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Lexus LS 460/LS 460L Styling Impressions

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Comments

  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    My dealer has more than 200 orders of the LS460 so far (that's a 3 month supply already gone), 95 are LWB (that's greater than his 3 month supply) and most of them are fully loaded. It appears Lexus is not going to have any problems selling $85k cars. He tells me that northeast dealers are already requesting increased supply of the car from Lexus and they want them in LWB trim.

    Interesting because that number of LWB orders, if representative of other areas as well, indicates that the LWB version will be a much greater percentage than Lexus had planned for.

    However, this can work for Lexus if they are careful to maintain a moderate, but not too ultra tight, demand for the LWB, as it will then move the price that the LS460L can command northward slightly, but without horrendous markups which ultimately when the initial demand wears off would backfire.

    So . . . moderate demand over supply is healthy, but too much under-supply is not good, IMO.

    The LS600hL will initially be a hard-to-get vehicle. Those fortunate enough to be on the early list will benefit. Hopefully there will not be too much predatory markups, but there are always those dealers that are greedy.

    In California it is mixed. We have numerous dealers that sell high-demand vehicles at MSRP, while there are others that will price gouge to any level the market will bear.

    Good luck with your LS600hL. I hope its MSRP is comfortable enough for you and that you are able to acquire it from an ethical dealer.

    Those that will wait patiently until next spring and summer for the LS460's should do much better from a price standpoint, as the initial tidal wave of demand will start to subside by then, IMO.

    TagMan
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Price the 600h right on top of the S550, if they want to curb Mercedes sales.

    I would personally like to see a $90k starting price, and around $100k loaded (with vinyl roof, gold-plated hub caps, and the revolving 8-track player!).

    That would be 2 Sweet! :shades:

    Mercedes will NOT sell 30k S-class next year! ;)

    Will barely sell 25k.

    DrFill
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    And don't forget to avoid those vile Lexus Lemons that come from the first 20-30 sold.

    Help me if I get a 600hL without Armor All on the tires!

    Just thinking about it really frost my wienie!

    :mad:

    DrFill
  • I wonder if this (small forecast of 460 L sales) is deliberate, to ensure the successful transition of the LS 460 L into the premium luxury stratosphere...keep the supplies exclusive.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Doc -

    You already know that I'm saying $91,350 on the LS600hL . . . so you'll be happy if I hit the bullseye, or even come close.

    Don't forget that at the proper moment, MB has the S450 up its sleeve as well as the terrific BlueTec. It's MUCH too early to count them out. The initial surge in LS sales will reverberate with strength throughout the HELM arena, no doubt, but then after that, sales will be more balanced then it would seem the good Doc might be suggesting, IMHO.

    TagMan
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    MB will do fine with the S-class because it's a great car and these two cars will dominate the segment. But I do think S450 sales, if the car ever gets here, will cut into S550 sales a lot more so than set back the LS460. By not releasing the S450 sooner they've pidgeoned holed themselves and are allowing the LS to dictate policy in the segment. If they price it low then they'll see S550 sales shrink fast. If they price it high then people will choose between the LS460 and the S550. You can count on your right hand the number of Lexus buyers that will overpay for an S450.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    I was at a Toy dealer today having my oil change/tires rotated, the regular dealer steal of my wallet :) My friend, a sales guy at the shop told me the new Tundra will have a regular gasoline, a hybrid, and guess what a DIESEL variant... coming next year or thereabouts.... Call me dumb, but does anyone know if Toyota has any plans for diesel for any of their products starting in MY'07 ???
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Lexus is always conservative with forecasts. They hoped for 25K LS sales in 2001 and got 37K sales which was double the sales of the 2000 car.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    OAC - believe it or not Toyota and BMW have a diesel deal. I read that in either Fortune or Forbes a couple of years agp. Toyota has a license to BMW diesels but has since developed their own. I have no idea what that license is all about though nor did the story go into details. I never forgot it because my eyes almost popped out when I read it. But the story did detail Toyota's diesel plans for Europe and it could be the high gas prices have made them rethink the US. Problem here now is gas (at least here in NJ) is back to 40-70 cents cheaper (89 and 93 grades) than diesel. I filled up with 93 octane today at $2.39 a gallon. Diesel ranges from $2.89 to 3.09 based on prices I saw today.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    As oac can tell you, our California gas prices are much, much higher than yours, and are closer to the diesel prices. As I understand it, diesel fuel will change to low sulphur content very soon, and there is no determination yet as to whether or not this will make it even more expensive or be a non-event.

