Autodelta Alfa Romeo 147 GTA AM 3.7 Super

Posted in Alfa Romeo

Autodelta is pleased to announce that it will be present with a comprehensive line up of its high-performance bespoke Alfa Romeo models at SpaItalia this coming weekend (2-3 June) at the famous Spa-Francorchamps Grand Prix circuit in Belgium. Attending this edition of SpaItalia is made even more special, this year Autodelta is celebrating its 20th anniversary as the leading engineering centre for developing the ultimate road-going Alfa Romeo high-performance cars.

Leading out the exclusive Autodelta model range at SpaItalia will be a first official showing for our most powerful interpretation of the Alfa 147 GTA theme yet: the 422 bhp Autodelta 147 GTA AM 3.7 Super. This new version further builds on the impressive upgrades we have already made to the Alfa V6 engine: capacity increased to 3,750cc, a remapped management system, and a Ferrari-derived throttle body, coupled to the fitting of a Rotrex C38-81 supercharger delivering 0.75 bar of boost; now all taken to a new even higher level – bringing the car’s maximum power up to 422 bhp at 7,000 rpm (standard Alfa 147 GTA power is 250bhp at 6,200 rpm) and torque improved to 520 Nm.

Autodelta created its first 3.7-litre supercharged Alfa 147 GTA conversion exactly two years ago, the car making its preview appearance on the inaugural ‘Autodelta European Tour’ of 2005. The arrival of this dramatic package, which initially had 400 bhp, created much attention and it was requested by a number of customers.

To perfect this package fully and develop a highly dynamic chassis capable of delivering all this performance and still offer optimum day-to-day driveability, our engineering team has embarked on an intensive development programme over the last six months that has also seen our test cars in track action conducting extensive R&D programmes of major race circuits including Donington Park, Silverstone and the Nürburgring. Additional work has been carried out on the Alfa V6 engine’s cylinder head, block and internals as we have perfected this package, while the upgraded suspension features new spring rates from the dedicated coilovers and revised suspension components, as well as new anti-roll bar, and wheel geometry, adjustments. Autodelta’s own in-house developed limited slip differential is an integral part. The bespoke package includes a new aerodynamic rear under wing.

We are now very pleased to introduce this full option, the Autodelta 147 GTA AM (‘Autodelta Maggiore’) 3.7 Super, as an official package available for immediate ordering. The car will be presented at SpaItalia this coming weekend and will be demonstrated on the famous 6.976-km Grand Prix circuit on both Saturday and Sunday by our test driver.

To complement the debut of the 422 bhp 3.7 litre version at the Spa circuit, which nestles in the glorious undulating hills of the Belgian Ardennes forest, we will present the 341 bhp Autodelta 147 GTA AM 3.2 Super. Also present at SpaItalia will be our most exciting new model introduction of the last year and a car that ushered in a new era at Autodelta, the 341 bhp Autodelta Brera J5 3.2 C. Previewed last summer in Monte Carlo and commercialised in February 2007 this high-performance bespoke car has created impressive worldwide demand already. Completing our current model range will be the 400bhp Autodelta 156 GTA AM 3.7 Super.

Jano Djelalian says: “SpaItalia is always an excellent event and we are especially looking forward to attending this year’s edition. We’re delighted to bring our full model range and in particular to present our most extreme project yet, the 422 bhp version of the Autodelta 147 GTA AM 3.7 Super. We always are keen to show our cars in the conditions they are designed for, so putting this car on track at Spa is the perfect official introduction.”

SpaItalia – now in its sixth edition – has quickly grown to become one of Europe’s leading Italian car extravaganzas. With the distinct ‘track’ element central to the two-day programme, the event showcases a glittering array of Italian machinery. It takes place on the evocative Spa-Francorchamps circuit. First opened in 1921, this is one of the world’s fastest and most demanding circuits, and a real test of driver ability. This year the ‘Featured Marque’ at SpaItalia is Maserati poignant as the Trident brand is celebrating the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of Juan-Manuel Fangio’s F1 World Championship title claimed at the wheel of the legendary 250F. A highlight of the event will be the presence of Maria Teresa de Filippis the first woman to drive in an F1 Grand Prix and a lady who is synonymous with Maserati. The 2007 SpaItalia event is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, June 2 & 3.

