Archive for the 'Motoring' Category

Fiat 500, dolce vita personified

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Test driving the Fiat 500Every now and again a car is launched that simply puts a smile on your face. Stepping around it, you can’t seem to get enough of its round, bulbous form, and once seated behind the steering wheel you just want to start the engine and let the fun begin…

At Manifesto we like good design, and this fun little car-about-town proves the point that it doesn’t always revolve around the biggest or most expensive creations. Though measuring just 3,55 metres long by 1,63 wide and 1,49 high, the cinquecento is a well-proportioned bundle of good-natured fun. (more…)

Mini Clubman – Fun on four wheels

Friday, June 10th, 2011

Mini Clubman, photo David TomsSo you may be more accustomed to seeing car reports on Ferraris, Lambos, Bentleys, Rollers and 300k Mercedes, but if articles like this are to do more than allow us to salivate over cars that only a privileged few can really afford then maybe it’s worthwhile to discover that there is a lot of driving fun to had in the affordable price bracket too.

Which is why I decided to focus on the imminent launch of the Mini Clubman, expected to hit showrooms across Europe and America early next year. It seemed appropriate, too, as this pint-sized estate seems just the accessory to take shopping—it looks better on you than a designer handbag and it fits a hell of a lot more goodies too.

But seriously, the Mini Clubman builds on the immense success of the New Mini, as designed by American Frank Stephenson – whose mother was born in Málaga. Incidentally, the very same man who has created the new Fiat 500, also expected to hit showrooms early in 2008. As these two projects bear out, Stephenson is a designer of great ability; a master of retro design, a genre notorious as a minefield. Where so many have failed and created an ill-fated pastiche of nostalgia, Stephenson produced a modern classic with his New Mini, and he seems set to repeat this feat with the new Fiat. (more…)

Bentley Mulsanne

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

The super luxurious Bentley MulsanneAfter decades in the shadow of Rolls Royce limousines, the Bentley has now emerged as a magnificent luxury vehicle in its own right. With the Mulsanne, Bentley is reviving the heyday of the marque.

Not since the legendary Continental of the 1950s have Bentleys looked so good. The renaissance of the brand began with the beautifully styled and engineered Continental, no doubt inspired by its famous namesake. It is good to see that Bentley have built upon the success of that model to allow its design style to evolve into something truly special. That something is the Mulsanne, itself the bearer of a name laden with history, tradition and a reputation for motoring excellence. (more…)

Mondial de l’Automobile

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

The Paris Motor ShowThe biennial Paris Car Show is not just the oldest and one of the largest in the world, but also one of the most glamorous events on the annual car show circuit.

The names are familiar to those of us who love cars. Earl’s Court, London, Geneva, Detroit, Frankfurt and Paris. Along with a growing number of Asian car shows these are the industry’s calling cards, the glamorous occasions when manufacturers from across the world show their imminent new models and the flights of fantasy that designers and engineers have moulded into physical shape. (more…)

The Monty

Monday, January 24th, 2011

The Monte Carlo RallyThough yachting, power boating, tennis and a host of other sophisticated sports feature prominently in Monaco, it is motor sport that above all runs in the veins of this principality.

Over the years Monaco has built up a sporting tradition that far outweighs its size both in terms of area and population. Professional French League football club AS Monaco, the international athletics meets, tennis championships and offshore power boating competitions are fine examples of these, but if you mention sport and Monaco in the same breath the first association will undoubtedly be with motor sport. (more…)