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You have just entered the online home of the world's oldest car magazine, and the only place on the internet where you can find Autocar's unique mix of up-to-the-minute news, red hot car reviews, conclusive road test verdicts, and a lot more besides. en-gb Autocar is part of Haymarket Cars and Aftermarket (c) Haymarket Media Group 2014 Thu, 02 Jan 2020 15:55:00 +0000 Thu, 02 Jan 2020 16:16:07 +0000 Chinese brand DFSK to sell budget seven-seat SUV in UK <a href="/car-news/new-cars/chinese-brand-dfsk-sell-budget-seven-seat-suv-uk"><img src="" width="190" height="125" alt="" /></a> Dorset-based company plans to import Glory 580, priced from £23k, alongside light commercial vehicles <div class="iframe-container-www-youtube-com"> <p>Chinese brand DFSK is set to start selling a seven-seat budget SUV in the UK this year, "targeted at the business and municipal sectors".</p> <p>Named the Glory 580, it was revealed in its homeland back in 2016 under the Fengguang banner. It's built in China and Indonesia?and will be imported by Dorset-based company Sokon Automotive, which claims to be in the process of "building a small professional network of respected dealers across Britain".?</p> <p>The SUV?features a 145bhp turbocharged 1.5-litre?four-cylinder petrol engine that drives?the front wheels through a CVT?automatic gearbox. Official economy is 38.0mpg, with?NEDC-correlated?CO2 emissions of 222g/km.</p> <p>At 4680mm long, 1715mm high and 1845mm wide, the Glory 580 is a similar size to the <a href="">Volvo XC60</a>. However, it's set to be priced from £23,369 on-the-road, making it one of the cheapest <a href="">seven-seaters?on the UK market</a>.</p> <p>DFSK is?operated jointly by Dongfeng – <a href="">one of China's 'big three' car makers</a> – and Chongqing Sokon Industry Group. It primarily focuses on small vans and trucks, some of which have previously been sold in the UK.</p> <p>Three DFSK?light commerical vehicle models,?one electric, are planned to be sold here?by Sokon Automotive.</p> <p>Chongqing?Sokon Industry Group also presides over Seres, a US-based?electric car start-up?<a href="">that recently revealed to?Autocar that it's searching for a UK manufacturing partner.</a></p> <p><strong>READ MORE</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="/car-news/new-cars/nio-reveals-new-ec6-electric-coupe-suv">Nio reveals new EC6 electric coupé?SUV?</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="/car-news/industry/statistics-behind-decade-change-car-industry">The statistics behind a decade of change in the car industry?</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="/car-news/industry/analysis-how-china-fuelling-volkswagens-electric-dream">Analysis: How China is fuelling Volkswagen's electric dream?</a></strong></p> <p>?</p> <p><span class="wysiwyg-embed"></p> <iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe><p></span></p> </div> News Thu, 2 Jan 2020 16:16:07 +0000 New BMW i3 Urban Suite features lounge-style two-seat interior <a href="/car-news/motor-shows-ces/new-bmw-i3-urban-suite-features-lounge-style-two-seat-interior"><img src="" width="190" height="125" alt="2020 BMW i3 Urban Suite" /></a> Electric hatch gains a wooden desk, footrest and armchair for the CES show in Las Vegas <div class="iframe-container-www-youtube-com"> <p><a href="/car-reviews/bmw">BMW</a> has revealed a luxurious two-seat reworking of its<a href="/car-review/bmw/i3"> i3 electric hatchback</a> ahead of a public debut at next week’s <a href="/car-news/ces">Consumer Electronics Show</a> in Las Vegas.?</p> <p>Called the i3 Urban Suite, the reconfigured EV is said to offer “a mobility experience tailored entirely to the passenger’s individual needs”, while proving that “luxury travel in the future will have nothing to do with vehicle size”.?</p> <p>Inside, there is seating for a driver and a rear passenger. The rear bench has been removed to make way for a single armchair-style seat and wooden desk arrangement, complete with lamp and storage tray.</p> <p>In place of the original front passenger seat, there is a curved, floating-style footrest, with further luxury-oriented upgrades including a flip-down screen and a personal ‘sound zone’. The dashboard and driver’s seat are unchanged from the standard model.?</p> <p>The materials used in the construction of the new interior are eco-friendly, in line with BMW’s "commitment to sustainable mobility". The floor mats, for example, are made from recyclable materials?and are themselves fully recyclable.?</p> <p>BMW said: “The aim was to create an inviting space with a high feelgood factor in which to spend time – the perfect place for relaxing, enjoying in-car entertainment or focusing on work in a laid-back setting.”</p> <p>During the CES show, a fleet of i3 Urban Suites?will be used as chauffeur-driven shuttles around Las Vegas. They can be booked via a bespoke smartphone app. There are no confirmed plans to put the model into series production, though.?</p> <p><strong>Read more</strong></p> <p><a href="/car-review/bmw/i3"><strong>BMW i3 review</strong></a></p> <p><a href="/car-review/bmw/long-term-reviews/bmw-i3s-2019-long-term-review"><strong>BMW i3S 2019 long-term review?</strong></a></p> <p><a href="/car-news/new-cars/mini-revive-traveller-name-bmw-i3-based-mpv"><strong>Mini to revive Traveller name for BMW i3-based MPV?</strong></a></p> <p><span class="wysiwyg-embed"></p> <iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe><p></span></p> </div> News Thu, 2 Jan 2020 15:44:36 +0000 Nio reveals new EC6 electric coupe SUV <a href="/car-news/new-cars/nio-reveals-new-ec6-electric-coupe-suv"><img src="" width="190" height="125" alt="Nio EC6" /></a><blockquote class="image-field-caption"> Nio EC6</blockquote> Chinese firm's third production model is due on sale in September <div> <p>Ambitious <a href="">Chinese firm Nio</a> has unveiled the EC6 coupé SUV, which will be the electric start-up’s third production car when it goes on sale later this year.</p> <p>The new machine, which is based on the similarly sized ES6 SUV, was previewed at the firm’s Nio Day in Shenzhen, China.</p> <p>The EC6 line-up will feature a range-topping Performance version that uses two electric motors: a 160kW permanent magnet motor at the front axle?and a 240kW induction unit at the rear. These will combine to offer a 0-62mph time of 4.7 secs, while its 110kWh battery will offer a range of more than 370 miles.</p> <p>The EC6 uses similar frontal stying to the ES6 and <a href="">larger ES8 </a>SUVs, but has a more sharply raked coupé roofline at the rear. It also features a large panoramic glass roof. As with other Nio models, its spacious interior is dominated by a large portrait-oriented touchscreen mounted in the centre of the dashboard.</p> <p>Nio says that full technical details of the model will be confirmed in July, with deliveries beginning in September.?</p> <p>Nio is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and, while it has global aspirations, it currently only sells cars in China. The firm has racked up substantial losses in its short history –?which has raised questions among financial analysts – and has told Autocar?it <a href="">is searching for new funding</a> to achieve its growth plans.</p> <p>Alongside the new EC6, Nio also showcased an updated version of the ES8 large SUV, which features a number of tweaks to boost its official range to 360 miles.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE</strong></p> <p><a href=""><strong>Nio ES8: Chinese electric SUV?reviewed</strong></a></p> <p><a href=""><strong>Behind the scenes at Nio: bringing premium EVs to China</strong></a></p> <p><a href=""><strong>Nio secures key autonomous tech deal, but still searching for cash</strong></a></p> </div> News Thu, 2 Jan 2020 12:44:28 +0000 Best lease deals of the week: Family-friendly EVs <a href="/car-news/advice/best-lease-deals"><img src="" width="190" height="125" alt="Jaguar I-Pace EV400 S - family-friendly EVs" title="Jaguar I-Pace EV400 S - family-friendly EVs" /></a> Good for the fam and the environment - you can't go wrong with our selection of EVs <div class="iframe-container-www-youtube-com"> <p>Leasing can be an affordable, practical route into having your own private car, but it's not always easy to tell the good deals from the duds.?</p> <p>The experts at our sister magazine <a href="" target="_blank">What Car?</a> work hard to find you the best pay-monthly schemes, taking into account mileage allowance, montly outlay, contract length and initial deposit. We'll be bringing you the best deals they find from a different segment each week.</p> <p>This week, it's family-friendly EVs:?</p> <h3><strong>1. <a href="">Jaguar I-Pace EV400 S</a></strong></h3> <p><strong>£3037?deposit, £506?per month, 36?months, 8000 miles per year?</strong></p> <p>Not just an EV with a useful 292-mile range on the WLTP cycle, this is also a luxury SUV with futuristic looks and entertaining handling. Visibility could be better and it’s noisier than some but it’s a top choice.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><a href=""><strong>More Jaguar lease deals</strong></a></p> <h3>2. <a href=""><strong>Mercedes-Benz EQC Sport</strong></a></h3> <p><strong>£5196?deposit, £866?per month, 36?months, 8000 miles per year?</strong></p> <p><span><a href="">Mercedes’</a> traditional virtues – including a comfortable motorway ride, hushed cabin and decent infotainment – are all present and correct. It’s a pity it’s not more fun to drive. The 259-mile range trails the I-Pace’s, too.</span></p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><a href=""><strong>More Mercedes?lease deals</strong></a></p> <h3>3. <strong><a href="">Audi E-tron 55 Quattro</a></strong></h3> <p><strong>£4133?deposit, £689?per month, 36?months, 8000 miles per year</strong></p> <p><span>What it lacks in range (255 miles) and driving excitement compared with the I-Pace, the E-tron makes up for with its comfortable ride and spacious, beautifully built interior. It’s also smooth and quiet.</span></p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><a href=""><strong>More Audi?lease deals</strong></a></p> <h3>4. <strong><a href="">Nissan Leaf Acenta 110kW</a></strong></h3> <p><strong>£913?deposit, £304?per month, 36?months, 8000 miles per year</strong></p> <p><span>This entry-level Leaf can manage only 168 miles on a charge but what value for money it is. It’s a spacious EV with a big boot and, being a veteran of the EV scene, is packed with thoughtful touches.</span></p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><a href=""><strong>More Nissan?lease deals</strong></a></p> <h3>5. <strong><a href="">Volkswagen e-Golf?</a></strong></h3> <p><strong>£1606?deposit, £268?per month, 36?months, 8000 miles per year?</strong></p> <p><span>Great to drive, well equipped, spacious and with a mature character that sets it apart from other family hatchbacks, the e-Golf is a well-rounded EV but has one drawback: its very modest 144-mile range.</span></p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><a href=""><b>More Volkswagen lease deals</b></a></p> <h3>6. <strong><a href="">Hyundai Ioniq Premium</a></strong></h3> <p><strong>£1656?deposit, £276?per month, 36?months, 8000 miles per year</strong></p> <p><span>Not the sexiest electric car but one of the most competitive in terms of value for money and, crucially, range. It can travel up to 193 miles, which ought to be enough for most undemanding drivers.</span></p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="663" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><a href=""><b>More Hyundai?lease deals</b></a></p> <p>For more great personal & business lease deals visit?<a href="" target="_blank">What Car? leasing</a>.?</p> <p><strong>READ MORE</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">PSA Group: EVs threaten the car industry</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">Top 10 Best Electric Cars 2019</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">UK Government plans green numberplates for EVs</a></strong></p> <p><span class="wysiwyg-embed"></p> <iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe><p></span></p> </div> News Thu, 2 Jan 2020 12:21:26 +0000 Top 10 best pocket rockets 2019 <a href="/car-news/best-cars/top-10-best-pocket-rockets"><img src="" width="190" height="125" alt="10 best pocket rockets Ford Fiesta ST" /></a> Our comprehensive list runs down the very best hot superminis and compact hatchbacks you can buy today <div> <p>You can’t help loving a pocket rocket, can you?</p> <p>In fact, a well-executed one is often just about the best way to have as much fun on the public road as possible without being in and danger of upsetting the local constabulary.</p> <p>While the ability to travel reasonably briskly in a straight line is of some importance here, it’s keen handling and an easily exploitable chassis that really marks out the best pocket rocket; as well as its ability to provide the most amount of laughs for the smallest amount of money.?</p> <p>When it comes to giving a supercar a bit of a bloody nose on a winding Welsh B-road, the pocket rockets?included in this list would be the ones?we’d go for.</p> <h3><a href="">1. Ford Fiesta ST</a></h3> <p>With the release of this latest <a href="">Fiesta ST</a>, Ford shoots back to the peak of our pocket rocket?top 10. True to previous form, the Blue Oval has excelled itself with its new fast supermini, which now offers an even more compelling mix of affordable handling thrills and everyday usability.?</p> <p>Not only did it take the crown at the 2018?<a href="/car-news/features/britains-best-affordable-drivers-car-2018-part-one">Britain’s Best Affordable Driver’s Car shootout</a>, it also only narrowly missed out on a full five-star road test rating. <a href="">It’s been a pretty good innings for the Fiesta ST so far, then.</a></p> <p>But it isn’t without its faults. The new three-pot motor, for instance, is plenty punchy enough and commendably smooth, but lacks some of that feisty character you’d expect from a hot-hatch engine. The cabin is also a bit ho-hum, while the ride on harsh B-roads is still a touch too busy.</p> <p>On the right roads, in the right conditions, though, there aren’t many other cars that offer such compelling pace and handling zest for as little money as the Fiesta ST. It’s a brilliant driver’s car.</p> <p><strong><a href="">Save money with new Fiesta deals from What Car?</a></strong></p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <h3><a href="">2. Toyota Yaris GRMN</a></h3> <p><a href="">Tuned by Toyota’s motorsport division, Gazoo Racing, the Yaris GRMN</a> is a unique proposition among its peers, namely because of what sits beneath that rather gaudily decaled bonnet.?</p> <p>The supercharged 1.8-litre four-pot is a thing of effervescent magnificence; eager to be revved out and absolutely brimming with character. That it lends the little Yaris a pretty serious amount of punch is an added bonus.?</p> <p><a href="">But for a handful of dynamic flaws, the Yaris GRMN</a> could have grasped the top spot. Of the cars here, it’s arguably one of the most engaging to steer down a challenging road, but its tall stature and lack of front end grip can make it a bit of a handful at times.?</p> <p>It’s expensive, too, though with only 80 examples of this particular pocket rocket available in the UK, it should at least hold its value. That is, of course, if you've managed to get hold one of, because all are now spoken for. Toyota obviously enjoyed this project, however, because the hugely powerful,?four-wheel-drive<a href="" target="_blank"> GR Yaris homologation special </a>will soon arrive to continue to banzai-Yaris story.</p> <p><strong><a href="">Save money with new Yaris?deals from What Car?</a></strong></p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <h3><a href="">3. Volkswagen Polo GTI</a></h3> <p><a href="">The latest Polo GTI is no longer just a spicier trim level for VW</a>’s ever-popular supermini, there’s now a very credible performance car on offer here.</p> <p><a href="">It shares its engine with the legendary Golf GTI</a> - albeit here in a slightly lower state of tune - lending it a fairly potent level of performance, while the sophistication of its chassis allows for excellent composure and impressive dynamism on even the most battered British roads.</p> <p>It is a car that handles with supreme confidence in its abilities?but, for all of its strengths, does leave you wanting just a little bit more in terms of character. And that’s arguably what cars of this type are all about, isn’t it?</p> <p><strong><a href="">Save money with new Polo GTI deals from What Car?</a></strong></p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <h3><a href="">4. Suzuki Swift Sport</a></h3> <p><a href="">This third-generation Swift Sport</a> marks something of a departure from its predecessors. For starters, its previously zesty naturally aspirated motor has been swapped out for a more charmless turbocharged unit, while an increase in pricing now sees it facing off against the likes of Ford’s excellent new Fiesta ST, which is not only the better driver’s car, but more powerful too.?</p> <p>Still, there’s plenty to like here. <a href="">The Suzuki feels just as agile as you’d expect a peppy supermini to be</a>, and responds nicely to mid-corner throttle and brake adjustments. The driving position is pretty spot on, too, and there’s a heap of standard kit for the money.</p> <p><strong><a href="">Save money with new Swift Sport deals from What Car?</a></strong></p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <h3><a href="">5. Mini Cooper S</a></h3> <p>A more upmarket and refined take on what a compelling pocket rocket can be.</p> <p>It’s a touch softer around the edges than the most focused cars in this class - the Fiesta ST and?Yaris GRMN are far sharper packages in this respect - but as an all-rounder, it does itself a lot of favours.</p> <p>It won’t be as taxing or tiresome to drive about town as those cars, while out on some proper B-roads there’s still an abundance of the <a href="">go-kart handling characteristics</a> that Mini has always been renowned for, despite the fact these BMW-era ones have grown considerably.</p> <p><strong><a href="">Save money with new Cooper S deals from What Car?</a></strong></p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <h3><a href="">6. Volkswagen Up GTI</a></h3> <p><a href="">The Up GTI is by no means the most powerful car to be included in this list</a>, or the most sophisticated from an engineering point of view. In fact, most of the cars included here would likely run rings around it on a twisting B-road.</p> <p>But to knock it down for such reasons would be to almost miss the point of its existence. The fact that it can extract a huge amount of laughs from its driver at reasonably low speeds - all for less than £14,000, we might add - <a href="">is what the little Up GTI is all about.</a></p> <p>Its rorty and eager three-pot motor is charming, and its willingness to be thrown about on twisty B-roads at speeds that’d pose no threat whatsoever to your licence is something you’d find difficult to get tired of. That it looks as great as it does is an added bonus.</p> <p><strong><a href="">Save money with new Up GTI?deals from What Car?</a></strong></p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <h3><a href="">7. Abarth 595 Competizione</a></h3> <p>If there’s one thing the <a href="">Abarth 595 Competizione</a> isn’t short on,?it’s character. On start up, its 1.4-litre turbocharged four-pot burbles into life, with an aggressive timbre that seems entirely at odds with the beefed-up Fiat 500’s rather cutesy image. That it lends the steroidal city car rather impressive straight-line performance is an added bonus.</p> <p>However, there are a few flies in its ointment. For starters, it’s pricey next to more accomplished pocket rockets, and it’s not quite as dynamically well-sorted - often washing into understeer. The interior is also cramped, and the driving position isn’t great.?</p> <p><a href="">It’s a bit of an exercise in form over function</a>, but there’s still plenty of fun to be had here.</p> <p><strong><a href="">Save money with new 595 Competizione?deals from What Car?</a></strong></p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <h3><a href="">8. R</a><a href="" target="_blank">enault Clio 130 RS Line</a></h3> <p>Strange that on a list of the best pocket-rocket hatchbacks, arguably the greatest exponent of the breed over the past three decades can manage no better than eighth place.</p> <p>In truth, <a href="" target="_blank">the Clio 130 RS Line </a>is merely a stopgap until Les Ulis gets its chance to set the record straight and right the percieved dynamic wrongs of the <a href="" target="_blank">outgoing Renault Sport Clio</a> with an all-new hot model expected to use the 1.8-litre turbo engine from the RS Mégane. We'd expect that car to manage quite a bit better than eighth, and even challenge the incisive handling and <a href="" target="_blank">strong performance of the Fiesta ST</a>.</p> <p>None of which is to say the RS Line doesn't deserve consideration in the meantime?– it's a supermini that feels likealbly light on its toes, and with 129bhp packs decent if not outstanding performance. You'll also benefit all the strengths of the fifth-generation Clio: seriously attractive design inside and out, and build quality that feels German.</p> <p><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Save money with new Clio 130 RS Line?deals from What Car?</a></strong></p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="596" src="" width="900" /></p> <h3><a href="">9. Kia Picanto GT-Line S</a></h3> <p>Kia’s funky little city car has received a sporty new exterior and punchy 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder motor in a bid to turn it into something of a Volkswagen Up GTI rival.</p> <p>With just 99bhp on tap, the Picanto GT-Line S isn’t the fastest car on this list, but in this application that motor feels plenty punchy enough, while its short wheelbase and upright body don’t prevent it from feeling well tied down on the road.</p> <p>While it’s not quite as fun on the road as the livelier Up GTI, but the Picanto GT-Line S still makes for a well-sorted, attractive pocket rocket.</p> <p><strong><a href="">Save money with new Picanto GT-Line S?deals from What Car?</a></strong></p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="596" src="" width="900" /></p> <h3><a href="">10. Peugeot 208 GTi</a></h3> <p>With the<a href="" target="_blank"> recent introduction of a new 208</a>, we'll need to wait a while for a hot version, but a tidy used example of the old 208 GTi?is still a properly enjoyable little car. And that's especially true if you can find a tidy example of the <a href="" target="_top">208 GTi by Peugeot Sport (formerly known as the 30th Anniversary)</a>, which was quicker and, for want of better term, usefully more pointy along a B-road.</p> <p>With respectable thrust provided by its 205bhp 1.6-litre four-pot, the 208 GTi is suitably brisk and light on its feet, but perhaps not quite as sharp as some of the more focused cars included on this list.</p> <p>That said, the 208 GTi is more about usability than outright thrills, and for those after a fast supermini that’s not only comfortable to use around town?but also enjoyable on the right roads, the Peugeot shouldn’t disappoint.</p> <p><strong><a href="">Save money with new 208?deals from What Car?</a></strong></p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="596" src="" width="900" /></p> </div> News Thu, 2 Jan 2020 12:07:41 +0000 Autocar magazine 2 January - on sale now <a href="/magazine"><img src="" width="190" height="125" alt="Autocar magazine 2 January - on sale now" title="Autocar magazine 2 January - on sale now" /></a> This week: Toyota GT86 successor detailed, Toyota GR Yaris prototype driven, new cars of 2020 and much more <div> <p>Toyota and <a href="">Subaru</a> are again set to join forces to develop a next-generation <a href="">Toyota GT86</a> and <a href="">Subaru BRZ</a> sports car, and are ramping up work on the model.</p> <p>The Mk1 GT86 was no slouch but Autocar understands that the Mk2 will get a significant power boost over the outgoing version, generating perhaps as much as 255bhp.</p> <p>From ties with <a href="">Toyota’s</a> <a href="">Gazoo Racing division</a> to Subaru’s powertrain input, the latest BRZ and its sister car are set to gain a raft of new features. We’ve got all the details in this week’s mag.</p> <p><strong>ALSO IN THIS ISSUE</strong></p> <p>In this week’s news section, <a href="">Mazda</a> continues to refine its electric vision, now ruling out a ‘big-battery’ EV. The Japanese firm reckons that these bigger battery cars are less environmentally friendly than even diesel-powered models, stacking its chips on smaller batteries for the future.</p> <p>As strict new European CO2 targets loom, <a href="">Jeep</a> is also looking to cut back on emissions, considering a plug-in hybrid <a href="">Wrangler</a> and even an electric SUV. Elsewhere, the upcoming <a href="">Cupra Formentor</a> has been spied, looking virtually unchanged from the concept car <a href="">shown at the 2018 Geneva motor show</a>, while <a href="">PSA</a> and <a href="">Fiat Chrysler</a> confirm their <a href="">industry-shaking merger</a>, now formalised in a legally binding agreement.</p> <p>We’ve also got the lowdown on<a href=""> Jaguar Land Rover’s</a> acquisition of off-road <a href="">Land Rover</a> tuner <a href="">Bowler</a>, before capping the news section with an examination of the world’s largest car market - China - and our yearly round-up of the automotive industry’s winners and losers.