High-End European Luxury Sedans



  • xkssxkss Member Posts: 722
    I don't like it. Too many gizmos.


    The trunk is not a rip-off of a BMW 7 series.

    It looks like the 1998 Maybach concept.

    1998 Maybach concept
  • designmandesignman Member Posts: 2,129
    Bentley is the grand daddy of that butt. I've been thinking of doing a Bentley family butt tree... RL, Elantra, XG350, Maybach, S. Should I dig up photos? Nah, too lazy.
  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    I, for one, would enjoy those pics ...
  • designmandesignman Member Posts: 2,129
    OK, when I get a couple of free minutes I will do it. I'll see if I can inject some humor into it also. I only wish the Bugatti butt resembled the Bentley butt. Then we could say the Bentley butt begot the Bugatti butt. Anyway, we also have bimmers and the Bangle butts, so they can worked into the mix. See where this is going? Now, I just have to put it together and nail it down.

  • paldipaldi Member Posts: 210

    OK, it's been quiet around here. :D
  • xkssxkss Member Posts: 722
    A new Maserati SUV has been in the news recently. It might be built using an Alfa Romeo's chassis.

    Why would anyone want a Maserati SUV?

    They had a concept a few years ago.

    check the link

    lame concept
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Member Posts: 1,150
    Thanks for the link. I thought it was comical that the link had a click on ad for a self described "Premier Maserati Dealer" with used Maseratis "beginning in the 50's". He was located in LA, natch.

    Gee, that's just what I want: a clapped out Maser formerly used/abused by an LA type that was all flash and no cash (or maintenance). Someone is going to have to hold my arm down before I write a check.
  • ffb13ffb13 Member Posts: 181
    looked at the photos again and the rear end ,the dash and seat and center console seem to have been designed by chris bangle or lifted by mb from bmw

    anyhow the design is growing on me .

    i never did like the 1992 thru 2005 s class from a design point of view .the design never grew on me as did the earlier mb's.
    but this one just may.
    a cheaper version of the maybach.????
    i read somewhere that in germany they have priced the base at $ 3, or 7,000 above the bmw 7 series.

    the interior shots posted above may be from the 12 cyl. if not ,and they are from a base with options ,this looks even better than i first thought.
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    The CLS55 AMG in action:


  • bagman1bagman1 Member Posts: 2
    Hey. merc1 - Thanks for posting the video. Awesome is right!
    I ordered a CLS 500 several weeks ago - Iridium Silver with sunset red leather interior. Supposed to be built about the last week in August. Not an AMG, but I don't plan to race it like in the video. It'll run plenty fast for me.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Member Posts: 5,751
    Great video. Thanks.
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    That should be a spicy color combo, please stick around and post some pics when you get your car.

    The CLS55 AMG actually lapped that very track faster than a lot of sports cars on their list, very impressive. I was shocked to see how flat it cornered compared to the E55 which rolls a lot more.

  • cornellpinoycornellpinoy Member Posts: 196
    Thanks for posting the video. I enjoy watching Top Gear episodes whenever I come across them. Definitely a lot of fun to watch them put the CLS55 through their tests.
  • xkssxkss Member Posts: 722
    That CLS55 AMG is nice, but I'd still rather have a new aluminum Jaguar XJR.
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    That CLS55 AMG is nice, but I'd still rather have a new aluminum Jaguar XJR.

    Somehow I knew that. ;)

  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    See Here

    Be sure to listen to that V10.

  • xkssxkss Member Posts: 722
    I've driven both a 1988 M5 and a 1993 M5.

    The new M5 is a hideous car. The interior is a joke. The original concept of the M5 was a subtle, high-performance sedan (or wagon...E34 M5 Touring) without needless electronic gizmos and in-your-face side vents.

    You will have to press the "M-drive" button on the steering wheel (to get 507 hp instead of the normal 400...what a dumb idea), put the electronic dampers to the hardest of their three settings, put the throttle to its most responsive mode, put the gear change to its most aggressive shift sequence (11 in all), and even the seats to their most hip-hugging position in order to have the most fun in the new M5.

    I could go on, but I'll just leave a link to Dame Edna and this picture.

    Dame Edna

  • paldipaldi Member Posts: 210
    This fellow did a great job with wheels and lowering with a VAG=COM.

    Image hosted by Photobucket.com

  • kdshapirokdshapiro Member Posts: 5,751
    It's amazing how BMW took the 5 series and turned it into a monster at the track. With gas prices approaching $3/gallon, and people sometimes having no common sense, putting a "power" button on the vehicle was a great idea. Even people who can afford a new E60 M5 as pocket change must hate the prices at the pump.

    The whole idea of the "M" was to take a model, stealth it, and make it into a monster performer. BMW did exactly that.

