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High End Luxury Cars



  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    Agree. It definitely has Honda characteristics. Don't like it at all. What's with DCX and interior room these days. Sat in a Chrysler 300 the other day - rear seat - and it felt like someone compressed the roof in. Sat behind the wheel and realized that I better watch out for any of these on the road because the driver certainly doesn't have much of a view of what's behind him. Design seems to rule and apparently has overcome common sense at DCX these days.


    Designman - I tend to agree. That grill looked worse in pix than in person. Can't say I like it in general though. But each Audi seems to wear it differently and on the A6 it looks bold and fits well. Good looking car.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    Lexus revealed some of its future plans in an article in this week's Automotive News, an industry trade magazine:


    1. Redesigned IS, coming fall 2005, will offer two engines: 2.5 V6 and 3.5 V6.


    2. Redesigned GS, arriving in spring 2005, will offer a 3.5 V6 or 4.6 V8 (if true, this is different from previous information saying a 3.0 V6 and 4.3 V8). A hybrid, GS 450h, will team a 4.5 V8 with an electric motor to create V12 performance with V6 fuel economy. Launch date has not been set, although reports say next spring.


    3. The high-end of the truck line will gain the JX 470, based on the Sequoia. It should arrive spring 2006, although it is unsure if it will replace the LX 470 or supplement it.


    Also, in a press release yesterday, Lexus announced:


    1. World premiere of the LF-A exotic sports car concept at the North American Int'l Auto Show (January 9).


    2. Debut of the 2005 GX 470 in Detroit, which sees a horsepower boost from 235 to 270.


    3. Also in Detroit, the 2005 RX 330 Thundercloud limited edition will be introduced.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Interesting news..... Thanks lenscap. Great find.


    "A hybrid, GS 450h, will team a 4.5 V8 with an electric motor to create V12 performance with V6 fuel economy. Launch date has not been set, although reports say next spring.


    WOW !!! is all I can say.... A hybrid car with a V12 performance and a V6 fuel economy ??? Is MB watching this ??? I sure hope they do, since all MB appears to do lately is churn out gazzillion new models and super-charged high octane motors. Who wouldn't want a V12 performance car with a V6 fuel economy ?? It's the best of ALL worlds for any car enthusiast....


    I can see it already: even MB and BMW afficianados will want to check out a GS with such specs. Who wouldn't ? And if Lexus can get these people flocking to their showrooms, chances are great there'll be plenty of converts to the Lexus brand. Afterall, if you couple luxury and performance, with legendary reliability... It's the best of ALL worlds. Sorry, I am repeating myself here, but I had to... I'm just giddy about this news....


    Lexus rules .... the happy camper tune :)


    ps: Now Lexus is still coy about their LS redesign and release plans. What the heck are they hiding ???


  • oacoac Posts: 1,594


    Do you have output ratings for any of these engines ? The 3.0L touted for the '06 GS3 had 245hp, will the 3.5L be a de-tuned version of the one in the '06 Avalon with 280-ish hp ?? Sure will be better than the 3.0L originally suggested...


    How 'bout the *new* 4.6 V8 ?? Never heard of that except the patent filed by Lexus earlier this year. But no rating was given in the patent application. One can speculate at >300bhp, right ? And what will an 0-60 spec be for both the v6 and v8 engines ? Just more questions than answers for me....
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Thanks syswei.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    oac - The article gave no mention of horsepower. However, it did say the V6s are from a new engine family and that both Toyota and Lexus vehicles will use the engines. It also says the V6 can be as large as 4.0.


    At the Lexus driving event in August, the Lexus regional GM told me the new IS horsepower would be around 240 for the 2.5 and around 320 for the 3.5. Things may have changed since August but that is what he said.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Super thx, lenscap.


    A 320 bhp 3.5L V6 in the GS350 will be hot.... That'll compete favorably with the 530i and demolish the E320. The latter is a rip-off, price-wise, anyway.


    So the 4.6L v8 should start north of 350bhp then ?


    Sweet ! Just the kind of things Lexus needs to be doing to maintain and capture more market share from BMW and MB. Now, if only their exterior designs will meet up with what lies underneath the hood ??? :)
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    This is just a guess but if the engines are being developed at the same time then the hp might turn out proportionate to the displacement, so if the 3.5 is 320hp the 4.6 could be 400+.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    320 hp in the GS will be hot? In the IS it will smoke the 3-series and a ton of other cars. Are they still making the SportCross? That would interest me. Probably not, it just ain’t selling, just my luck aye? With AWD it would hit my sweetspot but I could compromise it for a sport setup.


