Lexus GS 300/GS 430



  • lexusguylexusguy Member Posts: 6,419
    Actually, isnt Audi's AWD system.. dare I say it, rather dated compared to things such as SH-AWD and ATTESSA? Isnt the Audi system completely mechanical (and thus very heavy, with large performance penalities) with a fixed 50\50 torque split?
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    Audi's system, on the other hand, may also be characterized, due to its Torsen design, to be the "most elegant."

    Moreover, Audis system does not impart anything like a "very heavy" attribute (~ 150#s and it keeps [apparently] being put on the Atkins diet and shedding weight over the past 21 years). Currently, the Audi quattro system is "at rest" a nominal 50/50 system. BMW and Mercedes "swear" that their 32/68 or 40/60 or whatever other rearward bias du jour is touted is superior. And, of course we should note that Volvo is a 95/5 split and that SH AWD will be a 90/10 split. All of these systems allow more than 50% of the "power" to be sent where it is needed, ostensibly in real time. Audis system does not rely on electronics (e.g., clamping the brake on a wheel with less traction than another via the instructions provided by the ABS sensors) to shift torque -- the torque shift via Torsen, although mechanical, is instantaneous. There are, at least, two schools of thought pertaining to Torque Sensing (Torsen) vs electro mechanical AWD systems. Both schools have merit and like all things statistical can be used to present facts objectively and conclusions subjectively.

    I, for one, have no issue with Torsen even if it were to stay at a stasis mode of 50/50 split (but allow shifting on demand from F to R).

    Audi has already announced its intention to rearward bias quattro with a 40 60 initial split. Some believe that this is because "perception is reality" and that with EVERY premium/performance auto manufacturer making the move from FWD to RWD to AWD or some evolution that appears thus, it becomes necessary to cite that you too are RWD biased AWD.

    SH AWD is an interesting and, thus far, unique concept -- but published F/R torque split numbers of 90/10 are hardly an indication of "new think" (versus dated).

    The fact, fleeting as it may be is that the Audi quattro system has evolved over the past 21 years and is a contemporary system. Furthermore, Audi, as I noted earlier, currently has both broad and deep AWD experience. This, for a moment longer, places them in the top quartile of "know how" with respect to AWD.

    Here is a recent blurb from a global car magazine (April 2004):

    "More than one million Audi customers have chosen permanent all-wheel drive models since the original quattro was first exhibited at the Geneva Motor Show 21 years ago."

    I am excited about SH AWD and wonder if this F & R and side-to-side characteristic will be adopted by all AWD manufacturers (it seems like a no-brainer). Audi, clearly will have some stiff competition -- in about 15 or 16 minutes from now. For the time being, I hardly look at Audi as a purveyor of "dated" technology.

    One last note -- the Torsen system (used on most Audis) is the only AWD system I can find that actually [claims it] can improve fuel economy at speeds above 40mph. Overall, this is becoming a moot point since the "hit" on these really good AWD systems insofar as milage is concerned is a nominal 2%.

    In the next couple of years, there will be fully 100%+ more AWD vehicles from which to choose. This, and this alone, could be a threat to Audi -- unless it continues to advance the art of Vorsprung durch Technik.

    I am so excited about the new GS300 and the Acura RL because it will increase and improve the number of choices that I have as a consumer.

    I am not counting Audi out and the Acrua and [apparently] Lexus marquis are certainly cars of merit (as is Infiniti, from what I can glean here on the TownHall).

    So, in sum, I agree with your statement that Torsen is mechanical and that it offers, today, a 50/50 torque split, I disagree more so, however, with the characterization that the system is dated and very heavy -- and that it imposes a large performance penalty. The Audi cars from the bottom to the top end offer stunning performance, always competitive, often dominant.

