It’s hard not to notice the striking new looks compared to bubble-shaped cars that went before. Regardless of whether you like its styling or not, the Micra remained a head-turner during its stint with us, helped by its optional Power Blue metallic paint job.
The same striking approach was also carry through to the interior, with sections of crisp black plastic, swathes of soft-touch materials, and splashes of blue and cream all helping lift the ambiance. Include the standard-fit fully loaded touchscreen infotainment system and the optional, yet clever, Bose stereo system, and the Micra is somewhere you won’t mind spending long periods of time in.
It’s easy to drive, too. So far, I’ve discovered the best thing to do is to sit there and try to work out what methods of propulsion the PHEV’s using. There is a handy energy flow display on the screen that shows you just that and, as with all similar cars, the object soon becomes seeing how long you can keep the car going on full electric drive around town before the engine cuts in. I dare say there’ll be a lot more on that in future reports.
Short answer: pretty much everything. The powertrains are all new, the car has been completely redesigned, the infotainment system is brand new, and there is a mountain of new standard active safety technology. Also, the Accord’s two-door variant has passed beyond the veil, marking the final transit of the mass-market mid-size coupe. Two turbocharged four-cylinder engines now make up the Accord’s nonhybrid powertrain lineup, replacing a naturally aspirated four-cylinder and a V-6. A hybrid variant will join the rest of the family on dealer lots in early 2018, rounding out the new Accord’s lineup.
Although designed for life on a track, where it excels in tight corners, the 1LE doesn’t feel excessively compromised on the road, certainly not beyond the limitations common to the rest of the family. As with any sixth-generation Camaro, you’ll have to cope with a cramped cabin and visibility that’s limited by the shallowness of the windshield, the dearth of glass area, and the thick roof pillars. But while the 1LE is more stiffly sprung than the regular V-6 coupe, it still rides without excessive harshness. Adding velocity or cornering loads gives the upgraded dampers something to chew on, and hard use reveals a chassis that feels tight and poised, all of which keeps the body’s motions in check even on some of the poorest-quality surfaces that Michigan could throw at it. The tightened front end also brings a marked improvement in steering feel over the already communicative helm of the standard V-6 model, with the suede-wrapped steering wheel faithfully relaying information about tire loads, slip angle, and even surface textures. Many engineers responsible for the increasingly feel-free steering in posher sports cars could benefit from spending time with this humble Camaro.
"Henry Ford II's personal dominance of the company gave it a different character, certainly different from other publicly owned companies in the automobile game," Miller said in 2003. "GM and Chrysler were not that way. You knew who the boss was. There were no palace politics with anyone trying to take over."
The XJ's interior is looking a bit dated these days next to newer rivals, but it still has a wonderful ambience. Up front, the diamond-quilted seats (embossed with some questionable '575' branding) come with a wide range of adjustment, and those in the rear are treated to plenty of leg room; there’s little reason to opt for the long-wheelbase variant.
The X2's engine range will grow soon after launch, with the addition of more petrol and diesel models, including petrols with four-wheel drive. Our favourite engine in the X1 is the sDrive18d diesel; in the X2, this engine produces 148bhp and returns up to 62.8mpg.
"It was just elementary," Miller said of the many accounting and finance controls he helped implement through the years. "It was like shooting fish in a barrel."
• Brembo front-brake calipers
Until a relatively short time ago, Faraday Future was principally funded by Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting, whose main business is the internet and telecom giant LeEco. Yueting's businesses kept Faraday afloat up until this spring, when unpaid loan payments forced a court in China to freeze some $182 million in assets. As this source of cash dried up, Faraday Future embarked on a cash-raising campaign this spring, seeking to attract new investors mostly by publishing videos of the FF91 prototype. The startup was also forced to drop plans for a $1 billion factory just outside of Las Vegas and sought out a smaller existing facility in California with some effort. The halt of LeEco funding has also forced Faraday to place its Formula E team into hibernation, and to whittle down a planned lineup of seven electric models to just two.