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Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    The M and 5 are both fine cars.
    I am assuming you have an M?
    If so,turn your lights on at night and have someone(preferably someone you know) step on the brake pedal of your M while you stand behind the car.
    Tell me what you think.
  • Remember when made in Japan REALLY meant something? Remember when that statement was the way to suggest "cheap and cheaply made?"

    Remember what turned that notion around? Well I am trying to recall myself -- but way back there in the mid 70's when I was taking a graduate level marketing course, I think the example that was used required two words, Sony & Trinitron.

    No longer was Zenith or RCA or Admiral or Emerson or whatever other brand (probably either Zenith or RCA most notably) thought to be the best. Sony morphed into the "it" brand and for a time was able to command prices well above the domestic (?) competition of the day.

    When my friend's parents bought a Toyota -- and this was in the 1960's, we all used to poke fun at it because the word "toy" was in the name. The Corona was an economy car after all. A toy. Transportation, yes, but also an oddity during the late 60's and early 70's -- then wham fuel crisis and there were plenty of non-American car name plates that could offer ever improving transportation and what we thought of as super economy.

    Now, we sometimes (I almost said often) equate "made in China" as meaning cheap -- although it is increasingly harder to buy anything NOT made there. Indeed, if you actually tried to buy something non-Chinese -- well, good luck or at least your choices would be narrowed and perhaps the prices raised.

    If you need or want an "X" and a country, like China, can make an acceptable product for you for less money, you will -- you should buy it.

    I imagine the first Chinese cars [assuming] to come to the US will be looked upon much the same way those early Japanese cars were looked at.

    However if China builds a "better Cadillac" and you are in the market for such a car, you -- eventually -- will be driven by you personal economic good choice.

    The state of Indiana recently came under fire because it used taxpayers dollars to hire non Americans (outsource) to "staff" its procurement and payment processes (purchasing and accounts payable, fundamentally). The state figured that saving the taxpayer's dollars and getting the same functions carried out for less money benefited the taxpayers.

    When a Lexus is chosen over an American car (assuming the Lexus was 100% Japanese built (not likely)), for whatever reason, it does at that instant potentially take a job and money out of America. Ultimately, however, if we buy non-American products we are in part buying that product because it came from a place that has comparative economic advantages (that, in turn, make us less competitive.)

    Ultimately, we will buy (vote with our dollars) the best products and probably the ones that have the highest "value" -- but only part of value is objective, so we had better be careful tossing this argument around too hard or too often.

    The point is, I can remember a few years ago when it was not possible to consider any GM product as a contender in the race to be included in the LPS ranks.

    The German (and some other European) and Japanese competition revived -- at least a little bit -- Cadillac. This is a good thing -- the run up to creating a competitive car (in this case) has been very painful and GM is hardly out of the woods.

    But, if we were to "buy American" just for the sake of buying American, we do more to harm our manufacturing (economic) interests than we do to preserve them.

    Yes, by all means buy American -- IF that product is equal to or better than or of a higher intrinsic value than the non-American product. Choice is a good thing, complacency is the mother of most of our downturns in that we, by NOT choosing the best regardless of country of origin, encourage the FDH syndrome.

    FDH (fat dumb and happy) is the condition that often precedes an economic trough. By my calculations we're "about due" to enter a period of FDH sometime in 2006 or 2007. Then, if all goes according to plan, we'll have another correction and so on.

    The way I look at it, those of us who are buying "non-American" cars, unless we are for some reason shunning American cars because they are American, are actually doing our part to retard the next FDH precipitated recession.
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    I don't think AWD is enough to keep a car in the LPS realm. I think it's a "by" when the manufacturer doesn't have a viable RWD platform. Audi and, most notably, Acura come to mind. The RL with its SH-AWD hit with much fanfare. It would seem that it was much ado about nothing. Sales started out slow, had a small spike, then dropped right back down. And now big discounts can be had.

    There's a reason that Audi decided not to release the FWD new A6 in the U.S. Neither FWD nor AWD does not a LPS make. It has always been the availability of a V8 or larger and RWD That set the big boys apart from the also-rans. Were it not for that, what incentive would there be to buy a LPS? All the electronic doodads can be had on less expensive FWD sedans.

    Why is the Chrysler 300C so popular? Because you can get a big, luxurious sedan with all the electronic doodads of the LPS boys, RWD and a big, hawking V8 for a price that mere mortals can afford! And on top of that, and thanks to Mercedes, you can get AWD with the V8! Who else does that? Sure, Audi which is a 50/50 split and never primarily RWD, but who else? Gotta give Chrysler props. They really shook up the establishment when they dropped that bomb. A lot of the 300's initial sales were conquest sales from the big boys.
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 590
    where the CEO and majority of the board members and top executives file their taxes... who cares where the car is built or if the company has employees in the US or outside

    doesnt matter if toyota is producing more mid size cars in america compared to say umm ford or gm...

    ksso
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    October 2005 Sales:

    5 = 4,880
    E = 4,670
    GS = 2,645
    M = 2,231
    STS = 1,819
    RL = 1,550
    A6 = 1,382
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    It's good to see.
    The 5 at the top.
    I believe it's deservedly so!
    Others have tried to get sales to drop.
    They do have a long way to go!

