We start the trip with our 1995 Volvo 850 from Ghent to Torslanda…

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We start our trip in front of the doors of the Ghent Volvo car factory…

We begin on our journey to Sweden with our faithful 850, and first of all we drove to the birthplace of our still quite pristine 850. We met at the Ghent factory with Marc De Mey, Manager PR and Communications. He showed us around the factory, which impressed us greatly indeed. We stood eye to eye with Volvo workmanship and excellence, and tell you a lot about it soon. Mr. De Mey handed me also two interesting books, one about the history of the factory and a second one about the men and women who make the cars.

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Amongst the 50 personal portraits, there is one of Filip Goedertier, who works at Volvo Ghent since 1885, who governs the quality of the welding and fitting of the body parts. He is the guardian of the welding parameters, so to say… well, it shows clearly on my Volvo 850, which has perfectly flush fittings!

More to come, about the men and machines which build Volvo’s, both in Ghent and Torslanda, and of course also about the exquisite joys to drive a superbly engineered youngtimer…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

We drove the Kia Optima Sportswagon 1,7 CRDI: your elegant and able companion

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Kia goes from strength to strength, and impresses not only with stylish design, but also so with state of the art technology. Indeed, the Kia design department under the expert management of former Audi stylist Peter Schreyer, produced with this midsize Optima range some very good looking automobiles, with the Sportswagon version showing elegant and fluent lines. But as said, there is also the technical side of things. Here the vast resources of the Hyundai group truly tell. Engine, transmission, suspension and platform are totally up to the mark in its D segment. Just read on…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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A timeless icon on the roads in France: the new limited edition Fiat 124 Spider Europa steals your (and our) heart…

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It is the dream of every car enthusiast: driving a stylish two seater roadster on the legendary roads of Europe. This time it was a journey from Paris to Deauville, along the banks of the Seine…

Yust dream away with the pictures…as we do, as surely we would like to take one in the second half of September to the Maserati factory and an unforgettable trip in the Italian Modena surroundings…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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We purchased a Sony A5100: our compact camera collection grows…

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For travel photography, the small cameras are getting ever more attractive. We fell in love with them already quite a while ago, with the Sony Cyber Shot DSC-H3 and the DSC-W170 with its Zeiss lens. We used them very often on our first website www.autoprova.net, where you can still admire them and the photos they shot. Of course there we show also the Hasselblad, and our other workhorses, the Canon and Nikon cameras. Just look at this site, on http://autoprova.net/how_we_photograph_cars.

But quite a lot has happened since then. Just read further…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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We drove the Kia Niro 1.6 GDi Hybrid DCT6: hybrid all the way…

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In our day and age, “green” mobility is becoming a must. Downsized petrol engines are doing already a quite remarkable job now, but there is a propulsion solution which really stands out in this age of transition where fully fledged e-mobility still meets practical barriers due to hitherto insufficient (re)charging infrastructure.

Indeed, the hybrid car is not only here to stay, but has a very bright future ahead. No small wonder that also Kia is adding a very refined and remarkable hybrid to its range. It does it also with a “crossover” body, which strikes an ideal balance between a hatchback and a SUV. We tested it for you, just read further…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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We drove the Mitsubishi Outlander 2.2 DI-D 4WD: engineering excellence with style

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The latest generation of the Outlander truly convinces. Its 2,3 liter diesel engine embodies the latest technology, the styling and proportions since the last facelift in 2015 please many. An impressive car, roomy, powerful, refined and quite frugal. Just read further

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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We drove the Seat Ateca 1.0 TSI 115 HP Style: the art of balance…

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There are cars which impress you immediately by their harmonious behaviour, where the know how of its builder convinces you right away. Such a car is the latest Seat Ateca. It comes on (very) strong, is superbly balanced in every aspect, from the first meter you drive it. Just read on…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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E-discovery tour: we drove the new BMW 530e iPerformance, and tested the Shuffle recharging point of outdoor lighting specialist Schréder.

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E-power in synergy: The BMW 530e  iPerformance parked in front of the Schréder R&D centre in Liège.

E-mobility is set to conquer our (mega)cities, and car manufacturers are revamping their model range to prepare for the electric age. BMW is indeed also at the forefront of this development with it’s I-drive range, and also with the plug-in hybrid iPerformance models, which combine combustion engines with electric power. The latest 5-series comes now with a 530e iPerformance, and we were keen to drive it.

But that is not all. The dynamic PR people of BMW Belux Group decided to combine the presentation of the 530i Performance with a visit to the Belgian R & D Centre of Schréder in Liège, where we could see how the cars were charged by their clever 11 or 22kW electric vehicle (EV) charger, incorporated in the multi-functional Shuffle streetlight column, of which more here below.

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Your servant pulling out the socket at the Schréder “Shuffle” modular lighting/recharging pole… 

Got curious? Just read on…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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A stylish Insignia Center and Opel memorabilia…

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At the presentation of the new Insignia, we could admire the stylish Insignia Center in Zaventem, which for the occasion was also adorned with a magnificent Opel Admiral, dating back from 1937, and the Opel Monza Concept car from 2013.

The further exhibits also included an Opel sewing machine, and even a bicycle…

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Opel built sewing machines until the outbreak of WWI. This one dates from 1909.

Just look at the photos and read the further comments…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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