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High End Luxury Cars

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  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well the BMW "Z6" is in the infancy of wild speculation. We really don't know what BMW is testing under than M5 body. It could be the (also rumored) M5 CSL, a lightweight, higher hp version of the M5. Then again looking at the bulges it could be a roadster chassis under there. I've always thought BMW's high-end Coupes and Roadsters were special, being much more exclusive than similar models from Mercedes-Benz. Though that exclusivity wasn't by BMW's choosing. I'm likely the only person here that actually liked the old 850Ci/CSi. I liked the Z8 too. Both cars were stunning looking during their time IMO.

    It is however no secret that BMW envies/hates the Mercedes SL because of its market penetration at that price point and the fact that it has been such a long-running success. I've also read where they find the Aston-Martin DB9 to be interesting car too because of such demand for a 160K. The article I saw (I think Autoweek) said that BMW fingered the Aston due to it being much more like the type of car BMW would like to build at the price point even though the Bentley Continental GT is more popular, it drives like a boat in comparison or something like that.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Merc: I read in Autocar last week that Mercedes is fiddling with the possibility of a S600 diesel. I wonder if this is the surprise that they've promised since it's release? DCX has reportedly given the green light to Chrysler to let their end of the business use the Bluetec 3.2L CDI. Good news indeed.

    I'm not sure. I just remember seeing some type of model introduction sheet for the W221 and it included a S600 CDI. I think I posted a copy of it in the Future Mercedes thread a while ago.

    I don't think we'll see a S350 this time around, but I said that back in 1999 and look what happened in 2006! I think this time though we'll see the S320 CDI take the entry-level postion, but the S model you left out is the hybrid. Mercedes has of course shown both a gas/electric hybrid and a diesel/electric hybrid, I think we'll get the gas/electric and Europe the diesel/electric. That would be brilliant IMO.

    M
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    VW will be supplying Porsche with painted bodies for Panamera.

    From Porsche President and CEO Wendelin Wiedeking:

    "We have decided in favour of the Hanover Plant because it is one of the most modern plants within the entire Volkswagen Group and is in a position to build the body of the car with the premium quality we require."

    Translation:

    Porsche just bought a nice chunk of stock in VW. Ferdinand Peich is Chairman of VWs Supervisory board, a member of Porsche’s Supervisory Board, and Pop Porsche’s grandson. Whaddya friggin’ expect?

    ;-)

    http://www.porsche.com/usa/aboutporsche/pressreleases/pag/?pool=international-de- - - &id=2006-05-19

    http://www.vwvortex.com/artman/publish/volkswagen_news/article_1758.shtml
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Oh my gawd! Do you see what the "re-sellers" want for tickets to the Idols tour concerts?
    Should be mostly HELM's in the parking lot, I reckon!
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Since BMW made an extremely good showing with the incomparable M5 and M6, I am of course very :) !

    Well, time to load the family in the ol' estate car; go to the bank; make a large withdrawal and fill 'er up with petrol.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    I am often at 90mph without even knowing it.

    Hmm, 90 in a Matrix. In that case maybe you are better off not having a BMW or sports car because the “without even knowing it” factor spikes, plus the little devil on one’s shoulder is inclined to go to work.

    Yes, I admit, I am lead-footed. Got to be out here, as you dang know very well Designman. You must be as well, I suppose, with a Boxter and a 530i... if you are not, I'd be shocked !!

    Let’s put it this way, you can’t leave a dog alone with a steak and not expect him to eat it. I could tell you a couple of long stories but will keep it short. I got stopped for speeding twice in the past two years, once in each car. Luckily I have only a traffic sign violation on my license to show for it. Lately I have been on my best behavior because the ticket I got with the Boxster was a knuckle biter and fortunately it tempered the desire. I’ve been thinking of getting a V1 but am worried it could provoke. The answer for me is to get to a track, you know, take the dog to the park and let him run.

    Oac, if you were wowed by a 330 with SP, driving a Porsche is wow cubed, whether it's a Boxster or 911. Warning: stay away from these cars.

    ;-)
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    here

    I assume the years are calendar.
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    Let's take a look at something that I found interesting in today's Boston Globe:

    Lexus: Parent Company-Toyota
    Mercedes: Parent Company-DCX
    Audi: Parent Company-Volkswagen AG
    Jag: Parent Company- Ford (PAG)
    Volvo: Parent Company- Ford (PAG)
    And just for kicks and laughs--- Caddy: Parent Company- GM(vergening bankrupt, delinquent, counter-productive....etc)

    So BMW has it all to itself. Could this be the under-lying reason for it's continued astonishing sales performance and the enviable M models and the ever present and popular 3-Series? Or could it be the reasoning for such bad business decisions as the destroying the Ultimate Driving HELM(7-Series) style, even as far as hiring Bangle?

