E XC L U S I V E AC C E S S
TVR IS BACK!
COSWORTH POWER + GORDON MURRAY GENIUS: WHERE DO WE SIGN?
OCTOBER 2017 £4.70 ISSUE 663
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NEWM5! WILDRS! 0-62mph in 3.4sec and 191mph Tech secrets of the supernova M5
New Megane, new hot hatch benchmark Manual ’box! F1 tech! Chassis magic!
P R OJ E C T O N E
MERC’S F1 CAR FOR THE ROAD ertime! AMG es the hypercar
R A NGE T E S T VELARROVER M AC A N VS Vela GT test r’s tough S i sP es shaporsche- t ed
70 INSIDER 10 Fast and pretty, Ferrari’s new cabriolet gets it right 12 Autumn is coming, so a new Leaf drops 14 Four Frankfurt show cars that matter 18 New Dacia: how to make the UK’s cheapest SUV 20 Concepts, one-offs, Allegros: a trip to Pebble Beach
New VW Polo: the verdict!
54 New metal special: RS Megane, AMG Project One & BMW M5
22 Porsche Cayenne Mk3 – and the new Bentley
Very different, very desirable performance cars
24 Spanish Inquisition: Seat’s design chief 26 Watches: Light on the wrist, not on the wallet
Huracan Performante vs Europe
28 Mazda’s genius creates a diesel-like petrol
1000 miles in the greatest modern Lamborghini: sympathy not expected
30 New S-Class so clever it improves your driving
31 Next-gen cylinder-on-demand cuts CO2 by 15% 32 PSA’s hot car future driven by motorsport
Inside the TVR reboot
The new sports car, by the men who made it
34 Volkswagen Polo The biggest small car is back 37 Jaguar XF Sportbrake The wagon rolls 38 Nio EP9 Electric ‘Ring record holder driven 39 Volvo XC60 T8 Wanted: decent chassis 40 Jaguar F-type Humble 2.0-litre and wild V6 tested
OPINION 42, 44 The columnists: Gavin Green & Mark Walton
R interactive: your letters, comments and pics 49 CAR
Giant test! Fiesta vs Clio vs Ibiza
98 Giant Test: new Fiesta vs rivals Can Seat and Renault crash Ford’s party?
108 40 years of Renault F1 Three greatest hits from Renault’s F1 discography
116 Twin Test: Velar vs Macan GTS Most road-biased Range Rover meets the benchmark
REAR END 126 Icon Buyer GTI +: Five used Golfs offering ultimate performance
134 Our Cars Our racer on the road and the art of being cheap
145 GBU: every car rated! How to avoid buying the wrong car
162 The CAR Top 10 Celebrating the best petrol engines before we can’t buy them any more
Lambo across Europe: even better than you think
DRIVEN BY SUCCESS.
FUNCTIONALISED POLYMER SILICA TREAD
Zeon 4XS Sport gives you ultra high performance and grade A grip in the wet David COULTHARD COOPER TIRE SAFETY AND PERFORMANCE AMBASSADOR
OUR MOST ADVANCED SU
V TYRE COO
FUNCTIONALISED POLYMER WITH SILICA
3D MICRO GAUGE SIPING
FROM THE THIS MONTH ON PLANET
AMG Project One: a winning F1 team’s wild celebration Canvas meets carbonfibre
, I wanted to be flexible on ‘The weather forecast was good well, budgets aren’t what when and where we stopped and, the hotel allowance for need we’d knew I so be, to they used 1000-mile camping trip his of Ben r edito super unleaded,’ says s perfect sense… Make te. in the Huracan Performan ‘Escapism’, p76
Poking around Pebble
r’ half-grin from a bloke who Smile! That is the ‘fish out of wate ours-condition car is behind conc the actually doesn’t know what of a cannon in a westerly him. We shot staff writer Jake out r all things Monterey Car cove to ornia Calif rds towa direction scrub up on his classic car to have he’d know Week. Little did he beforehand! Still, the Cali g oozin knowledge and celebrity schm h took some of the edge off… Beac le Pebb at s view ic Pacif and sun p20 Pomp, prestige and prosecco,
CHASE CAREY AND pals would argue that, with its global audience, you can’t lose as a manufacturer in Formula 1. Others maintain that you can’t win, even if you win races. It’s a given that you’ll spend millions, and the chances are that spending won’t be rewarded with glory. Odds are the history books will go untroubled by your eﬀorts, and your car’s very conspicuous lack of speed will be picked over endlessly by the media (the national papers if you’re fortunate enough to be Ferrari). And if you do get the maths right, as Red Bull and Renault did in the Vettel years, you’ll be bemoaned for ruining the spectacle and reducing a human contest of skill and bravery into a ‘mine’s faster than yours’ procession. See? Can’t win. Except AMG iss winning. We always knew it could build ﬁne big-displacement road and race engines, but its domination of Formula 1’s modern hybrid era has cemented its reputation as a creator of extraordinary and entirely modern powertrains. Road car sales are heading skyward, with 100,000 sold in 2016, up from 70,000 in 2015, and set to soar as each Mercedes gets an AMG 43 derivative. A third of new Mercedes buyers opt for the prestige sheen of the AMG Line trim level. All of which makes the Project One hypercar’s timing sublime. You can only stretch a brand so far, and what better way to oﬀset AMG’s much-reduced exclusivity than a rolling reminder that, when it comes to unrepentant and extreme performance engineering, Tobias Moers’ merry band of high-octane lunatics are right at the top of the pile? What on earth will the hypercar’s full-throttle shove feel like? ‘Relentless’ according to Martin Brundle, who drove the 2015 AMG F1 car for CAR. ‘I drove the 1980s turbos on qualifying boost, but still the relentless acceleration of the Mercedes was shocking. Totally and utterly addictive.’ Enjoy the issue.
Ben Miller Editor Twin chargers
spotter can get caught out by Sometimes even the nerdiest car e cars is Seat’s excellent new thes of One . nces mbla family rese – which clearly inspired its Leon rb supe the Ibiza, the other is h? Thankfully we could, whic is h whic baby brother. Can you tell against the new and up so we could pitch the box-fresh Ibiza , the Renault Clio. urite favo -time long and a Fiest improved Read our Giant Test on p98
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October 2017 | CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK
Cars, people, scoops, motorsport, analysis: the month according to CAR
Who are you calling soft? Tougher looks, sharper chassis, more power… there’s nothing soft about Ferrari’s reinvented folding-hardtop. By Matt Joy
10 CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK | October 2017
Raising the roof Portofino’s folding hardtop is a new design, and now lighter. As before, you can raise and lower it at low speeds. New wind deflector cuts cabin air disturbance by a claimed 30 per cent.
More Prancing Horses 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8 is closely related to California T’s, but gets new pistons, conrods and intake system. Good for 592bhp, 39bhp more than the Cali.
Steering wheel is new, and now turns with electrical assistance
HIS IS MORE like it. The outgoing California played a huge role in Ferrari’s global success, marking the entry point for many buyers and slotting below the spectacular 458/488 supercars. But it was an awkward collection of compromises as a result, with looks sacriﬁced in order to provide a folding metal roof and a boot big enough to swallow golf clubs. And while always fast, its dynamics were some distance away from the rest of the stable. Handling packs and the latter T models improved things, but the reputation was set; it wasn’t a car for enthusiasts. From the ﬁrst glance, the Portoﬁno appears to change all that. Like its geographical namesake it is more elegant, blending elements from the 812 Superfast in the nose but more gracefully integrating the necessary bulk around the rear to house the all-important mobile roof. Underneath, the Portoﬁno rides on an all-new chassis, formed from aluminium as before but both lighter and stiﬀer than the California’s. Ferrari is yet to quote the weight, but it must be lighter than its 1730kg predecessor. Weight distribution is 46/54 front-to-rear. Don’t hold out for a return to natural aspiration here, as the Portoﬁno retains the 3.9-litre twin-turbocharged V8 that rules over the lower-order Ferraris. A series of small upgrades do raise the game, however; there are new pistons and conrods, a new intake system, and the exhaust side has been redesigned from manifold to tailpipe. The result is an extra 39bhp to take it to 592bhp, with torque up fractionally to 561lb ft. However marginal the gains, the
Portoﬁno now nudges supercar territory with a 199mph top speed, while 0-62mph is despatched in just 3.5 seconds. The Portoﬁno also receives some of the latest chassis tech from its more powerful siblings, including electric power steering, magnetorheological dampers as standard and the third-generation E-Diﬀ system, likely to yield greater sharpness and response. Although most of the changes are seemingly performance-orientated, Ferrari has put some eﬀort into improving the cabin, including a more eﬃcient climate-control system, increased rear-seat space and a new wind deﬂector claimed to reduce air intrusion by 30 per cent. It should all add to a much more complete entry-level Ferrari. We’ll ﬁnd out when we drive it in the coming months.
Twin-turbo V8s are here to stay Latest-generation V8 will push beyond 700bhp Much as people decry the loss of natural aspiration, Ferrari’s turbo F154 V8 is here to stay, particularly now that the Portofino’s version has received a chunk of upgrades. Starting life in the Maserati Quattorporte GTS in 2013 before making its Ferrari debut in the California T, the 3.9-litre unit has been
tuned for extra power here; likely because it’s already producing more torque than the 812 Superfast’s 6.3-litre V12. Next year’s hotter 488 Speciale spinoff will likely push beyond 700bhp and the GTC4 Lusso will sell more as a V8 than a V12. But the latter’s the engine you need, if you want natural aspiration.
October 2017 | CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK
Out go Mk1 dash’s kooky curves for sober cockpit with phonemirroring touchscreen
a new Leaf
S NEW CAR DEBRIEF MINI ELECTRIC
CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK | October 2017
Ooh, looks like a new Mini... It is, of sorts. This electric concept previews the zeroemissions Mini due in 2019. The production EV is spun off today’s Mini, but this concept feels fresh. It’s amazing what ditching the black plastic wheelarches and wraparound chrome can do...
Dare I say more contemporary? Thank the matt silver paint, revised body panels and exaggerated bodykit. These fibreglass parts are designed to help the Mini Electric slip through the air, enhancing range. The hexagonal radiator grille is also blanked off to reduce drag.
How far will it go on a charge? Tech details are wafer thin. Execs promise a powerful electric motor and a focus on preserving Mini dynamics. Insiders suggest the cut-down i3 battery pack is mustering only a 90-mile range – enough? A 2008 Mini E field trial saw 29.7 miles averaged per day.
British-built, I take it... Despite Brexit worries and the plug-in Countryman hybrid coming from the Netherlands, BMW has confirmed that the Germansourced electric powertrain will go in on the Oxford line. The plan is for EVs to contribute 2030% of BMW group sales by 2025.
The Frankfurt connection: where 2017 hot hatch meets 2030 pod Live from the Frankfurt show floor: the hottest Seat, a sexy Kia, yet another SUV and the future of cities. By y Jake Groves
Volkswagen T-Roc Had enough of SUVs yet? VW certainly hasn’t. Its latest 4x4 creation is the smallest in its line-up so far and comes complete with all sorts of angles, customisable colour combos and a name not dissimilar to a professional wrestler’s. MQB underpinnings mean neat packaging and a big-for-its-sector boot, so the lifestylified owners can venture out of
town to do surfboarding or extreme ironing or whatever. Engines are standard group fare: 1.0-, 1.5- and 2.0-litre TSIs and 1.6- and 2.0-litre diesels. Tech from Golf 7.5 carries across inside, too, so the latest Active Display instrument cluster and piano-black infotainment screens are present. External two-tone paint is reflected in vibrant dash inserts too.
NEED TO KNOW > What is it? Another piece of SUV ammunition for VW’s world domination plans > Key tech MQB oily bits, VW’s Active Display, optional adaptive chassis control > Aimed at? Well-off Millennials who think a Q2 looks too Bauhaus > Chances of making production? It already is available to order from Novemb r 2017
Seat Leon Cupra R Here’s the latest hot Leon, which turns out be the most powerful production Seat in history. The regular Cupra’s 2.0-litre turbo is boosted to 310PS (or 306bhp) and connected to a six-speed manual and front-wheel drive for tyre-scrabbling launch starts. If you like the orange metallic bits
on the outside, good news: bits of interior trim are finished in the stuff to complement carbonfibre and alcantara detailing. What is it with copper detailing? First it was Bentley’s EXP concepts, then the Velar First Edition and now this Cupra R. There must be a stockpile now plumbers use plastic pipes.
NEED TO KNOW > What is it? Limited-run, copper-clad hot hatch and most powerful Leon yet > Key tech 306bhp four-pot, massive Brembos and beefier air intakes > Aimed at? Speed-freaks with particular interest in conductive metals > Chances of making production? Confirmed for the end of 2017, limited to 799 units
Smart Vision EQ FourTwo concept ‘How life will look in the future,’ Smart says. ‘A Terminal 5 Pod is on the loose!’ we say. This is Smart’s stargazing exercise in how personal transportation integrates with 2030 cityscapes. So you don’t own the Vision EQ, you hail it from your smartphone. It’s Level 5 autonomous (no wheel, no pedals), so it drives itself to you, cheerily communicating with the surroundings via its
radiator grille message board. You pay as you go, and can even choose who to share rides with based on people’s destinations and online profiles (raising the scary prospect of encouraging some base instincts). And the electric Vision EQ knows where to go when it needs recharging. It’s an inspiring/ fantastical/terrifying vision – depending on your point of view.
NEED TO KNOW
Kia Pro_cee’d concept Swoopy shooting brakes are in vogue, it seems. Kia’s designers hope to inject some much-needed style into its Cee’d range, using its Stinger flagship as a baseline. So this long and low design study has a face that is lifted off the GT, but also has touches of Sportage at the back in a one-piece rear light
bar arrangement. Kia calls it ‘a bold vision for a potential member of the next-generation Cee’d family’ and one we’re certain will join the ranks when the range rolls out from 2018. It was also designed in Kia’s Frankfurt studio, just 500 metres from the Messe show halls; saves on postage, probably.
NEED TO KNOW > What is it? Low-slung shooting brake with Stinger nose > Key tech Flush Tesla-like door handles > Aimed at? Families in the near future who don’t want an SUV > Chances of making production? Points to a new Pro_cee’d model Visit carmagazine.co.uk for more Frankfurt news and Gavin Green’s expert analysis
CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK | October 2017
> What is it? Transportation pod for those who prefer Facebooking to driving > Key tech Electric power, Level 5 autonomy so there’s no steering wheel > Aimed at? City dwellers, sociable sharing junkies > Chances of making production? A vision of 2030 shared by many car makers and politicians
60 YEARS OF ADVENTURE AND DISCOVERY
The best budget SUV just got better Okay, it’s the only budget SUV. But it looks like Dacia will continue to clean up with the Duster. By Colin Overland It’s a huge global seller Since Renault lit the touchpaper under the Romanian company in 2004, Dacia sales have boomed. Of the 4.5m Dacias sold since 2004, 1m have been Dusters. The rugged SUV may have sold initially on price, but it kept on selling because its reputation for reliability and practicality went viral. The new model – available next summer in right-hand drive – fixes problems identified by owners: seat comfort, stowage space, sat-nav speed, safety gear, fit and finish.
More rugged outside
More refined inside
The front and rear lights are closer to the corners, giving the illusion that the car is wider. The grille is new and the sides have been reshaped to give chunkier proportions (less glass, more metal). The windscreen is bigger, and starts 100mm further forward on the bonnet. The roof bars are stronger and the wheels bigger by 1in at 17in. All the off-road capability has been retained. Powertrain choices will initially be the same as the current model: 1.2 and 1.6 petrols and a 1.5 diesel, with a dual-clutch auto an option on front-drive diesels.
The interior has undergone bigger changes than the exterior, while still being clearly a Dacia, which in turns means looking a lot like an old Renault Clio or Megane. The 2018 car has new seats, a new touchscreen and a redesigned dash housing an extra air vent. The doors have bigger pockets and the armrests are now finished in soft-touch fabric. The window switches are conventionally located on the doors. Pedestrian protection has been improved, a curtain airbag has been added and more electronic safety aids will be available.
Third central vent is a low-cost way to keep rear passengers cool
Why isn’t this a Renault? Dacia’s success has helped the whole Renault group understand what defines the brands, according to group design chief Laurens van den Acker. ‘Dacia was coming on very fast and there was a notion that it was going to eat up Renault. So we needed to be clear about the distinction. ‘We’ve had to push the brands in different directions – Renault is more Latin, sensual, emotional; Dacia is Germanic, robust, rational.’ It’s worked – Dacia’s success hasn’t been at the expense of Renault sales. Win-win.
CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK | October 2017
QUALIT Y UK & EUROPEAN 2017 TRACKDAYS TO ENJOY 25th & 26th September Spa Francorchamps 19th October Silverstone Grand Prix 2nd November Donington Park National 20th November Silverstone Grand Prix 7th December Donington Park National PRIC ES AN D NOISE LIMITS ARE LISTED ON LIN E
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01628 7 79000
BMW unveiled its Z4 concept, with a different take on two-tone leather Our man Jake surveys Laguna Seca, a key attraction during Monterey Car Week
Why Pebble Beach rocks Priceless concepts, one-off exotics… and an Allegro. It’s all at the world’s poshest car show. By Jake Groves
ETLAG IS CRUEL. But trundling into Monterey, California during the afternoon rush hour was enough to keep it at bay. The picturesque coastal town is known for its Paciﬁc views and ﬁshing history, but for one week of the year it and the surrounding peninsula is consumed by all things car. Spending just ﬁve minutes watching traﬃc go by racked up a mental dollar value in the millions. Monterey Car Week is a US car fan’s ultimate pilgrimage, with events ranging from the simple to the silly and the exuberantly luxurious. I’m here to take in the sights, sounds and high-octane smells of this petrolhead shindig. Supercar owners can show oﬀ their pride and joy at Exotics on Cannery Row, the self-explanatory event that takes over Monterey’s coastal main road through its ﬁshing industry hub. It’s a refreshingly basic event; drive there in your F12 or P1, park for the day, let visitors poke around your 20 CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK | October 2017
car while you poke around everyone else’s. The cutting edge not your thing? Drive a deathtrap or an old shed you can’t help but love? Take it (or even push it) to the self-deprecating Concours d’Lemons where the unfashionable, unreliable and unloved are celebrated. I saw everything from a Trabant driver dressed in Russian army fatigues to a massive Cadillac urinating coolant, and an MG that had a radiator loosely tied on by a strap. I particularly started to doubt my sanity when a Honda Civic with two front ends, two steering wheels and two engines won the ‘Worst in Show’ award. It was equal parts surreal and hilarious. Laguna Seca is nearby, too, where you can watch the Motorsports Reunion. That involves huﬃng more than your daily amount of petrol fumes, wondering if you’ll get tinnitus from the deafening classic racers blasting around the track or just taking in its epic 2.2 miles of twists and turns and rises and falls.
Then, of course, there’s the crowning jewel of the entire week: Pebble Beach. You have to wake up at stupid o’clock in the morning to be there for the Dawn Patrol, but what you’re privy to is an hour of the most legendary cars on the planet rolling by in one massive convoy through a golf course. You then spend your day rubbing shoulders with Arnie, Jay Leno and more panama hat wearers than you can fathom, taking in classics from all eras, a brisk easterly breeze and a chilly temperature you weren’t quite expecting. This comment may make some, er, more experienced readers of CAR R wince, but Pebble was an education for a whippersnapper like me; I didn’t recognise at least half of the concours cars, and had to refer to the handy car guide to make heads or tails of what they actually were. The concours events in particular are boons for
The planet’s most legendary cars roll by in one massive convoy
PEBBLE PICKS Things that made Jake double-take
Ariel goes atomic Brit firm plots Bugattibeating EV. By Matt Joy
Concours d’Lemons cars punctured the pomp of Pebble
ONE MAN, ONE ENGINE If you ventured over to the Mercedes stand at The Quail, you’ll have seen an AMG engineer doing what he does best: assembling an engine from the ground up. The live demonstration was ongoing throughout the day, where one of Affalterbach’s engineers took questions and talked through the build. Properly fascinating.
Michael Fux [pictured below right] and his one-off Fux Fuschia Rolls-Royce
PARROT! REPEAT, A PARROT! Okay, pet dogs at the show we could understand; they’d be out of the house and you can take them for a walk. Even the fashionistas with their handbag chihuahuas or pugs weren’t entirely out of context at Pebble. But a parrot?! We think it was there to ensure there was no fowl play in the concours judging. Sorry.
classic-car fans but car makers even use Pebble Beach to debut new models, coachbuilt one-oﬀs or concepts previewing the near future. McLaren and Rolls-Royce teamed up to reveal two cars designed for businessman and avid collector Michael Fux in unique (and slightly eye-melting) Fux Fuchsia, while Mercedes lopped the roof oﬀ its Maybach Concept 6. Inﬁniti even built an open-wheel retro EV racer, simply because it could. After previously unveiling its 3.0 CSL, 2002 Hommage and Concept 8 Series at Villa d’Este’s Concorso d’Eleganza in Italy, BMW chose Pebble to pull the covers oﬀ the Z4 Concept, a roadster that looked perfectly at home in California. Resplendent in Energetic Orange, the new twodoor sports car is BMW’s latest stab at the baby two-seat roadster. It’s working in parallel with Toyota, which is making its new Supra oﬀ the same platform; Z4 will be a drop-top while the Supra is strictly a coupe. Thankfully the Z4 still looks like a BMW, with its squat stance and kidney grilles, but those almost F-type-like headlights and the M5-inspired red buttons on the steering wheel are very un-Bavarian. We’ve got our ﬁngers crossed that all of this makes the production version in 2018. @_jakegroves
THE ONLY ALLEGRO IN THE US What could better illustrate the mick-taking Concours d’Lemons event than an Austin Allegro being pushed onto the show lawn? According to its owner, this is the only Allegro i the US, but Brit cars outnumbered almost every other country bar America in this category– proof that the UK is no stranger to making a trul crap car.
OMERSET-BASED ARIEL is famous for its no-frills Atom and Nomad. Now it’s plotting a new series-hybrid hypercar, currently called Hipercar. Standing for High Performance Carbon Reduction, the Hipercar targets a 0-100mph time swifter than the Bugatti Chiron. Each motor dishes out 295bhp and 332lb ft, so the two-wheel-drive version (with two motors) packs 590bhp while the all-wheeldrive version (with four motors) has 1180bhp and 1327lb ft. Although unproven, the numbers look mind-scrambling: 0-60mph in 2.4sec, a tenth behind the Chiron, 100mph in just 3.8sec, 150mph in 7.8sec. The motors weigh 40kg each, the single-speed gearbox just 9kg, while the chassis is a bonded aluminium monocoque with aluminium subframes carrying partaluminium suspension. A 35kW micro gas-turbine range extender keeps the cells juiced and although no charging network can currently produce 750v, the Hipercar is compatible with existing Type 2 and CHAdeMO systems. The Hipercar will also feature Ariel’s first fully enclosed body, with reclining carbon seats weighing just 9kg each. Created in collaboration with Equipmake – Hethel-based experts in motors and control technology – and Delta Motorsport, a pair of two- and four-wheel-drive concepts have already been shown. Now Ariel has joined with other partners like GKN Hybrid Drive – responsible for the Porsche 918 Spyder’s e-axle – to create production cars for 2019. Pricing is TBC, but Ariel boss Simon Saunders says: ‘It will be expensive because of the technology but it will be excellent value compared with the £1m+ supercars it will outperform.’ Ariel’s 4WD Hipercar should make 1180bhp and 1327lb ft!
INFINITI’S MAD PROTOTYPE 9 The Infiniti design team obviously had something put in their drink to create this. Inspired by Japan’s 1940’s racers, the 9 uses panels hand beaten by Nissan’s Takumi craftspeople and EV tech from the new Leaf for 5.5sec 0-62mph time and 105mph top end.
October 2017 | CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK
Cayenne v3: Form a Q Q7 meets Panamera as Porsche’s subtly-evolved third-generation premium SUV heads into a crowded market. By Jake Groves
HATEVER AUDI can do, Porsche can do better. Stuttgart has taken the Q7’s MLB Evo platform, 48-volt electrical system and air suspension and Porsche-ised it. So the third-generation Cayenne not only has all that, but a raft of extra tech only Porsche could do. The Panamera’s 4D Chassis Control is lifted across to iron out the road ahead, as is the space-age touchscreen cabin with the massive widescreen infotainment system and 4G LTE wi-ﬁ hotspot. It still looks like a Cayenne (ie slightly frumpy), but the rear end now brandishes Stuttgart’s rear light bar ﬁrst seen on the 718 Boxster and Cayman, then the Panamera. Other than that, it’s a feast for spot-the-diﬀerence fans looking for a challenge. Rear-wheel steering makes its way onto the options list, and Porsche’s latest breakthrough in braking tech is cast iron discs coated in tungsten carbide. Porsche says this new-fangled Surface Coated Brake system ‘increases friction values’ while reducing wear and brake dust compared to regular stoppers.
Ceramics are still the more potent brake option if you want maximum performance, though. As with any Porsche, the options list is vast. The Sport Chrono pack can be added if you’re mad enough to want to set a lap time on your school run, and sound systems from Bose and Burmeister are available to ﬁll your eardrums with anything other than V6-ness. The line-up begins with just the Cayenne and Cayenne S for now. The basic model has a 3.0-litre, single-turbo petrol V6 kicking out 335bhp, while the S has a twin-turbo 2.9-litre V6 peaking at 434bhp and a 0-62mph sprint time of less than ﬁve seconds. Expect to see hotter GTS, Turbo and Turbo S models populating the range within the next few years, and don’t rule out an all-electric version using technology from the 2015 Mission E concept. Want one? You’ll have to stump up a smidge under £56k for an entry-level one, while a Cayenne S can be yours from £68,330. First ones arrive in April 2018.
The details are all different, the overall look is the same. The magic’s all under the skin
Cabin continues Panamera-led trend for bigger screens, fewer switches
NEW CAR DEBRIEF BENTLEY CONTINENTAL GT
CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK | October 2017
This looks familiar… Version 2.0 of Crewe’s luxury GT evolution over volution in styling rms. Remember e EXP 10 Speed 6 ncept? Mix that, me Bentayga eases and a t of old Conti. ystal decanter adlights, rifled hausts and the XP’s oval brake hts all feature.
So, what has changed? The aluminium body is 80kg lighter, air suspension is standard and the 48-volt electrical system is part of the Panamera-derived underpinnings. The Dynamic Ride system should keep body roll in check and there are drive modes available for gentle wafting or hard charging.
Sounds sporty… Indeed. The engine is a 6.0-litre W12 that kicks out 626bhp and 663lb ft. Top speed is 207mph. There’s launch control, and a BMW M4 CSbeating 0-62mph time of 3.7 seconds. All that shove is fed through an eightspeed dual-clutch ‘box to all four wheels.
And still luxurious inside? Yes, and now up-to-date too. A new 12.3inch infotainment system revolves from behind a wood veneer panel, there’s an all-digital instrument cluster and more quilted leather than you really know what to do with. Coming to a stately home near you in 2018.
We are putting Seat on the map Seat’s design boss Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos has brought success to VW Group’s least successful brand. It’s all about perspective, he tells CAR
CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK | October 2017
Royal College of Art, is a very thoughtful and puristic designer. One of his favoured methods is to push a life-size clay model, devoid of lines and details, into the Barcelona studio’s viewing quadrangle. The design director subconsciously soaks up its mass from his upper level oﬃce, encouraging members of his 180-strong team to scrutinise its properties too. ‘I always start with the side view. This is the truth, where you see the proportions,’ he explains. ‘When I started I said to my designers “don’t show me cars in wow sketches, just show me perspective”. You are confronted with reality, and you have to solve the problems in the side view.’ Another desire is to inject dynamism into the shape, to capture the moment of acceleration: the Ibiza’s rear end, with its positive and negative planes, is meant to convey movement. The interiors are calmer, shaped by functional simplicity. ‘We are quite visually polluted in our lives, with the internet, advertising.
ILLUSTRATION: SENOR SALME
LEJANDRO MESONERO-ROMANOS makes an unlikely Red Adair. The design chief displays very little ego or drama, despite holding together a design reinvention while Seat burned cash year after year, and CEOs came and went. Then this March, Seat announced its ﬁrst operating proﬁt since 2007. Mesonero-Romanos’ design vision has been a cornerstone of this turnaround, with four production cars in ﬁve years. From 2012 Leon hatch to 2017 Arona baby crossover, four cars built on a consistent aesthetic of triangular lamps, crisp lines and strong proportions. ‘Yes, the cars look similar but to [change too early] is a risk. We are putting Seat on the map, and design plays an important role,’ he says in his gentle Spanish-accented English. ‘We are a young brand and, to be completely honest, we are not as strong as others. So we are making it stronger.’ The 48-year-old, who earned his design masters at London’s
CAR’S CURVEBALLS 6 questions only we would ask
Tell us about your first car… Ibiza, 1986, white, 15-inch rims: what a surprise! I really fell in love with the Ibiza when I saw it, it was very sporty at that time with the long wheelbase, short overhangs, quite flat roof. It was mature and sporty whereas Corsa and Fiesta were looking like a toy. Quality was really bad though.
ASTON MARTIN ESTATES Nothing screams good taste and shotgun ownership like an Aston with a tailgate Seat quality has improved since Alejandro’s 1986 Ibiza
I’m not comfortable in cars where there is too much.’ Seat has been forced to make compromises on its journey to proﬁtability: the Ateca and its Karoq counterpart from Skoda share the same doors, windscreen and roof. Couldn’t the door skins diﬀer? ‘From the moment you are What’s the best thing you’ve ever modifying the stamping just a little bit, done in a car? it’s not the same door. It’s a huge cost. Is I really enjoyed an Easter trip to Lake it harming the character of the car? No.’ Como. I have a Porsche, a Carrera 3.2 from 1987, we took it there. Bit The close collaboration with Skoda scary, because old cars have their extends to other brands. Mesoneroown character and can break down Romanos enjoys the camaraderie very easily, but we took the car there and back. among Volkswagen’s 12 chief designers, who get together once a Supercar or classic car quarter for a Stammtisch h, an informal Classic car definitely. You can feel round table. ‘It’s open bar, you can that they’ve been thought up by an individual. Simple things, real things. criticise, ﬁght, suggest! But in the end When you have an aluminium door we are all designers and we are discusshandle it’s real aluminium. Heater ing our work.’ The know-how ﬂows controls that make a noise. It’s very human, things are thin, nimble and out of Martorell in other ways: Bentley basic, it’s very refreshing. and Porsche have been on fact-ﬁnding missions to Seat to share its knowledge Tell us how you screwed up? on interface design. Many times. Probably not to say no enough. You want to make things The Spaniards remain dependent [positive], but have to say no, this is on Europe, and small: sales are 42% not going to work, there’s no point. If lower than Skoda’s on this continent you don’t feel it, you have to say no. alone. Nonetheless Seat’s registrations Company curveball: what was the in the ﬁrst half of the year are up 17%, official car of the 1992 Barcelona to 206,507, and customers are choosing Olympics? A Seat Toledo? No, an Ibiza! White. higher-spec cars. Next year promises Mine was very similar, but this was three more new models, including a another model year. ﬂagship seven-seat SUV based on the Skoda Kodiaq, and a more aggressive Leon Cupra R (see p14). The design chief shrugs oﬀ the view that the regular car is too understated: ‘In the past we were criticised for being too much boy racer. We missed some clients because of that. It doesn’t over-promise like a Focus RS. But people who want something more, we will increase the performance of the car with [a focus on] weight, aero and mechanics, and [the changes] will be visible!’ There’s a clear sense that Seat’s dark age is now over, and momentum is gathering under the latest CEO Luca de Meo. ‘We have a new dynamic in the group, a new president, and as a designer I would say we have more freedom now,’ says Mesonero-Romanos. ‘All the compromises we have done in the past helped us to arrive at this moment. Seat is going into the next step, where we are earning money and becoming more independent. We will be much more diﬀerent in the future, no doubt about it.’ PHIL McNAMARA @CARPhilMc Which achievement makes you most proud? That’s a tough one. Personally it’s my daughters. I’m very critical of my cars. In the places where I’ve been, probably when I left, there were always better cars and a better team than when I came in.
The latest one Zagato Shooting Brake (2018) Possibly the world’s most stylish family, the Vanquish Zagato Coupe and Volante have been joined by a Speedster and in 2018 this Shooting Brake. V12, 592bhp and just 99 examples to be made.
Bertone Jet 2+2 (2013) Built by Bertone for a client at spectacular cost, the Rapide-based Jet looked remarkably factory, so much so that Gaydon eyebrows were twitching. A much-discussed limited run never happened, unfortunately.
DBS Estate (1971) A one-off commissioned by a Scottish laird for fishing trips. Coachbuilders FLM Panelcraft gracefully integrated the tailgate from a Hillman Hunter onto purest Aston aluminium. It fetched £337,500 at a Bonhams auction in 2012.
Radford DB5 (1965) David Brown-spec Aston would have made their own shooting brakes but the factory was flat out. Radford got the nod instead, building 12 in total at a cost of half the list price again – £37k in today’s money. October 2017 | CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK
Porsche Design Chronograph 911 Turbo S and GT2 RS
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N C D LAND ROVER DISCOVERY SVX
26 CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK | October 2017
What? A Disco off-road? Who’d have thought it, eh? It might be one of the most capable 4x4s money can buy but the closest most owners get to the rough stuff is watching g Bear Grylls on catch-up. That hasn’t stopped JLR’s SVO division getting their hands on Disco 5 to create this: the Discovery SVX. No Subaru relation intended.
So it gets some flashy paint? It’s called Satin Tectonic Grey actually, with Rush Orange highlights, but it’s not just for show. The towing eyes are marked out in orange so that they’re y easy y to find when you’re kneedeep in it, and are rated to six tonnes. Plus the matte paint cuts reflections, and the bonnet in particular gets an anti-glare coating.
Won’t Defender owners laugh? They’ll have to catch you first. The Disco’s air suspension gets active roll control, departure and breakover angles have been increased and there’s long-travel dampers and new suspension knuckles to go with it. You even get proper Wrangler knobblies on the slick 20-inch alloys.
Definitely good off-road then. And likely on it too. Remarkably the SVX comes only with a 518bhp version of the supercharged V8, making it comfortably the fastest Disco 5 to date. No prices yet – this is a handassembled SVO product after all – but expect to pay more than the £66k the current flashiest version costs.
The innovations transforming our driving world
CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK | October 2017
Pettrol revs, diesel grunt: Mazda’s gamechanging engine An engine combining spark and compression ignition is the powertrain holy gra ail – and Mazda’s bright sparks have cracked it. By y Ian Adcock
AZDA HAS MADE the biggest internal controlling this is a pressure sensor in each cylinder, concombustion breakthrough in decades: a petrol stantly inputting data into the engine management system engine which combines the excitement and to control the twin electric variable valve cams, injection reﬁnement of a high-revving petrol with the strategy and a Roots supercharger acting as an air pump. frugality and a torque of a diesel, delivering a 30 per cent imMazda is so conﬁdent in its breakthrough that CAR R was provement in fuel economy and sub-60g/km CO2 emissions. allowed to drive prototype Skyactiv-X 2.0-litre petrol enThe gam mechanger is Spark Controlled Compression Igni- gines. The 30-mile test loop of autobahn, country and urban tion (SPC CCI), where Mazda has been ﬁrst to successfully roads suggested that, apart from some low-down noise and combine sspark ignition and compression combustion in a vibration that should be dialled out, Mazda has solved the petrol eng gine. Mercedes and GM have been working on this conundrum of a smooth switch between the two combustion too, but th heir HCCI engines have yet to deliver a smooth, types. The new engine drives like any sporty twin-cam, revproduction n-ready switch between spark ignition and ving cleanly to its redline just beyond 6000rpm, but with a high-comp pression burning of fuel once the engine starts. broad torque spread pulling from 1200rpm in sixth. SPCCI is a natural progression of Mazda’s current And fuel economy? The manual mustered 40.9mpg, a 13.3 Skyactiv engine e range, where both the petrol and diesel en- per cent improvement over today’s Mazda3 2.0-litre, with gines operrate at 14.0:1 compression ratio (high for a petrol, the engine running Spark Controlled Compression Ignition low for a d diesel). The general rule for petrol engines is the more than 95 per cent of the time. The auto scored 42.2mpg, higher thee compression ratio, the more complete the com- up 15 per cent, and operating even longer in SPCCI. bustion prrocess, improving eﬃciency and emissions. The Seems reports of the internal combustion engine’s immiSPCCI eengine, an all-aluminium 2.0-litre branded nent demise are somewhat exaggerated. Roll on 2019. Skyactiv-X X and set for production in 2019, nominally operrates at an even higher 15.0:1 – but there are more b breakthroughs than that, says powertrain execu utive oﬃcer Ichiro Hirose. SPARK IGNITION SPCCI COMBINES BOTH, WITH The air--fuel ratio is critical: usually the ideal SPARK’S FIREBALL ENHANCING COMPRESSION stoichiometric mixture for a petrol engine is 14.7 parts of aiir to one of fuel, less and the engine is running ‘rich’, higher and it is ‘lean’ burn. Running lean improves eﬃciency and reduces emissions, but can have side eﬀects. ‘Achievving a super-high compression ratio was a key breakthrough in realising combustion COMPRESSION IGNITION with lean fuel-air mix,’ reveals Hirose. ‘And the leaner you u make the air-fuel ratio, the more the speciﬁc heeat ratio increases; to make the big step forward w we needed to at least double stoichio metric leveels from 14.7:1 to 30.0:1.’ The pro oblem Mercedes and others faced was limited en ngine range and load. Mazda’s solution is Controllled Compression Ignition, which cleverly uses the spark plug to manage the compresSpark + compression = breakthrough sion ratio across most of the power range. ‘We What the SPCCI engine is doing and when chose a 155.0:1 compression ratio because it is close to co ompression ignition conditions in norduring the intake stroke and the The SPCCI petrol engine starts with mal ambiient temperatures,’ says Hirose. The compression stroke. A strong swirl is spark ignition, with the seamless created in the combustion chamber switch-over to compression ignition spark creaates an expanding ﬁreball that acts like to create an uneven distribution not happening at a set point but once a secondarry air spring to create additional comof fuel density with a lean mixture certain conditions – temperature, pression; ‘because the spark plug creates this around the periphery for comprespressure, engine speed and load sion ignition and a relatively rich – are met. Then the spark creates an ﬁreball, it eﬀectively controls the switch between air-fuel mixture around the central expanding fireball which provides spark and compression ignition.’ spark plug, for creating the fireball. additional squeeze to the normal Requireements to initiate compression ignition Compression-ignition combustion geometric compression ratio of apis used in most areas of the engine prox 15-16:1, triggering the switch to are not ﬁxxed; they vary according to temperaperformance envelope, except compression ignition, on which the ture, pressure, engine speed and load at that under high load (such as accelerengine runs until demand changes. particularr instance, so the timing and size of the ation) and cold starts, when spark The air-fuel mixture is created by ﬁreball a re adjusted accordingly. Critical to ignition is used. splitting injection to two phases: October 2017 | CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK
Does it work?
When Eco Assist helps most MID ALL THE excitement over Mercedes’ latest evolution of its autonomous driving systems in the revised S-Class, it’s easy to overlook l k the h other h big bi innovation: i i you. More precisely, the S is set up to oﬀer encouragement, information and incentives to help you drive more smoothly and more economically. Crucially, it can be ignored and over-ridden, leaving you to decide whether your priority is economy at any given moment. 1 2 3 The latest, upgraded version of Eco DOWNHILL UPHILL MOVING QUEUES Assist is available on the S450 (not a UK You’re prompted to lift your The mapping knows you’re If the radar spots you’re model) and S500 – the only cars using foot off the gas, and the car near the brow of a hill and cruising into a queue, it slows will brake itself legal. will prompt you to lift off. but aims to keep rolling. new beltless inline-six petrol engine with 48-volt electrics and an integrated startAdaptive cruise control: The latest S-Class has er-generator (ISG) instead of an alternator. a reﬁned version of ACC, factoring in everything Eco Assist works by combining several features. DID IT WORK? Connectivity and sensors: The car knows where from the weather and the road surface to the route Yes. It’s amazing how seamless you are, where you’re going, and what’s happening and the charge level of the battery as it calculates the transition is between enginein between. So it won’t encourage you to accelerate the best way to keep you at a safe distance from off coasting, recuperation and conventional propulsion. If you other traﬃc while using as little fuel as possible. towards slowing traﬃc or a hairpin, for instance. ignored the info on the dash, Eco Assist is there all the time, making backk Coasting: The engine can turn itself oﬀ and on you could easily not know what again at motorway speeds, and engage neutral ground calculations about when best to intervene was going on under the bonnet. while it’s coasting, if it calculates that a period of and in what way. But there are several instances The lights and icons are subtle being propelled purely by momentum (and the where it can make a big diﬀerence (see above). enough to fall into the category And Merc’s latest stop-start system – clever subsequent restart) will be more economical than of useful information rather enough to stop the engine while the car is still keeping the engine on throughout. than nannying interference. Recuperation: The ISG system has a soft-hybrid moving – uses all the information available through Mercedes has made a point of element, so it can store surplus braking energy in its GPS, radar etc to avoid infuriating sub-two-second programming the system to second battery. It’s constantly calculating whether switch oﬀs. As well as being annoying, they’re less avoid an excessive number of prompts. It’s very grown-up. cruising or braking (and storing the resultant ener- fuel eﬃcient than keeping the engine on. COLIN OVERLAND gy) is better in the current circumstances.
30 CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK | October 2017
Sounds like a great idea Acoustic know-how brings extra precision to cylinder shut-off, promising huge efficiency improvements at minimal cost. By y Ian Adcock
MAGINE A combustion process that could produce the precise quantity of torque needed at any given moment – no more, no less – and in the process reduce C02 by up to 15% andd reduce engine vibration. Such alchemy would be wondrous to the fathers of the petrol or diesel engine, but it appears this breakthrough has been achieved – thanks to technology developed by a former Silicon Valley digital signalling processing expert. Dr Adya Tripathi took his knowledge of working with audio ampliﬁers to investigate whether the science of frequency content could be applied to controlling the internal combustion engine’s compression cycle. Tula’s unique Dynamic Skip-Fire Cylinder (DSF) deactivation combines advanced digital signal processing with sophisticated powertrain controls and Delphi’s Deactivation Roller Finger Follower (DRFF) valve control system. DRFF is an advanced variable valve-actuation technology that uses a rocker arm mechanism working with a three-lobe cam to switch between full- and zero-lift proﬁles within milliseconds. Full cylinder deactivation can be achieved in a single cam revolution at speeds up to 3000rpm, without the need for high valve-spring loads that increase stress and friction. DSF makes continuous dynamic ﬁring decisions on a cylinder-by-cylinder basis to produce the required engine torque at any
one time depending on vehicle speed and load, simultaneously avoiding unnecessary noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). According to Tula’s chief powertrain engineer, Matthew Younkins, DSF can vary between ‘all cylinders to zero and any percentage between. This means you can match the number of cylinders exactly to the required torque.’ As with conventional cylinder deactivation technology, DSF can shut half the cylinders. But the big diﬀerence is that it can change the number of cylinders ﬁred in an analogue manner from two to 2.4 or 3.2 to four without pulling the spark to maintain a smooth transition. Eh? ‘Obviously you can’t ﬁre 0.4 of a cylinder,’ says Younkins, ‘but you can ﬁre 24 out of a 100 to average 2.4.’ The controlling algorithm also measures cylinder and/or exhaust temperatures to prevent over-cooling resulting in emission surges during re-ignition after being dormant. Originally developed using a 6.2-litre V8-powered GM Yukon Denali, Delphi-Tula demo’d the technology in a 1.8-litre VW Jetta at the recent Vienna Symposium, and its CO2 was cut by 7-10%. Delphi-Tula calculate that if the global vehicle ﬂeet converted to DSF it would save consumers £59bn in lower energy costs and reduce global CO2 by 197 million tons a year, all for less than £300 a vehicle. Testing the system in the Yukon Denali – powered by a 6.2-litre V8 – was a revelation. The dash-mounted display depicting which of the eight cylinders is ﬁring at any one time was a blur of red d and d white hit sequencing i mostt off th the time, ti b butt th there were times ti on part-throttle, coasting downhill or decelerating towards traﬃc lights when all eight were blanked oﬀ, and brief periods under part-throttle cruising when the Yukon was running on only two cylinders.
