The conundrum of the Z3 is for me wrapped up in the model’s signature appearance in Goldeneye. There was lots of promotion for the new model; after all, the change from Bond’s signature Aston Martin must have been for a car worthy of such a distinction. Granted, Audi beat BMW to the punch when James sported twin Type 44s in The Living Daylights but the fanfare surrounding the leap to BMW was unprecedented. And, as it turned out, largely unwarranted. Despite the hefty amount of advertising and anticipation of the debut, the 1.9 liter light blue convertible barely appeared in the movie at all – in fact, only long enough for James to toss the keys to someone else. This seems to largely sum up how enthusiasts feel about the successor to the Z1; cute, but a little too soft and not very BMW. Of course, as the model progressed it became more in keeping with the brand – especially true of when outfit by the M division. The resulting M Roadster and especially Coupe versions of the Z3 have become hot commodities in the marketplace, but if you’re willing to forgo the Roadstars, quad exhaust and especially the “S” motors in the front, you can still get quite a bit of sport in the 3.0:
All posts tagged 2001
After a string of quick Mercedes-Benz wagons, it’s time to take a look at the maker most associated with bonkers 5-doors. While Audi may have never imported any of their fastest wagons into the United States, since the 5000CS quattro Avant the maker has been intrinsically linked with speedy family rides. While we got some good ones in the former, the 200 20V quattro, and the C4 and C5 S6 Avants, the real speed was always in the “RS” line. With the exception of the S6 Plus, all of the top-tier models have carried the RS moniker and traditionally have been the engine blueprint many Audi fans have followed to get the best speed. If they’re really devoted, they take it to the next level and copy the look as well. The result can be very impressive, as shown in this RS4-spec 2001 S4 Avant:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi S4 Avant on eBay
Those who know me are aware I have a hatred for one vehicle stronger than any other: the Toyota Prius. As someone who travels a lot on business, the last thing I look forward to upon returning to the US is having to ride in one of these dreadful machines, be it a cab or Uber, back to my residence. Not only does the suspension crash about, providing a feeling similar to a 17th century horse drawn cart, but the CVT transmission is unnerving, especially when you have a driver who is on and off the throttle like grandpa. Now Toyota has unleashed a new for 2016 Prius. If you haven’t laid eyes on the latest eco warrior, careful. It may cause blindness. I know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but Toyota has a lot of nerve selling something this aesthetically displeasing. Anyone who spends the almost $25,000 base entry fee to put one of these in their garage should have their head examined.
There, I’ve said my piece.
According to official government figures, the 2016 Prius can return just under 60 mpg in the city. However, over 15 years ago, Volkswagen brought to market the Volkswagen Lupo 3L, a car which can still beat any Prius handily in the fuel economy race. This little car was the first series production vehicle to travel 100 kilometers on three liters of fuel (hence the name). The Lupo 3L had a very impressive resume at the time of its launch, with a 1.2 liter turbocharged three cylinder engine mated to a 5-speed tiptronic transmission. In addition, the Lupo 3L included start/stop technology, low rolling resistance tires and styling tweaks that helped it achieve a low coefficient of drag of 0.29. On top of all this, through the use of aluminum and magnesium alloys for the doors, hood, rear hatch, seat frames, engine block, wheels and suspension, the Lupo 3L weighed in at just 1,830 lb. A new Prius weighs over 3,000 lb. Granted, it’s a larger car, but I question Toyota’s commitment to using innovative materials in order to improve economy. At least BMW is making good on this front with their i series of cars.
While we can’t legally import a Lupo to the US (yet), it’s fairly impressive that you can get all this fuel saving technology for practically peanuts right now. This Lupo 3L for sale near Hanover, Germany is a prime example.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Volkswagen Lupo 3L on Mobile.de
I’ve featured quite a number of BMWs over the past week, but none of which are quite as impressive and imposing as this 2001 750iL with an incredibly low 12,000 miles on the odometer. This final year V12 powered E38 is, for the, the stuff dreams are made of. BMW nailed it with the styling on this executive express, made even more attractive with the Style 37 M Parallel wheels. This car also has a bit of celebrity status attached to it, having been owned by the singer Steve Perry since new. Still lamenting the direction 7 series styling has gone in the last 15 years? Here’s another chance to own an almost new E38.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 BMW 750iL on eBay
If it weren’t for its big splash in the movie Ronin, I tend to think that the first generation Audi A8 might be relegated to the dustbin of automotive history. This is quite a shame, because along with being the first Audi with an aluminum space frame, this über saloon also debuted the W12 engine. Don’t remember the A8 6.0 W12? Well, if you were a consumer in North America, this isn’t surprising, as these uncommon, twelve cylinder D2s were produced with Europe and Japan in mind. This example for sale in Germany is one of 750 D2 A8s produced with this revolutionary engine. Is the S8 a bit too mundane for you? This executive express should scratch that rare Audi itch.