The 25 greatest go-faster stripes

Go Faster Stripes

Racing stripes have been making cars go faster for near-on seven decades. The go-faster stripe goes back to the Briggs Cunningham C-2R Le Mans car of 1951, with designer Peter Brock credited for the stripes making the transition from the track to the street. Here are 25 of our favourites from Europe and the United States, plus a bonus offering from South Africa. What stripes would you add to the list?

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

Go Faster Stripes

We start with the Ford Mustang GT500. This is probably the most hardcore be-striped car on sale today. With over 760hp from its 5.2-litre supercharged V8 engine. Ford’s affectionate nickname for the unit is ‘Predator’. Consider those stripes well and truly earned…

Shelby Mustang GT350

Go Faster Stripes

It was a Mustang that first brought racing stripes to the road. Peter Brock was working at Shelby American when he was tasked with creating a competition look for the Shelby Mustang GT350 without the use of badges or bespoke body panels. He kept things simple by using GT40-inspired stripes along the side of the car, plus a pair of 10-inch wide ‘Le Mans stripes’ running from front to back. Many of the Wimbledon White cars were delivered without the stripes, with dealers fearful of run-ins with the cops.

Renault 8 Gordini

Go Faster Stripes

It didn’t take long for the Europeans to buy into the potential of go-faster stripes. Unveiled at the 1964 Paris Motor Show, the Renault 8 Gordini sported a pair of white stripes on its Bleu de France paintwork. Racing stripes were used to equally good effect on the Renault 12 Gordini and future hot Renaults.

Renault Sport Clio 182

Go Faster Stripes

The best of which, arguably, was the ballistic Clio 182 of the early 2000s. With 182hp and weighing just over a tonne, the scrappy little Renault Sport could also be specced in a rather arresting ‘Gordini Blue’. Jeremy Clarkson drank the racing-striped Gordini Blue 182 Kool-Aid on an episode of Top Gear in 2003.

Ford Lotus Cortina

Go Faster Stripes

The Ford Lotus Cortina was one of the earliest examples of a Q-car, with Autocar labelling it “inconspicuous and deceptive in its speed and acceleration” and that the “neighbours would hardly be impressed unless they were keenly informed”. The clues are there, though, not least the evocative green stripe extending from the front wing to the back of the car.

Hillman Avenger Tiger

Go Faster Stripes

The Hillman Avenger Tiger is as 1970s as wearing a pair of bell bottom trousers at a dinner party where ham and banana hollandaise is the main course and glam rock is playing on the Linn LP12 turntable. We love the way the go-faster stripes blend seamlessly into the rear spoiler. That’s neat, that’s neat, that’s neat, that’s neat, etc, etc.


Go Faster Stripes

Ford dominated the 1972 European Touring Car Championship, winning 13 out of the 16 races in the season. BMW responded with the upgraded 3.0 CSL of 1973, with absolutely nothing left to chance in the pursuit of giving Ford a bloody nose. The result is one of the most iconic cars of the 1970s and a jaw-dropping paint job.

Ford GT40

Go Faster Stripes

Powder blue and marigold. Strawberries and cream. Ant and Dec. Gin and tonic. Four examples of dynamic duos, when two separate entities collide to enrich our lives. Powder blue and marigold are the two paints used to create the highly evocative Gulf Racing colour scheme, showcased here by the Ford GT40.

AMC Gremlin X

Go Faster Stripes

Not many cars were designed on an airline sickness bag, but that’s not the only reason to love the AMC Gremlin. The ‘hockey stick’ go-faster stripe introduced on the Gremlin X in 1974 is a triumph of simplicity and 70s charm.

Datsun 160Z

Go Faster Stripes

The Datsun 160Z was designed and built at Datsun’s plant in Pretoria and featured a yellow paint job and decals inspired by the 280Z Zap Edition.

Plymouth AAR Cuda

Go Faster Stripes

The ‘strobe’ stripes were unique to the AAR Cuda, but as Paul Zazarine points out in his book Barracuda and Challenger, they created problems for Plymouth designer Milt Antonick. “We asked ourselves, how in the world we were going to figure this out for 3M? One of the guys in design was a genius in math, and he calculated a four percent increase in block size from segment to segment.”

Chevrolet Chevelle SS

Go Faster Stripes

In the case of the Chevrolet Chevelle SS, less is most definitely more. Even though the SS lost some of its lustre in later life, the optional bonnet stripes hinted at more power. And that’s the point of go-faster stripes.

Ecurie Ecosse Jaguar D-Type

Go Faster Stripes

Although, in the case of the Ecurie Ecosse Jaguar D-Type, stripes can also serve a purpose. The cars featured lateral nose stripes – arranged in lance-corporal, corporal and sergeant military style – to make it easier for the pit crew to tell them apart.

Jaguar F-Type Project 7

Go Faster Stripes

Jaguar paid homage to its priceless classic racer with a hardcore speedster variant of its F-Type sports GT. Like the D-Type, it featured a signature ‘hump’, though it’s unclear as to whether this is of any aerodynamic benefit like it was on the D. Unlike the D-Type, it utilises a roaring 5.0-litre supercharged V8, which is good for near-on 600hp.

Ford Gran Torino

Go Faster Stripes

The Starsky & Hutch Ford Gran Torino, also known as the ‘Striped Tomato’. Automotive televisual perfection.

Vauxhall Viva Brabham

Go Faster Stripes

In truth, the Brabham version of the Vauxhall Viva didn’t quite live up to its illustrious name, but it did feature some nice stripes. It was almost like a reverse of the Lotus Cortina, with the stripes running forward from the middle of the door and across the front edge of the bonnet.

Chrysler and Dodge Viper

Go Faster Stripes

The Viper introduced a whole new generation to the joy of stripes, which is why it secures a place in this gallery. Don’t agree? Don’t write in, it’s just for fun.

Porsche 911 RSR

Go Faster Stripes

In common with Gulf Racing, the Martini Racing Porsche 911 RSR is a prime example of sponsorship and stripes working in perfect harmony. Feel free to save this image to use as your smartphone background.

Bentley Continental GT3-R

Go Faster Stripes

Bentley is celebrating its 100th anniversary, so we felt obliged to include one of its go-faster models. We’re sure Woolf Barnato would approve.

Fiat X1-9

Go Faster Stripes

In 1977, Autocar said the ‘ladder’ go-faster stripes were “rather gaudy”, but we beg to differ. Note the way they link the front of the car with the cooling vents and beyond them to the rear. The more you look at the Bertone masterpiece, the better it gets. Heck, even the seats feature go-faster stripes.

Lamborghini Huracan Avio

Go Faster Stripes

Designed to pay tribute to the world of aviation and aeronautics, the Lamborghini Huracan Avio featured a double stripe – in white or grey – running along the roof and down the bonnet. Because even 610hp supercars need go-faster stripes.

Chevrolet Camaro Z28

Go Faster Stripes

There would be riots on the streets if we didn’t include a Chevrolet Camaro, so have some of this triple-striped Z28 goodness. You can almost smell the aftershave.

Ford Cruising Van

Go Faster Stripes

B.A. Baracus might not agree, but we reckon this is the best example of a van sporting a set of go-faster stripes. “Inside and out – it’s ready to roll.”

Pagani Zonda Cinque

Go Faster Stripes

The Pagani Zonda – any Pagani Zonda – was never in need of any extra clues for passersby as to its performance potential. Nevertheless, the five-off limited ‘Cinque’ of 2009 wore a big red stripe down its centre, splitting the exposed carbon fibre. Is it elegant? No. Is it subtle? Most certainly not. And that doesn’t matter one bit.

Aston Martin Valkyrie

Go Faster Stripes

One car that’s going to need its stripes, given it’s going racing in September in the WEC, is the Aston Martin Valkyrie. Wait, of course it doesn’t need them. It’s got a 11,000rpm V12 and over 1,000hp. Still, for the moment, it’s probably the coolest be-striped car of the decade, and will likely remain so.

‘Driving is in our DNA’: Lotus CEO on future sports cars

After years on life support, Lotus is on the brink of something big. In 2017, this iconic British brand was taken over by Geely, the Chinese automotive giant that also owns Volvo. The new flagship Lotus Evija – the world’s most powerful road car – was revealed last summer and ambitious plans are afoot for a whole range of sports and luxury cars. We visit the Lotus factory at Hethel, Norfolk, and speak to CEO Phil Popham about what comes next.

Tell us about your career so far.

I joined the motor industry straight from university in 1988 – as a graduate trainee at Land Rover. I spent 25 years there, including stints in South Africa and the USA, with my final nine years on the executive committee. In 2014, I moved to [luxury yacht maker] Sunseeker, another famous British brand. The business was facing some headwinds, so to speak, but I led a turnaround back into profit. Then, in October 2018, I started here at Lotus.

What attracted you to the top job at Lotus?

The opportunity to rejuvenate Lotus was one I couldn’t turn down. I had an Esprit on my bedroom wall as a teenager and the brand has such a rich heritage The commitment and investment from Geely certainly attracted me, and indeed others from premium automotive backgrounds. We’ve got a really exciting business plan. Also, once you’ve been in the motor industry, as I have for most of my career, it’s in your blood. There’s something very special about it.

How have you found working with Geely?

I was on the board with Chery Automobile at Land Rover, and Sunseeker is owned by Wanda Group, so I have experience of working with Chinese companies. But I did my due-diligence before starting this role, flying to Hangzhou and meeting the senior team at Geely. The chairman, Li Shufu, has so much enthusiasm for the brand and the commitment of the senior team was obvious. The backing of the fastest-growing automotive company in the world – not just in terms of investment, but also capability and technology – is hugely beneficial for Lotus.

How will Lotus develop under Geely ownership?

