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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 791
    Does anyone know when the recently announced 2013 Acura TL 'Special Edition' will actually be available? The Press Release introducing the car was 6/07/13, which was one week ago.

    The Special Edition adds 10-spoke 18" alloys, Keyless Access w/ Push-Button Start and rear spoiler. It's only available in Black, Pearl White, Graphite or Silver and Ebony (Black) leather with contrasting stitching is the only interior color available.

    It is priced $1500 higher than the TL 'Base' which isn't a bad deal. But even more interesting is that Acura is offering the same exact lease deal as the Base TL, down to the penny. Both models were $1499 due at signing, $319/month for 36 months and 10,000 miles per year allowed. I'd love to see and drive the Special Edition....but wonder when it will start showing up at dealers?
  • sweendogysweendogy Posts: 1,143
    I'm sure it doesn't drive that much dif then the normal edition so maybe drive the normal one. Interesting they are releasing a 2013 special at the end of June-
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,633
    Hey Fed, the German wont import the smaller Diesels here, because of the American mentally of more is better. So they will import the top diesel engine.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,992
    Euros pay a lot less in tax if they stay under certain engine displacement. No such tax breaks in the U.S.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,500
    I wouldn't call those breaks. If anything, these are penalties for personal vehicles with engines 2.0 l or more. It's not on just the taxes but also insurance rates that are based on the engine displacement. Both 2 liter is a magic number.

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,992
    edited June 2013
    Whatever. Point is the Euros pay less if they keep their engine size small. No such "incentive" here. That and the price of fuel is also additional incentive to go with small displacement and accompanying higher MPG.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,500
    That's right. Bottom line, Europeans use small engines not because they like the, but because their government told them to.

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,633
    Dino, your right the 2 L is the magic number and MB has a 2.1L diesel that is one of their big work horses, which is being imported to the US.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,992
    Exactly, and given the same scenario that we have in U.S. the Euros would also be driving bigger cars with bigger engines. Some would have you believe it is just one big character fault of Americans. It's not a matter of natural enlightenment.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    edited June 2013
    I dont think anyone claims it's a character fault of Americans or a matter of European enlightenment. The presence of highly regarded tuner companies overseas speaks to the same desire for more speed/performance.

    However, if you go back a few decades before the displacement limits/taxes were imposed overseas, you'll still find that American cars were generally larger and higher in displacement/horsepower than European cars.

    I think it has more to do with the nature and history of Europe and their lifestyle. City congestion (homes are small compared to ours too), tiny narrow streets, limited parking, etc. Their cities are much older than ours and not originally designed to accommodate cars (cobblestone, roundabouts, etc.). They dont have as many (or as large) freeways as we do nor do they travel on highways as far or frequently as we do either. And they have crazy high gas prices...
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,992
    That's why I said given the same scenario as we have in the U.S. most Euros would probably want the same things we do. Long distance travel, wide roads, long commutes, cheap gas all add up to big incentives for the big engined, big road machines we grew up with. You're making the same argument I am but in reverse.

    So many post "Americans just have to have big HP or big cars" and the underlying insinuation that it IS some kind of character flaw. We are all human beings and pretty much reacting to the situation we are in and given the same circumstances most people from anywhere in the world would behave similarly IMO.

    But I guess there are the "enlightened" few that would drive a Prius if gas was less than $1 gal. and I don't think any single country would have a monopoly on them. LOL. Of course, if gas had never rose above a $1 a gal would there even be a Prius???
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    edited June 2013
    Semantics, really, and I do see your point, but Im not sure I completely agree with you. There are, after all, many Americans who choose to drive smaller cars because they are more fun, handle better, or whatever other reasons.

    Maybe I'm contradicting myself, but all things being equal, I think many people would still choose to own a small car. Many Europeans and Americans alike do this as a matter of personal preference not because they are forced or encouraged by government restrictions or taxes.

    I guess I am a good example of this. I just went down the list of cars I've owned over my entire driving lifetime (15 cars over 30 years), and only two of them had/has an engine larger than 2.5L. Looking at my list even closer, half of them were 2.0L or smaller. I'm sure many many European drivers share my love for small nimble cars.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,992
    No, i think we agree in general and that's pretty much what I'm talking about.....in general and we are talking somewhat historically here. The scenario regarding gas prices in this country has changed greatly during the past 5 years so going forward a lot of smaller choices are going to made. There are always exceptions to any rule and different degrees of difference. But, again and in general, I think Americas love affair with big HP and big cars stemmed from the vast size and open spaces that were available when the auto came into being in this country. The scenario you describe(narrow roads, congestion, short travel distances and eventually high fuel prices) for Europe was like that for years and years before the auto made it debut.

