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Falling in love with sports cars (again)

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: December 24, 2012

  • The MGF had convinced me I'd grown out of sports cars

  • The Toyota GT86 is one of the best cars of 2012

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I BORROWED a Toyota GT86 quite recently and it was, by far, one of the best cars I've driven this year.

It was so good, in fact, that it excorsised something of a demon in me. I've been convinced for a

good while that I'd completely grown out of sports cars.

Let me explain. My wife owns and adores a forgotten relic of the 1990s, the MGF. It's actually a better car than many give it credit for and it's surviving well despite its age.

But the problem is I absolutely hate driving it. On the odd occasions we're forced to swap cars for any length of time I dread handing over the keys to my big, safe, comfortable Volvo and face strapping myself in to her MG.

The thing is I'm not really sure why. It handles well, it's quite quick, it has a beautiful cream leather and dark wood interior and it's a proper British classic. I love British classic cars.

What's even more worrying is that I used to love driving it. I once drove it all the way to the Lake District, heavily laden, and enjoyed every minute.

So I'd convinced myself that I'd grown too old for sports cars. In much the same way I can no longer tolerate the ear bashing from Radio One and much prefer the dulcet tones of Radio Four, I'd started to accept that my motoring tastes had become all watered down and boring.

It all changed, however, the minute I fired up the flat four engine in the GT86. In fact, it probably changed long before I pressed the starter button.

Today's sports cars - and there aren't many on the market that can truly call themselves sports cars - are so far removed from the vehicles that were peddled in the 1990s (with the possible exception of the Lotus Elise) that you need to learn to love them all over again.

If you haven't driven a GT86, a Subaru BRZ, or some of the other truly great current sports cars on the market (also see Porsche Cayman, or possibly BMW M135i) get down to a dealer and try one out.

Some cars, it seems, especially cars like the GT86, are so good they can make you feel young again.

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