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Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    James Healey, USA Today Car Critic, on German cars (he doesn't like them) and Jaguars (he's smitten):

    On German cars: "No matter how well done the rest of the car is — and the new A6 has some sweetheart potential — MMI-type experiences are another signal that German brands should be placed on suicide watch… It's systems such as iDrive, MMI and Mercedes' Comand that can cause the problems and dissatisfaction that lead to low scores on quality surveys, though MMI is less complicated than the others and Audi has tried to make many functions available without toggling through a thicket."

    But he likes the Jaguar XK, so he writes: " Is a good-looking, less-complicated alternative to the BMW 6 Series for a similar price… Fancy features worked well and were easier to use than expected." What does he mean by "easier to use than expected? "Jag says it tried not to bury anything more than four layers deep in a menu. Most were much more accessible than that." Anything four layers deep on a German car sends this guy over the edge. But with Jag, he repeatedly reports to readers that he asked the company to explain why they do or don't have some feature and gives Jag's justification.

    Brand power works with professional car critics too and this case shows the variance among individuals. Although Business Week shows that, on average, certain brand images carry a positive valence in the collective consciousness of consumers, it's also the case that certain brand images find a niche in specific individuals and for that loved object they will tolerate what they hate in a product where the brand image carries no such positive valence for them.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    PurpleM46 & Shipo,

    it almost appears that the folks at Automobile Magazine went out of their way in finding the right gear/mileage range that confirmed their hypothesis that the 335i performs better than a M3.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    it almost appears that the folks at Automobile Magazine went out of their way in finding the right gear/mileage range that confirmed their hypothesis that the 335i performs better than a M3.

    Doesn't C&D do top gear acceleration tests as well? I think its just a different way to measure engine power. Top Gear put a Z06 in 6th and then drove from a standstill to something like 175mph+. It wasnt supposed to be a realistic test, just to show what the engine can do.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    That, my friends, is the beauty of this engine. At full bore, it’s as fast as an M3. But at moderate engine speeds, it’s even faster

    True but after reading the conclusion above it does sound like a 335i is superior to a M3 in terms of realistic driving.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Dewey writes:
    SOURCE: Automobile Magazine Sept. 2006
    So in an all-out drag race, the 335i comes close, but can’t quite match the M3’s blistering acceleration. Those numbers, though, only tell half the story. Have a look at the top-gear acceleration figures. In sixth gear, the M3 needs 14.7 seconds to get from 30 to 70 mph – but the 335i does it in only 12.5.


    Purplem46 writes:
    "In sixth gear, the M3 needs 14.7 seconds to get from 30 to 70 mph – but the 335i does it in only 12.5"...that has to be the most bizzare acceleration test I have ever heard of. 30 to 70 in sixth gear? Who does that?

    Low end torque would be non-existant starting from 30 in 6th gear.


    Well, yes and no. The torque doesn’t get to the wheels because of gearing but it still exists at the engine. That test is a good demonstration of pure engine torque much in the manner that the weight of a person on a seesaw becomes less effective as he approaches the fulcrum. The closer you get to the fulcrum, the more weight that is needed to lift the person on the other end. The higher the gearing in a car, the more torque that is needed to accelerate it.

    335i torque = 300 lb-ft at 1400-5000 rpm
    E46 M3 torque = 262 lb-ft at 4900 rpm

    (Automobile mag erroneously reports the M3 torque at 202)
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    James Healey, USA Today Car Critic, on German cars (he doesn't like them) and Jaguars (he's smitten):

    The biased views of car critics proliferate within the auto sections of many a newspaper and throughout the auto rags.

    More typically we see the admiration for the German marques and especially the bias towards the Japanese marques.

    A British bias, while still a bias, is almost always a welcome and much-deserved relief, IMO.

    Jaguar's last generation of all-aluminum XJ and XK vehicles deserve even more positive publicity than they get, IMO. They are gorgeous, very fairly priced, and have consistently done exceptionally well in JD Powers surveys . . . indicating that the quality is within a stone's throw of Lexus.

    That's quite an accomplishment, IMO.

    TagMan
  • Just got the email from BMW on the new 3.0si X3 -- HP has been cranked a smidge: 260 from 255. Torque, too, is up 11 (to 225 @ 2.5K RPM)-- both 6spd man and auto (no charge) are offered.

    I dunno if +5 HP over the most recent iteration of the 3.0 (@ 255) is enough here in LPS-land. But it is +35HP over the last gen 3.0 @ 225. I'd say the Germans (Audi, BMW and Mercedes and even VW) will be able to keep up with the Japanese.

    I, for one, would like to see a new German "normal" car (not M, not S, not RS, not AMG, i.e.) be brought to market with a HP advantage over the competition (across the board.)

    I would almost swear that Audi and BMW have an off site meeting and they agree: "we'll bring ours to market with 255HP, how about you? Uh, OK, we'll bring ours to market with the same HP!" "Thanks Hans." "You welcome Klaus."

    Now, here we go the normally aspirated 3.0 from BMW last year was 255HP as was the Audi "3.2" (really 3.1+, but who's counting?)

