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Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • Premature abandonment, is the way I would characterize this.

    Actually, the maintenance can be purchased as an option for $550 (so are the early reports.) Big deal? Maybe yes, maybe no -- in terms of the cost. Bigger deal is the loss of the Audi Advantage as a marketing angle. And, guess which German TLA brand (hint: begins with B and ends with W) will, temporarily at least, make marketing hay out of this?

    My 2005 Audi has been to the dealer for the 5K and 15K services. I stopped in for a "free set" of wiper blades ONCE and a free car wash ONCE. I was offered and accepted a free loaner car for my two oil changes.

    I had a free bottled water whilst I waited for the wiper blades and a free coffee and danish were mine during the car wash while I schmoozed and cruzed with the sales reps that I have known since the late 1970's at the Audi dealer.

    This car, by Lexus standards, for all I know, may not be considered reliable. Thus far it has been a rock.

    My nits with the car still have nothing to do with the Audi Advantage or the Warranty. They are issues that I can imagine I would have with any one of these $50+K cars.

    Fighting for the honor of Last Place every month here as the report card for the previous month's sales are displayed for all to see, puts Audi NOT in the position to take away a "perceived" safety net or sales objection.

    Especially one that they think they can sell for a list price of $550. Ummm, gee, would I change my mind if this cost were buried into the MSRP a la Audi (pre 2007) and BMW at least for a year or two beyond Audi? Nope. Would I otherwise NOT get an Audi that made service/maintenance intervals a paid for option. Probably not.

    I am not the guy they need to be concerned about -- obviously. The name of the game is new customers and simultaneously keeping current and attracting back former customers. Audi has been on a tear -- in the US, however, it still lags BMW by 2/3.

    Too soon is my main theme.

    LPS cars other than Audi and BMW do not have this "feature" -- Audi needs to keep it at least through the C6 A6 refresh and maybe even the first year of a C7.

    At least two more years in any case, however, would seem to be prudent just to demonstrate that the new Audi's reliability rumors have some staying power.

    Audi is too new to the Legitimate LPS inner-circle to do this now.

    But, typically, they didn't ask me.

    BMW's 530xi 6speed manual if competitively priced with the A6 AND if BMW gets its head out of its nose and offers a REAL sport package (MLine?) would be on my short list of three TODAY: Audi, BMW, Infiniti -- the 6speed manual and a NOT "are you kidding" price might just push me over to the dark side (just kidding, my wife thinks BMW is "the Force".)

    2007 MY 2008 could be an exciting time to be back in der market. :shades:

    P.S., Hopefully, Audi will rethink its AA offering or at least offer it as a "bridge" to us long time customers -- but, in all fairness, my current Audi has, thus far, got to be the most reliable EVER.

    ~ 20+ months to go for me.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well others caught on years ago, but they felt that the I6 had reached the end of its development life so they all switched. Volvo is coming out with a new I6, but its turned the wrong way. Mercedes stood by the I6 since the beginning of time, but dropped in 1998. Lexus used one briefly as did Jaguar.

    M
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    are wonderfully smooth engines and belong in LPS vehicles. However, note what is going in the M car's (M3, M5, M6) - a V configuration (V8 for M3 and V10 for M5/M6).

    The V8 does have an intoxicating exhaust note though. :)

    The Audi's 3.2 V6 is pretty nice, as is the BMW's inline. Choosing between the two, the BMW seems happy at all different RPM's. Audi's feels a bit different - not bad - just different.

    -Paul
  • esfesf Posts: 1,020
    I have a convertible with AWD- an Audi of course. The S4, as I've stated many times.

    I believe that it doesn't diminish the performance in the least. The car handles perfectly on dry pavement, and I've dusted many an M3. ;)

    Furthermore, the sedan is only 0.6 seconds quicker to 0-60. If the Cabriolet didn't have quattro and the sedan did, I don't think it would make it quicker than the sedan anyway, because it's a heavier structure.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,312
    Well, it's been a long time since I took my vibrations classes in my ME course, so I'm quite willing to take your analysis at face value.

    However, I've heard that a 60-degree V6 was properly balanced, as opposed to a 90-degree V6, which most assuredly is not. The earliest V6's were chopped V8's & shook (GM in particular). To this day, Mercedes offers a 90-deg V6, but it does have balance shafts. What say you concerning the comparison of 60 & 90 degree V6's vs. the I6?

    I put most of a quarter of a million miles on a '73 240Z, so am certainly a fan of the I6. The top of my current list is a BMW 3, and the straight 6 is a factor.

    That it has a manual is a more significant one.
  • esfesf Posts: 1,020
    This is not directly related to your post, but I just had to say it.

