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03 June

Western Group of Motoring Writers' PR Driving Day at Castle Combe Circuit, Chippenham (by invitation only)


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From the chair May 2013

publication date: May 10, 2013
author/source: Ian Adcock



Without being accused of wallowing in “When I were a lad” memories, but back in my days as a junior hack on ‘What Car?’ you could count the variants a manufacturer produced on the fingers of one hand: 2dr-4dr saloon, estate, coupe, maybe a two-seater sports car could be added to the range, but that was about it.


BMW 3GT all things to all men and women? 


Then along came the hatchback – at which point Kim will remind me that the A40 started that trend – and soon there was a plethora of models to choose from including MPVs and SUVs. I recalled this whilst driving BMW’s new 3GT, because I couldn’t quite decide where it fitted into the line up.

It’s five-door hatch, with a higher seating position than the saloon it’s based on and a longer wheelbase for more rear legroom. And whilst the load area under the hatch is pretty cavernous it wouldn’t suit my pair of Golden Retrievers, so it hasn’t got the ultimate flexibility of an estate car such as the 3-series Touring.

Then again, BMW has given us coupe profiled SUVs, think X6, and Ford presented us with a Sports Activity Vehicle in the form of the S-Max. Mercedes-Benz revived the idea of a four-door coupe and VW swiftly followed suit with its Passat CC.

Different strokes for different folks 

I have this vision of wild haired professors in laboratories grafting bits of cars together, searching for the next automotive Frankenstein so it’s only going to be a matter of time before someone comes up with a two-seater, convertible coupe SUV with lowered suspension and 20-inch wheels powered by a 1.6 diesel hybrid.

Just remember – you read it here first.



Ian Adcock,

Chairman WGMW

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