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High End Luxury Cars



  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Let's do try to do an objective analysis so that hopefully we can put the taillight discussion to rest.

    Here are the facts: - or/images/ex04_svg.jpg - llery/index.jsp&mcode=S500V&modelCode=S500V&menu=5_0

    1. As far as overall shape, the S taillights are triangular, whereas the LS are trapezoidal.

    2. The S lights don't extend partly onto the trunk, whereas the LS clearly do.

    3. As someone else posted, the S has FOUR clear strips, the LS only ONE.

    4. Per lenscap's post, Lexus put a clear strip on the ES taillight in 2000, and Toyota did it with the Supra in 1998. So was MB first?

    5. LS's taillights are predominately red. Oh my gosh, they must be copying MB!

    6. LS's taillights are - of all places - on the back of the car! Oh my gosh, they must be copying MB!

    Let's get real. Someone out there may have an overactive imagination when it comes to seeing copying.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421

    I thought we had all agreed to leave the arguments about "copying" by the wayside.

    CLEARLY this is an issue about which we are not going to all agree - let's just agree to disagree and move on! No mind is going to be changed on this so it is pointless to continue to argue about it.

    We made this same agreement a couple of months ago, y'know...

    It is always interesting to me how sometimes a post fervently pursues some sort of beaten-to-death issue and then closes with words to the effect of "now we should stop talking about it."

    The way to "stop talking about it" is to stop talking about it. Expressing further thoughts about an issue invites others to make their counterpoints. Closing an opinion-filled post with "we need to stop talking about it now" is fruitless. What has happened is that the poster has said "I've had my say and you don't get to have yours." Why would anyone accept that?

    Continuing to argue "your side" continues to invite others to argue "their side." We are discussing opinions here, folks. Opinions are not something that can ever be objectified.


  • fennfenn Posts: 197
    By the way, I do appreciate the virtues of the S55, and it it was available for $75,000 I might have bought or leased one!
  • fennfenn Posts: 197
    I heard that Oliver Stone is working on a new script that involves a tail light cloning conspiracy....
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    Nice to see your funny side. By the way your posts are fabulous.
  • fennfenn Posts: 197
    I agree that we need to talk about other things besides tail lights.

    News Flash: I just realized that the kidney shaped, and oval grill sections on several high end cars, such as Mercedes, Jaguar, and BMW are all descended from the big enlongated grill on the Edsel!

    ....enough levity?
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    Would you guys like to see a chrome and aluminum
    style interior in the LS430 or do you think it should stay with the conservative wood look?

    I think the new 18" wheels look terrific on the Lexus. It is as big of an improvemment as the 16" wheels were on the '93s.

    It gives the car a completely different character and makes it look less slabsided.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The data you've presented is for the 2001 S55 AMG. The current (2003 onward) S55 has a 100+ advantage in hp and torque over the XJR. If the current E55 vs S-Type R (same engines) are any indication, the Jag is easily outdone when it comes to performance. Check the figues in C&D for the similarly powerful S600 if you don't believe it. Nobody is saying the XJR isn't competitive, but it doesn't put up much of a fight in the performance category with the current S55 AMG.

  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    To each his own, but personnally I like to see wood in a luxury sedan, and the more the better. I think of aluminum as belonging more in a sports car.
  • It is interesting that you talk about 100 more horses but don't actually state performance figures...Hmmmmmmmmmm


    Have you ever driven an LS 430???
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    This is NOT a discussion that is going to devolve into petty personal affronts and challenges.

    We are here to enjoy the attributes of the truly high end vehicles in the world in which we live. We can compare and contrast those attributes, but taking our differing opinions to a personally confrontive and argumentative level is NOT what this discussion is about.

    If you want to argue with someone, go find an appropriate comparison topic (and you KNOW you need to stay within the Membership Agreement's requirement for civil and respectful discourse).

    The purpose of THIS discussion is to ENJOY what the truly high end vehicles offer to all of us ... whether we are in a position to acquire such a vehicle or not.

