Archive for Joe Simpson

Mazda MX-5 (2016) first drive: Analogue awesomeness in a digital world

Mazda MX-5 (2016) first drive: Analogue awesomeness in a digital world

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We live in a world where driverless cars will be a reality soon, where hoverboards and drones fulfil our childhood sci-fi fantasies, where we need never again get lost thanks to constant connectivity and Google Maps. That's all well and good, but welcome... >>

Mazda CX-3 first drive: A grades for this B-segment crossover?

Mazda CX-3 first drive: A grades for this B-segment crossover?

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What do the Nissan Juke, Mini Countryman and Renault Captur have in common? They're members of one of the fastest growing automotive segments – the so-called B-segment crossover. Now Mazda has joined the party with the new CX-3, so we went to northern... >>

Ford GT: The £200k, 200mph production supercar surprise (hands-on)

Ford GT: The £200k, 200mph production supercar surprise (hands-on)

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There were rumours of a new Ford GT coming, but no one quite predicted the unveil of this striking new production model on the first press day of the North American Auto Show in Detroit. This is the new production-ready Ford GT, which will go on sale... >>

Volkswagen Polo GTI first drive: Fun meets maturity

Volkswagen Polo GTI first drive: Fun meets maturity

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A hot hatchback exists to provide excitement, performance and effervescence to the driving experience that regular, lesser power models lack. But Volkswagen's hot hatches mix this with a more mature, softly spoken approach than some of its rivals. For... >>

Volkswagen Golf GTE first drive: Hotting up the hybrid

Volkswagen Golf GTE first drive: Hotting up the hybrid

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You've heard of the Golf GTi. Now say hello to the Golf GTE. That's E for electric, in case you were curious. To readers of a certain age, GTE in the context of a performance car might be associated with another brand. When Pocket-lint was still in baby... >>

Volkswagen e-Up! review: Up against it
3.5 stars

Volkswagen e-Up! review: Up against it

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Say it quickly: "ee-up". That Volkswagen feels happy to call its smallest electric car after the Yorkshire phrase for "hello" shows that Germans do truly have a sense of humour. We jest, of course – Yorkshiremen and women don't say "ee up", they say... >>

Jaguar F-Type R Coupe review: A very British love affair
5.0 stars

Jaguar F-Type R Coupe review: A very British love affair

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If you're lucky enough to be driving an expensive, powerful car then you'll know the response you get from the wonderful British public tends to vary. Driving a Porsche 911? Don't expect to be let out of a side road anytime soon. Range Rover Sport? Go... >>

Geneva Motor Show 2015 in pictures: From concepts and supercars, to hot hatches and the latest in-car tech

Geneva Motor Show 2015 in pictures: From concepts and supercars, to hot hatches and the latest in-car tech

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The Geneva Motor Show is the auto industry's only neutral-ground show. It is in Switzerland after all. Why's that important? Well, at the Detroit show it's all about a show of force from the Americans. By contrast Paris is the stomping ground for wild... >>

Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 concept: Old and new collide in explosive design

Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 concept: Old and new collide in explosive design

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The Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept was our favourite car of the Geneva show. We know what you're thinking: yet another super/luxury performance car? Well, Geneva was littered with the things – performance and big money dominated the show. Once you've... >>

McLaren 675LT: British beauty with added sting in the tail (hands-on)

McLaren 675LT: British beauty with added sting in the tail (hands-on)

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This is the McLaren 675LT – which stands for long tail. We don't normally make a point of covering cars that are facelift versions, or new variations in a series, but given how good-looking this McLaren is we had to make an exception. A quick recap... >>

Audi R8 (2015): Tech-tastic treat or 'difficult second album' moment for flagship model? (hands-on)

Audi R8 (2015): Tech-tastic treat or 'difficult second album' moment for flagship model? (hands-on)

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Audi is now well into the stride of a massive new model offensive. At the Detroit Motor Show back in January we got its flagship SUV, the Q7, while here at the Geneva Motor Show the company has launched the next-generation R8. Come September at the Frankfurt... >>

Ferrari 488 GTB: £200K turbo-charged supercar superstar (hands-on)

Ferrari 488 GTB: £200K turbo-charged supercar superstar (hands-on)

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This is the Ferrari 488 GTB, the company's mid-engine supercar, which replaces the 458 Italia. Launched at the Geneva Motor Show, the 488 features an evolutionary design but is revolutionary in other areas such as its engine. Most notably, this is one... >>

Smart ForTwo first drive: Three generations in, it's smarter than ever

Smart ForTwo first drive: Three generations in, it's smarter than ever

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When the original Smart launched in 1998, it felt like a momentous occasion in the car world. For perhaps the first time since the original Mini or Fiat 500, here was a car that was genuinely small, ingeniously packaged and seriously useful in a city.... >>

