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    Re: LINK: speculations about 456M GT replacement

    This report is a little bit confusing. I thought some rumors indicated that Ferrari wants to stop the 456 completely and concentrate on the 360/575 and their successor only?

    Re: LINK: speculations about 456M GT replacement

    i agree... some things are confusing in this report. e.g. it's IMO unlikely that ferrari is gonna name the next modena "420" or "430" while the next 456M GT will be called "460"...
    on the other hand, a family-compatible grand tourismo has quite a tradition at ferrari and why leave this field to merc CLs and bentley continentals?

    Because the Maerati Quatroporte is on its way


    Re: Because the Maerati Quatroporte is on its way

    quite an argument, but IMO the maser 4porte is no coupé and will be more in the price range of the jaguar XJ/audi A8 etc -- no real competition for cars like aston martin vanquish, merc CL 600 or upcoming bentley continental GT... whom a 456M GT successor would surely give a hard time

    Re: Because the Maerati Quatroporte is on its way

    Yes, the Quattroporte(as the name says) is indeed a 4 door car, not at all in the same segment as the 456 successor.
    I think that they are aiming it to be an anti-M5, with italian flair and styling.
    This could really be the first real antagonist to the M5, which imho has yet to meet a rival(RS6 and newE55 included) that can even come close to it in handling and sportiness terms.

    Actually does anybody have any info on the Quattroporte?

    Re: maser quattroporte

    luigi,
    i've only seen the sketches you probably know already... find some more here:
    http://www.maseratiofhouston.com/Quattroporte.asp

    could be quite an interesting four door car, indeed. i agree, the M5 is still unmatched in terms of handling among limousines but suffers from his outdated styling. and i have my doubts that due to chris bangle the next M5 will be better looking -- and what i've seen of the interieur it gives me a shiver. i always loved the "cockpit" style of BMW's. now it's more like some modern feng shui furniture, no techno "space ship" feeling any more

    Re: maser quattroporte

    you're right, I also prefered the driver-oriented cockpit.

    Re: maser quattroporte

    I think BMW has taken into consideration the negative reception for the 7 series, and will probably keep more in check Bangle's tendency to give a "bulky-boxy" design.
    Specs so far for the 2004 M5 look devastating: 500+hp NA V10 engine with improved SMG3 and possibly the new system that constantly varies the demultiplication of the steering.

    If Maserati intends to use the current V8 for the Quattroporte they either have to twin turbo it, or increase capacity, because on this type of cars a high torque number and very flat torque band are essential.

    It should be a very interesting match up...

    BMW

    I'm not sure BMW learned from the mistakes with the 7 series.
    The new upcoming 5 series uses pretty much design elements from the 7 series. Another problem which might await BMW: the new 7 series top model (V12) has 445 HP "only". This is not enough to cope with the new S 600 or S 55 AMG.
    There is a rumor now that BMW wants to build a 7 series M-version with the upcoming V10 500 HP engine. But I don't know...I slightly have the impression that BMW is losing ground. The new BMW M3 CSL Coupe is lightweight (well, lightweight compared to the "ordinary" M3, not compared to the GT3 for example) but has around 360 HP only. Not very impressive.
    It is my understanding that the BMW engineers seem to be as stubborn as their chief designer (Bangle)...no usage of supercharged/turbocharged engines. What's the problem with charged engines? Porsche uses them with great success, Mercedes learned the advantage too and other companies (incl. Ferrari) don't exclude turbocharged engines on their best selling models anymore for the future.

    I heard from somebody working with BMW that there are some BMW mules around driving with turbocharged engines. But BMW still favors normally aspirated engines with high rev figures. Good thing or bad thing? The future will tell.
    But if the upcoming M5 and especially the upcoming 6 series can't cope with Mercedes's top of the line models, BMW will have to learn a very tough lesson.

    I don't get it: back in 1993, BMW put the M3 on the market...a real Porsche killer by that time. I remember chasing those 964s on the Autobahn, it was great fun. And now? Their top model M3 is a lion with foul teeth. It is fast but it is no symbol of a superfast affordable car anymore.

    SO...

    What would be a superfast affordable car to you then Christian?
    I agree with you totally, but the M3 is good value for money don't you think?
    Ok, now the S4 is even cheaper.

    Re: BMW

    yes, the M3 lost a lot of fascination to me compared to the E36 series (maybe it's because i've grown up, but maybe it's because of the product)... although i have respect for BMW's CSL effort in terms of lightweight. going the merc-way "give me more power, i do not care about weight" is IMO easier.

    and i agree that BMW may face some problems in the near future. today everything looks fine on the surface, backed up by the success of the mini, the 3 series and the X5 (which do not have the modern origami-style-design). but i have my doubts that burkhard goeschel (head of development) and chief designer chris bangle are the right men in charge... goeschel says that BMW is famous for their pure engines without any charging and they will stay with this. Ok, but they did not care about the other things BMW was famous and loved for: driver-orientated cockpits and slick styling.

    but please don't get me wrong. IMO the engineers at BMW are still VERY capable. they build better engines than merc (IMO getting 367 HP from a 5.5l V8 like AMG is not really the edge of engineering) and i'm very keen on getting to know the specs of the upcoming V10 M5/6 engine... but i agree to RC that they should think about charging. imagine a twinturbo BMW V10... in a beatiful car...

