MONDAY - Needed a conveyance for a quick sprint to the south coast, so I clambered into a handy new Land Rover Discovery Sport – the one powered by what people have been inclined to call “the old engine”.
The 2.2-litre Ford-PSA diesel may be getting long in the tooth but it was as good as ever: flexible, quiet, long-legged and torquey.
Its main disadvantage is that it will probably turn out to be thirstier than Jaguar Land Rover’s new Ingenium engines, which will go into the Discovery Sport before the year’s end.
But given that I returned to the office after 120 miles with 40mpg showing on the trip computer, I don’t believe the practical advantage will change the world. The new engine will help company car sales, of course, but the old one looks like being a bit of a star on the secondhand market.
The rest of the car? Its steering and handling are terrific – miles better than the Freelander ever was and better even than the much pricier Range Rover Sport I’ve been driving. Biggest fault I could find was a knobbly low-speed ride – partly attributable, possibly, to the 19in wheels – but it’s excusable in my mind because the handling’s so great.
This may be the everyman Landie, but I reckon its chassis is the most sophisticated yet.
TUESDAY - As a former McLaren ‘owner’ – remember our 12C long-termer a couple of summers ago? – can I just say how much I approve of the new 570S, first of the marque’s new entry-level Sports Series? When it was first announced that there would be three tiers of McLarens using the same twin-turbocharged V8 engine and carbonfibre tub, I couldn’t see how the range could offer enough variety. Now it looks far more plausible.