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Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • In the Living Daylights, Bond's "getaway" car during the bit where he smuggles a presumed defecting spy from "Russia" to the west, is an Audi 200 quattro (this was, in 1987 when the movie was fresh, as I recall, the top of the Audi line, the forefather of the S6.)

    Later when Bond is "under cover" his car is an Audi Avant quattro.

    Of course one of the most memorable Bond machines ever was a BMW 750 (Tomorrow Never Dies?) that talked to Bond as he drove the car, sometimes crouched down in the back seat controlling the car with his improbable phone.

    In Golden Eye Bond drove what was, at the time, a pretty wimpy BMW Z4 (borrowed from his CIA buddy, correct?)

    Get in the Wayback Machine and recall when American Motors cars were featured and a particularly cool jump and twirl off of a bridge were featured -- I think that one was The Man with the Golden Gun.

    Bond drove a Z8, too, one that was buzz sawed in half lengthwise -- can't remember that movies title.

    So, yes he does not typically drive our LPS cars, but in at least a couple of instances he has driven their grandparents.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,687
    Isn't that a Z3 in Goldeneye?

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  • Picky picky picky -- I think you are correct, thanks!

    What is the movie's name with the AMC cars in it?

    I may have to google this if someone doesn't tell me.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,687
    Dag!!.. Yeah.. they have Matadors... shoot.. can't remember.. Roger Moore, though, right?

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  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    In the Ian Fleming books, James drove a 1933 Bentley Mark IV convertible.

    As for the movies, without a doubt, no car is more memorable than the legendary Aston Martin DB5. Other notable Astons were some special racing editons such as the DB MKIII, and DBS. More recently there was a V8 Vantage Volante in The Living Daylights, and of course the V12 Vanquish in the most recent film.

    Bond movies also featured a few classic Mustangs, Lotus Espirt Turbos, plenty of Rolls Royces, a Citroën 2CV, the Audi 200 Quatrro and 100 Avant you mentioned, a Mercedes 250SE, and the only Toyota 2000GT convertible ever built.

    The AMC Hornet and Matador were both in The Man With the Golden Gun.

    In the John Gardner Bond novels, he drives rather pedestrian Saab 900 and 9000CD Turbos.
  • s54s54 Posts: 29
    Has anyone had any experience dealing with Infiniti Corporate or Consumer Affairs? If so, I would appreciate any comments on the following:

    Since purchasing my car in July I have had it in to the dealer seven times to fix things such as two broken seat belt adjusters, door panel replacement and DVD/Moonroof/back seat/dashboard rattles. Except for the dashboard, they have not fixed the other rattles in four tries.

    Perhaps I should have contacted Consumer Affairs sooner, but they are now involved and want to have a "technician" come and look at it.

    This is my fourth Infiniti, dating back to 1993, and we have had no issues so I am at a loss as to what to do. I have had the car into the shop for a total of 14 days and I just want out.

    Thanks in advance. If anyone has direct contact info for Infiniti execs pls advise, as they may want to hear about a soon-to-be-former loyal customer having to take a car in eight times for repair.

    Jim
  • himikohimiko Posts: 1
    The idle on my 1988 260 E Mercedes Benz bounces up and down (between 650 and 1500) for no apparent reason. My mechanic has been looking at the problem for 2 weeks and can't solve it. He has replaced an air flow valve and the main computer, but to no avail. Anyone familiar with this problem please help.
  • warthogwarthog Posts: 216
    Mark: Thanks for the response. However, I still don't understand how AWD is helpful other than in slick conditions (and that would NOT include mere rain, as wet acceleration traction is rarely an issue--the problem is braking and we all have all wheel braking). If AWD truly improves performance in general, why do FI/Indy/Nascar/etc. cars not have it?
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Bond drove a BMW Z8 in The World is Not Enough as he drove through the oil fields and as he visited his Russian 'friend' at the caviar plant.

