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Luxury Performance Sedans



  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    I dunno if I can answer the questions, but I can't find what you're talking about. Can you give me a link?
  • drtraveldrtravel Posts: 395
    E-Class 4,112
    5-Series 3,190
    GS 2,706
    M 1,933
    A6 1,061
    RL 1,015

    Don't know Caddy's sale figure.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,993
    Agree with ya pal.

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,094
    a host can't find the volvo S80 board? hmmmm... maybe that's an indication of how difficult it is to navigate here these days.(?) ;)

    Anyway, we were just discussing how Edmunds points out the S80 V8 is under $50k, but then states this is the same as its competitors. this is obviously not true .... volvo S80 discussion

    '17 F150 Crew 2.7; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '09 LR2 HSE. 44-car history and counting!

  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    I was looking at the actual Volvo S80 board. The S80 discussion you link is actually on the Future Vehicles board, that's how I missed it. I found it this morning and linked it to the S80 board so it does show up there now. And I agree with you, it was a dumb mistake on my part. :blush: I just took you too literally, a mistake that sometimes people heavily into computers make!! :) Kirstie hosts that discussion and I have not been reading it.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,094
    ah. that's my fault. you are correct. i should have said '07 S80.

    i didn't mean you had to respond directly anyway. just thought since you posted a link to the article, you might be interested in some reponses to it.

    more than anything, driving traffic over there from here to discuss the car ain't a bad thing. ;)

    '17 F150 Crew 2.7; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '09 LR2 HSE. 44-car history and counting!

  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,993
    Agree it's been tough navigating these forums. I have to keep links in my address box to get around from insideline, to news and views, etc :cry:

  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    "Your advice or would be advice is dead on what I tell folks: "drive 'em all." Yet, more and more I've come to the conclusion that folks will almost always make up their minds in advance for whatever reason and then figure out a way to explain it to themselves."

    A speculation ... purchasing a car, in general, but maybe especially so once you get into this price range, evokes enough anxiety to push for premature closure. You know I'm speaking from experience, but I also believe it might be true for a substantial number of others. Achieving a state of "I have no doubt" is anxiety-reducing. I might have been relatively unique in the extent to which a pile of auto-mag raves not only trumped quite a number of auto-mags cautions, about the Infiniti Ms, but, more critically to my subsequent mental health, trumped my own experience driving the cars, which I find to provide significantly different driving experiences.

    Beyond my personal experience, I believe that magazines and CR/JDP "stats" provide plenty of grist for that premature closure mill and for the similar experience of cementing one's certainty about having purchased perfection, after the purchase -- which might be a good mental health thing for the buyer but which, beyond a certain point, appears to start to grate on some other forum participants. The "drive 'em all alternative" assumes that, in driving them all, one will tolerate the impossibility of arriving at "I have no doubt that I've found the one-and-only best car in class" and settle for "I think this is the one (or maybe, simply "one" rather than "the only one") with a combination of style and driving feel that will satisfy me most over the next few years".
  • Bet you can't say that whole thing fast three times! :surprise:
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    Come on, don't bailout on me so quickly on this brief foray into deep thought :)
  • Who really cares a rats [non-permissible content removed] about what C&D says? Not I. I've had too many cars of various makes and vintages to care, be that good or bad. It really seems to me that those who require confirmation of the C&D or MT (need I mention advertising dollars as a predictor of outcome) are those who are the least sure in their decision.

    You really should drive any car you might be interested in. From that experience I can tell you that C&D might well be correct about the M as being best in class. From that experience I can also tell you that the car does not reflect well in my eyes, that some of the interior pieces look like original Nissan, and that my local dealership left much to be desired. It is not all in the driving. Indeed much of what impresses C&D is only found in driving the car harder than it will be driven in 98% of its life.

    I ended up buying the last car I drove as I thought it was the one car I would not buy. As it turns out my test drive was a very pleasant surprise and I had a very good dealer experience. So there you have it for what it may be worth.
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    Yeah, what he said ... that's what I was (much more tediously) saying.
  • I may need to amend my opinion that goes: folks make up their minds in advance and then figure out a way to convince themselves that their choices were objective moreso than subjective.

