Terry Grant drives a Nissan Juke to a new World Record

Video: Nissan sets new World Record at Goodwood

Terry Grant drives a Nissan Juke to a new World RecordStunt driver Terry Grand set a surprise new World Record at the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed – for the fastest mile driving a car on two wheels.

And it was his OWN World Record that Grant broke at FoS!

Driving a Nissan Juke NISMO RS, Grant drove the Goodwood Hillclimb course on two wheels (yes, really) in 2m10s – shattering his 2011 FoS time of 2m55s.

Onlookers weren’t the only ones surprised by the record run. “I was shocked at how much faster the Juke NISMO RS was,” said Grant. “To take 45 seconds off what was already a quick time, was unbelievable.”

Although he’ been practising for three months, this was actually Grant’s first run at the 2015 Festival – he has five more over the weekend.

And he wants to go faster still…

“To break it by so much on my first attempt was a great way to kick off the weekend and I’m looking forward to seeing if I can go faster.”

It’ll be interesting to see how much faster he could go: perhaps a 600hp Nissan Juke-R 2.0 could help…

Here’s a must-watch video of Grant’s World Record Nissan run.

Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe: 2015 first drive

Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe: overview

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The GLE is the new name for the revised Mercedes-Benz ML-Class and forms part of a five-strong line-up of G-labelled SUVs. The GLE Coupe is the Mercedes equivalent of the BMW X6, making the AMG version a rival for the BMW X6M. You may not like the BMW X6, but there are enough people in the world who do.

The AMG 63 S sits at the very top of the GLE Coupe tree and – as you might expect for £96,555 and that fabled AMG badge – it packs a formidable punch. How does a twin-turbo V8 offering 585hp grab you? The AMG 63 S has the weaponry to match its tank-like exterior.

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Without wishing to state the blindingly obvious, the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe is no looker. Beauty, they say, is in the eye of the beholder, but it’s hard to imagine anyone looking at the GLE’s sportier cousin and going weak at the knees.

Still, at least it’s imposing and – we’re trying desperately hard to be positive about the styling – if you drive the full fat AMG version, you will get noticed. And we suspect that – in the UK at least – such things will matter to the SUV coupe’s target market.

But is it really the ‘agile sports coupe’ Mercedes would like you to believe? Well not exactly.

Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe: on the road

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It’s impossible to speak about the way the GLE 63 S Coupe drives without first mentioning the soundtrack. Turn the key and the oversized coupe bursts into life with an almighty rage. Fire this thing up in the morning and birds will shoot out of their nests.

The noise is unmistakably AMG-V8. Deep, angry, throaty, menacing and, at times, unpredictable. Lift off the throttle and the you’ll be greeted with a brilliant pop-pop on the overrun, something you’ll need to be aware of when travelling through sleepy villages. That said, the ‘bahn-storming’ SUV coupe will tiptoe quietly if required.

The seven-speed AMG Speedshift transmission is exceptional, offering seamless and lightning quick changes, especially in Sport mode. It’s also rather addictive using the steering wheel-mounted paddles, which add an extra layer of involvement to the driving experience. The adaptive air suspension is similarly impressive, while you’ll also be able to select between five different driving modes, with Dynamic Select offering a choice of Comfort, Slippery, Sport, Sport+ or Individual.

It behaves much like you’d expect a 2.3-tonne SUV to behave. The 585hp V8 does a perfectly good job of giving this oversized coupe a huge amount of grunt, but the bark is more impressive than the bite. It’s just too heavy to provide pinned-to-the-back-of your-seat levels of acceleration, but the delivery of power is smooth and controlled.

The GLE 63 S Coupe feels most at home on a de-restricted Autobahn, where you can make full use of the 155mph (restricted) top speed and 560lb ft of torque. When a straight inevitably gives way to a bend, the SUV Coupe doesn’t feel quite as planted as you might hope, certainly not when traveling at speeds in excess of 120mph. Unlikely to be a problem in the UK.

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But it will become a problem on a twisty B-road. Thanks to the standard-fit air suspension, the GL 63 S Coupe rides superbly, even with the bling-tastic 22-inch AMG alloy wheels, the largest ever produced by Mercedes-AMG. But when cornering, the big Merc can’t disguise its height and weight. There’s also little in the way of communication from the road, not idea in a performance-led machine, albeit an SUV. It’s just not as playful as you might expect an AMG-badged car to be.