    I happen to like Dame Ednas' look, so the new styling and I get along very well. No doubt the new look is polarizing, but the people who don't like the styling seems confined to Edmunds and the rags.

    Everybody else loves the new look.
  • designmandesignman Member Posts: 2,129
    “…the people who don't like the styling seems confined to Edmunds and the rags... Everybody else loves the new look.”

    You think so? A couple of days ago I was stopped at a light in my Boxster S. A gent pulls up next to me in a cream puff E36 97 3-series convertible. He compliments me and when I also tell him how great his car looks he says “Sure looks better than the new ones, don’t you think? I hate them.” The venom in his tone suggested he wanted to pull over an vent about it for a couple of hours to a willing ear.

    Then again, you may be right, he could be an Edmunds poster for all we know ;-)

    BMW auto sales are NOT what they were hoping for and they are losing market share. Bangle protagonists, enjoy the current look while you can because it doesn’t work and I can practically guarantee these cars will be sobered up the next time around.

    The new M5 is a rolling CPU, a freak of nature. I would hate to have to present a problem with it to a befuddled service department.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Member Posts: 5,751
    "BMW auto sales are NOT what they were hoping for and they are losing market share"

    Not to be pedantic, but could you please share BMWs sales plan with us so we know what their targets are? Maybe someone on the inside, knows what the internal sales targets are for all of these LPS automobiles vs. plan.

    The last I saw the 5 series was selling just under the E-class, which puts it ahead of all over cars in this segment - except the E-class.
  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    sapparo, please email me as soon as possible - pat AT edmunds.com. Thanks.
  • sysweisyswei Member Posts: 1,804
    "BMW auto sales are NOT what they were hoping for and they are losing market share" ...could you please share BMWs sales plan with us so we know what their targets are?

    see this post: syswei, "High End Luxury Marques" #10029, 6 Aug 2005 7:17 pm

    My guess is that BMW wasn't targeting a sales decline. What do you think?
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Member Posts: 5,751
    A blip in the sales figures says what? To me it says nothing. We've seen sales numbers up and down over the course of the year dependent on many factors that is beyond the capabilities, though not speculation, of these boards to try to understand.

    Still with the sales decline, it for now, still is the sales leader, excepting the 'E'. For all we know, BMW may be jumping for joy as the number actually sold is double the projected target. So they don't give a hoot about the blip.
  • sysweisyswei Member Posts: 1,804
    Yes, I'm sure the BMW USA execs are slapping themselves on the back, telling themselves that their cars are as perfect as can be and that its just a random sales blip causing their sales to be down, and another random blip causing Lexus' to be up.

    I guess its just blip after blip after blip when Lexus gains market share vs BMW year after year after year.

    Enough said.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Member Posts: 5,751
    Gains market share, with which model line?

    For 4 years the G35 has been predicted to be the BMW killer, still hasn't happened. The GS, and as an aside I like the look of the new GS, has been panned in almost every comparo. The old IS?. The new IS the jury is out. With 3.5 liters it's going to be a little thirsty. Can you say $3.00/gallon? It must might put some people off. The new 750, you can read the reviews on it, at least start with Edmunds first drive. How it sells remains to be seen.

    Enough said.
  • rl81rl81 Member Posts: 53
    I know quite something about BMW, since I have done some work for them last year. What most people here don't realize is that they are not as big of a company as most people think they are. From a business standpoint, they have been close to max capacity for like the last 5 years or so. First the E46 and then the Mini took off way more than they could have hoped for. Yes, at this point the people are slapping themselves on the back. The 7 series that so many people hate sells better than the old one, so it's a step ahead from their point of view. I believe that after the face lift, they went into the right direction from a design and engineering standpoint.

    So people, just think that BMW just a couple years ago sold more than a million vehicles per year. Their capacity is almost at 100% despite Bangle-design. In some ways a little drop in sales makes their life easier, because they can get their capacity under control. Yes, BMW wants to expand, but expansion can only happen so fast, and don't forget that most of their production is in Germany. They only started full production in Leipzig this year, where they build the E90. You'll see them be more agressive in the future.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Member Posts: 5,751
    Thanks for providing that information. It seems to put some things into perspective.
  • xkssxkss Member Posts: 722
    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.

    Perhaps Panoz has the car for you.

  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Thanks, nice to read something logical about sales for a change. Anytime sales dip for a moment its crisis central and its Lexus this and Lexus that, but ignore what those sales are based on. Its a good thing BMW doesn't depend on all SUVs and a tarted up Camry for all the bulk of their sales. For BMW to have a strong first or second place seller in most classes is impressive enough and surely enough for their bottom line. I simply don't see the panic or the point of this debate.

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    Over on the LPS forum some soul (or souls) regularly posts the sales of the cars in the LPS category. My "off the top of my head" take on these numbers (US only) are that BMW's 5 and Mercedes E battle it out for the #2 and #1 spots. On the bottom end Acura's RL and Audi's A6 fight for last and next to last place month after month.

