after a very wet drive to Millbrook we arrived and the rain had calmed down a bit.
Had a good look around the static cars. looks wise they are brill, much better in real life than from pics. seats are very comfy and driving position is great. so much adjustment anyone could get it exactly how they want it.
Boot floor panel is a great idea and as they worked out this weekend it can also be used to stop and luggage moving around in the boot.
emissions are very low and insurance should be low as well. mainly due to the new design of the front and rear bumpers which can take a 10mph hit and not be damaged. there is a lot of flex in them which is good.
Rear leg room is brill. i know i am only small but with the seat where i would have it normally there was still bags of room in the back. lots of storage and little places to hide stuff which is great.
elec handbrake took a bit of getting used to and I'm not sure how a hill start would work as you have to have your foot on the brake to take the handbrake off. I'm guessing there is a bit of a delay to give you time to get ready to move off.
Right to the driving experience.
first i drove a 1.6 n/a se. umm well cant say much other than its slow and is not good on hills (i had to drop into first at one point). Handling is ace. the new rear watts link rear sus is a great design and really does work well. it gives you lots of confidence and masses of mechanical grip.
took it onto the bowl and at 100 mph it was stable and quiet.
after a blat in that i was un impressed with power so got in a 1.6 turbo. what a difference. so much better!!!!
the little 1.6 T is a nice revvy engine and 55mph (max speed on alpine circuit) comes up very quickly. ESP and t/c isn't to intrusive and allows just enough slip. t/c off is fun but you do get a bit of axle tramp when spinning. I tried the tour and sport modes. when in tour the dash lights up white and neutral switch on sport and it goes all red. the red highlights give a nice feel in the car.
Took this on the bowl as well and 100 comes up fast as well. was sat at 100 for 2 laps and it just wanted to go faster and had lots more to give. shame we couldn't go onto lane 5 as thats reserved for pro drivers only.
went back in and waited for the lift to be shown the difference between esp on and off by a pro driver on the handling circuit. still had a bit of time to wait so took out a 1.7cdti derv. engine is nice a torquey but I'm not a fan. but then i have never liked dervs. you can feel the extra weight and the front tries to push out wider.
Brakes on all models were great and took lots of abuse although pedal was a bit soft after the run in the derv. Cornishtaz wasnt to happy as i told him when we swapped seats lol.
so went back and went out with a pro. there is shed loads of mechanical grip and the esp didn't have to do much even though it was being chucked around quite harshly.
IMO the 1.6 T is the one most on here will go for. it still gets 41.7mpg and has a fairly low tax band.
I cant wait for the VXR to be released but its a bit of a wait for that one. Time to get saving.