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Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    We're talking at most a few tenths of a second. Is that really worth 10 grand? A few modifications to the Nissan 4.5 could probably even the score.. more likely for less than 10 grand.
  • No, EXACTLY the opposite -- and it seems to have worked.

    According to the inflation range for the tires, I could add as much as 6 more pounds to the front and 8 to the rear.

    I have, instead, taken an approach that may yeild a little softer ride -- but not for that purpose alone.

    The car itself has recommended inflation numbers and I looked at all of the conditions on the mfg's sticker and determined a "high" normal pressure to be 31 pounds.

    Knowing the nose heavy characteristic, I discussed above, I figured the sidewalls could benefit from a bit more stiffness (I have 40 series tires which are already fairly low profile.) Using a cautious approach, I reasoned 2 pounds or maybe 3 extra would be "effective" (I said I reasoned, I certainly didn't use a formula) in improving the car's turn in and reduce the hint of squishiness I could feel on some of the twisties.

    Since, at this time on this car, I do not plan to upgrade the suspension (I did this on an A8 and my allroad with positive effect), I thought perhaps new shoes or blowing the old shoes up to be harder might work.

    Since I can feel an demonstrate the improvement, I would say -- "cheap way" to gain these improvements.

    All the rage around here now is to pay ONE TIME $25 for a full on nitrogen replacement in the tires (my Audi dealer does not do this.) I will pass on this at this time.

    If you have one of the nose heavy LPS (AWD) cars (most of them), try this approach -- perhaps a pound more in the front, perhaps 4 or somewhere in the middle will have good effect for you as it did for me.

    As you may remember the Shell Answer man says there are far more negative consequences from underinflation than the other way around.

    Besides I am not "out there" so far as to void my warranty, radically decrease my tire wear (no bald spots in the middle are likely that is) or make the car ride like a log wagon.

    Give it a try, report back -- there will be a quiz next time. :shades:
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    On the track (well, between the cones really) it's not at all uncommon to find the group as a whole running up a good 10 pounds or more, specifically to gain sidewall stiffness, according to an acquaintance.

    As a day-to-day, you can go pretty pound-far on a nose-heavy car before incurring real uneven wear on the fronts. The shoulders regularly take a beating first anyway; an effect somewhat mitigated by sending them to the rear occasionally, unless your set is staggered (as is mine) and non-rotatable, in which case you re-rubber on the twelvemonth anyway. The turn in, as you increase pressure, is indeed enhanced remarkably. Warning: some may not like the feel; might find it a bit twitchy at first, depending on how far you take it. Give it some time, and if it doesn't feel good, dial it back down...
  • So, using trial-and-error, it would seem that I might add another 2 pounds to the fronts (and perhaps a pound to the rears?) and "give it a go?"

    What little decline in comfort there may be is virtually unnoticable, at this point.

    The improved turn in is "fun" though. :shades:
  • We have noted the sales (and ranking) of the LPS cars here for some time. Some feel that sales leadership is an indication of the relative merit of the cars. Some feel that quantity of sales is darn near irrelevant in terms of suggesting the quality of the cars or the actual superiority of the cars.

    Some scratch their heads in amazement that the E class Mercedes with its recent abysmal reliability and poor customer satisfaction vies for either first or second place month after month.

    Yet there is another perspective that we might want to consider: the manufacturer's take on "how they're doing" (in such and such country or globally or whatever.)

    Listen, we all know that Audi and Acura seem to fight for last place -- often Audi wins that dubious honor. Taken just as a bunch of numbers ranked from top to bottom (for the US market) Audi must have the big capital "L" tattooed on its windshield.

    Yet, check this perspective out (from Audi):

    "At 6,659 units, the October sales volume in the USA was 9.4 percent up on the previous year (October 2004: 6,089). This compares with a 14 percent drop in the overall US market last month, the lowest figure since 1998. The Audi brand consequently sold 66,315 vehicles in the USA in the period January to October. This represents an increase of 4.6 percent on the previous year (Jan.-Oct. 2004: 63,388.)" -- source Audi AG

    Audi expects to sell some 820,000 total cars this year (worldwide.)

