To view almost any British television drama of the 1980s is to be reminded of the sheer volume of Morris Itals that were once on the road. They lurk in the background of Howards’ Way or Dempsey and Makepeace, exuding their trademark lack of charisma and featured as the (often disappointing) “star prize” on quiz shows such as Bullseye while, during the commercial break, Patrick Mower would advise you to “move over to Austin Rover”. Today, Ray Brewer’s 1981 1.3 HL is one of only 11 still left on the road in the UK. You don’t need to look that carefully to notice that it is closely based on the Marina that preceded it. The Marina (itself borrowing heavily from the preceding Morris Minor) appeared in 1971 and was intended as a stop-gap car to be replaced within a few years, a plan that was soon undermined by British Leyland’s parlous finances. Brewer remarks that the debut of the Ford Cortina Mk4 in 1976 was … [Read more...] about UK’s rarest cars: 1981 Morris Ital 1.3 HL, one of only 11 left
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NICE car, mate. How many kilowatt-hours is it? Yes, you read that correctly. Forget all you know about mpg, CO2, bhp and so on because the future is electric and electric cars are all about kWh. Take the Mercedes EQC you see here — one of ten pure electric EQ cars coming in the next four years. It has an 80kWh lithium-ion battery and produces 300kW. But what does that actually mean? Well, let me add some perspective. An 80kWh battery is the equivalent of 22,000 AA batteries. Twenty two thousand. That’s a lot of trips to Argos. KEY FACTSMERCEDES EQC Price: £67,500 est Battery: 80 kWh Power: 300kW (408hp) Real-world range: 200 miles 0-62mph: 5.1 secs Top speed: 111mph Emissions: Zero Charging: 10hrs with 7kWh wallbox The 300kW output equates to 408hp and 765 Nm of torque, so in other words the EQC goes like stink — particularly when you consider it tips the scales at 2.5 tonnes. Miles per gallon and pence per litre? Meaningless. You’ll need to adjust to … [Read more...] about The new glamorous Mercedes EQC is all electric and can go up to 248 miles on a full charge
In 1961, celebrated American racer Dan Gurney shipped his own Chevrolet Impala SS to the UK to beat the Jaguars in the British Saloon Car Championship (BSCC). His dominance in the Silverstone race led to ruffled feathers and a rumoured ban. The car returns to the UK for the first time since 1961 at this year’s Goodwood Revival. “I will, in time,” the late Gurney wrote in Autosport, “get over the fact that I spent a lot of time and money in bringing the Impala to Great Britain, but I will not readily forget the suspicion that there may have been some behind-the-scenes sabotage to prevent the Chevrolet from running at Silverstone.” The great American racer Gurney didn’t pull any punches, aimed at the British Jaguar teams, after he mysteriously couldn’t enter his Chevrolet Impala SS for a second time in the 1961 British Saloon Car Championship. Asked many years later why he didn’t protest more, he replied simply, “Why fight City … [Read more...] about Ex-Dan Gurney Chevy returns to UK for first time since 1961 at Goodwood Revival
LET’S start with a little quiz. Is it A) Qashqai; B) Evoque; C) Sportage; or D) something else. Now Honda is adding a seven-seat option for the first time — and dumping diesel. Clearly styled for lard-arse Yanks. Wide-opening doors, sofa-like seats, bucket-sized storage in the centre console and doors, and big-lettered touchscreen for sausage fingers. Top models also have head-up display and adaptive cruise control with speed sign recognition, two of my favourite things, but what’s with all that plastic wood trim? The boot is also cavernous. Flip down the seats and it can swallow a mountain bike. The load floor is 1.8metres long. KEY FACTSHONDA CR-V Price: £29,000Engine: 1.5-litre petrol turboPower: 173hp, 220Nm0-62mph: 9.8 secsTop speed: 129mphEconomy: 43mpgCO2: 151g/kmOut: September Just remember that when all seven seats are in use, there’s less boot storage than a mouse’s rucksack. Note. The AWD system disconnects for efficiency when rear-wheel … [Read more...] about The world’s best-selling SUV — Honda’s CR-V — now has seven seats – and no diesel option
Let's have a peep into the near future: You wake to find the road outside your home liberally covered in snow … and the imminent drive to work seems even less inviting then usual. A thought suddenly springs to mind: ‘Should I have invested in winter tyres?’ Figures show that UK drivers are six times more likely to have an accident during the winter months, with the numbers rising further when snow and ice add extra hazards. So a seasonal move to cold weather tyres is becoming increasingly popular, but most of us have little idea of their effectiveness. Before the chilly conditions begin, we decided to call on someone with relevant recent experience. Lee Meredith, who swapped England for Norway is now used to taking to the wheel in freezing conditions. Lee, who works in the oil industry, drives a Kia Sportage. The front-wheel drive model dons winter tyres when the temperature, inevitably, drops. In Norway, as with other Scandinavian and Alpine countries, there is … [Read more...] about Should UK drivers buy winter tyres?