Steve Cropley: There’s something animal about a V10 Car News

01 audi r8 v10 red

A weekend blasting the hills in the new Audi R8 V10 RWD Performance makes you appreciate the V10

Our man will miss the Audi R8’s thundering naturally aspirated engine when he’s gone


I spent a thunderous weekend in an Audi R8 V10 Performance RWD, the epitome of a late-breaking supercar, unfailingly aimed at those whose future option will be some kind of lower, shorter Porsche Taycan. This R8’s main purpose in life is to provide an envelope for one of the most soulful petrol engines ever built, and at that it does a fine job.

There’s something super special about a V10: it has the sophistication and crisp response of other large-capacity multi-cylinder engines, but there’s a lot more inherent animal purpose than you find in a slick V8. or a refined V12.

The R8’s ubiquitous exhaust and induction duo makes this extremely evident. I’ve found that just giving this car the beans a few times—I’m talking full 7800 rpm—can change your whole day for the better. Savvy owners will hang on to their V10s in the best of times tomorrow.


It’s hard to believe the Honda Civic is 50 years old, but it’s true. European buyers will soon be offered an 11th-gen model, although the element of surprise is somewhat dulled, as this one has a “quieter” style than recent spiked creations, and in any case, it has bounced back at the Los Angeles Auto Show last year.

A heart-pounding test drive of the original Civic was in the first car magazine I ever worked on. We were captivated by the shape, size and status of the cheeky little 1972 edition as a pioneering city car. In my head (and in the next nine generations), he hasn’t quite matched that purity, despite all his inherent competence.


Maximum respect to James Cameron, founder and CEO of a charity called Mission Motorsport (and more recently Mission Automotive), who works every day to ensure that anyone who has served in the armed forces is not disadvantaged in their career by this service.

It’s been 10 years since Cameron returned from his own tank service in Afghanistan, during which “quite a few” comrades were injured. He realized that no one was taking responsibility for their return to rewarding work and decided to help, using a well-developed facility for perseverance and many contacts in motorsport and the automotive industry.

So far, the two charities have helped more than 2,000 veterans return to rewarding civilian careers, and the work is far from done. “This nation has a debt,” Cameron said, “and I think it should be paid.”


When invited to the launch of the updated Alpine A110 range, I couldn’t resist attending my 21-plate A110, in two titles. One was to take the photo of the highly predictable, nerdy owner outside the Formula 1 team’s headquarters; the other was a tearful desire to find out if my car had now been overshadowed by the news.

I was confident on the second point: the original A110 (five-star Autocar winner) is still as good as the biggest risk seemed to be Alpine messing it up. But I came back with good news from both the manufacturer’s perspective and my own: the car is refreshed enough to attract new owners, but it’s also dynamically unchanged, which is what matters most to me.


Astute observation from the Car Industry Analysis Twitter account (@lovecarindustry) that there’s just six inches – or 3.5% – between the lengths of the new Alfa Romeo Tonale SUV and its Stelvio sibling, though we’re encouraged to considering one as appropriate one class below the other. The same goes, more or less, for Maserati’s new “compact” SUV Grecale and “full-size” Levante.

It makes you wonder about the wisdom and value of choosing (and shelling out for) the biggest models in manufacturer families.

And something else

Get ready for this year’s Festival of the Unexceptional (aka Concours d’Ordinaire), the classic car show that’s gloriously reserved for the Maestros, Horizons, Marinas and Avengers of this world. On July 30, he will return to Grimsthorpe Castle, near Bourne in Lincolnshire. But beware! It sells out quickly. Get your tickets now.

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This notice was published: 2022-03-30 05:01:25

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