    Now we're down to 15 minutes 30 seconds. . . .
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    Part two, afterthoughts:

    Additional "facts" pertaining to Torsen based systems include:

    "It is the only mechanism which acts like a differential and locking device at the same time. It has the advantage of being fully mechanical which guarantees its instantaneous response and progressiveness. Its main advantages therefore resume to:

          Instantaneous response

          The linear character of its locking to speed difference curve

          No locking or speed difference inhibition under braking
          (it acts only when power is applied to it)

          Integrates a free differential and a locking device in one part

          Its compactness, the TorSen has only 8 moving parts."

    Source: Rallycars

    Having said all of this, Audi's system called quattro is not entirely a Torsen system and not all Audis utilize Torsen technology, some use a far less costsly system called a Haldex system (the A3 for example uses this, as does the TT). The Haldex version is, essentially, like the Honda AWD a FWD system that activates RWD motive force when the FWD wheel(s) lose traction. But, let's not split hairs at this time.

    Audi has already announced its intention to rearward bias quattro with a 40 60 initial split (which will mean some bastardization of the Torsen concept per se).
  • lexusguylexusguy Member Posts: 6,419
    If Audi's Torsen system is as light as other's electronic sytems, why are Audi's (especially the ASF A8) SOOO HEAVY? The A8L, despite significantly more power than LS430, will lose a stoplight race to it, as will the A6 4.2 to the GS430.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
  • lexusguylexusguy Member Posts: 6,419
    Must be, 4,500lbs worth.
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    I think it may have something to do with all the lavish interior furnishings in those cars??? They seem to be made of the thickest heaviest materials around. This is very good question about Audi/VW products, especially the A8 and Phaeton. It doesn't seem to be because of solidity either when it comes to the A8 and Phaeton because more than a few roadtests have said they both rattle and suffer from body shimmies not found in MBs, Lexi or BMWs. It has to be the awd system I think.

    Bentley's were always heavy because of their sheer quality of build, which is understandable once you sit in one, and the new VW designed Conti GT is no different. Plus is has the awd system, just a heavy car every where you look.

  • lexusguylexusguy Member Posts: 6,419
    The Phaeton weighs even more than the A8, due to it being steel bodied.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Administrator Posts: 11,130
    Guys, the Audi conversation is way off-topic here. Please select an Audi discussion to talk about those vehicles, and stick to the upcoming Lexus in here. Thanks!

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  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    . . .add AT MOST a couple hundred pounds, and at least 100+ pounds. With all the "content" that is in these lux cars the porkiness of the big barges does not seem in jeopardy.

    The "winningest" cars (speaking of racing) are often the AWD versions. AWD, inherently is a performance enhancer, not performance detractor. And, of course, AWD generally is a safety enhancer too. The premium performance cars of the not distant future (e.g., the Lexus GS) will virtually all be AWD or at the very least offer it -- the weight pentalties, granting that they do exist, have been eroded by weight savings elsewhere in cars and have, in some cases, been eclipsed by the relentless push for "content."

    The upcoming models from all these premo makers will demonstrate in some cases, increased content and decreased weight, increased content and no increase in weight and, of course, increased content and increased weight. Many of the cars too, will offer greater HP and torque from lighter and more efficient engines.

    Take the new breed of 6 speed automatics for example -- the latest and greatest 5 speed TODAY from a well-known manufacturer weighs 44 pound MORE than the same manufacturer's 6 speed -- and the 6speed permits the car that it is placed in to be quicker and more fuel efficient due both to its 44 pounds lighter weight and the obvious benefits of the additional gear (which is usually a higher overdriven gear than 5th in the current generation).

    And, from what I read, "we ain't seen nothin' yet" in terms of upcoming content from the Aisians, Americans and Europeans.

    I guess that means that cars may just keep puttin' on the lb's.
  • lexusguylexusguy Member Posts: 6,419
    Doesnt the Continental GT weigh in at something like over 5,000lbs?
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Member Posts: 1,289

    Yeah, the bentley Cont. GT is like 5000+lbs. I forget the exact number but I remember reading in this months C&D comparo test it was over 5K lbs. Insanely overweight!!!

