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Is Lexus The Standard of the World?

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Comments

  • rockyleerockylee Member Posts: 14,014
    You mean you can nearly get as much performance out of a manual and yes I'd agree the manual probably is a little more fun. ;)

    -Rocky
  • habitat1habitat1 Member Posts: 4,282
    Interesting reading....but,

    (1) Written by Lexus. You expected them to do anything but gush?

    (2) Upshifting an automatic (torque converter) transmission with paddle shifters isn't as much of a problem as downshifting. I obviously haven't driven the IS-F (nobody has), but I have extensively driven several AMG models with their "sport shift" paddle shifting automatics. Deemed the fastest shifting automatic in the world didn't matter. The downshifts had a preganant pause that felt very unnatural to somebody like me, used to the immediate, direct feel of letting out a clutch. The shifts themselves may have been quick - it was the delay between hitting the paddle and the start of the shift. Even the new 911 Turbo Tiptronic has been criticized in this regard.

    (3) Eight (8) speeds? Now if I'm the only one that doesn't see through that as gimmickry, it's a sad state of affairs. A 911S, with a top speed of 182, has 6 manual gears and hits top speed precisely at 200 rpm short of redline in 6th gear. (not to mention 0-60 in 3.9 to 4.3 seconds with only 355 horsepower, depending upon the source). Near perfection. An 8 speed torque converter slushbox automatic? Complete gimmickry. If they had the engineer fooling around with 7th and 8th gears work on an SMG or DSG instead, they would have been a lot better off.

    I'll definitely give the IS-F a test drive myself. But if an E63, SLK55 and SL55 left me a little cold, I'm not expecting to get heated up in the Lexus.
  • louisweilouiswei Member Posts: 3,715
    Doc, I agree with you.

    No stick in the IS-F is a flaw but most likely the only flaw. Rocky, let's be honest here, no car will ever be flawless, including habitat's beloved 911S.

    I have been in the IS-F and I tested the car on a dyno (yes you read me correctly, I was in the driver seat). The acceleration of this car is just amazing and I have no doubt there are at least 420 ponies under the hood. The only thing remain to be seen is how well this car will handle compares to M3 and C63. I think to compare to the M3 in handling will be a stretch but it'll be nice if it can stick it to the C63. After all I think IS-F's main competitor should be the C63 and not the M3.

    Oh, by the way, the C63 doesn't have a stick or DSG either but somehow I don't see anybody knocking on it. Odd...

    :confuse:

    I am not going to be too crazy about the IS-F given Lexus' track record but one thing I am sure is, this car won't be a dissapointment. It may not be a Lexus M3 but at the end of the day if I want a M3 I won't get a M3 imitator. Given that the IS-F will most likely undercut the M3/C63 in pricing about $10K it should give both 2 a run for the money.

    PS. The LF-A will be REAL nice, that I am for sure. Watch out, F430. ;)
  • louisweilouiswei Member Posts: 3,715
    Doc, that 8-speed will out-shift you all day long but I agree you might have more fun will a manual.

    I don't think we are comparing apples to apples here.

    Fun factor != Performance.

    Just because one is having more fun with a manual doesn't mean that car will automatically be a better performer than one with an auto tranny.
  • drfilldrfill Member Posts: 2,484
    That not only should have a manual, but tries to make super-slush an asset!

    You can't get a little bit pregnant.

    Bring as big a knife as you want. I'll take a .38 ;)

    The M3 is still the one (by default). Doors open for the CTS-v. :surprise:

    DrFill
  • louisweilouiswei Member Posts: 3,715
    Okay, since we are talking about shifting here, let's be technical.

    How long does it take to to "complete" the down-shift process? You do know that your car doesn't complete the down-shift until you complete the whole process right? If the whole hesitation time of the auto/SMG/DSG is less than your process then I know know what are you complainng about.

    Yes, granted it "feels" faster when you shift it yourself but at the end of the day it might just a "feel". Real technical specs is the only way to go when evaluating a car's performance.
  • rockyleerockylee Member Posts: 14,014
    louiswei,

    I'll take the IS-F as it's like taking a Barrett .50 caliber sniper rifle to a gun fight against Docs .38 pistol. :P

    The bottom line is the IS-F, will be the fastest car on the block with it's 8-speed F-1 inspired transmission until perhaps the 09' CTS-V. ;)

    -Rocky
  • louisweilouiswei Member Posts: 3,715
    No it won't.

    Most likely the fastest car on the block will be the C63 AMG.

    Also, I think you have mistaken the IS-F 8-speed with LF-A's F-1 inspired DSG. The IS-F has nothing to do with the whole "F-1 inspirational" thing. That title belongs to the LF-A.
  • drfilldrfill Member Posts: 2,484
    I'll take the IS-F as it's like taking a Barrett .50 caliber sniper rifle to a gun fight against Docs .38 pistol.

