Toggle Sidebar
Recent updates
  • Post is under moderation
    1973 BMW 3.0CSL ‘ #Batmobile ’ £165,000

    Genuine ‘Batmobiles’ are be few and far between; this lookalike offers an accurate compromise, says Richard
    There’s a common misconception that every BMW 3.0CSL came bedecked with spoilers, fins and a stripped interior. Many owners, especially British ones, opted for more subtlety. That was the case with this car, now for sale from a private collection. Its conversion from Series II CSL to ‘Batmobile’ spec was done during a restoration using, according to the vendor, genuine BMW Motorsport parts. The attention to detail included conversion from right- to left-hand drive. It has covered under 500 miles since.

    Finished in Chamonix White with BMW Motorsport striping, care has obviously been taken to make this look as accurate as possible, with the full quota of add-on aerodynamic and weight-saving parts. Exterior condition is mostly excellent. Corrosion is absent, save for what looks like a minute stain at the rear of the left-hand side sill cover. On the other side, the right-hand side sill cover doesn’t quite fit flushly because of a loose securing screw. The left-hand rear edge of the bonnet also doesn’t sit quite as snugly as it could when closed. Up close, there are a few minor marks on some of the side trim and black-painted rear bumpers. The chrome wheelarch trims are all superb.
    Behind the Alpina wheels, only the nearside pair show any minor rim scuffing.

    Tyres are Bridgestone Turanza T001s, 205/55 R16 91Ws up front with wider 225/50 R16 92Ws at the rear, all from 2013 and looking healthy. The underbody looks to have been comprehensively sealed. Inside, the cabin is very tidy, although it shows more ageing signs than the exterior.

    With 67,679km (42,054 miles) on the speedometer, it has obviously been looked after but not over-restored so that it loses any patina. Thus the wood shows some some wear, mostly around the extremities by the doors. There’s a gap in the centre console for the radio, just waiting to be filled by a period Blaupunkt or Becker. Apart from the clock, all of the controls, gauges and warning lights work and behave as they should. The seats – leather with corduroy inserts – look nearly new.

    On the road, the BMW behaves impeccably. There’s no roughness, the idle is smooth and the temperature needle stays resolutely at the centre of its travel once it reaches working temperature.

    Gear selection is easy throughout, with a surprisingly light clutch, and the steering feels tight and accurate with no play. As docile as the CSL is around town, the car comes alive when let loose on a faster road – it surges forward with no hesitation. Fortunately, the brakes are very sharp; they pull the car up quickly, without any veering to one side.
    Sadly when the owner responsible for the restoration passed away, the history went AWOL. However, this car bears all the marks of a very good 3.0CSL where the ‘Batmobile’ additions have been performed to a high, authentic standard. And it’s up for considerably less money than you’d pay for an original ‘Batmobile’.

    CHOOSE YOUR BMW 3.0 CSL E9

    1 Production of the homologation ‘Leicht’ BMW E9 began in 1971, under the 3.0CSL designation. Lightweight steel and alloy body panels, Plexiglass rear side windows and a stripped-out interior saved 200kg over the standard 3.0CS.

    2 After 169 cars, the second series came out in 1972 with a fuel-injected 3003cc engine in place of previous 2985cc twin-carburettor unit. There were 500 rhd and 429 lhd examples.

    3 The third series (1973-1974) saw engine capacity increased to 3153cc, and aerodynamic aids added. On road cars, these were often supplied unfitted in the boot for owners to fit. All of these 110 cars were left-hand drive.

    4 The fourth series (1974-1975) brought down the curtain on the E9 3.0CSL, with just 57 made.

    Car #1973-BMW-3.0CSL-Batmobile-evocation-E9 / #1973 / #BMW-3.0CSL-Batmobile-evocation-E9 / #1973-BMW-3.0CSL-Batmobile-E9 / #BMW-3.0CSL-Batmobile-E9 / #BMW-3.0CSL-E9 / #BMW-E9 / #BMW-3.0CSL / #BMW /

    Price £165,000
    Contact Private seller, Letchworth, Hertfordshire (07860 264932)
    Engine 3003cc sohc straight-six, M30 / Bosch electronic fuel injection
    Max Power 200bhp @ 5500rpm
    Max Torque 200 lb ft @ 4300rpm
    Performance
    0-60mph: 7.3sec;
    Top speed: 134mph
    Length 4658mm
    Width 1676mm
    Fuel consumption 17mpg

    Interior shows age-related wear but no over-tired trim pieces ‘Batmobile’ aero parts are supposedly genuine BMW items.
    The basis is a second-series E9 CSL, so it has a 3003cc straight-six.
    Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
  • Post is under moderation
    Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupe This German muscle car was always going to have to deliver something special to justify its eye-watering price-tag. So did it?