Demo Jetta has valve control wizardry triggered by audio expertise
Roller finger follower
Hydraulic lash adjuster
October 2017 | CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK
Finot looks after Citroën Racing, Peugeot Sport and DS Performance. Très busy
The next big things Peugeot-Citroën’s motorsport boss Jean-Marc Finot on his boeuf with World Rallycross, synergies with Vauxhall, and a possible Le Mans comeback IT WOULD BE interesting to be back in the FIA World Endurance Championship. We left ﬁve years ago, the PSA Group was unproﬁtable, it had been done, and we wanted to win the Dakar. We’ve won the Dakar twice now… > THE FIA AND ACO are cutting costs with new WEC regulations due in 2020, while still keeping the battery electric technology and plug-in fast charging that will come to road cars in the next few years. There’s a proposal for a standard ﬂat-underﬂoor, one-aero conﬁguration for the season, and a limit on wind-tunnel time and tests days, but we think there’s a possibility for more standardisation, as in Formula E. For the spectator I don’t think it’s important that the battery cells are diﬀerent for each team. We must ﬁnd the best balance between the spectacle and cost. > PEUGEOT SPORT and Citroën Racing merged a year ago, and together with DS Performance we now have around 300 people and an engine department, a chassis department and a workshop dedicated to all our brands. We also have a customer competition department, in charge of sports car development – like the 308 GTi
FRESH THINKING G VW gazes into its crystal ball Glass factory is now a hothouse for futuristic thinking VW’s Transparent Factory in Dresden once produced the Phaeton and Bentley Flying Spur. The idea was that the glass-walled factory would let you see your car being built and encourage a spirit of openness. After a period when it served as a concert venue and education centre focusing on future mobility, it now has a second lease of life. As well as housing the e-Golf production line, it’s the venue for the ‘start-up 32
incubator’ project. You what? Somewhere between Love Island and The Great Egg Race e, it’s a competition designed to tackle some of the challenges of future mobility. For 200 days, six teams will work up their future-mobility ideas. All the teams get VW funding and some expert support, and the projects that look most promising after 200 days will get developed further. Some other teams will be
CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK | October 2017
ready to move into vacant slots in early 2018. What sort of projects are we talking about? ? Car sharing. Analysing urban traffic flow. Automated parking. Electric trikes for delivering packages to your front door. That sort of thing. Intriguingly, the electric trike idea comes from a company founded by former VW design chief Murat Günak, who has spent recent years immersed in various electric and self-drive projects.
or DS3 Performaance – and competition cars like the 308 TCR. > THE FINAL d deal between Opel [and Vauxhall] and PSA has not been signed, and we haven’t h had any discussions yet, but there would d be synergies between ourselves and OP PC and VXR. > WE HAVE diﬀ ﬀerent philosophies for our cars. A Peugeeot GTi will be sportier. The DS Perform mance line will focus on powerful carrs with a luxury twist. For Ci F Citroën ë we are thinking of a new project: it’s a people-minded brand, so such a vehicle must be in the feelgood category, between a standard car and a performance car like a GTi. > IT’S POSSIBLE to make such a car [like the Alpine A110] and for someone keen on motorsport and sports cars it’s also very interesting, but this kind of project will only be decided upon if the business case is in the black. > WE DON’T want our brands to be competitors to each other, and each one must compete for a world championship. For Citroën it’s the World Rally Championship, for DS it’s Formula E. For Peugeot it’s rally raid, but we only have two major events each year – the Dakar, and the Silk Way Rally – so it’s World Rallycross too. > WE ARE worried because World Rallycross is a team championship, and we are supporting Team Peugeot-Hansen with the 208, upgraded from an R5 rally car. But when VW enters with a highly evolved carbonﬁbre racecar, and there are no rules to limit testing, it could be dangerous in terms of cost. > DS COMPETES in Formula E as it’s a championship taking place in big cities and we want to showcase our Parisian luxury to an audience with strong purchasing power. And it’s in our strategy to have alternative power units – battery electric and plug-in hybrids – in all DS models by 2020. > ALL FORMULA E racecars have the same Dallara chassis and Williams batteries [switching to McLaren from 2018] but at the rear of the car we can design the electric motor, the power electronics, the gearbox, the suspension. We think it’s a good balance between cost and freedom of development. INTERVIEW BY BEN PULMAN
VW’s e-Golf factory now also i-deas factory
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Starring VW Polo, Jaguar XF Sportbrake and four-cylinder F-type, Volvo XC60 T8, and a record-busting EV supercar
Sixth-gen Polo plays miniature Golf with more kit and space
Polo: now with 10% extra free VW’s new Polo gets more space, more tech and more refinement for similar cash. Though you can spend much, much more. By y Georg Kacher
HE NEW POLO is, in essence, a slightly smaller and more aﬀordable Golf. Although it isn’t oﬀered with the bigger engines, hybrid powertrain or electric motor available with the current Golf, the new Polo adopts its DNA. It’s a proper Volkswagen, solid and competent, made to last and failsafe, a little bland but a great all-rounder. Globally, the Polo is VW’s best-seller. It’s strong in Europe, big in South America and huge in China. The sixth-generation model aims to consolidate or even extend this lead. To do so, the ancient PQ platform has been replaced by the stiﬀer and trimmer modular MQB architecture. Although the MQB upgrade hits VW to the tune of €400-€500 per car, most costs should be absorbed via enhanced synergies and bigger volumes. While the price of the entry-level model remains virtually unchanged – from €12,975 in Germany, TBC over here – the previously optional rear doors are now standard, the equipment more complete, and you get quantiﬁably more car for your money. The base model’s power output climbs from 59 to 64bhp, but the extra punch is neutralised by a 55kg weight gain. When the Golf’s little brother goes on sale towards the end of the year, the engine choice will be limited to a trio of 1.0-litre three-cylinder units rated at 64, 74 and 94bhp. A 113bhp 1.0 TSI, a 148bhp 1.5 TSI complete with particulate ﬁlter and cylinder deactivation, the 197bhp, 2.0-litre Polo GTI and a brace of 1.6-litre diesels good for 79 and 94bhp will follow. Although this comprehensive line-up will be complemented by a 89bhp 1.0-litre natural gas engine in some markets, electriﬁcation is conspicuous by its absence. How come? Because of the cost penalty which slaps about €1500 on the mild hybrid/48-volt application, and a little over €2000 on the plug-in hybrid. However, by 2019 at the latest, when battery prices will have come down, the ﬁrst emission-free variant should put in an appearance. A T-Cross neo-SUV is also in the works. The new Polo is longer and wider, with a 92mm wheelbase extension that frees up
October 2017 | CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK
legroom in row two. Luggage volume increases from 280 to 351 litres. The new Seat Ibiza derived from the same components set is a somewhat tighter ﬁt, while the MQB-based Golf has a bigger cabin but smaller luggage area. The new Polo introduces a touch of interior colour here and there, the drab cloth upholstery has disappeared for good, and you can have your car sprayed in fancy shades like Energetic Orange or Pale Copper. Modern times, indeed. From behind the wheel, the most obvious improvement concerns the fact that the previously top-mounted centre air vents and the touchscreen have swapped position, making it much easier to read and operate the bigger full-colour monitor. Just about the only desirable extra missing is a head-up display. This Volkswagen is still very much a Piech, Winterkorn and Hackenberg kind of car. The Klaus Bischoﬀ design is evolutionary rather than courageous, the interior classy rather than cool,, the infotainment basic rather than bestin-class. Want to hook up your smartphone? It’s possible but it costs, because it requires the Composition Media radio and the Connectivity
Volkswagen Polo 1.0 TSI > Price e TBC > Engine e 999cc 12v turbo 3-cyl, 92bhp @ 5500rpm, 129lb ft @ 2000-3500rpm > Transmission 5-speed manual, front-wheel drive > Performance e 10.8sec 0-62mph, 117mph, 62.8mpg, 103g/km CO2 e Late 2017 > Weightt TBC > On sale
CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK | October 2017
Pack, in total a four-ﬁgure outlay. On the credit to our car’s 215/45-R17 tyres (also optional). side, the sat-nav module has come down in price, This Volkswagen is as stable as a rock whatever and almost all electronic aids are now quite surface it is whipped over, it is as benign at the aﬀordable – all the currently available driver limit as a fat cat after lunch, and it doesn’t need assistance trickeries bar autonomous parking, lounge music to promote a relaxed driving style. The brakes inspire conﬁdence, body control is following and lane changing are oﬀered. Unfortunately, the imperative visual up- rarely an issue, and the steering is a precision grades don’t come cheap, like the 17-inch alloys tool which connects the road to your palms. Sadly, the drivetrain is a bit of an anti-climax. that are so much sexier than the standard 15-inch steels. More opportunities to spend cash The turbodiesel units in particular feel unreﬁned, both in terms of noise level and running are bundled in equipment packs like R-Line. We drove the Polo mainly around town where characteristics. True, the oil burners still rapidly it feels nimble and manoeuvrable, blending build up a beefy momentum, but this torque good visibility with a small enough footprint. oﬀer is instantly put into perspective by the tall Last year, we drove pre-production versions ﬁnal drive ratio. As a result, the fuel economy extensively in South Africa, where the roads is not as impressive as it should be. On our test were much more challenging than in the loop, the on-board computer indicated 49.6mpg Greater Hamburg area chosen for the produc- for the 95bhp 1.6 TDI, which did not compare tion-car launch. On both occasions, the new favourably with the 48.8/54.3mpg recorded Volkswagen felt like a grown-up sub-compact for the 94/64bhp 1.0 TSI. The available DSG car. The production versions are of course much gearbox irons out the take-oﬀ and tip-in issues quieter, more reﬁned overall and built to very which are symptomatic of the manual transhigh standards. The BMW 1-series cannot mission. Irrespective of the engine type, the match the cabin appeal of a 2018 Polo Highline, stop-start system is a bit sleepy. The new Volkswagen Polo is the Audi A3 ranks only half a class not primarily about performance, above it, the Golf is about on par. sharp handling or extrovert charThe Polo’s driving dynamics are LOVE acter. And despite a few grumbles, tailored to satisfy a wide variety Grown-up feel, low road/wind noise it’s a job well done, a versatile and of customers, so fun is not top roomy small car that is eager to of the menu. But noise levels are HATE please, a clever piece of kit rather luxuriously subdued, the ride Diesels could be smoother than a soulless transportation apcomfort conveys that magic-carpet pliance. Although the competition touch even with the dampers set in VERDICT is catching up, this honey-they Sport p (an ( option), p ), rowdyy attitudes The Polo that feels shrank-my-Golf newcomer has got are quickly nixed by the electronic like a Golf +++++ what it takes to extend its role as diﬀ lock (another option), and the leader of the pack. cornering grip is tenacious thanks
JAGUAR XF SPORTBRAKE
Old-school cool It’s swimming against the SUV tide, but the new XF estate is a winner. By Adam Binnie
The great British ’Brake is back. Drives well, and it’s useful too
Saloon engines carry over (except rear spoiler, aiding aerodynamics as the 3.0-litre petrol) but the new much as the side proﬁle. LOVE 2.0-litre diesel with 237bhp and It looks longer than the saloon, Looks, drive, all-wheel drive will be the big seller, practicality but isn’t, and actually measures as it delivers six-cylinder punch shorter and lower than the old HATE with four-pot running costs. There version, despite boasting a larger Some of the cabin isn’t a huge spread of torque, but plastics boot. It’s a thoughtfully designed the eight-speed automatic gearbox space too, square with no intrusions, VERDICT manages it well. and the electronic tailgate can be Still the coolest estate available Jaguar says the estate was operated hands-free. +++++ engineered to drive like the saloon, The load space measures 565 despite being 115kg heavier, with litres, enough for two golf bags tweaked front suspension and air springs at and buggies, while 1700 litres is available if you collapse the rear seats using handles in the boot. the rear. The ride is stiﬀer but less ﬂoaty than a The ﬂoor is completely ﬂat thanks to redesigned BMW 5-series Touring and more composed than rear seats, and there’s no lip to lift objects over. a Mercedes-Benz E-Class. The XF Sportbrake combines desirable styling This is, without doubt, a fabulous boot. It’s not perfect, though – the ﬂoor’s tilted uphill, with practicality and a rewarding drive. Thing because of a strengthening is, rivals from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz oﬀer a comﬁer ride, a bigger boot and more beam beneath, so your avocados exciting engines. Also they all have nicer cabins. will roll around, and an F-Pace’s But they’re not as good to look at, are they? is bigger. There’s also an internal AdBlue ﬁller, high up on the Or anywhere near as cool. While everyone else is punting out SUVs, here’s a genuinely exciting left-hand side. AdBlue is easy to and interesting estate. spill. And it stinks. Sorry, Sportbrake. Space for rear passengers’ heads and legs is generous even with the optional panoramic Jaguar XF 2.0d 240 R-Sport Auto AWD Sportbrake sunroof ﬁtted, and although > Price e £44600 > Engine e 1999cc 16v 4-cyl turbodiesel, 237bhp @ 4000rpm, 369 lb ft @ some of the cabin materials 1500rpm > Transmission 8-speed auto, all-wheel aren’t quite up to scratch, you Clean and classy drive > Performance e 6.7 sec 0-62mph, 150mph, looking, but no match do get Jaguar’s vastly improved 48.7mpg, 144g/km CO2 for rival German cabins latest infotainment system. > Weightt 2395kg > On sale e Now
HE OLD JAGUAR XF Sportbrake had an innate coolness. Perhaps because you could have one with a mad bodykit and socking great V8 engine, or because it was regularly seen in the Tour de France covered in carbonﬁbre racing bikes. Maybe it’s the name – estates are always full of ﬂat-packs and garden waste, but a Sportbrake on the other hand sounds like something a professional wakeboarder would drive. That was all well and good in 2012 when Jaguar didn’t make any SUVs, and the XF had the big-booted-Jag thing all to itself, but in 2017 when you can have an inﬁnitely more #lifestyle F-Pace SUV, is there room for an XF Sportbrake? Elegantly athletic styling helps its cause, with a tapering rooﬂine lengthened by an extended
October 2017 | CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK
Caution: strong current It’s smashed the all-time Nürburgring lap record, and now it’s our turn to wrestle the 1360bhp Nio EP9 electric supercar. By Georg Kacher
N MAY 13, the all-electric Nio EP9 set a Nordschleife record of 6min 45.9sec. Two days later, the same car arrived at Bedford Autodrome to give CAR R an exclusive ﬁrst drive in the world’s fastest and quietest torture rack on wheels. The seat is a naked nonadjustable carbonﬁbre bucket, and the meat in this hard-baked composite sandwich is 6ft 8in of Kacher – and that’s before the helmet and HANS system are in place. This should be fun. Nio is not a household name, but the Chinese-backed company has four bases around the world: China, Germany, USA and the UK. The UK arm is responsible for the EP9, and for the NextEV Nio Formula E team, which took Nelson Piquet Jr to the inaugural championship. Before I can drive, I’m playing ballast with former racing driver Tommy. In front of me, a full-width Euston Station-type rectangular display awakes. Further left three more
CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK | October 2017
monitors glow. Six green lights above the windscreen signal that the high-voltage system is active. To fully deﬂate my ego, Tommy seasons the warm-up lap with a few hard-to-believe numbers. The wide-body racer is claimed to hit 0-62mph in 2.9 seconds, 0-125mph in 7.1 and top 196mph. True, a Bugatti Chiron is even quicker but for a purely electric vehicle, the Nio’s one megawatt (1360bhp) power output and massive 1092lb ft are simply sensational. In the pits, climbing out and getting back in this car are two more gymnastic embarrassments. But never mind the cramped cabin. What boggles the mind now is the variety of alien noises: intermittent driveshaft clatter, yelping transmission whine, tyres drumming in all four wheelhouses and the high-pitched hissing of electric motors, two up front, two in the rear. The EP9 provides electromobility in its
purest form: on/oﬀ, forward/reverse. No gears to select but neutral, no driving programmes to choose from, no torque vectoring, no trickeries like rear-wheel steering or active anti-roll bars. Since pedal modulation is both physical and delicate, you must think braking points before ﬂooring the throttle. As soon as the ﬂoodgates open, the torque ﬂattens you in the seat like a mighty breaker. Although the pedal eﬀort required to make the Alcon discs perform could easily kick-start a truck engine, the deceleration is phenomenal. One more familiarisation lap, and then I may increase the power from 362bhp to 510bhp per axle, still about 500bhp short of the Nio’s no-holds-barred potential. Everything is happening a lot faster now, corners approach in timewarp speed, working the steering becomes physical. Ignore the numbers on the displays.
Nio EP9 e £1.23m plus tax > Engine e Twin electric > Price motors front and rear, 1360bhp, 1092lb ft > Trans s Single-speed gearbox > Performance 0-62mph 2.9sec, 0-125mph 7.1sec, 196mph, range 265 miles > Weightt 1735kg > On sale e Now
VOLVO XC60 T8 TWIN ENGINE
Plug g in,, turn on, turn off
T For a big lad like Georg it’s a tight squeeze in the Nio EP9
Maximum stopping power is 3.3g, maximum lateral acceleration 2.5g. The data recorder says I’m well oﬀ the pace, but I feel like a hero. The oddly sized 320/705 R19 Avon tyres are a secret compound that sticks to the pavement like fresh chewing-gum. The grip is simply out of this world, but so is the ride, which keeps shaking up the vertebrae hierarchy; the ride height and the body movements are kept in check by a hydraulic system. The adjustable downforce has a lasting slam-dunk eﬀect, while the directional stability is that of a full-size slot-racer. Let’s be very clear: the Nio EP9 is a hardcore racecar, totally electrifying, in no way road-legal, a visitor from a diﬀerent galaxy. Visibility ranges from okay (straight ahead) to non-existent (rear three-quarter). The monitor tells us that the range dropped from 295 to 167 miles in ﬁve laps, while the state of charge fell from 100 to 55 per cent. No big deal – charging takes a claimed 45 minutes. The bad news is that the cells have to come out. Since they weigh 317kg each, this exercise requires open, using the EP9 mainly to boost two strong men, an engineer with a laptop and brand awareness. Insiders say BEVs are not necessarily its core business, that it a pair of transport cradles. Millionaires wanting to play the high-voltage perceives the autonomous car more as an game must fork out £1.23m before tax for entry ticket to the digital world. If all goes starters, plus pocket money for incidentals like to plan, stakeholders including Bitauto, Tencent and Lenovo will use spare batteries, special toolkits, future Trojan horses like the a high-voltage charger and the LOVE almost production-ready Nio qualiﬁed personnel to operate Hyperbole-busting ES8 – a China-only SUV – for this PlayStation. Nio’s biggest performance, marketing purposes. Wishful shareholders have taken delivery handling, grip thinking? Well, internet of their personalised trackday HATE giant Tencent has 830 million specials and a second batch of Recharging it, users who spend 95 per cent 10 more cars are claimed to have physical limitations of the human body of their time online with it. already been sold. Next is the still That’s another way of saying highly provisional re-engineered VERDICT the future is now, and the and road-ready EP9 evolution How electric cars will change our minds EP9 is doing a remarkable job model, of which up to 250 units promoting it. would be built. ++++ + GEORG KACHER Nio wants to keep all options
HE VOLVO O XC60 T8 Twin Engine does not have two engines. Instead, the range-topper pairs a super- and turbocharged 316bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine driving the front wheels with an 86bhp electric motor that drives the rears (and eats a little luggage space). That brings you 401bhp, with 134.5mpg and 49g/km on the EU cycle. Caveat: after 600 miles with two charges, we averaged 27mpg. Shorter commutes should make more sense, because you can plug in to the mains and waft silently for up to 28 miles, and because the petrol four is smooth and refined at a canter the switch between electric and fossil fuel is subtle; it roars more at high revs, although not harshly. But the real proof that this is no ordinary four comes when you floor it and the XC60 takes off like a North Korean nuclear arsenal on Kim Jong-un’s birthday. Sadly, the chassis – same SPA platform as the larger XC90, air suspension standard here – directs the XC60 on a similarly unpredictable course. Its lack of finesse and feel discourages quicker driving, and while the XC60 gobbles motorways with generally great refinement, it rides surprisingly poorly over lesser surfaces. The brakes also disappoint, feeling so over-sensitive it’s like left-foot braking with a prosthetic limb, presumably a by-product of wasted energy being harvested under braking. This lack of dynamic polish is a shame, because the XC60 is otherwise a very likeable SUV, one that delivers so much of the class and space of the XC90 that other than having seven seats and more luggage capacity, you wonder why you’d spend extra. Now that Volvo-parent Geely owns Lotus, perhaps a trip to Norfolk could work wonders.
Plug-in XC60 let down by ride, handling, fierce brakes. Jury out on efficiency. Quick, though
Volvo T8 Twin Engine Inscription Pro e £57,950 > Engine e 1969cc 16v turbo> Price and supercharged 4-cyl with electric motor, 401bhp, 472lb ft > Transmission 8-speed auto, all-wheel drive e 5.3sec 0-62mph, 144mph, > Performance 134.5mpg, 49g/km CO2 e Now > Weightt 2349kg > On sale > Rating ++++ + VERDICT T Highly desirable mini-XC90 let down by lack of dynamic polish
October 2017 | CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK
HEN WORK BEGAN on a four-cylinder Jaguar F-type, chief product engineer Erol Mustafa’s biggest fear was the soundtrack. The V6 and V8 versions, after all, sound sublime, and Porsche had taken ﬂak with its four-pot 718 Cayman/Boxster. ‘The sound was the thing we debated most,’ he admits, ‘but as soon as we started producing that engine, I knew we had to do this car.’ ‘That’ engine is the new Ingenium 2.0-litre turbo petrol, designed by Jaguar Land Rover and produced at its new engine manufacturing facility in the West Midlands. The case for the all-aluminium, direct-injection motor is convincing: at 296bhp/295lb ft it gives up just 39bhp/37lb ft to the base V6 (which remains in the line-up) but contributes to a 52kg saving and returns 39.2mpg and 163g/km, gains of 6mpg and 36g/km, in the lab at least. Other than a diﬀerent exhaust and smallerdiameter wheels, this new entry-level model also looks much the same as a 375bhp V8 R-Dynamic version. The case against a small-displacement turbo
40 CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK | October 2017
four is familiar enough: it’s no substitute for the V6; the throttle action will be mushier than on a supercharged F-type with a larger-capacity engine; and – just as the engineering team knew – you won’t be hanging onto high revs to savour the mechanical melody. But this is no Boxster/Cayman-style aural disaster. There’s a deep, energetic raspiness in the low- to mid-range that reminds me a little – in a good way – of a Volkswagen hot four. The revs build to a reasonably rousing ﬁnale, frisky farts accompany every gearchange, and
Lighter front end more responsive than V6, rear end more mobile and there’s ample power. Ben B happy
it sounds like a ﬁrework accident in the exhaust on the overrun, much like those rowdier Jags. There’s a small amount of aural trickery playing through the speakers to help out the exhaust, but it’s subtle, and a quick jump into a convertible reveals that the soft-top actually sounds pretty damn good with the roof down, with the single central exhaust playing straight to your ears (but don’t actually buyy the convertible, as its chassis feels far less together than the coupe’s). The four feels torquier than the supercharged V6 low down the rev range, and the way the four delivers its power is quite diﬀerent, which alters how you interact with this chassis. Maximum torque of 295lb ft arrives at 1500rpm, which not only brings a satisfying sense of urgency to proceedings, but also seems to work the rear tyres harder than the high-spec V6 S, Jaguar F-type Coupe R Dynamic e £49,900 > Engine e 1997cc 16v > Price turbo 4-cyl, 296bhp @ 5500rpm, 295lb ft @ 1500-4500rpm > Transmission 8-speed auto, rear-wheel drive > Performance e 5.7sec 0-62mph, 155mph, 39.2mpg, 163g/km CO2 > Weightt 1525kg > On sale e Now
JAGUAR F-TYPE 400 SPORT
Need more than a four?
Some might spot the smaller wheels, maybe the different exhaust, but entry-level F still looks gorgeous
Interior feels no less special, until you press the engine start button
with its 332lb ft at 3500rpm and – ah, maybe spring rates dropped four per cent front, three that’s why – a limited-slip diﬀ, hardware per cent rear. The heavier V6 with its more stiﬄy sprung chassis requires more turning unavailable on the four. The engine has other transformative eﬀort, meaning the lighter F-type might eﬀects, too: the lighter front end is far keener have felt too darty if the existing steering to turn, creating a hungrier, more agile calibration had simply been carried over. But response to steering inputs; our test car also while it’s precise and far from unpleasant, it felt more adjustable oﬀ-throttle than I recall of feels heavier, too keen to self-centre, and too other F-types, possibly because four-cylinder isolated from the road surface to my palms. That’s not a deal-breaker, but the pricing models aren’t oﬀered with adaptive dampers, meaning it has a little extra body movement, could be. The cheapest four-cylinder F-type which allows you to move the back end of costs £49,900. With no manual gearbox option – the V6 manual is the car around in natural, ﬂuidproving a slow seller, explaining feeling arcs. LOVE the reluctance to engineer one Despite this, the body control Handling, design, here – the gap to a 335bhp V6 feels well tied down, the fourgearshift, betterwith three pedals is just £2365, or cylinder F-type riding tricky than-feared noise with two pedals £3665. undulations like a show-jumper HATE In a luxury market, will buyers and horse syncing to a perfect Steering, mushy really deny themselves a full rhythm, even if there’s noticeable throttle, proximity to V6 pricing complement of cylinders for such patter at low speeds on our car’s a saving? I’m not convinced. But 19-inch alloys – 18s are standard, VERDICT whatever the maths, there’s no and unique in the range. Four-cylinder F-type is no poor relation doubting a four-cylinder F-type More disappointing is the adds up on the road. steering, recalibrated to take +++++ account of a lighter front end and BEN BARRY @IamBenBarry
OT ONLY Y has the 2018 model-year F-type spawned a whole new four-pot model (left), but this limited-run 400 Sport model has joined the party, too. It sits above the V6 R-Dynamic but below the howling V8 Rs. It will only be available during the 2018 model-year cycle. Aside from badging liberally sprinkled inside and out, and a few yellow details, the V6 powerplant has been uprated from 380hp to 400hp – hence the name – or 395 regular Church of England brake-horsepower. Jag’s Super Performance brakes, a limited-slip differential and the electronic Configurable Dynamics system are all standard equipment, too. There’s no manual gearbox option, unlike other V6 models, but you can have your 400 Sport in either coupe or convertible body styles, and with rear- or all-wheel drive. It’s the all-wheel-drive coupe that we’re testing. Give it some welly and your eardrums are entirely consumed by that tenor wail, followed by crackles and bangs on the overrun. There’s a progressive surge of power through the midrange, while the supercharger’s on-song top end makes your hairs stand on end. Still, the 400 Sport is no quicker on paper than a comparable V6 R-Dynamic model, and is about £6.5k more expensive. It’s not quite as poised as a Porsche to drive, it feels a little wide at times on narrow British B-roads and the ride quality on standard five-spoke 20-inch alloys borders on intolerable for longer stints behind the wheel. That said, the F-type 400 Sport’s mix of jaw-dropping looks, well-finished interior and hooligan engine is enough to put a smile on anyone’s face. JAKE GROVES @_jakegroves
400 Sport is the ultimate V6 F-type, with a 20bhp boost to 395bhp. Just 400 to be built
Jaguar F-type 400 Sport > Price e £75,520 > Engine e 2995cc 24v supercharged V6, 395bhp @ 6500rpm, 339lb ft @ 3500rpm > Transmission 8-speed auto, all-wheel drive > Performance e 5.1sec 0-62mph, 171mph, 31.7mpg, 211g/km CO2 e Now > Weightt 1674kg > On sale > Rating +++ ++ VERDICT T Always smile-inducing, but not much better than a V6 R-Dynamic
October 2017 | CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK
Mark W Walton T
‘F1 cars could be limited to 50mph and the drivers packed in those polystyrene Cheesy Wotsits’ HOW IRONIC THAT T the work of the Dark Lord Satan should be called the Halo. Maybe I’m being extreme, maybe I’ve got it out of proportion, maybe I should just wait and see, but I can’t stand this new driver safety device that Formula 1 is introducing for the 2018 season. I could deal with the pay-per-view, I could handle the lack of overtaking, I could live with the fact that Formula 1 has been turned into a corporate commodity to be sold to the highest-bidding third-world fascist dictatorship looking for some glossy tourism… but seriously, the Halo is going to make me switch oﬀ. It looks like something the Americans would ﬁt to their Indycars. The latest US single-seaters already look like themepark bumper cars, with thick bodywork all the way round to prevent high-speed wheel-rubbing accidents. I can just imagine Indycars having a cage (ﬁnished in chrome) wrapped over the cockpit. But this is Formula 1! The sport that gave us Colin Chapman and the Lotus 25, that most delicate of four-wheeled torpedoes, the car that took Jim Clark to the world title in 1963. What would Chapman think of the Halo? And I don’t just mean in terms of weight (I’m sure it’s light) or in terms of sporting purity (more on that later); I mean in terms of aesthetics. Chapman had a wonderful sense of aesthetic was a draughtsman, he would sketch, he knew beauty in their stripped-back functionality. By contrast, the tripod Halo, with a thick post right in the middle of the driver’s line of view, looks like a deliberate statement of ugliness – a clumsy guardrail that’s been added to a beauty spot by the local council in the name of health and safety. And because it’s in the name of safety we’re supposed to piously accept it. Of course, I appreciate that Chapman isn’t the best example to use when you’re talking safety – the 42
CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK | October 2017
‘delicacy’ of his cars meant the steering wheel would sometimes come oﬀ in the driver’s hands (literally, in the case of 1968 F1 driver Jackie Oliver). But how safe do we want Formula 1 to be? It’s no good replying ‘as safe as possible’ because if that were the case the FIA, Formula 1’s governing body, could limit the cars to 50mph and insist the drivers are packed in those polystyrene Cheesy Wotsits. Or the driver could stand on the pitwall and drive it like a drone – much safer than actually driving the car. Of course they don’t, because the FIA knows – we all know – that the spectacle of Formula 1 is a vital part of its appeal. If you take away the speed, the danger, the risk, you’re left with… knitting. Or that Formula E Roborace thing. So we mustn’t be led to believe that the Halo is something that ‘must be done’. Accidents happen – bizarre, unforeseen accidents happen – and the Halo will prevent some but not all, and it may even cause one or two (Martin Brundle has said ‘I expect F1 Halo will cause as many problems as it ﬁxes’). So it’s not ‘safety at all costs’ – it’s a judgment, a balance, and I say the Halo is a bad call. Tell you what: let’s say society is changing, let’s say there’s a feeling now, in 2017, that exposing the drivers is just too dangerous. Let’s say we’ve all become lily-livered, health-and-safety snowﬂakes who can’t stand the idea of risk. A few months ago at the Shanghai motor show Renault unveiled an F1 concept car called the R.S.2027 – weighing just 600kg, it had a 1300bhp hybrid engine and active aero, and it featured a fully enclosed cockpit made of transparent polycarbonate, to ensure the driver was fully visible to the fans. It was bold and edgy but importantly it was also beautiful, a cross between a skateboard and an F-35 ﬁghter jet. I’d prefer that to the Halo – I’d prefer a revolution, I’d prefer to end a century of open-cockpit racing. Frankly, I’d prefer anything. I’d prefer to boil my own hair and eat it like noodles. But the point is, if F1 wants to stay at the leading edge of technology – if F1 wants to stay popular – it Editor-at-large Mark Walton has needs to be ambitious, it needs a revolubeen a passionate observer of F1 tion, it needs to look like something out almost as long as Murray Walker,
Gavin Green T
‘The three best British cars of this centuryy were all down to the vision of one man: Wolfgang Reitzle’ THE WORST CAR R I’ve driven of the past six or seven years was the previous-generation Mini Countryman. This bloated blighter looked like a ballooned Mini hatch (and was actually not all that mini), had a cobbled-together cockpit, and rode as though it had concrete (not Alex Moulton’s rubber) in its springs. Perhaps most unforgivable of all, it was big on the outside and cramped inside, the precise opposite of the original Mini’s mantra. While our German friends who run Mini claim to understand the brand, and will spend hours talking up its cheekiness, agility and Britishness, they conveniently forget that the old Mini’s greatest virtue was its space eﬃciency. Eighty per cent of its volume was habitable. It was truly a car for the people. Designer Alec Issigonis prioritised great packaging, a lost art in modern car design. Issigonis had big thoughts expressed succinctly. Most modern car designers think narrowly and execute expansively. Its brilliant packaging is a prime reason why the original Mini is the most intelligently designed British car ever. Compare and contrast with the legion of overweight, overwrought and overwhelmingly poorly packaged crossovers and SUVs that clutter and pound our roads, including the ﬁrst Countryman. So BMW hasn’t always scored a bullseye with Mini. Yet it has strived valiantly, and we should take nothing away from our German friends’ successful stewardship of our best-loved car brands. Without the Germans, neither Mini, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Land Rover (including Range Rover), Jaguar or Aston Martin would be in such rude good health. In fact, Rolls, Mini and Bentley may not at all. They are owned by Germans, as B and Volkswagen beat oﬀ rival bids from B consortiums of well-heeled, well-meanin ill-qualiﬁed optimists, the types who so bought and sank MG and Rover. Jaguar Land Rover is partly manage Germans (including the CEO). An ecce Stuttgarter ran Aston Martin for much o 21st century. Aston now accesses techno 44 CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK | October 20
from Mercedes-Benz, which owns ﬁve percent of it. The ﬁrst ‘BMW’ Rolls-Royce Phantom, early Noughties Range Rover (the L322) and ﬁrst Mini hatch were, more than anyone else’s, the vision of the great BMW engineering boss Wolfgang Reitzle (at the time all three brands were under the control of BMW). They may just be the most signiff icant, and best, British cars of this century. I was reminded of our car industry’s indebtedness to our German friends as I recently surveyed the new Rolls-Royce Phantom, a magniﬁcently elegant car, as majestic as a cathedral and no doubt as silent as one too (Rolls promises it is the quietest car ever, and as the previous honour was held by the old Phantom, the claim is
entirely believable). The most challenging turn-around was Mini’s. While new Rolls-Royces and Bentleys (and most Jaguars, Land Rovers and Aston Martins) have been heavily inﬂuenced by historic design cues, past successes and noble heritages – and have an arsenal of great old cars to study and inspire – Mini had to reinvent itself. When your brand is built around just one car, a cheap 10ft-long little box, you have to think laterally. Especially when Mini is BMW’s entry-level brand, with strong sales aspirations. To BMW’s credit, they have been both ambitious and proliﬁc. Every single BMW Mini has been bold and contrarian. You name it, they’ve tried it, and always with a twist: from hatchback to coupe, from convertible to roadster, from estate to SUV (including coupe SUV Paceman), from EV (Mini E) to CV (the Clubvan). BMW’s Mini minds were always fertile even if, frequently, the results were futile. The only other great old British brand to step outside its comfort zone so far has been Bentley, with its Bentayga. The result is an engineering triumph and a styling tragedy. The stately Range Rover surely remains the world’s most desirable luxury SUV. Will the new Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUV change that? Can the people who gave us the wondrous Wraith and superb new Phantom get an SUV right? At best, I’d put the odds at 50:50. Meanwhile I am pleased to report that the new Countryman, recently sampled, is a vast improvement. Former CAR editor Gavin has It’s a genuine contender against the seen gimmicks come and go in Qashqai and Q2, though still far too big. his years as one of the world’s most respected motoring Plus, like a typical BMW Mini, it looks commentators. If in doubt he and drives like nothing else in its class. likes to take the simple option
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Norway? Yes way! > VIA EMAIL
Sold! I’m off to Norway. It was only on my third flick through the September issue that I registered what the car was (the Range Rover Velar) in your fine feature about Norway. Excellent photographs from Richard Pardon. Gary Sharp
Heritage in good hands > VIA EMAIL
Ben Miller’s story on the new Alpine A110 (September) was a wonderful examination of how an appreciation of heritage can shape the future. Renault have come up with plenty of stinkers in recent years, but this sort-ofRenault shows that they really care about their own back catalogue and have the talent to make a great-looking car that could be a real winner.
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But what's it like to drive? > VIA EMAIL
Speaking as a subscriber since 1978, CAR R is still a great read – but perhaps you are straying from the core subject. Increasingly the tests discuss connectivity and compatibility. Now in the August issue the Citroën C3 report is all about the cupholders and door bins!! Richard Cleary
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Fiddling while Rome burns > VIA EMAIL
Gavin Green (column, September) is right to highlight the negative side of in-car technology. Like him, I’m less than impressed by my experiences with auto wipers, touchscreens, voice activation and electric parking brakes. I support his implied criticism of drivers who go along with this half-cocked automation rather than engaging with the driving process. One day we might end up with selfdriving vehicles as the norm. But until then, it’s up to all road users to take responsibility for their vehicle and how they use it. You can’t do that if you’re not alert to the traﬃc, road surface, weather and characteristics of your engine.
was his contribution to the trackday cars story, but I’ve also noticed his name on recent excellent work with Team Classic Lotus and the Audi TT Cup. As your letter writer Elmir says, James brings wonderful insights to the magazine. George Hayley-Burn
Other writers are available > VIA EMAIL
The letter in your September issue from a reader who’d returned to the print version after a spell of online-only
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You've got a friend > VIA EMAIL
Another month, another excellent feature by James Taylor. This time (September) it
Trackday cars brought out the best in CAR's James Taylor, says George Hayley-Burn
October 2017 | CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK 49
Tesla: light years ahead, but not light
browsing was interesting, but for me rather undermined by the reference to ‘great writers such as the late LJK Setright’. Barely a month goes by without someone on your website or in the mag referring to LJKS in glowing terms. Well, maybe. I recently re-read some old copies of CAR, and I’m afraid that reinforced my lingering belief that Mr Setright’s prose was all too often convoluted and contrived, and his arguments highly questionable. Much better to highlight the great work done in CAR R over the years by talents as varied as Mel Nichols, James May, Paul Horrell, Jamie Kitman… Rhys Williams
We saw this coming > VIA EMAIL
Does the government’s announcement that it wants to ban petrol and diesel cars
Wake-up call > VIA EMAIL
Weigh to go
Can it be a big bluﬀ? If the idea of announcing a ban on petrol and diesel so far into the future is to give the car industry a chance to clean up its act, it could well work, couldn’t it? I keep reading about cleaner petrol engines, cleaner diesel engines, clever hybrids etc. If all this cleverness results in real-world mpg improvements, and the related CO2 emissions improve too, then the right result will have been achieved, and we’ll still be able to drive proper cars. Or am I hopelessly optimistic? Steve Adams
LETTER OF THE MONTH
Who turned the lights off? > VIA EMAIL
> VIA EMAIL
This government couldn’t organise the proverbial piss-up in a brewery, so we’ve not got much to worry about when it comes to banning petrol and diesel.
Car makers are working harder than ever to make their production cars as exciting as the original concepts. But this only goes as far as their exterior design. When W it comes to interiors, we seem to be ﬁrmly stuck in the age of the Model T Ford (‘any colour as long as it’s black’), and Bertie Wooster’s favourite black leather armchair. Sure, you can buy a VW Golf GTI with its lovely tartan seats. But everything else will still be black. And if you want to take a step up to a Golf R, then you’ll have to ditch the tartan in favour of black leather, with a black plastic facia, a black steering wheel, black headlining and even black carpets. The occasional exceptions are conﬁned to the retro (Fiat 500) or the futuristic (BMW i3). Meanwhile mainstream cars remain stubbornly dull. The most you can hope for is a few token streaks of colour randomly meandering around. We know that leather is traditionally associated with quality, but do we really have to travel around in the 21st century, sitting on cows? Often less comfortable and less practical than their cloth counterparts, leather seats are always oﬀered as the quality choice. Plastics (black, of course) also have to be disguised to look as much as possible like leather. No car review is complete without a clichéd reference to ‘soft-touch’ (good) or ‘hard, scratchy’ (bad) plastics. What about some imaginative use of colour and light, some alternative materials, some bold sweeps, some new textures, some patterned fabrics, some geometric shapes? In short, something that might excite the eye and lift the spirit as we get into our cars on a dark winter’s morning?
With people like Ian Callum hard at work, the future won't be dull for car enthusiasts
from 2040 actually change anything? Your Insider and Tech pages have for some time now been describing, month after month, the clean, safe and connected possibilities being developed and in some cases already in production. And surely even the most ardent petrolhead has understood for a while now that the internal combustion engine is on borrowed time. I think your interview with Ian Callum (Next Big Things, August) got it right: unlike the petrol crisis of the early ’70s, this time the car industry is on the front foot, helping to shape the future rather than reacting to outside forces. Long before 2040, better alternatives to petrol and diesel will have quite naturally, and quite rightly, taken over. Alan Bessemer
It'll never happen > VIA EMAIL
50 CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK | October 2017
Much as I enjoyed the feature with the trackday cars in the September issue, they are very much the exception rather than the rule in being light, simple and focused on driving pleasure. Elsewhere in the same issue I found myself disturbed and intrigued in equal measure by your two big Insider stories. The Tesla Model 3 offers some hope for those of us who enjoy driving: clean and exciting and relatively inexpensive. But it’s not light. And the Audi A8 looks very clever, albeit very expensive. But it’s heavier than the previous A8, which was quite heavy enough thank you. Why can’t the designers and engineers involved in projects like the A8 and Model 3 be given a brief that severely limits the weight of the car? You know full well that, somehow or other, it can be done. Frank Kitchen Letter of the month wins £25 worth of tickets for the Dream Car competition held by botb.com
Diesel's dead > VIA EMAIL
Couldn’t agree more with Howard Rigby’s letter in your July issue regarding alternatives to diesel. I like the surge of torque and the mpg boost. But that doesn’t make diesel the best option, or even a good one, and I continue to be disappointed by your ongoing endorsement of diesel power. Your Volvo XC60 big drive feature (July issue) slams the T6 variant in favour of the diesel (‘the one to go for’). Similarly, your piece in First Drives on the 5-series Touring highlights the ubiquitous 520d, and I opened Our Cars to be confronted by your new 530d long-termer, which neatly skirts round the petrol options and hails the 3.0-litre diesel a ‘timeless option’. Diesel is a dirty, toxic fuel no matter
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EDITORIAL Editor Ben Miller
When we've tested the cupholders and screens, we might actually drive it. At least it's not black
CAR ONLINE 5 most-read stories on carmagazine.co.uk
how ‘clean’ the manufacturer claims it to be and no matter how many ﬁlters and treatments are ﬁtted. On my walk to/from the train station commuting to work, often seven or eight and sometimes 10 out of 10 cars going by are diesels. You Y can smell, taste and feel the warm fug of diesel fumes. Our children walk through this – and you still call it the one to go for? Is the T6 petrol in the Volvo really that oﬀ the pace? I highly suspect that it will be more than enough in real-world applications for regular drivers. R – enough with Get oﬀ the fence, CAR the lukewarm observation that diesel is seeing ‘dark days’. Find good petrol/ hybrid alternatives and bring them to the fore – your supermini group test was a rare glimpse of how it can be done. Mike Hagger
You don't say… > VIA EMAIL
Range Rover Velar review: the new benchmark? Mercedes X-Class pick-up revealed in full Rolls-Royce Phantom: new ultimate Roller unveiled in all its grandeur New 2018 Aston Martin Vantage: pics, specs and price
So… third place in the SUV Giant Test for the Alfa Romeo Stelvio (September issue). While it’s nice to see the Volvo XC60 doing well, there’s something a little depressing about a premium German car – an Audi, in this case – winning another test. Business as usual, it seems. Helen West
Porsche Panamera Turbo vs Mercedes-AMG E63 S twin test
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Alfa Stelvio's third place in our test is surely no disgrace when the competition's this good
SUBSCRIPTIONS To take out or renew a subscription to CARR visit greatmagazines.co.uk/car. For enquiries or problems call +44 (0)1858 438884. Lines open Mon-Fri 8am-9.30pm, Sat 8am-4pm, and Sun 10am-4pm. Fax number: 01858 461739. Or write to: CARR Subscriptions, Freepost (MID 16109), Leicester LE16 7BR (UK enquiries) or Bauer Media Subscriptions, CDS Global, Tower House, Sovereign Park, Lathkill Street, Market Harborough LE16 9EF. BACK ISSUES To order call 01858 438884. If you can’t find CARR via your regular outlets call 01733 468000. COMMERCIAL REPRINTS If you require multiple reprints of a feature, tel +44 (0)20 7295 5470. PRINTING & DISTRIBUTION © CAR ISSN 0008-5987. Printed in the UK by Southernprint Ltd. Distributed by Frontline Ltd, Park House, 117 Park Road, Peterborough PE1 2TR tel: 01733 555161. International distribution by Seymour International Ltd, 86 Newman Street, London W1T 3EX, +44 (0)20 7396 8000. Published 12 times a year by BAUER CONSUMER MEDIA LTD Media House, Lynchwood, Peterborough, PE2 6EA tel: 01733 468000 © All material published remains the copyright of Bauer Consumer Media Ltd. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in whole or in part without the written permission of the publisher. CARR can’t accept responsibility for unsolicited material. COMPLAINTS Bauer Consumer Media Ltd is a member of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (www.ipso.co.uk) and endeavours to respond to and resolve concerns quickly. Our Editorial Complaints Policy (including full details of how to contact us about editorial complaints and IPSO’s contact details) can be found at www.bauermediacomplaints.co.uk. Our e-mail address for editorial complaints covered by the Editorial Complaints Policy is firstname.lastname@example.org THIS ISSUE ON SALE: 13 SEPTEMBER 2017. NEXT ISSUE ON SALE: 11 OCTOBER 2017
Your month The place where you let us peek into your weird and wonderful automotive lives 1
H GV PA R K I N G A R E A
This beautiful beast took an interest in CAR on my recent trip to the wonderful Elephant Sanctuary near Plettenberg Bay in South Africa. ROGER BULL
W E LL- R E A D R AG
CAR proved a valuable companion on my summer holiday in Andalusia. The picture was taken outside the bullring at the Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballería in Seville.
