High-End European Luxury Sedans



  • paldipaldi Member Posts: 210
    The Continental GT


    The DB9

  • designmandesignman Member Posts: 2,129
    The Bentley has its merits. Very well-proportioned and windswept. It has that retro streamlined look that Raymond Loewy introduced in the 30s with locomotives, although a bit chunky and undercut. The Astons are starting to look Japanese to me and those Conestoga wagon wheels are not very flattering.
  • xkssxkss Member Posts: 722
    The Astons are starting to look Japanese to me and those Conestoga wagon wheels are not very flattering.


    Which Japanese car looks like an Aston Martin DB9?

    Answer: not one.



    The new BMW 5 series looks Korean.
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    . The Astons are starting to look Japanese to me and those Conestoga wagon wheels are not very flattering.

    One of the few times I have to totally disagree with your take on styling. I don't see anything even remotely Japanese about the DB9. I can't think of a better looking car in the world.

  • paldipaldi Member Posts: 210
    A little ole 240Z in there somewhere and the new Mustang front??
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Member Posts: 1,696
    Got to side with Merc on this one. The DB9 is simply a beautiful car and I just don't see much "Japanese" in the styling, but maybe it is just me :confuse:
  • designmandesignman Member Posts: 2,129
    Yep, the bristling at my Japanese/Aston crack doesn’t surprise me. There’s so-o-o much AM worship going on. It's almost mystical. Not here.

    Their styling is overrated and the new ones have taken steps in wrong direction losing shape and proportion. Can’t compare to the fluidness and balance of the 911 and XK coupe. Guys, those sides are as stark as the Siberian tundra. And the shape of the butt looks like a flower pot. I don’t like the teeny greenhouse in relation to the girth. And I know the prominent upper lip of the grille is its signature but I never cared for it. I’ve said this before—it looks like a fish groping for food.

    Perhaps Lexus borrows from Aston? Regardless, it suggests the L-finesse look to me. Paldi’s comments are on the right track.

    Well, what can I say? I call it the way I see it. Now don’t be defending those wheels or I’ll disown all of you!!

  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    That was tough to read designman. I mean really tough.

    Those stark sides are not unlike those of the 911 or XK to my eye. In fact that is what makes the car look so "clean" and sleek to me. Unlike the sides of say the current SL which are too busy to me. Its amazing, but everything you list as dislikes I think make the design. We've never been at such complete opposites in opinion on design.

    Lexus and Aston-Martin mentioned in the same sentence with regards to styling? Oh my gawd! I feel a pain in my chest. :cry:

  • docnukemdocnukem Member Posts: 485
    Uh oh is right. With Lexus and AM mentioned in the same sentence and all this AM worship going on here, maybe it's time for a new board--"High-End Mainland European Luxury Sedans".

    Really, though, the DB9 looks awesome (and I am not kneeling at the altar here). I, too, don't see the Japanese influence. Given how impractical it would be for me, I will never own one though (Yeah, impracticality, that's the only reason....).
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Member Posts: 1,696
    Not really an Aston Martin fan per se, just that I like their current styling. For example, I cannot stand the styling of the Aston Martin Lagonda.
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Member Posts: 1,696
    but (since we are often talking about coupes in this topic) do you all think the title should drop the sedan qualifier or not? Maybe it should just end in "marques" rather than "sedans"? Of course if that were done, then I suppose it would make more sense for this to be housed in the "news and views" section rather than "sedans". Just was wondering, please ignore my mindless ramblings.
  • ffb13ffb13 Member Posts: 181
    if you want great styling or design , with performance ,in my opinion,

    ferr 275 gtb

    mb gullwing and the old convertibles circa 40's and 50's

    allard roadster

    old bugatti with swept back fenders ????/can't remember its designation 2 seater coupe

    aston m db4 and the futuristic db6? or was it a db designation ?

    ferr 330 tr
    and most circa 50's early 60,s ferraris and maser..

    triumph tr3 and 4


    austin healy 330

    new bentley 2 door

    aston db9

    and early 50's astons

    lambo espada
    lambo countach original

    maserr ghibli 1960's

    porsche 917 race car

    ford cobra coupe 60's

    and so many more ,but the point is ,99 % of great designs and lines came in the 50's and 60's .....after that ,all went downhill except for the ocassional one off from

    if we take inventory in 2005

    bentley gt
    maser quatroporte
    aston db9

    would have been mb mclaren
  • paldipaldi Member Posts: 210
    How would you rank the current crop of European luxury 4 door sedans by styling and performance? Which of these have you personally seen in person up close and/or driven?

