Vauxhall Firenza 1-6

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Keywords: Vauxhall Firenza 1-6
Description: Posts about Vauxhall Firenza written by jeckythump

At the beginning of May, I had the extreme good fortune to attend the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) Test Day at the Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire. Here are my – somewhat belated – thoughts on the day.

With over 100 cars available to drive on a variety of circuits – city, Alpine hill, high speed bowl and off-road – the SMMT Test Day is rather like having a birthday and Christmas all at once for those of an automotive persuasion. Having read about previous test days, I’d always thought this event was the preserve of proper motoring writers, and so was stunned to receive an invite (thank you, Major!).

Perusing the list of cars on offer, I’d already resigned myself to not even getting close to current automotive darling de nos jours. the new Jaguar F-Type, though the potential prospect of driving a McLaren 12C (!) was something to really look forward to. There would be more to the day than the driving too, with the chance to catch up with other motoring twitterati in between drives to compare notes and chew the automotive fat; great stuff!

The number of attendees and cars available to drive meant that drives were necessarily brief. Here are some fleeting impressions of the cars I drove on the day.

In my capacity as treehugging petrolhead, I suppose that I had to make this my first drive of the day. Having driven electric cars before, I had an idea of what to expect, but the Zoe seemingly surpassed memory. An innate serenity is a given with EVs, yet still somehow seems odd from a small car (or maybe my old Punto is getting on a bit). It felt so tactile, with nicely weighted steering and a wheel which I thought was a lovely thing to hold. Watching the battery range fall going uphill and rise again going downhill on the Alpine course was amusing and, knowing how breathless little hatchbacks can be once they reach the tops of hills, the Zoe’s linear power delivery was a positive boon. Like the Nissan Leaf, the Zoe has been designed from the ground up to be an electric car and it shows; indeed, I thought it made some of the internal combustion-engined cars on offer seem old fashioned.

I must admit that I didn’t really do the GT86 justice. My abiding memory of driving it was of the gearchange, which was very short in a ‘snicky’ kind of way that precluded any particular tactility, and had a much narrower gate than I’m used to (inadvertently changing from 2 nd to 5 th more than once wasn’t brilliant). It was a great car to drive around the Alpine course when I did get it right, but I think I definitely need to spend more time with one. I wonder if there are any plans for a hybrid version – it could be a real low-carbon ‘halo’ car.

I’m a huge fan of the previous model Panda and so was quite looking forward to driving this. Despite having read much about the TwinAir engine, I still couldn’t help but think its distinctive thrum was redolent of my Punto when it was poorly. All at sea on the Alpine course (a corollary of the raised suspension on the Trekking model?), it nonetheless excelled on the city course. The Panda Trekking is a very comfortable ‘little’ car, but I think I’d like to try a regular Panda before I decide how much of an improvement the new model is over the previous, frankly brilliant, one.

The most powerful and expensive car I’ve ever driven, the 911 was the only car I took on the high speed bowl where it was predictably unflappable at the maximum 100mph we were permitted there. On the Alpine course, its acceleration was intoxicating to one more used to 1/6 th of the power, and the handling was inevitably surefooted. A lovely, easy car to drive and yet still very much possessed of its own ‘essence’, this basic, manual, no frills 911 would do very nicely, thank you.

I only managed to take this around the Alpine course and, after the 911, it felt … I don’t know … maybe it was the PDK gearbox, but it didn’t feel as connected or as ‘special’; it certainly lacked an intangible ‘something’ of the 911. I’m sure it would work better in the hands of someone more used to it and not as overawed at the prospect of driving such an expensive bit of ‘new’ technology without any previous acquaintance (I’ve never used ‘flappy’ paddles before). Like the Toyota GT86, I think I need another go in one.

After my cotton-wool approach to driving the brace of Porsches, I thought the way I then climbed into the Citigo and proceeded to throw it fearlessly around the Alpine track was striking – have I become conditioned to cars like this? A hoot to drive, I found it to be simple, unpretentious (stripes notwithstanding) fun; I absolutely loved it and, on this showing, I think I might prefer one of the VW group’s upmiicitigo siblings to the new Panda.



Photogallery Vauxhall Firenza 1-6:







Photographs Vauxhall Firenza SL - sa1.1-themes
Photographs Vauxhall Firenza 2-3 - sa5.1-themes
Photographs Vauxhall Firenza SL - sa1.1-themes







Photographs Vauxhall Firenza 1-3 - auto5.borzii
Photographs Vauxhall Magnum 1800 Estate Car - sa5.1-themes
Photographs Vauxhall Firenza 1-3 - auto5.borzii







Photographs Vauxhall Firenza 1-3 - auto5.borzii
Photographs Vauxhall Magnum 1800 Estate Car - sa5.1-themes
Photographs Vauxhall Firenza 1-3 - auto5.borzii







Photographs Vauxhall Firenza 1-3 - sa5.1-themes
Photographs Vauxhall Firenza SL - sa1.1-themes
Photographs Vauxhall Firenza 1-3 - auto5.borzii







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