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High End Luxury Cars



  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    Audi still has an 18-year-old facility up in Glenview (is that the one you refer to?). It was built as an Acura dealer (the very first in Chicagoland), and then about 10 years ago Audi moved in and Acuras and Audis were sold side-by-side. Just recently, Acura moved out and built a spanking-new building right next door. Even though it is next door it is in Morton Grove and not Glenview.

    When the Audis and Acuras were together potential customers would go in the back and talk to the mechanics to see which were better cars from a reliability standpoint. Of course, the mechanics said the Acuras required far less maintenance. I guess they wanted to separate the two brands to "protect" Audi and that may be why Acura moved out.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    I didn't realize the percentage was that high but it still equates to only about 7,000 cars. If you haven't got your current edition of motor trend yet I can promise you that you're going to enjoy it. 25 pages on future cars.

    lenscap - I sought of feel the same way about this one as I did about New England winning two years ago. I think Carolina will blitz heavily because of the lack of NE's running game and this will throw them off. Regardless New England was very impressive in the AFC championship as was Carolina in the NFC game. Should be a good super bowl.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I forgot about that dealer, I've been there before. Yes they're in an old-look/build facility. I'm sure each brand had their reasons for being seperate. Reliablity for Acura, and styling, and dept of models for Audi. I heard a few people saying how the A6 and A8s made the Acuras look like a bunch of Hondas, naturally I laughed when I overheard I'm sure Acura took more than their fair share of Audi intenders when the sticker prices were looked at.


    Well thats still a good amount when you're talking about less than 25K cars, especially for such a pricey car to start with. For the E-Class it will be even higher this year, 4Matic E's are an hot item. I have the MT issue. Honestly I'm tiring of MT, their writing is so high-school and it's always the Corvette, Mustang type rhetoric month in and month out. No sophistication at all. England's CAR magazine has more in one issue than about 5 of Motor Trend's. Though I do like MT's comparos (sometimes) and it's always fun to read what they *think* the future cars are going to be.

  • I bought my first BMW 320i in 1982 and I have now owned over 7. My current cars are a 740il and 330i. I kept buying them because I couldn't find any other cars with the same combination of "road feel" and "comfort".

    I have to admit that in the Washington DC area, BMW used to be exclusive and I felt a little special because of the hood ornament. With BMW selling over 225,000 cars and SAV's in the US per year, it seems like everyone is driving one.

    They are growing sales because they offer a great product with a great reputation. BMW's receive praise from car magazines and every road test for performance sedans is titled "BMW Beater??? Then you read the test and the conclusion is: close but not a BMW beater. Even the conservative mag Consumer Reports pronounced the 530i the best car they have ever tested.

    I've been looking for a replacement for my current 7 series and when I test dive the Lexus, Merc, Phaeton, Audi, Infiniti, I get back in my car and drive away knowing that I'm already in the best car. (in my humble opinion) I guess the only replacement for me is a newer BMW (except the new 7 scares me a bit).
  • I've been at the Porsche Cayenne forum lately (just took home a new Cayenne Tiptronic V6 yesterday!). You guys talk A LOT within a week!

    So far, we like the Cayenne so much we don't want to give it to our daughter (supposed to be a birthday gift in about 2 weeks). according to plan, I want to get my wife a Cayenne S, but we've been quite pleased actually with the performance of the Cayenne V6 (but noticibly weaker than the S model). the only problem; we've got this one in black and it takes in dust WITHIN SECONDS, literally. So I always have to wipe it. And guess what? All of our cars are black. Black S430, Black (metallic) SL55, Black Cayenne, and soon-to-be black Cayenne S. Drives a lot of our neighbors crazy.

    So, what's up with this NavUp programme? My 2002 S430 has CD-based GPS, and look at what it says:


    CD Navigation - Model Year 2004 C-Class, CLK-Class, G-Class, SL-Class.
    (Also available for prior model year vehicles with CD or DVD navigation)


    I don't understand that. It says 'also avaliable for prior model years WITH CD or DVD navigation.'

    Does this mean that a CD-based Navigation can use DVD-CD's? I highly doubt that, but if that's the case, I'll send it asap to my MB dealer. Because all I can say is that the '02 COMMAND GPS system was one of the worst introduced (actually, the Cayenne's is THE worst)

    Mercedes-Benz of Laguna Niguel has a lot of Maybach's in the showroom. Stopped by there last weekend to service the car, and I'm honestly quite surprised about the close-resemblance to the '04 S-Class. A bit too close, in my opinion. But, I've seen one, Maybach (the 57 model) cruising along Pearl Ave. in Downtown La Jolla. I think it was some desert-silver color, close to the designo silver offered on the S-Class. It was an rather old gentleman, about 60 something. The car zipped along quite fast, which was interesting considering the gigantic size of that monster.

    i've also heard from my salesperson at MB of LN that the next-generation S-Class will look very similar to the Maybach- not too sure I'll like that, but time will tell...
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Mercedes-Benz of Naperville (IL) also has a Maybach 57 in the showroom. It has a different set of wheels than others I've seen, though they are still Maybach factory rims.

