It's been a ruddy busy week. We've had so many scrappage schemes, new reveals, announcements and events that it was as hard to edit the list down as it was to make sure nothing had been overlooked.
Anyway, here are the six things that this week brought a little excitement to the automotive world and the one (big) thing that cast an irritating shadow.
The best things I've seen all week
At the beginning of the week, I sampled the Duster’s off-road ability and was massively impressed. I’ve always had a bit of a crush on the Duster due to its chunky, powerful, mini-mud-plugger looks.
Then on Wednesday, Dacia changed everything by revealing the new, improved and far more grown-up Duster. Where before there was a rough-and-ready gruffness to its look, the car has matured into a fully fledged fighter of SUVs in the price band above it. In other words: all of them.
The electric Mini has the potential to create ‘Mini 3.0’; there was the original, then the 21st-century revival by BMW, and now Mini’s going electric - a whole new level of charm and pocket rocket potency will come of it.
Of particular spectacularity are the front and rear light details. Those Superleggera-derived Union Jack details in the rear lights are just the right level of kitsch, while the LED patterns in the fronts balance it out with some class and techiness.
Let’s not forget those wheels, either. Four-spoke wheels are notoriously hard to pull off, but Mini’s done it. Please don’t tone anything down for production, BMW.
If there’s one design trend I can absolutely get behind, it’s the rear light bar. The Cayenne’s is another devastatingly cool light bar keeping the cause alive.
Nothing will beat the light bar of Porsche's 996 911 Carrera 4S, but the current crop of examples is getting close.
What an incredible-looking car. Let’s face it, we all love a shooting brake, especially one with 600bhp and four seats. It’s another start-up, with crowdfunding providing some of the cash, yes, but I’m aching to have this thing go into production. The world needs more cars like the Alcraft GT.
The Peugeot Instinct concept almost delivered another Alcraft GT-like car for the world to enjoy - a low-slung shooting brake, with the exception that it will never be made.
Hypercars shouldn’t need ultra-aggressive styling; clean lines, focus and subtle menace should be enough. Just look at the CLK GTR to see what I mean. So far, looks like Mercedes has chosen right with the car’s look.
…and the worst thing I’ve seen this week
No naming names, but the blatancy of some as sales-boosting strategies is absurd. The thought of all the interesting older cars that will just be discarded is troubling, too.