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High End Luxury Cars

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  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    Thou to trade the Lotus? On all things, a lowly ol' Porsche?(lol) :P

    Just poking at cha! The 4S Targa will be once again one of those hard to attain Porsche vehicles.

    The previous gen Targa was the perfect Porsche. And I suspect that this one would be just as good.

    I'm not sure if you remember, but I wrote a couple hundred posts back that I'm considering getting a Turbo Cab when I sell my daughter's S4 Cab next week(finally a buyer).

    But the Targa is still one of the best iterations of the 911 family.

    So it can be either the Porsche. I'm also considering the Aston Martin Vantage next year when they pump up the power to 430hp, much better than the 380 it currently puts out.

    This all comes as I can't get a hold on an R8 until late '08 at the earliest.
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    I think that the LS is still continuing the mission that Lexus set forth for it in '89:

    TO represent a tremendous value over it's competitors. To strive for better quality and remarkable reliability than most of it's competitors. And also offer everything that it's competitors offer at markedly lower price.

    And after 18 years, it's still ringing true. I feel that the LS is still within it's realm, in that it has gain a sort of cult following that would'nt dare stray away.

    However, the same can be said about the European car buyer. You wouldn't dare see one driving anything from the South Pacific.

    I feel that all of these cars that we rant and rave about offers exactly what's expected from their respective buyers.
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,860
    Yes, very well said!!

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    Lexus has accomplished everything it set out to accomplishe 18 years ago. With that, it fortunately/unfortunately is no longer as much a value proposition as it was 18 years ago vis. contemporary competition (the "unfortuantely" part is easy to understand; for the "fortuantely" part, one has to see it from the perspective that other mfrs are forced into offering great deals just to stay competitive).

    18 years ago, LS was a good deal even compared to the domestic flagships or the 5 series / E class . . . remember, it was a time when 5 series and 7 series were powered by 3.5L 6cyl engines (the stop-gap measure V12 only available at a drasticly higher price point, and it was a fire hazard at the beginning), and BMW's V8 answer did not become available until half a decade later.

    Today, the domestics do not even compete in this market segment anymore (afte all the discounting and vendor financing/lease subsidy is taken into account, domestics no longer have a car in this price segment, despite the inflated MSRP on some models that nobody pays). European competitions have seen their MSRP more or less stuck and not keeping pace with inflation . . . and resorting to heavy vendor incentives practically across the lineups. Within such a drasticly changed landscape, IMHO, Lexus can no longer boast "markedly lower price" as one of its winning cards.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    European competitions have seen their MSRP more or less stuck and not keeping pace with inflation . . . and resorting to heavy vendor incentives practically across the lineups. Within such a drasticly changed landscape, IMHO, Lexus can no longer boast "markedly lower price" as one of its winning cards.

    I'm not sure that's true. The 1990 LS400 had 250hp, and started at $35K. The '07 ES350 has 272hp, and starts at $33K. The ES350 is 5" shorter, but wheelbase between the two is nearly identical. The ES gives up 1.5" of legroom in the front, but gains 1.5" in the back. Headroom is nearly identical. Today's LS, especially the 460L, is in an entirely different league from where the car started. If Lexus had kept the car in what would today be considered the mid-size class, they'd have an RL.
  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    1989 735i had a 208hp 6cyl , and cost close to $60k. 735i and 735iL accounted for the vast majority of 7 series sold at the time (the other variant was 750iL, with a stop-gap V12 made from joining two small I6 engines together).

    From MB, we had 560SEL in 1990, which developed 238hp from a 5.5L V8, and had an MSRP of $74k. MB was not much into discounting or lease deals back then.

    That's the landscape in which the original $35k LS430 with 250hp V8 entiered.

    Cars are fundamentally a technology product. Over time, we always get more car for our money. Whether a car is a value or not, it has to be compared to contemporaries, not static benchmarks from the distant past.

    Edit: after looking up what MB had in 1990, I am too quite shocked at how far HELM market place has changed. Lexus was literally the new kid on the block back then, and it;s quite amazing how far it has come along.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Today's LS, especially the 460L, is in an entirely different league from where the car started. If Lexus had kept the car in what would today be considered the mid-size class, they'd have an RL.

