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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
apologies, it's abit lengthy but bare with me, it's worth every second spent on it ..

Ultimate Sedan Comparison: Lexus IS F

Lock and load: Eight cylinders, four doors, one winner in a high-caliber sedan shootout.


By Douglas Kott Photos by Marc Urbano
June 2008

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Points: 367.9
Nobody likes to finish off the podium, but it's not as bad as it might seem for the first Lexus to wear the stylized "F" — and the first Lexus capable of decidedly "non-Lexus" performance in the vein of the BMW M3. Its explosive 0–60 and quarter-mile times of 4.2 and 12.6 seconds put it second in the test, just a tick slower than the Mercedes. A slalom weave of 70.9 mph also puts it in second, behind the BMW. Pass the 3600-rpm transition point...and be deep into the throttle...the 416-bhp 5.0-liter V-8's dual-geometry intake manifold transforms the induction note from a Lexus purr to an angry race-car rasp whose low-frequency vibrations would rattle the interior trim of a lesser car.
And its 8-speed paddle-shift transmission? Said Andrew Bornhop: "It makes us all feel like excellent drivers...and I love how you can get wheelspin in 2nd gear while accelerating hard — not many automatics allow that!" For a torque-converter automatic, the system is simply the best of the breed in shift quickness and aggressive self-blipping of the downshifts. Bravo!
Other great attributes are the best seats of the lot, agreeably bolstered and covered in a perforated ivory/black leather combination. The wheel is a thickly padded 3-spoker, with bumps and depressions in all the right places on the rim. The main instruments have needles that glow in signature blue lighting, easy to read at a quick glance.
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So no flies in the ointment yet. Until you look at the IS F among the others. Said Dennis Simanaitis: "To me, the Lexus' oddly pugnacious snout detracts from its otherwise stylish lines." The tarted-up oval finishers for the exhaust do the car no aesthetic favors, and the side treatment makes the Lexus appear a little bottom-heavy. "It's as if the bodywork additions were made of wax," I wrote in my notes, "and then left under a heat lamp." Bornhop added, "It looks a bit reptilian."
Inside, the ergonomics and general layout are appealing, but the IS F deserves a much higher-quality dash pad; its contours are doughy, its surface texture indifferent and a gap was starting to appear between it and the top of the center-stack plastic. On the plus side, the trim on the center console and door panels is a home run...it has the look of woven carbon-fiber cloth, only done with bright strands of aluminum.
In the bendy stuff, the Lexus can hold its own, despite having the narrowest front tires, 225/40ZR-19s. Second-heaviest in the test (a curb weight of 3825 lb.), it felt bulkier than the others, no doubt partly due to its high, wide hood as seen from the driver's seat. We found the yaw control's Sport setting to be a little limiting in our harder-than-average driving, but it can be shut off. Ride quality took a points hit in our ratings, the primary motions judged to be the jiggliest of the lot. "Still," offered Mike Monticello, "it is a confidence-inspiring machine that can be truly flogged over back roads. I was surprised at the lack of compliance from the rear suspension, though, over large harsh bumps."
If it sounds like we're splitting hairs here, it's because we are; just look at the tightly spaced points totals. The IS F just happened to be the least brilliant of this exceptional foursome.

Ultimate Sedan Comparison: Audi RS 4

Lock and load: Eight cylinders, four doors, one winner in a high-caliber sedan shootout.


