Our man pays a visit to several motoring events this week, and welcomes a new arrival to his personal fleet.
Fun at Hampton Court Palace for the Concours of Elegance, where looking at great cars in the open air provided a simple form of freedom we haven’t experienced in a while. One highlight was running into Lotus MD Matt Windle, who was there all day, chatting to potential customers. Given the rigours of running an all-action company like Lotus, I found it impressive that the boss was donating his Saturday to us punters.
A couple of enticing-looking Emiras fed my current preoccupation with £60,000 semi-exotics, although it did strike me that Lotus will have to talk fast to excuse its car’s 1405kg kerb weight against the Alpine A110’s 1123kg. Later, on the back of the gas bill, I worked out that to match the 292bhp Légende GT’s power-to-weight ratio, an Emira will need all of its predicted 360bhp and a bit more. Time to add more lightness...
One of the fascinations of weekly magazines is seeing opinions diverge – as they did in reaction to our 8 September Munich show coverline claiming that “every car on this cover is electric”. It was enjoyable watching mag sales and online traffic climb (as often happens with new metal stories) but less enjoyable reading subsequent commentary suggesting Autocar’s love of ICE cars was over and we were selling off our 126-year-old family silver.
There’s no sell-off and there won’t be. We were simply reporting the Munich headlines.
We love ICE cars as much as ever, and will continue to long beyond 2030. In fact, one of our preoccupations is to try to promote an understanding that today’s cars are as vital to the future as those beyond 2030, because without their success, the future won’t be affordable.
We also believe the authorities must thoroughly investigate the fast-rising relevance of carbon- neutral synthetic fuels (great in today’s engines) before any piston ban. But whenever I see another ‘I hate EVs and always will’ letter, I do wish that its writer had at least tried a new-era EV. Naturally, all Autocar people have, and you won’t find an EV hater among us.