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MOTORS

Edited by Mike Torpey

by EDWARD STEPHENS

V

AUXHALL is about to launch its quiet revolution – with the arrival of the Ampera. This futuristic-looking, extended range electric vehicle, which will run for up to 50 miles or so on electric power before bringing in a petrol engine to generate more electricity, is completely silent in operation. It takes a bit of getting used to – and pedestrians had better watch out because they won’t hear it coming. Built on the platform of a Vauxhall Astra but with a much bigger body, the Ampera will hit the streets of the UK in early 2012, having already gone on sale in Germany in November. But while the Germans will have to pay the full price UK buyers will benefit from a Government subsidy of £5,000, bringing the price down to £28,995. And while that’s still THE relatively expensive for a Vauxhall four-seater car – there are Ampera has been two sculptured seats in named both Green Car the rear and just two of the Year 2011 and also seatbelts – you have to top alternative-fuel car in a factor in how much you leading honours list. And will save at the pumps. despite the car not going on Vauxhall says 15,000 sale until next year, this is not kilometers (9,320 the first time the Ampera has miles) will cost you scooped a top award from What around £438 of Car? – in 2009 it was given the electricity but to cover magazine’s Green Technology the same distance award. Judges chief Chas using a petrol engined Hallett said: “The Vauxhall car would set you back Ampera represents a three times as much. massive step for The Ampera is alternative-fuel probably about half as cars.” cheap to run as a small diesel as long as you don’t exceed the 50 miles per day range, which most people travelling to and from work in Britain don’t. Unlike pure electric cars, however, if you do exceed that range VOLT-ING AMBITION: The new Vauxhall Ampera there is no problem. The car switches seamlessly to its 1.4-litre petrol engine with a further range of 310 miles. And even when using the engine the wheels are powered by electricity as the petrol engine powers the on-board generator. Once home a full charge is achieved in four hours and costs around £1. When I sat in an Ampera I couldn’t help thinking that the dashboard looked something like I would have imagined on the Star Ship Enterprise. Instead of the conventional dials there are two high-definition colour displays, one showing a green ball sitting between two vertical lines. Accelerate heavily and the ball rises initially as if nothing has happened To achieve maximum economy and changes colour. because everything remains totally the idea is to keep the ball at silent. Then there is a green spring-like the midway point. You put your foot on the graphic showing you just how much accelerator almost expecting no power you have left. Every time a response. But response there is, and coil of the spring loses colour it means a reduction of energy stored. the Ampera glides silently forward. What’s even more surprising is In addition a central console shows just how much kick this car has got, the rate of flow of electricity to whether running on full electric drive the wheels. Conventional this power or petrol. vehicle is not. On the motorway, particularly in The car uses a fully automatic gearbox but you can switch between Sport mode, there is an instant surge as you dip your right foot. Normal mode and Sport mode. The Ampera has a 0-60 miles per When you sit in the Ampera and hour time of under nine seconds push the starter button you feel

Why quiet revolution is simply electrifying

8

pages of new & used motors

and is particularly fast to 30mph, achieved in just 3.1 seconds. The top speed is 100mph. If you think electric cars are sluggish the Ampera will change your mind for you. On the road it offers a very comfortable, stable ride in a very refined manner. Despite its size the Ampera is agile and sporty with great handling thanks in part to a low centre of gravity, long wheelbase and wide track. There’s plenty of space for front and rear seat travellers, although

the sloping roof means anyone very tall sitting in the back might find their head close to the rear window and despite carrying re-chargeable batteries the Ampera still offers a hefty 300 litres of boot space. As Europe’s first extended range electric vehicle the Ampera offers a credible car for everyday use as opposed to a pure electric vehicle which limits the owner’s flexibility to go anywhere. It will be interesting to see how many people are willing to pay almost £30,000 to go at least partly green.


