Archive | Featured Articles

Seeing the sunrise in style – by Stas

Idea for this adventure came only a few days after we attended the Goodwood Festival of Speed. So, suppose you could say, I was still under the influence of the festival.

A thought came to me: “How cool would it be to test the Q50, a car from Infiniti’s current model range that caught my attention at the festival, while exploring amazing natural scenery of southern England!”.

Then the idea developed further: “How about we combine that with a drive to see the sunrise”. After much deliberation, planning and ruling out several routes and destinations, we settled on a trip to North Downs on Saturday and a ‘drive to the sunrise’ on the Kent coast on Sunday. Deal Pier, on the East coast of Kent, was chosen to be our perfect sunrise greeting spot.

To be honest, the ‘drive to the sunrise’ part came to me after remembering Top Gear episode during which Jeremy Clarkson ‘raced God’ from sunset to sunrise in one night. J Remember that one?

However, our journey started on Friday evening with the long anticipated arrival of the car. It was delivered late in the evening, so I had plenty of time before for daydreaming. Around 7 pm we received a call that the car is outside the house. I peaked through the window and there it was – it’s hard to miss a sports car in Moonlight White with 19” alloys. Our Q50 was hybrid Q50S Tech Sports model with all-wheel-drive, V6 3.5L petrol engine and 360bhp under its bonnet.

It took me a good half an hour to get acquainted with car’s abilities, gizmos and gadgets. I consider myself an old school kind of a guy. So having a car, even if only for a weekend, with tablet-like user interface, customisable Driver Modes and a whole load of other extras is a novelty to me.

inside infiniti Seeing the sunrise in style   by Stas

Anyway, after a thorough tour of the car, assisted by a very helpful Infiniti specialist, we were ready for the weekend adventure.

The next day, after breakfast, we set off on the first part of our adventure. Driving through neighbourhoods and then out in to Surrey countryside I was astonished by the amazing views so close to London. Eventually, we turned off dual carriage way, right by the Rykas café. As it turned out, it was a biker event that day, so cars were in a minority. Not sure I have ever seen such variety of bikes in one place. Once we passed a car park full of bikes and a long line up of roaring two wheeled monsters, we headed up the Zig Zag Road. I could confidently say, this road is one of the most beautiful roads I have driven on so far. It was also quite a challenge with its sharp turns, steep gradient and some occasional car, bike or bicycle appearing from around the corner.

Short drive later, we reached the Box Hill tourist information centre at the top. We ditched the car. I know, cruel, but from here it could only work on foot. Equipped with trail maps from the information stand, we went to enjoy the Stepping Stones Walk.

However, before we embarked on our hill climbing voyage we took a moment to admire the views from the top of the hill. This was the second time that day I was left speechless. Views from the Box Hill were truly astonishing, wherever you look. And they stretched for miles.

box hill Seeing the sunrise in style   by Stas

Tired and exhausted from the walk, we returned to our ride. It was late afternoon and we had to get a move on to get some food and rest before our 2am start the next morning. Our schedule for the weekend might sound insane, but trust me, it was worth it.

The plan was to get at least 4 hours of sleep before hitting the road to Deal, which normally would be tricky for me as I have ‘bird sleep’ when it comes to important occasions or exciting events. Nerves kick in! So I was happy to fall asleep quickly and get almost full 4 hours of sleep.

Alarm woke us up precisely at 2 am. We brewed our favourite morning drinks (coffee and tea) and made a move on. It felt a bit weird to leave the house when some people were yet to fall asleep. You could see lights still on in neighbour’s windows. But air was fresh, anticipation of the exciting journey ahead high and sunrise slowly approaching UK shores.

When we approached, Q50 greeted us with a cheeky wink with its front head lights. Quickly setting the car up for the drive ahead we hit the road.

infiniti2 Seeing the sunrise in style   by Stas

Driving slowly through sleepy neighbourhoods gave us time to enjoy and appreciate peace and silence in otherwise one of the world’s busiest cities.

interior Seeing the sunrise in style   by Stas

We eventually reached motorway and were able to put ‘the foot down’. At this point we already could see sky getting lighter further east. A new day was up on us.