HAMANN Ferrari F430 Spider

Posted in BMW, Ferrari

HAMANN engineers have designed their latest aerodynamics package for the Ferrari F430 Spider. The HAMANN kit for the Ferrari F430 Spider adds an additional 48 horsepower for a total of 538. The four-branch sports rear mufflers provide an absolutely powerful sound for others to hear as you zoom by.

Design wise HAMANN adds a front spoiler that minimizes the lift force at the front axle. Wide side sills give the Ferrari F430 spider a more aggressive and musicular look with a newly designed rear diffuser and rear spoiler that apply higher downforce at the rear axle.

Press Release:

HAMANN Ferrari F430 Spider

The engineers of sports-car specialist HAMANN have designed a comprehensive aerodynamics package for the Ferrari F430, taking up elements from motorsports and simultaneously presenting pure understatement. In the development of the HAMANN F430 this aspect was well to the fore as well as optimizing weight and performance. The innovatively designed front spoiler gives the HAMANN F430 a striking and individual face and minimizes the lift force at the front axle. Wide side sills impart a broader appearance to the Italian car and also a more dominant roadholding. They specially underscore the dynamic line of the basic model. At the back the newly designed rear diffuser catches the eye and the rear spoiler ensures a higher downforce at the rear axle. The HAMANN aerodynamics components do not only mean an optical upgrading, but above all a remarkable increase regarding driving performance – this is proven by the fact that all add-on parts are optionally available in carbon-kevlar or fiberglass version. This makes the HAMANN Ferrari F430 definitely a powerful road-racing car, which causes a sensation!

Performance plays an important role in motorsports. This is also true for the HAMANN Ferrari F430. The HAMANN engineers have developed a complete high-performance sports exhaust system including a high-performance collector and sports catalysts. The result of this largescale modification is a performance increase of in all 48 hp, that has a correspondingly positive effect on the car´s performance. The four-branch sports rear mufflers, specially designed by HAMANN, release an absolutely powerful and sonorous sound reminding you of the background noise at a racetrack. The Laupheim company optionally offers a second tailpipe version with two tailpipes per side including throttle control.

More driving pleasure in the HAMANN Ferrari F430 can be expected of the specially designed coil suspension. The HAMANN suspension can be adjusted in height as well as in rebound and compression, thus the F430 reacts definitely more agile and more precisely to steering changes and therefore offers remarkably sportier driving dynamics.

The HAMANN Ferrari F430 is bridled by a sports brake system at the front axle, which has been adapted correspondingly to its performance. The brake system guarantees exact deceleration and permanent control of the racy Italian car from Swabia.

HAMANN stakes on a motorsports look also regarding the rims of the Ferrari F430. The multi-piece PG3 in classic five-spoke design gives an extremely powerful impression and allows a good look at the brake system. The PG3 is available in 9×19-inch dimension with tires size 255/30ZR19 front and in 11,5×19-inch dimension with tires size 295/30ZR19 or 13×19-inch dimension with tires size 355/25ZR19 at the rear axle. Alternatively you can choose the also multi-piece, forged ANNIVERSARY II. Its fine spokes clearly show the sporty character of the Swabian F430 and allow a good look at the brake system. The ANNIVERSARY II is available for the HAMANN Ferrari F430 in 9×19-inch dimension with tires size 255/30ZR19 front and 12,5×19-inch dimension with tires size 355/25ZR19 rear as well as 8,5×20-inch dimension with tires 235/30ZR20 for the front axle and 12,5×20-inch dimension with tires size 335/25ZR20 for the rear axle. Brand new is the HAMANN alloy wheel “EDITION RACE” in 20 inch. It is available in 8,5 x 20 for the front axle and 12 x 20 for the rear.

Bertone developing new sports car for US

Posted in Fiat

Bertone sports carFollowing the demise of Fiat Group’s rescue plan for Bertone, a deal that would have seen the struggling Italian coachbuilder build several new Lancia models for Fiat, senior management were forced to come up with a new survival plan to present to investors at a meeting last month. Part of the turnaround plan was to strengthen operational control by employing Barbara Bertone, the youngest daughter of CEO Ermelinda Bertone, as the new managing director.

Her goal will be to secure work for the firm. Bertone hasn’t had a major job since it stopped building the Opel/Vauxhall Astra coupe and cabriolet in 2005, which meant most of its 1,500 odd staff were left without work and supported with government handouts. Unfortunately, the public handouts are set to expire on July 11.

