Simple question really; should we, or should we not send cars into controlled slides to make them look dramatic in our videos and for the still images in the magazine in the year 2012? 

Do you like seeing cars being thrown around on or near their limit, in other words, or is the idea just so far removed from the way in which we drive on the public road that you regard the whole thing as being rather tedious, perhaps even a little bit childish?

I only ask because things are very different in the world of cars today compared with how they were even five years ago. I spent the thick end of a week driving the new Vauxhall Ampera recently, and by the end of the test I was reasonably convinced I’d driven the most significant car of this year, and possibly ever.

Yet this had nothing to do with the fact that it could be made to go sideways for several hundred yards (it won’t), or because its handling had been touched by genius (it’s actually a very decent thing to drive, but a Lotus Elise it is not).

The Ampera blew me away because, in my hands, it averaged 109mpg during the week – yet at the same time it can also get from 0-60mph in a more than respectable 8.7sec and has a real world touring range of around 330 miles. And while its steering, ride, handling etc are better than acceptable for a car costing £30k +, it is what it does rather than the way it does it that makes it extraordinary.