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June 2016

BMW Tour – Sheep in a wolf’s package

Are you in for the looks or the performance?!

Frank Keane BMW, Blackrock
Frank Keane BMW, Blackrock

This week I happened to walk past the BMW dealership in Blackrock, Co. Dublin in Ireland. I looked at all the new and used cars they parked outside and first thought: Wow that’s a lot of high performance cars. Many of them have M packages (M for Motorsport, of course), meaning that they have the front and rear bumpers of the M variant of the respective model. M badges on the sides, the wheels and on the steering wheels.

BMW 420d convertible, Frank Keane BMW, Blackrock
BMW 420d convertible, Frank Keane BMW, Blackrock

Upon closer  inspection I quickly realized that most of them are actually pretty reasonably powered cars and that most of the aggressive looking cars are much lower powered diesel cars. For example, instead of the X5 M comes with a 4.4l V8 engine, delivering 575 hp. The white x5 here is actually a sDrive25d M Sport diesel delivering 231 hp. Same story for the 420d convertible and the 5 Series Touring; They are literally sheep in wolf’s clothing.

BMW M135i 5 door, Frank Keane BMW, Blackrock
BMW M135i 5 door, Frank Keane BMW, Blackrock

However, rest assured that there are also some properly powerful and fun to drive cars available. Check out the video below and discover for yourself:

Porsche 991 Carrera S – Generation comparison

From naturally aspirated to turbo

Porsche Centre Dublin
Porsche Centre Dublin

As I walked past the Joe Duffy Porsche Centre Dublin I saw two 991 Carrera S parked next to each other. A first generation in dark blue a second generation in white. Isn’t that the perfect occasion to compare the two?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Porsche 991 Carrera S Cabriolet, 1st generation
Porsche 991 Carrera S Cabriolet, 1st generation
Porsche 991 Carrera S Coupé, 2nd generation
Porsche 991 Carrera S Coupé, 2nd generation

The Porsche 991 generation was introduced in late 2011 replacing the hugely successful 997 generation. This particular dark blue metallic Carrera S has a traditional naturally aspirated 3.8l flat 6 engine, producing 400 hp. The facelifted 991 Carrera S, officially called 2nd generation 991, was introduced in late 2015 and brought a major revolution to the Carrera family: turbocharger. Yes, indeed, this Carrera S is carrying a turbo charged 3l Flat 6 engine, producing 420 hp.

The external differences

The front bumper and air intakes have been re-designed. The LED daytime running lights are much slimmer on the second generation. Even though the headlight units are identical from the exterior, they have also been revised and are now featuring four-point daytime running lights. In the back, we can spot four major changes compared to the previous version:

  1. The general shape of the rear bumper
  2. The shape and centered position of the exhaust pipes
  3. The three dimensional shape of the taillights
  4. And the engine cover grill or vent which now shows 24 vertical lines instead of the previous three horizontal blades

When it comes to the wheels and chassis, the Sport version with the red brake calipers is almost identical. Only the back tires are half an inch larger on the newer model.

Front wheel, Porsche 991 Carrera S Cabriolet, 1st generation
Front wheel, Porsche 991 Carrera S Cabriolet, 1st generation
Front wheel, Porsche 991 Carrera S Coupé, 2nd generation
Front wheel, Porsche 991 Carrera S Coupé, 2nd generation

 

 

A zest of 918 in the cabin

Inside, only changes have been made where it really mattered: the steering wheel has been replaced with a 918-inspired wheel, eliminating once and for all the counter-intuitive gear changing buttons on the standard wheel. Moreover, the infotainment system has also been upgraded.

Check out the video for a better illustration of the comparison:

Removing the taillight on my Peugeot RCZ

Twist it till it snaps

Another day, another tutorial! This time we’re removing a taillight of the RCZ. If you want to order it before you read or watch through the process, here are the part numbers. Peugeot part number: YM40701280, Automotive Lighting part number: 2623 0102. Always make sure you’re ordering the correct side, since the left and the right units are symmetric, hence not identical.

Left taillight cover, 2012 Peugeot RCZ
Left taillight cover, 2012 Peugeot RCZ

In a nutshell, the entire process is quite simple. It can however be confusing when you’ve never done it before. Open up the cover on the side of the trunk and disconnect the cable. There is only one cable coming from the taillight. After that there are two big white nuts to unscrew. The first time I tried to loosen them they were so tightened up that I needed pliers.

Left taillight, 2012 Peugeot RCZ
Left taillight, 2012 Peugeot RCZ

Push the taillight out from the inside and twist the entire unit counter clockwise until the burl in the front of the light snaps out of its position. I sounds like something just broke but don’t worry, it’s really just the burl. You may want to cover the left edge of the taillight with some sort of cloth so you don’t scratch it while removing it. However, it’s not necessary if you’re careful.

No just press and pull the rubber plug, pull the cable out and the entire taillight is free. Check out the video for a more comprehensive demonstration:

 

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