Would you buy an electric Mustang?? 0-62 in 3 seconds!

This isn’t an ‘ordinary’ Sixties Ford Mustang. But then, nothing is ‘ordinary’ in today’s world. No, this Sixties Ford Mustang is fully electric, capable of accelerating harder and faster than any production Ford Mustang has ever done.

London-based company Charge Automotive has announced its intention to build 499 of these fully electric classic Mustangs, with prices starting at £200,000. For that, you get the officially licensed Ford Mustang bodyshell and a world of modern-day electric force.

There’s a 64kWh battery pack allied to an electric motor (or maybe many electric motors – we don’t know) producing 300kW and 1,200Nm. In piston-engined terms, you’re looking at just over 400bhp and a whopping 885lb ft of torque.

Only £420 million allocated to tackle pot holes

The recent budget announced plans to invest nearly £30 Billion in Britain’s road networks. This will be financed through vehicle excise duty (road tax) in the attempt to upgrade, maintain and the construction of new major road links.

Chancellor Philip Hammond said an extra £420 million will be given to local councils to tackle the potholes and repair damaged roads.

The question is; is this really going to be enough? It seems every road in the country now either has failing tarmac or great craters in the road

Who’s the daddy? ;M2 or RS3?

 

BMW and Audi have been at it for decades, vying for the title of best entry-level luxury performance car. Their newest entries—the M2 and RS3—are a sign things aren’t slowing down anytime soon.

Henry Catchpole of Carfection brought the two German sporting cars together on the damp country roads of South Wales to find out which is truly the better buy. Both have similar prices, power figures, and performance numbers, so it’s down to the driving experience to suss out which car is actually best.

Thanks to Audi’s signature Quattro stability, it’s calmer and easier to get around turns than the pointier, more direct BMW. There’s tons more traction, and thanks to that turbo five-cylinder, the Audi sounds cooler too. But ultimately, it’s the M2 that comes out on top, thanks to an available manual transmission and a more balanced rear-wheel drive chassis.

Check out the whole video to see all the reasons why Catchpole ends up choosing the BMW as the winner, and why the incredibly fun RS3 is still a great buy.

https://bit.ly/2ND3qGf

Will the E46 M3 become a classic and follow the E30 & E36s?

As car investors and enthusiasts we’re all well aware of how prices of the original BMW M3, the E30, have surged in recent years. Rarity, pedigree, and nostalgia have all combined to dictate asking prices of £70k plus, which, when you look at it objectively, is absolutely absurd. But can we expect to see prices of later M3 models heading northwards as well? After the E30, and as we entered the nineties, the E36 M3 was introduced, and today we’re already starting to see some crazy price tags for clean examples of those. At the turn of the century BMW acquainted us with their third iteration, the E46 M3. It’s incomprehensible to think that the E46 could ever reach the heights we’re seeing from the E30, simply due to the difference in the numbers produced, but now that prices start at under £10k for the E46, would it be wise to snap one up in the hope of seeing a more modest return?

BMW E46 M3 Engine
E46 M3 Engine Bay

The E46 M3 was launched with a 3.2 litre straight six producing 343bhp, and achieving 0-60 in just a smidge over five seconds. The twin dual exhausts and flared wheel arches showed that the M3 meant business, but in a somewhat subtle and perhaps more refined manner than we see with some of today’s equivalents. As with all M cars, you knew you were going to be in for a treat once you got it out on the open road. The effortless acceleration and sublime handling had motoring journalists salivating, with many proclaiming it to be the ‘best M3 yet’. A bold statement, given the E30’s aforementioned prowess.

Its production run lasted from 2000 until 2006 when it was replaced by the controversial V8 powered E90, and during that time 85,000 E46 M3s were built. This was around 14,000 more than the E36 M3 that came before it, and over five times more than the E30 M3 from the eighties. The E46 was incredibly popular from day one, and with its timeless looks, continues to be today. A quick check on our favourite second-hand car sales sites show hundreds up for sale, with prices starting at an incredible £6k. Excellent, an affordable M car, time to get the chequebook out then. But hang on, we should know by now that in the world of car investment, if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. If you’re seriously looking at one of these for investment purposes, you’re going to need to look a little harder, and dig a little deeper. Whilst it is very probable that this will one day be considered a classic, the E46 M3 is now between 15 and 20 years old. We like to call this the ‘minefield phase’ here at The Car Investor. A significant proportion of these cars will inevitably have fallen into the hands of people who were lured in by the relatively cheap asking price, and then prioritised buying new rims and adding random plastic crap to the bodywork, rather than splashing out on the maintenance an M car needs to survive into its later years. The same people would now love to sell you their M3 at a bargain rate.

