Top 5 Fun cars

Cars don’t always have to be practical, they don’t always have to be usable everyday, sometimes a car just has to be fun to win your heart and once a car reaches their its never leaving. Now a fun car doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good car, its character driven, and every persons list will be completely different based on our tastes and experiences. So here is my top 5 list of fun cars.

Aston Vulcan

  1. Track day cars

A track day car does exactly what it says on the tin, a fun car based for the track, be it a base level Caterham 7 or a top of the line Aston Martin Vulcan both are essentially built for the same purpose to but a smile on your face whilst on the track. Most track day cars however are just plain horrible to live with, some don’t even have windscreens or are even illegal to drive on the roads. But that doesn’t stop you wanting one.

Fiat Barchetta

  1. Fiat Barchetta

The Fiat Barchetta is an unusual car as it looks like the classic Italian sports car, and driving it can brighten even the darkest day, you could be driving home from your parents funeral and couldn’t help but smile in a Barchetta, its just a happy little car. But the Barchetta is under powered and front wheel drive making it fall far behind its completion in the Mazda MX5 and Toyota MR2. But neither of those cars have the character of the little Fiat, the Fiats flaws are exactly what makes you love it, it makes it oddly human.

E-type

  1. Classic Cars

Classic cars are generally fantastic, they make you yearn fro a time when fuel was cheap and the roads were empty. They maybe weren’t as fast as their modern competitors and were in no way safe but they were fun and some would say prettier than most of the cars on the roads today. But with age comes unreliability, it will happen to us all as you get older you’ll find yourself pulling over much more often because of a leak or an odd smell, I think I’m still talking about the car but I may be wrong.

VW Beetle BAJA

  1. VW Beetle Baja

What could be more fun than Herbie, and off road Herbie. The Beetle is an undeniable legendary car but its less common off road brother is where my heart lies, its capability off road is still limited compared to your much more hardcore off road rivals but those are so much less fun. The Beetle Baja wasn’t built for speed, safety or comfort but wins you over with its amazing characterful go anywhere ability and of course because it’s a Beetle.

VW Golf MK4

  1. Your Car

There could only be on pick for the most fun car to drive, it has to be your own car, because driving is inherently fun and being in your own machine that you’ve spent your own hard earned money on with your music and the road to yourself is truly magical. It doesn’t matter what you drive be it a 1.1 Daihatsu Charade or a Ferrari 488 GTS if you own it, its your magical place of worship to the driving gods, yours place to fulfil your driving passions and desires. It is truly the most fun car ever.

Whats Do you think is the most fun car? Sound off in the comments.

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Enough with the retro styling

MINI grows

Cars get old. It’s just a fact of life and when cars get old you replace them with something new and better. The trouble comes in when something is so iconic that the public just can’t seem to let it go. So the company decides to just make the old car again just with new technology. We first saw it with the New Beetle, which was just a Golf in a dress with a flower pot stuck to the dash. Then we saw the new Mini from BMW, which was a bit more successful but has in no way reached the iconic status of the original Mini. Finally we had the Fiat 500 a car that in the past pretty much ran Italy, but again the new 500 is just a Fiat Panda with a new body.

BeetleThis obsession with the past has to stop. Cars become iconic over time and trying to recreate them in the modern age just doesn’t work simply because those legendary cars of the time in fact weren’t that good to begin with when you compare them to todays standards. The VW Beetle was a car born out of war just to get Germany back on its feet and I don’t think it would be as revered today if it hadn’t had a red and blue stripe down it and the number 53 on the door. Both the Mini and the Fiat 500 are death traps you would be safer on the road in a paper bag than one of those.

Citroen Type HWhy am I ranting about this now, well because Citroen have decided to get in on the action with a new body kit for their Citroen Relay van, the kit is meant to look like the Citroen type H van, which was first made in 1947. Now this is a van that is quite literally a shed with wheels and while it maybe old, maybe even a classic, it in no way deserves to be modernized in this way. The new H is to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the original and thankfully only 70 will be made.

BMW M2 2002Please car companies stop with the retro cars, how can any new cars grow to be as iconic when you keep reminding us of the past with these new retro cars that merely act to damage the reputation of the original. Let the icons live on in classic car form and create new classics, cars like the VW Corrado or the BMW M2 (which while it copies the 2002 Turbo ideas is its own car entirely), cars that are as brilliant today as they will be 20 to 30 years from now.

What do you think of this retro revolution sound off in the comments.

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Top 5 convertibles for a summer of topless fun

So summer is finally here, are we must grab hold of that sunlight while it lasts, because we know what the UK is like. But you don’t want to be all cooped up in a hard top during these gorgeous summer months, you want to be outside with a million miles of headroom and a fun sports car to spend your time in, so here are my top five cheap convertibles for a summer of fun.

Toyota MR2

  1. Toyota MR2

Now the MR2 has always been a rather forgotten little convertible, far over shadowed by its Japanese brother the Mazda MX5, but it shouldn’t be, because the MR2 is a great little car for the summer, fun to drive and still nice to look at, it combines everything you want in a sports car. Although later models didn’t come with some essentials, like a boot which is insane these days, its still a great car, and to be honest one I think Toyota could do with bringing back.

