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Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • CNN Money has interesting article on trends for both auto and manny transmissions. Very favorable comments on Audi's DSG.

    CNN Tranny
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    I drove a manual there in the Z4 M roadster. :)

    Stupid fast comes to mind, along with an ear to ear grin. Now if there were some way to justify it. :)

    As for LPS wheels, looking at wheel choices, I agree with Mark that many of us would like to upgrade our wheels to those offered on the sportier (M, AMG, S-Line, etc) versions. I'd LOVE to put M5 wheels on a regular 5 as the other wheel choices leave me less than happy. Things like this can make or break how a vehicle looks.

    Not an LPS vehicle, but consider the BMW 6 Series. The ellipsoid wheels on the Sport package look rather goofy. I can take or leave it. Slap some M6 wheels on there and the look of the vehicle changes entirely.

    A la mode ordering would be sweet, but I suspect the technical workings and relationships between some features dictate that other things need to be there. Not that that is an excuse, just an observation and guess.

    -Paul
  • Uh, yea, I'll have my Bimmer with vanilla, French Vanilla, ice cream.

    You meant, perhaps, a la carte?

    :shades:
  • Seriously, I can see very few instances where one feature or option depends upon another, especially in the areas of wheels, tires, ground effects, colors of paint and colors of the interior.

    Now, I do understand WANTING to keep some degree of exclusivity with the high zoot wheels and full-on RED leather ONLY being offered in the M versions.

    Yet, I can't help but wonder, if there would be an offset of MORE than the lost sales of an M car with an increase in the sales of a "regular" 3 or 5, were BMW to offer that snazzy red leather interior (for a price with a profit, of course) in a more pedestrian 530 or 330, etc?

    Let's say I am willing to pay an additional $1,000 (and I made that amount up) over the cost of the Premium Package for Red leather and Black Pearl Paint (for an additional premium paint charge of another $500 over the upcharge for metallic paint, etc.)

    Let's say, however, that I am not able or willing or even if both able and willing, my spouse says "no M5 for you, baby cakes!" And I say, "I'd be a happy camper with a 530 with sport package, premium package, technology goodies, pushbutton start, M5 wheels, red leather sport seats and black pearl paint for a total up charge of perhaps $2999 over the 530 otherwise normally equipped.

    Why not allow me to "give you my money?"

    I look at Audi, now, and I'm starting to understand their S-Line grouping. S-Line for those who are not deep into Audis, is a combination trim and suspension, tires, wheels and even some ground effects (and some badging and a glitzy steering/sport/wheel, bla bla bla.) It adds less than $3000 to the price of the car, which is somewhat of a bargain considering that the sport package alone used to be priced at $1250, so this is about a $1600 upcharge which, as far as I can tell is probably quite profitable.

    I don't think I will confuse or reconsider an S6 simply because there is an S-Line A6 3.2. I know the difference, I know the $20,000 upcharge for the S6 includes the V10, the brakes and a whole host of other stuff that even an S-Line A6 4.2FSI doesn't even rival.

    But, the S-Line A6 is, if you already like the looks, a "real looker" in the A6 family.

    Likewise, the M5 is a "looker" and an M-Line 530 should drive additional revenues overall for BMW. I would think the M5 would not suffer one whit.

    Packages are great ideas, don't get me wrong. It is just that for some folks wanting a backup camera and being forced to spring for a sunroof just doesn't compute.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Nah, I want my BMW, and cake, and ice cream too. :)

    I meant ala carte, but it was early. :) heheh

    My dependencies was more from a technical standpoint, like needing MMI for certain features or iDrive to enable others. Other than that, I agree, single options would be a great way to get those niche buyers who want a specific configuration.

    Is boutique buying a future opportunity for car makers? Who knows, but it would sure be fun to do! I could imagine the level of service could be upped a bit too to offer a VERY personal car shopping experience.

    BMW now offers active steering as a standalone option, so there are some VERY small signs of progress.

    -Paul
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    There are rumors that the upcoming generation of the TSX will have AWD.

    If that is the case then the Acura TL will definitely have SH-AWD.

