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Luxury Performance Sedans



  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The residual value of the M35 blows the A6 out of the water. Its ahead of everybody except for BMW and Mercedes... even Lexus cant match it.
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 593
    I think there's not much meat in the residual values of almost new cars like the RL, the M. For something like the GS, the 5 & E's of the world, the residuals are based on historical reality. Residuals for the RL & M will most likely change based on how things pan out over the next 2/3 years.

    Overall the Infiniti G has done a remarkable turn around in residuals compared to the general past of the brand, both infinity & nissan.

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Its the "Ghosn Infiniti" effect. All the post-Ghosn cars have it. I would expect the M to be similar.
  • prophetprophet Posts: 72
    Traded my 530i for an 06 M35. After 900 miles I can't stop grinning. Reminds me of the 530i with an intuitive idrive. BMW was a good car but not better any than the M35.
  • More fuel for the fire....

    Spoilsport Sedans
  • ">The M45 in the article is sweet. I haven't seen one in person yet but will take a look when I get home. My buddy has a G35 Coupe and that is a great vehicle. Nissan makes great engines. Infinity has, historically, had low resale but I really hope that you guys are right and they start to become more of a sure bet like Lexus.
    On another topic:
    I hate to even wonder this (I have English parents) but does anyone out there think that Jaguar has a fighting chance against these new sedans? The S and X type are not competitive in any class and the XJ is really not holding its own even with the new Al body. Quality has just never caught up and if you say "I own a Jag" people look quizzically at you and ask "Aren't there loads of problems with that thing"?
    If we lost Jaguar, Saab, Volvo and Audi in the US market, would anyone care? It's more like a Darwinian question but all these makes seem to have lost out and they are being kept in the system through unnatural selection. VW's attempt to gain entry into the luxury sedan market was met the way we all thought it would be met, a swift blow to the head. Did natural selection bring about the iDrive in the BMW or was that forced evolution? Why is it so hard to get the manufacturers to offer a diesel engine in some of these cars now that gas is so expensive? They have the engines already. We see all kinds of vehicles here in Iraq with diesel engines including Ford Ranger pickups. The US could do with some of the better diesel engines in the sedan offerings.
    I have lots of time to wonder these things when we have slow days with few US or Coalition wounded.

    Capt. Phil
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    If we lost Jaguar here in Cincinnati, there would only be a few tears. Ditto Saab. Audis and Volvos do, however, seem pretty popular.

    I see so few Jaguars and Saabs (especially Jaguars) that it is remarkable to actually see one. I have commented that Jaguar will "pay you" to lease one of their "X" cars currently.

    I went to the auto show in February and the Saab display was THE MOST pitiful thing in the whole show.
  • bartalk3bartalk3 Posts: 692
    Capt. Phil,

    Saab and Jaguar wouldn't be missed here; their sales are poor and they are big money losers for both GM and Ford. The main function of Jaguar, it seems, is to come in last when the car mags do any multi-car rating of luxury performance vehicles. I think Ford recently said that one model will be retained unchanged for another 4 years, which will make it 10 years old. Ridiculous. Ford has no money.

    Volvo is actually doing fairly well as it's acquiring a performance as well as a safety image. They just added a V-8, I beleive, built by, is it Yamaha? Their styling is improving since they began thinking out of the box, so to speak.

    On diesels, I think I read that BMW is going to import diesels here in the next couple of years. Diesels will be a hard sell here, thanks mainly to Detroit (mainly GM, I think) that introduced diesels here in the 70s that were smelly, smoky, and problem-plagued. That turned off a generation of American buyers.
  • xkssxkss Posts: 722

    The aluminum XJ has been reliable. Jaguar's 4.2 liter V-8 doesn't have the potential timing chain tensioner or nikasil problems of the old 4.0 liter V-8 Car & Driver had a long-term 2004 Jaguar XJR and they picked it up in the summer of 2003, a few months after production started. They had only two problems. The XJR will outperform even the revised 2006 BMW 750i, the Audi A8, the MB S430/S500, and the VW Phaeton.

