RAY MASSEY: Nissan’s musical new Micra revs up on style
Yes, it may be small by UK standards, but Nissan’s fifth-generation Micra supermini is a mighty marvel, especially if you’re a music lover.
I took one for a spin from bright and breezy Brighton around the Sussex countryside and found it a delight. It looks great, with fantastic kerb appeal. Lower and wider than its predecessor, too.
And it’s practical. There are five trim levels or grades. Prices from £11,995 for the one-litre 75 bhp Visia to £18,765 for the top-of-the-range 1.5-litre 90 bhp diesel Tekna.
High Five: The new fifth-generation Nissan Micra supermini is a small car with a big punch
There are more than 100 exterior and interior trim and colour combinations.
The designer who put together this fine palette to boost personalisation is Sandra Boberg, at the firm’s design studios in Paddington, West London.
I particularly liked the Energy Orange paintwork.
Looker: Lower and wider than its predecessor, the new Micra has fantastic kerb appeal
Choices: There are five trim levels or grades. Prices from £11,995 for the one-litre 75 bhp Visia to £18,765 for the top-of-the-range 1.5-litre 90 bhp diesel Tekna
Space: The new Micra maintains its predecessors’ reputation for practicality with a good sized boot
I spent most of my time behind the wheel of a very smooth, but sufficiently sprightly, 900cc IG-T 90 linked to a slick five-speed manual gearbox.
It was effortlessly intuitive to drive and packed with levels of safety kit you’d expect on a bigger car.
It’ll do 61 mpg and reach 109 mph with 0-60mph acceleration in 12.1 seconds. But it felt faster.
Simplicity: As you would expect the Micra is effortlessly intuitive to drive and it is packed with levels of safety kit you’d expect on a bigger car
Cabin: There are more than 100 exterior and interior trim and colour combinations
Nippy: The Micra will do 61 mpg and reach 109 mph with 0-60mph acceleration in 12.1 seconds
As a £500 option on all but the highest-spec models (where it’s standard) it features a clever immersive 360-degree music system from Bose that includes loudspeakers in the driver’s headrest, allowing the driver to ‘share’ the music all round if there are passengers on board.
Or, if driving solo, to concentrate the experience on the person behind the wheel.
Sounds good: As a £500 option on all but the highest-spec models (where it’s standard) it features an Bose 360-degree music system that includes loudspeakers in the driver’s headrest
Rolls rocks with special Wraiths
Who says Rolls-Royce isn’t Rock ‘n’ Roll? Legends of rock including Sir Ray Davies, The Kinks frontman, The Who’s Roger Daltrey, and Status Quo’s Francis Rossi are creating the ultimate special edition Rolls-Royce Wraiths aimed at music lovers.
Rock and roller: UK music legends including Sir Ray Davies, Roger Daltrey, and Francis Rossi are creating special edition Rolls-Royce Wraiths aimed at music lovers
The wraps came off four of them in London this week where Pink Floyd drummer, car scribe and collector Nick Mason, Rossi and Daltrey, pictured left — what a supergroup that would be — along with Davies were among the guests.
Daltrey has designed two of the Wraiths — one called The Who with the band and singer’s name in the stitching and a Union flag engraving, and a second called Tommy featuring artwork linked to the band’s seminal 1969 album, while Sir Ray’s ‘Kinks’ edition has a similar treatment.
My specification: The Who’s frontman Roger Daltery chooses his design
A fourth, called Number Ones, was created with the help of Giles Martin (also pictured, seated), son of Beatles producer Sir George Martin.
Nine cars, costing around £235,000, will be made and sold for charity.
A timely reality check on the dream of driverless cars from the top British boss at BMW.
Their use will be restricted by law because governments are reluctant to allow the vehicles to make ‘life and death decisions’.
Technically, there is little obstacle. In around five years, developments could result in vehicles ‘full of passengers with no driver’, says Dr Ian Robertson, a Munich-based global board member for BMW.
But there will be a phased approach with different rules for motorways and local roads, he told a ‘connected cars’ conference in London organised by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
New exhaust tests to measure ‘real world’ emissions
If you see some strange pipework bolted on to the back of a car in front of you (above), it’s part of a new plan to see how much it pollutes under the world’s first independent ‘real world’ emissions index, launched this week.
Cars will be given an alphabetical eco rating, according to how much they pollute.
The ratings will be based on independent emissions tests carried out on the road — rather than in a lab — using the Emission Analytics device and data from equaindex.com.
The A to H ratings — akin to school reports — give, for example, a BMW 3 Series 2.0 diesel 184 bhp manual a top A rating.
But the Fiat 500X 1.6 118 bhp manual gets the worst-performing H grade.
Courtesy: Daily Mail Online