So how do you avoid getting burnt? A good way to narrow your search would be to take into consideration some of the factors that car investors will be looking for in years to come. Firstly, the gearbox. The E46 M3 came with a choice of two; a six-speed manual, and the second generation of their sequential manual gearbox (SMG II). Whilst it is still technically the same gearbox, it only has two pedals and gears are changed by a pump linked up to the car’s steering wheel paddles. The former is much preferred by investors, and given the choice we’d pick the manual too. However, that’s not to say it’s to everyone’s taste; we’re aware of a number of enthusiasts who enjoy the SMG version just as much, despite what you’ll read online.

Modified BMW E46 M3
Many E46 M3s were modified

Another consideration needs to be whether you go for a coupe or a convertible. Whilst you can show off a bit more in the convertibles, and they’re far more fun in the summer, it’s well known that investors will generally prefer the thoroughbred, more stable coupe version of any sports car.

Mileage and service history are always important factors when purchasing a used car, but are even more relevant here. The E46 3 Series was a great motorway cruiser, and despite its sportier ride the M3 was too. You’ll come across many examples that have over 150k miles on the clock, and whilst the E46 is more than capable of doing well over 200k miles if it’s been maintained, it does mean that you’ll need to be even more thorough in your paperwork checks. M cars are not cheap to run, and if the necessary servicing hasn’t been carried out at a certified BMW service station throughout its lifetime, you’re going to find yourself with a pretty big hole in your pocket when you do have to get some work done.

Once you’ve considered these factors and whittled down your search, you’ll find that actually manual, low-mileage, well serviced coupes aren’t so common, and you’re now starting your search at 10k rather than six. So given these factors, would we want to invest in an E46 M3 today?

Exclusivity

As we’ve mentioned, there were plenty built and plenty remain on the roads today. But that’s not to say it will always be that way. Over the next few years numbers will start dropping as the poorer examples are parted out, crashed or sadly left to rot, and it will become harder to find the manual coupes that we’ve touted as being the most popular models amongst future investors.

Looks

Many consider this era to be the pinnacle of styling in BMW’s recent history. The E46 M3 didn’t have the brash styling that today’s M cars have, and is rather more simplistic and refined. But we like that. In our opinion here at The Car Investor, the E46 is simply one of the best looking 3 Series ever built.

Price When New

When it reached the UK in 2001 it cost nearly £40k from new, and was £9k more than the next in its class, the 330ci. Expensive, but not extortionate in comparison to some of the cars we review here, which goes some way to explaining why it was so popular from day one.

Running Costs

It’s no secret that M cars are more expensive to run than your average BMW, and this is no exception. It does, however, come from a time when cars were simpler. Sure, the E46 had its fair share of electronics, but it was nothing on today’s touch-screen generation. The infamous sub-frame issue is the one to do your research on before buying, as this could set you back thousands. MPG will be in the mid-20s, and you’ll be paying upwards of £500 for a full service.

Cult Following

M cars in general have one of the biggest followings of all, and the E46 M3 is a favourite amongst fans. There are various online forums dedicated to the E46 specifically, and the BMW Car Club will look after you at classic car events.

Time to Buy?

In recent years these M3s have been cheap enough to ensure that a fair few have fallen into the wrong hands. In the coming years we’ll move past that stage, and it means that good, clean examples will start to become harder to find. If history tells us anything, then now would be an ideal time to pick up a bargain, as long as it’s up to investment standard.

Verdict

We love the E46 M3, and think it’s one of BMW’s all-time greats. If you’re looking to invest in one then spend a bit more and pick the specification we’ve detailed or similar, and it will pay off in the long-run. That said, this is still absolutely capable of being a daily-driver, so if SMG is your thing then don’t let us put you off… you’ll still have one hell of a car on your driveway. Before long these will be out of many people’s reach, so if you’ve always wanted one then it would be wise to act now before it’s too late. We love it here at The Car Investor, and would absolutely invest today.

Enough to tear your face off!

Ariel will launch its fourth-generation Atom at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend. The Atom 4, new from the ground-up, is immediately recognisable as an Atom but carries over only three parts – the brake and clutch pedals and the fuel filler cap – from the previous generation model.

At the heart of the Atom 4, and one of the main reasons for the complete redesign, is Honda’s latest 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, from the current Civic Type R. At 320hp in Ariel’s standard tune, it makes 10 bhp more than the supercharged version of the Atom 3, which is enough, Ariel says, to take the Atom 4 to 60mph from rest in 2.8secs, and to 100mph in 6.8sec.

The engine, mounted behind the occupants, as ever drives the rear wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox and limited-slip differential. Ariel says the top speed is now 162mph, permitted by better aerodynamics than any previous Atom: although it is still not exactly the world’s slipperiest vehicle, for which you can blame the exposed mechanicals.

