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Discussion Starter #1
I'm probably going to get flamed for this, but oh well.... Acura was the first Japanese luxury division to hit our shores with 1986 model Acura Legends and Integras. They attracted their share of buyers but didn't really put a dent in European luxury sales. The interior and exterior of the Legend could best be described as a fancier version of the Accord. From 1986 to 1990, they didn't make that much progress and didn't make that much of an impression. They showed commercials where the Acura legend was topping at 128mph (nothing out of the ordinary).....Then came LEXUS..1989... Now Lexus was an Automotive revelation that started panic amonst the Americans, Swedes, and more significantly the Germans. Americans and Swedes have their loyal buyers that continue to buy Cadilacs and Volvos. The Germans were in trouble though. The LS400 came with a DOHC 250 horsepower V8 that did 0-60 in under 8 seconds and topped nearly 150mph. It came with many innovative features and amenities (like steering wheel that raises so you can get out of the car, Electrolumnesent projected gauges, and first class available Nakamichi sound system) for a price starting at $35,000. BMW's $52K 735i had a 208 horsepower inline 6 and Mercedes had a V8 in their 420SEL but was $63,000...Tons of BMW and Mercedes buyers scrambled to Lexus dealerships to trade their cars in. I remember driving by the Lexus dealership back in 1990 and seeing all the second hand BMW's and Mercedes in Lexus lots. Lexus chased BMW to produce V8's and Mercedes back to the drawing boards.....It was Lexus that produced the dent in the Luxury Automotive industry...not Acura.... Finally after 15 years does Acura consider putting a V8 in their RL. Sorry....but in my opinion, Acura is a few steps behind Lexus in prestige, refinement, fit & finish, luxury etc... Lexus RULES!
Eric....
 

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Originally posted by EricK:
I'm probably going to get flamed for this, but oh well.... Acura was the first Japanese luxury division to hit our shores with 1986 model Acura Legends and Integras. They attracted their share of buyers but didn't really put a dent in European luxury sales. The interior and exterior of the Legend could best be described as a fancier version of the Accord. From 1986 to 1990, they didn't make that much progress and didn't make that much of an impression. They showed commercials where the Acura legend was topping at 128mph (nothing out of the ordinary).....Then came LEXUS..1989... Now Lexus was an Automotive revelation that started panic amonst the Americans, Swedes, and more significantly the Germans. Americans and Swedes have their loyal buyers that continue to buy Cadilacs and Volvos. The Germans were in trouble though. The LS400 came with a DOHC 250 horsepower V8 that did 0-60 in under 8 seconds and topped nearly 150mph. It came with many innovative features and amenities (like steering wheel that raises so you can get out of the car, Electrolumnesent projected gauges, and first class available Nakamichi sound system) for a price starting at $35,000. BMW's $52K 735i had a 208 horsepower inline 6 and Mercedes had a V8 in their 420SEL but was $63,000...Tons of BMW and Mercedes buyers scrambled to Lexus dealerships to trade their cars in. I remember driving by the Lexus dealership back in 1990 and seeing all the second hand BMW's and Mercedes in Lexus lots. Lexus chased BMW to produce V8's and Mercedes back to the drawing boards.....It was Lexus that produced the dent in the Luxury Automotive industry...not Acura.... Finally after 15 years does Acura consider putting a V8 in their RL. Sorry....but in my opinion, Acura is a few steps behind Lexus in prestige, refinement, fit & finish, luxury etc... Lexus RULES!
Eric....
As a die-hard Acura fan and owner, I will agree with most of your post. There is no question the LS400 simply embarrased the Germans. The original is probably one of the most eloquent examples of just how good of a thing competition is

However, let's not forget that you get what you pay for. Sure, the RL has less power and features, but it is currently nearly $20,000 less than an LS400!!! I doubt many people cross-shop an LS400 and an RL.
Less prestige? Who cares...
Less refinement? Not much if any
Less fit & finish? Not much if any
Less luxury? Sure.... again... with a much lower price tag.