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="596" src="" width="900" /></p> <h4><strong>Reviews</strong></h4> <p>The pick of this week’s first drives is the <a href="">Toyota GR Yaris</a> prototype. While a final judgement will have to wait until the production model, our tester found a fun, formidable machine which suggests a pleasing new addition to the hot hatch ranks.</p> <p>Next, it’s the turn of the <a href="">Mercedes-AMG GT R Roadster</a>, which offers a heady, if precarious, drive, before we step up into <a href="">Jaguar’s F-Pace D300 Sport</a> to find refinement and pulse-raising handling in equal measure.</p> <p>In the road test, <a href="">Volkswagen’s Grand California </a>motorhome steps into the spotlight. A size bump and a classy ambience are obvious plus points, but do these come at the cost of some cleverness?</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="596" src="" width="900" /></p> <h3><strong>Features</strong></h3> <p>To mark the first issue of 2020, we round-up the new metal that’s rolling out in the new year. There are new cars for everyone in this first year of a fresh decade, from the brawny and highly anticipated <a href="">new Land Rover Defender</a> to the next-gen hot hatches like the <a href="">Corsa-e VXR</a>.</p> <p>Other cars coming into showrooms in 2020 include <a href="">Jaguar’s electric-only XJ</a>, several new hot <a href="">Golfs</a> and <a href="">Lamborghini’s</a> first hybrid, the <a href="">Sian</a>, which is also its fastest ever accelerating production car.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="596" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><strong>Opinions</strong></p> <p>Steve Cropley roars into the new year at the wheel of a <a href="">Porsche Carrera</a>, before listening to F1 reporter David Tremayne recount his almost fatally disastrous attempt to break the UK land speed record. Meanwhile, Matt Prior muses on the prospects of the city car - he’s not making any predictions, though.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="596" src="" width="900" /></p> <h3><strong>Deals</strong></h3> <p>Cheap-as-chips superminis are the name of the game for James Ruppert this week, <a href="">Peugeot 206s</a> and even an old <a href="">Mercedes A-Class</a> are a pittance to purchase and even less to run. In our nearly new buying guide, we set our sights on a spacey and practical <a href="">Mk2 Volkswagen Tiguan</a>, while the ever-attractive <a href="">Mercedes SLK 55 AMG</a> is the star of this week’s used guide.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="596" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><strong>Where to buy</strong></p> <p>Never miss an issue –<a href=" mp;utm_medium=Autocar%20subs&utm_content=Mag%20RoundUp%20P age&utm_campaign=MagShop%20multi%20offer"> subscribe to Autocar magazine today. </a></p> <p><a href="">Autocar</a>?magazine is available through all good newsagents. You can also buy one-off copies of Autocar magazine from <a href=" Car- Magazines/123-Subscribe- to-AUTOCAR- Magazine-Subscription.aspx?PubID=1">Newsstand</a>, delivered to your door the morning after.</p> <p>Digital copies can be downloaded from <a href=" /">Zinio</a> and the <a href="">Apple iTunes store</a></p> </div> News Thu, 2 Jan 2020 11:36:39 +0000 Mazda CX-3 removed from sale 'for the moment' <a href="/car-news/new-cars/mazda-cx-3-removed-sale-moment"><img src="" width="190" height="125" alt="Mazda CX-3" /></a> Supermini-SUV is taken off price lists for 2020, but spokesperson suggests it could return with new engines <div> <p><a href="">Mazda</a> has removed the <a href="">CX-3</a> from price lists in the UK, with only limited dealer stock now available to buy over the coming weeks.?</p> <p>The <a href="">Nissan Juke</a> rival was quietly take off sale?just before the end of 2019, coinciding with the introduction of the larger <a href="">CX-30</a>.</p> <p>However, a Mazda UK?spokesperson told Autocar the decision is “for the moment, not forever”, meaning?there's?a possibility the CX-3 could return to market later this year with updates including more efficient, mild hybrid engines.?</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="596" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>The SUV is based on the same platform as the 2 supermini, rather than the underpinnings introduced on the 3 and CX-30. It was introduced in 2015, with a facelift in 2018 bringing only minor updates.?</p> <p>Mazda?<a href="">recently updated the 2 range</a> with mild hybrid engines, but the CX-3 is yet to benefit from these, so it has a negative impact on the Japanese maker’s fleet average CO2 emissions for the year.?</p> <p>The CX-30 is thought to be able to pick up some of the slack for Mazda UK in terms of sales, with finance rates not too far removed from those?of the CX-3.?</p> <p><strong>Read more:?</strong></p> <p><a href=""><strong>Mazda CX-30 2020?review</strong></a></p> <p><a href=""><strong>Mazda 3 2019 long-term test</strong></a></p> <p><a href=""><strong>Mazda CX-3 2020?review</strong></a></p> </div> News Thu, 2 Jan 2020 10:54:14 +0000 Ex-Nissan boss Ghosn to hold press conference after Japan escape <a href="/car-news/industry/ex-nissan-boss-ghosn-hold-press-conference-after-japan-escape"><img src="" width="190" height="125" alt="Ex-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn" /></a> Former industry giant, who reportedly escaped Japan hiding in a musical instrument case, to speak on January 8 <div class="iframe-container-www-youtube-com"> <p>Former<a href="/car-reviews/nissan"> Nissan</a> boss Carlos Ghosn is set to hold a press conference on Wednesday?January 8; he will give his first public comments since fleeing Japan, where?has been held on bail while awaiting charges for financial misconduct.</p> <p>Ghosn is now in Beirut, Lebanon after escaping Japan late in December 2019 – reportedly by hiding?in a musical instument case belonging to a Gregorian musical act. According to his lawyers, Ghosn will hold a press conference on January 8. While no specifics have been given, Ghosn has vowed that he will fight to clear his name.</p> <p>Ghosn was <a href="/car-news/industry/carlos-ghosns-prison-stay-extended-10-days">arrested in Japan on November 2018</a> on charges relating to his time as chairman of Nissan. The numerous charges include misusing company assets, underreporting his income and transferring personal investment losses onto Nissan foreign exchange dealing.</p> <p>After spending 108 days in custody he was released on bail, with strict conditions that barred him from travelling abroad. His trial was due to begin in April 2020.?In Japan Ghosn had been?under constant surveillance, with restricted phone and internet usage, while his three passports – he has French, Brazilian and Lebanese heritage – are held by his Japanese lawyer.</p> <p>According to Lebanese news channel MTV, Ghosn escaped with the help of a Gregorian music band and a team of ex-special forces members. It claims the musicians played a concert at his house, at the conclusion of which Ghosn – who is 5ft 6in – was hidden in one of the larger cases, possibly for a double bass. He was then taken to a small local airport, where a private Bombadier challenger jet was waiting to fly him to Lebanon.</p> <p>That account had reportedly been denied by Ghosn's wife, Carole, although she gave no indication of how he did it. The involvement of a Gregorian band has also been questioned by classical music experts, who note they rarely perform with instruments.?</p> <p>After arriving in Beirut, the 65-year-old issued a statement to the media, saying: “I have not fled justice. I have escaped injustice and political persecution.”</p> <p>He went on to attack the Japanese legal system, in which he claims “guilt is presumed, discrimination is rampant, and basic human rights are denied, in flagrant disregard of Japan’s legal obligations under international law and treaties it is bound to uphold”.</p> <p>He continued: “I can now finally communicate freely with the media,” adding that he would start to do so next week."</p> <p>One of Ghosn’s Japanese lawyers, Junichiro Hironaka, told reporters in the country that they knew nothing about Ghosn leaving the country, and were still in possession of his passports. Hironaka said: “We told the court that we are in a bind as well. If he actually left this country, it violates the conditions for bail.” He added:?“I don’t even know if we can contact him.”</p> <p><span>An official at the?</span><span>Lebanese foreign ministry told Reuters Ghosn had entered the country legally using his French passport and Lebanese ID.</span></p> <p>According to the Japan Times, the Tokyo District Court has confirmed that the terms of Ghosn’s bail remained unchanged, which suggests he left the country without permission. According to further reports, the Japanese Immigration Services Agency has no records of Ghosn’s departure.?</p> <p>Ghosn, who was born in Brazil,?has Lebanese parents and lived in the country from the age of six until he left to attend university in Paris. Notably, Lebanon has no extradition agreement with Japan.</p> <p><strong>Read more</strong></p> <p><a href="/car-news/features/autocars-10-most-read-news-stories-2019"><strong>Autocar's 10 most-read news stories of 2019?</strong></a></p> <p><a href="/opinion/industry/taking-stock-nissans-claims-about-carlos-ghosn"><strong>Taking stock of Nissan's claims about Carlos Ghosn?</strong></a></p> <p><a href="/car-news/features/time-running-out-japans-car-industry"><strong>Is time running out for Japan's car industry??</strong></a></p> <p><span class="wysiwyg-embed"></p> <iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe><p></span></p> </div> News Thu, 2 Jan 2020 09:49:00 +0000 Nearly-new buying guide: Mercedes-Benz E-Class <a href="/car-news/used-cars/nearly-new-buying-guide-mercedes-benz-e-class"><img src="" width="190" height="125" alt="Mercedes-Benz E-Class" title="Mercedes-Benz E-Class" /></a><blockquote class="image-field-caption"> Not only is the E-Class stunningly handsome, it is tech-heavy and has a refined drivetrain</blockquote> Today’s executive saloon first caught the world’s eye in 2016. Now we eye used ones <div class="iframe-container-www-youtube-com"> <p>Who’d have thought the old Stuttgart taxi would have morphed into the sumptuous thing it is today, with its <a href="">S-Class</a>-aping looks, lashings of tech, a sophisticated drivetrain and soothing road manners? The <a href="">Mercedes E-Class </a>is not quite as driver focused as a <a href="">BMW 5 Series</a> but then not every exec wants to show a clean pair of heels.</p> <p>The current one was launched in 2016, when the cheapest version, the <a href="">E220d SE auto</a>, cost around £36,000. Today, the first 2016-reg examples with around 100,000 miles go from £15,000. Incidentally, if you’ve ever been ferried from the airport in an <a href="">E-Class cab</a>, you’ll know that the model is just warming up at 100,000 miles.</p> <p>Although we’ve named the more powerful 3.0-litre V6 diesel <a href="">E350d</a> as our pick (it was replaced by the straight-six <a href="">E400d</a> in 2018), the E220d is no consolation prize. Its 2.0-litre diesel produces 192bhp. Driving the rear wheels through a nine-speed automatic gearbox, it’s good for 0-62mph in a respectable 7.3sec. Expect around 50mpg.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="598" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>SE trim has most of the kit people expect, including a media system with sat-nav and digital radio, a reversing camera and even leather seats. It’s the great all-rounder (if you need more grip, there’s a four-wheel-drive 4Matic version) that’s ideal for not only airport drivers but families, too. Haggle the best price you can because there are stacks of used ones around, although not as many as there are <a href="">AMG Line</a> versions. This is the trim that, thanks to its AMG bodykit and larger alloy wheels, elevates the E-Class from elegant taxi to something tastier. It costs around £2000 more than SE.</p> <p>We’ve mentioned the E350d and E400d – both deliciously smooth and unruffled motorway expresses but with a 40mpg thirst. Next up is the E300de diesel plug-in hybrid. It was launched in 2018 and aimed at those seeking E350d performance with lower tax bills and better economy. It also has a 34-mile electric-only range. New, it cost £47,700 but we found a low-mileage 2019-reg one for just £33,000. It could be a shrewd choice for a private diesel buyer.</p> <p>The remaining diesel is the rare and short-lived <a href="">E200d</a>. The E220d is the better car but, with prices starting at £18,000 for a 2017 E200d SE with 26,000 miles, the lesser-powered model certainly has its appeal.</p> <p>Petrol versions are represented by the E200, the <a href="">E350e</a> and its successor, the <a href="">E300e</a>. With 184bhp on tap, the E200 is reasonably powerful but you’ll miss the E220d’s longer legs and lower thirst. The E350e and E300e plug-in hybrids might suit a low-mileage driver in search of a decent turn of speed and a free pass to London’s low-emissions zone but economy is only in the mid-30s.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="598" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>Which just leaves the mighty <a href="">Mercedes-AMG</a> range of E-Class saloons. The <a href="">E43</a> and more powerful <a href="">E63</a> and <a href="">E63 S</a> versions, all with <a href="">4Matic</a> four-wheel drive, were launched in 2016. The <a href="">E53</a> followed in 2018. They’re super-saloons with super-size running costs but a 2016-reg E63 with 35,000 miles for £29,995 could make an entertaining alternative to a new, mid-spec SUV.</p> <p><strong>Top spec pick</strong></p> <p><strong>AMG Line:</strong> One better than SE, with AMG-branded alloys, bodykit and electrically adjustable front seats. A kind of <a href="">BMW M Sport </a>equivalent. Without the AMG engine, if you can live with that.</p> <p><strong>Need to know</strong></p> <p>Know your e from your de: the e denotes that it’s a petrol plug-in hybrid version and the de a diesel plug-in hybrid. As a used car, the petrols are easier to make a case for. Prices start at just £22,000 for a 2017-reg E350e AMG Line with 55,000 miles – down from £48,000 when new, but expect just 35mpg.</p> <p>When buying a 2016-reg, be careful you don’t plump for an old model by mistake. They look similar but a big clue is the open lower grille of the newer car and the automatic gearbox has nine speeds rather than seven.</p> <p>There’s leather and there’s Mercedes’ Artico synthetic equivalent. You’ll find leather on SE models but, strangely, Artico on expensive AMG Line Hybrid and top-spec versions of AMG Line.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="598" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><strong>Our pick</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">Mercedes E350d AMG Line</a>:</strong> Not as plentiful as the E200d but worth the hunt for its smooth, lustier, six-cylinder diesel and standard-fit air suspension. Or try its replacement, the E400d.</p> <p><strong>Wild card</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">Mercedes E200 SE</a>: </strong>No, not the E63; instead, the cooking petrol. It isn’t as economical as the all-conquering E220d but it’s smoother, around £5000 cheaper on a 2018-reg and fast enough.</p> <p><strong>Ones we found</strong></p> <p>2016 E220d SE, 102,000 miles, £14,955</p> <p>2017 E200d SE, 26,000 miles, £18,000</p> <p>2018 E350d AMG Line, 13,000 miles, £24,000</p> <p>2019 E63, 4000 miles, £57,000</p> <p><strong>READ MORE</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">New Mercedes GLA receives more tech, space and comfort</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">Mercedes EQA confirmed for 2020 with GLA crossover bodystyle</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">New Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe 4Matic on sale from £72,530 in UK</a></strong></p> <p><iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> </div> News Thu, 2 Jan 2020 06:01:23 +0000 Audi design boss talks electric supercars and progressive styling <a href="/car-news/industry/audi-design-boss-talks-electric-supercars-and-progressive-styling"><img src="" width="190" height="125" alt="E-tron GT Concept" title="E-tron GT Concept" /></a><blockquote class="image-field-caption"> The E-tron GT (pictured here in Concept form) could preface electric supercars for Audi</blockquote> As Audi continues its electric offensive, we sit down with its exterior design boss, Andreas Mindt <div class="iframe-container-www-youtube-com"> <p>Audi is set to have a busy 2020, with <a href="/car-news/new-cars/audi-sport-go-electric-rs-branded-e-tron-gt">four electrified RS models due to make their debuts</a>?along with several new mainstream additions to the brand's line-up.</p> <p>We caught up with its?<span>exterior design head,?Andreas Mindt,?</span>and quizzed him on EVs, concepts and <a href="">Audi's</a>?future.?</p> <p><strong><em>We’re seeing a lot of new electric supercars. Does this appeal to Audi?</em> </strong></p> <p>The <a href="">E-Tron GT</a> is a first step in this direction. I can imagine steps like this. Let’s see what happens – there are great chances. The energy in the battery is limited at the moment, so you need a jump in technology for [supercars].</p> <p><strong><em>How are you developing the styling of electric cars?</em> </strong></p> <p>We have a big decision to make on how EVs look. It’s a myth that electric cars don’t need cooling and they don’t need a face – it’s not true. The battery and motor with this level of performance needs the cooling. It’s also a myth that electric cars need a short bonnet and a long A-post. If you do that, the dashboard gets bigger and you have more heat inside the car from the size of the glass windscreen. Then you can’t get the heat away as the energy management in an electric car is very low. To that, a?<a href="">Defender</a>?is a good design for electrification…</p> <p><strong><em>And what will they look like??</em></strong></p> <p>Our belief is to invert everything, with the grille and the grille surround. So the grille isn’t a black hole any more. The volume inside the grille instead shows the battery is bright, and then the surround is a black mask around it. Being black means we can hide the sensors in there, and it’s not easy to hide sensors. This is very clever. You can still recognise it as an Audi even at 100 metres.</p> <p><strong><em>Audi had one of the most innovative concepts of 2019 with the?<a href="">AI:Trail</a>. Will you keep creating concepts like this?</em>?</strong></p> <p>We want to be progressive. The AI:Trail was very futuristic. People either loved it or hated it. We wanted to go to the future and show what could be done thinking differently. It’s like a helicopter on four wheels, like sending something sneaking through the forest rather than a 4x4 to smash through the terrain. It’s the opposite to the norm. Off-roaders are ideally suited to EVs; there is no gearbox and you always have low torque.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE</strong></p> <p><a href=""><strong>Audi Sport to go electric with RS-branded E-tron GT</strong></a></p> <p><strong><a href="">2020 Audi RS5 gains refreshed design and new tech</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">Audi E-tron Sportback revealed as electric coupe SUV</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">New 2021 Audi Q2: crossover to get design revamp</a></strong></p> <p><span class="wysiwyg-embed"></p> <iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe><p></span></p> </div> News Thu, 2 Jan 2020 00:01:24 +0000 Racing lines: Bloodhound LSR run fires rockets and hearts <a href="/opinion/motorsport/racing-lines-bloodhound-lsr-run-fires-rockets-and-hearts"><img src="" width="190" height="125" alt="Bloodhound LSR" title="Bloodhound LSR" /></a><blockquote class="image-field-caption"> Bloodhound LSR hit 628mph in the South African desert</blockquote> Watching the record-bidding vehicle tick off milestones ahead of breaking the 800mph barrier is inspiring - and the target is in sight <div class="iframe-container-www-youtube-com iframe-container-www-youtube-com"> <p>On 18 December last year, Yorkshire businessman Ian Warhurst injected new hope into the<a href=""> Bloodhound land speed record project</a>. He bought it, <a href="">saved it from liquidation</a> and vowed the missile (mere ‘car’ doesn’t seem to be enough) would run in South Africa, as originally intended. A year on from the deal, Bloodhound is one of the best and most inspiring motorsport stories of 2019.</p> <p>The machine was flown out to South Africa in October in preparation for its first runs on the Hakskeenpan dry lake bed ‘race track’, a 16km by 500m strip cleared of stones, by hand, in the Kalahari desert. The purpose was not ultimate speed: as with any racing project, Bloodhound required testing. A total of 192 sensors were fitted to monitor its aerodynamic performance and create a correlation to the computer programmes by which it was designed. But inevitably it was the speeds that would create the headlines.</p> <p>Back in 1997, RAF pilot Andy Green set the first supersonic land speed record in Thrust SSC, at 763.035mph in the Black Rock desert, Nevada. Now, 22 years later at the age of 57, here he was again, strapping himself back into an LSR contender. Naturally, he wasted little time getting up to astounding speeds.</p> <p>On 5 November, Green completed systems checks at 100mph, then <a href="">returned a day later to properly gun the Rolls-Royce EJ200 jet engine and reach 501mph</a>. A milestone right there.</p> <p><iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>Then on 16 November, Bloodhound really hit its stride, as <a href="">Green managed 0-628mph in 50 seconds</a> – unofficially the sixth-fastest speed ever recorded on land. That’s some achievement, given how close Bloodhound was to being put down just 11 months earlier. And the correlation between reality and CFD? Around 90%.</p> <p>Buoyed by the successful test, the device is currently being shipped back to the UK where it will be delivered to SGS Berkeley Green University Technical College in Gloucestershire, to be fitted with a rocket developed by Norwegian aerospace specialist Nammo. That should thrust Bloodhound to the record – but now Warhurst faces another race, arguably tougher than Green’s on Hakskeenpan. He needs to raise around £10 million for Bloodhound to return to South Africa in 12-18 months’ time. Not easy despite the achievements so far, in a time dominated by all-too-real climate change concerns for our planet.</p> <p>The target is 800mph. But having already topped 1000kph, that original and outlandish 1000mph mark remains a tempting siren. Wonder where Warhurst, Green and Bloodhound will be 12 months from now?</p> <p><strong>READ MORE</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">Can this man save Bloodhound?</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">Bloodhound LSR reaches 628mph as testing concludes</a>?</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">The appliance of science behind Bloodhound's 1000mph bid</a></strong></p> <p><span class="wysiwyg-embed"></p> <iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe><p></span></p> </div> Opinion Thu, 2 Jan 2020 00:01:24 +0000 Audi Sport to go electric with RS-branded E-tron GT <a href="/car-news/new-cars/audi-sport-go-electric-rs-branded-e-tron-gt"><img src="" width="190" height="125" alt="Audi RS E-tron GT" title="Audi RS E-tron GT" /></a><blockquote class="image-field-caption"> How Audi's RS E-tron GT could look, according to Autocar</blockquote> Porsche Taycan sibling is one of four electrified Sport models in development alongside an RS e-tron and plug-in RS4 Avant <div class="iframe-container-www-youtube-com"> <p>Audi Sport is ramping up its electrification offensive under new management, and will next year introduce the RS branding to a battery-powered model in the form of the production <a href="">E-tron GT saloon</a>.</p> <p>The sister model to the <a href="">Porsche Taycan</a>, set to be offered in regular, S and high-performance RS trims throughout its existence, is also likely to be joined by an RS version of <a href="">Audi’s</a> recently revealed <a href="">E-tron Sportback</a>. A number of plug-in hybrid RS models are also on the cards, while a new E-tron version of the current-generation <a href="">R8</a> is tipped to appear next year as a prelude to a possible all-electric R8 replacement in a few years’ time.</p> <p>The plan for the <a href="">Audi Sport</a> division to embrace hybrid and electric propulsion has been devised under the joint management of directors Oliver Hoffmann and Julius Seebach. Expanding into new EV and PHEV markets is the priority now the division’s SUV offensive is well under way; this year it has launched the <a href="">RS Q3</a> and <a href="">RS Q3 Sportback</a>, the diesel-powered <a href="">SQ5</a> and both <a href="">SQ8</a> and <a href="">RS Q8</a> range flagships.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>Speaking at the <a href="">recent Los Angeles motor show</a>, Seebach confirmed that the E-tron GT – <a href="">revealed in concept form at last year’s LA show </a>and <a href="">later driven by Autocar</a> – will be offered with the same three powertrain choices as traditional Audi models, such as the <a href="">A6</a>, <a href="">S6</a> and <a href="">RS6</a>.</p> <p>The concept E-tron GT featured a dual-motor, all-wheel-drive electric powertrain making 582bhp and around 600lb ft. A 96kWh battery gave a claimed range of 250 miles, with 0-62mph quoted in 3.5sec. The production version, which will make its debut at next year’s LA motor show, will share its J1 electrical architecture with the <a href="">Taycan</a>, but it’s not clear if the <a href="">Porsche’s</a> three-variant lineup, comprised of the 523bhp 4S, the 670bhp <a href="">Turbo</a> and 751bhp <a href="">Turbo S</a>, will transfer over with identical specs.