SHARE YOUR PICTURES WIN THIS £360 WATCH Send a picture and 50 words to CAR@bauerme co.uk, labelled ‘Your Mon The best entry this mont wins an Elliot Brown Canford watch worth £3 We’ll also publish a selection of your entries
LIT TLE ITA LY
My family and I went on holiday to Portmeirion in North Wales during a break in my dad's chemotherapy. While we were there a Fiat 500 rally appeared and looked perfect in this setting.
G R E AT S C O T T !
Back to the Future lands in a Lidl car park in Petersfield. My son Tom (okay, mostly me) was thrilled to see a real DeLorean moving under its own steam. The flux capacitor has gone missing, though. ROGER DILLON
TRU E LOV E
This is a typical result of asking a boyfriend who's super-passionate about motorsport to take a picture of you while you're on holiday: this is me, framed into the GT3 RS rear wing in front of the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart… Very romantic, isn't it? LETIZIA GUENZI
TA K E IT E A SY
All the time in the world. DAVID
P E A K P E R FO R M A N C E
On holiday with family in the Spanish Pyrenees, I thought I would catch up on the latest edition of CAR magazine, while enjoying views of the Lost Mountain, the third highest peak in the Pineta Valley.
BAD NEWS, GOOD NEWS
Sad farewell to the Mercedes C63 – an absolutely wonderful car. That noise! Incoming – great little Porsche flat-six with bucket seats and manual gearbox. That steering!
E G GY P O P
I have never seen a Koenigsegg on the road before. Then at Telford Services on the M54 two turn up at once! KEITH MOORCROFT
52 SAVE UP TO 61% WHEN YOU SUBSC RIB E TO CAR! GRE ATMAGA ZINES.CO.UK | October 2017
The last Megane RS was sublime, the 911 GT3 of hot hatches, but Renault Sportâ€™s latest Clio is a bit limp. Can the third hot Megane bring back the magic? Words James Taylor | Photography Wilson Hennessy
CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK | October 2017
Preview Renault Sport Megane
October 2017 | CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK
As per the 911 GT2 RS, 812 Superfast and Aventador S, new Megane RS’s steering comes from the back end as well as the front
UNDER PRESSURE? Oh yes. There’s the unenviable task of replacing the ﬂagship hot hatch in your range, and then there’s the pressure of replacing what is nothing less than the class benchmark. Rival machines might be faster (Ford Focus RS, BMW M140i) or more well-rounded (VW Golf GTI and R), but for excitement and pure driving pleasure, the outgoing RS Megane is still the king; even now, after nearly seven years in production. It’s one of the best-handling, most exciting front-wheel-drive cars of all time. And now Renault Sport must deliver a worthy successor. Which it will, of course. Won’t it?
Worryingly, there are a few on-paper reasons why the new Megane RS could turn out to be something of a duﬀer. Renault Sport’s last all-new hot hatch, 2013’s Clio RS 200, is a good car but not a great one. We couldn’t bond with its exotic but out-of-place paddleshift gearbox, and an overall driving experience that felt formidable at ten-tenths but entirely forgettable below it. And on-paper the source material for the new RS Megane isn’t as promising as it could be. The regular Megane is merely good, with compromised interior packaging, ﬁddly ergonomics and ﬁne, but not particularly memorable, driving dynamics, while the warmed-up (and Renault Sport-developed) Megane GT variant’s rear-wheel steering system has divided opinion: Renault is chuﬀed with it; we’re not sold. So the heat under the magnifying glass has been a little more intense than usual for the engineering virtuosos at Renault Sport headquarters on the outskirts of Paris – which is where we’ve been for an in-depth and ﬁrst-hand preview of the new Megane RS from the minds that created it; the engineers who’ll shortly be celebrated or quietly shunned…
CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK | October 2017
So, here are the headlines. The new RS Megane is powered by the same 1.8-litre turbo engine as the upcoming Alpine sports car, and will be front-wheel-drive only. Unlike the RS Clio, the Megane will be available with the choice of a manual or a dual-clutch auto gearbox. Just like before, two versions will be oﬀered; the regular RS Megane, on sale by the end of the year with 276bhp on tap, and a faster, more focused RS Megane Trophy with 296bhp, available early in 2018. Customers get a choice of suspension set-ups – standard Sport or optional, 10% stiﬀer Cup chassis (with the latter ﬁtted by default to the Trophy). The diﬀerence in price between the regular RS and the Trophy will be similar to that of the previous RS Megane – expect £3k or so. All cars, intriguingly, and potentially divisively, will feature rear-wheel steering. Unlike the fully independent, adaptively damped Civic Type R, the Megane uses torsion-beam rear suspension and passive dampers, but its dual-axis front suspension has been completely redesigned over with the previous-generation RS Megane’s front end. ‘We still have six months of development remaining, so we don’t yet have ﬁnal acceleration and top-speed ﬁgures,’ says project manager Grégoire Ginet, but he acknowledges 0-62mph will be ‘under 6sec’ and top speed ‘over 155mph’. That’s quick, of course, but the performance bar has been raised of late. Honda’s latest Civic Type R, for example, churns out 316bhp and tops out at 169mph; Ford’s all-wheeldrive, 345bhp Focus RS blasts to 62mph in 4.5sec and hits 165mph. You get the impression, though, that Renault Sport isn’t interested in this bhp arms race, but has instead focused on what the RS Megane has always been about: corners. ‘We had three performance objectives,’ continues Ginet. ‘Driving pleasure, agility and eﬃciency. We want to stay ﬁrstin-class for chassis performance.’ That meant widening the basic Megane’s track widths, already the broadest in its class. Design director Éric Diemert was happy to oblige. ‘We worked with the engineers, and quickly came to the conclusion we had to widen the front track, and work with large wheels,’ he says, beaming. ‘This is great for us because every time designers draw, they draw very large wheels and wide proportions!’ So the front arches stick their elbows out for a 60mm wider front track, while the rear track is 45mm wider. Ford’s Focus RS has identical track widths to the regular model (and can therefore get away with using the same bodyshell, saving a whole heap of money) because of the torque-vectoring and traction advantages of all-wheel drive. Was Renault Sport tempted to take the same route? ‘We have four-wheel-drive systems in the group [at partner company Nissan], and at one point we considered it could be interesting, but the technology isn’t ready for sports cars yet,’ chassis engineer Antoine Frey tells me. Eighteen-inch wheels are standard, 19s an option, in black or grey, while the Trophy will get its own speciﬁc set of 19s. And yet, despite the outrigger axle widths, the new RS Megane looks… understated, don’t you think? When Diemert ﬁrst pulls the covers from the hot hatch, a car that has such weight of expectation loaded on its shoulders it could use the stuﬀ for downforce, it looks mature; demure almost. Even in Berocca vitamin-tablet orange, its clean, unadorned surfaces are the antithesis of the mutant touring car Civic Type R. ‘The front and rear arches are designed to look as if this car has been designed from the ﬁrst breath,’ Diemert says, by which he means they’re smoothly integrated with the surrounding bodywork, rather than blistered add-ons.
Preview Renault Sport Megane
Thereâ€™s such weight of expectation loaded on the RSâ€™s shoulders it could use the stuff for downforce
No all-wheel drive, modest power and tame styling, but on pedigree alone the new RS will be a contender
October 2017 | CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK
RS Replay app lets you check the state of the car – brake temps, tyre condition, component life – and lets you overlay video footage with telemetry data, too
No Civic Type R style roof strakes but the diffuser looks pinched from Renault’s F1 car
CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK | October 2017
An extractor vent on the trailing edge of the front arches reduces heat and pressure build-up, and gives away just how much wider the RS Megane is than the standard car. And there’s no giant rear wing, or aero-critical roof spikes. ‘Roof spikes? We call them vortex generators, and we don’t have these kinds of elements,’ says performance engineer Fabien Berthomieu. That doesn’t mean the Megane’s shape isn’t driven by aerodynamics. ‘Stability at high speed was one of our main objectives,’ says Berthomieu. ‘But this doesn’t mean that we want huge downforce on the back – it’s not advantageous to have the maximum.’ The diﬀuser starts around the rear axle, and it’s deﬁnitely not for show. Nor are the false vents bookending the rear bumper: their grilles are false, but their shape helps guide the airﬂow around the side of the bumper. ‘Everything we do in design is not just for aesthetics, it also has a role to play in performance,’ insists Renault Sport boss Patrice Ratti. That applies, too, to what looks the most gimmicky aspect of the car’s styling; the chequered ﬂag ‘RS Vision’ light clusters in the corners of the front bumper, which comprise the daytime running lights, fog lights and cornering lights. They’re claimed to oﬀer phenomenal performance on high
Preview Renault Sport Megane
Cute light clusters look the business and promise night-as-day illumination on B-roads
‘For the special cylinder head we approached our F1 colleagues’ Renault Sport’s Sébastien Norie
beam, combining the foglamps and cornering lights with the main beam to hurl pools of light further down the road. ‘It’s like the addition of rally spotlights,’ Ginet says proudly. The Megane RS’s most dramatic angle is the rear, with its central exhausts exiting from a cavern in the middle of the diﬀuser. ‘We decided to come back to the central exhaust,’ Diemert says. ‘The RS is diﬀerent from the [twin-exhaust] Megane GT, with its own identity. This was important to us.’ An engineer jumps in to reposition the car for photos, and it sounds suitably throbby and purposeful as it moves. That’s the result of two paths within the exhaust and no valves, explains transmission engineer Sébastien Norie. ‘It’s all natural depending on the load on the throttle,’ says Norie. ‘You can expect backﬁre booms during shifts and lift-oﬀ in Sport and Race driving modes. We’re often asked if we’ll use an artiﬁcial sound – the answer is that we do use the speakers a bit, to counteract vibration from the windscreen, and also to add an aggressive note – but you can always switch it oﬀ if you want.’ Plenty of manufacturers with an F1 arm are keen to talk up the link between its grand prix engineering and its road
cars, but we doubt many had the F1 engine squad design the cylinder head for its new hot hatch. ‘At the start, we only planned to modify the engine slightly,’ Norie explains. ‘Then we decided on a signiﬁcant modiﬁcation for the cooling, and other advantages. We only had a short time – six to eight months – so we approached our colleagues at Renault F1. They’re used to doing stuﬀ quickly. This part had to go down a normal production line – it was a challenge to explain to our F1 colleagues this part isn’t going to be built by specialist prototype guys!’ Said cylinder head crowns a new 1.8-litre in-line four from the Renault Nissan alliance, called the TCe280, with a full aluminium block saving 5kg and a large, twin-scroll turbocharger. As well as a berth amidships in the new Alpine A110, it’ll also be put to more prosaic work within the Renault Espace, detuned to around 220bhp. In the RS Megane its fancy cylinder head helps it to an impressive speciﬁc output of more than 150bhp per litre, and it revs to 7000rpm. ‘This is important for track driving, as is ﬂexibility. The engine is always full of torque,’ says Norie. Today, talk of track driving is never far away. Take the gearboxes, for instance. The manual is back by customer demand, and if it ain’t broke… ‘It’s the same gearbox as previously, the same gearset. We had good feedback from customers that the ratios were well suited to track days and also for the road,’ Norie says. ‘It’s a simple gearbox, reliable, so we decided to keep it. And for the twin-clutch option we have a new gearset that can go up to 295lb ft and more in the future.’ The Trophy will feature a mechanical limited-slip diﬀ, this time from Torsen rather than GKN. ‘We’re now able to transfer 45% of the torque to the wheel with the most potential,’ says Norie, while the regular RS will use the brakes to slow the inside wheel to similar eﬀect. Four driving modes will feature; Comfort (focusing on eﬃciency), Natural, Sport and Race. There’ll also be a custom-everything mode available to mix and match. ‘Some people want to use the Comfort gas pedal setting for trackdays, because it can feel more precise in the wet,’ says Norie. ‘With the twin-clutch gearbox you can have fully automatic shifts in Race mode, or a manual setting where you can keep the 7000rpm limiter if you want to hold the same gear into a corner – this is important on the track.
RS MEGANES WE’VE LOVED: R26R BEN MILLER
Arguably the ultimate iteration of the original hot hatch formula; revvy naturally aspirated engine, negligible weight and a mobile rear axle teamed with front-wheel drive. Special and immersive like a 911 GT3, and equally immune to depreciation.
RS MEGANES WE’VE LOVED: 250 CUP TIM POLL ARD
Sports Car Giant Test 2010 and we’re on fiendish Alpine roads east of Sospel. I’m in the Megane chasing the thennew SLS. He can’t shake the yellow bustle-back hatch – thank the RS’s impeccable traction, unflappable poise and mighty turbo h
October 2017 | CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK
Preview Renault Sport Megane RS MEGANES WE’VE LOVED: 275 TROPHY-R JAMES TAYLOR
Best front-driver? The Megane Trophy-R, the two-seat special supposedly in the same spec as Renault’s 2014 Nordschleife record-breaker. Sublime steering, benchmark pedal feel and at the redline an induction noise like brutally torn paper.
‘We have two goodies: multiple shift allows you to hold the downshift paddle and it will downshift, downshift, downshift, to give you just the right gear for the corner, and there’s also launch control. You can activate it in Sport, where it keeps the ESP on, and in Race – where there are no aids at all.’ And how’s this for proof Renault Sport listens to its customers? The new RS Megane will be available with a manual handbrake. ‘It’s much more fun. The drivers of our RS cars like to tweak a manual handbrake into corners,’ Norie smiles, miming a handbrake turn. Similarly, manual RS Meganes won’t feature ‘auto-blip’ rev-matching on downshifts. ‘We know this technology from the Nissan 370Z, but we studied it and decided for the Megane we don’t need it. Clients say they don’t want it. They want a simpler car and to do the heel-andtoe themselves.’ You get the impression Renault Sport is doing this car the right way; building on what the RS Megane does best and avoiding jettisoning any bébés with the eau de baignade. But there’s one big worry: rear-wheel steering. This technology could prove to be the Megane’s secret weapon or its downfall. It’s not a new technology, of course – the notion of turning the rear wheels in the opposite direction from the fronts at low speeds, and in the same direction
‘The drivers of our RS cars like to tweak a manual handbrake into corners’ Renault Sport’s Sébastien Norie
60 CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK | October 2017
at higher speeds, has been around for years (Honda Prelude, anyone?), but modern computer control is making it more precise and controllable than ever. Plenty of modern highend performance cars now feature rear-wheel steer – various Porsche 911s, AMG’s GT R, Ferrari’s F12 tdf and GTC4 T – but the GT and RS Meganes are the only C-segment hatches that steer from the rear. On-paper appeal is undeniable, eﬀectively lengthening the wheelbase at high speeds to increase stability while helping to tuck the nose into slower corners (and make three-point turns a cinch). But at high speeds – in the tdf and AMG GT R especially – it can feel odd, and rob the driver of conﬁdence. Some ﬁnd the Megane GT’s rear-steer a little binary in its actions, and that it hinders rather than helps. Renault Sport boss Ratti is bullish about the RS system’s potential: ‘We have adapted the Megane GT’s system completely for sport driving. Not only that, we have used it to adapt the suspension, the steering – we are reimagining the whole car and vehicle dynamics around the four-wheelcontrol set-up.’ Chassis engineer Antoine Frey has played a key role in implementing the system. ‘To start with, we were nervous about it,’ he admits. ‘How will the car perform compared with the last one, will it feel normal?
‘But with the former Megane we were at the limit for high-speed stability. We have to add technology to make an improvement. If you want to do this without four-wheel steer, you have to put very large tyres on the back, as we see with SUVs now.’ The system is in operation at all times. Below 37mph the rear wheels turn the opposite way to the fronts – or at higher speeds in Race mode, for razor-sharp turn-in response. ‘But it’s in a natural way,’ says Frey. ‘What we want is that you get out of the car and say “I don’t feel it”. At the start we were not expecting such a gain. The response is really sharp, and the body control, I think we have one of the ﬂattest cars on the market. We decreased the roll by 10% compared with the old car. If we tried to do that with anti-roll bars, the front end would be completely overloaded and comfort would suﬀer.’ In fact, Frey promises the new car will ride more comfortably than its predecessor, helped by new hydraulic bump stops, which absorb energy at the end of the suspension’s stroke: ‘they’re easy to tune, with lots of parameters’. Frey shows us a graph of yaw rate versus road speed, plotted against the old RS Megane and the current Megane GT. The new car has a lot more low-speed agility, and a bit more at high speeds – but a load more at medium speeds. ‘We can’t show you the curves from other manufacturers’ cars – but we
are pretty well placed, I think.’ Development driver Laurent Hurgon (the same man who successively broke the Nürburgring front-wheel-drive lap record in previous Meganes) says that apart from increasing the car’s agility, all-wheel steer reduces the amount of steering wheel angle required – ‘you improve the precision’. ‘At the beginning we were worried the rear-wheel steer might lose some of the fun,’ continues Hurgon, ‘but you lift your foot from the throttle, you feel it rotating. Of course it adds some weight, but we feel it is compensated for by the extra agility. And we managed to keep the fun.’ Today, talk of Nürburgring laptimes is conspicuous by its absence. Committing to a record ’Ring time can be a millstone for a project – Renault Sport’s just trying to make the new Megane the best it can be. But if the graphs aren’t lying, there could be a few furrowed brows at current front-drive record holder Honda when the Megane Trophy launches… You’d like the people at Renault Sport – they love cars the same way you and I love cars, and they’ve poured as much passion into the new Megane as its predecessors, if not more. They’re conﬁdent that, when it comes to meeting the skyhigh standards set by the Megane RS’s legacy of indisputable brilliance, they’ve succeeded. Just as well: there’ll be hell to pay if they’ve failed.
Choose between gearstick or DCT, manual handbrake or electric, but Megane RS will be five doors only
RENAULT SPORT MEGANE > Price £30,000 (est) > Engine 1798cc 16v 4-cyl turbo, 276bhp @ 6000rpm, 288lb ft @ 2400rpm (296bhp, 295lb ft for Trophy) > Transmission 6-speed manual or 7-speed dual-clutch, front-wheel drive (limited-slip differential for Trophy) > Suspension Dual-axis MacPherson strut front, torsion beam rear > Performance 5.9sec 0-62mph (est), 160mph (est) > On sale Now (deliveries early 2018). Trophy due late 2018
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Preview AMG Project One
THE SHAPE OF THINGS NOW To celebrate its 50th birthday and its ongoing dominance of Formula 1’s hybrid era, AMG presents this – Lewis Hamilton’s Silver Arrow for the road Words Georg Kacher
CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK | October 2017
October 2017 | CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK
N 1997, it took AMG’s engineers just 126 days to design and build the awesome, barely street-legal CLK GTR. Two decades later, the gestation process of the Project One hypercar has been a more longwinded aﬀair, and it began with AMG’s divorce from McLaren. That split meant that, sooner or later, Mercedes’ performance division would have to come up with an in-house replacement for the SLR. True, the AMG GT did accomplish its volume sales and brand-shaping objectives, but even the GT R version – 577bhp, 198mph – isn’t a hardcore supercar, let alone a hypercar capable of shifting the class benchmarks. AMG had to deliver nothing less than a black hole of awesomeness. A machine more outrageous than even the McLaren P1 and LaFerrari, and the ultimate fusion of combustion engine and performance electriﬁcation, a game-changing vision of the future harnessing all that AMG knows about extreme, F1bred performance engineering. Originally known as the X1, and provisionally dubbed AMG R50 to celebrate Aﬀalterbach’s 50th anniversary, the project began in late 2014, about a year after long-time AMG man Tobias Moers replaced Ola Källenius at the top of the Mercedes satellite. In early March 2017, a ﬁbreglass model without an interior was shown to selected customers at the Geneva motor
show. The private viewings took place in an anonymous, cordoned-oﬀ tent on the lawns of the high-end La Réserve hotel, where the gunmetal over black two-seat hypercar was heralded by Moers as the next giant leap for the high-performance automobile. From a pool of more than 1000 applicants, Mercedes accepted six-ﬁgure deposits from 275 carefully selected friends of the house – running a sizeable Mercedes truck and bus ﬂeet, shepherding a ﬂock of Maybachs and buying G65s in bulk on a regular basis must have helped your case. The price is €2.275m plus taxes, and just 275 will be built. Before the ﬁrst cars are delivered in early 2019, 12 pre-production prototypes will be demolished in EU and US crash tests. ‘As far as passive safety is concerned, we’ve pulled out all the stops,’ says Tobias Moers. ‘There will be at least four airbags – maybe six – and the monocoque is extremely strong.’ Shaped by Gorden Wagener, whose recent works include the ﬂamboyant Vision 6 concepts, Project One is a striking piece of performance sculpture. Less extreme than Aston’s Valkyrie and far more track-orientated than the Bugatti Chiron, X1 is visually and in content in a similar league to the Koenigsegg Regera and the future McLaren BP23 three-seater (see box, opposite page). The most striking feature is perhaps the long aero ﬁn claimed to enhance the directional stability at very high speeds. Wide and low, the
MERCEDES-AMG PROJECT ONE > Price €2.275m plus taxes > Engine 1600cc 16v V6 with e-driven turbocharger, plus three e-motors, 108bhp (1134bhp in overboost) > Transmission 8-speed automated manual, all-wheel drive > Performance 2.6sec 0-62mph, 218mph (limited) > Suspension Double wishbones, pushrods > Weight 1200kg > On sale Sold out, first deliveries early 2019
64 CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK | October 2017
Preview AMG Project One
Foil suggests incredible heat; outlandish power figures would imply the same
AMG boss Tobias Moers isn’t prone to apprehension but Project One is serious
new car is pure F1 Coke bottle in plan view, with uncluttered ﬂanks and low-drag wheels. Smoothly integrated into the beautifully sculpted architecture are slim LED headlights, bigger-than-expected doors, smaller-than-expected air intakes and several active aero elements. Up front, we ﬁnd a pair of selectively blocked louvres; at the back, two ﬂaps and the dual-mode wing balance lift and downforce. Unlike the record-setting Nio EP9 (p38), which is all purpose and no comfort, the X1 must cater for rich poseurs as well as for professional racers. Common to both cars (and to LaFerrari) is the blend of ﬁxed seats and adjustable pedals. Sounds straightforward, but isn’t. ‘Since our top managers Dieter Zetsche and Ola Källenius are rather tall, we had to extend the package no less than three times,’ explains Moers. ‘Legroom, headroom and visibility have now all been approved by the board, at last.’ The driver can also alter the position of the steering column and the backrests, and there are three diﬀerent seat sizes to choose from. While certain elements of the Mercedes infotainment system look familiar, the feed from the roof-mounted reversing camera is displayed in the rear-view mirror.
Ah 2019, it was a good year
Instead of a conventional instrument cluster, AMG opted for two LED monitors, one in front of the driver, the other in the centre stack. The quartic steering-wheel (the Austin Allegro lives on) is equipped with two controllers; one to tweak vehicle dynamics, the other for more prosaic functions. Cabin space isn’t exactly abundant, but there are door pockets, a cubbyhole for your house keys and small recesses behind the seats; big enough for swimming trunks, a bikini and a couple of spare T-shirts. The materials of choice are carbonﬁbre, various metals, leather, microﬁbre, textile mesh and signature yellow stitching. It’s a purposeful driving environment; minimalist in places, comprehensive elsewhere. The detail we can’t wait to put our ﬁnger on is the start button, which lives between the seats, next to the window controls. Push that button of buttons and your garage will be transformed into a Formula 1 pit in a heartbeat. Though the 1.6-litre V6 does sound a little like the power unit in Hamilton’s company car when revved, it lives lower down the decibel ladder – rampant blipping of the throttle doesn’t trigger a rainstorm of paint chips from the ceiling. ‘It certainly play its own tune,’ says a pensive Moers. ‘But the turbocharger still makes a lot of noise, and the exhaust note at high revs is, well, not quite legal yet.’ As you’d imagine of a car tasked with putting an F1 powertrain through a McDonald’s drive thru, Project One is a highly complex animal, taking modularity to a new level. Highlights include a steel platform supporting a carbonﬁbre tub, adjustable multi-link suspension with transverse pushrods and a spring/damper unit replacing the anti-roll bar. Then there’s all-wheel drive with torque vectoring, rear-wheel steering, magnesium wheels with featherweight aero blades and no fewer than ﬁve diﬀerent cooling circuits… (engine, transmission, batteries, e-motors and charge air). The car wears bespoke 285/35 ZR19 (front) and 335/30 ZR20 (rear) Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tyres. Hugging the inside of the 10-spoke wheels are gold calipers straddling sombrero-size carbon-ceramic discs. The rear suspension assembly bolts to the engine and transmission; the front suspension and the two electric motors are supported by a compact subframe. Hidden beneath this striking shape are four electric powerplants. Two drive the front wheels, one is attached to the V6 engine via helical gears and the last sits inside the turbocharger, where it splits the cool compression side from the hot exhaust element. Capable of revving to 100,000rpm, this 80kW e-motor all but eliminates turbo lag while kicking butt whenever you ﬂoor the throttle. In F1 slang, it’s known as the MGU-H, or motor generator unit heat. Another F1-related windfall, the so-called MGU-K (motor generator unit kinetic), generates electric energy that can be stored or passed
> ASTON VALKYRIE
> McLAREN BP23
Where the Project One offers seats grown-ups can fit in, Aston Martin’s Valkyrie looks set to be an altogether more extreme creation. Adrian Newey might be F1’s finest engineer but his cars are infamously cramped, and the sculpted Valkyrie must also find space for a 6.5-litre naturally aspirated V12…
Due 2019, the first Ultimate Series McLaren that isn’t a P1 (or P1 GTR) has yet to take firmer form than a loose, faintly emotive sketch. The car will use the McLaren F1’s fabled three-seat cockpit but promises to be an ultimate hybrid GT rather than any kind of direct successor to Gordon Murray’s V12 masterpiece
Preview AMG Project One Being let past by fellow trackday users shouldn’t be an issue
on to feed the 120kW motor, which sits on the combustion engine’s crank. Each e-motor is governed by its own performance electronics, in turn masterminded by the central ECU. The 1.6-litre V6 is straight outta AMG’s Brixworth engine lab. The direct-injection, single-turbo motor is by and large a blueprint of the unit installed in the AMG Petronas W08 F1 car. While the four overhead camshafts are still driven by spur wheels, the F1 engine’s pneumatic valve springs have been swapped for mechanical actuators. Due to the lower octane rating of normal super unleaded fuel the rev limit is capped at 11,000rpm, which still marks a world record for a road car engine. At 603bhp, this small-displacement V6 is almost as potent as the 6.0-litre V12 that powers the S65 AMG. Since each of the three electric motors is good for 161bhp, the grand total adds up to 1086bhp – and that’s before you call upon the 48bhp (1134bhp total) freed in overboost mode. While an F1 engine must be rebuilt after four or ﬁve races, its tamer road sibling is good for 30,000 miles. Aﬀalterbach sources suggests a kerb weight of around 1200kg, which is remarkable in view of the extra bulk –
100kg – of the four battery packs. Add the three e-motors and the tally climbs to 420kg. The 0-62mph time should be of the order of 2.6sec, and perhaps a tenth shy of the 1479bhp Chiron. Unlike the 262mph Bugatti, the Project One is electronically limited to 218mph. As for 0-125mph, the current record-holder is the W16 monster from Molsheim, which gets there in under 6.5sec. According to several sources, the AMG will better the Bugatti on this count. Helped by an ultra-fast automated manual eight-speed gearbox developed by Xtrac, Project One can, we’re told, do the job in well under 5.5sec. ‘All this performance is worth nothing without conﬁdence-building accessibility,’ says Moers. ‘Like all AMG models, Project One is ﬁtted with three-stage stability control. So even though the lightning-fast throttle response will take your breath away, the driver is always in charge.’ While normal e-motors rev to 15,000rpm, the AMG version is redlined at 50,000rpm. Each front-wheel motor is attached to its own single-speed transmission. This layout sharpens turn-in and handling, and encourages energy recuperation at a rate of up to 80 per cent in normal use. When fully charged, Project One will have a zero-emission range of around 15 miles. ‘Electriﬁcation is essential for this car,’ says Moers, ‘for the environment and also to tame the F1 engine for everyday operation. To bring the idle speed down from 4000 to a manageable 1200rpm you need an electric buﬀer to protect the clutch and gearbox – and to avoid stalling the V6 at every second set of traﬃc lights.’ Such are the complexities of taming F1’s mightiest power unit, and redeﬁning the road-going performance hybrid.
Output is 1134bhp; 1086bhp plus the 48bhp freed in overboost mode
SAVE UP TO 61% WHEN YOU SUBSCRIBE TO CAR! GRE ATMAGA ZINES.CO.UK.CO.UK | October 2017
CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK | October 2017
‘YOU CAN DO POWERSLIDES Allow M Division’s Frank van Meel to allay your fears – far from killing the M5, four-wheel drive has taken your next car supernova Words Matt Joy | Photography Wilson Hennessy
October 2017 | CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK
Preview BMW M5
ESPITE HAVING invented the modern sports saloon, BMW’s M Division found itself on uncertain ground with the 2011 F10 M5. Early cars were marked down for numb steering and a lack of character from the ﬁrst big M to embrace turbocharging. Its main enemies – chieﬂy the W212 E63 AMG – nailed the brief from the outset and further dampened the F10’s thunder. Later tweaks and a Competition Pack brought back the sharpness but the reverence with which the M5 had previously been regarded had been diminished. Something serious had to be done. The car you see here, F90 M5, is it.
HEAVY-TRACTION HARDWARE All-wheel drive is masterminded by the Central Intelligence Module (as opposed to the CIA). Its tools are the transfer ’box and the Active M Differential unit, which sits in a meaty subframe at the rear of the car. System analyses streams of data, including steering and throttle position, before working out the best place to put the V8’s force.
5-series shell may gleefully embrace aluminium but M5 still weighs in at a porky 1855kg
CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK | October 2017
If you’re planning the world’s greatest sports saloon then raw materials come no ﬁner than the current-generation 5-series. The G30 generation is a huge step forward over the F10, with its combination of aluminium, magnesium and high-strength steel. As the foundation for a composed and complete driving experience, it’s a better bet than what
came before regardless of engine. Perhaps more importantly, the G30’s CLAR-derived underpinnings are ready to accept xDrive from the start, allowing M Division to make the biggest call in its automotive history. Panicking? There’s certainly scope for dropped balls here. Two driven axles bring with them the scope for scorching standing starts and cast-iron composure in any weather. There’s also the implied threat of understeer, excess weight and numb steering, but let’s try to stay calm… ‘Four-wheel drive was not a very diﬃcult decision to make,’ explains M Division boss Frank van Meel. ‘We built a prototype for evaluation, and for the ﬁrst time we had an xDrive system that delivers the best of both worlds. We have essentially added the option of front-drive on top of the rearwheel-drive system, with the software working out how and when the front wheels are driven. Right from the beginning the way the car drove was just special, so much more traction. The decision was very easy. ‘In the early days we kept our options open – we were still
thinking of either rear-wheel drive or the xDrive system – but after we drove the M-developed xDrive system there was no further need for rear-wheel drive.’ This is new territory for a full-house M car. The fast lefthand-drive-only x5 M50d wore both M Performance stripes and all-wheel drive, but only now is BMW braving the backlash and doing likewise with a true M car. On the new M5, the xDrive system is paired with an Active M diﬀerential, with bespoke software controlling the integration of the two. Better still, thanks to the front/rear torque split options available, the now familiar M Dynamic mode has a much bigger inﬂuence on the car’s behaviour than has been the case in any previous M machine. We know this because we’ve driven the prototype. On startup the car defaults to its most benign settings, with stability control on high alert, torque directed primarily to the rear wheels and shifting power forwards when slip is detected. ‘With the combination of power and rear-wheel drive we were getting very narrow in the M5’s versatility,’ explains
E39 BEN BARRY
Earlier this year I drove every M5 back-to-back. My pick? The E39 V8: modern enough to still feel usable, old enough to induce wistfulness. It has an expert blend of comfort, luxury and a fabulous driving experience that melds naturally aspirated V8 power, a manual transmission and good, honest rear-wheel drive.
DOESN’T DO FLEX G30 5-series bodyshell is a fine start point, but for superior dynamics the M5’s rear axle’s been pinned down with heavy additional bracing. Up front, a new bulkhead reduces flex at the front struts. Both aim to provide a more rigid platform from which the M-fettled suspension can do its thing.
‘With the M-developed xDrive system there was no further need for rear-wheel drive’ M Division’s Frank van Meel
October 2017 | CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK
WELCOME, DRIVER 3 Expect to spend a lot of time looking at this screen. In lesser Fives you do so to flit between podcasts and Radio 4. In the M5 the iDriveor touch-controlled system keeps you up to speed on your chosen xDrive setting and how much DSC you’ve got wound on. Info is doubled up on the driver’s display too, to avoid accidental sideways through poor communication…
CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK | October 2017
Preview BMW M5
In a fickle, fastchanging world, a seriously talented sports saloon has timeless appeal
‘Before, if the weather wasn’t ideal you had to be an expert’ M Division’s Frank van Meel
STEP UP The first time an M5 has used a Steptronic ’box (auto rather than DCT), for smoother shifts at regular speeds while still delivering quick changes in full-on Sport Plus. Familiar throttle, damper and steering options can be assigned to the racy red M1 and M2 buttons on the (optionally heated) wheel.
van Meel. ‘You had to be an absolute expert, and if the weather conditions weren’t ideal you would see your DSC light ﬂickering all the time and you wouldn’t get the performance you wanted out of the car. So in order to give more performance in all conditions, we went all-wheel drive. That was one of the key reasons. Now everyone that drives the car is impressed.’ Ratchet things up via the M Dynamic mode selector and you get big changes; the 4WD Sport setting means reduced output to the front wheels while DSC intervention is wound down a fraction, giving you the option of degrees of oversteer. Squeeze the DSC button oﬀ and you can have a few more degrees, with a little power still sent to the front axle to keep you pointing vaguely in the direction of travel. And ﬁnally there’s a mode for the old school, those who say no true M car would have four-wheel drive, and who reckon they’ll switch it into two-wheel drive before they even get oﬀ the driveway, merrily ignoring BMW’s recommendation that the mode is for track-use only But they might change their minds quite quickly given the hopelessness of two 285/30 20s being asked to cope with over 550lb ft of torque in a country where road maintenance is the punchline to a long-running joke. Nevertheless, van Meel insists the hero mode had to be there. ‘We started with a rear-wheel-drive car and added the traction system on top for the situations where you need it. The psychology of the game was that we had to get [beyond the idea]that four-wheel drive is poor. An xDrive is rear-wheel drive with more traction. We oﬀer this spectacular mode for those who want it, for those who want to drift or do
October 2017 | CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK
It’s a 5-series, just more special. Carbon roof and slinky mirrors mark out the M5
BMW M5 > Price £89,640 > Engine 4395cc 32v twin-turbo V8, 592bhp @ 5600rpm, 553lb ft @ 1800rpm > Transmission 8-speed auto, all-wheel drive > Suspension Double wishbones front, five-link rear > Performance 3.4sec 0-62mph, 155mph (limited, 191mph optional), 26.9mpg, 241g/km CO2 > On sale February 2018
CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK | October 2017
Preview BMW M5
More all-weather grip and talent when you’re rushing to that ski chalet
Lightweight 20s hide M’s mallet-to-cracka-nut ceramic brake option
doughnuts. If you want to use the 2WD mode you have to switch the DSC oﬀ, because if you leave it on you would have continuous DSC intervention. This way you can do powerslides or whatever. You can have DSC switched oﬀ altogether but switch between 4WD, 4WD Sport and 2WD too.’ There are no such seismic shifts of direction in the engine room. This is broadly the same twin-turbocharged V8 from the F10 but the S63B44T4 unit has been worked over to put clear water between the new M5 and the previous-generation car. The twin blowers are to a new speciﬁcation to deliver better response, while the manifolds that feed them have been redesigned for better gasﬂow. Injection pressures have been ramped up to 350 bar to allow shorter injection times, boosting output, eﬃciency and response. Fast-road or track-readiness is evident in the beefed-up oil and cooling systems, which are more eﬃcient and lighter than before. Nail the Maggots/Becketts complex at Silverstone just as hard as you like – high lateral-g oil starvation won’t be an issue. Its 591bhp is the same peak output as the F10 30 Jahre, but 553lb ft of torque makes this the gruntiest M5 yet. A new exhaust system with an electronic ﬂap brings the noise, cranking up the volume in line with the selected drive mode, though you can silence it at the push of a button. Having dabbled with an SMG transmission in the E60 and then a DCT ’box in the F10, M Division has fallen in line with the current trend for autos by ﬁtting the F90 with an M-modiﬁed Steptronic unit. Drivelogic control means any concerns about slushiness can be dismissed: the default mode brings smoothness and economy; mode two ups the shift speed; and mode three delivers the fastest shifts, including multiple downshifts from a single pull of the paddle. Such go-faster M fairydust is evident elsewhere, too. The double-wishbone front and ﬁve-link rear suspension layout is as per the standard car, but there are stiﬀer anti-roll bars and bushes, the rear axle gets additional steel and aluminium cross-braces and at the front there’s a new aluminium bulkhead to stiﬀen up the nose and the front struts, all the better to provide the sharpest steering response. The six-piston front calipers use a specially designed pad compound to shave weight without losing power, while the optional M carbon ceramics are even lighter. The visuals lay the essential elements of an M car – the quad pipes, discreet M-colour ﬂicks and subtle menace – over the restrained good taste of the G30 5-series beneath. The front bumper receives the full ground-sniﬃng treatment, with big vents to feed the engine and cool the brakes. And while the M5 retains the standard car’s aluminium body, there’s a carbon roof as standard. At the rear, the exhausts punch neatly through the revised rear bumper/diﬀuser, and there’s subtle additional aero; a rear lip spoiler, sharp side skirts. All-wheel drive promises to make this the most versatile
Exterior modifications this time around are subtle – good news
M5 yet, and the interior follows suit, with comfort and reﬁnement rather than any kind of track-bred minimalism. Up front there are M-speciﬁc seats with meatier base and back bolsters. Adjustment options are myriad, and stretch to electric adjustment of the width of the backrest for a just-so high-speed embrace. The illuminated M badges we can probably live without, though. The cabin retains its spacious, comfortable approach but with Tabasco dashes of M; in particular the M1 and M2 shortcuts on top of the steering wheel spokes are picked out in ﬂare red, as is the starter button, just in case you’re not already in the mood. From our time in the prototype, we’ve no doubt the M5’s xDrive system is progress, and most welcome. Standard xDrive is compelling enough, and M’s take on all-wheel drive simply oﬀers more of everything: more all-weather grip and talent when you’re rushing to that ski chalet, and more controllable fun when you’re ESC-oﬀ and living on your wits. Really, the only concern with the M5 is the quality of the BMW’s old adversary, the Mercedes E63. That car too has embraced a driven front axle, of course. In S guise its extrovert twinturbo V8 is the stronger engine; 604bhp and 627lb ft plays the BMW’s 592bhp and 553lb ft. The M5 must hit back with a stellar chassis and elegant integration of that all-wheel-drive drivetrain. If it does, then far from ruining M Division’s very fast Five, a driven front axle will have saved it.
M5s WE’VE LOVED: E60 MAT T JOY
The E60 M5 didn’t like traffic. The ride was unpleasant and in automatic mode the gearbox would have a nap between changes. But none of this mattered because it looked like a science-fiction reinterpretation of a DTM car and in its nose it carried the finest engine ever to power an M5: a wild, rev-hungry V10 that wore its race-car breeding with pride.
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CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK | October 2017
Modern life is rubbish.