    I saw my 3rd M5 today in silver- looked to be just washed. Best-looking 5 Series I've ever seen (not the M5 in general, just the one I saw today).

    Also, the deep yet electric blue of the M6 at the auto show was gorgeous. The 6 Series is the best looking BMW in my eyes.

    Completely off the topic, I also saw my 3rd S550 today. It looks good in black, which was both at the auto show and the one I saw today was black, but its overall design is unimpressive. Doesn't have as much presence as the old one, and not nearly as much as the CLS- but it looks good in black.

    ;)
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    Merc...I assume you made it to the Chicago show...anything turn your head?
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I've noticed that recently, more than ever, I seem to need to take a look at the model badge on the back of the Bimmers, just to make sure which model I'm looking at.

    What's going on? Well, I think it adds up to all the recent changes and a WHOPPING 22 different sedans and coupes . . . 23 when the M6 counts.

    Maybe I've mis-counted, but excluding SUV's (SAV's), and wagons, and the roadster, I think that leaves 22 (+1)variations . . . 8 3-series, 5 5-series, 2 6-series, 4 7-series, 3 M-models (+ 1 M6).

    I'm not counting MINI.

    No wonder I've got to check the badges. That is a lot of sedans and coupes from one manufacturer for the U.S. market.

    I haven't checked Toyota/Lexus. Is there a Lexican volunteer?

    With so many models to choose from, there's a BMW for everyone.

    TagMan
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    There are still relatively few Lexus vehicles when compared to the Germans.. well BMW and Mercedes anyway. Audi currently doesnt have a big lineup, but they've got a huge product assault on the horizon.

    For 2007, there will be 3 variants of the LS, 4 GS, 1 ES, 4 IS, 1 SC, 1 LX and GX, and 4 RX, making 19 models. By the end of the decade, there will be a hybrid ES, an IS convertible, and a new SUV to slot below the RX350, based on the HPX concept. The SC will also be replaced, and probably offer at least two engine choices, so Lexus will have at least 22 versions of its cars and trucks as well, but that does include their SUVs.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    good work, lexusguy.

    The Mercedes variations are quite numerous. If you count the wagons, roadsters, SUV's, as well as the sedans and coupes, it gets large. Add the 4matic AWD and I believe the number would get into the 30's. I'll have to look closer when I get the chance.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "However, I've heard that a 60-degree V6 was properly balanced, as opposed to a 90-degree V6, which most assuredly is not. The earliest V6's were chopped V8's & shook (GM in particular). To this day, Mercedes offers a 90-deg V6, but it does have balance shafts. What say you concerning the comparison of 60 & 90 degree V6's vs. the I6?"

    Referring to the Internal-combustion engines chapter in my Bosch Automotive Handbook I see references to the following three different V6 configurations:

    1) 90 degree V6 with a 0 degree offset 3 throw crank yielding a repetitive 150/90/150/90 degree firing interval
    2) 90 degree V6 with a 30 degree offset 3 throw crank yielding an even 120 degree firing interval
    3) 60 degree V6 with an even firing 6 throw crank

    Below is the best representation I can create given the limitations of the TownHall posting medium of the First and Second Order Free Movement formulas for the above three engine types (Note: a = the distance between common bank side bore centers):

    1) 90 Degree V6 - Uneven firing:
    - - First Order Free Movement (F1): 3^0.5 * F1 * a^2
    - - Second Order Free Movement (F2): 6^0.5 * F2 * a

    2) 90 Degree V6 - Even firing:
    - - First Order Free Movement (F1): 0.4438 * F1 * a
    - - Second Order Free Movement (F2): (0.966+-0.256) * 3^0.5 * F2 * a

    3) 60 Degree V6 - Even firing:
    - - First Order Free Movement (F1): 3 * F1 * a/2
    - - Second Order Free Movement (F2): 3 * F2 * a/2

    Relative to the I6 (which scores a perfect zero in all catagories), all of those engines (in their unbalanced state) are "Shaky Jakes".

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    BMW Unveils New Biturbo Petrol Straight Six Engine.

    -The hugely-powerful all-aluminum 3.0-litre six has the
    efficiency and flexibility of acclaimed BMW VALVETRONIC and double-VANOS technology, the new engine is able to produce an immense 225 kW of power and 400 Nm of torque. It is armed with a Table Mountain-like torque profile that defies the term curve. Peak torque of 400 Nm is delivered between 1,500 rpm and 5,800 rpm and the engine boasts a 7,000 rpm red line.

    -High-precision direct petrol injection cuts fuel use by 10 percent

    -Turbo lag banished by intelligent biturbo technology


    link title
  • I read the entire article and although I do KNOW what cars the 3.0 will fit in, there actually was no mention of which car will enjoy this engine?

