Leaf con­vert­ible, Civic ute – What next?

Piako Post - - FRONT PAGE - DAMIEN O’CAR­ROLL

Ev­ery so of­ten car mak­ers seem to go all a bit silly at the same time and start chop­ping up their cars to get a bit of news cover­age. And now would seem to be that time in 2018.

Both Honda and Nis­san have taken the gas axe to one of their cars for no good rea­son other than generating a few in­ter­est­ing head­lines, but we can’t bring our­selves to be ir­ri­tated by the bla­tant at­tempts to get our at­ten­tion, be­cause the re­sults are ac­tu­ally rather, well, in­ter­est­ing, with the Nis­san be­ing ac­tu­ally quite cool and the Honda quite bril­liantly silly.

Per­son­ally, I would never have thought I would ever ap­ply the word ‘‘cool’’ to a Nis­san Leaf, but the one-off model Nis­san has been re­vealed in Ja­pan to cel­e­brate reach­ing 100,000 sales of the EV there is ac­tu­ally ex­actly that.

Okay, cool in a kind of dork­ily awk­ward way, but se­ri­ously, couldn’t you just see your­self hap­pily cruis­ing silently along in it on a sunny sum­mer’s day, stereo blast­ing, hap­pily smug as you get an emis­sion-free sun tan? No? Maybe it’s just me then.

It doesn’t really mat­ter though, be­cause Nis­san is only mak­ing the one, so it will never go on sale. But it should. Be­cause it is awe­some.

The other bril­liantly weird sw­erve into the left lane of one­off chopped-roof silli­ness this week comes from Honda, with their – wait for it – Civic Type-R pick up.

Yeah, that’s right, Honda UK has un­veiled what it calls ‘‘one of the fastest pick up trucks on UK roads’’ de­spite the fact that it is clearly a ute.

Of course, we have to give them a pass on that, be­cause they are English and have ut­terly no idea what a ute ac­tu­ally is.

De­vel­oped from a stan­dard Civic Type-R, Project P (as it is un­for­tu­nately be­ing called), features a flatbed load­ing area in the cen­tre of the car where the rear seats and boot space would nor­mally be.

Don’t worry though, as you can see they is still a mas­sively large wing. Which could make get­ting a load in the tray some­what dif­fi­cult, par­tic­u­larly as it is mounted on a ves­ti­gial hatch-style tail­gate.

Honda UK says Project P will do the 0-100km/h sprint in un­der six sec­onds and reach a top speed of over 265km/h. Which wouldn’t im­press a dog in the back, we sus­pect.

‘‘We have a spe­cial projects di­vi­sion at the fac­tory in Swin­don and this project was a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity for the team to show just what their cre­ative minds could do,’’ said Alyn James, project leader.

‘‘We are even con­sid­er­ing tak­ing it to the Nur­bur­gring to see if we can take the record for the fastest front wheel drive pickup truck!’’

Which we can’t imag­ine is a record they would have much com­pe­ti­tion for, really.

A con­vert­ible Leaf and a Type-R ute? What next? a Lam­borgh­ini SUV? Oh, wait . . .

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