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High End Luxury Cars



  • oacoac Posts: 1,594

    ".... get better ZZZZZZZ's in the back..." ... "LazyBoy recliner" ... "TemperPedic beds".... Were these same reclining feature not on an MB Maybach 57 or 62 ? But the LS460L can provide this for a whole lot less $$$, than a Maybach. I'd hope the S550 can try to match the LS460L in this area...

    Maybe I am missing something cos I forgot what all the noise is about ? What exactly is the point you German car fans are making about the new LS460 ? I have lost touch with what the beef about this car is ??? Why not just promote the heck out of the Bimmer 745/750 and S500/550 ? There is no need to bash Lexus to make anyone feel good...
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    oac, I was joking, not bashing. Really. RELAX!
    (It truly DOES look comfy)

    Heck, if we can add the DirecTV that ljflx was joking about, then we can watch Monday Night Football on ESPN next season in the back seat! C'mon now . . . lighten up.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Seems that the Lexus folks have decided to call the long wheelbase model the LS 460 L Vanden Plas . . . it comes with the Grey Poupon AND a little sushi, being from Japan.

    What do you think, oac?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    As far as Lexus cars looking alike, if you look at the cars, in profile, they definitely look much different from each other. The GS has a more rounded profile. The IS is full of particularly sharp styling cues, and is heavily starched, without becoming an Acura TL. The LS falls in between. So I'm not seeing it either, Merc. A crease here or there, but that's it.

    Oh I didn't think you would, though in the pics its obvious from the rear. I agree that the GS doesn't look the same from the side. Thank goodness the LS and IS don't have the humpback whale look of the GS - its awful looking from the sides.

    And the ML has obviously learned quite a bit from the original RX300.

    HA! Small problem, the ML came out BEFORE the original RX300 so this statment is just flat out false regarding styling.

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The previous S had a sleek tailored look that was very attractive. The new S seems to revert to the bulky style of the S preceding that one.

    First part of this is true - I agree. I passed a 2006 S500 Sport this morning in Pewter, absolutely gorgeous. However the new car doesn't look nearly as bulky in person as the 1992 Blitzen Benz S-Class.

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    But let's say you're right (for the sake of arguement, and I'd still like to hear an unbiased opinion for instance from designman), and the Camry is a clone. What makes it ok for the S to copy the Maybach butt, but not ok for the Camry to copy the LS butt?

    I guess it is acceptable when a German company does it, but not acceptable when a Japanese company does it?

    Yeah its more acceptable for Mercedes to take cues from Maybach because for one the Maybach was to be a "Mercedes" in the first place. Remember the original concept from the Tokyo autoshow in 1997? Secondly, the knock your fellow Lexus fans heaped on MB (and others) was that they made their cheap cars look like the least expensive ones. Well the S taking cues from the Maybach is the opposite. Big difference from that to a LS430 looking like a overfed Camry. Huge difference!

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Merc1 may not like the styling but everyone else does.

    Everyone? Try the NYT likes the styling. They in no way, shape of form speak for "everyone". Is this the same "source" that had a writer that said something ridiculous about liking a Maxima more than LS430?

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Try look at 1989 LS400 and 1989 420SE side by side. The 420SE with its busy grill protruding like a tumor is positively ghastly and the rest of the car was replete with 80's boxy designs. Whereas the LS400, by the looks alone it can well be a car made today, with all its cleanly flowing lines.

    I already gave you that the original LS400 was a rounder car, but it doensn't look anything today to my eyes. Just a large Toyota. True the W126 S looks like it was from another era because it was, having debuted in 1979.

    Strangely enough I agree *somewhat* about the original Audi V8 and the original LS400 - that agreement being that they were both rounder than the W126 S, though the Audi was no curve presentation either. However Audi being a nobody doesn't have anything to do with them being the one to usher in the Aero theme with their 5000 model. This had a lot of influence on a lot of cars including the original Ford Taurus.

    Going back to 1906 really doesn't make sense to me so you can have that one. Hell if we're going to go back that far then why not 1886? Really silly IMO, we're talking about modern day car styling.

    Don't know enough or care enough to get into a ridiculous arguement about semis and who copied who.

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    oac - when you say "dethrone", what exactly are you referring to?

