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Luxury Performance Sedans



  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,926
    I'm doing a resto-mod on a '80 Chevrolet Malibu coupe. ... It's nice knowing my car ...could appreciate in value instead of depreciate...

    Come on. There's not much of anything from the 80s that's going to appreciate in value, no matter how well it's restored. And it's a Malibu, no less. The only domestic car (or any origin, for that matter) from the 80s that comes to mind for appreciating in value is an unmolested, unrestored, pristine Buick Regal Grand National, GNX, or T-Type. And quite possibly an '89 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am GTA.
  • msu79gt82msu79gt82 Posts: 541
    Wow what a difference in markups :surprise: Just used Edmunds to Price two comparable configurations available in my area and I'm shocked at the markup differences. The Lexus has double the markup ~ $8000 vs. $4000.

    Lexus GS300 w/ ML Nav Package, Moonroof, Rain-Sensing Wipers, Parking Assist, Ventilated Seats, Spoiler, Power Rear SunShade = MSRP of $50,215 and Invoice of $42,542 (Note this config is the only way to get Nav thru Gulf States Toyota).

    Infiniti M35 w/ Journey, Nav, and Full Size Spare = MSRP of $45,740 and Invoice of $41,795.

    Nothing new here just a little ranting ;) Any ideas on whose willing to deal the most in the Houston area??
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    The Audi A6 will be here in 48 hours or so -- for perhaps the obvious reasons this is probably the most anticipated new car I have ever had (and at 53, I've had a lot since that first 1961 VW beetle).

    Tick tock.
  • You are likely right. You could be wrong. You surely agree there is less chance of any of the three reviewed Japanese cars appreciating. If you can accurately predict the future you are the first mortal with that ability. I only said it could happen, not that I'm counting on it. This particular Bu is rare, believe it or not. It's so rare you've probably never heard of it. It's called an M80. Not too long ago Keith Martin himself sold a late '60s-early '70s Chrysler Hemi for $12k or thereabouts, happy to have doubled his investment. Ten years later this car sells for hundred of thousands. One of the world's best appraisers dramatically failed to predict the future appreciation of his own car. Are you a better appraiser than Keith Martin? If you had prior knowledge that mint OEM muscle cars would out-appreciate rare Ferraris you would have bought many of them. But you didn't, proving your lack of appraisal talent. Maybe the world of car nuts will later welcome restored cars of later vintages than the current crop. Previously second gen Camaros never appreciated. Now they do. I'm piling it on because of your tone. Don't lecture me because I'm going to list fact after fact to test your patience.

    Your slight of the Malibu name displays some arrogance &/or naitivity. Documented Malibu sale prices are well into six digits. I know those are earlier vintages. I mention it only because of your slighting of the name.

    I considered the GNX. Around here Regal G-bodies are lowrider favorites. I can't get past the lowrider association. Also it's far more difficult to restore a GNX, especially under the hood. I prefer a strong V8 over a smaller turbocharged V6. I prefer instant torque vs. turbo lag.

    If appreciation was a primary goal I admit the Bu is a bad choice. Even though OEM trim has been ideal for appreciation in the past, currently the resto-mod cars are appreciating. People want drivers, & OEM is inferior in that regard. All of the cars mentioned by you & me are pretty awful in OEM trim.

    For several good reasons the modified Malibu is perfect for me. I wanted a good daily driver. I fit far more comfortably in the Bu vs. any B-body. Finally, as a daily driver this modified Bu will blow away either of the cars you mentioned in OEM trim.
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    Please, you know full well what your intentions were when you posted your original message. Something along the lines of, "Ha, ha, look at all of you luxury car buyers spending more than twice the money I did...blah, blah, blah." At the time I didn't realize you were only referring to the Japanese cars we've discussed here. Anyway, I doubt your Malibu would "blow away" the M45. Certainly around curves it would eat you for breakfast, and as you said, top speed is limited by the Malibu being about as aerodynamic as a cargo container. I'd sure love to see it blow away my car. I realize that the 545i has slightly less HP and torque, and weighs somewhat more, but do you really think the Malibu could beat 0-60 in 5.2 seconds? As mentioned earlier, when we hit the first curve the race would be over in any event. Anyway, since this is the Luxury Performance Sedan message board I don't really see how a 1980 Malibu has anything to do with it. I'm sure there are plenty of message boards dedicated to restored cars.
  • msu79gt82msu79gt82 Posts: 541
    For this being only slightly related to the subject cars. I'm doing a resto-mod on a '80 Chevrolet Malibu coupe.