Volvo is the obvious case-study here. It’s been very successful under Geely, but remains as Swedish as it ever was. The London Electric Vehicle Company [LEVC, maker of the London black cab] is another Geely brand that has flourished. And the same will be true for Lotus. In terms of working together, we use video conferencing a lot and I visit China four times a year. We have access to a sweet shop of resources. But Lotus contributes to the group, too – with our expertise in lightweighting, aerodynamics and chassis dynamics.

How would you define the brand values of Lotus?

We’ve done a lot of work on the DNA of the brand. Going back to the days of Colin Chapman, we are pioneering, intuitive and innovative. Our British heritage is important, too. The ‘For The Drivers’ tagline is more than just a marketing statement; it also defines how we develop new models. Lotus is all about the enjoyment of driving.

How is the £2 million Lotus Evija relevant to the real world?

Obviously, the Evija isn’t a volume product. But it makes a statement that Lotus is back, and showcases the capability we have here at Hethel. It’s the first all-British electric hypercar: sensational in terms of design, but also technology. It will inform our design language for the future – and electrification is also a statement about where Lotus is going.

What comes next in the product plan – and when?

Our next sports car will have an internal combustion engine and arrive towards the end of 2020. Beyond that, every new Lotus models will offer electrification, which means great benefits for packaging and weight distribution. We have many people working on new platforms, including at our new engineering office in Warwick, but they typically take at least four years to develop. For now, Lotus is focused on sports cars, although we believe the brand has enough strength and equity to move into other segments.

Will consultancy still be an important part of Lotus’ business?

Absolutely. We will do some work for Geely, but the aim for the consultancy arm is to work for other businesses, including outside the car industry. Our capabilities are relevant in many sectors: the recent collaboration with Hope on the Great Britain track team bike for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, for example.

Any chance of a return to F1 racing – or perhaps Formula E?

I’m not ruling anything out. Our first offering will be the Evora GT4, the prototype of which went up the hill at Goodwood last summer. That will race this year in a customer series. Formula One is incredibly expensive and our focus, at the moment, is on producing new platforms and new cars. Competitive racing is something we want to be part of in the future, though.

How about a renewed association between Lotus and James Bond?

Ha! We’ve been in a couple of movies so far and it’s a great British institution. Certainly, there’s a great fit between Bond and a British brand like Lotus. But there are no concrete plans at present.

Which brands will be the main rivals for Lotus?

I try not to draw comparators. Lotus is unique as a brand and we don’t want to be followers, we want to be pioneers. The one that often gets quoted to me is Porsche. It has been very successful at having a distinct identity, growing as a business and making money. We’ve got aspirations to grow as they have, but we’ll do things our own way.

Where do you see Lotus in 10 years’ time?

We actually have a plan called Vision 80, which takes us to our 80th anniversary in 2028. By then, I hope people will be using Lotus as a case study for a good car business. We’ll certainly produce a series of cars in different sectors. But I’m absolutely adamant that, both in terms of how they look and how they perform, they will stay true to the Lotus DNA.

Fast and fun: the racing cars tamed for the road

Homologation Specials

As the wild Toyota GR Yaris makes its debut, there is hope yet for that most elusive breed of performance cars: the homologation special. The Yaris follows a long line of everyday cars closely related to those on the race track and rally stage.

Toyota GR Yaris

Homologation Specials

The GR is a four-wheel-drive wide-arched hot hatchback. Seventy percent of the 260hp that its 1.6-litre three-cylinder engine develops can be sent to the rear wheels. Will that make for the first ever Yaris that drifts?

Toyota GR Yaris

Homologation Specials

Some homologation specials relate very loosely to their racing cousins, but the GR Yaris is a proper job. The three-door shell and bodywork are bespoke. The roof is lowered by 91mm and made of carbon fibre, and the doors are frameless.

Underneath, it’s a merging of the Yaris chassis at the front, and the Corolla at the rear. This allows for clever double-wishbone suspension and that 4WD system. It even has a manual gearbox.

Toyota GR Yaris

Homologation Specials

While the regular white-goods Yaris is built in France, the GR will be made at a specialised Gazoo Racing facility in Motomachi, Japan, using ‘a large number of manual processes’. As well as Gazoo Racing, the GR Yaris also had input from the WRC Tommi Makinen Racing team.

Racing cars for the road

Homologation Specials

These racers for the road are a rare breed, with not many more than the 30 or so we’ve listed launched during the last 60 years. However, they are rarely not epic – as the following round-up reveals.

Ferrari 250 GTO

Homologation Specials

What better place to start than with one of the most expensive cars on the planet? The ‘O’ in the name stands for Omologato, Italian for homologation, and just 39 examples of the 250 GTO were built between 1962 and 1964 for use in the FIA’s Grand Touring Category. It proved successful, taking four class titles in the International Championship for GT Manufacturers. In 2013, this particular 250 GTO sold for $38million (£30million).

1973 Lancia Stratos HF Stradale

Homologation Specials

If the USA was fixated on using homologation rules to push sports car boundaries, in Europe the focus was on winning the World Rally Championship. With a mid-mounted Ferrari V6 engine, and lightweight fibreglass body, the Stratos was as rapid as it was wedge-shaped. The Stradale road car only featured 190hp, down from the 320hp of the full competition cars, but a short wheelbase still made it lively on the road. Although 492 examples of the Stratos were homologated, countless more replicas have been made since production finished.

1973 Porsche 911 2.7 RS

Homologation Specials

For many this is perhaps the greatest Porsche 911 ever made. To enable the Stuttgart company to use the rear-engined sports car in various championships, 500 examples needed to be built. Porsche actually ended up creating 1,580 due to strong demand. Key features were a 210hp engine, enlarged to 2.7-litres, wider rear wheels, and the distinctive ‘ducktail’ rear spoiler. Values have risen by a staggering 700% in the past decade, with the best cars topping over £1million, meaning you’ll really need to want one.

1980 Talbot Sunbeam Lotus

Homologation Specials

Hot on the heels of the Chevette HS was the Lotus-developed rally version of the Talbot Sunbeam. Most significant was the ‘type 911’ 2.2-litre four-cylinder engine, which was a bespoke Lotus unit developing 250hp in competition trim. The road-going model was 100hp down, but still benefited from the same stiffened suspension and uprated anti-roll bar. Success came in a 1980 RAC Rally win for Henri Toivonen, and a Manufacturers’ title in the 1981 World Rally Championship.

1984 Audi Sport Quattro

Homologation Specials

Audi would dominate the WRC during the mid-1980s, and the Quattro was the icon which made it happen. Under pressure from Lancia and Peugeot, for 1984 Audi introduced the Sport Quattro with a shorter wheelbase, carbon-kevlar bodywork, and a 2.1-litre five-cylinder turbo engine making 302hp in road going specification. Contemporary road tests recorded a 0-60mph sprint in 4.8 seconds, aided by the AWD system of the Quattro. Only 164 examples were built, leaving them highly desirable with collectors and demanding prices of over £400,000 today as a result.

1984 Peugeot 205 T16

Homologation Specials

Demonstrating just how wild the Group B regulations allowed manufacturers to be is the 205 T16. Peugeot took a front-wheel drive hot hatch, moved the engine to the middle, and made it four-wheel drive. Peugeot also worked hard to make the T16 look as close to the regular 205 as possible. The plan worked, and Peugeot Sport took the 1985 and 1986 WRC titles. An output of 197hp for the 200 road cars is barely hot hatch power today, but the full-fat rally cars were capable of delivering up to 550hp!

1985 Ferrari 288 GTO

Homologation Specials

Group B was not all about 4WD rally machinery. Ferrari began development of the 288 to go racing in the FIA GT Championship, and took the GTO name from the 250 of 1962. But before the 288 could compete, the FIA abandoned Group B due to several fatal accidents. This left Ferrari with a car but no championship to race in. However, the market for supercars in the 1980s was sufficient for Ferrari to actually sell 272 examples of the 2.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 car, rather than just the 200 required for homologation. Prices today fetch over £2.2million – a sizeable return on the original £70,000 asking price.

1986 Porsche 959

Homologation Specials

The 959 was an evolution of the 911 sports car designed for rallying and off-road use. It was also the fastest production car when offered for sale in 1986, with a top speed of 195mph. The 2.8-litre twin-turbocharged flat-six engine made 444hp as standard, and was combined with 4WD and active aerodynamics. A total of 337 examples of the 959 were built in total, with Porsche reported to have made a loss on every car sold. Microsoft founder Bill Gates had his 959 held in storage by US customs for 13 years before a law change allowed him to officially import it.

1986 Ford Sierra RS Cosworth

Homologation Specials

After Group B came Group A, covering both rally and touring cars. The FIA hoped manufacturers would concentrate on milder production-based machinery, with higher homologation requirements of 5,000 road cars. Ford took the three-door hatchback Sierra and turned it into an unstoppable force in touring car racing, with 15 major championship wins. Over 5,000 road cars were produced, featuring a 2.0-litre turbocharged Cosworth engine making 204hp. A later RS500 evolution model would offer even more power and extra tweaks to keep the Sierra competitive.

1987 BMW E30 M3

Homologation Specials

Built for Group A touring car racing, the E30 M3 would also find itself competing in tarmac rallying too. Victories in 18 championships across the globe demonstrated its capability on track, but it also had a lasting legacy as a road car. Initial E30 M3s featured a 2.3-litre four-cylinder engine sending 192hp to the rear wheels. Later Evolution cars would feature up to 235hp, with even wilder bodywork. A total of 16,000 examples were produced in total, with demand remaining strong today.

1990 Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II

Homologation Specials

This definitely isn’t your grandfather’s Mercedes! Initially developed for rallying, the 190 E 2.5-16 developed into a purebred touring car racer. The Evolution II was the ultimate version, which featured a Cosworth-developed 2.5-litre engine with 235hp, combined with a five-speed dog-leg gearbox. Lowered suspension, which was self-levelling at the rear, along with a limited slip differential was also standard. Most iconic though was the dramatic adjustable rear wing fitted to the 502 homologation cars.

