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Luxury Performance Sedans



  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Isn't it just awesome what Audi is doing with diesels? I can't help but wonder what a hi-po diesel version of the upcoming R8 would be like. I think if diesel takes off a TDI A6 and A4 will make it over too.

    The only thing is though, are they going to sell both a diesel Q7 and a hybrid Q7 at the same time in the U.S? That might be one too many models I think.

  • bartalk3bartalk3 Posts: 692
    Since most car models add features year after year to meet the competition, what once might have started out as a plain-Jane car over the years morphs into a near-luxury or even luxury car. When Lexus introduced the new ES350 at the Chicago show, the Lexus rep. said it equalled or surpassed the qualities of the original LS400 (aside from the front-drive/rear drive difference). From the early reviews, that seems to be true. The standard features and options are truly beyond near-luxury. And the performance/ride/quietness, etc. certainly approach LS levels. In the handling department, of course, forget it. Aside from that, do we have here an almost-LS at ES prices?
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    For what it is, the ES is simply in a class of its own. The competition (Buick, Lincoln) are still trying to catch up to the 2002 ES, and this one just blows them out of the water.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Raising the bar is always good policy for the industry in general, and the ES has clearly done so.

    Sounds like we're on the same page about the diesels making their way into more sedans over the next years. When you think about it, diesels represent the majority of the European market, so I have gone on record that we are in for a significant revitalization of diesels in this country . . . and not just in SUV's, but in sedans as well. And, yes, Audi is a terrific surprise . . . but hopefully they realize the unique historical position they are in and don't waste the potential.

  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243

    A IS220d and BMW320d will definitely sell well in Europe where you can find a large number of BMW 316i and BMW 318i cars on their roads.

    But I dont think neither a IS220d or BMW320d will be a hit here in North America. While a BMW535d, BMW330d or a IS300d are almost guaranteed to be hits in N. America.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    I think a diesel Audi Q7 sounds more compelling than a hybrid Q7.

    Based on my understanding the VW/Audi/Porsche hybrids will be like the Honda IMA hyrbids. That does not sound too promising since IMA hybrids are not as fuel efficient as HSD(Toyota and Ford) hybrids in heavier vehicles like SUVs. And that is not saying much since everyone knows how fuel efficient the Lexus 400H is in real world mileage.

    Also I am willing to wager that a diesel Q7 will be funner to drive than a hybrid Q7.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I think a diesel Audi Q7 sounds more compelling than a hybrid Q7.

    I sure agree with that. I'm still waiting to drive the diesel Mercedes GL.

    The hybrid technology has definately proven itself in the lighweight division. And, as we can see so far, it's a little more challenging in the middle-weight division. And, of course, Lexus will be the one to prove, one way or another, whether or not it can succeed in the heavyweight division with the upcoming LS600h.

    I am looking forward to the diesels that will be coming soon! It's just the beginning of something big! The U.S. market is going to be changed by them. I can feel it. Not like Europe, but definately a significant change.

    BTW, if you are interested in hybrid chat, there are some cool hybrid forums. I'll be happy to exchange opinions on hybrids there any time if you want. Just let me know. Probably better there than the LPS forum, don't you think?


  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    "big brother" is always watching.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    and helping!! :shades:
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    yes, I noticed. :)
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Here is a trick question:

    Who is the No.1 All-Wheel-Drive seller in the Premium Segment?



    The answer is BMW

    Currently 25 percent of all BMWs have x drive.

    link title
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I agree, I just can't wait to see how this will play out in Audi showrooms come 2007-08. I can't just see them having both.

  • liferulesliferules Posts: 531
    I'm not that surprised, given that BMW outsells Audi by about 5:1 monthly...thus the odds are in their favor.

    If the question was which LPS sells the largest majority of their cars as AWD, then I think Audi would be in contention...
  • ilasilas Posts: 18
    Does anyone know how going from 17 inch all season tired wheels to 18 inch wheels with performance tires and a stiffer suspension will affect steering precision and effort, particularly on center? I imagine the ride will become more go-cart like. There are no examples on the dealer lot to drive.

    I ask because I am thinking about upgrading my 06 RL with a dealer-installed suspension and wheel package (yes, it seems I am one of the few in November 05 that actually bought an RL after comparing it to the 530xi and E350 4 matic!).

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,049
    In the US, BMW's 5 outsells Audi's A6 by about 3 to 1.

