High End Luxury Cars

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  • mike2567mike2567 Member Posts: 15
    ... sorry about hitting the button twice ...
  • hello25hello25 Member Posts: 30
    And whose flagship just copied whose with electroilluminesent lighting? Who had a navigation system first? Whose executive said their drivers would not need it? Who most recently introduced wood steering wheels?
    The recent S class both downsized and upgraded itself to meet market standards. The new LS
    does take Mercedes styling into account, yes.
    But you are mistaken if you think Mercedes Benz is the be all and end all of the automotive world that it was in 1896, and during a period of time
    in the 1970's and 80's.
  • flint350flint350 Member Posts: 250
    As a point of interest, I have noted many talk of the MB active cruise control and that the Lexus also will have it. I am currently researching the purchase of either an S430 or Lexus LS430 for the fall. My local MB dealer says none of the MB cars have (or will have) the active cruise due to last minute fears of law suits (a sad, but separate commentary on our litigious society). The Lexus is still planned to have it. What with the elimination of the Euro delivery discount (or any reasonable negotiation below the inflated MSRP) and the quality and other issues reported, MB seems to be helping me make a seemingly difficult decision. If the Lexus comes out anything like it is announced/anticipated, MB may certainly lose market share. At least my share, but I await the new 2001 models with open mind and room for change.
  • mike2567mike2567 Member Posts: 15
    Although Lexus invented lights, Benz was the first car with 4 wheels! And an internal combustion engine! Lexus has now shamelessly copied these important design features!

    Not only that. They also made the body style a blatant imitation of the M-B S-class.
  • enigmaoneenigmaone Member Posts: 128
    What??
  • rollierollie Member Posts: 337
    Regarding post #55:

    I believe mike2567 was referring to the fact that Daimler-Benz invented the automobile.

    -rdo
    [email protected]
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    I'll be surprised if Lexus does offer the active cruise control feature. Some idiot will expect the car to drive itself....like lane correction, stopping, and swerving. Mercedes wouldn't take that chance and unless the Lexus system has some type of idiot-proof feature, I'd expect them to delay their also.

    M
  • enigmaoneenigmaone Member Posts: 128
    The laser guided cruise control on the LS430 is going to be optional. So I'm sure it's going to have it, as a option. They may have a big warning sticker on the window, with the owners manual, etc. stating what and what it does not do!
  • hello25hello25 Member Posts: 30
    Now if we can just figure out whose ancestors invented the wheel we can make Daimler Chrysler pay them royalties.
  • flint350flint350 Member Posts: 250
    FYI, the MB dealer told me almost exactly that - they were sued by some woman who "misunderstood" her briefing on the regular cruise control - set it on the hwy then turned around to get something from the back seat. Obvious result. Don't know if this is true or anecdotal, but that is how he explained Benz's decision to drop active cruise despite heavily advertising it.

    For enigma: the prior LS400 nav system was not compatible with the Nakimichi, but the new one is standard, right? So the Mark Lev. must be compatible with the Nav sys. and the Nak. no longer an option, I assume? And that means touch screen control for the Mark Lev. and some steering wheel control?
  • enigmaoneenigmaone Member Posts: 128
    the Navigation system is still optional, I believe. But the optional mark levinson stereo system is compatible with the GPS nav. system. And so is the stock stereo, which I'm assuming remains a Pioneer system.

    The GPS nav. system remains mostly touch screen but I believe the stereo controls are not as much a part of the touch screen display as they are in the current LS400.

    The stereo does have some controls on the steering wheel.
  • car_pro66car_pro66 Member Posts: 3
    I am surprised that I did not find any discussions
    regarding Audi A8. I currently drive MB C280 and Lexus LX450. Love my Lexus and hate my MB especially during the winter. I'll be looking for a new car in couple of month and my main candidates are BMW 740il and Audi A8. Many of my friends use to drive BMW but resently switched to Audi and very happy with this car.
    Any comments would be appreciated.
    Thanks.
  • car_pro66car_pro66 Member Posts: 3
    I am surprised that I did not find any discussions
    regarding Audi A8. I currently drive MB C280 and Lexus LX450. Love my Lexus and hate my MB especially during the winter. I'll be looking for a new car in couple of month and my main candidates are BMW 740il and Audi A8. Many of my friends use to drive BMW but resently switched to Audi and very happy with this car.
    Any comments would be appreciated.
    Thanks.
  • enigmaoneenigmaone Member Posts: 128
    The A8 is a good car but it is overlooked because first, it's a $70K Audi! Second, because Audi doesn't really market the car! Third, Alot of people shy away from buying it because of it's all-aluminum construction which only maybe a dozen body shops around the country can fix. Forth, Audis aren't exactly known for high resale value. And when you buy a $70K car, below average resale value really hurts!

