CSR148: The Turning Point [Concluded]

Swanson 437AFP
The cure for get-there-itis.
A big smooth engine for adequate real life performance. A style for the future. Don¨t let the [marketing executive mandated] notchback aeshetic fool you, it has a big boot and opening. Very safe, we crashed it into a concrete wall, the dummies are no less alive.
0-100 7.7 seconds, 7.9l/100km for long range cruising.



1990 G1S series Halvson Super Harrier

Uncompromising Aussie muscle

The latest update to the Harrier, the G1S series Super Harrier is the classic premium Aussie muscle sedan.

All the performance you need.

Under the hood is the latest update to our 4L V8, now making a whopping 160kW, and sending all that to all four wheels through a 5 speed manual and an LSD to propel you to 100km/h in 7.9 seconds, and on to a top speed of 220 km/h.

All the comfort you want.

A comfortable luxury interior with a high-end cassette system and our Digital Climate Control Centre™ ensure you'll be as comfortable as possible while eating up the miles, while a revised crash structure and an airbag keep you peace of mind strong.

Available now for only $34,000 AMU, call your nearest Halvson dealer for more information and to book a test drive!


Closing Time

The border may be open, but submissions are closed

Between my last post and this one, the following users’ entries were processed:

@Aruna - Arion Cormorant
@lotto77 - Halvson G1S
@Ludvig - Swanson 400
@Kyorg - Westland Wayfarer

Bringing the total number of entries up to 34.

Thanks to everyone who submitted an entry! Round 0 reviews should come out in the following few days.


Better late than never.

Westland Wayfarer LTX. 31,400.


Round 0 Exits

Michael can’t help but peek at the previews.

MotorNation Magazine, July 1991 Issue

Auto Preview: Our Editors Road Test the Drexel Tempest and Wichsen 3276i

Drexel Tempest DT6C EU - @Falling_Comet

Far removed from its last-generation predecessors, this four-door sedan exudes modernity. From its rounded, aerodynamic design, to its 249 PS twin-cam variable-valve inline-six, to its cutting-edge technical features, the Tempest has a lot going for it on paper – but how does it handle on the road?

Thankfully, given its premium price tag, the Tempest DT6C manages to not only meet, but exceed expectations. While its limited-slip rear differential and powerful engine can make for some straight-line fun, where the Tempest DT6C really shines is as a motorway cruiser. Between its top-tier sound system, plush interior, and computerized adaptive suspension, the Tempest delivers an extremely comfortable ride. Time will tell, however, whether consumers will accept top-tier comfort in exchange for eye-popping repair bills…

(Violated trim engineering time rules… by 1.3 months. It hurts to have to let this one go over such a narrow margin.)

Wichsen 3276i 24v Estate - @LS_Swapped_Rx-7

From a D-segment darling to a C-segment corner-carver, our editors gave the Wichsen 3276i 24v sports wagon a spin. On its face, the 3276i is attractive and modern, its clean design hiding the fact that the 3276i is far more than meets the eye.

Where sports coupes often sacrifice comfort, practicality, and fuel economy for a sporty feel, the 3276i is poised to join that exclusive club of cars that can do anything. Advanced multi-link suspension and a sporty suspension tune mean that the Wichsen can hang with the best through the corners, while a torque-sensing differential allows it to wring the most out of its 208 PS twin-cam VVT inline-six on corner exit. If you’ve ever fantasized about having a secret identity – maybe the Wichsen will be for you.

(This time it’s the engine variant ET rule by the razor-thin margin of 2.5 months… once again, a very strong entry that hurt to cut this early.)

VV JULI Opps - @Kalan

Apparently at the end of the issue, Michael puts the magazine away, not seeing an advertisement tucked into the corner of the last page.

(Unfortunately, a combination of anachronistic design features and engineering realism violations takes the VV Juli out early. Better luck next time.)


Thank god. My car was legal when I sent it in, but using all of the engine ET I was a bit afraid that some update would bork it.


Round 1a: Practical / All-Rounder Cars

ASAC-Schrader Motorwelt, June 1991 Issue

The ‘91 Auto-Roundup, Six Months Later: Honeymoon’s End?

Halfway through our annual Auto-Roundup staff tests, have our passions cooled, or does our love for these cars burn on?

Shinrai Nandemoya vs. Eriksson 525 Estate vs. Hakaru Presage Lanio RT-IV Special

These offerings from Shinrai, Eriksson, and Hakaru have one important thing in common: price. Coming in at or under 28.000 AMU, this trio of estates fills the market niche for those who are looking for something inexpensive, practical, and efficient, but also want something that goes a little bit beyond the norm.

The Shinrai Nandemoya, at 28.000 AMU, is the priciest of this trio. For the money, you get features usually seen only on far more expensive cars: adaptive suspension and aluminum panels standing out among an impressive spec sheet. Though other cars may be sportier or more comfortable, the Nandemoya manages to strike a solid balance between the two while also being very fuel-efficient (6.7L/100km in our testing) and cheap to maintain. For all these strengths, however, the Nandemoya’s cutting-edge technology is held back by a lack of refinement. Vague-feeling steering, a numb gearbox and clutch, and issues with the computerized adaptive suspension system may not be dealbreakers, but they do take some shine off of this otherwise very strong pick.

The Eriksson 525 and Hakaru Presage Lanio RT-IV take the opposite philosophy to the Nandemoya. At 23.900 and 24.900 AMU respectively, these estates are mostly conventional technologically – the Presage sports AWD, viscous diffs, and ABS, while the Eriksson’s safety suite, anti-lock brakes, and VVT are its major points of note. Their major selling point, then, is not technology, but quality of construction and design. While neither are sporty nor particularly comfortable compared their rivals, by eschewing technological frills, both should prove popular for their practicality, reliability, and dirt-cheap running costs.