1992 Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione I

Homologation Specials

After the demise of Group B, Lancia were best placed to capitalise on Group A regulations. The Delta HF hatchback already had a 4WD and a turbocharged engine, meaning it could be homologated and developed with ease. WRC glory came with six consecutive Constructors’ titles between 1987 and 1992. The later Evo I road cars had 210hp, and were capable of 0-62mph in 5.7 seconds and a 137mph top speed.

1992 Ford Escort RS Cosworth

Homologation Specials

We’ve seen this one before, but wearing different clothes. Whilst the Escort RS looked like Ford’s humble hatchback, underneath it was actually the chassis and mechanics from the Sierra RS Cosworth. Built for the WRC, the first 2,500 cars were earmarked for homologation, but total production would reach over 7,000. Road cars featured the giant ‘whale-tail’ rear wing, a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine with 227hp, permanent 4WD, and a set of Recaro front seats. As part of the Ford RS legacy, the ‘Cossie’ still demands respect today.

1996 Nissan Skyline NISMO R33 GT-R LM

Homologation Specials

Homologation requirements for the GT1 class at Le Mans in the mid-1990s were low. So low that a single road car would be enough. This meant NISMO could go wild, with massively widened bodywork, unique front and rear bumpers, plus ditching the standard 4WD system of the GT-R for the race car. Converted to rear-wheel drive, the back wheels were solely responsible for managing the 600hp from the 2.8-litre straight-six turbocharged engine. The road car was left with only 300hp. Although registered in the UK, the sole 1996 car was never offered for sale, and now resides in Nissan’s Zama Heritage Centre.

1997 Porsche 911 GT1 Strassenversion

Homologation Specials

Long associated with Le Mans, Porsche took advantage of the GT1 regulations to create a bespoke race car that borrowed the name from the 911 sports car, but little else. The 600hp twin-turbo flat-six engine was taken from the older 962 racer and, unlike the 911, was mounted in the middle of the car. One sole road car was made to be homologated in 1996, whilst a further 20 examples were built in 1997 featuring updated headlights from the newer 911. Although detuned to 537hp, the street version could still do 0-62mph in 3.7 seconds and 191mph flat-out.

1998 Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR

Homologation Specials

Create a custom, mid-engined, prototype racer. Insert a 600hp 6.0-litre V12 into the middle. Add on lights and grille from a road car, and you have the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR. It was good enough for Mercedes to take victory in both driver and manufacturer categories of the 1997 FIA GT Championship. A total of 26 road-going CLK GTRs were built, split between 20 coupes and 5 roadsters. At launch, the CLK GTR was the world’s most expensive road car, with a list price of $1million in 1998. Today, prices can achieve up to $1.8million (£1.5million) at auction.

1999 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI Tommi Makinen Edition

Homologation Specials

Group A regulations had been replaced in rallying by 1997, with new World Rally Car rules in place. However, Mitsubishi continued the lineage of the Lancer Evolution series under Group A homologation. It worked, with the Lancer Evo seeing championship success in both 1998 and 1999 at the hands of rally legend Tommi Makinen. The road car bearing his name featured a revised front bumper, new titanium turbocharger, and 17-inch white alloy wheels.

2004 Maserati MC12

Homologation Specials

With a desire to return to GT racing after decades away, Maserati looked to Ferrari for a starting point. Maserati took the chassis and engine from the Enzo Ferrari, created custom lengthened bodywork for greater downforce, and entered the MC12 into the FIA GT Championship. A total of 50 road cars were produced, with each car pre-sold to loyal customers. The 6.0-litre V12 made the street version fast – with a 205mph top speed – but reviewers were divided as to whether it worked on the highway.

2016 Ford GT

Homologation Specials

Ford made no secret of the fact that the current Ford GT was a racing car first. At the advent of the project, the vision – which became a reality – was a class win at Le Mans in 2016. To be eligible, there had to be a road car, and so the GT was born. It was the closest thing to Porsche and Mercedes GT1 racers in nearly 20 years. With more than 600hp, it’s much more powerful than the racer and has active suspension and active aerodynamics. Options included carbon fibre wheels and heritage liveries harking back to Ford’s inaugural Le Mans victories of the 1960s. Now, four years on, the GT is one of the most sought-after supercars of modern times, in spite of the furore around how you actually buy one – and the rules imposed once you do.

2020 Toyota GR Yaris

Homologation Specials

Aping the fat-arched go-faster masters of the 1980s, the latest homologation hero is, of course, the Toyota GR Yaris. Unlike the Polo above, this really is a comprehensive job. We don’t know the price yet for this ultra-bespoke hot hatch, but it won’t be cheap. Then again, we’re not sure how expensive it’d have to be to put us off…

Revealed: the fastest-selling used cars of 2019

Fastest-selling used cars 2019

Before we launch headlong into a new decade, there’s still time to take a retrospective look at the motoring scene of 2019. Here, we reveal the fastest-selling used cars on the AA website. In other words, these are the cars that spent the shortest time for sale. If you fancy one of these motors, don’t delay – phone today.

10. Volkswagen Tiguan

Fastest-selling used cars 2019

Predictably, the top 10 contains a fair number of SUVs. We kick off with the Volkswagen Tiguan – one of Europe’s most popular 4x4s. What makes this all the more remarkable is the fact that the Tiguan shares its platform with the cheaper – and just as good – Skoda Kodiaq and Seat Tarraco. That’s the power of the brand.

New, a Volkswagen Tiguan costs upwards of £25,000. Meanwhile, used examples on the AA website are available from £3,500. That’s based on a 2009 Tiguan 2.0 TDI Sport with 119,000 miles on the clock.

9. Ford Fiesta

Fastest-selling used cars 2019

The Ford Fiesta is the best-selling used car on the AA website, but it finishes ninth on the list of the fastest-selling used cars. The fact that it’s Britain’s most popular new car means that you can afford to be picky when searching for a used example.

Turn to the AA website and you’ll find everything from a 2004 Ford Fiesta 1.25 Finesse for £695 to a 2019 ST-3 for £20,699. New prices start from a smidgen under £16,000, so you’ll save a packet – not to mention a short wait – by buying used.

8. Mercedes-Benz GLA

Fastest-selling used cars 2019

The Mercedes-Benz GLA is an A-Class on stilts, designed for people who can’t decide between a hatchback and a compact SUV. It’s more expensive than the standard A-Class, but that hasn’t stopped it being among the fastest-selling used cars of 2019.

The earliest examples have dropped below £10,000, which might explain the increased demand. In truth, there are two available for a four-figure sum – one has 165,000 miles on the clock, the other has covered 135,000. A more realistic price is £12,500 for a 2014 car.

7. Renault Clio

Fastest-selling used cars 2019

The Renault Clio has been on sale since 1990, so there are plenty to choose from in the UK. The earliest examples are becoming classics in their own right, so buying a Clio II or Clio III will ensure you get the most supermini for your money.

A new Renault Clio was unveiled at last year’s Geneva Motor Show. Despite appearances, it represents a massive step forward over the old model. It’s too new to appear on the AA used car website, but you will find Clios from as little as £800. Be quick, because on this evidence, the best Clios won’t hang around for long.

6. Ford Kuga

Fastest-selling used cars 2019

The replacement for the current Ford Kuga is long overdue. Thankfully, the new Kuga arrives this year, but old models remain in demand. A combination of low running costs, a long list of standard equipment and keen pricing makes the Kuga an incredibly popular used buy.

If you’re prepared to put up with high miles and a sketchy service history, early examples start from around £3,500. That gets you a 2009 car with 156,000 miles on the clock. Alternatively, nearly-new examples cost as much as £29,000, but it should be possible to negotiate a good deal, as dealers will be keen to shift stock ahead of the new car.

5. Kia Sportage

Fastest-selling used cars 2019

It’s not difficult to see why the Kia Sportage is such a popular used car. Buyers love its practicality, value for money and seven-year warranty. Indeed, even a Sportage registered in 2014 will be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, assuming it hasn’t covered more than 100,000 miles.

There are around 1,200 for sale on the AA used car website, with early versions available for £1,500 to £2,000. You’ll need to part with at least £5,000 for the much improved fourth-generation Sportage, or £10,000 for the current model.

4. Ford Ecosport

Fastest-selling used cars 2019

There’s no accounting for taste. The Ford Ecosport sits on the lowest rung of the compact crossover ladder, but that hasn’t stopped it from being one of the fastest-selling used cars of 2019. The British public must have a thing for side-hinged tailgates and oddball styling.

New, you’ll spend upwards of £18,650 on a Ford Ecosport, but used prices start from £6,750. There are 780 to choose from on the AA website, so you can afford to be picky. Alternatively, wait for the new Ford Puma, which is likely to be a far better car. We’re driving it next week…

3. BMW 116

Fastest-selling used cars 2019

The AA is being very specific here, because it’s the BMW 116 rather than the entire 1 Series range up next. Amazingly, prices start from £1,000, although that’s for a 2004 car with 159,000 miles on the clock. Even so, perfectly serviceable examples are available for less than £2,000.

James Fairclough, CEO of AA Cars, said: “Some cars are being sold within a very short period of time after being advertised because they are very popular, or because there are fewer on the market. However, it is important not to rush into buying as it’s impossible to know if everything is in perfect working order without a pre-sale vehicle inspection.”

2. Volkswagen Polo

Fastest-selling used cars 2019

There’s a Volkswagen Polo to suit all pockets. From an insurance-friendly first car for £750 to a nearly-new GTI for £23,000, you’ll find a wide range of Polos for some on the AA used car website.

James Fairclough added: “If you are set on owning a certain model but you are worried it may not be in full working order, it’s definitely worth considering a pre-sale vehicle inspection from a service such as ours to give you peace of mind.”

