I'm the kind of chick who loves high-boots, make-up & fast cars, so i have added a few of the best performer of 2007.......
Better than a 911? Really? You'd better believe it. Audi has, on its first attempt, achieved what countless others have failed to do and beaten the legendary Porsche at its own game. Indeed, the R8 makes the 911 look a bit dated. But there's more to it. The RS4 suggested Audi had finally cracked how to make a satisfying driver's car. But with the R8 it's created one of the best ever. It's hugely fast, but in a very exploitable way and entertains without being the least bit scary. And it feels ultra modern and superbly built, giving you confidence you could use it every day with no worries.
We have our issues with the M3 and can't help but feel slightly underwhelmed by its more grown up demeanor. But that doesn't detract too much from what is one of the most spectacular sporting coupés this side of full-blown supercars. The carbon roof, nifty electronics and bonnet power dome are all nice features. But it's the engine that dominates this car, and it deserves its centre stage billing. The four-litre 414bhp V8 with its howling 8400rpm redline and racecar technology is one of the most spectacular engines ever to feature in roadgoing car of any pedigree. And that alone deserves a prize!
Ferrari F430 Scuderia
Taking the race on Sunday, sell on Monday ideal to a whole new level, the F430 Scuderia draws direct parallels between Ferrari's F1 racers and its road cars. This, and Kimi Raikkonen's world championship, are proof that the prancing horse has what it takes to flourish in the post-Schumacher age. The £40K premium over the F430 sounds excessive but when you delve into the spec the price soon becomes an irrelevance. And what's more you don't need to be a driving god to enjoy it, the Scuderia genuinely bringing the F1 experience to mere mortals (OK, rich mere mortals) like never before.
Fiat has taken a good long look at what makes the retro Mini so attractive to buyers and tapped into its own heritage to offer a similarly evocative alternative. So we've got old-school charm and a huge range of extras to help personalise your car, just as with the Mini. But the fact Fiat has done this in a package that is both much cheaper to buy and way more profitable will have BMW turning green with envy. We can leave the industry politics to the suits though. Instead let's just enjoy a great modern interpretation of a true classic.
Another example of how mass-market cars can still be made interesting, the new Mondeo showcases Ford's 'kinetic design' philosophy to great effect. And it tackles the premium German marques that have eaten into its sector head on, not by imitating them but by offering something different and exciting. With style comes substance too, the Mondeo offering vast and commodious accommodation, genuinely useful gadgetry and the sharp, involving handling for which it has become famous. It may be mainstream but the new model proves 2007's Mondeo Man has nothing to be ashamed of.
You'd think there isn't much new that could be done with the classic supermini format. And while the new Mazda 2 isn't revolutionary as such, it proves that with thoughtful engineering there is still room for innovation. So why is the 2 significant? Think weight, or a lack of it. By stripping out around 100kg from the previous model Mazda has increased performance, reduced fuel consumption and emissions AND made it a whole lot more fun to drive. It even looks good too. It doesn't make the relentless 'zoom zoom' marketing any less irritating but the Mazda 2 proves that affordable motoring doesn't have to be dull.
Now in its third generation, the new C-Class at last narrows the gap to its nemesis, the BMW 3-Series. Indeed, in some ways it's even better, combining traditional Mercedes virtues such as comfort, refinement and a welcome return to quality with a genuinely driver focused chassis. Splitting the range into two distinct lines - traditional Elegance or more youthful Sport - and differentiating them with their own grilles and options packs is a great idea. As such the C-Class appeals to both traditional Mercedes buyers and a new, younger audience and gives both what they desire.
Gimmick or actually a useful addition to the Mini range? Well, BMW wasn't likely to slip up here and the long awaited Clubman finally opens up Mini ownership to those needing to carry more than a couple of bags of designer label shopping. There may be loads of them around but the Mini still feels sufficiently different from the mainstream to be special. And the Clubman's combination of established Mini virtues like distinctive design and grin-a-minute handling with genuine practicality means it deserves to be a success. Sure, the barn-doors boot and offside-only rear access are a compromise but that won't put many people off.
The car the Smart should have been all along, the i is a genuinely refreshing vehicle that addresses real-world transportational needs with verve. It feels - and looks - genuinely futuristic and with its fizzy turbocharged 660cc engine is more fun to drive than you might think possible. With seating for four and even a bit of luggage space too it's a genuinely useful package. Narrow enough to slip through the gaps in city traffic that SUV drivers can only dream of, driving the i will mark you out as a forward thinker. At just over £9,000 it's affordable to buy and cheap to run too.
Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé
The Roller could, of course, win this contest on luxury alone. And while it's easy to be blinded by the lavish appointments, price and performance we love the Drophead Coupé for what it stands for. Which is nothing less than Rolls-Royce reclaiming its position as a builder of cars that represent the pinnacle of four-wheeled decadence and engineering prowess. Yes, the Drophead Coupé is outrageously indulgent and possibly a tad vulgar. But it carries it off with such class you can forgive it these excesses and simply marvel at the flying lady's spectacular return to form.