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Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    "I've always found Mercedes and Audi interiors to be far better looking than BMWs."

    We're definitely in agreement there. Audi didnt impress me much in the early '90s, but by the time the previous gen A6 was introduced, they had the best of the bunch.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,047
    The Audi system can "transfer" up to 50% of the power to the front or rear?

    The Audi system STARTS at 50% f 50% r power distribution and via an instant acting (not virtually, not electronically but mechanically instant) Torque Sensing (TORSEN) AWD set up can send additional power to the front or rear depending on where the most traction is.

    For purposes of this explanation, I am speaking specifically of the TORSEN quattro set up, not the Haldex quattro set up. However, the quattro intent is to shift more or less power forward or backward regardless of the technology used. The TORSEN system (today) is nominally a 50-50 set up. Upcoming TORSEN set ups will be nominally 40% f 60% r biased (basically to remove the issue of not being an RWD biased AWD system from the discussion).

    Depending on the model (and application), the quattro system will send up to 75% of the power to the front or rear based on traction.

    According to Audis own literature, the ability to pinpoint a single wheel that can benefit from additional torque is also part of the system: "[Under normal conditions] power is split 50/50 front to rear. But in extreme cases up to 67% of the engine's power can be directed to a single wheel. The benefits to the driver are safety, performance, power, and control in copious amounts."

    The Canadian Driver piece is not entirely accurate in its declaration of toque split and torque shift in a Torsen equipped set up such as the A4. The new A4 could actually send 2/3 of the power of the engine to the front left or the rear right for that matter. The most the Infiniti system can do is send 50% forward -- not that that should ever be insufficient. The Torsen system simply can send another 17% forward should it be necessary to do so.
  • All this BMW,Lexus,Jag,MB talk drives me nuts.I've owned them thank God and the UAW I have owned 39 new vehicles of all makes and models.Go down to your Ford store drive these two and tell me where the 30 grand difference is?Better yet buy 2 of them and put $10,000 in your new SS account.
    Buy American.........cause you are one!
    lizzzard
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    I looked at the Five Hundred AWD. I liked the body, the size, and the AWD. I didn't like the performance figures (from the small engine size with CVT). The car would also look nicer if they took the grille from the Fusion and stuck it on the 500. But you are missing the point. This is a luxury performance sedan board. The Cadillac STS (and to some extent the CTS) ARE discussed here. If I had liked the angular cuts in the STS body, I would have seriously considered it, as Cadillac has changed their stodgy image.

    Remember also that Jag and MB have American connections, now, too.
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    Firstly, not everyone here is American. Secondly, why should "we" support inferior products simply because we hail from the country that makes them? That may be a very nice set up for our car manufacturers, but it does nothing to help them make better products. Think about it, if they make crap cars (and in my opinion most American cars are crap), but we buy them anyway simply because we're "'merican" what incentive do Ford or GM have to make better cars? My father will only buy American and to answer your question, yes I do believe that my 545 is worth $40K more than it. Since we've been talking about cheap materials let's expand that to include American cars which use the cheapest material that I can think of. The leather feels like pleather, the knobs on the dash feel like they'll fall of in your hand anytime you use them and the designs at least to me are for the most part atrocious. The goal of American car manufacturers seems to be to figure out how to transfer our family room sofa into a moving vehicle. The only exceptions I see are the new Mustang, the 500 that you mentioned (though the grill REALLY bugs me, and SOME Cadillacs. So until we learn to engineer better cars, I won't be buying one. If that makes me less patriotic in your mind so be it. Sorry, but I just hate it when people say things like "Buy American.....cause you are one."
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    thank God and the UAW

    What? IMHO the domestic auto industry would be in better shape now if the UAW didn't exist. In recent decades all they've done is make American auto labor uncompetitive. I'm not against buying from a US or Canadian factory, but frankly the stuff out of the non-union US or Canadian factories is a better value (for what you're getting) and generally better quality too.
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    James Healey's review on the A6. Worth a read. First analogy between the A6 and an Edsel. A little harsh.

    http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/reviews/healey/2005-04-21-audi-a6_x.htm
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,047
    The new STS cannot be had with a sport set up and come in under $60,000. Even Audi only charges $1250 for the sport package (and one would presume $1000 of that is for the wheels which can be purchased minus the sport suspension for that price).

