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Comments

  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 878
    I honestly don't know about it being in sport mode. I did two drives in it and in the interest in keeping the lines moving, I mostly just fiddles with seat adjustments. FWIW, I thought about it but then when getting in to the S class I thought to myself there is no way in hell I'll find the sport mode in the next 10 minutes trying to rifle through all the command prompts so I figure that all cars were in normal mode so as to be even. Again, the bimmers tranny hunted the most. The LS was [is]an excellent car. I never felt it complained about being thrown it to curves fast, and it powered out nicely. I really can't say enough positives about the car other than the grabby brakes. It's no brakes, no brakes, oh crap, a ton of brakes. Ultimately, it's not the "drivers car" that the S class is, but it's very good.
    All comments [to state the obvious] are just my opinion, but to clarify about the LS feeling better in the curves, the IS may have more grip numbers wise but it didn't feel as composed. I'm not so much talking about body motions because it stayed flat. There was just something about the car that felt wrong to me on many levels once it got moving. Keep in mind that about two weeks ago I did the BMW event and drove the 335 VERY HARD around an autocross track in almost the exact same spot. I also did a quick spin in a new [demo at my dealership] G sedan with sports package, and both felt 100 times more "screwed down" than the IS.
    The GS350 is the best sporty offering from Lexus IMO. The LS is the second LOL.
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    Unfortuately, the sea of buttons in the 7-Series is the sole reason for me giving up my otherwise superior 760iL Sport.

    That car had the perfect balance of fun and comfort that most car companies dream about. But the ergonomics proved too much for this ol' fart and it had to go for one with slightly less buttons but easily figured out, A8L W12.

    On to the the LS, a buddy of mine found that the LS he drove is better than the 430 it replaces, but Lexus still forgot to give it enough calcium so that it's bones will be more sturdy when taking corners.

    The new 4.6L V8 VVT-i was found to be a remarkable powerplant with cutting edge technology such as direct and port EFI and electric VVT(on intake only tho), and with it's sonorous sing that will entice any gearhead to ride with the windows down. But it's been said it doesn't have that big-displacement nudge-in-the-back you get with the Americans or German V8's. And altho with 8 ratio, the tranny sometimes shifted without haste, and hunted frequently in rapid transitions, while the 7-G Mercedes shifts with aplomb in all conditions.

    But for all-out highway crusing, the quieter, softer LS holds the bar on it's German competitors, albeit not by much, especially a LWB Audi. And the interior decor/assembly is worth more than just noting. We can go back and forth all day on why the LS460 is or isn't the best, but Lexus really came a long way with this over it's predecessor. I'm not jumpin ship or anything, but judging from what I've read and heard from you guys and everyone else, this car will keep the button pushed down for Lexus for some time to come..

    I personally can't wait to go to Altmer's Lexus to drive the 460L to gauge my own reaction and on a longer drive than what the Taste gives....

    BTW: Did anyone notice or know that the LS460's engine bay is completely concealed, top and bottom? Ingenious!!!!

    And that's how they acheive that coefficient drag of only .28, BETTER than a RX-7, 97-04 Vette, and Porsche 911, and we're still talking a 4200 pound car!!!!!!
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    The GS350 makes me ask: What is going at Lexus to spend all of that R&D on the 450h only to have the 350 basically nip at it's heels for 10k less?

    And hopefully, I won't get that lame "fuel econ" excuse, as the 450h squeaks out maybe 2-3mpg at best.

    The simpler 3.5L V-6 with 306 horses the better buy than all GS'.

    Maybe when the 460 comes out, we'll be singing a different tune. But if they haven't fixed the brakes or steering on the V8's, GS350 in black please.......
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I personally can't wait to go to Altmer's Lexus to drive the 460L to gauge my own reaction and on a longer drive than what the Taste gives....

    Given your sport predilictions, you might want to see if they have a Touring model available to test drive. Bigger and wider wheels, but I still don't know if the suspension differs from the AVS-equipped models. Also, I'm not sure the Touring is even available yet.
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    I inquired to see if the touring model would be in before the end of the year, and the general manager said that he doesn't no of any dealer getting one before the first of the year...

    But the bigger wheels and tires may help the LS be more fluid(and less flaccid) in the twisties. And I still have not seen anything indicating that the suspensions will be different.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    After a brief floor plan lesson, I'm out to test drive, not eat pastries! :P

    There are 4 LS460/L to drive, 2 750i, and one S550 are available, so the line for the S is about 45 minutes.

