Page 1

“I’M DOING THIS FOR ANOTHER 25 YEARS” BERNIE TELLS EJ HOW IT IS

SEPTEMBER 2016 £4.45 WORLD EXCLUSIVE

The Caterham that never was

The ips roadssture i

lap of Nissan GT-R: ahours Iceland... in 21

Coupe: Merc-AMG Ce63 don G retracing thad raor ce ro Bennett

irborne Toyota Hilux: a over Namibia

tic: Virgin Galacgo ing, re e’ w where ads ro ed ne t n’ do e w

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Charlie Turner E D I T O R - I N - C H I E F @ TopGearEditor


TAG HEUER CARRERA CALIBRE 16 DAY-DATE Ayrton Senna is celebrated as the most influential driver in the history of Formula One. He was never intimidated by the expectations of others, because his were even higher. He forever embodies the TAG Heuer motto – Don’t Crack Under Pressure. www.tagheuer.com


Contents

90

Features 084 Big boss Bernie

103&6$ PM in Éire

Just remember. You heard it here first that Mr F1 plans

3136%+&"%783 6&0"2%836&86"$&32&3'8+&1378

122 Toyota Hilux ships out 00,&+&"%783"1,#,"|7/&0&8323"7883',2%"

to stay on in the job for at least another 25 years...

,$32,$6398&73'1383674368"=$328",27+"163$/7

7+,4;6&$/,28+&%&7&68+,7,7"7$6">="7,87392%7

90 Aston DB11 across Europe

116 Virgin Galactic

132,77"2  laps Iceland

&|:&"0;"=78+39(+83967&0:&7$90896"0"1#"77"%36773

32|8;"28"794&6$"6"7=39|:&"06&"%=(388331"2=w

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Test drive TopGear magazine â&#x20AC;&#x201C; take out a subscription for £29.99 every 12 months, saving you over 40 per cent. Plus receive a pair of KitSound Manhattan headphones, worth £34.99. Visit buysubscriptions.com/TGP916 or call 0844 848 9757 (quoting reference TGP916).

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SEPTEMBER 2016

009


Contents

044 Drives

Intake

Garage

Driven this month...

044 Wheels of clay

145 Zenos E10 S

016 Clio RenaultSport 021 Bentley Bentayga 023 Hyundai Ioniq 023 Volvo S90 024 Mitsuoka Roadster 027 Subaru IoM TT car 028 Cadillac CT6 032 Ford Mustang CS700 035 Audi S5 Coupe 036 Ford Fiesta ST200 vs 208 GTi Peugeot Sport 038 Porsche 718 Cayman S

We take a look at the Caterham that only made it

With fatherhood impending, Jack has picked the

as far as some very pretty models. Cue man tears

perfect car to rock up to antenatal classes in

050 Citroen C3

146 Audi A4

8033/70,/&""$897,846,$/0&70,/&""$897#98,8|7

"=#&"238+&62"1&0&77$"61"(;"72|8,%,38,$832"1&

not a Cactus. But a cactus rose by any other name...

this car of the year. Its leaving is causing Adam sorrow

052 Focusing on RSes This is not some bootylicious activity. We look at the old and new sporty Ford Focuses

155â&#x20AC;&#x201C;172 Data

071 Lewis Hamilton

Your car not there? Sell it, and buy one that is, then...

All you need to know about the best cars on sale today.

The Formula One World Champ opens up (yes, really!) about his life in and out of cars

TOPGEAR.COM



SEPTEMBER 2016

011


B E H I N D THE SCENES

Making it happen

Second Floor A, Energy Centre, Immediate Media Company London Limited, Media Village, 201 Wood Lane, London W12 7TN

TOPGEAR.COM

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Charlie Turner D E P U T Y E D I T O R Jack Rix M O T O R I N G E D I T O R Oliver Marriage A S S O C I AT E E D I T O R Tom Ford C O N S U LTA N T E D I T O R Paul Horrell E D I T O R AT L A R G E Jason Barlow R O A D T E S T E D I T O R Ollie Kew S TA F F W R I T E R Tom Harrison T E A M A S S I S TA N T Gina Collins

B R A N D M A N A G I N G E D I T O R Esther Neve H E A D O F C O M M E R C I A L C O N T E N T Chris Mooney E D I T O R , T O P G E A R . C O M Vijay Pattni S E N I O R W R I T E R , T O P G E A R . C O M Stephen Dobie O N L I N E C O N T E N T P R O D U C E R Rowan Horncastle S O C I A L M E D I A P R O D U C E R Simon Bond S U B - E D I T O R Tom Cobbe F R E E L A N C E S U B - E D I T O R Ian Broad

C R E AT I V E T E A M C R E AT I V E D I R E C T O R Andy Franklin A R T E D I T O R Elliott Webb

D I G I TA L A R T D I R E C T O R Owen Norris R E P R O G R A P H I C S E X E C U T I V E Chris Rowles S E N I O R D E S I G N E R Peter Barnes

Who: Paul Horrell Where: Iceland

Who: John Wycherley Where: Namibia

Pristine wilderness and super-rare lupins trampled for "90|7 0"8&78 278"(6"1 4378

Take one photographer, ratchet strap him to the bed of a pickup and, hey presto, tracking done

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS

Pat Devereux, Chris Harris, Eddie Jordan Sam Philip, Dan Read, Rory Reid

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

Webb Bland, Lee Brimble, Mark Fagelson, Rowan Horncastle, Alex Howe, Jamie Lipman, Richard Pardon, Joe Windsor-Williams, John Wycherley

A D V E R T I S I N G D I R E C T O R Rob Walsh SENIOR BRAND SALES EXECUTIVES

Liam Kennedy, Jack Ellis, Anessa Aibout C L A S S I F I E D S A L E S E X E C U T I V E James Law-Smith A D D I R E C T O R â&#x20AC;&#x201C; T H E N O R T H David Downs

H E A D O F P A R T N E R S H I P S Sam Field P A R T N E R S H I P S P R O J E C T M A N A G E R Edd Cornforth D I G I TA L G R O U P H E A D Joe Espinosa D I G I TA L S A L E S P L A N N E R Charlotte Kirby I N S E R T S E X E C U T I V E Yasmin Laggoune

D I R E C T O R O F I N T E R N AT I O N A L L I C E N S I N G A N D S Y N D I C AT I O N Tim Hudson I N T E R N AT I O N A L P A R T N E R S M A N A G E R Anna Brown S Y N D I C AT I O N M A N A G E R Richard Bentley

Who: Jack Rix and some men W h e r e: S o f i a

Who: Rowan Horncastle W h e r e: A t h e n s

Jack hugs it out with the team from TopGear Bulgaria. Thanks for all your help, guys â&#x20AC;&#x201C; we owe you one

Greece tries to make good on its enormous debt by writing out a speeding ticket for TopGear

P R O D U C T I O N M A N A G E R Jo Beattie G R O U P P R O D U C T I O N M A N A G E R Koli Pickersgill M A R K E T I N G M A N A G E R Tom Townsend-Smith S U B S M A R K E T I N G M A N A G E R Lynn Swarbrick

A D S E R V I C E S C O O R D I N AT O R S Tony Dixon, James Webb I N S E R T S E R V I C E S C O O R D I N AT O R Sabeena Atchia H E A D O F A D S E R V I C E S Sharon Thompson F I N A N C E D I R E C T O R Stephen Lavin S E N I O R M A N A G E M E N T A C C O U N TA N T Len Bright

P U B L I S H I N G D I R E C T O R Simon Carrington C H A I R M A N , I M M E D I AT E M E D I A C O . LT D

Stephen Alexander

M A N A G E M E N T A C C O U N TA N T Noma Pele G R O U P P U B L I S H I N G D I R E C T O R Alfie Lewis C E O , I M M E D I AT E M E D I A C O . LT D Tom Bureau

M A N A G I N G D I R E C T O R , T O P G E A R Adam Waddell

BBC WORLDWIDE, UK PUBLISHING DIRECTOR OF EDITORIAL GOVERNANCE

DIRECTOR OF CONSUMER PRODUCTS AND PUBLISHING

Nicholas Brett P U B L I S H I N G D I R E C T O R U K Chris Kerwin

U K P U B L I S H I N G C O O R D I N AT O R Eva Abramik

Andrew Moultrie

EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS

Steve Goodman, Alex Renton, Katie Taylor, Tony Wheeler

Who: Ollie Marriage W h e r e: S a l i s b u r y Pl a i n

What: 0,8>"2%(0"1396 Where: Um... Ireland

When a car has no doors and a dodgy roof, you have to improvise your method of entry

George Clooney and your celeb mates: do not litter. Do you hear us? Put that sweetie wrapper in the bin

UK.PUBLISHING@BBC.COM / WWW.BBCWORLDWIDE.COM/UK--ANZ/UKPUBLISHING.ASPX © Immediate Media Company London Limited 2016

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TOPGEAR.COM VIDEO CHOICE: CHRIS HARRIS DRIVES THE F12tdf

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Drives EDITED BY OLLIE KEW

w e n y r e v E car thast, matter r rated o slated CONTENTS

Mitsuoka Roadster p24

IoM TT Subaru p27

Audi S5 p35

Twin test: hot minis p36

Porsche 718 Cayman p38


RSing around Renault Clio RS16 see box

WE SAY: START THE PETITION TO PERSUADE RS TO PUT THIS CONCEPT INTO PRODUCTION

he hot-hatchback market has never been as buoyant as it is right now. Barely a month passes without a new contender upping power and handling prowess, in turn sending 0–62s and ’Ring times tumbling. There’s a subplot among it all, though, and it concerns the Clio RenaultSport. For the best part of two decades, a fast Clio was about as much fun as you could find on four wheels. But with the arrival of the fourth-generation car, and its more languid personality, 19 years of class honours came to an abrupt halt. Perhaps spurred on by this – as well as RenaultSport’s 40th anniversary – a skunk works team squirrelled themselves away over winter and spring, and the car you see here is the result of their voluntary secondment. It’s the Clio RS16, and it’s every bit as fighty as it looks. Beneath its five-door body is the drivetrain of the Megane Trophy R, which

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means a 271bhp 2.0-litre turbo four, a mechanical limited-slip differential on the driven front axle, and a 6spd manual gearbox. A vast mechanical upgrade supports the hike in power, highlights being the Clio R3T rally car’s rear axle and a 60mm increase in track width, which has necessitated those wonderfully unsubtle wheelarch extensions. Matching their muscularity is the rear wing from the Clio Cup racer, bringing with it plenty of high-speed downforce. Clamber in, and the RS16 immediately feels senior. Up front there are two bucket seats, resplendent with bright red harnesses. Behind them… nothing, save for a token fire extinguisher. There are still back doors, but no back seats. And, perhaps surprisingly, no roll cage. The negatives of the extra mass would quite literally outweigh the benefits, apparently, Renault aiming for a 1,200kg total. The cavernous, van-like rear allows the note of the Akrapovic titanium exhaust to

TOPGEAR.COM



SEPTEMBER 2016

017


brood inside. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s raw rather than tuneful, quickening the pulse as opposed to prickling the arm hair. For a car with such a racecar vibe about it, it actually feels spot-on. Now is the time to assert this is oďŹ&#x192;cially a concept â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Renault is still trying to get production past the ďŹ nance department. That means a) this is the only ďŹ nished car, and b) because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not in showroom spec, there are no electronic driver aids. Those two facts should ďŹ ll me with jeopardy, but two corners into the ďŹ ddly little Circuit des Ecuyers, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not an ounce of it. Partly because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s warm and dry, but predominantly because this Clio RS16 possesses such sweet balance. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s plenty of stability if you crave an eďŹ&#x192;cient lap time, but the RS16 is about

Will they make it?

RenaultSport boss Patrice Ratti still ;32|8$311,8,',8 is rubber-stamped, expect 200â&#x20AC;&#x201C;300 cars, priced around pMOJJJ+&  should get at least ten per cent of them.

No Alcantara on the steering wheel, but 8&4+&2 %3&72|8 1,2%

018

SEPTEMBER 2016 

TOPGEAR.COM

so much more than that. Like any great hot hatch, it borderline demands you to roll up your sleeves and explore its adjustability. It grips tenaciously into corners, but will pick up an inside wheel or edge into oversteer at the driverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s will, adjustable via its throttle pedal without feeling like it operates on a knife edge. Just like fast Clios past, then. Perhaps a wet, bumpy road would prove more nerve-wracking â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and its rear lightens plenty under hard braking, too â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but expect a layer of helpful electronics if (when!) it makes production. And perhaps no ďŹ re extinguisherâ&#x20AC;Ś The engine isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t a sonorous all-time great, but its depth of character is a world away from the standard Clio RSâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 1.6. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s so rich in torque that you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t need to shuďŹ&#x201E;e frequently through gears, but it will keep ripping rapaciously towards its red line if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re so inclined. Given youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re reading this, you probably are. Like in the Megane, the gearbox itself is not perfect. The throw could be shorter and tighter to match how honed everything else feels, while the gearknob (and steering wheel, in fact) would feel more special covered in Alcantara. But the manualâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s appearance alone is fantastic news; letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hope itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not a red herring in regard to RenaultSportâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s future. And if those are

the most pertinent complaints, then things are pretty peachy inside the RS16. They really are, in fact. I feared this Clioâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ruthlessly focused spec might have produced a too serious car: talented but with its sense of humour buried deep. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a delight to report that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s damn good fun whatever your level of commitment; always happy to play, never intimidating. Crucially, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also special. Maybe not quite as special as the mad, mid-engined Clio V6s that have so clearly inspired it, but then neither will it be as spiteful when you push too hard. Put simply, the RS16 is great to drive â&#x20AC;&#x201C; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s better than most hot hatches. The car world will be a poorer place if Renault canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t make the sums work.   

SPECIFICATION 1998cc turbo 4cyl, 271bhp, 265lb ft 38.0mpg (est), 175g/km CO2 0â&#x20AC;&#x201C;62mph in 5.5secs (est), 155mph 1,200kg (est)

VERDICT Serious spec sheet yields a special driving experience. The one negative? You canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t buy one. Yetâ&#x20AC;Ś

9

10


September I 2016

Hot hatchling Smart Brabus ForFour £18,000 est

WE SAY: THE SMART BRABUS IS BACK. TROUBLE IS, IT’S NOT WHAT WE WERE HOPING FOR here’s one number associated with the new Smart Brabus ForFour we cannot ignore. Not the power output, increased to 107bhp; not the 20 per cent firmer suspension nor the 40 per cent more responsive automatic gearbox. It’s the whopping pile of cash that’s needed to buy this thing, estimated at about £18,000. Unload your savings at a Ford dealer and they’ll hand you over a shiny new Fiesta ST. All 179bhp of it, and throw in a permanent grin for free. The Smart ForFour counters with much lower running costs, a tiny, city-friendly footprint and a turning circle you’d struggle to better with a shopping trolley. But the standard ForFour offers all that; what’s the point of this Brabus one? Smart talks about the extensive mechanical makeover, a suite of updates that encompasses the turbocharged three-cylinder engine, the six-speed paddle-shift automatic, faster steering, tweaked stability control, a sports exhaust and considerable chassis upgrades. The net result is a ForFour that is a little quicker, but, despite the inclusion of a sports exhaust and launch control, no more dramatic. There’s no manual gearbox, which robs it of driving appeal, and the chassis changes, while resulting in impressive control and lack of slop in the car’s reactions, stop short of making it interesting to drive. This is a 107bhp city car that has RWD, remember. It should be a hoot, but it isn’t. It’s too quiet, too civilised, too competent and too, well, safe.

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3%6,:&6",%7"7=&8 ,8|7" concept). But Stephen ;390%2|8+":&97&%8+&1

Brabus offers all the charm of standard ForFour but $3787;"=136& 1

The Brabus ForTwo is a much perkier thing, probably because it weighs about 100kg less and its shorter wheelbase gives it a different feel. Its sports exhaust is also more audible and the chassis more playful, even at relatively low speeds. But does anyone buy an (expensive) city car to chuck it around roundabouts and aim for a personal best when grabbing a carton of cow juice from Waitrose? We don’t think so. The Smart Brabus is as much about being seen in something unique as it is actually driving the thing. Some will argue that the gorgeous 17in rims, body-coloured trim and rear diffuser are worth the price of entry alone. And those same people will clearly have no trouble ignoring the pricetag in the first place.  | 

SPECIFICATION 898cc 3cyl turbo, RWD, 107bhp, 125lb ft 61.4mpg, 104g/km CO2 0–62mph in 10.5secs, 111mph 1025kg

VERDICT The Brabus ForFour looks distinctive and is a bit peppier than usual, but it’s not what we’d call special.

TOPGEAR.COM



5

SEPTEMBER 2016

10 019


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Interest Rate (fixed)

£20,340 £30,924 37 5.9% APR 3.1%

1. Official EU MPG test figure shown as a guide for comparative purposes and is based on the vehicle being charged from mains electricity. This may not reflect real driving results. 2. Congestion Charge application required, subject to administrative fee. 3. The Alternatives PCP finance plan shown above is only available to customers resident in the UK, aged 18 and over, subject to status only through Shogun Finance Ltd T/A Finance Mitsubishi, 116 Cockfosters Rd, Barnet, EN4 0DY. Finance Mitsubishi is part of Lloyds Banking Group. Alternatives figures are based upon an annual mileage of 10,000, any excess mileage will be chargeable at 9ppm. The Guaranteed Future Value (GFV) is subject to the vehicle being returned on time, in good condition (fair wear and tear accepted), within the permitted maximum mileage and all the required payments having been made. Final payments (GFV) and monthly repayments may vary dependent upon date of registration and mileage, examples are a guide. Full written quotations are available upon request. Offer is only applicable in the UK (excludes Channel Isles & I.O.M) and may be withdrawn at any time. Finance offer available at participating dealers between 29th June and 28th September 2016.


September I 2016

Acceleration (seconds) 0–10 0–20 0–30 0–40 0–50 0–60 0–70 0–80 0–90 0–100 0–110 0–120

0.6 1.1 1.5 2.3 3.0 3.9 5.0 6.2 7.8 9.5 11.6 14.4

30–70

3.5

Top speed

NUMBER CRUNCHER

187 mph

CARS PUT TO THE TEST AGAINST THE CLOCK, TAPE, G-METER, ETC

Torque/power

Bentley Bentayga

0–100–0

664lb ft @ 1350–4500rpm 600bhp @ 5000-6000rpm Torque (lb ft)

Power (bhp)

664

500 450 400 350 300 250 200 150 100 50

590

0 9.5 accel + 4.8 brake

15.1

516

reaction time (0.8)

442 369 295 Torque (lb ft) Power (bhp)

221

G-meter

147 74 0

0

1000

2000

3000

4000

5000

6000

7000

Engine speed (rpm)

0.88 Peak accel g

Weight 43%

Weight distribution

57%

Peak decel g

1.04

Braking 100

0

4.8secs (103.4m)

60

0

3.0secs (38.3m)

Quarter-mile PHOTO: MARK FAGELSON

(standing start)

12.4 seconds @ 113.2mph

A car that, with a driver on board, weighs over 2.5 tonnes, has barn door aero yet can hit 60mph in 3.9secs. Wow. The Bentayga is bruisingly effective at gaining speed, has colossal momentum once up to speed... and is far from good at shedding speed. Bit scary. 988+&6&|7731&8+,2("#398" stately home that can outdrag a BMW M2.

L 5140mm x H 1742mm x W 1998mm

2440 kg Kerbweight

246 bhp/ tonne

Power-to-weight ratio

Economy/range 21.6 TOPGEAR.COM



mpg (claimed)

404miles (claimed)

SEPTEMBER 2016

021


September I 2016

The car ,2'6328 ,72|8 Hyundai Ioniq £19,995

WE SAY: LATE TO THE PRIUS’S PARTY, HYUNDAI EMBARRASSES THE HOST ome cars are so engrained into our senses as “the one to have in that class”, you can’t imagine why anyone would bother tackling it. Toyota’s Prius annexed the mass-market hybrid territory yonks ago. Hyundai, undeterred, has had a crack at usurping it, and succeeded first time out. That’s not just because the Ioniq Hybrid, unlike the Toyota, has styling viewable pre-watershed. It’s due to fitting a proper dual-clutch ’box, instead of a whining, power-sapping, “I don’t care how hard you press the throttle” CVT. Result? The Ioniq’s combo of 103bhp 4cyl petrol and 45bhp e-motor actually propel the car noticeably, and without fear of tinnitus. All that would be futile if the heavy, complicated gearbox were chewing those precious fuel savings, but the 40 per cent thermally efficient engine (isn’t it sobering that’s still the best the internal combustion

S

Not hideous, realworld 64mpg, $+&"4 33%;36/

engine can do?) isn’t hamstrung. The test car indicated 64.2mpg on an out-of-town run. Leagues better than I’ve scored in the latest Prius. And get this – the Hyundai is £4,000 cheaper than Toyota’s base contender. Aggressive pricing, much? Handover between e-motor and engine is barely perceptible, but it’s still very tricky to make progress on battery juice alone. You’ll need the plug-in version for that, coming next year. If you can do without petrol entirely, there’s the third – fully electric – Ioniq. Same looks, same clearly laid out but cheap ’n’ nasty cabin, but packing a 118bhp, 194lb ft electric motor good for a claimed 174-mile range and 10.2 seconds to 62mph in Normal mode. Make that 9.9 seconds in the incongruous, 23lb ft thrustier Sport mode. An 80 per cent recharge takes 33 minutes. So, the standard hybrid is a revelation; the EV competent but no better or worse than a Nissan Leaf, and the plug-in will split the difference nicely. One car – you pick the powertrain that suits. Clever. The materials are from Korea’s bad old

cars and it’s cramped in the back, so the Prius will remain Uber’s late-night vomit comet of choice, but next time someone asks which is the best boggo hybrid, here’s your default reply. OLLIE KEW

SPECIFICATION

1580cc 4cyl and electric motor, combined output 138bhp, 217lb ft 83.1mpg, 79g/km CO2 0–62mph in 9.9secs, 115mph 1370kg

VERDICT: Powertrain is what hybrids have been crying out for, and the price will make Toyota cringe. South Korea beats Japan.

Volvo S90 D5 AWD £39,555

8

10

The shape may call on Swedish 7"03327 3'30%#98%32|8#&'330&% the new S90 is all new-age Volvo beneath. Same superbly esoteric interior as the V90 and XC90, then, and similarly effortless dynamics, too. Its price reflects all that, mind. A generously specced 235bhp D5 diesel 0,/&;&|:&8&78&%$3787"7 19$+"7" six-cylinder BMW 530d. But the S90 TOPGEAR.COM

7

10

eradicates the pain from driving, and is wilfully different enough from its German rivals to warrant serious consideration. Good car. SD

SPECIFICATION 1969cc 4cyl twin-turbo TD, 4WD, 235bhp, 354lb ft 58.9mpg, 127g/km CO2 0–62mph in 7.3secs, 145mph 1763kg 

SEPTEMBER 2016

023


September I 2016 S O , W H A T EL SE IS NEW?

7 Maserati Quattroporte GTS What should I know? ,0%40"78,$796(&6="2 ,28&6,36;,8+ "D"7+=839$+7$6&&2"2%8+&"#,0,8= 83 (3&:&2'"78&6 D"8398$+"6"$8&6,7& 8+&LJKQ+,7 pKKOSRJ  6"24368 ,7 8+&%"%%=;,8+"OLM#+4 8;,2896#3R 8%3&7 KSN14+

Lost in translation

Should I care? &7 "08+39(+8+&0&'8C&0%,72|8 "7"886"$8,:&"7 8+&30%13%&0,8|7 78,00 46&88,&6 8+"2 ,87 6,:"073 8+& &61"27%3 4&6'361"2$&09<3#"6(&7 73 19$+#&88&62%'36 0&77$"7+833

Mitsuoka Roadster ÂŁ53,800

8

erhaps you desire a Jag XK120 but recoil at the cost. Maybe youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like a Morgan but are allergic to wood. Clearly then, what you need is for a Japanese outďŹ t no oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s really heard of to chop a last-gen Mazda MX-5 clean in half just ahead of the windscreen, insert a 70cm length of new chassis, and cloak the resulting phallic chassis in ďŹ breglass panels which doďŹ&#x20AC; their kasa to Britainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ďŹ nest classic sports cars. Actually, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s diďŹ&#x192;cult to think of anyone who needs a Mitsuoka Roadster. Not when the cost for this elongated MX-5 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; still complete with its standard 158bhp 2.0litre drivetrain and a grey plastic cabin left as Mazda scrawled it in 2005 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; gives less change from ÂŁ60,000 than a Porsche 718 Boxster S. For ÂŁ53,800 (heated seats, alloys and FM radio included), you could specify an actual Morgan. But you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t rationalise the Mitsuoka as a sports car, in the same way thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no world cup for comedy, because what makes your eyes water and jaw ache might leave your neighbour downright oďŹ&#x20AC;ended. This car exists to make you stand out, and give everyone else a right good laugh. Drive a supercar through central London and the cameraphones are out in force, but so are the sneers. The Mitsuoka provokes downright, unfettered laughter.

P

0 24

SEPTEMBER 2016 

The adzuki beancounters in Japan are gloriously nuts

TOPGEAR.COM

VW Up Turbo

The absurdity of its proportions, the not-quite rightness of its stance, and the fact no oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s got a blind clue what exactly youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re threading through town just reduce onlookers to almost childlike wonderment. You canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t help but look, and smile. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Look at that. Cruella de Vilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s out of prison. Oh dear, Toad of Toad Hall has had to downsize.â&#x20AC;? Being built around an old MX-5, the 100kg-heavier Mitsuoka inherits its feebly weighted, remote steering, but also its terriďŹ cally snickety 6spd manual â&#x20AC;&#x2122;box â&#x20AC;&#x201C; easily the best part about manhandling this baroque dining table. Oddly for such a gigantic wheelbase, when the back lets go it does so with a grabby, haphazard and fairly unpredictable step. But youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d have bought something else if you wanted a play, right? An M2, a Cayman, an F-Type, and so on. Desire this? Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re as wilfully bonkers as it is. OLLIE KEW

What should I know? +&;360%|7#&78$,8=$"6 23;+"7" 896#3#308&%3283 ,87 KJ0,86&8+6&&438 "27;&6,2( 32&3',87'&;2,((0&72"1&0= ,8 2&:&6 0,/&%+,007"2%%,%2|8+":&8+& 4"$&32 13836;"=7 ,87 794&6#6&',2&1&28 %&7&6:&% 8|7 23;(38 RS#+4"2%KKR0#'8 Should I care? &7#98%32|8 (3 8+,2/,2( 8+,7 ,7"#327", +38+"8$++&896#3|7 ,2498 ,7;&0$31& #98%3&72|8$+"2(&8+&$"6|7$+"6"$8&6 98 8+&&<86"(9783"6&:,7&%,2'38",21&28 '"7$,""2%7+"64&6#914&67"6&136& 8+"2&239(+83 /&&4 8+&4 32 834$&

6 MG GS

SPECIFICATION 1999cc 4cyl, RWD, 158bhp, 138lb ft n/a mpg, 180g/km CO2 0â&#x20AC;&#x201C;62mph in n/a secs, n/a mph 1280kg

VERDICT: Can we recommend it? Not on your life. But are we glad it exists? Go on, then. Never change, Japan.

3

10

PHOTOS: SIMON THOMPSON

WE SAY: JAPAN BASES ITS BRIT SPORTS CAR ON THE ONE THAT RENDERED BRIT SPORTS CARS REDUNDANT

What should I know? 8|7"238+&6"7+5",$314&8,83632 "2"002&;40"8'361 4"6&28  4"682&6&% 32 8+&2&;896#3 KPN#+4 896#3 4&8630&2(,2&7&:&274&&% $"2#&+"%#98"00 :&67,327"6& &7,(2;"7 0&%"2%,8|7+,2"#9,08 Should I care? 8%6,:&7;&00&239(+,2"$0"77;+&6& %=2"1,$7+"6%0=,2'09&2$&7"0&7+& &2(,2&|7 40&"7"28$362&6,2(',2&6,%& "#,8#392$= 8|7 6331="2%46"$8,$"0 ,'0"$/,2($"#,2%&$36',2&77&+&/,00&6  03;46,$&7286=,7 pKO/03"%&%pLJ/


&48&1#&6 I 2016  |       

GOT 60 SECONDS SPARE? READ THESE

7

63:&2 track record

BMW 440i

Prodrive Subaru  ,1&88"$/ ÂŁ500,000 (est)

WE SAY: BRUTALLY QUICK POINT-TO-POINT, RUBBISH ON THE SCHOOL RUN hy Mark Higgins agreed to let a ham-ďŹ sted amateur in a TopGear romper suit drive his 600bhp Prodrive-developed WRX STI, fresh from a 129mph average lap record around the Isle of Man TT course, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll never know. But here I am, about to drive it up the hill at Goodwood. And then it starts to rain. Oddly, this could play into my hands. A few days earlier, I had the chance to drive this Time Attack WRX STI for a few familiarisation laps at Dunsfold, with Higgins in the passenger seat. On that day, the heavens also parted and turned the airďŹ eld into a puddle. Back to Goodwood, and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m queued up behind the line. The start process goes like this: release the handbrake, ďŹ&#x201A;ick a switch to prime the fuel pump, turn on the digital display, dip the clutch and press the engine start buttonâ&#x20AC;Ś nearly thereâ&#x20AC;Ś with the clutch still down, rotate the gearbox dial from neutral to Stage mode, and twist the engine map switch to 0, 1, 2 or 3, depending on how brave, or stupid, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re feeling.

IMAGES: JOHN WYCHERLEY

W

This engine, that 2"1&8=6&|7 worst nightmare

I rip down the ďŹ rst straight with a disappointing lack of smoke and sideways â&#x20AC;&#x201C; blame the ruthlessly eďŹ&#x192;cient 50:50 torque-split 4WD for that. Once running, the clutch pedal is redundant â&#x20AC;&#x201C; you simply smash into a higher gear with a pull of the paddle to the right of the wheel, or smash down one by pushing it away. You can tell this is a car designed to exist on a higher plane: the harder I push it, the more cohesive everything gets, and while the turbo lag is signiďŹ cant at low revs, keep it lit, and the thrust is enormous and instant, but rarely intimidating, even in the wet. For whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s essentially a WRC car turned up to 11, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a pleasure to drive. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m sure of this, because the moment I cross the line, I want to go again, sure I can take chunks out of my time now I know the limits are so high. But Higgins wants his company car back. Spoilsport.   

SPECIFICATION

1994cc, 4cyl turbo, 6spd sequential, AWD, 600bhp, 600lb ft n/a mpg, n/a g/km CO2 0â&#x20AC;&#x201C;62mph in 2.6secs, 180mph 1200kg

VERDICT: About the quickest way to cover ground on four wheels â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and not as scary as it looks, when driven as intended.

9

10

Ignore the badge. +,7 ,72|8"N J\0,86& N\&6,&7  8|7 8+&30% 435i by another name, now with an extra 15bhp from its turboed straight-six.

39%32|8 2&&%83 cane it, though. Max torque is held from 1,300 until OJJJ641[73 ,8|00 surge like a diesel. Does a realworld 32mpg.

&7,%&7 8+& M4, this is the only petrol P$=0 N\&6,&7  8|7 a lovely engine. 086"\71338+[,8|00 rev to 7,000 with exhausts rasping.

Yes, the cheaper 4cyl 4-Series are as capable, but 8+&6&|7 30%\7$+330 delight to the 440i. Cars like this soon ;32|8&<,78 33

Engine 2998cc, 6cyl turbo, RWD, 321bhp, 332lb ft Performance 42.8mpg, 154g/km CO2, 0â&#x20AC;&#x201C;62mph in 5.0secs, 155mph Weight 1555kg Price ÂŁ42,065

6 Mini JCW Convertible In relieving the JCW of its roof, Mini has added ÂŁ3,480 to its already hefty RRP and 105kg to its kerbweight. Not good.

Despite the strengthening responsible for that weight gain, 8+& ,72|8'0&<\ free. Problem is amplified by the stiff ride.

98 ,8|7 78,00" laugh. The noise is oh-so fake but addictive, and it still drives like a proper Mini should â&#x20AC;&#x201C; rather well. Fast, too.

The hard-top is a better car, so get that one. Open Minis are best enjoyed without the rorty styling and stiff suspension.

Engine 1998cc, 4cyl turbo, FWD, 228bhp, 236lb ft Performance 43.5mpg, 152g/km CO2, 0â&#x20AC;&#x201C;62mph in 6.6secs, 150mph Weight 1385kg Price ÂŁ26,875

TOPGEAR.COM



SEPTEMBER 2016

027


September I 2016

Q & A

Running for president Cadillac CT6 Platinum ÂŁ69,990

WE SAY: GLITZY YANK SHOOTS FOR A SHARE OF THE EXEC MARKET

down from eighth to third for corner after corner is tiresome. And the brake pedal needs a good push.

+"8|7 ,8 0,/& ,27,%&w

A new Caddy for the UK? Yep. The CT6 is a full-size luxury sedan, or â&#x20AC;&#x201C; in English â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a big, posh saloon. But US car categories are different from ours, so in terms of length it actually lives somewhere between the E-Class and S-Class, or 5-Series and 7-Series.

Size and price split the E- and S-Class Mercs, but 8+&=|6& 78,00 398"+&"%

How American is it? ,79"00=,8|7948+&6&;,8+"&("7 casino, but it has some European manners. The chassis is split 60/40 between a-loom-inum and steel, 8+&6&|7"$8,:&7974&27,32 N"2% &:&2'396;+&&078&&6,2(2%8+&6&|7 no V8 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; instead, a 3.0-litre, twin-turbo V6. Numbers? 411bhp, 409lb ft, 62mph in 5.7secs and a top whack of 149mph.

8+,2(792%&6$328630"2%8+&6&|7" useful difference between the taut Sport mode and the relaxed Tour setting. Shiny, 20in alloys live at each corner, yet it rides with sophistication.

Does it handle OK?

All good, then?

Yes, especially for such a big, long thing. The four-wheel steering helps â&#x20AC;&#x201C; effectively shortening the wheelbase at speed â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but it also feels lighter than it is. The magnetic suspension keeps

Not entirely. The lazy turbos are exaggerated by the unmotivated "983#3<;+,$+"88,1&7'&&070,/&,8|7 from an old-school cruiser. It sneaks back into high ratios, and paddling

The reclining rear seats will massage you, and there are screens everywhere â&#x20AC;&#x201C; even the rear-view mirror turns into one, linked to a camera to give you a view unobstructed by C-pillars and 6&"64"77&2(&67,8,72|8"72"896"0 as looking into a regular mirror). The cabin is a patchwork of leather, suede, veneers and plastics â&#x20AC;&#x201C; some feel 941"6/&8731&%32|8+&7"0&71"2 will say it has the air of a European #398,59&#98,'=39"7/97,8|7136& mafia chic. On the plus side, the trunk can fit at least two bodies.

