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25 muscle cars that aren’t American

25 muscle cars that aren’t American

25 muscle cars that aren’t AmericanTalk about a poisoned chalice. ‘Find 25 muscle cars that aren’t American, and create a gallery,’ they said. Tough call, given that the muscle car is as American as Bruce Springsteen, corn dogs and a home run. If you’re an American with even the slightest interest in cars, you might want to look away now.

What is a muscle car?25 muscle cars that aren’t American

You’re still with us? OK, so what exactly is a muscle car? Road Test magazine, June 1967, nailed it, by saying: “It is a product of the American car industry adhering to the hot rodder’s philosophy of taking a small car and putting a BIG engine in it. To balance this out, handling, braking and related essentials are modified to result in a performance machine for the streets.”

Holden HK Monaro GTS25 muscle cars that aren’t American

According to the Muscle Car Club, a muscle car must be an “intermediate sized, performance oriented model, powered by a large V8 engine, at an affordable price”. Cars like the Holden Monaro, then? Along with the Ford Falcon, the Monaro is the Aussie rules interpretation of the muscle car recipe. The GTS and GTS 327 were powered by an American V8, yet uniquely Australian in character. The GTS 327 was the first Holden to win the fabled Bathurst 1000, with Bruce McPhee and Barry Mulholland racing to victory in 1968.

Jensen Interceptor25 muscle cars that aren’t American

A muscle car is not a “British sports car, a Morgan, TVR or Jaguar, which could never be regarded as fitting the bill”, so says Jim Glastonbury in the Ultimate Guide to Muscle Cars. As a GT car, the Jensen Interceptor isn’t a classic muscle car as such, but with a Chrysler V8 at the front and classic rear-wheel drive handling, it’s arguably a muscle car in spirit. It also has the right name: Charger, Challenger, Interceptor – it feels part of the same club.

Vauxhall VXR8 GTS25 muscle cars that aren’t American

It’s rather comforting to know that, alongside the Viva, Corsa and Astra, Vauxhall still offers the VXR8 in the UK. It doesn’t matter that it’s based on the distinctly Australian Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) GTS, because the VXR8 is a welcome tonic to the endless supply of eco-hybrid-crossover-type things. Its Camaro-sourced 6.2-litre supercharged engine ticks the V8 box, and prices start from below £55,000, so it’s also relatively affordable.

Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.325 muscle cars that aren’t American

Some readers will be choking on their Pop Tarts at the mere thought of a Mercedes-Benz included in a list of muscle cars, but hear us out. Admire the lunacy of taking a 6.3-litre V8 engine from the S-Class of the day and shoehorning it into a smaller four-door saloon. The 300 SEL 6.3 could sprint to 62mph in just 7.4 seconds, giving it the ability to rub shoulders with the likes of the E-Type and 911. It was also the godfather of AMG.

Ford Falcon XR GT25 muscle cars that aren’t American

Face it, if any country could challenge America’s claim for muscle car supremacy, it would be Australia. You can thank Bill Bourke of Ford Australia for taking the humble Ford Falcon saloon and transforming it into a performance car of merit. Launched in 1967, the XR GT was powered by the same Windsor V8 you’d find in the Mustang, developing 225hp. The Falcon XR GT was there at the birth of the Australian muscle car.

Volkswagen Passat W825 muscle cars that aren’t American

Look, we have to offer a few wild cards, don’t we? Jim Glastonbury was rather dismissive of Europe’s potential to build a muscle car, saying: “… nor is it a German Porsche, which is too efficient and too clever by half”. But what about a Volkswagen Passat? It’s powered by a flat plane crank V8 engine, so it certainly ticks the ‘big engine/smallish car’ box. You’re not convinced, are you? In truth, neither are we.

Mercedes-Benz 450 SEL 6.925 muscle cars that aren’t American

We’re not giving up with the Mercedes-Benz thing. The way we see it, the recipe for the American muscle car is deep rooted and set in stone. But for the rest of the world, a little rule bending should be allowed. The 450 SEL was powered by a 6.9-litre V8, giving this German colossus the power to give a sport car driver sleepless nights. We do concede that it wasn’t exactly cheap, but the 450 SEL wasn’t lacking in muscle.

Ford Capri Perana25 muscle cars that aren’t American

As the ‘European Mustang’, you could argue that the Ford Capri was more pony car than muscle car, but that’s a debate for another day. For now, marvel in Ford South Africa’s decision to chuck a 5.0-litre V8 engine into a Mk1 Ford Capri 3000 XL and offer it for sale with a standard warranty. Ford also sanctioned a host of upgrades, including lowered suspension and a custom limited slip differential from a Ford Falcon XW. The best Ford Capri we never got?

Ford Sierra XR825 muscle cars that aren’t American

God bless South Africa for giving the world these two unlikely V8 heroes. First the Capri Perana and now this: the Ford Sierra XR8. It wasn’t exactly packed with muscle – a mere 209 horses – but a host of upgrades and the fact that it was relatively light for a V8 car meant that it was rather good on road and track. You can imagine how good it sounds.

Lancia Thema 8.3225 muscle cars that aren’t American

Is this the closest Lancia ever got to building a muscle car? The Thema is front-wheel drive, which doesn’t give it the best of starts, but with a thumping great Ferrari-sourced 2.9-litre V8 engine at the front, it begins to claw back some ground. Lancia also uprated the steering, brakes and suspension, while adding a trick rear spoiler.

Rover 75 V825 muscle cars that aren’t American

You could argue, with some justification, that the Rover SD1 3500 has a whiff of muscle car about it, but we’re opting for the Rover 75 V8. The company went to extraordinary lengths in order to crowbar a 4.6-litre V8 engine into the front, while the conversion from front- to rear-wheel drive is the stuff of legend. The results weren’t altogether successful, but this was like your grandad taking up wrestling. And for that, we applaud it.

