V8 Week Motorsport Monday: Turner BMW/Riley M3 Race Car Pair

I have to admit, I got pretty excited when we first started talking about V8 week. There are so many different cars to choose from; but, it makes “Motorsport Monday” a bit more difficult. “Why”, you say? Well, it turns out that even though most of the marques we feature use V8s in their road cars, not that many of them use them to race with. Finding an Audi DTM V8 Quattro would have been my preferred method of solving this problem, but there just aren’t that many out there for sale. The Mercedes SLS AMG GT3s and Audi R8 GT ALMSs are still a bit too new to come up on the used market, and that really only leaves one option: The BMW M3 V8. Well, at least, that’s what you would think, though the reality is that calling these Turner M3s “M3” is a bit of a stretch. Tube frame, carbon fiber bodied, M5 powered race cars that look like M3s, sure, but the reality is that these cars share only some dimensions with your road going E9x. Still, since this isn’t “M3” week, but “V8” week, I think we’ll allow them – and besides, for the asking price, you get two!

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Year: 2011
Model: M3
Engine: 5.0 liter V8
Transmission: 6-speed semi-automatic
Mileage: N/A mi
Price: $450,000

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2011 E92 M3 Rolex GT Race Team at Turner Motorsports

FOR SALE: Turner Motorsport Riley Chassis GT Class M3s

The No. 93 and 94 Rolex GT M3 are for sale. Riley tube frame chassis / M3 carbon body race cars highly competitive (7 class victories) in the GT Rolex class and are legal (with a few modifications) to run in the Rolex GT-D cars in 2014. We have invested over 1.6 million into these cars over the last couple years. Priced to sell $450,000/both (with enough spares to run them for many races !)

Car #94
Car #93

Past Drivers / Alternates:
Boris Said, Bill Auberlen, Billy Johnson, Maxime Martin, Andy Priaulx, Dirk Werner, Dirk Müller, Jörg Müller, Pedro Lamy

Chassis/Body
Chassis: Riley Technologies Mk XVI GT tube-frame
Layout: front engine – rear wheel drive
Body: carbon fiber based on BMW E92 M3 with 1″ Fender flares all around
Weight: Aprox 2600lbs w/o ballast.

Drivetrain
Engine: BMW S62 V8
Engine Management Bosch Motorsport
Motech Dash
Emco Transaxel w/ Paddle shifters. No lift shift and Automatic blip on downshift.

Suspension
Front upper and lower wishbones
Penske coil over damper
driver-adjustable sway bar

Brakes
Front Alcon 4-piston calipers
380mm Rotors
Rear Alcon 4-piston calipers
330mm Rotors

Wheels & Tires
Front Forgeline 3-piece
Rear Forgeline 3-piece

Price: $450,000.00

Price includes both cars and all spares. Please email spassen@turnermotorsport.com for more information. Serious Inquiries only.

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If you’re a fan of Rolex GT or Continental Sports Car racing and a BMW fan, you’ve really enjoyed Turner’s fight against the seemingly overwhelming competition in BMW M3s. I believe I’m correct that these cars have been the most successful M3s over here since the days of the PTG E36 M3s. Tune in to any race they’ve been in and you’re guaranteed to see Auberlen sliding these cars around the way few can, pushing the limits of what he’s been given – and often ending up on the podium. But for Turner the times and rules have changed and they’re moving on, leaving us with not one, but two of their well developed Riley tube frame race cars to purchase. Turner claims 1.6 million invested, and watching the performance over the years, that number is pretty believable. Racing ain’t cheap. But, as we’ve seen in Motorsport Monday features, buying someone else’s old race cars can save you a bundle of money.

