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Luxury Performance Sedans



  • The S4 would be my first choice for something slightly over $7,000 less apples to apples.

    This, sad fact, does not make the S4 pointless, IMHO. Just overpriced.

    And, we can all go down THAT path if we're not careful.

    There is a new SUX 6000 from "someone" that matches the LPS specs (on paper), looks (subjective anyway), features and creature comforts (mostly objectively) and even "apparent" build quality.

    Yet, most of the LPS class cars are threatened not.

    Heck, I took a LOOONNNNG test drive in a new BMW X5 this weekend (the thing was just south of $60K and it had the 6 cylinder engine in it), I also tested (for the fun of it) a Jeep SRT-8 (with all options it was barely $46K.)

    On the "grin meter" the SRT-8 was 10 teeth, the Bimmer maybe 6. The BMW was over a $1000 a month on a lease. The Jeep was a lot less.

    The gas mileage would suck on the Jeep.

    The Jeep well, is a Jeep -- but I doubt the valet at my country club would care one way or another just as long as I tipped him equally.

    The old folks at the country club are moving to Escalades and gussied up GMC versions of the same; the younger folks have the entry level or LPS cars du jour but certainly would ooh and ahh the SRT.

    No one would confuse them however. And, I doubt BMW fears the Jeep -- even though the Jeep would always show it tail lights. The BMW was a bit more comfy, but it was also more like a big sedan -- it had lost a little bit of its BMW-ness in the transition to a bigger (sort of) Lux SAV. The Jeep gained a lot of crispness and save for the back up camera seemed about at the same equipment level from a creature comfort standpoint.

    Overall, I liked the BMW a lot -- but damned if I could find the $14,000 difference for a vehicle that had some trouble getting out of its own way (power wise.)

    And the beat goes on: the S4 is, to me, a bit better performer and more to my tastes. But for the money, a 335xi sedan (March 2007) would get my $ vote over the S4 anyday for that kinda $ difference.

    Drive it like you live.

    Can't wait til they starting spreading the "35" engine across more and more Bimmers.

    Audi? Are you listening? :confuse:
  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 873
    Audi are you listening.

    Also the price gap is even bigger when you figure

    1. No gas guzzler tax on the 335. [$1300 savings in Texas]
    2. Much better fuel economy [If one stays out of the boost :blush: ]
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    BMW, coming soon a 535 model. You would think Audi with only a 3.2 (maybe a 3.6) a 4.2 and then a V10 (in the A6 at least) would consider something hotter than the current 3.2 and smaller than the current 4.2 to keep up with their Munich competition.

    Audi has always been the slowest\last of the German trio to boost displacement and horsepower, have they not? Wasn't Audi the last one to push their V6 past 2.8L, the last one to break 200hp with their V6, etc. Same goes for their V8, the A8 is just now catching up to the kind of power that the 7 has had for awhile.
  • If memory serves, Audi marketed the A6 (in the US at least) with three engines two 6's and one 8. BMW offered similarly positioned cars/engines.

    But, for "even money" you could have a 6 in a BMW or an 8 in an Audi. The 2.7T engine in the A6 middle child was pitted against a much less powerful 6 in a BMW -- that I assume was meant to be positioned similarly.

    The very first A8 started out life at 300HP while BMW 7's had less than 300 (282 as I recall.)

    In days gone by, Audis offered more turbos throughout the line, equal to or higher than HP numbers, generally stronger torque numbers (and at lower RPM's). These days it seemed to be heading down a path of [non-permissible content removed] for tat.

    The A6 comes to market with 255HP in the popular model while (for a time) the 5 settled for 225. Then the new 530 comes along with what? 255HP, same as Audis powerplant.

    They both placed these 255HP 6's into their A4 and 3 series and their A6 and 5 series. Audi stopped importing a lower powered A6, but BMW for some reason continued with the lesser 5 series. Meanwhile back at the ranch, BMW was working on boosting the output of the 255HP i6 via turbocharging after Audi had dropped it as of the 2004 MY (in the V6 at least.)

    The 4.2 is currently outputting 350HP in its typical state and considerably more in higher states of tune (and of course at times with turbocharging and at times NOT.)

    We also have both a V10 and a V12 powerplant from Audi (and BMW.)

