"Before we left, Henry said, 'I want to hire all of you. Just put your name down and how much money you want," Miller recalled in 2003.
These small indiscretions give the Micra a couple of big black marks against its otherwise impressive package. Don’t get me wrong, if you invested in one you would be getting a superb supermini that is well appointed and is better to drive than most in this class. But the Ibiza and the Fiesta have an added layer of polish that you would expect for a car priced as ours is.
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"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."
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.
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.
Car battery prices vary, and can cost from around £60 fitted, although models fitted with stop-start systems need a heavier duty battery that can cost more than £100, depending on the size, type and the electrical current produced. There are dozens of combinations on offer, so make sure you get the correct one for your car.
The team -- initially dubbed the “quiz kids” because they cajoled Ford colleagues with so many questions early on -- included Robert McNamara, who also became Ford president before serving as secretary of defense under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.
Grip levels are impressive, with the 1LE’s peak 0.98 g on the skidpad being significantly better than the 0.91 g we recorded in the standard V-6 coupe, if some way short of the huge 1.05 g that the V-8 SS 1LE managed on its fatter tires. It’s worth mentioning that our test car also showed evidence of a hard life during its 6500 miles, suffering noticeably more understeer when turning right than left; a factory-fresh car or brand-new rubber might have done even better. But the V-6 Camaro is 215 pounds lighter than the V-8 car, and although it can’t produce the same ultimate adhesion, it feels very agile when attacking a series of corners. In the dry, on-road traction is pretty much absolute, with only the hardest use causing the rear to squirm. In the wet, grip levels are much more limited on these summer-spec tires—the 1LE felt positively skittish, especially when asked to deal with standing water.