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.
Mar 26, 2002 (8:38 pm)
The 400E was a pipe dream in 1990. When the LS400/Q45 was introduced, the 300E had a 177hp/3 liter compared to a 250hp/4 liter V8 of the LS400 for about 10K less. The LS400 offered the horsepower and luxury of a 560SEL for much less than an E-CLass. Kind of makes you wonder what the MB executives were thinking in 1990!
bernard: BMW's didn't have the same pricing problem as MB did when the Japanese duo came out. A BMW 525i was still reasonably priced compared to it's eqivalent MB. The 5-series was priced similar to the smaller and less powerful 190E 2.6. Lexus and Infiniti did have an impact on the product, V8s became the norm for the 5 and 7 series not long after lexus entered the picture. Don't know if that was directly because of Lexus or not, but it does seem like a interesting coincidence.
#1481 of 24726 bernard1
Mar 26, 2002 (10:03 pm)
You're missing the point about profits. What you've just stated about the Carrera GT is common sense, orders = car. My point is that Japanese companies wouldn't even bother with a car like the Carrera GT. The Japanese wouldn't see the point of a car like a M5 or Carrera GT, though they have the ability to produce such cars. I would doubt that about the profit margin on the M5, because a loaded 540i is only 10K less, the M5's engine is way more expensive to build than the 540i's. I would think they make more money on a loaded 530i or 525i.
Yep the 400E was hugely expensive, the 500E (probably my favorite 4-door Benz of all time) was $80K at the time. The 400E was just a stopgap effort to compete with the LS400 of the time. The W124 chassis was an expensive one, and you could tell....even GM admitted that is was the most solid car built during it's day. These cars are still reguarded by many Benz fans as the best "E" Mercedes ever made. I can't take a definite stance on that opinion, though I think the current W210 E is not as well made structurally or in some of the cabin materials.
Yes Lexus did force the value issue, MB lowered prices in 1994 for the first time in over 100+ years of carmaking. Monumental change indeed. BMW has had performance as their isolation from Lexus, many still don't cross shop the two for this very reason. Mercedes' cars philosphy wise sit in the middle of the two, the most difficult place to be.
Mar 27, 2002 (5:32 am)
The 500E was an incredible car, wasn't it engineered by Porsche? That car was the ultimate sleeper.
It wasn't so much that BMW chose their isolation from lexus in that Lexus chose MB as their benchmark.
I might have to agree with you on the margins of the M5 compared to a loaded 540i, that 5 liter is full of expensive technology but I'm sure that engine doesn't cost BMW 10K more to produce.
Mar 27, 2002 (8:16 am)
Yes it was an incredible car! Yep it was built/tested/tweaked by Porsche. Automobile called it the best car in the world "by which we will judge all automobiles". If I didn't need a "new" car this would be the used Benz of choice, a 1994 model (E500) that is.
True about Lexus and their benchmark target, that's another way of putting it. But you have to admit that BMW's performance angle has spared them direct comparisions with Lexus until the GS400 came along.
Not really sure about the M5 compared to the other 5-series cars. I suspect that type of info isn't available on the web anywhere.
Mar 27, 2002 (12:28 pm)
Maybe I'm missing the point but from what I remember the Japanesse makes a little low sales volume sports car by Acura, Yes? So, they also make cars that are performace based while full well knowing the volume of sales for that car will be low. In 1970 the first Z car hit the US shores, and that was also a fun performance oriented car and it came at a time when no one would have thought Japan would have produced a sports car. They took the risk. Europeans make certain cars for perfomance sake, what II'm saying is hat today it's all about profit. Since I have perfomance based cars I'm glad they do. I use Porsche as my gauge as they make more $$ per auto then any other manufacturer and they are not always ahead of their competition.
