While it was Audi who cut their teeth in the fast wagon market, the S6 Avants we saw the other day were the end of an era for the marque in the U.S.. Sure, the A6 3.0T Avant carried on and was just as quick, but its sales numbers dwindled as the naughts came to an end, and it was removed from the market in 2011. The A4 soldiered on, but even its offerings were slashed – first to fall was the S4 Avant, followed by the normal A4. Today, you can only get the automatic 2.0T Allroad if you want a 5-door Audi.
It was BMW who picked up the reigns of big sporty German wagons in the 2000s, with V8-equipped E39s leading towards the E61. Not to be outdone, the E46 introduced American customers to the smaller 3-series wagon for the first time (though it had been around for 2 prior generations) and that continued with the E91.
However, even though BMW offered two wagons right through 2010, they were rewarded with minuscule amounts of sales. In 2009, the company sold 1,430 3-series Sports Wagons in the U.S. – accounting for only 2% of sales of the E9x here. It was just as bad for the 5-series with 878 sold, so the company dropped it from the U.S. lineup in 2010. Frankly, it’s amazing that BMW continued to sell wagons at all here.
But they did, and you could order yourself up a neat sporty wagon. It wasn’t an M3, true, but the N52K-equipped 328i produced 230 horsepower and could be opted in rear-drive, 6-speed manual configuration with the M-Sport suspension:
I love flagship Mercedes-Benz and all their uniqueness that they bring. From last weeks Adenauer to today’s car, a 2011 S600, I enjoy all of them. (Except the W220 S600 with the 5.8 V12, that thing is garbage.) This W221 up for sale in Texas has everything you’d expect a flagship Mercedes to have with its radar guided cruise control and 510 horsepower that does 0-60 is 4.5 seconds. On top of all the normal goodies, this S600 has the extra special designo interior option. Problem is, I don’t know if I’m in love with it.
Buried underneath all of my posts of brightly-colored Porsches exists a seeming enigma: my undying love of black cars. I don’t care if some think they’re boring; heck, my wife thinks they’re boring! Nothing will make me stop in my tracks more quickly than a well cared for black sports coupe. Sure, show me something in a wild color and I’ll definitely stop and look, but I don’t know if I’ll really lust after it. I can’t explain these reactions. This is just how it is.
Which brings me to this car: a 2011 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS, located in Chicago, with 22,413 miles on it. We can’t really call this completely blacked out since the interior is tan, but with the black GTS wheels and a beautiful looking black exterior it really looks phenomenal. As a 911 for cruising somewhat unnoticed it would make for a fantastic choice. Oh, and it has a 6-speed manual transmission, something that is not easy to find on these 911s. I’m in love.
Driving home yesterday I passed a BMW M2 that was stunning. It wasn’t the model itself that caught my eye, but the color. While I’m not as well versed in BMW colors as Porsche, I believe it was Long Beach Blue Metallic. For those like me who are more familiar with Porsche colors, it reminded me a bit of Minerva Blue. If you’re in the market I highly recommend checking it out.
This post isn’t about a BMW though. That BMW reminded me how much I love blue as an exterior color. It had such depth to it and brightness and the way the color shifted as we drove by really was something. I could have spent a lot more time looking, but that probably would have annoyed the people behind me. (Interestingly, coming the other way was a bright blue, non-metallic, Volvo C30. It was nice as well, but not nearly as pretty as the BMW.) I post a wide variety of Porsche colors and I really do like a lot of them, but as a whole I think blue might just be the best.
This seemed a good time to post this car, which I’d seen a couple weeks back and hadn’t gotten around to: here we have an Aqua Blue Metallic 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS, located in Miami, with 12,811 miles on it. I’ll say from the start that I don’t think this blue is quite as good as Long Beach Blue, but it’s still quite attractive and among the GT3 RS it’s quite rare. I can’t recall coming across another one.
