Business will be a gas for the latest new car maker to hit Britain – Verté is to launch a range of LPG-only cars and pick-ups. And guess what? There will even be hot versions with the famous XR badge!
The move is the brainchild of AC Cars boss Alan Lubinsky, who has teamed up with Australian suppliers to export eco-friendly versions of the Mondeo-sized Ford Falcon to the UK. Badged Verté Tempest, the line-up will include a choice of 200bhp 4.0-litre six-cylinder or 260bhp 5.0-litre V8 engines, mated to automatic transmission. Ford fans will be pleased to note that hot versions will spell the return of the XR badge, last seen on the Fiesta XR2i in 1995. The XR6 and XR8 sports saloons boast breathed-on versions of the two units and are both capable 150mph cruisers. The range will be completed by the luxurious, high-performance Tempest T.
Lubinsky is keen to distinguish Verté cars from AC models and is adamant they will not be sold together. "We're putting together a dedicated dealer network and aiming for a significant niche market," he told us.
Verté is taking the unusual step of launching the pick-up models – badged Tempest SUV – before the saloons, with deliveries starting from next month. Costing £15,950 for the entry-level XL and £17,950 for the well equipped XLS, the pick-ups' pricing policy bodes well for the arrival of the performance saloons early next summer.
Rear leaf springs and wallowy front suspension make handling ponderous, while overlight steering and a dead brake pedal do little to inspire confidence. The four-speed auto box displays lazy, clunky gearchanges and indecision when cruising. This car is for blasting across the outback with a full load of sheep, not country lanes.
One minute they say the suspension is "wallowy" (is that a technical term, who writes this crap, Julian Edgar?) and the next they say it is fine for "blasting across the outback with a full load of sheep"! Wouldn't you need reasonable suspension to carry sheep?
I'm surprised with their comments about the auto, in the press here it generally gets great revies, better than GMH's version.
Sounds like a good car is wasted on them.
You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. They left a little note on the windscreen. It said, 'Parking Fine.'So that was nice.
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