We were soon in Dover, only a few miles away from our destination. It seemed Dover never sleeps, a bit like New York. Cars and trucks were arriving and leaving. We could hear some port announcements being made.

The official time of a sunrise in Deal that morning was 4:48 am, so we had little time spare to stop on the way. We cracked on. Turning off the motorway and on to country roads was a nice change of scenery.

It was getting somewhat hypnotic watching motorway road markings run past for miles in the dark. The sky was getting lighter by a minute but we were almost there.

sky Seeing the sunrise in style   by Stas

Driving on A258 through sleepy coastal villages perked me up. You had to stay alert on narrow country lanes. Few more turns and…we crossed Deal town boarder line.

We made it with about 15 minutes to spare. We parked up on The Strand and headed for the beach.

infiniti Seeing the sunrise in style   by Stas

A mix of excitement and a sense of accomplishment hit us. We did it! We laid on pebbles and watched sun slowly peek from the horizon.

If you want to see other photos from our sunrise adventure, join me on Instagram https://instagram.com/sta5

Let me know what car and adventure you would like me to blog about next and I will see what can be organised.

All photos taken by Seren

Posted in Auto Blog, Featured ArticlesComments (0)

A Day at Goodwood with Infiniti – by Stas

Just to warn you, this was my first ever experience at Goodwood Festival of Speed so there will be a lot of excitement and emotions in this blog post. Reader discretion is advised J

Since the day our attendance to Goodwood was confirmed, I was like a kid before Christmas. Walking around, with my head in the clouds, imagining what it is going to be like. Will tell you honestly, it exceeded all expectations.

When we arrived on site and passed ticket gates I was all over the place. My other half, yes she took part in this too, had to literally drag me between the stands. Bentley, McLaren, sports cars, classic cars… you name it. However, the most memorable moment during the first half an hour at the festival was when we were crossing the foot bridge over the Hill Climb straight. As we were climbing to the top of the bridge I heard a ‘roar’ approaching. It was coming from the left and getting louder by the second. Then it blasted beneath us. It reminded me scenes from Jurassic World, which we went to watch a few days ago.

However, there was little time to try and chase that ‘roar’ to discover what it was. We were in a bit of a rush. Once we made it to the stand, which was tucked away in one of the Goodwood House courtyards, first thing that caught my attention was Infiniti Q60 Concept.

car1 A Day at Goodwood with Infiniti   by Stas

 

It was mesmerizing. Its shapes, angles and those headlamps… They reminded me of bats or maybe panther’s eyes.

car2 A Day at Goodwood with Infiniti   by Stas

Before I got too carried away, guys from Infiniti told they have a surprise for us, a helicopter ride to see the festival grounds from a bird’s eye view.

car3 A Day at Goodwood with Infiniti   by Stas

The flight was unbelievable, the views stunning. It took my breath away.

car4 A Day at Goodwood with Infiniti   by Stas

When we landed, we headed straight to the Goodwood House for a tour and some Pimm’s on the balcony. On the way, we got ‘stuck’ in a crowd admiring huge line up of cars, preparing to enter the Hill Climb. Not really stuck though, the line-up was simply awesome – it would have been almost a sin to just walk past it.

car5 A Day at Goodwood with Infiniti   by Stas

Completely unexpectedly, we heard a loud bang overhead. It was the Red Arrows. They flew over in a formation with blue, red and white smoke shooting out of their tails. Few others and myself were somewhat gutted jets appeared out of nowhere. None of us had our cameras ready.

Not to worry though, Red Arrows were to return shortly and we were ready this time.

car6 A Day at Goodwood with Infiniti   by Stas

After a quick tour of the house we headed straight for the balcony to enjoy what is arguably the best view on the Hill Climb action.

car7 A Day at Goodwood with Infiniti   by Stas

The view from here also gave me a full appreciation of the scale of the festival and, most importantly, a better understanding of how significant this festival is. Goodwood Festival of Speed has something to offer to every type of petrol head.