    I must admit that a company that doesn't have to answer to anybody and the company run correctly is the envy of all car companies. The reasoning for posting this message is this: ALL car companies can learn a thing or two from BMW, and now Toyota for that matter. Up until '02, the company was hugely cautious about what product it put out(save for the James Bond-esque Z8). Then the polarizing 7 took the world by storm(for good or bad), and the company has taken the huge gamble that has ultimately paid off big time. And at the rate they're going, it doesn't seem likely that there will be a take-over anytime soon.
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    What an interesting map year. I didn't know the 7 was coming out next year, and the Z8 is being renewed? Cool. The map is spot on with the X5 and 3-Series convertible. So it's possible that it's correct.
  • reality2reality2 Posts: 303
    Latest reports state that the next generation A8 will have a V12 Diesel and a base V10 FSI. The next A8 will be released in 2009 and is increasing in size and complexity as is the trend. Should continue the A8s evolution as a great luxury tourer.
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    There are two conflicting reports surrounding the new engines to be placed in the new for '09 A8. One report says that Ingolstadt has scrapped the V-12 racing-derived diesel in lieu of the easier to maintain V-10 TDI. Then there is one that says that they'll use a variant of the racing diesel in the next A8.

    Yes the next A8 will move up even more in size(which is definetely not lacking now), and will prove to be one of the most sophisticated cars in it's class. There's even talks of a super-high luxury variant to push the envelope to 200k. Surely this will be a super-low volume model, but it will have the goodies to back it up, mainly the 600-hp plus twin-turbo FSI V-10. Audi is still the only manufacturer to use turbo on a direct injected engine. Wonder how long that'll last?

    I'm most interested in the 450-hp V-8 version because as it looks, it'll be the most powerful player in it's class(base engines of course). Audi has also revamped Quattro so that the cars will have a RWD-biased power development. Also the cars will have much shorter front over hangs as the platforms switches to a sort of Nissan-like front-midship engine design, meaning the engines will sit behind the axle line, for better handling and weight distribution.

    As most of you can tell, I'm probably the biggest Audi nut on this forum. I believed Volkswagen/Audi last month when they said that they know that they've left North America out in the cold regarding the A8 and will rectify the situation this go round. They have to in order to stay competitive. In Europe, the A8 is often the first or second best selling car, so it's likely that they'll definetely advertise a lot more here. And Audi does have this uncanny ability to introduce the flagship in a model year when no other car in it's class is about to be released, hence the '09 release, just like '04.

    Judging from my W-12, which is probably the best kept secret in the biz, Audi is not a joke. The company has to do a better here in North America with this car. The A3/A4/A6 and heck even the Q7 will sell themselves, but when dealing with a customer that's about to plop 70-80 large on a car, you must know what the customer is wanting in a car. The current A8 has it, but there has been a huge communications breakdown here that has inhibited Audi's share of the pot. Hopefully this will change soon.
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    The company has to do a better here in North America with this car. The A3/A4/A6 and heck even the Q7 will sell themselves, but when dealing with a customer that's about to plop 70-80 large on a car, you must know what the customer is wanting in a car. The current A8 has it, but there has been a huge communications breakdown here that has inhibited Audi's share of the pot. Hopefully this will change soon.

    And we can always hope that by the '09 model year, Audi will have given up on that "wide-mouth bass" front end, or at least figured out how to make it better fit in with the rest of the car's design. That kept me personally from even considering the car the last time.
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,873
    I have to agree Gary. That big gaping black hole for a grill just turns me off of a car that I was pretty fond of before. Does anyone really like this grill?

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    That's one of my major gripes with the outside design of the car. But the car's overall design is so well laid out that it becomes one of those things you just put up with, as crazy as that sounds. But it does make the car stand out, for good or bad. Sketch glipses of the '09 show more of a modern R8 looking front end, which is a good thing.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I think the "Auto Union" face works on some of Audi's cars, and not so much on others. I've seen a few jet-black Audi A3s on the road, they are slick looking cars.

    On the bigger cars though, I think its just too much. Slap some wings on the new A6 Avant, and it would look like an old MiG fighter jet.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    And we can always hope that by the '09 model year, Audi will have given up on that "wide-mouth bass" front end, or at least figured out how to make it better fit in with the rest of the car's design. That kept me personally from even considering the car the last time.

    Is it my imagination, or has VW also adopted this look?

    TagMan
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    Yes the latest gen Jetta's and Golf's have adopted the look also. But it is to a lesser extent. The Jetta's face isn't so wide-mouthed as an A4 for instance.

    VW and Audi will tell you that the grilles are more of a need than a want. They said that it was easy to convert to the new Euro pedestrian safety measurements and also give teh cars a "face-lift" at the same time.

    All of the cars would prabably look good with the grille if it wasn't dressed in 40lbs of bling-chrome. Body-colored w/ black mesh(as on the Jetta GLI and Golf GTI) grilles look very good on these cars. Strangely enough, the V-Dubs have more chrome than the Audis. My W-12 has a thin strip of chrome around the grille and also where the front license plate(mid section of the grille) goes which is good enough.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Interesting comparison test. I don't think any of the major US publications has done a comparison test with the new S yet, right?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLbdK3S37sw&eurl=
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    Very interesting video. The BMW trails both for handling? The Audi the most unsafe and the better handler of the 3? And the new Mercedes interior is better than Audi? For sure this must've been a biased comparo.

