Mégane Cup on track; Mini E; Type R Mugen vs R8 V10; Cayenne vs 911; SLS group test; Porsche 928
22 December 2010

In one of the most decisive moments of the Formula 1 season, the Turkish Grand Prix signalled a return to battling team-mates when Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber came together while fighting for the lead. It was a full 'toys out of the pram' moment.

Our own track action thankfully passed without incident (almost), first when we took our newly acquired long-term Renaultsport Mégane Cup to Spa for a track day, and then when, as part of a review of the best hot hatches of all time, we retested an Alfa Romeo 145 Cloverleaf. Why? Because when we asked Colin Goodwin to go out and buy the best hot hatch he could for £1500, that's what he came back with. At the MIRA test facility, it proved to have lost little of its performance, or stopping power, but the fuel filler cap had seen better days. Which was when we decided (and were told by track control) to stop.

See the June 2010 pics here

Making more sedate progress was Matt Saunders, who attempted to travel the length of the UK in an electric Mini. Starting in Brighton, he got as far as Glasgow but it took a grand total of 72 hours, an average of 10mph.

June, as it turned out, was the month of off-the-wall twin tests. We pitched the crazy Honda Civic Type R Mugen against an Audi R8 V10 to see how close a top-notch hot hatch could get to a bona fide supercar. Steve Sutcliffe opted to "take the hot hatch and a big bag of change every time".

Then there was Porsche versus Porsche when we timed the new Cayenne Turbo and a 911 Carrera 4S around Millbrook’s handling circuit. The shock result was that the Cayenne was only a second slower. Putting our practical hat back on, we pitched Ford's revised S-Max against a seven-seat Mercedes E-class wagon.

In a more conventional group test, we lined up another Mercedes, the new SLS supercar, against a good spread of rivals. The North Yorkshire moors hosted the tussle between the SLS, Porsche 911 Turbo, Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera and Aston Vantage V12. Our verdict was that although the new Gullwing was an impressively effective, outrageous-looking supercar, somehow it lacked the emotional connection of the Aston, which won the test overall. What the Aston couldn't match, though, was the environmental bragging rights of the prototype all-electric SLS that we drove two weeks later.

Continuing the eco theme, Steve Cropley came away impressed by his drive of the Jaguar Limo-Green, a range-extender electric XJ. The consortium behind the project reckoned that, with a range of 30 miles on battery power alone, the Limo-Green would cover 80 per cent of an average XJ owner's journeys emission-free. With the help of the 1.2-litre petrol engine, this could grow to 600 miles or more.

Also in June, there was news of Saab's future model plan, including a hatchback 9-3 designed to echo the classic 900 and due in 2012. Rumours surfaced, too, that Honda is working on a baby S2000 roadster. Sized between the phased-out S2000 and the 1991 Beat, the new two-seat sports car is thought to use a more powerful version of the CR-Z's petrol hybrid powertrain. Further up the market, a sketch further fuelled rumours that Porsche is planning a new two-door '928' coupé and, not to be outdone, Bentley suggested the new Continental could spawn a fastback Panamera rival, showing in-house rivalry is not limited to the racetrack.

Read a month-by-month review of 2010

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