VV Athena vs. AT Sanallite-SeD

VV and AT’s offerings in the space of C-segment four-door saloons need only two words of introduction: Hydropneumatic. Suspension.

Even six months on, the VV Athena (30.000 AMU) continues to impress. A plush interior, a high-end sound system, and multilink hydropneumatic rear suspension make for a very smooth ride. The Athena fights to carve out a unique niche as luxury in miniature – a fight that is hampered by its FF-transverse layout. Space constraints force the use of a 2.0L inline-four engine; front MacPherson struts compromise comfort. Even with these concessions, the Athena’s slightly awkward engine bay drives up service costs. Will the VV Athena overcome these obstacles and drive a revolution in compact luxury? Only time will tell.

AT took a different approach with their Sanallite-SED (30.300 AMU). Where the Athena is packed with technical gadgets, AT’s engineers prioritized solidity and a well-thought out design. Where the Athena is front-wheel drive, the Sanallite is rear-wheel drive. Where the Athena targets comfort, the Sanallite is an all-rounder, using its hydropneumatic system to smooth out the jolts and vibrations of a stiff, sporty suspension. Service costs are low, fuel economy is excellent, and consumer reports indicate excellent reliability. The catch? Only four seats. Bachelors and small families are covered, but families looking for a really practical everyday car might look elsewhere.

Kaizen FC24 vs. AW 100

Moving further upmarket, we find the Kaizen FC24 and AW 100. Though they might be priced almost identically at 32.500 and 32.700 AMU respectively, what Kaizen and AW chose to do with this premium budget were very different.

The C-segment Kaizen FC24 is built on a venerable platform, facelifted for what is reportedly the final time as its successor nears fruition. Though the FC24 still carries a formidable reputation, its age is certainly starting to show. Styling is attractive but dated. A 238 PS cast iron 3.0L inline-six lends some sporty flair, but is also thirsty. Stiff suspension helps in the corners, but makes for a rough ride. Thanks to its automatic gearbox, the FC24 is more drivable than its rivals, but this alone isn’t enough to save it. It certainly isn’t bad at anything – but better can be had at the same price point.

For just 200 more AMU, for instance, you could take an AW 100 home. Though not as attractive as the FC24, this C-segment estate provides comparable sportiness and comfort while maintaining the upper hand in fuel efficiency, practicality, and running costs. Excusing the bizarre choice of magnesium wheels instead of aluminum, it would seem that the AW100 is poised to be a sales hit – but cars like the Shinrai Nandemoya come to rain on its parade. Delivering almost identical practicality and performance for a stunning 4.700 AMU less, AW is left with an awkward question: what does the 100 do better?

Midlands Ceres GX-4 vs. Arlington Antares Touring SR vs. Permata Ascend 2.8 XE V6 AWD

Here, we find the three most expensive cars we tested: the Midlands Ceres GX-4 (33.000 AMU,) the Arlington Antares (33.200 AMU,) and the Permata Ascend 2.8 XE (34.500 AMU.) Will the juice be worth the financial squeeze? Read on.

The Midlands Ceres GX-4’s boy-racer looks and bold advertising hint at an excitingly sporty ride, and in some respects, it delivers. Stiff suspension, an RR layout, and a rear-biased weight distribution hint at Porsche-esque prowess – but hints are all they are. Some might point to its automatic gearbox, but the true culprit is once again the MacPherson strut. Their use might be justified further downmarket, but here, far north of 30.000 AMU, their disadvantages start to really show. While sky-high service costs and so-so reliability might be excused for a truly high-end sporting experience, the Ceres GX-4 fails to deliver – unfortunate, given its potential and stunning looks.

The Permata Ascend 2.8 XE flies even closer to the sun than the Ceres, being more expensive by over 1.000 AMU. Like the Ceres, the Ascend has lots of potential. Individual throttle bodies on its Nishiki-built V6 give the Ascend lightning-quick throttle response, while an all-wheel-drive system fitted with torque-sensing differentials promises excellent launches. Unfortunately, also like the Ceres, the Ascend fails to capitalize on this. No matter how much the clutch is dumped, 208 PS is far from being enough to actually light up the tires. Cheap tires and a softer-than expected, understeery suspension tune leave the Ascend nowhere in the corners. This is not to say that it fails to feel sporty at all – it does – but it fails to justify high running costs, mediocre comfort, and, most of all, its expense.

What about the Arlington Antares, then? Its sleek, aerodynamic looks are appealing, Mac struts are nowhere to be found, and under the hood a longitudinally-mounted 3.7L V6 delivers ample power to the – front wheels? This odd layout isn’t all bad – thanks to sports compound tires, it rockets to 100 km/h in just 6.4 seconds, and even provides a grippy if understeery experience in the corners. The Antares is, in the end, a well-balanced ride… but high service costs, poor mileage, and not a lot to show for it come to claim the Antares in the end as well.


  1. Shinrai Nandemoya - @Deltaz
  2. AT-Sanallite - @T0M
  3. Hakaru Presage Lanio RT-IV Special - @Executive
  4. VV Athena - @conan
  5. Eriksson 525 Estate - @RN99
  6. AW100 - @lztd15
  7. Kaizen FC24 - @66mazda
  8. Midlands Ceres GX-4 - @Portalkat42
  9. Arlington Antares Touring SR - @Texaslav
  10. Permata Ascend - @BannedByAndroid

Though Gabi's choice of cars here is easy, things aren't so clear for Michael. Though he's drawn to the Ceres and Antares's looks, the Sanallite and Nandemoya's better practicality, value, and similar performance win him over.

