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    Re: Chris Harris joins PistonHeads and launches DRIVE on YouTube...

    Chris Harris On Cars: "1986 BMW M5 E28: The original super 4-door"

    Well, I promised myself I'd get the old soldier going, and here it is!

    What is it about this motor car that I find more compelling by the day? The set-square styling, the sensible dimensions, the noise of that straight-six? All of them I suppose.
     
    It was an ECU problem that stopped it, erm, starting, but Mr Klinkert from Tintern Garages pulled the ancient control box apart, repaired the circuit board where it had dried out, fixed the fuel pump and then it rasped into life. Some drop-link bushes saw it through the MOT.
     
    Driving this 26 year-old car highlights the very best and worst of current fast-car-characteristics. Most of it is plain obvious stuff like grip, braking performance and refinement. But the main subjective difference is the way this car makes you extract the speed on offer; modern performance cars with their vast torque offer so much more on-demand performance. If you want to just bolt past a dawdling car, it just happens. In the M5 you have to anticipate.
     
    Once you get the E28 up on its toes, it still feels genuinely quick, but you have to rev the engine, manage the gaps between those five gear ratios and sometimes, just sometimes, allow a bit of slip to maintain engine speed. It's a real pleasure, but in modern cross-country terms, it isn't especially efficient.
     
    Anyhow, as I mentioned in the video, 2012 marks 40 years of BMW M, and even though I can't cover every model, please advise as to which one you'd like to seen next.
     
     
     
    "1986 BMW M5 E28: The original super 4-door -- CHRIS HARRIS ON CARS"
     
     
     
    "I haven't driven my M5 for years, so I got it road-ready and took it for a drive. It still feels nuts today - what the hell was it like in 1986?..." -- Chris Harris
     
     
     
    ...thanks again and all due credit to Chris Harris!

    Smiley SmileySmiley


    Re: Chris Harris joins PistonHeads and launches DRIVE on YouTube...

    I would love to see him do a vid on the E39 M5, a previous car of his.


    Re: Chris Harris joins PistonHeads and launches DRIVE on YouTube...

    Chris Harris On Cars: "Mercedes G63 AMG"

    Plaything for oil barons and footballers or proper PH-worthy uber SUV? Harris finds out...

    Quite what it is about the G63 that I find so appealing I cannot adequately explain. This is both annoying and potentially dangerous for someone who has made it his mission in life to ridicule most self-claiming 'high performance' SUVs. Really, it's the absurdity of the thing - rarely do you encounter a car that so obviously ignores the objective. When the man from AMG stood in front of us and with no sense of irony claimed some precise percentage improvement in fuel economy, I laughed. No one else did.
     
    Our day with the car consisted of two main activities - trying to avoid the tragic congestion around Stuttgart and then working out how to disable the ESP system to allow the old tank the chance of laying down the odd tyre-chirp. We didn't want big drifts - they are a step too far in something like this - just some black lines.
     
    Wrong, but lots of fun
     
    This wasn't easy. First, I did the logical thing and pressed the ESP off button. The effect was a little less intervention, which wasn't too impressive given the meagre starting point - the G63's electronics call time earlier than any other car on sale. So, compelled to make the car do something a little more dynamic for the camera I contemplated my options, and through sneaky eyes pondered the bonnet release. In the olden days we might - and I stress might, just have unclipped the ABS control unit because that would disable the same wheel-speed sensors that feed the ESP its information. But I'm a little more adult these days, and I didn't fancy tugging wires in someone else's £120,000 SUV.
     
    Instead I enlisted the services of Twitter, asking if anyone knew how to get what we used to call 'dyno' mode on these new machines. This has the same effect because it disables the sensors to allow the car to run on a rolling-road. Once again the brilliance of Twitter saved the day - someone sent me the procedure, it worked and the G63 finally had the chance to waste those Yokohamas.
     
    And no, I shan't be repeating the details here. You'll have to find them for yourselves!
     
    I could live with a G63 with clear glass and no badges because it would always make me smile. From 30mph to 130mph it has to be experienced to be believed.
     
     
    "Just because the world doesn't need a 544hp doesn't mean it shouldn't have one. The G63 is so bad, it's almost good..." -- Chris Harris
     
     
     
    ...thanks and all due credit to Chris Harris!

    Smiley SmileySmiley


    Re: Chris Harris joins PistonHeads and launches DRIVE on YouTube...

    Chris Harris On Cars: "Rally Heaven -- Lancia Stratos and Delta S4"

    They say never meet your heroes - they're wrong, says Harris, after hanging out with rallying's greats...

     
    Tyre launches - they're like porous condoms, only a little less useful. Normally I take care to avoid them, but last week I made an exception. Pirelli was introducing its new P7 Corsa Classic tyre and, even for someone who swore he'd never do another one of these jobs again, it was too much to resist.
     
    First up, Pirelli had sorted a San Remo stage. Then it had persuaded the owners of a Delta S4, a Stratos, a 037, a 131 Abarth, an Impreza WRC and a rather apologetic-looking Group A Lancia Delta to provide their cars for appraisal purposes. For driving duties it hired Markku Alen and Juha Kankkunen. In other words, if Carlsberg organised tyre launches, the recipe wouldn't get close to this.
     