    There's magic in these hands. You won't get it of your belt, my man! ;)

    DrFill
  • rockyleerockylee Member Posts: 14,014
    I was referring to the F-1 inspired paddle shifters and have been educated that the IS-F does not have a tranny like that of the 430 F-1. ;) However the Lexus IS-F shifts about as fast. :)

    -Rocky

    P.S. I guess we'll see how fast the C63 is what next year ? :confuse:
  • rockyleerockylee Member Posts: 14,014
    LOL.....I'd hope not as the Barrett is a rifle not a pistol. ;)

    -Rocky
  • louisweilouiswei Member Posts: 3,715
    Rocky, the IS-F has exactly the same paddle shifter as the IS250/350. The only difference is that one is made of aluminum and another made of plastic. The only difference lies in the transmission, which the IS-F has 8-speed.

    Oh, and the IS-F indeed shifts faster than the regular IS but not as fast as the DSG.

    Edmunds already did a first drive in C63, you can do a search for the article. I am not sure they tested the 0-60 time though.
  • habitat1habitat1 Member Posts: 4,282
    Okay, since we are talking about shifting here, let's be technical.

    Let's not be "technical". Let's be practical.

    When I test drove the SLK55 on one of my favorite set of curves back when I was sports car shopping, here's the difference with that damn slushbox. I hit the paddle to downshift as I was heading ito a curve at, say 45 mph, and the shift actually happened at least 1/4 second later. Maybe even 1/2 second. Again, it's not the elapsed time the transmission was between gears (that might have only been 1/10 of a secondor less ) but it was trying to time the delay between tapping the paddle and the downshift to start.

    Let's not speculate. If you have the time to test drive an LS-F on a dyno, you surely have the time to do a real test drive of a C63/CLK63. You tell me what you think. But, limited as my driving skills are (still procrastinating on the Porsche driving school), the "non F1 slushbox inspired" delays were somewhere between frustrating and scarry. When I'm downshifting a manual, even if I'm "technically" slower, I'm in complete control and can time the clutch letup nearly perfectly at the apex of a curve. With the AMG it was guesswork and easy to guess wrong. By 20, 30, or 40+ feet at times. This is just stupid crap for a sports car or sedan. Lexus should go with SMG or DSG if they are really convinced their demographic is manual challenged. But an 8 speed slushbox is, in my overused terminology, pitiful.

    And by the way, don't get all excited over the C63. As far as balance and handling, that 6.2 liter V8 in a small car overloads the front wheels and is, from what I hear, not nearly as nimble as the lighter weight C32 was. And if you really insist that straight line acceleration is the bomb, the SL65 packs 604hp and a mind boggling 738 ft-lb of torque. That's 134 ft.lbs more than the $480,000 SLR. But, just for the fun of it, call up Contemporary Mercedes in PA and ask the owner why, with all of those AMG offerings to choose from, he drives a Porsche Cayman S almost exclusively from April to October.
  • drfilldrfill Member Posts: 2,484

    And by the way, don't get all excited over the C63. As far as balance and handling, that 6.2 liter V8 in a small car overloads the front wheels and is, from what I hear, not nearly as nimble as the lighter weight C32 was. And if you really insist that straight line acceleration is the bomb, the SL65 packs 604hp and a mind boggling 738 ft-lb of torque. That's 134 ft.lbs more than the $480,000 SLR. But, just for the fun of it, call up Contemporary Mercedes in PA and ask the owner why, with all of those AMG offerings to choose from, he drives a Porsche Cayman S almost exclusively from April to October.


    Good job, Habby. :shades:
  • louisweilouiswei Member Posts: 3,715
    So pretty much you were saying because you are "used to" the manual tranny so you prefer it over the auto tranny in manual mode. That makes sense since everybody has his/her own preference. However, if someone is "used to" the Lexus 8-speed/MB 7-speed and can time it "perfectly" through a corner then the argument can be reversed.

    That, my friend, is the whole point, your preference doesn't equal to better performance. In your case, maybe, but definitely not universal.

    I am not going to test drive a C63 since I have no intention in buying one so I won't waste a sales person's time. However, from what I hear, this new C63 is by far the best C-class AMG up to date. Edmunds did a first drive on the C63 couple months ago, you should do a search to that article, very interesting read. Also, comparing C63 to SL65 is pointless since the price difference is at least $80K. Be honest, I would choose the Cayman S over the SL65 too, I like straight line acceleration a lot but what I like is "useful daily drive worthy" acceleration, not the drag strip version. The SL65 is for someone who wants a GT roadster with prestige factor, Cayman S is for those who likes to drive and C63 is for those who need a 4-door sedan practicality but also want best-in-class performance. They are all different animals
  • habitat1habitat1 Member Posts: 4,282
    I'm sure with a lot of practice one can get better at timing a paddle shifting slushbox's downshifts. But certainly not anywhere near the precision of a manual transmission that you actually control or an SMG/DSG without the torque converter mush getting in the way. I am capable of adjusting to the soft brakes on our MDX and its significantly increased stopping distance vs. my Brembo-braked TL, but that doesn't mean I like it. And, in the case of the slushbox, a quick downshift is just not an option.