Mercedes-Benz 500E25 muscle cars that aren’t American

Part Mercedes-Benz, part Porsche, but 100% muscle car, right? Ditching the straight-six in favour of a 5.0-litre V8 meant that the 500E developed 326hp and could reach a top speed of 160mph. And yet it looked like a regular W124, leading Mercedes-Benz to give it the nickname ‘The Velvet Hammer’.

FPV F625 muscle cars that aren’t American

It might sound like the name of a domestic appliance, but once you realise FPV stands for Ford Performance Vehicles, things start to make sense. Think of the F6 as a performance version of the Ford Falcon, built between 2004 and 2014. Before you say anything, we know, the F6 is powered by a 4.0-litre six-cylinder engine and not a V8. But with as much as 417lb ft of torque available on tap, it’s not short of muscle and it certainly looks the part.

Holden Torana A9X25 muscle cars that aren’t American

The Holden Torana was a medium-sized family car built between 1967 and 1980, so it provides the ideal basis for a muscle car. Step forward the A9X of 1977: an option available on the 5.0-litre V8 SLR 5000 saloon and SS hatchback. These homologation specials featured a bespoke floorpan and were stripped back to race specification. For a while, the A9X was a dominant force in Australian touring car racing.

Ford XY Falcon GT-HO Phase III25 muscle cars that aren’t American

“Simply one of the best cars in the world, a true GT that could take on Ferraris and Astons on their own terms.” Not our words, Lynn, the words of Sports Car World. Draw up a list of the world’s best muscle cars and the Falcon GT-HO Phase III will be somewhere near the top. A mere 300 were built for Bathurst purposes, with the Cleveland 5.8-litre V8 developing in excess of 300hp. If you haven’t done so already, be sure to read Mel Nichol’s epic drive in the book And The Revs Keep Rising.

Chrysler Valiant Charger E3825 muscle cars that aren’t American

The E38 was the first homologation special based on the Chrysler Valiant Charger and powered by a 280hp Hemi six-cylinder. Yes, six-cylinder. But the Valiant Charger was an incredibly successful car for Chrysler, with a range of engines and styling that was pure muscle. There were also V8 versions, powered by the Chrysler LA engine.

Lexus IS-F25 muscle cars that aren’t American

Remember when Lexus went chasing M cars and AMGs in the IS-F? We believe the Lexus IS-F has an aura of muscle car about it, although you could argue it’s a bit too polished, a bit too efficient for inclusion here. But with a 5.0-litre V8 engine up front and 371lb ft of torque being pushed through the rear wheels, it’s not without credentials.

Holden VH Commodore SS25 muscle cars that aren’t American

There can be no debate about the Holden VH Commodore SS. Take one medium-size family car, add a 4.1-litre V8 and, hey presto, a muscle car is born. The VH Commodore represented the debut of the SS (Sport Sedan) badge, which has adorned the potent versions ever since. In the UK, you’ll remember the third generation car as the one exported as the Vauxhall Monaro.

Holden ‘four-door Corvette ZR1’?25 muscle cars that aren’t American

At the end of 2016, GM will pull the plug on Holden production, instead offering rebadged import models from other General Motors brands. Australian website Motoring.com.au is suggesting HSV will say goodbye with the help of a GTS-R W1: an “awesome LS9 supercharged 6.2-litre V8 from the previous generation Corvette ZR1”. A four-door Corvette: how’s that for a swansong?

Ford Falcon XA GT25 muscle cars that aren’t American

The Falcon XA was the first Ford to be designed and built from the ground up in Australian, making it a rather significant model. The XA GT was essentially a replacement for the fabled GT-HO Phase III, but Ford was keen to make it feel as much at home on the road as it did on the track.

Ford Falcon XB GT25 muscle cars that aren’t American

The Ford Falcon XB GT formed the basis for the Interceptor in Mad Max. Even without the movie connection, this a muscle car in the truest sense, with a solid rear axle, leaf springs and an Australian-built 300hp Cleveland V8. You could add a ‘Concorde’ nose, if you fancied yourself as a kind of Max Rockatansky for the new millennium.

Holden Monaro GTS 35025 muscle cars that aren’t American

“The race-bred GTS 350 was fast. It’d give you 55, 79, 99 and 130mph in the gears; 0-60mph in 7.0 sec, 0-100 in 16, and 14.8 for the standing quarter mile. Among contemporaries, only Ford’s Falcon GT-HO – another of the great Australian muscle cars of the early ‘70s – could shade it (just).” An excerpt from the aforementioned And The Revs Keep Rising. It’s a must-read book.

Chevrolet Can-Am ‘Little Chev’25 muscle cars that aren’t American

According to African Muscle Cars, the Chevy Can-Am was an “insane car”. They’re not wrong – beneath the bonnet of the Vauxhall Firenza was the beating heart of a Z28 engine lifted from the Chevrolet Camaro. If you’re after figures, the ‘Little Chev’ offered 290lb ft of torque and a 0-62mph time of 5.4 seconds. It’s probably the best ‘Vauxhall’ you’ve forgotten about.

Ford Fairmont GT25 muscle cars that aren’t American

Another South African diamond here, this time in the shape of the Ford Fairmont GT. According to African Muscle Cars, it was based on the Australian Ford XW Falcon GT and built from 1970 to 1973. We love the summary in Car magazine, June 1972: “It is not a family car, nor is it a street rod for the boy-racers to play around with. It is the type of car which, in America, provides ammunition (and some justification) for the legislators who want to restrict horsepower and govern engine speeds.” The Fairmont GT: what a rebel!

Opel Diplomat V825 muscle cars that aren’t American

We conclude with something fruity from Opel. As a large, luxury car, the Diplomat doesn’t satisfy the strict criteria required for a muscle car, but by using a Chevrolet V8 engine in the flagship models, Opel hoped to compete with Mercedes-Benz. This is muscle, German style.

Revealed: the world’s best-selling cars of 2016

Revealed: the world’s best selling cars of 2016

Revealed: the world’s best-selling cars of 2016What were the world’s best-selling cars of 2016? Thanks to Focus2Move, we have the answers, as we reveal the most popular cars across the globe.

