Tomorrow sees the launch of Fifth Gear “Recharged” – the latest series of the TV show I’ve presented since it began at the turn of the millennium.
The car world has changed a lot since then, where initially we tested the latest Ford Focus RS against the Honda Civic Type-R, and had never heard of the word plug-in hybrid let alone Tesla.
In this week’s opening show (of eight) I manage to get behind the wheel of two machines that are very much at opposite ends of the modern car spectrum.
At the entry-level side of things is Citroen’s Ami – an electric quadricycle that can be driven by 16-year-olds in France, though you need a full licence to drive it in Scotland.
It costs around £6,000, has a top speed of 28mph, and can last for around 40 miles before you a recharge.
— The CAR Girl 🚘 (You Tube) Vicki Butler-Henderson (@vb_h) November 30, 2021
Its design is really cute with its rounded body edges and cheeky front end– but if you watch the show tomorrow night (9pm on Quest) then you’ll see it’s not quite as friendly as it looks…
And then there’s one of the most expensive cars I’ve ever driven – a £3 million Lamborghini Sian. This limited edition beast is 100 times more powerful than the Citroen, which isn’t hard considering the Lambo has an 812hp V12 in the back!
It’s based upon the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ, which costs a “mere” half a million pounds, so a lot of the Sian’s extra price has gone into something that has the fabulous name of a “supercapacitor”.
This gives the car its “hybrid” badge and also the main reason for its inclusion in the TV show – even if there’s only roughly an extra 30hp on offer with it.
This Sian gives us a look into the future of what the cars from Bologna will be like
The supercapacitor is a slice of pioneering high-tech electricity storage, that’s lightweight and is three times quicker to charge as a same-sized lithium ion battery.
It gives the car a small burst of energy to fill in the gaps in the engine’s power delivery as you change up the gearbox. Not that the gaps are big to start with!
Lamborghini will remain a top drive for petrol heads
This Sian gives us a look into the future of what the cars from Bologna will be like from 2024, when only hybrid-electric supercars will be built at the factory.
And I can reassure all petrol heads that tomorrow’s Lambos will still be entertaining to drive.
As is the company’s current entry-level car, the Huracan EVO RWD, with its V10 engine and jaw-dropping looks – and this is also the star of my latest film on my You Tube channel, The CAR Girl. If only Santa could fit it under the tree.
Merry Christmas to you all!