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High End Luxury Cars



  • I agree 100% with you. How can the Europeans not be in the forefront here ? It is a serious omission/oversight, imo. Merc or BMW are not even a blimp on the hybrid race. Toyota got everyone beat, and it's not even close. Scary stuff !
  • ksurgksurg Posts: 48
    No way San Jose. It seems people on this page are polarized between Japanese vs. German vehicles. At least in Northern CA VW is huge. Recently passat's and jetta's( not to mention new Beetles ) have been multiplying like rabbits(pardon the pun). If I'm not mistaken they have been well reviewed as well. Now I agree that the Phaeton seems like an odd decision for VW, it would be like a Toyota Avalon priced against a LS430. On the other hand a Toureg is a thinking mans Cayenne( see recent article in Road and Track). For all the opinions expressed on this page, imo they're strengths and weaknesses to all manufactures and models. I like the differences. Though I wish my teutonic cars had the reliabilty of Lexus I still would rather be behind the wheel of Audi, BMW, MB or Jaguar(OK so its Brit). Why...because. Not all car purchases can reduced to rational decisions and the day it does I bet driving becomes boring!
  • ksurgksurg Posts: 48
    Wow..I just read through that page on the CTS-V vs. S4. I guess I should have said American vs.Japanese vs. German in the post above. Frankly I visit the discussions for fun not to justify my opinions. Maybe cornellpremed had a bad day or his dad owns a Caddy dealership. I'm not sure I understand build quality and reliability either I just know beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I'd sure hate to have a relentlessly reliable car I didn't like. So far I've had god luck with Porsche's, Audi's and GM trucks as opposed to bad luck with BMW and Infinity. I have never found JDP surveys to be helpful.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    I'm quite rational about my auto purchses (have been for 10+ years now) and driving is lots of fun except - when it rains or snows.
  • I have a brother-in-law who is a genious in fuel cell tech (has over 1/2 dozen patents and more pending) He says hydrogen cells are just not practical and may never be.

    He thinks a new fuel needs to be found and some work is being done with coal that may pan out someday but doubts anything practical can be done in the next 10 years.

    Personally I would think Nuclear may be a choice someday as a power source for cars.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Hey why are posts #3249 onward underlined and highlighted??? Anyway...


    Let me be the first to say that I agree that Toyota is a leader in hyrbid-tech, no argument from me there. However you're knowledge of diesels seems to be of the past. They aren't anywhere near the noisy cars of the past, as most Americans have this perception. BMW, Audi, Mercedes, and other Euro makers have refined the diesel concept to the point of being nearly the same experience as gasoline car. A car like a S400 or 740d are quite remarkable. And yes before anyone from camp Lexus says it, DCX has struck a deal with Toyota also. I too will be impressed if the RX330 Hybrid works without a glitch. It does have the makings to change things dramatically. Though just like diesels I see a limited following for each. The first Prius was not without problems.


    You're killing me with this notion that just because the Europeans aren't first at this that somehow they've made an oversight and don't know what they're doing? Come on now thats a little bit much. They're working on hybrid tech and have been for years, just not the same kind as Toyota. Not that Toyota isn't ahead at the moment, not arguing that, but to say that the Europeans are clueless about any sort of hybrid tech is simply ridiculous.


    Well that conversation was lacking on substance to say the least and was just too ridiculous for me.

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Phaeton Pricing: olkswagen/1.html

    Looks like a loaded W12 will go for about 92K. Well below a S600 or 760Li, but pricer than every other V8 car out there except a loaded S500.

  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    An interesting article in today's Wall Street Journal says "In 1987, 46% of what BMW considers high-end sedans were sold in Europe. Now, markets outside of Europe account for 78% of that segment. The most important market for the most expensive BMW, the 12-cylinder 760 sedan, is China"...and for MB China "We import 8,000 cars a year, and 5,000 of that 8,000 are S-Classes." So a small market for now, but an interesting tilt towards the high end.,,SB106807546230842100-search,00.h- - tml?collection=wsjie%2F30day&vql_string=bmw%3Cin%3E%28article- - %2Dbody%29 (for subscribers)
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    The Ford Escape will use Toyota technology too...but it will incorporate technology from the OLD Prius, while being introduced a year after the NEW Prius.

    I haven't looked much into hydrogen fuel cells since it is so far away as a mass market technology, but I have a question for the board. The press sometimes calls hydrogen fuel cells "zero emissions" but doesn't it take energy/pollution to actually make the hydrogen (at the refinery or whatever), presumably by splitting water into its consituents?

    BTW, bluestar I think it's unfairly generous to call hybrid "zero emissions" since it is the gas engine that charges the battery. It is of course true that overall emissions from a hybrid are lower, consistent with the MPG improvements.
  • If you're looking for better resale then why are considering a jaguar? ALL, premium lux sedans (7 series) suffer big depreciation becasue of market forces propelled by the fact that most who want a car like that want a new one and those initial miles are expensive.
     Your M3 will break the bank used. It has great resale. Plus, driving that raggedy jag is what will really break your heart.