    My personal experience is limited to A8 4.2 and Phaeton 4.2 and 6.0. I rank the Phaeton ahead in looks and the Phaeton W12 ahead in performance, however I havn't driven an A8 W12 yet. Keep in mind a Phaeton W12 could be purchased for $78,000 and a loaded A8L V8 for $78,000 in late 2004 - early 2005.
  • dwongswongdwongswong Member Posts: 62
    It would have these cars:
    1) Aston Martin DB9
    2) Bentley Continental GT
    3) Lamborghini Gallardo
    4) Ferrari F430
    5) Audi A8

    Funny, their all European cars. Not one Japanese or American on my list. If they could build an American car with Japanese quality and fit and finish and European looks and performance, my next car would be American. Until then, I'll stick with my BMW and Audi.
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Member Posts: 1,696
    I'd replace the Audi A8 with a Maserati Quattroporte and replace the Bentley GT with a Ford GT and we'll call it a deal. (Oh, and it also introduces a Yank car into the mix.)
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081

    1. CL600 Sport
    2. CLS55 AMG
    3. Audi A8L W12
    4. Aston Martin DB9
    5. F430 Spider

    Get rid of that Bentley and were nearly on the same page.

  • designmandesignman Member Posts: 2,129

    You guys like this styling direction? Everything AM has going is compromised by these nasty butts. I see GM, Chrysler, Mitsubishi, Kia, L-Finesse… anything but English starch from these angles. They say Ford isn't messing with them?
  • designmandesignman Member Posts: 2,129

    That is one handsome profile!
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    You guys like this styling direction?

    Not sure about everyone else, but I sure do! The profile you speak of is still there, especially in the DB9. The rear looks good to me. The only thing I could do without is the body color stripes cutting across the rear lights, but other than that Astons are gorgeous to me. I kinda wish they didn't make the new V8 Vantage look like a smaller DB9, but everyone is wanting a family "look" today so it was to be expected I guess.

  • greenbeltgreenbelt Member Posts: 55
    Indeed, some looks are timeless. These AMs reminds me of the plastic cars from Fiberfab back in the 1970's.
  • designmandesignman Member Posts: 2,129
    The V8 Vantage is getting some attention among the Porsche crowd and there will be some defectors. As long as we are mentioning favorites, I have the 996 C4S, Turbo, Murcielago, Gallardo and 360 on the top floor. Ah-h the 360… farewell as we make way for the attack of the giant nostrils. In this segment, XJ, Phaeton and Quattroporte.

    Hey, if mentioning Lexus and Aston Martin in the same sentence is egregious, how about Daewoo and Maserati? Anyone want to tackle that one? I think Merc knows where I’m going.

  • paldipaldi Member Posts: 210
    Why, from a design perspective, isn't it selling better?

    I think the wheel - fender gap is funny. It doesn't say Phaeton on the front. No badges say 'quattro' - nothing about 4Motion awd. The lower valences should be color matched to the body, the wheels on the W12 should be different from the V8. Maybe the front seats are not sporty enough?

    Agree? What else? They should be selling more than 75 per month and they're not!
  • paldipaldi Member Posts: 210
    Lowering or larger diameter wheels AND tires would help too. These are stock 18 inch wheels on a 2005 V8. Tires are 27 inchers at 255 45 R 18.

    Image hosted by Photobucket.com

    Image hosted by Photobucket.com
    photoshop to 'paint' rocker panel valences
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    how about Daewoo and Maserati? Anyone want to tackle that one? I think Merc knows where I’m going.

