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High-End European Luxury Sedans

paldipaldi Posts: 210
edited March 2014 in Audi
Tired of the "Lexus is better" endless debate? Lets ban the Lexus from this Discussion and just talk about Jaguar, Bentley, Maserati, Mercedes, BMW, Phaeton and Audi. Maybe add Volvo someday. :-)
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Comments

  • paldipaldi Posts: 210
    I'm picking up a Phaeton tomorrow, so of course, I think its "better". I admire VW for bringing the car to market. It took a lot of guts and they have created a great car. As it goes into further development, fixing a few bits and adding some, it will be king.

    image
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    There is a interesting comparo of the Maserati Quattroporte, A8L, and XJ8L in the June issue of Motor Trend. They couldn't have compared three more diverse cars. I think their rankings were fair, Audi, Maser, Jaguar. Like always the Maser's tranny came under fire. The A8L of course did "everything well" hence it winning.

    paldi,

    That big VW has been a favorite of mine since day one though I don't think there will be a follow up model because as nice as it is, it will never do well in a VW store. Good photo, very classy.

    M
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    for starting this thread! I wouldn't mind lexus being in a luxury car discussion if the advocates weren't using the sledgehammer approach. If I didn't know any better, I'd swear they were on toyota's payroll! LOL! For all the many luxury brands out there, I believe no one does it better than the Euro's, so those are the luxury cars I'd rather talk about.

    BTW, the phaeton is a fabulous car. I hope it doesn't end up being cannibalized by the bentley and Audi facets of the group, like some are saying. A lot of car for the money.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    I think this is a great idea also, but we're not going to bash other Forums members here. I know you are joking, but let's just stick to the cars. Thanks.
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    Sorry! Didn't mean to sound at all offensive to anybody. Just want to talk about all kinds of cars, rather than battle through a war over two specific brands. Mea Culpa...
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Right, that's what we're here for ... :shades:
  • paldipaldi Posts: 210
    Thank you. Yes it's true, fine value especially 30 percent off list for an untitled 2004 demo.

    There are dozens going through the auctions lately. Mostly all company owned cars, demos, turnbacks and such. Some W12s with the 4-seater package next week! I hope to see a lot more on the street soon. After that, VW plans on building up sales gradually. No more big incentives. Maybe a thousand new sales this year.

    So buy time is now to save big! But hey, the car is a great value new. Just over my budget.

    Tomorrow is going to be a Saturday drive. Can't wait. Now, back to reading the manual... :confuse:
  • denaliinpadenaliinpa Posts: 169
    paldi this thread is a great idea.
    congrats on your Phaeton purchase.
    i too have grown weary of the jdpower and consumer report
    afflicted and addicted. when it comes to exciting, engaging,
    and attractive luxury sedans nobody comes close to the
    Europeans. :)
  • paldipaldi Posts: 210
    Tell me more about the Maserati transmission. It's mounted in the rear, correct? Better weight distribution?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    . It's mounted in the rear, correct? Better weight distribution?

    Yep rear mounted for better weight distribution, but that isn't the problem the most writers have with it. The Maser's tranny is one of the SMG/F1 type deals in which the clutch is actuated by a computer instead of your left foot. This is fine for people who like to use the shift pedals on the steering wheel, but in automatic mode it doesn't come anywhere near the smoothness of a traditional automatic. This what everyone complains about during a test drive. Then again this isn't a car for the average luxury car buyer either. There is supposed to be a V12 version of the Quattroporte sometime next year with a proper automatic as well as a manual/F1 per the current rumor mill. We'll see.

    I've noticed that in recent months there are about 4-5 Quattroporte owners on the boad that post regularly, maybe we can get them to share there experiences here. Its a rare and special car that won't appeal to most, only that true enthusiast.

    M
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    The quattroporte is quite a looker, IMO. I've never seen it in the flesh, but I haven't seen a bad angle, or photo of it, either. Great Italian design.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yes it is. The best looking sedans at the moment in this class are the A8L, S-Class and Quattroporte imo of course. The S-Class in its AMG sportswear in particular is still a stunning design 6 years later. The A8 is the most ultra modern that just plain says "cool" more than any other large sedan on the road. Oh and of course the VW Phaeton has a good, classically conservative look. The only one I can't used to is that 7-Series, even with the facelift.