    I think I've only owned one car with over 300 hp but I have owned several V8s and still have a V8 pickup that gets used sparingly while my I4 gets the bulk of the miles. I think my 68 Mustang V8 was rated at less than 200hp.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    edited June 2013
    So this begs the question, before the automobile did Europeans ride smaller horses? ;)

    Out of all my cars, only 2 had over 200 hp. None reached 300 hp.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,500
    edited June 2013
    I agree with your previous statement. Many people often insinuate the Europeans drive those small cars with small engines because they are such caring creatures and Americans love their obscenely huge cars with insanely large engines because they are such fill the blank. I do believe there is large amount of excess and waste in so-called American way of life. However, I also believe everybody else in the world would have done the same if given a chance.

    On fuel price subject, I think it is fair to expect significant changes in domestic market. While crude price went up the same for everybody, gas prices went up more here than anywhere else, in relative terms. This is because in other countries taxes are much higher percentage of the price (up to 80%) and most of which is flat portion. In other words, insane taxation of fuel in Europe causing high prices at the first place, cushioned the gas price runup when crude over quadrupled from in 2000s. American consumer on the other hand saw every move in crude translated to almost equally proportional move in gas price. Suddenly, those who owned Explorers and Blazers, as their family and commuting cars could not bear the increased cost. So I think we will see significant convergence of the markets. Europeans are liking those taller crossovers almost as much as Americans (many just can't afford them) and Americans will have to learn to like fewer cubic inches, cylinders and even less space in certain conditions.

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,228
    I know quite a few Europeans who either own American muscle cars (at no small expense to buy, import and operate in Europe), or prefer larger Jags and BMWs as their preferred daily drivers.

    Not so certain they like the fact that they have to drive diesels or (relatively) underpowered cars. But, their gov'ts dictate that they do so, either with taxes and tarrifs or by supporting much higher fuel prices.

    That said, the U.K. is looking at price fixing by at least Shell and B.P....

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/bp-and-shell-pricefixing-investiga- tion-oil-executives-may-face-jail-warns-david-cameron-8617892.html

    U.S. DOJ is doing the same....

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/05/17/oil-price-probe/2215241/-
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,876
    There's not just a financial incentive for owning a small car in Europe. If you've ever driven in a fairly large European city, you know that parking can be an absolute nightmare. Finding a parking place for even a midsize sedan can be a challenge, but you can often find on-street parallel parking that you can squeeze a tiny car into. I had a Nissan Micra when I was in the London area a few years ago, which was awful on motorways (drive to Newcastle = not fun), not great on "a"' roads, but great for tight parking spots and tiny "b" roads.

    Same sometimes when living out in the sticks. My ex in-laws lived way out, and it was a 10-mile jaunt on a mostly dirt road with giant hedgerows on either side, and the road itself was wide enough for about 1.5 vehicles. If you met an oncoming vehicle, you had to pull off til the passenger side of the vehicle was pretty firmly against the hedgerow. So, my ex in-laws, flush with money, owned a tiny vehicle for those purposes.

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  • xrunner2xrunner2 Posts: 3,062
    edited June 2013
    I'm not certain how well diesels will play in the ELLPS category, specifically the "Performance" portion, but the lowly VW definitely had the NVH within range of near-luxury specs.

    Can understand their use in Europe, but wonder why some might want a diesel in an ELLPS in the U.S. Unless travel and commutes pass truck stops, then not easy to find diesel.

    I have a JD tractor with a diesel engine and there are only 2 gas stations in an 8 mile radius that sell diesel. Of course, I pick up the fuel in 5 gallon containers. One thing that future diesel car owners should know is that the area around the pumps, concrete pavement, pump handle, everything is oily, messy and dirty. Make sure you have extra paper towels to clean your hands, and maybe shoe bottoms, in case the gas station does not have same in nearby dispenser.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,500
    True, parking spaces are smaller. Even turn radii in places like parking garages can be just insane. I remember one in Cologne - there was a post in the middle of exit curve with a rainbow of colors from paint transfers.