    Meanwhile back in Munich, BMW was blowing on the 3.0 to add 45HP, Audi was dinking around with an unblown 3.6L at 280HP and was scurrying hither and yon to convert all the family to FSI and adding a turbo here and there to the RS cousins.

    Then Audi announces an A5 coupe and wham, BMW actually gets a 3 series coupe with a blown 3.0 not only announced but ooot and abooot with 300HP.

    God only knows what AMG has in the wings. But the Audi buzz is that the light bi-turbo treatment on the 3.2FSI has "no problemo" cranking out 300HP and about 343 pound feet at some really low RPM's.

    What a great time it is to be alive if acceleration without the V8 penalty presses your "start" button.

    The Audi 2.0TFSI is supposed good for 350 civilized horses.

    Holy horsepower Batman!

    I wonder what the new turbo i6 from BMW would feel like in an X3. AWD, steel + sex perhaps?

    Although this is about the X3, there is a bit herein on the new 3.0si engine, which one can only presume will be put into the 5 series, uh, SOON!

    Klik Here for Info on BMW 3.0si -- and the newly refreshed X3
  • Absolutely, no argument there. I think People are going to be more focused that the 335 is now just a bit faster than competitors Lexus IS350 and the G35 298hp coupe, with 5.3 to 5.5 second zero to sixty sprints. They've brought performance up substantially on the 3 series, only a half second slower than M3's 4.8 zero to sixty mark. The low end torque makes the engine a very smooth accelerating car, with passing abilities much improved due to that increased torque. I think the magazine quote was just a little misleading in comparing it to an M3. Torque is only one of several measures of performance. Rev range, suspension, traction, and horsepower figure in as well.

    A six cylinder Tacoma pickup has more torque than an M3 as well, but it's just not as fast.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Absolutely, no argument there. I think People are going to be more focused that the 335 is now just a bit faster than competitors Lexus IS350 and the G35 298hp coupe, with 5.3 to 5.5 second zero to sixty sprints.

    The new G coupe could be faster still, perhaps faster than the 335. I don't know if the 3.7L rumors are true, but even with 3.5, it should still be able to take 0-60 sprints down to the near 5 second flat mark.
  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 873
    my place for a BMW 335 driving event in Houston [Reliant stadium] on sept 23. Looking forward to it, and will give impressions as soon as I get home. For those interested, I think they are doing these at various points across the country. Sorry for the off topic post Pat... :blush:
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Hi - you did the right thing posting in the Q45 discussion. Another good resource is the Got a Quick, Technical Question? topic so I moved your post there. Check it out - I hope we can help.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Bring it on - we'd love to hear about it!
  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,476
    "Absolutely, no argument there. I think People are going to be more focused that the 335 is now just a bit faster than competitors Lexus IS350 and the G35 298hp coupe, with 5.3 to 5.5 second zero to sixty sprints. They've brought performance up substantially on the 3 series, only a half second slower than M3's 4.8 zero to sixty mark. The low end torque makes the engine a very smooth accelerating car, with passing abilities much improved due to that increased torque."

    = = =

    The US Press Information also claims EPA MPG for the 335i Coupe with STEP ( the way I’d buy one ) will be: 20 / 29.

    - Ray
    Finding those numbers, combined with the performance, to be rather impressive . . .
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    This is the part of the article that I found most interesting:

    “BMW says that this engine makes 300 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque. We were so impressed with its power that we couldn’t help wonder if that was a conservative rating. Wasting no time, I swiped the keys and drove to a local dyno shop to find out.

    We used a DynoJet chassis dyno, which measures an engine’s power output at a vehicle’s rear wheels. Because of frictional driveline losses, this number is always lower--generally by fifteen to twenty percent--than the quoted power output from the manufacturer, which is measured at the engine itself.

    Here’s what we found:
    The non-turbocharged 330i, rated by BMW at 255 hp and 220 lb-ft of torque, puts about 200 hp and 180 lb-ft to the rear wheels. That’s roughly a twenty-percent loss. Since they have similar drivelines, you’d expect the 335i to put down 235 hp and 250 lb-ft.

    But it didn’t. It put down a whole lot more: 275 hp and 300 lb-ft. A few quick taps on our trusty calculator shows that this engine is likely putting out closer to 350 hp and 360 lb-ft of torque."


    BMW’s published specs are always conservative but this really seems like an anomaly. Hope it’s true. I don’t know though. I think it should have done better than 5.1 secs to 60 according to Automobile's dyno and calcs. In any event, I’ll take it.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 16,892
    hmmm... well, we'll see. But, yeah, it could be an anomaly on either the car's or dyno's end ... or it could even be a ringer to make a better first impression on the press.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '08 Town&Country

  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    But it didn’t. It put down a whole lot more: 275 hp and 300 lb-ft. A few quick taps on our trusty calculator shows that this engine is likely putting out closer to 350 hp and 360 lb-ft of torque."

    BMW’s published specs are always conservative but this really seems like an anomaly.


    That difference is strikingly large, and let's hope it works in BMW's favor. Regardless, the engine sounds sensational, and is a genuine treat for Bimmer enthusiasts, IMO.

