Just as Ford execs were tugging at their Gordon Gekko braces and supping the Bollinger of success, Vauxhall unveiled the Cavalier Mk3 in 1988. Boom – with its sleek, swoopy lines, boy, it cut a dash – and promptly pooped on Ford's party.
Spy shots also suggest that the car is ready for its full unmasking. The car pictured earlier this year is disguised heavily, but that doesn’t hide the new shape, strongly influenced by the QX50 Concept. As such, the final production model seems likely to take on many of its design cues with little or no change.
The track-focused Camaro is attractively priced, with the V-6 1LE in its base 1LS trim starting at less than 33 grand—some $5000 cheaper than the least expensive V-8 Camaro SS. (Get one with a few niceties, as on our 2LT test car, however, and the cost advantage over the SS becomes narrower.) As it does when ordered on V-8 and ZL1 models, the 1LE option brings a bundle of both cosmetic and mechanical modifications. Here that means a version of the SS’s suspension with retuned dampers, rear subframe mounts, and anti-roll bars. There also are staggered-width 20-inch forged-aluminum wheels carrying 245/40ZR-20 Goodyear Eagle F1 tires at the front and 275/35ZR-20s at the rear; a limited-slip differential; Brembo four-pot front brake calipers; enhanced cooling for the engine, transmission, and differential; and a dual-mode exhaust system. Visual changes for the V-6 model include satin-black vinyl wraps for the hood and side mirrors, a splitter beneath the front bumper, and a lip spoiler on the trunklid.
As for the car itself, it is expected to be a range-extended electric sedan. The country's Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology indicated last year that the debut model will be an electric car with a small gasoline engine as a range extender, likely with a 15-kWh battery and a pure-electric range of 60 miles before the range extender kicks in. The consortium of companies expects a working prototype by 2019 and the start of production by 2021.
“WRC 7” has three game modes: solo, which includes the career mode, multiplayer and challenge, where new online events appear. I jumped into career mode with the Ford team and promptly finished seventh out of 10. That was with a bunch of respawns, which put you back on the track no matter where you’re at, with a seven- or nine-second penalty, depending on if you get stuck on a tree, or if the game senses you’ve committed suicide off a cliff. A respawn is better than the alternative.
Daniel was immediately impressed with the Arona’s exterior look, penned at SEAT’s Barcelona design centre.
As standard, every X2 will come with BMW's iDrive infotainment and navigation system presented on a 6.5in screen (although that can grow to an 8.8in touchscreen if drivers select an upgraded set-up). The system is similar to that in the new 5 Series this year and can be had in conjunction with an optional head-up display, which projects speed and navigation instructions directly into the driver's field of vision.
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.
• Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
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.