This week: AMG’s hot EQS electric limo scooped, reborn Land Rover Defender driven, Jaguar v Porsche sports car shootout and more
11 March 2020

Mercedes-Benz is plotting an AMG version of its upcoming electric EQS.

The hot new executive saloon is set to challenge the Porsche Taycan with a 600bhp-plus drivetrain and oodles of pace, exclusivity and refinement.

The electric limo is due in 2022 and will be one of AMG’s most ambitious electric vehicles to date. We have all the details in this week’s mag.

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE

Mercedes isn’t the only German marque focusing on electric power. BMW will offer an electric version of its next-generation 7 Series, which will take the fight to Mercedes’ vanilla EQS.

Meanwhile, McLaren has begun developing a hybrid successor to its P1 hypercar, expected in 2024, the all-new electric Jaguar XJ has been spotted undergoing winter testing and Tesla has begun deliveries of its model Y SUV, despite the US car industry being in shutdown due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

In the UK, car makers are being recruited to build ventilators, as the NHS struggles to cope with the outbreak. The Government is in talks with over 60 companies including Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, Honda and Vauxhall. We hear from the companies involved.

Finally, we take a look at Aston Martin’s finances. A £182 million investment from billionaire Lawrence Stroll looks to have righted the ship for a while. But is this really a turning point for the British marque, or are its troubles just beginning?

Our Verdict

Mercedes-Benz ECQ 2019 review - hero front

Mercedes’ first proper electric car hits a competitive mark dynamically and might exceed rivals for comfort and refinement. Big appeal for the eco-conscious and tech-savvy; maybe a touch less for the interested driver

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Reviews

Few 4x4s are as fabled as the Land Rover Defender. The new one has a lot to live up to. Matt Prior takes the five-door 110 on a voyage around Nambia to see how the new 4x4 drives - and if it can justify the Defender badge.

Then, we get behind the wheel of the hybrid variant of Ford’s all-new Kuga SUV. This won’t hold a candle to the Land Rover off-road, but refinement and a sneaky amount of dynamic flair sees the Kuga earn our tester’s approval. Elsewhere, as VW’s only convertible and the lone soft-top crossover on sale, the new T-Roc Cabriolet occupies an intriguing (though perhaps slightly baffling) niche.

Meanwhile, the updated Renault Zoe impresses with a 30% range boost and an interior redesign, and the Ford Puma steps up to the plate in the Autocar road test. We’ve only heard good things about the recently-dubbed What Car? Car of the Year, but will our testers think it lives up to the hype?

Features

Sports car match-ups don’t come much bigger than this: Jaguar F-Type vs Porsche 911 Carrera 4S. On the surface, this may look a bit uneven. After all, the freshly-facelifted Jaguar is now in its eighth year of production, while the Porsche is only a year old. But Matt Saunders reckons there’s more to the long-driving Jaguar than meets the eye. Is this a case of David and Goliath?

Next, Colin Goodwin bumps into the legendary Lamborghini test driver Valentino Balboni - total coincidence, honest! - at the launch of the new Drako GTE electric supercar and John Evans meets the woman who took on her insurer and won after she didn’t agree that her Nissan Micra was written off.

In this week’s motorsport section, Damien Smith enjoys a feelgood moment with two wizened and still wicked TVR drivers, who are reunited by a chance encounter on social media. Then, we explore how Formula 1 stars are turning their attention to Playstations to cope with coronavirus race cancellations, and Anthony Peacock speculates on the appropriateness of Sebastian Ogier’s win in the WRC Rally Mexico, which drew criticism for taking place during the early stages of the pandemic.

Opinions

Sorry guys - size matters. This is the lesson Steve Cropley learns from 150 miles in the Audi RS Q8 as he romps around towns and through dales in the jumbo-sized car. Coronavirus fears are shrugged off by intrigue about the future of the car market, and Steve even finds time to smuggle in a plug for a luminous green car-washing mitt. In Tester’s Notes, Matt Prior ponders the conundrum of the man bun, before moving on to the slightly more substantial question of the fate of the GT. In today’s tough climate, it should be an indulgence, but paradoxically, says Prior, this only heightens its appeal.

Deals

What choices do you have if you want a small, left-hand-drive car that will carry five on the second-hand market for around 6 grand? James Ruppert thinks a Fiat 500 L may be the solution. In our nearly new buying guide, we take a look at the outgoing Skoda Fabia, in particular its engine bay, where the meat and two veg of a successful used buy will be found. Then, we go vintage, whirring back to the clock to show you how to lock up a Mk3 Ford Capri. What’s a fair price? What are the hidden pitfalls? John Evans guides you to the ideal purchase.

Where to buy

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Digital copies can be downloaded from Zinio and the Apple iTunes store

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Comments
9

5 April 2018

As usual, this week's edition (dated 04APR2018), is a very good read, and well worth the investment. The road test of the eighth generation of Roll-Royce Phantom - with its "mahogany panelling" - illustrates that moneyed wealth, should NOT be confused with good-taste!

The sales pitch for next week's issue (to be dated 11APR2018), whets our appetite with the Used Buying Guide  . . .  "Mercedes-Benz CLS. Can't afford the new one? Then read our guide to Merc's original style icon".

The original CLS certainly was a style icon, with all the svelte elegance of a Parisian - or Italian - chic designer item.

That streamlined elegance was lost when the original's "facelift" incorporated the bluff, Teutonic, more upright, corporate Mercedes radiator grill.

The new, current, incarnation of the CLS (page 29, of this week's magazine), shares all the style, delicacy, and substantial "presence" of a rugby prop forward!  It is not a case of "Can not  AFFORD  the new CLS?".  More a question of why would anyone wish to purchase such a vulgar and brutish vehicle?

It is (again) a reminder that the ownership of wealth, is NOT the same as the possession of good taste.

RCT(V)

 

 

 

 

289

18 July 2018

....totally agree!

19 July 2018

Why the GT2 RS isn't  a five-star Porsche?

Well, according to the German car magazine Sportauto the McLaren 720 S is the better supercar.

The 720 S is razor sharp and yet poised, while the GT2 RS is a bit unhinged.

22 July 2018

Good overall read this week, except for the iPace vs Tesla review, which is a biased storyline developed clearly ahead of the cars being reviewed.  Essentially, the premise looks to convey an analogy between two passenger jets and how the second to market - the Boeing 707 - went on to lead it. Unfortunately, much like his story, he apply's 20th century motoring thinking to a 21st century ownership problem. In other words, he clearly doesn't get what the shft to electric is about. Not only that, many of the facts are just incorrect, like 0-60 time that amongst the others if they had been published correctly, would make the reader question how the author could possibly have reached such a conclusion. This disregards the fact that the iPace is better compared with the Model 3 (same size). Not only that, but the test cars were over 25% apart on costs - with the iPace being more expensive. Really dissappointing journalism. 

8 August 2018

Oh good... Another JLR product takes the cover spot.  Must be at least an issue or two since the last one. 

8 August 2018

Oh good... Another JLR product takes the cover spot.  Must be at least an issue or two since the last one. 

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