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MPV twin test: Ford B-Max vs. Opel Meriva

by Neil Briscoe on 31 Aug 2016

changagoidem Features | MPV twin test: Ford B-Max vs. Opel Meriva

Opel's Meriva mini-MPV can be had with a truly modern compact diesel engine. But can it beat Ford's clever sliding-door B-Max?

In the Metal

You do not buy a mini MPV if you are looking for style, that much is clear. Sadly, the purchase of such a automobile is generally a sign that you've given up on having a social life and are now settling grumpily down for a life of being a kids' taxi and a general adult dogsbody.

Kudos then to both Ford and Opel for making both the B-Max and the Meriva genuinely decent to look at.…

Driving the Transfagarasan Highway

by Melanie May on 24 Aug 2016

changagoidem Features | Driving the Transfagarasan Highway

I used to think that I was not easily influenced by popular culture or the media. I now know this is not the case. I booked a holiday based entirely on the antics of three idiots. Yes, I went to Romania because of Top Gear.

It all started when my best mate, Vicci-Marie sent me the Top Gear Romania Special with a note saying 'we should do this'. In this episode, Jeremey and co. drive the Transfagarasan Highway, which Clarkson describes as: "the most amazing road I've ever seen". As soon as the episode was over I rang Vicci - "let's…

Irish icons: Honda Integra DC2 Type-R

by Maurice Malone on 24 Aug 2016

changagoidem Features | Irish icons: Honda Integra DC2 Type-R

I'll never forget the first time. I heard it before I saw it, a cacophony of intake noise reverberating off the low motorway walls, rising in pitch and volume. Then, the noise changed abruptly and became a scream, a scream I would later come to recognise as VTEC. At the time, my 12-year-old brain could only compare this to something heard on a racetrack. Then, a white blur passed the Vectra I was sitting in, from which a high spoiler and a red-coloured Honda badge could just about be distinguished. The racing automobile then flew up the next slip road…

Irish icons: Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution

by Maurice Malone on 02 Aug 2016

changagoidem Features | Irish icons: Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution

The clock reads 60 seconds. A red saloon pulls up to a rutted stage start line, racing brake pads squealing in protest after being vigorously heated for the last five minutes of the road section to the stage. The automobile idles roughly, the noise from the radiator fans almost eclipsing the gruff exhaust note. Two Finnish flags adorn each rear side window, the names Makinen and Mannisenmaki barely visible under a sheen of mud. Thirty seconds. The co-driver reads the first page of pace notes, enabling the pilot to paint an image of the road ahead. The assembled crowd is…

My first Bentley experience

by Melanie May on 29 Jul 2016

changagoidem Features | My first Bentley experience

When I got offered the chance to test drive the Bentley Flying Spur V8 there was no hesitation in saying yes to getting behind the leather clad steering wheel of this luxury motor. I had a smile on my face for most of the week. That was until I started telling people that I was going to be driving a Bentley around Dublin for a few days.

First up my housemate crowed "you're not parking it outside the house". Excuse me? Where else does one park their Bentley? Apparently, having a Bentley outside…

Group B rallying: the Lion begins to roar

by Maurice Malone on 26 Jul 2016

changagoidem Features | Group B rallying: the Lion begins to roar

After Audi's innovations, what could the rest do to catch up? The 1984 season saw some interesting new developments, and the speeds rose ever higher in the world of Group B rallying.

Paris had woken up. Taking lessons from its competitors, Peugeot's 205 T16 (T for turbo, 16 for valve count) looked approximately like its road-going relative, but every single component had been optimised to be as strong, light and easy to service or replace as possible. Jean Todt's vision and organisational skills ensured that only the best engineers worked on the design, and it would set the template for…