This week: Land Rover’s entry-level rebirth, McLaren Elva revealed, Ruf-tuned Porsches and more
30 October 2019

Land Rover is plotting two bold changes to its line-up, due to kick off in the next five years. Following long bouts of discussion in the JLR management rooms, Autocar can reveal the British firm is bringing back an entry-level Land Rover, set to be the cheapest model ever and expected to be revealed in 2021.

Also on the cards is a sportier, more premium upgrade to their recently unveiled Defender. This new model certainly won’t be the cheapest ever Land Rover made; instead, it will be highly luxurious, electric, and probably cost well into six figures. We’ve got all the insights on both new cars.

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE

Readers with a penchant for McLarens and a spare £1,425,000 will be thrilled by the Elva, an 804bhp speedster which tops out Woking’s Ultimate Series range. Autocar scooped the windscreen-less roadster earlier this year, and now it’s official.

Elsewhere, Volkswagen is planning to expand its ID electric car range with a hot GTX line, while the ID Space Vizzion concept hints at what an ID estate car could look like.

This issue also sees Seat quashing hopes of a bespoke Cupra sports car, Fiat dropping hints that it may be axing its long-standing Panda city car, and Skoda finally unwrapping the hotly-anticipated new Octavia. We also got an early glimpse of Kia’s Futuron concept. Fun fact: it’s said to have been inspired by “UFO and flying saucer design”.

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Driven this week

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Reviews

The fresh-faced Toyota C-HR is the first of this week’s drives. The recently facelifted hybrid crossover gains extra punch from a 2.0-litre engine, but gives up no more than 10% in fuel consumption over the outgoing 1.8. We find out if refinement has increased as well.

Next, we step up (literally) to the Jeep Gladiator Overland. Jeep has extended the ever-popular Wrangler to produce the new pick-up and, though its off-road credentials still need vetting, it’s an extension which yields some fruits. Elsewhere, Hyundai’s new fully-electric Ioniq and the Lexus RX 450h F Sport meet UK roads for the first time.

This week’s road test subject is the BMW X4 M Competition. BMW has made big claims for its divisive ‘sports activity coupé’, but does the reality match up to the M3-on-stilts hype?

Features

Celebrated Porsche tuning company Ruf Automobile GmbH has delicately tip-toed along the boundary between eccentric and psychotic for years. We head to Bavaria to sample some of the madness.

Supercars with ever-increasing horsepower counts are intoxicating to drive, but given our notoriously busy UK roads, is it actually worth splashing out to buy one? We run a McLaren 720S against a Mazda MX-5 to see whether the £225,000 extra you’d spend on the supercar translates into more real-life performance and fun.

We also sit down with the head honchos at Volvo to find out why the firm is focusing on electricity and adding performance to its traditional safety ethos, and then turn back the clock at the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.

Finally, Matt Prior returns to the Ford GT he drove on a simulator last week. This time, however, the experience isn’t virtual, and the Ford is in its natural environment: a snaking and bumpy race track.

Opinions

Steve Cropley ponders the difficulties of picking a new car and mourns the anticipated swelling of the Fiat 500, before trading his driving gloves for a helmet and channelling his inner Wild Hog on a spicy Ducati. Elsewhere, Matt Prior muses the question of the performance SUV. While there’s no doubt they’re remarkable cars, our man can’t help wishing they had a little more subtlety.

Deals

Sometimes it’s good to hit pause and reflect on how far you’ve come. As a new survey reveals that 74% of drivers’ last vehicles were second-hand, James Ruppert does just this in surveying the thriving arena of the used car market. We also show you how to pick up a Mk3 Ford Focus in our nearly-new buying guide. There are plenty of facelifted models to get stuck into depending on your taste and budget.

Meanwhile, Q-cars are the order of the day in our used guide, and while the Subaru Legacy 3.0R may not be the most famous and limelight-grabbing Scooby, beneath its understated exterior you will find buckets of performance and charm. It’s the star of this week’s used buying guide.

Where to buy

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Comments
10

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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Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • DS 7 Crossback E-Tense 2019 first drive review - hero front
    15 November 2019
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    DS 7 Crossback gains a new flagship plug-in hybrid four-wheel-drive powertrain
  • Mazda 3 2019 road test review - hero front
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  • Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro
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