    After a scoot in the IS350 (no MT 250 was avilable), I drove the 750i, as the line was shortest here. Had a approx. 500 ft. straightaway for what was labeled "Acceleration Run". The straight was not flat, and the braking area was marked at about 300 ft., so I got to about 50-55MPH before braking, all too soon.

    The BMW broke out fast, but midrange didn't impress, but it had plenty of power. The handling section was fairly difficult, and the car had no problem with it. Couldn't tell if the skid systems were activated.

    Next was the Lexus LS460L. It didn't run as hard from the blocks, but the midrange was much better than the 7. It felt slower than the 7. But it's handling was not far behind. I disabled the skid control, and yes, I has it on Sport and Power modes. There was a large radius 180, a tight 180, and a 3-turn slalom.

    Then I tested the S550, which had more heart than either vehicle! No replacement for displacement! It also seemed quite happy on the handling course. And it had acres of legroom. No real dynamic weaknesses, it's just not very appealing to me, inside or out.

    Then I drove the LS460 SWB before driving the RX400h and SC. This car accelerated similar to the 750, but with the same midrange the other LS had, so it seemed faster. Not as fast as the S, but close.

    My estimates are: IS350 5.2

    S550 5.4

    750i 5.7

    LS460 5.6

    LS460L 5.8

    BTW, the IS350 drove well. No demons in the steering, and strong quiet brakes! :D

    I had no problems with the LS' footwell, brakes, or tranny. They all seemed appropriate for the mission.

    This just in........For 2007......the S550's rear end ......has replaced the 750 for ugliest in HELMdom.......Lincoln Mark III-VII sues for design infringement.....more next hour....

    Surprise of the day?

    The SC430! It was quite the kick in the pants! I would call it "Snappy"! No squeal from the run-flats, and I was puttin' it down!

    RX400h was as quiet as a dinner napkin at the start light! Very powerful. ;)

    So in closing, I didn't really learn too much, but the SC and IS drive better than I had been led to believe. The SC is powerful, and roomy (I'm well over 6'!). The IS is not roomy, but wickedly powerful, and would make any garage a better place to spend time! :shades:

    You can only learn so much from a 30 second drive, but if Lexus is a very confident company, it is very easy to see why. The Germans drive great, but their designs are not cohesive or well-thought out, inside or out.

    If you are looking for nits on the LS, you've got your work cut out for you. The interior, and exterior, are in another league above the Germans on hand.

    Other than the torque on the S550, the LS is equal to, or superior in every way from what I could tell. And the style is clearly more advanced.

    The Germans came off as well-built, but rather complicated.

    The LS was more stylish and had a finely crafted way about it. Easy to use, easy to drive, easy to like. And with the windows up, you could get a good whiff of engine note in the cabin. This is a good ting! ;)

    I will now take your questions.....

    DrFill
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,323
    Great parody on the 0-60 numbers!
    Why just yesterday, I do believe I did a 5.1 in my 545.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Doc,

    To be respectful . . . thanks for taking the time to write all that stuff.

    To be honest . . . little of it makes any sense to me.

    I'll read it again later, and hopefully . . . somehow . . . just somehow . . . maybe I'll understand it all a little better.

    Must be the beer I chugged in under 2.5 ;)

    TagMan
  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 878
    Did you chug those beers in celebration of the Raiders victory over my beloved [but pathetic] steelers?
  • DrFill,
    That is very impressive that you took the time to write that extensive report, but my only question is how you can consider the LS styling more advanced than the S550 when the S-Class is larger and has a lower coefficient of drag? I understand if you prefer the styling because that is a very personal thing but to say it is more advanced is incorrect. Also I don't understand how you can say the German cars are not cohesive inside and out, I have always felt that way about Lexus. This is all purely opinion of course, as any design analysis is, but the curves of the exterior are mirrored on the outside in both the BMW and Mercedes-Benz while Lexus has nothing of the sort. Regardless the LS460 is a simply phenomenal vehicle for the price I agree, I would still say the Germans are superior, however.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    hah! Talk about pathetic. Raiders and 49ers. Our Bay Area here has TWO pathetic teams this year, even if the Raiders got lucky today. BTW, I like the steelers. Always have.

