Tag Archives: Cars

How AMG Is Keeping Mercedes, The German Juggernaut, Exciting

Mercedes is considered to be one of the world’s premiere luxury car makers. Even their entry level cars, like the A-Class, are fitted with amazing tech and made to a high quality. But Mercedes isn’t just one big, homogenous company. It’s an ecosystem of boutique suppliers and niche service providers.

Perhaps the most famous and most important of these is AMG, the performance arm of the company. AMG is like a company within a company. It finds its ways into all sorts of Mercedes cars, making them more exciting and more powerful. Although the name itself doesn’t suggest much, AMG are they guys and girls putting the fun into the brand.

Right now, fun is what Mercedes needs. Take away the AMG element, and you’re left with an otherwise run-of-the-mill lineup. It’s been a while since we saw a non-AMG Mercedes receive general critical acclaim. Most accolades in the SUV department, for instance, didn’t go to Mercedes’ GLA, they went to rival BMW’s X3.

Fortunately, Mercedes has a joker up its sleeve in the form of AMG. AMG have been supercharging Mercedes cars for over 25 years. And they’re not showing any signs of stopping. In fact, you can find AMG branding plastered over almost every category of high-end Mercedes car today.

mercedes-amg-logo

AMG first proved their muscle with “The Red Pig” back in 1971. This wasn’t a road car – it was a racing car on the European scene. AMG turned the competition on its head that year, by producing a car that had a 6.3-litre engine and dominated smaller rivals, like Alfa Romeo. Since then AMG has gone from strength to strength producing some of the best cars out there right now. However, of the many branded AMG Mercedes, two stand out as excellent.

goodshoutmedia-amg-gt.jpg

AMG GT

The AMG GT started showing up at approved dealers, like Eastern Western Motor Group, last year. And it represents a true return to form for the Mercedes brand. Up until last year, Mercedes didn’t have anything that could take on the likes of the Porsche 911, or the BMW Z series. Sure, there were the SL55 and the SL65 AMG grand tourers. But these cars were more targeted at the luxury end of the market, rather than on pure racing performance. AMG saw that Mercedes needed a car that could match up to, and even exceed its rivals.

The AMG GT and the GT-S are unique in the history of Mercedes. Both were designed and produced entirely by AMG itself. And boy, does it show. When the time came to review the car, practically everyone in the automotive press fell in love with it. They loved the sleek lines and the aggressive styling. They loved the luxurious interior, decorated with all the high-tech gizmos for which Mercedes are famous. And, more than anything, they enjoyed the performance, which is impressive. Of course, the car didn’t come cheap. But in many ways, that doesn’t matter. What is important is that AMG has finally given Mercedes something we can all get a little bit excited about.

AMG’s new supercar will rocket drivers from 0 to 60 in 4 seconds flat. And it’ll keep going up to 193 mph on the German autobahn.

goodshoutmedia-amg-gtr

The other car in Mercedes’ arsenal, all thanks to AMG, is the C63. Back in the 1990s, Mercedes made big inroads into the luxury saloon market with their E-Class cars. Now AMG has worked its magic on the C-Class. And, yet again, they’ve pulled it off. The C63 comes with a twin-turbocharged four-litre engine that roars when you put your foot down. And according to most who have driven the car, the engine is to die for.

 

That, of course, should come as no surprise. The engine used in the C63 is actually the same engine that is used in the GT. It’s got the same 503 bhp and the same 700 Nm of torque. And despite the fact that the C63 isn’t a thoroughbred racer, it’ll get to sixty in the same time – 4.0 seconds dead.

Mercedes-AMG has been very smart, however, with the styling on this beast. It’s reminiscent of the styling one might find on a luxury Jaguar or Audi. It is, in many ways, understated, relative to the performance it can produce. Under the hood, it’s a raging beast. And yet, no executive would look out of place driving it.