    VW/Audi's are also insanely overweight compared to the competition. A S500 and a Audi A8 have basically the same features, are similar in size, yet even the S500 with 4Matic weighs a bit less than the aluminum space frame A8. And it's not like Audi's have a superior advantage in terms of safety to carmakers such as Mercedes, BMW, or Lexus. So I wonder where all the weight goes!
  • pearlpearl Member Posts: 336
    while I completely agree with your post, I would throw major bricks at the auto manufacturers about the lack of sideboard protection - in fact, that IS one of my considerations in buying a new car. I currently own a 97 BMW E39, with factory standard equipment side mouldings and with 109K miles on the clock, I have NO significant/noticeable dings on the side. This car has been parked everywhere, often with little clearance to other vehicles, but it still looks good. In my humble opinion, if my BMW had NOT had the body side moldings in place, the gashes/damage to the car would have been substantial and apparent.
    Re the body side moldings: I strongly urge that these body "protective strips" be incorporated within the existing body armour. This issue has been brought up repeatedly, but no action has been taken, yet....
  • lenscaplenscap Member Posts: 854
    I understand your views, but I still don't like the look of bodyside moldings. As I've said, with careful parking I've been able to avoid dings for many years.

    Besides, my sister used to have a 1992 Accord with big black bodyside moldings. She didn't care where she parked and while the car looked nice the molding itself looked terrible. If the molding on your BMW has protected your car that much I would imagine your molding looks bad too.

    Also, someone in my family has a BMW 740iL (also with a big black molding). Like I mentioned before, his car has several dings higher than the molding due to being hit by the doors of SUVs...doors that hit his car far higher than the molding.

    Oh well, like everything else people just have different opinions.
  • boomsamaboomsama Member Posts: 362
    Just a bit off topic once again, is the leather in the Lexus cars manmade? I can't seem to see or even feel the texture that I would expect after looking at the leather from european cars, and even couches.
  • saugataksaugatak Member Posts: 488
    Just a bit off topic once again, is the leather in the Lexus cars manmade?

    No, the leather in Lexi is handmade by young, beautiful Japanese geishas in their spare time.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Member Posts: 1,289
    I've actually always noticed that German cars have more "industrial leather". The standard stuff is generally harder & has more gloss to it.
  • boomsamaboomsama Member Posts: 362
    I'm afraid that doesn't really help my question
  • lexusguylexusguy Member Posts: 6,419
    Everything sub the LS is not hand-stitched. The LS, I'm not sure.
  • boomsamaboomsama Member Posts: 362
    So how do the leathers in BMWs and Mercs, differ to those in a Lexus?
  • lexusguylexusguy Member Posts: 6,419
    I'm personally not that big of fan BMW or Mercedes chairs. I'm sure the German fans will say oh their leather quality is so much better. Well I dont see it.
  • boomsamaboomsama Member Posts: 362
    Well I find those chairs much harder, but i can feel the texture of the leather in them. On the otherhand, the Lexus chairs feel "textureless"
  • jrock65jrock65 Member Posts: 1,371
    It's a matter of personal preference.

    Generally, Japanese lux cars have softer leathers than German lux cars.
  • boomsamaboomsama Member Posts: 362
    I've found that swedish companies (Saab and Volvo) have the best seats as well as the best leathers. But i'm just wondering if the leather in Lexus' are synthetic. They feel like smoothened cloth, if you know what I mean.
  • lexusguylexusguy Member Posts: 6,419
    Its not "leatherette". Only the Germans are willing to use that crap. I dont think Saabs seats are anything to write home about. Volvos are nice yes, but I dont think the quality of the leather is any better than Lexus.
  • boomsamaboomsama Member Posts: 362
    I was looking around on the Lexus site and found this demo of how their Hybrid system works. Is this the same as in all cars, so that power will only be given to the rear wheels when extra performance is needed and not in any other situations? Or is this just a model for the FWD cars, since it shows that the engine only powers the front wheels. So if this system were in a GS, would it have the petrol engine running all four wheels, with the electric motors giving extra power boosts?