    / #Mercedes-AMG-C63-S-Coupe / #Mercedes-AMG-C63-S-Coupe-C205 / #Mercedes-Benz-C205 / #Mercedes-Benz-AMG-C63-S-Coupe / #Mercedes-Benz-AMG-C63-S-Coupe-C205 / #Mercedes-Benz-C-Class / #Mercedes-Benz-C-Class-Coupe / #Mercedes-Benz-C-Class-Coupe-C205 / #Mercedes-Benz-Coupe-C205 / #Mercedes-Benz-C-Class-205 / #Mercedes-Benz / #Mercedes / #Mercedes-AMG /

    It’s fitting that my last drive in the C63 S was one of the best: a one-day round-trip to Anglesey Circuit to drive the new 911 GT3. It was a long day in the saddle; one that started with a 4.30am alarm and finished with me arriving back home just before 9pm. In between was the best part of 500 miles of motorways, majestic A-roads and nadgety B-roads, all dispatched in effortless, engaging style.

    As I’ve discovered over the last six months and nearly 10,000 miles, that’s the nub of the C63 experience. I’d never run a Mercedes before, let alone an AMG model. I suppose deep down I never considered myself a Merc person. This car has made me revise that belief. It did everything so well, and with such big-hearted enthusiasm that even if the journey was a stinker I always found plenty to savour about the car.

    Star of the show is the 4-litre biturbo V8. In ‘S’ spec it’s an absolute powerhouse, feeling good for every last one of its 503bhp and 516lb ft. It’s smooth and refined, with a ton of endlessly elastic low and mid-range thrust, so in most situations you just dip into its vast reserves of performance. Yet when you do extend it, there’s proper fire at the top end. It’s a thoroughbred powerplant, no question. And fuel economy? I’m pleasantly surprised to report that over the six-month loan period the average was 22.9mpg. Yes, I saw sub-15mpg on a particularly enthusiastic commute to the evo offices, but the car countered that with a hugely impressive 29mpg on an epic 700-mile Cambridgeshire-Ayrshire- Cambridgeshire day-trip. Merc’s muscle cars aren’t the dipsomaniacs they used to be.

    Being an AMG, there were plenty of modes to choose for the engine, gearbox, chassis and exhaust, from Comfort through Sport, Sport+ and Race. Comfort and Sport were my preferred and most-selected modes. They just seemed to offer the best blend of response, fuss-free pace and comfort for most trips. However, when I did elect to blitz a few A- and B-roads, Sport+ was hugely effective and great fun. The seven-ratio Speedshift automatic transmission could really up its game and was uncannily prescient with downshifts. Unless I was in a particularly committed frame of mind, Race mode was a bit full-on, but even that had its moments.

    KN66 ZPB was very generously equipped, with options including carbon-ceramic brakes (£4285), lightweight forged alloys (£1735) and the AMG Driver’s Package (£765), which elevates the speed-limiter to 180mph. All in, the price shot up from £68,710 to £82,875: a lot of money for a BMW M4 rival. That said, the car’s fit, finish and looks backed up the big ticket. Sleek and compact, with a purposeful stance and a muscled physique, the C63 S had plenty of presence without showing off.

    The leather, Alcantara and carbon interior was a delight, with the glass roof and Burmester hi-fi (part of the £2595 Premium Package) adding to the feel-good factor.

    We often criticise cars for a lack of connection, and I was worried the C63 S might be a bit numb. Those concerns weren’t entirely unfounded, as it quickly became clear the Merc’s feedback was muted and finely filtered. The steering feel was hardly sparkling, but you could build a picture of what the front end was doing, and its rate of response was well judged. Just as importantly, the rear end’s communication skills were good enough that you always knew when traction was at a premium. I knew where I was with the car, in dry or wet conditions. It helped that the stability-control system was on the ball, and could be relaxed enough to let you have fun yet still remain effective when run in Sport mode. The ceramic brakes had great feel and made light work of stopping the 1725kg coupe, even when we had a quick hoon down the runway at the Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground.

    The Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres worked well through the winter and generated plenty of grip. And there was still a useful amount of meat left on them when the car went back. Must try harder next time.

