Chris Harris Drives… Best of Practical Performance: Tesla Model S, Nissan GT-R

Chris Harris Drives… Best of Practical Performance: Tesla Model S, Nissan GT-R


Right, so you’ve got a family, but the Nürburgring isn’t going to lap itself, is it? Fear not – here’s Harris at the wheel of some of the best practical performance cars from the past few years. Series 28: Geneva Online Motor Show: First Look: Want to watch a bit of on the internet? Welcome to the most comprehensive collection of official clips you’ll find on YouTube. Whether you’re searching for a caravan challenge, Ken Block in the Hoonicorn, cars versus fighter jets, Stig power laps or the latest Chris Harris Drives, you can find all the iconic films here.

the r35 Nissan GTR is now officially an old car but tell me it doesn’t still have presence power is now up to 565 horsepower thanks to revise the ignition timing and increased boost pressure outside there are lots of small aero tweaks that would use lift and I reckon attractiveness inside there are many many changes that help to negate the aging process but the GTR now feels old next to the latest German rivals but never underestimate these things they have a habit of always surprising you this one is also very very bronze and I quite like that have you ever tried driving a Nissan GTR slowly on the public highway it’s really really difficult because I don’t know many cars that egg you on quite like Godzilla it just wants to go fast the whole time this cart is now nearly eight years old the increases for 2017 model year are not that significant there’s a bit more power and I think one foot pound more talk it looks a bit different than it’s a little bit more effective and nicer looking inside but the big news is that they’ve softened the car off a bit so now the standard suspension mode is really quite supple and they’ve made the car much quieter inside a ski call it NVH that’s noise vibration and harshness and frankly whereas the old gt-r for me was a pain in the neck a car didn’t want to live with over long journeys this one is now really comfortable that’s right it’s a slightly soft GTR and I like that because I’m bit softer myself it’s all well and good driving the GTR up on these beautiful open Roman roads but really we need to take it to a circuit a skill it’s about for me the GTR has always been something of an enigma because people go on about its straight line performance that’s why it’s famous isn’t it take one chip it up give it a thousand horsepower on watch it do nought 200 in about four and a half seconds and it’s quite some party trick and it was the first of the modern generation of dual clutch transmission twin turbocharged stream sports cars this thing was munching 911 turbos back in 2007 2008 nearly nine years I first drove one of these amazing cars well this one’s now got 565 horsepower and a bit more torque and it had some aero tweaks and I think they’ve done something really great with the ride comfort as I said on the road it’s now a more usable and the MBH is better so it’s not battering your ears but on a circuit the enigmatic quality for me is that the chassis is so interesting this is a four-wheel-drive vehicle that’s so clever it’s trying to juggle torque to make you go fast and therefore it’s throwing it forwards and backwards and at times fighting the driver and I’ve always found it so enjoyable going into battle with the GTR brittle and now today it’s nice and slippery and instinctively I find myself being a Wally I don’t care about lap times what I care about is trying to put the thing into silly angles and seeing how it wants to respond where it wants to throw talk what I can do to work with it sometimes work against it and the whole philosophy of the GTR is so completely crazy I once sat through a lecture given by mizuno-san the father of this big Lou himself ready bonkers chat like somebody crazy ideas about vehicle dynamics attributes and what mattered for example he wanted mass the fact this thing weighs about as much for the moon is no accident he felt that mass gave him traction because it helped drive the ties into the road service and the one thing this car is not lacking its traction on the road it’s amazing and of course the differentials and the way that they set the chassis up mean that it hides its mass very well on circuit it shouldn’t be able to do the things it does somebody weighs about as much the 5 Series BMW a huge vehicle yet it feels so agile isn’t this fast steering but I just love dropping about I really do so let’s go to a corner and see what happens give it a gas can that it’s just rear wheel drive almost and then I touch the throttle it drives it straight here we go is an example so big throttle big steering no gas straighten up the moment I hit the throttle pedal it just goes then you get this incredible sensation of the prow rising and those sticky Dunlop’s pulling performance out of what is a damp surface in a way I think no other car can match and then there’s the sound it’s got this really distinctive sound from inside and outside a sort of rushing of air like it’s it’s doing something it’s almost changing the molecular structure of the air that’s coming