    If this is Lexus' example of their future Hybrid AWD cars, that's pretty dissapointing.
  • lexusguylexusguy Member Posts: 6,419
    That system is for the RX400h. It operates as a FWD car, much like the MDX's VTM-4, until traction is needed at the rear. The GS is a RWD car, so the engine power is not going to go to the front wheels.
  • chopper1chopper1 Member Posts: 4
    Have owned recent Audis,Volvos, and friends have new Mercedes.The European leather is a little more grainy,harder and thicker than the Lexus leather,although the current Volvo leather is softer and smoother than earlier trim.
     In almost all cars,except the absolute top end models,only the seating area that you sit on or lean on is leather.Usually the material on the sides, bases or backs is well matched in texture and color and is some type of synthetic.

  • lexusguylexusguy Member Posts: 6,419
    right, thats "leather trimmed seating"
  • boomsamaboomsama Member Posts: 362
    If that's for the RX400h, isn't there an AWD option then? As in, the use of the full-time AWD system used in the RX330.

    Chopper1, thats what I find too. The extra grain makes it more... "leathery", if you know what I mean.
  • courtney11courtney11 Member Posts: 77
    The new RL is to hit the market in October, when is the new GS to show up?
    Any thoughts on the two? I am not really in need of AWD nor satellite radio. With this in mind is the V-6 with 250 h.p. in the Lexus vs. the 300 h.p V-6 RL AWD adequate? I have never really found the need for all these horses. I like comfort at a nice price. It is hard for me to believe that the G.S is not going to be the better car for the money. The AWD is still a front wheel drive car. Is the price difference going to be around 8k? This might make me lean to the Lexus. Any thoughts?
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Member Posts: 1,289
    I doubt the GS will be cheaper than the RL in the US. They will probably both be about the same MSRP, but not sure since it seems like Acura is trying to move the RL upmarket.
  • courtney11courtney11 Member Posts: 77
    The RL should run about 48-49K. The GS V-6 should be about 38-40K, with the V-8 around 48-50K. If this is correct which car is the better deal assuming the GS V-6 does NOT have AWD and the RL does? Horsepower not withstanding I can't figure which I would prefer, is AWD that important?
  • lexusguylexusguy Member Posts: 6,419
    Your GS prices are too low. I think you'll find the new GS is going to price somewhere closer to $45 and 55K for the 300 and 430. GS300 will offer AWD, but it wont be standard like the RL. That said, the RL's SH-AWD looks like it could have some significant performance advantages not seen in any AWD system before. You should also look at the 2006 Infiniti M35, which will also be available with either RWD or AWD, and will outpower the GS by a good 30-40hp.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Member Posts: 1,289
    The only way the GS is going to cost $38-40K is base. The GS300 currently with basic options of leather, moonroof, CD-changer, HIDs, runs about $44K now so don't expect that to change any. Of course we also do not know yet what the options will be or their respective prices, what the option packages will be, or what the base price will be. I would assume though that the 2006 GS3XX will have at least leather trim, CD-changer, and HIDs standard over the 2004 model.
  • lexi4lifelexi4life Member Posts: 181
    Lexusguy, even if the 2006 M35 outpowers the 2005
    GS, perhaps the GS will have better acceleration.
    The next M maybe heavier than the next GS and the GS maybe more aerodynamic...

    For example: the LS has 290 hp and does the 0-100 KM/H in 6.5 seconds (I don't know the time in MPH)
    and the Q45 has 340 hp (!) and does the 0-100 KM/H in 7.1 seconds even if it has 50 hp more.
  • courtney11courtney11 Member Posts: 77
    Anyone know when the Lexus GS will hit the showroom?
    I know the Acura is right around the corner being a 2005,,the Lexus is 2006, do we have to wait another year?
  • lexusguylexusguy Member Posts: 6,419
    I know. The Q and M are very different though. The Q is based on an old, sloppy platform, with overly tall gearing that robs it of 0-60 performance. The new M is on Nissan's superb FM platform, and like the "zero lift" G, the M will have an extremely low coefficient of drag. Nissan is promising revised gear ratios for their 5-speed, so I think the new M will be very competitive with the GS300.
  • jrock65jrock65 Member Posts: 1,371
    I highly doubt that the GS300 would outperform the M35. I expect about a half-second difference in 0 to 60, in favor of the M35.

