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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    The Uncertain Future of the Lexus GS and IS

      The rise of crossovers is to blame

    Lexus finds itself in a bit of a bind. With demand for crossovers growing, Lexus is doing a serious look at its product lineup and deciding what needs to be added and what needs to taken out.

    "We're more focused on maximizing the opportunities we have than comparing ourselves," said David Christ, the new general manager for Lexus to Automotive News.

    "Our product plan is what I would call a work in progress."

    The current focus for Lexus is the upcoming launches of the ES and the subcompact UX crossover. The ES is expected to keep current Lexus owners happy, but the new F-Sport package will hopefully bring in younger people - Lexus expects a quarter of ES sales to be the F-sport. The UX though is seen as what will bring the majority of young buyers to the brand.

    But this focus has Lexus doing "a strategic look" at two of their older models, the IS and GS. Both models are late into their lifecycles: IS was launched in 2013, while GS dates back to 2011. The two aren't big sellers either. In 2017, Lexus only moved 7,773 GS models and 26,482 IS models. Rumor has it that the GS could go away if the ES gets all-wheel drive. Christ wouldn't comment on that.

    "We can't do it all at once, but we're certainly evaluating both vehicles," said Christ.

    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)



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    Makes sense to offer an AWD option for the new ES, Dump the GS and refresh the IS as that is still a decent sellar.

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    Dropping cars isn’t how you get more sales.  There is no rule that says Alexus can’t keep every sedan and build 10 crossovers.  The real issue here is the GS is ugly, has a poor interior and dated powertrain sand the same can be said for the IS.  These cars just aren’t good.  I hope they drop them, more market share for Mercedes who continually invests in their sedans.

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    i think there was a blip that suggested all these lux carmakers needed BMW 3 sized cars to have a legit lineup.  Caddy even took the bait.  When it comes to brass tacks now, who even buys 3 series sized lux sedans and what brands do they really only look at?  

    I think the original CTS was a perfect entry level caddy and so to reincarnate that as a CT4 would make sense.  But if the new CT5 is a little larger, then i am ok with that being Caddy's entry level sedan.  What does that have to do with Lexus?  To me it means that IS was always a poseur even if it was a good car.  The ES was bread and butter but now crossovers may have supplanted ES buyers base.  And where does that leave the LS and the GS?

    To circle the wagons for Caddy and Lexus, they probably could survive on 2 sedans each.  CT5 / CT6 and GS / LS.  An IS and CT3 will always not sell like an A3/A4, 3/4 series, or C class.

     

    I think the other reason these smaller lux sedans proliferated so much last 15 years is the idea that young punks would buy / lease them and they were sort of the new age 'hey look how cool i am' cars.  That the younger set due to preference and urban living wanted smaller cars.  I don't think that logic carries through to Caddy and lexus like it does BMW and Audi.  And maybe never will.  And especially if neither is big in Europe.

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    That blip was around 2004 when Cadillac finally produced a car that handled very well and could compete on the track with a smaller 3-series.  The domestic haters needed a reason to dislike the CTS and thus the “It’s too big” mantra was born... and though the CTS was a perfectly capable and comfortable handler, the drum beat started for Cadillac to produce a “true” 3-series competitor... basically, do the CTS, but make it as cramped as a 3-series of the day.  The same drums are being pounded at the CT6, a car that competes with the 5-series, but is larger, more comfortable, and in more than a few ways, more advanced. But “OMG it’s 8 inches longer... there is no way it could possibly compete with a 5-series”. :rolleyes: Fun Fact: The CT6 Platinum has a turning radius and inch and a quarter smaller than the RWD 5-series. The CT6 without 4-wheel steering has radius slightly less than the AWD 5-series (20.0 v. 20.1)

    The original IS was sold as a Toyota in Japan and was renowned for its handling, but with tinny doors and no sound deadening, it didn’t fit the Lexus theme. Queue up the “we want a 3-series” drums and Lexus increased the weight, and started dumbing down the handling. 

    The first few generations of GS were fantastic vehicles. The I6 base models were melted butter smooth and with the legendary Lexus reliability.  But they weren’t “Teutonic”.... for those of you playing at home, that means “German”.  

    This has always been about moving goal posts so the whole industry has to copy what the popular kids are doing.  I’m sure the guy who bought a 10 year old Benz will be in here soon to give us his take on what new car buyers should do. (They’re shopping for a Corolla... he’ll tell them they should buy an S-Class)

     

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    Hmmmmm.

     

    They could merge the GS and IS and get a tweener sedan, and I'd like them to actually do that, because they don't need 2 sedans whether FWD or RWD that are almost the same length.

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    Some may recall that Infiniti went the other direction. They dropped the relatively popular I30 in favor of the M35 in a bid to look "credible" to the BMW-Über-Alles kids. Look where it got them.

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    3 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Some may recall that Infiniti went the other direction. They dropped the relatively popular I30 in favor of the M35 in a bid to look "credible" to the BMW-Über-Alles kids. Look where it got them.

    Had to look those up, completely forgot about them...the i30 was the Maxima variation, kind of Infiniti's ES equivalent I guess....for 2000s Infinitis the G35 and G37 are the ones I remember (US versions of the Skyline). 

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    15 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    Dropping cars isn’t how you get more sales.  There is no rule that says Alexus can’t keep every sedan and build 10 crossovers.  The real issue here is the GS is ugly, has a poor interior and dated powertrain sand the same can be said for the IS.  These cars just aren’t good.  I hope they drop them, more market share for Mercedes who continually invests in their sedans.

    Yea like everyone wants a crappy C, B or A class MB. Badge snobs with crap products is all that MB makes there in addition to the E-Class Taxi cab of the world with a 52% depreciation loss in the first 3 years.

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    1 minute ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    Had to look those up, completely forgot about them...the i30 was the Maxima variation, kind of Infiniti's ES equivalent I guess....for 2000s Infinitis the G35 and G37 are the ones I remember (US versions of the Skyline). 

    Yes, the I30 was the ES equivilent, and IMHO, a nicer vehicle than the ES of the time. 

    2005_infiniti_i_manu_03.jpg 2005_infiniti_i_manu_09.jpg

     

     

     

     

     

     

    2004_lexus_es_330_base-pic-6228509891184683830-640x480.jpeg 2005 Lexus ES.jpg

    But they dropped that to try and pursue German car drivers who will never defect their brands and built this instead.

    2006 Infiniti M35.jpg

    The Lexus GS was still a pretty attractive piece at the time, but had just given up its inline 6 in favor of a V6.

    2006_lexus_gs_430_base-pic-238576478807836544.jpeg

     

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    16 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    That blip was around 2004 when Cadillac finally produced a car that handled very well and could compete on the track with a smaller 3-series.  The domestic haters needed a reason to dislike the CTS and thus the “It’s too big” mantra was born... and though the CTS was a perfectly capable and comfortable handler, the drum beat started for Cadillac to produce a “true” 3-series competitor... basically, do the CTS, but make it as cramped as a 3-series of the day.  The same drums are being pounded at the CT6, a car that competes with the 5-series, but is larger, more comfortable, and in more than a few ways, more advanced. But “OMG it’s 8 inches longer... there is no way it could possibly compete with a 5-series”. :rolleyes: Fun Fact: The CT6 Platinum has a turning radius and inch and a quarter smaller than the RWD 5-series. The CT6 without 4-wheel steering has radius slightly less than the AWD 5-series (20.0 v. 20.1)

    The original IS was sold as a Toyota in Japan and was renowned for its handling, but with tinny doors and no sound deadening, it didn’t fit the Lexus theme. Queue up the “we want a 3-series” drums and Lexus increased the weight, and started dumbing down the handling. 

    The first few generations of GS were fantastic vehicle. The I6 base models were melted butter smooth and with the legendary Lexus reliability.  But they weren’t “Teutonic”.... for those of you playing at home, that mean “German”.  

    This has always been about moving goal posts so the whole industry has to copy what the popular kids are doing.  I’m sure the guy who bought a 10 year old Benz will be in here soon to give us his take on what new car buyers should do. (They’re shopping for a Corolla... he’ll tell them they should buy an S-Class)

     

    Well I bought a 5 year old Benz, 5 years ago.  But nevertheless, you are right about the copy cat industry.  But that is the followers problem for copying the leader, not creating the next trend.

    Mercedes built the first luxury SUV, then everyone else jumps in, BMW had the 3-series, Lexus and Cadillac had to copy, Lincoln even tried copying the 5–series with the LS, now every sedan is a 4-door coupe because the Mercedes CLS did that in 04.  People laughed at BMW and Mercedes for crossover coupes, and he come Audi and Porsche with them and you know Lexus and Cadillac will follow.  

    Lexus has a dated lineup because there is no imagination or creativity in it and because the Lexus LX570 and GX460 latterly haven’t had an update since 2007.

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    1 hour ago, dfelt said:

    Yea like everyone wants a crappy C, B or A class MB. Badge snobs with crap products is all that MB makes there in addition to the E-Class Taxi cab of the world with a 52% depreciation loss in the first 3 years.

    The cars that Lexus would be dropping aren't A or B class cars. 

    Mercedes only makes one bad product, CLA. Everything else is competing for or already best in class. 

    6 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    now every sedan is a 4-door coupe because the Mercedes CLS did that in 04.

    I agree with that to a degree. But, I feel like the mainstream cars that are doing that has a lot to do with aerodynamic efficiency as they're a more "slippery" design and fuel economy is key for the Ford, Chevy, Honda, etc. buyers.

    8 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    People laughed at BMW and Mercedes for crossover coupes, and he come Audi and Porsche with them and you know Lexus and Cadillac will follow.  

    Well, they are the worst segment of automobile on the planet. Hideous.  Just absolutely HIDEOUS. 

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    9 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    Lexus has a dated lineup because there is no imagination or creativity in it

    Have you opened your eyes and looked at a Lexus? You might find them ugly but you can't say those front fascias aren't creative or imaginative

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    2 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    Have you opened your eyes and looked at a Lexus? You might find them ugly but you can't say those front fascias aren't creative or imaginative

    True...bold and violent.  Lexus is the leader in rage face styling, though Audi and others are catching up..

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar

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    49 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    Have you opened your eyes and looked at a Lexus? You might find them ugly but you can't say those front fascias aren't creative or imaginative

    They are BIG FANS of the Predator Movies I think! :P 

    See the source image

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    17 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    Well I bought a 5 year old Benz, 5 years ago.  But nevertheless, you are right about the copy cat industry.  But that is the followers problem for copying the leader, not creating the next trend.

    No. It's the fanboi's problem for promulgating the idea that every car has to be exactly the same in order to compete. You are one of the most guilty of this phenomenon.  You cannot accept the fact that cars can be different sizes, favor comfort over handling, use technology in a different way than your pet brand.  You cannot admit that the CT6 is a competitor to the E-Class and 5-series because you can't get over the extra room it offers... somehow that disqualifies the car even though it is in the same price range.

     

    20 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    Mercedes built the first luxury SUV, then everyone else jumps in.

    No, they didn't. This is why you have no credibility. 

    Luxury SUVs released before or the same time the M-Class (1997):
    Acura SLX (1995)
    Oldsmobile Bravada (1990)
    Infiniti QX4 (1997)
    Land Rover Range Rover (1994)
    Jeep Grand Wagoneer (1980) - say what you will about the brand, it was definitely a luxury suv with its pricing. It cost more than a base Eldorado or Mark VII. 
    Jeep Grand Wagoneer (1993) - the Grand Cherokee based Grand Wagoneer was a separate nameplate and the luxury version. 

