ALFA NEW CARS, NEW ENGINEERING AND A NEWFOUND CONFIDENCE; SAME GLORIOUS HERITAGE, STYLE AND PERFORMANCE - BRACE YOURSELF FOR ALFA ROMEO'S IRRESISTIBLE RISE
GIULIA QUADRIFOGLIO POWER WITH AN ELECTRIC BOOST - MEET ALFA'S ALL-WHEEL-DRIVE SUPERCAR
DARE TO DREAM. If you could bring any iconic Alfa Romeo back from the dead and update it for the 2020s, which one would it be? Its century-plus of heritage suggests plenty of tempting possibilities, all of them with great names - Disco Volante, Sportiva, Montreal, Tipo 33, Zagato SZ/RZ, GTA...
MAGINE YOU'RE A Formula 1 driver. You get paid millions of pounds to drive one of the fastest cars in the world. You hang out with supermodels and fly around in private jets. Quite simply, you have the best job in the world. So why is Daniel Ricciardo the only F1driver who appears to enjoy himself?
LIMPSE THE 600LT across a swelteringly hot photography studio, the space’s walls and floor an abstract artwork of curated light and shade, and so sinister are the McLaren’s shadows and so purposeful its silhouette that it looks more yet-to-be-stickered racer than evolved road car; a plucky GT4 entry still without sponsorship, not a pre-production prototype. Blame the big fixed rear wing, the stunning multi-spoke wheel/gummy Pirelli Trofeo R tyre combination and the
Toyota’s finally won Le Mans. Now it’s readying the front-engined, rear-drive, straight-six sports car you’ve been waiting for
LOOK PAST THE white, red and black corporate race livery, the Le Mans-ready aero and – if you can – those delicious centre-lock forged racing wheels. Blank out the faintly terrifying rear diffuser, the wheelarches pulled wide by broader tracks front and rear and the full-length, turbo-cooling bonnet vents. This, the GR Supra Racing Concept, is the new Supra: an all-new, fun-focused, rear-drive Japanese sports car of a kind widely thought to be extinct – don’t you believe it.
SATURDAY, SPA. A couple of hun dred yards apart, James Calado and I are struggling in our Ferraris. The World Endurance Championship is in Belgium, at the universally adored Spa-Francorchamps circuit, for the first race of the 2018/2019 super-season. Calado’s racing his 488 GTE Evo; I’ve turned up in an 812 Superfast.
RITS LOVE AN A-Class. Last year 43,000 of them found homes in the UK, continuing a pattern going back several years. Naturally some of those earlier buyers will be looking to replace their A-Class soon, and the new, significantly more upmarket A-Class would be an obvious place to start. You’d of course look at a VW Golf too, it being the eternal benchmark for classy hatches. And what else would you look at? How about a Volvo XC40?
FROM A SLIDE-HAPPY NEW FIESTA ST TO A YARIS THAT THINKS IT’S A RALLY CAR, 2018 IS THE YEAR OF THE HOT HATCH. BUT WHICH IS THE HOTTEST OF THE LOT?
WE’VE NEVER HAD it so good. If ever there was a hot hatch golden age, it’s right now. From chilli-pepper city cars to superhero superminis, road-legal rally reps to Porsche-slaying hyper-hatches, brilliant driver’s cars occupy every corner of the modern hatchback kingdom.
A good excuse for a party if ever there was one, so we’ve brought together eight of the best, in celebration and with the aim of crowning a king.
The rules? There are no rules: size doesn’t matter, and neither does price – simply put, which is the best to drive? Which most comprehensively stuffs every mile with good clean fun? Replacement tyres at the ready, let’s go.