     
    There would be no chance to drive the cars or sample the product itself: even by Italian standards, this must be a world first - a product launch that doesn't allow journalists to report on the product. But who cares when you have a four-time world champion and a Delta S4?
     
    The video tells the story of the day, but there was so much anecdote and information about the product that didn't make the edit.
     
     
    First, the product. Anyone who fondly remembers the P Zero-C will be ecstatic about this new arrival. The asymmetrical tread pattern looks almost identical and there are two different compounds, D3 and D5, and currently they work on 15in and 16in rims. Further enhancing the event's genius credentials, Pirelli didn't have a Porsche 911 present (I kind of understand that it would have upset the aesthetic of those Italian machines) but admitted that the Porsche will easily be the biggest market for this car.
     
    As someone who spent months looking for a decent tyre to run on 8in and 9in Fuchs a few years back, the P7 Classic would have been the answer to all my prayers. The soft compound D5 is really a qualifier, with all the cars munching through them very quickly on the abrasive Tarmac of San Remo, the harder D3 wasn't available on the day. I know, don't say it.
     
    I never knew that Markku Alen had once signed for Peugeot. He casually told us over dinner how he did the deal, spent a month testing with Jean Todt's team, then was phoned by Luca De Montezemelo who told him that he would not be leaving the Fiat family. Soon after he went for dinner in Turin and Luca persuaded him with pasta and lire. His relationship with the president of the FIA remains frosty to this day. Markku is engaging, generous with his time and possessed of a genuinely impish sense of humour.
     
     
    Of the dozens of frankly cool things he did over those 30 hours we spent with him, undoubtedly the coolest was walking past the Group A Delta and being offered the keys. "No thank you, I never liked it very much." A few seconds later he was snuggled down in the Stratos again.
     
    These boys really did see it all. The last time he drove a Delta S4 on a World Championship event, he said it had a genuine 620hp. At the end of '86, with Group B banned, he was testing the baby-Delta with 220hp. "It was nothing." His words, not mine.
     
    As for the ECV - well, it's plainly nuts. You'll see it in the video with the certifiable, and six times Italian Rally Champion, Paolo Andreucci trying to make sense of a claimed 800hp. When you see the thing lurch and shudder in the middle of an Italian village, it does bring clarity to the messy end of Group B. The cars were immense, but completely unhinged. After my first run in the Delta S4 I was genuinely shocked at the thought of such a car being driven within inches of spectators. Wearing shorts and a T-shirt didn't help.
     
     
    They were great times, but they couldn't continue.
     
    I've watched the final edit a few times now and I find these cars - these drivers - utterly compelling. I feel privileged to now have a video memento of what will always be one of the best days of my working life. And I didn't even drive a car.
     
     
     
     
     
    "This might just be the best day of my working life. The nut-job launch event for the Pirelli P7 Corsa Classic was pure, Italian, chaotic genius with Markku Alen and Juha Kankkunen. Watch and smile..." -- Chris Harris
     
     
     
    ...thanks again and all due credit to Chris Harris!

    Smiley SmileySmiley


    Re: Chris Harris joins PistonHeads and launches DRIVE on YouTube...

    Chris Harris On Cars: "BMW 325i rally test day. A shambles."

    Chris Harris is going rallying in an old 3 Series - this video tells the story so far...

    Those of you with a rallying bent will recall that Mr Chris Harris has been spending some time this year larking about in an E30 BMW 3 Series with the intent of doing some cheap rallying.

    Co-driver Dan has been out practising in the snow

    This is his story so far.
     
     
     
     
     
    "Bought for £4000, Chris and pals take the 325 for its first gravel test. Many things go wrong..." -- Chris Harris
     
     
     
    ...thanks and all due credit to Chris Harris!

    Smiley SmileySmiley


    Re: Chris Harris joins PistonHeads and launches DRIVE on YouTube...

    Chris Harris On Cars: "New Audi RS4, Old Audi RS4s, New RS4 v C63. Phew."

    Chris puts the new Audi RS4 into context against its predecessors ... and one very close rival
     
    Having already written a thousand words on the new B8 RS4, and now bunged a 20-minute video up, I'm struggling for new things to say about the car.
     
    What I can do now is look back on the past week and assess the reaction to the car.
     
    Previous B7 RS4 was the consumate all-rounder
     
    There's one very important question that every road-tester type should ask themselves right at the very moment they are tackling the minutiae of any car's ultimate Queef-performance: would I like to spend 12 months in this thing?
    It's a great leveller that one. Forget the degrees of oversteer, ignore the odd second over the quarter-mile and instead think of a cold, damp November morning, dropping the kids to school and driving two hours to the airport.
     
    That's where the RS4, in fact all RS4s, tend to shine. What they lose in subjective frills they compensate with a kind of super-heated dependability.
     
    I still feel that way about the new RS4 - it would be a pleasure to live with but the issues I raised last week still detract from the package. It's bloody useful having a rival car present on a first drive event. It's an invaluable control facility; a point of context. That's why we had a C63 AMG along for the test.
     
