Back to that Thrustmaster wheel: It has an insane amount of force feedback (or lack thereof, like when you’re flying through the air). It also jiggles at idle, which sort of feels like a motor rocking the car back and forth. Like all of these games, “Forza 7” included, the amount of feedback and environmental effects can be adjusted in the menu screen. The suede-covered wheel reacts to the track and the in-game car reacts almost perfectly to the wheel. I found the Scandanavian Flick to be a little harder than in real life. You can really use left-foot braking to load up the suspension and somewhat realistically swing the car around. Keep the gas pinned(-ish) and dab the brakes as needed.
Miller had spotted a Life magazine article about Henry Ford II’s search for fresh executive talent to help oversee the company, which had racked up losses for 15 straight years and was reportedly losing a million dollars a day at the time.
But are these updates enough to keep what is, in effect, an eight-year-old car competitive in an increasingly competitive market?
Where the Micra shines is with it’s steering. Yes, it is lighter and less feelsome than the best in class, but at low speeds the car is easy to thread through tight spaces, and yet direct and accurate when you want to corner with gusto. Add in Nissan’s Chassis Control traction system, which brakes individual wheels to help corner tighter, gives this little supermini superb balance in the corners.
You do get a lot of kit for that money, mind you, including a range of safety and convenience features such as adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and a collision-mitigation system. The exterior has plenty of colour-keyed elements to please the eye, including bumpers, mirrors and door handles, and the interior is swathed in nappa leather.
For each fault, we asked the owner to identify time spent off the road using categories ranging from less than one day to more than a week. We also asked them to tell us how much the repairs cost, from being fixed under warranty for free to more than £1500. This information was weighted according to the severity of the fault; those that cost the most and kept the car off the road the longest were penalised most.
Right there was the sort of chest-puffing bragging rights Mr Company Car Man loved. But his fleet manager was decidedly chuffed, too: its fuel economy of 51.4mpg at a constant 56mph was pretty parsimonious for the time.
What to do when your car oversteers
BMW's range of connected services has also expanded, with drivers now able to share their arrival time at a destination using the iDrive system. An optional wi-fi hotspot is also available, as is Apple CarPlay connectivity.
• Adaptive dampers
Burns said the general public has given the electric pickup an unexpectedly strong reception, and now the company is trying to decide whether to build a consumer-focused version. “We’ve really been wrestling with it,” he said. “But we want to cut our teeth with fleets because that’s our DNA. We want to make sure we never disappoint them.” The N-Gen has all-wheel drive, which is unusual for a commercial van. “These delivery guys have to go in all sorts of weather,” Burns said. Meanwhile, the company touts the low-floor design combined with the body-on-frame layout and standard pickup-truck ride height as providing a good blend of clearance, durability, and loading ease. Workhorse says that its electric vehicles have already logged nearly two million miles and are in use in 14 states. The company has been ramping up production at an Indiana plant; this summer and fall, it made 143 of its larger E-Gen trucks for the United Parcel Service (out of a total order of 200 from UPS), and it is currently at a production rate of about three vehicles a day. W.B. Mason has also placed an order for those larger vehicles, Ryder is providing sales and support, and Workhorse has one other large order pending that Burns can’t yet talk about. With its current factory, Workhorse can make 60,000 vehicles of the roadgoing kind per year. And if the USPS contract happens? “We could probably fit more,” Burns added. “But it falls under ‘good problems to have.’ ” It’s Really about the Last Mile If you’re in the shipping logistics business—or if you have anything to do with e-commerce and shipping goods—“last-mile delivery” is what it’s all about. In the last mile or few miles of getting a parcel to its final destination, the costs ratchet up, and the task becomes more complex. It’s exactly what Workhorse appears to be trying to address with its approach, which embraces electrification and, when necessary, takes to the skies. According to a report last year from McKinsey & Company, 60 percent of consumers are either in favor of or indifferent to drone delivery.