Gabi’s Top 3:

  • Hakaru Presage Lanio RT-IV
  • Shinrai Nandemoya
  • Eriksson 525
Michael's Top 3:
  • AT-Sanallite
  • Midlands Ceres GX-4
  • Shinrai Nandemoya
Moving on to the test drive:
  • Shinrai Nandemoya
  • AT-Sanallite
  • Hakaru Presage Lanio RT-IV

Up next: Sporty Cars


Round 1b: Sports

Was Auto?, May 1991 Issue

Top row, left-to-right: Kaiser 2800, Apex TwinSport R-Spec, IP Warbler 2000 GTX Liftback, Voltari Auraelion Prestige 3.0i x4, GSI Esper
Bottom row, left-to-right: WM Welland 3.0 Touring Coupe, Baumhauer 425 Vier 20V, Arion Cormorant 190I, Hergenrother 20 (2.9), Halvson G1S Super Harrier
Professional drivers on a closed course. Do not attempt.

Brawn for the Brainy: Ten sports offerings that straddle the line between track and street

GSI Esper + IP Warbler 2000 GTX Liftback

Standing in a class all their own are the IP Warbler 2000 GTX Liftback and GSI Esper, selling for just 24.000 and 27.100 AMU respectively. Can these budget front-wheel drive saloons keep up with the pack without cutting too many corners?

Let’s start with the IP Warbler’s most compelling feature: its price. The difference between the Warbler and the most expensive car we tested (the Apex TwinSport) is a full 11.000 AMU – enough to buy this and a reasonable used car besides. Given these tight budgetary constraints, we were surprised to find a car this well-equipped – with double wishbones in front, multilink suspension in the rear, ABS, and variable power steering, the Warbler 2000 feels sporty while remaining composed enough for daily driving. To deliver this performance at the price point, though, the engineers at IP had to make tough decisions. Some are fair trades – such as a relatively spartan interior and sound system – and some, like a last-generation safety system, are more worrying. In spite of these problems, however, the Warbler still remains a very good value – better cannot be had for less.

For 3.000 AMU more, you can purchase a new GSI Esper – trading comfort for incredible fuel economy. Though its suspension might not be as advanced, it compensates in sportiness with a stiffer suspension tune, a limited-slip differential, and aluminum panels. It makes good use of its LSD with a front-mounted V-6, efficiently producing 186 PS for 6.3L/100km thanks to VVT, a lean burn, and low-friction pistons. Critically, where the Warbler has no airbags, the GSI Esper features airbags for the driver and passenger, boosting safety. Unfortunately, however, its stiffer, less advanced suspension also results in a harsher ride compared to the Warbler, even taking a plusher interior into consideration. Ultimately, the Esper is a solid budget pick – though maybe not so pleasant for everyday driving.

Voltari Auraelion Prestige 3.0i x4 + Kaiser 2800

In several respects, the Kaiser 2800 (30.400 AMU) and Voltari Auraelion Prestige 3.0i x4 (32.400 AMU) are very similar – they’re exactly the same wheelbase, have aluminum bonnets and boot lids, variable power steering, ABS, traction control, and dual airbags – but at the end of the day, one has to come out on top.

The Kaiser 2800 is, in many respects, a purebred sporting machine in miniature, with rear-wheel drive, a torque sensing differential, and sports suspension out of the box making for an exciting drive. More controversial at the office, however, is its four-speed automatic gearbox. Some claim it to be a necessary part of the car – otherwise, they say, the Kaiser’s stiff suspension and middling sound system would make for an unacceptably rough ride. Detractors point out that the money spent on an automatic could, perhaps, be better spent on a better sound system, or even a different suspension setup altogether. Either way, the Esper is in a strange place: though it’s superior to its cheaper rivals in several respects, it’s hard to say whether its 6.000 AMU premium over, say, the IP Warbler 2000 is worth the price.

For a not inconsiderable 2.000 AMU more, The Voltari Auraelion Prestige 3.0i x4 presents a much more balanced package with some enticing extras. A five-speed gearbox, full-time AWD, a whopping 214 PS and viscous LSDs contribute to a sporty feel, while multilink geometry, a balanced suspension tune, and an excellent exhaust system make it tame enough for everyday comfort and drivability. Though the interior is relatively stripped-down compared to its rivals, it feels thoroughly solid and well-designed, contributing to excellent reliability and maintenance costs lower than even the IP Warbler. In terms of pure, sporty feel, we have to tip our hat towards the 2800 – but for the extra money, the Auraelion presents a much more refined, livable experience.

WM Welland + Apex TwinSport R-Spec

We can already hear you readers from the Was Auto? offices – hang on, you say, what is a supercar like the Apex TwinSport R-Spec (35.000 AMU) doing next to an autobahn cruiser like the WM Welland (30.000 AMU)?

The Apex TwinSport R-Spec certainly looks the part of a cutting-edge track monster. Its styling has proven controversial: some praise its boy-racer style, while others say that the sheer number of vents and creases makes for a messy, confused design. Even with a 272 PS VVT twin-turbo I6 under the hood and a torque-sensing differential, however, the conclusion our staff came to was unavoidable. With a luxurious but dense interior, boat-like roll in the corners, and a four-speed automatic, the R in R-Spec can’t stand for “racing” – maybe “R&R” would make more sense? Even those that can get over its mismatched looks and engineering will have to contend with luxury car fuel economy, service costs, and price – whatever the TwinSport is, it fails to fit the bill for dailyable sports.

The WM Welland is, in some respects, the exact opposite of the TwinSport. On paper, this two-door coupe has a lot going for it – at a full 5.000 AMU less than the Apex TwinSport, it manages to strike a balance between comfort and composure on the track. Light weight and good chassis stiffness contribute to a sporty feel, a balanced suspension setup keeps it more than comfortable enough for everyday use, and good fuel economy for a sports car makes it seem like a good pick on paper. Unfortunately for the Welland, however, its styling is completely *un-*controversial at the offices: it wasn’t exciting when it first came out four years ago, and it hasn’t improved with time. This, on top of the inherent impracticality of the two-door coupe style, makes it difficult to recommend without reservation.