    Twin-turbo B5 version gets the Harris nod
     
    Anyways, you get all three RS4s in this video. B5, B7 and B8 - plus a little C63 for good measure.
     
    Both the old cars came from Audi's historic fleet and even though the B7 was so nice it made me genuinely wonder if the new car was worth more than twice the money, it was the gnarly old B5 that won the day for me. Just about everything it does dynamically, it does badly but you can sort that, make it go like stink and it just looks fantastic.
     
     
     
     
     
    "We drive the new Audi RS4, try the original B5, the amazing B7 and then match the latest version against the 6.2 litre Mercedes C63..." -- Chris Harris
     
     
     
    ...thanks again and all due credit to Chris Harris!

    Smiley SmileySmiley


    Re: Chris Harris joins PistonHeads and launches DRIVE on YouTube...

    Chris Harris On Cars: "Worlds fastest SUV? The Bowler EXR-S"

    If PistonHeads did off-roaders they'd look something like the Bowler EXR-S, as Chris Harris demonstrates...

    The 'test' track wasn't wide, it was fast and run-off consisted of what my A-level Geography teacher rather dubiously refereed to as 'Oak-Ash climax vegetation'. But then I was only driving a slightly pokey SUV, right?
     
    It's a Land Rover Jim, just not as we know it
     
    You will know Bowler as the maker of a product that looked like a Land Rover Defender which became the ultimate privateer's tool on Rally Raid events like the Dakar. It was called the Wildcat, but Bowler no longer makes that vehicle, shifting its focus to a new design with body styling in the mould of the current Range Rover Sport. It is called the EXR. In the correct hands, it is capable of a top-10 finish on the current Dakar.
     
    Of late Bowler's loyal customers have shown an interest in a road version of the EXR, and this is the development machine for that project. It is called the EXR-S. Where the rally car (can you call it a car?) uses the normally aspirated 5.0-litre Jag V8 running weeny FIA restrictors for around 300hp, the road car has the supercharged version, no breathing limitations and a little ECU tweak. It has 558hp, 520lb ft and, minus its interior trim, weighs 1,700kg.
     
    Test track was on the tight side
     
    Running gravel suspension above its 21-inch street-spec Pirellis, it is one of the more alarming things I've driven this year. The performance is outrageous - the prow lifts, the rear squats and the front scuttle reverberates to sound of ingested air. It's like one vast, protracted gurgle.
     
    The chassis balance it pretty neutral on this car, but then it's not really set up for asphalt. As you'll see - back away in the quick stuff and it'll move around as much as you want to scare yourself.
     
    So what is it for? It's for the casual diamond mine owner who finds a G63 a bit shabby off-road at speed.
     
    Not your typical Yummy Mummy RR Sport...
     
    It's also semi-official now, which I think is a great move for both parties. Land Rover needs something brain-out silly to keep it interesting, Bowler needs the legitimacy and the technical assistance.
     
    Having driven the EXR competition version, I now need to do a Rally Raid.
     
     
     
     
     
    "Bowler makes the finest customer-spec rally raid machines - its EXR is a stunning competition machine. But now they're making a street version. With 550hp..." -- Chris Harris
     
     
     
    ...thanks again and all due credit to Chris Harris!

    Smiley SmileySmiley


    Re: Chris Harris joins PistonHeads and launches DRIVE on YouTube...

    Chris Harris On Cars: "Is Technology Making Cars Worse?" -- ROAD TESTAMENT

     
    "Cars are getting more complex with every new generation. But are they also becoming worse to drive?"
     
     
    ...thanks again to Chris Harris!

    Smiley SmileySmiley


    Re: Chris Harris joins PistonHeads and launches DRIVE on YouTube...

    1000% agree - reminds me strongly about the "analog vs digital" discussion. Chris nails it all the time !


    Re: Chris Harris joins PistonHeads and launches DRIVE on YouTube...

    Like to hear him mention audio - he's obviously correct saying it doesn't succumb to a regulations, but I'm not sure of he quite right with simplification of it; especially with the arrival of Computer Audio (music servers, storage, DACs, format types etc) 


    --

     

     


    Re: Chris Harris joins PistonHeads and launches DRIVE on YouTube...

    Well put and translates my thoughts and fears exactly...


    Re: Chris Harris joins PistonHeads and launches DRIVE on YouTube...

    Chris Harris On Cars: "Ford Shelby GT500 vs Chevrolet Camaro ZL1"

    Harris muses that the new-school US muscle car war is both brilliant and worrying...

    The obvious attractions of the grand-old-US muscle car are affordability and horsepower; the less overt appeal is their unfamiliarity to us Europeans. And it's the latter that always gets me going: I am a complete sucker for anything that removes me from what is easily experienced.
     
    Last week I spent a few days in New York, in the two latest exponents of rear-tyre vapourisation - the Camaro ZL1 and the Mustang GT500 - and they posed more questions about the future of fast cars than expected.
     
    That's partly because they seem to embrace the past with such glee. The specification of the GT500 is staggering for its simplicity: 670hp, six gears, three pedals and a solid rear axle. The driving experience you can watch on tomorrow's DRIVE video, but it's the concept I find compelling - and slightly worrying.
     
