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High End Luxury Cars



  • footie is correct, the days of mechanical innovation is over, its all about electronics and materials now. MR is a great innovation, and I havent heard anything bad about it, but I do realize its shortcomings.

    First of all, it only modifies damping rates, it does not control release rates, IIRC. Also, it does not modify spring rates, only the shock absorbers. The spring rates, in combination with the damping factors, are really what gives that "European Ride" so I dont see how the shocks alone are going to help too much.

    You also have to consider that suspension geometry, car weight distrobution, torque to the wheels, etc all affect handling to a great degree, and there is no one single fix that will dramatically change a cars dynamics on the fly.

    Its a good innovation, but the rest of it needs to be there before we get to your idealogical car utopia, footie.

  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    You are of course, right. There's much room for improvement in many areas of handling.

    Without going to far into la-la land, I would expect that almost everything in a suspension that is 'fixed' today, like link lengths and geometry, gets a good hard look for becoming variable and smart.

    On the MR shocks, if I understand your comment correctly, they do control both jounce (compression) and rebound (expansion).

    It's also the case that in the Vette and STS, the roll, dive and pitch are controlled better by the use of these shocks. For example in the case of pitch, you can stiffen both ends of the vehicle at the same time having the front resist nosediving and the rear resist uplift. You can carefully control the ratio of these two to get the desired effect.

    With older technology, the shocks are dumb and can't tell the difference between the wheels falling in a pothole or the front of the car nosediving. The systems based on (electro) or standard mechanical valving reacts the same way to both events. It doesn't matter whether they are air or liquid based.
  • sysadbsysadb Posts: 83
    An impressive innovation, Footie. When you made the original post describing that the oil changed thickness properties in order to control damping, I was puzzled as to how the oil could continuously change "real time" in the milliseconds needed to manage the system. Now I see - the oil doesn't actually change; it blends with an iron particle "additive" regulated by computer controlled coils. Slick...

  • What are some of the opinions regarding Audis A8 air suspension efforts (presumably on the upcoming A8 and S8 a couple years later?)

    I now have 3500 miles on a new allroad and I assume that the allroad was a bit of a mule for Audi to test some of the air suspension technologies on. Of course the allroad does not have a dynamic suspension -- it IS active but it does not act except when told to -- and never rapidly (other than the ride height reductions that happen "automatically" at certain speeds -- the faster you go the lower it goes, that is).

    I would assume that if an air suspension could be made to be both active and truly dynamic -- in real time (or close -- perhaps 10 times per second) it would be (or perhaps could be) "better" than other suspensions, e.g., fluid filled, etc.

    Anyway, what do you anticipate Audi will do with their S8 (in 2005 perhaps) with respect to the suspension systems.

    I bought a new 1997 A8 and ordered an S8 suspension for it from Joe Hoppen -- and even though it was a "conventional" suspension, the A8 with S8 underpinnings (and tires and wheels, too) was one of the best riding and handling cars I have ever had, even to this day.

    Thoughts, dreams?
  • do you still have it? Can I have it?:)
  • Traded the 97 A8 in on a 99 A6 2.8, traded that on a 2000 A6 4.2, then on a 2001 A6 4.2 and November of this year traded the A6 4.2 in on an 03 allroad.

    The 2001 A6 4.2 -- all possible options except CD changer IS still avail at my dealership (36K miles on it).

    e-mail me and I'll give you the salespersons name, etc.

    Generally I get rid of my cars before 40K miles -- the allroad MAY make me change my mind, especially if they cancel the car as of 2004.

    I got the allroad with a 36 month lease, most of the other cars were 30 months or less (the 99 A6 had a 12 month lease).

    The A8 was a very nice car, but it had a 5spd NON-tiptronic transmission, pearl white, all options (at the time) and Plus tires (245 45 17 PZeros) -- hard to believe a car as big as an A8 could run (in my opinion) pretty well with my 2001 A6 4.2 with sport suspension option. Of course the 2001 A6 did in many ways rival the 1997 A8 (remember the 97 A8 was NOT the long wheelbase).
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    There is no "link" to those coments on the GM's suspension technology at Autoweek the negative coments they had were about the STS in one of these "Car Board" sections that they have every week. They (and Motorweek) were saying that ride goes from hard/soft too fast with little ground in between. Motorweek said that about the 2003 Aniv Corvette during a recent roadtest.

  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    Boy - these cars couldn't be more different. The new Rolls is so-oooo tall and classic looking and the Maybach so sleek and low profiled. I like both but have a prefernce for the Rolls. It's the more classic high-end upper crust style but regardless MB will have no problems at all selling out the Maybach's.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Funny thing is that neither the Rolls or the Maybach look as good as the current Bentley Arnage. I like the Maybach better than the new Phantom. This new "Roller" is ugly from the front and the interior is a busy mess.

