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BMW models, news & reviews
By Ben Barry
02 March 2009 10:00
We don’t make a habit of testing modified cars here at CAR Online, but when the go-faster gurus at AC Schnitzer told us they’d made BMW’s 118d faster and greener, well, we just had to take a closer look. Here it is, then, the ACS1 Sport Eco.
Not at all, actually. Independent TUV tests suggest the ACS1 should hit 61.9mpg on the combined cycle (though even AC will admit this is highly unlikely in the real world) and pump out just 119g/km (even a Prius emits 104g/km!). That means you’ll save at the pump plus get charged only £35 a year for a tax disc.
Again, no. The ACS1 produces 171bhp and 265lb ft torque, meaning it’s up 28bhp and 44lb ft over the standard car. We tested it back-to-back with an independently sourced standard 118d and the extra mid-range punch was immediately obvious – the standard car felt strangled in comparison, and there’s certainly enough poke here to derive some fun from that playful rear-drive chassis.
Wrong! The standard car wore just 16-inch rubber, but its run-flat tyres with stiffer sidewalls contributed to a frankly terrible ride quality. The ACS1 rides on 18s (and no run-flats) and AC-tuned sports suspension. The ride alone is infinitely superior to the standard 118d, while the tuned shocks and springs means it handles more neatly too.
>> Click 'Next' below to read more about the AC Schintzer ACS1 Eco Sport
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AC Schnitzer ACS1 Sport Eco (2009) CAR review
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RE: AC Schnitzer ACS1 Sport Eco CAR review
Could the fact that run flats are a successful BMW selling point be down to the increased influence of women motorists? If there's one thing most women I've spoken to don't like about cars it's maintenance - they are quite happy not to have to change a tyre if they don't have to, so run flats suit most women perfectly. Note to female petrolheads - I'm not saying women don't know how to change a tyre, they're just being eminently sensible by avoiding having to do it! Ahem!
03 March 2009 17:51
DAVEANDREWS13 - BMW don't fit run flats to their M-cars is simply because top drawer performance tyres are not widely available as run flats, and tyres are more key to cars like that. I'm certain that BMW would not have risked the reputation of it's halo products even if they were available UNLESS they didn't hamper the car's ability in the important areas. As for banging the drum - your average man, woman and child doesn't know that most BMWs are on run flats. They just don't. 'We' car fans know it, and the magazines 'bang the drum', but not everyone reads about it. If you were to pick up some BMW leaflets you'll not see the drum being banged. Too much. The reality is that on test drives, IF it's opined that the ride is firm, the salesman gives that "sporty ride" balls. The client buys the car because sporty appeals and has the advantage of not needing to faf with a spare tyre. OR, the client will think the ride a bit on the firm side, but still feel the benefits of the run-flats outweigh the negatives. It's a USP - sure it doesn't appeal to everyone, BUT once you've owned a run-flat shod car, enjoying the many good things about the car (other than ability to cosset), why would you then go for a different brand with the spare in the boot - and most importantly, how many would change maker on that basis? What happens in the real world is very far removed form the considerations we have to peruse on this site. If test driving two cars - one BMW and one Audi, unless the BM's ride is utterly unbearable, it will appear only a little firmer anyway (or 'sportier' if one bought the salesman's drivel) - hardly a decider. The test drive thing is nonsense anyway - by that stage you know what you want, and a slighlty firmer ride than expected is not going to stop you. This is why BMW can afford to continue with the tyres, and do. Why offer conventional tyres - one cannot miss something they never had in the first place. If it was that bad, after they wore down the owner can always buy his own - and I'm sure one or two do.
03 March 2009 13:54
Brando, much as I admire your undoubted passion for everything BMW, it seems to be clouding your judgment when faced with fact and reason. By your own admission run-flat technology is not the finished article, so why is it that customers have to pay for such a developing technology? Why can't they get the choice? In my experience, early adopters simply pay far too much for something that is nowhere near as good as it is going to get, and I'm not talking necessarily in monetary terms. I don't have a problem with run flat technology, but why bang a drum for something that is not as good as it should be? This technology should still be in it's development phase, not on mass market cars to their detriment. Saying BMW have hard rides anyway is absolutely no justification at all. And the final nail in the coffin? The BMWs with the 'hardest' rides, the M cars, use normal tyres. What does that tell you about them? Other companies may use this tech in the future, but not until it works properly.
02 March 2009 18:51
7 Series never suffered from runflatitis. They were never available from BMW for the 7-series, which is why the ride was so good. If I had the choice, I'd go the Alpina/Schnitzer route and take my chances with sealant and a compressor and nice 45 profile tyres and my AA membership card. It's amazing what the runflats can survive but it's still not good what the do to the ride.
02 March 2009 18:23
Hang on chaps. We've had eight years of run-flat BMWs and still no mass adoption by other makers and still the ride quality is poor. You will note that the last 7 switched back to normal tyres, post-facelift. An admission of error? It's embarrassing, for a company like BMW, that the current 5's ride is worse than the E39 which preceded it. The only run-flat shod motor I have driven which went well enough for you not to notice was the E92, on big wheels and M-sport spec. My fingers are crossed for the F10. I don't want to be shrugging my shoulders down at the Merc dealer again.
02 March 2009 17:36
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