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IN THE ’50s and ’60s motoring magazines reviewed fast French supercars, the magnificent and ordinary British rides, tiny Italian cars and the occasional big brash American.
But the article I recall best from 55 years ago was the “Grey Fergy” Ferguson tractor review. Its tongue-in-cheek editors said it could go from standing start to maximum speed in about five seconds, had outstanding driver visibility and audible exhaust note.
The article was a great journalistic spoof that showed lateral thinking and that good journalism is an occupation safe from artificial intelligence. My point? The need for motoring titles to consider, as the manufacturers do, the range of users and uses, plus occasionally show that, yes, we writers also have a sense of humour and adventure.
Owners of small businesses who need carrying capacity for work, but also have a growing family and may not be able to afford two vehicles will benefit from reviews of the options available, so I applaud you doing so.
Russell King, via email
Russell, you might not be, but for our convenience we will assume you’re talking about our Ford Ranger Raptor versus SportsCat by HSV feature, which drew the ire of many a reader. Tractor comparo incoming.
If you are a good driver, you realise that when you travel at speeds above the posted limit, you are changing the warning time for other drivers. So, when a car pulls out in front of you, they haven’t expected to see someone going that fast and simply did not see you. With this knowledge, a good driver won’t blame the other driver and sit on the horn, waving madly.
Instead, you patiently wait for them to complete their overtake, and then off you go, all without the fuss of a bad driver, who will flash their lights, sit right on your bumper and wave madly to pull over like the right-hand lane belongs to them. The ‘good’ driver understands that their driving skills might be better than the average road user and that their car has better braking and handling than the other cars on the road. If not, then you are an idiot to speed.
I would love to buy a Porsche 911 GT2 RS… but sorry, it costs, how much?
Some simple arithmetic says that instead, for the same money, I could have an Alpine A110, BMW M2 Competition, Ford Mustang GT, Renault Megane RS280, Chevrolet Camaro 2SS, Hyundai i30 N and a shiny new Audi RS4 Avant along with $96,889 left over for rego, fuel and insurance! The Porsche is obviously the ducks guts but is it better than all combined? Hmm...
Rod Millard, via email
Err, yeah, we kind of agree. Which is why the GT2 RS scored lowest for value at Performance Car of the Year, by some margin. But it still won, which says something about its performance.
I really enjoyed the PCOTY article in the February 2019 edition. The Porsche really seems to be in a class of its own.
As the owner of a new Ford Mustang GT automatic I was surprised by the poor fuel consumption you recorded for the Mustang on test, 22.8L/100km!
I know for a performance car fuel economy is not of major importance but my car, which is identical in specification to the one you tested, has averaged 10.5L/100km for the first 2500km I’ve done. Being an old sports sedan racer I do drive the car hard when conditions allow. I spend a fair bit of time in Normal mode and change to Sport Plus or Race mode when I want to have a go.
I’m surprised by the average mileage I get and I can’t imagine how you drove the car during the test for it to average 22.8L/100km. Can you please let me know how many kilometres were done in the Mustang on test and an idea of what modes were used. I understand at the racetrack or dragstrip fuel consumption will be high, but I can’t imagine it being so bad on road.
Paul Neilson, via email
Yeah, you’re right Paul, we wouldn’t be comparing your fuel consumption to ours - the Mustang, and all the cars, were driven with very leaden foots for the duration of our testing, which was over about 270km. If it was a long-term test, for example, we’d be much closer to your 10.5L/100km.
WHAT DO WE HAVE HERE? A 2012 FPV GS. You don’t get the body kit the GT had. You also don’t get the same brake specification - it ‘only’ has the Ford high series brakes. Whereas the GT got four piston front Brembos, and the GT-P got six-piston front and four at the rear. Also the tune for the GS was 20kW less than the GT, so the figure was 315kW instead of 335kW. Otherwise the hardware in the engine is exactly the same.
MANUAL OR AUTO? I only ever buy manual cars. For me it’s part of the driving experience. Even when I’m reading MOTOR, and when you write “this car’s better with an auto”, I just disregard all that. It’s just a much more involving experience for people who like driving.
