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Title: Taxi News Roundup January 2017

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Summary: Read some of January's most important industry news in our monthly taxi news post.

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Meta Description: Read some of January's most important industry news in our monthly taxi news post.

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Taxi News Roundup - January 2017

Uber Trials Self Driving Taxis

Select groups of Uber users in the USA can now request to be picked up by a driverless vehicle. The service is being offered to app users in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and California, following on from a year and a half of intense testing.

Uber has been cautious to state that the service is still only in a trial stage, branding it as a “research exercise”. For safety (and testing) reasons, each vehicle is manned by at least one Uber engineer, who has the ability to switch from autonomous to manual mode and take control of the vehicle if needed.

Courts in California have already branded the self-driving vehicles a safety concern, after they were found to cut across cycle lanes rather than merge with them. In addition, California’s attorney general has warned Uber to withdraw its driverless fleet or face legal action; something that Uber has stated they won’t be complying with. However, the company did admit that “It’s still early days and our cars are not ready to drive without a person monitoring them”.

Uber is yet to comment on introducing driverless cars to the UK. However, driverless vehicles are being tested by other companies and manufacturers. Nissan recently announced that they will be trialling a driverless version of the LEAF in London from February, with Volvo also planning to carry out trials of their own autonomous vehicles in early 2017.

Karhoo Bought by Renault

Renault has announced the purchase of taxi-comparison service Karhoo, taking the app’s parent company out of administration. The app was purchased by Renault’s financial services division RCI Bank & Services, for an undisclosed fee estimated to be in the region of £13m.

Initially pitched as a direct competitor to Uber, Karhoo initially seemed to be set for success. At its height the firm employed around 200 members of staff in offices around the world, and at one point stated it had received $250m in funding from backers, although recent suggestions have placed this at closer to $30m. However, Karhoo ceased trading in November 2016 after only 6 months of business, leaving its employees and cab firms in the lurch.

RCI are now set to resurrect Karhoo -which will be incorporated under the new “Flit Technologies Ltd” venture – stating that it would help the company “design simple and attractive solutions” as part of its Renault-Nissan alliance brands.

The app is set to re-launch under the stewardship of new joint CEOs Boris Pilichowski and Nicolas Andine. In a statement, the pair said that “there is a need in ground transportation for someone to aggregate all the independents and allow them to compete, and we are determined to make sure Karhoo fills that need. Karhoo was amazingly successful in ferrying hundreds of thousands of people around the world but lacked a corporate backer, but with RCI Bank and Services, we now have that.”

Study Shows Black Cabs Faster Than Uber

Researchers from Lancaster University have pitted black cabs against Uber, in a bid to accurately compare the average cost and speed of the two services.

Over a period of 3 days the researchers took 29 different journeys from various locations around London. From a set location, one researcher used the Uber app to hail a taxi, whilst another hailed a traditional black cab and let the driver decide the route.

Their findings showed that on average, hailing a black cab was the faster option, with journeys conducted in around 88% of the time that it took the Uber driver. However, Uber was found to be the cheaper option, with black cabs being around 35% more expensive.

Anastasios Noulas, who led the research group, explained that “Uber drivers rely on navigation apps, but in dense parts of the city these can be slower than a black cab driver to react to traffic build up.”

The research group found that black cabs had a particular edge in the densest parts of the city, where the specialist knowledge of drivers provided especially useful in finding faster (but more complex) routes than Uber. They also noted that black cabs had the advantage of being able drive in bus lanes, and that drivers frequented side streets not generally recommended by navigation apps.

Author: Fusion Unlimited

Title: The UK’s Favourite Driving Songs

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Summary: From the radios that set the scenes of our morning commutes to the soothing songs we play at night, music has never strayed too far from the steering wheel. To see if we could pin down a soundtrack to the UK’s roads, we took a look at polls, "Top Driving Song" CD's and turned on the radio to see which songs cropped up the most. Join us to take a look at ten of the most iconic songs that continue to reverberate in our vehicles.

Meta Title: The UK’s Favourite Driving Songs

Meta Description: Take a look at our list of the UK's favourite driving songs, and take a look at ten of the most iconic songs that continue to reverberate in the nations vehicles.

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From the radios that set the scenes of our morning commutes to the soothing songs we play at night, music has never strayed too far from the steering wheel. When it comes to music everyone has their favourites, and there are patterns to the songs we enjoy while driving; generally up tempo classic rock and pop, often with lyrics about the road.

