Our love for the new Honda Accord knows no bounds. We’ve squealed in delight about the transcendent subtlety that comes with the turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four in the high-end models. Whether that’s with a six-speed manual or a 10-speed automatic transmission, the 2.0-liter turbo is a critical element in a wonderful car. The thing is, if history is a guide, the majority of the Accords that Honda sells won’t have that engine.
It uses a retuned version of the F-Type SVR’s supercharged 5.0-litre V8 engine, which produces a whopping 567bhp and 516lb ft – around 25bhp more than the outgoing XJR. A 0-62mph time of 4.4sec and a top speed of 186mph are some way off the class best (the BMW 760Li xDrive reaches 62mph nearly a whole second faster), but the XJR 575 makes do without the help of launch control or four-wheel drive.
In certain circumstances, time is a healer. But after that glowing build-up, it seems time has wounded our once great champ. Climb inside the Mk3 Cavalier now and you’re met with a driving position that simply wouldn’t cut the mustard today. The non-adjustable steering wheel is offset so far to the left that you’re left wondering if your passenger should be the one steering, while the La-Z-Boy-esque seats lack any form of lateral support, sending you sliding sideways round the first hairpin bend.
As ever, most buyers in this market will buy on a PCP finance deal, where the X2 could be more competitive. Demand is expected to be high, though, meaning that Target Price discounts will be slim for the forseeable future.
Of course, one purpose of any small-engined Chevy Camaro has always been to persuade buyers to purchase a more powerful version, and we acknowledge that the V-6 still feels like a sizable step up from the base turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four. While we doubt that Camaro V-6 1LE buyers will ever grow tired of the grip generated by this chassis, whether on a road course or an actual road, we suspect many of them may regret not digging deeper for a V-8.
Opel executives did not mention whether the automaker will seek to sell cars in the U.S. But "nothing more stands in the way" of a possible U.S. market entry once Opel has shifted its product lineup to PSA platforms from GM architectures, said Opel’s labor leader Wolfgang Schaefer-Klug, Opel’s labor leader, who is an Opel board member.
As part of its new turnaround plan, Opel is exploring potential new markets for cars and light trucks outside of its European heartland.
“Oh, she’s electric,” remarked a young man on the pavement as I stepped out of our Outlander. I should explain, in case you think I’d encountered someone who spends his days standing on street corners quoting Oasis songs at people, that this budding car enthusiast had merely spotted the large 'PHEV' badge on the flanks of the car.
"Somebody stopped by the farm with an old Model T, a junker, and just left it in our yard," Miller told Hemmings Classic Car in 2007. "I gave him 10 dollars and took it all apart to see how it worked."