Honda S2000

  1. Honda S2000

The Honda S2000 may be long gone and dead, but it can still hang with even the newest of the convertibles, and is likely to be a classic someday. More powerful and bigger than the MX5 it still managed to keep the tight handling and fun of it. Again this is certainly a car that could be brought back by Honda, and its hard to understand why they haven’t yet. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a new one in the coming years, but in the meantime you can pick up an old one for less than £5,000.

Porsche Boxster

  1. Porsche Boxster

if you were one of those people who thought the only reason you bought a Boxster was because you could afford a 911, then you missed out on probably one of the best cars of the last 10 years, the Boxster was fun as hell to drive, yet comfortable enough to be a daily driver. The Boxster is certainly in the 911 shadow though, and now even the Caymans, I even had someone come and ask me why Porsche don’t do a convertible Cayman. I swiftly slapped them for forgetting a great little car, then pointed them in the direction of the nearest Porsche dealer.

Fiat Barchetta

  1. Fiat Barchetta

The Fiat Barchetta is a fantastic car, plain and simple. I could just stop there but I don’t want to. The Barchetta is a car you love, you know it has flaws like being front wheel drive, and being quite unreliable. But you completely forget about those flaws, when your bumbling down the road, with the sun in the sky, the open road laid out in front of you, and your in a bright yellow Italian sports car, perfect day? I think so.

Mazda MX5

  1. Mazda MX5

Of course it was, there’s not much about the MX5 I could say that hasn’t been said before, I could tell you about the great handling, or the pretty looks, or the way it harks back to the classic British sports cars of the 50’s and 60’s. but all you need to know is that you need to drive own, it is a bucket list for about the price of a bucket. Even as it gets older Mazda still find a way to keep it at the top, in price spec looks and handling the MX5 is number one on any list.

Vauxhall GT Coupe to make production, I doubt it

Vauxhall GT Coupe 2

The stunning Vauxhall GT Coupe revealed at the Geneva Motor show could make production, Vauxhall however say they lack the design platform to create the a rear drive sports car such as the GT Coupe. To solve this Vauxhall have decided to have their engineers try to squeeze the 4 wheel drive system from the Mokka SUV into the tiny sports car, rather than design a bespoke rear drive layout that Vauxhall could carry over into their new cars. this sounds like Vauxhall pinching pennies to create the GT Coupe rather than putting full faith in the car which is disappointing.

Vauxhall GT Coupe 1

The GT Coupe isn’t likely to be seen on the roads until at least the end of 2017 by which time the competitors will likely have moved on from the GT86/BRZ and the Fiat 124 Spyder. This makes Vauxhall quite behind the times in terms of sports cars, especially as they haven’t really been in the game since the outlandish Calibra Turbo of the 90’s. without the full support of the Vauxhall leadership it is unlikely we will ever see the GT Coupe on the roads, and far more likely we will see it quietly killed off towards the end of the year.

Honda to take on the MX5 with new S2000

 

 

Honda S2000

Honda are in talks to make a new S2000 to take on the likes of the Mazda MX5 and the Fiat 124. In a new report by Autocar Honda engineers are said to have met with UK S2000 owners to find out what they should bring to a new roadster.

Honda S2000

Honda its simple lightweight, front engined, rear drive, nippy handling, and most of all make it cheap. The new S2000 doesn’t have to be a rocket ship, just so long as its fun to drive nothing else will matter. We said goodbye to the old S2000 in 2009 due to a lack of sales, but the cheap sports car has made a comeback in recent years. With the Toybaru GT86/BRZ and the new MX5, along with the Alfa 4C, now would be the perfect time for Honda to get back in the game. I wouldn’t be surprised if sooner or later we will see a completely new Lotus Elise as the past few cars have merely been a repackaging of the car we had more than 5 years ago.

Honda S660.jpg

Honda could rule the sports car sector if they get this right. The Honda S660 has proved to be a fantastic little sports car (Please Honda bring it to the UK) and all Honda would really need to do is upscale it. But I hope they don’t, I am one for tradition as readers may have noticed and the S2000 along with its competitors has always harked after the classic British sports car, cars like the Triumph TR5 and the MG B, bring us a cheap little sports car that handles brilliantly and looks great that all we ask.

So Car Hacking is now a thing

Jeep Hackers

Last week, a pair of hackers set out to prove that they could hack into and control a car, thankfully the driver knew what was going to happen as it was organised by Wired Magazine. But how scary is it to know that someone could actively try to take control of your car. It’s even more scary when you realise that driverless cars are about to take to the roads. Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek were the guys hacking the Jeep Cherokee, and they managed it all through the entertainment system.

Self-driving-cars-2-710x399

Driverless cars are said to be the next big thing and yet with these cars you have no steering wheel to control it, the hackers could just smash you straight into the back of the truck your following, they could lock your doors and drive you into a lake, or they could just kidnap you by changing your destination, Crime just became a lot easier. Whilst the hackers of the Wired Jeep were friendly what if they weren’t. As the dawn of the driverless car comes ever closer more and more questions are being asked with no answers being given.