    The fascination lies in Ford's ability to sell a fully-warranted, 670hp coupe for £35,000. Dearborn's choice not to take the bailout back in 2009 can clearly be seen in some of its most recent offerings: this and the wonderful showroom-Baja exercise called the Raptor spring to mind. The irony is that Ford and GM have always been involved in one vast, corporate shadow-boxing match, so the nationalised General Motors - supervised by a government attempting to wean the population away from its oil obsession - has been forced to retaliate: with a 580hp Camaro! You couldn't make it up.
     
     
    And so, just three years after the death of the American motor industry was predicted, when we all thought the muscle car was dead, the US is in the middle of a horsepower war on a scale not seen for decades. It's fantastic. And worrying.
     
    Like a cricket bat at its very best - just before the splice fails and it shatters in half - this glut has the whiff of a final hurrah for affordable weaponry. Is legislation in the US about to outlaw these dinosaurs? Have power outputs become too big? (For the record, I don't think so.) And what will it take for a pressure group or three to get frothy at the 2015 GT500 and its 890hp? Possibly quite a lot in the land of the free, because wherever I went in the ZL1 and the GT500, they made friends on a scale that makes Ferraris look B-list around Maranello. People simply love them.
     
    Will the American public still put up with live axles in 2013? I think so - the only pressure on the Mustang comes from the Camaro, which is effectively a re-bodied Monaro - and has an independent rear end. Apparently Ford has a development Mustang running independent rear suspension. What a perfect concept: a skunk works outfit playing with 50-year old technology to drag the 'Stang into the 21st century. Their next trick? Penicillin for the masses?
     
     
    There are other worrying noises coming out of Ford's SVT operation - mention of the word Nurburgring. I cannot think of any statistic more meaningless for a muscle car than a 'Ring lap-time. Sure, they should be able to knock-out a few laps now and again, but rumbling along and occasionally painting the road black is an almost tantric state of mind that must on no account be interrupted by people wittering on about Flugplatz. The two are not compatible.
     
    As you can tell, I like these machines. They are the antidote to the electronic sports car. Long may they continue oversteering at every possible opportunity.
     
    CHRIS HARRIS VIDEO: CAMARO ZL1 vs MUSTANG GT500
     
    Monkey heads to New York to referee the ultimate US automotive grudge match...
     
    Life has been specially adapted for the purposes of surviving on the large concrete spit which goes by the name of Manhattan - especially the handover of media test vehicles.
     
    You can't just have a car delivered in New York because parking is at such a premium, so cars are deposited in various underground garages throughout the city, and you are given the VIN to prove your authenticity. Today, the car in question is a 580hp Camaro ZL1: the second most frustrating machine to use in a town where the motor car is mostly pointless. It is saved the embarrassment of being labeled the most frustrating by the car it pulls alongside - the new 670hp Mustang GT500.
     
     
    Why drive them in New York? Honestly, I had stuff to do there, and I just wanted to see them in that environment. It didn't disappoint, because they looked so good and garnered the best possible reactions. Even from the local constabulary.
     
    This is the ultimate US grudge match - it's 911 v Ferrari but with 10 times the animosity. Somehow in the post-Lehman apocalypse of nationalised car companies, we have arrived at a power struggle beyond anything seen in the 60s. This one involves large quantities of supercharging, and the results are eye-popping.
     
     
    I drove these cars with no prejudice, and found myself baffled by the Chevy-haters' lack of respect for the Camaro: it looks plain brilliant, the cabin is, to my eyes, better than the 'Stang's and it feels dynamically finished in a way the GT500 doesn't. But the Ford brings out the inner seventeen-year old in all of us: the one that used to skim through all the guffy adjectives about steering and handling, head straight for the performance data section and lust after the one with the most power and the best acceleration figures.
     
     
    European car lovers are the great losers here. Ironically, the closest competitor to the GT500 on paper is the Ferrari 599 GTO: it's a little lighter, but just down on power, and Ferrari could charge you more for a special paint finish than a complete Mustang. We just don't have anything like these cars over here: they are a long way from perfect, but they make a virtue of their imperfections by constantly forcing the driver to measure them against list price.
     
    Would the Ford be better without a live axle? Of course it would. Does it matter? I'm not so sure. And if anyone says an M3 would be faster around the 'ring, kick them in the groin.
     
     
     
     
    "The two muscle-motors of the moment, head-to-head. Hard to imagine a factory warranted Mustang with 670hp, or a State-subsidised 580hp Camaro!" -- Chris Harris
     
     
     
    ...thanks again and all due credit to Chris Harris!

    Smiley SmileySmiley


    Re: Chris Harris joins PistonHeads and launches DRIVE on YouTube...

    Chris Harris On Cars: "Pagani Huayra: Test Drive in Italy"

    Is the Huayra a suitable successor to the legendary Zonda? There is only one way to find out...

    It is 10 years since I first drove a Pagani. It was a 7.3-litre Zonda S and, from the moment I rumbled up the road in it – just like everyone else who did the same that day – I knew it wasn’t like any other macro-volume supercar.
     
