Andy Palmer tells us more about the car Aston will race in Le Mans’ new top class
You are here
The Top Gear car review:Vauxhall Ampera
What is it like on the road?
The lack of any sort of engine noise is the most obvious thing. The Ampera makes a fake charging up noise when you push the starter button and an equally silly powering down sound when you turn it off, but that’s about all you ever hear.
The steering isn’t brimming with feedback but it’s accurate enough, and the Vauxhall is exceptionally refined and comfortable. There’s a lot more power than you’d expect, too, as the engine and electric motor/generator develop 148bhp in total, but it’s the torque that’s the most significant thing. With 273lb ft on tap, the Ampera is really quite potent, especially from the off, and there’s no need to wind the revs up to reach peak pulling power. It’s good for 0–62mph in nine seconds flat, and there’s even a decent amount of shove when you’re travelling at motorway speeds. When the motor gives up the ghost and you switch to petrol power, it’s all very seamless, and you’d have a job to notice a difference if it weren’t for the digital display.