Things improve when you select Sport+ mode, which acts like someone has gone through the entire car and tightened all the screws. The Mercedes feels sharper, more planted and more worthy of the AMG badge. The pay off is a marked drop in the ride quality, as small imperfections can send the GLE Coupe off line. For once, we’d suggest Comfort mode provides the best compromise, it’s just that it feels wrong writing that in a review of a Mercedes-AMG.

Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe: on the inside

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Good news! The GLE Coupe’s cabin provides some welcome solace from the exterior styling. There few complaints when it comes to the quality of the GLE Coupe’s interior, which is the same as you’ll find in its more conservative sibling.

The supremely comfortable seats and Alcantara-shod steering wheel offer multiple levels of adjustment, so finding a good driving position won’t be too hard. There’s further good news for rear seat passengers who will find plenty of leg and headroom, although the black headlining and sloping roof do combine to make it feel a tad claustrophobic back there.

But given Mercedes has reduced the height by 65mm compared to the standard GLE, we can’t be too critical. Five adults will be available to cross continents in extreme comfort, although the middle seat is raised slightly above the outer pair.

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It’s just a shame that the function of the luggage area has suffered in the name of form. By giving the GLE Coupe the rear-end styling to mimic an S-Class, Mercedes has created a high boot lip that makes lifting heavy objects a real struggle. If you’ve got a pushchair or regularly carry bulky objects, choose the standard GLE.

On the plus side, the 60:40 split-folding rear seats do fold flat to provide 1,720 litres of usable space. Just make sure you consult your dog before buying a GLE Coupe. It won’t thank you for forcing it to pole-vault in order to jump into the boot.

Other complaints include an overly-fussy centre console and dashboard, along with Mercedes-Benz’s continued use of numerous stalks behind the steering wheel. It’s far too easy to find the steering wheel adjustment when searching for the cruise control, while using the wipers and indicators can be a bit of a lottery. Still, you’ll inevitably get used to it over time. Besides, the infotainment screen is excellent and it’s refreshing to find the controls for the climate control on a pair of traditional dials.

A word about the optional Bang & Olufsen BeoSound AMG sound system, which is up there with the best in-car systems we’ve experienced. Even with the volume cranked up to the max, there was no distortion through the music being streamed via the iPod.

Sure, you might expect such a system to be standard-fit on a car costing close to £100k, but given Mercedes wants you to fork out an extra £3,295 for park assist, ventilated seats and keyless entry/start – part of the Premium Package – you won’t be surprised to learn it’ll set you back £3,495. It’s well worth it.

You’ll need all the help you can get when parking this pumped-up SUV, because rearward visibility is atrocious. The view through the rear window is small in the extreme and the C-pillars make reversing a bit of a lottery.

Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe: running costs

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Hey, you’re not going to buy an AMG-tuned SUV Coupe and be that concerned with running costs. Assuming you can stomach the near £100k price tag, this won’t be a cheap thing to run. On an admittedly enthusiastic 85-mile sprint, which took in some de-restricted stretches of Autobahn, we managed to consume close to half a tank of unleaded. Given the 93-litre tank will cost upwards of £100 to fill, those cross-continent blasts may turn expensive.

You could, of course, opt for the diesel-engined GLE 350d, but on a more leisurely drive across Bavaria and into Austria, we saw a return of just 28mpg. Clearly, coupes weren’t designed for hauling 2.3-tonnes of V8-powered excess across Europe’s most mountainous regions.

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And you’ll need to factor in the cost of replacing the 285/40 R22 tyres at the front, along with the huge 325/35 R22s at the rear. As for road tax, well that will set you back £1,100 in the first year and £500 for each year thereafter. Make no mistake, the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe will be an expensive mistress, but if you’re about to fork out to buy one of these new, you’ve almost certainly got the means to be able to run one. The last time we looked, Premier League footballers were quite well paid…

Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe: verdict

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If look-at-me motors float your boat, you’re sure to find much to like about the GLE 63 S Coupe. In fact, we’d go as far as to say that if you’re planning on buying a GLE Coupe, you really ought to opt for the full bore AMG V8. If you find yourself looking further down the model range and pondering one of diesel-engined variants from a practicality and economy standpoint, you may be better off with the revised GLE.

