So, “WRC 7” has all of the cars, all of the teams and ALL of the tracks from the current rally season. I started out with the big cars before quickly realizing that they had a little too much power for a rallying rookie; in-house rally driver Jimmy had a bit more luck early on. But with the hyperrealistic brand-spanking-new Thrustmaster Ts-Xw Racer Sparco P310 wheel controller setup -- thanks guys, we love it -- I could feel every errant rock at the edge of the road, every tree stump and every freewheeling jump the Ford Junior WRC car could throw at me. Front-wheel drive: It’s where the losers start.
Some of society's most pressing challenges -- “safety, water pollution, urban problems, housing” -- have to be solved by what he called “a partnership between the private and public sectors.”
Daniel was immediately impressed with the Arona’s exterior look, penned at SEAT’s Barcelona design centre.
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.
While with its design the QX50 may stick to tried and tested brand methods, big changes should be coming under the bonnet. The QX50 Concept revealed at Detroit was used to preview the brand’s new variable-compression turbo petrol engine –a downsized petrol 2.0-litre power unit that will replace the ageing 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine currently used across the brand’s line-up.
The Accord’s 192-hp version is at least nominally close to the CR-V unit, with its 10.3:1 compression ratio, direct fuel injection, and VTEC variable valve-timing system. All variants use essentially the same hardware, including the Mitsubishi TD03 single-scroll turbocharger. What varies is the software, boost levels, and, in the case of the Civic Si, a preference for premium fuel.
Performance was also virtuous. the Mk3’s Family II range of engines, which were carried over from its predecessor, were always so much stronger and more efficient than Ford's outdated Pinto or limp-wristed CVH lumps in the Sierra. And the 16-valve GSi model aside, the 115bhp eight-valve 2.0i engine we tested was the most coveted.
We made note of this in our 1989 group test of the Cavalier, describing "the miles whipping by in a quiet comfortable blur", thanks to "the car’s attractive aerodynamic styling, which cuts wind bluster and improves performance".