    The point? Audi appears to be pleased that it is having another "best year in a row." Being last place here in the US actually is a good thing from the perspective of "how we're doing compared to ourselves."

    "Worldwide sales for the first ten months have thus climbed to around 697,000 vehicles, an increase of 10 percent on the corresponding prior-year period." -- source Audi AG.

    Maybe being last doesn't mean "worst" anymore than first doesn't mean "best."

    Just a thought.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I have to wonder though, what is really the reason for Audi's generally lousy sales in the US? (Compared to other makes, not previous Audi results). They're obviously huge in Europe, so why hasnt it translated here? Why cant Audi sell anything but the A4 here? Do they care that they're often last place? Or are they content to be in last place, as long as its closer to the 2nd to last car than it used to be?
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    Max. pressure on my tires is 51 pounds, and IIRC, range in pressure for thermal adjustment from friction and ambient is somewhere around 4-5 lbs. So approaching 46 lbs cold sounds possible without endangering lease, life or lorry. Someone else can push the envelope to see, says I, but 5-6 lbs over recommended is no sweat in the least. The handling is definitely worth it, IMO.

    I swear by trial and error, provided one sets parameters to avoid worst case scenarios that can't be afforded. ;)
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,943
    Yeah... but, that number on the tire is the MAX psi, no matter what vehicle you put it on...

    So, it is safe for the tire (meaning it won't burst), but is it safe for your car's handling characteristics?

    My advice: Forget about that number on the side of the tire... It has nothing to do with the real-world driving characteristics of your particular vehicle.

    Plus if you are puttering around at 35 mph, in a wagon with a slushbox, in the left lane of the freeway... It won't really matter what psi you are running.. ;)

    regards,
    kyfdx
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  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    Well, Kentuck, you'll notice I suggested someone else should prove/disprove the hypothesis; I assume most of us here have more brains than bucks rather than vicey-versy. ;)

    Funny thing about puttering: I must be doing it wrong; I go through an awful lot of rubber... :blush:
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    I live in Oak Brook. It's interesting because though the 4 dealers are right in a row you see a lot more BMW's, Lexus' and Mercedes than Audi's. With regards to the E vs. 5-Series, the majority of 5-Series buyers buy the 530, not the 525. I think that sales would be about equal for the E and 5 for YTD sales if the wagon and M5 had been out for the whole time. Really, all that we can fairly compare is the E350/E320 to the 530 and the E500 to the 545/550 in terms of sales. Just so we're comparing apples to apples. I guess it doesn't really matter anyway as several people here have pointed out. I wan't really trying to say that the 5 is "better" than the E. Just that sales of the two are probably about the same YTD.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    Has anybody actually seen 525s in any number out there? I'm in an E90-rich environment here in the Bay Area, and I think I've spotted only one.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Wale,

    I saw many new 525s so far! Dont see in great numbers the 545s, though they have been around for a while. Canadians are more hungry for thrift than power!

    In fact when I was in the UK I was amazed when I saw so many BMW 518s(to me a pointless car)
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Canada a big country and I forgot to add my geographic location of BMW 525 sightings:

    Toronto
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    Well yeah, but you're one o' them furriners. ;)

    Aren't displacements generally a bit smaller, your side of the border, Dewey? Seems to me Canada is a bit more progressive that way than the "I'm an American and I'll buy as big as I damn well can afford" US!.
  • The number of dealerships and their geographic concentrations (if any) to attempt to discern why Audi and Acura for instance seem to fare so far below BMW and Mercedes?

    Is such data available?

    More of a curiosity point than anything else -- for Audi seems set to globally outsell BMW and in Germany BMW and Audi often trade for who wins over the other in any particular month, unlike here where BMW outsells Audi by a factor of 3 (or more.)

    Perhaps this is explainable by a paucity of US Audi dealerships in comparison to BMW or a distribution of dealerships that does not offer quite the concentration in the top 50 US cities that one would imagine would be required to move over 4,000 (and 5,000) cars month after month. :confuse:
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    It is strange to go to the UK and see cars like the E200 Kompressor.. which costs the equivalent of well over $40 grand, and provides an amazing 163 horses and a 0-62mph in just 10 seconds!
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,943
    .. I was just looking at the map... The UK is only about one inch wide... how fast do you need to go?.. you'll run off into the ocean.. ;)

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  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    "My wife refuses to send in to the Inland Revenue Service because we live on the coast..."