    Sorry!
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,590
    not that its going to make much of a difference, but I think the CTS belongs on the list, rather than the STS. CTS is closer to the 5-series dimensions, I believe. (although the STS isn't much bigger than the CTS, according to the numbers here on Edmunds ... which makes me wonder why they co-exist)

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • sdiver68sdiver68 Posts: 119
    I wonder where the anti-AWD performance crowd is coming from? Have you ever HAD a performance, rear wheel biased, all wheel drive system such as Nissan's ATESSA, or Porsche's in a car?

    Whatever performance advantage these systems give up in the dry are made up for times 10 when the pavement is not perfect. While I can go along with FWD being an automatic exclusion in this category, a performance biased AWD system is a huge plus in my book.
  • drtraveldrtravel Posts: 395
    March thru October 2005 Sales:

    E = 34,886
    5 = 34,029
    GS = 24,958
    STS = 24,450
    M = 19,151
    RL = 12,213
    A6 = 12,209

    What does it mean? Beats me but if M sales exceeds GS sales in a month....now that would be news. STS sales diving big time.
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    Whatever performance advantage these systems give up in the dry are made up for times 10 when the pavement is not perfect.

    No stab at you, sdiver68, but I doubt I will ever see the logic in comments like these. It is extremely unlikely that cars in this class will ever see a road course. Barring that, who in their right mind is going to push a car to the limits on slick roads? AWD, FWD, RWD, none of that matters if the tires and the road surface don't mesh. I think the AWD praisers have some mentality of "I can drive whenever, wherever, and however I please because I have power going to all 4 wheels." That's great, but if all four wheels lose traction, you're still going off the road just like everybody else! It's called PHYSICS!!
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Tell it to all the SUV drivers who think they are driving Ferraris.
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    No argument there.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    let's reel it in now.

    We're s'posed to be talking about the vehicles listed above and while this has been an interesting - if fruitless - debate about including other vehicles that are not in this class, it's time to give it a rest.

    As always, anyone who thinks this discussion does not cover his or her specific comparo interests is more than welcome to fire up a new one. But the topic here has been established and it is what is. And we need to get back to it.

    Thanks.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    True, if all four wheels have nothing to grab, you're done. Its like hitting the brakes after driving off of a cliff. Better try the emergency brake! However, when it comes to *most* foul weather situations, having the rear wheels as your only drive wheels means you are more likely to lose traction than a FWD or AWD car. As you said, physics. Most RWD cars can be made "passable" in the snow with the best snow tires on all four wheels, and a great traction\stability system. An AWD car wearing A\S tires will still do a better job though.

    If it is extremely unlikely that cars in this class will ever see a road course...why do you need RWD? The real advantages that RWD has over an AWD car with good balance would only be usable on a track. Even that is questionable. While the RWD car would most likely be able to start faster, the AWD car would win in the corners, as the driver could brake much later than the RWD driver, claw around the turn thanks to the extra traction, and mash the throttle on the way out. The RWD car, especially with a lot of power and with the stability shut off, would have to go in slower, and be alot easier on the throttle coming out, or risk a spin.
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    Technically, AWD doesn't provide more traction per se. To stray back on topic, let's say you have an M35x and an M35 both shod with the same tires. Put them both through the same corner at the same speed and they will have equal traction. The difference is the M35x puts the front tires' traction to more use by pulling through the corner.

    Anyway, getting even more on topic, the most relevant and tangible advantage of RWD over the others in a LPS is the literal driving feel, where the palm meets the wheel so to speak. RWD cars don't have that heavy, cumbersome feel in your hand when making turns. It also doesn't tug at your hands while driving or accelerating. You also get a more relaxed feel while driving. Acceleration feels more effortless in a RWD while it seems a bit more frenetic in a comparably powered FWD car.

    I don't know if anyone else has noticed it in their cars, but I've found that I have more of an adrenaline rush when I thrash my FWD car than when I thrash my RWD car. I've found that I build up tension in the FWD car because of the heavier feel in the steering wheel under acceleration; not to confuse the heavier feel with torque steer, as there isn't any. I'm subconsciously gripping the steering wheel tighter. I don't do that in my RWD car, except to have a tighter grip as I'm rowing the gears. ;)

    Anyway, has anyone compared the M45 Sport back-to-back with the 550i Sport?
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    Some of us enjoy losing a little traction from a specific set of wheels from time to time. Not whacko-taco regularly, but a bit when requested, in a deliciously controlled manner.