    TagMan
  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 878
    in Sacramento, and went to high school in Stockton. I grew up loving the Steelers, and hating the 49'ers. I've always had a soft spot for the Warriors for some reason.
    IMO the LS styling is advanced a hair past the ES and just about everything else in the line. I don't think the S class is a stunner, but at least it separates itself from Mercedes 40k models. The LS doesn't even separate itself from Toyota very much. This is something that people harp on the RL about, and to give the LS a free pass on styling is hilarious.
    Also, while I think ergonomically the LS was more intuitive, the S was far more clean looking and modern to my eye on the inside. The COMMAND thingy is a bit daunting for me, but I can't say it completely sucks without having time to mess with it, which I didn't.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    The LS and S550 had drag coefficients of .26. The BMW was .29.

    You seem to put quite a bit of value of the drag, as a sign of advanced aerodynamics/design. This is interesting, given the Lexus has had a drag coefficient as low as .25 since 1995, and Mercedes has been playing catch-up.

    Mind you, the Prius has a .25 co., and is also regarded as maybe the most advanced vehicle on the road.

    Lexus will recite many instances where they use arrowheads, single-piece stampings, and degrees of light reflectivity to design their door handles, headlight, greenhouse surrounds, etc.

    The Mercedes has shades of brilliance, but, expecially outside, the design just gets lost, as if another designer took over and changed the plan midstream.

    BMW's seat controls is just an example of them trying to be contrary to the market's offerings, and sacrificing ease of use to be different.

    Where I expect to see a stereo, I see a chest of drawers?

    I consider good design to be a consistent, logical progression, that doesn't deviate for the sake of change. The Germans in attendance failed at this, the Mercedes in front to rear styling. The interior is acceptable, but not Lexus-quality.

    The BMW's exterior is consistent front to rear, consistently bad! The design is heavy-handed, with thick pillars. The Frankenstein-headlights, and the Bangle-butt, with a needless chrome band that looks like a thong across it. Makes no sense. The interior is no better. The transmission stalk is blocked by the steering wheel. Was anyone asking for buttons on the rim of the steering wheel to change gears?

    Lexus takes less chances, except out back, where it scores where BMW could not. And inside they just worked on better materials, tighter tolerances, and a little shinola! :shades:

    It's clean and elegant, just like the outside.

    The BMW is not clean or elegant. It's just a powerful car. I think there are a lot of powerful cars out there, ones that aren't so eager to upset prospective owners. :blush:

    DHamilton

    Let's see the 2008 C-Class, than we can reassess that. The C has been a S-Class knock-off for quite a while, and the E has it's own design plan.

    A manufacturer may design the cars that way to ensure loyalty to the brand. If someone buys a Lexus ES, and loves it, they maybe more inclined to move up to the LS is it shares a design philosophy, just with more room, power, and features.

    If you liked the ES, you'll love the LS! Same probably applies to the C/S Class.

    Also keep in mind, Lexus started with the LS and ES as their foundation. They are designed to compliment each other. And all things considered, has that been good for Lexus? I think so. :)

    DrFill
  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 878
    I don't like the ES. Their is nothing about that car I like. I don't quite understand some of your last post. You talk about good design being a consistent process, which is subjective, then how the Mercedes fails in quality which is not as subjective IMO. So, are you saying you don't like the interior design of the S, as well the quality isn't up to snuff?
    I think both cars offer a very high quality interior but with a different philosophy. The LS more classic and elegant. The S, more modern, and clean. The S says drive me, The LS says, sit down in me and let Calgon take you away.
    An interior taste is just that, taste. But quality isn't lacking in either car. The most important thing in my mind is, once again, the S goes Seabiscuit on the rest of the field in terms of driving dynamics.
    If the C class comes out and looks to much like the S, I'll say the same thing about it. 85-100k plus should buy you a different look. Other than the grill on all Audi's, they don't look much alike to me. Also, when Chrysler starts to copy Mercedes to much let me know.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    The most important thing in my mind is, once again, the S goes Seabiscuit on the rest of the field in terms of driving dynamics.

    dhamilton . . . you and the Doc are in total agreement that the S-Class is is better engineered when it comes to driving dynamics. The S-Class style just doesn't appeal to the Doc. Here is what the Doc said that should prove my point:

    ... Then I tested the S550, which had more heart than either vehicle! No replacement for displacement! It also seemed quite happy on the handling course. And it had acres of legroom. No real dynamic weaknesses, it's just not very appealing to me, inside or out.

