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High End Luxury Cars



  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I like the site too and have bookmarked it. I think it is helpful to see opinions from design professionals, especially when they appear to be unbiased. The site does seem a bit jargony to me, for instance in the LS piece I don't know what "DLO" means. Maybe someone (designman?) can enlighten us.

    On the LS vs Camry, let's compromise with the middle ground that you quoted, with the Camry "slightly reminiscent of the new Lexus LS460."
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I've read that site for some time, but sometimes you have to catch their reviews in the first few weeks after an autoshow, otherwise I think they'll try to charge you for them.

    Of course we can't have the Camry/LS460 relationship the other way around. ;)

  • Toyota has a state of the art 5 liter V-12 with 4 valves and V-vti technology. The Toyota Century uses this engine in Japan: the Century starts at US$150,000.

    Toyota's 'published HP' for the V-12 Century is 288 HP: Japanese manufacturers limit their claims to 288 HP in the home market (wink, nudge, chuckle). True output is probably 400+ HP.

    I am sure this engine could easily top 500 HP if Toyota lets Lexus use it.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I'm sure they could, but I don't think Lexus will do a V12. Now if gas prices and other factors were like they were a few years ago I could see it, but having a hybrid with 500hp and a V12 with similar output that sucks up way more gas just wouldn't make sense if Lexus is trying to sell "green performance".

    I've seen a lot about Toyota's home market V12 on various boards. It was Sammy that questioned wether or not they could build one to match the 600hp AMG V12s. I know they could but I don't see it fitting into the Lexus theme.

  • IMO a V-12 gives HELM cars a cachet that hybrids lack.

    The engine is proven: no development required.

    Link below to Toyota Century V-12 details at Wiki.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The engine is proven: no development required.

    I meant to get 600+ hp out of it, not a V12 in general.

  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    At his point there is more than sufficient evidence to see the direction of Toyota/Lexus. They seem to be living up to their pledge to make every vehicle available as a hybrid within ten years. I believe it may already have been two years since that speech was made, and what do we see in the marketplace from Toyota/Lexus? More and more hybrid technology, with still more to come.

    All this talk about big ICE's is interesting, of course, but what is REALLY coming from Toyota/Lexus? Hybrids. All we have to do is open our eyes. Sure, there are alternatives, but the ability of Toyota/Lexus to stay focused and on track is key here. And they are doing just that . . . staying the course, and they will be a dominant player as a result.

    Hybrid Technology = MORE power, LESS fuel consumption, and CLEANER emissions. Imagine that. And did I mention MORE power??? I did say MORE power, didn't I? . . . just in case some out there don't get it and think that Toyota/Lexus doesn't know what they are doing . . .
    They know.

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Here's the million dollar question. What will happen to hybrid sales when the new EPA test methods are in place?
  • Of course for some a V12 is a V12 and there is no substitue. That crowd I don't think would buy a Lexus anyway, V12 or not.

    Well said.

    But I can make a even more general statement out of this: that crowd would not buy any car made by non-Caucasian; they will not make friends with any non-Caucasian.
  • Some on this board suspect that I am making up these 0-60 times. Nothing could be further than the truth. What bliss would I experience by misstating this fact.

    Do not accuse others in this manner. It can come back and bite you.

    7.1 secs was reported by "consumer reports".

    The 0-60 times are also based on my discussions with some friends at MIT when I was a graduate student there. These were not only mechanical engineering graduate students but other courses too.

    We observed that when the pound to horsepower ratio lies between 10 and 25 the relationship with acceleration times show a linear relationship.

    In other words if lexus LS 430 is 3990 lbs and the SAE power is 280 hp, the power to weight ratio is 14.35.

    The acceleration therefore is 7.2 secs which is half of 14.35 approx.

    Among other variables we accounted for number of gears, torque, rear wheel drive (or AWD, FWD), engine position.

    Rear mid engine, front mid-engine and so on and found that taking these factors into account we were seeing a deviation of at most 0.2 to 0.3 secs from linear co-relation.

