“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.
I would be getting a Thor Vegas, technically a Class A but with “many of the advantages of the smaller Class C.” It's shaped like an A on the outside but rides on a Ford E450 van chassis with a 6.8-liter Ford Triton V10 making 305 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. It's 26 feet, 6 inches long, 11 feet, 3 inches high (not counting the air conditioner and TV antenna) and 7 feet, 10 inches wide, not counting the mirrors.
Our new long-termer is a 2016 one-careful-owner car, which I picked up from the bustling Mitsubishi main dealer Shelly Motors in Epsom, Surrey. There, brand manager Lee Higlett talked me through some of the finer points of Outlander ownership. On close inspection, our PHEV certainly seems little troubled by its one year of usage. I was interested to hear that if you were to buy one like ours from a main dealer, it would currently set you back around £28,000. New, our top-spec 5hs will set you back a whopping £43,555, and that’s after subtracting the £2500 grant – so straight away there’s something to be gained by buying it at this age.
"I probably had the most influence on the international side," Miller told Automotive News in 2003. "In the early days of Ford, the overseas [administration] was separate from the U.S. It was run out of New York. It was duplication and very costly. I ... thought that we ought to get rid of the overseas staff and do everything through a single staff in Dearborn. That was really a big decision, but Henry Ford backed me up and we did that."
Thankfully, the rest of the interior is far more commendable. Soft-touch plastics cover the entirety of the dash and, despite the interior looking a tad bland in its monochrome colour scheme, this being a later top-of-the-range V6 CDX model, there's at least plenty of kit to keep you entertained: air conditioning, heated seats, an electric sunroof and a fancy Blaupunkt CD player.
Location: Kingston, Surrey
American society no longer permits the business community to limit itself to production, sales and the accounting columns, Miller told The New York Times in July 1978.
The QX50 will be the first Infiniti to get the new engine, which could also pave the way for a front-wheel-biased all-wheel-drive system to replace the rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive options on the current model. As previewed in the concept, it should also feature new semi-autonomous driving technologies too.
• Blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert
It’s easy to drive, too. So far, I’ve discovered the best thing to do is to sit there and try to work out what methods of propulsion the PHEV’s using. There is a handy energy flow display on the screen that shows you just that and, as with all similar cars, the object soon becomes seeing how long you can keep the car going on full electric drive around town before the engine cuts in. I dare say there’ll be a lot more on that in future reports.
• 19-inch wheels and tires
What do you get when you outfit a Ford Mustang with a racetrack-ready chassis and a high-revving V-8 engine? The spectacular Shelby GT350, of course. Its muscular proportions are exaggerated by stretched scoops and special splitters to manipulate airflow. Out of the box, the track-focused GT350R is stripped of superfluous stuff such as a back seat and rigged with racing equipment (such as carbon-fiber wheels). Both Mustangs make glorious sounds and put power down with a standard 526-hp naturally aspirated V-8 and a six-speed manual gearbox. While the Shelby is outgunned at the drag strip by the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, Ford has heavily transformed its twin snakes for hypnotic high performance.