MINI’s JCW (that’s John Cooper Works) name is older than you might think. Its heritage stretches back to John Cooper, the British racing driver and engineer who not only pioneered the rear-engined layout in single-seat racers, but also figured out that the Issigonis-designed BMC Mini would make a rather good race and rally car. A point that went on to be proved most famously by Paddy Hopkirk’s fabled win in the 1964 Monte Carlo rally.
At the end of a year that most people will fondly remember for the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, or perhaps for what was an uncharacteristically spirited World Cup performance by the England football team, those of us who debase ourselves with impure thoughts of turbochargers that glow red hot will instead look back on 12 months of the most remarkable new performance cars. In what has unquestionably been a vintage year, these are our favourite driver’s cars of 2018. Continue reading >>>
The arrival of a new Porsche 911 is always major news in the automotive world, not least because it signifies the continuation of a car that first appeared in 1963. Common to all is an unconventional rear-engined layout, excellent performance, and admirable practicality for a thoroughbred sports car. In this article we are going to look back at the history of Porsche’s most famous model. To find out more about the very latest 911, don’t miss our story about riding in a prototype Porsche 992.
The current Volkswagen Golf R is a legend in its own lifetime. Many previous versions of fast, four-wheel-drive Golfs might have had seemingly more exotic V6 motors, but it’s the 2014, Mk7 generation with its 296bhp, 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that really proved how spectacular the hottest Golf could be.
I’m sitting in the passenger seat of a prototype Porsche 992, gaining a rare glimpse into the next generation of one of the world’s most famous sports cars ahead of its debut at the LA Motor Show later this month.
What could be more straightforward than driving a car and telling the reader if it’s any good? Like sandwich making or manning a telephone at a call centre, road testing is one of those vocations that can be reduced to a handful of words without actually losing the essence of it. Thing is, when you start looking at it in more detail, testing cars does become somewhat more involved.
Regular readers will note this isn’t the first time in recent weeks that we’ve blogged about the Alpine A110. Last time it was as the subject of our Automotive Reincarnations series, where its similarities to the Lotus Elise SC were highlighted. Today, it’s time to get behind the wheel to find out what this gorgeous two-seat coupe is like to drive.
A really great driver’s car can be so breathtakingly beautiful that you’d swear it was conceived by Michelangelo himself, or it can look like the back end of a pig. However, in the world of great driver’s cars, beauty is entirely incidental. It simply does not matter. Each of the following five points, on the other hand, is absolutely fundamental. For each one, we’ve highlighted a car that is a shining example of the discipline.
With its 30th anniversary looming, the Mazda MX-5 has never looked more appealing. Early models can be picked up for less than £1,000, and from here on there really is an MX-5 for every budget. For now, the options top out with the car tested here, the 2019 MX-5 complete with a revised engine for an even more exciting driving experience.