- Post is under moderationCitroen for beginners. Julius Goldmann restored a Citroen-CX25-GTi-Turbo from Würzburg in 1984. The CX enthusiast benefited from his parts warehouse, his special tools, his expertise and his patience.
The turbomachine and all attachments have been revised or reworked.
All connections of the instruments were tested, plugs and pegs renewed.
He likes the Citroën CX very much, finally, it combines pleasant childhood memories with it. "But about a decade ago, I was annoyed by a specimen with the most curious bitches," recalls Julius Goldmann. And when he was on his way to work again, the fuses burned through him. The consequence was a big bump in the side of the CX, into which he had stepped with rage with its stable footwear.
But after that, he quickly regained control. After all, this vehicle was a kind of gift - an encore that made him buy a no-longer CX 25 GTi Turbo. And this is the story. If the turbo were in a better condition, Goldmann would have taken it without this special discount: "It was a copy of the first series, which was built for only half a year."
For a CX fan, it is not only something special to own a car, but also because it has written history. "When it came to the market, there was a giant scandal in France, because Citroën had overthrown an agreed performance restriction with this 168-horsepower car, which even the Minister of Transport chafed," says Goldmann.
Extensive test drives
While he took the offered CX for everyday driving, he underwent the still operational turbo first an intensive assessment. This included many test drives in order to get an accurate picture of the state of the various technical components. "Then I first began to remedy minor deficiencies," reports the 32-year-old. The car had some bumps and scratches, a rusting in the front wheelhouse and had already been repaired and painted in some places. But you would not have had to put in as much work as Goldmann did in the end. "But I wanted everything to be perfect," he says.
The chronology of the restoration appears somewhat confused in retrospect. At the beginning there was not the complete disassembly of the car, but only certain parts were worked on.
And so many events over the years led to the fact that some work had to be done twice.
The success of the first bodywork and painting work was only temporary, until it was shown that the filler applied in some places in the past could not cope with the new lacquer construction.
The roof was, incidentally, worked independently of the rest of the body. Here rusty damage on the sunroof forced an early action, the elimination of which was more laborious than thought. But something like this is typical CX.
Construction site sunroof
It was only after dismantling the inner skies, for which the front windshield, too, that there was free access to the sunroof. However, in order to be able to weld in this area, it was necessary to scrape away parts of a building-like mass which stabilized the entire roof from the inside and proved to be highly flammable. Thanks to the slight curvature of the roof, it was also not easy to fit the self-made repair panels exactly.
And the idea of making the sunroof frame hot-dip galvanized also caused anger, because it was then spoiled, which affected the casters of the sliding roof. Finally, all problems were solved, and the entire roof was finally painted.
As the engine room should also be nice, the CX-lovers built the entire drive unit. Where necessary, he renewed the seals and wear parts and worked carefully all the components of the periphery.
His hobby workshop is fortunately equipped for everything, because over many years, Goldmann has acquired from all former Citroën companies in Germany or France all special tools for the CX, up to the frame bench. He even built some of his tools, for example for testing the mechanical-hydraulic steering in the removed state. And the hydraulics are no longer frightening him, and in this area he does his work in his sleep.
In order to list all the work done on this turbo, the place is missing here. But the thing was right, when Goldmann on a country road had to avoid a car coming on his side in the ditch. The result was a warped front and a squat right fender. That is why Goldmann opted for a deep body restoration, which was to be carried out with the support of a specialist company.
But the sheet metal work was more extensive than planned. For a night away from the street car had rammed the still healthy left side of the CX parked in front of the company premises. Now, the sheet metal dress was repaired from scratch with several new parts, on remaining old parts the lacquer was cut down to the sheet metal. Only the roof remained unaffected by this action.
After about a year the CX Turbo was again complete. Newly painted and with a partially restored interior, he made a perfect impression. But shortly thereafter, Goldmann had another blow, because the engine suffered a camshaft damage.
The hobbyist once again set off again. He disassembled the engine and brought it with two others from his huge fundus to an engine repairman. This should make a good one out of the three, while Goldmann himself took over the final assembly.
Meanwhile he had learned from Citroën that his car had once had an air-conditioning system, and so he built another one. And then it was finally so far, the project GTi Turbo had come to an end. The danger of the car mucking again is low. And if, Goldmann will be left. It would be a pity about the nice side part.
In his hobby workshop, Julius Goldmann has all the special tools required for a CX.
The recesses in the wheel cover of this Citroën CX remind of a T like Turbo.
CX restorer Julius Goldmann.
New sheet for body work on the electrics
The dashboard was also removed. Among other things the wiring harness and the connections and pegs of the instruments were renewed. Since this CX originally had an air-conditioning system, another one was mounted - Goldmann had one in his warehouse
Already carried out body work was destroyed as the CX slipped into a road ditch. After that, he stood on the site of a workshop, where another car also rammed the side that had been left behind. He was rebuilt with new parts
RESTORATION Citroën CX 25 GTi Turbo from 1984
Place / year of purchase: St. Wendel, 2005
Purchase condition: Damage had always been repaired in the past, various repaints provided for a respectable condition, at the purchase showed some initial corrosion damage, the technology was in a working condition
Background: The CX was delivered as a demonstration car to Citroën Deutschland AG in Cologne in November 1984, but was not approved until the following year. In 1987 he became owner of a painter's company, which employed him as a company car with a few interruptions until 2001
Restoration scope: Functional check of all components, renewal or overhaul of all technical units, partial renovation of the interior equipment, gradual repair of the bodywork, starting with the restoration of the rusty sliding roof, then reworking of previously repaired damages, installation of new sheet metal parts like doors, mudguards, bonnet and tailgate, Repainting, the conclusion formed the overhaul of the engine including the reprocessing of the entire periphery, air conditioning installed, refilled and put back into service
Restoration period: from 2008 to 2016
Expert support: Auto Hartlieb, 97239 Aub, Tel. 093 35/249; Autohaus Lieb, 63322 Roedermark; Büsing GbR, 76474 Au on the Rhine, www.auto-buesing.de; Kiechle & Mayr, 87474 Buchenberg, Tel. 083 73/93 21 65; CX-Basis, 76676 Graben-Neudorf, www.cx-basis.de
Costs: approx. 11 000 Euro without purchase price and internal services
Facts and figures #Citroen-CX25-GTi-Turbo / #Citroen-CX25-GTi / #Citroen-CX25-GTi-Turbo-Series-1 / #Citroen-CX25 / #Citroen-CX / #Citroen-CX-Series-1 / #Citroen /
Engine: #Citroen-M25 / #M25-659 Water-cooled 4-cylinder in-line engine, front crosswise, bore x stroke 93 x 92 mm, displacement 2482cc, Max Power 168 hp at 5000 rpm, Max. Torque 290 Nm at 3250 rpm, two valves per combustion chamber, actuated by side, chain driven camshaft, pushrod and rocker arm, five crankshaft bearings, exhaust gas turbocharger, #Bosch-L-Jetronic
Power transmission: single disc dry clutch, five speed transmission, front wheel drive
Body and chassis: Self-supporting steel body, front independent suspension with double cross-brakes, stabilizer, rear suspension, longitudinal steering, stabilizer, hydropneumatic suspension, serviced steering rack steering, disc brakes, wheels 150 TR 390, tire 210/55 VR 390 TRX
Dimensions and weight:
Wheelbase 2845 mm, length x width x height 4659 x 1770 x 1360 mm,
Front and rear track 1522/1368 mm, weight 1412 kg
Driving and consumption: Max Speed 212 kmh, 0-100 kmh / 0-62MPH 8.7 s,
Consumption 15.8 litres 100 km
The Citroën CX GTi Turbo with metal push rods has been built just six months - a rarity.