</p> <p>More likely is that the base E-tron GT will start at a lower output, and therefore a lower price point, than the base Taycan. Both cars will use the same 800V electrical architecture, however, and weigh about the same. Expect standard and S models at launch, with the RS arriving slightly later.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>Seebach also confirmed that, as Autocar first reported in September, plug-in hybrids are formally under development by Audi Sport’s engineers. The powertrains will be introduced on the next generation of RS models, and it is understood that the first Audi RS model to be offered as a PHEV will be the next-generation RS4.</p> <p>That car will compete head to head with the next <a href="">Mercedes-AMG C63</a>, which, <a href="">as confirmed in October</a>, will ditch the current car’s V8 in favour of a 500bhp-plus plug-in hybrid four-cylinder powertrain. It will also be four-wheel drive, challenging Audi Sport’s long-established quattro system when it arrives in early 2022. Expect the new <a href="">RS4</a> to arrive slightly later, given that the current model only went on sale last year.</p> <p>Speaking separately at the LA motor show, Audi’s exterior design boss Andreas Mindt said his team is “absolutely” considering introducing the RS branding into the E-tron Sportback SUV for an ultra-fast variant aimed at the upcoming<a href=""> Tesla Model Y Performance</a>.</p> <p>Discussing the potential for an RS E-tron Sportback, Mindt said: “It’s very similar to what you see with the RS Q8. You have to start with the standard car and build it up.”</p> <p>Such a model would carry over the classic RS design principles of big wheels and an aggressive bodykit to help differentiate, while changes to the chassis and steering will also be introduced. In a theoretical sense it’s relatively easy to turn up the wick for the electric motors, which in the standard E-tron Sportback together put out 402bhp in the most powerful Boost mode. One possibility already hinted at is the introduction of a third electric motor, which would not only significantly increase peak outputs but also allow torque to be apportioned across each individual rear wheel for more neutral handling qualities.</p> <p>A timeframe for a performance Audi E-tron SUV is unconfirmed, but prototypes of a standard-bodied E-tron with uprated, lowered suspension have been seen lapping the Nürburgring since May. It’s possible we’ll see something previewed next year for introduction in 2021.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>Before all this, however, it is understood that Audi will revive the <a href="">all-electric R8 E-tron</a> as an upgraded model to go into limited production once again late next year. The brand first presented a second-generation version of the pure-electric supercar in 2015, but production was canned around 16 months later due to extremely slow demand. A price tag of around £850,000 was considered to blame for Audi only producing 100 examples in that period.</p> <p>Details of the new car have yet to be made official, but it is expected that it will look broadly similar to the 2015 car (see previous page). That model used a dual-motor EV powertrain, mated to a 92kWh battery, putting out 456bhp and 679lb ft for a 0-62mph time of 3.9sec and a promised range of up to 280 miles.</p> <p>Substantial developments of EV powertrains over the past four years mean that a power increase is likely, but the focus for Audi will be to bring the model’s price down to a more reasonable figure. Nevertheless, it is not expected that the revived R8 E-tron will be any more than a limited-production model.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE</strong></p> <p><a href=""><strong>Audi design boss talks electric supercars and progressive styling</strong></a></p> <p><strong><a href="">2020 Audi RS5 gains refreshed design and new tech</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">Audi E-tron Sportback revealed as electric coupe SUV</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">New 2021 Audi Q2: crossover to get design revamp</a></strong></p> <p><span class="wysiwyg-embed"></p> <iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe><p></span></p> </div> News Thu, 2 Jan 2020 00:01:24 +0000 James Ruppert: Why have a van when you can have an estate? <a href="/car-news/used-cars/james-ruppert-why-have-van-when-you-can-have-estate"><img src="" width="190" height="125" alt="Saab 9-3 Estate " title="Saab 9-3 Estate " /></a><blockquote class="image-field-caption"> A well-preserved Saab 9-3 Estate is tempting at £4000</blockquote> When a friend axed his trusty Connect, the high priest of Bangernomics proposed something more versatile <div class="iframe-container-www-youtube-com"> <p>Rather than theorise over what we can or cannot afford, indulge in automotive dreams and generally speculate on the impossible, I prefer to stick to reality. So when a mate got fed up being a plumber and had to get rid of his battered but honest and reliable <a href="">Ford Connect</a>, what would come next?</p> <p>His Connect is a classic pint-sized white van with 200,000 miles and a marginal value. It has a decent recent history so maybe it would make £650 if buffed up. Part-ex it might give him £400, so that’s not much to play with. All he wants is something that will allow him to do a bit of pipe bending and soldering on occasion, but mostly it should be able to cope with the odd continental holiday.</p> <p>Well, I didn’t expect to see this, but I found a 2007 one-owner <a href="">Saab 9-3 D Vector Sport Estate</a>. On sale at a dealer, it had 90,000 miles on the clock and came with an automatic gearbox. That ’box was the deal breaker, but what a stylish old bus to have –and it still looks surprisingly contemporary. Could have had it for £4000. Yes, that’s expensive, but the car was absolutely mint.</p> <p>The <a href="">Mazda 6</a> is a jolly good package, and a 2011 2.2D Sport estate came with a full service history documenting all of the 80,000 miles. Has nine stamps, a bunch of invoices and an MOT, which is a year long. Another stunner when it came to condition, too. Again, this was £4000 to buy. I would have stopped there, but there are just so many other contenders to consider.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>Going down the <a href="">Volvo V70</a> route is always a safe journey. They are brilliant machines and a 2009 2.0D SE R-Design seemed good value at, yet again, £4k. One owner, 124,000 miles and all the history you would ever need. Here’s further proof that there are superb used cars out there.</p> <p>More Japanese reliability in the shape of a 2010 <a href="">Toyota Avensis</a> 2.2 D-4D TR estate at a dealer was another £4k contender. It had 100,000 miles on the clock and was a private-owner example who had paid out for a main dealer history. That was good, but also the dealer selling it plonked a two-year parts and labour warranty along with it for complete peace of mind.</p> <p>And the final choice? Well, it was none of the above. The winning diesel estate car was a 2008 <a href="">Ford Mondeo </a>2.0 TDCi Titanium. He part-exchanged the Connect with a local car dealer and ended up handing over just £1300. It has a whopping 180,000 miles, but everything important that could break had been replaced. Just one ding on the nearside rear door. He’s getting 50mpg all day long and could not be happier with his real-world purchase.</p> <p><strong>What we almost bought this week</strong></p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="450" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><strong><a href="">Vauxhall Insignia </a>2.8i Turbo VXR 4WD Estate, £7500: </strong>The outrageous spec is the draw here: a turbo V6 making 321bhp and 321lb ft, four-wheel drive, a limited-slip diff, adjustable damping, torque steer-reducing HiPerStrut suspension, a Remus exhaust and 20in alloys. The privately sold, 2010 estate has done 71,000 miles. ‘Endearing lunacy’, said Autocar’s four-star test at the time.</p> <p><strong>Tales from Ruppert's garage</strong></p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><strong><a href="">Porsche Cayenne</a>, mileage - 105,454: </strong>The old Flying Pig has been racking up problems that aren’t really its fault at the moment. In a moment of madness my daughter, after cleaning her <a href="">Golf</a>, decided to hose down her mother’s Porsche. She told us that the rear offside tyre was as flat as a pancake. It took a tank of compressed air and would stay up for half a day, so the puncture is slow enough to get to somewhere with the facilities to change it (there is no spare and I don’t use the gunge stuff unless things are desperate). Then we switch the lights on and bang, the nearside dipped beam bulb has gone.</p> <p><strong>Writer's read</strong></p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="675" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><strong>The <a href="">Innocenti</a>, by Frank Kirtley: </strong>I promised to let you know what Frank Kirtley’s book, The Innocenti, was like. The protagonists – what a wonderfully old-fashioned term that is – are Diana and her boyfriend Jensen. The story is set in the 1980s and it’s a pretty straightforward Cold War spy plot which has them driving around Spain and France in a boxy <a href="">Mini</a> – itself a massive plus point. There are some twists, but it’s delightful to get into the back of the Inni with them and go along for the ride. Frank knows about cars and it shows. Would make a great film.</p> <p><strong>Readers' questions</strong></p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><strong>Question: </strong>My car is coming to the end of its PCP agreement. The dealer isn’t offering much for it so I’ll sell it privately or to the trade. What do I need to know before doing this? <em>Laura Jones, via email</em></p> <p><strong>Answer: </strong>Selling it privately will mean you having to settle the finance first, so we’ll assume you have the funds to do that. Just pray that once you have paid up, your buyer proceeds with the deal. The good thing about selling to the trade is that they’ll settle the finance and pay you any extra money you’ve negotiated. Have the trader email you a copy of a dated bank statement showing payment of the settlement amount to the PCP company. Then call the company to check the money has been received. Ask them to email confirmation including the correct agreement number and car details.<em> JE</em></p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="598" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><strong>Question:</strong> Is Christmas a good time to buy a used car or are dealers too stuffed to care? <em>George Patterson, Bridgewater</em></p> <p><strong>Answer:</strong> Depending on the dealer and their past experience, some may run down their stocks in anticipation of a quiet holiday while others may build them up ready for the bored tyre-kickers idling away time before returning to work. The former may be so surprised to see you that you’ll catch them off guard while the latter will have a plan geared to turning stock over as fast as possible and seeing out the year on a high. Either way, you’re in the driving seat. <em>JE</em></p> <p><strong>READ MORE</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="http://James Ruppert: Declining car sales? Not on the nearly new forecourt">James Ruppert: Declining car sales? Not on the nearly new forecourt</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="http://James Ruppert: with small cars, choose substance over style">James Ruppert: With small cars, choose substance over style</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">James Ruppert: Creativity is king for eye-catching used car ads</a></strong></p> <p><span class="wysiwyg-embed"></p> <iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe><p></span></p> </div> News Wed, 1 Jan 2020 06:01:23 +0000 Back (again) to the future: driving an electric DeLorean <a href="/car-news/features/back-again-future-driving-electric-delorean"><img src="" width="190" height="125" alt="Driving a battery powered DeLorean - hero front" /></a> A former glam rock record producer from Dorset has made his DeLorean into an EV - and we've driven it <div class="iframe-container-www-youtube-com"> <p>An email arrived: ‘Could you nip down to Dorset and check out some bloke who says he’s an old rock and roller who’s fitting an electric powertrain into an old car?’</p> <p>Electric cars are here to stay and I’m happy to review them, but retrofitting classics with electric powertrains seems pointless. Yes, you could drive an <a href="/car-news/new-cars/jaguar-e-type-concept-zero-first-drive-reborn-electric-classic">electric E-Type</a> in central London, but why would you want to drive in London anyway? But down in Poole, things are looking up. For starters, Phil Wainman really is rock and roll. He was a session drummer in the 1960s and then went on to write and produce for glam rock bands such as Sweet, Mud and the Bay City Rollers.</p> <p>Second, the car that’s being electrified is a <a href="/car-news/anything-goes/remembering-delorean-back-future-day">DeLorean</a>. This seems entirely appropriate to me. A car that is best known today for its starring role in Back to the Future should probably have had an alternative powerplant anyway. Also, the car could only be improved by chucking out its hefty and ineffective original PRV V6 engine. But before we explore, and indeed drive, this electrified DeLorean, a question needs to be asked first: why?</p> <p>“I’ve always been interested in electric cars,” says Wainman. “In the early ’80s, I almost imported an electric car kit based on a MG TD that was built in Minnesota. I joined the Electric Car Association in the 1990s. I’m member number 77. “Converting a DeLorean to electric drive just seemed like the perfect project. I bought this one for $19,000 in the US and shipped it over. It was painted red and in a bit of a state.”</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>We’re at the premises of Castleman Auto Repairs, whose managing director Clint Townsend has been responsible for the creation of the DeLorean EV. “At first, Clint wasn’t too keen,” says Wainman. “I persuaded him by pointing out that it was his future and he ought to learn about the technology.”</p> <p>Townsend is now a bit of a nerd on electric powertrains. He’s also one heck of a good mechanic/fabricator. Not only has he transformed this once-knackered DeLorean into a virtually concours example, but he has also carried out this conversion to a stunning standard.</p> <p>“The electrical components, including motor, battery and control systems, are all from <a href="/car-reviews/tesla">Tesla</a>,” explains Townsend, “provided by a company in Bristol called Zero EV.”</p> <p>If you’re not well up on DeLoreans, I’ll just remind you that the car was engineered by <a href="/car-reviews/lotus">Lotus</a> and, like an Esprit, features a steel backbone chassis with a glassfibre monocoque attached to it. The DeLorean’s famous stainless steel outer panels are bolted to the glassfibre monocoque.</p> <p>What’s impressive is how neatly all the Tesla components have fitted. “The electric motor itself is what Tesla refers to as the ‘small drive unit’, and this particular one came from a <a href="/car-review/tesla/model-s">Model S P70D</a>. It’s actually the front motor,” says Townsend.</p> <p>He had to fabricate new mounts and various brackets, but it looks like the motor unit was designed for this chassis. The driveshafts are perfectly parallel, for example. Wainman (who’s very much involved in the project) and Townsend have split the Tesla’s batteries and fitted a batch in the rear of the DeLorean and another in the front, although they haven’t managed to fit the entire complement of batteries from the P70D and are missing a couple of cells.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>“One of the big challenges has been the cooling for the motor, inverter and other components,” says Townsend. “We’ve fitted a pair of radiators in the car’s nose but getting the right amount of cooling flow has been a matter of trial and error. That’s been the case on a lot of the car, in fact.”</p> <p>Another example is the wiring. Getting 21st-century electronics to have a dialogue with late ’70s and early ’80s analogue systems is a mighty challenge. Townsend says: “We’ve had to design our own CAN bus [controller area network] to enable everything to work. We’ve also built our own digital instrument panel, but we’re still working on that because it keeps overheating.”</p> <p>Time for my first ever drive in a DeLorean. The car has been fitted with electric power steering from <a href="/car-review/toyota/auris-2012-2018">a Toyota Auris</a> and, according to Townsend, it’s a huge improvement: “We haven’t had a weighing session yet but the original car had an automatic gearbox which, with the 180kg PRV V6, weighed a lot. I won’t be surprised if the electric conversion is no heavier.”</p> <p>You activate the DeLorean by pressing a red start button, then by moving a lever to select D. The lever is a work of art, and was designed and built by Wainman. He says: “Some people think it’s from a boat; others [including Goodwin] guess that it’s from an aeroplane.”</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>The DeLorean glides magically away from the kerb. No creaks or rattles. Part of the reason for the original car failing in the showroom was its feeble performance given the asking price. Townsend reckons the project is 80% there and that there’s more performance to come with some software changes. This and the fact that Wainman has spent £200,000 of his own cash on the project prevent me from giving the DeLorean a more thorough foot full of, er, volts.</p> <p>I’m very much looking forward to a promised proper go in the DeLorean EV when it’s finished. Its energy comes from lithium ion; I’m not sure where 73-year-old Wainman gets his from. He’s fantastic company, dynamic and hugely likeable.</p> <p>The next project that he has lined up is electrifying an E-Type Jaguar that’s sitting in pieces in Townsend’s workshop. I spare him my views on electrified E-Types. You don’t have a pop at a bloke who owns both a 1958 and 1965 Corvette and who wrote the Bay City Rollers’ Bye Bye Baby.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <h3>Bolt-on battery power</h3> <p>Bristol-based Zero EV was set up in March last year by young engineers Chris Hazell and Alex Dawood and specialises in supplying EV powertrains, hardware and software to those carrying out conversions. “We started because we were asked to build three electric stunt cars for a hotel in Macau. No one else wanted the job so we took it on. We’ve also built the first electric car for the world drifting championships.” They’ll sell you a complete Tesla small drive unit kit for £7995. More importantly, they’ll provide helpful advice on how to incorporate it into a project.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="/car-news/anything-goes/remembering-delorean-back-future-day">Remembering the DeLorean on Back to the Future Day</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="/slideshow/rubbish-cars-we-still-want">Slideshow: Rubbish cars that we still want</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="/slideshow/best-cars-gullwing-doors-0">The best cars to ever use gullwing doors</a></strong></p> <p><span class="wysiwyg-embed"></p> <iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe><p></span></p> </div> News Wed, 1 Jan 2020 06:01:23 +0000 Winners and losers in the 2019 UK car market <a href="/car-news/features/winners-and-losers-2019-uk-car-market"><img src="" width="190" height="125" alt="Winners and losers 2019" title="Winners and losers 2019" /></a><blockquote class="image-field-caption"> Which manufacturers thrived this year and which were undone? Read on to find out </blockquote> Our end of year report reveals which car makers did well in the UK – and who could do better <div class="iframe-container-www-youtube-com"> <p>The final 2019 registration figure for new cars in the UK is expected to be close to 2.3 million, which would represent a 2.8% drop on 2018 and a fall of 14.6% from the 2016 peak of just under 2.7m.</p> <p>Another decline is expected in 2020, to 2.2m if the <a href="">Brexit</a> process goes relatively smoothly. If the chaos and indecision of 2019 gets worse in 2020, then a fall to 2.0m or below is entirely possible. For now, here's the good and bad news of 2019.</p> <p><strong><a href="">ALFA ROMEO</a>?- DOWN</strong></p> <ul> <li>2018 market share: 0.18%</li> <li>2019 market share: 0.15%</li> </ul> <p>Alfa Romeo’s long-heralded rebirth is proving hard to deliver. Once its <a href="">FCA owner is merged with PSA</a>, will the group sell Alfa to someone who thinks they can do a better job?</p> <p><strong><a href="">ASTON MARTIN</a>?- UP</strong></p> <ul> <li>2018 market share: 0.06%</li> <li>2019 market share: 0.07%</li> </ul> <p>Rarely has the future of a company depended so heavily on a single new model. If the <a href="">DBX</a> is a hit, Aston survives as an independent business. Otherwise, it could sink under the weight of its debts.</p> <p><strong><a href="">AUDI </a>- DOWN</strong></p> <ul> <li>2018 market share: 6.07%</li> <li>2019 market share: 6.02%</li> </ul> <p>For the second successive year, Audi has struggled to homologate engines for the first round of WLTP emissions tests. Now it faces the second round of WLTP: it promises to do better this time.</p> <p><a href=""><strong>BENTLEY?</strong></a></p> <ul> <li>2018 market share: 0.07%</li> <li>2019 market share: 0.07%</li> </ul> <p>The news that the <a href="">Bentayga</a> has failed to make much difference to Bentley sales is both good and bad news for Aston: it is a weak competitor, but it also shows that not every luxury SUV succeeds.</p> <p><strong><a href="">BMW</a> - DOWN</strong></p> <ul> <li>2018 market share: 7.27%</li> <li>2019 market share: 7.20%</li> </ul> <p>BMW’s slice of the market has been fairly steady this year, but increased variant availability of the <a href="">new 3 Series </a>might lead to a boost in 2020.</p> <p><strong><a href="">CITROEN</a>?- UP?</strong></p> <ul> <li>2018 market share: 2.10%</li> <li>2019 market share: 2.22%</li> </ul> <p>It has tried to pivot from <a href="">Picasso</a> MPVs to <a href="">Aircross</a> crossovers and renewed its comfort focus but success has been modest.</p> <p><strong><a href="">DACIA</a>?- UP?</strong></p> <ul> <li>2018 market share: 1.02%</li> <li>2019 market share: 1.32%</li> </ul> <p>The new <a href="">Duster</a> has led to a surge in market share. In a crowded small SUV market, the no-nonsense crossover really has a niche all to itself.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><strong><a href="">DS</a> - DOWN</strong></p> <ul> <li>2018 market share: 0.21%</li> <li>2019 market share: 0.18%</li> </ul> <p>DS’s shrill insistence that it is ‘premium’ is like a scandal-encrusted politician insisting that he has ‘integrity’: if you have to mention it, you probably don’t have it.</p> <p><strong><a href="">FERRARI</a>?- UP</strong></p> <ul> <li>2018 market share 0.04%</li> <li>2019 market share: 0.05%</li> </ul> <p>Ferrari doesn’t sell its cars so much as accept orders. The forthcoming crossover is an inevitability and should make Aston Martin concerned for the long-term appeal of the DBX.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="599" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><strong><a href="">FIAT</a>?- DOWN</strong></p> <ul> <li>2018 market share: 1.74%</li> <li>2019 market share: 1.45%</li> </ul> <p>Some 80% of Fiat’s sales are city cars. Yet Fiat recently said it wants to leave that segment and move sales to superminis, which it abandoned when it dropped the <a href="">Punto</a>. Go figure.</p> <p><strong><a href="">FORD</a>?- DOWN</strong></p> <ul> <li>2018 market share: 10.73%</li> <li>2019 market share: 10.23%</li> </ul> <p>If Ford is going to stay above a 10% share, the new <a href="">Puma</a> will have to be a big success – and do more than just steal sales off the similarly sized <a href="">Ecosport</a>.</p> <p><strong><a href="">HONDA</a>?- DOWN</strong></p> <ul> <li>2018 market share: 2.22%</li> <li>2019 market share: 1.90%</li> </ul> <p>Honda’s market share has taken a big hit from the fallout surrounding the<a href=""> closure of the Swindon factory</a>. The forthcoming<a href=""> E EV </a>has a huge task in trying to revitalise the brand.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><strong><a href="">HYUNDAI</a>?- DOWN</strong></p> <ul> <li>2018 market share: 3.80%</li> <li>2019 market share: 3.68%</li> </ul> <p>Hyundai has hit a rare bump in the road this year. Falling sales of the<a href=""> Santa Fe </a>(down 50%) suggest that non-premium large crossovers are becoming harder to sell.</p> <p><strong><a href="">JAGUAR</a>?- UP?</strong></p> <ul> <li>2018 market share: 1.56%</li> <li>2019 market share: 1.58%</li> </ul> <p>Jaguar crossovers, and particularly electric crossovers, are doing well and saloons are doing very badly. It is not difficult to see where the company’s future lies.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><strong><a href="">JEEP</a>?- UP</strong></p> <ul> <li>2018 market share 0.26%</li> <li>2019 market share: 0.27%</li> </ul> <p>The brand long synonymous with rugged off-roaders now makes almost all of its sales from small crossovers shared with Fiat. Think once-prestigious <a href="">Rover</a> rebadging the <a href="">Metro</a> as ‘<a href="">Rover 100</a>’.</p> <p><strong><a href="">KIA?</a>- UP</strong></p> <ul> <li>2018 market share 4.05%</li> <li>2019 market share: 4.27%</li> </ul> <p>If there is one model that epitomises Kia’s rise, it is the <a href="">Sportage</a>. It sells in almost identical numbers to the <a href="">Ford Kuga</a> and <a href="">VW Tiguan</a> and is far ahead of competitors from Vauxhall, Peugeot etc.