That’s not without it’s issues, as again if you’ve been following Turner’s races, you’ve witnessed these cars “trading paint” with some of their competitors, bounce through gravel traps, and fly through the air at inopportune and unexpected times. Despite this, they are simply the best developed “M3″s that you can buy right now. A veritable who’s who of sports car racing has piloted these two cars. They were no expense spared, best parts out there builds. The M5-derived S62 powerplant has proven reliable enough to run in the Daytona Prototype category. Brakes, suspension, wheels, aero, electronics and transmissions are all state of the art. It’s noted that these cars will be eligible for the new rule set with modification, but the future owner would also be able to qualify for other series as well – including BMWCCA racing, NASA, and in the future some vintage race events. Turner has given BMW fans, German car fans in general, and Motorsports fans something special with their run in these cars and watching them has truly been magic.

On a side note, I was also pretty excited as to how many categories these two race cars qualified for – at six individual categories, I may have just set a GCFSB.com record. I also have a special connection to Turner; when I was about 14 years old, Will gave me one of my first rides on the track way back when he was an instructor with the BMW club running a then not-very modified E30 M3. It’s really neat to see how far he’s been able to come! Now, grab your 1/2 million dollars and go set some records of your own by owning these great pieces of history!

-Carter

2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS

I’ll just get this out of the way: the GT3 RS is my favorite car; it is the money-no-object car that I’d buy amongst the various super- and hyper-cars available today. The one featured here is even a bit more special. Beginning with the 2011 3.8L GT3 RS, which produced 450 hp in its stock form, this car has been worked over by DeMan Motorsport to turn what was already a very good track vehicle into something that should be fairly brilliant. I’d prefer my GT3 RS to come with one of the wilder color combinations available, but even in the subdued hue seen here this car is stunningly pretty and sure to drive spectacularly.

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Year: 2011
Model: 911 GT3 RS
Engine: 3.8 liter flat-6
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 8,250 mi
Price: Reserve auction

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS on eBay

Here for sale is a beautiful GT3RS track monster. This vehicle was built for track fun only and never competitively raced. The owner has decided to go a different route in racing. This car has NO paint work, NO accidents, NO damage, and the body is absolutely flawless. This car is the perfect weekend track vehicle. Please email or call with any questions.

Year: 2011
Make: Porsche
Model: 911
Porsche Model: 911
Mileage (numbers only please): 8100
Options (Please check ALL which apply): Antilock Brakes, Power Brakes, Power Door Locks, Power Steering, Power Windows, Traction Control
Color: White
VIN: WPOAC2A91BS783227

DeMan Motorsport artfully crafted this 2011, 1700-original-mile beauty into a unique and truly superior RS both in terms of performance and reliability.

The DeMan Motorsport conversion preserved the stock motor, electronics and tune to ensure reliability. However, a motor refresh was recently completed, including:
• New gaskets
• New thrust bearings
• New main bearing
• New rod bearings
• New timing chains
• New main oil pump
• New scavenge oil pump
• New oil heat exchanger
• New intake cam actuators
The refreshed motor has only 1600 miles!

In addition, the entire transmission was just disassembled and inspected and the clutch and clutch cover were replaced with new Sachs Performance 4.0 equipment. The new clutch has 200 miles!

No expense was spared. The build (not including the motor refresh and new clutch) totaled over $93,000. The list of enhancement modifications includes:

CUP Interior Prep, Safety Equipment & Finishes
• Interior door panels, door pulls, foot plate
• Custom DeMan Motorsport welded full safety cage (A real work of art!!)
• Driver side & center safety nets
• Recaro Pro Racer Hans driver seat
• Recaro Pole Position passenger seat
• Schroth Profi Hans 6-point driver harness
• Schroth Profi Hans 6-point passenger harness
• Sparco steering wheel, Motorsport quick release, steering wheel hook
• Central electric cut off switch with dash & cowl activate switches
• SPA 2.5L Electric fire system complete
Communications, Data & Video Systems
• RaceKeeper with (3) cameras
• Motec Dash CDL-3 including shift light
• Motorola radio system & crew kit
• IMSA intercom system
Engine
• Welded coolant lines
• Rear main engine seal
• Porsche Factory RSR headers
• RSR mufflers
• FabSpeed carbon fiber air intake
• WEVO semi solid motor mounts
Suspension, Hubs & Brakes
• Hub CUP conversion – New drive hubs, central bolts, drive pins, drive pin bolts, lock pots, circlips, wheel nuts, securing clips (No more silly OE centerlocks!!)
• Wrightwood racing front & rear steel rotors
• Pagid RS29 front pads & RF14 rear pads
• Custom ANZE-PENSKE Racing Shocks 8700, 3-way racing dampers with remote mounted reservoirs for easy access (fronts under trunk hood, rears in cabin)
• RSS Motorsport GT3 arms
• Tarett rear shock monoballs
• Toe link lock plates
• GT3 Motorsport toe inks with bump steer kit
• Corner balance and race alignment
Aero Enhancements
• Porsche 2009 RSR Wing & custom uprights
• Carbon Fiber Dive Planes
Wheels & Tires
• Forgeline custom GA1R CUP centerlock wheels – 2 sets
• Fikse 3-piece CUP centerlock wheels – 1 set
Miscellaneous
• Cool suit system
• Rennline front & rear tow hooks
• Rennline undercarriage tie-downs

The car has been meticulously serviced and maintained by DeMan Motorsport. A complete service history is available.

Though the car was built for serious track duty, it is currently registered for the street. The OE side mufflers, CATs and intake manifold are included in the sale price in case future emissions testing is desired.

This car can compete with the performance of a CUP car, but has the reliability and durability of a stock RS. Further, its handling at the limits is absolutely confidence inspiring. This car is a DREAM to drive very, very fast. If you have an RS and are serious about tracking your car, don’t drive this car unless you already plan on buying it.

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This car comes with all of the goodies: full roll cage, upgraded suspension, upgraded brakes, rebuilt engine, onboard radio and video systems, RSR aerodynamics; the works. These cars sold for around $150,000 when new and that’s where the seller has placed the starting bid on this auction. For someone looking for a GT3 RS that has been taken to the next level, this would be a nice place to start. File this one under the “future lottery purchases” column.

-Rob

2011 Porsche 911 GT3RS 4.0

It’s not a secret that the next Porsche 911 GT3 will be equipped exclusively with Porsche’s PDK dual-clutch gearbox. While the PDK is more efficient and faster than a normal manual transmission, the purists have already been voicing their discontent. First, it was the disappearance of the air-cooled engine. Then came the introduction of an SUV wearing the Porsche badge. And now, no more three pedal option in what is arguably the ultimate 911? What is the world coming to?

The swansong for the 997 was the car we see here, the 911 GT3RS 4.0. This 911 borrowed the engine from the track ready GT3R and RSR, which bumped horsepower in this version to 500. This is the largfest capacity, naturally aspirated flat six that has ever seen duty in a Porsche. The hood, front fenders and seats are crafted from carbon fiber. Plexiglass replaced the regular glass in the rear windows for further weight savings, except for US market vehicles were this material is not compliant with regulations. Only 600 of these cars were made at the end of the production run, assuring instant classic status. This one for sale in Southern California has traveled under 10,000 miles and offers a unique opportunity to experience where 50 years of constant development and evolution will take you.

Year: 2011
Model: 911 GT3RS 4.0
Engine: 4.0 liter flat-6
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 8,500 mi
Price: $250,000

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2011 Porsche 911 GT3RS 4.0 on Rennlist

My Dear Friends,

I no longer have the time to drive this beauty…feels kind of blasphemous talking wildly like that haha. Can’t even count the compliments and nods from toddlers to grandmothers for this unicorn. But I would rather sell and see it go to a loving owner then sit in my garage. The only change I’ve made to it is tinting the windows as I can’t stand being a goldfish (dark enough to keep the heat and light out but still light enough to see the roll bars and silhouette of the driver Family and friends have tried to persuade me to hold onto it or allow one of them to make monthly payments (bahaha) but I feel this is the right decision. Maybe I will slap myself when this beast is no longer in my possession. Some of us prefer and appreciate the feel of driving a manual transmission while others enjoy the technological advances of PDK. Not to say that one is better than the other but that there is clearly a passionate following for each. I don’t think I need to tell you that this girl can dance. I’ll just say that I felt like the Korean world breakdancing champion at a middle school slow dance when moving on the highway. Only 600 produced. Creme de la creme. Truly last of a dying breed. May she bring you as much happiness and joy as she brought me. No no no…my wife (!!!) has nothing to do with it.