Filled with Pimm’s and positive emotions, it was time for lunch. Needless to say, the dining area was located perfectly to catch the tyre squealing action of the Hill Climb, up close.

car8 A Day at Goodwood with Infiniti   by Stas

After lunch came another surprise. We would get an exclusive access to see the inside of Q60 Concept and QX30 Concept,

car9 A Day at Goodwood with Infiniti   by Stas

and meet Simon Cox – the design director behind Infiniti’s all new Q30 model, due to be revealed later this year at Frankfurt Motor Show.

car10 A Day at Goodwood with Infiniti   by Stas

The interior of Q60 and QX30 is as gorgeous as façade. Everyone, from driver to passengers and onlookers, is thought of and looked after.

car11 A Day at Goodwood with Infiniti   by Stas

The new Infiniti range is to be “rare and desired”. To turn your head and make you want one. And it is not about style and looks, alone.

car12 A Day at Goodwood with Infiniti   by Stas

Three words kept coming up in our conversation with Simon Cox: “Performance, craftsmanship and tailoring”. These represent Infiniti inside out. Mirrors, seats, central console, air vents, engine. Everything is created with performance, craftsmanship and tailoring in mind.

car13 A Day at Goodwood with Infiniti   by Stas

Consistency in attention to detail is seen across all Infiniti models. For example, such mundane aspect of a car as door handles. On QX30 there are none, in a conventional sense of the word. Instead, the car has touch/gesture sensitive panels fulfilling the role.

Tour on the insides of soon to be launched Infiniti models concluded our day with them, but it was only 3pm. What shall we do? Go enjoy the rest of the festival, of course. However, that deserves a separate blog post in itself. For now, this is it on my first visit to Goodwood Festival of Speed.

If you fancy seeing more photos from the festival or dropping me a comment, join me on https://instagram.com/sta5

To find out more aboout these amazing concept cars, head over to Infiniti.

Posted in Auto Blog, Auto News, Featured ArticlesComments (0)

Ford B-Max Mini MPV Review: A Good Car for the Money

What do you get when you cross the Ford Fiesta platform with the size and the styling of the Ford Focus? The B-Max Mini MPV, Ford’s strongest entry in the European minivan market. The B-Max was originally introduced as a concept car at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show as a way to display the company’s revolutionary B3 platform. It has done very well since being introduced to the consumer market in 2012.

The 2015 B-Max is everything you would expect from this car, and then some. Its strongest selling point for families is a combination of its price point and practicality. You get a lot for your money with the B-Max, although you will probably not win any style points for driving a sleek and sexy sport sedan. That is why the B-Max is really designed for families with young kids.

A bonus for families is that used versions of the B-Max are available through manufacturer-approved schemes such as Ford Direct. Choosing one that is a model a year or two older is yet another way to get an excellent car for not a lot of money.

The Positives

We like the B-Max, first and foremost because it answers one of the most annoying features of most minivans: barely accessible rear seats. Ford designers got rid of the centre pillars to create an open system that makes it easy to get the kids in and out. Believe it or not, child seats have never been easier to use in a minivan. No other minivan offers 59 inches of open space between side doors.

The use of the hatch in the back is another significant positive. Owners have easy access to the rear of the vehicle for loading everything from luggage to groceries. That said, there is not a whole lot of room in the back when the passenger seats are in their normal position. Travelling a long distance with a lot of luggage probably means using a roof-mounted luggage rack or a trailer.

Lastly, the fuel economy of the 99bhp 1.0-litre petrol model is excellent. Ford says you can get 55 mpg if you are careful not to drive aggressively. That’s not hard to do with the 1.0. You may have more difficulty getting mileage that good with the 1.4-litre engine. You will, however, get more punchy performance.

The Negatives

Despite the amount of space afforded by the removal of the central pillars, we cannot help but think that the B3 design presents a safety issue in the event of a side impact crash. Nevertheless, crash tests have resulted in a five star rating for the B-Max in the States. The Euro NCAP also gave the B-Max a five-star safety rating for the 2012 model.

There is not a lot to be impressed about with the comfort level of the B-Max. It is adequate, in the sense that it is not an uncomfortable car, but it is not as smooth and gentle as we would expect a family car to be. Some have described the ride as ‘firm’. It needs to be that way in order to give owners the handling they expect in a car of that size and shape.