  • I think the new Rolls reminds me of a Mack truck, and the lines are too heavy-handed to be graceful. The grille is straight off of those new big-rigs you see on the freeway all of the time. If you replaced the gille bars with the Dodge cross-hair grille, it might resemble a Dodge Ram pickup. It seems tall enough. And the headlights are right off of an 80's Cadillac. Did I mention it had iDRIVE... At least there's no "flame" styling. Looks like Rolls will have to put up with the shipping crate jokes that Volvo used to have to take.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    Agree - the Bentley is the best looking car out of them all. Looked closer at the Rolls and Maybach today and changed my mind. There is something special about the Maybach and that interior is spectacular. I love a lot of high quality wood (which is why I like the LS430 interior so much) and the Maybach is loaded with it and it's interior looks like it has all top shelf materials and is very stylish to boot. I assume MB will take the S interior to a higher level by 2006 - on the coattails of the Maybach.

    By the way the pics I've seen of the new 5 series - if they are representative - are absolutely terrible. MB should clean-up with the E vs. that thing and if Lexus makes the GS more stylish it will also put some hurt into BMW.

    The comments that BMW makes about the 7-series - that people will have to come to appreciate its style (I guess because they think they cannot do anything wrong) - are the most absurd I've ever read. I guess we will soon be reading the same thing about the 5-series. The question I have is who is paying off Chris Bangle - MB, Lexus or both.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    BMW has become a great center of worry for German car fans as of late. I too have seen the pics of the next 5-Series, and while I'm willing to wait until the actual car in shown, I'm still worried.

    On the flipside of that, the 7-Series just had it's best sales year ever in the U.S. So somebody (?) likes the 7-Series' look.

    I'm going to Detriot in 12 days so I'll see the Maybach and Phantom then.


    Yep, the next S-Class is supposed to be closely related to the "Bach", interior and all. My only worry is that they'll try to make it look like a smaller Maybach. I don't want that.

  • Absolutely incredible. With only a few minor visual tweaks, we have a car that will rival the ultra lux brands, maybe even surpass. I know style-wise, there is no ultra-lux car that looks better than this car.

    From what I have been reading on various forums, this praise is pretty much universal as well.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I have to admit that it is impressive. The interior more so than the exterior. Problem just like the Cien, Cadillac will never build it.

  • he had the balls to build the viper and the prowler when nobody was expecting those to be produced.

    I think he will do well with GM, he has finally gotten GMs management to consider Cadillac worthy enough to have their own R&D department again.

    The Cien, while cool, did not recieve as universal of praise as this car has in the last few days. I think the Cien has a limited production possibility, but wouldnt be suprised if it wasnt produced. The Sixteen, however, has everything to do with the new marketing scheme and target demographic that Cadillac is after, and I wouldnt doubt for a second that it wouldnt be produced.

    Well just have to wait and see.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Oh I agree he does, but he won't. The Cien got the same exact praise last year, the Sixteen is no different. Both where cheered and lusted after, but in the end GM realized the obvious. Cadillac still has a long, long ways to go before charging 250K for a car.

    That said I like the Sixteen, as I did the Cien.

  • it may be a bit before its time. We do need a suitable replacement for the Deville and Seville and possibly the Eldorado before a high end car like this can start building lust and prestige in a brand.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    What I want is for Cadillac to produce a S/7/LS/A8 competitor in the DeVille replacement. That would be the best way for them to get a hold of the big-buck market. The XLR will be the immediate test of how much people are willing to pay for a Cadillac.

    I admit Cadillac is in a tough spot, because business-case wise it doesn't make sense to dump the DeVille, or not to at least to offer a car of it's type (traditional). It's a iffy thing for them. It'll be interesting to see how they play it.

  • fjk57702fjk57702 Posts: 539
    The Deville should stay in the lower end price range. A Fleetwood 60 special could become an S-class style car. This car should be a sigma chassis vehicle and since the volume will not be significant, it would not reduce the CTS/STS/SRX output much.
  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    If they can, I'm sure Caddy & Lincoln want to have models in all market segments to compete, like you guys suggest. But, unlike MB & BMW, they're not global brands. That makes a big difference. When BMW comes out with a new model, they sell it and recoup the investment all over the world. When Caddy comes out with a new model, they sell it mostly here in North America.

    That's why Caddy & Lincoln were so eager to go global a few years ago. But Lincoln had to abandon last year. If Caddy is serious, it has to shell out billions of dollars for dealerships, repair shops, training etc. even before it can sell any cars.

    That's one dilemma Caddy & Lincoln face. To be fully competitive, they have to go global. But to go global requires huge investments that they can't make now. Now Lincoln can share development costs with Jaguar, but the combined Lincoln/Jag is only a fraction of the size of MB or BMW.
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