It’s been quiet around here because there are a few things on my mind.
First, we have a federal election going on here in Australia. The poll itself will be held on September 7. I don’t want to be consumed by it, but I am. I’m doing my best to keep the election off this website, however.
Second, this week has seen the climax of the biggest scandal in Australian sports history. The conclusion has been six months in the making and thoroughly consuming all week.
And finally, I’ve got a vehicle inspection happening tomorrow. We’ve replaced Mrs Swade’s 9000. Now it’s time to replace my Alfa Romeo GTV6.
Here’s the car:
It’s a 1990 Porsche 944 S2 – cross another one off the bucket list!!
I hope the inspection goes well. In fact, after chatting with the owner a bit I’m expecting it to go well. I’ve got the best 944 mechanic in Australia looking at it so if it impresses him then I’ll feel quite comfortable with the purchase.
I’ll let you know.
Mod Advice (Part 1)
Back in the SU days I wrote a four-part series on modifications to the 1998-2002 Saab 9-3. The cars are very tunable but they’re also quite compromised by a chassis that’s nowhere near as sophisticated as the engine Saab put into it.
In short, you have to make sure that the bits around your engine can handle the extra oomph that Maptun/Hirsch/BSR/whoever can get out of it.
I spotted this old ad for the Porsche 944 Turbo on TTAC today and it presents the case for careful tuning quite nicely. It shows all the bits that Porsche changed when the company went from the basic NA model to the turbo model.
Bottom line: Responsible tuning isn’t just the addition of a single go-faster bit. It’s a whole-of-car affair if you want to do it right.
Mod Advice (part 2)
If you’re taking your modified car to a huge gathering of like-minded car enthusiasts, make sure the car’s legal.
Queensland police have been criticised for deliberately targeting one of the largest ever car enthusiast events to be held in the state.
…. The promoters had positioned the event as a peaceful day out, with the specific instructions of “No Skids, No stupidity. Don’t give the cops a reason to turn up!”
Regardless of the exemplary behaviour of the attendees, up to 30 Queensland police officers and a special traffic task force blocked the entrance and exit to the event, which was held on private property, specifically to target modified vehicles.
It IS poor form on the part of the police, who should want to build bridges and relationships with elements of the community. Shooting these metaphorical fish in a barrel isn’t really going to help.
But it’s also poor form to drive your car in what might be an unsafe condition. Do your mods carefully and make sure the car’s legal.
All parties (police and individual owners) need to look at doing things better, I’d say.
Old man becomes king of the kids
The reviews are coming in and it’s emerging that what’s previously been regarded as a bit of an old man’s brand – Mercedes Benz – might just be taking over a market segment considered the reserve of the young and upwardly mobile – the hot hatch market.
Australian website The Motor Report were glowing today:
After two days in the saddle (and some scorching track time), this I declare: Mercedes Benz remarkable A 45 AMG is the best high-performance hatch ever made, ever offered for sale.
The best ever… simple as that.
And then there’s this from Wheels Magazine (Australia’s biggest motor mag), who are still on their road test right now. This via Facebook about an hour ago:
Road loop today in the A45 AMG and it’s seriously epic. F@$king epic, even. We already knew it was fast, but it’s the A45’s hungry front-end and superb power down that make you grin like a loon. It’s an easy and predictable car to drive hard, but it’s also still exciting. Every motoring hack on the launch can’t stop raving about it. 2013 is proving a great year for performance cars!
The guys at Renault et al. better get their thinking caps on. I’m sure the result will be worth the wait.
Here’s some video from Autocar in the UK, just in case you haven’t got across this new AMG model yet. It looks like a barn-burner!
Thanks to Turbin for the link.
Have a good week. Fantasy Friday returns tomorrow.