    Here is why.

    I have known personally several people (and read the postings of many more here and elsewhere) who are really "car people." If you strike up a conversation with them they seem to be a walking reference book about "fill in the blank" cars. They may even know more than the average person on the street about other competing brands, or perhaps broadly about many brands. Like folks who know baseball stats from yesteryear, they seem to know all about that 1969 GTO with the Hurst shifter and the plastic bumper that came in Candy Apple Red and can go on an on about details that will boggle most folks minds.

    Car People.

    Perhaps Car People are the least most least objective of all, contrary to what I probably thought at first. Car People are positive that BMW and only BMW is or does X,Y & Z "the way it should be done." Or that Lexus builds the best cars ever screwed together.

    I am a Car Person, I know that, but I thought I did a pretty good job of test driving the competition and some that weren't technically the competition (a Chrysler 300C AWD, for instance.)

    Yet, I ended up with Audi #27 or #28 even though I had actually put a deposit down on an Infiniti.

    It is my assumption (yes, assumption) that some folks here actually practice what many of us Car People preach. Perhaps the non Car People arrive at the most objective choice, or at least more objective that the Car People do.

    The Audi, BMW, Lexus and Mercedes Car People soldier on faithful (mostly) to their brands -- and able to "objectively" 'splain why.

    The folks who really do test 4 or 5 of these fine LPS cars and actually do stray from their "faves" after careful evaluation. . .well I take my hat off to them. But, be careful, when I read some of their subsequent posts, I can sometimes detect that they too may be becoming Car People.

    No wonder the car companies spend so much money and time to promote the BMW Lifestyle or furnish the Audi Boutique. The car companies, BMW for example, want nothing more than to take someone with the name Lexusguy and convert him to BMWguy, and then do all in their marketing machine's power to further inculcate over the years that follow.

    In other words, I stand, corrected, er, amended. :surprise:

    We are DEVO, eh?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "Perhaps Car People are the least most least objective of all, contrary to what I probably thought at first. Car People are positive that BMW and only BMW is or does X,Y & Z "the way it should be done." Or that Lexus builds the best cars ever screwed together."

    Then again, test drives or no, some of us can narrow down the choices to a single car by eliminating the competition based on the written word. How? Well in my case at least, if the written word don't say "6-Speed Manual Transmission", then I ain't interested. So, I'm fairly "positive that BMW and only BMW" allows for three pedals under the dash in their U.S. sold LPS offerings.

    If I was in the market for a new LPS today, I might very well drive the other cars, however, only the cars that can be had with a stick will make the short list.

    Best Regards,
  • I have to say that this topic consistently has some of the best discussion on edmunds.

    Obviously, preconceived notions have a lot of influence on subjective decisions (like which car has the most "spirited driving" or "road feel" or even "luxury").

    Other things being equal, we tend to mold experience to match our preconceived notions. If you go into the test drive thinking "this BMW is going to drive great" or "this Lexus is going to be incredibly well put together" or even "this lexus is going to have numb steering"--your subjective impression is very likely to match your preconception.

    This is classic Bayesian statistic theory (pardon me while I reveal my inner math geek)--pretest probabilities have a major impact on post-test probabilities after any "diagnostic test" (which is what a test drive is, after all).

    This is where I think reading the boards and all the car mags before your test drive (as I and probably most of you all do) may do you a disservice by clouding your own impression with preconceived notions about what a given car should feel like.

    Just my random 2 cents.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,993
    I agree with ya Shipo, I remember as a kid Audi, use to make a stick in just about every size, what happened to those days ?

  • Shipo, I am with you -- well, at least I WAS with you on this one. Now, well, I'm not so sure.

    The Infiniti did have a 5 speed auto which did seem odd, but, hey, the Cadillac also had 5 cogs in their auto too, so I somehow thought to myself, well. . .maybe these 6 and 7 speed dudes are more about quantity than capability.

    I'm this way: no 2WD cars need apply. I won't even bother testing a 2WD car unless it is just for fun (e.g., the new 335 BMW coupe, wheeeeee!)

