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Luxury Lounge

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  • m4d_cowm4d_cow Posts: 1,491
    In case anyone gets the wrong idea, I don't mean anything bad with my post. Sometimes all of us, and yes myself included, see a particular post we're eager to respond to, hit the reply button right away, and forget about the other post left there.

    Or in another case, we see a post and have nothing in mind to say, then replying with "hmm, I don;t know" or "Sorry, have no comment about it" will only add to the spam line, so I completely understand (heck, I do that too, for instance I rarely reply in political discussions).

    What I was trying to tell bmlexus here is: nobody's ignoring anyone here, so don't take it personally. :shades:

    Back on topic:
    Yeah I heard the same about hybrids in Europe. But I'm not sure, I doubt it'll take over their love for diesels. They're far more informed about the pros and cons of hybrid batteries and stuff, so diesel is probably still considered the more environmentally friendly choice. And they're more enviro concerned than the Americans.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,830
    pleasee not more politics.

    I second that emotion :)

    Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, or as it's known in other countries, Thursday.

    MODERATOR
    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,362
    They've had hybrids for far longer than the rest of the world,

    Exactly! While our idiotic U.S. manufacturers were selling and investing in heavy artillery, the Asians were investing in the future.

    We went Bankrupt while they are holding their own, except for Toyota, which recent history proves the initial reaction to a drastic issue paints the path for the public perceptions to follow. Add that to the slips of late for Toyota, and the driver is missing some shifts!

    Doesn't any of these conglomerates study historical massive recall strategy?

    Mr. Toyoda, ever hear of the "Tylenol Scare"? Check the brand loyalty that resulted directly from the correct response to a drastic quality event for J&J.

    I can't believe a company can get so confused to let these things happen! GM/Chrysler all over again!

    Lost Passion for CARS!

    Regards,
    OW
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Thanks for clarifying.

    However, I don't see any posts all about politics, so I don't know what you and the host are talking about on that one.

    You may not be as interested as some of us about the hybrid/electric powertrain alternatives that I have recently posted about... how they are going to increasingly enter the lux market, but I think I should forewarn you that, as they relate to the lux segment, I will be increasingly posting more and more evidence to support my perspective... which is that there will be hybrids/electrics in the lux segment and that they will be succussful.

    That said, consider this evidence...
    AMG has announced and confirmend that they will build an all-electric SLS AMG. And for any of you guys that still think that hybrids and electrics won't ultimately deliver the performance, try this on for size...
    The electric SLS AMG will deliver 526-hp and a peak torque 649 lb-ft., with a 0 to 60 mph time in just 4 seconds.

    Here's more convincing evidence...
    According to Mercedes sales chief Klaus Mair, every fifth Mercedes-Benz to be built by the year 2015 will have hybrid technology. Mair says that if the legal framework doesn’t see any significant change, 20 percent of Mercedes-Benz fleet will be hybrid.

    A couple of you gentlemen might be stubborn, but eventually all of you will agree with me on this one... LOL. ;) :shades:

    TM
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Terrific article. I think many of us here saw it coming. We tried to tell one of our MIA posters the "Doc" about it, but he would not believe us.

    Personally, I believe Toyota will recover, and be a better company several years from now. And, I think they might have actually learned their lesson.

    Also interesting, you can check the archives and you will see my posts predicting VW's growth. And now that VW is number one... what do you think about their future?

    TM
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,362
    Well, I was NEVER a fan of VW. Up until recently, Audi wasn't a particular target for my motoring desire but their designs/performance improvements are at the top of the lux categories at the moment. TheA8 was a favorite of mine from about 2000 on.....understated luxury at it's best.

    However, some of the new VW designs have been turning my head and that's a big change. The future could be bright if they continue their current design strategy.

    image

    image

    Now, considering the quality issues, those perceptions linger on afaic. JDPower cites abysmal predicted reliability and middle of the road initial quality ratings for 2009 VW 2009 VW JDPower

    I still would not take the plunge on a VW...same as GM in my book. ;)

    Regards,
    OW
  • Dewey,

    please elaborate on how my description of most US BMW drivers is "highly inaccurate".

    BMW is an aspirational brand for young professionals and those who would like to be seen as young, professionals. The majority of big Bimmers in the US are leased and the lessor is on a three year tread mill of never building any equity. Because of the (artificially) high residuals, the renter almost has to re-up for another lease when his three year rental agreement is up. There is in all probability a high correlation between "owning" a high end condo and "owning" (actually, probably renting) a BMW. Neither one requires much cash to get into and once in you look good. This may not be as true in Canada but my observations do hold in the States.

    Did I miss anything?
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,362
    Well, BIG, You might as well throw in Merc and Lexus drivers in your argument. Here is an article excerpt that shows leases as a % of U.S. sales for the various lux brands. BMW is a high of 60% as of the article date, July 30th, 2008.