    HEY, this is a "high end luxury margue" discussion. Why all the toyota chatter?
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    The Toyota chatter is about hybrid tech that will be in the Lexus lineup a year from now, and some of us think it will be a significant product differentiation for Lexus (unless, of course, everyone else licenses the tech, which could happen).
  • I see the connection but it seems vague.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    You don't have to read it if it doesn't interest you. :)

    It is not out of place, however, for the reasons given.
  • My understanding is that the Hydrogen is split in the fuel cell itself and the most common way is to use a very expensive membrain. There are other ways to seperate the combustable fuel from the water but the cost of all the methods is prohibative.

    I am working with the memory of an older man but I seem to recall my brother-in-law saying that hydrogen does not occure in nature by itself ...I have already gone way past my knowledge level it is my brother-in-law who is the genius
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    I'm confused about the timing of this Lexus brand name rollout in Japan. In todays world business section of the NY Times there was a story about Toyota's record breaking six months profits on the front page. There was also a large picture of a very classy looking Lexus dealership showroom with the back-end of an SC430, a side view of an LS430 next to it and an RX330 in the distsance. The Lexus L was very clearly evident on the SC430 and the caption on the picture made it clear that it was a Lexus dealership as well. But this dealership was in Tokyo. So Lexus must already be marketed in Japan or perhaps in the larger cities of Japan as its own brand - today.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I was interested to see from the link merc1 posted ml just how few people seem to actually buy V12s. In the BMW line, the 745 outsold the 760 by 2109 to 42 in October...a ratio of about 50:1.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    The V-12's are very low production cars with a tiny market niche. That may well explain why Lexus is slow to enter that market. I'd probably opt for a $71k LS V-8 before I'd take an $85k+ V-12 LS myself - if one were available. I'll bet VW's V-12, if it ever makes it here doesn't even sell 10 cars a month. Even MB only sells sround 1200 or so S600's a year in the US. Dealers don't want these cars laying around so they are nearly a custom car thus the very low production. I know a guy that waited over a year for his S600. Amazingly the 1200+ S600's sold here are about 2/3rds of the volume of A8's that are sold here which just goes to show you how incredibly unpopular the A8 is in this country. A car as good as the A8 deserves to do better than it does.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Yes, for me too, a V8 is enough, and even with hybrid I look more to the MPG improvement than the acceleration improvement. How often have I floored a sedan and wished for still more power? Not real often. These aren't sports cars and I don't race.
  • ksurgksurg Posts: 48
    I've been reading about the new upcoming M5 which will be powered by a V-10. It seems like a lot of manufacturers are working on V-10's. With recent tuning they can put out 500-600bhp without supercharging or turbo boost. It will be interesting to see how much they will be used. Unless the transmission and suspension upgrades keep pace I can't imagine sedans that will handle that type of torque and horsepower well. To some extent the E55AMG is like that now. It is truly a rocket ship with a comfortable ride. What's scary is what happens when you push the car on twisties...basicly it's overpowered. It takes a professional to drive it aggressively with traction control off. The beauty of the class leaders so far have been that a novice can drive like a professional because of balanced design and plenty of over engineering to correct for user error. Do you think more is still better when it comes to horsepower? A year ago I would have said yes, now I don't know.
  • is a $125 grand car. One can get a 745 well equipped for in the 70's. 760 interior is unbelievable.
  • bmwwife

    The 760 interior would have to be a pretty incredible change from the 745 interior to justify the extra cash! As a 740 owner, I find the new 7 series interior to be about as unattractive as any high-end automobile interior I've ever seen! The differing shapes, textures and colors combines with the i-drive and absurd seat controls to make it unacceptable to me. Don't get me wrong, I think the new 7 series is hands down the best driving of the large luxo sedans. However, in their quest to be different and cutting edge, BMW crossed over into Avant Garde and technocratic. I love the gadgets and features all these cars offer, but it ought to look good and function well at the same time. Disappointingly, I found the new 5 series to be only marginally better, thanks to the console shifter. An X5 4.4 is my only hope if I'm to stay in the BMW family (which I would like to).

    Interestingly, the new A8 interior offers all the technology the BMW does (including the mouse-type controller) but manages to look more expensive than the car is. Great ambience, texture and sense of warmth to it. I have a feeling the new A8 won't fair any better resale wise than the old one, in 2005 an A8 with decent miles may be available in the high $30's. That would be a heckuva car for the money!

    C'mon BMW, give us back our "Ultimate Driving Machine" interior to go with the stunning performance.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    I would really like to see that NY Times article. I may go to the library this weekend since they carry that newspaper.

    Lexuses are not sold in Japan and won't be until July 2005. Perhaps they showed a US or European dealer and mislabeled it as being in Japan?

