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Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The Sonata and Azera have what it takes to be mainstream hits (and they are much better cars than the Malibu and Impala). They arent quite as good as Camry and Avalon, but the chasm that seperated Hyundai's last gen Sonata and XG350 from Toyota has closed to a pretty small gap.

    Being able to compete on level ground with Accord and Camry and having a credible LPS are two entirely different things, though. For one thing, the market is already pretty saturated, with 8 well established brands, and three more players on the sidelines (Lincoln, Volvo, Saab).

    Then there's the matter of the badge, and multiple cars to support it. Even at the speed at which Hyundai is improving, developing a luxury brand from scratch would still take decades. Hyundai is still trying to figure out how to seperate itself from Kia, so I dont think Lexus or BMW have any reason to be worried.
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    ... I dont think Lexus or BMW have any reason to be worried.

    Wasn't it just a handful of years ago that people were saying the same thing about Toyota and Honda? Now Hyundai is a genuine threat. I wouldn't be so cavalier about them entering the LPS segment. They're pretty close to the mark on the "L" portion. They just need to invest some money in the "P" quotient.
  • drtraveldrtravel Posts: 395
    Wasn't it just three handful of years ago that BMW and MB didn't give any credence to the Japanese entry into the luxury market. i.e. Acura, then Lexus and Infiniti.

    How did that turn out for them?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well I don't think it is that as cut and dry as implied. BMW for one has never really had to compete directly with Lexus until now and argubly Lexus still doesn't build a true BMW alternative. Lexus builds another luxury car alternative moreso than a real threat to BMW compared to say the threat that Lexus has been towards Mercedes. Lexus has had a much larger impact on Mercedes than BMW. With their cars Lexus has taken far more from Mercedes than BMW especially with their star LS model. People who buy BMWs for the right reasons (IMO, anything other than just status) still don't seem to care about Lexuses for various reasons.

    Acura hasn't done much of anything to anyone and they aren't even take seriously past the TL so I hardly think BMW or Mercedes considers Acura much of anything besides a entry-level competitor that is only sold in one market. Until Acura shifts the drive wheels and sells and engine with more than 6 holes they're still sitting on the porch and the Honda "Legend" (our Acura RL) takes a serious backseat to the Europeans in other markets all across the world. It is pretty much an afterthought.

    Infinti has never meant much either until the G35 and now the M35/M45. If BMW has anything to worry about in this market it would be Infiniti, not Lexus and certainly not Acura.

    I think also you have to rember that BMW and MB are global brands and they tend to think on that level a lot and none of the Japanese brands have made a dent or in the case of Acura and Infiniti aren't even sold much of anywhere else to matter. Lexus has shown for the same amount of years they've been here that they haven't been able to cut it in Europe.

    If anything I think if the Koreans enter this segment they'll flop very badly because their regular cars aren't up to the best of from Japan and they'll be even harder pressed to match the Germans at anything beyond reliability. This is a much harder segment to crack than the Camry/Accord segment IMO and some of the Japanese (Acura and to a degree Lexus) aren't really getting the job done either.

    Then again the Koreans could try to crash this segment with a comparable car for thousands less, that might net a few sales but this crowd won't take the cars seriously enough to sustain them in the market.

    M
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    Acura's still not garnering much respect on the luxury scene, but Lexus is doing quite nicely and Infiniti is making moves.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Well said, I agree completely. Yes, 20 years ago the established players thought Japan would be no real threat. The luxury market in 1986 and the luxury market in 2006 are very different though. 20 years ago, the "established players" were BMW and Mercedes. Audi was a tiny bit-player in the market, and Jaguar was nearly killed by horrendous quality issues. Cadillac and Lincoln were jokes. (Lincoln pretty much still is, but Cadillac is competing, at least on the level of the C and E).

    The Legend, LS and ES worked pretty much immediately, but Acura and Lexus struggled for years to move their other products. Who remembers the Vigor, or the SLX? How about Infiniti's M30 or J30?

    Hyundai doesn't have the engines, transmissions, platforms, or high-tech gadgets required to have a competitive luxury car in 2006. You cant even get a NAV system in the Azera, while Honda offers one in the Civic.

    I think that Infiniti and Lexus need at least another 10 years to increase their product portfolios and push their brands globally to be considered truly on par with the Europeans. The 600hL is Lexus' first step towards true equality, but will they sell any outside of the United States? Infiniti has yet to offer a successful full size luxury car, and Acura has yet to offer a successful mid size LPS.

    Lexus and BMW have absolutely nothing to worry about from Hyundai, not before 2030 anyway.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    Hyundai offers NAV in even the Elantra in Korea. Don't know why they don't offer it here though.

    24 years is a very long time. Lexus only took about 10 years to become the best selling lux brand in the states.

