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    Drive-my drives world's fastest supercar. The power to impress. Robert Coucher discovers that what's truly remarkable about the new Veyron Super Sport is not its sheer speed, but the civilised way in which it achieves it. / #2011-Bugatti-Veyron-X16-Super-Sport / #2011 / #Bugatti-Veyron-X16-Super-Sport / #Bugatti-Veyron / #Bugatti-Veyron-Super-Sport / #Bugatti-Veyron / #Bugatti /

    Let's not waste words. The new 2011-Bugatti-Veyron-X16-Super-Sport is the best supercar in the world. Priced at a cool £2 million and with just 30 to be constructed, already 24 have been bagged. Fittingly, it's the Veyron's swansong.

    The changes over the regular' car include an uprated #W16 , 8.0-litre quad-turbocharged engine that produces 1183bhp, up by some 196bhp thanks to bigger turbos, bigger intercoolers and better breathing. Torque has also risen to a staggering 1105lb ft, all delivered between an easy 3000 and 5000rpm.

    To handle this 20% increase in grunt the SS's drivetrain has been extensively re-engineered, with a tougher gear-set in the sevenspeed #DSG gearbox, as well as uprated brakes, suspension and steering. Crucially, the aero package has been adapted to suit this car's astonishing (potential) 268mph top speed.

    The ultra-high-speed Veyron SS is designed to be a totally useable road car and this is what makes it so impressive. You climb into the well-made but understated interior, fire it up. Select Drive on the auto box and trundle off. The steering is light, the ride is comfortable, the engine sounds powerful but muted, the brakes are viceless and visibility is perfect out of the front and acceptable to the rear. The Veyron is more Bentley than it is Porsche in terms of comfort and refinement, which is a real achievement.

    But find an open road and allow the speed to rise over 180km/h - about 110mph - and the SS switches into Handling mode. The ride height drops and the rear wing deploys. Touching a paddleshifter mounted on the steering wheel seamlessly switches the Bug from auto to manual. Depress the accelerator and as soon as 3000rpm spools up on the rev counter (the red line is at a lowly 6500rpm), which it does very quickly, then wham, the 1105lb ft of torque hits the tarmac and the SS is immediately at warp speed. But the deep rumble from the W16 engine remains subdued and the Bugatti does not lose its composure one iota as the superb DSG gearbox whips through the gears almost imperceptibly. The SS tracks down the road at impossible speed but the steering remains light and linear and the huge carbon ceramic brakes are totally reassuring as they evaporate huge speed with disdain. The Bugatti might weigh a chunky 1838kg but it never feels like it on the road.

    The Veyron's all-wheel-drive chassis does a valiant job of flattering the driver, making progress on any sort of road surface seem easy. And of course, this is all happening at speeds well beyond the capability of any Ferrari. Porsche or Bentley. And that's the surprise and the real attraction of this monster car. It is so powerful, yet so refined that you soon start to drive it like a gentleman, enjoying its supple ride, quiet and comfortable interior, and immense ground-covering abilities. It makes small aircraft appear horribly antiquated - it is not only the best supercar in the world, it is one of the best GT cars as well.

    Above How many Super Sport buyers will have the restraint to opt for a discreet colour scheme like this one, we wonder' The SS hardly needs to advertise itself.
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    Seven eleven? #BMW-760Li-E66 / #BMW-760Li / #BMW-760i-E65 / #BMW-E65 / #BMW-E66 / #BMW-7-Series / #BMW-7-Series-E65 / #2011 / #2008 / #BMW /

    On the streets of Dublin, I have several times noted an interesting curiosity. It’s a blue E65 7 Series long wheelbase, registration plate starting with an 11. The significance of this is that the 11 means it was manufactured in 2011. As everybody knows, E65 went off production lines sometime in mid-2008. There were 100,000 cars, vans and trucks registered in Ireland in 2011, so from the rest of the plate (which we’ve not written in full here ~ Ed) it’s likely to mean it was Q1/Q2 2011. I checked motor tax records at, and weirdly there is no record of it (even though I checked in the past tens of other cars and always found out how much tax was due for a given regplate).

    However, says it’s a 2011 #BMW-760Li (5975cc capacity). Needless to say, I know it was an E65. I owned one and I can distinguish it from afar from the more modern F02 model that should have been produced in 2011. My question is: do you have any idea where such vehicle could have come from? Have you ever heard of a BMW that has been mysteriously manufactured three years after production ceased?

