Last post on Jan 28, 2013 at 5:55 PM
You are in the Sedans
What is this discussion about?
Audi A8, BMW 7 Series, Jaguar XJ-Series, Lexus LS 460, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Volkswagen Phaeton, Maserati Quattroporte, Mercedes-Benz CL-Class, Sedan
Let's try to define this forum as being limited to luxury performance vehicles where the mainstream version in a typical configuration has an MSRP of at least $60k.
A luxury vehicle with a base price of $59k qualifies because it would typically be bought with some additional equipment, bringing the MSRP over $60k.
Vehicles like the E, 5, A6, M, or GS, even if available in certain versions over $60k, don't qualify because they are cars from companies that have higher end cars in their lineups.
#12899 of 24726 Copying, Gimmicks etc....
Jan 10, 2006 (11:41 pm)
We can debate all day long as to whether Idrive, Park Assist and what not are "gimmicks". In the end it really doesn't matter because this is where the luxury car is going and more importantly it keeps luxury cars above "regular" cars. I don't consider it "copying" when one company adds a feature to one of their cars that a competitor already had - that is common sense.
My problem is that Lexus didn't have to try and make their flagship car LOOK like the competiton all these years up until now. That is truthfully my only issue. Car companys do take ideas and technology from each other all the time that is nothing new, but they don't have to make their cars look like the competition too. Mercedes, BMW, Jaguar, Audi, Bentley, Cadillac, Infiniti, and now Lexus have their own styling identies for the most part and that is great IMO. It is about time Lexus quit making their flagship car (their greatest car) in the mold of its greatest competitor with regards to styling - not technology.
I honestly don't know why Lexus doesn't play up their Japanese heritage more often. A European car company would never do a brochure for one of their cas like Lexus did for the IS. Things like that cheapen the brand in the eyes of people that care about such things.
When not in defense mode I can freely admit I'm just as intrigued as any Lexus fan at the thought of 380hp and 8 foward gears! Mercedes did the same thing back in 1989 with the world's first 5-speed automatic and again in 2003 with the first 7-speed automatic - leapfrogging via innovation and technology is the name of the game in the luxury car business. This practice has nothing to do with styling, again which was my only big issue with Lexus.
Even when Germancarfans (or at least I do) admit the obvious Lexusfans can't admit the obvious like; Lexus changing their styling to a singular theme across their lineup - it makes the debates pointless and endless.
#12900 of 24726 Re: Copying, Gimmicks etc.... [merc1]
Jan 11, 2006 (1:04 am)
IMHO, much of the cliche about the original Lexus LS was made to look like existin MB model was due to the fact that was the generic luxury car look, since circa 1906: slab side, broad shoulder and high belt line. MB just happened to dominate the luxury car market around 1989, immediately before the launch of LS400. If you look at the pictures of 1989 LS400 and 1989 420SE side by side, the difference is very pronounced: different hood proportions, different grill size/shape and different head light configurations etc. In fact, the lines on the 1989 420SE is much more dated and musty 80's compared to the more cleanly flowing lines of 1989 LS400. It would not even be a stretch to argue that MB, BMW and Audi all took ideas from those flowing rounded lines from the original LS400 in their own susequent designs. For what it's worth, when BMW entered the car market and subsequently putting together a marketting niche called "sport sedan," it "copied" heavily from the styles of other brands with sporty heritages, such as Jaguar, Bentley and Pontiac, for those double-kidney grills and quad headlights, as well as the long hood. Those are just what people expected of sporting machines, like the slab side, broad shoulder and high belt-lines that were expected of luxury cars when Lexus introduced the original LS420.
There are two obvious reasons why Lexus does not play up its Japanese heritage:
(1) Lexus is a brand with only a decade and half of history; they are trying to sell a Lexus not a Toyota.