    Actually I see ZERO relationship to this thread's subject cars :confuse: Good luck with your restore; I'm sure restoring old vehicles is a worthwhile and rewarding hobby. I sometimes long for another '74 Olds Cutlass Supreme - my first car :) But an '80 Malibu and my old Cutlass are not related to an LPS theme in any way whatsoever!!
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Hi there - this discussion is the wrong place for your topic, and your confrontational tone with the participants here is not appropriate.

    Good luck with your restore, but there isn't anything relevant to what you are doing that fits in with the subject of this discussion. I'm not sure if it can help you, but I think the best resource we have to offer to you is the new Speed Shop: Tuning & Modification board. Otherwise, the search features on the left side of the page will help you hunt down the Malibu discussions.

    If you want to pursue this with me, feel free to drop me an email - just click on my name to view my profile.

    Good luck with what you are trying to do.
  • bondguy1bondguy1 Posts: 228
    I have the new A6 and everytime you turn the radio on, it prompts you with the warning screen about taking your eyes off of the road (mostly for the Navigation). You have to push the MMI control to accept and it clears that screen. I am thinking this is to protect Audi in case of a collision and not having the warning for some idiot who took his eyes off the road to adjust something. Is there a way to set this thing so that when I turn on the radio each time, the warning screen won't be there?
    Also, Mark, have you been in the A6 lit up at night? With the newer style of center console that comes all the way out, it really does look more like an A8 inside. Also, what is your opinion on the wood kits for the dash that I have seen in some cars? Are they just a cheesy add on or will it give it a rich look like in the A8?
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Please dont put a "wood dash kit" in your car. Every time I see a fairly nice old LS400 or something on ebay with one of these awful kits it makes me cringe, especially since most of them cant match the oem color, and none of them can match the grain. I've never seen one that actually looked good.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    The lawyer screen is probably NOT something that is meant to be disabled. And there is probably some reason that doing so would be worse than a dealer removing a mattress tag.

    My Audis and my wife's BMW always display the lawyer screen and require the push of a button to "accept."

    It is not a big deal as far as I'm concerned.

    The aftermarket wood applications usually look just a step or two above contact paper and I would avoid them. If you want wood, get the Premium pack option.
  • ukjimukjim Posts: 63
    A short comment on nav systems. I have read a number of automotive journals that complain about the "lawyer screens" that either have to be accepted before useage, or worse still wont let you make changes while in motion.

    For anyone looking at getting a nav in their new car I would consider getting an after market version instead. I travel all over with my job and have owned a Garmin Street Pilot III ( now superseded by newer versions) for over 2 years and it works great. The real advantage is that it is not tied to the car, when travelling in Europe I just load the European maps and I am in business. Battery power also allows it to be used out of the car altogether.

    With OEM units running $2000+, the $700 paid, plus the flexibility, make the Garmin a great deal, and more than makes up for the minor inconvenience of it resting on the dash or center consol.

    Just a thought, and no, I don't have any stock in Garmin!
  • msu79gt82msu79gt82 Posts: 541
    Excellent option for those vehicles that have totally different dashs for Nav vs. non-Nav. For those vehicles with an "information" screen built into the dash regardless of whether you have Nav or not, I say built-in Nav is mandatory. The 7" - 8" dash screen w/o Nav seems to be a ridiculous waste :blush:
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I agree. The first generation RX300 for example has this hideous ultra bright blue LCD "info" screen if you opt not to get navigation. Its not just ugly but incredibly distracting at night. In my opinion, the most brilliant hvac\audio\nav interior design ever is the one in the current SC430. All three are kept seperate, and a wooden door covers the Nav screen until you actually need it.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    The A6 3.2 is now in my garage, the allroad is gone, but not forgotten.

    Working on the voice activation -- love Sirius and the bluetooth phone capability.

    After a 6spd manual 2.7T allroad, the 3.2 is, um, more leisurely but certainly "adequate." Oil is $60+ today. The rating on this 3.2 is up to 26MPG.

    I'll take decent, adequate power if I can spend a bit less money and time at the pump.

    Beautiful interior. This is one aspect of the M35X vs A6 that I am convinced the A6 has won.

    Cambridge Green pearl
    Amaretto comfort seats
    Advanced Key
    Speech recognition
    Premium leather
    18" wheels UPH all seasons
    Sony Ericson cradle
    All the standard stuff

    MMI is like a new version of windows -- fairly intuitive.

    One small wish -- radio buttons.