Hergenrother 20 + Halvson Super Harrier G1S

Import vs. domestic: the Australian Halvson Super Harrier G1S (34.000 AMU) takes on our homegrown Hergenrother 20 (33.200 AMU) in the arena of D-segment sports.

Long, low, and slippery, the Hergenrother has a lot to recommend itself right out of the box. It has all the features you might expect from a car of this price segment: a geared limited-slip differential, wishbones all around, a 3.0L V-6 with variable valve timing and double overhead cams. Above all, what the Hergenrother 20 has going for it are stunning looks – a long hood and modern, streamlined looks draw the eye. Compromised engineering, however, poses a problem in a highly competitive market segment. Apparently to offset the cost of staggered tires, the Hergenrother comes from the factory with economy tires, sacrificing potentially stellar cornering and acceleration. Steering feels noticeably numb for a sports car, thanks to non-variable power steering. Finally, to combat a rough, sporty ride, extra attention has been paid to sound deadening, weighing the car down. Though the Hergenrother retains a super sporty feel, we wonder what could have been if the engineers had had a little more budget to work with.

The Halvson Super Harrier certainly hearkens back to the age of the muscle car, for better or worse. In spite of a decked-out interior and sound system, the Super Harrier is not a comfortable ride – a solid rear axle and sporty suspension see to that. An OHC-3 valvetrain can’t save the throttle-body injected V8 from feeling out of date. At 14L/100km, its fuel economy is poor, and repair bills are even worse. And yet, for all of its flaws, there’s something that we can’t help but like about the Super Harrier – it wears its heritage on its sleeve, standing out by staying true to the classic muscle experience.

Baumhauer 425 Vier 20V + Arion Cormorant 190I

Disparate looks, similar concept: we find out whether the premium-priced Baumhauer 425 Vier 20V (33.700 AMU) and the Arion Cormorant 190I (33.600 AMU) handle themselves as well at Aldi as they do at the apex.

Don’t be fooled by the Baumhauer 425 Vier 20V’s compact dimensions. Within its small frame comes a panoply of sporty features that makes the 425 Vier feel like a supercar in miniature. Grippy tires, a four-wheel drive system, geared LSDs and a sporty suspension tune means the 425 Vier is capable everywhere on the track - its only fault being a somewhat below average top speed. The 425’s strengths don’t end there – daily driving is effortless, fuel economy at 9.3L/100km is solid for a sports car, and its liftback means the 425 Vier is as sweet every day as it is on track day. And, as icing on the cake, its design remains fresh, modern, and incredibly crisp even four years on – what’s not to love? The 425 Vier remains a top pick.

With an overall length of just over 4.8 meters, the Arion Cormorant 190I is fully 40cm longer than the Baumhauer 425. If you think this means a less thrilling drive, however, you would be sorely mistaken. Though added weight and less sporty tires means somewhat lower skidpad performance, the Cormorant makes up for it with lightning-quick throttle response, an excellent exhaust note, multilink suspension and lower drivetrain losses (an advantage gained by omitting all-wheel drive.) Comfort-wise, the Arion comes out ahead of many of its rivals, with its size coming into play. Its practical estate form factor, cheaper-than average service costs, good fuel economy (8.8L/100km) and standout styling makes the Arion just as compelling a package as the 425 Vier – time will tell which of the two will win customers over.

After lengthy deliberations, the staff of Was Auto? gave the nod to the Arion Cormorant, but only by a nose over the Baumhauer 425. The Voltari Auraelion rounds out the podium places as a very practical midrange pick. Overall, an extremely close race all throughout the field, with each entry having something to recommend it.

  1. Arion Cormorant 190I - @Aruna
  2. Baumhauer 425 Vier 20V - @S_U_C_C_U_L_E_N_T
  3. Voltari Auraelion Prestige 3.0i x4 - @vero94773
  4. Hergenrother 20 (2.9) - @VaporScape
  5. IP Warbler 2000 GTX Liftback - @Knugcab
  6. WM Welland 3.0 Touring Coupe - @abg7
  7. Kaiser 2800 - @TheYugo45GV
  8. GSI Esper - @oppositelock
  9. Halvson Super Harrier G1S - @lotto77
  10. Apex TwinSport R-Spec - @ldub0775

Michael’s eyes light up reading this issue, but Gabi’s not so excited.

Gabi’s Top 3:

  • Voltari Auraelion Prestige 3.0i x4
  • Kaiser 2800
  • Arion Cormorant 190I
Michael's Top 3:
  • Baumhauer 425 Vier 20v
  • Hergenrother 20
  • Arion Cormorant 190I
Moving on to the test drive:
  • Baumhauer 425 Vier 20V
  • Arion Cormorant 190I
  • Voltari Auraelion Prestige 3.0i x4

Up next: Offroaders



Round 1c: Offroaders

Motozeitung June 1991 Issue

Clockwise, from top center: Reduit Skeet, FMC EMU, Regal 265 4x4 Estate, Knightwick Stormer, Westland Wayfarer

Old Guard vs. Young Guns: Are These Five the Future of Off-Roading?

Westland Wayfarer LTX + Knightwick Stormer

Hailing from opposite shores of the Atlantic, the Knightwick Stormer (32.300 AMU) and Westland Wayfarer LTX (34.100 AMU) bring the fight to the old guard head-on – but are they true off-road performers, or are they mere pretenders to the throne?

The Knightwick Stormer seeks to marry high-end features with a traditional off-roading experience. Underneath the aluminum bonnet and boot lid, lavish interior, variable power steering and full-time all-wheel-drive are front and rear live axles, locking differentials, a pushrod 3.9L V-8 and a ladder frame. Thanks to its solid and well-thought-out design, it retains good reliability in spite of its packed feature list. The Stormer is, undeniably, a highly capable and surprisingly comfortable off-roading machine – but in an already narrow market segment, below-average safety, above-average service costs, and abysmal fuel economy (15.5L/100km) may see it struggle to gain widespread acceptance.