    Perhaps it’s some diplomatic stuff or an armoured vehicle finished in 2011 (i.e the armouring modifications being so pervasive that it took so long to be registered vehicle)? Or fake plates (I was considering reporting it to the police, but I’ve seen this E65 a few times driving always around the same spot so I doubt it’s fake plates, rather somebody commuting to work). It’s been puzzling me for the last few months, so if you have any ideas how an E65 can have a 2011 registration plate I’d be delighted to hear it. Which brings me to the other thing I wanted to ask. I’ve been searching for an E23, the first 7 Series and nearly bought one (thanks BMW Car for pointing me to the issue with the E23 Buying Guide). However, my family will be expanding soon, and I will need some more modern technology for commuting, so it leaves me with an E65 (in addition to my current E60 5 Series petrol wheels, which at 25mpg for my daily 30-mile drive leaves much to be desired in terms of economy). Can you let me know which BMW-Car featured a Buying Guide to the E65 7 Series?

    And one more thing: I was just reading the latest January 2017 issue of the mag and loved the feature about the new 5 Series. Fantastic car. However, it think there might have been a little gremlin: you quoted economy for the 540i as over 60mpg and CO² emissions of only 128g/km (same as for 530d) – if it’s not a gremlin then, wow, nice economy and emissions. As usual, looking forward to the next issue.
    • We’re afraid this one has got us stumped Michal and we can’t offer you a definitive answer. Could it be that the car was ordered in 2008 and then cancWe’re afraid this one has got us stumped Michal and we can’t offer you a definitive answer. Could it be that the car was ordered in 2008 and then cancelled at the last minute as the global recession hit hard? It’s just possible it sat unsold for the ensuing two-and-a-half years as we can’t imagine there were too many folk willing to drop €100,000 on a gas guzzler that had just been superceded, especially given the economic conditions. We’re also not sure how the Irish registration system works… could it have been imported from another country in 2011 and mistakenly given a 2011 plate rather than an age related one? Perhaps you can attract the driver’s attention one day and get to the bottom of the mystery?

      As far as a Buying Guide for the E65 Seven is concerned, the last in-depth guide we did was in November 2015, which covered the V8 petrol models, while for an overview of the 730d the last piece we did was a Ten Minute Guide in September 2012. And, yes, well spotted on the 5 Series gremlin – see Five Gremlins opposite.
        More ...
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    A stunning matt white, wide-body BMW E92 335i. The E92 bar has been raised to sublime proportions with Carlos Molina’s dazzling matt white wide-body 335i. Words: Iain Curry. Photos: Eric Eikenberry.

    Perhaps the best news for us modifiers with the launch of the new F30 3-Series is the inevitable plummet in prices for the outgoing E9x models on the used market. So get yourself ready, soon these desirable fifth-gen Threes will be flooding the classified websites at prices more and more will be able to afford. That means it’s the time to get some modifying plans in place, and if you’re after a bit of inspiration, it’d be a good idea to look west to America and witness some of the latest E90/2 creations currently leading the scene.

    Carlos Molina Jr. will be a name familiar to many reading PBMW, as his cars and modifying exploits have been widely publicised on the internet and in magazines. His killer E46 show car has been long on the scene since its SEMA 2008 introduction, but inevitably Carlos was tempted by a new project by 2011, this time based on the then current E92 Coupé.

    In its sweetest of sweet-six engine guise, an E92 335i with a twin-turbocharged 3.0- litre is a talented platform to start work on. Carlos took the plunge and put his order in, ready to get busy with a Prior Design body kit he’d spied. “I saw glimpses of a full widebody kit on the internet, and was told that no one in the US had the full kit,” he said.

    This chance at exclusivity convinced Carlos to commit to the German Prior Design offering, and just one peek at the spectacular body is enough to convince most that he made the right choice. Here is an E92 that successfully maintains its attractive factory styling, but adds muscles in exactly the right places. And sat on those achingly good-looking concave polished-lip DPEs with barely-there rubber bands wrapped round them, it’s a show-stopper both on the street and in the modified car halls.