    Yeah I'd like to know too. The only S-Class model the LS has "dethroned" has always been the entry-level model. I have never seen a S500 lose a fight to any LS model. Secondly the "S-Class" isn't just one car, it is a group of cars and to beat the S-Class you have to have something at the top to compete with the upper models, which is why Lexus is going for their faux "LS600h" to do battle at the upper end. When you look at the big picture the LS is hottest car in the segment (by sales) in the U.S, but worldwide the S-Class is still the segment leader by far, and if the S-Class isn't (as some say) then its the A8.

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Why not just promote the heck out of the Bimmer 745/750 and S500/550 ? There is no need to bash Lexus to make anyone feel good...

    Good advice, now remember that next time you knock the S and predict the end of Mercedes-Benz. This is hilarious. The 2007 LS thread is nothing but a Mercedes this and Mercedes that thread. Lexusfans can't help but mention Mercedes whenever a new Lexus comes out. Go to the MB threads and see how much they mention Lexus, let alone knock Lexus like you Lexus guys knock Mercedes. That was good advice, but the source is just really interesting. I have never seen a group of car fans so pre-occupied with a competitor brand whenever their favorite brand introduces a car.

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    What are everyone's predictions for 2006 brandwise? What new products does everyone's fav brand have on the way (that we somewhat know about that is)? I'll start with the two most popular first.

    BMW - 300K+ units for 2006? The 3-Series continues its rollout and will save BMW's overall sales picture from the pending downturn in 7-Series sales. (a new S is in town). E-Class and 5-Series will duke it out again, but the 5 won't win in 2006 with a revised E on the way. New X5 due this fall, important in the sales race for them. M5 and M6 remain sold out for 2006. M6 cabrio on the way by the end of the year.

    Lexus - Likely to hit 350K sales in 2006 with all the new an relatively new product they have on tap. Yes all you Lexusfans your brand will sail to new sales heights for 2006 for sure. The LS, IS and GS will do this, but I see a big dropoff for their aging SUVs (minues the RX) and the SC430. Since there is a new Camry, I suspect a new ES"350" is due for spring? A GS350 and GS460 will be added late in the year.

    Mercedes-Benz - Will hit 250-260K or so this year on the back of the ML,S,CLS,E (E facelift by summer), GL. The R-Class (which I like for some reason), has seen a gradual increase in sales every month but I don't think it will ever be a "hit" in its current guise. C-Class will have a bad year due to its own age and the newer competition. New CL is due in the fall, but that isn't a volume seller per. Facelifted SL due by summer also.

    Audi - lots of new niche models coming for 2006 and a new SUV. The RS4, S8, S6, and Q7 to be exact. I don't see a major spike in sales for them, but the Q7 will be a hit (for them that is). The A6 will likely get the new FSI V8 and the new 280hp V6 from the Passat during 2006.

    Infiniti - will cool down somewhat in 2006 with the G35 aging the Q45 a non-starter. The next G isn't due until spring 2007 from what I've seen? The M will continue to gain new friends in 2006, but I see Infiniti sales being flat overall for 2006.

    Jaguar - New XK will be a hit of course, but it alone can't save the company. They'll likely end up selling less units in 2006 compared to 2005 overall because the XJ is falling, the S-Type has fallen the X-Type can't get up.

    Cadillac - Really impressed with the STS-V and XLR-V models, but the real news for them is the new Escalade. In in pics you can tell this is much better vehicle than before. The interior alone at least looks like it comes from someone other than GM. These will be hits for about the first few months but as summer comes and gas prices spike again (as we know they will do) they might face some sales hurdles.

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I hope after seeing the recepetion to the R-class, BMW decides the "luxury minivan" is not a hot new segment begging for more entries, and cans the R-class fighter they are working on.

    I'm not sure that Lexus SUV sales are going to take that much of a hit. The 400h should help boost RX sales, and the GX is really not that old, it was brand new for '03, no older than FX, and much newer than the comparatively ancient Acura MDX. They wont sell many LX470s, but they've never sold many LX470s. '07 will bring brand new versions of both of Lexus' biggest selling cars, and they should have a very good year.

    For Audi's sake, I hope they are able to save the Q7 from the curse of Toureg that is giving Toureg and Cayenne reliability scores that make Land Rover look great. The A6 isnt getting a new V6 any time soon, and definitely not the Passat's VR6. It faces the wrong way.

