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High End Luxury Cars

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Comments

  • I can certainly agree that there is such a thing called luxury brand; i.e. a brand that is mostly associated with luxury products. However something wearing a luxury brand does not automaticly make it a luxury whatever. e.g. Ferrari sells far more souveniors than cars (in terms both revenue and profit) . . . bearing a Ferrari brand however does not make a mug a "performance mug," a baseball hat a "high performance hat" ;-) A case closer to home would be MB A and B classes. These are not luxury cars even with the MB brand. Please note that I never suggested that RAV4 was a luxury compact SUV . . . merely that X3 was not a luxury compact SUV either, despite the BMW badging. It was simply a BMW entry into the compact SUV market segment. We can certainly both agree that X3 is not HELM :-)
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I'm rather skeptical of the 73% increase claim. I had 6cyl MB diesel before. The gas mileage was good, but not that great. Also a jump from 16mpg to 22 is 37.5% increase, not 50%

    The 19 mpg rating of an E class V8 is absolutely real-life, as is the 33 mpg reported mpg average of the BlueTec so far. That represents a 73% increase, no matter how you slice it. As far as the 37.5% increase, thanks for catching my typo. I had originally calculated based on a 24 mpg average for the BlueTec SUV, but since I posted 22, it is correct that it should have been 37.5%.

    In any case, I doubt many in the HELM realm care about gas savings.

    Absolutely not true. Many in this forum DO care about mpg, as proved by syswei's original post about the fuel economy of diesel, and many, many other previous posts that have referred to fuel economy. Sure, many of us are willing to suck it up and pay the fuel costs when its worth it, but on the other hand, most of us are not going to just fork it over unnecessarily.

    There's been plenty of enthusiasm on this forum regarding diesels (as opposed to hybrids) as a terrific way to increase fuel efficiency and many of us look forward to it, me being one of them. Sure, there are other benefits to diesels, such as increased torque and longevity, but none is more pronounced than fuel efficiency.

    the acceptance of diesel will depend on how well they start and run smoothly on sub-zero mornings with two inches of snow on the hood

    Recently diesels represent the largest sales increase ever, and this is in spite of the slim product choices, and further is in the face of hybrids, whose growth percentage is now overshadowed by diesels. Diesel sales projections are greater than hybrids and they are expected to take at least 10% of the market in a relatively short period of time. I had posted these statistics a couple of months ago on this forum.

    I have confidence in Mercedes Benz diesels. Their success with diesels is unsurpassed, IMO. Further, the diesel alliance between all the German manufacturers will only help to reinforce the positive perception of diesels.

    TagMan
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I'm not that educated about diesel and would like to hear from others here re one of the issues brightness raised. Namely, winter starting of modern diesel engines. Is cold-weather starting sometimes a problem as compared to gas engines? Is the engine supposed to be warmed up before driving off?
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Isn't it though. I think my next car could be a XKR or a SL, in about ahh...4 years or so! I'm over (I think) the CLS for the moment and the new CL will still likely be out of reach for me, maybe. That leaves the SL.

    Maybe its just me, but the SL leaves me a bit cold. I've seen that front end on at least three Benzes for years, and when I see one from the front, it takes me a minute to even figure out which Benz it is. I just don't think the SL is a "head turning" car anymore. Combine that with the fact that the XKR outpowers the SL550, costs $10K less, and weighs 400lbs less, well I think the choice is obvious.
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    The thoughts that you share for the XK have all been reaffirmed by myself.

    I don't know if any of you caught my post a few days back, but I mentioned that I would be going to view an XKR. And WOW! What a machine. This car is phenomenal to say the slightest. And this coming from me, a guy who didn't get to test drive. The car was on a Jaguar tour, so it was their car.

    On the SL, I always thought MB could've smoothened out the lines a bit, but, the car is still the king in this arena. And with the '07 refresh, the car is still at attention.

    But the Jag just offers something different, including the SC, XLR, and Porsche 911 Cab. It's unique British charm somehow rings through with a new and refreshing flare. If the R8 wasn't on my radar, that XKR would look very good in the stable.

    BTW: The CLS' look kinda grew on us in about 6 months and we sold the CLS 55, so I feel ya Merc. First oil change on the CLK? Welcome to the wonderful world of the 180 buck oil change.
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    With the modern diesel engine, it's virtually the same as starting a gas engine.

    For instance, in my common-rail(most diesels are this way now) equipped '05 Dodge Ram 3500 that I use to haul my showcars from show to show, the truck requires two things: You and the ignition key.

    Sure, with the conversion to low-sulfur diesel, some diesel still start with clatter, especially in below freezing weather, however not overbearingly so. But once everything is warmed up, they can be as quite as gas enignes at idle, surprizingly.

    Take for instance MB's new 3.2L V-6 Bluetec TD. The engine is quieter at idle than MB's outgoing, once top of the class, 5.0L 302hp, 24V, quad-cam, high-tech V8. This was the engine that started the whole "over 300hp race", with great success.

    The Bluetec, conversely, is starting a following. MB has ramped up development of the engines from 365k(including European variants) to 550k, just to take up some of the demand. I've sampled it in a Jeep Grand Cherokee, and the thing was simply amazing. A short 10 years ago, you could hear a diesel engine a mile away.

    And then the mileage awards kick in. The 5.7L HEMI-equipped GC gets 15/19 in EPA ratings on a very good day, while the 220hp/376lbs-ft of torque Bluetec gets 20/26. and this is a truck-based SUV, built for crushing boulders, and still gets to 60 in under 8 secs.

