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Lexus LS 460/LS 460L Styling Impressions

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Comments

  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    At $100K the LS hybrid with 520HP is one hell of a value proposition vs the big V10-12 Germans.

    ljflx - Mercedes has the AMG variant, as you are well aware, and it is well known to represent much more than mere HP. There are significant "appearance" transformations as well as major engineering/performance enhancements. Boosting the LS to 520 HP can not be enough by itself. What are the other engineering enhancements to handle that power? And what about significant appearance enhancements as well? What will all these be?
    TagMan
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Tagman - you can get to $100K on an S550 without the AMG variant though. The S65 is what -$160K? And the S55 - is it $110-115K? This car is just going after the non-Amg's. It's a stock car. But supposedly there are Lexus tuned variants that are coming but I'd expect them to be in 2008. Agree about the GS hybrid - it's not the tour de force car. Only the LS can do that job. The GS hybrid is just a placeholder until the LS600 comes out. But I expect Lexus is going to have a tuned GS in the near future and they'll get rid of the VDIM lock-up on the stock car and underneath that locking control is one hell of a car waiting to get free.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Thanks, but still, how will they handle 520 HP? Seems like it might be too much for the standard engineered suspension. Then there's the question about too much stability control or performance limiters. What's your take on this? After all, 520 HP is a bunch of ponies.
  • As all LS' are over-engineered anyway, and a Euro-suspension of some kind will be offered, they can make it work.

    Maybe I don't know, ljflx, how Lexus is going to do business, or their 5-year plan, but their recent hybrid introductions and press quotes don't lead me to believe that an LS over $100k is in the immediate future.

    The modest premiums of the GS and RX hybrids back me up. Maybe things will be different with the LS, but $90k-95k is a very nice, and attractive room, just below the penthouse, of the premium luxury sedan class, and where I would park the Hybrid.

    Maybe, once it blows up like we think, they will move it up, like they did with the original LS.

    Toyota has been very aggressive with power, but not with price. I don't see a $30k jump in price this year.

    They will get there, soon enough. Don't give them any of the wrong ideas! :mad:

    DrFill
  • yak54yak54 Posts: 72
    The new LS will have a multi-link suspension front and back. Do you think this will give it the road handling ability of a BMW 750I?
  • nunnznunnz Posts: 3
    What are your thoughts on the 2007 Lexus LS460S vs the new 2007 Mercedes S450. Both verhicles are priced around $80k
  • The LS460 is a competitor for the S550, not anything less. S450 is no competition, as many mags have astutely pointed out in this generation.

    DrFill
  • nunnznunnz Posts: 3
    Assuming you only wanted to spend $80k and if you got the Lexus you wanted to LWB.....you would absolutely pick the LS over the Mercedes S450? Why is that?
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    DrFill - The LS460 will end up being compared to the S450, as well as the S550, so get ready for it. It is a natural, and IMO, there is enough justification to do so. I suspect that there will be mags that will make such a comparison, and some will actually prefer the MB S550, and maybe even the S450. No doubt the Lexus will score high marks, but it would be foolish to completely ignore the S450 as a potential competitor.
    Unfortunately most of the world will not consult with you first. ;)
    So . . . Let's see where it all goes.
    TagMan
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    barrys – Your concern about the suggestion that Lexus should actually RAISE its prices is reasonable and logical, IMO. I agree with you and DrFill that the Lexus price structure does not need encouragement to rise too quickly, for its own sake, but I do believe that the more extreme opinions expressed here will not influence Lexus's strategic marketing.

    Remember, Toyota/Lexus is among the best in the world at this. Many of the Lexus fans on this forum have a major affection for the automaker, which is clear from some of the posts. This is quite natural for there to be more extreme views like this. The views expressed by many of the German car fans are just as powerful, and those views sometimes in a similar fashion are supportive of the price and/or value of the German cars.

    Let me clarify that I believe that the high-end German car prices are often too lofty and have posted this opinion in the past. I have also posted that the Lexus price strategy of keeping the prices lower than the competition has been essential to their success, and is, in fact, an integral part of their marketing formula.

    I have tremendous respect for companies with brilliant strategies, and I include Toyota/Lexus (Wal-Mart is another) among my most respected. They are not perfect, of course. And my respect for them should not be construed as an endorsement or to infer that I am biased in favor of their products . . . just a respect for their marketing brilliance.

