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High End Luxury Cars

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Comments

  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    For some reason I like this car. It has just right amount of outrageousness to it. I think if Maybach had come up with something this daring (but prettier) they would be selling a lot more cars today. Comments? Lexusguy, Tagman and Designman I'll be awaiting your critiques in particular.

    Initially, I like the car for the "wow" factor. It captures the eye, and keeps you staring. But then there are those all-important details.

    While interesting, and futuristic, the interior looks like it might be cramped based upon the pics. That huge center console looks like it might stretch all the way from front to rear and looks too ominous and yet pointless somehow.

    Obviously there is some sort of iDrive or COMAND setup that looks very cool, but one can only hope it is user-friendly.

    I like the rear lights and overall balance, and I detect a just a small amount of a Bangled rear trunk lid actually, all nicely done. The lower rear bumper and exhaust setup is terrific, IMO.

    While lexusguy is right about rear visibility, I think the style works here, and is rare for a sedan to have that C-pillar and rear window combination, usually reserved for sports cars.

    I love the vent behind the rear wheels . . . nice touch.

    The front headlights don't just suggest, but actually achieve the "cat's eyes" appearance, IMO.

    The front is decent, except for the side angle, where I can't help but notice the snowplow silhouette.

    We often see artist's sketches that show dramatic sweeping lines, and then the real car looks much more tamed and conservative. In this case, it would seem that they actually built this car to resemble an original sketch. Very swoopy.

    It's starting to sound like powerful diesels are going to be the wave of the future. I have little objection to that.

    Thanks, merc.

    TagMan
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    An interesting bit of news on Jalopnik today.

    "We swung back by the Audi booth wearing our investigative earmuffs and wrassled up a product planner from the Artists Formerly Known as DKW, Horch, Wanderer, and by the name the Auto Union is still known, Audi. The question? Just what is the gearbox in the new R8? The answer? It's a modified version of the Gallardo's eGear DSG transmission, the news of which put a pucker on Paukert's face the likes of which we haven't seen since Wert switched lemon juice for Spinelli's morning pampelmousse beverage. However, according to Audi, the evolved eGear will be smoother, which led us to ask, "Will it be more precise?"
    "Yes, it will be more precise."

    link
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Thanks, lexusguy.

    Here's the link you intended to post.

    link title

    There will be some serious heavy-duty testing required of this car to determine just how good (or bad) it really is.

    I'm one of those that is expecting great things. It just seems as though so much thought has gone into this car. I doubt that there is a major crack in the armor . . . maybe just more typical idiosyncrasies found with all cars.

    What do you think?

    TagMan
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I'm one of those that is expecting great things. It just seems as though so much thought has gone into this car. I doubt that there is a major crack in the armor . . . maybe just more typical idiosyncrasies found with all cars.

    It definitely is possible to turn a very bad SMG ('02 Maserati Coupe Cambiocorsa) into a rather good one ('06 Maserati GranSport Coupe). I'm sure Audi most likely has things under control. This vehicle is much too important for them to blow it with the gearbox.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    It definitely is possible to turn a very bad SMG ('02 Maserati Coupe Cambiocorsa) into a rather good one ('06 Maserati GranSport Coupe).

    Your knowledge of this is noteworthy, IMO.

    I'm sure Audi most likely has things under control. This vehicle is much too important for them to blow it with the gearbox.

    Absolutely.

    TagMan
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Given the choice, though, I have to admit that I'd be one of those that would be very content in the driver's seat of that new R8.

    Well Tagman I am a very fast learner and I think I can learn how to be content in the driver's seat of a new R8 ;)

    But seriously the RS4 and RS6 has one weakness and that is weight. Fortunately that weakness is compensated by their potent engines but weight will certainly not be an issue with an R8.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    I continue to wonder why VW doesn't offer the V6 Passat with a stick. Would you consider one of those if they did? The Passat with its sport package is way sportier than any Accord.

    Merc1,

    without question the V6 Passat is more sportier than a V6 Accord.