To see if we could pin down a soundtrack to the UK’s roads, we took a look at polls, “Top Driving Song” CD’s and turned on the radio to see which songs cropped up the most. Join us to take a look at ten of the most iconic songs that continue to reverberate in our vehicles.

  1. Stronger – Kanye West

You either love him or hate him, but Kanye’s pleas of “I can’t wait much longer” are obviously striking a chord with UK drivers at rush hour, with the strong beat and catchy hooks keeping the brain ticking through the boredom. The Daft Punk tune that Kanye samples, “Harder Better Faster Stronger”, didn’t appear in our search, but is an equally good song, more suited for slightly lower tempo journeys.

  1. The Passenger – Iggy Pop

Coming in at number 9 is Iggy Pop’s 1977 hit The Passenger, one of those all-purpose songs that seems to fit any and every journey. It’s perfect early morning motivation to crack on with your day, while also a great companion for any late night cross-country haul.

  1. Dashboard – Modest Mouse

In their 2007 single “Dashboard”, Modest Mouse made one of the best songs about the experience of driving: with their refrain of “the dashboard melted but we still have the radio”, they symbolise how the music and rhythm of a car is often as important as the car itself.

  1. Hotel California – The Eagles

Forty years may have passed, but we’re all still driving to Hotel California. Be sure to check out Frank Ocean’s American Wedding, which uses the same music, but completely rewrites the lyrics.

  1. On The Road Again – Willie Nelson

“On the Road Again” is Willie Nelson’s famous love song to the open road and should be high on the playlist of any road trip. The song was given a new lease of life by Donkey in the original Shrek movie, perhaps explaining the reason it turns up on so many recent driving albums, although whether or not Donkey was able to replicate Nelson’s musicality is a different question.

  1. Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey

Journey’s reverb-rich ballad of the small-town girl and the city boy from South Detroit continues to keep us believing today. Reimagined afar from its power- pop roots in its performance on the American TV show Glee, “Don’t Stop Believin'” also enjoyed airtime in a slightly different television context, playing alongside the final scenes of HBO’s The Sopranos.

  1. Horse with No Name – America

Though the desert “plants and birds and rocks and things” of America’s “Horse with No Name” are quite the far-cry from the terrain we’re accustomed to driving through in the UK, the song’s love for the open road makes it a humble travelling companion in every part of the world that inspires our awe.

  1. Highway to Hell – AC/DC

For kicking off a long journey with some customary fire and brimstone, few do it better than AC/DC on “Highway to Hell”, something UK drivers seem to be unanimous on.

  1. Shut Up and Drive – Rihanna

Rihanna’s right: sometimes, we do just need to shut up and drive.

  1. Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen

No list of favourites from the driver’s seat would be complete with Springsteen’s “Born to Run”. To be honest, we’re unsure that any list of favourite songs would be, in general. One of the most hard-hitting, inspirational and resonating lyricists of recent times, Springsteen’s pursuit of his American dream inspires us all to carry on – through thick and thin, traffic jam and detour – and keep running for our own.

Author: Fusion

Title: Best New Cars of 2016

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Summary: With the year drawing to a close and 2017 loudly readying its engines, now is the perfect time to review the most impressive cars to debut on the UK’s roads in 2016. Take a look at our top 10 new cars of 2016 here.

Meta Title: Best New Cars of 2016 | Bristol Street Motors

Meta Description: With the year drawing to a close and 2017 loudly readying its engines now is the perfect time to review the top 10 new cars of 2016.

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With the year drawing to a close and 2017 loudly readying its engines, now is the perfect time to review the most impressive cars to debut on the UK’s roads in 2016. Take a look at our top 10 new cars of 2016 below.

Ford KA+                        ford-kaEnjoying excellent handling whilst balancing ample storage provisions with a compact build that renders it a perfect choice for city drives, the Ford Ka+ is a superb car for a range of settings. It’s also a notably quiet drive, with ample suppression of noise from the engine and the wind alike.

 

Skoda Octavia

With the Octavia, Skoda have produced an excellently priced car that’s equipped with furnishings and an interior belonging to cars from several tiers above. It’s almost unbeatable when it comes to storage, so if you’re looking for a car to take on long distance drives with passengers, the Skoda Octavia really is the car for you.

Vauxhall Astra

vauxhall-astra

Picked for the mantle of 2016 European Car of the Year, 2016 has been a great year for Vauxhall’s classic Astra range. Available as an estate or as a hatchback, the Vauxhall Astra enjoys roominess and comfort for driver and passengers while boasting excellent fuel economy and safety; it took home all five stars on the European NCAP test.