into it it makes it’s incredible deeply deeply carriage of a vehicle as well at times people have accused us of being a bit Japanese a bit sort of anodyne and boring and lacking personality I can’t think of any car that has more personality at idle it clicks and clacks and when you engage drive from stationary it makes all sorts of weird noises and it purrs and hisses and buzzes and I just love it I can’t believe it’s so old actually of course you can drive it in a straight fashion as well at which point you’ll just be amazed the level of grip that it can pull this new slightly softer suspension I think helps because it gives it a bit more wrong I’ve willing to Maya gets the chance to work on the bumps better but the braking progress is fantastic the engine just keeps pulling a bit angular at the top end now than it used to be and it’s still making a fantastic knowledge it’s a really really fast car I mean you can mash this thing against all your latest metal and if you still be there or there about normally at this point we take all this gubbins out the on-board camera we’ve recorded that and then I go out and we try and slide around the corners to get the exterior shots but match what I’m saying inside the car but but the GTR such a challenge that I want to leave this running today so you can see the process of trying to make it work but it’s to be honest with you I don’t know what’s going to happen I could tip into the into the corner the first time in third gear at 70 80 miles an hour and it might just understeer straight on or I might get it just right and it might just oversteer what we want is a Lomas dish so we do a couple of straight passes obviously but trying to agitate the car don’t know whether it will try and straighten itself up too quickly that’s what I love about it some people find it frustrating but I really don’t know what it’s going to do and you have to kind of respond quickly if you get this doing input wrong when it goes then then you have to phone in this town and go sorry okay this is the first part of lab now we’ve got two third fourth year long linger for the picture in now please just understand there and amen it’s gonna be quite big over there so next time around I probably take some speed off add a bit more steering angle going in and be more brutal on that weight transfer like on a background of the because the GTRs foil drive Stasi will give you a power oversteer and it will give you a lift off oversteer as well to give you both which is more common novel was very rare in the dark a man let’s go in a bit back off there she goes straighten up and it went again so I want that consistent slide I got it to go I said it’s got a bit drier than the last few minutes know what I need to do is when we carry a bit more speed and then we can get that nice consistent slide that will give you the all the way through shot that we look for speed is your friend when it comes rolling go there she goes there she goes Bank power look about all through I’m coming in about 75 leaving at 90 miles an hour and a dry track on the exit I love my car so alive have a look at that have a look at that from the outside and see what it looks like it’ll look fantastic because there’s leaves and slippery nursin and there’s dry on the exit didn’t need me jabbering just need to look at single slow-mo of a car I have never before shot a film on a Tesla Model S but today I have the quick one the P 100 D and suddenly more analogue to drag it against I’m sitting in a Tesla Model S for the first time a long long time actually I’ve only ever done one of these before I’ve slightly chosen to ignore the whole Tesla thing because it scares me and I’m not very much into them but we have a P 100 D today because everyone’s been telling me that I have to drive one it’s amazing it’s so fast so we’re here at Bruntingthorpe to go fast I have no idea how it works so just off camera it is my boss Charles Turner who is going to tell me how to turn it on Charles away you go press the controls button controls button there we go okay the first thing we need to do is wow that yeah it’s good condition the battery so if you press under ludicrous mode max battery power button Ludacris made Ludacris made is up there underneath it press that yep I’m going my exposure max battery power yeah so that’s done get rid of that yeah the next thing you need to do is to activate the Ludacris plus Easter Egg you need to hold down the Ludacris icon in the drive settings for five seconds and select yes bring it on what press Ludacris or five seconds right now what it should do some yeah so I’ve got a Lightspeed it looks a like the Millennium Falcon go into light speed it says here are you sure you want to push the limits this will cause accelerated wear of the motor gearbox and battery I’m offered no I want my mummy mo double my or yes bring it on yes bring it on it’s heating and it’s it’s estimating it’s ten minutes for it to heat right simple then yeah it’s not the kind of thing you just activate that in Battersea in the traffic lights is it no no let’s go have a drag race what would you drag race it against I drag race it against an icon of modern day performance that