Archive by Author

MG ZT190 Review

Posted on 13. Feb, 2002 by .

0

This is of course not the first MG badge engineering exercise. Although the Maestro and Montego is remain in our memories as a beige nightmares, the MG badge has the more palatable versions adorn including more mental Tickford Maestro Turbo. Check them out here: MG Links

The British ads for the MG ZT promise "fire breathing, full-bodied, red blooded" pleasures. In a country where speeding is as socially acceptable as puffing a Cuban cigar in a children's hospital, MG message is welcome news for car fools. Nevertheless, let's not get carried away, it's just advertising. Or is it? Is the MG ZT actually live up to the hype? Or it is an empty marketing exercise, shamelessly exploiting one of the most important brands Motorsports?

The whole concept is a bit disconcerting. The ZT on the Rover 75, BMW ode based on corporate hubris. No shadow of the eyeball assaulting color may mask the built ZT humble beginnings as a mid-market luxury boat for the blue rinse and flat cap fire. If ever a car was voted 'least likely to inspire someone ", the Rover 75 is is. Yet …

MG sent the demure 75 off the School of Hard Looks for a first-class degree in Restrained aggression. Graduates mesh front grille and a lowered stance betray his high-speed efforts without resorting to Japanese style sheets issued or razor blades. Subtle details and perfectly proportioned curves give the machine what MG talking signer Peter Steven calls "outside lane credibility". Max Power Muppets have a better word for it: "evil".

Inside, it's boring town. The ZT interior favors the automotive equivalent of this gray waterproof jackets from England's older-very practical and immediately forgettable. Someone in Rover marketing department has decided German pensioners have oval shapes are irresistibly soothing. Every single control is oval: air vents, gauges, horn, heater controls, door handles, mirrors, turn handles, window buttons, the lot. There is plenty of luggage space, but not enough rear legroom for four.

The few attempts to measure the sporting intent-the "technical finish 'fascia to inject, the sports seats' bright blue cushions, the red white dials – are less exhausting convincing than a coffee on a Nova Nevertheless clunk the door with Aryan soundness.. There is no paint or glue drips or bad unfinished edges. Nothing broke, fell off, failed or rusted during my assignment. octagonal MG badge Luck has nothing to the well-built, because, uh, always decorated.

The ZT-bred knob can not overcome the dreariness interiors, but it's a five-speed Getrag gearbox connected that the slots home like a bolt rifle. The smooth shifter hook you up to a 2.5-liter, 24-valve, transverse-mounted, quad-cam, six-cylinder engine. The maximum power is 189bhp @ 6500rpms. Since torque figures show-181 ft. lbs. @ 4000rpms-the urge is uniformly distributed over the entire speed range.

For the non-technical, that's barely enough grunt for a light roadster. Lest we forget, the ZT is a four door sedan. Fifteen hundred pounds is an awful lot of weight for a small capacity six to haul around. As a result, when it comes to speed, the ZT is only slightly more than sufficient.

The 0-60 sprint takes 7.8 seconds. This is very good compared to the Rover 75 is 8.4 seconds, but ridiculous for a car brand that you adopted a hooligan. Standstill to tons needed 22 seconds – nearly two seconds faster than a 2.5-liter Ford Mondeo. On the highway, stick the ZT in the fifth, plant your feet and … you'll eventually reach a barely-worth-the-risk 141 hours miles. Strangely, the transmission is biased towards cruise. 20mpg get when you leave the highway and him great, you'll be glad.

In his defense, the more leisurely MG ZT feels quicker than the figures suggest. The power delivery is smooth and content, except for the red line. Okay, the engine note as noisy as a night with a rover driver, but you're never left waiting for something to happen. Extract maximum performance is going to be as simple as' stamp, to change; stamp go change. "The ZT steering also helps the dynamics provides just the right amount of feel and feedback.

MG's engineers have made the now familiar pilgrimage to the Nürburgring to. The ZT suspension for ride quality and control Fettle It was worth the trip, the Z-axis (back) and McPherson struts (front) keeps things flat and happy through the twisties yet sufficient comfort for the long haul. The car ventilated discs are equally well sorted, you can scrub off speed like burnt eggs made of Teflon. The 18 "wheels generate significant tire roar, but it's a small price to pay for this amazing levels of balance, grip and control.