Don’t get us wrong, it’s not without appeal and we totally get why Mercedes wants a slice of the BMW X6M pie. The soundtrack is brilliantly bonkers, there’s bags of grip, the interior is superbly executed and – whisper this – but it does look its best in full-fat AMG flavour.

But the same is true of the £20,000 cheaper E63 AMG wagon and we know where we’d be spending our money. Not only will it be nicer to drive, people will look at you with a knowing nod, rather than a disapproving shake of the head. Your dog will thank you for it, too.

Specification: Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe

Engine: 5.5-litre V8 petrol
Gearbox: Seven-speed automatic
Prices from: £96,555
Power: 585hp
Torque: 560lb ft
0-62mph: 4.2 seconds
Top speed: 155mph (limited)
Fuel economy: 23.7mpg
CO2 emissions: 278g/km
Goodwood FoS

Video: 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed – LIVE

Don’t miss a second of Goodwood 2015 with our live feed for all three days

More on Motoring Research

2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed – in full
2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed preview – in pictures
Video: Ford Focus RS teased ahead of Goodwood 2015

Nissan Juke-R 2.0

Juke rocks! Meet the 600hp Nissan GT-R engine’d Juke R 2.0

Nissan Juke-R 2.0

Take one Nissan GT-R Nismo supercar and one Nissan Juke city-friendly crossover. Combine. What do you get? A crossover supercar that’s been revealed at the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed‘s Moving Motor Show! Read on to find out more…

Meet the 600hp Nissan GT-R engine’d Juke R 2.0

Nissan Juke-R 2.0

Remember the original Nissan Juke-R – a madcap creation that squeezed a Nissan GT-R engine into the mild-mannered Nissan crossover? Well, Nissan’s at it again – using a GT-R engine this time tuned to a full 600hp…

Juke-R take 2: the Juke-R 2.0

Nissan Juke-R 2.0

Based around the 2014 facelifted Juke, the new Nissan Juke-R 2.0 boast the full-fat engine from the Nissan GT-R Nismo. As you’d expect, squeezing it in has been no mean feat…

100% hungrier for air

Nissan Juke-R 2.0

There’s an all-new front bumper, for example, with cooling slots increased by a full 100%. That’s how hungry the motor is for fresh air.

Juke-R, enhanced

Nissan Juke-R 2.0

Nissan’s fitted full carbon fibre front and rear wheelarch flares and side sills, all better blended into the design than the original Juke-R. Speaking of which…

Nissan Juke-R: old and new

Nissan Juke-R 2.0

Nissan brought the old and new Juke-R together, so we can ring the changes. Subtle, sure, but they are there – and it IS proof that this isn’t just an overhauled version of the original car!

How fast is the Nissan Juke-R 2.0?

Nissan Juke-R 2.0

So how fast is it? Well, Nissan isn’t saying. But we do know the GT-R Nismo is one of the fastest cars around Germany’s Nurburgring, and can do 0-62mph in just 2.6 seconds.

Will the Nissan Juke-R 2.0 drive well?

Nissan Juke-R 2.0

The GT-R Nismo also has a staggeringly advanced four-wheel drive system that lucky drivers of the Juke-R 2.0 get to also enjoy.

What’s the Nissan Juke-R 2.0 like from behind?

Nissan Juke-R 2.0

At the rear, 2015 model year Nissan Juke tail lamps are fitted, but you probably won’t spot these because of those HUGE REAR WINGLETS and MASSIVE EXHAUSTS.

Drift champ

Nissan Juke-R 2.0

Needless to say, we’d imagine the Juke-R 2.0 is a blast to drive. Will it drift? Will it ever!

Detail changes

Nissan Juke-R 2.0

Nissan stresses there have been lots of detail changes over the original 2011 Juke-R. The bonnet is new, for example, as are the headlights, and the carbon fibre air inlets have been repositioned.

Carbon fibre overload

Nissan Juke-R 2.0

The rear winglets are made from one-piece carbon fibre; the rear bumper is carbon fibre, incorporating a carbon fibre diffuser and high temperature carbon exhaust cowlings.

Nissan GT-R wheels

Nissan Juke-R 2.0

Wheels for the new Juke-R 2.0 are taken from the latest Nissan GT-R.

Interior: no change

Nissan Juke-R 2.0

There are no big changes to the interior, mind: Nissan says that, other than a black rooflining, it remains as before.