    Also Honda is very serious about diesels in North America. The likeliest N. American diesel Acura will be the TSX since that is what is currently being sold in Europe as an Accord.

    Read some British mags and the diesel Acura TSX received rave reviews contrarty to the dismal reception of the diesel Lexus IS220d

    image
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    There are rumors that the upcoming generation of the TSX will have AWD.

    Count on it getting the RDX powertrain then as well. There's no way Acura would downsize the engine to 2.3L on a car that is already too slow and due for a significant weight increase without slapping a turbo on it. 240hp and 260ft.lbs of torque compares very favorably with the IS250 and 328i. That torque especially would be up 100ft.lbs over the outgoing TSX.
  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,540
    " I am (and my wife is too) ALMOST to the place where I can imagine an auto trans equipped car is not some sort of punishment for some past misdeed, or almost feel that nothing is being given up with an automatic. "

    I read your posting(s) on the X3 board - very interesting - but please ( please ) elaborate on this aspect?

    Thanks,
    - Ray
    Manumatic driver since 1999 . . .
  • The BMW performance driving school -- details over on the X3 forum -- was our fifth school. The first four were with Audi and were all with A4's with manual transmissions.

    Out of some 30+ German cars, only 4 or maybe 5 have been automatics and all of them except my '05 A6 have been unimpressive even though I cannot say I hated them as much as some folks. I don't think I hated them at all, in fact, I just didn't like them, thought they reduced control, were never in the gear I would've selected and the manumatic functions were slow to engage. I have and could go on and on about the 3, 4, and 5 speed automatics that I have had experience with in my nearly 40 years of driving.

    The current tip @ 6speeds and the step also @ 6 speeds and I am certain the Mercedes 7 speeds have all but banished the bad things from auto trans. I am also CERTAIN that Audi's DSG transmission once it is widely available will push manual transmissions largely into the history books.

    If you read what we did at the BMW performance school you will note it was 100% with auto trans. My wife has largely but not yet completely come to the conclusion that the instructors' commands over the walkie talkies to "increase" the speed of your hands in the exercises were able to be obeyed due to the fact that one hand did NOT have to be on the gear shift. Two pedals and ONE wheel. I drove during my turns at the wheel in S mode with BMW 4.4L V8's underfoot.

    I, too, can attest that the Audis on snow and ice tracks doing the exact same exercises DID indeed feel fine with stick shifts. And even though the laws of physics that affect the cars applies equally on ice as it does on dry pavement, there are differences that have to do with the VIOLENCE level.

    At 20kph on ice it is possible to experience understeer, oversteer, power slides, abs on/of braking, slalom runs, etc etc etc and have the behavior of the cars translate to 80kph on dry pavement. What works on ice at 20kph works with the same reaction on dry pavement but to achieve that reaction you must be going about 400% faster.

    When you are careening out of control on ice, the speed and "attitude" of the car is smooth and almost in slow motion. When you are IDENTICALLY careening out of control on a 30 foot wide concrete track, the speed and "attitude" of the car are anything but smooth and everything is in fast forward motion.

    The tires are clawing at the concrete and you are jarred, your muscles are jostled and your reaction (required) is to squeeze the controls with greater force and so on.

    Were I to need to press on a clutch (to prevent stalling, for instance), a gas and/or brake pedal, plus have one hand (sometimes) on the shift lever and one hand all the time on the steering wheel, I (and my wife too -- and even the instructors who elect to drive M cars ONLY with autos) can now see how being able to keep two hands on the wheel can possibly (since I am NOT a pro race driver) improve my ability to control the car in a "violent" lane change and panic stop.

    I would LOVE to try EVERYTHING we learned at the BMW day one performance school with my A6 3.2 tiptronic AND / OR a BMW 3 or 5 series with a stick shift -- to further educate and possibly convince myself of what I have just written.

    The instructors were high on BMW's (and AUDI's and PORSCHE's) steering wheel mounted paddle shifters for the "current breed" of auto trans, too.

    I have only briefly test driven cars with these paddles and have no opinion at this time -- but it makes sense, in any case. The proof of the response time would be the proof I am seeking. The BMW X5's in manual mode were worse than any Audi manumatic I have known -- "same day" response time, I would suggest, is how it felt. Even my A6 tip is very fast in comparison.

