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      08-23-2008, 06:52 PM   #23
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Then it hit me; They meant to do this! Buick buyers expect certain characteristics in their cars, so, first rule of marketing - don't piss off the faithful.
It took me a few years to get this as well. And the fact that these cars are not built for people on this forum like you and me, but for an entirely different user/consumer, who, for whatever reason, want that car to drive the way it does. From that perspective, one could even argue that those are well-designed products given they are appealing to their target user group. What remains to be seen is if that user group will be around 5, 10, 20, 30 years from now.

However, the mistake American manufacturers seem to have made is that they seemed to have assumed all/most Americans are a part of that user group (and I guess that was true at some point in time), and therefore, there really isn't any need to develop other types of passenger cars. Or there simply is too much momentum that gets in the way of change in companies that size, and they resist change and simply keep on doing what they've been doing. That seems to be changing these days, but they have already lost so much marketshare and their finances are so out of order that it will be difficult to turn things around.

After getting my M.S., more than 10 years ago, I interviewed with a bunch of American car companies. In an interview of with a Ford exec high up the R&D chain, I pretty much told him the above, and asked him why exactly is it that they aren't engineering passenger cars that appeal to the emerging needs/wants of the American consumer. He put me on the top of a special hiring list because he clearly wanted change...
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      08-23-2008, 10:01 PM   #24
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...However, the mistake American manufacturers seem to have made is that they seemed to have assumed all/most Americans are a part of that user group (and I guess that was true at some point in time), and therefore, there really isn't any need to develop other types of passenger cars. Or there simply is too much momentum that gets in the way of change in companies that size, and they resist change and simply keep on doing what they've been doing. That seems to be changing these days, but they have already lost so much marketshare and their finances are so out of order that it will be difficult to turn things around...
I would contend that American manufacturers lost share on build quality, manufacturing-engineering (a lost art for awhile in Detroit), and in the initial decline, price. With minor exceptions to the rule, Toyota didn't get where they are through driving excitement.

Bruce

PS - I am heartened, though, by cars like the Malibu, which show they're getting back on the right track. The next Focus offering (coming from Ford of Europe) will also be a very strong entry.

Bruce
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      08-24-2008, 01:24 AM   #25
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FAIL!!!!!
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      08-24-2008, 04:18 AM   #26
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Well then, I guess the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS time of 8:20 isn't bad either.

Only 2 seconds slower than the IS-F.

2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS lapped Nurburgring in 8:20
http://www.egmcartech.com/2008/07/22...rgring-in-820/
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      08-24-2008, 08:55 AM   #27
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Well then, I guess the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS time of 8:20 isn't bad either.

Only 2 seconds slower than the IS-F.

2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS lapped Nurburgring in 8:20
http://www.egmcartech.com/2008/07/22...rgring-in-820/
How 'bout the Cobalt SS at 8:22?

For $23 -$24K? Amazing!

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      08-24-2008, 09:51 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by BlackJetE90 View Post
Well then, I guess the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS time of 8:20 isn't bad either.

Only 2 seconds slower than the IS-F.

2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS lapped Nurburgring in 8:20
http://www.egmcartech.com/2008/07/22...rgring-in-820/
considering GM makes no suspensions (or feels like it anyway) this is pretty damn good of that heavy pig
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      08-24-2008, 12:13 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by bruce.augenstein@comcast. View Post
I would contend that American manufacturers lost share on build quality, manufacturing-engineering (a lost art for awhile in Detroit), and in the initial decline, price. With minor exceptions to the rule, Toyota didn't get where they are through driving excitement.

Bruce

PS - I am heartened, though, by cars like the Malibu, which show they're getting back on the right track. The next Focus offering (coming from Ford of Europe) will also be a very strong entry.

Bruce
Those are all relevant issues, but my point is the Buick of the 80s and today drives like a ship because its designers intended it to do so. Yes, Toyotas don't drive like BMWs, but they don't drive like Buicks either. The consideration is not just for handling, but cuts across other issues of functionality, consumption, and even aesthetics.
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      08-25-2008, 01:46 AM   #30
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IS-Fail!!!!
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      08-25-2008, 08:25 AM   #31
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IS-Fail!!!!
Thanks for the really good, non-sophomoric content - yet again.

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      08-25-2008, 08:47 AM   #32
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How does the IS-F compare to the M3 on ride comfort. I just ask because I know a few who have driven the new M3 and said no purely because of the ride quality being too firm. If the IS-F can cushion it ride while still delivering a near matching M3 pace on the track and approach it's entertainment factor then they have been an impressive job on the car.