    The price advantage is essential to perceived value. Consider DrFill's opinion that the S450 cannot compare to the LS460. Well . . . buyers and critics alike WILL make the comparisons, and as they do so, many of them will draw the conclusion that DrFill draws, partly due to the price difference as it relates to how much car the buyer perceives to obtain for the $$$. Lexus will continue to stand out as a good value, because it has an historic reputation and foundation based upon reliable value, with good momentum in its wake, and it will be deliberately priced to further the cause. However, there are other factors that affect the sale of an automobile, and many people will choose other marques instead of the Lexus, of course. There are no actual "right or wrong" choices when purchasing an automobile . . . only a spectrum of preferences, criteria, and/or "need-fulfillment" . . . which buyers will perceive as "right" for themselves and/or others.

    Will Lexus boost prices? Beyond factors such as monetary exchange rates and/or political global trade pressures, there have been views expressed that they will and that they should deliberately do so . . . and those suggestions of deliberate price increases and a shrinking price gap/advantage have raised your concern. However, aside from minor fluctuations and tweaking, I think it is clearly more likely that Lexus will stay on their successful path and maintain the integration of perceived price advantage as a key factor in their brilliant and successful marketing strategy. In essence, it is a key component to what defines Lexus, and Toyota/Lexus is not about to tamper with its core perceptual definition.

    TagMan
  • atlas7atlas7 Posts: 126
    How muc HP does the MB S450 have?
  • The MB S450 has about 335 HP
  • atlas7atlas7 Posts: 126
    Ok, pretty good size difference in HP. LS460 has 380hp vs. MB 450 has 335hp, I don't see it as a direct competitor. Seems the MB 550 with 382 HP would be the direct competition for LS 460.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Interesting to see the process of picking a single specification such as horsepower and then determining that there is nothing else to compare between vehicles. There are dozens of factors to consider. As a great example, this Edmunds site just recently compared a Lexus IS 350 to the BMW 330i. The Lexus was the clear power/acceleration winner, but in the end . . . after considering ALL the things that truly matter . . . the review made it very clear that the BMW was the top dog. So, as you can see, HP is only one single factor when making a fair and complete comparison.
    TagMan
  • For actually reading and understanding my posts, as this is a forgotten art at times. ;)

    I can read Merc's mind now, that the cache, the perceived superiority of Mercedes, and it's impressive 100+ year heritage, will lend credibility and value to the S450, and maybe enough to warrant a higher price and lower power. This could very well be true.

    Regarding the IS, having just left the Houston car show myself, the rear seat of the IS is ABYSMAL! The front only has average space for the class, certainly less than the Zephyr or other domestics, so you can't really donate anything, front to rear. That hurts it's competitive value.

    If the IS had a stick, though, it would clean up on all these comparisons. An auto just emphasizes it's technical side, and cripples it's ability to communicative with the driver. As good as the IS is, it will NEVER beat a BMW MT car. Not possible.

    With the new LS style and power, and the quality and luxury that is by now a given, Mercedes maybe powerless to stop it's assention at this point. But the S-Class will always be a standard-bearer.

    But "New Money" loves Lexus. There are 50 new Millionaires in America every day!

    DrFill
  • I am really interested in the features of the LS 460L because the MB S550 has things like the night view assist and the distronic that is helpful in stop and go traffic. Does anyone know if the Lexus will ahve all of that. And about the power rear door closures, does it mean like the door will automatically close at the touch of a button like the power doors on the minivans excluding the sliding doors that are on the vans.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Thanks for the Kudos and compliments. I enjoy your posts.

    Lexus has achieved "social acceptance" and represents "success" at the entry tier (sort of a "you have arrived!" greeting to the new millionaires you mentioned), without a doubt.

    The Edmunds review of the new S-Class is a must-read.

    I can not agree with you, however, that Mercedes may be powerless to stop the Lexus assention. I think it is more likely that Lexus will be in the same overall position (although slightly elevated this time around) it has historically been in . . . a great alternative that has great value written all over it . . . but not necessarily the top dog . . . at least not yet.
    TagMan
  • The LS600hL will show how far Lexus can go. I expect it to have every ounce of power and luxury a S600 will, but should cost less and be much more efficient.

    Only one thing can stop Lexus at this point, avirice.

    The S-Class can't push the LS around anymore. Mercedes salesmen were not please in Detroit!

    Lexus LS will be THE CAR in 3 years. THE car you want in this class.