October 2017 | CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK
1.17pm Wednesday Automobili Lamborghini, Sant’Agata Bolognese Simone looks at my bags. I look at Simone. For a little too long neither of us says anything. Then, without a word, he ducks out of the bright, heavy heat of the August afternoon and into the cool, dark cockpit of the delivery-mileage Huracan Performante. He prods a button and up pops the luggage hatch in the shockingly orange nose. We move around to the front of the car and stand gazing solemnly upon the strikingly small space, like builders inspecting a water main they’ve just broken. ‘These are not the deﬁnition of slim bags,’ he says. He glances at my tent. ‘This is not normal.’ He has a point. Most Huracans won’t go camping. But then what’s normal about the opportunity to drive a Huracan Performante in the ﬁrst place? What’s normal about the keys to a ferociously expensive and unapologetically hedonistic car comprising little more than a 631bhp V10 and the mechanical means to have it propel you across the face of the Earth? And what’s normal about the opportunity to drive the thing home from Bologna, gorging on its exquisite excess not for snatched moments but for whole days and hundreds of miles at a time, on magniﬁcent roads, stopping to rest only where and when I want to? And by doing so, push modern life – the magniﬁcent overdraft, 873 unread emails, deadlines layered on deadlines like stress lasagne – from my mind for an unforgettable 72 hours? With everything in, just, we shake hands, Simone heads inside and I ﬁre up the V10. There is, of course, a crowd around the car. For the next three days there will always be a crowd around the car: the Performante’s draw is as unrelenting as its engine. For a thousand miles girls will smile and give the thumbs-up, guys will pull along-
Should be a Gucci weekend bag in here, not a £4 discounted ground mat
CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK | October 2017
side ﬁt to burst with h excitement and teenage boys will stand openmouthed as the Hurracan passes like they’ve just seen Rihanna drop her towel. With the tug of a shift paddle and the whine of released handbrake I roll out of the factory gates to the tinkle of sticky rubber lazily lobbing loose grit and head north towards Piacenza. 5.47pm Wednes sday A8 autoroute, Monaco If there’s a motorw way leaderboard, the A8 surely sits several hundred points cleaar at the top. Travelling upon it feels more like ﬂying than driving, the road scraping the sky on towering concrete columns as it meand ders along the Cote d’Azure, the glittering Mediterranean hundred ds of feet below. Where the M25 oﬀers unending tedium and exhaust-streaked concrete for views, the A8 feels impossibly glamourous. Signs for San Remo and Mon naco ﬂash past in the perpetual sunshine. The scent of warm pine or the sea dances on the breeze, depending on the direction of thee wind. And the road itself almost never runs straight, instead en ndlessly rising, falling and corkscrewing like a paved Möbius band d. The traﬃc moviing along it is pretty special, too. For every dawdling Dacia therre’s a GTC4 Lusso; for every dog-eared ﬁrst-gen Twingo a shimmeriing gold AMG GT. In the tunnels, raging Ducati V-twins lay a perccussive bassline under V8 and V12 strings, only for the whole lot to be completely obliterated by the Performante’s barely silenced V10. Even in its lowliesst guise (573bhp, as deployed in the back of the Huracan RWD, thee artist previously known as the LP580-2),
Performante gets new front and rear bodywork incorporating active aero
October 2017 | CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK
Big drive e Huracan Performante
Mirrors good. Paint more good. Engine even more good
Vents in the foreground feed rear wing’s ALA active aero system Wing subtle like a wolf whistle but looks the business
Official combined is 20.6mpg. We got 19.5. Must try harder
Lamborghini’s V10 is a masterpiece. In reality it has little to do with anything quite so prosaic as mere motive power, and everything – absolutely everything – to do with making human beings happy; you, your passenger and everyone within earshot. For me, this engine alone was enough to see the Huracan RWD to the front of the pack in last year’s Sports Car Giant Test, ahead of such mediocrity as the Porsche 911R and McLaren 675LT… Naturally, the Performante’s is the most powerful V10 Lamborghini’s yet built. Sitting in its throne room of heat shields and artistically routed lubrication and cooling systems it looks every inch the religious artefact it is. Inside, Performante-exclusive titanium valves allow for more lift. The intake system’s been ﬂow-optimised to suit and, on the exhaust side, the new system is lighter than the standard Huracan’s and runs almost without back pressure for more power and a good deal more noise. Peak output is 631bhp at 8000rpm. The redline’s marked at 8500rpm. Like a couple of equally special Lamborghini engines before it, the Performante’s cam covers are picked out in bronze. On the A8, brief gaps in the traﬃc oﬀer glimpses of the performance, and they’re heavy both with promise and no little intimidation. Meaningful acceleration comes on at 4000rpm, when the exhaust valve opens in Strada mode to drench the world around you in ﬁlthy mechanical noise. Between 5000rpm and 7000rpm the engine takes hold of the little car within which it’s bound and
80 CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK | October 2017
hurls it up the road as if its 1382kg (dry, unladen) were entirely inconsequential. And the last 1500rpm? I’m struggling to ﬁnd the required space, though the oﬃcial numbers are 0-62mph in 2.9sec (the Performante is all-wheel drive) and 0-125mph in 8.9sec. If we’re being honest, I’m struggling to ﬁnd the fuel, too. After 182 miles of motorway cruising I stop for water, espresso and super unleaded. The Performante’s averaged 19.5mpg. To brim the tank from half empty I’m relieved of £70. It’s just as well I’m camping. 7.05pm Wednesday The DN7, Mandelieu to Fréjus All day the car’s ridden rough roads well, even if its vast tyres and more rigid suspension mounts pass the crack of expansion joints directly to the base of your spine. But now, as the road snakes through the hills, Strada feels just too baggy; its body control insuﬃcient, its steering too light for conﬁdence. I need Corsa’s unapologetic bearhug. Ferrari and now Porsche have their drive-mode rotary controls on the steering wheel. In a Lamborghini you toggle between smooth, relatively reﬁned Strada, brash Sport and no prisoners Corsa via a toggle switch on the bottom of the wheel. At Mandelieu, just west of Cannes, I prod the Huracan through to Corsa mode, push my wayward backpack back behind the seats and try to secure the remaining Peanut M&M’s as best I can. It’s August but much of the beach traﬃc on the hill road to Fréjus
Even at this distance the Performante’s loud enough to make children weep with terror
I prod the Huracan through to Corsa mode and try to secure the remaining Peanut M&Mâ€™s as best I can
October 2017 | CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK
The serenity is shattered by a hot orange Lamborghini covered in burst flies. Sorry
is long since home. There road is mine but for a couple of very loud, very slow Harley-Davidsons. By contrast the Performante is very loud and very, very fast. The chassis changes over the standard car look like detail stuﬀ – vertical stiﬀness up 10% through revised spring and damping rates, roll stiﬀness up 15%, suspension mounts that are a full 50% more rigid – but they’re allied with a meatier, more consistent version of Lamborghini’s dynamic steering, more power and less weight. For the ﬁrst time, I get that magical sense of immersion; all idle thoughts hurriedly tidied away to make space in my brain for the demands of piloting this car at speed. The tactile clicks of the Performante’s vast, blade-like shifters get more frequent, their action more clipped. The engine is front and centre at all times, its power and reach informing hundreds of decisions every second just as its cacophony ﬁlls the cabin, spills out into the forest and, I’m quite sure, soars over the Med to let most of Morocco know there’s a Huracan out being a bit silly. Its smoothness, ﬂexibility and sheer punch you expect, and can be ready for: it’s the breathtaking response that leaves you punch-drunk and reeling. The Performante powers on, its nose darting wherever I care to send it, the apparently limitless grip of its Pirellis contriving to lend a surreal, almost videogame quality to the way in which the car covers ground. There is no perceivable body roll, no hint of protestation from the brakes and even here, with caution thrown to the
CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK | October 2017
wind, barely space to approach the redline more than a handful of times. When I do, though, the eﬀect is pretty magniﬁcent, with the engine’s various harmonies – exhaust, intake, valve train – coalescing into a suddenly smooth ﬁnal surge whose ability to make you grimace and swear doesn’t fade with familiarity. The Performante in anger is brilliantly physical, as much something that happens to your whole body as something your brain does via hands and feet. That night, at Camping Panoramic (and it is), the serenity of the cicadas, the midnight blue sky of stars and the murmur of late conversation is shattered by a hot orange Lamborghini covered in burst ﬂies. When I kill the engine the silence is ear-splitting. Sorry. Tent up, door open for the welcome breeze, I sleep the sleep of a man without a care in the world. 7.52am Thursday The N85, Grasse to Grenoble You can’t lie-in when there are ants walking on your face, but you don’t care when the open tent door frames a view like this one: a sky of unbroken blue, a backdrop of sawtooth hills and, centre-stage, an orange sorbet wedge of intent wearing gut-wrenchingly pretty 20inch wheels and aero to make a DTM car blush, the latter rendered in Lamborghini’s material of the moment, forged carbonﬁbre. Where carbonﬁbre’s usually applied in trimmed sheets, Lamborghini’s taken to chopping the black stuﬀ up and squeezing it into shape. It makes complex forms possible and economically
As a generator for when there’s no mains a 5.2-litre V10 is a little over the top
Big drive e Huracan Performante
Ceramics with black calipers a £10k luxury. They’re superb
viable, with Lamborghini’s engineers claiming the Performante’s rear wing, with its integrated air channels, would be impossible with conventional carbon techniques. The car’s spoilers, engine cover, rear bumper and diﬀuser are all made of forged carbonﬁbre, helping bring the Performante’s dry weight ﬁgure in under that of the mechanically simpler and considerably less expensive Huracan RWD; 1382kg plays 1389kg. In less than 20 minutes all the key components of my luxurious accommodation are stashed in the Performante’s boot and cockpit. Cockpit really is the word. The Lamborghini’s interior is a mildly claustrophobic place of work that’s less car, more military installation. The primary switches look pinched from the Euroﬁghter, as does the driver’s display. You sit low, fast-rising window line at your shoulder, bulkhead to your back, peering through a tank slit of a screen framed by arcing A-pillars. Quick driving on sinuous roads asks that you move constantly in your seat, hunting for a view around those pillars and under the low roof line. The Route Napoleon doesn’t do pleasantries. It’s straight into the good stuﬀ: sustained wide-open straights, the V10’s cry echoing oﬀ lifeless rock faces, and every conceivable type of corner in which to stare into the car’s towering reserves of grip, agility and poise. In the Performante, progress is serene and violent in equal measure. All supercars move in a diﬀerent dimension to less spectacular traff ﬁc, passing almost unnoticed so pronounced is their performance disparity, but today the Huracan really is on another level. Such is its advantage over ordinary cars that you’re eﬀectively set free to drive the road as you wish.
A C T I V E A E R O , I TA L I A N S T Y L E Lamborghini Huracan Performante The Performante has a pair of servooperated flaps in its re-designed nose and ducts (with valves in) running from the engine cover up to the rear wing. In both cases the default setting is closed flaps, generating maximum downforce. When the front flaps open, pressure in the nose – and drag – is reduced. When the valves to the rear wing open the airflow stalls the wing, also reducing drag. By deploying these systems in tandem, the Performante can optimise the aero balance across its axles and, by deploying the rear flaps asymmetrically in corners, introduce aero-vectoring, which pushes the inside rear tyre harder into the surface.
Ferrari 488 GTB An active panel within the diffuser lets the 488 GTB tailor the airflow rushing under its rear end, opening up to an angle of 17° to reduce drag at speed and ultimately hit a higher V-max.
The stuff that looks like black marble is forged carbonfibre
Pagani’s flagship is one of the most extrovert exponents of active aero. The car measures speed, steering angle and longitudinal and lateral acceleration before deploying its four active aero elements – two flaps at the nose and two just aft of the engine – to bring to bear additional downforce where and when it’s needed. Flaps can be deployed independently or in pairs, as required.
October 2017 | CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK
Big drive Huracan Performante
CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK | October 2017
October 2017 | CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK
Big drive e Huracan Performante
It’s an experience dangerously close to that of the mighty V12 Aventador
Brake pedal oddly high but it always delivers when you need it
We’re covering so much ground so quickly that the landscape changes constantly, each new vista ﬁghting to outdo the last. One moment the Performante’s running fast and straight along the valley ﬂoor, streaking past long grasses, weathered silver-timber barns and tumbling rock-strewn rivers of shimmering melt water. Then it’s climbing in a frenzy of second-gear hairpins, the wheel always twirling in my hands, the V10 ﬁring me past struggling Golfs and lumbering caravans. And at times the road’s width drops to single-track as it weaves between rock faces and sheer drops, the engine’s thunder ringing across the unyielding landscape. The Huracan never feels anything less than spectacular; wieldy for a supercar and addictively potent. Somehow, north of Castellane, the car steps up again, and into a realm of performance that makes you wonder if Lamborghini hasn’t elevated the Huracan to an experience dangerously close to that of its mighty V12 Aventador ﬂagship. Here the terrain’s a little less jagged and the road wider and faster as a result. Overtaking lanes oﬀer the chance to leapfrog whole
packs of traﬃc in a heartbeat. Not once has the Huracan wanted for stability, speed or response but now it seems to up all three to startling eﬀect. Peer into the nose of the car or at the rear wing intakes and the active aero devices (ducts to the rear wing and ﬂaps in the nose – see box, p83) look too small to make any tangible diﬀerence. But when you’re in the eye of the storm, cool alcantara wheel in your hands, the eﬀect, allied to the ﬁrmer suspension, more trustworthy steering and still more bewitching engine, is astonishing. Military experts refer to warplanes not as planes at all but as ‘weapons platforms’, and the term ﬁts this thing perfectly. Its composure at speed, under lateral duress and during heavy braking is otherworldly. The standard Huracan is hardly lacking but the Performante’s poise feels unimpeachable. Maybe it’s the car’s active aero at work, maybe it isn’t. What’s undeniable is this Huracan’s happiness to be railed into third- and fourth-gear corners with barely diminished speed. Only when you rush into tight corners carrying too much momentum and brake do you momentarily feel the front end’s resolve waiver, though the Performante strikes right back with its more rear-biased all-wheel drive and recalibrated ESC. Bring the power back in early and hard and the car shunts drive rearward to tangibly push rather than pull itself from corners with a wriggle of its hips. To drive the Lamborghini like this is to lose yourself to the mental and physical challenge of doing so, and to enter the kind of joyous trance that leaves you in need of water, stillness and a little sit down every couple of hours. Fortunately the Route Napoleon is studded with beautiful, entirely deserted spots in which to do just that; to trade violent, all-consuming kinetics for the sound of the wind through the trees, cooling brakes and the ancient silence of the mountains. 5.15pm Friday Calais Gingerly, nose lifted to save the car’s fragile front spoiler, the Performante and I trundle from the glare of a bright and breezy afternoon and into the ferry’s dark, clanking hold. Faintly evil seats aside, the car’s breezed the day’s 450 autoroute miles with its ﬁne ride, mood-lifting engine and oﬀ-the-scale feelgood factor. Stereo’s good too. But with Dover, UK motorways and the long drive north, real life begins to press at the bubble of ignorant bliss the Lamborghini has carefully cultivated over the past 1000 miles. On these roads, at these speeds, there’s nothing to stop my mind drifting to the unread emails, the missed calls and the magniﬁcent overdraft. And so, as I shut the V10 down at home that night, the bubble ﬁnally bursts and reality comes ﬂooding in. @BenMillerWords
DEJA VU: BRINGING THE MIUR A HOME 50 years ago the UK needed another Miura. Just four or five examples of Lamborghini’s mid-engined supermodel had by then made it to these shores and the UK concessionaires needed another. CAR and LJK Setright stepped up. 1000 miles in the Miura was the cover story in
our December 1967 issue. Highlights include Setright’s explanation of the car’s layout to Swiss customs – ‘a Mini Cooper turned back to front’ and his descriptions of the factory’s state of tidiness – ‘The sort of positive, almost aggressive cleanliness
CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK | October 2017
that brandishes its fist at you as you enter’ – and the V12: ‘All the thrashing, whining and metallic obbligati that a race-bred engine furnishes to fill the octaves left unoccupied by that exuberant exhaust. It is a lovely noise, an expensive noise, but when all is said and done it is a noise.’
Lamborghini Huracan Performante > Price Â£215,500 > Engine 5204cc, 40v V10, 631bhp at 8000rpm, 442lb ft at 6500rpm > Transmission 7-speed DCT, all-wheel drive > Suspension Double-wishbone front and rear, optional electromagnetic dampers > Performance 2.9sec 0-62mph, 202mph, 20.6mpg (19.5mpg tested), 314g/km CO2 > Weight 1382kg (dry) > On sale Now > Rating +++++
Contemplating the black market values of nonessential organs
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Inside new TVR Griffith
90 CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK | October 2017
IN S ID E N E W T VR G RIFFITH
R ETU R N O F TH E K I NG
The Griffith was an icon of TVR’s last chapter. Now, in TVR’s 70th anniversary year, the Griffith name is back on the bespoke British sports car of your dreams Words Ben Miller | Photography Charlie Magee
October 2017 | CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK
AR SITS up on stands without its wheels, ng, bonnet or headlights but still its shape my breath away. The lean detailing, conspicaerodynamic proﬁciency and thudding V8 are Le Mans racer, while its just-so proportions, y size and self-evident lack of mass adhere to the timeless blueprint of the great British sports car. It’s a potent blend. Quite apart from how it promises to drive, to these eyes the new Griﬃth looks sensational. It might lack the extravagance of the Sagaris, the swansong creation of TVR’s last era, but just as you try to classify it is as cute you’re ﬂoored by an evil-looking, full-width diﬀuser and a yawning pair of side-exit exhausts. ‘Cute’ is suddenly entirely inappropriate. TVR is not cute. And now the Griﬃth’s here as rolling, bellowing proof that TVR is not dead either. We’re at Gordon Murray Design in Surrey, late August. In 10 days’ time the new Griﬃth, the ﬁrst car of TVR’s new dawn, will be shown to the world at the Goodwood Revival. Before then this striking work in progress must be caressed into a ﬁnished, fully functional prototype. All around it, like a very neat airliner crash in reverse, scattered parts sit on bubble wrap awaiting their moment. With the devoted industry of many, many pairs of gloved hands, ideas and calculations and deals and CAD models will, over the course of a hundred hours or so, become a car. And the car should, if those calculations are on point, lead a renaissance. TVR’s new owners, a consortium of petrolhead investors, R ﬁrst met chairman acquired the company in 2013. CAR Les Edgar in 2015, when we drove his rapid (and rapidly appreciating) Sagaris. ‘I managed to get the previous owner [Nikolai Smolensky] on the phone and convince him that the name deserved to be repatriated and brought back to life. That struck a chord with him; the transaction was bizarrely straightforward after that,’ explains Edgar. ‘He thought that the car TVR needed to build next couldn’t be done for less than £150,000, but that TVR couldn’t charge that kind of money.’ Edgar agreed that £150k was too much for TVR’s comeback car, but felt he could do it for less. The Griﬃth,
CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK | October 2017
Edgar asserts, is the £90k ‘aﬀordable British supercar’ with £135k performance. Edgar’s innate understanding of the TVR brand and exactly what its resuscitation required is evident in the doors he chose to knock on next. Life’s about timing, and TVR needed an aﬀordable high-performance chassis concept just as Gordon Murray needed to demonstrate there was more to his iStream concept than little city cars. The ﬁt was heaven-sent. iStream takes TVR’s traditional tubular steel architecture and reinvents it for a new era and a new level of performance, the combination of steel structure and bonded composite reinforcing panels creating a level of stiﬀness ‘comparable to a carbonﬁbre tub and far in excess of that of a bonded aluminium structure’ according to Gordon Murray Design’s (GMD) technical director and former F1 man Frank Coppuck. That Murray was also the perfect man to develop the high-downforce, super-stable aero concept that’d allow Edgar to safely pursue TVR’s traditional dislike of nannying electronics was the icing on the cake. And the cherry? That Edgar plans to see TVR back to Le Mans. And when you’re planning to do that with a production sports car, Murray’s credentials – his McLaren F1 won Le Mans outright in 1995 – are impeccable. In return for the chance to prove iStream in a production sports car, GMD oﬀered TVR expertise and credibility. Next up, an engine. Edgar considered a straight-six but he’s a devoted worshipper of big V8s and their torque. Ford and TVR have history. Cosworth and Ford have history. And so Edgar’s eﬀorts yielded a Proof, were it needed, that this Cosworth-fettled version time around fit and of the 5.0-litre Ford finish are being taken seriously Coyote V8 you’ll ﬁnd
TVR chairman Les Edgar brings business nous and a love of fast cars, with a particular fondness for hairy Aston Martins
The Griffithâ€™s here as rolling, bellowing proof that TVR is not dead
October 2017 | CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK
Inside e new TVR Griffith
in the Mustang and F-150. At a stroke the Cosworth engine brought bags of Prototype uses carbonfibre in both performance, further credibility, a cute its chassis panels link to another aﬀordable giant-slayer and bodywork of a car, the Sierra Cosworth, and implicit reliability, not to mention the promise of availability no matter how many cars TVR cares to build. Cosworth, TVR, Gordon Murray – suddenly the dream began to look worryingly like a workable business case. And so, almost exactly three years ago, the Griﬃth began to take form, ﬁrst as a seating buck. ‘I didn’t think a buck would tell us anything a perfect CAD model couldn’t, but we changed so many things: better visibility, better access, and the space for two men to sit comfortably side by side,’ says Edgar, whose background is in electronics and displays ‘for the MoD mostly, submarines and jet ﬁghters’ and computer games. The Griﬃth’s sills are indeed strikingly slim, and the ‘ﬂoating’ centre console uses a compact, McLaren 720S-style portrait screen orientation. The seats are very Gordon Murray – to save weight the adjustment is manual, without a single motor – and very TVR, with a four-point harnesses (seatbelts are an option). ‘For us it all comes back to the driving experience,’ smiles Edgar. ‘Strapping yourself in feels right for a TVR.’ Less Gordon Murray is a 5.0-litre V8 in the nose… ‘Yep, that’s more of a Les and team thing,’ smiles Edgar. ‘We also had some debates over the size of the car, and particularly its width. Gordon loves small, light cars but sports cars have grown over the years. A Sagaris now looks diminutive next to a Ford Focus and I didn’t want that. We needed presence.’ ‘We had to present a carefully constructed case for making it wider,’ laughs GMD’s Coppuck. ‘Go in cold and Gordon will have you for breakfast. But when you’re thinking about racing you need width, not least because the wider your car, the wider the rear wing you can run on it.’ ‘We’re around 60mm taller, 100mm longer and 70mm wider than the Wheeler-era cars but still 150mm shorter than a 911,’ explains Edgar. ‘Racing is important to us, and you get better handling with a wider track, on road and track.’ Designing an all-new TVR, while an exciting opportunity, proved challenging, not least because the marque’s back catalogue lacks any design continuity. One fairly retro proposal was developed to an advanced stage before being binned. Edgar cites the timeless good looks of the 1991 Griﬃth and the later T350 as inspirational machines. Elements of the design were further honed as the new Griﬃth was scaled up from one-third to full size, and it was a 1:1 scale model that was shown to 400 deposit holders in March 2017 (500 Launch Edition Griﬃths will be built). ‘We ran the viewings in shifts, and in three-quarters of them the response was a standing ovation – a massive moment for us,’ says Edgar. ‘Six people pulled out. Of those, ﬁve were Sagaris owners expecting something wilder.’ As Edgar and I talk our way around the car there’s no let-up in the frenzied workshop activity. The man artfully blends the roles of salesman, creator and kid on Christmas morning. His enthusiasm is infectious, his clarity of thinking striking. Every aspect of this car, from the engine to the driving position to the look of the HMI’s homescreen has required decisions. Edgar’s had the conﬁdence, vision and sensitivity to make a call on each and every one of them. ‘The engine is absolutely as low and as far back as we could
CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK | October 2017
Edgar artfully blends the roles of salesman, creator and kid on Christmas morning
get it,’ he tells me. ‘Cosworth add a lightened ﬂywheel, new management and dry-sump lubrication. The sump means no oil starvation on track and a more compact engine, so we can get it even lower and further back – it’s truly frontmid-engined. I was a little worried that, with the introduction of the Mustang in Europe, Ford would be reluctant to help. I was wrong; they’ve been hugely enthusiastic. We haven’t set the power ﬁgure but I’ve always said a 1200-1250kg kerb weight and a power-to-weight ratio of 400bhp per tonne. We’re on course for that [indicating a 480-500bhp output – the engine makes 415bhp in the Mustang]. We have the powertrain installed in a Cerbera mule, and at Dunsfold it blew past a standard Cerbera like it was standing still.’ Edgar pulls out his phone and shows me a video; an onboard of a standing start in the powertrain development car, TVR operations director John Chasey at the wheel. Chasey nails the throttle, each shift of the six-speed manual ’box heralding another storm of V8 noise. The two men grin like schoolboys. ‘That car has no sound deadening of course, to get the weight of the Cerbera down to that of the new Griﬃth. The ﬁnished car won’t be quite that loud…’ laughs Edgar. ‘We haven’t released a 0-62mph time but top speed will be of the order of 200mph, and the ﬁgure I’m interested in
No claims yet on downforce or drag but Griffith’s flat floor and diffuser promise fearfree dynamics at 200mph
is 0-100-0mph. With our kerb weight that should be really strong. The thing would stop sharply with Fiesta brakes, let alone the Griﬃth’s AP set-up.’ Two things strike you as you circle the new Griﬃth, much of its mechanics still visible as the car awaits outstanding bodywork elements. The ﬁrst is the beauty of the car’s iStream construction and its top-drawer componentry. Brakes are AP; huge ventilated discs with six-piston front calipers. Between double wishbones all-round sit gorgeous Nitron spring and damper units. The other is its exhausts. You can’t miss them, swathed as they are in NASA-spec heat shielding like priceless satellites ready for launch. Cooling, clearly, will be a challenge. ‘Heat management is one of the biggest issues when you’re engineering a car like this,’ explains Edgar. ‘You think, the catalytic converters are at 1000°C, and you might come storming down the motorway and straight into a traﬃc jam. The car has to be able to cope.’ To that end the Griﬃth employs a very neat, very Murray solution. You’ll notice the large vents in the Cockpit is driverfocused in the upper surface of the bonnet. At speed, Murray tradition. high-pressure airstream is drawn down Key control clusters an easy reach through these to the exhausts and,
October 2017 | CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK
It sits in GMD’s workshops looking as much a statement of intent as a sports car
Striking five-spoke wheel design a hard-edged contrast to the body’s organic forms. Sizes are 275/30 R20 rear, 235/35 R19 front
encouraged by the low pressure under the car, down out of the body. At low speeds and at a standstill the exhausts simply vent directly upward through the same apertures, assisted by the inarguable truth that hot air rises. ‘We didn’t want any additional complexity – wherever possible we’ve gone for God-made rather than man-made solutions,’ says Edgar. Like Murray’s McLaren F1 and SLR McLaren-Mercedes before it, the Griﬃth doesn’t use a rear anti-roll bar. ‘Increased traction is the main beneﬁt,’ says Coppuck, adding that with the right suspension set-up you don’t need the bar. You can see why Edgar’s conﬁdent of some pretty stellar acceleration times, even though the car lacks launch control. ‘Launch control? That’s called your right foot,’ says Edgar. ‘We have ABS and a multi-stage traction control – it’s not a car only for the bold and the brave – though naturally you can turn it oﬀ.’ The Griﬃth wears its iStream skeleton with pride, and as you think it all through the advantages keep coming. The sills are wafer-thin compared to those of a Lotus or a McLaren. According to Coppuck the Griﬃth platform is easily modiﬁed to create a 2+2. The non-structural roof spars can be removed without fuss for the convertible, likely the next derivative. (A track-ready version should follow.) iStream also eliminates the diﬃcult (and expensive) task of locating hard points
CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK | October 2017
in a composite structure. Rigidity, though, is comparable. ‘With this chassis we’ll easily pass federal crash regs if we go down that route; 50mph and rear impact,’ adds Coppuck. ‘There’s room for development too. A switch to aluminium for the structure will reduce weight by a further 30 per cent.’ With no expensive tooling or assembly equipment required, iStream makes the task of setting up TVR’s factory a much more palatable ﬁnancial proposition than would be the case with conventional automotive manufacturing. If Edgar, Murray and Coppuck have anything to do with it, the build quality will be up to scratch too. ‘Another beneﬁt of iStream is that we can achieve OEM panel alignment,’ says Coppuck. ‘This is because we bond the integration panels [the layer between the core structure and the outer panels] in place, with the adhesive giving us the scope for adjustment. The ﬁt and ﬂush we had on the ﬁrst SLRs was poor by comparison.’ That the new Griﬃth will be shown to the world in what is also TVR’s 70th year is further evidence of this venture’s pleasing rightness and sense of symmetry. As I leave, GMD and TVR staﬀ still swarm all over the car, ﬁtting glazing, oﬀering up control panels (as minimalist and idiosyncratic as you’d expect, with machined brass and aluminium touch-
Inside new TVR Griffith
‘A N E W T V R D N A’ Creative director Kevin Richards and chief designer David Seesing on TVR’s next chapter
points over tried and tested switchgear) and moving with the choreographed ease of a team long since bonded (GMD considers TVR less a client, more a part of the team). Fuzzy sweatband-like belt-buckle protectors strive to stop inadvertent marks to the paint, whose incredible ﬁnish has asked for no fewer than six top coats. A couple of days later and just 24 hours ahead of shipping, the car is ﬁnished. It sits in the now quiet GMD workshops looking as much a statement of intent as a sports car. Its taut form, malevolent presence and refreshing lack of show-car superﬁciality – this is a working prototype, and will go into heat testing straight after the Revival – add a further sheen of credibility to a project that already shimmers with the stuﬀ. Edgar, eyes bright, irrepressible smile on his lips, is happy like a lottery winner. ‘When we bought TVR we weren’t prepared for the groundswell of positivity and support. Everybody has a TVR story, and that support sweeps you oﬀ your feet, pushes you on. Would we have done it had we known the mountain we’d have to climb? Are you kidding? The chance to bring back a 70-year-old sports car name and, from a clean sheet of paper, build a brand new, balls-out road racer and take it to Le Mans? It doesn’t get any better than that.’ @BenMillerWords
‘If you look at previous TVRs there isn’t a design cue you can put your finger on and say, “That’s TVR”,’ explains GMD creative director Kevin Richards (above, left). ‘The previous cars were very diverse, from the wedges of the ’80s to the very organic ’90s cars. Our initial work focused on a very retro vehicle but it just wasn’t right, so we assembed a new design team, brought David [Seesing] in and went for a new approach. This, we realised, was the chance to create the new DNA of TVR.’ ‘In terms of its proportions and volumes, TVR identified the T350 as an influence,’ says Seesing. ‘We wanted a long bonnet and a very rearward cockpit. The mechanical package suited these proportions very well, with a large “prestige gap” between the front wheel and the base of the A-pillar. ‘As for the face and the grille, the T350 had no real grille. With our much bigger engine we needed one, so we overlaid the grilles of the Cerbera, the Tuscan and the Typhon, and that informed the shape we have on the new Griffith. The headlights are broadly T350-inspired, with this nice boomerang motif that runs up and around the light unit before linking into the vent.
Crucially it’s an actual shape too, not just a graphic.’ ‘We’d suggest this is the first totally designed and engineered TVR,’ says Richards. ‘There is a full aero study behind this car, drawing on Frank [Coppuck] and Gordon’s Formula 1 experience. The rear diffuser gives us this really striking feature at the rear of the car, and the rear lights and venting detail echoes the front, as do the slashes that you see repeated on the exterior and in the colour split in the cabin. ‘David and the team worked really hard on the doors, to deliver the muscular surfacing the car needed here. Normally you’d give yourself a bit of additional width in the package, to let you bring some dramatic plan-shaping into play here, but Gordon was adamant we weren’t going to get any additional width. Couple that with the restriction put in place by the drop of the window glass and there’s very little space, but the design team had fun with the doors and you can see that in the surfacing.’ ‘The exciting thing is that we’ve held quite a lot back on this car,’ smiles Seesing. ‘It sets up new TVR’s DNA while giving us scope to be wilder in the future.’
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Giant Test Fiesta vs Clio vs Ibiza
Y T R A P ERS H S A R C
k, dressed c a b is a t s selling Fie lio and Fordâ€™s best- ss. Can the Renault C ies? stivit cce for more su eat Ibiza gatecrash fe S x Tapley t Joy Words Mat
phy Ale | Photogra
October 2017 | CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK
Giant Test Fiesta vs Clio vs Ibiza
S TOUGH ACTS to follow go, the old Fiesta is right up there with the current monarch and Elvis Presley. Not only was it the best-selling car in its class, the last Fiesta was the bestselling Ford and the best-selling car in the UK full stop. It did this for seven consecutive years, up to its ﬁnal full year on sale in 2016. That kind of success can give you sleepless nights if you happen to be New Fiesta Person at Ford. But here it is. Trust us – we’ve not accidentally parked a latereg old model in front of the camera. Ford has previous when it comes to designs almost imperceptibly diﬀerent from the outgoing model, but the exterior of the old car hadn’t dated as horribly as the interior, and given the stakes it’s hardly a surprise Ford has played safe. There’s more considered evolution elsewhere, with the Ford’s platform and suspension directly descended from what came before, while the engine range is tweaked to add a high-power
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diesel and fresher entry-level petrols based on the EcoBoost motor without the turbo. Here we’re testing the nailed-on best-selling spec: ﬁve doors, Zetec trim and petrol motor. The 1.0 EcoBoost with 99bhp is the hottest you can get in our Z-trim, but with 125lb ft it’s capable of tugging along far bigger boats. The Fiesta could’ve been facing oﬀ against the solid but unspectacular Vauxhall Corsa, but its arrival has neatly coincided with a new Spanish rival, the Seat Ibiza. Seat is very much in the middle of a sweet spot, stamping its identity on VW Group underpinnings with the excellent Ateca and making it a swift 1-2 with the Arona compact SUV. Like the current Leon debuting ahead of the Golf, the new Ibiza gets VW’s latest MQB platform ﬁrst in this segment, slightly before the new Polo. This is a big deal because MQB aims to do the same for Ibiza as it did for Golf and its cousins: provide a ﬂexible layout with safety, space and reﬁnement. Crucially, the Ibiza’s wheelbase is now 95mm longer, and pushing the wheels
The old Fiesta’s success must have given Ford’s New Fiesta Person sleepless nights
out to the corners in textbook small-car fashion promises more space than before. The smartphone era means technology is more than essential: FR and Xcellence models – the top two of Ibiza’s four trim levels – get a big-for-the-class eight-inch touchscreen that’s impossible to miss, while more impressive kit like Traﬃc Jam Assist trickles down from more senior products within the group. Again we’ve gone for the most popular engine; a 1.0-litre turbocharged triple with 94bhp, although it’s also available in riotously powerful 113bhp guise. Completing our trio is Renault’s Clio, a hit with UK buyers through all previous generations and still popular even though this fourth-generation model is now ﬁve years old, albeit facelifted in 2016. The French brand has always done small cars best, and the current Clio ticks several familiar boxes with a strong exterior design, a broad mix of petrol and diesel engines and the potential for a perky driving experience.
KEY TECH: SEAT
Small car, big technology Seat has shoved as much tech from the bigger Leon into the Ibiza as possible.
While it’s available with safety kit like Traffic Jam Assist, more buyers will be interested in the luxury and infotainment haul: the wireless charging pad with signal booster, thumping Beats Audio upgrade and the bigger Media System Plus screen that includes MirrorLink, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard equipment. It all adds to the Ibiza’s big-car feel with the small-car price – as long as you’re sensible, of course.
Fiesta sold 150k units here in 2016. Stakes high for new one
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Giant Test Fiesta vs Clio vs Ibiza 6.5in Sync 3 touchscreen responds quickly, has crisp graphics and looks like it was stuck on after a hurried PDI.
Some key buttons are stashed down here on the centre console; works better for LHD and even harder to spot with a Costa in the way.
Dynamique S trim – the fourth of ﬁve trims – means plenty of the required kit is included, running to MediaNav infotainment, climate control, 17-inch alloy wheels and keyless entry. Here it’s powered by the larger of two TCe petrol units with four turbocharged cylinders, 1.2 litres and 118bhp. KEY TECH: FORD Climbing into the Clio for a cold earlyPlaying it safe morning start is something of a shock. The latest Fiesta is laden with extra safety tech. Zetec trim includes the From the faint twang of the driver’s NCAP pack, which includes a Lanedoor to the uniformity of colour inside, Keeping Alert and Adjustable Speed it’s hard not to think the little Frenchie Limiter, while the optional Driver is feeling its years. The centre console’s Assistance pack (£400) throws in Driver Alert, Pre-Collision Assist and relative simplicity is not without charm, Pedestrian Detection, and Adaptive the heating and ventilation controls Cruise Control. It also adds the are intuitively arranged and there’s a comprehensive if fiddly info screen between the instruments, which at pleasing mix of straight lines and curves. least provides something to look at But there are oddities too, like the ugly while stuck in traffic. speaker grilles that look lumped onto the doors, and, baﬄingly, the door pull that protrudes so far into the cabin that my right arm spends more time bouncing oﬀ it than resting on it. Still, the 1.2-litre petrol mill ﬁres with as little fuss and noise as your neighbours would hope for at 6am and warms the cabin quickly. It’s not the youngest engine here but, as well as a slight power advantage, there are other beneﬁts from having the extra cylinder. In typical driving it makes less of a fuss, being happy to lug along from low revs, and with a six-speed manual as standard an 80mph motorway cruise registers a barely-there 2000rpm. At lower speeds the driving experience is relatively low-eﬀort if
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Storage is modest: door bins are slim and this centre console cubby needs pliable wrists to swerve round the gearlever.
somewhat inconsistent. The clutch is light and progressive but the brakes have a soft initial application, leaving you pushing harder than expected. The steering, at urban speeds at least, feels a little slow-witted and very light although accurate enough that you don’t ﬁnd yourself guessing too often. After two hours of acceptably painless A-road and motorway the Clio joins Fiesta and Ibiza on their natural shopping ground of an urban retail park. Lined up together, the trio express remarkably diﬀerent visual styles. The Clio almost channels the spirit of its crossover cousins and there’s a little original Twingo discernible too. The rear wheels are pushed well back in the body but the front overhang is more signiﬁcant, lending it the look of a pseudo-MPV, in particular a more than passing resemblance to its Scenic siblings. Big curves down the ﬂanks play with the ambient light and at the front the details are hard to miss, with the slim grille punctuated by enormous headlights (now with integrated – rather than separate – daytime running lights) and a Renault badge that’s probably visible from the factory. It’s potentially a divisive look, but you can see why people fall for it. Where the Clio has curves, the Ibiza has edges, and lots of ’em. It’s even more like a shrunken Leon than the last Polo was like a shrunken Golf, but there’s a strong case for saying the smaller of the two Seats is the more handsome. The broad outline is relatively conventional small-hatch but it’s the details that make it, a riot of lines oﬀ the horizontal that slash across and along panels. FR trim means 17-inch wheels as standard with optional 18s on this example – the preserve of hot superminis not 10 minutes ago – that help toughen the stance. Maybe some buyers won’t like the strong creases, but to these eyes the Ibiza is the visual pick of the bunch.
Second-biggest infotainment screen here but doesn’t feel it; big bezel at least means you can rest your other fingers for better digital accuracy.
Swept-up centre console makes front-seat occupants feel a little hemmed in, although space is reasonable.
The Renault key card; new and clever a decade ago, dated and unpleasant to use now. Please bin.
Big screen is neatly integrated into the dashboard, which is otherwise a plain expanse of piano black, for good or bad.
Home screen makes it easy to access the various functions – and even with Apple CarPlay connected it doesn’t force you to use Apple Maps.
Chunky, attractive wheel has simple controls. Semi-flat bottom isn’t as annoying as it looks.
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Giant Test Fiesta vs Clio vs Ibiza
Ibiza gets new MQB platform. Equally at home on Spanish islands or between traffic islands
KEY TECH: RENAULT
Top, middle or bottom Depending on trim level, the Clio comes with three different infotainment systems; entry-level R&Go set-up acts like a simplified smartphone hook-up and works via an app to offer navigation, media and phone functions. MediaNav Evolution adds a 7in screen, Bluetooth phone and streaming, while top-spec R-Link (pictured) throws in an app store, DAB radio and even video streaming â€“ as long as youâ€™re parked up.
| October 2017
The Fiesta’s sweetness seeps through even if you’re just bumbling along That leaves the Fiesta to pick up the entry-level cutlery award in the looks department. The old car was certainly enhanced by the addition of the budget Aston grille but that was four years ago, and the unavoidable familiarity of the shape means that, although changed in the details, it still occasionally requires a double take even if you have the key in your hand. Ford’s oﬃcial blurb talks about the exterior as being ‘simpliﬁed’ and ‘settled’, which are delightful euphemisms for risk-free. Surely Ford could have been a little more adventurous without any serious danger of putting buyers oﬀ, given that there are plenty of loyalists who’d buy one even if it looked like Postman Pat’s daily driver. There’s more careful strategy at work when you step inside the new Ford. The old car’s cabin closely matched the decline of the Nokia phones that inspired it and had nowhere else to go but the bin. Park yourself in the driver’s seat and the initial impressions are good. The 6.5-inch screen sits high up and although it looks like an afterthought it’s in the right place for viewing and prodding. It responds snappily and is crisp and clear. The steering wheel is chunky, the gearlever sits up in a good position and the ventilation controls are simple, if set quite low on the dash. Look a little closer and you can see where pennies have been saved here and there. The dash is topped with a softish-feel slab of plastic but the grain is matched elsewhere with a less pliable version that defeats the eyes but not the ﬁngers, with the surrounds of the electric window and mirror controls, centre console and lower dash swathed in lots of the hard, black stuﬀ. There are more ups and downs in the cabin. The steering wheel controls feel ﬂimsy, the optional central display that comes with the Driver Assistance Pack (£400) is too busy, and requires ﬁddling with those wheel buttons again to operate. There’s also some curious construction work that’s gone on with the dash as a whole, possibly a compromise in order to make the design work within the existing hard points of the cabin. The dash itself seems cliﬀ-like, while some elements seem to be leaning either towards or away from you for no obvious reason. For the basics of driving the Fiesta’s cabin is ﬁne, with well-weighted controls in all the right places, but the details come up a little short, as do rear leg- and headroom, with the roof rail in particular seeming quite close to your head. In Clio country the basics are all in place. The instruments are almost high-tech minimalist, and by keeping the old-school (but still good) audio controls on a lower pod, the wheel itself is reserved for just voice control and cruise control – although oddly the switch to ﬂick between the latter and the speed limiter is by the handbrake. Also curious is that the Clio’s central screen feels so small – at seven inches it’s actually bigger than the Ford’s but being fully integrated into the top of the dash plays tricks with your perception. The optional R-Link upgrade, ﬁtted here as part of the £1000 Techno Pack Premium, adds in TomTom navigation with live traﬃc updates, voice operation and smartphone connection, the main downside being that some of the graphics and buttons are relatively small and easy to miss. Leg- and headroom in the rear are fractionally better than the Fiesta, and the bench itself is better proportioned to carry three passengers. The Ibiza’s cabin isn’t perfect, but it pulls a couple of lengths clear of the others. The strong design theme carries over from the
Fiesta gets choice of two petrols and one turbodiesel, but seven different power outputs
exterior, almost Lamborghini-like with its abundance of quadrilateral shapes, but it’s undeniably well executed. The decoration, in contrast, is almost austere. Only the air-con controls and two knobs on the big eight-inch touchscreen break up the surfaces, while small stripes on the FR seats add extra interest. There’s no less hard plastic in the Ibiza than in the Fiesta, but what there is feels a fraction sturdier and less likely to scratch. The Ibiza also nails the instrument and info display – it’s clear, stylish and easily navigable via the multi-function steering wheel – but the sooner the cleanliness nightmare that is piano-black trim is consigned to the dustbin, the better. Showroom appeal is clearly important but the Fiesta is in the ascendant out on the road. The 1.0-litre EcoBoost might be only adequately powerful with 99bhp, but it still operates with an enthusiasm well beyond its capacity and intergalactic gearing, and is so smooth that, other than the timbre, you’d be hard pressed to know you’ve got just three cylinders. Cruising requires no eﬀort, and as long as you’re not in a massive hurry you can accelerate at motorway speeds in sixth without having to row down the gears. The steering isn’t as chatty as the old Fiesta, but it’s still the sharpest and most engaging here and ties in beautifully with the chassis’ behaviour. It feels nimble and up on its toes, and although it will default to understeer if you’re crude about entry speeds, there’s still the capacity to bring the rear into play. Quite how many Fiesta buyers will appreciate just how well their car drives is debatable, but its sweetness seeps through even when you’re just bumbling along.
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Ford Fiesta Zetec 1.0 EcoBoost
Seat Ibiza FR 1.0 TSI
Renault Clio Dynamique S Nav TCe 120
Price | £15,455 (as tested £17,375) Engine | 999cc 12v turbocharged 3-cyl Transmission | 6-speed manual, front-wheel drive Suspension | MacPherson struts front, torsion-beam rear Made of | Steel
Price | £16,015 (£17,835 as tested) Engine | 999cc 12v turbocharged 3-cyl Transmission | 5-speed manual, front-wheel drive Suspension | MacPherson struts front, torsion-beam rear Made of | Steel
Price | £17,695 (£19,695 as tested) Engine | 1197cc 16v turbocharged 4-cyl Transmission | 6-speed manual, front-wheel drive Suspension | MacPherson struts front, torsion-beam rear Made of | Steel
Power and torque
Power to weight
We say | Ignore the numbers; Ford feels lustier
We say | Ibiza feels the chunkiest, isn’t
We say | Clio’s big numerical lead not felt on the road
99bhp @ 6500rpm 125lb ft @ 1500rpm Ibiza
94bhp @ 5000rp pm 129lb ft @ 1500rpm 118bhp @ 5500rpm
151lb ft @ 2000rpm
Official and test mpg
We say | Clio quickest but doesn’t sound happy about it
We say | Fiesta on forecourt slightly less
We say | Four-cylinder power has clear advantage here
39.6mpg .6m 6m
40.7mpg 7m O
Officiall O 60.1mpg
38.6mpg .6m 6mp Official Offi cial 53 53.3mpg g
O Official al 65.7mpg
Fiesta T Test
Ibiza T st Test
We say | Little more than a fiver in it
We say | Biggest tank pays off, just
We say | Fiesta beats 100g/km barrier
We say | All cheap but Ibiza a strong bargain
42 40 45 litres
48 months, £1262 deposit
1 6 106 g/km
106 CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK | October 2017
48 months, £1348 deposit
48 months, £1362 deposit
Disappointingly cautious redesign, but Fiesta boasts smooth and punchy 1.0-litre turbo and best-in-class dynamics.
Still stylish, but feels its age, especially inside. Average dynamics and below-par performance seal its fate.