The interior is overhauled, the air conditioning system, which was developed by the previous owner, was again supplemented.
With the restored CX Turbo, fast and comfortable travel is a pleasure.
Julius Goldmann has dedicated himself to the Citroën CX - a demanding hobby.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationFAVORITES Forza #Alfa-Romeo / #Alfa-Romeo-Alfa-6 / #Alfa-6 / #1979 / #Giuseppe-Busso /
The upscale in all its splendor, able to compete with what was best in Germany in terms of performance (its V6 is a marvel), comfort and handling. He did not yet convinced, blamed a style mat that seriously dated back to the time of its release. And because the car had to be sold in 1973, but the oil crisis has delayed ... six!
Under the hood, the V6 Busso is a marvel. Smooth, round, strong and quick, he vigorously propels a car that yet weighs nearly 1.5 tons.
Alfa Romeo Alfa 6
ENGINE, OR NOTHING?
+ V6 anthology - ion Ends - banal line
- Banal line – Gluttony, Price of rooms, Parts prices
In 1973, his discreet but sophisticated appearance had class. But the Yom Kippur War and OPEC embargo drove up oil prices, sending forgotten big fuel consumers. It was one and Alfa Romeo has preferred to delay its marketing, thinking they could put on the market a year later. She will be in spring 1979 without any aesthetic or mechanical editing. Strange decision, its online catch-all, its dual optical grille, large bumpers and headlamps its imposing AR terribly denoting the European automotive landscape. It's like if we had tried to pass you a Palm or BlackBerry instead of a latest generation smartphone. Result: a disastrous career.
Still, (six in Italian) is worth a look. Built on a platform modified Alfetta, it benefits from its overall design, so links to the ground well studied. One notable difference: the gearbox is not contiguous to the bridge, but the motor. This leads to the choice piece of this car, the V6 signed Giuseppe Busso and make an outstanding career as remain valid until the end of 2005 in a special declination 3.2 liter, 24-valve, heart the attractive 147 GTA. Under the hood of the Alfa 6, its trunk is much more measured. But the displacement of 2.5 liters and 12 valves allow him to spit merrily 158 hp, a pretty horse in 1979. His nobility and musicality are unique, especially with the impressive battery of six carburetors stuck in the opening of the V. Faith music lover, it has rarely been more beautiful mechanical mass.
Enjoying a good box 5, a limited slip, power steering and front brakes with ventilated discs, the Alfa 6 really was not ashamed of his technical background. It can also be proud of its equipment, the overall quality of its rules and even its finishes, which is rare, because the brand was then known for its cars finish with a trowel! The materials do what they can to seem meaningful, like the thick carpet and leather seats. The board mastoc edge is adorned with real fake wood inserts receiving square dials and steering wheel takes a shape rather curious, as a reinterpretation of cubism Milanese. The seats, as welcoming and comfortable are controlled electrically, as the windows. Serious!
Unfortunately for her, the Alfa 6 never take off, penalized by the unmarked line. The 1983 facelift will not change, even if it will be accompanied by a version 2 the least expensive and a turbocharged diesel with interesting performances. The failure is so obvious that many Alfisti do not even know yet that this model offers the advantages of choice. And not just for its sumptuous V-6 Busso. Its handling is one such model, the accelerations, the safe braking and exceptional comfort for an Alfa Romeo, albeit a premium. Become very rare because scrapped amid general indifference for years, yet she hardly ever seduce the crowds. And although his rating has soared over the last decade, it seems to have peaked. I must say that the pieces do not run the streets and they cost terribly expensive. But the most enigmatic of Alfa can still surprise the world ...
This was to be an outstanding car, but its outdated online flatly killed
ALFA ALFA ROMEO 6 [04/1979 - 04/1987]
• Rating in 2006: 2,000 euro (V6), 1.200 euro (turbodiesel)
• Rating in 2016: 5,000 euros (2.5 V6), 4.000 euros (V6 2.0), 3.000 euros (turbodiesel).
The 1983 facelift brought some strange aesthetic elements, like the rear quarter and side bands. Become Quadrifoglio d'Oro in 1983 by acquiring the injection, the Alfa 6 2.5 has kept this amazing interior design with some academic and flying intrusion square instruments. The stern is far from being a success with these huge light clusters.
Great road, the Alfa 6 has a very interesting dynamic chassis that gives it a remarkable road holding and performance that are not the least.
Fiscal power: 9 HP, 14 HP, 16 HP.
Engine: #V6 -cylinder V-implanted longitudinally AV block and aluminum cylinder head, a shaft overhead cam per row cylinders, 1996 cm3 (135 hp DGM) 2.492 cm3 (DGM 158 hp); 5 cylinder inline (Diesel), block cast iron cylinder heads aluminum, lateral camshaft, 2,494 cm3 (DGM 105 hp). Ment cooled by water.
Power supply: six single carburettors (2.5 V6), injection #Bosch #Bosch-L-Jetronic (2.5 V-6 in 1983), mechanical injection turbo + (2.5 turbodiesel).
Transmission: driving rear wheels, clutch Single dry, synchronized or 5 box Automatic transmission #ZF3HP , differential Self blocking. Lever to the floor.
Frame: monocoque body sheet steel, independent front wheels with bunk trapezoids and anti-roll bar, rear wheels semi-independent by #De-Dion-axle , parallelogram Watt, half-shafts and anti-roll bar, telescopic shock absorbers
Front / rear, front torsion bars, coil springs AR, front / rear discs, support, management assisted rack wheels 14 "or 15".
Cargo Capacity: 0.50 m3.
Max speed: 170 and 200 kph
Consumption: 37 MPG (TD, 90 kph) 18 MPG (V6, 90 kph)
PERIOD TO FOLLOW April #1979 - April #1987 (12,288 all cars, 2,977 turbodiesel).
TREND A trend that grand chose not mean,
Exhibit leaving very low.
The pace slows besides seriously, revolving around 3-4% per year on last two years.
INDEX RARETE Very rare 0 1 2 3 4 5 Current
PARTS AVAILABILITY Total for mechanics, almost zero for the rest. And at astronomical prices.
POINTS TO WATCH Corrosion: endemic. Any rust we find no replacement.
Weaknesses: soft windows knee synchro six carburettors, parts prices off mechanically.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationGiant road test #Citroen-CX2400-GTi vs. #Citroen-CX25-Gti-Turbo-2 / #Citroen-CX / #Citroen /
Citroën CX 2400 GTI vs. Citroën CX 25 GTI Turbo 2 Sustainable lightness. Atmospheric or turbocharged, the CX GTI were the Citroën of higher benefits in his time, taking full advantage of the capabilities of your amazing chassis. This is a pair of great respect. And much, much ahead.