    Some of us also get less-than-perfect, wet to sloppy days maybe 25 out of 365; tops.

    Some of us recognize the advantages of AWD in certain circumstances, and would still rather have RWD for all the other circumstances we encounter.

    CTS/STS: agreed, the CTS is more at the 5 and co. than the STS, other than pricing. I actually find myself anticipating the model's refresh. It was undeniably a decent stride in the right direction for Caddy, and I'd love to see them address some key issues this go around and take a serious leap forward. I understand the sheet metal is to finally shed the worst elements of AARP & Seance, and the interior is a complete re-do. Bravo.
  • You are definitely speaking subjectively here, and it would be nice if people who supported the M were not so eager to bash people who bought something else. It feels like a giant insecurity complex. Sort of like, OK I finally can buy a decent car for $10K less than a BMW, so let me stick it in the face of every BMW buyer.

    I bought a new 5 after comparing to an M, and the M was a close second. And I did not think that it had a "god-awful ugly interior" -- just did not suit MY tastes. And that, finally, is all that matters. I would probably be perfectly fine with an M if I had picked that for some reason.

    M owners, try to enjoy your car without trying to make people who buy something else feel like they made a bad choice -- that's not the best way to feel good about something.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I agree, you dont want FWD in a LPS. But can you really tell the difference between rear or AWD when driving normally? AWD cars dont suffer from torque steer, and the ones with a front-midship design like the M do not suffer from the front end "plow" caused by having too much of the engine in front of the front axle.

    If you drive past the limits of the M35, the RWD version may reward you by spinning you backwards. The M35x, on the other hand, will most likely enter a "four wheel drift" made popular by the WRX and Evo. One is easily recoverable, and one is not.

    AWD definitely has a lot more grip on the road than rear. Thats why AWD cars are so difficult to launch, wheelspin is nearly impossible.
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    AWD cars aren't the best for drifting. Check the drifting circuit and you won't find a single AWD. If there is one, the front transfer case has either been disabled or removed completely.

    We'd better squelch this topic before we get in trouble. :surprise:

    [edit] Okay, I've created a new discussion on the sedans board called "FWD, AWD, RWD and the Luxury Performance Sedans". Everyone update your Message Centers and post away! ;) [/edit]

    freddybb, which versions of the M and 5 did you test? Barring amenities, how would you compare the driving dynamics of the two? (I'm hoping it was the V8 sport versions of both that you tried.)
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    Wa'n't me, tayl0rd.

    I don't comment on M's other than aesthetics, as I've only sat in them in showrooms. The last 5 I drove as a shopper was in 2003; 540iT. The current iteration does not appeal to me, personally.
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    One interesting thing to note about 5 Series sales is that it managed a close second to the despite the fact that the wagon and AWD sedan have only been available for a couple of months, and the M5 is still not released yet. So it most likely would have beaten or come very close to the E if they had been available the whole time. I realize that not many M5's get sold, but I imagine that both the AWD sedan and wagon will sell well. Still can't believe that the A6 doesn't sell more. To me, it's right up there with the 5 and E (and beats both in styling) plus it costs less (about $5-$10K). I do see a fair amount of them around here in the suburbs of Chicago, but I see many more E's and 5's. I have seen a good number of M's as well. Oh, and for whatever reason, people here seem to love Caddies so I see a lot of STS' and CTS'. Where I live is actually a good case study really because on one road (Ogden Ave.) we have Lexus, Audi, BMW and Mercedes all right next to each other. In fact, the Audi, BMW and Mecedes dealerships are all owned by the same company (Autonation). In my experience, the Audi branch has the best customer service followed by BMW. The Mercedes dealership is awful. Really salesy salesman and bad customer service.
  • March thru October 2005 Sales:

    E = 34,886
    5 = 34,029


    Forget the comparos or what your impressions of the cars in this class lead you to believe, it's obvious the E Class is the best car in the class. As I've been told, sales figures don't lie.
  • You are definitely speaking subjectively here, and it would be nice if people who supported the M were not so eager to bash people who bought something else. It feels like a giant insecurity complex. Sort of like, OK I finally can buy a decent car for $10K less than a BMW, so let me stick it in the face of every BMW buyer.

    :confuse: Dude did you even read the post that I was replying to? It would be nice if people who comment on my post would at least read in it context :blush: My comments were directed toward someone denigrating the M.