    However, the steering wheel seems to have buttons and dials and wheels, or whatever that MAY mitigate this.
  • bondguy1bondguy1 Posts: 228
    Congrats on the car. I have had mine for 5 weeks now and still love driving the car and the interior is top notch....not to be outdone by any other car in it's price class. You can say what you want about speed or shiny wood compared to dull wood. But, Audi does make one heck of a nice interior...go into the menu on MMI and turn up the interior lights all the way under car section. At night, look at the lights that light up under the wood panels in all four doors. How about the blueish leds that light up the back floor and outside ground under the mirrors. These are so much nicer than the regular bulbs they had on older Audi's.
  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,937
    "The A6 3.2 is now in my garage" - Mark

    Best of luck!
    - Ray
    Gone over to the "Dark Side" . . .
    2016 BMW 340i
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    With 50 miles on the od, I am hardly able to say too much good or bad about the new A6. Subject to modification and clarification and correction in future posts, here goes.

    2005 A6 3.2 Green Pearl, Amaretto Premium Leather - comfort seats

    Sat Nav
    18" UHP All seasons on 18" optional wheels
    Sirius Sat Radio
    Pushbutton Start
    Voice activation of most of the stuff the MMI does control.
    In armrest phone mount for Sony T637 bluetooth phone

    I think that covers the layout.

    The M35X I had ordered was Liquid Platinum, Bourbon

    Rear Spoiler

    The MSRP of the two cars was ~ $50,250 M35X ~ $53,290 A6.

    The mo pay on the Audi with no upfronts, no sec dep and only first mo: $669/36 months 15,000 per year. This is $8.00 less than the Infiniti would have been and the Infiniti would have required a sec dep. At those deltas, the Infiniti would have been a 39 month lease, too.

    The Infiniti has a 60,000 warranty, the Audi, 50,000 miles.

    The Audi will have no charge maintenance. The Infiniti would have had yes charge maintenance ("yes charge?")

    The Infiniti would have had more electronic stuff (and I love gadgets). The Inifiniti would have been able to play my small collection of DVD-Audio discs, the Audi will not. The Infiniti would have had 280HP (the Audi has 255HP) and probably achieved speed about .5 seconds quicker (to 60mhp).

    The Audi has a 6speed auto, the Infiniti a 5speed auto -- both manumatics.

    So far no tip lag on the Audi, but I will not be shocked if it happens. Ditto on the Infiniti had I gone that way.

    Where the Audi has parktronic, the Infiniti would have had a rear camera. The Audi's door locks are able to be set for auto or manual, etc.

    Audi charges $750 for push button start -- it is "free" on the Infiniti.

    The Audi's steering column is manual tilt and telescope, the Infiniti is power actuated. The Audi has front and rear heated seats, the Infiniti would have had front only heated and cooled seats.

    Both have lots of airbags.

    The brakes on the Audi are (depending on who you read) superior. This may be a draw.

    The Audi has glossy wood panels, the Infiniti flat finish wood panels.

    Lane departure warning system and automatic cruise control Infiniti only.

    Better gas milage (probably 2MPG) for the Audi.

    Net net: you get and give when you are in this class of cars -- perhaps Lexus or Mercedes or someone has figured out how to be all things to all people. Beats me.

    I would want a power steering column and a heated steering wheel having had these features previously in my Audis.

    Now that I have learned how to change radio stations this is just a comment: What on earth would be wrong with having a few radio station buttons? The Audi does not have any. Although you can use the thumbwheel on the steering wheel to easily (really) change stations and the voice command to do so is very cool too.

    I don't know if the Bird's Eye View Navigation on the Infiniti is better than the one in the Audi -- the one in the Audi is great and I love the secondary screen in the middle of the dash that uses arrows and text to compliment the voice commands. The map is cool (I set it to .6 miles) and is a useful tool to get a bit further overview of what you will be doing in .6 miles or so.

    The materials used, fit and finish, switchgear, even the stitches on the seats in the Audi are second to none. For all I know, they are equal in the Infiniti. I did take several test drives in the Infiniti and I felt at the time that Infiniti had done it right, too.

    Personal preference -- the Audi's interior lighting scheme is more to my taste, but this is on a scale of one to ten an eleven, so that would not be either a turn on or turn off.

    The Audi with the UHP 18" tires is very quiet. Yet, when I drove the Infiniti M35X, I thought it was pretty quiet too other than a bit more engine noise than I can provoke from the 3.2 Audi powerplant.

    The layout of the controls in the Audi will be easy to get comfortable with quickly -- but it is a far cry from my gone but not forgotten 2003 allroad (which was essential an A6 on the inside).

    The seats are the best I have ever been in. This time I did not want the sport seats, since even the comfort seats are well bolstered for my 53 year old butt.

    The Audi seems stiffer (non sport suspension but 40 series UHP tires) than my memory of the M35X. The turn in is sharp and precise. But, but, but -- I know the Audi is nose heavy(er) than the Infiniti and of all my academic gripes about cars, I am probably more prone to beat the drum for better F/R weight distribution than almost anything else -- because it effects the "balance" (read understeer/oversteer tendencies) perhaps more than anything else.