    The XJ was compared with some other luxury sedans recently in a car magazine. They should have tested a Super V8, the flagship XJ, because an S500 was optioned to over $85,000.

    You should drive an new XJ before saying it isn't competitive. Check out the "New Aluminum Jaguars" thread.

    Also, the next Jaguar XK will use the new XJ's aluminum chassis. It will have to comply with new European pedestrian safety regulations.

    Car & Driver's long-term XJR
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    I see you posting in many places that "the aluminum XJ has been reliable". Am I missing something? You say it is new. How does it have a "reliable" track record right out of the gate? And we're talking about an aluminum body, right? How does that address the reliability issues of the innards?

    Just curious.
  • xkssxkss Posts: 722
    The X-Type will linger on until 2009, but I hope they drop it before that.

    The next Jaguar XK will use the new XJ's aluminum chassis which will spread costs. The next Jaguar XK will have to comply with new European pedestrian safety regulations. The 2005 Jaguar Super V8, the flagship XJ, weighs over 800 pounds less than a BMW 760Li.

    2004 XJ8 finishes second in comparo

    Americans generally don't like diesels.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Very interesting points, sir. I actually DO own a Jag, a '00 XKR. The reasons, well, despite the fact that the car is now 8 years old, its still one of the most attractive drop tops on the market. The SC430 to me looks like an Audi TT after a bit too many Big Macs. I really like the SL500, but I'm not a fan of M-B electronics. Also, I cant afford one. Unlike M-B, Jaguars tank right off the lot like most British cars. This XK is my third Jaguar, my first being a '96 XJS. Reliability has improved. The XJ had lots of problems, my '98 XK8 had less problems, and the '00 has had less than that. It has still had its share though. Its not a car I would depend on as a dialy driver. The S and X-type have no chance in their respective segments. The XJ really isnt a bad car. What disappointed me most was the interior materials. The hard plastic on the inside of the door handles felt like a Kia.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    "For the first time, Audi has outsold BMW and Mercedes-Benz to become the top-selling luxury brand in Europe for a three-month period.

    Propelled by hot new A4 and A6 models, Audi was the big winner in the first quarter of 2005 — at a time when Mercedes-Benz was suffering quality problems and BMW saw sales depressed while it was going through a model change on its bread-and-butter 3 Series."


    Surprising, the A4 and the A6 don't do nearly as well here in the States.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    As to your other comments, would Jaguar and Saab be missed? Probably not. I've gotten in arguments with Saab fanatics before that Volvo is the only Swedish brand left. "But SAABs are actually built in Sweden!", they cry. "Volvos are made in Belgium". To their first retort, not for long. By 2010, Saab is out of Sweden in terms of production and design. To the second, Volvos are also built in Gothenburg, Sweden. Also, if you want to see what the Swedes themselves perfer, go there. I have, and the ratio of Volvo to Saab was at least 1000 to 1. I saw more American muscle cars in my time in Stockholm than I saw Saabs. You literally cant throw a rock without hitting a Volvo V70 though. Also, once there are "GM" badges on Saabs (brilliant move guys, THAT will get the sales back in line) how Swedish is it, really. The Saab lineup currently consists of an Opel, a Subaru, and two Chevys. Dont worry, as long as the ingnition is on the center console, its a Saab. Yeah, right.

    Volvo is in much better shape. They along with Mazda in terms of Ford's "foreign properties" are actually doing reasonably well. Also, unlike Saab, they havent lost their soul. The old S40 was developed with Mitsubishi, and was no great loss. Even though the new one is half Mazda3, there really isnt a better small car platform out there to use. Volvo's engines are their own, and they are better than anything Ford has. The T6 makes 268hp. Even with Jag modified heads, the Duratec cant push past 230 or so. The next S60 is going to use a new platform called P1X, developed by Volvo. Ford made mistake after mistake with Jaguar, but they've handled Mazda and Volvo very well. Instead of gutting them and making them into another Isuzu, Ford is actually using Mazda and Volvo parts in THEIR cars. Volvo's future plans are to increase their volume with a new small car to slot below the S40. Wether its going to work, I dont know, but they are one of the bright spots in PAG.

