Villa d’Este brings up all those romantic images of Italy. The villa itself is 145 years old and surrounded by a private park and overlooks Lake Como—you know, the place where George Clooney has a house. It’s all very fancy like and the perfect place for a “competition of elegance,” a Concours d’Elegance, if you will. There are three main Concours d’Elegance held every year: Amelia Island, Pebble Beach, and this one at Lake Como. They’re all pretty similar but each has its own unique take on things. Each event is where the best of the best are gathered together to be admired and judged the best in their respective categories. In Italy, this year’s theme was “Hollywood on the Lake,” with a lot of nods to famous automotive film stars. But instead of getting a special appearance by the aforementioned George Clooney, we got a Darth Vader instead. If you even have an ounce of gasoline running through your veins this is … [Read more...] about Inside The Best Car Show In The World
Which mini cooper is the best
We’re pretty sure that not a lot of people remember this, but the latest-generation Fiat 500 was actually based on a concept called the Trepiuno, which came out no fewer than 14 years ago. When Fiat did put the car into production, mid-2007, they made sure to stick with the Concept’s retro styling, in order to give it a fighting chance against some of the industry’s most iconic small cars, like the Mini Cooper or the VW Beetle. Of course, the best part about a Fiat 500 is that it also comes in Abarth trim, which usually means more power, a louder exhaust, stiffer suspension, those sorts of things. Since this is a lightweight car, it’s also quite fun to drive, especially if you’ve got the right engine. Here, Doug DeMuro will argue that if it’s fun you want, it doesn’t get much better than a used 500 Abarth, especially if your budget tops out at $9,000. We won’t bore you with all the quirks and features he discovered over the course of this … [Read more...] about Is The Fiat 500 Abarth The Best Used Sports Car For Less Than $10k?
4 Read the bumf for this mid-life update of the third-generation BMW Mini and you might well conclude that the brand’s fondness for quirky design and endless personalisation have finally gone too far. After all, aren’t Union Jack rear lights and customised 3D-printed trim inserts just a bit naff? Mini thinks not, and in fairness has a better track record than most with this kind of personalisation. So it is that the LED rear lights do indeed look like one half of the Union Jack (not mandatory in all markets, but it is here). And that from later this year you can, if you desire, have your name printed on a plastic insert that then sits within the indicator lens on the front wing, or engraved on the door sill finisher or the dash panel in front of the passenger. You can even choose your own design of puddle light. Such accoutrements might not appeal to all, but you can’t fault Mini for adhering to what it sees as its key values, namely “driving fun, … [Read more...] about 2018 Mini review: is latest update more style than substance?
In case you have somehow missed BMW’s marketing storm last year, a staggering 40 years have passed since the 3 Series was first introduced in 1975. In the intervening years, Munich’s iconic sports sedan – and the centre on which it has built its reputation as the maker of the Ultimate Driving Machine – has become the benchmark, the yardstick on which all compact premium sedans have been measured. The sixth and latest generation, the F30, started out life pretty much the same way. When we first tested the car in Barcelona all the way back in 2012, we praised it for its fleetness of foot and an impeccable ride and handling balance. “Back to the top of the heap,” “the balance of power has very much shifted back to Munich” and “the king is dead, long live the king” were just some of the things we said about it. But the past four years have shown why a king should never rest on his laurels. The first part of a one-two punch came … [Read more...] about DRIVEN: 2016 BMW 330i F30 LCI – can the best still keep up?