    I also expect a fully loaded non-AWD GS300 to be about the same MSRP (or even slightly higher) as the higher-hp, AWD RL, which will only come fully-loaded.

    Acura saves production costs by having just one-configuration (fully loaded), and Lexus's always have a slight premium to Acura.
  • mitchnikmitchnik Member Posts: 11
    Per my Lexus sales rep in Annapolis, 1/5/05 or 2/5/05 is the target date for their first shipment. She told me, but I can't remember which one for certain, but I'd lean towards the 2/5.
  • lexi4lifelexi4life Member Posts: 181
    yeah, you two are perhaps right but we have to wait until they both come out to see which car will have better acceleration than the other.
    The 2006 GS comes out in spring 2005 and for the M, I would expect it to come out in summer or fall 2005.
  • lexusguylexusguy Member Posts: 6,419
    I'm very interested to see a comparison test with all of the new mid size lux competition. A few years ago it was basically Germany vs. Lexus, but this time Infiniti, Acura, and Cadillac will also have models that can finally take the germans on.
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Can you imagine....the M45, STS V8, E500, 545i, S-Type 4.2, A6 4.2 and GS430 in a comparo. Only Road and Track or Car and Driver will do it correctly. Ditto for all the 6-cylinder variants, plus the RL. Acura may score a win in the 6-cylinder ranks if the 300hp and AWD live up to their billing, plus the right price. There has never been a better time to be a luxury car buyer or a rich car nut. Luxury for everyone.

  • lexusguylexusguy Member Posts: 6,419
    "Only Road and Track or Car and Driver will do it correctly". Hey, I'm curious to see what the Edmunds editors have to say about them also :) And as great as C&D is, if they even bother to mention the stereo at all, its usually a one sentence "its great" blurb. I really like that Edmunds has a dedicated audio expert that does seperate comparisons for each of the cars audio systems, as in many cases the winner ends up losing the stereo test.
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    I'm not to impressed with Edmunds. They ripped the SL500 upon the first drive and it remains undefeated per their comparos. They're a little quick to say something then they end up going back on it. Naturally I can't see that much emphasis on a stereo. I seriously doubt if any of these cars will truly have an awful stereo.

  • jrock65jrock65 Member Posts: 1,371
    I though the M was schedule to hit showrooms in March 2005. Has there been a change in plans?
  • lexusguylexusguy Member Posts: 6,419
    Jaguar does. The audio guy also makes a lot of comments on the overall ergonomics of the audio and HVAC controls as well, which again, C&D doesnt really get into, unless its something majorly bad, like iDrive. C&D is great for the driving details, but thats all they are really focused on.
  • lexi4lifelexi4life Member Posts: 181
    jrock, I said the new M would hit the showrooms by summer or fall 2005, but I may be wrong. I just said I thought it would be then, and I'm not sure...
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Really? I'm surprised at that. I was out this weekend looking at Volvos with a friend. The Volvo dealer is paired with a Jaguar dealer. Wow! The XK is old as heck but you shouldn't wouldn't know it by looking at it. They had a bright red XKR Coupe with 6K "Detroit" wheels and some special racing seats and something called the "performance package"...all for a cool 96K. A stunning car! Simply gorgeous.

  • lexusguylexusguy Member Posts: 6,419
    Yep, the styling of the XK is basically how they are able to sell cars. The stereo is junk, its sourced from the Ford bin, so they get crappy Alpine components. Sorry to any Alpine fans, but they stink, plain and simple. Bose OEM systems blow them out of the water, and Bose stinks. Whats rather interesting is one of the Germans, I think its BMW, has started using Lexicon, which is HK's other super highend name plate along side Mark Levinson. HK controls Infinity and JBL as well, so they have their fingers in quite a few OEM systems from various companies.

    What the dealership probably wont tell you is that XKR will be worth $78K a year later, and $60K a year after that.
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