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High End Luxury Cars

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  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Motor Trend has a mini review in the new issue of the S550 4 Matic. As I recall MSRP is 88K or so and it does 0-60 in less than 6 seconds. . . . 88K doesn't seem like a lot of money for what you get.

    I agree with you . . . but guess what? . . . the new upcoming AWD Lexus LS600hL for just a little more green will get you possibily even MORE car for the $$$$. This is going to be interesting, especially if enough folks like you think that cars in the $ 90 K price arena can be a bargain. I have never done a Lexus either, but I warn you that this new LS600hL may very likely eat up other cars like dog biscuits.

    TagMan
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    BTW, I heard that M-B will bring the direct-injected S350 to the States along with the S450 and S600 next year. With a reported 300-hp(30+ less than the S450), this thing may not be such a slouch after all, much unlike the S350 it replaces. Wonder why they won't bring the CLS350 around the same time? Maybe they feel if a customer wants a V-6, they'll shoot for the E350.

    I'm not sure what they'll do with the S-Class. They're already having a time filling orders because they didn't anticipate so many people would order fully optioned S550s. I doubt we'll see a S350 here, but we might see a S320 CDI or Bluetec. The S450? Who the hell knows....lol! It is like the car never existed. The only thing that is certain is that the S550 4Matic will arrive this fall and that a S63 AMG will appear early next year. The S450, S350, S320 are all up in the air to my knowledge.

    I think out first taste of the new 292hp CGI (Direct-injection) V6 will be the 2008 C350 and then it will spread from there. I still don't know why they brought over that W220 S350 so late in the game if they had no intention of following up with a W221 S350. The S600 is already here.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Come on Lexusguy on a car like the Gallardo Spyder would you or anyone else really care about the center stack? Its not cheap stuff to begin with and its likely way more functional than what would have been there if Lambo weren't a part of Audi. Ferrari's nav system is worse than a afterthought. I don't think what Lambo did is cost cutting, but being smart enough not to spend money on stuff like a "bespoke" center stack on a car in which no one will really care about it anyway. Lambos aren't really bought for their interiors like Bentleys and Astons are anyway. Those Masers may not have a Fiat centerstack, but other Fiat bits are clearly present. Most of those brands/cars use lower-brand switchgear items.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Re: Post #15191. Comparing the Jetta and IS350 stylistically, calling both "Slab-sided", to meet government crash regulations is a reach, at best. I am disappointed. You know better.

    Didn't compare the two to each other, what I said was that they are both slab sided due to new regs. Other than that they don't share much else. Though the Lexus looks awful in IS250 AWD trim all jack up off the ground.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Maybe it is relevent to the upcoming Lexus LS600hL!!!!!!!!!

    Now that you mentioned the LS600hL there is some very interesting reading on the "2007 LS" board I see. The S550 is now being called "obsolete" next to the LS600h.

    That statement is as interesting as it is ridiculous IMO.

    ljflx - Why is it that Mercedes' sales numbers for the S are in question and Lexus' never ending sales gains aren't? After a big Feb, March and likely April do you really think these cars are just sitting on dealers lots now? I doubt they'd keep shipping that many every month if they weren't actually being sold to real people. If the S wasn't selling the news would be all of the place like the actually slow-selling R-Class. Is anyone going to have a case (or reason) in questioning the obviously high numbers the LS460 will post compared to the dying sales of the LS430 this time next year? No of course not.

    M
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,663
    Its not cheap stuff to begin with and its likely way more functional than what would have been there if Lambo weren't a part of Audi. Ferrari's nav system is worse than a afterthought. I don't think what Lambo did is cost cutting,

    Agreed, PLUS…

    Don’t forget the recent article that has Delphi contracted to supply Ferrari with not only the climate control system, but the suspension system.

    I’d take outsourcing parts from Audi over GM (Delphi).

    Though this knowledge doesn’t dissuade me from either; both are excellent automobiles (maybe now even better) with “common” components that have been fully tested and perfected in a large production cycle.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I understand the idea behind using the A4 bits. Obviously the functionality they provide is far more than anything Lambo could do. It would just be nice if they tried a little bit harder to not make it look identical. Even replacing the standard plastic A4 climate knobs with metal ones would be a start.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    It would just be nice if they tried a little bit harder to not make it look identical. Even replacing the standard plastic A4 climate knobs with metal ones would be a start.

    I see what you mean, kinda like Rolls did to hide the obvious BMW idrive gear and what not in the Phantom.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    True. I just don't think it matters as much in cars like a Lambo or Ferrari as much as it would in a Bentley, Aston-Martin or Rolls-Royce. The latter group of cars make their way in part on their interiors and the craftsmanship. Though I do LG's point about dressing these common parts up a little bit for exotic car duty. One of the main problems with the Maybach is that too much Mercedes shows through in the switchgear and overall interior design. It is a maximum Mercedes instead of something truly different like a Maybach.