doesn’t necessarily want to go that fast in a straight line of its own accord other words require some driver input they didn’t gentlemen I give you the 911 are oh my lord okay zero to 100 mile an hour challenge is over and the 911 is absolutely roasted I’m sorry I couldn’t talk without genuinely the first time I’ve done that Wow it explodes off the line I mean it’s and I can see why people are so addicted to it oh that’s great fun okay I’m being slightly quiet and contemplative because I’ve not experienced that sort of acceleration in a saloon car shape before but my criticism of the Tesla Model S and its performers variance is that I think they’re one-trick ponies and I also think that acceleration in the modern era is about more than just going from zero to 100 I want to know whether this thing is fast from zero to 150 it’s absurd right so can he get the head for 150 mile-an-hour challenge that’s 110 and he’s pegged me now he’s paying me a hundred and twenty he’s coming back at me 130 is coming back at me 140 he’s coming back at me 150 miles an hour and it’s beating the 911 ours 450 I didn’t expect that slight change of plan here which Neil won’t like I want to drive the 911 because I’ve got this all feeling I can make it I can make it get a bit closer and I want to see what this thing looks like from the other car I want to see what a you know a two tongues 14 car doing nought to 60 in two point seven seconds looks like wow so Charles has had to go and cool the battery down it seems have a very narrow operator window it’s are the two hearts who called I had an auntie like that once never quite get the temperature right there is always too hot or too cold give me glass of water dear okay there’s some water to cool down oh I’m gonna blanket have you that’s the Tesla Model S like my auntie okay so here we go zero to 150 miles an hour look at it go so nothing hundred one hundred and ten I’m catching him hundred and twenty I got you yeah 117 he can’t do that so it is just a 0 ton 20 mile-an-hour machine that’s what it is he absolutely nails it to 120 but then yeah the good old internal combustion engine comes good very impressive daily impressive you know walk by both cars little green in that now keeping petrol power alive you gotta say though this thing is so impressive I rest my case people in the car and they make noises when it accelerates because it’s unusually fast we’ve done the drag racing and we proved that it’s really fast 120 we kind of already knew that because the internet is alive with drag racing videos of these things munching hyper cars and super cars from rest 120 what I want to know is it any good on the road the rides not bad but I’ve got a bit of vertical movement that I wasn’t expecting so it gets itself quite airborne this is a bumpy road though there’s a little bit of noise in the cabin this is the other thing in not having engine and transmission noise if you hear a little creek or something from the – you really notice it 130,000 pounds for this model this is the mack daddy this is everything so this is all the performance and all the range doesn’t feel like that inside here at all the big screen is most impressive you’ll see it in a minute I’ll put my hand over it it is double the size of anything I’ve ever seen in another car before it’s very much next-gen so I can see the autopilot thing spotting me exactly on the road it’s got the two cars in front of me position perfectly knows it knows what’s going on I get the feeling it knows things about me that I don’t want it to know like it knows some of the bad things I did it perhaps it’s the regenerative braking that’s the most obvious thing and it leaves you out of sync with other traffic because when you back off it regens and gives you a lot of automatic braking without touching the brake pedal so when you go to break all the other cars Coast like a normal car Coast’s but this thing stops faster so you have to sort of cover the throttle a bit like you’re driving an automatic in traffic I quite like the sparseness at this speed it is incredibly quiet I mean it’s quieter than an s-class in town I can completely see what people love these things because for the traffic like Grand Prix it’s unbeatable and I suppose the lack of noise is is appealing in that respect and all of this is so cipher I sort of wonder why the exterior looks so conventional sort of like at two or three box hatchback when they had the chance to redesign everything because they don’t have the constraints of a transmission tunnel do they or a normal engine 130 thousand pounds but you don’t have to put fossil juice in it but how much do you spend on fossil juice and how much of this thing depreciate those are the numbers I really want to know let’s pull out of a t-junction just pull off foot down dear Lord that was fifty miles an hour at that time I can see that people become quite addicted to that that sort of immediate step off acceleration because it’s uncanny the things heavy really heavy and that in combination with four-wheel drive and just being pushed into the ground by that mass I think what people like me want to know is is it actually any good to drive well it’s nothing fast the