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Luxury Performance Sedans



  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The 350Z and Altima don't share the same platform. The FM (Front-Midship) platform is the basis for the 350Z, G35 Sedan & Coupe and the FX35/45, as well as the upcoming M35/45. All these cars have a rwd bias.

    The Altima is on a totally different fwd-biased platform (FLL??), which includes the Murano, Maxima, and Quest.

    That would have to be one great platform to do both rwd (350Z) and fwd (Altima) duty at the same time.

  • proeproe Posts: 157
    If GT-R does hit the US market, then a lot of tuners will be very happy as GT-R has the nick name Battle God in Japan because it just beats any car that you put against it with or without mods on track. And, I am not sure even 911 turbo will come out on top if you put it against GT-R on the track. People have tuned the car to produce 1000 hps or more easily. Man, I wish we will see all the Japanese sports cars in US markets someday.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    What I'm really interested to see is a car from Japan in the $50K range that can compete with Corvette. For the moment, the Vette is pretty much in a segment by itself. Sure you can get a Boxster for similar money, but a Z06 would wax it easily. I want a far eastern that can finally take the Vette down a notch on its own turf.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    Autoweek tests a pre-production 2006 M45. e=reviews&loc_code=index&content_code=03145214

    Looks like Infiniti is really going for tight handling.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    There is a very interesting comparo in the June issue of Road and Track. The cars: CTS, E320, 530i, S-Type 3.0, S80 T-6, Chrysler 300 3.5 (not the "C" Hemi model") and A6 3.0.

    This is one of those controversial comparos Road and Track loves to do every once in a while.

    The CTS won based on price and performance. Impressive. I'm still not impressed with the interior, but for the money against these cars they see it as a performance bargain.

    The E320 came in second, but more importantly Road and Track's review of the car reads like a Mercedes-Benz product should behave. Unflappable road composure and more importantly quality of assembly inside and out, especially inside. They also remarked that for once the E320 is actually somewhat fun to drive!

    The shocker has to be that the BMW 530i placed next to last. This is unprecedented with a BMW in just about any comparo in any magazine anywhere! Idrive, styling and price did the car in. They did remark that were only 2 performance cars in the test, the CTS 3.6 and 530i. However the 530i's road prowess couldn't overcome the cars' more glaring faults.

    The new 5 didn't make C&D's 10Best list either this year. BMW is slipping here.

    I think Road and Track has a subtle but distinct bias for Jaguars. The put the outdated XK8 over the SL500 a few months ago and now they put the S-Type over the 5-Series and A6. I don't think so.

    I think they should have tested the A6 2.7t instead of the very pedestrian 3.0L model. The new A6's interior may have more features and even better build quality, but the current model has a better looking interior with much less clutter and confusion of Acura and BMW themes, like the 2005 model has.

    Leave it to Road and Track to mix things up a bit. I don't think any other magazine would have tested such a diverse group of cars.

    The test I'm waiting to see is when the new STS V8, E500, M45, GS430, 545i, new A6 4.2. Ditto for all the 6 cylinder versions of these cars which would include the new RL. The RL will probably win the 6-cylinder contest on price/power/performance.

  • saugataksaugatak Posts: 488
    Road and Track must have received a silver 5-series and thought it was too ugly.

    On a serious note, BMW has to stop the cost cutting with their interiors and beef up their I6 if they're going to compete. It's still the best handling, but at some point its lack of power is going to be a problem.

    Hopefully zey vil vinally bhut ze valvetronic technology from zeir v8 into zeir zstraight seex undt inclease displacement wizout incleasing zeir alvredy redikulus purayceez.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Actually the car was black I think, and they still knocked the styling! I think it looks best (if that is possible) in darker colors. This is of course a grand excuse, because a good looking car should be able to wear any reasonable color well.

  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    "The RL will probably win the 6-cylinder contest on price/power/performance."

    I think it will be hard for RL to come close to new M35. Reason: G has the better chassis than TL. Yes, Acura fans may argue over that, but for most people there's little argument over this. RL probably will have pretty much the same chassis as TL, with fwd. From AW review, looks like M chassis is significantly improved from G.

