Fleet News

Thinking CAP, May 12, 2011: Hyundai, BMW, EVs and Range Rover

Monday

To Hyundai’s European HQ in Frankfurt for a meeting. While there we saw the Veloster coupé, due in the UK later this year.

What makes this newcomer unusual is the fact it will have one door on the driver’s side, and two on the passenger’s side. I last saw the Veloster at the Geneva show, and wasn’t that impressed.

Having now seen it in the true light of day I have changed my mind and now quite like it, and can see some sense to it. It looks good and its natural competitors will be the Volkswagen Scirocco and Peugeot RCZ.

Tuesday

Down to Bracknell to BMW to have a look at the 6 Series coupé. I’ve already driven the cabriolet and really liked that.

It is unusual to introduce the soft-top before the hard-top, but BMW decided to do it this way round to capture the summer market.

Wednesday

To the Emirates Stadium and a European Fleet seminar hosted by Fleet Logistics and Citroën.

The main aim of the day was to discuss the pros and cons of electric vehicles with a number of speakers sharing their opinions, some in favour, others not so keen.

What was evident from the audience was still the complete lack of understanding of these vehicles and how it will work with infrastructure, range, battery life, costs and repairs, and even what sort of plug will become standard.

I talked briefly about EVs, but also about hydrogen fuel cells, which in my personal opinion is the real way forward, and is the future of zero-emission vehicles. They will come to market much sooner than most people think.

Friday

To Jaguar Land Rover HQ in Gaydon, to drive the Range Rover Evoque.

When the company decided to call the new car a Range Rover, I thought this was a step too far for what I thought was a posh Freelander.

But now having seen and driven the Evoque, it truly deserves the Range Rover badge.

The interior is exquisite and so luxurious, the quality throughout is brilliant.

The Evoque will be available with two or four-wheel drive. We drove the four-wheel drive around the proving ground and the ride and handling is first class.

It went through some pretty daring bits of unstable road, with some large pot-holes and it treated them as if they weren’t there.

It is difficult to criticise the Evoque, as Land Rover has just about got everything right with the new ‘next must-have fashion accessory’.


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