New BMW X5 unveiled; all-electric Audi R8 reviewed; EcoBoost Ford C-Max driven; one-off Aston Martin Shooting Brake tested; Ferrari F355 buying guide

Autocar magazine spans a wider spectrum than ever this week, taking in everything from a first drive of an electric Audi R8 supercar through to a test of the 1.0-litre EcoBoost-powered Ford C-Max.

Along the way Steve Sutcliffe drives a one-off Aston Martin Shooting Brake, built by Bertone for a wealthy customer, we sample the intriguing but not sold in the UK BMW M135i xDrive and test a base model of the new Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The new Subaru Forester is the subject of our eight-page road test. Steve Cropley also takes an exclusive drive in the new Tesla Model S, seeing if the 5-series rival can take him to Paris and back in comfort on just a single charge.

Leading the news agenda is the new BMW X5, which is capable of 50mpg or 0-62mph in 5.0sec despite weighing in at two-tonnes. We also reveal the latest on the next Renault Twingo, show the heavily modified Nissan Micra and unveil plans for the Maserati Levante SUV. Julian Rendell, meanwhile, evaluates the sat-nav’s fight back against the influx of smartphone apps.

Other features also underline the breadth of the issue, ranging from an exclusive look at the Lyonheart, a modern sports car designed to invoke memories of the Jaguar E-type, to pitting an Ariel Atom V8 against a 600bhp Citroën DS3 rallycross car and a BMW superbike in a quarter-mile drag race.

Elsewhere, James Ruppert visits the most unlikely of British success stories, a mudflap manufacturer. Our F1 correspondent Joe Saward also takes a look at the new leadership at Williams, led by ex-Jaguar man Mike O’Driscoll.

Long-term test fleet updates include bidding farewell to the surprisingly loved Audi A6 Allroad, the fitting of a black-box recorder to our Dacia Sandero in a bid to lower the insurance premium, plus updates on the VW CC, BMW M135i and Toyota Auris Hybrid

Our used car section kicks off with a tempting buyer’s guide to the Ferrari F355, now available from £40,000, takes in James Ruppert’s thoughts on the best low-cost Lotuses to buy and ends with a debate on whether we’d buy a new Ford Focus 1.6 TDCi or a used BMW 320d SE if we were given £20,000.

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

Audi R8 V8

It may not have a posh badge, but when it comes to what really matters the R8 has what it takes to hold its head high among supercar rivals

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