Long term tests

Alpina D3

A stay in Gatwick's car park resulted in a rear puncture on the D3, and with no spare that necessitated use of tyre foam and crossed fingers

Alpina D3

It had been a long day, and once I’d remembered where I’d left the D3 in Gatwick’s South Terminal car park I was ready to relax into the 125-mile cruise home. What I really didn’t need was for the tyre pressure warning light to bong into life shortly after I set off, but bong it did, and the squidgy response to my next steering input confirmed that this was no false alarm. The hard shoulder beckoned.

It turned out a screw had embedded itself into the edge of the right-rear so, as the D3 wears regular Michelin Pilot Sports and carries no spare, it was out with the foam and compressor pack. Five minutes later I was back on my way. Who needs run-flats?

A few days later, with a new tyre fitted, I headed over to the Bedford Autodrome to video Barker and Catchpole setting a lap time in the Caparo for last month’s ‘How fast?’ feature. As the track was still damp in places, I was sent out in the D3 to try and create a dry line. In the dry corners it would understeer a little, but on the wet bits it would slide and drift beautifully, so I kept going round until the fuel ran out.

Running Costs

Date acquiredJanuary 2009
Total mileage5603
Costs this month£160 (tyre)
Mileage this month1785
MPG this month39.8

Most Popular

New Audi RS3 revealed – AMG’s A45 S rival returns fitter and faster
2021 Audi RS3 Sportback – front tracking
Audi RS3

New Audi RS3 revealed – AMG’s A45 S rival returns fitter and faster

After months of tech insights, we now finally get to see the all-new Audi RS3 in its finished form
19 Jul 2021
Lotus Emira makes world debut – all-new coupe to rival Alpine A110
Lotus Emira
Lotus

Lotus Emira makes world debut – all-new coupe to rival Alpine A110

Lotus's first all-new car for a quarter of a century comes AMG power and sub-£60,000 price tag
13 Jul 2021
Porsche 911 GT3 Touring 2021 review – pairing the magnificent 992 GT3 experience to a more subtle audience
Porsche 911 GT3 Touring 992 review
Porsche 911 GT3

Porsche 911 GT3 Touring 2021 review – pairing the magnificent 992 GT3 experience to a more subtle audience

There are few, if any, more rewarding, engaging or intense experiences for those in pursuit of the thrill of driving
14 Jul 2021