As with most European makes, they’re commonly associated with comfort, luxury, sophistication, technological advancement and then performance. But as of late – especially after last weekend’s TIMETOATTACK Finale for 2012, these cars came packing with brutish performance levels that seem to have bumped the ‘performance’ factor up higher in the list. The best part is that these cars still manage to retain a certain air of sophistication about them, even though it’s been plastered with stickers and their interior stripped to fit a roll-cage.
While the Americans marvel at their big-block muscle cars, it’s often the Europeans who find themselves winning more hearts and minds with their ‘precision engineering’, handling characteristics and their ability to do more with less. It’s this case in point that many, for those who have the dough at least, opt for something more regal in terms of branding and reputation. What could be better than having a Mercedes E63 AMG Bi-Turbo V8 for a daily luxury ride, while packing all that power from under the hood? Not many.
Of course there are other European makes out there that seem to offer the best bang for the buck with their ride and handling capabilities, but while cars get more technologically sophisticated, so have their tuning wizards – able to increase the number of ponies and not to mention ‘twist’ from under the hod just by simply uploading a new program for your ECU.
Case in point would be Shedden Ee’s ExoticMods turquoise coloured Bambee that came to the TIMETOATTACK Finale of 2012 as the choice favourite, seeking to retain his FF Turbo crown from the last meet.
And while one wear’s a crown, there are certainly those who await the chance to usurp it, those would be the pack of Renault’s RS250 Cups who turned up looking to do the deed and show that the Frenchies are ‘tres’ capable of it, looking to show that they’re no ‘escargot’ on the track even without the use of aftermarket-suspensions, DSG, FSI, TSI or the wizardry of an ECU remap.
Then there are those who prefer some nostalgia with their Euro-tuned stead, which is why our Prince of Drift himself – Tengku Djan Ley, turned up with an E36 BMW M3 in LHD (Left-hand drive) form and a stock 3.2L inline-6 with about 320bhp of pure Bavarian muscle residing under his carbon fibre hood.
But if it’s extreme you want, then extreme is what you’ll have thanks to a pair of McLaren MP4-12Cs showing up in your choice of either black or bright orange to drool over with their M838T (based on a Nissan VRH35 racing engine) 3.8L twin-turbo V8 engine in the rear packing 592bhp and 601Nm of torque.
The attendance of these European marques certainly added a definitive caviar-like taste out on Sepang’s track, with the likes of Porsche, BMW, MINI, Mercedes, Ferraris, Lamborginis and even the super fast McLarens were all out to show who’s ‘zee’ boss in their respective categories.
EURO Results (FINAL):
100 Denis Lian – Renault Megane RS 250 Cup – 2mins 38.316s
101 Shedden Ee – Volkswagen Golf GTi Mk6 – 2mins 40.580s
97 Syed Mohd Rizal - Renault Megane RS 250 Cup – 2mins 41.938s
91 Eow Wan Lin – Renault Megane RS 250 Cup – 2mins 43.765s
94 Mark Tiong – Renault Megane RS 250 Cup – 2mins 45.002s
93 Lai Choong Wui – VW Golf – 2mins 45.328s
96 Phil – VW Golf R – 2mins 46.909s
95 Muhd Saufi – BMW E92 335i 2mins 49.474s
102 Lim Chun Beng – VW Golf GTI – 2mins 50.984s
92 Ken Chong – MINI Cooper R53 – 2mins 52.233s
103 Ahmad Faizry Mohamed – Opel Vauxhall Calibra 2mins 59.454s
98 Jeremy Lai – Renault Clio – 3mins 01.393s
99 Joseph Chai – VW Golf GTI – 3mins 15.734s
90 Azfar Hazwan – BMW E90 325i – NIL
EURO GT Cars (FINAL):
107 Tengku Djan Ley – BMW E36 M3 – 2mins 34.219s
104 Jason Tan – BMW E93 M3 – 2mins 36.669s
105 KC Kwek – Mercedes E63 AMG – 2mins 39.923s
106 Niza Azar – BMW E46 M3 CSL – 2mins 44.265s
120 Denis Lian – McLaren MP4-12C – 2min 24.447s
119 Jason Tan – McLaren MP4-12C – 2min 29.917s
118 Azmil Murad – Ferrari F430 Scuderia – 2mins 36.925s
121 Kevin Shah – Lamborghini Gallardo Superlegerra – 3mins 00.648s
122 Shedden Ee – Porsche 997 GT2 – NIL