 

As a result, AMG has blown the market for high-end Mercedes wide open. There are options for petrol heads who just love powerful, pinup cars. And there are also choices for those who want AMG under the hood without having to shout about it.

mercedes-amg-c63-estate-goodshoutmedia.jpg

 

Why The Toyota RAV4 Still Deserves Its Place In The Pantheon Of Good C-SUVs

Ask many enthusiasts and you will find a consensus that the RAV4 has slipped off its pedestal a bit. Toyota themselves look like they’re putting their focuses elsewhere. Despite the fact that it was an original pioneer of its class. It wasn’t exactly a dream car, sure; but with over 4.5 million units sold it has long maintained a staunch niche as the very center of C-SUV in terms of measurements, but it has been falling behind. But what about 2016’s hybrid model? Does it still hold up, and can it win back some of the fans that fell in love with the cheeky little ‘Rav in the first place?

goodshoutmedia-mk1-toyota-rav-4

First, let’s talk about power. It’s 2.5L hybrid petrol engine will take you from 0-60 in ten seconds. Not exactly fast and furious, but definitely acceptable for the car’s class. With a touted 34mpg in the city and 31mpg on the highway, the Americans are sure to love the frugality of the thing… Although for Europeans, the days of 35mpg being acceptable flew in the face of the fuel price rises of the last twenty years.

The Business Edition Plus ups the ante with the specification on offer, coming with luxuries such as reversing camera, multimedia system with sat nav, DAB radio, climate control, front fog lamps and intelligent rain and dusk sensors… With plenty of value for money, too. Not bad, considered a new Toyota from RRG offers a quality ride, refined equipment levels and still comes in at the sub £30k price bracket.

goodshoutmedia-toyota-rrg-business-edition

Although the ride of the Rav 4 may be more refined than the original, it isn’t that exciting. Not by any stretch of the imagination. It’s the most powerful RAV4 yet but that’s not saying all that much. Not that you entirely want to use all that power, either. Just watch the fuel economy take a dip when you start driving at anything more than a leisurely pace. The worst offences of the RAV4 are all in the interior, however. Particularly in the controls. Not the most responsive or impressive touchscreen. It seems like Toyota are still relying on the initial wow factor of that feature’s first release, which, to be honest, is long past it’s sell by date. Worst of all, still, is the placement of the sports, EV and EVO buttons. We hope you like reaching down past your right knee. Because there, tucked under the touchscreen, is where you will find them…!

That said, what it lacks in excitement and intuitive tech, it makes up for in smart utility. It’s no longer the middle of the road SUV in terms of storage. A decent 100mm has been added to the wheelbase, giving you more practically for the reasonably sized car with a roomier interior. Add a roomy, comfortable cabin and an elastic gearbox you have a car that is just plain easy to drive.

goodshoutmedia-2016-toyota-rav-4.jpg

The RAV4 won’t be wowing anyone. It has some clunky interior design and there are better off-road drives available for its price range. But good quality, comfort and practical thinking (besides the tech) make it a worthy buy. On the pantheon of C-SUVs, it’s a lesser god, certainly. It still remains popular, and some people find fun in it. It’s a comfortable, safe choice that’s not worthy of regret. Deal with the initial frustration of getting used to unintuitive design and you have a nice, breezy drive.

Dream cars that are actually a total nightmare

We all have that one dream car. It’s the vehicle that was plastered across our bedroom walls when we were younger. In our twenties, we might have started to save up for it, but we were sidetracked. Having children and other expenses tend to get in the way of going after the dream machines… For us, it was always the Ford Escort RS Cosworth, an iconic Fast Ford and the dream car for a generation of petrolheads.

goodshoutmedia-1992-ford-escort-rs-cosworth.jpg

For those of you who never quite managed to save up the pennies, we have good news. Those cars that you desperately desired? They were probably nightmares on wheels, and we’re about to show you why.

High Insurance Costs

This always happens. You save up the money to buy your dream car. You finally reach your target and head down to your nearest dealer to pick it up. It’s just as beautiful as you imagined. It handles perfectly, and you feel like a winner driving it around. Then, you start to look into the insurance and find in ten years; it will have cost as much as the car!

What wonderful machine is guilty of this minor flaw?

Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes-Benz? The AMG range of Mercedes-Benz cars are high performance machines, some of which are capable of phenomenal performance thanks to their large displacement supercharged engines. For this reason, a high performance Benz really is a dream car. In a recent survey, the popular Mercedes-Benz CLS was found to be one of the most expensive to insure on the market…! That might put a dark cloud over your supercar daydream…

goodshoutmedia-2012-mercedes-cls-amg.jpg

More time behind the wheel… or on the hard shoulder

There are plenty of reliable cars on the market, but for some of us, reliable means boring! Sure, it might break down on every second journey, have a temperamental V12 and the electronics might have a mind of their own, but that’s all part and parcel of owning a hand made, hand crafter supercar. After all, if you want reliability, go and buy a Vauxhall Astra. Yawn.

However, it’s not just the extreme exotic cars that are known for poor reliability. Porsche’s stellar reliability record has taken a beating with the last few incarnations of the 911, scoring a 39% failure rate in a recent reliability survey. That’s quite high and slots quite low down in the list of reliable cars. You’ll be taking your Porsche to a car servicing garage at least once a year, by the sound of it – might be easier to go for the one below, instead… Much cheaper to maintain!

goodshoutmedia-playmobil-porsche-911.jpg

Darling, the fuel light is on… Again

If you’ve saved the money for your dream car then the price of petrol might not be something that bothers you, but with the latest raft of hybrid cars getting faster and more performance oriented, will more enthusiastic drivers be lusting after hybrids in years to come? Well, most petrolheads don’t daydream about hybrids as their dream cars, but with the BMW i8 and Porsche’s rumoured hybrid beast coming in a year or so, all that could be about to change.

goodshoutmedia-ferrari-f12-mpg.jpg

When it comes to fuel efficiency, a general rule of thumb is ‘more fun, more fuel’. That’s certainly true for two of the most exotic cars available… The Lamborghini Aventador Roadster and the Ferrari F12. These supercars might be fun on the race track, but try to use your Italian exotica to pop to the shops and you’ll soon be emptying your wallet… Single-figure MPG, maintenance costs, tyres… It all adds up,  plus, you’ll have to deal with crowds of snap-happy people wanting to take selfies with your ride, and who’s got time for that?

Four things we’ve learnt about track days

 

goodshoutmedia-bmw-e36-topgear-top-gear-m3

When Top Gear was still great, we used to love watching the trio whizz around the tracks in fast cars. In fact, watching them probably encouraged quite a few boy and girl racers to have a go themselves on the track. There, you can put the pedal to the medal and break free from the clutches of road laws. Now, you’re Mad Max, road warrior. Off the road and on the track, ready to inflict some real damage. Or, can you? You might have thought that driving a car on a track means the ultimate form of racing freedom. Well, it’s time to come back down to earth. Here are some facts they left out all the episode of Top Gear.

You’ll Wear Out Your Tyres…Fast

Driving hard on the road or track will wear your tyres down quickly. On a track day, you can expect to scrub out a set of tyres in far less time than you would on the road. How much you wear your tyres will still depend on your driving style and the car, but pretty much any vehicle will munch through tyres at an alarming rate. There isn’t really any respite for fans of Front Wheel Drive or Rear Wheel Drive, both set ups will put strain on front and rear tyres whilst scrabbling for grip and acceleration and during cornering.

Setting up your car for the track day can also increase tyre wear. That extra camber or toe-in you’ve dialled in to achieve faster lap times is also going to help wear your tyres faster and more unevenly than normal.

If you intend to drift your car, you’re going to need a stack of spare tyres, especially if you intend driving home from the track!

You Will Damage Your Car (Probably)

Whether you’re racing other drivers or racing against your own track time, if you’re pushing it to the limit then there’s a good chance you’ll damage your car. Track days are strictly non-contact, but accidents can happen. Thankfully, tracks are a relatively safe place to practice your skills thanks to the large run off areas, specially designed barriers and lack of road furniture such as bus stops and kerb stones, but even so, nicks and scrapes can be expected. A run off into the gravel might leave your car aesthetically unscathed, but it’s easy to tear out suspension and chassis components when you’ve misjudged the apex and gone careening across the grass… Flying debris from other cars can also be a problem, so it’s worthwhile not being too precious about your paintwork on a track day…

You’ll Need Special Track Day Insurance

Never presume that your standard insurance cover will provide adequate back up on a track day. Insurers don’t take kindly you booting your car around a closed circuit on a Saturday afternoon, so you’ll need proper insurance cover for your track car, whether it’s your daily driver or a purpose built weekend toy.

