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headline: der Reflektor - press reviews on lifestyle, luxury and sports cars


Baby Alpina D3 Does Its Fine Name Credit
With the D3 - a refined 320d - Alpina are offering their first 3-series based diesel. And Germany's leading auto magazines attended this premiere. The outcomes of the journalistic observations are pretty similar however there are some differences in their findings. In all articles the testers found fault with a noticeable weakness under 2000rpm but, at the same time, all attested decent acceleration rates. Auto motor and sport [ams] even say that the D3 set benchmarks at mid and high revs and added: ' it's hard to believe that it's just a four-cylinder engine'. Modern diesel technology might enable this albeit there are downsides, as the journalists of this mag pointed out by remarking that the engine doesn't sound inspirational. Also Auto Zeitung is of the opinion that the perfor-
mance is excellent, beyond the turbo hole. Fuel consumption were averaged between 7.7 and 7.9 litres per 100km - close results which are deemed good in view of the extra power but also indicate that the outcomes are credible. Regarding the suspension, 'ams' judged in parts a bit contadictory to Auto Zeitung that did a comparative test against the 320d. Damping behaviour is admittedly a subjective issue and finally all say in unison that the Alpina is more comfortable than even a standard Three. AutoBild and ams trace this back to the fact that Alpina don't use run flat tires. Considering this similarity, it doesn't come as a surprise that the magazines arrived at the same point in the end. All deem the Alpina D3 a recommendable car worth being taken into consideration.<


We estimated tests of:
auto motor und sport > website..!
AutoBild > website..!
Auto Zeitung > website..!


One Million Euro Playstation
The journalists of BBC Top Gear started a race with the Bugatti versus a Cessna from South France to the United Kingdom and the Veyron 16.4 was the winner, because of very strange reasons. This was great entertainment but no real test. Auto motor und sport checked the car out on the VW test track at Ehra Lessin and tried to reach the vehicle's top speed. The first attempt failed because the car switched back to the Handling Mode. The reason for that were the temperatures of the exhaust fumes. Volkswagen's technicians prescribed some laps at lowers speeds to cool down. By the way, in the Veyron's case lower speeds meant up to 220kph! After the chill out phase the Veyron reached only 398kph with the second attempt. This time it has been a result of a switched on air condition.
Agreeable temperatures inside of the car could cost up to 5kph of top speed. But on the third run, without cabin cooling, the 400kph mark was hit. 'I never felt that anything about the car was running out of control' said the tester after the trials and in doing so he gave a big compliment to the engineers. Also his colleague from AutoBild was overwhelmed by the Veyron. 'It moves itself like a foreign body through a virtual parallel universe', remarked the editor and he added that the car gathers and reduces speeds an effortless way 'as if the world is just a video game'. That impression inspired the writer to headline: 'One Million Euro Playstation'. But it's no surprise that the Bugatti runs fast. In contrast to the fact that it feels like a Grand Tourismo, and not as an uncompromising super sports car. <


We estimated tests of:
auto motor und sport > website..!
AutoBild > website..!


Does The New S-Class Beat The Bavarians
Auto motor und sport from Stuttgart say
the new S-class is clearly better than both rivals from the Free State of Bavaria. Also the Hamburg-based magazine AutoBild claims this. But in contrast to the publication from Mercedes' home town, the Audi A8 comes out as winner in the comparison of this mag. Its significantly lower price provides some extra points in the end so that the A8 beats the new S-class in Germany's biggest auto magazine. Finally it's a matter of ones point of view. The Mercedes is the leading one in its abilities whereas those who pay attention to their pockets' contents could get more happy with the Audi. On the other hand, the A8 is still a very sporty car which is certainly not to everybody's likings, especially as it is
about luxury sedans here. The S-class has a tad more interior volume than the others and it's also the most comfortable car. It even surpasses the 7-series that have set the benchmark in this regard by now. When it comes to the operation of the numerous electronic features on board, Audi's MMI system is still on top. Neither the revised Command System nor the modified iDrive beat the A8's control unit. Regarding engines there are just marginal differences. This is no matter of objective criteria but individual preferences. The bottom line is: The S-class is the most well rounded executive vehicle, the Audi A8 is the most luxurious sports sedan. And the Seven? It's just the option for those who want their upper class salon to be a Bimmer! <



We estimated tests of:
auto motor und sport > website..!
AutoBild > website..!


Black Art, Alchemy Or Just Well Done?

