And it wasn’t just externally where things had changed. Sure, underneath was basically the same front-wheel-drive chassis as the Mk2, but the heavily revised suspension, we quipped, gave it "a far more compliant and comfortable ride at speed". What's more, "the Cavalier is a car you know is going to be a joy to drive almost as soon as the wheels start to turn", due to its "stability" and "crisp" turn-in.
What's motivating him is this: He's 36 years old and is intent on becoming only the second driver, after Briton Graham Hill, to win motorsport's Triple Crown. That entails winning the Formula One title (or just the Monaco Grand Prix according to one interpretation) as well as Indianapolis and Le Mans.
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of engines, which were carried over from its predecessor, were always so much stronger and more efficient than Ford's outdated Pinto or limp-wristed CVH lumps in the Sierra.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".
Regular Outlanders have always sold pretty well, even if they make do with nothing more exciting than a conventional 2.2-litre diesel engine. But it’s the PHEV version that has caught the eye of more than just the young man I mentioned earlier – it’s the UK’s best-selling electrified vehicle, with more than 25,000 cars sold, and that's despite the halving last year of the Government grant that applies when buying a new one. So popular is it that it actually accounts for nearly 50% of all the PHEVs on the road.
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A difference in strategy and priorities with Miller prompted Henry Ford II in 1968 to abruptly name a new president, William "Bunkie" Knudsen, who had just been passed over for the president's post at General Motors. Miller became vice chairman of Ford -- a new post created for him -- and dean at Stanford. He left Ford's management ranks a year later but stayed on the company's board until 1986.
“I still have burning in my mind the image of that gas tank on fire,” Miller told the panel.