Undisputed in the firmament Citroen DS continues to be one of the most desirable classic French brand, especially for those who prefer the technological advancement and aesthetic innovation. But for connoisseurs, there are more stars beyond "Déesse" as the brilliant CX. Created thinking about the future of the brand, the model presented in 1974 raised the bar set by his predecessor, improving premiered some of the technologies - such as the suspension of hydropneumatic springs - but revolutionized the concept of family saloon in aerodynamic nature.
Hitherto no gender model had been the relationship between the body and the air so as CX teased; in the case of GTI version allied advanced shapes with the mechanical power. The first version "GTI" the Citroën CX was revealed in 1977. The 2400 GTi inherited the familiar four-cylinder engine DS 23, and debuted the acronym in the range. Seven years later Citroën upgraded the model with the addition of a turbo on the CX 25 GTi Turbo. Considered the fastest CX range, the GTi Turbo benefit from cosmetic updates imposed on CX 2, and in 1986 was presented the 25 GTi Turbo 2. For historical significance, nothing better than a face to face the first atmospheric version of the CX GTi and the ultimate turbocharged.
Futuristic any perspective
Aerodynamic and simple lines, the CX today makes you dream. With the back cut straight type "Kamm tail", written by Robert Opron, the French model keeps the futuristic aura that made him stand out in 1974 when it was presented to the public. Discrete in appearance, with no unreasonable or disproportionate enlargement acronyms, both GTI versions confrontation attract the knowledgeable look. The only sports award is the rear wing that adorns the CX 25 GTi Turbo 2 version.
Like all other models of the first series, the CX 2400 GTI #1978 keeps the chrome bumpers, little bulky and protruding from the body, as well as mouldings and chrome mirrors. Fruit of aesthetic evolution operated in the second series, the CX 25 GTi Turbo 2 displays bumpers embedded in the plastic body, slimmer rear and a front grille renewed. Wheels type carioca demonstrate the aerodynamic care in CX 2400 GTI design, but do doubt as to its effectiveness in cooling the brake discs. The same goes for the CX 25 GTi Turbo 2 version, but here are two openings in the form of "T" in the beautiful polished wheels leave to see a bit more of the braking system.
With a slight opening of the door we unveil the relieved and bright interior. Ahead, the banks lined with velour with two types of corrugated appear to have been thought to involve the body, complete with padded headrest, while behind the seats resemble small armchairs. Engaging, thanks to the prominent centre console, the dashboard has the futuristic instrument panel highlight your point. Behind the wheel in rubber one only four small squares arm inform readable and colourful way on the time, speed, engine speed, fuel level and water temperature, while a battery of backlit signs warn of potential hazards to driving. By the gearbox lever position to the commands of air conditioning, electric windows and suspension control.
Probably the most curious choice of ergonomic Citroën, in relation to the interior of the CX is the placement of the controls of turn signals and lights. Instead of traditional satellite commands to the steering column, has a small saloon type lever buttons at both ends of the top of the instrument panel. Positioned at a distance of a finger, the controls are easy to use and is only surprising that the turn signals are not automatic, a controversial decision at the time, and that made the Citroën was the last major brand to adopt the modern flashers system .
Identical space to CX 2400 GTi, the housing for the CX 25 GTi Turbo 2 benefits immediately the use of more sports seats, in which the lateral support is noticeably higher. Another of the distinguishing points of the second series model is the dashboard appearance. Redesigned in 1985, the range saw replaced the robust dashboard for a less bulky, with a more discreet center console but it suffers from the quality of materials used. the new design victim, the instrument panel lost the futuristic aesthetic in favor of a more classic presentation with ordinary analog dials. By the lever of the gearbox, controls the air conditioning and suspension are replaced by Radios. Placed in the cross between the handle of the handbrake and the hanging of the bank, this seems out of place in the overall arrangement; an ergonomic defect in a model as advanced as the CX.
Grand Touring Injection
The best way to describe the Citroën CX driving experience is: modern. Engaging and comfortable, with all the well-positioned controls, the minimalist interior generates minimal distraction, providing the necessary information for driving and itemized summary form. Firmly seated in the comfortable seat in 2400 GTi agreement the four-cylinder, with the key to turn the cannon positioned to the left of the steering wheel.
Serious without being intrusive, the 2.4 liter block calms idling while the advanced hydraulic system allows me to maneuver the direction with minimal effort. Rack and pinion with hydraulic assistance Diravi, this is the first tactile contact with the radically new world that is the CX. Innovative at the time, the system allows the steering wheel back to the central point by itself, even when the car is stopped, facilitating parking maneuvers, but requires habituation, especially in the description of slow corners.
Accelerating steadily and smoothly, atmospheric engine CX 2400 GTI turns out to be helpful, even at low engine speeds. Without enthusiasm, the block displays breath in almost every system of tracks, driving the approximately 1400 kg of "Grand Touring Injection" French with suppleness and strength. Perfectly adapted to a five-speed box displays a velvety feel and long distance, aided by a generous course of clutch pedal. The same can not be said of the brake. Extremely small and very hard tact course, pedal power attack jaws to disk, improving stopping distances but requiring restraint on the right foot.
Thought to be conducted with the minimum of effort, the CX 2400 GTI has the gentle way he describes every turn the pinnacle of its engineering. Endowed with a very permissive suspension, generous course, the front-wheel drive model contrary to the original adorning the bodywork with a stability throughout the race. And even when the speed increases, the composure is remarkable.
This same composure is felt at the wheel of the CX 25 GTi Turbo 2. Equipped with a slightly firmer suspension of Series 2, the turbocharged model captivates not much imagination when it enters the "analog" carrier, but quickly makes up for the lack of aesthetic boldness with most involving banks. GTi similar to the first series of commands in touch with a direction quite assisted and almost inert brake pedal, so small that it is your course, the model reveals the urgency of your engine the main difference.
Audible even with the windows closed, the breath of the turbocharger Garrett TO3 adds more power to the acceleration experience. Without being as refined as the first GTi, this version is more exciting, but on the other hand exposes the pitch of too soft chassis, and a box of speeds slow and imprecise. With much higher benefits, the GTi Turbo 2 is far from being a sports car, fitting a lot better in the segment of luxury sedans with above average skills, with passages in turn defying modern dynamics.
In fact, the driving experience of any one of CX is well above the average. Comfortable, safe cornering, modern in installments and designed to make life easier for those traveling on it, the CX GTi is the epitome of a captivating range, perfect for those looking for a classic for the day-to-day with a touch of exoticism and glow.
We thank the collaboration of Ricardo Baptista and Mark Soveral for the preparation of this article.
Between the two generations of CX GTi mediate ten years. Aesthetically the plastic bumpers make all the difference.
For those who doubt, the engine Citroen CX 25 GTI Turbo 2 clearly displays its turbocharging the inscription on top of the engine.
Two ways of being CX GTi. Atmospheric or turbocharged, the choice is the collector.