According to Automotive News, the coachbuilder is considering starting production of a Bertone branded sports car with a BMW powerplant for the US market, as well as assembly of a camper van. A spokesman for BMW stated that the luxury label has no involvement in the development of a Bertone sports car but did not rule out its existence.

Pictured above is Bertone’s most recent concept car, a light weight roadster that was unveiled in Geneva earlier this year.

BMW 118i Review

Posted in BMW

In Europe, BMW’s expanding model line-up has transformed the German automaker’s brand perception from the pistonhead’s prerogative to the arriviste’s wheels of choice. While the mighty M3 continues to rival Porsche’s 911 for street cred, and the previous gen M5 is still considered the Mack Daddy of sports sedans, BMW’s move into SUV’s and mass market motors has wounded its perceived pedigree. Is the hatchback-style, entry-level 1-Series another case of brand defilement, or is it a look back to classic small BMW’s like the 2002?

Judging by its looks, the 1-Series is to the 2002 what Gangsta Rap is to Rhythm and Blues. Whether you’re grimacing at the three or five-door, the BMW 1-Series is one seriously ugly ultimate driving machine. From its goofy proportions, to its misjudged details, to convex flame surfacing (that makes the car look like a pot belly pig from the side), this Bimmer is a bummer. While some people consider small, ugly vehicles “cute,” they’re wrong. Perhaps that’s why Bimmers’ bureaucrats have decided that the States might get the next, easier-on-the-eyes version in 2008, with three-box, two-door styling.

Fortunately, the 1-Series’ interior design is modern, sculpted, strong and coherent. The plastics are not up to Munich’s usual standards, but price considerations have otherwise inflicted a welcome, dare I say nostalgic minimalism.

The iDrive nav/menu screen is a perfect example. The foldaway screen lives on the top of the 1-Series’ dash; it’s a far safer and more elegant solution than the Teletubbies-style hutch sheltering Bimmer’s upmarket iDrive carriers. It should also be said that it’s well past time that BMW dropped its ergonomic arrogance and adopted standard icons and HMI procedures.

Euro-hacks have criticized the 1-Series’ interior for being cramped. Not so: there’s ample room in the front. Seriously volks, while the 3-Series mini-me’s rear headroom won’t find favor with anyone over 6″, legroom is carpool-compatible. Put another way, the 1-Series is less space efficient than a similarly-sized Golf, but more spacious than a MINI. Considering the fact that the diminutive Bimmer is Europe’s smallest rear-wheel drive (RWD) car, the rear space is a mitzvah.

The same cannot be said about the 1-Series’ visibility. It’s yet another high-beltlined car that shows the world your armpit if you should ever, Gott behüte, do the urban cruise.

My tester came equipped with the second least powerful engine in the European 1-Series range: a 143hp 2.0-liter four. (The 116i mostly sees rental and fleet service.) The 118i’s miniature powerplant proved tractable and linear, with a useful power band from 1200 to 6200 rpm. So motivated, the 1-Series may not be particularly fast (0 to 60mph in 8.4 seconds), but it is fun.

The basic recipe is sound enough: RWD, short-wheelbase, reasonably low weight and BMW’s traditional 50/50 weight distribution. To this formula BMW adds a dollop of ingredient X: aluminum.

Munich’s mechanical maestros fabricate much of the 1-Series’ front suspension and subframe from aluminum, as well as the axle, suspension struts and pivot bearings. Out back, they’ve blessed the 1-Series with BMW’s justifiably famous five-link rear suspension; the same greasy bits that give the 1-Series’ big brothers their remarkable poise and ride quality. Better yet, Bimmer boffins have tuned the 1-Series’ multi-link’s toe-in, toe-out and camber angles to increase cornering agility.

The overall result is a fantastically chuckable and agile package that feels more solid than any other hatchback I’ve ever driven. BMW’s much maligned electric steering works perfectly in this application. Around town, it’s strictly point and squirt. At speed, the 1-Series’ helm feels as meaty as its perfectly sized steering wheel.

The 1-Series’ suspension set-up is comfortable enough for older drivers who still kick out the jams from time to time. Above 95 mph, the car gets a bit bouncy, reminding you of its short wheel base. At autobahn speeds, the 1-Series is sensitive to crosswinds (perhaps the only real disadvantage of the RWD concept). Certainly, there are better long-distance executive cruisers.

