Thursday 24th of May 2012.
Its a day that I’ll not forget in a hurry, as it was the Annual Society of Motor Manufactures and Traders yearly Shin-Dig. where all the Motoring Journalist’s, Car Websites, and top Motoring Bloggers in the uk get to go to Millbrook Proving ground, catch up with the industry Pr’s and Generally having a Fantastic Day hooning around in the latest car’s, manufactures have to offer. (think of it as an early Christmas office party with cars)
This year I’d been given an invite, the brief was Simple, go and drive as many cars as I could, Meet as many People as I could, and Have as Much fun as I could,, well, I managed all three.
As there was so many cars to drive, and without the risk of boring you all to death with my Ramblings I’ll keep each car to a few pics and Paragraphs, (If possible)
Car 1: Chrysler Ypsilon
Well at £14,750 the Twin-Air is expensive for what is a small city car based on the Fiat 500, It’s Interior is the best yet from Chrysler for the European market, very functional, quite spacious, Handles well in city enviroments, suits those wanting something good looking and different from the normal contenders, I’d take a 4 cylinder model over the buzzy twin-air engine though.
Car 2: Citroen Berlingo Multispace Xtr
A car Not many people remember is still for sale or even consider as a Family runabout, But in reality the new Berlingo Multispace makes a lot of sense, Its big and spacious inside, has low running costs, Appeals to all classes of people from different walks of life, And the 115bhp turbo diesel really suits it, I drove it on Millbrooks Hill route and had quite a bit of fun with it, an underated star.
Car 3: Toyota LandCruiser V8
But I’m happy to report this is a Great Alternative to a RangeRover especially if you need 7 seats Instead of the Rangies 5.
Car 4: Lexus Is-f
An M3 Rival that delivers an awesome soundtrack, Luxury and Refinement as standard weather it be at 30mph or 130mph, It handles everything you can throw at it, City driving,,,motorway driving, or even high speed driving, at 130 mph its as quiet as a mouse but with the roar of a lion ’Not just a rival to an M3! But a serious alternative rival to the M3′ although not everyone will agree.
Car 5: Chevrolet Volt.
The Chevrolet Volt Plug-in Hybrid with Petrol engine, or Extended Range Electric Vehicle (whichever you’d like to use) Is actually a very good car, It looks more understated than it’s Vauxhall Ampera twin brother, has a Futuristic Interior, and handled Millbrooks City course well, the power was Instant, equipment wise it has everything you’d ever need, space wise there’s more than enough up front in the rear there’s 2 individual seats but quite cramped. overal all should sell well.
Car 6: Nissan Note 1.5 dci N-Tec
The Notes not a bad car but you can see why, It’s spacious inside quite good value very frugal but very noisy
Car 7: Bentley Flying spur speed
The Most Expensive, Fastest car I’ve ever driven capable of 200mph and costing over £150,000, very very good Twin-Turbo V8 engine, despite being a big heavy car it doesn’t feel like it, did have a couple of plasticky issues on the trim and Sat-nav looked abit V.A.G inspired.
Car 8: Jaguar XKR-S
Car 9: Fiat Punto Abath Evo
Car 10: UniMog
As a Big UniMog fan from my childhood days I finally got a chance to have a go in one on the offroad course at Millbrook, 1st thing you notice even before you get inside is how massive this this thing is, you enter by climbing 3 very steep steps which once inside makes it feel like your 10 foot high and totally invincible to anything else you might encounter, In total there are 24 gears but only 8 are used for the road, the rest are all working gears (including hare and tortoise mode) top speed o a standard UniMog is 56mph.
you can adapt the UniMog to any form of working transport that you desire weather it be a snowplough, farm work, or emergency services, on the road the Air seat bounces you about the cabin at any speeds which makes for a choppy ride but it comes into it’s own off road, for going down hill there is an engine braking system that will put hill descent controls of the latest 4×4′s to shame (the UniMogs is Mechanical and not electrical)
The UniMog makes mincemeat of 1 in 3 gradient hills, 2ft8 of water and probably slow moving natives too, the UniMog is one of those vehicles thats more fun at slow speeds, then some are at high speeds.
That was my day at the SMMT at Millbrook, I’d just like to say a big thank you to EVERYONE who I had the honour of meeting on thursday, and a big sorry to all those that I didn’t