How much does it matter to have a unique car? This is the question I was left with during the search that ended with this 2009 Porsche 911 Carrera S Coupe.
I had set myself a task: I wanted to find a 997.2 Carrera S with manual transmission and I wanted it to be in an interesting specification. I also hoped it wouldn’t cost too much. I didn’t have much trouble with the 997.2 Carrera S aspect. The manual transmission did eliminate quite a few options since a lot of them seem to have PDK. After that things became much trickier. They’re kind of all the same with a couple basic exterior and interior color options. There are a lot of 997s out there though so I kept looking. And to a degree I’m still looking. Ultimately I was left with that question about the degree of uniqueness.
I feature a decent number of black on black classic 911s. I like them a lot and never really find myself wondering about whether they are unique enough. Due to lower original production numbers and the effects of time pretty much any classic 911 is unique. There are certainly those that are far more unique, but still a good 911SC or 3.2 Carrera is a worthy find regardless of spec.
While understandable that seemed unfair to what are surely a large number of very good modern 911s. These cars are faster, more comfortable, and overall easier to live with on a daily basis. They are in most all regards phenomenal cars that I think many of us would be very happy owning. They may not be as visceral or engaging as certain classic cars; their electronic wizardy will cover up plenty of your mistakes. That doesn’t mean they aren’t fun.
You want power? When Cosworth slapped a few turbos onto Audi’s venerable 4.2 liter V8 for the C5 RS6, that’s what you got. 450 stampeding horsepower and 428 lb ft. of torque meant that in the early 2000s it was the model to beat. But AMG and BMW M quickly caught up and surged past the C5’s power output – even when Audi upped it with the “Plus” model to 469 hp.
The launch of a new RS6 based upon the C6 platform allowed Audi some room to expand the model’s engine output by literally expanding the engine: now 10 cylinders displaced 5.0 liters. Straddled by two turbochargers again, the second generation RS6’s power output leapt into a new league, with an almost unfathomable 571 horsepower and 479 ft. of torque. The C6 is a heavy car, but it was capable of 911-scaring 0-60 runs and could top 170 mph with ease.
What’s amazing is that Audi’s replacement for this car, the C7, moved to the new twin-turbo V8 4.0T motor. More power right? Well, not so fast; it actually produces about 11 horsepower less than the peak performance of the V10, though I’ll grant that the additional gears and greater torque mean it’s a functionally quicker car (as if it needed to be). Well, quicker than a stock one, at least, because this particular RS6 Avant has been ‘slightly’ upgraded to north of 700 horsepower.
A little over a year ago I examined a 2008 Maybach 57S and explained why I thought it was one of the worst cars you can probably buy in terms of well … everything. Today I’m checking out another Mayback 57S and you may have noticed that this one looks a little different. What you are looking at is one of nine 57S Coupes ever produced. Now Mercedes-Benz and Maybach never officially produced a 57S Coupe but rather German coachbuilder Xenatec stepped in with the blessing from Mercedes and undertook this massive job. Xenatec orginally planned to produce somewhere between 100 to 200 of these 57S Coupes but operations ceased after Maybach sedan sales fell flat and maybe the market for a $930,000(!) luxury coupe wasn’t as big as they projected. Seriously, these cost over $900,000 when the sedan sold for a little more than $400,000. When looking at this monster, you can see that no corners were cut in this conversion as everything looks exactly what you’d expect from a production car outside of the lower front grill that looks a little suspect in the styling department. So what do you make of this thing? Another failed experiment or something to be treasured as an example of rare ultra-luxury?
Model: 57S Coupe
Engine: 6.0 liter twin-turbocharged V12
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 28,600 km (17,771 mi)
Maybach 57 S coupé – luxurious exclusivity. As only 9 units were built, this coupé is one of the rarest, most unusual vehicles ever to have been produced in the history of this ultra-luxury-class vehicle segment.
Despite the fact that the Maybach 57S loses two doors as a coupé, it is still a four-seater. However, the A B and C pillars as well as the doors and the car wings were modified for the Maybach coupé.
Chances are if you live in the United States, a Mercedes-Benz B200 is something you only might of seen in the background of that weird French movie that your significant other made you watch on Netflix. And chances are you only caught a glimpse because ”We aren’t stopping the movie again so you can go back and look at a car”. So what is the B200? Mercedes calls it a ”sports compact tourer”, the Euro NCAP calls it a ”small multi-purpose vehicle” and I just call it a tall, skinny, four door hatchback . This front-wheel drive 2009 B200 is powered by an engine the size of a case of beer and actually gets over 40mpg when paired to the 5-speed manual gearbox. So let’s take a look at this illegal immigrant located in New York.
I was rather surprised when I got a call from my father while on business in South Africa telling me that he had sold his trusty 2000 C280 for a 2014 C300 4matic. Almost 17 years on, that W202 was practically a family member at this point. But, as they say, all good things must come to an end. So this W204 marks the ninth Mercedes to pass through the Henriques household. Curiously, it was built at Mercedes’ East London plant in South Africa. So between my penchant for Western Cape wines and this Mercedes, we’ve been doing our part to fly the South African flag. Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika, then.
