JanuaryThe year scrambled away from the lights like a boy racer with a point to prove. January brought a host of hot new metal, not least because of an action-packed Detroit motor show.Aston Martin showed us the Rapide concept, a sleek, sexy four-door version of the DB9; to near-universal approval and Lamborghini unveiled the Miura concept, a retro machine that garnered praise and criticism in equal measure. But then Ferrari introduced us to the 599 GTB, and suddenly Lambo's retro concept simply looked dated. Just as contemporary, but a whole lot more affordable, was Volvo's C30 concept, revealed at Detroit and looking every inch the 21st-century hatchback. In January we also got our first glimpses of the Peugeot 207, the Mazda 6 MPS, the VW Fox, the Audi S6, the BMW Z4M coupe and also the Skoda Roomster, ahead of its debut at the Geneva show. Away from the shows and on the road it was just as good a month; we road-tested the awesome new Mazda MX-5, the Honda Civic, the Toyota Yaris, and perhaps the most talented car of the year: the amazing new Porsche Cayman S.
FebruaryYou might have thought that February would be a brief respite between the Detroit and Geneva motor shows, but we kept our foot to the floor.That's especially true in the case of the Corvette Z06, which went on sale in the UK for the first time. This seriously quick machine seriously impressed us – sure, it has its flaws, but we were bewitched by the soundtrack, the speed and the looks.But if the Corvette was great, we were even more impressed by a much more affordable machine – the fabulous Ford Focus ST, which got the full road test treatment. The ST's combination of exciting engine, serious pace and an amazing chassis would have been impressive enough on its own, but a bargain sub-£18k starting price instantly made the fast Ford one of the year's most-wanted machines.But the Focus was due to get some stiff competition – Honda unveiled the Civic Type R Concept, and Mazda announced plans for the mental 256bhp 3 MPS.We also got behind the wheel of the latest Mercedes S-class. True to form, we reckoned it was, like its predecessor, the best luxury car in the real world.