    Traction? Well, that was at the mercy of my right foot and/or the electronics, but I was surprised how much performance the software enabled you to deploy in the wet. In the dry, the car easily nailed 0-100mph in nine seconds, and I was amused to find it would hit 60mph in seven seconds while performing an epic rolling burnout.

    Dislikes? Well, I quickly switched off most of the semi-autonomous driver-assist widgets (lane-assist and the like). The coasting mode, which disengages drive when you’re cruising off the throttle to save fuel, was annoying too, so I frequently switched that off as well.

    I tend to miss long-term test cars when they go, but this one really got under my skin. It was special in ways that transcend objectivity, and I can honestly say I enjoyed every one of those 9955 miles. You can’t ask for more than that.

    ‘Star of the show is the 4-litre biturbo #V8 – in this spec it’s an absolute powerhouse ’

    CAR #Mercedes-AMG-C63-S-Coupe / #Mercedes-AMG / #AMG /

    Date acquired October #2016
    Duration of test 6 months
    Total test mileage 9955
    Overall mpg 22.9
    Costs £0
    Purchase price £82,875
    Value today £62,500-68,000
    Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
  • Post is under moderation
    Car: #BMW-i8 / #BMW
    Date acquired November #2016
    Total mileage 12,526
    Mileage this month 1074
    Costs this month £0
    Mpg this month 37.2

    Three years after driving one for the first time, Richard Meaden revisits the i8. Have his feelings about it changed?

    THE TROUBLE WITH

    The future is it quickly becomes the present and then, in equally short order, the recent past. The first time I drove an i8, during eCoty 2014 (the silver car pictured here), it very much felt like I was in some kind of time machine. The looks, the technology and, yes, the driving experience all felt like something very fresh.

    A few years later and that bold Bavarian vision of the future is parked outside my house, thanks to the benevolence of editor Gallagher, who wants to share the i8 love.

    Its presence has certainly taken the sting from losing my old Fast Fleeter, the stonking AMG C63 S (the final report for which you may have read on). I’m struggling to think of two more different takes on the quick, premium, German two-door, but the contrast is very good for revealing what I like and dislike about BMW’s statement of intent.

    Do I miss a big, ballsy combustion engine? When I press the i8’s starter button, yes, of course I do. The AMG was like a shot of adrenalin, whereas the i8 starts with an aural cue much like turning on a laptop. The funny thing is, so long as it has some juice in the batteries, that disappointment lasts just as long as it takes to pull the gear-selector into D and whirr off down my drive on near-silent electric propulsion. No, that novelty never wears off.

    Sadly, the thrum of the i8’s triple-cylinder petrol engine is less endearing – unless you really clog it, at which point it starts to become interesting. I didn’t mind it so much back in 2014, but expectations have grown in 2017. In fact, I’m the first to admit the most satisfying solution could easily be more/all electricity and less/no internal combustion. As it stands, the i8 feels like it’s caught between two worlds – those of an all-electric future and a past rooted in performance cars requiring petrol engines to feel authentic.

    Does it feel quick? When you floor it with all 357bhp, absolutely. The torque-fill from the electric motor really does deliver a decent shove, and the tall gearing adds to the sense of reach and elastic, accessible performance.

    Chassis-wise, it’s competent but a bit of a cold fish. The numb steering is the weakest element, which is a shame as you do feel inclined to drive the i8 at a decent pace on fun roads. The damping is firm but the body is nicely controlled, so it’ll find a flow on a good A-road. Some of the lack of feel can be blamed on the tyres, which generate decent grip in the dry but lack progression when you exceed their limits. And it all gets a bit spooky in the wet, with a glassy feel that offers little clue as to how much grip there is to play with.

    What the i8 does brilliantly is provoke thought and reaction. Kids love it – surely a good thing to enthuse new generations of car nuts – and even those adults I’d have down as diehard petrolheads are intrigued by the looks, technology and driving experience.

    You can’t directly compare the i8 in value-for-money or bang-per-buck terms with conventional rivals. But as a bold attempt at reconciling a love of cars and driving with an environmental conscience, this BMW has plenty going for it.