1. Hyundai Tucson

Fastest-selling used cars 2019

This might come as a surprise, because the fastest-selling used car on the AA website wasn’t a hot hatch, sports car or desirable supermini. Instead, it was the venerable Hyundai Tucson. Why is it so popular?

A five-year/unlimited mileage warranty certainly helps, as does a long list of standard equipment. The Hyundai Tucson is also spacious and has a good reputation for reliability. Still want that Nissan Qashqai?

Britain’s favourite movie cars revealed

Favourite movie cars

A new study reveals which movie star cars are most popular with British film fans. The findings are curious, perhaps even surprising. Well-known heroes like Herbie, the Mustang from Bullitt and Mr Bean’s Mini are joined by newcomers, such as the Subaru from Baby Driver. The research was commissioned by the Discovery Channel, to mark the arrival of its new series, Wheeler Dealers: Dream Cars. We count down the top 20.

20. The Bandit’s Firebird

Favourite movie cars

We open with the Bandit’s Pontiac Trans Am from Smokey and the Bandit. We’d place this higher, but it’s good to see the famous Firebird makes the top 20.

19. Greased Lightning

Favourite movie cars

The world’s most famous hot rod? That’ll be Greased Lightning from Grease. Indeed, this 1948 Ford Deluxe Convertible is one of the most famous cars full-stop.

18. The Ghostbusters’ hearse

Favourite movie cars

The Ghostbusters’ station wagon has to be one of the coolest ‘emergency services’ vehicles ever. A blinding paint job, a splash of retro-futurism, equipment to fight off the supernatural and impressive load space: it couldn’t be anything else but the ‘Ectomobile’ Cadillac.

17. Baby Driver’s Subaru Impreza

Favourite movie cars

Here’s a relatively new entry in the hearts of car-loving film fans. Still, Baby’s red Subaru stars in one of the best car chases in recent history. You won’t witness this level of automotive acrobatics this side of an Aston Martin on ice in a bad Bond film…

16. Starsky & Hutch’s Ford Gran Torino

Favourite movie cars

In 16th place is the Ford Gran Torino from Starsky & Hutch. Apparently, the British are fans of smashing cardboard boxes with muscle cars. It was one of those shows where the car really did outshine the human stars.

15. Ferris Bueller’s Ferrari

Favourite movie cars

Like the Bandit’s Trans Am, Ferris Bueller’s ultimate joyride – the Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – reminds us of a dream of freedom. It’s about the open road, forgetting the rules and doing what you want. For a while, at least.

14. The General Lee

Favourite movie cars

Another one we’re surprised didn’t edge further up the list. Who doesn’t love the bright orange Dodge Charger from The Dukes of Hazzard, which could be seen jumping and sliding its way around Georgia?

13. Herbie the Love Bug

Favourite movie cars

No cars are characters quite like Herbie. The Volkswagen Beetle that starred in The Love Bug beat the colourful cartoons of the Cars films to automotive sentience by 38 years.

12. ‘Eleanor’ the Ford Mustang

Favourite movie cars

Another modern addition, this one became iconic almost overnight. The Shelby Ford Mustang GT500 from Gone in 60 Seconds was named Eleanor. She captured the hearts of all who watched, including car thief Memphis Raines (played by Nicholas Cage).

11. Dom Toretto’s Charger

Favourite movie cars

Talk about the car reflecting the star: the shaker-hooded 900hp Dodge Charger from The Fast & The Furious was so powerful, even Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) was scared of driving it.

10. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Favourite movie cars

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is one of the ultimate children’s cult classics. We doubt any car has taken to the skies in cinema and garnered such gasps from the audience.

09. Mr Bean’s Mini

Favourite movie cars

Mr Bean and his Mini couldn’t be further from Toretto and his super-Charger. The character is a British icon – and actor Rowan Atkinson subsequently used his millions to buy a McLaren F1. We don’t think he drives it sitting on the roof, though…

08. The Italian Job Minis

Favourite movie cars

There’s no looking at movie Minis without mentioning The Italian Job. The film – about a bungling gold heist – was partly responsible for cementing the Mini’s legendary status.

07. Bond’s underwater Lotus

Favourite movie cars

This modified Lotus Esprit could be James Bond’s most memorable car, lengthy Aston Martin association notwithstanding. The ultimate 80s wedge, which starred in The Spy Who Loved Me, is also perhaps the coolest submarine ever.

06. Doc Brown’s DeLorean

Favourite movie cars

It’s a tough battle at this point for most iconic movie car of all. Doc Brown’s time-travelling DeLorean DMC-12 from Back to the Future will always be in the running. Just don’t ever drive one. You’ll spoil it for yourself.

05. KITT the Trans Am

Favourite movie cars

Knight Rider’s Trans Am, known as KITT, opens the top five. It feels especially relevant in 2020, given how topical artificial intelligence and autonomous cars have become.

04. Will Smith’s Porsche

Favourite movie cars

OTT though it was, we reckon the Porsche 964 Turbo’s performance in Bad Boys is one of the most underrated automotive moments. We’re glad the British people have given its epic performance some recognition.

03. Bullitt Mustang

Favourite movie cars

But it can’t beat the real titans of cinema. A key character in one of the greatest movie car chases, the Highland Green Ford Mustang from Bullitt recently inspired a retro special edition.

02. Bond’s Aston Martin DB5

Favourite movie cars

Bond’s original Superleggera-bodied masterpiece is immortal, partly because they keep wheeling it out. We reckon it will never be bettered, although the public seems to disagree…

01. Bond’s Aston Martin DB10

Favourite movie cars

Because the DB10 from Spectre has topped the list. Admittedly, its sharp modern looks might hold more appeal for some. The chase sequence with the Jaguar C-X75 is excellent, too. We wonder if the new Aston Martin Valhalla hypercar, due to appear in No Time to Die, will take its place in time?

Rear-view mirror: best cars and drives of 2019

Best cars and drives 2019

It’s the time of year for round-ups and retrospective features. Here, we look back at some of our best drives of 2019, including a drop-top Bentley, a Volvo saloon and a Honda electric car. Tuck in to our Christmas pick ‘n’ mix, as we take you through our favourite drives of 2019.

Bentley Flying Spur

Best cars and drives 2019

In November, Tim Pitt flew to Monaco to mingle with the Russian billionaires and enjoy a taste of the high life. A night at the famous Hotel de Paris, followed by a drive along Route Napoleon in a Bentley Flying Spur. It’s a tough job, but Tim is always happy to take one for the team.

Tim’s verdict: “The Flying Spur soothes like few other cars can. There’s also joy to be found in its details: the rich wood veneer, diamond knurling on the door handles and analogue dials on the reverse of the media screen. I’m tempted to forget my flight and set the sat nav for Calais.”

Read our Bentley Flying Spur review

Ford GT

Best cars and drives 2019

The Lake District doesn’t have quite the same appeal as Monaco – the boats are smaller, for a start – but when there’s an opportunity to drive a Ford GT, who’s complaining? Not Tim, who polished his impression of Christian Bale and headed north. Coincidentally, Tim does a mean Batman impression.

Tim’s verdict: “It responds like a race car. Anti-lag technology keeps the thrust coming, while the dual-clutch gearbox never pauses for breath. Its suspension is taut and tied-down, its steering telepathically direct. However, while its sheer speed intimidates, its balanced, cohesive chassis does not. I’m convinced I could win Le Mans.”

Read our Ford GT review

Ferrari F8 Tributo

Best cars and drives 2019

Back in the summer, Richard Aucock was fortunate enough to drive the Ferrari T8 Tributo. The 3.9-litre V8 engine delivers a mighty 720hp, making it “eye-poppingly fast”. It’ll do 0-62mph in 2.9 seconds, before hitting a top speed of 211mph.

Richard’s verdict: “The Ferrari V8 sport Berlinetta line began with the 1975 308 GTB, we were told. This F8 Tributo is the latest and greatest. But the last in the line? We shall see. If it is, though, the name will be justified. This is the finest imaginable tribute to a remarkable run of mid-engined Ferrari V8 sports cars.”

Read our Ferrari F8 Tributo review

Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary

Best cars and drives 2019

Providing proof that there’s more to Motoring Research than exotic sports cars and unattainable supercars, Richard drove the very orange Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary. Mazda launched the limited edition MX-5 to celebrate 30 years of The Simpsons… probably.

Richard’s verdict: “Best driven with fingertips, it’s nimble and flows beautifully, feeling exactly like the 1960s throwback Mazda intended since day one. The 30th Anniversary model is the finest MX-5 to date – it’s the perfect way to celebrate.”

Read our Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary review

Ford Fiesta ST M225

Best cars and drives 2019

Keeping it real, the only way for Ethan Jupp was Essex. The Ford Fiesta M225 packs 225hp, lowering springs, upgraded brakes and a new shifter. It’s the Fiesta ST turned up to eleven by Mountune.

Ethan’s verdict: “Overall, Mountune has succeeded in further enhancing a lot of what makes the Fiesta ST such an essential grassroots hot hatch. But then, was a company this flush with fast Ford heritage ever going to botch it? Hardly.”

Read our Ford Fiesta ST M225 review

Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante

Best cars and drives 2019

There was always going to be a battle for the keys to Aston Martin’s flagship convertible. Tim is a champion ‘rock, paper, scissors’ athlete, so the keys to the 5.2-litre V12 drop-top were pressed into his palm. It’s fair to say he rather enjoyed the experience.

Tim’s verdict: “I’m not usually a fan of convertibles; I like my car to be a cocoon, sealed off from the outside world. I’d make an exception for the DBS, though. It’s so evocative, so richly visceral, that you want to savour every sensation and drink in every decibel. The opportunity for a 211mph blow-dry is tempting, too.”

Read our Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante review

Toyota GR Supra

Best cars and drives 2019

Was this the most hotly-anticipated car of 2019? Possibly. One thing’s for certain, the Toyota GR Supra divided opinion like no other new car this year. Tim braved the traffic in Madrid to drive the Cayman rival.

