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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,256
    Something that has soul and won't depreciate out from under you.

    Yeah, good luck with that. I bought a Lincoln LS back in '00 and got to watch it die over the next several years. The car definitely had "soul," but the company did not.

    YMMV
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,256
    I thought it was the other way around? That you wanted forced induction at altitude.

    Yeah, me too. Something about the laws of physics comes to mind.

    I just love these boards.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    All engines tend to not do well at 10K+ feet. Some engines run at excess capacity and can compensate and some cannot. ie - a GM supercharger simply assumes you have normal density air/runs at full pressure and so it's effect at higher altitude is to essentially offer little if any boost to the engine. Though it will likely make the engine get enough extra air that it will operate fairly normally.

    Most turbos work similarly. The downside of turbos, though, is that most of them are attached to tiny engines that have no torque unless the tubro is engaged, so you have to downshift a gear or two to keep the RMPs up enough to get that boost. This of course is easier with a manual for either type of design, which is why manual transmissions are usually best for high altitude running as well. (snow as well - you can start a manual in 2nd while most automatics need a special snow mode).
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    I did say a classic car. Something from 2000 doesn't exactly qualify. Too many computers and bits to fail as well.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    edited November 2012
    The E30 BMW 3 series comes to (my completely unbiased :blush: ) mind, but is a bit small by modern standards. I just helped my neighbor find a nice, local 318is. He paid $4000 for it and its tight as a drum. Its loaded too with sunroof, leather, on-board computer, cruise control, ABS, and an airbag. ;)

    The E39 5 series is a bargain today too and compares well with the current cars in this segment.
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,630
    Interesting.... The VW 2.0; TSI makes 200hp and 256;bs of torque, and at 10K ft, will make roughly 80% of that, Ford Foucs ST 257hp from a 2L turbo, so again, why wouldn't you want a turbo car at higher altitudes again?

    In regards to turbo v super charger, I was under the impression that a turbo engine was better at high altitudes then say super charged engine.

    ll engines tend to not do well at 10K+ feet. Some engines run at excess capacity and can compensate and some cannot. ie - a GM supercharger simply assumes you have normal density air/runs at full pressure and so it's effect at higher altitude is to essentially offer little if any boost to the engine. Though it will likely make the engine get enough extra air that it will operate fairly normally.

    Most turbos work similarly. The downside of turbos, though, is that most of them are attached to tiny engines that have no torque unless the tubro is engaged, so you have to downshift a gear or two to keep the RMPs up enough to get that boost. This of course is easier with a manual for either type of design, which is why manual transmissions are usually best for high altitude running as well. (snow as well - you can start a manual in 2nd while most automatics need a special snow mode).
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,256
    discharges into a lower pressure at high elevation and speeds up, which pumps up the pressure to the intake manifold accordingly. Only downside is that you still need high octane fuel in CO, unlike NA engines which run fine on 85 or 87 octane, even if they need 91 at MSL.

    Superchargers run at the same speed, regardless of elevation.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,867
    A reporter is looking for a recent car buyer whose car's sunroof/moonroof feature was a big factor in their purchase decision. Please send your daytime contact info to smar@edmunds.com no later than Monday, November 5, 2012 at 5 p.m. Pacific.

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  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,615
    A reporter is looking for a recent car buyer whose car's sunroof/moonroof feature was a big factor in their purchase decision.

    Are they kidding, it was a factor 30 years ago when I bought a Prelude but everything I've had since came with it whether you wanted it or not (ragtops excepted).

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    edited November 2012
    Porsche went back to making the sunroof an option for the new 911. They offset it by making the navigation system standard, so it didn't look like they were being too cheap. They did it in response to requests from serious track type buyers. It adds a not insignificant amount of weight (75+/- lbs) to the very top of the car, slightly raising the center of gravity as well.

    BMW makes the sunroof a no cost option on the M3 for the same reason. Some prefer the carbon fiber roof, stiffer structure and lower weight.