</p> <p><strong><a href="">LAND ROVER</a>?- UP?</strong></p> <ul> <li>2018 market share: 3.29%</li> <li>2019 market share: 3.34%</li> </ul> <p>Land Rover is facing its first-ever sales flop: <a href="">Discovery 5 </a>sales have fallen by 43% in the past two years. The real successor to the <a href="">Discovery 4</a> may turn out to be the <a href="">new Defender</a>.</p> <p><strong><a href="">LEXUS</a>?- UP</strong></p> <ul> <li>2018 market share: 0.52%</li> <li>2019 market share: 0.69%</li> </ul> <p>Some 70% of Lexus’s sales are now crossovers, as the misconceived <a href="">CT hatch</a> is being allowed to fade away. The <a href="">new UX</a> is helping to achieve market growth for the brand.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><a href=""><strong>LOTUS</strong></a></p> <ul> <li>2018 market share: 0.01%</li> <li>2019 market share: 0.01%</li> </ul> <p>Its future looks brighter than it has done for 50 years – even though its sales performance resembles a 5W bulb.</p> <p><strong><a href="">MASERATI</a>?- DOWN</strong></p> <ul> <li>2018 market share: 0.05%</li> <li>2019 market share: 0.04%</li> </ul> <p>Maserati was supposed to become a Porsche competitor, selling 75,000 cars a year globally by 2018. It sold half of that last year and is now being outsold by Ferrari in the UK.</p> <p><strong><a href="">MAZDA</a>?- UP</strong></p> <ul> <li>2018 market share: 1.67%</li> <li>2019 market share: 1.75%</li> </ul> <p>The <a href="">CX-3</a> and <a href="">CX-5</a> crossovers are gradually increasing Mazda’s sales. This defiantly pro-combustion-engine company has finally decided that it needs to <a href="">offer an EV from 2021</a>.</p> <p><strong><a href="">MERCEDES-BENZ?</a>- UP</strong></p> <ul> <li>2018 market share: 7.28%</li> <li>2019 market share: 7.50%</li> </ul> <p>The <a href="">new A-Class</a> has consolidated Mercedes’ position as the leading German premium brand. Indeed, the A-Class is only a few thousand sales behind the <a href="">Ford Focus</a>.</p> <p><strong><a href="">MG</a> - UP</strong></p> <ul> <li>2018 market share: 0.38%</li> <li>2019 market share: 0.53%</li> </ul> <p>MG is making notable progress, having overtaken Jeep in the sales charts. The brand is not exactly mainstream yet, but its market share is not to be sniffed at.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><strong><a href="">MINI?</a>- DOWN</strong></p> <ul> <li>2018 market share: 2.83%</li> <li>2019 market share: 2.72%</li> </ul> <p>A modest 2019 but the big news is the <a href="">2020 electric Mini</a>. Few firms have a more suitable owner demographic for an EV.</p> <p><strong><a href="">MITSUBISHI</a>?- DOWN</strong></p> <ul> <li>2018 market share: 0.89%</li> <li>2019 market share: 0.71%</li> </ul> <p>In 2018, the <a href="">Outlander</a> lost access to the plug-in car grant, and in 2019, like Nissan and Renault the company had to deal with <a href="">the Carlos Ghosn affair</a>. Surely, it is due for a stroke of luck in 2020…</p> <p><strong><a href="">NISSAN?</a>- DOWN</strong></p> <ul> <li>2018 market share: 4.34%</li> <li>2019 market share: 4.03%</li> </ul> <p>The run-out <a href="">Mk1 Juke</a> has lost a lot of sales in the past couple of years. The <a href="">Qashqai</a> is also coming to the end of its life in the next 12 months, which means 2020 could be difficult even with a <a href="">new Juke</a>.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><strong><a href="">PEUGEOT</a>?- UP</strong></p> <ul> <li>2018 market share: 3.42%</li> <li>2019 market share: 3.47%</li> </ul> <p>Once the number four car brand in the UK, Peugeot has only one model (the <a href="">2008</a>) that makes the top five in its respective segment. All the others languish but the new 208 and 2008 aren’t on sale yet.</p> <p><strong><a href="">PORSCHE</a>?- UP</strong></p> <ul> <li>2018 market share: 0.53%</li> <li>2019 market share: 0.63%</li> </ul> <p>After WLTP-related emissions test problems earlier this year, Porsche is now back on track. At least the new <a href="">Taycan</a> won’t face that issue.</p> <p><strong><a href="">RENAULT</a>?- DOWN</strong></p> <ul> <li>2018 market share: 2.63%</li> <li>2019 market share: 2.52%</li> </ul> <p>The firm’s one bright spot in a lacklustre year is the <a href="">electric Zoe</a>. With sales up 50%, Renault is well placed for the growth in EVs.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="598" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><a href=""><strong>ROLLS-ROYCE</strong></a></p> <ul> <li>2018 market share 0.02%</li> <li>2019 market share: 0.02%</li> </ul> <p>So far, the <a href="">Cullinan</a> is making no more impact on Rolls-Royce sales than the Bentayga is making on Bentley figures.</p> <p><strong><a href="">SEAT</a>?- UP</strong></p> <ul> <li>2018 market share: 2.66%</li> <li>2019 market share: 3.01%</li> </ul> <p>Seat has been one of the big winners of the past couple of years: its range of three crossovers is doing extremely well. The brand smashed many of its regional sales records in 2019.</p> <p><strong><a href="">SKODA?</a>- UP</strong></p> <ul> <li>2018 market share: 3.16%</li> <li>2019 market share: 3.20%</li> </ul> <p>The driving characteristics of Skoda’s cars may be a little unexciting and worthy, but there is nothing dull about its long-term sales growth or profitability. The <a href="">new Scala hatchback</a> should keep up the momentum.</p> <p><strong><a href="">SMART</a>?- DOWN</strong></p> <ul> <li>2018 market share: 0.32%</li> <li>2019 market share: 0.18%</li> </ul> <p>Smart is being reinvented (or possibly disinterred) as an electric-only city car brand. That should be a boon in China.</p> <p><strong><a href="">SSANGYONG</a>?- DOWN</strong></p> <ul> <li>2018 market share: 0.12%</li> <li>2019 market share: 0.09%</li> </ul> <p>The UK business plan looked great on paper: the UK loves 4x4s; value ones doubly so. True, but just not <a href="">the ones that Ssangyong is trying to sell</a>, unfortunately.</p> <p><strong><a href="">SUBARU?</a>- DOWN</strong></p> <ul> <li>2018 market share: 0.13%</li> <li>2019 market share: 0.11%</li> </ul> <p>Americans buy almost 30 times more Subarus than we do – an incredible 680,000 last year. It makes you wonder why they bother with us ungrateful Brits.</p> <p><strong><a href="">SUZUKI?</a>- DOWN</strong></p> <ul> <li>2018 market share: 1.63%</li> <li>2019 market share: 1.49%</li> </ul> <p>Suzuki is a true maverick: a regional maker of small cars in a world of global, market-covering giants. The <a href="">Jimny’s</a> UK appeal is strong, but niche, while the rest of the range is falling out of favour.</p> <p><strong><a href="">TOYOTA</a>?- UP</strong></p> <ul> <li>2018 market share: 4.31%</li> <li>2019 market share: 4.65%</li> </ul> <p>Toyota makes a vast range of models, but a surprisingly small number succeed in the UK. The <a href="">GT86</a>, <a href="">Prius</a>, <a href="">Camry</a> and <a href="">Land Cruiser</a> contribute very little, and even the <a href="">RAV4</a> is a small player.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><strong><a href="">VAUXHALL</a>?- DOWN</strong></p> <ul> <li>2018 market share: 7.49%</li> <li>2019 market share: 7.10%</li> </ul> <p>Its crossovers are doing reasonable business, but the old stalwarts are dying on their feet: the <a href="">Astra</a> was down 20% and the <a href="">Insignia</a> fell 35%.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><strong><a href="">VOLKSWAGEN</a>?- UP</strong></p> <ul> <li>2018 market share: 8.58%</li> <li>2019 market share: 8.61%</li> </ul> <p>Now the clear number two in the UK. With a <a href="">new Golf imminent</a>, VW is getting within striking distance of Ford. VW to be the UK market leader in a couple of years? It is not impossible.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="610" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><strong><a href="">VOLVO?</a>- UP</strong></p> <ul> <li>2018 market share: 2.13%</li> <li>2019 market share: 2.42%</li> </ul> <p>We close this report with a heart-warming tale to start the new year. After losing its way in the 1990s, Volvo has finally re-emerged as the cool choice for those who find German brands a touch bombastic.</p> <p><strong>It was a good year to be selling...</strong></p> <p><strong>Battery electric vehicles: </strong>Still a niche, but market share more than doubled, from 0.6% to 1.5%. This year could be the one when they start to go mainstream.</p> <p><strong>Smallish crossovers:</strong> B-segment models like the Ecosport and C-segment models like the Qashqai were up approximately 5%.</p> <p><strong>Compact premium crossovers: </strong>Growth was 22%, helped by the new <a href="">XC40</a> and <a href="">Evoque</a>. The <a href="">Q2</a> now outsells the <a href="">A4</a>, and the <a href="">E-Pace </a>outsells the <a href="">XE</a> and <a href="">XF</a> combined.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="630" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><strong>It was a bad year to be selling...</strong></p> <p><strong>Anything made by <a href="">Fiat Chrysler Automobiles</a>: </strong>Fiat and Alfa were down 15% and Maserati dropped 20%. Jeep fell a moderate 6%, but only because its 2017 baseline was so low.</p> <p><strong>City cars:</strong> Sales dropped by 15% and car companies think <a href="">new CO2 targets will make these cars unviable </a>as they sell too cheaply to be electrified.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="599" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><strong>Sports cars and coupés: </strong>Their lowest share ever (1.3%) after sales fell 13%. ‘Sporty’ now means an SUV driving to a ski resort, not a roadster on a B-road.</p> <p><strong>David Francis</strong></p> <p><strong>READ MORE</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">Winners and losers in the 2019 UK car market so far</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">Winners and losers in the 2018 UK car market</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">The winners and losers in 2017's UK car market</a></strong></p> <p><iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> </div> News Tue, 31 Dec 2019 06:01:24 +0000 The statistics behind a decade of change in the car industry <a href="/car-news/industry/statistics-behind-decade-change-car-industry"><img src="" width="190" height="125" alt="Changan in China" /></a><blockquote class="image-field-caption"> Changan is one of many Chinese makers involved in China's car market boom</blockquote> We look back at how the sands have shifted in the car world over the past 10 years <div> <p>At the start of 2010, the car industry was in tumult. The global financial crisis had caused major firms – notably GM and Chrysler – to collapse, car sales were declining and China was best known for making copycat knock-offs.?</p> <p>As the decade draws to a close, many of those challenges seem trivial as the industry battles with the turmoil caused by Dieselgate, new emissions regulations and, in the UK, Brexit.?It hasn’t all been bad, though. Market changes have helped both premium and budget firms to thrive, the SUV boom has transformed a number of firms and cars are safer and greener than ever.?As the decade ends, here’s a snapshot of how the car industry has changed since 2010.?</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><em>*Until the end of November 2019</em></p> <p><strong>MAKING HEADLINES IN THE 2010s...</strong></p> <p><strong>Dieselgate</strong></p> <p>The 2015 revelation that <a href="/car-reviews/volkswagen">Volkswagen</a> Group brands had cheated emissions tests in the US rocked the industry, sparking a plummet in diesel sales that still continues. After a management clear-out, the Volkswagen Group has continued to thrive.?</p> <p><strong>Tesla</strong></p> <p>In 2010, <a href="/car-reviews/tesla">Tesla</a> was a small EV firm producing a niche <a href="/car-review/tesla/roadster-2008-2012">Roadster</a>. Led by Elon Musk, it has grown to become one of the industry’s most disruptive – and controversial – companies.?</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><strong>SUVs?</strong></p> <p>These high-riding models were popular in 2010 but sales have soared in the past decade. They now account for 40% of cars sold in Europe and car firms are still growing their SUV line-ups.?</p> <p><strong>China</strong></p> <p>Even with recent struggles, the Chinese car market boomed during the past decade, from around 13 million sales in 2010 to more than 23 million this year. And Chinese firms have been influential, too: Geely now owns thriving <a href="/car-reviews/volvo">Volvo</a> and <a href="/car-reviews/lotus">Lotus</a>.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><strong>TOP 10 CAR BRANDS BY MARKET?SHARE</strong></p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><em>*Until the end of November 2019</em></p> <p><strong>THE WINNERS AND LOSERS OF THE PAST DECADE</strong></p> <p>These figures are based on?UK market share growth from?2010 to 2019.?</p> <p><strong>GROWING</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="/car-reviews/mercedes-benz">Mercedes-Benz</a>?(+3.88%), <a href="/car-reviews/bmw">BMW</a> (+1.79) and <a href="/car-reviews/audi">Audi</a>?(+1.1%)</strong> The growth of contract hire deals has made offerings from premium firms attainable for a reasonable monthly rate, fuelling the growth of Germany’s big three.</p> <p><strong><a href="/car-reviews/kia">Kia</a>?(+1.55) and <a href="/car-reviews/hyundai">Hyundai</a> (+0.66%)</strong> The reputation of these two Korean brands has transformed in the past decade, from offering cars that are good value for money to cars that are just plain good.</p> <p><strong><a href="/car-reviews/jaguar">Jaguar</a>?(+0.77%) and <a href="/car-reviews/land-rover">Land Rover</a> (+1.47%)</strong> Jaguar Land Rover’s recent financial wobbles mask a decade of growth, fuelled by quality cars such as the <a href="/car-review/land-rover/range-rover-evoque">Range Rover Evoque</a> and <a href="/car-review/jaguar/f-pace">Jaguar F-Pace</a>.</p> <p><strong><a href="/car-reviews/seat">Seat</a>?(+1.35%) and <a href="/car-reviews/skoda">Skoda</a>?(+1.14%) </strong>VW Group synergies and the growth of SUVs has led to significant expansion for these two brands.</p> <p><strong><a href="/car-reviews/dacia">Dacia</a>?(+1.33%)</strong> Only launched in the UK in 2013, Renault’s budget sub-brand has carved out a decent market share thanks to the affordable <a href="/car-review/dacia/sandero">Sandero</a> and cult hit <a href="/car-review/dacia/duster">Duster</a>.?</p> <p><strong>SHRINKING</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="/car-reviews/vauxhall">Vauxhall</a> (-5.04%)</strong> Struggled in latter years of GM ownership, but fortunes - and range - are looking much improved since purchase by PSA Group in 2018.</p> <p><strong><a href="/car-reviews/ford">Ford</a>?(-3.59%)</strong> Ford is still the most popular manufacturer in the UK, thanks to the continued success of the <a href="/car-review/ford/fiesta">Fiesta</a> and <a href="/car-review/ford/focus">Focus</a> – but its market share has been eroded by the rising popularity of both budget and premium manufacturers.?</p> <p><strong><a href="/car-reviews/renault">Renault</a> (-2.17%), <a href="/car-reviews/peugeot">Peugeot</a> (-1.91%) and <a href="/vehicles/citroen">Citroen</a> (-1.36%)</strong> France’s top three car makers have lost ground to their German rivals over the past decade, but new models and recent efforts by all three to focus on design show their potential to stem the decline over the coming years.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><strong>READ MORE</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="/car-news/industry/news-review-what-happened-2019">News review: What happened in 2019</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="/car-news/industry/analysis-how-china-fuelling-volkswagens-electric-dream">Analysis: How China is fuelling Volkswagen's electric dream</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="/car-news/features/cars-autocar-team-bought-2019">The cars the Autocar team bought in 2019</a></strong></p> </div> News Tue, 31 Dec 2019 06:01:24 +0000 Richard Bremner's car of the decade: Tesla Model S <a href="/car-news/features/richard-bremners-car-decade-tesla-model-s"><img src="" width="190" height="125" alt="Tesla Model S - car of the decade - front" /></a> We asked leading Autocar writers to pick a favourite car of the last 10 years. Bremner is seduced by the industry-shifting EV <div class="iframe-container-www-youtube-com"> <p>This is the car that proved it possible for five to travel a long way in an electric car and not run out of juice. It made electric cars desirable in a way that they hadn’t been before, it made them fast – ludicrously so – made them fun. And the not always politic?activities of its energetic boss added colour to an entirely new kind of ride.</p> <p>There have been plenty of bumps in the road for <a href="">Tesla</a> and some for owners of the <a href="">Model S</a>, especially the early adopters. But when you consider that the Tesla brand did not exist before 2003, that it is now heading for its millionth sale, that it is known across most of the world and that it has, for the most part, an excellent reputation, its?achievement is astonishing. True, the company has yet to show a yearly profit – it recently surprised analysts with a quarterly profit – but it will probably get there, despite the shattering glass of its <a href="">bizarre new Cybertruck</a>.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>The Model S is astonishing too. First for its range, which,?<a href="">when Autocar tested the now-obsolete 85D</a>, was good for 220-250 miles - three times what the contemporary?<a href="">Nissan Leaf </a>could achieve. It could dispatch 60mph in 4.7sec and, still more impressively, bound from 50-70mph in a heartbeat. The Model S has evolved considerably since then to offer more performance, a longer?range and greater efficiency. Of course, it’s not a cheap car, being aimed straight at luxury models like the <a href="">Mercedes S Class</a>, but it’s about more than just range and performance. It can be had with one motor or two, two-wheel drive or four and the super-low location of its battery pack affords it the same centre of gravity as a <a href="">Lotus Elise</a>. So grip is plentiful, even if fails to serve the nuanced tactility of its European rivals. But its does deliver spa-like calm.</p> <p>The most calming factor in the Tesla offer is not the quietness of its drivetrain, however, but the fact that the company had the foresight to install an exclusive network of fastchargers to support its car, not merely in its native US but around the world. There are now over 14,000 of them. These, and an?above-average range, remove most of the usual EV anxieties.</p> <p>The Model S isn’t electric perfection. But it transformed the EV market, transformed luxury cars and even transformed the dashboard with its tablet presentation. And it has shown the way for the rest of the industry. Not bad for a start-up.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">Andrew Frankel's car of the decade: Alpine A110</a></strong></p> <p><a href=""><strong>Colin Goodwin's car of the decade: Formula E?</strong></a></p> <p><a href=""><strong>Steve Cropley's car of the decade: McLaren MP4-12C</strong></a></p> <p><span class="wysiwyg-embed"></p> <iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe><p></span></p> </div> News Tue, 31 Dec 2019 06:01:24 +0000 The Autocar long-term test awards 2019 <a href="/car-news/features/autocar-long-term-test-awards-2019"><img src="" width="190" height="125" alt="Jaguar I-Pace" /></a><blockquote class="image-field-caption"> The I-Pace was recognised for receiving the most attention </blockquote> The Autocar car park is home to some of the year’s most interesting and significant new cars. But which members of our long-term fleet impressed the most? <div class="iframe-container-www-youtube-com"> <p>Every vehicle in the Autocar long-term fleet is subject to an extended spell in our personal garages, to give us, and you, an understanding of what they're like to live with beyond the test drive.?</p> <p>Each performs well in some areas, and not so well in others, which makes for a diverse catalogue of entries into our 2019 long-term test awards. Whether it be as a load-lugging, do-it-all utility vehicle, or as an eye-catching B-road blaster, every car we've had in our car park this year stands a chance at success.</p> <p><span>But there's only so many prizes to win. Without further ado, here's the cars that scooped honours among our fleet this year.? ? ?</span></p> <h3>The B-Road B-eauty Award</h3> <p><strong>For the most fun car to drive</strong></p> <p><strong>Winner:</strong> <a href="">Ford Fiesta ST</a></p> <p><strong>Highly commended:</strong> <a href="">Mini Cooper S</a>, <a href="">McLaren 720S</a></p> <p>The Fiesta ST has long been our hot hatch of choice, and this latest version doesn’t disappoint. As news editor Lawrence Allan notes: “It might have been one of the cheapest cars on our fleet but, for sheer British B-road entertainment, nothing – not even the McLaren 720S – beats it.”</p> <p>Road test editor Matt Saunders called the Fiesta “the best pound-for-pound hot hatchback there is”, admitting that “I’d take one over a<a href=""> Focus ST</a>, frankly”.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="596" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>Editor-in-chief Steve Cropley admitted he nearly plumped for the Fiesta but was swayed by our Mini Cooper S “because I felt confident slinging it about in extreme situations”.</p> <p>The McLaren 720S may have missed out on the award to cheaper options but it still won the praise of several of the team. Andrew Frankel, who was lucky enough to run it, admitted it was a “kind of obvious choice”, before voting for the obvious choice. Obviously.</p> <p><a href=""><strong>Ford Fiesta long-term updates</strong></a></p> <h3>The Centre of Attention Award</h3> <p><strong>For the car that received the most stares from passers-by</strong></p> <p><strong>Winner:</strong> <a href="">Jaguar I-Pace</a></p> <p><strong>Highly commended: </strong>Bentley Continental, <a href="">Alpina B4 S</a></p> <p>This award seemed destined to be wafted away by our long-term Bentley Continental GT but, when the votes were counted up, Jaguar’s electric SUV snatched the coveted silverware.</p> <p>“It’s amazing how many people already know exactly what it is,’’ said Steve Cropley. Mark Tisshaw added that the I-Pace “is an absolute show-stopper. It has a kind of futuristic beauty to it, and on top of that it’s brilliant to drive.”</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>I voted for the I-Pace because it’s the first car I’ve driven home in since a <a href="">Mercedes-AMG C63</a> that the kids on my street have stopped to gawp at and talk to me about – which is some feat for what is ‘just another’ SUV.</p> <p>The Conti GT may have missed out on this award, but it did pick up plenty of votes. Rachel Burgess, who was only too pleased to take charge of it, justified her choice by simply saying: “Obviously.” Managing ed Damien Smith, who spends his days trying to make our words more succinct, succeeded by simply saying: “Obvs.” Er, totes.</p> <p><a href=""><strong>Jaguar I-Pace long-term updates</strong></a></p> <h3>The End of the Affair Special Award</h3> <p><b>Winner:?</b>Toyota Land Cruiser</p> <p>Our Toyota Land Cruiser wasn’t actually eligible for this year’s awards because it arrived on our fleet last year. But since Matt Prior racked up 38,000 miles in it, we felt it deserved a special send-off. Take it away, Matt.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="596" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>“I look at all the cars we ran throughout the year, and there are more exciting cars, more expensive cars and cars that are better to drive, but the compromises that some ask mean there’s not a single one I could have swapped into to cover the exact same 38,000 miles as I did in the Land Cruiser.”</p> <p><a href=""><strong>Toyota Land Cruiser long-term updates</strong></a></p> <h3>The Really Useful Feature Award</h3> <p><strong>For the most innovative/useful design feature, option or bit of in-car tech</strong></p> <p><strong>Winner: </strong>Bentley Continental GT rotating dash</p> <p><strong>Highly commended:</strong> <a href="">Kia e-Niro </a>range and mileage counter</p> <p>What does useful mean to you? Something that’s of use, right? Yet somehow, a significant number of the Autocar team think that our Bentley Continental GT’s rotating dashboard, which can flip a digital touchscreen around on itself to display an old-fashioned analogue clock, is somehow ‘of use’. Explain yourselves, people.</p> <p>Jim Holder admitted he was stretching useful “by about a million miles”, but added “the, ahem, security-minded rotating dash oozed Bond appeal and delighted children of all ages”. Rachel Burgess admitted it was “a bit of a gimmick but cool”, while Tom Morgan’s attempt to justify his vote was that it’s “one of the most satisfying bits of kit you’ll find on a car right now”.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>I remain unconvinced but will let the Conti’s party trick keep the crown, if only to prevent a new Brexit-like crisis of democracy.</p> <p>Still, bravo to those who nominated something actually useful: the Kia e-Niro’s near-300-mile range and surprisingly accurate mileage counter. Steve Cropley said: “It’s the only one of these I honestly believe you can trust. It’s very accurate.”