The F2M Global Mobility Database tracks over 3,500 vehicles sold in more than 1,500 countries, and includes light commercial vehicles. Here are the cars that made the top 10, presented in reverse order.

10. Toyota CamryRevealed: the world’s best-selling cars of 2016

Registrations: 660,868

Toyota unveiled a new 2018 Camry at the Detroit Auto Show, and on this showing it can’t come soon enough. The Camry slides from 6th to 10th, with registrations down 11.5%.

9. Honda CivicRevealed: the world’s best-selling cars of 2016

Registrations: 668,707

Compare and contrast with the admittedly smaller Honda Civic, which has seen an 18.7% increase in registrations, jumping from 17th to 9th in the process. We’ve driven the new Civic and are pleased to report it’s rather good.

8. Volkswagen PoloRevealed: the world’s best-selling cars of 2016

Registrations: 704,062

There’s a new Volkswagen Polo on the way. In the meantime, registrations of the existing model are holding steady at just over 700,000 units.

7. Toyota RAV4Revealed: the world’s best-selling cars of 2016

Registrations: 724,198

The Toyota RAV4 is the one member of the top 10 that always surprises us. It’s not that it’s a bad car, it’s just that it’s not exactly memorable either. Still, 724,198 people can’t be wrong. Can they?

6. Ford FocusRevealed: the world’s best-selling cars of 2016

Registrations: 734,935

The Ford Focus recorded the biggest drop in the top 10, with registrations down 11.7% compared to the same period in 2015.

5. Honda CR-VRevealed: the world’s best-selling cars of 2016

Registrations: 752,463

No such problems for the Honda CR-V, which sees a 5.7% increase compared to 2015, breaking into the top five in the process.

4. Hyundai ElantraRevealed: the world’s best-selling cars of 2016

Registrations: 788,081

The Hyundai Elantra climbs one place, with registrations up 3.9%.

3. Volkswagen GolfRevealed: the world’s best-selling cars of 2016

Registrations: 991,414

Meanwhile, the Volkswagen drops from second to third. A sign that people are waiting for the new Mk7.5 Golf? We’re driving the new Golf this week, so stay tuned for our initial thoughts.

2. Ford F-SeriesRevealed: the world’s best-selling cars of 2016

Registrations: 993,779

For a vehicle that is sold predominantly in North America, this is quite a remarkable result. The Ford F-Series remains the best-loved pick-up and the second best-selling car in the world.

1. Toyota CorollaRevealed: the world’s best-selling cars of 2016

Registrations: 1,316,383

Which leaves the Toyota Corolla to cement its crown as the world’s most popular car. Registrations are down 3.6%, but Toyota is still able to shift 1.3 million units.

Figures courtesy of the F2M Global Mobility Database.

Light fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

Light fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

Light fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlightThe pop-up headlight began with a Cord. The 1936 Cord 810, to be precise: the first car to feature a pair of pop-up headlights. It’s widely accepted that pop-up headlights are the coolest feature ever to grace a car, so as these lights fantastic celebrate their 80th anniversary, we select one car per manufacturer, to showcase these wonderful creations.

AC 3000ME

Light fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

(c) Kyle Gordon | Wikipedia

The pop-up headlight reached the peak of its powers in the 1970s, when American safety regs led to car designers exploring ways to ‘hide’ the headlights. The result was cars like the AC 3000ME: probably best AC you’ve never heard of. It was powered by a Ford Essex V6 and some were produced in Scotland.

Alfa Romeo MontrealLight fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

OK, we’re cheating here, but we’ll use any excuse to feature the Alfa Romeo Montreal. The headlights don’t move, but the way in which the slatted grille drops and disappears beneath the lights is a thing of beauty.

Alpine A610Light fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

The Alpine A610 of 1991 was one of the last new cars to adopt the pop-up headlight. With the lights in their closed position, it’s as though the 160mph supercar-tamer is at rest.

Aston Martin LagondaLight fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

The ultimate wedge – both for its wonderful styling and the amount of cash you’d need to keep one on the road. The Aston Martin Lagonda had an unfortunate reputation for electrical gremlins: not something you want with a pair of pop-up headlights at the front.

BMW M1Light fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

Flick through the back catalogue of legendary car designer Giorgetto Giugiaro and you’ll discover a rich supply of pop-up headlight joy. The BMW M1 is a perfect example of why we miss pop-up headlights. LED daytime running lights have got nothing on these.

Bricklin SV-1

Light fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

(c) PetrolBlog

Safety is all well and good, but when it’s the lead driver for the development of a sports car, alarm bells start to ring. The Bricklin SV-1 (Safety Vehicle One) was a Canadian-designed and built car featuring powered ‘gullwing’ doors and pop-up headlights.

Buick SkyhawkLight fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

If you’re after a four-door saloon with pop-up headlights, you’re not exactly spoilt for choice. The second generation Buick Skyhawk is an exception to the rule, being available as a two-door coupe, three-door hatchback and four-door saloon/estate.

Chevrolet CorvetteLight fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

Pop-up headlights made their debut on the Corvette with the launch of the second generation model, and remained a part of the design until the demise of the fifth generation car in 2004. Along with the Lotus Esprit, the Corvette was a last beacon of light for the pop-up.

Chrysler LeBaronLight fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

Not all cars featured pop-up headlights, with some favouring the ‘hidden’ approach. The third generation Chrysler LeBaron was more aerodynamic than its predecessor, thanks, in part, to the closed headlights.

Cord 810

Light fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

(c) Coys

This is where it all began. The Cord 810 was the first front-wheel drive car built in America and the godfather of the pop-up headlight. If you drive a first generation Mazda MX-5, you should raise your lights as a salute to this American beauty.

De Tomaso Pantera

Light fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

(c) Newspress

We could have chosen the Mangusta, but instead we focus on its replacement: the Pantera. This was De Tomaso’s most successful car, with 7,000 units sold in 20 years.