The four-cylinder 2.4 liter CX 2400 GTI is quite pulled ahead by making hang the weight on the front of the model.
The front seats of the CX 25 GTI Turbo 2 offer more lateral support, and therefore more sporting. The model's rear wing gives it a little more visual race.
Without much lateral support, the front seats of the 2400 CX GTi are enough funds to hold the body in place. The model shows the typical rear concave glass thought to improve aerodynamics.
In the second model series, behind the space also remained good, although they were the banks and the respective tissue changed.
The pitch slightly firmer suspension of CX 25 GTI Turbo 2 provides a more vigorous attack on the curve that can be described in the background accelerator.
The loss of the futuristic instrument panel in the second series model dictated the abandonment of some ergonomic solutions.
Behind passengers can travel in comfort, thanks to the excellent armchairs lined with fabric and very reasonable legroom.
The futuristic instrument panel dominates an enclosed space where ergonomics is advanced.
The excellent CX suspension hit 2400 Gti allows curved passages quite impressive speeds.
Citroën CX 25 GTi Turbo 2 #1986 - 1991
Engine #M25-659 4 cylinders line (type #M25 / 659 / #Citroen-M25 ), transverse position
Front Distribution 1 tree lateral camshaft, 8 valves
Bore x Stroke 93 x 92mm
Displacement (cc) 2499
Power electronic injection #Bosch-LE-Jetronic ; #Garrett turbocharger TO3 (0.7 bar), intercooler
Power (Hp DIN / rpm) 168/5000
Maximum torque (Nm / rpm) 294/3250
Suspension independent on all four wheels, with upper guide arms and lower and hydropneumatic springs; stabilizer bars
FWD, 5 manual transmission. Pinion steering and rack, with assistance
Diravi hydraulic brakes ahead discs ventilated; ago disks; assistance
Hydraulic unibody chassis steel saloon bodywork, 4 doors and 5 places
tank capacity (l) 68
Wheels / tires 5.5 J14 / 210/55 VR TRX 390 Dimensions
length: 4650 mm
wheelbase: 2845 mm
Width: 1770 mm
Weight (kg) 1385
Acceleration 0-100 km / h (sec.) 8.2;
Top speed 221 km / h
Citroën CX 2400 GTi #1977 - 1984
Engine #M23 / #M23-622 4 cylinders line (type #Citroen-M23 / 622), transverse position
Front Distribution 1 tree side camshaft, valves 8
Diameter x Stroke 93,5 x 85,5mm
Displacement (Cc) 2347
Power electronic injection #Bosch-L-Jetronic
power (hp DIN / rpm) 128/4800
Maximum torque (Nm / rpm) 198/3600
Independent suspension to all four wheels, with upper guide arms and lower and hydropneumatic springs; stabilizer bars Streaming Front,
5 manual transmission.
Direction Rack and pinion, with assistance #DIRAVI hydraulic brakes ahead ventilated discs; ago disks; assistance
Hydraulic Chassis monoblock
Steel, saloon bodywork, 4 doors and 5 seats
Fuel tank capacity 68-litres
Wheels / tires 5.5 J14 / 185/80 HR14
wheelbase: 2845 mm
width: 1730 mm
Weight (kg) 1345
Acceleration 0-100 km / h (sec.) 10.5;
Top speed 189 km / hStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationSouth African Special Taking a look at the #BMW-E12/8 #M535i , a rare model unique to the South African market. Just when you thought you knew all about the unique South African #BMW models another one comes to light, the unusual E12/8 M535i Words: Johann Venter. Photography: Oliver Hirtenfelder.
Internally known as ‘model 4709’ this hybrid #BMW-E12 M535i comprised E28 components before the E28 was even manufactured in South Africa. Sounds like going back to the future. Today the word hybrid is all too common in motoring diction. In #1982 it was almost unheard of in motoring circles, but what we see in front of us today is exactly that: a hybrid. Was the #BMW-M535i-E12 the first mass offering by BMW’s M Division? In a word, no. That honour was reserved for another South African special: the #BMW-530MLE (Motorsport Limited Edition). Regular readers will be familiar with the four models unique to South Africa as documented by then deputy editor Sebastian de Latour on his visit to South Africa in 2012. During the ‘70s and ‘80s, the height of the Apartheid era in South Africa where world isolation was the order of the day, BMW South Africa was producing some of its most sought-after models.
How and where did BMW get a foothold in a country positioned on the southern tip of Africa? Like in all corners of the world immigrants bring along their culture to the new frontier they settle in and South Africa is no different. A German immigrant was so attached to his motorcycle he brought it with him to South Africa and so it became the first BMW vehicle to land on South African shores, in 1928.
Another German, #Gunter-Ludwig , started a small garage in 1931 named Club Garage, which later went on to become Club Motors. In 1932 Gunter acquired the rights to become the sole importer of BMW motorcycles to South Africa. By the late 1950s Club Motors imported the first BMW car, the Isetta, and continued to import a range of BMW vehicles until 1968. Club Motors would go on to become one of the biggest independently owned BMW dealerships in South Africa. So what has all this to do with the E12 M535i? Indulge us, if you will, and let us elaborate briefly on how South Africa started a trend of developing unique BMW models.
In the mid-’60s BMW was firmly on the mend; expansion was on the cards, and it set its sights on acquiring the Glas factory in Dingolfing which had been hit by financial difficulties. Glas was relatively well-known for its Goggomobil, somewhat of a rival to the Isetta. The sexiest thing to leave the Glas production-line was arguably the 1700GT designed by Italian Pietro Frua which BMW continued to produce for a short stint as the 1600GT. Glas also produced a 1700 Saloon (also penned by the Frua design studio in Turin) which would have been in direct competition to BMW’s 1800.
And so with the constellations aligned a path was set in motion in 1968 whereby Pretoria businessman Hannes Pretorius, together with Gunter Ludwig (of Club Motors), his son and several other shareholders formed Euro-Republic Automobile Distributors (Pty) Ltd. This is the very company that would assemble the Glas-bodied 1700 into the 1800 SA and 2000 SA under license at the Rosslyn plant just outside Pretoria. BMW AG shipped the four-door bodies and tooling it inherited from the Glas outfit to Rosslyn where they were fitted with the M10 1773cc and 1990cc motors. Brazil was the only other country in the southern hemisphere that these cars were exported to. In 1972 BMW AG took complete ownership of Euro-Republic Automobile Distributors (Pty) Ltd which became a subsidiary of the German company, by which time the operation was also assembling the larger E3 2500 and 2800 saloons, followed eventually by the 3.0S.
In 1974 the SA models were updated (by raiding the parts-bin of other models) and brought closer inline with the look of BMW models of the time. The taillights from the E12 were installed upside down, the front received the grille from the E3 and front indicators from the E9 Coupés. At last, sporting the BMW kidney in the centre of the grille, these models were renamed the 1804 and 2004.
Talk about hybrids! After it took complete ownership, BMW AG invested 9 million Rand (approximately £5.6 million) on tooling and assembly setup for the E12 5 Series which was launched in South Africa in 1974, two years after it had made its European debut.