Tim’s verdict: “It isn’t quite the “Porsche-killer” Tada-San promised. The mid-engined Cayman is still a more polished dynamic package, but the Toyota counters with two extra cylinders and a vastly superior soundtrack. Then there’s the Alpine A110, arguably the best driving machine of the lot, albeit down on power and subjectively less substantial.”

Read our Toyota GR Supra review

Volvo S60

Best cars and drives 2019

Gavin doesn’t do expensive hotels and PR lunches. So when he was invited to drive the Volvo S60 in Scotland, he took a red-eye flight to Edinburgh, drove the car to Glen Etive, and was back home before the News at Ten bongs.

Gavin’s verdict: “I’m going to stare into the middle distance and contemplate a more decisive future for the S60. As a trailer for the main feature, the T5 R-Design Edition is a competent teaser. Here’s hoping the Polestar version is more of a thriller, leaving the Inscription to feel as cosetting and cosy as watching a black and white movie in front of the fire on a wet Sunday afternoon.”

Read our Volvo S60 review

Ford Ranger Raptor

Best cars and drives 2019

As spring turned to summer, Tim took a flight to drive the Ford Ranger Raptor on the sun-scorched dunes of Morocco. The traffic was bad, but unlike the camels, Tim didn’t get the hump.

Tim’s verdict: “In the right environment, this pumped-up pick-up is as exciting as any supercar. And yes, there is nowhere in Britain you can drive like this, but that doesn’t stop me wanting one. So, forget that Ferrari, buy the Ford and spend the money you saved on shipping costs to Morocco or Baja. You will never experience driving quite like it.”

Read our Ford Ranger Raptor review

Morgan Plus 8

Best cars and drives 2019

There was snow on the ground when Tim took a farewell drive in the last Morgan Plus 8. Although he struggled to keep the Mog in a straight line on the snow-capped hills around the Morgan factory, Tim enjoyed this last hurrah.

Tim’s verdict: “The Plus 8 closes a long chapter in Morgan history. All eyes are now on the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, where it’s rumoured the car’s ‘wide body’ successor will be revealed. Hell, we’ve only waited 51 years. Until then, I’ll imagine the Plus 8 roaring into a sepia-tinged sunset: gone, but not forgotten. Certainly not by me.”

Read our Morgan Plus 8 review

Ferrari Portofino

Best cars and drives 2019

Ethan popped his cherry in January, losing his soul to a fiery Italian. His excuse for a drive in the Ferrari Portofino: he has friends living on the Scottish border. It’s a shame he doesn’t have friends in Saint-Tropez.

Ethan’s verdict: “The Portofino isn’t the most spine-tingling of sports cars. It will, however, put a smile on your face if you take the scenic route and let that muzzled 488 lump off its lead. The rest of the time, it really is a car for all seasons: a well-judged entrance into Ferrari ownership and a supremely accomplished GT. The smallest horse in the stable is still a prize steed, by my reckoning, a worthy introduction to this most prestigious of automotive marques.”

Read our Ferrari Portofino review

Bentley Continental GTC

Best cars and drives 2019

Tim does drive ‘normal’ cars. In fact, he likes nothing more than taking a trip to a convenience store in a compact crossover. Sadly for him, he was sent on a Spanish jaunt to drive a Bentley Continental GTC from Marbella to Seville. He’d have preferred a trip from Mansfield to Stockport in a Vauxhall Crossland X.

Tim’s verdict: “The old fashioned idea of a grand tour has largely been lost, but given the choice of crossing Europe by budget flight or Bentley, the GTC wins hands-down. Roof down and W12 up front, it’s a fine way to fly.”

Read our Bentley Continental GTC review

Porsche 911 Cabriolet

Best cars and drives 2019

If push came to shove, Tim would choose a coupe over a convertible, but that didn’t stop him falling for the charms of the Porsche 911 Cabriolet. This was the only time he has managed to crowbar ‘willy-waving’ into the first line of one his reviews. One to tick off the bucket list, Tim.

Tim’s verdict: “What impresses most is the 992’s sheer breadth of ability. How it can switch from calm to combative without pausing for breath. And how it’s still relatively practical for a sports car. As a daily driver, it would surely tick most boxes.”

Read our Porsche 911 Cabriolet review

MS-RT Ford Transit Connect

Best cars and drives 2019

Gavin ventured to Wales with a mix of fear and trepidation. It’s 20 years since he had driven a Ford van, but the memories of that battered Escort still linger. Would the MS-RT Ford Transit Connect leave a better impression?

Gavin’s verdict: “Cooler than a crossover, more space than an estate car and – in my opinion – better resolved than the Transit Custom, it has banished my memories of that tired Escort once and for all. I’m not sure I’ll ever buy one, but I’ll give a knowing nod to anyone who does.”

Read our MS-RT Ford Transit Connect review

Volkswagen Golf

Best cars and drives 2019

Of all of the cars featured in this round-up, the Volkswagen Golf is the most relevant. The eighth-generation Golf goes on sale in 2020 and is likely to be one of Europe’s best-sellers. Will it lose sales to the all-electric ID.3? Time will tell.

Tim’s verdict: “The Golf still feels like the benchmark in its class. Its broad appeal and breadth of abilities make it the default ‘people’s car’ – for 45 years and counting. Don’t write this Volkswagen out of history yet.”

Read our Volkswagen Golf review

Lamborghini Huracan Evo Spyder

Best cars and drives 2019

The Huracan is Lamborghini’s best-selling car, which sort of makes it Sant’Agata’s answer to the Volkswagen Golf and Nissan Qashqai. Sort of. Tim was on hand to unleash the fury of this 5.2-litre V10 drop-top.

Tim’s verdict: “The Huracan feels special at any speed: its extravagant styling and shock-and-awe soundtrack make children point, boy racers salute and rev their engines, and strangers strike up conversations every time you stop. That simply doesn’t happen in a Qashqai.”

Read our Lamborghini Huracan Evo Spyder review

Mercedes-Benz G 350d

Best cars and drives 2019

Back in October, Ethan went missing for a few hours and returned with a dirty Mercedes-Benz G-Class. He did something that few British G-Class owners do – he ventured off-road.

Ethan’s verdict: “For a car with capabilities far beyond what most people will need, it’s really quite sensible. It really has had what the Kardashians call a ‘glow up’ and feels, at 40 years old, in the prime of its life.”

Read our Mercedes-Benz G 350d review

Honda e

Best cars and drives 2019

The Honda e electric car couldn’t be further removed from the Mercedes-Benz G-Class. What the EV lacks in electric range it more than makes up in cutesy appeal. It’s likely to be one of the most talked about cars of 2020.

Richard’s verdict: “What we know is that an early taster of the Honda e Prototype suggests it will be as appealing to drive as it is to look at and sit in. It looks characterful, and its on-road performance is distinctive too, particularly the comfort, the quietness and the turning circle.”

Read our Honda e review

Cupra Ateca

Best cars and drives 2019

We’ve managed to get this far without featuring a crossover, but we must include a couple of cars that represent the most popular segment on the planet. We’ll focus on two performance crossovers, starting with the Cupra Ateca.

Tim’s verdict: “It’s true that premium alternatives cost upwards of £15,000 more, especially after you take options into account. But fast estate cars, not least the Seat Leon ST Cupra 300 4Drive and VW Golf R Estate, are similarly priced, equally practical and better to drive. It depends how much you want the elevated driving position and status of an SUV.”

Read our Cupra Ateca review

Skoda Kodiaq vRS

Best cars and drives 2019

Ethan is too young to own a seven-seat SUV. He doesn’t even have any children. But the Skoda Kodiaq vRS isn’t your common or garden seven-seat SUV. It has a Nurburgring lap record to its name. That kind of thing gets Ethan excited.

Ethan’s verdict: “If you’re dedicated to the vRS life, we’d suggest the excellent Octavia vRS estate is a more practical performance car for far less cash. It’s more economical, better looking, faster and more fun to drive. A full-fat Octavia Estate vRS Challenge will cost you £31,300, in fact. That’s a healthy £11,000 less than kick-off in a Kodiaq vRS. We also reckon the Kodiaq looks better in the chunky ‘Scout’ spec, but that’s your call.”

Read our Skoda Kodiaq vRS review

The biggest motoring news stories of 2019

Biggest motoring news stories 2019

It’s been a big year for new cars and motoring news. In between stories about how Brexit is going to drag the British motor industry into the dark ages, new cars, new challenges and new ideas have permeated our online pages. Here’s a snapshot of 2019 on Motoring Research.

Ferrari to the borders

Biggest motoring news stories 2019

We started 2019 in the best way you possibly could: in a Ferrari, on a road trip. The car in question was a Portofino, with nearly 600hp. A sub-zero foray into the Lake District and up to the Scottish border was obviously the sensible thing to do for a first-time Ferrari driver. We had an absolute ball.

“The Portofino isn’t the most spine-tingling of sports cars,” I concluded. “It will put a smile on your face if you take the scenic route and let that muzzled 488 lump off its lead. The rest of the time, it really is a car for all seasons: a well-judged entrance into Ferrari ownership and a supremely accomplished GT. The smallest horse in the stable is still a prize steed, by my reckoning, a worthy introduction to this most prestigious of automotive marques.”

2019 Toyota Supra

Biggest motoring news stories 2019

The Supra was the first of several icons to be overhauled in 2019. It joins the Land Rover Defender and the Chevrolet Corvette – the former in terms of being revived and reinvented, and both in causing an uproar about how it was carried out.

MR’s Tim Pitt was impressed by the tightened sports car the new Supra has become, saying “It feels malleable and confidence-inspiring, rewarding commitment yet forgiving mistakes. You can do your best Tokyo Drift impression (and I did), but side-on isn’t its preferred angle of attack. It’s too tenacious for that”. And the BMW thing? It’s your bone to pick. Although quite BMW-ey, Tim reckons “It feels closer to a well-sorted M car than a Z4 – and that alone shows the depth of Toyota’s input”. Would you really rather the Supra never came back at all?

