Motors

15 Jan 2018
   The Ford Fiesta first hit the tarmac here in Blighty in 1976 and ever since then it’s been instantly familiar. It was the car that many moons ago I passed my test in, and in XR2 guise was the first proper hot-hatch I ever drove. (I “borrowed” my cousin’s C-reg example one evening). I’ve even raced one, albeit briefly and against the clock; a red ST at the now defunct Cholmondeley Pageant of...
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...
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,...
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...
10 Mar 2017
    Storm Doris blew in just as my week with Peugeot’s new 3008 SUV started; Storm Ewan blew in right in the middle of it. Trees came down, power supplies were cut off in places for a little while, and top it all off the local water authority took it upon themselves to shut my usual road to work.   In this part of the already Far Un-lit Unknown that means long diversions on poorly surfaced single...
14 Feb 2017
   Perhaps the Mazda PR lady’s coat was a bit of a giveaway: Canada Goose Parkas are rated for temperatures of -30C and below. Devon in February doesn’t get quite that cold I’ll grant you, but to quote more than one motoring writer gathered for the launch Mazda’s new MX-5 RF, “It was bloody freezing up on Dartmoor”.     Dry, chilly days though are actually perfect for trying out a convertible...
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