    Richard Meaden (@DickieMeaden)

    ‘Chassis-wise, it’s competent but a bit of a cold fish. The numb steering is the weakest element’
    Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
  • Post is under moderation
    Richard Meaden
    Richard Meaden joined the group BMW i8 electro club
    Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
  • Post is under moderation
    NEW ARRIVAL #Mercedes-AMG-C63-S-Coupe / #Mercedes-AMG-C63-S-Coupe-C205 / #Mercedes-Benz-C205 / #Mercedes-Benz-AMG-C63-S-Coupe / #Mercedes-Benz-AMG-C63-S-Coupe-C205 / #Mercedes-Benz-C-Class / #Mercedes-Benz-C-Class-Coupe / #Mercedes-Benz-C-Class-Coupe-C205 / #Mercedes-Benz-Coupe-C205 / #Mercedes-Benz-C-Class-205 / #Mercedes-Benz / #Mercedes / #Mercedes-AMG /


    AMG’s latest supercoupe arrives on the fleet. Will it be good enough to justify its big price?

    In more than 20 years in this job I’ve never run a Mercedes long-termer. This could account for why I’ve never considered myself a ‘Merc Man’. That said, the arrival of this #AMG C63 S Coupe might force me to reappraise that opinion, for on the evidence of our first few weeks together I feel very much aligned with Affalterbach’s freshest export.

    First, the numbers. Were you to spec an identical car to this you’d need £82,875. That’s to say £68,710 for the base C63 S, then just over £14,000 for the options, which include keyless go, a panoramic sunroof and a 13-speaker Burmester sound system (all part of the £2595 Premium Package), carbon-ceramic brakes (£4285), 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels (up from 19s all-round and costing £1735), and the AMG Driver’s Package (£765), more on which in a moment.

    Given this car is a rival for the £57,065 BMW M4, that’s a chunky amount of money, but personally I’ve long felt AMG’s take on the midsize two-door rocketship is a league above the M-car. Mostly because of what sits beneath the bonnet.

    Stuffing a twin-turbo 4-litre #V8 into the C-class yields spectacular results. This Benz has 503bhp and 516lb ft at its disposal. With the AMG Driver’s Pack its top-speed limit has been raised from 155mph to 180mph, and if you can get its rear tyres to hook-up with the tarmac, it’ll nail 0-62mph in less than four seconds. That seems ample to me.

    The C63 S revels in its hot-rod role. Push the starter button and the whole car pulses with the throb of the V8, exhausts gurgling and burbling exuberantly – especially if you press the exhaust button and open the silencers a bit. There’s even a hint of turbine whistle from the turbos on a cold start. Your neighbours might not agree, but it’s a great way to start the day.

    As you’d expect, there’s a ton of technology to broaden the car’s operating range. You can configure the engine, seven-speed automatic gearbox, chassis and exhaust via the Dynamic Select settings. It’s a bit laborious at first, but you can curate all your favourite settings in the Individual mode to speed things up. Tempting though it is to crank everything to Sport+, it’s good to discover some shades of grey, so for now I’m mixing and matching to find my optimum blend of attitude, response and comfort.

    First impressions are dominated by the sheer performance on tap. This is a truly daft/epic car to have daily access to. One that underlines pleasure is not always dependent on unleashing everything you have at your disposal. Sometimes it’s as good knowing what you have in reserve, and the C63 S has plenty.

    Handling-wise, at low speeds the rear axle is continually under something of an onslaught from the V8’s abundant torque. Pulling steadily out of T-junctions you feel the fat rear tyres and limited-slip diff nibble and chunter as they try to keep things on a tight leash. It’s not something you feel once your speed builds, but it hints at a car that might be a bit spiky on damp winter roads. For now, though, I’m just enjoying the combination of compact coupe and kick-ass engine. What a cracking car.

    Date acquired November #2016
    Total mileage 1568
    Mileage this month 1403
    Costs this month £0
    Mpg this month 23.4

    ‘First impressions are dominated by the sheer performance on tap. This is a truly epic car to have daily access to’
    Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
  • Post is under moderation
    Richard Meaden
    Richard Meaden joined the group Mercedes-Benz C-Class 205 Series
    Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
  • Post is under moderation
    Outside Line Richard Meaden by #Drive-My

    Money no object. Three words, endless possibilities for the imaginative petrolhead. Meaden gets the ball rolling with his perfect flight of fantasy.

    Thinking. Always a dangerous pastime. Especially when you’re a freelance journalist who has turned procrastination into an art form. Still, what is life without daydreams? That’s what I say. Especially when you can turn a few hours of staring out of the window and drinking copious cups of coffee into a long-overdue evo column. I blame my erstwhile colleagues Nick Trott and Jethro Bovingdon for prompting my latest catastrophic distraction and litany of missed deadlines. The former for asking us to concoct our ultimate McLaren Special Operations (MSO) project a few issues back, the latter for reminding me of his N24 drive in Jim Glickenhaus’s eponymous home-brewed racer.