I don’t write about a lot of newer cars because honestly, I think outside of a few models, they are all pretty boring and soft. Today’s car, a 2011 Mercedes-Benz E550 Coupe, isn’t exactly the most exciting car in the world and it certainly isn’t all that rare. It is rather fast though with 382 horsepower that will get it to 60 mph in the high four second range. But that isn’t why I wanted to check out one of these. It isn’t necessarily what this E550 Coupe is, but rather what it isn’t.
Let’s stay with the 997 for a bit. I’ve been looking at these a lot lately in the search for better value among the 911 line. Thankfully we don’t have to travel too far back in time before that value begins to show up. Its predecessor, the 996, still comes in with better value, but many simply cannot get past the looks. There’s also the potential for IMS issues and even if those are relatively rare, buyers on the second-hand market are not looking for that sort of headache. While those issues still remain with the early 997, once we reach 2009 we can consider it a thing of the past. I certainly wouldn’t entirely eliminate those earlier models from my shopping list, but it might be worth seeing how much more that peace of mind might cost you.
Unlike the previous Cream White 997 I featured, I have no question about whether this 997 comes in a color I like. Of course I do! Here we have a Speed Yellow 2011 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe, located in New York, with 19,488 miles on it. Within a sea of similarly colored cars, this bright yellow 997 easily stands apart from the rest. I doubt you’d miss it.
I’ll be the first admit that I’ve never really liked the S5. It felt as though Audi could have done better and didn’t. It’s always looked fat, flat and uninspired to me, and that’s not helped by the engine selections or the color pallet. When it first emerged it immediately seemed to me that it was a direct copy of the E92 BMW, but with much less exciting engines. Don’t get me wrong – the E92 isn’t my favorite BMW design, either. But it somehow managed to have more presence than the A5/S5 duo in pretty much any iteration – especially so when it came to the vibrant M3. It was almost primed to take on the E46 M3, but when the 414 horsepower V8-laden E9x emerged, the S5 was immediately second fiddle. It’s sole trump card over the M3 was that they came standard with all-wheel drive. That’s about it.
So what’s one doing here? Well, occasionally in the sea of gray, dark gray, light gray, black, dark black, silver, light silver or white S5s, a really pretty one emerges for sale. Case in point: this Audi Exclusive Glut Orange example. Suddenly the S5 makes a lot more sense – why didn’t they sell them ALL in this color?
This will be a study of complete contrasts. Light and dark. Two examples of the 997 GT3 RS that look equally stunning, but achieve that through entirely different means. One is paint to sample, the other a standard color. Both are somewhat rarely seen in this form, though in the case of the white RS it is more the lack of adornment that produces that rarity.
I had seen this paint-to-sample Black GT3 RS previously and knew I would want to take a closer look. Then I forgot about it. When I came back around to it a Carrara White GT3 RS had also come up for sale. White and Black: neither color is much outside the norm for most cars, but the GT3 RS is not like most cars. Black even was a paint-to-sample option, which almost beggars belief. Let’s take a look at that peculiarly rare black example first:
I don’t think I need to belabor this one. After all it wasn’t that long ago that I featured a GT3 RS 4.0. That particular example was quite special in that it was one of the very rare paint-to-sample 4.0s that were built. This one is not paint to sample, but it does provide its own special features. And a very high price to match!
This is a Carrara White Metallic 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0, located in Houston, that is one of the handful that was optioned without the audio system. Also, it sits with only 15 miles on it. Yes, 15.
Paint-to-sample 911s always hold their own special place. They are obviously unique, but mostly they’re just fun to see because of their utilization of colors that Porsche no longer makes available and in many cases only made available for a short period of time. When the paint-to-sample color in question is said to be the only extant example for a particular model, well, then we really take notice.
Such appears to be the case with the car here: a Vesuvio Metallic 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS. We’ve seen Vesuvio Metallic a few times previously. It’s a very interesting color that shifts and changes hue under different lighting and in the shade. It’s also a unique color in its own right showing a purplish charcoal combination that few other colors replicate. It would seem to make for a good PTS option. Yet this is the first time I’ve seen it selected for such duty. Maybe it’s not as desirable as I might think. Or maybe Porsche themselves have rarely allowed it as one of the PTS options. I don’t know, but it certainly looks good here!