    Sorry. Benny Hill moment there...
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Benny HILL ??? Boy, is you old! ;)
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Oh ok, I'm right on the Naperville/Aurora border off R59 so I know what you mean.

    Oakbrook huh? That is the Mercedes/BMW/Porsche/insert any other high-end Eurocar here, capital of the Western Suburbs of Chicago.

    There is no other suburban mall in the Chicagoland area in which you have to fight with Ferraris and Bentleys for a parking space, especially on the Eash side of the mall. Ridiculous amount of money in that parking section (and the whole mall on a Sat).

    M
  • bjbird2bjbird2 Posts: 647
    I think the reason for Audi's relatively low sales compared to the other LPS's is threefold. 1) Fewer dealers 2) A lower ad budget and not very effective advertising and promotion in the US market 3) There is still a negative aura from the Audi 5000 surge recall, deserved or not.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Seems to me Canada is a bit more progressive that way than the "I'm an American and I'll buy as big as I damn well can afford

    In fact Canadians can be divided into two categories:

    1)Frugal Canadian---fuel efficieny matters

    2)"The Closet American" Canadian---I'll buy as big as I damn well can afford"

    There are two Hummers on my street and I know which category those owners belong to! ;)
  • I agree. AOA is terrible in its marketing (or lack thereof) strategy. Rarely does one see ads and when they are seen, its usually one of the "artistic" ones that aren't really as eye catching as the BMW ones IMO. Why can't they show the Pike's Peak one or the ski jump one?

    On the other hand, I do like being in a minority with my car, just wish more people liked it!
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    I'll tell you what..I can't believe how much money people spend on cars here. I come from a suburb of NY which is really expensive to live in too, but you don't see cars like you do in Oak Brook anywhere that I've been other than Greenwich, CT. Maybe people in NY were just more house-poor (not that houses in Oak Brook are exactly cheap either!). I mean, I drive around slumming it in my 545 while everyone else seems to have SL500's, Bentley Continentals and Maserati's! It's wild. It's like the Beverly Hills of the Midwest. Anyway, of Ogden Ave dealerships, I have to say that Mercedes is by far the worst. They act like they're doing you a favor by letting you spend $80K to drive one of there cars. Laurel Audi and BMW are both very good though.
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    Chicago suburbs host beautiful cars all right...it was a great sunny day today and the wife and I drove down to the Ikea store in Shaumburg, had lunch at the Cheesecake factory in the Woodfield Mall. Couldn't believe all the ladies out driving the Jaguars, Mercedes, Porsches, BMWs, many Lexus including one SC430 convertible, candy apple red, top down, moving along briskly through the parking lot. A Pretty lady, shades, and Sharon Stone smile....whew! (The wife always smiles like that when she sees a red convertible! ;) :P
  • goodegggoodegg Posts: 905
    Check out South Florida. Maybachs, Royces, Ferraris, 760s, etc. etc. etc.

    With no state income tax a high earner can buy a lot. And do.
  • sdiver68sdiver68 Posts: 119
    Interesting...

    Apparently for street tires, more PSI up front does firm up handling...which is the opposite of race tires. Apparently, the extra traction you get with less psi is nullified by the excessive sidewall flex inherent in street tires.

    I stand corrected, at least for DOT rubber.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I remember seeing a few of the "Lead > Follow" ads for the '05 A4. I cant remember seeing a single commercial for the A6 on TV though. And cars like the A8, TT, Allroad, etc, fuggetaboutit. It seems as if Audi marketing is stuck in a viscious cycle of lack of marketing = low sales = lack of marketing = low sales..
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well you're likely to encounter that type of attitude anywhere nowadays, I've had that happen too.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yeah that sounds about right. Schaumburg isn't to far from Barrington and Hoffman Estates, plenty of money there too.

    Still though it is one of my favorite areas. Everything is right there.

    M
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