Currently reading: Autocar magazine 25 July preview
This week's bumper 116-page special issue of Autocar magazine is headed up by a seven-car 'B-road heroes' super-test

This week's bumper 116-page special issue of Autocar magazine is headed up by a seven-car 'B-road heroes' super-test, which stars the new Toyota GT86, McLaren MP4-12C, Porsche 911, Lotus Exige, Radical SR3, BAC Mono and the Mercedes C63 Black.

In this 16-page section, our man Steve Sutcliffe tests them all on (and beyond) the limit to ascertain which makes for the best car to drive across a real road – and the result is not what you'd expect, both in terms of which car is fastest and which is the most entertaining.

The news section is led off by scoop details on two new cars from Porsche and Audi. The Porsche Panamera estate concept is set to break cover – and divide opinions – at this year's Paris motor show, while Audi's answer to the Ford S-Max proves that there's no sector of the car market that premium brands aren't investigating.

Our lead drive is of the facelifted BMW 7-series, which proves to be a significant step forward from the current car. Other tests include the latest BMW X6, Hyundai i30 Tourer and Alfa Mito TwinAir. The Vauxhall Astra VXR gets the full road test treatment, our in-depth review highlighting the health of the hot hatch market at the moment.

In our diverse features section, Colin Goodwin assembles a team of experts and asks how they would save Lotus, Richard Bremner joins a recovery team breaking in to a barn to find out whether the dusty Porsche that lies within is a route to riches or a rusting wreck, and Mark Tisshaw investigates the causes behind a sudden, alarming rise in car crime.

Meanwhile, our long-term test fleet updates include a final report on the Vauxhall Astra GTC, and our used car buying guide highlights the highs and lows of buying a BMW 1-series.

As ever, the magazine is available from all good newsagents, or available for download from Zinio or the Apple iTunes store.

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BriMarsh 24 July 2012

A McLaren MP4-12C?

On a B-road? Really? At 1908mm wide and £168,500? Yes I just see an owner charging down a B-road in one of those, nudging into the hawthorn hedges to allow the milk tanker to go the other way, or dropping a couple of alloys off the edge of the black top. Pick your B-road with care! 

Adrian987 24 July 2012

Group tests - they all do them

I suspect these are planned weeks/months in advance.

I think Autocar is great value and a good read.

Whatcar? also do group tests, and their result does not always agree with Autocar due no doubt to their different perspective on cars.  It is nice to have choice of a read and different viewpoints.  Long may the 7 car group test last.

Peter Cavellini 24 July 2012

Bumper issue?

All this for £3.10p then?

harf 24 July 2012

Peter Cavellini wrote: All

Peter Cavellini wrote:

All this for £3.10p then?

Is that a 'biting the hand that feeds' comment. Without the magazine there would be no website And therefore no forum.

Im fascinated at the business strategy that Autocar may, or may not, have. The magazine seems to contain plentiful adverts, but why buy the magazine when you can read 95% of it on theirwebsite for nothing.

Surely their website must get decent traffic but they only seem to carry ads for their sister publications and other internal, self promotion. Surely they'd be considering migrating the mag advertisers onto the website and shutting down the expensive magazine publication side.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I want them to close the magazine down, I'm just perplexed at where the future for Autocar lies.

Credit where it is due though, they manage to produce a weekly motoring mag that is very close to the journalistic quality of a monthly, which given the time available is a remarkable weeklyachievement in itself.