The war against adjectives starts here
Further to Graham Samways’ letter about rusting brakes on electric and hybrid vehicles (Your Views, 9 August), I agree it can be a concern. I have completed almost 120,000 miles in a Toyota Prius and more than 50,000 (and counting) in an Vauxhall Ampera, and I have never yet changed a set of front brake pads, but the rear discs on the Prius were changed at 110,000 miles because they had corroded so badly. I get advisory notes about corrosion on the rear discs on my Ampera at every service and the last two MOTS.
Back to drums for rear brakes? Andy Latham Via email
50 years on
Andrew Frankel’s quest to find the ideal, sensible driver’s car (‘How to create the ideal driver’s car’, 16 August) resulted in the almost inevitable Porsche Cayman, even though it did not fill his full criteria.
Ask any keen motorcycle rider and they will tell you that the best thing about riding is the way you can just think a bike around a corner rather than steer around as in a car.
Over the years I have had a few cars noted for their fine handling, including a Toyota Corolla GT and an Alfa Romeo SZ, but none come close to the 1967 Lotus Elan S3 S/E coupé I had all those years ago.
It was the nearest thing to the motorcycle experience. The Elan was only half the weight of a Cayman, held more luggage, did 40mpg, hit an indicated 132mph and was narrow enough to fit between the hedges of the lanes of Somerset and even a Tesco parking bay.
Being a Lotus, it was fragile and troublesome while the Porsche is solid and reliable, but, that aside, is it really progress? Stuart Underwood Weston super Mare, Somerset
Quatt’s the story?
As a previous owner of a celebrated Audi ur-quattro, I was appalled by Alex Robbins’ liberal use of an upper-
case ‘Q’ (Past Master, 16 August). He notes the clues all around him when discussing the interior yet fails to pick up the relevance, or perhaps even to question the religious application, of the grammatical case.
To many enthusiasts, that was – and is still – the only authentic quattro Audi has produced, and therefore I would kindly request you reprimand the aforesaid journalist and consign him back to reviews on cars he can spell. David Grindey Via email The challenge comes when we’re writing more lengthy articles that refer to both quattro (the car) and quattro (the four-wheel drive system). Hence our decision to apply a capital Q to the model name for the sake of clarity for the less devout – MB
In your article seeking the best driver’s car (‘Britain’s Best Affordable Driver’s Car’, 23 August), I have to applaud your selection of the Civic Type R – and many congratulations to Honda. However, in the qualifying rounds you printed two pages laying out how the Focus RS was so much more appealing as a driver’s car than the Golf R, but concluded that the Golf was better. The only area where this seemed to be true was in cabin plushness. I am still bewildered. Nick Tiley Cambridge Our conclusion explained all: if the test was solely one of track prowess, the Focus RS might have emerged as a winner. But it wasn’t, so it didn’t, because the Golf R is a more accomplished all-rounder – MB
I read with interest Matt Prior’s column regarding suitable cars for gangsters and what the Mayor of Dover would prefer in lieu of a Toyota Prius (Tester’s Notes, 23 August).
We have to be more cost-conscious and inventive here in the Cotswolds. The desire for a white Rolls-royce for mayoral use has been met by a town councillor making and attaching an R-R grille to her white Reliant Robin and the Flying Lady has been replaced with a Flying Robin. Ben Eddolls Mayor, Stow Town Council
Oldie but goodie
Darn it! My 12-year-old BMW Z4 has just passed its MOT for another year. It’s a baby compared with some of the high-mileage oldies that James Ruppert found (Used Cars, 26 July) but, at 88,000 miles, its three-litre six-cylinder engine is still strong and creamy, its gearbox precise and its clutch smooth.
It is also narrow enough to enjoy on most British secondaries. I’ll be keeping it for now, so once again, I won’t be spending upwards of £50k on a modern two-seater, with fewer cylinders, more weight, inhibiting width, unwanted intrusive tech and
mind-boggling depreciation. Oh well, maybe next year… Nick Dawson Marlow, Buckinghamshire
Ford still kicks RS
As a Ford man, I wasn’t surprised by the result of your Britain’s Best’ Affordable Driver’s Car test (Autocar, 23 August). The Focus RS’S street roots never appeal to you lot for long, but if I had the money it would be the Ford every time for me.
I’m glad to see you included the Peugeot 308 GTI, though, because I think it’s a good looker.
Out on my local streets, the Volkswagen Golf R, Audi RS3 and Mercedes-amg A45 are far more common than the fabulous Focus RS, but most of them seem to be driven by complete idiots. The dual-clutch gearboxes make them sound far better drivers than they actually are. Ben Marshall Liversedge, West Yorkshire
Tour of beauty
I have just done back-to-back tours of the Pagani and Aston Martin factories. They could not have been more different.
No welcoming smiles at Pagani, no coffee – not even water! – and only three seats in reception. All 20 people on the tour were Englishspeaking, but our guide only spoke faltering English and had no grasp of technical terms. They had no passion and no knowledge of the cars (there aren’t that many to know about). Why bother with the public when the very few cars they make are sold three years in advance?
At Gaydon, however, the 18 on the tour were greeted with open arms, plenty of refreshments and seating before the tour began. When it did, we were we were split into two groups of nine so everyone could both hear the fascinating things being explained and also easily ask as many questions as they wished. The knowledge of the guides was exceptional, the passion palpable. Absolutely brilliant! Nigel Edwards Shaldon, Devon
Focus RS beat the Golf R on track but not on the road
Would Frankel prefer a Lotus Elan?
Stow’s Mayor (l) with Reliant and owner