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.
#19430 of 24726 Peugeot 908 RC, C230 etc.......
Oct 01, 2006 (2:05 pm)
Thanks to everyone for the comments on the Peugeot 908 RC concept. Going by the comments posted, I think that you all seem to like the car somewhat just as I do. Interestingly, no one called it hideous or awful looking! I think the French could make it big here being different, but they would have to get with the program when it comes to reliability.
Did I mention that Alfa-Romeo comes back in 2008? Another charismatic, but historically troubled, brand.
Mercedes' C230 didn't make here in the U.S. for several reasons. For one hatchbacks have a negative stigma in the U.S. that not even the Mercedes-Benz name can overcome, that combined with the fact that the C230 "Coupe" wasn't sporty enough dynamically did it in. It was also a poor value for the money spent. People in this country consider Mercedes a luxury brand first and foremost, unlike the utilitarian/luxury image Mercedes has nearly everywhere else in the world. Mercedes builds and sells buses, garbage trucks, Unimogs and everything else on wheels (except motorcycles) in Europe, yet a S600 or SL55 AMG is still seen as prestigious, while an A200t sits next to it in the showroom. America is far to image driven to allow that here for Mercedes-Benz. Now some say Audi made it with the A3, but the A3 isn't a 3-door hatch like the C230 and BMW 318ti were, it is a 5-door hatch with some real utility and, and, and Audi' image isn't quite up to BMW's or Mercedes' in this country. Like it or not (I don't) Audi is still associated with VW to a lot of consumers so Audi can get away with a "hatch" before BMW and especially MB can. Change the badge to "Mini", give it go-cart dynamics and poof(!) you have a hit!
When BMW does import the 1-Series here it will be done as a sedan/coupe/convertible, not the hatch that has been running around Europe for over a year now. It is far too ugly anyway, IMO. The other 1-Series variants are going to be in the spirit of the E36 3-Series (1992-1998) or at least I hope it is. Pure.
It is far easier for BMW to bake "sport" into a cheaper vehicle than it is to bake in E or S-Class virtues into a cheaper vehicle. The C230 didn't provide the sport, which would have made it different and "fun" and it surely didn't provide an E-Class or even enough C-Class sedan experience either. Nobody wants to drive a stodgy hatchback, it needs to be sporty or luxurious enough to validate it being stodgy.
#19431 of 24726 Re: Peugeot 908 RC, C230 etc....... [merc1]
Oct 01, 2006 (4:22 pm)
I think the success of the A3 is more to do with Audi's stylish and "in" image in this segment. The A3 is somewhat an icon, especially in Europe, due to the S3 and the like. Prestige has a different meaning in the 20-30 year old segment that is attracted to the A3 around the world. Audi definitely has that GenX and Yuppie 'aura' going on quite nicely that MB and BMW to lesser extent lack. Prestige is for "old men" more or less and is not substantive to quality or depth to this generation (or to anyone for that matter)...or as the studies have pointed out. As I did not read the studies first hand, an automotive survey found Audi highly popular and desirable in this segment.
#19432 of 24726 Re: Peugeot 908 RC, C230 etc....... [merc1]
Oct 01, 2006 (4:32 pm)
It is far easier for BMW to bake "sport" into a cheaper vehicle than it is to bake in E or S-Class virtues into a cheaper vehicle.
Maybe, but easy isn't the question. The current C-Class is Mercedes' largest seller. That says enough to know that you can bake a little E and S-Class into a cheaper vehicle. It's basically been done and proven with the C-Class.
The market is ripe enough to go one "Class" lower, IMO, if done well.
#19433 of 24726 Re: Peugeot 908 RC, C230 etc....... [reality2]
Oct 01, 2006 (8:19 pm)
That may be so, but that image you speak of is tied to VW, nothing really do with Audi's image in the lower segment, IMO. There really isn't a premium hatchback segment to speak of here like in Europe, the only other car in the A3's segment is the Mini. The Mini, IMO is a totally different type of car though, it trades looks and dynamics and the sheer "cuteness" factor. The A3 I think makes it on style to a degree (lord knows it looks better than anyting BMW or MB have done with hatches here), but imporantly I think it makes it on utility, again IMO.
#19434 of 24726 Re: Peugeot 908 RC, C230 etc....... [tagman]
Oct 01, 2006 (8:23 pm)
Maybe, but easy isn't the question. The current C-Class is Mercedes' largest seller. That says enough to know that you can bake a little E and S-Class into a cheaper vehicle.
True, they could but then you'd be at the price a regular C-Class sedan. The C hatch needed to be sporty like other hatches to succeed. If one wants some E or S-Class in a C-C they're going to go to sedan not a hatchback.
