If you told me I had to go spend every last penny of my money that wasn’t used to sleep or eat, I’d probably go buy a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. Why? It has everything. Power, looks, exclusivity, and most importantly, Gullwing doors. In all seriousness, this car is a monster. My editor Carter instructed in one at a supercar event and the car looks like it was ready to eat every single cone for lunch then move onto eating the light poles next. This isn’t a re-bodied SL63 with some fancy doors. This is a exotic super car. It was first Mercedes-Benz automobile designed and built from scratch entirely by AMG. It had the the world’s most powerful naturally aspirated production series engine at the time. They had to nail this car and they did. In all honestly, I probably couldn’t handle this car at anything more than 50% of what it is capable of. It’s too much. One of my daily drivers is a 240D for heaven’s sake. All this still isn’t stopping me from saving every penny though.
The BMW 1M is safely now into cult status. Values for used examples very rarely dip below $40,000 with the nicest one selling for tens of thousands more. Does it surprise me? Yes, a little. I think we all knew it was a really fun car, but I don’t think anyone knew they’d still be trading hands close to MSRP some eight years later. Good value for money? I can’t argue it. These cars are a hoot in daily driver situations as well as the track. Yeah, the N54 has its drawbacks (this example needed new spark plugs at 8,000 miles), but if you stay on top of things, nothing is too severe. Today, I came across an example painted in signature Valencia Orange with just over 10,000 miles. Even better, it was for sale at a BMW dealer in San Francisco. Great news, right? Nope. You aren’t prepared for how much they are asking for this car. Trust me.
I’ve recently noticed a large amount of second-hand F10s hitting the market, and what’s been surprising to me is just how cheap they’ve gotten so quickly. Perhaps I just haven’t been paying attention, but suddenly the asking prices on the early F10s are precariously close to $10,000. I suppose it makes sense; the F10 is out of production and no longer the “new thing”, with early examples over 100,000 miles and 8 years old. That’s pretty much a death sentence for a mid-sized executive sedan.
But before you entirely dismiss the F10 line and commence your search for lightly used G30s, there are a few reasons to consider some specific trims in the lineup. For one, the F10 was a lot less controversial of a design than the E60 had been. Second, they seemed to integrate the technology better into the platform, making it a lot less glitch-prone than its predecessor. And, as with all 5-series iterations, power was once again up in the newer models across the board.
But within the F10 lineup for the U.S., there was one particular model which was quite special – what’s listed here as a 550i M-Sport 6-speed. Some 611 550is were equipped with manuals, but of those only 269 were made with the M-Sport package. Today’s example is one of just 16 550i manuals produced in Cashmere Silver Metallic:
The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG had the nearly impossible task of being the spiritual successor of the legendary 300SL Gullwing. I say ‘nearly impossible’ because if one car could measure up to the 300SL nearly 50 years later, the SLS AMG somehow managed. Jeremy Clarkson raved about SLS AMG calling it “the greatest car in the world” at the time and that ”this is the thinking man’s supercar”. I agree completely. The team at AMG managed to make a beautifully contoured car with Gullwing doors and somehow engineered it to get to 60 mph in the mid-three second range and top out at 200 mph. All of this is possible in a car so comfortable and easy to live with that you could use it as a daily driver. It was the ultimate grand tourer with doors to die for. Granted, if you were the kind of person to buy a SLS you almost certainly had other vehicles in your fleet and that seems to be the case with today’s car. This 2011 painted in the sleek Obsidain Black checks in with just 4,500 miles and looks every bit the part. The even better news, once you swing open those doors, the car only looks better.
I have been thinking a lot about these cars lately. This is a Black 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 with 3,743 miles on it. This is the last of the breed produced for the 997. Only 600 were made in total with 156 of those coming to the US (I’ve actually seen varying numbers on that one but it’s around there). They are purported to be the last manual transmission GT3 RS that Porsche will produce. Hold on to that point. It also is the last of the “Mezger” engine GT3 RS models that will be produced. So it’s got a lot going for it.