It's looks are not my cup of tea but each to their own, the interior is luxury Japanese, you know even without the brand where it was designed, the same is true for German cars but there is no denying the quality of the Lexus, it's up there with the best. The biggest let down for me is having 4 doors and only 4 seats.............why? You expect that with a coupe but not a saloon, a wrong decision in my opinion and will cost it sales.

Two areas where Lexus have scored big time is the exhaust note, the fact that it can have such a split personality is great, with the M3 you know almost instantly it's potential but the same isn't true with the Lexus, the perfect sleeper. The other area is the gearbox, all the write ups comment on how this is the best automatic ever and is in many ways as good as any DCT, just shows that there is still life in the old technology.

If it's looks had been more to my taste and I was sure about the residules then this would have been on my list.

A great effort and definitely not a FAIL in my book.
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      08-25-2008, 09:22 AM   #33
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How does the IS-F compare to the M3 on ride comfort. I just ask because I know a few who have driven the new M3 and said no purely because of the ride quality being too firm. If the IS-F can cushion it ride while still delivering a near matching M3 pace on the track and approach it's entertainment factor then they have been an impressive job on the car.

It's looks are not my cup of tea but each to their own, the interior is luxury Japanese, you know even without the brand where it was designed, the same is true for German cars but there is no denying the quality of the Lexus, it's up there with the best. The biggest let down for me is having 4 doors and only 4 seats.............why? You expect that with a coupe but not a saloon, a wrong decision in my opinion and will cost it sales.

Two areas where Lexus have scored big time is the exhaust note, the fact that it can have such a split personality is great, with the M3 you know almost instantly it's potential but the same isn't true with the Lexus, the perfect sleeper. The other area is the gearbox, all the write ups comment on how this is the best automatic ever and is in many ways as good as any DCT, just shows that there is still life in the old technology.

If it's looks had been more to my taste and I was sure about the residules then this would have been on my list.

A great effort and definitely not a FAIL in my book.
Have not driven one, but according to U.S. nutbooks, the Lexus is a FAIL on overall ride quality, at least against the M3 with the adjustable shocks.

Not surprising, because to me, the ride/handling trade off is one of the two things that BMW does better than most, or even all.

As to looks, I dislike them on paper, but when looking over a metallic maroon example in person with one of my sons, we were very impressed with the overall look of the car.

Bruce
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      08-25-2008, 12:30 PM   #34
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Thanks for the really good, non-sophomoric content - yet again.

Bruce
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      09-17-2008, 01:31 PM   #35
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I think it is very fair to say that.

... Heck, even putting your team together and overcoming organizational challenges such as mangement structure, politics, team culture, etc. take significant time.
The IS-F was the brainchild of one of Lexus' top engineers. He hand picked the people he wanted to work with on this project. It was basically his brainchild and kudos to Lexus for letting him go with it. How's that for overcoming organizational challenges?

More IS-F trivia: The transmission is an auto, but when driving hard the torque converter gets out of the way and the clutch locks up directly to the drive train. Pretty cool tech. Although 8 gears is a bit over the top, IMHO.

Even more trivia: From a styling point of view those stacked quad exhausts are ... hideous. But there's no accounting for taste. They have also been berated as being non-functional as they are not even hooked up to the exhaust. But, according to Toyota, they do serve a purpose. They help suck the exhaust from the tips as well as provide downforce and smooth the airflow under the car at higher speeds. But I still think it's ugly.
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      09-17-2008, 03:09 PM   #36
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I honestly think it is simple thing....

Although I bought M3, I would still went with IS-F if I was concerned with long-term reliability.

While BMW concentrates its performance and soul of the car, Lexus always do better making reliable car.

It's just two different car in my opinion. (Performance Orientated vs Reliability)
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      09-24-2008, 01:19 PM   #37
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IS-Fail!!!!
I'm not quite sure how I see this as a fail from lexus, or toyota, or the camry(?) as you always call it.

On an poll taken ON THE M3 FORUM (http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=129066) 28% said they would either prefer the Lexus or at least consider it compared to the M3. Now if Lexus is able to take the interest of 20-30% of people considering cars in the same class in their first year, I can only imagine what's to come in the future. Even if they don't sway any more people in coming years and stay 2nd to the m3, I wouldn't say taking 28% of the market interest away from people buying $60,000 cars is a fail in anyone's mind. Also, coupled with the fact that Lexus brand was rated Number 1 in reliability, for the 14th straight year, doesn't hurt either.
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      09-24-2008, 02:42 PM   #38
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Yeah considering the non-stock M3 ran about 13 seconds faster on a 14 mile course. That doesn't seem like much at all.
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      09-24-2008, 05:00 PM   #39
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Pretty much agree everywhere, but I'd like to add that an overriding "compromise", is that the car must feel and drive like a Lexus. They didn't build this car necessarily as an M3 fighter, but as a response to a burgeoning performance marketplace which saw them beginning to lose a few of the faithful to those crazy Germans, and others. Even then, in a story much like many others in the automobile business, the IS-F began as a project by a splinter group within the company, looking to address both the so-far minor problem of lost sales and an actual potential market opportunity.

