McCann's Motors - Vauxhall Grandland X SUV

Richard McCann tests the Vauxhall Grandland X SUV and looks at the rules for electric motors in classic cars

Vauxhall-Grandland-X-505681.jpgMcCann’s Trip to the Coast was Anything but ‘Plain Sailing’
If accidents come in threes, he’s bracing himself for The Big One.

I remember once being told by a policeman and road safety expert never to worry about ‘tailgaters’ because the chances of someone driving into the back were incredibly small. It happened for the third time a few weeks ago when the young lady in the car behind on the dual carriageway apparently ‘didn’t notice’ that there was a queue ahead and she found herself wedged into my parcel shelf, still looking at her ‘phone.

My physio on neck and shoulders was doing well until yesterday when, for variety I guess, someone shot out of a car park exit right into the side of the brand new OVL Vauxhall test car, wrecking it and me in the process. Now I have tinnitus and a back injury to add to the list – thanks fella and I hope (allegedly) reading that text was worth it…

So, with my apologies, this test of the lovely new Vauxhall Grandland X SUV will become a truncated ‘driving impressions’.

It’s a great looking car the Grandland, made all the funkier with the two-tone paint finish. The driver and passengers sit nice and high on leather-covered chairs with white stitching and electric adjustment - like an Aston Martin! The test car was fitted with an award-winning 1.2 turbo petrol motor which seems on paper crazily small for a car of this size but if I hadn’t known I swear I’d never have guessed. There’s no need to keep revs high, no need to keep changing gear to find the sweet spot where there’s no bogging down or snatching simply in a quest for fuel efficiency. In fact that turbo makes for a good lusty performance and the advance suspension technology gave me a smooth and sure-footed ride on the motorway despite some appalling conditions of wind and rain and standing water, never giving a moment’s concern.

So quiet too – very little fatigue even after several hours behind the wheel on my way to the Dorset coast – and in case you’re wondering, even a side impact didn’t tip us over. Thanks Vauxhall!

The Grandland X with Apple CarPlay connectivity is available from £23,850 in petrol, diesel and hybrid forms. Six-speed ‘stick’ or 8-speed auto. I was averaging an easy 45mpg from the petrol version which is the least economical version! The diesel should be up in to 50s and I’m told drivers can aim for a stonking 180mpg with the hybrid. At the time of writing there’s up to £4000 px allowance or more than £5000 towards your PCP deposit so the deals are there for the asking, making this a VERY attractive package. I just wish we still had ours…  

 

As many classic car enthusiasts start preparing for the 2020 season, FIVA Rules on electric motors in classic cars…
I recently took an interesting trip to a local firm that intends to convert classic Jaguars to electric power and sell them for £300,000+ only to see just a week or so later that FIVA (The international governing body Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens) has just rejected 'electric-swapped classics'. FIVA represents more than 60 countries with over two million members so their announcement decrying powertrain swaps has certainly ruffled plenty of feathers.

In fairness, FIVA has been fighting for the preservation of vintage automobiles since 1966. This is what they say: “Conversion of historic vehicles from their original internal-combustion engines to electric power doesn’t comply with the FIVA definition of an historic vehicle, nor does it support the goal of preserving historic vehicles and their related culture. In FIVA’s view, vehicles so converted cease to be historic vehicles, unless they are subject only to ‘in period’ changes.”

Tiddo Bresters, FIVA Vice President–Legislation, further explained FIVA’s reasoning, “It is not, in our opinion, the shape or body style of a vehicle that makes it ‘historic,’ but the way in which the entire vehicle has been constructed and manufactured in its original form… if any owner, motor engineer, or manufacturer chooses to make such [electric] conversions to an historic vehicle, FIVA would strongly recommend that any changes [be] reversible, with all the original components marked and safely stored. In this way, the vehicle may—if so desired in the future—be returned to its original state and may once again become an historic vehicle.”

Swapping a modern electric drivetrain into a classic car might disqualify it from certain events, but does that really mean it’s no longer of historic value? Some might argue that the emerging trend of battery-electric conversion is a way to enjoy our cars from a fresh perspective?

So long as that enjoyment doesn't involve attending any events requiring FIVA approval, of course!


 

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