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High End Luxury Cars

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  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The Original SC sold in the 15k-25k range, so a few hundred a month is belittling it's legacy quite a bit.

    Not for long. By its '97 reskin, sales were less than half of that. By the end, it struggled to break 2,000 sales a year for the V6 and V8 combined.

    As far as I know, Lexus is building a bigger brother to the RX. The '09 RX is supposed to grow a few inches, just as the RX330 did over the RX300. It won't get seven seats. The HPX name was later changed to "Lexus future vehicle-X". When a concept gets the "LF" tag, it means its going to happen, supposedly with the JX tag for 2008. It may or may not kill off the GX470.

    Lexus originally panned the idea of a mini-ute until they saw that everybody else was jumping in the market, and have just recently changed their minds about doing one. It probably wont show until 2010 at the earliest.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Of course I meant sales in it's prime, not after it was allowed to wither and die.

    The RX is pretty big as is. If they make it bigger, than make something even bigger over it, it would have to compete with the Merc GL for Large Crossover supremacy.

    It would appear, with the success of the GL, and the moves to smaller lux-utes, Lexus will bracket the RX at $30k with one, and at $55k with one.

    The current GX, which is still very solid in sales, is inappropriate for Lexus' long term, crossover-rich strategy. Trucks like that are fading away.

    I'm surprised a Large Crossover from Lexus isn't here by now! A Land Cruiser-remake at $65k in 2008 seems passe to me at this point.

    The HPX would be a SRX/FX competitor. But Lexus needs something to compete with Escalade and GL. Bigger than the Land Cruiser.

    If Lexus can infuse the IS' style into a SUV, maybe that would work. :blush:

    I guess if I were making a plan for Lexus' SUV Division: 2010, it would be:

    1. Make a Sporty SUV with IS styling for $32k-40k
    2. Have the RX at $40-50k, with 3rd-row seating in a $4-5k package.
    3. Make a SRX/FX-type SUV for $45k-$60k
    4. A GL/Range Rover level SUV for $65k+

    If they use the Land Cruiser platform for an LX, it should be stretched to at least 195".

    DrFill
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    You guys have way too much time on your hands on Saturdays!

    I have actually forgotten where I stand on the Lexus/BMW issue!

    M
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    1. Make a Sporty SUV with IS styling for $32k-40k
    2. Have the RX at $40-50k, with 3rd-row seating in a $4-5k package.
    3. Make a SRX/FX-type SUV for $45k-$60k
    4. A GL/Range Rover level SUV for $65k+


    Yeah the GX and LX seem like yestertech when compared to new trucks like the Q7 and GL. Obviously they're still around just because its a very short trip to pick up already developed platforms and drivetrains. The Escalade though is just a mainstream body-on-frame truck with a bunch of glitz thrown around though, its no better than the GX or LX in that regard. At least they don't have column shifters and segmented, tilt-only steering wheels. That last part is just pathetic.

    I don't see how the LF-X could compete with the SRX and FX, as the RX already competes in that space, along with the ML, X5, etc. The '09 version will most likely be RX350\RX450h, with a price range of $40-55K. The RX really doesn't need a V8, as Lexus has been able to keep the weight down hundreds of pounds below the competition, so its fast enough, especially for the typical RX buyer.

    Having the LF-X be like the IS to the RX's ES doesn't make much sense to me, I just don't think there's a lot of demand for a sporty midsize crossover from Lexus. I would make the LF-X into the Q7, GL competitor.
  • If I have to guess, a low-end Lexus SUV entry would be based on the new RAV4. The V6 engine performance is great for that class (overkill, IMHO, for where RAV4's original market is; I was actually quite surprised that it's marketted as a Toyota not a Lexus, the V6 version anyway). It would also make for quick product development before the market segment is saturated. The problem is then, where would the RX go? It whould have to be bigger, perhaps with 3 rows? Just my guess. In any case, it does seem to me that Toyota/Lexus messed up their compact SUV offerings with the RAV4 on steroids . . . unless Toyota/Lexus is serious about moving the Toyota brand up-market . . . but having a V6 RAV4 compete head-to-head against X3 is a bit too much to ask of the brand . . . some day perhaps, but not there yet. A Lexus branded version running on practically same mechanicals would on the other hand do quite well. (Of course, having a RAV4 with a fabulous engine selling at Toyota price without Lexus markup is a great deal for consumers :-)
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    Further checked out the seat situation, and found the passenger seat does not slide as far back as the driver`s, by about two inches--which is alot--Although the a8 short is ok for me, and there is more than enough legroom for pretty much any driver(not Shacque?), if I were to suggest a car for anybody I would surely point out that drawback ..Thinking about any driver that is tall, the suv with it`s chair sort of seat, would be more comfortable....I guess that is why they are so popular anyway...Tony
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    n any case, it does seem to me that Toyota/Lexus messed up their compact SUV offerings with the RAV4 on steroids . . . unless Toyota/Lexus is serious about moving the Toyota brand up-market . . . but having a V6 RAV4 compete head-to-head against X3 is a bit too much to ask of the brand . . . some day perhaps, but not there yet.

    Er.. the RAV4 V6 really doesn't compete with the X3. A RAV4 Limited V6 AWD starts at $26K, and tops at $30K. The X3 3.0i starts at $38K, and as with any BMW it can go way up from there. Toyota used the 3.5L V6 because they clearly wanted to get out of the CR-V, Forester market.

    While the recently retired 245hp 3.0L V6 from the GS300 would've been perflectly fine in a RAV4 role, and in past years Toyota probably would've gone that route, the "new" power-obsessed Toyota wanted to put the smack down on the competition like the Equinox and Vue V6s, CX-7 turbo, etc., and the big 3.5 does just that.