In 1972 BMW was brimming with excitement as it was in the final stages of constructing its four-cylinder headquarters and BMW Museum in Munich, a stone’s throw away from the Olympic Park where Germany hosted the 1972 Olympics. It also launched the E12 5 Series, named as such either because it happened to be the fifth in the range of the Neue Klasse or because it fitted in the middle slot in the new range/series… you decide! The Five was, however, the car that started the naming ‘Series’; penned by Paul Bracq with more rounded edges, a sloping rear and front indicators integrated into the bumper. It definitely was a more modern automobile, with a more driver-focused instrument layout; it consisted of a safety cell, reinforced sills and strengthened frontal structure. The introduction of the E12 5 Series, however, made BMW less of an exotic and more of a mainstream car manufacturer.
One can’t possibly talk about the South African M535i without mentioning the 530 MLE, developed as a homologation special in South Africa to go racing in. The initial production figure was 100 but demand was such that over 200 were produced. This is truly the first car to make it out of the M stable – even relying on Schnitzer expertise with the development. The 530 MLE is probably the most significant of the unique BMWs produced in South Africa, a race car offered in race trim to the road-going motorist – designed for the track and sold to the public in order to qualify to go racing. It is the closest BMW came to producing a track car for public roads prior to the M3.
It would also have a consequential outcome on the development of the #BMW-M535i . Let’s make a very brief acquaintance. Exterior: deep front spoiler and boot spoiler, made of fibreglass with extended wheel arches. M tricolour stripes adorned the shoulder of the car as well as the front and rear spoilers. Lightweight construction: body fabricated from aluminium and lighter gauge steel, drilled boot hinges and foot pedals. Interior: Scheel front bucket seats, foam base rear-bench and special Motor Sport steering. Engine: #M30 3.0-litre overhead cam motor tweaked by Schnitzer, with twin Zenith down-draught carburetors, special cam, competition flywheel plus an engine oil cooler. Running gear: close-ratio five-speed dog-leg ‘box with a limited-slip diff, Bilstein dampers, stiffer springs and thicker anti-roll bars. This all resulted in the MLE achieving 197hp at 6000rpm and 204lb ft of torque at 4300rpm.
The 530 MLE achieved tremendous success on the track in South Africa over a short racing career but it was the most successful E12 racer in the world and in no small part thanks to Eddie Keizan and Paddy Driver behind the wheel. In his book, Unbeatable BMW Jeremy Walton attributed these cars as the closest to a works 5 Series BMW achieved in a road car. Sebastian de Latour did a feature on a replica 530 racer in the 2011 September issue of BMW Car and as part of his South African trip did a full feature on the 530 MLE in the 2013 March issue of BMW Car.
After the 200 odd 530 MLEs sold, BMW SA continued to produce the 530 as the flagship in the 5 Series range. These cars, however, were far removed from the homologation special, still sporting a 3.0-litre M30 motor. They had little in common with the original and were really just sporting luxury saloons. It is significant to look at the M535i when it was launched in Europe as the car that was introduced in South Africa two years later was slightly different. At the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1979 BMW unveiled for the first time a car that would be mass produced that would wear the Motorsport badge. The E12 M535i was available in European markets from 1979 to the end of May 1981 with a total of 1410 being made, of which 450 were right-hand drive.
The engine was the same unit used in the E24 635CSi which had been developed from the in-line six-cylinder found in the Batmobile and closely linked to the #M88 motor which powered the M1 supercar. The 3453cc engine has a bore of 93.4mm and a stroke of 84mm with a SOHC iron-block using Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection resulting in 218hp at 5200rpm and 224lb ft of torque at 4000rpm. The suspension geometry was similar to that of a regular Five with Macpherson struts in the front and semitrailing arms in the rear. The M division did, however, provide uprated springs with Bilstein dampers. Brakes comprised the standard four-pot brake callipers but with 3mm thicker ventilated discs up front. To put the power down a five-speed close-ratio Getrag gearbox with a limited-slip differential was fitted.
What really got pulses racing were the embellishments: the deep colour-coded air dam, a chunky rubber boot spoiler, and BBS 6.5x14-inch cross-spoke alloys. Ice white cars got the tricolour BMW Motorsport stripes running down the side (by now made famous by the 2002 Turbo). In keeping with the sports theme Recaro Sports seats and an M1 steering were also on offer.
You could, however, order a sleeper devoid of the trimmings which even meant excluding the M badges. The M535i was the fastest Saloon car on the planet, a trend which BMW still tries to uphold today with the Five. At the time it was good for 0-60mph in 7.5 seconds and a top speed of 138mph.
The South African M535i was launched in 1981, two years after the European version. It was to be the replacement for the more civilised 530 that had been sold after the departure of the MLE. The South African M535i was not offered with the front air dam, rear spoiler or M tricolour stripes of the European model, which was pretty strange given that just a few years earlier BMW SA had offered the 530 MLE race car as a road-legal vehicle with all the fireworks including the war-paint to anyone with the right amount of cash. The MLE literally paved the way for the M535i, demonstrating what could be done with a big block six-cylinder in a medium-sized saloon. BMW SA also did not see the need on launch to offer the close-ratio gearbox, instead a normal H-pattern ’box with overdrive was fitted.
Other than that it pretty much was standard fare, on the outside with just the usual smattering of M badges. Also standard were the 7x14-inch #BBS crossspoke alloy wheels with the centre caps bearing the BMW Motorsport logo.
Underneath it again had the M30 3453cc engine with #Bosch-L-Jetronic injection, strengthened stabiliser bars front and rear with Bilstein gas dampers and a ZF 25 per cent limited-slip diff. On the inside there were Sports Recaro seats, an M1 steering, a Pioneer radio/tape deck with amp (European markets mostly got Blaupunkt), electric windows, air-con, electric mirrors, power-steering and central-locking all as standard. An electric steel sunroof was a cost option. The M535i produced 218hp (160kW) at 5200rpm and 228lb ft (310Nm) at 4000rpm and was good for 138mph (222km/h) at the top end. Wheels magazine compared it to a Porsche 928 and Car magazine in South Africa had the following to say: “The new M535i is difficult to categorise. It’s not a pure sports sedan like the 530, nor is it pure luxury car. To some extent it combines the best elements of both to produce a really fast car with a high standard of comfort and equipment.”
While the rest of the world in 1982 was gearing up to become acquainted with the E28 5 Series, South Africa continued with its hybrid philosophy. With manufacturing volumes too low and retooling deemed too expensive the entire E12 5 Series model range received instead the new E28 5 Series dashboard (which became known as the E12/8) and fuel-injection also became standard across the range. With the new E28 dash the cockpit inside the M535i definitely became more driver- centric with the instrument cluster and controls focused on the driver. New technological marvels were introduced equipping the car with a service interval indicator, fuel consumption indicator, and active check control above the rear view mirror in a padded safety panel – checking seven key functions.
