Of all the new cars that I test drove in 2011, here are six (in no particular order) that I remember most:
I had this car with me for Valentine’s Day and it was a brief ‘love affair’ that I will remember. Spin the throttle of the IS-F and you get the performance of a compact luxury sedan. The eight-speed direct shift transmission in the IS-F is a world’s first and by the way, the F in its name is actually a representation of the significant role of Fuji Speedway in the development of the high-performance IS sedan.
Renault Megane Renaultsport 250
The turbocharged RS250 is one of the easiest manual cars to drive, especially with its six-speed manual gearbox (PK4) that has higher ratios and shifts faster and more accurately. Its wider wheel arches and enlarged air intake on the front bumper, along with the Formula 1-type aerodynamic blade, gives the hatch an aggressive stance and do-not-mess-with-me look. Rev-happy, adrenalin-pumping and intensely-orgasmic are just some of the words that describe my RS250 drive.
Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet
The Golf Cab might seem more of a ladies’ car, but it is one that scores well with the guys as well. It is pretty much as its name suggests —the signature Golf hatchback from the German carmaker but with a retractable soft roof. Convertibles are usually sleek and stylish with some compromise on the practicality factor mostly due to limited backseat and boot space, but here comes along a practical and cute cabriolet!
BMW M3 Coupe
Driving the M3 is an absolute pleasure — with a firm grip on the steering wheel and a comfortable seat position, you gain a huge sense of confidence in corners or tight turns. Feedback from the ground is sharp and the M3 helps you to read its feet well so as to take the line better. Its 420bhp of power plus 400Nm of torque is not too mind-blowing for a pair of petite female hands to handle. The M3 is capable of being monstrous, menacing and merciless, but it can also be reassuring, relaxing and really reliable in the right hands.
The DS3 is a three-door supermini from the French carmaker debuted for the very first time in 2009, with no relation to the Citroen DS that ended its run almost four decades ago. A looker indeed, the DS3 has a different sort of appeal — one that is funky and cool with a soft touch to it. This entry-level premium French hatchback has a completely new design fresh from the drawing board, built on the C3 platform and bears really unique and eye-catching visual features like the vertical LED front lights.
When something is good-looking, you just cannot stop looking at it. In some instances of course you cannot keep staring (like if you see a pretty girl standing next to you), but when I took the Peugeot RCZ for a test drive, my five minutes with it was spent just staring at the car. White is a good colour for it and flatters its sexy curves that roll around the car. Interestingly, this is a Peugeot that has no numbers in its model name.
*This was first published on Yahoo!