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Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,206
    "I need to be excited about my car. . "

    This is why so many people who love BMW's & Audi's think Asian cars have no soul. It's a given that most of them don't.

    The first Asian car that does will knock several people's socks off. There are those who think we're well past the first one. Lexus need not apply. These days, really good reliability is a given. What is there after that?

    Time will tell.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    I think there have been Asian cars with soul, I just don't think they have ever resided in this class.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    The RL, 5 Series & the M35 myself.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Bingo.... and I'm a prime example since when I went
    Sedan shopping, the LS-430 was the only car on the list. But driving one left me more than cold - it was actually a negative experience to me, and a huge disappointment, yet, I can't say there was anything wrong with the car. I left the dealer wondering what to do next. I then tried out a Q-45, and liked that much much better, but I was quite put off by the dealer and his deal just sucked. Plus, he kept trying to move me to an M-45. I don't LIKE the M, and told him that. HIs response, "Well, we don't sell many Q's". I can see why. I drove an S-500 for a week, and didn't want to give it back. I have never before even considered a German car because of reliability and maintenance expense associated with them. But I have to enjoy the car, and the LS just didn't do it at all.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The 460 may change things, but until then, the LS is a rational, rather than an emotional choice. I used to drive an S class myself, in the early '90s. It was better than some of my friends who drove XJ6s, but it wasnt great either, and I did not like the dealer at all. In '96 Audi was basically a nobody in the full size lux class, and I have never really liked the BMW 7 series. I talked to a lot of people, and the ones who were happiest with their cars drove either a Legend or a LS.

    I've driven a Legend, and it was a fairly entertaining car for a big front driver. Unfortunately when it became the RL for '96, Acura thought it should drive like a Buick. Zero effort steering, lots of body roll. No thanks. I liked the LS400 much better, and I've been driving one since then. Sure, the interior styling was basically the same as the ES and GS, but it was comfortable, quiet, and the Nackamichi stereo sounded better than any thing the Germans had at that point. The '01 LS430 was a massive improvement, but I think it will be the 460 that will finally bring the big Lexus out of its "super camry" shadow and on to the same level as the vaunted Merc and BMW. If Audi can do it, Lexus can do it.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Actually, I like the RL, the older one, believe it or not. It had class. It wasn't a "performer", but it was a nice big sedan, for a Honda. Buicks aren't all bad. I liked the LS-400 for the same reason, and I liked the styling on those much better. It's the 430 that I think they ruined style wise. It may be a superior car, but it sure doesn't move ya emotionally. And I still don't see Audi as inspiring for the same reason.
  • . . .I'll probably raise the ire of many LPS-ers: Lexus (Acura, etc.) cars are logical, they are the cars most likely to be driven be Mr. Spock. Captain Kirk would drive a German car. Kirk, like some here, would put up with the German traits in exchange for a more satisfying experience.

    The Infinit M's seem to be able to challenge this.

    Lexus cars are, apparenly, emasculated.

    Acura's too are not particularly able to embrace "the driving pleasure."

    On the other hand, the Germans are designed for pleasure.

    This would apparently be my impressions.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    BTW, Merc, I still can't decide whether or not to endanger my driving record with the S4 Avant. Won't make that call until the 3.2Q DSG A3 gets here in January. Then I'll know.

    Well you know I'm going to vote for the S4 Avant. There is really nothing else like it on the maket. Mercedes doesn't import the C55 Wagon, and if they did it still wouldn't have awd like the S4. BMW doesn't make an M3 wagon and if they did, still no awd. Then there is the Audi interior and exterior. The defintion of style.

    Yeah if we're talking about current cars then the A8 gets my vote.

    M
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Well, most Acuras. The NSX, and its V10 powered, 400+hp successor are pretty much the definition of "driving pleasure".

    The Japanese and the Germans just have different ideas about what makes a "performance" car. Germany builds cars for the Autobahn, and so its best performers are big, powerful GT cars. I think the CL65 basically sums up what German performance is all about. Japan doesnt have that kind of system, and so there is no need for monster lux sedans and coupes at home. Its a foreign idea to them, and I think thats basically why its taken them so long to be able to field legitimate competition in that area.