    Hyundai grew much faster in its first 20 years in the U.S., than Toyota did in its first 20 years in the U.S.

    I'd say in about 10 years they should make some noise. They have to establish a separate lux brand first though. Americans are badge lovers, and no one would ever buy a $50,000 Hyundai, no matter how nice it is.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,071
    . . .but Audi has a "private" party Tuesday, May 16th at one of the Cincinnati dealers to "show off" the new Q7 and the RS4 cars.

    You know, heavy, heavy hors d'oeuvres, brochures, wine and factory reps gushing over the cars. . .

    Sounds kinda fun.

    Went to the Infiniti M version last year -- do the other LPS guys do this too (I would imagine?)

    Probably the wrong place, but I'll post (somewhere) my up close and personal takes on the Q7 and RS4 afterwards.

    :shades:
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    I know Porsche does. I've been invited to some BMW ones back when I had my 3 series back in Cali.

    -Paul
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Jag does too. I was invited to a special preview showing of the new XK a month or so ago.
  • cmybimmergocmybimmergo Posts: 265
    Lexus does it.
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    Even Chrysler did it with the new 300 back in 2004. I went to that event and also the Infiniti M unveiling. Infiniti had some awesome Swedish meatballs. Chrysler had some delicious cheeses. :shades:
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,071
    Got into and behind the wheel of a Q7 yesterday, offered a drive, but the salesperson said it would feel sluggish even with the V8, traffic was a mess, so I passed now that I know it will be 'round for eval after the big show at the dealer's tonight.

    The thing from my perspective is HUGE.

    Reminded me, inside, of an A6 and seemed very well made.

    From the driver's seat, the thing is a beauty -- looking out over the hood.

    From the outside and I know I'll get a whippin' -- gulp, well the dang thing looks like a Chrysler Pacifica.

    Maybe, maybe, it will grow on me.

    At this point, I'll pass -- the A6 and perhaps the next generation A4 and certainly the BMW 530xi series will get my attention (although I am 20 months away from a refresh.)

    Check it out, maybe a Pacifica isn't a bad thing. :confuse:
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    I think the Pacifica is nice looking..Man you have a long wait for the new car, and I really enjoy your excitement when you do get one, so I also have a long wait...T
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The Q7 doesnt do it for me. It's a typical German uber-porker SUV, around 1400lbs. heavier than the RX350. With gas prices where they are, I just cant get excited about averaging 10-12mpg.

    The interior is a copy\paste from the A6. While its nice, it seems kind of lazy on Audi's part.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,071
    And it is 400 pounds lighter than the Escalade, a few inches shorter and $11,000 less money, and. . .

    Well it would be no contest if you want a land whale.

    Funny, theses uber SUV's (from anywhere) seem to get closer to the SIZE of the dinosaur as we seem to be paying dearly for the fossil fuels the real dinosaurs helped create (talk about commitment!)
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    It is rather interesting that after years of being essentially the only alternative to the Lincoln and Cadillac, Lexus' GX and especially the LX are now completely outmatched by the Q7 and GL, and at $65K+, the LX470 looks mighty overpriced to boot.

    Time for Toyota to think about a serious overhaul of its full size lineup.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,071
    Begin, stream of consciousness.

    The Q7 is, IMHO, HUGE! I know the Escalade would technically be bigger in terms of some of its dimensions and weight. I don't know if it is more or less effective as a "package" to "package" people and their stuff, but if you are looking at a $57,000 Tahoe and DON'T look at a $56,000 Q7 (the price of the one they had for the demo) you are missing out on an awesome vehicle.

    Yet, I was not enthusiastic about the Q7, it is bulbous, looks like a fine fine fine Chrysler Pacifica and has the wonderful A6-like interior and probably the most comfortable chairs I've ever been in inside of an automobile.

    The V8 engine, so I'm led to believe, is adequate to the task and does not strain -- but it IS a large SUV, a luxury sort of sport SUV, but an SUV for pity's sake.

    I guess Audi feels they need one -- I am kind of of the mind that it is too big and too late.

    A Q5 or Q6 (about the size of the BMW X3 but Audi-fied) needs to be brought to market NOW.

    The RS4 was a site to behold, touch, sit in and hear idle. But, heck, the monthly gas bill would certainly exceed the lease payment based on its volume and its state of tune. . . .

    Which made me think as. . . . :blush:

    I glanced down this afternoon whilst driving on I-71 South from north of Cincinnati to the CBD and found I was at 92mph in the #2 lane (of 4), being passed from time to time and passing a whole lot of slower moving traffic that was in lanes 3 and 4. No muss, no fuss, no sense of great speed (traffic was very light to light medium until I was within 5 miles of downtown -- the stars were in alignment and no Reds game was being played.)