    Infiniti is showing the "concept coupe" which is basically the next G35 coupe, so I dont think that the next G is that far away. I think it will definitely be a '07 model, just not sure when its going to show up.

    I think the XK is going to do well, but as you said, it cant save the company. They basically already need a brand new XJ, even though the current version is just 2 years old. The new Benz S and the LS460 are just going to slaughter it. Whats worse, considering how long the last XJ6\8 and XK ran, the XJ will additionally have to deal with a brand new 7 series, and at least an updated A8 before it even gets a refresh, let alone a redesign.

    Pushing Jag up into the "new Bentley" space of $150K products seems like the only place to go, as there's just no way they can compete in the volume luxury arena. If\when they get there though, I dont think Ford will be the owner any more. Ford just doesnt have the scratch to fund that kind of a transition, which could take a decade.

    The interiors for all of the new GM full-size trucks, even the Chevy Tahoe, are really impressive. Not quite as good as the latest Toyota interiors, but better than just about every one else in the segment. I never thought I'd say that about a GM product. Cadillac needs a new CTS though, and quick.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    You would think BMW would do that, but the rivalry in Germany is way too hot for them to back down now. They'll do a R-Class competitor if it kills them. I suspect they'll make a better one as far as fun to drive and maybe in looks, but I don't see how it will be any bigger and still keep the BMW sport theme intact. The saying was that BMW product planning was carried out in Stuttgart.

    I forgot about that, they've turned the arrangement around for the Passat for this generation! The Q7 I've seen is supposed to get the Passat V6 though. I gotta look up that info again.

    Yeah the Jaguar XJ does have a long time to go, but then again maybe not. Automobile is running a story this month about a radical re-skin planned for 2009 which will see the XJ move away from the tough S/LS/7 segment and turns towards the CLS/Quattroporte segment. I keep seeing where everyone says that Jaguar is going to be taken upmarket to face Bentley, but I've never read that anywhere? Such a thing I don't think is possible.

  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    What is the talk on what will happen with Maybach? It looks like 2005 unit sales were way, way below the company's original plans. Will they go downmarket a bit, like Bentley? Or fold the division entirely?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I don't see them folding the division as in halting sales/production. They'll ether fold it back into Mercedes and just make it an grander Mercedes or they'll just soldier on until they can redesign the car. If they Maybach 57S doesn't give some life to the sales this year I'm sure we'll see some kind of organizational change.

    I think the lack of name recognition and dumpy styling hurt the car more than anything else. Rolls got much closer to their sales goal in 2005.

  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I wouldn't call the Phantom a styling improvement over Maybach or anything else. But yes I imagine the RR name can help.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    True, neither are beautiful, but between the RR name and the flying-brick-in-your-face styling it does have a road presence the Maybach can't match.

  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,301
    Sorry I missed your post. It had me laughing so much, I was spilling coffee without the cupholder's help!
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Infiniti is showing the "concept coupe" which is basically the next G35 coupe, so I dont think that the next G is that far away. I think it will definitely be a '07 model, just not sure when its going to show up.

    So far it's in my number one slot for styling star of the year. I can't imagine anything beating it on my scorecard with all of the abominations and gropemobiles out there. It is both elegant and sporty-aggressive which is a very hard feat to achieve. And it presents more than a facelift. I hope it's the production version.
  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    I like the new S class: I may even get used to the flares.

    The S still has a tailored appearance, but with a little more bulk/muscule in the profile.

    Not as chunky as two generations back, the '1992 Blitzen' as you call it. :)
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Interesting, I had not heard that about the XJ. I guess it would make sense though, now that Aston Martin is getting into the "four-door coupe" game, why not Jag?

    The story on Jags future is kind of wierd. Supposedly, PAG wants to push Volvo up into Benz and BMW territory (maybe get the cars in line with Volvo's outrageous pricing?). The new Lincoln "concept" that will be the replacement for the LS is supposed to be a cousin of the next S80, which will be V8 powered. The X-type will be killed off, and something is going to happen with the S-type, but I'm not quite sure what. They were originally going to make it aluminum like the XJ and XK, but now it seems that wont happen. Sadly, both the X-type and S-type will continue basically unchanged until at least 2008, so the immediate future for Jag looks pretty bleak.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    Word is that the new G35 sedan will be shown at NYAS and launch in fall 2006 as a 2007 model. The Coupe will launch in spring 2007 as a 2008 model.