How much is it? The CT6 Platinum, the only UK model, ,7"8&22&692%&6pQJ/+"8|7$6&&4,2( ,2830"778&66,836=+&6&|7"+9(& "139283'78"2%"6%/,8#98=39$"2|8 %&7&0&$8"2=8+,2(73,8|7"0036238+,2(

LRJ14( LLM(^/12

368+"033/8+&2w 8+"7731&;368+;+,0&8&$+#98,8|7 pricey, and for the most part it merely

028

SEPTEMBER 2016 

TOPGEAR.COM

10

SPECIFICATION LSSQ$$P N 411bhp, 409lb ft

Mercedes GLC Coupe ÂŁ41,735

6

'3003;7;+&6&38+&670&"%390% you really buy one over a German or a Jag? You should think hard about 8+"8&74&$,"00="7,8|7320=":",0"#0& in left-hand drive. DAN READ

2 4"4&6 ,8|7" ;,8+" $+344&%633'0,2& 7+"64&6%=2"1,$7 "2%"46,$&8"("6392%pM/ 40914&6 2 46"$8,$& ,8|7"(036,3970=70,$/ ,28&6,36;6"44&%,2"2&<$&&%,2(0= %,:,7,:&&<8&6,362%,8 ,7 ,2%&&% #&88&6 83%6,:&8+"2"6&(90"6  #98 ,8|7 78,00"KR8322&$63773:&6 8+"8 7869((0&7 ,2 8,(+8&6$362&673 8+& "$"2|7%=2"1,$7 (3 32 92%&'&"8&%

0â&#x20AC;&#x201C;62mph in 5.7secs, 149mph KSOJ/(

VERDICT: Nicely engineered, decent to drive, but this lefthooker will struggle to ďŹ nd a home here.

5

10

+,7 is"8"0&28&%$"6 8+39(+98 73 ,7 8+&6&(90"6 $+&"4&6   96+&"%7 ,2$09%,2( 396&=&7;390% 1"/&97 78,$/;,8+8+"8 SD

SPECIFICATION LKNM$$8;,2896#3%,&7&0 201bhp, 369lb ft OPO14( KMK(^/12 0â&#x20AC;&#x201C;62mph in 7.6secs, 138mph KRNO/(


T

d

q y y

g I g a rather more personal affair. After agreeing to sell his company to the American car giant, Enzo Ferrari backed out of the deal at the 11th hour, enraging Ford and prompting them to build a car with the sole purpose of beating Ferrari at Le Mans. That car was the original Ford GT, and the Americans pulled it off in style. In1966, the team finished first, second and third in France, creating one of racing's truly legendary stories in the process.

THE CAR Fast forward half a century and Ford's all-new GT came first, third and fourth in the GTE Pro class at the world's most famous endurance race. Echoes of past glories are too loud to ignore; the absorbing contest with Ferrari that Ford finally bested with only three hours to go; the almost perfect sweep of podium places; and the fact

ime at Le Mans in half a race project that was only half of last year. "The team Europe before," added Jay W , ct Communications for F p race. "In fact, it had never even competed in sportscar racing until this season." In what Ward describes as "the achievement of a lifetime for everyone involved", he also revealed that the decision to return to Le Mans with the GT was no nostalgic dash down memory lane. "This race car is a showcase for Ford and for our engineering innovation. We've already had over 6,500 enquiries from customers wanting to buy the road version of GT and we're only building 250 a year! It is, of course, an expensive – and niche – supercar but the turbocharged, direct injection E B technology in both road and race versions o e GT is the same technology that is under the bonnet of a one-litre Fiesta."

THE OIL Which is one big reason why Castrol works with companies like Ford to develop its own extreme performance products. Whether it's a Fiesta or a race-winning GT, engine technology advances at such a rate. The pressures The new Ford GT road car will use Castrol EDGE SUPERCAR

that most modern engines operate under have at least doubled since Ford first won Le Mans. "But the car that won this year's race uses the same Titanium FST™ technology you find in Castrol EDGE," explains Laura de Laguno, Castrol's Global Motorsport Manager. For Laura – and Castrol – race wins are the icing on the cake. Just like Ford, the real motivation to go racing is the unrivalled opportunity it presents to push the boundaries of development, quickly. "When Ford compete and win, it is a great demonstration of Castrol's capabilities, too, but working so closely with their engineers and having to do it at pace is what makes a difference to us. What we achieved in six months to support Ford in sportscar racing this year would normally take twice that time. When that #68 car crossed the finish line, I had to pinch myself. It was really emotional, I was so proud for Castrol. It seemed unbelievable."

THE DRIVER Dirk Müller, the man behind the wheel when that #68 car crossed that line was justifiably more emotional still. "There was lots of crying on the radio," he laughed, "and that in lap felt like it


took a lifetime. I kept hi ki g 'what j But the p in no d u u whole explain putting felt gre And M team m racing, rely on count o y SĂŠbasti much g me to b

y g g p

p g

y p j

g

g has to k about the d of the race ours of racing â&#x20AC;&#x201C; g full power. That was g was still strong, and so it wasn't, we wouldn't ke I say: one team."


&48&1#&6 I 2016

36%978"2(QJJ pQLOJJ

WE SAY: NO SOONER IS THE MUSTANG IN THE UK THAN IT GETS RIPPED

032

SEPTEMBER 2016 

However, the delivery is progressive and accurate. If the CS700 packed the much more instant force of, say, a 911 Turbo, I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think the rear tyres would be able to cope. As it is, they can. Just. It can also hold itself together in the corners. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a hint of low-speed understeer, which 674lb ft can easily neutralise (all without troubling the sluggish traction control), and the lowered, stiďŹ&#x20AC;ened suspension feels far keener to change direction. The ride? Well, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s actually quite well damped considering how shortly sprung it now is, but even though itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fully adjustable, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d have to say itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pretty positive. You also need to know that neither this, the â&#x20AC;&#x2122;charger nor any other mod turns the Mustang into a sports car. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s too heavy, the steering is not engaging and the responses not snappy enough. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s still a muscle car, and now more muscular. Happy days.    

I

TOPGEAR.COM

ÂŁ13,545 gets you a |$+"6(&6+,/,2( 43;&6 83 QJJ#+4%&59"8&

SPECIFICATION

NSNS$$7|$+"6(&%R QJJ#+4PQN0#'8 18.3mpg (as tested), n/a g/km CO2 J PL14+,2N N7&$7*"78&78&%[ 2\"14+ n/a kg

VERDICT: Even 700bhp fails to transform Mustang into a sports car. Instead, a very muscly muscle car.

7

10

PHOTOS: SIMON THOMPSON

914 ,8 94

t was only a matter of time. With Ford bringing the Mustang to Europe, it wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t going to be long before someone brought all the tuning possibilities over as well. In this case, the someone is luxury car dealer Clive Sutton, and the result has 700bhp. It doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to look like this one. You could have it subtle â&#x20AC;&#x201C; well, as far as a Stang can be subtle â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and just have some engine mods. Or you could turn it up loud. This one has everything attached: ÂŁ9,366 of carbon aero kit, the ÂŁ5,496 20in wheel and KW suspension package, complete with signiďŹ cant suspension drop (25mm at the front, 35mm at the back) and the full ÂŁ13,545 Power Package with Whipple supercharger, active quad exhaust and rear valance. The standard Mustang sounds a bit plain and wheezy for a 5.0-litre V8, so a new exhaust system makes sense, and Sutton oďŹ&#x20AC;ers a package that features a new intake system as well. I reckon that could be the sweet spot. The â&#x20AC;&#x2122;charger is something else altogether. At low revs, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not that poky as thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a fair bit of inertia to overcome and the 6spd auto is also decidedly slow to react. However, once everything is hooked up and the needles start to swing, this thing romps along. Above 5,000rpm, it howls, bellows and feels the full 700bhp ticket. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hilarious â&#x20AC;&#x201C; all whining, barely contained delivery and, er, fallible brakes. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not ideal.


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September I 2016

Audience approval

8

Audi S5 Coupe £44k approx.

Audi S4 Avant £43k approx.

WE SAY: PEAK AUDI HAS BEEN REACHED. DULL TO DRIVE, BUT WILL ANYONE CARE? ew brands know their customers as inside-out as Audi does. Think about it: you hear about Marks & Spencer launching an ill-judged clothing line which expensively tanks, or Apple narking off its users by releasing must-have software updates that, oh, we’re sorry, your halfused device couldn’t possibly support. When was the last time Audi dropped the ball, and scared off its faithful? Basing the dear A1 on a Polo didn’t stop it selling like Mr Kipling’s finest; neither did styling the original Q7 like a whale shark with thyroidism. So here’s the new S5, and Audi’s rival for the sharp new Mercedes-AMG C43 is officially peak Audi. It looks painstakingly similar to the old S5, which Walter de Silva of R8 and Lamborghini Egoista fame reckoned was his finest piece of design work ever. S5 MkII’s taken a lathe blow to the bonnet and some chamfering about the edges, but it couldn’t be anything besides Audi’s mid-size coupe, could it? The cabin is a far greater departure from the old car’s, but still lock-stock from the A4. Fit and finish are outstanding, the technology (too much of it optional) a doddle. You sit higher than in a 4-Series, and it’s more cramped in the back than any of its competitors, save for the sexier but dull-handling Lexus RC. The new structure sheds 60kg off the old car’s waistline, 14kg of which has come

F

No A5 seat offers fun, but these ones are more cramped

out of the 3.0-litre V6 engine, which retains the same bore and stroke but bins revvy supercharging for an eco test-friendly turbocharger, bumping power to 349bhp. It’s changed the character of the car to one similar to an A5 TDI. Lots of effortless torque fed through a rapid, unassuming transmission. Same goes for the ride. Bearable in Dynamic mode these days. The S5 is never an entertaining car, though. It grips, then understeers. It delivers no feedback, no sense of occasion. It sounds fine, but not delectable. It’s quick, but so is broadband. Not fun, is it? A lot is being held back here for the bi-turbo V6 RS5, you sense. And no amount of adaptive suspension, trick rear diff and badge can overcome that. Fortunately for the faithful, the last one is standard. OLLIE KEW

SPECIFICATION

2995cc, V6 turbo, 8spd automatic, 4WD, 349bhp, 369lb ft

Do me a favour and read the S5 6&:,&;',678 |00;",832&w 23; ;&$"2&<4036&;+"8 ,8 ,7 8+"8 1"/&7 8+&N 73 73 19$+136&%&7,6"#0& than the more expensive coupe :&67,32;,8+&<"$80=8+&7"1&MNS#+4 P ,%&28,$"0 (&"6#3<"2%73 32 "680= 3'$3967& ,8|7 8+"8 6"8,32"0,7,2(367$+&"66&6" 4&6'361"2$&;,8+OJO 0,86&7 3' 92743,0&%#338"2%',:&(&2&6397 7&"87 6&&/7 3'23886=,2(833+"6% $3307%3&79%,|7 6"(,2("(",278 8+&%=,2( 3'8+&$"6+,7 6&1",27 "%&0,$,3970=79#80&1"$+,2& &#"%(&"7,0:&6 32&"2%=39|6& ";"="78 +"8|7 136&%,'',$908 83 4,2%3;2 ,7 +3;,8|7"#&88&6%6,:&&6+"47 ,8|7 8+& more rearward weight bias bringing that torque-vectoring rear diff into 40"= 36 8+&;"(32#338="$8,2("7"2 exhaust noise boombox, but the S4 is 70,(+80=136&40"='90 136&6&;"6%,2( "2%6&8",27"00 8+&79440& $377&8,2( $31'368=39|%;"28 3'";"(3236 79#0388&6=74&2%&67 8+,7 ,7 32&3'8+& #&78$"679%, 1"/&7 6,(+8 23; OK

38.7mpg, 166g/km CO2 0–62mph in 4.7secs, 155mph

SPECIFICATION

1615kg

VERDICT: Does everything it should: looks handsome, goes fast easily, feels totally modern. But the RS5 needs to be way more invigorating.

2995cc, V6 turbo, 8spd automatic, 4WD, 349bhp, 369lb ft

6

37.7mpg, 171g/km CO2 0–62mph in 4.9secs, 155mph

10 TOPGEAR.COM

1675kg



SEPTEMBER 2016

0 35


&48&1#&6 I 2016

     

,&78"LJJ:7 LJR ,&9(&384368 WE SAY: ONLY ONE OF THESE TWO UPRATED POCKET ROCKETS IS WORTH £22K...

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+&,&78"|7"2$,&28 23;"2%&:&2 8+&|7 /23$/,2( 32`#98 (6&"82&77 ,72|8%,098&%#="(&"2%8+&36%|7 78,00 8+&#&2$+1"6/ 71"00'"78+"8$+{ 36"2&<86"pL`MOJ`LJJ (6&=692}398&%,8,327#"(=39"7+368&6',2"0 %6,:&"2%"8,$/0&136&43/&`8;&"/&%7974&27,32"2%7+398=#"%(&7{

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32|8 8+&7& #38++":& 2"''$"#,27w

8

Ford Fiesta ST200

036

SEPTEMBER 2016 

46.3mpg, 140g/km CO2 0â&#x20AC;&#x201C;62mph in 6.7secs, 143mph 1163kg

£22,365

8

VERDICT: A modern hot hatch legend, no question, but so is the standard ST...

1598cc 4cyl turbo, FWD, 205bhp, 221lb ft

VERDICT: Clever uprating of the 208 GTi equals best Peugeot for 30 years.

52.3mpg, 125g/km CO2

1450mm

1596cc 4cyl turbo, FWD, 197bhp, 214lb ft

Peugeot 208 GTi Peugeot Sport

10

1495mm

WORDS: OLLIE KEW / PHOTOS: SIMON THOMPSON

£22,745

0â&#x20AC;&#x201C;62mph in 6.5secs, 143mph

3982mm TOPGEAR.COM

1160kg

3973mm

10


&48&1#&6 I 2016

Porsche 718 "=1"2 £48,834

WE SAY: TURBOCHARGING MEANS CAYMAN HAS SWAPPED SOUL FOR POWER

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rear wheels are half an inch wider and the brakes have been upgraded. Opt for the £1,125 Sport Chrono pack and you get the mode dial on the steering wheel, and on the S, the new PASM suspension option lowers the ride height by 20mm, instead of 10mm. Inside, not much has changed, but the flush-fitting infotainment screen is a nice touch and complements the low, snug driving position which puts all the controls just where you want them. Better still, they all operate with an easy, fluent precision, and the 718 Cayman is easy to see out of, easy to place on the road, compact and well packaged.

IMAGES: JOHN WYCHERLEY

"=1"2 3:&6#3"6%

et’s keep this straight to start with. A few months back Porsche updated the Boxster. As part of this it did away with the iconic flat-six engine, replacing it with a turboassisted flat-four. Now the Cayman is undergoing the same alterations. So, the facts. The standard Cayman has a 2.0-litre motor with a monoscroll turbo delivering 296bhp and 280lb ft, while the S we have here has a wider bore (102mm rather than 91mm) version of the same block, yielding 2.5 litres, 345bhp and 310lb ft between 1,950 and 4,500rpm. Its turbo has variable geometry. It has more power than the old 3.4-litre 321bhp/273lb ft Cayman S and so is a bit quicker (0–62mph in 4.6secs for the 6spd manual, where the old one took 5.0secs). Fuel economy is claimed to be 2.8mpg better, and CO2 has dropped by 22g/km. Good news, it would seem. And there are other mods: stiffer springs, revised dampers, the steering borrowed from the 911 Turbo has a 10 per cent faster rack, the


Pricing hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t changed much at all â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the standard Cayman is a whisker under ÂŁ40k and the S is ÂŁ48,834. And hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the start of the trouble, because thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lot for a car with a 4cyl turbo motor. But letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s be charitable and pick out the positives: itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more charismatic than most 4cyl turbos as the boxer layout does give it an interesting budda-budda-budda engine note (and yes, that is reminiscent of an old camper van). It makes a fair bit of noise, especially with the sport pipe engaged, and for a turbo it picks up well (thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a real jump at 2,400rpm). Lag is minimal and acceleration forceful. But where in the old car you had a real sense of the engine having to work for its pace, this is more one-dimensional: the noise, the acceleration. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all very linear. And very eďŹ&#x20AC;ective. But engagingâ&#x20AC;Ś not so much. Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more, the 4cyl cheapens the Porsche experience, the Cayman feeling less cultured and sophisticated than before. This is a story weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve often told in relation to the rise of newly turbocharged sports cars, exacerbated with the Cayman because

,<\74&&% 1"29"0 ,7" %&0,(+8 83 97&2% 8+"2/ +&":&27 ,8|7 8+&6&

of the drop in cylinder count. What people seem to forget is that a carâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s engine is not just another component. A good engine can make a car, casting favourable light on other, less worthy, components. It works the other way too: a lacklustre engine takes the shine oďŹ&#x20AC; other components. So when you drive the new Cayman, because the engine isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t as sharp and zingy, the steering doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t feel as bright, the chassis doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t initially seem to have the same appetite for corners as it did before and the brakes come across as less feelsome. It feels just a little more ordinary to drive. Instead of the car coming to you, urging you on, you now have to go in search of your kicks a bit harder, which means youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re travelling faster but not having such a good time. Not ideal. But really concentrate on each element, and the Cayman does come to life: you realise the brakes are astonishing, that the chassis is fully loaded with talent and ability. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a delight around corners, really adjustable and composed. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not 100 per cent convinced the steering gives you all the communication you need, but

on the whole thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not another ÂŁ50k car to touch it this side of a Lotus Exige. Even on the ÂŁ1,566 20in wheels, the two-seater rounds the edges oďŹ&#x20AC; sharp bumps very well indeed. And the manual gearchange is lovely â&#x20AC;&#x201C; slick and satisfying. If you werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t aware of what had gone before, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d love it. The more I drove it, the more I got used to it, but then Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d think back to driving the old one and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the one I want. I no longer yearn to own a Cayman â&#x20AC;&#x201C; thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the diďŹ&#x20AC;erence.    

SPECIFICATION

2.5-litre flat 4cyl turbo, RWD 345bhp, 310lb ft 34.9mpg, 184g/km CO2 0â&#x20AC;&#x201C;62mph in 4.6secs, 177mph 1355kg

VERDICT: The new turbo engine casts a long shadow over the new Cayman. Skilful chassis ensures it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t lose too much face.

8

10

} 8|7"%&0,(+8 "6392%$362&67 6&"00="%.978"#0& "2%$31437&%~ TOPGEAR.COM



SEPTEMBER 2016

0 39


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TOPGEAR.COM



SEPTEMBER 2016

0 43


In 2012, Caterham and Renault joined forces to launch a RWD sports car. In 2014, Caterham %6344&% 398 &6&|7 the car we were deprived of

044

SEPTEMBER 2016 

TOPGEAR.COM


SECRET ACCESS

The Caterham that never was IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE THE RENAULT ALPINE’S SISTER, BUT IT NEVER MADE IT BEYOND POLYSTYRENE

WORDS: STEPHEN D OB IE / PHOTOGR APHY: MARK RICCIONI

n this job, it pays to be impartial. You need to approach new cars with an open mind, untainted by allegiances or grudges. Yet sometimes emotion takes hold. As I walk around the Caterham that never was – codename C120 – I can’t help but echo some of my hosts’ melancholy. How cool would it have been for this to have been put into production? To tell this car’s story, we need to wind back the clock to 2012. Caterham chairman Tony Fernandes brokered a deal with Renault to team up on a new sports car: a mid-engined, rearwheel-drive, two-seat coupe which would simultaneously bring back the Alpine badge and give the venerable Seven a stablemate. The cars would share architecture and componentry – their DNA around 85 per cent identical – and the companies would share a factory, namely the Dieppe plant which used to make Alpines, and which currently assembles the Clio RenaultSport. It should be small wonder, then, that the design buck you see before you so closely resembles the Alpine Vision concept we’ve seen recently, the production version of which follows soon.

I


The Alpine Vision concept. Time to play spot the difference

“Barely anyone has seen these designs, even within Caterham. Which is a shame”

Except it shocks me. See, the two companies split from their deal in early 2014. Details of the break-up were scant, so, like the falling apart of your favourite rock band, it was easy to speculate creative differences lay at the heart of it. And even the sharpest industry forecasters hadn’t predicted Caterham’s half of the deal could look quite this civilised. “This wasn’t a niche, fibreglass sports car,” Caterham’s chief commercial director David Ridley tells me. “This was proper grown-up, mainstream sports car.” The aim was for each company to sell 3,000 of its respective model a year, with a €40,000 pricetag, a figure only achievable thanks to the two companies working together. “That’s what Renault was bringing to the party for us, access to their parts catalogue,” Ridley continues. “If Caterham tried to do this alone, it would be a £60,000 car.” In total, the investment was to total €150 million, split 50/50 between the two companies. The same for decision-making, too, with no company having majority say, despite the ratio of staff swinging heavily in the French company’s favour.

046

SEPTEMBER 2016 

TOPGEAR.COM

Dobie pulls his best journo '"$&_&03;`"8&6+"1|7 mood board for TFT dial

“Nothing could be signed off by Renault without Caterham signing off as well,” says Ridley. Caterham assembled a 110-strong team of former Lotus and McLaren engineers in Norfolk just for this car, and every fortnight there’d be flights across the Channel to facilitate working face-to-face. The car itself is very beguiling. Even if the two models you see aren’t even cars. One is polystyrene, the other decorated clay, and both wear the scars of neglect. Barely anyone has seen these designs, even within Caterham. Which is a shame. The C120 is not unlike a Toyota GT86 in its size and proportions, while there are hints of F-Type in its detailing. And it’s strikingly similar in shape to the Alpine Vision, even down to the lights. Both front and rear units were shared between the two brands, thanks to the €9 million cost of developing them. Those additional spotlights on the front of the French car appear to be a helpful styling differentiator as much as a nod to Alpines past, then. Caterham eyed up key differences to the Alpine beyond styling flourishes, too. While both cars would


1

2

3

4

5

Bits of Cayman here and GT86 there, with a sprinkling of F-Type

launch with a paddleshift gearbox, the British carmaker was determined to respect its enthusiast roots and offer a manual shortly after launch. It fancied different stability-control settings, a more focused suspension set-up and a manual handbrake. A foray into GT racing would have been inevitable. I ask about the vision of Fernandes, who’d suggested Caterham’s growth called for an extended range of cars, a crossover included. This was all to follow the C120, it transpires. “Tony’s ambitions were not limited to building a two-seater sports car,” Ridley tells us. “Where Tony wanted to leverage his brand – his network – was in Asia. You don’t get volume through two-seater sports cars in Asia. It’s through city cars, SUVs, etc.” “That was the other appeal of Renault,” adds Caterham CEO Graham Macdonald. “They’ve got so many different platforms that we could use. While the majority of our team in Hingham were working on this, there were some already starting to spec what the crossover or the hot hatch was. We had the plan.” That plan saw a hot hatchback spun from the Clio RenaultSport, and a crossover based on the Captur. “Caterhamise it, that was the word we used to use,” TOPGEAR.COM



SEPTEMBER 2016

047


“It’s strikingly similar in shape to the Alpine Vision, even down to the lights” ",28&% 430=78=6&2&=&8 ,8 6&46&7&287 0,(+87;+,$+ $378 qS1 83 %&:&034

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048

SEPTEMBER 2016 

TOPGEAR.COM

continues Macdonald. “So we’d do something with the suspension, maybe a little tweaking on the powertrain, the handling. But in the main, it would be the base car, so the investment wouldn’t be as big as a ground-up sports car. Renault was a very willing partner.” If that was the case, then, you might rightly wonder why it all fell apart. The answer is simple: money. Caterham simply couldn’t keep up with matching Renault’s investment. “We got to the point where we were trying to lay out additional funding for the next stage. We agreed on the shape, on the style. It was about to go to the phase of tooling,” says Macdonald. Ridley picks up the story. “To tool-up needs serious investment. We just reached the point where we weren’t quite ready. We didn’t quite have the funding in place. Had we been given another month, another six months, who knows? But time ran out, and so we decided to exit, and they continued on with the project.” The split is only ever described by the two men as “amicable”, though, and Caterham retained intellectual property rights for the C120’s design. It could yet live on with a willing partner. “I think it’s a beautiful car, and this is why we’re trying to tell our story today, because we came so close to making it happen,” says Ridley. “It was just out of reach. We’re so proud of how far we got with this project. I feel a mixture of pride and excitement that this thing got this far, but it’s also tinged with an awful lot of sadness.” Imagining what the prettiest bit of polystyrene I’ve seen could have been like to drive, it’s impossible not to feel a little of that sadness too.


NEW METAL

Small and spiky CITROEN’S C4-INSPIRED C3 HAS LANDED, BUT WITHOUT THE CACTUS NAME

itroen promised to add a little C4 Cactus to all its cars, and here’s the first evidence, the new C3. We’re not just talking about the floating roof design, the airbump side protection or the split headlamps, either. It’s about an emphasis on comfort and straightforward good cheer. Citroen boss Linda Jackson told TG: “It’s got the spirit of Cactus, but it’s not something bizarre or strange. We aim to stay mainstream.” It comes as a five-door only, but there’s plenty of decoration choice beyond that. The configurator will have a palette of colours and patterns for several parts – roof, mirrors, plus the bezels on the airbump and fog lamp. In the interior too: the trims for dash, doors and steering wheel are all selectable. The flat seats and wide dash obey the same logic as the Cactus’s do. Design inspiration comes from luggage and travel accessories. It’s not about a driver’s cockpit or body-clenching seats. It’s built for comfort not speed. After some stumbling early steps with the connected apps on the C4 Picasso, Citroen says it is serious about connectivity this time. One world-first is a built-in HD dashcam that can be used both for real-time sharing and recording – which happens automatically if there’s a crash. The C3’s platform is a development of what’s under the Peugeot 208, so nothing unexpected there. The Group’s sweet three-cylinder petrol engine features strongly, at 68, 82 and 110bhp. Diesels are 75 and 100bhp. No rocket, then, but given the starting weight is around 1,000kg, it isn’t too lardy.

C

050

SEPTEMBER 2016 

TOPGEAR.COM

,6#9147+"4& airvents keep the "$897 :,#& (3,2(

No sports seats or roll $"(&7 ,2+&6&  ,8|7#9,08 for comfort, not speed

As with the Cactus, most interior switches have given way to functions on the touchscreen. But this one is slicker-acting and has better graphics than that clunky effort. The interior materials are better too. I asked Xavier Peugeot [yes, really], Citroen’s product planning chief, why the Cactus (to be facelifted next year) began life with such a poor interface and cheap cabin materials. He surprised me by openly acknowledging the problem, and said in some ways the mainstream Citroens had been deliberately held back to make the Citroen DSs look better. Now that the two nameplates are separated, he said Citroen could stand up for itself. Jackson said the well-being of buying a Citroen isn’t just about the car itself. It’s about the process of buying and running it too. The company recently launched the Citroen Advisor website, where customers post reviews of their Citroen dealers and, soon, cars. The car’s software allows pay-per-mile insurance, and gives drivers feedback on their driving style to save fuel and reduce maintenance. No word yet on prices for the C3. We’ll learn those closer to the October on-sale date. PAUL HORRELL


Carbon fibre, aluminium, touchscreen infotainment? Has the world gone mad?

4.8 “Hercules” V8 supplied by BMW, “finished” by Bristol. Badges, then

NEW METAL

Bristol is back from the dead WE THOUGHT IT WAS ALL OVER... IT ISN’T NOW. BRISTOL IS UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP AND HAS A MAGIC BULLET

WHO THE HELL ARE BRISTOL...? It all began after WWII, when to occupy its massive workforce (which had nothing to do after the demand for aircraft dried up), the Bristol Aeroplane Company decided to start building cars.

hances are you’ve heard of Bristol Cars, but don’t quite know why. We like to think of it as the industry’s weird uncle – an interesting backstory but a bit too odd to spend any time with. However, after a financial hiccup in 2011, Bristol is back and riding alongside TVR in a resurgence for Britain’s cottage sports-car industry. Its new weapon is the Bullet – an idea born when the new owners “discovered a speedster, neglected and ignored under a dusty tarpaulin in its old factory”. Bristol is calling the Bullet a 70th anniversary present to itself, and, true to form, it’s quite unlike anything else on the road. With its startled expression, many round headlights and fins at the rear, it channels a retro vibe, but the hardware is surprisingly cutting-edge.

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Bodywork is of the carbon-fibre variety for a punchy kerbweight of 1,100kg, while the dashboard panelling can be had in wood for the traditionalists or a choice of two types of carbon weave for modern types. In the middle of the dash, Bristol has eschewed a wind-up clock in favour of a touchscreen, complete with digital radio, smartphone mirroring and Bluetooth and wi-fi connections. Mind. Blown. Under the bonnet is a 370bhp 4.8-litre BMW-sourced V8 – yep, the old one used by Morgan and, formerly, by Wiesmann – propelling you 0–62mph in 3.8 seconds and on to 155mph, through a choice of manual and automatic gearboxes. The price? “Under £250,000”, with production starting early next year. And you’d better get a wiggle on... only 70 will be built.

It took over Frazer Nash (briefly – the two split in 1947) and bought the rights to pre-war BMWs. The first cars rolled off the production line in 1946. It split from the aeroplane company in 1960. Bristol Cars soldiered on until it went into administration in 2011, along the way building things like the Viper-engined, allegedly 200mph Fighter. Rescue arrived a month later, in the form of new owners Frazer-Nash Research. The Fighter, built between LJJN"2%|KK{;"7 .978 8+"8{ $3968&7=3'",4&6KJ


FOCUS RS MKI Engine: 1988cc, 4cyl turbo, 212bhp @ 5500rpm, 229lb ft @ 3500rpm Performance: 0–62mph in 6.7secs, 144mph Transmission: 5spd manual, FWD Economy: 27.9mpg, 237g/km CO2 Weight: 1278kg L x W: 4183mm x 1762mm

PROGRESS REPORT

Evolution of the Ford Focus RS FORD ONLY DUBS SPECIAL CARS ‘RALLYE SPORT’. HERE’S WHY WO R DS: O LLIE KE W / PH OTO GR APHY: S IM O N TH O M P SO N

052

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TOPGEAR.COM

hen Ford first fixed an RS badge to the back of a Focus, I was too young to drive, but I remember the furore. And with my parents’ Focus 1.6 Zetec out on the driveway, I felt sorry for its tricked-up 212bhp relation. I yearned for that halo car to be a blinder. The RS was as divisive as the Honda Civic Type-R is now – ironically a car built on identical ingredients. Putting 212bhp through the front wheels in 2002 seemed very irresponsible, in a time when the Imprezas and Evos were deploying 4x4. AWD was, after all, what WRC-touting Ford had promised. Instead, we got a Torsen mechanical diff, and infamous torque-steer. The RS’s front axle was hyper-sensitive to set-up and tyre wear. Microscopic discrepancies in toe-in or camber made two seemingly identical Focus RSs behave like unrelated machines: some ultra-pointy and sorted, others powerless to resist chasing a camber, like a determined hound after a fox. How quaint that 212bhp power output now seems (a Fiesta ST200 matches it, with little if any unruly front-

W


FOCUS RS MKIII

Engine: 2261cc, 4cyl turbo, 345bhp @ 6000rpm, 347lb ft @ 2000rpm (on overboost) Performance: 0–62mph in 4.7secs, 165mph Transmission: 6spd manual, AWD Economy: 36.7mpg, 175g/km CO2 Weight: 1599kg L x W: 4390mm x 1823mm

Ollie finally gets to drive the car of his childhood dreams. Legally too

F A N C Y O N E I N YOUR GAR AGE?

2009 FORD FOCUS RS £23,500

2003 FORD FOCUS RS £15,250

axle japes). Funny how a 4cyl turbo, mechanical diff and proper manual has become the template of choice for modern hot-hatch royalty like RenaultSport’s Megane Trophy, the Seat Leon Cupra and yes, that banzai Civic. Ford was onto something, 10 years ahead of time. Ironic too that after upping the ante last time out by shoving 301bhp of 5cyl turbo mayhem through diffadjoined front wheels, the new Focus RS sends power to the rear too. Seventy per cent of it, if necessary. You know all about this car already – the trick clutch packs, the Drift Mode, and the addictive, libertythreatening ease with which it’ll allow novice pilots to carve out Michelin-smearing powerslides. It’s arrived into a diverse, fiendishly talented battlefield of AWD hot hatches, some with more power, plenty with cooler badges, and by deploying a genuinely innovative piece of chassis technology, changed the game overnight. No one wants to hear about how complete, how superb a Volkswagen Golf R or the revised Mercedes-AMG A45 is any more. Because they won’t drift, will they? End of discussion. According to the internet, at least.

These cars don’t share a component beyond valve caps, but it’s funny how old habits die hard when you climb aboard. And I do mean climb. Both house lairy seats mounted absurdly high in the chassis, both feel horribly unnatural on first impression. At least the current one has dialled down the blue flashes inside. In the MkI, you twist the key in the lightly sprung barrel, dip the short-travel clutch and prod an unlabelled green button on the centre tunnel to start the motor. The turbo blows hoarsely, and frankly it doesn’t feel fast, despite a huge weight advantage. Still wrestles the wheel from your clenched palms, though. The long-throw gearchange is tactile if a tad vague, and though the MkI feels poundingly stiff on the road, it leans like you’d expect an eco Fiesta to on circuit. Damping has come so far – the modern RS’s two-way adaptive dampers have far crisper control. In every parameter besides styling, the gobby new whale shark has moved the game on light years. Don’t be surprised if, just like the first Focus RS, its grandson has ignited a trend the entire fraternity will follow.

TOPGEAR.COM

2008 FORD FOCUS ST £8,995



SEPTEMBER 2016

0 53


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054

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C70 Brooklands 1926 Chronometer


PAT DEVEREUXâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S...

MODERN MUSCLE

How to make a classic â&#x20AC;&#x201C; recreate one of Carroll +&0#=|7'"78 432=$"67

#04 I 1965 Shelby GT350 HOW TO TURN A PONY INTO A STALLION

+&6& %,%+& 78"68w You can breathe out â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Matt didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t hack up one of the 521 majorly valuable GT350s created by Carroll Shelby in 1965. Instead he took a lightly used and abused example of the 77,000 standard and luxury Stangs that were made 51 years ago.

There are some JRi double-adjustable shocks, front SLA (short-long arm) front suspension plus a rear torque arm and cantilevered shocks at the back. If you speak axle code, the car has a Speedway Engineering 9in full ďŹ&#x201A;oater â&#x20AC;&#x201C; it improves stability and braking performance â&#x20AC;&#x201C; with lightened and polished 4.30 gears.

+"8|7+& %32& 83 ,8w What is it? With all the hoo-ha going on around the new Shelby Mustang GT350 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and the unseemly rush to sell an internal organ to buy the hallowed, redbadged R version â&#x20AC;&#x201C; you could reasonably ask: why? Part of the reason â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a big part â&#x20AC;&#x201C; is that the new 8,500rpm-red-lined V8-powered pony car is one of the best things to happen to Fordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s line-up in a long time. But another chunk of the hysteria is being caused by the fact that the new car is a modern interpretation of the raucous 1965 Shelby GT350.

