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New A4

and

The New M3

Well - some of you may predict this anyway - but I'm saving for that new A4. Not when it's launched, but when it has it's mid life facelift - ti's basically a 4 door version of the A5 which I tested and fell in love with! The IS will have to watch out! It's 20 odd CM longer so it should be bigger in the back, which I need as the family is only getting older and taller...

The new M3 has 420HP/400lbs/ft torque, 0-60 in 4.8...the ISF will have to watch out!

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Hmmm, I'm hoping it's just the pics and it'll look better in the flesh, but that A4 does not look that good at all. It looks almost as though they just took all the design features off the A5, and then stuck them on the old A4, and the whole design just doesn't work.

However, it is unusual (especially of late) for Audi to make an ugly car, so I'll reserve judgement till I see it for real. And yes, the A5 is stunning!

I'm not sure Lexus will be too worried about the M3, they're only bringing 150 I think to the UK in the first year, which I'm sure they'll easily sell. But I've read reviews saying the new M3 is not very raw at all, so there's a good chance that the IS-F may be quite similar in character to it.

I do quite like the new C-Class Sports (absolutely hate the elegance versions, that grille is hideous) but I still think the IS has the edge (designwise) among this competition - this may be controversial, but purely in terms of looks, despite being quite old, I think the Volvo S60 is the best looking saloon car in that class...........

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Having had the IS for 18 months, it's worn off me a little now...must be the same being married to a supermodel (which I am of course :lol: )...whilst she still looks spectacular from the front, I'm going off the rear...looks very...strange! At least from certain angles... :wacko:

The A5 was jaw dropping to drive...I haven't driven the new 3 Series coupe yet, but the A5 is superb and I was so tempted to order one! Very solid...and no rattles or squeaks anywhere at all...and big in the back too, though a tad hemmed in/claustro!!

So I'm expecting more of the same from the A4, though the front is too much like the A5, I think it looks elegant enough...in a simple, austere way

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Having had the IS for 18 months, it's worn off me a little now...must be the same being married to a supermodel (which I am of course :lol: )...whilst she still looks spectacular from the front, I'm going off the rear...looks very...strange! At least from certain angles... :wacko:

The A5 was jaw dropping to drive...I haven't driven the new 3 Series coupe yet, but the A5 is superb and I was so tempted to order one! Very solid...and no rattles or squeaks anywhere at all...and big in the back too, though a tad hemmed in/claustro!!

So I'm expecting more of the same from the A4, though the front is too much like the A5, I think it looks elegant enough...in a simple, austere way

Did you really think it was big in the back? I thought it was tiny and little bigger than the new TT - which I think has a preferable driving position. The missus dragged me into her dealership to look at the A5 but I came away a bit underwhelmed by the interior and more interested in ordering another TT.

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Look at the side view of both the BMW and the Audi. They could almost be the same car. Just a couple of minor style lines different. I suppose it's what's bound to happen when computers are so involved in the design of modern cars.

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I'm not a big fan of the LED light thing personally. There is an A8 or A6, not sure which, that passes me most days on the way to work and they look tacky to me. Like your standard rice burner stick on leds and flourescent tubes all over the place. They'll be putting blue leds on the washer nozzles next :shutit: The rest of the car looks good though, as does the A5. The latest 3 series BMW's are the best looking bimmer for a long time since the E36 and first E46's, Chris Bangle really screwed up BMW IMO. Glad to see them back on course on the looks front again.

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I quite like the look of the new audis ive seen so far,new TTs,R8s,etc.I saw an S5 the other day and it looked gorgeous.I think the new IS-F has nothing to worry about, with regard the new M3, ive seen it in the flesh a few times and it ain't all that,interior or exterior wise.to me it just looks like a 335i,it doesnt look as aggressive as the previous e46 model.The RS4 looks poised and ready to do battle,as does the ISF.Apparently the M3 is meant to be great,but just not the incredible leap in performance everyone expected.I hear the V8 works well and pulls from no revs at all,but its supposedly a soft tamed version of the normally untamed M3 image,this is cos bmw have discovered the wider non enthusiast bmw customers only regard the M badge as a top of the range model,not a performance road/track car and therefore demand a softer friendlier car.According to a source from evo,the csl is the way bmw are bringing the more aggresive version of the M3 to its motorsport enthusiast audience and that is supposed to be arriving by 2008,spy shots of it around the ring have been flying around the net for a while, its apparently gonna have 450+hp and an ever lower weight figure than the present e46 csl.I think that the IsF will be quite a hit,and like audi they are only bringing a few cars(the RS range) and should mean resale time those lucky enough to own one wont get shafted,unlike new M3 owners who will no doubt loose loads.one thing ive noticed is RS cars hold their price better than M cars and im guessing the secret to this is low production,i think the ISF will work in the same way.

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In this sort of bracket of cars, ride, handling etc are similar across the piece - they've all been tuned on race tracks, by "experts" (apparently) which is why they sometimes look the same, drive the same etc...

What sets BMW apart with any of the 3 series is the steering - it brings the car alive. It's like that in the 5 series too - compare it with any equivalent Audi, Lexus, Merc etc - they all handle similar, have a firm ride (tho' runflats make it harsher) - but it's the steering that brings everything together and gives you that "drive by the seat of your pants" feel.

With the Audi it's the sheer V8 lump and 4WD that make it so formidable. That AWD system comes from years of experience, and even if the ISF has this Audi are masters in that field - which is why even an S4 (not RS4) around a track is faster than any BMW!

What about the Lexus? Well it's all about tutonic Luxury. How does that fit with a performance saloon...? Hmmm!

Well we'll have to wait. With Lexus not having any racing pedigree or History those German Q car buyers and journo's are hardly likley to give it any credit at all... Like I say - let's wait. Lets hope it drives beautifully but I have the feeling the journo's may give it a bashing.

To get any credit it is gonna have to be the best by a mile - and whatever we say about BMW, the M3 will remain the king - it's pure driving sensation where BMW know how to make that sparkle actually sparkle, and it's about knowing what your car is capable of which makes you want to spend that obscene amount of money on 4 wheels!

PS - if that M3 CSL had the 510BHP M5/6 engine in it, no one would buy anything else.

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I think all Alpha models look georgeous against the competition, they always have done, they are designed by people with flair and adventure under the influence of chianti, sunshine and beautiful women. Sadly aren't they unreliable and depreciate in a similar fashion th a Citroen C5 or a Peugeot 607. If only they could be built by Hermann and his mates.

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i know exactly what youre saying mate,it seems to be the way of the italians tho(other than fezza's).I have a work pal who owns a fully loaded beautiful maserati 4200,he purchased it brand new for £58k,that was in June 2003,the car only has 31000miles on it,he attempted a trade in from the dealer who sold him the car and they offered him £22k,so he lost £36k in 4 years of ownership,as he worked out thats well over £700 a month depreciation.Its just cheaper to buy german or jap.

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