    Once Carlos had decided on the widebody, he was introduced to Michael Borja from Rollin’ Art who’d have a big say in the dramatic final results you see today. “Mr Borja was known for his meticulous painting ability, especially with matt paints,” Carlos said. “We discussed the build, and decided on a Bianco Fugi white matt pearl.”

    And what a choice it was. Fresh, contemporary and very, very sexy, this matt white hue emphasises the aggressive curvature of the wide-body and, especially under show lights and street lights, you’re left in little doubt that this is a very special BMW. The body work has been meticulously carried out, with the metal work of the rear wheel wells given relief cuts and then shaped to the glass fibre Prior Design wide-arch for added reinforcement.

    The full kit comprises the fattened arches, side skirts, front and rear bumpers and the vented and bulged bonnet. With subtle Prior Design wings for the bootlid and roof, the look is certainly not too over-the-top, more a case of elegant aggression. Such a style is seen on the likes of BMW’s new M6, with its factory 20-inch wheels sharing much in the way of desirable style with Carlos’ 20-inch DPE rolling stock.

    The wheels sit on Tein adjustable Super Sport coilover suspension for the required slammed stance, and this thing will be a mean handler with the Whiteline front and rear anti-roll bars acting as back up. The DPEs also allow plenty of vision for the anchors behind, consisting of Rotora 14-inch discs clenched by Rotora six-pots up front and four-pots at the rear. Powdercoating these white adds even more flair behind the rims, while H2 ceramic brake pads ensure the full complement is there for pulling up promptly when this E92’s fettled powerplant is properly exercised.

    While Carlos was discussing plans with Rollin’ Art in Las Vegas, it became clear that the rest of the car needed to match the level of the body. “The discussion did not end with the exterior,” he said. “I wanted the interior, engine and audio extensively worked, too.” This has been achieved and then some. Little wonder then that this E92 had more than a few crowds around it at the Accele booth at the giant SEMA show.

    Starting with the cabin, this is a plush masterpiece dripping in Alcantara and carbon fibre, with the stand-out ACE Custom Steering blue steering wheel breaking up the classy blacks and greys. In true old-school racer fashion the front seats are Cobra carbon fibre items re-wrapped in Rollin’ Art diamond stitch while the surrounding gaiters, headliner and interior pillars are Alcantara. Throw in an Active Autowerke polished aluminium gear knob, NRG carbon handbrake and UUC carbon race pedals and Carlos has a sublime area to go to work in. You’ll also find parts of the mighty ICE install in here too.

    There’s an Accele rear view mirror with integrated screen, and who doesn’t like a bit of personal voyeurism when out enjoying an enthusiastic drive? Check out the Accele mini video camera pointed at the driver, just to log all the fun goings-on this E92 offers.

    Moving under the bootlid and there’s a veritable party to discover. Once again there are acres of Alcantara for some classy lining, and it looks superb surrounding not one but two 19-inch Accele monitors. One of these is for the bootlid’s inside while the second, on the back of the rear seats, is split into four sections to display the view from the different cameras this car features. Amps, subs and a Sony PS3 all add to the beautifully lit and presented boot install, one that even the harshest of show judges would struggle to not award top marks to.

    Now that could have been that for Carlos’ E92, and we couldn’t have blamed him if the fantastic combination of six-speed manual gearbox mated to the multi-award winning 3.0-litre twin-turbo proved ample in the performance department. Not so.

    “While all the aesthetics were being upgraded at Rollin’ Art, I turned to my good friend Chad Stett, owner of Stett Performance, for some engine goodies,” Carlos said. “He provided a new dual intake, charge pipe, oil cooler and upgraded vacuum reservoirs I’d suggested. No performance upgrade there, but they sure do look great next to all the other Stett Performance items powdercoated red in the engine bay.”

    Yes, it’s pretty showy under that bonnet too with various Stett red flashes, plus there’s a BMW badged Axis Power Racing carbon fibre engine cover and braided hoses. Well, you didn’t expect it just to be dull factory plastic engine shrouds did you? As tasty as the under-bonnet aesthetics are, there’s plenty of substance to match the style.

    The boosted six-cylinder features a Nitrous Express nitrous system with the various associated accoutrements, while a full custom exhaust by SuperSport has been fabricated to work with the Prior Design bodykit. AFE has provided the downpipe and throttle body, while a Race Precision front-mounted intercooler helps keep temperatures down more effectively than the stock item not designed for the healthy leap in power here. There was also good cause to beef the transmission up too, with Centreforce providing a performance clutch and lightened flywheel to handle the increased load.

