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.
#4281 of 24723 Aluminum a mistake in mass-produced cars?
Feb 28, 2004 (12:48 pm)
In response to Pat's request for discussion of other marques, I pose this question: Is Jaguar making a big mistake building their new XJ series in aluminum?
I think so, because:
1) The XJ is already the lightest model in its class, so losing weight need not be the updated model's first priority.
2) Aluminum vastly increases the costs of manufacture and repair. Even though Ford are setting up additional aluminum body repair facilities across the country, the fact is that a fender bender will result in a long period of down-time for your new Jag. And gawd help you if you have to pay for the repair.
3) Resale value will likely be adversely affected. Though the general public are unaware of Nikasil and weak cam chain tensioner chains, the aluminum cost-of-repair issue got into general knowledge right away. This issue above all, IMHO, is what has tanked the (excellent) Audi A8's resale value. It could do the same to the XJ line.
My conspiracy theory of the day is the Ford is using the Jaguar brand as a guinea pig to assess the possiblities of alumminum bodies cars. If the experiment fails, only a secondary brand is affected. And its owners, of course!
I'm happy to have my steel-bodied, Nikasil engined 1998 XJ8 with its smaller and sleeker form factor. In fact, I'd not trade it for a new X350! (High suplhur gas has been illegal in California since 1996 so Nikasil is a positive here, not a negative.)
#4282 of 24723 Reynold's Wrap?
Feb 28, 2004 (1:19 pm)
JohnCal: The vision of driving around in Reynold's Wrap is not very appealing. I liked the brushed steel look of the DeLorean, but we all know what happened to the man and the car. Too bad, I think.
Feb 28, 2004 (5:53 pm)
That car was actually stainless steel, unpainted.
My dad's 1963 Olds Starfire had a wide strip of stainless down each side. Good ol' American engineering prevails once again!
#4284 of 24723 kdshapiro
Feb 28, 2004 (5:56 pm)
On the LS430 with nav you have three ways of changing the radio stations, cds etc. The easiest way is right at your fingertips on the steering wheel. The mode changes from radio to cd to tape etc and the up down switches station or songs on the CD. A layer below that is the volume controls and a layer below that is the on/off switch. Hold down the up/down switch for more than about 5 seconds and it moves to the next CD in the carousel. But you can also adjust the old fashioned way on the dash or the hard way through the audio in the nav system menu. I rarely ever do the latter and nearly always use the steering wheel controls. Occasionally I forget I have all this and reach for the dash controls. It's simple as pie. Never had to be explained it's so simple and in this case - at least to me - using technology for the better and simpler solution.
Pablo - excellent post earlier re MB, Audi, BMW and Lexus. The pot shots taken at Lexus are a clear indication of how successful they've become. The ultimate emulation of MB was in how they build cars the way MB used to. I get your point about overmarketing cutting into prestige and uniqueness. But in the auto world the competition is so fierce it's hard not to overmarket. I'm not sure what the right solution is. There really isn't a clearcut leader anymore. They are all reactive to what the other does. Hence the late entry into SUV's by BMW and the late entry (as planned) by Lexus into tuned cars and MB having to build so many different choices to be all things to all people. The latter strategy will hurt them in the future if they don't modify it. There will be a CFO standing up at a budget/planning meeting at some future date saying many of the same words Alan Greenspan said last week.
#4285 of 24723 Hey all
Feb 28, 2004 (10:35 pm)
First of all my recent post wasn't meant to be a sermon . I was just getting a little intimidated about posting my opinions.
I'm fascinated about how people differ in how much effort they are willing to put into using their cars. Admittedly I vascilate. Sometimes I want to drive my C4S. All I want is a wheel, clutch, shift and brake. Don't bother me with even the radio. Other times I'm towing a boat in my Yukon XL with my eyes fixed on the tach and temp gauges. When it comes to luxury I'm Ok with the tech and taking the time to make it work for me. If you consider how much money people spend on the cosmetic issues and options that make their cars unique you would think that a couple of hours invested on "programming" their vehicles wouldn't be a big deal. It took me longer to figure out how to order the options on my Porsche than it did to configure the 745i. So I don't think it is an issue of dumping down but rather one of effort and expectation.
