Hard to believe the Lamborghini Jalpa is 40 years old this month. I still remember my regrets at its transition from the much more petite Urraco, even if it was quicker and better engineered. I had a scary experience with a Jalpa early in its life, while bringing the first right-hander 900 miles back to the UK from the company’s Sant’Agata Bolognese HQ in northern Italy. In a Jalpa, the rear window glass between you and the engine bay is so angled that it picks up the headlights of oncoming cars and projects them straight back into the rear-view mirror. That creates the illusion that you’re about to be rear-ended by following traffic at 100mph – all the time. Discovering this for the first time on the Paris Périphérique was very bad for the old strawberry tart. 


My inbox seems to attract more than a usual helping of letters from car lovers who hate the onrush of electric cars and reckon they always will. Perhaps it goes with my profile as crustiest Autocar staffer. In some ways, I sympathise: the changes we lovers of internal combustion have had to swallow are huge and very quick. And there has been an unpleasant accompanying feeling that we’re ditching something valuable and desirable.

Yet as far as I can see, there’s only one remedy: acknowledge the inevitable. Get as familiar as you can with as many electric cars as possible: look, ride and drive if you can. I’ve tried to do this, and my resulting realisation is that car makers have already created many plausible, practical EVs in just one decade. This leaves me feeling very optimistic about the future. Furthermore, an even more fascinating phase is coming. Car makers have achieved the utility consumers need: their next push will be to enhance desirability. Good times will roll. 


After years of nearly intolerable hold-ups at junction 15 of the M4, my usual entry point to our motorway network, the road builders have lately opened a newly designed junction that simply sweeps the age-old problems away. This is a startling development, because I long ago decided all UK road designers were fully paid members of the Anti-Destination League. But I guess, like everything, standards and abilities among road planners vary. If I ruled the world, I’d transfer the junction 15 team to London with a brief to smooth traffic flows for all. Not, as at present, to deliberately and spitefully create obstructions.