Powered by Mercedes-Benz Live, the Brooklands brand experience center hosted the End of Season Grand Prix Event on Sunday 8th November 2009. Highlights included brushing shoulders with Lewis Hamilton, David Coulthard, Mika Hakkinen, Heikki Kovalainen and Ross Brawn plus some familiar faces on the presenter front. For those who haven’t heard an F1 car before and even those that have, the sound was phenomenal being just feet away from the track. F1 cars included Mclaren Mercedes with Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen show boating with donuts, burn outs, drifting on the wet circle by Lewis and general crowd pleasing. The Brawn F1 cars made an appearance on the track but no Button present, however Hamilton did note he wouldn’t mind having him as a team mate at Mclaren next year. The Mercedes DTM car weighing in at just over a ton with 500 bhp was a fire spitting monster! The sound made the F1 pace car seem like an SL350 in comparison. A fantastic day out and all free to the public if they made their registrations on the Mercedes-Benz World website within four days of the event being announced.
Well the times are a changing as they say, many a Porsche fan will acknowledge the last proper 911 as the 993 model due to the fact it was air cooled. The 996 isn’t that popular in the styling front with the oversized headlights and numb steering but the 997 seems to have pulled back the majority with the original 911 style lights and some improvements on the handling front. Those of you who like your German tuning companies such as Hamann, Dinan and Ruf will know these are the ultimate in performance upgrades. So why on earth have Ruf produced an electric 997?! The name appears to be something along the lines of eRuf Greenster, Bon Choice…
Walking to Tower Bridge, London on 13/10/09 I was suprised to see a dark green 911 with what looked like a cheap, clear plastic convertible roof pinned in place, German plates and a film crew. After a search on the net I’ve found some more info: –
“This isn’t just some farfetched concept as RUF full intends to start selling its electric vehicle as early as next year.
The electric powertrain, called eDrive, was developed by technology company Siemens and consists of an integrated electric motor and generator, electronic control module, and a lithium-ion battery array. In the Greenster, the powertrain is rated at 362hp (270kW) and 700lb-ft (950Nm) of torque and is mated to an automatic gearbox with only forward and reverse gears. The entire vehicles weighs in at 1,695kg and can accelerate to 100km/h from rest in just five seconds. Top speed meanwhile, is a claimed 320km/h.”
So Mercedes think they can produce more exotic, exciting, exhilarating and better accelerating cars than their German rivals do they?
Well lets take a look at the latest efforts from Merc: –
The fabulous Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG has a 6.3 litre V8 engine which delivers 571 BHP and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. This monumentous partnership translates into chest crushing acceleration from 0 – 60 mph in 3.8 seconds. This performance is matched with a stunning body and of course, Gullwing doors.
You may have also noticed the latest track prepared SL keeping the F1 cars at bay on the safety car laps. A volcanic roar that perhaps the road version doesn’t have, but you can have the same looks and similar performance.
Mercedes really is on form this year, I would put them above BMW and Audi in terms of looks and performance but not quite sure if the handling is there yet. There is a sense of the traditional Mercedes-Benz comfort element retained with automatic boxes fitted even in their sports models.
The latest news I read from Porsche is all to do with their hopes of buying Volkswagen, then getting into too much debt, being refused a loan by the Government and then selling back up to Volkswagen. Not to distract away from their business as a stock broking company, we have seen some real dogs released such as the Panamera and the new Cayenne. Lets try and breath some racing pedigree back into the name and look at the best moments by one of my favourite sports car makers:
The movie Bad Boys really showed off the perfectly spec’d 964 turbo in black with the Porsche Cup splits. A close competitor to the 930 in terms of Porsche’s finest moments:
The porsche 968 one of the favoured starts to Porsche track days due to a near 50/50 weight distribution, front engine rear wheel drive layout and exceptional handling escpecially in Club Sport spec. A brief spell of motorsport in a turbo spec club sport brought a very limited run of the 968 turbo:
Picture from Carfolio
Ah the Carrera GT:
Picture from Porsche
Let us hope Porsche start producing more cars like these worthy of the bedroom wall poster caliber!
The BMW M3 is one of the best all rounders on the market today. Available in Saloon and Coupe form, the E92 M3 can frighten the life out of you on country roads pumping out in excess of 400 bhp through the rear wheels but it’s also perfectly at home on the daily commute or pootling around towns. This seems to have caused a problem – is the latest Munich Monster too accomplished that it has lost some of the ‘rawness’ of the E30 and E46?
Picture from BMW
I’m still partial to a bit of E46. The E36 had good power and handling but it was a bit too smooth and soft to be a real sports car. The E30 is one of my all time favourites and one of our users has this meticulously maintained example:
Which does make me run for the nearest copy of Top Marques or login to Pistonheads to see what’s up for grabs!
The last two M3’s I’ve owned are here:
Yes, they’re convertibles and I have just been talking about the E92 loosing some of the rawness. So really we have a variety of sports saloons, coupe’s and convertibles for anyone to enjoy.
So the question is:
What is your favourite M3 and why?
The real drivers choice must be the E46 CSL.