    M
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    Those are my favs as well. Certain facets of the 7 are quite cool, it's when you stand back and try to take it all in, that it just looks wierd. I do love the way it drives, once you can get it into drive, of course. It's too bad the big jag looks more like the X-type, these days. There's got to be a way to update and evolve that car, but I think they missed it a bit.
  • kbrookingskbrookings Posts: 16
    I have a QP - I love the gear box but I don't drive it in auto mode. If tranny smoothness was my priority I would probably be happier had I bought an A8. But I was after adventure and exhileration and the QP and F1 type transmission delivers. Very fast shifts in Sport mode; faster than a human could do with a traditional manual transmission or something with a torque converter.
    The gear box mount in the rear does contribute to the QP's rear weighted weight distribution which helps the car driver much smaller than it is and has a really pleasing turn in an other handling characteristics.
  • kbrookingskbrookings Posts: 16
    merc1, in response to your question about QP owner's experience to date. It really is an emotional thing. I've had many really wonderful cars, including a most everything high end German car manufacturers have offered over the years. Many of these German machines were just magnificent.
    But here is the difference: The QP calls to be played with. Whispers to me at night to come out and play - to see what kind of experience we might create together this time. Other wonderful cars I've had, particularly the Germans ones, wait in the garage for me to ask something from it; then it delivers with discipline, predictability and style. QPs are for luxury sedan buyers looking for an experience.
    It does have some annoyances, to be sure. The Navigation system sucks big time. The 4K massaging seats don't really massage. Given that its a great road trip car it cold use another cup holder. The Consule refrigerator/warmer is GIPE (Good Idea, Poor Execution). But the car has style, sex appeal and just begged to be driven (usually fast).
  • paldipaldi Posts: 210
    There was a rumor about a joint collaboration between VW and Maserati to give each access to the other's drive train technology. Can you imagine a 4Motion (quattro) QP or a Phaeton 4Motion with the tranny in the rear? Does anyone have more on this? Is it still possible? I heard Audi threw a fit!
  • xkssxkss Posts: 722
    The trunk of the 1998 Maybach predated the trunk of the current BMW 7 series.

    check this link

    1998 Maybach
  • xkssxkss Posts: 722
    I really like the new aluminum Jaguar Super V8. I like how the outer headlights are larger than the inner headlighs like Jaguars of the 50s and 60s and, obviously, the rest of the styling.

    The Super V8 is the flagship XJ and has the XJR's 4.2 liter 390 hp supercharged V-8 and Brembo brakes.

    I drove an XJR year ago and loved it. I like how Jaguar hasn't gone overboard with electronics. The Brembo brakes and 6 speed ZF automatic were great.

    The Super V8 weighs over 800 pounds less than a BMW 760Li.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    I wouldn’t compare the Maybach trunk with the 7-series. The Bangle trunk lids come from Chrysler and Honda. The Maybach’s comes from Bentley. We also see the latter on the RL, several Hyundai and soon-to-be S if spy shots are accurate.
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    Paldi, great photo, nice posts, but, really, is 30% off list on a now one year old car that isn't selling a good deal? IMHO the end of year "deals" never are a good deal because of the big depreciation you take for buying a one year old car and bailing out a dealer who for whatever reason couldn't sell a new car within its MY.
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    Great idea.

    Having seen the Quattroporte in person (at a Sams-club parking lot of all places!) I have to say it is the most beautiful sedan currently on the road....maybe in a long time.

    Mercedes CLS would be up there if it weren't for the front end. Side profile to rear end view is very interesting and "flows" nicely, but that front end (especially the headlights) turns me off. Still though, I have to say I like it. Just hoping for a front end redo in a few years ;)
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I mostly agree about the Quattroporte though, it is a beautiful car indeed.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    A very good article on the history of the Mercedes S-Class:

    http://www.germancarfans.com/classics.cfm/classicid/5050516.001

    M
  • paldipaldi Posts: 210
    "is 30% off list on a now one year old car that isn't selling a good deal? IMHO the end of year "deals" never are a good deal because of the big depreciation you take"

    Well, the dealer took the depreciation hit not me. I could have waited another 2 months for another 4k but they were planning to take it to auction.

    I've had my Phaeton 48 hours. My first high-end european luxury sedan. I'm a happy camper. :) The car is really special in the real-world experience of it. Nobody knows. Secret Bentley!

    image
  • paldipaldi Posts: 210
    Has anyone gotten up close with the new Bentley Continental Flying Spur sedan?