Options:

Carrera White

Leather Interior in Black/Red

Seats Full Leather/Alcantara Red Inserts

Lightweight Lithium-Ion Battery

Wheels Painted Black

PCCB – Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes

Front Axle Lifting System

Fire Extinguisher

Cupholders

Bluetooth Phone Interface

Sport Chrono Package

Floor Mats in Interior Color

Steering Wheel in Smooth Black Leather

Universal Audio Interface

Adaptive Sport Seats w/Memory

Foot Rest in Aluminum

RS 4.0 Logo in Red on Rear Lid

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One wonders if the GT3RS 4.0 will be viewed in similar light to the air-cooled 993 that preceded it, that is, as sort of a last of its breed kind of vehicle. How many more companies will phase manual transmissions out of not just sports cars but vehicles overall remains to be seen. You can’t deny that technology has closed the gap and there’s no real performance or economy benefit to having a manual gearbox, but there still is a certain continent that still likes to row their own, including yours truly. As such, a car like this GT3RS 4.0 will always have that lust factor behind it.

-Paul

2011 BMW 135i Dinan Stage 3

Over the past few years the BMW 1-Series has done a pretty great job of filling the niche for a German, light(ish)-weight, rear-wheel-drive sports coupe. When you take it up in trim to the 135i you get a proper 300-hp turbo mill and even a manual transmission if you prefer to row your own gears. Once you get over the looks, which I find to be akin to a squished-face 3-series, you have yourself a pretty fast and fun automobile. Here we have a 2011 model featuring the single twin-scroll turbo N55 motor that’s been hotted up by Dinan.

Year: 2011
Model: 135i
Engine: 3.0 liter inline-6
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 29,382 mi
Price: Reserve Auction, $32,900 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2011 BMW 135i with Dinan Stage 3 package on eBay

Factory Options:
Power Front Seats (Originally a $995 Option)
BMW Assist with Bluetooth (Originally a $750 Option)
Heated Leather Front Seats (Originally a $500 Option)
Satellite Radio (Originally a $350 Option)

Upgrades:
Dinan Stage 3 Performance Engine Software (Originally $2,199)
-98 More Horsepower and 129 More lb-ft of Torque over Stock
-Increased Boost Pressure
-Software Tune

Dinan High Capacity Oil Cooler System (Originally a $1,399)
-Controls Operating Temperatures with Increased Boost Pressure

Dinan High Performance Intercooler (Originally $1,399)
-Double the Volume of Stock Intercooler
-More Efficient Heat Exchange

Dinan Free Flow Exhaust System (Originally $1,099)
-Reduces Back Pressure
-Increased Power Output
-Sporty Exhaust Note

17″ Motegi Racing MR118 Black Painted Wheels (Originally $648)

Injen Cold Air Intake System(Originally $368)

Tinted Windows

Vehicle Highlights:
3.0 Liter TwinPower Turbo Inline 6 Cylinder Engine rated at 398 Horsepower and 429 lb-ft of Torque
6 Speed Manual Transmission
Sport Suspension
Xenon Adaptive Headlights
-Auto-Leveling
Powered Moonroof
Automatic Climate Control
Glacier Silver Aluminum Trim
CD/MP3 Player w/HD Radio
iPod & USB Adapter
3-Spoke Multi-function Steering Wheel
DSC Dynamic Stability Control
DTC Dynamic Traction Control
Heated Mirrors and Windshield Washer Jets
Cruise Control