    I hope the next S doesn't look like the Maybach, but some of the spy photos and drawings are pointing in that direction, with the rear of the next S having a similar design. One thing the next S should have a Maybach level interior, with an all new look.


    What has the SL55 AMG been like to own/drive?

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I received an invite for a personal showing of the Quattroporte at the Chicago Autoshow this Sunday. I finally get to up close and personal with the Italian "4-door"! I can't wait, it's just what I wanted.

  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    Enjoy and give us your view after you see it.

    By the way I told you the Maybach had a bit too much of a Lincolnesque grill. But I still find the car quite impressive from the side and the interior is out of this world. I did'nt notice if the rear seat is raised like the Rolls so that the back seat passenger has same view as driver.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I surely will report back on the Quattroporte.

    Did you recently see/drive a Maybach or something? Yes it's still an awesome car in my book, my only real problem is the styling. I hope the next generation Maybach has a better look outside and a interior not in the same pattern/style as Mercedes'.

    I read your post on the LS board, and yes you're right the HPX doesn't look anything like the FX. I'm not sure what I said back then based on pictures, but after actually seeing it I agree that it doesn't look like the Infiniti FX. I think some may have got it twisted by thinking just because the HPX was rumored to be launched because of the FX, they convinced themselves that it also looked like it??

    Naturally I totally disagree with the notion of a S600 being a "total ripoff" because it looks like the other S-Class models. The S600's power and command of the road is unmatched by anything from Japan. Only Audi's A8L 6.0 W12 looks any different from the basic A8, nobody else does different body work for their V12s or top line cars either.

  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    An article in today's WSJ: "The National Academy of Sciences says in a new report that a "lengthy transition period" is needed before the U.S. can switch from gasoline and natural gas to hydrogen to run motor vehicles, and that a full transformation could take until 2050." The report says more research is needed into hydrogen storage, delivery systems, pipeline materials and electrolysis, among other things.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Maybe ripoff isn't the right word, but for me anyway the huge price premiums aren't worth it. If you look purely at materials costs (and you can get and idea just from looking at the weight of the V12 vs V8 car) there shouldn't be a huge difference in that aspect. What you are paying for is development costs being spread out over a smaller number of units, plus higher (probably much higher) manufacturer profit margins on the V12 version.

    Put another way, if it costs an extra 40k to get a car that goes 0-60 in 5sec rather than 6, and an extra 200k to get one that goes in 4sec, and an extra 1mm to get to 3sec...well, even people who can afford to spend 300k or 1mm or whatever on a car aren't necessarily going to do so. Many wealthy folk do care about value.
  • mfullmermfullmer Posts: 819
    Real "wealthy folk" who really care about value wouldn't buy a Mercedes Benz. A Lexus is a much better value seeing it's regarded as the best luxury car available, reliable and subdued.

    Real "wealth folk" are more interested in value than "flash appeal", which is all a Mercedes Benz can offer.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    Nope. Haven't driven a Maybach but I'd love to give it a try. I did see another one on the road though. I find the car very impressive except from the front end as the grill cheapens it. It's almost like the grill was an afterthought or maybe it was a compromise amongst various design concepts and personal egos. But it misses in a car of this type of distinction.

    Ripoff - is maybe too strong a word but the S600 price is about $20k too high in my opinion.

    So you're still spying on the LS board, huh.

    Great Superbowl. They should do it like that every year - the game I mean. I'll stay silent about the half-time show.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Um, yes ... about the silent part, thank you. :-)
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    To be honest - I missed it as my dog needed to be walked. But I did see it on my buddies Tivo the next day. But there is nothing like "real-time". I did like the clothing malfunction story though. Now we know that clothing wasn't made in Japan - that's for sure.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    I can see why you might say that but its far too much of a generalization. I would say that people who seek flash and have the money may go with an MB as first choice though. They are looking for the car for prestige of buying the most expensive name brand rather than for the car itself. But I almost bought an S-500 and I don't care about flash at all. Several people on the LS board who bought an LS430 looked seriously at both cars as well. I also know people and have friends who drive MB's and they are low profile people and hardly seek flash.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    A Mercedes-Benz is all flash and nothing else? Really? Ok. A Lexus LS430 may be reguarded by some as the best luxury car in it's segment, but the GS, SC and IS surely aren't even close to leading their segments.

    Value doesn't always mean cheap or being less expensive. Some people see "value" in a more expensive car for what it offers compared to a cheaper car that doesn't have as much.


    Thats funny you dislike the front of the Maybach and I dislike the rear. Various TV stations here are having shows on the Chicago autoshow and the Maybach and Rolls Phantoms are headliner in each one. One guy previewing the cars earlier tonight at the black-tie viewing said he's buying one of each, a Maybach 57 for him and Phantom for her! Cha-ching 650K!

    I read a lot of different boards every day. You have to keep an eye on developments concerning the competition.

    All I'll say about the half-time show is that guys, TiVo is the key!

  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    "I did like the clothing malfunction story though. Now we know that clothing wasn't made in Japan - that's for sure."