See it at the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed

Nissan Juke-R 2.0

The Nissan Juke-R 2.0 will make its fire-breathing debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend, displayed in the Supercar Paddock after appearing at the Moving Motor Show on Thursday. And that’s not all…

In action at Goodwood

Nissan Juke-R 2.0

Nissan GT Academy driver, Britain’s Jann Mardenborough, is to also drive the Juke-R 2.0 on the famous Goodwood Hillclimb across all three days of the Festival of Speed. A 600hp crossover supercar? You can bet there’ll be a few double-takes for the wild Nissan Juke-R 2.0…

2016 Ford Focus RS

Official: Ford Focus RS to produce 350hp!

2016 Ford Focus RSFord has revealed the new Focus RS will produce an astonishing 350hp – that’s 10% more than the Ford Mustang 2.3 EcoBoost it shares an engine with!

The headline-grabbing peak power output has been revealed on the eve of the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed, where hoonigan Ken Block is set to entertain the crowds on the Goodwood Hillclimb behind the wheel of the new Focus RS.

Making its UK debut, the new ultra-hot Ford’s battery of driving tech will be demonstrated, including the industry-first Drift Mode that allows controlled oversteer drifts.

Ford has also confirmed a maximum torque of 324lb ft (440Nm) will be boosted to a heady 346lb ft (470Nm) for 15-second intervals during hard acceleration. Making it of the most powerful AND punchiest hatchbacks ever.

“We promised enthusiasts a serious driving machine and, with 350 PS under the hood, that is exactly what we will deliver,” said Dave Pericak, global director, Ford Performance.

“The stunning pace and innovative technology of the all-new Focus RS place it head-to-head with performance models from luxury and exotic marques, and it’s ready for the challenge.”

Deliveries of the new Focus RS are due to begin in early 2016; prices are yet to be confirmed.

BMW X5 xDrive40e: overview

BMW X5 xDrive40e review: 2015 first drive

BMW X5 xDrive40e: overview

BMW X5 xDrive40e: overview

Have you heard? Diesel is dirty. Bad news. Killing us all with its nasty NOx emissions and possibly set to be taxed through the roof in the UK by government ministers jumping on the anti-diesel bandwagon.

It’d be nice to think that manufacturers are all suddenly looking into alternatives for little ol’ UK. But, the truth is, there’s no need: they already exist. Places like North America and China have never gone for diesels quite like us. Which means manufacturers have been looking at eco-friendly alternatives for a number of years – and the UK is now starting to look like a serious market for these hybrid and electric vehicles.

One such vehicle is the BMW X5 xDrive40e. To translate that nomenclature: the BMW X5 is the brand’s luxury SUV, while the xDrive40e means it’s a PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle). It’s an X5 powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, combined with an electric motor. Unlike regular hybrid vehicles, though, which rely on the petrol engine to power the electric motor, this can also be charged from a socket on the wall.

The advantage of this is, for the short journeys that the majority of us do the majority of the time, it’ll run solely on electricity. So no tailpipe emissions at all – NOx, CO2 or otherwise.

Install a charger at home and the X5 PHEV’s electric-only range of around 19 miles should be good for your commute. Or so BMW suggests.

But, unlike electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf and BMW i3 (without the range extender… let’s not complicate matters), the X5 PHEV has got that petrol engine there which can be called on for travelling further afield.

So, when you get called to a business meeting at the other side of the country or need to lug the family away on your yearly skiing trip, the PHEV won’t leave you high and dry. It’s a good idea, in theory…

BMW X5 xDrive40e: on the road

BMW X5 xDrive40e: on the road

In truth, you’re unlikely to use the X5 xDrive40e in electric-only mode very often. While it’s impressive around town, allowing you to silently dart in and out of traffic (as much as you can in a car the size of the X5), too much darting will soon use up the battery’s juice.

If you do want to drive in electric-only mode, you’ll notice little change when the petrol engine kicks in to automatically recharge the batteries. The change happens so smoothly that only the driver is likely to notice as the rev counter needle flickers – and the petrol engine is extremely refined.

We particularly like the intelligent energy management function which monitors the route you’ve programmed into the sat-nav. It can then work out how the hybrid system can be best operated for maximum efficiency – it might save electric-only mode for the part of your journey in stop/start urban traffic, for example, and charge the batteries while cruising along motorways.