    Another reason TL and RL are close in ability: they're introduced one year apart. Whereas Z/G were introduced 3, 4 years ago, now it's time for a much improved platform from Nissan.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Good point, we'll just have to see.

  • saugataksaugatak Posts: 488
    just went back and read that article from the link you posted.

    wow, if nissan has already improved the FM platform that much, the new M45 might be a 5-series killer.

    and once they make the next generation G35 off of the improved FM platform, we might have a true 3-series killer on our hands.

    you gotta love the competition.

    now if honda would only make a RWD platform, sigh.
  • pg48477pg48477 Posts: 309
    Honda does not need a RWD platform, if new AWD system is 75% of what thay say it is, it should be equal or better than any RWD including M and 5. If Acura can build FWD (TL) which can perform almost as good as RWD G and 3, they can sertanly build an AWD (RL) that would performs as good or better than RWD M and 5. There is no doubt in my mind that Honda/Acura is capable of building great handling AWD, we'll just have to wait and see.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    If Honda needed RWD, Nissan and Toyota would not be putting AWD in their RL competition. You have to realize there is a rather large portion of North America that given the choice, would go AWD over RWD in a heartbeat. Hell they are even willing to drive crap like the Deville just for the winter traction. As I've said before, RWD is not the end all be all performance killer and everything else can go home. Take a 330i, and a Lancer Evolution out on a track. Guess which one is going to pull the fastest lap times. Its not the BMW. And no, the Evo would NOT be faster if it lost the weight of AWD. It needs that traction to be able to take the hairpins that the BMW would have to hit the brakes for. Do you know that Audi was banned from using Quattro in races because it was an unfair advantage?

    Merc, mostly agreed there. I dont think the CTS should win out over an E320. It's "bargain" price is only half the story, leasing a E class would probably be cheaper considering how horrid Cadillac residual value is. I'm not impressed with the 5 series whatsoever. I liked the old 5 series. While I wouldnt buy one for myself, the old 540i was a fun car to take for a spin. The new car is not. C&D also slammed the 6 series in a recent comparo against a CLK55. I definitely agree though that R&T gives Jaguar more credit than they should. The XK8 shouldnt be beating ANYTHING, and I drive an XKR! This car is not just outdated, its ancient. Its underpinnings date back 30 years to the first XJS. I would've traded my '98 XK for an SL500 over my '00 XKR in a second if it wasnt for the fact that used SLs are still actually worth money. The S Type also is one of the weakest cars in the segment. In a C&D comparo, it came in like 9th or 10th place, just above a Lincoln LS (shocker there). I believe an XJ8 has also beaten the A8L in R&T, unless I'm mistaken. I generally dont like R&T that much. Sometimes there comparos are based purely on performance, with price and luxury as completely unimportant, and sometimes on supposed "value" as with this CTS winner. Which is it? I think C&D, though they are certainly not perfect, is at least more consistent.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Interesting points especially since you own a Jaguar. Road and Track definitely likes Jaguars.

    Road and Track has somewhat of a history of far-out comparos. I don't think anyone looking at a E320 is going to buy a CTS and vice versa. One is clearly a sports sedan and the other is much more of a luxury car. I hardly think anyone looking the 300 is going to buy an 530i either. These cars are really all over the map, which is exactly the reason they picked this group I guess.

    Road and Track I think likes to stir things up a little bit every now and then. Remember in 1990 the LS400 did not make their 10 Best Cars in the World list. That had everyone talking.

  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    merc1... I've subscribed to R&T for almost 25 years and been reading it for over 30 years. Don't remember anyone really talking about the LS400 not making a 10-best list in 1990. R&T tends to focus on sports cars, roadsters, high performance cars, etc. The LS400 was and still is a pretty sedate sedan. Very well built and offering a lot for the money, but nothing too sporty or high performance about it. Heck, Lexus doesn't even offer a Sport Pkg!