    TagMan
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    A casting director seeks drivers who think of their cars as extensions of their personalities and are able to participate in a rally from Vancouver to LA for two weeks in October. Please visit http://www.carspace.com/bullrun for more information.
  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,476
    I am a bit surprised to see a test of a 2006 at this time in the year, but:

    http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Drives/Followup/articleId=116521
  • The good news this week, is speculation that at least for a while, gas prices may "plummet" -- with a drop in the price of oil per bbl of $15 to $20. Don't hold your breath, but there are some folks that think a $.50 to $1.00 drop per gallon is possible.

    Now, we all know this, even if it comes true, will be temporary. $4.00+ gas is a foregone conclusion -- it is just a matter of time.

    Once again, Audi has, what I think is a fine response -- even if this was NOT exactly intended as an economy response:

    "The little engine that could," used to be the 1.8T as it was in the Euro only S3 and the American and Euro TT 225. That engine, loved by many was replaced with an engine that has already proven to have almost unbelievable potential. We welcomed the 2.0T FSI with open arms. The thing loafs along and produces 200HP all the while sipping gas. A new engine map here, a slightly bigger turbo there and a new exhaust system has cranked the thing to 350HP while retaining almost zero turbo lag and daily driver friendliness.

    Don't try this at home -- Audi frowns on making this little dude output 350 hp and weapons grade torque.

    But, Audi itself has blinked and now has shown us what a tiny tiny tweak to this engine can produce: 220HP and it doesn't even sweat.

    Audi is extending the A4 model line by launching an additional version of the four-cylinder 2.0 TFSI model which generates 220 bhp. This Audi A4 2.0 TFSI, which can also be ordered in Avant version, is available either with quattro permanent four-wheel drive or front-wheel drive, both of which come in combination with a 6-speed manual gearbox.

    This engine was previously available exclusively in conjunction with the “DTM Edition” (saloon) or with S line plus (Avant) special models. The new variant now offers the option of combining this extremely powerful engine with refined looks. The new variants of the A4 and A4 Avant are only recognizable to those in the know by their perforated front brake discs and matt black tailpipes.

    This variant of the Audi A4 is powered by what is currently the most powerful version of the 2.0 TFSI in the model line. The output of this direct-injection petrol engine with turbocharger has been boosted from 200 to 220 bhp, and torque increased from 280 to 300 Nm. The performance figures of the A4 saloon (with front-wheel drive) are correspondingly impressive: it accelerates from a standstill to 100 km/h in 7.1 seconds and achieves a top speed of 247 km/h. Overall fuel consumption amounts to 8.0 litres per 100 kilometers
    .

    Now, in the world of "unintended consequences" this engine with a slight change in engine mapping, not even a new turbo and simply a cat back exhaust replacement is quite happy to produce 250HP and even more torque. Yawn, even then this engine is frugal with your gas money.

    Audi surely didn't intend to make the 2.0T FSI the power, performance and economy leader -- did it?

    If you want an argument [against] "the internal combustion engine is a dinosaur" (no pun intended with its use of fossil fuels) you only have to look as far as the 2.0T FSI. This engine, when it has added to it ONE little enhancement, gets even better. That little enhancement is a motor than spins the turbo impeller at a certain number of RPM's when the driver is simply putt-putting around -- the result, 100% of the [quite substantial] torque is available AT ANY ENGINE RPM!

    With cleaner fuels, Audi has even another possible trick up its sleeve: the compression ratio of the engine can be raised OR the car can be made to perform on regular gasoline. In the first case, the power and efficiency rise yet again, in the second case the annual cost for fuel drops about $.20 per gallon without engine damage.

    GM and Ford, to name two, seem to struggle to produce engines with "adequate" power and acceptable gas mileage -- they use Multi Displacement Technology in an attempt to improve economy, all the while making the engine 3, 4 or more liters in size. Its no wonder they can't get their CAFE numbers up, they keep making bigger engines not more effective and efficient engines.

    Audi, and others (BMW, too, for instance) are really coming on strong as engine companies. GM and others could wisely spend some money and buy up a few dozen A4 2.0T's and disassemble the engines and then shamelessly imitate them!

    It would be good for fuel economy, it would be good for getting us off Persian Gulf oil and it would be a blast to drive cars so equipped.

    Now, if the Audi Engineers would just stop frowning on a 350HP 2.0T FSI -- it boggles the mind. A car, so equipped, would be darn near an S4, but the thing would, relatively speaking, sip gas.

    LPS cars with 350HP 4 cylinder engines (when gas is $4/gallon)? I would certainly consider one.

    Dream a little dream with me.

    Drive it like you live. :shades:
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    "I am a bit surprised to see a test of a 2006 at this time in the year"

    ...and, IMHO, not all that interesting/timely since the much-improved (in terms of HP, torque range, and gas mileage) 4.2 FSI engine is now showing up on dealer-lots in the 2007 A6 line.

    I have also read a couple of posts on other forums where someone driving the A6 with air adative suspension in "sport/dynamic" mode seems to feel they got the best of both worlds, in terms of cushy/sporty. But I only drove that once in a rented Allroad, where I did enjoy it.
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