    M
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    What’s more important, quality of materials, design or both? Obviously both but I place great importance on design, layout. This is an area where I find current AM interiors bereft. They are unsculpted, heavy-handed, shapeless. The centerstacks are big and clumsy, kind of like the boiler in a tenement basement. The instrument cluster and quality of materials can't make up for this IMO.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,665
    "ljflx - Why is it that Mercedes' sales numbers for the S are in question and Lexus' never ending sales gains aren't?"

    I said I've seen one S car on the road and that I'm shocked by that and you turn that into me doubting MB sales figures?? Merc - I think if MB was a restaurant and I said the food's not bad you'd turn that into me saying it's the worst food on earth. You seem to want to read something into anything said about MB that doesn't please you - at least by certain people.

    BTW Tagman also said he's surprised at the lack of S cars he's seeing so go back and read his quote. And for the record I have no doubt about MB's sales distribution stats. As for the NY show - the LS600HL was overwhelming to most people and yes the S550 came across as a great car but one that is a generation behind all of a sudden. Maybe obsolete was a wrong word but my implication was past generation. That's also why there is so little talk on the LS460L or LS460 - they also look like past generation next to the LS600HL. We're talking a class of cars here where technology rules and people covet the latest and greatest. The S550 was NOT the car people coveted or talked about at the NY show - the LS600HL WAS. As they say on American Idol - it had the WOW factor.
  • carnut100carnut100 Posts: 7
    If the LS600 grabs buyers from S550, that would be surprising. A couple years ago, I went to an LS430 to save a little money (and my wife loved it), but couldn't handle the lack of drive/road enjoyment and went back to an S500. Now, I just bought a 2007 S550 and just think the road enjoyment in the German cars is for a different buyer than the Japanese cars. Truely the Lexus quality is magnificant. It will be interesting to see if they can give their ride some attitude! I have personally seen the New Lexus and it is a looker too! That being said, the quality on my S550 is perfect to date ... but only have 2k miles on it.
  • carnut100carnut100 Posts: 7
    Having owned both a CLS55 and now the new S550, why would you want to race a Lexus with and S550? Both are reasonably performing luxury cars ... neither are performance cars? What is the value of racing two slugs? Why would one care which is faster? ... And in a cars like this, isn't the more usable performance indicator how they do on curves and windy road?
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,665
    "If the LS600 grabs buyers from S550, that would be surprising."

    There already are many S-class buyers that bought the LS cars over the years. IMO - the last thing in the world I'd think is that the LS600 grabbing more of them would be surprising. Now if you are talking hardened lifetime MB drivers then that's a different story and I'd agree with you. But I'd bet that even in that group many will give the car a serious look.
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    "The S600 is already here"

    Sure is right along with it's whopping $140k price tag. Whew!
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    Interesting post, altho some of the figures are a little misleading. A fully optioned Tahoe LTZ stickers @ 48k BEFORE the eventual GM $10k REBATE. ;) The Escalade starts at $56k, so why buy Tahoe?

    And you mentioned that no loaded Audi,Saab, and Volvo "comes close to the S550's presence, competence, and tradition." I found this to be very intriguing seeing how Audi's Quattro was the driving force to fix other car companies "incompetence" in developing AWD for their cars, which has been standard on the A8 for quite sometime, long before other's entered in this forray. And the A8 does have enough road presence to stay competitive with the latest from Germany.

    And let's check the prices. An A8L will set you back about $72k before options, in which case most are frivolous. An S550 opens at $88k, which is not bad considering what the standard S550 starts at, it's a no-brainer.
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    Why buy a Tahoe when one could buy a 'Slade?

    Well, where do I start? I'd rather have an LTZ3 with a sticker of 55k or so than a 'Slade at even the same price or less. Rap, hip hop, "urban style" (incidentally, when they say "urban" they don't mean Louisburg Square) etc. just don't do it for me. I'm not a pro athlete, urban hustler, pizza delvery boy, body shop manager or criminal defense attorney (sorry for the redundancy) and just don't fit the demographic.
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    I still find it interesting that the Escalade is immediately synonymous with hip-hoppers and rappers and athletes. If that is the case, then for sure the ubiquitous S-Class and 7-Series would also have to fit into this "category" also. These two are usually the first purchases of first-round draft picks and lottery winners.

    To pay 55k for a Tahoe over an Escalade is one's on prerogative, no matter how crazy it does sound. But with the much higher resale value over the Tahoe and the ever-present "wreath and crest" on the grille, I'd be hard pressed to take the Tahoe at the same price over the more powerful and prestigious Caddy.

    BTW, the typical person that buy's an Escalade usually resides in an "demographic" location that is known as suburbia, not urban. And the typical person's age is between 47-65 years of age, far from hip-hoppin and shooting basketball.
  • stevekilburnstevekilburn Posts: 359
    Some posts here are diverting from HELMs. Sorry to be a jerk, but lets focus on the top 1% of the market which is our concern here.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Agreed. And of that top 1%, let's concentrate on those HELM's that don't have BOSE audio systems! :P
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