Thinking CAP - CAP manufacturer relationships manager Martin Ward scours the globe for insider fleet intelligence
To Barcelona to see a car still at the clay-model stage that isn’t due for another couple of years.
But this early viewing to people from outside Seat is proof they are willing to listen and change design if it is not received with open arms or doesn’t have the desired wow factor.
We also drove the new Ibiza ST at the IDIADA test track. This is a great place to test handling and brakes, with no restrictions on speed.
This estate version of the Ibiza certainly did the job very well, has loads of luggage space and looks good.
But unlike most European countries, the UK does not like supermini estates – it never has, and probably never will, but the stylish Ibiza ST might just find a nice little niche.
To Millbrook to drive the Vauxhall Movano, built in conjunction with Renault in France.
The previous van had a fair amount of criticism and rightly so, as it probably wasn’t the best built, or had the best reliability, so consequently its market share was very low.
We drove various models and it seemed to do everything right. Vauxhall says the new van is much improved and all the bugs have been sorted. Let’s hope so.
Over to the middle of France to Renault’s test facility to look at the much-improved (in terms of design and quality) Megane Coupé-Cabriolet, and the cute little Wind which is a two-seater convertible based on the Twingo Renaultsport.
It has a metal roof that pivots into the boot, and I suppose is the modern-day version of the Fiat X-19.
It will certainly appeal to girls who want the wind in their hair, but it has to be priced right.
To the sunny island of Mallorca to drive the new Mercedes Benz E-Class Cabriolet.
Well, it should have been sunny, but it snowed and then rained the first day. But it was a good test of the roof – it didn’t leak!
We did get the chance to put the roof down on the second day and try the AirCAP, which is a visor that pops up from the top of the windscreen and is part of the window surround.
Mercedes says that when you sit in the rear the air passes over you when the AirCAP is up.
We tried it at all sorts of speeds, but it didn’t work – must have been the wrong type of wind.
The car though is solid, drives well, very high quality throughout, but not exciting.