The MG ZT systems all work in harmony. A performance-minded drivers, you will find it easy to extract maximum enjoyment from the ZT surprisingly tame power plant. In short, the MG ZT is a well-built, mechanically demanding car, but not the rabid TVR wannabe its advertisements suggest. Not put too fine a point on it, is the MG ZT-the perfect four-door for British fans with

Continue Reading

Review: 2001 Smart

Posted on 09. Dec, 2001 by .

0

Speed matters. How to play the size. A Lamborghini Murcielago can climb 200 mph on a highway, but it's slower than a pair of roller skates down a busy street. Give Mercedes' chic new SMART Car. It is tiny, small enough to dart through any gap larger than an NFL lineman. It's fast-well, "tangy". It uses less fuel than a John Deere lawn mower. In fact, the SMART an urban rider's dream come true. It is not.

Oh, but you did not want, would it? It's so cute! SMART has the charm of a baby animal: tiny body, big head and big, sad eyes. Awwww. Look! The cooler is smiling at you! Unlike the highly touted MINI, SMART Pokemon-morphed-with-a-golf-cart design both captivates and frightens. You do not want to view the SMART as much as take home and cook it to buy a hot meal.

Inside the SMART is still lovable. The car offers a number of "big car" toys: central, air conditioning, sunroof, navigation system, CD player and much more. All the details-from the slice of pizza door handles are holder/ashtray- into the cup fresh, without being pretentious. As a "real" Merc, all controls work and work well. The wipers sweep. The air ventilation. The more time you spend in your car, the more you will understand why SMART is, stylish and intelligent.

Funky touches like the twin periscopes emergence from the dash (clock and rev counter) get all the press, but the ergonomics deserve real attention. The cabin is above the engine (where else could they say?) Is attached by. Practically level with SUV drivers This lofty seating position with an epic windscreen and large side windows combined offers a panoramic view. Sitting behind the wheel, embedded in the heated seats, you would swear you were driving a MPV.

If you style, comfort and political correctness especially appreciate to stop here. Note that DaimlerChrysler SMART import in the U.S. sometime in the next year or so, and plans to head for the brand according trendy website. Well, for those of you who appreciate the joy of driving boast more than PC, hold. It gets rough.

In order to thrive in their natural environment, need a city car quick and precise steering, to boldly go where no SUV has gone before. Unfortunately, the SMART-tip is strongly supported underrepresented at low speeds, changing direction from a standstill requires a male "quick-fix". Even worse, you have no idea how far you turned the wheels until you set-at which point you can easily make yourself relentlessly toward the bumper of something great and. Once you get started, the steering is sharp and perfectly weighted. Which is just as well. Past 40 mph, the panel-town car out of the path rather than the 17th Century sailing ship blown.

The only thing. Difficult than holding the SMART on a steady bearing varying speeds Mercedes can rightly claim to build some of the world's best automatic transmission. Now they can claim to build the world's worst. The SMART autobox "swallow" not their changes. It stops, thinks about it some more thought, it gives you the next gear. It is the perfect car for the Japanese, the sudden loss of momentum forces you to bend between gears.

Floor it-the usual method for sweeping a Mercedes engine and it is not so much "kick-down", "cut out" as. At the exact moment you / need a little more oomph to make, is the handbag sulk big motor in a second long. You can turn automatic with sequential style shift. The faux-manual option shortens the changing times, but only slightly. Personally engaged in the course emphasizes the "light the fuse and wait 'gear change. A sporty drivers will find the voltage … unbearable.

The SMART handling is also much less than excellent. While SMART is not a sports car, even a bumper car is fast enough to challenge the gods to use. In this case, wins the gods. Mercedes modified the SMART suspension after the A-Class "elk test" debacle, so. Any possibility of tipping over in a corner Simultaneously denies the SMART TRUST PLUS stability system drivers a chance, what we call enthusiasts "fun". And it's hard to ride.