    But otherwise it's a excellent car. Breakthrough technology, AWD(good if you need it), gorgeous interior, understated but elegant and tasteful exterior design, and has all the features one would expect for it's price tag!
  • rollierollie Member Posts: 337
    Regarding post #66:

    I agree with all your points on the A8 except the price. If anybody pays $70k for an A8 they should have a hole installed in their head where a brain can be inserted. The A8s have been moving at huge discounts for most of their time on the market. I read of several people buying them for the low to mid 50s. This makes it more compelling buy but for me doesn't overcome the major issues you mentioned (particularly the aluminum construction).

    -rdo
    [email protected]
  • enigmaoneenigmaone Member Posts: 128
    rollie,

    I was using MSRP as a reference. Discounts vary greatly based on time of year and region of the country. So it's kind of hard to put a general and accurate number on what people actually pay for one. $70K is a approximate MSRP.
  • rollierollie Member Posts: 337
    Regarding post #69:

    I certainly agree that it's hard to quantify discount prices due to timing but believe me, there is no point in time from here forward (at least not until a new model A8 comes out) that the A8 isn't selling at a discount from MSRP. It's a great car notwithstanding the issues you pointed out already but it simply isn't moving.

    By the way, unless things have changed drastically, Edmunds lists the 2000 A8 MSRP as $62,525 with destination charge.

    Thanks.

    -rdo
    [email protected]
  • enigmaoneenigmaone Member Posts: 128
    rollie,

    Did you forget about all the options that are available on the car?

    Do you really think you are going to find even one Audi A8 4.2 Quattro on dealer lots with a sticker price of $62000 on the window?
  • car_pro66car_pro66 Member Posts: 3
    Thanks a lot guys for your input.
    I am more puzzled now than I was before, but I
    have a feeling that at the end I will probably go
    with BMW 740IL. My only concern is that as soon as I get it BMW will introduce new body style, and I'll be driving an obsolete car. I hate when it happens.

    Thanks again.
  • enigmaoneenigmaone Member Posts: 128
    It will hardly be a obsolete car. As long as you can drive it, get it fixed, get parts, etc. for it, it is not obsolete.

    Besides the current 7-series is a excellent car to begin with in most respects. So why not buy one?
  • mcurtinmcurtin Member Posts: 6
    Will pick up my 2000 A8 Saturday...it is equipped with what I call the 3 basic options (alloy wheels, xenon lamps, premium comfort package--ie., heated seats)...I say basic because looking at 5 dealers' inventory I didn't find any with fewer than these 3 options. Mine also has navigation package. All told, $66805 and sold for $61347 or $2550 over invoice. This however, from the "new kid on the block" dealer in the area most anxious to build his sales volume. Everyone else wanted at least $1000 more.
    Thanks, MJC
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    This detours away from the last few post, but I it was very interesting to me. Coming home from work this morning I saw S-Type 4.0 trailing behind a 1999 or better Vanden Plas. The woman in the Vanden Plas was looking at the S-Type and she seemed to give it her approval, but then she turned around and smiled at me. You had to be there, both of these women were really "feeling" their Jaguars. The old XJ body does look a little
    dated running along the S-Type, but it's still the epitome of class. All Jaguars are.

    M
  • jodys2jodys2 Member Posts: 9
    Thanks Merc1 for mentioning the 'J' word. I monitor this post, just hoping for such a thing.

    My '2 cents', the S body style is a sad statement. The only 2 things I can give it credit for are: the moon roof/sun roof and cool TV advertisements. I couldn't get past the outside appearance to even test drive one.

    Of course, I am a bit prejudiced. I have a 2000, XJ8 L, and think the body style can not be beat. Oh, concerning the Vanden Plas. That is a regal car. My Dad has a 2000 model...

    Just for the record, I ordered mine first ;)
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    I just noticed that you can get the 370-hp supercharged V8 in a new 2000 model called the Vanden Plas SC, anyone here have any experience with this model?

    M
  • jcooper3jcooper3 Member Posts: 4
    Jodys2

    Please take a look at sedans conference #2946 (MB S430 Alternatives) posts #58,59,60. The conference needs some reports of jag. ownership exprience. I posted mine; however the more the better.