(2) IS is being marketted in Japan this time. In the land of parkers not drivers (one statistic says that if all Japanese car owners tried to drive at the same time, there would not be enough road space for them all!), European cars are extremely popular . . . plus the previous generation IS was a stripped down hopped up Toyota for the youth in their home market. Not exactly a bragging point.
One point well take: while Lexus has the first 8sp automatic, MB had the first 5sp and 7sp . . . GM had the very first automatic, period; and for a long time was the only one who knew how to build a good automatic . . . hence the Cadillac domination of the free world HELM during the first three decades after WWII.
#12902 of 24726 Anyone else notice a lot of Volvo XC90 in the Benz GL?
Jan 11, 2006 (1:45 am)
#12903 of 24726 Re: Anyone else notice a lot of Volvo XC90 in the Benz GL? [lexusguy]
Jan 11, 2006 (2:34 am)
Thats pretty weak Lexusguy, still grasping at straws here. Even I'll admit that the GL isn't the most distincive Benz around. Still handsome though. All of this because I pointed out the LS460/Camry connection?
#12904 of 24726 Re: Copying, Gimmicks etc.... [brightness04]
Jan 11, 2006 (2:41 am)
All of that about 1906 goes back a way bit before my time. Lexus' original LS400 was rounder than the German iron of the day for sure, but the overall presentation made you think "Mercedes". Sure the individual details were different, but the whole thing screamed Mercedes overall. Thats why Lexus got the copy rep from not only the press, but buyers alike. The 2001 LS430 only made it worse. Now that they've adopted a singular theme across their lineup the Mercedes look-a-like era has ended with this new LS. Now the diehard BMW fans may have something to say about it, but that isn't my debate.
It would be way more than a stretch to say that Audi/BMW/MB got anything from Lexus in the way of styling. Audi in particular went aero in the 80's and changed car design long before Lexus even came to market. Either way none of them ever looked liked a Lexus then or now.
#12905 of 24726 Re: Average driver doesn't always know better [oac]
Jan 11, 2006 (5:05 am)
BMW Assist is a great thing to have if you ever need it.
BMW has done a fabulous job in making sure people like me don't need it.
Its quality at this point going forward (not looking backward as CR does) is right up there with the best.
#12906 of 24726 Re: It's not a slam dunk for Lexus. [tagman]
Jan 11, 2006 (5:36 am)
Tagman - It's a guarantee the new car will be a smash succes and class leader in sales. The past gen cars have dominated that spot - often by wide margins - in 15 of the last 17 years. Saying it will succeed is like saying it'll be mild in summer.
Jan 11, 2006 (5:47 am)
As far as Lexus cars looking alike, if you look at the cars, in profile, they definitely look much different from each other. The GS has a more rounded profile. The IS is full of particularly sharp styling cues, and is heavily starched, without becoming an Acura TL. The LS falls in between. So I'm not seeing it either, Merc. A crease here or there, but that's it.
I like the GS the least (but it is acceptable), I like the IS the most, and the LS is great because it is a quantum leap from where it was, and it's competition has fallen off the table.
If anything, Mercedes is now cultivating a image of plagirism, with the S-Class taking on wheel humps, the Maybachs' rear end, the Accord's headlights, and the 7's dash.
And the ML has obviously learned quite a bit from the original RX300.
All I have to say about the Camry is it has many cues from the Corolla/Yaris/Avalon. It is not my cup of tea.
When the '92 Camry came out, yeah, that was obviously a descendant of the LS.
Those days are over. If you can find anything in the Camry exterior that says 2007 LS, good luck!
The Camry interior does shares a similar overall theme, though.
#12908 of 24726 Re: Certainly no mercedes vehicles look similar [merc1]
Jan 11, 2006 (6:49 am)
While in Paris last November I saw the S class at the MB showroom on the Champs-'Elys'ees. Also daily there were always a couple of them parked in front of the Ritz as I walked by. The previous S had a sleek tailored look that was very attractive. The new S seems to revert to the bulky style of the S preceding that one.