Jaguar & Land Rover have confirmed the Jaguar C-X75, Range Rover Sport SVR and Defender Big Foot will feature in the new Bond film SPECTRE. The Jag will be the baddies’ wheels for the main car chase against the Aston Martin DB10 in Rome while the Landies have been spotted in Austria. Jaguar’s press site interestingly refers to C-X75s plural rather than singular. Whether the multiple vehicles will be needed for destructive purposes or if there are a couple of C-X75s chasing/being chased by Bond is something we will have to wait to find out.

Honda have teased the production version of the Civic Type-R. Due for a Geneva reveal, a top speed of 167 mph has been announced thanks to an aerodynamically optimised body kit and almost totally flat underside like a racing car. Brembo have supplied the 350mm front discs and 4 piston calipers that hide behind 19 inch wheels. Power is likely to be over 300 bhp to reach that speed which could make handling tricky without four wheel drive. A launch date set for March 3rd so it won’t be long before VTEC Turbo kicks in. Yo.

The best image yet of McLaren’s 675LT has been leaked by Dutch site Autogespot. As expected, it does look very similar to the current 650S although does have much larger tunnels for the rear diffuser and more aggressive side skirts. The squared off exhausts have been replaced by a couple of round pipes and you can just about make out a tougher looking front bumper. Quite how McLaren will manage the suggested 100kg weight reduction is yet to be seen, my money’s on a stripped out interior and a few tricks from the P1.

If Top Gear are to be believed then every petrolhead should own an Alfa Romeo at least once. This is now even easier with the introduction of two new trims in the MiTo range, Progression and Junior. Progression is the new entry level trim starting at £12,670 and featuring air-con, leather wheel and gearknob, touch screen Bluetooth infotainment and alloy wheels. Junior trim starts at £14,870 and gains 17” wheels, white highlights, foglights, and Junior specific upholstery. There may be newer and better superminis out there but the MiTo is still a looker and a much rarer sight than the ubiquitous Mini.

Nissan have sprayed a Leaf with a fully organic glow in the dark paint said to last 25 years. After absorbing the sun’s UV rays during the day, the car will glow for 8-10 hours at night. Nice and safe but you wouldn’t want it on your drive if you had thin curtains….

Renault are offering their hottest ever warm hatch in the shape of the Megane GT220. Based on the existing GT Line model, it has a 220 bhp version of the RenaultSport 2.0 turbo. 0-60 takes 7.6 seconds with a top speed of 149 mph, figures that would have been properly fast not that long ago. Other upgrades include bigger front brakes, uprated suspension and GT specific body kit. Interestingly, this engine is available on the 5 door hatch and estate as well as the Coupe. I can’t imagine it would be hard to create a RenaultSport rivalling estate. Excellent.

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Those of you that live in London will be pleased to hear that a new and considerably greener black cab has just been licenced by TfL. The all new Metrocab has been developed by Surrey based Frazer-Nash and produces 75% less CO2 (under 50g/km) and the ability to run on electricity only. Should the mains rechargeable battery pack run out of juice, there is a 1.0 litre engine that can generate electricity to power the car and/or charge the batteries. Other features include a panoramic glass roof, a USB charging socket, wheelchair access and air suspension just like a Rolls Royce. The future is here.

Audi have announced pricing for their latest uber hatch, the RS 3. Like the previous model, the new car is fitted with a 2.5 litre 5 cylinder engine driving all 4 wheels. Power is now up to 362 bhp with weight down by 55kg allowing 0-60 in an astonishing 4.3 seconds, the same as a Ferrari 360 Modena. Weapons grade performance doesn’t come cheap though, the basic price is £39,950 although options will take this to over £50k. The big question will be how it handles, the last RS 3 went like stink but was a bit numb. We’ll find out in the summer.

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BMW have moved yet further from their roots with the 2 Series Gran Tourer. Based on the same front wheel drive platform as the new Mini and 2 Series Active Tourer, it provides 7 seats and loads of room whilst still giving ‘genuine driver entertainment’. Seeing the familiar BMW grille and light design on such a cab forward, slab sided MPV is still a little odd but there is no doubting it looks better than the competition. If you need to move lots of people and stuff about but fancy a bit of prestige, this could be well worth a look.

After 4 university friends in New Zealand were forced to sell their battered and broken Series 1 Landy after 15 years of ownership, Land Rover stepped in to make their Valentine’s Day something special. The heartfelt online auction inspired the company to purchase the Landy, carry out a full restoration while leaving the character of the 4×4 intact and then gift it back as part of this year’s celebration of the Defender. Here’s hoping the boys enjoy at least another 15 years exploring in it.

About the author: Alan Taylor-Jones
I've loved cars for as long as I can remember and love to share my passion for them.