    Sales of the top cars is about triple that of the bottom cars.

    Audi's sales in the US are not a bright spot (but probably not a black hole either) in Audi's recent press release (with facts) wherein they proclaim this is their best year ever and that annual sales for the first time are expected to be 800,000 units. Audi has had steady improvements over the past 12 years in a row.

    Audi, and I need to make sure I understand this completely outsells BMW "over there." In the home continent Audi and BMW are very close to each other in terms of percentage of market share. At this precise moment in time, I believe that Audi is outselling BMW, but this is in flux and there could be a change between these two companies and no one would be too shaken either way.

    According to Business Week (Aug 15th issue) -- Mercedes has been struggling with quality issues and profits and I believe the comments suggested that Mercedes had been dethroned by BMW (which if I understand and extrapolate correctly would mean that Audi has also outsold Mercedes since it is apparently outselling BMW.)

    What happens here and there are clearly worlds apart. Three times as many BMWs and Mercedes are sold here as are Audis. Not true in the home land.

    Audi and BMW are apparently "on a roll." The BW article did say that Mercedes quality issues while not entirely behind them appear to have taken a turn in the right direction. Mercedes (DC) will soon have a new top dog (Dieter) who comes fresh from a profitable Chrysler (in contrast to a losing :sick: Mercedes?!?)

    I like the looks of the new BMW 3 series, X3, and 6. I am trying to warm to the 5 (especially since it now can be had with AWD) -- and between the Audi A8L and the BMW 7, cannot imagine even considering the 7 it is to my eye so ugly.

    BMW, in the US, seems to have been enjoying some good times (3X the number of A6's by the 5's! That's pretty impressive.) BMW clearly has been spending some energy and money on their products as has Audi (not that Mercedes has been resting on its reputation -- but when you're recalling over 1,000,000 cars you may have your focus temporarily shifted.)

    It seems to me to be almost miraculous that the E class, last month, for instance, outsold the 5.

    If I were BMW, I would wonder what will happen when Mercedes gets its quality issues firmly behind it -- for if Mercedes is able to outsell BMW even with its reputation in tatters (somewhat), look out for them when they no longer have to apologize for their products in such a public way.

    Audi and BMW are on a roll (depending on how you parse this -- globally or in specific markets), Mercedes has clawed its way from the basement of reliability issues and apparently is "getting better."

    None of these guys (well Mercedes is on the bubble) gives the other quarter -- and, despite the questions of my parentage or lineage or IQ that will no doubt arise, these cars share more similarities than dissimilarities. I'd be happy with any one of them.

    Of course, I'd probably not be upset with a new Infiniti M or Lexus GS either -- but I realize they are not high end European cars.

    For the time being, given a choice, I'd stick with the high zoot numbers from Audi, BMW and Mercedes and probably grin each and every time I got behind the wheel.

    The W12 A8L (as seen in the Transporter 2 clip) looks like the one to beat, though.
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Interesting post Mark.

    I don't think a lot of people look at these issues like we do here on Edmunds. It doesn't surprise me at all that the E outsells the 5-Series. Surveys aside I'm surprised the E and the 5 are selling at the rate they are considering all the new competition in the segment.

    I think Audi's problem in the U.S. is exposure. I've seen several posts on one board or another about Audi dealerships and how they're placed. Some close minded people will never consider an Audi because of that nonsense from the 80's about unintended acceleration. Europeans know better. For some reason Audi has this second place image in the minds of most people, not being as good as a MB or BMW. Some say this is because of their link to VW. I'm not sure what it would take to get Audi up to BMW/MB in perception the U.S. IMO they already have cars that are just as capable in most areas, so I think it may be be marketing and exposure that needs serious work. I've seen/heard people say "I didn't know Audi made a car that big" when they see an A8. Which is a knockout of a car to me. I see that for 2006 all A8s get the new grille too.

  • paldipaldi Member Posts: 210
    The Audi A8L looks small until you get close. Same problem only worse with the Phaeton. The horizontal trim lines make both cars look shorter than they are in real life.
  • paldipaldi Member Posts: 210
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    I don't think that would help VW in this country or sell at all, the proportions are way off, imo.

    Thank goodness sanity prevailed at VW a few years ago when they decided not to put that Nardo concept into production. It was a fine car, but had no business in a VW showroom, kinda like the equally impressive Phaeton. I like VWs but they've got to get a clear picture of who their competition is, and it ain't BMW/MB/Audi, its Toyota/Honda/Ford/Nissan.

  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Member Posts: 1,150
    "If I were BMW I would wonder what will happen when Mercedes gets" their troubles behind.....