Unfortunately, the South African M535i was once again deprived of the M aero-kit but for the first time the close-ratio Getrag five-speed dog-leg ‘box was available as a free option. Both gearboxes (five-speed overdrive) were paired with a taller 3.07:1 final drive. The M535i also had a unique set of tyres and wheels: metric-sized 165x390mm alloy wheels, as used on some European E28s fitted with 200/60VR390 #Michelin-TRX tyres. When Car magazine South Africa tested it, it concluded: “It’s a great car – developed specially by the Motor Sport Division of BMW A.G. for the motorist who wants exceptional performance in a luxury sedan.” Only 1416 examples of the Model 4709 E12 M535i hybrid were assembled in South Africa until production ended in December 1984. It was then replaced by the E28 M535i in January 1985.
Enough with the #BMW-SA history lesson, let’s get acquainted with this M hybrid. It’s hard to believe that the M535i in front of us is 33 years old and yet this is a very honest car that gets driven regularly. It is definitely no show queen; the odometer shows 110,203 miles (177,355km). One definitely gets the sense that BMW’s philosophy at the time was to build cars that would stand the test of time. The Polaris silver paint works well with the chrome accents. The #Alpina shovel-spoiler in the front suits the car much better than the standard air dam that was fitted to European models as the lines are just so much cleaner and sharper. Step to the back and the spoiler found on the boot is also from Alpina. It’s smaller in size than the M article and again cleaner, in my opinion. Sometimes less is more. The stance is perfect thanks to a set of BBS cross-spoke rims 7x16 inches in the front and 8x16 inches at the rear as found on the E23 745i. It is rounded off with ContiPremiumContact 2 rubber (205/55R16 in the front and 225/50R16 at the rear) which fills the arches nicely. As I open the door I am transported back to my youth, the E12 is the very reason for my fascination with BMW. I remember there was a car that I drooled over almost every day. I could not miss it as it was on my way home from school. It was a Petrol blue E12 528i. A few years later a friend bought an E12 M535i in Henna red. It was my first experience with a dog-leg ’box, it went like a bat from hell. Then being inside the M535i was like being inside the Starship Enterprise, with an orange glow from the instrument binnacle and the red lights from the check control. Such fond memories!
Once inside I am completely gobsmacked; it is immaculate. There is not a crack or a blemish on the dash, it virtually looks new. The Recaros, covered in Marine blue velour, do not even have a scuff. The M gear lever perfect and the biggest show piece has to be the four-spoke Alpina Sports steering.
One turn of the key and the engine sparks to life and in true BMW fashion of cars of this era it quickly settles down into a big block six-cylinder hum. I find these dog-leg boxes still tricky today and the clutch is quite heavy. Drop the clutch and flatten the loud pedal and, exactly as I remember, the M535i squats down on its haunches and the nose reaches for the stratosphere. The exhaust lets off a mechanical growl that’s much different to BMWs of today. This car still feels quick today. Then again it only weighs 1465kg.
The ride is compliant but the trade-off is the body-roll, which is more prevalent than in more modern Bavarian metal. Turn-in is good but not sharp as it relies on a recirculating ball setup but this car feels as solid as when it was new. The fit and finish is perfect. There are no rattles or vibrations. The four-pot brake callipers make easy work of dissipating high speeds and the Bilsteins ensure the wheels stay planted. The owner of the M535i, Shaun Sing, is a BMW Master Technician who started Tune Tech 20 years ago. It’s one of the most reputable independent BMW workshops in South Africa. Tune Tech not only services BMW products it does tuning and performance upgrades and builds race cars. Strangely enough Shaun qualified as an aircraft mechanic but found BMW far more appealing and in 1987 joined the Stuart Bromfield BMW dealership. The rest, as they say, is history.
Ten years ago the original owner brought the car into Tune Tech to have the brakes looked at. Shaun somehow convinced him to part with this rarity. Shaun received the car with all the books/manuals, including the original brochure and a file with all the receipts for work that had been carried out. Since then very little has been done except that the fuel tank has been replaced, as well as all four headlamps, and the Bilsteins have been refurbished. Thankfully Shaun also removed the foglights, got the front spoiler and rear spoiler from Alpina, fitted the Alpina steering and the 745i BBS rims – all cosmetic enhancements that really set off this magnificent piece of South African motoring history.
BMW set the trend for building the fastest Saloon cars in the world and the M535i really is the benchmark from where it all started. The BMW Rosslyn plant continued to build a variety of BMWs which included the E28 M5 and E34 M5, which was also the last in the 5 Series range made at the plant. Today Rosslyn is referred to as plant nine in BMW’s global hierarchy and only manufactures the F30 3 Series Saloon, 330 a day or one every four minutes; 85 percent of production is shipped to about ten markets worldwide. It’s a far cry from the days of the E12/8 M535i.
SPECIAL THANKS TO:
Ron Silke and Ulrich Thieme of www.e12.de
The M535i was the fastest Saloon car on the planet, a trend which BMW still tries to uphold today with the Five.
These three cars above can be viewed as the forefathers of the ‘South African Special’. The white car at the top is a 2000 SA which was built in South Africa using the shell of a Glas 1700 with BMW mechanicals. (This particular example hails from Rhodesia and was originally known as a Cheetah). The green machine is a post 1974 2000 SA with a BMW grille and upside down E12 rear lights while the E12 below it was the 530 MLE – a locally built homologation special.
Drop the clutch and flatten the loud pedal and the M535i squats down on its haunches and the nose reaches for the stratosphere.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationSTARSHIP 911
Stewe Corpley drives the #1986 #Porsche-911-Turbo-SE – Porsches 80s flagship #930 .
Should you, during 1986, come across a right-hand-drive #930-series #Porsche-911-Turbo-Special-Equipment , take a good look at the owner. That’ll be the person behind the wheel; no one who recently paid £73.985.06 for this piece of four-wheeled transport will lose any opportunity to be the one behind the wheel.
The person you’re looking at will be special indeed: someone with the outrageousness and means and sheer gall to pay a premium of £34.685 just to have a Porsche 911 Turbo 930 that has been improved someone who feels they need more power than the 300bhp of the standard model. At most there will be a dozen of these people out and about on the roads of Britain.
Despite the Motorfair fanfare during October, the Turbo Special Equipment (Porsche people make certain they say it in full) isn't a new car, it has been built to special order by the repair and restoration staff in the Zuffenhausen factory for the past four years. Now, Porsche Great Britain reckon there’s a market for it that wasn’t around before (perhaps they’ve been surprised at the worldwide interest the four-wheel-drive #Porsche-959 has generated for ultra-expensive Porsches) and they’ve reserved the car a special place, and price, in their official price list.
The #Porsche-930 Turbo SE (as we’ll call it) is hand-finished. The restoration shop people start with an ordinary, fully built Turbo, strip away the ordinary #Porsche-911-Turbo wings and fit the louvres in the top surface that allow you to look straight through to the top of the tyre. They lit the car with side skirts (we prefer that to the 'running boards’ which is how one impertinent pump jockey described them) and the rear wings got huge, slatted air scoops ahead of the rear wheels. Those admit great gobs of air to cool the brakes.