Lastly, the design for the interior can be a bit annoying until one gets used to it. The dash seems overly generous while all of the gauges and user controls are compressed into a tiny area. It seems as though Ford could have done a better job of spreading things out a bit. Nonetheless, perhaps the dash arrangement was designed around the overall theme of more room to work rather than valuable space being taken up by unnecessary features.

Where to Buy the Ford B-Max

The Ford B-Max has done very well in a UK market that is heavy on fuel economy and low price point. It is available from most Ford.co.uk dealers in the UK as a brand new model and there are no real stock restrictions, some sites have strong special offers such as JenningsMotorGroup.co.uk. There is no reason it should not continue to do well for the foreseeable future. It is a minivan worth looking at for young families that need space for the little ones. In short, it is a good car for the price.

For a quick part exchange valuation then webuyanycar.com is a good bet or alternatively direct from a dealer against a car you are interested in http://www.jenningsforddirect.co.uk/cars/ford/b-max/

Posted in Auto Blog, Car Reviews, Featured ArticlesComments (0)

Mercedes-Benz S-CLASS Documents Leaked

Leaked documents show that the 2014 Mercedes S-Class will go into production in August and launch in September. To add to the information, the car has also been spied on the roads and photographs are already making rounds on the internet.

In addition to this, it has also been suggested that the car shall be unveiled in May during an invitation only event; the S550 4MATIC and S63 AMG 4MATIC are likely to follow later in the year, around October and November.

The information was apparently released by an insider at Mercedes and released to WCF, who published their story earlier last week.

The car is to have an evolutionary design and will be fully kitted out with aluminium roofing and front end components.

Although very little is known so far about the exterior of the vehicle, it is expected to feature wood/leather steering, LED lighting and a Burmester audio system.

According to the documents, there will also be a “dramatic reduction” in noise vibration and harshness.

It is also expected that the car shall be moving somewhat upmarket from its predecessor, with rear “chauffer seats” being offered, alongside a ten-way adjustment and foot rest.

As for the other seats, they shall feature heat/ ventilation systems and Nappa leather seats which are supposedly available in up to six differing colours.

Looking at the prospected technology, the car shall also feature advanced Night View Assist PLUS, which is able to detect both human and animal presence. If a collision were just about to take place, the system would therefore alert the driver to take immediate action.

The car will be revealed in Germany on May 15th, though we may just hear a little more about the vehicle before this, and although it will be some time until we expect to see the car in second hand showrooms in the UK, you can of course by any approved Mercedes Benz from companies such as Inchcape Mercedes-Benz.

Posted in Featured ArticlesComments (0)

Ultimate Movie Cars

Hollywood: where all the rules go out the window and literally anything is possible. No wonder, then, that we’ve seen so many incredible automobiles on the silver screen over the years.
In no particular order, here’s some of our favourite movie cars of all time.

Mini Cooper, The Italian Job (1969)
A trio of Mini Coopers featured in what’s possibly the most famous movie car chase of all time, ducking and diving their way through the Turin traffic. A dedicated fan has recently taken parts from the sixteen cars used during filming – which were scrapped soon after – to restore three to their former glory.

’77 Pontiac Trans Am, Smokey and the Bandit (1977)
The Trans Am should have got star billing for its prominent role in this action comedy. The filmmakers used four cars to complete the films many challenging stunts, and all four were totally trashed by the time the picture wrapped.

The Tumbler, Batman Begins (2005)
Batman’s always had pretty awesome cars, but The Tumbler took it to a whole new level… It cost $250,000 to build each of the four cars used in the film, one of which featured an actual jet engine, and the design and development process took nine months.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)
Six models of this vintage inspired car were created for filming, including a road-worthy one that could actually be driven (though its lack of manoeuvrability made this pretty tricky); bizarrely, it’s rumoured that filmmaker Peter Jackson is the current owner of this version of the car…

’32 Ford, American Graffiti (1973)
This coming of age film perfectly captures a moment in time, and the cars featured play an important role in creating exactly the right kind of look and feel. Interesting fact: the license number on Milner’s car is ‘THX 138’, which is a reference to one of George Lucas’ first film, THX 1138.

