“Oh, she’s electric,” remarked a young man on the pavement as I stepped out of our Outlander. I should explain, in case you think I’d encountered someone who spends his days standing on street corners quoting Oasis songs at people, that this budding car enthusiast had merely spotted the large 'PHEV' badge on the flanks of the car.
However, many people in that situation will often ‘panic freeze’, and continue to look in front of them and not use the steering to avoid a collision. To stop this from happening, shout ‘brake and steer’. Saying this out loud should help you focus your thought process, giving you time to act appropriately to avoid hitting anything.
But there is more to a good supermini than standing out in a crowd. It needs to remain practical enough for family life and decent to drive. Admittedly, the Micra lacks the overall polish that makes the latest Seat Ibiza and Ford Fiesta both stand out performers. But the little Nissan goes about its business quietly and with minimal fuss, with only fidgety ride at low speeds providing a real grumbling point. Although I suspect sticking with 16in wheels rather the optional 17s fitted to our car would cure that issue.
Cold and damp weather can put a strain on your car's 12-volt battery. Cold weather makes it harder for an engine to turn over, but unfortunately, as an EV driver will tell you, cold weather also has a negative impact on the power a battery can deliver. If you haven't changed your car battery recently, then it could be tired, and the cold weather means it might not play ball. Add in the additional power drain of heaters and other electrical devices, and it can become a critical component. If the battery struggles to provide enough power to start your car, the chances are it's on its way out.
As part of its new turnaround plan, Opel is exploring potential new markets for cars and light trucks outside of its European heartland.
When Chevrolet started offering the 1LE performance package for the V-6 Camaro last year, our initial conclusion was that the company had indeed moved the grip-to-grunt ratio too far to the left. At the 2016 running of our Lightning Lap competition, the junior 1LE shone, smashing the lap record for its class by more than eight seconds. But on the road, it was obvious that the chassis’s ability to produce lateral g-forces wasn’t matched by the engine’s harvest of back-punching longitudinal g’s.
A 1959 V12 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione, is about to take its incredibly long name and rich motorsport heritage, to the RM Sotheby’s auction in New York. The estimate is $14m to $17m so all being well, the car could end up selling for as much as £13million, enough to see it claim a place among the most expensive cars ever sold.
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.
The X2 will be offered with just three engines at launch – the sDrive20i petrol emits 134g/km of CO2 and is claimed to return up to 51.4mpg, while the 187bhp xDrive20d diesel emits 126g/km and returns 61.4mpg. The higher-powered diesel, the 228bhp xDrive25d, returns 55.4mpg and emits 133g/km of CO2, and is capable of sprinting to 62mph in 6.7sec.
Ian praised the extra practicality the Arona offers over a traditional supermini. “It’s got a really good use of internal space, making the most of the Ibiza platform,” he told us. “My Nissan Qashqai is a higher car, but it feels almost as spacious.”
“We weren’t a bunch of accountants,” he told Automotive News in 2003. “We knew the importance of people.”