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.
Feb 18, 2004 (11:41 pm)
Well I can't say that I've had enough time to get use to idrive. I've driven the 745i twice and the OMG 760Li once. I had a chance to take the 760Li for about an hour during BMW's annual charity (Susan G. Kormen) event so I can't really comment on the details about idrive. I do know that it would require time for even me to get used to and proficient with it, and I'm on a computer for 8 hours a day, troubleshooting voice over IP, Frame Relay and other "technical" applications. Some that are very menu (detailed as hell!) also. Does the 04' 7 have the same simplified idrive system as the new 5?
Sadly, the spy photos suggest Mercedes is going the same route with something similar to idrive, but I'll keep hope alive until the new S is unveiled next year at Geneva.
Call me biased, but I've always regarded Mercedes' seat shaped design the best in the industry for obvious reasons. The BMW reminds me of the Pontiac Bonneville a relative of mine had back in the 80s'. It required 12 different buttons to adjust the seats, as opposed to just a simple seat shaped control like MB and now just about every other manufacturer uses, though only a few got the patent permission to use them on the doors. Infiniti tried to do this back in 1990 and got hauled into court for this and lost, but that's another story. But everyone uses the simply 2 bar control, seat cushion and seat back control whether or not it's on the side of the seat on the door, it's easier to use. There are variations on the theme, but I've seen nothing that works better. All those buttons and a rotary knob is just overkill for the sake of doing so. I did get comfortable in the 7, but it took way too much time to do so, compared to a simple 2-bar seat control.
BMW used to make fighter jet inspired "cockpits" that were relatively simple (for a Euro car) to operate. When I first drove the 7-Series I was shocked as to all the changes and more importantly I kept thinking "why".
I too like how the German brands don't give too many details about a new car before launch. The only thing is that most of us who follow Euro brands can kinda tell when something new is due especially when you look at the years any given car has been on the market. I can predict MB changes and new models better than the average dealer. For some reason they either don't know or always pretend not to know about something new. I suspect it's a little of both. One reason is to keep the older cars moving (S-Class for example) and then again they aren't privy to the info some of the mags get until months later.
#4195 of 24726 Mercedes-Benz at Geneva 2004
Feb 19, 2004 (1:03 am)
The production CLS-Class Coupe will be shown. The G55 AMG gets the same supercharged version of the 5.5L V8 as the SL/CL and E55 AMG models. The world's fastest Nato rescue vehicle..lol.
The new SLK-Class will be presented as will the C-Class facelift.
The isn't any mention of the SL65 AMG, yet.
Feb 19, 2004 (6:02 am)
Also, I have seen it mentioned several times that the '05('05.5?) 7-series engine will be upped to 4.8 liters and approx. 400bhp.
#4198 of 24726 maxhonda99
Feb 19, 2004 (8:10 am)
Great stuff! It makes more sense that an '05 will be here by Summer or more likely Fall.
merc1 I pretty much agree with all you said.
Feb 19, 2004 (8:14 am)
I favor the touchscreen design, you spend less time fiddling in order to get your job done.
Here's a thought: In the F-15, fighter pilots can access nearly all relevant functions on stick. They know the buttons by touch and can dial up the function on the Heads Up Display. I realize I'm talking about a $40 Million plus fighter jet, but this was developed in the mid 1970's. I know BMW has implemented a HUD display (Option on 5-Series?) so why not take it further one step? I think it would avoid distractions by having everything projected in front of the driver.
The BMW 7 just isn't my thing. I've looked at one but didn't feel inclined to drive it. I'm willing to bet it's far more exciting to drive than my LS cars. As for all these high end cars: AMG et all, how many of these do they sell? From a marketing perspective why do they offer them? Prestige?
Feb 19, 2004 (8:24 am)
I rented a car with a "Touch Screen" years ago. Said screen was used (if I remember correctly) for the A/C and Audio (then Radio) controls. I maintain to this day that installing such equipment in a car would be the single most dangerous thing a car manufacturer could do. Why? Simple, no tactile feed back. So? That means that you need to take your eyes off of the road so that you can see what to "Touch".
If a car is ever put on the market again with that type of interface as the only way of controlling certain equipment, I will never own it.
Gee wizz, can you tell that I have an opinion on this issue?
#4201 of 24726 Do BMW of NA Reps train in D.C.
Feb 19, 2004 (8:42 am)
Plausible denial. There is no way BMW is going to admit or deny changes to the upcoming 745i. They claim that they don't have any info about the '05 or when it will be released. They will only have info when it goes into production( normally this would be in Sept. but could be next month). They specifically refused to send me written confirmation of this. In other words they weren't willing to on record about not having any info at this time. Although I understand their position it makes me suspicious and angry. If I am buying a $78K auto months from a new release and am savvy enough to contact them I deserve a more honest and informative answer.
Feb 19, 2004 (4:30 pm)
The front-end of the 7-Series pictures I was shown looked much like the one in the car connection link that maxhonda99 posted. I have to admit that since I was not overly interested I did not study them closely. I saw three pictures - one directly from the front, one looking at the side and front from an angle (passenger side) and one from the passenger side looking at the rear but only exposing the corner of the rear-end. My impression was very much like the text on the link - that the car was rounded-out on all quarters and some of the more pronounced BMW styling clues (e.g., kidney-type grill) from generations of BMWs were somewhat back (although only slightly).
I do not believe that he had more pictures and did not ask but they appeared to be official BMW photos. I personally know 3 - 4 owners of car dealerships and it is just like merc1 says. They get significant information about upcoming models months before official introduction.
My personal experiences agree with merc1 that they want to keep you in the dark so that you will buy what they currently have to sell and BMW North America does the same. Quite frankly, being a businessman I can not blame them.
However, he seemed very hopeful that they would have them by late summer instead of September/October. I did ask him if by late summer he meant June and he said "yes". As I mentioned yesterday, I distinctly got the idea that he (and other BMW dealers) want the restyled 7-Series as much as any BMW owner or prospective buyer.
I wish that I could provide you more but I am not really a prospective BMW buyer. I am trying to find out what the totally re-engineered 2006 MB S-Class is going to look like and what new technology it will have (e.g., brake-by-wire, etc). I am seriously considering leasing a current S-Class and then waiting for the 2006 S-Class and the 2007 Lexus LS. That way, if I do not like the new ones I can keep the current S-Class model which I believe is the best looking luxury car available in the US. I had two friends that did the same thing with the former BMW 7-Series and when they saw the new one they felt like geniuses.
#4203 of 24726 merc1 - Geneva or Frankfurt for New S-Class ?
Feb 19, 2004 (5:59 pm)
Do you have any new insight of when MB will first show the new S-Class? I am assuming that it will be either Geneva in March 2005 or Frankfurt in September 2005. Normal patterns would mean that the US would then see it in either October 2005 or April 2006.