Daniel, Peter and all at PMW, Where do I start? I guess I’ll tell the whole story! At 31 years old and on my fifth BMW I can’t believe it has taken me so long to find you! Having been messed around previously by a major BMW dealership I knew it was time to consider other options. I was introduced to your firm by a friend that owns an E90 M3 and was impressed by your service. In the same week, another friend recommended you. Two recommendations in one week, it had to be a sign. Both could not speak highly enough of your attitude, professionalism and end product. Time to call!…………… I originally spoke to Jayne who was warm, friendly and personable. I was passed to Peter and immediately knew that my car was going to PMW and nowhere else. Car rental was arranged and so when I dropped the car off, I had a car to drive away with and with minimum fuss. Having been dealing with main dealerships for so long, I predicted a call either at the end of the first day it was in the garage or the next morning. So, it came as a surprise to hear from Peter whilst I was driving home, some 30 minutes to an hour after I had dropped the car off. Peter knew there were things I personally wanted to do to the car, but suggested we prioritise works in order to mitigate the total costs. Hang on a second… A car garage worrying about MY money? This was getting too good to be true, surely. By the end of the first day, Peter had pointed out issues which he felt needed attention and we agreed to start works, costs were made clear before a spanner had been picked up. Whilst in the garage, I never had to call to find out what stage the repairs were at, I was always called and kept updated. Again, in stark contrast to my usual dealings with BMW dealerships. I picked my car up a few days later and Peter asked if I wanted to drive the car with him. I was just amazed that he was willing to take 5 minutes out of his day to make sure I was satisfied. Every garage should do it, but it really made it clear to me that PMW care about their clients. They care about their reputation and it shows in everything they do. The car was a dream, it just drove beautifully. A few days after the service, I booked the car into a BMW dealership to get the alloys re-furbed and a dent taken out. Having just been serviced by PWM, I only wanted aesthetic work done. So it came as a surprise when they called me (a day later!) to say the diff seals and gearbox seals needed replacing. Alarm bells ringing. Firstly, why are they checking mechanics when I didn’t ask for this, and secondly did PMW not do this work? I called Peter and he confirmed the seals were changed so back on the phone to BMW. I asked the BMW dealership what gave them the impression this work needed doing and they pointed to oil residue. I asked them if they had actually checked the seals and they hadn’t. After inspecting again, they (BMW) admitted the work had already been done and that they would have charged me for work that already been carried out. What a f******g liberty. I asked BMW not to look at my car anymore and to carry out the works I originally asked them to do. I have lost all faith in them, they really should be taking a leaf out of PMW’s book. The car was in the garage for three days for this work and I was called twice. Owning a business myself, my feelings are that any business shows it true colours when things go wrong, not when they are going smoothly. This leads to chapter two!………. Two weeks later, the car came up with a transmission fault whilst my wife was driving home. Straight on the phone to Daniel. Daniel agreed a tow would be best so as not to cause anymore issues and said he would arrange this immediately. He called me back within 15 minutes and the car was collected within the hour. Unbelievably efficient.The fault was found that day; a faulty pin in the transmission electrical plug. No bullshit, no messing around. An apology and the problem fixed within 24 hours. The entire situation was dealt with perfectly.I really cannot sing your praises enough PMW. I can only try to put into words how impressed I am and have been with your service, communication and the overall experience. Even my wife smiles like a Cheshire cat now and has asked me not to change cars as I usually do every 12 months. My Wife! Someone who just does not care about cars. So, not only have you made my car drive like a dream and made me the happiest car owner in London but you’ve also managed to make the wife happy as well, that deserves a bonus point.All my staff are bringing their cars to you (as you know). If I meet anyone in the street that owns a BMW, will be sending them you way, PMW are just on a different level. You are in a league of your own.Genuinely, keep up the amazing work Guys & thank you very , very much for everything. My car will not be going anywhere else in future, even if I moved abroad!Though I guess that’ll be a good excuse for a long drive?
Hi just wanted to leave some feedback to say thanks for dealing with my request
for swirl flap blanks so quickly. I ordered these at 12pm and they were with me
in the Western Isles before 11am the next morning! I needed to ask for some
advice when putting everything back together which I was given immediately over
the phone. All in all, a fantastic company which offered a customer service
level that was second to none!