    The end result of all this? Well, it’s fantasy stuff really. The finished article is one of the finest examples of E92 tuning we’ve ever seen and is a credit to Carlos and his many sponsors and supporters involved in the build. His wide-body 2011 335i demands your attention even at a show as outrageous as SEMA and, crucially, here’s a modified #BMW that has pride of place in a show booth, tearing through the city streets under neon lights, or even out on your favourite country road thanks to its comprehensive performance and chassis enhancements.

    So there’s your inspiration. The E9x model prices are on the tumble and with examples like Carlos’ 335i to aspire to we hope to see plenty more flooding our scene in the near future. This perfectly-painted wide-body may have had more coin spent on it than most modifiers can stretch to, but we hope to see more of its ilk from those brave enough to attempt it. However, for now we’re just happy to sit back and enjoy this masterwork in all its pearly matt white glory.

    DATA FILE #BMW-E92 / #BMW-335i / #BMW-335i-E92 / #2011 / #BMW / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E92 / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe-E92 / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe / #N55B30 / #N55 / #BMW-N55 / #ESS-Tuning / #BMW-E92-Widebody / #BMW-E92-Prior-Design / #DPE /

    ENGINE: 3.0-litre twin-turbo in-line-six cylinder with #SuperSport full custom exhaust made for #Prior-Design body kit, AFE downpipe and throttle body, #Nitrous-Express remote bottle opener, purge valve kit, bottle pressure gauge, #GENX-2 accessory kit and #IntraCooler kit, Axis #Power-Racing carbon fibre engine cover, #NRG carbon fibre valve cover, bulkhead cover, PS loop cover and panel covers, Race Precision front-mounted intercooler and Ram Air scoop system, Stett Performance / #ESS-Tuning-ECU mapping, Stett Performance twin intake version 2 powdercoated Stett red, charge pipe version 2 powdercoated #Stett red with #Tial blow-off valve, #Stett-Performance carbon fibre catch can, oil cooler system, stainless steel vacuum reservoirs powdercoated Stett red and intake duct block-off plate

    TRANSMISSION: Six-speed manual with Centreforce performance clutch and lightened flywheel

    CHASSIS: 10x20” (front) and 11x20” (rear) #DPE-CS5 super concave three-piece wheels shod in 255/30 (front) and 285/25 (rear) Toyo T1R tyres. Tein adjustable Super Sport coilover suspension, #Whiteline front and rear anti-roll bars, Powerflex control arm bushes, Rotora 14-inch brake discs, #Rotora six-pot calipers (front) and four-pot calipers (rear) powdercoated white by Rollin’ Art, Rotora SS brake lines and H2 ceramic pads

    EXTERIOR: #Prior-Design wide-body conversion, front bumper, boot lip spoiler, window wing, rear bumper, bonnet, front fenders, rear fender flares and side skirts, Rollin’ Art Bianco Fugi white full body respray

    INTERIOR: Cobra carbon fibre race seats re-wrapped in Rollin’ Art diamond stitch, ACE Custom Steering steering wheel, Active Autowerke polished aluminium gearshift knob, Accele rear view mirror with integrated screen, Accele mini video camera pointed at driver, NRG carbon fibre handbrake and 16- piece interior kit, Rollin’ Art Alcantara suede gearshift gaiter, handbrake gaiter, headliner, boot liner and A- and C-pillars, UUC carbon fibre race pedals

    ICE: Accele 19-inch boot monitor (split into four sections for the different cameras in car), 19-inch bootlid monitor, rear view mirror with monitor on rear view, hidden switches, actuators, FM modulator, video amplifier, video switcher and rear view camera, Sony PS3, Diamond Audio twin 12-inch subs, components, mono amp and four-channel amp, Street Wires 2* chrome cap and Street Wires audio/visual wiring throughout

