The supercar that's slower than a hot hatch. Hardly a tagline to brag about, but the inescapable truth is that in 0-62mph-land, the new R8 V8 Spyder is slower than Audi's own RS3 - 4.8secs plays 4.6secs, in case such knowledge tickles your fancy.
The noise comes as a surprise. The standard Jaguar XKR is a smooth character - not hushed, exactly, but always refined. The new XKR-S is a coughing, cackling, fuel-snorting loon, emitting a metal-edged bellow at any opportunity and mooching around with all the subtlety of a trigger-happy chainsaw operator in a public library.
GENTLEMAN READERS OF TOPGEAR, this is a direct appeal to you - don't flick past this all-new Mercedes SLK road test. We know you've not been interested in them in the past (over 60 per cent of buyers have been female, as opposed to 30 per cent of BMW Z4 buyers), but this one is different. Trust us.
Aston Martin is constantly finding gaps in its product line-up. Last month, it was the Virage; this month, it's the Vantage S, sitting between the V8 and V12 Vantages. Not halfway literally - it hasn't got a V10 or anything - but it does aim to up the standard V8's driver appeal.
Every Focus since 1998 has been a piece of sorcery, a car that gives a huge number of people all the practicality they need at a price they can afford, while mixing in a driving finesse that's often missing in cars selling for multiples of its price. So this road test looked like being a dead cert.
Mercedes is an expert at the blink-and-you'll-miss-it facelift. You're not going to miss this, though - the C-Class's mid-life surgery has transformed the compact executive saloon. With typical Teutonic attention to detail, Mercedes claims 2,000 parts have been changed.
This is surely a case of right car, wrong road. Or vice-versa. In fact, I can't think of a single road in the south of France that might suit the Vauxhall VXR8, except perhaps the A8 autoroute. It certainly didn't look or feel right rumbling along the sea-front at Cannes 30 minutes ago, and I can't imagine it's going to feel much more at home in the mountain-hugging hairpins that lie just ahead.
Last year, TG Road Test Editor Piers Ward was treated to a high-speed pillion lap around the Isle of Man TT course from the legendary John McGuiness. McGuinness, if you're not aware of him, is the man who has won more TT races than any living rider. And Piers is still having therapy now. Not everyone gets that kind of opportunity. But happily, a new feature-length documentary is released this Friday that captures the unique TT blend of exhilaration, terror and sheer balls in glorious 3D.
Since it was added to the Formula One calendar back in 2004, the Chinese GP has been repeatedly criticised for its lack of atmosphere.
Land Rover, the company that kick-started the off-road revolution over 60 years ago, that most rigidly muddy brand in the world, has just launched a two-wheel-drive Freelander, the eD4 - the motoring equivalent of Hunter wellies designing trainers.