The fabled British automaker’s first sport-ute – BONDED GOODS: ASTON MARTIN DBX – will definitely leave you shaken and stirred, blogs Road Test Editor Howard Walker.


 There’ll come a time when Bond, James Bond, will need to hand back the Walther PPK, the MI6-issued Omega Seamaster and the License to Kill. He’ll get hitched, settle down, and no doubt have a couple of rug-rats with Moneypenny. The current 007, Daniel Craig, is 53 for goodness’ sake. Arthritis and AARP are surely just around the corner!

Of course, with matrimonial bliss will come spatial needs. It’s no good rushing around in a classic 1960s two-seater – even one with machine guns and ejector seats – when there are baby seats to fit and IKEA flat-packs to bring home. Taking it as a given that Bond will always drive an Aston Martin, the company has thankfully recognized 007’s dilemma and come up with the perfect new Bondmobile: the ‘21 DBX. An SUV no less.

But this is not your typical sport-ute. Here is arguably the sportiest, most agile, most dynamic load-hauling 4×4 out there. One that will definitely leave even 007 shaken and stirred. It’s also arguably the most gorgeous-looking SUV money, or even Moneypenny, can buy. And with that trademark front grille – a carbon copy of the one on Bond’s much-loved ‘64 DB5 – it’s unmistakably an Aston.

I love the swept-back windshield and swoopy roofline. I love that curvy, bulging hood which, I reckon, used Daniel Craig’s six-pack abs showcased in Casino Royale, for design inspiration.

While the company hasn’t enjoyed the greatest reputation for quality and reliability in the past, it’s comforting to know that much of the DBX’s key technology comes courtesy of Mercedes-Benz. Heck, even Aston’s new CEO, Tobias Moers, was formerly boss of Mercedes-AMG. Pop that curvy hood to see the fruits of the Aston-Mercedes partnership. Powering this new DBX is a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that does duty in a bevy of Benzes, along with the Aston DB11 and Vantage.It’s been massaged by Aston to better suit SUV duty, cranking out an impressive 542-horsepower and muscley 516 pound-feet of torque. Mated to a Mercedes-sourced nine-speed automatic and rear-wheel-biased all-wheel drive, the DBX can sprint from standstill to 60 in just 4.3 seconds.

But instead of borrowing a 4×4 platform from Mercedes, the company developed an all-new one for the DBX; an I-beam-stiff concoction of glued and riveted aluminum. And it drives like a dream. Naturally it’s quick; dial-up Sport in the drive mode system and it will rocket away from a stoplight like a rock out of a catapult. But it’s not the hard-edged, blunt instrument it could have been. The snap, crackle and pop exhaust is there, it’s but subdued, less vocal.

BONDED GOODS: ASTON MARTIN DBXIn place of hard-riding sports suspension, the DBX features three-chamber air springs for a smoother, silkier ride. They even do double-duty raising the body to wade through waist-deep water. But what will stagger you is the sheer nimbleness and agility when you start powering the DBX through curves. With an electronic anti-roll system quelling just about any body roll, and the kind of precise, well-weighted steering that feels hard-wired to your brain, it’s an SUV that really thinks it’s a sportscar.

Inside, the Aston’s cabin is a joyous place to experience all this action. Most surfaces are slathered in buttery-soft Bridge of Weir leather with gorgeous double-stitching. Here there’s proper space for five adults, plus their luggage, with rear-seat legroom being especially stretch-out comfy. And the full-length panoramic sunroof floods the cabin with light.

I wouldn’t pick the somber, all-black Kentucky coal mine interior of our test car when there are so many more interesting combos to choose from. And the gimmicky, high-mounted push-button shifter on the dash of the BONDED GOODS: ASTON MARTIN DBX will drive you crazy!

Pricewise, you’ll pay $176,900 for a base DBX – around the same as a V8-powered Bentley Bentayga – though our extras-laden test car stickered at a lofty $205,086. Its only other real rival is the similarly-priced 670-horsepower Porsche Cayenne Coupe Turbo S.