    See? He acknowledged the superior driving dynamics, which of course is due to superior Mercedes engineering.

    Both of you, however, offer very different perspectives on the IS, at least as I understand your posts. You consider it a joke, and I think the Doc likes it quite a bit. I find this interesting, because we're talking about the same car here.

    TagMan
  • hendjazhendjaz Posts: 155
    The LS 460L Touring has been released although currently it is in limited quantities, according to the sales folks. I purchased one late last week and it was said to be the only one available in the NW region. Silver/black. The suspension is the same as the regular L so the real difference is the larger wheels, tires and brakes (and also a large trunk not restricted by cooling devices).
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,323
    My only question is where he came up with those 0-60 mph times right down to tenths of a second for every vehicle from casual test drives of each vehicle.

    Looks like we have a test driver whose instinct for acceleration goes way beyond the powers of merely mortal men.
  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    See? He acknowledged the superior driving dynamics, which of course is due to superior Mercedes engineering.

    No he did not. He said the engine felt more forceful off the line because "no replacement for displacement." If that's superior engineering, the domestics have been enjoying superior engineering over both Japanese and Germans for decades: bigger displacement gives better 0-30 kick in the pants.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    No he did not.

    Ahh . . . but he DID.

    Sorry, but the Doc DID indeed acknowledge the S-Class's superior driving dynamics. Read his post again. There should be no question about this. His post clearly indicates this.

    And yes, I stand by my statement, that I so clearly posted that Mercedes' superior driving dynamics "of course is due to superior Mercedes engineering". Those are my exact words and I stand by them.

    I was not referring to the Doc's mention of the S-Class' superior torque. To be perfectly clear here, I was referring to his mention that the S-Class (and I will use his exact words here) "also seemed quite happy on the handling course" to use the Doc's own exact words.

    Obviously the word "also" was a statement by the Doc BEYOND and IN ADDITION to the torque statement he had already made, and he was then referring to the handling course. Handling is about driving dynamics, not torque . . . and here's the clincher when Doc further used the exact words, "No real dynamic weaknesses" in his remarks about the S-Class's driving dynamics. That's a darned big statement, and those were the Doc's own exact words, my friend.

    It is safe to say that the Doc's post was complimenting the Mercedes for both it's superior torque AND "also", it's dynamics. I think it is also safe to say that the Doc knows the difference between torque and driving dynamics and was referring to them seperately.

    But my post was about his references to those driving dynamics and not about his remarks about the torque, as you seemed to have misunderstood somehow. If I wasn't clear enough somehow, I hope this clarifies for you. So, I stand by my statement and maintain my opinion.

    TagMan
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    First, I am not well-versed in Auto-tranny cars, nor pure luxury cars, so maybe I am both a good and bad judge of this class. I don't expect much in the way of connection with these cars, dynamically. I feel you need a manual transmission for any depper relationship with a car other than pure transportation.

    The particular course I drove on was not flat, and was marked conservatively to make me brake sooner than I should, for safety.

    I drove the IS first. My objective, with all my drives, was to drive the car as hard as I could without knocking over any cones. I didn't hit any cones, that I was aware of.

    The IS didn't produce any vices. All I noticed is the engine is very strong, it's brakes are comparable, and it didn't squeal or over-assist in handling/steering. A full-length slalom would be more revealing, but I thought I hit it pretty hard, and it didn't seem to mind.

    The only vehicle that seemed to get a little out of sorts with my agrgressive style was the Rx400h, for obvious reasons, so I cooled it.

    The LS did a fine job on the course. And I drove it twice. No one "failed" the handling course. A more extensive drive is needed to get a clear winner here.

    My assessment of the Benz is a better interior than the 7 (not too hard), and more low-end torque than the LS. But the exterior is seriously flawed, relative to the LS. I didn't spend enough time with the car make a huge impression on it's ability to work with me. But it didn't come across as something above the LS. It was similar in material quality, but the LS was more logical, cohesive, and familiar. It would seem I'd have to adjust to the S-Class' design.

    The S felt more powerful, but the LS' second run was similar, not far off.

    All of these cars have more power than anyone would ever really use. And they were as much fun as running a sewing machine. Power is nothing without control! ;)

    HP

    Just guesstimating, based on how each car felt compared to the other, and published times. The IS and S felt fastest, the 7 and LS not far behind. The LS SWB worked better for me.