DRIVERLESS CAR 2

The Fiat Chrysler group has been forced to recall 1.4 million cars because of the hack. Whilst the key to this hack was the entertainment system in the cars, new more innovative hackers will almost certainly find a way to take control through other means. That’s an even scarier thought though, the Jeep that was hacked was just a normal car, the car your driving right now could be hacked at any moment sending you spiralling out of control.

I’M Back, time for a catchup post

So regular readers of my work will notice that I’ve been away for a couple of weeks on holiday so here is my giant catch up post full of all the stuff I missed whilst I was away.

Alfa Giulia

First of all Alfa Romeo revealed their new 3 series rival the Giulia. Now the biggest problem with the Alfa saloons has always been that they just didn’t sell how often do you see 159 rolling around, never. And I don’t think it’s the age-old Alfa problem in that they’ve broken down. I just feel that compared to the rest of the Alfa range the saloons just seem boring. This is gonna happen with the Giulia as well, the business men of this world would rather buy a 3 Series or a C Class. Why have a 3 Series wannabe when you could just have a 3 Series. But there is one caveat to this Ferrari. The name amongst names and also the engine supplier for the Giulia how does a 503BHP V6 sound interesting I await more news on this hopefully great car.

Aston Vulcan

The Goodwood festival of Speed also happened whilst I was away and loads of stuff came from there, notably an all electric Morgan 3 wheeler showing they have finally joined the modern age, we also saw the Aston Martin Vulcan racing up the hill climb for the first time, the more race derived car looking fantastic in matt black and blue accents. We also saw the debut of the Lotus 3-eleven a tiny little pocket rocket with 450BHP and 900KG it truly is a fantastic little thing.

Veyron Successor

Photos courtesy of Autocar

Bugatti also let slip of some details about the Veyron’s successor and as expected it’s going to be a hybrid, similar to that of McLaren Ferrari and Porsche they also mentioned to Autocar that they hope to reach the dizzying heights of 286MPH smashing the previous record of the Veyron SS. Bugatti also say the new car will have an updated version of the Veyron’s 16.4 litre W16 engine with nearly 1500BHP and I cannot wait for that.

Lamborghini LP750-4

Lamborghini are to bring out a convertible version of the Aventador LP750-4 Superveloce (they really need to think up shorter names for these things this is getting ridiculous) the roadster will have everything the hardtop does (apart from a roof) and the usual slightly slower 0-62 time and again the usual increase in price. Only 500 Aventador LP750-4 Superveloce Roadsters (see what I mean) will be made so get your orders in fast people.

Alfa SUV

Photos courtesy of Autocar

In more Alfa Romeo news two new SUVs has been spotted being tested around the streets of Italy Fiat Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne mentioned the cars at the launch of the Giulia and they are expected to be released in 2016 and 2018 respectively. I think we can clearly see a connection between the Fiat 500L and these cars. Little is know about the cars in question apart from the fact that Fiat Chrysler are clearly trying to find a way to make Alfa Romeos more appealing this includes a return to the USA in the next few years.

BMW M5 2017

Photos courtesy of Autocar

And finally the new M5 has been spotted testing at the Nurbergring. The new car is expected for 2017 and has a completely new front end along with a V8 under the hood although this is only going from reports from photographers and what they thought the car sounded like.

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The Return of the Sports Car, Isn’t it brilliant

2015 Mazda MX5

It’s a great time to be a driver isn’t it, there are so many great cars out there right now, and it seems we are getting a return of some truly brilliant cars, the sports cars. Sports cars have waned in popularity over the years, people are choosing to go for more practical hot hatches rather than the fun two-seaters. We saw the death of the Honda S2000 in 2009 and the MR2 gave up 2 years before that. Mazda had also appeared to stop bothering with the MX5 for a while.

GT86

But now I am happy to say the sports car is back, we of course have the fantastic Toyota/Subaru/Scion GT86/BRZ/FRS, and then we have the new MX5 next year to look forward to. We really are seeing a return of the true greats, however the Germans appear to be letting it slip the Z4 is starting to look a little tired, and the SLK has been overtaken completely, even by other cars within the Mercedes range.

Alfa 4C

The Italians are trying again as well with the Alfa Romeo 4C, which although being hilariously over priced is fantastic fun to drive. There are also rumours hovering around that Abarth may announce a new car this year based on the failed Mazda Alfa collaboration, and personally I think a modern RWD Barchetta would really energise the current Fiat line up which hasn’t had a truly fun sports car since the original Barchetta died back in 2005.

Cayman

We do appear to have three top contenders for the crown of top sports car now, which has been severely lacking in recent years, the new MX5 will undoubtedly be there for Japan the Italians will wield the 4C and the Germans can bring the excellent handling of the Porsche Cayman. Three great cars for the modern era of sports cars we can only hope that the sports car doesn’t go away like it did before as they are some of the most fun cars you can drive.

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