    It was exquisitely assembled, the carbon tub had a sheen and luxury not seen before on a street car and the noise from V12 was more angry than a Lambo’s.
     
    That engine was, and still is, the key to Pagani’s success. Instead of attempting to build his own engine, he went to AMG and asked to use the company’s vast V12. It immediately gave the car an interest factor and a solid, reliable foundation. And it went like stink.
     
    The Zonda went on to become a legend and it established Pagani as the newest entrant in the supercar sector, right at the time the hypercar was being born. It was the perfect platform from which to launch ever more powerful and expensive versions of the car.
     
     
    Last year, Pagani unveiled the Huayra, to a global chorus of “Jeeeeepers, that’s not pretty.” The fact that it used a 730hp turbocharged engine only added to suspicions that the Huayra was not a fitting replacement for the Zonda. Just to be clear, I was one of the doubters.
     
    Then Davide Testi dropped by the restaurant we were eating in last Wednesday at 10pm in a Huayra, and the village came to a standstill. The car was dark red, and it looked like heaven on four wheels. My scepticism looked misplaced.
     
     
    We’re going to do something more extensive with the car later in the year, so this was a first drive on some quite tight roads. You will see that the Huayra left quite an impression.
     
     
     
     
     
    "Chris Harris flies to Italy to be one of the first journalists behind the wheel of the new Pagani Huayra. A 24 hour trip to Modena and a proper drive in the 730hp Huayra."
     
     
     
    ...thanks again and all due credit to Chris Harris!

    Smiley SmileySmiley


    Re: Chris Harris joins PistonHeads and launches DRIVE on YouTube...

    This thread is one of the bests we can find on internet cars forum, keet it coming those amazing videos Boxster Smiley

    J.Seven


    Re: Chris Harris joins PistonHeads and launches DRIVE on YouTube...

    +1 - wish Chris would have a video a day for us kiss


    Re: Chris Harris joins PistonHeads and launches DRIVE on YouTube...

    Here's a good link:

    http://pistonheads.co.uk/news/default.asp?storyId=26041


    Re: Chris Harris joins PistonHeads and launches DRIVE on YouTube...

    Chris Harris On Cars: "Porsche 997 GT2 RS vs Ducati 1199 Panigale: The Drag Race"

    It's the ultimate motor-geek's pub debate: what's quicker, a superbike or a supercar? We attempted to answer this by pitching the incredibly quick Porsche 911 GT2 RS, against the mighty-rapid Ducati 1199 S Tricolore. Both as it happens, are about to be firmly wedged in the bosom of the Volkswagen Group. You could call this the people's test.

    The car makes a beefy 611bhp, the bike puts out 195bhp at the crank.
     
    It was always going to be close. We thought we'd solve the debate, but we've probably asked more questions than given answers. Sorry about that.
     
    Enjoy the vid...
     
     
    "Monster bike versus monstrous car. The bike has 192hp, the car 620hp. The venue was Santa Pod drag strip."
     
     
     
    ...thanks and all due credit to Chris Harris!

    Smiley SmileySmiley


    Re: Chris Harris joins PistonHeads and launches DRIVE on YouTube...

    Chris Harris On Cars: "BAC Mono"

    Chris Harris gets to grips with the mad-looking BAC Mono and is something of a fan...

    (1 August 2012)

    We've driven the BAC Mono quite extensively already, both on road and on the track, the latter in the hands of my colleague Steve Sutcliffe. Anyone expecting me to quell his almost gushing positivity towards the Mono is sadly going to be disappointed. I thought it was pretty damned marvellous.
     
    All that effort engineering a grippy chassis...
     
    Many people rather lazily refer to machinery of this type as 'track' cars. Of course the Mono is designed to be driven on a circuit, but its £80,000-plus price tag leaves it open to comparison with all manner of dedicated track tackle, and it can't compete with the wings 'n' slicks brigade. Even so, it offers a fascinating driving experience.
     
    The Mono, like the Atom, the Caterham and the X-Bow, is an experience car. It's as much about the sensation of driving it, as the speed with which it can complete a lap.
     
    It's a high quality item. Build on this car - the first customer car delivered to RS Academy is of a very high standard. It has two cars, both of which are available for hire. Much as I love the looks of the Ariel, this is now my favourite piece of naked Brit car-design. The way you can peer through those front apertures is endlessly enjoyable.
     
    Like an F1 car but you can drive it to the shops
     
    It's powered by a 2.3-litre, 280hp Duratec and weighs 540kg. The day I drove it the Midlands was wetter than a fish's swimming cossie, but then I suppose you only really learn about a car's intrinsic balance in those conditions.
     
    The other thing you learn is that the specific frequency of a Hewland FTR gearbox does something bizarre to a Sennheiser radio-microphone: hence the subtitles.
     
     
     
     
     
    "The BAC Mono is a carbon-bodied piece of sculpture with the innards of a Formula 3 car: 540kg, 280hp. The handling is astonishing, in the wet."
     
     
     
    ...thanks again and all due credit to Chris Harris!

    Smiley SmileySmiley


    Re: Chris Harris joins PistonHeads and launches DRIVE on YouTube...