+"8|7 8+"8 (38 83 %3;,8+8+,7$"6w The problem with old cars â&#x20AC;&#x201C; even gorgeous classics â&#x20AC;&#x201C; is that they, even being kind, drive terribly. They donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t steer, stop, handle or anything else like their rapier good looks would suggest. Which is how this car came about. Matt Alcala wanted all the classic â&#x20AC;&#x2122;65 GT350 looks, but all the performance of the modern Shelby. Being a bit handy with a spanner, Mattâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s want turned into a project that, four years after he thought of it, became this car.

Look closely now, as heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s done such a good job that, without the standard car next to it, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hard to see. But, as is the way with the great restomods, this smoothness hides an eternity of time to get this thing just right. The body has been widened by 4.5 inches and reshaped. The bumpers, doors and quarter panels have all been subtly ďŹ&#x201A;ared to blend into the new body. Many of the louvres and grilles are one-oďŹ&#x20AC;s to ďŹ t the new form. Those extra quarter panel scoops? Fully functioning as housings for the diďŹ&#x20AC; and transmission coolers.

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So how fast is it? Matt has yet to go head-to-head with one of the new GT350s, but you sense heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s conďŹ dent that anyone driving the new car would get a shock if they tried to gap the old car on road or track.

+"8 %3&7 8+& (9=;+3 %&7,(2&% the original GT350 think of the car? It isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t likely youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d know such a thing, but Matt does. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The designer of the original GT350, Peter Brock, stopped by multiple times while my car was at SEMA,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He said it was everything he could have dreamed of doing to build a GT350.â&#x20AC;?

As glorious as the ďŹ&#x201A;at-plane crank V8 is in the new GT350, Mattâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s choice of a 5.0-litre engine from the previous gen Boss 302 is just as canny. It still revs to a crazy-sounding 8,200rpm, making 560bhp at that point, thanks to a new intake and cams among other things. The Bossâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s standard Getrag MT82 â&#x20AC;&#x2122;box has been swapped out for a Tremec TR6060 along with a lightweight clutch and ďŹ&#x201A;ywheel.

& 1978+":& %32& 731&8+,2( 83 the chassis, too...

5.0-litre V8 from previousgen Boss 302 revs to 8,200rpm, making 560bhp

TECH CORNER

MERCEDES FUTURE BUS ALL ABOARD FOR THE FUTURE

056

SEPTEMBER 2016 

TOPGEAR.COM

What has 12 cameras, two radar systems and a very bored driver? The Mercedes Future 97 8+"8|7;+"8"7&% on the 12m-long Citaro, it not only drives itself,

but approaches bus stops autonomously and opens and closes ,87%3367"9832313970= &6$$0",17 ,8|7 7"'&6 than a regular bus as ,8}6&0,&:&7 ,87%6,:&6|7

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s petrosexuals have been doodling farfetched car designs on the back of beer mats and fag packets for decades. But technology has changed the game. With the help of digital artistry, these fantastical drawings can now be photo-realistic “speculative renders”. They’re now a prominent part of the industry. And have simultaneously opened up our minds and woken up our saliva glands to new possibilities. Problem is, with our new instantaneous lifestyles, no matter how fantastical they are, we want them built now! Take what’s on this page, for example. It’s the Porsche 908/04, a render by some nimble-fingered Photoshoppists that mashes together Porsche’s techy plans within a silhouette of its long-tail heritage. At this point, Porsche’s lawyers would like us to tell you that this has nothing to do with actual Porsche, is no way a manufacturer-backed Vision Gran Turismo concept, and only exists within the realms of digital pixels. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t start tub-thumping our interest to Stuttgart for it to become a reality.

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A quick glance over its lines may draw your attention to the fact it’s a bit, um, lengthy. That’s ’cos it’s a modern-day interpretation of the German firm’s low-drag “Langheck” – Deutsche for long-tail – cars. See, during the late Sixties and early Seventies, racecar designers really started to experiment with the dark art of downforce. All kinds of weird aero appendages were riveted, fused and bonded to car bodies to make them slipperier and scarily fast. Some of our favourites were long-tails; cars that had been fed through a mangle and extended to pierce the air with more prowess and achieve monstrous top speeds, especially down Le Mans’ 3.7-mile Mulsanne Straight. Porsche kind of owned the scene. The 935/78 “Moby Dick” and granddaddy of all long tails – the 917 L and LH – hit legendary status. But, for this vision of the future, a car that stood in the shadows of the big, fast, scary and utterly dominant 917 was selected for the main inspiration: the 908/01 LH.

FANTA SY METAL

908/04 goes in search of Poké balls in a retrofuture virtual mashup thing

Go on, Porsche, just build it... AT THE MOMENT, THIS IS JUST A PHOTOSHOP DREAM. UNACCEPTABLE!

058

SEPTEMBER 2016 

TOPGEAR.COM


Futuristic Porsche long-tail goodness with Martini colours  ;&|6& 7+"/&2"2% 78,66&%

IMAGES: PORSCHEVISIONGT AND TOMASZPRYGIEL.BLOGSPOT.COM

Lean, lightweight and handsome, the 3.0-litre ďŹ&#x201A;at-eight 908 was introduced in 1968. Developed to survive the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s toughest endurance races, its beautiful and eďŹ&#x20AC;ective long tail helped push monumentally punchy speeds at ultra-high-speed circuits such as at Le Mans, Spa and Monza. But aside from being stupidly fast, long-tails were also pretty hairy to drive. And with the advance of technology and a better understanding of how the wind works over the last 48 years, the traditional long-tail has died out. Until now, when a team of digital wizards want lengthened racers to come back in fashion. And who can blame them? With the Spice Girls and PokĂŠmon coming full circle, surely the long-tail can too, right? The six guys behind the 908/04 wanted to 3Drender a modern interpretation of an old long-tail, but ďŹ ll it with futuristic bits of Porsche 918 and the upcoming four-seat, four-door, 4WD Mission E for good measure. Quite the looker, isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t it? Unfortunately, powertrains havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t been discussed yet (after all, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just a .PSD ďŹ le), but that engine bay does look remarkably like the housing for the 4.6-litre 608bhp naturally aspirated V8 and pair of electric motors from the Porsche 918. A good thing. One thing the designers have made clear, is that they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want a spangly ďŹ&#x201A;appy-paddle â&#x20AC;&#x2122;box in it. Oh no, they want an old-school wooden gearstick (like a 917, natch) and three pedals to swap cogs. We like where theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going with this. So if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re listening, Porsche, save them the hassle and build it already. We know youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got it in you. RH

Blinding performance WOULD YOU DRIVE A LAMBO YOU CANâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;T SEE OUT OF?

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The original: designed for endurance racing... and discerning bedroom walls

TOPGEAR.COM



SEPTEMBER 2016

0 59


50ft wide

A VERITABLE ARSENAL OF INFO, SOME OF IT USEFUL

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060

SEPTEMBER 2016 

TOPGEAR.COM

,303(,787"832%32|7 Queen Mary University have superglued tiny numberplates to 500 bees and released them across the city. The goal is to track them by asking people to take pictures if they see one. Each is identified by a simple number and colour code, and although some of the flashier bees requested personalised plates, it was NOT2B.

A 19-year-old has invented a free chatbot that helps users dispute parking tickets. Joshua Browder describes his website DoNotPay.co.uk as the ;360%|7',678}63#380";=&6~"2%+"773'"6+&04&% 3:&68962KPJJJJ',2&7,232%32"2%&;36/ 8 works by asking a series of questions to determine ,'=39$"2"44&"08+&2(&2&6"8&7"0&("00&88&6 and walks you through the rest of the process.

PENNY  A Texas man convicted of driving at 39mph ,2"MJ14+>32&+"74",%+,7',2&6"8+&6 %,73#0,(,2(0=;,8+LLJJJ4&22,&76&88 Sanders transported the coins in buckets "2%%914&%8+&132"$"7+,&6|7%&7/0"8&6 7"=,2(} 8'&08(33%8378,$/,8838+&1"2~ +&28+&132&=;"7&:&289"00=$3928&% ,88962&%398+&|%3:&64",%#=nQRK

IMAGES:GET T Y, JOSEPH WOODGATE / QMUL, BRET T SANDERS

Uses just 30 amps of power each day


WHY NOT GIVE THEM ANOTHER REASON TO STARE....

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Bugatti +,632w

If you could pick any car ever madeâ&#x20AC;¦ "2%+"% 731&;+&6& 83 /&&4=396$300&$8,32 ;+"8;390%#& ,2=3966&"1 "6"(&w &|6&"7/,2(=39 83 :38&'36 8+&8+6&&$"67 8+"8=39;390%4,$/ 83',00=3966&"1 "6"(& 39$390%(3'36 8+& 0"8&78"2%(6&"8&78+=4&6$"6"$0"77,$=39|:&"0;"=7 0978&%"'8&6"0&(&2%"6=6"$,2($"6 36 32&'631=396'":396,8& ',01"2=8+,2(=39 0,/&6&"00=#98=39$"2 320=+":&8+6&& 38 73&"7= ,7 ,8w

M

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SEPTEMBER 2016

063


IN THE COCKPIT...

MercedesMaybach Pullman TIRED OF THE RIFF-RAFF? STEP THIS WAY, SIR

othing keeps out the smell of the peasantry like a Mercedes-Maybach Pullman. Not only are you sealed off from the world behind privacy glass and curtains; you can even silence the butler with the electrically operated partition between the driver’s quarters and the “club lounge” in which you’re reclining at precisely 43.5° – the preferred posture of the world’s highest rankers. In short – or rather, long – it’s a 6.5-metre super-limo with a 5.9-litre, twin-turbo V12 making 522bhp, which is a sufficient amount of poke, should Jeeves be feeling frisky. It’s a full metre longer than a regular stretched S-Class, so there’s plenty of legroom, so long as you’re happy sitting scissor-legged with the person opposite. If you can’t bear that sort of physical contact, simply delete the fold-down, rear-facing seats and make the bodyguards jog alongside. Prices start from around €500,000 for the unarmoured version, rising to even sillier amounts for the full, luxe-apocalypse model.

N

This is the view from the VIP chairs, looking forward to the cheap seats "2%%6,:&6|7 compartment. The partition screen changes from transparent to opaque at the touch of a button.

And this (inset) is the view from the rear-facing seats. Notice how the executive chairs opposite have flip-out calf – and therefore cankle – supports, plus a squishy head pillow.

Standard kit includes an 18.5- inch telly and a Burmester sound system. You can spec the rest however you like, "2%8+&6&|7#"6&0= a square inch that $"2|8#&70"8+&6&% in leather.

Three analogue instruments inform passengers 3'8+&$"6|7 74&&%[ as well as the temperature "2%8,1& 3987,%&[;+,$+ is presumably the same as it ,7 ,27,%&

CRASH-PROOF DUMMY THE PERFECT HUMAN IS HERE

064

This is Graham. Graham is what humans would look like if, by some freak of Darwinism, we had somehow evolved with the physical ability to

SEPTEMBER 2016 

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survive car crashes. +"8|7"$$36%,2( 83 8+& Australian scientists who created Graham. His inflated skull – and several deflated #6&"787 "6&%&7,(2&%

to show the areas of the body most at risk %96,2("+,(+74&&% $300,7,32[8+39(+8+&= also prove Phil Mitchell from EastEnders is safe at any speed.

3;+"8|7"$6"7+\4633' guy like you doing in a 1"(">,2& 0,/& 8+,7w

PHOTO: TAC

NEWS IN BRIEF


BUY | DOWNLOAD | KEEP

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In the blue corner Name: Jack Rix (& 32 Occupation: deputy editor Secret weapon: leather gloves

In the red corner Name: Ollie Marriage (& 43 Occupation: motoring editor Secret weapon: burnouts

Gentlemen, these are your instructions. Obey the rules, protect yourself at all times, and only resort to violence if you really have to. Ding dingâ&#x20AC;Ś

FIGHT

Is the"&66"6, 4&68" for hairdressers?


JR: 6&"8 2&;7u&66"6,+"7 0344&%8+&633'3''8+&"&66"6, ,278"280= 1"/,2( ,8"#&88&6$"63; /23;;+"8=39|6&463#"#0=(3,2( 83 say, that convertibalising a car compromises its performance and 8+&6&'36&$394&7"6&794&6,36 ,2&:&6=;"=#98 8+&=|6&.978 238+& noise from this thing will trump any nanolosses in torsional rigidity.

TH E KNOW LE DG E

15:07 OM: The losses in torsional rigidity should be nanoscale given it has "'900$"6#32 89##98=39|:&"06&"%=40"=&%=396 86914$"6% 8+"8 "7"$32:&68,#0& 8+&4&68";,00 7392%#&88&6=8+&8,1&=39|:& ;392%,8 398 ,2',678 (&"6=39|00#&833;366,&%"#398=396 86&2%= barnet (not a problem I have) and gale-force wind noise will have overcome the V12. Then again, my counter argument is tenuousâ&#x20AC;Ś

15:15 JR: Go on, then â&#x20AC;&#x201C; what is it?

15:25 OM: The coupe is cooler. It just is. Do you deny that?

15:27 JR:+&6&|7 463#"#0="7&4"6"8&"6(91&28 83#&+"%32;+&8+&6 a ÂŁ1m Ferrari is a bit show-offy to be cool at all, with or without the roof, but giving it the benefit of the doubt, I wholeheartedly deny =396 78"8&1&2839%3 238#9="&&66"6,'36 ,87 6&',2&1&28 36 83 go unnoticed; 950bhp from a screaming V12 with a little electrical assistance should be a sensory bombardment, and the Aperta will amplify that, which is only a good thing. I totally get that a drop-top M4 is a wobbly, bloated barge next to the coupe, but, in this case, no roof is clearly the way forward.

THINGS YOU DONâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;T KNOW BUT ARE TOO EMBARRASSED TO ASK #05 Wind deflectors

15:36 OM: 978"7;&00 4&6+"47 (,:&2 8+"8 "7791&=39|6&238 (3,2( 83 be able to carry the carbon roof panels with you and I bet the other option, a fabric soft-top, will look just dandy. No one will fit that. &7,%&7 |1 238 796&&66"6,|7 43$/&8$"0$90"836 ,7;36/,2("2= 136& 7,2$&,8|7$0",1,2( 8+,7+"7 8+&7"1&"&63"7 8+&+"6%834 ;,8+36;,8+398 8+&633'+&K 8&"1$0&"60=+"72|8#&&2 0&88,2( 8+&1 ,2 8+&;,2%8922&038&:&2 83 8&78"2 3;2&6|769144,&$&

15:46

What do they do? Wind deďŹ&#x201A;ectors or draught-stops keep your barnet in check by reducing the turbulence youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d normally experience driving an open-top car at speed. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re follically challenged, move right along because this doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t concern you.

%32|8+":&"+ Us neither, but the basic principle is simple enough. Highpressure air rushing over the top of the windscreen meets the low-pressure air already swirling about in the cabin. This creates a kind of vortex, which eďŹ&#x20AC;ectively reverses the airďŹ&#x201A;ow and blows your hair forwards towards the dashboard, all over your face. Not ideal.

JR: I agree (begrudgingly) â&#x20AC;&#x201C; it does seem odd that the claimed performance is identical to the coupe (0â&#x20AC;&#x201C;62mph in 2.9 seconds and 218mph, lest we forget), but perhaps Ferrari has punched a loophole in the very fabric of physics with this powertrain? Either ;"= ,8|7 920,/&0=46374&$8,:&3;2&67;,00#&8"/,2( ,8 83 8+&398&6 limits of its performance very often, not when at well over ÂŁ1m it costs more than a four-bed semi in Fulham.

How do those flimsy things help?

15:52 OM: Or a Scottish estate and the title that goes with it. Anyway, ;+"8 6&"00=#9(7 1&"#398 8+&",7 8+&$=2,$,71&66"6, 1"=7"=8+&6&|7#&&2}7,(2,',$"28"2%&<8&27,:&13%,',$"8,32 83 8+&$+"77,7~#98 $"2|8 7&&,8 1=7&0'+,7 ,7"$378&''&$8,:& engineering job that allows Ferrari to pump a bunch more hypercars out to greedy investors eager for a return on investment, not the thrill of 8,000rpm with no roof. And Gordon Ramsay has one coming, ergo I win.

15:59 JR: &%3&7"2%+&|7'"13970=46&$,397"#398+,7+",66":&$+"4 |:&+&"6%+&"06&"%=+"7""&66"6,$394& 73;&|%#&88&6 78"68 03##=,2(+,1 83'"$,0,8"8&8+&8;,2 8&78 23;+"8|7+3;;&7&880& this once and for allâ&#x20AC;Ś

A screen erected behind the front seats (or in a four-seater, the rear seats) mostly stops that air, which has been whipped around, from hitting you in the back of the head. They make the cockpit quieter, and more comfortable for those of us with hair easily ruined by even a moderate breeze.

 It took Merc years to develop its solution, which pairs a conventional deďŹ&#x201A;ector over the rear seats with a pop-up net/panel at the top of the windscreen, which elevates airďŹ&#x201A;ow and raises cabin pressure.

16:08 TOPGEAR.COM



SEPTEMBER 2016

067


DRIVE IT: BENTLEY CGT BY SIR PETER BLAKE

SEE IT: BMW ART CARS AT THE PETERSEN MUSEUM

BUY IT: WORLD CHAMPS IN ART BY MARK DICKENS

R E V I E W

How to get your car art fix WE DONâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;T KNOW MUCH ABOUT ART, BUT WE KNOW WHAT WE LIKE... TG PRESENTS ARTISTIC AUTOMOBILES

068

SEPTEMBER 2016 

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WORDS: TOM HARRISON, IMAGES: PETERSEN AUTOMOTIVE MUSEUM, SUT TON IMAGES

READ IT: CARROS DE CUBA BY PIOTR DEGLER


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INTERVIEW

Lewis Hamilton WE CHAT TO THE F1 CHAMPION ABOUT MOTORBIKES, MERCS AND A POSSIBLE MOVE INTO CAR-MAKING

What do you drive on the road, Lewis? I usually ride a motorbike. It’s what I always wanted to do. I wanted to ride motorbikes before I wanted to race cars. But my dad got me a go-kart, and I’m grateful he did, but as soon as I was able to buy something, I got my bike licence and bought a bike. When I got to McLaren, I had a Mercedes C300, and after I won my first Grand Prix, I said: “I think it’s time to give me an AMG,” so I got a CLK Black Series, so there was no need to buy anything myself. From then, I always had Black Series models. I do still get to enjoy my cars. Sometimes when I get home to Monaco, I take a car out. But I always want to keep the mileage low on all my cars! So I don’t ever really go that far. Particularly in the cars I bought, like the Zonda, which was a serious investment.

WORDS: STEPHEN DOBIE

What do you enjoy in road cars? It’s the look, the sound, and I’m always looking for horsepower. Everyone wants big horsepower! Though actually, the Bugatti doesn’t do it for me. The Chiron does look good, the GT version especially. But I’m more old-school and I like a V12; the Bugatti has two engines bolted together. Though it is amazing to drive. But I guess it’s just a personal feeling, taste. When you eventually save up and buy ‘that car’, or do whatever it is to get ‘that car’ you’ve had your eyes on, it’s the greatest feeling. My cars are my babies. I used to say, when I had a girlfriend, “I’m taking one of the girls out, so you can come if you want, but you come second when it comes to the cars…”

&22"|7 32& 3'=396+&63&7 Like him, would you like to go into road car development?

+,7 71,0& 7"=7} |1 taking one of the girls out tonight”

It’s already something that I’m speaking to Tobias Moers [head of AMG] about, something I want to get involved in. I love speccing cars up, I’m always getting into serious detail with my cars. With Mercedes, they haven’t usually gone into the detail that I have [as standard options], so I have to find out if they can actually do those things I want. When they first brought the AMG GT R to me, I had all these ideas! I was talking to Tobias, “You’ve got all this F1 technology, and you’ve got the world champion driving your car, let’s do something together.” At some stage, I want to do my own car with them, like a GT LH or something like that. A limited-edition series, which I can test, which I can set up, and which I can have a real hands-on approach with the design. When they eventually give me the budget to do so!

39|:& (38 59,8& 0,:&0=+3##,&7 0,/& 796',2("2% 723;#3"6%,2(  3;%3=39 (&8";"=;,8+8+&1w Naturally sportsmen and women aren’t really allowed to do things. But when I was at McLaren, I said: “These are the things I’m most likely to do,” and when I joined this team, I said: “These are the things I do; I’m not going to stop.” I’m conscious I never ever want to watch someone else drive my car, but also I want to live my life and I try to be as sensible as I can while still having fun.

The AMG GT R: a car capable of giving Lewis “ideas”. That can only be a good thing

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SEPTEMBER 2016

071


MOTORSPORT

Le Mans Classic THE ANTIDOTE TO MODERN MOTORSPORT. BRING EARPLUGS

wo weeks after the likes of Porsche, Audi and still-sobbing Toyota roll out of Le Mans in their clinically clean team trucks, an army of old-timers arrives to party like it’s, well, anywhere between 1923 and 1993, actually. Le Mans Classic welcomes everything from pre-war Bugattis and Blower Bentleys to D-types, GT40s and sublime, howling Group C monsters, racing in chronological categories through day and night. And we do mean racing. It’s as evocative as sport gets, the air thick with leaded fumes and grids worth more than an RBS bailout careening around with legends like Derek Bell and Andy Wallace at the wheel. Honestly, it makes the Goodwood Revival look like a fancy-dress garden party, and word is spreading. In 2014, 53,000 people attended. 2016? Try 120,000 people, sweltering in 39 degrees of La Sarthe summer heat and overrun flames. LMC returns in July 2018. Clear your diary, yeah? OK

IMAGES: PETER AYLWARD.CO.UK

T

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VW CAMPER BED

Gadgets

A foot in both camps STAYCATION GLAMPING REACHES NEW LEVELS OF LUXURY

Our Novelty Bed of the Month award goes to this, 8+&,6$9{92"2|"70&&4,2(43%13%&00&%32 "2&"60=740,87$6&&2"14&6 '=39;"2832& =39|002&&%8;38+,2(7"#&%63318+&7,>&3'" 759"7+$3968"2%"#"2/#"0"2$&,2',:&',(96&7 +"8|7#&$"97&,8|7'3961&86&7032(8;31&86&78"00 "2%$3787MMJJJ59,%3,8|78+&7"1&7,>&"78+& 6&"08+,2(,8+"7"',#6&(0"77#3%=;+&&07;,8+ 6&"08=6&7"%39#0&,7+7,>&%#&%"$96:&% 7$6&&28&00="2%"'6,%(&988+,7,72|8"786,44&% 36$32:&68&%$"14&6,8|7496437&#9,08738+& %"7+#3"6%,7"%&7/8+&%6,:&6|77&"8,7"4"%%&% chair, and the whole interior is lined with a 637&;33%:&2&&6 £33,000; circu.net

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SEPTEMBER 2016

075


Tracksuit

£20


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Smart and Scandi CARDIGAN-LESS COOL 01 Liam TX polo. A gun-hugging polo from the Stockholm sports-fashion brand J Lindeberg, which is probably best known for its golf gear. £60; houseoffraser.co.uk 02 Jerry sand backpack. A waxed canvas, roll-top rucksack from Sweden. €189; sandqvist.net 03 Horn Ernest sunnies. "6"1&083683,7&7+&00+3626,17'6316,;"|7 expanding catalogue, which also includes watches. £115; triwa.com 04 Selected Homme slim-fit trousers '=39+":&2|83;2&%"4",63' "2,7+%6";786,2(86397&67=39|:&#&&2%3,2(,8 wrong. £45; selected.com 05 Suede espadrilles. Not all espadrilles are made of canvas and rope. These 32&7"6&$98'63179&%&"2%69##&6738+&=|6&136& for drivers than deck hands. £45; selected.com

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SEPTEMBER 2016

077


Watches

How to red-line THE WATCHES WE WANT THIS MONTH

MHD SQ1 The latest from the watch workshop of Matthew Humphries, who started his career with work experience at Morgan before they put him in charge of the design department – he was 21 years old at the time – where he styled the Aeromax, Eva GT and the new 3Wheeler. These days he runs his own design business and also makes watches. The first designs were customised Seikos, which you can still buy, along with this new range styled from scratch. The SQ1 on a perforated rally strap is the pick of the lot, and riffs the case shape and dial style of Sixties and Seventies motoring watches, including a rev$3928&6{6&%>32&|#&8;&&2R"2%KL3|$03$/ £250; matthewhumphriesdesignwatches.com

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SEPTEMBER 2016

079


WELLMAN.CO.UK

Live life well

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PAUL HORRELL ONâ&#x20AC;Ś

Autonomous driving ITâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S THE FUTURE APPARENTLY, BUT THE PRESENT ISNâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;T PRETTY

was oďŹ&#x20AC; to Gatwick Airport in a MercedesBenz E-Class. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll look like an UberEXEC, I thought. I mentioned this to a mate who, among other jobs, has done a bit of Uber driving. He said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Just wear a tie, drive really badly and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll ďŹ t right in.â&#x20AC;? Well, I had the rubbishdriving bit covered, because this particular E was optioned up with all Mercedesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; semi-autonomous technology. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s seriously maladroit, but then again Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve tried the rival systems including Teslaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. They all labour under the same deďŹ ciencies. I know it takes time to acclimatise to sharing the driving with such a system, so I used the E-Class for a week on the main routes through London and on motorways. I began the trial determined to be openminded and receptive. I ended infuriated, mostly keeping it ďŹ rmly in the oďŹ&#x20AC; position. You can ask the car to steer, brake and accelerate for itself. Some manufacturers insist you keep your hands on the wheel, but the E-Class and especially the Tesla donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t object if you drop out at length. Anyway, all these systems are meant to move the wheel in the same direction as you would. It feels like following a set of tramlines. They observe the white lines if itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s clear ahead, or if thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s something in front they follow its speed and path (even absent white lines), up to the speed youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve set. But the steer-assist always operates in a series of small bites then corrections. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re overtaking a truck, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d move slightly away to avoid its draught. If the road curves youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d take a line that clips the apex then moves out on exit. The systems donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t. They muggishly stick to the lane centre. Unless they canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t see it. And they often canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t, especially at times when you could most use the

I

help, like when itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dark or wet or the lines are faint. Or if the road has been repaired and they follow the patchâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boundary instead of the lane line. They also frequently fail when the side of your lane is a kerb not a white line. And sometimes get utterly bewildered when lanes merge. Their speed control is more reliable but has all the ďŹ nesse of a rock ape. It accelerates up to the maximum youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve set, unless a car in front is going slower, when itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll follow at an approximately ďŹ xed time gap. A good human driver (you or, ahem, me) actually smoothes the ďŹ&#x201A;ow. You use the brake lights and general body language of the traďŹ&#x192;c around and ahead. The radar car has no anticipation or canniness. It sees only the car directly ahead, not the ones in the distance. So it brakes later and harder than you, especially when a car politely indicates then pulls into your lane. This shreds your nerves. Plus, on busy roads superďŹ&#x201A;uous braking can set up a compression ripple that spreads back through the traďŹ&#x192;c behind, which can bring things to a complete stop. The whole experience is like having a ďŹ rst-day work-experience kid on the job. It takes more energy to supervise than youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d use if you were doing it all yourself. Their ham-ďŹ sted jerky driving is bad enough, but what unsettles me more is the moment when they hand back control to you. Why would they surrender when the going is easy? They donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t. They ďŹ&#x201A;ash red and sound a bong at the moment they canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t read the road ahead, or some nearby vehicle does something anomalous, or vision goes obscure, or some state of aďŹ&#x20AC;airs arises that the system simply wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t programmed to cope with. This is highly likely to be an acute situation. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve let your attention wander and then youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re called back

H O R R E L L vs I NTE R N ET

STOP WHAT | 

,8|7 8+&7832 "68,2 JJK

AmericanFan#1 1"'3 8+&6&|7 nothing remotely 7832"68,2 "#398 8+,7  (,:& it a zero per cent $+"2$&3'&:&6 &<,78,2(#&$"97& 7832 ,72|8 (3,2( 83 be able to pay for ,8"2% %39#8&% 900;,00;"28 83

Paul Horrell &007832 730% LO90$"27"2%QQ 2&QQ7 73 ,8+"7 46&:,397 6&("6%,2( 7&00,2( :&6= &<4&27,:&$"67 Not to mention "("837"2%73 32 31&8+,2( 3:&6 MJJ 4&340&+":& 498%3;2 7&6,397 &<46&77,327 3' ,28&6&78 ,2 8+& JJK"2% 7&:&6"0 3'8+37&"6& $966&28K%6,:&67

â&#x20AC;&#x153;The whole experience is like having a first-day workexperience kid on the jobâ&#x20AC;? to the driving, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to take you â&#x20AC;&#x201C; possibly critical â&#x20AC;&#x201C; tenths of a second to zone back in. Now itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s true that a prerequisite for a semiautonomous system is that many sensors are in place that can save your bacon. Among them are blind-spot assist, lane-departure warning, pedestrian detection, and autonomous braking for crash mitigation. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m always glad to have those gadgets active in the background when itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s me doing the driving. But thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a very diďŹ&#x20AC;erent thing from letting such detection systems and their digital friends take over completely. One day, perhaps quite soon, autonomous systems will be expert enough to be relied on. But as of now, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m treating them as strictly experimental. TOPGEAR.COM

You can find Paul most days overseeing the TopGear.com comments section



SEPTEMBER 2016

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BERNIE ECCLESTONE

The EDDIE JORDAN interview

The head honcho of F1 is notoriously difficult to access. Luckily, Eddie Jordan is on our 8&"1"2%+&|7(3846&:,397  As does our editor-in-chief...


Bernie Ecclestone:

“I should have sued you.” I’m very relieved to report Bernie wasn’t talking to me, but to editor-in-chief Charlie Turner. Fourteen years ago, Charlie handed in his notice to Mr Bernard Charles Ecclestone at F1 HQ after six tumultuous months working on his magazine. Today, much to Charlie’s unease, we’re back in the same room (with its eclectic melange of art and artefacts, including a supersized bronze of the man himself, a framed broken plate entitled “Let it be” and a World Business Award, presented in 2002 by Mikhail Gorbachev) for me to interview the F1 ringmaster. Luckily as he utters these words he cracks a smile and shakes our hands, but some things never change… At 85, Bernie shows no signs of slowing down or obvious succession planning for the sport that he’s spent the past 43 years guiding, managing and building into one of the world’s most valuable sporting commodities... Eddie Jordan: We won’t be long. Kick us out when you want, will you? BE: OK, I will. [laughs]

TOPGEAR.COM



SEPTEMBER 2016

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BERNIE ECCLESTONE

EJ: Let’s go… Why are you a winner? BE: Who said I was a winner? EJ: I’m saying. You’ve been a winner all your life. BE: I’m lucky. EJ: No, no. That’s different. Why are you a winner? BE: I’m lucky. That’s all. EJ: You’re a gambler? BE: Yup. EJ: Does gambling come naturally to you? BE: If I feel like something’s gonna be right, I invest in it, whatever it is. EJ: Does that mean new races as well? BE: Yep. EJ: I’ve always described you as a visionary. I never really wanted to go to Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Singapore… but these are turning out to be sensational races. Did you have that in your mind all the time? BE: Don’t forget I started looking at China a long time before any of those races happened. I always thought go east, not west… EJ: What do you think your greatest skill is as a businessman? I mean, look at what you’ve created. You’re the son of a trawlerman. You didn’t have anything like this coming into life. What’s your skill? BE: You might have asked that of an artist or a musician or whatever… but with me it just happens. EJ: But you’re a dealer. BE: That’s it, I’m a dealer. That’s exactly right. I’m a used car dealer. EJ: What part of this job do you find gives you the most satisfaction? BE: I suppose it’s knowing when you’ve come up with an idea that works, when you’ve got it right, whatever it is. I’m very, very happy with these races, I was delighted with Baku. People said I was completely mad; I was so happy when it all turned out all right. Charlie Turner: Where would you like to go next? BE: Turkey. Two races we’ve lost which I’m genuinely upset about were India and Turkey. EJ: But I’ve got to ask you, then... It’s unlikely we’re going to see a French GP in the foreseeable future, Italy looks in grave danger, and Germany. Have you got good substitutes for these in the future? BE: It’s not as easy as that… it’s disappointing to think that all these countries spend a lot of money trying to get the Olympics. Which, obviously, is not

“ If it was a two-horse race it would be good”

the easiest thing to do, and nobody makes any money out of. Yet, for the small amount of money they could [invest] in a Formula One race, they don’t want to do it… EJ: Why do you think that is? BE: I have no idea. It’s the same as in England. Silverstone is not, I’d say, super-safe – quite the opposite. These circuits don’t need a lot of money to make them safe. EJ: Britain had no problem spending billions on the Olympics. BE: Ah, yes. It’d be interesting to know exactly how much they got back, and what the country’s got back from that. EJ: Can Monza survive? BE: The state of Lombardy has got the money, it wants to put the money up, and the federation there wants to do what it wants to do, but doesn’t put any money in, but wants to be in charge. It’s very political. EJ: Are we getting a slightly noisier engine next year? Because the noise is an issue… BE: It is, a BIG issue. CT: And you’ve been very vocal in wanting to make the cars louder, wanting change... BE: That’s the trouble. We need to get rid of Lauda… that’s a problem. EJ: Yeah, but then you’d have no one to control Toto. BE: Yeah, maybe you’re right, let’s keep Lauda. CT: But in terms of the noise, you’ve been very vocal about wanting to change it, but it seems like Mercedes and Ferrari have a stranglehold on stopping that from happening. BE: Not really. No, wait a minute. Somebody, Max was the one that said, “We ought to have smaller engines and you’re going to get more manufacturers,” I said to him at the time, “But why don’t we get the manufacturers in, subject to us having smaller engines? Not the other way around – not have the small engine and hope they come,” because they come and go when it suits them. So, that’s what the problem has been, and they spend a fortune on these engines, and they don’t want to dump them. And they’ve just convinced the board to spend all this money, and then you say, “Well, it seemed a good idea at the time,” and nobody knew how those engines would finish up. When they were designed no one would have believed they were going to be what we got. CT: But how much can you influence the change? BE: We can’t really because, as I say, the bottom line is that they have spent a fortune, and done a fantastic job. The engine, as an engineering project, is super. CT: But it’s far too expensive. BE: It’s not what we want. EJ: It’s not sexy. I remember you, me and Flavio having a discussion and you saying, “Under the

engine cover, no one cares what’s in there. Nobody cares.” BE: Nobody knows. EJ: But they don’t care, either. So, I’m one for saving cost. Should there be more common parts, for example? At present, you have the situation where Mercedes supply their teams, and only Mercedes win. Ferrari supplies its group of people. Surely it’s a two-horse race at the moment. It feels like there’s no room for the Jordan of years gone by… BE: If it was a two-horse race it would be good, it’s a one-horse race. EJ: Bernie, your relationship with Toto is a little bit strained. BE: No. There’s no problem. Zero problem. EJ: Do you see him as a threat? BE: A threat for what? EJ: Well, he’s very close to Ferrari and he’s very close to Mercedes. Do you see him in a position where he might try to oust you? BE: I’m very happy for him to try. Or anybody else. It doesn’t bother me, these things. I mean it’s good. EJ: Yeah, but Bernie, there have been times that you’ve been very frustrated with him. You were not happy with him about the engine...