SMART had everything: style, comfort and speed. MB the "ultimate city car" is disappointed by lousy steering, an uncooperative gear, a stupid suspension and a zero-to-60 time of 15 seconds north. Of course, this focus on the dynamic capabilities car beside the point. There is a whole forest of eco-warrior ready to remember that SMART not about performance or driving pleasure. It is about the preservation of our dwindling resources, 40 + miles per gallon and 85% recyclability. Is not that the truth.

Continue Reading

Paramount XKR Review

Posted on 14. Nov, 2001 by .

0

The Jaguar XK8 is a classic. Six years after its debut, the design is fresh, bold and dramatic. It is one of those cars that looks kinda almost silent. Okay, viewed from the side, the boat about two meters long to accommodate due to U.S. regulations all expensive cars to two golf bags. Nevertheless, the Jag rules. Freshens up Porsches, Mercs, Beemers and Lexi still can not compete with the sleek XK aggression. Sneaked into the club parking lot, the Jag proclaimed, "Warning guys, this cat has claws!"

Except not. Yes, the XK is fast. The standard 4.0-liter car zooms from zero to 60 in 6.6 seconds. The supercharged XKR makes the same dash in 5.1. But who loves life (or hates insurance forms) should not try to carry that speed into a corner. Emphasis XK8 is a cleverly disguised boulevard cruiser. Ask them wallow to change directions quickly and, well, is hippo-type. It does not matter if the XK 'hard-a-starboard "try rolling motions with brakes, acceleration, opposite lock or prayer meeting to happen. Bad things. Learn owner quickly restrict posing fun to straight blasts or slow motion.

In a way, the XKR is worse. Although it has more power, wider tires, stiffer suspension and brakes a little better, it lacks the XK EWS. A standard car, you can know you. With the limits of liability and chassis control before you crap out cubes The XKR will give you some advance notice of impending chaos and no quarter when it counts. It's Blitzkrieg driving: 1 second is all right with the world upside down, the next you are in a ditch with the Germans you laugh.

Fortunately for enthusiasts, a small tuning company called Paramount give the XK sports performance it deserves. And I mean small, Paramount is too small, which is too big Ford. We talk a mechanic stashed in the back of the owner commercial nursery, working on a car at a time. Simon Dyer, Paramount Sales Manager says, his company breathes his magic on some 150 XK year. Maybe. One thing is sure: a "normal" XK would take a look at a Paramount XKR 450 Grand Prix and say, "That's what I wanna be when I grow up"

Hunkering down ring on lowering, sporty 19 'shoes, breathes through a gray grille set in an all-carbon fiber trim business, bristles Paramount silver demonstrator with serious intentions. The engine provides a perfect soundtrack for the visual assault. A "normal" XK or XKR farting sounds like an ant in the next room. The Grand Prix is equipped with the patented Paramount 'Tiger Cat' exhaust system. When Simon fired it, the damn thing growled at me. Based on my experience so far, barely catching a tail-happy XKR on a long bend, I could not decide if the new vocal V8 was issuing a warning or a promise.

Simon took the wheel first. Ignoring warning signs hand-drawn visitors stroll through the greenhouses, Simon left the base camp in a Sweeney style spray of gravel. If gravel turned into asphalt, it is flat. The exhaust howled. The supercharger whine. The tires gripped. We were surfing on an endless wave of torque, straight to three digits – and a speed bump. Full anchor tore us again to a crawl in a little less than four seconds. It's hard to find a seller by an authorized Jaguar dealer conducted that introduce particular party trick. Of course he would not … on the wheels for the job

We joined the M40, and wrapped together nearly a ton. As I settled into the revised cabin, I was more than a little put-off by my surroundings. Paramount had replaced all the car wood panels with carbon fiber, the killing of the XK "gentlemen's club 'composure. Based in combination with black leather, was the effect of both taste and claustrophobic. Paramount craftsmen would be much better used looking for a sporty alternative to the ugly standard cars and unsupportive seats.

Simon sang the praises of the basic XK: build quality, reliability and ergonomics. He rattled the modified cars technical specifications: AP Racing brakes and calipers (

Continue Reading