    Your post seems to be more accurate, and I will reply to your post.

    Edmunds review of the standard LS460 doesn't give enough reason to suggest that the vehicle is beyond needing it's price advantage.

    It certainly doesn't even approach the "standard" or in other words "benchmark" of the S-Class, and not just due to wheelbase. After putting the vehicle through the paces it comes up deficient, not just in contrast to the S-Class, but in terms of what should be expected from the LS anyway.

    On the LS forum, there is already notable criticism of the LS460.

    Therefore , the LS460 does in fact need its price advantage to compensate for its deficiencies.

    Or better said, it's price is appropriate for what you get.

    The LS460L . . . we'll see if this animal is up to the job or not. As far as the LS460 goes . . . so far, NOT!

    Edit: BTW, the dollar exchange historically went through some major shifts which assisted the Japanese price advantage while putting price pressures on the German vehicles. This was not about inflation. It shows how the Germans have actually had a better handle on their price increases over the years!

    TagMan
  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    On the LS forum, there is already notable criticism of the LS460.

    As in criticism posted by yourself?? and other Europhiles who have not even seen the car in person, much less test-driven the vehicle itself??

    Your insistence on asserting "price advantage" only begs to bring the subject of actual price back again . . . after all, how can you even talk about "price advantage" without verifying the actual prices that acquirers pay? The sub-$400 lease S320 certainly holds a tremendous price advantage over LS, GS and even IS350. And yes, MB indeed needs the price advantage, and BMW needs the full-service coverage to bring people in the door . . . to offset their brands' recent reputation for unreliability. Happy now?

    BTW, the dollar exchange historically went through some major shifts which assisted the Japanese price advantage while putting price pressures on the German vehicles. This was not about inflation.

    That's the impression one would get if only fed by worthless news headlines with writers looking for excuses instead of real reasons. The Euro started in 1999 at $1.10, went all the way down to 81 cents by 2001, and then up to $130 by the end of 20004, now backing down a little. During the same time period, Yen followed a similar pattern, from 110 Yen to the doolar, to 132 Yen to the dollar, then a dive down to 105 Yen to the dollar by the end of 2004, now back up to 118 Yen to the dollar. The patterns are very similar (notice the inverted quoting for the two currencies, that's how they are usually quoted). In any case, LS has been on a steady price increase, regardless how Yen was doing.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    As in criticism posted by yourself?? and other Europephiles who have not even seen the car in person,

    brightness, I have not posted recent criticisms on that LS forum. They are posted by Lexus folks themselves, not "europephiles", as you categorize people.

    Firstly, the Edmunds review of the LS460 contains notable criticisms of the LS460. The review was not written by a "europephile", as you so poorly put it. And YES, they have seen the car, and driven it, and tested it.

    Secondly, the HOST has asked you not to categorize folks like that.

    Thirdly, you accuse me of posting something I did not.

    That's the impression one would get if only fed by worthless news headlines with writers looking for excuses instead of real reasons.

    Worthless news headlines? . . . Of course, the world would be better off to get its news from YOU instead! LMAO!

    So, finally, I will not reply to you again due to these reasons. You burned us before, and that's it. I'm totally done with you! If others want to mess with you, that's up to them. As for me . . . Sorry, Charlie.

    TagMan
  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    Okay, I'm bad at typing, I mentioned that in a post yesterday . . . partly because I only have time for this forum while the computer is busy or that I'm too tired to be doing any thing productive (like after working for 12hrs straight today). So I beg your pardon for my dyslexic typing. I try to correct them whenever I can.

    Since when is "europhile" a cussword? I must have missed the host request that you mentioned. Okay, if that's the case, I will rephrase my original statement as "criticism proferred by people who are quite biased in favor of their own European car brands, who never had any real interest in the new Lexus to begin with." Feel better now?