</p> <p>Now that is genuinely useful. If only it rotated…</p> <p><a href=""><strong>Bentley Continental GT long-term updates</strong></a></p> <h3>The 'I'd Buy It' Award</h3> <p><strong>For the Car We'd Be Most Likely to Spend Our Own Money On</strong></p> <p><strong>Winner:</strong> Kia e-Niro and Ford Fiesta ST</p> <p><strong>Highly commended:</strong> <a href="">Honda CR-V Hybrid</a>, <a href="">Alpina B4 S</a></p> <p>The ultimate judge of a long-term test car is whether we’d actually be willing to buy one for ourselves, and two machines were well clear of the pack. In fact, we simply couldn’t split Ford’s fantastic hot hatch and Kia’s game-changing electric SUV in the vote, so they’re sharing the trophy.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>The e-Niro is perhaps the most usable, reasonably priced EV on the market today, with waiting lists still pushing a year. Steve Cropley said: “I should have bought our former longtermer. When these reach free supply, they’re going to be everywhere.”</p> <p>Jim Holder, who ran the e-Niro, added: “By the time the Kia left us, I was gutted to find that racking up miles had done absolutely nothing to diminish its value due to the currently limited supply.”</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>If the e-Niro won our hearts for making electric motoring truly viable and affordable, the Fiesta ST did so simply for being such good fun to drive. “You could use it every day and have an absolute ball while doing so,” said Simon Davis. “It’s a properly fantastic little car.”</p> <p>Andrew Frankel called it “the best real-world driver’s car here”.</p> <p><a href=""><strong>Kia e-Niro long-term updates</strong></a></p> <h3>The Keep On Motoring Award</h3> <p><strong>For the best car to take on a very, very long journey</strong></p> <p><strong>Winner: </strong>Bentley Continental GT</p> <p><strong>Highly commended: </strong><a href="">Range Rover Velar</a>, Alpina B4 S</p> <p>Given that it has ‘Grand Tourer’ in its name, our Bentley simply wouldn’t be denied in this category. Road tester Simon Davis praised it for being “plush, refined, beautifully engineered, powerful, comfortable – the list goes on”, but did add that you might want to “watch the fuel bill”.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="586" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>Andrew Frankel actually used a Conti GT (although not the one on our fleet) for a very long journey, and said: “After 15 countries in 24 hours, I can confirm it has the best seats in the world.”</p> <p>The Range Rover Velar took the runner-up spot, with Jim Holder noting that: “It hasn’t had the easiest ride since going on sale, with many people questioning its place in <a href="">Land Rover’s</a> line-up. None of those people questioning it was driving it on a long journey, however.”</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="675" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>Alpina’s extensively reworked <a href="">BMW</a> won praise from several including Tom Morgan. “It’s built for comfort but still able to reach 200mph on the autobahn,” he said.</p> <p><a href=""><strong>Bentley Continental GT long-term updates</strong></a></p> <h3>The Top Pick for the Top Trip</h3> <p><strong>For the car most suited to load-lugging</strong></p> <p><strong>Winner:</strong><span>?<a href="">Citro?n</a></span><a href=""> Berlingo</a></p> <p>H<strong>ighly commended:</strong> Range Rover Velar, Damien Smith's ageing <a href="">Ford S-Max</a></p> <p>No shock that the Berlingo walked this category given that, as Steve Cropley put it, it’s a “style-free but cheery box on wheels, with the softest ride going, a smooth engine and better steering than you’d believe”.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="675" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>Ace snapper <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer">Luc Lacey</a> was given custody of the Berlingo and found it had so much space, he was tempted to go out and buy extra photographic equipment to stash in the back. “It’s got handy compartments galore, tons of space and sliding side doors for easy access,” he enthused. It wasn’t just equipment, either: Luc has admitted to sleeping in the Berlingo on the odd camping trip.</p> <p>Mark Tisshaw nominated the Velar, saying: “Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a car for poseurs: it’s vast inside and can rough it in the real world like any Land Rover.”</p> <p>Meanwhile, Damien Smith insisted that when it came to tip trips, “nothing beats my old S-Max”. See, there is still a market for MPVs.</p> <p><a href=""><strong><span>Citro?n</span>?Berlingo?long-term updates</strong></a></p> <h3>The City Slicker Award</h3> <p><strong>For the best car to thread through congested places</strong></p> <p><strong>Winner:</strong> <a href="">BMW i3s</a></p> <p><strong>Highly commended:</strong> Jaguar I-Pace, Mini Cooper S</p> <p>BMW’s distinctive electric hatch dominated the voting here, thanks to its smooth, emissions-free running and excellent visibility. Deputy digital ed Tom Morgan, who ran the car, summed it up well: “Short overhangs, great forward visibility and a raised driving position make placing the i3s incredibly easy.” Road tester Ricky Lane added the torque-happy electric powertrain meant the car “goes like a whippet for gaps in traffic”.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="597" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>Jim Holder, Haymarket Automotive’s dark overlord (well, his business card reads ‘editorial director’), also highlighted how a “fancy spacious interior” helped boost its city car credentials.</p> <p>Only two other cars scored any votes in this category. The Mini Cooper S was a predictable choice because, well, it’s a <a href="">Mini</a>, but the Jaguar I-Pace? Matt Prior reasoned: “A massive SUV is the best city car there is, because a <a href="">Hyundai i10</a> is, as often as not, stuck just like you are, but you’re more comfortable.”</p> <p>Fair points, well made. We doff our cap to Mr Prior, as he sits there, comfortably stuck in traffic.</p> <p><strong><a href="">BMW i3s long-term updates</a>?</strong></p> <h3>Tales of the Unexpected Award</h3> <p><strong>For the car that surprised us most (for whatever reason)</strong></p> <p><strong>Winner: </strong><a href="">DS 7 Crossback</a></p> <p><strong>Highly commended:</strong> Kia e-Niro, <a href="">Peugeot 508</a></p> <p>Is it possible for a category about the car that surprised us to have a surprise winner? Or perhaps that’s the whole point. Either way, the DS 7 Crossback qualifies on all counts to take the class crown here. Jim Holder explained his vote: “On paper, these are Peugeot and Citro?n underpinnings dressed up in a fancy frock, but I found myself quite charmed once I was settled in. I enjoyed the difference.”</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>The premium-aping French charms of the big DS also won over Damien Smith. “I’m not a big fan of SUVs,” he admitted, “but apart from the raised ride height it felt much like a Peugeot 508 GT.”</p> <p>Editor Mark Tisshaw championed the Kia e-Niro, saying: “It really is brilliant – and not the kind of brilliant you feel obliged to qualify with ‘for a Kia’.</p> <p><a href=""><strong>DS 7 Crossback long-term updates</strong></a></p> <h3>The 'Pick your Own' Awards</h3> <p><strong>Other prizes we should hand out</strong></p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><strong>DS 7 Crossback, Mark Tisshaw</strong></p> <p>“The ‘have another go’ award, because it’s supposed to bring ‘Frenchness’ to the luxury car world à la Cartier and Chanel. Except it’s so far off those levels.”</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><strong>Peugeot 508, Steve Cropley</strong></p> <p>“Because it shows a saloon can still be stylish.”</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><strong>McLaren 720S, Andrew Frankel</strong></p> <p>“For being the most broadly defined and capable supercar yet invented."</p> <p><strong>READ MORE</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">What has Ford ever done for us?</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">New 2020 Ford Kuga: UK pricing and specs revealed</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">Exclusive: the future of Ford, according to its bosses</a></strong></p> <p><span class="wysiwyg-embed"></p> <iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe><p></span></p> </div> News Tue, 31 Dec 2019 06:01:24 +0000 Steve Cropley's car of the decade: McLaren MP4-12C <a href="/car-news/features/steve-cropleys-car-decade-mclaren-mp4-12c"><img src="" width="190" height="125" alt="McLaren 12C - car of the decade - lead" /></a> We asked leading Autocar writers to pick a favourite car of the last 10 years. Cropley sticks his name beside McLaren's first ever Super Series car <div class="iframe-container-www-youtube-com"> <p>The story of this car, and especially of the company that made it, could hardly fit more neatly into the decade just ended. Back in 2010, <a href="">McLaren Automobiles</a> was reconstituted from the “dormant” McLaren Cars that had produced the seminal F1 in 1992 and then gone very quiet, apart from a brief flurry with <a href="">Mercedes-Benz </a>around the good but flawed <a href="">SLR</a>.</p> <p>Company doyen Ron Dennis got serious about a road car arm, McLaren Automotive, at the start of the decade, hiring the much-experienced engineer and car-nut Antony Sheriff to create a carbon-tub supercar and get it on the road. Sheriff’s <a href="">McLaren MP4-12C</a>, the first ever Super Series car, is my choice here.</p> <p>Dennis talked from the beginning in interviews about about producing a range of cars –?and look at the range that has emerged in ten years! There is upwards of a dozen models, depending how you count. Nowadays McLarens are classified in four classes: Sports series, Super series, Ultimate series and race cars. However, my COTD here is the original MP4-12C (soon shortened just to 12C).</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>The car’s faults are well known, but also, now that I look back, rather over-egged. The 12C had some deeply annoying infotainment and electronics?faults, and sometimes its early “touch” door catches didn’t work. The name was weird, too, especially since nobody ever seemed to understand the use of that figure “12” in the name of a?V8 car. Sheriff having departed, a new production and quality expert, Mike Flewitt, arrived to right the wrongs – for which he was rightly elevated to CEO – and the 12C’s name was changed to 650S as a way of moving on from the 12C’s over-publicised glitches.</p> <p>Yet in retrospect, this car’s achievements have been amazing. It has pioneered the dimensions, build techniques, powertrain and the mechanical layout of every McLaren that has succeeded it. Sure, later mainstream models have been more refined, but quite a few well-heeled 12C owners have kept their original Macca when buying a new one, because they like the original too much to sell.</p> <p>My own view is that the 12C looks especially good against its rivals today.?The 12C still steers beautifully,?<span>its interconnected suspension affords it an</span><span>?</span><span>extraordinary ride quality, it?</span><span>grips like one of its 2019 relatives and still packs explosive performance and superlative braking. The 2010-era twin-turbo V8 engine, then as now made by Ricardo, is still so powerful and efficient that it’s not entirely clear why they changed it.</span></p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>Finally, the 12C looks beautiful to me – restrained in its details and superbly proportioned even though it was a first attempt – and despite having the more sophisticated suspension, it’s the most affordable – and yet the rarest – McLaren going.</p> <p>For me, the McLaren MP4-12C says a great deal about the decade just past: brilliant, but bypassed. We live in an era that demands a speed of change that, back in the 1960s, might even have deprived the<a href=""> Jaguar E-type</a> of some of its time in the sun. The 12C is a fabulous, seminal car that too many of us have already forgotten.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">Andrew Frankel's car of the decade: Alpine A110</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">Colin Goodwin's car of the decade: Formula E</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">Richard Bremner's car of the decade: Tesla Model S</a></strong></p> <p><span class="wysiwyg-embed"></p> <iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe><p></span></p> </div> News Mon, 30 Dec 2019 06:01:22 +0000 Used car buying guide: Alfa Romeo 156 <a href="/car-news/used-cars/used-car-buying-guide-alfa-romeo-156"><img src="" width="190" height="125" alt="Alfa Romeo 156" title="Alfa Romeo 156" /></a><blockquote class="image-field-caption"> 156 GTA Evoluzione: For around £4000, Extreme Autos would sharpen up your GTA with a new Eibach suspension kit and a touch more power</blockquote> The Alfa 156 is a second-hand starlet with a terrible reputation for reliability. We tread through the minefield of potential ownership <div class="iframe-container-www-youtube-com"> <p>The beautiful <a href="">Alfa 156</a> was 21 this year. Around 6000 remain – a remarkably high number given the model has endured both the scrappage massacre of 2009 and, since 2015, the demonisation of old diesels. A third assailant is, of course, corrosion; a more subtle enemy that sees rust sneak up undetected until, one day, you get in the car and your foot plunges through the floorpan.</p> <p>The model was hugely popular with Alfistis but the German-buying crowd were never won over. Alfa’s reputation for unreliability hung over the 156 like a cloud. Save for a few bright spots (one owner gleefully reported 12,000 trouble-free miles in his Selespeed car), it was deserved.</p> <p>Time and again, reliability surveys ranked the model in the basement. Warranty companies bemoaned its high repair costs. After a couple of years picking up the tab for prematurely broken cambelts and tensioners on Twin Spark engines, Alfa cut the components’ replacement interval by half, to 36,000 miles. It did the same with diesels. Recalls? Best not go there.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="591" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>So make that a fourth assault on the 156. The good news is that the examples that have survived their reliability issues are likely to be fairly sound. In any case, if trouble should recur, well, with prices starting at just £500 for a dodgy 2.4 JTD and from around £1200 for tidier cars, you won’t have lost your shirt.</p> <p>The 156 was launched in 1998 in 1.8 and 2.0-litre Twin Spark (there are two spark plugs per cylinder) and 2.5 V6 forms. A year later, the gruff but punchy 2.4 JTD diesel arrived.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="591" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>Optional Selespeed automatic versions of the 2.0 TS had change buttons on the steering wheel, which was cool. The 2.5 V6 was available with a four-speed auto called Q-System, which featured a traditional auto function plus an H-pattern manual change. Three so-called Sport packs brought extra kit, but Sport 1, with its lower-profile tyres and sports suspension, was the most cost-effective.</p> <p>The arrival of the 1.6 TS in 2000 triggered a range-wide price cut. A facelift two years later introduced a mix of desirable standard and optional features including a Bose sound system and xenon headlights, while the Selespeed buttons were replaced by paddles. More importantly, though, the impressive 2.0 TS was replaced by the new (and less impressive) 2.0 JTS engine with direct injection, the 2.4 JTD got a touch more power and the mighty 3.2 V6 GTA landed. With 247bhp on tap, this version should have shaken the trees but it was a flawed diamond and today is one of the few used cars that’s worth a premium when expertly modified and sharpened up.</p> <p>With the final facelift of 2003, the 156’s nose was restyled in line with the next generation of Alfas and the excellent 1.9 TD engine arrived. And then, in 2005, it was game over. Today, the 1.9 TD, 2.0 TS and 3.2 GTA are the versions to buy, but be sure you check those floorpans.</p> <p><strong>How to get one in your garage</strong></p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="591" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><strong>An expert's view</strong></p> <p><strong>Jamie Porter, Alfa Workshop: </strong>“The 156 was a superb car and people forget it was pretty advanced. The 2.0 JTS engine had direct injection while the 2.4 JTD was the first common-rail passenger car diesel engine. My favourites are the 2.0-litre Twin Spark, 1.9 TD and 3.2 GTA. The rest you can forget. The 2.0 JTS was unreliable and suffered emissions problems, the 2.4 JTD was too heavy and not very economical, and the 1.6 and 1.8 TSs didn’t really catch on. The 2.5 V6 wasn’t very fast but it was thirsty, and the car itself was too soft. Today, rust is the biggest issue. The platform fares worst so always get a prospective buy on a ramp and poke about under it.”</p> <p><strong>Buyer beware...</strong></p> <p><strong>■ Engines:</strong> On petrols, the cambelt and water pump should be changed at 36,000 miles. On the GTA, a rubbing sound may be the cambelt fouling the cam covers. A lack of power or poor idling is likely to be the air flow meter, which lasts around 70,000 miles. On diesels, cambelts should be changed at 60k miles. A seized water pump bearing will take out the cambelt, wrecking the engine. A sticking EGR valve can be an issue on 1.9 TDs. Check for oil smoke. Check the JTD’s sump isn’t cracked.</p> <p><strong>■ Transmission: </strong>Feel for worn synchros and listen for worn bearings in the gearbox end case. A high biting point on the pedal plus a heavy action mean a worn clutch. On diesels, a clunk as you let out the clutch is likely to be the dual-mass flywheel.</p> <p><strong>■ Suspension:</strong> A creak coming from behind the dashboard may be worn upper wishbone ends. Check the rear suspension rear arm bushes and rear radius arm bushes for wear. Uneven tyre wear (toeing out is common) is likely to be a geometry issue or wear in the upper top wishbones.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="591" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><strong>■ Body: </strong>Rust eclipses all else; floorpans suffer worst. Check front and rear subframes. Expect accident repairs but check they’re not a source of more rust.</p> <p><strong>■ Interior: </strong>On starting, check that the three warning lights – engine, ABS and airbag – go out. If the rear windows don’t operate, suspect lack of use.</p> <p><strong>Also worth knowing</strong></p> <p>Suspension squeaks bedevil the 156. Perished bushes are often to blame. Replacing them with polyurethane items such as those sold by Powerflex will not only cure the problem but also tighten up the handling. Make sure they’re fitted properly and then lubricate the area at intervals to keep corrosion at bay.</p> <p><strong>How much to spend</strong></p> <p><strong>£250-£999: </strong>Mixed bag of mainly JTDs, some in tidy condition.</p> <p><strong>£1000-£2999: </strong>Some 2.0 TSs but mostly JTS versions, including a 2003-reg JTS Lusso with 69,000 miles and full service history for £1995.</p> <p><strong>£3000-£4999:</strong> Tidier cars, including a 1998-reg 2.5 V6 with 47,000 miles, full service history and a belt change for £4995.</p> <p><strong>£5000-£17,000:</strong> GTAs start here, among the cheapest a 2002-reg with 104,000 miles for £5950. Others include a 2002-reg with 80,000 miles and full service history for £9995.</p> <p><strong>One we found</strong></p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="553" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><strong>Alfa Romeo 156 2.0 TS Veloce, 2002/51-reg, 74,000 miles, £1190:</strong> What appears to be a tidy 156 with a reasonable mileage and, amazingly, just one previous owner. A shame the service history is only partial, but body and interior both described as ‘excellent’, which is the main thing.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">Alfa Romeo scraps plans for new GTV and 8C models</a>?</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">New Alfa Romeo Tonale: 2020 production car leaks online</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">Alfa Romeo Giulia review</a></strong></p> <p><span class="wysiwyg-embed"></p> <iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe><p></span></p> </div> News Mon, 30 Dec 2019 06:01:22 +0000 How did Autocar's 2019 predictions fare? <a href="/car-news/features/how-did-autocars-2019-predictions-fare"><img src="" width="190" height="125" alt="Land Rover Defender" title="Land Rover Defender" /></a><blockquote class="image-field-caption"> New Defender, a long time coming, divided opinion</blockquote> In January, we guessed what would happen in 2019. We take stock <div class="iframe-container-www-youtube-com"> <p>Back in January, we took the foolhardy step of predicting what would happen in the car industry in 2019.</p> <p>We tried to forecast the key events and trends that would shape the motoring world, covering topics as diverse as the <a href="">new Land Rover Defender’s</a> styling, Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 title chances and – inevitably – Brexit.</p> <p>With the year winding down, it’s time to look back and see whether our predictions were on the (crystal) ball.</p> <p><strong>Jaguar Land Rover</strong></p> <p>The long-awaited new Land Rover Defender was <a href="">launched this year</a>. You may have heard already. It was, after all, one of the biggest reveals of 2019 – and the biggest from JLR for several years.</p> <p>With the firm set on reinventing the Defender for the modern era, we predicted that “the new Land Rover Defender’s design will make Brexit debates seem mild”. That was true (up to a point): everyone seems to have an opinion on it, from those who think it’s a glorious reinvention to others who insist it’s an unworthy pastiche.</p> <p>We also suggested the Defender might break our website from sheer number of readers: thankfully, <a href=""></a> stayed functioning on the big day (thanks, tech team), although you did try: the Defender was the most-read-about car of 2019.</p> <p>We also tipped a comeback for <a href="">Jaguar Land Rover</a>, reasoning it had a “series of enticing, rule-changing cars to launch this year and next”. Given JLR’s <a href="">ongoing financial struggles</a>, including having to massively write down its assets, it’s a bit of a stretch to say the comeback is on, but <a href="">there are signs of recovery</a>. It is investing in new models, and the likes of the bold new electric-only Jaguar XJ show there are some exciting innovations, too.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><strong>The UK industry</strong></p> <p>“Will 2019 be the year that a major car plant shuts in the UK?” There’s no prediction about which we would rather have been wrong, but <a href="">Honda</a> announced <a href="">plans to close its Swindon factory</a>, while <a href="">Ford</a> is shutting its <a href="">Bridgend engine facility</a>.</p> <p>The future of <a href="">Nissan’s Sunderland plant</a> remains the subject of much speculation, but while the firm <a href="">moved production of the next X-Trail to Japan</a>, it is making the <a href="">new Juke</a> here and investing £100 million in upgrades. Brexit continues to cloud the long-term picture – as it does for <a href="">Vauxhall’s</a> Ellesmere Port site.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="470" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>One of our correct predictions was better news for Bridgend: <a href="">Ineos</a> will assemble its new Defender-inspired <a href="">Grenadier</a> off-roader in the south Wales town.</p> <p>More broadly, we predicted an upsurge in car firms partnering up on future tech. And whether it was <a href="">Mercedes</a> and <a href="">BMW</a>, BMW and Jaguar Land Rover, <a href="">Volkswagen</a> and Ford, or <a href="">Toyota</a> and just about every other Japanese firm, that certainly proved true.</p> <p><strong>Sales predictions</strong></p> <p>Given we knew in January that the <a href="">Kia e-Niro</a>, <a href="">Volkswagen ID 3</a>, <a href="">Porsche Taycan</a>, <a href="">Peugeot e-208 </a>and more would be launched during the year, it wasn’t much of a leap for us to proclaim that “2019 will be an electric year”.</p> <p>Even so, the extent of the electric car market’s growth has been impressive: sales more than doubled in the UK year on year, and the quality of the new machines that are being launched is hugely impressive.</p> <p>Conversely, we correctly predicted that 2019 would be a tough year for plug-in hybrids, with UK sales collapsing by nearly 30% following the withdrawal of incentivising government grants.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="553" src="" width="830" /></p> <p>While we were pessimistic about plug-ins, we held out optimism for a diesel revival, predicting a sales lift “once the penny drops that, under new emissions regulations, the latest diesels produce cleaner real-world exhaust emissions than older petrol cars”.</p> <p>Not so much: in the UK, diesel sales slumped more than 20% this year. We’ll keep on making a case for diesel as a sensible powertrain choice in the right circumstances, but it seems the court of public opinion may have already decided.</p> <p><strong>Motorsport</strong></p> <p>It wasn’t much of a stretch to predict Lewis Hamilton would win a sixth world championship title, although the ease with which the Mercedes man secured the crown still impressed.</p> <p>We tipped Max Verstappen to be his closest challenger, and while<a href=""> Red Bull </a>couldn’t mount a consistent title bid, the Dutchman did take a number of thrilling wins. We also suggested that <a href="">Ferrari</a> new boy Charles Leclerc would pose a threat to team-mate Sebastian Vettel – but we didn’t expect the Monaco driver to upstage the four-time champion quite so comprehensively.