With the petrol and electric motors working in unison, the X5 will hustle along at motorway speeds comfortably and smoothly. Don’t go expecting this to be an SUV version of the BMW i8, however – with a kerbweight comfortably exceeding two tonnes, there’s a lot of weight for the hybrid powertrain to get up to speed.

That extra weight combined with the 19-inch alloys of our test ride means the ride is on the firm side. Not uncomfortable, but it’s not the cosseting ride you may expect from a luxury SUV.

BMW X5 xDrive40e: on the inside

BMW X5 xDrive40e: on the inside

Inside, there’s little to differentiate the BMW X5 PHEV from the regular model. If you were looking for seats finished in biodegradable plant fibre and logos everywhere telling you how green you’re being, you’re going to be disappointed.

If, however, you’re simply looking at this from a financial point of view and want a luxurious and roomy SUV which won’t cost a fortune in fuel bills, the interior should more than live up to expectations.

There’s little special about it, but in a typically Germanic manner everything is well finished and feels distinctively premium. The X5’s iDrive system is easy to use with a bit of practice and there’s plenty of room for all the family.

Unless you’ve got more than three kids.

Normally, you can opt for an extra pair of seats in the X5’s boot, turning it into a genuine seven-seater. But with the batteries encroaching on boot space, the xDrive40e is only a five-seater. An obstacle only one manufacturer has managed to overcome…

BMW X5 xDrive40e: running costs

BMW X5 xDrive40e: running costs

That manufacturer is Volvo. You get the impression that BMW hadn’t even accounted for Volvo pulling the frankly brilliant XC90 out of the bag when work started on the plug-in X5.

Not only does the plug-in hybrid Volvo XC90 T8 come with seven seats as standard, it also aces the BMW when it comes to running costs.

Ordinarily the X5’s CO2 emissions of 77g/km and combined fuel economy of 85.6mpg would be more than impressive. But the XC90 manages 49g/km and 134.5mpg.

Don’t read too much into the fuel economy figures – it’s more a case of how well the car is suited to the official tests, and the Volvo’s electric-only range of 26 gives it a helping hand here. The CO2 figures do make a difference, however.

While both are below the 100g/km barrier meaning free road tax for private users, the XC90 falls below 75g/km – putting it in the 9% benefit-in-kind company car tax band. The X5’s CO2 just misses out, meaning company car drivers would pay more for the X5, despite the retail price being lower.

And, as the XC90 is below 75g/km, it qualifies for the government’s plug-in car grant, which brings the initial purchase price for private buyers closer to that of the X5.

BMW X5 xDrive40e: verdict

BMW X5 xDrive40e: verdict

The BMW X5 xDrive40e is yet more proof that being environmentally friendly doesn’t come at too much of a cost. Sure, you lose a bit of boot space, and don’t seriously expect to be going far on electric power alone. But you still get the luxurious driving experience that makes the BMW X5 such a tempting proposition.

It’s also technically rather brilliant. BMW’s engineers have made the whole set up work in such a slick manner that you can barely tell you’re driving something a bit unusual. It doesn’t shout about its hybrid powertrain, but that will suit some.

The downsides? Well, it’s no good if you want seven seats. It’s not exciting to drive in the same way as a Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid. And there’s that unexpected competition from Scandinavia which, despite a higher purchase price, is more convincing when it comes economy figures (not to mention feeling a tad more special).

Specification: BMW X5 xDrive40e

Engines: 2.0-litre 4-cylinder petrol combined with electric motor

Gearbox: Eight-speed auto

Prices from: £51,845

Power: 313hp

Torque: 332lb ft

0-62mph: 6.8 seconds

Top speed: 130mph

Fuel economy: 85.6mpg

CO2 emissions: 77g/km

2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia

New 2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia revealed: Alfa’s make-or-break BMW rival

2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia

Alfa Romeo’s vital new Giulia four-door saloon has been revealed in a massive event in Italy. The car with the entire future of the brand resting on its shoulders, it’s been more than half a decade in the making, but finally revealed here – in full!

Revealed in full: the new 2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia

2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia

And this is how Alfa Romeo will take on the 3 Series: with the striking new Giulia saloon. Unashamedly sporting, it’s a very striking machine that is certain to give the competition something to think about. First impressions? Very positive indeed…

What does the 2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia look like?

2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia

Just one look tells you the Giulia is a proper sports saloon. None of the subtlety of the German (and British) competition – Alfa’s gone all out with a long bonnet, short overhangs, huge air intakes and outlets, muscular wheelarches, a big grille and, for the range-topper, a genuine competition-style cloverleaf on the front wing.

