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BOTB’s Top German Cars.Tim Oldland chooses. {{favouriteCount}} Quantity of Likes

1 Jan 2016

This week here at BOTB we’re celebrating all things German. No, we’re not talking about putting towels on sun loungers, socks with sandals and steins of beer, but the wonders of the German automotive industry. They’ve always been known for high quality, leading technology and sometimes staid styling, and they’ve always been at the top of their game. Tim Oldland chooses his favourite ever car from each of our German marques on sale this week…..

 

Mercedes – 300SL Gullwing

urely I don’t need to explain why this one is here do I? Just look at it! In all seriousness though, the 300SL Gullwing may be one of the coolest cars out there, but it was also light years ahead of the competition and really set Mercedes-Benz out as a supercar maker. Based on the W194 Gran Prix racer, the 300SL featured a 3.0 litre straight six engine with the first fuel injection system of any production engine, which helped produce 215bhp and thanks to the impressive aerodynamics gave a top speed of 161mph making it the fastest car of its time. Oh, and those doors, which made it look like a spaceship when it came out in 1952.

Also considered: SLS, 190 Evolution, 600SEL Grosser

BMW – Z4M Coupe

here have obviously been so many good BMW models, they’ve been at the top of the German tree for many years, but this all comes down to personal taste and my choice of the favourite BMW has to be the Z4M Coupe. Taking the beautiful Z4 Coupe as its base – already a stunning shape with the long bonnet, short tail and swollen arches – BMW’s M-GmbH stuck the 3.2 litre straight-six 340bhp engine from the M3 under the nose, added lots of the M3’s suspension parts and revised the styling enough to up the aggression but keep the svelte lines. What you ended up with was a truly stunning car which had serious performance, a wonderful exhaust sound, tight handling and even a fairly practical interior and boot.

Also considered: 507, e30 M3, F10 335d xDriveTouring

Audi – Sport Quattro SWB

Well, this one certainly isn’t in the list based on beauty. Purposefulness, yes, but certainly not beauty. The Audi Quattro was one of the pivotal cars of the 1980s, teaming four wheel drive with a turbocharged five cylinder engine to create a rapid coupe that sold incredibly well and performed fantastically in the world rallying arena. But Audi wanted more, so the Sport Quattro was created. Based on the normal Quattro, but with a 320mm shorter wheelbase for greater manoeuvrability, it has a much wider carbon-Kevlar body and a 2.1 litre 5-cylinder turbo engine which produced 302bhp. With the reduced 1150kg kerb weight, the performance was electrifying, hitting 62mph in 4.5 seconds. A landmark car that still hasn’t been properly replaced in the Audi range.

Also considered: Mk1 TT, V8, RS6 Avant

Volkswagen – Corrado VR6 Storm

VW haven’t really had a great relationship with stylish performance cars. The Scirocco was an impressive car in its time, but there was never a performance version that really captured the imagination. So when its replacement came out – the Corrado – many were disappointed by the lacklustre 1.8 litre 4-cylinder engine, especially given the rakish wedge styling. But later in the production run they were certainly satisfied with the introduction of the VR6 model – using a 2.9 litre V6 engine producing 197bhp, the VR6 gave the Corrado the performance to match the looks. The Corrado VR6 was also widely lauded as one of the best handling cars of its time, impressive given the FWD setup. Sadly very few remain in an original state now.

 

Also considered: Karmann Ghia, Golf GTi Mk1, Passat W8, Phaeton V10

Porsche – 911 (997) Sport Classic

There have been so many incredible Porsches over the history of the company, but for me the 997-generation 911 Sport Classic stands out head and shoulders above the rest. It may be a blatant homage to older models but that’s why I like it so much – you get the style and touches of the older cars but with the newer technology of the new models. The basis of the SC was the 911 Carrera 4 body, but with the RWD running gear. Then, the Power Kit was added taking the 3.8 litre flat-6 up to 402bhp which meant 0-62mph in 4.6 seconds and a 188mph top speed, certainly ample. There was a unique front bumper and classic Fuchs-style alloys, while the rear bumper gained an exhaust with two round tips. Atop the engine cover sat a new ducktail spoiler, while the roof panel was unique with a double-bubble style for added aerodynamic efficiency. Inside there was espresso brown leather on every surface including the air vents, sun visors and even coat hooks on the back of the seats, while the centres of the seats and door cards feature a woven-leather homage to the classic houndstooth fabric used by 911s in the 70’s. The Sport Classic was rather expensive at £135,000 but they’re worth double that now thanks to their rarity and unique combination of style, performance and exclusivity.

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