    Being a long-time fan of Audi's turbos, especially my 1995 S6 I5 20V and my 2003 V6 30V bi-turbo, I have long wondered why all the goodness of the I6 Bimmer engines have thus far gone sans turbo.

    My goodness, in terms of actual cost for BMW, the gross profit of a 530xi with this turbo 3.0 I6 would have to shoot up.

    Why bother with the no replacement for displacement axiom when you can live with the "except for volumetric efficiency" that a modern zero-lag bi-turbo can offer.

    The 5 series would be, hmmm, "unbeatable" especially for moi if they kept the 6speed manual and allowed you to order this engine in an otherwise pedestrian 530txi, yea "txi" kinda has a nice ring to it, eh?

    Kinda like to bounce this TLA off my wife, uhhhh, Morgan Fairchild, yea, that's it, that's the ticket.

    Now let's see Audi bi-turbo their already fine 3.2V6 FSI and go from fuel straight injection to full "fuel stratified injection" which is where they wanted to be in the US all along.

    Woo Woo.

    When, when? With respect to the new BMW I6 bi-turbo in a 5 series, anyone? Anyone at all? Beuhler?

    :shades:
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    It appears the Japanese love their MBs, Audis and BMWs more than the Japanese version of luxury in the guise of a Lexus.

    Toyota is disappointed with the cool reception Lexus is receiving in the Japanese market. In fact the biggest benefactor to the introduction of Lexuses is BMW:

    But with a little help from Lexus, attitudes are changing. BMW estimates that the number of visitors to its showrooms is up 20% since the rival's launch, and as many Japanese consider foreign brands for the first time. Customers realize that if you spend $45,000 or more, "you can afford an imported car," Suzuki says

    link title
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    All-Aluminum???

    Errr, wait a minute, I thought the new I6 engines in the E60 and E90 cars was a magnesium bore arrangement with a shrink fit aluminum outer block surrounding it. Did BMW revert to the older all aluminum (with steel bore sleeves) for the Bi-Turbo?

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    The 5 series would be, hmmm, "unbeatable" especially for moi if they kept the 6speed manual and allowed you to order this engine in an otherwise pedestrian 530txi, yea "txi" kinda has a nice ring to it, eh?

    My definition of happiness:
    A 330ti /530ti in Touring form in alpine white and please hold the SMG/Automatic tranny(just serve it with a a stick)
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Good question. I dont know the answer? Would there be issues with using a Bitburbo version of a magensium-aluminum engine?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Merc...I assume you made it to the Chicago show...anything turn your head?

    Why yes of course. Well after Detroit I usually just go to Chicago just to see the new debuts. A lot of people were naturally gawking at the Camaro, Imperial, etc, but me been there done that...lol.

    As far as luxury cars, hmmm.... One thing I remember how truly unnatractive this new ES350 is. It continues to get worse looking with each re-design. I finally got to sit in the new S-Class. Totally outdoes the outgoing model in build/material quality. Look for this new S to be a big hit, IME. In looking at the full lines from BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Lexus, Jaguar, Acura, Cadillac and Infiniti I came to the conclusion that Audi has the most stylish group of cars under one brand. Not a questionable looking vehicle in the bunch to me. All I can remember at the moment, will most more thoughts in HELM thread and pics in the News and View thread about autoshow pics.

    M
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    In post #6304, merc1 mentioned "One thing I remember how truly unnatractive this new ES350 is. It continues to get worse looking with each re-design."

    I haven't seen the ES350 in person myself, but whether or not anyone likes its looks, I have always been confused and disappointed with the middle of the Lexus sedan line. Why do you have a GS300 in the same showroom as an ES330 (soon to be ES350)? And the new ES350 is actually said to do 0-60 in the same 6.8 seconds as the GS300. Spacewise, to call the GS a 5-seater is subjecting Lexus to a claim of false advertising.

    Given the success of the LS, why not scrap the ES and GS and come up with a "baby" LS, standard V6, RWD with an AWD option. Compete with the MB E, the BMW 5, and the Audi A6, and get out of the "gussied up Camry" and the "sports sedan" that is neither sporty nor a practical sedan.

    The Infiniti M series shows the way, although it did so well with the rear seat room that it seems to have left little "shelf space" for a new Q to fill.

    I want a mid-sized sedan for my wife that is neither performance-oriented nor a poor-handling FWD. With all the cars in its showroom, Lexus doesn't really offer anything.

    I know I am limiting the importance of the "P" in "LPS", which may be unpopular in this group, but anyone care to share their thoughts on this?
  • OK the ES is not an LPS contender (and NOT because of the number of cars under the edmunds LPS banner, I would presume.)

    The ES, though, may be a big seller because it carries the Lexus name (which does belong on an LPS discussion forum of some kind.)