    Where am I going with all this? Rather pleasingly, the haphazard wiring in my brain has taken these random sources of diversion and arrived at what is surely one the most pressing questions of any petrolhead’s life. Namely, what would you commission as your one-off supercar?

    As is always the case with these flights of fantasy, money has to be no object. Likewise, I rarely allow my tenuous grip on engineering to inhibit my desires. In any case, if anyone dared say something wasn’t possible, I’d refer them back to the ‘money-no-object’ bit, for as Bugatti proved with the Veyron, unlimited budget is the ultimate engineering solution.

    So, the six million dollar (or in all likelihood, rather more) question is: what to build? After considerable deliberation, a number of blind alleys and one or two changes of heart, I’ve settled on… a Porsche. Surprise, surprise, I hear you cry, but incredibly, given you’re reading evo, it has nothing to do with a 911. You see, while I have major lust for Stuttgart’s rear-engined icon, I’ve got a real thing for Porsche’s early sports prototype racers. Naturally this includes the #Porsche-917 , but the true apple of my eye is the unspeakably gorgeous #Porsche-908/01 from 1968.

    Why? Years ago I had the immense privilege of driving one of the original factory 908/01s during a trackday at the Nürburgring. Given the very same car raced in (but sadly retired from) the 1968 Nürburgring 1000km, this was truly a day to remember.

    The beauty, delicacy, speed and exquisite engineering of this fierce and fragile machine stuck with me, only to return to the forefront of my mind during my aforementioned daydream.

    Imagine, I thought, what it would be like to make a modern homage to the 908/01, in much the same manner Jim Glickenhaus did with his spectacular Enzo-based, Pininfarina-designed P4/5. Initially I thought a 918 Spyder would be the ideal basis. But then I had to concede it would be too big and complex. And even if you could junk the batteries and motors, it would have a V8 when the 908 had a jewel-like 3-litre air-cooled flat-eight good for 350bhp. It’s at this juncture I should give special mention to evo’s resident curmudgeon, Stuart Gallagher, for his enduring tirade against the 718 Cayman’s less-than-sonorous flat-four. I’m not a great fan of the engine myself, but if two were joined at the crank I reckon I’d have the perfect modern flat-eight. Strip away the turbos, drop in some high-compression pistons and prickly cams, have a play with the firing order and speak to Mr Akrapovic and my project has a suitably special motor.

    The 908 was built around a spindly alloy tubular spaceframe, which the bodywork wraps like an eggshell, only thinner. My 908 will have a chassis made from tubes, but ones fabricated from carbonfibre, perhaps collaborating with a bicycle manufacturer, as they understand the material. The body would also be carbon, the contours of which would be shaped by Rob Dickinson, obsessive genius behind Singer Vehicle Design. Not only would the panels be flawless, but Dickinson’s eye and lightness of touch would capture the essence of the 908/01’s perfect proportions while adding a contemporary twist to elevate the car from re-creation to 21st century tribute.

    Naturally my 908 would have a manual transmission, complete with birch gearknob, and the finished car would be painted white, like all Porsche’s factory prototypes, perhaps with a flash of red or blue around the nose. It would have 600bhp and weigh less than 1000kg. It would be road-legal but track-capable; trimmed for minimalist comfort, but well suited for long European drives. The trouble with this kind of fantasy is the whole process gets rather addictive. Indeed, as I prepare to conclude this column, I’m thinking the perfect accompaniment to the #Porsche-908 would be a more ambitious, #Porsche-917LH -inspired machine. Perhaps powered by an 8-litre, 1000bhp flat-12 made from a spliced pair of #Porsche-911-GT3-RS motors. It needs more thought, obviously, but I’m sold on the idea. Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I’d best make myself another coffee.

    ‘Initially I thought the #Porsche-918-Spyder / #Porsche-918 would be the ideal basis, but it’s too complex’

    Richard is a contributing editor to evo and always the last columnist to deliver his words / @ DickieMeaden / #Porsche / #2017 / #1968 /
    Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
  • Post is under moderation
    Richard Meaden
    Richard Meaden joined the group Porsche AG
    Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
  • Post is under moderation
    Richard Meaden
    Richard Meaden joined the group Lotus
    Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.