This week: Bentley Flying Spur driven, AMG C63 to ditch V8, premium hot hatch shootout, and more
16 October 2019

Exclusive news out of Stuttgart this week, as we reveal that Mercedes is set to replace the long-standing V8 engine in its next-generation AMG C63 super saloon with a four-cylinder mild hybrid.

The first of several AMG models that will be electrified as the manufacturer looks to reel in CO2 emissions ahead of tough new requirements, it will shed weight while retaining the power needed to rival the Audi RS4 and the BMW M3. We’ve got all the details.


We get a first look at Toyota’s radically redesigned Yaris this week, which is set to make the upcoming supermini more ‘condensed and agile’ when it arrives in 2020, and take an early peek at the second-generation Mirai concept, which aims to make hydrogen power a lot more visually appealing. BMW also debuts the new 2 Series Gran Coupé, a compact, front-driven four-door that aims to take the fight to Mercedes’ CLA.

Elsewhere in the issue, Rolls Royce could find its position at the peak of the luxury car market under threat from a little-known Chinese company, and as Dyson axes plans for its much-touted EV, we analyse why the project was canned.


Our Verdict

Mercedes-AMG C 63

Merc's factory tuner turns up the C-Class wick to unparalleled levels. Few other super saloons can compete for sheer petrol-burning exuberance

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Our first taste of Bentley’s new Flying Spur came at a fittingly luxurious setting: the famous Hotel de Paris in Monaco. Sussing out the model in a tightly regulated car park as well as the open road, we found a truly versatile Grand Tourer which pairs the acceleration of a McLaren with the comfort of a Rolls.

Then, it’s the turn of the new Nissan Juke, which updates the brand’s popular compact crossover for a more competitive market, and we see how the Porsche Macan Turbo handles a bend. MG tries to rebrand itself in the crossover market with its new HS.

Dallara’s Stradale steps up to the starting line in this week’s road test, as the Italian chassis expert’s debut creation tackles the famous Autocar exam. It’s a project that’s taken eight long decades to bring to fruition, but does its performance on our test justify the wait?

Dallara Stradale


The high-end hot hatchback arena is a competitive one, and all the big guns have skin in the game. We pit the new BMW M135i, Mercedes-AMG A35 and Mini JCW against each other to figure out which one of these three top-bracket zipsters reigns supreme.

Next, Richard Lane puts on his racing suit as he takes Bowler’s Defender Challenger out for a lap in the British Cross Country Championship. It’s a rough and muddy course that tests the company’s brash, flash racer to its limits.

Finally, we wistfully take a look at the ‘unavailables’. No, this isn’t a dating show for picky singles, it’s 20 desirable cars that cannot be purchased on British soil. There’s an eclectic mix of metal here, from the genuinely attractive to ones with a more ironic appeal. One thing they’ve got in common, however? They’re all unavailable on our shores.



Steve Cropley speculates on the millenium-old question of the best car in the world, prompted by his dash about Monaco in the new Flying Spur, and is buoyed to see Volkswagen marking their Anglo-German heritage - while in a rare useful survey, Mercedes is revealed as the most-Googled car in the UK. Elsewhere, Matt Prior experiments with the BMW M3 CSL’s controversial SMG gearbox and makes the case that it’s with a manual that the CSL is at its best.



High priest of Bangernomics James Ruppert points those looking for a mile-chomping barge in the direction of diesels, which, despite shrinking appeal, are still the best weapons for a long motorway drive. In our nearly-new guide, we shine a spotlight on the Peugeot 308 - though it has stiff competition in the VW Golf and Ford Focus, the French hatch is a respectable alternative. Finally, if you’re after something with a little more grunt, take a look at a Jaguar XK. We go big cat stalking in our used car buying guide.

Jaguar XJ

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Join the debate


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.







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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19 September 2018

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26 September 2018

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24 October 2018

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