ITH - Best Of - the Interview {{favouriteCount}} Quantity of Likes

18 Apr 2018

Where has the year gone?! We’re already sitting here in Week 16 of the year, which has absolutely flown by, so we thought we’d give the people want they want – or rather wanted. So we delved into the stats and found the four most popular ITH cars based on ticket sales and these are what we have this week! Of course we like to have people’s opinions other than just my waffle, so we have Hugh Francis Anderson, a rather dashing motoring journalist, to give his thoughts on the cars followed by my ramblings as usual…

Mulgari Mini Icon 2

Hugh Francis Anderson: The hot-hatch has become one of the most tightly contested categories in recent years, and it’s therefore producing some astonishing vehicles. I remember when an off-the-shelf Ford Focus RS (still a phenomenal car) was king, but the industry has changed beyond belief, especially with aftermarket engineers such as Mulgari. Taking the already impressive JCW Mini, they’ve successfully remapped the car to pour out a staggering 280bhp, alongside other adjustments that make this vehicle about as hot as a mini can get.

Tim Oldland: There’s a new wave in tuning cars these days. Gone are silly bodykits, massive wings and chrome spinners and companies like Mulgari are now at the forefront of this new, more bespoke style. There are subtle mods to the styling, with customizable trim colours, a retrimmed interior which continues the colour theme and a few choice mechanical mods. Oh and the aforementioned 280bhp which isn’t just a simple remap – Mulgari has worked for 18 months perfecting the new map to ensure it’s even more drivable than before. It’s a deeply impressive car and one I’d love on my driveway.

Litchfield Audi RS3 Stage 2

HFA: RS-anything and you’ve got me hook, line and sinker, so the Litchfield RS3 immediately tickles the fancies. The very thought of tuning the already impressive 395bhp engine up to 500bph is beyond exciting, especially when you consider that torque increases by over 100lb ft too. As an all-wheel-drive wonder, this surely takes the podium, save for perhaps the RS6 Avant… but that’s another story.

TO: RS anything – what, even the RSQ3? Anyway, much like Hugh I’m a huge RS3 fan and its ability to get from A to B down a back road will beggar belief, especially in the wet. But some say it’s a little too anodyne, too safe, well Litchfield have a cure for that – it’s called 500bhp. That adds a more feral edge to the RS3, adding more excitement and of course more speed. This little hot hatch is probably the quickest car on the roads today if you consider our terrible weather in the UK. I seriously doubt anything this side of a 911 Turbo S would see which way it went.

Lamborghini Urus

HFA: My opinion on the influx of supercar brands investing in the luxury SUV market has been somewhat negative. That is until I saw the Urus and sat down with Lamborghini’s CEO, Stefano Domenicali. It may be an SUV, but its performance is nothing short of a supercar, and it’s currently best in class in all categories… that’s an impressive feat; 650bhp, 0-62mph in 3.6 seconds, and a top speed of 190mph. I’m itching to get behind the wheel of this.

TO: I have to agree with Hugh, but I just can’t get past the styling, specifically that rear door handle which looks stuck on. BUT – it’s well known that I have zero sense of style and design is certainly a very personal thing, so thankfully lots of people love the looks of the Urus. The specs can’t be denied though, with the kind of numbers that wouldn’t have looked out of place on a supercar 5yrs ago. Can I be your passenger Hugh?

Range Rover Sport SVR

HFA: The Range Rover Sport SVR is an utterly ridiculous car. Ridiculous but brilliant. The very notion to stick in a 567bhp 5-litre supercharged V8 is, to all intents and purposes, completely pointless. But perhaps it doesn’t have to make sense. When I drove the SVR, I was blown away by the way it handled, accelerated, and most impressively how it sounded. I even went off-roading in it, and it still maintains the all-terrain prowess that made the marque so famous. However, the fact remains that the only reason you’d buy one is to make a statement. But that’s fine with me.

TO: He’s not wrong you know. There isn’t a single logical reason why you would buy a RR Sport SVR. But that’s the wonder of it – it’s so illogical that you just end up wanting one. The SVR makes the most hilariously antisocial noise, drinks fuel like Christian drinks Espresso Martinis and weighs as much as a planet. But it defies physics when you drive it hard and puts a huge grin on your face every time you get behind the wheel. It’s an enigma.


So, what’s the deal with this Anderson chap then?

Invariably when we ask our guests about their favourite cars, they give us one or two…perhaps a modern dream and a classic must-have.

Hugh gave us five. And we think he would have given us more if we’d let him.

“I love the classic cars, so my dream car would have to be one of these,” he announced, before giving us the list below.

Ford - 1968 Mustang GT Fastback

Saab – 1990 900 Turbo S Carlsson Edition

Bentley – 1928 4 1/2 Blower

Arnolt-Bristol – 1954 Bolide

Ferrari – 1962 250 GTO

His love of cars is genetic.

“My father was a design engineer who spent many years building race cars, so we always had cars around,” Hugh explains. “But my first true memory was in the passenger seat of a family friend’s mid-90’s Maxda MX-5. I was about seven years old and he drove over 100mph. At seven years old, 100mph was the mecca of speed and I’ve been hooked ever since.”

The family owned numerous BMWs, including an E30 Estate bought by Hugh’s mother which she drove everyday for 15 years.

“But the highlight was my father’s sapphire blue Triumph TR6,” he interjects, “which he bought new in 1973. The TR6 will always be the ultimate masculine classic British sports car.”

As for Hugh’s own motoring journey, it started with motorcycles.

“I spent many years tinkering on old bikes, mostly to little success, but my interest was there. From here, it was a natural progression into cars. I’d say the largest influence were the summer months I spent with one of my older cousins. He restored his father’s MK2 Jaguar and bought a 1965 Mustang Coupe as a restoration project. I feebly attempted to help with out with it.

“When I became a journalist in the luxury lifestyle sector, I knew that cars would play a large role. The first car I reviewed was the Aston Martin DB9 GT, and it was incredible! At just 24 years old, driving a new Aston and calling it work was a dreamlike situation to find myself in!”

Yet living in London means travelling by car is “pointless”.

“I’m lucky enough to have access to wonderful cars as and when I need them,” he says.

“From driving a Porsche 911 Turbo S along the Pacific Coast Highway from LA to Malibu, to tearing through Snowdonia in a Lamborghini Huracán Performante, but the one that tops them all has to be learning to drift on ice in arctic Finland in a McLaren 570S Spider. That was ludicrously fun.

“So currently I just ride motorcycles, of which I have three at the moment (two of which don’t run…). My first car was a Volvo S40, which I adored. Worst is probably an ancient Renault Clio, which I bought for £300 and scrapped 9 months later for £150. Crap, but a brilliant return on my investment. 

“And I did pass my test first time… thankfully. I learned in my mother’s Volvo S40, which she gave to me after I passed my test. The adage that Volvo’s are built like tanks is certainly correct!”





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