During the last few months we’ve immersed ourselves in several of Volvo’s most dynamic new models, to learn about how the marque is positioned in 2012 and why you might chose to buy one rather than its more prolific German competitors.
For a nation endowed with the DNA of such maverick automotive legends as Chapman, Cooper and Brown, it seems ironic that the marque which now leads the plethora of niche British sports car manufacturers is one that was only founded in the latter part of the 20th century.
There’s no doubting that thanks to some exceptional individual and team performances at the 2012 Olympics, Cool Britannia is now very much back in vogue. Whether you’re lucky enough to have seen the action live, or have been watching at home, in a bar or at work, the sight of 000’s of Union Jacks waving in fervent admiration can only reinforce the feelings of pride and passion that resonate across this small island nation.
Ferrari are in the midst of launching the new F12berlinetta this week, stretching the legs of its newest prancing horse in the hills above Maranello where the car was originally developed.
Earlier this week I got together with Margareta Pagano, Business Editor of The Independent newspaper, and compared notes on the state of play at Norfolk’s favourite car maker.
Do you remember Ben Southall, the lucky s*d who landed “the best job in the world”? He flew out from UK to Australia in 2009 to begin a work-cation as caretaker of an Australian tropical island, bolstered by a £75,000 salary and use of a luxury beach villa on Hamilton Island, Queensland.
After well over three decades of driving I might (finally) be showing signs of growing up. Not because I’m reviewing a new Volvo, although I’ll come back to that somewhat jaded stereotype a little later. Instead I’m learning to value cars which manage to tick a multitude of boxes, treading that fine line between usability and fun.
Back in February, we published a running report on our own Audi TT 2.0 TFSi which focused on a problem that had blighted our enjoyment of the car – namely the driver or passenger window becoming ‘stuck’ half open.
There was a time when owning a Volvo was considered cool – the year was 1994 and Volvo had teamed up with Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) to contest the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC).
To help raise the brand’s profile, Volvo originally chose the 850 Estate, which they reasoned would generate the most media exposure.
It’s been a matter of debate for months now as rumours continue to abound over the future of Group Lotus. But rather than clarify the situation, most reports serve only to confuse and frustrate an already jaded audience.
Much has been speculated, many of it inaccurate, and whilst I could go through each and every one, this would be of little benefit to Lotus or its 1,200 loyal employees.
Do you care about the truth? Do you care about the survival of a company whose engineering innovation has fundamentally influenced the cars we drive today? Do you really care? Or is Lotus just another target to parody and poke fun at for our own amusement?
The British Winter. It’s not ‘too’ arduous really, provided you don’t get stuck in a sudden blizzard, or your washer fluid freezes up, or some fool yet again launches themselves into the street furniture whilst attempting to drive, text and sip a piping-hot skinny latte.