Volkswagen Golf R vs BMW M135i vs Mercedes A 45 AMG

Two generations of the R32 were all it took to cement the latterly named Golf R's legendary reputation in the early 2000s. Devoid of ghastly bodykits, racing stripes and hilariously oversized aftermarket alloys, the R took what made the Golf one of the best handling hatchbacks on the market, tweaked the power,… » 10/08/14 12:08am 10/08/14 12:08am

Volkswagen Beetle. DRIVEN

It's almost unthinkable to say this, but I never really was a fan of the Volkswagen Beetle. Certainly the original 'people's car' was characterful thanks to its circular headlights, curved bonnet and unflappable simplicity (and Herbie did no harm either). But I never really warmed to it. To me the Beetle was the mark… » 9/19/14 12:53am 9/19/14 12:53am

McLaren 650S Spider. DRIVEN

Last year, McLaren's brand new 650S arrived on the automotive scene with arguably more to prove than any supercar in recent memory. As the second 'mainstream' model to roll off Woking's production line, the 650S took everything that was great about its first sports car and made it even better, ironing out the wrinkles… » 9/09/14 12:57am 9/09/14 12:57am

Mercedes S-Class and S 63 AMG Coupe. DRIVEN

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class has always been the technological wunderkind. I've had the good fortune of steering a few elder generations of the Sonderklasse long after their release, and have always been amazed that the technology equipped within these 10-15 year old luxury barges hasn't felt out-dated, or in any way… » 9/03/14 12:25am 9/03/14 12:25am

‘NEW’ Volkswagen Scirocco R & 2-litre TSI. Driven

For a manufacturer that is champing at the bit to become the largest automaker in the world (currently just a few thousand sales per annum behind top dog Toyota) a bit of diversity from the brand that has built its reputation on quality, reliability and typically stoic Teutonic virtues ain't no bad thing. While the… » 9/01/14 12:33am 9/01/14 12:33am

Is the world ready for a convertible Ferrari 458 Speciale?

When Ferrari first unveiled the 458 Speciale one year ago, it was hailed as the closest the tifosi could get to a road legal 458 Challenge. The Maranello maghi tweaked this, ditched that and refined these to present the finest Ferrari driving experience one could have for $290,000. To Ferrari, and thus the automotive… » 8/24/14 3:38pm 8/24/14 3:38pm

MINI Cooper S vs Sodi go-kart. That ‘go-kart feeling’

It's not often, as some of my wordier pieces on crankandpiston.com will attest, that I'm left speechless. But as I stand here, the stopwatch on my iPhone paused and bearing a lap time I can barely comprehend, it's about the closest I've ever come. » 8/19/14 4:35am 8/19/14 4:35am

Why criticising the SUV is a blinkered view

I find it quite amusing that while the world has gone SUV crazy, those that position themselves as hardcore car enthusiasts seem to have universally adopted a negative stance towards the Sports Utility Vehicle. I liken it to the music snob that goes out of their way to express just how terrible the tracks on the Top… » 8/14/14 12:51am 8/14/14 12:51am

TEASER. MINI Cooper S vs Sodi go-kart on-track

When the new MINI was announced, we knew it was only a matter of time before the brand drew attention towards the updated 2.0-litre TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder engine, retro-look cabin, and a whole new brand of MINI 'hallmark' exterior design. And, of course, that typical 'go-kart feeling'. » 8/12/14 12:35am 8/12/14 12:35am

Carbon Signal Automotive. Wide-Arch Nissan 370Z. Dubai

It's no secret that the guys from Carbon Signal Automotive have recently been working on a new widebody kit for the Nissan 370Z. Followers of their social media outlets have been teased with regular updates on the wide-arched Z34 project, known as Moonbeam, these past few months but it has all been a little bit… » 8/09/14 12:28pm 8/09/14 12:28pm

2014 Schloss Bensberg Classics. Germany

When you are out on a test drive you can certainly work up an appetite. Fortunately, PR peeps are usually aware of this and arrange a scheduled stop to grab a sandwich and a coffee to prevent starvation. While putting the face-lifted Scirocco (feature coming soon) through its paces in Germany at the weekend,… » 8/05/14 3:02am 8/05/14 3:02am

Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale. Driven at last

It's hard to believe that the Maserati GranTurismo has been with us now for seven years which, in automotive terms, is a more than respectable innings. And yet, with the exception of a few lukewarm laps around Yas Marina Circuit in a GranTurismo Sport safety car during the final round of the Trofeo Maserati series… » 7/15/14 10:15am 7/15/14 10:15am

Behind the lens with an MSA Young Photographer of the Year

Fresh from his first run at the Nürburgring 24 Hours, 2013 Renault MSA Young Photographer of the Year Tom Loomes walks us through his time at the circuit with British GTs and touring cars, why the Monaco Grand Prix is just one of several Formula 1 events he'd like to shoot, how some race events are more hostile than… » 6/30/14 3:18pm 6/30/14 3:18pm

The Idler’s Club. Tsukuba Circuit

If there's one thing you can always rely on the Japanese for, it's their fearless, confident attitude towards style. The days of simply copying and improving are long gone, and whilst the fashion scene is heavily influenced by foreign brands, these styles – mainly American and European – are moulded into something… » 6/26/14 4:12pm 6/26/14 4:12pm

Porsche. The long road to Le Mans

Why come back? It's a question that, amidst the euphoria of Porsche's much-celebrated and historic return to the top class of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, seems to have been swept under the rug. With 16 victories, using six different models and encompassing 28 years at La Sarthe, Porsche today boasts the most impressive… » 6/25/14 5:25am 6/25/14 5:25am

R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R. Last of the Breed

For JDM Otaku there are few cars that get the pulse racing like a Nissan Skyline. The name may have continued in the V35 and V36 Skylines, rebadged for export markets as the Infiniti G Series, but the last of the true Skylines with straight-six power was the R34 Skyline which ended production over a decade ago. » 6/11/14 4:07am 6/11/14 4:07am

Nissan GT Academy Middle East. One on one with the Champ

Back in 2008, Nissan took a calculated risk: could a successful player on Gran Turismo, one of Sony's most popular and realistic driving games on the Playstation, race competitively for real? Probably not, most and sundry claimed. In the five years since then, Nissan GT Academy winners have claimed podium finishes at… » 6/01/14 5:55am 6/01/14 5:55am

Behind the lens with Christopher List

Just a few years ago, the Middle East was hardly bursting at the seams with automotive shutter bugs, and rarer still was there a photographer keen to make a career in the motoring industry. One German photographer in particular though looked to buck the trend. Born in Namibia (known for its open areas of rugged… » 5/17/14 4:59pm 5/17/14 4:59pm

Porsche. Boxster GTS and Cayman GTS. Driven

As an automotive journalist it is easy to get complacent in writing review after review of fancy new cars and follow 'The Template'. You know the score. Start with a brief introduction to the model, talk about exterior and interior aesthetics followed by the actual driving bit (where mentioning key words like… » 5/14/14 6:37am 5/14/14 6:37am