Vehicle History:
Dinan Upgrades Installed at Authorized BMW Dealer
Spotless Vehicle History Reports
-AutoCheck Guaranteed
-CARFAX Guaranteed
Includes Original Owner’s Manuals, Original Window Sticker and One Key

A stock 135i is good for a sub-5 second 0-60 making it a seriously quick little car. With the extra 100 ponies from the Dinan upgrades I am sure this thing could keep up with almost anything in BWM’s current M-lineup. Prices for the less troublesome N55 135i’s hover right below the $30K range with this kind of mileage. It appears the seller believes he can recoup some of the Dinan upgrade costs with the higher Buy-It-Now but unfortunately the mods may actually hurt the value of this example.  While the extra power is nice I think I’d prefer it in stock form and am doubtful it will break $30K in the auction.

Similar to the M Coupe, I believe the looks of the squinty 1-Series make it one of BMW’s best kept secrets. A simple resolution in this case would be to replace the Motegi wheels that you’d find on a Honda Civic at your local Burger King meet up with some BBS LM’s or M3 CSL wheels and you’d give the car a lot more presence.

-Ben

2011 BMW 1M

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The 1M was a funny choice for modern BMW AG. Seemingly hell-bent on expanding the M line and selling as many M-cars as possible, they created a limited-production, enthusiast-targeted modern interpretation of the E30 M3. Less than a thousand came to North America in total, and I’ve seen as many F10 M5s in the few months they’ve been around as I’ve seen 1Ms in the past couple of years. Today’s comes in Valencia Orange which, while perhaps not as sleek as the white or black options, is definitely the trademark color for these cars. The main talking point on this car is the salvage title – while the damage appears to have been fully remedied, that title issue will be a black mark for the rest of its life.

D8541A3D-ADD5-4A13-869B-CB44F4C2FB88_4

Year: 2011
Model: 1M
Engine: N54 twin-turbo 3.0l inline-6
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 11,746
Price: $51,995

Click for details: 2011 BMW 1M on eBay

D8541A3D-ADD5-4A13-869B-CB44F4C2FB88_2

2011 BMW 1M

This is the Real Deal! 6 Speed Manual Shift!

Stunning Orange Exterior!

Alcantara Trim Interior!

11k Pristine Miles!

19″ Alloys with 9/32 or Better Tread Depth!

Spotless Inside and Out!

Hardtop Coupe!

Rear Lip Spoiler

Heated/Power Seats!

A/C Climate Control

Factory Navigation!

As amazing as this car is it has NYS salvage Certificate # 907A. Come and take a VERY close look from every angle and you will NOT find a thing out of factory order and flawless condition. Simply Google the VIN and you will see several photos of previous body damage.

VIN WBSUR9C56BVT47835

D8541A3D-ADD5-4A13-869B-CB44F4C2FB88_16

Just 746 miles short of a fully pristine life, huh? Getting in a clean one of these right now for $51k is decent, but think about E30 M3s for sale with salvage titles: much harder to sell and significantly less expensive than those with clear titles. While it’d be amazing to get in one of the 740 1Ms in the US, you have to consider the long-term effects of that title. A rare and unique driving experience is worth a lot, but the prudent choice would be to add a few grand to your budget and get one that would be in instant and high demand should you ever choose to sell.

-NR

Wagon Week: 2011 Saab 9-3X

They say, sometimes, you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. Such is the case with Saab. As I was walking to work the other day, a 2011 9-5 sedan passed me on the street and I thought “my what a pretty car.” Sad then, that this car lasted but one model year before the company wound down operations. Even more depressing was that the Sport Combi, or wagon, version of this sedan didn’t make it into production. I’ve seen some pretty wagons over time, but this one just took the cake. A few prototypes and pre-production examples were produced, enough to tease us with a taste of what might have been.

