The 9-3 is old. It has a nasty engine. And, while I acknowledge the standard fitment of both an adjustable heater and a clock, it is also quite expensive. But it does have one feature that sets it aside from almost every other car on the market. It’s comfortable.. To this day, I remain baffled by the Ford Scorpio because at some point someone must have walked into an important board meeting and said,‘Well, everyone. This is what it’s going to look like.’. First, the original American engine has been thrown away and replaced with another one. It’s the rather good all-aluminium 6.2-litre V8 from a Corvette. You get a Corvette gearbox as well, but from there backwards, things get a bit more complicated. The live rear axle, the leaf springs and all the rest of the Roman technology is replaced with a fully independent setup, with some bits coming from the old Jaguar XJS – the limited-slip diff, for example – and some from the new company.. Actual boy racers, I should imagine, are now getting very irritated because they’ll have seen the picture of the car I’m reviewing this morning, with its white roof and its big wheels, and they’ll be thinking, Get on with it, you imbecile.. Usually, this is foolish. Oh, you may have a mate who is a dab hand with glass fibre and you may have a considerate bank manager who did a bit of racing in his day and likes the idea of your quad-turbo, multi-supercharged 300 mph road rocket. But what you are actually starting is a corner shop. And I’m sorry but Ferrari and Lamborghini are the supermarkets. And, as a result, their carrots are going to be more orange and cheaper than yours. Which means that pretty soon you will get a letter from your previously supportive bank manager that begins thus, ‘I am disappointed to note…’. Out of town and away from my metrosexual mates, the new M5 continues to amaze. It feels heavy and the front is maybe a bit over-tyred, but it’s just so fast and so composed and so balanced and so wonderful that you even find yourself grinning a deeply contented grin when you are on the M4 and it’s raining and the burglar in the toll booth is still a hundred miles away.. Then there’s the detailing. The cam belt runs in oil, so it’s silent and will last for ever. Ford has even split the cooling system so that the business part of the engine and the people in the car can warm up as quickly as possible on cold mornings. And the exhaust manifold is water-cooled as well. It’s probably fair to say that there is more innovation and technology in this engine than
you find in a Lamborghini V12.. Porsche 911 Carrera 4S. Legend has it that when Frank Sinatra first clapped eyes on the then new E-type Jaguar at the New York motor show, he said,‘I want that car. And I want it now.’ The E-type had that kind of effect. Pedants were saying that the actual cars would not achieve the claimed top speed of 150 mph, and back then everyone knew that the ‘Made in England’ tag was another way of saying you’d arrive everywhere in a cloud ofoily steam.. This, then, is a massive improvement on the old car. It is a Range Rover, it does have a sporty feel, it does work off road and it is comfortable and well equipped. But it doesn’t have a split, folding tailgate. That’s why my eye is still on its more expensive bigger brother.. Porsche’s designers had a stab at something new and different with the Boxster but, having created a front end, they were so exhausted by the effort that they simply fitted exactly the same thing to the back. Were it not for the colour of the rear lights, this car would look exactly the same going forwards as it does in reverse.. Britain loves convertibles. We buy more of them than almost any other country in Europe, and it’s easy to see why. Because the sun on these islands is a rare visitor, we don’t want to waste the days when it’s here by sitting under a metal roof. We want to savour it, because we know tomorrow it’ll be gone.. It’s going to be a tester for BMW’s showroom salespeople, that’s for sure. Because they will have to say to prospective customers, ‘Yes, it has the same engine and running gear as the M5. And the same number of doors. But here’s the thing, sir. It’s ?24,000 more expensive and there’s less space inside.’. Jaguar F-type. Once I was back on the road, with some matches in my eyes and a drawing pin on the seat – that works well, by the way – I began to wonder what on earth had brought about this drowsiness. Yes, I have just finished a relentless spell of travelling and, yes, there have been a few late nights. But that’s nothing new. Which led me to the conclusion that I was being sent to sleep by the car I was driving – a Subaru Forester XT..