After a bodged repair by a local London garage to my swirl flaps and deep concerns about my 2001 BMW 530D Touring I consulted Peter from pmwltd about the condition of my car. My regular mechanic whom I have known for 20 years simply took out my swirl flaps and replaced the shafts with bolts. This at some time later, only (900 miles) caused an ingestion into the chamber and ruined my piston and valves and looked like a very time consuming and costly repair. After completion I took my car to peter at pmw and discussed the works. He had his guys strip out the existing bolts that were very unprofessional and replaced with his swirl flap blanking plates. Now I have heard a lot about these plates and swirl flap damage and I can tell you as an ex AA Patrol man that if not done correctly as Peter has done you will cause serious damage to your beloved engine. This is a guy with a great team and a wealth of knowledge behind them who know their stuff, not your usual bit mechanic who ”
knows a bit about engines”. I drove down from Lewisham London to his workshops in Chelmsford and it only took an hour and was easy to get to. If I was you I would call them for your piece of mind because you know like I do that you don’t want just anyone tinkering with your pride and joy. Its worth the drive knowing your car is in safe and knowledgeable hands at pmw. He,s not a rip off either, he is a very reasonable honest mechanic and cheaper than the main dealers out there. Thanks peter.
XM , the US’s leading provider of satellite radio, today announced that its award-winning XM NavTraffic service will be available as a factory-installed feature on the new 2009 Porsche Cayenne. XM radio’s more than 170 channels of coast-to-coast entertainment has been available as a factory-installed feature for Cayenne models since 2005.
XM is the exclusive satellite radio provider to Porsche.
XM also recently announced that XM radio and XM NavTraffic will also be available as factory-installed features on all 2009 Porsche 911 models.
Powered by NAVTEQ, XM NavTraffic is the nation’s leading real-time traffic service, ensuing that drivers have the most current and most detailed traffic and incident information at their fingertips, whether they’re commuting or traveling. XM NavTraffic is available in 80 major North American markets.
“Porsche is a brand known for its exceptional performance and technology,” said Joe Verbrugge, senior vice president, automotive partnerships and international operations, XM Satellite Radio. “XM is pleased to expand our powerful, award-winning XM NavTraffic technology to all new 2009 Porsche Cayenne models.”
“XM Satellite Radio and the optional XM NavTraffic is a feature that Porsche customers asked for to help them navigate through our country’s major cities. We are extremely pleased to offer this technology with the new Porsche Communication System 3.0 available on all 2009 Cayennes, standard on the Cayenne Turbo and Turbo S,” said David Pryor, vice-president of marketing, Porsche Cars North America.
XM NavTraffic feeds data on incidents, such as accidents and road construction, directly to a vehicle’s GPS navigation system via XM’s satellite and ground network. The driver is alerted to these incidents through the navigation screen, allowing him or her to route around a jam before getting caught in traffic. Where available, XM NavTraffic provides real-time traffic information by using red, yellow and green color codes to indicate high, medium and low congestion levels.
All 2009 Porsche vehicles equipped with XM Radio and XM NavTraffic come with a three-month complimentary subscription.
For more information on XM NavTraffic, visit: www.xmradio.com/navtraffic .
Full article posted at TechWeb
Ok, so you need a new car and you want some extra room. However, given the price of gas today, you don’t want and/or need a full blown SUV like the Porsche Cayenne. Well, DP Motorsport has just the answer. The DP44 or DP Cargo is a beautifully customized station wagon (what the Brit’s would call an ‘estate’ or a ’shooting brake’) based on a Porsche 944 platform mated with a highly modified roof from a VW Passat and other custom created parts.
Many of you may know DP Motorsport (founded by Ekkehard Zimmermann) as the creator of the DP 35 or “K3” the Porsche 935 that went on to win Le Mans in 1979. Since then Zimmerman and DP Motorsport have continued in their quest to constantly improve on and evolve various Porsche models including the 944, 911, 993, 996, 997, etc.
Headquartered in Cologne Germany, DP Motorsport began producing the Cargo in the late 80’s. With fewer than 10 cars delivered so far, DP recently announced that between 5 to 10 kits remain available for prospective buyers.
Modifications don’t stop with the exterior styling. The interior includes color matched seating, side panels and headliner (in full leather) along with a flat rear floor for ease of loading cargo. If you have two months to wait, a donor 944 and about $30,000 then this could be the car for you.
For more info and pictures visit 993 Cars.
Mercedes-Benz has confirmed that its new fuel cell vehicles will be expanded across a wide range of its models.
The firm announced that it would be producing a new B-Class fuel cell based model by 2010 but it is also attempting to fit the technology into models such as the C-Class and E-Class ranges.
Dr Christian Mohrdieck, director of group research and advanced engineering, told the Daily Telegraph that the brand was aiming to fit the fuel cell into “any car”.
He also explained the qualities of the fuel-cell in more detail.
“Within 15 to 20 seconds the fuel-cell stack is almost at full power and within less than 30 seconds the vehicle will be ready to go on the autobahn,” he explained.