By Douglas Kott Photos by Marc Urbano
June 2008

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Points: 375.4
In its last year of production, Audi's RS 4 continues to amaze and delight. In the "amaze" category, we're all impressed how a car whose compact V-8 engine completely overhangs the front axle centerline can change directions with such agility. And how the styling, both inside and out, has held up so well, reflected by points wins in both styling categories...in spite of the controversial "gasping trout" grille. Our car had the Titanium Package that includes gunmetal-gray 19-in. alloy wheels and rearview mirror housings, plus black-out trim for the oval exhaust tips and fish mouth. "The RS 4 is all about subtle style, nothing outrageous or trendy," wrote Simanaitis.
The only car in the group with all-wheel drive, the RS 4 pays a weight penalty, but not as much as you might think — second lightest at 3785 lb., it's 135 lb. trimmer than the Mercedes. Couple that with a fat 255/35ZR-19 Michelin at each corner and the Quattro system whose default torque split is 40/60 front/rear, and you have all-weather grip without dumbed-down handling. Said Bornhop: "The rear-biased awd keeps this car from being an understeering swine, while endowing it with stability that I much appreciated on the muddy, frosty downhill sections of Highway 33." Monticello agreed for the most part, but qualified it thus: "There's something about sliding the tail of a rear-drive V-8 sedan, and the RS 4 will have none of that."
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With 420 bhp from its 4.2-liter direct-injected V-8, the Audi launches hard and beats the BMW to 60 mph by a tenth (4.5 sec.) and ties its quarter-mile E.T. of 13.0 sec., but with a slightly lower trap speed; but both will be viewing the taillights of the Lexus and Benz at 1320 feet. The intake rumble and exhaust note are a little more muted than the others: "Audi chose a high-class sound rather than the C63 and IS F's manly V-8 noises and the M3's race-car roar," said Monticello. But you can play its engine note like the proverbial Stradivarius with the RS 4's excellent 6-speed manual whose lever "glides through its gates with a Teflon smoothness," observed Bornhop.
Inside, there's much to like, but many of us felt the leather seats could've offered some additional lateral support. "The RS 4's interior is the roomiest, most comfortable for larger sorts, and the most logically arrayed as well," offered Simanaitis. There's a straightforward purity to the dash and door panels, a simplicity to the center stack, and the gauges are icons of all that is right with German design: bold white numerals on black faces with big red pointers. Plus, materials, fit and detailing just don't get any better than in the RS 4. If you had any doubt, pop the hood and check out the real carbon-fiber dress panels and red wrinkle-finish cam covers.
Unfortunately, that goodness is reflected in the base price that, at $66,910, is more than $10,000 dearer than the second-most-expensive car's. Simanaitis spoke for the group when he wrote, "The RS 4's Quattro system is still the Real Deal in snowy climes — indeed, the only logical choice of these hyper-sedans in such settings." And mightily impressive in the dry, too.
Ultimate Sedan Comparison: BMW M3 Sedan

Lock and load: Eight cylinders, four doors, one winner in a high-caliber sedan shootout.


By Douglas Kott Photos by Marc Urbano
June 2008

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Points: 376.7
No doubt, the M3 Sedan is the varsity athlete of the bunch. From its styling — all lean muscle and sinew — to the lightest curb weight to the widest tires of the rear-drivers, the M3 both looks and acts the part. It practically takes down the road, pins it and forces a tap-out submission. Its agility, grip and braking (curiously, the last still accomplished with 2-piston sliding calipers in front) all scored class wins. Yet if there's anything holding the BMW back, it's the engine — at once its biggest asset and most glaring irritation.
The 4.0-liter V-8 makes 414 bhp, spins to a nerve-tingling 8300 rpm, has an ingenious dual-sump oiling system seemingly impervious to g-loading, makes feral-cat sounds but...it's still only 4.0 liters, the smallest capacity in the test. This means the lowest peak torque of 295 lb.-ft., generated at 3900 rpm. By contrast, the Mercedes feels as if it has this much at 2500, and packs on an additional 150 lb.-ft. or so by the time it reaches 5000 rpm. "The M3's V-8 is a very special piece, but it just doesn't have the punch of the Mercedes, or even the Lexus," noted Monticello. As such, the M3 was the tail-ender in 0–60 acceleration (4.6 sec.) and couldn't crack the 12s in the quarter mile.
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So you really have to wring its neck to throttle-steer, but that's because its aluminum-intensive suspension and optional 19-in. Michelin Pilot Sports (245s in front, 265s in back) are doing their jobs so well. Said Bornhop: "I like the M3 because of its overall harmony, in which the engine doesn't overwhelm the chassis." The light engine up front (at 445 lb., it weighs 33 lb. less than the previous M3's inline-6) helps to achieve its 50/50 weight balance and also aids turn-in sharpness and transitional agility, as witnessed by the M3's winning 72.9-mph slalom speed. And the steering feel, channeled through the most thickly padded rim in the test, rises above the rest. Said Simanaitis: "BMW continues to endow its steering systems with supernaturally clear communication." If only the shifter were as good; the 6-speed's gates are well delineated, but the throws are on the long side, with some BMW standard-issue notchiness past the synchros.
We wish the interior could be as vibrant as the chassis. The seats are excellent — smooth black leather bolsters, grippy dark cloth inserts — but the subtle, boring convexity of the dash and the rather plain-looking gauges are more statesman than sportsman. The speedometer's twin scales crowd each other for space, but at least the tach shows some life...there's a neat redline scale around its perimeter that slowly rotates to the full 8300 rpm as the oil temperature increases. And please, don't get us started on BMW's detent-less stalk controls for the turn signals and wipers...the wheel didn't need reinventing here.
So if catlike handling reflexes top your priority list, and you don't mind elevated revs to extract the full goodness of a somewhat high-strung engine, the M3 sedan may be the ticket. Its price-as-tested is also the lowest of the group at $59,050 (including four years of maintenance), while lacking some of the office-on-wheels telematics fitted to the Mercedes and Lexus. But we don't really need those things in a Sturm und Drang sports sedan, do we?

