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So Where's The Pizzaz?


midwesterner
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My '06 Saab 9-3 Aero was fast, nimble, delivered excellent braking and could hit 30 mpg under certain circumstances. It had lots of personality, but was quirky, with a few reliability problems.

My '13 GS350 AWD accelerates faster but lacks the mid-range response of the Saab turbo, is not so nimble, but delivers excellent braking, if not quite the same fuel consumption performance. It is much more luxurious than the Saab, and is solidly reliable. Alas, it has little personality; no pizzaz.

At age 70, I am generally happy enough with the solid performance of my Lexus, about equal to anything in the same class from Audi, BMW, and Mercedes, I think. And if I want to get aggressive, the car is generally up to it.

Likewise, the Saab Club website was full of interesting posts, reports on events, and solutions to problems. It had pizzaz. This website is like my car: Solid, but little pizzaz. Maybe that's because Lexus has so few problems, and maybe because those of us who buy them don't much fit into the cult car category of so many Saab owners. The only challenging posts I've seen here were related to some comparisons with the German makes in making the buying decision, and that was a couple of years ago.

But I'd like to see a little pizzaz. How about an entry that sparks some debate or contributions. For all those former Audi, BMW, M-B drivers, how about a comparitive assessment after, say, one year? Does anybodt race or autocross these things? How about a report?

Unfortunately, many of we 70-year-olds are well past our autocross and hillclimb years, and wouldn't likely be doing it with a Lexus anyway. And while I still like spirited driving, I haven't lately been cuttin up curvy roads at 9/10ths -- at least, not with my Lexus. So am among the guilty on the shortage of pizzaz. My contribution, for now, will have to be this post, and maybe start the ball rolling.

Anybody out there got a posting with some pizzaz?

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Welcome Stephen!!! Miss pizzaz here. :-)

You purchased a luxury car, and that is what you got. I bought the IS convertible with the F-Sport package. I'm 60 soon. I traded a 370Z manual shift for my car. It is hard to admit, but I had lost my shifting skills. I will probably never buy another one. It is heartbreaking, but skills do wane with age. My cars before that were a G37 coupe and an S2000. I had a supercharged Z28 show car that I had for 17 years. I just parted with it last year. I have a whole house full of car show trophies and even an old drag racing trophy from the 70's. I never tried autocross. I always loved the thrill of the quarter mile.

There are nice, fun people here.....I promise. I'll chat cars with you any time you want to. Heck, I learned on a 440 6bbl Charger and never slowed down.

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Hi Stephen and welcome to the LOC.

At 66 I too also like some pizzaz in my ride even though I really enjoy the wonderful soft, quiet, Lexus trade mark.

It's interesting to hear you speak about comparing the "mateing habits" of some of the industries fine cars. Each company spends billions of dollars on focus groups and market sampling to try and determine what they should make that would attract the most customers. You mentioned your previous Saab. Good car, but for some reason their customers didn't think so.

Lexus, in my opinion, has been dull, dull, dull for the last five years or so. But now, wow, the line up rolling out this year and next year will put Lexus way back on top, where it has been for most years. I recommend a visit to "Lexus Enthusiast". It puts out print and video each day for all things Lexus. Check it out then come back.

I did want to touch base regarding your thoughts on the lack of pizzaz on the site. We have been notiicing a little variance in traffic over the last few months. Other enthusiast on different clubs and web sites say they are seeing the drag in "Posting's as well. I've comfirmed this with Club Lexus.

The current operating therory is our members are wanting a more instant experience which they can get from TEXT and Facebook and other "experience" interactions. And this is also holding true with other organized on-line sites. I would welcome your feedback on the matter.

Welcome aboard!

Paul

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Thanks to MIss Pizzaz and you for the welcome, but I am not new to this site. I think my last post was in response to the query about test drives vs A6 about 18 months ago.

The Saab is clearly not an appropriate direct comparison with the GS350, and it's "personality (read "quirkiness) was a much a part of its acceptance problem -- and ultimate demise -- as its success among enthusiasts. But that car was a very comfortable, willing partner in spirited driving, and there was / is an exuberant website.

I am not looking to reclaim my hotrod, drag racing, autocrossing, hillclimbing younger years, and I don't expect my Lexus to perform like the Saab or my BMW Z4 roadster.

Earlier Lexus models may have been dull, although I'd call my wife's '09 RX350 more bland than dull. And I agree that the current GS350 can hardly be described as dull; it is an impressive performer when pushed. But otherwise, it just "is." I drove a friend's '06 BMW 3-series a while back, and must say that, in terms of driving experience, it fell into much the same category -- not the lightfooted thoroughbred BMW of yore. So maybe the problem is endemic as cars become more government compliant, luxury-oriented, and reliable.

Your other points are well placed, I think. You are likely correct about social media, which I dislike and do not use (I admit to being a dinosaur). Perhaps that's where the ferment is. Still, I'd like to see a livelier website. In the end, I suspect the real problem is that Lexus cars are so well executed that they require little debate. One needs only to put gas in and drive 'em.

I guess we'll call this "case closed." Thanks again.

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I enjoy your well thought out postings and even handed discussion of the topics.

I'm like you in that neither I nor my wife belong to Facebook or any of the other "social" sites. Really have never seen a need for such a thing and from what I have experianced just passing through, just reafirmed my first impression.

In my previous reply, I think I recall suggesting going to Lexus Enthusiust Daily. I really enjoy checking in every day and looking over details and photos of all thats new about coming models, specifications, release dates, new models for different countrys.

When time allows, I try to post something from that web site during the week. I would like to hear any feed back you might have on that site. Also, try lookiing at the "General Chat" forum on this site and you might find more traffic.

