motoring

16 Feb 2018
      Park Hyundai’s i30N next to a VW Golf GTi and it’s easy to see where the Koreans have firmly set their sights. The Golf of course has long been the go-to hatchback bench-mark, and it’s not stretching the imagination too far to say that, even in their respective milder forms, both the i30 and the definitive people’s car share certain similarities: Size for starters, plus the ability to seat...
29 Dec 2017
    The arrival of Suzuki’s new Swift complete with Boosterjet engine and in SZ5 spec I might add, here at Chez Bird also coincided with a Ferrari GTC4Lusso being here too. I know, go on… say it: how I suffer for my art. And it’s at this point that you’re probably thinking “I bet that Suzuki didn’t get much use then did it?”  Well, you’d be wrong.     You see, both the Swift, and, err… the very...
10 Dec 2017
      Figures were never really my strong-point, so let’s get them out of the way first shall we?     Ferrari’s GTC4Lusso is a 680bhp, 12 cylinder, 4 seater, 4 wheel-drive, 4 wheel-steer, 0-62 in 3.4 seconds, 0-125 mph in 10.5 seconds, 208 mph all-out super-coupe. It weighs 1,920kg, has a 7 speed dual-clutch gearbox (in fact it has 2 gearboxes, we’ll get to that later), and is nearly 5 metres...
19 Nov 2017
     From January onwards you’ll no longer be able to walk into your local Volkswagen dealer and order a 3-door Polo, they’re not going to make them anymore. You can’t buy a 3-door version of the new SEAT Ibiza either, or the Skoda Fabia for that matter either. As people downsize (and ironically cars get bigger) the people in (the predominately German) suits have declared that there’s no longer a...
17 Oct 2017
   Quite where the line is drawn between what makes an SUV an SUV, and what constitutes a crossover these days is hard to determine, but what can’t be argued is the fact that we car-buyers love ‘em – and especially so if they’re considered “premium”.    At the time a writing, and just a couple of weeks after their glitzy unveilings at The Frankfurt Motorshow, I can name at least another half-...
20 Sep 2017
      Think of a GT car and your thoughts quite naturally turn to the likes of 1960’s Aston Martins, Bentleys, Ferraris, and Jaguars; exquisite luxury leather-lined coupes with effortless power, sleek styling, and more-than-likely astronomical price-tags. GTs are cars in which an intercontinental drive would be a pleasure not a chore - GT stands for Grand Touring after all GTs.  They’re the kind...
Big Cat. Smaller Engine
03 Sep 2017
   When Porsche announced they were going build their Cayman and their Boxster with four-cylinder engines rather than their more familiar (should I have said legendary?) flat-6, the car critics quite literally went into overdrive. “It’ll never feel as good”. “It’ll never sound as good”. “They’ve stolen its character”. “A Porsche with a 4 cylinder engine – it’s sacrilegious”. I’m paraphrasing of...
16 Jul 2017
    A friend of mine, we’ll call him Tim, often asks me if I can come up with a one word review for the car I’m currently driving. Over the years I’ve used words such as imperious, luxurious, capable, charming, swift, brilliant, stunning, dreadful, awful, excellent, challenging, and many more besides to succinctly describe my feelings for everything from Adams to Audis, Fiesta to Ferraris,...
26 Jun 2017
   I’m pretty sure that if you asked a teenage boy to draw you a sportscar the end result would bear a striking resemblance to a Subaru BRZ. Long bonnet, short tail, two doors, coupe roofline… and if the sketches were anything like the ones I used to scribble on the back of my exercise book during double biology, wheels that look a tad too small and struggle to fill the arches. I never could get...
03 Jun 2017
   Within seconds of my first acquaintance with Vauxhall’s Mokka X I sense that this a car that is aiming squarely at young urban types. Those for whom a mocha is something in a polystyrene cup (usually with another misspelt scrawling on it in felt-tip pen) or a form of Javascript software. It is not aiming at those who know that Mocha is the name of a Red Sea port – where, incidentally, coffee...
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