     

    33 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    BMW had the 3-series, Lexus and Cadillac had to copy

    No they didn't. People like you insisted they had to copy... that the only valid entry in that class had to be certain dimensions and certain suspension tuning, and certain number of gears in the gearbox.  You have repeatedly insisted that the old CTS and 3-series didn't compete because the CTS was 4 or 5 inches longer.  Well, you're flat out wrong.  I leased a CTS because I didn't want the cramped interior of the 3-series. I leased the CTS because it was a bit more compliant over these awful pittsburgh roads.  Cadillac went from near zero in that segment to selling 60k CTSes a year. They were taking sales from someone.

     

    37 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    every sedan is a 4-door coupe because the Mercedes CLS did that in 04

    There is no such thing as a 4-door coupe. What you're thinking of is a 4-door fastback and Cadillac was doing those way back when Germany was being turned into a pile of rubble.  Oldsmobile has done them multiple times, Eagle has done them, Rover has done them, Citroen has done them.  You even owned a nameplate that previously was a 4-door fastback. 

    46 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    People laughed at BMW and Mercedes for crossover coupes, and he come Audi and Porsche with them and you know Lexus and Cadillac will follow

    I laugh at the term as there is no such thing as a 4-door crossover coupe.  First, if we're going to call them that, then again, none of the Germans were first. Even if you don't want to count the AMC Eagle SX, there is still the Acura ZDX (2010) which came out 5 years before the GLE coupe and the same year as the X6.   Furthermore, if that Audi Q8 is a crossover coupe, then someone needs to send a memo to Infiniti about changing their marketing because they've been building that body style since 2002 with the FX/QX70. And then still, there is the Suzuki X90, an ugly looking SUV that by being 2 doors and 2 seats has more of a claim to the "crossover coupe" name than any of the modern vehicles.

    In short, Germany is in no way the leader for this completely misnamed body-style

    So still.... wrong all around.

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    Jeep Super Wagoneer would be the first luxury SUV, came out in 1966.

    Mercedes absolutely copied tons of features and types from others. Sometimes it took decades to follow the trends, sometimes they literally had to buy components from other OEMs. And they blatantly copied the 3-series- now it's their highest volume sedan. They massively fudge RE "inventing" the automobile and most lazy ass journalists just numbly nod along.

    The "4-door coupe" thing is a hoot- it's literally a fastback-esque 4-dr, nothing remotely new. The worst thing about it is the gross inaccuracy of the term.

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    4 hours ago, ccap41 said:

    I agree with that to a degree. But, I feel like the mainstream cars that are doing that has a lot to do with aerodynamic efficiency as they're a more "slippery" design and fuel economy is key for the Ford, Chevy, Honda, etc. buyers.

    Well, they are the worst segment of automobile on the planet. Hideous.  Just absolutely HIDEOUS. 

    Except the S-class is the most aerodynamic Mercedes and it has 3 box design so 4-door coupe must not do anything.  

    I do think SUV coupes are ugly but Mercedes and BMW have so Audi and Porsche want it.  And if the Germans do it then every other luxury brand will copy it.  

    And I have said before that I think the CT6 is more an e-class competitor than S-class competitor.  The E-class still has a better interior and more performance than the CT6, the CT6 has a larger back seat.  Customer can pick what matters most to them.   But then what is the CTS become, other than irrelevant?  From 60k sales a year to 12k sales a year, it is in the same boat as the Lexus GS.

    Edited by smk4565
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    ^ It's easier to make a longer vehicle have lower drag, all else being equal.

    "want" what? There's nothing there to 'copy'.

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    37 minutes ago, balthazar said:

    ^ It's easier to make a longer vehicle have lower drag, all else being equal.

    "want" what? There's nothing there to 'copy'.

    I was literally scrolling down to type that and saw your comment. 👍🏼👍🏼

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    1 hour ago, smk4565 said:

    Except the S-class is the most aerodynamic Mercedes and it has 3 box design so 4-door coupe must not do anything.  

    I do think SUV coupes are ugly but Mercedes and BMW have so Audi and Porsche want it.  And if the Germans do it then every other luxury brand will copy it.  

    And I have said before that I think the CT6 is more an e-class competitor than S-class competitor.  The E-class still has a better interior and more performance than the CT6, the CT6 has a larger back seat.  Customer can pick what matters most to them.   But then what is the CTS become, other than irrelevant?  From 60k sales a year to 12k sales a year, it is in the same boat as the Lexus GS.

    Your E-Class is the world's best in YOUR EYES, The only reason it is successful is the cheap purchases MB makes for the mass Taxi community to buy them. Otherwise just a Meh car, clearly no time spent in a CT6 as it is superior in many ways and equal in others to the E-Class.

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    5 hours ago, balthazar said:

    Jeep Super Wagoneer would be the first luxury SUV, came out in 1966.

    Mercedes absolutely copied tons of features and types from others. Sometimes it took decades to follow the trends, sometimes they literally had to buy components from other OEMs. And they blatantly copied the 3-series- now it's their highest volume sedan. They massively fudge RE "inventing" the automobile and most lazy ass journalists just numbly nod along.

    The "4-door coupe" thing is a hoot- it's literally a fastback-esque 4-dr, nothing remotely new. The worst thing about it is the gross inaccuracy of the term.

     

    2 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    Except the S-class is the most aerodynamic Mercedes and it has 3 box design so 4-door coupe must not do anything.  

    I do think SUV coupes are ugly but Mercedes and BMW have so Audi and Porsche want it.  And if the Germans do it then every other luxury brand will copy it.  

    And I have said before that I think the CT6 is more an e-class competitor than S-class competitor.  The E-class still has a better interior and more performance than the CT6, the CT6 has a larger back seat.  Customer can pick what matters most to them.   But then what is the CTS become, other than irrelevant?  From 60k sales a year to 12k sales a year, it is in the same boat as the Lexus GS.

    It's being downsized also to be a tweener car. 

    There is nothing at all wrong with the CT6 interior aside from seats that might be a bit too firm. Plus, it drives itself, has 4 wheel steering, and a plug in hybrid capable of 40+ miles of EV range. Benz doesn't.

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    4 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

     

    It's being downsized also to be a tweener car. 

    There is nothing at all wrong with the CT6 interior aside from seats that might be a bit too firm. Plus, it drives itself, has 4 wheel steering, and a plug in hybrid capable of 40+ miles of EV range. Benz doesn't.

    Which are all good attributes and in profile view the CT6 has good presence and looks good.  There are plenty of reasons to buy it.

    The E63 can do 0-60 in 3.0 seconds, that is the exact same time Car and Driver got for the Corvette ZR1.  Performances win for the E-class over the CT6.  But besides that the E-class has plenty of attributes to sell on too, that is why it has been the best selling mid-size luxury car for decades.  Plus the E-class has 4 body styles and 5 if you count the CLS, so that works in its favor too.  More choices for the customer = more sales.

    Lexus, Infiniti and Cadillac sedans aren’t bad cars, it is just to have a successful sedan now you need to be lights out good otherwise the sheeple will just buy a crossover.

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    Most E class sales are 4 cylinder. The E63 is irrelevant to the sales mix. They could drop it and you wouldn't notice the difference in the numbers.

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    I believe except for the US market, most E-Class sales are still into the Taxi Business in Europe.

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    4 hours ago, dfelt said:

    I believe except for the US market, most E-Class sales are still into the Taxi Business in Europe.

    And China.  Most of the E-classes are for livery use there.  E-Classes (Along with XTS) are even replacing Town Cars here in Pittsburgh for Black Car service. 

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    I would assume a lot of fleet sales, livery and rental sales will go to crossovers too in the future, just like what happened with police cars, you hardly see police cars anymore you see Police SUVs.  

    And if this fleet sale market is so huge, why did Cadillac or Lexus never get in on it?  Or Infiniti for that matter.  Instead all 3 are just cutting their sedan line up down to 2 cars probably, and I could see Infiniti with 1 sedan and Lincoln with zero.  These luxury brands are fleeing sedans like Ford and FCA have fled mid-size family sedans, they just can't compete anymore. 

    But once you give up on sedans, you better have some great SUVs if you are going to survive on one product.

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    On 6/15/2018 at 12:13 PM, Drew Dowdell said:

    No. It's the fanboi's problem for promulgating the idea that every car has to be exactly the same in order to compete. You are one of the most guilty of this phenomenon.  You cannot accept the fact that cars can be different sizes, favor comfort over handling, use technology in a different way than your pet brand.  You cannot admit that the CT6 is a competitor to the E-Class and 5-series because you can't get over the extra room it offers... somehow that disqualifies the car even though it is in the same price range.

     

    No, they didn't. This is why you have no credibility. 

    Luxury SUVs released before or the same time the M-Class (1997):
    Acura SLX (1995)
    Oldsmobile Bravada (1990)
    Infiniti QX4 (1997)
    Land Rover Range Rover (1994)
    Jeep Grand Wagoneer (1980) - say what you will about the brand, it was definitely a luxury suv with its pricing. It cost more than a base Eldorado or Mark VII. 
    Jeep Grand Wagoneer (1993) - the Grand Cherokee based Grand Wagoneer was a separate nameplate and the luxury version. 

     

    No they didn't. People like you insisted they had to copy... that the only valid entry in that class had to be certain dimensions and certain suspension tuning, and certain number of gears in the gearbox.  You have repeatedly insisted that the old CTS and 3-series didn't compete because the CTS was 4 or 5 inches longer.  Well, you're flat out wrong.  I leased a CTS because I didn't want the cramped interior of the 3-series. I leased the CTS because it was a bit more compliant over these awful pittsburgh roads.  Cadillac went from near zero in that segment to selling 60k CTSes a year. They were taking sales from someone.

     

    There is no such thing as a 4-door coupe. What you're thinking of is a 4-door fastback and Cadillac was doing those way back when Germany was being turned into a pile of rubble.  Oldsmobile has done them multiple times, Eagle has done them, Rover has done them, Citroen has done them.  You even owned a nameplate that previously was a 4-door fastback. 

    I laugh at the term as there is no such thing as a 4-door crossover coupe.  First, if we're going to call them that, then again, none of the Germans were first. Even if you don't want to count the AMC Eagle SX, there is still the Acura ZDX (2010) which came out 5 years before the GLE coupe and the same year as the X6.   Furthermore, if that Audi Q8 is a crossover coupe, then someone needs to send a memo to Infiniti about changing their marketing because they've been building that body style since 2002 with the FX/QX70. And then still, there is the Suzuki X90, an ugly looking SUV that by being 2 doors and 2 seats has more of a claim to the "crossover coupe" name than any of the modern vehicles.

    In short, Germany is in no way the leader for this completely misnamed body-style

    So still.... wrong all around.

    Original CTS and Lincoln LS were perfect size cars, but as you stated is correct. They were not as small as the 3 series and C of that time and thus the scorn. 

    Funny you mentioned the ZDX. I parked next to a pristine one the other day and thought to myself it ended up being a bit ahead of its due time. Would be a good used vehicle to seek and find. The mistake on the ZDX was some things were proportioned a bit badly. If they had increased the wheelbase on that thing 6-8 inches and had a better balanced greenhouse , it may have come off a lot better. 

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    The CTS and Lincoln LS were the same size of a 2002 5-series or E-class.  Yes that was a good size.  The problem was the Cadillac and Lincoln weren't as luxurious or as well built, or as powerful as those 2.  The M5 had a 500 hp V10 when the 400 hp CTS-V went on sale.