  • For the S600, Car and Driver got a 0-60 time of 4.3. Yes, you read that right, 4.3! 6741&page_number=1

    For the S55, its 4.6...
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081

    See post #2770. I would think that if a car has those type of hp and torque advantages over a competing car that the peformance difference would be clearly obvious to anyone, it shouldn't even require numbers to see which cars clearly dominates the performance category.

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Also remember most Mercedes' best the factory numbers upon independent testing, the S55 is probably just as fast if not quicker than the heavier (4300lbs vs 4600lbs) S600.

  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    At some point in time, the advantages of such hyper-high performance numbers can result in liabilities when it comes to ride quality and overall balance. The real advantage of that might, just might, become more obvious in Autobahn-Land as you accelerate from 130mph to 155mph+ after being caught behind a mere mortal standing in your way. For 0-60, and especially everyday driveability, you get into diminishing results. Reinforced drivetrains to handle 500hp and 19-inch wheels will seldom result in a smooth ride when the going gets choppy, which is the case all too often in (let's admit it) rather poorly maintained US roads (Californians are especially hard hit).

    The XJR strikes a great balance: it is never harsh, it has performance to reshape your eye- and any other ball-shaped objects in your anatomy, and due to its class leading weight you don't have to go for one of those offensive mpg figures that often come as a pentalty with very high performance. I know my XJR (older model) often would not make it beyond 14mpg, which makes me uncomfortable, even though I am not missionary when it comes to others chosing it - more power to them, literally.

    So it boils down to what it always is: different value propositions. The S55 seduces with sheer numbers, and we all know there's a great brag value in that, but in best Jaguar tradition the XJR goes merely for elegance and balance, and regards anything that is too extreme (hard to say in a 300++HP package) as rather vulgar.

    Sure, the S has a 20% advantage in horsepower and 10% advantage in 0-60 times (Autobild numbers, which are very consistent). Then again, the 18% disadvantage in heft leads to a 38% disadvantage in mpg (there a square law in physics there, remember), which can hover around under 13mpg for long stretches according to tests. Personally, I think balance typically leads to more satisfying long term satisfaction in cars. (Actually, I found the older generation XJR too radical for me after 2 years...)
  • fennfenn Posts: 197
    I am pleasantly surprised that my '04 XJR is showing me an average fuel economy of 17.4 mpg after about 1700 miles. I find that impressive in real life L.A. traffic...This is what amazes most about his car. You hardly know that the supercharger is there when you are stuck in stop and go traffic, or running around the corner to pick up groceries...But, when you need it, this thing can respond like a monster.

    I find it really remarkable that Merc1 now wants to pick a 12 cylinder, 125k car (S600)to compare to a $75k car. Or, he uses the latest numbers of a much smaller E55 in his comparison.

    Merc1 lets come back to a real-life value comparison: Compare the similarly priced S430 or S500 at their real "price point" to a 75k Jaguar XJR. The XJR leaves the S430 in the parking lot, and the S500 has to work very hard to play with the XJR. No contest.

    For sake of an analogy, do you want to compare your Mitsubishi Eclipse with a Saleen Mustang or a 350Z? ...I know, its not a fair comparison, right?
  • There are a number of factors other then HP that influence 0-60 and 1/4 mile speed tests...

    I am surprised you did not know that

  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    Great points and therein lies all my problems with auto testers. Most of them don't care about ride quality. But most (probably 95%+) of us do. So to rate a car best because it pleases them on performance is assanine.

    DonnFenn - That has always been the problem with Merc1. Price doesn't enter into the equation for him and that is totally illogical. I have that same problem with auto reviewers. They penalize a car for being the highest price in their ratings summary and don't take into consideration that if the price is levelled all the performance goodies they love come off the car.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    ...I absolutely agree. I actually have come to the point where I can quite sure that whatever emerges first in a mag test would never be my personal pick, too, so I can safely eliminate it as an option in my buying list...