    I'll bet those lease numbers really plummeted this year along with the total sales.

    Higher Lease Percentages

    Makers of luxury vehicles typically get a higher percentage of sales from leases. About 20 percent of U.S. new-vehicle sales were leases this year through July 20, according to J.D. Power & Associates. The market-research firm's Power Information Network said such contracts were 55 percent of sales at Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz, 43 percent at Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus and 42 percent at General Motors Corp.'s Cadillac.

    Full Article: BMW Tries to Reduce Leases From 60% of Its U.S. Sales

    Just like the high-end McMansion mortgage/ownership fell like a House of Cards when the banks failed on the Global Real Estate Leverage Ponzi Scheme last year, now the Merc, BMW and Lexus will be driven by owners with true wealth vs. posers!

    Regards,
    OW
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    JDPower cites abysmal predicted reliability and middle of the road initial quality ratings for 2009 VW

    When I look at the JD Power chart, it looks more like slightly less than average predicted reliability to me. I don't think that is "abysmal" by any stretch, and I don't have as much of an issue with average.

    According to Consumer Reports, however, "VW and Audi are staging a nice recovery", with exception of the Audi Q7 and the VW Toureg, which are terribly unreliable.

    Back to the JD Power ratings, I noticed that they have actually given awards to 5 of the VW models... so I'm not about to classify VW as being the same as GM, as you have done.

    I'm glad to read that you also like the direction that VW is headed and, yes, I do agree that they need to pay close attention to the quality so they can continue "staging a nice recovery", as CR puts it.

    VW Concept BlueSport...
    image

    VW L1 Diesel Hybrid Concept...
    image

    TM
  • reality2reality2 Posts: 303
    Forget Dieter, in fact Daimler Benz itself used to be a majority owner of what is now called Audi.

    By the early 1950s, entrepreneur Friedrich Flick had amassed a substantial stake in Auto Union and in 1958 he managed to attract Daimler-Benz AG as a majority partner. In 1964, Volkswagen bought control of Auto Union from Daimler.


    Yes, one of many great business moves by Daimler-Benz. They have always failed when it comes to acquisitions in the automotive world. Lost Auto Union, but gained Chrysler...and I could had a V8 (tomato juice).
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    A diesel is well suited for hybrid operations...it works quite well as a stationary engine (say as a generator), and could do the same for an electric vehicle. Even something like the Prius could probably increase its power efficiency by using a diesel rather than a gasoline engine as a hybrid. It would take different programming on the computer side. Put a large enough generator in it with a battery to account for acceleration, and you could go entirely electric similar to the Volt, but maintain the performance on long trips because it would be easier to put in a decent sized generator.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Totally agree!

    A small clean diesel would be an excellent component in a hybrid powertrain. The VW L1 concept is a great example of that application... it is expected to achieve 170 mpg.

    Here's some more info... link title

    and here's a great photo gallery...

    link title

    I would give serious consideration to buying an L1 if it were to actually become available.

    TM
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Put a large enough generator in it with a battery to account for acceleration, and you could go entirely electric similar to the Volt, but maintain the performance on long trips because it would be easier to put in a decent sized generator.

    That's pretty much exactly what Top Gear did with their "Hammerhead-i Eagle Thrust" diesel electric car in last week's show. They took an off the shelf diesel generator, and used it to charge the batteries that powered the electric motor in their car. The Eagle Thrust was intended to be a joke of course, but the concept makes a lot of sense. That's how diesel electric trains work.

    You can see Autocar's review of the Top Gear creation here:

    http://www.autocar.co.uk/VideosWallpapers/Videos.aspx?AR=245230&CT=V

    As well as an interesting video comparing most of the high mileage diesels and hybrids:

    http://www.autocar.co.uk/VideosWallpapers/Videos.aspx?AR=243718&Page=3&CT=V
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I noticed that a few of you gentlemen have been posting about this situation, so here's the latest update.

    link title

    The plot thickens...

    TM
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Your notions on BMW drivers as

    Failed financial executives
    As people whose life is going nowhere but down
    As high end condo owners(nothing wrong with that IMO--singles and business traveller may not have time for house maintenace chores)
    As posers and nothing but else but posers

    Subruban SUV drivers

    Owning horses
    Owning boats
    Having a net worth that even King Midas would envy

    These notions above are just your notions and nothing else. It has nothing to do with reality.

    You want proof? Why dont I just give an example here of BMW owners/lessors(former or current)

    Howard
    Clembo
    Designman
    Tagman
    Lexusguy's wife
    Hemi
    Ciclew
    Myself
    My wife

    None and I repeat none of the people above fits into your notions of BMW drivers. Not one. And among the dozens of other forum members here that I did not mention above that owned or own BMWs does not fit into your BMW notions. Not even PP or PooPoo or whatever that forum member's name was. Even your good buddy Brightness04 who owned BMW 5 Series fits neatly into your description of BMW drivers.

