Steve Cropley: New Jaguars, old Vauxhalls and reborn Lambos Car News

99 Steve Cropley Column Jaguar I Pace

This week our man takes Jaguar’s electric crossover a second time and celebrates the future of Vauxhall’s heritage fleet

The additional lineup prompted Cropley to rethink its stance on the Jaguar I-Pace this week, and its playlist grew even longer. If he manages to tear himself away from the heritage Vauxhall collection at the British Motor Museum, he might be able to nibble it …

On Monday

Jaguar boss Thierry Bolloré can be expected to look confident about the latest version of its flagship battery-powered product, the I-Pace. But I wasn’t prepared for the new electric SUV excellence when it arrived home last week after Bolloré suggested in a recent interview that I should try the updated model.

So far, the Jag battery has seemed flawed: beautiful and fun to drive, but unable to reach within 80 miles of its claimed 292 mile cruising range. But the Jaguar electricians worked overtime: in a week of testing, I repeatedly found that 275 miles is easy and you can do 292 in the current weather conditions. It changes the whole proposition.


Fantastic news arrives from the British Motor Museum in Gaydon, just off the M40 near Warwick, that Vauxhall’s heritage collection of 50 cars – some rare, others beautifully ordinary – will now be on display there. Suddenly, this welcoming historic center goes from a bit of British Leyland to a much more authentic reflection of what British motorists have bought since Vauxhall opened in 1903. In addition, the museum, already well equipped with ‘a bank of EV chargers, has big plans to follow and to explain the UK’s rapid shift to New Era Propulsion for the 2030s. “Our business is as much the future as the past,” says dynamic CEO Jeff Cooper.


If anyone lives in the past, it’s probably me, given my disappointment with Lamborghini’s new Countach, a modern hypercar that uses a practical set of 50-year-old design cues to justify tabletop recycling. profi of a great name and tradition. The whole point of the original Countach was that it was raw and shocking – from Mick Jagger to Ferrari’s Paul McCartney.

Producing an overpriced, sanitized “update” is anything but. Oddly enough, I would say that the extreme forms of Lamborghini’s recent production models, including the bold and shiny Urus SUV, are more faithful to the original Countach lore than this pastiche.


Anyone who’s good at turning a phrase seems to have typed on the keyboard during freezes – and one of the best efforts I’ve seen is that of Ray Hutton, who ran this magazine through a rough decade from 1975. His new book, Wheels Within Wheels (194 pages, £ 11.95 from Amazon) is aptly described as “a diverse memoir of cars and car people”.

It deals with 20 important topics as disparate as a wildly disorganized trip to Moscow to test the new Lada Niva and the impending arrival of hydrogen fuel cells as a solution to the world’s problems – 25 years ago. What is striking is Ray’s pristine memory (my career overlaps with his, but I had forgotten much of what he says) and how authoritatively he describes things, without exaggeration or gratuitous hyperbole. This makes this book a valuable account of recent car history, and I have never read anything like it.


Today’s formation of a ‘large consortium’ involving seven UK organizations to develop solid-state battery technology for cars should be a joy to our hearts. The Autovista news service (which I usually read before I get up from the couch) puts it perfectly: “The positive result… would harness and industrialize UK university capabilities… using highly scalable techniques that exceed cost-effectiveness and performance achieved elsewhere. . He says that “the size and experience of this consortium is unmatched.”

Our politicians deserve criticism in many ways, but their willingness over the years to fund national R&D projects is now paying off.

And something else

The 25th anniversary of the Porsche Boxster, so often touted as the 911’s junior partner, reminds me of how successfully this car has combined meaning and inspiration; and how difficult it made life from the mid-1990s onwards for TVR, Marcos, Lotus and the others. People began to insist on reliability to go hand in hand with their enjoyment.


How JLR boss Thierry Bolloré will reinvent Britain’s biggest car company

The Vauxhall collection will be on display at the British Motor Museum

The new 25-year-old Porsche Boxster revisits its roots

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This notice was published: 2021-08-25 05:01:23

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