Aston Martin CC100 revealed; new Mercedes S-class launched; Porsche 918 Spyder tested; Kia Cee'd buying guide; full Nissan Juke Nismo road test

This week's Autocar magazine stars three key cars — the shock new Aston Martin CC100 concept, the new Mercedes S-class and the Porsche 918 Spyder hypercar.

The CC100 takes top billing, with our four-page story and interview with chief designer Marek Reichman outlining exactly how it will influence future Aston Martin design. Steve Cropley also reports live on the impact it made at the Nürburgring 24 Hours race.

The Mercedes S-class stands out for being the new technical flagship of the Mercedes range; and with the firm's long-standing commitment to drip-feed that technology back down to all the cars it builds, it makes the new car especially relevant. Hilton Holloway reports live from the launch, and outlines all the technology that makes the S-class special.

Greg Kable, meanwhile, gets behind the steering wheel of a Porsche 918 Spyder prototype and reports back on why it delivers a sensational driving experience and could even out-punch the more feted LaFerrari and McLaren P1 in terms of its breadth of technical capability.

First drive reviews include the new 200mph Bentley Flying Spur, Skoda Superb, Jeep Grand Cherokee, MG 5 and Skoda Octavia 4x4 estate. Long-term test updates include the Mitsubishi Outlander, Jaguar XKR-S, Toyota Auris and VW CC. The Nissan Juke Nismo hot hatch is the subject of our eight-page road test.

In our features section Andrew Frankel compares a modern Caterham to a 30-year-old example as he charts the progression of the marque, Mark Tisshaw joins Lamborghini's 50th anniversary tour through Italy and reports back on the colour and sounds generated by 190,000bhp and Steve Cropley meets the man tipped for Ford's top job, Mark Fields.

Fresh from his used car special last week, James Ruppert tells you all you need to know about buying a cheap Ford Fiesta from £300 through to a fast and cheap Ford Fiesta from £3000. We also give you the lowdown on buying the best secondhand car £3000 can get you, the Kia Cee'd.

Our Verdict

Nissan Juke

With its exaggerated styling, the Nissan Juke takes the notion of a crossover in a new direction

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30 May 2013

The  “THIS WEEK”  item (page 23, of the 22 MAY 2013 issue), that “Volvo seeks supermini platform partner”, is interesting.

If Volvo’s staff in Goteborg search through their desk draws and office cupboards, they will undoubtedly find copies of the old “PAG” (Premier Automotive Group), internal Group telephone directory - giving them direct contact to their trusted and respected contemporaries within Jaguar, and within Ford.

It cannot be imagined that Ford ever did - or continues to - supply platform and other components to its (former) PAG companies at a loss -  or for mere altruistic reasons.  Such established and continuing practices, must still make good business sense to Ford, to Volvo, and to Jaguar.

Volvo still  benefit from their continuing mutually beneficial relationship with Ford, in the manufacture of the V40/S60, and other vehicles.

Jaguar should “look & learn” how they too might similarly attain the “critical mass”  in production/sales numbers of  smaller  Jaguar vehicles  -  to become as financially viable and robust as now must be, even the prestigious, quality, manufacturers such as Jaguar, Audi,  BMW,  Mercedes,  Land Rover and  Volvo.

It cannot be imagined that immediately - today -  a vehicle similar to the V40/S60  wearing a Jaguar badge, could be anything but successful in the market place.  It cannot be imagined that now, any existing owner of Jaguar’s successful “Luxury” and “Executive” models, would be deterred from repeating their purchase  -  merely because other members of their family, and/or their junior employees, were driving vehicles similar to the V40/S60 that were proudly  wearing a Jaguar badge !!

Whilst the idea of a Jaguar supermini may yet be a little “adventurous”, Jaguar should not (and, cannot afford to), wait before introducing a vehicle smaller than the  “X-Type”  replacement (X760) . .  a smaller vehicle - similar to the V40/S60 -  that will proudly and justifiably wear a Jaguar badge. 

These smaller vehicles have all enhanced the quality reputation of the prestigious manufacturers  Audi, BMW, Mercedes, and Volvo, now that they all compete in new, wider, market segments  -  other than their traditional, somewhat exclusive, much smaller “executive” and “luxury”  market segments. 

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