AUDI R8 Resistance Leader

You know how everything’s turning into electric SUVs? Not the R8. Not a bit of it.

THE AUDI R8 is a paradoxical supercar, one that brilliantly matches the irresponsibility of a screaming Lamborghini V10 with some 9-to-5 Teutonic dependability. This facelift brings the lightest of exterior tickles and an unchanged interior, but you do get a little more V10 magic. The regular 5.2 gains 33bhp for a total of 533bhp, and the Performance (formerly Plus) stretches by 10bhp to 612bhp, partly thanks to a valvetrain sprinkled with titanium. One engineer said the reality was closer to 650bhp.

Starting from £128,200, both versions are now available in Coupe and Spyder form.

Audi A1 So Much More Than a Posh Polo

AUDI A1 SPORT BACK

Play time is over. Audi’s turned its smallest hatch into a bigger, less cute Mini rival. But has it kept hold of the original’s perky brilliance?

THE FIRST AUDI A1 had a cutesy, compact look, like a tightly laced Converse boot worn by a toddler. Its successor grows by 56mm to 4029mm, which doesn’t sound like much but that stretches it 47mm beyond the already large-looking five-door Mini. When you bear in mind the five-door Sportback we’re testing is the only body style available this time around, it’s clear the second-gen A1 is a more mainstream kind of hatchback shape – more grown up, but less playful-looking too.

Climb inside and the mature feel continues, though few will complain – it’s less cramped up front, with 43mm extra shoulder room, 28mm more elbow room and a smidge more headroom, despite being slightly narrower and lower.

Lexus UX250h, What The UX?

The hardware’s new but it’s put to familiar use in another slightly odd Lexus SUV. By Keith Jones

FEW CARS HAVE such a zeitgeisty moniker as the Lexus UX, the Japanese luxury marque’s most compact of SUVs. Think not of ‘user experience’ but of ‘urban crossover’. It’s one size smaller than the RX, and is clearly angling for a piece of the BMW X1/ Volvo XC40 action, although it’s so lacking in height and the usual crossover ruggedness that if Lexus wanted to talk about it as a hatchback few would quibble. Like the Mercedes GLA and Infiniti QX30, it’s right on the border.

Old-School, Rear-Drive Quick Group Test F-Type et al

The simple things

Hybrid? Self-driving? Nah. While the rest of the world powers ahead at full steam, Jake Groves and these four revel in ravishing, rear-drive, petrol-guzzling retro

NISSAN 370Z

A face only a mother could love?
Hardly; it’s growing old gracefully. The Z’s a modern performance car icon complete with wide, low stance and half a century of heritage.

Audi Q3 Searching for The Elusive Fun Mode

Every box ticked but one

Nobody makes classy, practical SUVs like Audi – and nobody is so reluctant to engineer in some driving pleasure. By Jake Groves

IT ALL STARTS off pretty well with Audi’s new Q3. First impressions are great – it’s a handsome car that updates the previous Q3 to bring it in line with Audi’s latest family look. Minor details like the blocky scrolling indicators and the fact you can spec the same alloys as the RS6 Performance are cool. But ultimately it’s far from striking or ground-breaking, just very nicely done – no more, no less.

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