and now, the contribution of the "queen of all cars" :)


Ultimate Sedan Comparison: Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG

Lock and load: Eight cylinders, four doors, one winner in a high-caliber sedan shootout.


By Douglas Kott Photos by Marc Urbano
June 2008

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Points: 380.9
An enormous, throbbing engine encased in a sports-sedan exoskeleton...that, in brief, describes the C63 AMG, the latest recipient of the 6208-cc V-8 that's hand-assembled by a single technician at the AMG plant in Affalterbach, Germany. And although it makes the scales groan at a 3920-lb. curb weight, the 451-bhp C63 leaps off the mark to a test-best 4.1-sec. sprint to 60 mph, and a ground-shaking 12.5-sec. pass through the quarter mile.
The "ground-shaking" part isn't complete hyperbole, as thick chunks of sonic energy get hurled out the quad tailpipes with every articulation of the throttle pedal. And wheelspin (with traction/stability control off, naturally) is never far away. Said Monticello: "Any C63 owner who doesn't go through a set of rear tires in 5000 miles or less should turn his car in at the 'Weenie Depot.'" (Disclaimer: Mike's opinion is not necessarily the opinion of the entire R&T staff.)
Of course, there's great satisfaction in stepping the tail out incrementally, and turning that power mostly into forward thrust. A competent ally here is the 7-speed automatic, dubbed AMG SpeedShift Plus, a paddle-shift gearbox whose three modes offer increasingly quicker shifts. In Manual mode, for instance, cog-swapping is 50 percent quicker than in Comfort, with Sport falling in between. But even in Manual, the shifts seem a bit lethargic compared to the Lexus; and the steering-wheel paddles are smaller than those of its Japanese rival. At least there's automatic rev-matching on the downshifts.
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One might think that the C63's massive engine up front would hobble the Benz with nose-heaviness and understeer, but with 56/44 front/rear distribution, a 1.8-in.-wider front track and suitably adhesive Pirelli P Zero tires (235s in front, 255s in back), the C63 gives the M3 a run. In corner-carving sharpness it's not quite a scalpel, but a high-quality buck knife after 10 minutes with a whetstone. Steering feel, communicative and with a slightly higher effort level than the others, ranked second after the BMW, and everyone was impressed with the stability control's Sport mode, which allows significant yaw angles before intervening. Said Bornhop: "A perfect safeguard for those wanting to have some fun on an unfamiliar back road."
The C63 also looks the part, with German Touring Car-Lite fender flares, mean-looking extractor vents ahead of the front wheels and a tasteful small trunklid spoiler, though some took issue with the 18-in. wheels, since all others roll on 19-in. stock. Simanaitis offered a counterpoint: "They look less boy-racer and certainly don't compromise the C63's progress."
Inside, the Lap-of-Hockenheim fantasy continues with by far the most aggressively bolstered front seats and an exquisite D-shaped sport wheel. Our test car was fitted with the Multimedia Package, with a display screen that electrically articulates into view when the car is started, then retreats within the dash on shutdown. Gauge-wise, a large floating-needle speedometer is front and center, its interior containing readouts for gear selection, trip computer functions, etc. It's a great driving environment, but those bulky front seats do compromise rear-seat leg room (tightest of the lot). And since we're in nitpick mode, Mercedes should really do something about the dash finish, whose flat, weathered-looking texture is at odds with all the other nicely turned-out bits.
So huge power and prodigious, tire-pulverizing torque end up ruling the day. That should surprise no one, but that once-stodgy Mercedes can tune a chassis that compares favorably with its perennial Bavarian rival...well, that gets our attention. And while none of these super sedans can spin its wheels at the end of the straightaway in high gear, the C63 comes the closest.
for more: http://www.roadandtrack.com/article.asp?section_id=31&article_id=6696

