Britain’s best driver’s car; Fiat chief mulls Ferrari’s future; new Ford Mondeo driven; Volvo V60 Polestar road test; goodbye to our Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG
Matt Burt
14 October 2014

This week’s issue of Autocar, dated 15 October, is devoted to our annual quest to find Britain’s best driver’s car.

The premise is straightforward: the year’s best-handling cars scrap it out on road and track. We mulled over a long list of what we thought we should gather for what we informally know as Handling Day.

Usually, we’d then cut that list down to 10 plus last year’s winner. But we realised that the 12-car list was one of the most stonkingly strong line-ups in the competition’s 25-year history, so we left it entirely as it was.

The line-up comprised: Alfa Romeo 4C, Ariel Atom 3.5R, BMW i8, BMW M4, Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, Ferrari 458 Speciale, Jaguar F-type R coupé, McLaren 650S, Porsche 911 GT3, Porsche Cayman GTS, Renault Mégane RS 275 Trophy and Vauxhall VXR8 GTS.

Handling Day is three days of testing, photography and video on the road and on a circuit. This year we based ourselves at Castle Combe, within easy reach of decent roads in Wiltshire and surrounding counties. And by decent, we of course mean poorly surfaced and badly cambered as only the finest British roads can be.

So which car most impressed our eight-strong team of judges? Find out in our 20-page special in this week’s issue.

There are also a couple of key new car tests in this issue in the shape of the long-awaited Ford Mondeo and the new Vauxhall CorsaThe Volvo V60 Polestar gets scrutinised by our road test experts. The Swedish manufacturer has a reputation for making stonkingly quick estate cars, but does this new one hit the mark?

In light of Luca di Montezemolo’s departure as boss of Ferrari, Fiat chief Sergio Marchionne lifts the lid on why he felt change was necessary at Maranello, and explains what the future holds for the iconic sports car maker.

Our long-term fleet bids goodbye to the Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG, the first hot hatch from Merc’s performance car wizards in Affalterbach. We know it’s loud, fast and fun, but for a final fling we wanted to see how the A45 would fare on a 1200-mile, two-day European road trip – to AMG's headquarters no less.

This week’s buying used guide examines the relatively rare GMC Syclone, which could provide an offbeat way to get a sizeable amount of bang for your buck. The early 1990s pick-up can be had for about £10,000, and if you know where to look you can find examples for sale on this side of the Atlantic.

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Our Verdict

Ford Mondeo

Ford's family car is now in its fourth iteration, but is the Mondeo ready to take the fight to a world burgeoning with rivals?

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