What sort of car is the 2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia?

2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia

The Alfa Giulia is, joy of joys, a rear-wheel drive four-door saloon, in the classic manner followed by BMW, Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz. There’s an all-wheel drive version too, but even here, the focus will be on sportiness.

So this is Alfa Romeo’s BMW 3 Series?

2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia

We should indeed call the Giulia Alfa’s 3 Series. And Alfa’s being bold in claiming it can take on the 3 Series in the area it masters – driving dynamics.

What will the Alfa Romeo Giulia drive like?

2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia

With the fastest steering in its sector, bespoke double wishbone front suspension, perfect 50/50 weight distribution and the best power-to-weight ratio in this class, the ingredients are certainly there. Alfa’s disappointed in the past with how it’s tuned its cars, though: this has to be right.

Is Alfa targeting the BMW M3?

BMW M3

Surprise of the launch is the fact Alfa Romeo already has the BMW M3 in its sights! How? With a Ferrari-built 3.0-litre biturbo V6 Quadrifoglio Verde model, producing 510hp for 0-62mph in 3.9 seconds, that’s how. Wow!

Does the Giulia use any advanced materials?

2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia

Alfa’s not spared any expense with the Giulia. To keep weight both down and well distributed, it has a carbon fibre propeller shaft, bonnet and roof, plus aluminium suspension, doors and wings. And expensive, thus promising, commitment.

What car does the 2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia replace?

Alfa Romeo 159

The new Alfa Romeo Giulia replaces the long-deceased 159. Although not a bad car, it still disappeared ahead of time in Britain in 2011, through simple lack of buyer interest.

Hey – what’s Alfa done to its badge?

Alfa Romeo

Alfa’s redesigned its badge, but don’t worry – the little man is still there being eaten by the serpent. Around the outside, though, the Alfa Romeo script has been modernised.

What about the Giulia name?

Original Alfa Romeo Giulia

Alfa’s been through its back catalogue for the Giulia name – pronounce it as you’d say ‘Julia’. THe firm’s hoping this modern version will have the same success as the lovely original.

How important is the Giulia to Alfa Romeo?

2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia

This car is absolutely crucial to Alfa. If it fails, so too does the brand. Alfa wants it to lead a sales charge to 400,000 by 2018 – from today’s meagre 70k level. It has to be right…

When does the 2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia go on sale?

2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia

The new Giulia goes on sale in early 2016. Perfectly timed to take advantage of familiarity with the current crop of 3 Series, A4, C-Class and XE?

Anything else we need to know about the 2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia?

2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia

Simply put, this is the single most important car Alfa has ever made in its 105-year history. We’re going to be hearing a lot about the new Alfa Romeo Giulia in the build up to its 2016 launch, and rightly so. Over to you: does it cut the mustard?

Ferrari California T at Goodwood

2015 Goodwood Moving Motor Show: all the cars you can drive

Ferrari California T at GoodwoodThe Goodwood Moving Motor Show is unofficially known as THE annual British Motor Show. And rightly so: it’s a veritable feast of new metal.

Held each year on the eve of the Goodwood Festival of Speed, it doesn’t only let visitors see the latest new cars up close, it also lets them get behind the wheel and drive them up the famous Goodwood Hillclimb!

This year’s line-up is as sparkling as ever: if you’re headed to the Moving Motor Show (here’s how to buy tickets), we’ve listed here what you could get to drive…

Aston Martin

Aston Martin Vanquish Volante

  • Vanquish Coupe V12 Vantage S Coupe
  • V12 Vantage S Roadster
  • Rapide S
  • Vanquish Volante

  • BMW

    BMW M135i

  • M135i
  • i3

  • Citroen/DS

    DS 3

  • DS 3 Dsport Cabrio 165 THP
  • DS3 Cabrio Racing
  • DS 5 Prestige
  • C4 Cactus
  • C1 Airscape

  • Dacia

    Dacia Duster

  • Sandero Laureate TCe 90
  • Sandero Stepway Laureate dCi 90
  • Logan MCV Laureate dCi 90
  • Duster Laureate dCi 110 4×4

  • Ferrari

    Ferrari_California_t

  • Test drive (by appointment only): California T
  • Static display in MMS: California T, F12berlinetta, FF