    The upcoming diesel market will undoubtedly catch Toyota a little off guard, IMO, whether or not they have a deal with BMW.

    The German marques themselves will be the initial winners with the diesel vehicles, IMO, particularly at the high end. Depending upon unpredictable world political events and economic factors, diesels have the potential to be very huge here for the first time in history.

    It could be like a diesel tidal wave from Europe. Give it only another two years to watch this start to play itself out. Then we'll start to know.

    Of course it would be foolish to rule the Japanese out entirely on this , but they may in fact need to play catch-up when it comes to the diesel frontier.

    One thing for sure . . .it is going to get mighty interesting indeed.

    TagMan
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Tag - I have very serious doubts about diesel ever making it here and if gas settles in at $50-60 a barrel I doubt people will want any changes. There's been a $20 terror premium in gas for the last year vs what the ordinary laws of supply and demand would dictate. The demand side also has been overstated causing a decent (but not overly large bubble). Both premiums have been reduced but there's still more to go. I could be wrong but my gut tells me diesel is a tiny player in the US auto market.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Great minds think alike! :D

    I would consider 30k+ sales of the $90k S550 a "market imbalance".

    The LS will rectify that imbalance, and sell close to 40k in 2007

    The S450, when it comes available will do more damage to the XJ8 and the aging 750i than to the LS.

    I believe it is "common knowledge" at this point that the LS is better than a cut-rate S-Class. I don't think Lexus is worrying about the S450. Doubt they ever have.

    DrFill
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I could be wrong but my gut tells me diesel is a tiny player in the US auto market.

    Well, it is so far, but even recently the percentage gain is higher than hybrids, and there is large momentum. True, the falling gas prices will relax the consuming public's fuel tensions, but the recent hikes were a big pill to swallow, and many will not forget so easily.

    Additionally, some manufacturers have already pulled the stops out and will be marketing diesels, so there will be increased exposure and marketing to contend with.

    Further, the current price of fuel may seem low now, but that is only in contrast to the sky-rocketed prices just prior to this recent easing of prices. It wasn't long ago that even $2/gal seemed too high for many folks. Now the perspective is that it's cheap?

    Gasoline will get expensive again, anyway, as it always does. The world scene will never be stable for oil, and there are too many factors to support oil going higher again at some point in the not-too-distant future.

    Diesels are coming, and they will sell well, IMO. I don't expect them to ever be a huge share of the market, but I suspect that they will be more than a tiny player over this next decade.

    After that, who knows? Hydrogen seems to be the big buzz word, and already there are strong indications that hydrogen will be the next fuel for the next generation.

    TagMan
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Found this on CL.... very interesting since many people have speculated that the new 4.6L motor needs a high rev band to get most of its torque.... This curve shows its not true.

    First lets review: the new 4.6L has 380hp/363Ibft (Japan specs out to 385hp/369Ibft)

    image

    According to the analysis the guy presented:
    @ 2000rpm, the motor puts out 116hp/310Ibft
    @ 3000rpm, the motor puts out 197hp/340Ibft
    @ 4000rpm, the motor puts out 285hp/363Ibft (peak torque)
    @ 6400rpm (peak hp), the output is at 380-385hp/310Ibft

    Meaning, even at its peak hp output, the car still has tremendous torque.... you'd expect the torque to decline sharply past its peak torque band...