    The problems with diesel here in the states are 1. our diesel contains a lot of sulfur and cant pass emmissions in several states. 2. diesel costs as much as premium. When we get "clean diesel" around '06 or so, the amount of diesel options may increase. Honda is apparently at work on a diesel for the US market.
  • xkssxkss Posts: 722

    about Jaguar

    Yeah, it sure is a mistake to make an aluminum luxury car.

    Have you noticed how heavy cars are getting today? It hurts handling, mpg, and overall performance. The 2005 Jaguar Super V8 weighs over 800 pounds less than a BMW 760Li. The XJR will outperform the revised BMW 750i.

    Have you driven a new Jaguar XJ?
  • A shout out and thanks to Mark, Lexusguy, and Merc1, among the many other posters here--as a rather obsessive lurker on these boards recently (as I try to make what is turning out to be a difficult decision), your insightful comments are greatly appreciated....
    As to my thoughts, I test drove an M35X and Audi A6 3.2 today within an hour of each other, and here are my impressions:
    If you're into gadgetry, the M35 is where it's at. The audio text capabilities, reverse camera, and DVD-audio were very cool. Nonethless, I had trouble with the Rosewood matte finish and quality of the plastics, and I'm not crazy about the shelf dash. The seats were comfortable, and there was plenty of room in the rear, considerably more than the A6. Bottom line however, is that I thought the Audi had the better interior, with a more luxurious feel and slightly better fit and finish.
    As to the ride, the M has noticeably better low end torque (I believe it's about half a second quicker to 60 from what I've read?)-but I was pleasantly surprised by the A6. Based on what I've read, I assumed it would be a slug, but the difference was really pretty marginal. The M had a more throaty engine noise (unless the A6 was in Sport mode) and seemed marginally more tossable on the exit ramps and in lane maneuvres.
    I find the exterior of the A6 considerably more attractive- the M35 looks a little too like a generic Japanese sedan for my taste. I do not have a problem with the Audi grille, though I would probably pop for the Euro front plate holder, and take my chances with the law:>)
    One last note-the difference in salespeople at each dealership was pretty striking-the Inifiniti salesman really belonged on the Nissan lot-he had no idea how to work the voice recognition, and tried to BS his way through a few questions he couldn't answer, whereas the Audi salesperson was knowledgable and low key.
    As you can probably tell from my post, I lack the intricate knowledge and furvor of those that post here with regularity. I did prefer the A6, and this surprised me, based on what I had read in the mags and on this and other boards. I suppose the bottom line is that these are both fine cars, and those of us who are fortunate enough to be able to afford a car in this price range are doubly fortunate to have so many excellent choices. I expect to be test driving the RL in the next week, and perhaps a GS after that (although I currently own a GS430, and am looking for a change).
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    Mark--if you want to see an actual Jaguar or Volvo specimen, stop by a (Ford-owned) Hertz #1 Club Gold counter at any major airport, since that is where most of them exist and are available for rental (LOL)! I think I drove my last few S80's, Cross-Countries, or S-Types as rentals on some recent trips.

    Jaguar might be able to hang around by remaining a tiny niche player in the US market by appealing to the few that appreciate it's design philosophy, exclusivity, and requirement for deep pockets for non-warranty repairs. However, unless they have a credible entry and mid-level model, it will never be more than a tiny fish in a large pond. For years, they had Ford to prop them up, but I think those days are over.

    Same story for Saab. They do have a loyal following in the Northeast U.S., but GM can't afford to be their sugar daddy any longer, so they will be on increasingly thinner ice in the next few years. Their "Saabaru" 9-2X is now selling at $5000+ discounts, and their next big thing is a rebadged Chevy TrailBlazer (think it's called the 9-7X??). Those 2 models pretty much sum up Saab's current and future heartburn. Their upcoming 9-3 "sport combi" is also rather pathetic. Marketing departments have now developed about 10 new names for the word "station wagon."