Volvo XC90

In the XC90, Volvo have delivered one of the most formidable SUVs the roads have ever seen. Though it’s equipped with both a diesel engine and petrol engine under the bonnet, the XC90 also has a T8 hybrid connection, meaning that fuel economy over short distances is great. With a stylish décor, high standard noise suppression and equally high calibre mechanical design, the XC90 brings to its driver the stellar all-round experience that Volvo are famous for.

Hyundai i10

hyundai-i10

One of our favourite cars of the year, the Hyundai i10 is a perfect mode of transport for city living. It’s a small car that can expertly negotiate every tight space, with high-quality suspension that will stand tall against the most formidable pothole or damaged surface. The i10’s storage provisions are also incredibly generous, so it’s perfect for longer excursions or driving around with a lot of cargo.

Dacia Sandero

You’ll be hard pushed to find a car that enjoys anything like the quality that Dacia’s Sandero enjoys at the price range it’s in. The Sandero is a sturdy and well-built vehicle and what it lacks in infotainment and smart technology it makes up for with minimalist flair and stylish charm.

Fiat 500

fiat-500

The timeless Fiat 500 combines a sleek retro aesthetic with sophisticated design in terms of décor and mechanics. For leisurely city living, it’s a stylish car that delivers the highest standard of travel.

Nissan Qashqai

Ranking supreme among all family SUVs, Nissan’s Qashqai is a package of exceptional comfort and engineering, supported by muted engines and wind defence. Nissan are renowned for producing sturdy and resilient builds; with the Qashqai, they continue to build on this reputation more and more.

Mazda 2

mazda-2

With the Mazda 2, Mazda deliver an experience fully deserving of the super mini title. For a smartly built car boasting the latest advancements in car design that’s equally entertaining to drive, there are few cars that can be considered more of a must have.

Author: Fusion

Title: Bristol Street Versa Gives to Charity

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Summary: Throughout 2016 at Bristol Street Versa we've been celebrating our anniversary, marking 25 years of helping our customers gain mobile independence. As a thank you to our customers, and to show our appreciation to all those who have helped Bristol Street Versa grow and expand, throughout this year with every wheelchair accessible delivered, Bristol Street Versa has donated £10 to specialist disability charities.

Meta Title: Bristol Street Versa Gives to Charity | Bristol Street Versa

Meta Description: Throughout 2016 we donated £10 to charity with every new wheelchair accessible vehicle we've delivered. Find out more about our charity donations here.

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Throughout 2016 at Bristol Street Versa we’ve been celebrating our anniversary, marking 25 years of helping our customers gain mobile independence.

We’ve come a long way since 1991, and over a quarter of a century the business has expanded from an initial tender of just 15 vehicles, to supplying around 450 WAVs to wheelchair users up and down the country. As of this year, we’ve also expanded our services beyond the UK and now export specialist transport solutions across the globe to New Zealand, where adapted vehicles can be hard to come by.

As a thank you to our customers, and to show our appreciation to all those who have helped Bristol Street Versa grow and expand, throughout 2016 we’ve been giving something back to the wider community.

Throughout this year with every wheelchair accessible delivered, Bristol Street Versa has donated £10 to specialist disability charities, to help them continue with their incredibly valuable work.

To shed some more light on the charities we’ve chosen to support – Leonard Cheshire Disability, Whizz Kidz, and the 3H Fund – we’ve put together a short biography of each below.

For over 65 years, Leonard Cheshire Disability has worked in the UK and around the world to help people living with disabilities lead the lives they want to live, without barriers. The charity was founded in 1948 by Leonard Cheshire, an RAF pilot who set up a home for people needing urgent care. Soon, one care home became many, and throughout the 50s, 60s the charity set up a network of homes in the UK and across the world. The 1970’s saw the trail of an innovative new home care service, which Leonard Cheshire Disability still offers today. Today, charity helps to support people with disabilities live and work independently, doing so through a wide network of support programmes, and by challenging ignorance, unfairness, and misconceptions in society.

Whizz Kidz are the leading provider of mobility equipment outside of the NHS, and make it their focus to help the thousands of disabled children living in the UK have a bright and happy future. Founded in 1990, the charity helps to provide children and young people with disabilities the means to lead a fulfilled life, whether that’s a wheelchair, vital mobility equipment, or life journey and skills training. Whizz Kidz makes it their mission to ensure that children with disabilities can access the same opportunities as any other kid, and have the same chances to fulfill their potential.

