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.
#3876 of 24726 A few observations and questions for the board....
Jan 07, 2004 (12:13 am)
Just curious to know what the group here thinks about some of the new luxury debuts at Detroit.
It appears that Audi is going to step to the major leagues with the new A8L 6.0 W12 by the end of the year, it will priced around 115K. Yikes! Double yikes because the Phaeton W12 (10hp less btw) is priced at 88K. On paper it makes the Audi version look like a tough sell. What does everyone think of the new grille design of the A8L 6.0 model? Car and Driver is reporting that a cheaper short wheelbase "A8" will make it here too for 2005. Audi sold over 4K A8s in 2003, a huge increase, but still about 1/5 of the sales leaders in the class.
Lexus' RX330 was clearly the inspiration for the Lincoln Aviator concept, looks pretty good.
The Aston-Martin DB9 Volante (convertible speak) is gorgeous, don't even need to be there in person so see that.
I so wish I could say the same for new 645Ci convertible. It and the regular 645Ci coupe will have to be examined in person, which isn't a good sign. I don't think I've ever seen a car so messed up by a single styling detail, a trunklid no less!!
Two sports cars of interest, the Ferrar 612S and Corvette. The Ferrari looks a little longish, just like the SLR, both have this look due to their engine placement, mid-front. The Vette looks a little derivative of several cars, Ferrari, Viper from the front, but the rest appears to be in order. Any of you luxury car owners eyeing a sports car????
Three new luxury or luxury priced trucks (or concepts) of interest: Jeep Rescue, Lincoln Mark LT and Infiniti QX56. I can't believe Lincoln would attempt this type of truck again, as the Blackwood flopped like the Edsel. The Jeep Rescue is the DCX answer to the Hummer. Not sure how I feel about it yet. The Infiniti might have too much of a Peterbuilt grille to it??
Another crossover, the Mercedes GST. Not sure about this yet either. It too lost something from concept to product, it looks too much like a van.
Though I think they're generally pretty clueless, they do have a hell of a photo gallery of the L.A. Autoshow, autospies that is. Of particular interest to the Cali show are the Maserati Quattroporte, Mercedes CLS, Aston-Martin DB9 Coupe, Hummer HT3, and the OMG Porsche Carrera GT, they really do have some great photos of these cars. The Mercedes CLS, which I admit to feeling ill when I first saw it, looks a lot better, as does the Maserati Quattroporte. Thought I've seen the new Bentley Continental GT in person at last year's Detroit show, the new photos still don't help it any, as it still looks like a giant VW. I'll take an Arnage T please.
I was so busy thinking about the autoshows that I didn't even see your comments on the 7-Series. Yes my *used-to-be* second favorite luxury car brand has stumbled design wise with the 7, 6 and now possibly with the 6-Series. Its hard to convey on a mesg board how a lot of BMW fans (including me) feel about BMW's new styling/design direction. What I really don't like is that BMW's top guy simply says that people will just have to get used to the look and tech (meaning idrive). Typical German arrogance, which I can't stand at times.
On the other hand it seems that just as many people like the new designs, some of my most devoted BMW-loving friends find the new 5 and 7 to have such great "presence". I won't argue with that, question is whether or not thats good or bad. Either way they aren't "good looking" cars in the classic sense of the description, but everyone does notice them, so lets sell how the 5-Series sells in 2004.
Jan 07, 2004 (7:20 am)
A few Lexus lovers bash the new GS and you're a voice of moderation on the subject?? It must be a new year.
Seriously I think something went wrong at Lexus HQ in the late stages here. Why did we get all that press about the LF-S and then get this thing? If it wasn't a press release and was a spy pix instead I would have said it was a touched up version of the current car with a BMW notch back at best or maybe a stretched Altima. The car is very disappointing - at least in picture form - much like the 5 and 7 series are as far as I'm concerned. Maybe in the metal it will look better but I doubt it. On the other hand I'm not one to doubt customer studies as I have lived in that industry in the past. So maybe they have market research that shows better than I know. But if so they didn't get it from me or anyone I know.