A shame then, that Saab is no longer with us. But what about the company’s other offerings at the end? The 9-3 was almost a decade old by the time Saab called it quits, but it still looked fairly fresh, given a 2008 facelift. The 9-3X was launched in 2009 as an all-wheel drive crossover variant of the 9-3 Sport Combi. Having lived in New England for a time and knowing that Saabs were popular there, I thought, wow, this will be everyone’s dream car up there – a Saab crossover. Who could ask for anything more?

As you all know, we here at GCFSB like to feature the odd Swedish car or two, mainly because they share a lot of the qualities we admire about German vehicles. This 9-3X for sale in Kentucky is as-new, with only 6 miles on the clock. Technically, you could consider it German, since it shares its architecture with the Opel Vectra.

Year: 2011
Model: 9-3X
Engine: 2.0 liter turbocharged inline four cylinder
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Mileage: 6 miles
Price: $33,900

2011 Saab 9-3X on AutoTrader

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Warranty (5 year or 60K extended service included in this price). A 2011 Saab 9-3 Sport Combi is prepped and ready for delivery! Comfort package (8-Way power passenger seat, headlamp washers, heated front seats, and universal garage door opener), express-up power windows and power tilt/slide moonroof. Saab has done it again! They have built some great vehicles and this superb 2011 Saab 9-3X is no exception! This spirited machine can turn the everyday driver into a gearhead as they experience a whole new kind of acceleration and exceptionally potent power.

Contrary to what the ad states, the 9-3X is not badged as a Sport Combi, even if it is based on one. I’d also be curious about the details of the warranty offered. As we all know, when Saab went belly up, owners of vehicles made after the GM era were out of luck when it came to a guarantee of any sort. More information on this warranty would be needed before pulling the trigger. MSRP for this 9-3X when new was just under $37,000. Is about a $3,000 discount enough to move the metal in this case. Sadly, probably not, as most pricing guides are putting resale values for a low mileage 9-3X in the low to mid $20,000 range.

-Paul

2011 BMW 1M Coupe

While the BMW 1M may not quite be the E30 M3 people were hoping for, it is certainly one of the more exciting offerings from BMW’s M-division in some time. It does rock the fattest fenders since the E30 which, combined with the modern BMW style of complex curves and cuts, gives a decidedly over-muscled bulldog stance. Known for a pants-crappingly short wheelbase and a stronger (if parts-bin sourced) N54 twin-turbo, this 1M also benefits from a Dinan software package resulting in almost 40 additional horses. 380hp in an essentially cubic sports car sounds hilarious and scary.

Year: 2011
Model: 1M Coupe
Engine: S54 twin-turbo inline six, Dinan Software (~380hp)
Transmission: 6-speed manual (hallelujah!)
Mileage: 18,300
Price: $59,800

2011 BMW 1M for sale on eBay

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2011 BMW 1 Series M 1M Coupe Dinan Stage 3
* Stunning 1 Series M Coupe Alpine White on Black Boston Seats with Maintenance Plan from BMW until 05/08 17 or 100K miles!
* 1 Owner Local Trade In!
* Dinan Stage 3 Engine Software! (Does NOT void warranty! Link below)
* Safety Car Front Spoiler!
* Convenience Package!
* Premium Package!
* Black 19″ Wheels!
* Harman/Kardon surround sound!
* Heated front seats!
* Satellite radio!
* BMW Apps!
* Voice-command!
* Smartphone Integration!
* Automatic climate control!
* Xenon Headlamps!

* Convenience Package:
– Navigation system
– Comfort Access keyless entry
– Park distance control (rear)

* Premium Package:
– Power seats
– Autodimming mirrors
– Power folding mirrors
– Universal garage door opener!

Dinan Stage 3 Software Details: http://dinancars.com/shop/D900-30TM-Stage-2-Performance-Engine-Software-Boost-Upgrade-1-Series-M.aspx#page=1

I’ve seen this before, but it never makes sense why the ad says Dinan Stage 3 when it clearly links to Stage 2 and there is no Stage 3 to be found on Dinan’s website. Regardless, Stage 2 is plenty of extra beast in an already intimidating car. I normally love Germany’s racing white, but here the white exterior and bland black interior seem to exaggerate the beluganess and obscure the monster. But whatever, it’s number 78 out of 740 for a car that will go down in history as a very special M-car in a time of impressive but less-special ///Ms.