The Clio isn’t as happy to play games as the Fiesta, should the mood take you. The steering can feel slow-witted and a little numb, chipping away at your conﬁdence to push the front tyres harder. Actual turn-in is acceptably sharp and after leaning a little the Clio settles, grips strongly and resists total wash-out admirably. More disappointing for keener drivers is the 1.2-litre motor, which has a signiﬁcant on-paper power and torque advantage over its rivals that never really translates into fun. Sure it’s it s the happiest lugging from low revs – but it’s it s best kept there; wring it out and the Clio sounds rather displeased about the whole idea. It’s a shame that the greater vim of the Renault Sport version isn’t somewhere in here. The Seat Ibiza lands squarely between its rivals when things get twisty. The clutch action is needlessly high and the gearshift (only ﬁve ratios as standard) is much like its siblings in only oﬀering any kind of resistance at either end of the shift, with nothing in the middle. But well-chosen ratios allow you to work the motor hard and still cruise in comfort, with the lowest noise levels here even in ﬁfth gear. Despite the FR tag the Ibiza feels less sporty than the Ford; it’s the only car here to have drive modes that aﬀect the steering and throttle response but at low speeds you’ll want Sport engaged all the time, so light is the steering. Ask for all it’s got and the Ibiza feels more than brisk enough and is the least intrusive in the process. Like the others, greater speed improves the steering weight and it can be fun if the mood takes you. Hotter versions are already available in Seat showrooms. Picking third place in this test isn’t a diﬃcult task. The Clio has a good deal in its favour, chieﬂy its striking exterior, ﬂexible petrol engine and decent ride quality, but in the spotlight shone by these new rivals the wrinkles are showing. It oﬀers the least space for passengers as well as little to get keen drivers interested, and manages to feel slower despite its best-on-test acceleration ﬁgures. A replacement is required.
1st Great design, solid build, keen performance and generous space make Ibiza the most rounded on test.
Splitting the Ibiza and Fiesta is headache-inducing. A standard escape route in this situation is to go head versus heart, in which case you’d expect the Fiesta’s heart-pleasing eﬀervescence to conquer the Ibiza’s head-pleasingly solid interior and bigger cabin. But on paper the Fiesta also has the best acceleration and lowest CO2 ﬁgures, and it delivered the best fuel consumption during our test, which you’d expect to show up on your bank statement. The Ibiza also attempts to seduce with its nudging-premium feel, feel particularly when speciﬁed in our smart FR trim and with its glossy, expensivelooking touchscreen infotainment system. Buy the Fiesta and your chances of regretting it are pretty slim. If you remotely care about how your small hatchback drives then its core-deep quality will make you smile even when you’re not pretending to be WRC champion Sébastien Ogier. But in terms of its usability it is only adequately spacious, the cabin quality is occasionally questionable and the cost-cutting grates. There will be times when you’re zapping through a switchback in your Ibiza and you’ll have a tiny niggle in the back of your brain, knowing that your grin would be 20 per cent larger tackling the same road in the Ford. But those occasions will be rare. The rest of the time the Ibiza will swallow your passengers and luggage more readily, soothe your mind and body with greater ease and make you feel like you’re trading up, not down. The Seat Ibiza is the most complete car here, and since the 21st century supermini is routinely tasked with doing it all, from urban warfare to weekends away, it’s our winner. @MJMattJoy
Splitting the Ibiza and Fiesta for the victory is headacheinducing
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40 YEARS OF RENAULT F1
In 1977 Renault arrived in Formula 1 with a radical turbo engine. 40 years on it’s still racing, with a works team, but three cars stand apart as the firm’s finest F1 creations Words Tom Clarkson | Photography Wilson Hennessy
108 CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK | October 2017
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M THE RS10
‘The solution was to use twin turbochargers, as we did for 1979. The result was magic’ Jean-Pierre Jabouille
TOUR DE FORCE: THE WILLAMS FW14B
The two years that followed Renault’s withdrawal from F1 at the end of 1986 were to be the only seasons of its 40-year F1 stint in which its engines wouldn’t be on the grid. But the ﬁrm’s engineers, far from twiddling thumbs and going for long lunches, instead busied themselves developing their ﬁrst naturally aspirated F1 engine; a 3.5-litre V10 for introduction in the back of Williams’ car in 1989. The Bernard Dudot design was immediately competitive and the team won a couple of races in their ﬁrst season back. Two further victories followed in 1990, but this was the calm before the storm. In 1991 Williams and Renault introduced a car/engine package that would blow their rivals into the weeds, the FW14. The car was designed by maverick engineer Adrian Newey – revelling in his big break with a top team – and Williams’ technical warhorse Patrick Head. They were a brilliant double act: Newey suggested ideas that no-one had ever thought of in F1; Head told him what would work and what wouldn’t. The car was immediately quick, if unreliable, and with a brand new Renault RS3 engine in the back, it won seven races in the second half of the year and ﬁnished second in the constructors’ championship. The addition of active suspension and traction control made the car – dubbed the FW14B – even faster for 1992. Nigel Mansell’s aggressive driving style suited the computer-levelling suspension system, and Renault excelled with its contribution: the car’s systems required 30bhp more than every other engine on the grid, and Renault’s unit delivered. Mansell won the opening ﬁve races of the year from pole position and went on to win nine of the season’s 16 races, with Riccardo Patrese adding a tenth win at the Japanese Grand Prix. Mansell sealed the title at the Hungarian Grand Prix in August, with ﬁve races remaining, and so dominant was his display that Ayrton Senna oﬀered to drive for the team for free the following season. ‘That was a dream car,’ says Frank Williams. ‘The FW14B was a triumph of engineering. That 1992 season was one of the highlights of my career because the car was so quick everywhere; it didn’t have a weakness. Nigel was strong and ballsy enough to drive the car how it needed to be driven. He always delivered.’ The ultra-successful RS4 engine would provide the springboard for Renault’s dominance over the following ﬁve years, when it won the world title every year bar one. With unlimited testing, the pace of engine development was both ferocious and expensive, and it couldn’t be justiﬁed if you weren’t winning. There were casualties – Peugeot, Lamborghini and Yamaha – but Renault continued to dominate and, in turn, justify its monumental spend. This was the golden era of Renault’s F1 involvement as an engine supplier. Even when it wound down its oﬃcial presence in 1998, to prepare for its comeback as a constructor two years later, Renault’s V10 continued to be successful with Williams and Benetton through its Mecachrome subsidiary.
‘The car was so quick everywhere; it didn’t have a weakness. It was one of the highlights of my career’ Frank Williams
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RENAULT’S F1 FUTURE: RED BULL AND BEYOND Renault is supplying engines to Red Bull for an 11th consecutive season in 2017, but the company is still in the early stages of shaping its own F1 team. It bought the remnants of Lotus at the end of 2015 and only now are staff levels comparable with those the Enstone-based team enjoyed when it was competitive with Fernando Alonso in 2005 and 2006. This year’s RS17 isn’t a race winner, but in the hands of new recruit Nico Hulkenberg it’s a big step forward. Brit Jolyon Palmer is struggling in the second car and there are suggestions that he could be replaced mid-season by Robert Kubica, who raced for the team until his right hand was partially severed in a rallying accident in 2011. Kubica tested for Renault at the beginning of June. Although no official lap times were released, team members have reported that he was ‘very quick’. And further down the line? If Renault has its way, the F1 cars of 2027 will look like this: futuristic, ultra-low projectiles with transparent polycarbonate canopies and active aero blended seamlessly into the bodywork. Renault’s concept also boasts drive and steering at all four wheels and a fully electric mode with which to whirr into the pits. Oh, and there’s an autonomous driving mode in case of a crash or yellow flag; Renault says it’ll vastly improve safety on track, but it might also make some hardcore fans’ teeth itch…
40 YEARS OF RENAULT F1
Williams just needed someone to sit here, drive hard and ignore the weird sensations that came with active suspension. Mansell was happy to oblige
Compact V10â€™s 750bhp output was tamed with traction control
Like the Lotus 49 before it, the FW14B debuted fresh F1 thinking, and enjoyed crushing superiority as a result
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ALONSO’S WEAPON: THE R25
By 2005, F1 needed a new story. Michael Schumacher had dominated for the previous ﬁve years, winning the world title with embarrassing ease on each occasion, and fans were switching oﬀ in their droves. Even in Schumacher’s native Germany. What the sport needed was a precocious young talent to take the ﬁght to The King. The challenge was unlikely to come from within Ferrari; Rubens Barrichello had failed to threaten Schumacher consistently during their ﬁve years together, albeit more a product of team orders than a lack of pace on the Brazilian’s part. So, who was going to break the stranglehold? Most people were looking in the direction of McLaren’s Kimi Raikkonen; they were wrong. ‘If you can’t have Schumacher,’ said Renault team principal Flavio Briatore at the launch of the Renault R25, ‘then you have to have Fernando Alonso. He is the only one on the same level.’ But even Alonso needed a good car (as his current plight with McLaren proves) and, four years after its takeover of Benetton, Renault was ready to mount a title challenge. Bob Bell had beefed up the technical team in Enstone; Rob Wright had done the same at Renault Sport’s engine division in Paris. And the results were stunning.
The V10 was both powerful and fuel-eﬃcient; the R25 chassis was beautifully balanced and driveable and, crucially, it was shod with Michelin tyres. F1 was in the midst of a tyre war between Bridgestone and Michelin, and more often than not Michelin’s was the rubber to have. The R25 was victorious in the opening four races of the year, but it was only at the San Marino Grand Prix, race four, that Alonso laid out his title challenge. He kept a hard-charging Schumacher at bay during the closing laps and at no point looked ﬂustered. A few laps earlier Jenson Button had buckled under pressure from the seven-time champion, but Alonso kept his nerve and crossed the line 0.215s ahead. Schumacher wasn’t one to praise his rivals, but he told Alonso he’d ‘done a good job’. Alonso went on to win three more races that year, including victory at Renault’s home event at Magny-Cours, and he sealed the title with a podium ﬁnish in Brazil. His was a season of speed and consistency. He took six pole positions, seven victories and eight podiums in an 18-race campaign, and he retired only once, after he hit a wall in Canada. His team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella, by contrast, took only one victory and two podiums. ‘Maybe the R25 wasn’t the fastest car,’ says Alonso, ‘but it was such a nice car to drive. It responded well to set-up changes and I felt I could do with it what I wanted. It was reliable, where our main rivals were not, and that helped. I think we put together the perfect season.’
40 YEARS OF HIGHS, LOWS AND RACE-FIXING… 1976
Renault tests its 1.5-litre V6 turbo in a Renault Alpine sports car
The RS01 makes its F1 debut at the British GP with Jean-Pierre Jabouille at the wh l
Renault takes its first F1 victory at Dijon, again with Jabouille driving
Alain Prost takes four victories and narrowly misses out on the world title. He’s sacked two days after th final race
Pulls out of F1 as a constructor
Pulls out of F1 as an engine supplier, but its engine facility at y-Chatillon ains fully op rational
Renault returns to F1 as an engine supplier to Williams, winning two races
The Mansell/ Williams/ Renault combo wins both world titles
Alain Prost/ Williams/ Renault win the world titles
Ayrton Senna is killed in a WilliamsRenault at Imola, but the team rallies and wins the constructors’ title
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40 YEARS OF RENAULT F1
R25 claimed the last drivers’ and constructors’ titles of the now muchmissed V10 era
Bottom-left rotary is traction level – the sport outlawed traction control for the 2008 season
‘Maybe the R25 wasn’t the fastest car but I could do with it what I wanted’ Fernando Alonso
Alonso’s defensive masterclass in the R25 at San Marino is on YouTube – search ‘Alonso defies Schumacher’
Michael Schumacher and BenettonRenault win both world titles
Damon Hill/ a se au w bo h wo d l s
Jacques Villeneuve/ WilliamsRenault win both world titles. Renault withdraws from F1 at the end of the year
Renault buys the Benetton F1 team
Alonso/ Renault F1 Team win both world titles. It’s Renault’s first title success as a constructor
Alonso/ Renault F1 win the world titles. There’s controversy surrounding its cars’ mass dampers
Renault supplies engines to Red Bull Racing, a collaboration that continues to this day
Renault gets caught up in race-fixing allegations at Singapore. Flavio Briatore and Pat Symond are banned from F1
Renault sells a majority stake in its F1 team to Genii Capital
Renault buys back its shares from Genii Capital to begin the next chapter in its history as an F1 constructor
Macan vs Velar
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Macan vs Velar
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SUVs are becoming sports car substitutes in some markets, lusted after more than a flat-six 911
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Velar driver basks in show-car looks. Driver of cheaper, faster Macan not entirely distraught
In the Porsche you pay for the mechanicals beneath the skin, but you buy a Velar for its skin
Basic Macan has black calipers. S gets silver. GTS and Turbo red. Hardware is the same
perfect. It’s big – much bigger than the Evoque, but smaller than the Range Rover Sport. It’s also more than 100mm longer than a Macan, though of similar weight. Thank the Velar’s aluminium architecture, a Jaguar Land Rover hallmark. The pop-out door handles glide forward when the car is unlocked, and gently retract again when the doors are shut. Inside, the design is just as uncluttered as the exterior, devoid of superﬂuity and needless decoration. Apart from a couple of multifunctional rotary controllers, all major controls are handled by two touchscreens. The lower screen is ﬂush with the centre console, while the upper screen swivels forward when you take up station behind the wheel, and the alloy rotary controller rises gently from its nest. It’s all part of the appealing theatre of Velar ownership. The twin screens provide a bewildering variety of functions, from the mundane (radio channel selection, ventilation control, phone, sat-nav) to the arcane (g-meter and stopwatch including ‘best time’ – presumably for that blast around the ’Ring). For maximum sportiness, there is a crash helmet icon that accesses a mode to allow personal conﬁguration of your Velar’s mechanicals, dialling up the sharpness of steering, throttle, gearshift and suspension. There is also Eco, Comfort, plus the usual Land Rover Terrain Response settings (sand, mud/ruts, grass/gravel/ snow etc). Though primarily a road car, the Velar has signiﬁcant oﬀ-road potential. It’s the Land Rover brand’s key diﬀerentiator, after
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all, from all the other SUV pretenders. We even ﬁnd a Low Traction Launch Control setting, deep in the touchscreen’s menu. Mind you, the furthest most Velars are likely to venture oﬀ road is a sandy Norfolk car park by the sea, or a nicely manicured school sports ﬁeld. Our car’s air suspension permits height adjustment too, all the better to vault rocks and ruts. The high-resolution touchscreens are beautifully ﬁnished and integrate well into a classy interior of perforated leather, piano-black wood, suede-eﬀect Alcantara, and carbon appliqué. They are less intuitive than any Apple product, or than Volvo’s or Tesla’s industry-leading single big touchscreens. They also have an annoying habit of highlighting ﬁngerprint smudges, adding some unwanted grit to the glamour. (They also lack Apple CarPlay, an odd omission in a car so devoted to connectivity and geekery.) In front of the driver the electronic entertainment continues: a high-tech TFT looks pleasingly analogue. There’s a head-up display as well, projecting key information onto the windscreen, in the driver’s line of sight. Front-seat comfort is excellent, and rear room okay for three. The rear backrests are electrically rake adjustable on our First Edition test car, complete with every option imaginable, and a fanciful £86,175 price. Losing the First Edition spec but keeping the same supercharged petrol V6 doesn’t trim the price much: you can get a Range Rover Sport with the same powertrain for less. The whole cabin works very well, with one caveat: the lower part of the cabin – seat foundations, ﬂoor trim, and door map pockets – are all made from hard, low-grade plastic, the sort you might expect in a £10k Dacia but not an £80k Rangie. We meet, for this twin test, in Telford, named after road and rail engineer Thomas Telford, the self-styled birthplace of the industrial revolution. The Macan in its bright red paintjob is lower, shorter and narrower than the expansive Velar. Its bodywork looks shrink-wrapped around its mechanicals, whereas the Velar is the extravagant voluptuary. In the Porsche, you pay for what’s beneath the skin. You buy a Velar for its skin. The Macan is not a handsome car, at least to my eyes, although it’s nowhere near as bad as its big ugly sister, the Cayenne – endlessly updated, remorselessly repulsive. As with all Porsches, the stylists have tried to imbue the design spirit of the 911, from ﬂowing front wings, to distinctive front and rear lamps, to rounded hips. You can certainly see the 911 overtures. Sadly, this language only works on a 911. The Cayenne and (less so) the Macan look like 911s on stilts. The poor Panamera like an extended 911 that’s spent too much time on a rack. Inside the time-honoured Porsche design cues work far more successfully. We ﬁnd the big central tacho, red on our GTS. The instruments are analogue, naturally. There is a lovely little black Alcantara-rimmed steering wheel. Driving position is just so. The gearchange paddles feel like real metal (where the Velar’s feel like thin plastic). Unlike the minimalist interior of the Velar, the Macan’s raked and wide centre console has switches for everything, from heated front seats, to sports suspension, to extra exhaust bark, to traction control oﬀ. Above this switchgear superabundance the touchscreen looks almost inconsequential. The graphics are poorer quality than the Velar’s. In connectivity
Macan vs Velar
Velar has two screens, plus dials, while a head-up display is optional
Nothing virtual about these analogue dials, with a red tacho face on the GTS
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Macan is better to drive, so if you want Velar style a smaller engine will do
Velar is slightly longer, wider and taller than the Macan, but also lighter
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Macan vs Velar
and modern electro-gadgetry, the Range Rover is a generation ahead of the Porsche, and it’s been a long time since we’ve been able to say that of a British car over a German one. We’ve never been able to say it before about a Jaguar Land Rover product, long-time connectivity laggards. Heavens above, our Macan even came with a CD player. The Macan’s seats hug and grip you. They are sports chairs, and they’re not only comfortable but hugely supportive, especially at speed. Despite the 100mm or so diﬀerence in length, there isn’t a big usable diﬀerence in rear-seat room. The Velar’s back seat is more spacious, but not signiﬁcantly so. Its boot, though, is much bigger. If you need loads of carrying space, buy the Velar. Both have handy 40:20:40 folding rear seats, good for versatile load lugging. So, the two cars meet in Telford. I’ve driven up from London in the Macan. Colleague CJ Hubbard has driven from Peterborough in the Velar. ‘Fast, a bit anodyne to drive, looks spectacular,’ is CJ’s early, pithy and prophetic ﬁrst impression. The Macan, conversely, can be so far summed as ‘fast, engaging to drive, so-so to look at’. I keep driving the Macan to a fuel stop near the Welsh border, where we swap. From there we drive deep into Wales, mostly on winding secondaries to Snowdonia, through pretty
The Macan is the best-driving SUV in the world, by some margin. The GTS is an especially tasty iteration
villages and on to Bala, where we have lunch. Then it is deep into Snowdonia, including a winding B-road to Ffestiniog and Rhyd-y-sarn, familiar from previous drives on Welsh moorland roads in supercars. Only sheep and speed limits spoil the fun. We even have time for a brief spot of 4x4 oﬀ-roading on a narrow rutted grassy track (Velar 1, Macan 0). A full and hard day’s driving – swapping from Macan to Velar and back – makes it clear that if driving enjoyment is your priority, then it’s the Porsche’s keys you want. The Macan is the best-driving SUV in the world, and by some margin. The GTS is an especially tasty iteration, 355bhp twin-turbo 3.0 petrol V6 meets seven-speed PDK gearbox. That may be 20bhp less than a Velar, and one ratio fewer, but you never feel shortchanged. It accelerates faster and always feels more lively. An extra 30-odd lb ft of torque (369 vs 332) helps. On the twisty stuﬀ, the Macan hunkers down on its heels, while the Velar ﬂoats on its toes. The The big questions Range Rover Velar Macan is a more conﬁdent beast to push hard; better feedback, sweeter brakes, sharper paddleshifting, more responsive throttle, more feelsome steering. My God, it’s almost 911 good, though you still feel If it were a Does it pass the Can it do utility Can it cope you’re riding too high. You want to be down close to fruit, what sort as well as it screen test? off the beaten the action, not up with your head in the clouds. It’s would it be? does sport? Two lovely hightrack? like driving a 911 from the roof. Starfruit. Exotic There are better res screens, Not as capable and beautiful, Landies for full of gadgets, on the rough as The Velar, by comparison, just feels like an SUV in nature and that, although functions, cool a full-size Range – too high, too heavy, too soft, too ﬂoaty, a decent car when served. the huge new graphics and Rover but it will betrayed by its proportions. All SUVs are too big and Mostly delicious Disco doesn’t configurability. still take you but occasionlook this good. Shame they places a Macan too heavy; this ‘mid-sized SUV’ weighs almost 1.9 ally a little sour. Rear seat room get grimy with can’t. Wading tonnes. Nonetheless, choose Dynamic mode, switch Could use extra is disappointing fingerprints so depth is twice the rotary controller to the Sport Manual setting, preparation but the boot is easily. And no as good as a time. vast. Apple CarPlay. Macan’s. and you can have some fun on rural secondaries.
Our Macan has less power than this Velar, but it makes better use of it
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Twin test Macan vs Velar
Velar screens are neat and user-friendly, and a generation ahead of the Porsche system
Macan team didn’t get the memo about touchscreens being instead off switches
That supercharged V6 is eager, tuneful (though not The big questions Porsche Macan so melodious as the Porsche’s V6), and at speed the suspension does a pretty good job of absorbing the bumps and yet providing clear feedback. It still feels like an SUV alongside a sportster, though. If it were a Does it pass the Can it do utility Can it cope Even at lower speeds the Macan is the better drive. fruit, what sort as well as it screen test? off the beaten More communicative, sharper, as much track car as would it be? does sport? The screen track? demi-truck. It rides better, too, on its 20-inch wheels. Passion fruit. Back-seat is small and This is very Ugly on the space is pretty low-res, and the much a road Even in Sport mode, the Macan has a lovely ﬂuidity outside, sweet good and, with graphics aren’t car, never mind about the way it moves over the tarmac, suppleness inside, with a 500-litre great. But unlike that all-wheelmeets sportiness. No SUV does it better. a real zing. luggage the Velar, you drive. But it The Velar’s ride disappoints. On air springs and Pretty versatile, compartment do get Apple does have an too: good for (1500 with rear CarPlay, and off-road setting 21-inch wheels the ride is a bit thumpy at low speed, family picnics seats folded) loads of proper and air springs and sometimes unsettled at bigger speeds (it actualand upscale city it’s close to a old-fashioned that can elevate ly improves when pushing hard). It lacks the driving restaurants. Mondeo hatch. switches. it by 135mm. ﬂuency of a Range Rover or Range Rover Sport. It must be even worse on 22-inch wheels. If you choose a Velar, go for the smaller rubber, even if it does betray the concept-car-styling swagger. In driving appeal, it’s a clear win for the Porsche. The Macan is also more comfortable, owing to its superior ride, and has a cabin of higher overall quality, if not design pizzazz. Where the Velar uses hard, cheap plastics on its lower ﬂanks, the Macan uses soft-touch plastics of ﬁner tactility and, I’d expect, durability. But should a Macan versus Velar contest be settled purely on dynamics, with the odd nod to plastics quality? Of course not! The Velar is the more strikk ing to look at, the more special all-round ownership experience. It’s an exquisitely executed piece of sculpture. It will get more covetous glances from neighbours and other drivers. Its interior is also spectacular, and mostly well executed. It is a special place to spend time, one of the all-time great car cabins. It is roomier than the Macan, especially if we include the boot. It has more connectivity. It goes fast. It drives okay. You can demonstrate the touchscreen features for hours. It is a very modern SUV whereas the Porsche is, in many ways, rather old fashioned. (Although CJ liked the CD player: ‘At last, somewhere I can play all my old discs!’) So is it horses for courses? The Macan for keen drivers, the Velar for those who prioritise design and functionality? That might be the logical conclusion. Personally, though, I’d buy the Macan. Better to drive – fast or slow – and also better value as tested: £68,506 against a preposterous £86,175. If the Velar appeals – and I can see your point – then around £60k is the sweet spot. That gets you 2.0 turbo petrol power, probably all you need. It gets you all the concept-car drama, the start-her-up theatre, and the modish cabin. It gets you a car of astonishing style and signiﬁcant substance. But for the same money you can still get a Macan GTS, complete with boisterous twin-turbo V6. And when the road opens, traﬃc thins and the corners arrive, you’ll be glad you chose the Porsche.
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PORSCHE MACAN GTS > Price £58,158 > As tested £68,506 > Engine 2997cc 24v twin-turbo V6, 355bhp @ 6000rpm, 369lb ft @ 1650-4000rpm > Transmission 7-speed dual-clutch auto, all-wheel drive > Performance 5.2sec 0-62mph, 159mph, 32.1mpg, 207g/km CO2 > Weight 1895kg > On sale Now
RANGE ROVER VELAR FIRST EDITION P380 > Price £85,450 > As tested £86,175 > Engine 2995cc 24v supercharged V6, 375bhp @ 6500rpm, 332lb ft @ 3500rpm > Transmission 8-speed auto, all-wheel drive > Performance 5.7sec 0-62mph, 155mph, 30.1mpg, 214g/km CO2 > Weight 1884kg > On sale Now
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Five generations of super Golf and how to buy one
Beyond the GTI Sometimes even the Golf GTI isnâ€™t enough. Whatever your budget, these five high-performance Golfs will hit the spot Words Ben Barry Photography Angus Murray
126 CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK | October 2017
APID, AGILE, understated, practical… the Volkswagen Golf GTI is the default hot hatch for good reason. But for almost every generation of GTI, Volkswagen has taken things one step further, creating faster, more exclusive, more expensive high-performance Golfs that slot in at the very top of the price range. Given the GTI’s metronomic consistency, these halo models have taken surprisingly diverse forms: front- or all-wheel drive, four- or six cylinders, supercharged or turbocharged, and wearing all manner of
badges. We’ve selected ﬁve of what we consider the best buys for this month’s Icon Buyer: the box-arched Mk2 Rallye, a homologation special designed for Group A rallying; the Mk4 R32 that combined allwheel drive with a V6 engine; the highly collectible Mk5 GTI Edition 30, with its useful power boost over the standard GTI; the Mk6 R that proved downsizing really could work; and the Mk7 GTI Clubsport S that ﬁnally gave us a GTI served raw. Over the next few pages we’ll discover how they drive, what to pay, and essential info on spec and running costs…
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VOLKSWAGEN GOLF RALLYE MK2 > Value £15-£50k > Engine 1763cc 8-valve supercharged four-cylinder, 158bhp @ 5600rpm, 163lb ft @ 4000rpm > Transmission Five-speed manual, all-wheel drive > Performance 8.6sec 0-62mph, 130mph > Suspension MacPherson strut front, independent rear > Weight/made from 1195kg/steel > Length/width/height 4035/1700/1400mm > On sale 1989
MK2 GOLF RALLYE FROM £20K Long before Volkswagen dominated rallying with the Polo, it had a far less successful attempt with the Mk2 Golf. Group A rules dictated 5000 road-going examples of the 1989 Rallye were built, meaning a far closer relation between road and stage than we saw with grandma’s g Polo and Seb Ogier’s. g Box arches, unique q bumpers and headlights, and 15-inch alloys that look like a crash dieter still wearing an XL wardrobe are key Rallye cues. Inside, there’s the same functional, built-for-eternity solidity of all Mk2s, but the Rallye is elevated with leather on the door cards, steering wheel and gearknob, and GTI seats get unique fabric centres and leather bolsters. With only a mild tickle inside – though an estimated £50k restoration throughout! – this car’s interior wears its 135k miles lightly. The most signiﬁcant changes were mechanical, with Syncro
NEED TO KNOW
> 5000 Rallyes were produced, but just 70 cars came to the UK – dubbed SE, fitted with electric mirrors and windows. All cars lefthand drive.
Box arches, all-wheel drive? It’s a Mk2 Golf as Audi Quattro
Built for rallying, but in road trim more lux than stock GTI
ZINE.CO.UK CO UK | October 2017 128 CARMAGA ZINE
> Basic servicing costs are comparable to Mk2 GTIs, but superchargers typically need a rebuild after 80k miles. > Parts can be incredibly scarce and pricey: even the front indicators are
unique to the Rallye, so too the side mouldings that mask the transition to flared arches. > The Syncro all-wheeldrive system is generally tough, but propshaft doughnuts can fail.
all-wheel drive and a supercharged version of the 8-valve 1.8-litre engine, albeit reduced from the GTI’s 1781cc to 1763cc to meet sporting regulations. The result was 158bhp, 21bhp up on a 16-valve GTI. The Rallye doesn’t feel much quicker than a GTI – all-wheel drive weighs more, after all – but there’s certainly extra energy to performance that builds in a linear sweep around the dial, and a gurgly backing track from the supercharger, not the whine you expect. Naturally, there’s none of the rowdy wheelspin found with similarly powerful front drivers, just sticky composure. The steering seems weightier than a GTI’s but retains a similar ﬂuidity and feel, and there’s comfort and compliance to the suspension, if pronounced body roll, and good braking performance – the rear discs did service at the front of a Mk1 GTI! It’s a car that can still maintain a respectable pace cross-country, and still feels modern enough to use every day, where a Mk1 now feels like a museum piece. New, Rallye prices were twice that of the GTI, but until recently values languished below £10k. Today, £15k bags a tatty example, £20k something respectable, while concours examples have been advertised for £50k plus. Imagine if the rally cars had actually won.
FROM Â£4K NEED TO KNOW
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NEED TO KNOW
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MK6 GOLF R FROM £12.5K There was a clear separation between the Mk5 R32 and GTI, simply because the R32 traded some of the GTI’s immediacy for a more sophisticated feel, and therefore targeted a diﬀerent kind of driver. The Mk6 Golf R marked a change in that philosophy, doing g everything y g the GTI could do, but doing g it better. The big diﬀerence lay with the replacement of the 3.2-litre V6 for a 2.0-litre turbocharged four. On the face of it, it seemed the R models’ six-cylinder USP had vanished, but drive the R and you soon discover that, for once, less is actually more. Not only does the R provide an additional 55bhp over the Mk6 GTI at 262bhp – and 16bhp over the six-cylinder Mk5 R32 – but it revs with more energy than its six-cylinder predecessor, ‘sounds furious’ as a VW engineer once accurately described it, and substantially reduces the weight over the R’s front end. That, naturally, makes
NEED TO KNOW
> Key options include 19-inch alloys (£555), adaptive dampers (£790), metallic/pearl paint (£465), Vienna leather (£1870) or Vienna leather Recaro seats R t (£3330) (£3330). Heated leather and Bluetooth standard in the final year of production.
Downsized engine sacrifices some six-pot burble for more agility
Mk6 cabin is Mk5’s done right with more tech and better finish
> Shares the Mk5 Edition 30 EA113 engine (but in Audi S3 262bhp tune), so again the cam follower can be troublesome. Inspection at each service recommended. > Direct injection can also lead to coking of the inlet tract, reducing performance.
> Despite the newer Mk7 Golf R flooding the used market following generous lease deals, Mk6 prices have stayed strong, the two cars now overlapping in value. > Cracked alloy wheels and a defective Haldex pump for the all-wheel drive are known woes.
the R a ﬂeeter-feeling, more agile drive, while the all-wheel-drive system still provides serious point-to-point pace. And yet for all its additional performance, the R loses nothing to the GTI in terms of reﬁnement: spec’d on adaptive dampers, it rides with supple composure. Inside and out, perhaps, there’s disappointingly little diﬀerentiation with the GTI when you think back to those bucket seats in the Mk4 R32, but there’s also demographic-straddling class to its understatement, and it’s notable how much more modern the interior feels than a Mk5’s despite being fundamentally similar, and equally how well it stands close comparison to a Mk7. In some ways, the Mk7 R has moved the game on in the years since, but aﬀordable lease deals have also made it far more ubiquitous and, says Volkswizard’s Andrew Chapple, Mk6s are often generously optioned, where Mk7s rarely are, a repercussion of those stack-’em-high PCPs. Bit of a discerning choice, the Mk6, and one that still runs the Mk7 close in terms of outright driving enjoyment. Cars with 100k miles go for £12.5k, while late cars with around 20k miles can fetch £20k. October 2017 | CARMAGA ZINE ZINE.CO.UK CO UK 125
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A month in the life of 15 cars – starring Toyota GT86, Honda Civic, Volvo V90 & more
IN EARLY AUGUST I raced at Snetterton. Since trailers are expensive, the circuit just MONTH 8 a couple of hours from home and the Seven CATERHAM road legal, I drove to and from both the SEVEN Friday test day and Saturday’s qualifying session and race. This is, I tell myself, the stuﬀ of legend. Proper grassroots, keeping-it-real motorsport. But it’s also about engineering as many opportunities as possible to drive and enjoy what is an addictively brilliant road car. We’re all busy people. The time to sneak out in the Caterham for thrills alone is rarer than lithium in Elon Musk’s back garden. So why not use the car for every journey you have to make? When the alarm goes at 5am it’s easy to ﬁnd yourself questioning the above logic. A long, early and dull journey should show the Seven in the worst possible light, and I’m not going to argue it’s in any way reﬁned. The transmission whine is
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endless and, with no heater, you’re invariably too hot or too cold. There’s nowhere to put your feet other than on the pedals and the car rattles like a shot-up Lancaster. Windows, cruise control, a radio and nav are pipe dreams. And yet on that Saturday morning, while most of the rest of the country was still asleep, I snuggled down into my harness on the A1(M), watched in awe as the amber dawn sun lit up the countryside and, with a smile on my face, cruised with my brain and soul in a state of pronounced happiness. Qualifying at 9am was a rude awakening but a joy nonetheless; if you haven’t driven the 300 Snetterton layout, you must. I started the race 12th and, after some nice little dices and a slightly frustrating lack of aggression/ambition on my part, that’s where I ﬁnished. A mate came to watch on his Ducati, so after the race I threw my race support infrastructure into the car (fuel can, torque wrench, kitbag, pop-up camping chair) and we headed oﬀ for some lunch.
A racing car that’s legal and huge fun on the road too? Stuff of dreams
Caterham: the essential options
EAR DEFENDERS/ RADIO, £60 FOR SOMETHING SIMILAR Bought at Le Mans to keep on top of the race, these have since proved brilliant in the Seven. Block out most of the din, even at motorway speeds, and tune in to Annie Mac if you fancy it.
VIDEO VBOX LITE, £1194 Academy regulations require front and rearfacing cameras, and a VBOX is invaluable as a driver aid for recording and showing lap times during sessions. GPS speed readout handy on the road with the speedo packs up, too.
BEAD SEAT, FROM £850 I’m just over 6ft tall, so in the standard Seven Academy seat my head is too close to the rolllcage for safety. The bead seat (bags of polystyrene beads are formed around you and set with a resin, then trimmed and upholstered) gets me race-legal.
‘And they’re nose-totail on the run down to… the crossing’
The morning’s perfect summer weather vanished, replaced by slate skies and rain, and on fast, challenging and apparently lawless Fenland roads our unlikely convoy (£17k of fully-loaded Ducati, with switchable engine modes, electronic suspension, traction control and ABS) and similarly priced little British sports car (none of the above) sped west, blasting past less impatient traﬃc and revelling in the challenge of maintaining such a lively rate of progress in sodden conditions. LOGBOOK CATERHAM SEVEN The race was great fun but the ACADEMY drive home better still. The Acad> Engine e 1595cc 16v 4-cyl, 125bhp @ emy-spec Caterham is a racing car 6100rpm, 119lb ft @ 5350rpm > Transmission 5-speed manual, open ﬁrst and foremost, and if you can differential, rear-wheel drive > Stats s 5.0sec only run one road car you’d have to 0-60mph, 122mph, n/a g/km CO2 > As be laudably nuts to choose it, but it’s tested £24,995 > Miles this month 258 a special machine precisely because > Total 1532 > Our mpg n/a > Official mpg n/a it is so fun-focussed. You slide > Fuel this month £87 > Extra costs s None
into it, you faﬀ with the ignition and the six-point harness for what feels like hours and then you just drive. You drive and regardless of the road are never, ever bored. It’s the way the car endlessly ﬁdgets about; in your hands, through the wheel, and on the road. It’s intoxicatingly physical. The passing slipstream tugs happy tears from your eyes. You smell everything; diesel fumes, the distant harvest, hot tarmac. The roar of the exhaust inches from your right ear is sweet, sweet music. I can only describe it as a kind of furious, kinetic hypnosis: your brain high as a kite on sensory saturation while your body happily busies itself with the calm, precise inputs the car demands. Addictive? The cold turkey that must come with the end of the season and the car’s return to Caterham is already ﬁlling me with dread. @BenMillerWords
October 2017 | CARMAGA ZINE ZINE.CO.UK CO UK 135
FOR WHATEVER REASON learning how to drive economically isn’t sexy. Drift school? MONTH 10 Sexy. Being taught how to shave tenths oﬀ TOYOTA your lap time by a slick-haired sunglasses PRIUS display unit in Nomex underwear? Sexy. But no, there I was in leafy Epsom to get properly schooled in the art of using bugger all fuel. I’d been doing okay oﬀ my own bat, but if anyone could teach me a thing or two it would be Richard Seymour. As technical and product expert for Toyota GB he knew the intricacies of the Prius’s hybrid set up better than most, but he’d also competed for the home team in economy marathons; terrifying competitions where basic human needs such as the lavatory and regulating body temperature under 40degC are sacriﬁced in the name of almighty mpg. Mind you, Richard’s expertise begins with getting muggins here to do the most basic of things, like reading the manual. Contrary to my assumptions, the B mode for the CVT gearbox is, as the letter suggests, for engine braking rather than sending more juice back into the battery. And staying in it all day actually uses more fuel, as that mode prioritises engine braking over fuel saving. Who knew? In fact, the Prius does plenty of clever things in the name of eﬃciency that, quite sensibly, Toyota decided are best left unsaid for fear of adding complication. Like when trundling down a big hill either nudging the brakes or letting it roll to charge the cells, eventually the engine will kick in even though the battery is full. Why? To rid the car of excess heat; that charge has to go somewhere, so the engine is ﬁred up although it uses no fuel. Fiendishly clever. But before Richard let me into the economy version of Fight
ZINE.CO.UK CO UK | October 2017 136 CARMAGA ZINE
Club b, I had to set a benchmark. A 40-minute drive provided a good mix of urban streets, dual carriageways and Transit drivers delivering judgements via a ﬂick of the wrist. The result? A solid 58mpg, a fair reﬂection of what’s possible in traﬃc and when you’re not trying to break any land-speed records. We start with the basic stuﬀ you should know by now. Pump your tyres up (mine are ﬁne, but only because, like a last-minute schoolboy, I did them on the way here) and get rid of any extraneous boot contents contents. Dog, Dog old copies of CAR and eight pairs of the wife’s shoes are left at home. ‘You know the drive modes: Eco mode alters the response of the throttle and reduces the speed of the blower,’ says Richard. ‘On the Mk3 Prius there were 200 engineers just writing the software for the hybrid control system; the only thing they can’t do is predict the future, and EV mode is you predicting the future. Use it coming to the end of your journey to get the most out of it. For example, if you know that the next morning when you start the car the engine will be cold and you’ll be on the motorway, let’s use the battery now and get the most out of it.’ I’m certainly guilty of leaving that button routinely unpressed. Richard also rightly points out that maintaining a good distance to the car ahead allows you to keep a more constant speed and avoid getting sucked into a cycle of unnec-
Richard Seymour [white shirt] is Toyota GB’s tech expert, and MJ’s guide to mpg bliss
Not so fast, but oh so fun MONTH 3 TOYOTA GT86
essary braking and acceleration. ‘Air-con oﬀ? We’re going to roast!’ says Richard. But this is far more important. Fiddle with the air-con modes and you can trim back how much fuel it sucks away but turning it oﬀ altogether cuts that to zero, while visibility through the increasingly foggy windows heads the same direction. Richard and I discuss the merits of air vents lined up straight versus closed completely in terms of aero eﬃciency. Snapper Alex in the back is probably praying for an accident to occur if only to escape this conversation. The oﬃcial ﬁgures you casually see at the end of a road test are almost universally achievable in the real world, Hyper-miling: not but what is rarely told is just how hard you have to work as sexy as shaving tenths off a lap time, to do it. Even allowing for the cabin temperature the atbut almost as hard mosphere is tense; you concentrate like you’re carrying a bootful of ACME booby traps, the throttle is wired to the mains and each touch of the brakes knocks 60 minutes oﬀ your lifespan. Richard even suggests minimising steering inputs, both to reduce the impact of rolling resistance and how much juice is taken to operate the electric power steering. Two degrees fewer steering probably wouldn’t save the equivalent of a single hair of a dinosaur’s back, but it all adds up. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. After being overtaken whilst doing 30mph in a 30mph zone by an Audi driver, we roll back into the elegant forecourt of Toyota’s headquaters having travelled the same distance as before with heavier traﬃc but clocking a mighty 74.1mpg in the process. LOGBOOK TOYOTA PRIUS I’m sweaty but happy. Could I EXCEL do this every day? No, I really > Engine e 1798cc 16v 4-cyl, 97bhp @ couldn’t. But this self-confessed 5200rpm, 105lb ft @ 3600rpm, e-motor 71bhp, 120lb ft > Transmission CVT, fwd know-it-all learnt a lot in just > Stats s 10.6sec 0-62mph, 112mph, 76g/km two hours, enough to get an CO2 > Price e £27,755 > As tested £28,300 > extra 152 miles from every tank. Miles this month 734 > Total 15,636 > Our Who wouldn’t want that? mpg 60.9 > Official mpg 94.2 > Fuel this month £105.19 > Extra costs s None @MJMattJoy
ONSIDERING ITS MODEST T power output – 197bhp from the 2.0-litre flat four – the GT86 is as hard to drive slowly as the bus from Speed. In fact, everything in the little Toyota’s make up suggests you drive it as hard as you possibly can. It starts with the incredibly low-slung driving position, small-diameter steering wheel, pedals that are perfectly aligned and weighted, and the compact, friendly proportions. First impressions suggest sportiness combined with a complete lack of intimidation; rag it, definitely. Even driving the GT86 slowly, you’re unlikely to overlook the fast, sweetly weighted steering, the feeling of lightness, or the way the nose darts around so eagerly and the body remains so composed. It’d be criminal to potter about. But perhaps unusually for a mid-lifecycle facelift, the refreshed GT86 hasn’t received any additional power. Work the revs hard and it’s perfectly fast enough, but it’s true that the naturally aspirated engine is lethargic low down – especially now all hot hatches whoosh you away from 1500rpm on a wave of turbo boost, and the Toyota manages only 151lb ft at 6400rpm. I tried to hang on to a Golf R in second gear and was quickly slapped down. You need to be getting up to 7000rpm, punching through the gear changes on the short-throw, stubby lever to get some adrenaline flowing and hear the rorty induction roar fill the cabin. Even then, it takes pretty serious commitment to unstick the lowgrip Prius tyres in the dry; I do think that’s a shame, because the GT86 feels so nicely balanced and benign when it slides, and it’d be nice to tap in to that playfulness more often. In the wet, though, it’s a hoot, giving up its grip easily if you turn off all the stability systems and sliding gracefully through corners. The downside to all this immediacy is a no-frills cabin, and high levels of road noise, because, well, luxuries and sound deadening add cost and weight. How many drivers recognise this as a worthwhile sacrifice? Not many, I’d wager, and that must make it quite a hard sell for Toyota. Other cars – typically those hot hatches – are faster, have a more upmarket feel and offer better refinement. But three months in, I still find myself heading out for a drive in the GT86, just for the sake of it. BEN BARRY @IamBenBarry
Seats and driving position great, but it’s pretty basic in here. We don’t care, but many buyers might want something more premium
LOGBOOK TOYOTA GT86 > Engine e 1998cc 16v 4-cylinder, 197bhp @ 7000rpm, 151lb ft @ 6400rpm > Transmission 6-speed manual, rear-wheel drive > Stats 7.6sec 0-62mph, 140mph, 180g/km CO2 > Price £28,005 > As tested £29,550 > Miles this month 1492 > Total 3537 > Our MPG 33.92 > Official mpg 36.2 > Fuel this month £233.84 > Extra costs None
October 2017 | CARMAGA ZINE ZINE.CO.UK CO UK 137
AS A FAMILY of four, the Big Scenic’s carrying capacity suits us perfectly – plenty MONTH 6 of room for all, including the hairy dog. But RENAULT GRAND SCENIC last month’s ﬁrst real seven-up test didn’t go particularly well. Squeezing two children in to the two rearmost seats, and a trio of adults in to the second row proved expletive-inducingly diﬃcult. Time then to borrow some smaller bodies for part two. Enter Innes, Oakley and Chester, children of family friends John and Amanda. Arguably more impressed by the oﬀer of ice creams at the end of the day than an afternoon of scrabbling into the Renault, the trio, along with my daughters Amelia and Jemima, gamely took up the role of back-seat drivers. So, ﬁrst the good stuﬀ. All three liked the full-length sunroof and the light that it poured in to the cabin. The chairs were declared comfortable, the nifty fold-down tables housed in the front seat-backs admired, and the LED reading lamps and twin USB sockets were deemed ideal. And then on to the not so good stuﬀ. The second-row seats are relatively low compared with the raised footwells, creating a peculiar hips-low-knees-high seating position. Combine this with the upward kink in the rear door-line and rear windows that don’t fully retract, and you get a slightly claustrophobic and uncomfortable trio of seats. ‘Not as comfy as our S-Max, nor as spacious,’ claimed Chester. Oakley pointed out the central seat was narrower and occupants were forced to use the roof-mounted safety belt. ‘I don’t like those,’ he said matter of factly. ‘It It sits too high on my neck.’ neck. Innes wanted to know what ﬂavour ice cream was on oﬀer. On to the third row, and the news gets worse. Even with the second-row seats pushed as far forward as possible, entry to the two rearmost chairs is made diﬃcult by the very narrow gap between the C-pillar and seatbacks. Once you ﬁnally slide
Put me back here one more time, Whitworth, and you’re for it
yourself in, you’re faced with a pair of very low-lying seats with a very short base, and a heavily restricted view out. Chester and Oakley reckon they could probably survive a short trip back there, but no longer. Innes pointedly said she’d be happy in the back so long as we were driving to get ice creams. And yet despite these ﬂaws that rob the Grand Scenic of the true seven-seat greatness that our Seat Alhambra enjoys, despite its infuriatingly half-baked mix of digital and LOGBOOK RENAULT GRAND analogue controls, and despite the riSCENIC, DYNAMIQUE S NAV DCI diculous sensitivity of its proximity key, > Engine e 1600cc 16v, four-cylinder there’s still something about its sleek turbodiesel, 130bhp @ 4000rpm, 236lb ft @ and rakish looks that instantly put me 1750rpm > Transmission 6 6-speed speed manual, manual front-wheel drive > Stats s 11.4sec 0-62mph, in a very forgiving mood. There’s much 118mph, 119g/km CO2 > Price e £28,445 > As to be said about a car that makes its tested £31,080 > Miles this month 1010 > driver feel good before they’ve opened Total 9449 > Our mpg 46.4 > Official mpg the door. 61.4 > Fuel this month £110.69 > Extra costs None @benwhitworth
A Grand day in The ultimate test for the Grand Scenic’s seven seats? Invite your kids’ friends round. By Ben Whitworth
Next month, the industry’s most rigorous ice cream and vomit test
ZINE.CO.UK CO UK | October 2017 138 CARMAGA ZINE
All the small things MONTH 3 VOLVO V90
Well thought-out touches define life with a V90. By Ben Oliver
That empty feeling You know that feeling you get when you’re stuck in an Arctic snow drift, the engine running to keep you warm, and you’ve no idea if help will arrive before the diesel runs out? Me neither. But the Swedes do: hence this handy ‘gallons per hour’ indicator when the V90 is running but parked.