    DRIVE TV -- Live And Let Drive: "When Chris Harris Meets Alex Roy"

    "When Chris Harris Meets Alex Roy -- LIVE AND LET DRIVE"

     
     
    "Alex travels to the UK to meet up with DRIVE co-host Chris Harris. As it turns out, DRIVE's most popular host alongside it's most controversial one get along famously as Chris shows off a bit of his homeland's best driving roads in a Renault Clio RS 200 Cup and a Porsche GT3 3.8"
     
     
    ...thanks and all due credit to Alex Roy and Chris Harris!

    Smiley SmileySmiley


    Re: Chris Harris joins PistonHeads and launches DRIVE on YouTube...

    Chris Harris On Cars: "Racing a Radical SR3 with Andy Green" -- DRIVEN

    "Do you want to race a Radical with the world's fastest man?" Harris says yes...

    (8 August 2012)

    The big boss of the Drive channel, J F Musial is a stickler for genre - given that he's 10 times more organised than me, I always defer to his opinion. So, when I told him I'd done a race weekend with Andy Green in The Radical UK Cup, he rightly pointed out that it couldn't be an episode of Chris Harris on Cars, because that's where we review cars.
     
    "It has to be a Driven show", he said.
     
    "Done." I said.
     
    Chris teams up with the world's fastest man
     
    The Bloodhound team is so adept at keeping us all informed of its progress that I don't need to say anything more here. Suffice to say that spending a weekend with Andy Green exposed me to more jaw-dropping conversations in 48 hours than I will have in the next five years. I will never tire of hearing him use the word 'trans-sonic'. He says it the way I say 'mild weather.'
     
    So enjoy watching and listening to him talk about the business of going very, very fast.
     
    Harris and Green - two fast blokes in a Radical
     
    The other interesting aspect of the weekend was the incident where I crashed the car. Now contrary to popular opinion, and despite sometimes acting like a yobbo for the video camera, I am not in the habit of crashing racing cars. My long-time team-mates Chris Cooper and Guy Spurr will at this point attempt to hijack the forum thread and say the opposite is true, but they will be lying. I don't like crashing because it tends to hurt. And it is always expensive.
     
    You'll see the onboard footage of the shunt and see that I lost the back of the car under brakes. Paddock is one of the most challenging turns in the world, and it learned me good and proper.
     
    What happened? Well, I was beginning my third flying lap, so the rubber wasn't quite up to temperature, the track was a little damp in places and I was pushing to see how deep the car would brake into the bumpy entry point. It's at this point that data becomes both a driver's best and worst friend: it shows where you went wrong, so you can learn. But it also means there is no hiding from the truth.
     
    This doesn't end well - see the vid for more
     
    Cold tyres, few damp patches. And I hit the pedal 20 per cent harder than the previous lap. If Heston served Spun Radical at the Fat Duck, that would be the recipe. Going backwards through the 'trap at 100mph doesn't feel good, nor does the impact itself. Still, I learned something the hard way and the Radical boys got the car looking minty for the following morning. Chaps: I'm sorry I made a mess of the car.
     
    The SR3 is a mighty little racing car. It pulls serious lateral Gs and the racing is hard-fought.
     
    Enjoy the vid. More normal car testing next week...
     
     
     
     
    "Not a normal Chris Harris production, but a home-movie of 48hrs spent in the company of Andy Green at a race meeting as he prepares to try and hit 1000mph in Bloodhound SSC. Includes a crash..."
     
     
     
    ...thanks again and all due credit to Chris Harris!

    Smiley SmileySmiley


    Re: Chris Harris joins PistonHeads and launches DRIVE on YouTube...

    veal - sheep ??


    --

     

     


    Re: Chris Harris joins PistonHeads and launches DRIVE on YouTube...

    Jay:

    veal - sheep ??

    Also,  E-24 M5?

     


    Re: Chris Harris joins PistonHeads and launches DRIVE on YouTube...

    Chris Harris On Cars: "Toyota GT86 vs Nissan 370Z vs Porsche Cayman S"

    Back to basics GT86 meets brawny 370Z and the inevitable used Porsche alternative...

    The debate as to whether the GT86 is fast enough rolls on. I think it's indicative of how we have recently become addicted to unnecessary levels of straight-line performance that we think a car which does 0-60mph in 7.4sec (Autocar figures) is plain slow.

    Enough power? To enjoy yourself, yes
     
    I spent a day driving it around the UK and not once did I think it needed more power. Not given the balance of poke and chassis balance. Right now, it's so sweet it seems a shame to spoil it. I'm sure a turbo will make it mentally sideways and dip into the fives to 60, but that would be a different type of car.
     
    The rivals? The recently overlooked Nissan 370Z and the German curve-ball, otherwise known as a used Porsche Cayman S. The idea being quite obvious: see just how much the GT loses against the Nissan by being over 100hp down, and answering those echoing forum voices who look at the cost of these new toys and yell, incessantly, "You can get a used Porsche for that kind of money!"
     
    Where's your money going?
     
    Indeed you can. But it doesn't have a five-year warranty.
     
    We drove motorways, dual-carriageways, a well-known three-sided configuration of Welsh roads - pretty much every road type an owner could hope for - and reached a conclusion that included observations, among others, concerning the '86's freakishly impressive fuel-consumption.
     
