CAP manufacturer relationships manager Martin Ward scours the globe for the week's insider fleet intelligence
Over to Paris with many from the fleet and leasing industry to have a look at the new Citroën C4 and to drive the C-Zero, the all-electric car that has been produced in conjunction with Mitsubishi.
It is almost the same vehicle as the i-Miev and the Peugeot Ion.
We drove the C-Zero around the CERAM test track and it felt exactly the same as the i-Miev – quick and doesn’t make a sound.
There was much debate as to how much demand there will be for these cars, battery life, how many times it can be charged and range anxiety. I think the word ‘confused’ can best describe the feeling of those present.
Another electric car, but this time one that shouldn’t make its drivers suffer from range anxiety.
I drove the Vauxhall Ampera (see First Drive, opposite page) which, in my humble opinion, is the real future of the EV. It all worked perfectly and is just so clever.
It is difficult to explain how it works but, in a nutshell, you plug it into your electric socket, charge it for three hours and go for 40 miles on electric power.
But it also has a 1.4-litre petrol engine under the bonnet that is used as a generator to charge the battery while on the move, so you never run out of battery power – brilliant.
It has a maximum speed of 100mph, CO2 emissions of 40g/km and combined fuel consumption figure of 170mpg.
But if the car is only ever used on electric power then no fuel is used at all.
The Ampera is based on the new Astra, has four comfortable seats, a large boot and a price tag of £30,000.
It will come with a 10-year/150,000-mile warranty.
To Nice to drive the clever, small two-seater open top car from Renault. The Wind is probably not the best name it could have chosen but it did, and it’s here to stay.
The Wind Coupé-Roadster is based on the Twingo and comes with either a 1.2 100bhp and 1.6 133bhp petrol engine.
The 1.2-litre engine had plenty of power and is the one to have – it will be cheaper to run and has lower insurance costs, so will appeal more to younger customers, both new and especially when they hit the used market.
There is very little choice in this sector with only really the Mazda MX-5, Mini Convertible, Fiat 500C and Peugeot 207CC.
Prices start from £15,500 and rise to £18,200 which is just a touch too expensive, but does come fully loaded with equipment.