The Car Dealer team decamped en masse to the Bedfordshire site to try a whole host of cars from a variety of manufacturers.
The Millbrook facility – until recently the base of Five’s Fifth Gear – is a superb location with a two-mile banked bowl and numerous handling circuits.
Needless to say we made full use of the site’s pleasures. I drove, in no particular order, Jaguar’s XF-R (classy and quick), the Lexus IS-F (complicated and quick) and Mercedes’ new E500 (boring and quick).
I also got to try out the Nissan GT-R for the first time. But, due to being under 30, had to be chaperoned by a rather twitchy instructor. It sort of ruined the occasion a bit, but it was enough to learn the car is exteremly competent. It looks even better in the metal too.
Highlight of the day though was 20 glorious minutes in the new Audi R8 V10, featured on the cover of issue 14. It really is every bit as good as you imagine.
That V10 – stolen from the Lamborghini Gallardo – sounds utterly brilliant. But you don’t need to imagine what it’s like – I managed to install my camera on a clamp in the car to capture this footage.
This first video – reminiscent of Jamiroquai’s Travelling Without Moving intro – is on the entrance to the two-mile speed bowl. Just listen to that engine sing – accompanied by the click click of the open-gate gearbox.
And this second video is the first of two laps of the famed Millbrook Hill Route. The track is modelled on an Alpine Road with beautiful switch-backs and crests that rise and fall. You’ll notice how I slow down for the marshall stations as there’s a 55mph speed limit on the route… which I of course stuck to all the way around…
I also got the chance to have an amazing passenger ride with a Porsche test driver in a 911 Turbo. A video and blog on that will follow soon.