Top Gear: In Search of Driving Heaven – Aston Martin Vantage

Welcome to part 2 of our Top Gear, driving heaven segment, in the post we shall look at the car James May drove…. The Aston Martin Vantage.

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Aston Martin V8 Vantage

The V8 Vantage is Aston Martin’s attempt at introducing a car that is more fun and appealing to younger buyers. The result is a very stunning and sporty V8 Vantage. The sporty little car compares with top of line rivals.

The car’s V8 engine is unique to Aston Martin and the car’s VH platform provides a light yet rigid structure. The car boasts a 380bhp engine under the bonnet and class competitive performance. The car can go from 0 to 60mph in four seconds, and the car can reach its top speed of 175mph in only eight seconds.

The car provides excellent handling and braking as well, and has bragging rights with even the best competitors. The Vantage corners well thanks to its centre of gravity which is set behind the front axle.

Aside from the car’s impressive mechanicals and performance the car’s exterior design is gorgeous and the car’s interior follows suit, keeping up with the quality of the rest of the car. The interior is comprised of excellent materials and looks and feels superb.

The sporty little V8 Vantage delivers an excellent all-round package and buyers will find the car to be an amazing amount of fun mixed with loads of style.

Practicality

The V8 Vantage will be an expensive purchase. Running costs, fuel economy and insurance will also be high. Compared to the quality and performance on offer buyers get a lot for their money.

The car was not designed to be spacious. It provides adequate passenger room for comfort, but is limited on the cargo that can be carried. Most passengers should find cabin space adequate though.

The car’s main controls and dials are of excellent quality. Everything is functional and has a good feel. The car’s mixture sporty design and modern technology give the cabin a modern and sporty, yet high-class feel.

The V8 Vantage provides exceptional levels of comfort for a car of this size with so much performance on offer. The car’s seats are very comfortable and the car corners extremely well. Road imperfections are successfully absorbed for the most part.

The car provides excellent accessibility. The car’s doors open wide and provide large apertures for easy access and egress. The car sits low and may pose a problem for some passengers, but for the most part accessibility is unhindered.

Parking the V8 Vantage doesn’t pose a problem. Thanks to the car’s small size and good steering it is easy to maneuver even into the smallest spaces. The car’s side mirrors help out a lot with visibility.

Life Style

The V8 Vantage provides an excellent driving experience. The car offers plenty of performance and power to satisfy even the most die-hard enthusiast. The car’s mechanicals are very impressive and the car is not short in any area. The car delivers exceptional style and class and raises the bar for some well known rivals.

This is not a family car. Obviously the car doesn’t provide enough cabin or boot space to accommodate the needs of a family. The V8 Vantage would be an extremely fun car to have around as a second car.

This is not a good first car. The V8 Vantage will be very tempting for first time buyers, who could afford it, but insurance would be too high and running costs would be high as well. There is simply too much power on hand for novice drivers.

Aston Martin has a very good public image, and the V8 Vantage will do so much to improve that image even more. The company has gone out of their way to make the V8 Vantage the best car in its class. The company has raised the bar for competitors and will experience positive results with the V8 Vantage.

Security and Safety

The car comes equipped standard with a security alarm, an engine immobilizer, and a variety of anti-theft locks and devices. Given the car’s desirability a hefty security package is necessary.

The car’s safety features include twin-front and side airbags, and seat belt pretensioners. The car also boasts side door reinforcement beams. The car comes with a pretty impressive safety package.

The Finishing Touches

The car’s standard audio unit includes a Linn AM/FM Radio With 128-Watts; In-Dash 6-Disc CD Changer. The unit provides excellent sound quality and is easy to use.

The car comes with an impressive combination of leathers, contemporary fabrics and aluminium. Buyers will have an extensive choice of standard body and trim colours to choose from.

Summary

The V8 Vantage is a full blown sports car and will not disappoint. Great care has been taken by Aston Martin to make the car a top performer in all respects. Buyers will not be disappointed in the V8 Vantage and all that the little two-seater has to offer.

