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Luxury Performance Sedans

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Comments

  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Dewey, I totally agree with you. Performance cars are judged on the performance GOODS, period.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    If someone really carries on about a road they love, I’ll mark it in my atlas every time. It seems that I end up everywhere, sooner or later.

    Cdnpinhead, have you heard of the Tail of the Dragon in Tennessee and North Carolina (mostly Tennessee)? If not, you might want to put it at the top of your list. I drool at the thought of driving this road.

    http://bridger.us/mini/files/R&T_June_2006%20_TOTD.pdf

    http://www.tailofthedragon.com/
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Dewey, I totally agree with you. Performance cars are judged on the performance GOODS, period.

    Perhaps. What would've happened if the NSX had been the Honda NSX here, as it is in the rest of the world? Would anyone in the US buy a $90K+ Honda? At around $30K, I think the S2000 could work with either a Honda or an Acura badge on it. Asking $65-75K though for a Nissan could be a mistake in the states. This is the most badge concious automarket in the world. The Infiniti badge was created just for us. The rest of the world is happy with Nissan Skylines and Fugas.

    On the other hand, Americans know the Skyline GT-R best from Gran Turismo, as a Nissan. That worked for the WRX and Evo, and it could also work for the new GT-R.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,088
    There are issues with the analogy, I grant, but again I say the name "Phaeton."
  • reality2reality2 Posts: 303
    Actually, Audi's 2.0 4 and 4.2 8 won Ward's Best Automotive engines in its classes. So, to say BMW builds better engines is again more perception than reality as it the case with all of BMW.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Asking $65-75K though for a Nissan could be a mistake in the states.

    Really? Larger dealer network, greater exposure and more brand recognition.

    If the production GT-R lives up to its potential, and is TRULY awesome and inspiring, people will gladly accept and pay for it as a Nissan, IMO. I agree with Dewey and Designman on this one. It's more about the CAR.

    TagMan
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    Actually, Audi's 2.0 4 and 4.2 8 won Ward's Best Automotive engines in its classes. So, to say BMW builds better engines is again more perception than reality as it the case with all of BMW.

    I agree. In fact, that was my point. BMW does a great job of promoting its engine developments, to the point where a couple of auto mags accompanied reviews of the new 3-series with extensive coverage of the new engines, to an extent I haven't seen them do with other (even) German engines. In general, German brands all put a lot of money into pushing for cutting-edge balance of power and efficiency. Wards said about the Audi V6: "Audi's engine wizards prove high performance doesn't have to come at the expense of reasonable fuel economy." And about the V8 (even before FSI was added) --my favorite engine, in terms of performance (especially performance points per gas dollar): This engine is a virtual dynamo. It's the smallest-displacement V-8 in what we broadly define as the "premium V-8 class" of less than 5L - yet it's the most powerful. Its deeper beauty is its game-stopping flexibility and throttle response, always ready to unleash a torrent of power from idle to redline.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,281
    Excellent!

    Thank you very much.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Oh I have no doubt the car will be a hit for Nissan as the Corvette is for Chevy, my point was that if Nissan is serious about sharpening Infiniti's image with luxury/performance car buyers then it should have an Infiniti here. I agree that the car will be a judged on what it can do and not the badge. How else would a mere "Chevy" be able to compete with cars that cost 3xs as much.

    M
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    if Nissan is serious about sharpening Infiniti's image with luxury/performance car buyers then it should have an Infiniti here.

    A boost, yes . . . but this isn't the real help that Infiniti needs, IMO. There are other issues. Heck, if badged as an infiniti, the GT-R would be great car, likely lost in the ambiguity of the Infiniti badge, and that would be another tragedy for another great car.

    Nissan needs to re-think the marketing of the Infinity badge, because the cars are MUCH better than their sales figures would suggest, IMO.

    This situation reminds me of Audi to an extent. Although I do believe that Audi is now on the right path, thank goodness. I still wonder about Infiniti.

    TagMan
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    True, I agree with what you're saying here. A GT-R isn't going to "fix" Infiniti. We were strictly talking about giving their image a boost like you stated.

    The problem I think with Infiniti is that they're pretty much all sedans and SUVs. The G35 being the sole exception. IMO to be what I call a full-service luxury brand/provider you need Coupes, Convertibles, Roadsters and some type of performance variants. I mean on paper Cadillac is a more a luxury brand than Infiniti is with their much broader range of products, but how many of us here would take a Cadillac over an Infiniti?