    BTW, if you go beyond pound to horsepower ratio of 10. Lets take BMW M5 for example which has 4000 lbs and 500 hp.

    Then the ratio is 8, however, the acceleration is not 4 secs. It is more like 4.4 to 4.5 secs.

    Another secret for all of you who are curious. You need pound to power ratio of 6.6 or lower to get 0-60 times lower than 4 secs.

    And this is one of the current bench marks for confirming a place in super-car arena.
  • C&D did a head-to-head comparo once with several other "classmates" and it achieved 5.9 seconds. So, what are you talking about?
  • C&D may be on a cannabis overdose, or their electronic testing gear may be from china, or you may be a disciple of C&D, or C&D may have felt the need to substract over 1 secs from their actual values, who knows.

    The world is full of possibilities.
  • While I agree with you in principle that not all of what ad-sellers (that's what magazines are) write can be trusted, the instrument tests are a lot more reliable than the fluff and chicken entrail readings that fill up the rest of the pages that many fans take for gosples.

    ICE engines do not produce flat torque curve like electric engines, and most cars are not hooked up to CVT transmissions. A single transmission shift can take the bulk of a second in some cars . . . there's plenty room for improvement throughout the shift and rev-matching process . . . as well as the transmission-shredding launch if one is inclined to squeeze out the best numbers. All these factors combined, 0-60 is not a simple function of power-to-weight ratio. On top of that, we also have to contend with the politics of the Japanese gentlemen's agreement about not publicly advertising any spec beyond 290hp. That agreement was more or less followed (hence you have NSX, LS400, LS430, original Q45, Nissan Skyline, etc., vastly different cars, all reporting 290 hp or thereabouts) unitl the 2001 introduction of the 2002 Q45. As far as I know, nobody has dyno'ed an LS430.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,301
    That's right.
    Which Honda Accord is the most powerful?
    The hybrid!
    0.5 seconds faster than the regular V6.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    And here's why you are completely wrong.

    The Q45 weighs 3801lbs, and has 340hp. Thats just 11lbs per pony, so by your own math, the Q45 should be mopping the floor with the LS. Too bad thats not reality. You're forgetting that an engine is not an on off switch, where it goes from 0hp at 0rpm to 280hp at 1rpm, and stays there. You're forgetting the factors of drivetrain loss, the factors of the gearing, and the factors of the driver doing the launch. Acceleration can NOT be determined by a simple weight / power = acceleration formula.
  • In your opinion is there some cause & effect here? XJ sales are not what they should be given the quality of the vehicle.

    Any HELM line benefits from the 'halo effect' a V-12 provides.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Ironically, XJS-V12s and XJ12s are less desirable and fetch less money on the used market than their 6 powered counterparts. There's a halo effect, sure, but those old 12s were horrendous maintanence hogs.
  • Pal, I think there are more possibilities of how efficiently power is laid to the pavement than there are C&D testers fudging results. Speaking of which, C&D typically isn't the biggest fan of Lexus.
  • IMO the halo effect of the V-12 was a big plus for Jaguar over many years.

    You are right, though: the V-12 had cooling problems and electrical gremlins. The V-12s aren't easy keepers!
  • Hmmmmmmm

    Front end looks like lexus to me? Except for the flared wheel wells...they look beefy and sort of cheap to my eye.

    Don't hold a Candle, well Lexus LS far outsells S in the U.S....
  • Did you say you were a student at MIT or FIT?

    Your name dropping doesn't conceal your misinformation about why a car accelerates fast, or for that matter, a Lexus' ability on the road.

    Maybe you should review the "Lexus" book.

    There'll be a test later.

    Not to bore the more experienced members here with what should be "common knowledge", but acceleration is many parts, HP only being one, not so large part of it.

    Driver, torque, transmission, tranny gearing, road condition, even tires can +/- 0.5 secs to your 60 time! EACH!

