As for the car itself, it is expected to be a range-extended electric sedan. The country's Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology indicated last year that the debut model will be an electric car with a small gasoline engine as a range extender, likely with a 15-kWh battery and a pure-electric range of 60 miles before the range extender kicks in. The consortium of companies expects a working prototype by 2019 and the start of production by 2021.
Ian added: “Some of the technology on board – like wireless phone charging – is quite impressive for the money and this class of car. I like the LED lights as well, as they help to create a clear brand identity for SEAT.”
Customers wishing to opt in for the Huntsman pack will benefit from extra bed space for dog boxes and lockable storage space for firearms. The Huntsman D-Max is available in three paint options of green, black and grey that have been designed to blend into the shrubbery and avoid spooking game.
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.
And returning to the environmental theme, and demonstrating how far we’ve come today, we gave the Cavalier extra "greenie points" for being the only car in that test to have a "switchable microchip that enables it to run on unleaded fuel". Hell’s bells, that cutting-edge gizmo meant that, with the flick of a connector under the bonnet, this microchipped marvel could run on the funny new petrol from the green pumps.
• Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
It uses a retuned version of the F-Type SVR’s supercharged 5.0-litre V8 engine, which produces a whopping 567bhp and 516lb ft – around 25bhp more than the outgoing XJR. A 0-62mph time of 4.4sec and a top speed of 186mph are some way off the class best (the BMW 760Li xDrive reaches 62mph nearly a whole second faster), but the XJR 575 makes do without the help of launch control or four-wheel drive.
More to the point, the 2018 model’s numbers beat out four-cylinder rivals such as the Toyota Camry and the Nissan Altima, while essentially matching the Mazda 6’s performance. Still, acceleration is not where the new Accord’s advantages lie.