    I have an idea, but to be sure why don't you elaborate first.

  • ffb13ffb13 Member Posts: 181
    paldi, just arrived in conn .came by road as always.

    rating of euro sedans

    ok, i have driven almost all of them
    a8 long and short wheelbase---the steering at first is weak,zero feedback and as you get going gets better ,but feels artificial like the bmw active steering.i guess they get the steering from the same supplier.nice car . better than mb and bmw.

    phaeton --has been ,died before it was born .lousy feel in steering and great hiway cruiser but keep it off backroads at high speeds. i know that this is not the intend of this car.

    maser 4 and 2 door-----i just cannot over the bad feeling i get from that lump in front of you.the dashboard is too high at the steerring wheel.
    otherwise a great driver and very true in its steering .feel ok.

    bmw --basic one is great but if you get into the sports seat package you get into electronic packages ..

    mb- too complex like the audi and bmw and phaeton.and they do break down a lot.otherwise a great ride.
    saw the new 350 s class and was impressed .short wheelbase. but still has all the electronics and that self adjusting suspension.a shame.
    e class ...e55 ..lots of fun.my favorite .a hot rod.

    bentley--like the ride and that engine.but i keep thinking it is an overpriced vw.

    old bentley,arnage ---great looker and drives nice .not like a truck anymore.the one to own .great engine. a bit of an suv. but imposing at speed.

    rr----have come a long way . they use to drive like trucks. in europe we blew out an engine after 25,000 miles ..they cannot go the distance at a constant hi-speed.did the same to a bentley turbo pre vw /bmw ownership.

    new rr is more suv than car but imposing.and have not driven this one.

    from a design point of view ,i like the bentley and the 04 05 bmw 7 series.( the design all the magazine writers dislike )
    the maser 4 door.
    and that is it

    by the way ,i drove the hunday x350 and was impressed. $18,000 actual out the door . the car to tweek and have fun with. i hear that they are coming out with an new and improved version.

    and now, i am leaving in a few hours on my moto-guzzi with 3 other guys to vt,nh,maine and nova scotia and back in 3 weeks,
    have fun guys
  • paldipaldi Member Posts: 210
    Be careful on the moto, doubt there are any dealerships where you're going. Drive safe. Have fun. :)
  • ffb13ffb13 Member Posts: 181
    had to delay my trip by 2 days.
    yes ,no dealers for the goose where i am going .but can always rent a truck and truck it back to a dealer in mass. or ct.

    by the way ,today a friend called and i got a ride on the new bmw 7 series 2006.
    kind of nice.
    big,fat ,but nice and the i drive has been simplified .
    no need to go into it for radio and temp.
    and a menu button to re-do a page and back to menu.
    drove the li version.with all the goodies. way overdone but nice.
    the short wheel base may be a winner.
    it was a short ride .about 3 hours or so.
    very isolated and good handling but not as direct as it used to be.
    kind of like piloting a 757 versus say a piper or a lear.

    but way superior to mb and phaeton and i liked the a8 ,but all that aluminun and the adjustable suspension .
    the bimmer has normal springs.
    active susp is optional.
    but reliability ????????/

    anyone thinking of a lux car should try this one. and think hard if you keep it for the long run.
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Member Posts: 1,150
    You know, depending on our circumstances (age, region of country, size of family, etc.) we are all going to have what a social scientist would say are "age-weighted, demographically driven dream garages with regional variations."

    Here's one for the guy on the verge of punching out who lives in the Northeast:.

    1. MB E Series Diesel with AWD--to take that big, coast to coast trip to visit the Vietnam buddies one last time. The E Series isn't going to put anyone's nose out of joint (not all of us who came out of VN easily adjusted), the diesel will mean this is your last new car, and the AWD will help you when you finally move into Assisted Living.

    2. F150 Supercab Ford 4X4 for trips to the coffee shop in the morning, Transfer Station, Home Depot, to pick up firewood and driftwood, boat towing, etc.

    3. AM Vanquish for summer social events like weddings, graduations, and reunions. Would be a serious babe magnet if married and regettably, it became necessary.