Bernie and Max Mosley back in the day. Below left and right: a taste of some of &62,&|7"68 collection

BE: No, frustrated about the fact that they are in a position that THEY can – not him in particular – decide what they’re going to do. Because they supply the teams so when there’s a vote on something he votes, Ferrari vote, and all the teams they supply vote for them because they can’t vote any other way. So it’s not entirely a level playing field. EJ: You have spies out there, and you must be very aware that he’s [Toto] close to Ferrari. How close is he? BE: Was. EJ: Has that broken up now? BE: I don’t think they’ve ever been that close. I think they wanted to see Ferrari be a little bit more competitive, better at beating other people down the field, and Ferrari was happy to get the information it got. Because it got a lot of information from Mercedes… EJ: And that’s as much as it is – it isn’t anything sinister. BE: No. EJ: If you were Toto, you were the boss at Mercedes, what would you say if your two drivers were running into each other as often as they are now? BE: Well, it depends. I mean, this time of the year, I’d let them race, for sure. If, later in the season, it was a case of one of them needing to be sensible, and be like a team driver because another team were going to snatch the championship away from them, I’d then say to them, “You’d better start having a think about this and maybe you should let the other person in the team do the winning to get

“ Shake my hand. A deal is a deal forever” the points.” In this case… one of those two is going to win the championship, so that’s not going to be the point. EJ: Is Toto strong enough to be able to deal with two major drivers like that in the team? What would you do… you’re Toto, you’re the boss. BE: Keep racing. EJ: What… keep hitting each other? BE: Try not to hit each other. What do you want me to do? EJ: Yeah. So you don’t think there is a credible formula to control those two? BE: No. CT: OK. Do you think that a situation has been created where Mercedes is so dominant that the championship is obviously between those two and therefore

the interest and excitement is between those two and those two alone? BE: Yeah. CT: That’s a bit of a damning indictment on the sport, or the dominance of Mercedes within it, isn’t it? Because, in essence, Lewis and Nico are going to win each race. Everyone knows that. That for you must be a problem. Isn’t it? In terms of ratings? BE: Well, of course it is. Massive. CT: Do you find that hugely frustrating? BE: Yeah. Sure. Before they go to the race, people want to think four or five guys could win, but now… Normally you’d say, “One of those two, and I think it’s going to be Lewis,” because that’s what had been proved up to now – thank God that Nico has won some races. CT: What would you do if you were setting out again to stop Mercedes being as dominant as it is? What would you do and at what point, to change it? BE: It’s the engine. They should have never had that. The biggest mistake people have made... I say, “people,” because it wasn’t just me alone, was not insisting Mercedes supply Red Bull an engine. Because had they supplied the same engine as they had, you would have seen good racing, you would have seen Red Bull up there last year. EJ: Bernie, I thought you had that negotiated with Niki? What happened there? BE: Well, they changed their mind. EJ: Who changed it for them? Toto? BE: Yeah, I think Toto. Didn’t want competition. EJ: That’s not really in the interest of Formula One, overall is it? BE: No, but it’s in HIS personal interest. EJ: But he has to think about the sport, does he not? The sport is paying him an awful lot of money; surely he has an obligation? Particularly when a deal was done, Bernie. BE: They would deny there was a deal done. Didi (Mateschitz) and Niki, when they shook hands, Niki said, “It was just saying goodbye.” EJ: I always remember something from my earliest days meeting you. You said, “Shake my hand. A deal is a deal forever. Get me to sign a contract, and I’ll find a way out of it.” Do you still hold that view? BE: Absolutely. Yeah, I’d rather the handshake for somebody that I can trust than a contract. Because you can read the bloody contract – perhaps if you made a little bit of a mistake writing it – in a way to suit you. EJ: Max Verstappen is a breath of fresh air. BE: Great, eh? You’d have had him in your day… EJ: Since last year I said, “I think this kid is absolutely world-class.” Have you seen anything to change that view? BE: No. Early on, I thought he’d got a bit lucky, and the press had been very much behind him, and lifted him... but I think he’s what you said… EJ: For his age, he’s fantastic. So, we have some great stars on the horizon. We’ve got lots of good drivers there. TOPGEAR.COM



SEPTEMBER 2016

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BE: Yes, but you know thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s one or two â&#x20AC;&#x201C; if we

didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have Nico and Lewis in those cars â&#x20AC;&#x201C; thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s one or two guys down the ďŹ eld who in those cars would have delivered the same. CT: Who else do you look at on the grid and rate in a similar way that you rate Verstappen? BE: I think at the moment itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s diďŹ&#x192;cult to say. The Mexican guy [PĂŠrez] is good, gets the job done. EJ: On street circuits, he does a good job. Tell me, Wehrlein, ďŹ rst year in F1, which we know how diďŹ&#x192;cult it is to penetrate the top ďŹ ve or six positions. Toto must be happy with his young driver ďŹ nishing in the top tenâ&#x20AC;Ś he ďŹ nished 10th in Austria, which is remarkableâ&#x20AC;Ś Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s another young kid whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s worth watchingâ&#x20AC;Ś BE: Yeah, I think he gets it. This whole thing â&#x20AC;&#x201C; as you know, the same as me â&#x20AC;&#x201C; is a case of what equipment youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got. He has got a personal contract with Mercedes or with Toto, and I think he might get a bit of help. EJ: Engine-wise? BE: And a few other thingsâ&#x20AC;Ś EJ: Can we talk about politics perhaps? Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re an advocate for Leave. You think you backed the right horse? BE: Absolutely. EJ: Where do you see Europe now? BE: Well I think we should SHUT UP, stop talking about negotiating anything, just be quiet and let things sort themselves out a little bit, and see what happens. Maybe there will be one or two other countries that think what Britainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s done, we can do, and it seems the right way to go. EJ: Trying to look at this crystal ball, in two yearsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; time would Britain be very happy that they made that bold decision? BE: Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m sure they will. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m absolutely sure. CT: What is it, as a businessman, that makes you think that? BE: Well I think we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t need some people in Brussels trying to run countries that are some distance apart, who donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t speak the same language, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t eat the same food. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a bit of diďŹ&#x20AC;erence between, Holland, if you like, and Italy. EJ: Do you think Trump has a chance? BE: I hope so. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d be good for the world if he won. EJ: Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d be good for your friend Putin, because heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d be laughing all the way around the world, wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t he? BE: Trump would want to cosy up to him for sure, and heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d be right to do that. Which would be good for the world. CT: So in a world where Trump gets voted in in America, what does that do to the axis of power? Because youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve dealt with Putinâ&#x20AC;Ś EJ: Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s his mateâ&#x20AC;Ś CT: What is it that you see in him that you admire? BE: Putin or Trump? CT: Putin and Trump. BE: Trump, I think, is the sort of guy that if he maybe thought heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d made a little bit of a mistake, would ďŹ nd a way out, he wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to say, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Well, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve done and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m sticking to it, and I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t give a damn.â&#x20AC;? Which is what the other people in America would be like. With

Designed by Gordon Murray, the BT44 was "68,2,|7#,(#,8& at F1 sponsorship. Bernie did the deal to bring them in


BERNIE ECCLESTONE

Putin, he says he’s going to do something, he gets on it, does it. CT: Is that a quality that you admire? BE: Yeah. Super. It’s a handshake, isn’t it? EJ: Do you enjoy causing trouble? You like aggravation? You live on it. I live on it. BE: If somebody says, “You like putting out fires,” and I say, “It’s not a case of liking it, but I do put them out, and if there aren’t fires left I make them, so I can put them out.” It’s what we do. CT: How long do you want to keep doing what you’re doing? BE: Honestly, I’ve never told anybody this, so I don’t know if maybe you shouldn’t print it, but I’ve made plans. I’m only going to continue doing this for another 25 years. (laughs) EJ: No, no, the reality. Bernie, you have the most adorable wife. She’s intelligent, she’s attractive, she’s gorgeous, she’s highly qualified, she knows how to win a Grand Prix, she’s a lawyer. Would it not be sensible – or is it possible – that you could hand over some of the reins to her to take some of the workload off you, or do you feel that she wouldn’t want to do it? BE: I have. EJ: But we don’t see her in the office. BE: No, because she’s running the coffee farm in Brazil. EJ: I’ve seen the beans. They are great beans if you can get your hands on them. Bernie, have you ever thought about it? She would run this brilliantly. She wouldn’t or couldn’t? BE: She wouldn’t. I love her too much to punish her with that. EJ: Well, I’m very happy to hear that, but at the same time, she actually could do a good job. BE: She could… let’s put it this way. She certainly could do a better job than other people that are involved... EJ: She is a proper individual. And let me tell you, you are the luckiest man, other than me, on this planet. Because Fabiana is an ace. BE: It’s because we both deserve it. EJ: Best decision you ever made in your life? Marrying Fabiana. I’ll answer that one for you… yes. Boy, I tell you what. She must have a Labrador and a white stick. How the hell she ever married you is beyond belief honestly. BE: My charm. [chuckles] EJ: Like I said, she must have a Labrador and a very big white stick. BE: I tell you what. You should know because you’re not much bigger than me… EJ: I wear bigger… bigger heels. BE: But I suppose, in fairness, it probably doesn’t apply to you, but this hidden talent ... [stands up]. I won’t wear shorts. [waves crotch at EJ] EJ: Actually, those trousers are very tight on you, Bernie. [chuckles] CT: What do you see as the future of F1? Would you like it to be more competitive, more even-handed, more... BE: No… Our sport is ruled whether it’s for good and bad, or whatever, for technical things. There’s

lots of teams out there that could and should have done better if they’d have had technical things. I suppose in the end that basically revolves around how much money they’re gonna get. I mean, let’s be realistic about that. I think Mercedes when it started the engine [development] didn’t have a budget. It spent. And then lots of teams don’t and can’t. I mean Red Bull, for example, that won four world championships, didn’t know the word “budget”, and it’s a case that it hadn’t got the ability to have the engine that it should have had. Because somebody else [Mercedes] had the engine, wouldn’t let them have it, because they didn’t want competition. CT: So if you could write the script of F1 going forwards, would you limit budgets and help the smaller teams to get the competition back? BE: No, I’d just make sure they all had, firstly, the same power – it’s good that they’ve got the same tyres, so now it’s a case of do they need to build their own chassis or not? We said in the meeting some time ago, when there was the liquidator of

“ I put out fires, and if there "6&2|8"2=

I make them” one of the teams unfortunate enough to spend more than they got, and I was saying then… “I’ll tell you what I’m prepared to do. I’ll supply all of you with engines and chassis, and give you £35 million a year to race,” and this guy was the liquidator. He said, “We want to be constructors.” [bangs table] I thought [air out of teeth] I could see the problems we have. EJ: Bernie, for someone to take over from you in these 25 years that you’re talking about, it’s going to be near impossible. Surely you need to take somebody on and guide them through that, Bernie. Do you need to take somebody on fairly soon? BE: To do what?

EJ: To learn from you. Because who knows

what you know? BE: Yeah, but I’m no teacher. And I think, you

know, the way I do things would be difficult to teach somebody to do. They need to get another good used car dealer. That’s what they need. Find a good car dealer. EJ: What’s the worst decision you ever made? BE: I’m thinking about it, because I’ve made so many. I don’t think there’s any one worse than the other. They’re all pretty bad. EJ: Selling Brabham? BE: No. Probably when I gave things to Slavica, you know the shares of the company, and things like that. And she put it all in trust and the trust sold the shares. Um, would I turn the clock back if I could and so I still owned the company completely? Probably yes. It probably wasn’t a good decision, but it was the decision that had to be made. Was I happy that I made it? No. EJ: There’s only one picture of a car in your office. I think it’s Carlos Pace in the Brabham BT44. Is that an indication of what the greatest time in Formula One was for you? BE: Well, I think so, yeah, sure. Not the car. The people that we were dealing with. Not the people in Brabham, the people like you, Ken, Colin Chapman, Mr Ferrari, all those people… yeah. EJ: And the greatest driver? Jochen Rindt your favourite ever… the greatest driver? BE: Well, because we were very close, and we were partners, and we were friends and everything, I would say Jochen, yes, but I think if you said to me who I think has been the greatest driver… I’d say Prost. EJ: And most people would say, er, Senna or Michael. Are you doing that just to be controversial, or what reason do you give for that? BE: No, because Michael had a lot going for him, team-wise, and he always had another driver in the team who was helping him. For a certain period, it was the same for Senna, whereas Prost never had that luxury. He always had competitors with him. I mean, he had Senna, and he had a few other people. So I think you’d have to say perhaps – it’s difficult to say – but if you go across the whole lot, I’d think I’d probably have to say Prost. EJ: Which of all the cars in your collection is the one that if the place was on fire you’d want to save first? BE: I think maybe the BT49 which Nelson won the championship with. Probably, only because of that reason, I suppose. But otherwise I don’t get excited about cars. EJ: Bernie, thank you for your time today. BE: My pleasure.

This interview was conducted on 5 July. As we went to press, Eddie and everyone at TopGear were pleased to hear the kidnap situation involving Bernie’s mother-in-law had reached a safe conclusion. TOPGEAR.COM



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DB11 ACROSS EUROPE

“Bad decisions 1"/&(33%7836,&7~ A wise man once told me that. Well, I say wise, it was actually Rowan Horncastle somewhere in the back end of Romania after several pints of Plop, or whatever the local lager was called. I shan’t elaborate on where the evening took us from there, but the point is this: if there’s even a shred of truth in Rowan’s mantra, then this story was destined to be a winner from the start. Why? Because it began with a very poor decision indeed. “Wouldn’t it be cool if we drove the DB11 to Athens?” an overly enthusiastic member of the TG team proposed. Really? When for £100 easyJet will fold you into an orange tube and have you there in less than four hours? A quick Google confirmed it was a road trip of frankly idiotic proportions, but support for it was swelling by the minute. And when we spotted an opportunity to serve our country in the ambitious but rubbish way only TopGear knows how, it was all but signed and sealed. This would be a post-referendum diplomatic mission, an opportunity to pass through as many European countries as possible and galvanise future trade relationships with our neighbours – not only by smiling, waving and politely sampling their strange cuisine, but by parading past them in a shining example of UK design, engineering and manufacturing at its very best. Oh, and it would be rude not to stop by some of Europe’s best driving roads on the way through… The journey would begin in Brussels, a farewell to our EU comrades, before passing through Maastricht in Holland – birthplace of the single currency. From there we planned to take in Luxembourg, France, Germany, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Greece on a 3,500km cannonball run via 17 countries. This hastily scribbled schedule was barring any unforeseen

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circumstances, of course, such as car trouble, surly border officials or the requirement for humans to sleep. Still, it would be an adventure. Collins defines an adventure as: “a risky undertaking of unknown outcome,” suggested things were unlikely to go smoothly, but at least we had the tool for the job. The DB11 is Aston’s all-new 2+2 grand tourer, designed to dispatch kilometre after kilometre with silken grace, but with the ability to summon up a ballistic turn of pace and decent agility when you swap your brogues for Alcantara Stig boots. A DB11 and a racetrack should ne’er meet, but if the road’s open to the public, consider it monstered. This road-bias philosophy and front-engined, rear-wheel-drive formula are a thread from the DB bloodline, but the DB11 is the start of a new chapter. A new, stiffer bonded aluminium chassis, mildly inflated dimensions over the DB9, new 600bhp twin-turbo 5.2-litre V12 engine, clean-sheet styling and a new electronic architecture supplied by Mercedes are the headlines, but it’s what this car signals that’s important: A fresh start for Aston, seven cars in the next seven years – including a new Vantage, Vanquish, DBX crossover, multiple Lagonda saloons and a certain AM-RB001 hypercar – and, according to the sums, a return to profitability. Aston has to build “the most beautiful cars in the world” (the words of its CEO, not mine) and sitting here in car park P1 at an endlessly grey Brussels airport it is, by and large, a beautiful thing – although massively spec-dependent. New roof strakes – available in bare aluminium, body colour or black (like our test car) – run from A- to C-pillar and can transform the car

from elegant to gaudy in one click of your mouse. The proportions, however, are quintessential Aston. I prefer the rear, emblazoned with those boomerang LED lights, than the front, where the grille has a slight overbite, but it’s classy in a way a Ferrari F12 just isn’t, to my eye. The DB11 even dips its toe in the muddy waters of aerodynamics. That Vulcanesque cut-off side strake looks means but also releases pressure from the front wheelarch, while at the rear, air is forced through intakes in the C-pillar, into the bootlid and out through a slit, creating a vertical jet of turbulent air that acts like a virtual spoiler. Whether it works or not is secondary to the genius of the idea. More pressing than swage lines and surfacing right now is whether we can fit Rowan’s three outrageously weighty cases of camera equipment and my one masterfully packed piece of hand luggage into the car. Aston proudly claims that a 65mm longer wheelbase, 28mm more width and an overall length increase of 50mm next to the DB9 frees up 10mm more headroom in the front, plus 54mm more headroom and 87mm more legroom in the rear. All you need to know is those rear seats are still more for bags than real people. Even little ones. I shan’t bore you with all the gritty details of our drive on day one – other than how similar Belgian, Dutch, Luxembourgish and French motorways look on a dank Monday, and how adept the DB11 is at making 100 miles feel like 100km. Instead, we fast-forward to 3pm and the spiralling D431 in the verdant Vosges region of France, where with 550km under our belts the DB11 appears to have jettisoned its magnificent V12 and replaced it with a diesel engine. This is not ideal.


KK"66,:&7,26977&0732"86",0&6 &00;&;390%2|8;"2883 498833 many km on the clock, would we?

Maastricht, famous for its treaty, not an abundance of colour in the town square. DB11 happy to help out

A tank of fuel for â&#x201A;¬100 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 8+"8|7639(+0=&59,:"0&28 to £4,000

972|86&77&%98832 ++&00;+"8|78+&;3678 that could happen?

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We are on the ascent when it happens. It’s as if 500 of the 600bhp have evaporated, the turbos are no longer spooling and the engine won’t rev past 3,000rpm. We limp it to the nearest lay-by and dial the fifth emergency service – Aston’s PR department. This being a pre-prod prototype there’s a red kill switch in the centre console that’s been tempting us ever since our departure. Now we’re instructed to press and release it, and like magic we’re back up and running… for precisely four minutes before it happens again, this time with an engine warning light and perturbing splutters from the exhaust. As luck would have it, there’s an Aston engineer three hours away, just south of Stuttgart, who scraps his plans and rides to our rescue. In the morning, we learn it’s a software issue, not anything physically broken (huzzah!), and we’re free to plough on. Just one problem, we are supposed to be in Innsbruck by now, but that’s a further five hours down the

road. On a positive note, it gives us plenty of time to assess the DB11’s Mercedesified interior. There’s a handmade quality to most things you touch, like the brogued leather on the doors and the stitching around the satnav screen. Flick the metal paddles with your fingernails, and there’s a reassuring ‘ting, ting’, likewise the cold burred surface of the volume dial on the squircle steering wheel. A digital instrument cluster and an infotainment system lifted wholesale from Mercedes definitely bring the car up to date, but also cheapen it slightly – after all, anyone can have digital instruments these days. I’d prefer a physical dial with more detail for my £155k, at least for the tachometer. And is it just me, or are those doorhandles a bit, erm, phallic? You sit low... very low, should you wish. You may notice a cornering shot with only my substantial forehead visible above the wheel. Don’t worry – that’s how I roll, and the visibility is excellent, besides the fat A-pillar getting in the way when you’re

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pulling out of side roads. But look – it’s an Aston, it’s swathed in expensive materials and now the on-board technology is up to date and actually works. I’d call that a win. What we need to get to the bottom of is this new engine, and our next stop should have the answers. We leave France and cut the corner of Germany, before dropping down through Switzerland, kissing Lichtenstein, blasting through Austria and turning right at Innsbruck towards the Dolomites. Made that sound pretty easy, didn’t I? By the time we arrive at the peak of the Valparola Pass in Italy for an emergency pasta lunch, we’ve been driving eight hours straight, and I appear to have fistfuls of sand under my eyelids. What’s kept me alert is endless tunnels, each a perfect opportunity to drop the windows and critique the sound of this new blown V12. First the numbers, because with 600bhp at 6,500rpm and 516lb ft of torque at 1,5005,000rpm, it’s the most powerful Aston to ever wear the DB badge. And for something weighing


DB11 ACROSS EUROPE

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DB11 stops to ask sign if it fancies a game of swapsies. Sign declines


DB11 ACROSS EUROPE

ASTON MARTIN DB11 Price: From £154,900 Engine: 5204cc twin-turbo V12, 600bhp @ 6500rpm, 516lb ft @ 1500rpm Transmission: 8spd automatic, RWD Performance: 0–62mph in 3.9 seconds, 200mph Economy: 25.0mpg, 265g/km CO2 (est.) Kerbweight: 1770kg

Hairpins, the antidote to thousands of brain-numbing motorway kilometres

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THE NETHERLANDS UK

POLAND GERMANY

BELGIUM LUXEMBOURG

Architectural gem or orange Aston? We can confirm tourists in Budapest prefer the latter

CZECH REPUBLIC SLOVAKIA AUSTRIA

LIECHTENSTEIN FRANCE

HUNGARY

SWITZERLAND SLOVENIA

ROMANIA

CROATIA SERBIA

MONACO

BULGARIA

ITALY SPAIN

MACEDONIA

GREECE ATHENS

THE ROUTE

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DB11 ACROSS EUROPE 1,770kg dry (10kg more than the DB9), 0–62mph in 3.9 seconds and 200mph flat-out is pretty damn impressive. Inevitably, though, it doesn’t have the same depth of aural character as its 6.0-litre naturally aspirated predecessor. Climb past 3,000rpm, the point where the turbos really come on song and the thrust starts to peak, and there’s a wall of sound – the kind only 12 thrashing cylinders can generate. It’s a booming, snarling upsurge that’s worth listening to all the way to the 7,000rpm limiter, but there’s less complexity, fewer layers, no grumbles and bangs. To begin with, I’ll admit, it’s a slight disappointment, but you can tweak the intensity of the soundtrack via the three driving modes – GT, S and S+ – and considering the more mature nature of the DB11 compared with the inevitably sharper Vantage and Vanquish models still to come, it’s a promising starting point. As for performance, it’s a big step on.

You can find the turbo lag if you hunt for it, but mostly you have unseemly amounts of shove constantly poised under your right foot. On the motorway, the engine doesn’t much care whether your cruising at 50mph or 150mph, it ticks over silently, utterly unstressed. On a fast B-road, you find yourself instinctively asking for the next gear from the eight-speed ZF ’box at around 4,500rpm, because why gnaw at the bones when there’s so much meat in the middle. Although bewitching in its beauty, the Valparola Pass isn’t a great fit for the DB11. Up here, the narrow roads, woven between soaring jagged towers and teeming with two-wheeled missiles, only highlight that a sports car the DB11 is not. It feels wider than its lane and rolls too much to be able to place with any accuracy in the hairpins. You can firm things up by dialling the adaptive dampers through three separate modes (also

called GT, S and S+), and body control becomes noticeably tighter without nuking the ride, but this isn’t the road for cutting loose, more for pretty pictures. Those in the bag we point our nose towards Zagreb, via Slovenia’s impeccable motorways, for another 500km stint. We roll up to the Croatian border around 10.30pm wearing our sweetest, please-don’t cavity-search-us smiles, and hand over our passports. Up until this point, borders have been marked with nothing more than a blue starspangled sign by the road, but Croatia is the first of the non-Schengen EU states. The officials demand to see an original V5 document for the car; all we have is a photocopy. Crap. We plead, we beg, I offer Rowan as a slightly chewy human sacrifice, but they won’t budge. With the original doc back at Aston’s HQ in Gaydon, our only hope is to slink back to the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana, for the night, plot a new and even longer route through Hungary,

Moments before a highly embarrassing multiple-point turn Austin Powers would be proud of

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“We only have a few horse-drawn wagons for company”

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DB11 ACROSS EUROPE Romania, Bulgaria and Greece, and pray those borders are manned by Aston fanatics. I’ll be honest, after 19 hours on the road, being turned around at the eleventh hour has impacted on team morale. Conversation is sparse. With a few hours sleep in the bank, our outlook is decidedly rosier. If we push our flights home from Athens back by 24 hours, we can do this; if we don’t get thrown in a cell at the borders, we can do this; if we get a large amount of Red Bull and Pringles, we can definitely do this. We head east and sail through the unpoliced Hungarian border and into Budapest – our first big city encounter. The tourists and locals respond, taking pictures and grinning their approval as we creep across the extraordinary Chain Bridge, built in 1849 and rebuilt a century later. We thank them by playing George Ezra’s topical chart-topper at full blast through the 1,000W B&O stereo. Childish, but necessary. Once clear of the congestion, we bomb south to the Romanian border, and for a moment it’s Croatia all over again. The official wants to see the original documents, and storms off to consult his superior. When he returns he’s waving his finger wildly, clearly a Romanian signal for “Pants down, you’re coming with me,” but what’s this? He hands back the passports and is actively encouraging us to boot it away from his booth. There’ll be no burnouts here – the gearbox software won’t allow it, but we give him a full-blooded launch before he changes his mind. We awake in Resita, the town of paragraph one fame, and plot a cross-country route hoping to see small towns of mosaicked houses, stray dogs and moustachioed locals. Within minutes, I’m ecstatic that we did. In every sizeable road trip there is a turning point, a moment where a bond is formed or forever broken, and on the 57B south of Resita, the DB11 and I take our relationship to the next level. Wide, well sighted and with only a few horse-drawn wagons for company, the road barrels through wonderfully lush countryside and draws out the very best in the car. With the dampers and powertrain in S+, the DB11 shows how hard it can grip, and how responsive the throttle and steering can be. You have to manage the weight, brush the steel brakes a touch earlier than you think – slow in, fast out – but time everything right and there’s an effortless flow to its movements – like a second row with the dexterity of a ballerina. Don’t, and you sense the weight lurching to the outside tyres and pushing the suspension to its limits, but at no point does it feel overly stiff; this is a car designed to flex with the road, even in its most aggressive settings. On the other side of the border, the Bulgarian roads are a different story entirely. The main

Check out those puppies! Oh, I thought you meant something entirely different

The DB11: goes like a train "2%$362&67 0,/& ,8|7 32 6",07 Sometimes literally

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DB11 ACROSS EUROPE Ah, the azure Mediterranean, seafood fresh from the boat... "12 ;&|6& 0"8&'36 396 40"2&

artery to the capital, Sofia, is narrow, riddled with potholes and we’re forced to weave around behind slow-moving lorries watching our ETA on the satnav creep steadily up. We’re due to meet the team from TopGear magazine Bulgaria, who we’ve scrambled to help with some photography, and when we pitch up we’re thrilled to find the road they’ve picked is smooth. So smooth in fact that it’s like driving on epoxy resin. Traction control off, and I find myself executing perfect drifts at 20mph, whether I like it or not. For the record, I like it, a lot, and Rowan has to drag me away to reach out final hotel in Sandanski, just north of the Greek border. The feeling when we’re waved through by officials the next morning is pure relief; mission complete, we’re into our 15th and final country. Now all that stands between us and hopefully some sleep, is a gentle run down the east coast and into the capital. Within 5km, we’re pulled over by the police for speeding. Fortunately there’s no mention of impounding the car, just a hefty fine that the policeman reduces from €350 to €100 because “I know it’s difficult to go slow in a car like this.” Consider it our contribution to the ailing Greek economy. We set the cruise for bang on the speed limit and tiptoe the final few hundred km, the trip computer clicking over the 4,000km mark an hour before we arrive in Athens for a photo call with the Acropolis. We are broken men. Don’t get me wrong – the car, besides a minor reliability blip, has been a soldier and turned brutal mileages into manageable bite-sized chunks, but humans are simply not designed to sit on their backsides for five days solid. Could we have done this in a Ferrari 488, or a Ford Fiesta even? Probably, yes, but we’d have been in even worse condition at the end. And that’s where the DB11’s USP lies – that on the right road it can turn in a virtuoso performance, but also swallow countries whole at a steady 25mpg. And what of our diplomatic mission? We won’t be expecting a letter of thanks from Theresa May anytime soon for our contribution to the economy, but as far as the UK car industry is concerned, it’s obvious our stock is still high. We lost count of the impassioned compliments for the car along the way, in a rainbow of different languages; one particularly adoring Athenian was even moved to tears when we parked up opposite his street stall. Europe as we know it might be changing, but even in the light of the company’s brave new dawn, the universal love for Aston is not.

The mighty Parthenon was no 1"8$+'36 "$/|7#,2(3;,2(7,:& %"=7 &"8,2($6,747;,00 %3 8+"8

Total: 4,124km (2,563 miles)

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C63 IN IRELAND

In 1903, Mercedes won its first major motor race, the Gordon Bennett Cup. 2LJKP;&86":&08+&7"1& 6,7+6398&,2&6$&%&7 |72&;&786"$,&78 model, the C63S Coupe, to find out how things have changedâ&#x20AC;¦ WORDS: TOM FORD / PHOTOGR APHY: MARK RICCIONI TOPGEAR.COM



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Can a modern Mercedes-AMG supercoupe hold a candle to a racing car from 113 years ago? Time to find out… Contrary to expectation, Ireland is sunny. Hot, Mediterranean-feeling heat, where you can feel your skin prickling with the expectation of a rosy glow. Except when it isn’t, which is when the rain cannons down like a tropical storm – fat, heavy raindrops blurring the landscape in a brief, vicious deluge. Bipolar weather: the eternal northern European conundrum. We’re in the Wicklow Mountains National Park just south of Dublin, firing Mercedes-AMG’s newest Edition One C63S Coupe down narrow, single-track roads that really only barely qualify as such, the gorgeous Irish countryside laid out before us like God’s own patchwork quilt. It might be pretty, but this is not, it has to be noted, utopia for a fast car. No wonder Ireland produces such world-beating rally drivers, because the way that these roads work with their flaky cambers, startling mid-corner bumps and random narrowness blockaded with uncharitable lumps of rock, are the ultimate test of every dynamic parameter. Including the driver. Merc-AMG’s newest, raciest Coupe is more than up to the test, but a large Mercedes lifting a wheel on a mid-corner bump before segueing happily into a gentle sweep of oversteer feels slightly more risky than it should, given the lack of run-off. But general hooliganism isn’t the point. We’re on the way to a tiny rural village called Athy, to begin a little adventure. An adventure that started 113 years ago. This is a story about two very fast Mercedes, a long-lost motor race and a man called Camille Jenatzy. A Belgian engineer, racing-car driver and adventurist who held the world land-speed record three times in the late 1800s – the last in January of 1899 when Jenatzy, at the wheel of his electric CITA 25 La Jamais Contente (The Never Satisfied), ran to 105.88kph. Sounds painfully slow these days – it’s only about 66mph – but in reaching that milestone, Jenatzy not only made use of the world’s first purpose-built land-speed-record car, but became the first person to travel at more than 100kph (62mph). Suffice to say, he was a bit of a legend, willing to push boundaries for no reason than they were there to be given a decent shove.

But Jenatzy was also famous for his later racing exploits in pistonpowered cars, most notably Mercedes-Benz’ contemporary Simplex in the Gordon Bennett Cup of 1903. Bear with me here, because this is all relevant. The Gordon Bennett Cup was established in 1899 by a fabulously rich American publisher called James Gordon Bennett, and it was a kind of forerunner to modern GP F1, except based on geography, before racetracks were invented and when Bernie Ecclestone was probably only middle-aged. Each country could enter three cars in each race, but they had to be entirely manufactured in their country of origin to excruciatingly exacting rules. The winner of the previous year’s race then received the honour of hosting the following year, and so on. Which is where it gets interesting. Because in 1902, a rakish chap called Selwyn Edge won in a British-built Napier, meaning England got to be the next home nation. Except for one problem: back when the motor car was still considered impossibly new-fangled, road racing was illegal in England. The British Isles was not to be defeated, mind. Ireland stepped up as a possible venue, and letters went out to MPs, peers, councils, railway companies... and eventually the cordial Irish changed their laws so the 1903 GB Cup could be hosted across the Irish Sea. In honour of this, the British cars raced in Shamrock Green, which later became adopted as British Racing Green… but I digress. Jenatzy turned up to the startline on the Ballyshannon crossroads near Calverstown, County Kildare, in Mercedes’ most sporting model, a 9.2-litre, 60bhp four-cylinder Simplex – a car borrowed from a customer after a fire at the factory destroyed his 12.7-litre, 90bhp race-spec version – a car driven from Germany only the day before. And so began what can only be described as an epic motorsport moment. Fast-forward to 2016, and the crossroads could be the same. Apart from new-fangled Tarmacadam and the weight of modern traffic, the views from the innocuous little intersection breathe life into the notion of the Emerald Isle. It’s very, very


C63 IN IRELAND

A Merc-AMG from the future follows the route of a Merc from the past

Left: the sign. This picture: the reality. Lovely bad bends

Sport+ mode: too much for a quick lap of Ireland




Anyone else looking at these clocks and thinking WALL-E?

Would Sir care for distant, guttural thunder or stormy roar?

Plenty of massively unforgiving scenery to crash into here

TopGear barbecue just out of sight behind car. Reckon those burgers are ready now

â&#x20AC;&#x153; You can change the character of the C63S at the flick of a switchâ&#x20AC;? 10 6

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C63 IN IRELAND green. The roads are largely straight on the Gordon Bennett route – a nod to safety concerns when motorised transport was still very new – and consisted of a pair of loops: a 52-mile circle that took in Kilcullen, Kildare, Monasterevin, Stradbally and Athy, and another that flickered 40 miles through Castledermot and Carlow before heading back to Athy, with three laps of the eastern and four laps of the western circuit. Back then, 327-odd miles of racing was as much about reliability as speed, and Jenatzy’s engine – developed by Maybach, no less – was well up with the pace, if not the power. The modern AMG is something else altogether. With the 4.0-litre twin-turbo from the AMG GT, this wet-sumped V8 in S format manages 503bhp and 516lb ft – over eight times the power of Jenatzy’s Simplex. It weighs about 850kg more but still, in 1903, a car capable of 0–62mph (his world-land-speed record, don’t forget), in just 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 180+mph with the raised-limiter option engaged, would have seemed impossible. A thing of fantasy. And although it’s not painted German Racing White – Mercedes wasn’t associated with the colour silver until much later – this Edition One gets matte grey/green paint and yellow stripes. Racy enough. Ireland is the real challenge. Where Jenatzy and his competitors had closed roads marshalled by 7,000 police officers, club stewards and even army troops, the new, modern roads over a century later are largely policed by clotted traffic and less accommodating local law. The smaller side roads shrink rapidly, swallowing down into single track in places, and are filled with the wayward mess of camber, bumps, potholes, and walled with thick hedges. Not the kind of place you’d want to be racing a car with wooden 12-spoke wheels like Jenatzy’s Simplex, and the kind of thing that you’d think would turn a very powerful four-seat coupe

into a heaving, writhing nightmare. But as we have been discovering, that’s simply not the case for the C63S two-door, because unlike the Simplex, you can change its character at the flick of a switch. Initially, Sport+ mode feels too stiff, but after a while, you realise that you just have to… drive a bit harder. As with a lot of the more aggressive sports cars, the more pressure you put on the suspension – especially the rear set-up – the more compliant and useful it gets, and the Coupe feels much more than just a two-door C63S saloon. The tracks are wider (73mm at the front and 46mm at the rear), and that rear suspension is an entirely bespoke multi-link arrangement that seems perfectly calibrated to want to keep the C63 floor-mounted. Yep, so Track mode really does get too much – even to the point that mid-corner bumps can have the car skipping – but there’s so much confidence that the whole thing never really feels especially sketchy.