Who fancies a chat about safety systems? MONTH 3 HONDA CIVIC
N WHAT MIGHT T look like a slightly demented manner, I’ve become obsessive about figuring out the subtleties of the Civic’s active safety technology. I’ve almost cracked the big one: distinguishing between Lane Departure Warning, Road Departure Mitigation and Lane Keeping Assist. But then someone else will nab it for a couple of days and when they return it they have NO interest in talking about Lane Departure Warning, Road Departure Mitigation or Lane Keeping Assist. Instead, they say stuff like this: Steers really nicely, doesn’t it? Neat little gearchange action. Love the way it rides. Engine’s got a good spread of power for a turbo four cylinder, hasn’t it? Or in James Taylor’s case, the boot. Most unusually for a car of this modest size, its boot is big enough, and its opening wide enough, to allow his bicycle to slot in without any wheel removal. The parcel shelf – which rolls away into the side of the boot – makes a real difference here. Its lack of rigidity is only an issue if you want to actually keep anything heavier than a box of tissues or a panama hat on the parcel shelf. If you regard it as simply a way of shielding your shopping from peeping pedestrians, it’s great. COLIN OVERLAND @ColinOverland
Touch me The big, Apple-style touchscreen beats the menudriven systems in other cars for finding little-used functions. When I lock my kids in any other car (don’t judge me) the interior motion-sensor deactivation is almost always hidden deep in sub-menus, or on a randomly placed switch. In the V90 I swipe straight to it.
Eye in the sky ‘Proper’ drivers like us may decry parking aids but they are now spectacularly good and useful, especially in a car this long. I haven’t tried the self-parking function yet, but my guess is that a human using the surround cameras could squeeze the V90 into a space the car’s brain would reject.
You boot-ay Despite a total volume slightly reduced by the faster rear screen angle, the Volvo’s boot has not yet been defeated. I opened it recently wondering how I was going to keep a 10-litre keg of AdBlue (not for the V90) upright, and discovered that somebody Swedish had already thought of that. BEN OLIVER
A bike slots straight in here, so it’s a shame your mobility scooter is so heavy to lift
LOGBOOK HONDA CIVIC 1.5 VTEC SPORT PLUS > Engine e 1498cc 16v turbo 4-cyl, 180bhp @ 5500rpm, 177lb ft @ 1900-5000rpm > Transmission 6-speed manual, frontwheel drive > Stats s 8.3sec 0-62mph, 137mph, 133g/km CO2 > Price £25,405 > As tested £25,930 > Miles this month 1540 > Total 6404 > Our mpg 38.8 > Official mpg 48.7 > Fuel this month £193.82 > Extra costs s None
LOGBOOK VOLVO V90 D5 POWERPULSE AWD R-DESIGN AUTO > Engine 1969cc 16v turbodiesel 4-cyl, 232bhp @ 4000rpm, 354lb ft @ 1750-2250rpm > Transmission 8-speed automatic, four-wheel drive > Stats 7.2sec 0-62mph, 145mph, 129 g/km CO2 > Price £43,955 > As tested £52,675 > Miles this month 1099 > Total miles 2270 > Our mpg 34.6 > Official mpg 57.6 > Fuel cost £163.53> Extra costs None
October 2017 | CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK 139
SO AN EMAIL pinged into my inbox from CAR R contribGOODBYE uting editor Ben Whitworth: MONTH 6 it turns out he’s in the market to downsize his Alhambra MPV for a crossover, and wants to try the Ateca for a few days. The Seat’s temporary disappearance helped hone my conclusions ahead of its ﬁnite departure. Big question #1: after ﬁve diesel cars in a row, how did a teeny turbo petrol engine cope with the life McNamara? Chugging around in Whitworth’s diesel Grand Scenic, I missed the 1.4 EcoTSI’s silent idle and motorway hush. And while the Renault dCi rolls on a wave of easy torque, the Ateca’s four pot does a useful imitation of that surge above 1900rpm: beware a hollow spot at lower crank speeds. Note that the engine didn’t suit CAR’s less sedate types, but with the Ateca averaging 36.7mpg – 3mpg better than preceding Disco Sport and Evoque diesels – it’s converted me to the green pump. Big Q #2: what’s life like on board? Ben W inhaled that lowballed part-ex hiss when we met for the handover, misinterpreting the Ateca’s compact size. For inside it is a triumph of packaging, with the raised rear seats providing suﬃcient legroom, airiness up front (aided by the £1100 glass roof) and a big boot. Naysayers like our esteemed Gavin Green may highlight
the crossover’s extra weight and impact on performance, but here’s why achy parents of young kids love them: the extra height makes it so much easier to load a toddler into a child seat. Dynamically the Ateca is far from compromised too. The meaty steering responds just ﬁne, the front-end grip encourages you to push it through corners, and the splendid body control is highlighted by the more wallowy Scenic. The Ateca’s ride on 19-inch rims is a touch brittle, rattling empty child seats. Its six-speed manual gearbox is sweet to use with a slick, mechanical action, but I wish I’d spent £1350 for the convenience of a DSG automatic. Final big Q: what’s the right spec? We lavished £4210 on options, and here’s where I’d make savings. Drop the £1225 Xcellence pack with its pointless foot-activated boot release and Park Assist (though it works okay), instead
Ateca went down so well, we bought one Before Seat SUV departs, it’s loaned to a fellow hack. He likes it so much, he buys one. By Phil McNamara
140 CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK | October 2017
buying the brilliantly clear and precise top/ rear-view cameras as a single £650 option. The logical, handsome sat-nav (from SE Tech trim up) is splendid. I’d forego the £805 Advanced Driving Assistance Pack – I’m capable of toggling high beam, more reliable than lane assist at keeping within the white lines to date, and the neurotic anchor-dropping of rear traﬃc alert is a real pain in the backside. It’s a shame Seat doesn’t oﬀer helpful blind-spot warning and traﬃc-sign recognition – a useful failsafe in unfamiliar areas – solo. And keyless entry activation on rear door handles too please! But these are minor gripes. In six months, there was no need to add oil; in fact the only cost was for screenwash. Good to drive, economical to run, solid to the core with quality VW group engineering and excellent value for money, the Ateca transformed my view of the Seat brand. And that Mr Whitworth? Yup, he’s buying one.
LOGBOOK SEAT ATECA XCELLENCE 1.4 > Engine e 1395cc 16v 4-cyl turbo, 148bhp @ 5000rpm, 184lb ft @ 1500rpm > Transmission 6-speed manual, front-wheel drive > Stats s 8.5sec 0-62mph, 125mph, 123g/km CO2 > Price £24,440 > As tested £28,650 > Miles this month 1827 > Total 12,144 > Our mpg 36.7 > Official mpg 52.3 > Total fuel £1805.95 > Total costs £4.99
If Ferrari did four doors The Alfa Giulia Quadrifoglio joins our fleet, with a 503bhp V6 and fairy dust from a Ferrari engineer. By Phil McNamara FROM RUNNING a Seat to an Alfa Romeo, the brand Ferdinand Piëch always HELLO MONTH 1 yearned to buy when he ruled Volkswagen Group – probably with fatal consequences for its Spanish outpost. But would the VW of Piëch and Winterkorn have created this beautiful demon, the Guilia Quadrifoglio? Not a chance. First up, the Giulia project went from zero to world premiere in 26 months – years ahead of the industry norm. Can you imagine the rational
Germans throwing processes out of the window, of taking quality risks by moving so fast? Let alone the fact that there was no compact, reardrive -saloon architecture in the group. Aha, but that didn’t stop Sergio Marchionne, Fiat Chrysler CEO. Sensitive to two decades of front-wheel drive Alfa duﬀers, Marchionne plucked engineer Philippe Krief out of Ferrari, giving him a clean sheet of paper and a nightmare deadline to create a BMW rival. To emphasise how rapidly Krief’s tiny team was moving, the automatic transmission changed from a seven-speed Tremec dual-clutch to an eightspeed ZF ‘box in the 11 monthss between the car ﬁrst being shown and us driving it! Incredible brinksmanship but with incredible results, the £61,595 Giulia QF is something special. And now the exotic supersaloon, with its carbon bonnet, roof and brakes, active aerodynamics, electronically controlled diﬀ shuﬄing torque between rubber the thickness of After Eights, is joining our ﬂeet. Rejoice! I know it’s not gentlemanly to talk ill of previous loves, but
The Seat departs, and Phil Mc takes delivery of another sensible family car
the last time I had a car this tasty was the RS5 seven years ago, and that was a phenomenal engine marooned in a leaden chassis. Comparatively, the 2.9-litre Alfa sacriﬁces two cylinders and introduces twin turbos to muster 503 horses and 442lb ft of torque. As you might expect given the project leader’s origin, the blueprint shares some Ferrari V8 commonality, namely the size of its cylinder bores and the 90-degree vee angle to lower the engine mass. And when you bury the throttle, the Alfa piles on speed faster than you can wail ‘Ferrari’: this is one breathtakingly quick car, no slouch even compared to a Maranello cousin. Thanks to the standard DNA Pro adaptive chassis dial, you can have your Giulia in suavely speedy or screamingly speedy, depending on whether you’ve selected Natural or Dynamic mode. And there are two more ﬂavours to boot, Advanced Eﬃciency and Race. More in future reports, but ﬁrst impressions are that the Giulia, with its taut but supple ride and civilised exhaust, can cruise as well as hoon about. But the carbon ceramic brakes, a £5500 option, clamped by calipers ﬁnished in £250 of red, have a mind of their own. They allow the Giulia to creep, creep, creep from stationary, unless you give the pedal an unholy press. Within seconds of her ﬁrst trip in the QV starting, my wife upbraided me for intimidating an oncoming car, when I was merely trying to rein in the runaway Giulia. The other big option spend is cosmetic: £1950 for Trofeo White tri-coat paint. Those beautiful dark throwing star alloys, a modest 19-inches in diameter, cost £350, rear privacy glass £275. And the interior upgrades comprise £225 ﬂat-bottomed steering wheel in alcantara, £950 on heated, electrically adjustable seats, keyless entry in the £425 convenience pack and £950 Harman Kardon stereo. So life with an Alfa Giulia QV unfolds. Can it compete with a M car or AMG as an ownership proposition? Will it prove more reliable than the £3000 V6 GTV I bought in 2010? Can I crack 25mpg? And where on earth is the bonnet release? With a fair wind on the reliability front, it will be a hell of a lot of fun ﬁnding out...
LOGBOOK ALFA ROMEO GIULIA QF > Engine e 2891cc 24v biturbo V6, 503bhp @ 6500rpm, 442lb ft @ 2500rpm > Transmission 8-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive > Stats 3.9sec 0-62mph, 191mph, 189g/km CO2 > Price £61,595 > As tested £72,550 > Miles this month 1990 > Total 4826 > Our mpg 24.4 > Official mpg 34.4 > Fuel this month £503.27 > Extra costs £0
October 2017 | CARMAGA ZINE ZINE.CO.UK CO UK 141
THE REST OF THE FLEET
MONTH 4 By Jake Groves
MONTH 9 By Tim Pollard
MONTH 5 By Chris Chilton
I MANAGED TO pry the 5-series’ fat key out of Ben Miller’s hand this month for a whole week. The time was spent doing everything from wafting up the A1 to visit my mum in Newcastle to showing off the tech wizardry to my friends, but the week peaked when it was dolled up with ribbon and bows and used as a wedding car for my big sister and her new husband. It was an honour to chauffeur the happy couple, and proof that the Big Five can do almost everything you need a car to do with ease. @_jakegroves
OUR BMW i3’s exposed carbonfibre sills are a visible reminder of how this supermini is more super than any rival in a game of periodic table bragging rights. Both i3 and i8 are built around a composite ‘Life module’ and this lightweighting contributes to 1440kg at the kerb; drop our range-extender’s twin-cylinder engine and that falls to 1320kg – 150kg less than a Renault Zoe or Nissan Leaf. Then again, the cool black weave also explains why the i3 costs substantially more than rivals. At time of writing, the range starts at £33,070 for the cheapest EV model, while a Zoe kicks off at £14,245 (though battery hire costs a further £59 a month) and the soon-to-be-superseded Leaf begins at £16,680 if you lease the battery, or £21,680 if you buy the battery outright. You can see how complicated electric car ownership can be... That’s one of the joys of the simplicity offered by the BMW. There are no tricky decisions on whether to buy or lease the power source – you merely choose whether to go pure EV or range-extender (REX), like ours. There are other perks to the unobtainium build quality of the i3. That carbonfibre tub gives it a brilliantly stiff foundation for everything to hang off: the handling is consequently delightfully accurate, with pin-sharp steering and a pleasing, very BMW manner in which it pours down the road. The car never wobbles or shimmies over rough surfaces. And – I hope never to test this – it’ll surely make a very safe crash structure to protect occupants in the event of an accident. @TimPollardCars
FROM ONE FOUR-wheel drive to a very different other. Here’s the Q5 at import specialist Torque GT, where I was making a video about a very rare (and at £120k, very expensive) Skyline GT-R Nür. Remember how sci-fi the R34’s dash-top display looked 15 years ago with those digital dials? The Q5’s crisp ‘virtual’ Instruments make it look comically low-res now, but the R34 is still fabulous to drive. Not much room for the dog though, so I’ll stick with the Audi. @chrischiltoncar
LOGBOOK BMW 530d M SPORT > Engine 2993cc 24v turbodiesel straight six, 261bhp @ 4000rpm, 457lb ft @ 2000rpm > Transmission 8-speed auto, all-wheel drive > Stats s 5.4sec 0-62mph, 155mph, 138g/km CO2 > Price e £49,265 > As tested £66,150 > Miles this month 984 > Total 5175 > Our mpg 34.5 > Official mpg 53.3 > Fuel this month £156.96 > Extra costs s None
Mazda MX-5 RF MONTH 4 By Mark Walton REAR-DRIVE? Open top? Tactile steering? Must be talking about my classic Fiat. No, seriously, the MX-5 and my 1976 Italian stallion have a lot in common. The latest MX-5 is all about stripped back minimalism, shaving 100kg off the outgoing model. In this way, it has classic appeal – most evolutions get flabbier, but the new MX-5 is small, simple and light. It’s not spartan, but it has an ascetic purity. Best thing is, it combines simple pleasures with modern build – unlike my 126, the Mazda doesn’t leak in the rain.
LOGBOOK AUDI Q5 2.0 TFSI S-LINE > Engine 1984cc 16v turbo 4-cyl, 249bhp @ 5000rpm, 273lb ft @ 1600rpm > Transmission 7-speed dct, awd > Stats s 6.3sec 0-62mph, 147mph, 162g/km CO2 > Price e £40,170 > As tested £51,085 > Miles this month 1721 > Total 10,901 > Our mpg 30.9 > Official mpg 39.8 > Fuel this month £299.50 > Extra costs s None
Citroën C3 MONTH 4 By James Taylor OUR C3 HAS the full-length panoramic roof, a £400 option that fills the interior with light like an upmarket loft apartment, and doesn’t pinch quite as much headroom. Although it’s designed to let in more light than heat, it still makes the cabin pretty toasty if you forget to slide the blind into place before you leave the car. Which highlights the C3’s ineffectual air-con – no matter how much you play with the controls on the touchscreen, it always feels ever so slightly too hot or too cold. If only Goldilocks was an HVAC engineer. @JamesTaylorCAR
LOGBOOK MAZDA MX-5 RF LOGBOOK CITROEN C3 FLAIR S&S PURETECH 110
> Engine e 1998cc 16v 4-cyl, 158bhp @ 6000rpm, 148lb ft @ 4600rpm > Trans s 6-speed manual, rearwheel drive > Stats s 7.4 sec 0-62mph, 134mph, 161g/ km > Price e £25,695 > As tested £27,165 > Miles this month 1204 > Total 4940 > Our mpg 32.3 > Official mpg 40.9 > Fuel this month £163 > Extra costs None
> Engine e 1199cc 12v turbo 3-cyl, 108bhp @ 5500rpm, 151lb ft @ 1500rpm > Trans 5-speed manual, fwd > Stats s 9.3sec 0-62mph, 117mph, 103g/km CO2 > Price £16,285 > As tested £18,330 > Miles this month h 676 > Total 2315 > Our mpg 41.9 > Official mpg 61.4 > Fuel this month £91.80 Extra costs s None
LOGBOOK BMW i3 RANGE EXTENDER > Engine 125kW electric motor (equivalent to 168bhp, 184lb ft), with 647cc 2-cyl petrol range extender > Trans Single-speed automatic, rwd > Stats 8.1sec 0-62mph, 93mph, 13g/km CO2 > Price £31,560 > As tested £37,009 (after government Plug-in Grant) > Miles this month 610 > Total 8196 > Our mpg 39.3 (lots of range extender use…) > Official mpg 471 > Fuel this month £15.94 > Extra costs s None
142 CARMAGA ZINE CO UK | October 2017
Starter Motor) – basically a combined starter motor and generator – and a lithium-ion battery separate to the usual lead acid one. The regular lead acid battery starts the engine from cold, but the ISG wakes the engine up quietly when you’re in stop/start traﬃc. The energy stored in the lithiSuzuki’s supermini joins our fleet, and it’s got some um ion battery is used to drive the ISG, which can also give you a little torque boost lower down the pretty grown up spec for a tiddler. By Jake Groves revs. When you coast, the motor uses the wheels to keep the battery charged. It even has a hybrid I HAVE A confession to make. I’ve held my power monitor like Matt’s Prius, where you can see where the driving licence for six years now, driven for energy is going depending on how you’re driving. HELLO MONTH 1 Now, all this high-tech stuﬀ seems a little OTT for a little all of that time and been behind the wheel SUZUKI of plenty of cars in this job but I’ve, er, never hatch, but the Swift still does the sums. The only option box SWIFT owned one. Yep, that’s right – a young lad ticked is the Speedy Blue metallic paint (£485), so our underwho’s loved cars all his life and writes about £15k-all-in Swift has way more tech on board than a new Ford Fiesta Zetec or Vauxhall Corsa Design and is around £3k cheapthem for a living hasn’t (yet) had one in his name. Go ﬁgure. So, our new Suzuki Swift long-termer is the closest I’ve got er than our long-term C3. So, what’s it like? First impressions seem to show up a split to living with an actual car of my own. It’s deﬁnitely a good demographic ﬁt; the Swift has always been a simple, honest and personality. The Swift is still a ﬂyweight (at 925kg) in a sector good value option in the supermini class and one that’s great for of growing supermini fatties, so it darts around with all the eagerness of an excited puppy and the thrummy Boosterjet enﬁrst car owners. Our new Swift arrived on the CAR R ﬂeet hoping to maintain gine is fun to thrash. But it’s also much better at doing sensible that image, fresh from a triple-test win against the Nissan motorway commuting than some of Micra and our very own Citroen C3 (CAR R, July). It did, however, its competitors; the adaptive cruise arrive armed to the teeth with gadgets, which sort of defeats the comes in handy, the seats are thick LOGBOOK SUZUKI SWIFT SZ5 and spongey and the ride is just on whole ‘simple and honest’ vibe the Swift usually gives oﬀ. 1.0 SHVS BOOSTERJET For a kick oﬀ it’s the top-spec SZ5 model, which comes with the right side of ﬁrm. > Engine e 998cc 3-cyl turbo, 109bhp @ Will the Swift help me grow up big-boy toys like adaptive cruise control, sat-nav with traﬃc up5500rpm, 125lb ft @ 2000-3500rpm > Transmission 5-speed manual, front-wheel dates, lane-departure warning, high-beam assist, keyless entry and live in the real world, or will drive > Stats 10.6sec 0-62mph, 121mph, 97g/ and smartphone mirroring. That’s on top of all-round electric it just be like a mischievous high km CO2 > Price e £14,499 > As tested £14,984 windows, a reversing camera, rear privacy glass and DAB radio. school buddy? I guess we’ll just have > Miles this month 1202 > Total 3786 It’s also equipped with the 1.0-litre Boosterjet with the SHVS to see. > Our mpg 50.3 > Official mpg 65.7 > Fuel this month £132.49 > Extra costs s None mild hybrid system. The latter comprises an ISG (Integrated @_jakegroves
Time for a Swift entrance
Most of us go to the pub for a swift pint. Not Groves
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Totally y unique q guide to EVERY g car on sale in the UK, with a punchy p y view on all of them – yours included
The Good, the Bad & the Ugly ABARTH
NEW IN THIS MONTH
500 > Pricey pocket rockets, all powered by 1.4-litre turbos in various stages of steroidal overcompensation. Divine details, dodgy dynamics > VERDICT Like a small yappy dog: noisy, excitable and likely to give you a headache
ALFA ROMEO MITO > Decent engines but generally rubbish to drive, Alfa’s soggy-handling, hard-riding premium mini is crucified by the real thing and Audi’s A1 > VERDICT T At least it’s got its looks. No, wait. It’s an ugly Alfa. It’s got nothing
GIULIETTA > Looked like a credible Golf rival for a while but now the game has moved on. Keen prices, but rivals are roomier, classier and more fun to drive > VERDICT Miles better than a Mito. Miles better than a 4C, even. Miles behind a Mk7 Golf
Range Rover Velar ‘Velar is handsome, capable off-road, well-finished and worthy of its name. The new benchmark Range Rover’
> Ageing entry-level Aston has ace steering, but make sure you go manual: plodding semi-auto is as dynamic as a Ron Dennis interview > VERDICT ‘Monica Bellucci’ on the desirability/ age scale; madcap GT8 tactile but not as fast as it looks
VANTAGE V12/GT12 > Cramming a huge V12 into the V8-sized engine bay was apparently the easy bit; it took years for Aston to add a manual gearbox. Worth the wait > VERDICT Chassis finally has the stick shift it deserves. Buy it no other way
VW Arteon ‘VW tries to be properly premium again. Great interior, huge boo and tech aplenty but it’s a bit dull.
> First genuinely new Martin in a decade gets slick aero slinkiness, belting V12 turbocharged charmer and, crucially, Merc help with the wiring > VERDICT T Finally the right blend of much needed new stuff and classic Aston charm results in a cut-above GT. Eat your heart out, Europe!
> Sexy carbon two-seater over-promises and under-delivers on a double-your-dong-length web-scam scale. Spider a step in right direction > VERDICT T Shoots for the moon, hits itself in the foot. Lotus Elise more fun, Porsche Cayman a better bet
> Not quite funeral parlour dressing but lipstick and sorted underpinnings come too near the end of the Vanquish. DB11 is both fresher and cheaper. Oops > VERDICT Instant respect, even though you’ve bought the wrong Aston
GIULIA > Good grief – an Alfa Romeo we can finally recommend that you buy. New, auto-only 3-series rival has sharp steering, sultry looks, great driving position. Bellissimo! > VERDICT T Note to dealers: don’t cock it up
Ferrari 812 Superfast “800hp screamer is matched with laserguided handling. GT? Supercar? Either way, it’s astounding.’
STELVIO > Either we’ve collectively entered another dimension or Alfa has just built two excellent cars in a row. Now we just need everyone to start buying them again > VERDICT T Worth the risk at least once in your life
GIULIA QUADRIFOGLIO > Like a regular Giulia doped up by Lance Armstrong, this 191mph, 503bhp rocket is a quadruple shot of espresso for Alfa’s long lamented soul. At last > VERDICT T The closest you can get to a four-door Ferrari. Really. Thatt good
ALPINA D3/B3 > Twin-turbo petrol and diesel stonk and smooth auto ’boxes mated to a quality chassis, but watch for some questionable OAP-spec interior finishes > VERDICT T Try an xDrive D3 Touring – it’s what the M3 wants to be when it grows up
RAPIDE > Take that, Panamera! Aston shows Porsche how to make a supercar/saloon cocktail. Forget limo pretensions, though: it’s a four-door 2+2 > VERDICT T Pretty, but interior more dated than a New York socialite and as hard on your wallet
A1 HATCH/SPORTBACK D4/B4 > Same blend of fast and frugal as above but slotted into slinkier 4-series shell. ZF auto not as snappy as M4’s twin clutch, but much smoother > VERDICT T 53mpg and 62mph in 4.6sec? And you’re alright with this, BMW?
D5/B5 > Twin-turbo B5 petrol V8’s 590lb ft could de-forest the Amazon while planet-loving D5 doesn’t let meagre 155g/km prevent 174mph max > VERDICT T M5 alternative with Touring body option you can’t have with the real thing
B7 > BMW doesn’t make an M7, but Alpina does. Twin-blown petrol V8 delivers ‘bahn-busting performance that’s best enjoyed in Germany > VERDICT T Niche Merc
The home for all your car maintenance and ownership needs
S63 AMG alternative hamstrung by the ugliness of the raw materials
XD3 > X3 35d-based high-rise hot-rod delivers 350bhp, 516lb ft, and the horizon through your windscreen. Spoiled by a rock-hard ride > VERDICT Another niche BMW Munich leaves to Alpina, maybe because the Porsche Macan is better
ARIEL ATOM > Only the Pope’s lips get more up close and personal with the tarmac than an Atom driver, but there’s zero protection when the heavens open > VERDICT T Spectacular toy. Great on track, barmy on road. Chassis doubles as a clothes airer, which is just as well…
> Posh Polo does it all, from 1.0 miser to S1 micro rocket. Not cheap, even before you’ve splurged on options. £30k is a mouse click away > VERDICT Classy Mini rival that doesn’t turn into Quasimodo when you tick the 5dr option
A3 HATCH/S’BACK/SALOON HATC > Midlife update adds exterior angles, three-pot engine and optional digi-dash. Still king of quality in this sector, but adrenalin isn’t among extra standard kit > VERDICT T Brilliant hatch and not much financial gulf to a Golf. Try sporty S-line on supple SE chassis
A3 CABRIOLET > Premium sun-grabber without macho sportscar posturing. A bit tight in the back, but pretty tight in the bends too. Try a 1.8 TFSI with Sport trim > VERDICT T Asexual drop-top for sensibleshoes types. Worth the £2k premium over Golf
> Not content with terrifying on tarmac, Ariel now offers the off-road Nomad. Gains a roll-over structure but still no doors > VERDICT T Don’t forget to put the hot water on – you’ll be needing a bath when you get home
> The superhatch/saloon for those lacking in imagination and/or driving talent, RS3 struts its stuff best in a straight line. But 4.1 to 62mph is well weapon > VERDICT T Only feel a little bit ashamed for wanting one
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AUDI > FIAT A4 SALO SALOON/AVANT/ALLROAD ##### > Captain Obvious in every way: lighter, smarter, better to drive – and only microscopically different to look at > VERDICT T As you were, except inside, where tech obsession offs elegance. Rivals remaining calm
RS4 ##### > Brutal RS treatment makes a monster of ho-hum A4. No 4dr, no manual and no turbos, this wicked wagon’s V8 redlines higher than Ferrari’s 488 GTB > VERDICT T Pace and space, but rides like the tyres have a tic. No match for Merc C63
A5 SPORTBACK ##### > More tech and even better quality doesn’t compensate for a lack of personality. Better looking, then so is Dorking after eight pints. You could buy worse but you’ll definitely get bored > VERDICT It’s better to live in than to drive
A5 COUPE/CABRIO ##### > Deceptive bunny boiler – looks normal until you realise it’s killed a TT and is wearing its face. Cue B-road mayhem. Not really > VERDICT T Even more of an A4 in a frock than the last one, but still better to drive
RS5 ##### > Like a bouncer in a tailored suit, the hot A5’s power bulges through the creases in its bodywork. Twin-turbo V6 has full-bodied soundtrack and quattro provides grip in spades T A composed four-seat express > VERDICT that has power to spare, but it’s not the most involving sports car
A6 SALO SALOON/AVANT/ALLROAD ##### > Demure big Audi an unsung hero, refined and cheap to run. Allroad an SUV for agoraphobics; twin-blown 309bhp BiTDi a proper mischief maker > VERDICT Base models short on wow, but a solid alternative to betterhandling Jag XF
RS6 ##### > For wealthy mentalists who think the S6’s 444bhp isn’t enough, RS6 delivers 25% more and gives the R8 V10 a hard time at the lights > VERDICT T Beautifully finished all-weather family wagon that scares supercars silly
A7 SPORTBACK ##### > Slant-roof A6 takes styling cues from pretty ’60s 100 coupe but can’t out-cool Merc’s CLS. More grippy than a sloth who’s been sloppy with the superglue > VERDICT Stylish GT with sensible engines, but not quite a sports saloon
RS7 ##### > Pricier, less practical RS6 with fastback rear, same guts but gets clever rear diff as standard for oversteer here, there and everywhere, given room > VERDICT T An Aston Rapide for the AAgoraphobic, but we’d have the naughtier RS6
The home for all your car maintenance and ownership needs Audi v2.0 in other words, but still something you’d want on your drive > VERDICT Expect to be swearing at one soon
Q7 ##### > German heavy metal turns techno as Mk2 Q7 sheds weight despite megaload of extra gizmos. High-performance SQ7 TDI mindbendingly adept > VERDICT T They thought of everything but the charm
TT COUPE/ROADSTER #####
TT RS ##### > At the outer limits of the TT’s dynamic envelope, a 17% power hike ekes 395bhp from five pots and targets wounded Cayman > VERDICT T Audi springs the offside trap, rounds the keeper, but hits the bar. So close!
R8 V10/V10 PLUS ##### > Friday-afternoon restyle meets Mondaymorning mechanics. New R8 offers no V8 for now, but V10 is back with 533bhp or Lamboequalling 602bhp > VERDICT T A Lamborghini Huracan for £50k less. Friendly but ballistic; playful chassis a joy
BENTLEY BENTAYGA #####
BENTAYGA DIESEL ##### > They said it would never happen, but we knew it would. Still fast, still heavy, still thirsty but now you get to use the dirty pumps and only need to stop every other minute > VERDICT You might have to lie at the golf club or they’ll make you use the tradesmen’s entrance
BENTLEY CONTINENTAL SUPERSPORTS 358g/km Still boggles the mind how a car this fat can go so fast: Supersports weighs 2280kg but hits 60mph in 3.2sec, propelled by CO2 afterburners
CONTINENTAL GT G COUPE/ CABRIO ##### > The repmobile of millionaires. Reliable, well built and full of VW bits. Death Starsmooth W12 sounds more rebellious, while twin-turbo GT V8 S is joyful > VERDICT More of a sports car than hefty GT image suggests
CONTINENTAL GT3-R #####
> Odd-looking small SUV is like a Countryman that’s lost a battle with a set-square. Nice enough to drive but still a nerd to the Mini’s prom queen > VERDICT T The Q doesn’t stand for Quasimodo. Probably
> New Spur is sharper to drive, sharper to look at, softer to sit in, and feels less like a stretched Conti. Fridge and iPads essential options for pampered rear-seat recliners > VERDICT T Think of it as a bargain Roller rather than a pricey A8
> Dumpy dinky faux field forager is a yummy mummy fave. Forget 4wd and the diesels and go for light, zippy, 1.4 TFSI > VERDICT T So much better to drive than it looks. Which it’d have to be, right? Unless it was an Alfa
> Huge, hand-built anachronism, with twinturbo V8 born in the ’50s, buffed to perfection, and a field of cows sacrificed for your arse’s pleasure > VERDICT Buy the Speed – any less outrageous display of consumption is just poor form
VAUXHALL VXR8 GTS-R AUTO 373g/km Nutcase Vauxhall is last hurrah for Commodore in Oz; manual comes in at 363g/km, but you’ll need the auto for the full Trump
> Cynics will say it’s a Q7 in expensive jewellery, but The World’s Fastest SUV matches 187mph top speed with superb chassis. We flambéed the brakes > VERDICT T Super-lux options include £110k Breitling clock. Or spend the same on a two-bed semi in Crewe
FLYING SPUR #####
> A4-MLB2 in Barbour, Q5 ups the comfort, tech, looks similar to the old one… textbook
Lambo’s shrieking V12 hypercar is single-handedly responsible for that one sunny week in July
MONO ##### > Single-seat racer that took a wrong turn out of the pits. Pushrod suspension, Cosworthtuned 2.3 Duratec and bath-like driving position > VERDICT T Sublime track tool with a six-figure price that’d net you a Cayman GT4 and an Atom
LAMBORGHINI AVENTADOR S 394g/km
> Bonkers road racer with Max Powerr styling, no rear seats and shouty exhaust. Surprisingly nimble using 4wd and torque vectoring, and epically fast thanks to tricked-up V8 > VERDICT T Uncouth drag racer for rich Russians
> Audi’s first tall-boy RS model. Hearing of the £45k price or unleashing that 335bhp five-pot both elicit same incredulous gasp > VERDICT Who needs this stuff? Short people in a rush? Better than a GLA45 AMG
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Looking to reduce your company-car tax bill? Then it’s ridiculous you’re even contemplating these CO2 anti-heroes
> Brilliant coupe gets virtual dash and sharper handling. Try 2.0 FSI. Boot big, but the rear seats for handbags only > VERDICT T A proper real-world sports car – but the same money buys an early R8
> Audi’s elder statesman for elder statesmen has more tech than CES at Vegas – but who wants people to think they’re being chauffeured in an A4? > VERDICT T Gadgets galore, but Merc’s incredible S-Class nails the luxury basics better
FERRARI V12 360g/km Fezzer’s iconic 12-banger keeps the Med temperate; tdf, pictured above, hits 360g/km, GTC4 350g/km, 812 Superfast 340g/km
BMW 1-SERIES ##### > Only rear-driver in its class. Good for handling, not for cabin space. Facelift made it 3% less grotesque. 118i petrol a brilliant all-rounder > VERDICT T Want a roomy, well-appointed hatch that’s great to drive and look at? Buy an A3
ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM 347g/km Outgoing RR as big, opulent and expensive to run as Blenheim Palace in the winter with the heating on
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146 CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK | October 2017
M140I > Bavaria’s hot hatch shuns four-pot power and front-drive for sonorous 335bhp 3.0-litre straight six nuke and power to the rears. About as practical as shorts in a Canadian winter but you won’t care > VERDICT T An absolute riot, just don’t have kids
2-SERIES COUPE/CABRIO > Boot-faced booted 1-series is a Mustang with a couple of A-levels. 218d is 8.9 to 62mph and 63mpg; 4-cyl 228i a cut-price, cut-down M235i > VERDICT T Plainer than a margarine sarnie, but TT and RCZ can’t touch its space/pace combo
M240i > Still hard to look at without squinting but sweet six-cylinder is even more grunty. The perfect 2-series if you pretend the M2 doesn’t exist > VERDICT T Ignore the Golf R temptation and keep it rear
6-SERIES GRAN COUPE > Coupe? It’s a bloody saloon! And £20k more than a same-engined 5-series! BMW must chuckle at every sale. Still, rather nice > VERDICT T Desirable enough to leave the 6-series coupe in the shade/showroom
M6 > Six-figure M5 in a shiny suit is even better to drive. Two-door looks good value beside Merc’s S63 coupe, but can’t touch a 911 GTS for kicks > VERDICT M6 GC almost makes M5 redundant, but at £100k/18mpg you’ll need two jobs
7-SERIES > So high-tech BMW must have ram-raided BEST IN Google’s R&D bunker, confident the CLASS ‘carbon core’ construction would enable it to drive back out > VERDICT T Gesture control, remote parking, active anti-roll – it’s got it all. But not quite the kudos of the Merc S-Class…
> 2-series coupe with M4 chassis and 365bhp turbo six – that’s some crowbar they’ve got at M division. All of the fun, all of the time > VERDICT T Best M car since the E46 M3. Buy with manual ’box and stacks of tyres
> Ugly old one sold by the bucket load; all-new replacement is miles better to look at and to drive. It’s a proper mini-SUV now… > VERDICT T It’s even based on the front-wheeldrive Mini platform. Swallow that bile now
2-SERIES ACTIVE TOURER > BMW in front-drive MPV shock. Decent BEST IN drive, great interior. Need to cart OAP CLASS relatives around? You’ll need the 7-seat Gran Tourer. Boom boom! > VERDICT T The ultimate driving (to the park/crèche/post office) machine
i3 > One of BMW’s best cars is home to its finest cabin. Electric version has short range; hybrid is noisy and has a fuel tank like a flea’s hip flask > VERDICT Carbon-chassis supermini, electric power and £30k price. Did we wake up in 2045?
3-SERIES 3 SERIES SALOON/TOURING > Celebrating four decades of overpriced, BEST IN undersized family cars. New modular CLASS engines make it better than ever, 320d (now sub-100g/km) still top choice > VERDICT Jag XE is treading heavily on its twinkling toes
3-SERIES GT > High-rise Touring alternative almost as vast as a 5-series thanks to wheelbase stretch, but way more hideous. Another BMW design disaster > VERDICT A £35k Mondeo with a BMW badge. Why bother when the same-price X3 is so good?
4-SERIES COUPE/CABRIO > 3-series in a shellsuit subtly better to drive, but same great engine choices and almost as practical. Shame about the carryover cabin > VERDICT T Crushes Audi’s A5. Folding hard-top cabrio weighty but worth it
4-SERIES GRAN COUPE > Pretty and practical, like a bikini car wash, hatchback GC costs £3k more than 3-series but has standard leather. Five belts but four seats > VERDICT T Smart and useful, much more than a niche exercise. But why isn’t this the 3-series?
M3/M4 > Oh thank God – there’s finally a Competition Pack to breathe some life into this staid M-car duo. £3k more = 444bhp and light-up seat badges. Classy > VERDICT Buy an M2
5-SERIES > BMW’s second most important car gets the full treatment, with new chassis, slightly forgettable exterior and massive tech injection. Smart, semi-autonomous and still the best in class > VERDICT Spirit-crushingly good. Bring on the M5
M5 > While our enthusiasm for the twin-turbo V8 is tempered slightly by the artificial engine noise, it’s sublime to drive and gets better with every iteration > VERDICT Still the fast saloon daddy. 592bhp ‘30 Jahre edition’ utterly magnificent
6-SERIES COUPE/CABRIO > Anonymous big GT best enjoyed with mighty 40d diesel power. Plenty of room for four – if you fire your passengers into the back via a wood-chipper > VERDICT Under-the-radar GT bruiser, short on sex, but not on appeal
X3 > Studiously un-gangsta SUV shuns petrol power – and M Power – options for solid diesel-only blend of handling and handiness. Looking better post facelift > VERDICT The BMW SUV we don’t hate ourselves for liking
X4 > Blame the Evoque and people who bought the X6 for this carbuncle. Priced at £4k-£5k more than an X3, but better equipped and annoyingly better to drive > VERDICT T Depressing X3 spin-off for grown-ups who still dream of being a footballer
X5 > One-time Premier League fave looking more like League 1 beside better-driving and -looking rivals. Skinflint sDrive 25d is a rwd four-banger > VERDICT T Still impresses with engines and quality, but thanks to Landie it’s lost its lustre
X6 > All the impracticality of a coupe and all the wasteful high-centred mass of an SUV. Genius. If you must, X40d gives best price/punch/ parsimony > VERDICT Pointless pimp wagon. Buy a Porsche Cayenne or even an X5
Z4 > Sports car for post-menopausal women in lemon trouser suits. Coupe-cabrio roof hits boot space when folded. Base 18i spec sub-Wartburg > VERDICT No match for Boxster. Stick with mid-spec trim. And keep taking the evening primrose
i8 > Carbon-constructed 3-cyl hybrid supercar that’s fun for four, as fast as an M3 and does 40 real mpg. Minor demerit: looks like it’s crimping off a 911 > VERDICT T Fascinating and fabulous. The future of the sports car is in safe hands
BUGATTI CHIRON > ‘The Veyron was okay but why couldn’t it have 30% bigger turbos and 300bhp more power?’ Bugatti answers the question nobody asked – and answers it loud > VERDICT A riot
CATERHAM SEVEN > Still the benchmark for bobble-hatted TerryThomas wannabes and the track-curious, the adaptable Seven comes in flavours from 160 3-cyl to mental road racers > VERDICT T 80bhp 160 underpowered, 310bhp 620R lethal, 180bhp 360 model just right
CHEVROLET CORVETTE > Farm machinery meets Spacelab in fabulous 460bhp V8 symphony of composite materials, leaf springs and pushrods. Shame it’s left-hook
only > VERDICT £60k for a bargain berserker. £20k more for the 650bhp Z06
DS5 > Office joker in testosterone world of Serious Business Men. Quite appealing, with a lovely aerostyled cabin. Diesel Hybrid4 a good idea not executed properly > VERDICT T Bland ubiquity will always beat charming quirkiness
CITROEN C1 > Trying hard to escape the clutches of its sister cars, the C1 can have a funky Airscape cloth roof and half-hearted personalisation options. 1.0-litre has most pep > VERDICT T Good, solid proletarian urban fare rather than hipster cool
C3 > Citroën produces a great small car by looking up its own Wikipedia entry and remembering what it’s good at; spacy, compliant and different > VERDICT T Are Citroëns cool again? They’re certainly getting there
C3 PICASSO > Compact supermini-based box that’s fun to drive (avoiding the petrol one, mind) and well packaged. Might not set pulses racing, but you’ll get very protective of it > VERDICT Picasso was a cubist, so why not name a box after him?
FERRARI 488 GTB > We were worried the turbos would ruin it, but while we’ll miss the 458’s 9000rpm wail, the 488 is more playful and even easier to drive. A stunning achievement > VERDICT T Even the looks grow on you after a while. Rivals better dust off their gracious loser faces
CALIFORNIA T > L-plate Ferrari first of Maranello’s new turbo cars. Boost management mimics naturally aspirated engines. Looks better, sounds worse > VERDICT Forget the unfair 488 comparisons, it’s an SL65 rival and well worthy of the badge
FERRARI 812 SUPERFAST > Proof that Ferrari can still make truly
C4 > Recently refreshed C4 has all the edginess of a Hush Puppy deck shoe. But it’s useful, anodyne transport and sub-100g/km BlueHDi models are very economical > VERDICT T Nobody would hate you – or notice you – if you bought one
NEW BEST IN ENTRY CLASS epic GT cars and a car that still flies the nat-asp V12 flag with pride, despite rags like us saying it’s a dying breed. 800hp screamer is matched with laser-guided handling. T GT? Supercar? Either way, it’s > VERDICT astounding.