    I did not get to try an M car, for instance, with a Steptronic 6speed so I assume I would be pleasantly surprised.

    At this point, my wife is probably 51% into the "auto could work" attitude and paradigm shift.

    I am probably 65% -- but a new Audi S4 with a 6speed stick still has a huge attraction.

    Hope this "rationalization" is of some help at least in understanding how my wife, Ms. Stick Shift, forever, Auto Shift never, is morphing into an Auto-Believer.

    She IS NOT there, YET -- but she has, as of last week, crossed over the 50% line.

    :surprise:
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The instructors were high on BMW's (and AUDI's and PORSCHE's) steering wheel mounted paddle shifters for the "current breed" of auto trans, too.

    Paddle shifters are definitely much better than the various flavors of "buttons" that preceded them. I like them most when they are attached to the column and don't move with the wheel, so that left is always down, etc.
  • Ms. Stick Shift, forever, Auto Shift never, is morphing into an Auto-Believer.

    Eventually as she gains more skill, she'll be a believer.
  • M cars do not have steptronic tranny's. Only SMG or manual. No slush boxes.
  • From what I can tell, SMG is the worst of both worlds, and BMW, reluctantly is or soon will abandon it for DSG, even though they are probably loathe to have to adopt what Audi had several years before them.

    Our instructor prefered SMG as #3 on a scale of 1 - 3.

    A point and one that is not YET entirely there, is that there is a hell of a lot less SLUSH in the current 6 and 7 speed "tronics" than in the generation that was on the market just 1 - 2 years ago.

    I would call BMW's step tronic 5 speed, stutter tronic it was so bad. Likewise, Audi's tip tronic was the founder of the name "tip lag" due to some mighty strange programming.

    The current DSG is perhaps the best of all worlds, but it is offered on so few cars produced by anyone anywhere that it remains a virtual novelty.

    This is changing.

    Yet, reviews of Audis S8 which still uses a tiptronic are, darn near, glowing.

    Seven speed DSG transmissions will soon be widespread in this class of cars (from Audi and BMW), when that happens, I suspect the stick shift will be special order only, if it is even certified for NA sales.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    The British mag Car has some of the rumored details and pictures(certainly not official) of the upcoming 5 series.

    This picture looks alot like the current e90 3 series:

    image

    And the rear-end of this 5 series looks a lot like a Hyundai Sonata:

    image

    The most interesting specs are the following:

    BMW hasn't forgotten about environmental initiatives, though. The diesel engines should get urea injection – as Mercedes is pioneering – to cut nitrogen oxide emissions. A stop/start system and upshift indicator for six-speed manual versions will help reduce fuel consumption, and the engines should be biofuel- and synfuel-compatible. Brake energy-regeneration, in combination with adaptive alternator control, should also save up to 10 percent more fuel too.

    Link below for more 2009 5 series specs:

    2009 5 Series
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I'm liking the engine choices too. Hopefully most of them will cross the pond.

    Model - Engine
    520i --- 218bhp 2.5-litre
    525i --- 238bhp 3.0-litre
    530i --- 272bhp 3.0-litre
    535i --- 306bhp 3.0-litre twin-turbo
    540i --- 367bhp 4.8-litre V8
    550i --- 408bhp 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8
    520d -- 175bhp 2.0-litre four
    530d -- 204bhp 2.5-litre six (Typo? Maybe a 525d?)
    530d -- 245bhp 3.0-litre six
    535d -- 300bhp 3.0-litre six

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,285
    I'd settle for just some of them (including at least one diesel).

    Anything is better than (at least for the 3 series) two choices. The 5 has three, exactly 30% of the available universe outside of the U.S.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    I'm liking the engine choices too. Hopefully most of them will cross the pond.