MERCEDES-AMG C63S EDITION ONE Price: £68,070 (standard S) (£73,000 approx. for Edition One) Engine: 3982cc twin-turbo V8, 503bhp @ 5500rpm, 516lb ft @ 1750rpm Transmission: 7spd automatic, RWD Performance: 0–62mph in 3.9secs, 155mph Economy: 32.8mpg, 200g/km CO2 Kerbweight: 1800kg

503bhp, 516lb ft – sounds like a pretty perfect gift to us....

C63S AMG goes for the lowrider look. Not for long, mind

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GORDON BENNETT ROUTE MOTORWAY

CAR LOW

THE GORDON BENNETT ROUTE: 1903 BROUGHT TO LIFE It might not be a racetrack these days, but travelling the very same roads that Camille Jenatzy raced on is not only possible, but a brilliant little Irish visit. Ferries to Dublin run from Holyhead or Liverpool, "2%32$&=39|:&"66,:&%,2'"#903979#0,2 8+& 6398&,87&0',7 320="$3940&3'+3967";"= ,8|7"073 signposted â&#x20AC;&#x201C; just follow the brown signs with the :,28"(&6"$&6 "2%8+&6&|7 40&28=3'+,7836=83 432%&6+&13%&62 6398&,72|8&<"$80=8+&1378 picturesque in Ireland, so the best idea for some views and more challenging driving is to detour through the Wicklow Mountains National Park, like we did. Head south out of Dublin towards the Sally Gap and beyond on the R115 old military road, and a few hours traversing these gorgeous moorland views will leave you in no doubt as to how beautiful Ireland can be. As long as the weather holds out ;&&<4&6,&2$&%&:&6=7&"732 ,2"#398 8&2+3967 We also drove pretty much all of the park, using the R115, the R759 and R755, routing down towards Glendalough and then up the R756 towards Granabeg and Hollywood. Not that one, the one in County Wicklow. Suspension will get a workout, so :&6=03;$"67"6&238"%:,7&%2$&8+&6&=39|6& only about 40 minutes and a quick nip down the N78 to Athy, which sits at the relative centre of the two loops used in the 1903 race. Then just cruise the route and marvel at the men and women who raced with no seatbelts, airbags or ABS. Stirring stuff.

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C63 IN IRELAND

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Obviously you can skid about if you want to (516lb ft sets light to pretty much any tyre bonfire), but if you’re just wanting to maintain progress, then the C63 Coupe feels confident and competent. Friendly, even. Add to that an engine that plays a musical scale from distant, gutteral thunder to stormy roar and a mine-deep delivery that never leaves you in the wrong gear, and this becomes an easy car to feel a connection with. God knows what Jenatzy had to deal with. Where this modern MercAMG comes with carbon-ceramic brakes as standard – brakes that would, if not for seatbelts, smack your face into the steering wheel – the initial route north-east to Kilcullen and then south towards Carlow and back north-and-vaguely west to Athy would have tested both him and the car. Brakes on a Simplex consisted of a hand-lever-operated set of drums on the back and a foot pedal that slowed down the chain drive’s intermediate driveshaft – meaning that simply bringing the car to a stop would need some careful co-ordination. Mechanically, everything was prone to overheating immediately, which led to water-cooled brakes (not a modern invention), and one assumes that brake fade could literally threaten one’s life. The modern Merc-AMG equivalent suffers no such issues, and with the Irish countryside throwing up some particularly challenging situations for the suspension to deal with, it lends weight to the thinking that to go fast, first you need to be confident that you know how to stop. It’s hard not to feel humbled by those who have gone before. This Merc has the ability to make the average driver good and the good driver even better. But it has modern safety architecture and lots of life-saving help – even if the systems are relatively unobtrusive. Jenatzy had a set of overalls, goggles and skill. A competitor at the event reputedly commented afterwards: “Throughout the seemingly endless series of curves, Jenatzy kept his foot to the floor. He skidded at breakneck speed around the corners, often only narrowly missing the bordering walls in the process, as was shown by his skid marks. I could not imagine that he could keep up this daredevil driving style for very long.”

And yet he did. Jenatzy kept the hammer down, completing the very route we’re now driving on, at a scarcely believable average speed of 79.24kph. At 45mph, that’s faster than we manage it, even with 503bhp. Of course we had to stick to speed limits and were driving on a public road instead of a closed course, but still – in 1903, that kind of driving on these kinds of roads isn’t just good, it’s legendary. It gave Mercedes-Benz its first-ever major international racing success, a tradition the likes of Hamilton and Rosberg are happily continuing. It was a victory that forever cemented Jenatzy’s relationship with Mercedes and reputedly caused him to comment that he “would die in a Mercedes-Benz”. A throwaway comment that proved sadly prescient: according to the New York Times, on 8 December, 1913, Jenatzy was hunting with friends when he decided, somewhat unwisely, to imitate an animal while hiding behind some bushes. A bit of a daft joke, seeing as one of his party then promptly shot him, and he died while being transported to hospital in, you guessed it, a Mercedes. But his legend lives on. It’s the reason we spent a happy few days thinking about those brave men and women back at the Big Bang of motorsport. Seeing what a century of progress has done to the motor car. And yes, it’s made them faster, and safer and more brilliant in every way. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that Mercedes-AMG, with the C63S Coupe, is still making the best of the breed – I’d rather have this than, say, a BMW M3. But as it turns out, this is more than just a story about two fast Mercedes separated by a hundred years. It’s about the spirit of discovery. Adventure? It’s all about comfort zones and doing something new. Pushing boundaries and yourself, but sometimes just finding a fresh perspective from the vantage of experience. Camille Jenatzy knew how to do exactly that, in a big way. More than a hundred years later, a good story about a man called Camille and a very fast Mercedes reminded me how to do it as well. Sometimes following in the footsteps of giants is humbling – and an adventure – in itself.

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DISCO VOLANTE SPYDER

In pursuit of perfection How do you change an Alfa 8C into a one-off carrozzeria special? With artisans "2%1"2=1"2=+3967 8|7+"11&68,1& WORDS: JA SON BARLOW / PHOTOGR APHY: MARK FAGEL SON

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DISCO VOLANTE

ou need some balls to take a car as beautiful as the Alfa Romeo 8C and junk it. But for Touring’s Disco Volante Spyder to live, that’s what has to happen. Under a scorching Tuscan sun, on a corner of the Passo della Futa that would have thrilled to the sight and sound of the Mille Miglia back in the day, Touring’s design boss Louis de Fabribeckers muses on this act of sacrilege. Behind him sits his masterpiece, metal pinging and zinging after a spirited drive. (The DVS is no gelded show pony.) “Actually we’ve proposed to our clients that they put the 8C’s body on a jig and display it as a sculpture,” he says. “I have huge respect for the 8C. It would make a great piece of art.” Louis is Belgian, his fluency in English only rarely offset by the odd Clouseau-esque turn of phrase. Of greater relevance is his fluency in design, for if a more striking car than the Touring DVS has appeared in the past five years then it’s passed me by. Visitors to the Villa d’Este Concorso d’Eleganza in May obviously agreed, awarding it the prize for best concept or prototype. As Touring celebrates its 90th anniversary, it’s a welcome

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shot in the arm for one of the best-loved names in Italian carrozzeria, a firm whose greatest hits include the Aston Martin DB4, Ferrari 166 MM, and Lancia Flaminia GT. In fact, that’s partly why we’re here. Although it looks like pure conceptual eye candy, the DVS is a production car, albeit in an extraordinarily limited run: the vehicle you see here is currently one of one, although six more will follow. Its owner, UK businessman Clive Beecham, has asked TG to collect it from Bologna airport and drive it to Florence, where we’ll meet him. He’ll meet the car he started thinking about two-and-a-half years ago, and then take part in a weekend-long catch-up with Touring luminaries and owners. Thirty months of anticipation, and he wants us to do the honours? Is he mad? We meet Louis the fabricator by a roundabout outside Guglielmo Marconi airport. The DVS is such a vibrant assault on the senses that I may have spotted it as we came in to land. In fact, if I’d spied it through the window of the plane at 37,000ft it would have been apt: Disco Volante means “flying saucer”, and the car’s “ceruleo blu” (sky blue) exterior colour was chosen because the sky (shock) is where flying saucers spend most of their time. TOPGEAR.COM



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DISCO VOLANTE

“The DVS generates so much charisma, it’s difficult to know where to begin”

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One of the earthbound originals lives in Alfa Romeoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wonderful new museum; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s arguably the best-known example of Touringâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s patented superleggera lightweight manufacturing technique and aluminium-beating artisanal prowess. Alfaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s factory test driver Consalvo Sanesi ďŹ rst took to the track in a Disco Volante on 11 June 1952, eventually piloting the thing to a streamlined, aero-assisted speed of 140mph. One can only assume that, back in Coventry, William Lyons and Malcolm Sayer were paying close attention, because the Jaguar D-type that emerged two years later and went on to dominate Fifties sports car racing bears a notable resemblance to the Italian. Clive actually owns an Ecurie Ecosse D-type, along with an ex-Stirling Moss Ferrari 250 GT SWB and an ex-Gianni Agnelli (and Touringbodied) 166 MM Barchetta. The man clearly has exemplary taste, and his latest acquisition is further proof. One only has to look at some of the questionable Ferrari special projects cars to know that, even with creative freedom and bountiful resources, some people still manage to fall into a ďŹ eld full of aesthetic booby traps. Not here. The DVS generates so much charisma, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s diďŹ&#x192;cult to know where to begin. As wide as a Range Rover, its body really is almost saucer-shaped and ďŹ&#x201A;aunts the basic tenets of stance and proportion so ďŹ&#x201A;agrantly that it simply shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t work. But it does, brilliantly. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also much more than just an open version of the Touring DV coupe (TG issue 250). The roof is a two-piece carbon-ďŹ bre creation (the panels weigh 3.5kg each), the design of which necessitated a complete reworking of the windscreen. The top half of the car now ďŹ&#x201A;ows seamlessly into dramatic seat fairings which are reinforced with carbon, resolving into a rear end whose volumes look almost impossibly cool. Cool or not, the sculpted taper on the DVSâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rear really would be impossible if it werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t a handcrafted, bespoke special. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s one of the reasons I love working at Touring,â&#x20AC;? Louis says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I can do things like this. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also a 360° job. We have to take care of everything, and the ďŹ nished car represents 10,000 hours of engineering eďŹ&#x20AC;ort.â&#x20AC;? We visited the Touring HQ back in February to see the DVS in ďŹ nal assembly during the countdown to its Geneva show debut, and met the guys who take sheets of aluminium and fashion them into heart-stopping curves armed only with a hammer and expertise. This is what youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re buying, and buying into. The DVS is more than a car, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s part of a priceless continuum. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also why Clive elected to go this route, rather than pick up an â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;oďŹ&#x20AC;-the-pegâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; supercar. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve never owned one, and I have no intention of ever doing so,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; he tells me ďŹ rmly. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I visited Touring to look at the coupe and asked Piero [Mancardi, the boss] why they hadnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t done a spyder. He said, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Well, why donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t you?â&#x20AC;&#x2122; So I fell right into that oneâ&#x20AC;Śâ&#x20AC;?

Beecham, as Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve discovered over the years Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve known him, is a stickler for detail. The DVS is well-nigh perfect in this regard; although the cabin is Alfa 8C, there are ally strips on the sills, unique body colour inlays in the doors, and even Plexiglas inserts in the seats that pulse gently with light when you unlock the car. The seats themselves are trimmed in buttery-smooth Connolly leather. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a little wing between the fairings, inspired by the SpitďŹ re. Louis likes that detail, but not as much as Clive. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I pushed them a bit on that one,â&#x20AC;? he concedes. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also meant to hark back to the days when Agnelli and his jammy playboy ilk genuinely did tour grandly, usually on nocturnal assignations with willowy heiresses or casino croupiers. So thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s storage space inside, and a frankly huge boot under that vast, sweeping rear canopy (also made of carbon composite). The luggage matches the interior, natch. Best of all, though, is the quality of execution. Touringâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in-house paint-shop is so good Lamborghini and Rolls-Royce frequently use it, and the rest of the car is as glossy and lustrously ďŹ nished as the exterior. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s one teeny squeak, and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your lot. I guess perfection is part of the deal, as it would be if you were having a suit tailor-made or even forking out for a pricey kitchen, but cars can be tricky things to get right. Few things are more likely to induce heart palpitations than driving someone elseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s multi-million pound one-oďŹ&#x20AC; supercar onto an Italian tangenziale rammed with hire cars and mercenary 18-wheelers. But despite its size, the DVS is user-friendly. And fast. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s powered by the Alfa 8Câ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Maserati-derived, Ferrariassembled 4.7-litre, 450bhp V8, so thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s huge personality here, too, the basso profundo soundtrack ampliďŹ ed by the absence of a roof. Even the gearbox â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the 8Câ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Achillesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; heel â&#x20AC;&#x201C; is quicker-shifting and less lurchsome than I remember. Besides, you can drive around the torque interruption, and somehow it feels OK in this car anyway. Over the rhythmic thump of superstrada expansion joints, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no sign of any serious or even semi-serious structural wobbles. This is a beautifully engineered motor car, underpinned by 90 years of tradition (there was a gap from â&#x20AC;&#x2122;66 to â&#x20AC;&#x2122;08, but letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not dwell on that). Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no reason why it shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t work; Touring has all the CAD tools and runs all the industrystandard CFD analyses. But as we pass from Emilia-Romagna into Tuscany, and the roads tighten, our pace intensiďŹ es. We meet a trio of old Italian gentlemen, one of whom points to the car and says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Numero uno!â&#x20AC;? Turns out heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s good friends with Italian rallying superstar Sandro Munari. Into and out of the little villages and towns, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s almost as if a ďŹ&#x201A;ying saucer has landed. Touringâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Disco Volante is more than just another car. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s out of this world.

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The dream to democratise space travel draws ever closer to being realised. Time to meet the team making it happen WORDS: CHARLIE TURNER / PHOTOGR APHY: ROWAN HORNCA STLE

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upercar ownership or becoming an astronaut? Not a question many of us will have to grapple with, but for those with the disposable income to buy a serious toy, Virgin Galactic is offering an even more extreme way to spend your hard earned... Sure, having a 488, 650S or Huracán on the drive would open up a boundless set of opportunities for four-wheeled adventure. But how about trading all that to explore space? Driving at 200mph is all well and good, but 3,000mph buys you more bragging equity at the bar. Being able to say you’ve (almost) slipped the bounds of the planet, travelled at Mach 4, spent five minutes weightless while staring at Earth from a perspective that, until now, has been the preserve of 536 people, is a swap definitely worth considering. As VSS Unity is rolled out in front of its enthusiastic audience at Virgin Galactic’s HQ’s in Mojave, I’m contemplating what it must be like to have the luxury of that choice. Unity is pulled into place in front of the mothership, WhiteKnight, by a pristine white Range Rover, with Galactic’s founder, chairman and project evangelist, Richard Branson, protruding through the sunroof and waving enthusiastically. Today marks a significant milestone in a difficult journey. At 10:51am on 31 October, 2014, VSS Enterprise, having dropped from WhiteKnight and fired its rocket motor, suffered a catastrophic failure 11 seconds into the burn, when its feathering system deployed outside of operational parameters. This resulted in the tragic loss of pilot Michael Alsbury, and debris being spread across a 35-mile area of the Mojave desert. Somewhat miraculously, Peter Siebold, the second crew member, survived the 10-mile fall to Earth. In a feat Iron Man would be proud of, he was knocked unconscious when Enterprise broke up and when he came round he was battling -70°C temperatures, a lack of oxygen and a desperate need to extract himself from the pilot seat he was still attached to. Free-falling and dipping in and out of consciousness, he managed to free himself and came round as his parachute deployed automatically. A subsequent National Transport Safety Board (NTSB) investigation revealed the cause of the accident wasn’t mechanical failure, but human. Inexplicably, Alsbury had unlocked Enterprise’s feathering system at Mach 0.92, not its intended speed of Mach 1.4, the aerodynamic pressure overcame the motor that controls the wings as the craft went through the sound barrier with catastrophic consequences. Some began questioning the safety of the craft and Branson’s capability to deliver space tourism. When you think of space travel, especially Branson’s take on it, you imagine a 2001: A Space Odyssey style production facility but, like many boundary-pushing businesses, the reality is somewhat removed from the fantasy. Virgin Galactic is based at the Mojave Air and Space Port. While sounding glamorous, it’s actually a set of nondescript low-tech huts set in a dusty wasteland 100 miles inland from LA. But their outward appearance belies the cutting-edge work, engineering and creativity that occurs inside. Ahead of Unity’s glittering reveal, I caught up with Galactic CEO George Whitesides and asked what they had learned from the accident. “I think we took this all pretty seriously before, but it [the accident] drove a hard line underneath how serious what we’re doing is. Where we

110,000m Maximum altitude. Wings feather after rocket burn

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100,000m Passengers become astronauts once they reach the Kármán line

“ It has been tough, but ultimately I think we can make a real difference”

£172,000 for five minutes of weightlessness... A high price to pay?

14,600m Spaceship is released from WhiteKnight. It drops 200ft before starting the rocket burn


VIRGIN GALACTIC

Former chief of staff at Nasa and now CEO of Virgin Galactic, George Whitesides is responsible for making your next holiday a space one

Flights take off from Spaceport America

are today is where the X1, the X2, all that early stuff happened. There were a lot of challenges and bad days during that time, but we now have the advantage of the work that they did 50, 60, 70 years ago in the high spectrum. What’s interesting today is that the government has become much less risk-tolerant. The tolerance of risk, of trying important innovations, has moved over to the private sector. When we get there, we’re going to have a system that is really safe, that’s capable of dozens of flights a year. That will be a remarkable thing. “One would never want this to happen, but any anomaly that you have in a test-flight programme should make your vehicle better. That’s the whole point of it... to learn as much as you can about your vehicle, so that when you actually start flying commercially, those problems or challenges have been driven out of the vehicle.” Following the NTSB’s findings, the feather system now has a mechanical pin that prevents it being engaged unless it’s within the right parameters. Additional assurance comes from the fact that Unity is the first craft to be built by The Spaceship Company, Branson’s manufacturing and testing team, which has taken over from Scaled Composites which had led that side of the project until the accident. As it stands, 700 people have signed up to go into space, and bought the £172,000 ($250,000) ticket. Following the accident, Whitesides says they lost a dozen potential astronauts, but “Since then, everybody’s just sort of hung on in there.” And hanging on in there is a common theme. Branson founded Virgin Galactic in 2004 and predicted in 2008 that first flights would occur in the next “18 months”. Over a decade since its formation, it’s a brutal fact that natural selection is having a more profound effect on the client base than aptitude in the vomit comet during astronaut training. Branson is a natural showman, and the launch and reveal of Unity is timed to coincide with his granddaughter Eva’s first birthday. After an introduction from Professor Stephen Hawking – a signed-up future astronaut – Branson’s son, Sam, christens Unity with Eva breaking a bottle of milk over the ship’s nose. It’s predictably well judged and while Alsbury and Siebold are respectfully mentioned, the focus is very clearly on the future, not the past. Unity is a truly beautiful thing, and the assembled crowd walk around and touch it, all the while in the shadow of WhiteKnight, the mothership, that will take Unity and its cargo of future astronauts to 14,600m before releasing her to cover the remaining distance on rocket power. As I marvel at the simplicity of the design, it’s probably worth a quick recap on what a thrill ride you get for your £172k. The process starts with several days’ training at Galactic’s facility in the stunning Norman Foster-designed Spaceport America, which includes some parabolic flying unpleasantness and time in the high-g centrifuge (the equivalent to being strapped to a propeller). Pass that, and you’ll be ready to fly, at which point I hand over to Whitesides... “The team will have been up half the night preparing the vehicle (loading the solid HTPB fuel and nitrous oxide oxidiser) getting all


WhiteKnight

â&#x20AC;&#x153;The whole journey takes about two hours, door-to-door; the time spent weightless is around five minutesâ&#x20AC;?


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the ďŹ&#x201A;uids loaded and checking things out. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll wait until the last moment before we load the passengers and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll take oďŹ&#x20AC; and go north, with WhiteKnight ďŹ&#x201A;ying a ďŹ gure of eight until we reach 14,600m above Spaceport. Unity will then be released and will ignite the rocket motor. The trajectory is very vertical, the burn is about a minute and you pull about 3.5â&#x20AC;&#x201C;4g, but then you have so much momentum youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll keep going up for quite a long time. We have a rocket engine that tails oďŹ&#x20AC; at the end because, if we didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do that, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d be out at 8g.â&#x20AC;? At this point, passengers will be at 110,000m, having become astronauts at the 100,000m (62-mile) mark as they pass through the KĂĄrmĂĄn line. Interestingly, where space starts is something of a debate: FAI (FĂŠdĂŠration AĂŠronautique Internationale) says 62 miles, but the USAF considers 50 miles enough to earn your astronaut wings. Big jessies. The passengers will experience weightlessness and view our planet from a rare and truly privileged perspective. But not for long. With the whole journey taking about two hours, door-to-door, the time spent weightless is around ďŹ ve minutes, before they have to be back in their seats. Given how tricky it is to get people to sit down on the 08:00 Ryanair ďŹ&#x201A;ight to Malaga, there may be issues telling the astronauts the ride is over and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time to go home. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Most people want to co-operate because they want to be safe. The other thing is if they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sit down, they will because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a multiple-g entry,â&#x20AC;? says ex-Nasa pilot and now Virgin Galactic test pilot Michael â&#x20AC;&#x153;Soochâ&#x20AC;? Masucci, whose ďŹ&#x201A;ight CV includes T38s, U2 (good for high-altitude training) and the Space Shuttle. In short, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a man youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d trust. With everyone back in their seats and the wings â&#x20AC;&#x153;featheredâ&#x20AC;?, Unity begins its descent. At 21,500m the ship morphs into a glider as the wings defeather for the ďŹ&#x201A;ight home. While the passengers have become astronauts and enjoyed a life-changing experience, arguably itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the pilots that get the best deal. So, whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s it like to ďŹ&#x201A;y a 3,000mph rocket-powered glider? Back to Sooch: â&#x20AC;&#x153;With modern aircraft thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lot of things between you and the ďŹ&#x201A;ightcontrol surface. This is raw, just you and the ďŹ&#x201A;ight-control surface. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pure â&#x20AC;&#x201C; you are moving the controls and the controls move back on you. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very well designed, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very sweet in its control harmony and its responsiveness. You ask it to do something and it does it very well.â&#x20AC;?

As the crowds disperse, Branson is staring up at his creation. I grab the opportunity to talk to the man himself. Is this the hardest thing youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve done? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Yes. We embarked on this 10 years ago, expected to have it all completed within ďŹ ve years, so itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s taken a lot longer than weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve expected. It has been tough, but ultimately I think we can make a real diďŹ&#x20AC;erence, and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re determined to do so and have a lot of fun in the process. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve met wonderful people, like Buzz Aldrin and others, and each one of them was completely changed from their time in space. Earth is the most beautiful planet that we know exists. Being able to see it from space, and realise how precious it is, I think, is important to get as many people as possible to do.â&#x20AC;? But Bransonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vision goes way beyond awe-inspiring views. His wider aspirations for the project include usurping commercial airliners for long-haul trips and revolutionising point-to-point travelâ&#x20AC;Ś eventually. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our spacecraft are built with wings. Most rockets that go into space, theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re rockets. Our planes have got wheels, and the reason for that is that we want to be a proper spaceship that goes into space, comes back, can land again and use this as the pioneering vehicle for point-to-point travel at tremendous speeds. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a big challenge. This vehicle can do 300 or 400 miles, point-to-point, already. Going from that to 3,500 miles across the Atlantic is a lot of work, then going from that to crossing the PaciďŹ c, 6,000 miles, is going to be even more work, but it is doable. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We want our programme to make a diďŹ&#x20AC;erence, so apart from taking people to space, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got to be putting 800 satellites into space that will connect millions of people who havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t got internet or wi-ďŹ access, and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an exciting part of this.â&#x20AC;? And after space, whereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s next? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Down. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a trench just oďŹ&#x20AC; our island which is 30,000 foot down, called the Puerto Rico Trench. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the deepest place in the Atlantic. Once this is ďŹ nished, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d love to try to build a craft with windows that could go down there so you could see whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going on.â&#x20AC;? And with that, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gone to celebrate the launch of his spaceship and his granddaughterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ďŹ rst birthday. It would be easy to dismiss Virgin Galactic as a vanity project for the rich elite, but it is so much more ambitious than that. Pushing the boundaries and striving to democratise space, while prototyping supersonic point-to-point travel opens up far greater possibilities than delivering the ultimate thrill ride. It takes a visionary, unwavering focus to turn these distant dreams into realities. For the price of a supercar, the next generation of astronauts will have made a signiďŹ cant contribution to the next generation of transportation and communications and, for that, they and the team in Mojave should be celebrated. TOPGEAR.COM



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HILUX IN NAMIBIA

Somewhere over Namibia, one of 8+&;360%|71378 69((&%:&+,$0&7 ,73'',27&"6$+ of a boat in the 7"2% &"00= WORDS: OLLIE MARRIAGE / PHOTOGR APHY: JOHN W YCHERLEY

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HILUX IN NAMIBIA

On 5 September 1909, the Eduard Bohlen ran aground on a sandbank at Conception "=32"1,#,"|780"28,$ coast. In a desperate attempt to dislodge her, the captain reversed the engines, but sand had clogged the cooling 7=78&1"2%8+&=7&,>&% 00 30 people onboard made it safely to shore, and a tug was summoned from Lüderitz.

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But in the five days it took to arrive, the sand had welded the Bohlen into position and the chain they threw across snapped. At that point the 2,272 tonne, 310ft freighter that ran supplies from far-off civilisation to the remote diamond camps on this desolate coastline was abandoned to her fate. The Eduard Bohlen was another victim of the Skeleton Coast. For a while, as the sands shifted and the sea withdrew, she was used for storage and accommodation. After all, the Bohlen was the biggest man-made object for well over a hundred miles in any direction. But then the mines were abandoned and, as it always does in this hostile environment, nature moved in. Salt and sand have eroded the ship to a loose agglomeration of rust in a little over 100 years. It’s an eerie sight when it first appears out of the drifting sea fog that made this coast so treacherous, a crumbling hulk now home to nothing more than bleached bones, hyena leftovers. I’d envisaged this as the end of our journey rather than the beginning: the nearest thing man has to a ship of the desert paying its respects to the ship in the desert. We’re a day’s drive south of Walvis Bay, a day since we departed anything that resembles infrastructure or civilisation or evidence of man. Literally nothing. No black top, no radio stations, no phone reception, not even a vapour trail in the sky. Just the Hilux. It’s the eighth-gen model, now claimed to be more refined with car-like NVH levels, a tougher ladder chassis, improved off-road abilities and a more efficient 2.4-litre diesel. But in essence nothing’s changed – this is the vehicle that keeps remote parts of the world turning. From outback farmers to South American loggers, the Hilux is the weapon of choice. Literally in more testy corners of the globe. We left Walvis Bay yesterday. Our guide, Paul Lombard, met us at the airport and led us to two fully loaded Hiluxes, his and ours. Ours is bogstandard: Euro-spec Bridgestone Dueler tyres, standard intakes and filters, no extra sump guards. Just a Hilux. His… isn’t. His last-gen 2015 model has been modded with winches, bull bars, guards, a snorkel, the works. We drove five miles, reached the coast, gawped at the flamingos while dropping the tyre pressures to 1.0 bar, engaged Power mode to


HILUX IN NAMIBIA

Suspect that this drag race is going to be an easy win for the Hilux

The locals give the Hilux their, wait for it, 7&"0 3'"4463:"06'

Salt water holds no fear for the intrepid Hilux

TO T OP PG GE EA AR R .. C CO OM M

 

SE S EP PT TE EM MB BE ER R 2 20 0 11 6 6

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Abandoned 80 years ago, 8+,71,2,2($"14 ,7703;0= #&,2(6&$0",1&%#=8+&%&7&68

“Requesting clearance for landing.” Ollie takes a quick flight...

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HILUX IN NAMIBIA

“A swing over to the 0&'8"2% |16314,2( through sand” improve throttle response, disabled the traction control and that was it. Off grid. South, following the coast, sand to our left, water to the right, treading a careful line down the margin between. I got less careful quickly. A swing right has me splashing through the surf; over to the left, and I’m romping through sand. Great fun, but name me two more harmful substances to vehicles than sea water and sand. Think of that gritty paste getting into bearings, springs, intakes, moving parts. It’s bad enough when it gets in your swimmers. It’s a reminder of just how harsh this environment is. Those shipwrecked on this coast used to stumble in through the surf and imagine they were safe on dry land. The beach looks reassuring, familiar, but oh, how reality must have bitten. The heat, the desolation, the emptiness, the… seals? The sea mist is starting to roll back in after the heat of the day when we come across the first colony. Three hundred heads pop up, waving around on rubbery, grey necks. “Go and park between them and the water”, Paul instructs, “then get out and see what happens.” “Won’t we be trampled under flippers?” I reply. “Depends how much they fancy you.” We step out. The seals hesitate a moment, then make a break for the water. Since we’re between them and it, they flap towards and around us, lurching and flubbering along. I’m not sure they’re scared – there’s not enough human contact out here for that – just being careful. So there is wildlife out here. The seals grow fat on the sea’s

bounteous produce and they prop up an ecosystem that largely begins and ends with jackals. The occasional hyena. A proud oryx or two. Jackals are the prime mover – opportunistic raiders that’ll stalk the tents during darkness. We camp that night back in the dunes. While Paul and his assistant, Penrich Gonteb, sort fire and food, photographer John and I take the Hilux up to the dune tops. Above us the canopy of the sky glitters in the dark, and we marvel at its clarity and brightness, entranced by the spectacle. I look up. They say there are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on Earth. I look down. I stoop, pick up a handful, let the fine grains trickle through the sieve of my fingers. Thousands of them. Underneath my feet, nothing but sand, dunes up to 300 metres high, stretching out for hundreds of miles, some so ancient they’ve fossilised. Everything is a grain of sand. Nothing but sand. And the stars outnumber them? It makes you wonder, that’s all. I feel speck-like out here among these boggling numbers, suddenly finding the sand oppressive, the stars weighing heavy above, brain compressed in the middle. And then I remember another Brian Coxesque fact – there are more atoms in a single grain of sand than there are grains of sand in a desert. Brain melt. Mist catches in the headlights, and I snap out of my reverie, realising too late that the mist is thickening to fog as the land cools and the cloud bank rolls in. We hurriedly pack camera gear away, but it’s too late – by the time we come to drive back down, we’re lost in a pea-souper. We try to follow our tyre tracks but we’ve driven around

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a fair bit up here, so we end up scouting on foot before finding the right set that lead back down into camp. It’s a warning. The following day, we continue south, past the wreck of the trawler Shawnee that ran aground in 1976 and onwards to the Eduard Bohlen. The weather is overcast, the wreck is brown, sad and lonely and the Hilux sounds bored as it rumbles up to it – reaching here was meant to be the challenge, but the Toyota has barely broken sweat or traction. An anticlimax, then? Far from it. It’s utterly surreal. We have a careful walk over the crumbling wreck (the stern only collapsed a year or so back) and formulate a plan. We need to test the Hilux properly, so we’re going to go deeper into the desert, back past the mining camps to the tallest dunes, some 20 miles distant. This is why a few hours later, I find myself in mid-air. I have departed the desert, achieved temporary orbit over the crest of a dune;

TOYOTA HILUX 2.4D-4D INVINCIBLE 6,$& £26,173 2(,2& 2393cc 4cyl TD, 148bhp @ 3400rpm, 295lb ft @ 1600rpm 6"271,77,32 6spd automatic, 4WD &6'361"2$& 0–62mph in 12.8secs, 106mph $3231= 41.5mpg (11.5mpg as tested), 178g/km CO2 &6#;&,(+8 2095kg

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HILUX IN NAMIBIA

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behind me I can sense all the luggage on the back seats rising up as gravity stalls… sand is not soft when you hit it at 45mph. Everything explodes: the glovebox pops open, the weightless bags turn instantly to lead, my back crunches into the seat and my stomach muscles seize. I’ve winded myself, and I’m pretty sure I’ve killed the Hilux. The load bay is full of tents and gas canisters and extra fuel and toilets, there’s no way the leaf springs could have coped. I’m pretty sure the only way back to civilisation now is for us to be strapped to Paul’s Hilux. Not a single warning light. Not one. The diesel still sounds bored. Right, if it can cope with that… The desert is now our playground sandpit, as Paul leads us on to other adventures. We surf down near-vertical slip faces, the only warning of their impending arrival is when I see the rump of Paul’s truck tilting up to the sky, then I tip over to join him, crawling down

these sheer slopes, axle deep, pushing slow avalanches of sand ahead of us. We run vast bowls, banking over to daft angles. In the biggest, the size of a football stadium, I follow Paul in, the speedo nudging 70mph, the horizon canted over to a ludicrous degree, heart in my mouth, everything compressed, sucked like water down a plughole before exiting with a whoop of sheer, unbridled relief. No part of this scenery is off-limits, so we try everything. We plunge into deep holes where the fossilised sand shows through at the base, we lock it into 2WD and attempt to coax enough power from the engine to drift, we stand at the top of mammoth dunes and survey the possibilities. And sometimes we get stuck. The first thing to learn about sand driving is that power matters. The second thing to know is that there comes a point where it doesn’t. And at that point, delicacy is everything.