    THANKS: Eric Eikenberry for helping to get my vehicles in print, Mike Borja @ Rollin’ Art for the paint and transport, Chad Stett @ Stett Performance for support and developing the vacuum reservoirs, Stan Chen @ Toyo Tires for over 12 years of tyre support, Will Baty @ CenterForce for using the 335 as a test vehicle for future upgrades, Eloy Way @ Race Precision for believing in the build since SEMA ’07, Andreas Belzek @ Prior Design, Brian Paille @ Accele for supporting another BMW build, Bob Chanthavongsa @ Diamond Audio for last minute audio support
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    Cheap Sixes / #BMW-F12 / #BMW / #BMW-6-Series / #BMW-6-Series-F12 / #BMW-640d-Sport / #BMW-640d-Sport-F12 / #BMW-640d-F12 / #BMW-640d /

    I had to do a double take when I saw how cheap (well, inexpensive!) the current BMW F12 6 Series has become as a used car. Based on the F10 5 Series and thus an excellent machine, the F12 seems to depreciate more than the Five and I can’t understand why. After all, they’re a stunning looking machine and somewhat prettier than the previous model – another car that never really took off.

    As I type this, the cheapest example for sale within the BMW dealer network (why buy anywhere else?) is an unmarked 76,000-mile 640d Sport in Imola red from Sytner Sheffield. The price for this #2011 car is £23,000. Mileage a bit salty? Okay, how about a 22,000-mile 640i SE with the lovely petrol straight-six turbocharged unit?

    Yours for a grand more than Sytner’s 640d and finished in Orion silver (not dissimilar from the old Bronzit E24 colour) with glorious Cinnamon leather. For sale at Dick Lovett in Hungerford, it’s absolutely stacked with options (glass sunroof, sports seats, park assist, adaptive xenons, stitched leather dash, DAB radio, HUD, reverse camera, 19-inch alloys) which makes me think this was either an ex- #BMW-UK car or a wealthy ‘tick every box’ purchase. And it could be yours for a derisory £23,995.

    The colour’s nice and subtle and being a bit of an SE man myself it just strikes me as being the perfect car to keep in the garage so you can just take off somewhere at the drop of a hat. Okay, in terms of what it does it’s often hard to justify a 6 Series as a new car – the same size as a Five but with less room and dynamically outpointed by a 430d – but there’s an inner sybarite in all of us. What a staggering thing for the price of a base 118d!
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    2016 / #BMW-Z4 / #BMW-Z4-sDrive-23i-M-Sport-Roadster (E89) ( #2009 to #2011 ) / #BMW-Z4-sDrive-23i-M-Sport-Roadster-E89 / #BMW-Z4-E89 / #BMW-E89 /

    Now’s the ideal time to hunt for Z4 bargains, and with most Roadster buyers either after a frugal four-cylinder soft-top or a highperformance M model the six-cylinder 23i is often overlooked. And that means it’s far better value, so you could be sliding behind the wheel of a one-owner Z4 #sDrive 23i in tasty M Sport guise for as little as £13,000. With six cylinders the performance more than matches the looks, with a 6.6-second 0-62mph time, and the ample spec is bordering on luxurious. Nearly all have covered less than 45,000 miles and boast full #BMW service histories. So what are you waiting for?
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    Top three #BMW £15,000 diesel performance saloons UK

    High performance comes at a price – usually a pretty steep one in terms of economy. But if you opt for one of these three performance diesel saloons, rather than a petrol four-door, then you can enjoy driving fast without worrying too much about the fuel bills.

    BMW 330d M Sport Saloon ( #BMW-E90 ) ( 2008 to 2012 ) / #BMW-330d-M-Sport-Saloon-E90 / #BMW-330d-E90

    Fifteen grand will buy you a mint-condition 2010 model with a relatively low 70,000 miles on the clock. Many pack a good deal of optional extras, with goodies like full leather upholstery and Professional sat nav and 18- or even 19-inch alloys. And despite the 245hp performance on tap, the combined fuel economy figure is still 45.6 mpg.

    BMW 535d M Sport ( #BMW-E60 ) ( #2007 to #2010 ) / #BMW-535d-M-Sport-E60 / #BMW-535d-E60 /

    A #BMW-3-Series not quite big enough? Then try a #BMW-535d-M-Sport instead. The performance is every bit as good – in spite of the car’s larger mass – and our £15,000 will stretch to a #2008 model with just 65k miles on the clock. Being an M Sport 5 Series the standard spec is plush, whilst long journeys can see you achieve over 40mpg.