sounds just about right :)
 

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Thanks for posting this up.

All these supersedans are amazing although at their price they should be?

It isn't until I look at a MB 300C on the road and realize its around 35 grand that the C63 just doesn't make sense....

I realize BMW has been doing this for years but the prices of these cars is wild.

I admire them. I would certainly give thumbs up to the people who buy them....but it would never be me...

Not at these prices... Over 60 grand for a hot rod c class?

Cool car though.

All of them are rockets!
 

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The C63 should be called the Insanomatic and is my personal choice.

Too bad the CTS-V isn't yet available.
 

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I didn't know the RS4 came with dark gray-painted wheels. They look pretty cool.
 

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I'm surprised the Lexus came anywhere near the others. I thought for sure it would get blown away. Not bad.

And yes, it's a terrible shame the new CTS-V isn't in the game. But I suspect they may pit that against the M5, E63, and RS6 instead, depending upon how Cadillac prices it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm surprised the Lexus came anywhere near the others. I thought for sure it would get blown away. Not bad.
true ! european-car-junkies such as my self were never interested in the lexus, actually, always thought of it as the most boringly perfect car out there, despite the fact that they were better german cars than the german cars, its only because they have always BEEN boring, there were never lexuses like this one, maybe things have finally changed.

And yes, it's a terrible shame the new CTS-V isn't in the game. But I suspect they may pit that against the M5, E63, and RS6 instead, depending upon how Cadillac prices it.
it will, and if it's the current M5 and E63 yer talking about here, i'm afraid the upcoming CTS-V is abit of a tough competition they're up against, unlike them it IS track oriented, the RS6 on the other hand might compete architecture-wise, but not enough power under the hood.


and is my personal choice.
well good choice sir heh

I realize BMW has been doing this for years but the prices of these cars is wild.
hi :), well, expensive yea, but overpriced? i dont really think so, but then again, i have this fascination with european nice sedans with thundering shouting V8s that could be affecting my judgement :), thanx for replying.
 

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true ! european-car-junkies such as my self were never interested in the lexus, actually, always thought of it as the most boringly perfect car out there, despite the fact that they were better german cars than the german cars, its only because they have always BEEN boring, there were never lexuses like this one, maybe things have finally changed.
They had the IS-F on a dyno for all to try at the last auto show and I must say, I was impressed with the sounds it made.
 

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it will, and if it's the current M5 and E63 yer talking about here, i'm afraid the upcoming CTS-V is abit of a tough competition they're up against, unlike them it IS track oriented, the RS6 on the other hand might compete architecture-wise, but not enough power under the hood.
The next RS6 gets 580 horsepower, so its power output will be the segment king among the M5, E63, and CTS-V. On the other hand, it's the only all wheel drive vehicle in the segment, which of course adds weight and saps power when the car has good traction.
 

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The next RS6 gets 580 horsepower, so its power output will be the segment king among the M5, E63, and CTS-V. On the other hand, it's the only all wheel drive vehicle in the segment, which of course adds weight and saps power when the car has good traction.
The RS6 will probably push into corners and understeer as well. That's the biggest problem with most Audis.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The RS6 will probably push into corners and understeer as well. That's the biggest problem with most Audis.
i sure hope they do ..
 
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