PH Blog: joy of specs


The amount of extra kit some press offices load on their vehicles you wonder sometimes how they manage to haul themselves into the PH car park. Fair enough you might say - manufacturers want to showcase the gadgets and gizmos you can spec your car up with, even if it's not representative of what a punter would choose.

Yours for less than £30K - amazing
Yours for less than £30K - amazing
But assessing a £30K car as a £30K car when it's got half as much again added on top in options isn't perhaps the most level of playing fields. There's a game being played here of course and the German brands - Audi most notably - are masters at quietly speccing press cars up in the hope of scoring an extra mark or two in that all-important group test. Indeed, the gap between real-world cars people actually buy and the press fleet ones we get to drive can be staggering.

When these cars do occasionally surface in approved used fleets that does potentially make them something of a bargain though, assuming you can balance the fact it's been through hordes of over-excitable hacks and led a life that would leave even the most abused holiday rental feeling like it got off lightly.

A lot of blank switches but 328hp, RWD and an LSD
A lot of blank switches but 328hp, RWD and an LSD
Credit then to Nissan then for adding this 370Z to its fleet. This is a true baseline price car, with not a single extra, a lot of blanked out switches and a bottom line price of a smidge under £30K. Symbolic perhaps but 328hp for £29,975 has to make it an all time hp per £ bargain.

This is a car with a mission though, and you have to admire the Nissan press office's single-minded attempt to rain on the parade of its homegrown rivals over at Toyota and Subaru. Because the sole purpose of this car is to gatecrash grouptests featuring the GT 86 and/or BRZ and attempt to subvert the message that it's not all about horsepower. The 370Z very much is about horsepower and for just a couple of grand more than your typical Toyobaru press car exerts a very powerful force - an additional 128hp of force to be precise - on corruptible hacks. The Zee is a blunt tool compared with the BRZ or GT 86. But blunt tools have a habit of being rather effective too. Is it enough though? Stay tuned!

Dan

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  • XJSJohn 16 Aug 2012

    Just for the "knowledge" of someone who has been running a 370Z for 2 years and 55'000km, here are a few bits on the running costs Lets not look at purchase prices as you folks in the UK would probably have a heart attack at the price for a car here!!, other than to say that my origional list (on another thread in the past here) of Z4, A5, TT, i saved 40% going for the Z and also negotiated another 15% off as it was the showroom car. Spec is GT option without Satnav

    Reliability, never misses a beat - not even a single warrenty problem, although i do service the car more often than most in the uk, oil changes every 15'000km but this is due to teh fact that it lives in 35c and city driving all the time.

    Fuel - in city driving (again, 35c, high humidity, AC at full power etc) i get 500km (310miles) on 70 litres. (about 20mpg)
    on a run i get 650km (450miles) on same 70 litres. (about 30mpg) so not too bad.

    Tyres are all relative to how you drive, i am just putting my 3rd set of boots on but with the internet you can find deals if you plan in advance. althouth 295/40 R19's can be a bit pricy on teh back.

    I am now going to have a look at Mr Harris' review of the BRZ/GT86 v the Z and the Cayman with some interest! I may be back boxedin

  • 300bhp/ton 13 Aug 2012

    MSTRBKR said:
    Okay cool. However, I'm quite sure the engines are different. The 'old' 135i has twin turbos, the new one has a twin scroll single turbo. Not sure how different the rest of the engine actually is though.
    That's interesting I didn't know that. I did see there was something like 15hp difference in favour of the newer model. Guess that explains it.

  • MSTRBKR 12 Aug 2012

    300bhp/ton said:
    As for the post about the letter arrangement. It's still sort of true, both have the same engine (even the same wheels in your pics), both are 1 Series. One just happens to be a facelift hatch, the other a coupe. No idea if the coupe is still available to buy, but both are listed on the BMW website as though they are.
    Okay cool. However, I'm quite sure the engines are different. The 'old' 135i has twin turbos, the new one has a twin scroll single turbo. Not sure how different the rest of the engine actually is though.

  • 300bhp/ton 12 Aug 2012

    MSTRBKR said:
    It was civil until your 'stupid' comment, but whatever.

    Okay, I think there's been a couple of miscommunications here. When you asked this...

    So apart from the arrangement of the characters, is a 135i M Sport Coupe hugely different?

    ... it did sound as though you were unaware that the older 1 series was different to the new one. Can you see why both me and Wills2 are saying similar things?
    ok. well my apologies, no offense meant. smile

    The car I think came from 10 Pence, saying about how much is the M135i. I looked it up and replied saying that it looks great, is still quite a bit more money and would likely cost even more again with options. But is a hatch. And when looking for a coupe it's the 135i Coupe I'd consider the rival not the M135i. The Coupe costs another "2.5k or so more than the M135i moving it even further away from the GT86. In all I suspect 20-23% more expensive.

    I know the M135i is slightly more powerful than the coupe and that it's based on the facelift 1 Series (assume it's still the same underlying platform or an evolution of).


    So I do apologies for any confusion, personally I think the BMW's are great and I'm these days quite a 1 Series fan. I just don't see either of these as direct GT86 rivals, one being a lot more money, the other being a hatch.


    As for the post about the letter arrangement. It's still sort of true, both have the same engine (even the same wheels in your pics), both are 1 Series. One just happens to be a facelift hatch, the other a coupe. No idea if the coupe is still available to buy, but both are listed on the BMW website as though they are.

  • MSTRBKR 12 Aug 2012

    300bhp/ton said:
    Ok I hope we can keep this civil, but:

    1. WTF are you actually going on about? I mentioned both cars in my post, I know what they are.
    2. I also added text about why I "personally" wouldn't even consider a hatch when looking at a coupe, so the natural alternative to the M135i is the M Sport 135i Coupe, which is again more money.
    3. Back to point one really, as I have no idea what you are asking or wanting.
    It was civil until your 'stupid' comment, but whatever.

    Okay, I think there's been a couple of miscommunications here. When you asked this...

    So apart from the arrangement of the characters, is a 135i M Sport Coupe hugely different?

    ... it did sound as though you were unaware that the older 1 series was different to the new one. Can you see why both me and Wills2 are saying similar things?

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