:: OWNER STORIES
:: Laura Kay's article chapters
:: Loopy about my speedy Coupe...
Laura Kay has always been a car fan with a particular penchant for sports cars, writes Howard Walker. The 26-year-old new media executive has previously driven a Vauxhall Vectra Sri and a Peugeot 306 DTS but none of them have come close to the current love of her automobile life - a Fiat Coupe.
"I've had it exactly a year now and it's fantastic. It's definitely the best car I've ever driven," declares Laura, who works for Gosforth-based advertising and internet solutions company, @1."
"It's fast and responsive, the interior is brilliant and it's a very striking car. Even though the design is now six years old, it still looks fantastic and I reckon it's much better than something like a Ford Cougar which is like an overgrown Mondeo."
As with all objects of desire, Laura first saw the Coupe from afar.
"I'd seen them on the roads and I really liked the look of them, but I never thought I would be able to own one.
"Then my boyfriend Paul and I saw one at a good price and thought 'if we don't get one now, we will never have it' so we decided to buy it and have never regretted it."
The Portofino blue-coloured roadster packs a pretty powerful punch with its 20-valve turbo engine and Laura rather sheepishly admits that the Coupe's speed can cause some problems.
"When you go from first to second to third gear, you can really feel the power, but once you're in fourth or fifth gear, it's easy to get over the speed limit without realizing how fast you're going. I got a speeding ticket last week."
While the Coupe can unwittingly cause such problems, Laura's devotion to the car remains undimmed and even extends to her computer at home and at work.
"I've got a picture of one as my screensaver," she explains.
"It shows the Coupe LE special limited edition version with the special brake pad colours. People are always commenting on it when they pass my computer."
Friends and colleagues seem to be equally keen on the real thing too.
"Everyone who sees it says 'wow' and I'm always giving people lifts in it - I even managed to get my grandma in and out of it."
Despite her devotion to the Fiat, Laura confesses that if she had the money, she'd go for something even sportier.
"I hope to save enough money for a Porsche - but I think I'd have to be a millionaire to afford one!"