We are extremely selective about the Aston Martins we sell. There are many on the market today but the secret is to find the right one, a car that has been cherished, loved and pampered. No expense should be spared on an Aston Martin so service history and low miles, consistently built up over the years is a must for a decent car. This simply stunning DB9 Volante ticks all boxes, the body work is stunning, no corrosion or rust, no blemishes or marks, just gleaming Onyx Black paintwork with an unmarked black interior. The car started its life in the well known Chelsea and England Captain John Terry's garage. Since then it has seen 3 other owners, the former being former CEO of a large Japanese car manufacturer. The car was stored in a heated garage, valeted after every use, and lived under its beautiful fleece lined Aston Martin cover with convertible hood protector. The car drives effortlessly, its V12 roars seductively with every blip of the throttle and when the hood is lowered the sound as well as the driving experience is simply sublime. We are fans of the Aston Martin Marque and have sold many over the years, however we are confident when we say this is the finest example we have come across. The car has had some extremely valuable upgrades, the older style sat nav has been professionally upgraded to a garmin touch screen unit, far superior quality and at a cost of nearly £ 2,000 together with the upgraded audio system and phone bluetooth prep and ipod connections the car does not lack creature comfort. If you are looking for a perfectly kept example then we would highly recommend viewing this DB9.
VW Scirocco R (DSG)
We like the sleek, unusual shape of the Scirocco—essentially, it’s a two-door “shooting brake” in the tradition of the Volvo 1800ES and Reliant Scimitar—the basic architecture of which is shared with the Golf, as well as the Audi A3, TT, and several other Volkswagen Group cars. VW fitted the 265-hp, direct-injected, 2.0-liter turbo four from the Audi S3 in the still-front-wheel-drive R model, which was inspired by the GT24 Nürburgring race car. “We could have made it even more powerful, but we wanted to achieve affordability,” says VW spokesman Martin Hube. In fact, the Scirocco R is the least expensive of the Volkswagen brand’s “R” models, which include the 270-hp, all-wheel-drive Golf R, as well as the European-market Passat R36 and Touareg R50. (The Seat Leon Cupra R, which is mechanically similar to the Scirocco R, undercuts the VW by about $5K in Europe.)
Some marketing types were concerned that customers would prefer a V-6 engine for cylinder-count bragging rights, but VW CEO Martin Winterkorn’s engine-downsizing strategy seems to be right on target. The Scirocco R’s turbo serves up 17 psi of boost, which makes available the engine’s 258 lb-ft of torque from 2500 to 5000 rpm. VW claims 62 mph comes in six seconds flat, and top speed is governed at 155 mph. The R gets an impressive 29 mpg in the combined European cycle with the available Direct Shift Gearbox. Stefan Ellrott, development chief at Volkswagen Individual, says he had the engineers tune the R’s soundtrack—“not too high-pitched, not too dark”—and the result is impressive. This four-banger sounds so sporty and powerful that we never wished for an extra couple of cylinders.
Although a six-speed manual transmission is standard, most buyers will opt for VW’s six-speed DSG automated manual. We’ve driven it in numerous VW and Audi vehicles, and despite being less fine-tuned than Porsche’s seven-speed PDK, it’s one of the best dual-clutch gearboxes available. We do, however, applaud VW for still offering a proper manual.
Front Drive = Less Weight
The front wheels cope with that much power and torque surprisingly well. Torque steer is minimal, and the R’s electronic front differential keeps the car from leaping into the shrubbery on corner exit without hindering steering accuracy. Of course, a rear-biased all-wheel-drive system would be more fun, but that adds weight, cost, and additional drivetrain losses.
The Scirocco R is claimed to be more than 200 pounds lighter than the all-wheel-drive Golf R. The Scirocco R’s chassis also is up to the task of taming the 2.0T’s power. The disc brakes—13.6 inches in front, 12.2 inches at the rear—are hefty and effective. The super-sensitive electromechanical power steering weights up nicely with a push of the sport button on the console and offers good feedback—there is little of the artificial feel often associated with electric power steering. The GTI’s flat-bottom steering wheel is a nice touch, too.
Eighteen-inch wheels are standard, but the 19-inch Talladega wheels wrapped in Bridgestone Potenza rubber look better and offer impressive grip. Other design cues that differentiate the R from lesser Sciroccos include oversize air intakes, LED daytime running lights, darkened taillights, wide rocker panels, and two chrome exhaust pipes framing a black diffuser. Also featured are angular but supportive sport seats and blue needles on the instrumentation—a trademark of VW’s R models—as well as brushed-aluminum trim and pedals and headrests embroidered with the “R” logo.
It’s the most brutal of the bunch, but it’s sure to bring many smiles to its driver’s face. It did to ours.
CAR AND DRIVER MAGAZINE
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