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,228
    I used to drive in Manchester quite a bit. Not only is parking crazy, they park any way they want, wrong side, pointed the wrong direction. Of course, I saw quite a few fender benders as a result.

    I concur with Dino....Euro drivers don't drive small cars because they want to, or out of some misguided sense of environmentalism. They drive them because there's either no room for a more comfortable car, or they can't park them.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,228
    Those of us in the U.S. can't find the financial value equation to support diesels. Plus, we like high revving motors. Diesels do have good low end torque, but run out of steam quickly. They'll never be more than a small niche here. Hybrids, plug-in hybrids, clean gas engines do as well, mostly better than diesels.

    I saw a study recently stating that 50% of U.S. cars will be some form of hybrid or an electric car by 2025. That's only 12 years from now. Diesels won't have a place at that table.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,327
    I forget who, but someone wrote an article recently saying that the Electric car was just about dead, and for certain a dead-end technology we've sunk billions into and made little progress in the last couple of decades.

    Guess it depends which studies you read.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,083
    edited June 2013
    Yesterday, our local Infiniti store had a "party" of sorts for the 2014 Q50. Food, drink, customized wine glasses and a 4MB thumb drive key-chain were the "Thanks for coming" gifts offered to this -- public invited -- coming out party for the new Q50.

    Overall, I would say the event was under-attended. Although there was some mention of the event in the local Cincinnati newspaper, no special invitation to current Infiniti owners was sent out (we have a 2011 FX35 coming off lease in about 6 months).

    Present at the event: the Infiniti dealership sales team, one factory rep and one "marketing rep" (a representative of a company hired by Infiniti to test the Q50 against an Audi A4 and a BMW 3 series.) My wife and I stayed for about an hour (of the four hour show) -- a "pre-production" Q50S w/AWD fully optioned was on display and we were encouraged to try out the front and rear seats and especially to get behind the wheel. The car had been used throughout the day to train the reps -- and it had been, according to the factory rep, driven hard by some of the more adventurous Infiniti sales team members.

    The car -- no matter if you think it is attractive or not -- is different looking (by far) from the pictures many of us have seen in print and on-line. My impression of the in-person view is that the Q50 exterior is beautiful. The interior is Audi-nice -- which is about as high of a compliment as I can give for anyone's automotive interior rendering.

    The dash, the electronics, the gauges, pedals, switch gear, etc etc etc are all "jewel-like" -- the interior is a major upgrade over even the current M cars -- in fact, the new Q50 has to be the nicest Infiniti (inside and out) ever.

    My wife -- a conservative attorney, not subject to hyper-ventalating -- remarked "this may very well be a game changer for Infinti." My comment -- written here previously -- to the factory rep was that Infinti will know it has "arrived" when Car & Driver, et al, proclaim the BMW 3 series as "the German Infiniti," since, thus far, the praise heaped on Infiniti's G cars goes something like "Infiniti's G37, the Japanese BMW."

    We'll know if Infiniti has knocked it out of the park when the shoe is on the other foot.

    The Q50 according to the marketing representative was track-tested against an Audi A4 2.0T with sport package and against a BMW 328i (with x-drive) also with sport package.

    Now, at first blush, this seems like an unfair comparison: the Infiniti has a 325+ HP V6, HUGE brakes (with 4-piston stoppers on the front) and sport everything. By comparison, the two Germans were equipped with their manufacturer's turbo 4s and sport packages.

    One look at the specs of the three compared cars, and the Germans appear totally out-gunned. It's no wonder, then, that the Infiniti Q50S out accelerated, out handled -- out ran, overall -- the boys from the Fatherland. I asked the Infiniti factory rep why they didn't compare the Q50 to an Audi S4 or a BMW 335, since the specifications of the Infiniti would seem to call for the German hot rods to be able to call it a fair fight.

    The answer from the Infiniti factory rep was that they compared similar sized cars, similar "class" cars, similarly equipped (lux options) cars at the same price points. For the Germans to be completely equipped and comparable to the Infiniti would have meant checking off the S4 and 335 variants of the Audi and BMW respectively.

    Infinti reckons -- apparently -- that a $51,000+ Q50S AWD can be compared against an Audi A4 or BMW 3 series only if the Audi and BMW are equipped with their turbo 4-cylinders. The apples to apples comparison would require the $51,000 Q50S to be compared with an Audi or BMW that would cost between $10,000 and $12,000 more.

