First drive: 500bhp VW ‘Superbeetle’

First drive 500bhp VW Superbeetle

What on earth is that?

It’s called the VWVortex ‘Superbeetle’. It’s got 500bhp. 500bhp from a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder TSI engine. It has four-wheel-drive, and a bodykit to make people of a certain persuasion weak at the knees.

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First drive: the Nissan GT-R Nismo

First drive the Nissan GT_R Nismo

What’s this?

You’ll know by now that the Nismo-tuned GT-R has 591bhp and – given the right German and with some Track Pack additions – can lap the Nürburgring in 7:08.679. You’ll also know that the 3.8-litre V6’s power has been boosted from 542 to 591 horsepower, torque’s increased from 465 to 481 lb ft and terminal velocity’s bumped from 196mph to… well, nobody actually knows.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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