But don’t go thinking that Jaguar has abandoned what it has always been famous for – namely, creating high-powered, luxurious, rear-wheel-drive saloons. First seen in camouflaged guise going up the hill at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed, this new (and we use that world very lightly) XJR 575 is the most powerful version of Jaguar’s flagship saloon to date.
As soon as the covers were pulled off the Arona, we swooped in to get the inside line from our readers – and potential SEAT customers.
What do you get when you outfit a Ford Mustang with a racetrack-ready chassis and a high-revving V-8 engine? The spectacular Shelby GT350, of course. Its muscular proportions are exaggerated by stretched scoops and special splitters to manipulate airflow. Out of the box, the track-focused GT350R is stripped of superfluous stuff such as a back seat and rigged with racing equipment (such as carbon-fiber wheels). Both Mustangs make glorious sounds and put power down with a standard 526-hp naturally aspirated V-8 and a six-speed manual gearbox. While the Shelby is outgunned at the drag strip by the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, Ford has heavily transformed its twin snakes for hypnotic high performance.
When he visited the company's finance department, he was shocked to discover old-school bookkeepers tracking piles and piles of bills divided into categories: A, B, C and D. The mostly older men couldn't keep up with the bills and were simply estimating how many millions of dollars were represented per foot of paper.
“I think it’s been designed really well,” he said. “I always expect a car from SEAT to have a really smart design, and the Arona lives up to those expectations. The LED lights and contrasting roof make it look classy.
Right there was the sort of chest-puffing bragging rights Mr Company Car Man loved. But his fleet manager was decidedly chuffed, too: its fuel economy of 51.4mpg at a constant 56mph was pretty parsimonious for the time.
There are lots of reasons why people buy cars, from a change in circumstances, such as becoming a parent, to retiring. But when it comes to why people keep their cars and stick with the same brand year after year, there’s one factor that has the biggest influence: reliability.