The 3H Fund – Helping Hands for Holidays – makes it possible for people living with disabilities to have affordable and enjoyable holidays. For carers and the physically disabled holidays are often off the cards, as finding the right transport, accommodation, and care can be incredibly difficult. Through arranging subsidies, specialist care, medical facilities and transport, the 3H Fund gives disabled people the chance to go on fulfilling holidays that meet their needs, whilst carers can relax and have a break of their own.

For the remainder of 2016, we’ll be donating £10 to the charities above with every delivery of a wheelchair accessible vehicle we make, with every purchase made by a customer helping them to continue their valuable work. Thanks to our customers for all their support over the years, here’s to a bright and eventful 2017!

Author: Fusion

Title: The Most Popular Cars of the 2010s

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Summary: With the imminent arrival of 2017, we’ll very soon be entering the decade’s final quarter. Let’s take a look in the rear-view mirror and reflect on five of the cars we’ve loved to drive over the past seven years.

Meta Title: Most Popular Cars In The UK

Meta Description: With the imminent arrival of 2017, we've decided to take a look at the most popular cars of the decade so far. Click through to find out which cars have made the cut.

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With the imminent arrival of 2017, we’ll very soon be entering the decade’s final quarter. It’s been quite a year for plot-twists, with relegation-favourites Leicester City capturing the Premier League title and the national imagination. Let’s take a look in the rear-view mirror and reflect on five of the cars we’ve loved to drive over the past seven years and see whether the courses they’ve taken have been anything like as unpredictable!

5) The Nissan Qashqai

nissan-qashqai

With the Qashqai, Nissan continue to combine exceptional handling and a sturdy build. Balancing quiet engines with smooth movement and enjoying superb fuel economy, the Qashqai has consistently proven a dependable and durable companion on every long journey. It’s a favourite for families and great for holidaying: while you’ll be able to hear the plaintive cries of “Are we there yet?” in the highest definition, the generous storage provisions and spaciousness that Nissan provide will keep all other complaints to a minimum.

4) Volkswagen Polo

vw-polo

As early as in the 1990s, the Volkswagen Polo enjoyed an iconic status in pop culture. Beginning the decade by winning the “World Car of the Year” award in 2010, the Polo continues to show no signs of slowing down. With the fifth generation debuting in 2009, the Polo’s most recent iterations enjoy a compact size and excellent handling. They’re a superb choice for any journey: their size makes them adept at manoeuvring through the city’s rushes, while their resilience means that you’ll still enjoy a leisurely drive on harsher surfaces. As the decade draws to a close, it’s safe to say that the Polo remains a fashionable choice today.

3) Ford Focus

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There are few words that relate more to high-quality car manufacturing than Ford, whose Focus range continues to be incredibly popular. Coupling the beautifully fluid handling for which Ford are world renowned with its robust frame, the Focus deftly handles the challenge of any awkward inner-city corner and equally excels on rougher countryside terrain. In 2012, the Focus pipped the Toyota Corolla to the plaudit of the world’s bestselling automobile. So, the Focus certainly takes the people’s vote!

2) Vauxhall Corsa

vauxhall-corsa

Though Ford’s reign as the decade’s leading car manufacturer remains intact, one vehicle that continues to challenge their ascendancy is the Vauxhall Corsa. With few competitors being able to match the quality of its design, the Corsa is a reliable and relaxing vehicle to drive, with excellent movement and spaciousness for passengers and driver alike. Newer models feature a “City” mode that enhances the sensitivity of the car’s steering and brings its manoeuvrability in urban areas to an even higher level.

1) Ford Fiesta

ford-fiesta

We did say that Ford retained the top spot, and nothing to date has crashed the party that the Ford Fiesta continues to enjoy. One of the nation’s most cherished cars since its 1970s debut, the Fiesta’s exceptional design and visual pallet make it one of the most responsive and comfortable vehicles the roads have seen, creating experiences in the spirit of its name everywhere it goes. Check out our timeline of the Ford Fiesta’s history to see when the party started, and how it grew into the vehicle we love to drive today!

Author: Fusion

Title: Decade Defining Cars

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Summary: From humble beginnings in the late nineteenth century, the automobile had to make quite the journey to become the car we drive today.

Meta Title: Decade Defining Cars | Most Iconic Cars

Meta Description: Take a look at some of the most iconic cars of all time in our decade defining cars list, from humble beginnings in the 1800s to the cars we know and love today.

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From humble beginnings in the late nineteenth century, the automobile had to make quite the journey to become the car we drive today. Below, we’ll check out the cars that defined the decades, looking at how they reflected or rejected the fashions of their era on the way!

