At last, a chance for some serious driving in the Volkswagen ID 3, an electric hatchback that’s destined to become one of my favourite cars. First impression: in size, styling and all-round capability, it’s every bit as important as the Golf. Volkswagen itself acknowledges this point: it lists its three biggest-ever car launches as Beetle, Golf and ID 3.
How you describe the ID 3 depends on who you’re talking to. For people who like unimpeachable refinement, powertrain precision and an overriding feeling of effortlessness, this is a great car. Add a quiet, long-wheelbase ride and one of those new-think interiors whose fascia provides lots of stuff you wouldn’t have thought of yourself and you have a machine that you will enjoy spending several months getting to know intimately and operating well. But it brings contentment, not exhilaration.
It’s going to be fascinating to discover how Volkswagen (which popularised the hot hatch) will solve the other half of the equation.
To Bicester Motion, the between-wars former RAF base in Oxfordshire that’s being tastefully developed into a hub for the creation of cars past, present and future.
One of the pleasures of any Bicester Motion visit is chatting with genial gatekeeper Neil Milliner (his official title is concierge), who sits in the fortress-like gatehouse with his rescue dog Shellby, found badly injured three years ago on the forecourt of a Shell service station. It turns out that Neil is a retired psychotherapist, so he has the perfect skill set for someone who lifts barriers and gives you directions.
Very proud today to announce the winners of our inaugural Drivers of Change, a year-long competition we’ve run with the people-search firm Ennis & Co, aiming to attract bright recruits to the motor industry. It was part of the SMMT’s latest online update, at which Alok Sharma, secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, agreed to make a speech.