    The other problem was the Germans had small, medium and large cars, Lincoln and Cadillac just had a bunch of large cars and one mid-size.  The Continental, STS, DTS, Town Car, Mark VII, Eldorado of that late 90s, early 2000s era were all over 200 inches long, those were 7-series/S-class sized cars and some people just don't want a big car and why would 1 brand build 3 large cars, 1 midsize and 0 small car, it makes no sense.  Imagine today Chevy offering the Malibu, Impala, SS and Corvette and that is it for cars, and saying well if you want a Civic or Corolla, just cross shop a Malibu. 

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    People DO NOT buy vehicles that way.

    If they did, and the C-class was a"good size", why has it packed on 7-8 inches since?

    What makes NO sense is a luxury brand offering compact vehicles- who wants to pay premium pricing for a tiny car? If they did, the 1-series would sell more than the 3/4, and it's no where close.

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    Honestly this is literally a dollars and cents kinda deal. I don’t think they even sell the GS in Japan, and the ES sells way better in China too, who gives a crap about driving there!

     

    like really the GS sedan could probably fold because it isn’t a carrier of Lexus prestige anymore. 

    I think it just got lost naturally. Now there’s an F sport ES, the IS is still on an old platform... and the GA-L, like I really do not want to see a 3/4 LS 500 sausage turned into the next GS.

    the LS is already a tweener in terms of passenger space since that damn racy styling gives it only 97 cu ft. of passenger space compared to 115 in a 7 Series.

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    12 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    The CTS and Lincoln LS were the same size of a 2002 5-series or E-class.  Yes that was a good size.  The problem was the Cadillac and Lincoln weren't as luxurious or as well built, or as powerful as those 2.  The M5 had a 500 hp V10 when the 400 hp CTS-V went on sale.

    The other problem was the Germans had small, medium and large cars, Lincoln and Cadillac just had a bunch of large cars and one mid-size.  The Continental, STS, DTS, Town Car, Mark VII, Eldorado of that late 90s, early 2000s era were all over 200 inches long, those were 7-series/S-class sized cars and some people just don't want a big car and why would 1 brand build 3 large cars, 1 midsize and 0 small car, it makes no sense.  Imagine today Chevy offering the Malibu, Impala, SS and Corvette and that is it for cars, and saying well if you want a Civic or Corolla, just cross shop a Malibu. 

    This is exactly what I'm talking about with you insisting that cars if different sizes can't compete. They can and do compete. If the 2004 CTS had been the size of a 3 Series, I never would have bought it. The 3-series was never a consideration because it was way too small. The other car I looked at was one of the last Aurora's Cochran had in stock that wasn't a Final 500. Had I waited another 6 months, the 300C would have been an option. 

    By offering a larger car at the same price, Cadillac won a sale over BMW. 

    The CTS-V was clearly targeted at the M3, of which it beat in hp and torque, performance and price. 

    "Oh, the CTS-V is faster and handles better than the M3 and costs less.... But it has usable rear seat legroom and a decent sized trunk, so that must mean it competes with the M5 that costs $35k more!"

    Don't you see how ridiculous you sound?

    Cadillac's 5 series competition came in the form of the STS which got shit on for having a "dull" interior. No German car fan from that era has any business talking about dull interiors of other cars.

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    On 6/16/2018 at 3:32 PM, smk4565 said:

    I would assume a lot of fleet sales, livery and rental sales will go to crossovers too in the future,

    This is one market I would think stays wit cars because the marginal gain in fuel economy is worth it to the personal owner/driver. Regardless, I will be calling a ride service and I wouldn't care what I'm getting picked up in. It is what it is(the vehicle). 

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    17 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    This is one market I would think stays wit cars because the marginal gain in fuel economy is worth it to the personal owner/driver. Regardless, I will be calling a ride service and I wouldn't care what I'm getting picked up in. It is what it is(the vehicle). 

    I have noticed a couple times till this morning walking to work that I saw 2 different colored Lincoln MKT Town Cars being used by Lyft services. I do wonder as we go Hybrid across the board and EVs become more common. Will taxi / private car services go with CUVs for the interior space?

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    29 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    I have noticed a couple times till this morning walking to work that I saw 2 different colored Lincoln MKT Town Cars being used by Lyft services. I do wonder as we go Hybrid across the board and EVs become more common. Will taxi / private car services go with CUVs for the interior space?

    Do they really care about an extra inch or two of interior space for the back when losing 2-3mpg? Even 1mpg when you drive for a living adds up. I'm not saying it won't happen but I feel like it is less likely for the shift in this market. 

    Buuuuut most driver's are part-time and just use their own vehicle and if they already made the choice for a CUV then that is what it is. I think if they are driving a CUV it is because that's what they want for their personal vehicle and not for the driver service job. 

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    On 6/16/2018 at 4:32 PM, smk4565 said:

    I would assume a lot of fleet sales, livery and rental sales will go to crossovers too in the future, just like what happened with police cars, you hardly see police cars anymore you see Police SUVs.  

    And if this fleet sale market is so huge, why did Cadillac or Lexus never get in on it?  Or Infiniti for that matter.  Instead all 3 are just cutting their sedan line up down to 2 cars probably, and I could see Infiniti with 1 sedan and Lincoln with zero.  These luxury brands are fleeing sedans like Ford and FCA have fled mid-size family sedans, they just can't compete anymore. 

    But once you give up on sedans, you better have some great SUVs if you are going to survive on one product.

    Cadillac is in on the fleet market in China, that and the EV requirements are why the CT6 PHEV is built there. That's why there is an ATS-L, an XTS 2.0T, and there was an STS-L in China.  

    Your question regarding Lexus and Infiniti in China reveals your ignorance of history. The Chinese largely shun Japanese cars due to that little disagreement Japan had with China from 1931 - 1941.  The Chinese like Buicks because their former Emperor used them and they became a cultural status symbol. This is true even to today.  American and European cars are status symbols in China, the Japanese are parihas. Once you understand the cultural implications, then you see why Lexus and Infiniti have an uphill battle there. 

    In Europe, it doesn't matter if Mercedes is only producing Trabants, Germans will still buy them over any current Cadillac because they are culturally loyal.  Wash, Rinse, Repeat with the French and the CV2. 

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    44 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    Do they really care about an extra inch or two of interior space for the back when losing 2-3mpg? Even 1mpg when you drive for a living adds up. I'm not saying it won't happen but I feel like it is less likely for the shift in this market. 

    Buuuuut most driver's are part-time and just use their own vehicle and if they already made the choice for a CUV then that is what it is. I think if they are driving a CUV it is because that's what they want for their personal vehicle and not for the driver service job. 

    The MKT is popular with Lyft/Uber drivers for a different reason. It is the most efficient vehicle at the lowest price that fits into every single Uber/Lift car category.  They can be UberX, UberXL, Uber Black, Uber SUV.  The only other vehicles that can do that and match it on fuel economy would be the GLS diesel and possibly the Q7, but those are a lot more expensive, even used, than an MKT.  No other vehicle can hit all of the requirements while also being cheap to buy and cheap to fuel relative to its competition. 

    MKTs, with their big cargo areas, are also good for the coveted "airport runs".  If you have an MKT and get an Uber Black ping for an airport run, you probably just struck gold. 

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    4 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    This is exactly what I'm talking about with you insisting that cars if different sizes can't compete. They can and do compete. If the 2004 CTS had been the size of a 3 Series, I never would have bought it. The 3-series was never a consideration because it was way too small. The other car I looked at was one of the last Aurora's Cochran had in stock that wasn't a Final 500. Had I waited another 6 months, the 300C would have been an option. 

    By offering a larger car at the same price, Cadillac won a sale over BMW. 

    The CTS-V was clearly targeted at the M3, of which it beat in hp and torque, performance and price. 

    "Oh, the CTS-V is faster and handles better than the M3 and costs less.... But it has usable rear seat legroom and a decent sized trunk, so that must mean it competes with the M5 that costs $35k more!"

    Don't you see how ridiculous you sound?

    Cadillac's 5 series competition came in the form of the STS which got $h! on for having a "dull" interior. No German car fan from that era has any business talking about dull interiors of other cars.

    I don’t have issue with the CTS back then being mid size for 3-series money but what about the people that thought a CTS was too large?  The largest car my mom ever had was a Saab 9-5 and she thought it was too big.  For people that wanted a small car Cadillac and Lincoln didn’t have one until the ATS showed up.  My issue is not with the CTS it is with totally ignoring small cars which was a huge segment then and is now.

    The STS was too big and couldn’t perform like a German car and the interior quality was low, I actually thought the 1998-2003 Seville had a better interior.  That was a car set up to fail from the start, they even changed the design right befor they launched it to make it more bland. 

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    1 minute ago, smk4565 said:

    I don’t have issue with the CTS back then being mid size for 3-series money but what about the people that thought a CTS was too large?  The largest car my mom ever had was a Saab 9-5 and she thought it was too big.  For people that wanted a small car Cadillac and Lincoln didn’t have one until the ATS showed up.  My issue is not with the CTS it is with totally ignoring small cars which was a huge segment then and is now.

    The STS was too big and couldn’t perform like a German car and the interior quality was low, I actually thought the 1998-2003 Seville had a better interior.  That was a car set up to fail from the start, they even changed the design right befor they launched it to make it more bland. 

    And for people who want a large truck, Honda and Mercedes have nothing to offer.  You don't get a yuuuger segment than that.  Where's your scorn for Mercedes missing out on probably the most important and lucrative market in North America?

    I don't know what you mother was seeing, or if she was shopping with a tape measure.  The CTS is 2.4 centimeters longer than the 9-5 (I'm assuming the 2001ish model, the final 9-5 was nearly XTS sized), and less than half a centimeter wider. Furthermore, the 9-5 should feel larger inside due to the FWD packaging.  Thinking the CTS is too big compared to a 9-5 is just making an excuse for some reason to not like the car. 

    My own mother went the other way.  She had a 94 Bonneville and really liked the look of the CTS.  I tried to sell her on the Aurora instead, but she didn't want an Oldsmobile (brand snobbery, you might know about that).  I tried to tell her she wouldn't like the CTS because it would be too small for her.  Make sure the Cadillac dealer we went to was an Olds/Cadillac dealer.  I put her in a Sunburst Orange CTS on the showroom floor.  She immediately was disappointed.  It was too small.  She got out. I told her to try out this other car behind the CTS without telling her what it was. She got in and went "Ooooo, I like this". It was a black Aurora. 

    That one wasn't the one she bought, but she did end up in an Aurora.  She beats up her cars badly, but she got that one to about 170k miles before she sold it to an employee who promptly totaled it.  These days she drives Ford tough. Her King Ranch is well over 170k miles now.

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    Less people WANT cars smaller than mid-size. Almost anybody buying that small is doing so because they don't have money for something larger. 

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    2 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    And for people who want a large truck, Honda and Mercedes have nothing to offer.  You don't get a yuuuger segment than that.  Where's your scorn for Mercedes missing out on probably the most important and lucrative market in North America?

    I don't know what you mother was seeing, or if she was shopping with a tape measure.  The CTS is 2.4 centimeters longer than the 9-5 (I'm assuming the 2001ish model, the final 9-5 was nearly XTS sized), and less than half a centimeter wider. Furthermore, the 9-5 should feel larger inside due to the FWD packaging.  Thinking the CTS is too big compared to a 9-5 is just making an excuse for some reason to not like the car. 