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Top Gear: In Search of Driving Heaven – Porsche 911

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One of our favourite episodes of Top Gear is the one where they en devour on a search for ‘Driving Heaven’. One of the cars they looked at was the Porsche 911, here’s our take:

The Porsche 911 has been around for a long time. The 911 has been an important model for many Porsche’s to follow. The 911 has provided an affordable supercar and has become a very familiar name within this sector of the market.

The 911 has evolved and progressed through the years and is even offered in Turbo form. The 911 sports a sensational exterior design, 4X4 mechanicals, and a very competent turbo engine.

The 911 is capable of producing 480bhp and can go from 0-62mph in as little as 3.9 seconds. The 911 provides a fast and stable ride even when pushed hard. The 911 provides a smooth ride and enthusiastic drivers will appreciate the 911’s ability to maintain impressive speeds.

The 911 boasts an excellent build quality and should prove to be as durable as it is fast. Porsche offers the option of ceramic brakes for buyers who intend on pushing the 911 to its full potential.

Practicality

The 911 will be an expensive car to buy and own. Insurance rates will be high and fuel economy will not be good. Maintenance should be routine given Porsche’s reputation for reliability. Buyers should invest in a top of the line security system as well.

The 911 provides comfortable seating for two. The car comes with two rear seats but they are so small that only children could ride with any degree of comfort. The boot provides better space than would be expected and the glove box is fairly large as well.

The modern 911’s boast clearly laid out instrumentation. The controls and dials are large and practically placed. Everything is easy to operate and functional. The sat-nav system is also extremely user-friendly.

The 911’s steering wheel adjusts for both reach and rake. Drivers shouldn’t have any trouble getting comfortable in the supportive and fully adjustable seats. Engine noise is prevalent especially when driven hard but is not likely to annoy Porsche owners.

The 911 can be difficult to park. The driver sits low and may have difficulties judging the car’s extremities. Thankfully steering is light at low speeds and helps out a lot when parking the 911.

Life Style

The Porsche 911 can reach a maximum speed of close to 200mph and boasts close to 500bhp. The 911 provides a stable and decent ride in town and on the open road it delivers a powerful, fast and exhilarating ride.

The 911 would not be a good family car. Even though there are four seats only the front two seats are usable on a regular basis. Cabin space is too limited and boot space is limited as well.

The 911 would not be a good first car either. It is too powerful and too expensive to purchase and run for most first time car buyers. Insurance rates would be too high for most novice drivers too.

Porsche has always had a positive image and a good reputation for manufacturing quality sports cars. Through the years the quality of Porsche’s have improved and more modern technology has been added to keep the 911 fresh.

Safety and Security

The 911’s standard security features include remote central locking, an alarm and an engine immobilizer. Given the 911’s kerb appeal the best security will be a locked garage.

The 911’s standard safety features include an array of airbags, exceptional brakes, and electronic traction aids. The 911 provides excellent braking

The Finishing Touches

The 911’s standard audio features include a radio/CD player. The unit boasts excellent sound quality The unit’s basic controls have been duplicated on the steering wheel for the drivers convenience.

The 911 also comes standard with a variety of exterior colours to choose from. The 911’s interior has a quality look and feel. The over all impression is that the cabin materials are durable and should last.

Summary

The 911 is quite an impressive all-round car. It is comfortable and tame enough to use everyday. Yet, on the open road the 911 is fast and performs with flawless enthusiasm. For those who can afford it the 911 is a fun and practical sports car.

 

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The Fastest Car In The World

The technology in automobiles has evolved at a quite staggering rate over the past century and in particular over the past decade or two. Vehicles now have the capabilities to travel at speeds we would not have thought possible maybe fifty years or so ago. Consequently one of the most – probably the most in many people’s eyes – coveted titles which can be awarded to an automobile today is that of the fastest car in the world. All leading supercar manufacturers across the world strive to produce a car faster than their competitors, but when it comes to the fastest street legal production car in the world there’s one model which has truly been untouchable in recent years: the Bugatti Veyron.