Dodge DaytonaLight fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

With its headlights closed, the Dodge Daytona looks a little sleepy. With the headlights raised, it looks a little weird. Best leave them closed.

Ferrari F40

Light fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

(c) Goodwood

We could have chosen any number of Ferrari models. Including the 456 (the last Ferrari to feature pop-up headlights) and the Daytona (for the way the headlights are just visible when the flaps are closed). But we’ve opted for the F40. Why? Because F40, that’s why.

Fiat X1/9Light fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

The Fiat X1/9 is the closest you’ll get to a pint-sized Ferrari. As cars with pop-up headlights get older, problems start to appear, which is why some cars appear to be ‘winking’ – one ‘eye’ open, the other one shut

Ford ProbeLight fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

You want a cheap car with pop-up headlights – this is probably your best bet. The American-built Ford Probe shared much with the Mazda MX-6, a car without pop-up headlights. For this reason alone, the Probe is cooler. Even with that name.

Geo Storm17_pop_up_headlight

Despite sounding more like something you’d hear at the Met Office, the Geo Storm was a compact sports car, built by Isuzu and sold in North America. Its styling was controversial, but we can forgive it its sins, because pop-up headlights.

Ginetta G3218_pop_up_headlight

The G32 might sound like a gathering of world leaders, but it’s actually the name of the best fibreglass sports car to be built in Scunthorpe. It borrowed heavily from the Ford parts bin, with early cars powered by the 1.6-litre engine from the Escort XR3i.

Honda Prelude19_pop_up_headlight

Wait, what? We’ve chosen to ignore the iconic NSX in favour of a Prelude? Well, yes, because we have to applaud Honda for embracing the pop-up headlight in the 1980s. This is the Mk2 Prelude, although the Accord and Integra of the same era didn’t look too dissimilar.

Iso Grifo

20_pop_up_headlight

(c) Brian Snelson / Wikipedia

Look. At. That. The Iso Grifo II is one of the most menacing looking machines on the planet, and it’s all because of those semi-exposed headlights.

Isuzu Piazza21_pop_up_headlight

More semi-exposed joy here, with the Isuzu Piazza. It’s a little like a beautiful lady exposing a single shoulder. A bit.

Jaguar XJ22022_pop_up_headlight

Again, there’s some cheating going on here, because the lights on the Jaguar XJ220 are fixed. Instead, it’s the cover that moves, dropping to expose the lights behind.

Kia Elan23_pop_up_headlight

Do not adjust your set, this is indeed a Lotus Elan. Or rather, it’s a Kia Elan, as the Korean firm purchased the rights to the Lotus when production ended in 1995.

Lamborghini MiuraLight fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

Think of the Lamborghini Miura’s headlights and thoughts turn to the ‘eyelashes’ found on the original cars. But the headlights rose a little, as seen here.

Lancia StratosLight fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

It’s a little known fact that the Lancia Stratos wouldn’t have won three World Rally Championships without the help of pop-up headlights. Probably.

Lister StormLight fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

Another cheat here, as the headlights on the Lister Storm are similar to the Jaguar XJ220 featured earlier.

Lotus EspritLight fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

The Lotus Esprit was famously driven by James Bond in the 1977 film The Spy Who Loved Me. Insert a Bond-like quip about Barbara Bach and a sudden pop-up.

Maserati BoraLight fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

Another example of Giorgetto Giugiaro employing a pair of pop-up headlights to good advantage. The Bora was Maserati’s first mid-engined car and a beautiful one at that.

Matra BagheeraLight fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

The Matra Bagheera featured three-abreast seating and pop-up headlights. Pinch us, we must be dreaming.

Mazda RX-7Light fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

Resisting the temptation to feature a Mazda MX-5 in yet another feature, we’ve decided to focus on the RX-7. All three generations featured pop-up headlights, two of which can be seen here.

Mercedes-Benz C111Light fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

The Mercedes-Benz back catalogue is strangely devoid of pop-up joy, but the experimental C111 vehicle is an exception. Even in black and white, this thing is a sight to behold.

Mitsubishi StarionLight fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

The Mitsubishi Starion looks great with its lights closed, but it’s even better with them popped-up. A hairy-chested Japanese sports car for the 1980s.

Oldsmobile Toronado

Light fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

(c)Karrmann | Wikipedia

Early Oldsmobile Toronados were dripping in American glamour: some featuring ‘hideaway’ lights, others pop-up.

Opel GTLight fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

Search online for Opel GT headlights and prepare to be amazed. These lights were manually operated by way of a lever on the centre console.

Panther SoloLight fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

Less ‘pop-up’ and more ‘rotating’, the Panther Solo did things differently. The headlights rotated, like a pair of wing-mounted gatling guns.

Plymouth Superbird

Light fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

(c) Dennis Elzinga | Wikipedia

The Plymouth Superbird was a highly modified version of the Road Runner, featuring, amongst many other things, a pair of pop-up headlights.

Pontiac FirebirdLight fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

By now, you should be convinced that pop-up headlights are the coolest things ever to grace a car. Sadly, the cost of developing a pair to meet strict pedestrian safety tests means we’re unlikely to see them again.

Porsche 928Light fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

Are we allowed to say the Porsche 928 looks a little frog-like with the headlights turned on? Well it does.

Reliant Scimitar SS1Light fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

The Reliant Scimitar SS1: the sports car with pop-up headlights, famously not owned by Princess Anne.

Saab Sonett IIILight fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

One of the great things about the Saab Sonett is that each generation was so of its era. The Sonett I was distinctly 50s, the Sonett II was of the 60s and the Sonett III was 100% 70s, right down to the pop-up headlights.

Subaru XTLight fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

The coolest Japanese coupe of the 1980s? It’s in with a shout, thanks mainly to its otherworldly styling, space-age dashboard and pop-up headlights. We have a feeling this farmer is suggesting this isn’t the Brat pick-up he ordered.