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>Away from F1, we tipped the <a href="">Volkswagen ID R</a> to break another record. In fact it set three, with Romain Dumas smashing the electric Nürburgring record, conquering Tianmen Shan mountain in China and breaking the outright Goodwood hillclimb record.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="545" src="" width="818" /></p> <p>Our suggestion that Kris Meeke would fight for the World Rally Championship title didn’t look quite so smart – although his Toyota team-mate Ott T?nak did win the title.</p> <p>But perhaps our worst prediction of the year was that Fernando Alonso would win the Indianapolis 500 for <a href="">McLaren</a>. He, erm, failed to qualify.</p> <p><strong>Other predictions</strong></p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="599" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><a href=""><strong>Dyson</strong></a></p> <p><strong>What we said: </strong>“James Dyson will spark a revolution.”</p> <p><strong>What happened:</strong> <a href="">Patent suggested</a> Dyson’s long-planned car certainly could prove radical… until the project was suddenly – and sadly – canned in October.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="575" src="" width="863" /></p> <p><a href=""><strong>Tesla</strong></a></p> <p><strong>What we said:</strong> “Tesla will be bought.”</p> <p><strong>What happened:</strong> Plenty of <a href="">Tesla Model 3s</a> were bought, but the company continues on independently – and increasingly successfully.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="599" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><a href=""><strong>TVR</strong></a></p> <p><strong>What we said: </strong>“I’ll be amazed if a TVR customer takes delivery in 2019.”</p> <p><strong>What happened:</strong> Correct: work on the firm’s factory was heavily delayed.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="599" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><a href=""><strong>Vauxhall</strong></a></p> <p><strong>We said: </strong>“Vauxhall will continue to bounce back.”</p> <p><strong>What happened:</strong> Still early days, but the <a href="">new Corsa</a> has attracted more admiring glances than anything the firm has produced in years.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="596" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><a href=""><strong>Brexit</strong></a></p> <p><strong>What we said:</strong> “Trying to predict Brexit is an impossible task.”</p> <p><strong>What happened:</strong> Trying to predict Brexit was an impossible task.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE</strong></p> <p><strong><span><a href="">Why Jaguar Land Rover is back in profit</a></span></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">Hamilton behind the helmet: A study of an F1 icon</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">How car firms will alter their prices post-Brexit</a>?</strong></p> <p><span class="wysiwyg-embed"></p> <iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe><p></span></p> </div> News Mon, 30 Dec 2019 06:01:22 +0000 Under the skin: Why electric superchargers are gaining ground <a href="/opinion/technology/under-skin-why-electric-superchargers-are-gaining-ground"><img src="" width="190" height="125" alt="Electric supercharger" title="Electric supercharger" /></a><blockquote class="image-field-caption"> Electric superchargers are becoming more common as a way to kill lag and help emissions</blockquote> Cutting out turbo lag is a big reason that Audi and other manufacturers introduced the new tech <div class="iframe-container-www-youtube-com"> <p>It's always good to try early prototypes of new technology, because although some fall by the wayside, plenty don’t. One such clever device is the electrically powered supercharger, generally used in conjunction with a traditional turbocharger to banish turbo lag, initially on diesel engines but now on petrol, too.</p> <p>With the current trend towards down-speeding of engines (lower revs to reduce friction losses), they’re even more relevant. Low revs equal reduced exhaust energy – worse on diesels because the exhaust is cooler in the first place. The trend to engine downsizing has a similar effect.</p> <p>One of the first major manufacturers out of the traps with production electric supercharging was <a href="">Audi</a>, which showed a prototype <a href="">A6</a> with an electric supercharger system in 2013. Positioned between the turbo and engine, the electric supercharger was bypassed most of the time until the engine management system detected exhaust pressure was too low to deliver decent response from the turbo. At that point, valves in the exhaust would open to bring the electric supercharger on stream, giving almost instantaneous boost.</p> <p>It was pretty cool and the engineer riding shotgun could switch the system on and off to show how laggy the engine felt without the electrical assistance. At the time, the 48V system needed to drive the compressor motor was still a few years off, but now electric superchargers are in production with several manufacturers, including Audi, <a href="">Mercedes-Benz</a> and, as of earlier in 2019, <a href="">Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) </a>with a new straight six petrol Ingenium engine.</p> <p>Audi’s system positions the electric supercharger close to the engine intake and downstream of the intercooler. The charge air isn’t cooled, but on the <a href="">SQ5</a>, for example, it makes only 1.4 bar of boost, the compressor instantly spooling to 65,000rpm when it’s needed. Beyond that, the conventional turbo takes over and the electric supercharger is dialled out of the equation with valves and turned off. On bigger engines, the spec gets busier and more expensive, the <a href="">SQ8</a> getting an electric booster in addition to its bi-turbos.</p> <p>There’s yet to be an example of electric supercharging on small-capacity engines of, say, 1.0-litre or less in production. That’s not to say the idea of extreme downsizing hasn’t been explored, though.</p> <p>The Hyboost project masterminded by a consortium including <a href="">Ricardo</a> and <a href="">Ford</a> a few years ago did just that, aiming to emulate the power, torque and drivability of a baseline <a href="">Focus</a> 2.0-litre model using a 1.0-litre Ecoboost engine. So, too, did the Ultraboost with Supergen project in which both JLR and <a href="">Lotus</a> Engineering were involved. The aim there was to produce the power and drivability of a 5.0-litre V8 from a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine. The Hyboost project used the electric supercharger in the normal way, but also for “exhaust energy recapture by electric turbo-compounding”, which means using the turbo as an exhaust-driven generator to convert unwanted heat energy in the exhaust into electricity to be stored in the battery.</p> <p><strong>1400bhp from 1.5 litres</strong></p> <p>Probably the best examples of making huge power from a small engine were the 1.5-litre <a href="">BMW</a> M12 and M13 engines of the Formula 1 turbo era in the 1980s. Boosting with a colossal turbocharger to 5.5 bar, BWW eventually extracted 1400bhp using a single turbo (933bhp per litre). It was ragged-edge stuff. Engineers at BMW Motorsport’s engine shop in Munich at the time kept a demolished engine block as a trophy, taken from Nelson Piquet’s <a href="">Brabham BT53</a> after the engine had exploded.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><strong>READ MORE</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">Under the skin: Why mix and match is a good idea for electric powertrains</a>?</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">Under the skin: How Tesla is making cars think like humans</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">Under the skin: The hidden technology of brakes</a></strong></p> <p><span class="wysiwyg-embed"></p> <iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe><p></span></p> </div> Opinion Mon, 30 Dec 2019 00:01:23 +0000 Mercedes-AMG GT 73 plug-in hybrid teased in new video <a href="/car-news/new-cars/mercedes-amg-gt-73-plug-hybrid-teased-new-video"><img src="" width="190" height="125" alt="Mercedes-AMG GT 73 prototype" title="Mercedes-AMG GT 73 prototype" /></a><blockquote class="image-field-caption"> The Mercedes-AMG GT 73 prototype, as pictured in the company's new video</blockquote> Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid rival expected to have over 800bhp when it arrives in 2020 <div class="iframe-container-www-youtube-com iframe-container-www-youtube-com"> <p>The upcoming <a href="">Mercedes-AMG GT 73</a> has been previewed in prototype form in a video clip, giving us our first glimpse of the most powerful?4-door GT car yet launched?in motion.</p> <p>The GT 73 is reportedly based on the <a href="">2017 AMG GT Concept </a>and will supplant the <a href="">GT 63 S</a> as the range-topping model in the lineup. The new video also confirms expectations that the model will be a hybrid.?</p> <p>Following the example of the concept, the new variant looks set to receive a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine with an electric motor on the front axle.</p> <p>A whirring sound?emitted by the car as it speeds away from the camera seemingly confirms its powertrain, suggesting it will arrive as?a plug-in hybrid.</p> <p><iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>Between them, the V8 and electric motors?will allegedly produce north of 800bhp - considerably more than the GT 63 S’s 630bhp, and that of the 671bhp <a href="">Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid</a>.</p> <p>Power is expected to be transmitted to all four wheels via the same?nine-speed automatic gearbox?as the GT 63 S, while accelerating from 0-62mph should take less than 3.0 seconds.</p> <p>The new model is also expected to be the most economical - on paper at least - in the lineup, with an expected electric-only range of about 31 miles.</p> <p>While <a href="">Mercedes</a> has confirmed that the GT 73 will be launched in 2020, the exact date has yet to be specified. The <a href="">Geneva International Motor Show</a> in March, however, would be a natural time?for the debut.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">800bhp+ hybrid Mercedes-AMG GT 73 4-door Coupe coming in 2020</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">Mercedes downplays 75% AMG range restriction claims</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">Matt Saunders' car of the decade: Mercedes-Benz C-Class</a></strong></p> <p><span class="wysiwyg-embed"></p> <iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe><p></span></p> </div> News Sun, 29 Dec 2019 14:40:56 +0000 Autocar's 10 most-read news stories of 2019 <a href="/car-news/features/autocars-10-most-read-news-stories-2019"><img src="" width="190" height="125" alt="Autocar top stories of 2019" /></a> Icons reborn, bold new projects launched and industry-shaking rumours – this is Autocar's year in news <div class="iframe-container-www-youtube-com"> <p>It's not been a quiet year for the automotive industry. The big topic of 2019 was, perhaps inevitably, the electrification of most mainstream manufacturers' line-ups, but there were?plenty of combustion-flavoured industry developments, as well.?</p> <p>This year gave us our first look at <a href="">Land Rover's</a> long-awaited <a href="">new Defender</a>, the eighth iteration of <a href="">Volkswagen's</a> segment-leading <a href="">Golf</a>, <a href="">Porsche's</a> first electric car and tonnes of other important new models, but we also got an idea of what?to?expect from other manufacturers in the years to come. Take a look at the hottest stories from the last twelve months:</p> <p><strong>10. <a href="">Mazda</a> could revive RX sports car lineage</strong></p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="596" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>Speculation that Mazda could revive its line of rotary-powered sports cars was fuelled in September, when details emerged of an <a href="/car-news/new-cars/mazda-developing-‘rx-9’-sports-car-new-patent-suggests">unmistakably performance-oriented chassis patent </a>the company had filed. Two months later, the company’s R&D boss told Autocar that rotary technology being developed for use in the firm’s new range of hybrids could soon find its way into a sporty successor to the legendary <a href="">RX-7</a> and <a href="">RX-8</a> coupes. One obstacle is the relative inefficiency of a rotary motor, but electrified powertrain trials will help Mazda to confirm the technology’s production viability.</p> <p><a href="/car-news/new-cars/mazda-rx-9-hopes-boosted-new-rotary-engine-technology"><strong>Mazda RX-9 hopes boosted by new rotary-engine technology</strong></a></p> <p><strong>9. <a href="">Nissan 370Z</a> and <a href="">GT-R</a> could go electric</strong></p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="596" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>Nissan’s 370Z and GT-R sports cars are longer in the tooth than most other production cars on sale today, but a conversation with the firm’s product planning boss at the <a href="/car-news/tokyo-motor-show">Tokyo motor show</a> revealed that the pair could be electrified for their second coming. The firm acknowledges that the extra weight of an electric powertrain could be a threat to the cars’ dynamic qualities, but strongly hinted that work is underway to develop a well-balanced formula.?</p> <p><a href="/car-news/motor-shows-tokyo-motor-show/nissan-committed-replacing-370z-and-gt-r"><strong>Nissan committed to replacing 370Z and GT-R</strong></a></p> <p><strong>8. Volkswagen reveals eighth-generation Golf</strong></p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="596" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>The <a href="/car-review/volkswagen/golf/first-drives/volkswagen-golf-2020-review">eighth-generation Golf</a> places a higher emphasis on technological advancement and refinement than any previous iteration of the 40-year-old hatch. The <a href="/car-review/ford/focus">Ford Focus</a> rival now offers a range of mild hybrid powertrain options, an overhauled digital cockpit and enhanced connectivity functions. The most powerful model from launch is the 241bhp GTE plug-in hybrid, but a 286bhp GTI variant will arrive in 2020, followed later by a <a href="">Mercedes-AMG A45</a>-baiting ‘R Plus’ with up to 400bhp.</p> <p><a href="/car-news/new-cars/2020-volkswagen-golf-pictures-performance-on-sale-date"><strong>New 2020 Volkswagen Golf gains mild hybrid engines, new technology</strong></a></p> <p><strong>7. 2021 <a href="">Range Rover</a> to pack <a href="">BMW </a>V8</strong></p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="596" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>Prototypes of<a href="/car-review/land-rover-range-rover"> Land Rover’s reinvented flagship</a> have hit the roads ahead of an unveiling in 2021, and our sources tell us there’s a BMW-derived 4.4-litre V8 packed into its familiar front end. It’s not the first time the luxury 4x4 has looked to Munich for motivation, but it’s likely to be the first production model to emerge from a new technological partnership between the British and German firms.</p> <p><a href="/car-news/new-cars/new-range-rover-2021"><strong>New 2021 Range Rover spotted with BMW V8 engine</strong></a></p> <p><strong>6. <a href="">Bentley</a> launches all-new <a href="">Flying Spur</a></strong></p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="596" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>The third-generation Bentley Flying Spur represents a “quantum leap in technology, performance and innovation” over its predecessor, according to the people who made it. The figures are certainly interesting; there’s a 207mph top speed for example, a sub-4.0 second 0-62mph time, a 626bhp and, perhaps most amazingly, a 2.4-tonne kerbweight. Something to keep the <a href="/car-review/rolls-royce/ghost">Rolls-Royce Ghost</a> up at night, then.?</p> <p><a href="/car-news/motor-shows-goodwood-festival-speed/new-bentley-flying-spur-207mph-luxury-sports-saloon"><strong>New Bentley Flying Spur: 207mph luxury sports saloon breaks cover</strong></a></p> <p><strong>5. Porsche reveals new <a href="">Taycan EV</a></strong></p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="596" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>The unveiling of Porsche’s first electric car was always going to attract a crowd. The four-door performance EV is unmistakably related to the <a href="/car-review/porsche/911">911</a> and <a href="/car-review/porsche/718-boxster">718</a> in its design, and promises of class-leading acceleration and handling were music to the driving enthusiast’s ears. We’ve <a href="">now driven the Taycan</a> in each of its available guises, and are no less confident that this has the potential to be one of the most capable electric cars in the world.?</p> <p><a href="/car-news/new-cars/porsche-taycan-specs-sale-date-performance"><strong>New Porsche Taycan 'set to rewrite performance EV benchmarks'</strong></a></p> <p><strong>4. <a href="">Ford Capri</a> could return</strong></p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="596" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>Could <a href="/car-reviews/ford">Ford</a> bring back the Capri after a 33-year absence? According to the firm’s European design boss, the dream of resurrecting ‘Europe’s <a href="/car-review/ford/mustang">Mustang</a>’ is alive and well, with the likelihood of such a move bolstered by the recent revival of the <a href="">Puma</a> name. It’s not yet known what form a modern Capri could take, but <a href="/car-news/features/back-popular-demand-reinventing-ford-capri">Autocar’s own interpretation</a> blends styling cues from the first-gen model with up-to-date flourishes, and rides significantly higher than the low-slung original.?</p> <p><a href="/car-news/new-cars/ford-capri-could-still-be-revived-says-design-boss"><strong>Ford Capri could still be revived, says design boss</strong></a></p> <p><strong>3. New <a href="">Jaguar F-Type</a></strong></p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="596" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>One of the last new cars to be unveiled in 2019, Jaguar’s updated F-Type evolves the <a href="/car-review/jaguar/f-type">sharp design of the original </a>with slimmer headlights, a new clamshell bonnet and revised bumpers at the front and rear. The headline change, though, is the axing of the mid-range V6 variant, which leaves the model offering?the choice of a 5.0-litre V8 or 2.0-litre turbo four-pot.?</p> <p><a href="/car-news/new-cars/2020-jaguar-f-type-revealed-revised-looks-no-v6-engine"><strong>2020 Jaguar F-Type revealed with revised looks, no V6 engine</strong></a></p> <p><strong>2. Dyson's EV rollercoaster</strong></p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="596" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>Technology firm Dyson made the headlines in May when it <a href="/car-news/new-cars/dyson-electric-car-new-patents-show-mould-breaking-design">gave Autocar exclusive details</a> of a premium electric car it was developing as a<a href="/car-review/tesla/model-x"> Tesla Model X</a> rival to arrive in 2021. Things looked promising; the unnamed SUV was set to pioneer a radical new style of EV design and could even have featured groundbreaking solid-state battery technology. Unfortunately, just five months later, the project was axed having been deemed not commercially viable.?</p> <p><a href="/car-news/new-cars/dyson-axes-electric-car-project"><strong>Dyson axes electric car project</strong></a></p> <p><strong>1. Reborn Land Rover Defender</strong></p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="596" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>No surprises here. The Defender was, by far and away, our most popular story of the year. Land Rover’s blocky off-road icon has been reinvented as a mainstream model for the global market, and will be offered in three bodystyles with a range of powertrain options from March 2020. We’ve ridden in a pre-production prototype, which demonstrated an ability - like the original - to tackle even the toughest of tracks, while adding a hefty dose of luxury and refinement into the package, to boot.</p> <p><a href="/car-news/new-cars/new-land-rover-defender-2019"><strong>New Defender: all the details on Land Rover's reborn icon</strong></a></p> <p><strong>READ MORE</strong></p> <p><a href="/car-news"><b>All the latest car news from Autocar</b></a></p> <p><a href="/car-news/features/autocars-top-10-reviews-2019"><strong>Autocar's top 10 reviews of 2019</strong></a></p> <p><a href="/car-news/features/autocars-top-10-videos-2019"><strong>Autocar's top 10 videos of 2019</strong></a></p> <p><span class="wysiwyg-embed"></p> <iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe><p></span></p> </div> News Sun, 29 Dec 2019 06:01:23 +0000 Matt Prior's car of the decade: Nissan Juke <a href="/car-news/features/matt-priors-car-decade-nissan-juke"><img src="" width="190" height="125" alt="Nissan Juke - car of the decade - front" /></a> We asked leading Autocar writers to pick a favourite car of the past 10 years. Matt Prior eats humble pie and picks a car that reshaped the compact hatch market <div class="iframe-container-www-youtube-com"> <p>“Maybe you need to buy into the concept. I’m afraid I don’t.” Not my words, Carol, the words of BBC Top Ge … oh wait. No, actually, they are my words.</p> <p>In 2007 I wrote them about the then new <a href="">Nissan Qashqai</a>, a car that was, to my eyes, basically a taller version of a regular hatchback, quite good but nothing particularly special, and which Nissan had launched because its <a href="">Almera</a> hatch could never get near to <a href="">Ford Focus</a>, <a href="">Vauxhall Astra</a> or <a href="">VW Golf </a>levels of sales.</p> <p>At that sort of length but taller and with a higher price, though, the Qashqai,?could lead?<span>Nissan</span>?onto something. I wasn’t so convinced. It felt a bit cynical. Dare I say a bit pointless – a tall car that didn’t do off-roading. It didn’t do a lot for me and I didn’t think it’d do much for the good denizens of motoring.</p> <p>Shows what I know because I couldn’t have been more wrong. It reshaped the market.</p> <p>You could make an argument that the Qashqai was the car of 2000-2010. Even the car of the millennium so far – the car that has rewritten what the family hatchback looks like. Before Qashqai, there were hatchbacks. After it, everyone had to have a C?or D-segment SUV or crossover.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>Fortunately it’s not like the nice people at Nissan, without fail, remind me about my initial take on this, at length, every single time they see me, which most recently was when they launched the new <a href="">Juke</a>.</p> <p>Because if the Qashqai is the car that changed the large family hatch, I’ve nominated the Juke as my car of this decade not because I love it, but because it has done to the compact hatchback what the Qashqai did to the large hatchback. If you are going by the ability to reshape what buyers want, I think you’re looking at the most important vehicle launched in the past 10 years.</p> <p>The Juke arrived in 2010 with its weird headlight array making it a compact crossover that looked like nothing else, but once it pinged into the list of this country’s best selling cars, it just stayed there. And then rival manufacturers introduced similar cars, and they outsold regular hatchbacks too.</p> <p>Being replaced this autumn, only a few months before the end of the decade, the Juke has had a much longer life than mainstream cars usually do too. Just recently at the launch of the new car – where Nissan very graciously didn’t remind me, again, how wrong I’d been about the Qashqai – the old Juke was still performing sufficiently well that in 2018 it was Britain’s 21st?best-selling car.</p> <p>Nissan has stretched the MkI out beyond all normal standards but it still outsold its rivals, of which there are now loads. And even now, when Nissan has brought a second-generation compact SUV to the market, some car makers are still pulling on the bootstraps of their first one.</p> <p>So at least it wasn’t just me who didn’t see it coming.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">Colin Goodwin's car of the decade: Formula E</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">Richard Bremner's car of the decade: Tesla Model S</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">Andrew Frankel's car of the decade: Alpine A110</a></strong></p> <p><span class="wysiwyg-embed"></p> <iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe><p></span></p> </div> News Sun, 29 Dec 2019 06:01:23 +0000 Top of the shots: Autocar's best photos of 2019 <a href="/car-news/features/top-shots-autocars-best-photos-2019"><img src="" width="190" height="125" alt="Autocar photos of the year 2019 tile" /></a> Another year, another photo album crammed full of world-class pictures of amazing cars doing incredible things. Our snappers choose their favourites <div class="iframe-container-www-youtube-com"> <p>“Could you jump a bit higher, please?” asked snapper Luc Lacey to driver Richard Lane ahead of this spectacular <a href="">Bowler</a> jump shot (below). Not happy with Richard’s first attempt, Luc could have no complaints about the second – more concerted – effort.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>You can see why Wales is so popular with our photographers after looking at the trio of photos featuring the Bowler, <a href="">Lamborghini</a> and <a href="">Alfaholics GT-R</a>. Olgun Kordal said it was worth getting dust in his eyes for the low-down Lamborghini tracking shot, and worth ruining a pair of Converse plimsolls for the equally stunning shot of the gorgeous Alfaholics GTA-R (you wore Converse in Wales, in November, Olgun?).