    If someone told me the IS350 ran in 5.1 seconds, I wouldn't argue with them (C&D). All the cars seem capable of sub-6 second times, and that includes the SC430.

    I guess I'm waiting for a car with the dynamics of a BMW, but the design and style of a Lexus. The IS350 is very close, but no tranny, no deal! :mad:

    2007 G35? 2008 G35 coupe? :confuse:

    DrFill
  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 878
    I'm still not sure Doc and I are seeing the same thing but at any rate, There is just something artificial about the way the IS is set up. The steering is weird, and the tranny was kind of rough. I can't quite put it in to words but after driving the 3 series hard, the IS just seemed very unrefined and fake. I'm not speaking of the interior mind you, just everything that would relate to the car having the whip put to it. I think even the 10 minutes I had in the new G35 was enough to tell me it's leaps and bounds over the IS IMO. I guess the best way to put it is, the IS felt like a rear drive ES. It goes to prove in my mind that rear wheel drive is not the end all be all. Rather a well sorted out chassis in any drive mode is preferable.
    To brightness 04's point. The S seemed quicker to me but really where it shined was in the steering and composure in corners.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    The S seemed quicker to me but really where it shined was in the steering and composure in corners.

    Thanks. That should also help brightness to see that there has been more discussion here than just torque (quickness), and that the S-Class shines in driving dynamics. As you put it earlier, especially for such a large car.

    As far as the IS goes, I can only wonder if the Doc's affection for Lexus vehicles has played an influence here. What else could it be?

    TagMan
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Since this event was really to showcase the New LS, and not the IS, competitors were not fielded, and I can't refute your claims.

    The fact that the IS has no manual tranny shows that the 3-series is not really a "target", as Tag would have us believe. It's more of a rough outline of where the battlefield lies. And the IS hasn't entered that fight....yet.

    Tag

    I don't question the dynamics of the S550.

    I guess my point is the LS proved today it is no bowl of Jello. It's not chopped liver. Lexus is proud of this car. And they should be.

    DrFill
  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 878
    I noticed undulations in the pavement on the ES, and IS course.
    One in the first back stretch of the ES course causing the back end to get a little froggish, and down the first "acceleration" strait of the IS, GS course.
    I'm no pro driver by any means, nor would I want to give that impression. I do feel like I'm fairly sensitive to dynamics, and that it's something that has become a lot more prevalent to my senses in the last 4 or 5 years as I get more seat time in various cars. I'm 36 and have a lot of experience yet to gain as far as cars. My goal is racing school at some point. I soak up every bit of information and tips I can get whenever I'm around seasoned racing drivers, or seasoned drivers in general.
    I could be completely off about the IS, but I'm sticking to my guns about it being a joke when up against the 3 series, G35, and even the long in the tooth Audis. Its a fast car masquerading as a carver.
  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 878
    I will agree with you on the LS. It's a very fine automobile and anyone should be extremely happy with it as a daily driver. It seems to have a taken another step in terms of dynamics over the last one for sure. The quality is unquestionable, and I'm sure the service will put my favorite brands to shame. Congratulations to anyone owning this fine car.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    As I thought I made abundantly clear, a car without a manual tranny has little influence over me, except to think "What could've been?". :cry:

    Lexus has my unwavering respect because of what they have done for the market, with the LS. How they showed off their ability to innovate in design, with the original SC. What they've accomplished, which is unprecedented. And their bold, crisp advertising, which builds the brands image, and shows that they have all the bases covered.

    They aren't building BMWs. And it doesn't seem that is in the cards.

    There is something to be said for not trying to be the Next BMW.

    They seem pretty happy being the 1st Lexus. I am happy too. :)

    But I still want a MT 350! :(

    DrFill
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    This whole thing about the IS illuminates something we've touched on before.

    It is very realistic to state and acknowledge that the IS does not handle as well as a BMW 3-series, but the impression that many have about the car is misguided, IMO. This is due to the media comps and clever marketing, positioning, and posturing of the IS vehicle by Lexus. It's a form of innocent ignorance, to an extent.

    There are plenty of folks that do not truly appreciate or even understand the higher level of handling offered by BMW, for example. They get in that IS and they think that it is incredible, but have never REALLY experienced what true driving dynamics is all about. Often, they have no real basis for comparison.