Brexit, Brexit, Brexit…

Biggest motoring news stories 2019

Like it or not (who does at this point?) but Brexit was the buzzword of 2019 in the motor industry and, of course, far beyond. It was hardly a chirpy way to open the year, but on January 15 we reported on SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes warning of the “catastrophic consequences” of leaving without a deal in March. That didn’t come to pass, with Brexit at the time being delayed until autumn. And we all know how that went… You can find all of our Brexit coverage here.

Aston Martin on a roll

Biggest motoring news stories 2019

Happily, Aston Martin was at the Geneva Motor Show in March to show the world Britain still has an ambitious streak. As well as showing off the first running Valkyrie hypercar, it introduced what we now know is the Valhalla hypercar, as the AM-RB 003. Most surprisingly, though, it showed a concept for the forthcoming mid-engined Vanquish. Its Lagonda brand also revealed a concept for a lovely all-electric luxury SUV. MR’s Richard Aucock summed up Aston’s supercar assault at Geneva: “Stay tuned, because what we’re watching unfold is the remarkable expansion of Bond’s favourite GT brand into a bona fide supercar and hypercar maker.”

The ULEZ comes to London

Biggest motoring news stories 2019

In April, the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) happened in London. It’s the beginning of a revolution on the road, as we are encouraged to ditch our dirty gas-guzzlers and move into ultra-low emission cars. The long and the short of it? If your car isn’t new and clean enough, and you drive into central London, you pay a charge, And that’s on top of the Congestion Charge, 24/7 and 365 days of the year. Find out more about the ULEZ here, and whether you have to pay.

Electric Peugeot 208

Biggest motoring news stories 2019

The perfect car for the ULEZ, or indeed the Congestion Charge zone? The new Peugeot 208 is available as a full EV, with more than 200 miles of range. The car was the first of a number of ‘attainable’ EVs to debut in 2019. When Tim Pitt drove it, he said “If you have a charger at home or work, the e-208 offers few compromises and several notable benefits – not least the environmental kudos of driving an EV”. It didn’t quite win him over though, given he concluded the more affordable petrol was his 208 of choice.

Electric Vauxhall Corsa

Biggest motoring news stories 2019

Hot on the 208’s heels was the new Vauxhall Corsa, which shares the same platform. So that means there’s also an all-electric Corsa. You can pick it up next year for £270 a month, albeit with a deposit of more than £5,000. The Corsa is a bit pricier than the Pug, starting from around £1,500 more.

Electric Mini

Biggest motoring news stories 2019

It’s not just PSA getting in on the electric small car action either. The original miniature marque – Mini – launched its Mini Electric, complete with a 144-mile range and a £24,400 start price (including government grants). Yours for £229 a month, and deliveries begin in March 2020.

Honda E

Biggest motoring news stories 2019

This is the last of 2019’s small electric cars, we promise. But this year really has been the year of the EV. With a 134-mile range and a £30,000+ price, the Honda is a tough sell. But just look at it! It drives well, too, according to MR’s Richard Aucock. “An early taster of the Honda e Prototype suggests it will be as appealing to drive as it is to look at and sit in. It looks characterful, and its on-road performance is distinctive, particularly the comfort, the quietness and the turning circle.”

Can an electric car really save you money?

Biggest motoring news stories 2019

At the end of the day, when considering spending £25,000 on an electric hatchback, you have to ask yourself: ‘Can an electric car really save you money?’. Clearly people want to know, because this was one of our biggest stories of the year. To buy, they’re quite expensive, but you’ll save on ‘filling up’ – at least for now. Electric cars will get cheaper, too. As I summed up in the piece: “The jumping-off point is coming, sooner or later, for most car buyers. It just needs the numbers to add up – even if they don’t yet.”

Keyless car theft – the scourge of 2019?

Biggest motoring news stories 2019

One of 2019’s biggest topics in the car world is keyless theft. Owners of recent and current models with keyless go have faced hackers ‘hijacking’ the signal from their cars. This lets them open, start and drive away, even with your keys hung up indoors. We have a rolling piece on the best ways to stay safe from keyless car theft, but we also reported on numerous keyless theft stories. Will the industry nip this nasty spike in 2020? It’s become such a problem that MR’s Gav wrote an opinion piece comparing the Volkswagen Golf R to the classic Ford Sierra Cosworth in terms of thievability…

Volkswagen Golf R – the new Sierra Cosworth?

Biggest motoring news stories 2019

Gav noted a tweet from Harry Metcalfe, which highlighted the fact that a third of cars stolen in his area were Golf Rs. Like the Sierra and other fast Fords back in the day, the Golf R is hot property for car thieves. Could it become ‘uninsurable’ as the Ford was?

“It’s easy to draw comparisons between the Cossies of the past and the Golf R of the present. Scary times if you’re an owner,” Gav said. “Would you consider selling yours to buy something less likely to be stolen?”

Mid-engined Corvette

Biggest motoring news stories 2019

Back to some of the year’s most important car reveals. Probably the most dramatic overhaul of an icon in 2019 is the new Corvette, which is going mid-engined for the first time (in production form, at least). The latest Corvette also brings dual clutch-only shifting, improved cabin quality, much higher potential performance and even the possibility of right-hand drive. What the Corvette retains is its iconic pushrod V8 and, amazingly, a low entry price, which actually renders it unprofitable at first. You can pick up a base ’Vette, now a near-500hp pseudo-supercar, for less than the price of a Porsche Cayman in America.

Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+

Biggest motoring news stories 2019

This year, a road-going car passed the 300mph barrier. Of course, the champion of speed for the new millennium, Bugatti, was the one to do it, with a specially-prepared Super Sport version of the Chiron hitting 304mph. A production variant was later announced, called the Chiron Super Sport 300+. There was a great deal of debate, both about whether the record was legitimate, with the car being a pre-production prototype, and whether top speed is still relevant. In my opinion piece, I argued aggressively in favour.

Green number plates

Biggest motoring news stories 2019

It wouldn’t be a year of motoring stories without a weird idea from the government. Green number plates, anyone? They were touted as a ‘very visible way of distinguishing [ultra-low emission] vehicles and raising their profile’. There’s also the possibility of giving these clean cars extra privileges on the road, including access to bus lanes and zero-emission zones. MR’s Gavin Braithwaite-Smith wondered if green number plates were the answer to a question nobody asked. The public seems to think so, with only one in five drivers liking the idea.

Volkswagen ID.3

Biggest motoring news stories 2019

Joining the Porsche Taycan at the Volkswagen Group’s Frankfurt EV showdown was the long-awaited Volkswagen ID.3. ‘ID’ is the marque’s new electric sub-brand, while ‘3’ refers to the third chapter of the ‘people’s car’, following the Golf and Beetle.

Land Rover Defender

Biggest motoring news stories 2019

We’d been waiting an age. And unlike Toyota with the Supra, Land Rover kept the new Defender tightly under wraps. Its return at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show was probably the reveal of the year. The Defender is all-new, but retains much of the original’s rugged looks. It will be, by far, Land Rover’s best off-roader, with short overhangs for impressive approach and departure angles, plus a massive 900mm wading depth. Unlike the original, it should also be a good road car, with independent suspension, a new monocoque chassis and up-to-date infotainment. Available in three- (90) and five-door (110) guises, it won’t be cheap. The 90 starts at £40,000, while the 110 opens at £45,000. We can’t help but love it, but for now we can only afford the Lego version.

Brexit, Brexit, Brexit…

Biggest motoring news stories 2019

We asked whether keyless theft was the scourge of 2019 for motorists. For the motor industry, however, it was Brexit. We’ve covered it, but because leaving the EU was put off again in the autumn – and now until January – we’re reminding you that all of our Brexit coverage can be found here.

Bristol diesel ban

Biggest motoring news stories 2019

It’s official: the war on diesel is hotting up. Bristol is the first city in the UK ban diesel cars from certain areas. Yes, that means certain smoggy petrol cars from when emissions regulations were a pipe-dream still have access, while the very latest, cleanest diesels don’t. And there’s no ULEZ-style charge you can pay. The SMMT criticised the move, with chief exec Mike Hawes saying “we need a clear and consistent national approach to clean air zones that incentivises uptake of the latest, low emission vehicles, including new Euro 6 diesels”.

Morris J van

Biggest motoring news stories 2019

If the vendetta against diesel concerns you, don’t worry: the reborn Morris has got it covered. Of course, it might not, given its new J-type JE electric van will cost more than £60,000. MR’s Gav, often a classic evangelist, didn’t put on his rose-tinted spectacles. He has some strong opinions on the JE. “What’s the obsession with reimagining stuff from our past?” he asks. “What next, a reimagining of other distinctive elements of 1950s Britain, such as polio, pea-soupers and women tied to the twin-tub washing machine?”

Aston Martin DBX

Biggest motoring news stories 2019

Another year, and another sports car manufacturer has gone to the dark side. We live in a world where Porsche, Bentley, Alfa Romeo, Rolls-Royce, Maserati, Lamborghini, and now, Aston Martin, make SUVs. Happily, the DBX is, for an SUV, quite a tidy looking thing. MR’s Richard Aucock called it “striking, stylish and suitably sporty. The DBX is a standout SUV that eschews boxy blockiness for a more elegant and exotic profile. Can SUVs be beautiful? This lays a greater claim to it than most.”

The cabin is gorgeous – by far Aston’s best of late – and it borrows Mercedes’ very talented twin-turbo V8, in 550hp guise. It’s a pricey thing, mind, starting from £158,000, but the super-SUV marketplace is surprisingly crowded. Leave the Urus, forget the Cullinan ever existed and swap out the Bentayga: if it drives as good as it looks, the DBX is the new king of the high-riders.