The Westland Wayfarer LTX attempts to present an uncompromised offroad experience without sacrificing daily drivability by leaning on advanced technical features. Instead of locking differentials, the Wayfarer features viscous limited-slip units. Where the Stormer retains a traditional ladder frame, the Wayfarer’s unibody construction and dual airbags give it the edge in safety. And, in spite of a larger, more powerful 5.2L V8, the Wayfarer even manages to achieve better fuel economy – though 13.9L/100km is still far from economical. The Wayfarer still has to make compromises, however. Though a less well-equipped interior and sound system keeps running costs down and makes for bulletproof reliability, it also makes for a rough ride. The biggest compromise of all, of course, is its price – but for those that can stomach its 34.100 AMU price tag, the Wayfarer’s offroad prowess, solid daily-ability, and rugged, modern looks give a lot to recommend it.

Regal 265 4x4 Estate + FMC EMU

While these may not be hardcore off-roaders in the vein of the Wayfarer and Stormer, they don’t claim to be – instead, the Regal 265 4x4 Estate (31.700 AMU) and FMC EMU (33.400 AMU) look to strike a balance between off-road capability and on-road livability. Do they represent the off-roader, evolved – or will they go the way of the dodo?

Don’t let the FMC EMU’s traditional two-box style fool you: its spec sheet is more limo than Land Cruiser. Four-wheel independent suspension, air springs, and adaptive dampers gives the FMC EMU an exceptionally comfortable ride. The EMU is far from being a pavement queen, though. Good ground clearance, a dual-range 4x4 system, adjustable height suspension, locking differentials and a torquey 4.2L V8 makes the EMU a comfortable, capable offroader. High repair costs and even higher fuel consumption (12.3L/100km) makes the EMU an expensive proposition – but for those looking for an offroader with a truly premium feel, the EMU is a very strong contender.

The Regal 265 4x4 Estate, on the other hand, is anything but traditional. The more that we looked at the whole package, though, the more we liked it. It’s not a hardcore rock crawling machine by any means. For an off-roader, its ground clearance is low, and its approach, departure, and breakover angles are narrow. That aside, however, the Regal is actually fairly well-equipped, coming from the factory with torque-sensing differentials, all-terrain tires, a 4x4 system, and soft swaybars. The 265’s 2.8L inline-six falls behind on power and torque, but combined with better aerodynamics, the 265 manages an impressive 7.7L/100km – consuming less than half of the Stormer’s 15.5L/100km. Add in good reliability, low running costs, good practicality, and solid comfort, and you get something that really does feel all-terrain – suited for both the street and the trail.

Reduit Skeet

Off in a corner of the market all its own, the Reduit Skeet (31.300 AMU) is certainly an odd bird. When you think “off-roaders,” vans probably don’t come to mind, and a van with hydropneumatic suspension, a 2.5L inline-five, double overhead cams and individual throttle bodies? If the Skeet wasn’t sitting out in the Motozeitung parking lot, we wouldn’t believe it either. But the Skeet is real – and, surprisingly enough, it’s for real too. Under the skin are all the features you’d want out of an offroad performer: twin solid axles, a 4x4 system, locking differentials, and a skidtray, plus the hydro struts’ self-leveling and height adjusting capabilities. Though the Skeet can’t match the Regal 265’s excellent fuel economy, seven full-size seats and cavernous cargo space means the Skeet should have no trouble handling even extended camping trips with the family, and good build quality helps contribute to low service costs. Make no mistake, Reduit’s typical questionable design choices (ITBs? Stiff suspension on an offroader?) are still occasionally present, and the ride is harsh. But we have to admit – in spite of it all, the Skeet impresses.

THESE RANKINGS ARE BASED ENTIRELY OFF OF OFFROAD SCORE. Since each of these cars target a different segment of the offroad/SUV market, ranking each entry based on overall quality irrespective of target market doesn’t make much sense. I apologize for any confusion this may cause.

  1. Westland Wayfarer LTX -@Kyorg
  2. Knightwick Stormer -@mart1n2005
  3. Reduit Skeet -@kobacrashi
  4. FMC EMU -@Lanson
  5. Régal 265 4x4 Estate -@karhgath

Gabi’s job here is easy. Michael, on the other hand, vacillates endlessly – does he prefer the modern, rugged Wayfarer, or the classic panache of the Stormer? Does the Régal’s athletic appearance put it ahead of the Reduit’s undeniable performance? What about the FMC’s smooth ride? How can he be expected to decide…?

Gabi’s Top 3:

  • Régal 265 4x4 Estate
  • Reduit Skeet
  • Westland Wayfarer LTX
Michael's Top 3:
  • Westland Wayfarer LTX
  • Knightwick Stormer
  • Régal 265 4x4 Estate
Moving on to the test drive:
  • Westland Wayfarer LTX
  • Régal 265 4x4 Estate
  • Reduit Skeet

Up next: Comfortable Cars


Round 1d: Premium Cars

Auto Welt July 1991 Issue

Clockwise, from top center: Kaiserliche, Atera Jewel Great Crest 3.0i, Authlen M180, Cabirou Montpelier LE, Riemann 380S Injektion, Swanson 400 91 437AFP

Six Premium Cars, Six Months On – Smooth Sailing, or Rough Seas?


The Kaiserliche (34.900 AMU), to its credit, is legitimately an extremely comfortable car with an eye-popping spec sheet. An interior fit for a luxury car. Air springs. Adaptive dampers. A 5.2L twelve-cylinder engine (though it opts, confusingly, for an overhead-valve valvetrain.) The sticker price is high, fuel economy is poor (12.7L/100km) and service costs are even worse, but we might be able to forgive all of it if it wasn’t painfully, painfully obvious that the engineering budget for this tiny manufacturer came at the expense of their designers. If this is a car we wanted to be seen in, we would be able to extend our recommendation. Our advice? Wait for news of a facelift.

