Engine Fever

We all know the engine is the heart of the car, it’s chambers an explosive mix of oxygen, fuel and fire. Like the human heart, an engine throbs and ticks and gives life to the car. An engine even injects personality, from loud and powerful, to refined and economical – it’s not all about BHP and torque figures.

I’ve owned a fair few cars and I’ll have to say the BMW S54B32 unit from my old e46 M3 is the ultimate engine. I had the pleasure of a Mercedes 3.5-L V6, some turbo engines, and even a Maserati 4.2-L V8, but the M3’s engine surpassed them on every level.

It’s only a 3.2-L naturally aspirated inline 6, but it’s so revvy and raw. The M3′s S54B32 made 343hp at a screeching 7,900rpm and 365Nm of torque at 4,900rpm. With the rev counter’s lights signifying how hard you should drive until the engine has reached it’s proper operating temperature, it feels as though it’s a tuned engine. The acceleration is hard and the power-band wide. Instead of grunting and burbling like the Italian V8, the S54B32 spits out it’s exhaust as though it’s inhaled a swarm of wasps. Don’t get me wrong, the V8 is an incredible sounding piece of kit, and I love the feel of turbo power, but the M3 will always remain a top engine in my books.

It came as great news when I found out the new M3/M4 cars (albeit with turbos) would feature the inline 6 after a few models of V8s.

So with this in mind, what are you favourite engines, even if they’re not inside of your favourite car? What would be your ultimate engine swap?

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Video

And This Is Why We Love Cars…


I’ve already touched upon the subject of non-car people and how they just don’t get why we love and even share a relationship with cars, but after watching this clip on a superb e28 M5, I thought it a great example backing up our side of the argument. There shouldn’t be an argument, but when your parents and wife are non-car people, it wears thin putting up your side of the story.

Mum: “Bloody hell! How much do you pay in tax and insurance?”

Dad: “Performance cars are too expensive to run.”

Wife: “That looks hideous”.

These are the sort of comments I face when buying another car. I mean, do I question my dad’s penchant for fly fishing and antiques? What about my wife and her two horses? They need feeding and maintaining just like a car. Just because they use a car purely as a means of transportation doesn’t mean I don’t get a thrill every time I put my foot down.

Anyway, here’s a damn good reason us car lovers worship the motor car.

I Used To Be Indecisive But Now I’m Not So Sure

GTR32
I’m sorry for that ridiculous title but it sums up one of my many character traits. Anyone who knows me well would be fully justified in saying phrases like “when he gets a bee in his bonnet” or “it’s just another one of his five minute wonders”.

I’ve been toying with the idea of another e46 M3, an EVO VI or even a WRX STI, but now I’m totally smitten with Godzilla. Not the computer laden modern versions like the GTR R34 or R35, but the Nissan GTR R32.

Okay, so the R33 and onwards boast more technology, but I love the retro styling of the R32. It has aged well, unlike the R33, and its simple lines really appeal to me. Black on black makes it look extremely evil, too – another massive bonus.

I’m a big drift fan and wanted a car I could occasionally be a little silly with around bends. My WRX is hard work because of its AWD. The EVO would suffer the same, where as the Beemer would cost a fortune in both tyres and and any transmission or clutch issues.

Yes, I have a bee in my bonnet, but this is one five minute wonder I hope lasts an age.

 

Video

Chris Harris “Shags” Some Tyres

Ever since my father bought me a Matchbox Berger/Mansell Ferrari 640 when I was 11, I’ve been part of the passionate scarlet tifosi. I don’t think I’ve missed an F1 race since then either – the amount of times I’ve frantically searched through TV channels whilst on holiday and having to settle for foreign commentary.

“Coming to the pool darling?”

“Yep, be there in a minute…”

Anyway, I’m going off course here, so I’ll get back on track by dropping a name: Chris Harris.

If you are a true petrolhead and car guy, you should’ve heard of this chap. He’s an automotive writer and presents and reviews cars on the youtube channel DRIVE. His Twitter account is highly recommended too.

Now back to Ferrari – Chris Harris recently managed to obtain a Ferrari F12 Berlinetta and five sets of tyres. He is allowed to go a little crazy with it, and it is clear he means business when he says he wants to “shag” some tyres… and he does.

What I like about Chris is his passion. He wears his heart on his sleeve when it comes to cars, and it shows on the videos. The videos are well shot and Chris does a great job on driving and presenting all of the facts succinctly and comprehensively. As much as I enjoy Top Gear, there’s no exploding caravans, machine guns or ridiculous hyperbole here.

How Harris hasn’t landed a job on TV, I don’t know. He knows everything about cars, can clearly drive, and has a knack for being behind a camera.

Make up your own mind and watch Chris “shag” some rubber.