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