    In short, the latest in diesel technology is simply astonishing. You can actually buy a vehicle without the need to worry about what your neighbors may think when you bring home a chugging diesel.

    I pulled up next to a new Jetta TDI and there was no way for me to tell if it was gas or oil-burner, as it was just that quiet and refined.

    I'm(along with Tag) looking hard at the MB GL Bluetec to replace my Commander as my do-all SUV, because the engine is just that good, surrounded by the best full-sizer on the market today.

    Hope this helps..
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Thanks. Didn't realize that you show cars. What do you show? If I go to the Greenwich Concours again maybe I'll see your stuff?
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    "If I go to the Greenwich Concours again maybe I'll see you stuff?"

    Just maybe.

    BTW: For the most part, I'm more into late 50's Detroit and all of the muscle car era.

    But I do have a Model A and T that 100% restored to spec that get a lot of attention.

    But my most prized possessions are probably rare rides like the Weber fuel-injected '57 Chevy(only 181 made), the super rare '62 Elorado Convert, a '63 Split Window Vette, a '69 Yenko Camaro, and of course the big one, the '71 Challenger R/T 426 HEMI. Since DCX has sparked interest back into this car, these cars are taking close to $400k at Barret-Jackson auction.

    As you can see, like myself, the older the better. I go through new cars like drinking water, but the collectable are here to stay.

    I saw where you said that you may hold off until the Q7 gets a bit better to get one.

    Well I'm holding off anyway until the V12 TDI gets onboard for '08, so it looks like the GL and Q7 will be getting cross-shopped in the distant future.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I saw where you said that you may hold off until the Q7 gets a bit better to get one.

    That's if I get one. MDX still a possibility (don't like the fake wood). Or Lexus JX (don't even know if it's for real, much less whether it will suit our needs). Or maybe Q7, possibly diesel if one is out in the right timeframe, but not V12 as I don't need that much power and also don't tow anything...unless you count a hitch-mounted bike carrier.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well LG I think it might just be you. ;)

    The SL is shall we say a familiar sight on the road today. Now comparing the SL550 to the top XKR is only somewhat correct, you and I both know the SL55 is the car to pit against the XKR. Of course on price Jaguar almost always manages to look better and duck the real competition. I wouldn't get to caught up on what front end has been seen on what car before with the XK's snout being in place on cars other than Jaguars. The SL and CL (and recently the CLK) have always had a similar front end, only that dreaded C "Coupe" messed it up by taking it downmarket.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    BTW: The CLS' look kinda grew on us in about 6 months and we sold the CLS 55, so I feel ya Merc. First oil change on the CLK? Welcome to the wonderful world of the 180 buck oil change.

    Well don't get me wrong on the CLS, I still love the design, but I don't feel like I want anything with 4-doors. Nope this first one was on them!!!

    M
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    The good news about diesels gets even better.

    BMW Defines Diesel Strategy For North America

    TagMan
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    The SL has nothing to apologize for, IMO. I love the SL, and I came oh so close to buying one a few months ago, when the 550 came out.

    The Jaguar XKR is a beautiful car as well, and I don't see how anyone should ever think that they made a mistake by purchasing one instead of the SL, or visa versa.

    Two stunning cars anyone should be proud and fortunate to own.

    TagMan
  • Why compare to the V8 E class? Someone buying the V8 E over the V6 E obviously has a pretty low priority for gas mileage.

    Rapid market share growth from near-zero is easy to achieve . . . the tough part is from 10% to 40%. Like I said, the acceptence of diesel in HELM is highly dependent on how well and smoothly the engine will run in cold weather. Very few cars can make it with Californian market alone. It takes both the Californian and Northeastern markets to make a high premium novelty succeed.

    Having had a MB diesel many years ago, I, well, let's just say that I know first-hand the reputation there is a bit over-rated.
  • How long does it take for the new diesel to warm up? i.e. stop clattering? IIRC, one of the characteristics of diesel is taking forever to warm up. The 300TD I had many years ago literally could idle for hours without melting the snow on the hood.

    The 5.0L 24V V8 was one of the noisiest engine in that class (btw, never quite figured out how the marketting turned that SOHC 24V into DOHC 24V overnight . . . I mean it's still 3 valves per cylinder, right?). The joke is that everything from MB is proclaimed to be "high-tech" until it is replaced by something comparable to the competition, like real 32V DOHC V8 in this case, as in the new 5.5L. The literature for the DOHC 3.5L V6 still liberally sprinkled with phrases like "stunning 265hp" when in reality the competition is fielding 300+hp 3.5L. Go figure.
  • Thanks for the link. I did not even realize that BMW rely on California and the Northeastern States for 85% of its sales. I was thinking along the line of 60-70%. Wow, 85%! That makes smooth operation in cold weather all the more important. Anyone know if the diesels are popular among S class and 7 series in Europe? I know the E220d and E280d are popular, but that's just Germany's equivalents of Camry and ES in our market. At the family car level, people are probably more willing to put up with some hassle and discomfiture for the sake of mileage . . . but what about the luxury segment? That's what MB and BMW really care about for the US market.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I agree...oh well the SL and XK are both lightweights compared to this true "high-end" convertible:

    image

    image

    image

    M
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    "But my most prized possessions are probably rare rides like the..."

    Does this mean there are dozens of others sitting in the ho-hum part of your collection?

    ;-)
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    I like it with the Tudor mansions in the background. And on that note I think I'll ask for heavy starch in my shirts this morning.

    ;-)
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Cancel the Bluetec. Make mine a BMW 535d. I'll see everybody at the truck weighing station of your choice where we must do lunch. :)
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