1880s – The Benz Patent-Motorwagen

benz-patent-motorwagen

In January 1886, the German mechanic Karl Benz patented the Benz Patent-Motorwagen, a three-wheeled car with a 954cc single cylinder engine. Though the rest is history, Benz’s car only achieved notoriety after Bertha Benz took the Patent-Motorwagen on a 194 kilometre round trip, driving to the city of Pforzheim to see her mother. Benz’s journey, the first ever long distance drive, is now commemorated as the Bertha Benz Memorial Route, and the Benz legacy endures in the form of Mercedes Benz today.

1890s – The Ford Quadricycle

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In a poorly lit garage behind his marital home in Detroit, 1896, the 32-year-old engineer Henry Ford completed work on his first prototype vehicle, the Ford Quadricycle. Unlike the Benz Patent-Motorwagen, the Ford Quadricycle was a four-wheeled, two-seat roadster, and the first incarnation of the vehicles we drive today. Ford wasn’t actually the first Detroit local to build a prototype vehicle. That honour goes instead to Charles Brady King, who also invented the jackhammer!

1900s – The Ford 999

By the turn of the century, Henry Ford had massively increased the potential speeds his vehicles could reach. With the promise of speed came a desire for it and Ford began to design cars specifically for the purpose of racing. His first racer, The Arrow, ended in tragedy when its driver crashed during a race, but it was with Ford’s second design that he took platitudes. Named after the Empire State Express train that broke the land speed record, the Ford 999 could reach speeds of over 90 miles per hour. Though a far cry from the racing cars of today, with unchallengeable pace and painted a coat of bright red, the Ford 999 fully deserved its menacing moniker: “the Red Devil”.

1910s – The Ford Model T

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Cars had made sufficient tracks in public consciousness by the 1910s, but they remained too expensive for the public to buy. Ford’s solution to this problem took the form of one of the most iconic vehicles ever made: the Ford Model T. With a keen eye for modernisation, Ford continuously restructured the process of the production line, so that by 1915 a Model T could be assembled from scratch in just ninety minutes!

1920s – The Rolls-Royce Phantom

Not all car manufacturers shared Ford’s dream of empowering the everyman. To the glitz and revelry of the roaring 20s emerged the Rolls-Royce Phantom, the successor to Rolls-Royce’s earlier model the Silver Ghost. With haunting names that spoke to the quietness of their engines, the Rolls-Royce cars were luxury sedans that held efficiency and aesthetics in equal esteem.  For these cars, Rolls-Royce provided only the chassis and the engine. With the coach and seats left entirely to the buyer’s preferences, there was significant variation between every model, although no variation of the enormous price.

1930s – The Talbot Lagot 1937 T150 SS

talbot-lagot

As the glamour and bustle of the 20s crumbled in the wake of the Wall Street Crash and the Great Depression, many car designers began to prioritise robustness over image. However, some designers refused this pragmatism and became more zealous than ever in their pursuit of the car as art. Ranking among the most gorgeous cars the road has ever seen, the Talbot Lagot 1937 T150 SS, built of smooth waves and flowing arcs, marked a defiant stance against the harsh angles and rigid builds of the time.

1940s – The Jeep

Across the globe, the outbreak of World War 2 brought civilian car development to a total standstill. When the USA entered the war in 1941, the US army requested the nation’s most prominent car manufacturers to develop a four-wheeled vehicle suitable for reconnaissance and command. The Jeep remains a feature of modern infantry. The most notable Jeeps in use were the Ford Model GPW and the Willys-Overland Model MB.

1950s – The Morris Minor

morris-minor

Just as the USA prohibited civilian car development, so did the English government, requisitioning all car manufacturers to serve the Ministry of Supply instead. However, this wasn’t enough to stop a handful of engineers at the Morris Motors company who secretly continued their work on civilian vehicles throughout the war. What they went on to create became the life of every 1950s road and street.  Much like the Ford cars of the 1910s, the Morris Minor was designed for the everyman, to provide for the struggling working classes a car that was both pragmatic and comfortable. The designers gave their covert project the codename “Mosquito”, which was to be the car’s actual name until the Morris Motors executives decided that “Mosquito” might prove a little too sinister for the public’s tastes.

1960s – The Mini

From the swinging sixties’ flower power a range of subcultures bloomed, but there was only one car in which they all arrived. Being the car of choice of all four Beatles and enjoying the cameras, lights and action of Hollywood in The Italian Job, the Mini made an enormous impact across all walks of 60s life. Associated today with the era’s mobility and free spirit, the Mini was initially a response to the 1956 Suez Crisis, which led to the renewal of oil rationing!