As for 007, a DBX would definitely help ease him smoothly, and speedily, into parenthood. Perhaps “Q” could even design him a couple of custom kiddy seats. Minus the ejectors, of course!

For more information, please check out the BONDED GOODS: ASTON MARTIN DBX @


It’s fast, it’s furious and an assault on the senses. And now with just rear-wheel drive, the TANGERINE DREAM: ’21 HURÁCAN EVO RWD SPYDER is even more of a thrill ride, blogs Howard Walker.


We all know about endorphins. They’re those spunky polypeptides produced by the body that stimulate feelings of immense pleasure and well-being. Eating chocolate and drinking wine are great endorphin releasers. Of course, you knew that.

But there’s another source of endorphin production that’s far more effective than any Godiva or Pinot Noir. Let me introduce you to the newest offering from Automobili Lamborghini, the tangerine dream machine that’s this Hurácan EVO RWD Spyder.

The endorphins this 610-horsepower, V10-engined bundle of joy can deliver are up there with hearing Pavarotti hitting the high notes on Nessun Dorma, quaffing a 1961 Château Latour, or being handed a basketful of kittens to cuddle. There really aren’t enough superlatives in Webster’s to adequately describe the way this hurricane-force Hurácan can slingshot itself off the line, dragster-style.TANGERINE DREAM: '21 HURÁCAN EVO RWD SPYDERAnd nothing prepares you for the mayhem as this Angry Bird rocketship spins its rear wheels like a Fourth of July pinwheel and lunge at the horizon in a smokey haze of flambe’d rubber. I’ve driven plenty of super-fast cars before; this one scared the snot out of me!

Time, perhaps, for a few Cliffs Notes on the raging bull from Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy. Introduced way back in 2014, the Hurácan replaced the much-loved Gallardo as the first rung on the ladder of Lamborghini ownership. Over the years it has evolved, first into the Hurácan Performante, then the EVO. But the key here is that it always stuck with all-wheel drive to help wrangle all that power – and keep drivers out of the hedgerows.For purists, having all-wheel drive has been a bone of contention. They argued that somehow it de-sensitized the car, taking away some of the raw, driver-focused, laser-precise responses. Last year however, the wraps came off the Hurácan EVO RWD, with that honking mid-mounted 5.2-liter V10 spinning just the rear rims. Lighter, more nimble, more tail-happy, it instantly became the most fun-driving, old-school Lambo you could buy. And talking of lira, the base price of our TANGERINE DREAM: ’21 HURÁCAN EVO RWD SPYDER came in at $229,428, or around $15,000 less than the $214,366 Coupe. A raft of must-have options will take the sticker north of $250,000.

But toggle a switch and that tight-fitting canvas roof powers back, disappearing beneath a hard cover in a mere 17 seconds, and at speeds up to 31mph. Aaaah, sunshine. Top down, the Hurácan makes a terrific convertible, with hardly any wind buffeting, even at close to triple-digit velocities. And with the top dropped, it’s all the better for inhaling that insane, manic, Guns N’ Roses V10 soundtrack.

TANGERINE DREAM: '21 HURÁCAN EVO RWD SPYDERInside, you sit in hip-hugging, carbon-fiber-shelled seats, gripping a wheel that looks straight out of a racecar. And the theater that goes into operating this orange projectile is just so Italian. Flick up a big red flap to hit the start button, pull back on an oversized lever to engage reverse, shift gears with paddle shifters the size of elephant ears; Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick would just feel right at home!

