Last post on Jan 28, 2013 at 6:55 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.
#16800 of 24723 hybrid drivetrain complexity
Jun 26, 2006 (7:06 pm)
It is true that both MB and BMW also have investigated hybrid technology. However, the approach is quite different than toyota. MB/BMW seem to be of the opinion that progression of the IC engine will allow it to remain the central component of the drivetrain. For example, in the hybrid X5 there is a small but very powerful electric motor attached to ultra-capacitors. The electric motor produces 479lb-ft.
The ultra-capacitors don't hold that much power total, but they are compact, light, and shouldn't "wear out". The idea is that the x5 could be supplied with a small engine, perhaps a 3.0L but still perform like the big stomping 4.8L v8.
However, unlike the lexus approach, the car wouldn't get very far on electric only. There is no stealth mode, running on electric-only, and no future for plug-in hybridization. It's more geared (hah!) for quick shots of power, such as merging and at lights. Less potential but less compromise. I think the toyota approach is better for "regular" cars, BMW's more for the performance/lux cars. But it's hard to say what will happen over the next few years. Tech changes may chance what's feasible.
BMW is also testing a steam engine that runs off the heat from the exhaust and helps drive the crank. This is a smart idea, because it both adds 15% to the power and increases fuel economy by 15% as well. AND it makes a lot of sense to pair with the hybrid, as the steady steam power could recharge the batteries/capacitor with little to no drag on normal driving.
But this isn't really germane to high-end luxury, is it?
Have any of you guys driven a 2004+ xj8?
I only care if you actually drove it.
#16801 of 24723 Re: hybrid drivetrain complexity [dhanley]
Jun 26, 2006 (7:24 pm)
Thatís interesting. There are plenty of ways to go about it and engineers must be having a ball. I guess the bottom line is they will have to turn it into real products at the right prices. I canít wait to see what Porsche/VW comes up with too. It would be funny if Toyota knew all along that hybrids wonít sell and just did it to make the Germans dip into their pockets and drive them crazy, like the dude with mountains of chips in a poker game.
But this isn't really germane to high-end luxury, is it?
Well the LS 600hl sure is a striking contrast to Prius.
BTW, how are you doing with the Boxster? Are you still interested?
#16802 of 24723 Re: Hp [designman]
Jun 26, 2006 (8:15 pm)
Designman, it is not the reliability that I am concerned with. I am not a die hard hybrid naysayer either. If I could get that RX400h for about the same price as non hybrid and it got 40 mpg around town then I would have one in my garage. I had a 2000 RX 300 that my wife drove for 3 years. Great car, no trouble. Averaged about 22 mpg overall. I just don't see what all the hybrid fuss is about, that's all.
#16803 of 24723 Re: Hp [designman]
Jun 26, 2006 (8:18 pm)
"Cyclone4... You said you want the 600h. Can you tell us why? Is it the LWB, hybrid, or other?"
There are several reasons why I am going with the LS600HL:
1)I am pretty certain that it will be one of the most, if not the most, technologically advanced vehicles to date.
2)AWD and LWB.
3)My wife and I own an RX400H and I really enjoy driving a hybrid. I find it fun to try to get great gas mileage. BTW, my wife averages about 25-26 in the city and about 27 on the interstate. I tested it in the city a couple times and averaged between 38 and 40 mpg. The reason my wife only gets about 25-26 is because she makes a lot of short trips. That really eats away at the gas mileage (due to warm up period). This next generation of hybrids from Lexus should be improved.
4)I look forward to its spectacular power when needed.
5)I look forward to its fuel economy.
6)I am pleased to do something good for the environment.
#16804 of 24723 Re: to all the germancarfan hybrid naysayers [designman]
Jun 26, 2006 (8:24 pm)
The value and benefits are not overwhelming at this point."
Well said, and that of course IS the point.
I would advise anyone serious about purchasing a hybrid to wait at least 6 months to a year because eventually a point will be reached when hybrids will inevitably be achieving close to pricing parity (dare I say one day hybrids may actually sell for LESS than their corresponding gasoline-powered sedans?) with their equivalent traditionally-powered sedans as inventory builds and builds because the American consumer won't be taken in by this.
#16805 of 24723 Some people like more power AND more economy
Jun 26, 2006 (8:52 pm)
Now that the RX has an enhanced 3.5, the 400h isn't the same value it was.
But if I told you two years ago the 400h would stay at 230HP, but give you 30MPG........
Houdini, you are one of the few who can squeeze 22 MPG out of a two ton SUV, so I understand your point.
For the rest of us, 40% better economy, plus a noticable power upgrade, for an extra 3k over a loaded 330 is a good deal.
And you still have tons of cargo room!
BTW, Edmunds seems to love the Camry Hybrid
#16806 of 24723 Re: hybrid drivetrain complexity [designman]
Jun 26, 2006 (8:52 pm)
That would be funny. I doubt that toyota would make a feint like hybrids just to make the germans scramble. However, it makes sense that they might pursue hybrids before they're fully baked to get favorable PR and make the others play catch-up.
Yes, i am still interested in the boxster. I have toyed with the idea of a z4. It's a lot cheaper (lease deal/free maintainance), but i think i'd still feel sad whenever a boxster cruised by. Not only do i find the boxster much better looking, but everything i've seen indicates that it is the better car.
