I realize, of course, that in theory a high-speed train linking the north and the south of Britain is a fine idea. But since it needs to cross at least five Tory constituencies, it will never happen. And nobody would be able to afford to go on it, even if it did.. And in a Lotus T125, no one can hear you scream, partly because your larynx has been crushed and partly because you’ve just trodden on the accelerator pedal and your head’s come off again.. All things considered, the current BMW 5-series is possibly the best car on sale today. It is handsome and well made and spacious and economical and comfortable and fast. It is a brilliant driving machine. But it is about as joyful as a technical lecture on the inner workings of a telephone junction box.. What’s more, with most serious supercars, you would never buy a convertible version, because you’d know it wasn’t quite as good, dynamically, as the stiffer, more rigid hard top. But since you don’t buy a Lambo for the last 0.01 of a g it can generate in the bends, who cares? Best to have no roof, really. That way you can hear the engine more clearly more of the time.. Unfortunately, this is not a Jag engine. In essence, it’s the same unit Ford, Citro?n and Peugeot use and I’m afraid it’s not very good. It’s not refined and it’s not as economical as the engine BMW fits. What’s more, these days the government – idiotically – taxes you according to the composition of gases coming out of your tailpipe. And the fact is that the Jag’s engine produces way more CO2 than BMW’s equivalent.. The Smart Fortwo is even worse. This also has a habit of falling over and, to complicate matters, the gearbox doesn’t allow you to switch from first to reverse quickly enough. Sometimes all six players can be stationary, as they wait for the car’s brain to allow the transmission to shift. This makes for a boring spectacle.. Mind you, on Kensington High Street last week it didn’t feel that way. I thought at one point I’d become involved in a west London ?tape of the Tour de France. It was 7 p.m. and there were hundreds and hundreds of people with wizened bottoms and beards and idiotic hats and luminous clothing, cycling through red lights at way beyond the speed limit.. Naturally Volkswagen will argue that the Up! is a city car and that this lack of oomph is of no consequence. But that’s rubbish. It’s OK to have a pair of city shoes and a city suit, but when you are spending ?10,000 on a car, you expect it to be able to deal with cities and the countryside equally well.. BMW 328i Modern. Someone suggested that Sweden used to have enough chairs for everyone but Ikea had exported all of them to Britain. I think, however, the real reason is that, in a socially democratic utopia such as this, it would be considered bourgeois if everyone could sit down at the same time.. However, since it was a pre-production car, it’s probably unfair to say its boot lid broke and its passenger-side electric window was wonky.. So while the manual gearbox may cause you to have more sex, it makes you a bit hurty, it’s hard to use, it’s not as efficient as flappy paddles and it feels surprisingly old-fashioned. As if you’ve switched from an iPad to a typewriter.. Ooh, you make me go weak at the knees… and the hips and the spine. These, then, are strange times, which brings us to a strange car. The new Lexus IS 300h F Sport. It looks extremely aggressive. There are fat alloys, sharp daytime running lights, a lean-forward stance and a grille so big I’m surprised it doesn’t have its own moon. This is a car that trumpets a very clear message to the rear-view mirror of drivers in front: ‘Get out of my way.’. Aston Martin Vanquish Volante.