    4. Bentley Arnage for winter (i.e., in New England, all months containing an "R") social events such as the ones above.

    5. Volvo V90 AWD with the Yamaha 311 HP to putz around in during winter, run to the airport in, last minute trips to CVS before they close, etc.

  • paldipaldi Member Posts: 210

    Still looking for the ideal motorhome - the one I have is too small. :D
  • vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    Hey, Fred...What is the DeLorean like? There was so much press about the man the car got away...I know that Carson had one too...Share with us...
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    I see what you're saying, and though I'm in the midwest I don't think I'd change any of my choices. If winter is that bad, instead of making the A8 wear winter tires I'd cheat (a 6th car) and buy an A6 or Touareg. ;)

    1. CL600 Sport - Classy luxury coupe for everyday if needed. That timeless look.

    2. CLS55 AMG - Something different with a kick.

    3. DB9 - Like your Vanquish this is the ultimate special event or date (especially a first date) car. Only driven at such times.

    4. Audi A8L W12 - Another everyday capable car, again with a kick. Also a special event car when more seats are needed.

    5. F430 Spider - This is the get-outta-my-way-you-mean-nothing to other road users car. Show off vehicle for that perfect Saturday. I feel a lot of irresponsibility just thinking about driving one of these (unfortunately).

    Speaking of "Dream Garages", Automobile must have read our minds. The July issue's cover story is about 12 12-cylinder cars!

    Maybach 57
    Rolls-Royce Phantom
    Lamborghini Murcielago Roadster
    Audi A8L W12
    Phaeton W12
    Bentley Continental GT
    Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG
    Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG
    Aston-Martin Vanquish
    Aston-Martin DB9
    BMW 760i
    Ferrari 612 Scagletti

    I think that is all the 12-Cylinder cars sold in the U.S. Pretty good article, but the detail about each car is a little short.

    If you could add 5 more for a total of 10, what would they be?

  • paldipaldi Member Posts: 210
    I posted some about it on the Edmunds Phaeton Forum. It's 25 years old. Not really very sophisticated and under 200 HP upgraded Volvo V6. But she looks great and draws crowds. Collects fingerprints wherever I go!
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Member Posts: 1,289
    The Aston Martin's you show in post #127, the Vantage convertible probably is more Japanese in style than the current models. Why do I say that??? The tailights on that Aston Martin were supplied from a existing Japanese car!!
  • paldipaldi Member Posts: 210
    Quite a few people have said the Phaeton tail lights have been copied too.

  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Member Posts: 1,289
    I'm not saying the original Aston Martin Vantage's lights were *copied* from some other car. I'm saying the entire lights were bought from a japanese company that installed them in their own product. You know what the japanese car is??? It's the Mazda Protoge!!! Aston Martin/Ford bought the tailights straight from Mazda.
  • paldipaldi Member Posts: 210
    Well, Aston Martin/Ford kept the tail light source within the "family". ;) Maybe we'll see a Mercedes with Jeep headlights?:-)

  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Only Honda, Porsche and Lotus stand and singularly and alone huh...

    GM has too many brands and has their hands into way too many more.

    Ford and VW have the most interesting/desirable foreign brands under their corportate umbrella by far.

    I think DCX sold off their stake in Hyundai.

    Last, but not least, Rover is no more.

  • paldipaldi Member Posts: 210
    Old graphic, but interesting yes! Wonder how it will look in a year or so? Porsche, Lotus, GM?
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Member Posts: 1,150
    Nice graphic. But how about a little interpetation. Are the linkages based on shared content, financial flows, style cues, ?? If they are based on shared content, lets link BMW with Ford for the current Range Rover engine, Porche with VW for the sharing they do with the Toureg platform, Lotus with with whomever is supplying their engine, etc. If the links are based on cash flows, didn't GM just dis Fiat?
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Well that particular graphic just shows ownership and/or what percentage is owned by the bigger company. Nothing about cash flows, platform sharing or anything like that. We'd need a much larger space to show all of that going on between different companies.

