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High End Luxury Cars

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  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I'd rather see it in person, of course, but based upon that photo, the front is OK (designman is right about the R, but the R's problems are not the front for the most part.), most of the side is reasonable (up front) with exception maybe of that swooping upper side crease, but the rear is not up to the rest of the car. The rear glass looks suspect, and the lights and their placement are also the culprit, IMO, and remind me of . . . well . . . I dare not say it.

    Not a catastrophe by any means, but disappointing, IMO. It's especially a problem if the new CLK looks like this, too . . . in which case . . . they should have their heads handed to them on a platter.

    Another concern is the longer-term styling direction that might be emerging, although the S is terrific. When looking at the different models, there seems to be contradiction in the execution of styling.

    Troubles ahead?

    TagMan
  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 873
    this hotly debated subject comes down to a few important points.
    1. It seems as though Lexus is successful because of two fronts. Reliability/Luxury, and the ability to make these things known to the customer.
    2. When I have talked to many Audi employees they are very quick to point out that the majority of their customers are self employed/small business owners. In other words people who are more inclined to go a different route or a road less traveled so to speak. It's become apparent to me that Audi is sort of the nugget of gold that needs to be searched for, and dug up. Audi could definitely take a page out of Lexus's book as far as marketing go's [and maybe a few other lessons] but they seem to be content to not appeal to the masses. At the streets of tommorow event I constantly heard from employees that "Audi is not for everybody"
    In summation, if you want a car that ranks high in public perception then Lexus would be the way to go. For people who could give a fig about what other people think, well Thank God their are options
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    "As well what exactly has Lexus been late with?

    HMM? Where do I begin. It has taken the company all of 15 years to give it's flagship more than 300hp. In this same timespan, the company has failed to give the car proper suspension tuning. The Buick-derived styling won't stir many souls. Need I say more?

    Lexus is a great company as a whole. But it is definetely not without fault. Far from it's perceived "perfection". First you have a $63k SUV that is at least a decade old. Then there's a supposed hard-top crusiser that looks cartoonish without any provacative looks whatsoever(which also commands 60k), a midsize BMW 5-Series fighter that has lost the battle before it started.

    And now, the company is marching in the right path. With cars like the new ES350 and IS350(but still no 6-speed(yet), which are great entries, the company can finally put up a good fight. Late? A decade and half.

    BTW: How late is late. On what makes a HELM a HELM. Why does EVERY SINGLE HELM do well in Europe and abroad, EXCEPT FOR LEXUS?? After 15 years, still very little Lexus competition in Europe. They know that playing it safe in America and giving us pacifiers that won't make it off of the dock in Europe is the way to go.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Makes the Bangle 5 rear seem absolutely Michelangelic in comparison.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Merc would be so proud!

    I could get sucked it this brawl, but I'll pass.

    All I can say is, with such thoroughly inferior products, and with all of Audi's scary products, it doesn't say much for Audi being outsold 3 to 1.

    In less than a decade.

    By a garbage producer.

    With zero heritage.

    DrFill
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Merc would be so proud!

    I could get sucked it this brawl, but I'll pass.

    All I can say is, with such thoroughly inferior products, and with all of Audi's scary products, it doesn't say much for Audi being outsold 5 to 1.

    In less than a decade.

    By a garbage producer.

    DrFill


    C'mon Doc, you say that you'll pass, but you know that you're up to your eyeballs in this thing. You made plenty of contributions to the mess that went on for many preceeding days.

    Nobody believes that Lexus is garbage. But SOMETHING needs to be said to BALANCE out the extremism . . . and you've done plenty of shoveling.

    I will tell you the same thing again and again . . . Audi is a HELM. You may not like Audi, but to shun it the way you did for days was too much, IMO. I don't blame blkhemi for the posts, frankly.

    A bit more respect from you regarding the Audi would net you some respect for Lexus in return . . . although probably not a double scoop with sprinkles at this point. ;)

    Think about what I'm saying, Doc.

    TagMan
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    There is no point in arguing with him about it.

    How about we just move on?
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    "First you have a $63k SUV that is at least a decade old. Then there's a supposed hard-top crusiser that looks cartoonish without any provacative looks whatsoever(which also commands 60k), a midsize BMW 5-Series fighter that has lost the battle before it started."