I am often tempted to just go to the dealer and get a boxster/ However, I'm waiting until my living/parking situation upgrades to get a car i'll notice dings on again before transforming appreciating assets to a depreciating one. Crowded downtown chicago takes its toll of vehicles.
In a year or so i think i'll be ready to jump to a house + 2 car garage, then i was thinking of boxster for fun, and a big cruiser for other occasions. Hence the xj8 question. 2 year old CPO ones seem to go for ~35K, and i find it interesting for that money.
Plus, the S is getting a nice HP boost for 2007!
#16807 of 24723 Re: to all the germancarfan hybrid naysayers [hpowders]
Jun 26, 2006 (9:01 pm)
"...(dare I say one day hybrids may actually sell for LESS than their corresponding gasoline-powered sedans?) with their equivalent traditionally-powered sedans as inventory builds and builds because the American consumer won't be taken in by this."
In today's market out here in Cali, the small cars are in huge resurgence.... Many people now want a gas-efficient used small car (budget under $15K) - Civics, Corollas, Sentras, etc., as a second/third/fourth car in the stable... The prices of these cars in the used market have gone up, due to demand. In fact, you'd be better off buying them new... Check out the prices in your neck of the woods and see what you find...
And what is behind the resurgence of the small cars ? Of course, the high-price of gasoline. Many people are looking for small gas-efficient cars they can tote around town instead of their big gas-guzzling sedans, SUVs or p/u trucks. The Civics, Corollas, xA, xB, Fit, Yaris, etc.. have become quite hot cars to buy for under $15K or thereabouts. So now for about a $199/mth payment, you can own one of these cars and get >25mpg.
Alternatives are: you can spend $25K to buy a Prius. $30K to buy an Accord-H. $30K+ for a Camry-H... $25K for a Civic-H.... See the difference ?
Hybrids will go the way gas consumption and oil prices go. If prices go UP, hybrids (of all types) increase in demand. If gasoline prices go DOWN, so goes hybrids.... But, if you are a betting man, you'd not bet against oil prices going up, and concomittant gasoline prices at the pump. Geo-politics, law of demand-and-supply, and novelty and coolness will make H-powered cars/sedans/trucks/SUVs popular and growing in sales for the foreseeable future.
That, my friend, you can take to the bank....
#16808 of 24723 Re: to all the germancarfan hybrid naysayers [oac]
Jun 26, 2006 (9:07 pm)
Sounds good on paper....
#16809 of 24723 Re: Merc [drfill]
Jun 26, 2006 (10:19 pm)
I've used R&T and Automobile to make my points, not just C&D. PLus, Merc, the Lexus LS has won more than one comparo! The previous generation beat all comers, including the S, as well!
You never seem to get this Doc, but the LS430 only beat the S430 not the S500 which is what Motor Trend put over the LS430 back in 2001. This about the LS having beat the "S-Class" really isn't accurate because the LS hasn't beat the entire range of S-Class cars, only the S430. I have seen where the S500 beat the LS430 back in 2001 in MT so it isn't a cut-n-dry as you'd like to incorrectly blur it here. Also Motor Trend put the A8 over the LS430 much more recently.
The LS is a better car than the Germans, if things like interior, drivetrain, smoothness, fit and finish, braking, ride, seating, features, acceleration, price means anything.
Only by certain comparos, it isn't unaminous.
As I've stated long before this discussion, C&D has the most well-thought out, balanced comparisons. They don't over-value sports car moves, they always have a scorecard so it isn't too subjective to find a winner, and they back up their objective results with logical conclusions.
As I've stated before you only use the comparos that put Lexus on top and saying that the rest don't know what they're talking about is just plain nonsense. Now when the others put the LS first, which they have sometimes you'll use them, but when they don't you knock their criteria. That is the oldest crybaby excuse in the book Doc.
Is that the best you can do? So you admit the S-Class has been an "also-ran" for years? Out on vacation with a whimper!
Nope, back unfortunately to read the same Lexus rantings. What you don't see here is that the S-Class is still the world's benchmark and was just recently surpased in the later years of its (W220) life, unlike the SC430 which was a loser and a dullard from day one. It has never been the benchmark and has had its windshield handed to it from the time it came to market. Again the S500 beat the LS430 back when both cars were relatively new in a MT comparo. The SC430 has never, ever beat the SL. Ever. Period. Big difference.
That very same C&D comparison had the LS dead last in objective dynamic handling numbers! Fortunately, C&D doesn't say if it is a class-best handler, the car has no value, like you do.
Again, I thought we had settled this about the LS430's handling. I don't count the car out because it doesn't have handling as good as the German cars in the class and I think you and I settled this with your addmission that the LS430 didn't handle as well as the German cars here? The only reason I went on with that is because of the absurd notion from other Lexicans about how the LS430 would handle if it had this and if it had that. The problem is that die-hard Lexus fans can't admit anything and will tell you that anything the LS can't do best doesn't matter which is why this about the LS and its handling was about the most rediculous conversation going. Anyone who knows anything about handling wouldn't even mention the term in the same sentence with the LS430 and this about a what if is just a big fat excuse for the exhausted Lexusfans who can't accept anything else.