I hope Mercedes never imports another C-Class hatchback to the U.S. or anything lower than a C-Class sedan, preferably with 6 cylinders. If Mercedes is seen as premium in this country then it has to act like that, they made their bed so now they have to lay in it sorta speak.
Mercedes simply doesn't do cheap well. Every single time they try they mess it up. Witness the first generation ML, the W220 S-Class (especially from 2000-2002), the C hatchback. Notice how their upper level cars dominate, S-Class, SL etc. Notice how just the opposite is true for BMW, neither company can beat the other at opposite ends.
#19435 of 24726 What the hell?
Oct 01, 2006 (9:18 pm)
Lutz: U.S. gov't should force gas prices up
General Motors vice chairman Bob Lutz said the U.S. government should gradually increase taxation on gasoline to force consumers into smaller, more efficient cars. "I'd say the best thing the (U.S.) government can do is to raise the gas tax by 10 or 15 cents a year until it reaches European levels," Mr. Lutz told the Wall Street Journal at the Paris Motor Show.
"In Europe people buy $30,000 Golfs," Lutz said. "People are willing to pay lots of money for extremely well equipped, fuel-efficient cars." Lutz said higher gas prices would help accelerate the transition to alternative fuels and cleaner forms of propulsion.
Lutz also says he thinks Americans have learned their lesson about buying fuel-thirsty vehicles, even if gas prices fall well below $2.00 later this year. "Three months from now if gas is $1.60 a gallon, people are not going to go rushing out to buy 400 horsepower SUVs," he said. "People now have understood the concept of volatility. People will hedge their bets."
This from a man who heads up the same company that depends on suvs and large pickups for their survival! This is said as GM gets ready to roll out their most important vehicles of all, full-size pickups! What am I missing here? Lutz needs to retire, he has officially lost it. Toyota has finally made him crack up. He would change his tune very quickly if the new large utes all of sudden stopped selling and the new full size pickups flopped. Uh...Lutz, GM doesn't have enough small cars or enough that people would even want to buy in order to offset the sales losses if the Feds did what you're asking! Hello earth to Yutz? You're calling for buyers to revert to the vehicles with the slimmest profit margins at a time when GM is dying?
#19436 of 24726 Re: What the hell? [merc1]
Oct 02, 2006 (5:00 am)
Have you seen the GM TV ad currently running that says 90% of their cars get at least 30 mpg highway?
#19437 of 24726 Re: What the hell? [designman]
Oct 02, 2006 (5:37 am)
And I dont think we will ever see a GM Ad boasting about their Truck/SUV MPG figures for city driving.
#19438 of 24726 Re: What the hell? [merc1]
Oct 02, 2006 (5:50 am)
This from a man who heads up the same company that depends on suvs and large pickups for their survival! This is said as GM gets ready to roll out their most important vehicles of all, full-size pickups! What am I missing here?
The answer to your question could be the Sequel. The gas-alternative route seems to be GM's new Crusade. I just hope GM will live up to its hype.
SOURCE: FORTUNE Sept. 20th, 2006
The Sequel, GM (Charts) immodestly proposes, is the greatest leap forward since Karl Benz rolled out his gasoline-powered three-wheel bicycle in 1886. "GM has reinvented the automobile," brags Larry Burns, vice president of R&D.
The Sequel is a genuinely bold and innovative engineering achievement. DaimlerChrysler (Charts) and Toyota (Charts) have put a few fuel-cell buses in service, and Honda (Charts) has leased one fuel-cell-powered car, but GM has gone farther than any of its rivals to develop a car that burns no gas, produces no harmful emissions--and that normal people wouldn't mind driving.
It has already invested $1 billion in the program and might spend another billion before it gets a fuel-cell car into mass production. After losing $10.6 billion in 2005, it is a wonder that the company can afford it. But GM vice chairman Bob Lutz is so enthusiastic that he is willing to delay conventional new models to get a fuel-cell car into production. "It's a game changer," Lutz says
Honda and BMW are both experimenting with liquid hydrogen as a fuel for conventional engines; BMW announced it is putting 100 hydrogen-fueled cars on the road next year. GM's is a fundamentally different bet, leapfrogging past traditional engines altogether.
No wonder Lutz wants the government to impose hefty gas taxes. He is very worried that by the time Sequel is introduced gas prices will drop to about $1.20 a gallon and GM will have to pull the plug on the Sequel.
#19439 of 24726 Re: What the hell? [merc1]
Oct 02, 2006 (6:02 am)
Uh...Lutz, GM doesn't have enough small cars or enough that people would even want to buy in order to offset the sales losses if the Feds did what you're asking! Hello earth to Yutz? You're calling for buyers to revert to the vehicles with the slimmest profit margins at a time when GM is dying?
Quite. They would be handing whatever marketshare they have left to Japan and Korea. Their Daewoos aren't competitive in the ultra compact space.