Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

High End Luxury Cars



  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    So much religion. It's an utterly futile exercise to try to argue about the notion of "best" in cars. "Drive what you love" is a great motto, and love is -in its most rewarding and best moments- utterly irrational. Some think best is the most bang for the buck, some think it's the most heritage, some think it's the car that for whatever reason just clicks with them.

    From my own perspective, I must say that I think the luxury sedan scene has become sadly devoid of fundamentally different value propositions. All brands have somewhat compromised identity to appeal to that lowest common denominator that has become that sadly predictable "magic quadrant" for anyone selling anything these days. No one has the b*lls to have an edgier, riskier proposition these days.

    As much as I agree that Lexus has phenomenal reliability and build quality, I've always felt they're a somewhat robotic brand in search of some individuality. Execution = phenomenal, guttural passion appeal = mediocre. Those who think cars are appliances (and that is not a negative term - high end appliances are not a fallacy, just look up Gaggenau) will look no further. I've always looked at Lexus when shopping for a car, but it never really made the list of finalists. Yet. All it takes is one truly awfully unreliable car experience to make someone go "oh, screw this" and go for a proven quantity when it comes to reliability. I know that.

    Audi has the same effect on me. And it's never made the close contender list, either.

    Jaguar - ah, they used to. Their product portfolio has been sanitized. The S class is a typical committee product, and yet sadly along with the XK coupe it's become their most distinct offering. The X class is a typical exercise in blatant brand equity exploitation, the XJ has sold its soul to the demons of practicality. The remnants of British eccentricity have been lobotomized out of Jaguar. Oddly enough, I find that a big loss.

    Mercedes and BMW have always been de rigeur choices among the upwardly mobile, too predictable, so little appeal to me, even though I have always loved the 3 series, which I think is about the perfect car: it costs as much as I am always comfortable paying cash for a car (anything over $50k has caused me bouts with buyer's remorse), and it drives penomenally. Alas, everybody and their dog has one.

    The other day, talking about cars with a British business acquanitane I always have great laughs with, he mentioned the Bristol brand. Upon checking it out, I am fascinated by the genuine eccentricity. If it cost $70k, that would be my car. Alas, eccentricity has been confined to the realm north of $100k, and below that car manufacturers are unwilling to take risks... a shame, really.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Like I said you didn't even drive the R129 1990 SL that you've tried to state was inferior to the Allante! You never even drove the the 1990+ 500SL! The 380 and 450SL models were from another era and were severly dated by the time the 560SL came out in 1986 to see the platform out.

    "I don't recall the HP in the 93 Allante but it was around 300 with the Northstar system and outperformed every SL around in those days. "

    Do you seriously believe such things that you post? I have never read anything so incorrect and so out of touch with reality. You haven't a clue or you choose to ignore the facts because this even subjective. The 322hp 500SL outperformed the 1993 Northstar Allante. Have you not read anything? I won't mention the 389hp 600SL that would easily smoke the Allante. Read what Car and Driver said about the 500SL in that comparo in which the Allante beat a mere I6 powered 300SL. The 500SL would smoke the Allante and the V12 600SL would stomp a mutthole in the Allante.

    I couldn't care less about any golf clubs while driving a underpowered fwd SL wannabe. The Allante had a powertrain of junk (a 200hp V8!) until 1993 and by then it was too late, nobody cared. Plugging a chip in a car is for the fast and furious set, not a 60K luxury convertible buyer. AMG would modify the R129 SL to do 200 mph if you wanted so whats the point.

    Like I said before everything you say about the Allante's top is a grand excuse for a pitifully designed top on a 60K car. A 20K Pontiac Sunbird of the day had a power top!!!

    "You will need to print your source (cut and paste) for the speculative information you have cited...the survays were positive as I recall...It is difficult to find them now so if you would care to cut and paste something in to prove your point that would be a good thing.."

    So you do understand the concept of proof. Good. I have a list of your bogus claims you have yet to prove in over a year of stating them! Shall we? I'm still waiting to find out if the Allante had a "shoulder harness".

    On Cadillac and Mercedes back in the day say like 1990-1993 ask any of the survey chasers here about where each brand stood. I bet you won't like where Cadillac stood relative to Mercedes, who led the things. Where do you think all this fall from grace and drop-in-quality talk came from concerning Mercedes?

    "They sold 20,000 Allante's between 1987 and 1993 the production run for the car...The last year had the highest sales with about 6700 sold as I recall."

    Wow! In 7 model years they sold 20K units. Whooptie-doo. The 500SL alone (not even counting the 300SL and 600SL) sold 23806 units ( in just six model years from 1990 to 1995 at a much higher price than Cadillac dared dreaming of charging for the junker Allante. No matter which way you try to spin it the SL, specifically the 500SL slaughtered the Allante. Some enduring quality the car was cancelled because of it.