    It is nice to see how the 6-cylinder versions of these cars operate.

    BTW: All of these cars must have Euro-spec suspension as the narrator said they all rode quite firm. I know the home market models have firmer suspensions than the America-bound models as I've driven all three cars and found them quite supple, even the sportiest of the model offerings(A8 Sport, 760i Sport, and the S65 AMG)
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Great video. Thanks.

    While I'm sure the new LS will be a significant improvement over its predecessor, it is doubtful that it will equal, let alone surpass the MB S-Class.

    I would be perfectly comfortable with BMW pulling out of the HELM sedan category where it is clearly over-matched and concentrate on what it does best: the 3-series, the 5-series and the M's.

    Just saw MI-3. Heartbreaking how they blew up that breathtaking Lambo!
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,873
    Thanks for clearing that up for me Steve. NOW it makes sense.

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • feverhartfeverhart Posts: 144
    As the saying goes, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder", and perhaps so is substance. From my point of view and to take some liberty in paraphrasing you, I'm sure the new LS will be a significant improvement over its predecessor, it is doubtLESS that it will more than equal, and surpass the MB S-Class.

    OK, you have it; couldn't let this go unchallenged. We'll just have to wait to see. It is nice to have your thoughtful input.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Way to come correct! The LS has nothing to fear in the S-Class, and has proven a more than worthy adversary before. All eyez on Lexus.

    It's time to take the gloves off! Playtime is over!

    The Germans wouldn't be so smug. They've learned a lesson.

    DrFill
  • reality2reality2 Posts: 303
    Would love to hear about the super-luxury variant more if you have additional information or where to go. I've heard that Audi has been planning a higher HELM above the A8L W-12 (which is pretty high already at around $140,000 loaded) in the near future, but thought it was only conjecture. Great read by the way - your post. :)
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Well, to be fair, I have only seen the one comparo that Lexusguy provided.
    The S350 beat out the A8 and BMW 7 Series (no surprise here; BMW never wins the HELM comparos) offering the best in performance and luxury.
    The LS may compete with MB in the latter, but, not the former, IMO.

    We'll just have to wait for a head to head comparo in the American press of the A8, BMW 7 series, LS460 and MB S-Class. Hopefully, in the Fall.

    As an indulgent digression: come on C&D. How long must we wait for a 2007 Camry SE 6 vs Accord EX 6 comparo?
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    Its about.. GLOBAL LOVE AND GLOBAL PASSION ..(bold in the original)

    Huh????? I've love to be a fly on the wall if this was ever said to the President of Nissan as he commutes to France to his day job as President of Renault. Or some guy working third shift in a Lexus plant cranking these things out so that the Americans can snap them up to drive to the mall.

    Steve, this is nutty.
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    The only thing I've heard regarding the most expensive A8 is that Audi is playing with the idea of offering it. The only problem I have with the idea is that I think it would probably have conflicting issues seeing how you can get a Flying Spur for the same money. Maybe brand preference will play in here.

    The top A8 is said to have best-in-class feature content and power. Audi is also reported to increase warranty limits to 6/80,000 miles for all Audi's, a first for any luxury make. Wonder what's behind this? I thought the 5yr/60k offering with the free scheduled maintanence was quite good.

    Other than what I've read in Autocar, it was reported on a German site that Audi is likely to give the car a Maybach-like rear seating area with the primo seats and other first-rate appointments. And I was happy with my rear refridgerator.....
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    FWIW, I was told recently that one of the UAG (Penske's operation) dealerships gave up their Maserati franchise because Maser just wasn't stepping up to the plate on warranty issues. They claimed that they were indeed selling the car in significant numbers but just weren't going to stand for the CSI beating they were taking. Lending credence to this, Maserati USA has not appointed anyone new in this territory. If true, this is not how to rebuild a troubled brand.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Nice one, feverhart... If the LS460 drives like its on rails, luxuried-up like a Maybach, rides like a Maser, and is as reliable as your favorite couch, these naysayers won't touch it, except look for ways to bash it. So why bother ! Does it matter that the LS is the #1 luxury full-size sedan in the US 5 years running (the S550 will take that crown for this year tho')...

    Oh, isn't the 750 on its second re-do in 5 years ? Yet it barely registers on the richter scale of buyers. FWIW, its gonna be the elites of the HELM class battling it out - the S550/S600 and the LS-series of sedans. Tough, but Audi really should be in the mix, but its just too tepid in sales here in the NA market.

    But I guess we'll see soon enough, won't we ?
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Oac, if you were wowed by a 330 with SP, driving a Porsche is wow cubed, whether it's a Boxster or 911. Warning: stay away from these cars.

    Thanks for the warning, Designman.... Someday in a not too distant future, I'll be looking to buy a car of this type since they do really fit my driving style; of course you won't know it based on the cars we have at home, for now. Just gonna wait for the kids to exit the home before I get to address that other need for a driver's car for moi. Bridging the then-and-now will be a replacement of my '99 LS400 either this fall or early spring of '07 when the frenzy around the LS460 subsides somewhat.
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