Our man joined a get-together to celebrate the anniversary of Ford’s first iconic pony car
A simple and ever-present sense of joy, because the season of fun driving is now well underway and the weather is right.
Today was Ford’s Mustang Day, so we headed to Caffeine & Machine, Warwickshire’s welcome center for coffee-drinking car enthusiasts, transported smoothly down the Fosse Way by a Ford Mustang Mach-E GT (the fastest version of Blue Oval’s first all-electric model) that I had borrowed for the occasion. Grab an interesting car, find an attractive destination populated by people you love, and it’s hard not to have a great time.
News from around the world can be dire – between wars, shortages, inflation, price hikes and incessant political bickering – but several dozen V8 Mustangs (which had probably turned down the heat and ditched milk in their coffee to afford gasoline ) went to C&M for a drink and a damn good story about cars.
I’m an admirer of almost everything about the Mach-E except its poorly developed suspension, but I was able to swap my “crash” dark gray GT for a more tolerable “bouncy” red standard model on the the way back. Elephant in the room: how could Ford’s global bigwigs build so many of these otherwise excellent cars without noticing their obvious flaw – and undermining their reputation?
An hour-long journey south to Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire to attend TOCA’s season-opening reception for this year’s British Touring Car Championship (sponsored by Autocar), which introduced hybrid powertrains. Each car now has a 48V electric motor inside its gearbox, with the associated battery, cooling system and engine controls packaged nearby in a crash box.
I caught a word with ever-progressive BTCC boss Alan Gow, who is proud to have perfected a hybrid system against some serious headwinds and predicts other sedan racing series will soon follow suit.
The additional electric motor, which can be deployed by drivers for a maximum of 15 seconds per lap, makes the cars a little faster overall, but also replaces the old ballast system by reducing the deployment time available for the most successful pilots. There’s no race in the world that’s closer than the BTCC race – evidenced by the news that ITV1 will be showing several races this year, in addition to ITV4’s usual one-day coverage. Gow expects the scorching competition to continue, but it will always be interesting to see how this new power shot affects things.
Sorry: no more praise for the practicalities of the Dacia Duster, my current office wheels. Fresh from a week spent in Mustang and the like, I was right this morning to open the manual lifting tailgate of the Duster. I couldn’t help but notice how much more convenient this simple operation felt than the huge, slow, and cumbersome power cases I’d used the previous days.
Dacia’s attitude to convenience is so simple and refreshing that it puts a smile on my face every time. Simply lighting up the tailgate, then opening it by hand is never a chore.
Who could write a book from the engineering back rooms of the automotive industry and make it honestly fascinating? Who is David Twohig in a fascinating new tome called Inside the Machine (Veloce Publishing, £16.99). During a 30-year career at Renault-Nissan, Irish-born Twohig led teams of engineers responsible for three important and disparate Alliance cars: the Nissan Qashqai, the Renault Zoe and the Alpine A110.
In his smooth, easy-to-read style, Twohig tells a real-world tale of the joys and pitfalls of bringing cars to life. His book shows how right we were to award its author our 2018 Mundy Prize for Engineering. There are fascinating things in its pages for everyone. Don’t miss it.
And something else…
I have a strong feeling that there is going to be a “race” on the BMW i3s. The automotive world will soon begin to regard this as the world’s first classic EV – special in its styling, construction, comfort, weight and ambition. Already newer cars are scarce, and I bet the values won’t drop.
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This notice was published: 2022-04-27 05:01:23