    Japan's idea for performance is small, lightweight RWD or AWD cars with 2.0 or 2.5L 4-cyls and monster turbos. Germany cant really compete with Japan in that area. Sure there's the Golf GTI and Jetta GLI, but they will be massacred by even the EVO and WRX models we get in the states, not to mention the much hotter versions available only in Japan.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The Japanese and the Germans just have different ideas about what makes a "performance" car. Germany builds cars for the Autobahn, and so its best performers are big, powerful GT cars. I think the CL65 basically sums up what German performance is all about. Japan doesnt have that kind of system, and so there is no need for monster lux sedans and coupes at home. Its a foreign idea to them, and I think thats basically why its taken them so long to be able to field legitimate competition in that area.

    This is largely true, but I think its true as far as German luxury cars go. There is also Porsche which also believes in lightweight construction and rwd. They don't build "GT" cars like MB/BMW/Audi.

    I think the biggest difference is what you state second, that Japan likes 4-cylinders and turbos while the Germans like V12, V10s and superchaged V8 and just bigger engines in general.

    There is also a mesg in there somewhere about Germans not doing cheap too well either. If VW built a car to compete with EVOs and WRX STis it would be too expensive to make sense in the U.S. I think .

    M
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    I think it's relatively true about Germany not doing cheap all that well.

    Certainly the A3 attempts to poke a hole in that. It is definitely well done, but difficult to keep cheap.

    From memory (eight years old at least), I think the NSX is deficient as a truly enjoyable drive, only because it has not one annoying idiosyncrasy to endear itself to the driver. How's that for logic? It's a "supercar" with far too great a degree of civility. It's antiseptic. It's Japanese. }-]

    Yes Merc, you pegged me easily on the A8. It's the definition of the upper end class IMO. OTOH, I have no idea which way she'll jump, and after the first minivan debate 10 years ago, I'm not even going to try to influence the decision (I was ultra-wagon-prone of course)!

    On the S4 Avant: I have tried to put it out of my mind fom time to time to no avail. It's an amazing piece of work. If the 3.2 A3 is extremely high on the fun factor, though, I may just forego the seatback slamming capability for a smaller, and therefore somewhat more desirable (in my case), package.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    "Germans like V12, V10s and superchaged V8 and just bigger engines in general."

    Thats definitely true. Japan's most legendary sports car displaces just 2.8L, yet manages to deliver some 550hp in its final Nismo hurrah.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "Well, most Acuras. The NSX, and its V10 powered, 400+hp successor are pretty much the definition of "driving pleasure".

    It sure is. And you can share it with 3 of your closest friends.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    True. I was reading about a tuned STI that puts out more than 400 lb torque. One can do a lot with forced air induction. And if one ignores current clean air requirements, the sky is the limit.
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 590
    "I think the biggest difference is what you state second, that Japan likes 4-cylinders and turbos while the Germans like V12, V10s and superchaged V8 and just bigger engines in general. "

    If that's the definition of german nirvana, i will claim, it's fairly recent. yeah the gremans have been creating this plethora of engines, but through the late 80s and early 90s, they were making 730 and S300's... weren't they?

    ksso
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    Good move...your posts have helped pull the "Car Guys" back into this forum....makes for some good reading. :)
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Thats definitely true. Japan's most legendary sports car displaces just 2.8L, yet manages to deliver some 550hp in its final Nismo hurrah.

    That is just awesome. I guess I just any kind of engine that produces power like that.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yes Merc, you pegged me easily on the A8. It's the definition of the upper end class IMO. OTOH, I have no idea which way she'll jump, and after the first minivan debate 10 years ago, I'm not even going to try to influence the decision (I was ultra-wagon-prone of course)!

    Though I'm partial to Mercedes, I pretty much agree with that. The A8 is just design feast. I've always liked the V8 Audi even back when it was called just that "the V8".

    Now repeat after me....S4 Avant....S4 Avant.....S4 Avant....you must not think about the A3 anymore! ;)

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    If that's the definition of german nirvana, i will claim, it's fairly recent. yeah the gremans have been creating this plethora of engines, but through the late 80s and early 90s, they were making 730 and S300's... weren't they?

    Well the original statement about those big engines being the major difference between Japan and Germany is true. For their definitive cars they've always used big engines, but like you state you can also have one with very little in the way of "guts". That is still the case today with MB/BMW and Audi in Europe. Still though I don't know another country that would sell a car with 302hp for 90K and then another version of the same car with 604hp for 180K.

    M
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