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.
#19160 of 24726 A Taste of Lexus....2006
Sep 24, 2006 (8:44 pm)
Well today was the day, I got to drive the LS460L, didn't even bother with the SWB LS460. I also drove the GS450h, IS350, SC430 and GS350.
IS350 - Easily my favorite Lexus. Powerful, snug, pretty good looking, and fast as hell. I can see why there are complaints about rear seat room though. While fast it still isn't as buttoned down as the last 3-Series I drove. I like the interior and the whole layout and presentation of this Lexus more than any other. I tried to scrub the tires off the IS350 trhough the slalom and I could swear the car was panting after I got out...! This year there were no competitor cars from BMW or Mercedes to compare to the IS or GS. Would have really liked to drive a 335i Sedan to compare, but they aren't out just yet. Not that it matters to me much, but the IS350 is crying out for a real sports suspension and true manual to exploit all that power. The new 335i and G35 still don't have a true competitor from Lexus in the IS350 for the hard core guys.
GS350 - This model has really been invorgorated, so much so it renders the GS430 so pointless as to where there was no GS430 at the event. It feels as fast as the GS430 I drove last year, other than that everything else is the same. No E-Class or 5-Series there to compare to this year. A GS460 will arrive in Jan-Feb 07' as 2008 model. Per the reps this was done to ensure the LS460 doesn't have anything in-house to compete with.
GS450h - A surprise, very powerful. There was a subtle clicking/beeping when you really got down on the power, kinda like an alert as to why the hybrid system kicked in/switched off. The course they had allowed you to floor both the IS and GS and of course I did. You do feel the torque kick in once you've taken off, almost like a turbocharged car. Overall though the power delivery is just as seamless as in other Lexus, you really aren't aware that so much is going on underneath. Engineering, engineering, engineering.
SC430 - Not as much of a barge as I expected, then again they had a different handling/driving course for the SC, RX and ES. Nice interior for sure, but the cowl shake is noticeable and the rear seats are just for decoration. This is a 2-door LS430, not a competitor to SL or XK.
LS460L - I only drove the LS460L which had the air suspension which I adjusted to the stiffest setting. While better handling than the outgoing LS430, it doesn't handle as well as the S550 or 750i that were on hand. The roll is still there, but the brakes are stronger, as is the acceleration. There might be 8 gears working underneath but you'd never know it by the seamless power delivery. Not quite as much of a shove in the back as the S550 delivers off the line, but you'll have to be paying close attention to notice any real difference. Yes the tranny does have drop some gears, but it is invisible to the driver so the point is moot. The car has the same smooth/quiet ride as the previous car, but with a lot more room, especially in the rear seat area. The reps were saying 65K for the SWB LS460 and about 75-78K for the LS460L. The LS600hL will check in around 90K, per our conversation. Pricing comes out in 10 days for the 460 models. Very impressive car to say the least about it. The SWB version looks a little unbalanced as in the test track pic below, too stubby.
The sole competitor I drove at this year's event:
S550 - Right away you notice a heavier, sturdier feel compared to the LS460 which is expected for a German car. Acceleration is blistering with a little more shove in the back than the LS460L, and the handling is tighter with less roll than the LS460L, but other than these few items these cars are pretty evenly matched in the few other ways I could examine them during such a short period of time. None of the S550s at the event were equiped with ABC, only Airmatic in the sportiest setting.
750i - didn't bother to drive it.
A few pics, the LS460:
My favorite Lexus, the IS350:
The test track:
#19161 of 24726 Taste of Lexus...2006 (cont)
Sep 24, 2006 (9:01 pm)
Notice the chrome slats in the wheels in the second pic, nice touch.
The rest of the range:
The RX350, LX470 and GX470:
Overall a great day to be a Japanese luxury car fan or car fanatic in general, and a learning experience. The Lexus folks are very knowledgeable about their cars at these events and the food was outstanding. They can loose the spa and other nonsense though. Not sure why, but the only competitors that were there were the 750i and S550, no E's and 5's or 3's to compare to the other Lexi. The IS350 is crying out for a better tuned suspension and true manual, until then the 335i and G35 still don't have a competitor in the IS350 when it comes to the hard core guys on the ELLPS board.
#19162 of 24726 Re: A Taste of Lexus....2006 [merc1]
Sep 24, 2006 (9:42 pm)
Easily my favorite Lexus. Powerful, snug, pretty good looking, and fast as hell.
The IS is a sharp looking car, especially with those wheels. I think the shape of the rear doors is somewhat akward though. Wouldn't be an issue in black.
#19163 of 24726 Re: A Taste of Lexus....2006 [lexusguy]
Sep 24, 2006 (9:45 pm)
You mean the metal part at the back of the rear door that reaches upwared here?
Yeah that is one of those little design details that should have been better resolved, but at least it isn't black plastic.
#19164 of 24726 Re: A Taste of Lexus....2006 [merc1]
Sep 24, 2006 (9:50 pm)
The new G I think looks better in some ways, worse in others. I need to see it in person. The last G I thought was a bit akward when it launched, but I ended up really liking the car.
#19165 of 24726 Re: A Taste of Lexus....2006 [lexusguy]
Sep 24, 2006 (9:54 pm)
Yeah it may be, I'd have to see it in person also. Though with the G, the Coupe is where the action is for me. Truthfully I don't care much for 4-door cars and if there is a coupe or convertible version I'll always go that route. I've seen the new 335i Coupe on the road a few times now and there is no way I'd take a 335i sedan over the coupe. I can't wait to see the new G35 Coupe, if it is anything like that concept they've got another winner on their hands. I notice the G and IS are wearing nearly the same shoes!
#19166 of 24726 Re: Panamera caught testing [blckislandguy]
Sep 24, 2006 (10:13 pm)
Yeah it is all pretty much speculation for now. If Porsche really does offer a version of the Pana for E/5-Series prices they'll reach that 100K units a year goal in no time. Can you imagine a Porsche sedan for the price of a mere E-Class or 5-Series, going to be a riot in the Porsche showrooms, IMO.
#19167 of 24726 Re: A Taste of Lexus....2006 [merc1]
Sep 25, 2006 (12:29 am)
Thanks, merc1, I enjoyed reading your views. Glad you enjoyed the event.
#19168 of 24726 Re: Panamera caught testing [dewey]
Sep 25, 2006 (3:14 am)
I'm with you. I believe Porsche should not enter the luxury marque arena.
I think it's a mistake.
There aren't enough people out there who will be interested.