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.
#7552 of 24723 Re: Audi/BMW/MB [denaliinpa]
Feb 15, 2005 (9:03 pm)
I don't get it when you talk about all these engines and platform options. MB's S had two engines in the affordable range for their base cars - a 275HP and a 303 HP when I shopped in 2001. The LS had one engine, the 290HP. The A8 had one engine, a 310 HP and they had just discontinued the SWB edition because they sold less than 500 of these in the two preceeding years in the US per the dealer I shopped at. I haven't seen much change since then except that Audi brought back the slow selling SWB this year. I'm not counting in the S55 and S600 because they are very low selling custom cars for all intent and purpose. Kudos to MB for the limited production cars and options that no one else offers (even in the base cars) but anyone shopping for the more generic cars isn't dealing with as much variety as you describe. With MB - when you buy the more generic S-class as more than 90% of all buyers do (or E or anything else) you are also paying the freight for the variety that they offer even though you chose to pass on those options. If you want to be as full service as that you average in the overhead and other costs that allows that versatility onto each and every car. But if you consider a SWB car with one engine and a LWB car with another as a big amount of choices than I guess you are right. But it's only one more than Lexus and it won't last much longer as Lexus has said they will offer a LWB car in 2007.
As for the V12 - that's coming as well from Lexus or a hybrid variant of it which is much a smarter way to go. But let's see if Audi can even sell 250 of their V12's in a year. MB sells about 1500 and BMW about 700 on average. There aren't many who want it or are willing to pay for it.
#7553 of 24723 Re: Audi/BMW/MB [denaliinpa]
Feb 15, 2005 (9:12 pm)
This is the funniest argument yet. So, BMW having a 6.0L V12 somehow makes your A8SWB more than a short wheel base 4.0L V8??
Does your remote have a button for instant reconfiguration to V12 or length stretching? If not, why should those options be a consideration to evaluating the worth of _your_ A8 at all?
#7554 of 24723 Re: MBs problems
Feb 15, 2005 (9:21 pm)
This is purely anecdotal so make of it what you will:
I met someone this weekend who is a bit of a car nut in So Cal. Very rich guy with several big houses, etc.
He says that for him, MB doesn't provide a good fit either for luxury or sportiness. He still likes BMW but he independently brought up the WSJ article about MB's problems.
He has an LS430 for work travel, a 2004 Maserati Spyder for sporty driving, a big Chevy Suburban, and an old Jag (don't know which one) to restore. He had a Porsche but switched to the Maserati. I know he has other cars, but I didn't see them as they were at another location.
It doesn't take many like him to change the image of MB at the margin. And it's the margin that determines profitability.
#7555 of 24723 Re: denali [denaliinpa]
Feb 15, 2005 (9:25 pm)
Question: how many variants of 2005 Rolls-Royce Phantom are out there?
Answer: Exactly one.
Question: how many variants of 2005 Ford Focus are out there?
Answer: more than half a dozen.
Does that mean Rolls is low-brow when compared to Ford?
If you know your core audience, you don't need numerous variants. A platform has to be engineered for a specific engine/drive-train for optimal driving dynamics. Numerous variants only serve to compromise driving dynamics. e.g. the S class platform is obviously engineered for its core 8-cyl market; that's why the AMG cars are using 8-cyl not 12-cyl engines.
#7556 of 24723 Autoextremist...
Feb 15, 2005 (10:11 pm)
has an interesting rant this week about DCX and MB in particular. Should be interesting reading for those who read this forum.
Feb 15, 2005 (10:39 pm)
"Thanks for the report. It looks kinda scanty... or is it that I don't have my reading glasses on ?"
Nope, you're right after Detroit, the Chicago show just doesn't make as big of an impression. Not very much new there, now New York is a different story.
#7558 of 24723 Designman
Feb 16, 2005 (12:27 am)
I've never asked your view on the Chrysler 300:
This is the hot as hell SRT-8 version. Your styling critique please.......
Feb 16, 2005 (12:54 am)
"How 'bout Jaguar, Phaeton, Acura, Ferrari, AM, etc... And your favorite, Maserati Q... Maybe more details on these cars later as they come to you ???
Well for those see the earlier Detroit review I guess, there really wasn't anything new for those brands at Chicago. The Phaeton and cousin A8L remiain my favorites in the segment, especially their repsective W12, 4-seater versions. Awesome. Oh! That Jaguar Lightweight Coupe Concept is awesome, but like I said before (I think somewhere) it kinda looks like a junior Aston-Martin, which is no bad thing in my book. There are much worse looking cars out there to imitate. The Maserati Quattroporte like the A8 has an optional all wooden steering wheel. I mean the entire wheel is wood and it is tacky and could be dangerous when sweaty hands are grasping to make that crucial turn. I'm surprised at Audi which always considered wooden steering wheels to be a tacky American car thing. Thats about all that has "come" to me since....
#7560 of 24723 Re: Audi/BMW/MB [brightness04]
Feb 16, 2005 (6:40 am)
the discussion was about the "Brands" and their ability manufacture what "I" consider high end luxury automobiles. Lexus as a brand only has one vehicle that reaches out of the "Near Luxury" segment....the LS430.... while all of the German manufacturers go much further. one thing that i haven't even mentioned was the VW Phaeton. it even has more engine combinations and also comes in a swb and lwb version. in this segment "I" believe the customer wants more than a one size fits all approach. this is just another difference that separates "Z" Germans from the Japanese.
#7561 of 24723 Prestige?
Feb 16, 2005 (7:23 am)
Since when does variety of engines and wheelbases apply to the prestige argument? As someone rightly pointed out, that would mean a Ford Focus is more prestigious than a Rolls Royce.
Lexus has a few models that are considered Luxury cars, LS, SC, GS..I'd call the ES an entry level Lux sedan..I think prestige is formed by high quality, driving experience, customer service, and of course Public Perception. As far as engine options go, Lexus is going that route you prescribed in 2007. You've also refered to price as another criteria..
Did it ever occur to you that most of those models are vastly overpriced? I don't see how Jaguar can charge $80K (VDP?) for a car that isn't very competitive..Same goes for the S430..At $78K I found it somewhat lacking in terms of equipment. The Mercedes dealer I went to freely admitted that they couldn't compete with Lexus on price..He was trying to steer me towards the subjective argument of "feel and prestige.."
You only seem to hear German car enthusiasts putting down Lexus as a second rate marque. No one can deny the Original LS400 changed the whole industry. Sure it doesn't have the 100 yr tradition of the others, but it's success more than justifies it being a player in this market. Btw, does anyone know when each marque was established? I know MB is the oldest but don't know much about the other brands.
As far as Gizmo's go, you can argue the Germans have gone a step further with all this iDrive interface nonsense. Lexus adds electronics without them being too intrusive and they work flawlessly.The sole exception is this drive by wire nonsense..(What was the point of that?) Do I really need a computer to push the gas pedal??
A more general comment..All these electronic toys are great...But what happens when they decide to stop working? The more complicated you make it, the more likely it's going to have issues..I still don't think I should have to use my touchscreen to access basic A/C and radio controls...Doesn't Audi or Infinti have a pop-up NAV screen with separate controls for everything else..I can only imagine when this thing breaks in 8-10 yrs what it's going to cost me to fix it.