    Infiniti hopes (I assume) that Automobile, Car & Driver, Motor Trend and Road & Track will see the light and only test the Q50 against other cars based on price. Based on my years of reading these enthusiasts magazines, I'd wager the Q50 will be compared to S4's and 335i's and price be damned.

    However, against what can be had from a German sports sedan for $51,000, there's little doubt in my mind that the $51,000 Infiniti Q50 will kick their butts.

    The factory rep said the target buyer is someone who will consider an Audi A4 or BMW 3 and the new Lexus IS. "Not so much comparison is likely to happen with the Q50 against the Cadillac ATS or the Mercedes C," so says the factory rep.

    After absorbing about as much as one person can, without a test drive, we then went over about three doors to the Lexus dealer where a new IS 350 F-Sport AWD was on-display. Like the Q50, the IS350 looks different in person -- but unlike the Q50, the IS 350 is LESS attractive (to me, at least) in person -- yet there is something that MAY make the 350 more attractive: its price. A well optioned 2014 Lexus IS 350 AWD F-Sport was $48,000 including shipping. Infiniti may need to consider sub-venting their lease offerings -- since the IS350 does seem to be a worthy rival.

    In pictures, the IS's interior wins -- in person, it appears more "industrial" and, for me that translates to, less attractive -- your mileage may differ.

    We're at a point-of-inflection here folks -- two mighty fine cars have power-slided onto the scene. Updated Audis and BMW's better be in the queue REAL SOON. :surprise:
  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,525
    Good to hear from you, Mark.
    Please post your impressions once you drive the Q50?
    - Ray
    It is on my radar ....
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,565
    Nice to hear from you mark as always!

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,083
    Dealer rep tells me: Q50's (AWD only unless special ordered with a customer's name attached) will be "available" on or about July 25th. Oh, OK?

    Wait, wait -- from a practical perspective, the rep says "inventory" will be available closer to the end of August, beginning of September (in the Cincinnati market).

    I assume that some top-10 cities will have cars on July 26th. Being in a second-tier city, we'll have to wait our turn.

    Dealer rep tells me they have 11 inventory cars on order and some number of "customer pre-order cars" coming in.

    I understand WHY -- in Cincinnati -- we would only get the AWD versions, but the news to me was that only "sold orders" for RWD versions will be sent to dealers.

    Me? I'm not interested in the RWD version, since we simply have too many days where the coefficient of friction is low -- but I can't imagine (even in Cincinnati) there wouldn't be a market for an RWD Q50.

    Not the right forum, I know, but my wife announced to me her choices to replace her 2011 FX35; she has it down to a 2014 Audi Q5 or a 2014 "FX37" or QX70 as we think it will be called -- the BMW X3 is plan "C" apparently. :surprise:
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,808
    Me? I'm not interested in the RWD version, since we simply have too many days where the coefficient of friction is low -- but I can't imagine (even in Cincinnati) there wouldn't be a market for an RWD Q50.

    I'm guessing that it is easier to sell AWD to someone as an upgrade to RWD than the other way around.
  • billyperksiibillyperksii Posts: 198
    Mark correct me if I am wrong.
    The Q50 will maintain the current engine and specs that is in the G37- right?
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,228
    Thanks, Mark. Interesting take. Like Billy, I'd like to know if the engine/trans is the sae as the G37.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,083
    I have read ALL of the car magazines regarding the engine (3.7L) and the transmission (7spd auto ONLY, manual dropped altogether).

    They all say the engine/trans are "carried over" from the 2013 G37.

    The "brief, very, very brief" literature handed out at the Q50 Party said ONLY the following HP 325+.

    The G37 for 2013 says -- on the window sticker -- 328 HP.

    I cannot imagine 325+ won't translate to a firm number: 328 -- but I've been wrong before.

    The dealer and the factory rep did say that Gas Mileage on the new Q50 with the 3.7L was "better." The factory rep also said the hybrid (which uses the 'old' 3.5L V6 + help from electric motivation) is the quickest and fastest of the new Q50 lineup and that it gets "much better" fuel economy than the outgoing G37. Somewhere I read the hybrid's HP is 350+.

    Net net: new Q50 has an incrementally improved 3.7L engine that has about the same power as the outgoing G37 model, plus better MPGs.

    :confuse:
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