Maserati Ghibli S review: Representing a centenary of specialness
4.5 stars

Maserati Ghibli S review: Representing a centenary of specialness

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Mas-er-ati. Say it slowly and one of the most beautiful and evocative names in the automotive world sounds even more special. What is it about Italian words? They're enough to make the average Brit go weak at the knees. Maserati has ambitious new plans... >>

Volkswagen Passat (2015) first drive: Shedding its dull image

Volkswagen Passat (2015) first drive: Shedding its dull image

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Ask any automotive enthusiast to name a dull car, and there's a fair chance they might name the Passat. But Volkswagen has sold 22 million of the things since 1973, so clearly the gear-heads are missing something. For 2015, there's a new Passat to tempt... >>

Detroit 2015 motorshow in pictures: Ford, Mercedes, Porsche and more show off their new cars and concepts

Detroit 2015 motorshow in pictures: Ford, Mercedes, Porsche and more show off their new cars and concepts

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The North American International Auto Show – known locally by its acronym of “NAIAS”  or to you and I as the Detroit motorshow – sweeps the entire car industry off to frozen Detroit each January. Increasingly Detroit feels like a sideshow to... >>

Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE concept: The Tiguan from the future (hands-on)

Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE concept: The Tiguan from the future (hands-on)

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This is VW's latest crossover concept, the Cross Coupe GTE. Shown at the Detroit Auto Show as a proof of concept vision, it hints at the next generation of Volkswagen's crossovers and SUVs. The GTE label – which is the new moniker for high-performance,... >>

Audi Q7: Awesome tech meets awkward design (hands-on)

Audi Q7: Awesome tech meets awkward design (hands-on)

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The Audi Q7 was the most important new mainstream production car to be launched at the Detroit Auto Show, joining a growing throng of recently refreshed big SUVs. Given that BMW debuted a new X5 in 2014 (although it looks just like the old one), Volvo... >>

Honda NSX: Ford GT competitor shows off 25 year pedigree (hands-on)

Honda NSX: Ford GT competitor shows off 25 year pedigree (hands-on)

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If the Ford GT was the surprise supercar launch at the Detroit Auto Show, then the Honda NSX (here badged as an Acura, for the North American market) was the one we knew we were going to get. After all, Acura has been showing the NSX in concept version... >>

Driver-less car design: Are we sleep-walking into the future?

Driver-less car design: Are we sleep-walking into the future?

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It’s hard to criticise tech-led culture without appearing anti-progressive. But when it comes to autonomous car design, are we sleep-walking our way into the future? There is something hugely appealing about the driver-less car. Even the most gear-headed... >>

Citroen C4 Cactus review: A thorn in the side for the competition
4.5 stars

Citroen C4 Cactus review: A thorn in the side for the competition

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Every so often a car comes along that causes people to stop and stare. If you're brave enough to drive a new Citroen C4 Cactus, then there's a fair chance that people are going to stare at you. It's a car that looks different; quirky in a way that, arguably,... >>

Renault Twingo review: Dynamique TCe 90 hits the streets
3.5 stars

Renault Twingo review: Dynamique TCe 90 hits the streets

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Going against the grain is unusual in the automotive world. Standardisation, lowering the risk factor of product failure and making things easy to mass produce is the name of the game. Which is why unusual or new types of car are so rare. When the Renault... >>

Peugeot 108 review: Putting the Active 1.0 Top! through its paces
3.5 stars

Peugeot 108 review: Putting the Active 1.0 Top! through its paces

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Back in 2005 the Peugeot 107 joined the city car sector just at the right time - offering the combination of cheeky looks, super-low insurance costs and the option of 5-doors - before most rivals had cottoned onto the fact this was what buyers wanted.... >>

Mercedes-Benz C-Class first drive: Striking a balance between sporty and refined

Mercedes-Benz C-Class first drive: Striking a balance between sporty and refined

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Comfort or sporting prowess? It's quandary that every car maker faces when launching a new car, and it seems particularly pertinent when considering the new Mercedes C-Class. It used to be said that stepping into a Mercedes-Benz should lower the driver's... >>

Mini 5-door first drive: Cartoon-style fun for the whole family

Mini 5-door first drive: Cartoon-style fun for the whole family

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Up until now, beyond the price differential, one key reason to overlook buying a Mini - beyond its cartoonish design - was the lack of rear doors. And with sales in this market splitting roughly 65/35 in favour of 5-door models, it's clear Mini thinks... >>