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.


First drive: the Jaguar C-X17 crossover

First drive Jaguar C_X17

It's midday in Dubai. As the sun blazes down, the temperature eases its way north of 40 degrees, and the Jaguar C-X17 sits in the shimmering heat haze. Slightly odd to see a concept car out here in the real world. Most are destined for a brief flirtation with reality on a motorshow stand, designed to nebulously ‘articulate a future design direction’ without much point or purpose. Odder still, and better yet, Top Gear is about to drive it.


First drive: new Alfa Romeo Giulietta

First drive new Alfa Romeo Giulietta

It's nice to be back in an Alfa Giulietta again. It's the anti-Golf. There's none of your German reserve and smoothed perfection here. The Alfa looks brilliant. I mean, a Golf looks brilliant too, but it's easy to miss. The Alfa snares your eye.


First drive: new Alfa Romeo MiTo

First drive new Alfa Romeo MiTo

The Alfa MiTo is one of the most intriguing superminis. It looks interesting. It has a fair bit of flair in its cabin. The petrol engines are really striking, with clever technology imparting tax-beating CO2 and a fair bit of driving fizz


First drive: Kia K9

First drive Kia K9

What's that?

It's the Kia K9.


First drive: Caterham Seven 160

Caterham Seven 160

By making arguably the least fashion-oriented car ever, Caterham has managed to ride out every fickle trend and economic speed bump the past four decades has chucked at it. It's ironic, then, that the, erm, ‘new' Seven 160 is a car that chimes perfectly with the times. It's cheap, it's light, and it makes not very much go a ridiculously long way.


First drive: the new Audi A8

First drive the new Audi A8

In the face of the extraordinary new Mercedes S-Class, Audi's small round of faceliftey updates to the A8 seem like a bit of a feeble effort. The S-Class has just kicked the whole luxury-boat class onwards by an entire generation. The A8 is what it always was, plus a few tiny upgrades.


First drive: Litchfield Subaru BRZ Spec S

First drive Litchfield Subaru BRZ Spec S

Am I right in thinking that Subaru BRZ above isn't 100 per cent standard?

Dead right.


First drive: the new Infiniti Q50

First drive the new Infiniti Q50

I suspect Infiniti has two target groups for the Q50. Either people who want an upmarket saloon but just wouldn't dream of hitching themselves to the BMW bandwagon. Or those who've had five 3-series company cars in a row and just, y'know, fancy a change. After all no manufacturer has much hope of going toe-to-toe with the 3-series because it defines the breed. But a good and diverting alternative stands a chance of gathering a keen minority following.


First drive: BMW i3

First drive BMW i3

The BMW i3 isn't built like any other electric car. It's made of different stuff, and its layout is different. Everything about it has been considered and re-thought. Despite the fact it comes from an established car company, its whole approach and execution is amazingly fresh. And so driving it is a mind-cleansing experience too.