Toyota 2000GTLight fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

The most beautiful Japanese car ever built just happened to feature a pair of pop-up headlights. More proof that pop-up headlights make everything better.

Triumph TR7Light fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

Ah, this might provide evidence to the contrary, but we’ll run with it. If nothing else, the Triumph TR7 is as 1970s as you can get.

TVR Tasmin

Light fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

(c) Newspress

The Tasmin was a highly successful car for TVR and we suspect this is because it wore a pair of pop-ups.

Vauxhall XVRLight fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

The best looking Vauxhall never built? The smoothed-out front end and pop-up headlights give it the look of a Corvette. Hardly surprising, given the GM connections.

Vector M12

Light fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

(c) Supermac1961 | Wikipedia

It’s not the most subtle of supercars, but the Vector M12 of the late 90s was certainly striking. Underneath the skin was a Lamborghini Diablo and the car was good for a top speed of 189mph.

Venturi AtlantiqueLight fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

One of the last torchbearers for the pop-up headlight was the Venturi Atlantique, a French, mid-engined sports car. The original Atlantique was powered by a 2.8-litre turbocharged V6 engine, with later cars offered with a 3.0-litre V6.

Vignale Samantha

Light fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

(c) Bonhams

The pretty Samantha was based on the contemporary Fiat 124 and 125 models, and built by Carrozzeria Vignale. Approximately 100 were produced and only a handful survive.

Volvo 480Light fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

The 480 was Volvo’s first front-wheel drive car and the only time the Swedish carmaker has built a car with pop-up headlights. Shame.

Honda NSXLight fantastic: celebrating the pop-up headlight

Oh, go on then, one more for luck. We could have chosen the Ferrari Daytona or 288 GTO for the final car. Possibly the Lamborghini Countach. Instead, we opted for the Honda NSX, not least for the way in which the lights open just a little, helping to maintain the vehicle’s aerodynamics. Nice.

All images courtesy of manufacturers, unless stated.

The top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

The top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

The top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UKPut simply: Apple CarPlay mirrors selected features on an iPhone and puts them on a car’s built-in display. It allows you to get directions, make calls, send and receive messages and listen to music on the go. Best of all, it’s a plug-in-and-play system, so you won’t have to go through a laborious syncing routine. The list of cars available with Apple CarPlay is growing all the time, so we’ve selected 40 of our favourites.

Audi A4The top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

Can’t decide between the Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, BMW 3 Series or Jaguar XE? Maybe the fact that the A4 is available with Apple CarPlay will swing things in the direction of Ingolstadt. Apple CarPlay and Audi’s excellent Virtual Cockpit is our idea of geek heaven.

Audi Q2The top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

The Audi Q2 is one of those cars you know will sell like very hot cakes. It manages to combine two things that are in great demand: the Audi badge and the compact SUV. Throw into the mix the availability of Apple CarPlay and you have the recipe for the most trendy set of wheels this autumn.

Bentley BentaygaThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

If you’re spending well over £150,000 on a Bentley Boutique Hotel Room you have every right to expect Apple CarPlay. In fact, we think you have every right to expect the entire contents of an Apple Store.

Cadillac CT6The top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

Selected Cadillac models are available to order in the UK, but right-hand drive isn’t an option. The CT6 is larger than an E-Class, but smaller than an S-Class and offers Apple CarPlay via a large 12-inch screen.

Citroen C3The top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

It’s fair to say we’re a little bit excited about the all-new Citroen C3. Its chunky and funky crossover-esque styling should give it an edge over rival superminis, while the Airbumps are taken from the much-loved C4 Cactus. Along with Apple CarPlay, the C3 also features an on-board dashcam, allowing you to film your drive and share it on social media.

Citroen Berlingo MultispaceThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

Remember the Citroen Berlingo Multispace? The van-based MPV is one of four Citroen models to offer Apple CarPlay.

Citroen C4 Picasso/Grand C4 PicassoThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

The recently refreshed C4 Picasso and the larger Grand C4 Picasso also offer Apple CarPlay connectivity via the Mirror Screen.

DS 3/DS 3 CabrioThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

There’s good news if you fancy a DS 3 but don’t want to spend much more than the £14,395 for the entry-level Chic with a PureTech petrol engine. A Mirror Screen with MirrorLink and Apple CarPlay is available for just £100 across the entire range. It could be the only option you need.

Ferrari 488 GTB/SpiderThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

Admittedly, the availability of Apple CarPlay is not going to be high on the list of priorities when you’re ordering a Ferrari 488 GTB or 488 Spider, but it’s good to know you can sync your iPhone should you grow tired of that turbocharged V8 soundtrack.

Ferrari California TThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

Meanwhile, Apple CarPlay is also available on the Ferrari California T…

Ferrari F12tdfThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

As well as the new F12tdf. This track-focused Ferrari is the ultimate version of the F12 Berlinetta and only 799 will be built.

Ferrari GTC4LussoThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

We conclude our Ferrari love-in with the GTC4Lusso – the name chosen for the new version of the FF. The GTC4Lusso is focused on the number four – four seats, four-wheel drive and four-wheel steer. But you only get one Apple CarPlay.

Ford EdgeThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

Ford has confirmed that all of its 2017 cars will feature support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This includes electric vehicles, light commercial vehicles and pick-ups. It’s part of Ford’s Sync 3 system.

Ford FiestaThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

“Ford is not taking the traditional approach of introducing Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto on a few piecemeal models or as an expensive option on luxury vehicles only, “ said Jeffrey Hannah, director of North America for global automotive tech research firm, SBD.

Ford FocusThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

Which is why Apple’s website lists the entire range of Ford vehicles for 2017…

Ford Mustang17_Apple_CarPlay

Cynically, we could suggest that Apple CarPlay is best reserved for the 2.3-litre Mustang, as you won’t need it on the 5.0-litre V8 version. But we won’t…

Honda NSXThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

Alternatively, the Honda Connect system in the all-new NSX will allow for the operation of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The system also features Apple’s Siri Eyes Free, allowing you to keep your hands on the wheel when perfecting that turn on your favourite B-road.

