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High End Luxury Cars



  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    You/us/we agreeing....I'm speechless! ljflx, your post # 3491 is especially interesting, I didn't know you had it in I've written Mercedes about that 1K special order charge, I think it needs to be done away with. I'm willing to bet that Lexus will build the HPX. It's the perfect compliment to the RX300 and a exact competitor to the upcoming Mercedes R-Class (GST). A new large lux-crossover segment is emerging I think.


    You're right Lexus shouldn't try to do the model layout like the Germans do, but at the very least they need one tuner product based on the next GS. AWD would definitely be a welcome addition to the GS and LS lines, as would another engine option for the LS and SC models. That would go a long way towards acceptance in the higher-end segments.


    One thing...the next GS is going to need far more than 350hp if it wants to be a BMW killer, that is if you're talking about going after the next M5 (500hp). Now if you're talking about a 545i Sport competitor then such a GS would be just the right car.

  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    For the Lexus GS to be a competitor it has to offer a Limited slip differential.
    This open differential stuff is for the birds.
    And traction control does not give equal performance.
    It should be LSD and have traction control.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Toyota Prius 5
    Toyota Sienna 7
    Mini Cooper 10
    Honda CR-V 11
    Honda Pilot 11
    Lexus ES 330 11
    Lexus RX 330 11
    Mercedes-Benz SL-Class 11
    Lexus SC Coupe 13
    Scion xB 13

    source: Wall Street Journal and Power Information Network LLC, an affiliate of J.D. Power & Associates

    ...augurs well for the RX400H next year.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    That information is very interesting. Is there a way to access it on the web?
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    If you are a Wall Street Journal customer, search using the word 'hot' or 'prius'. Otherwise, you could try the JDP site but I don't know if it is available for free.
  • oac3oac3 Posts: 373
    It takes less than 2 weeks to retail off 3 Toyota's and 3 Lexuses. That is incredible ! And the SC430 makes it, to boot. That is unbelievable. What does this mean in terms of market acceptance and strength. Even the lowly Scions, which IMO, are just plain UGLY both the xA and xB (marginally better). Guess why Toyota/Lexus profit is soaring if they cannot even keep these cars on dealer lots.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    Was you mouth wide open and your eyeballs popping out or something like that.

    Hey it's time for them to move to level 2. I liked the MB extra choice colors - some were very interesting. But I agree it's not really a needed thing. But look at the LX470 - 6 color options is ridiculous for something that pricey. So in that case I'd be willing to pay the extra for a color choice that is not standard.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Even a $20k Prius has more color choices and more option package choices (9) than many Lexus models. I don't understand why corporate limits choice so much on the Lexus side.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Interesting fact...Land Cruiser has 8 color choices, LX 6.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    I haven't checked so I'm saying this blindly. But I'll bet one of the TLC colors is riverrock green which is the color I would love to get the LX470 in.

    Merc1 - I agree with you on a new Crossover segment emerging. Call it the minivan/suv as opposed to the RX's car/suv. The reason the HPX never looked like the Infiniti to me is because, in person it is more like an elevated minivan. Yet it is clearly not a minivan. I think in retrospect Infiniti's FX and Chrysler's Pacifica just missed hitting it. Though the Chrysler is real close in vehicle genre it also is different than the HPX. Lexus and MB will nail it - imo.
  • Since when were physicians known for obsessive vehicle maintenance? Any l995 car with 127K on the clock is looking at radiator, transmission, A/C, and other work. The car at this point doesn't really care if the owner puts letters after his name.

    I do get a kick out of physicians who in the Sunday classifieds list the car as "Dr. owned". What an arrogant, self serving crock. I would much rather see listed "CPA owned, always garaged, one dealer serviced, Mobil 1 only, with maintenance record spread sheets available for your inspection".
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "Was you mouth wide open and your eyeballs popping out or something like that."

    That and constantly looking at the ID of the poster, I couldn't believe I was reading one your posts.

    The FX and Pacifica. The Pacifica is a fine vehicle hampered by two things. It needs more power, either a re-worked V6 or better yet a V8 option. Next it produced a lot of sticker shock for Chrysler customers. It would have been a runaway hit without those two problems. The Infiniti FX is way too sporty in ride and smallish in demensions to compete with the upcoming R-Class and the HPX. These two vehicles will establish this class, all thats left is to see who gets there first.