    I must confess that I considered the large panorama sunroof to be a positive feature in our X5d, compared to the dinky one in the MDX. But it wasn't a major decision factor and would be even less so in a ELLPS.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,076
    edited November 2012
    I think Infiniti and Acura need to be perceived as "a" (if not "the") brand to talk about (there are other makes as well that need some help in the promotion dept.)

    I subscribe to "too many" auto magazines (my wife says it's too many): Automobile, Car & Driver, Motor Trend, Road & Track and Esquire (?).

    Month-in, month-out these magazines have stories, ads, "tests" & news items about Audi and BMW (to name two.) Now I know other cars buy ad space and are written about, too; but, somehow Audi and BMW always seem to be doing something that gets them written about. It is the combination of "reminder" advertising coupled with opinion pieces, features, featurettes and actual tests (and cover stories) including long-term tests and comparisons that keeps Audi and BMW in the mind's eye even if it is not "officially" tested in this month's issue.

    Audi, BMW and others (Porsche comes to mind) are often featured in words and pictures that are "lifestyle" pieces, just to make sure you're never more than a page turn away from something that shines a light on the brand.

    Of course if you are an Audi or BMW owner, you are aware of the corporate sponsored "for owners only" magazines: the slick, glossy "lifestyle" magazines that often out-do Travel & Liesure, Field & Stream and Architectural Digest, among others, for content and style. Whenever I get my Audi magazine it never ceases to amaze me the apparent expense Audi must take on to produce such a piece. Often the articles aren't even about the cars, but about some halo lifestyle.

    The magazines are meant to let you know that having a BMW or and Audi makes you a member of a very exclusive and desirable club.

    The Acura magazine is OK, but it still looks like it is a thinly disguised advert for Acura -- I can't remember any such "corporate organ" from Infiniti.

    Yes, the cars should be the stars, but marketing to make you want to be a "member" of the [fill-in-th-blank] club or to make you want to remain a member of the club is certainly important, too.

    I haven't had an Audi for 14 months, yet when I got my latest Audi magazine it was worth looking at and reading from cover-to-cover. I still felt like a member in good standing when I got it. The feeling wasn't even close when I got my first Acura magazine (14 months after the purchase of a '12 TL.)

    My wife got a Bimmer magazine and she, too, took time out to page through the entire thing -- hello Infiniti, is this thing on?

    We have Audi and BMW shirts, sweaters, wind-breaker, car-key fobs, wrist watches and stick pins collected at the auto maker's boutiques in North America and all over Europe. I even have "Audi Experience" note pads that were a gift from Audi as well as a set of 6 wine glasses with the four interlocking rings etched into them (and a complete set of brass Audi coasters to set the wine glasses on to not stain the coffee tables.) Even American Express' platinum card magazine is something most auto brands should hone in on as examples of keeping the proselytizing on-going.

    Getting a customer to buy-into the brand (you may call it hype or any thing else that means promotion) is important to keeping them in the fold. Despite my "logical" and "rational" reasons for not re-upping for Audi #30 last year, I still feel a kinship to the brand.

    The auto makers on this list could take a page out of Audi, BMW, Porsche's and (probably) Mercedes play books.

    That (the above) is "What Is Going on with Infiniti (?)".

    Drive it like you live or drive it like "they" make you think you are living.

    :surprise:
  • victor23victor23 Posts: 201
    Are they looking to a buyer for whom it was a big negative factor? Not because of weight, "serious track", etc, but because I dislike this option itself, and rate it (for my uses) between useless and irritating.
  • victor23victor23 Posts: 201
    Even the lowly Volkswagen sends you a "lifestyle" magazine (online, and about once a year, a very nice one in print).
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,867
    All the info I have is contained right there in the request. :) Somehow, I doubt that's what they're looking for as they say "whose car's sunroof/moonroof..," implying that the car purchased by the consumer would have one.