    Volvo has a chance. They have more diversity in their lineup, and they can still play their reputation for safety as their trump card. But they really need a true replacement for the S80, and the S40/S60 line needs a boost although I'm not sure what exactly that would be. The XC90 is selling fairly well, probably to customers who are coming out of Volvo wagons. Volvo also sells powertrains for semi-trucks that help sustain their bottom lines.

    Regarding Audi's success in Europe---although they certainly sell luxury models there, they also sell a hell of a lot of non-quattro 4-cylinder or diesel A2 and A3 models that serve as relatively plebian forms of transportation. Audi has a more complete model line from top to bottom than M-B or BMW in Europe, and with the addition of the Touareg-based Q7, their overall lineup will be impressive, especially with Skoda/Seat/Bugatti/VW/Bentley providing them with a deep and interesting bench.

    Anybody see the photos of the upcoming M-B Gelaendewagen in AutoWeek? Gone is the spartan, boxy, ready-for-a-safari-or-a-war look, to be replaced by the jellybean impression from the new M and R-class.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    I believe that TODAY the Audi has fallen in acquisition cost via lease to within spittin' distance of the M35x. I certainly hope my M decision is not one that I regret. I do like the look of the Audi and the interiors are always at the top of the class.

    The Audi advantage 4 years or 50,000 miles make the current Audi a pretty low risk lease. The driving experience of the Audi and M are both very desirable.

    My issue my personal challenge has been European vs Japanese. It is difficult to explain if you really have no preference. But, for virtually the majority of my life, I have felt that European cars were better than all others. The current crop of cars from all over, especially the Japanese, has made me rethink this.

    The good news is the current crop of cars in this class are all very good to excellent -- I can hardly imagine feeling I had "settled" with any of them.

    If money were no object, I would have one Audi A6 and one Infiniti M35x and I would fully evaluate them both.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Yes, the XJ is aluminum. We get it. The A8 has been aluminum for quite a long time, its not like Jaguar is breaking new ground or something. When I was refering to Ford's bumblings with Jaguar, I was making reference to the X-type and S-type, not the XJ. If you actually read cstiles post, he said "credible entry and mid-level model". We're not talking about the XJ here. The X-type and S-type simply cant compete in their respective segments. The XJ is a competent car. I've driven an '05 XJ8. Its very nice. Would I trade my LS for one? Not a chance. Being "pretty good" against a '00 design Mercedes, and an '01 design Lexus isnt exactly something to get excited about when your car is brand new though. Both Lexus and Mercedes will have all new full size players for '07 with new engines that will absolutely trounce the Jag, and they'll be back of the pack again.

    The rest of the industry moves in 5-6 year cycles now. If its taking you 10 years to get new cars out, your going to lose, plain and simple. Jag simply doesnt have the financial muscle to keep up with BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, and Audi.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I think more than a few people would miss Audi and Volvo. Jaguar and Saab too, but to a much lesser degree, especially for Saab.

    Audi and Volvo in particular have some pretty good cars under their respective lineups, especially Audi. I don't think Audi is in danger of having to leave the U.S. anytime soon. Ditto for Volvo.

    Jaguar on the other hand has about 2-3 more years to turn things around otherwise they might be sold off or just shut down. Ford is only going to lose so much money on them before getting fed up. Land Rover should be in the clear sometime next year, and Volvo already makes money. Aston-Martin is in the middle of a turnaround also. Jaguar needs a new X-Type, which imo should be engineered on a new compact rwd platform that could also support that F-Type sports car concept they showed a few years ago. I mean Mercedes, BMW and Audi do it with the SLK, Z4 and TT don't they? Pretty much. Ford has to realize that they have to spend on Jaguar just like they have with the other PAG brands otherwise they're wasting time foolin' with Jaguar any further. The X-Type is dead and the S-Type may as well be as the sales numbers will show as this year progresses. In the past there was room for MB, BMW and the occasional Audi and the even more exclusive Jaguar. Now however in addition to the usual Euro suspects you have Lexus, Infiniti and Acura all heating things up in the lower and middle segments and Jaguar simply can't compete with their current products. I think a new rwd X-Type sedan and a sports car based off the same platform to tackle the SLK/Z4 and a new XJ based S-Type along with the new XK could give Jaguar the product it needs to live.

