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.
#20553 of 24726 According to information, provided by Lexus,
Oct 29, 2006 (4:52 pm)
The LS and S550 had drag coefficients of .26. The BMW was .29.
You seem to put quite a bit of value of the drag, as a sign of advanced aerodynamics/design. This is interesting, given the Lexus has had a drag coefficient as low as .25 since 1995, and Mercedes has been playing catch-up.
Mind you, the Prius has a .25 co., and is also regarded as maybe the most advanced vehicle on the road.
Lexus will recite many instances where they use arrowheads, single-piece stampings, and degrees of light reflectivity to design their door handles, headlight, greenhouse surrounds, etc.
The Mercedes has shades of brilliance, but, expecially outside, the design just gets lost, as if another designer took over and changed the plan midstream.
BMW's seat controls is just an example of them trying to be contrary to the market's offerings, and sacrificing ease of use to be different.
Where I expect to see a stereo, I see a chest of drawers?
I consider good design to be a consistent, logical progression, that doesn't deviate for the sake of change. The Germans in attendance failed at this, the Mercedes in front to rear styling. The interior is acceptable, but not Lexus-quality.
The BMW's exterior is consistent front to rear, consistently bad! The design is heavy-handed, with thick pillars. The Frankenstein-headlights, and the Bangle-butt, with a needless chrome band that looks like a thong across it. Makes no sense. The interior is no better. The transmission stalk is blocked by the steering wheel. Was anyone asking for buttons on the rim of the steering wheel to change gears?
Lexus takes less chances, except out back, where it scores where BMW could not. And inside they just worked on better materials, tighter tolerances, and a little shinola!
It's clean and elegant, just like the outside.
The BMW is not clean or elegant. It's just a powerful car. I think there are a lot of powerful cars out there, ones that aren't so eager to upset prospective owners.
Let's see the 2008 C-Class, than we can reassess that. The C has been a S-Class knock-off for quite a while, and the E has it's own design plan.
A manufacturer may design the cars that way to ensure loyalty to the brand. If someone buys a Lexus ES, and loves it, they maybe more inclined to move up to the LS is it shares a design philosophy, just with more room, power, and features.
If you liked the ES, you'll love the LS! Same probably applies to the C/S Class.
Also keep in mind, Lexus started with the LS and ES as their foundation. They are designed to compliment each other. And all things considered, has that been good for Lexus? I think so.
Oct 29, 2006 (5:36 pm)
I don't like the ES. Their is nothing about that car I like. I don't quite understand some of your last post. You talk about good design being a consistent process, which is subjective, then how the Mercedes fails in quality which is not as subjective IMO. So, are you saying you don't like the interior design of the S, as well the quality isn't up to snuff?
I think both cars offer a very high quality interior but with a different philosophy. The LS more classic and elegant. The S, more modern, and clean. The S says drive me, The LS says, sit down in me and let Calgon take you away.
An interior taste is just that, taste. But quality isn't lacking in either car. The most important thing in my mind is, once again, the S goes Seabiscuit on the rest of the field in terms of driving dynamics.
If the C class comes out and looks to much like the S, I'll say the same thing about it. 85-100k plus should buy you a different look. Other than the grill on all Audi's, they don't look much alike to me. Also, when Chrysler starts to copy Mercedes to much let me know.
#20555 of 24726 Re: DrFill [dhamilton]
Oct 29, 2006 (5:49 pm)
The most important thing in my mind is, once again, the S goes Seabiscuit on the rest of the field in terms of driving dynamics.
dhamilton . . . you and the Doc are in total agreement that the S-Class is is better engineered when it comes to driving dynamics. The S-Class style just doesn't appeal to the Doc. Here is what the Doc said that should prove my point:
... Then I tested the S550, which had more heart than either vehicle! No replacement for displacement! It also seemed quite happy on the handling course. And it had acres of legroom. No real dynamic weaknesses, it's just not very appealing to me, inside or out.
See? He acknowledged the superior driving dynamics, which of course is due to superior Mercedes engineering.
Both of you, however, offer very different perspectives on the IS, at least as I understand your posts. You consider it a joke, and I think the Doc likes it quite a bit. I find this interesting, because we're talking about the same car here.
#20556 of 24726 LS 460L Touring
Oct 29, 2006 (6:03 pm)
The LS 460L Touring has been released although currently it is in limited quantities, according to the sales folks. I purchased one late last week and it was said to be the only one available in the NW region. Silver/black. The suspension is the same as the regular L so the real difference is the larger wheels, tires and brakes (and also a large trunk not restricted by cooling devices).
#20558 of 24726 Re: Ok, I'm back with my TOL Report! [mercedesfan]
Oct 29, 2006 (6:12 pm)
My only question is where he came up with those 0-60 mph times right down to tenths of a second for every vehicle from casual test drives of each vehicle.
