2012 BMW 335is

As popularity of the BMW 3-series doesn’t seem to be waning much even with the death renaming of the 2-door variant, finding a slick coupe to set up apart from the BMW crowd can be difficult. Outside of the obvious M3 choice, the ZHP models like the one Craig wrote up on Friday are certainly highly prized and priced. When it came to the E46’s replacement, there was no ZHP package offered – bummer. But, late in the run BMW did roll out a very special package with an even more storied connection to the 3er. In 2011, BMW reintroduced the “is” moniker to the top-notch 335 2-door. The new 335is differed from the regular production run in many ways. Replacing the N55 motor was the trusty N54, just like in the 1M. BMW remapped the engine to deliver 320 horsepower and 332 lb.ft of torque channeled through a short-shift 6-speed gearbox or you could opt for the dual-clutch DCT 7-speed from the M3 for repeatable 5.0 second runs to 60. Because it was turbocharged, you also have a 7-second overboost function that gives you another 40 lb.ft in passing situations (or, to show off). The 335is helped to mitigate this additional power with a revised cooling system and heavier-duty motor mounts. The additional cooling meant no fog lights for the coupe, though oddly they could be had on the convertible 335is. Typical M adornments outside meant revised front and rear bumper covers, and the 335is wore unique Style 313 forged wheels measuring a substantial 19×8 in front and 19×9 out back. There were also discrete 335is badges under the side indicators to let drivers beside you know you were in some obscure BMW model besides a M3:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2012 BMW 335is on eBay

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2012 Porsche Cayman R

From seemingly the moment it released the Cayman Porsche was criticized for holding it back so as not to outclass the 911. As we often heard, the Cayman’s inherently better balanced mid-engine layout should easily be able to outperform Porsche’s icon, if only Porsche would truly unleash it and give it a proper engine. Regardless of this criticism, the Cayman has been widely praised; it followed in the long footsteps of Porsche’s racing history providing excellent performance and refinement in the same package. With the release of the Cayman R criticism was abated. With the new Cayman GT4 we have a glimpse of what the Cayman truly can be. Here we have an example of the former, a Speed Yellow 2012 Porsche Cayman R, located in Texas, with 12,726 miles on it. The Cayman R didn’t really add much in the horsepower department – gaining only 10 hp over the standard Cayman S – but when combined with its lighter weight – some 120 fewer pounds than the Cayman S – the results began to take shape. Marry extra power and lighter weight with more performance-oriented suspension tuning and the Cayman R stood apart from its mid-engined siblings and finally bit at the heels of the 911. Was the R akin to the 911 GT3 RS in its track focus? Not quite, but it pointed in that direction and gave many critics what they had clamored for.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2012 Porsche Cayman R on eBay

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2012 Porsche Panamera S

I paid a visit to the local Porsche dealer over the long weekend to check out the wares, specifically the Macan S. As great as the PDK transmission is, I would still prefer the Macan with a 6-speed manual gearbox. Given that is not on the option list, it has fallen down a few notches on the list of potentials for my second vehicle. One car that was available for a time with a manual gearbox of which few are aware is the Panamera. After it first debuted, certain rear-drive models, including this Panamera S for sale on the western border of Germany near Saarbrücken were available with a 6-speed manual. Few, if any, Panameras made it to the US with three pedals. I personally have yet to come across one. Even still, in Europe, these big sedans so equipped are rare.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2012 Porsche Panamera on Mobile.de

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Paint-to-Sample 2012 Porsche 911 Turbo Coupe

We don’t feature many of the newer model year 911s very often, but this one struck me for a number of reasons. Foremost, of course, it’s a very rare exterior color. That will always grab our attention. But I was also struck by the price. It hardly makes sense to classify any car as cheap when it has a price tag of $100K, but in a relative sense that’s exactly how this one strikes me. The color is Meissen Blue, a shade Porsche made available in the late 1950s for the 356. Seeing it on a modern Porsche really shows the juxtaposition of old and new style. It’s absolutely a unique look for the 997 and brings a softness to the Turbo’s lines that belies its performance abilities.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2012 Porsche 911 Turbo Coupe on eBay

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2012 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Estate

Last week, we looked at a rather oddball Mercedes-Benz, the R63 AMG. I love obscure cars, especially those which are unexpectedly fast. Here’s another five-door Mercedes with some brut force under the hood: the E63 AMG Estate. Amazingly, US customers can still order a new E-class AMG estate from Mercedes, which is a miracle given how few are sold here annually. This 2012 E63 AMG Estate for sale outside of Washington, DC is painted in an uncommon AMG hue of Quartz Blue Metallic. The 2012 model packs the 5.5 liter twin-turbo V8 engine that pumps out the same 525 horsepower that that naturally aspirated 6.3 liter V8 produced, but it adds 60 more lb ft of torque for a total of 520. Burnouts, anyone?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2012 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Estate on Cars.com

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2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S