    My hope is that we will at least be seeing two of them:

    530d -- 245bhp 3.0-litre six
    535d -- 300bhp 3.0-litre six
  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,594
    And the rear-end of this 5 series looks a lot like a Hyundai Sonata

    BMW really does design the worst derriers in the business.
  • Beauty must really be in the eye of the beholder. Personally, I have found the rear-end designs of the 3 and 5 series, during the 1990s and up to 2004, to be both simple and visually compelling. In addition, my take is that it has been widely copied, including by Hyundai. BMW shouldn't treat it as off-limits because it's now found on many other cars.

    If those photos predict what the next chapter will be in the life of the 5-series, I'd assume BMW marketing believes the change back toward previous rear-end design will please the marketplace.
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,016
    A reporter seeks to talk with longtime Volvo or BMW 5-Series owners. Please send your daytime contact info and a sentence or two about your Volvo ownership history to jfallon@edmunds.com no later than Wednesday, September 27, 2006.

    Thanks,
    Jeannine Fallon
    Corporate Communications
    Edmunds.com

    Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email, karen@edmunds.com, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

  • I've pretty well decided on an M35X but I was comparing it to the BMW525xi on the Infiniti site. Lopsided in favor of the M.

    Then I went to the BMW site to see how BMW spinned the comparison but they don't offer an option to compare to the M. Imagine that. They let you compare to Audi A6, Volvo S80, and Saab 9-5. Do you think that BMW knows they can't compare to the M but don't want anyone else to know? Or...has Infiniti just picked the best features to compare to and make it look like the BMW was made by Ford?
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Then I went to the BMW site to see how BMW spinned the comparison but they don't offer an option to compare to the M.

    You don't have to use an automaker's site to get a comparison. There's a ton of sites that will let you compare any car to any other car. Vehix, Cars, etc. I'm sure Edmunds has something.
  • Yup, I've been to those sites but that's not the point. The point is why BMW wouldn't compare its 5 to the M on its website.
  • Just out of curiosity, why didn't you compare it to the 530xi? It seems that it might be expected to be a little closer in paper capabilities.
  • No particular reason, but comparing it to the 525xi gives the M a price advantage of about $9,000 so I guess the 530 would make the 530 more expensive and it wouldn't have all the features of the M.

    The only thing that keeps bothering me (which I'll probably forget about after I buy it) is the gas mileage of the M.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The only thing that keeps bothering me (which I'll probably forget about after I buy it) is the gas mileage of the M.

    With oil at around $61, thats less of an issue than it was a few months ago.
  • kgarykgary Posts: 180
    My 2005 A6 4.2 came with 245/40/18 tires, I am thinking of going with a 255/40/18 replacement tire. The OD on the OEM tire is 25.7, the OD on the replacement tire is 26.0. I am concerned that the larger tire may rub or cause a problem with the Quattro system. Does anyone have any experience with the larger tire size? Does it rub? Should I be concerned about the impact on the Quattro system? Can I stick with the OEM rims?

    Kevin
  • I believe you can go as large as 265 x 40 x 18.

    255 would be a "perfect" plus zero and from what i can tell, requires nothing be done to the car iteself.

    What do you think you will get out of the plus sizing?

    This is not a trick question -- at least I don't intend it to be.

    I live in SW Ohio and the wider the tires, typically, the poorer the winter experience (and I would personally go with UHP all seasons, which may not be your approach.)
  • kgarykgary Posts: 180
    Mark,

    I have the Pirelli PZero Nero M & S tires on the car already. So I am in complete agreement on UHP tires for the car. I like the look of wider tires, but I don't want to go to a lower profile and risk getting a harsher ride. Do you know anyone who put 265/40/18s on the car?

    Kevin
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    Got this from somewhere else. My copy of C&D hasn't come in the mail yet.

    "C&D November - M45 vs. 550i vs. E550 vs. GS450h

    1. Infiniti M45 Sport
    2. BMW 550i Sport
    3. Mercedes-Benz E550
    4. Lexus GS450h

    The Infiniti had a one point advantage over the BMW overall. The BMW edged out the Infiniti by two points in the Fun-To-Drive category, but the Infiniti had a 5 point advantage in the Price category. The BMW cost almost $15,000 more than the Infiniti. The BMW was almost $71,000! The Infiniti also won the Got-To-Have-It category, edging out the BMW by one point."
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