    And so it’s new and bold, hats off to thee

    To our colors true we will ever be

    Firm and strong, united are we

    Rah rah rah, sis boom bah

    Best scout camp is Lexus blah blah blah

    Onward to vic-to-ry!!!




    (I hope they like those jokes on the moon.)
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    400bhp motor in a 3,800Ib GS4xx ??? That will be fantastic ! It will appear that Lexus, while claiming not to be interested in an hp war, may actually be engaging in one. See the competition:


    545i: 4.4L = 325hp (3800 Ib curb weight), or 11.7 Ib/hp

    M45: 4.5L = 340bhp (3800Ib curb weight), or 11.1 Ib/hp

    E500: 5.0L = 302bhp (~4000Ib curb weight), or 13.2 Ib/hp, versus

    GS4xx: 4.6 ~ 400bhp (3800Ib est. curb weight) at 9.5 Ib/hp


    Outstanding weight-to-hp ratio for the GS should make it a hell of a car on a straightline. And if handling is improved (as expected), chances are it may even out-handle the Bimmer. That would be something, isn't it ?
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594


    Acura sells its re-designed RL with a 300hp 3.5L V6. Honda/Acura managed to squeeze out additional 30hp from the previous 270hp output. That was outstanding, for a V6. How many V6 engines churn out 300hp ?


    A 2006 GS350 at 320hp is 100hp MORE than the current 220hp GS300. See the difference ? Especially seeing that this new 3.5L V6 will generate ~90hp/L. That is outstanding by any measure, and quite comparable to the 1ZZ Yamaha motor in the Matrix XRS (Celica as well) which generates 100 hp/L (from the 1.8L 180hp Celica).


    C'mon, you gotta give Lexus its due props for trying to bring out a product that will compete. I am sure BMW and MB are not taking these information lightly (at least I hope not).
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,692
    Lots of cars can "outhandle" a BMW.. or even out-brake it.. and have higher skidpad ratings.. It is all about the feel and the feedback.. It isn't how fast you can go.. it is how confident you are in going fast..


    If they can't do it now, how is horsepower going to help?


    And it isn't just the Sportcross that doesn't sell... I doubt Lexus will sell even 5000 IS300 sedans this year...


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  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    With all the talk of the potential GS 350 (remember this is the first article that has mentioned a GS 350 as opposed to a GS 300), keep in mind the Lexus regional GM only told me the IS 350 would be around 320 hp. He never said anything about the GS. I believe the new Avalon's 3.5 V6 will have 270 hp, so it is only speculation that the GS will have 320 also.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    You're right many cars outhandle and/or outperform a BMW. But BMWs don't sell because they give confidence when going fast to most people (although some people do care). They sell simply because of the status of the BMW name.


    I look at the Acura TL and feel if that car can sell 5000-6000 units a month, the new IS should be just as successful.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    You are pretty far a-field if you think people buy BMWs because of the name and they don't buy Lexus because of the "name". BMW has earned their name and performance oriented reputation. Lexus and the rest of the the crowd has also worked hard to earn their place.


    I like the prognostications. Anyone know where the market is going?
  • You gotta be kidding with this comment! BMW is the most performance-centric mfgr in the world (outside of pure-play sports car companies such as Porsche/Ferrari/etc.).


    Not to say they have not made miscalculations with "solutions" to problems that don't exist - like iDrive. People that have achieved lofty goals in life often reward themselves with something that occupies a status level, whether it be a BMW, Rolex or, yes... a Lexus. Nothing wrong with this and thankfully, there are choices out there to consider when searching for that reward!


    COmpanies like BMW achieve their status level for one reason... it is earned over many years of delivering in excess of customer expectations. Their challenge is not losing these same customers with wrong-headed experiments with technology.