You may be surprised what you’re up against…

Your £1500 track day machine might seem like a rocket ship when it’s at the build stage, but you may be surprised by what you find at the track. Aside from the usual cohort of BMW E36 / Citroen Saxo VTR / Renault Clio Sports, track days are also used by more well heeled drivers to try their skills. Porsches, Lamborghinis and high end sports cars will be in abundance, as well as the odd track-only car such as the Caparo T1 which famously caught fire whilst being tested by Jason Plato. Fingers crossed it won’t be YOUR car that goes up in smoke!

goodshoutmedia-bmw-e36-nurburgring-track-car

A BMW E36 M3 Evolution is a safer investment than property

If you can find one… And we have.

This BMW M3 3.2 Evolution is an exceptional example, having covered just 111,000 miles from new. It’s spent much of it’s life in storage, and even has the original service schedule and dealer sticker in the window.

Not only that, but this car has extensive paperwork, including the pre-delivery inspection sheet from the factory.

As you read this, we may have already re-homed this car, but if you are REALLY serious about buying one of the best BMW E36 M3 Evolution Convertibles in the country, then contact us through the usual channels… We know where it is.

Offers in the £8000 region (March 2016… We bet by March 2018 that looks a steal)

Should you buy a BMW M5? Yes you should.

What has a 4.4 litre V8 engine, goes 0-62mph in 4.3 seconds, can carry four adults in comfort and even has space for luggage?

Well, a BMW M5. This incredible beast has to be seen to be believed. On the outside it’s relative inconspicuous, there’s only a few styling tweaks that give the game away, but underneath the bonnet there’s a fire breathing dragon.

Should you buy a BMW M5? Well, if you love the way a big V8 engine sounds, like a car that accelerates likes a scalded cat and don’t want to compromise, then yes.

If you’re scared of going fast, don’t like loud noises and find harsh acceleration unnerving, then it’s probably not the car for you.

Imperial Car Supermarkets have one for sale, and it’s beautiful. Check it out here.

Your dream Porsche is actually a Porsche

Not an Audi, as mentioned previously.

The evening started pleasantly enough, we took the TT over to Stourport, ambled around, ate chips, strolled by the river. Standard stuff. Luckily my passenger enjoyed the heavy use of the loud pedal so the journey back was spritely…

At a set of traffic lights on the journey home, there it was…

The road stretched ahead of us as we sat and watched vehicles join us from the left, waiting our turn to continue onward. Sneaking through the lights at the last moment, we saw it. The lights went green for us and naturally we gave chase. The TT caught up and the four rings of the Audi badge almost kissed the Turbo insignia below the spoiler of the 2007 911. Dark blue, with dark wheels, we both floored it up the hill to the roundabout; he took the right hand lane and us the left, cheekily accelerating around him on the outside as we joined the dual carriageway. We hadn’t intended to overtake, we’d expected him to turn right towards the motorway, but at the last moment he snuck in behind us, following us down the dual carriageway.

With the TT now ahead, the 911’s headlights filled the rear view mirror – he must have been a hairs breadth from our license plate. We politely moved into the left hand lane, as if some imaginary race steward was frantically waving a blue flag in our direction. The Porsche pulled alongside to overtake and at that moment the planets aligned.

The traffic lights ahead turned red.

Both cars rolled to a stop, staring at a full half mile of uphill, empty dual carriageway.

Pulse racing from the TT’s cheeky, unintentional overtaking manouvre at the roundabout; I hit the switch and lowered the electric window. Everything happened in slow motion. I looked over at the Porsche driver with the biggest grin on my face, and he looked back at me, beaming in agreement. There was no malice between us, no aggression, no disrespect – just a love for the vehicles in which we sat and a joyful acknowledgement of the situation that was unfolding.

We both knew what was about to happen.

We both knew it was ON.

The lights went Orange, and then Green…

The 911 paused for a slit second and I let the clutch out as fast as I dare whilst nailing the throttle – the TT launched, all four wheels clamouring for grip as we bounced off the rev limiter through first and second… The noise from both vehicles was incredible.