    But, I've now lived with two almost new at the same time German cars, a 6 speed manual BMW X3 (225 HP) and a 6 speed automatic Audi A6 (255 HP). I traded out of an Audi allroad 2.7T 6 speed manual somewhat kicking and screaming (for at that time, the 530xi 6 speed was not out yet.)

    What the heck, I figured, I'm 54 and manuals are all but dead here in 'merica.

    Now, 25K miles on the two Germans noted above -- I love 'em both (mostly.) The tip lag is virtually a non-event (maybe the damn thing did "learn me") and I have also driven the 6 speed Steptronic equipped 530xi and found it acceptable.

    I took a nice long drive in an Audi with the DSG and the 255 HP engine (the A3 chassis) and even though it is not a TorSen AWD set up, I was very impressed with the DSG.

    At this moment given the following choices: 6 speed tip or step, DSG, CVT, SMG or manual, I would probably elect to go with the DSG (and the "new" DSG offers 7 speeds and perhaps will be offered on a stateside car -- maybe from BMW -- within 2 years, so the rumor goes.)

    The 7 speed Mercedes-tronics apparently cannot be had in a 4Matic equipped Mercedes, or that surely would be a consideration too.

    My point is, I have lived with the dismal 5 speed tip-tronics, tested the terrible 5 speed stutter-tronics and even tested GM vehicles of late vintage that still soldiered on with the "venerable" 4 speed autos.

    I actually could "live" in peace and pleasure with the 6 speed tip were I forced to.

    I am testing a 260HP 2007 BMW X3 3.0si this Saturday -- WITH the 6 speed Steptronic. My pre-test prediction, I will find it "impressive."

    My wife, Shipo, seems to be more of a "manual forever, auto never" mode -- or at least she has been previously. She, too, found even the lowly 5 speed Steptronic in a 2006 X5 (V8) to have "merit" (or merit enough to consider one with the 6 speed Step, were it to have greater grunt -- which of course the new 3.0's have [in spades with the "35" twin turbo motivator.])

    Anyway, I am now, of the "never say never" persuasion with respect to autos.

    I am keen to test something like a 335xi coupe with whatever BMW dubs their 7 speed DSG clone transmission.

    Or perhaps the B8 A4 with a similar transmission and a 3.2T FSI engine (I can dream, can't I?)

    In any case, the Artist Formerly Known as NO AUTOMATICS is now at least willing to expand my horizons with some of these high-performance autos.

    It is also convenient, too, since I predict the paucity of sticks, will soon become the "unavailable at any price" transmission. :surprise:
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "It is also convenient, too, since I predict the paucity of sticks, will soon become the "unavailable at any price" transmission."

    Once upon a time I posted that if I was to ever find out that the last ELLPS/LPS with a stick was going to cease production (or at least cease being sold here in the U.S.A.) that I would run out and buy several so as to have a stick available to my cold dead hand (as it were). Now, two or three years after I made that post I am still inclined to follow through on that statement. As good as Automatic transmissions have become (DSG and such), and as good as they are likely to get, I don't want a car with a transmission that does it for me, it's just too much of a loss in driver involvement for my tastes.

    I guess that means that I'm still a driving artist known as NO AUTOMATICS, Mrs. Shipo is too. ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402

    I don't know that you are so much taking a different position as you are further developing one, with which I agree, that there is more than one road to car-owner satisfaction. That's, to me, what matters. Whether it's a car for me or a friend or relative, what matters is that the person keeps saying "I really like this car" after they buy it and drive it.

    I don't really care what it is that allows them to say that. Pete appears, for example, to combine his own driving experience with all the auto reviews he can find that praise his Infiniti. If that combination = Pete's car-happiness, I think "Good for Pete."

    To whatever extent this forum might be a source of information (or inspiration) for someone to end up as happy with their cars as you are with your A6, Pete is with his M, and mbbrooks is with his E350 (the one other car, in 2007 Sport version, I think I would have been happy with) -- to that extent it has served a purpose (not that it doesn't also serve well as venting board and place to have fun talking with people about shared interest).