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  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,991
    If I had leased 30 Acuras or Infinitis they probably would have given me number 31 for free and not a bunch of baubles! ;)

    Audi made a ton of money offf you over the years so they should spend a little to keep that cash flowing. I think the Japanese just have a different business model and it's not because they can't do things the Euro way or they're not smart enough to, they just have they're own way of doing business.
  • Mark if makes you feel better, you can start the petition over on the Infiniti Boards- lets see who will be petitioner number one (rhetorical). :)
  • sweendogysweendogy Posts: 1,138
    So Infiniti needs to sent a mag to compete - that's complete HS.

    How cares about a mag or "free maintence" - make a good car at a good a good price and people will comeback.

    Billy once again adding value, As you would say "great post"
  • I agree with your post. It does take more than bangles and bobbles and cockles and mussels (alive alive oh.)

    The cars, as I said, have to be the stars, that is the product must be be better than good (as in good is the enemy of great.) But the question I was responding to seemed to me to beg a marketing response.

    Good or even great products can get lost without sufficient and great marketing. Now, I am NOT suggesting that Acura and Infinitis at this juncture have GREAT cars -- they do, however, have good to very good products.

    The original poster seemed to ask why we don't hear much from Infiniti (as I recall it was Infiniti.)

    A great magazine, for instance, doesn't make a great car -- I only suggest that marketing practices that will support a great product are, today, needed.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    edited November 2012
    ..setting aside glossy magazines, logo coffee mugs and golf hats, I'd put these two items at the absolute pinnacle of marketing:

    (1) BMW Performance Center Delivery: Order your BMW from scratch and whether its an X5 made down the road in SC or M3 made in Germany, you have the option of picking it up at the Performance Delivery Center in Spartanburg. At NO additional charge. That includes a free night and dinner at the Marriott, 3 hours of track and off road time with BMW's professional racing/driving instructors, a tour of the 4.5 million s.f. factory and as much time as you want browsing the BMW museum and reminiscing about what you were doing when the pristine 2002 tii on display was their hot little car. I don't know what this costs BMW to put on - I went through at least $500 in tire rubber and brake pads trying to keep an X5d ahead of some young guy and his wife chasing me in an M3.

    (2) Porsche Driving Events: The BMW sister Porsche dealership, not to be outdone, invited me and my wife to a Sunday driving event 5 weeks ago. The instructor to student ratio was about 1 to 3 and for a total of 12 of us, they had no fewer than 4 Panameras, 4 Carrera S's and 2 Boxster S's for us to throw around the track. I KNOW I went through at least $1,000 of rubber at this one.

    I think Audi does similar events.

    Frankly, Acura and Infiniti (not to mention Lexus and a few others) probably shouldn't even try to replicate this type of marketing. You really need the goods to show off, if you do. Compared to the X5, our MDX would either burn right through the flimsy brakes or flip on its roof on the track, or break in half trying to go through 24" of water and up and down boulders in the off road course.

    Whether or not I ever buy another Porsche, I'll be doing some word of mouth marketing on behalf of the company for a few years as a result of that one Sunday morning.
  • Proof is in the pudding.
    That's why I will probably try the Germans on my next go around but for now I will enjoy my TL- only 20K going on 4 four years. My Audi Sales Rep is pounding me day in day out to trade up for the A6 Premium/Sport. I think I will pass on that. Can someone say 550XI, M-SPORT, COLD, Alpine White with Cinnamon Leather and Dark Wood Inlays, 20% rear tint and 35% front?
    As Mark would quote- What a World , What a World, What a World.
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,630
    Excellent post, however, you have missed one other aspect of BMW ownership that is the BMW Club of America. They hold event year round whether it is on the track or a park. It is nice to see a company that really treats the people who buy their products as a family. The BMW motorcycle side of the company does the same thing, but they take things one step further, they have rally's (weekend events) and October is the big month. MB was big into event for their customers but have basically stop this, I'm not too sure if Audi does.
  • sweendogysweendogy Posts: 1,138
    I will say that the BMW club idea is great to some - infact it maybe a driver of sales, but who really knows the value of this- I guess it does get owners closer in some way. The majority of BMW, Audi, Infiniti, mb, Acura owners do not participate in such clubs- most are buying (leasing) a car that fits needs/budgets. The majority of the people who would participate are the select few enthusiasts that not only enjoy the brand but enjoys driving. Which is a good thing- I would guess at one event you would see a lot of M series owners and 2002s and 318s -which is pretty cool - how many 399 a month leased 328 autos will be in the crowd is anyone's guess, my guess is not many. Rock the vote people.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,794
    ...one other aspect of BMW ownership that is the BMW Club of America...It is nice to see a company that really treats the people who buy their products as a family.