    THE #Alpina-D3 Bi-Turbo (E90) (2008 to 2013) / #Alpina-D3-Bi-Turbo / #Alpina-D3-Bi-Turbo-E90

    Those seeking something a bit more exclusive should hunt out the rare #Alpina D3 B-Turbo Saloon. A #2011 model is within range, with a typical 75,000 miles and a full #BMW-Alpina history. All cars are very well appointed and the twin-turbo diesel delivers potent acceleration (0-62mph in just 7.2 seconds), 50.4mpg economy and just 159g/km of CO².
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    UNDER THE RADAR S3 8V 380bhp sleeper

    From Imola yellow daily driver, to matt grey stealth bomber; this 380bhp S3 has packs an unexpected punch… Words Davy Lewis. Photography Dave Jack.

    I have a confession to make: I like yellow cars. There’s something about the bright hue that just does it for me – especially when it’s freshly polished on a bright sunny day (not that this happens much in the UK). I almost bought an Imola yellow B5 S4 avant a few months back, which I neither needed, nor could really justify – but it was the fact it was yellow that had me sorely tempted.

    So, why on earth am I banging on about yellow, when the car you here is clearly, grey? Well, I’ll let you into a little secret: this S3 was once yellow (technically still is, it’s just hidden under an immaculately well applied 3M wrap).

    “I fancied a change from yellow and the matt grey appealed as it’s subtle and understated – the complete opposite to how it was originally,” says owner Richard Steele. It’s refreshing to see someone wrap their car in this way – many do it the other way round – adding bright vinyl to a black or grey car.

    “Prior to the S3 I had a slightly modified A3 Black Edition. I loved everything about the car, until I test drove an S3 and had to have one!” says Richard. With his heart set on an 8P, he set about searching for the perfect car. He quickly found the Imola yellow example, which ticked (almost) all the boxes – it was a Black Edition with DSG and sat nav – the only things missing were the wing back Recaros.

    “My goal with the S3 was to give it RS3-inspired looks and performance as this is the car I ultimately hoped to own eventually; at the time I wasn’t really in a position to afford an RS,” recalls Richard.

    The upgrades began slowly at first with a Stage 1 remap, some new wheels, and lowering springs. But it wasn’t long before things progressed somewhat…

    Richard continues, “After about a year of ownership I ended up with a 380bhp, mini monster that would give most big fish a run for their money. The 0-60 was recorded on a Racelogic box at 3.7-seconds. It’s fair to say that with launch control, it went like a stabbed rat!” he laughs. With relatively simple engine upgrades, it’s testament to just how good the S3’s 2.0 TFSI unit is, that it can be persuaded to make almost 400bhp and deliver supercar levels of acceleration.

    An APR Stage 2+ map is key to the power, which has been calibrated to work with the full Milltek turbo-back exhaust system with de-cat. With the restrictive cat and downpipes replaced, there’s so much more potential in these cars. A Loba high-pressure pump gets the super unleaded in fast, while a CTS carbon intake takes care of feeding cool air to the engine. With 380bhp and 559Nm, this is one rapid S3. Any more than this would require turbo and supporting upgrades, but for bolt-on tuning on OE engine and turbo, it’s certainly effective.

    Part of the appeal with this particular S3 was the fact it had an S-tronic box. The stock unit offers fast shifts – but these can be ramped up further still with a gearbox map. Ecotune have livened things up so that Richard can hold onto gears for longer; take advantage of faster, crisper shifts and, of course, use the launch control function – which was key to the blistering 0-60mph time he achieved.

    When it comes to wraps, the matt grey look always seems to work well, especially when teamed up with some gloss black details. The window surrounds and rear badges are all gloss, as well as the RS-style honeycomb grille and air intakes in the front bumper. It all looks very classy. But there’s a nod to the OEM paintwork with the bright yellow brake calipers and S3 badges.

    Wheel choice is something that’s very personal and even slight differences in offset or design can have a big impact on the overall look of a car. In this case, Richard has stayed true to his OEM roots and gone for a set of 8x18in multi-spokes from an A4 DTM. They look like they were made for the 8P; subtle, classy and offering plenty of room to show off the bright yellow brakes (with some 3mm spacers added). Incidentally, the calipers are RS3 units, painted to match the original Imola yellow paintwork – but they look just as at home alongside this matt grey wrap. These high-spec OEM brakes also do a grand job of hauling this 380bhp 8P down from big speeds.