    This one will cause a sensation! Love to see a Maybach, Maserati, Flying Spur comparo.

    image
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    That interior color must be an acquired taste.
  • paldipaldi Posts: 210
    It is best appreciated from a distance, perhaps?

    image

    image

    image
  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    Actually, that is like like the "Teak" leather in a TOUAREG which I like a great deal, as do my customers, only a lot more of it...

    It would seem to be pretty high maintenance having all that leather to deal with, and vulnerable to damage as well...

    The physical plant though is pure PHAETON, but for a whole lot more $$$
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I like Bentleys and all, but the only true "Bentley" left imo is the Arnage and the upcoming convertible version. The Continental GT and especially this Flying Spur version have far too much VW in their makeup to be true Bentleys imo. I may as well be looking at the Phaeton in the above interior pics. I see way too much VW switchgear. Same problem with Maybach. Now the Rolls, as brickish as it is, is truly "bespoke" as they say.

    M
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    Well the exterior does look nice and "Bentley-ish" that is for certain.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    As it goes into further development, fixing a few bits and adding some, it will be king.

    Is there going to be further development? I agree with you that it is a good looking car and that the discounted prices make it a good value. But my impression is that it has been an abysmal failure in a business sense, selling in disappointing numbers worldwide, mostly due to the badge imho. I would be surprised if there is a second generation. Has anyone heard differently?

    Take good care of it because ultimately it could be valuable as a rarity.
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    ...and have I mentioned that I'm glad this topic was created? ;)

    As far as the Phaeton goes, I'm sure it is a fine vehicle, just that for the life of me, I cannot understand VW selling that car under the VW name-plate when they have the Audi brand already? Just one move that completely baffled me, especially in the U.S. market where "we" are very brand name conscious.
  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    Just because VWAG owns Audi does not mean that Audi is VW...The two brands are seperate and apart...

    And, does anyone not know that Lexus is a Toyota...The fact that the PHAETON is assembled by hand, in a factory built just for it's production, and shares the same frame as the Bentley C-GT and Flying Spur speaks volumes as to it's quality

    Additionally, PHAETON owners are universally in love with their stealth wealth sleds...Think of it this way..."From Why? to WOW!!!"
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    Oh I'm not knocking the Phaeton at all, just that I question the business decision of marketing it under the VW name, especially in the US.

    Even though I think most people know Toyota owns/produces Lexus (and I'm NOT delving into that here!) they get to drive around a product with the Lexus name on it, rather than the same badge that someone with a Toyota Echo has.

    I realize that it shouldn't make a bit of difference, but it does to the market. I just don't understand why VW did this (or maybe I should say why VAG let them do this) as they already have Audi as the mechanism to do this with. I just think it showed a major misunderstanding of how the US market operates. Doesn't take away anything from the Phaeton in the least, just the business decisions behind the scenes.
  • paldipaldi Posts: 210
    MB is offering this in several sizes too, but so far at least, not in a different flavor (Chrysler). What if they did?

    image

    image

    This guy must have a nice garage! :)
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    Paldi:

    Nice house. What lives in the other two garages?

    Florida or Southern CA?
  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    I would have to guess that Dr. Peich's heritage...he is Ferdi Porsche's grandson...led him to believe that the PHAETON would really cater to folks that are not so label conscious, and much more interested in the build quality of the automobile, and this is certainly the case with the owners.

    The bigger question regarding business decisions is why the new Jetta & B6 Passat were not launched before the PHAETON...It would seem that keeping the bread & butter products fresh should have precedence...
  • paldipaldi Posts: 210
    This V12 Benz photo and the W12 Phaeton below it are Florida cars that were offered on eBay. Don't know if the guy lives there or just takes his auction photos in front of that beautiful home. :confuse:
  • jpvwaudijpvwaudi Posts: 139
    They ARE completely different by design and execution. I sell both cars and I love both cars for different reasons. The Phaeton is the car I would want to be driven in and the A8 is the car I would drive. For those who say the Phaeton is a bad idea, look at the big picture. A contractor may build a huge expensive spec house in an otherwise ordinary community. No, not everyone will rush to buy the same exact model, but they might like some of its features in their 4 bedroom colonial........you build the house to showcase your talent
  • jpvwaudijpvwaudi Posts: 139
    They're straight up VW steering wheel, seats, carpet and key fobs. Oh yes, key fobs. They're the same as my Touareg demo......
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,323
    Are those guys taking pictures in front of my house again? ;)
  • denaliinpadenaliinpa Posts: 169
    VW needs to stay the course with the Phaeton.
    one more generation will cement it with it's core
    buyers and remove any speculation about whether
    or not it was a wise decision. much like the first
    generation LS 400 buyers the buyers of the Phaeton
    are intensely brand loyal and believe 100% in the car.
    i would hope VW doesn't de content the car with the next
    generation in order to save cost. price point is important
    but so is quality.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    much like the first
    generation LS 400 buyers the buyers of the Phaeton
    are intensely brand loyal and believe 100% in the car


