My mid-life crisis means I now have a need for speed | Rick Jackson

The Hyundai i30N. Picture: ShutterstockThe Hyundai i30N. Picture: Shutterstock
The Hyundai i30N. Picture: Shutterstock
I have decided to have a full on mid-life crisis.

This won’t involve ripping my jeans, wearing a baseball cap back to front or getting a tattoo.

But it does, you will not be surprised to learn, involve a car.

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If you’ve been reading my column over the years you will know I love my cars and since I started doing this back in 2008, I’ve owned 10 different ones!

I think I’ve always been a little old before my time.

For example, I’ve been buying my clothes from Marks & Spencer since I was in my 20s and I much prefer 1980s’ music over current chart stuff.

My cars have also reflected this ‘maturity’ with the likes of the Honda Accord, Ford S-Max and Mercedes-Benz C-Class gracing my driveway.

However, now I’m fast approaching 50 I’m finally starting to embrace things of a more ‘fun’ nature as my need for speed grows.

Do we really need two family cars?

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We are lucky enough to be able to each have a car, so surely the one I drive to work should be fun and the other be more like my double-decker bus?

The chance arose during a recent phone call from the dealership where we bought our seven-seater a couple of years back.

Turns out there is equity in the vehicle and would I be interested in selling it back? ‘What for,’ I asked.

It was then that the marque i30N was mentioned. It’s Hyundai’s version of the Golf GTI but with more power and developed by the former head of BMW’s M-Sport division and tuned on Germany’s Nurburgring – hence the ‘N’.

I took one for a test drive.

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I pressed the ‘N’ button on the steering wheel and this normal-feeling hatchback turned into an animal, snarling and popping out the back.

The suspension firmed up to back-breaking, the steering weighted up to ‘go-kart’ sharp and the full 275bhp was unleashed.

At the touch of another button, it returned into a comfortable Sunday driver.

I just had to have one and it arrived this week!

It’s got to be time for some fun and some loud gangsta music!


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Parenting certainly isn’t a walk in the park and the first seven years have been very testing for Sarah and me.

But slowly things are beginning to get easier. Yes, they still have tantrums and have to be told a thousand times to do stuff, but at seven and five they have reached the age where we are not needed to brush teeth and wipe bottoms.

I thought of all the things I’ve not been able to do since having kids – trips to sporting events, festivals, car shows even a few anorak bus events. But what’s great is that Freddie is interested in the same things and he now wants to come with me and being seven, I don’t need to take the kitchen sink and the toilet with me!


British music still rules the waves with Ed Sheeran about to release his next album while tomorrow Adele’s new single gets its first airing on UK radio.

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Coldplay are number one in the US with My Universe thanks to a collaboration with the world’s biggest band you’ve probably never heard of, South Korea’s BTS.

This golden era for British music doesn’t look like ending soon with Harry Styles, Dua Lipa and Sam Smith all very popular on the other side of the pond. In the past many top British artists never made it in the US, but not today. The days of huge American stars like Michael Jackson, Madonna and Whitney Houston seem to be over.

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