I was particularly interested in finding a black one. I just missed one for sale on Rennlist recently, but as these things go another one popped up for sale. So here we are. Why black? First, because I like those better than the white ones. But mostly because there were a lot more white ones produced. While I can’t say this is 100% accurate I’ve seen quoted that only 36 of those that came to the US were Black. I certainly see far fewer of them. There are, of course, a few PTS examples running around and those are even more special. Good luck finding one.
I have been thinking about these a lot because I think they are the car to have (along with the GT2 RS of the same year) for those really looking for a high-dollar collectible Porsche. They also may just be the best to have for those looking to spend time behind the wheel of the best Porsche can offer. Some might prefer the extra ferocity of the GT2, but I’ll take the GT3, no question.
A number of weeks ago I looked at a heavily armored 1995 Mercedes-Benz S600 that was built for none other than the Sultan of Brunei. It was an 8,700 pound tank of a car that probably is on par with some tanks as to how much combat fire it can withstand. Today, I came across another literally bulletproof Mercedes that can handle everything just short of armor piecing rounds. This 2011 G55 AMG that is built to a B6 level of armoring is originally a vehicle from the Middle East and somehow is now in California. Just like the S600 you would think that this is just another standard G55 that is hopping around Los Angeles. Then you open the doors to see that clearly isn’t the case.
I think most of us by now are familiar with Riviera Blue. Though only available since the introduction of the 993 it has become perhaps the most iconic of all the Porsche colors. Among Porsche’s deeply vibrant non-metallic blues it only is rivaled by Mexico Blue, which has a full twenty years longer existence than Riviera. When it comes up as a PTS option Riviera always attracts notice. And very high prices.
So when I came across two pretty similar PTS 997s in the color I figured I’d throw them together for a post. I’ve come across a decent number of 991s in Riviera Blue, but if we go back just one model they become far more rare. I can’t say I know how many exist, but it doesn’t appear to be very many. At the very least, opportunities to purchase one are fleeting. Here are two such opportunities: a 2010 Porsche 911 GT3 and a 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS. For me these are two of the best looking 911s produced and especially in the case of the GT3 RS I tend to prefer their looks over those of their successor. In Riviera Blue both look phenomenal.
Let’s look at the GT3 first:
In my post a few days back looking at an alternative to the current 911 GT2 RS there was a conspicuous absence: the original GT2 RS. In that post I was struck mostly by the significant price difference of the 2008 GT2 and was thinking about options for those who weren’t interested in jumping into the hyper-inflated market for the current car. So the 2011 GT2 RS didn’t really make sense within that comparison, but it was something I was thinking about.
If the RS is the model you must have, then the original GT2 RS does jump right into the fray. Pricing between the two cars is pretty similar. With the new GT2 RS now available, I have been wondering whether those prices will stay similar and I guess I’m using this post as a means to think out loud. The one we see here is one of quite a few for sale at the moment. I chose it for its somewhat unique interior, interestingly an interior that is akin to what you can get on the current GT2 RS. It’s also a reserve auction, which could shed some light on my question about value though the current auction appears to be going nowhere.
I’ve been looking for a 997.2 to post for a while. Though in truth I didn’t really find what I was looking for. I’ve had my eye out for a Turbo with a manual transmission, a search which has proved more difficult than I thought it’d be. But this, a Turbo S in Signal Green, certainly serves as a worthwhile substitute. Since the Turbo S wasn’t available with a manual transmission anyway, then I guess I can’t quibble over it possessing PDK.
530 hp delivered through a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission in the most luxurious package Porsche can offer certainly will turn heads. When you drape that kind of machine in one of Porsche’s iconic colors, then now you have looks to go with that performance. This one isn’t entirely original and is said to be putting out an additional 90 hp over the already significant power it offered out of the box. It’s also said to be only 1 of 2 to exist.
Update 8/30/18: The asking price has dropped from the original $32,995 to $28,995 now.
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: