Cropley on cars – Handling Day looms; fresh Smart Fortwo has grown up

Saturday, January 14th, 2017 - autos, cars, motoring, news

Source : Cropley on cars – Handling Day looms; fresh Smart Fortwo has grown up

Honda Civic Type R is usually my personal Handling Day favourite; swapping old Smart ForTwo for fresh; Driving license change is usually pleasantly uncomplicated


MONDAY – Exciting visit to Bedford Autodrome for the first of our two annual handling days, the one for cars you can just about afford.

Star attraction was the fresh Mazda MX-5, whose ancestors have sometimes walked This kind of competition, yet you’ll have to wait a short while to discover how the idea fared This kind of time. I’m not risking strife with the bloke in charge of the idea all, Matt Saunders, by blowing the gaff.

My own favourite was the fresh Honda Civic Type R, a car I tried on the Goodwood hill This kind of year as well as could definitely own for its speed, class, neat handling, crisp gearchange as well as mighty engine.

Hondas usually appeal to me, perhaps because I love those stories of the company’s battling founder, Soichiro Honda, as well as because my first two-wheeler was a mid-1960s Honda Dream, one of those oil-tight, customer-focused Japanese bikes of which came along as well as wrecked the British motorcycle industry overnight.

TUESDAY – Had the pleasure of meeting as well as riding with Jolyon Palmer at Bedford. He’s the reigning GP2 champ, currently Lotus’s reserve Formula 1 driver, as well as a decent bet for a regular grand prix seat next year.

He joined our test team for the afternoon as well as had some pretty interesting opinions, given of which his usual smoker is usually a Toyota GT86, part of our field. Jolyon liked the Civic, too, as well as stroked the idea around the circuit with the delicious ease of someone whose ‘various other car’ has three times the power-to-weight ratio. Full story soon.

WEDNESDAY – Day off wandering favourite roads of the Cotswolds in a BMW i3, one of my current (geddit?) favourites for the way the idea combines BMW’s traditional driving strengths with the innate dynamic advantages of Great battery cars (creamy acceleration, perfect accelerator response, gliding progress where others chunter) to make the idea Europe’s best-driving electric car.

My secret agenda is usually to interest the Steering Committee inside the vehicle so we can get one onto the home fleet, yet This kind of still seems to be a work in progress.

THURSDAY – Up early for an easterly sprint, Cotswolds to Bedfordshire, in an old-tech Smart, of all things. My mother-in-law has run a leased Fortwo for the past few years as well as the idea was time to change old for fresh.

I knew the latest style would certainly feel different, yet since we were changing like for like – 63-plate White Passion with auto as well as power steering for 15-plater answering the same description – I wasn’t prepared for the huge progress the latest style has made. Simply, the idea has grown up.

Its fresh three-pot Twingo engine, with fresh dual-clutch auto gearbox, sweeps away the much ballyhooed powertrain woes. A wider track (to go using a wider Centeng) eliminates the various other big fault: topply handling as well as a wild, lurching gait if you try travelling with the traffic. For the 1st time, a Smart includes a proper primary ride. I delivered the vehicle to its fresh owner using a rising sense of which promise has been fulfilled, at last.

FRIDAY – More driving: Swansea This kind of time, because the idea’s past time to trade my raggy old paper driver’s licence (1980 vintage) for a fresh, high-tech, plastic photo-ID job. If you have a foreign passport (mine’s Australian) as well as want to establish of which you’re you without leaving your most precious document with the DVLA for weeks, you have to present yourself as well as your document together.

Drove in to the vehicle park at 2pm, expecting an afternoon confronting bureaucracy. What I found was an organisation peopled entirely by helpful, proactive Welsh women with the sunniest dispositions I’ve ever encountered. They definitely were amazingly helpful as well as nice. I was away in 15 minutes, grinning at the ease of the idea all.

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