit of the Loom underwear. Yeah, it works. But just put the Polo badge on it sweep the money up.

    ;-)
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Hpowders, when you said TW I was thinking Tom Watson whose putter went seriously south after storming the majors some 25-30 years ago. Never seen Tiger do that sort of thing… yet. I expect when all is said and done, there will never be another like him, at least not in our lifetime. Can’t help but wonder what will become of Michelle Wie… 15 years old, never won a pro tournament and is pulling in some 10-15 mil a year on endorsements and appearances already.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    No. I meant Tiger Woods.
    It was also nice to see Ben Crenshaw doing well for a while.
    Really painful to see Rocco Mediate implode with that 10!
    The sky's the limit for Michelle Wie. I hear she is just now learning to drive.
    Wonder what her first car is going to be? Somehow, I don't think it will be a Camry!
    I know Natalie Gulbis got a $90k Dodge Viper convertible and her father was tearing his hair out trying to teach her how to drive it with a stick!
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I agree that Lexus messed up the execution of the GS. (Certainly wouldnt be the first time). Acura also dropped the ball with the RL, while Infiniti knocked it out of the park.

    The ES continues to be a great value, and it makes the Zephyr and Lucerne look like dinosaurs, but its not a car for people who like to drive.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Hell of an investment! And he's hardcore! Trying to teach a girl, how to drive stick, in a 500HP convertible!

    I disagree with his methods, but love his passion! Keep it up! :)

    Who knew a golf tournament was what this forum needed? :confuse:

    After reading a Car mag article on the Evo X, plus seeing some stunning, running, concept car pics, I think I'm in love! :blush: That thing will be a true killer!

    If it wasn't saddled with the Mitsu name, it could sell for $50k, and be more than worthy of running down M3s and S4s, rain or shine! With a major warranty, and a mid $30s price, a hell of a bargain!

    DrFill
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Sorry! I digressed a little. :blush:
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    ISF calibration turned out okay.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Huh? :confuse:

    Lexguy

    I don't think Lincoln needs any help munning their marque into the ground. :cry:

    DrFill
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Lincoln seems to have figured out the source of their woes. It's all of those historic nameplates! Who wants to drive a "Contintental"? Wouldnt you rather have a "MKS" or "MKX"?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Re: the SC vs. the SL, part of the reason for the HUGE success of the SC is the SL-matching V8 within the Sc430 engine bay. Whether the Lexus built the SC to compete with the SL primarily, at $25k less is debatable. But the SL, for 3 years, would struggle to outrun the Lexus. I'm sure this was used in "walkarounds" often.

    Won? Won what? The bottom line is that the SL is the better car and has been since day one. For all the speed matching potential you claim the SC430 has it can't use it any way other than in a straight line since it has little to no handling compared to the SL. Again time to update the rant, the SL550 will easily dispense with any SC430s that dare act like they have any "sport" in their DNA. Doc, the SL is a better car than the SC430, period. The SC430 scores last and the SL wins any and everytime they've faced each other. GAME OVER. THE END.

    Re: the original SC, having been knocked-off several times (Mazda MX-6 and Buick Riviera the most blatant), and being called, at $45k, "Possibly the best car on the planet!" by C&D, the 1992-99 SC resume wants for nothing. It had to be re-engineered to bring the latest safety equipment cars started to bear in '95+, and Lexus had other plans.

    Not a one of thoese cars even looks anything like the Lexus SC, especially the Buick. Buick's copy target was Jaguar during those days not Lexus. The last part about the SC having to be re-engineered is a nice, grand even, excuse. Toyota has more money than anyone else and can "engineer" a car to meet whatever standards they want. Period.

    As Mercedes CLK has ALWAYS shown, matching style with the original SC was futile, so just slap two doors on an E, and call it a day!

    First off the CLK isn't based on the E-Class and how do you know that Mercedes was trying to match the SC400? The fact remains that the original CLK from 1998-2002 saw the SC400 off the market, as to which looks better we will agree to disagree there. Not knocking the original SC400 either, I liked the car myself, but it wasn't heaven sent like you portray it to be.