    My own mother went the other way.  She had a 94 Bonneville and really liked the look of the CTS.  I tried to sell her on the Aurora instead, but she didn't want an Oldsmobile (brand snobbery, you might know about that).  I tried to tell her she wouldn't like the CTS because it would be too small for her.  Make sure the Cadillac dealer we went to was an Olds/Cadillac dealer.  I put her in a Sunburst Orange CTS on the showroom floor.  She immediately was disappointed.  It was too small.  She got out. I told her to try out this other car behind the CTS without telling her what it was. She got in and went "Ooooo, I like this". It was a black Aurora. 

    That one wasn't the one she bought, but she did end up in an Aurora.  She beats up her cars badly, but she got that one to about 170k miles before she sold it to an employee who promptly totaled it.  These days she drives Ford tough. Her King Ranch is well over 170k miles now.

    My mom had an 2002 9-5, she actually drove a CTS after I told her to give it a try, she didn't like Cadillacs then and still doesn't now.  After the 9-5 though she got an Audi A4 because she thought the 9-5 was too big.  I am just using that as an example, that some people don't want a mid-size car, just like in your example your mom wanted a full size car.   

    So you have to build 3 sizes of car, Cadillac in 2001 had 3 cards over 200 inches long and the Escalade, how do you only build 4 large cars and ignore the rest of the market?  Lexus seems to be going down that path now, build the ES which is Avalon size now and LS, an upper mid-size and a full size, because full size sedans are a hot segment to pour money into...

    Not sure how Mercedes is missing out on a market for large trucks unless you are talking pickups.  Not counting the vans (which a Sprinter is pretty large) they make a full size SUV.   I am not opposed to Mercedes building a full size pickup, I think they could do it better than Ford can.  I think if they took the X-class and modified it more for the American market it would sell.

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    I think it was pretty clear I am talking about F-150.

    Wait, you think Mercedes can out F-150 the F-150? Not Ram, not Toyota, and not Nissan have come close.  

    You think you have some brand loyalty with Mercedes, you haven’t seen F-150 buyers yet. They’ll laugh at that rebadged Frontier. 

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    Ideally, mainline brands in 2020 (Chevy, Ford, Nissan, Mercedes, etc) should build 2 sedans, small & mid-sized.
    The luxury brands should build mid- and full-size.
     

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    1 minute ago, balthazar said:

    Ideally, mainline brands in 2020 (Chevy, Ford, Nissan, Mercedes, etc) should build 2 sedans, small & mid-sized.
    The luxury brands should build mid- and full-size.
     

    I would like to add the Extended Length that they build for China to the US market for Luxury level cars. That would so get me back into a car. 

    CT6 - L V-Sport :metal: 

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    42 minutes ago, balthazar said:

    Ideally, mainline brands in 2020 (Chevy, Ford, Nissan, Mercedes, etc) should build 2 sedans, small & mid-sized.
    The luxury brands should build mid- and full-size.
     

    Yeah, these compacts that the lux brands are coming out with just scream status seeker, badge snob, fake.

     

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    5 hours ago, ccap41 said:

    Less people WANT cars smaller than mid-size. Almost anybody buying that small is doing so because they don't have money for something larger. 

    That is odd because the top 3 selling luxury products in the USA last year were the Lexus RX, 3-series and C-class.  And small sedans as a segment were about flat last year, while mid-size sedans dropped and large sedans got crushed.  Small crossover is the fastest growth segment.  So I am not buying into people don't want small cars, people deemed the CR-V and Rav4 too big so they had to get products smaller.   I don't see Honda or Toyota putting out stuff bigger than the Pilot or Highlander due to demand for big vehicles, and Toyota has let the Sequoia die on the vine because there is no point dumping money into a dinosaur that CAFE will kill off.

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    with regards to GM and the sedan market in the USA

     

    Cadillac:

    ATS was a great idea but it had less space inside than it should have.  And so unless there is a huge need in another market for a compact Cadillac (CT3) I think they don't need one for 2020.  I do think that any future compact Cadillac could be flexible on a RWD vs FWD chassis depending on execution.

    Upcoming CT5 IMO is likely to be in a slot between what we traditionally have considered CTS sized and STS sized.  At a minimum the interior needs to have more accommodations than the now current CTS.  But not much more, if any, larger physically.

    CT6 of course will continue and is 'large enough' I think.  My only thought on CT6 size is it could be wider by a couple inches inside. 

    If cadillac were to add a range topping sedan, it should be more to create a splash with a new design theme or to really break the mold.  For example.... Something Escala like, CT6 sized or larger, or something with a hatch.  Or something sexier than a Tesla  (or all of that).

    The CT6 is either replaced by the new design or coexists with it.  The CT6 is the old persons Caddy in that scenario then, and the new design is the young persons large caddy.

    Buick

    I still like the idea of a Verano but admit it doesn't have the sales legs anymore.  I do think since the Regal sportback is the entry Buick 'sedan' now, it is just fine for that, but they nice to watch prices and redo the packaging for greater value and equipment.

    Since the LaCrosse exists, in 2020 I have no issues with it carrying the large sedan torch for Buick, but I do think interior improvements and similar value and packaging propositions are in order.  With fewer sedan buyers, this car really should be increasing sedan market share based on value and ride comfort.  

    I really do think the Avenir could have rebooted the large sedan market at accessible price, and if they did that for 2020 (pipe dream) I would endorse it and might even sign on for it 'replacing' the LaCrosse unless the Lacrosse were repackaged to move downscale some and replace the Impala.

     

     

    Image result for buick avenir

     

     

    Chevy

    I still see the Cruze sedan being needed even if it is selling fewer copies.  This is a class of car for entry level new car buyers.  Cruze should grow a bit to be a size clone to match Civic if they redo it.

    Malibu needs to continue in this catch all midsize segment.  However, if Impala is discontinued then Malibu needs to increase some in size and offer more flexible packages to allow for larger engine choice easier etc.

    I think the Impala can literally continue in its current body 2-4 more years (with an interior redo), or it could be axed if Buick were to take on those sales with the LaCrosse.  If in 2-4 years sedans rebound then they can redo the Impala.  But i think the Impala name right now may be better off transferred to some kind of sexy large crossover which doesn't seem to be the sort of thing GM is capable of.

    If the LaCrosse or Avenir or combo of LaCrosse and Avenir could pick up lost Impala sales then it may be ok to kill the Impala.  Then sedans really do become more of an effective niche with a Buick tag on them IMO.

     

     

     

    Edited by regfootball

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    3 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    I think it was pretty clear I am talking about F-150.

    Wait, you think Mercedes can out F-150 the F-150? Not Ram, not Toyota, and not Nissan have come close.  

    You think you have some brand loyalty with Mercedes, you haven’t seen F-150 buyers yet. They’ll laugh at that rebadged Frontier. 

    The X-class I feel like is putting their toe in the water, it is obviously designed in a way to cut development cost by using the Navara platform and Renault diesel, but you can get the Mercedes diesel V6 also.  That is also a truck not designed for  America, it was designed for Europe and Middle East, where you have some people that want a pickup and want a German brand.  

    If Mercedes built a full size pick up from ground up, they absolutely would have a better truck than the F150.  They wouldn't start at the work truck level, they would probably start at $50k (or more) and compete with the Platinum and King Ranch trucks.

    They have a ladder frame from the G-wagen, make that bigger and they have a body on frame chassis, plus one of the best 4-wheel drive systems there is, and they can make optional the locking differentials off road suspension.  They have a 9 speed auto that can handle 630 lb-ft of torque, so they have the transmission.

    Engines:

    429 hp 384 lb-ft inline six  vs 2.7 ecoboost 325 hp 400 lb-ft

    463 hp 516 lb-ft V8  vs  3.5 Ecoboost 375 hp 470 lb-ft

    621 hp 738 lb-ft V12 or 603 hp 627 lb-ft V8  vs  Raptor V6  450 hp, 510 lb-ft

    And since they need a diesel, they can just borrow the Detroit DD5 engine 5.1 liter 230 hp, 660 lb-ft with 45,000 mile service interval, much more durable than anything in an F150.

    Interior to the level of a GLC or would be enough to beat any pickup on sale now, if it was E-class level then goodnight.  This would be really easy to put together.

    3 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    No, you don’t.

    So Chevy should dump the Cruze, Sonic and Spark and put all their efforts behind the Impala and Malibu?  2 car lineup?  Tell Chevy dealers they are losing the Cruze and see what happens.  The problem Cadillac and Lincoln had is they never had their "Cruze" and they didn't miss what they never had, until the German brands squashed them, Cadillac and Lincoln were 1-2 in luxury sales about 20 years ago, now they are like 7th and 8th place.

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    3 hours ago, balthazar said:

    Ideally, mainline brands in 2020 (Chevy, Ford, Nissan, Mercedes, etc) should build 2 sedans, small & mid-sized.
    The luxury brands should build mid- and full-size.
     

    See my other post, but the 2 of the top 3 selling luxury vehicles in the USA are small sedans, with a mid-size crossover being the 3rd.  And the XT5 is up there too, a mid-size crossover.  Look at CTS and CT6 sales or Continental sales, all dead in the water, Infiniti Q70 and Lexus GS, dead in the water with one foot in the grave.  The only full size luxury car that consistently sells over 1,000 units a month is the S-class, and most of the mid-sizers struggle to hit 2,000 a month unless it is a an E-class or 5-series.  Disregarding small luxury cars is a horrible idea.

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    42 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    That is odd because the top 3 selling luxury products in the USA last year were the Lexus RX, 3-series and C-class.  And small sedans as a segment were about flat last year...
    ...I am not buying into people don't want small cars...

    3-series was down 16% vs. 2016 (70K > 59K) while the 5-series was up 25%.
    MB CLA was down 20%. The bottom is falling out of small 'lux' sedans, too.

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    26 minutes ago, regfootball said:

     

    with regards to GM and the sedan market in the USA

     

    Cadillac:

    ATS was a great idea but it had less space inside than it should have.  And so unless there is a huge need in another market for a compact Cadillac (CT3) I think they don't need one for 2020.  I do think that any future compact Cadillac could be flexible on a RWD vs FWD chassis depending on execution.

    Upcoming CT5 IMO is likely to be in a slot between what we traditionally have considered CTS sized and STS sized.  At a minimum the interior needs to have more accommodations than the now current CTS.  But not much more, if any, larger physically.

    CT6 of course will continue and is 'large enough' I think.  My only thought on CT6 size is it could be wider by a couple inches inside. 

    If cadillac were to add a range topping sedan, it should be more to create a splash with a new design theme or to really break the mold.  For example.... Something Escala like, CT6 sized or larger, or something with a hatch.  Or something sexier than a Tesla  (or all of that).

    The CT6 is either replaced by the new design or coexists with it.  The CT6 is the old persons Caddy in that scenario then, and the new design is the young persons large caddy.

    Buick

    I still like the idea of a Verano but admit it doesn't have the sales legs anymore.  I do think since the Regal sportback is the entry Buick 'sedan' now, it is just fine for that, but they nice to watch prices and redo the packaging for greater value and equipment.

    Since the LaCrosse exists, in 2020 I have no issues with it carrying the large sedan torch for Buick, but I do think interior improvements and similar value and packaging propositions are in order.  With fewer sedan buyers, this car really should be increasing sedan market share based on value and ride comfort.  

    I really do think the Avenir could have rebooted the large sedan market at accessible price, and if they did that for 2020 (pipe dream) I would endorse it and might even sign on for it 'replacing' the LaCrosse unless the Lacrosse were repackaged to move downscale some and replace the Impala.