Dr Mohrdieck said the automaker is also trying to reduce the platinum catalyst loading of the fuel cell to near that of the platinum used in a standard exhaust.
He said it meant the firm could put platinum in high yield areas and reduce the amount needed.
“Platinum is worth a lot of money, but we can recycle up to 99 per cent of it,” he added.
For more info visit Mercedes Benz Online
Most experts agree that an economical driving style typically saves 10-15% on petrol, as well as having added safety and environmental benefits. However with UK petrol prices increasing by a few pence each week, never has this 10-15% looked as financially attractive as it does now.
Suddenly economical driving is becoming a financial necessity for many people. To not do so is akin to wasting somewhere between £8-15 of the average fill-up. For drivers using around one tank of petrol per week this saving could total as much as £750 a year - based on today’s prices (which will surely will seem conservative in a couple of month’s time).
So what can be done to make the saving?
We have all heard standard tips such as avoiding rapid acceleration and braking, in favour of driving more ‘gently’. However there are a few other habits which I had not realised were so wasteful until now. Here’s a list of useful tips for minimising fuel consumption;
- Use the right engine oil. For example 0W30 is better than 10W30, and both are better than 20W30. Be careful though not to overdo it by using an oil that is too ‘thin’ for your engine - consult your car’s technical manual for a range of acceptable oils.
- Remove roof racks and unneeded clutter from the boot. The excess weight causes unnecessary fuel waste.
- Keep tyre pressure up; this is the single biggest factor in achieving a lower rate of fuel consumption. Under-inflated tyres can be responsible for an extra 10% fuel waste alone.
- Avoid Idling. Turning the engine off when stationary, even for as little as 30 seconds will make a noticeable difference to consumption levels.
- 50mph is the most efficient speed to drive at. On motorways avoid exceeding 70mph as the efficiency levels drop off drastically as speed increases. Driving at 90mph for example uses 48% more fuel than 50mph, and 35% more than 70.
- Buy an economiser - ask at your local garage or dealership for more info. They are a great way to monitor consumption.
If you think £1.15 (today’s current average UK price) is bad for a litre of petrol, then consider this: By not driving economically you actually are paying roughly £1.30 for every litre’s worth of driving, taking into account the 10-15% that goes to waste. £1.15 is high enough for me, and I think a regular tyre check and abstaining from rapid breaking/accelerating are well worth the effort in the long run…
If you’re wondering what the future holds for the 2009 Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class, Auto Express has just published an article detailing what they believe we can expect from the new model. According to the publication, the new CLK will be based on a modified C-Class platform, but still marketed as a completely unique model (no surprises there). While some exterior styling elements will be borrowed from the C-Class, Auto Expressbelieves the cabin will be distinctly appointed when compared to the C-Class, thus distinguishing itself from its four-door counterpart.
As for power, the article goes on to state that two diesels – a 2.0-liter four-cylinder unit generating 204 hp and a 252 hp 3.0-liter V6 – will be available, as will a trio of petrol V6 engines producing 300bhp, 354bhp and 428bhp (the latter of which will feature twin-turbochargers). Mercedes’ 4Matic four-wheel drive system is also expected to be available on the higher-powered variants, as well as the traditional front wheel drive.
And finally, Auto Express concludes by noting that a CLK63 AMG variant with an output of that of the current model (481 hp) will be available, with the possibility of a new CLK63 AMG Black Series as well.
Nothing revolutionary, but for those of you keeping tabs as to the status of next CLK-Class, you’ve now got the latest.
To read more of Auto Express’ speculation as to what the future holds for the Mercedes-Benz CLK, head over to their website for the full story and a new batch of spy photos.
To read more and see photos visit e-mercedes news
Atlanta, Georgia – Porsche has released photos and details for its next-generation 911 model series, with four new models – the 911 Carrera Coupe, Cabriolet, S Coupe and S Cabriolet – to go on sale in September in North America.
All offer a higher level of performance thanks to their all-new, flat-six engines, displacing 3.6 and 3.8 litres, while for the first time in a Porsche sports car, the engines will use direct fuel injection and can be coupled with the new optional seven-speed double-clutch gearbox, a Porsche first. These new technologies result in increased performance but with fuel efficiency up to 13 per cent better than its predecessor. The 911 Carrera produces up to 20 per cent more horsepower, while the Carrera S produces up to 30 per cent more horsepower, up to 385 hp.
The new Porsche-Doppelkupplung (PDK) double-clutch gearbox combines an automatic transmission with the gearshift capacity of a sequential gearbox used in race cars. It replaces the former Porsche Tiptronic S on both Carrera and Carrera S models.