As you’d hope, you can fling the 1-Series around with genuine confidence. Imagine blasting out of a traffic circle in a small car with fantastic feedback, without any torque-steer corruption. Nothing else in this category comes close; you’d need a Porsche or Lotus to better it. This Bimmer’s combination of agility, strength and compactness (and a small turning radius) make it a surprisingly useful urban runabout. Piloting the 1-Series, U-turns are a joy and rural roads paradise.

Upon returning the BMW, I felt a genuine pang of loss. Either I’m getting old or BMW has gotten better. It’s probably both, but the latter is the stronger reason for giving this car a [close your eyes until you’re behind the wheel] thumbs-up. BMW may be destroying its exclusivity by making something for everyone, but what a way to go.

VW launches new Golf GT Sport

Posted in Volkswagen

vw Golf GT SportVolkswagen is replacing the existing Golf Sport and GT models with a single all-new model – the Golf GT Sport. The latest addition gets several unique features and is equipped with extra equipment over the models it replaces. An all-new darkened grille section has been revised to match the potent GTI and R32 variants and it also picks up a new ‘GT Sport’ badge.

The headlights are also darkened and they sit above a set of fog lights mounted in the front air dams. Other changes include the subtle tints to the rear windows and a set of 17in multispoke ‘ClassiXs’ alloy fitted with 225mm rubber. At the rear, twin chrome exhausts and discreet GT badging distinguish the special model from regular Golfs.

Inside, occupants are treated to a leather-trimmed three-spoke steering wheel, gearknob and handbrake, plus front sports seats, automatic light sensing headlights and rain sensing wipers.

Under the hood is a 1.4L TSI engine which utilizes both a supercharger and a turbocharger to generate 140hp in base models and up to 170hp in top-end spec. A single 2.0L TDI diesel engine is also available in 140hp and 170hp outputs. Both petrol and diesel engines are available mated to a choice of six-speed manual or DSG transmissions.

Maserati GranTurismo Coupe

Posted in Maserati

Dressed in boldly sculpted couture curves that shame a Ferrari 612 Scaglietti, built on a shorter wheelbase (by five inches) version of the Quattroporte’s acclaimed front-mid-engine, rear-drive chassis, and powered by the familiar 4.2-liter V-8-with power increased from 394 horses to 399-the new Maserati GranTurismo is exotic and glamorous, inspiringly original, and deliciously unconventional. It’s the second all-new Maser in less than five years, and America is its Number One sales target.

Concealing four full seats behind two gracefully swooping doors, the GranTurismo combines the opulent accommodation of a Bentley Continental GT with the price of a well-optioned BMW M5, while promising a carefully honed poise, balance, and deftness either German might envy. It may lack their huge firepower, but as Quattroporte owners already appreciate, deft dynamism reaps the richest rewards for discerning drivers.

Most expected Maserati to deliver a direct replacement for the decade-old GT: a two-door 2+2 coupe to tempt a few thousand discerning enthusiasts a year from their default purchase of a Porsche 911. The GranTurismo is emphatically not that car, and for good reason, as Maserati technical director Jean-Luc Brossard and head of vehicle engineering Paul Fickers explained when we met them at Maserati’s Modena HQ.

“When I joined Maserati in 2003, it was a time to reflect on the company’s position and to define our objectives for the GranTurismo,” says Brossard. “We knew from our customers that the new coupe needed to be elegant and sporty, but that it should also offer comfort and space, so we decided on a bigger, full four-seater car.

“We had also found that, where our customers used to drive 5000 miles per year or less, they now cover 20 or even 30,000 miles in a year. Consequently we’ve been working hard on improving durability and quality so that we’re a genuine alternative for customers who previously would only consider a Mercedes or BMW.”

Where does the GranTurismo fit into our world? Right at the heart of it, judging by the looks and promise of sharpened and more sporting dynamics. Tipping the scales at about 4150 pounds, the GranTurismo is approximately 110 pounds lighter than the Quattroporte sedan, nearly 500 pounds lighter than a Mercedes CL, and over 1000 pounds less than a Bentley Continental GT. The Maser has great stance, too; wide for its length. Fitted with the latest generation of Sachs’s Skyhook active damper technology, the GranTurismo has switchable suspension settings, Normal and Sport, and Fickers says the spring and damper settings are 30 to 40 percent firmer than on the Quattroporte. The initial production run, which starts in the summer, will be of GranTurismo Automatics (with paddle-shift) and a DuoSelect version to follow soon after.

