So, we’re all agreed that whether you want a pint of milk from the shops or a holiday in the south of France, the car is better, safer, cheaper, faster, more comfortable and less annoying to others. Plus, nobody pats your breasts before you set off and you don’t emerge at the other end of the journeywith deep vein thrombosis, diphtheria, a knife in your eye and no luggage.. And not only can it handle family duties, it is electrifyingly good fun to drive when the road is empty and it’s just you and the sun is shining and you fancy getting a move on. Plus, it is built by people who are German, which means it is likely to be fifteen times more reliable than a Swiss pacemaker.. Of course, anyone found to be drink-driving without a light on the roof of their car, or exceeding the 10 mph limp-home limit would face the consequences. Which would be execution.. Later, on the lovely road between Banbury and Rugby, it was the same story. The car would float deliciously round a corner – it handles and rides very well indeed – but when I accelerated onto the straight? The tumescence was gone. Frankly, you may as well save a few quid and buy the diesel.. But they’re not standing still. They’re moving. Which means they are not fixed points as such. So, the little receiver in your poxy Volkswagen has to find them, and they’re only the size of wheelie bins, then work out precisely how far away they might be at any given moment. We’re talking major algebra here.. It’d be a good test of Wayne Rooney’s new barnet, the roadster, because my God it’s fast. And with the roof down it feels almost ridiculous. You put your foot down, the double-clutch gearbox responds in an instant and you are catapulted towards the horizon in what feels like a category 70 hurricane.. I guess I’m just as bad really. I only buy Ray-Ban sunglasses and Sony televisions. Not because I know they’re the best but because the names have a Ready Brek aura of comfort-blanket warmth about them. And don’t claim you’re immune. Because I bet you’d rather do business with a man called Victor than a man called Vince.. But, we are told, there is no place for this sort of thing in a country full of Al Gore, windmills, rising oil prices and Mexican pool cleaners whose houses are now worthless.. I have always been a fan. The original, a 282-bhp version of the boxy 1980s 5-series, came out of
nowhere and redefined what we thought might be possible from a saloon. And since then every single version has pulled off the same trick.. There were many nice things, though. For a 1.2 the engine delivers a surprising lump of punch. At one stage I was doing 70 mph, and that’s faster than a Peugeot has travelled for twenty years. I also liked the central command system that is used to operate everything.. Indeed you can, but there is a price to pay for this. Because the car has rear-wheel drive, the big six-cylinder engine is mounted longitudinally. Also there is a prop shaft running under the cabin, and at the back, beneath the boot, are many components that aren’t necessary in a front-wheel-drive car. Net result: you have less space inside than you do in, say, a Ford Focus or a Vauxhall Astra. So you pay more and get less space, simply so that you have the ability to power-slide through roundabouts. Something you will never, ever, do.. There are other things in the Vantage roadster that feel old-fashioned too. The buttons, for instance, are extremely small, and none of them does what you expect. And behind the wheel you do feel cramped.. I could go on. The McLaren MP4-12C. The Mercedes SLS AMG. The Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera. All cars of this type cost between?165,000 and ?200,000. It’s the price you pay for having something a bit different. Something a bit out of the ordinary.. We can wax lyrical as much as we like about the sporting prowess of cars such as the Jaguar F-type and the Lotus Elise and the Mitsubishi Evo. But all of them are left shivering in the cold, hard shadow of the Cayman’s magnificence. It really is that good.. Anyway, Vine said that when an elderly lady is marooned in the middle of the road and the lights go green for traffic, motorists start to rev their engines. Really? What motorists do this? I have been driving for thirty-six years and not once have I ever been tempted to rev my engine to encourage an old woman to get a bloody move on. What’s more, I’ve never heard anyone else do it either. The idea that an adult would do such a thing is preposterous..