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.
Ian praised the extra practicality the Arona offers over a traditional supermini. “It’s got a really good use of internal space, making the most of the Ibiza platform,” he told us. “My Nissan Qashqai is a higher car, but it feels almost as spacious.”
Tailored for the avid hunter, the Huntsman Accessory Pack is only available for the D-Max Utah Double Cab model in both manual and automatic, with a 1.9-litre turbo-diesel four-pot producing 162bhp and 360Nm of torque.
“We weren’t a bunch of accountants,” he told Automotive News in 2003. “We knew the importance of people.”
“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.
"If any car deserves to be in a museum, it's this one," Blackwell says, "for the miles it's gone and the things it's done for me."
Removed from its natural habitat and heading down a demanding country road, it’s less supreme. With vague steering and relatively soft suspension, the Cavalier feels unwieldy and often gets pitched off line by mid-corner lumps and bumps. It’s easy to see why, in 1995, Ford regained the upper hand – and its pride – with the Sierra’s ground-up replacement: the sharp-handling Mondeo. On which point, we’ll have more on that chapter for you soon.
"If you get in trouble with your line boss, you get transferred," he often told the company's controllers. "But if you get in trouble with me, you get fired! Their job was to blow the whistle if they thought something was wrong."
"I don't think you can physically do two programs. It would be complicated. Doing Le Mans or Indianapolis or Daytona, why not; it's a one-off. But more than this it is definitely a distraction from his main commitment."