Mercedes GLA revealed, new Skoda Yeti, Jaguar XFR-S driven, Mercedes A45 AMG tested
Jim Holder
13 August 2013

This week’s Autocar comes to you in a blaze of tyre-smoke and shrieking exhaust notes courtesy of Jaguar's XFR-S super-saloon. Steve Sutcliffe has been at the wheel and describes it as being exactly the same as the much-loved XFR, but sharper in every way that matters.

We've also got the full story on Mercedes-Benz's Range-Rover Evoque rival, the GLA. Joining it on our news pages this week is Skoda's new Yeti, and a new rival to Morgan's three-wheeler from British brand Castle. Plus, we reveal which Japanese manufacturer is supplying the engine for the new budget Caterham Seven.

We also test the revised Volvo XC60, which continues the success story of the old model with new updates and more widespread appeal. The Volvo S80 has also benefitted from the latest round of tweaks, and Matt Burt decides whether they've improved the big saloon.

Matt Saunders decides whether performance upgrades from Mountune are worth the extra money on the Ford Fiesta ST, and China's Saab 9-5 revival, the BAIC Senova, is put through its paces. Mercedes' A45 AMG hot hatch is the subject of our eight-page road test.

On our features pages Greg Kable gets his hands on the BMW i8 electric sports car, finding out if the carbonfibre-intensive hybrid is enough to redefine electric drive for a new generation. Plus Steve Cropley gets a unique look at his F1 heroes at Donington's race museum. 

Our long-term fleet loses a member this week as our Fiat Panda finally heads back home. After covering 16,000 miles we're sorry to see the quirky two-cylinder Panda go, even though it has divided opinions in the office. There are also updates from our Renault Twizy, and there's the curious incident of the engine warning light in our Morgan Plus 8.

James Ruppert turns his attentions to big French V6s in our used buying guide, which opens the doors for a platter of bargain motors. Meanwhile Lewis Kingston decides whether a Porsche Boxster can outrun the Mercedes SLK55 AMG in our 'New vs used' feature.

Autocar magazine is available through all good newsagents, and available to download from Zinio and the Apple iTunes store.

You can also buy one-off copies of Autocar magazine from Newsstand, delivered to your door the morning after. 

Our Verdict

Jaguar XFR

The Jaguar XFR is a crushingly effective super saloon. Its 503bhp supercharged V8 has relentless pace, and it's the prettiest car in its class

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Comments
1

17 August 2013

Jaguars’ XJR, and XFR-S (14 August 2013), impressed your testers and the reviews will certainly have entertained you readers. As “halo” cars both vehicles will undoubtedly have also massaged Jaguar’s corporate ego.

However, I fear that such vehicles are no more than a distraction from what Jaguar should be doing - concentrating on bringing to the market, larger volume selling, smaller vehicles, proudly wearing the Jaguar badge.

It is all a little too redolent of the time, money and technical resources that were wasted on the Rover 75 - which was (re-)engineered for RWD so that an old Ford V8 could be squeezed under the bonnet.

The earlier article (7 August 2013), that “Jaguar eyes front drive again”, provides some hope and consolation.

Has anyone seen Coventry registered Ford Focuses, and/or Volvo V40s, diving (sic) in and out of Jaguar’s Whitley engineering centre ?!

I look forward to what Ralf Speth has to say in next week’s issue (21 August 2013).

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