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Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I do it too, I've just never gotten the impression (and apparently its just me) that snow tires are better at dry and wet traction and handling than much of anything, let alone even "half-decent" A\S tires. I'll admit I havent tried those Pilot Alpins, perhaps I'll give them a shot when this set of Blizzaks is due for replacement.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,621
    A lot of it depends on which model of winter tire you have, not just the manufacturer..

    If you buy Q-rated winter tires, like the Blizzak WS-50, they'll feel pretty squishy.. But, if you stay with stock sizes and don't "minus-1" and get H-rated or V-rated winter tires, it is hard to tell them from all-seasons in dry weather..

    Bridgestone makes a Blizzak LM-22 or LM-25 in H- or V-rated that is very good in dry... Goodyear Ultra-Grip GW-3 are V-rated in the 17" sizes... Dunlop Winter M3 are also V-rated..

    The difference in those on dry roads, and Q-rated tires, is the same as the difference between H- or V-rated all-seasons and the comparable S-rated all-season tire... Amazingly better.. And still very good snow traction.

    regards,
    kyfdx

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    "I agree, AWD's major benefits are not for bad weather."

    On a typical driving conditions, AWD is more ballast than anything else. If you're pushing your car hard enough to utilize the extra grip AWD provides, you should be doing that on a track, not on the street.
  • mnrep2mnrep2 Posts: 200
    On a typical driving conditions, AWD is more ballast than anything else. If you're pushing your car hard enough to utilize the extra grip AWD provides, you should be doing that on a track, not on the street.

    You could say the exact same thing about owning a rwd sports sedan. Why would you own one if you don't go to a track... You can't wring out its performance potential on the street :surprise:

    People buy awd & rwd sedans for many reasons. Safety, prestige, traction, ballast ( awd does make the g35x feel more planted in the twisties :)). The inherent traction advantages of awd are felt every day I go up my icy drivway in winter without a running start. Or when my wife makes a left turn against oncomming traffic on a snow covered road.
  • For "pragmatic" mmmm, "practical" gee, "economically sound" :confuse: what word is it that I'm looking for, :confuse: "sagacious" day in day out real-world purposes and even a pretty high dose of performance -- nothing betters FWD. And, frankly nothing comes close to it within the customer parameters that include certainly at least 80% of the general population (if not 90%.)

    FWD is more than "sensible shoes" too -- a reasonable pocket rocket can be a/an FWD-er and even a Barco Lounger on wheels with a huge interior, plush ride and all the modern amenities with decent if not really sporting by contemporary standards handling can be packaged thusly.

    And, although it is a bit of a crude car, that super duper high output Pontiac (do they call it a GTO?) is FWD and it certainly can liquefy its front tires (and I'm not certain that is a "prudent" thing to do.) It is often tested or has been and it rarely is trashed due to its FWD layout. In some instances it has been highly praised as being a pretty good excuse for a hot rod that can handle, pretty well.

    Indeed if "the powers that be" (whatever or whoever that may be) decreed there could be but one drive type -- and AWD was not on the table, the choice that would probably require the least compromise (even for us LPS snobs) and wring out -- still or regardless -- the most L and P in our Sedans, would be FWD.

    And, it does pain me to say that -- thankfully we do not have to make that choice.

    But, in the LPS world, I'm still betting that both FWD and RWD will be relegated to the economy car lines and in the case of RWD the hyper, ultra, if you have to ask you can't afford it "retro" performance cars. Perhaps nuts I am you think, perhaps right are you.

    I'll hopefully be around at least another 10 years which is more than enough time for this rapidly evolving trend (in the Premium class most especially) to be visible even to those very nearsighted folks.

    Been wrong before, but never uncertain. :shades:
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    And, although it is a bit of a crude car, that super duper high output Pontiac (do they call it a GTO?) is FWD and it certainly can liquefy its front tires (and I'm not certain that is a "prudent" thing to do.) It is often tested or has been and it rarely is trashed due to its FWD layout. In some instances it has been highly praised as being a pretty good excuse for a hot rod that can handle, pretty well.

    FYI: The Pontiac GTO (new and old) is a RWD car....