    Now that's funny!

    While many people do buy Mercedes just for the "flash" value, many others do not. My girlfriend's father is about as non-flashy as you can get (a very good thing in my mind), and he owned an SL600 that he bought new in the mid-90s. He bought the car for several reasons but flash was certainly not one of them, I can assure you that.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Lots of people buy luxury marques for flash and image. So what if Mercedes has or doesn’t have more of these? People are entitled to do what they want with their money.

    Furthermore, I see very good reasons to exhibit one’s success especially if it helps drum up business. For instance, if I were in a position to invest people’s money I’d feel a lot better soliciting clients in a Mercedes or BMW than a Honda. Kind of gives them some confidence in your abilities, no? I’m not saying it should be a smokescreen to cover up any shortcomings, but it does tend to say… “I made money and can help you do the same.”

    That said, there are also people who are NOT pretentious who buy solely for performance, reliability and comfort. Lots of types out there… no big deal. The only problem I see is with those who buy for status and can’t afford it. These people are to be pitied and are a danger to themselves.

    Yes, I often feel good about the status that comes with my luxury cars, but it's not the most important thing in my life and never trick myself into thinking I'm better than someone else because of it. Personally, I think most owners of all luxury cars feel the same way.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Devil's advocate here!

    When I see someone who depends on my money to make a living appearing to be able to indulge very expensive tastes, I figure that person is costing me too much money. :-)
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    I think those that buy any car for status say (to themselves) - "I made money - see my car". That was mfullmer's point except it was generalized too much. I've never seen anyone solicit people in expensive cars and hope I never do. Of course if you are talking about real estate agents or investment bankers and you see the cars later - that's a different story. But then I'd think they'd intimidate lesser income people and higher income people would think they are overcharging them.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    "When I see someone who depends on my money to make a living appearing to be able to indulge very expensive tastes, I figure that person is costing me too much money. :-)"

    Go back and read my post, particularly the sentence with the word "smokescreen."
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    "I've never seen anyone solicit people in expensive cars and hope I never do."

    I have, and they are also very good at what they do, sell good products, are down to earth and are decent human beings.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    "But then I'd think they'd intimidate lesser income people and higher income people would think they are overcharging them."

    ljflx, you are talking about less-than-savvy shoppers here don't you think?
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    designman - I did read your post and I was just contributing, not arguing ... I'm not saying anything about the hypothetical person's abilities, just expensive tastes and who ultimately finances them. :)
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    It's far too off topic - but just for the heck of it - what products are sold by people from their cars? I exclude NYC where you can buy a suite of electronic products while you are trying to get into the Holland tunnel. But those people are not in expensive cars anyway.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "Some people see "value" in a more expensive car for what it offers compared to a cheaper car that doesn't have as much."

    An interesting point, as that is my point of view about value.

    Value is about what I think something has, not what you tell me it has.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    I think people sometimes misjudge the effect cars have. First of all, the vast majority of people couldn't car less about the car your drive, and certainly I can't envision any single situation where someone will think higher of you just because you drive an S600 instead of clean VW Golf. Then again, there are people who sink a lot of money into a car and then discover it negatively affects how effective they can interface with their target customers. If you're selling network equipment to a group of young engineers at SBC, they will not be easily won by someone parking a new Rolls in the parking lot.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "If you're selling network equipment to a group of young engineers at SBC, they will not be easily won by someone parking a new Rolls in the parking lot."

    Why if I were driving a rolls would I be selling network equipment? But that begs the question, I don't go to a senior mgmt meeting wearing jeans either. If I could afford a rolls, I could also afford a Honda to sell network equipment in.
  • designman, show me a business person in an S Class or more better and I'll show you a guy whose business(plan) is so deficient that it couldn't deploy the additional 70K+ in capital. IMHO real business people, not the clowns you see on TV or in the Robb Report, who are building a business don't buy luxury consumption goods; rather they invest in their business. A lease payment of 2K per month on an S Class or better is foolishness to them. A stock broker with an S Class is a stock broker without profitable investment ideas.

    Professionals (e.g., physicians, CPAs, lawyers, entertainers, etc.) usually come out of a more academic background. They are not only not constantly weighing the pros and cons of alternative investment ideas, they also usually lack the ability to put more capital to work in their business (i.e., their practice). As a result they are more susceptable to the lures of luxury goods like 15K watches and 100K sedans. (Some professionals have real vision however and do have an active, self-managed investment portfolio. Maybe they buy the building where their practice is located or make other investments. This is rare though. Most can't spend it fast enough and at 65 have little to show for a lifetime of high income.)

    The serious business people in New England that I know drive AWD Denalis, XC Volvos, and three year old Exploders. etc. They go in early and stay late, no matter what the weather. And they wear a black sport watch not a (fake) gold Rolex like a sales manager at a domestic car store. So if they bang it on a Bridgeport or when they are working-out they just buy another Timex. Meanwhile the trustfunders (TFers) and the people with letters after their name are at the Patek Phillipe counter handing over the plastic thinking that spending is an "investment".
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