    The STS too cannot be had with AWD for any price less than $62,000 -- even BMW and Mercedes (using MSRP as my guide) can beat this.

    The new Ford and Mercury cars with AWD are mostly impressive -- but when you can get a Chrsler 300C AWD with every possible option for just north of $42 or $43,000 why would you consider the STS and for the extra performance why would you accept the anemic Ford products (this anemia being the main impediment to their success).

    Insofar as considering the Ford 500 as a competitor in this class, even with a 50% boost in power, well, it isn't likely to happen in my lifetime unless some major sea change happens within Ford.

    I don't believe the 500 is even meant to rival the "usual 8 suspects" in this class.

    Long before the 500 would be an entrant, the 300C AWD would have to at least be up for "honorable mention."

    One thing I do agree on, though, if the difference is $30,000 between a Ford 500 AWD and the Mercedes or BMW or Audi or Infiniti, etc -- well I think our new poster does have a point (where is the $30,000 difference). There certainly is a difference -- and the difference probably justifies a 5 figure premium for the 500's "rivals" (in mrlizzad's opinion). But I dunno if that new Audi A6 is worth $30,000 more than the 500; but, if true, that is the "market's" tolerance apparently since most of these Premo cars are selling at least "OK."

    While we're at it, we could probably include the new Passat at $37,000 as a contender, too (at least for the CTS customer's dollars).
  • ed22ed22 Posts: 2
    I am new to the forums and I would like to give my opinion on this as well. I think there is nothing wrong with being patriotic, but like others I have to agree that if you don't buy the vehicle for legitemate reasons, you are definately giving the manufacturer a reason to improve.
    Unlike most people on this forum, I actually like the new Cady design theme, in fact I love it and if it wasn't for that interior I would probably be driving one myself. That is a big part of a car for me, and I have sat and driven all sorts of luxury cars when my dad was making his decision and I have to say that most European cars with the exception of Audi, have really bad interiors (Merc, BMW). There are way too many buttons and stuff, I drive has reduced this but at what price. At this moment I would say that the American manufacturers are definately picking up some speed and if the Europeans are not carefull they could be outclassed just as quickly.
    To me it seems like the European manufacturers are selling only one the fun factor, and mainly the badge. Their quality is simply bad, the interiors are very bland and not designed very functionally (unless you are comparing them to other European manufacturers), and you get very little for your dollar, most things that should be standard are considered options.
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    Parents want their children to be special; companies want their products to be premium. Where's the glory in competing on price when you can compete on how powerful, fast, accurate, tangy, plush, or greaseless your offering is?

    One way to differentiate a product is to add stuff to it. When the stuff is useful, we praise it as "functionality." When the stuff is just stuff, we dismiss it as "bells and whistles." Excessive features confound buyers with complexity. Useless features anger them, especially if they detect a trade-off with economy, portability, or convenience.

    A mousetrap isn't better because it includes an electronic rodent counter or a cheese freshness gauge. It's better because it does a superior job catching mice.