Paul

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Isn't it awesome? I hate roofs. I rode to and from the casino yesterday (60 miles one way) with my top down. It was almost 100 degrees, but with the a/c seat on and the a/c full blast I was totally comfortable. I love my car.

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OK, I went and looked at Lexus Enthusiast. At first I thought the site must belong to Lexus, as the homepage comes off -- in my perception -- as advertise-y; almost propogandistic. I read some of the comments; let's just say the ones I read demonstrated the biases of the writers. The site is Canadian, I believe, and some comments appear to reflect that country's unique position with respect to availability of certain cars and Canadian pricing.

I am an auto and autosports enthusiast: I like all kinds of cars, and I can find something good to say even about the ones I didn't buy.

Neither do I care about spy photos, speculation on what Lexus might do next, or celebrations of one-off models that I will never buy (e.g. "hand-crafted" at Pebble Beach).

Doubt I will go back to this site.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Pizzazz and luxury to me are almost exclusive. Everything that, for example, a Jaguar did with "pizzazz" was really a pain in the butt.

As a luxury, sport sedan, there will be compromises. And this is one of them. I think a Subaru WRX has tons of pizzazz... But obviously little luxury. Moving towards luxury, I think the G37 is an example of a muscle car with a bit of luxury thrown in (not a lot though) - some pizzazz in feel, but definitely reduced.

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My son has a WRX. It is a sharp little car. My G37 had the most effortless throttle of any car I have ever owned, and I have had some fast ones. The car did have a lot of quality issues though. I would never buy another one. I tell you what car really turns my eye and that is the Scion FRS. I wish Lexus would do something with that body style.

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Lexus Enthusist makes no bones about their close relationship with Lexus Corp. The gentleman who's project it is, has worked hard to bring a different source of information about all things Lexus. As his site has grown in access and accuracy Lexus has offered more opportunities for insider knowledge.

Personaly, I get a kick out of stoping by the Lexus Enthusiist each day just to keep up to date with whats going on. For me, its important because as a staff person it is my duty to try and have as much knowledge as possible. (So far that hasn't made me any smarter. Take what you like, ignore what you don't like.

There just cars.??? Lets don't get our shorts in a bunch. LOL

Paul

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I don't race or autocross, but I have a long history of auto enthusiasm including ownership of several Porsches. I am not young.

And the PIZZAZ issue is a serious one for Lexus I think, despite some good headway in adding PiZZAZ. Much work needs to be done still.

I want more of that hard to explain pizzaz too. And that probably explains why my Lexus IS350 is setup the way it is, for extra pizzaz. I feel that pizzaz and luxury can go together and I demand it. I know BMW, Porsche and Mercedes to some extent are doing it well.

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Hmmmm! Well, we are getting some pizazz on the website. The on-line dictionary defines pizazz (or pizzazz) as the quality of being attractive or exciting. Synonyms include words like "charisma," and maybe "panache" would work.

I think we can argue that quality and pizazz are not mutually exclusive, nor are pizazz and reliability. I have more or less defined pizazz as personality, in my original post, whatever that means in an automobile. Given the various ratings on the Porsche Boxter, I think we could say that it exhibits both pizazz, quality, and reliability. Not directly comparable to Lexus sedans, obviously.

Whatever the case, my GS 350 is clearly attractive, and it probably qualifies as exciting when driven full-bore. I just wish it had something that made it feel more compelling in everyday driving. But maybe there's some pizazz there and I just don't know it.

Haven't driven the new version of the IS350, but based on the magazine reports, I think it's beginning to show some pizazz.

In the meantime, I think we are doing a good job of upping the pizazz level on this site. Some cool posts on the subject. Can we get some more?

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Regarding pizzaz on the website here, not sure I have answers. It's been awfully quiet here lately.

And Club Lexus has contributed to it's own slowdown with decline in productive and relavent discussion, no surprise. A lot of garbage to sift through there in order to get the valuable information for actual owners.

Good one, they are not just cars... Yes.

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Just a matter of inviting more Pizazz, these threads are posted under the GS forum. That means that only our members who stumble

on to that forum will find this great conversation.

I'm suggesting moving these threads to the "General Chat" forum where others would be more likely to join us.

Let me or Becki know your thoughts.

Paul

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Getting back on the subject of a GS, I'm driving a black, fully loaded beauty as a loaner right now. WOW! I think it has plenty of pizzazz. If I ever grow up and get a big girl car, this would be the one. Absolutely beautiful and is like driving a cloud.

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Getting back on the subject of a GS, I'm driving a black, fully loaded beauty as a loaner right now. WOW! I think it has plenty of pizzazz. If I ever grow up and get a big girl car, this would be the one. Absolutely beautiful and is like driving a cloud.

I think OP is mixing pizzazz with "character" as in the character that quirky cars like Saabs had.

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I kind of see what the OP is talking about, or the pizzazzzz factor.

Not so much about problematic quirky characteristics, more about automotive appeal.

The ISx50 and IS-F crowd tends to get it more, therefore you will see more interaction and modified cars. I like how that class of car appreciates performance characteristics and feel, combined with luxury amenities expected in premium cars.

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It's a good thing the rich and sporting history of the IS owners forced Lexus to stay in touch. Proof is the F-sport models and F-sport accessories (which I approve of by actually purchasing some) being sold through Lexus dealerships. Otherwise Lexus would have fallen asleep and provided no competition for Mercedes/BMW/Audi. And they would have driven me away too if they didn't get with the program.

I went to the launch of the 2013 GS at Pebble Beach and saw the seriousness of the execs and key engineers that designed a car that is respectable in this class of premium sport sedan. They essentially brought the car back from the dead (from a sales standpoint GS was very dead). They need to build on these modest successes going forward. Or as OP says, pizzazzz.

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