    Similarly, if someone bought a car (remember one participant in the spring who said he/she wanted to choose a car with no test-driving) solely on the basis of what a bunch of auto-mag reviews said or what CR said, and a year later, they were saying "I'm so happy I bought this car. I love it," that's a good outcome, even if one of us thinks: "But, if only you would have driven the BMW 5-series or the Infiniti M, you could have been so much happier."
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    No wonder the car companies spend so much money and time to promote the BMW Lifestyle or furnish the Audi Boutique. The car companies, BMW for example, want nothing more than to take someone with the name Lexusguy and convert him to BMWguy, and then do all in their marketing machine's power to further inculcate over the years that follow.

    There's a bit in this week's AE that relates to this.

    "The American consumer has become notoriously brand disloyal in recent years with driving the "hot" thing of the moment replacing the quaint, "my Dad drove one and I just grew up with it" kind of mentality that existed in the car business so long ago. As a matter of fact, there's a rampant explosion of Adult Attention Deficit Disorder going on out there that's fueled by product/service reliability issues more than anything else. In the old days, a couple of trips back to the dealer for non-scheduled maintenance were no big deal. Today, a couple of trips back to the dealer for non-routine service and people tend to start looking elsewhere - and most of those customers drift away for good."

    I know there are plenty of people on this board who would without question stick with their brand, regardless of unscheduled dealer visits, but I'm not one of those people. I was the mercedesguy at one point, but the Benz driving experience was just not worth the constant aggrivations, and a lousy dealer to boot. I've been happy with my LSes, but that certainly doesn't mean that I would refuse to consider another car. I definitely want to see what Infiniti does with the "new Q" before I pull the trigger on a LS460.

    I certainly am not so drunk on the Lexus kool-aid to think that the SC430 is even remotely competitive with the CLK550, or 6, or XK.
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    I haven't thought of auto-brand-loyalty as due to habit or "my father drove one," but rather "I like the way that brand looks and feels". Liking the way, say, the BMW 3-series looked from 1992 through 2004 might have led someone to keep buying/leasing one after another, despite evidence that some Japanese brands required less attention.

    If you think of "brand loyalty" as personal or family habit, then it's easy to imagine it being trumped by "expectation of greater reliability."

    But if you really like the way a brand looks and feels, then there will be a fork in the road and many will stay with MB, despite more unscheduled service visits.

    If a particular owner has a bad experience, then the worse the combined reliability/dealer experience the more likely he or she will be to jump ship. But I wouldn't assume continued popularity of MB is due to mindless loyalty.
  • Well, here is what I always say, "when you come to a fork in the road, take it."


    Hmm, my dad had a 1961 VW Beetle. Hmm, VW owns Audi, I have had 28 Audis.

    Am I somehow. . .

    But wait, my dad had two Hudson Hornet's with Twin-H Power and more Chryco products than anything else I can remember.

    Must be a coincidence.

    I never got the feeling my dad liked any car he ever had except those Hudson's.

    "Me, I'm just a lawnmower, you can tell by the way I walk."

    - obscure song lyrics of the day :confuse:
  • Reading the recent messages on auto/stick, the possibly unconsidered question of learning to drive with an automatic came to mind. Here's an analogy. If someone who had learned on an automatic, driven one for 10 years, and couldn't imagine why he needed a stick were to spend a weekend learning to drive with a stick from his girlfriend and drive a Nissan Sentra (standard) for a week, would you trust his judgment on the value of driving with a stick? Probably not.

    The new European and Japanese automatics need to be learned and driven to be appreciated. They're as far from your father's hydramatic transmission as a new Z4 is from a 20-year old Toyota Corolla. This is true not just for how they feel, but how they should be driven. Today you can have quite a bit of control over what gear you're in and how quickly you can shift gears by judicious application of throttle and brake, not just by the paddles. A sharp application of throttle (just enough, not too much, learned by experience) as you enter the on-ramp can be just as effective, if not quick as quick (difference measured in 10s of milliseconds) as a manual downshift.

