Archive | March, 2012

Cake, Cars & More Cars! SimonsCarSpots at Jaguar Land Rover, Gaydon

Having picked up a new Vauxhall Zafira Tourer the day before, kindly provided by Grimshaws Vauxhall of Eccles, Manchester, Simon and I got up at 05:30 to head down in the early hours to Gaydon, Warwickshire, to the Motor Heritage Museum and Jaguar Land Rover, for the JLR Experience Day. Here’s the short introductory video we made on our way down the M6:

Simon Ford & Oliver Hammond from SimonsCarSpots-com at Jaguar Land Rover JLR Experience Day March 2012 - Vauxhall Zafira Tourer SRi from Tilly at Grimshaws Eccles Manchester

As we got closer and closer to Gaydon, we increasingly felt like we were in motoring heaven, even whilst we were still on the M40. Jaguars, Land Rovers and Aston Martins were everywhere! On the drive down, we were in Twitter and SMS contact with Rob Griggs-Taylor (for PetrolBlog) and Chris Auty (Driving Spirit), who were also attending the JLR day.

Nearing the JLR site at the Motor Heritage Museum, we put aside any temptations the National Herb Museum stirred up in us, and resumed our infamous car spotting obsession the minute we parked up in the car park – A Maserati 3200GT, Audi S8, Hyundai Veloster… the list goes on!

Simon Ford & Oliver Hammond from SimonsCarSpots-com at Jaguar Land Rover JLR Experience Day March 2012 - Rob Griggs-Taylor

We were delighted to meet fellow Tweeter and contributor Rob Griggs-Taylor (there on behalf of MajorGav’s PetrolBlog) a few minutes later, and had many a good natter with him throughout the day, over the abundance of wonderful cake, tea/coffee and lunch provided by Jaguar Land Rover. We also enjoyed meeting Chris Auty from Driving Spirit, who bravely tackled the off-road course straight after lunch! Our “Twitter table” was later joined by Andrew Merritt-Morling and another nice guy called James, and it was interesting to find out about their own motoring passions and involvements.

Simon Ford & Oliver Hammond from SimonsCarSpots-com at Jaguar Land Rover JLR Experience Day March 2012 - with Chris Auty from Driving Spirit

But enough of the waffle – what about the cars? Simon duly plunged straight in, his first car of the day being a white Jaguar XKR-S convertible, which he will be covering in his own blog post along with his drives of the Continue Reading →


Lexus CT 200h Premier, bloggy type Review from Simon Ford

I had an Invite a few Months ago from my Good Twitter Friend @Lexusfleetsouth Debbie Hunt  that said, “If you’re ever Down south, Pop in say Hi and test drive a Lexus”

Well I’m Finally down south and decided to take Debbie up on her Offer,

So I headed to Hatfield Lexus to Met up to Find out More,

For those of you who don’t follow @Lexusfleetsouth Debbie is Fleet Manager for Lexus in Hatfield,a Very Lovely Lady who’s Passionate about and a great Ambassador for the Lexus Brand.

After Having Coffee and a chat it was time to find out what car I would be Driving,

That car was this The Lexus CT200h Premier In Ultra Blue.

My 1st thought was in Ultra Blue it’s a very Striking looking car that shows of it’s Profile really well, but is Hidden when purchased in more Blander colours,

Open the Doors and your Greeted by the sight of the high Quality Interior

Sitting on the very comfortable Electric adjustable Heated seats, You find yourself cocooned by the high quality cockpit with everything falling easily to hand.

This Being the Top of the Range Premier Model it’s very well equipped with every luxury as standard including a Mark Levinson Multimedia package with 6 disc changer, 13 speakers, Hard disk drive, Navigation with route guidance, Parking assist monitor, Remote touch interface, which is a £2400 option on the rest of the range, and is Very good indeed.

Push the Start Button the Dash lights up and the engine well er!…. doesn’t fire into Life because remember it’s a Hybrid, so it’s just an Eerie silence,

The Gearbox it’s self is interesting with Drive, neutral, Reverse, and Drive with Regenerative Braking that captures the cars Kinetic Energy,

Pull away and the CT200h moves away without any noise which feels quite strange after driving a conventional car, The steering is very light and Managable at Parking speeds,

Getting to 25mph and the 1.8 litre petrol engine cuts in seamlessly and the only way you know the petrol engine has cut in is when you give stamp on the Loud pedal, because I couldn’t hear the Engine through the cockpit at all!!

There is a Big Silver dial in the center dash that says Sport..when this is on a clever thing happens The Dials Change, long gone is the power meter with blue display and in comes a Rev-counter with a red Display,

But That’s not All! Lexus have Engineered a Nice Sporty Exhaust Note, Sharpened up the Throttle response, and tightened the steering which makes it More fun,

Handling is Auctually very good, with little bodyroll through corners or city centre roundabouts, tyre Noise is also very minimal whether it be City or motorway driving, The CT 200h Tyres come with Built in Rim protection for the Alloys, which shows the small details That Lexus think off.

So to Sum It up Lexus have built a Good all round car, it does have a couple of very small Niggles, like The poor rear visability, rear space is a little tight for three adults and it’s not very cheap  This Model comes in at a high £30,995,

But the Range does start from £23,750 and if you’re a business user the CT 200h benefits from a good 10% BIK

So it Just Leaves me to say a Big Thank you to Debbie Hunt for inviting me down to drive her CT 200h Premier, And Hatfield Lexus for their Hospitality



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