978 8+& ,09<†8+& 7"2% %92&7"2% 8+& 2&:&6&2%,2( &1#6"$& 3'8+& 2,(+8 7/=

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Mostly familiar in here, bar the enormous new portrait screen

Getting buried in the yellow stuff formed a large part of TG|7"1,#,""%:&2896&

+"8|78+&8639#0&;,8+ desert expeditions. Sand in your undercrackers

Ollie discovers what ,8|70,/&83%6,:&32 sand type #32

Gets cold in the desert at night. Fire warms the toes nicely

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HILUX IN NAMIBIA Sand, which you’d been pounding over to stay on top of will apparently dissolve and swallow you to the belly pan and then you have to gently, slowly rock the car back and forth to try to compress a path out. On some occasions it takes much coaxing and many runs, reversing back, then getting a little further each time; on others we need Paul’s tow rope. The tyres are our issue. The 265/60 R18s may be broad and plump, but they don’t have an open, blocky enough tread pattern to bite at the loose surface. Penrich moans about the placement of the front towing eye under the bumper, I complain about the gearbox. It’s a six-speed auto and won’t shift into low range on the fly. Left in low range we have a top speed, engine screaming, of about 40mph, which doesn’t give us enough momentum to get up the biggest dunes. The ’box doesn’t respond promptly to manual shifts either, but I still reckon it’s quicker than the manual would be. There’s so much to learn about the sand, too. It’s firmer in the mornings when it’s moist on top (60 per cent of the 15mm of annual precipitation in the Namib desert, the second driest on Earth, comes from fog…), firmer also where the wind compacts it. But there are different types of sand: there’s one type that we don’t sink into at all, but has precisely no lateral grip, but telling one from the other, or why ridges develop in some places but not others... no idea. Paul, who’s been brought up driving in these dunes his whole life, has a sixth sense for it. Perhaps I’m over-thinking it, but only because the Duelers seem to struggle with so much of it. A set of sand tyres like Paul’s Hilux is wearing, and I reckon ours would be near unstoppable. It feels properly tough, but it’s a stretch to consider it as habitable as any other SUV. The plastics are stark, the interior utilitarian – it’s not family transport. But neither should it be. Sand is everywhere, dragged in by our feet or churned up by the spinning wheels, but we don’t mind – it’ll brush out. This is a workhorse, and it’s working. And its role is utterly vital. Rescue (via satellite phone) is a long, long way off when there isn’t a single human within 100 miles of our position. Namibia is careful with its tourism – on average only one trip every two weeks is allowed out into this vast, vast area, and with the exception of ash and urine, everything that goes in has to come back out. Everything.

“ The plastics are stark, the interior utilitarian. Sand is everywhere” The Hilux is our lifeline; at night ours powers the shower, Paul’s runs the lights and cooking and a windbreak is strapped between the two. No longer is it a hoon machine, something to play with, now it’s our most vital bit of equipment, our survival blanket – we are utterly dependent on it. As we sit around the fire that night, burning wood we’ve carried with us, drinking cold beer and eating meat, salad, bread and fruit, before showering and crawling into a padded roll mat, I realise how well the Hilux is looking after us. I resolve to treat it better the next day. We had hoped for a stunning sunrise, but 20 miles inland isn’t enough to escape the cloud bank. The high dunes end abruptly, so we drive to the top, stand among the crisp wind-blown folds and watch the wall recede, then chase it back towards the coast. If we needed a reminder that this phenomenal place is more than just an off-road playground, it comes as we pass through the mining settlements at Warsasha and Conception Point. Abandoned before WWII, each used to support 600 or so hardy souls who’d find diamonds on the surface, literally sifting through sand on their stomachs in 45°C heat. Talk about a bleak, stark existence. These are haunting places, their nearby graveyards a testimony to the brutality of the Skeleton Coast. Imagining the life those people had out here tempers our enthusiasm, casts a different light on this environment and how man intrudes into it. We walk in silence past the corrugated iron and the restored shack that commemorates the sacrifices made here. It’s tempting to consider how a Hilux would fare left out in this corrosive environment for a hundred years. Well, I suspect; certainly better than most other SUVs. Because like this place, like the Eduard Bohlen itself, the Hilux is designed and built for a more primal existence. 38"238+&67390'36 100 miles. Apart from the photographer, obvs

THANKS TO: PAUL LOMBARD AT SIDEWINDER 4X4 NAMIBIA, AND HEIN TRUTER AT WWW.LIVETHEJOURNEY.CO.ZA

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NISSAN GT-R IN ICELAND

8|7

3+


73

59,&8

...TG decides that lapping Iceland in a day is the perfect test route for the latest 562bhp Nissan GT-R WO R DS:      PH OTO GR APHY:       

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tanfords, the world’s best cartographic shop, deals me a pre-flight downer. Maps and guides to Iceland are to be found on its “Europe” floor. I wanted it to be more exotic than that. At least another continent. Well, now, having sampled the whole thing in one headlong day, I can report it’s another world. Several other worlds actually. The original plan was to circumnavigate the country by its Route 1 ring road, departing Reykjavik at sunrise on the longest day of the the year and getting back by sunset. That’s 21 hours at this nearArctic latitude. Most guidebooks say you should take a week, minimum. Any old how, the morning before we set off, we learned the country’s greatest band Sigur Rós was doing the same route in the opposite direction, composing on-the-hoof a soundtrack to match the resulting livestream. Which sounded far better planned and more culturally appropriate than anything from TopGear. So we swerved onto a new path, a plan better suited to our inclinations and to the car we’re driving. We’re sticking approximately to Route 1, sticking to the allotted hours, but allowing ourselves detours to anything else that tempts a 562bhp four-wheel-drive car that’s as volcanic as the country it’s passing through.

S

“ Reykjavik has all the paraphernalia 3'"$"4,8"0#98 none of the scale”

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Despite the Stanfords categorisation, Iceland is only half in Europe. Its western segment is strictly in North America. An active volcano chain rends the country asunder. It’s part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, the boundary of the tectonic plates of those two continents. The plates are moving apart, so if you’re thinking of trying this next year, be aware you’ll have an even longer trip. By 4cm or so. Reykjavik is like Legoland. It has all the paraphernalia of a global capital – parliament, striking modern cathedral and opera house, port and airport – but none of the scale. It’s highly engaging, though, and plenty of its restaurants do a mean fish supper. On that, we fortify ourselves, then grab a scant few hours’ sleep.


GT-R IN ICELAND

Everything set to zero, ready for the off. Red needles at rest... for a while

Godzilla takes on a new role as a GT. Predictably, it excels

Goðafoss. Literally “Waterfall of 8+& 3%7~"2|8"6(9&;,8+8+"8 Left and above left: two trolls

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} 8|7";6,8+,2( 8361&28&% 4"77 3'+",64,27 8+"8 (3 without tarmac or Armco” ,( 0"2%7$"4& 71"00 $"639;,00 238,$& this is a common theme

Mostly familiar in here, bar the enormous new portrait screen

Sunrise, our starting flag, is at 2.55am. Sunset, the end target, three minutes past the following midnight. But there’s no dawn, no dusk, no night. It never gets dark. Our day begins and ends under glutinous, claggy cloud, not the fiery red skies and golden glow I’d been hoping for. And with this absence of darkness, the smearing into daylight is mind-numbingly languid. The first hours are low coastal roadway and rolling hills. Causeways cross coastal inlets, plus one long tunnel that runs underneath and smells strongly of fish. Time has ground to an aimless crawl: it feels like a dull winter’s 4pm, not a high-summer 3am… or 4am or 5am or 6am: the changes in light are infinitesimal. Still, the combination of the antisocial hour and the sparseness of the population does mean the road is ours and ours only. It demonstrates how this newly face-lifted GT-R has been house-trained. On a run like this, the old one did your head in. Its road noise reverberated your skull, and the ride was shocking – literally as well as figuratively. The new GT-R is capable of being a lot more placid. With its dampers set in their comfort mode, the surface’s brittleness is eased off. The V6 revs comparatively high because there’s no seventh gear, but it’s no hardship to be hearing one of the world’s more purposeful engines, even if it is operating at a fraction of its full purpose. There’s

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GT-R IN ICELAND

tramlining where trucks have squashed parallel tracks into the road, but nothing more than a gentle tug of the wheel. The all-Europe navigation system doesn’t cover Iceland (d’you hear, Stanfords?). But it’s pretty hard to take the wrong road when there are so darned few of them. We settle into the deep leather seats, plug a phone into the Bose, and find an Icelandic indie playlist on Spotify. So it’s an appropriate car for the long and comparatively gentle tarmac sections. Godzilla as a GT. Who knew? As we curl onto the northern coast, the landscape casts aside its gentility. Under the vast skies brood endless mountain ranges, cut

32 $&0"2%|7+",64,22&78 63"% 8&&4 %6347 (6":&0 723; OPL#+4 ;+"8$390% 4377,#0=(3;632(w

with rivers crashing into thunderous waterfalls. The roads convolute with it, and their twists give the GT-R something to do. It bites to the challenge. Even in the rain, it digs deep into an immense reserve of security, violent in the force but placid in the demands it places on you. It involves and converses with the driver but doesn’t start arguments. Out of a corner, the immense complication of the pistons and gears and torque-apportioning driveline is irrelevant. The turbos seem to be swinging directly at the wheels, catapulting you away to a new tract of countryside. We pass the deep blue of Lake Mývatn. It’s flanked by a forest of jagged black rock towers, like raving pagan dancers suddenly petrified for eternity. Tourist buses appear from nowhere, decanting their occupants into several hotspring baths. Small industrial installations sit at the head of steaming fissures, collecting geothermal energy. Iceland’s entire electricity supply is renewable, from this superheated water and hydropower. All this geologic activity indicates we’re crossing the volcanic ridge now, and suddenly the land’s palette goes red, a rock-andsandscape of barren ochre and rouge and tan and caramel and garnet. I expect to meet the Mars Rover rumbling around the next corner. After the red planet comes Uranus – a cold desert, naked of all vegetation, grey and TOPGEAR.COM



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GT-R IN ICELAND

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unyielding and in places utterly featureless. It looks like speed-record territory. Eventually back among the fields of planet Earth, we turn off the ring road and head towards a peninsula of desolate mountains too remote but not quite high enough for anyone to bother climbing. But they do have a road, without question the most intriguing and tempting one in the country, a writhing and tormented pass of dozens of hairpins that go without tarmac or Armco. But by the time we get to the base of the pass, there’s nothing to be seen above. The whole range is swaddled in a mountain fog. Maybe the other side of the ridge is better. No turning back now. I head up in all trepidation, fighting with the disorientation of fog blindness, barely able to discern even what’s up or down. We keep on climbing, feeling our way round one hairpin after another, until a barely discernible ethereal brightness begins to bathe us from above. Suddenly we burst out above the cloud, purgatorial deprivation giving way to celestial abundance. The road snakes its way between snowy pillows and windswept peaks, and beyond the saddle lies another staircase of bends to the valley floor a world below. Despite the harsh sounds of gravel on wheelarch, the GT-R’s motions are softened by gravel, the particles acting as a lubricant, adding a lateral sway to its straight lines and a delay to its cornering. But it’s still amazing how much purchase it finds to thunder through and out of the bends. You probably want me to tell you about shutting the skid controls off, using R mode to send more torque rearward, and generally

USE OF MAP: MARCO POLO

“ Vatnajökull is a glacier the size of Norfolk plus all four Yorkshires” making a hero of myself. I shall in return remind you about the size of the drops at the edge of the track. This is one of the great driving adventures of my life and I cherish both of those (the adventure and the life) so don’t want them shortened, thanks. Egilsstaðir would call itself Iceland’s eastern metropolis. Its population, just over 2,000, is barely a Surrey village. But it feels like a road-trip hub, and back on the tarmac of Route 1 we get petrol – more petrol – and sandwiches. The road is a bit dull for a time after this, so when offered a shortcut we take it. Another gravel track, this one navigates a plateau before crashing down another series of hairpins, too steep for a caravanning family trying to slither their way up. Across the valley, the basalt escarpment shows the dramatic layering of successive aeons of uplift and volcanic outpourings. This country feels primordially ancient, but like most old things – not least the R35 GT-R – it keeps on changing, by evolution and spasm. The south coast looks like the home stretch on a map, but trust me – it’s still a chuffing long way. There


Long summer days see a riot of lush purple lupins sprout from apparently barren land

2017 GT-R has a tidier dash. and plusher finish. Audi still not scared

are hayfields again, and the road is bounded by vivid purple lupins and a blue ocean beyond. The sun arrives, a blazing saturated contrast to the low-key tones that have washed most of the day so far. At length what looks to be a bank of low cloud forms on the distant horizon. In fact it’s our first view of the Vatnajökull, a glacier the size of Norfolk plus all four Yorkshires. Swirlyoutlined chunks of deep turquoise ice float lazily away into the meltwater lagoon. They have a story to tell. This ice cap is so big, it has an active volcano underneath. Now the land goes flat and gravelly, Route 1 aiming along it as straight as light rays, doing nothing to stave off my fatigue. Except every few miles it crosses a braid of glacial meltwater, and because it carries so little traffic the bridges are single-width steel-girder structures. Each time I slow down to burble over the crossing, and then drop to second and floor it. The V6 fills its lungs, the rev-counter swings, change-up lights glow orange and red, it grabs another gear, and in no time another, and again. Better than caffeine. Rain is driving back at us now, and with it comes a powerful sense of night impending. Yet it never comes; dim never surrenders to dark. West of Vík, sinister black-sand beaches are crowded with nesting seabirds. At Skógafoss another towering waterfall photo-stop. Afterwards, a slowly increasing frequency of habitation. Eventually a short stretch of dual carriageway. Then at last Rejkavik.

“ Our trip has become an Icelandic socialmedia meme” &"+*;&|6&(3,2(8+&6&:&67& direction here. Wasting time to bring you the perfect shot

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The sky says 8pm; the clock says just before midnight. Made it. We return for our finishing photo to the point in front of the glassy new opera house where, 21 hours and 898 miles earlier, we’d called it a start. The day passed at a surprisingly reasonable 27mpg because we hadn’t wanted to make a high-speed spectacle of ourselves. Probably just as well, because several cars now stop and phonecam the GT-R. They’ve been expecting us. Our trip has become some sort of Icelandic social-media meme, and we’ve been Snapchatted multiple times over the circumnavigation. One single day, one country, two continents, and the powerful suggestion of other planets. Steam and ice, mountains and plains, endless swings of weather and climate. This might be the first visit by a GT-R to the country, but in all those circumstances, on all those highways and tracks, it never felt the slightest bit out of place.


GT-R IN ICELAND

GT-R consumes another straight in explosion of turbo power and 4WD traction. Wakes up long-haul driver

'8&6SJJ10&7 .3962&=|7&2% GT-R obviously the perfect car for a trip to the opera

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TopGear|7 032( 8&61$"67 &78&% F :&6,',&%

152 Audi R8

145 Zenos E10S

147 Mini 09#1"2

148 Range Rover

150 BMW M3

Jack is about to undergo two life changes

We ‘welcome’ a stuffed-to-the-gills Clubman

Jason pays a visit to JLR’s SVO division

The M3 is off. Time for a last blast to Dartmoor

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Discovery Sport Price/as tested ÂŁ43,000/ÂŁ51,499 Model HSE Luxury Driver Owen Norris +=,8|7+&6& Is the Discovery Sport the best of both worlds? 1999cc, 4cyl turbodiesel, 4WD, 180bhp, 317lb ft

MAIN IMAGE: JONATHAN BUSHELL

REPORT 7

Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve decided itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time to learn some new skills, so Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve started volunteering at the Epping Ongar Railway near London. I bought the Disco Sport along to see if it could be used to do any of the heavy work they often have to do. Turns out thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not a great deal a road car can do due to the rather impassable tracks that get in the way. Never mind â&#x20AC;&#x201C; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a great excuse for a good photo opportunity and a proper steam clean by the very ďŹ ne-looking Gresley N2 locomotive no. 1744. Weighing in at over 70 tonnes and boasting 19,945lb ft of tractive eďŹ&#x20AC;ort vs my 317lb ft of torque, any attempt at a tug of war would mean the little Land Rover would be very soundly beaten and probably very broken. Ollie Marriage borrowed the Sport for a week and had some interesting comments: â&#x20AC;&#x153;What surprised me is how small the fuel tank was â&#x20AC;&#x201C; I expected to get 500 miles from a tank, but 350 was all it managed. I think

OMM14([KMS(/1L

0â&#x20AC;&#x201C;62mph in 8.9secs, 117mph

GARAGE LOGBOOK Good stuff

Bad stuff

Still gets admiring glances from dull-spec Disco owners. Proving this spec is standing the test of time well

Cracked windscreen proved very difficult to get replaced at short notice

Car park full? You can park it on literally any surface or slope. Handy

Not very useful at train tug of wars. Disappointing

TOTAL MILEAGE AND OUR MPG

0 0 0 9 0 3 6 1

31.7

KRRN/(

the packaging with the seven seats and 4WD is all quite tight in there. I do like the way it drives â&#x20AC;&#x201C; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reďŹ ned and comfortable. And I like the big roof and the spec, though thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s quite a lot of bare plastic around the gear selector. You can get six 12-year-old girls and some surf equipment in. God knows why, but the kit travelled on the front seat, the girls in the back.â&#x20AC;? Range has never been an issue for me, as my commute is short. And the plastics donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t bother me much. And my transportation needs are less exotic than multiple surfers, so itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s never been problematic for me... On the A406 around Woodford, I picked up a small stone chip in the windscreen that soon grew, meaning a new one was required quite urgently. A quick call to a well-known mobile specialist wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t much use. The wait was nearly two weeks as itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a skilled job due to the heated screen and the sensors. Although as itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nearly always an insurance job, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll only pay the excess, so not a huge dent to the wallet.

TOTAL MILEAGE AND OUR MPG

0 0 0 6 0 3 0 1

Mazda MX-5

41.6

Price ÂŁ23,295/ÂŁ23,835 Model L.0 Sport Nav Driver Sam Philip +=,8|7+&6& 7 8+,7=&"6|7 7,140&78 743687$"6"073 ,87#&78 743687$"6w

REPORT 5

Time to talk about the economy. On my daily drive â&#x20AC;&#x201C; B-roads, 1|;"=[96#"2 7$+0&4[3$$"7,32"0 (6,%03$/  NJ14( ,7"(,:&2[NO14(4097"$+,&:"#0&;,8+"7394Ă&#x2026;32 3'$"98,32+"8|7"00#98 ,%&28,$"0 83 8+&KO0,86&[ KLS#+4#"7&O 32 8+&7"1&63"%7[4&6+"47"7 8+&#,((&6&2(,2&+"7 83#&;36/&%"0,880&0&77+"6%  8|7&:&2"0,880&136&8+"2 &:&6 1"2"(&%,2 8+& &2"908;,2(3 0,'&6 6"2 0"78=&"6+"8$"6#3"78&%

1998cc, 4cyl, RWD, 158bhp, 147lb ft

144

SEPTEMBER 2016 

TOPGEAR.COM

NJS14([KPK(/1L

"JS0,86&896#3 M$=0&2(,2&[6"8&%"8 POQ14( #98 ,2 6&"0,8=839(+83&/&4"78 NJ;,8+398$"97,2( 7,(2,',$"28 03$"0 8",0#"$/7+&LJ0,86&[896#30&77 O 6&(90"60=exceeds its quoted economy, even ;+&2 79#.&$8&%83 1=0&778+"27=14"8+&8,$%6,:,2( 633'[,'2&&%&%[8+"8;+,0&13%&62 896#3 &2(,2&7 1,(+8#&(33%"8 7$36,2(+,(+32 8+& 8&787[,2 8+&6&"0;360%8+&=|6&"01378 1"8$+&%#= &'',$,&28 2"896"00="74,6"8&%92,87

0â&#x20AC;&#x201C;62mph in 7.3secs, 133mph

KJQO/(


Zenos E10 S Price £32,995/£39,995 Model E10 S Driver Jack Rix +=,8|7+&6& Is this the most liveable lightweight you can currently buy? 1999cc, turbo 4cyl, RWD, 247bhp, 295lb ft

HELLO

Remember the Zenos E10? Allow me to refresh your memory: it’s the latest addition to a growing roster of British lightweights and star of episode five in the most recent telly series. And now we have an already run-in one in our possession... for a few months, at least. We plan to use it as its designers intended, of course, but it’ll have to deal with all the mundane bits in-between, too. And this isn’t just an exercise in self-flagellation for the sake of it: the E10 is pitched as a more usable alternative to the usual track special suspects. But there’s a problem already – our Zenos sucks. No, not like that. I’m talking about the air intake located millimetres behind the driver’s head that amplifies every rush, hiss and chirrup from the turbo directly into your lughole. Lift off at 30mph, and it’s as if someone’s opened a can of Coke the size of a wheelie bin in your immediate vicinity. It’s great fun for the first ten minutes, then comes the splitting

MRO14(KSJ(/1L

0–62mph in 4.0secs, 145mph

headache, so I’ve taken to wearing earplugs for any journey longer than that. Ollie Kew even had a friend ask him to “turn the noise off” because it was scaring her. I suspect this will be just the first of a number of compromises I’ll be facing, but I must remember I entered into this willingly. You see, with my wife expecting in December, I lodged a request to run something fast and unruly before sick-stained baby seats become my new reality. For the record, I live in south London, work in west London, and have to navigate at least 20 miles of speed bumps and jams before encountering anything resembling a ‘driving’ road. Approach it from the vantage point of an Ariel Atom or Caterham owner, and the bodywork and windscreen offer glorious semi-seclusion from the wind and rain, while the cabin is palatial and won’t roast your left thigh against the transmission tunnel. Approach it from the vantage point of any other car, and this is a fairly extreme undertaking. It has a roof (part of the £2,295 weather pack that includes the heated windscreen and wipers, it’s largely to keep the seats dry if parked outside overnight) but no windows and no doors – you step over the sides before clipping into the six-point harnesses. Luggage space is limited to the passenger seat, or if you’re two-up, your passenger’s lap, while there’s no satnav, no brake servo, no power steering, no radio (you wouldn’t hear a thing anyway) and no aircon, but you are treated to heated seats (£245 per side)– so your bottom is lightly toasted while the wind frosts your front half. Living with the Zenos is going to be a challenge. Let’s hope the good stuff outweighs the cold and wet bits.

TOPGEAR.COM

ROJ/(

GARAGE LOGBOOK Good stuff

Bad stuff

This thing accelerates hard. Yep, 247bhp driving just 850kg tends to do that

The four-step start-up procedure ,7"#,819$+"2|8 we just hit the Ford starter button?

If you like getting noticed, then our Kermit-spec E10 S makes jaws hit the floor. Just get used to saying what it is

Six-point harnesses hold you in place firmly enough, but threepoint belts would be so much quicker and easier

TOTAL MILEAGE AND OUR MPG

0 0 0 2 4 9 9 1



SEPTEMBER 2016

21.7 1 45


Audi A4 Avant Price £35,430/£43,920 Model 2.0 TDI S line Driver Adam Waddell +=,8|7+&6& Is the all-new A4 really as conservative as it looks? KSPR$$]N$=0896#3%,&7&0]]KRQ#+4]LSO0# ft

GOODBYE

The question that has headed this column for the past six months is “Is the all-new A4 really as conservative as it looks?”. One couldn’t really argue that the styling has moved on a great deal since the last model, but it’s still a good-looking car. In any case, Audi styling tends to gently evolve over time – as a result, the cars date slowly, which is an important consideration if you’re thinking of buying one and sticking with it for a few years. And then there’s the handling... Those of a sideways persuasion in the TopGear office moan that the A4’s handling isn’t as pin-sharp as a BMW’s 3-Series’ and, though they may have a point, this is a 2.0-litre turbodiesel estate, and you’re not going to choose one of these if getting the back end out around roundabouts is your thing. But that’s not to say that the handling is soft – it just leans a little more towards comfort than out and out handling, and that’s fine by me. So far, so conservative – but in a good way, as far as I’m concerned.

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SEPTEMBER 2016 

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65.7mpg, 113g/km CO2

J^PL14+,2Q_S7&$7]KNM14+

One area in which Audi isn’t remotely conservative is adopting new technology, and it is known for fasttracking the latest ideas throughout the range. For instance, Audi Phone Box will wirelessly charge your mobile, and I’ve had great fun figuring out how Traffic Jam Assist works. And work it does, as effectively the car will drive itself. Though, to be honest, once the novelty had worn off, I didn’t actually use it again. But it does make the point that truly autonomous cars are closer than some might think, and if there is new technology that can be applied to a 30 grand car, then Audi is as likely to be ahead of the curve as anyone. Our test car came in S line spec and, as with VW’s R-Line, I reckon it’s well worth the money. For an additional £3,000 over the basic SE model, you get upgraded seats, alloys and a styling kit, which along with a host of other features completely transform the car’s exterior looks. That goes for the interior too, although Audi has always punched above its weight in that department. For my money, Audi interiors are the best in the business, and the S line doesn’t disappoint. It has a smart layout and quality, tactile materials, such as beautifully perforated and stitched leather. A few months ago, another car magazine that shall remain nameless voted the new A4 its Best Compact Executive Car and also its overall Car of the Year. I can see why. It’s a brilliant all-rounder and, if you spec it right, it has the air of a much more expensive car. Perhaps Audi has played it a little on the safe side, but it hasn’t compromised on quality or overall capability, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed our 5,000 miles together. The A4 does everything that is asked of it, and if you are thinking of owning one, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

1530kg

GARAGE LOGBOOK Good stuff

Bad stuff

S line package is well worth it – makes such a difference both outside and in

|1"1"77,:&'"23' Audi interiors – so why does the main nav screen look like an iPad Mini glued to the dash?

I love the drivers dash that can also be used as an alternative nav screen. I actually use it more than the main nav

Considering every other detail is so well thought out, ,8|7"79646,7&8+&6& ,72|8136&97&'90 cabin storage

TOTAL MILEAGE AND OUR MPG

0 0 0 5 2 3 0 1

37.1


Mini Clubman Price ÂŁ23,310/ÂŁ34,285 Model Cooper S All4 Driver Paul Horrell +=,8|7+&6& In moderating its eccentricities is this still a Mini? KSSR$$`N$=0`N`KSL#+4`LLK0# ft

40.9mpg, 159g/km CO2

HELLO

The ÂŁ34,000 Mini is here. No, not a limited-edition, JCW hatch running expensive semi-race componentry. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an over-optioned Clubman. Still, the Clubman is a bigger car these days, and this example has All4 drive. Audi wants similar for a comparable A3 quattro. The JCW Chili pack is ÂŁ3,865 and brings 18s, mild body kit, sports seats, LED headlamps, heated seats and some smaller bits. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re also rocking the other big-ticket pack, called Tech, at ÂŁ2,150. This adds fancier nav and hi-ďŹ , better Bluetooth, a reversing camera and head-up display. The HUD is useful. Soâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the camera because those split doors block vision. But the navigation upgrade is a waste of money because it lacks the one thing all good navs have: hi-res traďŹ&#x192;c. You only get this via a clunky and slow app on the central screen, which draws data from your phone. Boo.

JPL14+,2QÂ&#x20AC;J7&$7`KNL14+

GARAGE LOGBOOK Good stuff

Bad stuff

Consumption not bad for a mid-size petrol, at 33.6mpg. Mostly motorway at, shall we say, 70mph plus VAT

In search of â&#x20AC;&#x153;kart-likeâ&#x20AC;? feel, steering is light at centre, so it easily wanders in motorway lane

Interior still Mini-ish, but more grown-up

Related Journey Mate app has good points but opaque to use

TOTAL MILEAGE AND OUR MPG

0 0 0 1 5 8 9 1

33.6

1525kg

We have a big glass sunroof. Sunroofs harm the cabin acoustics and usually rattle after a while, so Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d have avoided that ÂŁ800 spend. At least my back-seat kid likes the glass overhead. That makes seven cabin openings. At last the Mini Clubman has proper side doors, and being wider than the old one, it has a three-person rear. Good. But I still donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get the double tail doors. You canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t open them if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re parked close to another car or wall. What was wrong with a hatch again? Nice to be in a petrol car. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pleasantly quiet most of the time, but makes an OK noise when you rev it out. However, it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t feel worth the Cooper S badge, though: the 192bhp has to work hard to overcome the 1,525kg weight â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a staggering 165kg penalty over FWD. In the dry, All4 is pointless, but weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll see how it helps in the wet over the long-term.

TOTAL MILEAGE AND OUR MPG

0 0 0 4 2 8 7 1

Mazda CX-3

37.7

Price ÂŁ20,495/ÂŁ21,035 Model Sport Nav 2WD Driver Dan Read +=,8|7+&6& "7">%"1"%& 8+&;360%|7#&78 0,880&$63773:&6w

REPORT 4

/23;,8|7"223=,2(;+&2 4&340& (3 83 0"7832#96="2%74&2%8+& 2&<8 1328+8&00,2(=39"#398 ,8#98+&= 731&8,1&7 $"2#&"223=,2(&7,%&7 +":&"2&<$97& #&$"97& 729$/ 8+&">%",2 83 7&&+3;,8$34&% ;,8+8+&'"1397 4331,6& =1",2;366=;"72|8 (&88,2( 789$/#98 (&88,2( 789$/"2%+":,2( 83&<40",2 8+"8 &:&2 8+39(+,8 033/7 0,/&32& 8+,7 4"68,$90"6M ,72|8"'396#&&'396"7

KSSR$$`N$=0``KKR#+4`KOJ0# ft

47.9mpg, 137g/km CO2

8+&=7"=,2 8+&&7839286="2%8+"8 731&32& 7+390%'&8$+"86"$836 ,11&%,"8&0= $89"00=8+&6&;"7 23 2&&% %&74,8&#&,2(

8+&6&|7"N&07&;+&6&,2 8+&6"2(&Â&#x2021; ,8%3&7+":& 8;3 3''63"%=86,$/7 94 ,87 70&&:&,6780= ,8|7 0,(+8"2% 8+&6&'36&0,(+8'338&%&$32%0= ,8 6,%&7"97&'90 O$1 +,(+&6 8+"2 8+&">%"L 32;+,$+,8|7#"7&%"2%8+"8 "003;&%,8 83 7/,1 3:&6 8+&'9663;7 8+"8 86"44&%38+&6 03;&6$"67"6392%1&9$+83 8+&,6"223="2$&

JPL14+,2SÂ&#x20AC;J7&$7`KKS14+

TOPGEAR.COM

1230kg



SEPTEMBER 2016

147


"2(&3:&64368 Price ÂŁ95,150/ÂŁ102,635 Model SVR Driver Jason Barlow +=,8|7+&6& 3&7 |7',67813%&0+,88+&7438w OJJJ$$R7|$+"6(&% NONS#+4OJL0#'8

HELLO

A year ago, a Renault Zoe sat on the driveway. Now thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;sâ&#x20AC;Ś this. The Range Rover Sport SVR is the anti-Zoe, a car that makes the neighbours angry, consumes more of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dwindling natural resources than is seemly, and actually caused a man in a posh North London enclave to shake his head in dismay as I drove past. (He was probably en route to his local Labour party champagne tasting.) Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the noise. The Sport SVR has a two-stage active exhaust, and bigger-diameter pipes than the standard car. Electronically controlled bypass valves keep everything discreet until around 3,000rpm, at which point it lets rip with an aural ruckus you imagine a thousand Vikings kicking in Valhallaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s front door would make. To be honest, this isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really my sort of car. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not against big SUVs; in fact, I ran a turbodiesel Discovery a few years ago and still regard it as the best all-rounder â&#x20AC;&#x201C; assuming you have kids and a dog, or a genuine need for Land Roverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s famous â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;breadth of capabilityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. But that was

14 8

SEPTEMBER 2016 

TOPGEAR.COM

LL K14( LSR(Â&#x2C6;/1L

0â&#x20AC;&#x201C;62mph in 4.5secs, 162mph

a relatively slow, extraordinarily comfy car. The Range Rover Sport SVRâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s portfolio of abilities includes lapping the â&#x20AC;&#x2122;Ring in 8:14, an impressive achievement Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m glad I wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t on board to experience. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m also not sure quite how relevant it is back on Planet Not-Bonkers. Well, the bigger picture here revolves around JLRâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s SVO division, the Midlands answer to AMG, M Division or quattro, now at full tilt in a 20,000m2 bespoke industrial unit near the old Peugeot-Talbot plant in Ryton. Luxury, performance and capability are the three key parts of its manifesto, and the RR Sport SVR is the ďŹ rst production car to get the beneďŹ t of this semi-skunkworks makeover (discounting the limited-run Jaguar Project 7). This makes it signiďŹ cant. SVO also manages the controversial continuation E-type lightweight and XKSS programmes, and the expectation is for the place to become a client destination on a par with, say, AďŹ&#x20AC;alterbach. TGâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Sport SVR arrived already pre-loaded and specced (with 12,000 miles on the clock, too), but anyone in the market for a ÂŁ100k high-performance SUV ought to get themselves along the A45 near Coventry pronto. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an awesome place. Personalisation director Greg Clark admits that most people spend the ďŹ rst 30 minutes â&#x20AC;&#x153;experimentingâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; cocking about, in other words. Our car is Firenze red, but there are 287 other exterior colours to choose from, and 30 diďŹ&#x20AC;erent leathers. The process is done on a huge tabletstyle MultiTaction table, onto which colour lozenges and interactive widgets are positioned to project a rendering of the car onto a big screen. This isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just about buying a car, this is a next-level customer experience. Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s see if the Sport SVR can recreate the magic on a daily basis.

LMMM/(

GARAGE LOGBOOK Good stuff

Bad stuff

,7$+"7,2( +&4368,7  78=0& 238;+"8=39|%$"00 ĂŻ#&6 &2(,2&&6,2( "4378&6#3='36 %&48+;,8+,87 7$"6$&6&7396$& %,:,7,32 "2%8+,7 1"2"(&1&28 8|7 8+,2($&68",20= "073"$"68+"8|00 '&&070,/&8+&6&"0 7;"003;136&8+"2 %&"0 8|00"073 pKJJ3'920&"%&% %&'=4+=7,$7 ,' ,232&7,88,2( 904 =396&"00=;"28 98,8|7":&6"(,2( ,883KM(4&"/ "6392%LL14(  $362&6,2(w ;+,$+,72|8988&60= %,7"78639761

TOTAL MILEAGE AND OUR MPG

0 0 1 2 9 5 0 1

22.1


Renault Kadjar Price/as tested ÂŁ23,595/ÂŁ24,120 Model Dynamique S Nav dCi 110 Driver Simon Carrington +=,8|7+&6& Can it out-Qashqai a Qashqai? 1461cc, 4cyl TD, FWD, 108bhp, 184lb ft

QLN14( KJM(/1L

REPORT 4

The Nissan Qashqai is a bit like Usain Bolt. Yes, there are other athletes and there are other SUVs, but at the end of the day, Usain Bolt always wins, and so does the Qashqai. It is consistently the UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best-selling SUV and the Nissan Qashqai is the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ďŹ fth best-selling car this year. We Brits love SUVs, so itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no wonder that manufacturers have got the Nissan in their sights, not least Renault. As I reported previously, I am one of those Qashqai owners, but my ďŹ rst impressions were that the Kadjar could take Nissanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s crown. However, with a few months of running the Kadjar under my belt, is this still the case? On the looks side, if you like curves youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll prefer the Kadjar â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the Nissan is much more angular. Of far more importance, however, are the comparative sizes. The Kadjar is 8cm longer, the boot has an extra 30 litres capacity and front and rear seats are more spacious than its rival. The

0â&#x20AC;&#x201C;62mph in 11.7secs, 112mph

GARAGE LOGBOOK Good stuff

Bad stuff

Am averaging 45mpg. Given |11",20=83;2 #"7&%8+"8|7 46&88=(33%

&"00/23; SUVs are 7&27,#0&#988+&= %32|8+":&83#& %900833 "%0=  %32|8',2%1=7&0' "4463"$+,2( 8+& "%."6;,8+ "28,$,4"8,32

 ,7,289,8,:& "2%&"7=8397& &=$"6%,7 ;32%&6'900= 7$9048&% #98 &"7=83037&u

TOTAL MILEAGE AND OUR MPG

0 0 0 4 9 9 2 1

44.8

KNLK/(

Kadjar is also taller, so, getting in and out is also easier. And in the world of practical SUVs, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a big advantage. The Kadjar is newer, of course, and so you would expect the interior to be a step forward. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not really the case, though â&#x20AC;&#x201C; there are lots of ďŹ&#x201A;at dark plastics in the Renault and design-wise itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a bit bland. The multimedia screen is strangely oďŹ&#x20AC;-centre, and in the Nissan there are hints of chrome all over which make it feel a bit more premium. Renaultâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s multimedia set-up is better, the satnav more intuitive and we also have a digital display so, tech-wise, the Renault is a clear winner. My biggest disappointment with the Kadjar is the drive, though. There is not much to split the 0â&#x20AC;&#x201C;62mph times, but dynamically the Nissan wins. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a close call, and with the Hyundai Tuscon and Mazda CX-3 also on our ďŹ&#x201A;eet, there are other pretenders to the crown, but like Usain Bolt, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t bet against the Qashqai...