2 MOTORS

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4 MOTORS

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MOTORS

Small but perfectly formed by MIKE TORPEY

I

T’S a baby brother for the powerful Jaguar XK8 performance car and is sure to prove a head-turner at next week’s Frankfurt Motor Show. Though officially a concept, the C-X16 is the smallest Jaguar created since 1954’s XK120 and a clear statement of the big cat’s future design direction. It is expected to go into production late next year. The company says the two-seater, rear-wheel drive sports car marks a new chapter for the marque and will be the most compact and responsive Jaguar in a generation. Lurking beneath the clamshell bonnet is a new generation supercharged V6 petrol engine producing 380PS supplemented by a Formula 1-inspired hybrid boost system with a steering-wheel mounted Push to Pass button for on-demand acceleration. And integrated into the eight-speed gearbox is a motor generator which draws power from a battery pack mounted behind the seats for 50:50 weight distribution. Charged via brake energy regeneration, the batteries allow the motor to provide an extra 95PS. The result is 0-62mph acceleration

Jaguar boss says his ‘dramatically different’ concept car will be made in 4.4 seconds, a top speed of 186 mph and acceleration from 50-75 mph of 2.1 seconds. The C-X16 conceptcan also travel at speeds of up to 50mph under electric power alone and has CO2 emissions of 165g/km. Jaguar’s design director Ian Callum said: “Jaguars have always been dramatically different. With the C-X16 we have moved the current award-winning design language on to the next generation, creating a car that is the very essence of future Jaguar performance.”

PURR_FECT: The Jaguar C-X16 concept car should go into production to open up a new sector for the company

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SAAB SAAB SAAB Diesel specialist www.sarbkar.co.uk, service/repair 0151 448 1184

Skoda SKODA OCTAVIA X−reg 2 litre Ambient, 9 months MoT, 3 months tax, good condition, £800 ono. Tel. 07956 338552.

The ECHO is the no.1 place to turn when looking to buy and sell items. Source: Gfk NOP 2008, TM NW2 10% area

Source: Gfk NOP 2008, TM NW2 10% area

readertravelholidays.com

PALE LIME GREEN BEETLE Reg 2000, MOT Feb 2012, 1984 cc, 3 door, recently serviced and engine checked, very reliable, 80,000 mls, body work immaculate

f

Chatsworth House &

£1,900 ono 07507 773457 SAY YOU SAW IT IN THE ECHO

• Included visit to Chatsworth House • A visit to Lincoln Christmas Market • Overnight stay at a 3 or 4 star South Yorkshire/ East Midlands area hotel with dinner & full English breakfast • Return coach travel from Liverpool, Southport & Birkenhead

Oxford & Cambridge

Buy One Get One Free

For further information and a FREE brochure call:

4th December 2011

0151 227 5987

from

£149

To make a booking call:

01524 511780

for 1 n ight

0151 227 5987

or visit: www.liverpool.reader.travel

www.liv.diamondhols.co.uk

BROUGHT TO YOU BY TRINITY MIRROR NORTH WEST & NORTH WALES IN CONJUNCTION WITH DIAMOND HOLIDAYS OF MARKET HARBOORUGH ABTA W0552. PRICES ARE PER PERSON BASED ON TWO SHARING. SINGLE SUPPLEMENTS APPLY. DEPARTURE POINTS ARE SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY AND MINIMUM NUMBERS BING ACHIEVED.

OPENING TIMES: MON-FRI 8.30-19.30 SAT 8.45-15.30 SUN 10.00-15.00 BROUGHT TO YOU BY: TRINITY MIRROR NORTH WEST AND NORTH WALES IN CONJUNCTION WITH: OMEGA HOLIDAYS. ABTA V4782. SINGLE SUPPLEMENT APPLIES. SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY.

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readertravelholidays.com

TRAVEL

In search of the

Northern Lights

• Pre-flight illustrated presentation by our guest astronomers • Flight to the stars of approximately three hours • Services of our astronomers on board • Airport taxes

from

£189 .95pp

BROUGHT TO YOU BY: TRINITY MIRROR NORTH WEST AND NORTH WALES IN CONJUNCTION WITH: OMEGA HOLIDAYS. ABTA V4782. ATOL PROTECTED 6081. SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY.

in

or 2 p days

Departing Saturday 3 December 2011

TRAVEL readertravelholidays.com

For a FREE brochure call:

£109rom .95p f

Lincoln Christmas Market

Important note: the Northern Lights are natural phenomena which cannot be guaranteed to occur during our flight, although they have been visible on many previous outings. Our guest astronomer advises at least an 80% chance of a sighting.

