A motoring round up courtesy of IAN LYNAS, Northern Ireland judge on UK Car of the Year…

1. will i. am has car design flair

will i am

A favourite on the judging panel of The Voice is will i. am, who just so happens to be very keen on cars, and he teamed up with Lexus to create a bespoke version of the NX.

The special edition model features exclusive styling tweaks and added tech but the SUV has been developed purely as a design showcase and sorry even if you could afford one, it will not be going on sale.

This special is a real eye catcher with a new ultra-wide body kit and distinctive flared front and rear wings. It also features brushed aluminium and carbon vinyl detailing with black 22-inch wheels as well as exclusive matt pearl white paint.

A notable addition is a set of four 180-degree cameras positioned around the vehicle’s exterior. These capture panoramic photos and video as you drive, which can display instantly on a Smartphone via built-in Bluetooth.

2. Hyundai i20 is Ulster’s choice

the Hyundai i20

Crowned Ulster Car of the Year, I expected the Hyundai i20 to be just another small car but it turned out to be a very good with eye pleasing styling and a whole lot more.

When this newcomer made its debut right away it caught its fair share of attention, apart from its styling, it impressed with class leading interior space.

There is a trend which continues to grow in down sizing; however the customer still demands the creature comforts of a larger car and in this respect the small Hyundai scores very well.

Even the entry level model has a reasonable array of standard equipment which includes electric front windows, remote central locking and a RDS radio with USB.

Too often we tend not to take a small car seriously and there are several who are simply second cars in a family; the i20 can hold its head high, simply because it is the complete package.

Finally good news re: insurance, especially for younger drivers, groupings range from as low as 5E to 12E.

3. Anxiety free tyre from Bridgestone

the new Bridgestone DriveGuard tyre

Picture the situation, late evening, rain coming down in torrents and suddenly a judder, a dreaded puncture and perhaps no signal with the mobile phone. No way to call an emergency service.

If this has not happened to you, then at some point it will, I know it has happened to me.

Now there is an anxiety free tyre from Bridgestone, DriveGuard. In the event of a puncture you can drive for up to 50 miles at a speed up to 50mph, enough perhaps to get you home.

This new tyre, available from April 1, offers more comfort than a run flat and it is best in class in wet conditions and performance. I have tested the new tyre and it certainly impressed.

With DriveGuard there is no need for a spare, it will fit most cars with a tyre pressure monitoring system, or if your car does not have the like, you can have a retro fit.

The new tyre will cost about the same as a run flat and has been on sale in the USA where it is proving very popular.

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