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.

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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

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First drive: Kia K9

First drive Kia K9

What's that?

It's the Kia K9.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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First drive: Aston Martin V12 Vantage S

First drive Aston Martin V12 Vantage S

The Aston Martin Vantage V12 S, the most aggressive version yet of the junior range. With plenty of other, more softly tuned versions in the line up, AM has gone to town on the V12 S to make it the most rip-snorting, thuggish car they could build. And they haven't done too bad a job.

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First drive: McLaren 12C GT3 racer

First drive McLaren 12C GT3 racer

As a road car based Formula, GT3 kind of lulls you into a false sense of security. These cars look familiar, which gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling. Yes, the road car in question here is the McLaren 12C, which is so fast and so blazingly hi-tech that the racing rules and requirement for what's known as ‘balance of performance' mean that the race car version is actually 126bhp less powerful than the one Joe Schmo can buy. Crazy but true.

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