    In my subjective opinion the interior of the 5 is ugly (sorry thats how I feel) and I absolutely do NOT feel like the BMW 5 is worth anywhere near $10,000 more than my M. I was replying to someone who condescendingly said that with the M (being $10,000 less than the M), you get what you paid for. I said it then and I'll repeat it here - for that I am glad :shades:
  • Somewhere here in cyberspace, there is a link to the Pike's Peak International Hill Climb video. Here is a summary:

    "Three victories have made the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Race part of Audi’s successful motor sport history. In 1985 the race was won by Michèle Mouton, the first woman driver ever to win a world championship rally. A year later, the legendary American race driver Bobby Unser proved to be unbeatable, and in 1987 Walter Rohrl, driving the Audi Sport quattro S1, scored a much-admired overall victory by conquering the Peak in the new record time of 10:47.85 minutes."

    I have seen the video and when Walter Rohrl is driving his car up the hill the tail IS hanging WAY the heck out there.

    Four Audi driving schools (the first one actually had both Audi A4's quattros and two BMW 3's) too have proven that Audis do drift -- the difference is they can "drift" faster. The exercise we underwent was to drive a "figure 8" on ice with a quattro with four studded snow tires and ditto with a BMW RWD 3 series also with four studded snow tires.

    The exercise which was called "steering with the throttle" demonstrated the abilities of both cars -- the BMW RWD was more "tail happy" that much is true -- but in a timed situation, the figure 8 course could be taken in a shorter period of time in the AWD car than in the RWD car (hence I concluded the Audi was taking the figure 8 at a higher speed.)

    In the LPS world, the P stands for Performance. While I agree with the premise that most folks probably wouldn't know (under normal none too aggressive driving) if the car they were driving was FWD, RWD or AWD, it is "more than just nice" to know that the AWD car, while not being able to break the laws of physics can be driven in such a way to yield both higher performance and a higher margin of safety for those of us prone to having "stupid attacks."

    Dr. Peich was darn near ridiculed back in 1979 or so when he proclaimed something to the effect that "all LPS cars will offer AWD someday -- we at Audi AG can do it today." Of course, the term LPS didn't exist at that time, or if it did it was not used frequently. Son of a gun, though, on the 25th anniversary of quattro if every one of the LPS cars under discussion in this forum (and some not) offers at least one flavor with AWD. Piech, love him or not, was prescient.

    And, despite Audis current 50 50 bias F/R, several new Audis have caved in to the pressure and are offering quattro with 40 60 bias F/R. Not so the Acuras and Volvos which are sometimes (in the case of Volvos 60 "hot rod") 95 5 bias F/R.

    As far as I'm concerned, Audi could have spent all their money making the A6 (et al) better weight balanced rather than simply 40 60 power distribution biased.

    But that's just me.

    All of the LPS cars offer AWD perhaps for marketing, perhaps for performance or perhaps as a legitimate response to the market. For years (in the US) a super majority of Audis were sold as AWD. At my local BMW dealer (the largest in Ohio, as if that matters) they sell about 1,300 cars per year -- four of the models currently come in AWD: 3, 5, X3 & X5 -- the owner of the dealership claims the AWD models (or as he says, the X-drive cars) are much harder to keep in stock, or put another way are not ever an inventory burden. Indeed, all the 5xi's on the lot were already spoken for, save one.

    There is something to this -- or at least there must be. Most of us drive these LPS cars, I assume, for Luxury AND Performance. The cars discussed in this forum all offer AWD one can conclude because the L and P quotient is at its/their pinnacle when one configures his/her LPS car with AWD.

    The market for AWD across the board is on a growth path -- and it seems 2WD will be less and less dominant as each year passes.

    Most of this, of course, is opinion -- some of it, significantly, is fact.

    Drive it like you live. :shades:
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I wasnt talking about Formula D. Drifting is controlled oversteer, you need rear drive for that. A four wheel drift is a lateral slide, neither understeer (FWD) or oversteer (RWD). Its a popular trick used by the rally twins at the track. Drifting, on the other hand, is basically a stunt. Driving like that on a race track would make you come in last place.
  • drtraveldrtravel Posts: 395
    YTD sales figures for the 5-series

    525 15,422 (37.5%)
    530 18,661 (45.4%)
    545/550 6,691 (16.3%)
    M5 367 (0.9%)

    Don't have a breakdown for cars sold with the sport package but it looks like the general public opts for the 6 cylinder. However I believe the BMW owners on this forum have almost all chosen the 8 so it looks like this forum may not represent the views of your "typical" 5-series owner. IMHO
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    In my opinion your interior may not appeal to me either but I wouldn't call it ugly. More importantly than that to me being called DUDE is worse, Freddybb. Interestingly enough those that do use the term Dude probably don't mean anything by it. Guess I'm a little older tho' and the reference irks me.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    My wife has been taking vitamin supplements.
    Does that make her a zippity duda?
    I can't understand that other dude hating the 5's interior.
    I got the report back from my local CSI and the scrapings came back positive for burnished walnut.....
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Well then, trade in the M and go with the E, for example.....
  • Well then, trade in the M and go with the E, for example.....

    For example, I already have an E and SL so I don't need to trade.
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