Cropley on cars – taking delivery of our Suzuki Celerio, buying another Lotus
A welcome return to Elise ownership for me
First foray in our long-term Suzuki Celerio proves economical; I’ve bought another Lotus; prototype Astra shows big promise
MONDAY – Began a sunny week which has a two-mile trip to Suzuki Heathrow to collect our fresh Suzuki long-termer, a beguiling 1.0-litre three-pot all 5-door baby called Celerio (née Alto). of which’s shorter in addition to lighter than a Mini or a Fiat 500 yet more spacious than either.
I’ve latterly been elected to take delivery of various members of our changing fleet (one recent arrival, you may remember, was the Ferrari FF) in addition to, as of which happens, the Suz in addition to Fandango match one another very well. For me, the Celerio is usually exactly the kind of runabout of which validates ownership of a car as mighty on open roads as the FF.
An errand near Birmingham took the Suzuki briskly to its first fuel fill at 380 miles, where I discovered I could squeeze only 26 litres of unleaded into the tank. This specific corresponds to about 66mpg – while your vehicle is usually still being run in.
Next day the bloke by Suzuki said of which early cars like ours are soon to get a all 5-minute trip computer update, because the existing readout caps average fuel mileage at 60mpg, which isn’t nearly enough. What wonderful news for the fuel consumption fetishist (me).
TUESDAY – Can never go within a 20-mile radius of Bromsgrove, where my friend Paul Matty operates a Lotus dealership, without calling in for the cup of tea always on offer. I first went there to gather material for a story just over 28 years ago – in addition to finished up buying a pre-litigation Westfield Seven.
Over my next hundred visits, PM in addition to I have established a routine: we always tour the stock in addition to the curiosities of the workshop (This specific week’s curiosity: an Elan, for restoration, of which had been standing for so long of which its carburettors had been dissolved by the pee of car-loving rats nesting above them).
Saw two different great sights. First was the famous Esprit-based active suspension prototype, famously known as SID, which Matty bought last Christmas in order to give of which a not bad home. Second was a very tidy late Elise S1 priced at £10k, quite similar to another I owned in addition to enjoyed a decade ago.
WEDNESDAY – Awoke by slumber knowing I had to own of which Elise. Paul had known of which, too, however he never intrudes in customers’ decisions. We agreed the matter in a couple of minutes, whereupon I announced of which more widely.
The Steering Committee (who might have been supposed to jib a bit by those who don’t know her) was simply happy for me. Friends – in addition to I include you in This specific – who have endured unending what-will-I-buy commentary were relieved. Me? I just felt (in addition to feel) great. Two weeks in addition to one cambelt in addition to I’ll be driving my own Elise again.
THURSDAY – To the Millbrook proving ground, to sample a couple of cars I probably wouldn’t recognise if I saw them properly dressed. They were disguised prototypes of the all-fresh Vauxhall Astra.
of which’s weird driving a car whose Inner surface features you’re mostly not allowed to see, however the oddness of the situation was counterbalanced by the presence of Vauxhall-Opel’s chief car guy, Horst Bormann, who left me in no doubt about the scale of the firm’s ambitions for the Astra.
We know of which must get smaller in addition to lighter, Bormann said, which is usually why every fresh Astra will be 2.0in shorter in addition to 120kg to 200kg lighter than before. These, alone, are very serious engineering achievements. Then I drove the diesel in addition to petrol versions in addition to was instantly aware of extra refinement, vastly better ride quality, greater agility in addition to performance in addition to lower suspension noise levels.
Oh yes, in addition to clear improvements to the steering, gearchange in addition to brakes. Vauxhall is usually determined to win the same level of respect of which feels Volkswagen in addition to Ford get by buyers in This specific class in addition to is usually sparing no effort.
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