Ferrari Auction in Maranello Sets New Price Records

Posted in Ferrari

Today, with the sun shining brightly and hundreds of crazed Italians in a bicycle race riding by Ferrari headquarters, several very rich people sought to own some of Italy’s most famous automobiles, assorted memorabilia, and ephemera. The event was held by Sotheby’s/RM Auctions.

As this is being written at 10:40 p.m., Italian time, final sales results are still being calculated, but at last count the sale generated a very nice €32 to €35 million ($43 million to $47 million). The new record for a Ferrari was set toward the end of the event, when an anonymous telephone bidder dropped the collective jaw of the four hundred-plus in attendance with an announced bid of €6.250 million ($8.43 million) plus 10 percent commission. All in, it will be a $9-point-something-million-dollar sale.

Descriptive copy in the auction catalog, Ferrari Leggenda E Passione (”Legends and Passion”), for lot 221, read, “The 1962 Ferrari 330 TRI/LM Testa Rosa Spyder is the last of the most famous Ferraris. Testa Rosas won Le Mans, arguably the most fa-mous automobile race, in 1958, 1960, 1961, and 1962. A record that has never been broken.”

Art auctions in New York last week pulled down eight-figure numbers and also set a record for a Warhol car wreck, but these are the quiet passions of the sedate and introspective art collectors. Their sales are refined and often hushed.

Automobile auctions are not for the faint of heart or timid—car people are loud, passionate, often boisterous, and demonstrative car lovers, especially when it comes to Ferrari. They expressed their Type-A appreciation as the white-jacketed British auctioneer announced, “For the thirrrrrd and last time, ladies and gentlemen…at six million, two hundred fifty-thousand euroooos…SOLD!” Instantly, the audience was on its feet, clap-ping, cheering, whistling, and shouting. That’s how car lovers show their feelings. Yeah!

Earlier in the afternoon, lot 213, a beautiful and bright yellow 1971 Ferrari 365 GTS4 Daytona Spider, began a slow charge at €250,000 ($337,275) until it was hammered down at €1.045 million including the 10 percent vigorish ($1.4 million). Ah, but as Paul Harvey might sonorously intone, “Here’s the rest of the story.”

The owner of the 1971 Daytona Spider was a 1948 Grosse Pointe Ford, Edsel Ford II, to be specific. When I spoke to him at Saturday night’s reception and mentioned how great the car looked, Ford commented, “It is a nice car, I’ve just gotten a little tired of driving it.” Prior to the auction of his car, Mr. Ford, wearing a white shirt with its sleeves rolled up, was introduced to a round of applause from the audience. Car people are like that. They appreciate other good car people.

The scene itself was interesting for looking at cars and the people who were in attendance. From the emerging rich—according to a luxury summit I attended last month, it takes $5 million to be considered a millionaire—to the very, very, very rich, everyone was in a nice mood. The men from Europe, North and South America, and Asia were casually dressed for the most part, some wearing suits. The women were al-most universally well dressed but casual, and wore lots of bling-bling diamonds on their fingers, in their ears, and on their wrists. Sunglasses on top of the head and high-heel shoes of almost stratospheric heights were de rigueur.

A couple sitting near me dropped a couple hundred grand in euros with the purchase of ephemera—letters, a poster, an autographed card, and an owner’s manual. The man sitting a couple places down bought a lot of Ferrari parts. While the venue was packed with photographers, pictures were not to be taken of the bidders to protect their identities.
Anything with the moniker of Ferrari great Michael Schumacher fetched amazingly high prices: a T-shirt the driver once wore brought €500 ($675); a rain jacket, €2250 ($3035); underwear (worn under his racing suit), €550 ($742). A cashmere sweater sold for €1500 ($2024).

The RM and Sotheby teams were not raucous; if anything, they were refined. Was there urging to go higher? Of course, as this was an auction. But it was done with hand gestures, head nods, subdued demeanor, and smiles—not with screams, shouts, or spectacle. One gentleman described every auction lot in English and Italian, while the actual auctioneer offered amusing little comments to urge the crowd on, “We are selling this today…you know.”