DeLorean DMC-12, Back to the Future (1985)
This four-wheeled time machine with distinctive gull-wing doors became a true Eighties icon. And, as the movie car was just a modified version of a widely available model, film fans could actually buy their very own DeLorean (time travelling ability not included, of course).

Herbie, The Love Bug (1969)
A Volkswagen Beetle with a mind of its own, Herbie was much loved by film audiences – so much so that his film debut was followed up by numerous sequels, including 2005’s Herbie: Fully Loaded.

Greased Lightnin, Grease (1978)
During the course of this ever-popular musical, a clapped out 1948 Ford Convertible is converted into a sleek, high performance machine that made the girls come running, wins the race – and even flies off into the distance at the end.

This blog was provided by The Car People – used car dealer. If you’re looking to buy a car then The Car People can help. Visit them online to find out more information & choose from a wide range of cars.

Posted in Featured ArticlesComments (0)

A Look At Lamborghini’s Top Models

Italy is famous for many things – fashion, football and beautiful women, among others. Something I always associate the country with, however, is high-performance cars, with Lamborghini a brand that has a longstanding reputation for producing fantastic vehicles.

The company was established half a century ago and, since that time, it has manufactured thousands of great-quality automobiles. In fact, if you’re looking to buy a high-performance car I really don’t think you can afford to not check out what the latest Lamborghinis have to offer.

Whether you’re buying a Lambo for the very first time or keen to expand your existing collection, you can be certain you’ll find a model suitable for you. To help make your decision that little bit easier, I’ve put together some information about a few of the firm’s top vehicles.

Gallardo LP 560-4

Got the need for speed? I’m pretty certain you’ll find the Gallardo LP 560-4 is a great choice. With a top speed of 200 mph and capable of going from zero to 62 mph in just 3.7 seconds, this is a great vehicle for petrolheads.

Powered by a ten-cylinder engine that has a maximum 560 horsepower capacity, I’m sure that this will have all the performance you need, whether you’re going through a city on your way to work or enjoying a leisurely drive in the countryside at the weekend.

The Gallardo LP 560-4 also has an aluminium double-wishbone front and rear suspension system and dual-stage driver and passenger airbags, so you’ll get behind the wheel of a car that isn’t just powerful, but is also safe and comfortable to drive. Other features include 19-inch alloys – that are painted in matt black and have polished silver spokes – as well as external heated mirrors.

Aventador LP 700-4

With its carbon-fibre casing, the Aventador LP 700-4 is certainly worth considering if you are after a high-performance car made from the finest materials.

The supersport vehicle also comes with a carbon-fibre engine bonnet and, as it can go reach 62 mph in three seconds flat, it’s bound to be a good choice if you hope to get something that’s quite nippy.

Other features that I think are worth pointing out are the dual-hydraulic circuit brake system, Pirelli tyres and a seven-speed gearbox, with the Aventador LP 700-4 capable of reaching a maximum speed of 217 mph.

Sesto Elemento

For something really extraordinary, the Sesto Elemento is one Lamborghini you might want to look into. Although, as the company points out that it’s only available on a “very limited special edition” basis, you might need to act quickly to purchase one.

If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on it, you’ll certainly have a car that’ll be the envy of all your friends. Not only does it go from zero to 62 mph in 2.5 seconds and features a permanent all-wheel drive system, but it’s also very light – weighing just 999 kg. In comparison, the Aventador LP 700-4 has a weight of 1,625 kg.

Whichever car you choose, you definitely will need to protect your investment. That’s why I recommend you always store your car in a locked garage when not in use, while investing in Lamborghini car insurance should ensure you’re covered in case your pride and joy needs to be taken in for any repairs or modifications.

Do you own a Lamborghini or are thinking about buying one? Either way, we’d love to hear which models you like the most, so please get in touch!

Posted in Featured ArticlesComments (0)

Open Top Motoring

There is no other feeling quite like driving with the roof off. It feels entirely different from driving in a saloon. Not only do you feel the wind in your hair, but the sounds and the smells are different too. Birdsong and the sweet aromas of the countryside take on a different complexion. And once you have tried it, then it is likely that you will become addicted to it; in a recent survey, around 95 percent of people who own an open top say that their next car will be an open top too.

