But what’s it like today?
Traveling the globe to race in both the WEC and F1 in the same season sounds grueling, but it might be possible. The circuits have provisional schedules, and there's just one conflict — the U.S. Grand Prix and a WEC race in Japan are both penciled in for Oct. 21.
The Workhorse N-Gen sounds at first description like a Hollywood spy-movie cliché: a near silent electric powertrain within a white van with a rather frumpy, nondescript exterior—and a little drone aircraft deployed from the roof to make the final move to the target. Its reason for being is much more pragmatic, however; it’s the latest in a growing line of delivery vehicles from Workhorse of Ohio, positioned for the greening of corporate fleets while keeping ownership costs extremely low. The N-Gen is designed to replace a generation of small delivery vans powered by gasoline and diesel engines. Although final specs aren’t out yet, it’s expected to weigh hundreds of pounds less than those older vans, thanks to a lightweight composite body. Electric motors will provide about 100 miles of plug-in power, while a small onboard gasoline-fired range-extending engine will add another 75 miles of range. Workhorse claims up to 65 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) for the N-Gen. Although Workhorse has been teasing its W-15 range-extended electric pickup (pictured below), which we briefly drove earlier this year, for much longer, it’s the N-Gen that will reach the market first; production will start in the first quarter of next year. “It’s coming out first because regulatory-wise it’s just easier,” explained CEO Stephen Burns, explaining that it’s closely related to the vehicle that’s a finalist in the United States Postal Service Next Generation Delivery Vehicles (NGDV) vetting process. Workhorse, in conjunction with truck outfitter VT Hackney, delivered its six prototype vehicles on time in September for evaluation. The USPS is expected to announce around March 1 what company gets the contract to build up to 180,000 vehicles over a time period of up to seven years.
But what’s it like today?
Considering our philosophical bias in favor of manual transmissions, the charms of the CVT are limited. So the best thing about this automatic is that you don’t have to settle for it, because there’s a stick shift available with the 1.5T in the Accord Sport model. That said, the combination of 1.5T and CVT isn’t bad.
You do get a lot of kit for that money, mind you, including a range of safety and convenience features such as adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and a collision-mitigation system. The exterior has plenty of colour-keyed elements to please the eye, including bumpers, mirrors and door handles, and the interior is swathed in nappa leather.
But as they say, you don’t get something for nothing, and so it is here. To get the 575 to handle like a car half its size, the adaptive suspension is set up to be a little on the firm side. The result is an awkwardly inconsistent ride, with the 575 jittering over cracked road surfaces and the occasional expansion joint. Both the Mercedes-AMG S63 and BMW M760Li work far better as continent-crushing luxo-barges.
Isuzu has introduced the Huntsman Accessory Pack for the D-Max 4x4 pick-up truck as a £5,995 add-on, and it’s available now.