'This is the best car you've probably never heard of' is the UK sports car magazine 'evo's test report's first sentence on the Wiesmann MF3, remarking shortly after: 'It is also, quite simple, one of the most impressive sports cars we've driven in a long time'. Damn great compliments from the U.K. for a car that actually has nothing British in its pedigree. Next quotation seems as an authenticity prove: 'It's dramatically low and muscular with its pronounced haunches, and appears to be a homage to classic British sports cars'. But Britishness wasn't mentioned when the author came to the MF3's technology. Definitely because of its BMW-origin, possibly also the accomplished finish. The M3's motor rises enthusiasm any further: 'Wiesmann claims a zero-100kmh time of 4.9sec which seems a tad conservative given the phenomenal dry-road traction those fat rear Contis find'. The mentioned ones measure 275/25-20 and have
'barely enough sidewall for the words
'Conti SportContact2'. As minimal as the rubber is the suspension travel. Scarcely 100mm was noticed which had increased the surprise about the driving manners: 'I have no idea how Wiesmann has achieved it but, despite 20inch rims, tyres with hardly any sidewalls and what appears minimal suspension travel, the Roadster rides beautifully. Chassis dynamics are some-
thing of a black art but this is alchemy'. No critics in the article, there was absolutely nothing the tester had found fault with. 'There are no rattles or squeaks, no fuel pump hums, nothing chafes when you turn-on full lock - in short, it feels like a high-quality production car'. Consequently, preconditions for the U.K introduction of the brand appear good. It's a 'very desirable car that gives the wonderful M3 straight-six the home it deserves', evo magazine says. Well done Wiesmann, we add! <




Test: evo
Issue: March 2005
Link: www.evo.co.uk


Challenged To A Duel With Pistons

911 and M5, both ought to be treated with respect because, they're legends. Okay, their grandpas are. These ones here represent the very latest generation, the grandchildren. Powercar has paid respect also to the descendants and booked the most famous German race track for a duel with pistons, the Nürburgring. No, it wasn't the Nordschleife, but the Grand Prix circuit is as well a worthy territory for them to let steam off. One more time, the 911 has to defend its family's honour, this time under the new label Carrera S. Anyway, it doesn't advantage the Porsche since the unloved rival has a few letters less, but 152 horses more. And it seems perfectly prepared. A weight balance of 50:50 hints to favourable manners. The specs for the 911 are 39:61. Although, more weight at the rear axle doesn't have to be a disadvantage, especially as the rules say that stability controls must be switched off.

Also, the 911 could profit from its stringent diet plan. Nearly 400kg lesser than the Bimmer suggest an open match. At the first discipline, on the straight, the BMW takes advantage of its power. From a standstill, it reaches 200kmh within 13.9 seconds, the Porsche affords 16.5 for that. But it may run as fast as it can, whilst the M5 is governed to 250kmh, in accordance to the German gentlemen's agreement. Additionally, its brake point is closer to the corner which helps to make up leeways caused by the M5's amazing acceleration. In the end, the lighter Porsche shaped up as the faster one on the Nürburgring. Despite its power lack of 152hp, it covers the track in 1:49.6. Munich's all-out sports sedan takes 1.62 seconds more. The heavier BMW is really no loser, but second in the test though. By the way, the winner costs 85,176 Euro, a little less - says 1024 Euro - than the 4-door family race car M5.<



Test: Powercar
Issue: 01/2005
Link: - -
A6 Of One, Half A Dozen Of The Other

Basically the question was whether or not Audi would disgrace its native competitors with the all new A6, as they did with the luxury liner A8 before. The answer is a clear no! Seen in that light, there's not all too much to write about Audi's new one. All test results were a close-run thing. Differences in scoring have rarely been amounted to more than 2 percent. Sometimes the Audi won, sometimes it lost. Summarised it is equally good as its direct rivals. Mainly agile handling and its decent quality were praised. Also positively mentioned, hard facts such as the A6's price and its roomy body whereas the coupe-like roof line was said to impede entering the back seats. Other criticisms referred to a slight lack in matters of comfort. Also in case of the A6, Audi has put a notable sporty touch to the car's chassis. Maybe just a question of liking, but sedans of that kind are chiefly used as long-distance runners which was why the press refused a few points.