    Currently Audi seems only to be missing a "middle child" engine (and maybe a "super child" engine, but at least that one seems to be virtually a foregone conclusion); and, that engine would be a 3.2T FSI one would imagine (or something altogether new that we simply don't know about.)

    But BMW plans a 535, already has 2 335's and has promised a 335xi sedan in Q1 2007. Audi, thus far, seems to have no counter punch to a 535 -- and this doesn't seem to be in keeping with history, at least from my not entirely complete memory.

    So in answer to your question, no that Audi have not always been the slowest/last of the German trio to boost displacement and horsepower. Sometimes they were ahead of the curve, sometimes behind. Currently, I am suggesting I see them getting behind if there is no boost (pun intended) of the power of the A6 3.2 (or A4 3.2) -- something in the range of 300HP would seem to be called for, especially once the 535 hits the NA market.

    There will be customers who want a V6, not a V8, but want some more horses and torque (and a bit better gas mileage.)

    At this moment, somewhat uncharacteristically IMHO, Audi does not appear to have a counterpunch.

    When a 335 can be had for $7,000 less than an S4 and offers similar performance, the pro S4 argument becomes difficult to win. I can only imagine what will happen when there is a 535 if the only Audi counterpunch is a 4.2L V8 (for much more money.)

    Just my perspective, of course. :shades:
  • But, what if Audis A6 4.2 is LESS money than a new 535xi?

    Will that win friends and influence customers?

    Or will the 535 be somehow compared with the then most potent 6 cylinder version of the A6 (and a similar offering from Mercedes in the E class?)

    I do remember my friend's i6 5 series was MORE money than my V8 A6 back in 2001 -- and I had quattro too.

    Nope, nope, nope -- I still think Audi needs a blown or at least more potent middle child 6 cylinder.

    That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it!

  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 873
    Yes, I agree. Audi needs to blow some sweet wind in that 3.2 motor. Or, maybe, [fingers crossed] they are going to bring the 3.6 to market, and blow a little love n it.

    Either way, they can't stand pat. [no pun intended Pat :blush: ]

    Also, I sent them a very forceful email about how crappy their ED program is when compared to BMW. It's little things like that that make me think that AOA is run by suits, badly in need of a lobotomy.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "Or, maybe, [fingers crossed] they are going to bring the 3.6 to market..."

    Does Audi have a 3.6 liter variant of their V6?

    Best Regards,
  • Yes, no, but.

    Sorta, kinda, maybe.

    Check out the Q7 with the 6.

    It is a 3.6L.

    I heard it won't fit in an A6, tho.

    Too fat.

    I read about a 3.2T FSI mule that was deliberately tuned to be 295HP and some number OVER 300 for torque. I think it was "tuned" to be 295 so as not to threaten the 4.2 which at the time had a 310 or 320HP rating and perhaps just at 300 pound feet (at a higher RPM.)

    Now, however, therefore, notwithstanding: BMW's 3.0 turbo is easily 300+ HP and sure nuff, the BMW sales reps say the 3.0 will somewhat cannibalize the sales of the V8's. It's the torque, it's the torque don't you know -- it comes on so strong, so early and then seems to just keep on in a nice linear fashion, well, it somewhat DOES make the V8 less necessary.

    Then you add to it the blown engine's capabilities as the altitude rises and couple that with ever better economy and emissions, and again a 350HP V8 seems EXPENSIVE and darn near a "why bother" when we all know how easily a slightly hotter chipset can be put into the blown 6 banger and up its HP and torque another 10 - 20% without even breaking a sweat.

    Hmm, a mild chip upgrade in the "35" Bimmer engine would take it to 330HP and add what "at least" another 30 pound feet.

    Oh yea, Shipo, the answer to you question remains, "sort of."

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Ahhh, you're talking about the VW VR6 engine. You are correct, it won't fit because it is too long (nearly as long as an I6).

    Best Regards,
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    You win the bet Dewey. The totals for 2006:

    E-Class: 50,195
    5-Series: 56,756

  • drtraveldrtravel Posts: 395
    Other LPS 2006 Sales figues:

    Lexus GS - 27,390
    Cadillac STS - 25,676
    Infiniti M - 25,658
    Audi A6 - 16,216
    Acura RL - 11,501
  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 873
    what will fit in the next model. If the clutch is moved back, [four inches according to rumors] and the engine supposedly fitting in differently, then indeed, who knows.