    DrFill
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Speaking for myself, the ONLY LS I would consider to purchase would be the LS600hL. I love and respect MANY of these high end vehicles, but my next purchase will REQUIRE fuel efficiency as a general feature of the vehicle, regardless of its price. I don't wish to get political or anything, but I've been around the block enough to come to the point where I am totally done with gas hogs. DONE.

    As far as the other features go, I also prefer the long wheelbase, and that further points to the LS600hL as the "winner" in the Lexus LS lineup, IMO.

    I give tons of credit to Mercedes for the S-Class achievement. It's simply gorgeous. The new LS is an improvement, but the styling is . . .well . . . we'll just have to see how these vehicles all stack up in the critic's comparisons . . . and yours, too, of course. ;)
    TagMan
  • The humps aren't that bad, but I hate the taillights, and the general slope of the rear deck.

    The LS profile is very nice, the best view. The detailing in the C-Pillar is without peer. The rear shares much with the IS. It cast a confident stance, if nothing else.

    I've only seen the SWB version. Live. I have the LWB on DVD/Tivo.

    My point is, people have NEVER bought the LS for style, now it can turn some heads, especially with the Germans taking a step back.

    The Last 740 was sweeter than anything out today, or tomorrow for that matter! Instant classic! :shades:

    DrFill
  • atlas7atlas7 Posts: 126
    Understood, lots of things to consider,clearly price is one. I think the LS460 will be less expensive and have a lot more horses. So there is no comparison on HP and price, so where is the direct competition? Wouldn't they have to be comparable in one of these two areas to be direct competitors? I don't see the LS 460 at 80k?
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Read up on the reviews. The overwhelming consensus is that they're ALL somewhat "bangled". Having done so doesn't place the Mercedes and BMW back a step and Lexus up a step. This is one area where they are all sharing a similar path, and therefore they all go the same direction on this one . . . whether it is up or down.

    I agree that the LS profile view is decent. There are also other good ideas such as the integrated exhaust. Overall, however, it has a tendency to look similar to the lesser expensive models, rather than leap ahead with a very dramatic statement, IMO.

    Again, I suggest you read the Edmunds review, because I think it will be indicative of more to come . . . The Mercedes has clearly NOT taken a step back, but has actually taken a HUGE leap forward, and the critics agree with that assessment so far . . . calling it the new benchmark!!!!

    I think it would be fair to say that both vehicles emerge with improvements, not just one, and that this is only the beginning of what will be years of healthy competition.
    TagMan
  • atlas7atlas7 Posts: 126
    I am sure the new 550 S Class is one heck of a car,it better be, the sticker on it was 94k. I saw the 550 S yesterday at the DC auto show and I don't find it to be a great looking car. Was very disappointed that the LS 460 was not there.
  • Have read both C&D's and Edmunds' reviews. They were both impressive.

    I'm just sayin' that, dynamically, I expect them both to land in a similar place, dynamically, since room, power, and luxury will be similar, and that price, economy, styling, and a buyer's past experience will close the deal.

    For $90k, the S-Class should be more impressive, that's what I'm sayin'. It's not as clean as it's predecessor. The S takes one step back, the 750 has taken two steps back. And the LS takes a step forward from it's predecessor.

    That's all the LS needed. More power, style in the same park. Mission accomplished! :)

    DrFill
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    For $90k, the S-Class should be more impressive

    DrFill - The review calls it the new benchmark! You say it should be MORE impressive, and that it is a step back from the previous model. The review indicates otherwise. It takes a lot to satisfy you, it seems. But you did mention the price tag, didn't you? . . . so . . . as usual with Lexus fans, it is the "value" that needs to be perceived. You perceive it in the Lexus but you do not perceive in the Mercedes. That's the reason for your remark. And that's what I've been saying all along. The Lexus REQUIRES that perception as an integral part of its success. The Mercedes, on the other hand, is appreciated more for its merits alone. There IS a fundamental difference here that I am trying to point out, and you make a great example of it based upon your quote.

    BTW, the extra power, newer style, and techno goodies (married to the price advantage!) will certainly further the LS along its path of success.
    :)
    TagMan
  • Tagman

    your comments are sound. Lexus although much better than its european rivals will still be the alternative and will not be able to command same level of premiums. But I think
    most of us are shy in accepting the real reasons.

    The real reason is lexus is an asian brand. An asian brand can never command a premium more than a european brand.

    North americans and europeans will never accept a lexus costing same or more than european brands. Particularly north european brands.

    There is however another reason why lexus cannot charge premium. Because it does not make 500 and 600 hp v12.