Hyundai i10The top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

Hyundai has been a bit slow adding Apple CarPlay to its cars in the UK, with the North American market leading the way. All that is set to change, with the latest version of the i10 – to be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show – adding Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to its 7-inch touchscreen navigation system. Hyundai says it will be available on the ‘high trim only’.

Hyundai IoniqThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

The Ioniq is Hyundai’s answer to the Toyota Prius and is available from £19,995. You’ll need to jump to the more expensive Premium spec to get your hands on a seven-inch touchscreen, wireless charging and Apple CarPlay.

Kia Optima SportswagonThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

The Sportswagon is a fancy name for the new Kia Optima estate, which goes on sale in September 2016. A full suite of connectivity and active driver assistance technologies are available, but while Android Auto is offered from launch, you’ll have to wait until ‘later in the production run’ to take advantage of Apple CarPlay.

Lamborghini CentenarioThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

Lamborghini has built the Centenario to mark what would have been founder Ferruccio Lamborghini’s 100th birthday. Only 40 will be built – 20 coupes and 20 roadsters – all of which have been sold. The not so small matter of £1.6m+ secures a 770hp V12 engine and a body built entirely of carbonfibre. Apple CarPlay comes as standard.

Mercedes-Benz GLSThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

The GLS is the flagship of the Mercedes-Benz range of SUVs – positioned as the S-Class of the segment. As you’d expect from an SUV starting from £70,000, Apple CarPlay is available on the GLS. For best results, make sure you add the sublime Harman Kardon surround system to the mix.

Mercedes-Benz E-ClassThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

Order a Mercedes-Benz E-Class in 350d or 350e guise to take advantage of the COMAND Online system, which features a 12.3-inch display including smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Peugeot 2008The top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

Peugeot has updated its 2008 crossover for 2016 and its Mirror Screen is now compatible with Apple CarPlay for the iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6, 6 Plus, 6s and 6s Plus.

Peugeot 208The top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

If you’re after Apple CarPlay in a Peugeot 208, you just need to make sure it was built after November 2016. Check with your local dealer for more details.

Porsche 718 Cayman/BoxsterThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

If the sound of a turbocharged four-cylinder engine doesn’t float your boat, you’ll be pleased to know the 718 Cayman and Boxster models are available with Apple CarPlay.

Porsche 911The top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

The Porsche Connect Plus system is available from the 911 Carrera up and includes online navigation, Apple CarPlay, 4G telephone module and wireless internet access.

Porsche MacanThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

It’s a similar story in the Porsche Macan, with Apple CarPlay available in the sporting SUV. It’s also worth noting that the recently revised Panamera also offers CarPlay connectivity.

SEAT AtecaThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

With the exception of the Mii city car, SEAT offers Apple CarPlay connectivity across its range of cars, but our pick would be the new Ateca – the Spanish firm’s first SUV.

Skoda FabiaThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

The Skoda Fabia is the value alternative to the Volkswagen Polo and is available with Apple CarPlay.

Skoda OctaviaThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

It’s a similar story in the Skoda Octavia…

Skoda SuperbThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

As well as the flagship Skoda Superb. In fact, Apple CarPlay is available across the entire Skoda range, with only the Citigo left out of the party.

Suzuki BalenoThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

The Suzuki Baleno provides the proof that you don’t need to spend a fortune to get your hands on Apple CarPlay. Prices of the supermini start at £12,999 and the cars feature a user-friendly touchscreen with smartphone integration.

Suzuki VitaraThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

It’s a similar story in the Suzuki Vitara crossover, with smartphone linkage available in all but the entry-level model.

Vauxhall AstraThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

Vauxhall’s IntelliLink infotainment is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and offers a 7-inch colour touchscreen and Bluetooth connectivity as standard. Opt for the SRi and Elite models to take advantage of on-board wifi.

Vauxhall CorsaThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

You’ll also find Apple CarPlay as standard on the new Vauxhall Corsa.

Volkswagen GolfThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

Volkswagen claims to be the first manufacturer to offer a choice of three interfaces to connect smartphones: MirrorLink, Android Auto and, of course, Apple CarPlay. There are far too many Volkswagen models to list here, so we’ll include the evergreen Golf…

Volkswagen TiguanThe top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

You’ll also find Apple CarPlay on the all-new Volkswagen Tiguan. It’s part of the Car-Net App Connect services, with can be used with the following infotainment systems: Composition Media, Discover Navigation and Discover Navigation Pro.

Volvo XC90The top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

Earlier this year, Volvo added Apple CarPlay to the XC90, allowing iPhone owners to pair their phones with the excellent Sensus Connect infotainment system. The upgrade costs £300.

Volvo S90/V90The top 40 cars available with Apple CarPlay in the UK

You’ll also have to part with £300 to secure Apple CarPlay on the new S90 and V90 models, with the upgrade adding two USB ports and one Aux. input.

For up-to-date information on Apple CarPlay, check manufacturer websites or speak to your local dealer.

Revealed: Jeremy Clarkson’s worst cars of the year

Revealed: Jeremy Clarkson’s worst cars of the year

Revealed: Jeremy Clarkson’s worst cars of the yearLast week, the Sunday Times revealed Jeremy Clarkson’s top 10 favourite cars of the last year. They included gems like the new Mazda MX-5 and Volvo’s superb new XC90.

And while that’s great, what we really want to know is which cars he thinks are absolute stinkers. Writing for the Sunday Times again, Clarkson has listed his worst cars of the last 12 months. There are a few surprises…

Vauxhall Astra SRi NAVRevealed: Jeremy Clarkson’s worst cars of the year

We quite like the new Vauxhall Astra. It’s a huge step up over the previous model – and it even won the coveted European Car of the Year title. However, Clarkson isn’t a fan.

