James Ruppert also provides eight pages of scientific insight into how you should choose the ideal used car, offering examples of what you can get for your money, while our traditional end-of-year new car awards are dished out to our long-term-test fleet favourites.
We also take an in-depth look at the kit-car scene, driving some of the best cars on sale today and find out if they remain the performance bargains of yesteryear. It's an insightful look into an area of motoring not normally covered by Autocar, and throws up fascinating results.
There's an investigation by Steve Sutcliffe into whether the manual gearbox is dead, our insights into the cars we drove this year that will become classics in the future and a look at Richard Bremner's brilliant but bonkers (and partly rusty) garage of 'classic' cars.
We take a step into fantasy too, asking whether we'd spend £120,000 on a new Mercedes S-class or a dream used garage containing a used Land Rover Discovery 4, BMW 5-series Touring, Ferrari 355 and Porsche 968.
And the offbeat? There's everything from an eight-page road test of the McLaren-developed Specialized Venge bike ridden in the Olympics by Mark Cavendish, through to our experiences racing a Caterham against a go-kart, a Range Rover Sport versus the world speedway champion and a 10bhp Piaggio Ape trike, which doesn't go well.
Elsewhere, we meet the man who went into the Dragon's Den and emerged with funding for a new car. Colin Goodwin also reveals the blood, sweat and tears tale of building an aeroplane in his back garden, while our annual Almanac takes a light-hearted (if slightly painful for some manufacturers) look into 2014.
The double issue, priced at £4.99, went on sale on 11 December. Autocar magazine is available through all good newsagents, and available for download from Zinio and the Apple iTunes store.
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