1970s – Volkswagen Golf

vw-golf

The 1970s saw the tumultuous politics of the time once again force the automobile industry’s hand, with the 1973 oil crisis creating further fuel shortages. Following the inlays the Mini had made, the 70s witnessed a range of hatchbacks enter into the marketplace; these were smaller cars that enjoyed superior fuel efficiency. One car to boldly ride the hatchback wave was the iconic Volkswagen Golf, whose successes have been such that the Golf remains incredibly popular today.

1980s – The Third Generation Ford Escort

Throughout automobile history, Ford has always pushed the frontiers of vehicle development. The 80s was another period where Ford enjoyed particular popularity, with the release of the third generation Ford Escort. Following the tracks of the Mini and the Golf, the third generation Escort was a highly efficient hatchback. Just as Volkswagen had developed a sports model of the Golf, so too did Ford produce a sports equivalent of the Escort. Ford painted all of the Escort sport models in a cool white finish, other than a single unit that they painted black for one of the era’s most beloved icons, Princess Diana. Her 1981 Ford Escort Ghia, an engagement gift from Prince Charles, was considered one of the most sought-after cars on the planet.

1990s – The Mazda RX-7

mazda-rx7

There are several worthy winners for the title of the 90s’ most definitive car, and all of them come from Japan. The 90s marked the most significant foray of Japanese vehicles onto Western roads to date. Models like the Mazda RX-7, the Toyota Supra, the Mitsubishi 3000GT and the Honda NSX lived and breathed the decade’s pallet, sporting blocky and energetic colours with exceptional engineering that ensured these cars excelled at substance and style. To this day, franchises like Fast and Furious, Gran Turismo and Need for Speed ensure these vehicles’ immortality in popular culture.

2000s – The Toyota Prius

The noughties saw the emergence of a range of cars that remain incredibly popular today, such as the Škoda Fabia, the Vauxhall Corsa and the Fiat Punto. At the other end of the speedometer, super-charged cars were breaking records, with the Bugatti Veyron reaching a mind-blowing 267.7 mph. Yet, it’s for the advent of hybrid cars that the decade will be remembered. While they can’t fly or transport their cargo back to the future, vehicles like the Toyota Prius, using a combination of different power sources, enjoy great fuel economy and energy efficiency. Their production marked a decisive stage in the evolution of car design.

2010s – Ford Fiesta

ford-fiesta

Powering our crystal ball with magic alone, it seems that hybrid and electric cars will continue to make an impact on the automotive landscape for years to come, with a whole host of brands investing in electric vehicles, from the Hyundai Ioniq to the newest Ford Mondeo. However, our car for this decade to date sees us return to vehicles’ roots with the iconic and ever-popular Ford Fiesta. Built in the spirit of the parties it takes for its namesake, the Fiesta is a triumph of an automobile engineering, balancing sophisticated mechanical design with comfort for passengers and driver alike. Just as Ford remain at the fore of car development, the Fiesta remains a national and worldwide favourite. And we can’t see Ford’s party ending any time soon!

Author: Fusion

Title: The Cars That Time Forgot

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Summary: Sometimes, when a new car hits the scene, it is so ground-breaking and innovative that it lights up the automotive industry and breathes new life into its entire class. However, through no fault of their own, some cars fall into the potholes on the road to automotive glory.

Meta Title: The Cars That Time Forgot

Meta Description: Some cars slip through the cracks on the road to glory - the cars that time forgot. Read on and salute the unsung heroes of the motoring industry.

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Sometimes, when a new car hits the scene, it is so ground-breaking and innovative that it lights up the automotive industry and breathes new life into its entire class. When a car of this calibre hits the road, it is highly likely that its legacy will grow through the years and it will flourish over generations of new models and trims, as the Ford Fiesta is currently perfectly exemplifying.

However, some cars slip through the cracks; cars that fall into the potholes on the road to automotive glory. Below, we have compiled a list of some cars that, through no fault of their own, have been left out of the limelight. Read on and salute some of the unsung heroes of the motoring industry – the cars that time forgot.

Volvo 480 Turbo

volvo-480

A wild card for Volvo, the 480 Turbo was the Swedish manufacturer having a bit of fun, in a bid to change its image to appeal to a new market. The 480 was the first front-wheel drive car by the carmaker, and had exceptional handling thanks to its Lotus-designed suspension. The Turbo version hit the scene in 1988, adding an extra 10bhp. Production ceased in 1995, after over 80,000 cars produced

Vauxhall Astra GTE

vauxhall-astra-gte

As far as hot hatches are concerned, the 80’s were dominated by the heightening competition between Volkswagen’s Golf GTi and Peugeot’s 205 GTi. However, the often overlooked Vauxhall Astra GTE was an excellent car in its own right, whether that’s MK1 or MK2. The Astra GTE received acclaim for both its stylish exteriors and its joyous handling.