    I agree that Infiniti sales will be flat this year, probably slightly down.

    Problem with Infiniti is that they just don't have enough models (like Lexus) or line extensions of those models (like MB and BMW).

    Nor do they have cheap sub-$30k vehicles like the RSX and TSX or volume FWD biased, utility SUVs like the MDX and RX.
  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    BMW - Up but may not reach 300,000 sales.

    Lexus - Up substantially in 2006. New LS should be a hit.

    Mercedes-Benz - Flat. Up or down slightly (~2%) for 2006. New C and E needed for the next big sales jump.

    Audi - Down for 2006. Not distinct enough to succeed against BMW and Mercedes.

    Infiniti - Flat or down slightly for 06. A super Q (a la LS) is needed to come to the rescue! G is aging.

    Jaguar - Another decline, not as steep in 2006. The XJ and XK lines aren't enough to put the brand up to 50,000+ units.

    Cadillac - Double digit car sales increase of recent years is tough to maintain. The DTS, CTS, STS and 'V' models combined with the new Escalade may make it happen again.

  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    The following is a headline with just a few selected paragraphs from today's Wall Street Journal. Kudos for Infiniti for at least trying to be distinct in its design versus being a Bangle imitator like Toyota/Lexus.

    BMW's Chief Designer
    Enjoys Newfound Respect

    "Suddenly, everyone is trying to do the kind of styling for which the auto journalists criticized the BMW group so loudly," BMW Chief Executive Helmut Panke crowed at a dinner with reporters here. "You look at the Camry rear end and you see another 7 Series. It is not the 'Bangle butt' anymore."

    The new LS 460 from Toyota's Lexus brand also has a profile that almost exactly follows that of the 7 Series, while models from Nissan Motor Co.'s Inifiniti brand have moved to a modernist styling.

    In an interview, Mr. Bangle said he is pleased BMW's work is being emulated, but, "I don't dwell on these issues," he said. "In this business, you don't spend a lot of time looking in the mirror. You try to figure out what curve is coming up."
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,301
    the pretenders will never catch BMW.
    They will always be one step ahead of the competition.
    No time wasted looking in the mirror.
    Funny how all the Bangle-bashing has turned into automotive plagiarism.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251

    all greatness attracts criticism. The critics will only get louder as Bangle basks in worldwide glory !
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    More evidence of what some of us have been willing to say.

    Also, remember that I've also indicated a possibility for those S-Class wheel arches to have an impact on industry styling in the future, although I think it will be mild.

    The latest approach to the 7's rear has really dialed in the styling concept, IMO, particularly due to the way the rear lenses carry over into the trunk. It's good.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    Lexus 2006 sales will be up, but I don't think it'll hit 350,000. I predict about 325,000, which is an increase of 7%. The IS will be by far the biggest gainer. I believe that the new ES will launch in spring 2006 and the new LS will launch in fall 2006.

    2005 Sales:

    ES: 67,577
    IS: 15,789
    GS: 33,457
    LS: 26,043
    SC: 8,360

    RX: 108,775
    GX: 34,339
    LX: 8,555

    Total: 302,895

    2006 Sales (prediction):

    ES: 71,000
    IS: 48,000
    GS: 36,000
    LS: 25,000
    SC: 7,000

    RX: 103,000
    GX: 28,000
    LX: 7,000

    Total: 325,000
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,301
    Yes sir, dewey!

    Imitation IS the sincerest form of flattery.
    Bangle should be collecting royalties from Toyota/Lexus.

    Kind of dismaying how many Lexicans seem to be in complete denial over this.
    But, the pretenders can superficially copy all they want.
    Style has its limits.
    What makes BMW's unique: the soul, the passion and exciting driving dynamics.
    The pretenders will always come up a bit short.

    Instead of bragging that its interiors are made of wood from the same tree, give me a vehicle that will steer with road feel and whose steering wheel is not made out of slippery wood. Give me a car that will corner without body lean instead of like a big, bloated barge.

    Give me a Bangle BMW 7 series!
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