    This I think is an enormous oversight on lexus' part. They are going global. Lexus is trying to gain a foothold in europe, islamic countries, asia and even poor countries like India.

    The ultimate criteria to be accepted as a luxury brand is to to have a v12. Think about it, all high luxury brands have 12-cylinder engines.

    bentley, rolls, aston martin, ferrari, lamborghini, maybach, mercedes, bmw, audi, even volkswagen. Toyota makes v12 for century which sells in japan. But it has only 300 HP. A v12 with just 300 hp will never sell outside japan.

    Out of these 11 V12s which I have mentioned, 9 are made in germany. 5 for german brands, 3 for german owned brands (rolls, bentley and lamborhini) and 1 in a ford factory in germany (for aston martin).

    Only ferrari makes v12 and sells it world over and you can see it contributes to ferrari's allure and worldwide dominance, not to mention the 14 F1 titles and 9 Le Mans vitories.
  • Lexus urgently needs a v12 if it is to be accepted as a global top tier luxury brand. And in order to over come the insult of an underdog, it will not only have to match the europeans (read germans) but to exceed them.

    Germans make 6.0 L, 440-450 hp naturally aspirated engines

    Mercedes and Volkswagen also make turboharged v12s and w12s, like the 5.5 L , 500 hp in S600 and 6.0 L 600 hp in S65 AMG.

    Mercedes also makes 7.1 L 600 hp AMG naturally aspirated engine for pagani zondo.

    Lexus should make a naturally aspirated 7.0 L 600 hp V12.
    That might help it to a certain extent if it wants to become top luxury brand.

    It can also make this v12 more fuel efficient compared to european v12s using some advanced technology. Needless to say it will also have to be ten times more reliable.
  • According to many, LS 600h will provide v12 power and v6 fuel economy. That is not true.

    The LS 600h, may be able to match BWM v-12 and audi w12 producing 440 hp, (although I doubt that too), it likely wont be able to match mercedes v12s which produce 500 and 600 hp.

    This is because the hybrid motor makes approx. 70 hp. Mating this to 380 hp will only make 450 hp if that.

    Although it sounds maniacal at the moment, Lexus should rather make a v12 and mate its motor to make a hhbrid and sell it as V16 power and v8 fuel economy, then it will truly set a global standard.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Tagman

    your comments are sound.


    Thank you. You have made a big case for a V12 from Toyota/Lexus. Certainly it would be an achievement. However, I must say that I think Lexus is on the right path actually to use the hybrid with the V8 combination. This will sufficiently boost power AND provide the fuel efficiency that is now becoming more important. Hybrid technology may not be the ultimate solution when the dust settles, but it has a number of advantages. It already has momentum, public recognition, and investment. It is a viable approach at this time.

    I think that the hybrid HP limits you indicated in your next posts may be exceeded as time goes, due to additional advances and the use of multiple motors. History is pointing to high fuel prices, and the public wants and needs affordable energy. I believe the best days for very large ICE's are now behind us, and I salute Toyota/Lexus for their trail-blazing approach to hybrid technology. I also salute Honda, as they have been one of the most aggressive and successful companies in this field. I am also a big believer in future diesel and diesel/hybrid powertrains, as well as fuel cell technology.

    The German car fans have often claimed that the Europeans do all the research and development, and that Toyota side-steps these costs, thus passing on the savings to the consumer, but it is clear that the Japanese have been in the trenches with hybrid technology. Credit where credit is due.

    The market is proving that people will pay a premium for clean air and fuel effecient vehicles. But it is not a slam dunk. Highlander sales have slowed, as an example, but the new 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid is hot, hot, hot. Why? Because the public still wants vehicles that are desireable and meet MANY criteria to satisfy a purchase decision.

    I am convinced that the Lexus LS600hL will be a smashing success. It will be an ultimate vehicle in some respects, and while we can debate its comparisons to the Mercedes, BMW, and others, it will deserve recognition for a truly amazing automotive achievement, IMO.

    TagMan
  • cyclone4cyclone4 Posts: 2,285
    TagMan, I am in total agreement with you concerning the hybrid technology. Like you, I want a very energy efficient automobile that is great for the environment and also at the same time has all the luxury and technological advances money can buy. That is why my next automobile will be the LS600h. I see NO advantage in V12 gas guzzling engines. The days of the gas guzzler are rapidly fading in the twilight. Thank you for your insightful posts.
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