Also the 3.0 TDI motor appeared a tad imperfect. Though it runs smoothly and silently, it's not said to be state of the art because it is more thirsty than its rivals' self combustion engines. Fans of the make may be slightly disappointed about this outcome though it surly is no shame to be just as good as Merc and BMW. But, expecting a clear victory of the midsize car from Ingolstadt turned out too optimistic because the 'seniority' of the S-class and the Seven's poorly conceived innovations have made, and make, the superior results of the A8 possible. One class lower, the E-class and the 5-series simply lack way too much of their big brothers' disadvantages to be really beaten by the newcomer from Germany's largest state, Bavaria. Nevertheless it's a great car and, in view of its distinctive face the buying decision will be more a matter of taste than one of 'Vorsprung durch Technik' <



We estimated
several tests of:

AutoBild
Auto Motor Und Sport
Auto Zeitung


Continental GT Meets Mercedes' Heavy Coupe

A test of cars costing over 100,000€ could hardly be about utility and price/
performance ratio. It's more an issue of profusion's proportioning. In this regard, there are truly differences between Mercedes' 600 CL and Bentley's Continental GT, as Auto Motor Und Sport [ams], Germany's most important motoring mag concerning cars of this sort, said. The British coupe excels in a lavish use of wood and leather, the German competitor seems nearly modest - in direct comparison. This changes when it comes to the vehicles' interior dimensions. The Benz offers ample space in contrast to the Bentley whose cabin is a bit narrower. Okay, but the Merc is adaptable, because additional wood and leather can be optionally ordered, unlike leg and headroom for the Bentley. Nonetheless, this is just a question of philosophy, and no real flaw. Just as the Continental's serious drink problem. It takes round 3 litres more than the 17.3 of the CL, as a result of those additional 364 kilos that a fat big Bentley may have. Sadly it also has a negative effect on its acceleration performance.
Despite a 60hp advantage to the 500hp Merc, the Benz out-accelerates the heavy Bentley which reached 200km/ within 16.9sec. The Mercedes did this job taking two seconds less. In the end, and not surprisingly, the CL 600 is winner of this comparative test. Okay!? The Continental isn't as good as the CL, but who cares? Bentley fans don't! It may weigh more than a Merc, after all it has a big 'B' on the bonnet - which also stands for Britishness. But even the U.K. press is not convinced of it. The unanimous say is: it's a great and amazing car, objectively the best Bentley ever built but, anyway too perfect - much too German in its character. It looks like one but feels like a Volkswagen. Finally it's too unspectacular for a real Bentley, as the UK press claims. But it also is not perfect enough to beat the CL in Germany. Means, the Continental GT is amongst the most stunning cars that roll on tarmac but this British-Teutonic marriage is still missing the right harmony to make both really happy. <



Test: auto motor und sport
Issues: 01/04
Link: www.auto-motor-und-sport.de
[ German only ]


Does The CSL Beat The Sports Car Elite?

The attack was unexpected but should be taken seriously. BMW's lightweight racer M3 CSL is considered to keep up with more prestigious cars tailored to the same pattern. But can a passenger-car-based mutation really tackle vehicles of the sort of a Ferrari 360 Staradale or Porsche 911 GT3? And who is best of those three? We promised an answer but have to admit now, it's hard to say. Evo from the UK recently crowned the GT3 as its car of the year [eCOTY]. In this competition the Stradale was forth out of ten cars. Two positions better than the M3 CSL. But, there is no superiority of the Porsche over the Ferrari. Because, in the September 2003 issue of the same magazine, the Stradale came out as the faster one. The Ferrari aims radically at driving performance. In contrast, the GT3 is more well-balanced. It's not so much race track-oriented as the Stradale. Instead it makes impression by providing utter dynamics combined with astonishing comfort leftover. Fairly assessed, it's a matter of taste. Both are winners, each one on its own way. The German sports car convinces with an unbelievably well-done combination of actually supposed contradictions,

leaving over a niche for the existence of the 911 GT3 RS, the Italian one because of its consequent focus upon going even faster, what ever it may take. The CSL isn't fit to hold a candle to one of them. How come? We think the cause is that BMW has focused too much on ideal conditions. With the Michelin Pilot Cup semi slicks, specially developed for it, the BeeEmmer always appeared competitive on the racetrack. But on public roads and/or without the French rubber, too much of its advantages melt away and the results were not so convincing. The evo test also confirms this impression. The slim line M3 attended with ordinary MichelinSportContact tyres and the evo team finally reached at the conclusion: ' Look at the specs and it's very impressive, but drive it and the CSL is somehow less than the sum of its parts'. To be frank, it is no drama that the BMW cannot keep up with the Porsche and the Ferrari. From another vantage point it finally is a respectable sensation how close BMW comes to the extremest driving machines of the most renowned sports car makers, using the conventional middle-class 3-series as a basis.<




Test: evo
Issue: September 03 and January 04
Link: www.evo.co.uk


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