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YOUR SAY

Greg Weston, email

GO AHEAD, TELL US WHAT YOU REALLY THINK

But please, keep it tight (no more than 200 words) and do include your suburb if via email: wheels@wheelsmag.com.au You can also have your say on Facebook (search for Wheels Australia), Instagram or Twitter

LETTER OF THE MONTH

‘I can’t help thinking that for road use, modern turbo engines are much more effective’ “

PORK TALK

YOUR STORY ON this comparison (911 Carrera vs Cayman GT4, Wheels June 2020) was fascinating for me because I was able to make a similar comparison. I drive a Cayman 718 S (manual), and was given a 992 for a day. Donna Buang seemed like a sensible drive, and the 911 excelled – totally unflappable no matter hard I pushed, and that PDK is genius for its ability to shift very aggressively as I went harder. I can’t imagine that any other car could be better.

Small weaknesses for me were that the steering has less feel than my 718, and I prefer the more understated interior of my car. There is actually not much in it, though. A later drive in my car reminded me that the performance is the same, the ultimate handling almost as good (not quite as much traction out of corners), and the manual gearbox is fun.

Anyway I did want to make a point, and ask a rhetorical question. I can’t help thinking that for road use, modern turbo engines are much more effective. There is so much torque at lower revs that it is just easier to get great performance.

The gearing on the GT4 is quite high, and this is coupled with relatively peaky torque and power. Of course track driving would be a different story….

Greg Weston, email

As much as we love atmo acoustics, there’s a lot to be said for turbo torque. Real world? We still think a 718 2.5 will keep up with a 4.0 GT4 

– Ed

RING OF APPROVAL

RECENTLY I HAD a ‘gearbox malfunction’ warning light come up on my 2014 Audi A3 sedan, which I promptly sought help from Audi Roadside Assistance who arranged to have a service technician attend. On inspecting the vehicle, the technician said best not to drive the car and have it towed to your Audi service dealer.

Subsequently the car was towed to Audi Parramatta, and the problem was identified as a component failure in the mechatronic unit of the DSG gearbox. The car had done 64,000km and had been exclusively serviced since new at Audi Parramatta. Although the car had been out of warranty for over 2 ½ years Audi Parramatta took the initiative of submitting a goodwill repair application to Audi Australia in consideration of the low mileage and being a valued customer.

I am pleased to say that Audi Australia and Audi Parramatta together met all the costs of replacing the unit in goodwill, which otherwise would have cost me thousands. Too often you just hear of bad experiences, but this one was an extremely heart-warming one and shows the shared value of finding a trusted Authorised Manufacture Service Centre and maintaining a long-term relationship

Robert Ius, Haberfield, NSW

Hat tip to Audi Parramatta 

– Ed

‘YONG AT HEART?

NOT THAT I’M in the market for either, and I appreciate good design is so much more than skin deep, but when I opened the August issue to page 28, I first noticed the Land Rover Disco Sport. Glancing quickly to its right, before noticing the badge on the grille, I wondered “why are they comparing the Disco to a SsangYong?” That’s a pretty bland and odd looking car. Bluff front, kink in the side window line, huge (fake?) black plastic framed air intakes in the front bumper. There’s honestly no redeeming feature to the look of the Mercedes-Benz GLB. It’s just as well it apparently drives so well, is finished nicely and has that techno-interior.

Rod Davies, Willetton, WA

We’ll readily admit that we weren’t initially sold on the GLB’s styling either, Rod, but there’s no doubt the vehicle has genuine substance

– Ed

“ WHY ARE THEY COMPARING A DISCO TO A SSANGYONG?

BALANCED DIET

I AM A long-term reader of Wheels and my subscription renewal arrived on the same day that I retired. Entering retirement during the COVID fiscal climate had motivated me to rethink our household budget, and Wheels was in the ‘?’ box. Two days later I received my August edition with the $640K Mercedes Black Series on the front. Great looking vehicle, but fed my perception that Wheels is featuring vehicles out of the normal reach.

I opted to research the August edition to check the cost of vehicles featured (some may suggest new retirees have too much time on their hands…). To keep it brief I found: one vehicle below $30k; six vehicles $30-50k; two vehicles $50-70k; eight vehicles $70-150k; two vehicles over $150k – 19 in all.

So, where did that leave me? The balance was much stronger than the perception. There are just lots of cars out of reach that I continue to dream about – others that may be possible. Oh, and the special Father’s Day renewal offer arrived with the August edition and I have renewed. Thanks Wheels for your “balanced” reporting across the motoring range.

Tony Willis, Corrimal, NSW

We do try to keep a mix in the mag of the attainable and the aspirational. We can’t claim to always get that balance right (especially as COVID makes testing hard), but I’m glad you proved that we’re trying 

– Ed

RIGHT HOOK

SHOULD WE follow the vast majority of the world’s right-drive population is doubtlessly a perceptive rhetorical question. Frankly, we might be forced to.

Does not having a car industry thanks to short-sighted and impulsive politics entitle us a god-given right to left-drive, while feting politicians with ambassadorial positions in the right-drive nations they goaded, forgoing technological advancement, skills and jobs?

Are we truly so small-minded and arrogant to demand the polar opposite to the global norm and then expect them to kowtow to our now insignificant and feeble childish whims and tantrums, while also demanding cheaper hi-tech vehicles and more choice?

As far as vehicles and driving side go, our rights will be automatically extinguished if others impulsively decide to cut production of left-drive vehicles.

The sooner we know our place in the world the more realistic will be our goals and rhetoric. Beggars can’t be choosers.

R Piech, email

BIG’S NOT BEST

I WAS RECENTLY perusing an old 2014 edition of Wheels and was marvelling at its 178-page chubbiness compared to the slimmer current edition. Then I started counting editorial pages. Yep, the 2014 was still ahead despite having tonnes more ads. Then I saw the price and started working an inflation calculator to come to the conclusion that Wheels is, in real terms, 60 cents more expensive today than it was six years ago. So why am I happy to pay more for less? One word: quality. The standard of writing, design and photography is leagues ahead now.

Perhaps tough times in print land really do spawn better magazines.

Gordon Compton, Bendigo, VIC

Cheers, Gordon. We adapt and grow, with the web now bringing in more eyes than Wheels has ever had 

– Ed

WIN!

LETTER OF THE MONTH PRIZE

What do you give the man who has everything? Penicillin. And a free subscription to Wheels. Onya, Greg!

The question

IS THE Z8 THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BMW EVER MADE?

FOR

Here I am saying that BMW has the styling nous of an accountant and this has just proved me wrong.

Steve Henderson

AGAINST

It looks nice but the bestlooking BMW ever? That title surely goes to the looker that is original 8 Series

S.A. Kilgour