    The G35 has done a lot for them, but the car has a dated and imo cheap interior that just doesn't cut it anymore. It appears that the 07' G addresses this issue while improving upon the current car's strengths. I myself have always like the Coupe better, and for 08's it appears it will make the Merc1 lust list again.

    The M is selling as well as can be expected IMO since they're basically coming out of nowwhere in the market segment. For it to outsell the Lexus GS here and there some months is outstanding IMO. Sort of a M5/E63 fighter the M lineup is pretty solid, IMO. I guess they could throw in a M45x for the few sales it would net.

    The Q45 is where Infiniti starts to turn for the worse. This car has never been able to get out of the Lexus LS's shawdow and then they tried to market it as some type of full-size sports sedan when nothing couldn't have been further from the truth. The Q is the definition of a lame duck and its lineage pretty much sucks if you can remember the previous generation which actually was smaller, slower and worse looking then car it replaced. Brilliant move on their part if destroying a nameplate is the goal! I really don't know what suggest for them to do about the Q. I can't seen Nissan spending the money to make it a S-Class/LS type luxo-crusier and actually beating them at that. Forget about taking on the A8 and especially the 7-Series unless you're going to actually make the thing sporty.

    A convertible version of the next G35 Coupe would be nice as well as G45 version to tackle the M3. Heck make it both sedan and coupe form, BMW is going to do just that with the next M3. Infiniti needs something "special" like that or a GT-R based something.

    As far as their SUVs, the FX is all they have worthwhile, of course IMO. The FX's looks tickle me (in a good way) looking like something a gangster in a cartoon would drive, short, fat and stubby, but good looking if you can picture that. It really drive like a tall sports car too. The QX on the other hand is just another big ole truck truck wit a big ole grille, but the Cadillacs own that segment when it comes to "bling".

    Audi has a similar situation like you state, but ah Audi knows what they've go to do hence the RS4, S6, S8, and more importantly the upcoming A5 Coupe and R8, the latter of which will be totally unique among luxury car brands. No one else, not BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, Infiniti, Cadillac, Acura (well after this year), not even Bentley or Aston-Martin has a mid-engined sports car in their lineup. I've long said this about Audi, that all sedans and wagons (they didn't have an SUV until now!) kept them from elevating their "status" or "image".

    M
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The problem I think with Infiniti is that they're pretty much all sedans and SUVs. The G35 being the sole exception. IMO to be what I call a full-service luxury brand/provider you need Coupes, Convertibles, Roadsters and some type of performance variants. I mean on paper Cadillac is a more a luxury brand than Infiniti is with their much broader range of products, but how many of us here would take a Cadillac over an Infiniti?

    Good point. Acura is the same way at the moment. They'd rather just kill off their coupes than work to make them more competitive, leaving basically two Accords, an Accord Euro, an Accord wagon, and a CR-V. Not good.

    The Q45 is where Infiniti starts to turn for the worse. This car has never been able to get out of the Lexus LS's shawdow and then they tried to market it as some type of full-size sports sedan when nothing couldn't have been further from the truth. The Q is the definition of a lame duck and its lineage pretty much sucks if you can remember the previous generation which actually was smaller, slower and worse looking then car it replaced. Brilliant move on their part if destroying a nameplate is the goal! I really don't know what suggest for them to do about the Q. I can't seen Nissan spending the money to make it a S-Class/LS type luxo-crusier and actually beating them at that. Forget about taking on the A8 and especially the 7-Series unless you're going to actually make the thing sporty.

    The Q's problem has always been that its just 16 feet of car, about as anonymous as you can get. That, and the interior was always awful, basically Nissan quality with some extra wood trim. Making the "Q41" for 1997 supposedly had something to do with making the car more "light and nimble", by shaving off 200lbs. thanks in part to the smaller engine. (It also allowed them to avoid the gas-guzzler tax) we all know how that turned out. For 2002 they just made it wierder, without making it better. If the best thing you can think of to advertise the car is how great the headlights are, the car has serious problems.

    As far as their SUVs, the FX is all they have worthwhile, of course IMO. The FX's looks tickle me (in a good way) looking like something a gangster in a cartoon would drive, short, fat and stubby, but good looking if you can picture that. It really drive like a tall sports car too. The QX on the other hand is just another big ole truck truck wit a big ole grille, but the Cadillacs own that segment when it comes to "bling".

