This week: we drive the new Porsche 911, find out which company makes the best high-spec hatchback, look at the UK's slowest-selling cars and more...
9 January 2019

As the dust clears from the launch of the 992-generation Porsche 911 at November’s LA motor show, we get behind the wheel of our cover star - the new Carrera 4S variant - for a taster at a damp Hockenheimring GP Circuit.

A 3.5sec 0-62mph time and 191mph top speed are certainly promising, but we need to find out if, beyond the statistics - this new model is what it needs to be: a Porsche 911

Arguably this week’s biggest automotive news was the launch of Toyota’s new GR Supra sports car at the Detroit motor show. While the car’s styling had long since ceased to be confidential information, the launch detailed exactly how the Supra will take on rivals like the Porsche 718 Cayman, and gave us cause to consider where it might go next…

Elsewhere at Detroit, Nissan offered a hint as to what its future electric vehicles could look like with the IMs concept. Taking the form of a raised sports saloon, the concept could inspire a production model to sit alongside a planned Leaf electric SUV. Across the hall meanwhile, Lexus’ LC Convertible Concept showcaed the company’s intentions to bring a drop-top variant of its popular LC coupé to market.

Following the news that Jaguar Land Rover is to cut its UK workforce by nearly 10% in an effort to achieve profitable growth, we take a look at how the brand plans to fight back. Find out what changes are in store for JLR’s Wolverhampton factory, Range Rover powertrains and more. 

Our Verdict

Seat Ateca

Seat's first attempt at building an SUV is a cracker and knocked the Nissan Qashqai off its perch in the process, so we discover what makes the Ateca our class leader

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Finally, Lamborghini is taking the fight to Ferrari’s 488 with an updated Huracán for 2019, featuring styling tweaks aimed at improving aerodynamic efficiency and a subtle power boost. The Italian firm is gearing up to introduce hybrid technology across its range, so is the 631bhp, 201mph Huracán a fitting swansong for its iconic naturally aspirated V10 engine?

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE

Reviews

Wet, bumpy British B-roads aren’t often considered to be the stomping ground of anything that leaves the Ferrari factory in Maranello, but with the new Portofino posing as a do-it-all grand tourer, we had to see if it offers versatile usability as well as impressive performance. Find out whether the 592bhp V8-powered California replacement has what it takes to beat the Aston Martin DB11 Volante and Mercedes-AMG SL63 in the real world.

Lexus is introducing its new Toyota Camry-based ES saloon to the UK as a replacement for the slow-selling GS. One immediate incentive over the outgoing model is a £1000 reduction in price, and with an efficient hybrid powertrain and well-equipped, spacious cabin, the ES could pose a real threat to rivals from Mercedes-Benz and Volvo

Alongside the ES, Lexus has relaunched its RC coupé with a range of subtle updates and enhancements. Aside from mildly reworked bumpers and headlights, the RC now features new shock absorbers, retuned steering and a range of new optional kit. We get behind the wheel to determine whether the industry’s only hybrid four-seat coupé offers a engaging driving experience to match its cruising capability.

This week’s road test is BMW’s 8 Series Coupé, which is returning to market after a 20-year absence. Promising a competent blend of luxury and sporty dynamics, the £75,000 grand tourer is up against some imposing competition in the form of Porsche’s Panamera 4 e-Hybrid and the Audi A7 Sportback 50 TDI. Find out if the 8 Series fulfils its brief as a technological showcase and remains a usable coupé. 

Features

The world’s ‘newest’ car company, Rivian, might not yet have a production car to its name, but a chat with founder RJ Scaringe reveals the firm’s ambitions of segment domination and disruptive design. With the launch of its R1S and R1T off-road EVs on the horizon, as well as the imminent completion of a purpose-built production line, we find out why Rivian is a start-up that won’t stop. 

For years, our used car expert James Ruppert has preached the values of Bangernomics, and shown you how to make motoring fun and affordable. This week, he’s on hand to show you how easy it is to get a premium motor in your own garage. Always dreamed of owning a Bentley Mulsanne, Porsche Cayenne or even an Aston Martin DB7? Now’s your chance. 

Affordable premium motoring is not solely the preserve of the second-hand market, however, which is why we took the Audi A1 Sport, Mini Cooper Classic and Ford Fiesta Vignale to the sweeping curves of Hampshire’s New Forest to see if its possible to enjoy a big car experience for little car money. Read our report of the three-way shootout to find out which of the three came out on top. 

Nearly 100,000 Fiesta hatchbacks left Ford dealerships across the UK in 2018, making it the country’s best-selling car. But what about the models at the other end of the spectrum? Find out which rare new cars could be headed for the collector’s market in our round-up of the slowest-selling cars of the past year. 

Opinions

Steve Cropley’s week began on a sad note as he handed back the keys to a McLaren 570S Spider that had given him 650 miles of instant gear changes and addictive acceleration. Happily, though, the only way was up, and just days later he was looking forward to a promising year for the automotive industry and enjoying a blast in the Mazda MX-5. Matt Prior, meanwhile, is convinced the new Porsche 911 we’ve driven would be an entirely different beast had it not received such a weighty and demanding moniker. 

Deals

2019 marks 60 years since the launch of the original BMC Mini, which means that, alongside anticipated special events and trim editions laid on by Mini, we are set to see a big increase in the price of classic examples. James Ruppert tells you how to beat Min-flation, before celebrating the relative freshness of his 100,000-mile Porsche Cayenne.

Our used buying guide star this week is the BMW Z3, which can be had for as little as £1500 if you steer clear of high-spec, low-mileage examples. We also take a look at the Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit - a relative bargain at £25,000, but a potential source of suspension fault-induced nightmares. 

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Comments
41

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!

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