We hadn’t made it to third gear before the Porsche rocketed past us.

The roar of the boxer engine and the wail of its turbo filled the TT as the Porsche bellowed up the hill. With the TT still going through the gears at pace the Porsche was gone, at unbelievable velocity the taillights disappeared up the hill and across the roundabout. Despite our best efforts to use the cornering abilities of the TT, by the time we’d crossed the roundabout and hit the second straight of the dual carriageway the Porsche was long gone.

The 225bhp of the TT was no match for the 400bhp produced by the Porsche’s mighty 3.6 litre unit. It wasn’t a massacre, we put up a fight, but the TT was shown its place in the pecking order, given a good solid trouncing by its German cousin.

The TT was still accelerating in fifth gear when my thoughts turned to last weeks ‘Your dream Porsche is an Audi blog’. I turned to my passenger, (who hadn’t read the blog) laughed to myself, and explained the irony of the situation.

Everything had changed in less than a minute.

Your dream Porsche is an Audi until a Porsche comes along and reminds you that your dream Porsche is still a Porsche, for reasons that facts, figures and finance can’t explain.

Motoring is about passion, it’s an insatiable desire, its about design, engineering, and that little extra something… you can’t quantify the experience of nights like tonight, there is no star rating system to dictate how much a car will make your pulse race.

I’ve loved the TT, I’m seriously considering selling the Mondeo and jumping into Audi land.

But one day, sometime in future… it HAS to be a 911.

Written by Joe in June 2013

2007-Porsche-911-Turbo-goodshoutmedia

A Rundown of the Full Lotus Model Range

Lotus Silverstone (Race and Service Centre) are offering 2 Years 0% APR 50/50 Finance on Brand New Lotus Elise, Exige and Evora models, plus 3 years / 27,000 miles free of charge servicing.

This caught our eye over on Twitter, and it’s a killer time to be buying a Lotus with deals like that flying around.

We decided to learn more about the range before placing an order. Here’s what we discovered:

ELISE MODEL RANGE:

Lotus Elise

1.6 / naturally aspirated / 134bhp / £30,900

Lotus Elise

The Elise is the basic model in the range, with a naturally aspirated 1.6 litre 16v VVT-i engine.

Weight: 876kg

0-60mph: 6.0 seconds

0-100mph: 18.6 seconds

Max Speed: 127mph

MPG: Urban 34 / Extra Urban 56 / Combined 45

Lotus Elise Club Racer

1.6 / naturally aspirated / 134bhp / £30,900

lotus-elise-club-racer-goodshoutmedia

The Elise Club Racer is the 1.6 litre Elise on a diet.

Lotus have shaved 19kg off the standard car by using lightweight wheels, as well as ditching the airbag assembly. Oh, and the roof, so you’ll need a hat. It uses the naturally aspirated 1.6 litre 16v VVT-i engine.

Weight: 857kg

0-60mph: 6.0 seconds

0-100mph: 18.6 seconds

Max Speed: 127mph

MPG: Urban 34 / Extra Urban 56 / Combined 45

Lotus Elise S

1.8 / supercharged / 217bhp / £37,200

lotus-elise-s-goodshoutmedia

The Elise S steps things up a notch with a Supercharged 1.8 litre VVT-i 16v engine.

(If you haven’t guessed already, the S stands for Supercharged)

Although the larger engine and supercharger assembly make for a heavier car, given that the 0-60 time comes down by almost 2 seconds and the top speed goes up by almost 20mph, the Elise S is the one we’d go for.

Weight: 924kg

0-60 mph: 4.2 seconds

0-100 mph: 11.2 seconds

Max speed: 145 mph

MPG: Urban 27.3 / Extra Urban 47.6 / Combined 37.5

Lotus Elise S Club Racer

1.8 / supercharged / 217bhp / £37,200

lotus-elise-s-club-racer-goodshoutmedia

The Elise S Club Racer is the 1.8 litre supercharged Elise S on a diet.

Remember we said S stands for Supercharged?

Well, in this case it stands for ‘Shhhhhiiiiiitttttt this thing is quick’.