Looks like we have a test driver whose instinct for acceleration goes way beyond the powers of merely mortal men.
Oct 29, 2006 (6:20 pm)
See? He acknowledged the superior driving dynamics, which of course is due to superior Mercedes engineering.
No he did not. He said the engine felt more forceful off the line because "no replacement for displacement." If that's superior engineering, the domestics have been enjoying superior engineering over both Japanese and Germans for decades: bigger displacement gives better 0-30 kick in the pants.
#20560 of 24726 Re: DrFill [brightness04]
Oct 29, 2006 (7:13 pm)
No he did not.
Ahh . . . but he DID.
Sorry, but the Doc DID indeed acknowledge the S-Class's superior driving dynamics. Read his post again. There should be no question about this. His post clearly indicates this.
And yes, I stand by my statement, that I so clearly posted that Mercedes' superior driving dynamics "of course is due to superior Mercedes engineering". Those are my exact words and I stand by them.
I was not referring to the Doc's mention of the S-Class' superior torque. To be perfectly clear here, I was referring to his mention that the S-Class (and I will use his exact words here) "also seemed quite happy on the handling course" to use the Doc's own exact words.
Obviously the word "also" was a statement by the Doc BEYOND and IN ADDITION to the torque statement he had already made, and he was then referring to the handling course. Handling is about driving dynamics, not torque . . . and here's the clincher when Doc further used the exact words, "No real dynamic weaknesses" in his remarks about the S-Class's driving dynamics. That's a darned big statement, and those were the Doc's own exact words, my friend.
It is safe to say that the Doc's post was complimenting the Mercedes for both it's superior torque AND "also", it's dynamics. I think it is also safe to say that the Doc knows the difference between torque and driving dynamics and was referring to them seperately.
But my post was about his references to those driving dynamics and not about his remarks about the torque, as you seemed to have misunderstood somehow. If I wasn't clear enough somehow, I hope this clarifies for you. So, I stand by my statement and maintain my opinion.
#20561 of 24726 Alright, let me come at it from a different way.
Oct 29, 2006 (7:24 pm)
First, I am not well-versed in Auto-tranny cars, nor pure luxury cars, so maybe I am both a good and bad judge of this class. I don't expect much in the way of connection with these cars, dynamically. I feel you need a manual transmission for any depper relationship with a car other than pure transportation.
The particular course I drove on was not flat, and was marked conservatively to make me brake sooner than I should, for safety.
I drove the IS first. My objective, with all my drives, was to drive the car as hard as I could without knocking over any cones. I didn't hit any cones, that I was aware of.
The IS didn't produce any vices. All I noticed is the engine is very strong, it's brakes are comparable, and it didn't squeal or over-assist in handling/steering. A full-length slalom would be more revealing, but I thought I hit it pretty hard, and it didn't seem to mind.
The only vehicle that seemed to get a little out of sorts with my agrgressive style was the Rx400h, for obvious reasons, so I cooled it.
The LS did a fine job on the course. And I drove it twice. No one "failed" the handling course. A more extensive drive is needed to get a clear winner here.
My assessment of the Benz is a better interior than the 7 (not too hard), and more low-end torque than the LS. But the exterior is seriously flawed, relative to the LS. I didn't spend enough time with the car make a huge impression on it's ability to work with me. But it didn't come across as something above the LS. It was similar in material quality, but the LS was more logical, cohesive, and familiar. It would seem I'd have to adjust to the S-Class' design.
The S felt more powerful, but the LS' second run was similar, not far off.
All of these cars have more power than anyone would ever really use. And they were as much fun as running a sewing machine. Power is nothing without control!
Just guesstimating, based on how each car felt compared to the other, and published times. The IS and S felt fastest, the 7 and LS not far behind. The LS SWB worked better for me.
If someone told me the IS350 ran in 5.1 seconds, I wouldn't argue with them (C&D). All the cars seem capable of sub-6 second times, and that includes the SC430.
I guess I'm waiting for a car with the dynamics of a BMW, but the design and style of a Lexus. The IS350 is very close, but no tranny, no deal!
2007 G35? 2008 G35 coupe?
Oct 29, 2006 (7:25 pm)
I'm still not sure Doc and I are seeing the same thing but at any rate, There is just something artificial about the way the IS is set up. The steering is weird, and the tranny was kind of rough. I can't quite put it in to words but after driving the 3 series hard, the IS just seemed very unrefined and fake. I'm not speaking of the interior mind you, just everything that would relate to the car having the whip put to it. I think even the 10 minutes I had in the new G35 was enough to tell me it's leaps and bounds over the IS IMO. I guess the best way to put it is, the IS felt like a rear drive ES. It goes to prove in my mind that rear wheel drive is not the end all be all. Rather a well sorted out chassis in any drive mode is preferable.
To brightness 04's point. The S seemed quicker to me but really where it shined was in the steering and composure in corners.