Feeds
Vauxhall Ampera

Vauxhall Ampera hybrid e-car

The electric car comes of age?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

Space constrained

On the open road, the Ampera’s transatlantic underpinnings are surprisingly hard to notice. The ride is comfortable and the handling on the mountainous B-roads above and around Ruthin in North Wales proved wholly competent. In range-extended mode, the engine and battery buffer always had sufficient power to offer even when I was pushing on.

Vauxhall Ampera

The T-shaped battery limits the back-seat space

The overtly hi-tech cabin is dominated by two 7in LCD displays. These look – and in the case of the touch-sensitive one on the centre console, feel – great. I can’t really say the same about the touch-sensitive buttons on the centre console though.

They apparently use less electrical power than standard switches – as do the specially designed, smaller window and wiper motors – but are a bit of a faff to use, though familiarity may remedy that.

Vauxhall Ampera

Plug it in here

The Ampera isn't is a particularly spacious car. The 198kg battery pack is arranged in a T-shape, with the cross at the back and the stem running through what in a rear-wheel drive car would be the transmission tunnel. This makes it a dedicated four- rather than five-seater because there simply is no central rear seat.

But even for two in the the back, it's a little short on head and legroom, especially if those up front are six foot plus and have their seats back. The battery doesn’t take anything away from boot space, though, which is the equal of what you get in a Ford Focus.

Vauxhall Ampera

On the move

For my money, the Ampera is a good looking motor car too, more purposeful around the nose than the Volt. And it’s rather well screwed together, despite being assembled in America which can sometimes be a byword for cheap plastics and bad fit.

The current entry model will set you back £32,350 after the UK’s £5,000 e-car grant, though a lower-spec model costing £29,995 will arrive later in the year. That’s about £12,000 more than a five-door turbo-diesel Ford Focus but, to be fair, you do get a lot of standard of kit, including satnav on a 7in screen, alloy wheels, reversing cameras, leather upholstery and a stonkingly good Bose CD/DVD stereo with a 30GB HDD. ®

More Car Reviews

Hyundai Veloster Renault
Twizy
Renault Mégane
265 Trophy 2.0
Kia Rio Nissan Leaf

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

Vauxhall Ampera

Vauxhall Ampera hybrid e-car

The most practical mostly electric car money can buy
Price: From £32,250 after Government £5000 e-car grant. RRP

More from The Register

next story
LOHAN packs bags for SPACEPORT AMERICA!
Spanish launch goes titsup, we're off to the US of A
Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies
Gummy pterosaurs outlived toothy competitors
'Leccy racer whacks petrols in Oz race
ELMOFO rakes in two wins in sanctioned race
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
Boffins build CYBORG-MOTHRA but not for evil: For search & rescue
This tiny bio-bot will chew through your clothes then save your life
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?