First thoughts after long term exposure.....
Now I have a 147 Selespeed at last (even though its not mine) some thoughts.
I have a delightful mile long straight, followed by a sharp left hand 45 degree bend on my regular light traffic route.
The speed you can take this bend at is staggering. The Saab 900 would do it at 35mph, Grand Cherokee at 43mph, the SLK at 55mph (its limit is slightly but not much higher on superb 16" continentals), the 1972 Lancia Fulvia, can do it at 52mph, but the 147 Selespeed on 17 continentals at an amazing 67mph and it could have done it faster. It was effortless, quite staggeringly effortless. I was so suprised I had to go back and do it again.
The steering and chassis with the factory suspension-tyre-wheel set up is a complete joy, what utterly sublime handling and effortless (well you need to concerntrate) performance!
I just love the sound of the engine when you drop through the gears, the throttle blips and the excellent acceleration, though I thought the engine braking was a bit poor.
This is a car you can get to maintain an injudiciosly high speed along roads that could probably do with a more cautious approach. But it just invites you to be slightly more adventurous, and rewards with a staggering degree of grip and poise, plus the brakes which are quite direct and quick inspire further confidence.
the other features are the Bose sound system - worth every penny and the aircon which while slightly power sapping, seemed quite effective.
The bad points are the drivers door seems to have a lot of wind noise at 60mph or more and the infuriating left hand drive indicator stalk that self cancels at the wrong times. Also the indicator is not loud enough and because it is an LHD version doesnt go off when it should making it to easy to leave on. I spend a lot of time in Milton Keynes which is roundabout heaven so it can be quite irritating.
Also the drivers seat creaks when going around bends. The fit and finish seem good, but compared to a new Mini are some way behind even now.they do however compare well with cars like the MB C Class Coupe and BMW compact, expensive cars built down to a budget.
Overall, I am deeply impressed. I will be happy with mine when I get it because its loaded to the hilt with all the gizzmos I love and its not fire-engine red!
Incidentally - this selespeed does NOT require you have your foot on the brake to start it - in fact you just turn the key and start, select a gear and drive. the car I test drove 2 months ago DID require you do this.
I think I'm going to love this car to bits..