    I'm driving a loaner Audi A3 with a 6-speed automatic that can be shifted manually (the 911's convertible top needs to be serviced). Not a bad little car, but the manual shifting of the transmission is a joke. As with the SLK, the upshifts are relatively quick, but the downshifts are slow and rather than naturally slowing the car down, it appears to cause a blip in power. Even when it's not wanted. So I am hitting the brake while downshifting in a turn?? Great! I'm leaving it in automatic the rest of the day so I don't crash trying to "play" manual with an automatic. And frankly, that's all these paddle shifting slushboxes are good for, playing.

    P.S. Best in class performance from a 4-door C63? I'll happily take a previous generation M5. They were what AMG can only dream of in all around driving dynamics.
  • louisweilouiswei Member Posts: 3,715
    The blip while down shifting is rev-matching. I guess you don't do that while driving a manual?

    Here's what I found:

    It isn't "required" in all cases. For racing/high performance driving, it is certainly recommended though. Here is why:

    When you push the clutch in to downshift your engine slows down, but your wheels/gears/etc.. keep moving at whatever speed you are going. When you let the clutch out for the next selected gear the engine is at idle, and then in an instant you are trying to make it run high RPMs. The shock will lock up the wheels causing a nasty little corner-entry twitch, which may result in a spin. By "rev-matching" which is keeping the revs up while the clutch is in, you decrease the chance of that happening.

    So.. it makes for smoother gearshifts that make the car more stable, and is easier on the equipment.


    You want to blip the throttle enough to bring the RPMs up to where they would be in the lower gear at the current speed. So, if you are going say 40 MPH, and you want to down shift to 3rd gear, you give the throttle a little stab with your foot bringing the RPMs up to about ~3K - 3.5K, so that when you let the clutch out the car won't jerk or lurch at all. You get used to what speeds are where in what gear from driving; this is just an example of what to do. Once you learn it you won't even need to look at the tach; you'll just "feel" where it needs to be.

    Now, if you are doing the same thing, and you rev to say ~5K and let the clutch out, you will get a push back as the engine is slowed to match the speed of the car. Sort of like dumping the clutch on a launch; only while moving. It's not a desirable situation, but neither is having the RPMs at only 1K on that shift. You really have to get the feel for your car; it's about practice.

    Oh, and you are not reving between gears, you are simply matching the speed of the engine to the speed of the tires. If the proper rev speed is attained the car will shift as smooth as an automatic. You won't look foolish unless you do it wrong. Now, in the same situation, if you didn't rev match into a corner, you'd look really silly when you spin out from the lurch of the car being dropped a gear and not rev matched.

    Good luck and practice.

    Ok well it pretty much is tapping the throttle after you downshifted and then just let the clutch out? How much of a blip? Doesn't it make the shift time alot longer because it now went from, gear change/clutch release... to gear change/blip/clutch release... and what if you blip TOO much. I know if I saw someone driving and then heard a rev in between gears I'd think they didn't know how to drive.


    I am no expert in manual tranny so you be the judge of that.

    The C63 is a compact sedan, M5 is midsize, which are not in the same class. I also believe the price difference is something like $30K, also makes the two in-comparable.
  • habitat1habitat1 Member Posts: 4,282
    The blip while down shifting is rev-matching. I guess you don't do that while driving a manual?

    Thanks, but I know what rev matching is and do use it driving a maual. You missed my qualifier stating that the "blip" occurs in the A3, whether you want it or not. There are times when you don't want that blip of power, like when you are slowing down into a curve - thereby forcing you to brake harder than necessary. That was my experience with the A3 this morning.

    With a manual, I can depress the clutch, hold it in neutral downshift, brake into the corner, and then let out the clutch while rev matching and applying power through the apex.

    One part of the quote is interesting:

    Once you learn it you won't even need to look at the tach; you'll just "feel" where it needs to be.

    That pretty much describes driving a manual transmission, period. Why anyone would choose a manually shifted slushbox automatic and have to put up with all this "interference" in a sports car or sports sedan, I'll never know. It dramatically lowers the driving enjoyment factor and precision for me. But that's the subject of another forum.
  • bmlexusbmlexus Member Posts: 755
    Is Lexus The Standard of the World?

    Its getting better and better IMO YES
  • alltorquealltorque Member Posts: 535
    Apologies - joined in late.

    For me ? Rolls Royce; moreso now than at anytime in their recent past. Maybach as an alternative, perhaps ?

    Of course, if "Sporty" is a main criteria then it just has to be Bugatti. Nothing else quite like it, I suspect - despite the claims of some specialist builders.

    Merc, BMW, Lexus et al all reside in a more low-rent part of the universe, (still a cracking place to be but not where the true greats live). :shades:

    Just £0.02 worth from a Brit. :)
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