Peugeot 3008

peugeot-3008

The Peugeot 3008 is still in production; however it has slipped out of the public eye due to a focus on other Peugeot projects. Don’t let the lack of attention fool you, the 3008 is an excellent and unique vehicle. The compact crossover was showcased in 2008 and was praised by motoring magazines far and wide, with ‘What Car?’ awarding it ‘Car of the Year’ in 2010.

Mazda MX6

mazda-mx-6

The second-generation Mazda MX6 was unwrapped in 1991, and shared the brand new ‘GE’ platform with the Ford Probe. The MX6 was released worldwide in three different trims; A-spec, E-spec and J-spec, which debuted in the US, Europe and Japan (no points for guessing which trim went where). Despite its elegant looks and the great reviews it received, the MX6 was discontinued in 1997 and you’d be lucky to see one on the road today.

Alfa Romeo 164

alfa-romeo-614

The Alfa Romeo 164 was a stunning four door executive saloon released by the Italian automaker back in 1987. The entry level engine was the brilliant 2.0 L Twin Spark I4 engine with two spark plugs per cylinder. The 164 benefitted from improved build quality in relation to previous Alfa Romeos, thanks in part to the 164 being the first Alfa to use extensive computer aided design.

Citroen AX GT

citroen-ax-gt

Lightweight and economical, the Citroen AX GT was launched at the 1986 Paris Motor Show. The supermini was perfectly suited to UK roads, and was raw and powerful, with punchy engine options and minimal safety equipment making it a huge hit with enthusiasts. Outside the motoring community, the AX GT was largely overlooked.

Peugeot 309 GTi

peugeot-309-gti                                                                    

In another article on the Bristol Street Blog, ‘Is Your Car A Future Classic?‘, we mentioned the Peugeot 205 GTi, which is (rightly) considered one of the greatest hot hatches of all time. Its sibling, however, is overshadowed and often forgotten, despite its formidable performance. The two cars are actually very similar, except the 309 has a larger rear.

Author: Fusion

Title: Is Your Car A Future Classic?

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Summary: When buying a new or used car, many people overlook one key aspect of a car’s appeal: its potential for being a future classic.

Meta Title: Future Classic Cars

Meta Description: When buying a car, many people overlook its potential to be future classic. Take a look at our rundown of future classic cars here.

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When buying a new or used car, many people overlook one key aspect of a car’s appeal: its potential for being a future classic. The most obvious benefit of gaining the title of ‘classic’ is that a car will hold its value excellently, and may in some cases even increase in value. So, what makes a car a classic? There’s no solid definition, but the general consensus is that a classic car is an older vehicle with enough of a history that it is considered worth collecting and restoring as it ages. A car that is over a hundred years old will typically be considered an antique, and will be incredibly desirable to collectors.

Another important factor in determining a car’s likelihood to become a future classic is the amount of acclaim the car has received in classic car magazines. While there is no single authority able to dictate what a classic car is, these magazines are trusted voices on the issue, and any car they throw their weight behind will usually find its selling price staying extremely strong.

Many people in the UK spend time purchasing cars that are currently unpopular albeit unique, in the hopes that as the years roll by, the price tag will roll up. For example, a well looked after, high-end trim of a car with a value impacted by high running costs would be a likely candidate for eventual classic status. In these situations, it’s best to purchase the car while it is new and affordable, then to wait until they become older, rarer, and more collectible. In many respects, it’s a well-informed venture: buying the right car and playing the waiting game.

So which cars should you be looking at? Across various classic car publications, there is some shared agreement on cars which are likely to hold/increase in value in the not-so-distant future. Here are a handful of examples to give you an idea of the kind of cars you should be looking into.

Mazda MX5

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The MX5 should by rights be a classic already, owing to its sterling reputation and its rave reviews from critics and fans alike. However, high production numbers means that the price does not yet reflect the car’s high status. Over the next few years, as more models are retired, it’s highly possible we will see the price rise as classic status creeps in.

Ford Capri

ford-capri

If you see one of these going for a good price, don’t hesitate to snap it up. The endlessly cool Capri was all the rage throughout the 70’s, but production had petered out by 1986 due to a change in the style of the time. There are only several hundred left on the UK’s roads today, and, while still comparatively wallet-friendly, their value has almost doubled in the past 18 months alone. Is it any surprise when they just look so… awesome?

