"We were just lost -- out of our element. We were whipsawed," Miller recalled when the presidents of Detroit's three auto companies were summoned to testify before Congress after the publication of 'Unsafe at Any Speed,' Ralph Nader's 1965 groundbreaking book that exposed the American auto industry's lax safety practices.
It’s not that there’s no droning sound as the Accord accelerates, but Honda has done a good job of tamping down that irritation. Yes, we prefer the conventional 10-speed automatic that Honda uses with the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, but Honda’s implementation of a CVT is among the best.
Racing with Toyota at Le Mans and other endurance races should give him better luck than he had this season with McLaren-Honda in F1 and at Indy. Though Toyota has never won Le Mans, it is known to be developing a new WEC car.
We reported that the SUV could return to UK showrooms in 2015, when the company’s UK managing director Lance Bradley replied to a tweet from Auto Express claiming that it was “far from impossible” that the Shogun Sport could be homologated and converted for European release at a later date.
Indeed, he was right: it is a petrol-electric plug-in hybrid (PHEV) – bang on-trend for our changing times, despite actually having been on sale in the UK since 2014. Underneath our Mitsubishi’s long bonnet is a conventional 2.0-litre petrol engine mated to two battery-driven electric motors, one at the front and one at the rear, enabling the Outlander PHEV to be driven by engine power alone, by the batteries or by a combination of the two. These batteries can be charged a little while the car’s on the move or plugged into the mains for a much more sizeable dosage. Fully charged, our PHEV should then have an electric-only range of around 30 miles. Perhaps more impressively, its official fuel consumption is listed at 166.1mpg and its CO2 figure as 41g/km, which is extraordinarily good for such a large and practical five-seat SUV.
Four-wheel drive will be offered on some models. While a six-speed manual gearbox will be standard, an automatic option will be available.
Regular Outlanders have always sold pretty well, even if they make do with nothing more exciting than a conventional 2.2-litre diesel engine. But it’s the PHEV version that has caught the eye of more than just the young man I mentioned earlier – it’s the UK’s best-selling electrified vehicle, with more than 25,000 cars sold, and that's despite the halving last year of the Government grant that applies when buying a new one. So popular is it that it actually accounts for nearly 50% of all the PHEVs on the road.