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

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

2012 BMW 650i Coupe

The BMW 635CSi we just saw a few hours ago was rare due to the fact it had a third pedal. It’s rather amazing, then, that you can still spec a 6 series coupe these days with a manual transmission. I had mistakenly called an M6 Gran Coupe a 650i Gran Coupe a few weeks back. Chalk it up to a moment of delusion and the fact that the BMW product portfolio has extended further than the bailout talks for Greece. But here we have a good old two-door 6 series coupe, in a striking shade of red with the 6-speed gearshift sprouting up from the center console for all you die hard purists out there.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2012 BMW 650i Coupe on eBay

Continue reading

2012 Audi TT RS

 

If this was my car and I was the kind of person who went in for vanity plates I’d get COPMGNT because that’s what it is. A regular Audi TT isn’t exactly a head turner and the TT S doesn’t demand attention either. Both are fine looking cars but not nearly as fine as the fully hotted up RS version. Yes, I know the differences are subtle but the wider body, 19″ wheels, mesh grille and killer rear valance give the TT body the aggressive look I think it always should have had. Like many of the reviews say, the TT RS is more R8 than TT and I often debate which I’d rather have. I always end up landing on the R8 because gated manual. 

Speaking on manuals, the TT RS we got here in America only came with 3 pedals. Think about that for a second, a modern sports car in America with no automatic option only 3 years ago. If they were smart enough to do it then, why oh why can’t they be smart enough to offer an S3 with a stick now? Sorry to get off topic, sore subject as I’d go in for an S3 with a stick in a heartbeat, but I digress. Audi got a lot of things right with the TT RS, excellent 6spd manual, howling 2.5L inline-5 pushing out 360hp and 343 lb-ft in a 3,312 package. The car was quick, balanced and apparently had minimal understeer for an Audi. I would absolutely love to drive one of these but as they’re actually rather rare, the likelihood of that happening in the near future is slim to none. If you happen to own one of these cars and live in the greater Los Angeles area, please, let me drive your car?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2012 Audi TT RS on eBAY

Continue reading

Four-door….or four-door coupe? BMW 550i vs. M6 Gran Coupe

For years, the BMW 5 Series has served as a textbook example of a sports saloon. While BMW kept perfecting this genre of automobile, Mercedes-Benz spotted an opportunity in the market, developing a whole new vehicle sector: the four-door coupe. The phrase seems an oxymoron but what you are really getting is a four-door vehicle with a much more swept back roofline and four-place seating in most cases. Even Volkswagen muscled their way into this segment with their Passat CC.

Today we’ll take a look at two recent BMW offerings, both with V8 engines mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox: the 550i and the M6 Gran Coupe. We’ll start with this 2012 550i for sale in North Carolina.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2012 BMW 550i on eBay

Continue reading

2012 Volkswagen Golf R

Who doesn’t love a hot hatch? The combination of a nimble chassis, lively performance, and versatile practicality has been a winning package for decades now and though they still are less beloved here in the States than they are in Europe we now at least have a few nice options from which we can choose the one that suits our needs. VW, of course, produced one of the most iconic hot hatches of all time and while their current options have departed quite a bit from the excellent lightness of the original GTi, they remain a leader in hot-hatch execution. For 2012 Volkswagen brought us their top performance version, the Golf R. As the replacement for the R32 the Golf R utilized a 2.0 liter turbocharged inline-4 to direct 256 hp to all four wheels through a 6-speed manual. These pack a serious punch when added to the dynamic chassis and all-wheel drive helps smooth out the various problems associated with asking the front wheels to steer and deliver all that power at the same time. With both a 2-door and 4-door as options there’s also plenty of versatility available to those who need it. The example we see here appears to be a lightly used 2-door Rising Blue Metallic 2012 Volkswagen Golf R, located in Dallas.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2012 Volkswagen Golf R on eBay

Continue reading

Feature Listing: 2012 Volkswagen Beetle

It’s hard to believe, but it’s approaching two decades that the “New” Beetle has been with us. What debuted as the Concept 1 at the 1994 North American International Auto Show begat the New Beetle for the 1998 model year. This revival of an entry-level motoring classic was offered with a 2.0 liter inline-4 or a 1.9 liter TDI engine initially, with a hotter 1.8 liter turbocharged petrol unit arriving shortly thereafter. Everyone from college kids to retirees began snapping these up in their quest for a little bit of nostalgia. These were not the most reliable of Volkswagens, suffering a lot of the same trim and electrical glitches that plagued the car they were based on, the MkIV Golf. A few years on, you could buy one for a song on the used market, and demand for new ones started to wane.

Enter the A5 based Beetle which debuted in 2011 for the 2012 model year. This was a larger, more powerful and feature laden car than its predecessor. Its appearance was meant to ape a bit of the cues from the original Beetle, with a modified roofline and available steel wheels with chromed trim rings and hubcaps. We’re a few years now into the current generation of Beetles, and this 6-speed manual example with low miles comes to us by way of our friends at Euro Automotion in Happy Valley, Oregon.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2012 Volkswagen Beetle at EuroAutomotion

Continue reading

Tuner Tuesday: 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG Brabus B63

I know that we don’t spend much time on newer Mercedes-Benz products. Well, truth told we don’t spend much time on any newer cars. There are a few reasons; for one, they’re more readily available. I mean, pop on eBay right now and you can have your choice of color, transmission, year, wheel selection and packages of any newer Porsche, BMW, Audi or Mercedes-Benz. So it takes something special for them to stand out a bit for us to take notice. Unfortunately, in my mind most newer Mercedes-Benz models stick out for all of the wrong reasons. Have you ever seen one of those commercials for a local ‘Octoberfest’ celebration? Predictably, they have some poor interpretation of an Oom-pah band in traditional clothing playing a semi-Germanic tune. It always seems a bit forced, much like humor coming from a native German. To me, the newer Mercedes-Benz products are like those commercials. “Ja, of course vee are German!” they seem to shout – while to me, the still retain vestiges of the merger with Chrysler. They’re a bit ostentatious, and while I know they’re motivated by some serious Nimitz-class firepower it just doesn’t really make them appealing to me.

It wasn’t always this way. Go back a generation or two and the cars were still much more refined. I wouldn’t describe them all as the most attractive cars that were on the market, but they retained the understated approach that made Mercedes-Benz famous. In fact, you had to bring your Merc to a tuner to make it ostentatious back in the 1990s. One of the best at making over-the-top Mercedes back then was Brabus. So what do you get when you take an already over-the-top CLS63 AMG and let bonkers Brabus breath on it today?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG Brabus B63 on eBay

Continue reading