    Because C&D tests easily refutes your claim of the LS moving at a V8 Pheaton's pace, corroborated by the Lexus IS350 dusting the 330i with a 5.3 time (Lexus, perform on par with the Germans?), doesn't mean C&D had some sweet blow for those tests, or they lied, or their testing gear was made on Friday at a Ford plant.

    It may mean you are just wrong.

    Again. :surprise:

    Clutch the pearls!

  • In other words if lexus LS 430 is 3990 lbs and the SAE power is 280 hp, the power to weight ratio is 14.35.
    The acceleration therefore is 7.2 secs which is half of 14.35 approx.
    BTW, if you go beyond pound to horsepower ratio of 10. Lets take BMW M5 for example which has 4000 lbs and 500 hp.

    Yeah, there is a math model about power to weight ratio. But who cares?

    The model itself was built upon existing statistical data from many road tests. For us average non-scholar, why look at the model when the road test data itself is readily available? Just read MT, CD, RT ... and you will get the big picture even if they differ about 0.5s.

    The math model maybe useful when we consider a car that does not exist yet, like 2000hp with 800lb weight. For any car that's in a dealership already, just test drive it or read someone else's test drive.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Even things like elevation and the weather can play a huge role. Normally aspirated cars tend to start gasping for air at high elevations, where as forced induction cars lose performance when its too hot out.
  • esfesf Posts: 1,020
    I know Lexus is a huge competitor, and is making fantastic strides in terms of performance; I was just saying that it isn't involved in the GERMAN Big Three. It's in a class of its own. Infiniti isn't as luxurious, and Acura is out of the question.

    By the way, not only do I have an Audi, my wife has a Lexus. The car is great, but it's just an RX330. There are faster Lexuses out there.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    Can somebody please, please bring up gearing ratios in this discussion, please? And for heaven's sake, people looking for 0-60 times should be going to other forums.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    As far as all of this pertains to HELMS, I see these REAL-LIFE choices . . . German ICE's and Diesels . . . and Japanese ICE's and Hybrids (ICE/Electric marriage).

    The battle that may heat up over time could be the German diesel vs. the Japanese hybrid.

    Gotta go. Enjoy the Super Bowl, gents.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    The site does seem a bit jargony to me, for instance in the LS piece I don't know what "DLO" means. Maybe someone (designman?) can enlighten us.

    Well I’m not an auto designer who is up on the lingo but Google works wonders, so here we stand enlightened…

    DLO = Daylight Opening. It’s a friggin’ window plain and simple.

    In the case of the LS460 I believe he’s referring to what is also known as the Hoffmeister kink in BMWs. However the latter is the fillet in the C-column while the window is the yin-yang, or male-female complement. Anyway, I guess he sees the “Y” shape of a slingshot, hence “slingshot DLO”. For my taste the description is too verbose. I would call it either the kink or fillet and be done with it. Now that we all know what DLO means are we going to be using it around here? I hope not. “Window” should suffice. I’d like to know the etymology of jargon. Some other terms that never made sense to me are “bonnet” and “rocker panel”.

    Yeah, I’ve been to that website and I guess it’s kind of interesting but I don’t think it is revealing in any way. As a designer I usually find critique by designers to be boring (haha). I don’t want to hear their analysis, I’d rather see their portfolios. Frankly, I’m more interested in the input of the end user such as we find in these forums. I’m a person of few words at work when it comes to the subject of work. I always tell people if I have to explain a design, it’s not really cutting it. I present and let people’s reactions tell the story. If I find myself explaining a design it’s because I know it is struggling—that’s when the ability to BS comes in handy, something I avoid like the plague and leave to the loquacious suits as I cringe. And this is Chris Bangle at his best. Flame surfacing is a specious term (bs) invented by Bangle to convince people to buy into what is already done and is too late to change. It’s the noise and hype in the auditorium at the high school football rally.

    Rah rah BMW, bless you Saint Bangle, you had the courage boldly go where... rasberries. In my opinion BMWs are selling in spite of the styling, not because of it. It’s the new engines, the free maintenance, the good lease deals, the equally ugly styling from some of its competitors, brand loyalty, and of course its reputation as a driver’s car that move BMWs.

