THE Infiniti brand is a relative newcomer to the UK, having launched with one SUV model, the FX with a big thirsty petrol engine, from its only showroom in Reading in October 2009, but since then, things have moved on apace. There are now 10 Infiniti Centres dotted around the UK, with Hull’s Priory Park dealership serving the Humber region.
THIS new Honda Civic Type R looks absolutely stunning and is prodigiously fast, in fact it is one of the most complete cars I’ve ever driven. You don’t need much imagination to realise just how quick this new Honda Civic Type R is when you glance at its performance figures. It “only” has a 2.0-litre engine, but that utilises Honda’s VTEC technology and now comes with a turbocharger just to spice things up a bit.
“WHAT’S that?” my friend asked he strode up my drive. “It’s a Fiat 500,” I replied with a slight grin on my face. “No it’s not, he said, they’re small cars, that’s a crossover!” He has a point – It’s a Fiat 500 Jim, but not as we know it . . . Like the now BMW-owned Mini, what started off as a modern remake of a much-loved classic has now developed into a brand in its own right.
The ubiquitous Fiat 500 returned to our showrooms in 2008 and has since spawned various spin-offs, much like a Hollywood blockbuster.
THE ubiquitous Ford Focus needs little introduction, but this latest model with its 1.5-litre TDCi engine takes Ford and fuel economy to a whole new level. I’ve never found Ford diesel engines among the most economical on the market, but with this new unit, the secrets seem to have been unlocked.
IN this stylish n-tec specification which adds lots of extra trim, styling flourishes and safety equipment this version of the Note will strike a chord with many buyers.
Its attractive Ink Blue paintwork may well seal the deal, but the 1.2-litre three-pot with just 59PS won’t be everybody’s cup of tea. It’s not bad around town, which is probably where most buyers of this model will stay, and once up to speed it cruises quietly, but if you need to overtake anything quicker than a tractor, you will struggle.
THE thoroughly modern Millie is another of those cars which came into being as a fairly honest remake of a much-loved classic, but has gone on to morph into an entirely new brand. Under BMW ownership, The new Mini has been an unprecedented success, selling millions of examples all over the world.
THE Mazda MX-5 is the world’s favourite sports car – it is also mine! It has always been a fabulous little car with almost bullet-proof reliability, but this new model raises the bar again and is the best so far. Accused of being a girl’s car in some quarters, it now looks far more aggressive, or perhaps I’m just more in touch with my feminine side, but I really don’t care, I love it and thoroughly enjoyed my few days with this newcomer.
IF this Jaguar F-Type Coupe isn’t one of the best looking cars on the road today, I’ll eat my hat. My son described it as “epic”, and who am I to argue? The spiritual successor to my dream car, the one I would buy if money were no object, the glorious E-Type, this sleek coupe really is art on wheels.