    Ouch !!! I own that SUV and tho' dated, its still plenty nice. Every day I drive that truck I get lots of compliments. Old, yes... but what a great truck it remains. As to the SC, I am no fan but at only 13 days on dealer lot before it gets sold, its a winner for Lexus. The new GS came earlier than anticipated, with old carryover motors (4.3L V8), and a new but underpowered 245HP V6. Certainly Lexus looks to amend these with the GS350 and the GS450h. As to beating a 5-series, Lexus is NOT a performance-inclined company, thus far. Their forte is luxury, refinement, solid build quality and reliability. Infiniti comes close to matching BMW in the handling and performance areas, and so far are doing a heck of a job. But where is Infiniti in the large luxury sedan class ? Methinks the HELM plays to Lexus' strength, that is why it was easy for the LS to assume the #1 sales crown within such a relatively small timeline.

    And now, the company is marching in the right path. With cars like the new ES350 and IS350(but still no 6-speed(yet), which are great entries, the company can finally put up a good fight. Late? A decade and half.

    Lexus or Toyota can certainly put MTs in their cars. After the 2002 release of the IS300 5-MT, with no appreciable uptick in sales or interest, Lexus was wise to stick to its strength in the gen-2 release... The new IS350, even with a slushbox, outruns any in its class. BTW, do I not tote around town in a 6-MT Matrix ? That little buzzy car is fun to drive, and its all Toyota drivetrain and with a Yamaha motor rated at 100hp/L of displacement, and priced under $20K !!! What a deal ! Designman, take note: not all Lexophiles drive around in snoozemobiles... Sorry I digress :)

    A decade and a half, is all Lexus' history compared to the 100+ for MB, Audi and others... What do you expect ? Perfection ??? For its short lifespan, Lexus has achieved a level unheard of in automotive history. And the sky is the limit. The ES killed off every competition in its path. Ditto the RX, setting the bar for what a luxury car-based SUV should be. The LX continues its remarkable run on a solid LC platform, old as it is.... These are Lexus winners anyway you slice it....

    Talking of late to the party, how late was BMW and Audi to the SUV party ? How late are they to the hybrid party ? How late are they to the 8-speed tranny party ? How late are they to creating an ergonomic cupholder in their lux cruisers ? How late are they to simple, touchscreen DVD-based Nav ? Oh, don't tell me these things are unimportant, cos they are, otherwise MB, BMW and Audi won't have these in their cars as well.

    Doc put it best: how high does Toyota/Lexus want to go before pissing off our politicians in DC ? That, I submit, is Lexus/Toyota's achilles' heel !
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    There is no point in arguing with him about it.

    How about we just move on?


    Gotcha, boss. Just trying to keep the peace, but heck, that's your job, isn't it? :D

    TagMan
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Looks like the CL has lost some heft in this latest go-round style. Its taken on the banana-shaped CLS style. Goodie !!! Not... What exactly is the purpose of the CL again ? And for that matter, the CLS ? I can understand the CLK, the SLK, the SL, the C, E, S, even the ugly to death funeral box called the G (what an ugly truck that is), the R- and the GL, but the CL/CLS ???

    Oh well... styling is in the eye of the beholder ! But my beholding eyes give this new style a D grade...
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    Whoa...well I guess I gotta give 'em credit for one thing:

    Whenever I try and beat sheet metal with an ugly stick I never end up with such straight or gently curved lines...
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Designman, take note: not all Lexophiles drive around in snoozemobiles...

    Oac, your lead-footed testimony has been well noted. Now permit me edit that statement so it accurately applies to your case…

    Not all Lexophiles drive as if they are in snoozemobiles.

    ;-)
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Thanks, Designman.... My lead foot is killing me tho'. My Trix should be doing 25+ mpg, but I get barely 22mpg. Go figure ! In contrast, my LS mileage has increased from 18mpg to 20.2mpg, for a 9-yr-old car. Not bad, eh ? Don't even ask how the LX470 does in mpg... Not worth mentioning. ;)
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Makes the Bangle 5 rear seem absolutely Michelangelic in comparison.

    Yeah, I'm not impressed. The previous CL wasn't my favorite car, but I think this is a step backwards, styling wise. It will be interesting to see what Maserati does with the Q coupe, as that should compete directly with the CL550.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    designman - merc says you might know a little about the Lotus Elise. I've been reading up on it, and I'm thinking of checking one out as it appears it could be a ton of fun. It also seems that the '06 may be improved.

    Have you driven it?