  • Well, I must beg to differ with you. I am a doctor and I fanatically maintain my cars, even garage them. My LS has never missed its scheduled maintainance, and regular oil change. I have the service history and can spread them out on the front seat of my car for you or anyone at anytime. So maybe I am an exception to your observation, but an exception all the same.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    Thanks for you kind words.
  • The postings regarding the 500 HP German cars is valid but misses an important issue. The Germans build these cars to prove they can! Marketing types refer to these as "halo" products. You or I may walk into the MB or BMW showroom to drool all over an E55 or M3, but are much more likely to drive out in an E320 or 325i. Also, as both of these cars are closely related to the mainstream models, development costs are not too high to support the business case to build them. Look at all the publicity Audi has gotten out of the RS6. There's only a handful earmarked for the U.S. but lot's of folks will read about it and think RS6 but end up with a A6 or A8. Lexus hasn't gone this route (yet) as they've concentrated on building a brand based around refinement, service and reliability. Those 3 attributes are now well established, I wouldn't be surprised to see a next generation GS with 450 hp from a supercharged V8, all-wheel drive, some form of active or Skyhook type suspension and incredible electronics. We'll all be impressed and then buy the more mainstream 6 or 8 cylinder product that delivers 80% of the performance, 90% of the image at 75% of the price. Same formula as the Germans.

    Finally, look no farther than Ford with it's GT program or the Viper. Chrysler gives away more Town & Country's in a year than it sells Viper's, but what gets the publicity!

    Looking forward to that Lexus "supercar" and the inevitable Car & Driver "comparison" that selects the "flavor of the month"!
  • Anybody see yesterday's (11/13/03) USA Today business section? Front page article was about the increasing complexity of today's high-end cars and the difficulty of repairing them when something goes wrong. Specifically, the article referenced the BMW 7 series and Mercedes E class owners as having had their troublesome cars bought back as they could not be fixed reliably or quickly. Small reference to Cadillac and no reference at all to the Japanese makes. Is USA Today "piling on" the Germans? Or are the issues the provence of the Europeans????
  • The Germans have built a reputation for cutting edge Technology....They believe that gives them great public visability and they are right.

    The price they pay is the rush into production The need to be first with the greatest and latest.

    The Japanese are not great inventors but they are terrific at taking existing technology and making it MUCH better.

    The consumer has a choice buy german and get the latest and greatest at a higher price or buy Japanese and get the tech. a year or so later and get it in a form that will be very dependable and in some case better and get it at a lower price.

    Why a lower price...The Germans have done the initial R&D, the expensive part, They need to recoupe that cost...Secondly.. being first with something new and great allows for a higher price.
    Third...The Germans know there will be additional warrenty expenses on new technology that they will need to pay for.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    I think the answer is simple. The Japanese are far better at mastering technology than the Germans. Thus they should be leading that revolution in the car. It's a natural but it also means a change from the historical mainstream. But the Germans have always led in engineering and are trying to lead to maintain their image as leaders. But it's not working because they are in uncharted territory for them - where they can't lead. Technology is young whereas auto engineering is pretty mature and was well mastered by the Germans. If this was the stock market you know where the money would be. Well actually - now that I think of it that is the case - TM has a much higher multiple than everyone else

    By the way - you've got to be careful with that halo effect. Buying an internet company was supposed to have a halo effect on your stock price a few years back. Auto mfrs. better build those halo cars spectacularly.
  • ksurgksurg Posts: 48
    Seems like this thread has lost it roots. The argument over Japanese vs. German superiority sounds like a chapter from pre WWII history book. You ever consider how many Japanese engineers are in Germany and to what extent Japanese technology has benefitted from German cross fertilization. If someone wants to invest in TM they can go read the portfolio. In the meantime it would be refreshing to actually discuss present and scheduled luxury vehicles. There just seems to be to much ego or perhaps self justification wrapped up in a lot of these posts. Lighten up and enjoy( wasn't it Nissan that said " life a journey...enjoy the ride").
  • Looking foreward to you kicking off the discusson you suggest....
  • I agree to an extent that we've denigrated to a discussion of which country makes the better product. However I think the discussions are worth continuing in this forum because they point out a significant difference in the philosophies of the companies based in Europe vs. those in the Far East.

