Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Mighty Car Mods return

Back for another season!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Nip & Tucked - Driving the facelifted BMW 535i

 photo DSC00212_500.jpg Towards the second half of last year, BMW gave the current generation 5-Series what is known in automotive circles as a "facelift". Whilst most manufacturers would take this opportunity to give their cars minor plastic surgery, BMW had chosen a more restrained approach on the F10. A slight nip and tuck if you will.  photo DSC00269_500.jpg Like the 5-Series Gran Turismo we drove early, the external changes are so mild even some keen-eyed observers would stumble to point out more than a handful of revisions. A new front bumper incorporating redesigned front air intakes, new adaptive LED headlights and fog-lights, a new rear bumper with an extra "crease" in the rear apron and revised taillights pretty much sums up the external updates on BMW's executive mover. There are of course slight variations depending on your trim specifications and how generous you are with the M-Performance (or BMW Individual) options list. The result of all these little changes though, is a reduction in its drag coefficient (Cd value) of 0.25 (0.29 previously). Oh yes, you can now open the boot with a wave of your foot below the rear apron. (But that's not exactly a visual revision.)  photo DSC00230_500.jpg It does look like the people who spec-ed up our "Luxury Line" test car had some exquisite taste as our car also comes with BMW Individual options, 19-inch Individual wheels and a selection of Individual bits to make up the interior.  photo DSC00251_500.jpg  photo DSC00272_500.jpg These all make our 535i slightly more special but i'm guessing it all comes with a "slight" premium.  photo DSC00275_500.jpg The pearlescent paint does look stunning, throwing off golds, greys and browns depending on the angle you're looking at.  photo DSC00245_500.jpg Inside, the revisions are more apparent as you'll now have a TFT-screen dashboard and touch sensitive controls on your iDrive. Both of which, we saw earlier on our drive with the 5 Gran Turismo.  photo DSC00232_500.jpg On the road, we all know the story. Top of it's class. BMW mentions they've fine-tuned the chassis dynamics but unless you are driving an earlier and later car back to back, for normal drivers like us, it will be quite hard to tell the difference. There is no lack of grunt from the Twin-Powered 3-litre turbo which in this car, does prefer to cruise instead of bruise.  photo DSC00261_500.jpg Mid-range overtaking maneuvers are easily dispatched with a squeeze of the throttle and the car's exceptional road holding will keep it planted through long sweeping bends and the occasional switchback. Pushing too hard will scrub the front wide but easing off the throttle brings it back without much drama. The electric steering might feel slightly numb at times but for most drivers, the added convenience when driving around town and parking will probably be appreciated much more.  photo DSC00289_500.jpg All in, BMW might have taken a much more restrained hand than what most of us are accustomed to when we think of "facelifts", but what this does show, is how good the initial offering already was. The new facelifted BMW 5-Series range is now available for viewing at Performance Motors’ showroom.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Cars & Kopi - Spring 2014

 photo DSC00317.jpg A small group of us old and modern classic car enthusiast just had a meet over the weekend and interestingly enough, the turnout was probably the biggest we've ever had! With many cars on our local shores not having the chance to even celebrate their 10th birthday, it's usually a treat when such meets happen. Especially with a nice eclectic mix of cars lined up and good people to swap stories with. Here's some of the cars that showed up.  photo DSC00304.jpg BMW Z4M, an instant classic the moment it was born.  photo DSC00308.jpg  photo DSC00307.jpg You just can't beat a clean MX5.  photo DSC00298.jpg Roadstar's clean rear.  photo DSC00301.jpg  photo DSC00340.jpg Saab 900s are cool. Why? They just are.  photo DSC00337.jpg A more modern day interpretation of the Saab philosophy. Good to hear they are coming back.  photo DSC00379.jpg  photo DSC00369.jpg  photo DSC00393.jpg S204s are quite rare on our local roads but two of these STI specials made it to the breakfast meet.  photo DSC00345.jpg From one boxer to another. The biggest surprise and the highlight of the morning for me was this 914-6.  photo DSC00348.jpg Prior to this sighting i had only seen one other 914 many many years ago.  photo DSC00356.jpg  photo DSC00350.jpg One of the rarest cars on our local roads for sure.  photo DSC00383.jpg Check out the spartan (but very clean) interior.  photo DSC00374.jpg  photo DSC00372.jpg From one old German to another, sitting ahead of the 914 was a Mercedes W123.  photo DSC00360.jpg I remember seeing many of these when i was growing up. Not many left anymore as i hardly see them now.  photo DSC00391.jpg  photo DSC00387.jpg  photo DSC00404.jpg Mercedes' from a slightly younger vintage. A W201 and W126, both clean and unmolested by time.  photo DSC00397.jpg A Porsche 914, Subaru WRX and a Mercedes W126. What did i say about an interesting mix of cars. :)  photo DSC00321.jpg Adding to the variety was the youngest but certainly the most powerful car of the meet, a Fezza 599.  photo DSC00409.jpg Audi RS4 Avant joining the AWD brigade.  photo DSC00416.jpg  photo DSC00408.jpg The 'Bahn-storming wagon  photo DSC00327.jpg  photo DSC00330.jpg As always, i showed up in the Garage36 jalopy! Here's hoping there will be another meet in the near future!  photo DSC00332.jpg Buy my sticker here »