    TagMan
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    I respect your post, altho I do have a couple niggles with it.

    One, you say that Audi/BMW are late to the 8-speed slushbox party. Sorry, but everyone is late to that party as it doesn't exist until Lexus brings out the 8-Speed gearbox topping MB's wonderful 7-G only to be topped by Audi's 9-IHJ 9-speed gearbox, DSG, and CVT's in the next-gen A4's and A8's. (All this from a non-HELM?? That's mighty impressive, no matter how long the doc worked today :P )

    Secondly, you say that the RX and ES blew away the comptition . Then why is the RX's sales in the tank, despite the RX400h? Along with the Highlanders(and hybrids) that are dinosaurs on Toyota's lots. The competition has gotten smart......

    Lastly, I do appreciate the legendary build of the LC/LX. It had up until very recently unmatched quality and the trade off in ride/handling is very well despite the off-road suspension. And it continues with Lexus' tradition of hushed transport. BUT, it is old. Way older than normal update intervals usually are. BUT, both here and in Japan and especially the Middle East, it is still widely lovable. I'm still fond of it. But for $60+k, similar money will get you in newer and more technology-laden models, particularly the Escalade, and for a pinch more, the Range Rover HSE. But neither has demonstrated Toyota's uncanny reliablility(especially the Rover) like the LX.

    I do appreciate Lexus as a company once again. In this short 15-16 years, the company has transgressed into a force to be reckoned with. But it has had it's share of flaws nonetheless, particularly from '98-'05, where the product, while competitive, didn't quite have the bite like the early-mid '90's cars did.

    BTW: I didn't know if you knew or not, the Audi allroad was a certified sport ute, according to the EPA. I know, I know, it's still a A6 Avant at the end of the day. Trust me, the Q7 put's some SUV's to shame, which is a true SUV. And to be a true 3-Series fighter, and here we go, back to perception, the IS will need a manual to fully compete with it. I know it will blow dust 0-60 over most it's competition, but the manual will complete the package. This is something I've heard Lexus will address for '07. Hopefully awaiting...
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    I read your comment as present tense and LS460 based. Thus my answer. Lexus is all of 16 years old so it hasn't been a trendsetter, though the initial LS 400 caused German strategy changes with everything from more powerful engines to quicker model cycles. One could also argue it caused MB to turn more sporty in handling and looks. But to be a trendsetter constantly while you are trying to establish yourself in a market like this would have been suicidal. But life is changing fast now. The LS is now the trendsetter with the 600HL and it has set the bar beyond the S550. Life changes once you are well established. Lexus' infancy and teenage years are history now.

    As for this whole argument about helms - I find it rather lame. Lexus reaches over $50K with 4 models - the LS, the LX, the SC and the GX. Under the right scenarios you can add in the RX hybrid too. It reaches over $60K with three of those 4 and over $70K with two of those four if they are fully loaded. With the new LS hybrid and the GT it will reach over $100K. I don't see how anyone can argue they are a one car Helm or even begin to argue they don't belong.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Tagman, I had an opportunity to drive an Elise at my local Audi dealer before they came to the US but turned it down since it was a hassle for the salesman to get out of the showroom. Only sat in it.

    It’s an extreme purist’s car, a real canyon carver and is all about the weight and low CG. It’s around 1950 lbs and was actually less last year I think. It is said to be the best handling car on the face of the earth but this comes at the sacrifice of any semblance of comfort, a real sardine can.

    I remember it being tough to get in and out of and I did it in a manner similar to doing dips on the parallel bars at the gym. You are nearly surrounded by only sheet metal like the roadsters of old and there isn’t much padding on the seats.

    Word is, it’s a Sunday ride that will wear out the hardest of men, an impossible daily driver. I’d like to get around to trying it one of these days. I usually don’t go for black cars but saw one and liked it… reminds me of a carpenter ant.
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    Okay, so now I'm experiencing some cognitive dissonance.

    On the one hand, you are into design. On the other hand, you like a car that reminds you of a carpenter ant.

    I like the looks of the Elise, too, but I squish bugs.

    Someone at work here has a yellow Elise. I wonder if it's the same person who occasionally parks the Noble GT in the garage (there was a 400 running around town here the other day, too).
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Cognitive dissonance… isn’t that from the LPS thread?

    Carpenter ants can wreak havoc and I also squish them at every opportunity even though it breaks my heart. I kind of like their anatomical design and movement.
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