Last post on Nov 25, 2013 at 11:27 AM
You are in the Sedans
What is this discussion about?
Lexus GS 430, Acura RL, BMW 5 Series, Volvo S80, Audi A6, Infiniti M35, Infiniti M45, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Cadillac STS, Sedan
May 12, 2004 (8:42 pm)
There has been a lot written and said about MB's position on Toyota entering the luxury car market.
Some say that Mercedes-Benz was scared to death and thus responded just 2 years later with their first-ever V8 powered E-Class, the 400E. They did respond a year before BMW did with their V8 powered 540i. Neither BMW or Mercedes was in a position to offer their full size cars with a V8 at LS400 prices. The 300SE of the day was a 52K car! Ditto for the 735i. Mercedes was however the only V8 game in town prior to Lexus with their 420 and 560SEL models, but the 560SEL in particular was twice the base price of a LS400 in 1990! Even more shocking was the LS400 sticker within a few hundred dollars of a 190E 2.6! Imagine a LS430's base price being that of a C320 today! The Germans clearly were doing whatever they pleased with the market.
Other say Mercedes laughed at the thought of Toyota doing a luxury car. I don't buy this theory now because they changed the course (pricing) of their cars dramatically from 1990-1994. For the first time ever Mercedes actually lowered prices in 1994. This was unheard of from a German luxury car maker who regularly priced their cars however they please. Reality check.
Either way the luxury car biz was forever changed. BMW had to do a V8 for the first time in years. Mercedes had to lower prices and they temporarily ran up market with the bigger and pricer than everything 1992 S-Class, with mixed results depending on who you ask. Jaguar would not be here post Lexus if it weren't for Ford. They were just like BMW, a I6 and V12 shop only. Funny thing is Acura did the same thing in 1986 and the Euros didn't even blink. Pretty fascinating when you look back at it all.
May 12, 2004 (9:04 pm)
The original LS400 definitely had a revolutionizing impact on the luxury sedan market with its combination of comfort, attention to detail, and value.
But the way I remember it, and the way it was reported in the press, the Q45 was the car that caused the Germans to put a V8 in their cars.
Of course, the LS400 had a much larger overall impact, but the Q45 was the one that had a larger "engine" impact.
May 12, 2004 (9:07 pm)
Well actually the Q45 being the sportier of the two probably caused BMW to offer a V8 and the LS400 caused Mercedes to offer a V8. Maybe???
May 13, 2004 (5:02 am)
From what I remember, Mercedes didn't laugh off the concept of Toyota building a luxury carline(at least not publicly) nor were they scared to death.
I remember reading articles about Mercedes basically having a "whatever" attitude towards Lexus, as in "they're going to effect us one bit". That was the typical German arrogance of that day. That and Mercedes probably figured Toyota would go more the Acura route with basically a Legend type of car, which personally I didn't think was much of a competitor to mercedes products except to the 190 of the day.
I don't buy this theory now because they changed the course (pricing) of their cars dramatically from 1990-1994. For the first time ever Mercedes actually lowered prices in 1994."
They didn't change course in 1990. It took 4 years for them to lower prices. Why? I think originally when the LS400 came out in 1990, they thought it wouldn't make a big sales impact and that it wouldn't take sales from their E-class/S-class. They may have also thought that the LS400 would have some initial sales success and then would die off. But they probably took notice when LS400 sales continued strong past '90 into'91, '92, '93, even though prices on the LS400 skyrocketed upwards.
May 13, 2004 (5:14 am)
That may be true also, but you have to remember they'd been doing things the same way for years and years and probably took some time to adjust and/or make changes in their pricing structure. All of this is just speculation anyway. I'd really like to hear from someone that worked at MB or BMW from 1990-1995 or so.
May 13, 2004 (5:35 am)
"Well actually the Q45 being the sportier of the two probably caused BMW to offer a V8 and the LS400 caused Mercedes to offer a V8. Maybe???"
Well, it's hard to say anyway what caused what. It's not as if BMW or MB came out and said, "Yeah, we need to put a V8 in our cars because of the Q45 (or LS400)." It was probably a combination of both, but I think the Q had a greater impact in the "engine" department, from what I remember in the press.
The LS, of course, was a much bigger success, but the Q45 was pretty successful as well in its first iteration, and received a lot of acclaim from the press. Too bad Infiniti messed it up with stupid advertising and trying to emulate Lexus (later for a bit) instead of sticking to their original "performance" image.
May 13, 2004 (9:46 am)
Yes, going from the 4.5 to 4.1L, 266hp V8 in a heavier car was probably one of the dumbest things Infiniti has done (and this is a company with a bad track record). Q41? Fortunately Infiniti and Acura seemed to have realized that Lexus is basically untouchable by them, and rather than trying to out lux the lux king, they should make sportier, more exciting and very competitively priced cars that now has Lexus taking notice and saying.. hey maybe we should up the sport ante a bit.
Jun 12, 2004 (11:15 pm)
The 2005 G35 sedan will get 277 hp / 270 torque, while the 2005 G35 Coupe 6MT Sport will get around 295 hp. I would not be surprised if the M35 gets a bit more than 300 hp of the RL, just so that Nissan can say that they have class leading hp. I'm sure the G35 sedan hp increase is a direct response to the 270 hp TL. In fact, almost every Nissan/Infiniti seems to have class leading horsepower.
Jun 13, 2004 (5:36 am)
If the M35 hits 300hp+, that would mean that Nissan would have to increase the power of its 4.5L engine as well, as you cant have say an M35 with 310hp, and a M45 with 340. It would be nice to see Infiniti push the M45 to say 375hp, just to laugh in the face of E, 5, and A6.