This week's bumper 116-page special issue of Autocar magazine is headed up by a seven-car 'B-road heroes' super-test, which stars the new Toyota GT86, McLaren MP4-12C, Porsche 911, Lotus Exige, Radical SR3, BAC Mono and the Mercedes C63 Black.
In this 16-page section, our man Steve Sutcliffe tests them all on (and beyond) the limit to ascertain which makes for the best car to drive across a real road – and the result is not what you'd expect, both in terms of which car is fastest and which is the most entertaining.
The news section is led off by scoop details on two new cars from Porsche and Audi. The Porsche Panamera estate concept is set to break cover – and divide opinions – at this year's Paris motor show, while Audi's answer to the Ford S-Max proves that there's no sector of the car market that premium brands aren't investigating.
Our lead drive is of the facelifted BMW 7-series, which proves to be a significant step forward from the current car. Other tests include the latest BMW X6, Hyundai i30 Tourer and Alfa Mito TwinAir. The Vauxhall Astra VXR gets the full road test treatment, our in-depth review highlighting the health of the hot hatch market at the moment.
In our diverse features section, Colin Goodwin assembles a team of experts and asks how they would save Lotus, Richard Bremner joins a recovery team breaking in to a barn to find out whether the dusty Porsche that lies within is a route to riches or a rusting wreck, and Mark Tisshaw investigates the causes behind a sudden, alarming rise in car crime.
Meanwhile, our long-term test fleet updates include a final report on the Vauxhall Astra GTC, and our used car buying guide highlights the highs and lows of buying a BMW 1-series.