ITH - One and Two-Seaters - The Interview {{favouriteCount}} Quantity of Likes

2 Aug 2017

This week’s In the Headlights picks come from FlatOut Magazine editor and Sunday Times Driving contributor Leon Poultney. BOTB’s Nathan Rous sat down with him to discuss his choices in more detail and get a deeper insight into his life…

It’s not often you hear the words Rover 414 mentioned in any motoring column, but here at BOTB we’re all about breaking new ground. Thankfully it’s only brought into conversation after the words “and my worst car ever was a…” Leon Poultney knows pretty much all there is to know about cars, having written for everyone from Sunday Times Driving to Maxim. Now at the helm of online motoring magazine FlatOut, he also knows when they should be scrapped.

 “I was young and penniless and my granddad’s friend was selling the Rover after having a stroke,” he recalls. “Trouble was, the car seemed like it had a similar affliction - none of the electrics worked on the right hand side and the power used to cut out when you pressed the accelerator.”

Thankfully he has more exciting memories.

“My family is full of petrolheads,” he says proudly. “My granddad had an original Audi Quattro and he used to take me out at crazy speeds when I was far too young. My stepdad is into custom motorcycles and if you want something that goes supercar-quick but costs just a few thousand then a bike is the way to go.”

Of course, this week’s In The Headlights line-up offers some fairly rapid experiences.

“The BAC Mono is completely insane - it’s like having a superbike but with the safety of four wheels. And while I love each and every one of those cars, if I had to choose one to keep it would be the R8 Spyder. Some might think it’s a bit boring by comparison but it’s an everyday supercar that looks phenomenal. There isn’t much on the road that sounds as good as the R8’s naturally-aspirated V10 and inside it’s incredibly comfy and advanced.”

While the fat lady isn’t quite ready for her swan song to signal the end of the combustion engine, the future is certainly pointing towards electric and hybrid technology. Leon is definitely excited about the future but underlines the difficulty in writing about it.

“I’ve been invited out to Tokyo next month for the launch of the new Nissan Leaf which will unveil some pretty amazing technology,” he explains, “but in many respects the news is in the tech rather than the drive. A lot of cars are pretty homogenous - they’re all pretty good, but somehow we’ve lost the ability to personalise them ourselves or at least tinker with them under the bonnet. It’s difficult to get emotionally attached. In many ways that’s why my love of bikes has grown…I can work on them myself.”

Living in Bournemouth having moved out of London five years ago, Leon’s current car is the result of his pastimes.

“I go out on the bike a lot and also like surfing so I bought the BMW 3-series Touring simply because I’m always slinging stuff in the back. It’s kind of pointless having my own car because I’m always driving other people’s but it’s a real safe pair of hands.”

As for his favourite drive ever, he loves the Aston Martin V8 Vantage he reviewed for Maxim some years back.

“I just remember it being incredibly special,” he recounts. “No wonder so many people play for them with BOTB - there’s just something iconic about the badge and the driving experience.

I also loved the Porsche 918 and was lucky enough to take it round a high-speed ring. It’s insane to think you can go from 0-180 and back down to 0 in the blink of an eye. One thing’s for sure, if next week’s lucky winner scoops any of these four cars from In the Headlights they won’t be disappointed.”


Flat-Out ( is one of the hottest automotive lifestyle magazine on the web and it brings an eclectic collection of writing, photography and video to an audience that craves something a bit different.

Flat-Out was created to motivate readers to get out and enjoy their car or motorcycle by crafting inspiring Road Trip stories, complete with interactive maps, recommendations on the best hotels and accommodation, as well as the pick of the best restaurants, bars and attractions.

On top of this, the FlatOut team attend the coolest events that you've likely never heard of. Whether that is an achingly cool custom motorcycle show in France or an exclusive supercar meet, they are there to report with the best writing and staggeringly beautiful photography.

One minute you could be reading their writer's impressions of the new McLaren 720S Spider, the next you could be fawning over a photographical dispatch of Tokyo's custom motorcycle scene.

That's living Flat-Out: a lifestyle without limits.