Business Car Manager: Editor’s Blog
ALTERNATIVE fuels such as LPG – liquiefied petroleum gas – had their moment of glory. When the government had the Powershift grant, LPG was a useful alternative fuel.
The grant went. And so, too, it seemed did LPG.
But the fuel has stayed on, obstinately refusing to be completely sidelined and offering not only an environmental benefit but also for businesses, a hugely beneficial financial advantage: it’s less than half the cost of mainstream petrol or diesel.
But yesterday (Sunday, 02 May) the fuel took the limelight again. For the first time in the history of the BTCC since its inaugural race in 1958, an LPG-fuelled car won a round of the British Touring Car Championship. In fact, it didn’t just take one victory, but two. The Team Aon Ford Focus drivers of Tom Chilton and Tom Onslow-Cole nabbed a win apiece at the third round at Brands Hatch, Kent.
More to the point, I was also lucky to be a guest of Team Aon thanks to Nigel Davies, the sales and marketing boss of Auto Windscreens, one of the team’s sponsors. “This is fantastic, isn’t it?” said Nigel. “The team has shown great promise, but to be here when they take the first victory is something special.” Indeed it was. Despite the rain, the mood was euphoric.
I’d also taken my son Matt and his friend. Together we braved the elements to watch. Drenched all three of us (despite rain jackets and unbrellas), it was neverthess a good day’s sport.
Fortunately, we had just the right car for the conditions in the sodden grass car park: Audi’s Q7 SUV. Having driven this car, I have say I love it. It’s huge, certainly, but oh so capable. It’s a luxobarge cruiser on the motorway; a seven-seater people move; an enormous estate with all the rear seats down; and a business car with the prestige to impress. All of these the Q7 does so easliy. As long as you can live with its enormous dimensions. Small it is not. Capable it most certainly is.
The Q7 has been revised for 2010 with improved economy, more power and an eight speed auto. Little wonder that demand is so high: it’s sold out to the end of the year – before the latest version has even hit the showrooms.
It would be quite something if the alternative fuel LPG was to ever prove as popular.