First drive: 500bhp Golf GTI concept

First drive 500bhp Golf GTI concept

What’s THAT?

This is the Volkswagen Design Vision GTI concept; a one-off show car built to a) delight the jolly VW enthusiasts at this year’s Worthersee VW event, b) showcase the future of the Golf GTI, and c) be a complete and utter window-licking loon. Suffice to say, it scores big on all counts.


First drive: Honda Civic Type-R prototype

First drive Honda Civic Type_R prototype

Having bailed out of Formula One and fast cars when a bunch of banking morons tried to take the world back to the Stone Age in 2008, Honda has had a seriously lack-lustre half decade. Now, with the new NSX a year or so away and an F1 engine deal with old partner McLaren locked in from the 2015, that mislaid mojo has been well and truly located.


First drive: Mercedes C 63 AMG Edition 507

First drive Mercedes C63 AMG Edition 507

What's that?

It's called the Mercedes C63 AMG ‘Edition 507', the latter part denoting this car's particular power output. That's 507ps, so around 500bhp. A good, solid, 500bhp. And 43bhp more than the ‘regular' C63's 457, if you can ever call that car normal. It replaces the old ‘Performance Pack' spec C63, and before that the DR520, sitting just underneath the Black Series in the power hierarchy.


First drive: the SRT Viper Time Attack

The SRT Viper again – haven’t we already heard all about that?

Yes, but not this one. This one is called the TA, which stands for Time Attack. The name is derived from the fact that a good chunk of Viper owners buy their cars to use almost exclusively on the growing number of private and public racetracks – over 150 at the last count – across the US. Twenty five per cent of all Viper owners admit to taking their cars to a circuit. 100 per cent, we suspect, said they enjoyed every minute of it.


World exclusive first drive: McLaren P1

Typical. I get to drive a McLaren P1 and the rain is biblical. It's also just been Belgium's first heavy frost of the year, and so the pounding rain is bouncing off a slithery-looking tarmac that couldn't be any less inviting for an £866,000, 903bhp hypercar than if you'd oiled up some ice and lined the road with puppies.


First drive: 270bhp Peugeot RCZ-R

First drive 270bhp Peugeot RCZ_R

What's this, then?

Only the most powerful French car... in the world.


First drive: Audi A3 cabriolet

First drive Audi A3 cabriolet

So, on the last day at work before your holiday, your boss gave you a pay rise. You land at your sun-kissed paradise and go to the hire-car desk. It's time to celebrate with an upgrade from that Citroen C1 you'd originally booked. You're here to cruise, relax, and, heck, make a little fuss of your newfound financial status. May Top Gear suggest the new Audi A3 cabrio?


First drive: the electric Kia Soul

First drive the electric Kia Soul

So what is it?

It's the Soul EV, which is, as your logic faculties may have deduced, an all-electric version of Kia's mini-MPV.


First Drive: Toyota Hilux 6x6

First Drive Toyota Hilux 6x6

A while ago, Jeremy and James bravely drove to the North Pole, conquering everything that nature could throw at them while eating spam and drinking ice_cold G&Ts. All with the help of a Toyota Hilux extensively modified by Icelandic firm Arctic Trucks.


First Drive: Aston Vanquish Volante

First Drive Aston Vanquish Volante

No need to ask what this is, it's the...

New Aston Martin Vanquish Volante, right. It replaces the existing DBS Volante and so sits at the head of the convertible Aston range above the similar-sized DB9 Volante and the smaller Vantage Roadster. As is the way with Astons, even though the look is unmistakably a product of Gaydon's finest, there are loads of little and not so little details that have been changed for the latest car.