An RM Auction representative told me, “Based on what occurred today, the great cooperation from Ferrari, and of course the large attendance, we hope to hold another Ferrari auction next year in Maranello.” He even pronounced his words like an Italian, rolling his r’s softly and lovingly.
If you’ve got a few thousand air travel bonus miles just waiting for some nice event, occasion, or vacation, don’t spend ’em on Disney’s whatever, come to Maranello, Italy. It’s the venerated venue of Ferrari and the color red is everywhere. From the cars to the mile-long bed of roses en route to the track to the neckties worn by some, hell, even the little plastic espresso cups on hand were red.

And while the prices at auction may send you into sticker shock, everything else is—given currency fluctuations—reasonably priced, including nearby hotels and real Italian food and beer. Honest. And while you’re car gazing, not too far away is a mall of some other famous and expensive Italian brand names—Gucci, Prada, Ferragamo—trust me, she’ll know.

As they say in Italy, “Ringraziamenti per lettura. Buon vicino da Maranello.” Thanks for reading. Good-bye from Maranello.

BMW 1 Review

Posted in BMW

For: Excellent diesels, range-wide fuel economy, involving handling, impressive 3dr
Against: Prices are high, cramped interior, taut suspension hurts ride quality

BMW’s EfficientDynamics has been applied to the 1-Series range; this brings more performance for less emissions thanks to regenerative braking, electric power steering and an automatic start-stop function. The technology is imperceptible and unobtrusive – and that new steering set-up means the 2007 1-Series is now much easier to steer at low speeds. It’s still a crisp, alert machine in daily driving, though (and still the only rear-wheel-drive car in its class). The brakes are strong, gearchange slick and the steering is also fast and accurate. However, although refinement and engine insulation are both good, the ride remains poor, even on motorways. It’s better news in the engine department; BMW’s latest 2.0-litre diesel, which appears in 118d and 120d guise, is smooth and well mannered. It picks up well around town and, despite astonishingly long gearing, proves remarkably flexible. It’s quick against the clock, too. That’s not to say 118i and 120i petrol versions will leave you short-changed, though. They were also new for 2007 and combine ultra-smooth running with surprising economy. The 130i remains fun. Indeed, the only 1-Series to avoid is the 116i entry-level version. This misses out on the EfficientDynamics technology and is a real disappointment in action.

BMW added a three-door version to the 1-Series line-up in 2007; question is, why wasn’t it available from the start? In hindsight it appears an odd decision, since the hatchback’s unique rear-wheel-drive layout ensured practicality was a weak point. So the more sporting three-door, aimed at those who don’t need so much boot space or rear legroom, should be the better model. Is it more attractive? The coupe-style frameless doors are a nice touch, but it doesn’t look particularly dynamic. It shares minor revisions with the five-door; enlarged kidney grille, reprofiled front spoiler, new light clusters and rear bumper – though these are difficult to spot. BMW simplified the 1-Series model line-up with the 2007 facelift, so now buyers can choose from standard, ES, SE or M Sport variants. ES, with air con and alloys, offers the best all-round value. However, even this version is undercut by the 1-Series’ arch-rival, Audi’s A3. The Volvo C30 and Mercedes C-Class Sports Coupe also provide keen competition.

Interior space is modest. Those travelling in the back are barely able to move their knees or feet, while the boot is supermini-sized. However, you can now specify two individual sculpted seats as a no-cost option, in place of the conventional bench. The newer three-door also offers a couple of benefits up front. The longer doors improve over-the-shoulder visibility and make the cabin feel less claustrophobic. The driving position is excellent, while the small-diameter, thick-rimmed steering wheel adds sportiness to an already dynamic interior. The materials, while improved, still can’t match an Audi A3 for tactility, but it’s logical and robust. If you avoid base models, it’s reasonably well kitted-out too, though you do pay a premium for this. And do note, range-topping M Sport versions have lowered, firmed-up suspension, which makes a taut ride even harder. 1-Series drivers will save a huge amount in company car tax, however. Particularly with diesel models; the 118d has CO2 emissions of just 123g/km, making it cleaner than many city cars. In our hands, we achieved 48.5mpg, which is exceptional for a car with this much performance and driver involvement. Retained values aren’t bad (the five-door performs slightly better) and, for only £190, you can maintain a 1-Series for five years or 60,000 miles – put simply, an industry-leading deal.