    R&T likes all different cars. They've liked Jags going back to the XK-120 and earlier. Jag is a truly historic marque for R&T, having built a ton of great cars (e.g., the E-type).
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yikes thats a long time...I've only been reading them since 1986. I remember the press talking about how they didn't put the LS400 on their 10 Best list back in 1990. No big deal to me either, but I do remember other magazines and certain tv programs mentioning it like it was some big mistake or omission.

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I dont really remember it, though I was reading C&D at the time. That's kind of the reason I dont like Motortrend, instead of a 10 best list, they have "xx of the year" which is quite often NOT the best car in its respective segment, but something that is "most significant" or just grabs a lot of media hype for a short moment, and then drops off the map. The new Thunderbird got car of the year. The SSR I'm sure will get truck of the year, and most likely it will go the road Prowler and Thunderbird as an expensive, underperforming thing that is sold purely on being "different".

    Whether or not the LS400 deserved to be on a list of 10 best is arguable, but it was a very significant car, and probably got MT's import car of the year (back when they used to have that). I do remember M-B acting rather nonchalantly in those days about the presence of Lexus in the market, that they could never hope to hold a candle to M-B. Wrong.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    There has been a lot written and said about MB's position on Toyota entering the luxury car market.

    Some say that Mercedes-Benz was scared to death and thus responded just 2 years later with their first-ever V8 powered E-Class, the 400E. They did respond a year before BMW did with their V8 powered 540i. Neither BMW or Mercedes was in a position to offer their full size cars with a V8 at LS400 prices. The 300SE of the day was a 52K car! Ditto for the 735i. Mercedes was however the only V8 game in town prior to Lexus with their 420 and 560SEL models, but the 560SEL in particular was twice the base price of a LS400 in 1990! Even more shocking was the LS400 sticker within a few hundred dollars of a 190E 2.6! Imagine a LS430's base price being that of a C320 today! The Germans clearly were doing whatever they pleased with the market.

    Other say Mercedes laughed at the thought of Toyota doing a luxury car. I don't buy this theory now because they changed the course (pricing) of their cars dramatically from 1990-1994. For the first time ever Mercedes actually lowered prices in 1994. This was unheard of from a German luxury car maker who regularly priced their cars however they please. Reality check.

    Either way the luxury car biz was forever changed. BMW had to do a V8 for the first time in years. Mercedes had to lower prices and they temporarily ran up market with the bigger and pricer than everything 1992 S-Class, with mixed results depending on who you ask. Jaguar would not be here post Lexus if it weren't for Ford. They were just like BMW, a I6 and V12 shop only. Funny thing is Acura did the same thing in 1986 and the Euros didn't even blink. Pretty fascinating when you look back at it all.

  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    The original LS400 definitely had a revolutionizing impact on the luxury sedan market with its combination of comfort, attention to detail, and value.

    But the way I remember it, and the way it was reported in the press, the Q45 was the car that caused the Germans to put a V8 in their cars.

    Of course, the LS400 had a much larger overall impact, but the Q45 was the one that had a larger "engine" impact.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well actually the Q45 being the sportier of the two probably caused BMW to offer a V8 and the LS400 caused Mercedes to offer a V8. Maybe???

  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    From what I remember, Mercedes didn't laugh off the concept of Toyota building a luxury carline(at least not publicly) nor were they scared to death.

    I remember reading articles about Mercedes basically having a "whatever" attitude towards Lexus, as in "they're going to effect us one bit". That was the typical German arrogance of that day. That and Mercedes probably figured Toyota would go more the Acura route with basically a Legend type of car, which personally I didn't think was much of a competitor to mercedes products except to the 190 of the day.


    I don't buy this theory now because they changed the course (pricing) of their cars dramatically from 1990-1994. For the first time ever Mercedes actually lowered prices in 1994."