    Burned you before? Well, if someone makes generalizing statement, it's only fair to question the assertion with the relevant details . . . hard numbers as they say . . . would you rather prefer someone who argues back with no facts citation? or engage you in a childish my assertion is more valid than your assertion game with zero factual support? If someone who obviously has no attention span for details or numbers, and yet claim to have a CFA, it's only fair to wonder aloud if the person even knows that the "A" in CFA does not stand for "accounting." I'm not the one tossing around outright lies, and I suffer nobody's fool.

    Worthless news headlines? . . . Of course, the world would be better off to get its news from YOU instead! LMAO!

    I do not offer news. The historical charts tend to be more valid than snippet headline impressions built up in the heads of people who do not pay consistent attention to the financial markets. Look up the charts yourself. You do not have to believe what I wrote . . . nor should you believe everything columnists say.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    his was not about inflation. It shows how the Germans have actually had a better handle on their price increases over the years!

    It all comes down to good old fashioned capitalism. Lexus can ask more than double what the original LS cost because people will pay it. Not that I'm saying Lexus is ripping anyone off. The '90 LS's EL gauges were pretty spiffy, and its center stack controls were light years ahead of what BMW and Mercedes had in the 7 and S at the time. 2-button memory controls for the seat, steering wheel, and mirrors were about as high tech as it got, though. The optional Nakamichi stereo was quite good for its day, but it can't hold a candle to the 460 ML system. Is the 460 twice as good as the 400? I would say so. I wonder what the build cost difference is between the '90 LS and '07 LS. I'm sure Lexus is paying at least 5X more for the ML stereo comapred to the old one.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    There's an interesting early owner review on CL from a fellow who also owns a 2004 Phaeton and 2005 E55. He says among other things:

    1. The Phaeton is bigger...
    2. The Phaeton has more "road-hugging weight"...
    3. The Phaeton cabin feels significantly wider, with commensurately greater shoulder room...
    4. The Phaeton trunk is larger and more usable (our LS460L has the Tiny Trunk option)...[rear a/c and icebox]
    5. A few of the Phaeton's interior pieces have a higher quality feel to them; the Lexus Link control panel (in the ceiling) and the sun visors feel as though they came from an IS...

    Here are the areas where the LS460L is superior (IMHO) to the Phaeton:

    1. I never thought I'd see a paint finish that matched the quality of the one on the Phaeton....

    2. The accomodations in the Lexus are clearly superior. Though a few of the bits in the Phaeton are better designed or higher in apparent quality, the overall feel inside the Lexus is clearly a cut above the competition.

    3. The design of the Lexus interior is an improvement over the VW. Though it has far more tech goodies than the Phaeton, all these gadgets are incorporated into a very simple, straightforward user interface....The overall feel is clean yet tastefully opulent. It feels more like a well-executed BizJet interior than anything else.

    4. The tech on the Lexus is more advanced -- and it works better -- than that of the Phaeton; though it may not be fair to compare a 2004 model to a 2007, the LS460L has the following advantages:
    a. A HDD/GPS system that works brilliantly....
    b. The Mark Levinson sound system is one of the best systems I've ever heard in a car, and I've heard aftermarket car systems where the stereo work alone cost over $50K....

    5. The build quality on the Lexus is simply astonishing. I love German cars, but this car is going to give BMW and Mercedes engineers nightmares. The shut lines on the doors, hood, and trunk are have the smallest gaps I've ever seen on a car, and they are uniformly perfect from beginning to end....The details on the car...you realize that every detail on the car is designed with the user's tactile experience in mind.

    6. The vehicle dynamics of the LS460L are superior to those of the Phaeton. This was QUITE the shocker; after driving the LS for 20-30 minutes -- then hopping into the Phaeton for the drive home -- I was extremely surprised by how crude the VW felt after driving the Lexus....Though the Phaeton has an amazing "cruise missle" feel, the Lexus feels smoother-riding, more nimble, more solidly constructed, better handling, and far quicker in acceleration than the P-car. I don't know why some testers have declared the car to be slower than Lexus' published figures; the car feels very quick to me. There's also just the right touch of engine noise in the cabin -- a new experience for LS drivers. BTW, I am used to the acceleration of my 2005 Mercedes E55 -- a rocketship by anyone's standard -- so I think I have some valid reference points for "quick".