    The final chassis tweak came in the form of the suspension. Not wanting to go for uncompromising coilovers, Richard fitted some quality H&R sports springs which bring the ride height down nicely, which not only looks much better also tightens up the handling. With less pitch and roll, the S3 feels more planted through turns, allowing more spirited progress to be made. Thankfully there’s plenty of grip from the quattro drive system, powering Goodyear Eagle F1s at each corner.

    Inside, this immaculate S3 is already well equipped with a flat-bottom wheel, Bose audio and sat nav, but that hasn’t stopped Richard putting a personal touch on it. Some neat yellow stitching has been added to the wheels and the gear gaiter – another nod to this car’s Imola yellow roots.

    A large part of the fun for Richard, like many others, is being able to meet a network of like minded Audi enthusiasts. “I’ve made good friends with local enthusiasts,” he says, “they all had a part to play in the build; we always help one another with tuning each other’s cars and sharing advice/opinions. It’s this aspect of the build I’ve enjoyed the most.”

    With the S3 pretty much where Richard wants it; that is, a credible RS3-chaser; he’s decided it’s time for a change... “Just as I was getting to the stage where I was happy with the build, a perfectly spec’d and priced Daytona grey RS3 came along, so I ended up parting with my beloved S3. The RS3 build is currently underway and should hopefully be featuring in #Drive-My in the near future,” he adds with a smile. We hope so!

    SPECIFICATION #Audi-S3-8P / #2011 / #Audi-A3-8P / #Audi-S3 / #Audi / #Audi-A3 /

    Engine 2.0 #TFSI 4-cylinder turbo, #CTS-Turbo cold air intake and heat shield, #Loba high pressure fuel pump, turbo back full decat non-res #Milltek exhaust system, #APR stage 2+ map.

    Power 380bhp and 559Nm.

    Transmission 6-speed #S-tronic with #Ecotune custom map.

    Brakes Custom RS3 front calipers, TT RS front discs, #HEL braided lines, stock S3 rears.

    Suspension #H&R sports springs.

    Wheels and tyres 8x18in #Audi A4 #DTM wheels with Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 225/40R18 and 3mm spacers at the front.

    Exterior #3M matt dark grey vinyl wrap by TLC Detailing, custom S3 badges, RS3-style grille, sticky vinyl personalised number plate, gloss black trim, APR badge.

    Interior Recaro bucket seats, custom steering wheel with yellow interior stitching to match.

    Tuning contacts/thanks Ecotune, TLC Detailing, APR, Dave Jack at Space 21 Photography for the photoshoot

    Top: Fast but stealthy Below: More cheeky yellow details
    “With launch control, it went like a stabbed rat!”

    Below left: Yellow stitching is neat Bottom More yellow on the RS3 brakes.

    “I ended up with a 380bhp, mini monster”

    Above: Grey wrap looks classy on this 8P S3.
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    Top three £8000 SUVs

    SUVs have never been more in demand with UK buyers, but contrary to what you might have been told, you don’t need to spend big to get a good ‘un. These three contenders can all be bought for just eight grand.

    CAR #BMW-X1-2.0d-sDrive-SE-E84 ( #2009 to #2011 ) #BMW-X1-E84 / #BMW-X1 / #BMW

    An entry level SUV, but with top-notch performance and 53.3mpg economy. It also has a strong spec that includes Bluetooth phone prep, air-conditioning, rear parking sensors, cruise control, tinted glass and 17- inch alloys. At this price your X1 will have close to 100k miles on the clock, but the road tax bill is just £130. Stick to examples packing a full BMW service history for peace of mind.
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    Bertone Collection bought #2015 / #Jaguar-B99-GT-Bertone / #Jaguar-B99-GT / #Jaguar-Bertone / #Citroen-Zabrus / #Bertone-Ramarro

    Italian car club secures all 79 Bertone museum pieces for €3.44 million / Words Massimo Delbò

    The #Automotoclub-Storico-Italiano , Italy’s largest private classic car club, with more than 100,000 members, has bought all 79 cars in the #Bertone Collection. Last month #Drive-My reported that the collection was being offered in one lot following Bertone’s bankruptcy, and that it was feared it would disappear from view or one day be relieved of its protected status (a condition of sale is that it remains in Italy and can’t be broken up).

