Top Gear drives the Channel Tunnel
Chris Froome has just cycled through, but we were the first in a production car...
Posted: 07 Jul 2014
At the deepest point, we're 250 metres beneath sea level and 75 metres under the seabed. As we descend deeper into the blanket of geology, things get muggy. But we've switched off the aircon to milk as much as possible from the battery. To be safe, I dab the brakes on the downhill bits, harvesting precious power from the regenerative system, and squeeze the throttle gently up slopes. Our tyre pressures squeeze up to 38psi in this heat, which helps reduce rubbery friction. So, for the first few miles, I actually gain range. Over in the States, celebrity denim fan Jay Leno claims to have done 11,000 miles without putting fuel in his Chevy Volt (the Ampera's rebadged American cousin), and on this evidence, it's tempting to believe him. Fully juiced, Vauxhall claims it'll do 50 miles on a single charge without assistance from the petrol engine. I reckon it'll do more today. It'll have to.