How to buy a classic motorcycle in SA?

'There are a few things you need to consider,’ writes bike guru Dries Van der Walt.

Top family cars in SA

Wheels24's Janine Van der Post has gone from a 'SpeedQueen' to a supermom. Check out her list of top family cars.

German go for 478kW Birken Bentley

2009-05-28 08:12
MTM is know primarily for its radical Audi power u

MTM is know primarily for its radical Audi power upgrades, which is hardly surprising considering the boss worked on Audi’s Quattro cars during the 1980s. They do quite a fetching Bentley Biken conversion now too.

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer MTM
Model Birken Bentley
Engine 6l W12 turbo
Power 478kW
Torque 795Nm
Top Speed 331km/h
If your Bentley is looking a little staid amongst the smattering of CLs and X6s at the local polo club, MTM's Birken conversion could attract new interest.

Roland Mayer’s Wettstetten based tuning outfit has fashioned a mellow engine, wheel and suspension upgrade for pretty much the entire contemporary Bentley range - Continental GT, GTC, Flying Spur, GT Speed, GTC Speed and Continental Supersports.

Subtle, stylish changes

Styling is left largely unaltered, with the MTM Birken kit only adding a new lower rear fascia to accommodate the stainless steel quad exhausts, whilst a chromed grille embellishes the nose.

Timelessly stylish 21-inch Bimoto ET40 alloy wheels turn in the wheel arches and accommodate MTM’s 412mm performance braking system, which features special diamond cut finishes on the discs and six-piston callipers in an eye-catching silver coating.

MTM’s F-Cantronic pneumatic damping system drops these Birken badged cars median ride height by 30mm, with electronic control units lowering the front axle by 25mm and the aft wheel line by 35mm.

In conjunction with the 21-inch Bimoto wheels, the lowered ride height should sharpen up directional change responsiveness.

A very quick GT

The last part of this Bentley Birken kit concerns the power upgrade. MTM boss Roland Mayer polished his mechanical engineering skills at Audi in the 1980s, when the company was at the cutting edge of petrol turbocharging development.

During the past few months, Mayer’s radical RS6 conversions (producing in excess of 500kW) have garnered plenty of attention. Simply put - Ronald knows what he is doing when fiddling under the bonnet.

For these Birken Bentleys Mayer has recalibrated the engine parameters via the ECU control module. With gas extraction routing through a new, high-performance exhaust system, there is now 66kW more power available, boosting the 6l W12's output from 411- to 478kW. Peak rotational force increases commensurably too, from 650- to 795Nm.

Despite pounding the road with a mass near 2.5tons, the MTM fettled Bentleys have been validated as achieving a top speed of 331km/h, and a 0-200km/h sprint time of 15.9 seconds.

So if you want some subtle customisation for your characteristically British, German funded, Bentley - MTM’s Birken is a neat solutions.

Alternatively, local Bentley owners can save €20 000, and just pop into Pinetown and buy a badge from John Watson, who’s Birkin car company, producing neat Lotus 7 replicas, exchange the Birken ‘e’ for an ‘i’ - and who’ll really notice the difference anyhow?


Inside Wheels24

Opel Astra 1.4T Enjoy auto – understated and smart new hatch

When it comes to the mid-size hatchback choice, there are a few default choices, a few bland ones… and some often overlooked cars. The Opel Astra hatch is an example of the latter, writes David Swanepoel. - Sponsored

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.