Tim’s Top 3 Audis & BMWs {{favouriteCount}} Quantity of Likes

15 Feb 2017

We’re discounting some of our favourite cars from Audi and BMW this week, so I’ve chosen my top cars from the history of each marque.


TT Mk1

The new TT-RS might be taking all the headlines at the moment with its 400hp engine, but it wouldn’t be here at all if it wasn’t for its grandfather – the original Mk1 TT. Looks-wise the Mk1 is certainly a design icon now, with a cool flat surfaced look that was copied long after it was replaced. It was ahead of its time for the exterior and interior too, which was simple yet laid out perfectly and with real thought to the design. Power came from a 1.8 litre turbocharged 4-cyl engine that put out 225bhp through a slick 6-speed manual gearbox to all four wheels and performance was more than adequate. Find a low mileage one and it’s as good as money in the bank – a future classic.

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, though the latest TT-RS could possibly be the closest yet.

RS6 Avant

Since the RS2 took the world by storm in the 90s, Audi has been synonymous with fast estates. RS4 followed RS2, then came the RS6, the big daddy. 2008 saw the RS6 gain a Lamborghini sourced V10 with two turbos to give 572 bhp, but with the world downsizing, Audi had to comply so the RS6 now has a twin turbo V8 with 552 bhp. But thanks to a 100 kg weight saving the new car is even faster, with 0-62 mph coming up in an incredible 3.9 seconds on the way to a 190 mph top speed. All with 5 people and the dog in the boot. If you have a little more cash there’s the 597 RS6 Performance which turns the wick up even more for an estate car that  will destroy most sports cars on the road.


Z4M Coupe

There have been so many good BMWs over the years, but I couldn’t pick a top 3 without 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. Their rarity has ensured they keep their value very well too, though not as much as my next choice…


In the early part of the new century the e46 BMW M3 was riding high on massive sales – not surprising given the looks, performance and price. But enthusiasts wanted more, so BMW set about creating the M3 CSL (Coupe Sport Lightweight), a lighter, faster, more focused M3. The CSL was 110kg lighter than the standard car thanks to the removal of sound insulation, electric seats, navigation and air con (though these could be fitted back in at no extra cost). The ducktail spoiler at the rear and the unique front bumper with asymmetric single air intake were made from carbon fibre, as was the roof panel. The 3.2 litre straight-six engine had 355bhp and great performance, but it’s the way it did it that gained it so many fans. The precision of the handling was unrivalled while the noise the engine breathing through a custom carbon airbox makes when the revs hit 5000rpm has to be heard to be believed. Just a pity it was never available with a manual gearbox, only the slightly outdated SMG ‘box, that that works well on track which is what matters.


When BMW revealed the 2-Series a couple of years ago, all memories of the ugly duckling 1-Series Coupe were banished, but those with a nod towards the more fun end of car driving still held a soft spot for the BMW 1M (it couldn’t be called the M1 thanks to the 1980s supercar of the same name) and for them the M235i just didn’t quite cut the mustard. So a great deal of joy a fervent gesticulation occurred when BMW revealed the M2 last year – same svelte 2-Series shape, but with a massive injection of steroids from the M/// division.

The looks have gone from cool to GET THE HELL OUT OF MY WAY thanks to massively pumped up wheelarches, a front bumper with huge aggressive intakes and the typical M/// quad central exhaust pipes at the back sitting in a diffuser. Some were a little disappointed when the engine wasn’t more special though, basically using a tuned version of the M235i motor, but in this instance putting out 365bhp, which is good enough for 0-62mph in 4.5sec and the usual limited 155mph top speed. The smaller body with the new wider track means it sticks to the road incredibly well, along with a more viscous note to the exhaust that makes it a more fun companion than its bigger brother the M4.