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    You might as well give up bud, you're not going to win this one. Those guys in their SLs were probably more amused at your Allante than feeling pity for you. The Jag XJS's 4.0L V6 of the time outpowered Cadillac's V8, and it had a proper power top, and RWD. Cadillac was not ready to play hardball in those days. They basically just wanted to be better than the joke that was\is Lincoln, and that was about it. The Allante was a half-assed effort at the big leagues, and it failed, just as the Catera did, and all of the other times Cadillac phoned it in. It appears they've learned their lesson, but it was the CTS that marked the first time Cadillac could be mentioned along side Mercedes and BMW without inducing snickering.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    What I truly can't understand is how one that obviously appreciates quality (a LS430 owner) could come up with so much bs to cover such an ill-conceived car like an Allante.

    The industry that praised the first LS400 of the day is right but they're wrong in slamming the Allante of the same time frame to the forgetten land of GM's worst screw ups. What a double standard.


    Is this your "enthusiast" side Mike? Meaning you're apt to overlook certain things for a car that you thought delivered unrivaled driving pleasure? Never thought of it like that even though some of the stuff you're coming up with for the Allante wouldn't be forgiven by anyone then or now. Hence the car's demise on the market.

  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    "Reading some of their posts its obvious they don't have a clue as to what a Mercedes was or is about today." What a Mercedes was or is about? You act like it's a person or's a car. A Mercedes has always been about prestige and since it's a car, getting from Point A to B in style.

    "The same could also be said about the Lexus owners who talk down about Audi and BMWs, most of them wouldn't and haven't gone near one to even know what they're talking about. Especially the Audi detractors." Honestly I don't see a whole lot of this, I don't know where you get this from. It seems more like a Lexus basher comes into play and then when the Lexus lover defends Lexus, all of a sudden he becomes a BMW, Audi, or Mercedes basher without that person even saying anything about BMW, Audi, or Mercedes.

    "What you and other Lexi never seem to get is that nobody is saying the S500 is a "drivers car" in the purest sense, only that it is more of a drivers car than a LS430."

    Yet, you always make it out to seem like the S-class is soo much of a better performer than the LS430.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    I don't get the Allante thing. That thing was a joke for it's price point, and personally no competition to the MB SL.
  • hjcanterhjcanter Posts: 31
    My Dad has an Allante and it is not that bad of a car. Yes, it not the best package, but a fun touring car. The top is easy to put down and the storage space inside the car and the trunk is great. My parents can take two sets of golf clubs and luggage for trips. You can not do that with the new SL or the SC. Very little problems as well.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    I'm not saying it was a bad car. But for the money it was low quality. Back in the early 90s or something they were selling the Allante for about $50K and it had shoddy quality, a poor fitting top, and originally it was powered by that weezy pushrod 200bhp 4.9L V8.
    And to compare it to a $80-$90K Mercedes SL is ridiculous. The Mercedes may not have been perfect in terms of reliability, but it was built like a rock, was as solid as a rock, had timeless looks(it still looks great today), and simply, the SL was in a totally different league. Allante vs. SL500/SL320 is a pointless comparison.
  • Lexusguy:

    I always love the Jag..Sadly I did not fit in it either. You are just plain wrong about the Allante.
  • Merc:

    Your style seems to be to jump from one model year/or model to another to make your point...So lets get real specific. Information all taken from Edmonds. FACTS ARE A TERRIBLE THING TO WASTE!

    1993 Allante vrs 1993 SL 500

    The Mercedes weighed in at 4165............Allante 3766
    HP...315 and 347 ft. lbs...................295 and 290 ft. lbs.

    NOTE: The Allante power plant is pushing 400 lbs less.

    JD Powers Reliability ratings: Long Term ratings (over 5 yrs.)


    Mechanical 5/5.........................Allante 5/5
    Body and Interior 4/5..........................3/5
    Feature and accessory 4/5......................4/5

    Note: The first 90 days and mid term ratings are not as favorable to Mercedes.

    Trunk space 7.9 Cu. Ft........................16cu.ft.

    Note: The Allante also has substantual cargo space on a shelf behind the seats. (enough for two big suit cases)

    NOTE: What is the value of a car that you cannot even take you golf clubs to the country club in...That you can't take a weeks vacation in because you can't carry your luggage. Lord, I don't know what you could do in thing other then "Cruse The Ave"
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    I don't think the Allante and SL ever really competed in the same segment. The Allante was clearly a class below. When I was shopping for a lux convertible, I briefly considered the Allante, but decided it was too much money. I never een contemplated the SL, because it was much more expensive.

    I should mention that at that time, when I moved to the USA from Europe, I actually wanted to buy an American car. I was very favorabl disposed to buy Detroit iron. Alas, nothing I saw drove felt right. The Japanese offering oddly seemed to offer the qualities associated with USA cruising - a certain overall softness and relaxed engines. I got an Infiniti, but I was very underwhelmed with its build quality: terrible. I have never seen a car age so badly within a year and a half.
  • livinbmwlivinbmw Posts: 120
    It's so nice that we can get some first hand information about owning an allante.

