Thursday, January 17, 2008

Audi A5 TDI MTM.


For those who want S5 performance but would rather use diesel fuel Audi tuner MTM are offering their tuned version of the 3 litre V6 TDI A5. Boasting an impressive 300PS and 580Nm at a mere 1300 rpm the MTM A5 is certainly powerful, the BMW 650i has a mere 490Nm of torque in comparison.
All that power and torque transfers safely and easily through the excellent 6 speed gearbox into the well respected Quattro four wheel drive system. As with the S5 oversteer can be provoked when conditions allow and with such a surge of power so low down the MTM A5 is a really enjoyable drive. MTM’s refined suspension and 21” wheel package makes the handling not only razor sharp but exceptionally capable too. There are very few cars that have as much grip as this MTM A5, fewer still that weight about 250kgs under 2 tonne!
The grip, handling and power from the MTM tuned V6 TDI mean that this diesel A5 is actually a quicker car than the S5 on most roads. A twisty B road will see the S5 efficiently outpaced by the MTM TDI, although at the end of the journey the S5 driver will have had a far more comfortable trip, MTM’s wheel and up-rated suspension result in an exceptionally stiff and passenger unfriendly rid
e.

Audi S5.

354PS is more than enough for an enjoyable drive almost anywhere. If this 354PS comes from a V8 engine fitted in the front of Audi’s reasonably new coupe it means you are driving the mightily impressive Audi S5. Disparagingly called a larger version of the TT the A5 has proven to be a good coupe and the S5 is a very good sports coupe.
Internally there is ample space and the cockpit layout is very much driver orientated with good comfort levels. The dashboard is clean and clutter-free mirroring the exterior styling. Only subtle spoilers differentiating this S5 from its lower spec A5 siblings.

Precise steering and solid handling combine with the highly impressive V8 and 6 speed gearbox resulting in a car that is both quick and enjoyable on B roads, A roads, motorways and even the odd track day too. Normal, everyday driving is not a chore, the S5 handles town traffic, bumpy roads and traffic jams perfectly. Once free from mundane real world road worries the S5 comes alive, its 4 wheel drive system providing massive amounts of grip but allowing oversteer when desired. When the S5 needs to be slowed the brakes prove to be more than capable, bringing the Audi to a halt quickly and efficiently.

If you want a Bavarian performance coupe then the Audi S5 is a good choice and offers good value for money. Audi {link} have created a car that is not quite in the same league as the BMW M3 but it is certainly better than the Mercedes CLK 500 and
Alpina B3.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Ruf CTR 3.


As this is typed 20 orders have been taken for the Ruf CTR 3. It could be seen as the most dramatic incarnation of the Porsche Cayman yet it is so much more. For a start Ruf, who have been producing modified Porsche’s since 1963, have given the CTR 3 an ample 700PS twin turbo flat 6 power plant. Combined with a heavily improved chassis and suspension system and the CTR 3 is clearly a very fast and stable vehicle. The sequential six speed ‘box is light and easy to use, it does take a little time to get used to any sequential ‘box in a road car and the CTR 3 is no different. Once the driver has mastered pulling (to go up the ‘box) and pushing (to go down the ‘box) the sequential ‘box is as east to use as an H pattern gearbox in current production.
Ruf have created an exceptionally rapid sports coupe but they have not sacrificed usability for outright performance, the clutch doesn’t require super human effort to master, nor will it snap your leg off as it feeds in. The CTR 3 it is suitable for the school run or a trip to the newsagent for a bottle of milk, ESP keeps the power nicely in check when required and the suspension copes admirably with all road surfaces encountered ~ there are none of the traditional super car lurches, bangs or crashes on normal everyday roads, the CTR 3 really is a accomplished daily driver.
When performance and the Ruf CTR 3 are mentioned there are a few figures that spring to mind. Firstly the already mentioned 700PS, secondly a top speed of approximately 230mph and thirdly 890Nm of torque. With the sprint to 62mph taking a mere 3.2 seconds it is clear that the CTR 3 is blisteringly fast, it is in the true super car league.
If the dynamics and performance of the CTR 3 are impressive so is the mating of standard Porsche with Ruf genius. The interior is clearly directly from Zuffenhausen, retaining all the features and comforts one expects from a Porsche, including cup holder and Sat Nav. Yes the rear view mirror has been replaced by a mini-camera but even that doesn’t strike one as being out of place.
At over £345,000 it is clear that many more than 20 customers will be hard to find for this ├╝ber-Cayman, those that can afford the Ruf CTR 3 will have smiles as wide as
America across their faces from now until eternity.


TECH SPEC RUF CTR 3:~ 2 seat, 2 door Coupe. 3746cc 6 cylinder water-cooled flat six engine producing 700PS @ 7000rpm. 6 speed sequential gearbox. Rear wheel drive. Top speed 232mph. 0-62mph 3.2 seconds, 0-124mph 9.6 seconds.