Fleet News

Thinking CAP, May 26, 2011: Skoda Superb, Hyundai hydrogen car, Bentley

Saturday/Sunday

When I first saw the Skoda Superb estate I said I would love to drive it on a fairly long journey, and this weekend I finally got the opportunity. I drove from Huddersfield to Paris, a 1,000-mile round trip.

The 2.0 TDI achieved 46.3mpg on average which, for the size of the car, is a great result.

The Superb is a great long-distance, motorway cruiser, is comfortable and easily maintains the 130kph (81mph) French limit, which is a very sensible speed.

Monday-Wednesday

Nearly halfway around the world to Seoul to see yet another new car and to drive the Hyundai ix-Tucson Fuel Cell.

I found a quick way of getting to Korea... for me at least! Finnair from Manchester to Helsinki, then Helsinki to Seoul, flying most of the way over Russia, Siberia, then Mongolia and China.

It means I didn’t have to fly to Heathrow to connect to Seoul. I also set off in the right direction right from the beginning.

When I got there I drove a pre-production hydrogen fuel cell car with the head of the project, who has been working on it since 2000.

The car drove brilliantly.

The engine compartment looked first class with no bits looking out of place. It looked like a finished production car and not at all like an early, hand-built car.

The hydrogen tanks are under the floor at the rear, so hardly take any room in the luggage area.

This car, along with many other hydrogen fuel cell cars and the infrastructure, should be on the roads by 2015.

This form of energy has got to be part of the future of transportation – it is simply brilliant, and it is coming to a filling station near you.

This is the second fuel cell car I have driven and both were excellent. Many years of testing have made them almost ready to go into production, but they will need Government subsidies and a whole team of people from different sectors of the industry to bring the whole thing together.

But it will be worth waiting for, I promise you.

Friday

Ralph Cadman from Bentley brought a new Continental GT to my house for a quick ride around and a good inspection.

This is not your average fleet car, but does offer a level of luxury, sophistication and quality that is outstanding.

The level of detail in the car is unbelievable, and its features will one day filter down into more readily available cars, at much lower prices.


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