</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="599" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>“I love the contrast of the greenery with the ribbon of Tarmac running through it,” says Max Edleston of his shot of the spectacular Great Orme road.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>“A rear-wheel drive, rear-engined car with Mauro Calo at the wheel always makes for a dramatic image,” says Olgun Kordal of his <a href="">Porsche 911</a> shot.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>If the 911’s natural habitat is a track, then the <a href="">Range Rover Velar</a> felt just as at home on the off-road course at <a href="">Land Rover </a>Experience West Country. “It reminds me of a photo in National Geographic magazine, of a tiger creeping through towards a lake and it’s prey,” says Max Edleston. “I feel this is the automotive equivalent.” Maybe, Max, if you squint a bit..</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>Luc Lacey had his own pitch for National Geographic on his trip to the Carta Rallye in Morocco. “This young lad was slightly perplexed at finding a car full of cameras documenting his daily commute,” he says.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>Our resident artist Ben Summerell-Youde has been busy again previewing the cars of the future – or, in some cases, the cars of his own mind. Starting at the bottom, this rally raid-style <a href="">Peugeot 208 </a>sadly will remain the stuff of Ben’s dreams. “As soon as the new 208 pictures landed I wanted to create a <a href="">208 GTi</a>, but the factory yellow paint just shouted <a href="">405 Dakar</a> to me,” says Ben, who rates the 208 as the supermini segment’s best looker. White wheels and a body kit were the order of the day for the sporty <a href="">Honda E</a>, too. “I got a bit carried away, which is fine, because no one actually has to build what I come up with.” The <a href="">Maserati Alfieri </a>is destined for production, however, and we hope <a href="">Maserati</a> is taking inspiration from Ben.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>Bravo to <a href="">Audi</a>, <a href="">Mercedes-Benz</a> and<a href=""> Aston Martin</a> for filling our concept car podium this year, each chosen by our in-house designer Ben Summerell-Youde. “It’s good to see a concept that doesn’t just have wider arches and some knobbly tyres,” says Ben of the <a href="">Audi AI-Trail</a>. “Silent, battery powered off-roading appeals far more than plug-in sports cars.” Ben feels the <a href="">Mercedes EQS</a> really shows how electric propulsion can benefit proportions. “I hope the new <a href="">S-Class</a> isn’t too dissimilar.” There’s not an electric motor to be seen on the <a href="">Vanquish</a> concept, Aston’s preview of a mid-engined supercar. “It looks fresh, and has a better visual balance to it than the <a href="">Valhalla</a>,” the latter car the Vanquish’s big brother.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="637" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>Central London rush hour traffic in fading light threatened to turn this <a href="">David Brown Mini Remastered </a>shoot into one to forget, until a gap appeared on Chelsea Bridge. “It looks a bit like being back in the ’60s,” reckons Max Edleston, who was born in the 1990s…</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>“I’m quite a fan of the cool, relaxing tones of this one,” says the cool, relaxed Luc Lacey of his <a href="">Fiesta ST </a>snap, taken at dusk. “A simple long exposure and a passing car highlighting the curves of the road lead your eyes through the landscape.”</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>And it’s a fading-light, last-shot-of-the-day hat-trick with Olgun Kordal’s <a href="">Ferrari</a> shot. “The light was finessing the side of car, highlighting its muscular stance.”</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>“A unique angle on two unique machines,” says Luc Lacey of the<a href=""> Dallara Stradale </a>and <a href="">Ariel Atom </a>he caught together at <a href="">our Britain’s Best Driver’s Car contest</a>. “A bit of camera trickery was used here, with the camera being mounted six feet from the car.” Sshh, Luc, you’re giving away all the secrets…</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>Olgun Kordal is giving a sneek peak here of a feature we’re running next month, starring this <a href="">Ferrari F40</a>. “It’s a dream car and was a joy to shoot even if it was a very busy Cotswolds road,” says Olgun. A slow shutter allowed the background to blur into insignificance.”</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>‘Insignificant’ isn’t a charge you’d level at the size of the <a href="">BMW Concept 4’s </a>grille, not that Olgun’s shot here shows it (thankfully).</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>Finally, Luc was up at 4am to shoot the <a href="">Evoque</a> in Greece. “I love the calmness the mist and motionless turbines give to this image.”</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><strong>READ MORE</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">Autocar's best photos of 2018</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">The finest car photos on Instagram</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">Six years?of amazing car photos from Autocar</a></strong></p> <p><span class="wysiwyg-embed"></p> <iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe><p></span></p> </div> News Sun, 29 Dec 2019 06:01:23 +0000 Land Rover's McGovern honoured with OBE <a href="/car-news/industry/land-rovers-mcgovern-honoured-obe"><img src="" width="190" height="125" alt="Land Rover Gerry McGovern" /></a><blockquote class="image-field-caption"> Gerry McGovern</blockquote> Design boss recognised 'for services to automotive design' <div> <p>Land Rover design chief Gerry McGovern?has been recognised as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 2020 New Year’s Honours List.</p> <p>The British firm's design director has helped shape a major overhaul of Land Rover's range, with a key role in developing key models such as <a href="">the Range Rover Evoque and Velar</a>, and styling the reborn <a href="">Defender</a> that was <a href="">unveiled earlier this year</a>.</p> <p>McGovern is one of 229 people due to receive the OBE from Her Majesty The Queen, and is the only UK automotive industry figure among almost a thousand in total to be recognised on the wider list of OBEs, MBEs, CBEs and other awards.</p> <p>McGovern, 63, now <a href="">has a design career stretching back more than four decades</a>, and including early stints at Chrysler UK and Austin Rover Group. While at the latter,?he led several key Land Rover model replacement programs.</p> <p>After working at Lincoln and Ford/Ingeni, he returned to Land Rover as director?of advanced design?in 2004, appointed by Ford design supremo J Mays. He was appointed design?director of?Land Rover, in 2006 and as chief?creative?officer?for the brand in 2008.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE</strong></p> <p><a href=""><strong>Gerry McGovern on the Defender and future projects</strong></a></p> <p><a href=""><strong>Gerry McGovern on the challenge of reinventing an icon</strong></a></p> <p><a href=""><strong>Behind the scenes at Land Rover's design studio</strong></a></p> </div> News Sat, 28 Dec 2019 08:40:27 +0000 Autocar's 10 most-watched videos of 2019 <a href="/car-news/features/autocars-10-most-watched-videos-2019"><img src="" width="190" height="125" alt="Autocar top 10 videos of 2019" /></a> From pick-ups to Porsches, hypercars to hot hatchbacks – we've had a lot of fun on YouTube in 2019 <div class="iframe-container-www-youtube-com iframe-container-www-youtube-com iframe-container-www-youtube-com iframe-container-www-youtube-com iframe-container-www-youtube-com iframe-container-www-youtube-com iframe-container-www-youtube-com iframe-container-www-youtube-com iframe-container-www-youtube-com iframe-container-www-youtube-com"> <p>2019 has seen?no shortage of excitement on Autocar's video pages. We've run more than our fair share of drag races, track battles, off-roat torture tests and supercar shootouts - but we could only pick ten to be our favourites.</p> <p>The following?are the films that made the biggest impression on our presenters, and which earned the most views from you, the readers. And if you aren't already subscribed - what have you been doing? <a href="">Head to the Autocar YouTube channel</a> and sign up now, so you'll never miss another video.</p> <p><strong>10. BMW E30 M3 vs E46 M3 CSL vs M2 Competition – what is the best M Car of all time?</strong></p> <p>As part of our ongoing Autocar Heroes video series, we gathered three legendary <a href="/car-reviews/bmw">BMW</a>s to see which deserves to wear the ‘Greatest M Car’ crown. The tail-happy <a href="/car-review/bmw/m2-competition">M2 Competition</a> and iconic <a href="/car-news/features/bmw-m-face-m3-csl-vs-m2-competition">E46 M3 CSL</a> are in with a chance, but remember that they follow in the footsteps of the <a href="/car-news/features/btcc-then-and-now-2019-bmw-3-series-meets-1991-e30-m3">angry and angular E30 M3</a>. Eighteen cylinders come together to shred rubber in the name of science.</p> <p><span class="wysiwyg-embed"></p> <iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe><p></span></p> <p><strong>9.?Track battle: 2020 Ford Focus ST vs Honda Civic Type R</strong></p> <p>A car would have to be pretty darn capable to knock our reigning champion - the <a href="/car-review/honda/civic-type-r">Honda Civic Type R</a> - off our hot hatch top spot. <a href="/car-reviews/ford">Ford</a> has equipped its new <a href="/car-review/ford/focus-st">Focus ST</a> with a <a href="/car-review/ford/mustang">Mustang</a>-derived turbocharged 2.3-litre four-cylinder engine that sends 276bhp to the front wheels - making it?quicker through the mid-range than the old Focus RS. Which is more fun, then? We hit the twisties at Llandow Circuit to find out.?</p> <p><span class="wysiwyg-embed"></p> <iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe><p></span></p> <p><strong>8.?2020 Porsche Taycan review | new electric Porsche driven</strong></p> <p>‘Chuffing fast’ is the two-word takeaway from our first drive of Porsche’s first electric car. Not a bad place to start, but the Taycan is charged with offering more than just brutal acceleration. Electrifying a brand so intrinsically associated with old-school performance as Porsche is no mean feat, so the new GT-style EV has to incorporate just the right amount of Stuttgart spirit in its futuristic formula.</p> <p><span class="wysiwyg-embed"></p> <iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe><p></span></p> <p><strong>7.?Greatest Porsche GTs: 718 Cayman GT4 meets 911 GT2 RS and GT3 RS</strong></p> <p>We sent three of our favourite models from <a href="/car-reviews/porsche">Porsche’s</a> GT division into battle to see which would emerge as the greatest. The fresh-faced <a href="/car-review/porsche/718-cayman-gt4">718 Cayman GT4 </a>has made a brilliant first impression on our testers, with its newly developed 4.0-litre flat-six providing the perfect balance between aggression and accessibility, but can the newbie steal the limelight from the formidable <a href="/car-review/porsche/911-gt3-rs">911 GT3 RS</a> and <a href="/car-review/porsche/911-gt2-rs">GT2 RS</a>??</p> <p><span class="wysiwyg-embed"></p> <iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe><p></span></p> <p><strong>6. Geneva Motor Show 2019 | The 18 cars you must see</strong></p> <p>The <a href="/car-news/geneva-motor-show">Geneva motor show</a> is always a highlight of the automotive calendar, and the 2019 edition gave us our first look at important new machines from across the motoring spectrum. <a href="/car-news/motor-shows-goodwood-festival-speed/new-alfa-romeo-tonale-2020-production-car-leaks-online">Alfa Romeo’s bold new Tonale concept</a> appeared for the first time, alongside a <a href="/car-news/motor-shows-geneva-motor-show/aston-martins-new-mid-engined-hypercar-named-valhalla">trio of stunning new Aston Martins</a>, an <a href="/car-news/new-cars/first-drive-volkswagen-id-buggy-concept">all-electric beach buggy from Volkswagen</a> and so much more besides. Join Matt Prior as he gets up close and personal with the event’s star cars.</p> <p><span class="wysiwyg-embed"></p> <iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe><p></span></p> <p><strong>5. Mercedes-AMG GT63 S vs Porsche Panamera Turbo S | Which Luxury GT is best?</strong></p> <p>Cars like the <a href="/car-review/mercedes-amg/gt-4-door-coupe">Mercedes-AMG GT63</a> and <a href="/car-review/porsche/panamera">Porsche Panamera Turbo S</a> are, sadly, not long for this world, as the?focus shifts to electrification.?For now, though, the luxury GT segment is among the market’s most highly contested, and in this 1300bhp twin-test, we found out which of the pair offers the best combination of refinement, performance and space.?</p> <p><span class="wysiwyg-embed"></p> <iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe><p></span></p> <p><strong>4.?2020 Volkswagen ID 3 driven | Will VW's EV change the world?</strong></p> <p><a href="/car-review/volkswagen/id-3/first-drives/volkswagen-id-3-2020-review">Volkswagen revealed its new ID 3</a> earlier this year as a bold first step in a plan to sell 22 million fully electric vehicles over the next decade. The hatchback is the first production model to use the modular MEB EV platform, and will be available in a range of trims offering up to 341 miles of range. We went to Wolfsburg for an early spin in a camouflaged prototype, and came away with an understanding of just how profoundly the ID 3 could impact the world of electric motoring.?</p> <p><span class="wysiwyg-embed"></p> <iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe><p></span></p> <p><strong>3.?Drag Race: 2019 BMW S1000RR vs McLaren 720S vs Ariel Atom 4</strong></p> <p>Could any machine with just 207bhp on tap possibly stand a chance against <a href="/car-review/ariel/atom">Ariel’s biblical track-focused Atom</a> V8 and the lightning-fast <a href="/car-review/mclaren/720s-spider">McLaren 720S Spider</a>? Well, yes, actually. The BMW S1000RR?has a higher power-to-weight ratio than a Koenigsegg One:1, and will accelerate from 0-60mph in a scarcely believable 2.6 seconds - standing it in good stead as we embark on a quest to find the fastest no-roof road vehicle.</p> <p><span class="wysiwyg-embed"></p> <iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe><p></span></p> <p><strong>2. What's the best 4x4 pickup truck? | 2019 megatest</strong></p> <p>A slightly slower-paced battle here, but one that’s no less important. Just what do you buy when your daily commute involves crossing quarries and lugging large loads? We gathered some of the UK’s most promising pick-ups for a five-way shootout to determine the best all-rounder, before pitting the winner up against the undisputed champion of churning up mud - the <a href="/opinion/anything-goes/why-mercedes-benz-unimog’s-70th-birthday-big-deal">Mercedes Unimog</a>. Then we went home and put a wash on.?</p> <p><span class="wysiwyg-embed"></p> <iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe><p></span></p> <p><strong>1.?McLaren F1 vs. P1 vs. Senna: Ultimate Series review</strong></p> <p>A momentous occasion, this. <a href="/car-review/mclaren/f1-1992-1998">McLaren’s seminal F1 supercar</a> had never come face to face?<span>with its?</span><a href="/car-review/mclaren/senna">Senna</a><span>?and?</span><a href="/car-review/mclaren/p1-2014-2015">P1</a><span>?descendants?</span><span>on a track</span><span>, until our look back at Woking’s Ultimate Series lineage gave us an opportunity to evaluate the three-seater’s ongoing influence. This was the very car, in fact, that graced the pages of Autocar’s exclusive road test back in 1994, and the unflappable grin on our man’s face is testament to how well that 627bhp V12 has aged.?</span></p> <p><span class="wysiwyg-embed"></p> <iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe><p></span></p> <p><strong>Read more</strong></p> <p><a href="/car-news/features/bmw-m-face-m3-csl-vs-m2-competition"><strong>BMW M face-off: M3 CSL vs. M2 Competition</strong></a></p> <p><a href="/car-news/features/autocars-exclusive-mclaren-f1-road-test-25-years"><strong>Autocar's exclusive McLaren F1 road test: 25 years on</strong></a></p> <p><a href="/car-review/porsche/taycan"><strong>Porsche Taycan review</strong></a></p> </div> News Sat, 28 Dec 2019 06:01:24 +0000 Colin Goodwin's car of the decade: Formula E <a href="/car-news/features/colin-goodwins-car-decade-formula-e"><img src="" width="190" height="125" alt="Formula E - car of the decade - panning" /></a> We asked leading Autocar writers to pick a favourite car of the last 10 years. Goodwin opts for the unexpected <div class="iframe-container-www-youtube-com"> <p>During an interview Bernie Ecclestone was asked if he’d seen a Formula E race, ‘No,’ said Bernie, ‘not many people have.’ Good old Bernard.</p> <p>I’ve been to one:?the round in Paris in 2017. The weather was stunning and my ticket, which wasn’t a special one for press, got me into areas that Formula One won’t even let you look at from afar. And the racing, Col? What did you think about that?</p> <p>Not a lot. Couldn’t see very much because of the high barriers. Didn’t like the noise much, either. Not so much the lack of ICE but the squeal of tyres and whine of electric motors. I gave this new form of motorsport a shot, but, a few weekends later, I went to Dijon to watch a mate racing a <a href="">Cologne Capri </a>and other people racing equally dramatic machines. Dijon, if you forgive me, recharged my batteries.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="596" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>But Formula E is the future, no question. I’m also sure that it will one day replace Formula One. Or to put it another way, F1 will become an all-electric series. Why? Because I can’t see motor manufacturers such as <a href="">Mercedes</a>, <a href="">Renault</a> and <a href="">Honda</a> ploughing huge amounts of money into racing cars that have no relevance to their core products.</p> <p>Of course these companies will be building I/C engines for a while longer, but will they want to spend a fortune promoting?when what they really need to do is push the argument for pure EVs forward? Moto GP went from two-stroke engines to four-stroke because the bike manufacturers were no longer developing two-stroke motors and therefore didn’t want to waste money building them for racing.</p> <p>Formula E was never going to seduce me, it wasn’t intended to. It’s for future generations who are fascinated by software and who grew up gaming; not someone who looks at a gallon of petrol in a can and sees a world of possibilities. Formula E racing cars might be technically uninteresting for an old school racing fan, but they represent the future.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">Andrew Frankel's car of the decade: Alpine A110</a></strong></p> <p><a href=""><strong>Steve Cropley's car of the decade: McLaren MP4-12C?</strong></a></p> <p><strong><a href="">Richard Bremner's car of the decade: Tesla Model S</a></strong></p> <p><span class="wysiwyg-embed"></p> <iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe><p></span></p> </div> News Sat, 28 Dec 2019 06:01:24 +0000 How Volvo makes its crystal glass gearsticks <a href="/car-news/features/how-volvo-makes-its-crystal-glass-gearsticks"><img src="" width="190" height="125" alt="Volvo glass" title="Volvo glass" /></a><blockquote class="image-field-caption"> Volvo gear selector has a fiery, laborious gestation</blockquote> Amid all the high-tech, some Volvos have an exquisite gear selector made using processes and skills that are centuries old <div class="iframe-container-www-youtube-com"> <p>When the glassworks in the small Swedish town of Kosta was founded, its owners didn’t foresee it would one day make gear selectors. It was 1742, after all, when demand for car parts was somewhat limited.?</p> <p>Yet 277 years later, Kosta’s hot shop is an unlikely hotspot for the production of <a href="/car-reviews/volvo">Volvo</a> gear selectors. Not regular gear selectors, of course: Orrefors Crystal Eye units are handmade from crystal glass, forged and shaped using tools and techniques that are near identical to those employed in the 18th century.?</p> <p>They’re beautiful, terribly fancy and, of course, entirely unnecessary: swapping a regular selector for a glass one doesn’t improve the shift times of an <a href="/car-review/volvo/xc90">XC90 Inscription</a> at all. But they’re increasingly popular and Volvo is widening their availability in its range.?</p> <p>“I loved the idea of taking something from outside the industry and bringing it into a car,” says Anders Bergstr?m, Volvo’s colour and materials designer. “We wanted to build on our Scandinavian heritage, which gave me the idea to use crystal glass.”?</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>A gear selector works, Bergstr?m says, because “it needed to be a big lump. The beauty of crystal glass is that you see it come alive. The gear selector is in the centre of the car and you touch it, so you feel the material and enjoy it that way as well.”?</p> <p>Amazingly, it took 10 years to turn that idea into reality. To find out why, we headed deep intro rural Sm?land, the heart of Sweden’s Glasriket – the Kingdom of Crystal.?</p> <p>Natural resources – silicon-rich sand and ample forests to provide fuel – nourished the glass industry there and dozens of glassworks are dotted around the region.?</p> <p>The town of Kosta is named for the founders of the glassworks there. The nearby town of Orrefors gained its own glassworks in 1898. The Orrefors and Kosta Boda firms merged in 1990 (consolidation isn’t just a car industry trend) and, since 2013, their handmade operations have been combined in Kosta.?</p> <p>The town is, predictably, dominated by the glass industry: the Kosta’s Art Glass Hotel, for example, features a glass bar, glass sculptures of food on the breakfast buffet and glass artwork on the bedside tables (our review: not child-friendly).?</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>The hot shop is the heart of the Orrefors-Kosta Boda operation. Inside are a number of large furnaces, each of which is the centre of a glass production line. It’s a far cry from a modern car factory, with no robots or automation. Everything is done by hand.?</p> <p>Each furnace is crewed by a team of four and two teams make two types of Crystal Eye: one for the <a href="/car-review/volvo/xc40">Volvo XC40</a>, and a larger one for the<a href="/car-review/volvo/xc60"> XC60</a>, <a href="/car-review/volvo/xc90">XC90</a> and<a href="/car-review/volvo/v90"> V90</a>. “Bigger cars need a bigger selector,” says Bergstr?m. “It’s a bit posher.”?</p> <p>A glass gear selector starts life as sand. The lead-free pelleted batch is prepared locally by sibling firm Glasma to what Lars Sj?gren, head of the Crystal Eye production team, calls “a special secret recipe”. Yes, secret sand. “It’s all about the mix of elements,” says Sj?gren.?</p> <p>The first task is to melt the secret sand, which takes 16 hours at 1400deg C and is done in a clay pot in each furnace. Because of the limitations of how much sand can be melted in a pot, each team uses two furnaces, swapping halfway through each day. Once the sand is melted, the oven is turned down: at 1400deg C, molten glass is too hot to work with. At 1180deg C, apparently, it’s just right.?</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>Production begins with a glass maker expertly hooking a suitably sized lump of molten glass onto the end of a metal rod and carefully lifting it to a bench, where it’s rolled roughly into shape.?</p> <p>It’s formed into its gear selector shape using a cast-iron mould before being placed on a rack. It’s then rotated while it’s moved down a line, variously being cooled by a fan or heated by a flame. It looks random, but it’s science: the process strengthens and polishes the glass.?</p> <p>On a frequent basis, a glassmaker will pause, look closely at the gear selector they’re working on, sigh slightly and then plunge the metal rod into a nearby bucket of water. That’s a rejection and the standards are exacting. The team makes around 50 units an hour, but only 35 or so will make the cut.?</p> <p>According to Sj?gren, employees spend at least five years at the firm before they even start to learn glassmaking. Most have been there for decades and focus on a single product. At this stage, I’ve been in the hot shop about 30 minutes but am still determined to try.?</p> <p>A glassmaker eventually allows me to ‘help’ by carrying a rod loaded with a molten glass selector from one station to the next. He helpfully warns me that it’s hot (although the glowing molten glass on the end is a clue). I feel I’m doing a decent job of twirling the selector, although every unit I go near is then dumped straight into the water bucket. I succeed only in bumping up the rejection rate.?</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>The surviving gear selectors are placed into an annealing lehr, a sort of oven in which the glass is put through another heating and cooling cycle, emerging eight hours later at room temperature. Then the Orrefors logo is printed on the XC40 selectors and on the larger unit is created inside it in a 3D effect. Sj?gren won’t explain how. It’s another secret. Still, the logo is a mark of respect.</p> <p>Once that’s done, there are more checks by another expert glassmaker, who minutely examines each selector. Next to him is a bin filled with gear selectors that failed to meet his standards. The most common fault? “Bubbles,” says Sj?gren, with a shudder. Sj?gren hates bubbles. “If there’s one bubble, we’ll reject it.” Since I clearly have no future making glass, perhaps I can help with quality control. Except, rummaging through the rejection bin, I find units with bubbles so small that I can only see them when Sj?gren points them out.?