Jaguar XFR-S vs Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG; new Porsche 911 Turbo tested; BMW M4 concept revealed; Pebble Beach show highlights
Jim Holder
20 August 2013

A showdown boasting more than 1000bhp is the highlight of this week’s Autocar magazine, with the all-new Jaguar XFR-S challenging the class-leading Mercede-Benz E63 AMG. Steve Sutcliffe is the judge of these performance giants across some of Britain’s most demanding roads. 

Fast car fans are in for a further treat, as Greg Kable delivers the first verdict on the new Porsche 911 Turbo. He rates it as one of the great all-round supercars – but also offers a cautionary warning about its ultimate ability to deliver all-out excitement.

A jam-packed news section is led by the reveal of the new BMW M4 concept, which will hit showrooms in production form next year. We lift the lid off the car’s likely drivetrain, as well as the technology that will make it faster than ever. 

The new Audi Quattro concept, which will be unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show, is also revealed in official sketches, and our sources have given us the lowdown on the 770bhp V8 and electric drivetrain that’s likely to provide power.

Other news stories include the reveal of the revised Range Rover Evoque, the latest on production plans for the Murray T25 and T27, Volvo’s new engine strategy and the latest information on the Honda Civic Type R.

We also feature all the highlights from Pebble Beach, including the first pictures of the production Porsche 918 Spyder and the Spyker B6 Venator spyder. There is also important news from several Frankfurt-bound manufacturers that is under embargo.

Steve Cropley, meanwhile, muses on the 25th anniversary of Enzo Ferrari’s death, Matt Prior ponders the appeal of the Audi A2 and Joe Saward considers electric racing with Formula E.

Inspired by our Jaguar vs Mercedes cover feature, we sought to find a 150mph car that won’t break the bank. With a budget of £500, we trawled the classifieds, bought our chosen vehicle and headed to a runway to see if it really was possible to go so fast for so little money. We also offer some alternative used cars, should you feel inspired.

Meanwhile, Steve Cropley talks to Dr Ralf Speth, the man behind Jaguar Land Rover’s overhaul, asking how the company has achieved its record results and how JLR plans to maintain its current momentum.

The Lexus IS is the subject of our exhaustive full road test, delivering an unusual blend of class-leading qualities and shortcomings. We also drive the BBR GTI MX-5 Turbo, Nissan 370Z Nismo and Chevrolet Trax.

In our long-term test fleet updates we welcome the new Range Rover, Seat Leon FR, Toyota Auris, VW CC, Seat Mii, Mercedes CLS Shooting Brake and McLaren 12C.

Our used car ‘Deals’ section features James Ruppert’s appraisal of the bargain Volvo C30, a buying guide for the Peugeot 406 coupé, dubbed the working-class Ferrari, and poses the question of whether you should spend £40k on a new BMW 4-series or a used Aston Martin Virage.

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

Join the debate


20 August 2013

Aston Martin by a country mile. The new BMW 4 Series is a badly built cheaply engineered 4 cylinder sales rep special not a proper sports coupe. No 4 cylinder engine will ever sound as good as an Aston engine V8, V12 or even straight six. The Aston will be expensive to run but you only live once and people will never think you are off to fix a photocopier when you drive it. They may even let you out of side roads too.

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