So why the Astra bashing from Mr Ex-Top Gear? Simple: he had an Aston to drive that weekend and wanted to be driving that instead. “I much preferred the idea of tooling around in a convertible Aston for the weekend to that of bumbling about in a mildly speedy Vauxhall,” he explained. Fair.

Infiniti Q30 Premium TechRevealed: Jeremy Clarkson’s worst cars of the year

When we drove the Infiniti Q30 last year, we didn’t think it was bad per se. It just had no distinguishing features that’d make you want to buy one over rivals from established premium brands.

Clarkson’s biggest criticism was the Q30’s diesel engine, which actually comes from Mercedes-Benz. It’s certainly a little grumbly.

“I think that’s what the engine does, in fact,” says Clarkson. “[It] turns diesel into sound. Because it sure as hell doesn’t turn it into large lumps of power. Every time I pulled out to overtake a caravan, I had to pull in again because there wasn’t quite enough grunt.”

Skoda Superb SE L ExecutiveRevealed: Jeremy Clarkson’s worst cars of the year

We rate the Superb for its upmarket interior, plentiful loadspace and attractive price tag – but Jeremy Clarkson isn’t as easily impressed. He gave the big Skoda two stars, concluding that it was ‘good for minicabbing but not for the soul’.

He adds that the Superb “has the same amount of soul as a fridge freezer. It’s the sort of car that you’d buy by the foot.”

Zenos E10 SRevealed: Jeremy Clarkson’s worst cars of the year

We said you’d be surprised by some of Clarkson’s choices. We gave the Norfolk-built Zenos E10 S a five-star rating when we drove it. But Jezza describes the unassisted steering as ‘wearing’, while complaining that he has ‘encountered better-equipped pencils’.

And then he comes to ‘the turd in the swimming pool’. The Zenos doesn’t come with anti-lock brakes, which means the front wheels have tendency to lock up under heavy braking.

“An anti-lock system would solve all that,” explains Clarkson. “But the whole point of the Zenos is that you get no driver aids. I like that philosophy, when I’m on a sofa and someone else is doing the driving, in a race, on the television. But a bit less when I’m heading towards a tree in a cloud of my own tyre smoke.”

Renault Kadjar dCi 130 Signature NavRevealed: Jeremy Clarkson’s worst cars of the year

Now this we can totally get behind. Like the Infiniti, it’s not that the Renault Kadjar is a bad car. It’s just… bland. Tediously bland. Based on the bland Nissan Qashqai, Renault has made it just as soulless.

“A dreary milestone on motoring’s road to oblivion” is how Clarkson sums up the Renault Kadjar.

BMW X1 xDrive25dRevealed: Jeremy Clarkson’s worst cars of the year

This is another car that isn’t actually that bad. But as Clarkson points out, because it sports a BMW badge, you expect it to be better.

The Fracas-gate star bemoans the X1’s off-road ability and the fact the range-topping 2.0-litre diesel ‘didn’t feel speedy’.

SEAT Leon X-Perience SE TechnologyRevealed: Jeremy Clarkson’s worst cars of the year

Throughout Clarkson’s 31-year car testing career, he’s never driven a SEAT. He’d never asked, because he ‘couldn’t see the point’, he explains. But then the company sent him its jacked-up Leon, the X-Perience.

We’re fans of the X-Perience’s metallic brown paint and brown Alcantara interior combo, but apparently Jeremy isn’t. “I’m grateful to SEAT for lending me this car because it reinforces every belief I’ve held about SEAT’s cars,” he says. “They’re a waste of time.”

Ouch.

Nissan GT-R Track EditionRevealed: Jeremy Clarkson’s worst cars of the year

The standard Nissan GT-R is a brilliant car. That’s something us and Clarkson agree on. But the GT-R Track Edition takes suspension from the (even more extreme) Nismo and a stiffer shell to make it a full-on track car. Too extreme for the road, reckons Clarkson.

“This track-day abomination gets no stars at all,” he concludes, after likening hitting a manhole cover to being in a plane crash.

Volkswagen Scirocco 2.0 TDIRevealed: Jeremy Clarkson’s worst cars of the year

Clarkson’s first car was an original Volkswagen Scirocco, which goes someway towards explaining why he doesn’t like the current model. Add in the fact that it’s getting old, based on the sixth-generation Golf and is powered by a diesel engine that needs lots of revs to stop it stalling, and he arrives at a two-star verdict.

Jezza concludes: “As an overall package it did nothing all week except remind me how much I wanted a Golf GTI.”

Hyundai i800Revealed: Jeremy Clarkson’s worst cars of the year

The Hyundai i800 is enormous, practical, and cheap. It makes for a great taxi – but if you’re an Uber driver with one of these and get summoned by a Mr J. Clarkson, don’t bother. He hates the thing, awarding a bit fat zero-star rating.

“I would rather apply sun cream to James May’s back than travel again in a Hyundai i800,” he says. Well, there we are.

10 brilliant cars and their bargain alternatives

10 brilliant cars and their bargain alternatives

10 brilliant cars and their bargain alternativesIn the ideal world, we’d all drive brilliant cars – but that’s not always possible. Perhaps a car is financially out of reach or maybe so few were made, you’ve got little chance of actually owning one. With this in mind, we’ve assembled a list of brilliant cars and then presented a cheaper alternative. You can thank us later.

Range Rover Evoque Convertible10 brilliant cars and their bargain alternatives

In the case of the Range Rover Evoque, less is definitely more. Removing the roof to create the Evoque Convertible has transformed one of the most fashionable cars on the planet into something so hot you can barely touch it. You may not like the idea of a topless SUV, but there are thousands of willing punters ready to part with upwards of £47,500.

Land Rover Freelander SoftBack10 brilliant cars and their bargain alternatives

But do you want to spend circa £50,000 on something that resembles Barbie’s chariot, when you can drop a few hundred notes on a Land Rover Freelander SoftBack? Sure, it won’t turn heads quite like the Evoque and it’s only your rear seat passengers who will enjoy the effect of wind-in-the-hair motoring, but it’s cheap.