</p> <p>Fortunately, the high rejection levels don’t create waste: rejected units are simply melted down and used again. “Sustainability is really important to us,” says Sj?gren.?</p> <p>By Sj?gren’s count, each gear selector is checked at least six times before being shipped to Volvo, ready for installation into a car. The multitude of checks is partly for standards, and partly due to the challenge of meeting the exacting regulations required for car parts.?</p> <p>“It’s not easy being a supplier to a car firm,” says Sj?gren. “We have to be able to guarantee the production of every gear selector is the same. We’re not an automobile manufacturer: we make glass tableware. It took a lot of help from Volvo to sort.”?</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>The gear selectors also had to undergo extreme temperature tests and prove they could survive when a Volvo was driven on extremely bumpy roads – not tasks usually required from, say, a champagne glass. So far, not a single selector has broken. “It will never happen,” says Sj?gren. “Never, never, never.”?</p> <p>Both companies think the effort is worth it. “It’s helping us to become more innovative and raise awareness of our firm,” says Orrefors boss Ulf Kinneson. “It shows what else we can do.”?</p> <p>The pride shines through, as does the amount of effort that goes into production – for something that is, essentially, entirely unnecessary. Except that in a world ever more focused on technology, the glass gear selectors are a tangible link to something more solid. “It’s something real customers can hold onto,” says Bergstr?m. “Crystal glass is a cutting-edge, timeless material – but we’re using it in a new way.”</p> <p><strong>It’s a material world: unusual materials in car production</strong></p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="596" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><strong>Going for gold:</strong> If crystal glass isn’t exclusive enough, how about making car parts from gold? That’s what McLaren did when it created the F1 back in 1992. Borrowing concepts from its grand prix cars, it finished the <a href="/car-news/features/quick-check-servicing-mclaren-f1">heat shield for the F1’s V12 engine</a> with gold foil. That wasn’t just to show off: gold is excellent at absorbing heat.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="596" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><strong>Going beyond gold: </strong>But if gold still isn’t exclusive enough, how about ruthenium? It’s an ultra-rare precious metal from the platinum group, with only a limited amount produced. It’s used to craft the ‘gallery’ of the ultra-luxurious <a href="/car-review/rolls-royce/phantom">Rolls-Royce Phantom</a> Gentleman’s Edition, created by the British firm’s Bespoke arm.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="597" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><strong>Bentley’s 4800-year-old interior:</strong> <a href="/car-reviews/bentley">Bentley</a> teamed up with the Fenland Black Oak Project charity, which is creating a 13-metre table out of a 4800-year-old Fenland Black Oak reclaimed from former swampland in East Anglia. Strips of the material featured inside the <a href="/car-news/new-cars/bentley-exp-100-gt-revealed-spectacular-take-grand-tourer">Bentley EXP 100 GT concept car</a> – although given the scarcity of the wood, wider usage is unlikely. Still, wood is an integral part of many cars: <a href="/car-reviews/morgan">Morgan</a> machines still feature frames crafted from ash.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="596" src="" width="900" /></p> <p><strong>Seatbelts made from seatbelts:</strong> As sustainability becomes more important, car firms are increasingly using recycled materials in their cars. <a href="/car-review/renault/zoe/first-drives/renault-zoe-r135-ze-50-2019-review">The new Renault Zoe</a> features seatbelts and other interior trim produced using a recycled fabric made from plastic bottles, textile strips – and old Renault seatbelts.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE</strong></p> <p><a href="/car-news/features/dependable-disruptive-reinvention-volvo"><strong>From dependable to disruptive: the reinvention of Volvo?</strong></a></p> <p><a href="/car-news/features/volkswagens-currywurst-factory-motorings-strangest-production-line"><strong>Volkswagen's currywurst factory: motoring's strangest production line?</strong></a></p> <p><a href="/car-reviews/volvo"><strong>V</strong></a><strong><a href="/car-reviews/volvo">olvo reviews</a></strong></p> <p><span class="wysiwyg-embed"></p> <iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe><p></span></p> </div> News Sat, 28 Dec 2019 06:01:24 +0000 Andrew Frankel's car of the decade: Alpine A110 <a href="/car-news/features/andrew-frankels-car-decade-alpine-a110"><img src="" width="190" height="125" alt="Alpine A110 - car of the decade - front" /></a> We asked leading Autocar writers to pick a favourite car of the last 10 years. Frankel went for the acclaimed Porsche-rivalling A110 <div class="iframe-container-www-youtube-com"> <p>Just occasionally a car will come along that will change the game completely, by providing a level of performance unimagined until that very moment. The <a href="">McLaren F1</a> did it in 1994, and I very much suspect the <a href="">Aston Martin Valkyrie</a> will do it all over again in 2020.</p> <p>But there’s also the opposite kind of game changer, and, because our interest in them need no longer be merely academic?but actually born out of experience, these are even more special. These cars are so rare that,?in the 31 years I’ve been doing this job, I’ve seen just two. The first came three decades ago and was called the <a href="">Mazda MX-5</a>. The <a href="">Alpine A110</a> is the second.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>The Alpine has an importance that stretches far beyond those svelte lines. Like the little Mazda, the Alpine is a car to make us stop dead in our tracks and question everything we have come to believe about how to make sporting cars. It took the existing narrative that said faster was funnier, grip was good and that size really mattered, and shredded it.</p> <p>My admiration for the board who were presented with A110 is boundless. The pitch would have gone something like this: <span>‘</span>we want to make a two seat sports car that’s not very fast either in a straight line or around a corner, it’s going to cost a fortune to develop because it needs a brand new, bespoke platform and, because it only has a four cylinder engine and a brand without much recognition, we can’t even charge that much for it.<span>’</span> And the suits sitting around the table would have to have gone: ‘yup, sounds good to us.’ You just don’t expect that kind of thing these days.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="608" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>Their hunch – that people would recognise talents that can’t be expressed in 0-60mph or Nurburgring lap times but which are no less real or valuable for that – proved entirely correct. Alpine have been making A110s as rapidly?as?they have been able ever since launch.</p> <p>What is not yet clear is where Alpine goes from here, but?maybe as an outpost of <a href="">Renault</a> it will be happy just to continue making A110s. When Mazda hit the big time with the MX-5, it always expected the competition to respond in kind. In fact it has gone on almost unchallenged for three decades now, so good as to be impregnable. The A110 is fast gaining a similar aura around it. Long may it last.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">Colin Goodwin's car of the decade: Formula E</a></strong></p> <p><a href=""><strong>Steve Cropley's car of the decade: McLaren MP4-12C?</strong></a></p> <p><strong><a href="">Richard Bremner's car of the decade: Tesla Model S</a></strong></p> <p><span class="wysiwyg-embed"></p> <iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe><p></span></p> </div> News Fri, 27 Dec 2019 06:01:24 +0000 Fun facts: Autocar's miscellany of motoring 2019 <a href="/car-news/features/fun-facts-autocars-miscellany-motoring-2019"><img src="" width="190" height="125" alt="Andrew Frankel with car collection " title="Andrew Frankel with car collection " /></a><blockquote class="image-field-caption"> Our man's motoring knowledge knows no bounds</blockquote> ’Tis still the season of goodwill, so, pray, let our veteran road tester and jolliest man entertain you <div class="iframe-container-www-youtube-com"> <p>As the last of the leftovers are unceremeniously binned and the final round of Monopoly is brought to its long-awaited climax, it's time to dig out some traditional Christmas trivia to impress your friends and family.</p> <p>You might know what the <a href="">Porsche</a> 909 Bergmeister's wiring loom was made from, but do you have any idea where the East London race track is (wrong), or just how many types of gearbox there are? Sit back, relax, and learn from the master of motoring minutiae, Andrew Frankel.?</p> <h3><strong>Random racing facts</strong></h3> <p>1. The top six finishers of the 1973 Monaco Grand Prix finished in the same positions as they would at the end of the championship.</p> <p>2. The 2020 British Grand Prix marks the 70th anniversary of the start of the Formula One World Championship in 1950. It was also the British Grand Prix and also held at Silverstone.</p> <p>3. Britain and Italy are the only countries to have held grands prix in every year since the start of the F1 World Championship</p> <p>4. Where fathers and sons have raced in F1, fathers have been twice as likely to win a race.</p> <p>5. The Indy 500 was part of the F1 World Championship for 11 seasons, from 1950-’60.</p> <p>6. Claudio Langes tried to qualify for 14 grands prix, all in 1990, and never started a race.</p> <p>7. The wiring loom of the Porsche 909 Bergspyder was made from silver thread.</p> <p>8. The Lotus 76 of 1975 was fitted with a clutchless transmission and V-shaped brake pedal to allow its drivers the option of left-foot braking.</p> <p>9. When Brands Hatch was first used, cars and bikes raced around the circuit anti-clockwise.</p> <p>10. The Marathon De La Route was the world’s longest motor race and was held at the Nürburgring between 1965 and 1971. In 1967 it was won by a <a href="/car-review/porsche/911">Porsche 911</a> driven by Vic Elford (among others), his winning margin over the second placed car being just short of 1000km.</p> <p>11. Alan Stacey became a works <a href="/car-reviews/lotus">Lotus </a>F1 racing driver despite having an artificial lower right leg and having to use a twist grip motorcycle throttle. He was killed at the 1960 Belgian Grand Prix, some say after being hit in the face by a bird.</p> <p>12. The knob on the gear lever of a Porsche 917 is made from balsa wood and its ignition key drilled, both to save weight.</p> <p>13. Drivers who have won the Monaco Grand Prix and Le Mans 24 Hours??<strong>Tazio Nuvolari</strong>, <strong>Maurice Trintignant</strong>, <strong>Bruce McLaren</strong> and <strong>Fernando Alonso</strong>.</p> <p>14. Drivers?who have won the Indianapolis 500 and Monaco Grand Prix? Just one - <strong>Juan Pablo Montoya</strong>.</p> <p>15. What about drivers who have won Le Mans and the Indianapolis 500? Again, just one -?<strong>AJ Foyt</strong>.?</p> <p>16. And finally, the?only driver to have won the Indy 500, Monaco GP and Le Mans? The legendary <strong>Graham Hill</strong>.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="584" src="" width="900" /></p> <h3>Extant brands owned by General Motors</h3> <p>1. Cadillac</p> <p>2. Chevrolet</p> <p>3. Buick</p> <p>4. GMC</p> <p>5. Holden</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <h3><strong>Automotive urban myth</strong></h3> <p>Duncan Hamilton drove while drunk to win Le Mans in 1953</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="516" src="" width="900" /></p> <h3><strong>Film stars in cars</strong></h3> <p>1. Steve McQueen came second in the 1970 Sebring 12 Hours sharing a Porsche 908 with Peter Revson, despite having a left foot in plaster. Had he been anything like as fast as Revson, they’d have won.</p> <p>2. Paul Newman came second at Le Mans in 1979, driving a Porsche 935 in usually very wet weather. The race was won by brothers Don and Bill Whittington, who would both later serve time for fraud.</p> <p>3. James Garner was such a natural driver than he actually doubled for other members of the cast during the filming of Grand Prix.</p> <p>4. Burt Reynolds owned his own NASCAR team, called Mach 1 racing.</p> <p>5. Gene Hackman raced a<a href="/car-reviews/toyota"> Toyota</a> for Dan Gurney at the 1983 Daytona 24 Hours, finishing in 57th place.</p> <p>6. Successful sports car driver and actor Patrick Dempsey would rather be a racing driver than a film star.</p> <p>7.?Princess Grace of Monaco died in a Rover P6.</p> <p>8. Rowan Atkinson used to own a <a href="/opinion/motoring/one-got-away-lancia-thema-832">Lancia Thema 8.32</a>.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="596" src="" width="900" /></p> <h3><strong>Some car makes beginning with ‘A’</strong></h3> <p>Aga?</p> <p>Albany?</p> <p><a href="/car-reviews/alfa-romeo">Alfa-Romeo?</a></p> <p>American Bantam?</p> <p>Amplex?</p> <p>Arrol-Johnston?</p> <p><a href="/car-reviews/aston-martin">Aston Martin?</a></p> <p>Atalanta?</p> <p>Austro-Daimler?</p> <p>Avanti?</p> <p>AZLK</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="552" src="" width="900" /></p> <h3><strong>Presenters you forgot hosted Top Gear</strong></h3> <p>1. Angela Rippon</p> <p>2. Noel Edmonds</p> <p>3. Kate Humble</p> <p>4. Brendan Coogan</p> <p>5. Jon Bentley</p> <p>6. Sue Baker</p> <p>7. Frank Page</p> <p>8. William Woollard</p> <p>9. Jason Dawe</p> <p>10. Jason Barlow</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <h3><strong>Current or former motorsport facilities</strong></h3> <p>1. Barbagallo Raceway (Australia)?</p> <p>2. Bushy Park (Barbados)?</p> <p>3. Autodromo Internacional Ayrton Senna (Brazil)?</p> <p>4. Dracon Race Track (Bulgaria)?</p> <p>5. Calabogie Motorsports Park (Canada)?</p> <p>6. Circuits des Remparts Angoulême (France)?</p> <p>7. Solitude (Germany)?</p> <p>8. South Dakota Circuit (Guyana)?</p> <p>9. Irungattukottai Race Track (India)?</p> <p>10. Autodromo Riccardo Paletti (Italy)?</p> <p>11. Mellaha Lake (Libya)?</p> <p>12. Agadir (Morocco)?</p> <p>13. Pukekohe (New Zealand)?</p> <p>14. Ponce International Speedway Park (Puerto Rico)?</p> <p>15. East London (South Africa)?</p> <p>16. Rest And Be Thankful (Scotland)</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <h3>?</h3> <p><strong>READ MORE</strong></p> <p><a href="/car-news/anything-goes/frankels-miscellany-motor-cars"><strong>Frankel's miscellany of motor cars?2018</strong></a></p> <p><a href="/slideshow/strange-odd-and-generally-fascinating-car-facts"><strong>Strange, odd and generally fascinating car facts?</strong></a></p> <p><a href="/slideshow/shortest-lived-cars-uk-history"><strong>The shortest-lived cars in UK history?</strong></a></p> <p><span class="wysiwyg-embed"></p> <iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe><p></span></p> </div> News Fri, 27 Dec 2019 06:01:24 +0000 An alternative day out for the motoring enthusiast <a href="/car-news/features/alternative-day-out-motoring-enthusiast"><img src="" width="190" height="125" alt="Goodwood Motor Circuit" title="Goodwood Motor Circuit" /></a><blockquote class="image-field-caption"> Goodwood Motor Circuit is a classic-minded motorist's dream</blockquote> A day out for the car lover doesn’t have to mean race tracks and motor shows. Read on... <div class="iframe-container-www-youtube-com"> <p>Please join me for an enthusiasts’ day out in which we make a small tour of some of my favourite establishments.</p> <p>Editor Mark Tisshaw has given me a free hand to go where I want in what I want. This is going to be a day escaping from all talk of connectivity, fast charging and autonomy and from testing bland and dull-to-drive Korean and <a href="">Volkswagen Group</a> SUVs and crossovers, all of which have snuck into my professional life uninvited.</p> <p>I’ve chosen something very much the opposite of a <a href="">Volkswagen T-Cross</a>: a brand new <a href="">Chevrolet Camaro</a>, supplied by Ian Allan Motors down the road in Virginia Water. Ian Allan is the only official <a href="">GM</a> dealer in the UK and is the establishment that lent us a Corvette in which I had <a href="">a very pleasant day driving from Brooklands to Brighton</a> earlier this year. The Camaro has the same engine as the ’Vette. So let’s fire up the 6.2-litre V8 and select D for our first port of call.</p> <p>In the past two years both of my local garages have shut. They weren’t dealerships – that wouldn’t have been a great loss – but traditional garages staffed by mechanics who really knew what they were doing. The sort of place that would remove a broken-off stud in a cylinder head in exchange for a pint.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>But it’s not all disaster, because just a bit farther away from home, still in Hampton and still within walking distance, is Broad Lane Garage. It is one of the coolest garages I’ve ever seen. Its small yard always contains something interesting, like a ’50s <a href="">Buick</a>, a beach buggy or, as it does today, a family tree of VW vans. There are two split windows, a bay window and several T4s. I’m having a cup of tea with Mike Scotney who, along with his sister Jane, runs the garage that their father founded with a partner in 1960.</p> <p>Scotney doesn’t just cater for the enthusiast, he is one himself. In reception there’s a flathead Ford V8 bare block, a more complete version of which is in Scotney’s own toy. “I’ve got a Model T roadster with a ’37 flathead V8 in it,” he explains. “I take it down to Pendine Sands for the hot-rod races. I tow it behind my 1949 <a href="">Chevrolet Station Wagon</a>. It’s known as a Tinnie and is the cheaper version of the famous ‘woodie’ wagon, which is what I’d really like to own.”</p> <p>I’d love to spend longer with Mike and Jane but we’ve got more people to see. Next stop is only about 10 minutes away, an outfit called Moto Technique, hidden away on a light industrial estate in East Molesley.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>I’ve been a regular visitor at this place for more than 30 years and have been mates with founder Kevin O’Rourke for the same length of time. He and his team have restored some incredible machines over the years. I’ve seen at least two 250 <a href="">GTOs</a> having ground-up restorations, along with dozens of other <a href="">Ferraris</a>, <a href="">Lamborghinis</a>, <a href="">Maseratis</a> and pretty much any exotic you care to mention being brought back from the dead to be concours winners. O’Rourke has shifted with the times. Restoration has always been the core business but a few years ago Moto Technique did a lot of insurance work. I remember a crumpled <a href="">F40</a>, and a 288 GTO before that.</p> <p>O’Rourke’s current passion is resto mods. Lined up in the squeaky-clean workshop are three <a href="">Ferrari 308 GTBs</a>, each undergoing tasteful upgrading. The green one has strengthened wishbones, 360 Modena brakes and a Moto Technique-manufactured carbonfibre engine lid that saves an enormous amount of weight.</p> <p>Off in the even cleaner engine shop a thorough reworking of the cars’ 3.0-litre V8s is taking place. They’re bored and stroked and fitted with throttle body injection and a full engine management system. I’ve driven a <a href="">246 GT </a>that O’Rourke had given the engine management treatment to and it was transformed. His own Dino is fitted with an <a href="">F355</a> engine and is a work of art. These 308s are going to give their owners a lot of pleasure.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>If I have an interesting car to test (and it’s sadly rare these days – see dull crossovers and SUVs) then I head down into Sussex to Goodwood for a sarnie and the hope of seeing something interesting circulating the track – which is what Luc Lacey and I decide to do today.</p> <p>The Camaro most definitely fits into the ‘interesting’ category. It’s a wonderful car to drive slowly. I much prefer Chevrolet’s pushrod V8 to Ford’s 5.0-litre overhead-cammer in the <a href="">Mustang</a>. Kevin Hurl at Ian Allan will sell you one of these gems for only a few quid over £40,000. When he’s run out of his stock of coupés and convertibles it’s unlikely that any new Camaros will come to our shores. It’s not even certain that Chevrolet will continue to build its iconic pony car for much longer.</p> <p>We’re in luck. There seems to be some sort of manufacturer-customer day in progress at Goodwood. <a href="">McLaren</a> is here with a few <a href="">720Ss</a>, <a href="">Aston Martin </a>has a <a href="">Vantage</a> wearing the company’s famous AML 1 number plate, Ferrari has a <a href="">812 Superfast </a>and there’s a <a href="">Singer</a> here too. Aside from the<a href=""> Singer 911 </a>I’d rather have the Camaro than any of these exotics.</p> <p>More luck, Derek Bell is here. Bell is a constant presence in our world, popping up like Zelig at car launches and various events. If you’ve had the pleasure you’ll know what a warm-hearted bloke he is. “You’ll never believe it,” he exclaims, “I’ve just spun that <a href="">BMW M4</a> at Madgwick.” If I’d come out with this sentence the world would have replied, ‘and so?’, but D. Bell losing it is unusual. “It’s modern steering: no feel for what the car is doing.” Quite.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="600" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>We must crack on as we want to be at our next stop for afternoon tea. We’ve got to negotiate the A27 east of Brighton and then head north to the village of Buxted in East Sussex, home of Crosthwaite & Gardiner. Put simply, this outfit is one of the finest automotive engineering companies in the world. A bold statement, but given that <a href="">Mercedes-Benz </a>and <a href="">Audi</a> trusted the company to build replicas of their Silver Arrows racing cars, the claim is somewhat justified.</p> <p>Dick Crosthwaite, who set the company up in 1969 with the late John Gardiner, is now semi-retired and his son Ollie runs the business day to day. There is much going on at C&W that we’re unable to photograph or talk about, but that doesn’t overly restrict us as there’s plenty to gawp at and ogle. The machine shop is fascinating, with cutting-edge computer-controlled tools producing parts to ridiculously tight tolerances.</p> <p>A trip around the stores is worth another couple of hours of our time. Beautifully turned nuts (with integral washers) for <a href="">Bugattis</a>, brand-new D-Type cylinder heads. Talking of which, C&W will supply a brand-new E or D-Type racing engine ready to go. Or a 2.5-litre Coventry Climax engine for a <a href="">Cooper</a> or <a href="">Lotus F1</a> car. Then there’s the room where hundreds of patterns are kept. The last time I felt this in awe of history I was standing in the Museum of Cairo.</p> <p>Dick Crosthwaite might be retired but he can’t keep away. He was pottering about the place when I last visited and he’s here today. He’s full of stories, as is Ollie. I could stay for hours but Lacey and I have to hit the road again.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image-body-image" height="711" src="" width="900" /></p> <p>We’re winding up our day out with supper at the Ace Café on London’s North Circular Road. The café holds a meeting virtually every evening and tonight it’s British sports cars and performance cars. Our Camaro fits the latter category, then. The traffic is horrendous on the A40 into town (we went north on the A22 from Buxted and then followed the M25 around to the M40), and I’m beginning to wish we’d not bothered and instead stayed longer chatting cars with Dick and Ollie. I’ve been to the Ace Café when its car park was rammed, but that was on a balmy summer’s evening. Tonight there’s just us, a <a href="">TVR Griffith</a> and an Aston Martin Vantage. London is so busy these days that unless you’re local to the Ace or come by motorcycle it’s a nightmare to get to. It’s a pity that Caffeine and Machine is a bit too far away.</p> <p>But never mind, it’s been a great day out. A simple one with friends met, lots of coffee drunk and good company in a great car that’s full of character. There will be lots of grand days out in the future.</p> <p><strong>Other options</strong></p> <p>A lifetime of being around cars has blessed me with a fat address book, and there are lots of options for future tours like today’s. Next time I might head west, drop in on Nick Mason (like Derek Bell, arch enthusiast Mason pops up everywhere) and kick the tyres of his amazing collection that’s based in Gloucestershire, and visit a company nearby called Retro Track and Air, which is a bit like Crosthwaite & Gardiner but specialises in rebuilding <a href="">Rolls-Royce Merlin</a> engines. Then finish the day with a blast up the Fosse Way to Caffeine and Machine.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">UK sales of Chevrolet Corvette and Camaro to end in August</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">New Chevrolet Corvette could get hybrid or electric versions</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">New Chevrolet Corvette Convertible gets folding hard-top</a></strong></p> <p><span class="wysiwyg-embed"></p> <iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe><p></span></p> </div> News Fri, 27 Dec 2019 06:01:24 +0000 乱伦小说网