    But the pricing of a Passat 3.6L 4Motion is far above a V6 Accord. In fact the V6 Passat is priced a bit too cloase to an Audi A4 3.2(based on Canadian pricing) and in that case I would definitely pick the A4 with Quattro versus a Passat with Haldex. Also the interior and exterior fit and finsih of an A4 is superior to a Passat

    Last but not least the V6 Accord offers manual as an option. I myself find it surprising that a V6 Passat is not offered with manual (with or without a sport package).
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Here are the first shots of an authentic prototype of the future generation BMW 7 series.

    These 7 series pictures look a lot like the 2009 5 series pictures I had previously posted here. Both 7 and 5 series pictures seem to share the same styling cues like the current e90 3 series.

    I guess the only words that come to my mind when looking at these future BMW pictures are:

    Bangle R.I.P.
    Styling meant not to offend
    Better safe than sorry
    Being bold will only expose you to a scold


    Apparently BMWs may end up being the most conservatively styled autos of the future.

    image
  • What I have read on Audi-specific enthusiast sites (and there are many) is that dealers will have to comply with very stringent requirements in order to receive the R8. This includes a special section of the showroom specifically devoted and delineated for the R8. Also, dealers will have to invest heavily in tooling and service facilities for the vehicle including special dedicated quality programs and such.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    This Peugeot 908RC is nothing more than an automotive version of a swanky Parisienne model walking along a runway during a Haute Couture fashion show clad in a transparent lace outfit with ostrich feathers.

    In other words the car looks very sexy and provocative but not many would want to own it for the long-term.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    What I have read on Audi-specific enthusiast sites (and there are many) is that dealers will have to comply with very stringent requirements in order to receive the R8. This includes a special section of the showroom specifically devoted and delineated for the R8. Also, dealers will have to invest heavily in tooling and service facilities for the vehicle including special dedicated quality programs and such.

    Interesting.

    I tend to favor the requirements that result in greater service capabilities. The showroom stuff, however, is to raise the image bar. Important to corporate, perhaps, but less so to me. It's the service that matters most, IMO.

    It's also comforting to learn that Audi will take the necessary steps to assure that its service can live up to the car.

    TagMan
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Apparently BMWs may end up being the most conservatively styled autos of the future.

    You're not looking for that swanky model are ya' ;)

    Seriously, though, don't you and other Bimmer enthusiasts always say it's the drive that matters most? Don't we all know that the interior has already been very conservative?

    This car isn't all that bad, IMO. Maybe less dramatic than you want? But, that seems to contradict the emphasis on driving . . . the wolf in sheep's clothes kind of thing.

    BTW, take a very close zoom in on that rear trunk and you will see that it is still Bangled a little bit, so Chris is not dead, just taking a coffee break perhaps.

    I admit it could use a little more flair, but it's certainly an attractive enough car that will likely perform so well that few will complain about it.

    Just curious . . . do you think it looks better or worse than an LS460? . . . aside from the fact that the 7's performance should be quite a bit superior.

    TagMan
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Peugeot 908 RC

    For some reason I like this car. It has just right amount of outrageousness to it. I think if Maybach had come up with something this daring (but prettier) they would be selling a lot more cars today.

    I like it too, particularly the way it crouches, scowls and conducts the wind. It wants to be minimal and appears this way at a distance but gets busy with some of the details which are more visible in some of the close-ups seen around the web, particularly the front end which has a Dodge and 350Z thing going. I’d like to see a simpler mug similar to the sketches presented in the link below which have cleanliness and sublimity not transposed into the actual model. Overall I think it’s a really good effort and yes I think Maybach would benefit with such an approach. By the way, those Z shards of light seem to be catching on.

    http://www.carbodydesign.com/archive/2006/08/16-peugeot-908-rc-design-images/

    Audi R8

    Yep, this car pushes the right buttons. My only problem with the exterior is the overcooked louvers that subvert an otherwise spectacular design. They work nicely up front, especially how they downplay and integrate with the fish mouth, but rubber stamping them for the rear is a bit much. Regardless, there is a lot of harmony and the car moves while parked. It is sculpted, dug in and bad [non-permissible content removed]. The side blades which are available in three finishes are also perfect counterpoint.