When the W204 debuted in 2008, you could specify a 6-speed manual in the US market. This option would disappear after the 2012 model year due to a low take rate. But for the more sporting driver, these manual transmission equipped W204s make for an interesting alternative to the ubiquitous 3 series sedan.
I ended last week with an Orange 911 Carrera 2.7 that had me completely captivated. It possessed just the right mix of aggressiveness and vibrancy within a classic 911 package. The car we see here, a 2009 Porsche 911 GT2 located in Houston, takes those attributes of aggression and vibrant color and turns them up a few notches. This time the color is a paint-to-sample orange borrowed from the GT3 RS with contrasting black accents and black interior. Draped over the lines of the GT2 it leaves no doubt about the urgency with which this car accelerates and corners. The rest is pretty standard GT2 material, which of course really isn’t standard at all. Loads of turbocharged power pummels the ground via a 6-speed manual transmission directed through the rear wheels. In my ever deepening quest to feature every orange Porsche, this GT2 currently stands near the top for its overall audacity and performance capabilities.
I like to think of this website as a preservation center for those who still enjoy changing their own gears. While the manual gearbox is disappearing from manufacturer spec sheets faster than a pack of smokes at an AA meeting, there are still a few cars out there you can have with a third pedal. Porsche is a good place to look, although the PDK Transmission is becoming the favored transmission of choice. However, there were some Cayennes you could spec with manual gearbox, such as this 2009 Cayenne GTS for sale from our friends at Euro Automotion. This black beast is rare and presents in like-new condition with just under 10,000 miles on the clock.
In my search for an E46 M3, there was a nagging voice in the back of my head. As I looked at high prices of nicer examples of the M3, the voice kept saying “what about the E82?” So, what about the E82? In 135i guise, you got some of the styling from the M3 in a smaller chassis even though, generally speaking, it makes the E46 look pretty huge. In overall length, the E82 shorter than even the E30 as amazing as that sounds. But the standard roof height meant that visually the 1 series looked slightly out of proportion. Dynamically, though, that S54 must be a massive trump card, right? Well, again, not so fast, as the N54 twin-turbocharged inline-6 lay under the hood. Sure, it was at a slight horsepower disadvantage, but it makes up for that 33 horsepower deficit with 38 lb.ft more torque – and unlike the S54, that torque is available from under 2,000 RPMs. The result is that at least on paper, the 135i can run step in step with the E46 M3 acceleration to 60, 1/4 mile and 100 are all within a few tenths of each other – certainly enough that the driver could make a difference. And properly equipped, the E82 is a pretty neat looking car, like this 2009 M-Sport package:
If you’ve read this website long enough, you’ll know I don’t like SUVs. My reasons for this disdain are numerous, from people who would never use them off-road to the fact that many have aesthetics which would make a prison execution chamber look sleek. If I’m going to be forced at gunpoint to own one, it better be damn well interesting. Enter this 2009 Porsche Cayenne GTS. Sure, on the outside it doesn’t look any much different than your usual heavy beast derived from the Volkswagen Touareg, but what’s that protruding from the center console? A manual gearbox?! Yes, this is one of the very rare Cayenne GTSs to come so equipped in 2009. Apparently just over 30 of these three-pedal off-roaders were sold in 2009, this lower mileage one for sale in New Hampshire being one of them.
Last week I wrote up a 2007 A6 3.2 quattro Avant S-Line, the end of a dying breed of luxury wagons from German manufacturers. But before they fully dismissed the large wagon from U.S. shores, Audi went out with a bang when it refreshed the A6 in 2009. Minor updates to styling once again brought the A6 in line with the new design language from Audi, but the real change was under the skin. As they had with the previous models, in an attempt to save some weight from the large Audis the company utilized aluminum throughout; the 3.0Ts featured aluminum hood and fenders like the previous generation S6 had. Additionally, just like the 3.2 had been, the new 3.0T was an aluminum block; the decrease in displacement was more than made up for with a literal boost from the supercharger. With a full 20% power increase to 300 horsepower and 310 lb.ft of torque at a low 2,500 rpm, the new 3.0T was a much better performer than the 3.2 FSi V6 had been and was, briefly, a defacto S-Avant that was missing from the lineup. On top of that, the new supercharged layout meant power increases are much easier to attain; as Chris Harris demonstrated with his stunning S4 v. RS4 comparison. Audi also moved away from its “S-Line” designations towards the new strata of Premium, Premium Plus ($1,400), and Prestige ($3,200) levels which added levels of electronic wizardry and small detail difference. That was on top of the raised base price, now $60,200 in 2010. If you though the 3.2 was rare, the 3.0T is downright hard to find even though they’re nearly new.