Even the new LS430 with all its features and engineering is simply not the value the original LS400 was. Lexus' reputation is allowing them to price just like the Germans used to. Let's face it... the new RL with a 350hp V8 will be a significant challenger to the LS430. If Lexus thinks otherwise, then they may find themselves falling into the same trap the Germans did back in '90. The new RL is going to be the best thing that ever happens to a Lexus fan!!

[This message has been edited by Golden (edited October 06, 2000).]
 

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I agree. We should not only thank Toyota for making Lexuses, but making BMWs and Mercedes make better and chepaer cars. Ahh, the price of competition.

Although I am a big fan of Acura (I own a 98 GSR and fu$$kin love the NSX), Lexus has an advantage over them in terms of class and refinement. Acura's high end sedans do nothing for me, and I would buy a GS or LS400 over their RL.

(Their TL and CL, are however, very very good values, and I think that is what they're changing to, full-packed loaded semi-luxo cars at affordable prices...Acura knows they've lost the luxury niche to Lexus)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Originally posted by Golden:

Even the new LS430 with all its features and engineering is simply not the value the original LS400 was.
[This message has been edited by Golden (edited October 06, 2000).]
If you got the October Issue of Motor Trend you see the LS430 compared to cars like the BMW 740iL, Mercedes Benz S500 Sport, and the Audi A8. You're right that the LS430 is not the value it once was back in 1989. However the LS430 (which is completely loaded with amenities) still significantly undercuts the competition I mentioned above as far as price...
Eric...
 

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I hate to admit this, but, I was rather young (preteen) when Lexus stormed the luxury car market. Is it true that the Germans publicly laughed at the idea of Toyota being able to offer a legit competitor?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Originally posted by IIIseries:
I hate to admit this, but, I was rather young (preteen) when Lexus stormed the luxury car market. Is it true that the Germans publicly laughed at the idea of Toyota being able to offer a legit competitor?
You're Right.... It was the BMW President of North America that made such a comment. Saying that Lexus wouldn't pose to be a threat.. Boy was he wrong..
Eric..
 

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Recently, I don't believe the LS400 has fared to well vs. the competition. Great car, my dad has a '91, but if you compare the economy in the late 80's early 90's to now it becomes clear that that was a great time to enter the market with a loss leader. Now, people have the extra cash to spend on the Mercedes and BMW. I think sales for the 7 series are also down vs. last year but not as much as the LS. Maybe the intro of the 430 will help. Most of Lexus' sales are being spurred by the SUV's and IS. Last month the IS sold a little over 2000 units while the GS3/4 and LS400 sold 3021 combined. Kind of the same deal for BMW. The 3 Series is driving their sales while the 5 and 7 are down vs. last year.
 

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My impression of Acura, having only rode in a few, is that they have more of an edge than a Lexus. A bit stiffer and more German-like. They are also more German in the sense they are pretty low key from a styling point of view.

I see an awful lot of TL's around here.
 

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Originally posted by EricK:
You're Right.... It was the BMW President of North America that made such a comment. Saying that Lexus wouldn't pose to be a threat.. Boy was he wrong..
Eric..
Speaking of getting flamed.....

Maybe this is where some of the BMW owners get their arrogance from? Ya think?? BMW makes fine cars and all but this ultimate driving machine crap is pure marketing hype. Sometimes I'm amazed people fall for it.

I'm sure some people honestly feel you get your money's worth when you spend an extra $7K - 10K for an 330Ci over a CL-S or an IS300. But there are an awful lot of people out there who disagree. I think the CL-S and IS300 will make a significant dent in 3 series sales and result in the 3 series pricing holding steady for awhile. It won't be an impact like the original LS400, but it will help. Long live competition!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Originally posted by S38:
Recently, I don't believe the LS400 has fared to well vs. the competition. Great car, my dad has a '91, but if you compare the economy in the late 80's early 90's to now it becomes clear that that was a great time to enter the market with a loss leader. Now, people have the extra cash to spend on the Mercedes and BMW. I think sales for the 7 series are also down vs. last year but not as much as the LS. Maybe the intro of the 430 will help. Most of Lexus' sales are being spurred by the SUV's and IS. Last month the IS sold a little over 2000 units while the GS3/4 and LS400 sold 3021 combined. Kind of the same deal for BMW. The 3 Series is driving their sales while the 5 and 7 are down vs. last year.
Well the reason for the LS400 and BMW 7 series low sales levels is because both cars are toward the end of their production cycle. There's a waiting list for the LS430 and it is already in great demand.... I'm also curious as to how the 350hp?? RL will compare with the others...
Eric...
 