It has the same 19kg weight reduction as the Elise CR, but uses the Supercharged 1.8 litre VVT-i 16v engine, and can be specified as ‘Track Day Use Only’, which includes a light weight battery, TRD Airbox, sports exhaust and 18 Go-Pro mounts. (That bit isn’t true, you’d have to buy the Go Pro mounts yourself)

Weight: 905kg

0-60mph: 4.2 seconds

0-100mph: 11.2 seconds

Max Speed: 145mph

EXIGE MODEL RANGE:

Lotus Exige S

3.5 litre / supercharged / 345bhp / £54,500

lotus-exige-s-goodshoutmedia

Mid mounted, supercharged 3.5 litre DOHC V6 VVT-i engine

It might be fast as hell but we really think Green does this car no favours…

Weight: 1176kg

0-60mph: 3.8 secs

Max Speed: 170mph

MPG: Urban 19.5 / Extra Urban 37.2 / Combined 28

Lotus Exige S Roadster

3.5 litre / supercharged / 345bhp / £55,000

lotus-exige-s-roadster-2-goodshoutmedia

Mid mounted, supercharged 3.5 litre DOHC V6 VVT-i engine

Well, it turns out that when you whip the roof off, the Exige S Roadster is really quite the looker.

Take a look at the photos below, go on, have a good old stare. Gorgeous, isn’t it? Now scroll back up and look at the green hardtop. Yup, feel a bit sick? We have no idea why anyone would order one of these with a roof. It’s basically perfect in grey with red leather. Those seats, that ass… This is a seriously sexy looking motorcar.

Weight: 1166kg

0-60mph: 3.8 secs

Max Speed: 145mph

MPG: Urban 19.5 / Extra Urban 37.2 / Combined 28

EVORA MODEL RANGE:

Lotus Evora

3.5 litre / naturally aspirated / 276bhp / £63,950

lotus-evora-goodshoutmedia

3.5 litre DOHC V6 VVTi 24-valve with 6 speed manual transmission

Weight: 1383kg

0-60mph: 4.8 seconds

Max Speed: 163mph

MPG: Urban 21.5 / Extra Urban 39.6 / Combined 30.3

Lotus Evora S

3.5 litre / supercharged / 345bhp / £63,950

lotus-evora-s-goodshoutmedia

Supercharged 3.5 litre DOHC V6 VVTi 24-valve with 6 speed manual transmission

Weight: 1437kg

0-60mph: 4.4 seconds

Max Speed: 178mph

MPG: Urban 19.9 / Extra Urban 37.7 / Combined 28.7

Evora Sports Racer

3.5 litre / either or / £67,900

Evora-Sports-Racer-masthead

Available as either naturally aspirated or supercharged engine, the Evora Sports Racer ‘Sports Pack’ provides switchable sports mode with sharper throttle response, increased rpm limit and sportier setting for Dynamic Performance Management (DPM), sports diffuser and cross-drilled brake discs.

Basically, marketing spiel aside, this is the badboy you want. Just look at the details! Yes, sign us up. We want this one, in white and black. Forget the bright colours and subtle silvers, it needs big black wheels, black roof and red brake calipers.

Making Sense of the Current Lotus range: Elise

Lotus Silverstone (Race and Service Centre) are offering 2 Years 0% APR 50/50 Finance on Brand New Lotus Elise, Exige and Evora models, plus 3 years / 27,000 miles free of charge servicing.

This caught our eye over on Twitter, and it’s a killer time to be buying a Lotus with deals like that flying around.

We decided to learn more about the range before placing an order. Here’s what we discovered:

Lotus Elise – 1.6 / naturally aspirated / 134bhp / £30,900

Lotus Elise

The Elise is the basic model in the range, with a naturally aspirated 1.6 litre 16v VVT-i engine.

Weight: 876kg

0-60mph: 6.0 seconds

0-100mph: 18.6 seconds

Max Speed: 127mph

MPG: Urban 34 / Extra Urban 56 / Combined 45

Lotus Elise Club Racer – 1.6 / naturally aspirated / 134bhp / £30,900

lotus-elise-club-racer-goodshoutmedia

The Elise Club Racer is the 1.6 litre Elise on a diet.