TOTAL MILEAGE AND OUR MPG

0 0 0 3 1 0 0 1

Peugeot 308 GTi 270

31.4

Price/as tested ÂŁ28,155/29,920 Model GTi 270 Driver Ollie Kew +=,8|7+&6& 3&7&9(&38|7',678'"1,0=+38+"8$+,28;3%&$"%&7$98la moutarde?

REPORT 3

&&8 8+&MJR|7&2&1=;,8+,23 =39 6&1&1#&6 8+&LJR , MJ8+ 22,:&67"6=wpLL/ 0,1,8&%&%,8,32 794&61,2,;,8+ 78,''&6 6,%&"4634&6%,''"8,$/0&136&43;&6"2% #9$/&8 7&"87 8;"7"6&:&0"8,32(&2,97 78&4 32'631 8+&79440& 79#80&LJR ,3 40&"7&% ;,8+,8;&6&8+&79,87 ,8|7#&$31&"'9008,1&6"2(& 1&1#&6%9##&%&9(&384368&8 8+&'"27 8+"8 7+&00&%398'36 8+&{0,1,8&%&%,8,32|;&6&$+9''&%

1598cc, 4cyl turbo, FWD, 266bhp, 243lb ft

NQJ14( KMS(/1L

+&6&8+&LJR79$$&&%7 3:&6&9(&384368|7 MJR , ,7'3$97 8 94(6"%&7 8+&2361"0 ,|7 "(,0,8= 86"$8,32%6,:,2( 437,8,32"2%78"2$&#98 ,8|7 238#&&2+"178692(;,8+("62,7+3 1"77"(& 7&"87+&6&3 (0"77 633'+91"27,>&%%6,:,2( 437,8,328,00"8,2=78&&6,2(;+&&0#98 ,8|7 136& "446346,"8& 136&97"#0& ,2 8+&43$/&8"#0&LJR 8|7"7&27"8,32 '8+&7&7&"87"2%8+,7 8&2"$,8=+"% 1"%&,8 ,283 8+&MJR;&|%#&(&88,2("032(#&88&6

0â&#x20AC;&#x201C;62mph in 6.0secs, 155mph

TOPGEAR.COM



KLJO/(

SEPTEMBER 2016

1 49


1

2

3

GOODBYE

Farewell, Toothless HOW TO SAY GOODBYE TO OUR PET DRAGON? A DASH TO DARTMOOR WITH MOUNTAIN BIKES, THAT’S HOW...

once wrote that the Audi RS6 was the best car I’ve ever run, but now I’m not so sure. That’s how much the M3 has got under my skin. I hadn’t expected that. I hadn’t expected that for a few reasons, chief among them that I’d previously been a bit wary of the fastest 3-Series. The first time I drove an M3, at its international launch, I remember thinking that, keen to counter any criticism of the move to turbocharging, they’d sharpened the chassis to a particularly edgy edge. It was occasionally snatchy, sometimes unpredictable, often angry. This one still is, even after 16,000 miles, and many people in the office still don’t like it as a result. They think it’s a bit like having a big cat as a pet. It might be related to your standard puss, but there’s something about the way it pulls at a leash… I don’t deny that, just as I don’t deny that the newer Competition Package version is a better car, its revised suspension and differential settings

I

improving drivability. But as we’ve said so often in the past, cars with foibles are often more engaging, and it was the M3’s duality in this regard that made me fall for it. I could commute to work in my 3-Series at 30mpg, relishing the logical layout, the usefulness of that little row of eight buttons, the driving position, the ergonomics, the presentation of information, the quality and all the rest; and then on the way home, I could let it off the lead and inject myself with a shot of pure M3. I don’t think I’ve ever had a car that’s been better able to hit both peaks so ably – the RS6 wasn’t as focused and agile and angry as the M3. It really is a thrilling car to drive fast, this – more so, as we found out in issue 283, than Charlie Turner’s Merc C63 AMG wagon. I loved the way Toothless looked in its Frozen Silver matte paint, and adored its fat stance on the road. With hindsight, the only thing I’d have added to the spec is carbon-ceramic brakes (£6,250), and again with hindsight, the only thing my missus


32.1mpg,

Hyundai Tucson

1560kg

Price £32,450 Model

BMW M3

Price £56,505/£64,560 Model M3 Driver Ollie Marriage +=,8|7+&6&Which side of the lairy/liveable line does the M3 live on? 2979cc, twin-turbo in-line 6cyl, RWD, 425bhp, 405lb ft 232g/km CO2

0–62mph in 4.1secs, 155mph

2.0 CRDi Premium SE Driver Esther Neve +=,8|7+&6& Is there more to the Tucson than an attractive pricetag?

4

IMAGES: ROWAN HORNCASTLE/MARK RICCIONI/OLLIE MARRIAGE

1. Winter tyres were the same size as summers, but came on polished silver rims 2. New exhaust system had titanium finishers. Could have had carbon but this looked better with the paintwork 3. Toothless played chase car when we drove the first Focus RS back to the UK 4. Lapping up the Valparola Pass in Italy. Happy Toothless!

wishes I hadn’t added (in issue 284) was the £3,599 M Performance exhaust. This removed any criticism of the M3’s fake engine note, and I love the extra intensity, but it’s so penetrating that it’s managed to loosen a nut somewhere, and there’s now a ‘zzzzzing’ noise at low revs. Other issues? Squeaky door seals were rectified with GT85 but will need another reapplication soon, the windscreen was replaced post crack, and on a couple of occasions recently the infotainment has refused to fire up. The first service is still 2,500 miles away – I never cease to be amazed by how far relatively highly strung machines can now go between check-ups. The gearbox shunted shifts unnecessarily, but the car averaged an impressive 27.2mpg (and the trip readout was accurate). Mileage has been accumulated mainly on motorways, but it’s done family weekends away (the boot is surprisingly roomy), a few days at Dunsfold (one with Matt LeBlanc driving) and was home to Rowan Horncastle and I for 2,500 miles

1995cc, 4cyl TD, 4WD, 183bhp, 295lb ft 170g/km CO2 9.5secs, 125mph

43.5mpg, 0–62mph in 2250kg

REPORT 2

There is a lot of building work occurring in the car park at TopGear Towers currently. You may not care about this, but it bothers me for two reasons: one – the noise, and two – the punctures. Tyres these days are not cheap, and with the state of the roads causing more and more sidewall tears (thank you potholes...), I take extra care not to crunch down into the craters that litter our streets. But all that effort was wasted when I still got a puncture thanks to a huge nail embedded in my rear offside tyre. A nail that, in reality, can only have come from the building site. Luckily, UK Tyres is just moments from work. The guys there mended the puncture with minimal fuss and maximum professionalism. Ten quid for the repair, and just 20 minutes later I was mobile again. If only everything was this easy.

and 12 days around Europe. It wore Continental winter tyres for that trip, and they were perfect, but in the mild UK, the soft compound wasn’t quite up to the task of coping with 405lb ft of squirm. The Conti CSC 5Ps it’s worn the rest of the time are now close to shot after around 9,000 miles. They’ve been good, but a bit noisy on long runs. Chris Harris had a near-identical M3 that he had on Michelins, and sang their praises. Wanting a fitting last hurrah, my son and I went mountain biking on Dartmoor for a few days. The bikes might have fitted inside at a push, but I liked having them outside, delivering extra drag to the back axle. We listened to tunes on the ace £675 Harman/Kardon system, sent satnav destinations to the car from the BMW Remote app (the thing it’s most useful for), moaned about the shunting shifts and how it was as cantankerous as us first thing in the morning. But most of all, we felt sorry that this would be the last time. Because when all’s said and done, Toothless has been a special, special car. TOPGEAR.COM



SEPTEMBER 2016

151


Audi R8 Price £134,520/£150,720 Model V10 Plus Driver Ollie Marriage +=,8|7+&6& 79%,|7&:&6=%"=794&6$"678,0074&$,"083 0,:&;,8+w 5204cc V10, 4WD, 602bhp, 413lb ft

23.0mpg, 287g/km CO2

REPORT 2

Eight months of build up and anticipation, and this was the expression I chose to pull. I can only apologise. So yes, the R8 has landed, although as yet my eyebrows haven’t. Solid Vegas Yellow with glossy black detailing emerges slowly from under the covers at West London Audi. It’s not a moment I’m going to forget in a hurry, not least because this is a moment I’ve been anticipating for months and want to savour as long as possible. I even insisted on a tour of Audi’s flagship showroom this morning, just to further heighten the build-up. So yellow bonnet emerges, then black wheel, yellow door, carbon side panels, glass engine cover, and finally the soft blanket falls from the carbon spoiler. Cor. For a couple of minutes I have a good gawp, don’t even touch it for fear of fingerprints. Once I’ve overcome the sense that it’s too precious to actually be driven, sales specialist James Barr-Miller gives me the full walkaround, talking me through everything from the laser lights to the toolkit.

152

SEPTEMBER 2016 

TOPGEAR.COM

JPL14+,2ML7&$7LJO14+

Two useful nuggets of knowledge came from this: firstly, the laser lights only work with auto high beam – for safety reasons, you can’t manually activate them. Secondly, he warned me that in Comfort, the Magnetic Ride has a tendency to bounce over speed bumps, which can feel a bit weird. Half an hour later, I realise he’s not wrong – I’ll cover this in more detail in future, but speed bumps are best tackled in Dynamic… The R8 also likes a gentle running-in process. I know several knowledgeable people who reckon running-in is pointless, but you already know I don’t mind a bit of anticipation… So, first 600 miles no more than 5,000rpm and no full throttle and from there up to 1,500 miles, gradually build the revs, but still avoid full throttle. Funnily enough, 5,000rpm on light throttle openings in a 602bhp supercar is, well, enough to keep pace with traffic. I fire it up for the first time, recording the moment on my phone for posterity. The V10 woofs into life, deep, gruff and smooth, like it’s already spent a lifetime gargling super unleaded. And then with frequent wincing at every nearby bus or kerb, I drive tentatively away. The last time I was this careful I was driving my first child home from the hospital. Since then, 1,300 miles have slipped easily past. The running-in has been fine, and I’ve taken the long way home almost every night, not only to pile the miles on (the appeal of running-in is wearing off), but to experience the chassis, if not the full reach of the engine just yet. First things to note? Fuel economy isn’t clever, the gearing is surprisingly low, the ride is exceptional, the drivetrain silken and, above all, it feels special. Really, really special.

1454kg

GARAGE LOGBOOK Good stuff

Bad stuff

The day I took delivery, my mate Andrew collected his Focus RS. The next morning we could be found kicking tyres and taking each other out for (gentle) rides. Sharing your car experience is ;+"8,8|7"00"#398

Low gearing and tight engine mean fuel economy is poor. Not sure how much it will improve… In Comfort, the R8 porpoises over speed bumps, bouncing on its springs with little damping effect

TOTAL MILEAGE AND OUR MPG

0 0 0 1 3 2 5 1

18.2


30:3SJ Price ÂŁ60,455/ ÂŁ66,830 Model T8 Momentum Driver Tom Ford +=,8|7+&6& 78+&+=#6,%;368+8+&46&1,913:&68+&#"7,$%,&7&0w 1969cc petrol + electric, AWD, 407bhp, 472lb ft

REPORT 6

After six months and just under 10,000 miles sampling the delights of the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;basicâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; D5 XC90, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time to trade in and up for the T8 Twin Engine variant, to see if the hybrid is worth the premium. The basics stay the same, with seven seats, stoically handsome good looks and Sensus iPad-alike infotainment being all big â&#x20AC;&#x2122;nâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; portrait in the centre console, but this time weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got a 2.0-litre petrol four boosted by an electric motor and plug-in capability instead of the D5â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s identicalcapacity (1969cc) 2.0-litre diesel. That means the D5â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 225bhp and 347lb ft for 48.7mpg plays a combined 407bhp and 472lb ft for 134.5mpg. Yeah, that doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really make sense, does it? As ever, the plugin component of PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) ownership makes the car eye-wateringly attractive to ďŹ&#x201A;eets, but isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t exactly as honest as the oďŹ&#x192;cial 49g/km might suggest. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a decent price hike, too: a basic D5

134.5mpg, 49g/km C02

JPL14+,2O P7&$7 KNJ14+

GARAGE LOGBOOK Good stuff

Bad stuff

The T8 can silently sneak away/arrive home on EV- only motivation

The mpg claims are ludicrous. It can only do about 10 miles on EV-only

The smaller 19-inch wheels make the ride positively liquid

The smaller wheels look like pram ones

8|7'"78&68+"2 the D5

+&6&|72343,28 going faster than the D5

TOTAL MILEAGE AND OUR MPG

0 0 0 5 6 4 0 1

36.9

2296kg

in Momentum spec costs ÂŁ45,750 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a T8 Momentum similarly without options comes in at ÂŁ60,455. The Momentum T8 we have here is relatively light on extra kit, making it ÂŁ66,830 as tested, while our Inscription top-spec D5 had all the toys plus some toys we hadnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t thought of, and weighed in at ÂŁ67,145. So the question is, should you go for D5 and a funfairâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s worth of on-board amusements, or basic T8 with much more vim? To make the most of the T8â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s plug-in component, we need a chunkier plug than the three-pin variety. Step forward Pod Point, Volvoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s preferred supplier of home charging points. Installation is simple: choose a place where the cable and Frisbee-sized charger unit can hang out, and an installer comes around and... erm... installs it. Two hours, ÂŁ390 all in, minimum fuss. With the cable installed, I can charge the T8 to the claimed 21-mile EVonly range. Well, letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ďŹ nd out and see if itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s worth it.

TOTAL MILEAGE AND OUR MPG

0 0 1 1 2 2 5 1

Ford S-Max

32.1

6,$& "78&78&% pMLLPJQpMSNPJModel,8"2,914368 Driver 2%=6"2/0,2 +=,8|7+&6& 78+&"<78,008+&"27;&6'36'"1,0,&7w

REPORT 5

8;"72|8 8+"8 032("(3 8+"8'9896& ("%(&87;390%#&7+3;2 3'',2 46&1,91$"67"2%8+&2&:&289"00=4"77&%%3;2:&2 8+&2 731&3'8+&136&734+,78,$"8&%8&$+;390%2|8 1"/&,8 83'"1,0=$"67"7 ,8;"7%&&1&%833 46,$&= 98 6&$/32 TG|7 "<+"7 46&88=19$+1378 3' 8+&("%(&87"2%8&$+8+"836%%32&4"68,$90"60= $0&:&6 4,&$&3'/,8 ,7 8+&"$8,:&(0"6& '6&&+&"%0"147 +,$+"003;=39 83%6,:&"6392%;,8+=396'900#&"1

1999cc, 4cyl TD, FWD, 210bhp, 332lb ft

51.4mpg, 144g/km CO2

32"8"00 8,1&77,2(7 0387 3'$"1&6"7"2% 731&$0&:&6 1"8+7 ,8#03$/7 398 4"68 3'8+&#&"1 '36"2 32$31,2($"6 #,/&36 4&%&786,"20&:&6 789'' "2%,8;36/7 #98 320=94 83 RJJ1";"= 73=39 %3 3'8&2 (&8 4&340&'0"7+,2(=39'631"%,78"2$& 98 ,'0,/&1& =39+":&%6,:&2=&"67%,44,2( =396#&"1 ,8|7"+"6%+"#,8 83#6&"/98 6300 32 LJLO#&$"97&"8 8+,7 6"8& =396 /,%7 32 8+&,6 ,"%7 ;,00%6,:&'"1,0=$"67Â&#x160;

JPL14+,2R R7&$7 KMO14+

TOPGEAR.COM



1766kg

SEPTEMBER 2016

1 53


   



2 Boxes fit per shelf

4+)

3 SHELVING BAYS

+15   

PLASTIC BOXES

4+)7

>P[OL]LY`VYKLY V]LY  8\V[L;7.H[[PTLVMVYKLY 6MMLYLUKZ  

4+) 4+)7

 )(@: )(@:)6?,:

   

   

â&#x20AC; UDL = Uniformly Distributed Load. Carriage is per set, orders of multiple sets will incur extra carriage charge. Please phone for full details or go online.

24HR DELIVERY

*

OR CHOOSE A DATE TO SUIT YOU

*ON IN S OCK ITEMS Y


PRODUCED BY

Everything you need to know about buying new cars ALFA ROMEO TopGear on Alfa Romeo: The best badge in the business, now worn by two hatches, a saloon and a divisive sports car. History repeating?

4C Lotus by Alfa, with the odd Alfa foible to boot. But when a car’s this pretty, light and engaging, you just want one. PRICE

1.7T Coupe 1.7T Spider

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

RATING

5/10 7/10

£52,505 4.5 160 240 258 41.5 157 £59,505 4.5 160 240 258 41.5 157

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 3989x1864x1183, 40-litre fuel tank, 110-litre boot, 1 engine, 1 trim, 2 models in total.

GIULIA At long last, Alfa’s back in the small sports saloon game with an agile, comfy, RWD… blinder. Wonders shall never cease. PRICE

2.9 BiTurbo QV

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

£59,000 3.9 190 510

442

TBA 189

CO2

RATING

9/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4639x1426x1873, 58-litre fuel tank, TBA-litre boot, 1 engine, 1 trim1, 1 model in total.

ARIEL TopGear on Ariel: Artfully shaped metalwork containing frenzied engines and a man clinging on for dear life. Hectic, addictive.

ATOM The single most insane car on sale. Even the regular version will redefine your sense of what’s possible in a car.

TG SPEAKS

SOME WORDS...

YELLOW BAR

FUEL ECONOMY

Our verdict on the brand

...about the car

Denotes the TG Favourites

Less is, um, more

MODEL CHOICE

CRASH TESTING

BOOT VOLUME

NOT EVERY ENGINE

Just the ones that count

You want five stars here

Two numbers? Seats up/down

is available with every trim!

PRICE

2.0 245 2.0 SC 350 R

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

£32,255 3.2 141 245 154 £64,800 2.5 155 330 243

MPG

CO2

N/A N/A N/A N/A

RATING

9/10 9/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 3410x1890x1195, 42-litre fuel tank, n/a-litre boot, 4 engines, 4 trims, 4 models in total.

NOMAD Part special forces all-terrain fast attack vehicle, part latter-day beach buggy. This is Tamiya made real, and it’s mega. PRICE

2.4 Nomad

Aston Martin DB11 p156

PRICE 0–62 MPH BHP LB FT MPG CO2 RATING

5.2TT V12

£154,900 3.9 200 600 516 TBA TBA 8/10

MPG

CO2

RATING

221

N/A N/A

10/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 3215x1850x1425, 42-litre fuel tank, n/a-litre boot, 1 engine, 1 trim, 1 model in total.

ASTON MARTIN TopGear on Aston Martin: Achingly cool cars that make up in beauty and charisma what they lack in technical and dynamic ability.

The car that took on the 911. And lost. But it’s an Aston, which means brogues to the Porsche’s two-a-penny trainers.

PRICE 0–62 MPH BHP LB FT MPG CO2 RATING

£23,930 8.5

LB FT

VANTAGE

Audi Q2 p156 1.4 TFSI Sport

0–62 MPH BHP

£33,000 3.4 125 235

131

150 184 52.3 124

7/10

PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

4.7 V8 S £92,795 4.8 189 430 361 20.4 321 6.0 V12 S £140,495 3.7 205 573 458 17.2 388 6.0 V12 S R’ster £149,495 3.9 201 573 458 19.2 343

RATING

8/10 8/10 8/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4380x1870x1260, 80-litre fuel tank, 300-litre boot, 4 engines, 2 trims, 4 models in total.

TOPGEAR.COM



SEPTEMBER 2016

1 55


ASTON MARTIN-BAC

DB11

A4

R8

Replaces a car that defined modern Astons. No pressure then. Turbos rob character but as an intercontinental GT it’s world class.

Meet the regional boss’s new A4. Just like the regional boss’s old A4. It’s lighter and smarter. Unlike the regional boss.

No V8, no manual, only a faint restyle? Has Audi dropped a difficult second album clanger? Nope, not at all.

PRICE

5.2TT V12

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

£154,900 3.9 200 600

516

TBA TBA

CO2

PRICE

RATING

8/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4739x1940x1279, 78-litre fuel tank, 270-litre boot, 1 engine, 1 trim, 1 model in total.

RATING

7/10 7/10 7/10

PRICE

5.2 V10 5.2 V10 Plus

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

£195,950 3.8 201 576 £207,950 4.0 197 576

PRICE

465 465

22.1 298 22.1 298

CO2

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4692x1912x1294, 78-litre fuel tank, 368-litre boot, 1 engine, 1 trim, 2 models in total.

LB FT

MPG

CO2

4.9 155 333 324 34.9 190 5.8 155 245 358 49.6 149

RATING

7/10 7/10

A6

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

£149,500 4.4 203 560 465 21.9 300

8/10

AUDI TopGear on Audi: Aspirational premium brand is inventing so many niches, if there’s not one for you today, there will be by tomorrow.

LB FT

MPG

CO2

147 57.6 115 272 40.3 162

RATING

8/10 6/10 7/10

Audi’s niche-busting continues. The A7 is basically an A8 hatch, with the added suggestion that you might drive yourself. PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

1.4 TFSI Sport 1.6 TDI SE

LB FT

MPG

CO2

MPG

CO2

RATING

£19,365 9.7 128 115 £25,465 6.9 151 190 £32,330 5.2 155 310 £23,460 8.5 135 150

147 236 280 250

62.8 50.4 40.4 70.6

104 129 162 105

6/10 8/10 7/10 7/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4241(4313)x1777x1424, 50/55l fuel tank, 365/1,100-litre boot, 9 engines, 6 trims, 41 models total.

0–62 MPH BHP

7.9

136 184

7/10 7/10

LB FT

MPG

CO2

RATING

6/10 6/10

7/10 7/10

LB FT

MPG

170

53.3 139

CO2

RATING

6/10

Audi’s ‘small’ SUV is only small because the Q7 is the size of sub-Saharan Africa. It’s small inside though, if that helps. 0–62 MPH BHP

£45,930 5.1 155 313 £33,555 8.4 130 190

LB FT

MPG

CO2

479 41.5 179 295 49.6 148

RATING

7/10 5/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4630x1880x1650, 75-litre fuel tank, 540/1560-litre boot, 6 engines, 3 trims, 16 models in total.

Q7

0–62 MPH BHP

£50,345 6.3 145 272

LB FT

MPG

CO2

442 49.5 149

RATING

8/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 5053x1963x1730, 100-litre fuel tank, 295/2075-litre boot, 1 engine, 2 trims, 2 models in total.

BAC TopGear on BAC: A car so good to drive that you’ll need to take everyone you know out for a ride in it. Oh, wait…

MONO

It won’t chase away the old stereotypes, but the all-new TT is a big step forward. Interior is genuinely cool. 0–62 MPH BHP

RATING

Q5

PRICE

W12 £99,265 4.6 155 500 461 25.0 264 4.2 TDI SE Ex’ L £78,140 4.9 155 385 626 38.7 190

PRICE

CO2

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4385x1831x1608, 64-litre fuel tank, 420/1325-litre boot, 4 engines, 3 trims, 15 models in total.

3.0 TDI 272 SE

2.0 TFSI Sport 2.0 TDI ultra

MPG

184 52.3 124 184 64.2 114

RATING

TT LB FT

2.0 TDI quat’ SE £29,550

PRICE

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 5135/5270x1949x1460, 90-litre fuel tank, 520-litre boot, 5 engines, 6 trims, 17 models in total.

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

Q3

Will the A8 ever escape the S-Class's shadow? Probably not, but then on this evidence, it doesn't deserve to. 0–62 MPH BHP

9/10 9/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4190x1790x1510, TBA-litre fuel tank, 405/1,050-litre boot, 4 engines, 3 trims, 12 models in total.

About time too. New Q7 smaller on the outside, bigger where it matters. Marginally less offensive, too.

A3 New A3, old looks. But new bits underneath and a really rather lovely cabin. Slight naffness standard with every model.

0–62 MPH BHP

£23,930 8.5 131 150 £22,480 10.3 122 115

A8

PRICE

RATING

Q2

SQ5 2.0 TDI q’ SE

RS 7 £85,035 3.9 155 560 516 29.7 221 3.0 BiTDI S Line £57,235 5.2 155 320 479 46.3 162

6/10 8/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 3973x1740x1416, 45-litre fuel tank, 270/920-litre boot, 4 engines, 4 trims, 14 models in total.

PRICE

RATING

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4970x1911x1420, 73-litre fuel tank, 535/1390-litre boot, 6 engines, 5 trims, 13 models in total.

Essentially a posh Fabia, the A1 is prince to Skoda’s pauper. Or maybe the emperor’s new clothes. Either way, it’s not £20k good.

£16,905 8.8 127 125 £25,600 5.8 155 231

CO2

A7

A1

0–62 MPH BHP

MPG

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4910x1870x1460, 65-litre fuel tank, 535/1680-litre boot, 8 engines, 6 trims, 23 models in total.

RATING

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 5019x1929x1360, 90.5-litre fuel tank, 317/886-litre boot, 1 engine, 1 trim, 1 model in total.

PRICE

LB FT

RS 6 £79,095 3.9 155 560 516 28.8 229 2.0 TDI ultra SE £32,295 8.4 144 190 280 65.7 113 3.0 BiTDI SE Av’ £48,520 5.2 155 320 479 45.6 164

Aston has ensured the latest Rapide is, err, rapid-er by giving it the engine from the latest Vanquish. Better than ever. PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

CO2

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4470x1240x1940, 83/73-litre fuel tank, 112/338-litre boots, 2 engines, 2 trims, 2 models in total.

PRICE PRICE

MPG

This is the car Audi says rivals the Range Rover Evoque. Oh dear. A high-rise Golf with an inferiority complex.

Audi’s photocopier styling department has pulled another one out the bag. Still not up to 5-Series standards.

RAPIDE S

LB FT

Finally, Audi bins the styling photocopier and creates a trendy crossover with Evoque desirability for Qashqai money.

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4630x1860x1370, 65-litre fuel tank, 455/829-litre boot, 8 engines, 5 trims, 45 models in total.

RATING

8/10 8/10

£43,795 £41,345

0–62 MPH BHP

0–62 MPH BHP

£119,520 3.5 200 540 398 23.9 275 £134,520 3.2 205 610 413 22.8 289

PRICE PRICE

3.0 TFSI S5 3.0 TDI quattro

Overhauled DBS is another evolutionary step from Aston and is likely to struggle to broaden the customer base.

1.0 TFSI SE 2.0 TFSI Sp’t 5d S3 2.0 TDI SE T’

CO2

An artful lesson in understatement, Audi’s A5 does desirable without the flash. Unless you spec it in white with 20s. Fool.

VANQUISH

1.4 TFSI Sport S1

MPG

236 50.4 127 236 74.3 99 443 55.4 134

A5

→ Aston Martin DB9 GT £140,000 → Aston Martin DB11 £154,900 (+ £14,900)

6.0 V12

LB FT

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4726x1842x1427, 58-litre fuel tank, 480-litre boot, 6 engines, 3 trims, 20 models in total.

DATA IN NUMBERS: DEARER-B 11

V12 Coupe V12 Volante

0–62 MPH BHP

2.0 TFSI SE £27,700 7.2 149 190 2.0 TDI SE £29,150 8.9 130 150 3.0 TDI q’ S Line £38,950 5.3 155 272

Some say it’s too extreme. All we know is that Stig once voted it his car of the year. And that some people are fools. LB FT

MPG

CO2

£30,650 6.0 155 230 273 46.3 141 £30,545 7.1 150 184 280 62.8 116

RATING

8/10 8/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4177x1832x1353, 50-litre fuel tank, 305/712-litre boot, 3 engines, 3 trims, 14 models in total.

PRICE

2.3 280

0–62 MPH BHP

£150,000 2.8

LB FT

170 280 206

MPG

CO2

N/A N/A

RATING

9/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 3952x1800x1110, 35-litre fuel tank, NA-litre boot, 1 engine, 1 trim, 1 model in total.

FOR ALL THE FACTS AND STATS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EVERY CAR ON SALE IN THE UK GO TO TOPGEAR.COM/REVIEWS


TOP 5

TopGear on Bentley: “Speak softly and carry a big stick,” as W. O. Bentley literally never said.

CONTINENTAL GT

MPVs

Way better than the David Dickinson image would suggest, the Conti GT is a masterclass in modern British style.

1 PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

4.0 V8 S £149,800 4.3 192 528 502 26.7 246 6.0 W12 Speed £168,900 4.0 206 635 605 19.5 338 6.0 W12 Conv’ £165,600 4.4 195 575 517 19.0 347

RATING

FLYING SPUR Brilliant in many ways, but somehow fails to capture the essence of luxury as well as the Conti coupe. PRICE

4.0 V8 S 6.0 W12

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

£132,800 4.9 183 507 487 25.9 254 £154,900 4.3 200 625 590 19.0 343

RATING

It has funky headlights and in top spec trim a footrest for the passenger. You clearly need this version. Also comes with seven seats. Handy.

The replacement for the Arnage, and every bit as opulent and grand. Recent facelift hasn’t done the styling any favours.

3

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

£229,360 5.1 184 512 £252,000 4.8 190 537

752 812

16.8 393 19.3 342

CO2

RATING

BENTAYGA Bentley aims to clobber the Range Rover with its fearsomely quick, luxurious and expensive Bentayga SUV.

MQB-based and therefore thoroughly commendable. Better than the car it replaces, but not exciting, memorable or interesting. A means to an end.

4 6.0 TSI W12

0–62 MPH BHP

£160,200 4.1

LB FT

MPG

CO2

187 600 664 21.6 296

RATING

TopGear on BMW: i cars good, 2-Series Active Tourer bad. We’ll leave you to put the rest of BMW’s range on the swing-o-meter.

It’s a simple recipe, but sometimes they’re the easiest to mess up. The Alhambra gets it right by being every bit as good as the VW version. And cheaper.

5

i3 The future is here, its electric and we love it. The rest are now playing catch up. From a long way behind. PRICE

i3 EV i3 EV REx

£30,980 £34,130

0–62 MPH BHP

7.2 7.9

93 93

170 170

LB FT

MPG

CO2

RATING

184 184

n/a 470

0 13

8/10 9/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 3999x11775x1578, 9-litre fuel tank(REx), 260-litre boot, 2 engines, 4 trims, 8 models in total.

SEAT ALHAMBRA 2.0 TDI 150 SE Price £28,965 Specs 150bhp, 251 lb ft, 0-62mph 10.9secs, VMax 120mph, 55.4mpg, CO2 132g/km

8/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 5140x1998x1742, 85-litre fuel tank, 431-litre boot, 1 engine, 1 trim, 1 model in total.

BMW

VW TOURAN 2.0 TDI 150 SE FAMILY Price £28,245 Specs 148bhp, 251 lb ft, 0-62mph 9.3secs, VMax 129mph, 64.2mpg, CO2 116g/km

7/10 7/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 5570x1930x1530, 96-litre fuel tank, 443-litre boot, 1 engine, 3 trims, 3 models in total.

PRICE

CITROEN C4 GRAND PICASSO 1.6 BLUEHDI Price £22,950 Specs 120bhp, 221 lb ft, 0-62mph 11.6secs, VMax 117mph, 65.7mpg, CO2 105g/km

6/10 6/10

MULSANNE

PRICE

Reproduction is often quite enjoyable. And when your loins bear fruit, so is the S-Max. This new one is based on the Mondeo, and keeps most of the original’s appeal.

2

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 5299x1976x1488, 90-litre fuel tank, 475-litre boot, 2 engines, 2 trims, 3 models in total.

6.75 V8 6.75 V8 Speed

Price £29,195 Specs 178bhp, 295 lb ft, 0-62mph 9.7secs, VMax 131mph, 56.5mpg, CO2 129g/km

8/10 8/10 8/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4806x1920x1400, 90-litre fuel tank, 358-litre boot, 3 engines, 3 trims, 8 models in total.

FORD S-MAX 2.0 TDCI TITANIUM

VAUXHALL ZAFIRA TOURER 2.0 CDTI SRI Price £25,555 Specs 170bhp, 280 lb ft, 0-62mph 9.1secs, VMax 129mph, 54.3mpg, CO2 137g/km

It used to be a plain old Zafira. Now it’s the ‘Tourer’, which means it’s posher and arguably better looking. But no less useful. Apart from the complex dash.

Perhaps the pick of the premium hatches right now, the 1-Series thrashes the opposition for driving. M140i is bargainous gem. PRICE

116d ED+ 3d 120d Sport 5d M140i 3d

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

£22,180 10.4 121 116 191 83.1 89 £25,990 7.1 142 190 295 65.7 114 £31,875 4.8 155 340 369 36.2 179

RATING

7/10 7/10 9/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4329x1765x1421, 50/52-litre fuel tank, 360/1200-litre boot, 11 engines, 6 trims, 54 models in total.

2-SERIES 2-Series follows BMW’s latest naming strategy, but is very much its own car. And a rather good one at that. PRICE

220d Sport M240i M2

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

£27,700 7.1 143 190 295 65.7 112 £35,090 4.8 155 340 369 36.2 179 £44,080 4.5 155 365 369 33.2 199

RATING

7/10 8/10 9/10

Euro NCAP n/a LxWxH in mm: 4432x1774x1418, 52-litre fuel tank, 390-litre boot, 6 engines, 4 trims, 11 models in total.