    So why are the auto rags and others around here on Edmund's claiming this car has no low-end grunt ??? Wanna stack this torque/hp curves against its German competitors to see ???
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I side with tagman on diesel, I think it will come out of this shell in this country. Once we get cleaner diesel, and 50-state vehicles, it will only be a matter of time before the mass media starts running stories about diesel, and diesel vs hybrid, and there starts to be a positive buzz and market momentum, imho.

    In the medium term, diesel-electric hybrid is going to be a big deal, imho.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    p.s. oil was around 60 today. I bet it hits 90 before it hits 30....or maybe we never see 30.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    It's amazing the detail Toyota takes in designing the Lexus. Not revolutionary changes, but kaisen - continuous subtle improvement....
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Wanna stack this torque/hp curves against its German competitors to see ???

    Indeed. Please put up the charts of the German competitors side by side if you can dig them up. I wish all brochures would have them.

    The LS460 power profile is mediocre, there's nothing special about it and the alleged lack of low-end grunt could still be compromised by gearing and shift time in spite of the eight speeds. I wouldn't be concerned though. The car is supposed to have more acceleration than the LS430 and this is more than adequate.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Indeed. Please put up the charts of the German competitors side by side if you can dig them up. I wish all brochures would have them.

    That's the problem.... they are nowhere to be found... We know how powerful these German machines are, yet it is so hard to find any real data on them. If YOU can find anything, please post. I cannot find anything, and I have tried...

    The LS460 power profile is mediocre, there's nothing special about it and the alleged lack of low-end grunt could still be compromised by gearing and shift time in spite of the eight speeds...

    I thought the Lexus engineer mentioned that the first 2 gears were set so close for sporty shifting... so that the car can get up pretty quick. The mid-range gears 3-6 are not as closely set, while 7&8 are for cruising. In addition, the gearing is also set to maximize MPG.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I thought the Lexus engineer mentioned that the first 2 gears were set so close for sporty shifting... so that the car can get up pretty quick. The mid-range gears 3-6 are not as closely set, while 7&8 are for cruising. In addition, the gearing is also set to maximize MPG.

    I agree with you, oac, that based upon most initial information, the tranny and engine are very well-mated to each other, and will likely provide the best result that the engine can offer.

    The engine undoubtedly needs to, and does so due to the low initial ratios in the first two gears, increase rpms quickly to achieve a quick sprint out of the gate. This is all by design to maximize what the engine can deliver, and as well, compensate for what it can't. Well done, IMO.

    If there were more low-end torque, the fuel economy would be even greater, however, because the engine would have been able to deliver its power at lower rpm's and therefore an even higher 8th gear ratio.

    All in all, what is commendable, IMO, is the way the tranny and the engine are so intentionally and carefully paired to each other.

    TagMan
  • cyclone4cyclone4 Posts: 2,292
    TagMan, I have been following your comments on both boards and I have to say that I really appreciate your unbiased approach. Some of the other guys on the HELM board are totally off the wall with their disgusting (and for the most part unfounded) remarks against Lexus and that has obviously resulted in a boycott of that board by some of the pro-Lexus people.

    Keep up the good work!
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I agree, cyclone4. Tagman is a good guy, on any board, and helpful. The word you may have been reaching for about the Lexus bigots on the HELM board could be "snob"???
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    TagMan, I have been following your comments on both boards and I have to say that I really appreciate your unbiased approach. Some of the other guys on the HELM board are totally off the wall with their disgusting (and for the most part unfounded) remarks against Lexus and that has obviously resulted in a boycott of that board by some of the pro-Lexus people.

    Keep up the good work!


    Wow! I certainly appreciate your compliment, but I will risk being outspoken enough here to let you know that I give kudos to the Doc, nvbanker, and the others that have continued to post their important and valuable opinions on the HELM board.

    The HELM board is only improved by including those different views, which means the continued participation by those that appreciate Lexus vehicles. After all, the LS is a HELM and deserves to have its spokespersons, not a boycott, which I hope will end very soon.