TANGERINE DREAM: '21 HURÁCAN EVO RWD SPYDERDrive it like you stole it and this newest Hurácan is a pure, brutal, passionate assault on the senses. In today’s hypercar world, zero-to-60 in 3.3 seconds is nothing special – there are kid-toting Teslas that can get there in 2.4 seconds, as will the all-wheel-drive Hurácan EVO. But the fury of the RWD’s acceleration, the brutal 8,700rpm upshifts and that truly spine-tingling, hairs-on-the-back-of-your neck-raising soundtrack makes it feel like the Starship Enterprise going to warp speed. Rear-drive only boosts those endorphins. The way the car squirms under hard acceleration, the way the back-end can be nudged out of line on a tight corner. Everything feels alive, animate, alert, and dialed up to 11. Yet, for me, the beauty of this beast is that it can all be dialed back for moments of less frenetic driving. Select “Strada” mode and the exhaust calms, the suspension softens, and the shifts on the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic turn Teflon-smooth.Here’s without doubt, the best all-round Lamborghini I’ve driven; a passionate, thrilling, open-top supercar you could actually use as a daily driver. And, when it comes to an endorphin release, it’s way better than chocolate.

For more information about the TANGERINE DREAM: ’21 HURÁCAN EVO RWD SPYDER and the latest models, please visit


Here’s an everyday ride that can get you to the golf links at 203 mph! McLAREN GT: SUPERCAR DELIVERS PRACTICAL MAGIC, and I love it. blogs Road Test Editor Howard Walker.


I love McLarens. With a passion. Love the rock-out-of-a-catapult acceleration, the frenetic, spooked squirrel handling, the mind-blowing, mind-reading steering that can almost predict your intentions before you even nudge the wheel. For me, these British-built projectiles are the very definition of the mystical term “supercar”. To drive one, to feel that 600-plus, twin-turbo horsepower is like downing a quadruple espresso after a lifetime of decaf!

But, but. They do come with the odd compromise. The endless drone from those monster tires at each corner is like driving with a leaf-blower in the passenger seat. Hitting any kind of lump or bump is like colliding with a Florida sinkhole. As for carrying personal items – clean socks or a toothbrush – if they won’t fit into a squashy gym bag, you’re going to need to call FedEx. Or do without. Here is the new McLaren GT. It’s a kinder, gentler McLaren with more refinement, more comfort, and more civility. Did I mention there’s space in the back for a golf bag?

McLAREN GT:SUPERCAR DELIVERS PRACTICAL MAGICIn keeping with the softer, slightly gentler image of this new GT, the design of the car has also been softened. Unlike the “angry-bird” McLaren 720S on which it’s based, the GT sheds the track-focused rear wing, the huge wheel-arch vents and air-gulping rear intakes. Me? I think it’s the best-looking McLaren in the line-up. It’s just sleeker, more elegant, more stylish, enhanced by those lovely thin-spoked forged alloys at each corner – the biggest ever fitted to a McLaren.

McLAREN GT:SUPERCAR DELIVERS PRACTICAL MAGICOpen the high-lifting scissor-like doors and inside, McLaren’s typical wafer-thin, butt-numbing seats are replaced with wider, comfier, thicker-padded versions, which are a delight. The cabin is now a sea of soft, handbag-quality leather befitting the McLAREN GT: SUPERCAR DELIVERS PRACTICAL MAGIC.

McLAREN GT:SUPERCAR DELIVERS PRACTICAL MAGICAnd boy does this car tour grandly. There’s less snap, crackle and pop from the exhaust compared to, say, the 720S. Less volume too. And the suspension has been tuned to deliver a ride that’s a tad smoother, less brittle, more forgiving, and with less tire roar. But don’t for one second think that McLaren has gone soft on performance. The GT’s 4.0-liter V8 packs a 612-horsepower punch that can slingshot the car to 60 mph in a retina-blurring 3.1 seconds, and not call it quits until 203 mph is showing on the speedo.

Hustle the GT along a curvy two-laner and its race-bred heritage, along with perfect poise and balance, is there to thrill. Developed for the track, on ordinary roads it essentially goes precisely where you point it. Its handling is nothing less than stellar. Pricing starts at around $213,000, though with a few options – the $6,000 electrochromic glass roof is a must-have, as is the $15,400 four-piece set of custom luggage – reckon on closer to $260,000. To me, McLarens have always been magical. Think of this new GT as practical magic.

For more information about McLAREN GT: SUPERCAR DELIVERS PRACTICAL MAGIC and other gems from McLaren, please visit