     

     

    Image result for buick avenir

     

     

    Chevy

    I still see the Cruze sedan being needed even if it is selling fewer copies.  This is a class of car for entry level new car buyers.  Cruze should grow a bit to be a size clone to match Civic if they redo it.

    Malibu needs to continue in this catch all midsize segment.  However, if Impala is discontinued then Malibu needs to increase some in size and offer more flexible packages to allow for larger engine choice easier etc.

    I think the Impala can literally continue in its current body 2-4 more years (with an interior redo), or it could be axed if Buick were to take on those sales with the LaCrosse.  If in 2-4 years sedans rebound then they can redo the Impala.  But i think the Impala name right now may be better off transferred to some kind of sexy large crossover which doesn't seem to be the sort of thing GM is capable of.

    If the LaCrosse or Avenir or combo of LaCrosse and Avenir could pick up lost Impala sales then it may be ok to kill the Impala.  Then sedans really do become more of an effective niche with a Buick tag on them IMO.

     

     

     

    Cadillac is supposed to get a small car, so they would have a 3 sedan line up, I don't see any reason for a car bigger than the CT6, which already has the footprint similar to the Escalade, that is a big vehicle, and the CT6 isn't lighting up any sales charts, why make something bigger.  If you want to load up content and make it nicer and more expensive great.  CT5 is already testing, we'll see in a year or two what it is.

    Chevy I feel becomes the Cruze and Malibu, I can't see the Impala surviving Sedan-ageddon.  Unless they downsize the Cruze to like 176 inches long, and make it replace the Sonic and be competition for the Accent, Versa, and cars like that.   Then make the Malibu 185 inches long, sort of like Pontiac Grand Am size where it is a little bigger than a Corolla or Civic but similar price point and then make the Impala like Honda Accord size, or current Fusion size of 195 inches long.  I prefer that plan because you keep the Impala name plate and you keep an entry level car.

    Buick I think its possible they have no sedans past 2020.  If they do, then I imagine it would be a larger mid-size, in between the current Regal and Lacrosse, those 2 can merge into one product.  

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    14 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    I don't see any reason for a car bigger than the CT6, which already has the footprint similar to the Escalade, that is a big vehicle...

    Simple- the CT6 isn't large enough to be the final range topper from Cadillac.
    And 204-in isn't 'large', it's just larger than the mid-size cars. A Rolls is 227".

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    6 minutes ago, balthazar said:

    3-series was down 16% vs. 2016 (70K > 59K) while the 5-series was up 25%.
    MB CLA was down 20%. The bottom is falling out of small 'lux' sedans, too.

    2017 sales volume in the US, (China and Europe could be a whole other story)  These are the top sellers from each brand

    Lexus RX: 108,307

    BMW 3+4 series:  99,083

    MB C-class: 77,447

    Cadillac XT5: 68,312

    Audi Q5: 57,640

    Acura MDX 54,866

    Infiniti Q50: 40,749

    And as honorable mentions, the RDX, E-class, GLE and Lexus ES and NX all topped 50,000 units.   So of the top 12 you have 3 small sedan, 2 mid-size sedan, 3 small crossover, 4 mid-size crossover.  The MDX is the biggest thing on this list, if I were a luxury brad I wouldn't be pouring money into full size product, unless it is something like an Escalade or S-class that is a cash cow.

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    5 minutes ago, balthazar said:

    Simple- the CT6 isn't large enough to be the final range topper from Cadillac.
    And 204-in isn't 'large', it's just larger than the mid-size cars. A Rolls is 227".

    I suppose Cadillac could do a Phantom or even Ghost sized car for $150,000 but who is going to buy it?  I just can't see them finding a business case for something like that.  

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    OK, so you want to combine model lines into 1 total.

    BMW has a 2-dr, 4-dr and conv in the 4-series, and (2) 4-drs and a wagon in the 3 series. That's 6 body styles. I don't know/care if all 6 were there in 2016, but in 2017, combined, those two lines fell 7%.

    But the 3 is no longer the small sedan at BMW- that's now the 2-series (2-dr, conv, and wagon) plus I assume you'll want to add in the 1-series (4-dr hatch) to be consistent.

    2 series alone was down 24% last year and is only running at 28% of the volume of the 4-series. The demand is weak at best. Add to the pot the much thinner margins at the bottom end and ask yourself why a lux brand would want to wade into the mucky shallow end of the lake.

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    3 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    I suppose Cadillac could do a Phantom or even Ghost sized car for $150,000 but who is going to buy it?  I just can't see them finding a business case for something like that.  

    I know you're super literal, but try and follow the big picture.
    There's a LOT of room between 204" and 227"- that's all I'm saying.

    CT6 sold 10,5xx units in the US in '17, which was up 15% over '16 (tho I think '16 was the ramp-up year, right?) That's still positive growth. Thru March, the CT6 ticked up another 3%, still positive growth on a high margin product. If it were showing a 16% or 20% drop, I'd have to look at the bottom line WRT recommending it's continuation.

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    50 minutes ago, balthazar said:

    I know you're super literal, but try and follow the big picture.
    There's a LOT of room between 204" and 227"- that's all I'm saying.

    CT6 sold 10,5xx units in the US in '17, which was up 15% over '16 (tho I think '16 was the ramp-up year, right?) That's still positive growth. Thru March, the CT6 ticked up another 3%, still positive growth on a high margin product. If it were showing a 16% or 20% drop, I'd have to look at the bottom line WRT recommending it's continuation.

    But the CT6 is a 2 country car, USA and China, so we are talking like 20k units a year and that is with a $56k starting point. If they go over $100k, how much demand is there for a Cadillac at that price point?  The E-class outsells the CT6 about 5-1,  CT6 also sells a bit like an Audi A6 in the USA, if you put a Cadillac in the $100k+ range and is outsold 5-1 the way the S-class outsells the A8, then you are talking like 300 cars a month maybe, another 200 or so in China.  There isn't a lot of volume to be found.

    I think they are better off with an SUV above the Escalade if they want to do a $100,000+ vehicle.  

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    I'm still standing here talking, and now you're way across the cornfield talking at the sky.

    We were talking size, now you're wrapped up in price. All I said is, there's room above the CT6 in size at Cadillac. Do I prefer 10,000 CT6 per year, or 100,000? 10,000 every time, as long as it's profitable.

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    I see the CT6 continuing to grow volume, particularly after the XTS goes away. By then the new will be gone and they will have a greater percent of the lesser msrp cars. And Cadillacs always sell at discount. It won’t be new anymore so I see them repacking the CT6 to sell in greater volume once the XTS dies and a lot of the development cost of the CT6 is skimmed off the first couple model years. It will become more accessible like a DTS was. You’ll have a bunch that sell with the 3.6 at cheap price and they’ll make money on the twin turbo 6 and 8

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    14 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    That is odd because the top 3 selling luxury products in the USA last year were the Lexus RX, 3-series and C-class.  And small sedans as a segment were about flat last year, while mid-size sedans dropped and large sedans got crushed.  Small crossover is the fastest growth segment.  So I am not buying into people don't want small cars, people deemed the CR-V and Rav4 too big so they had to get products smaller.   I don't see Honda or Toyota putting out stuff bigger than the Pilot or Highlander due to demand for big vehicles, and Toyota has let the Sequoia die on the vine because there is no point dumping money into a dinosaur that CAFE will kill off.

    You completely blew past the word "CARS" and assumed everything small is a "car".

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    14 hours ago, balthazar said:

    OK, so you want to combine model lines into 1 total.

    BMW has a 2-dr, 4-dr and conv in the 4-series, and (2) 4-drs and a wagon in the 3 series. That's 6 body styles. I don't know/care if all 6 were there in 2016, but in 2017, combined, those two lines fell 7%.

    But the 3 is no longer the small sedan at BMW- that's now the 2-series (2-dr, conv, and wagon) plus I assume you'll want to add in the 1-series (4-dr hatch) to be consistent.

    2 series alone was down 24% last year and is only running at 28% of the volume of the 4-series. The demand is weak at best. Add to the pot the much thinner margins at the bottom end and ask yourself why a lux brand would want to wade into the mucky shallow end of the lake.

    BMW does that goal-post moving all the time.  They like to claim they have 76 models, but they count the 3 body styles of 3-series and 3-body styles of 4-series as a single sales number.

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    13 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    But the CT6 is a 2 country car, USA and China, so we are talking like 20k units a year and that is with a $56k starting point. If they go over $100k, how much demand is there for a Cadillac at that price point?  The E-class outsells the CT6 about 5-1,  CT6 also sells a bit like an Audi A6 in the USA, if you put a Cadillac in the $100k+ range and is outsold 5-1 the way the S-class outsells the A8, then you are talking like 300 cars a month maybe, another 200 or so in China.  There isn't a lot of volume to be found.

    I think they are better off with an SUV above the Escalade if they want to do a $100,000+ vehicle.  

    The E-Class is used as a taxi, that's where a huge bulk of the volume comes from. It is the Crown Vic of Europe. It is the Caprice of China.

    CT6 doesn't get used as a taxi

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    12 hours ago, regfootball said:

    I see the CT6 continuing to grow volume, particularly after the XTS goes away. By then the new will be gone and they will have a greater percent of the lesser msrp cars. And Cadillacs always sell at discount. It won’t be new anymore so I see them repacking the CT6 to sell in greater volume once the XTS dies and a lot of the development cost of the CT6 is skimmed off the first couple model years. It will become more accessible like a DTS was. You’ll have a bunch that sell with the 3.6 at cheap price and they’ll make money on the twin turbo 6 and 8

    I think you're half right.  I do see them increasing in volume, but not by discounting it.  With the extremely handsome update to an already handsome car coming, I doubt they'll feel the need to discount the car any.  They will increase volume simply by moving mid-range XTS buyers  to CT6 (base AWD XTS is only $3k less than base CT6 AWD), and base XTS buyers will either step up to CT6 or down to CT5.  XTS V-Sport ($71,490) buyers will feel quite comfortable in a CT6 Premium Luxury 3.0TT AWD ($68,290 before any options).

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    i guess when i mentioned the discounting i sort of was thinking there would be a greater inventory supply of the 70k +/- versions instead of the insane 90k versions, LOL

     

    and then the dealer discounts etc is another 10 grand off.

    Edited by regfootball

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    13 hours ago, balthazar said:

    I'm still standing here talking, and now you're way across the cornfield talking at the sky.

    We were talking size, now you're wrapped up in price. All I said is, there's room above the CT6 in size at Cadillac. Do I prefer 10,000 CT6 per year, or 100,000? 10,000 every time, as long as it's profitable.

    So you want a car that is 10 inches longer than a CT6 at like $75k?  They are going to run into the same product overlap problem they now with sedans.  They would have to go to $100k to clear the CT6 V8.

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    1 hour ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    The E-Class is used as a taxi, that's where a huge bulk of the volume comes from. It is the Crown Vic of Europe. It is the Caprice of China.

    CT6 doesn't get used as a taxi

    And yet the E-class still has more status or brand appeal than a CT6.  They have had E-class taxis for 40 years and that hasn’t hurt Mercedes image one bit.  The huge volume keeps the dollars rolling in to support Daimler’s massive R&D budget.

    13 hours ago, regfootball said:

    I see the CT6 continuing to grow volume, particularly after the XTS goes away. By then the new will be gone and they will have a greater percent of the lesser msrp cars. And Cadillacs always sell at discount. It won’t be new anymore so I see them repacking the CT6 to sell in greater volume once the XTS dies and a lot of the development cost of the CT6 is skimmed off the first couple model years. It will become more accessible like a DTS was. You’ll have a bunch that sell with the 3.6 at cheap price and they’ll make money on the twin turbo 6 and 8

    Agreed, I could see the CT6 being Cadillac’s Dodge Charger/Challenger.  You advertise the high trim V8 model but in reality 80-90% of the sales are the base V6 with little equipment.