    As Buddha once said "Our notions is what distances ourselves from reality".
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Tag,

    in Canada Priuses are sold in different packages from the USA.

    When I bought mine back in July I dont remember seeing the packages you mentioned. Maybe there were such packages and if there were they did not interest me.

    When I bought my Prius I bought it with a Premium package + the solar sun roof.

    This was an advantage to me since I wanted nothing to do with that lane change/self park technology. Passivity is fine when I am sitting in a movie theatre without a high school date or a mistress. But as a driver I do want to be a bit more active even if that involves driving a Prius.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Ofcourse the part with the mistress on my last post was a highly hypothetical situation with respect to me and nothing else. Even as a BMW driver ;)
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    The packages here create a difficult choice between the technology package and the solar sunroof, although there isn't all that much in the technology package that would interest me. I wouldn't want all that park assist and self-braking cruise control either... but I would consider the larger wheels, the LED headlights, and the fog lights, which are not available if one elects to get the solar sunroof.

    Wheels can always be added later, however, but I'm not so sure that wiring the LED lights and fog lights is possible or not, because it could depend upon the interior switching and the wiring harness. Oh well, not that big a problem I guess.

    I mentioned the idea of getting a Prius to my family, and unfortunately I got nearly zero support, which kind of surprised me... my son thinks the car is kind of cool, but the wife and daughter both gave me one of those "looks", and made a few unpleasant remarks. If I ever decide to get one, I'll either have to come up with a strategy, or just do it anyway.

    BTW, I'll be going to the LA Auto Show later in the week, and there are supposed to be a long list of debuts for North America as well as several world debuts. Should be fun.

    TM
  • cyclone4cyclone4 Posts: 2,270
    Tag,

    Thanks much for this enlightening article. I sent it to friends and relatives that own a Lexus or a Toyota vehicle. I am now pretty convinced that it has nothing to do with floor mats depressing the accelerator and everything to do with electronics and computers in vehicles. They better get their act together or else!

    BTW, our RX450h has been fantastic. My wife and I like pretty much everything about it. It is fun to drive and especially fun to see what gas mileage we get on each trip. We have been averaging about 29 in the city and 28 on the highway. My wife has a heavier foot than I have when driving this car. She does not obey that rules of driving a hybrid very well. She gets about 27 in the city while I usually get about 32.

    Man I really miss the "you know what" discussions here. I attempted to post on the Stock Market Forum, but no one else is really interested it seems to me. We have not heard from Len in ages. I know that he is quite upset about the new rules. We were one happy family here not too long ago, but those days are now gone. I hope things are going well for you and everyone else here. I see that Dewey is still happy with his Prius.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Charlie,

    I am glad to see you back here, in spite of the ultra rigid rules. It is indeed sad what happened to us here. Let's try to make a point of meeting at the Stock Market Forum on occassion, and perhaps Len will find us there in the future. He often gets busy and doesn't post, so even though he is also upset with the rigid rules, let's not write him off just yet. I'll post one there after this just to warm it up a bit. ;)

    At some point my wife's Acura MDX will get to the end of its life, but I don't think we have reached that point yet. When we do, I guess I will have to suggest that she try the RX Hybrid. I am sick of shelling out so much money for gasoline every year. I recently did the math and it is frightening how much we spend on the nasty guzzoline.

    Your high praise of the vehicle is simply impossible to ignore. Also, a Toyota Highlander Hybrid might be worth checking out, but I think she will want a vehicle that is more upscale like your RX.

    I can't quite determine if Toyota is skirting the real issue, and if it is in fact with the electronics. It's hard to completely trust Toyota's position on this, yet I don't want to blast them too harshly, as they do put a lot of energy into reliability. Perhaps they just don't know what to do under these circumstances... or... maybe they don't want to lose any more money than they have to.

    One thing for sure... if Toyota is ultimately seen as having a "cover-up" mentality and approach, it will seriously backfire on them.

    (BTW, the Dubai situation might have a further negative impact tomorrow... I definitely hope not, but there's no way to predict any of this stuff. Of course, we can chat about it on the "other" forum.)