  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Well, at this hour the "official" picutes and writeup from Mercedes-Benz hasn't been released just yet, but there are few "official" pictures on the net that have leaked out:




    All of the translation from the German and various other language websites has the new S in 4 models, a 272hp S350, 388hp S500 (not S550), 231hp S320 CDI, and a 517hp S600. The V8 in the new "S500" appears to be the current SOHC, 24-valve engine from the current SLK/C/CLK 55 AMG models re-tuned and tweaked for 388hp. The new direct-injectioin, 32V, DOHC V8s **apparently** aren't ready yet. Subtract 4 hp from each total for U.S. market cars, which will be the S350 (268hp) and the S500 (384hp), initially. Still to come is a S450 with a next generation V8 with 340hp and a replacement for the S500, the S550 with a 410hp 5.5L next-generation V8. These will appear for the 2008 model year in the U.S. In Europe there will be two more diesels during 2007, a S420 CDI with the new 315hp 4.0L V8 and a S600 CDI with a 517hp/700lb-ft V12 diesel.

    Now I guess we know why Mercedes just re-introduced the S350 model here.

    Now for the design. Of course it looks better in the first pic than the second, due to a dark color hiding the most obvious feature, those wheel arches. Me no likey at all, especially those at the rear when they have to cover a portion of the doors. The interior looks identical to the BMW 7-Series, another mistake in my still early opinion. There is no way a Mercedes should look like a BMW inside or out. Mercedes has gone the Idrive/MMI with a Comand "controller" as its being called elsewhere.

    A scanned article:


    More pics:





    This design could work, but those wheel arches are going to have to be looked at in person and they will depend on wheel size, something Mercedes' usually don't have to worry about. The rear is clearly derivative of the Maybach, but is much better looking imo.

    More official "official" information/pics to come.....

  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Full Article







    Model range

    S 350:
    200 kW/272 hp

    S 500:
    285 kW/388 hp

    S 320 CDI:
    170 kW/231 hp

    S 600:
    380 kW/ 517 hp

    Overall there are some things I like and some I don't, namely those wheel arches (which are hid in darker colors) and the BMW 7-Series dashboard design. More design comments pending.........

  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Member Posts: 1,696
    those fender flares have to go. They distract from the rest of the design. In fact, all I can do is look at those awful rear flares that look like they came off a Toyota Tacoma. Wonder how much it would cost to have Hans buff those out pre-delivery? ;)
  • greenbeltgreenbelt Member Posts: 55
    I sure think the new S from a lot of outside angles looks like the new (and very popular) Toyota Avalon. I think the fender flares may be from a Mitsubishi SUV.

    The inside shots look great ... very lux.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 216,205
    Sorry... it had to be said..

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  • wbreaux1wbreaux1 Member Posts: 55
    The front looks little changed to me; good because I like it. The rear looks awkward. Profile looks like E which is ook. The interior center console looks very much like the 7 series, which I love so I guess that's good but odd to see it so similar. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery??
  • paldipaldi Member Posts: 210
    I kinda like the photoshop shown below.

  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Member Posts: 1,696
    Wow that looks much better. Amazing what a difference the fender flares can make.
  • ffb13ffb13 Member Posts: 181
    just got back from 2 weeks on a moto guzzi. had to shorten the trip due to the rain.
    felt like i was riding a water jet.
    and,the red low oil press.light came on .guess the water got to it. but was worried for 3 days.

    and lost one of my saddle bags with my camera and other. an 18 wheeler plus other made a mess of it and the stuff inside. no more nikon. no more prescription night riding glasses,no more many other things.

    anyhow ,great shots of the new mercedes but i agree ,a shame that they are going with the bmw i drive system,and all those electronics..........
    even though this car has a perfect driver's seat for me ,i may have to pass on it again beause of all this stuff. we will see.

    by the way for those of you who are not into motorcycles out there ,the computer stuff is now in the new bmw motorcycles . and their reliability record is stumbling with leaky rear seals ans other.
    it all started with abs ,then linked breaks ,fuel injection.
    there is even an air bag being shown.you wear it .
This discussion has been closed.