    Merc1

    I test drove the VDP S/C before purchasing a standard 2000 VDP. The power was unbelieveable, but costly and in my case not needed. My new jag is flawless so far, very happy with it. I like the S type also, they are different but compliment each other and the jag. legacy.
  • ciscocertciscocert Member Posts: 1
    Instead of buying Jaguar XJ8 one should buy S-Type 4.0. The XJ8 is very small car for its size outside. I looked at S-Type and XJ8 and ended up buying S-Type V8 because XJ8 was too small on the inside. IT had very little headroom plus trunk was very small.

    I am glad I bought S-Type V8. So far I have 10500 miles on it, and I love it. Fabulous car. So far no problems too. It handles great, drives smoothly, is almost Lexus quiet, and has tons of features. And it looks very good too.
  • dado420dado420 Member Posts: 5
    Out of this list, the BMW 740i or 740il is the best car. The S430 is probably a better car but when considering how much it costs, its not that much of a better car than the BMW 740-line. None of the above cars handles as well as a 740, looks as good as a 740, or has as much character as a 740. Although the Jaguar comes close in the character department.

    But all of the above cars are still excellent cars in their own ways.
  • jk40jk40 Member Posts: 1
    You asked about an Audi A8. I have owned 6 Jags and a 740 and read about the technology of the A8 so decided to try one. It is as fine a car as I have ever owned. The quattro is amazing in the ice and snow. I even try to see where its limit is on snow and haven't found it yet. Even on wet roads in the summer it doesn't slide in high speed turns. This is probably the feature that puts the A8 above the Jag & BMW. It has every feature that my 740 had and has a little softer ride. Features for the money - Jags fall very short of the competition for the same price. The Jag S-Type is a Ford Taurus with a nicer interior but if you ever owned a real Jag the S isn't one. Resale on the A8 is falling a little behind a 740 but I paid less for one also because the dealer was willing to discount the car off of the $70,000 msrp.
  • scongroscongro Member Posts: 80
    First of all, going back to something a few responses back, some were saying that Lexus copied MB's "430" badging. Does anyone remember the '93 MB "190 E". In 1994 MB revamped their entire badging system, using the number to represent displacement, while Lexus used this system from the start. I'm sure MB didn't do this because they were bored.(a side note-Acura also did this, but they need a V8 to really compete)

    Second, I know that the '00 LS 400 has a higher bhp than BMW & MB (282-BMW 740i/740il, 275-MB S430, 290- LS 400). The '01 LS 430 will probably have a horsepower boost to lift it over the S500(302bhp). Mix that with the stetched wheelbase of 3"-4"(best guess when I compared the '00 & '01), the additional options coming next year, and the fact that Lexus probably will not raise the price more than $5000, I think that Lexus will probably win the V8 segment of this market, with MB winning the V12 for '01, as I heard they are coming out with a new V12 engine. Don't get me wrong, BMW will still have their following, catering to the people who like the "thrill of driving"
  • enigmaoneenigmaone Member Posts: 128
    Mercedes has always, sorta, named their cars based on engine displacement. The 190E was the sole Mercedes model whose model name did not follow engine displacement. Otherwise, the 300E, 420SEL, 300SEL, followed, strictly, engine displacement size. Of course then Mercedes had cars like the 560SEL and 560SEC which did not have 5.6L V8s but had 5.5L V8s.

    And looking back to when the last generation S-class came out in 1991, you can see that Mercedes renamed the SEL with a 4.2L V8 from 420SEL in 1990 to 400SEL in 1991, even though the 1991 retained a 4.2L V8. Not to mention when the E-class finally got a V8 motor, it was named 400E instead of 420E. Maybe Mercedes renamed their 4.2L powered cars too 400E because Lexus had the "400"! And later, of course, Mercedes dropped the SEL, E, SEC, SL, from the end of the model names and changed the designations from 400E, 420SEL, to E400, S420. Again, maybe because of Lexus they did it!

    See how lame that argument is that Lexus renamed their 2001 LS400 to LS430 because Mercedes has S430 and E430?
  • enigmaoneenigmaone Member Posts: 128
    The 2001 LS430s bhp output remains at 290 bhp but torque jumps to 320 lb-ft, up from 300lb-ft. Plus more torque comes lower down in the RPM range, which will improve performance noticeably.

    Wheelbase on 2001 LS430 is up over 2" as opposed to 2000 LS400. Height is increased 2.4". And in the process, 2001 LS430 has more overall interior room and a larger trunk than 2000 S-class.
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Mercedes made the name changes so that their lineup would be easier to understand. Mercedes cars have had engine displacement bading for over a hundred years. It was getting out of hand having, CE, TE, TD, SE, SEL, E, SDL, SD, and others. All they did was take the letter from each class and place it first, followed by the engine size. It most definitely was not done because of some Japanese car. Acura following this has been a disaster, nobody knows or remembers what a RL or TL is unless they have one. They spent all that time grooming the "Legend" only to drop the name, very dumb.

