: New Vagon owner

12-21-11, 12:18 AM
Hi guys:

This is my first post here. I just ordered a 2012 Vagon (Black Diamond on Black, Black wheels, Recaros, Suede, Manual) which was built yesterday, and I'll be getting it sometime after the first of the year. I'm pretty excited, and I imagine I'll be pestering you with questions in the coming weeks.

This'll be my first non-German street-car (I have a Panoz race car for track use), having had a Porsche 996 C4S (before the kids came along), then an E60 M5, and now a Cayenne Turbo. I really liked the M5, but I'm having a little trouble getting excited about the F10 variant, and having driven the Vagon, it really manages to beat the M5 in a couple of key areas where the M5 was a disappointment (namely ride quality and kick-you-in-the-kidneys torque), and match it nearly everywhere else (OK, the interior isn't *quite* as snazzy, but it's nothing to be ashamed about). The thing that finally sold me, though, was the transmission. I almost bought a first-gen V when they came out, but as much as I liked the engine and handling, the flywheel/clutch/transmission was just unbearable, and I couldn't bring myself to deal with that every time I change gears (especially coming straight from a Porsche manual transmission). The second-gen V is a massive improvement, and the shifting feel is way better than a 6-speed M5. I was really shocked by that - the M5 tranny was clearly an afterthought, but it was so weak and rubbery. Very disappointing.

I'll be most interested to compare the day-to-day livability of the Vagon against the Cayenne Turbo. Performance-wise, it's no comparison, of course, and there are probably relatively few people cross-shopping a V against a Pepper. The Pepperwagen can do things that no vehicle that heavy should be able to do, but the Vagon is half a ton lighter, 100HP more well-endowed, and has a lower center of gravity. That said, the Cayenne is the single most immensely capable vehicle I've ever owned. It's never been flummoxed. Ever. I've taken it on the track once or twice, I've gone off-road (a little bit), and driven it in all kinds of weather, in all kinds of conditions, and I've yet to find a situation where it loses composure. It's unfailingly comfortable, but still sharp(ish) in its handling, the steering and brakes are fantastic... but, its Achilles Heel is the amount of lag between throttle input and response. There's a certain amount of turbo lag - not that much, but it's noticeable - but the transmission is just too damn slow. If I ask for power *now*, it's as though the car says "I'm about halfway through Atlas Shrugged. I'll get back to you when I'm finished.", and then sometime later, there's a whoosh of acceleration. Between that and the fact that there's just nothing you can do about the center of gravity, the idea of a big torquey V8 through a good solid manual transmission hitting the tarmac through the rear wheels just gets more and more appealing. American manufacturers are starting to acknowledge the difference between skidpad numbers and handling, and building some genuinely balanced and corner-friendly cars. I'll never track the V, and once you've driven a proper race car, the phrase 'race car for the street' just makes you cringe. I want a solid, fast, balanced, badass streetcar, and I think the Vagon will do it for me.

I might have considered a Panamera Turbo, but between me, my wife, and two kids, there's nowhere comfortable for my guide dog to sit. I have decent vision for now, but I remain fully convinced that the primary sales pitch they use to sell those cars (and I'm a Porschephile, in case that wasn't obvious) is "Don't worry about the looks, sir. Once you see the number you're writing on the check, you'll scratch your eyes out, and it won't be a problem."

So, umm, yeah. Hi.

12-21-11, 12:37 PM

I just picked up my V Wagon last night, however long time member here (have a V1 that I've put 140k miles on).

First thing I noticed about my new car:

1) tranmission and shifter are about 1000% better than the v1.
2) The car is too quiet (compared to my old car). I hit the rev limiter a few times because I couldn't hear anything. Headers will rectify that situation :D
3) I can tell a *big* difference between the aftermarket twin disk/lightened flywheel (katech LS9x) I have in my v1, and the daul mass OEM in this car. The Katech makes the car seem much more responsive and the revs go up and down much quicker. Hard to heel-toe in the new car (I'm sure I'll get used to it). It's hard to swallow buying a new clutch right out of the gate, but this is something I'm going to have to seriously consider (after headers of course)
4) Needs better brake compound. Brakes are good, but I'm used to 'eyes pop from head' decel, and it's hard to take a step back. Need to look and see if they make Hawk HP+ for the fronts on this car. I have CarboTech AX6's on my old car, but found that a tad too agressive (could notice low temp performance difference). Perhaps the 'panther+' or whatever their HP+ equivalent is.

I've already had some nice "WOW...WTF is that" head-snaps, as oppsoed to the "UGG...WTF is that" with my V1 (it's somewhat obnoxiously loud).

Welcome to caddyland.