Re­venge of the hy­per­miler

Herald Sun - Motoring - - First Drive - TIMBLAIR blairt@dai­lytele­

I CANT get any­thing right. A year or so back I went hunt­ing for the per­fect ve­hi­cle, per­fect, in my terms, be­ing some­thing that would deeply of­fend the cur­rent lousy gen­er­a­tion of fun­less car­bon scolds.

And I thought I’d found just the thing: a pris­tine 1999BMW MCoupe, which on pa­per ticks just about ev­ery anti-green box you can imag­ine.

It only car­ries two peo­ple, so it’s self­ish and im­prac­ti­cal. It makes a sound like Satan rip­ping up Chris­tine Milne’s speeches, so it’s anti-so­cial. It hits 100km/h in 5.5sec­onds, so it’s fright­en­ing for chil­dren. It isn’t equipped with any trac­tion con­trol or other elec­tronic safety de­vices, so it’s also fright­en­ing for adults (in­clud­ing me). It might reach 280km/h if some­one were to hy­po­thet­i­cally pay a me­chanic to dis­con­nect the top-speed lim­iter, so it’s prob­a­bly a threat to the to­tal Aus­tralian pop­u­la­tion.

Best of all, it func­tions as a sim­ple con­tainer for one of BMW’S fiercest en­gines, the awe­some 321-horse­power 24-valve S50 straight six.

The mcoupe suf­fers from a ter­ri­ble flaw, how­ever. I’d an­tic­i­pated petrol sta­tion own­ers run­ning on to their fore­courts and cheer­ing as I drove past, each rev­o­lu­tion of the rear wheels con­sum­ing an­other en­tire litre of pre­mium juice. Surely a mon­ster engine like this must be a threat to global fuel re­serves. At least, that’s what I’d hoped.

Trag­i­cally, no. The min m Coupe ap­par­ently stands for Miser. Run­ning through north­ern nsw and south-eastern Queens­land last week, the Coupe fre­quently re­turned bet­ter than 8.8L/100km.

But with all the money I’m sav­ing I can still fall back on planet-killing Plan B: a road­go­ing replica of Ian Geoghe­gan’s early ’ 70s 600-horse­power rac­ing Su­per Fal­con.

You’ve won this round, na­ture, but I’ll win the war. 76 WEEKS FOR GTS 86 POP­U­LAR­ITY brings prob­lems. Af­ter last week’s item on Toy­ota’s hard­core 86, reader PaulT. emails:

‘‘ If you want to or­der a man­ual GTS ver­sion, which I tried to do on Wed­nes­day morn­ing, hav­ing only test driven a ve­hi­cle a cou­ple of days ear­lier as soon as it was avail­able, you will be ad­vised there is a 19-month, yes month, wait. Not sure if this ap­plies across the range or I was just lucky enough to pick the win­ner. On dou­ble check­ing with the Toy­ota Cus­tomer Ex­pe­ri­ence Cen­tre as to the cor­rect­ness of this ridicu­lous wait time, I var­i­ously was quoted nine months wait, 12 months wait or don’t know when they will be avail­able.

‘‘ Seems the en­tire fore­cast sales level of 700 man­ual GTS cars over the next 12 months have al­ready been snapped up, and Toy­ota is happy to let ev­ery­one else wait. ‘‘ Oh What a Feel­ing!!!’’ Paul’s frus­tra­tion is un­der­stand­able. It took long enough for Toy­ota to pro­duce this rear-drive smile-maker. Mak­ing prospec­tive own­ers wait yet longer is verg­ing on cruel.

Wait­ing game: It’ll

take a while to get your hands on a Toy­ota

GTS 86

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