    If iDrive was the answer to a problem, it should have been offered in low-volume cars (645) as an option to gain feedback, IMO. But, when it comes to the art of "driving", there are few vehicle lines that perform from top to bottom like BMW.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    The Lexus camp song in my last post is only banter. I give them a lot of credit. I am beholden to no brand. I like to see them all achieve as this is good for competition, and competition benefits us all. Those engine reports are real tasty and I’m serious about the IS. I also can’t wait for their hybrids and the next LS. I want all manufacturers to light fires under each other's butts.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    “Lots of cars can "outhandle" a BMW..”


    Wow! That’s a shocker coming from you. Were you just coming back from a holiday party on 5 martinis when you said that? ;-) I don’t care what the nitpickin’ details of tests say, no sedan outhandles BMWs. Audi is the closest. You know how much I criticize BMW, but the buck stops here. The steering, synergy of the drivetrain, the directional stability... tests don't measure this.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I think he meant there cars with higher slalom, skidpad and acceleration numbers. But no car comes close to the "oneness" with the road.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    With all that news - nothing on the LS. But you know that this blitz is all due to the worldwide intro of the brand. With the LS being the foundation car and the Lexus kingpin I would imagine that news will come last but also will be the biggest news of all and generate the greatest impact. It's obvious that Lexus is also bringing the V12 equivalent hybrid to its top two cars now - LS and GS (no doubt the SC or the next gen sports car gets it to and maybe even the big suvs) - another heightened positioning vs. the Europeans. This news also means that second gen battery that promotes the better fuel economy on the road is a sure bet for 2006/7 time period. Where the heck is MB in all this?? Better have a secret weapon of some kind or their days of leadership position in stature are numbered. Not only does Toyota have that $12bln a year in earnings and huge stockpile of cash to empower them but strategically they bet on hybrids while the europeans bet on i-drive and needless electronics. A double whammy.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    While I said many people buy BMWs because of the name, I agree with you that many people also buy Lexus because of the name. I did not mean to single out BMW, as the status factor is probably involved in most of the higher-end car purchases.


    And while I also agree BMW has earned its reputation for building the most driver-oriented cars, I believe this matters only to some people. There are many drivers, including some in my own family, who have purchased BMWs and are far from hard-core driving enthusiasts and would never know (or care) that a BMW handles any different than other cars.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,692
    Yeah.. what he says..


    A lot of cars can beat the "numbers", but they can't match the "feel".


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  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,692
    I doubt anyone buys any car for over $30K, and isn't somewhat swayed by status, reputation, etc..


    That isn't just cars.. pick any consumer item..


    Most of my posts above were relative to the 3-series and IS300...


    Like lenscap says.. many people aren't worried about driving dynamics, etc... The cars they choose don't really interest me, though..


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  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    The stature line is true of all brands of any product line.


    I agree with lenscap's point though as I encounter plenty of slow BMW drivers who brake on curves I fly around. The thought that every BMW driver or even more than 50% of them is/are enthusiast(s) is pure myth carried to an extreme. But I would think for sure that BMW has the highest enthusiast percentage among major auto mfrs. (exclude Porsche as they are not a full line producer). I can't imagine that changing any time soon either. Personally I think BMW is more secure than MB, particularly in the American market.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Adrian Streather author of Porsche 911 Enthusiasts Companion says that Porsche enthusiasts make up a tiny percentage of Porsche buyers… something like 10 percent and that Porsche does not target them, rather the other ~90 percent. However, I’m not convinced the terms “enthusiast” and “badge buyer” can be clearly defined. I think there could be plenty of enthusiasts who are badge buyers and vica versa.


    However to say BMWs “sell simply because of the status of the BMW name” is inaccurate, and I maintain that people who think this way either know nothing about BMWs or do not appreciate their product benefits.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    A list of very recent automotive trademark filings seems to provide further evidence of some upcoming Lexus models (IS250, IS350, GS350, GS460, GS450h, JX470, RX350):

  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "I agree with lenscap's point though as I encounter plenty of slow BMW drivers who brake on curves I fly around."


    I brake on curves especially with my precious cargo(family) in the car. The way one drives though has little to do with the reasons one bought the car.


    People may buy BMW for the name, but I believe they know what the name stands for, and, they don't have to drive like a testoserone-crazed teenage male to prove they know something about they way their BMW drives.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,692
    "they don't have to drive like a testoserone-crazed teenage male to prove they know something about they way their BMW drives."


    Nope..but, it sure is fun...


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  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,301
    Uhh...we don't? ;)
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