    :)

    -Paul
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    I have the opportunity to get an '04 E500 "demo" car. It has over 8K miles on it. Sticker is $60,925. Only options I see are sunroof and sound system. The car has never been titled (still has the MSRP sticker on the window). The FULL warranty will kick in once purchased. Being that it's an '04, the free maintenance will come with it. Navigation and satellite radio are mandatory for me and this car doesn't have either one. The dealer says they can add both.

    The salesman claims I can get it for probably the upper $40K range. I told them to be prepared to "throw in" the nav and satellite radio (meaning for free) if they really want me to buy it.

    What would LPS buyers do? WWLPSBD! :P
  • We may have pushed this topic as it relates to LPS cars about to its limits, here.

    I think I can address one broad and one more narrow reason for the racing car questions.

    Broadly (and this is an assumption, I have not vetted it by digging into information that details all of the particulars), the cars you wondered about (in a racing situation) are constrained by the "rules of the game."

    In the more specific case of Nascar, I would assume (assume, not fact checked) that if there are no rules prohibiting the number of driven wheels, that there are rules stating the car at least has to be a derivative of a car that someone could actually buy. Indeed, it is my understanding that despite tons of decals, wild paint, etc, that Ford's try to be recognized as Ford's and Chevrolet's ditto -- the cars that are "raced" (and they win) on Sunday can be sold on Monday, i.e.

    Let's assume that there are no regulation prohibiting number of driven wheels -- it would seem to me that there may be rules/regs that the base street car has at least some resemblence (both in look and some DNA in what is unseen, that is) between what is on the track and street; and, if the Dodge or Ford or Chevy, etc are not AWD street cars they are not likely to be raced with AWD (again even if NASCAR permitted this.)

    The "winning ways" of AWD where there were no rules against it, then there were rules, then the rules were relaxed (rinse lather repeat) present a telling story.

    In other racing, however, AWD has proven to be so compelling that companies cried foul and labled AWD (quattro initially) as "The Unfair Advantage":

    In an effort to allow AWD but simultaneously in an attempt to make it NOT the so-called "unfair advantage" rules were changed that required the AWD car's to add what was essentially ballast (extra weight for the sake of extra weight.)

    In some instances, virtually NO MATTER WHAT was done in this regard, AWD remained in the win, show, place category, more often than not "win."

    The reasons for this are almost (read the word "not quite") like the argument for AWB (all-wheel-brakes) and fully independant suspensions and so on.

    Unconstrained by drive train "rules" pertaining to the number of driven wheels, there is about 25 years worth of "racing news" you can "google" or "dogpile" that demonstrates AWD vehicles almost total dominance.

    Pike's Peak, too, is another area where AWD proved its point. Subaru can be also pointed to as another success story for AWD's prowess on the road and track.

    In an effort, an on going effort, to determine at least some data points, I have asked our local Infiniti dealer to quantify the M's sales. I don't know if he didn't want to share any numbers or percentages with me, but yesterday (approaching year two of the new M's) the dealer told me that the "majority" of M's sold are M35X's and that the "X" model remains his highest inventoried version.

    Unlike the BMW dealer who actually said "40%" of the 5's since July '05 are AWD, I have no other numbers.

    It would be a bit of a fib to also add that 100% of the Acura RL's and Audi A6's were sold w/AWD since they ONLY are offered w/AWD(or were in 2005 and in Audi's case remain the de facto standard in 2006 despite the Front Track A6 coming to the US.)

    Not that mfg's don't pull some boneheaded plays, but the observations, anecdotes and statistics do underscore if nothing else the popularity of AWD. The racing lore of the past decade or two only strengthens the performance case (which was almost unknown to some heretofore -- pre 2005 for instance.)

    A fruit used to be thought of one way, then "It's not just for breakfast anymore" became the tag line -- now it it something like "AWD, it's not just for winter anymore."

    BMW does a nice job of playing up the safety aspects of AWD and SH-AWD from Acura is being shown as a handling innovation not just a "get me over the river and through the woods" kind of technology.

    I assume there are places this can be discussed at length and I know there are places where information abounds pertaining to the primacy of AWD for control, performance, safety and fun.