    Ohio's largest BMW dealer which may not translate nationally, claims 40% of the 5's sold are X-drive models and now some 15% of the 3's (and growing) are likewise.

    In the past year, it was almost not even possible to buy an A6 in the US that was 2WD. All of the A6's (virtually all) were AWD in the US. BMW's 5x cars could not be had until the second half of the year 2005.

    What may be some data points (pertaining to US sales) worth knowing (and where can we find them?) are US X drive sales of 5 series as a percentage of a known quantity.

    For if it is accurate that 98% of A6's are AWD and 40% of 5's are AWD and that the 5's outsell the A6's by 3 to 1. . .

    100 Audis = 98 AWD (if my assumption of 98% AWD is correct)
    then during the same time period, 300 BMWs would be sold and 120 of them would be AWD (if my dealer's assertions of HIS sales can be extrapolated to ALL dealer's sales.)

    But if all these numbers are indeed reflective of what is typically going on in the US, it would mean more BMW's are sold w/AWD but that a much higher percentage of Audi's sold are AWD.

    The trend that this suggests if it is accurate is a very rapid increase in the demand for AWD cars, especially AWD LPS cars.

    Now additional credence can be lent to this notion if the Infiniti and Acura dealer's assertions (locally) translate.

    Of course 100% of all RL's were SH-AWD but the "majority" of the M's sold were the M35X.

    This information comes from my Audi dealer who also owns Cincinnati's ONE Infiniti store and one of the several Acura stores in our fair city.

    Rarely do I see a Cadillac STS that is NOT AWD and ditto the Mercedes E (they seem overwhelmingly to be 4Matics here in River City.)

    We have mild winters with little snowfall here in SW Ohio, so this rush to AWD is certainly not because we are in the snow belt (one has to go north of Columbus Ohio for much snowfall.)

    Somewhere, there are statistics, perhaps they are closely guarded secrets. However, one would imagine that if the trend cited by my BMW dealer (40% of 5's are AWD and that those figures are inventory constrained) is indeed even remotely similar to the experiences elsewhere in the US, that BMW would want to publish such information so that the dealers could order what it is demand.

    Ditto: Audi, Cadillac, Infiniti and all the rest of the L and near L PS cars that are vying for our dollars.

    I believe we are seeing the end of the 2WD era and the "attack" is coming from all the different classes of vehicles, not just LPS or SUV or trucks. "There's a lobster loose, cover yourselves with butter and carry lemons just in case!"

  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    So now Porsche is thinking of a new SUV that will share a platform with the Audi Q5. Also they will be adding a Porsche Panemara sedan. IMO overextension of product line at Porshce may soon be detrimental to the cache and image of their superior sport cars.

    But what about BMW? I heard rumors they may introduce a BMW X7 with 7 seats(a BMW minivan)? Or the new BMW coupe type SUV called the X6. The thought of these vehicles makes me cringe!

    Or how about the onslaught of new Audi vehicles: Audi Q7, Q5 and a rumored Q3. Plus what about the Audi Jet concept wagon(expected in real form in a few years). IMO the Jet concept looks like it will simpily cannibalize sales from Audi's existing Avant sales.

    Also as Merc1 pointed out it appears that the engine choices among Audi vehicles like the Q7 will be quite redundant (simulataneoulsy offering a diesel and a hyrid powertrain)

    It appears the above German marques are following the same path as MB in terms of overextending themeselves with too many vehicles.(In MB's case the GL and R Class).

    Contrary to flooding the market with every type of vehicle with every type of engine possible, I think the German marques above should focus on a few models that reflects their core compentence.

    link title

  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    In addition I heard rumors that Porsche may re-introduce the 914 that will be based on a VW platform. Talk about brand name hari kari!
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    An Infiniti Marketing Director's view on the competition:

    BMW stands for performance, the 'ultimate driving machine,'" Fessenden says. "Lexus owns quality and reliability and underscores that with their tag line, 'the passionate pursuit of perfection.' Mercedes stood for the pinnacle of engineering. So with design, we're at a very honest place for us to live."

    1)MB whose only glory is defined by its engineering past :confuse:

    2)Infiniti as a design leader :confuse:

    Is this fellow from Infinti serious :confuse:

    link title
  • moxiemoxie Posts: 33
    He may be hallucinating ! :)
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