    But putting that aside, I truly thank you (and nvbanker), my friend.

    TagMan
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    For your encouraging words. :)

    I always monitor the HELM board, and step in when I need to step in.

    Lexus seems more than ready to produce more HELM vehicles in the next few years, so hopefully there will be more meaningful discussions, and less biased rhetoric, to digest.

    Lexus is the one who upset the applecart.

    That will leave some people "upset". :mad:

    DrFill
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Posts against Lexus don't bother me at all. I actually read them the opposite way anyway. The more off the wall the comment the more annoying Lexus is to the poster as a brand that spoiled the one country party. But insults that attack a person or group of persons for buying the car are abysmally dumb, classless and cross a line that says I don't want to play there anymore. Hence I left, not for attacks against the brand but a series of posts that got personal in a very negative way and for no reason at all. Most of the guys over there are good but it only takes a few to take the fun and sport out of things. So put simply - the board stopped being fun for me.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Hence I left, not for attacks against the brand but a series of posts that got personal in a very negative way and for no reason at all. Most of the guys over there are good but it only takes a few to take the fun and sport out of things.

    Your return will put more fun back into the equation, IMO.

    If something repulsive shows up, ignore it.

    See you there.

    TagMan
  • cyclone4cyclone4 Posts: 2,292
    Yes, you are absolutely correct about the personal attacks. I was going to mention that but instead decided to ignore it. I remember very well what was stated several weeks ago.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I was going to mention that but instead decided to ignore it.

    Good decision.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Tag: Your return will put more fun back into the equation, IMO. If something repulsive shows up, ignore it.

    I posted the LS460 torque right here, which syswei kindly reposted for comments on HELM. And guess what... you read a post which starts off this way: "I don't think he understands how torque is generated - Merc1" and you say to yourself... never again would I join that kinda board. Its all personal with some of the folks out there...

    My original post described the LS460 torque curve versus some of the reviews we have read. This car's peak torque is 363Ib-ft @ 6400rpm, however, 80% of that torque is available at b/w 2800-4000rpm. OTOH, 100% of the S550's 391Ib-ft of torque is available in the same rpm range. That's a fair point to make, and also accurate as these cars are currently configured. And that could be made as simply without a retort to personal attack.

    With such sentiments, don't expect me on HELM anytime soon, if ever.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    I thought the Lexus engineer mentioned that the first 2 gears were set so close for sporty shifting... so that the car can get up pretty quick.

    Well, setting them close doesn’t say much. The question I would ask him is if they are set close, what’s the reason for the extra gear to begin with?

    It’s hard to get a handle on gearing, that is, understand what ultimate effect it has on torque at the wheels which really is the bottom line. I think optimal gearing of the drivetrain is the most elusive part of understanding the performance of a car. Regardless of the transmission, if they put in a less-than-optimal final drive ratio and there goes your torque. It would be nice to compare drivetrains but there are so-o many variables that preclude this when considering varieties of gear ratios, shift speed, and engine torque at any given RPM and of course weight.

    Yes, he might have alluded to “sporty shifting” this but I neither believe or disbelieve it. I think it is quite possible this could be a marketing ploy, specious, wanting to impress by being the first to have 8 speeds. I am inclined to disbelieve it and my reason is this: gearing isn’t rocket science and it is curious how we are seeing 8 gears so late in automotive history. Why not sooner and why not in racing? Although low gearing helps acceleration, I’m not so sure an EXTRA low gear lops off acceleration time. Too bad identical cars can’t be compared with different transmissions as the only variable.

    Anyway, I am not trying to discredit the 8-speed transmission per se, but my intuition tells me to question it. I suspect it of being frivolous. The desire to stand out, to develop unique marketing benefits is just too compelling among all auto manufacturers, especially with luxury cars, and it is quite easy to realize how the title of this post is serious sizzle in the steak, apt to get luscious attention, marketing mileage.
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