The Veyron has been recorded travelling at a whopping 431km/h (just shy of 268mph) which really puts it into a league of its own. It was originally introduced in 2005, with a Grand Sport version unveiled in 2009 and the Super Sport version making its debut in 2010. It is actually the Super Sport version which currently holds the world record and achieved the 431km/h top speed. To put it into perspective just how staggeringly fast the Veyron is, a Maserati Gransport has a top speed of 180mph (289km/h) while the Lamborghini Murcielago, the company’s flagship model for nearly a decade, can manage 212mph (341km/h) when flat out.

With these figures in mind it is far from surprising that for the pleasure of owning a brand new Bugatti Veyron you’ll have to part with over a million sterling. Yes that’s right, more than £1 million. Even a second hand Bugatti Veyron would be likely to cost you well in excess of £600,000, regardless of how many miles it has covered or which model year it is.

There was a period of uncertainty and controversy surrounding the world record attributed to the Super Sport which started at the beginning of April 2013, following claims from rival manufacturer Hennessey that its Venom GT was the new world’s fastest street legal production car. Hennessey claimed that the Venom GT was capable of 427.6km/h (265.7mph) which was actually 3.4km/h (2.1mph) slower than the Veyron; however Hennessey dismissed the Bugatti’s record on the basis that the Super Sport was actually limited to 415km/h in production form. To record its record top speed of 431km/h the vehicle was driven in an enhanced state of tune which was unavailable to customers.

Following these claims the Guinness World Records stripped the Super Sport of its record and contacted external consultants in order to review the guidelines and ensure there was clarification of what was required to hold the title of the world’s fastest street legal production car.

Eventually the Veyron’s record was reinstated, with the conclusion that an alteration to a car’s speed limiter does not alter the design of the car or its engine.

To reiterate just how expensive it is to drive the engineering phenomenon which truly is the world’s fastest, it would take the majority of us more than twenty years to earn enough to buy a used Bugatti Veyron – and that’s presuming we pay no tax and don’t spend a penny!

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Africa Record Run in sight

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On the 1st of February, British pair, Philip Young and Paul Brace set of on a mammoth journey from Cape Town to London, in the hope that they would set a new record, with the previous record standing at 11 days 14 hrs and 11 minutes.

So far, they are looking good; they are 10 days, 10 hours and 30 minutes into their voyage and they are very close to reaching Calais, where a ferry ride awaits them, before what should be a relatively quick drive from Dover to London, which will see them break the record with time to spare. Whilst this isn’t being documented on the TV, there is plenty of talk about it online and we are sure that it would make for some great viewing, like a Top Gear challenge.

Whist the British duo were not restricted to used cars under £200 as would the Top Gear team, their choice of car may still shock you, as they went for a Fiat Panda baring a Union Jack flag which was no doubt armed to the teeth with extra car parts to help it along the way.

So if down the line you are presented with the option of purchasing a used Fiat Panda which features a Union Jack paint job, make sure you demand full service details and MOT history, as we imagine it has been on quite the ride.

They are doing the run as a way to raise money for a charity known as ‘Farm Africa so it is all for a good cause, and despite some of the more hostile places they have had to travel through, everyone has greeted them with smiles, and their planning that took place beforehand seems to have come off without a hitch.

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Jeremy Clarkson P45 road test

Last week, Jeremy Clarkson road tested the P45, which is claims the title of the world smallest car, and it is absolutely tiny, without enough room for the driver’s arms, or the steering wheel for that matter to fit inside the cars body. Clarkson gives a thorough review of both the benefits and the cons, including the P45’s inability to manage potholes, which will probably result in recurring service charges and the fact that you can whizz through traffic jams as the vehicle is so narrow.

Clarkson’s P45 has everything a car needs in order to be classed as roadworthy, including turn signals, headlights, a helmet/roof and a visor which acts as a windscreen.

Whilst it is indeed a very interesting car, we probably wouldn’t recommend it, even if you only use your vehicle in the city and don’t mind looking like a robot on a quad bike, you maybe be better off getting a used Smart Car.

 

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