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This week: First truly all-new McLaren production car will be a PHEV, BMW 4 Series gets a grilling, Polestar 1 road-tested and much more
Autocar
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4 mins read
30 September 2020

McLaren will spearhead its transition to electric power with an all-new series-production car.

A plug-in hybrid is set to be launched next year as part of the Sport Series replacement, which will pack 600bhp-plus from a rorty twin-turbocharged V6 powertrain.

For more technical details on the latest Macca, pick up a copy of this week’s mag.

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE

We reveal that Skoda will finally bring its ever-popular Fabia supermini back into line with its Volkswagen Group siblings with an all-new version next year, but unlike McLaren there’ll be no electrification just yet.

Volkswagen has detailed its full range of ID 3 trims and prices, Porsche has unveiled the updated Panamera as a 700bhp flagship with extended EV range, and Ford has confirmed that the new Mustang Mach 1 will be sold in Europe and the UK, complete with uprated V8 powertrain.

Meanwhile, Renault has revealed the Mégane eVision, a bold electric concept that it claims “reinvents the classical hatchback”. The Dacia Spring is revealed as the brand’s first production EV. We also reveal Cupra’s plans to put an Audi’s five-pot inside the Formentor for a range-topping super-performance version of its new SUV.

In sadder news, Volkswagen has confirmed that it won’t launch a new Golf GTI Clubsport S to renew its assault on the front-wheel-drive Nürburgring lap record and BMW is recalling its latest PHEV models due to risks of battery fire. There’s a sunnier outlook for Hyundai, however, as it finally unveils its long-awaited challenger to the Fiesta ST, the i20 N.

In this week’s business section, we ask if bigger batteries offset the environmental benefits of long-range EVs. Jim Holder ponders the horrible truth that the car industry may have too many factories for the number of customers.

Reviews

Much has been written about the new BMW 4 Series’ divisive looks and especially its bulbous grille. Less has been written about what it’s like to drive. In the first of this week’s drives, we test the 369bhp coupé on what matters most.

The Range Rover D350 gains 48V mild-hybrid tech for its final year, and with it, unprecedented quietness and economy benefits. Then, we return to our favourite executive estate, the BMW 520d Touring, to see if it remains as wonderful as we remember it (spoiler: it does).

Next, we see if minor updates can help keep Seat’s Ateca crossover maintain an edge over its rivals. The new Land Rover Discovery Sport looks like being a real sales hit, but is its popularity justified? Volvo’s V90 B5P remains a compelling executive car and the Audi S8 and Ford Fiesta also impress our testers.

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Car review
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, we turn to the most strenuous examination of them all, the Autocar road test, and this week it’s the turn of the Polestar 1 to get grilled by our testers. Volvo’s electric performance start-up brand is finally up and running. Does it electrify our drivers? You’ll have to buy this week’s issue of Autocar to find out.

Features

With so much choice, and so much overlap, finding the right car has never been harder. That’s why Autocar is introducing a new set of awards to crown the true class of today’s new car market. Featuring categories for best company car, fun car, dream car, large car, SUV and much more.

As Nissan’s cute Figaro turns 30, Richard Bremner assesses how well it has aged and recalls a purple period for the Pike Factory that created it.

Finally, in this week’s motorsport section, Damien Smith celebrates the legend of Lewis Hamilton. The Mercedes-AMG driver is now the joint most prolific winner in F1 history, and he’s far from finished. Ex-McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh tells Autocar how he got there.

Opinions

Does car journalism matter, or is it really a tiny coterie of lucky enthusiasts indulging themselves for the benefit of a slightly larger minority? Steve Cropley takes an introspective turn in his weekly column, as he ponders the utility of his trade. Elsewhere, Matt Prior explains why he thinks modern cars are too effective for their own good.

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Deals

Cancel your subscription, says James Ruppert. Don’t plump for an A-Class on PCP, he’d have you buy a used Fiat Punto instead. In our nearly new buying guide, Max Adam reports on the BMW i8: it was the future once, but now it’s a £37k used bargain. Finally, Felix Page shows you how to buy a Ferrari 599.

Where to buy

Never miss an issue – subscribe to Autocar magazine today.

Autocar magazine is available through all good newsagents. You can also buy one-off copies of Autocar magazine from Newsstand, delivered to your door the morning after.

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. 

3 September 2018

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26 September 2018

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24 October 2018

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