Modern open tops are every bit as safe to drive as saloons, though there are some precautions you need to take when driving one, as evidenced by what happened recently to a man in Germany who happened to have €23,000 in an envelope on his back seat. He had intended to use the money to pay for a car. The envelope was whisked away by the wind with the result that the driver left behind a paper trail of notes. The road was closed by the police for some time so that they could recover the cash and, surprisingly, €20,000 was returned to him.

So what to wear for open top motoring? If you have done much of it in the past then you will be aware of what a long journey can do to the skin. You might not notice at the time, but with the combination of wind and sunlight you are likely to arrive at your journey’s end with a bright red face which can take several days to fade to a mellower tan.

This can be avoided with the right head gear. The best kind of hat to wear is a peaked cap, and if you want to look cool then a peaked leather cap is a good choice. If you are an all-weather open topper, then why not match it up with a flying jacket? Not only will it keep you warm and cosy when the icy wind doth blow, that retro look is very stylish too, and that goes for both the boys and the girls. Soft leather driving gloves are also highly recommended.

In the olden days raising the roof was a manual job, but with modern open top cars you can raise and lower the roof at the touch of a button; the whole process takes just a few seconds. There are still many cloth tops around, though some modern open top cars have a metal roof which provides the best of both worlds, allowing you to enjoy the wind in your hair along with providing all the comfort and style of a coupe.

The fabrics used to make the roofs of modern soft tops are very different from those that were used in the past. In order to cut out much of the wind noise that one had to endure when the roof was down, many modern soft tops have a layer of insulation sandwiched between an outer and inner lining. This technology has been used on the new Vauxhall Cascada, a particularly stylish four seater convertible that will be launched in 2013. A feature of the car is that you can raise and lower the roof at speeds of up to 30 mph and it takes just seventeen seconds to do so, so you don’t need to actually stop when it starts to rain.

 

Posted in Featured ArticlesComments (0)

The (Dullest) Drive of Your Life

We all lead busy lives and when we’re cocooned in our cars it becomes a place of refuge and quiet calm for the soul. Or so we’d like to think. In fact, there are many things in a driver’s life designed to spoil the trip. Traffic jams, detours and safety cameras all conspire to ruin our day.

For 34% of us, scarcely a journey goes by without becoming frustrated by the bizarre and careless antics of other motorists. Things are just as bad inside the car as any parent will tell you when going on a family holiday and on the insurance policy front you are risking your cover on a daily basis thanks to our pothole festooned roads.

Just think about it. How many times on a lovely, winding two lane blacktop have you come across the ponderous, swaying rear end of a caravan and thought about your good fortune? The truth is motoring these days is both frustrating and boring.

Recent research by Allianz Your Cover showed that car owners in Worcester  reckon they have the most boring roads in Britain. That knowledge will not cut any ice with the good folk of Chelmsford or Plymouth, for example, who will tell you that, in comparison with their sad streets and dull drives, the roads of Worcester are a veritable driving heaven. Most drivers will agree though that the M25 – ringing London like a circle of mundane motoring mediocrity – is the winner of the most boring road in Britain award by, curiously, a country mile.

The worry is that boredom, arguably more so than the other distractions, is very likely to result in a loss of concentration and that’s a bad thing. It’s not so bad if the family is on board as the car is often seen as a good place to chew over household business and children instinctively know that a drive out is a good time to deliver bad news from the safety of the back seat.

It’s worse in winter as the light leaves early and whatever views that might have been available to relieve the tedium are lost to you. This is when some thought can be given to winter preparation for your car; always a sensible idea and it will keep your mind in gear.

Anyone who has ever drifted off to the land of nod through tiredness and boredom can tell you how frightening and dangerous the results can be. Concentration at the wheel is vital. The sensible driver knows to take regular breaks en route. Five minutes fresh air and a bit of leg stretching can make all the difference. Music can help but try to avoid Bohemian Rhapsody – too much head banging to be safe!