    Most of these fears were dispelled when ASI revealed that it had made a successful bid of €3.44 million, 61% above the reserve price, against four other interested parties. ASI’s president, Roberto Loi, commented afterwards: ‘I’m very proud, not only because we have saved a piece of Italian history, but also because, being from Turin, I would have been grieved to see the collection leave this area, a place I regard as the heart of the Italian automotive tradition. I’m also proud that, when we convened a special meeting of the board of the club to discuss buying it, everybody agreed. Now we have to wait 60 days while the Italian Government decides whether to match the bid, but we would be very surprised if this were to happen.’

    Plans for the collection have yet to be confirmed. However, Loi told Octane: ‘Turin already has the Italian Museum of the Automobile, and we don’t want to create another museum. Our aim is to keep the cars and the design models of the collection on show in a very dynamic way, always changing how we celebrate the Bertone style and the names and the works of the designers who made the Italian firm so great. What we are thinking of is something like an art gallery with cars, even if we still have to figure out all the details.’

    From top Bertone collection bought by the #ASI includes #1976 #Ferrari-Rainbow , #1984 Corvette-based Ramarro (left, with #1986 Citroën Zabrus to right) and #2011 #Jaguar B99 GT (below, centre), here flanked by #1968 #Fiat-850-Spider and #2000 #I-Slim-city-car .
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    BMW CONCEPTS: This month it’s the futuristic #BMW-Vision-ConnectedDrive . The cars they could have made The Vision ConnectedDrive from #2011 was, unsurprisingly, all about connectivity. #BMW-Concept / #Adrian-van-Hooydonk

    BMW’s motor show concept cars tend to fall into two categories; those that are production-ready facsimiles of machines that are destined to hit the showrooms shortly, and those that give us a teasing view into what future BMWs may look like. It’s not rocket science to work out that the Vision ConnectedDrive that made its debut at the Geneva motor show in 2011 fell into the latter category, but there was still much that could be gleaned from the outlandish show car.

    It followed the traditional #BMW design style for its roadsters in that it had a long bonnet, a long wheelbase with the wheels pushed out to its four corners and the cockpit was set well back with a short stubby tail. The doors aped those of the #BMW-Z1 , but instead of dropping down into the sills to allow entry and exit, they slid forward and back into the front wing and rear panel. BMW said the car had a ‘layering’ principal in its design with ‘taut surfaces’ and distinctive flowing lines. In the flesh it was stunning. Its main purpose wasn’t to look gorgeous, though, it was designed to absorb information and relay it to the driver and passenger in innovative ways. The Vision #ConnectedDrive was BMW’s visualisation of ‘how cars could intelligently interact with their surroundings and support their passenger’s demands in a natural way and provide them with a driving experience they’ve never had before’. The concept’s project manager, Dr Eckhard Steinmeier, said: “A human being can hear and see, and feel heat and cold; we’re using the same sensory channels for this concept vehicle – it virtually extends the human sense organs.”

    It gathered information from the environment through cameras, sensors and antennas. They were designed to absorb information from the road and the car’s surroundings and on the concept, these flows of information were represented by the light tracks running up the bonnet and around the car to the interior and the passengers.

    Adrian van Hooydonk, BMW’s head of design, said: “We’re explaining or showing something that is actually invisible – the internet connectivity – and we’re doing it with three colours: red for safety, blue for infotainment and green for convenience.”

    One of the main themes of the Vision ConnectedDrive was how best to give the driver the information that would soon be flowing into the cars from an ever-increasing number of sensors and cameras. While the concept retained a traditionally sited dash display, it would be freely programmable to allow the driver to choose what was displayed.

    However, the main display of information was a headup display (HUD) that would show information such as road speed and satellite navigation directions in a three-dimensional display.

    In summing up the Vision ConnectedDrive, Adrian-van-Hooydonk put it thus: “In the future, BMWs will still look dynamic and elegant, and that’s what this concept car shows. Internet connectivity will become an integral part of vehicle design; the monitors and displays will become integrated, and synching your mobile phone with the car will become very easy.” BMW reckoned it was displaying the future, and who knows maybe some of its themes will still come to a showroom near you before too long…
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