    Even with regards to the LS460 and S-Class, the Doc admitted that the S-Class was a better driving machine, but amazingly, that didn't matter to him. He is so taken by the Lexus that the superior nature of the Mercedes was beyond him.

    But back to the IS . . . Here's the bottom line . . .

    The Lexus IS is an example of just how Lexus can get away with handling that is "good enough" to thrill an average driver that has little or no real appreciation for high-end driving dynamics.

    TagMan
  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 878
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Believe me, Doc, Lexus has already admitted having BMW in their sights, and the sad thing is that there are actually folks out there that think their IS is a true screamer. Some of them think it is very close to a BMW, when you and I know it is not.

    There were even folks at one time that thought the previous LS430 was close to or better than an S-Class! Imagine that! ;)

    So, trust me, people will believe it.

    One more thing . . . I'm totally good with your love affair with the Lexus. I completely respect you and your opinions, even if I don't agree often. And, yes the LS460 seems to be quite a car worthy of tremendous respect, but I do think it has more weaknesses, at least it would seem so, than it should have.

    Fit and finish is important, but the primary mission of a car is the way it "stops and goes". Based upon early reviews, the Lexus LS460 needs more improvement in this fundamental area, IMO. It needs to improve the way it stops and the way it goes. ;)

    TagMan
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Now you seem ready to say that I have called the S clearly a superior driver, which is not the case.

    A 30-second drive will not disclose greatness, only serious flaws.

    The S may have BMW dynamics, but I didn't say that, nor could I after today.

    All that really struck me about the S is it has a great bottome-end, and I really don't like the rear-end styling. Anything above that is speculation.

    I'm sure it is one of the world's best automobiles! ;)

    But I believe Lexus also makes one of the world's best automobiles. :blush: Fair enough?

    All that I learned today is the LS likes to "Stop 'n' Go" too! It would probably make you a slick Patrami sandwich, if you let it! ;) The LS isn't in over it's head. The LS will be alright.....

    Regarding the IS, the US has little need for razor-sharp handling cars. We have no Autobahn! Stoplight races, potholes, and parallel parking is all we really do with cars taht stresses them.

    Americans like pretty cars, cars that are easy, and cars that are strong. The IS is all of that. Lexus built a car to a market. The BMW probably handles better, and has the tranny. But the IS is more luxurious and better-looking. To each his own.

    I want it all! Put the BMWs dynamics in the IS' body and you've got a tight, tight deal. Triple net below invoice, my friend! :P

    DrFill
  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    Ahh . . . but he DID.

    No, he did not. Try reading his post again.

    And yes, I stand by my statement, that I so clearly posted that Mercedes' superior driving dynamics "of course is due to superior Mercedes engineering". Those are my exact words and I stand by them.

    Repeating a mistake does make it more correct the second time around.

    To be perfectly clear here, I was referring to his mention that the S-Class (and I will use his exact words here) "also seemed quite happy on the handling course" to use the Doc's own exact words.

    And how does that make S-class superior to either 7 or LS in handling? It was not even a comparative statement . . . nothing was being compared to S-class, so no superiority or inferiority could be inferred from that statement alone. Perhaps he jumped in the car with really low expecations and came out somewhat positively surprised? S-class was not that far behind the others in handling?

    The only comparative statements Doc made were:

    1. LS was not far behind 7 in the handling department
    2. S-class has more torque than 7 and LS, no replacement for displacement.

    If you draw from that last statement as proof that MB engineering is superior to Lexus and BMW, then you'd have to grant that title to the domestics, who have been the grand daddy of playing the no replacement for displacement game.

    and here's the clincher when Doc further used the exact words, "No real dynamic weaknesses" in his remarks about the S-Class's driving dynamics. That's a darned big statement, and those were the Doc's own exact words, my friend.

    My friend, you are reading way too much into his remarks. He did not mention any "real dynamic weakness" of either Lexus or 7 either. It's like saying S-class (or LS or 7) is one of the best cars made in the world . . . it does not infer that it is _the_ best. Got that? my friend?

    It is safe to say that the Doc's post was complimenting the Mercedes for both it's superior torque AND "also", it's dynamics.

    Superior torque, and also not-bad / quite-good dynamics . . . not the same thing as "superior dynamics" Yes, S is quite good, LS is quite good, 7 is quite good . . . none of these three statements infer any one of them is superior to the other two.
  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    There were even folks at one time that thought the previous LS430 was close to or better than an S-Class! Imagine that!