steering doesn’t really have any great life to it but I can place it and that weight does give it a sort of sure-footed feel on the road it just feels squished into the tarmac that’s riding pretty well it’s quite a bumpy road okay I’m impressed footing controls pretty good it doesn’t need to go much faster than I’m going now brakes it doesn’t like stopping repeatedly from very high speed but at these sort of speeds and you can sort of throw it in okay yeah I’m quite impressed by this do I mind that it doesn’t have an internal combustion engine not really for doing this because the cars that I enjoy the most that are in this class you know sort of five seven series sized car well engineers have spent the last 30 years trying to mate the powertrain as quiet as possible and this beats them all because it’s not making any noise but in that time my range has gone from 170 to 150 so I think we’re gonna have a little charge have a bit more thinking about this very very clever machine this is the flagship Tesla Model S I means all the power and all the range because 130,000 pounds in Tesla claims zero to 60 in wait for it two point four seconds yes two point four seconds it weighs 2,000 240 kilograms has a claimed range of 381 miles but not to be useful of that performance top speed is 155 miles an hour the power is rated as the equipment of 603 horsepower talk 713 pounds per feet technically it’s so clever it really does make the brain hurt yet it somehow doesn’t feel like an expensive car the cabin is completely dull just an old Merc switch gear a couple of screens and some cheap leather so this is a windy piece of road and I have no idea what it we like that this is technical as well this has been the undoing of a few quite good cars so I’m fascinated to know what it’s like I mean the speed is without any question at all so we’re through the full go through the full travel of the damper a couple times not too bad it’s got an all thought of compression damping in it you can feel it so it gets airborne and then it controls the movement very quickly almost too quickly and it feels like if it had a second input at that point it might just give up because the dampers still dealing with the previous bump but you can go really fast in this and it doesn’t it doesn’t fall apart it’s not a shambles I feared it might be but it really isn’t but if you like going very very fast from zero to under 20 miles an hour where you’re allowed there aren’t many cars that can do what this can do but why is it it doesn’t really like my phew I don’t get excited about it I admire what it can do but it sort of stays there the surprise of the package is how good it is on the road there’s something unnatural about the way that it takes these bumps so it it leaves you with quite a porpoising motion and there are two guys in the car with me now one recording sound and Nilo in the front and both of them feel quite ill from the motion and you know what I don’t feel too brilliant either brutally effective thing brutally quite brutal on one’s tummy as well when we stop these two are going to be sick the Honda Civic type-r the Yabba SHhhh one can you believe I just made a new one it didn’t think the old one was very old but now there’s more power more sophisticated with suspension and even more offensive styling but what I want to know is if this signals the return of the Honda will loves and lost so I thought we’d take a trip down memory lane at 8,000 rpm the 2001 Civic type-r is the fellow racing car independence mention both ends a 1998 twin cam normally aspirated four-cylinder motor with trim horsepower a 12 70 kilogram curb weight it was designed to be thrashed and boy were they thrashed the big change for the 2017 type are you can’t even see it’s the great suspension it’s now fully independent like it always should have been on the previous model it now has 320 horsepower and 295 foot-pounds of torque which is way down on an audi rs3 but in the Honda weighs just thirteen hundred and eighty kilograms because the interior is made of eggshells and it’s only two wheel drive first up an old car so cast your mind back to 2001 secretly what was going on well Big Brother was rubbish and Honda just weak Civic with a high power version which frankly rewrote the hot hatch book here was a car with 200 horsepower for an engine that revved to 8,000 RPM or there abouts only have 200 horsepower but 142 foot-pounds of torque and you had to ring it by the neck to make it deliver but when it did you had one of the best gearboxes of any production car and I’m in one now and I tell you what modern hot hatches can learn a lot from this thing to start with it feels like a hatchback to me it’s small baby disposable the plastics are hard it feels cheap and it wasn’t the money’s been spent on the suspension the engine and the gearbox this thing is joyous it still feels very quick it still feels very lively small compact and when you get it above 6,000 rpm into the VTEC Wow Wow and it’s just so immediate I’m sitting too high the dashboard is complete crud I mean it is exactly what my generation thought hot hatchbacks should be what’s quite important for me as well as that this car was affordable