Sometimes it’s best to blend in with the crowd. There’s not much call for high heels and top hats at Knockhill’s Touring Car race in August, for example. And equally, you won’t want to wear jeans and a T-shirt to Ladies Day at the Scottish Grand National Festival later this month at Ayr.
But it shouldn’t be like that in the car world. It’s important that motorcar makers create machines that stand out and grab the spotlight. Where would our childhoods be without exotic poster cars?
British supercar manufacturer McLaren knows how to create a drama on wheels, as do the usual suspects of Ferrari and Lamborghini. And as much as the products from these automotive wizards are truly jaw-dropping so, sadly, are their prices.
Not many of us can afford the six and seven figures needed to own a piece of haute couture on wheels. And while I am eternally grateful to the people who can, I have to look a lot lower down the price list for an affordable touch of flair.
Thankfully, Honda has come to the rescue with its Civic Type-R – definitely not for the shy and retiring. This is a bold, brash, in-your-face hot hatch that eats attention. Good and bad. It’s not beautiful by any stretch, but I love it because it is so outrageously audacious. It’s got sticky-out bits, sticky-in bits, skirts, scoops, but the best bit, in my opinion, is round the back – a whacking great big spoiler that wouldn’t look out of place on a Formula One car.
It’s been on sale since the start of winter and it’s a car that keeps captivating me. I know there are people who hate the way it looks, and I understand their point of view, but I am a girl who fell in love with the 1990’s Ford Escort Cosworth solely because of its T-bar rear spoiler, and I’ve had a love affair with big wings ever since.
Sadly, when you’re driving the Honda you can’t see its aerodynamic aid when you look in the rear view mirror – I suppose visibility outweighs good sense here… But if you’re sitting in the back you can look up at it all day long.
And that’s exactly where I’d want to be – except that driving the 316bhp Type-R is an experience you’ll want again and again. It’s thrilling, engaging and a tonne of fun. It is also a practical four-seater hatchback that costs just over £30,000. Thank you, Honda.