Exterior enhancements include new front bumper with larger air intakes, LED daytime running lights, bi-Xenon headlamps, and LED taillights as standard equipment, with available Dynamic Cornering Lights on all models. Canadian pricing starts at $94,800 for the Carrera Coupe, $107,600 for the Cabriolet and S Coupe, and $120,400 for the S Cabriolet. The new prices are 1.2 per cent below the U.S. increase in response to exchange rate changes over recent months.
Read more at Canadian Driver online
Infiniti’s new mini SUV, the EX35, is one of the best performing SUVs on the road. Its handling is so precise, its performance on the limit so balanced, that you’d swear you were driving a great sports sedan and not a SUV.
On the other hand, this is hardly an SUV at all.
The EX35 looks like one of those vehicles you buy when you just can’t drive a minivan, but it’s actually based on the awesome G37 sports coupe. That means it has absolutely stunning performance, enough that I’d rather drive this thing than BMW’s oft-praised baby ute, the X3.
At the same time, that sports-coupe performance has the unfortunate side effect of sports-coupe impracticality in some ways.
The EX35’s back seat, for example, is designed for leprechauns, and its cargo area isn’t much better. You’d think such a small vehicle would get great gas mileage, but no. It makes Exxon executives grin with 24 mpg on the highway and 17 in town. It’s also pricey for its small size, starting at $31,300 and easily reaching $40,000 as you add goodies.
And that’s where the mystery begins.
Most people who are looking at small SUVs would buy them for several reasons, so let’s just run down the list.
Is the EX35 cheap? No.
Does it get great gas mileage? No.
Is it as practical as a real SUV? No.
Does it have more room than a mid-size car? No.
That leaves a fairly small customer base who can appreciate the EX35 for what sets it apart: technology and performance.
This vehicle is a showplace for the latest in automotive gadgetry, and what a show it is. There’s an available hard drive for storing all your music, a CompactFlash card reader for playing your MP3s, four video cameras that give you a “top down” view of the car when parking, a Bluetooth connection for your phone, and even a navigation system that sees traffic jams in real time and automatically re-routes you to avoid them.
And, as I mentioned before, there’s the performance.
Aside from its angelic suspension, a 297-horsepower V6 engine always keeps things interesting. Yes, it gets unimpressive gas mileage for such a small SUV, but it produces extremely impressive acceleration. SUVs simply aren’t supposed to go this fast.
Styling is also a plus on this car. It looks seductive and slinky, with a sexy nose and sloping coupe-like rear. It looks like a normal SUV in pictures, but in person — thanks to its small size — it’s much more intoxicating. It’s almost Italian.
I think the EX35 is the latest and greatest in mini SUVs, if only for a year or two, but is that enough for people to flock to it? Probably not if they think like my dad, who said “power windows are just another thing to go wrong.” He’d probably have a fit over hard drives, navigation screens and four video cameras in a dadgum car.
But when you combine everything together — the latest tech, the trendiest style, the best performance — into one compact package, how can anyone ignore it?
Review from Pharos Tribune.
BMW design supremo “Crazy” Chris Bangle has done it again.
Just when we thought his flame-surfacing mojo had deserted him, it turns out that he’s been hiding his masterpiece – the subject of more rumours than the Rooney wedding and Fern Britton’s girth combined – from us for some years.
The GINA Light Visionary Model is the first car to sport a silver catsuit – imagine Olivia Newton-John at a roller disco circa 1976 – made out of polyurethane-coated Lycra, covering a moveable wire frame beneath. It makes the car look like a Z3 on its way to rob a bank, but it can do all sorts of very cool stuff such as open its “eyes” (to reveal headlamps), magically raise an invisible rear spoiler at speed, and do entirely without seams, its doors opening forward and up, as if from nowhere. Best of all, if you want a look at the engine, instead of opening the bonnet, GINA rips itself open from the centre, like Superman preparing for a quick change on his way to a phone box. Wait until the LA customisers get hold of this stuff.
In this video released to accompany the unveiling of GINA in the BMW Museum in Munich last week, Bangle explained its genesis. “What do we need the skin of a car for anyway?” he asked his team who, too timid to put their hands up and mumble, “Uhm, aerodynamics, Mr Bangle? Children with knives?”, went ahead and dutifully realised his vision of a more “humanistic” car.
I am being flippant, but the truth is that GINA (which stands for “Geometric Infinite Adaptation”) is a stunning piece of work that could change the way cars are designed for ever – but won’t. Remember the TV series Manimal, in which Simon MacCorkindale could change into an eagle one minute, a buffalo the next (one shuddered at the state of his carpets). Imagine if our cars could do the same so that, one minute you are being tailed by the cops in your VW Polo, the next moment you round a corner, press a button, and are at the wheel of a Buick! That would keep the fuzz on their toes!