    The FX is a great product, something totally different from what Lexus and Acura have. The QX is not. It's everything thats wrong with the "old Infiniti", an almost transparent rebadge of a Nissan product. That, and it's less reliable than a Land Rover.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,281
    Infiniti & Nissan go into the great beyond is in terms of efficiency. As others have pointed out, getting good acceleration numbers isn't too hard, so long as you're willing to throw MPG under the bus.

    The car I'm driving threw MPG under the bus for a whole different reason -- ultra-low emissions. I drove an Eagle Vision with a 3.5 V6 that consistently got 2 mpg better than my 3.0 Lincoln LS. But the LS is an ULEV -- oh boy.

    Is Nissan/Infiniti chasing that green dragon as well? Are Audi & BMW classified in the same emission category as the Infinitis? Is it better to burn 35% less fuel & emit a bit more "pollution," or get the certificate and 17 mpg?

    What I like (among other things) about Audi & BMW is that they do what they do and still get 25+ mpg on the highway -- 30 mpg on a good day. Infiniti hasn't a prayer of doing that, given their present tilt.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,088
    The 3.1 V6 has been praised extensively. Indeed, it has a 12+:1 compression ratio and achieves impressive power (both HP and torque) and, when it is turbo charged (in the case of the 2.0) achieves power like a larger engine with impressive economy.

    Furhter advances are sure to come as FSI evolves.

    Of course, now BMW seems keen to embrace turbo charging as Audi seems keen to produce huge power from non pressurized engines.

    I can't wait (as if they'll do it) for a super-turbo charged FSI engine (such as the Audi 3.1) that easily achieves over 300 HP and well over 300 pound feet of torque at about 2RPM.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "I can't wait (as if they'll do it) for a super-turbo charged FSI engine (such as the Audi 3.1) that easily achieves over 300 HP and well over 300 pound feet of torque at about 2RPM."

    That gave me a chuckle. ;-) That having been said, I'm thinking that you doth exaggerate a bit, it's probably more like 60 rpms. :shades:

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,088
    I could say I meant 2KRPM's -- but I was saying what I said, as you picked up, for effect.

    Seriously, I have read all about the combination of super and turbo or an electric assist to a turbo charger to eliminate turbo lag.

    But imagine what the 3.1 FSI engine could output with even a mild turbo application (remember the last iteration of the 2.7T bi-turbo?) -- easily 300HP and what? 325 lb ft of torque at 1850 rpm?

    The full on RS treatment to this engine would certainly be capable of a horsepower number beginning with a 4.

    The 4.2FSI hasn't even begun to show its capabilities.

    Wonder what will come to pass.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    As a long time advocate of using a turbo (or turbo-compressor supercharger as referred to by the NACA in "Report No. 230" dated simply "1926" http://naca.larc.nasa.gov/reports/1926/naca-report-230/ ) to effectively allow an engine to dynamically increase its displacement (or make it less susceptible to power losses at altitude), that last post of yours is "Speaking my language". ;)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    What I like (among other things) about Audi & BMW is that they do what they do and still get 25+ mpg on the highway -- 30 mpg on a good day. Infiniti hasn't a prayer of doing that, given their present tilt.

    Lexus as well. The IS350 has more horsepower and torque than the G35, and at the same time is rated 21\28 and is ULEV-II.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The Q's problem has always been that its just 16 feet of car, about as anonymous as you can get. That, and the interior was always awful, basically Nissan quality with some extra wood trim. Making the "Q41" for 1997 supposedly had something to do with making the car more "light and nimble", by shaving off 200lbs. thanks in part to the smaller engine. (It also allowed them to avoid the gas-guzzler tax) we all know how that turned out. For 2002 they just made it wierder, without making it better. If the best thing you can think of to advertise the car is how great the headlights are, the car has serious problems.

    I agree. I couldn't remember the displacement of the V8 in that car, but that was it a 4.1L V8.

    The QX is not. It's everything thats wrong with the "old Infiniti", an almost transparent rebadge of a Nissan product. That, and it's less reliable than a Land Rover.

    Youch!

    M
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    What would've happened if the NSX had been the Honda NSX here, as it is in the rest of the world? Would anyone in the US buy a $90K+ Honda?

