Primed ready for this Sunday’s Virtual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, Vauxhall Heritage’s 1903 5hp ‘Light Car’ – the world’s oldest four-seat Vauxhall – was brought together with the first Mokka-e to appear in the UK yesterday, the cars neatly booking-ending 117 years of technology from Britain’s oldest-surviving car brand.
Vauxhall’s all-new Mokka-e, which has just gone on sale, incorporates the very latest electrified technology, allowing an 80 percent charge in as little as 30 minutes and a range of over 200 miles (WLTP cycle), along with a raft of innovative safety and convenience features that will be new to many drivers in this price sector.
But pushing the technology envelope is nothing new for Vauxhall. In 1903, when the very first model rolled off the line, it was already ahead of its game. The 5hp Light Car’s design was remarkably prescient, with a chassis integrated into the lower part of its body as a steel structure – this, when many rivals relied on heavy ladder frames to underpin their cars.
The Light Car (pictured with the New Mokka-e) was nimble, with ultra-direct tiller steering; economical, managing 38mpg on a run; practical, with room for a driver plus three passengers; and quite literally ‘light’, weighing just 272kgs. In short, its simplicity and innovation laid the foundation for Vauxhall to blossom into one of the country’s most successful and well-known vehicle manufacturers.