    You'll have to watch the vid to find out more...
     
     
     
     
    "We know it works on track, but is 200hp enough on the road? You can get a 370Z for similar money. Or a used Cayman S. If the GT 86 can do the business here, it has to be one of the great cars of 2012..."
     
     
     
    ...thanks and all due credit and respect to Chris Harris!

    Smiley SmileySmiley


    Re: Chris Harris joins PistonHeads and launches DRIVE on YouTube...

    Holy cr*p!

    Who would've expected this from him?!

    http://www.pistonheads.com/news/default.asp?storyId=26184


    Re: Chris Harris joins PistonHeads and launches DRIVE on YouTube...

    The world is changing again...


    --

    There is no try. Just do.


    Re: Chris Harris joins PistonHeads and launches DRIVE on YouTube...

    just read he bought a ferrari 599 gtb - maybe he sold the 4.0 or maybe he is quietly loaded frown


    Re: Chris Harris joins PistonHeads and launches DRIVE on YouTube...

    just realized i am a few weeks late on my comment - haha - i was in South Sudan so at least i have a decent excuse.  i really enjoy how CH shares all with his readers


    Re: Chris Harris joins PistonHeads and launches DRIVE on YouTube...

    I was left slightly unconvinced by Chris's conclusion...  No, completely unconvinced actually...

     


    --


    Porsche Carrera GTS (2012); Porsche Cayenne Diesel (2012)


    Re: Chris Harris joins PistonHeads and launches DRIVE on YouTube...

    Chris Harris On Cars: "Ferrari 599 GTB"

    Monkey does a bit of post-Porsche man maths, ends up buying a Ferrari...

    I sold the GT3 RS 4.0 a while back. I was never going to be able to afford it for too long – as it was I spent eight blissful months owning the car of my dreams, and spent £10,000 on finance.
     
    For the avoidance of doubt, I also made money on the deal, which should force me to identify those who said I had no idea what I was doing, and blow a big raspberry at them. But in the end, I no longer own the best car I’ve driven so there’s not much to brag about. It was a hell of a gamble, but it worked out well.
     
    Better to have loved and lost and all that that.
     
    Bye bye Porsche, hello man maths and a 599!
     
    Better to have loved and lost
     
    I am a serial car-searcher though. Sometimes I wonder if the thrill of the chase is actually more addictive than owning and driving the car. I tweeted something about a Vanquish S about six weeks ago. A few weeks later I own a 599 GTB. You what?
     
    It went something like this. Aston launched the new Vanquish and I thought, well, whatever. In fact I thought it looked bloody half-baked and reminded me how desirable the last Vanquish S models were becoming and, come to mention it, wouldn’t one of those make a cracking low-depreciation smoke for a year or so. Maybe even turn a penny?
     
    I scoured and investigated and what looked like the perfect carappeared at Nicholas Mee & Co: a Vanquish S, converted to manual by the Works Service, 45,000 miles, J Bond, etc. Predictably, the mileage scared me for the £74,000 asking price. I went and drove it and thought N Mee and pals were a terrific bunch. But it wasn’t to be.
     
    Lower miles would mean more money. Was a Vanquish worth nearly £90K? This inevitably led me to employ the man maths calculator to persuade myself that £90K pushed me into 599 territory. I know, the male brain is deeply confused. I set off to see my old pal Matthew Beard who is now running Ferrari Swindon. This is a strange situation given my current status with the Scuderia. Even so, they treat me like a human being – but I still bring along a caged rodent to taste all beverages for traces of Polonium. That last bit was a joke.
     
    Monkey's taking a punt on prices rising...
     
    A moment of vulnerability
     
    I know I’m biased because I like the Lovett group, but you have to go and see this new Ferrari/Maserati showroom by the M4. It’s the biggest in Europe, it feels like a kind of permanent motor show – oh, and it’s about the most dangerous retail environment yet devised by Homo Sapiens. I drove a black 599 and loved it. The Aston was charming, the Ferrari felt 20 years more modern and looked good value at £106K. Good value is a term listed in the man maths lexicon of delusional car-purchasing phrases. It can apply to any car of any price.
     
    The classifieds were not reassuring though. 599 prices appeared to be of the severed lift cable variety, with early cars under £100K and tanking. 10 days later Matthew phoned to say he had a Grigio Silverstone car with 20K miles for mid-90s. We haggled. I bought it. £40K in, rest on the dreaded drip. About £350 a month.
     
    Is it madness? Suppose it could be. There’s no shortage of 599s out there, and they’re still depreciating fast. The Ferrari situation didn’t come into it. It’s the car I want, not being pals with the company that builds it.
     
    620hp 'enough' reckons our proud owner
     
    My reasoning went thus: I wanted another special car, I miss driving Ferraris because they are great cars even if the company is nuts. The F12 has already been announced, so the 599 is already, technically old-school. It is also a third of the price of a new F12. Is it really only a third as good? I’ve always liked the standard 599 without the harsh HGTE chassis pack.
     
