SPORTS CAR HIGHLY COMMENDED
WHERE DO YOU START WITH THE Abarth 124 Spider? The retrothemed matt-black bonnet alone would be enough to earn it a place on any ecoty shortlist, as would the rasping note from its quartet of tailpipes. Yet these additions are just the tantalising starters to the main course, which is the Italian roadster’s ability to smear a massive grin across your face every time you climb behind the wheel. No matter what the time or place, the rearwheel-drive Abarth’s transition from grip to slip at even modest speeds makes it more fun for more of the time than almost any other car. Its torquey turbocharged four-cylinder motor plays its part here, allowing you to alter your angle of attack almost at will. A snappy gearshift and brisk performance complete the laugh-out-loud package.
If you get your kicks from precision and outright performance, then the exquisite Lotus 3-Eleven will be right up your favourite B-road, or circuit. There are road and race versions but, with their open cockpits and aggressive aero, both look and feel like pukka motorsport refugees. That impression is only enhanced on the move, where scalpel-sharp handling and an almost non-stop flow of information make the low-slung Lotus one of the fastest and most absorbing machines ever to grace tarmac.