    I know for people who prize Lexus, Acura and Infiniti brands like Jaguar, Audi and Volvo might seem pointless, but they aren't and they imo offer a refreshing alternative to the usual MB/BMW combo and the often boring Lexus/Acura offerings. Infiniti on the other hand seems to be a Japanese brand after my own heart.

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    "Jaguar needs a new X-Type, which imo should be engineered on a new compact rwd platform that could also support that F-Type sports car".

    Its a great theory, but it wont happen. This is a company that plans to support its entire lineup of cars all based on Mazda and Volvo platforms. There's just no way they are going to spend the cash on an all new platform that will support at best one or two cars. Even if they DO spend the money for an all new, Jaguar designed compact RWD platform for the X-type, whats going to happen 5 years later? Are the Germans and Japanese just going to sit still and wait for poor old X-type to get its next redesign? Not a chance. The X-type was a failed experiment to turn Jaguar into a a 200K+ sales volume maker. I dont think there will be another.

    Buying a compact and very powerful Yamaha V8 was a very smart move for Volvo. I wonder if it will end up in the next S80 as well. That is really the one dull spot in Volvo's line. It competes with the Toyota Avalon, and costs too much. They either need to make it into a car actually worthy of being invited to a C&D midsize sport\lux comparo, or just get rid of it. Maybe Acura should give Yamaha a call.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    .....sigh..... :(

    I guess you're right, but it was a nice dream though. I don't think Jaguar will make it without something in the entry-level segment. A nice crossover might work, but I'm not sure if it fits the Jaguar image.

    I disagree about the S80 competing with the Avalon, well maybe up until this year because the Avalon really came out the bag with this redesign in features/size/power, but before that no comparison to me. I still doubt that the Avalon will match the Volvo in dynamics, but neither are terribly sporty. The S80 T6 is a nice car, but you're right "nice" doesn't cut it anyomore. I had read somewhere that the V8 will be put into the S80 when it gets redesigned.

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I think the idea is to turn Jaguar into a Maserati. They've got one full size luxury car, and one GT coupe\convertible, and thats probably what Jaguar will be left with, unless the next S-type shows up before 2020 and performs some kind of miracle. I'm not sure that will work any better than right now, though. As for the S80, at least the NA 2.9 engine definitely competed with the old Avalon. I tested both cars with a friend of my wife who was looking for a big car in the $30s range, she picked the Avalon. I didnt find the 2.9 to be any sportier than the Avalon. Nor did it feel any quicker. Also, shockingly, the seats werent all that great. We tried the T6 briefly, and while the handling was a bit better, the torque steer was not.

    What I'd like to see from Volvo with the next S80 is a real performance sedan, AWD, with either the Yamaha 8, or a T6 making a minimum of 280hp, or both. I know they can do it, their 2.5L 5 is capable of 300 horses after all. A big cushy boat thats not particularly good at anything and not particularly luxurious and comes in at $40K+ like the current car isnt going to work. The ES350 will crush it. Take it up market, or just let it die.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Oh I forgot about the base S80, yeah that does compete in that range, hp and everything. I can't believe you all didn't like the Volvo's seats. The first time I sat in an S80 I didn't want to ever get out the seats were so comfortable. I just can't come to grips with a car that looks like an Avalon no matter how nice it drove etc. Different strokes for different folks.

    The ES350? The ES is getting the 280hp engine from the Avalon?

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    It was wierd. I normally love Volvo seats, but the ones at least in the '01 S80 that I tested didnt do much for me. I saw that echoed in a review of the S80 as well. I've also driven a C70 coupe and several S60s, loved the seats in both cases. In that case, Toyota was willing to deal, Volvo wasnt. Also, residuals on the S80 are miserable, so I think she made the better choice.