    I don’t think it would have done any worse. I think most people who bought the NSX are enthusiasts and know it’s a Honda anyway. I don’t believe the Acura badge which was still new at the time did anything for the NSX. If anything it was the other way around. It sold only 9000 cars in the US from its launch in ’91 until now.

    The badges are Honda for the NSX and Nissan for the GT-R, regardless of which division they are sold under. Anyone who does not know this would not be inclined to buy them anyway. The NSX did nothing for the Acura badge and it is questionable what the GT-R can do for Infiniti. The Japanese luxury divisions are just that—luxury.

    BTW, don’t forget to put the NSX in historical perspective. It came out at $65K in '91 and offered more than the 911 at a time when Porsche was on the precipice. Where did they go with it? When compared with other cars the answer is backward. Regardless of badge, they were nuts in taking it to that $90K package—living proof that Japanese cars have their work cut out at premium or exotic prices. NSX was an awesome car and few wanted it.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Youch!

    Quite. It's got the full black from CR, and not only that, but it has their absolute worst predicted score, of any brand, in any segment. Nissan clearly has serious problems with their North American plants, as the Titan, Quest, and Armada all have quality issues.
  • purplem46purplem46 Posts: 54
    At the risk of beating this horse to death, just a small clarification on that earlier post of mine. I don't believe Nissan/Infinity intend (at least to my knowledge) to open a performance division such as M or AMG. Just that they have finally allowed the one car that competes in that division, Skyline, into the states. This car has been around for many years in different iterations, but never here. At an estimated 400hp, and it's rumoured body style, it should compete directly with the likes of M3 or RS4. AMG with its stubborn reliance on auto tranny's may yet be in a different class. It may have a little "boy racer" in it, but again, in the same vein as M3 and RS4. I've heard it will likely sell at north of $80K, and I don't think the buyers of this vehicle will care what badge it carries. The name Skyline will carry much more weight than either Nissan or Infinity. I really want one, and I haven't even seen it yet, outside of artists renditions and concept models.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Reliability is a recurring theme here so what would this forum be without another reliability list? Here is a list of the least reliable luxury cars?(there are no MBs, BMWs, Audis or Porsches on the list)

    link title
  • purplem46purplem46 Posts: 54
    They all appear to be SUV's outside of a Saab 9.3. Forbes is a little "free and easy" with the term luxury car.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Yeah that report was a little strange. They seemed to pick and choose info from JD and CR that they wanted for their findings. CR ranks the E, the SL, and the CLK far worse than the Saab 9-3 that they chose to pick on.
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    A British review of the Audi Q7 emphasizes: Before we move much further into this report let me convey a message from Audi to you, our readers: "This is not a Touareg-based vehicle. It's not a Touareg wearing the Audi badge. It's a unique platform all its own." That being said, the Audi Q7 does share about 15% of the Touareg components, but the similarities indeed stop right there.

    So, the discussion about the Skyline GT-R has iterations within other brand families. BMW and Mercedes are much better positioned than Audi to avoid that.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Forbes is a little "free and easy" with the term luxury car.

    Well said. Forbes list of top luxury cars is quite mid-tiered.

    TagMan
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    "The 4.2FSI hasn't even begun to show its capabilities."

    The first road test review from the UK that I've read reports 26.1 miles/gallon(UK) = 21.7 miles/gallon(US) with the 4.2 FSI in the A6.
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    In an early road test of the Audi A6 4.2, reported in an Australian website that has "cheeky" and witty reviews, they wrote:

    "Why you'd buy it: Contrary to public perception, Audi makes better quality cars than BMW and Benz and has done so for about the past five years. The trouble is . . .

    Why you wouldn't: These new and improved Audis are still paying for the sins of Audis of old, which were not as well built. Car valuers hit Audis unfairly hard because the public and the industry are stuck in a time warp."
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Is the LPS segment racing towards the path of oblivion :confuse:

    I looked at the latest July sales figures for the BMW 5 series, Infiniti M and the Lexus GS. And what do they have in common? All three are afflicted with the same double digit sales declines.

    Take a look at this MB sales report linked below:

    link title

    MB appears to be quite evasive in terms of revealing their E Class sales figures? Sounds like a double digit sales decline cover-up to me!

    The Acura RL sales dropped a whopping 24 percent. When will Honda have the audacity to replace the RL with a AWD TL?

    The Audi A6 is a pleasant exception to the above misery? Sales levels for the A6 are close to Lexus GS levels.
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