    Not as crazy about the retro interior but when I add it all up the R8 is still a bold piece, the runway model with a ‘tude, even if it is somewhat overembellished. If I didn’t know any better I’d say this is a concept that will never make it to production. In an age when automakers are desperate to be different and are willing to wear bad haircuts in lame attempts to do so, the R8 pulls it off. I just hope all of those louvers don’t wear me out. The good designs have to endure, grow on you, not wither on the vine—first impressions and visual fanfare are fleeting, not that we haven't seen its basic design before. I always found the slats on the Testarossa to be corny. But I have no doubt the R8 will be an achiever in spite of a slat-happy countenance. We’ll see how it settles into the future.

    ___

    Both the Peugeot and R8 have one thing in common. They are both game-face mean. IMO mean is always a good thing. I don’t like cars that smile and beckon you to have a nice day. Of course with people it’s a different story.

    Have a nice day now.

    ;-)
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Well, it seems that the smaller A & B Class cars that many were expecting from MB will NOT come to our shores afterall . . . for fear of diluting the brand, according to MB.

    Strangely enough their release in Europe has not diluted the brand, so why should that happen here?

    Mercedes won't sell small cars in U.S.

    TagMan
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Strangely enough their release in Europe has not diluted the brand, so why should that happen here?

    Well, we don't get the Audi A2 here, either, and I don't think that 3 series hatch ever made it to our shores. If it did, it didn't stick around for long. If you're a "true" luxury brand, selling below $30K in the US market is a very iffy proposition. The C class hatch did not do well here.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    If you're a "true" luxury brand, selling below $30K in the US market is a very iffy proposition. The C class hatch did not do well here.

    Maybe, but I'm not so sure of that. The C-Class hatch looked like an abomination . . . could be that's why it didn't sell. And when you stop and think about it . . . the rest of the C-Class is MB's largest seller. Go figure.

    I tend to think that, if done well, MB could carve out a successful small car niche for themselves.

    I'll bet a good chunk of green that BMW will be bringing in smaller "Series" vehicles in the near future, and that they will sell very well.

    TagMan
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    The C-Class hatch looked like an abomination . . . could be that's why it didn't sell. And when you stop and think about it . . . the rest of the C-Class is MB's largest seller. Go figure.

    Yeah that hatch thing looked pretty bad. On the other hand the C-sedans are mini Ss in appearance. I think that little brother image goes a long way. BMW can do anything small because sport goes with small... and they made their mark in the US with small in addition to its strong presence in the current small luxury class.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The other problem holding M-B back is the dollar vs. euro. Below $30K there is hordes of competition, a lot of it from Japan with the advantage of a favorable dollar vs. yen. A Mazda 3 5-door with leather, nav, and power everything is around $20K. The M-B will cost more, and come with a lot less. Is it really a "luxury" car if there are no luxuries in it?
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    The other problem holding M-B back is the dollar vs. euro. Below $30K there is hordes of competition, a lot of it from Japan with the advantage of a favorable dollar vs. yen. A Mazda 3 5-door with leather, nav, and power everything is around $20K. The M-B will cost more, and come with a lot less. Is it really a "luxury" car if there are no luxuries in it?

    Now, this is very interesting. When it comes to the HELMs, we know that the Japanese (Lexus LS) cost less and offer a lot of value, yet we are convinced (at least I know I am) that the European cars have additional attributes that are important to us and to many consumers.

    The argument that Mercedes can't be competitive is disproven, IMO, in every class. Additionally, I see a willingness on the part of the consumer, to pay a slight premium for a Mercedes. In my humble opinion it is justified.

    So, if Mercedes' good style, design, and engineering are attributes, then it would make sense to make darn sure that a B-Class vehicle also had that special Mercedes style, driving dynamics, and engineering. But, if they make it look like an R-Class, or the C-Class hatchback, it's not going to work, IMO.

    Historically, many of Mercedes vehicles look so terrific, that I am convinced that the style could be spectacular, and that even if the prices were a notch above the Japanese vehicles, Mercedes could sell enough to satisfy the requirements to produce and import them at a profit.

    TagMan
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