    Considering Mercedes had several years to build an SC competitor, the 1999 CLK430 was another weak effort, hoplessly derivitive of the E-Class sedan, as was it's forebearer.

    Fact check, the 1999 CLK430 was NOT derived from the E-Class. It was derived from the C-Class platform, unlike the previous 300CE/E320 Coupe which was derived from the E-Class.

    Since you brought up the CL (Comparing it to cars costing half as much smacks of desperation, Merc. You know better!), if Lexus built cars that cost as much as S550, SL550, or CL55, you wouldn't be so apt to hide in an Ivory tower.

    I'm not comparing the two cars as a whole, only their styling which the CL blows away any Lexus, still to this day. Talk about desperation at least I can point to a current Mercedes that has some looks and not live in the past about a car long since out of production, that my friend is desperation in trying to cover for the current SC430's lame duck styling and driving experience. The SC400 does nothing for the SC430.

    Mercedes better have an anwser for the 600h! That could be 10-12k sales a year, by itself.

    No doubt the car will be a hit, but why is that Mercedes is the only one that has to "come up with something"? Mercedes won't have a direct answer for the LS600h, as will no other manufacturer. You know how Lexus doesn't have an answer for a boatload of Mercedes and BMW models.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Merc says that people are noticing and praising Audi for its interior quality and technology innovations. I'd like to see the sampling of the buying public that agrees with that. Edmunds is a very small, narrow, viewpoint of the whole market. Most of us are car junkies.... The real world buyers are nothing like us... So I suspect Audi's interior quality and technology hasn't helped it much, but with the VW albatross on Audi's neck, little wonder it has had problem gaining traction (no pun intended) here in the NA market. It may well be too late for Audi to gain any respect, unless Lexus stumbles badly, and Acura and Infiniti fall off the face of the earth. Audi, totally overshadowed by its higher brand German counterparts...

    Well I think all you'd have to do is look on any Audi board here or on Audi forum on the net. Most people here are indeed average buyers and they aren't car junkies in the least, especially not here. The new A8 doing way better than the previous car proves that Audi is doing something right, though at a slower pace than MB/BMW/Lexus. Lexus doesn't have to "stumble" for Audi to gain any respect, all Audi has to do is keep building cars like the A8, RS4 (to bolster the performance imagine, something Lexus knows very little about right now) and dealership satisfaction stories are just that, they don't vary from car junkies or brand junkies to the average joe that posts here. A buyer is either satisfied with the dealer of they aren't, doesn't matter what "type" of buyer they are per say.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    We've talked about Audi before and reached the same conclusions. Being tied to VW is a liability in image and product to a lot of people. This is just plain old outdated thinking. Audi's calling card is still AWD, but only for people who are seeking AWD. Some, not all, people who don't care for AWD will likely be turned off by Audi forcing it on most of their cars like someone else stated.

    Audi's problem is exposure. They simply don't frequent the same circles as Mercedes or BMW and thus don't as much attention. I think a lot of people who bought a recent Audi model were likely pleasantly surprised when they actually decided to look at one. Audis appeal to people who either want AWD standard and to those who are tired of the usual suspects like Mercedes and BMW. This isn't good for "business" per say because they'll always be the underdog and play second fiddle to MB/BMW, but they'll arguably build up a fierecly loyal fanbase.

    I also think that Audi's dealer placement has a lot to do with it too, they aren't often included in "dealer's row" in most areas or at least they weren't until very recently.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Very accurate IMO. The battles in the 1930's between Benz and Auto Union are the stuff of legend, only Mercedes was able to thrive from it and Audi wasn't. I wonder why that is?

    M
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    I've had more than enough of this argument.

    You've gotten in the last word.

    Let's not fight anymore.

    Let us enjoy the NYIAS together, as friends. Deal?

    DrFill
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