Once again my perspective is different. I'm spoiled and have multiple cars. It would be different if I expected everything from one car. I don't blame people for not wanted to program their cars but for me its the best way to get the most out of the technology while customizing the vehicle to my taste.
P.S. My local paper carried an article comparing 2002 and 2003 sales. It suggested that Jaguar sales have been really slipping. I have to say that the new generation of Jaguars seem light years beyond previous offerings without compromising their English nature. Consequently, the XJ-8 and XJR would be on my short list of luxury vehicles to consider. However, I'm not a touch screen fan as I think it can be even more distracting to the driver than a pointing device or joy stick.
#4286 of 24723 Porsche for the ages
Feb 29, 2004 (5:57 am)
You've heard it before. Different isn't better. Better is better.
Is it any coincidence how the minimal Porsche 911 has the best resale value yet undergoes the fewest changes to its styling? The performance always gets better, the look has a timeless quality, and for the most part, they are reliable. 40 years of 911 and every model that has ever been made has an interested buyer somewhere. Hopefully Porsche can maintain its independence and simply exist. In my opinion their design philosophy is so right.
I think auto manufacturers have always been too drunk on change. We need cars with a sense of purpose, integrity, experience and heritage. MB and BMW have lost their sense of classic; the Japanese brands never had it and are doing little to establish it.
Too much fashion in automobiles. Wouldn't mind it, but most of the fashion trends just don't work and are relegated to the trash bin of history.
Another car I am rooting for is Jaguar. Too bad they have always been plagued by reliability issues. There's nothing classier than the XJ and XK. Hopefully Ford can honor the design heritage and keep it right.
I don't care what the short-term financial implications are—super-mall auto marketing is anathema to the finer things in life and it's a bloody shame to see luxury marques like MB and BMW slip into the muck of mediocrity.
ksurg writes ... "Sometimes I want to drive my C4S. All I want is a wheel, clutch, shift and brake. Don't bother me with even the radio."
Amazing why this is, and how it just never gets old.
Feb 29, 2004 (10:09 am)
Blame the supermarket marketing/bling-bling styling of high-end brands on the new generation of owners.
When I was a kid in the 60s, only "car guys" bought BMWs, Mercs and Jags. Now they're bought by the upwardly mobile types to enhance their social standing in traffic backups. It's a different world, from both the owner demographic and the real world of driving.
In the "old days" owners of high-end cars used to actually take them for drives on the back roads and enjoy them. I cycle the back roads of the San Francisco Bay Area and hardly ever see this anymore. Just the occasional old Alfa, Ferrari, and yes, 911s of all vintages.
IMHO Ford have been remarkably scrupulous in retaining the XJ series mystique, but have diluted the brand with the X- and S-series. They seem not to have had a choice -- justifiably, they want the brand to earn a profit.
While I'm concerned about the X350's somewhat bloated styling and aluminum body, at least its look and feel continues the XJ tradition. Other manufacturers -- BMW and Mercedes especially -- have very nearly lost contact with the virtues that made the original 7-series and S-series appealing to enthusiasts. Their intention, I am sure, is to widen the market to include non-car people. They may well succeed, but at the risk of losing their core market. Porsche have proven that by staying true to the original model's principles they can keep the core market and expand it.
#4289 of 24723 Audi A8 vs BMW 745i
Feb 29, 2004 (11:18 am)
Considering Audi A8 vs BMW 745i. BMW has a lease of 789/month on base car with no extras with 10000 miles tax/title extra. Any thoughts on the 2 cars. I am concerned about the idrive as it seems difficult to use during test drive. I am looking at a base version of either. Could anyone relate how much have you have paid and are they offering any discounts. Thanks
#4290 of 24723 X-Type Review in the Post
Feb 29, 2004 (11:43 am)
Car and Driver call the X-Type a "Jaguar for wannabes." The Post review similarly contends that it's merely a Jag pretender. I think this attitude is a bit arrogant -- it's a damn good car that meets the needs of the people who buy it.
Still, the word is that the upcoming X-Type will be on its own platform, not a Modeo's. I think Ford have learned from the current model's lukewarm reception by the auotmotive press, and are really trying to do right by the Jaguar brand.