Tesla Cybertruck

Biggest motoring news stories 2019

Next to this, the DBX is a veritable pin-up. Where to begin with Elon Musk’s latest ‘market disruptor’? We’ve covered the Star Wars prop department reject that is the Tesla Cybertruck extensively, from the reveal, to Elon’s accepting of Ford’s challenge for another rematch. More than 200,000 people have paid $100 for a reservation. How many will follow through? Will Tesla actually be able to deliver? Will you eventually be able to hit its ‘Armor Glass’ with a sledgehammer and not smash it? All burning questions, about one of 2019’s most polarising cars. The 2022 launch can’t come soon enough.

Uber loses its licence

Biggest motoring news stories 2019

Uber has been the subject of many a harsh headline over the past couple of years, but it all came to a head in late 2019. It has officially lost its licence to operate in London, one of its busiest marketplaces. We covered that licence loss, which was due to poor security, as well as the taxi alternatives.

FCA and PSA become one

Biggest motoring news stories 2019

Our final big story of 2019? It’s the combination of FCA and PSA, bringing 13 brands under one roof, ranging from Peugeot and Citroen, to Jeep and Dodge, through to Maserati, Alfa Romeo, and Vauxhall. It’s hard to imagine. On the plus side, it does slightly increase the chances of a new Maserati-engined Citroen SM. We can but dream.

Jeremy Clarkson’s cars of the year 2019

Clarkson cars of the year

From dragging a Jeep Wrangler by the scruff across Colombia to becoming a seaman in the Mekong Delta, it’s amazing Jeremy Clarkson found time to actually drive any cars in 2019. Happily, he did, and he has some strong opinions on the year’s best and worst new metal.

Hot metal

Clarkson cars of the year

With everything from the Suzuki Jimny to the Ferrari 488 Pista, you can’t say this list isn’t eclectic. Very non-polarising for Clarkson, it caters for (almost) everyone. Let’s get into it…

Audi R8 V10 Spyder Performance

Clarkson cars of the year

We open with a very ‘Clarkson’ car: a screaming V10 engine in the middle and a price nearing £150,000. It’s should have his name written all over it. Not entirely so. He even admitted to pangs of guilt in operating such a gratuitous and noisy machine when watching Sir David Attenborough on Netflix. In his review for The Times, he said: “After a few days, though, normal service was resumed. I began to realise that a V10 is better than a bicycle and that having fun at 180mph is more important than having angst about plankton”. His summary of the R8? “Yes, this is what a supercar should be like.”

Toyota Supra

Clarkson cars of the year

We know Jeremy has a penchant for a deftly-measured, well-judged sports car and the Toyota Supra has to be a top 2019 contender there. It’s not quite up to it, he reckons, saying in The Times: “It’s not underwhelming, by any means, but neither is it overwhelming. It’s just whelming and I was expecting, I dunno, a bit of chilli and lemongrass in the mix”.

Suzuki Jimny

Clarkson cars of the year

In his love of the Suzuki Jimny, Clarkson reaffirms that he is indeed an automotive masochist. Torturous though operating the Jimny can often be, it’s relentlessly good fun. “As you bounce along with your ears bleeding, you will have a smile on your face,” he said. “And you’ll be making other road users smile, too.”

Ferrari 488 Pista

Clarkson cars of the year

Clarkson is in love with a new Ferrari. In other news, water is wet. In spite of its expense and poor equipment levels, he describes the Ferrari 488 Pista as “one of the most exciting, thrilling, beautiful and satisfying cars ever made”. He’s so impressed with it, he reckons James May might have to scrap his Ferrari 458 Speciale, due to the fact the Pista has rendered it worthless.

Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography

Clarkson cars of the year

Next on the list of cars that no one is surprised Clarkson loves, a slightly smaller Range Rover that JLR’s in-house SVO tuning division has stuffed a V8 into. Clarkson says: “There’s something about the Velar that turns the rational side of your brain to mush”. The Velar SVAutobiography is the one to have, he says, because of its V8, which is good for 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds and 170mph. “In a Range Rover, for crying out loud”. No arguments here.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio

Clarkson cars of the year

Is the apocalypse upon us? Is hell freezing over? We only ask because one of Clarkson’s cars of the year appears to be a crossover SUV. Happily, it’s one of the very best, so you can stop stockpiling tinned food. The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio is also the only crossover with an engine sourced from Ferrari… kind of. Clarkson spends most of his summary talking about the Ferrari-flavoured bit, saying “The noise it makes can curdle blood at 500 paces. This is an engine that wants you to open all the stops, all the time”.

Audi TTS Roadster

Clarkson cars of the year

Clarkson’s summary of the Audi TTS Roadster says nothing we didn’t already know. In short, it’s no Porsche Cayman rival. It’s a very good car, but not if you’re in the market for a sports car. He says in The Times “all that horsepower, 93m miles of headroom and four-wheel drive and, actually, you know what? I’ll walk. I need the exercise”.

Ford Mustang GT V8 Convertible

Clarkson cars of the year

The Mustang is a very ‘Clarkson’ car, isn’t it? It was his muscle car of choice on his trip to Detroit on The Grand Tour. Although thoroughly modernised, by any other yardstick, it remains a blunt instrument. But Clarkson isn’t bothered. He says in The Times: “Crikey, it has a big heart. This is a car you treat like a dog. You want to tickle it behind its door mirrors and let it sit by the fire on cold evenings. And when it develops a wobble at tickover, you don’t get cross with it; you worry”.

Mercedes-AMG A35

Clarkson cars of the year

We can’t have a list of 2019 motoring talking-points without a hot hatch or two. The Mercedes-AMG A35 has been eagerly anticipated, given how popular the last A45 AMG was. In spite of being the comparatively lukewarm precursor to the full-fat A45, Clarkson was taken with its performance, saying: “This thing flies. It’s a mad ride, full of jolts and judders and stars flying past at breakneck speed. It’s properly exciting.”

Renault Megane RS Trophy

Clarkson cars of the year

The Merc is very, er, German, though. If you take your hot hatches in a more traditionally French and scrappy guise, then Clarkson is also a proponent of the Renault Megane RS Trophy. “When you take this car by the scruff of the neck, it’s a riot of colour and sound and terror,” he said. “I’ve never taken LSD on the world’s fastest rollercoaster, except now I sort of have”.

Peugeot Rifter GT Line

Clarkson cars of the year

Has Clarkson taken leave of his senses? Is a Peugeot Rifter really one of his most-enjoyed cars of 2019? If you can believe it, yes. The practicality and the ride quality that defeats speed bumps won him over. “I’ll be honest, I loved it,” he said. Apparently its arrival at The Grand Tour office was met with uproarious laughter at his expense.


Clarkson cars of the year

The Times said this list would include hits and misses. While some of the above machinery has copped a bit of criticism, there’s nothing as scathing as Clarkson has been capable of in the past. But the new BMW X5 doesn’t get an easy ride. From the key that “feels like a 1970s television set in your pocket,” to the overly-intrusive assisted steering, Clarkson reckons the X5 “is full of stuff that’s not been thought through. It’s a long time since I drove a car with as many design flaws”. Whoops.

The best books for car enthusiasts this Christmas

Best books for Christmas

Time is running out if you are still searching for Christmas gifts. If you’re in need of inspiration, we’ve created a list of 20 books guaranteed to appeal to the car enthusiast in your life.

Alternatively, why not add them to your own Christmas wish list? Read on to discover some literary gems.

Autopia: The Future of Cars

Autopia – The Future of Cars

Written by Jon Bentley, the presenter of The Gadget Show, this book celebrates the ‘rich heritage’ of motoring’s past and looks into the future of the automobile. Will electric or hydrogen win the race to replace petrol and diesel? Will we be travelling to work using jetpacks? By talking to the engineers and coders who are shaping the car industry, Jon Bentley predicts the answers.

Buy Autopia: The Future of Cars on Amazon

Car Hacks

Car Hacks

There are 126 tips and tricks in the Car Hacks book, and we’ll be testing a good proportion of them over the Christmas holidays. Indeed, we recently published a feature focused on car hacks that use items you’ll find in your home, including everything from a pair of tights to herbal tea bags. A great stocking-filler or a handy reference book to put in your garage.

Buy Car Hacks on Amazon

How to Build a Car

How to Build a Car

How to Build a Car explores the story of Adrian Newey’s 35-year career in Formula One through the prism of the cars he has designed, the drivers he has worked alongside and the races in which he’s been involved. The current chief technical officer of Red Bull Racing, Newey has designed F1 cars for some of the biggest names in the sport. Not bad for a guy who was expelled from school for hijacking a concert soundcheck and blowing out a stained-glass window.

Buy How to Build a Car on Amazon



This book chronicles the epic 27,000-mile journey made by Ben Coombs in his TVR Chimaera. The intrepid traveller visited 25 countries to grab a beer in pubs at opposite ends of the world, from an abandoned Soviet mine 700 miles from the North Pole, to a remote pub at South America’s southernmost tip. Forget joining a gym, embarking on an amazing road trip ought to be one of your new year’s resolutions.

Buy Pub2Pub on Amazon

How to be Formula One Champion

How to be Formula One Champion

Written by The Grand Tour script writer, Richard Porter, this book asks if you’re the next Lewis Hamilton. You’ll discover what it takes to hit the big time in top-flight motorsport, including the art of champagne spraying and how to wear a massive watch. It even outlines the art of ‘psychologically crushing your teammate without him noticing’. This time next year, you could be the best F1 driver… in the world.

Buy How to be Formula One Champion on Amazon

100 Years of Bentley

100 years of Bentley

Time is running out if you want to celebrate Bentley’s centenary in 2019. Written by university lecturer and respected journalist Andrew Noakes, this book is a ‘lavish celebration of the company, from its earliest models right up to the modern day cars’. The weighty tome is perfect coffee-table material, with 240 pages and more than 200 pictures from the archives.