    Hope this whets your appitite -- perhaps makes you curious and if the final outcome is your conversion (or not) that will be hunky dory too!

    :shades:
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,150
    interesting.

    how many miles on this E500?

    Certainly a sweet car.

    Edmunds says a Certified Pre-owned with 20k miles should run you around $44k. But, trade-in is less than $37k. Since Edmunds is typically high, off the top of my head, I would guess this is a $39k car retail. You MAY prefer one that has not been titled, like you are looking at, but how much is that really worth? In my opinion, nothing. The next owner you try to sell it to won't care if you bought it pre-owned or demo, that's for sure, and it won't change the value of the car.

    oh, and as far as adding Nav, I'd double-check that the salesman isn't blowing smoke. I have yet to hear of a vehicle where adding factory nav after the fact was a feasible option. Its just tied into too many systems. There may be exceptions out there, I don't know. Maybe all Benzes are prewired for the factory nav.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    Thanks, qbrozen. The car has a bit over 8K miles. The fact that it has never been titled is, sadly, of little consolation to me. It was a demo and has over 8K miles. That's still USED in my book. :cry: Plus it's about to be 3 model years old with a new model right around the corner.

    I'm sure nav can be added. I added factory nav to my 300M Special. It was no big deal at all. It was a plug-n-play swap. Just needed to install the GPS antenna under a dash panel which, literally, was a snap. No tools required for that part. Actually the only tool required for the entire install was a Phillips head screwdriver. Now, when I added factory satellite radio, I had to drill a hole in my roof! Talk about nerve racking!

    Anyway, it sounds like a good deal, but it's missing a lot of features that I would like to have, i.e. Keyless Go, ventilated seats, nav, satellite radio, HID headlights, etc. Now that I think about it, the only requirements that it meets is that it is V8 and RWD (and a luxury car). :( I'm just wondering if I'd be crazy to pass on the chance to have a "new" E500 for $40Ks. :confuse:

    More opinions are certainly welcome, guys.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,150
    he did say high-40s, right?
    So I'd say that's at least $5-$7k too high compared to a certified pre-owned.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    Actually, he only said "the 40s." I'm assuming he meant the high 40s. And everybody knows what happens when you assume. ;)
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The relationship of the Ford Taurus (now Fusion) Nascar to the one in showrooms goes as far as the painted on headlights and grill, thats it. These are carbureted, V8 powered RWD race cars. The win on Sunday, sell on Monday thing really doesnt apply at all. It certainly isnt like the racing versions of Porsche 911s and BMW M3s, or the rally versions of Subies and Mitsus, where you really can buy something pretty close to the race car in the showroom. Does anyone even care at this point which manufacturer wins a Nascar race?

    I really dont think that AWD would particularly benefit Nascar's brand of parking lot "racing". In any type of rally racing though, show up with AWD, or go home.

    What would be very interesting to see, is Audi build a car like the Lotus Exige, but with Quattro in it, just to really show what their AWD system can do.
  • I hate to interupt the AWD/Bond discussions, but I have a question. I am looking at the M35 and RL. Anyone have a source or comment on the quality/reliability of Acura v. Infiniti? I'm not interested in a Euro sedan and I already have a Lexus.

    Len
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,150
    ah, ok.
    well, let me know how you make out.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    Honestly, I would say that the "dealer demo" tag is probably a lie. Dealers always call used cars with very low miles on them dealer demos. I traded in a 330xi with 13K on it, and I'd be willing to bet they sold it as a dealer demo. Although, maybe the sticker on the window means it really is a demo car. Can you look up the car on carfax.com? For some reason they feel that this makes a used car less "used" sounding. Bottom line is, whether it was driven by an individual, several individuals on test drives or a salesman at the dealership for those 8K miles, it's still just used as you said. It is probably even worse if it's a dealer demo actually because if it belonged to an individual it would probably be more likely to be in better shape than a car that many people have driven. Anyway, still sounds like a good deal for a used car regardless of how they label it. The fact that the warranty still has all of it's original time on it is great. If they throw in SAT and NAV it would be really good.
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