Cars For Sale

take a seat

53 Reg, Silver, Taxed & MOT, excellent condition, low mileage

The ECHO is the no.1 place to turn when looking to buy and sell items.

Evening excursion, Friday 25 November 2011, from Manchester airport

In the event of any error, misprint or omission in the printing of an advertisement or part of an advertisement, the publisher will re-insert the advertisement or relevant part. No reinsertion will be made where the error, misprint or omission does not detract from the advertisement or is not the fault of the publisher.

car

£1,075 ONO

ALMERA S, 5 door hatch, 52 plate, 37,000 mls, black, tax and MOT, great condition, any trial, £1195 ono. 0151 476 9357

To Place an advertisement call on:

sell

1.4, 80,000 miles, ps, rcl, alloy wheels, MOT Feb 2012, ew, alarm/immobiliser, cd player, cheap tax & insurance, good condition, excellent drive

1998 R MICRA 1L PASSION 3 dr, black, 73k, MOT till end of year, cd player, great little car £395 T: 07742 555165 (t)

ONLY

£12,995 ono 0151 227 3030

VAUXHALL CORSA DESIGN 1.2

Mazda

RENAULT MEGANE COUPE ,12 months MOT, tax,leather int, immaculate £12,995 ono 0151 227 3030

2009, petrol, black, 3 door, electric windows, FSH, 1229cc, alloys, 9000 miles, new shape, SRI, 6 months tax.

X REG RENAULT SCENIC

£1,050 ono

BASIC package

S reg 1998, 1.6E, silver, 104k miles, tax and test, electric hood, EW, CL, alarm, CD, alloys, good condition for year.

02 REG FORD KA

07535 030232

Sell your motor fast!

VAUXHALL CORSA

07730012948

Genuine 61,387mls, very good condition, MOT & tax Sept 2011

£1,995 ovno 07508 692552

MEGAN CONVERTIBLE

07771 774692

W REG 2000 FORD FOCUS 1.8 GHIA

New Shape, 1.4 Zetec, 5 Dr, Metallic,MoT June 12, PAS, FSH, CL, Alloys, CD, EW, Heated Front Screen, Front Spot Lights, Absolutely immaculate

Vauxhall

£4800 ovno

07787 095355

FIESTA 52 PLATE

Renault

£895 ono

£1,000

07860 898228

227 3030

0151 430 9021

EW, CD, AC, tax/MOT’d, airbag, pas, silver, excellent condition

£2295

VAUXHALL CORSA 2009, petrol, black, 3 door, electric windows, FSH, 1229cc, alloys, 9000 miles, new shape, SRI, 6 months tax.

FORD FOCUS

Silver, 1242cc petrol, under 60k miles, 5 door, alloys, Mot Aug 2012, CD, taxed, very good condition

MONDEO DIESEL ESTATE

MOTORS 7

Friday, September 9, 2011

safely

For further information and a FREE brochure

Call: 0151 227 5987

To make a booking

OPENING TIMES: MON-FRI 8.30-19.30 SAT 8.45-15.30 SUN 10.00-15.00

Call: 01524 511780

or visit: www.liverpool.reader.travel

take a seat

in our waiting room

to get a valuation from your local branch visit www.webuyanycar.com/liverpool or call 0844 854 7340 (Liverpool) - 0844 854 7347 (Chester) 0844 854 7301 (Birkenhead) - 0844 854 7307 (Knowsley) 0844 854 7303 (Warrington) - 0844 854 7305 (St Helens)


8 MOTORS

Friday, September 9, 2011

★★★★

MOTORS

roadtest

Mazda 5 1.6D Sport 5-door

People shifting with style

EASY MOVER: The Mazda5 has a touch of style not normally associated with compact MPVs