    Depending on which S-class. Even the previous LS430 was clearly superior to the majority S-class sold in the world, which were S320. The 290hp 4.3V8 beat the the 215 3.2V6 any time of the day. Did I hear the most fundamental area of a car being how it goes?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Doc I'm really trying to read this report with an open mind, but a lot of it sounds like you just can't admit what you found to be true or what should be obvious. For example:

    My assessment of the Benz is a better interior than the 7 (not too hard), and more low-end torque than the LS. But the exterior is seriously flawed, relative to the LS. I didn't spend enough time with the car make a huge impression on it's ability to work with me. But it didn't come across as something above the LS. It was similar in material quality, but the LS was more logical, cohesive, and familiar. It would seem I'd have to adjust to the S-Class' design.

    Very interesting. The exterior of the S is severly flawed? The slab-sided, ill-proportioned front to rear LS460/L is some type of design triumph or beauty? That is really hilarious doc. Of course you would have to get used to the Benz interior when you're Lexus fan, they're two different car companies and have their own way of laying out the controls. That is something you'd bascially have to do with any car in this class considering all the controls they all have. You find the Lexus to be "familiar" and I find a Mercedes to be "familiar", where is the superiority in that?

    Lexus' fundamental definition of "luxury" is loads of bright beige leather and funny colored woods all made as buttery feeling as possible all the while being isolated from the driving experience. They're working on that latter part, but still have a ways to go. Lexus' interiors themes really aren't that far off from a Buick or Cadillac of years gone by - in concept...not exection mind you. I personally don't see how anyone could find anything special about the interior of a Lexus beyond their materials because the layout is the same as a regular Toyota, right down to the center stack design. Look at the LS and the Camry for example.

    German cars are about more understated luxury that feels more spartan if you're only doing a 10 minute test drive. That along with their dynamics is what makes them different. Doesn't make the Lexus more "luxurious" or the German cars any less luxurious. I agree that the BMW 7-Series' interior is a mess. When you take a simple seat-mounted switch that is shaped like a seat and convert it to a twist knob and a several buttons around it there is a fundamental problem. Complication for the sake of doing so in other words.

    You say a 30 second test drive doesn't reveal everything or even a lot, and I agree with this, but if the first impressions are that a S550 is a superior car dyanamically in a tight course staged by Lexus don't you think that would carry over the real-world roads? Japanese cars aren't known for improving their dynamics as speeds increase like German cars are.

    M
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The GS350 makes me ask: What is going at Lexus to spend all of that R&D on the 450h only to have the 350 basically nip at it's heels for 10k less?

    Thats exactly what I've been saying. The GS450h has an enormous hybrid premium (at least $8k), and you get almost nothing for your money. Its an utterly pointless car.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The SC430! It was quite the kick in the pants! I would call it "Snappy"! No squeal from the run-flats, and I was puttin' it down!

    Ok, you completely lost me on this one, doc. The SC430 is not, a "kick in the pants" or "snappy." Its the 2nd most boring convertible on the market, just behind the Camry Solara. It drives like an ES350 minus the roof. Granted my XK is no Porsche 911, but the fact that it handles significantly better than the SC with a platform thats three decades old is just sad. Even without a CLK550 or 650 on hand for comparison, anyone with a pulse should be able to tell that the SC is a bathtub shaped snoozebox.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yes stunning isn't it! I can now go the MB dealer and look at when it arrives without feeling funny about being there.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The AMG pack really dresses it up. And that's why I got it on my S600, which incidentally, arrives Monday.

    You were able to get a U.S. market S600 with the AMG package?

    M
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Um, isn't it a little silly for two people to be arguing about what a third person meant instead of just asking said third person?? :confuse:
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Thanks for the info. Please let us know what you think of the car.

    I hope for Lexus' sake that the Touring version is what they give to C&D, R&T, etc for comparos.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I hope for Lexus' sake that the Touring version is what they give to C&D, R&T, etc for comparos.

    You would think they would, but it may end up not being the case. I'm pretty sure all of the LS430 road tests were done on cars without the "Eurosport" suspension option. Then again, its somewhat questionable as to whether Eurosport equipped LS430s even exist.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    OK I found Lexus' product mix for the Western region here. Touring is 6% of total Oct/Nov LS460L deliveries to port, and about 2% of total SWB+LWB deliveries. Other regions will differ.

