Currently reading: Autocar notebook: BMW's F1 blues and Cupra's go-karts
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This week, we hear how Cupra wants the upcoming Urban Rebel to drive, but first we ask if BMW has its sights set on an F1 return.

BMW’s F1 blues

Will BMW return to Formula 1 as it looks to fast-track its understanding of electric powertrains? It’s unlikely, according to BMW M boss Frank van Meel.

“We’re happy with what we’re doing with the [LMDh] sports car prototype,” he said. “F1 is thinking about electrification in 2026, which is quite late. Also, there is not much spinoff into road cars. On the prototype, there are a lot of lessons, from aerodynamics to cooling, as well as the V8 hybrid drivetrain being linked to the one in the BMW XM.”

Cunningly, BMW showed off its new LMDh sports car at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in such a way that it was in both pride of place and away from prying eyes: 40m in the air on the central sculpture.

Cupra’s EV go-kart

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Volkswagen, Skoda and Cupra are each working on affordable electric city cars that will be based on the same shortened MEB platform but have highly distinct characters.

The new Cupra Urban Rebel, for example, promises to be a proper baby hot hatch. R&D boss Werner Tietz told us: “What we’ve done with the Cupra Born, with the sports suspension, the DCC, the 170kW extra boost, these are the things we also want to do with this car.”

Speaking at the reveal of the production car recently, he pledged: “You have sporty steering, more direct sports suspension, different tyres for lateral performance: this car will drive like a go-kart, I promise you.”

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FastRenaultFan 5 July 2022
Feck them for getting our hopes up. I would love to see BMW back in F1. Such a pity they left.
Sonic 5 July 2022

"Will drive like a go-kart, I promise you'

... The most over-used, misleading, inaccurate statement ever used to promote a cars handling. Tietz needs to drive a proper racing kart. I promise it's impossible to replicate the same characteristics with a passenger vehicle.