    The fact that some (many?) may think of it as a "tarted up" Camry may not be a widespread perception.

    Further if it is a big seller -- for whatever reason -- why cut it? I, personally, do not think the ES and GS would appeal to the same prospective customer. Besides, who cares, if "I" go into the Lexus dealer thinking GS and determine it is too pricey? I still have a "Lexus" that I can afford that is, no matter its more humble underwear, wearing a very nice suite of clothes indeed.

    Win for Lexus, methinks.

    Based on what y'all are telling me, you wouldn't dream of an FWD premium or near premium car even -- but, for those that don't mind, the ES300 or 350 or whatever it morphs into over time is another way to NOT lose a customer.

    For the record, I used to feel the same way about the Passat (née Quantum) vs the Audi A4 (née 4000.)

    I did buy a Quantum once operating under the delusion that it was "identical to an Audi for a lot less money."

    I was wrong. :surprise:
  • I would love to have the car you described. I don't really want a "sport" car. I spent 17 years in a '65 Vette, 4-speed, 350 hp. I could run over a dime and tell you heads or tails.

    I drove a 2004 ES until January when I traded it for an RX for my wife. Now I have her car ('99 Aurora) and am looking for my car. I drove the GS and it was too small. I had a crowded feeling. I like the M35 and RL. I am more interested in the L of LPS. I want all the toys (voice recognition, intelligent cruise control, push button start, backup camera, etc.) I would love a baby LS because I don't really want to spend $60-$70 on a car. I was hoping to love the new ES, even if 0-60 was 7.5 sec. My '04 was smooth and quiet, it just didn't have enough toys.

    Len
  • An Infiniti M may be just the ticket!
  • "why not scrap the ES and GS and come up with a "baby" LS"

    I think that's what the ES350 was meant to be. A baby LS. The GS is for people who want something sportier both in ride and looks.

    I saw the ES350 and the new LS460 at the chicago auto show. I think Lexus failed in their endeavor. It does has a lot of worthy technology, but IMO, Lexus failed to make it feel like a smaller LS. The inside didn't look as plush and the styling was too bold. Presenting it in a hot red color sure didn't help either.

    Although I wouldn't buy it, I suspect Lexus will sell a lot of them. It has a lot to offer for the money.
  • bartalk3bartalk3 Posts: 692
    In this week's "Automotive News," Acura pretty much admitted that the RL is way overstuffed and overpriced which has led to its poor sales. They intend to bring out a less loaded, de-contented version of the RL in the fall that may list for $7,000-$10,000 less. Not a moment too soon. Or, alternatively, they could just drop the sticker price of the current model by that amount, and it might be competitive at that price point.
  • bartalk3bartalk3 Posts: 692
    Lexusguy: how do you figure 4 GS's in the fall? The hybrid is added, but don't you think they will drop the 300 when they introduce the 350? And they will drop the 430 when they bring out the 460, no? Or something.
  • I drove today what seemed to be an idea for your next car [me to for that matter} A 2003 cpo'd M5. 34,000 miles, loaded with nav, and a REAL manual. All for a low low price of $49,500. {negotiable I'm sure} Boy was this car a blast....Dan
  • I jus'won't do it w/o AWD.

    But I am confident it was a blast.

    Perhaps the B8 S4 will be ummmmm, "adequate."
  • . . .washed today. I sure hope car colors are within the purview of this erudite forum. . . So here goes:

    Just wondering what the standard, normal, most frequent (three?) colors we LPS types select might be?

    Apparently BMW's only come in two colors, Black and Silver . . . not that there is anything wrong with these colors, but here in River City if you had a black BMW you could lose it at a Reds or Bengals home game -- uh, say when Pittsburgh (baseball or football team) was in town for the weekend. My wife, fond as she is of Black cars has decided, for whatever reason that her next BMW -- and she swears it will be a Bimmer -- will be dark green metallic du jour.

    Even the Infinitis all seem to be silver. Only the Mercedes seem to come in other colors -- although I have seen a couple other NON black or silver A6's, but -- not many of this model either.

    Is this a lemming like behavior or is it simply "the current style?"

    Anywho -- anyone NOT have black or a silver derivative and willing to admit it? I must've been nutz to get green, heck Infiniti doesn't even offer it.

    Thank god I'm leasing, the resale must be really poor.

    :confuse:
  • warthogwarthog Posts: 216
    Down here in the sunny south, black is non-starter for me. At 5:00 on a July afternoon, getting into a black car is a WW2 Japanese prisoner experience. Metallic silver, on the other hand, does a great job of reflecting the heat and, as a bonus, hides dirt marvelously.
  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,611
    Around these parts you can get a Mercedes in any color as long as it's silver.
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