    It's actually not a bad driving car at all. Handles pretty well; a lot of bang (400hp) for the buck ($34k); fairly comfortable for a sporty car. However, the exterior styling is horrendous.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    We're losing our standards here of what really qualifies as a Luxury Performance Sedan, don't you think?

    We have some other discussions underway that are probably more appropriate to pursue some of the vehicles that have popped up here over the last few weeks.

    Entry-Level Performance Sedans, Ultimate AWD Sports Sedans and the Midsize Sedans Comparison Thread are the ones that immediately come to mind for a lot of the off-topic vehicles which have cropped up here lately.

    There are also a number of other comparos that may interest some of you. Just scan the list: Sedans Comparisons. And new comparos are always welcome.

    Let's try to get this LPS discussion back to focusing on the actual luxury performance sedans and branch out to these other places when appropriate.

    :)
  • I asked the question do they call it a GTO -- of course when I don't do my homework you call me on it. The car I was suggesting as support of my thesis that LPS will soon eschew anything but AWD and support my opinion that were we REQUIRED to choose either FWD or RWD as a THE drive line, that we would give up "least" if our desire was specifically L + P in our "S"edans -- I should have asked if the car was called the GXP, or just asked what the "hot rod" FWD was called.

    My wife, when I first met her, had a GTO with a Hurst shifter -- RWD all the way.

    But, I digress: Pontiac's GXP "front drive is swaggeringly personified here by the . . . functionally impressive new 2005 GXP edition of the Pontiac Grand Prix."

    - Motor Trend


    "Inheriting the GXP moniker from the soon to evaporate Bonneville line, the pumped-up Prix has grabbed an additional handful of steroids courtesy of a 303-horsepower, 5.3-liter Vortec V-8, thus creating the first V-8-powered GP in decades. However, the beast finds focus when you crack open the throttle. 60 mph? Punch it to the carpet for six breathless seconds and hang onto the steering wheel as it wriggles with spasms of torque."

    - Ditto


    Were a fuel crisis to come again FWD will rise again (not that it actually has fallen much.)

    We are discussing the facts and opinions relating to cars that have been (and are) by "whatever" criteria currently called Luxury Performance Sedans -- it does seem topical to note the features, functions -- broadly termed "content" -- that these cars seem increasingly to adopt as "available" almost certainly followed by "standard."

    Part of our debate seems to be concerned with the notion that FWD is no longer (some would argue it never was) worthy of being part of "a" defining factor for inclusion. Nowdays only AWD and RWD seem to make the LPS cut. Yet from a "logical" standpoint FWD has much going for it -- it is, however, out of vogue as acceptable LPS content.

    To that I say, "more's the pity" since, assuming a position within a continuum of "handling and performance and safety," my personal choice remains AWD first, FWD second and going for the Bronze, RWD as long as it has lots and lots of electronic aids to tame some of its more undesirable traits.

    I will grant RWD is for the Passionate Driver, but the performance driver will most of the time be looking at the tailights of the AWD car that just passed him.

    Again, we are current witnesses to the evolution of the LPS auto's definition. I'd say this year it includes "available" AWD; and, if I am wrong at this juncture, I'd push it no further than MY 2008. But my guess is by that time AWD will be "assumed."

    Overheard at the Cincinnati Auto Show today: Woman #1, "this is the new BMW 3 series." Woman #2, "oh, I heard they're now all wheel drive." Woman #1, "cool, I didn't know that, I'd consider one if that is the case." Woman #2, "cool."

    My gut is these were people in their late 20's, or early 30's.

    My observation at the admittedly small Cincinnati Auto Show was that "the majority" of all the vehicles on display were of the "all wheels driven" persuasion. I'd say, hmmm ~ 2/3rds of the show's cars on display were so "motivated." :surprise:
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    "Overheard at the Cincinnati Auto Show today: Woman #1, "this is the new BMW 3 series." Woman #2, "oh, I heard they're now all wheel drive." Woman #1, "cool, I didn't know that, I'd consider one if that is the case." Woman #2, "cool."

    Funny you should mention that. My niece, a die-hard Forester driver, is now a big time lawyer, looking to buy her first luxury car. She doesnt know much about cars, but the #1 item on her list of must haves is AWD. I think a lot of people in their '20s and '30s now, that grew up driving SUVs and other 4WD\AWD vehicles, are going to want AWD on their luxury car purchases as adults.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    LUXURY PERFORMANCE SEDANS??