MODS? It’s got Bilstein shocks, the rear has King springs. A couple years after that work was done we changed the brakes to the GT-P spec Brembo brakes. I also did the Herrod tune. There’s no intercooler or new injectors, there was some slight thing that they changed, but the boost went from 4.5psi from the factory to 9.5psi. You drive away and it just really wants to pull. It’s very driveable, even when I take the kids to school in traffic!
PREVIOUS RIDE? Prior to this I had a BF FPV Typhoon from 2007 to 2012, so I’ve had that for about five years as well. It was a demonstrator and I always had niggling problems like the central locking as well as other bits and pieces. I was driving along one day and it just stopped. This one’s been really good. It seems a lot better when you’re inside it.
IS IT A FAMILY PASSION? Kids just get interested in the kind of stuff that you’re interested in. In many ways they’ve pushed my interest in new directions as well. My oldest has become interested in Supercars. Recently we can’t get enough of the Supercars. My youngest son loves exotic cars, so he’s looking at the new Lamborghinis and whatever it is.
In Melbourne (and Australia) you can see the most legendary cars. I’ve lived here for only four years and I’ve seen some things I thought I’d never see as long as I live. Just read my list so far: two McLaren F1s, a LaFerrari, a Porsche 918 Spyder, a Ford GT 2017, a McLaren Senna and even a LaFerrari Aperta!
And yet Melbourne, and Australia in general, aren’t regarded as one of the world’s best car spotting places? I think the reason is Australia is overshadowed by the United Arab Emirates, which has slightly better cars.
But still, as a car enthusiast who has been reading MOTOR for about five years, I think Australia should be noticed by people around the world not just because we have killer spiders, snakes and fish, but for being a great place for car enthusiasts.
Amon Aughey, via email
This is very true. Chapel Street should have an international reputation!
To Kenny who wrote in for the March issue. You said you’d be interested in what other readers thought about your problem with your V8 needing a diet. Here’s what I think - forget about giving us the details of your Audi RS5 that most readers couldn’t afford to either buy or run. After all, it is the ‘slowest car’ in your ‘collection’. Yes, we’re all aware of its beautiful engine, and how utterly simple it would be to reduce the weight, ditch the sound deadening, all-electric heavy seats... it’s not rocket science! We just don’t need to know how much money you’ve got!
Jonathon Dymond, via email
A well maintained 4.2-litre V8, 8T RS5 can be had for less than $50K these days. Even budgeting for increased running costs, repayments aren’t terrifying if you really wanted one.
On The Wires
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I found Dave Morley’s last piece on the Tickford’s supercharged Mustang, in your March 2019 issue, to be very honest. However, what I’d like to know is an opinion on the 400kW tune that Tickford also offers.
There isn’t much in the press or online apart from the dyno slip and racers’ opinions of what it won’t be able to achieve - or the fact that it’s a lot of cash for something that, in their opinion, simply isn’t possible.
Jeff Laycock, via email
All that aside I also find it unusual that these claims haven’t been investigated earlier. So what do you reckon?
For those playing at home, Tickford - not dissimilar to products from other tuners - claims a 61kW increase from the stock, manual GT’s 339kW, to 400kW, with software alone, for $2750. (Auto can only increase 36kW.) Pretty impressive, we agree, and we have requested one for a review.
Team, I’m a long-term reader and my collection on the shelf stretches back about eight years. What I find so unbelievable is the current times of so-called ‘super’ Mustangs (Black Magic, Tickford Mustang, March 2019), to be doing 13.15 second quarters in 2019.
That’s startling, considering so much money was spent on development and engineering. I have seen many other examples that just do not to seem to be keeping pace with other performance criteria. Back in the day we thought 11sec cars would be everywhere by now, if not flying cars! I love the magazine. Please stay away from so-called performance utes, not your style.
Daryl Harris, via email
Cheers, Daryl. Yes, Mustangs can be precious pets, it seems.