    For example, I actually had a deposit down to buy one of the first Minis when they came out - I loved the design and was sure it'd be a blast. Read the reviews, and they were utterly gloving, I could hardly wait. The I took a test ride on the S with the sports package, and I could not stand it. The ride was utterly jarring over Bay Area roads, which contain a generous amount of potholes, and the test car was squeaking out of every corner after 3k miles due to the abuse those sharp jolts had transmitted to every piece of the car. I still think it might be a fun additional car, but I'd stay well clear of the sports package that every US journalist so seems to implicitly recommend.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Ok, I'm done with the S55 vs XJR debate as it seems you're not willing to go by the facts here.
    I never ever said that the XJR wasn't a bargain compared to the S55, but you stated initially that the XJR was faster than the S55 and that sir is simply not true. I used the S600 as an example because the current S55 and S600 have the same hp ratings, with their only difference being torque (516lb-ft for the S55 compared to 590lb-ft for the S600) and weight...the S55 being lighter by 300lbs. It seems that since your 01' S55 data was out of date you're now comparing the XJR to the S430 and S500, neither of which compete with the XJR for sporting rights, knowing that there would be no contest there anyway. No where in my statements did I ever mention the S600 as a direct competitor to the XJR, I only used it as a performance reference, due to very similar power. You've turned the whole thing back around to a value question, of which I wasn't even contesting, it was the sheer performance of the two cars that was in contention. The S55 outperforms the XJR Don, all the value aside for a momement, wasn't performance the topic of dissussion here? The S500 and S430 aren't performance models, the S55 is, the car you mentioned. Since the current data doesn't support the XJR you're now saying they don't compete because of price, after supporting the magazine quotes saying that they do.


    "There are a number of factors other then HP that influence 0-60 and 1/4 mile speed tests..."

    You missed the whole point, which was that just by looking at the raw data on the two cars, you'd be able to see that one car should and does easily outperform another. Are you telling me that anything otherwise is possible between these two cars? What factors are going to be present to prevent the 493hp S55 from soundly beating the 390hp XJR at the track? You're right numbers do matter, and they would prove that the S55 outpeforms the XJR.

    It seems we aren't ever going to see eye to eye on anything, when I can admit things about reliability and price, but you guys aren't even willing to admit the obvious here: the XJR is clearly outdone performance wise compared to the S55. I'm done with this one, since we aren't going to use the facts.

  • fennfenn Posts: 197
    OK, so I can accept that that revised S55 may post improved numbers over the 2001 version that Road and Track used, but that was their last test result. I just went by the information and views that I found expressed in the recent automotive media. I also went by my own impression as a real buyer and shopper for my next car.

    I actually test drove an S55 and and XJR within an hour of each other last month. They felt equally fast, but I did not take either car to the dragstrip for timing trials. For my "real life" driving, and ownership criteria,the XJR felt great, and felt sportier (maybe because of it's light weight) .... for $30k less money. Does that much $$$ mean anything to you, Merc1?

    It is one thing to be an opinionated observer and commentator without regard to price. It is another to be a bona fide driver who has to deal with the price/benefit ratio. Some folks are car "fans" that seemingly aspire to convince the rest of us to agree with them. Others among us, are actually car owners in this luxury class, and we may have more pragmatic views.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Of course price means a lot Don, the only thing I was speaking out against was the notion that the XJR was faster than the S55. Thats all. The other merits of the two cars can be debated forever, as they both are great automobiles. The fact remains that I like the new XJ a lot and find it be a screaming bargain on the part of a European manufacturer, especially the top-line XJR which cost less or the same as the entry level cars from Audi, Mercedes and BMW.

    I wasn't trying to convince anyone to agree with me on anything, I was merely tryig to point out the facts about the performance of the two cars.

  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    "Performance" can mean a number of things. If mileage matters to you, then mpg becomes one performance criteria. If the word performance is thrown about without further qualifiers, you will be having silly discussions with people that associate entirely different notions with the word.

    Even the S55 comes at a very significant price premium over the XJR, so no, I don't think it is a natural comptitor because it happens to be the performance model. Price wise, the XJR offers itself to people that might be considering indeed the S430 and S500. Most car buyers first establish the price bracket they go for, and which cars fall into that category.