The Geneva Motor Show is known as a supercar haven. Taking place in Switzerland, a neutral territory with no domestic auto industry, the show attracts the latest and greatest from Italian, German and British makers of high-performance automobiles. But while perusing the new and futuristic wares of the world's automakers, it was a familiar classic that caught my eye. One that, from a distance, seems the same as it's always been, but reveals plenty of tricky new details up close. This is the Mini Remastered by David Brown Automotive. Advertisement - Continue Reading Below David Brown founded his car company in 2013 to build the Speedback GT, a two-door coupe built on a modern Jaguar XK-R chassis with styling heavily reminiscent of an Aston Martin DB5. (The "DB" in Aston Martin's model names commemorates David Brown, who owned the automaker from 1947 to 1972; Mr. Brown of David Brown Automotive is no relation.)"With the Speedback, that was always going to be a lower volume, very … [Read more...] about David Brown Is Building the Best Mini Coopers in the World
If you’re in the market for a new performance-oriented GT car, your choices are plentiful. Cars like the Aston Martin DB11, Jaguar F-Type, and Lexus LC500 all provide tons of luxury, prestige, and performance capable of satisfying most enthusiasts. But not everyone can have the pleasure of owning a traditional grand touring car. Some people live in the Northeast, where rear-drive hampers drivability in the winters. Maybe they have children or dogs, and need extra doors for easy ingress and egress. Whatever the case may be, there are a lot of folks out there that can’t live with a purpose-built, two-wheel drive, two-door coupe, but still want an engaging, enjoyable luxury sports car. The answer? The new M5, obviously. Advertisement - Continue Reading Below The 2018 BMW M5 is the first M car ever (besides the X5 and X6 M SUVs) to receive an all-wheel drive system, rather than have all its power sent to the rear—and that’s not even the most interesting part. BMW … [Read more...] about The 2018 BMW M5 Is the Best Supercar for When You Actually Have a Life to Live
With collection day for our Melting Silver Mini looming - who comes up with these colour names? - time has really been of the essence to do as much with our Works 210 as possible. Because, as you might have been able to tell, I'm really rather keen on it. What I've always been less enthusiastic about, though, and as has been picked up on in the comments, is just how much this car costs. It's always been a peripheral concern, but has been brought into starker focus this month by driving cars like the new Fiesta ST and the Hyundai i30 N; both very different, yet both proving very complete and entertaining packages for the same money as the Mini (or quite a bit less). You could have a Fiesta ST-2 or an i30 N without a single option added and be very content. I understand that Minis are about personalisation, really I do, but it can come across as a little baffling sometimes, not to mention drawing attention away from a thoroughly decent base product. From 'our' car I think a good chunk … [Read more...] about Mini Cooper S Works 210: PH Fleet
You can't make a so-so car great by simply adding horsepower. Despite the seeming allure of all-you-can-eat Vegas buffets and the Dodge Hellcat, more is not always better. Unless we're talking about Infiniti. In that case, more go-go juice can only improve the brand's cars. Anything to help shake up the sleepy carmaker. Advertisement - Continue Reading Below Somebody in HQ must agree, as we now get the Q50 Red Sport 400, a 400-horsepower variation of the milquetoast sedan. It is the most amped-up Infiniti we'll see anytime soon, since the GT-R-powered Eau Rouge concept will never go in to production. After spending a day with the Red Sport, my takeaway is unexpected. It can't compete against the truly fast and stellar sports sedans in the segment, and yet it is the Q50's failings that make it different and fun. The kinds of fun where tenths of seconds don't matter and bad things will happen in empty parking lots and at deserted four-way stop signs. The Q50 400 isn't good in the way a … [Read more...] about The Q50 Red Sport 400 Is the Only Interesting Car Infiniti Makes
The Porsche Carrera GT has come and gone, and it's not coming back around again. I could feel its specialness the first and only time I drove one, in 2004, during the press launch at Toronto's Mosport Raceway. Even before I got in, I looked down at the cowling covering the 605-hp V10, more sculpture than automobile, and thought it one of the most beautiful modern things I'd ever laid eyes on. Advertisement - Continue Reading Below I was a green driver at the time, painfully out of my depth. But those few laps were a glimpse into another level of automobile. Famed endurance driver Hurley Haywood rode shotgun, and later both he and rally god Walter Röhrl took journalists on hot laps. Haywood was typically tidy and perfect, while Röhrl kept us sideways most of the time. I didn't understand how either Haywood or Röhrl could make a car behave like that, but I vowed I'd drive the Carrera GT again when my horizons had broadened. Almost a dozen years on, it still hasn't … [Read more...] about The Best Cars Always Leave You Pining for One More Lap
What is it: The hottest of hot hatchesKey Competitors: Ford Focus ST, Volkswagen Golf GTI, Subaru WRXBase Price: $34,100 As-Tested Price: $34,100Highlights: The all-new 2017 Civic Type R is the fastest, most powerful Honda, and the first-ever Honda Type R model to be sold in America. Our Opinion: More than anything else on the market, the Civic Type R is a departure from the its base-model stock. The Civic Si feels...well, like a fun, punched-up Civic. The Type R is a whole 'nother beast. Unlike the Impreza/WRX/WRX STI, Golf/GTI/R or Focus/ST/RS triplets, there's no linear progression from not-too-hot to bonkers here; it transforms the competent but quotidian platform upon which it is based completely.Am I complaining? Hell no. Give me more expectation-defying cars like this. Whatever preconceived notions you might have, though, know that you'll need to recalibrate them before you jump in; this is a big departure from the great and famous Hondas the preceded it. America … [Read more...] about Honda Civic Type R essentials: One of the best cars on the road