    ...but it's only daydreaming i suppose

    Re: SO...

    In reply to:
    What would be a superfast affordable car to you then Christian?



    I think that the SLK 32 AMG offers the best value for the money. A Cab and a Coupe in one powerful package incl. automatic transmission.
    OK, maybe I'm a little bit biased regarding the SLK32 AMG because I get one for my wife (and myself ) next march.

    I also think that the "new" Boxster S gives a pretty good value for the money and I didn't always say that. Unfortunately Porsche still charges a fortune for options which should be standard on such a car. The "not all customers want all options and additional weight" excuse is a pretty foul one.

    And I liked the M Roadster very much, it had the same performance on the Nordschleife as the M3 Coupe has (8 min. 22 sec.) and had a very competitive price tag.

    Last but not least I'd like to mention the Subaru Impreza GT Turbo and especially the Mitsubishi Charisma GT Evo Series.

    Re: SO...

    M3:
    0-100kmh 5.5secs
    0-1000m 24.6secs
    57900 Euro

    996 (320hp):
    0-100k 5.2secs
    0-1000m 24.3secs
    77500 Euro

    SLK 32 AMG:
    0-100k 5.6secs
    0-1000m 25.1secs
    63800 Euro


    Performance taken with the same equipment by the same magazine(Sport auto, french mag).

    I strongly believe that the M3 is still very much the superfast affordable car, even without putting the handling in the equation, which is as effective as the 996(with stock susp.) and imho even more entertaining.
    If money were no object I would still buy the Porsche between the two, simply because I just love Porsches, but that's just me...

    I agree that for big and heavy limos a turbocharged engine is a better choice, because it develops high levels of torque which is more important that sheer horsepower for these types of cars.
    But as the weight comes to a more reasonable level, thus making the handling of the car regain a preminent position in the overall package, a naturally aspirated engine can't be beaten.
    Making a NA 5.5 litre 500hp engine is much much more difficult and costly than going for a 5.5 with a Kompressor slashed in there like Mercedes did.So I think we could at least give some respect to BMW for going the harder but purer way, they don't want to sell out their core beliefs and this makes me, if nothing else, admire them.

    Re: SO...

    Hmm, I have here four different SLK 32 AMG tests from four different car magazines. Best performance is 0-100 kph in 5.0 seconds, worst performance is 5.5 seconds.
    Best 0-200 kph performance is 17.6 seconds, worst one is 19.7 seconds.
    A direct comparison with the M3 shows 5.4 seconds for both cars and a slightly better figure for the SLK 32 AMG from 0-120 kph.

    This is typical for a supercharged car and especially for a supercharged car made by Mercedes. Some are in good shape and some are...in normal shape.

    I know that the SLK 32 AMG is no sportscar but it is real fun. Unfortunately it is almost impossible to put all the power on the street...even under dry street conditions. The ESP jumps in too early, this is something which I don't like (but might be a good thing for my wife ).

    Re: SO...

    christian, i'd like to be your wife! :grin:
    to be honest: i can't afford two fast cars. so i want a car, that has a great engine / sound and a car in which i can have fun on tracks too.

    so can a SLK32 be the right solution for me? a car, in which you can't even put the power to the road under dry conditions? a car, in which ESP blocks all kind of fun?
    no.

    i'd go for the M3 CSL - great fun car and a engine that revs 8000 rpm. and which goes sideways that easy.
    great fun, isn't it?
    some month ago i road to my salesman in munich and asked for the price, but i still got no answer.

    does anybody know?

    greetz
    rsv

    Re: SO...

    Don't know if you remember Chirstian, but I was really interested by an SL55 at some stage... until I drove one
    And you were right (once again ) that car is no sports car.
    It was immensely dull to drive, ESP kicking in even in second gear!!!
    So I don't suppose the SLK32 to be any better than that, it's a fast little cruiser that's all.
    I think you're blinded because you're getting one and that's fair enough, but honestly would you really prefer to drive an SLK32 over an M3?
    We all know that numbers are not all the business,
    Fast does not necessarily mean fun and enjoyable, I've experienced it with the SL55.
    And if any journalist from Top gear (UK) is reading this, stop worhipping the bloody car
    No, I am sorry, the car does NOT sound like a 70s Le Mans car , check out the Z8 for a nice muscular sound or the SL55 F1 security car (great noise ) but the stock SL55 sounds better than the SL500 but it's not amazing, pfff.....
    Fanch.

    Re: well said...

    "So I think we could at least give some respect to BMW for going the harder but purer way, they don't want to sell out their core beliefs and this makes me, if nothing else, admire them."

    I also a big fan for N.A. engine and I also do admire BMW for doing so But unfortunely, the head of designer have to be replaced soon !!

    In a different perspective, in order for BMW to take away market shares from Mercedes is very difficult. As RC said, BMW is in big trouble, walking in the same path as Lotus will not going to help save the disasterous exterior design. I can also understand why Ferrari is going into the charger format:( I would hope very much Ferrari will keep the great one in N.A. format





    Re: maser quattroporte

    some further info... not saying that much, but interesting anyway:

    http://www.autoweek.com/cat_content.mv?port_code=autoweek&cat_code=carnews&loc_code=index&content_code=01954601


    Re: maser quattroporte

    385 hp is not enough imho!

     
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