15 June 2004

Autocar delivers its opening verdict on two of this year's most important new cars this week. European editor Peter Robinson was the first to be given wheel-time with Porsche's new 911 coupé and BMW's 1-series hatchback, and you can read his exclusive conclusions on both cars, back-to-back, in this week's magazine.

These are cars that both the motoring industry and the buying public has been impatiently anticipating. With the new 911, the 997, Porsche is replacing the most popular sports car in the world with one that represents ambitions to sell in even greater numbers. BMW's 1-series is arguably even more crucial to its creator, breaking new ground, and making the blue and white propeller more affordable than ever before.

For Brits, there are still three months to wait until both models' September launches, but if you want to find out how they perform before the autumn, do it this week. 'This 997 S is faster, more stable, more precise, and forgiving a sports car than the 996,' writes Peter Robinson of the Porsche; of the BMW, he writes that it 'instantly becomes the driver's choice in the class.'

Read both Exclusive First Drives this week, in Autocar

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