    In my humble opinion (and actual ownership experiences), the European automakers place the premium on the driving experience while the Japanese builders place their premium on the ownership experience. One is not better than the other, it's just what is important to the individual. I'm willing to put up with a few foibles in my BMW in order to savor the high level of performance and driving enjoyment this car provides. My father would never leave the Lexus family (after years of owning BMW, Mercedes, Audi and Jaguar) as for him it's all about the ease of ownership. Neither he nor I is "right".

    I'm only critical of the European manufacturers (and others critical of the Japanese) for one reason. If the Europeans could ever combine their current superiority in the driving experience with the Japanese's ability to get the details perfect, I'd have nothing left to complain about! Similarly, if Lexus (or Infiniti) ever produce an LS 430 that rewards the driver like a 7 series or S class, I'd likely switch marques immediately.

    In a nutshell, I don't believe any of us are politicians or harkening back to the days after WWII, rather were a passionate bunch that really wants our brand of choice to be as good as it can be. Hopefully, the good folks at Daimler-Chrysler, BMW, Lexus and the others monitor forums like these.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    You should drive the LS430 with the euro suspension option particularly the 2004 edition. It easily outdoes an S-class in sport handling as long as you are talking about an ordinary $85k S500 and you pocket $20k+. In addition you maintain the great refinement and luxury, super quiet ride and second to none ownership experience.
  • oac3oac3 Posts: 373
    I second ljflx. The 2004 LS430 is a significant change to the previous versions, not in aestethics but in the handling and performance areas. At least that's what I have heard so far.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    I've driven it. It's a dream.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    MB fans are quick to point out that the C&D comparo used a 2003 S, and wonder what the result might have been with the 7-speed 2004. Fair enough, but the S was tested with "optional sport suspension and special-purpose tires...245/45-18s in front and 265/40-18s in back, both ends labeled Michelin Pilot Sport" whereas the LS was tested with its standard rather than euro suspension..."If you really want muscles, opt for the sport suspension with 18-inch summer tires. The 17s on the test car were quick to moan when pushed. Skidpad grip was weakest of all, 0.73 g." If it had been a 2004 S vs a euro/18" LS, the results might not have changed at least insofar as the relative rankings.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    I will likely do a deal with Lexus this month that is interesting and I believe shows what can get done at this marquee level of car manufacturers.

    I had just turned in my LX470 as my lease ended in October. I now have the two LS430's and I only need two vehicles again. But I can't be without an SUV in winter here or in general for a long period with my family needs. I also have to get that third row thus that ruled out the Range Rover. By the way the latter is indeed a great truck and I love the styling. So I cut a deal - at least via phone to swap out an LS430 5 months before the lease ends for an LX470. The math seems to work out to about $2k less than Edmunds TMV and I get out of five months of obligations. Plus the LX works out to be about the same lease payment as I was paying for the LS430. So from a pocket book stand point there is no change for me except I've met my needs much better and have a newer vehicle that stickers $9k above the 2001 LS. If I go through with it I'm taking the LX with everything but night vision and it will sticker at $70k. My wife still wants to test drive the GX though as she likes its size better so I may still have to see if I'm going to do this deal at the GX level, though I doubt it. That truck is a bit too narrow for me. If I do this deal I will likely take a black with the stone gray interior.
  • At the dealer last month getting my Nav update, seeing a GX next to an LX is a huge difference in size. The LX is just much more substantial than the GX could ever be. Like you said, much too narrow, and the third row seat is an after-thought, best for little kids. $ for $, the LX is a far better choice, imo.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    The difference is greater still when you drive both. I have and I know the GX won't cut it. She is still intimidated by the LX size. But we have several friends in town that have TLC's and LX's and in those family it is the vehicle driven primarily by the wives.
  • As I've heard (and read) quite a bit about the uplevel suspension on the new LS, I'm convinced I need to go drive one. I'll try and locate one this weekend and provide an opinion early next week.

    Honestly, I hope I'm disappointed as that will make it an easy choice to keep my 740. If it's a great car however, uh oh...
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I don't think people are suggesting that the euro LS handles precisely as well as a BMW, but here is a quote from another board zdude "Lexus LS" Nov 12, 2003 11:20pm "My LS430 has the Euro sport suspension with 18" wheels. I am a former BMW owner (5 series and X5) and I think lexus has a winner with this setup. Its by no means a 5 series BUT for a car its size it handles very, very well and has excellent road feel, IMHO and the sweet part, still retains its luxurious ride. My son (who drives a 3 series) was very impressed when he drove it and he doesn't like anything that is not German :)"

    Please let us know what you think after your test drive.
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