Green-Car-Guide Live! was a showcase of the latest green cars, on track and on static display, at the Cholmondeley Pageant of Power event that took place from 15-17 July 2011.
This was a unique opportunity to see cars in the metal that appear on Green-Car-Guide.com, which save you money on fuel, on road tax, and company car tax thanks to their low CO2 emissions. Vehicles were on display that can achieve over 70 miles per gallon, as well as cars that don’t need any petrol or diesel at all – because they are electric.
Here are the cars that were on display on the track, and in the Green-Car-Guide Live! concourse, situated in the Paddock Enclosure.
Nissan LEAF NISMO RC
The Nissan LEAF NISMO RC (Racing Competition), based on the all-electric Nissan LEAF, was a unique attraction on the Pageant circuit. First shown at the New York auto show, this was only the second time it has been driven in public in the UK. It is Nissan’s first electric prototype race car, developed by NISMO (Nissan Motorsport International Co., Ltd.) in Japan, and the first in a development phase leading up to a possible race series. The LEAF NISMO RC is shown above between a Nissan GT-R and Lexus LFA.
The production all-electric Nissan LEAF hatchback was on show in the Green-Car-Guide Live! concourse and it was the car that drew the biggest crowds.
The LEAF costs less than £2 to fully charge, which gives a potential range of over 100 miles – this compares to well over £10 for the fuel for an average petrol or diesel vehicle for this distance. The LEAF is also exempt from road tax and company car tax, and enjoys a £5000 government discount on its purchase price.
We took the Nissan LEAF around the circuit on the Pageant media day and the drivers of more exotic racing machinery hitched a lift and were amazed by the performance of the LEAF, with its 100% torque off the line, and its low centre of gravity through the corners.
The brand new Nissan Micra DIG-S , with its efficient, supercharged three-cylinder petrol engine, emits just 95 g/km CO2 and achieves 68.9 mpg in base model form – and all for an affordable price.
The Nissan Juke is a ‘crossover’ with dynamic, modern styling that looks like no other car on the road. The 1.6-litre DIG-T model has a turbocharged petrol engine and is one of the most economical petrol-powered cars with all-wheel drive that you can buy – and it’s also great to drive.
Nissan Juke on two wheels
Stunt driver Terry Grant also put on an incredible display on the track of the Nissan Juke on two wheels .
Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion
The Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion is an extremely refined family hatchback, yet it can also achieve 74.3 mpg – with no compromises in the driving experience.
Volkswagen Golf 1.2 TSI
If you prefer petrol rather than diesel power in your family hatchback, then thanks to the wonders of modern ‘downsized’ engine technology, there’s now a Volkswagen Golf 1.2 TSI which can return 51.4 mpg, which was on display inside the Volkswagen pavilion.
BMW 320d EfficientDynamics
The BMW 320d EfficientDynamics saloon is BMW’s most efficient 3 Series ever. The 320d EfficientDynamics boasts 163 bhp and achieves 0-62 mph in just 8.0 seconds, but can deliver 68.9 mpg on the combined cycle and emits just 109 g/km of CO2. This saloon sets a new benchmark for fuel consumption and CO2 in its class and is the perfect choice for company car and retail buyers alike.
MINI Cooper D
A MINI, with its ‘go-kart handling’, is one of the most fun cars you can drive, but also one of the most efficient – in Cooper D form it returns 74.3 mpg along with just 99 g/km CO2 emissions.
The new Lexus CT 200h delivers low CO2 emissions of just 94 g/km and combined cycle fuel economy of 68.9 mpg. Thanks to the efficiency of its full hybrid powertrain, the all-new hatchback outperforms all of its small luxury car rivals, none of which achieve a sub-100 g/km figure.
Just to prove that efficient cars exist in all categories of vehicles, the new Jaguar XF 2.2-litre diesel can manage 52.3 mpg, with 149 g/km CO2 emissions – yet it still has 190 PS of power on tap and a top speed of 140 mph.
The Infiniti M35h is a luxury performance saloon with a direct hybrid drive system. Thanks to the combination of the car’s 3.5-litre V6 engine, automatic gearbox, battery and electric motor, the M35h manages to combine a top speed of 155 mph, 0-62 mph in 5.5 seconds, 362 PS, 40.4 mpg, and 162 g/km CO2 emissions. See our Infiniti M35h road test
Oaktec Honda Insight hybrid rally car
The Oaktec Honda Insight hybrid rally car was proving increasingly successful in the Formula 1000 rally championship – so successful in fact, it was recently banned because it was winning too often. As well as winning rallies, it has also won a fuel economy competition, returning 82 mpg.
Oaktec Honda Civic hybrid rally car
While the Insight took part in the action on the track, the Oaktec Honda Civic hybrid rally car was on display in the Green-Car-Guide Live! concourse.
The competition on the track
Aside from green cars, the main racing action on the track was the unmissable highlight of the event. A number of vehicles were competing for the fastest lap, including a Lamborghini LP570-4 Performante , which posted the best time in 2010, but this year it was up against machinery such as a Bentley Continental , Jaguar XKR-S , Noble M600 , Nissan GT-R, Lexus LFA, Ariel V8 Atom (with Autocar’s Matt Prior at the wheel), the brand new BAC Mono, and a Subaru Impreza. Autocar’s Steve Cropley was also in attendance, with his Ariel Atom.
Green-Car-Guide’s editor, Paul Clarke , opened the course on the Friday afternoon, taking the first car, a Ford Focus RS500 , around the track.
If you think the Subaru Impreza was an underdog in this company of supercars, you may be surprised to learn that the limited-edition Cosworth Impreza STI CS400 set the fastest lap on the Sunday, when it rained for most of the day. With former British Rally Champion Mark Higgins at the wheel, it set the quickest time of 68.18 seconds in the wet, over four seconds faster than the second-placed Lancia Delta Integrale WRC , and six seconds quicker than the second-placed car in the Supercar category.
Over the whole competition, the all-wheel drive 400PS Subaru was second only to the £186,000 Lamborghini LP570-4 Performante on the 1.2-mile sprint circuit; the Lamborghini recorded a winning lap time of 63 seconds (one second slower than last year).
The least green car at the Pageant
There were many contenders for this title, with the 46-litre aero-engined ‘Brutus’, as mentioned on Top Gear, being the favourite to win. However in our view this Bentley is the winner, thanks to the emissions of pure flame from its exhaust.
If you missed the Pageant this year, check out Green-Car-Guide.com soon for details of next year’s event.
Bentley, Jaguar and Ford all took cars on the track on the Friday morning prior to the event; this element of the Pageant is likely to expand next year.