    Except that BMWCCA is an organization independent of BMW itself. It was founded in 1969 as a support network for BMW owners - I guess back then the dealer experience wasn't what it is today. They have a close working relationship with BMW but no formal connection.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    The majority of BMW, Audi, Infiniti, mb, Acura owners do not participate in such clubs- most are buying (leasing) a car that fits needs/budgets.

    This is true, but I still think that a lot of those 399 monthly lease customers are influenced either consciously or subconsciously by what the enthusiasts do or say. That's been the basis for endorsement advertising and brand imaging for a long time, and at least with respect to something like the BMW CCA, they are getting real people / customers involved in enhancing the brand image. Buick hires Shaq to try to enhance its image, BMW lets you loose on a real track. And you tell a few friends and they tell a few friends and....
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Billy, I think you should enjoy your TL for a few more years. I'm at 8+ years and 63k on mine and it's still reasonably fun to drive. Made even more fun by beginning to teach my 17 year old daughter how to drive a stick. In the meantime, we can all pound BMW to put the 5 series on a much needed diet. No reason that a 550xi should weigh 4,500+ lbs - 130 lbs MORE than a 2013 Porsche Cayenne SUV. :cry:

    Just think what that baby would drive like at a third ton less heft. :)
  • sweendogysweendogy Posts: 1,138
    Hahaha

    - I just opened the Infiniti club of New England - who wants to join? Don't even need a car or driver license. Benefits include discounts at subway restaurants, courtyard by marriot and western union. $50 a year includes a yearly email with my best edmunds rants. If you act now I will throw in a set of dice valve stem caps.
  • sweendogysweendogy Posts: 1,138
    " but I still think that a lot of those 399 monthly lease customers are influenced either consciously or subconsciously by what the enthusiasts do or say"

    I will respectfully disagree - I think most of these people are seeing 399 and say 'I can get a BMW for the monthly price of a financed Camry'.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    edited November 2012
    I will respectfully disagree - I think most of these people are seeing 399 and say 'I can get a BMW for the monthly price of a financed Camry'.

    Ha - you just subconsciously agreed. Why would a non-enthusiast pick a $399 BMW lease over a $399 Camry purchase?? Because, I contend, that they have been at least partly influenced by image marketing and their perception that enthusiasts drive BMW's not Camrys. Nevermind that they themselves wouldn't know what to do with a clutch pedal if it came out of the floorboard and bit them.

    You see this all the time with sportswear and professional endorsements. I always wonder what Kevin Plank thinks when he drives down the road and sees a 40 lb overweight woman jogging at 15 minute a mile pace wearing his Under Armour clothing from head to toe. I'm not sure what "house" she is protecting with all of that expensive lightweight technology, but if it makes her feel better about herself, good for her.
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,630
    This is correct, however, BMW does support the events, track days (bringing M cars to the event), clinic's and such.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,794
    You see this all the time with sportswear and professional endorsements. I always wonder what Kevin Plank thinks when he drives down the road and sees a 40 lb overweight woman jogging at 15 minute a mile pace wearing his Under Armour clothing from head to toe.

    It's a combination of "I'm glad she's inspired by Protect this House" and "Let's see, retail price $29, COGS sold $2, wholesale price $6, x 28 million units - DAM@ I'm rich".
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