    My point is simply that those who are still known as "No Automatics" (but are open to learning new skills) might enjoy a few hours in one of the newer autoboxes on their favorite roads. Once they learn how to get the most out of them, they just might be more receptive to the idea.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I'm afraid that we're going to have to part company on this one. The fact is that no matter how good an automatic is, it's still going to automate some or all of the gear changing process and as such there will be some loss of control for the driver. That much at least cannot be debated.

    True, automatic transmissions such as the technologically wonderful DSG when driven in semi-automatic mode will allow the driver to select which gear he or she desires (assuming that it is sequentially one above or below the currently selected gear), however, it still will not allow the driver to dynamically determine how fast/how hard the gear change occurs.

    Given the dynamic nature of traffic, regardless of whether it's on public streets or on the track, I've often initiated a gear change expecting then then status-quo to continue, only to have something unexpected happen. In that scenario I might want to, A) accelerate the gear change and subsequent engagement, B) slow down the gear change and subsequent engagement, or C) select a different gear and engagement intensity entirely. Can a manumatic do that mid shift? Can a sequential style transmission?

    To my way of thinking, until the Transmission Control Unit can be neurally wired into the drivers' brain (future Bluetooth application?), there is no way for the current and near term future crop of automatic transmissions to offer me as much control as I currently get from an "Old Tech" manual gearbox with a true clutch pedal.

    Obviously I'm in the extreme minority when it comes to my preference for a transmission; fortunately there are apparently still some folks at BMW that are members of that same minority. ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • The automatic's days are numbered.

    I now know this is not just marketing crapola.

    How do I know?

    Well, when the driving instructors at the BMW school -- all of whom are over 40 (or have lived hard lives) and all of whom are very skilled in driving sticks -- admit to INCREASED control with an automatic. . . .

    My "auto never" wife (with me formerly "auto never" in tow), asked the driving instructors why the "change of attitude with respect to autos."

    The reason appears to be something like this:

    o the currently available crop of auto transmissions are "the best ever" (no new news there, but to go from poor to fair would hardly be what I suspect was meant by that particular comment.)

    o the "losses" previously attributable to automatic transmissions have been virtually banned in the newest transmissions(one has to assume the lost of power and perhaps even the loss of control Shipo discusses -- indeed some of the auto transmissions actually have identical 0 -100kph times as the stick shift versions even though the automatics have taller final drive ratios.)

    These above two reasons, perfectly valid and probably demonstrable as true, don't do it for me.

    But. . .

    o "to have optimum or maximum control of a vehicle you must keep both hands on the steering wheel and you must have a foot for every pedal or pedals designed for heel and toe -- and well, none of them anymore are really thusly designed." "Only with an automatic can you, with today's engine's and transmissions, maintain maximum control of the vehicle; control you need to better your times, help you avoid accidents and make driving under all conditions as smooth as possible."

    That one. . .gave us BOTH pause.

    Here is the another one, said upon our ascent up the off road trail up the mountain: "a stick shift has its greatest value for 'off roading' -- indeed, Hill Descent Control, as is on the BMW's you are driving, is meant to imitate a manual transmission by simply applying the brakes."

    Go into car / truck dealerships -- the vehicles that even want to lay claim to being "off road" capable are virtually never manual shift. The pickup trucks are virtually never stick shift, and so on. The remaining cars that are offered with sticks are hard to actually find so equipped unless you are willing to order them.

    True, BMW, Porsche and some Audi and other brands (here and there) may offer a manual shift car -- good luck trying to find one to test drive.

    The stick shift may die for reasons other than what our instructor said makes the drivers who choose autos (when there is a choice) have increased/improved control, i.e.; but, for two formerly and virtually "over my dead body" stick vs automatic drivers, the demonstration on the track does seem to point to today's automatics contribution to improved control.

    I haven't entirely swallowed the kool-aid, but I did take a drink.

    Yes, Shipo we both are in a tiny minority, but, I think now, I am of the mind that you are really in, as you say, the extreme minority.

    Knowing how you feel about AWD, I won't lay their line about "why AWD" (in BMW's, at least) gives them an "unfair" advantage over the same car with RWD.

    I save that revelation for another time.

