LOCALS around Loch Lomond have the roads down to a T. Doubtless frustrated by tourists, they fairly zip along when they can – even the humble butcher’s van. I was, however, well placed to keep pace because I was driving the Vauxhall Astra Ultimate with its 1.6-litre turbo powered engine delivering 200PS – the fastest Astra on the road. It powered around the corners, leapt over the bumps and generally took to the twists and turns of some of Scotland’s most beautiful roads with the kind of verve and enthusiasm I came to love. Indeed, I was having such fun that Vauxhall’s comms boss Denis Chick had to forcibly remove the keys “Otherwise how am I going to get home,” he said. Denis is retiring and on his farewell tour of the UK, had chosen as his wheels the very car I was driving.When the top dog who knows his cars, opts for this model, you know you have your hands on a winner. And a winner it is. For of course, the Astra in 2016 was voted European Car of the Year. Now, while Ultimate may reference the car’s ability, its true nature is in the trim level that… Read full this story
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