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nice troll, but u need to learn from the master. i give lessons, u know.

i agree with most of your post, and it is accurate for the most part. however, the "fit and finish" category does not readily go to lexus/toyo. honda/acura has been long known for build quality and reliabilty, so it's pretty much even in this arena.
 

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Eric, I agree with your post. I'm also a big fan of Honda and acuras, because their cars used to be more fun to drive than their Toyota/Lexus counterparts (Accord vs Camry, Civic vs Corolla, etc). But in terms of overall luxury and competition towards their European counterparts, Lexus is definitely the better competitor. Lexus now has fine driver cars in the GS and IS, while the LS goes head to head against the best in the luxury segment.
One thing I must add though, is that back in the early 90s when Lexus brought in the LS, they certainly brought fear into all the European makers (namely BMW and MB) that were dominating this segment. It forced them to not only make better cars, but keep and/or lower prices. HOWEVER, we can say that Lexus was selling those LSs for REALLY cheap just to get into this segment. I guess that's why nowadays, the LSs sell for well over $50K, when back then they were only $30k. Of course there is an inflation factor, but not that much.
All in all, competition is great, and we as consumers benefit the most.
 

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The Ultimate Driving Machine phrase is a marketing phrase and it obviously worked. However, it is based on the "feel" of BMW's, not simply marketing. Acura and Lexus may make a dent but they could have challenged that claim if they had offered a manual. BMW will always be considered the sports sedan to which all others are compared. Sorry, that is a fact. The new M3 isn't going to hurt that image either.

Even those that believe BMW's are overpriced and expensive to maintain admit they are a joy to drive. A review of the new 325xi concluded that if the driving experience is important to you buy the BMW, if value and cargo space are more important by a Passat. Some people value that "feel" more than others and that is where competition comes in. I agree that competition provides me with a better BMW for the most part.

I think the secret "feel" of a BMW simply comes from the near 50/50 weight balance of almost all their cars. It never resists going where you point it and I believe that is due to the balance of the car. My wife and I are looking at AWD wagons and I am pretty sure I will get the BMW. Mostly because she doesn't care and I love driving (it would be our primary car when the whole crew comes along). I actually look forward to long road trips. I do admit, however, that if she wanted a new 4 door sedan, I would likely look at an Acura as I know they are cheap to drive and come with the stuff she would like. I have my M5 for my need for speed.



------------------
S38
91 M5
 

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Discussion Starter #16
WH
Originally posted by Golden:
[B Let's face it... the new RL with a 350hp V8 will be a significant challenger to the LS430. [/B]
Golden,
I believe the Acura RL is Front-Wheel-Drive as far as I'm concerned. (Acura doesn't have a rear wheel drive car except the NSX).... Don't tell me that they're going to stick a 350 hp engine in a front wheel drive car... Is the new RL going to be ALL NEW in that they are going to change from front-wheel-drive to rear drive...???
Eric....
 

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Eric, yea, they're going for rwd and north of 300 ponies! The Legend is upon us!!! I commend Acura for this overdue move.
 

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funny, we have all kinds of people supporting all kinds of brands, but once we talked about LS400/430, everyone agreed that it's a great car.

prehaps we are not in the market, so can be objective about it.
 

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Originally posted by brad:
Eric, yea, they're going for rwd and north of 300 ponies! The Legend is upon us!!! I commend Acura for this overdue move.
brad, you're right. the new cl-s (2003, I believe) will have 330bhp and be rwd. there will be a six-speed tranny available as well.
 
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