    From what I understand, ES will become ES350 with the '07 redesign. As for the RX, not sure. Its redesign probably wont come until 2010 or so, and my guess is it will become RX350 and RX450h, or something like that.
  • Lexusguy- I didn't mean to put down the XK8 or XKR by my comments. I would love to have an XKR coupe because I feel that it represents what Jaguar has always stood for. It needs to get the all Al body and frame though. It would shred the competition if given a fighting chance by Ford. Now as for the rest of the stable I think the XJ is a great vehicle BUT it carries baggage that makes it hard for someone who owned one in the past and experienced the frustrations that went along with that ownership to purchase another. I am 37 years old and I am starting to get into that target range which Jaguar should be shooting for. I would never give them a dime for an X-Type or an S-Type no matter how fast, light or cheap they were. They just don't have what the XKR has that says "Jaguar" to me.
    What would save Jaguar? Include maintenance like the Audi plan and dropping $5000 of the price of the X-Type. The wagon looks really good but the $36,000 price without options is a feeble attempt at humor. What idiot would price this wagon so high above the sedan, that nobody wants, and then.............
    Sorry, but I would buy the wagon but obviously it is a dead issue now that it is moronic economic choice. "Hello Hertz, Yes I would like to borrow one of those X-Type wagons, that only you own, for a trip...."

    As for Volvo.....................the XC90 is nice and with the price of gas today I would consider one for my wife to haul the kids around in IF they dropped a hybrid engine in and INCREASED gas mileage. Volvo/Ford has instead decided to drop the V8 engine into it, imo 2 years too late, and it will get worse mileage. I test drove a S40 last fall and I was more impressed by the center console than the vehicle. The Mazda3, platform sister, had better performance and seats. The S80 was a brilliant vehicle in 1999 when I drove one that I rented. It hasn't progressed much since then. Still a great vehicle but the price is crazy.
    Audi makes a beautiful vehicle with great interiors and exteriors. Fit and finish is great too. The A8 is one of the best full size sedans built. I would lease any one of their products but I would not want to own one for the long term. The loss is too great.
    I disagree with the comment that Land Rover will be doing well soon. I'm not brilliant and I know I am treading on thin ice with this thought but the market for SUVs seems to be getting smaller and their vehicles get horrible gas mileage. The Freelander is not really competitive against the same price vehicles from Japan and the new Disco is going to cost more than the last one. Have you seen what these vehicles go for after a couple of years? Bring the Defender 110 back with the diesel that the guys over here have and price it a little over the Jeep and you will make a killing. (IMO, of course)
    I got off the sport sedan topic there-apologies to the host. I'll do better next post.

    SAAB- The SAAB trailblazer is NOT funny. Another idiot thought this would be a good idea.........and the GM badge? There should be a no cost GM badge delete option available. The Sabaru was not a bad idea but it won't save SAAB. The Sportcombi on their website looks good but the price will either be too high or they will do something else to reduce it's chance to help SAAB. My apologies go out to both of the very loyal SAAB buyers reading this and the other 8 buyers from the NE. :-)

    Okay back to work.

    Capt. Phil
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    Hello Capt. Phil---agree with your observations, except for your thought about saving the X-Type. Don't know if there is a way to accomplish that. In fact, Jaguar is doing just the opposite---eliminating the low end (2.5) and putting their eggs into a luxed out version (3.0) at the upper end of MSRP. The basic problem with the X-Type is that it is not really a Jaguar, but a Ford Mondeo. With apologies to the (decent-in-its-own-right-but-not-a-luxury-car) Mondeo, but no matter how much you polish a turd, at the end you're still left with a turd.

    The S-Type is also mostly a Ford under the skin. Lurking beneath a body and interior that is vaguely appropriate to the Jaguar brand is a Lincoln.

    Asking prices may suggest otherwise, but Saabs probably don't qualify as "luxury performance cars" in the mindset of most U.S. consumers. I respect Saab for following a different arc for many decades, but a 4-cylinder turbo and front wheel drive just don't excite the typical American luxury car shopper. Look at the exceedingly repetitive posts on the Infiniti board that wax poetic about the (nice) M35/45 and its powerband. Speed and torque that come wrapped in nice leather, decent sound systems, 18/19 inch wheels, and roomy back seats are what tickles our fancy. That's just not what Saab does.