> An architect’s wet dream. Sloppy to drive but otherwise a roomy family car with kid’s toy colour combos. Airbumps will stop it kicking off in the car park > VERDICT T Cheap yet brilliant. Why can’t the French be this good all the time?
C5 SALOON/ESTATE > Be aware: this car is still in existence. Slow selling but roomy estate is fairly stylish and practical with Hydractive rear suspension > VERDICT T There have been great French family saloons. This is not one
C4 PICASSO > Defiantly anti-cool family shifter. Touches like lower rear windows and sprogwatch mirror make mums go weak at the knees for its peaceand-bloody-quiet ambience > VERDICT T Drives like a shed. Who cares, if Satan’s brood shut up?
BERLINGO MULTISPACE > Recently refreshed with SUV aspirations, but still a wipe-clean tin lifeboat for cagoulewearing Thermos-sipping birdwatchers. Rattles and drives like a van. Is a van > VERDICT Dogging cheap seats for aspiring Bill Oddies
DACIA SANDERO > Cheapest new car on sale, not the worst. Yoghurt-pot plastics and pre-Glasnost styling can’t detract from a spacious sub-six-grand runabout with Renault engines > VERDICT Austerity rocks. Right, Greece?
LOGAN > Estate looks like a Sandero that’s reversed into a phone box. Cavernous boot, but dreadfully unrefined thanks to all the brittle plastic and tin > VERDICT T You put things in it. It will carry them for you. You can take them out. Job done
DUSTER > No-nonsense SUV that’s ideal for wannabe peacekeepers on a ridiculously small budget. Buy the boggo 4x4 diesel in white for the full UN effect > VERDICT The Neighbourhood Watch will never be the same again
> 1000bhp hybrid hypercar where the BEST IN electric bits exist to save tenths not CLASS icecaps. 499 to be built and all sold despite the £1.2m asking price > VERDICT The greatest single supercar of all time – except maybe the FXX K track version
GTC4LUSSO > Looking even more like a Z3 M Coupe battered by a giant spatula, this updated FF gets four-wheel steering to go with its improved four-wheel drive and 680bhp V12 T Closest Ferrari have got to an SUV… > VERDICT so far
GTC4 LUSSO T > Deleting four cylinders and a driven axle sneaks the GTC under the psychologically distressing £200k barrier, not that the news will sell thousands more > VERDICT T Less is a little bit more, while also still very much a lot
FIAT TIPO > Oh God, really? Fiat has another crack at the C-segment, this time sensibly playing the value card. So dull it’s already been replaced yet still the best Fiat hatch since the last Tipo – from 1988 > VERDICT Only consider buying Fiats with numbers, not names
124 > MX-5’s step-sister, seemingly intent on undermining said darling hairdresser’s star turn with its punchier 1.4 turbo blow-dryer. Awkward style, for an Italian > VERDICT To drive, this is the MX-5 you’ve been waiting for
PANDA > Spacious city car with ‘squircle’ obsession, as roly-poly as blobby looks suggest. Two-pot TwinAir willing but thirsty > VERDICT VW Up costs less, drives better and is nicer inside
500/C > Delicate job, modernising a retro cash cow. Fiat’s approach pairs a korma-grade facelift with updated tech and even more colour palette kitsch > VERDICT T Fashion victims rejoice! The cupholders actually work now
DS3 HATCH/CABRIO > Best-selling DS gets robo-croc snout and Apple CarPlay but ‘premium’ claims do seem to have got lost in translation > VERDICT T Like Prince William’s bonce, the Gallic charm is wearing thin
> Bloated supermini-sized people carriers, desperately attempting to cash in on city car’s chic. Seldom has the point been so massively missed > VERDICT T In-car coffee machine option the only purchase excuse
> Range now split between regular hatch and jacked-up Crossback. Softer set-up and fewer buttons a plus; rear windows still don’t open > VERDICT T Medium rare luxy-Frenchness. Germany reportedly not worried
> Compact crossover is the Arnold Schwarzenegger of the 500 range – steroidal and somewhat limited in its range of abilities, but actually rather likeable > VERDICT T Worthy Nissan Juke alternative works the 500 thing
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FIAT > McLAREN surprisingly well
PUNTO > Been facelifted more times than Joan Rivers but is somehow still alive. Now reduced to barebones range and budget price. We still wouldn’t > VERDICT You might be tempted. Don’t be
QUBO/DOBLO > Postman Pat’s wheels? Don’t be daft, Pat’s retired to the Caribbean and is living off the royalties. Drives a red Bentley > VERDICT T Van-based MPVs. Practicality first, people second
The home for all your car maintenance and ownership needs Ford, hamstrung by 2.0 diesels and slower than continental drift > VERDICT Comfy, refined, irrelevant amid premium rivals
ECOSPORT > Desperate B-segment SUV had most of its undercarriage chucked away, improved to the point where it feels vaguely like the nine-year-old Fiesta it’s based on. Interior should be donated to the British Museum > VERDICT T Thinking of buying one? Have a word with yourself
C-MAX/GRAND C-MAX > More a roomier Focus than full-blown MPV, C-Max delivers driving pleasure to blot out family pain. Seven-seat Grand version gets rear sliding doors > VERDICT Rivals are roomier, but none is better to drive
resolved; it’s fast, practical, agile and easy to live with
HR-V > It took Honda 10 years to build a second HR-V, and you’re left wondering why they bothered. Almost wilfully generic > VERDICT Platform’s magic packaging the only saving grace
CR-V > Roomy but unremarkable SUV with a choice of two- or four-wheel drive. Unlike most Hondas won’t need ear defenders to drown out road noise > VERDICT T Ford Kuga has the chassis, Nissan Qashqai has the style, but neither is as practical as a CR-V
NSX > ‘We’ve blown all our development cash on an insanely complex hybrid drivetrain. Do you think anyone will notice if we fit an interior from a Civic?’ > VERDICT Like a 918 for half a mil’ less – mind-blowing to drive, crap to sit in
> Hits the city car target bang-on by being the complete opposite of the old Ka (good to drive, decently spacious), but misses by being less sexy than Borat. And Plus? Plus what? > VERDICT Ahead of its time, and in danger of being overshadowed by newer arrivals, but still pretty good as far as it goes
> Exploits latest Mondeo’s undercrackers to full effect. Pricey, but still the best of the seven-seaters to drive. Toys include electric everything and speed-correcting cruise control > VERDICT T Harder to beat than FC Barcelona
> B-pillar-free Fiesta-based mini MPV gets rear sliding doors for maximum practicality but not the sliding rear seats of some rivals. Firm ride > VERDICT T Buy with a 1.0 EcoBoost triple and Zetec trim for maximum school-run fun
> GI Henry’s finally been posted to Europe and he’s cutting in on the TT’s dance. At last gets multi-link rear end, but rear space could be better > VERDICT T EcoBoost 4-cyl torquey but tedious; it’s the V8 you want, if not its 18mpg thirst
> Five-door city car that balances mature driving experience with strong value – even if it’s not as cheap as it was. Five-year warranty, too > VERDICT Basic motoring done not just well but with a dash of style. Mid-spec 1.0 our choice
> Britain’s best loved car hardly looks any different to predecessor but it’s still a peach to drive and now has an interior design that isn’t from the dark ages, even if material quality is still a bit iffy. ST-Line suitably sporty but Vignale too expensive to justify > VERDICT You can thank the heavens they haven’t ruined it
> Goose to the S-Max’s Maverick, new Galaxy is based on the same Mondeo-derived platform. Just as high-tech, but more spacious > VERDICT T Great if you need a big seven-seater as it fits adults in all rows with no human rights violations
i20 HATC HATCH/COUPE/ACTIVE
FIESTA ST/ST200 > Bargain banzai hot hatch shreds that tricky gyratory complex with style to spare thanks to torque vectoring voodoo. ST200 costs £5k more than base; misses point spectacularly (if not the apex). Softer suspension now > VERDICT This is the one that you want
FOCUS HATCH/ESTATE > The Focus shows Ford’s chassis engineers know their stuff > VERDICT T Great to drive but the VW Golf is a more polished destination for your dough
FOCUS ST/RS > Chip-controlled 4wd RS is an overclocked 345bhp mix of outrageous drift angles and limpet traction. And we used to think the fwd ST was impressive > VERDICT T In bhp/£ stakes, both are mega value. But only the RS does donuts
MONDEO HATCH/ESTATE > Delayed so long dealers must be doing MoTs and PDIs at the same time. Huge space and you can even have the plucky little 1.0 EcoBoost engine > VERDICT T Everybody wants them new-fangled SUVs these days, but this is a great family car
KUGA > Otherwise likeable Kuga crossover gets an angry face, semi-sporty ST-Line version and better cabin, thank heavens. The best-handling mid-sized crossover, but that’s not saying much > VERDICT T If you really must
EDGE > Stupidest Ford name since Maverick, but looks good and drives like a Ford – a big ponderous
GT > A very expensive hardcore supercar from Detroit that proves a global mega-seller can still cut it against Ferrari when it wants to. EcoBoost V6 is hugely fast if devoid of character T ‘Race car for the road’ translates into > VERDICT ‘brilliant fun but a bit coarse’
GINETTA G40 > Pint-sized road-legal racer. Two models: G40R (civilised version, with carpets) and GRDC (actually a race car with number plates) > VERDICT T Tiny, twitchy and top fun. Pick the £35k GRDC and get free entry to race series
HONDA JAZZ > Brilliantly packaged supermini with typical genius mismatch of brain and social skills. Ordinary performance, more refined than before > VERDICT T If a Skoda Fabia had seats this smart, other superminis would call it a day
CIVIC > The might of Honda’s engineering prowess delivers more space, clever new engines and an exterior that looks like it was drawn on a bus on the way into school > VERDICT T Easy to admire, loving requires recreational drugs
CIVIC TYPE R > Styling will make most onlookers recoil in horror but its many angles hide a much more well-rounded hot hatch than ever before. Driving one day to day much easier now but its speed and agility can still take your head off > VERDICT T All the ills of the old FK2 have been
> Update adds Active crossover to 5dr hatch and 3dr ‘coupe’; suitable for somnambulant warranty fiends only. Turbo triple lumpy > VERDICT T Fur-lined tartan slippers, Horlicks and early to bed; repeat
i30 HATCH/TOURER > Where the current crop of Hyundais got serious – which means it’s now in need of a facelift as the mainstream moves ahead again > VERDICT T Tries hard but lacks imagination
i40 SALOON/TOURER > Vast Mondeo rival with huge boot and lots of kit. Facelift resembles a lizard with an Audi grille for a mouth > VERDICT T Nearly-but-not-quite mainstream alternative plays value card well
iX20 > Compact MPV and Kia Venga’s ugly step-sister; roomy but ultimately forgettable > VERDICT Sorry, what were we talking about?
TUCSON > Promising initial impressions of shiny-looking ix35 replacement tarnish quickly: it’s dull to drive, duller inside and poorly refined > VERDICT T We had high hopes. Someone get the Tucson a stepladder
SANTA FE > Biggish SUV has always led Hyundai’s assault on the European market from the front. Comfortable, self-assured and easy to live with > VERDICT T A Hyundai you can choose without shame. Looks fresher than Waitrose parsnips
i800 > Massive van-based people carrier that’ll seat eight and still have space for their luggage. Ideal for part-time airport minicabbers > VERDICT T It is what it is: a van with seats in. But it’s a nice van
GENESIS > Luxury saloon hamstrung by unsuitable petrol engine and they-must-be-joking price tag > VERDICT T Start of Hyundai’s move upmarket. Well, it worked out well for Infiniti. Oh, wait…
IONIQ > Korean take on the Prius minus Gwyneth Paltrow smugness and drawn-in-the-dark exterior. Hybrid, EV or upcoming PHEV – they’re offering a version for all shades of greenie > VERDICT Challenges neither pulse nor helmsmanship
INFINITI Q30 > It’s an A-Class in an alternative frock – a slow A-Class at that. Suspension and seats comfy, just don’t look too closely at the dash > VERDICT T The fat goth of the premium hatchback segment
Q50 > US-market, Japanese premium product that’s mostly forgettable. Sport Tech model has stonking V6, though > VERDICT T The hot one is a surprise but it’s not a car that will worry BMW or Merc any time soon
Q60 > Shapely coupe has quirkiness in spades. Tech overkill includes slightly odd drive-by-wire steering while porky weight dulls performance > VERDICT T Capable and direct, but those words don’t scream ‘fun’, do they?
Q70 > Does it look like a rubbish Maser QP, or a slightly cooler Daewoo Leganza? Either way it’s a novelty act without the novelty > VERDICT Worth considering over a 5-series, but only if Harald Quandt ran off with your wife
QX50 > Blandly styled EX crossover got a new badge but precious few new fans. Well equipped, but costly to run and not that great to drive > VERDICT T Nothing to see here, people, move on – to your local BMW dealer and its excellent X3
QX70 > Striking jumbo jeep comes with more kit than a Knight Riderr convention but the lavish cabin is too small and the fuel and tax bills anything but > VERDICT T Taxi for Infiniti! Porsche’s Cayenne has this one covered, old timer
JAGUAR XE > Straight-bat styling hides exotic aluminium chassis and class-leading handling. Bit tight on space, though, and engines not a high point > VERDICT T Rivals are better packaged but this is the driver’s car in the class and a proper little Jag
XF > Second-gen XF now 75% aluminium, looks like an over-inflated XE; bigger inside, smaller outside, still a great steer > VERDICT Diddy diesels moo more than a dairy; insert your own joke about cats and cream
XJ > Questionable styling but unquestionably excellent steer – although passengers may mutiny. Interior looks lux but lacks intelligence, even with latest infotainment > VERDICT Hollywood baddies’ limo of choice. Flawed
XJR > Absurdly track-ready limo builds on already ballistic XJ Supersport, but bumps power up to 543bhp and tightens chassis at expense of ride > VERDICT More rare-groove than Elvis’s first acetate, but spectacular – if you’re up front
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F-TYPE F TYPE C COUPE/ROADSTER > Posh pauper’s Aston sounds superb, goes well too. Forget basic V6 and choose from V6S and mental V8S. Now with manual and 4wd options > VERDICT T So nearly sublime, but Cayman/ Boxster duo cost less, entertain more
F-TYPE R > Supercharged 543bhp almost too much fun in rear-wheel-drive form (but still less knife-edge than V8S); 4wd available if you’ve left bravery pills at home > VERDICT T All this drama or an ‘ordinary’ 911? Tough choice…
F-TYPE SVR > JLR’s SVO black ops division delivers a 567bhp all-wheel-drive F-type that goes and sounds like an elephant on MDMA > VERDICT T Quilted leather and 200mph – but terrible hi-fi for a car that costs twice the entry V6
F-PACE > Jag’s first SUV is a road-biased Macan botherer. Built light to be nimble, body control brilliance and pokey engines prove family DNA > VERDICT T Macan remains most sporting choice, but more rounded F-Pace has plenty of bite
JEEP RENEGADE > Strange but true: junior Jeep is built in Italy alongside Fiat 500X that donates its platform. Even stranger: it’s not terrible > VERDICT T Only the top Trailhawk cuts it in the rough
COMPASS > Another Qashqai rival that misses the mark. Still, looks imposing and Mopar-inspired Trailhawk model very good in the rough stuff, but smaller Renegade more charming > VERDICT T Almost as forgettable as the previous Compass
CHEROKEE > Gimlet-eyed Discovery Sport rival looks like the banjo-playing inbred from Deliverance. Despite generous kit, we’d leave it on the porch > VERDICT T Feels too cheap to be premium, too pricey/ugly to beat Qashqai
GRAND CHEROKEE > Proper off-road credentials backed up by sensible running costs, but feels cheap. Ludicrous SRT8 version demolishes 62mph in five dead > VERDICT T Makes sense at $30k in the US, but doesn’t drive or feel like a premium car
think it needs rehab for steroid addiction ad > VERDICT T Accomplished; avoid base 1.0
> Long on space, short on enjoyment, life with a Rio is no carnival. Diesel refinement will have you driving to a favela in the hope of a carjacking > VERDICT White-goods car gets the basics right but there are many better rivals
> The F12 may be better in every respect, but this is what a supercar should look like. Limitedrun Aventador SV closes that gap with shocking power and agility > VERDICT SV is the one to have. Sub-7min ’Ring lap makes the hybrid hypercar crew look stupidly expensive
CEE’D CEE D HA HATCH/SW/PRO_CEE’D > Good-looking Korean Golf wannabe is big on equipment and not bad to drive. Cee’d is fivedoor, Pro_cee’d gets three, SW is the wagon > VERDICT T Recent update brings new downsized turbo engines. Europe still ahead. Just
SOUL > Improved second-gen chunky spunky SUV better to drive but ride and noise suppression poor. Petrol version rubbish, but much cheaper > VERDICT A Korean with character but other SUVs are more rounded (in both senses)
OPTIMA > Sexless Mondeo clone cobbles together some mojo via the addition of sharp-suited Sportswagon and a plug-in hybrid > VERDICT T All the car you’ll ever need, but not the car you want
VENGA > Weird sit-up supermini-cum-MPV packs Focus space into near-city-car dimensions. Hard to get comfy though. 1.4 petrol best > VERDICT T Too pricey and too ordinary to drive for us to care
CARENS > Big, versatile, value-packed seven-seater. Go diesel – 1.6 petrol is wheezier than emphysemariddled asthmatic with a punctured lung > VERDICT T For all its pseudo-premium Euro aspirations, this is the stuff Kia still does best
SPORTAGE > All-new, all-turbo SUV truly handles and rides but somehow a picture of Mr Potato Head’s face got mixed up with the final blueprints, and before they knew it… > VERDICT T Improved in every way. Except to look at
X-BOW > 22nd century Ariel Atom from Austria’s barmy motorbike maker mixes carbon construction with hardy Audi turbo’d 2.0 four > VERDICT T Big money, big grins, but single-seat BAC Mono gives more race car-like experience
> Evolution of Lex Luthor’s original CC8S supercar features carbonfibre wheels and twinturbo 5.0 V8. R version even runs on E85 biofuel > VERDICT T Yahoo! Yin to Volvo’s yang keeps Sweden’s car output balanced
> Way more accomplished Gallardo successor, twinned with new R8. Dual-clutch gearbox mandatory, 602bhp V10 flicks Vs at turbos > VERDICT Beats 488 for aural and visual thrills but nothing else. So we’ll have the Spyder. On me head, sun!
KIA PICANTO > Now has an angry face and there’s a feisty turbo triple. GT Line’s amped-up looks might make you
AVENTADOR S > Aventador hits the sweet spot: old enough to sort the gripes from new and young enough to not yet be the subject of 31 run-out limited
> Monstrously expensive but so refined it makes k a lib library ffeell lik like a sound-off d ff contest (which the Mark Levinson hi-fi would win) > VERDICT T Built for those in the back, where the S-Class makes every seat count
NX > Trumps Audi Q5 with a fabulous interior and arrest-me (for persecuting curves) exterior design. Fwd or 4wd with electric motor at rear > VERDICT T Doesn’t work as a driver’s car, so take the NX300h hybrid over faster, costlier NX200t
DISCOVERY SPORT > ‘Educated, professional luxury SUV desperately seeking decent diesel engine.’ Ingenium replied. Happy ever after? > VERDICT Comfy silence a promising start. We’ll know it’s love when they get the interior decorators in
DISCOVERY > Gen-5 Disco can climb mountains and social strata with equal equanimity; this is Land Rover in the 21st Century. Worryingly close to Range Rover, slightly frustrating engine choice > VERDICT The best seven-seat party wagon money can buy
RANGE ROVER EVOQUE > Definitive posh mum’s SUV, now also available as convertible. Well, that was one way to resolve the classy interior’s claustrophobia-triggering tendencies. Ingenium engines commendably hushed > VERDICT T Pricey, but perfectly pitched
RANGE ROVER VELAR > Sport-lite or Evoque-plus? Either way, Land
NEW ENTRY Rover’s centrally placed SUV is handsome,
capable off-road, well-finished and worthy of its name. > VERDICT The new benchmark Range Rover
RANGE ROVER SPORT > As luxurious as a Rangie, as practical as a Disco, better looking than an Evoque and could follow a Defender cross country. Add in impressive handling and ballistic SVR and diesel versions > VERDICT T Nobody likes a show-off
> A benchmark in luxury SUVs. V6 diesel IN > Ambitious new flagship SUV reckons it’s a real BEST CLASS perfectly acceptable, supercharged V8 Land Rover rival. Now bigger than ever, and so is petrol hilarious > VERDICT T The perfect car the price: up to £40k. Only engine is a 2.2 diesel for smuggling cash to Switzerland, skiing, turning > VERDICT T Impressive, but lacks the badge and up at a ball, game shooting and being smug performance of genuine premium off-roaders
> Incredible off-road, and better than a Defender on it, but that’s like saying Pol Pot was more benevolent than Stalin > VERDICT T When North Korea nukes us, this cold war cast-off will be all that’s left moving
editions. Semi life-affirming > VERDICT T Pose to talent ratio heading in right direction
> Looks like Lord Vader’s helmet with wheels on, but interior opulence and general tranquillity make up for idiosyncratic infotainment issues > VERDICT Build quality and refinement to save the galaxy, even if the hybrid tech won’t
RC/RCF > RCF’s old-school unblown V8 completes charismatic package that shocked M4 in our Giant Test. Elegance of regular range can’t overcome lack of diesel option > VERDICT Deserve more success than they’ll likely get
LC500 > A serious sports car from the most serious of car makers gets clever hybrid or tasty V8, 10-speed automatic and less bovine acoustics. It’s even quite sexy > VERDICT T It’s no longer the Japanese Mercedes
LOTUS ELISE > Reminds just how connected cars used to be. Slothful base 1.6 reminds how they used to go, too, so pick 1.8. Alfa 4C is a pricey, pale imitation > VERDICT T Still sensational, but a 10-year-old example does the same job for half the price
EXIGE > Gym-bunny Elise with supercharged V6 retains beautifully connected unassisted steering. Superb new 350 Sport turns up the wick > VERDICT T The Lotus our tyre-frying Ben Barry would buy. Make of that what you will
EVORA 400 > Thoroughly refreshed Evora loses its looks but gains easier access and thumping supercharged 400bhp > VERDICT T The chassis and steering are Lotus at its sparkling best. Sublime, but you’ll still buy a Cayman
CT > Pig-ugly premium Prius a bizarre mix of
STEER CLEAR decent handling, woeful performance and a ride so poor it makes a black cab feel like an S-Class > VERDICT T Wouldn’t merit a single sale if company car tax bills were less CO2-focused
540C > The world’s first decontented supercar is still worth donating a ball to put on your driveway. Entry-level doesn’t get any better > VERDICT Ron could do worse as a leaving present
> Sharp-suited, well-specced 3-series rival finally gets decent rear space. Good chassis, but 250 V6 irrelevant, and frugal hybrid hobbled by nasty CVT > VERDICT T So close. Give this a proper auto ’box and it would be right up there
> Base McLaren ditches carbon body and super-trick suspension, but keeps carbon MonoCell and twin-turbo 3.8-litre V8. Now available with glass hatchback, too > VERDICT S and GT performance near identical; both make 911 Turbo S feel too normal
GS/GSF > Twin-pronged petrol hybrid cooking range now spiced up by GSF 5.0 V8. Lack of turbos admirable but like hunting M5 bear with a peashooter > VERDICT 300h makes company car sense, wilfully different GSF good fun
720S – > If you can forgive the hatchet wound headlights, Big Mac’s 650S replacement turns the wick up and is measurably better in every way than a 488. Maranello won’t be pleased > VERDICT Obscenely fast and engaging – we just wish it was louder
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McLAREN > NISSAN > What happens when you upgrade 33% of the 650S? Absolute bloody magic. The result is 666bhp, stiffer suspension, faster gearshifts, quicker steering and lighter by 100kg. Whatever deal Woking’s done with the devil, it’s worked > VERDICT T This is the McLaren you’ve been looking for
MX-5 ##### > Shorter than the ’89 original, and in real terms half the price. 1.5 sweet but a little slow; 158bhp 2.0 quicker but charismatically challenged > VERDICT T Brilliantly uncomplicated budget sports car. Dink the GTI for this
MX-5 RF #####
> £1m hybrid hypercar with aero straight from McLaren’s F1 brains. All sold, and if you haven’t got one you can’t have track-only GTR either > VERDICT T Astounding, but LaFerrari feels more special (as it should for £400k more)
> When a folding fabric roof above your head is just too common to contemplate, pay more for the heavier and more complicated RF and never fold the bloody roof down anyway > VERDICT T Right car in the wrong spec, you doughnut
MASERATI GHIBLI ##### > The small exec you wish you owned still drives great, still looks the business, still doesn’t have the four-cylinder diesel that will get it on your shopping list. A shame > VERDICT An alcohol-free Quattroporte
QUATTROPORTE GTS ##### > Because Ferrari doesn’t ‘do’ saloons you can have a brilliant blend of Maranello turbo V8 wrapped in some gracefully ageing Maserati bits. Remains the coolest four-door car money can buy > VERDICT T It won’t let you in unless you’re in a suit or chinos
GRAN TURISMO/GRAN TURISMO/ CABRIO ##### > Four genuine seats a rarity in this class, but fill them and you’ll regret choosing the weedy 4.2 over the 4.7 at the first sniff of a hill > VERDICT Podgy, pretty, practical GT for folk who hate four-door faux coupes. And luggage
GT MC STRADALE ##### > Defies hulking 1770kg mass (and that’s after a 110kg diet) and modest 444bhp to deliver an engaging driving experience. Epic noise > VERDICT T Massively underrated. A GT3 for an Italian lothario with a ’Ring season pass
LEVANTE ##### > Maserati’s long-awaited SUV is better than the Ghibli. And the UK is getting petrol, after initially being threatened with diesel-only line-up > VERDICT T Far from flawless but it’ll show you a good time
MAZDA 2 ##### > Shot-in-the-arm supermini packs good value, handling and looks, leaving sweatmarks on the shirts of the VW Polo marketing team > VERDICT T Under-radar Fiesta threatener gatecrashes the top table
3 HATCH/SALOON/ESTATE ##### > Another left-field, right-on Mazda that’s great to drive and cheap to run. You like shifting gears? You’ll love the 118bhp unblown 1.5. If not, go diesel > VERDICT Don’t buy a family hatchback until you’ve tried one. Oh, a Golf? Apart from that
5 ##### > Ancient off-the-pace MPV that looks like it’s been side-swiped by a kamikaze dispatch rider. Roomy and reasonably good to drive, but just no! > VERDICT T Large ’n’ loaded but there are too many fresher rivals to warrant wasting your wedge
6 SALOON/TOURER ##### > Boss won’t let you have a BMW 3-series? Double your digit and try this impressive alternative. Handles well but rides like the tyres have DTs > VERDICT T Swoopily styled, tax friendly, entertaining alternative to po-faced VW Passat
CX-3 ##### > Late arrival to the compact crossover party, but worth a look thanks to smart, premium cabin and crisp, engaging drive. Pity about the firm ride > VERDICT T Pricey, but better than most and well equipped. Ideal MX-5 social life support truck
CX-5 ##### > How an SUV should drive. Better than ever, still unfairly ignored over inferior rivals but you’ve only yourselves to blame > VERDICT T It’s the closest you’ll ever get to a five-seat MX-5
MERCEDES A-CLASS ##### > In the manner of a stale donut nuked in the microwave, midlife refresh has softened the A-Class, but it’s still a little tasteless > VERDICT Expensive, cramped and crass inside – A3 and 1-series do it better
A45 AMG ##### > Mad turbo four-pot now makes 367bhp and 350lb ft. Goes like a banker who knows the game is up; almost as expensive > VERDICT Four-wheel drive is not enough. Option the Dynamic Plus pack with LSD as well
B-CLASS ##### > Posh MPV big brother to the A-Class misses out on the looks and the charisma, but is far more homely and just as technically savvy > VERDICT T So boring the BMW 2-series Active Tourer actually begins to make sense
CLA SALOON/SHOOTING SAL BRAKE ##### > CLS clone based on the A-Class, now FACELIFT with swoopy Shooting Brake estate. Lacks SOON gravitas of former and sex appeal of latter > VERDICT T Just because you can make something smaller doesn’t mean you should
C-CLASS C CLASS SALOON/ESTATE ##### > Latest C impresses with mini-S-Class looks and almost all the same on-board tech. Denies muttering it wishes the 3-series would drop dead > VERDICT T BMW still better to drive, but if you want a relaxing techno cocoon, this is it
C-CLASS COUPE ##### > All-new sexpot version of latest C-Class (no shrinking violet itself) now 10cm longer and available with air suspension. Still tight in the back > VERDICT Much more of an event than the 4-series, but new A5 right back in the game
C63 AMG ##### > Sounds madder than ever despite switch to bi-turbo 4.0 V8; coupe gets unique 12-link rear suspension for sharper responses > VERDICT Saloon, estate or coupe, you get mega traction and one of the best turbo engines ever
E-CLASS SALOON/ESTATE ##### > It may look like a fat C-Class but this techno tour-de-force thinks it can drive better than you. Exceptional interior out-luxes all comers > VERDICT T New 4-cyl diesel so smooth it churns motorway miles into butter
E-CLASS COUPE ##### > Swish, clever and satisfyingly capable, as long as there’s six cylinders up front. Like coupes used to be before everyone decided they needed to be ‘Ring-meisters > VERDICT T Middle age has never been so appealing
AMG E63 ##### > Only AMG would offer the E63 with an all-wheel-drive system that you can switch off in Drift Mode. Which is exactly why you should buy one, and possibly open an account at Kwik Fit > VERDICT T Go S or go home
CLS/SHOOTING BRAKE ##### > The word ‘coupaloon’ is banned from these pages. Which is fine, because we’re all slightly in love with the glamorous Shooting Brake > VERDICT T Second-gen version of the original four-door coupe continues to lead the pack
S-CLASS ##### > Enormously technically accomplished, with camera-guided ride quality and stacks of safety kit. Maybach and Pullman variants immensely
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flash > VERDICT Makes 7-series/A8 seem like toys. Captains of industry should insist on it
own, even if you love it a little less
S-CLASS S CLASS COUPE/CABRIOLET #####
> Up-sized BMW 2.0-litre four-pot-powered 228bhp JCW most powerful Mini ever. Terrific turboed fun, if a tad overwrought and synthetic > VERDICT Beware the cost of the options list
> Over 5m of barking mad indulgence; Coupe carries it off like Errol Flynn on a bender but, like a model-turned-MP, will regret going topless > VERDICT T Howard Hughes would approve, but he went crazy in the end
S63/S65 AMG ##### > Twin-turbo 577bhp V8 and 621bhp V12 S-Class variants, because being richer than the world isn’t enough and you need to out-drag it, too > VERDICT T S63 V8 is bonkers, S65 V12 utterly certifiable. Does your chauffeur deserve it?
GLA ##### > Confused A-Class on stilts with lifestyle pretensions and unnecessary surplus of interior air vents. GLA45 AMG simply unnecessary > VERDICT T An A-Class for the bewildered. Maybe you thought you were ordering a GLC?
GLC ##### > GLK replacement project, now available in right-hand drive. Sounds like you shouldn’t care, but the interior might just make you moist > VERDICT T Rivals are cheaper, better to drive – GLC makes you feel special inside
G-CLASS ##### > Cold War relic that’s so solidly built it could ram raid a bank vault. Obscene special editions a growing – literally – Mercedes obsession > VERDICT You shouldn’t want one, but… Will outlast any Defender. And possibly the planet
GLE/GLE COUPE ##### > Rebadged M-Class is heavy, ponderous and depressingly cheap inside. Plug-in hybrid plays the tech card, new Coupe an alternative to X6 > VERDICT T As you were: it’s perfectly adequate in a class dominated by the outstanding
GLS ##### > Luxo-monster seven-seater lacks Range Rover panache but it’s comfy, refined and the infotainment doesn’t come from Poundland > VERDICT Active anti-roll essential, but otherwise it’s a brilliant bus
COOPER S/JCW #####
CLUBMAN ##### > Replace circus-freakery of old one with full complement of portals, add longer wheelbase, bigger boot; now bake > VERDICT T Loaf-alike maxi-Mini freshness, the grown-ups’ choice
COUNTRYMAN/PACEMAN ##### > Countryman has been replaced for 2017, but the three-door Paceman is still spun off the old, far inferior, Countryman > VERDICT T Vastly improved Countryman now a strong SUV
MITSUBISHI MIRAGE ##### > Facelift can’t hide the Mirage’s catastrophic lack of style or charm. As well suited to the small car segment as a Sopwith Camel is to executive short-haul flights > VERDICT Want your kids to stay off the roads? Buy them one
ASX ##### > Box-ticking small SUV gets a by-the-numbers facelift, leaving you with a car that feels like it was designed on a spreadsheet. At least it’s relatively cheap and well kitted > VERDICT T Best bought on the internet
ECLIPSE CROSS ##### > The last of the old Mitsubishis or the first of the new Renault-Nissan ones? Off-road ability says former, but cushy ride and renewed interior quality says latter. Hmm… > VERDICT T PetrolCVT combo will irritate enthusiasts but it’s civilised and looks sharp
SHOGUN ##### > Great-value old-school workhorse for those whose workplace is covered in mud, oil or bomb craters. Big, noisy diesel, chunky underpinnings and reliable, with hose-down cabin > VERDICT If you don’t think you need this car, you don’t need this car
> Buy the SLC43 AMG and it’s like an uglier but cheaper F-type with a nicer interior. Buy any other SLC and you’ve lost your mind > VERDICT T Come back 718 Boxster, all is forgiven
> Mid-life overhaul brings sleeker looks and lifts cabin ambience by miles. Diesel still a bit of a tractor but PHEV comfy and refined > VERDICT T The UK’s best-selling plug-in hybrid finally makes sense
SL ##### > The plastic surgeon was worth every penny: post-facelift SL is far more MILF than Morph. Turning up the sporty makes the most of the super stiff structure, too > VERDICT T Think twice about that Ferrari California. No, seriously
AMG GT ##### > SLS replacement is smaller (just), cheaper (considerably) and blessed with a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 > VERDICT It’s got the muscle but maybe not the finesse
AMG GT C ROADSTER ##### > Roadster delivers extra buzz without massive compromise, at massive expense > VERDICT Current GT sweet spot, for five minutes at least
MG MG3 ##### > Tough-looking, spacious supermini has handling that lives up to the promise of that badge. As does the woeful build, crap engine and concrete ride > VERDICT T The Chinese are coming! But so far they’ve only got to Tajikistan
GS ##### > Spacious, duck-faced SUV hamstrung by coarse 1.5 turbo petrol, shonky gearboxes and shoddy interior. Handles okay, if you can hack the firm ride > VERDICT Cheap, but not sufficiently so. Dacia will sleep well tonight
MINI HATCH/CONVERTIBLE ##### > Bigger and less charming, but lovely engines are smooth and peppy, while ride has improved without ruining handling. Five-door in danger of being practical > VERDICT T Better than ever to
MORGAN 3-WHEELER ##### > As comfortable as riding over Niagara Falls in a barrel and equally sane. Not as quick as it feels, but quick enough for a three-wheeler on bike tyres > VERDICT T Brilliant Caterham alternative without the macho trackday posturing
AERO ##### > Drop-top was first of the new-era Morgans and goes it alone since Aero Supersports, Coupe and Squiffy Perkins bought it at the Somme > VERDICT Two worlds collide. And with 367bhp they may not be the only ones doing the colliding
PLUS 4/F 4/FOUR FOUR/ROADSTER ##### > Entry-level Mog still with ‘traditional’ ash frame and ‘traditional’ (ie, awful) dynamics. Four-seat 4/4 is surprise eco champ: 44mpg > VERDICT Cheap, considering the craftsmanship, even at £33k, but if you want an old car, buy one!
PLUS 8 ##### > Don’t be fooled by tally-ho styling, 8 is built on ‘modern’ bonded and riveted Aero chassis. Fidgety like a child with worms > VERDICT Classic Morgan style, modern BMW V8 poke, manners like a five-term Borstal veteran
NISSAN MICRA ##### > So much better than the old car, new Micra is on Wikipedia right now deleting all mention of its predecessor. Proves that a car designed by Europeans will appeal to Europeans, amazingly > VERDICT T Wheeled redemption, at least until the next Polo/Ibiza turns up
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> Mould-breaking compact crossover; you think it would look like that if the mould hadn’t broken? Cheap interior and so-so dynamics belie the hype > VERDICT Does it still count as ‘different’ if everybody’s got one?
> Welly-wearing 208 gets a facelift which hits on the idea of actually resembling an SUV, and at a stroke makes a decent car more credible > VERDICT T Not so much leaping on the SUV bandwagon as hitching a ride… but it’s an attractive hitchhiker
NOTE > Like a Honda Jazz with middle-age spread, this is a small, practical MPV-hatch with limited aspirations of greatness > VERDICT An automotive cardigan: deeply uncool but good at what it does
LEAF > Gawky looking EV pioneer now with 20% extra range. Updated interior even more like a Star Trek k shuttle, and not in a good way > VERDICT BMW i3 far funkier, Renault Zoe far cheaper, internal combustion still superior. Beam us up
PULSAR > So dull it can only be explained by a conspiracy theory claiming it owes its entire existence to a long-range Qashqai sales-boost strategy > VERDICT T Buy a Focus. Or a Golf. Or a Cee’d. Or an Auris. Okay, maybe not an Auris…
QASHQAI > Second-gen crossover carries on exactly where the original left off: meandering ominously in the middle lane to the tune of ‘are we there yet?’ > VERDICT T Likeable, with a side order of resting on its own laurels
X-TRAIL > The X-Trail used to be a rough-tough off-roader apparently designed on an Etch-a-Sketch. Now it’s a Qashqai put through a photocopier at +10% > VERDICT T It still ain’t exciting. But it’s probably going to sell a lot better
3008 > Tell friends you’ve bought one and they’ll laugh until they see it. Sharp to look at, surprisingly good fun to drive and not too weird > VERDICT Just make it absolutely clear you’ve not bought the old one
5008 > If you’ve just read the 3008 entry you can skip on down. Edgy design inside and out hides genuine practicality and in the 5008, seven seats. Rejoice as Peugeot demonstrates they really have got their act together > VERDICT T Annoy the Germans and buy French
PORSCHE 718 BOXSTER > The turbo revolution continues as Boxster bins the six for a brace of faster forced-induction fours. Updated face now flatter than Brian Harvey’s > VERDICT T Whole lotta lag; chassis still a stairway to heaven
718 CAYMAN > Efficiency march means sublime outgoing model ditches choral flat-six for punchy but industrial turbo four. Gets uglier in the process, still handles like you wish all cars would T Better by the numbers but... know > VERDICT any nice 981s for sale?
> Now with a slightly thicker veneer of luxury (and another 20bhp) – but this is still basically a morally ambiguous hardcase moments from rage > VERDICT T Drivetrain sounds like a drum kit falling down the stairs; leaves your brain feeling much the same
> Junior GT3 is first Cayman to get more power than current 911. 380bhp, manual ’box, LSD and a grin wider than a Glasgow smile > VERDICT T Porsche finally admits that the Cayman and not the 911 is its real sports coupe
PAGANI HYUARA > Spectacular cottage industry supercar with active aero, AMG-built 720bhp twin-turbo V12 and an interior more decadent than a Roman orgy > VERDICT T Want one but they’re all sold
PEUGEOT 108 > Pug-faced city car. Go for 82bhp 1.2: the 68bhp 1.0 is so slow we were all monkeys when it set off and it still hasn’t hit 60mph > VERDICT T Reasonable no-frills city car but boot and rear space tight. Skoda Citigo is better
208 > Refresh more than just a prettier face as dynamic update adds handling chops to 208’s interior chic > VERDICT T Pug’s recovered that VaVaVoom from the back of the sofa. No, wait – that’s the other lot
308 HATCH/SW ESTATE > Hushed 308 at its best when eating motorway miles, or when you’re watching it out of the window of your Golf. Fiddly touchscreen > VERDICT T Hatch isn’t up to scratch, but roomier SW wagon is worth a look
308 GTi > Discreet styling hides playful proclivities; LSD keeps things tight up front while fantastic French chassis delivers lively rear > VERDICT 250 and 270 variants both great, but 270 gets more kit and extra power
508 SALOON/ESTATE > Little-seen XL Pug with unconvincing cod German accent. HYbrid4 gets 4wd via 37bhp ’leccy motor on rear wheels > VERDICT T RXH is poor man’s Audi Allroad. Rest of range is padding on your company car list
PARTNER TEPEE > Spacious, versatile Tepee so useful it could almost be a van. Funny, that. More practical than a regular MPV, drives okay > VERDICT T Make your own clothes? Live in a yurt? This is for you
911 > 991.2 may not look much different but under the skin lurks a whole new range of turbocharged engines. The most grown-up 911 yet > VERDICT T Rear-engined appeal lives on. Proper Turbo now utterly ferocious, Turbo S unhinged
911 GT3 > Yes, another brilliant 911, but you didn’t really think Porsche would get this one wrong, did you? Optional manual ‘box makes car nerds everywhere weak at the knees T More accessible, more fun and > VERDICT more GT3-ish than ever
911R > The 911 that Porsche secretly wants the 911 still to be. It’s an anti-991.2: a non-turbo 4.0 bruiser in retro disguise, with 493bhp and manual ’box > VERDICT Supple, poised, supreme fun. But we’d still have a Cayman GT4
SPEC EXPERT BUILD THE PERFECT FORD FIESTA
Ford’s product boffins have helped us create the ultimate sporty Fiesta to tide us over until the hot ST arrives
We got in touch with Ford’s marketing team to help us spec the perfect Fiesta, and boy did they deliver. Our car is a Fiesta ST-Line X with the 1.0-litre 123bhp EcoBoost petrol, linked to a six-speed manual ‘box. Ford’s team also chose a three-door model, as it’s one of the few remaining superminis to offer that body style, and the Fiesta’s creases are said to be ‘most dynamic and stylish on the three-door body. Starting price: £17,995 Inside, all ST-Line X cars come with partial leather seats, SYNC 3 nav with CarPlay and Android Auto, climate control, traffic sign recognition and automatic windscreen wipers. For a splash of colour, Ford has added the ST-Line red interior pack (£150). Our Fiesta also has the Comfort Pack (£225) that adds heated front seats and steering wheel, while the panoramic roof (£600) will help keep the cabin nice and airy. Ford’s B&O premium audio system (£300) is thrown in, too. Running total: £20,700
To reach peak sportiness, Ford chose Magnetic metallic paint (£495) and added the larger 18-inch machine-finished alloys (£550). To help you waltz into your new supermini like a pro, we’ve got the KeyFree system (£300), and Ford’s pop-out door edge protectors (£85) help stop dings in car parks. Running total: £19,425
Other extras include the Driver Assistance Pack (£200), which includes adaptive cruise, pre-collision assist and distance alert. Ford has also pretty much guaranteed an easy life in a multi-storey, too, as blindspot monitoring with cross traffic alert (£350) has been ticked, as has a rear-view camera with parking sensors (£250). Total price: £21,500
918 > Epic 4wd hybrid can waste GTis with 6sec 0-62mph electric mode, then slay Lambos by adding 600bhp V8. Superb electric steering, too > VERDICT T Almost overshadowed in the P1-LaFerrari posturing war, but easily as good
MACAN > Baby Cayenne is even better than dad – BEST IN and better than the rival Evoque too. Base car CLASS with Golf GTI 2.0 makes no sense when S and S Diesel are pennies more > VERDICT T GT3 RS for trackdays, Cayman GT4 for weekends, this for everything else. Sorted
CAYENNE > Porsche’s cash-cow is a prize German Angus now, handsome and the best SUV to drive. V6 S quick, too quiet, Diesel S dynamite > VERDICT T A proper Porker? Turbo S’s sub-8min Nürburgring lap time says yes
PANAMERA > The Mk1 was just throat-clearing; this Mk2 is the opera. Drips with tech, innovation and better dynamics – and it looks perfect > VERDICT TA lesson in making nonsensical niches make perfect sense
152 CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK | October 2017
TOTAL PRICE: £21,500
SR3 SL > Properly type-approved (street legal) SR3 gets a 300bhp blown Ford 2.0 instead of a motorcycle engine, a heater and even a 12v socket. It’s almost lavish > VERDICT T Toned down for occasional road use but still hairier than a cave man with hypertrichosis
RXC TURBO > Play out those Le Mans fantasies on the commute with this Peterborough-built Polaris. Sequential ’box welcome in town like an EDL demo > VERDICT When you’ve outgrown your Caterhams and 911 GT3s, here’s the answer
RENAULT TWIZY > Part electric scooter, part social experiment, it’s easy to love the doorless Twizy, especially on balmy evenings along La Croisette. Grimy days in Doncaster a tougher ask > VERDICT Transportation of the future, if it’s never wet in the future and you like chatting at traffic lights
ZOE 40 > Splendid Zoe solves range anxiety by clever new battery with more power, potentially induces wealth anxiety instead with £4000 price premium. Unless you’re smart and lease it of course > VERDICT At least you can guarantee the emissions are genuine
TWINGO > Rear-engined rwd runabout isn’t as nippy as it sounds, but is roomy, with clever smartphone connectivity. More cheeky than sister Smart, and cheaper > VERDICT T Lower-power version with ’80s F1 Turbo paintjob the way to go
CLIO > Welcome return to form for the five-door Clio with even boggo ones looking handsome, a well sorted cabin and sprightly driving qualities. Three-cylinder turbo petrol a (slowish) hoot T Fiesta more fun, Clio more stylish > VERDICT
CLIO RS > Remember when Clio RS was king of the hill? No? Probably for the best, because even new, more powerful RS Trophy can’t offset awful auto gearbox > VERDICT T Brings its own Trophy but still doesn’t win. Rumoured RS Wooden Spoon pure speculation
CAPTUR > It’s a Clio on stilts – but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. No 4x4 pretensions means focus is on personalisation. Good engines. It’s no Juke to drive > VERDICT T Technicolor clown car if you’re not careful with the spec, otherwise okay
MEGANE > All-new French Golf looks like a foie-grased Clio outside and a low-rent Tesla inside. Is thus an instant improvement over the old one > VERDICT T Renaultsport-fettled GT with rearwheel steering a keen drive, too. Sacré bleu!