There is something about this 911 that really is attracting my notice. I can’t put my finger on it, but more so than most 991s I come across this one looks really good. Maybe it’s the color combination – I do really like the interior. Or maybe just the white exterior paint in general, which for whatever reason seems to work for me. I haven’t been a huge fan of the 991 design as it’s become too flat and more or less looks like the Cayman. I realize that’s the reverse of how the two models are typically viewed, with most seeing the Cayman as derivative of the 911, but with the current models the direction seems to have shifted. I’m sure aerodynamically it’s far superior to the more upright appearance of an air-cooled 911, but those specific aerodynamic benefits will rarely be appreciated to any significant degree so I can’t say I care. Design aesthetics aside, the 991 is another step forward in the long evolution of the 911 as one of the best sports coupes on the market. Performance is raised across the board and even if the current 911 isn’t as hard-nosed as it once was it remains a rear-engined driver and that in itself lends it much of its unique character. Plus, what car isn’t as hard-nosed as it once was? So here we have a White 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S, located in Florida, with Nautical Blue leather interior and 57,442 miles on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S on eBay

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2012 Porsche Cayman R

The cynic might remark that the Porsche Cayman R is exactly what the Cayman could, and should, have been from the very beginning if Porsche hadn’t neutered it so as to protect the 911. The optimist might simply look on with joy and celebrate the arrival of a Cayman that has been allowed to flourish. Whichever side you’re inclined to lean toward the result is the same: the Cayman R is a fantastic machine that sharpens and hones all of the Cayman’s edges to provide a driving experience to rival any other car in the Porsche stable. Including the 911. Of course, there exist iterations of the 911 that can easily handle a Cayman R (though the new Cayman GT4 looks to close that gap considerably), but those 911s cost significantly more money. At a starting price of around $67K the Cayman R represented a very nice value for Porsche enthusiasts and even the most die-hard 911 fan could no longer turn his nose up in disdain. I always have liked the Cayman even if it lacked those 911 quirks that made Porsche’s leading light so revered. It was a relatively light and compact car blessed with impeccable balance and enough power to quickly get you into trouble. It definitely could have been better, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t good. With the R, the model had finally begun to approach its zenith and show its true form. The example here is a Carrera White 2012 Porsche Cayman R, located in Indiana, with 18,300 miles on it. While the R was available with a 6-speed manual this one has had the PDK 7-speed automatic transmission selected. It’s not my ideal choice, but depending on your intended use that transmission can make sense. It’s faster, if arguably less fun and less engaging.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2012 Porsche Cayman R on eBay

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2012 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Estate

2012 Mercedes Benz E63 AMG Estate

There are few offerings from Mercedes-Benz in the past decade or so, that interest me as much as the E63 AMG Estate. The SLS, C63 AMG, and because I have a soft spot for ridiculous things, the G55 AMG, are the only vehicles to wear the three pointed star that I’d actually want to own. The S550 is a modern marvel, but at the end of the day, I’m an A8 W12 guy. I’ll pass on the S-Class.

Mercedes’ powerful long roof is another story though. Where as Audi abandoned selling any sort of fast wagon back in 2008, Mercedes has hung in there, never leaving us without the option of a grocery getter that will leave sports cars in its dust. While I do prefer the look of the current E-Class, there’s something special about the slatted grille on this 2012. It adds an extra bit of prestige to the car, which further adds to its sleepiness, and covert craziness is what this car is all about. As far as performance daily drivers go, there isn’t anything that comes close to the E63 Estate. It doesn’t have any direct competition in the United States, not in its class anyway. Super SUVs like the Grand Cherokee SRT8, or cars like the S7, and Porsche Panamera GTS, are the kind of vehicles one might cross shop when looking at one of these, but none of them are as dynamic as the E63. One minute you’re dropping the kids off at private school, the next you’re getting a latte, and maybe after that you head to the drag strip to rattle off 12.2 quarter miles times. Blame all that caffeine for making you want to run the car at full tilt, but you know deep down that you just want to play with your toy, and who wouldn’t?!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2012 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Estate on Cars.com

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Face off: 2012 BMW M3 v. 335i

I’ve covered a series of BMW 3 series Individual cars recently, and I seem to be on a streak of finding neat ones. Today for your consideration are two E92s; one 335i turbo with low miles in a nice color combination compared to a M3 Individual with higher miles. The price is nearly the same between the two examples; which would be the one you’d select?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2012 BMW M3 on Craigslist

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2012 Volkswagen Golf R

Since its debut the Golf R has been a car I’ve had an awareness of and thought was pretty interesting, but I did not really give it too much more thought than that. Basically, they were too expensive. But that all changed after I featured one back in May and now as I come across them on the second-hand market they draw my attention much more fervently and I even wonder whether, when the time comes, this may be the car to look for when replacing my wife’s car. At nearly $40K when new the Golf R can be a tough sell. Even though you get 256 hp and all-wheel drive there are a lot of options at $40k and just about any hatchback, especially if it’s the 2-door model, is going to be looked at with a wayward eye. The entire equation changes once these hit the second-hand market as depreciation does a number on them quite quickly and with $10K lopped off the sticker price the Golf R becomes a significantly more attractive option. Here we have a 4-door model, a Black on Black 2012 Volkswagen Golf R, located in Pennsylvania, with 6-speed manual transmission and 10,200 miles on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2012 Volkswagen Golf R on eBay

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