MONDAY - Feeling curiously detached and rather pious on holiday this week in the Cotswolds, because I’m floating about in an all-electric Volkswagen e-Up, the one VW about which unhappy stuff is unlikely to be abruptly revealed.
It’s a terrific car, and ultra-practical now we have the proper Chargemaster arrangement in our garage.
However, plans to do a 190-mile round trip in it to London (Bond movie, don’t you know) hit the buffers because I don’t yet have an Ecotricity account, and these are the guys whose ‘electricity pumps’ I’d need to use in the motorway service areas.
It has only just dawned on me that the 80% fast charge you can get from one of these gizmos is, at present, delivered free. Ecotricity and its green-as-grass founder, Dale Vince, say it’s their way of giving electric cars a foothold in our market. I’ve applied for a card online, and it’s supposed only to take a couple of days to arrive, so next time we speak I’ll know more.
TUESDAY - Reasons why it’s stupid to go on holiday, No 483: Autocar’s tyre smokers tested the Ford Mustang V8 this week, and since I’m away, swiping the test car for an hour is out of the question.
Still, I know from the report that popped into my phone earlier today that several thousand British hearts are now beating faster in anticipation of slipping behind the latest pony car’s wheel, following Matt Saunders’ typically well-expressed comments: “Ford’s inbound American hot rod handles British roads well enough, but leaves tyre marks across your imagination.”
Better still, he pronounces the ’Stang “almost good enough to match much more expensive rivals, but the low-speed ride needs work”. Delighted with both conclusions, because I was first to drive this car in America last year, and these were my own thoughts. Knowing that the car works in the UK would put it right at the top of my £34k shopping list – if I had one.
THURSDAY - I’ve seen the Bond movie now. Great car chases, although I can’t help thinking the Jaguar C-X75 isn’t sufficiently celebrated. Perhaps it was in Aston’s contract. Anyway, to be sure I’m right, we’re seeing it again at the weekend.
One vehicle that gives a fine account of itself – again – is the Land Rover Defender, one of the most-researched vehicles in classifieds everywhere. Within an hour of our return from the cinema, I found myself surveying a prime, 30-year-old 90 V8 (restored), now nearly double the original price at £17,500.
However, I was much more attracted to a dented but healthy 20-year-old 110 County, powered by the much-praised 300 TDi and with ‘only’ 170,000 miles on the clock, at £6k. Its purveyor, a respected dealer, reckoned a recent thorough service made it “a very sound base for any use”.
Seems only corrosion can kill these amazing vehicles, and even that can now be beaten.
FRIDAY - Can’t help wondering what I’d be thinking if, like thousands of people, I had a VW Group car ‘affected’ in the emissions kerfuffle. The swirling confusion of those in this position is abundantly clear via social media.
Latest trends seem to be either to want to shoot the piano player (one of my dafter Twitter followers hopes VW will remember the behaviour of sanctimonious hacks – like me – in order to punish them when it’s over) or to slip into ‘my Golf is fine as it is’ mode. Both are understandable but not right.
Funnily enough, the latest revelations about too-optimistic CO2 claims for many VW petrol and diesel engines might help.