Spring arrived with a lidless Aston in 2007, as the V8 Roadster underwent the Autocar road test and emerged as "the best car Aston Martin currently produces."This was also a landmark road test for another reason, as it was the first car to undergo the new road test, and to appear in the first issue of the re-designed Autocar magazine.At the other end of the car market, the new Land Rover Defender also ploughed its way through a road test with equally positive results, retaining its title as king of any terrain not covered in tarmac.But April was a month dominated by the arrival of one car – the new Ford Mondeo, which "set a new class standard for space, comfort, refinement and a lot else besides." It went on to beat the BMW 3-series later in the year.Meanwhile in the news you will have seen first official images of the new Impreza and Mini Clubman, both of which split opinion more than any other new car this year. You'll also have read about a Rav4 rival from Audi, Infiniti's plans to compete with the most established premium brands in the UK, and the imminent arrival of a Lexus hybrid supercar.But the only way to end the first month of spring is backwards on a track, and Renault gave us the perfect opportunity in its entry-level racer, the Clio Cup. We weren't disappointed.