Information Source:
“Are we there yet?” Poll by Allianz Your Cover Insurance (www.yourcoverinsurance.co.uk)
Allianz Your Cover Insurance are launching a competition on Facebook from 10am today (Monday 5 November) to win some great in-car prizes. (www.facebook.com/yourcoveruk)

Posted in Featured ArticlesComments (0)

Top 5 Driving Experiences

We’ve selected some of the most exciting driving experiences from around the globe that any motorhead must at least try once! Book flights and hotels to the destinations listed with www.directline-holidays.co.uk for unbelievable prices.

Amalfi coast
The Costiera Amalfitana, or Amalfi Coast, is Italy’s finest coastal route offering breathtaking panoramas of classic Mediterranean landscape. The roads are winding, narrow, and challenging to drive, however the amazingly stunning views make this road trip one of the most exciting driving experiences in Europe.

Alps in Switzerland
The San Bernardino Pass offers a great amount of variety, travelling through several small villages, and climbing through the tree line to pass a landscape crafted from glaciers and the glorious Lake Moesola. The alpine section drives like a dream, fast, but with some hairpin bends thrown in for thrills.

Four wheel drive in the desert
The desert offers dare devils the thrilling experience of sand boarding the dunes. Drive through never ending desert landscapes, chasing mirages without the annoyance of other vehicles slowing you down.

N152 Spanish Pyrenees
The N152 is a stunning road journey across the Pyrenees, and undoubtedly one of the best anywhere in Europe. This road trip has even been declared by Jeremy Clarkson as one of his favourite roads. With only light traffic to obstruct your journey, and with excellent visibility throughout, the classic mountain twists and turns make it a delight to drive and the views are spectacular.

South of France
Explore the wonder and glamour of Cannes, Marseilles and St Tropez with a classic road trip across the south of France. Go the whole hog and rent a classic car to top the experience, or venture into the playboy world of Monte Carlo and see for yourself the world’s most impressive Formula One Monaco Grand Prix race course.

Posted in Featured ArticlesComments (6)

There’s never been a better time to buy a convertible

We know it’s not customary to start searching for a convertible in the cold season – we’re in the darkest depths of winter with the country’s roads still slick with salt and atmospheric conditions not best suited to top-down motoring.

But, and it’s one of those big, wholesome well-rounded buts, the winter could mark the right time to start searching for an al fresco motoring proposition, ready for the warmth of spring and summer.

As the warm months arrive they’ll bring with them inflated prices in the two-seater market.

It’s widely recognised that open-top cars are harder to sell on with the weather doing its best to pinpoint their drawbacks – but, start scouring the classifieds before green shoots appear on the trees and a smart buyer could bag a slice of open-top motoring for an appealingly discounted price.

There’s something for everyone in the open-top class, too. Hardened track day enthusiasts will know that the Series 1 Lotus Elise is a properly focussed sports car.

Driven well, even the entry-level Elise with it’s 118bhp 1.8-litre Rover K-Series engine will rival a Porsche 911 of the same era for go and eclipses it through the twisties thanks to its superbly agile handling and 725kg kerb weight.

Believe it or not, examples of this gem of a sportscar can be had for as little as £8,000 pounds. But when spring comes, you can expect prices of even the cheapest and tattiest Elise’s to rise by at least £500.

There’s plenty for the driver looking for a more laid back approach to convertible motoring, too.

The BMW 3 Series convertible, Mercedes-Benz CLK drop-top and roofless version of Audi’s A4 can all be picked up for prices around the £10,000 mark – and that’s not the bottom of the range models either.

They may be the previous generation vehicles but with lower than average mileage (convertibles often are due to the seasonal nature of when they’re driven), gutsy straight-six, V6 and four-cylinder turbo engines respectively, electric roofs, and plenty of executive level equipment, all three examples are a bargain buy for a large chunk of premium open-top motoring.

If you’re on the look out for a convertible as a second car and don’t want to spend a great deal then there’s more affordable but no less attractive convertibles available, too.

The Mazda MX-5 MK3 on an 07 plate car can be snapped up for as little as £4,995 – the famous roadster offers sweet handling, smart styling and solid build quality.

Whatever your choice, there’s a couple of basic rules to follow. Watch all your usual motoring outlets like a hawk and don’t buy the first car you see.

Whatever you do though, don’t leave it too long as those winter prices will start to creep up to spring/summer levels.

Posted in Featured ArticlesComments (0)

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