    M
  • flint350flint350 Member Posts: 250
    My Lexus dealer called me this weekend to solicit a $1000 deposit to secure my place in line to buy a new LS430 from him. While we were talking, he re-iterated that the Lexus reps are telling him that the engine will be over 300hp and not the advertised 290. Not that it's all that important as long as the performance is there, just a point of interest.
    Enigma - when I go down to talk with the dealer about the deposit, I would want more than just a place in line. That implies whatever comes in (color, equip) is what you may have to settle for. I am not inclined to do that. I want a fully loaded car with a reasonable color choice. If I am going to spend the big bucks and live with it for quite a while, I want choice. So, is the deposit a waste of time? Or, if I just wait to order what I want, what are the chances of getting shut out for a LONG time. I can order the MB S430 from the factory exactly as I want it and get it in 3 mos. Will Lexus be about the same or a little longer, or is the early demand probably going to eat up all early allotments? Interested in your opinion on this. Thanks
  • enigmaoneenigmaone Member Posts: 128
    flint,

    Usually the dealer will ask you for color choice and equipment choice when that data becomes available to the dealer itself. Currently, no Lexus dealer knows the exact 10 colors that will be offered or the exact standard and options that will be available. And the most important thing, they don't know the price yet, of the standard car or prices for options.

    This is what our dealer did with cars before they came out- I'll take for example the RX300 before it came out-
    1) Even before Color choice, equipment choice is known, the dealer takes deposits from customers so that they can get one of the earlier RX300s. Of course, with a popular product, the later you put a deposit, the later you get the car.
    2) When color choices, combinations, standard features and options are known(usually about a month before the cars hit showrooms), dealer ask each individual customer what options they want, what they don't want, what they can live without, what options they can't live without, and their top 2 to 3 color choices that they would like.
    3) Dealer puts in order preferences for each customer every few weeks. Order preferences are basically where the dealer sits down at the computer and punches in what the dealership needs in colors, equipment and options to fill customer orders. And what Lexus NA does is try to get each dealer the proper cars they need(with proper colors, equipment, etc.) to sell to customers or to fill pre-existing orders.

    And typically the cars do basically appear in the order that you were on the waiting list. Usually the only times that things go wrong:

    1) is if the color you wanted, nobody else wants, and therefore they don't produce many of them.

    2) the equipment levels you want is something that Lexus does not build alot of. Example: You want a car with Leather but no moonroof. If someone wanted a car like that, they are going to be waiting a long time for delivery!

    3) Production problems have cut production. Of course, it rarely happens these days!

    4) the dealer you put a deposit/order with is run by a bunch of morons. And they don't bother placing order preferences, etc. with Lexus or they never bothered to ask customer for color, equipment preferences.

    5) And of course, if could be any combination of the above 4 reasons.

    The Deposit is not a waste of time. As it "should" guarantee that you get the car sooner rather than later. For example, if you put a deposit and you are #10 on the list of customers who are waiting for 2001 LS430s, you should be about the 10th one to get the car. I have seen some customers get cars earlier rather than later. And i have also seen the opposite happen. Again, what happens depends mainly on color availability and equipment availability.

    Even if you order a LS430 once colors, equipment, options, and prices are set in or around August. You should be able to get a LS430 built the way you want it, in about 3 months. Usually even with high demand, 3 months is the longest it would take for your car to arrive from Japan from the time you ordered it.

    I would go through and pick your dealers and salespersons brain apart with reference to ordering and what the deposit means as far as your place in line.
  • flint350flint350 Member Posts: 250
    Enigma, thanks a lot. That really helped and I will visit my dealer soon to get the answers you suggest.
  • scottphillipscottphillip Member Posts: 249
    I purchased a 750il (1997) to replace a 1998 Mercury Grand Marquis LS. I miss the simplicity of the controls on the Mercury and its automatic headlights and digital door locks.

    I am afraid the BMW will spoil me and I won't want any other car. I just wish the radio and the a/c were easier to operate. I am afraid to try the phone. :)
  • scongroscongro Member Posts: 80
    I think(hence: my opinion) Acura dropped "Legend" because they wanted a true luxury car to compete with BMW, Lexus, MB. People would think of the legend as an "almost luxury car". Granted, if they really wanted to compete, it would have been really nice and generous of them to add at least 2 more cylinders; among other things.
    Also-any opinions on the BMW 7-Series protection trim. Is a BMW armored car really necessary. If anyone knows the sales numbers for this, that would be great.
  • scongroscongro Member Posts: 80
    Enigma,
    Do you have any idea on the price range of the '01 coupe(possibly called SC 430).
  • enigmaoneenigmaone Member Posts: 128
    2001 SC430 hardtop convertible will be over $60K. But not more than in the mid to high $60s.