    Knowing the quattro system is a nominally 50 50 torque split and that the Infiniti is rear biased (30 70 (?) -- and actually almost "nominally a rear wheel drive" car except when needed), is more of something to discuss over drinks at "the club" rather than a practical matter for me to worry about. I am more wishful for a better balance of weight than a bias of drive. Heck, even the Volvos and Acuras some being 95% FWD can be engineered to do just fine IF their weight balance isn't too much front end biased. BMW is the champeen here as far as I'm concerned.

    The car seems adequately powered -- I have driven it in "S" mode except when I am on the interstate to keep the torquey feeling I had been used to in the 6speed manual 2.7T allroad.

    Sound system is possibly an A-, definitely a B+.

    It is smooth.

    It is more luxurious than I had expected from Audi -- but it does have that "solid" and nearly stiff feel that Germans just seem to have developed into a high art form.

    Duly submitted.
  • bondguy1bondguy1 Posts: 228
    Is that $669 plus tax or including tax?
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    I have not read this forum for a while.

    Somehow I am not surprised by this news. :D

    Congrats Mark!

    (Will you take another tour of the Castle?)
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    That is the amount of the check I have to write every month. Ohio requires the payment that you make to be the net amount, the final amount -- the taxes, thank you Govner, were prepaid, so the check is $669, the Inifinit as noted would have been $677.
  • bondguy1bondguy1 Posts: 228
    Just got home tonight. Love driving the new A6. Have one question though. The Bi-Xenon adaptive headlamps are supposed to light up the side of the car or sort of to some degree of an angle when you turn. They don't do much for my eyes. My parents Lexus LS 430 does a great job of lighting up the side front of car when you turn. I was driving their car recently and noticed a big difference when compared to my A6. Not a huge deal though...
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Drive down a dark road with your headlights on. Play with the wheel (not while other cars are around you) -- the headlight's beam will turn left and right with the wheel. The effect is real and is subtle. My wife's new X3 has this feature and it too is subtle but real.

    Not knowing how other car's work, I can simply say the effect has value -- yet unless or until you can test this out back to back with a car that does NOT have it, you may think nothing at all of this feature. It just seems to be as Mr. Tucker wanted those many years ago.
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    The M has it, too. At first, I didn't see much of a difference; it is subtle as Mark says. The xenons have such a wide beam that it makes the adaptive lighting somewhat superfluous. Does your parent's car have xenons? I would bet it is far more noticeable on standard headlights.
  • cmybimmergocmybimmergo Posts: 265
    The xenons have such a wide beam that it makes the adaptive lighting somewhat superfluous.

    Might this explain why I barely see my fog lights (02 530)? The ones on my Lexus are much more noticeable.
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    Possibly. Because they are so much brighter, xenons are normally directed somewhat lower (to protect oncoming drivers) than standard "low" beams--kind of a cross between fogs and lows.
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    When I read your interview in Business Week Mr F. the thought stayed with me that as time goes by it would be an interesting situation to watch. Good for Audi! They did the right thing! And so did you. :)
  • jlbljlbl Posts: 1,333
    Perhaps the following figures are of interest to some of you. They refer to the total-sales numbers in May and the accumulatives of the year, both in Europe. (In brackets, the increase over April sales.) They are pretty close to each other, aren't they? Though MB keeps loosing ground this year. Sorry, I have no data for other car makers.

    AUDI 56,298 (+17,2%) 270,388
    MERCEDES 53,870 (-12,7%) 283,178
    BMW 57,779 (+22,7%) 272,847

    Best regards,
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,926
    The difference is a bit more than just subtle. Some of you may be expecting both lights to turn at the same time. That is not the case. Only the light on the inside of the turn will move, i.e. if you're turning left, the left light will swivel, if you're turning right, the right light will swivel. Next time you pull up to your house at night, just turn the wheel from side to side and you will see it.

    Another factor is the degree of turning that the lights can do. If I recall, the A6's lights can turn up to 15 degrees, 17 degrees for the Infiniti M, and 23 degrees for the Lexus LS/GS(?). Those numbers are from rough memory from my testing all the cars and reading up on them. One really cool feature I like on the A6 is how the self leveling system will dip the headlights down and bring them back up when they first come on. Really neat looking; almost like the car is taking a bow for you. :-)
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The C class is really old compared to the 3 and A4, even more so than the E is compared to the 5 and A6. I think the drop in Mercedes sales is to be expected. Once they have a new C and a new E, they should bounce back.
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