    :)

    TM
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I will be attending the LA Auto Show this week, and here are some of the highlights I will be looking forward to:

    World Debuts:
    2010 Cadillac CTS Coupe
    2010 Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR
    Honda Personal-Neo Urban Transport
    Porsche Boxster Spyder
    2011 Toyota Sienna

    North American Debuts:
    Audi e-tron Concept
    2011 Audi R8 Spyder 5.2 FSI
    2010 BMW ActiveHybrid 7
    2010 BMW ActiveHybrid X6
    BMW Vision EfficientDynamics Concept
    2011 Buick Regal
    2011 Chevrolet Cruze
    2011 Chevrolet Volt
    2010 Ford Fiesta
    2010 Hyundai Tucson
    2010 Jaguar XJ
    2010 Kia Sorento
    2011 Lexus LFA
    Lexus LF-Ch Compact Hybrid Concept
    2010 Mazda2
    Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-Cell
    2010 Mercedes-Benz E350 Bluetec
    2010 Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid
    2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
    Mini Coupe Concept
    Mini Roadster Concept
    Mitsubishi PX-MiEV
    Morgan Aero SuperSports
    2010 Porsche 911 GT3 RS
    2010 Porsche 911 Turbo
    2011 Rolls-Royce Ghost
    Subaru Hybrid Tourer Concept
    2010 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Special-Edition
    Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid Concept
    Volkswagen L1 Concept
    2010 Volvo C30
    2010 Volvo C70

    Sweet. :)

    TM
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Today the new A8 will unveil in Miami, and I can bet that one of us will post it here for the rest of us to see. In the meantime, here's what we might expect the new A7 to be like... it will unveil in Moscow next year, and be available in 2011.

    image

    BTW, the upcoming A1 is still supposed to be unavailable in the U.S.... darn... I like that little car.

    So much happening with Audi... it's awesome. Sure wish the "Doc" was here so we could give him a deserved dose of "We told you so"... :)

    TM
  • cyclone4cyclone4 Posts: 2,270
    At some point my wife's Acura MDX will get to the end of its life, but I don't think we have reached that point yet. When we do, I guess I will have to suggest that she try the RX Hybrid. I am sick of shelling out so much money for gasoline every year. I recently did the math and it is frightening how much we spend on the nasty guzzoline.

    Now, I would consider your purchasing a Lexus in your family a revolutionary event :surprise: . Seriously though, I think that your wife would really like it a lot. Filling up at the pump SO infrequently would make her even happier.

    Yes, the Toyota executives are probably wrecking their brains over this sudden acceleration issue these days. But to me it makes a lot of sense that it is much more than just floor mats causing the problem.
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    The new BMW 530d GT gets about 50mpg on the European extra urban cycle (highway). BMW expects sales overseas will be 60% diesels, and officially, they've not said if we'll get the diesel at all. I'm hoping we do! It uses regenerative braking to charge the new, high capacity battery. They put a clutch on the alternator so it doesn't normally run. The 8-speed automatic's top two gears are overdrive, and the engine is barely over idle (but still in the torque range) at 70mph. This week, the v-8 engined version starts on sale in the USA...the in-line 6 gas version later. No official word on the diesel for here that I've heard.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    I dont want to praise my own frugal choice of cars in a luxury forum. The Prius has altered my whole point of view on cars.

    That yellow Auid S4 has become a short term infatuation.

    The most exciting technological marvels in the auto industry will not be in the high end no more. Traditionally the newest features began in upscale cars and then moved downward. Today and tomorrow that is not the case. The Nissan Leaf is the car I want next. A hybrid MB or hybvrid Lexus next year will look ancient when compared to this new Nissan Leaf. My Prius will look ancient too but at least my obsolescene will not involve BIG $$$ like a hybrid Benz or a hybrid Lexus.

    The LA show sounds interesting. I cant wait for the the Toronto Auto SHow and hopefully I will be able to see the Nissan Leaf.

    So yourr exicted to see the new Buick Regal in LAl? Nope I dont envy you in this case.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Wow... sounds really nice... let's hope that they come to their senses and offer the diesel here in the States.

    TM
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    The Nissan Leaf is the car I want next based on the specs.

    Nissan is really going out on a limb (that has Leafs on it... haha) with the new Leaf. Here it is...
    image

    Here's a new upcoming Prius crossover, just for you... remember that "Prius" will be a new marque representing several hybrid models in the very near future...

    image

    More info on this Prius crossover here...link title

    So your exicted to see the new Buick Regal in LA?

    Hahaha... you are funny... no interest in a new Buick, but I am glad that the new VW L1 will be there.

    TM
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Yeah I saw that very same picture sometime in mid- 2008 and it was captioned as the New 2010 Prius. Then later on it was captioned as the new Lexus HS.

    Now it's captioned as a Prius Crossover?
    Anyways I love the styling but I have a feeling this styling will remain conceptual and not be mass volume produced.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    lt Looks real modern. Perfect for a Vulcan like Mr. Spock.

    Yes it does. But, sorry, Dewey, I thought you were Vulcan... being that you are from another land and all that. ;)

    edit... oops, there we go with the speed typing and speed editing again. Until actual production, it is just a concept, and concepts rarely ever make it to production without someone making them even worse.

    TM
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    No. Most the Vuclans in Canada flock to your part of the world in Silicon Valley Califronia.

    I have relatives who live and work now in Silicon Valley and are in the process of establishing their own start up. Good luck to them.
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