MEGANE RS > Continues as the old three-door for now; REPLACED raucous 2.0 turbo, manual ’box, awesome SOON chassis – this a proper, pulse-spiking hot hatch > VERDICT Buy one before they ruin it like the latest RS Clio
SCENIC > Fourth-generation compact MPV trades the practicality that made your wife want one for an exterior sharp enough that you’ll consider having more kids, although the stiff ride could see you arrive too early > VERDICT Console your manhood with the fact that 20s are standard
KADJAR > Nissan may rue the day it left the parts BEST IN store door ‘Kadjar’, as Renault’s take on the CLASS Qashqai bests the original in every way > VERDICT Aggressive pricing, smooth ride, great refinement, squishy seats
KOLEOS > A five-seat-only X-Trail that took a gap year living at a French vineyard and has come back with an accent, more stylish clothes and an avant-garde view on life. Façade doesn’t hide its Nissan roots > VERDICT Neither great nor rubbish – c’est bof
i10 also worth a look. Yes, actual advice!
> A little posher, with more bespoke options to hide BMW-ness, new gearbox for the V12 and minor fettling to the metal > VERDICT T Perfectly built and pitched and more individual. A Phantom for millionaires not billionaires
> Very mature little supermini with bodywork creases a Corby trouser press would be proud of. Estate version ideal for Jack Russells > VERDICT T Roomy, well made and unexciting – like a low-rent VW Polo. Which is what it is
RAPID HA HATCH/SPACEBACK
> A 624bhp twin-turbo V12 sporting vehicle
REPLACED that drives like no other. Dismisses distance SOON
> Long, narrow notchback hatchback is the automotive equivalent of Eastern European refugee. Big boot. Spaceback is shorter, more ‘stylish’, still dross > VERDICT T Unless you’ve got a lot of potatoes and no other way to carry them, just don’t
> The best luxury car money can buy, with a cabin to embarrass a superyacht, opulence to make Donatella Versace blush (if she could), and a V12 pulling you along. Not that you’ll hear it > VERDICT T Every car on earth starts with ambitions of being a Phantom
> Basically the same as a Golf and A3, but bigger, cheaper and more functional. Hot vRS versions old-school ballistic fun. 4x4s practical > VERDICT T It’s a lot of car for the money
but would never lower itself to squealing through bends > VERDICT T Whisper it, but Rolls has produced an amazing driver’s car
> Wraith with the roof cut off – although actually 80% of the exterior panels are new. Best-looking Roller, it rides like a liner and costs more than a VW software decision > VERDICT T Nothing between the stars and the stars
> So vast inside it echoes. Sharp lines, stacks of kit, double the number of umbrellas. Shame about dull interior and stiff price > VERDICT T All the family car you’ll ever need. Only bigger
SEAT ATECA > Spanish latecomer to the SUV party gets the dress code right, isn’t the life and soul but neither will it bore you into leaving early. Another sangria please! > VERDICT SE, petrol, Manuel (‘I am from Barcelona!’)
MII > Tedious-looking city-box is far less funky than Renault’s Twingo but roomier and good to drive. You don’t look at the mantelpiece, and all that > VERDICT T VW Up more desirable, pretty Skoda Citigo cheaper. Siesta time in Seat’s prod dept?
IBIZA HATCH/SC/ESTATE > Angular Spanish supermini nabs A0 platform before VW, thoroughly grows up in the process. FR versions irritatingly don’t look that sporty any more > VERDICT T Ibiza by name, but no longer by nature
IBIZA CUPRA > Update to 189bhp 1.8 turbo with manual ’box makes this a brilliant budget blast. Great interior, finessed details, tempting choice > VERDICT Fiesta ST for thrills, this for everything else
TOLEDO > OAP special whose sole interesting
STEER CLEAR feature is that while it looks like a boring
saloon, it’s actually a boring hatch! Massive interior > VERDICT T This and identical Skoda Rapid duke it out for UK’s dullest car. Czech please!
LEON HATCH/ESTATE > Mid-life evolution for Leon means new engines and tech, plus non-surgical facelift. Will still be shunned for a Golf > VERDICT Eminently likeable, just by too few buyers
LEON CUPRA > Much to the amusement of tyre manufacturers everywhere, the front-wheel-drive Leon Cupra now has 290bhp. GTI who? > VERDICT Ballistic, and best bought with a manual transmission
ALHAMBRA > Subtlest of subtle facelifts belies 15% efficiency improvement. Still a big box with slideydoors and seven proper seats; put your family first for a change > VERDICT T Genetically identical to the VW Sharan, but nearly £2k less
SKODA KODIAQ > Commendably vast SUV takes the Octavia’s approach by bulking out on a shared platform, but unfortunately doesn’t share its dazzling personality > VERDICT T The most comfortable place to die a little inside
CITIGO > Skoda’s all but identical version of the VW Up and Seat Mii. Pick your badge – they’re all well packaged but too noisy and slow > VERDICT Cheaper than the Up, but not by much. Hyundai
YETI > Ikea wardrobe on wheels – so practical you’ll DIES SOON wonder how you ever lived without it. Good news is you don’t have to assemble it yourself > VERDICT T Bigger engines are better. Choose Outdoor model for that rugged look. Grrr
SMART FORTWO > Chunky ForTwo has middle-age spread compared to the last one. Wider, with a much better ride, higher quality cabin and slicker auto, it is older, but wiser > VERDICT T Less of a compromise, and still a brilliant city runabout
FORFOUR > Renault/Merc tie-up means ForFour is accomplished with a classy cabin, although ludicrous pricing seem at odds with budget city car buyers > VERDICT T Sister car Twingo is more than two grand cheaper. Work that out
> Impreza estate with a silly name. Single choice off 1.6 1 petroll with i hC CVT auto and d 4wd 4 d means it’s i’ got a silly drivetrain too > VERDICT T Levorg is grovel backwards; dealers may need to. Niche
XV > Hopelessly expensive half-way SUV half-wit. Suspension thumps so intrusive you’ll think the Stomp musical is performing in the wheelarches > VERDICT T In the tough crossover market Subaru makes up the numbers, and the price
FORESTER > Appealingly functional square-rigger the kind of crossover that existed before we had ‘lifestyles’. Good on road, great off it, but not cheap > VERDICT Old-school Subaru honest, charming. Tweed cap, pipe, sheep flock optional
OUTBACK > The unloved Legacy’s only UK legacy is this Allroad-style crossover. New for spring 2015, it’s huge inside and the 4x4 look isn’t all for show > VERDICT T Still more niche than a cragside crevice. Dependable, not desirable
BRZ >Gloriously simple but under-nourished rear-wheel-drive boxer coupe, crying out for a supercharger. GT86 twin marginally more ‘fun’ > VERDICT T Loveable car we wanted them to make but you don’t want to buy
SUZUKI CELERIO > Braking-phobic city car otherwise spacious, full of kit and cheap. Three-cylinder petrol only plus all the handling vim of a B&Q Value wheelbarrow > VERDICT Dowdy and rowdy. Be glad you’ve got DAB and a cupholder
SWIFT > An unsung hero, and not just the excellent 134bhp Sport. Handles well, spacious and cheap. Upgraded Dualjet motor sweet > VERDICT T Buy one and challenge anyone who questions your choice to a fistfight
SX4 S-CROSS > The cheap way to clone a Qashqai. Won’t score any points for style, in fact you might hide it at the back of the school car park. Diesel is the best bet – you’ll have to stop and get out less T A crossover to be cross over > VERDICT
> Borderline rubbish to drive but more practical than the Teflon-coated trousers you’re probably wearing if you’re giving it serious consideration > VERDICT T Huge, handy and hellish value, but we’d have a pre-reg Qashqai or CX-5 any day
> A box with four-wheel-drive bolted onto the bottom, and a 1.3-petrol engine hanging out front. There are seats too > VERDICT T The swamps the Jimny can easily drive over were probably primordial when it first launched
> Like that weird 1960s Izal bog roll, Rexton kind of does the job, but is hard and shiny to the touch and not that nice to use. Deals better with mud > VERDICT Plenty of space, but dynamically, like Izal, it’s gone down the pan
> Two-tone cross-dresser to rival the Juke, with a handsome body and usefully economical diesel engine. Cabin could do with some work though > VERDICT T Rutting rhinos and pink paint are a thing of the past: it’s a serious family car now
TURISMO > Less odious than the old Rodius, but every bit as practical, this giant 7-seater is slower than the Crossrail boring machine > VERDICT T Has minicab written all over it, or soon will, which will handily help disguise the ugliness
TIVOLI > There’s no getting away from it: Korea’s also-ran car maker has built a contender. Great value, spacious and – shock – well-finished inside > VERDICT Dross heritage now under threat
SUBARU IMPREZA > Yes, it still exists beyond WRX and STi. No, you don’t want one. Boggo Impreza reduced to a 1.6 petrol hatchback only with optional CVT. Shudder > VERDICT Have you got a brand new combine harvester? It’s probably a better drive
WRX/STI > Sorry WRX, I’m breaking up with you. It’s not you, it’s me. No, it is you, it’s definitely you and your crashy ride, nasty dash and inflexible engine > VERDICT T Brilliant, on its day, in its day. But that was yesterday, so let’s call it a day
TESLA TESLA MODEL S > Electro-rocket gets a new face and in P100D guise kidney-thumping amounts of acceleration. The future, with a cabin from the recent past > VERDICT T Crush supercars, emit nothing
TESLA MODEL X > Model S with a Super Guppy body means you can scare the bejeezus out of your six passengers by reaching 62mph in 3.1 seconds. Effective, albeit in one dimension > VERDICT T Musky
TOYOTA C-HR > New compact crossover is stylish, huge fun and kooky inside too. And no, you’ve not just read a Trip Advisor review for the Soho Hotel > VERDICT T Buy one and Toyota will never make another dull car. Possibly
AYGO > Bright-looking, stupidly cramped city car with a characterful three-pot motor is as cheap to run as it feels. See also Citroën C1, Pug 108 > VERDICT T As ‘Up’hill struggles go, battling VW
October 2017 | SAVE UP TO 61% WHEN YOU SUBSCRIBE TO CAR! GRE ATMAGA ZINES.CO.UK 153
Â£ 2 MILLIO0 N
TOYOTA > VOLVO with this is like climbing north face of the Aygo
triple. Buy a paper bag and try it
Kuga etc. Felt dated at launch in 2007
> Sizeable but soulless, Yaris can’t match rivals’ dynamics or pocket luxury feel. Clever but costly hybrid version slashes fuel bills and boot space > VERDICT T Largely joyless supermini last to be picked for the school football team
> Made-over Corsa looks like a candidate for When Plastic Surgery Goes Bad, but it is more refined and better to drive. 1.0T a good motor > VERDICT T Vauxhall keeps trying, but Fiesta still cheerfully waving from way out in front
> 577bhp Aussie import that’s £20k cheaper than an M5. Optional auto ’box’s bid to add sophistication akin to serving lager in cut crystal. But who gives a 4X? > VERDICT T Big, brutish charm. But row your own, mate
CORSA VXR #####
> Most Aurises sold are hybrids, mainly ’cos rest of the range is pants > VERDICT T Only worth picking as company wheels if you have a Starbucks-like aversion to paying tax
> Luton’s hooligan now smoother round the edges. Unless you pay extra for the slippy diff and hardcore suspension. Thug life > VERDICT Better but still not best. Lacks Fiesta ST’s sparkle
ASTRA HATCH/ESTATE #####
> Putting the ludicrous 94mpg claim to one side, Prius v4.0 boasts entirely new structure, improved suspension, and is no longer totally joyless to drive > VERDICT T A Toyota hybrid that handles. Electric-only range still pathetic
> Massive step forward in terms of driving dynamics and interior design, plus added techno-charm > VERDICT T In hatchback grandmother’s footsteps, Focus and Golf turn round to find Astra standing right behind them
MIRAI ##### > Weird on the outside, Star Trek k on the inside and a hydrogen fuel-cell underneath. But for all that it drives just like a very refined regular car > VERDICT T We’re convinced by the tech, but there’s nowhere to refuel it yet
AVENSIS SALOON/TOURER ##### > Does little well – despite new BMW diesels. Tourer marginally more stylish > VERDICT T White goods
VERSO ##### > Safe, stodgy seven-seater with snore-worthy chassis and a big-selling 1.6 diesel that feels like half its horses are asleep too > VERDICT Inferior to Ford C-Max and Citroën Picasso
RAV4 ##### > Was a soft-roader pioneer back in ’94 but has settled for fluffy slippers in its old age. Trump card is boot big enough for a casino table > VERDICT Roomy, reasonable, unremarkable. More dynamic SUVs deserve your dosh
LAND CRUISER/V8 ##### > Both bare-knuckle ladder-frame brawlers that wouldn’t know a latte if you spilt it on their rigger’s boots > VERDICT Rough, but if we were stranded in the desert we’d trust it over a Rangie
GT86 ##### > The slowest fast car you can buy is slightly better than before thanks to new aero, revised suspension and better cloth trim. None of this matters – it’s still B-road heaven T As pure as Jon Snow. Both of them > VERDICT
ASTRA GTC/VXR ##### > 3dr stylish enough to stand comparison to Scirocco. VXR fearsomely fast but moody > VERDICT T The sexiest Vauxhall. Let’s hope replacement doesn’t lose its mojo
CASCADA ##### > Brave attempt to take on German compact cabriolets, but chassis has less integrity than Sepp Blatter. Good value if you don’t mind the image (What image? Exactly!) > VERDICT T Marty McFly wouldn’t. Doc Emmett Brown just might
INSIGNIA GRAND SPORT ##### > Last non-PSA car shows plenty of effort but a lack of inspiration makes it too close to how you’d hope an Insignia isn’t > VERDICT T Fine if you’re given one
MALOO ##### > Never before have so many stereotypes been incorporated into a single vehicle. Spectacularly fast, absurd, useless, Australian and brilliant all at the same time > VERDICT The fastest way to stick it to the taxman
CROSSLAND X ##### > Practical Meriva replacement sits beside the Mokka X for size. Said to be the more pragmatic choice compared to the ‘emotionally appealing’ Mokka – go figure T Genuinely practical if as dull as > VERDICT Luton’s skyline to drive
ZAFIRA TOURER ##### > Large MPV with slick seating arrangement and much more spacious than the old bus it replaced. Struggles in the face of S-Max greatness > VERDICT T Accomplished but out-flanked by crossovers’ rise to dominance
VW ARTEON ##### >Here we go again: VW tries to be properly
NEW premium. Great interior, huge boot and ENTRY
there’s tech aplenty but it’s a bit dull. > VERDICT T For saloon individualists… or those who can’t afford a BMW
> It’s still more Millets than House of Fraser, but the all-new Touran does family stuff well > VERDICT T MPV meets MQB, nearly goes VIP
UP ##### > Box on wheels is the kind of city car the Japanese have been building for years, except this is much better quality and has a VW badge > VERDICT T Not a revolution but a spacious small car with a strong, appealing image
> Bothered by the Fiesta’s Airfix plastics? Buy a Polo instead – brilliant engines, bank-vault build quality and almost as good as the Ford to drive > VERDICT Small-capacity turbo petrols are a riot, and increasingly efficient, too
> Accomplished but predictable. Have Seat or Skoda made more of the platform with their versions? > VERDICT T No sex please, we’re VW
POLO GTI ##### > Baby GTI right down to the tartan seats. Vastly improved by introduction of manual gearbox > VERDICT T Surprisingly strong value
GOLF HATCH/ESTATE ##### > What every rival would like to be if only it BEST IN could get away with charging this much. CLASS Tweaked and preened but perpetually desirable, made for a life of Waitrose car parks > VERDICT T Never knowingly undersold
GOLF CABRIOLET #####
V60 ##### > A Frenchman who can’t cook. A Jackson who can’t dance. A Volvo estate which can’t carry much. Why? > VERDICT Handsome, safe, efficient estate hamstrung by one issue…
GOLF GTD/GTI/R #####
> GTD is your dad in running shoes. GTI is BEST IN your dad when he was wild, young and CLASS free. R is your dad having a mid-life crisis. All are ace > VERDICT T After seven generations, VW has this hot-hatch thing nailed
> Sacrilegiously abandons the space race for style while prioritising comfort and refinement over German machismo. Lovely inside. A genuine alternative now > VERDICT T If there’s such a thing as Swedish zen, this is it
GOLF SV ##### > The artist formerly known as the Golf Plus. And by ‘artist’ we mean medium-sized MPV. The car you always knew the Golf would grow up to be > VERDICT T Not a bad choice, but now the BMW 2-series Active Tourer is breathing down its neck
BEETLE HATCH/CABRIO #####
MOKKA X #####
> It may look like it was dropped before it had set, but is comfy, roomy and refined for a city car, and comes with plenty of standard kit > VERDICT T More generous than it may appear at first glance. We’d still buy an Up, though
> Facelift filed under ‘about f***ing time too’, Mokka gets a better cabin, some new engines and pointless suffix. Driving misery reduced by half > VERDICT X marks the spot where the ball was – about five years ago
> Old Golf in a slinky dress. Fun, friendly, and more generous in the back than Audi TT > VERDICT Ballistic R version definitely worthy
S90 ##### > Smart-looking, well-crafted and (shock) adepthandling exec saloon dances a merry jig on the grave of unloved outgoing S80 > VERDICT Loudly purring Swedish cat enters the 5-series/E-Class pigeon enclosure
XC60 – ##### > Posh soft-roader and high-volume seller needed to be brilliant to keep Volvo’s rebirth ball rolling. It’s now a shrunken XC90, which is no bad thing. Calming isolation chamber on wheels > VERDICT T Surprisingly good to drive now and super safe
PASSAT SALOON/ESTATE #####
> Old-fashioned SUV based on the Chevrolet Captiva. Chevrolet has subsequently quit selling cars in the UK altogether. You do the maths > VERDICT T Comprehensively outclassed by
> Interior design and refinement so good it shames some limos, cutting-edge kit and elegant looks. If only it wasn’t so dull to drive > VERDICT T Mega mile-muncher for the undemanding. Aesthete to Mondeo’s athlete
> A V70 in breeches, with raised ride height and 4x4 option. Awd starts at less than 40 grand, which is good value if you find SUVs crass > VERDICT T If you don’t like having a dozen brace of shot pheasant in your boot, don’t buy one of these
Get your hands on a show debutant for less
MERCEDES-AMG C 63 S COUPE £772pm
VOLKSWAGEN TIGUAN 2.0 TDI 150 SE NAV £207pm
Sweet-driving, honest family hatch
Frugal, rarely spotted supermini
Our favourite V8 coupe
Taller, more spacious Golf is good
> Spec c 1.4-litre turbo, fwd, 6spd man,
> Spec c 1.0-litre turbo petrol, fwd, 5spd
> Spec c 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, rwd, 7spd
> Spec c 2.0-litre turbodiesel, fwd, 6spd
man, 110bhp, 62.8mpg > List price e £13,999 > Initial paymentt £1644.84, £182.76/ month for 48 months > Mileage allowance e 10,000 miles > Via fleetprices.co.uk
auto, 503bhp, 32.8mpg > List price e £70,385 > Initial paymentt £6948.18, £772.02/ month for 48 months > Mileage allowance e 10,000 miles
man, 148bhp, 58.9mpg > List price e £28,865 > Initial paymentt £1866.35, £207.37/ month for 24 month > Mileage allowance e 10,000 miles > Via mad sheep co uk
> List price e £20,855 > Initial paymentt £1,280.63, £142.48/
month for 24 months > Mileage allowance e 10,000 miles > Vi j t hi l fi k
ctober 2017 | CARMAGA ZINE.CO.UK 155
All prices inclusive of VAT and correct at time of going to press
ADAM/ADAM ROCKS ##### > Obese Fiat 500 wannabe with huge options list and comedy naming shtick. Adam S warm hatch worth a thought; Rocks crossover flaccid > VERDICT T Revitalised by new 1.0-litre turbo
SUZUKI BALENO 1.0 BOOSTERJET SZ-T £183pm
VOLVO V40 #####
> The swot’s sexy top-dropping sister promises open-air thrills but remains a sensible homebody at heart > VERDICT T Or will you always be thinking about the A3 Cabriolet you almost bought?
LEASE ACADEMY: FRANKFURT 2015 SHOW STARS
TOUAREG ##### > The people’s Porsche Cayenne. Do the people still want their own Cayenne? Well, it is nearly £10k cheaper… > VERDICT T Big, comfy, competent SUV. Great on and off road
> Smart Swede in a sector dominated by Germans. Efficient D4 engine and impressive kit, but it’s a bit bloated in seat, suspension and steering feel > VERDICT T Sitting uncomfortably between Golf and A3. A rock and hard place
> Although better to drive it lacks the design purity of its predecessor and the charm of the original > VERDICT T Even hipsters are, like, so totally over this cynical marketing exercise, man
VAUXHALL ASTRA 1.4 TURBO ELITE £142pm
SHARAN ##### > Large seven-seater sliding-door people carrier > VERDICT Nice enough but made to look silly by the all-but-identical and significantly cheaper Seat Alhambra
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warrantywise.co.uk ABE IN Â£2800 R2 ABE Â£II00 ABE 2S Â£I800 S3 ABE Â£I200 N28 ABY Â£795 GI ACD Â£995 ACH I54 Â£I400 P2I ADE Â£795 400 AE Â£3400 W222 AJC Â£895 N2I AJF Â£795 HIII AJH Â£I300 L9 AJM Â£I600 P32I AJM Â£895 J777 AJM Â£995 N27 AJS Â£795 J666 AJW Â£795 9I2 AL Â£4300 P9 ALF Â£II00 NI23 ALS Â£895 ALY 5A Â£5900 P24 ALY Â£795 N27 AMS Â£895 N27 AMY Â£I500 P25 AND Â£795 P25 ANG Â£I200 N3I ANG Â£II00 PI5 ANN Â£I400 R26 ANN Â£I200 H80 ANN Â£I300 NI2I ANS Â£895 T7 APS Â£795 P2I ART Â£795 R2I ART Â£795 C55 ART Â£795 EI4 ARY Â£995 P27 ASH Â£I400 J505 ASH Â£795 6837 AT Â£I800 923 AYF Â£795 Y7 BAN Â£795 F6 BAT Â£I200 A5 BBA Â£895 BBM 838 Â£995 N2I BBY Â£895 587 BEA Â£895 BEC 4N Â£I900 N25 BEC Â£895 M4 BEK Â£I300 K4 BEN Â£2900 N24 BEN Â£I500 P27 BEN Â£I600 R2 BES Â£795 I79 BET Â£I600 P3 BEV Â£I700 R27 BEV Â£995 BEV 49S Â£I400 NIII BEV Â£895 W2 BEX Â£I300
DI3 BEX Â£795 P23 BEX Â£795 N3I BEX Â£795 39 BF Â£4600 BF 5870 Â£I200 BIL 43I3 Â£895 BL 632 Â£3700 W26 BMW Â£895 T800 BMWÂ£795 P24 BOB Â£I200 76 BOB Â£3500 KI00 BOB Â£895 6I2 BON Â£995 H3 BOW Â£895 NI3 BOX Â£795 P26 BOX Â£895 S88 BRE Â£795 NI BRH Â£995 R25 BRY Â£895 RI23 BRY Â£795 673 BRY Â£I600 I7 BU Â£4I00 D6 BUG Â£II00 C8 BUG Â£II00 C20 BUG Â£795 853 BUR Â£I300 65 BV Â£4300 2I92 BY Â£895 I984 C Â£3700 I985 CA Â£2400 N27 CAM Â£895 PI23 CAM Â£795 X22 CAR Â£795 CAR I2IS Â£895 N3I CAS Â£995 P26 CAT Â£795 M400 CAT Â£795 DI CAY Â£I300 N3I CCO Â£I700 N3I CCS Â£895 TI CDP Â£795 4II CE Â£6700 N2I CHO Â£I700 N23 CJS Â£895 N3I CLA Â£I500 N3I CLE Â£795 N3I CLO Â£I300 NI2I CLO Â£895 N3I CLS Â£795 CO 6503 Â£I700 N3I COL Â£2I00 K70 COL Â£I300 V70 COL Â£I400 NI2I CON Â£795 R2I COS Â£895 N3I COS Â£I500 NI23 COS Â£895 TI6 COX Â£II00 D20 COX Â£I200
L30 COX Â£II00 35 CY Â£4200 299 DA Â£2800 97I8 DA Â£I200 N26 DAN Â£I800 PI23 DAN Â£I300 E405 DAN Â£795 D89 DAV Â£795 AI8 DAY Â£895 4I55 DD Â£I500 8684 DD Â£I400 P27 DEB Â£I300 N25 DEE Â£895 W88 DEE Â£995 P99 DEE Â£I200 324 DEL Â£I700 N23 DEN Â£I200 P24 DEN Â£I400 V25 DEN Â£II00 N3I DEN Â£I700 S222 DEN Â£895 P900 DEN Â£795 DER 8IV Â£995 K9 DES Â£I300 X9 DES Â£I300 5I6 DES Â£I700 DES 775 Â£I800 DI0 DEV Â£II00 7265 DF Â£I600 26I9 DG Â£I300 E20 DJB Â£I400 V53 DJB Â£895 X234 DJB Â£795 N27 DJH Â£795 N27 DJM Â£895 X7 DJP Â£I200 XI DMA Â£895 JI DMC Â£I800 P26 DMC Â£895 4849 DN Â£I400 W60 DOC Â£795 T87 DOC Â£795 35I DOC Â£2I00 T333 DON Â£795 J400 DON Â£895 472 DON Â£2400 L555 DON Â£795 B3 DOT Â£895 364 DOT Â£I300 824 DS Â£3400 DS 9483 Â£I400 Y4 DSH Â£795 V6 DSM Â£995 55 DV Â£4200 DI DYR Â£795 52 EA Â£3900 P222 EAN Â£795 EB 7I2 Â£2900 I23 EBV Â£895
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83I EBY Â£895 EC 826I Â£I500 ECP I79 Â£895 5023 ED Â£II00 X4 EDD Â£I200 N3I EEL Â£I700 87 EG Â£4I00 200 EJ Â£3200 5I08 EL Â£995 S6 ELD Â£795 N3I ELD Â£I700 N2I ELE Â£I200 P2I ELL Â£795 N32I ELS Â£795 P23 EMA Â£I300 N2I ENA Â£I700 N3I ENN Â£I700 24 EO Â£3600 86 EP Â£3900 EP 226 Â£3I00 92 ER Â£4400 ER 342 Â£3800 N4 ERN Â£795 P23 ETE Â£II00 N3I ETH Â£I700 8I8 ETM Â£895 N2I ETT Â£795 P2 EVE Â£I600 N2I EVE Â£2I00 P23 EVE Â£895 R29 EVE Â£895 JIII EVE Â£895 R29 EVO Â£795 95 FD Â£3500 FEE IIS Â£I200 N2I FEE Â£795 75 FJ Â£3600 32 FK Â£4300 FL 59 Â£3900 60 FN Â£4300 G25 FOX Â£995 3I FR Â£3800
D3 FRY Â£I400 2378 FS Â£I700 III FV Â£3500 FVM 707 Â£795 FW 804I Â£II00 75 FY Â£4500 I0I GAP Â£I600 GAS 3I9 Â£I500 XI GCG Â£795 M2 GEF Â£I300 X99 GEF Â£795 GEF 385 Â£2600 P27 GEM Â£895 240 GER Â£I600 M8 GGS Â£4300 400 GJ Â£3400 GJB IW Â£II00 BI GPC Â£795 A3 GPM Â£795 I966 GR Â£2200 GR 9992 Â£2500 GRN 53I Â£I200 GSY 294 Â£895 I6 GU Â£4300 SI GUS Â£2300 G37 GUY Â£795 8I79 HA Â£995 HAD 3S Â£I300 WI0 HAM Â£795 NI2I HAN Â£795 I87 HBF Â£895 GII HEL Â£995 VII HEL Â£895 P24 HEL Â£795 H7 HET Â£995 37 HN Â£3I00 23 HO Â£3900 P2I HOG Â£795 F7 HOP Â£895 3I8 HPH Â£II00 I5I HTA Â£795 292 HTD Â£895
I6 HU Â£4400 L8 HUW Â£895 M47 HYA Â£895 9098 IL Â£I300 N23 JAC Â£I200 P24 JAC Â£I400 T30 JAC Â£I300 M3II JAC Â£795 E999 JAC Â£895 K8 JAF Â£895 M9 JAF Â£995 N3 JAG Â£I700 T55 JAG Â£995 JAK IN Â£5300 P27 JAK Â£I400 R29 JAK Â£I400 P26 JAM Â£795 V99 JAM Â£895 R23 JAN Â£I600 N25 JAN Â£I200 JAN 5IW Â£2400 E72 JAN Â£I300 E449 JAN Â£895 D9 JAR Â£895 N28 JAS Â£995 RI2I JAS Â£795 W9 JAW Â£895
JES 6S Â£4800 R24 JES Â£I300 P25 JES Â£I300 T33 JES Â£I400 C77 JES Â£I400 JET 64W Â£I200 602 JGN Â£995 JIB 785 Â£795 JK 9946 Â£2900 N27 JMB Â£795 PI0 JOE Â£I600 JOE 2IW Â£2I00 R23 JOE Â£I500 K60 JOE Â£I400 NII JON Â£I900 CI9 JON Â£I500 R23 JON Â£I400 N25 JON Â£I200 T30 JON Â£I300 I56 JON Â£3600 C922 JON Â£795 886 JOO Â£995 GI8 JOY Â£995 R28 JOY Â£995 243 JOY Â£I900 E8 JRC Â£795 G2 KAB Â£895
59 KE Â£3I00 N3I KEE Â£995 NI2I KEE Â£795 N23 KEL Â£795 N3I KEL Â£I700 KEN 22P Â£I500 X33 KEN Â£I400 M44 KEN Â£I500 86 KEN Â£2800 N222 KEN Â£975 T32I KEN Â£II00 J666 KEN Â£I300 N2I KER Â£995 W2I KEV Â£995 R77 KEV Â£995 2856 KF Â£I300 59 KN Â£3900 3857 KP Â£I200 KP 8655 Â£I500 790 KPF Â£795 3730 KR Â£I300 KRM 893 Â£895 BI2 KYM Â£795 P23 KYM Â£795 A20 LAD Â£895 N28 LAN Â£895 R28 LAN Â£795
B48 LEE Â£I800 M8I LEE Â£I600 LEN 6X Â£2300 A9 LEN Â£2I00 D9 LEN Â£I300 B20 LEN Â£895 N24 LEN Â£I500 V29 LEN Â£795 LEN 408 Â£I800 M444 LEN Â£795 S600 LEN Â£795 J7 LER Â£795 B5 LES Â£I600 P5 LES Â£I700 TI0 LES Â£II00 AI6 LES Â£I200 P90 LES Â£895 S500 LEW Â£795 FI5 LEX Â£795 300 LEX Â£2700 LEZ 494 Â£995 3302 LJ Â£995 54 LN Â£3900 R2I LOR Â£795 83I LS Â£3300 N3I LSA Â£795 N5 LUK Â£895
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DII JAW P23 JAY N24 JAY D8 JCD MIII JCK R3I JEF J77 JEF N24 JEM P23 JEN N24 JEN
Â£795 Â£I400 Â£I200 Â£795 Â£795 Â£895 Â£995 Â£895 Â£I500 Â£I500
E6 KAB W8 KAY LI4 KAY R2I KAY P25 KAY N3I KAY KAZ 565 KBG 785 KC 6804 I03 KDT
Â£795 Â£I700 Â£995 Â£I300 Â£795 Â£I400 Â£795 Â£795 Â£2400 Â£895
42 LAN Â£5300 N3I LAT Â£795 B5 LAW Â£I400 M5 LAW Â£I500 R26 LAW Â£995 S30 LEA Â£795 LEE 3J Â£3500 P23 LEE Â£I600 R24 LEE Â£I500 N26 LEE Â£I400
LVG 2I5 Â£795 4II LY Â£4900 N3I LYD Â£I200 N27 LYN Â£895 P28 LYN Â£895 N29 MAB Â£795 N25 MAC Â£I400 P25 MAC Â£I400 R29 MAC Â£I500 JI0 MAD Â£995
P25 MAD Â£795 W77 MAG Â£995 P23 MAH Â£895 MAL 7T Â£2900 MAL IIW Â£2300 P2I MAL Â£I300 N23 MAL Â£I200 R23 MAL Â£I300 M40 MAL Â£I400 C777 MAL Â£795 MAL 82IW Â£895 P2I MAP Â£795 P2I MAS Â£795 N25 MAT Â£I400 P28 MAT Â£I500 PI23 MAT Â£I200 DI39 MAT Â£795 K222 MAT Â£995 J355 MAT Â£I300 MAV 4W Â£895 N23 MAX Â£I200 R24 MAX Â£I500 S29 MAX Â£I500 P3I MAX Â£I400 R24 MAY Â£895 P2I MCB Â£795 R24 MCC Â£795 W9 MCF Â£895 N23 MEG Â£I200 J999 MEG Â£795 N24 MEL Â£I200 A92 MEL Â£I200 PI2I MEL Â£995 YI MES Â£895 A3 MFB Â£795 737 MFK Â£795 MGF 4Y Â£995 MIG 929 Â£795 MIL 363 Â£I200 AI MJJ Â£I500 N27 MJS Â£795 M8 MMM Â£I500
L8 MMS Â£I500 JI5I MMS Â£II00 N3I MOS Â£795 7693 MP Â£2200 MR 6646 Â£2700 MRD 70I Â£I600 N8 MRH Â£895 8439 MT Â£I800 36 MU Â£4I00 7426 MU Â£I200 DII MUM Â£795 7002 MY Â£895 AI2 NAD Â£795 89 ND Â£4I00 857 ND Â£2900 N28 NDY Â£795 W566 NDY Â£795 P3I NES Â£795 P9 NET Â£895 74 NET Â£3600 700 NK Â£3500 NMS 55 Â£I500 49 NN Â£3400 N2I NNO Â£I200 P24 NNY Â£995 300 NP Â£4300 NRR 2II Â£795 90 NY Â£3700 AI2 OAK Â£795 OAO 2I0 Â£895 OD 228 Â£2400 N28 OND Â£995 OSU 487 Â£895 PAM 4Y Â£2300 JI2 PAM Â£I500 PAM I9Y Â£I300 PAM 200R Â£995 K222 PAM Â£895 V333 PAM Â£795 PAM 495 Â£2800 PAM 85IM Â£895 PAP 933 Â£I400
PI2I PAS Â£795 P5 PAT Â£2500 CI8 PAT Â£995 LI9 PAT Â£995 T70 PAT Â£995 A98 PAT Â£995 D98 PAT Â£895 XI2I PAT Â£795 PBB 335 Â£995 842 PBJ Â£I200 I978 PD Â£2300 M9 PEG Â£795 P9 PEG Â£895 M45 PEN Â£I800 P2I PER Â£895 I PFH Â£I4500 I585 PG Â£I700 3254 PG Â£I600 5388 PH Â£I700 97 PN Â£3500 K3 POT Â£995 PP 9I29 Â£I800 PEII PPY Â£995 H7 PRO Â£895 R28 PRO Â£795 PS 309I Â£3300 I7 PU Â£4200 30 PV Â£3700 GI PWR Â£895 29 PY Â£4300 RII RAF Â£795 RAG 9M Â£I500 P23 RAJ Â£795 N2I RAM Â£795 P29 RAS Â£795 LI RAT Â£I500 E3 RAW Â£995 T22 RAY Â£I400 R27 RAY Â£I600 RAY 809 Â£3I00 RAZ 484 Â£895 P3I RCH Â£795 RGC 890 Â£795 RIB 979 Â£895 N30 RJB Â£795 N27 RJM Â£795 RM 9699 Â£3I00 KI8 ROB Â£I400 N28 ROB Â£I300 ROB 600T Â£I500 V777 ROB Â£I200 J3 ROD Â£I400 MI4 ROD Â£795 X44 ROD Â£895 A62 ROD Â£995 286 ROD Â£I800 D3 ROL Â£895 NI2 RON Â£I300 R2I RON Â£I600
RON 95Y Â£995 YI2I RON Â£895 RON I37 Â£2800 R65 ROS Â£795 M78 ROS Â£895 X25 ROY Â£895 S29 ROY Â£895 P777 ROY Â£795 RPG 728 Â£995 BI RPS Â£895 RRH 669 Â£I400 RRN 665 Â£II00 M7 RRR Â£895 N2I RSE Â£795 7I2 RTA Â£995 76I RTB Â£I200 II4 RY Â£3700 SAL 5T Â£2700 LI0 SAL Â£I200 N23 SAL Â£II00 R23 SAL Â£II00 P25 SAM Â£I500 N26 SAM Â£I400 SAM 50Y Â£2600 SAM 878YÂ£I500 P24 SAN Â£795 P24 SAR Â£895 N28 SAR Â£795 SDD 332 Â£895 808 SDV Â£895 R2 SEL Â£995 N28 SHE Â£995 N23 SJB Â£895 PI23 SJC Â£795 N23 SJH Â£895 SLK 4J Â£I200 SMA 3R Â£895 SOU 355 Â£II00 204 STD Â£795 STU IL Â£4300 N23 STU Â£I300 P26 STU Â£I300 K90 STU Â£I300 S400 STU Â£895 555 SU Â£3600 A7 SUE Â£3500 J9 SUE Â£2600 R23 SUE Â£I600 E24 SUE Â£I500 N25 SUE Â£I300 P27 SUE Â£I400 SUE 46G Â£I800 SUE I98M Â£II00 N9 SUN Â£895 5I5 SY Â£4900 SYB 6IL Â£I500 972 SYD Â£I400 P2I TAL Â£I300 TAM 78Y Â£II00
J7 TAS Â£995 TAZ 595 Â£795 TBK 85I Â£895 TCO 759 Â£895 3II2 TD Â£I400 737 TE Â£2300 WI0 TED Â£995 KI6 TED Â£895 PI8 TED Â£995 M20 TED Â£995 RIII TED Â£895 P23 TEL Â£I200 M8 THJ Â£I500 N3I THY Â£II00 TIB 3I3 Â£895 353 TMD Â£II00 PI TMH Â£895 67 TN Â£4200 39 TO Â£4I00 23 TOD Â£2800 P26 TOM Â£I600 P22 TOY Â£995 N2I TRA Â£895 835 TS Â£4400 P2I TTS Â£995 N3I TTS Â£895 P2I TTT Â£995 4I0 TUR Â£I500 24 TV Â£3400 500 TWX Â£895 32 TY Â£5I00 9I37 UB Â£895 202 UPH Â£895 UPT 5I7 Â£995 N24 URA Â£995 FI9 VAL Â£II00 54 VAL Â£5300 8853 VB Â£995 90 VE Â£3700 BI0 VEL Â£895 N2I VES Â£895 4352 VR Â£895 2799 VT Â£795 WDR 262 Â£995 6729 WE Â£795 HI8 WEN Â£895 WES 89M Â£895 WHY 889 Â£II00 WIL 959 Â£I400 WMP IM Â£895 444 WXN Â£795 734 WYC Â£895 N9 WYN Â£895 978 XKO Â£795 YRA 298 Â£895 4I YS Â£4500 YS 4I38 Â£I700 I24 YTW Â£895 8369 YZ Â£995
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Great petrol engines New petrol engines are banned from 2040. Here are the 10 we’ll miss most. By Gavin Green
BMW STRAIGHT SIX
The current 6.5-litre Ferrari V12, used in the 812 Superfast, is the latest in a noble line dating back 70 years. It isn’t just the 789bhp that’s astonishing. It’s the smoothness, the rousing baritone bellow, the tractability, and the instant throttle response at any revs. Behold, the greatest engine on sale today.
BMW is famed for its straight sixes, a smoother and superior alternative to the cheaper (and easier to package) V6. The best was the E46 M3’s 3.2 litre (especially in CSL guise, with 355bhp and redlined at 8200rpm). But the current turbo straight six, as used in M240i, is still pretty damn good.
FORD MUSTANG V8 You buy a Mustang for that 5.0-litr en consider the weedy four cylinder 2.3. That’s like buying a Fender Stratocaster without any strings – all style and no sound. Rev it and dream of Days of Thunderr at Daytona. No other engine with a mass-made badge sounds anything like as good as this.
BMW M5 V10
FERRARI 458 V8
Nothing gets the nerve ends tingling like a V8 at full chat. And there’s no finer V8 on sale today than this handcrafted 4.0 litre, as fitted to the AMG GT and C63. It snuffles and burbles and bellows and roars of the few turbo engine torque doesn’t feel artifi
The E60 M5, launched in 2005, was very likely the best sports saloon ever. Key to its greatness was probably BMW’s finest road-car engine: powerful, roaring, responsive. One as a ‘ er’ -
The turbo V8 in the new 488 is good, but the naturally aspirated 4.5-litre V8 in the previous 458 was better. It revved harder and sounded sweeter. Plus its instant response – any gear, any revs, any speed, any time – made the 458 a more playful and spirited companion than the turbo 488.
The rotary was the only new petrol engine of the 20th century to enjoy any sales success. Even then, success was limited, owing to its thirst. Mazda’s was simple, light, smooth and reliable, and produced an astonishing wail, as anyone who witnessed its success at Le Mans in 1991 will testify.
FIAT TWIN AIR This sweet, light and efficient two cylinder like an old Fiat 500 – of its goals – and deli astonishing performa for one so small, with 104bhp from 875cc. thrash it, it can drink heavily. But drive it in relaxed manner and astonishingly econo
PORSCHE GT3 FLAT SIX
1.0 FORD ECOBOOST
Flat sixes have powered 911s from the start. The engine has evolved from air- to water cooled; from naturally aspirated to turbocharged. The nonturbos have better throttle response, rev higher and sound better, and the best of the lot is the 4.0-litre version in today’s GT3 and 911R, with 493bhp.
Little triples are all the rage, as car makers try to slash emissions. Most are delightful. Their lightness boosts agility, they’re invariably eager, and they have the most endearing thrum. Ford’s British-developed 1.0-litre turbo EcoBoost is the pick, pictured here in an embrace with ex-CEO Alan Mulally.
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