S

EEKING out the perfect family car is usually about priorities - five seats or more, expansive boot space as opposed to extra legroom, petrol versus diesel, premium or budget. The bottom line though generally concerns looks. Everyone prefers something that stands out, in the eye of the beholder at least. Few would deny that the latest generation Mazda5 has more than mere practicality. It’s a seven-seat people mover with the emphasis on economy and safety, but with a touch of style not normally associated with compact MPVs. The original ’5’ was the first car in its class to feature sliding rear doors, and the latest models have taken the game a whole lot further. For instance this model marked the debut of the Japanese company’s Nagare design language, a theme inspired by the flowing

ECHO Motors News

road

TEST

with MIKE TORPEY

movement of water and wind over rocks. And the creases along the sides of the Mazda give the car the sort of energetic, sculpted silhouette that makes some of its rivals look boxy. Then there are the sliding doors – powered in top grade models – that open extremely wide and almost flush to the bodywork, making for easy access in tight spaces. The step-up to the cabin is also very low, a boon for mum’s carrying small children. And if you don’t need seven seats in place then there’s the versatility

More info from Arnold Clark Liverpool, 67 Sefton Street, L8 6PY. Tel: 0151 703 7880.

of switching to four – or even just a pair leaving a vast, flat-floored cargo area for long or bulky items. While a pair of petrol engines have been in the line-up since launch, the later arrival of the tested 1.6-litre diesel – capable of returning 54 miles per gallon – has made all the difference. On the road this model is comfortable to drive, nicely appointed, has well-weighted steering and the durable feel of the fabrics suggests the upholstery will stand up to a hard time from the kids. My only criticism concerns the pair of large, individual third row seats. While access is simple enough, and headroom excellent, it’s tight on legroom unless the middle row seats are slid quite well forward. Otherwise this low-slung spacecraft could be the best kept secret among medium-size MPVs.

SpecCheck MAKE: Mazda MODEL Mazda5 1.6D Sport 5-door ENGINE: 1,560cc, 4-cyl diesel POWER: 115PS at 3,600rpm PERFORMANCE: 0-62 in 13.7 secs, top speed 111mph ECONOMY: 44.1mpg Urban, 64.1 Extra Urban, 54.3 Combined CO2 EMISSIONS: 138g/km BiK RATING: 18% INSURANCE: Group 16 (1-50) PRICE: £21,955 on the road Standard spec is comprehensive in each of the three trim levels – TS, TS2 and Sport – and every car comes with the likes of air-con, cruise control, 16-inch alloys, electric windows, powered door mirrors and steering

WHAT’S HOT: Practicality, style, space, economy WHAT’S NOT: Minimal boot space with third row of seats in place RATINGS (out of five):

LOOKS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EQUIPMENT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . RIDE AND HANDLING . . . . . . . . PERFORMANCE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . VALUE FOR MONEY . . . . . . . . . . .

wheel-mounted audio controls. All cars also have front, side and curtain airbags, two ISOFIX child seat anchor points and ABS with electronic brake force distribution and emergency brake assist – so safety is properly addressed too.

Charity in plea over sky high insurance premiums ROAD safety charity the Institute of Advanced Motorists is calling on insurance companies to overhaul their systems for calculating prices for young drivers. It follows an IAM search for car insurance quotes for an average 17-year-old driver, which

revealed the cheapest annual premium to be a whopping £7,091.38. The top price quoted was just over £9,700. The particular search – made on a popular price comparison site – was for the fictional Tom Stevens, with a date of birth of March 3, 1994.

He has held a full licence for one month, and was requesting insurance on a 2007 1.1l Kia Picanto. He claimed the car would be parked on the road, has no previous claims or convictions and is in full-time education with a part-time job, and requested cover just for

4 4 4 4 4

‘social’ use. Once he had been driving for a year, his cheapest quote dropped to £2,528.55s. IAM director Neil Greig said: “Young drivers can only learn safer driving by practising it, but huge insurance premiums risk pricing them off the road.”

ECHO Motors - 9th September 2011  

8-page motoring supplement from the Liverpool Echo

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