Sorry, it is just that, with GINA going straight from design studio to museum, I can’t help but think that BMW is sending out a bit of a “don’t hold your breath” on this one. Actually, perhaps a space alongside a pre-Second World War 328 would not be too inappropriate. After all, for reasons best known to themselves, on closer inspection Bangle’s team do appear to have given GINA a split windscreen.
For more info see the Belfast Telegraph report.
This article is a follow up to a previous editorial (titled ‘As fuel prices soar motor manufacturers can adapt - or go bust‘).
That article outlined the pressures currently being exerted on motor manufacturers - by both the rise in fuel prices, and also changing consumer trends regarding pollution awareness and CO2 emissions. This article is a follow up, which will look at the range of moves now being introduced by major manufacturers as they attempt to survive in today’s demanding marketplace.
Recent developments in the US
‘The times they’re a-changin’, Bob Dylan once sang - and though he wasn’t talking about the US motor industry at the time, his words are highly relevant to it today. Even GM motors, a market leader in SUV and pick-up production, is now changing its tune. For years the company has profited massively from American drivers penchant for big vehicles, and the availability of cheap gas, but not for much longer…
Last week the company announced the closure of four major SUV and pick-up producing plants across the country. The company will now shift its focus to smaller, more fuel-efficient cars as an attempt to end a run of three years of consecutive losses (last year’s losses alone totaled over $38m).
Ford Motor Co. (another US manufacturer currently having facing serious losses), has also announced a move away from SUVs and pick-up models. Consumer trends have rendered the production of such models tantamount to financial suicide. Even GM’s previously indispensable cash cow, the Hummer, is being re-assessed (year-on-year profits are down massively when compared with 2007), with a sale of this business arm looking quite possible.
It is not that GM has suddenly become an environmentally-conscientious and ethical company; rather it is simply a case of being forced to change, or be swept aside by competition. The fact that consumer awareness and demand has brought about this change is a remarkably positive thing; it proves that when consumers ‘vote’ with their wallets, a much more effective change can be brought about than is possible with half-hearted, government-led attempts to impose regulations on powerful industries such as this one.
Europe and the rest of the world
In Europe, many leading (and financially unworried) manufacturers are also taking notice of the market incentives for improving fuel efficiency and reducing emissions. BMW for example has its high-profile Efficient Dynamics systems, which have allowed them to boast that 21 models of its current range produce 140g/km or less of CO2 emissions.
Many BMW models also feature Auto Start-Stop technology (standard on all 1 and 3 series models), which cuts power to the engine when the car is stationary (at lights, level crossings etc), thereby greatly increasing fuel efficiency, especially in town driving. Gear shift indicators help the driver to achieve maximum fuel efficiency, while electric power steering reduces fuel wastage by disengaging power steering when the car is not turning (for more info on BMW’s technologies click here).
These, and a host of other features ensure that BMW - a company not normally courted by environmentally concerned drivers - can nonetheless compete (to an extent) for these customers as well.
With Toyota recently reporting sales of its hybrid Prius model topping 1m, it seems pretty clear where the money is for motor manufacturers. European and East-Asian firms are well ahead in this field as it stands, with some truly impressive technology being introduced almost on a monthly basis. Reluctantly and begrudgingly, US companies are now accepting the realities of the death of the SUV and gas-guzzler as a profitable venture, and looking to compete with market leaders such as BMW and Toyota. There’s an awfully long way to go, but it is quite a nice change to see positive steps being taken, whatever the reasons behind them.
Porsche’s upcoming Panamera sedan will undoubtedly be the most controversial product to roll off the German automaker’s production line since the Cayenne SUV bowed in 2002, and we now have a set production date to let the controversy begin. The Panamera will begin production in April 2009.
According to AutoTelegraaf, the road-going Panamera will bow at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2009, with production beginning a month later. Porsche will have the capacity to build 26,000 Panameras a year, but will cap production at 20,000 units annually.
Panamera buyers will be able to choose from a range of gasoline engines — a 300 horsepower 3.6L V6, a 4.8L V8 producing 405 horsepower and a 4.8L turbocharged V8 making 520 horsepower. However, the V6 model won’t be available until 2010, with a hybrid-variant coming on line in 2011, according to Car.
The base, rear-wheel drive V6 model will be priced from €80,000, with the range-topping all-wheel drive turbo model topping out at €125,000.
More info (and photos) here.