    Furthermore, the Merc versions with the additional umph are rather recent, and there are still several 350HP S55s in dealers' lots. Those certainly can not dream of outperforming an XJR.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I postulate that there are reasons that the autorags (and some of the more vociferous voices on this board) tend to under-rate value as part of the equation that real, cash-paying BUYERS use in evaluating cars.

    Reason one might be, these test drivers / writers / editors aren't shelling out their own, hard-earned cash. They're just driving around for free.

    Reason two might be, that at least when it comes to high-end cars, only a relatively small proportion of the reader base is actually ever going to buy at the high end. For instance, Ferrari has sold 818 units in the US year to date, compared to Car & Driver's paid circulation of 1,387,113 (and it's "total audience"...whatever that is...of 9,898,000). In other words, most people reading about high end cars in the autorags are to a large extent dreamers that are never going to be in a position to actually pay for such a car. So they don't care too much about price either; the autorag reviewers understand this and cater to the dreamer.

    So it should come as no surprise that the autorags will tend to side with a car that might be marginally "better" in some respects...even if it costs 30, 50, 100% more. Price and value just aren't that important to dreamers (unless the price is low enough to bring the car into reality-land for the reader). The dreamer is going to want to hear about ultrafast accelaration, ultrafast topend speeds, skidpad results, etc.; consideration of quality, reliability, and value are pretty boring reading for the dreamer.
  • I drove to Jacksonville, Florida yesterday. My first stop was the Audi dealership. They didn't even have one new A8L on the lot. So I headed on over to the Jaguar dealership where there were several 2004s. I drove a Vanden Plas. It handled very well. The power was OK. There were no XKRs in stock. A "base" model is certainly a bargain at $59,000. I am surprised that xenon lights aren't standard. The interior has an elegant simplicity.

    I am looking forward to driving the Audi. Shopping for a new car is my hobby.
  • I too drove the XJ this weekend. I chose to drive the VP, and I was amazed how light it felt. I thought it was quick on it's feet as well.

    I was a bit put off by the sheer size of the A8. Michael Audi had one on the lot. It was Grey. The color was very nice. It did not feel as quick as the cat, but it was quick enough. You have to remember I am used to a 300e. All of the cars were 'quick' imo.

    Then I made my way over to Mercedes of Fresno. I drove an S430, and was impressed with it, because it was some what familiar. It felt like a Mercedes and it drove like a Mercedes. I am still undecided...
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    There aren't any new 02' S55s for sale anywhere, as the 03' model has been out for about a year.

  • fennfenn Posts: 197
    300eguy05 and scottphillip:

    I was originally very excited about the new A8L when I started my shopping. Even though I did not buy the Audi, it is still my favorite with respect to it's interior. I also respect the attention to details that Audi lavished on this car....In that regard, I consider it the best in this class.

    However, after a couple of test drives I characterized the car as the ultimate luxurious cruiser, rather than sporting sedan. It felt a little too big for my needs. While it is only about 5" longer than my XJR it just feels like a much bigger car to me.

    Of course, since Audi built the A8L as a big luxury sedan, this is not a negative comment. For people that are looking for a commodious, large, luxury car the A8L is hard to beat.

    Had Audi brought the standard wheelbase A8 into the U.S. market,it might have fit my needs better.

    In about six months, Audi will be bringing the new version of the S8 to the U.S. to meet the needs of a true high-end sporting sedan. I think this will be a really hot car....but it will probably be an $85k+ vehicle.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    I read somewhere - I believe in one of the auto mags but I'm not sure - that Audi is not going to bring the S8 into the US anymore because there was virtually no demand for the car.
  • How does the Jag compare to the Q45? Doe you miss any of the electronic gadgets? Were your Qs trouble-free? My 1994 Q45 was an excellent car. Has your cruise control been fixed? Is your Dad happy with his XJ8?

    Thanks for your input,
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