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Mr Paddle.Shift
01-04-2003, 09:40 PM
Hrm....so what happened at the show today?

Met the LA BMW CCA usual crowd at the reception: Howard, Scott & spouse, Andy, Raffi & gf, Kaz arrived later. Sorry guys that I didn't stay to hang around. How was the 10:30am reception?

And I met and spoke to Andreas Bovensiepen, family member of the Bovensiepen business (aka ALPINA GmbH). Exchanged a few words about ALPINA and about visiting Buchloe etc. Towards the end I suggested taking a picture together and Andreas was eager enough to recommend taking one at the ALPINA Roadster. And we did. :D

1. No ALPINA mini for sure.
2. No B3 S for US for a long while.
3. Next possible ALPINA model in the US is the B12 E65.
4. ALPINA engines are still built by hand from start to finish.
5. Each ALPINA engine has its own unique ECU software (I think I mentioned this somewhere).
6. ALPINA will increase its production capacity in years to come.
7. No, I still can't import the ALPINA wine from Buchloe due to customs restrictions. :cry:

On the BMW floor, there were 2 Z4s, 1 E65 (or was it two?)A few minis, ALPINA Roadster, X5 and a few E46s. It was the first time I sat in a Z4. In opinion, the interior is way too tight, even for my build. Howard tried it and I don't think he like it either. Also the Z4 windshield is way too steep and too low. When Howard sat in the Z4, his head is actually slightly higher than the edge of the windshield.

If I recall correctly, there weren't any M3s or M5s. Oh, and that much talked about 330i performance package. No, I didn't take any pictures of that model for several reasons. There are no siginificant physical differences that we enthuasiasts on the web haven't seen (M spoiler, alcantara interior blah blah blah). The engine looks the same as a M54, although more aggressive cams were used. Suspension height appears the same as the regular BMW E46 sport package. The muffler is the so called BMW Sport Muffler. Again, no big deal. And the package asks for a tag of $3900. Hrm....not feeling it. Hence no pics.

So BMW is not the only car manufacturer out there. I was very drawn to the new SAAB AERO *Sport* sedan. Believe it or not, it was presented in a colour very similar to Topaz Blue. And there I was about to melt until I sat in the driver's seat. Nah...this car cannot pass as a sport sedan. The steering wheel is equipped with middle-finger shifiting mechanism. And I am kidding about this. If you place your hands at the 9 and 3 position, the only way to reach the paddles are using your middle fingers. Very interesting concept from SAAB. :tsk:

There was a floor dedicated to Cars of James Bond, featuring cars from the latest movie and two Aston Martins from the Sean Connery days as a James Bond.

Perhaps the one vehicle that Lin and I kept mocking at is the Porsche Cayenne. What was Porsche thinking of when they produce this? While we were waiting in line to get into the driver's seat, we overheard a few people who compared it to a VW SUV and the rear looking similar to a X5. To me, Cayenne has the look of kermit the frog from Sesame Streets. Period.

A few other notable cars: Beetle Converitble, Mitsubishi Evo 7, Infiniti 350Z (oops, that's Nissan G35), the Brabus line of cars, Mazda RX 8, BMW Pontiac GTO , Maybach, Audi R8.

Mr Paddle.Shift
01-04-2003, 09:46 PM
The Frog is here to stay.

<img src="http://www.bimmerfest.com/members/VinceTopasBlau3/LA_autoshow2003/cayenne.jpg">

I kind of like this...

<img src="http://www.bimmerfest.com/members/VinceTopasBlau3/LA_autoshow2003/saab.jpg">

Someone in the crowd mentioned they were real missles.:eeps:

<img src="http://www.bimmerfest.com/members/VinceTopasBlau3/LA_autoshow2003/vanquish.jpg">

Here's the Infiniti 350Z I saw...

<img src="http://www.bimmerfest.com/members/VinceTopasBlau3/LA_autoshow2003/chrysler.jpg">

Mr Paddle.Shift
01-04-2003, 09:48 PM
<img src="http://www.bimmerfest.com/members/VinceTopasBlau3/LA_autoshow2003/brabus.jpg">

<img src="http://www.bimmerfest.com/members/VinceTopasBlau3/LA_autoshow2003/ferrari.jpg">

operknockity
01-04-2003, 10:00 PM
Nice write-up and pics :thumbup:
It was the first time I sat in a Z4. In opinion, the interior is way too tight, even for my build. Howard tried it and I don't think he like it either. Also the Z4 windshield is way too steep and too low. When Howard sat in the Z4, his head is actually slightly higher than the edge of the windshield.
It was a tight fit for me. I'm only 5 ft 8.5, but I could stand to lose the beer gut! But I didn't play with all the seat controls or readjust the tilt/telescope on the steering wheel. Given some more time with the controls I'm sure both of us would find the proper seat positions. And, yeah, the top of the windshield was right about the same height as the top of my head... Gonna have to play with one at a stealer to see just how much headroom I have with the top up.

and that much talked about 330i performance package.

It is supposed to have a short shifter, but Kaz, doeboy, and I all tried it out and it's the same as far as shift throw length as in our ordinary 3er's, it just has a different (eg shorter) shift knob. Ugh!
Maybach
Too bad they weren't letting folks get up close and personal with it. Would've loved to sit in it!