it was a stretch but if you were 23 24 you were graduate money you could afford to buy this I’m not entirely sure you could buy the new car at whatever it’s 35 grand when SPECT but this thing it just reminds you of the company Honda used to be on the one hand it’s great to remember the heyday of Honda engineering I mean this is a car but had effectively a racing engine in it with a race transmission fully independent rear suspension and you could just buy it instead of a golf GTI but it was so much more specialized so much better to drive but then of course they went down a different route they took away the independent rear end and they gave it a beam they kind of took the Mickey the replacement – this car was nothing like as good this one is spectacularly good if I could sum 43,000 miles this example it feels fresh as you like the steering is good the throttle response is exceptional it’s not too fast it’s very skittish you have to say and this is where I have to probably eat some humble pie I’m not entirely certain I noticed it’s got an independent rear end because the back is so skipping it lively it might as well be a beam maybe this one needs a bit of a bit of tuning and some new bushes as new dampers but I surprised that how lovely the back end feels but the whole thing is immediate look and things like look at the gap between the gear leaver and the steering with tiny you just always felt that you’re ready to grab another gear because in this thing you row it like crazy and it doesn’t actually go that fast well against contemporary hot hatchbacks it’s very fast compared to these modern turbo nutters well it’s 120 horsepower down isn’t it but it doesn’t matter as a driving experience this thing is super young shirt very very enjoyable what an engine nearly 8000 rpm reliably so and of course you have to take it out too late so that when you change gear you drop back into the VTEC you don’t drop out of the VTEC it is too car driving what riding a two-stroke motorcycle is so motorcycles you need got to stay on it to enjoy it when you’re out of the VTEC the personality change of the car is remarkable you just think of Lumina quite a slow rather gutless noisy hot hatch that doesn’t appear to have any ride comfort but the moment you get up it bang what a thing driving position is way too high steering can’t be adjusted for reaches just on a sort of a rake adjustment which is fairly hopeless you do feel that you’re sitting in a kind of Renault scénic but otherwise I don’t know whether this serves to remind us how great Honda was or how Robi it might have become anyhow I’m told reliably that this new Civic type-r is banging great so let’s jump in that and see if we can find any common DNA and to discover whether Honda has um yeah rediscovered it’s better days so the new Civic type-r does have an independent rear end hold on right there and we’re going to differently bit naughty young Tim out of the world clap Rhonda because you’re back to your best in that respect this car feels very sophisticated but my oh my am i finding this thing complicated and conflicting as well because there’s so much that’s right about this car but essentially it feels as if they just made a couple of extra tweaks or some slightly different decisions they would have absolutely nailed it as it is I think it probably is filed under the flawed genius section let’s start with the engine only what 10 horsepower up on the old version but a mega engine because it’s supercharged but also has the variable valve timing so it wants to rev talk down low power up high it’s fantastic doesn’t sound that great that I’m with the third exit on the tailpipe I thought we’re gonna go more whooshing and wheeshing and popping and popping there isn’t really much the steering well obviously there’s three different settings here there’s a normal setting called comfort than there’s sport and there’s race in comfort it’s light it’s electric obviously like everything else these days in sport gets heavy and race gets heavier still but off-center in comfort mode it is quite indistinct in front of where you are actually so you want it in the sport mode to have a sense of where you’re on the road and it gets very complicated at this point because the DNA button for one for a better phrase that the switch here that gives you comfort Sport and race doesn’t allow you to select which one of the options you want per area so you can’t have light steering heavy dampers or stiff dampers and then a aggressive powertrain you have to stay within the parameters they’ve set and I think that’s a huge mistake because to me I want my suspension in comfort I want my steering in sport I want my engine gearbox in race but I can’t do that so I’m either stuck in comfort which is actually as I Drive the car because I want a suspension supple but then I have steering that’s just a bit too light and indistinct and the engine just feels a little bit flat I don’t know why they don’t have the ability to have a sort of choose your own button like the Germans call it individual don’t they where you get your own choices it’s a real shame I think if you want to feel the DNA link between this car and the ep-3 is the