Riemann 380S Injektion

The Riemann 380S Injektion (33.600 AMU) is another entry that could be said to stand in a class of its own. With its classy, refined looks, you might expect the 380S to be a true-blue luxury cruiser, an expectation bolstered by the inclusion of a 4.0L V8, adaptive dampers, and a thoroughly thought-out premium interior. However, the 380S’s relatively compact dimensions, torque-sensing differential, and manual gearbox might point towards a different approach for the premium market. Our testing confirmed this hunch - though the 380S is certainly no slouch on comfort, we were surprised to learn that it feels closer to a sports car than it does a luxurious boat. Rocketing to 100km/h in just 6.4s and getting a respectable 0.91 lateral Gs on the skidpad, its poor fuel economy (11.4L/100km), service costs elevated by staggered tires, and premium price are justified by the Riemann’s balance of sporty performance and comfort.

Atera Jewel Great Crest 3.0i + Swanson 400 91 437AFP

The Atera Jewel Great Crest 3.0i and Swanson 400 437AFP were among the most expensive models in our testing, at 33.500 AMU and 34.200 AMU respectively. Can these models justify their premium pricetag?

The Atera Jewel Great Crest might be thought of as the Riemann 380S’s sibling. There’s plenty to suggest that the Jewel is supposed to be a sports car: a low-slung coupe body style, appealing sporty styling, excellent cornering at .97g and a high-strung 237PS DOHC-4 inline six top the list. Sadly, the Jewel is hamstrung in this respect by its transmission – Atera offering a four-speed automatic as its standard and only transmission option. This leaves the Atera as a smooth-feeling, reasonably comfortable, solidly built and somewhat sporty coupe – but where the Riemann manages to salvage its awkward position by being a surprisingly good sports car and a decent premium car besides, the Atera doesn’t stand out in either respect. Combine that with an outdated safety suite and a thirsty engine (12.0L/100km) and you get a car that might face an uphill battle for public acceptance.

The Swanson 400 attempts to marry a comfortable, luxurious experience with the practicality and efficiency of a liftback. 199 PS might not be an enormous amount of power out of a 3.7L boxer-six, but it produces that power efficiently thanks to an economical cam profile and low-friction pistons – getting an impressive 7.9L/100km in our testing – and a liftback means even awkward cargo fits easily into the boot of the 400. The 400 is comfortable too, thanks to multilink suspension, an automatic gearbox, a long wheelbase (making it, unusually, a D-segment five-door) and a rattle-free interior. Crisp, modern looks seal the deal – maybe this isn’t a traditional premium car, but the Swanson isn’t trying to be traditional, and, arguably, it’s better for that.

Authlen M180 + Cabirou Montpelier LE

On the other side of the scale, the Authlen M180 (31.900 AMU) and the Cabirou Montpelier LE (29.400 AMU) try to prove that you don’t need to pay premium prices for a premium-feeling ride.

The Authlen M180 trades on its D-segment size, extra sound deadening, and quality of construction and design. Where other premium cars might use viscous LSDs, the rear differential on the M180 is open. Where other cars might go for computerized adaptive damper systems, the M180 sticks to passive mono-tube units. Where other cars might opt for fancy multi-link suspensions, the M180 sticks to the older double-wishbone geometry, a decision that, sadly, comes back to haunt it given how much better the multilink setup is compared to double-wishbone for comfort. Frugality may be a virtue, but in its quest to cut the fat, the M180’s engineers inadvertently cut all the way to the bone. It’s hardly a bad pick, retaining good comfort, relatively low service costs, and reasonable fuel economy (9.2L/100km.) Those who want a top-of-the-line premium feel may be disappointed, but for those who need a large, reasonably priced, traditional premium car, you could certainly do much worse.

The Cabirou Montpelier might seem an odd pick at first. It’s not big – with a wheelbase of just 2.5m. It doesn’t have a fancy engine – it comes with a 153PS cast-iron 2.8L V6. It’s not technically flashy – no ABS, no limited slip-differential, it even uses rear drum brakes instead of disks. Given all these things that the Montpelier isn’t, what is it?

Quite simply, the Montpelier is the most comfortable, practical, and downright cheapest car in this year’s tests. The longitudinal-FWD drivetrain configuration makes the inside of this car feel much bigger than its short wheelbase would suggest, with a deep footwell and a low “hump” maximizing interior space. Though the interior’s specs on paper are unassuming, the quality of construction and design on display are second-to-none. A whisper-quiet exhaust note, extensive sound deadening, and multilink suspension rounds out the design of a car that feels much bigger and more expensive than it is. Combine that with a smooth, forgiving driving experience, excellent reliability, rock-bottom service costs and stunning fuel economy (6.6L/100km!) and it’s clear that Cabirou’s engineers understand what a premium car is supposed to be about – seamlessly insulating its passengers from the bumps and troubles of the world. It might not be a traditional premium car, but for those willing to try something out of the ordinary, the Montpelier is unmatched.

These rankings consider value, dailyability, and performance (primarily comfort and prestige, though sportiness occasionally comes into play.) As always, the best car for you will depend on your needs.

  1. Cabirou Montpelier LE - @donutsnail
  2. Swanson 400 91 437AFP - @Ludvig
  3. Riemann 380S Injektion - @ChemaTheMexican
  4. Authlen M180 - @EnCR
  5. Atera Jewel Great Crest 3.0i - @HybridTronny
  6. Kaiserliche - @Admiral_Obvious

Gabi and Michael are immediately drawn to the Cabirou, though the premium prestige and sportiness of the Riemann and Swanson draws Michael’s attention.