Peugeot 205 GTi

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Well maintained 205 GTi’s are already seeing their value slowly creep higher, making it a strong contender for future classic car status. The 205 has been showered with critical acclaim since its initial production, having been declared ‘Car of the Decade’ by CAR Magazine in 1990. The GTi version was arguably Peugeot’s most successful GTi of all time – and they’re still reasonably affordable.

Renaultsport Clio 182 ‘Trophy’

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The 182 Trophy may look like your average Clio at a glance, but don’t be fooled: only 500 were ever produced for the UK, and it is widely considered one of the greatest hot hatches of all time.  These are two reasons why the 182 Trophy seems destined for a place on the classic car podium.

Alfa Romeo 156 GTA

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The 3.2-litre Busso V6 engine and the stunning exteriors of the 156 meant that it was snapped up by car enthusiasts as soon as it went on sale. This typically means low mileage units are fairly easy to find, which can work wonders in helping a car become a future classic.

Author: Fusion

Title: Bristol Street Versa celebrates 25 years of business

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Summary: This year Bristol Street Versa is celebrating 25 years of helping thousands of wheelchair users stay mobile.

Meta Title: Bristol Street Versa celebrates 25 years of business

Meta Description: This year Bristol Street Versa is celebrating 25 years of helping thousands of wheelchair users stay mobile. Read more about our history here.

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This year Bristol Street Versa is celebrating 25 years of helping thousands of wheelchair users stay mobile.

Since first being established in Batley back in 1991, the business has grown to become one of the UK’s largest specialist vehicle converters in the UK, transforming ordinary vehicles to provide people with disabilities transport solutions.

Expanding from a first tender of just 15 vehicles, the Versa range now encompasses a wide variety of models and sizes, from large vehicles capable of transporting eight passengers and a wheelchair user, to smaller vehicles suitable for two passengers and wheelchair user.

A quarter century after first being founded, Bristol Street Versa carries out around 450 vehicle conversions a year. As part of Vertu Motors plc, the business is now forecast to turnover more than £12m, and has recently begun exporting its specialist vehicles to New Zealand, providing transport solutions to the largely rural country.

Just one of the thousands of people who have benefited from Versa’s expertise is 28 year old Phil Coppell from Wrexham. Phil has swapped his Motability allowance for a brand new Renault Trafic wheelchair accessible vehicle, which is specially adapted for comfort and access to allow him to get about with ease.

Phil’s mother Carly Coppell, who drives the Trafic, said: : “Our WAV has been a godsend. Phil gets cabin fever very easily so we’re always out visiting attractions and the beach, which would be much more difficult if the vehicle wasn’t so perfectly suited to him.

“When we dealt with the team at Bristol Street Versa, they listened to our requirements and tailored the conversion to make sure we had everything we needed. I really don’t know what we’d do without the van, it makes life so much easier.”

Jo Ellison, general manager at Bristol Street Versa said: “It’s fantastic that Versa has reached this milestone anniversary.

“The business may have grown considerably in size, and the sophistication of conversions has totally transformed, but the core ethos of customer service and satisfaction remains at the very heart of Versa.

“Each and every vehicle is made for a specific customer. We work with both members of the public and a range of corporate clients to ensure that every vehicle we provide perfectly matches their needs, whatever they may be.”

The Motability scheme enables people with disabilities to exchange their Higher Rate Mobility Component of the Disability Living Allowance, their Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP), their War Pensioners Mobility Supplement (WPMS) or their Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP) for a new car. Since it was first set up in 1978, Motability has helped over 3 million people gain mobile independence with a brand new vehicle. If you’d like to learn more about Motability, take a look at our timeline here.

Author: Fusion

Title: The History of the Ford Fiesta

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Summary: Over its 40 years of life the Ford Fiesta has grown to become one of the nation’s favourite cars, picking up a wealth of awards along the way. But how did the humble Fiesta build such a lasting legacy?

Meta Title: History of the Ford Fiesta | Bristol Street Motors

Meta Description: Over its 40 years of life the Ford Fiesta has grown to become one of the nation’s favourite cars, but how did the humble Fiesta build such a lasting legacy?

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Over its 40 years of life the Ford Fiesta has grown to become one of the nation’s favourite cars, picking up a wealth of awards along the way. But how did the humble Fiesta build such a lasting legacy? Take a look at our illustrated history of the Ford Fiesta below to find out.

Author: Fusion