  • Ford

    Ford Mustang

  • Focus ST TDCi estate
  • Focus ST TDCi
  • Fiesta Red Black
  • Transit Custom SportVan
  • Mustang

  • Honda

    2015 Honda Civic Sport

  • Civic Sport
  • CR-V
  • Passenger laps in new Civic Type R

  • Infiniti

    Infiniti QX70

  • Q50
  • Q70
  • QX70

  • Lexus

    Lexus RC F

  • RC F coupe

  • Maserati

    Maserati Ghibli

  • Ghibli Diesel
  • Ghibli S

  • Mazda

    Mazda MX-5

  • MX-5
  • CX-3

  • MINI

    MINI John Cooper Works

  • MINI Hatch John Cooper Works

  • Peugeot

    Peugeot 208 GTi

  • 308 GT 205 THP Hatchback (205hp)
  • 308 GT Line PureTech 1.2-litre (130hp)
  • 208 ‘GTi by Peugeot Sport’ (208hp)

  • Porsche

    Porsche 918 Spyder

  • Panamera S E-Hybrid
  • Cayenne S E-Hybrid
  • 918 Spyder

  • Renault

    Clio Renaultsport 220 Trophy

  • Clio Renaultsport 220 Trophy
  • Megane Renaultsport 275 Trophy
  • Megane Coupe GT 220

  • SEAT

    SEAT Ibiza

  • Ibiza facelift

  • Toyota

    Toyota GT86

  • GT86s in retro Toyota livery
  • New 2015 MINI Clubman

    2015 MINI Clubman first pictures: the SIX-door MINI!

    New 2015 MINI ClubmanMINI has revealed the all-new Clubman, ahead of its UK dealer launch in autumn 2015. Not only is it bigger than any previous MINI, it also has more doors: now with four side doors, the premium compact load-lugger has SIX doors in total!

    How much is the new MINI Clubman?

    New 2015 MINI Clubman

    Prices for the new MINI Clubman range start from £19,995 – a big step up over today’s car, but it is a bigger car overall, with luxuries such as sat nav now as standard. 136hp 1.5-litre Cooper, 150hp 2.0-litre Cooper D and 192hp 2.0-litre Cooper S variants are available from launch with more models following later.

    What sort of car is the 2015 MINI Clubman?

    New 2015 MINI Clubman

    A stylish ‘mini-estate’, the MINI Clubman is a notably bigger car than the regular Hatch: the firm hopes it can become a compact family car alternative, sitting above the premium superminis that make up the core of its range. Key stat: it’s 4,253mm long. At 4,255mm, a Volkswagen Golf is just 2mm longer… and the MINI Clubman is actually wider!

    How significant is that extra side door?

    New 2015 MINI Clubman

    The old Clubman was meant to be a more practical MINI, but the side ‘clubdoor’ never really worked. Particularly as MINI didn’t swap sides for UK cars, so rear passengers had to step out into the road! Having one on both sides fixes this.

    And there’s more door joy for the six-door MINI…

    New 2015 MINI Clubman

    Even better, the two rear doors open conventionally, rather than the fiddly arrangement of the old Clubman. They’re full-sized doors so offer the practicality of the new five-door MINI Hatch: they’re a huge improvement.

    Remind us – what makes this a MINI Clubman six-door?

    New 2015 MINI Clubman

    MINI has retained one aspect of the old Clubman – the twin side-hinged rear boot doors. One or both can be opened, so you can really have six doors open at once on a MINI.

    Is there a trick addition for the rear doors?

    New 2015 MINI Clubman

    MINI has added electric operation for the rear doors, for a really cool supermarket trick. Even better, they’re ‘hands free’ – wave a leg under the rear bumper and they magically swing open…

    It looks wider than the old Clubman…

    New 2015 MINI Clubman

    It is. It’s 73mm wider than the MINI 5-door Hatch, too. And, as we’ve mentioned, wider than a Volkswagen Golf. Yup, the new MINI Clubman has grown – a lot.

    How big is the new MINI Clubman?

    New 2015 MINI Clubman

    The new MINI Clubman is appreciably larger than the old one, and rather a lot bigger than the new MINI Hatch 5-door; it’s a hefty 270mm longer. The wheelbase is 100mm longer than the five-door too. We should indeed now see it as more of a Ford Focus family car rival.

    How big is the boot on the new MINI Clubman?

