This week’s Autocar is jam-packed with news, leading off with full details and exclusive pictures of the new Aston Martin V12 Vantage S, the fastest Aston production car ever built.
We also have full details of the wild 316bhp V6-engined Renault Twin'Run concept that shows how the next Twingo will look, the story behind the BMW Gran Lusso Coupé, which points the way to a new 8-series, full details on the new Lotus Exige S, and the in-depth story of the new Vauxhall VXR8 GTS that will outgun a BMW M5 for almost half the price. Hilton Holloway also explains Porsche’s intelligent hybrid future, outlining why all future Porsches will be available with the option of a petrol-electric drivetrain.
Our first drive reviews star the BMW 3-series-rivaling Lexus IS 300h, which makes a compelling case for itself for company car drivers — thanks to its hybrid powertrain and consequent low-emissions figures. Frugal drivers will also enjoy our Ford Focus Econetic 1.6 TDCI drive, while we also test the VW Golf 1.2 TSI S DSG and Citroën C1 Connexion. Our exhaustive eight-page road test gives the most in-depth analysis of the new Kia Carens, ranking it among the MPV echelons.
The uprated Toyota GT86 TRD meets a base Porsche Cayman in our flat-out head-to-head of five-star road test cars. The showdown proves as fascinating to read as the cars are to drive, as Andrew Frankel evaluates which of these driver’s champions he’d choose.
Meanwhile, Matt Prior reports back from racing in the new Ariel Atom Cup, Colin Goodwin investigates how you can win a Porsche for a fiver, we pay tribute to Sergio Pininfarina and have an exclusive look at the Sergio concept car that was built in his honour. Plus Steve Cropley soaks up the atmosphere on a race unlike any other, the Nürburgring 24 Hours.