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High End Luxury Cars

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  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    We have to consider that smoothness is in the butt of the beholder. IMO the Tip is a little jerky, definitely not smooth in comparison to other slushboxes. However it is very smooth in comparison to BMW’s SMGII which I wouldn’t want any part of. I have not driven DSG so I can’t comment there. But the auto clutches are a different league and it’s still early in the game for them.

    Tagman, I guess the Tip is acceptable if you HAVE to have it because you still get the 911 handling. But I would measure your wife’s tolerance and desire for a hardcore sports car which can wear people out in no time if they are not up to that kind of ride. If she gets the 911, hopefully test drives will reveal exactly what it will be like before buying, this way she will truly enjoy it for the duration of ownership. I agree with hpowders about looking into DE. It could be the factor that bonds her to a 911 and stick.

    I also don’t think an automatic is a good match for engines that don’t have hearty low-end torque. Porsches are medium-to-high revving engines and don’t smile until 4k RPM. If you are on the shift buttons all of the time then it’s OK but the auto mode can be tedious.

    I have heard that Porsche is about two years from an auto clutch. Approximately 9 out of 10 Porsches (non-Cayenne) are sold with three pedals. As such they are the thee torchbearer for the manual transmission. It will be interesting to see which way the wind blows. From what I can see most Porsche enthusiasts still want the stick.

    I thought that by now with the M Roadster(Z4) they'll finally give the Boxster something to worry about, but it's still a lame duck.

    It looks like a lame duck but it doean't seem to perform like one. Blkhemi, what have you been reading? From what I have seen the Z4 M Roadster and Coupe measure up nicely against the Boxster S and Cayman S. The edge still goes to the Porsches as the overall better driving machines due to their magical connection to the road but there is clearly an edge with the bimmers’ power. And it appears they are no slouches with handling either. I look forward to driving them.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    I have not (knock on wood) had that experience with either of my parents, both of whom are approaching 80, but 20 years ago I watched my father have to deal with trying to get his mother to stop driving after repeated very frightening incidents.

    I think that must be one of, if not THE, most difficult things a child ever has to do for a parent. I'm sorry for what you went through.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    It looks like a lame duck but it doean't seem to perform like one. Blkhemi, what have you been reading? From what I have seen the Z4 M Roadster and Coupe measure up nicely against the Boxster S and Cayman S. The edge still goes to the Porsches as the overall better driving machines due to their magical connection to the road but there is clearly an edge with the bimmers’ power. And it appears they are no slouches with handling either. I look forward to driving them.

    Don't miss this video. Top Gear puts the M roadster against the Boxster S.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5mFe3cLLo8&eurl=
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    I was referring to the optional SMG tranny, not the M Roadster as a whole. Get Bimmer's 6-speed stick in that thing and it 'll definetely chirp on the Boxster rear-end, handling and all. The Z4 is a very great little car, and practicality over compromise, it hands down beats the Boxster. But for all out fun without the hospitality, the Boxster wins in a landslide.

    The SMG tranny has been plagued from day one. From the previous M3 to the Z, IT(SMG) is still a lame duck. I wish they'll put more D&D in the next generation of this otherwise thoughtful tool. Note to BMW: PLEASE DO AWAY WITH SMG AND ACTIVE STEER UNTIL BETTER CALIBRATION. (How about that one Steve?)

    Now, DSG. No question, the best around in the biz. And this is not because of my Audi-bias either, no sir. Think about the littlest TT 3.2 and how it turns that thing into a virtual rocket simply because of it's gearing.

    BTW: Porsche is said to be installing DSG for '08 in Europe with a possible US launch in '09/'10 when all of VW's product has some sort of DSG tranny available as an option, even the Golf's/Jetta's/Bettle's(Side Note: I even hear that we'll get the awesome launch control that Ferrari is shivering in their boots not to send over). I have read that all will be available with DSG except Turbo and GT2 variants, with their race-oriented performance make-up. One question tho: If DSG can change gears twice as fast and hold/match revs better than a manual, wouldn't that somewhat fulfill the mission even better?
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Great video, and I am surprised at the outcome. I figured the 0-60 would have been the only thing the Z4 M has in its favor . . . but its overall handling seems impressive indeed, although it seems to me you have to wrestle with it a bit to keep the tail in check on extreme cornering, unlike the Boxster S which makes easy work out of extreme cornering, and therefore reducing the thrill somewhat.

    Thanks,

    TagMan
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Thanks for the info and your perspectives on the Tiptronic. It's also about her (wife's) frequent use of her cell phone . . . and she is reluctant to use a hands-free device, thus even more shifting problems and safety issues.

    I admit that I'm trying to have my cake and eat it too, but I know I'm only kidding myself. Somewhere in the equation there may need to be a compromise.

    The SL550 would solve it, but it's no Porsche, and I guess the Tiptronic is just so wrong for a 911. Oh well, I'll have to think on this for a while.

    TagMan
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    Applausable video link. The BMW is a very fun car. But I do have one gripe with the host of the show. He says that the Boxster will never sound like the BMW. HMMMM? The BMW I-6 does have a unique tone to it, BUT the Porsche flat/boxer 6 has a bellow that is undeniably Porsche and perhaps best behind a Ferrari's bark.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    The BMW I-6 does have a unique tone to it, BUT the Porsche flat/boxer 6 has a bellow that is undeniably Porsche and perhaps best behind a Ferrari's bark.

    You are absolutely right about that. The first time I opened up my Boxster I was so delighted with that unique howl. It was always so particularly available in 2nd and 3rd gear. So satisfying to hear it.

    Good point.