Gabi’s Top 3:

  • Cabirou Montpelier LE
  • Swanson 400 91 437AFP
  • Authlen M180
Michael's Top 3:
  • Riemann 380S Injektion
  • Swanson 400 91 437AFP
  • Cabirou Montpelier LE
Moving on to the test drive:
  • Cabirou Montpelier LE
  • Swanson 400 91 437AFP
  • Riemann 380S Injektion

Up next: Test Drives


Round 2: Test Drives

Sometimes it’s good to get out of the house.

After drawing up their lists, Gabi and Michael begin the arduous task of flipping through the phone book and ringing up twelve different car dealers.

“Couldn’t we have just looked at different models of the same car?” Gabi said. “Even if we’re only going around to different places in the city, this is going to take a long time…”

Michael set the handset of their apartment’s telephone down onto its cradle. “Bad news, Gabi… you know how Reduit hasn’t been doing so well lately?”

Gabi squeezed her eyes shut. “Where’s the nearest dealer. Let me guess. Hamburg. Hannover.”

Michael shook his head. “Köln.”

Note: Entries are listed in order of price, cheapest first.

Hakaru Presage Lanio RT-IV Special - @Executive

Michael’s Thoughts: It looks really slick with its popup headlights, and the all-wheel drive system is a nice touch, but it still feels too restrained for my tastes.

Gabi’s Thoughts: If it were only up to me, I’d be tempted to call the dealer right here and now – safety is concerning, but I really like it otherwise. Michael looked as though he was going to fall asleep during the test drive, though…

Shinrai Nandemoya - @Deltaz

Michael’s Thoughts: It looks like a spaceship, and it’s got the technology to match. It might not stand out in sporty feel or comfort, and it definitely felt a little technically underbaked, but the spec sheet is pretty nice – and Gabi really seems to like it.

Gabi’s Thoughts: It’s cheap to run, it’s shockingly good on fuel, it’s got a modern safety system, and it goes for 28.000 AMU. I really like this one.

Cabirou Montpelier LE - @donutsnail

Michael’s Thoughts: The Cabirou’s not very technically ambitious, and even though I like its modern take on the classic sedan style, the styling is a bit strange on such a small body. Those problems melt away, though, when you step inside… it’s like driving a cloud. I really like this one.

Gabi’s Thoughts: I never expected to like this one as much as I do. It’s really easy to drive, running costs are low, and fuel consumption is even lower – maybe it’s not as cheap as the Shinrai or the Hakaru, but it more than makes up for that, I think.

AT Sanallite-SeD - @T0M

Michael’s Thoughts: This one’s tricky. It feels a lot like the Shinrai – competent at everything, but it doesn’t stand out at anything. Given a somewhat less impressive feature list, I think I’d have to give the Shinrai the edge here.

Gabi’s Thoughts: I think I have to agree with Michael here. The AT isn’t bad, but the Shinrai does almost everything it does as well or better. Losing that fifth seat really hurts it, too.

Reduit Skeet - @kobacrashi

A six-hour drive later…

Michael’s Thoughts: Leave it to Reduit to make something that I can’t make up my mind about. It’s cheap, it’s incredible offroad, it’s got surprisingly modern looks and modern tech. On the other hand, the ride approaches being unacceptably rough, and, well… it’s a van, you know? I’m not sure that a van really captures that youthful energy.

Gabi’s Thoughts: The Skeet is pretty thirsty, and the solid axle suspension can make driving a bit of a handful, but it’s safe, cheap to service, the cargo space is huge, and it’s cheap too. It’s not my favorite, but I could live with it.

Régal 265 4x4 Estate - @karhgath

Michael’s Thoughts: This isn’t as good offroad as the Skeet, but it’s still pretty capable, reasonably comfortable and looks really cool. It’s got a combination of modern, refined looks, and a heavy duty feel from all the cladding that works really well.

Gabi’s Thoughts: It’s really good on fuel, cheap to run, reliable, and practical. It’s not as good of a value as the Cabirou or Shinrai for me, but it’s not outlandishly expensive. I can definitely see myself liking this car a lot.

Voltari Auraelion Prestige 3.0i x4 - @vero94773

Michael’s Thoughts: This one’s looks really appeal to me. The sweeping bodylines must’ve taken the designers a long time to figure out, but they really work – it looks super modern. It’s not the sportiest sports car out there, but its spec sheet is really nice and it looks good.

Gabi’s Thoughts: Sports cars are never going to be the most livable things in the world, but this one is okay. It’s easy to drive, it’s cheap to keep up on maintenance, it’s good for reliability too. Like the Skeet, it’s not my favorite, but it’s still solid.

Arion Cormorant 190I - @Aruna

Michael’s Thoughts: You know, it might be big, but it feels like a real sports car, very fun to drive. It’s not as understeery as the Voltari and the suspension’s a bit stiffer, so it feels very light on its feet. It looks really premium too – the size works out for it, and the style feels sort of chunky and aggressive while also feeling modern and elegant. This one’s one of my favorites.

Gabi’s Thoughts: This one’s a bit of a step down for me. It’s not easy to drive, it’s a bit pricy to service compared to the Voltari and such, though the cargo space and fuel consumption are nice. It’s not bad, though, and given how much Michael likes it, I could definitely see myself spending the money.

Riemann 380S Injektion - @ChemaTheMexican

Michael’s Thoughts: The magazine reviews were right – this really does feel like a sports car; maybe even sportier than the Voltari. The manual gearbox makes it less of a seamless drive, but overall, it’s still pretty comfortable. Looks great, drives nicely, pretty nice spec sheet.

Gabi’s Thoughts: We’re starting to get to the point where problems get to be too much for me to say yes without thinking it over. The Riemann isn’t bad, mostly, but the fuel economy is poor and the service costs are the highest of all the cars on our list; so I start to wonder, you know, this car is already pretty expensive, can we afford to spend so much in fuel and maintenance on top of that?

