Happy Independence Day and a final farewell to America! today we are taking down the red white and blue bunting and going back to normality here in the UK a big thanks once again to Mazda for letting us take the CX-9 and the lovely people we ment throughout our journey, a special mention for Linda and her Lesbians :)
But it's time to catch-up on some stories that we didn't cover because we weren't here...
First up it's Renault and the announcements of such cars like the Fluence Z.E. We covered the Z.E. range including concept ZOE at Paris last year and the Fluence was definitely one to watch. Well Renault have announced Prices for the electric saloon and it seems a lot more affordable than the Mitsubishi iMiev we currently have sat on the drive... and does 40 more miles to a full charge too.
From a mere £20 pre-order deposit (non-refundable) you can reserve a Fluence that will set you back just £17,850 after receiving the government incentive of £5,000. However Renault are leasing rather than selling the battery at a cost of £75 a month (based on 6,000 miles a year on a three year agreement) making the buying process of the Fluence a rather confusing one. More details here
Next up, quite clearly to compete with our 4,000 mile trip across America, Jaguar took one of it's new 2.2 diesel XF's and managed 816 miles over 4 countries, using just one tank of fuel! Very impressive Jaguar! Averaging 57mpg the XF drove across motorways, country bends and urban traffic to achieve an accurate and fair test... lovely.
Audi made a lot of noise at Elton's recent bash by putting a chrome R8 Spyder up for auction. Raising money for the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the mirrored monster fetched a tidy sum of £620,000.
Jeep next and a lot of noise seems to have been made about the new Grand Cherokee. I haven't seen any official press releases, but my inbox is swamped with pictures of the sexy new car. So one assumed it's officially launched and on sale - plus if it's anything like the US spec Cherokee, otherwise known as the Laredo, it will be very nice indeed.
Finally, last but by no means least whatsoever is the news that MINI are doing the concept coupé. From only £16,650 OTR, the new MINI Coupé is the fifth model to join the range - featuring four engines from launch and only two seats! Although described to me during it's concept phases as looking like a baseball cap, I (Marcus) think the new coupé looks great and will be thinking of any excuse to jump in one early and see how it drives.
So that's just a few highlights from the past three/four weeks but I will no doubt pick-up a few more stories over the next week or so, plus take a deeper look into the MINI Coupé and the topic of electric vehicles, focusing on the little Mitsubishi iMiev we are currently bobbing about town in.