    Maybe not. Mark, all the marketing gurus that I read (Troutman and Reis, for example) claim that once the king is knocked off his throne he is done. Fini. In other words, Howard Johnson and Xerox are not coming back. Now matter what Izod does it can not recover.

    As you point out BMW is on a roll. Just like Lexus. While not an MB basher, I think that if these brands can put some daylight between themselves and MB, it will signify a paradigm change. People will talk about a steak knife or gollf club as the "Lexus of steak knives" or the "Bimmer of golf clubs."
  • vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    Corporate misfortune is a troubling thing...Look at VW in 1993, Lee Iaccoca's Chrysler, and today, almost beyond belief, VIOXX could signal the end of Merck...some rebound; some do not...
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Member Posts: 5,751
    Trump is a good example of someone who came back. Remember his troubling real estate empire in the late 80's early 90's? I'm trying to remember other examples where Humpty Dumpty was shattered and put back again, but it's late in the evening.
  • ffb13ffb13 Member Posts: 181
    it all depends on how you position a brand or product.
    some can come back with the right management group and strategy.
    the problem lies in the positioning of the product and if it is a recovery the strategy to reposition it or re-introduce it.
    m-b may be able to pull it off.
    let us wait and see who takes charge of the company and watch his first moves.
  • bagman1bagman1 Member Posts: 2
    What is all this noise about MB may never recover, is lost forever, etc. It seems so many have spent so much time bashing Mercedes that they have come to believe their own spin. It's just a bump in the road for MB. They have not gone away and still make the best cars in the world - even if they are too expensive.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Member Posts: 5,751
    If one makes the assumption they have "toppled". Those who buy their cars say no, those who point to the issues say yes. Seems to be there are more people buying their cars than analyzing their issues. Which is a good thing.
  • ctsangctsang Member Posts: 237
    You really make me laugh by saying MB still make the best cars in the world. Who know cars better than mechanics? Go ask them.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Member Posts: 5,751
    How about the people that buy them.
  • rjlaerorjlaero Member Posts: 659
    BMW sales are on par with last year, and in some cases even better. Don't know about the "losing share" argument on that one. Even with somewhat goofy styling, people still buy BMW for the name, and they tend to lease out very well with subsidies from BMW.

    Mercedes on the other hand has lost 5,000 plus units this year due to an aging E class line. The C class is down as well. More ponies on this years model will hopefully help.

  • clemboclembo Member Posts: 253
    People seem to forget that although BMW may be selling slightly more 5-Series cars than they did in 2002, they are losing market share to their competition. Since 1997 the high end luxury car market has grown at annual rates between 7% and 11% in the U.S. The gain that BMW may show over their previous models does not sustain that growth factor. Now look at annual growth rates of Lexus, Infiniti, and Audi during the same period and you will see their large market share gains.

    The E-65 7-Series and the E-60 5-Series may be selling better than the models that they replaced, but they are not at plan for BMW.

    P.S. - I'm no BMW basher, I still own one and I love it.
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Member Posts: 1,150
    KD, Trump has not come back in real estate. I think he has lost his--and everyone else's shirt. Where he has come back is in show business because he reinvented himself as "the Donald."

    ffb has it right. It is all in positioning. Troutman and Reis, the marketing guys who developed the idea of positioning talk about the importance of being number one. We never, ever forget our first love, or our first car. The problem is that once you are toppled from the throne you have a hard time getting back on top. Will anyone ever hear something ever again described as the "Cadillac of ..."? (For those of you under 30, this was a phrase one heard daily in retail in the US up until the late mid 70's.) I don't think so.

    Jaguar builds an XJ sedan that costs 10K less and has demonstrably more reliability than anything else in the high end lux segment. Yet they can't sell them because people still think that a Jag is unreliable. SAAB was "the" winter car among the professoriat, people living in New England, and free thinkers. Along came Suburu with AWD and Volvo with more amenities and you can't give a SAAB away.

    This is the problem that MB faces.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Member Posts: 5,751
    " I think he has lost his"

    It depends if you think some of his big current/planned projects don't mean much...

    "Yet they can't sell them because people still think that a Jag is unreliable."

    Maybe they can't see them because people do not know what a Jag-U-ar is anymore. I was a lover of the brand years, but I don't know what it is today. They didn't stick to their mission. You can't come back unless you come back stronger than what people recognized you for.

    Some people here may think MB is washed up, I don't think so. Nobody has a crystal ball, MB is a tough organization that knows what their mission is.
  • anthonypanthonyp Member Posts: 1,860
    I think it to be a shame that maybe Mercedes won`t get the chance to put to rest it`s problems, as the car s500 nicely equiped cost is going to be above a hundred thousand...I would think if they were to help with the lease them maybe enough people would buy one and it work great....If a person pays for one, the number is likely to meet with resistance....We`l all see soon enough....Tony
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