gear shift in terms of the shift quality short precise just feels right and then the clutch is just bang on as well it the moment you get in the car you shift you feel like a good driver because it’s just so well matched so not being able to separate out the choice of steering weight of suspension stiffness and throttle aggressiveness let’s say I think it’s a massive mistake because it means you’re stuck in a particular personality of car but having said that the suspension in comfort mode is fantastic for UK roads it just feels so plush and I can’t believe I’m saying this it doesn’t need to be four-wheel drive this car it has so much traction 245 section Conte’s all-round that you’d never even think about traction and the diff that locking differentials so clever I’ve got no wheel fight and talks do you might call it it just stays in the middle of the road even I’m quite heavily crown stuff it doesn’t sniff out those cameras and throw you across the road it’s just really really impressive but here’s the thing well it’s two things really number one I think this car looks absurd I know it’s not my job to study how things look but to me this thing does look faintly ridiculous it looks like it appeals to young people lacking taste but it’s got a sticker price up well north of 30,000 pounds that he’s clearly unattainable so what’s it doing who is it aimed at because the type of person that can afford spend 35 grand on a hot hatch I don’t think wants to be seen in something quite as Larry as this the other aspect is the dynamics I think everything that this car does it probably does slightly better than a Golf R I think it’s more sophisticated in terms dispenser I think the engines better the gearbox is better this is a boost the engine to 3000 rpm Bristow’s local pulls immediately and then just keeps going all the way so what 7000rpm I think it’s the best engine in a hot hatchback I love the chassis playfulness with it as well I know we’re on the public highway but if you want to make this thing move around you really can but that engine cool how does it get all the power onto the road bumpy road this no talk fight yeah the art of front-wheel-drive has become really really clever hasn’t it one wonders whether the Focus RS actually needs to be four-wheel drive because I think this card’s more fun and it’s two-wheel drive but is its dynamic advantage over a goal far enough to overcome this cabin which I’ll come to in a second and those exterior looks I don’t think so I think it just is too much of an eyeful and the cabin blimey well first of all the seat is superb and it’s set low well done Honda the rest of this stuff I have to say is fairly baffling to start with very little can be done on the fly you can’t hook your phone up on the fly you can’t engage or disengage the auto blip which is very good for the manual gearbox everything else we’ve done when you stop baffling this screen here I’ve had a 5-10 minute play don’t really know why I’m at it is illogical at best but I’m sure if you live with it you’ll get used to it I have to give them that space I do like the boost gauge on the big central readout as well but all-in-all this is an eyeful in here and it’s like the exterior of the car to me it’s aimed at someone between the age of 18 and 24 and I know the Instagram generation is well heeled these days but I don’t know how many of them can afford to buy one of these things but I have to applaud Honda getting back in the hot hatch game in a fearless way this is a top car and if you like your hot hatches to drive well this has got to be right up there on the list but I will say it’s a big car hot hatches have become very very big this thing could easily be an accord this is the Italian m3 alphas answer to AMG and boy does it need to be good because the world needs great Italian cars and this is surely alphas last real chance so into its voluptuous four-door saloon body Alfa has dropped a thumping 512 horsepower twin turbocharged 2.9 liter v6 peak torque is 443 foot-pounds kerb weight is fifteen hundred and twenty four kilograms thanks to expensive bits like carbon pop shaft and bonnet the carrot rear-wheel drive and only the 8-speed ZF automatic is coming to the UK the test car was a manual don’t ask and was fitted with optional carbon ceramic brakes please please let it not be another full storm rubbish Alfa and the news is very very good indeed on the road this is a more comfortable car than the m3 it’s got some adaptive dampers here and you could put them into a soft mode which is independent of the kind of powertrain DNA so you can have a lot of loud exhaust and all that stuff but you can still slacken the dampers off and like that this car has an advantage over the BMW and I’m really pleased they’ve done that it also feels like it’s got more rubber in the suspension so tyre and suspension noises it’s quieter than it isn’t the BMW 2 this is quite a refined car for long miles it’ll be a good thing to be inside this manual gearbox I’m not so sure about that shift college is a bit rubbery clutch pedal and movements not the best I thought I’d love the manual the fact that we’re not going to get it doesn’t worry me at all in the UK