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.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2009 Mercedes-Benz C300 on eBay
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.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2009 Porsche 911 GT2 on eBay
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.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2009 Porsche Cayenne GTS at Euro Automotion
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: