AC Schnitzer ACS6 Review
German uberBimmertuner AC Schnitzer is most famous for their triple-wikkid M6 TENSION concept: a two-toned yellow and grey beast of such pornographic hideousness there's a California court order banning it from driving within 100 feet of a schoolyard or playground. Schnitzer's relative demure ACS6 is a standard BMW 645 Convertible with 21' Dub-and-a-halfs, snarlier exhaust note, carbon-fiber interior, dropped suspension and, uh, ground effects. So how do you test a car that tugs most firmly at the heart strings of those who live in Newport Beach and Qatar? I called Jalopy's Davey G and headed down the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) to see if all exotics are sexually attracted to telephone poles.
You know the story, right? Swedish videogame mogul and maybe mafia man smuggles $1m Ferrari Enzo into the US, races his wife's equally embezzled $450k McLaren SLR on PCH, hits a telephone pole, cleaves the Fezza in two, wanders drunk around the hillside shouting "Dietrich ate my homework," etc. Obviously, the Schnitzel isn't in the same league as the Enzo— it's rarer. In fact, the ACS6 is the spot-on perfect vehicle to retrace Bo "Stefan" Eriksson's ill-fated joyride. It glides, it's built, the top drops and everyone looks at you. Everyone. I parked mein AC at a public park in San Pedro and a crowd gathered. It was 9:00 in the morning on a Tuesday. In Califrigginfornia.
The boldly Bangled 645 is mutant enough to attract attention. But coupled with three breath mints of ground clearance, useless double chrome strips, an ass-inflating spoiler and wheels as bright as the sun, well, if you're lonely, buy an ACS6. Someday, the Peterson Auto Museum will feature the Schnitzel in its exhibit: The Kings of Bling: WTF Was That All About? Meanwhile, not all of the attention given the pimped Bimmer is positive. Trying to merge onto the miserable 405 from Santa Monica Blvd– a road that has more $100k-and-up whips per mile than any other bit of Left Coast blacktop– not a soul would let me over. I had to go under and loop back. Stupid Bentleys.
Seeing as how the Schnitzer lists for only $115,000, Davey had to tune the radio to my iPod's transmitter. I timed him as he dug through iDrive for an audio solution. In just under two-minutes, he managed to lock-onto to 107.9 FM. In the process, we discovered that the voice recognition works. With the top down I said, 'Dude, Map. Like, Malibu? Thanks bro.' Magically, the screen revealed our 10-20. Spooky; Ephesians 10-20 tell us to "Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes." Does the Schnitzer's liberal application of carbon-fiber mummy-wrap throughout the cabin count? Davey stared at aspiring waitresses.
Route set, 90's punk pumping and skin cancer building, I hammered the pedal. Nothing. I mean, the car moved at a decent enough clip… but I wanted fury. I wanted Davey's neck to snap (in the nicest possible way; at least at that point). Nein. Thirty-eight large over base nets not a dollop of gallop. The soundtrack is boffo, though. At one point Davey asked, 'Do you know what this reminds me of?' "Camaro" we said with perfect pistonhead synchronicity. Those trick pipes make the stock Bimmer mill burble-up bass with the best of them. Close your eyes, mash the gas, get Davey to steer and it's a big-block party.
Then open your eyes and turn the wheel. The ACS6 grips like early Spielberg. Credit a perfectly-tuned suspension and those sport-shoe-wearing dubs. Of course, 325 horses will never move you fast enough to achieve anything heroic in the cone avoidance department. But you gotta think outside the Boxster. The high-G aversive Schnitzer gets major props for delivering a ride that's suppler than a Romanian gymnast, while still feeling as planted as a magician's shill. And with two square yards of contact at all four corners and uprated brakes, the Schnitzel eats speed like an Atkins refugee popping bagels.
And then the Schnitzel's front fell off. We were not a million miles from Stefan's donnybrook when I heard an awful, expensive noise and braced myself for the paperwork. The Schnitzer's grill, bumper, front-dam and fenders had detached from the body. Standing on the roadside waiting for the flatbed in the warm spring sun, Davey and I had to laugh. PCH had claimed another exotic. Well, good for the Pacific Coast Highway. This kind of pretentious preenmobile screams "You want sizzle? HERE'S your damn sizzle!" when it should simply be saying "Sayonara" to slower sleds. Oh well. Anyway, I learned something important: not all exotics self destruct in the California sun. One way or another, they gotta earn that right.
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