    I believe that they're loyal but that isn't going to be enough imho to save the car. With 61 units sold in the US last month (down from 173 in Apr04) I really question whether there will be a second generation of the car. Somehow I think the LS was better received back in 1990. Like I said before the Phaeton could even be a collector's item down the road, kind of like DeLorean.
  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    > With 61 units sold in the US last month (down from 173 in Apr04)

    Wow, is that more or less than the Bentley platform mate? The Bentleys are actually doing quite well in sales under VW tutelage, compared to the new Rolls and Maybach that suddenly doubled their price points in the last half decade. Perhaps, a Phaeton may not be necessary for economy of scale purpose considerations. VW needs to take itself upmarket more gradually. The jump from Passat to Phaeton was just too much for the market to handle.
  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    At a PHAETON Meeting of Owners & VWOA Senior Management held at VWOA Headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mi. on the 23rd of April, we were informed that the PHAETON is alive and well. In fact, I am ordering 2006s as we speak, and there are design people working on a modest styling refresh for 2007.

    We do not live and work in a vacuum...Bread & Butter products must have priority and that would be the new Jetta V & B6 Platform Passat due in August...I start ordering them next week...

    Very important to remember...In 2004 VWAG had shipped a substantial number of PHAETONs to the US and there was inventory in Dealerships and at the Ports of Entry...not the case for 2005; we are on an Order Only basis.
  • greenbeltgreenbelt Posts: 55
    Do you think that the Corolla styling of the new Jetta will creep uphill to the Phaeton. I saw one today at my daughter's track meet. It looks like they ran the the Jetta through a Japanese copier. If the styling percolation time is a few years the Phaeton might catch the new Toyota Avalon in say, 2007 or 2008?
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    but I'm pretty disappointed by the new Jetta's styling. Other than the new Jetta/Golf though, I'd say VW's been pretty good at cranking out some sharp looking cars (Phaeton included).
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I actually find the Jetta to be a very good looking car, but the shape and rear taillights are too much Toyota for sure. Stil though it looks way better than the Corolla to me. That car being nothing more than a tall square box.

    The Touareg and Phaeton though are classically good looking vehicles though, in that VW way.

    M
  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    Needless to say, I have heard the Corolla comment before...It is certainly not a secret that the Jetta V is going head to head against Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and Mazda, and with the exception of the latter the styling cues are similar...Apparently, because these products sell, this is not a bad thing. However;
    a change in the wheels...from the 16" crap that is standard...to the 17" Vision V BBS make all the diffrence in the world in the appearance of the Jetta...These are now a Port Installed option.

    And, although I am sure that the Avalon reference is humerous to you, in fact many PHAETON features are being trickled down to this Jetta...refrigerated glove box and center console as examples...

    The PHAETON is the cornerstone of the Volkswagen Brand. If you have not seen the Passat B6...take the time and do the search. I predict that by 2007 the PHAETON will the one automobile that others will aspire to become...we are currently working on a styling refresh for that MY, and we may see a 2 or 4 door Coupe as well. And by then, we should be able to offer our V10 Twin Turbo Diesel in all 50 States as well...Stand the **********
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I've got to seriously question why VW would go through the trouble of making a coupe version of a sedan that doesn't sell now. That really doesn't make any sense. I seriously disagree about the Phaeton being the cornerstone of VW. I know you like the car and all ( I do too), but the reality of the Phaeton's situation is really bleak. VW needs to forget this luxury car stuff and get back to making the Jetta and Passat the more styling and fun to drive alternatives to the usual Hondas, Toyotas etc of the world.

    M
This discussion has been closed.