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    6 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    And yet the E-class still has more status or brand appeal than a CT6.  They have had E-class taxis for 40 years and that hasn’t hurt Mercedes image one bit.  The huge volume keeps the dollars rolling in to support Daimler’s massive R&D budget.

    Agreed, I could see the CT6 being Cadillac’s Dodge Charger/Challenger.  You advertise the high trim V8 model but in reality 80-90% of the sales are the base V6 with little equipment.

    Er... no.  Most CT6s are sold at least mid-level.  Dealers don't even stock the base 2.0T, it is by order only. 

    The E-Class has more status here because it was never used as a taxi.  It has no particular status in the EU.  Europeans understand it can be optioned up nicely, but they are just as likely to get into an orange/beige one and driven to the airport.  The vast majority of E-Classes in Europe are not privately owned... just like the Crown Vic here.  Germans buy german vehicles.  This isn't rocket science.

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    25 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    So you want a car that is 10 inches longer than a CT6 at like $75k?  They are going to run into the same product overlap problem they now with sedans.  They would have to go to $100k to clear the CT6 V8.

    Why not start it at like 90-95k? I mean at this size we're talking ultra premium type of vehicles so they shouldn't cheapen out anywhere on a vehicle like that. 

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    14 hours ago, smk4565 said:

     The E-class outsells the CT6 about 5-1,

    http://media.daimler.com/marsMediaSite/en/instance/ko.xhtml?oid=32692930&ls=L3NlYXJjaHJlc3VsdC9zZWFyY2hyZXN1bHQueGh0bWw_c2VhcmNoU3RyaW5nPTIwMTcrbWVyY2VkZXMtYmVueitzYWxlcyZzZWFyY2hJZD0xJnNlYXJjaFR5cGU9ZGV0YWlsZWQmYm9yZGVycz10cnVlJnJlc3VsdEluZm9UeXBlSWQ9NDA2MjYmdmlld1R5cGU9bGlzdCZzb3J0RGVmaW5pdGlvbj1QVUJMSVNIRURfQVQtMiZ0aHVtYlNjYWxlSW5kZXg9MCZyb3dDb3VudHNJbmRleD01&rs=1

    This is the global report of which in 2017 the E-Class sold 350,000 units world wide of which China and India more than doubled E-Class Sales of the extended length version to services and Europe picked up on buying the extended length E-Class again in services.

    Services is hidden code for Taxis / limo driving. 

    Did they sell a ton of E-Class? YES

    Did it outsell CT6? YES

    Is it sold heavily into fleets? YES

    Comparing CT6 to E-Class is an Apple to Orange comparison if you go by price or total sales as CT6 is not fleet sold that anyone is aware of. E-Class is FLEET SOLD.

    So do you want the girl that is passed around to everyone or the Princess?

    I take the Princess, aka CT6.

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    1 hour ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Er... no.  Most CT6s are sold at least mid-level.  Dealers don't even stock the base 2.0T, it is by order only. 

    The E-Class has more status here because it was never used as a taxi.  It has no particular status in the EU.  Europeans understand it can be optioned up nicely, but they are just as likely to get into an orange/beige one and driven to the airport.  The vast majority of E-Classes in Europe are not privately owned... just like the Crown Vic here.  Germans buy german vehicles.  This isn't rocket science.

    But the 2.0 is gone for 2019.  so the 3.6 sort of becomes the base level.  there will probably be a fairly even split of 3.6 vs 3.0tt.  to make up that 90+ % of CT6 sales.

    the 2.0t CT6 will become collectibles.  and will be selling cheap at auctions.  Non snow state buyers will get a nice used 2.0t RWD for midsize chevy money in about 1-3 more years.

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    Yes, the 2.0 is gone, but that won't effect sales since no one was buying it or even stocking it. Don't expect a price drop for the 3.6  except that there will be a RWD 3.6 available, so an option delete credit there. I'm wondering if the 2.0t will continue in China though.

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    6 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Yes, the 2.0 is gone, but that won't effect sales since no one was buying it or even stocking it. Don't expect a price drop for the 3.6  except that there will be a RWD 3.6 available, so an option delete credit there. I'm wondering if the 2.0t will continue in China though.

    Considering the stupid displacement tax they have, I would totally think they would keep the 2.0T 4 banger going for China.

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    Weird that you had to order a 2.0T CT6. There actually happened to be one in the parking garage at work one day, it had the 2.0T badge on it. 

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    3 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Er... no.  Most CT6s are sold at least mid-level.  Dealers don't even stock the base 2.0T, it is by order only. 

    The E-Class has more status here because it was never used as a taxi.  It has no particular status in the EU.  Europeans understand it can be optioned up nicely, but they are just as likely to get into an orange/beige one and driven to the airport.  The vast majority of E-Classes in Europe are not privately owned... just like the Crown Vic here.  Germans buy german vehicles.  This isn't rocket science.

    Well I did say base V6.

    Brits, French, Austrian, Swiss, and Scandinavians seem to buy German cars too.  Cadillac and Lexus never could crack the code to beat the E-class in Europe, and with the heavy taxi use it should be easy to have more status and image.  But the truth is the E-class is a much better car than the Lexus GS ever was, or the CTS/STS ever were, likewise for the Infiniti M35/Q70, and that is why the E-class is still the #1 selling mid-size luxury car and those other cars are dead or about to be cancelled.

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    2 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Yes, the 2.0 is gone, but that won't effect sales since no one was buying it or even stocking it. Don't expect a price drop for the 3.6  except that there will be a RWD 3.6 available, so an option delete credit there. I'm wondering if the 2.0t will continue in China though.

    I think it will continue in China because of the Displacement Tax.   I imagine one day they will just jack up the displacement taxes sky high combined with their EV mandate to rid the country of ICE cars.

    2 hours ago, dfelt said:

    Considering the stupid displacement tax they have, I would totally think they would keep the 2.0T 4 banger going for China.

    Agreed.  Get ready to laugh but they should probably put the 2.0T in the Escalade and sell it there.  Preferably with some electric boost.

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    6 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    They have the new 2.7T

    Displacement tax still hits that,  7.5% tax on 1.6 to 2.0 liter engines, as high as 20% on 4 liter engines.   The 2.7T would get hit with the same tax as the Cadillac 3 liter TT V6, might as well use that then. 

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    11 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    So you want a car that is 10 inches longer than a CT6 at like $75k?

    I want a Cadillac about 10 inches longer and 3 inches wider than the Ct6. Whether the next gen CT6 grows in size, or a 'CT8' appears, I'd like to see a range topper noticeably larger.

    As for pricing, overlap already occurs everywhere. Doesn't the E63 overlap the S550 by 10 or 15 grand?

    Edited by balthazar
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    I like the E-Class, but the CT6 is way more handsome of a vehicle.  When you see those lightsaber fangs coming at you, it really grabs your attention.

     

     

    9 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    Displacement tax still hits that,  7.5% tax on 1.6 to 2.0 liter engines, as high as 20% on 4 liter engines.   The 2.7T would get hit with the same tax as the Cadillac 3 liter TT V6, might as well use that then. 

    It's an Escalade. Luxury comes at a price. 

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    Luxury comes at a price but the GLS has a 2.998 liter engine or whatever it is to keep the displacement tax under the 3 liter level, which I think is 9% vs 20% tax on the Escalade.  And Cadillac isn’t really in a position to sell at a price premium over a Mercedes or Audi which the Chinese love.

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    12 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    Luxury comes at a price but the GLS has a 2.998 liter engine or whatever it is to keep the displacement tax under the 3 liter level, which I think is 9% vs 20% tax on the Escalade.  And Cadillac isn’t really in a position to sell at a price premium over a Mercedes or Audi which the Chinese love.

    I would not bet on that. Cadillac is picking up steam and doing better than many would think in China. Latest info on Cadillac in China:

    image.png

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    26 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    Luxury comes at a price but the GLS has a 2.998 liter engine or whatever it is to keep the displacement tax under the 3 liter level, which I think is 9% vs 20% tax on the Escalade.  And Cadillac isn’t really in a position to sell at a price premium over a Mercedes or Audi which the Chinese love.

    It's a much larger vehicle so it has a chance to sell at a premium over a GLS. 

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    1 hour ago, smk4565 said:

    Luxury comes at a price but the GLS has a 2.998 liter engine or whatever it is to keep the displacement tax under the 3 liter level, which I think is 9% vs 20% tax on the Escalade.  And Cadillac isn’t really in a position to sell at a price premium over a Mercedes or Audi which the Chinese love.

    You keep moving those goalposts, that's what you're good at.

    Two posts ago I suggested they use the new 2.7 liter, so it would be below the 3.0 gas tax level.  Your suggestion was that they use the 2.0T.  I'm sure your very next complaint was that a Chinese Escalade only had a 2.0T while the GLS has a 2.998 liter.

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    3 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    You keep moving those goalposts, that's what you're good at.

    Two posts ago I suggested they use the new 2.7 liter, so it would be below the 3.0 gas tax level.  Your suggestion was that they use the 2.0T.  I'm sure your very next complaint was that a Chinese Escalade only had a 2.0T while the GLS has a 2.998 liter.

    I first said they should use the 2.0T with electrification to get under the 2 liter gas tax level.  

    You said they should use the 2.7 liter, to which I said is pointless because you can use the 3.0TT which is taxed the same as a 2.7.  

    With the new GLS I wouldn’t be surprised to see the newly updated turbo 4 gonin there for China, but they might not care if the 3 liter sells well.

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    They could get the power numbers they need with the 2.0 but it would be a dog on fuel to the point it isn't even worth it. 

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    32 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    I first said they should use the 2.0T with electrification to get under the 2 liter gas tax level.  

    You said they should use the 2.7 liter, to which I said is pointless because you can use the 3.0TT which is taxed the same as a 2.7.  

    With the new GLS I wouldn’t be surprised to see the newly updated turbo 4 gonin there for China, but they might not care if the 3 liter sells well.

    The 2.7T with electrification would be more than enough to move an Escalade around. A 3.0TT in an escalade would be too much in a country where gas is already over $4 a gallon. I got 27mpg out of it in a CT6, but an Escalade couldn't count on that. 

