The setting can be particularly useful in the Model S 100D, which in Ludicrous Mode, can accelerate from 0-60mph in 2.5 seconds. This makes it faster than almost any vehicle currently on sale. In Chill Mode, that 2.5-second figure will not be possible, nor can the driver utilise the full electric jolt of 603bhp and 967Nm of torque from its 100kWh battery pack.
By their nature, CVTs are easy to despise. Their simple design has an elegance to it, but without the stepped, distinct shifts of a conventional transmission, the engine makes a beeline for its torque peak, where it drones on as speed builds. Fortunately, CVTs work better with modern turbocharged engines like the Honda 1.5T that have broad torque curves so that there’s usually adequate grunt on hand even at lower engine speeds. Honda pushes that advantage even further in the Accord’s CVT by building in virtual gear steps that produce a more natural engine note during acceleration.
"I don't think you can physically do two programs. It would be complicated. Doing Le Mans or Indianapolis or Daytona, why not; it's a one-off. But more than this it is definitely a distraction from his main commitment."
The single teaser sketch issued alongside the announcement of the event lines up nicely with previous glimpses of the next car to come from Nissan’s premium sub-brand. Looking at the QX50 Concept revealed earlier this year at the Detroit Motor Show, similar lines – in particular the kink in the C-pillar – are hinted at in the drawing. A rakish rear end is also alluded to.
While with its design the QX50 may stick to tried and tested brand methods, big changes should be coming under the bonnet. The QX50 Concept revealed at Detroit was used to preview the brand’s new variable-compression turbo petrol engine –a downsized petrol 2.0-litre power unit that will replace the ageing 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine currently used across the brand’s line-up.
We reported that the SUV could return to UK showrooms in 2015, when the company’s UK managing director Lance Bradley replied to a tweet from Auto Express claiming that it was “far from impossible” that the Shogun Sport could be homologated and converted for European release at a later date.
Considering our philosophical bias in favor of manual transmissions, the charms of the CVT are limited. So the best thing about this automatic is that you don’t have to settle for it, because there’s a stick shift available with the 1.5T in the Accord Sport model. That said, the combination of 1.5T and CVT isn’t bad.
Now, away from the bright lights and press briefings of Europe’s biggest new car event, we’re keen to find out what ordinary members of the public actually think of SEAT’s newest arrival.
And it wasn’t just externally where things had changed. Sure, underneath was basically the same front-wheel-drive chassis as the Mk2, but the heavily revised suspension, we quipped, gave it "a far more compliant and comfortable ride at speed". What's more, "the Cavalier is a car you know is going to be a joy to drive almost as soon as the wheels start to turn", due to its "stability" and "crisp" turn-in.
There's also no formal name for the SUV yet. Seat has been holding a vote, with the public able to choose their favourite. The current finalists are Talboran, Taranda, Avila and Tarraco. Of those, our money is on the Seat Avila, given that it fits in well with the current line-up of Ateca and Arona. Seat was due to make a formal announcement of the name this month, but that has been delayed due to events taking place in Catalonia.