Blog: Dave LeggettParis yesterday

Dave Leggett | 8 September 2004

Paris yesterday for PSA’s start-stop technology launch was a useful day out on several different levels. As well as the obvious, getting PSA’s latest views on this new technology, there was the opportunity to chew the cud with media colleagues and take a start-stop equipped C3 out for a spin in the roads around PSA’s headquarters. I also got a tap on the shoulder at the press conference and there before me was a smiling, familiar face from the past: none other than Christophe Laborde, who I know from my old DRI forecasting days (the company has had a few owners and makeovers in its time: DRI/McGraw-Hill, Standard & Poor’s, DRI-WEFA, and it’s now known as Global Insight) when we worked together – he covered the French auto market and industry. He’s at ING bank in Paris now, working as an equities analyst. Great to see the smooth talking ‘Pepe Le Pew/l’homme international’ again. Haven’t seen him for the best part of a decade and we could have chatted for hours quite happily. Some people just don’t change – and thank goodness for that. The stop-start technology? Worked fine and if it means better fuel consumption and lower pollution in urban driving, well, that’s just dandy. I’m sure the driver would eventually get used to the weirdly silent engine when stationary and on standby and then wonder at the waste of all those other cars’ engines idling at the traffic lights. I certainly put the stop-start C3 to the test when I took it around the chaotic gyratory that surrounds the Arc de Triomphe. I was happy enough in the passenger seat and hardly gagging to drive a C3 when I remembered seeing Jeremy Clarkson go around it on TV a few years ago. I just had to have a go. It was strangely surreal and not unlike a fairground ride (dodgems). I managed not to hit anything but the Parisian drivers weren’t cutting me too much slack (‘they’re attacking from all angles’). Glad I did it though. My thanks to Dean Slavnich of Automotive Engineer for catching the event on camera for posterity – he seemed pretty calm in the passenger seat although he was quiet, unlike me.

Okay, let's go!
Did you see that?
Be calm, be calm.
! (expletives deleted)

Stop-start launch


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