Columns Troy Queef

All the jolt of a jug of java

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The king of tortured tyres and metaphors returns to break traction on the basic rules of grammar.

A grey glistening Galapagos of taut, twisting Tarmacadam spears and swirls ahead through the waiting windscreen. When my smartphone shrieked its shrill siren at ouch o’clock this a.m. I seriously searched for the sanity in this pre-dawn road raid, notwithstanding lensman Peters and his quest to Canon-ise the lingering light of a diaphanous dawn, but now it stinks of sense.

While the rest of the East Midlands is yet to emerge from a deep dive beneath the duvet, we are perfectly poised for a daybreak dash down the most breathtaking blacktop the Peterborough region can provide. If all goes to plan, this will provide a shot of supercharged sunshine to start the day with all the jolt of a jug of java.

My steed for this crystalline carve down the car canals of the flatlands is sure to sing like Ella Fitzgerald on the challenging chops of the switchbacks to Wisbech. My ref to the First Lady of Song was no aimless analogy for the wheels beneath my wings today belong to none other than the new Sport version of Honda’s gen 3 practical hatch for ‘tens, the Jazz. Sure, the Japanese giant has lost its mo’spo’ maneki-neko but its road car mojo has never been in doubt. Question is, can this latest Jazz keep the beat when the time signature gets turned up to gas mark helm?

First impressions are of a seat set higher than Bob Marley on an Amsterdam stag do but this minor transgression is offset by a tight tiller and gearshift crisper than a salt & vinegar Lineker. All told, the handy Honda creates a hearty how do you do, but we’re long past such pleasantries and now it’s sitting at the big boy table. With the sun slurping at the hem of the horizon, it’s time to take everything up to the end stop.

With a commensurate climb in the pace of pedalling the one-and-a-half litre four banger really begins to sing, while pummelling power through that six cog ‘box as it rocks around the slots like a oil-smeared snake. With 130PS of pure VTEC vigour twisting at the tarmac there’s no question that the Jazz can maintain a tweaked tempo but has the chass’ got the class to keep the good stuff in the glass?

Firing the honed Honda at an auspicious alumni of apices soon provides a downpour of data to overwhelm even Cambridge Analytica. Make no mistake, this juicy Jazz likes to dance. Corners are clipped with laser-like precision while the steely-eyed steering makes turning telepathic. On one particularly flirty foldback I slammed shut the gas hammer just at the peak of Gs and felt the square set tail step wide. I simply caught it with a dab of oppo and I was away.

The Honda Jazz 1.5 i-VTEC Sport is a bitch, and I spanked it.

Troy Queef is executive editor-at-large for DAB OF OPPO magazine.