    They didn't change course in 1990. It took 4 years for them to lower prices. Why? I think originally when the LS400 came out in 1990, they thought it wouldn't make a big sales impact and that it wouldn't take sales from their E-class/S-class. They may have also thought that the LS400 would have some initial sales success and then would die off. But they probably took notice when LS400 sales continued strong past '90 into'91, '92, '93, even though prices on the LS400 skyrocketed upwards.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    That may be true also, but you have to remember they'd been doing things the same way for years and years and probably took some time to adjust and/or make changes in their pricing structure. All of this is just speculation anyway. I'd really like to hear from someone that worked at MB or BMW from 1990-1995 or so.

  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    "Well actually the Q45 being the sportier of the two probably caused BMW to offer a V8 and the LS400 caused Mercedes to offer a V8. Maybe???"

    Well, it's hard to say anyway what caused what. It's not as if BMW or MB came out and said, "Yeah, we need to put a V8 in our cars because of the Q45 (or LS400)." It was probably a combination of both, but I think the Q had a greater impact in the "engine" department, from what I remember in the press.

    The LS, of course, was a much bigger success, but the Q45 was pretty successful as well in its first iteration, and received a lot of acclaim from the press. Too bad Infiniti messed it up with stupid advertising and trying to emulate Lexus (later for a bit) instead of sticking to their original "performance" image.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Yes, going from the 4.5 to 4.1L, 266hp V8 in a heavier car was probably one of the dumbest things Infiniti has done (and this is a company with a bad track record). Q41? Fortunately Infiniti and Acura seemed to have realized that Lexus is basically untouchable by them, and rather than trying to out lux the lux king, they should make sportier, more exciting and very competitively priced cars that now has Lexus taking notice and saying.. hey maybe we should up the sport ante a bit.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    The 2005 G35 sedan will get 277 hp / 270 torque, while the 2005 G35 Coupe 6MT Sport will get around 295 hp. I would not be surprised if the M35 gets a bit more than 300 hp of the RL, just so that Nissan can say that they have class leading hp. I'm sure the G35 sedan hp increase is a direct response to the 270 hp TL. In fact, almost every Nissan/Infiniti seems to have class leading horsepower.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    If the M35 hits 300hp+, that would mean that Nissan would have to increase the power of its 4.5L engine as well, as you cant have say an M35 with 310hp, and a M45 with 340. It would be nice to see Infiniti push the M45 to say 375hp, just to laugh in the face of E, 5, and A6.
  • saugataksaugatak Posts: 488
    The M35 is supposed to be a more refined car, no?

    Won't jacking up the HP on the M35 negatively affect NVH?
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Not necessarily. The VQ is a great engine. True its a bit gruff and "brash" compared to the calm and quiet Toyota and Honda sixes, but the VQ flies in the face of "DOHC engines have no torque", something that Honda and Toyota cant claim. If Cadillac can get away with an OHV, I think the M35 will be fine.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    Toyota engines usually have more torque than horsepower. The 3.3L V6 is 225bhp but 240lb-ft of torque.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Thats true, I was thinking of their 3.0L Inline, as thats whats in the GS300.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    Nissan/Infiniti is not really known for less NVH relative to Honda and Toyota anyway, and a few more horses probably won't make that much of a difference.

    I don't necessarily think that Nissan would make the M35 300+ hp, just that I won't be surprised if they do. The Altima redefined the midsize V6 family sedan class in 2002 in terms of power with the 240 hp Altima. After Honda matched with the 240 hp Accord in 2003, Nissan promptly raised the Altima to 245 hp in 2004.

    Same thing with the G35 and TL. The 2003 G35 had 260 hp, then Acura came out with the 2004 270hp TL, now Nissan is coming out with the 277hp 2005 G35 sedan.

    So it looks like Nissan is determined to stay at the top in the hp race, with Honda egging them on. The RL/M35 battle could be the same thing. So I wouldn't be surprised if the M35 was 304hp or something, just so that Nissan could have bragging rights.

    Another reason may be that the 2005 G35 Coupe Sport will have about 295 hp. Hence, it probably isn't that hard to squeeze out a few more horses, from basically the same engine. Also, Infiniti may not want a "lower-class" vehicle to have higher hp than a "higher-class" vehicle, even though one is a coupe and the other a sedan.

    In all likelihood I'm wrong, but it's just a thought.
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