    My 2005 A6 V6 has what by many LPS standards is a merely adequate motivator -- a 255HP rating in a rather heavy car even for its class, i.e. I can easily merge into traffic even when speeds are well above the national speed limit and somewhat to my chagrin, I can almost obliviously (to myself, that is) motor on at darn near Autobahn speeds.

    My tank, when full, shows me a distance to empty sometimes over 600 miles and the car and gas payments are relatively sane.

    Rare is the time -- and getting rarer and rarer -- when I could even enjoy the legs of the lesser Audi S4, that was parked right next to the RS4. Heck, my last three Audi 4.2 engines, while being the sweetest sounding of any car I have been in with any regularity, loafed in the clog of traffic that is normal even in this rather smallish Midwestern City (SMSA 1.5MM+.)

    Now comes Audi (and the rest of the LPS cars) with cars that seem to require fuel lines that can be mistaken for garden hoses and gas prices that soon will threaten to go way north of $3.50 on a trajectory to $5.00 and beyond.

    The big-butt Q7 and the "we're not worthy, we're not worthy" RS4 seem like guilty pleasures or excesses even with YOUR money. Especially when I can cruise along glued to the choppy pot hole stricken Ohio Interstate system at 90+mph and have only my instruments to keep me aware of speed.

    The lust I retain for the V8 and the relentless rush that their weapons grade torque can provide seems more and more like an invitation to be frustrated. Like going into Mortons and smelling the steak but only being able to order and eat the chicken.

    A powerful and luxurious and sporty "near" LPS car seems to me to be both great fun and prudent/pragmatic all at the same time.

    Maybe I worry about draining the rest of the world's gasoline (even though I know that is unlikely in my lifetime at least), or maybe I am frustrated that we keep making ever faster, quicker and bigger vehicles that can only be deployed (most of the time) on ever slower, in need of repair and more crowded highways.

    Hell, maybe I'll move to Montana.

    The LPS-SUV wasn't repulsive -- but it is the first new Audi I have NOT been drawn to in at least SOME manner, shape form or regard.

    If you need a biggin', my guess is you would be hard pressed to find something better especially for the money ($56K did seem like a bargain after the $57K Tahoe.)

    I'll pass. . .

    End, stream of consciousness.
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    I looked at the edmonds pricing for a Pacifica, and either I read it wrong, but the number was way lower than the numbers mentioned above....What am I missing?? Tony
  • jking233jking233 Posts: 2
    Can someone tell me the Cell phones that will transfer the phone book to the GS300 GEN 4 NAV system. looking to beg borrow or steal one lol

    Thanks
    Jeff
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Well, take away all of the luxury and "performance" of the Q7, GL or R-class, and you're left with the Pacifica, a mediocre minivan with conventional doors. I think Honda and Toyota would be rushing competitors to market if they felt in any way threatened by it.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,071
    If you are in any way suggesting the price of the Pacifica after reading my post, I apologize for meandering all around.

    Audi Q7 as seen at demo in Cincinnati: ~ $56K
    Chevy Taho also seen at dealer in Cinti: $57K
    Escalade at another dealer here in Cinti: $66K+

    I assume the Pacifica would usually not go higher than a price beginning with a "3" but I guess you could max one out to around $40K before discounts.

    I have virtually no comment about the Pacifica. I have read that those who have tested it like it but think it aspires, price wise, above its station.
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    I have been thinking of replacing my daughter`s Lexus rx300(?) may be a different number...It has done good service for our family, and without really knowing anythin just thought the Pacifica looked rather attractive from he outside....I`m with you on the huge suv, and gas milage, and just --as I respect your opinion--thought that may be something....I guess on further thought she should stick with the Lexus..Tony
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    If she has an RX300 and you're looking for a replacement, go for the RX350. Another option is Acura's new MDX, Which should be a nice blend of the RX's luxury with the Infiniti FX's sporting nature.
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    Isn`t the rx getting an update soon? Probably stick with the Lexus, but she did in a moment of weekness mention a bigger model.. Tony
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I'm not really sure about that. The 270hp RX350 with the 3.5L engine is new for 2007, but they haven't changed anything else. My guess is that a refresh may come for '08 (probably with a change to RX450h), with a total redesign not before 2010. It is definitely going to run much longer than the RX300 did.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The ones on the S6 are wierd enough, but this is just going off the deep end. I really hope the production version doesn't have a front end like this:

    image
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    The front end looks like the Cheshire Cat...er...Bass. :)
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,071
    This would be yet another "real" or "photoshop"? version of the upcoming A5 coupe, yes? No?

    I like the wheels.

    Bit bling-y with the LED's.

    I always get in trouble when I say this -- but it looks like Audi is joining BMW in paying homage to Pontiacs of yore.

    Cat eyes anyone?
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    It's a CG "guesstimate" of what Audi's CLS competitor will look like, called the A7, according to Autoweek. The wheels were pulled directly from the S6.
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