    All hail the WRX, but a Saab version is an answer to a question that nobody asked.

    Absolutely agree with you that SUV's in general are on their way down. At least the luxo-barges that get 10 mpg. GM is in deep crapola. Did you know that GM stock is actually selling for less than it did 40 years ago, while the S&P has risen more than 1,600%? Chew on that for a while as you watch a Suburban roll down the assembly line. Glad to see Cadillac enjoying a rebirth, but the LaCrosse, G6, and Cobalt explain why Mr. Lutz is no longer GM's car czar. The Solstice and new Saturns better do well, but I wouldn't bet against the Miata and the slew of Saturn competitors.

    Ooops, I'm no longer talking about luxury performance cars.

    Hope you are out of harm's way over there. My cousin is serving as a medic near Baghdad and we get periodic updates from him and pray for his imminent and safe return. Godspeed to you also.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The XKR has DNA that dates back to the mid 70s XJ-S. I've owned an XJ-S, and while the outside is radically different and still gorgeous (the XK literally survives on looks alone) when you drive the car, you know whats really under there. The one thing I still dont like in the transition from XJ-S to XK8\R is that the XJ's interior was exceptional from a materials standpoint. Ergonomically it was a nightmare, the car WAS designed in the '70s after all, but the seats, the wood, magic. It was the poor man's Rolls Corniche. Like all of the rest of Jag's current line, the new one took a giant step backward in materials. As for the X-type, Jag has ALREADY chopped several thousand off the price. A well equiped 3.0 used to run in the mid $40s. The price reduction didnt work. I just dont think the car is salvagable. Mark Fields, executive VP of PAG in the Automobile interview was very ambigious. He said that they grew well from '98 sales of `50,000 cars to 120,000 cars. Thats great and all, but you dont close plants when your "growing well". When Automobile asked about an X-type replacement, he gave a very political non-answer about being different. Absolutely no details whatsoever. I am however, very interested in the '07 XK, with its poor man's DB9 looks. At least the interior of the ALC concept was very nice and FINALLY NO J-GATE!!! I'm really hoping those details make it into production.

    The XC90 isnt bad, but my wife is very happy with her RX. Its a lightweight compared to the Europeans, so the V6 provides plenty of performance AND fuel economy, even without the electric motor. I have no doubt that Lexus will sell every 400h that comes off the line though. The XC90 has definitely been a big success for Volvo though, and most importantly, it is NOT a rebadged Ford Explorer, as the 9-7x is to Trailblazer. Its perfectly fine to develop a mass market product like the Freestyle from a luxury developed platform like the Volvo P2. Whats NOT fine is to make a lux-ute out of your mass market platform, GM.

    To the Saab heads that say the 9-2 and 9-7x are stop gap measures, they are. To be replaced by other GM rebadges. The next vehicle in the Saab pipeline is a "9-5x" which will be a rebadged Chevy Equinox\Pontiac Torrent. Woohoo. The only way I can see Saab working is a sort of alternative to Cadillac, using the Sigma architecture for those not into the "art&science" design direction. I might be interested in at least test driving a Saab version of the CTS with RWD or AWD and the 3.6L DOHC V6. Continued rebadges of Chevy products will only lead them on a path to their ultimate demise. Good bye Sweden. Hello Saabldsmobile.

    cstiles, I liked the comment that automobile made about a GM exec looking at the Ridgeline and then bashing it. Basically what they said is that GM might want to get their OWN business in line before they start ripping apart actually innovative products from a PROFITABLE automaker.
  • I have been test driving the new M35 and M35 Sport...Is it me or does the engine on these models rev when at higher speeds and also hesitate.

    Can someone tell me the latest on the money rate for a M35 Sport?
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,055
    for helping to explain why the American car industry is going down the toilet, at least in this segment. Well written & insightful.

    I tried to give Lincoln a shot, but it was the wrong time.

    I'm not sure there was ever a right time.

    I'll be going back to Asian for my next ride, I'm fairly certain.
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