    This statement really carries a lot more weight with me than someone who hasn't even owned a single one premium car.

    I'll bet that cadillac looked incredible out in front of the clubhouse.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Would that have been the short lived M30 drop top? Btw, the XK8 trunk has enough space for two golf bags.
  • Allante was never a CLASS BELOW Mercedes SL...Unless your sole cryteria for Class is Price. The Allante offered more luxury, was more practical because of the luggage and storage space, Offered just as much performance and in fact won a face off with Mercedes that was published in ? Car and Driver, Road and track or Consumer reports..I just don't remember.
  • That it did BMW...It also looked good infront of the Pro shop...No Mercedes were there because you couldn't carry you clubs in them (and still squeeze the wife in the car and forget about her clubs.)
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    I wouldn't let golf clubs get in the way of a sports car purchase. Here are some solutions:

    1 - Put clubs in passenger's seat. Golf is too serious to have passenger's anyway. Gotta psyche yourself up for the matches.

    2 - Leave clubs at the course locker.

    3 - Drive other car. Not too many people own only a sports car anyway.

    4 - Buy a used Allante ;-)

    Michael, stop this golf talk, you're getting me jealous. I belonged to a club for many years and am starting to miss it. Too damn busy to play regularly anymore! Hate to go out sporadically because then the game suffers.

  • Designman:

    I concede number 4 as a wonderful idea.

    If you can't take your sports car in the summer up to the mountains or beach for a few days...or even drive it to the club to play golf What good is it.

    1) Clubs in front seat...That works...If you are not playing with your wife or son or daughter and you don't want to take seperate cars or the dull lexus family sedan....Often I would travel to other clubs with a friend if I had a Mercedes I suppose I could have bought a little trailer to haul behind my car....God the sun is out and birds are singing and there is the smell of fresh cut grass in the air...I want to take my Convertable to the CLUB.

    2) leaving clubs in your locker is fine as long as your playing has his or her clubs there also...otherwise you need to have your partner carry their clubs on their lap or hook up that trailer.

    3) You will have a family car BUT...The sun is shining, the birds are singing, little chipmunks are running up and down the trees, and there is the smell of freshly cut grass in the air....Who wants to drive the family sedan...WHY OWN A CONVERTABLE
  • Designman:

    As a lifetime 21, I had to learn long ago that my score was not nearly as important as being in the fresh air with friends.

    Get back out on that golf course, It is also a good Business/social setting.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289

    I read in another board somewhere where you said Lexus turned to Porsche to tune the '06 GS's suspension. Where did you pick up this information from? I haven't read a word of this from any press release.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    I read it in one or two automags as well as a business article about Lexus (may have been Businesweek or Forbes - don't remember). The latter was about Lexus cars that will debut with the new styling and worldwide branding. Both were probably around the time of the Tokyo motor show. Lexus had brought the GS to Germany and Porsche engineers were going to make modifications. One of the stories had indicated that Porsche and Lexus had collaborated at the onset of the GS development as well.

    Personally I think this GS is going to shake things up a lot more than people on this board think.
  • sapparosapparo Posts: 68
    Found this on a Japan auto site it's the all new Crown which is a legendary luxury model in Japan. Too bad they didn't use this as the current LS flagship, it looks sleeker and more dynamic IMO. The new models get advanced 4wd systems, contiously variable direct injection Dual VVTI engine technology and electro. driven steering.



  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    This is new news to me. Very interesting news since I completely missed this information and it's not often that Toyota/Lexus news misses me.

    If they are truly collaborating on the development of the GS with Porsche, that is indeed great news!
  • rgswrgsw Posts: 333
    Regards your PS: Don't see any "Black Styrofoam", only a black rubber panel on the 2004 LS430.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    I remember making a post at the time i read it. I'll see if I can locate it as it may at least state what automag I read it in.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    If you can find it cool, otherwise I'll believe you anyway.
  • livinbmwlivinbmw Posts: 120
    that's one thing about BMW.....they wouldn't need to go to another company for suspension help. I wouldn't like the sound of this necessarily if I were one of these toyota zealouts. What possibly could happen in regards to reliability issues? Why do you need Porsche?

    Where's audibob?
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    How is suspension tuning going to impact reliability?

    BTW, you should take your own advice and only speak about cars you yourself own.
  • warthogwarthog Posts: 216
    Audibob was an alien, and the mothership has departed. {Chill out Pat--I've got the support of everyone here.)
  • BMW

    What makes lexus such a great company is that they are willing to go and find the best in the world...they will take that suspension improve it here and there, make a 1000 small tweeks and by the time it is done it will be reliable..they are not limited by silly little BMW made it issues..They just want the best.
Sign In or Register to comment.