Mercedes-Benz SLC10 brilliant cars and their bargain alternatives

Don’t be fooled by the name, because the Mercedes-Benz SLC is little more than a facelift of the old SLK. Time has moved on and the Merc roadster no longer feels like the freshest option in the segment, but that’s not to say it doesn’t hold appeal. The simple act of lowering or raising the roof is pure theatre and can even be completed at speeds of up to 25 mph, providing the sequence is initiated below 3 mph.

Renault Megane Cabriolet10 brilliant cars and their bargain alternatives

But if you’re after theatre, the original Renault Megane Cabriolet has it in abundance. Prices start below £500, which is a small price to pay for a roof sequence that could rival a breakdancing Optimus Prime. You’ve just got to ensure the roof still works, otherwise you’re simply splashing out on less practical and probably leaky Renault Megane Coupe.

BMW M210 brilliant cars and their bargain alternatives

Peer through the tyresmoke and you’ll have seen Chris Harris enjoying himself behind the wheel of a BMW M2 whilst filming for Top Gear. It might look like a pumped up M235i — not that this is a bad thing — but it borrows much of its hardware from the M3 and M4. £44,080 might seem like a lot, but spending £13,000 more on an M4 coupe won’t necessarily result in more smiles.

BMW E46 M310 brilliant cars and their bargain alternatives

We think the M2 is the best BMW M-car since the E46 M3. Introduced in 2000, the E46 is recognised as one of the greatest M-cars of all time, boasting a glorious 3.2-litre straight-six engine and one of the finest chassis of the new millennium. The M2 might be a future classic, but the E46 M3 is a cast-iron modern classic.

Ford Fiesta ST10 brilliant cars and their bargain alternatives

Regular readers will know that we, along with the rest of the motoring media, adore the new Ford Fiesta ST. It’s brilliant, so it slots neatly under our title, but it’s also a bargain, so, er… we may need some help here. At £17,395, it’s hard to find a more enjoyable car for so little money…

Ford Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost 12510 brilliant cars and their bargain alternatives

To be honest, when we look at the prices of other Fiestas in the range, it only serves to cement our feeling that the ST is one of the bargains of 2016. But don’t rule out used examples of the current Fiesta, which are the sweetest handling superminis you can buy. And the 1.0-litre EcoBoost 125 engine is both punchy and economical.

Land Rover Defender10 brilliant cars and their bargain alternatives

The final Land Rover Defender as we know and love it may have rolled off the production line, but don’t run away with the idea that it’s the last of the old-school 4x4s…

Suzuki Jimny10 brilliant cars and their bargain alternatives

On the contrary, the Suzuki Jimny is able to punch well above its weight when it comes to venturing off-road, and you can still buy one new. It may not be great on the road, but it’s terrific fun off it.

Peugeot 205 GTI10 brilliant cars and their bargain alternatives

The Peugeot 205 GTI was recently voted the greatest hot hatch of all time and prices appear to be on the up.

Peugeot 205 XS10 brilliant cars and their bargain alternatives

So you might be better off opting for the 205 XS instead. Think of it as the 205 GTI’s little brother – just as willing on a B-road and very eager to impress. The later cars shared the same 1.4-litre engine found in the Citroen AX GT.

Peugeot 309 GTI10 brilliant cars and their bargain alternatives

Not convinced by the 205 XS? There is an alternative. Don’t be fooled by its relatively frumpy appearance, because the 309 GTI is every bit as good as the 205 GTI, if not better. Best of luck finding a good one.

Bugatti Veyron10 brilliant cars and their bargain alternatives

Let’s face it, only the privileged few can afford to buy and run a Bugatti Veyron. But what if we told you it was possible to get your hands on half a Bugatti Veyron? Better still, you only need to fork out around £2,500.

Volkswagen Passat W810 brilliant cars and their bargain alternatives

Wonderful, isn’t it? The Passat W8 features a 4.0-litre W8 engine, precisely half the 8.0-litre W16 engine you’ll find in the record-breaking Veyron. Go for the wagon version and you can even take the dog.

Citroen C4 Cactus10 brilliant cars and their bargain alternatives

It may have been on sale 18 months, but the Citroen C4 Cactus still manages to turn heads. We suspect you’ll either love or hate the Airbumps, but they certainly help to make the Cactus stand out amongst the crowd of crossovers. Prices start from £12,990.

Rover Streetwise10 brilliant cars and their bargain alternatives

Alternatively, you could opt for the Rover Streetwise and save yourself around £12,000. Believe it or not, this was Rover’s attempt to appeal to a younger audience. Because kids love urban on-roaders.

Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk210 brilliant cars and their bargain alternatives

The Volkswagen Golf GTI, in either Mk1 or Mk2 guise, was one of the greatest hot hatches of the 1980s. But prices are high, so bargains are thin on the ground.

Volkswagen Jetta GTI 16v10 brilliant cars and their bargain alternatives

But there is another way. When it was new, the Jetta GTI 16v was actually cheaper than the equivalent five-door Golf GTI, so it has always been a bit of a bargain. Furthermore, it features a sizeable boot and classic, understated styling. Shame so many have been sacrificed or modified.

BMW M510 brilliant cars and their bargain alternatives

The E39 M5 is arguably the best BMW M5 ever made and up there with the very best four-door saloons of all time. The star of the show is undoubtedly the 400hp 5.0-litre V8 engine, which makes a noise reminiscent of Thor gargling on chilli-flavoured mouthwash. But we don’t want to give you the M5…

BMW 540i10 brilliant cars and their bargain alternatives

Instead, help yourself to the 286hp BMW 540i, complete with a glorious 4.4-litre V8. Oh sure, you don’t get the advantages of the full-fat M badge, but there’s also none of the disadvantages. Find one with a manual gearbox and you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank (on your favourite B-road).