Tag Archives: German Cars

What is the point of a Toyota with BMW reliability and running costs?

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That question has been on my mind all day, because looking at the new Supra, I see a lot of BMW parts where Toyota’s build quality really matters (engine, drivetrain, etc). If the Supra shares all of the BMW electronics as well, then this will likely be the most unreliable Toyota of all time. And it’s going to be built in Austria, so you know it will. That’s kinda shitty for a brand who is otherwise the benchmark of reliability and long term quality.

Don’t get me wrong, I love much of what they’ve done with this new Supra, and I’m sure they will deliver a brilliantly executed car on the front end. I like the look, I like its flavor, and I’m sure I’ll love the performance. I drove a BMW X3 M40i and loved it, the Supra has that engine with RWD and over 1,000lbs less weight. It will be fun, no doubt.

But how will these fair a decade or two from now? I’m not that confident.

The Supra’s other massive shortcoming is the lack of a manual transmission option. This is a small 2 seat sports car, not a supercar, not a GT car, not a sedan. It needs a manual to “be all it can be.” End of story. Toyota should at least fix that, and we can all find a way to live with the BMW issues underneath.

I just want to be clear, here. I don’t count myself as a Supra hater. I actually really like the car overall, but I have high standards in a world of increasing compromise. To me, the MKV Supra is a C+/B- as it sits. If they just add a crisp-shifting Japanese manual to the mix it would climb to a B+/A-. To get the full A+ it would need the full bulletproof Toyota build quality, but unfortunately, that just wasn’t feasible in the current market climate.

It’s a good effort, but there is some very clear room for improvement. For most driving enthusiasts, a small sports car with 2 pedals simply isn’t on the menu, especially not for $60 grand when you could have the manual Porsche 997 of your dreams instead.

-Nick

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The Car I Know 2nd Best: My Dad’s Porsche 996

I’ve got a secret to tell you, the Porsche 996 is a ton of fun, despite the hate it gets from Porsche “purists.” It’s surely not the last word in Porsche perfection, but it is a really satisfying sports car experience, especially when you consider the money. Sure a 997 is better, but you’ll spend more than double for it.

My dad traded his 944 for this 996 a few months after I got my Subaru, and it’s the car I know second best in this world.

300hp in a 2900lb car, RWD with an LSD, and a 6 speed manual transmission with perfect gearing. The handling is sharp and nimble and the flat 6 engine howls with fury as the revs climb. It puts most other sports cars in its price range to shame, and there is nothing missing from the experience.

My dad still enjoys it, and I’ve been thankful he’s let me enjoy it over the years as well. It’s a Porsche you can really get out and drive because it has nothing to prove. I love that.

-Nick

For me, as a driver, this is Genesis

Porsche_944_Turbo_Red_4New year, new beginning, and it’s making me think back on my journey as a driver and car enthusiast as I consider where I want to go from here.

My car obsession began as a kid, but my enthusiast driving really began with this, a 1990 Porsche 944 S2 just like the one shown here (not my photo). My Dad wanted to teach me to drive stick and he also wanted a sports car for some fun, so we found this 944 with 142k miles for around $9 grand and it was absolutely perfect. I first went over 100mph in this car, and my dad was very cool about it. I also learned to “drift” by sliding this car with it’s perfect 50/50 weight distribution (not sure if Dad knows that).

This car opened my eyes to the world of sports cars from the time I was 16 on a learner’s permit and I’ll always have a special place in my heart for the 944. For me as a driver, this is Genesis.

-Nick Walker

The red Porsche 991 GT2 RS at Cars and Caffe

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The ultimate Porsche 911 at the ultimate supercar show in New Jersey, Cars and Caffe. The 991 GT2 RS wears red well, and it looks absolutely evil with its black and carbon accents. This is one of those cars that may well go on to represent a pinnacle point in the 911’s history. Enjoy the pics!

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Bugatti Veyron Super Sport World Record Edition at Cars and Caffe

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This World Record Edition Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, one of just 5 in existence, surprised everyone when it showed up at Cars and Caffe. This is the second one of these WRE Veyrons I’ve seen in person, here’s the first, so I’ve laid eyes on 40% of them.

Enjoy!

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The Enthusiast Buyer’s Guide to the Audi RS 3 (8V)

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What is it?

The ultimate expression of the MQB platform, the RS 3 is Audi’s smallest RS model that may actually have one of the biggest bites. Just like their legendary Group B rally cars, it is a turbocharged 5-cylinder beast, but it’s also one you can drive on your daily commute for a very reasonable price. This is one of the hottest cars on the road right now, and it’s easy to see why.

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1987 Mercedes 560 SEL Koenig Specials, the “Raddest in Show” at Radwood Philly

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This Koenig Benz was definitely my favorite car at Radwood Philly this year, and, evidently, others agreed because it won the “Raddest in Show” award.

It is the quintessential 80’s cocaine mobile, and I just couldn’t get enough of it. I mean the 560 SEL was already the top-level Mercedes of the day, shouldn’t that be good enough? Not if you’re trying to out-show all of the other drug dealers on the Miami strip. You’ll need a lot of extra sauce for that, and that’s where Koenig came in. They took your stately Benz and threw on a vulgar widebody kit, complete with Testarossa-style fake side vents, crazy offset wheels, and an enormous rear wing. The Koenig kit took your car from classy to extra sassy, and frankly, I’d be surprised if anyone who bought one of these brand new didn’t make their living selling narcotics of some type.

Enjoy the gallery of this Koecaine Benz!

Continue reading 1987 Mercedes 560 SEL Koenig Specials, the “Raddest in Show” at Radwood Philly

A very rare Evergreen BMW M Coupe at Radwood Philly

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As far as offbeat colors go, this Evergreen BMW M Coupe is up there, especially with its matching green interior. We spoke with the owner and I believe he said it was one of just 16 like it on this Earth. I’ve always loved the Clownshoe and its shooting brake design. BMW took a roadster and made it into a genuinely practical coupe with a unique design. It’s a future classic for sure on style alone, but it’s also a genuine enthusiast’s car from what I consider the end of the golden era for BMW. Values are already climbing.

Enjoy the photos.

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C126 Mercedes-Benz 560 SEC at Radwood Philly

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Yesterday, Nick shared with us a Porsche 928 with fake drugs on the armrest. Today, I’m sharing with you a Mercedes that the Porsche owner’s dealer (not a kingpin, but a dealer who makes plenty of money) would drive. I’m a sucker for the 560SEC of the Eighties, and this example is one of the straightest I’ve seen in a long time. From the turquoise paint to the Monoblock wheels (which may not be stock but certainly give this big coupe the rake it deserves) and the immaculate interior to the frameless windows, I was hooked. Enjoy the photos of this Eighties (and early Nineties) leather-lined Panzer tank. Continue reading C126 Mercedes-Benz 560 SEC at Radwood Philly