Weekly round-up: Facts, figures, fuels, and a 232.5 mile drift

Reality is getting too damn unpredictable. In a world of alternate facts (AKA lies), misinformation, and apathy it helps to have someone level-headed to cut through all the chaff.

Unpredictable times call for the reliable friend, and we are that friend with our regular round-up.

With this in mind, 12 days into 2018 the push-pull conversation keeps on rolling regarding diesel and alternatively-fuelled vehicles.

Needless to say, negative media coverage about so-called ‘dirty-diesels’ has led to consumers and businesses debating their next vehicle choice.

Weekly round-up

A survey of 1,000 UK firms carried out by RAC Business found 62% of large businesses are considering phasing out their diesel vehicles, compared to just 33% among small firms. And, nearly half (47%) of businesses of any size say they are thinking about moving away from diesel.

The findings from the survey carried out in Q4 2017 support latest industry figures from the SMMT, which said diesel sales dropped just over 17%.


However, the concern expressed by some businesses about diesel engines may be misplaced according to RAC Fuel Watch spokesman Simon Williams, who says the newest diesel vehicles coming onto the market now are among the cleanest ever produced and also emit far less carbon dioxide than their petrol equivalents.

This information stands at complete odds with the government announcement that all new diesel cars registered from 1 April 2018 will face a first-year tax increase if they do not meet the necessary standards in real-world emission tests, and follows on from an adjustment of thresholds for all vehicles in April 2017 which ensured that only zero-emissions cars were exempt from VED.

As a result of 12 months of rhetoric around the many problems diesel fumes causes around the globe it’s not surprise to see that sales dropped just over 17%, while registrations of all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles rose by a record 27% in 2017 marking this the sixth consecutive annual rise for the sector.

Chargie home chargepoint 1_thumb

Records were broken throughout the year, with every quarter comfortably out-performing 2016. The second half of 2017 recorded in excess of 24,000 registrations of 100% electric and plug-in hybrid cars – up more than 40% on July-December 2016.

In spite of this great news, many naysayers and doom-mongering media headlines have been quick to point out that new car sales are down by 5.7% in 2017 compared to the previous year.

They’re not lying, but as is to be expected they got lost in the details. What they have failed to point out is that 2016 was the best year this century for new car sales in the UK, so it was always on the cards that numbers could slip.


As well as that, there’s plenty of comfort for car makers and those selling them when you learn 2017 was the third best-performing year, just behind 2016 and 2015. Al Suttie goes into more detail on the true story behind the facts and figures.

In spite of aaaaaaaall this talk, price still remains the key when it comes to choosing the next family car according to Dacia. But, with some of the best budget cars on the market, they would say that wouldn’t they? ;P


Away from industry and infrastructure, let’s talk about something a bit more fun.

Phil Huff was in the Range Rover Velar this week, finding the newest addition to the to the Land Rover stable to offer “style and space in spades, and just enough substance ... if you care about that sort of thing.”

Range Rover Velar Lead

Is it a needless addition or does it have something unique to offer? Check out the review to find out.

Penny pinching is the name of the game for most of us in January, so while you’re trying to fill in the time while suffering through Dry January and basking in all that money you’re saving, we’ve got a couple of articles that might be of interest – the top five cars for under £200 per month and top five low deposit car leasing deals both offer ways to low-cost motoring and driving a new car on a budget. From the Audi A4 to the BMW 2 Series, there’s plenty of enticing cars on offer.

Speaking of enticing, say hello to the new Mitsubishi Shogun Sport. This do-it-all beast of an SUV utilises the Mitsubishi L200 pick-up’s chassis, and uses a Super Select II QWD system that allows the driver to switch seamlessly between two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive on all terrains.

Shogun Sport UK spec and pricing colour

Offered in two trim levels – Shogun Sport 3 and Shogun Sport 4 – both are powered by a 2.4-litre diesel engine producing 178bhp and 430Nm of torque. A new eight-speed automatic gearbox is standard on both variants too.

And finally…

When you’re on your way to the petrol pumps this weekend, spare a thought for the brave souls from the BMW M Power team, who had to refuel an M5 mid-drift in order to break the Guinness World Record for the longest vehicle drift in eight hours.

Driver Johan Schwartz, Refuel Driver Matt Mullins, and Refueler Matt Butts had to drift 89.55 miles to beat Abdo El Feghali’s record, but rather than just drift to 90 miles and call it a day they decided to go above and beyond by drifting a whopping 232.5 sideways miles resulting in five refuels over an eight hour drift. That’s a hell of a shift! Congrats guys.

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