Am I alone in seeing an ironic similarity between Dany Bahar, infamous Lotus boss between 2009 and 2012, and today’s mighty Toyota organisation? Bahar was heavily derided at the 2010 Paris motor show for launching five concept cars at once, with the aim of moving the brand upmarket. Now Toyota has just revealed 15 EVs at once, a move to catch up with the rest of the EV world, and that initiative has been widely admired, the nub of the irony.
Of course, there are vast differences between the two projects concerning investment capability and knowing the market. Bahar’s upmarket aim was laudable, but it wouldn’t have worked or been affordable (although critics today reckon the designs were credible). Cash-rich Toyota is aiming excellent cars at sectors already gagging for them.
When I read Matt Prior’s recent views on the BMW iX’s dynamics, it warmed my heart – because on the very day his impressions were published, I’d been driving one. People were initially hard on the car for the shape of its grille, and it’s not perfect ergonomically, either. But I have to say that – hands down – this is the best-riding EV, let alone SUV, I’ve been in. It’s supple and quiet and level and all-round sophisticated.