Steering Column

Cool Green C

Ford has released the first official pictures of its new C-MAX mini multi-purpose vehicle, just ahead of its unveiling at the Frankfurt Motor Show. And my goodness what an improvement its styling is over previous models.

With sharp, sleek styling, sculpted lights front and rear, bulging wheel-arches and an elegant roofline, it has taken on a similar theme to the current Fiesta and blown it up in size. The end result looks very attractive.

Sadly the car isn’t going on sale until next summer but it’s a mouthwatering prospect. We’re told very little about the car except it’ll have “a host of new technologies to the Ford range”. There’ll be things to help you park, help you see behind you and help you save money and the planet.

Green power sharing

Another three companies have added their names to the list of those planning to bring out an off-the-shelf electric car … but all three are sharing the same vehicle.

Mitsubishi, Peugeot and Citroen are collaborating on the little zero-emissions car which will be introduced in just over a year’s time. Each will have their own badge and probably their own front end on it with corporate-designed lights, but essentially, under the skin they’ll all be the same.

Lithium-ion batteries will give the car a potential range on full charge of up to 80 miles. It’ll have four doors and four seats, turn out 64bhp and 180Nm of torque and it’ll be capable of going at up to 80mph.

If you’re worried about the time it’ll take to recharge it, worry no longer because it can recharge up to 80 per cent in just 30 minutes, or be completely topped up in six hours.

Think bike

As winter comes knocking at the door after such a nice summer, you can either bemoan the end of the comfortable biking days, or plan ahead to next summer and start preparing early. If the latter, Honda’s releasing the details of next year’s crop of two-wheeled road-rippers.

Every year you could be forgiven for thinking there’s nothing could be done to improve the Fireblade, but Honda would beg to differ. Okay, most of the change is in the styling of things like lights and exhaust mufflers but the mechanicals have been changed too. There are changes to the crankshaft to improve throttle control and … well … that’s about it. Many riders believe the 1000cc supersports bike is already two-wheeled perfection, but I guess standing still isn’t an option for a thrusting company like Honda.

The trophy-winning CBR600RR sports bike has some new colour schemes too, but it’s in the cruiser-bike range where Honda says its biggest changes are. The VT750 range now gets a new stripped-back “Black Spirit” version. Meanwhile, the standard “Shadow” version now gets the company’s acclaimed anti-lock brake system as an option.

There are paint and styling changes down the range but so far there’s nothing too startling to report. It’s early days yet though and Honda says new models will be announced before the spring.

Mike Grundon


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