But, a major and obvious goal of such a project would be that the car would need to appeal to the faithful first of all, and then you would be considering a potential attack for market share against other vendors.

Appealing to the faithful means it must drive like a Lexus, so all those factors that the engineering types have reduced to specific numbers must be present - meaning obvious things such as steering feel, brake feel, turn-in, relationship between shock valving and spring rates, and literally dozens of other items must all be present. It's OK that the car feel as if it's the sharpest feeling Lexus ever built, but it's not as if the Lexus faithful are BMW wannabees. They actually expect and like handling characteristics that would be largely unappealing to the BMW faithful, and just laughed at by Lotus guys. So, first rule: Don't forget what got you here, and don't alienate the faithful.

I'm reminded of a time when I mistakenly thought I had matured, automotively speaking, and bought a new '82 Buick mumble-whatever very large V8 four-door sedan. It didn't take me long to realize that I had had a major judgement lapse (although the car was great for family trips), so I took The Big Hit on trade-in for something else.

Flash forward a bit, and the car rental guys at Boston airport take pity on the bedraggled way-late traveller, and give him the keys to another large four-door Buick (instead of the bottom-feeder my company normally authorized) to take home. It isn't long before I realize that this front wheel drive, transverse V6 drives exactly like my '82 did. Same sloppy turn-in. Same all-ahead-two-thirds-right-full-rudder feel at the helm, same way-flaccid shocks over bumps. In fact, same everything.

I think, "Boy what a wasted opportunity", but upon reflection it occurs to me that it would be a minor miracle if such massively different cars could drive exactly alike - assuming it was just a coincidence, of course.

Then it hit me; They meant to do this! Buick buyers expect certain characteristics in their cars, so, first rule of marketing - don't piss off the faithful.

So Swamp, with everything you've said, plus the above background, it's a wonder the IS-F can compete as well as it does in the M venue. Gotta say hat's off to the Toyota guys.

Bruce
That was very well put.

But I couldn't stop thinking about the upcoming CTS-V when you were talking about your Buick V8 comparison. Will the new CTS-V compete with the M5? OR hold the same driving dynamics of ast Cadillac's? Obviously, I can't drive like a boat and beat out an M5.
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      09-24-2008, 08:17 PM   #40
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...But I couldn't stop thinking about the upcoming CTS-V when you were talking about your Buick V8 comparison. Will the new CTS-V compete with the M5? OR hold the same driving dynamics of ast Cadillac's? Obviously, I can't drive like a boat and beat out an M5.
Well, the jury is still out, but Car & Driver's remarks on how it drove in a street environment and its overall handling seem to indicate it'll be a fiendishly fast pussycat.

In regard to its weight and unbelievable performance, they used the term "Newtonian bitch slap".

Bruce
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      09-24-2008, 11:22 PM   #41
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That was very well put.

But I couldn't stop thinking about the upcoming CTS-V when you were talking about your Buick V8 comparison. Will the new CTS-V compete with the M5? OR hold the same driving dynamics of ast Cadillac's? Obviously, I can't drive like a boat and beat out an M5.
Good reads.

Edmunds comparo.
http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do...ticleId=131206

Edmunds Quote:"Let's see. It looks great and it's the fastest production sedan we've ever tested. The bottom line appears to be pretty damn good."

The Road & Track test the CTS-V lapped faster than the SMG M5.
http://www.roadandtrack.com/article....rticle_id=6963
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      09-25-2008, 08:32 AM   #42
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Good reads.

Edmunds comparo.
http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do...ticleId=131206

Edmunds Quote:"Let's see. It looks great and it's the fastest production sedan we've ever tested. The bottom line appears to be pretty damn good."

The Road & Track test the CTS-V lapped faster than the SMG M5.
http://www.roadandtrack.com/article....rticle_id=6963
The performance figures and abilities aren't what I'm talking about. I'm not questioning the numerical figures the car posted. I'm talking about how the drive is. Does it drive like a Cadillac or a BMW? How different are the regular CTS and CTS-V to drive, etc.
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      09-25-2008, 03:27 PM   #43
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The Lexus got one hell of a bashing in this week Autocar's Driver's Car of the Year awards. It was voted last out of 11 cars.
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      09-25-2008, 04:37 PM   #44
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In the most recent Lightning Lap that Car and Driver ran the IS-F finished one spot behind the 135
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