    (whoo, makes me hoarse)

    Pontiacs and 3-Series are not in this category. Please read my last post here for some other topic suggestions for these recent lines of conversation.
  • Your niece -- based on my experience, the current car market and those of us who tirelessly post here on edmunds -- will be well served by almost any one of the cars represented here on this blog.

    If she is "now" a big time lawyer and this is a recent promotion, one of the biggest bangs for the buck HAS to be the Infiniti M's (and there is an M35X which is Infiniti's potent V6 coupled to a drive line that is a rear wheel drive biased all wheel drive.) But the buzz here and elsewhere is that the Acura RL (which is fully equipped with all the do dads standard) is being discounted now and in the future via de-contenting) to offset slow sales. The RL ONLY comes in AWD.

    While the journalists, the paid ones, may disagree, the BMW 5 series, too, remains a favorite mode of transport for many professional types who still value performance over luxury -- and last year BMW finally brought their X-drive line to this family of two. At list price, however, the BMW's may be thousands and thousands more when equipped to compete with the Japanese LPS versions. OTOH, the BMW is regularly and frequently offered with heavily subvented leases which can make it easier to afford (and it comes with 100% maintenance for 50K miles.)

    My wife, also a lawyer, "used" to work for a law firm, when we schmoozed with these folks, it seemed some of the Partners (avert your eyes) preferred the E (and sometimes S) class Mercedes. Here in SW Ohio, I have to remark I have seen more Mercedes badged as "4Matic's" (AWD) than not -- which for your niece would also be attractive.

    The hue and cry here (other than from few of us) seems to be to "Avoid Audis" because they are suspect from a reliability standpoint and that the Lexus GS models are, umm, "cramped and boring to drive, but otherwise exceptional in the reliability department." But, as in the previous candidates for you barrister niece's bucks, both the German and the Japanese come in AWD (standard or available.) FWIW the Audi, too, for this year at least offers full maintenance for 50,000 miles or 4 years.

    Based only the cars discussed on this board, only the BMW can be had with either manual or shiftless transmission -- this remark seems to place me more and more on the lunatic fringe so I'll just leave it at that.

    Now that Mercedes has pretty much spread the AWD love to virtually every car they sell, it is possible to get AWD in both Audis and Mercedes V8 LPS's (and from Detroit, the Cadillac STS V8 is also offered with either RWD or AWD if your niece needs to impress clients with 'merican iron.)

    Finally at the modest-sized Cincinnati Auto Show, the only 5 series BMW elected to bring was a 530xi -- they also had the X3 and X5 represented. Funny, the 3 series on the floor was a normal RWD version, despite the conversation overheard. :shades:
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    On this morning's Motorweek, the 2006 "driver's choice awards" went to the 3-series for best sports sedan, while the M took best luxury sedan. Chalk up another one for Infiniti.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    another one for BMW! :P
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    LUXURY PERFORMANCE SEDANS??
    (whoo, makes me hoarse)
    Pontiacs and 3-Series are not in this category.


    The BMW 3-Series isn't an LPS?
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    The awesome BMW 3 series at this point in time on Edmunds, is considered to be an "Entry-Level Luxury Performance Sedan" which has its own board.

    On that particular board, BMW truthfully has no competition, as just about everybody and his cousin picks the new Bangleized 3 series as the best in its class.
  • I only read that AOA was going to "discontinue" the Audi Advantage program in 2007, have you actually confirmed this with your dealer?
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Hpowders is correct... at least about where that vehicle fits in our class discussions! ;)

    "ELLPS" ?? Too funny!! :P
  • "I will grant RWD is for the Passionate Driver, but the performance driver will most of the time be looking at the tailights of the AWD car that just passed him."

    Given equal horsepower, the weight penalty and drive train losses of AWD will put it at a disadvantage in acceleration (0-60, etc.) times.
  • What other cars fit into this ellps category? Also since we are not to mention pontiacs here I guess we can't talk about BMW 3 series either?
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    By jove, I think he's got it! ;)
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