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6th Gear -- or: How to Enjoy 4 Wheels

Well you see, I enjoy (sports) cars. Actually, the stunning Mazda MX-5 NB 1.6 isn't mine, I just rented it twice for a weekend, having great fun! Unfortunately, neither is the Ferrari 328 GTS, but some nice folks allowed me to drive it (in exchange for some €€) for half an hour... in soaking wet conditions...
In Real Life™, my cars were not that spectacular: after having owned a Volkswagen Golf III Variant, a Golf IV and a Renault Mégane, I switched to comfortable, fuel-economic diesel engine based cars since they matched my mileage much better.


Until October 2006, I drove a Volkswagen Bora Trendline 1.9 TDI, here photographed with me behind the wheel in the Bergwerk bend on the famous, wonderful, 20.8 km long Nürburgring "Nordschleife" track, located in the hills around the small town Nürburg in the Eifel region, Germany.
Since then, until May 2008, I drove a Volvo S40 1.6D (model 2005) that familiarized with the Ring on January 21, 2007. The fuel economy of the 1.6D was great (less than 5l per 100 km on average), it ran smoothly, but was missing some power in the very low revs compared to the engine in the Bora.


These were all fine cars not only because, except for the Renault, they never let me down and always took me where I wanted: comfortably, safely and without complaining. But I admit, they were all a bit dull compared to the sports cars mentioned at the top. Also, with the price of diesel fuel rapidly approaching the price of petrol, I decided that the costs vs. driving-pleasure ratio needed to shift significantly towards the latter, and I'm delighted to report that...

The Fun Is Back !

I got myself a VW Golf V GTI, featuring a 2.0 litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with FSI (Fuel Stratified Injection) direct-injection technology (International Engine of the Year Award 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008) equipped with the twin-shaft, dual-clutch DSG gearbox with steering wheel mounted paddle-shifters, all wrapped in a stylish United Grey finish.

The Golf GTI Mk V featured in BBC's Top Gear series 5 episode 6 and was characterized by Jeremy Clarkson as: "Fabulous!", "It's all things, to all men." and "Someone has put the fun back into the GTI." It was later rewarded Top Gear Car of the Year 2004 and Fifth Gear Car of the Year 2004 as well.

And he is right: this car is an absolute stunner! It is so much fun to drive. The DSG is probably one of the most amazing pieces of engineering: it upshifts seamlessly in 8 ms (yes, that's milliseconds.) Compare this to e.g. the amazing Ferrari Enzo where the upshift is told to take 150 ms.

"This car does everything you could possibly want from a car. I mean you can take the children to school: comfortably and safely and practically, and then after you've dropped them off, you can drive home, like you've sat on a wasp." -- JC.