DOING this job, I get all sorts of reactions from other drivers.
I might get a thumbs-up or a friendly beep of the horn. Or sometimes they mouth something that sounds like anchor while shaking Nescafé beans.
When I told him it cost £105,000, he replied: “Did you keep the receipt?”
Funny. But he’s also got a point.
You could buy TWO Tesla Model 3 long-range saloons for that and still have £8k left over. His and hers, if you like.
Smaller cars, not as handsome, but similar rocketship performance and they go further.
To be honest, I was hoping to borrow a Model S for comparison but you can’t get hold of one for love nor money.
Which shows you just how much sleep Tesla boss Elon Musk must be losing over the e-tron GT.
The refreshed Model 3 arrives here next year from £84k.
And we’ve already told you about the bonkers 200mph Model 3 Plaid which has three electric motors and catapults from 0-60mph in 1.99 seconds. That’ll be £110k.
Now, let’s run the rule over the e-tron GT.
It’s a lot of money in this Vorsprung trim (the base car is £80k) but you can see where your dosh has gone.
Fast, sticky, sophisticated, cool — everything you like about an Audi, just with a battery.
You’ll really like this next bit. Mash the accelerator to unleash two and a half glorious seconds of overboost (530hp), which you can use again and again.
The even more impressive RS e-tron GT is 646hp at full boost but also more money at £111k. It’s the most powerful Audi ever.
Other observations. You sit nice and low and cocooned in this car, like a cockpit. Excellent seats. Zero body roll through corners. Nice blend of touch-and-swipe and switches. The head-up display is the best in the business.
Negatives. Front door access is comically small, which means it’s not meant for lardy people.
Rubbish storage for phones and stuff. And the regenerative braking is not strong enough to turn it into a one-pedal car.
Key facts: AUDI E-TRON GT VORSPRUNG
0-62mph: 4.1 secs
Top speed: 152mph
Range: 302 miles
Shame, that. I criticised the Porsche Taycan — its half-sister — for the exact same thing.
Give us flappy paddles for harsher regen approaching a corner, like changing down gears, so we feel more involved.
As for the Model 3, that’s brilliant for one-pedal driving. You hardly ever touch the brakes.
If only Tesla had German know-how in the ride and handling department it’d be one helluva car. Better damping please, Elon.
I’ll sum up the cabin for you in four words: Tech geek minimalist heaven.
There’s only one button, for the hazard lights. The turbocharged touchscreen controls everything else and is easy peasy to use. There’s no key either. You tap a card on the driver’s door pillar, like entering a hotel room.
Lots of space. Lots of storage. Good visibility. Two smartphone charging mats. Arcade games. Sentry mode that records any toerags tampering with the car.
Dog mode that keeps the cabin at a set temperature.
Plus, lots more that hasn’t been thought of yet. Over-the-air software updates mean this car will never get old.
The white seats cost £1,100 extra and look ace but are perhaps best avoided if you have kids or a dog.
My only other complaint is that this car needs head-up display so you can see the speedo without taking your eyes off the road. To conclude, then.
Audi has made an EV for people who need convincing to switch to electric because they still love driving.
Key facts: TESLA MODEL 3 LONG RANGE
0-62mph: 4.4 secs
Top speed: 145mph
Range: 360 miles
Tesla has made an EV for people who are full-on converts.
Quattro or quad core processors? I like both.
SHOCK news. Britain’s best-selling car is NOT a Ford Fiesta.
For longer than I can remember, the Fiesta has ruled the new car sales chart. Come boom, bust or the credit crunch, it was miles ahead of anything else. But so far in 2021, the Vauxhall Corsa has nipped in front.
Why? I believe the answer, for the most part, lies in Ford’s own hands.
The Puma has been a huge success – a cracking Fiesta-sized SUV for only a few quid more. And everyone wants an SUV these days. So Ford has been nicking its own sales.
Also, the Corsa now comes in all three flavours – petrol, diesel and fully electric – whereas the Fiesta doesn’t.
Plus, the Corsa is now a much, much better car than the Corsa of old.
It’s basically a Peugeot 208 under the skin, sharing all the bits you can’t see with its French sibling – engine, gearbox, chassis, etc.
But you’d never know by looking at it. I’d wager the Corsa’s safe-to- the-point-of-being-really-rather-boring styling is also helping sales to a wider, ostensibly more sensible market.
It also, unexpectedly, handles better than the 208 thanks to the Vauxhall’s revised suspension, which makes it feel a dash more spirited behind the wheel.
And while the new Corsa is lower and longer, yet usefully narrower than previous models, it feels bigger than ever inside – at least in the front seats.
Meanwhile, the luggage capacity – now at 309 litres – is bigger to boot.
Stowing the rear seats, I managed to fit a full-size mountain bike in the back with some jiggery pokery. Only just, but it did fit.
The ever-popular Corsa was traditionally somewhat regrettable inside – but that has changed, too.
While in no way posh, of course, it does now look more the part, with a standard 7in (upgradable to 10in) touchscreen infotainment system with some actual buttons and a proper knob. And for the more mature buyer who refuses to smartphone, you can also get a built-in satnav.
It’s not the greatest but it is yet another base covered.
Key facts: VAUXHALL CORSA
Engine: 1.2-litre petrol
Power: 75hp, 118Nm
0-62mph: 12.4 secs
Top speed: 108mph
The seats are more comfortable than any other Corsa you’ll ever have travelled in. It’s a fact most noticeable at the end of a long journey when you hit your destination and only then realise you have been comfortable ever since you set off.
Starting at £15,615 (while Vauxhall is offering a saving of £1,200), it’s not positioned as a budget box as such but as a decidedly accessible new car from a brand which British buyers have trusted and bought from for many decades.
With five levels of trim to choose from, you can push the price up to an alarming £25k for the Ultimate Nav spec, but the entry-level SE does come reasonably well equipped.
Other standard kit includes 16in alloys, LED headlights, lane assist, cruise control with intelligent speed limiter and speed sign recognition.
The Vauxhall Corsa has not been the UK’s No1 previously for a bunch of reasons, not least desirability, driveability . . . and the Fiesta.
But those reasons have fallen by the wayside. The best Corsa yet deserves to be the most successful. Congratulations, Vauxhall.
Born to be wild
YES, Cupra, yes. The first all-electric hot hatch with a boost button on the steering wheel for ten seconds of maximum nuttiness. You’ll dispatch middle-lane morons in a flash.
Obviously, the more fun you have, the more you’ll eat range but this is exactly what we want from a performance EV.
Strange that Porsche and Audi didn’t get first dibs on it. The Cupra Born – yes, you got it – is the Spanish cousin to the Volkswagen ID 3. Same knickers, different lipstick.
But as usual, the Cupra is the one you want.
The big 77kWh battery zaps out 231hp and has a maximum range of 335 miles, if you keep your finger off that button.
It’s not slow at recharging either: 62 miles in just seven minutes.
The cabin is on-point with digital screens and bucket seats using recycled marine plastic.
Out early 2022. Monthly subscription or good old-fashioned PCP.
We expect the entry 45kWh version to cost a smidge under £35k to qualify for the £2,500 plug-in car grant.