    7. The transmission on the Lexus is a remarkable achievement....It's shifts are smooth yet quick and efficient, and the gearing advantage of eight ratios is apparent when flooring the throttle when entering the freeway or pulling out onto a busy secondary road with rapidly approaching traffic.

    8. The handling of the car is quite good....So far we keep the car in Sport/Power modes almost exclusively. These settngs are close to ideal, but I would like to be able to go one-click sportier at times.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I have posted my criticisms of the new LS 460 on the recently formed thread, "2007 Lexus LS 460 Full Test" based purely on the findings of Edmunds reviewers and how these findings positively correlate with the findings of the Car and Driver reviewers. I am a great believer in trends not being coincidences.

    Perhaps after listening to the improved (when no improvement was necessary) ML sound system and getting my butt soothed by the circulating cool air of those soft, buttery, perforated seats, my criticism will be transformed into ecstasy after I drive the new LS at next month's Taste of Lexus event.

    One has to believe in miracles, otherwise I wouldn't bother to drive the 250 miles to the event.

    I will be going incognito so they won't recognize my face from all these posts. Heh! Heh!
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    When you consider all the advanced technology and comfort items, I think it is priced right.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    2. The Phaeton has more "road-hugging weight"...

    Thats a very polite way to put it. I would say something more along the lines of "lumbering elephant", although I suppose someone who actually bought a Phaeton must like it.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    "Since when is "europhile" a cussword?"

    Of course it isn't, however, as used on this thread, the word has been used as a polarizer, separating the posters into a "we" vs "they" mentality, resulting in hostile posts.

    The host asked us not to use such words to avoid sweeping generalities.

    In case you missed it, please go back to post #19260. :)
  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    You have every right to post your criticism of LS460, so long as Edmunds tolerates it, whether such criticism is valid or not, whether grounded in facts or not. If both the "whethers" turn out to be "nots", you will just get rebuttals :-)

    On the other hand, citing posts like yours as supporting evidence that criticism are showing up on the LS forum itself to imply that somehow LS lovers are turning against the car. . . well, the argument is less than paper thin :-)

    Have fun at the event.
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    "lumbering elephant".

    I actually will have to agree with you on that one. But some guy on the Luxury Board bought one and swapped out all VW emblems for the Bentley wings.

    This is actually more appropiate as the Phaeton is within a couple hundred pounds of the 5800 pound behemoth.

    But the guy that syswei was referring did have some valid points. The build quality of the LS, never a sour point, seems to be taken up a bit further. And the interior decor of the car I witnessed was simply stunning, altho the word peerless does not come to mind as it won't have Audi designers and engineers up at night.

    The seats seem to have improved somewhat, and thank heavens they've chosen another tree to cut down as the new wood is vastly better.

    Altho I haven't driven one to get a feel of the dynamics, the reviews I've read are basically the same in that it's still the feel of the 430, which is fine for most LS owners.
  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    Perhaps it is, compared to its contemporary competition. I will withold my personal judgement until I get a chance to test drive the car . . . and when I'm willing to pay up whatever the cost is for keeping the car for a few years (a car usually stays with me for 3-9 years, depending on how many cars I'm keeping; I usually get a new car every 3 years).

    Regardless, IMHO, Lexus is charging a lot more for brand premium today than it was doing at the beginning . . . one only needs to look at the comparatives to contemporary 7 and S to see that. The $70k 560SEL in 1990 was a fairly spartan car, long before MB caught the gizmo itch :-) and it was bloody twice as expensive as the original LS while delivering less power.
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,860
    That when the going gets tough some of you German car fans have decided to cut and run. It was a big laugh when you drove some of the fainter hearted Lexus fans away. Perhaps a little lesson in empathy is good for us all.

    What, if you lose you just won't play any more? Come on, you guys are tougher than that. And please stop taking things so personally.

    Brightness has made some excellent points...and most of them were in self defense. If you don't want to fight then don't start one. But if you do start one try to go the full 15 rounds. Take a lesson from HP. I don't think you will see him running.

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

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