    A punt on a prancing horse
     
    When the 458 was released, 430 prices plummeted, but then rallied when people thought they looked too cheap and the gap to the new car was so vast. I’m partly hedging that situation being repeated with the 599 and F12, even if I’m grown up enough to know that V12 Ferraris are far worse news than the V8 variety. A good 575 is still a £70K retail car, so even if I lose out, you’d have to hope it wasn’t too tragic.
     
    The clincher was a Porsche 911 test car I used for as week recently which listed at £92,947. It’s a great car, but the Ferrari has 620hp and will scare the shittle out of you in third gear.
     
    I have one year’s Power Warranty on the 599, covering major mechanical failures, otherwise I’m on my own. It’s a flipping impressive machine. Big, endlessly powerful and, to my eyes, beautiful. I had a 575 a few years back, and even though I adored its manual gearbox and old-fashioned GT style, the 599 runs rings around it.
     
    Chris and Ferrari make up, kind of...
     
    So how does it feel to have bought a Ferrari that became officially ‘old’ just a few weeks after I paid for it? Altogether good. Like you I’ve read the F12 drives, and it looks amazing, but it’s so far out of my league it just doesn’t figure. I’m sure it would blow my car into the weeds, but I can’t use all 620hp of mine much of the time, so that part of its performance is probably lost on me. However, its smaller overall size really does appeal - the 599 feels massive on UK roads.
     
    Deflating first outing
     
    Sadly, I had to have the F1 gearbox. There were no manual 599s for the UK market and I didn’t have the appetite for a LHD car. For me the paddles are the weakest part of the package, but on quick upshifts it’s still pretty damn impressive. Given my partisan stance on these actuated manual ’boxes, I’m very disappointed at how little I am hating using it.
     
    The first 800 miles have been reasonably uneventful, bar a puncture during a video shoot, which showed the tyre pressure monitoring system to be rather handy. At gone 10pm in darkest Wales, using the computer to monitor the deflation, I had to stop every 20 miles to re-inflate the tyre. Next morning I found the compressor in the boot. Idiot.
     
    599 style still delights, even if officially obsolete
     
    A fellow 599 owner said his tyre valves had leaked, and I should check mine, but a large hole in the centre of the 305-section put paid to that theory. Two new Pirelli P-Zeros cost £600 plus VAT, plus fitting. Ouch.
     
    I usually judge the success of a purchase on how much I use it. So far, I’ve driven the 599 every day. It’s easy when you want it, insane when you need it.
     
    Lord knows how long I’ll keep it. For now it’s an effective, expedient but expensive method of making all those sodding F12 reviews written by other people a little more palatable.
     
    FACT SHEET
      Car: 2007 Ferrari 599 GTB
      Run by: Chris Harris
      Bought: July 2012
      Mileage: 20,000
     
     
    CHRIS HARRIS VIDEO: THE FERRARI CHRIS BOUGHT
     
    As you'll have heard Chris has bought a 599 GTB - here's why he did it
     
    The original intention here was to try and convey some of the sights and sounds of a 599 the way a new owner would experience them. However, taking my lead from the 20-page discussion on PH the other week, we changed tack and decided that what people really wanted was a detailed run-down on the evils of finance.
     
    Sod the maths, here's the real justification
     
    Just kidding. But for those of you concerned by people borrowing money with the sole intention of buying a car and then enjoying it, might I suggest that James Hogg's 1824 study of Calvinist denial Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner might be more to their taste.
     
    Good, so those of us left all like cars, right?
     
    The 599 is a good car. It costs £150 to fill it with V-Power at my local filling station, and that will get me 200 miles if I'm lucky. It is massively wide and, with the exhaust valves open, it creates a frenzied, screeching noise that makes my old 575 sound like a four-stroke go-kart.
     
    Right now, I'd like to use it every day, and, sometime in spring 2014, I'd write about how I'd covered 100,000 miles in a 599. But that would cost me about £50,000, so sadly I cannot afford to do so.
     
    Just the right balance twixt discreet and bonkers
     
    People respond quite differently to dark grey V12 Berlinetta Ferraris than they do red ones of the V8 variety. You get the odd wrist exercise, but strangely this doesn't affect one's mood too badly when you have an Enzo motor ahead of your shins.
     
    Straight-line speed is an unavoidable part of the 599 drug. It is very fast. Quick enough to take care of just about anything else you come across and I kind of think that's the way it should be. Much as it wouldn't bother me that much to have an E60 M5 up my chuff on a slip road, the fact that this can nail one I find reassuring.
     
    Right now, for the money, I can't think of a car that offers a similar experience. I've already done 1,000 miles in it!
     
    Enjoy the vid...
     
     
     
     
     
    "The finance payments were too much, someone offered me good money for it, so I sold the Porsche. 599 values have hit the skids in the UK, Ferrari won't let me drive its cars any more, and I miss driving them so I bought, a 599. It's fast...."
     
     
    ...thanks again and all due credit and respect to Chris Harris!

    Smiley SmileySmiley


    Re: Chris Harris joins PistonHeads and launches DRIVE on YouTube...

    Here's Chris Harris praising the Panamera Diesel. An enjoyable video yet again.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGT7eqCNZVM&feature=g-all-u


     
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