    Its not as if the lines between Toyota and Lexus haven't been somewhat gray before. The Camry could've gotten the 3.0 as well, but they gave it the 3.5 with just four less horses than the ES350. Since the RAV4 V6 tops at $30K, there's plenty of room in the $33-40K space for a new Lexus mini-ute based on the RAV4. I haven't heard anything about using the IS platform in that role.
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,780
    If I wanted a small SUV I would certainly look at the X3, the Rav V6 and the small Acura. So in that sense I would say that they do compete. What other competition could the X3 have? Remember that Toyota has a big labor cost advantage over BMW so the content of the two is not that different.

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460

  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    If I wanted a small SUV I would certainly look at the X3, the Rav V6 and the small Acura. So in that sense I would say that they do compete.

    For now, mostly what they have in common is their size. The X3 is more of the lux-ute and can be optioned WAY above the RAV4 and even the RDX.

    What other competition could the X3 have?

    I could see why you would ask that. It is because the REAL competition for the X3 isn't even out yet. The small luxury SUV segment is just getting warmed up out of the gate.

    Soon you should expect to see a very cool brand new LR2 from Land Rover by May of '07, and a brand new MLK from Mercedes in about a year or so. Then the X3 will have some nice company in its own playing field.

    image

    image

    :D

    TagMan
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Hey, Pat . . . Just for you . . .

    Try this Mercedes SL600 "Diamond" Edition . . . just your style, baby. ;)

    image

    TagMan
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Thanks for the follow-up Tony.

    I have found that quite a few manufacturers do not give the same amount of respect to the front passenger as the driver. Sometimes the driver gets lumbar support and the passenger doesn't. Frequently, the driver's seat can be adjusted in more ways than the front passenger seat. Therefore it does not surprise me that you reported the seat travel of the front passenger seat is a few inches less than the driver's seat in your A8.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Not even the Brady Bunch can stop Peyton Manning and the Colts. Talk about turnovers making a difference.
  • MSRP is not the only way people buy cars (understatement of the day :-) In fact, hardly anyone pays MSRP nowadays. The lease payment of around $300/mo or less for X3 nowadays makes the vehicle very much in the low-$30k or even sub-$30k range in reality regardless what the MSRP says.

    You might be right that Lexus might just be able to squeeze out another $3-5k by attaching the Lexus marque to the RAV4 . . . does have to wonder though if such a strategy would dilute brand like what Ford did to Mercury. 10-15% price differntiation is just not enough to differentiate brands. I certainly agree that it's far more likely that an entry Lexus based on the RAV4 than based on IS. If nothing else, the RAV platform and upper works are all already there. IS/GS platform is probably also more expensive to manufacturer. That being said, the existence of the V6 RAV4 at $30k does make it somewhat problematic for brand management, unless Toyota/Lexus wants the Toyota brand to move upmarket too, in which case a Lexus version of RAV4 should not be attempted at all.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    You guys have way too much time on your hands on Saturdays!

    I have actually forgotten where I stand on the Lexus/BMW issue!


    But if someone dissed Mercedes and you were buried in an avalanche on a Mt. Everest expedition, you'd manage to post a response in no time.

    :P
  • The difference in option lists between X3 and Rav4 comes down to:

    1. Park distance control
    2. Xenon light
    3. Servotronic steering (which as we know real enthusiasts hate)
    4. Rear entertainment system (which RAV4 has but X3 does not; not a big deal for drivers either, just one of the things that stand out in the option list).

    The two vehicles are about the same size, with RAV having more power and torque, and 350lbs less weight (nearly double the difference between 3 series and 5 series) . . . so which one having better driving dynamics should be quite obvious.

    I do agree that at this point in time, the BMW brand can sell a car a couple grand more than the Toyota brand can even if they are selling the same exact car. The heavy discounting and incentives that BMW is offering though does reflect the market reality that the difference is actually much much smaller than the respective MSRP's are suggesting.

    BTW, at first glance, I thought that Land Rover was a Ford. Ourch! ;-) They gotta change that oval marque or do something about making it looking less like the blue oval.
  • How much is that "paint" option? and does it come with flame throwing anti-theft system? ;-)
  • B04, did you mean to imply that the Rav4 has better driving dynamics than the X3, due to lighter weight, and more horsepower? Just curious
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Soon you should expect to see a very cool brand new LR2 from Land Rover by May of '07, and a brand new MLK from Mercedes in about a year or so. Then the X3 will have some nice company in its own playing field.

    There's also the Volvo XC50, Audi Q3, and probably a Saab 9-6X based on the next generation Saturn Vue and its Opel twin.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The difference in option lists between X3 and Rav4 comes down to:

    The difference between a mainstream car and a luxury car come down to more than xenon lights and a few gadgets. Just look at the cars, not the option sheets. I just don't think both cars will appeal to the same person. The Toyota competes with other $25-30K utes, The CX-7, Vue, Murano, Edge, etc. Its just not in the same class as the BMW. BMW basically invented the X3's class, and just as it took a few years for everybody else to catch up with the ML320 and the RX300, its going to take a few years for everybody eles to catch up with the X3.

    image
    image
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    The difference between a mainstream car and a luxury car come down to more than xenon lights and a few gadgets. Just look at the cars, not the option sheets.

    There's also the Volvo XC50, Audi Q3, and probably a Saab 9-6X based on the next generation Saturn Vue and its Opel twin.

    Thanks for the good additions, lexusguy. As I said, this segment is just warming up and is just now getting out of the gate. Adding those models and others to the BMW X3, Land Rover LR2, and Mercedes MLK will provide some good competitive choices. Ultimately, it should be a hot segment, IMO.

    And, BTW, I agree with you that the RAV4 is not in the same league as the X3.

    TagMan
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