This 1M is already chasing down one of the E30 M3’s most notable recent characteristics: appreciation. Even with options and aftermarket parts, this car cost no more than $55k new (dealer markups notwithstanding) and has now covered 18k miles, yet is for sale at just under $60k. Sure, this is a very cool modern BMW, but can you imagine what kind of M3 (or how many) you could get for $60k!? With that money you could have an exceptional E30 M3, E28 M5, E36 M3, AND an E39 M5. No question which garage I’d choose.

-NR

Theme Week: 2011 Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG Designo

No 1% household is complete without the obligatory SUV. Most opt for the Range Rover; actually I think they are mandatory in certain neighborhoods. In a sea of generic luxury SUVs, how does one stand out with the valet at the yacht club? Enter the solution: the G55 AMG.

Normally I’d be tempted to discuss the 504 bhp supercharged AMG V8, or the G55’s off-road prowess, but these things are inconsequential to the 1%. Rather I feel the need to point out the “look at me” AMG styling that will turn heads all over town, the plush Nappa leather, and the navigation system that offers Zagat ratings for restaurants…you know the important things.

This arctic white G-Wagen for sale in Chicago, IL, is a god among men in the SUV market.

 

2011 Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG Designo on eBay

The G-Class is powered by a 382-horsepower, 5.5L V8, while the high-performance G55 AMG gets a supercharged version good for 500 hp. The G55 can dash to 60 mph in just 5.4 seconds, according to Mercedes-Benz. Fuel economy isn’t stellar, but it’s reasonable considering what the G-Class was built for: 12 mpg city and 15 highway. The AMG version achieves 11 city and 13 highway. Thanks to a serious mechanical 4-wheel-drive system, complemented by modern electronics, the G-Class has the goods for serious off-roading as well as simply taking on slippery road conditions. The system comes with three differential locks to distribute power in whatever way is best for the conditions. On- or off-road, traction is aided by the electronic stability control system, which also helps distribute power left to right. The G-Class is an old-style, truck-like SUV in look and feel, yet its interior is appointed with top-notch luxury materials, including premium leather, burl walnut trim and wood and leather trim elsewhere. The G55 AMG adds a Nappa leather interior and natural maple trim, plus 5-spoke wheels, special chrome trim, and illuminated doorsills on the outside. Inside, the G-Class provides a very upright driving position that’s quite different than in any other vehicle from the brand’s lineup; back seats have enough room for adults, but they’re not as easily reconfigurable for cargo compared to most modern SUVs. Also, the back door is hinged on the side rather than the top. Cruise control, a dual-zone automatic climate control system, rear heated seats and a parking assistant are included with the G550, as well as a heated steering wheel and heated and ventilated multi-contour front seats. The latest version of Mercedes-Benz COMAND screen-based interface is included on the G55 AMG, plus voice controls, a Bluetooth hands-free calling interface. There’s also a premium, 610-watt harman/kardon audio system that also features an SD memory card slot, iPod connectivity and Sirius satellite radio and HD radio tuners. The navigation system includes a 40-GB hard drive as well as live traffic info and Zagat restaurant ratings.

These are growing on me, and have become one of my favorite SUVs out there. The blend of luxury, off-road capability, and AMG muscle is untouchable on today’s market. The Arctic White over black leather is my favorite combo for this mainly because it’s not a common combo on these; you usually see black or silver. With an MSRP of over $130K, this barely used G-Wagen is priced reasonably; vs. a new one…I sure hope the dealer takes cash.

