WHEN Porsche unveils its new £140,000 electric car on stage in Munich next week it’s going to look very, er, second-hand. I can only apologise. It’s mostly my fault because I coated it in mud at Blyton and probably spoiled the masterplan. Allow me to explain. Bosses thought it would be cool to take the prototype Taycan Cross Turismo on a mini world tour of key markets ahead of its global debut – and not bother washing it. They wanted to show the grime and dust it had picked up in the Californian desert, glacial Norway, on the autobahn and racetracks in Germany and so on. But the thing is, this car has a special “gravel mode” and raised suspension, so for the UK leg I decided to test it on a rallycross loop. It was predictably brilliant off-road, of course – lunatic fast, scalpel-sharp handling – and it gives me real hope for the future of rally. But I absolutely obliterated all the previous layers of filth that had stuck to it. If you’re gonna do a job, etc. … [Read more...] about Porsche’s £140,000 Taycan all-electric sports saloon gets down and dirty
The sahara desert
At first glance, Jan Lehmann is a man with a jolly, confident air. The 54-year-old lives in the Eifel, a hilly region in western Germany that is famous for its beautiful nature: Mountains, valleys, small rivers and lakes, rock formations and miles and miles of forest. Two years ago, Lehmann started his own business with his wife, Sandra. They rent out 18 vacation homes that they lease, along with the land and forest that go with them. They have a 15-year contract with the properties' owner, who has insisted on full payment of the lease even in lockdown. A few of the houses, made of thick Canadian-looking tree trunks, stand in the small village of Gemünd on the edge of the Eifel National Park. In front of the roofed terraces, the little river Urft gurgles, and the birds chirp. It is especially quiet — no guests have checked in here since early November. "From the time of the first lockdown in spring 2020, we've been closed for six months altogether and had no income in that … [Read more...] about COVID: No hope for Germany’s hotels?