There’s a lower chin spoiler, with a business-like mesh grille under the familiar bumper, but the car’s shape at the extreme rear is completely familiar. Same tea-tray wing, same low tail lights and ‘turbo’ in lower case script. The nine-inch wide rear wheels (forged alloy, with five spokes) have polished rims and they wear the new-size 245/45VR16 tyres which now also go on to ordinary, £39.303 Turbos. The front wheels are in the same style; standard seven-inches with the 205/ 55VR16S they’ve had for several years.
It’s surprising how different the #930-Turbo-SE looks from an ordinary car. There’s a less brutish, more exotic quality to it. and from the front more than a hint of 935 sports/racer. And that is much of what the buyer is paying for - a classier image for a car which goes as hard as any other production car on this Earth up to 170mph.
Are you getting the feeling that this, despite its huge cost, is a poseur’s chariot of the worst kind, the type whose serious purpose and abilities are subservient to its claim to making the occupants look good? I must say this is what struck-me. And I was then struck, as always in such cars, by the overwhelming foolishness of choosing a car solely because it suits your image - or because you'd like to suit its image. I mean, being seen in a car is so impersonal. Nobody knows who you are; nobody knows it’s you in there, enveloped in leather behind the expensive curves of coachwork. Posing in cars is nothing more than an exorcise in futility.
With these dark thoughts in mind I opened the hefty door of the Turbo SE on a rainy night after a particularly disaster- ridden day in the office. Parked next to the SE was a classical, no-frills #911 , the one we used for this year’s Top 10 photo session. Gavin Green had that. It was £25,000-worth and we knew it was nice. Mine cost three times that amount, and it was an unknown quantity.
If you want to establish a close and friendly relationship with a new 911 Turbo you should not drive it on a rainy night, after a spell in a Hyundai Pony. The ergonomics are hell. You will not be able to make the demisting work properly, because you will not have had time for the mandatory refresher course in rear-engined Porsche ventilation controls. You will also have trouble threading the car through those seven-foot wide barriers that are erected all over London suburbs to reduce the nocturnal rumbling of juggernauts; you will have trouble parking the car because you cannot see out of it and the wide wheels stick so far out of the body that you will fret about kerbing them. Better to wait for a fine day and head for the open road. As we eventually did...
And the Porsche Turbo isn't all body modifications, of course. It has a leather- trimmed Interior - violent red and black in the test car - with all the equipment you could want. There's a powered sunroof, air conditioning, a pair of all-leather Recaro seats (with a console for powered adjustment, heating and lumbar support adjustment on the inside bolster of each). There are driving lights and the standard stereo is a Blaupunkt Toronto.
Porsche 911 Turbo Special (930 SE)Equipment knocks off same of ordinary Turbo rough edges; comes with now front wings (below) fitted by Porsche's own restoration people In Zuffcnhauson, Germany.
But the best bit of all is the engine, which is stronger even than the ordinary Porsche Turbo’s, so recently strengthened for the 1986 model year. The standard car has 300bhp at 5500rpm: this one bumps the output up to 330bhp at the same crank speed. The SE's torque peak is more or less unaltered: it stays around 318lb ft (at 4000rpm), the level to which it rose (from 303lb ft) a year ago. The SE's output makes it the strongest purely road going production Porsche ever built - and that has got to be a component in the makeup of the mammoth price.
It’s surprising, in fact, that the output isn’t up more than 10 percent: Porsche’s people have given the engine high-lift cams, gone up a turbocharger size and fitted the SE with a bigger capacity charge intercooler, and a modified exhaust.
The rest of the car is pure, well-developed #Porsche-Turbo . The flat six engine, fed from the turbo through #Bosch-L-Jetronic fuel injection ( #Bosch )and with an engine management system controlling its induction and breakerless ignition, is mounted behind the rear axle line and drives through a four-speed gearbox, specialty engineered to handle the massive torque of this car. #Porsche rightly feel that more gears than four are unnecessary. though so few ratios require some technique change from the driver, as we shall see.
The 3000lb car has strut-type suspension at the front and tough semi-trailing arms at the rear, with anti-roll bars at both ends. There are torsion bars to absorb the road shocks at both ends, plus Bilstein gas filled dampers. The steering is by manual rack and pinion and it takes near enough to three turns to swing the fat three spoke wheel from lock to lock.
930 Porsche SE cabin is overpoweringly red. Leather it of finest quality and equipment la plentiful, too. Wheel is lovely to use, gets in way of driver’s eye to dial, however.
The morning dawns icy. Overnight some of the rain on the roads has frozen. Oversteer will be on the menu. My alarm clock has succumbed to the cold: I wake 45 minutes late. It is necessary to be at the service area outside Exeter at 6.30am. To make that, it will be necessary to average 200mph. What is more, the car does not have a handbook, and the intricacies of the ventilation controls still cannot be dredged from the frost-numbed mind.
This may not sound like an ideal state of mental balance in which to make a first serious approach to the #Porsche-911 Turbo SE. yet it seems right for such a suspected poseur's car.
I left my base with 120 miles to do (90 motorway, 30 poor back roads) and an hour to do them. I gave it about five miles of warm-up, running the engine easily in the gears around 3000rpm and feeling the way the warmth flowed quickly from the heater. That’s one point in favour of the air-cooled engine. When the oil temperature gauge started to move, I began to open up a bit. On the second corner taken with any power on, there was ice, the tail snapped out, and fortunately something inside me whipped on the right amount of correction and the Porsche did obey, and like lightning.
And so we graduated to faster better engineered roads, trafficked all night so that they were drier. The Porsche began to lope along at 80, under 3000rpm in top. The wheel, different from any other Porsche type I've used, had a very thick rim, with a lot of little knobs on the windscreen side, where your fingers could fit exactly. That seemed, somehow, to make it a precision tool. In spite of myself, I began to enjoy all this.
I pressed on rapidly to where I knew my friends were waiting near Exeter. It soon became clear that this was a car of prodigious performance. In top, you were well illegal if you were doing more than 3000rpm. I cruised at 4000. At 27.5mph/ 1000rpm it was fast, but the car felt completely stable In the still morning. There was some buffeting and some rear, but it wasn't loud. Or at least, you couldn't hear much of It for the tyre roar and bump-thump off the road. The Turbo is mechanically quiet, actually, but noise from underneath makes up for that.
There was not too much anger from the others when I reached our meeting point. They’d used the time to have a service area fry-up, from which I wished them a speedy recovery. We headed west and were deep into Cornwall by Sam. And my familiarity with and respect for the SE was starting, insidiously, to mount.
There is nothing like a very high geared car, which can still go extremely hard in top to give you an impression of supreme, limitless performance. The Turbo SE. stronger even than an ordinary Turbo, is just such a car. The engine will function smoothly in any gear from about 1400rpm. From about 2600rpm the boost gauge begins to show signs of puff. By 3000rpm there is a definite push in the back and by 3300rpm, if the throttle is opened wide, you cannot avoid going extremely hard.
Turbo SE’s profile show resemblance to #Porsche-935 racer. There is a grille below front bumper that adds to impression when car is viewed from front, too. Scoops In rear guards have ugly slats, but they direct a lot of extra cooling air onto rear brake discs. Rear wheels have nine-inch rims.