-Brian

 

Theme Week: 2011 Audi R8 V10 Spyder

Supercars are great to look at, but let’s face it, how easy are they to live with? It’s not surprising that many of these cars have low mileage, because who would want to put up with a cantakerous engine, poor visibility and the inevitable reliability issues that come along with a high strung motor during your everyday travels? Back in the early 1990s, Honda came along and changed people’s ideas of how livable a supercar could be. The all-aluminum NSX was a legend in its time and is still missed by many, after it’s 15 year production run ended in 2005.

While Acura is readying a second generation NSX, I would argue that Audi picked up where Acura left off in 2008 with the R8. Based around the Lamborghini Gallardo platform and built by quattro GmbH, the R8 Coupe and Spyder has been raking in the accolades on the road and track. Looking through the classifieds, it is apparent that many owners have been successful in racking up higher mileage than your run of the mill supercar. While I’m partial to the hardtop, this V10 Spyder looks resplendent in Teak Brown and skips the R tronic gearbox for the 6-speed manual.

2011 Audi R8 V10 Spyder on eBay

This one owner supercar is in Teak Metallic over Nougat Brown leather interior. Loaded with options including navigation, rear back-up camera, front and rear parking sensors, 6-speed manual transmission, enhanced leather package, carbon fiber Sigma interior trim, illuminated door sills, Bang & Olufsen sound with iPod integration, blue tooth hands free, LED headlights and LED running lights, power top, dual heated power front seats with driver’s memory feature, Homelink universal garage door opener and more. With an MSRP of $172,775. This R8 is super fast and in great shape in and out. Comes with all original books, keys, window sticker and Audi Care Program which includes all maintenance and extended warranty.

Audi R8s seem to hold their value well, as even the early V8 coupes are bringing in the $80,000 to $90,000 range to start. I’d suspect the reserve on this later V10 Spyder would be somewhere around $140,000 to $150,000 or so, based on comparables I’ve seen. A car like this just wants me to work that much harder, because I could only imagine the aural sensation of having the top down on an autumn afternoon, dropping down a few gears and listening to the overrun from that 5.2 liter engine.

-Paul

2011 TH Automobile Volkswagen T5 Transporter

The Volkswagen Transporter has long been a commercial workhorse the world over. But that hasn’t stopped tuners from having a crack at this rather pedestrian looking box. Back in the 1980s, Porsche built a T3 Transporter based “B32,” essentially a Volkswagen Transporter with a 3.2 liter flat six engine from the 911 Carrera at the time. More than just a prototype, Porsche built 11 of these vans as support vehicles for the newly developed Group B 959 which was competing in the Paris Dakkar Rally.

Fast forward two generations later, and the formula for putting a Porsche mill in the back of a Transporter still seems attractive. A company called TH Automobile has undertaken a monumental task in turning the front-wheel drive T5 Transporter into a rear engined beast, replete with the 3.6 liter, twin turbocharged flat six from the Porsche 911 produced between 2004 and 2008. With 480 horsepower on tap, 60 mph arrives in under five seconds with a top speed of over 170 mph. Impressive numbers for what is not the most aerodynamic vehicle out there.

While we as Americans won’t have much of a chance importing a stealth van like this anytime soon, it’s nice to occasionally look across the pond and see what forbidden fruit is out there.

2011 TH Automobile Volkswagen T5 Transporter on Mobile.de

The TH2 is made ​​by hand. The TH Automobile Company is a well known car factory in Berlin. Here was manufactured, among other things, the fastest bus in the world (311 km/h). This car is built forge T5 Bus with Porsche Turbo technology for true individualists. The motor is always in the back of the T5! Driving pleasure is guaranteed. This has everything: luxury, space, athleticism, speed and on request relaxed driving. Add to that a very good quality. Since the list is very long, please call with any questions or simply browse on www.thautomobile.de.

At over €100,000, there are a ton of other fast cars that one could choose from, but probably none that could seat six and carry everyone’s luggage. I’m a huge fan of vehicles like this that hide their true aggressive nature. In this subtle shade of brown, one would never suspect you could blow the doors off almost anything that might roll up along side of you.

-Paul