It's been a week since the doors for the Geneva Motor Show opened, and they still are until this Sunday. The big theme this year is eco-friendliness, but with a twist. The twist is fun! With cars like the Volvo Polestar 1 and Honda EV concept cars, it seems like manufacturers have finally realized that people want cars that are eco friendly, but also fun. There's plenty of other interesting non-EV and non-hybrid cars as well, but 10 have stood out more than others. Hope you approve of the list.
I’ve wanted to buy an S197 Ford Mustang for the longest time, particularly the 2005 to 2009 version. I always thought that the S197 Mustang looked good, but it wasn’t until the release of the 2008 Shelby GT500 KR that I decided I’d have to buy one. The problem with the KR is that it was – and still is – a bit pricey for me. But the great thing about Mustangs is that you can get a regular GT and pretty much turn it into the car you want it to be, thanks to an endless supply of affordable aftermarket parts that you can add over the course of time. Basically the Mustang GT’s potential for customization is one of the reasons I decided to buy one. I also got one because Mustangs have always been special cars (safe maybe for the second generation one), being truly desirable yet attainable by the masses. It has been eight months since I bought this 2005 Mustang GT but it still remains unmodified, which means it’s the perfect candidate for a review of a used stock 2005 Mustang GT.
The new Transit Courier is not so much a van, but a small two-seat vehicle that has a very big boot in the back. When I say this, I mean it with the highest regards possible, as it feels nothing like a commercial vehicle when you’re on the road. In fact, in terms of the driving experience, it’s not much different to a standard Fiesta, which shouldn’t be a surprise really because they share the same platform. But apart from being car-like, does the new Transit Courier have anything else to offer that would make it a standout car? I had two weeks to find out.
The Ford Transit is one of those vehicles that sell in huge numbers, but they never really catch your attention when you’re going about your day. Until, that is, you have one within an inch of your rear bumper on the highway. Apart from its ability to draft on other cars like a NASCAR racer, its versatility is what has made the Transit one of the most popular commercial vehicles in Europe for nearly 50 years, and having spent two weeks with the new one, it looks set to continue being just that.
I was never planning on writing anything about this rental car, and as such I didn’t pack my SLR camera as I left for vacation to North America. But such was the driving experience that I had to make do with my smartphone, and at least write a little something. Also, the fifth-generation Mustang recently went out of production after nearly ten years of service. So in short, this is my goodbye to the best generation of Mustangs yet.
Ferrari F12 TRS
Ferrari are rather good at making good-looking cars, but they’ve gone a step further and made the stunning F12 TRS for a special customer. The one-off car is rumoured to have cost around $4.2 million, and for that you get the same 6.3-litre V12 producing 740hp and 690Nm of torque as in the F12 Berlinetta, allowing it to get from 0-100km/h in 3.1 sec and from 0-200km/h in 8.1 sec. You also get one of the rarest cars ever, and a car that will be very sought after by collectors.
Ford Focus ST
The Ford Focus ST has received a few updates, the biggest of which is the availability of a diesel engine. The turbocharged 2.0-litre EcoBoost with 250hp is carried over from the previous version, but it now comes with a stop-start function – improving fuel efficiency by a claimed six percent. As mentioned before, a new diesel engine is available – a 2.0-litre TDCi unit producing 185hp and 400Nm of torque, with CO2 emissions being 114g/km. Acceleration from 0-100km/h is 6.5 sec for the petrol option and 8.1 sec for the diesel option. Other updates include new chassis control technologies, tuned suspension and steering, and bespoke tyre specification. The exterior gets new headlamps, grille, bumper design, and 19-inch wheels. The interior now gets a new SYNC 2 connectivity system with a high definition 8-inch touch screen.
Jaguar F-TYPE Project 7
To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Le Mans winning D-type, Jaguar will be building a special edition F-TYPE called the Project 7. The car will come with a 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine producing 575hp and 680Nm, propelling the 1,585kg roadster from 0-100km/h in 3.9 sec and on to an electronically limited top speed of 300km/h. The Project 7 name pays homage to Jaguar’s seven Le Mans titles, and will be limited to 250 examples. An eight-speed Quickshift automatic transmission is standard, as well as an Electronic Active Differential, Carbon Ceramic Matrix (CCM) brakes, and Torque Vectoring by Braking (TVbB). Other items found on the Project 7 are carbon-fibre aerodynamic aids and a different suspension set-up to the standard F-TYPE.
Ford’s three-cylinder 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine has won the International Engine of the Year award for 2012 and 2013, which made me very eager to give it a try. It isn’t a powerhouse by any means, but it has made it to the list thanks to promises of great fuel efficiency. It powers several of Ford’s models, including the Fiesta, Focus, Tourneo Connect, C-Max, and B-Max – the latter of which will be the focus of this review.
After much anticipation and pre-reveal leaks, the 2015 Ford Mustang was finally uncovered this week, and in turn has made it as this week’s standout car.
The new Mustang is a blend of brand new and familiar elements. Starting with the new, there’s a new 2.3-litre four-cylinder engine that will be the base engine option when the Mustang officially goes on sale next year in Europe, as well as a new independent rear suspension.
One of my personal favourite roads is doing one lap around Lake Geneva. It’s a mix of driving through scenic roads, little towns and villages, as well as the occasional open and empty stretches. You basically start from Geneva and head to Montreux, then into France and onto Evian, then back into Geneva again. In total it’s around 172km, and considering that I haven’t done this wonderful route in years, I was very thrilled to be able to do it in the highly-praised Ford Fiesta ST.
Looking at this “Race Red” Ford Fiesta ST, it’s definitely a car that’s eye-catching. Its 17-inch wheels, low stance and roof spoiler add to that sporty look too. Despite the bright colour, it doesn’t make the driver seem like a desperate attention seeker, and it shouldn’t bring the driver any shame if they were to pull up at a dinner reception or posh restaurant. It’s also the kind of car that seems at home everywhere, whether it’s in a millionaire’s garage or a street parking outside a waiter’s apartment.