    Suffice it to say, I completely was blown away that these guys would actually state that "higher performance" was the unintended and UNEXPECTED consequence of adding AWD to virtually the entire BMW line up. Indeed, they claimed that higher, better, longer, shorter, sharper, faster, quicker, safer (pick the modifier for the appropriate maneuver) driving without any increase in driver skill would be realized simply by driving a 530xi over a 530i.

    WOW. Maybe, just maybe, that means that AWD is more forgiving or masks a driver's deficiencies. Even if the latter point is true, that would still be a desirable trait one would imagine.

    I can't believe it myself, and I actually attempted to play devil's advocate (imitation Shipo) when the subject of 2WD (RWD) vs AWD was brought up.

    This, for a later time. :surprise:
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    Once upon a time I posted that if I was to ever find out that the last ELLPS/LPS with a stick was going to cease production (or at least cease being sold here in the U.S.A.) that I would run out and buy several so as to have a stick available to my cold dead hand (as it were).

    I agree.

    God-forbid if future BMWs are not offered with manual and if that does happen then I will keep our manual BMW touring and my soon to be BMW335i sedan for my posterity to enjoy at some future date.

    Shipo, did you notice how manual trannies are slowly beginning to vanish from the BMW prodcut-line?

    The new and upcoming BMW X5 3.0 will no longer be offered with a manual tranny and the BMW M6 will have no stick. It appears the future of BMW is already written in various tea leaves and that future aint too pretty. The crystal ball is clear and I dont see many sticks in future BMWs. :cry:
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    I don't follow racing religiously, but aren't most of the winners with automatics? I would think that being in the right gear at the right time would be very important to them (money prizes!), and if they thought a manual was better for control and durability, they'd use that.

    Commuting anywhere around most major cities in the USA ends up being a stop and go affair. All of my cars until recently have been manuals, and in the boonies, they are fun, but for practical left leg was just getting more of a workout than I liked - it basically ruined any subsequent pleasure that might have been obtained.

    While not as nice, the manumatic suffices, and really shines in those ten-mile parking lots they call freeways or highways, depending on which coast you live on.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Hey hey, we'll have no tears, not on my watch. ;-) Sticks will be around forever, they will never die. Did the sailboat die because there are motorboats? 9 out of 10 Porsches sold are with sticks. The Z06 and Viper are MT. Real sport nut jobs love stick and is necessary for car companies who portray sport and offer sport. Do soccer moms on cell phones have a need for stick in a X5?

    BTW, no Porsche/DSG rants. If stick dies, Porsche dies, ain't happening.

    One more thing. Before anyone starts selling safety with auto transmissions, they should first start wearing a helmet while driving. And while we're on the subject I think loafers should be banned. Shoes with ties are definitely safer. You don't have to be a genius to figure this out.
  • Sticks -- in BMW's -- days are numbered. Please do not think, despite what my driving instructors said, that I look forward to this day.

    Quite the contrary.

    On the other hand, I am coming to appreciate what even the 6 speed step and tip tronics are capable of.

    The transmissions in the pipeline are, most likely, 6+ speed, DSG (yep, like or advancements of Audis) units.

    Moreover, every Audi, BMW and Mercedes will either come with or offer AWD -- and even those that offer it will be kept in stock over non AWD versions.

    When you have your team of racers, now instructors on your payroll, shuttling between Germany and America (for training on current and upcoming products) and they are touting the "reasons" for Auto-transmissions and AWD -- and then "proving" it by improving their lap times, their ability to control and showing off the increased "go anywhere, anytime" capabilities that accompany such technologically equipped vehicles, well I would say it is a matter of when, not if, anymore.

    I'm going to live with it, rather than live without new German (and even perhaps other countries') upcoming generations of cars.

  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    I have to say - sadly - that I think sticks days are numbered as well. Mebbe Porches and other near exotic to exotic vehicles won't succumb, but the ordinary street vehicles are already succumbing to the combination of drivers' unwillingness to even try it and manufacturers unwillingness to provide it (because so few will buy it because so few will even try it).

    And I haven't thought of Genesis in years - thanks for that! (That's who did that song, isn't it?) ;)
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