I think you may have missed my point about the GT. Sure orders= cars, but rarely has a car company stated that they would not build a car unless they had confirmed orders to insure a profit. The Cayenne, Porsche's new love was designed, engineered and ready to be built before the first order was taken. Most manufactures do the same. I'm just pointing out that while the Europeans believe in perfomance based auto's, profit are now the prime motavator, having the fastest car, etc. etc, is icing on the cake.
Actually a fully loaded 540i 6 sp is 12K and change less than a fully loaded M5 and when you actually purchase it, the difference is even more as you can get reasonable discounts on the 540i. Additionally there is not 12K difference in price on the engine. Something else to consider, very few people buy a fully loaded 540 simply because they don't want some of the extras. Those extras bring profit, the M5 comes with most everything standard, so there is a little extra built in.
You are correct about BMW not having to deal head to head with Lexus until the GS400 came along . Can't speak of the pricing of the 525 vs 190 as I've never owned or even price one of those. Lexus may have had some influence on the V8's at BMW, I don't know, but I know that the 7 series came out as their MB fighter but was deemed under powered.
Mar 27, 2002 (12:55 pm)
I think you guys are both right. Sure, every manufacturer is out to make profits, but BMW, Porsche, Audi, Acura, etc. also cater to the consumer by bringing out low volume performance cars. They could aways sell something else to make more profit like bringing the Audi A3 over instead of the RS6(which they are bringing over only 850 units). On the flipside, if manufacturers didn't care about profits then they would be giving cars away. Its not all about profits, its also about giving the consumer what they want.
Mar 27, 2002 (4:16 pm)
Your're right. I sure wish Porsche would listen and give a little more hp for the $$.
For now, I will attempt to patiently wait for Audi's new S8 and hopefully will not be disappointed when it's released.
What do you guys think of BMW's leap in technology and how Lexus, Audi, MB will follow up?
Mar 27, 2002 (5:18 pm)
Outside of the regular Boxster, every single Porsche I'm aware of does 0-60 in 5.5 seconds or less (Boxster S being the slowest at around 5.5).
In my world, that's plenty fast. If you want speed but don't want to drop $70-80k on a car, buy a Corvette. That's why they make them. For people who want Porsche performance without paying for it.
Mar 27, 2002 (6:07 pm)
Don't get me wrong, I like the 745i, but I think that time will be a b!tch for it. The gadgets will date this car and I believe hurt its reliablity. I can almost guarantee that there are going to be expensive electrical problems to deal with in the future. Also, resale value will really suffer because of the added complexity.
S8 is pretty sweet!
#1489 of 24726 bernard1
Mar 27, 2002 (6:18 pm)
I'd have to disagree about the Acura NSX, the car is rare because it's 10+ years old and just doesn't sell. Acura has stated many times that they would love to import more of these. The NSX sold very well between 1991-1993, but after that it's been downhill. I'ts not a rare car by choice.
Well I guess we'll never know about the profit margins on the 5-Series BMW models, but It really doesn't matter what the buyer gets the car for, the only money BMW sees is the money the dealer pays to get the car. I still think the M5's engine eats up more profit on the M5 than the 525i's does. But you/me/we don't have any proof anyway, but it would interesting to find out.
On the Porsche Carrera GT. Cars are shown to the public to gauge reaction all the time and companys often base their production plans on who many orders or inquirys they get on a car, so I don't know what you mean there. Ford just did the same thing with the GT40.
I'm impressed with BMW and Mercedes' push for technology. The only thing really "wrong" with the new 7-Series is the styling. BMW really is rethinking engine and suspension design, I like that. Mercedes has been all about brakes and suspensions lately, I waiting to see their next generation of direct injection, 4-valve gas engines, due in 2004, I think. I think idrive may be a little ahead of it's time, hopefully they won't make it standard on the next 5-Series. Mercedes is turning over development of the next Comand system to Nokia. Should be interesting, though I've never had a Nokia phone (Sanyo) to know how they think. BMW hit MB with pricing like Lexus did, just one year though....the 525i was priced at $34,900, that same as the 190E 2.6.