    TagMan
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Well, thats a subjective thing. He also says the Z4 looks better than the boxster, which I dont think is true at all.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    As I make the inevitable transition into the autumn of my life, I regret 2 things:

    1. I have but one life to give for my country.

    2. I can't fit into the driver's seat of a Porsche Boxster.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    As I make the inevitable transition into the autumn of my life, I regret 2 things:
    1. I have but one life to give for my country.
    2. I can't fit into the driver's seat of a Porsche Boxster.


    hp - number 2 will cause serious depression and it means you'll need counseling.

    TagMan
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I'm sure there is a pill for that sort of thing.

    Before you jump on me, mein host, I'm trying to make a point:

    When I went biking this morning, I passed a 2007 gray Camry in a driveway.
    What an improvement! The car actually looks expensive. Pretty darn good-looking.

    Now here's the promised point: From all the photos I've seen, the new LS puts the Camry to shame in styling, as well it should, so IMO, the new LS should be quite the looker when we get a chance to actually see it up close and personal this Fall.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    It is another indication that Toyota/Lexus has finally taken styling more seriously across the board, IMO.

    TagMan
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    It's about time.
    Really bad news for competitors.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Really bad news for competitors.

    Well, it certainly turns the heat up another notch.

    I think it's a good thing, though, as the competition is also cranking up the styling. For example, Mercedes styling is moving along very nicely, IMO. I really like the direction that MB styling has been taking recently (NOT the R, though, which I hate). Even Audi styling (althought the front grill could stand a refresh or even a re-do, IMO) is right up there with the best (and their interiors are second to none). BMW styling is a little mixed lately, IMO, but seems to be constantly on the move, innovative and generally well-received (even if sometimes contraversial). Some of the others are already style champions and certainly don't need to fear Toyota's styling.

    What I'm saying is that although Toyota styling is clearly improving across the board, I don't see them as the big style leaders that the others should fear.

    Who do you think should be concerned about Toyota's styling the most?

    TagMan
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    Excellent point. Toyota has finally taken a stand on what America sees as style. The upright and conservative approach has been out for at least a decade, and with Lexus giving even the flagship LS a curve or two has to be taken very seriously.

    Take a look at the IS, which may or may not be as lithe on it's feet as the 3-Series, but it does one up it in the styling category. It makes the 3 look (dare I say it), staid and conservative, even in light of the Bangle Assault on Munich. The GS has lost it's upright and overly boxy butt in favor of an ultra-modern look and clean, swooping design that evokes major attitude. But the biggest change of them all has to reside with the ES, which makes the '06 model look like a discount rental model, IMO. Lexus has finally given the bread and butter car a much more appropiate and appreciative styling design, particularly discarding the fish-mouth look. The overall appearance of the car both inside and out is very remarkable. And it now has the performance(semi maybe) to give it some poise on the road.

    BUT, as you duly noted, the Euro cars are ever evolving, with Mercedes and Audi finally abandoning the traditional style in favor of ultra-modern and hip styling, especially M-B. Never would I thought they'd take the classic S to this level, which has apparently paid off. And the styling of the GL is so good that M-B managed to hide it's incredible size and weight by giving it more curves and creases. Audi is on a mission too. The Q7 for instance is a far cry from the tradition of the company, and the upcoming R8 and A8's will definetely give car nuts like ourselves something to talk about.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    That's an easy one, IMO.
    Good old bland Honda.
    I actually preferred the look of the previous Accord to its redesign. So boring-looking.

    Honda should not only be worried about Toyota, but should also be watching Hyundai. They make some of the best-looking SUV's and sedans, IMO, in the moderate price range. They have poured it on aggressively.
    If they start upgrading their interior materials, watch out!
    I drove a Sonata recently, and its brakes, steering and handling were surprisingly good.
    The Hyundai Azera sedan, at about $28k, could be a significant player in this segment.

    But back to Lexus. Starting this Fall, there will obviously be a real battle unfolding between the LS and S-Class.
    I eagerly anticipate the sales-comparison figures going forward say for the 6 months from October to March.
    Should prove very interesting!
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    But back to Lexus. Starting this Fall, there will obviously be a real battle unfolding between the LS and S-Class.
    I eagerly anticipate the sales-comparison figures going forward say for the 6 months from October to March.
    Should prove very interesting!


    Well, with die-hard BMW fans already willing to trade in their 5 series on the new LS460, who knows what can happen! ;)

    TagMan
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    Well, with die-hard BMW fans already willing to trade in their 5 series on the new LS460, who knows what can happen!

    My prediction: Howard will find that even though the styling and features are good, the new LS won't handle the way his Bimmers have, and he will decide that his aging butt can handle the BMW 5 series comfort seats for at least one more lease cycle. In fact, Howard have you driven the 750 and compared it to your 545? I would be surprised if you didn't find the 750 disappointing as well.

    I am getting a kick out of the Eurofans joining the Lexans in talking about the new LS as if any reviewers - or anyone else - have ever driven the new car and found the driving dynamics have improved. It would be nice if that turns out to be true, but I remain skeptical. And this is spoken as a former BMW and current MB owner who now owns an LS with all-season low profile 18" tires, and I am satisfied with the LS' handling, even if it is not quite as "tight" as the German cars. The LS is set up to appeal to the typical American consumer, not to car magazine reviewers or Autobahn cruisers - and IMHO I doubt Lexus is going to change its formula for success in the US.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    That's an easy one, IMO.
    Good old bland Honda.
    I actually preferred the look of the previous Accord to its redesign. So boring-looking.


    I agree. Honda aimed squarely at the Corolla with the incredibly bland '01 version of the Civic, and got badly burned because of it, so this time they went as far as they could in the opposite direction. The Accord's design is awful, I think the new rear is actually worse than it was before.

    IMO, the Sonata is what the '03 Accord should have looked like.
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