1.4 million motorists illegally driving with dangerous tyres – two minute test to escape a fine and three penalty points

More than one in five motorists are driving on dangerous tyres and 1.4 million of them are breaking the law, figures claim. That’s according to Confused.com after it carried out spot checks on more than 1,000 vehicles in 10 UK cities.
It found that a fifth of cars had at least one tyre with tread below 3mm – the point at which major manufactures recommend you change your tyres. However, a total of 3% – 1.4 million drivers – were found to have at least one illegal tyre, falling below the minimum limit of 1.6mm.
This not just increases your chances of an accident – but also comes with three penalty points and a minimum fine of £2,500 per tyre if you’re caught. Just check out check out the homepage for this Hunstville accident injury lawyer and their articles on prices. If all four tyres are at fault, it could mean £10,000 and 12 points – enough for a driving ban. The figures follow the introduction of new MoT laws this month that changed the rules for millions of drivers. On Sunday, the Government changed how vehicles are classed after a test. In the past, as long as your car was deemed roadworthy, you could keep driving it even after it failed, provided your old MoT was still valid – however, doing so now could land you a £2,500 fine plus points.

In theory, checking your tread depth should be as ingrained as checking your oil or petrol tank, but for many drivers, it’s not on their radar – and hasn’t been for years. The comparison website found 61% of motorists don’t know what the minimum legal tread depth is, and more than half don’t know how to check their tyres, to avoid landing themselves in this situation. And it seems drivers have experienced first-hand just how dangerous driving on bald tyres can be. According to further research by the driver savings site, almost one in 20 UK drivers have had an accident due to defective tyres – almost a tenth of which happened this year. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (rospa) also estimated that 8 people were killed and 120 people were seriously injured in road traffic accidents due to illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres in 2016. The issue could be due to the volume of drivers who don’t know how to conduct tyre checks, or what guidelines suggest. Anyway, if you got into an accident, you should find your auto accident attorney to effectively guide you through each and every aspect of your motorcycle accident claim.

A quick and easy way to check if your tyre tread depth is safe and above the legal limit is to take the 20p test. To do this, insert a 20p coin into the main tread grooves of your tyre. If the ‘outer band’ of the 20p coin is obscured when it is inserted (and you can see less than half of the number 20 at the bottom of the coin), your tread is above the legal limit, explains Rospa. It is important to carry this test out on at least three locations around each tyre. If the outer band of the coin is visible, your tyres may be illegal and must be checked by a qualified tyre professional. It is recommended that you perform this test at least once a month. But it isn’t just knowing how to change a tyre that could catch drivers out. In fact, drivers should consider rotating their tyres every 6,000 miles because those at the front wear out faster than those at the back, and this could be key to keeping tyres from balding too quickly. Amanda Stretton, at Confused.com, said: “Tyre tread ignorance could land offenders with fines of up to £2,500 per tyre, invalidate their insurance or lead to an accident. “By conducting a few simple checks each month, such as the 20p test, drivers can keep themselves and other motorists safe. “Driving has become expensive enough as it is, and avoiding unwanted fines should be incentive enough to comply with road safety regulations.”

Everyone loves an Aston….. Summer is beckoning!

The wait is nearly over, honestly. We’ve already driven the prototype version of the new Aston Vantage on a frozen lake in Finland, and soon we’ll be able to tell you how the finished version feels on the glamorous media launch in Portugal. But, before then, one last intermediate step: a blast of a full dazzle-liveried engineering hack in UK roads.

While I should probably try to make out that this was a hard-won exclusive and the result of the sort of journalistic graft that normally wins prizes and pay rises, the reality is considerably more mundane. I couldn’t make it to the Scandinavian ice-drive so Aston very generously offered to let me have a go closer to home. The journey starts at the company’s new engineering base in Wellesbourne, and with the reassuring presence of the company’s chief vehicle attributes engineer – and driving god – Matt Becker in the passenger seat.

The basics have all been well covered with our previous stories on the car so need detain us only briefly. The Vantage uses the AMG-sourced twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8, with 510hp and 505lb ft – slightly more torque than the same engine produces in the baby DB11. Although it sits on the same platform as its grand touring sister it is lighter and shorter, has no rear seats, but gains a very clever electronically controlled locking rear differential plus a mission to go and harry the Porsche 911in a manner its predecessor never quite managed. Locksmith Roseville CA is always at your disposal if needed.

The huge workshop at Wellesbourne is full of immaculate Vantages being prepared for the official press launch, in marked contrast to the general skankiness of the prototype and its peeling zebra-pattern disguise wrap. There’s plentiful evidence of a life lived hard, from chips and abrasions on the exterior panels to fault messages on the instrument screen and a feral fug to the cabin itself. It smells like many engineers have spent many hours sweating in here.

https://www.pistonheads.com/news/ph-driven/driven-aston-martin-vantage-prototype/37706