Given that there are very few similarities between a road car and a race car, I’ve always been mystified by the application of the word ‘sport’ or ‘sporty’ when it comes to something you don’t need a racing licence to drive.
However, it’s a term we seem to understand in relation to road cars, often the top equipment grade and with larger wheels, lowered and or stiffer suspension, as well as other distinguishing features.
And so out Sport Tech Exeo is distinguished from the SE tech by its sports suspension and larger 18-inch wheels, sports seats (more sculpted and with black leather side bolsters and grey Alcantara centre parts) and bi-xenon headlights with adaptive front lighting.
Anyone taking a conventional car around a racetrack will know that after a few laps the brakes would become too hot, and other components would face unusually high levels of stress. However, I expect the large wheels and firm suspension would make the car behave impeccably on a smooth racetrack surface.
And so to the 18-inch wheels and sports suspension of the Exeo ST. We get larger wheels on cars than in the past because customers demand it from an aesthetic point of view. A Ferrari 308 GTB in the 1980s ran 15-inch wheels – dimensions that now look small to us on a family hatchback.
The first four miles of my drive to the office, and the remaining four miles of my drive home, are on uneven and rippled fenland roads. And during this part of the journey the Exeo picks up every tiny bump and lets everyone know about it, throwing around any objects in the car that haven’t been tied down.
It’s a shame as the Exeo is an engaging car to drive, and sacrificing comfort for theoretical agility around a track isn’t what this driver would want.