JakeC
01-05-2003, 02:58 AM
Originally posted by VinceTopasBlau3


Here's the Infiniti 350Z I saw...

<img src="http://www.bimmerfest.com/members/VinceTopasBlau3/LA_autoshow2003/chrysler.jpg">

That is Chrysler Crossfire.

Mr Paddle.Shift
01-05-2003, 09:16 AM
I was being sarcastic.


Originally posted by JakeC
That is Chrysler Crossfire.

The HACK
01-05-2003, 10:57 AM
Originally posted by Dave 330i
On the BMW floor, there were 2 Z4s, 1 E65 (or was it two?)A few minis, ALPINA Roadster, X5 and a few E46s. It was the first time I sat in a Z4. In opinion, the interior is way too tight, even for my build. Howard tried it and I don't think he like it either. Also the Z4 windshield is way too steep and too low. When Howard sat in the Z4, his head is actually slightly higher than the edge of the windshield.

Vince read my opinion about the Z4 in the Z4 forum. I can't agree with you more. I sat in it for the sake of BMW offers to give me their "$100" sunglasses.

I think the seating position and comfort of the Z4 must be compared to the Z3 and other roadsters...My old Z3 was very, very tight fit for me as well, but once you settled in and find a comfortable position, it's about as roomy as a compact sedan.

And yeah, my head used to stick out about an inch or two above the windshield as well. Fortunately the top bubbles up.

Kaz
01-05-2003, 01:55 PM
The recurring theme I seemed to see at the show this year (except at the BMW stand, oddly enough) was big-ass brakes with equally big-ass multi-piston calipers.

It seemed like every other new model was running 14" rotors with 6 or 8 piston calipers up front.

Mr Paddle.Shift
01-05-2003, 01:57 PM
Now that you mention the Z3...yup. :) There was a Z3 there too inside the reception area.

Overall, I still like the Z4. In fact, I just saw one today on the streets.

Originally posted by The HACK
I think the seating position and comfort of the Z4 must be compared to the Z3 and other roadsters...My old Z3 was very, very tight fit for me as well, but once you settled in and find a comfortable position, it's about as roomy as a compact sedan.

And yeah, my head used to stick out about an inch or two above the windshield as well. Fortunately the top bubbles up.

Mr Paddle.Shift
01-05-2003, 02:02 PM
I concur about the brake showcase. And I bet Brembo must be making quite a profit there. Despite which, BMW didn't even use a single big brake kit on all their models. Also another design thread is the one piece, "mashed together" center console for most Japanese models (350Z, Accord, Mazda 6 etc). And you can't miss the dials flanking down the trim too.

Oh, I found a platform where I stood between a G35 and 350Z. Interesting view.

And one more thing, when Howard and I were looking at the ALPINA roadster, some guy with viper mechanic shirt and friend looked on and said "Yup, this is the prototype that BMW is working on between a Z4 and Z8." Hrm.....

Originally posted by Kaz
The recurring theme I seemed to see at the show this year (except at the BMW stand, oddly enough) was big-ass brakes with equally big-ass multi-piston calipers.

It seemed like every other new model was running 14" rotors with 6 or 8 piston calipers up front.

Alex Baumann
01-05-2003, 02:50 PM
Excellent write-up, Vince. So, you met Andreas, eh ? Did he say anything about the performance of the upcoming B12 ?

BTW, here's Andreas in action :D

http://www.alpina.de/pics/galerie/historie/rennsport/a_bovensiepen_m3_600.jpg

Raffi
01-05-2003, 11:28 PM
Yup, the Cayenne is butt fugly. :tsk: :tsk:

Mr Paddle.Shift
01-06-2003, 12:30 AM
Hey, where have you been? Did you just find your way out of the show? :D

Originally posted by Raffi
Yup, the Cayenne is butt fugly. :tsk: :tsk:

Mr Paddle.Shift
01-06-2003, 12:32 AM
But of course, he drove that back in the 80s...and I should have asked him more about it. :banghead:

Nothing that ground-breaking about the B12. Something about testing it at Nurburing, and possibly be in the US as the next ALPINA model.


Originally posted by Alex Baumann
Excellent write-up, Vince. So, you met Andreas, eh ? Did he say anything about the performance of the upcoming B12 ?

BTW, here's Andreas in action :D

aardvark
01-06-2003, 01:32 AM
Originally posted by VinceTopasBlau3
Perhaps the one vehicle that Lin and I kept mocking at is the Porsche Cayenne. What was Porsche thinking of when they produce this? While we were waiting in line to get into the driver's seat, we overheard a few people who compared it to a VW SUV and the rear looking similar to a X5. To me, Cayenne has the look of kermit the frog from Sesame Streets. Period.

I agree. I'm almost tempted to predict that, years from now, analysts will point to the debut of the Cayenne as the point where the SUV trend reached its most ridiculous point (kind of like March 2000 for the stock market). Who knows, though? The lemming-like adoration of SUVs by the auto-buying public could make the Cayenne Porsche's best-selling model.

Did anyone else see the Cayenne TV spot that aired during the 49ers-Giants game today? It was genuinely sad to see Porsche hawking a vehicle with a comedy-style ad you'd expect from Honda or Saturn or something.