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    • By William Maley
      When I was driving the 2020 Lexus GS in late February, rumors were flying around that the model would be discontinued at the end of the model year. There was some credence to this rumor as sales had been falling and Lexus hasn’t been updating the model to keep it somewhat up to date with competitors. It would sometime later that we learned that the GS would be going away at the end. So this is the last look at a sedan that I liked at the beginning but now have some mixed feelings.
      Not much has changed in the overall design of the GS since our last review in 2018. The F-Sport has its tweaks such as a mesh grille insert, more aggressive bumpers, and dual-spoke wheels. I still find this sedan very striking, especially in this bright blue. The interior is much the same as the 2013 and 2017 models I have driven. Plus points are high-quality materials, very comfortable front seats, and an easy to read instrument cluster. Downsides are the very dated infotainment system and confounding controller for it; and tall transmission tunnel that eats into rear legroom. Power comes from a 3.5L V6 used in many Lexus and Toyota vehicles. In the GS, it produces 311 horsepower and 280 pound-feet. My test vehicle came with the optional all-wheel drive system, which means a six-speed automatic is standard. Sticking with rear-wheel drive gets you the eight-speed. The performance of the V6 doesn’t really wow as it once did. 0-60 takes around six seconds for the AWD version, which is unremarkable as other competitors can do the same in around five seconds or less. Not helping is the six-speed automatic which limits the flexibility of the engine. The pluses to the V6 are minimal NVH levels and silky smooth power delivery. The EPA says the GS 350 AWD will return 19 City/26 Highway/21 Combined. I saw an average of 22 mpg during my week. The GS surprised me as to how it well handled in the corners, especially in the F-Sport trim. That continues here as the GS 350 F-Sport AWD shows off minimal body roll and sharp steering. You do miss out on some of the trick features on the RWD model such as limited-slip differential and variable gear-ratio steering, but you’re likely not to notice it. What is a bit surprising is the GS F-Sport’s ride quality. Those expecting more bumps to disrupt the ride will be surprised as the GS glides over them like it was nothing. Road and wind noise are kept to very acceptable levels. Previously, the GS 350 F-Sport would have been my recommendation for a luxury midsize sedan with a sporting edge. Now, it is difficult for me to recommend the GS at all considering the age and how many competitors have moved forward. Right now, I would go with a BMW 5-Series as being the one for sport while the S90 takes the place of being something a bit different in the class. Still, if I had the opportunity to get my hands on the GS 350 F-Sport, I would do it. This is a prime example of do as I say, not as I do. Disclaimer: Lexus Provided the GS 350, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Lexus
      Model: GS
      Trim: 350 F-Sport AWD
      Engine: 3.5L DOHC 24-Valve VVT- V6
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 311 @ 6,400
      Torque @ RPM: 280 @ 4,800
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/26/22
      Curb Weight: 3,891 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Tahara, Aichi, Japan
      Base Price: $54,505
      Author's Note: Unfortunately, I lost my copy of the window sticker for this particular test vehicle, hence why I don't have the as-tested price or option list for this review.
    • By William Maley
      It isn't a good sign when a fair number of automotive writers (myself included) looks at a new vehicle and wonders, what's different? That is the case with the new 2021 Lexus IS which was unveiled last night.
      The exterior for the most part is unchanged from the current IS. The only changes we can spot include,
      a new "three-dimensional" version of the Spindle Grille spilt headlight arrangement has been dropped for a new single headlight setup more prominent shoulder line 18-inch wheels are standard on the IS, while 19-inch BBS wheels are optional for F-Sport versions full-width LED taillight bar that seamlessly integrates with the rear lights grows in length and width by 1.2-inches, and is 0.2-inches lower in ride height Not much has changed with the IS' interior aside from new 8 and 10-inch infotainment systems finally getting touchscreens, along with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa intergration.
      The engine lineup is unchanged with the turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder (badged as IS 300) with 241 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque serving as the base. Next is a detuned version of 3.5L V6 with 260 hp and 236 lb-ft for the IS 300 AWD. Completing the lineup is the regular 3.5L V6 pumping 311 horsepower and 280 pound-feet for the IS 350. RWD models get an eight-speed automatic, while AWD models make do with a six-speed automatic.
      So what has changed for the 2021 IS? It is all under the skin. The suspension has been reworked with lighter a-arms, coil springs, and stabilizer bar. There is also a new Dynamic Handling Package for F-Sport models. This includes adaptive dampers and a Torsen limited-slip differential (only for RWD models).
      No word on pricing, but expect to see the 2021 IS arrive at Lexus dealers sometime in late fall.
      Source: Lexus
      Press Release is on Page 2
      2021 LEXUS IS: AGILITY AND ATHLETICISM EXPAND PURE DRIVING PERFORMANCE
      New 2021 IS first Lexus to debut Lexus Driving Signature Tested and developed at new technical center in Shimoyama, Japan Driving performance enhanced through rigidity, chassis and suspension enhancements New Lexus Safety System+ 2.5 offers enhanced standard safety features New multimedia system with available 10.3-inch touchscreen PLANO, Texas (June 15, 2020) – Writing yet another chapter in the book of compact luxury sports sedans, the new 2021 Lexus IS was unveiled today via a unique and engaging online virtual reveal. Since its debut nearly 20 years ago in the U.S., the IS has thrived on creating exhilarating driving performance in the form of a true rear-wheel-drive luxury sports sedan. The IS has served as a whetstone to help sharpen Lexus driving performance across the lineup but, more directly, it has forged indelible bonds between driver and machine that reach into the hundreds of thousands. It’s no wonder the IS has earned worldwide adoration for its extraordinary driving performance.
      There may be no greater fan of IS than Toyota President Akio Toyoda, who notes the vehicle’s special place in his heart during the introduction to the Art of Lexus book, where he credits the IS as “The car that really taught me what performance driving was, and it was the moment when my love affair with Lexus began.”
      The new 2021 IS, which is expected to arrive in dealerships in late fall of this year, looks to expand upon the legacy it has carved out in the compact luxury sports car segment over the previous two decades. Truly a global vehicle, it will be available for sale in approximately 40 countries around the world, including the US, Japan, and other countries in Asia.
      The Lexus Driving Signature Lives at Shimoyama
      From day one, the IS has left a lasting impression in the compact luxury sports sedan segment, where dynamic capability and driving performance are mandatory attributes. The 2021 IS looks to further cement the bond between driver and vehicle by providing an enhanced linear driving characteristic that provides clear and direct feedback to the driver. In order to achieve this objective, Lexus engineers needed the proper tool with which to hone the vehicle’s skills.
      Enter the Toyota Technical Center Shimoyama. More than merely a new test facility, this asphalt track signals a change in Lexus’ product development course and speaks to the brand’s commitment to its human-centered nature.
      Since Lexus launched, the tactile feel, behavior, and execution for each model has been driven by the vision and efforts of the Chief Engineer. Moving forward, the efforts of the CE will be focused on elevating the vehicles to a new standard of performance and handling as developed by Lexus International President Koji Sato and Chief Branding officer Akio Toyoda. The ultimate goal is to deliver a new generation of Lexus vehicles that is more balanced, refined in control, and confident than ever before. Linear steering, brake responses, and optimized handling with exceptional ride quality is the result of heightened focus on tuning of the chassis and its interactions with the control surfaces through diligent evaluation at a test facility unlike any other.
      By establishing a uniform Lexus Driving Signature across the entire lineup, the hope is to continue propelling the brand’s evolution and reinforce its identity in the luxury space. This cultural shift within Lexus product development builds on the learnings and improvements seen on the F brand cars, and the latest models of the flagship vehicles (LC, LS, LX) that involve an “Always On” philosophy for continual, running enhancement. Over the past 30 years, Lexus has been defined by the detail-oriented and thoughtful nature of its products. The latest IS represents the first step down a path that has evolved into a uniquely Lexus tarmac testbed that will affect the trajectory of every Lexus product that comes next.
      “What we had foremost in mind in developing the new IS was to make it a car that excelled in communicating with the driver regardless of the road conditions or driving situation,” said Chief Engineer Naoki Kobayashi of Lexus International. “We aimed to make the new IS a Lexus compact sports sedan that provides high-quality riding comfort while offering a high level of vehicle control.”
      Opened in 2019, the Toyota Technical Center Shimoyama in Japan’s Aichi Prefecture is near Lexus’s global headquarters. Its country road test course is inspired by Lexus’s many years of experience driving on Germany’s Nürburgring Nordschleife, famous throughout the world for its grueling driving conditions. Much like the IS itself, Nürburgring is near and dear to Akio Toyoda’s heart since it played a key role in his quest to become a master driver. The 3.3-mile test course at Shimoyama is designed to take advantage of the local topography, and it features a nearly 250-foot change in elevation, a wide range of curves and corners, and multiple types of road surfaces. Developing the new IS in such a severe driving environment made it possible to infuse an ever-higher dimension of vehicle performance.
      Maturation of Driving Performance
      With a new tool at its disposal, Chief Engineer Kobayashi’s team worked tirelessly to make the new IS the best to date. The Lexus philosophy of continuously improving meant no stone was left unturned. Countless test hours at the Shimoyama track and other test facilities were conducted on various road surfaces and conditions to identify ways to increase responsiveness and reduce unnecessary movement from unsprung mass. The “relentless pursuit of perfection” has always been a guiding philosophy for the brand, but also at stake is the mission to create a uniform Lexus Driving Signature, and that objective begins with the new IS.
      One of the first things engineers targeted was enhancing body rigidity. This was done in key areas such as reinforcing the radiator side supports, increasing the number of front-side-member weld points, and optimizing reinforcement structures from the C-pillars to the sides of the roof. The increased rigidity not only helps reduce unwanted noise and vibration, but it also helps improve riding comfort and driving performance with enhanced response to steering input.
      For the first time, the new IS will be available with larger 19-inch wheels to improve cornering force and provide a greater contact patch with the road. Engineers revised the suspension layout and front pickup points to help accommodate the larger tire-and-wheel package. Overall two different 19-inch wheels are available on F SPORT models, including a unique BBS wheel specific to the F SPORTs equipped with the Dynamic Handling Package. Standard 18-inch wheels will replace the outgoing 17-inch wheels on all other models.
      Taking a cue from the Lexus LFA supercar, engineers took rigidity enhancements one step further by employing lighter weight hub bolts to secure each wheel to the new IS. The use of hub bolts allows for improved fastening strength and therefore an increase to rigidity to further enhance braking and handling. What’s more, the move to hub bolts sheds approximately 2 pounds of total unsprung weight. The new bolts also feature a black coating so as not to draw any attention away from the attractive new wheel designs.
      Complementing the enhancements to overall rigidity, multiple refinements were made to the suspension setup. For starters, engineers targeted a reduction in unsprung weight. The new IS features coil springs that are 20 percent lighter than the outgoing model. New A-arms are employed as well that feature a forged aluminum material versus the outgoing steel composition, resulting in an 18 percent weight reduction. Engineers also opted for a new material for the suspension stabilizer bar to optimize the diameter and thickness to provide a 17 percent weight reduction.
      With unsprung weight reduced, engineers equipped the IS with new swing-valve shock absorbers equipped with ultralow-velocity valves in their pistons to manage oil flow in response to the most minor of road irregularities. Even when the stroke speed of the shock absorbers is low, the new velocity valves provide excellent responsiveness to apply appropriate damping force on all varieties of road surfaces. The result is consistently even ride quality. New bound stoppers are also employed to help manage the sprung weight more effectively for enhanced ride comfort.
      Fast, Fun, Ferocious – Putting the “F” in F SPORT
      The IS F SPORT lineup is restructured in the 2021 model year, as F SPORTs will only be offered on the IS 350 powered by the 311-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine. F SPORT features a host of visual and performance cues that immediately set it apart, including a unique front bumper with functional aerodynamic enhancements, rear bumper, grille surround, rear lip spoiler, rocker molding and more. Along with F SPORT 19-inch wheels, a unique center cap and larger rear tires for added performance (265/35R19), they are also equipped with a cool air intake with sound generator and an F SPORT exhaust and diffuser. In addition, unique F SPORT badges adorn the sides and rear of the vehicle as well.
      Inside the new IS, stainless-steel scuff plates adorn the door sills. Eyes are immediately drawn to the stylish F SPORT front seats, especially when dressed in the available new Circuit Red option. The front seats also offer standard heated and ventilated functions. A heated leather-wrapped steering wheel with unique center ornament, perforated leather-wrapped shifter and F SPORT combination instrumentation meter await the driver, as do unique F SPORT accelerator pedal, brake pedal and footrest. The distinctive front seats offer available two-way power adjustable lumbar support as well as four-way adjustable headrests. Unique F SPORT door accents are highlighted with black geometric film window switch surrounds. Active Sound Control has been improved to further enhance the exhilarating performance notes of the V6 engine while reducing unpleasant tones.
      F SPORT models can be further augmented with the addition of a Dynamic Handling Package (DHP) that includes Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS). For 2021, engineers have optimized the damping force of the AVS system to help enhance performance. In addition, the DHP also includes lighter 19-inch forged alloy BBS wheels finished in matte black. Not only are they impressive looking, the 19-inch BBS wheels are approximately 4 pounds lighter per wheel compared to the standard 19-inch F SPORT wheel.
      The RWD F SPORT models with the DHP are equipped with a Torsen® limited slip differential (LSD) that improves handling and performance thanks to enhanced traction when cornering or exiting turns. The LSD helps maintain straight-line stability as well. F SPORT models equipped with the DHP also feature drive select mode Sport S+, which provides advanced engine and transmission mapping to enhance performance. Sport S+ also adjusts the amount of EPS steering assist and damping force to deliver sportier handling to match the updated powertrain settings. Custom Mode is available on DHP models, offering multiple combinations for powertrain (Normal/Eco/Power), chassis (Normal/Sport) and air conditioner (Normal/Eco).
      F SPORT models equipped with the DHP receive a unique carbon-fiber rear spoiler and side-view mirror caps, center console knee pad with contrast stitching, and a Lexus Card Key.
      Athletically Inclined & Designed
      The bold new exterior styling of the 2021 IS not only aims for a provocative design, but its athletic silhouette is also meant to signify the agile changes that have taken place below the sheet metal. Overall, the new IS evokes lower, wider proportions. It is slightly wider, with muscular fenders that extend to enhance and accommodate the larger available 19-inch wheels and larger diameter tires. The wide and low form nods to the inherently high level of driving performance the IS possesses, but the sleek lines are also complemented with overtly aggressive sharpness carved into the side and shoulder character lines.
      2021 IS Specifications