    New 2015 MINI Clubman

    This is the big story: at last, there’s a MINI with a decent boot! Open up the twin rear doors and, even with the seats up, 360 litres of space is on offer. That’s not far shy of a Volkswagen Golf.

    MINI’s Tardis-like boot

    New 2015 MINI Clubman

    There’s more: flip up the flat boot floor and there’s even more space. Those cuppies in the sides are handy, and note the ultra-bright twin LED lighting – a premium touch.

    How big is the MINI Clubman boot seats down?

    New 2015 MINI Clubman

    Fold the seats and the boot expands to 1,250 litres. The rear seats easily fold flat too: mind you, even with them up, you can jam in ample family holiday luggage like MINI has above.

    What’s the interior of the MINI Clubman like?

    New 2015 MINI Clubman

    At first glance, the interior of the MINI Clubman looks just the same as the MINI Hatch. But look again – it’s subtly different, with a dash that now flows into the door panels, plus a main instrument panel that’s taller and has a wrap-around hoop-shaped trim strip.

    Is the new Clubman more premium?

    New 2015 MINI Clubman

    Switches and controls have a more upmarket finish, reflecting the car’s higher list price, although the MINI trademarks such as the circular central display remain – only now, it’s used for the infotainment system.

    A comfier Clubman

    New 2015 MINI Clubman

    The centre console stretches up to meet the dashboard for the first time in a MINI, creating a more premium feel and also allowing a proper armrest to be fitted. Because it’s higher, it positions the rotary infotainment controller more conveniently.

    A roomier Clubman

    New 2015 MINI Clubman

    The MINI Clubman has a rear roomy enough for three occupants, promises MINI. It certainly looks spacious enough, and the extra wheelbase length over the already-decent 5-door Hatch means we’re encouraged by MINI’s claims here.

    A more practical Clubman

    New 2015 MINI Clubman

    The MINI Clubman is the most practical MINI ever too: its extra dimensions mean it’s easy to stow away things like water bottles: you take this for granted in other cars but the MINI’s compactness has always meant it’s struggled here. Not anymore?

    Aero detailing

    New 2015 MINI Clubman

    We love this functional aero detail in the side of the MINI Clubman. The wings have been sculpted out at the bottom of the iconic black wheelarches, to create an airway path – this reduces drag and creates an interesting styling effect for the Clubman’s side panels.

    Will the MINI Clubman drive well?

    New 2015 MINI Clubman

    With a 0-62mph in 7.2 seconds, the range-topping Cooper S Clubman won’t be short of pace. But the fact it’s based on that BMW 2 Series-derived platform is also encouraging – it’ll be more than a match for a Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus.

    Does MINI have high hopes for the reborn Clubman?

    New 2015 MINI Clubman

    MINI hopes the new Clubman will open up entirely new buyers to the brand – those who’ve always considered a MINI far too small and impractical. This is why it’s so much bigger, and why so much attention has been put into the interior layout and finish.

    So is the new MINI Clubman a genuinely new British family class contender?

    New 2015 MINI Clubman

    On paper, the new MINI Clubman is an interesting new addition. Because it’s so much bigger than before, it suddenly is able to compete with the Golf and Focus for family car honours. Will this bear out in the showroom though? Keep on clicking and make up your own mind…

    Skoda Superb 2015

    Skoda Superb stars in latest Euro NCAP tests

    Skoda Superb 2015The new Skoda Superb has scored a full five stars in the latest round of Euro NCAP crash safety tests, joining “the ranks of Top Safety Achievers” in the process.

    It’s a missed target for Hyundai though, whose latest i20 supermini scored four stars rather than five. And it’s real disappointment for Fiat, whose Panda Cross scored just three stars.

    Hyundai didn’t get a top rating because the i20, while offering strong crash protection, doesn’t have an autonomous emergency braking system.

    The Panda Cross? That has hardly anything in the way of safety assist tech – and, more worryingly, “failed to impress in Euro NCAP’s latest full width crash test”.

    This test is designed to assess the level of protection given to smaller occupants in both the driver’s seat and rear passenger seat. Given the target market of the Fiat Panda Cross citycar, its suspect protection for children will be of concern.

    Of the 10 cars tested by Euro NCAP so far in 2015, only three have scored a full five-star rating. They are:

    • Renault Espace
    • Skoda Superb
    • Suzuki Vitara