    The sheet also shows which color combinations are common and which are rare.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    C&D's short take review of the MKX is now on their website. Their conclusion is completely predictable, its a badge engineered Edge with a $9K price hike. They are marching right into RX350 and MDX territory with this:

    image
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Very interesting. The exterior of the S is severly flawed? The slab-sided, ill-proportioned front to rear LS460/L is some type of design triumph or beauty? That is really hilarious doc.

    You seem to have butchered the term "slab-sided" to fit the LS.

    Slab-sided would be the new Chevy Tahoe, which I used to like because it had some style to it's flanks! Don't have to worry about that anymore! :mad:

    Lexus installed a character line front to rear, below the beltline, plus the chrome/surface tension that now adorns the lower doors/rocker panels.

    The S goes to lower the beltline, as it descends under the hoodline, like a Mitsu Eclipse. I personally hate that! Moving the beltline in an arc like that is needless, and unbefitting of a luxury car.

    I think Mercedes put those humps in the back to prevent a slab-sided look for the S, which has no surface tension to speak of.

    LG

    Maybe I don't know what I'm doin', but I didn't have a 700-ft slalom handy, and I hit it with everything I had in 30 seconds, and it came out fine. The course was small, and the ground wasn't up to raceway standards. But 300HP is still a ton of power, and I didn't need Dramamine afterwards.

    I am no expert after 30 seconds. All I can say is the engine is strong enough. And it had enough composure, kinda like how an LS430 would act. Composed, if not impressive.

    DrFill
  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 878
    "You say a 30 second test drive doesn't reveal everything or even a lot, and I agree with this, but if the first impressions are that a S550 is a superior car dyanamicly in a tight course staged by Lexus don't you think that would carry over the real-world roads? Japanese cars aren't known for improving their dynamics as speeds increase like German cars are".
    This was something that hit me as well but I forgot to mention it. I truly believe the gap will increase, as speeds increase. The big Benz was just so buttoned down and tight. That's the German car experience in a nutshell.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,323
    I know. There's no way you could actually tell.
    All vehicles you drove seem to be plenty fast enough.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,323
    "The IS is more luxurious."

    The IS is cramped. The 3 Series is quite a bit roomier.
    As a matter of fact, I have more room in the driver's seat of a 3 Series than I do in the mid-sized Lexus GS.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,323
    "Funny colored woods."

    Yes. I couldn't get used to the ultra-bright highly lacquered wood on the 2006 GS console. When wood is part of the interior, it shouldn't be almost as distracting as neon lights. I consider the appearance of the wood in the Lexus vehicles I have driven to be "tasteless."

    BMW does it right. The wood is there but doesn't call attention to itself.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well obviously we disagree on the looks of the new LS. While better looking than the previous car for sure, especially in the commercial in which it parks itself, it still doesn't come close to the S-Class or A8 IMO. It is just that, slab sided with nothing to break up the broad, flat expanses of unadorned sheetmetal. The new ES350 is even worse. Unimaginative "styling" at its best.

    You're right about the wheel arches on the Mercedes, they were added to give the car some flair because they removed the body colored rub strips of the W220. The stylists openly admitted this about the new S. The S especially in AMG trim looks better than any LS ever could.

    Now you're objecting to what MB does with a beltline but you were content harp about Lexus' insipid designs all this time, but now a beltline bothers you! Too funny.

    M
  • psychdocpsychdoc Posts: 147
    You're kidding, right?

    "The wood shouldn't call attention to itself?"

    What do you think it's there for?

    It's a stylization of an otherwise bland interior. And that applies to any car on which it's present. Lexus does wood better than any other car manufacturer. M-B comes in a close second but BMW wood is "tasteful?"

    It's appalingly ugly. It would look more at home in a Kia. Face it, BMW has no idea whatsoever how to do an interior. Their efforts are ergonomic nightmares and they reflect about zero planning.

    They drive a lot better than Lexus' but (GMAFB), "their interiors are nicer???"

    BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    I don't know what drugs you're on, but you need to share them.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Wood is a personal preference. I used to like high-gloss Italian lacquer and put that in my bedroom. I no longer like it and will eventually replace the furniture in favor of a satin type of finish.

    I would actually prefer a satin finish to the Lexus wood, but it isn't a deal breaker.
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