Thinking CAP: November 25
To Opel HQ in Frankfurt to have a look at a very early model of the all-new Vauxhall Zafira which goes on sale late 2010.
Nearly 60 fleet guests were there to see the new seven-seater. To say it is different to the current car is a huge understatement – it has changed beyond all recognition.
The second and third rows of seats are so easy to fold flat and there are some clever innovative features.
Attention to detail on the interior and being as good as the German premium manufacturers are at the top of the to-do list for everyone at GM, and offering a quality MPV seems to be a reality.
While there, every guest got to drive the Ampera extended range electric car – and they all thought, without exception, it was brilliant, and with no range anxiety it would work for fleets, and their drivers.
Took a new Mondeo to Ford’s testing facility in Lommel, Belgium, to drive the new Focus.
The new Mondeo looks so much better in the flesh, and does look different to the previous car.
I met Nigel Sharp, managing director of Ford of Britain, and Paul Singleton, head of product, and we went through the new Focus line-up, spec pricing, colours, trims and engines.
I then took a couple of cars around the track.
Unfortunately I can’t say anything about how it drives until mid-January due to an embargo, but it’ll be worth the wait.
The quality looked superb throughout the car and the design is brilliant.
This is the first time we have seen the car in daylight, and not under false lights in a studio or motor show, and it looks much better in real conditions.
Down to Lisbon to drive a Nissan Leaf in real conditions and how much did I enjoy it?
We drove the electric car on a variety of roads, but it most impressed on the motorway.
It easily maintained 80mph and at no stage did it feel underpowered. It is comfortable, refined and, of course, quiet and well built.
When it was fully charged it showed 100 miles on the range display and it dropped consistently with the distance covered – it wasn’t up and down like the early prototype we drove a few weeks ago.
What a clever car. The strange thing was that I got out of it thinking what a quite unremarkable car it is.
It drove like a normal car, braked like a normal car and went round corners like a normal car.
What is all the fuss about?