    I saw the S yesterday. I found the interior to be more elegant than the 7. The dash has the low landscape orientation that I prefer in addition to what I perceive as an art deco demeanor and finer details than the 7 in spite of bearing some resemblance. The instrumentation graphics are minimal and super clear, suits my aging eyes. However that steering wheel is ugly. I was really impressed by the firmness of the seats which seem to complement what I’ve read about the handling. I’m thinking this car goes head to head with the 7 as a sport barge. Even the back seats are hard. Could MB lose some business here because the car is too firm? I really see the LS vs the Germans as apples and oranges. The new LS will do well, so will the German cars. No change in opinion of the exterior. Those fenders suck but people will get used to them. I think MB indicts themselves by sending black launch cars. Indeed, black camouflages the bulges. I do like the rear though.

    Merc, I might do a critique on all Aston styling in one shot since they’re similar. All have sleek curvaceous exterior lines, all have ugly butts, all have heavy-handed interiors that appear to be designed by Harry the handyman. Hmm, that about sums it up—they’re a tale of two cities. I really think they got lazy in the design stage, were derelict in completing the total packages regardless of their redeeming qualities.

  • Dr. Fill

    You misbehave a lot. I have already clearly explained the factors we took into account. And they fit with acceleration times for over 90% of the car models. If you do not agree and others do not agree thats okay, may be mathematical modeling is not for you.

    I have been so nice to you in the past I hope you reciprocate too.

    I do not agree with C&D results and that is the end of it. No more agruments.

    On the side note, if you fit power to weight ratio and acceleration times of audi A8 it perfectly fits the linear dependence. Apparently audi correctly stated their test results and did not become over optimistic.

    4288 lbs/335 hp. = 12.8 , acceleration: 6.4 secs.

    From mathematical model: 6.5 secs.

    From Audi: 6.3 secs.

    All three values match closely.

    Similarly, A8 W12: 4729 lbs/ 450 hp = 5.25 secs

    Math model : 5.2 secs

    Audi's published data: 5.0 secs

    All values match closely. There are no 1 sec or more differences between theory and empirical results.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,301
    I would rather talk about the Bangle style and influence on the LPS thread since the 5 series has been his major opus, but he was criticized here, so I thought I should give my response to it.

    I can't see people going for a car that is as ugly as has been stated above no matter how enticing the deals or how wonderful the car drives.

    People are very style conscious and will not get a car they perceive is embarrassing to be seen in. I for sure wouldn't.

    Cases in point-the endless discussions on style on Edmunds and the anticipation of seeing all the new models at the auto show.
    Why do all the folks attend? They can't drive any of the vehicles. It's for style, baby!
    Style is a very important factor and one can't down play it as if people are buying the 5 series in spite of Chris Bangle's design.

    Of course, when the 5 series is up 42.8% in one year, you must give some credit to Chris Bangle, as playing a significant role in this success story, like it or not.
    And if you refuse to admit it, I believe the word is "raspberries."
  • No offense to owners of Audi's, but VW/Audi is known for having some of the biggest drive train losses. You can't be serious in suggesting that a formula derived from a few Audi models would fit all other cars, much less other car brands. FWD, RWD, and AWD all have different drive train parasitic power loss even within the same company; if all companies make cars equally efficient, why do we bother choose different brands at all?? The theory about 0-60 being a simply linear function of power-to-weight ratio alone makes about as much sense as claiming that interior luxury level is a function of seat size . . . just because it fits 3-5-7 and A4-A6-A8 as well as C-E-S, the theory is still invalid when comparing vehicles across different makes. Otherwise, we'd all be debating For Expedition vs. Chevy Suburban ;-)

    In fact, the linearity can be disproved by simply switching a final-drive cog in an existing car . . . no hp change, almost no weight change, but 0-60 will be drasticly different.
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