    I'll try and check out the article this weekend.
    Thanks for telling me about it.
  • oac3oac3 Posts: 373
    I was in Japan this June and July and saw an LS430. Yes, the car had the "L" logo. BUT, it was an imported one cos it had a left hand steering setup, rather than the right hand steering applicable to Japan. My speculation is that this car may have come from S Korea (it's only couple of hours flight from Seoul to Tokyo; or 1 hr flight from Osaka to Seoul). There are plenty of Lexuses in S Korea, and they also operate with the same steering setup as NAmerica (left hand steering).
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    The correct link is - .html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1068249888-F9wpdWr2mUCUUO4TLrQCNw

    imho, it is possible that the picture is of a 'corporate' showroom that shows toyota's models worldwide, including those not offered in the Japanese market.
  • Tasillo & BMWwife

    Hi. We are the fools who actually considered a S500 vs. BMW and were willing to give up one of the last 750il's delivered in the US (we ordered it from Germany) for a Mercedes. After driving the S500 it was pretty clear that we'll stick to BMW. Today the BMW dealership let us drive a 745 around - b/c we've hesitated to 'deal with' the i-drive. The 745 definately out-does the Mercedes. The interior is modern (we didn't/couldn't 'deal with' the i-drive but didn't have to: a lot is just voice activated...) and fun. The S500/S600 seem cramped with cheezy plastic (not anchored) controls and the rearview mirror wasn't correctly snapped together (yea - $90K). While the new 7-series body style forces you to 'never look back' the smooth drive makes up for the panic attack you experience when you think you loaded groceries in the trunk of another car.
     We're not your average critics (or car fans.) My husband test drove jets at speeds we can't hear at and I designed rocket fuel(s)/engines (in 'my day'). I(we) still have to agree with BMWwife that for a sedan, BMW makes the smoothest machine in this (up to about 135k??) category although that i-drive and redesign caused us to momentarily beam over to the Mercedes dealership....
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    So, that would make you a rocket scientist.
  • Gee-I've heard that before :-)!! I started out wanting to be the first female astronaut at NASA but mine was not a very kind era for women to gather enough points to out score the guys. Oh well - at least at my kids' school I make science day fun! We haven't driven the Lexus yet - so I haven't compared it and if it stops raining we'll hop over to the Lexus folks. Any other speedy sedan ideas are welcome (plus the aerodynamic body design helps my husband's brain align - he thinks all autos should take off at the end of an exit ramp). Thanks!
  • fennfenn Posts: 197
    So, the fact that they created a new state of the art aluminum platform with the new XJ is a bad thing? Your comment is the first that I have heard that is dismissive of the new aluminum structure....

    The fact is that many cars are going towards aluminum. Many of the body components, like hoods, on several makes of cars are going to aluminum.

    In the case of the XJ they started with a fresh slate and created a new platform and assembly system.

    The weight of the new XJ makes it lighter, quicker, and it offers much better gas mileage than most other cars of its size.

    Yes, I may have a vested interest as an owner of a new XJR...but my real life average fuel economy after 4500 miles is now about 17.5.......Show me another car with a V8 putting out anything close to 390 hp that offers this type of economy.

    The repair cost issue is a concern. My jury is still out on this one..... However, I am told that the modular nature of the car's skin and chassis will make repairs easy, and not out of line. This remains to be seen. However, I think that they have so much invested in this new car that they will make parts and body panels affordable, or the insurance ratings will suffer and impact the XJ's viability. For what it is worth the car seems more ding resistant than my other non aluminum cars in my experience in crowded L.A. parking lots.
  • excuse me for my absence- i haven't been in such a good mood lately--
    my parents, and my best friend's house (known him since we were less than 1 year old)caught on fire during the fire-storm we had here in San Diego about 2 weeks ago. burn't to the ground. my parents forunately, recovered some valuable and personal belongings (including their wedding ring and pictures of their children (and me) when we were young. although they were reconsidering about rebuilding their house, i have decided that they should just move into ours. what a shame.

    unfortunately, not the same to my friends house (Jason). he lost absolutely everything, including his beloved, recently-fully-restored Mini Cooper from '67, i believe. saw pictures of the car, and his now burnt lot. it is really emotional to see.

    well, my a highly special object that my parents lost during the fire was their cherished '85 Mercedes 500SL. beautiful, in perfect condition.
    i have determined to replace their MB with a new SL500.

    as for Jason, he lost EVERYTHING except for his family (they are safe), and clothing. they had no time to retrieve anything as they were evacuated early in the morning.
    some close buddies have decided to pitch in a purchase a new 2004 Mini Cooper for him. Red in color, just like his old one.

    in the meantime, i have given him my S430 to him temporarily, and he seems to like it (he has an E430 sport).

    well, on the brighter side, our S430 is doing fine, although it seems to have a brain of it's own: the seat mysteriously adjusts itself by it self; when I leave in the day before, and come in the next day in the morning in the garage; either the headrest is fully up or the seat is all the way to the front. i don't understand this because i thought that the seat's don't have power if the ignition is out, and no one enters the garage at night...

    the SL is doing quite fine, my neighbors still envious (one of them is considering the new BMW 645ci).

    i've also seen quite a few new Jag's on the street in La Jolla. it is trully a classy car, but frankly, it's not "my style" ( i am attached to the looks of the BMW 745Li, the half sporty/half classy lines of the S-Class, and i have to admit, the sharp design of the new Audi A8L. the jaguar is simply to "old-world-elegance" for me! (no offense to fellow Jaguar fans out there, it's a beautiful machine!"
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