Blogs

  • Is Britain Treasure Island?

    .

    1 April 2009
    Half-price heroes
  • The car according to Ikea

    Last week we ran a story about ‘the car according to Ikea’, after Ikea’s French arm published a video on a microsite describing its plans to create “the most enjoyable and responsible means of travelling to Ikea”. Was it an April Fool’s joke? Or was it a genuinely innovative plan by Ikea to create its own-brand, eco-friendly car?

    1 April 2009
    Anything goes
  • The Audi S4: a grown-up Evo?

    When Mitsubishi launched the Evo X, it said it was going after a new type of customer, one a little more mature than the traditional Evo buyer. Specifically, it mentioned stealing sales from the M3. Personally I think that’s a touch ambitious given the differential between the £30k Evo and the £50k M3. But how about Audi’s new S4, which with 328bhp, 324lbft and costing £34k is pretty evenly matched with my long-term FQ-360?  Intrigued, I swiped the keys for the weekend.

    31 March 2009
    Tester’s notes
  • Button keeps the faith

    Jenson Button might well have given up years ago on an F1 career which seemed long on promise and painfully short on hard results. But in Melbourne on Sunday, at the wheel of the new Brawn-Mercedes, the 29-year old Briton reclaimed his reputation as a potential world champion with a flawless drive to victory in the Australian Grand Prix. When Ross Brawn took control of the former Honda F1 operation, his first challenge was to minimise the effect of all the variables he could. So, as far as the drivers were concerned, it was a case of if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    30 March 2009
    Motorsport
  • GM boss Wagoner to step down

    Rick Wagoner, CEO of General Motors for the last eight years, is to step down imminently according to reports currently (12.30am Monday) breaking in the US.

    30 March 2009
    Confidential
  • Damned United

    What the car industry needs right now is a big head like the late Brian Clough to whip it into some sort of shape. It’s a shame that MG Rover aren’t still around for him to take from the depths of League 2 and onto European glory.</p> I’m not quite sure how far a football metaphor stretches when it comes to cars - probably not very far at all - but I will still have a go. So which underperforming models could be bought by us this weekend and then turned into something more special by Monday morning?

    27 March 2009
    Anything goes
  • Back to the future

    When it was new, owning a Citroen DS was like stepping into an other-worldly car from the future. Own one today, as I do, and it’s like having an other-worldly car from the past. From either perspective everything is different, from its single-nut wheel-fixings to its mushroom-sized brake pedal, from its beautiful roof-mounted rear indicators to its alien, single-spoke steering wheel - everything is imaginative, from its conception to its construction. </p> This car really was the automobile re-invented, its sleek, tapering bodywork quite unlike anything previously seen, its highly complex, micron-accurate hydraulic systems governing suspension, brakes, steering and a semi-automatic gearchange in gentle, sighing harmony.

    27 March 2009
    Anything goes
  • For whom the toll tolls

    After the resounding rejection of the Greater Manchester congestion-charging scheme (and the proposed scheme for Edinburgh) you might have thought road tolling in the UK was dead and buried outside of central London.</p> Not if the highways Agency has anything to do with it. I was browsing on the HA website last night and discovered this little gem buried at the end of the report on the planned increase in Hard Shoulder Running and variable speed limits.

    26 March 2009
    Anything goes
  • How not to get done for speeding in France

    Until earlier this week I thought I knew every trick in the book as far as not being done for speeding on French autoroutes is concerned. You work out where the peages are, make sure you are well within the speed limit a few miles before each one, and there’s almost no way you’ll get caught.</p> It’s a myth that they can do you by working out the time it’s taken you between peages via the ticket, and only if you are very unlucky indeed might you get pulled by a gendarme on a motorbike. The vast majority of the time they just radar you a mile or so before the peage, and then haul you over at the peage itself.

    26 March 2009
    Anything goes
  • Price rises: the silver lining

    Ford didn’t take the decision to raise its UK prices for the second time in two months lightly. According to Nigel Sharp, Ford of Britain’s MD, the alternative would be risking putting the company into ‘negative cashflow’ – losing money on the ex-factory price of each car sold. But the announcement of an across-the-board price increase – which is likely to be copied by almost every other manufacturer – does come with one flash of silver lining. Because increasing the cost of new cars is also going to increase the value of used ones.

    25 March 2009
    Anything goes

Driven this week

  • 2015 Audi RS Q3 review

    2015 Audi RS Q3 review

    First drive
    18 November 2014

    More of an expensive oddity than a range-topping performance SUV, and an ultimately unsatisfying oddity at that

  • 2015 Bentley Mulsanne Speed review

    2015 Bentley Mulsanne Speed review

    First drive
    18 November 2014

    The fastest luxury saloon in the world is also one of the very best

  • 2015 Fiat 500X review

    2015 Fiat 500X review

    First drive
    17 November 2014

    Decent styling, a well-judged interior and good practicality means Fiat's 500X is a worthy entrant on your compact crossover shortlist

  • 2015 Hyundai i20 review

    2015 Hyundai i20 review

    First drive
    17 November 2014

    The new i20 is a very spacious, well-kitted and keenly priced addition to this competitive segment, but it’s let down by weak engines

  • 2014 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS PDK review

    2014 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS PDK review

    First drive
    14 November 2014

    This sporty 911 Carrera plugs the gap between the standard Carrera S and the hardcore GT3 successfully