#3878 of 24726 audi's new schnoz
Jan 07, 2004 (6:32 pm)
Don't like it at all. Seems to cheapen the look of the car. The 2004 A8 front and grille is spectacular. But the next gen seems to blow it. With that said though the overall look of the next A6 looks pretty good.
merc1 - C&D said the V12 big Audi would be $138k in Europe. Seems far too high. What's does an S600 go for in Europe?
#3879 of 24726 lenscap
Jan 07, 2004 (6:37 pm)
Where are you??
You're the only one I know who may be able to get the facts straight on this GS fiasco and what happened to the LF-S. You, I and Syswei may need to go to Lexus HQ and straighten these people out before they blow the 2007 LS. Also, if they make the HPX look anything like the GS they should forget about building it. I'm glad to see merc1 has his share of disappointment with his favorite brand as well.
Jan 07, 2004 (7:43 pm)
Interesting observations from the Detroit Auto Show press/industry previews. I actually attended the Washington DC Auto Show this last weekend and am planning on going to the Detroit Show the weekend of the 18th. I will also be going to the NYC show in April since it is just a quick train ride from my NYC/NJ apartment.
At first, I was puzzled by the new MY06 GS but the more I look at the pictures and read about the upgraded technology, AWD and euro-driving intentions the more interested I get. One thing that troubles me is that I expected the new GS to be a MY05 car not MY06. The official press information just says the car will be available in 2005 but does not say what month. A MY06 designation would seem to say it will in October 05 or at least the later half of the year. However, I am still not sure what they are doing with the final new GS exterior design.
As ljflx stated, this means that the new LS will not be until MY07 which I assume means either October 2006 or April 2006 at the earliest. I still am holding on to our LS and was hoping to replace it with the new LS in October 2005 (as a MY06 release).
My wife really liked the silver 2004 LS we saw at the Washington Show but I believe that it will look really dated when the MY07 LS comes out. However, I feel Lexus really did improve the looks of the MY04 LS with only minor exterior revision. Until we really spent some serious time looking at it in silver (the color my wife would want) I had only seem a few at a distance on the highway.
As for BMW, I share ljflx's and your observations. I have had BMW's over the years and really like the last generation 7 series. My bottom line is that BMW is not even on my list of consideration anymore. I just wish that I had purchased the last generation 750Li before they came out with the current 7 series abortion.
By the way, I travel to Switzerland for business and the BMW 7 series is having even more sales problems there then here and it use to basically be BMW's best per-capita market.
Since I have always purchased all of my cars/trucks I typically try to wait for the new completely revised model before making a new purchase. In the case of the new 7 series that proved to be a big mistake.
I did come very close to purchasing a MB S600 a few months ago but was put off by all of the horror stories I keep hearing about MB having a lot of trouble with their computerized electronics. And, of course, the S600 basically has all of them. I was also put off buy the fact that MB excluded the S600 from the special 2.9% financing deal.
One other observation from the Washington Show, my wife and I did like the looks and feel of the Audi A8 L but not the VW Phaeton. The VW just left us both cold except for the interior. Also, the Audi is about 800 lb lighter with the same engine and overall size.
As for your comment on the Lincoln pick-up, I could not agree more. What the hell does anyone want (yet alone need) a Lincoln or Cadillac pick-up. Give me a break! And, I am actually getting ready to buy a new Dodge Ram for my place in Texas.
I enjoy you guys feed back and opinions. Please keep it up.
Jan 07, 2004 (8:50 pm)
The more I read about next generation cars, the more I think the entire car industry has taken a wrong turn.
In a nutshell, all of these new desgins are overweight, over-assisted and dynamically incompetent and unbalanced machines that need to be fixed by computer intervention. It is a brutal assessment, but nevertheless I think it true. They might be superbly comfortable transport appliances, but a pure driving environment they miserably fail to provide.