Beyond 4000rpm, if you are in a lower gear all hell breaks loose. It is as if you're being launched bodily. If first happens to be the gear you’re in, there is only time to concentrate on timing your change into second at 6800rpm, so that you will not over-rev the engine and come ignominiously up against the rev-limiter. Second is a remarkable gear. That one ratio encompasses the entire performance span of many lesser cars. It is possible (though why you should want to. I can't imagine) to get the Porsche rolling in second. You can still be in second nearly 90mph later. Into the red, the speedo shows 95mph, but about 4-5mph of that you have to allow as speedo error. The car’s sheer, thunderous performance has to be experienced to be believed. Forty to 60mph, 50 to 70, 60 to 80mph: they are all consumed in 2.5sec or loss. Suddenly you’re doing 90, right up against the red, and since there are plenty of places where 90mph is not a harmonious speed on British non-motorways, you had better think quickly.
Third gear has a persona of its own. If it is 24 carat performance you want, third's really not much good to you below 3500 rpm or 70mph. You need to be in second. But between 70 and 130 the Porsche has effortless, soaring performance which lifts it beyond even the level of the Italian twelve’s, since it's so long-legged, so extraordinarily effortless in its self-energised power delivery - and so amazingly quiet. Oh, there is engine noise. The flat*six scream is there and welcome. But the silencing effect of the turbo, the lack of rasp or whine from the superbly strong gearbox, means that the engine is really very refined. On the over-run there might be a hint of vibration as the engine comes down through the 4000s, but only a paid critic would notice it. Anyone else would merely be impatient to slow, just to do it all again. The car’s performance is intoxicating. Think, if you can, of the surge from 100mph to 120 in just over five seconds. It’s so fast.
Top does its best work over 90mph. Over the ton, really. That’s where the car has its seven-league boots on. Never has so much been achieved by one simple squeeze on a road car's accelerator. And if it’s cruising you want, this car will steam along showing 145mph and 5000rpm (it’s about 138mph true, actually) with nearly 2000rpm left to the redline.
First is the gear that needs watching. Though the SE comes with a limited slip differential, you can light up both rear tyres if you engage the clutch abruptly with about 4000rpm on board. Actually dropping the clutch is something I just couldn’t bring myself to do. When the rears do spin, you have to be careful. Turbo cars like this - and competition cars - are prone to something called overspin. The tyres lose adhesion, the engine revs rise higher, the turbo spins faster and suddenly even more horsepower is being produced, to the detriment of your #Dunlop D40s. And with no benefit to forward motion. You're probably travelling sideways in smoke, by that time.
The correct start technique seems to be to feed in the clutch briskly at 3500, enough just to break the tyres loose. Pause a moment as they grip, then give it everything. You’ll find the car is at its maximum, around the middle 50s, less than 4.0 sec later.
There are not really any snap-changes in this car. The lever movement is long, though smooth. The engine tends to hang in the higher ranges, so there’s plenty of time (or rhythmic changes, not the slam- bam kind. And the need for gearlever violence is reduced by the knowledge that there is a great surge of thrust available the moment you've smoothly engaged the clutch again.
But one thing is critical in this car, as a result of the four-speed box. You must cover yourself against falling into vast gulfs between the ratios. Thus, when you’re travelling fast it’s best to hold onto a lower gear if you can't see over the hill, rather than risk allowing the revs to fall below 3500rpm. This is actually quite brisk as long as the engine's turning at over 2000, yet so great is the rate of acceleration difference between that and when it’s at 4000, that you’re interested only in one thing. Thus in difficult going, if you’re decelerating, you should change down to third below 70-75mph, second below 50, and first below 30. It's a curious routine until you get used to it, but if you adhere to it. your ability to find power and put it down In every situation. Is awesome.
As for acceleration, we could get serious only about running some standing quarter miles (13.3 seconds) and some zero to 100mph times (12 seconds dead). It was clear that the thing was so quick that a full set didn't seem worth the trouble. I just wanted to drive. They say zero to 60mph comes up in just over 5.0sec (though such statistics are always dependent on driver skill) and that the car will pull a bit over 6000rpm to give a 171 mph top speed. We’ll take their word for the last. I didn’t go over 150 more than three times, and at that stage, because there was a bit of a cross-wind blowing on our private course, the car felt decidedly lively. Mechanically, it could have sat there all today and tomorrow.
All this power needs a chassis. The Turbo SE has one reputed to be the most difficult in the business. Realty it is not. There are only two things to remember. Always be hard on the power at the point of maximum cornering effort - and never. never get caught running into a corner on trailing throttle.
With power to hold its tail down, the Turbo has the grip of a limpet. It has such rear grip, in fact, that unless you turn it into a bend property, its acceleration will propel your front wheels straight across your bend in hideous understeer. Indeed, the grip is such, that even with 330bhp and all these pounds-feet you will probably not unstick the tail in the dry, purely with power. The experts' trick for doing that is to throttle off momentarily to unstick it, then come down hard again on the horsepower to hold it out, while applying opposite lock. Any instinct you have to steer with the throttle, as you might in a more docile machine, needs to be curbed until you’ve felt the big beast out. And by the time that happens, you'll probably have discovered that steering with the wheel makes the best sense. Yet when driven rapidly by someone who truly understands it, the 911 Turbo (and SE) are extremely rapid cars, perhaps even quicker than their mid-engined competitors. They have a neat, rhythmical swinging motion into bends, their reaction to correction of any kind has been bred to be very sympathetic, and the short wheelbase helps there. All the old stuff about the 911’s layout being 'fundamentally wrong' can be made to look rather ill by a good pair of hands on a Turbo's wheel.
The suspension's support systems are fine. The ride is flat, firm, sometimes jolting (over broken bitumen) but it always has that reassuring tightness which is another reason people buy Porsches. The steering is pin-sharp, especially with the SE's superb wheel. The brakes, huge discs that are cross-drilled and have twin-pot calipers, are superb. Push them hard and you stop hard. Their best attribute, apart from a sheer ability to retard, is that they can be eased off, perhaps to half your original stopping effort, with an ease and accuracy that still isn't normal even in expensive cars.
But the heart and the guts of this car is the way'it goes. That is why I finished up liking it so much, while thinking it no more than a poseur's special to begin with. I suppose I can get to terms with the price, since the #Ferrari-Testarossa and #Lamborghini-Countach are well into the 60 grand sector and this car is at least as good as they are for sheer ability to go. With its decent bumpers, visibility, manoeuvrability. 12,000 mile service intervals, seven-year anti-rust guarantee and proven resale value, it might well be a lot better, if good sense comes into it.
What is clearest of all, is that the ordinary 911 Turbo can be an even better choice for someone who puts the time into getting to know it and to handling it the way they do it at #Weissach . That car, 30bhp lighter than the SE, can save you more than £30,000 - £30.000! - yet it's only 0.2sec slower over 0-100mph. It comes to you, very well-equipped, for £39,300 and, in the mood I’m in right now, I think it’s a bargain.
Luxurious buckets have power-adjust console on inside bolster, plus system of bolster adjustment. They're very comfortable, if loud-looking. 330bhp engine has bigger puffer, Intercooler, then standard, plus high-lift cam profiles, new exhaust.
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