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.
#20472 of 24723 Re: Mercedes-Benz - A short lesson... [merc1]
Oct 26, 2006 (7:53 am)
Thanks for the valiant effort to clear up some of the confusions. MB certainly lacks the BMW marketting department's clarity of vision.
E class was derived from the old 300 series, and you are certainly correct about where the letter E came from. MB used to be engine-centric, building cars around engines. It may not have been unique in that regard, just witness all the car companies with "motor" in their names. 1600, 2000/2002, 200, 240, 300 were all popular names for cars. BMW was the first one to systematicly classify cars according to body size instead of engines, and achieved great success doing it, in the 80's. By that time, electronic fuel injection had popularized to such a degree that, the coach building part had become a more expensive part of carmaking than engine manufacturing.
C stands for "cheap" or "commonplace," just kidding. It's probably a mistake when MB succeeded 190 series with the "C" designation when the company also use the same letter to stand for much more expensive coupes.
R may stand for "recreational" but more importantly, giving it a wheelbase comparable to the S class, MB was intending on taking the top end in a new direction and increase sales aggregate volume at the top end without diluting S class price premium . . . hence the "R," right next to the letter "S" in the alphabeic order. A,B,C were probably chosen for the alphabetic order to indicate their low status compared to the E and S. MB may have abandoned or made an exception to the alphabetic order when they named GL class, trying to capitalize on the Gelandewagon name that was already used in the army vehicle.
#20473 of 24723 Re: Mercedes-Benz - A short lesson... [merc1]
Oct 26, 2006 (8:30 am)
Lexusguy, you continue to impress despite your handle...lol!
I've noticed that myself . . . It's worth repeating.
Oct 26, 2006 (8:57 am)
currently a discussion going on as to whether or not the new MDX cancels out the RL's flagship designation. I've driven it, and it is just that good IMO. So My question is, will Acura ever build a HELM? It's not a question of can they, but will they IMO. I think that they almost have to or go down in history as another Saab type vehicle. Not quite quirky enough, but better reliability, and a more solid product in the mind of consumers.
#20475 of 24723 Re: their is [dhamilton]
Oct 26, 2006 (10:11 am)
Trucks can indeed be more expensive than sedans because trucks are much more vehicle (the commercial trucks and 18 wheelers are even more expensive, whether Benz, Volvo or Mitsubishi brand, just an illustration of the logic.) For years, the lexus LX was more expensive than LS.
Acura will probably succeed putting forth a HELM car in the next generation RL or the one after that, when the V10 becomes available. Developing a HELM car is actually easier than developing a successful mass market car: the R&D cost of the Maybach is only a couple hundred million, compared to 4-8 billion dollars that it takes to develop a platform like Civic nowadays. The tricky part of HELM is finding enough buyers of the car to make the whole project profitable . . . as illustrated vividly by the Phaetom experiment. The car is fine, finding buyers of the brand is the tough part.
Acura is not Saab. Honda/Acura has the money and the economy of scale that Saab never had.
#20476 of 24723 Re: E class [brightness04]
Oct 26, 2006 (10:22 am)
Getting AWD will give ES a major differentiator from Camry, and position the model more inline with Audi A6.
There's a difference between the A6 and ES though, the A6 has usually only offered Quattro AWD here, where as the ES has always been FWD. There's no stigma about it being FWD, like say the Jaguar X-type.
A definite possibility would be an AWD ES450h. They could power the rear wheels using the electric motors, as on the RX400h.
#20477 of 24723 Re: MB marketting quirks [brightness04]
Oct 26, 2006 (10:29 am)
So, in other words, since Infiniti is a luxury brand, you are inclined to include the Q as HELM? XJ's "success" has to be taken in context . . . its sales volume was not much higher than that of the Q even in its heydays.
I think there's a definitely possibility of the next one being invited to join the HELM club. I don't see any real desire on the board to include the current Q, as it only seems to show up in conversation to be the butt of a joke.
I'll admit I don't know much about the XJ's sales numbers in the early '90s, I just remember seeing a lot more of them then than I do now. I also know some XJ owning friends that have since moved on to Mercedes or BMW. I even considered an XJ6 myself, but I went with a LS400 instead.
#20478 of 24723 Re: their is [brightness04]
Oct 26, 2006 (10:35 am)
Acura will probably succeed putting forth a HELM car in the next generation RL or the one after that, when the V10 becomes available.
There will have to be a major shift in the HMC culture before that can happen. Toyota and Nissan are no strangers to 200"+ cars, but Honda has never done anything like that. As was already said the question isn't can they do it, Honda has some of the most brilliant engineers in the world. Will they do it? I would say no, at least not for quite awhile. I think after the market recpetion to the RL, Honda\Acura is going to design the next one as a low-mid $40s car.
#20479 of 24723 Re: their is [lexusguy]
Oct 26, 2006 (10:52 am)
Toyota and Nissan are no strangers to 200"+ cars, but Honda has never done anything like that.
Honda skipped that segment and went straight to corporate jet.
I'm assuming you noticed Honda's new jet in the news this past month. Amazing.
Regarding the Acura HELM, I believe that the next Acura NSX will have to come first, and from there we could possibly see a branching off into a HELM sedan . . . but only maybe.
#20480 of 24723 Re: MB marketting quirks [lexusguy]
Oct 26, 2006 (11:00 am)
The super V8 editions of the XJ are probably a better drivers car then the S55/S63 and the 760il.
#20481 of 24723 Re: E class [lexusguy]
Oct 26, 2006 (12:03 pm)
There's another CLS competitor no one has mentioned: Panamerica. Interesting name, does anyone know the history behind it? What are its powerplants, V8, V10, any possibility of V12?
I don't know why Audi bothers with A7. Luxury market will treat it as an afterthought after CLS, PA and the BMW.
Toyota supposedly has V12 hidden somewhere in Japan. They should bring it over here, I'm not sure V8+hybrid can hold its own against the German artillery.
To make Q worth doing, IMO Infiniti needs a V12, and I'm not sure Infiniti wants to go that far. Years ago when LS and Q debuted, V8 was the top end. MB and BMW didn't have V12, the only one on the market was in XJS. Midsize E and 5 didn't have V8, all they had was six cylinders. Now the HELM market has been taken up a notch and 2 cylinders.