I think a smart luxury car vendor at this point in time would come in with a superbly crafted, but -other than ABS- utterly electronics-devoid car. Built to be light, engineered to be agile and competent without assistance. That would provide a huge and unique differentiator, and luxury buyers are borderline eccentric enough to ensure such a car would be a success. More of a private aircraft philosophy.
And while I love the idea of hybrids and their inherent efficiency, I'd love for at least *one* study to put the available torque to a slightly more rowdy use.
Are they dialing out the *fun* factor entirely out of the luxury car scene?
Jan 07, 2004 (10:25 pm)
"A few Lexus lovers bash the new GS and you're a voice of moderation on the subject?? It must be a new year."
Well unless you're a certain person on the "News and Views" board I won't say (harp) too much negatively about a persons's fav brand's new debut when it doesn't meet expectations...it can happen with any make.....I'm trying to be as fair as possible, on this board that is. I will say that I'm going to wait until next week before making a final judgement on the car. The only thing that's sort of curious to me as to why its going to take so long for it to go on sale, they're saying Spring 2005, thats seems like a long time to me.
I'm not sure what the S600L costs in Europe, I'll have to look it up. Could it be that the price C&D quoted could be in Euros?? Speaking of Mercedes and Europe, there is a new SLK for 2005. The pics/stats are on the germancarfans site, and the car will be shown to the public in March at Geneva.
On the A8, only the W12 model is getting the new grille, the V8 model will keep the current grille/look.
"I'm glad to see merc1 has his share of disappointment with his favorite brand as well."
Well none of these brands are perfect, come to think of it Ferrari (Enzo), Porsche (Cayenne), Mercedes (CLK, Maybach), BMW (5,6(?)7) have all introduced something that wasn't a knockout like the rest of their cars. So no brand is perfect. The saving grace is the for Mercedes, Porsche, and Ferrari they all have some stunners left in their lineups, whereas BMW has only one left, the 3-Series, imo.
#3884 of 24726 jamesfletcher2
Jan 07, 2004 (10:59 pm)
Interesting comments. You were considering a S600???? Yikes. Must be nice. The S-Class shouldn't be much of a problem at this point, the car was largely gutted in 2003, and the complaints have dropped since, its the C, ML and some E's mainly causing the problems for Mercedes now.
I just can't wait to get to Detroit. All this mere looking via the net is getting tiresome.
You raise some good points, and I for one understand you perfectly, but the luxury crowd on the whole wants more and more features, you either provide them or be left behind. The biggest indication of this was when the most driver-biased car of the group, the 7-Series became a mobile computer in 2002. While it still drives right, the interface is oh so complicated. Your view is the majority on this (not disagree, just looking at the market prefers) and will soon be relagated to only sports cars.
#3885 of 24726 Pablo - go racing and think about speed limiters
Jan 08, 2004 (3:31 am)
You can have lots and lots of fun in SCCA racing where the race cars are bare bones, the dynamics something you can set up and your skill at driving is evident and measureable.
Street racing and exercising automobile dynamics in public is dangerous and encourages law enforcement to step up the ante in controlling auto hormones.
At some point in time, somebody in a grossly overpowered super car that is going 2x the speed limit will kill someone else. In the ensuing litigation the prosectuor is going to ask the jury the question the Walter Mittys all dread, "If the speed limit in most places in our country is 65 - 70 mph, why in the world do manufacturers intentionally build automobiles that can go twice that fast? They must do it to encourage people to drive that fast and therefore share in the culpability for the death that was caused." If the jury agrees, the auto industry is going to get a curve ball they have deserved for a long time.
Legislation could go into place to have governors on the cars. It would be easy for example to integrate GPS location info with a speed limit data base. That way your speed limit would be controlled to be suitable to local conditions. The system could be set up allow over speed for passing for a reasonable period of time. This might even save a few car loads of teenagers from hitting trees at 80 mph.