    With I-Drive, MMI, and COMAND, the German engineers don't seem to grasp this. At least in the RL, M, and GS, you can manage most primary controls without the need to "interface."
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    Found this footage that appears to show the new LS460. It's a yet-unreleased commercial. Look carefully and turn up the sound.

    http://www.killsometime.com/Video/video.asp?video=Car-Commercial
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    Honestly, I have no idea where the idea came from that you have to use iDrive to manage most primary controls. I guess it came from some writer that most likely doesn't like any of the computer systems in cars. I haven't touched iDrive for climate control or seat heating since the second week I had my car (that's how it works, you set up your preferences then you really don't have to use it much). I only use it about half the time for the radio/SAT/CD. The climate can be controlled by dials on the dash and the radio can be controlled using steering wheel buttons. Both can also be controlled through voice commands on cars equiped with it. I realize it doesn't matter how many times 5 series owners tell people this because people seem commited to believing it regardless. It's kind of like how people not from Chicago are commited to it being called The Windy City because they think it's the most windy city in the country. In fact, the name has nothing to do with the wind (Chicago is behind several other large cities in wind statistics), but people will insist that's why it's called that. Same with iDrive. Some guy that probably also feels that computers took the fun out of filing didn't like it and it stuck. Fact is, all luxury cars now have or soon will have some variation of it.
  • warthogwarthog Posts: 216
    Ok, I'll bite: why IS Chicago called "The Windy City?"
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    Yes...why is Chicago called the "Windy City " Rich? ...we know it doesn't have anything to do with Harry Carry.
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    "The name of 'Windy City,' which is sometimes used by village papers in New York and Michigan to designate Chicago, is intended as a tribute to the refreshing lake breezes of the great summer resort of the West, but is an awkward and rather ill-chosen expression and is doubtless misunderstood."
    Chicago Tribune 11 September 1886

    There is an earlier citation from the Cleveland Gazette from 1885.

    However, during bidding for the World's Fair/Expo of 1893, New Yorkers complained about Chicago's bombastic attitude and referred to it as the "Windy City".

    (From Michael Quinion--apparently a lexicologist--or is it lexicographer?)

    Take your pick, but the Tribune reference predates the other.

    I'm sure all of the discussed luxury performance sedans on this board would have no problem handling the cross-breezes in Chicago, and their owners might sometimes be referred to as "windy" when describing them.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Seems there is resignation to the fact that BMW provides conventional controls and everyone reverts back to using them in spite of iDrive. Now, where’s that at? What’s the purpose of iDrive if no one uses it or only uses it when the car is not in motion?

    BTW, I understand that Wyoming is the windiest place in the USA, and that it has or at one time had the highest suicide rate because of it.
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    Those were the exact two explainations for "Windy City" that I was going to give. Along those lines, if anyone is looking for a good book to read, "The Devil and the White City" is about the World's Fair in Chicago in 1893. I know, sounds boring, but half of the book is about the architects that build the fair buildings, the other half is about the serial killer that hunted during the fair. Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled programming...
  • warthogwarthog Posts: 216
    Read the book and enjoyed it thoroughly. However, it appears that "Windy City" has at least something to do with wind.
  • Mmmmmm..........To each their own.

    On Unions----syswei is correct IMHO also. They are dinosaurs that just don't die.

    If American manufacturers believe their products are better, then they need to back them up with better warranties and stand behind their products like their competitors. A 3 yr/36,000 mile warranty is not adequate to compete anymore and a Cadillac/Ford dealer is not the sale as an Audi/Infinity/Lexus dealer.
    I noticed that the Five Hundred and Freestyle are both built at the same plant and you stated that you own one in another post so you have some loyalty to it. That's good and I hope you feel the same 1 or 2 years from now when you trade it in. Having owned 39 vehicles means you either keep them for a short period or you have a huge parking space.
    You won't change minds with you attitude and your statements here seem to be misplaced. We buy what we perceive to be the best car for the money. Email the Big 3 and tell them to build better products and to force their dealers to provide better service. My Pacifica is like your Freestyle in that it will take a couple of years to see how far they have come. From my Pacifica experience I would say they are taking baby steps. Nothing for the luxury car makers overseas to worry about.

    Money isn't everything. I don't like my time wasted on needless repairs and I am willing to pay more for reliability and good engineering.

    Capt. Phil
    An American in Iraq.
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