Buy 100 Years of Bentley on Amazon

High Performance: When Britain Ruled the Roads

High Performance

Peter Grimsdale’s book celebrates the British car industry’s golden age. It charts the boom years between the Second World War and the 1960s, when Britain thrived on improvisation and dogged determination. If you’ve read the extract on the death of Mike Hawthorn, you’ll know that this is a must-read this Christmas.

Buy High Performance: When Britain Ruled the Roads on Amazon

Ford versus Ferrari: The Battle for Supremacy at Le Mans 1966

Ford versus Ferrari

You’ve seen the film (probably), now read the story. There are many books on the subject of Ford’s quest to topple Ferrari at Le Mans, but this is the latest. Crucially, this book goes into detail about the Lola GT, which isn’t always the case in stories about ‘Ford v Ferrari’.

Buy Ford versus Ferrari: The Battle for Supremacy at Le Mans 1966 on Amazon

The Self Preservation Society: 50 Years of The Italian Job

The Italian Job

The 60th anniversary of the Mini happened to coincide with the 50th anniversary of The Italian Job film. The 1969 comedy camper is likely to be on television at some point over the Christmas period, so why not read 336 pages on the subject beforehand? It’s not a cheap book, but it’s one that you’ll pass on to your children.

Buy The Self Preservation Society: 50 Years of The Italian Job on Amazon

The Tin Snail

The Tin Snail

We’ve got the original hardback version of this book – and we loved it. Whether you’re buying it to read to your children at bedtime, or for them to read by themselves, it’s a heartwarming and humorous tale inspired by the true story of the Citroen 2CV. Cameron McAllister’s book is a brilliant portrayal of how a little car won the war… 

Buy The Tin Snail on Amazon

The Sound of Supercars

The Sound of Supercars

This book is likely to inspire the next-generation of car enthusiasts. Whether they’ll be able to enjoy the evocative sound of a supercar at full chat is a matter for debate, because the electric car may have taken over by the time they’re ready for ‘L’ plates. There are 12 cars in the book, ranging from the air-cooled two-cylinder Morgan 3-Wheeler to the 16-cylinder Bugatti Chiron.

Buy The Sound of Supercars on Amazon

Grease Junkie: A Book of Moving Parts

Edd China

Best known for co-hosting Wheeler Dealers with Mike Brewer, this is the world according to Edd China. The book invites you to ‘go behind the scenes on Wheeler Dealers’ and ‘climb aboard this giant motorised shopping trolley’. Because who wouldn’t want to climb aboard a giant shopping trolley? Pull up a road-going sofa and enjoy.

Buy Grease Junkie: A Book of Moving Parts on Amazon

Survive. Drive. Win.

Survive Drive Win

If the reviews are anything to go by, this book is little short of extraordinary. Damon Hill’s description says it all: “The story of Brawn GP is legendary. Imagine sitting at home at Christmas thinking you were out of a job, then by next Christmas you were a World Champion. This is F1’s Leicester City story – it’s every bit as exciting and magical.”

Buy Survive. Drive. Win. on Amazon

British Leyland: Chronicle of a Car Crash 1968-1978

British Leyland

There’s nothing magical about the collapse of the British car industry, although its disappearance act would give Paul Daniels a run for his money. ‘Why did British Leyland crash?’ asks the book, before outlining the reasons in great detail. Read it and weep.

Buy British Leyland: Chronicle of a Car Crash on Amazon

Mini: 60 Years

Mini 60 years

It’s highly likely that you own a car book written by Giles Chapman. His latest title celebrates 60 years of the Mini, from its revolutionary introduction, to the popular new-generation cars of today. Buy it now, before the Mini enters its 61st year.

Buy Mini: 60 Years on Amazon

My Mini Cooper: Its Part in My Breakdown

James Ruppert book

James Ruppert’s books are typically eccentric and off-the-wall. This one is no exception, with the ‘Bangernomics’ overlord and serial Mini owner explaining ‘how not to buy, run or restore a classic car’.

Buy My Mini Cooper: It’s Part in my Breakdown on Amazon

How to be an F1 Driver

How to be an F1 Driver

Who better than Jenson Button to explain how to be a Formula One driver. This book takes you on a journey from his hometown of Frome in Somerset to the glitz and glamour of Monaco, with everything in between.

Buy How to be an F1 Driver on Amazon

My Greatest Defeat

My Greatest Defeat

This one is going straight to the top of our Christmas list. It’s a collection of ‘honest and revealing insights into 20 of the greatest living racing drivers’. It was written before the death of Niki Lauda, so it includes a discussion with the Austrian on the subject of the loss of one of his aircraft over Thailand. Other drivers include Damon Hill, Sebastien Loeb and Jackie Stewart.

Buy My Greatest Defeat on Amazon

The Official DVSA Highway Code

Highway Code

Are you taking your driving test in 2020? Maybe you know somebody who is? Forget a pair of socks or some ‘smellies’ this Christmas – grab a copy of the Highway Code. Alternatively, if you know of a driver who would do with a reminder of the rules of the road, this could be a subtle hint.

Buy The Official Highway Code on Amazon

How to Live in a Van and Travel

How to Live in a Van and Travel

We certainly know some people who would like to make a clean break following the events of 2019. Mike Hudson’s book explains how you can escape modern life in a campervan or motorhome. Mike has been living the dream in his ‘van-home’ for the past three years. Come Boxing Day, you might fancy doing the same thing… 

Buy How to Live in a Van and Travel on Amazon

The cars of Boris Johnson and other British prime ministers

Boris Johnson

As Boris Johnson returns to No. 10 after his general election victory, we look at how the prime minister may choose to travel. These are the cars of British politicians.

Boris Johnson: Mitsubishi Outlander PHEVBoris Johnson

As we can see here, Boris was an early supporter of Tesla. The Lotus-based Roadster was the breakout electric marque’s first model more than 10 years ago. If Mr Johnson saw into the future then, can he do so again in 2020 and beyond?

Boris Johnson: Tesla RoadsterBoris Johnson

As we can see here, Boris was an early supporter of Tesla. The Lotus-based Roadster was the breakout electric marque’s first model more than 10 years ago. If Mr Johnson saw into the future then, can he do so again in 2020 and beyond?

Boris in Transit

Boris Johnson and Ford Transit

If we’re honest, we don’t see the right honourable BoJo as a white van man. He’ll be glad that he doesn’t need a Ford Transit to clear his possessions out of No. 10, though.

Boris and a Tranny

Boris Johnson and Ford Transit

Mr Johnson does seem to be a fan of Britain’s most popular van, mind. We wonder if he has one in the Downing Street garage, next to a collection of Jaguar limousines.

Boris goes electric

Boris Johnson and Renault Fluence ZE

Whatever you think of our controversial PM, he is very pro eco car and has been for some time. Here, he poses with an all-electric Renault Fluence ZE.

Theresa May: BMW 7 SeriesTheresa May

In her role as Home Secretary, Theresa May was often seen arriving at Number 10 in an armoured BMW 7 Series. She was forced to give up the 7 Series when she became PM, switching to a Jaguar XJ.

The Prime Ministerial XJThe Prime Ministerial XJ

In the twilight hours of the current XJ’s life, it retains its role as the Prime Minister’s wheels – a job it’s had since it was introduced. With an electric XJ due soon, it’ll be interesting to see whether an armoured version is built for future PMs.

David Cameron: Williams Advanced EngineeringDavid Cameron

Williams Advanced Engineering is credited with the development of the Jaguar C-X75, Dendrobium D1 and most recently, the Lotus Evija. And it all started in 2014 with David Cameron. The then-PM cut the ribbon to open the new Williams R&D division.

David Cameron: the two-millionth MiniDavid Cameron

Cameron had plenty of dealings with the motor industry while he was at No. 10. He even tried the two-millionth new Mini on for size when it was built back in 2011.

Jaguar XJJaguar XJ

Nonetheless, he’d always end up back in an XJ. The big Jag was also used by Gordon Brown, Tony Blair and John Major. In fact, the relationship between Jaguar and Downing Street goes back many years, stemming from a time when Jaguar was still a British-owned company.

Rover P5BOrder, order: the cars of British politicians

Prior to that, high-ranking government offices and Prime Ministers would have been seen in the majestic Rover P5B. The uniquely-British saloon car was powered a 3.5-litre V8 engine sourced from Buick, hence the ‘B’ in P5B. Sir Edward Heath, James Callaghan, Baroness Margaret Thatcher and Harold Wilson (seen here) all made use of a P5B while in office.

David Cameron: Honda CR-VOrder, order: the cars of British politicians

Of course, our Prime Ministers have a life outside of Number 10 and many would have owned cars prior to being elected to the biggest job in the land. Indeed, during a visit to the Honda factory at Swindon, David Cameron told staff how much he missed driving his Honda CR-V.

David Cameron: Nissan MicraOrder, order: the cars of British politicians

In May 2016, David Cameron hit the headlines when he bought his wife Samantha an ageing 2004 Nissan Micra. He paid £1,500 for the 90,000-mile Micra and drove it home from a used car dealer near his home in Oxfordshire. We suspect Mrs Cameron was delighted with the car.

Nigel Farage: Volvo V70 (sort of)Order, order: the cars of British politicians

Nigel Farage, leader of the Brexit Party, owns an old tank. No, not the one pictured, but a 59-plate Volvo V70.

Nicola Sturgeon: Jaguar XJOrder, order: the cars of British politicians

Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t own a car, but the leader of the SNP does perform her ministerial duties by making use of a Jaguar XJ.

Natalie Bennett: car clubOrder, order: the cars of British politicians

As you may have guessed, the leader of the Green Party, Natalie Bennett, doesn’t own a car either, preferring to ride a bicycle or take the train. We also understand she’s a member of a car club.

Leanne Wood: Volkswagen PassatOrder, order: the cars of British politicians