Drive time

Round & About


Whatever your vintage or passion, March is a great month for motoring enthusiasts.

Waylands Group shows off the UK’s first plug-in hybrid premium compact SUV

Waylands Volvo in Newbury, Oxford, Reading and Swindon has announced it is now offering the UK’s first plug-in hybrid premium compact SUV to customers. Volvo is the UK’s first car manufacturer to offer plug-in hybrid versions across its entire model range, and its new petrol-electric XC40 T5 Twin Engine completes a full line-up of hybrid cars.

The XC40 has also seen enhancements, with new engine features and generous specification levels adding to its desirability, connectivity and safety – including technology such as the Blind Spot Information system, which monitors and alerts the driver of rapidly approaching vehicles.

John O’Hanlon, CEO of Waylands, said: “We’re pleased to announce that customers can now come and test drive the new petrol-electric XC40 T5 Twin Engine, which is set to be hugely popular.

“Volvo is committed to giving customers the best possible choice when it comes to cars that are better for the environment, practical for their lifestyles and safe for their families. The electrification of our model line-up is just the tip of the iceberg for our sustainability journey, and we’d encourage people who are looking to reduce their environmental impact to come and test drive one of these amazing cars.”

Waylands also offers a wide range of new and Volvo Selekt Approved Used cars, in addition to the plug-in hybrid XC40, and later this year customers can look forward to the pure electric XC40, Volvo’s first all-electric car.

More info

To find out more about the new plug-in hybrid Volvo line-up, visit or email [email protected]

Start your engines! March is considered by many petrolheads & motoring enthusiasts as the real start of the year. With the start of the Formula One World Championships (in Australia 13th-15th March), the Techno-Classica Essenin (Calais, 25th to 29th) and the British Touring Car Championships (Donington, 28th & 29th), there’s tiger in the tank for car fans of all persuasions.

One familiar broadcaster who is looking forward to seeing Lewis Hamilton et al coming off the blocks is ITV sports anchoman Steve Rider. “I’m always excited about the new F1 season,” says Steve, 69, who lives in Bucks. “This year I look forward to a greater injection of competition but am more pessimistic about the sports ability to make the commercial and sporting changes required to make this possible long term.”

Round & About Towers is populated by your larger-than-average number of petrolheads and we’re always interested in what people drive. “My first car was an electric blue Austin A35,” says Steve. “Today I drive a Land Rover Discovery Sport.” Steve, who was the lead presenter for ITV’s Formula One coverage from 2006 to 2010, has seen his fair share of supercars… so what’s his dream car? “I’m not flash! My dream car was an MGB and it still is.” What about Steve’s perfect road trip – what would be his ideal route and who would be his lucky passenger? “The Pacific Highway on the west coast of America. I would auction the passenger seat to the highest bidder to enable me to make the trip in the greatest luxury.”

Industry analysts have heralded 2020 as the year of the electric car, with Oxford car giant Mini, Vauxhall Corsa and Fiat 500 joining the rapidly expanding European EV market. “Electric cars seem to be the future and now we’re being told it’s official,” says Steve.

However, when it comes to technology Steve is very much of the mindset that older can certainly sometimes better… “There is information overload every time you step into a modern car. I look forward to a serious reduction in the constant data a car bombards you with. I also own a 1971 Fiat 500 and am President of the Fiat 500 Club of Great Britain. Motoring at its most basic and enjoyable.”

More info

Steve is the host of the Monaco Business Seminar on 21st & 22nd May. This exclusive two-day event on board a yacht will offer insight into what makes the world’s sporting elite tick, including guest speakers Paula Radcliffe MBE, Sir Clive Woodward OBE and many other stars of the world of motor racing. To book or make any enquiries please contact Ben Lambourne on 07771 760979 or email [email protected]