      Starting at the front of the new IS, a newly designed spindle grille features a three-dimensional, polyhedral structure that originates from the foremost tip of the grille to emphasize a sense of presence. On F SPORT models, block forms based on a spindle motif combine with a mesh pattern to achieve a sporty impression. F SPORT models also feature a grille-bottom air intake that allows air to flow through to assist in cooling the brakes, a design inspired by the RC F.  Standard IS models feature a new grille that includes mini spindles within its design. This intricate pattern required six different types of cutting tools in order to create the mold.
      New slender headlamps are fitted on the IS that feature daytime running lights with a sharp L-shape signature that runs across the lateral axis just above the newly developed compact and lightweight lamp units. These new headlamps help contribute to expressing a low center of gravity through low-positioned areas around the grille, and they are matched by lowered side character lines that carry all the way through to the rear of trunk. Available triple-beam LED headlights are also redesigned to complement the low-profile hood.
      New rocker panels accent the side profile of the new IS with a design that kicks up in the rear, featuring a sharper overall contour that carries into the muscular shoulders over the rear wheel wells. Gently sloped rear-quarter pillars, which help form a firm cabin silhouette that wraps around from the sides, contrast with the rear fenders to further enhance the aggressive look.
      Moving toward the back of the IS, lines of the rear fenders blend into the extended, lowered rear deck to create a low stance that enhances the wider hips. The three-dimensional form of the rear deck design is created with a stamping technology called press-in mold construction. No question eyes will be drawn most immediately to the L-shaped blade-style lightbar that spans across the rear of the vehicle.
      There are five new exterior colors available on the 2021 IS, including Iridium, Cloudburst Gray, Matador Red Mica, Infrared*, and Grecian Water. These new colors will be added to other popular exterior options that include Ultra White, Eminent White Pearl, Atomic Silver, Caviar and Ultrasonic Blue Mica 2.0*.
      *Colors unique to F SPORT models, includes a premium paint charge of $595
      Bask in Cabin Comfort
      Luxury and performance are not necessarily mutually exclusive, and yet the two live in harmony in the new IS. The interior features standard NuLuxe®-trimmed seating, with 10-way power driver and 8-way power adjustable front passenger seats, a dual-zone automatic climate control system with touch-sensitive controls, an available power moonroof, and SmartAccess with push button start.
      New trim adorns each door in F SPORT models with a graphic pattern of embossed intersecting lines, representing a new form of Lexus decorative expression and Takumi craftsmanship. Decorative ornamentation is finished for the first time in Black Metallic paint, Black Geometic Film, or the unique Ash ornamentation exclusive to F SPORT models equipped with the Dynamic Handling Package. Piano Black accents also can be found on surface elements for cabin atmosphere that is both dignified and sporty. Standard NuLuxe interior color options include Black, Glazed Caramel and Rioja Red. On F SPORT packages the options include Black, Circuit Red, and two-tone White/Black, while the F SPORT Dynamic Handling Package is available in Black or Circuit Red interior.
      The IS features a standard 8-inch touchscreen nearly 3 inches closer to the driver for easy access to the controls. An expansive new 10.3-inch touchscreen is available on vehicles equipped with navigation or Mark Levinson with navigation. The new multimedia system features Apple CarPlay® compatibility, Android Auto™ compatibility, and Amazon Alexa integration.
      With Apple CarPlay compatibility, customers can access the familiar interface from their iPhone through the vehicle’s multimedia display. Simply connect an iPhone to get directions, make calls, send and receive message via Siri®, all hands free, and get access to favorite apps like Spotify, Audible® and Apple podcasts. With Android Auto, Android users can seamlessly cast their device’s interface onto the vehicle’s multimedia display, play music via apps such as Spotify® and Pandora®, send messages through a range of commonly used apps like WhatsApp®, navigate with Google Maps™, and request information—all with just the sound of your voice—through the Google Assistant™.  With Lexus+Alexa integration, you can bring all the convenience of Amazon Alexa on the road. Just ask Alexa for the same access to information and the thousands of skills available with Alexa at home. Listen to audiobooks, play favorite music, make lists, check the weather, get news briefings, and much more. Users can also control compatible smart-home devices such as lighting, thermostat and security systems. Offering added in-vehicle convenience, Alexa even syncs to the navigation system to provide on-the-go recommendations.
      The available Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound Audio System is also enhanced, with the previous system expanding from 15 speakers with 835 watts of power to a 17-speaker system with a new amplifier offering an impressive 1,800 watts. The new Mark Levinson system aimed to reduce interference, improve output (aided by the addition of two speakers), and improve overall sound quality with new EQ tuning. Rear surround speakers have been changed to tweeter/mid-range combination Unity speakers. The audio amplifier has enhanced Quantum Logic Surround for playback of compressed sound sources and to provide a 7.1 surround sound listening experience.
      Drivetrains and Powertrains
      Although, for some, the IS can only be viewed as a rear-wheel-drive compact sports sedan, others reside in climates where all-wheel-drive is a necessity. Fortunately, the 2021 IS will be available in both rear- and all-wheel drive options, and there are three distinct powertrain options available depending upon the grade.
      The rear-wheel drive IS 300 features a 2.0-liter, turbocharged and intercooled inline four-cylinder engine. The 2.0-liter engine is updated for 2021, featuring an adaptive transmission control that helps determines the most appropriate gear for each driving situation based on driver input to achieve linear response. Rated to deliver 241 horsepower, the stout four-cylinder also produces a solid 258 lb-ft of torque across a flat torque range from 1,650 rpm all the way up to 4,400 rpm. It’s not only powerful, it’s efficient, too, thanks to a sophisticated Variable Valve Timing intelligent – Wide (VVTi-W) system which allows the engine to switch between the Otto and Atkinson combustion cycles to maximize efficiency. It comes equipped with an eight-speed Sport Direct Shift (SPDS) automatic transmission. It integrates an advanced G-force Artificial Intelligence (G-AI) system that monitors multiple performance parameters to determine the optimum gear selection.
      For added traction in cold-weather climates, the IS 300 is also available with all-wheel drive. The IS 300 AWD is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that delivers 260 hp and 236 lb.-ft. of torque to all four wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. The electronically controlled all-wheel drive system is designed to help enhance traction and grip by automatically varying front-to-rear torque distribution. On dry roads it maintains a 30:70 front-to-rear torque split for maximum performance, but it’s capable of sending as much as 50 percent of the power to the front wheels in certain conditions.
      For buyers who crave maximum power, there’s the IS 350 in either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 311 hp and 280 lb.-ft. of peak torque. The rear-wheel drive model uses the same eight-speed Sport Direct Shift automatic transmission found in the IS 300 RWD, while the AWD version sends power through a six-speed automatic. If there’s any question about the performance-minded nature of each vehicle, look no further than their 0-60 times, as the IS 350 RWD covers the ground in 5.6 seconds while the IS 350 AWD goes from 0-60 mph in 5.7 seconds. 
      Enhanced Lexus Safety System+
      The standard Lexus Safety System+ (LSS+) found on the new IS receives additions for 2021 in the form of the new LSS+ 2.5. A number of key features that are part of the Lexus Safety System+ have been enhanced, along with the addition of a few key features.
      For starters, the Pre-Collision System (PCS), which include Frontal Collision Warning (FCW), Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), Pedestrian Detection and Bicyclist Detection, features an enhancement to the single-lens camera and millimeter-wave radar elements to expand the response range. By enhancing the radar and camera capabilities it is now possible for the system to help detect not only the vehicle ahead but also a preceding bicyclist in daytime and even a preceding pedestrian in daytime and low-light conditions. At intersections, the system has improved recognition of an oncoming vehicle or pedestrian when performing a left-hand turn and may activate typical PCS functions if needed. Additional PCS functions include Emergency Steering Assist (ESA), which is designed to assist steering within the vehicle’s lane as cued by the driver.
      All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) can be activated above 30 mph and is designed to perform vehicle-to-vehicle distance controls down to 0 mph and can resume from a stop. DRCC also includes a new feature that allows for smooth overtaking of slower vehicles. If traveling behind a vehicle traveling slower than the preset speed, once the driver engages the turn signal the system will provide an initial increase in acceleration in preparation for changing lanes; after changing lanes, the vehicle will continue acceleration until it reaches the original preset driving speed.
      Lane Departure Alert is designed to help notify the driver if it senses the vehicle is leaving the lane without engaging a turn signal via steering wheel vibrations or audible alert. When DRCC is set and engaged, Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) is designed to provide slight steering force to help steer to the center of the lane to assist the driver with staying in the lane using lane markers or a preceding vehicle. LTA alerts the driver with a visual warning and either an audible alert or steering wheel vibration. In the new IS, the lane recognition performance, which makes LTA possible, has been improved with enhanced recognition of line and road edge, lateral G performance, and enhanced control and stability after lane change.
      Additional LSS+ 2.5 features include Intelligent High Beams, which detects preceding or oncoming vehicles and automatically switches between high beam and low beam headlights. Road Sign Assist (RSA) is designed to acquire certain road sign information using a camera and navigation maps and displays them on the multi-information display (MID). With DRCC engaged and activated, RSA can also adjust speed up to the posted speed limit if driving slower or down to the posted speed limit if driving faster than posted.
      To help IS drivers change lanes with confidence, the standard Blind Spot Monitor is designed to help detect and warn you of vehicles approaching or positioned in the adjacent lanes. Standard Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) can offer added peace of mind by helping to detect vehicles approaching from either side while backing out with a visual and audible warning.

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