Remember Backfire? It’s the proposal for a simple, low-volume EV roadster along Caterham lines that we dreamed up (using practical wisdom from Equipmake and WEVC) in our Christmas double issue. Since then, I’ve carefully collected reactions from readers who spotted it – and liked it enough to write and say so – and the tally has just reached 30. Thank you, Bill and Lizzie Stanley of Herts; your note is the latest.

Thirty people isn’t exactly a football crowd, but I believe it’s a modest validation of the idea, given that there must also be others who approve but didn’t write. I must say I grow ever more impatient for some enterprising niche vehicle maker to tackle a project like this: EV-dom needs proof that driving will be simple fun tomorrow. 

No gears, true, but Backfire would have brilliant weight distribution and great torque characteristics. And if someone built a car like it, we’d soon understand how small a roadster’s battery can be, and how little such a car can weigh. In the original feature, our experts were all optimism, but I’d love to see it proven.


This week’s story about Rolls-Royce redesigning the age-old Spirit of Ecstasy emblem for superior aerodynamics and a smaller frontal area – to better suit the drag-busting shape of the forthcoming Spectre EV – reminds me how much activity there seems to be in badge engineering (the proper kind) nowadays. 

Both McLaren and Gordon Murray have for years been conscious of saving badge bulk and weight, and now we hear that even the nose badge of the forthcoming Morgan 3 Wheeler, whose official launch is a couple of weeks away, has had ‘work’ to ensure its edges comply with global safety regs. The radii of various edges have been changed and the thickness of the whole badge has been shaved by one millimetre (to 4.5mm) just to be sure.