Baumhauer 425 Vier 20V - @S_U_C_C_U_L_E_N_T

Michael’s Thoughts: I really love this car. It looks really nice, very angular and sporty, which fits, because it really does feel sporty. The engine is a bit sleepy when you go to hammer the throttle, but otherwise it’s really fun to drive. It might not be as advanced technically as some other cars, because it’s not a new model, but if it’s this nice of an experience, I don’t mind – it’s fun, wicked in the corners, and looks incredible. It’ll be really hard to decide whether I like the Arion or the Baumhaer better.

Gabi’s Thoughts: On balance, I think I feel about the same as the Baumhaer as I do about the Arion. Its compact size is a lot more practical than the Arion, the liftback is really nice, and it’s a lot nicer to drive, but running costs are a bit higher and it’s not as efficient. They’re even almost exactly the same price! It’s not an easy job for either of us.

Westland Wayfarer LTX - @Kyorg

Michael’s Thoughts: With the Reduit, you had really solid offroading, and with the Regal, you had really good looks, and with the Westland, you get, well, both, really. It looks like a classic offroader, but has those rounded edges and curves you expect from a modern car. And given its size and giant tires, it should be as good offroad as it looks.

Gabi’s Thoughts: There’s a lot to like about the Westland. It’s reliable, pretty cheap to service, very safe, and fairly drivable, so it makes me sad to say that the size, high floor and fuel economy does it in for me. Cheaper cars do what I want better.

Swanson 400 91 437AFP - @Ludvig

Michael’s Thoughts: It’s a comfortable car, for sure, but it’s funny, all the time when I was sitting inside of it on the test drive, I was thinking about the Cabirou. The Swanson might be sharper in the corners, it might be a more premium size, and I love its modern looks, but the Cabirou’s ride is just impossible to touch.

Gabi’s Thoughts: I’m thinking of the Cabirou too, but mostly in terms of its livability and price. It’s cheaper to service, more efficient, and easier to drive, for almost 5.000 AMU less… the Swanson’s not bad, I actually quite like it, but I like what cheaper cars can do better.

After some final deliberations, the two write up their individual lists:

Michael’s List:


  • Baumhauer Vier
  • Arion Cormorant 190I
  • Westland Wayfarer LTX
  • Cabirou Montpelier LE


  • Régal 265 4x4 Estate
  • Riemann 380S Injektion
  • Voltari Auraelion Prestige 3.0i x4
  • Reduit Skeet
  • Swanson 400 91 437AFP

Compromise Picks:

  • Shinrai Nandemoya
  • AT Sanallite-SeD
  • Hakaru Presage Lanio RT-IV Special
Gabi’s List:


  • Cabirou Montpelier LE
  • Shinrai Nandemoya
  • Hakaru Presage Lanio RT-IV Special


  • AT Sanallite-SeD
  • Régal 265 4x4 Estate
  • Swanson 400 91 437AFP
  • Voltari Auraelion Prestige 3.0i x4
  • Reduit Skeet

Compromise Picks:

  • Arion Cormorant 190I
  • Baumhauer 425 Vier 20V
  • Westland Wayfarer LTX
  • Riemann 380S Injektion

…and compare notes for their final list:

Gabi and Michael’s Rankings:

  1. Arion Cormorant 190I
  2. Baumhauer 425 Vier 20V
  3. Cabirou Montpelier LE
  4. Régal 265 4x4 Estate
  5. Reduit Skeet
  6. Voltari Auraelion Prestige 3.0i x4
  7. Swanson 400 91 437AFP
  8. Shinrai Nandemoya
  9. Riemann 380S Injektion
  10. Westland Wayfarer LTX
  11. AT Sanallite-SeD
  12. Hakaru Presage Lanio RT-IV Special

Final Thoughts:

Congrats to everyone who got this far – this was a tough round to judge. Competition at the top was incredibly close, with every entry in the top five being considered for the top slot at some point. For the most part, those entries that fell below that mark generally were well-engineered, well-designed entries that simply didn’t hit the mark for either Gabi and Michael as closely.

Thanks for having me run this round! A version of the spreadsheet I used is linked below. If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask either via DM on the forums or through the Automation Discord. I learned a lot and had fun, and I hope you had fun too.

Finally, a big, big thanks to Donutsnail, whose idea I shamelessly stole :stuck_out_tongue:

CSR148.zip (144.9 KB)

Next Round: The Car Shopping Round 149


somehow got in the final round, that’s pretty nice
thanks for hosting, but is there a google sheet link? or do I need a file viewer some thing like that?

Don’t want to be dumb here but which list is the cars that actually won? I assume the “loves” list is the actual rankings?


I guess that the “combined loves” list is the cars on the top in the order they won. But one should not have to guess, so making things a little bit more clear wouldn’t have hurt. Now, I know that this is MrM:s first time of hosting so I feel that it is still acceptable, just worth thinking about in the future.

Fixed now, thanks for the feedback :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

Wahoo! First victory! :sparkles:

I’ve never hosted a CSR before but it’ll be an honour to do so! Is there a specific guide/layout somewhere that I need to build around?


When I hosted the first one I did I had a read through the rules of a couple of ones that were near it in time to get an idea of how It worked.



What car I want


Submission details


And not before time! Designing a good-looking car is one thing; designing a good-looking challenge-winning car is another (especially when it’s for something like a CSR). You have done all of us a huge favor by doing both of them at once for this CSR, and are expected to be up to the task when hosting the next one.


Just in case I run out of energy today (Been working on the thread & trial builds for maybe upwards of 5 hours now):

I will post a highly WIP thread sometime tonight or tomorrow instead of a finished CSR149 Round ready to rumble. I have a very complex scenario inside my head to get out which requires a bit of testing and lots of effort! I would like to finalise it along with the community as it is quite an ambitious scenario.

As per CSR Rules:

Next round is now up