Lotus have shaved 19kg off the standard car by using lightweight wheels, as well as ditching the airbag assembly. Oh, and the roof, so you’ll need a hat. It uses the naturally aspirated 1.6 litre 16v VVT-i engine.

Weight: 857kg

0-60mph: 6.0 seconds

0-100mph: 18.6 seconds

Max Speed: 127mph

MPG: Urban 34 / Extra Urban 56 / Combined 45

Lotus Elise S – 1.8 / supercharged / 217bhp / £37,200

lotus-elise-s-goodshoutmedia

The Elise S steps things up a notch with a Supercharged 1.8 litre VVT-i 16v engine.

(If you haven’t guessed already, the S stands for Supercharged)

Although the larger engine and supercharger assembly make for a heavier car, given that the 0-60 time comes down by almost 2 seconds and the top speed goes up by almost 20mph, the Elise S is the one we’d go for.

Weight: 924kg

0-60 mph: 4.2 seconds

0-100 mph: 11.2 seconds

Max speed: 145 mph

MPG: Urban 27.3 / Extra Urban 47.6 / Combined 37.5

Lotus Elise S Club Racer – 1.8 / supercharged / 217bhp / £37,200

lotus-elise-s-club-racer-goodshoutmedia

The Elise S Club Racer is the 1.8 litre supercharged Elise S on a diet.

Remember we said S stands for Supercharged?

Well, in this case it stands for ‘Shhhhhiiiiiitttttt this thing is quick’.

It has the same 19kg weight reduction as the Elise CR, but uses the Supercharged 1.8 litre VVT-i 16v engine, and can be specified as ‘Track Day Use Only’, which includes a light weight battery, TRD Airbox, sports exhaust and 18 Go-Pro mounts. (That bit isn’t true, you’d have to buy the Go Pro mounts yourself)

Weight: 905kg

0-60mph: 4.2 seconds

0-100mph: 11.2 seconds

Max Speed: 145mph

MPG: Urban 27.3 / Extra Urban 47.6 / Combined 37.5

lotus-elise-pool-goodshoutmedialotus-elise-racer-goodshoutmedia

Of course, it had to be the Ford Escort RS Cosworth Rally set, featuring the legendary Michelin Pilot model

Things to spend a student loan on: Scalextric

You’ve moved out of your parents house, the government has just deposited £1200 (or there abouts) in your bank account and all you have to do until the next payment is attend some lectures, feed and water yourself and keep a roof above your head.

Anyone who says school days are the best of your life clearly hasn’t been to university.

Joe chose to go to Falmouth University to study English. Being a harbour town on the far end of the country, close to beaches and with arguably more sunshine than any other university, it seemed like a great place to spend three years.

One evening after a few too many Rattler Cornish Ciders, Joe and the lads decided it was time to replace the television with a huge Scalextrics set… A week later, and a few hundred pounds lighter in the pocket, this was the result:

Monaco comes to Falmouth

The photos are a bit rubbish, but then camera phones were in those days!

Of course, it had to be the Ford Escort RS Cosworth Rally set, featuring the legendary Michelin Pilot model

Of course, when browsing eBay for suitable Scalextric sets, it just had to be the Ford Escort RS Cosworth Rally set, featuring the legendary Michelin Pilot model. We bought 2 of these, along with a couple of other sets to make the huge track.

With plenty of time on our hands, we were able to create a 'Works' car, sponsored by Falmouth & Porthtowan Surf School, whom Joe happened to be working for at the time. Freeriders Surf Shop also featured prominently in the 'free stickers' draw of Joe's cupboards.

With plenty of time on our hands, we were able to create a ‘Works’ car, sponsored by. Freeriders Surf Shop…

The banked corners proved a lot of fun

The banked corners proved a lot of fun… Although one of the Cosworths would stick like glue where the other would launch itself across the room

The Ford Fiesta XR2i Scalextrics Car wasn't very popular, was sluggish and for some reason just didn't handle very well...

The Ford Fiesta XR2i Scalextrics Car wasn’t very popular, was sluggish and for some reason just didn’t handle very well…