I'm not sure if the stop/start function on the M3 makes an appreciable difference to its economy, but then I don't drive it in heavy traffic that often. What I do know is that after you've spent seme time driving a car that cuts out every time you stop with your foot on the brake, it feels most odd tc be in one that carries on idling. So when the M3 didn't cut out at any of my stops on the way to work the other morning, I wondered why. My colleague Stephen Dobie said it was because it was close to freezing outside, and he's right; one of the conditions that deactivates stop/ start is a temperature of 3deg C or below. Looks like it won't be active for a little while, then...
n last winter's snow I spent three hours slithering 20 miles in an M5, sc I'd promised myself I'd look into winter tyre options for the M3. Searching the web, I discovered that BMW and its UK dealers have embraced tie idea of the seasonal tyre change with its new 'Winter Tyre Program'. On the M3. this gets you a set of I8in alloys shod with Michelin WR Pilot Alpin PA3s and the storage of your summer tyres on their rims until the spring. For this they charge £1955 (prices for other models start at £600). Pretty good value, especially if you intend keeping the car for a few years, as apart from the cost of a half hour's labour to change them over, there's nothing more to pay until the tyres wear out. Tempting...
Chasing this year's eCoty candidates across Yorkshire for last month's cover story put plenty of stress on both me and the Mazda, but which broke first? Well it was a close-run thing, but I managed to survive the encounter slightly better than our long-termer...
The MPS had done an excellent job for most of the week, even if it struggled to put down all of its power on the rain-soaked roads we encountered, but by the Thursday there was smoke coming from the exhaust and a slight smell of oil. Then the engine warning light came on, and a quick check on the oil level revealed that it had used more than two litres in only 40 miles. I decided to leave it in the hotel car park and hitch a lift with fellow photographer Matt Howell to get the final shots of the test.
At the end of the shoot a call to Mazda summoned assistance, but due to the remote location the RAC truck wouldn't be able to get to the car for over an hour and a half At least I could spend the time in the warmth of the hotel rather than in the cold at the side of the road. When the
Date acquired Total mileage Mileage this month Costs this month mpg this month
engineer finally arrived the diagnosis was bleak. It was agreed that the car would be transported back to my local Mazda dealer in Cambricge, while I made my way back with Matt, who had generously offered to stay behind.
After a couple of days I heard back from the dealer, and it wasn't good news It needed a new turbo. Worse, the dealer said that since the first service was overdue by about 1500 miles, it wouldn't be covered under the normal warranty. Now I'm pretty particular when it comes to servicing, and as well as checking the oil before we'd set out I'd checked the onboard computer, which said a service wasn't due for 1500 miles. Unfortunately it was telling porkies. Fortunately, when I explained the situation the dealer was sympathetc and hopefully all will now be resolved pretty quickly, but the moral of the story is: Know the service schedule.
Staff photographer Rutter was using the Mazda as a camera-car on last montVs Car of the Year feature (right) when it started smoking and using oil. Both Rutter and the RAC man suspected a knackered turbo and so it proved
132 Pictures: Chris Rutter & Richard Bailey r- I W : V x ^ ^ r
NIGGAN G - } Performance Centres (HFCs) closer by? Well, they were the supplying nj|iM]M dealer and our relationship goes back
Kfflfl 15 years to my first Skyline R32 GT-R. Being by far the most experienced ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ GT-R specialists in Europe, I
considered going anywhere else.
How time flies. The GT-R Fully refreshed and fighting fit, it was due its 18-month was time to take 'Purple Zilla' back service recently, and once to Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground again a quick email to for the final VMax day of the year
Middlehurst Motorsport summoned (vmax200.com). You may remember the free Nissan Concierge collection back in issue 147 that we managed a and delivery service and it was whisked best speed of I92mph on the 1.6-mile off the 200-odd miles to St Helens. runway, but there were some fuelling Why use such a distant dealer when issues as the standard injectors were there are now plenty of Nissan High maxing out. Now with the much bigger Injector Dynamics lOOOcc/min jobbies and a Cobb air intake with appropriate GTC custom tune, it was going to be interesting to see how the extra 2lbhp thus liberated would translate into extra mph.
easy I96mph on the very first run. Frustratingly it proved impossible to beat that speed, but we matched it several times and with no sign of the previous fuelling problems.
Purple Zilla proved more than a
'PURPLE ZILLA HIT AN EASY I96MPH ON THE VERY FIRST RUN'
match for a both a 997 GT2 RS and a 997.2 Turbo S (which admittedly did go on to match the I96mph, but took more time to get there). Not bad for a sub-£60K Datsun...
The damp, cold conditions were good for power but not so good for traction, with even the GT-R struggling for grip around the bottom corner that feeds onto the main straight. But I was delighted to hit an
April 2009 15.798 300
Date acquired Total mileage Miloage this month Costs this nonth mpg this month evo.co.. 133
Perfect timing. There was less than a week between our G37S being fitted with winter tyres and the snow arriving. Probably for the best, too. Much as it was amusing the way the Infinities rear Bridgestones would spin up on wet roads as if they were attached to some 500-odd-bhp AMG Mercedes, I didn't fancy their chances at all on the white stuff.
Fortunately, Infiniti communications director Wayne Bruce had clearly been thinking along similar lines and had suggested we might like to try a set of Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D
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