    So mark, are you saying that the new torque vectoring will work more like the Nissan ATTESSA? Or will it still be a full time AWD system.
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    GM, is working on a overhead-cam V8 codenamed "Ultra" which is most likely to debut in the 2009' Cadillac STS. It is expected to make power numbers similar the big-bore Mercedes Benz's engine fleet. :)

  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 873
    I just read in the German car blog that the new A5 will be able to fit and will come with the 3.6 FSI engine.

    So it stands to reason sense the A5 will share a platform with the next gen A4, that the next gen A4 will have a 3.6.

    Now, what will the horsepower and torque be at that point?

    I also read that they are working on an inline 5 cylinder turbo for future TTS, and TT RS models. That could be a really cool motor.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    That Audi number is somewhat of a letdown, such a car should sell much better than that.

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    That Audi number is somewhat of a letdown, such a car should sell much better than that.

    Well, the A6 and A8 have only been on par with\better than their competition for a single generation. Its going to take more time than that to convince American LPS buyers that Audi is on level footing with the 5s and Es that they continue to buy in droves.

    Somebody is definitely fired over the RL's performance. 58% of the target is not what I'd call a good result.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I guess you're right.

    I predict Honda will ok the V8 and RWD platform needed to make Acura a real luxury marque. If they don't then I have no idea what else they can do with an Accord platform stretched across and entire brand up to and including the "flagship". If the next NSX can have a V10 then shave off 2 cylinders and poof(!) a V8 is born.

    I thought I'd read somewhere that the RL was going to have a cheaper base model this year sometime?

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I thought I'd read somewhere that the RL was going to have a cheaper base model this year sometime?

    I'm not really sure where they can go in terms of pricing. The TL Type-S can now stretch up to $37K or so, and the RL's actual sale price is $40K. The RL is already down on features compared to its rivals. If they cut out the NAV, voice command, and the fancy stereo, you're left with a car that has the features of an early '90s A6.

    If Acura wants to sell this car, they need to stop being so "Acura" about it. This is the full-on luxury category, if you cheap out, people will know, and they won't buy. 8\4-way seats are unacceptable. A plastic twist knob when everyone else has a start button is unacceptable. What were they thinking on that one? Twist knobs are to replace the key when you introduce keyless ignition midway through a car's life cycle, you don't design it that way!

    Acura also needs to fire everyone who does their interiors, and steal some guys away from Audi and Lexus at any cost. With the redesign of the G35, the TL now has the worst in class interior other than the CTS, but Cadillac is about to fix that. (And it could be argued that the TL was worse than the old G35) Same goes for the RL.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Scathing LG, scathing.

    Their seats still have different adjustments for the driver and passenger? That no height adjustment for the passenger seat is still there?

    To be fair though, the "worst" interior in the class is little bit much don't you think. I like the IS350's interior the most out of the Japanese entries. I'm kinda split on the TL/G35.

    In the RL's class though I like all the German interiors better along with the M and GS. There just isn't anything special or different enough about the RL interior compared to the TL.

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Their seats still have different adjustments for the driver and passenger? That no height adjustment for the passenger seat is still there?

    To be fair though, the "worst" interior in the class is little bit much don't you think. I like the IS350's interior the most out of the Japanese entries. I'm kinda split on the TL/G35.

    Honda\Acura are not big on adjustable seats. The passenger seat in the RDX is not even powered! In a luxury SUV! In a car like the RL though, its just an embarrassment. The '91 SC400 had 10\10-way seats.

    The TL has always looked Fisher-Price on the inside when compared to the ES, but at least the old cars had some type of design theme, basically Accord + fake wood = TL. The new one though, ugh. It's actually worse than the Accord now because of all the bits of "zazz" they threw at it, and that big screen looks absolutely horrible when it doesn't have the NAV system.

    I actually like the new G's interior better than the IS. The Lexus has the edge on materials quality, but I find that big empty expanse of gray dash to be very dull. The G has a "mini-M" look that works well.

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