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.
#20561 of 24723 Alright, let me come at it from a different way.
Oct 29, 2006 (8:24 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 (8:25 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.
#20563 of 24723 Re: Tag [dhamilton]
Oct 29, 2006 (8:33 pm)
The S seemed quicker to me but really where it shined was in the steering and composure in corners.
Thanks. That should also help brightness to see that there has been more discussion here than just torque (quickness), and that the S-Class shines in driving dynamics. As you put it earlier, especially for such a large car.
As far as the IS goes, I can only wonder if the Doc's affection for Lexus vehicles has played an influence here. What else could it be?
Oct 29, 2006 (8:37 pm)
Since this event was really to showcase the New LS, and not the IS, competitors were not fielded, and I can't refute your claims.
The fact that the IS has no manual tranny shows that the 3-series is not really a "target", as Tag would have us believe. It's more of a rough outline of where the battlefield lies. And the IS hasn't entered that fight....yet.
I don't question the dynamics of the S550.
I guess my point is the LS proved today it is no bowl of Jello. It's not chopped liver. Lexus is proud of this car. And they should be.
Oct 29, 2006 (8:40 pm)
I noticed undulations in the pavement on the ES, and IS course.
One in the first back stretch of the ES course causing the back end to get a little froggish, and down the first "acceleration" strait of the IS, GS course.
I'm no pro driver by any means, nor would I want to give that impression. I do feel like I'm fairly sensitive to dynamics, and that it's something that has become a lot more prevalent to my senses in the last 4 or 5 years as I get more seat time in various cars. I'm 36 and have a lot of experience yet to gain as far as cars. My goal is racing school at some point. I soak up every bit of information and tips I can get whenever I'm around seasoned racing drivers, or seasoned drivers in general.
I could be completely off about the IS, but I'm sticking to my guns about it being a joke when up against the 3 series, G35, and even the long in the tooth Audis. Its a fast car masquerading as a carver.
Oct 29, 2006 (8:47 pm)
I will agree with you on the LS. It's a very fine automobile and anyone should be extremely happy with it as a daily driver. It seems to have a taken another step in terms of dynamics over the last one for sure. The quality is unquestionable, and I'm sure the service will put my favorite brands to shame. Congratulations to anyone owning this fine car.
Oct 29, 2006 (8:47 pm)
As I thought I made abundantly clear, a car without a manual tranny has little influence over me, except to think "What could've been?".
Lexus has my unwavering respect because of what they have done for the market, with the LS. How they showed off their ability to innovate in design, with the original SC. What they've accomplished, which is unprecedented. And their bold, crisp advertising, which builds the brands image, and shows that they have all the bases covered.
They aren't building BMWs. And it doesn't seem that is in the cards.
There is something to be said for not trying to be the Next BMW.
They seem pretty happy being the 1st Lexus. I am happy too.
But I still want a MT 350!
Oct 29, 2006 (8:51 pm)
This whole thing about the IS illuminates something we've touched on before.
It is very realistic to state and acknowledge that the IS does not handle as well as a BMW 3-series, but the impression that many have about the car is misguided, IMO. This is due to the media comps and clever marketing, positioning, and posturing of the IS vehicle by Lexus. It's a form of innocent ignorance, to an extent.
There are plenty of folks that do not truly appreciate or even understand the higher level of handling offered by BMW, for example. They get in that IS and they think that it is incredible, but have never REALLY experienced what true driving dynamics is all about. Often, they have no real basis for comparison.
Even with regards to the LS460 and S-Class, the Doc admitted that the S-Class was a better driving machine, but amazingly, that didn't matter to him. He is so taken by the Lexus that the superior nature of the Mercedes was beyond him.
But back to the IS . . . Here's the bottom line . . .
The Lexus IS is an example of just how Lexus can get away with handling that is "good enough" to thrill an average driver that has little or no real appreciation for high-end driving dynamics.
#20570 of 24723 Lexus=American marketing genuises
Oct 29, 2006 (8:53 pm)