    Acura dropped the "Legend" name becase the Acura name wasn't recognized and the Legend name was recognized by everyone. Typically when you would ask a Acura Legend owner what car they owned, they would tell you Legend. When you ask a mecedes E430 or a BMW 740i, or a Lexus LS400 owner you get the answer, typically, of Mercedes, BMW, or Lexus. In the end because of the name association problem, the Legend was never truly considered a luxury car buy buyers and the general public. And actually the 1st and 2nd generation Legends were really not luxury cars, they were closer to sport-luxury sedans then to actual luxury sedans like the LS400.
  • hello25hello25 Member Posts: 30
    Lexus steered its way clear around the ES250.
    I used to drive a Legend. It was nice size,
    well made, powerful enough. It was no LS400
    in real life as on paper. I doubt the RL
    has an essentially different character...
  • conundrumconundrum Member Posts: 6
    2000 MB S-Class is shown on the left,
    2001 Shameless and Relentless Pursuit of MB Copycat is shown on the right:
    imageimage

    SHAME ON YOU, LEXUS!


  • joe_jensenjoe_jensen Member Posts: 27
    I'm new to this thread and I don't really care one way or the other, but the front of the new Lexus looks exactly like the front of the MB S class. Same style headlights, same grill, same hood...joe
  • enigmaoneenigmaone Member Posts: 128
    Where does one see a resemblance in the headlights or grille? Do you notice that the LS430 has a more trapezoidal shape to the headlights, whereas, the S-class does not? If you'll notice the S-class has its lights curved at the top to give the slight effect of 4-separate headlights.

    Same grille? Theirs about a million cars that have the same basic outer grille shape on this planet. Where are the other similarities? The MB has chrome slats going horizontally through the grille, does the Lexus? Does the Lexus have a hood emblem?

    It's more like the front end of a LS430 looks almost nothing like a 2000 S-class front end.
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    The front ends are remarkably similar as in the lights, but the rear of the new LS430 is most resembles the previous S-Class in shape and size. However in fairness in the metal the new LS resembles a Mercedes overall, but it's hard to tell exactly what they took...when you actually see it.

    M
  • ucsdsigucsdsig Member Posts: 10
    It never seems to end. There will always be those who condemn Lexus for copying MBZ. My response is, so what? If you don't like the Lexus, don't buy the car.

    Is there a resemblance b/t the S class and the new LS 430? Sure there is. Is that going to dissuade me from possibly purchasing the LS 430 next year? That would be ridiculous. As a present MBZ and Lexus owner, I look forward to the new Lexus offering. And I am sure that MBZ will up the ante soon after.

    On a side note, one thing that MBZ could stand to copy from Lexus is their stellar reliablity!
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    That would be about all, if that.

    M
  • enigmaoneenigmaone Member Posts: 128
    A bit of sad news.

    One of Car and Drivers technical editors, Don Schroeder, died last friday in a high speed car crash while testing a high performance modified Mercedes-Benz in Texas.
  • newwestdnewwestd Member Posts: 157
    I see our HTML writing Lexus-basher is back! I'd sure like to know what Lexus did to her in the past to inspire such vengence!

    There may or may not be some slight similarities between cars - but who cares? There are a lot of other cars on the road that are a lot more similar looking than Lexus and MB.
  • conundrumconundrum Member Posts: 6
    I stopped the 2000 MB S-class to show you
    Wheeeel! Lucky Seven!
    image

    When the 2000 MB S-class is standing still to show the 7-spoke wheels, Lesux' designers must have felt very lucky because grade school taught them how to count to exactly seven, not one over nor one under.
    Please, are you thinking that counting spokes is easy?
    Think again, spoke counting requires special skills, it took Lexus' designers 10 years to master the skills: If they don't hold the first spoke with one hand for reference, the count can be messed up (their bosses won't be happy), let alone the 2000 MB won't stand still too long.
    Did you recall that the older MB S-class have had 8-hole wheels and Lesux' designers miscounted and copied as 9-hole wheels on their Lexus LS400?

  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    What other cars resemble each other so blatantly than Mercedes and Lexus? The only other such relationship is Buick and Jaguar.

    M
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