that is and the cabin well it’s a pretty good place to sit actually I’m comfortable the seat it’s good and low this is the optional carbon see the driving position is excellent you can make up your minds but it looks good or not I think it looks great it feels Italian ok some of the materials are not quite as good as they are on the m3 but you know what if you buy a car based on that you’re nuts anyway so as a road car I think this thing is genuine and be good for long journeys but it also has 500 horsepower it’s a bit too much to exploit on the public highway so I’m gonna go somewhere and let it kind of show what it can do we are at a circuit which is both a good thing and a bad thing because this is a beautiful facility to use but it’s also the home of Alfa Romeo their test track Polacco and it won’t come as any surprise for you to realize that if the Giulia Quadrifoglio is going to work anywhere it’s going to work here because it was developed here what do we think first of all this engine really excited I think in terms of a turbocharged motor that really goes at the top and this might be the best one I’ve ever driven this is a seriously fast car I reckon it’s 10% quicker than an m3 but what it doesn’t do is get going from low down in quite the same way as the m3 the torque peak is higher but then it’s more exciting at the top end so actually it probably is more exciting motor but it doesn’t have that CrazyTalk low down if I sometimes you feel yourself saying come on get going also the calibration I talked about on the road that’s a bit fluffy well it doesn’t matter so much on the circuit cuz you’re up it and going what about this chassis well first of all can we just stop and celebrate the fact that I’m driving a rear-wheel drive 500 horsepower Alfa Romeo I didn’t think I’ve ever played so I’m just so happy but my mother let it cloud my objectivity what have we got here well this is supposed to be lighter than an m3 but it feels bigger and bolder than an m3 so that’s not necessarily a good thing it’s on a sticky Corsa tire have second gear yeah the front of the car is great a little bit of understeer washout but you can neutralize that with the throttle because it’s got so much torque is it really kind of slider ball well let’s see yes it really is it’s got ample talk leave a lot I don’t feel a great sense of connection in the car I was doing everything else that gets in the way of that and I do feel more connected in an m3 so where are we I think we’ve got a shot see that can play comfortable on the road and super playful on the track which is just you want brakes massive ceramic things so yeah they’re pretty damn good brake pedal feel pretty good again the whole thing’s a little bit inert but that’s we expect of quite a big saloon car engine revs out beautifully it really does there are a couple of things worth noting the variable differential the calibration about the way it works with the engines talk I don’t think it’s quite as slick as you have in either the Mercedes c63 or the m3 I suppose having Bunbury will drive for about 20 or 30 years so they’ve got to start somewhere haven’t they okay I’ve got the dampers and the stiffest setting now and what it is revealing is that the rear axle location maybe isn’t quite up to the BMW either I’ve got occasionally just feel that it’s got a bit of rubber in a sub mount or something that’s not fully connected there but I mean come on it’s an Alfa we can do that just by an alpha the letting go of the back axle at a hundred and sixty case all is well with the world criticisms well the ESP system means that you can turn it off when you go into the full race mode which gives you the noisy engine and crispiest throttle response but if you trigger the ABS when you’ve got that switched off it brings some intervention back in which means that transitions are a problem I know that’s going to be a massive concern for all people that buy these cars when they’re driving them through Fulham but it’s also worth noting for example that doesn’t happen in some of the German brands I think you know what I’m getting at here if you look at every single discipline of performance most of them the BMW and the Mercedes do a little bit better you ask me but it’s tiny degrees where the alpha counters it’s got this ride comfort of the BMW can’t match I think that’s a big thing on the road you add them all up it just pisses happy inserts of little areas yes the end is better the top end but I think the noise of this at low revs is a bit of a letdown it’s great when you get up it so is it as good as an m3 objectively no I don’t think it is but it’s not a million miles off and it looks fantastic I know it’s subjective and it’s out for a mayor it’s a lovely combination and I think however many they bring into the UK does that all of them I think it’ll be a success I just think it’s the car that people want to drive so it’s a great effort a really really great effort did we really expect them to turn out and beat the best in the class straight out no we did so well done you guys I like this car I like Bellanca I’m gonna have an espresso pretend I’m Italian you

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