3-SERIES Not only the benchmark small exec, but one of the best saloons of all. Now facelifted, so even more excellent. PRICE

340i M Sport M3 316d SE 320d ED Sport 330d xDrive M

£38,815 £56,605 £27,620 £31,170 £39,600

0–62 MPH BHP

5.2 4.3 10.9 8.0 5.3

155 155 126 143 155

LB FT

MPG

CO2

326 332 36.7 179 431 406 32.1 204 118 192 68.9 109 163 280 68.9 108 258 413 53.3 139

RATING

7/10 8/10 7/10 9/10 9/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4624x1811x1429, 57/60-litre fuel tank, 480-litre boot, 10 engines, 7 trims, 66 models in total.

4-SERIES The name may have changed but the game’s still the same. Smooth, genteel, refined and sport-ish. PRICE

430i Luxury 440i M Sport M4 M4 GTS 420d SE

£36,025 £42,235 £57,065 £121,780 £32,645

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

RATING

5.9 5.2 4.3 3.8 7.3

258 332 406 443 295

43.5 36.7 32.1 34.0 67.3

151 179 204 194 111

8/10 8/10 7/10 8/10 8/10

155 155 155 190 149

252 326 431 500 190

Euro NCAP n/a LxWxH in mm: 4638x1825x1362, 57/60-litre fuel tank, 445/480-litre boot, 8 engines, 7 trims, 87 models in total.

5-SERIES Remains a top-notch exec thanks to cosseting cabin and ride. Big, smooth and brilliant - why d'you need a 7-Series? PRICE

535i Luxury M5 520d SE 530d Tour SE 535d Lux

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

£44,845 5.7 155 306 295 37.7 174 £73,985 4.3 155 560 501 28.5 232 £32,615 7.9 147 190 295 65.7 114 £43,905 5.9 155 258 413 53.3 139 £49,070 5.3 155 313 464 52.3 143

RATING

7/10 8/10 8/10 9/10 8/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4907x1860x1460, 70-litre fuel tank, 520-litre boot, 13 engines, 6 trims, 62 models in total.

FOR ALL THE FACTS AND STATS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EVERY CAR ON SALE IN THE UK GO TO TOPGEAR.COM/REVIEWS

BENTLEY-BMW

1-SERIES

BENTLEY


BMW-CHEVROLET

6-SERIES

X4

TOP 5

Unusually, BMW launched the 6 as a Cabrio first. Also unusually, the coupe’s a bit... rubbish. GC 4dr is much better. PRICE

650i Sport Con’ £75,700 M6 Coupe £93,165 640d GC SE £62,295 M6 GC £95,565

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

RATING

4.6 155 450 480 30.7 214 4.2 155 560 501 28.5 232 5.4 155 313 464 50.4 148

5/10 6/10 9/10

4.2 155 560

8/10

501 28.5 232

HOT HATCHBACKS

1

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4890x1890x1370, 70-litre fuel tank, 460-litre boot, 4 engines, 3 trims, 19 models in total.

7-SERIES Never as attractive a proposition as the Merc S-Class, the 7 is phenomenally good without anyone really giving a toss. PRICE

730d 740Li M Sport

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

£64,530 6.1 155 269 458 60.1 124 £75,715 5.6 155 331 332 40.4 164

RATING

7/10 7/10

2

Z4 How does BMW get the Z4 wrong? It looks right, but doesn’t drive right. The Boxster kicks it in the tenders. PRICE

sDrive18i sDrive28i

£29,695 £39,345

0–62 MPH BHP

7.9 5.7

LB FT

MPG

CO2

137 154 177 41.5 159 155 245 258 41.5 159

RATING

4/10 5/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4240x1790x1290, 61-litre fuel tank, 180/310-litre boot, 6 engines, 2 trims, 9 models in total.

i8 A supercar for spacemen. There’s nothing else like it: this is a performance car that makes a Prius look like a gas-guzzler. PRICE

i8

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

£104,540 4.4 155 367 236 134.5 49

RATING

9/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4689x1942x1298, 42-litre fuel tank, TBA-litre boot, 1 engine, 1 trim, 1 model in total.

X1 PRICE

xDrive20d xDrive25d

0–62 MPH BHP

£30,940 7.6 137 190 £36,370 6.6 146 231

LB FT

MPG

CO2

295 58.9 127 332 55.4 133

RATING

8/10 8/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4439x1821x1598, 61-litre fuel tank, 505/1505-litre boot, 4 engines, 3 trims, 8 models in total.

Far superior to the last one. So much so that you question the need for the X5. X3 is more socially acceptable, too. PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

HONDA CIVIC TYPE-R Price £30,000 Specs 310bhp, 295lb ft, 0-62mph 5.7secs, VMax 167mph, 38.7mpg, CO2 170g/km

RENAULTSPORT MEGANE 275 CUP-S

Take your driving seriously? Attend track days? Post on forums? Then buy a Megane, the hatch of choice for hardcore geeks. Price-cut Cup-S model is a bargain.

5

X3

xDrive20d SE £33,945 8.1 130 190 xDrive35d M Sp’ £46,050 5.3 152 313

Price £32,340 Specs 300bhp, 280lb ft, 0-62mph 5.1secs, VMax 155mph, 39.8mpg, CO2 165g/km

Price £23,935 Specs 275bhp, 265lb ft, 0-62mph 6.0secs, VMax 158mph, 37.7mpg, CO2 174g/km

New X1 gets FWD platform from 2-Series Active Tourer. Is less objectionable than old one in every single way.

LB FT

MPG

CO2

295 55.4 135 465 47.1 157

RATING

7/10 7/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4648x1881x1675, 67-litre fuel tank, 550/1600-litre boot, 3 engines, 3 trims, 7 models in total.

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

5.8 145 258

413 49.6 149

SEAT LEON CUPRA 290 Price £28,620 Specs 286bhp, 258lb ft, 0-62mph 5.8secs, VMax 155mph, 42.2mpg, CO2 156g/km

Like the Golf R, the Leon took us rather by surprise. Very effective differential, crisp, strong engine and plenty of cornering nous. Well done Seat, much better.

MPG

CO2

RATING

4/10

DATA IN NUMBERS: LESS IS MORE → BMW X4 xDrive35d M Sport £49,615 → BMW 435d xDrive Gran Coupe M Sport £45,745

X5 Very good on tarmac, assuming you want to pummel it into submission. Just like with those building contracts, yeah?

VOLKSWAGEN GOLF R

The most hardcore of all hot hatches, bar the Megane. The Civic Type-R is a beast, but impressively blends finesse with its ferocity. Like a BTCC car for the road.

4

PRICE

£45,515

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4671x1915x1624, 67-litre fuel tank, 500/1400-litre boot, 3 engines, 2 trims, 6 models in total.

Price £31,000 Specs 345bhp, 347lb ft, 0-62mph 4.7secs, VMax 165mph, 36.7mpg, CO2 175g/km

Previous Golf R’s have been a bit leaden. This one isn’t. In fact it’s one of the best hot Golfs ever: sharp, direct, fast and fun. An Impreza from Germany.

3

xDrive30d XLi’

FORD FOCUS RS

We've waited long enough for the new RS, and it was worth every minute. Now with all-wheel drive for the first time since the Cossie, it's quite simply brilliant.

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 5098/5238x1901x1467, 78-litre fuel tank, 515-litre boot, 4 engines, 2 trims, 14 models in total.

People with the hides of rhinos and a passion for obnoxiousness bought the X6, so we now have to suffer an X4. Joy.

PRICE

M50d xDrive30d SE

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

RATING

6/10 7/10

£65,240 5.3 155 381 545 42.8 173 £49,665 6.8 142 258 413 47.9 156

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4896x1938x1762, 85-litre fuel tank, 650/1870-litre boot, 3 engines, 3 trims, 5 models in total.

DATA IN NUMBERS: M OR M? → BMW X5 M50d £65,240, 42.8mpg. 0-62mph 5.3secs → BMW X5 M £90,200, 25.4mpg, 0-62mph 4.2secs

CATERHAM TopGear on Caterham: Small, light and nimble 50-year old cars remain all that. But they didn’t have to negotiate X6s in 1965.

SEVEN As old as the hills, yet as energetic as a spring lamb. The small, light, flimsy template still serves the 7 well. PRICE

0.8 160 2.0 360 620 R

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

£18,995 6.9 100 80 £26,995 4.8 130 183 £49,995 2.8 155 310

79 143 219

57.6 114 n/a n/a n/a n/a

CO2

RATING

9/10 7/10 8/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 3530x1690x1140, 36-litre fuel tank, 75-litre boot, 5 engines, 5 trims, 5 models in total.

CHEVROLET TopGear on Chevrolet: If you’re looking for Chevrolets such as the Aveo and Cruze, you’re reading the wrong magazine.

CORVETTE STINGRAY The Americans have finally got serious about taking on the Porsche 911. Others have tried before, but rarely as well as this. PRICE

6.2 V8 2LT 6.2 V8 SC Z06

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

£62,450 <4.0 186 460 465 23.5 279 £87,860 3.4 186 650 650 20.0 322

RATING

7/10 8/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4495x1780x1235, TBC-litre fuel tank, TBC-litre boot, 2 engines, 2 trims, 3 models in total.

FOR ALL THE FACTS AND STATS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EVERY CAR ON SALE IN THE UK GO TO TOPGEAR.COM/REVIEWS


TopGear on Citroen: Design-led brand that’s the most ‘French’ of the French car firms. Undergoing a bit of a renaissance these days.

C1

TOP 1O BIGGEST BOOT 160MPH+

The first time Citroen got jiggy with Peugeot and Toyota, they created something quite cool. Now it’s round two. PRICE

1.0 Touch 3d

£8,495

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

14.3 98

69

68.9 95

69

CO2

RATING

1

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

87 151 187

61.4 105 60.1 107 83.1 90

CO2

PRICE

Range Rover Sport SVR

Audi RS7 Sportback

784 litres

535 litres

8/10 8/10 8/10

GRAND C4 PICASSO Funky newness from Citroen, helping make the world of MPVs more acceptable. Headlights a particular success. PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

RATING

177 50.4 130 221 70.6 106

7/10 8/10

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

£13,995 12.3 108 82 £19,295 7.5 135 165

87 177

61.4 107 50.4 129

2

7

PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

£27,140

10.6 127 150

272 68.9 105

Maserati Quattroporte

782 litres

530 litres

3

RATING

7/10

CALIFORNIA T The Ferrari that everyone thought was a Maserati now has a turbo V8. Purists will hate it, but it’ll bring in buyers.

8

Porsche Cayenne Turbo S

Maserati Ghibli

670 litres

500 litres

4

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

£155,230 3.6 196 560 556 26.9 250

RATING

8/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4570x1910x1322, 78-litre fuel tank, 240/340-litre boot, 1 engine, 1 trim, 1 model in total.

DATA IN NUMBERS: ROOFLESS JUMP → Ferrari California T £155,230 → Ferrari 488 Spider £204,391 (+ £49,161)

9

488

The UK’s cheapest new car – you can lease one for less than a Sky TV package. Nothing here besides simple transport. 0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

14.5 97 11.1 109 12.1 107

78 47.9 137 99 54.3 120 162 74.3 99

MPG

CO2

So long, natural aspiration. Twin-charged 488 is new-age fast, but not quite as fizzy as the car it replaces. Mighty nonetheless.

RATING

6/10 6/10 6/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4060x1730x1520, 50-litre fuel tank, 320/1200-litre boot, 3 engines, 3 trims, 7 models in total.

Audi RS6 Avant

Porsche Macan Turbo

565 litres

500 litres

5

DUSTER

PRICE

488 GTB 488 Spider

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

£183,964 3.0 205 670 560 24.7 260 £204,391 3.0 TBA 670 560 24.7 260

RATING

9/10 9/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4568x1952x1213, 78-litre fuel tank, 230-litre boot, 1 engine, 2 trims, 2 models in total.

10

F12

Simple, high-riding crossover-style five-seater is a TopGear favourite. Good value, surprisingly able, very tough.

1.6 105 Access 1.5 dCi Amb’

CO2

TopGear on Ferrari: Art and science blended into the most alluring and diverse supercar range in the company’s history.

3.8 V8 T

TopGear on Dacia: Cheap cars from Eastern Europe, via France for a bit of je ne sais quoi, and then on to the budget-conscious.

75 90 90

MPG

FERRARI Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8

DACIA

PRICE

7/10 7/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4530x1870x1540, 60-litre fuel tank, 465-litre boot (Hybrid 325l), 5 engines, 3 trims, 9 models in total.

PRICE

1.2 75 Access £5,995 0.9 TCe 90 Amb £7,595 1.5 dCi 90 Amb £8,595

RATING

The most avantgarde DS. Not as inspiring as the 3, and the ride should still be better, but family cars come no cooler. 2.0 BlueHDi

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4590x1830x1630, 60-litre fuel tank, 537/1851-litre boot, 5 engines, 4 trims, 11 models in total.

SANDERO

CO2

DS 5

RATING

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4157x1729x1480, 45-litre fuel tank, 358/1170-litre boot, 6 engines, 3 trims, 13 models in total.

1.6 THP 165 £24,875 8.7 130 165 1.6 BlueHDi Sel’ £23,375 11.6 117 120

A former Car of the Year and a gigantic, mincing Gallic leap forward for Citroen. Not fast, but a kick up the arse for Mini.

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 3948x1715x1483, 50-litre fuel tank, 285/975-litre boot, 7 engines, 5 trims, 15 models in total.

C4 CACTUS PRICE

DS 3

1.2 PT Chic 1.6 PT Prestige

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 3460x1620x1430, 35-litre fuel tank, 196/780-litre boot, 2 engines, 3 trims, 20 models in total.

1.2 75 Touch £12,990 12.9 103 75 1.2 110 Feel £16,155 9.3 117 110 1.6 BlueHDi Feel £16,885 10.7 114 100

TopGear on DS: Citroen’s new sub-brand will focus on style, tech and luxury. Think Lexus. Only French-er.

6

6/10

Breath of fresh air, as only Citroen can do. Great looking and with just enough gadgets to keep a modern family happy.

DS

The F12 is bombastic, epic and howlingly fast. The fastest ever until the LaFerrari came along. Emphatically not just a GT.

PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

£9,495 £11,995

11.5 102 105 11.8 106 110

109 39.8 165 177 56.5 130

MPG

CO2

RATING

7/10 7/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4320x1820x1700, 50-litre fuel tank, 475/1636-litre boot, 2 engines, 3 trims, 6 models in total.

Vauxhall Insignia VXR Sport Tourer

Honda Civic Type R

540 litres

498 litres

PRICE

6.3 V12 6.3 V12 TdF

0–62 MPH BHP

£241,053 3.1 £330,000 2.9

211 740 211 770

LB FT

CO2

RATING

508 18.8 350 520 18.3 360

MPG

10/10 10/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4620x1940x1270, 92-litre fuel tank, 350-litre boot, 2 engines, 2 trims, 2 models in total.

FOR ALL THE FACTS AND STATS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EVERY CAR ON SALE IN THE UK GO TO TOPGEAR.COM/REVIEWS

CITROEN-FERRARI

CITROEN


FERRARI-FORD

GTC4LUSSO

FORD

A much-needed sharpening for the FF, now with an even sillier name. In a wonderful V12 shooting brake class of one. PRICE

6.3 V12

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

£240,430 3.4 208 690

514

18.3 360

RATING

9/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4922x1980x1383, 91-litre fuel tank, 450/800-litre boot, 1 engine, 1 trim, 1 model in total.

FIAT TopGear on Fiat: Good when they do the small stuff, bad when they go beyond it. Buy a Panda and be content.

CAR + CLINIC AUDI Q2

PANDA

TwinAir 85 Easy £11,510 1.2 Easy+ £10,710

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

11.2 110 14.2 102

106 67.3 99 75 55.4 119

85 69

MPG

CO2

8/10 8/10

VS

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

1.2 Pop Star £11,925 12.9 99 69 0.9 85 Pop Star £13,225 11.0 107 85 500C 0.9 Lounge £17,230 10.0 117 105

75 107 107

60.1 110 74.3 90 67.3 99

CO2

7/10 7/10 6/10

500L Don’t be misled by the badge and the headlights. The 500L is more Panda than 500, and bigger than you expect. 0–62 MPH BHP

1.4 95 Pop £13,665 12.8 106 95 1.6 MJet Lounge £20,265 10.7 117 120

LB FT

MPG

CO2

93 46.3 143 236 67.3 112

RATING

5/10 5/10

NISSAN JUKE

ABARTH 500 Short on talent, long on appeal, that’s the rufty-tufty Abarth. Pogo stick ride but ever so eager with it. 0–62 MPH BHP

£15,090 7.8 131 145 £33,060 5.9 143 190

LB FT

MPG

CO2

152 47.1 139 185 43.5 155

RATING

7/10 7/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 3660x1630x1490, 35-litre fuel tank, 185/610-litre boot, 2 engines, 3 trims, 8 models in total.

500X The quest to cash in on the 500 continues. Similar lights, but otherwise there’s nothing 500-ish here. Not a bad crossover, mind. PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

£18,065 9.8 118 140 £19,565 10.5 116 120 £22,565 9.5 118 140

LB FT

MPG

CO2

170 47.1 139 236 68.9 109 258 57.6 130

RATING

6/10 6/10 6/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4248x1796x1600, 48-litre fuel tank, 350/1000-litre boot, 4 engines, 6 trims, 13 models in total.

DATA IN NUMBERS: 500X-TRA VALUE → Entry-level Fiat 500X 1.6 110 Pop Star £14,295 → Entry-level Jeep Renegade 1.6 110 Sport £17,495 Turbo torque and firmer chassis means Fiat’s MX-5 gets right up Mazda’s nose. If only it didn’t look like a Dodge Viper kit car PRICE

£19,545

0–62 MPH BHP

7.5

CO2

RATING

8/10 9/10 8/10 8/10

134 140

New engines, new interior design, even a tweak to perk the handling back up. Focus is back to its best.

LB FT

MPG

177

44.1 148

CO2

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

£19,345 11.0 120 125 147 60.1 108 £22,750 6.5 155 255 250 41.5 159 £31,000 4.7 165 345 325 36.7 175 £20,045 10.5 120 120 199 74.3 98

RATING

8/10 8/10 9/10 7/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4358x1823x1484, 53-litre fuel tank, 363/1148-litre boot, 10 engines, 6 trims, 52 models in total.

Hillary Dorsey, Ipswich

Been on sale in the US for three years now. Smooth, refined and not too American. Well done Ford. PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

1.5 TDCi Style £21,445 11.7 119 120 1.5T Zetec £21,895 9.2 138 160 2.0 TDCi Est Tit’ £26,245 9.5 130 150

LB FT

MPG

CO2

199 78.5 94 177 48.7 134 258 67.3 109

RATING

7/10 7/10 7/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4780x1890x1500, 70-litre fuel tank, 540/1460-litre boot, 7 engines, 4 trims, 34 models in total.

B-MAX Not as plentiful as you might think. See, Audi is really the only ’premium’ manufacturer that builds a crossover of this size and price (for now, anyway). The cheapest Merc GLA is more than £25K, and the BMW X1 is over £27K, but Audi’s new Q2 starts at nearer £20K. You could always go for something like a wellequipped Nissan Juke instead, but then you’re sacrificing interior space and (arguably) kerb-appeal. We’d go Audi - the Q2 is a better-quality product.

AUDI Q2 1.0 TFSI Price £20,230 (SE) Engine 999cc 3cyl turbo, 113bhp, 148lb ft Performance 0–62 in N/A secs, N/Amph, N/Ampg, N/Ag/km

Ford’s reply to the Vauxhall Meriva. Sliding rear doors and no B-pillars means easy access and brilliant packaging. Fine car. PRICE

1.4 Studio 1.0T Titanium

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

£13,295 13.8 106 90 £17,395 11.2 117 125

94 147

47.1 139 57.7 114

CO2

RATING

7/10 8/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4080x1860x1600, 48-litre fuel tank, 318/1386-litre boot, 6 engines, 4 trims, 14 models in total.

C-MAX Now with added grille. C-Max gets Ford’s new family face and myriad very welcome improvements elsewhere. PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

1.0T Zetec £19,645 11.4 116 125 2.0 TDCI Ti’ Gr’ £24,945 9.8 126 150

LB FT

MPG

CO2

125 55.4 117 273 61.4 119

RATING

6/10 6/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4380/4519x1860x1620, 53/60-litre fuel tank, 432/1723-litre boot, 4 engines, 3 trims, 20 models in total.

S-MAX Second-gen of Ford’s low-roofed MPV keeps its dad’s fine dynamics, with a much smarter interior PRICE

1.5 SCTi Zetec 2.0 TDCi Zetec

0–62 MPH BHP

£25,145 9.9 124 160 £26,595 10.8 123 150

LB FT

MPG

CO2

177 43.5 149 258 56.5 129

RATING

8/10 8/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4796x1916x1655, 70-litre fuel tank, 285/2200-litre boot, 7 engines, 5 trims, 11 models in total.

124 SPIDER

1.4T

MPG

125 65.7 99 177 47.9 139 214 46.3 140 159 88.3 82

MONDEO "I’ve just had my first child, so I quite fancy swapping my threedoor Mini for something a bit more substantial. The Countryman does absolutely nothing for me and I like a good badge. What are my options for around £20K?"

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4147x1784x1667, 50-litre fuel tank, 343/1310-litre boot, 3 engines, 4 trims, 11 models in total.

1.4 MAir P’Star 1.6 MJet P’Star 2.0 MJet Cross

LB FT

FOCUS

1.0T Zetec 2.0T ST 1 2.3T RS 1.5 TDCi Zetec

RATING

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 3571x1627x1488, 38-litre fuel tank, 185-litre boot, 3 engines, 5 trims, 26 models in total.

595 695 Biposto

0–62 MPH BHP

£14,395 11.2 112 100 £17,745 6.9 139 182 £22,745 6.7 142 200 £16,495 11.9 111 95

PRICE

Not quite the Sixties revival Fiat was angling for, but the 500 is a refreshing alternative to Mini-shaped ubiquity.

PRICE

PRICE

1.0T Zetec 3d 1.6T 182 ST 1 1.6T 182 ST200 1.5 TDCi Ztec 5d

→ Ford Fiesta ST200 £22,745 (+ 28% over ST 1)

500

PRICE

Arguably the best supermini on sale. Pace-setter or pacemaker, there’s something for everyone here.

DATA IN NUMBERS: POWER UP

RATING

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 3650x1640x1550, 35-litre fuel tank, 225/870-litre boot, 4 engines, 5 trims, 15 models in total.

PRICE

FIESTA

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 3950x1720x1480, 42-litre fuel tank, 295/979-litre boot, 10 engines, 8 trims, 48 models in total.

It’s back, it’s slightly rounder and it’s still entirely brilliant. Come ’ere cuddly Panda, we want to give you a hug. PRICE

TopGear on Ford: Proof that mass market motoring can have an edge. Note: this does not apply to the disappointing EcoSport.

RATING

8/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4054x1740x1233, 45-litre fuel tank, 140-litre boot, 1 engine, 3 trims, 3 models in total.

NISSAN JUKE 1.6 DIG-T Price £19,890 (Tekna) Engine 1618cc 4cyl turbo, 187bhp, 177lb ft Performance 0–62 in 7.8secs, 134mph, 47.1mpg, 139g/km

GALAXY Ford’s flagship seven-seater offers extra headroom, but is otherwise upstaged by the livelier and more desirable S-Max. PRICE

2.0 TDCi Zetec

0–62 MPH BHP

£28,945 10.9 123 150

LB FT

MPG

CO2

258 56.5 129

RATING

7/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4848x1916x1747, 70-litre fuel tank, 300/2339-litre boot, 5 engines, 3 trims, 13 models in total.

FOR ALL THE FACTS AND STATS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EVERY CAR ON SALE IN THE UK GO TO TOPGEAR.COM/REVIEWS


PRICE

1.5T Titanium 2.0 TDCi AWD

0–62 MPH BHP

£23,145 9.7 121 150 £26,845 9.2 126 180

Q50

HYUNDAI

The Kuga has grown up and bought some sensible slacks. Sure, it’s highly competent, but so are others.

TopGear on Hyundai: Value-packed Korean has earned a proper reputation for capable cars. Excuse us while we tuck into our hats. LB FT

MPG

CO2

177 45.6 143 295 54.3 135

RATING

6/10 6/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4520x1840x1700, 57-litre fuel tank, 456/1653-litre boot, 4 engines, 4 trims, 16 models in total.

EDGE

I10

PRICE

PRICE

PRICE

2.0 TCDi Zetec

0–62 MPH BHP

£29,995 9.9

124 180

£8,995

LB FT

MPG

CO2

295 48.7 149

RATING

7/10

MUSTANG 0–62 MPH BHP

MPG

69

60.1 108

LB FT

MPG

CO2

320 35.3 179 387 20.9 299

RATING

7/10 7/10

HONDA TopGear on Honda: Reliable, practical model range that seems a lot brighter now the Civic Type-R is here.

0–62 MPH BHP

1.6 CRDi BD SE

0–62 MPH BHP

£18,595 10.6 117

110

Latest Jazz is clever. Very clever. Deserves to be bought by more under 80s than it almost certainly will be.

Hyundai takes a swipe at Toyota’s Prius – and floors it first time. It’s £4,000 cheaper too. Korea one, Japan nil.

0–62 MPH BHP

11.2

118 102

LB FT

91

MPG

CO2

56.5 116

PRICE

RATING

6/10

1.6 hybrid SE

Facelift helped add interest to the fading Civic; Type R introduced a rocket into dealerships for guaranteed fireworks. MPG

CO2

295 38.7 170 221 76.3 98

RATING

8/10 7/10

LB FT

MPG

£18,495 10.7 119 130

114

50.4 130

CO2

RATING

7/10

CR-V 0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

£29,230 9.6 125 160

258

57.7 129

CO2

RATING

6/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4570x1820x1685, 58-litre fuel tank, 589/1648-litre boot, 3 engines, 4 trims, 11 models in total.

NSX New NSX has had maybe longest gestation of any car ever. We’ve only driven it in the States, but early signs are good… 3.5TT hybrid

0–62 MPH BHP

206 78.4 94

CO2

RATING

83.1

79

8/10

MPG

CO2

£130,000 <3.0 191 573 406 TBA TBA

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4470x1940x1215, 60-litre fuel tank, TBA-litre boot, 1 engine, 1 trim, 1 model in total.

RATING

8/10

TopGear on Jaguar: Gorgeous Callum design and a raffish demeanor get you so far. Over-powered engines take you the rest of the way.

PRICE

2.0T SE 3.0 V6 S/C S 2.0D 180 SE

£26,995 £44,995 £30,275

0–62 MPH BHP

2.2 CRDi Prem

£31,850

LB FT

MPG

251

65.7 114

CO2

LB FT

MPG

CO2

275 58.9 127

PRICE

3.0 V6 S/C S 2.0D 180 R Sp’ 3.0D V6 S

MPG

CO2

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

£49,955 5.1 155 380 332 34.0 198 £35,100 7.7 136 180 317 65.7 114 £49,995 5.8 155 300 332 51.4 144

RATING

8/10 8/10 9/10

RATING

9/10 9/10 9/10

XJ Zoinks. The XJ is rapid, refined and just plain beautiful. The interior is so special we invented an award for it.

RATING

7/10

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

RATING

7/10 7/10

F-PACE Not as pointy as a Porsche Macan, but cleverly pitched and therefore bound to become a best-seller...

RATING

8/10

PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

£34,170 £51,450

8.5 130 180 5.8 150 300

317 517

57.7 129 47.1 159

MPG

CO2

9.8

311

46.3 161

RATING

7/10

CO2

RATING

8/10 8/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4731x1936x1652, 60-litre fuel tank, 650-litre boot, 4 engines, 5 trims, 9 models in total.

F-TYPE Over-priced Cayman rival, or cut-price 911 alternative? Who cares, when the F-Type is this sodding good? PRICE

LB FT

197

LB FT

147 200 206 37.7 179 155 340 332 34.9 194 140 180 317 67.3 109

New XF is good. Probably-better-than-a5-Series good. Lovely inside too, just not big enough for plutocrat bellies.

2.0D Prestige 3.0 S Diesel

0–62 MPH BHP

118

7.7 5.1 7.8

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 5130/5260x1890x1490, 77/82-litre fuel tank, 520-litre boot, 3 engines, 5 trims, 13 models in total.

Can't afford a Disco? Then step this way, as savvy Santa Fe shows there is another way. Gymkhana mums might not agree. PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

5.0 V8 XJR £91,775 4.4 174 550 502 25.5 264 3.0D V6 R-Sport £70,980 5.9 155 300 516 49.6 149

Just what the world needed. Another compact SUV. Silly name, but if you’re into this kind of thing, quite good.

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

3.0 V6 S Coupe £60,775 4.9 171 380 339 31.8 213 5.0 V8 R AWD £91,680 3.9 186 550 501 25.0 269 5.0 V8 SVR £110,000 3.5 200 575 517 25.0 269

RATING

8/10 8/10 8/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4470x1920x1300, 70-litre fuel tank, 196/315-litre boot, 4 engines, 4 trims, 16 models in total.

INFINITI

JEEP

TopGear on Infiniti: Posh Nissan offshoot desperately aiming to emulate Lexus. In Europe, we’re still struggling to notice. Or care.

TopGear on Jeep: Oblong-obsessed 4x4 experts still trading off WWII heroics. Don’t mention the Italian and German oily bits underneath.

Q30

RENEGADE

An Infiniti people may actually buy, or so it hopes. Different, for sure, but that doesn’t necessarily mean better…

Meet the Fiat 500X’s Yankee cousin. The styling’s a bit yee-hah, but it drives with Euro sophistication, with added fun.

PRICE LB FT

JAGUAR

PRICE

PRICE

5/10 5/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4954x1880x1457, 55/66/74-litre fuel tank, 540/963-litre boot, 4 engines, 4 trims, 8 models in total.

MPG

2.0 CRDi 2WD SE £24,545 10.6 116 136

RATING

7/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4660x1890x1760, 70-litre fuel tank, 534-litre boot, 1 engine, 3 trims, 5 models in total.

A car engineered for accountants. It’s a great all-rounder but deeply boring with it. There are few more reliable SUVs.

PRICE

RATING

SANTA FE

0–62 MPH BHP

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4294xTBAx1605, 50-litre fuel tank, 453/1026-litre boot, 2 engines, 4 trims, 8 models in total.

1.6 DTEC SE N’

CO2

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4475x1850x1645, 62-litre fuel tank, 513/1503-litre boot, 5 engines, 5 trims, 18 models in total.

Honda Jazz with a bit more chunk and the option of 4WD. Smaller than a Qashqai. Think Mazda CX-3.

PRICE

MPG

TUCSON LB FT

HR-V

1.5 S

LB FT

108

141

CO2

XF

LB FT

0–62 MPH BHP

MPG

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4672x1850x1416, 47-63-litre fuel tank, 450-litre boot, 5 engines, 5 trims, 14 models in total.

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4775x1815x1470, 70-litre fuel tank, 553/1719-litre boot, 2 engines, 4 trims, 16 models in total.

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4370x1770x1470, 50-litre fuel tank, 477/1378-litre boot, 4 engines, 6 trims, 25 models in total.

PRICE

8/10 7/10

0–62 MPH BHP

1.7 CRDi S Tour’ £21,745 10.5 124

LB FT

144 170 295 65.07 114 155 364 402 43.0 144

RATING

£19,995 10.8 115 106

PRICE

CIVIC

2.0 Type R £30,000 5.7 167 310 1.6 DTEC Sport £21,190 10.5 129 120

CO2

Not long ago, a Hyundai would be beige and so would its driver. The stylish i40 has changed all that. Estate is the pick.

→ Honda Jazz boot space 354 litres → Mini Countryman boot space 350 litres

0–62 MPH BHP

MPG

126 58.9 110 90 58.9 112

I40

DATA IN NUMBERS: ALL THAT JAZZ

PRICE

LB FT

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4470x1820x1450, 45-litre fuel tank, 443/1,505-litre boot, 2 p’trains, 3 trim, 5 models in total.

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 3995x1694x1550, 40-litre fuel tank, 354/897-litre boot, 1 engine, 5 trims, 5 models in total.

8.7 5.1

XE

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4300x1780x1470, 53-litre fuel tank, 378/1316-litre boot, 5 engines, 5 trims, 18 models in total.

JAZZ

0–62 MPH BHP

Forget the F-Type, this is actually the most important Jaguar of the last decade. Needs to banish all memory of the X-Type. Oops.

Coo, Hyundai seems to be catching up with Kia in the design stakes, and catching up with everyone else everywhere else.

IONIQ

PRICE

8/10

I30

PRICE

£15,605

RATING

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4035x1734x1474, 50-litre fuel tank, 301/1042-litre boot, 7 engines, 6 trims,34 models in total.

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4784x1916x1381, 61-litre fuel tank, TBA-litre boot, 2 engines, 2 trims, 4 models in total.

1.3 SE Navi

CO2

It’s the latest i20! It’s not that exciting! Otherwise a very worthy and competent supermini, now with decent 1.0 engines. 1.0 T-GDI Active £15,225 10.9 109 100 1.2 S Air £11,745 13.6 99 75

At last, a muscle car to call our own. Mustang now here in right-hand drive, still feels very American. Also large. PRICE

LB FT

14.9 96

I20 PRICE

£30,995 5.8 155 314 £34,995 4.8 155 418

0–62 MPH BHP

66

£29,320 £41,070

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4790x1820x1450, 74-litre fuel tank, 400/500-litre boot, 2 engines, 4 trims, 8 models in total.

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 3665x1660x1500, 40-litre fuel tank, 252-litre boot, 2 engines, 3 trims, 7 models in total.

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4777x1927x1742, 60-litre fuel tank, TBA/1788-litre boot, 2 engines, 3 trims, 5 models in total.

2.3T 5.0 V8 GT

Q50 2.2d SE Q50 Hybrid

Lacks the charisma of the Panda and the sheer polish of the Up! but actually, if you don’t care about cars, buy this one.

1.0 S

Like the Mustang, the Edge is pinched from Ford’s US line-up. Is tasked with taking on the Audi Q5 and BMW X3.

More sharply styled but otherwise anonymous saloon from Nissan’s lux wing. This time aimed at the BMW 3-Series.

1.5d SE 2.2d Business

0–62 MPH BHP

£21,500 12.0 118 108 £28,280 8.6 134 170

LB FT

MPG

CO2

192 68.9 108 258 64.2 115

PRICE

RATING

6/10 6/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4425x1805x1495, 50-litre fuel tank, 368-litre boot, 4 engines, 4 trims, 38 models in total.

1.6 Sport 1.4 MAir Longi’

0–62 MPH BHP

£17,495 11.9 111 £20,895 10.9 112

112 142

LB FT

MPG

112 170

47.1 141 47.1 140

CO2

RATING

6/10 6/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4236x1805x1667, 48-litre fuel tank, 351/1356-litre boot, 5 engines, 5 trims, 15 models in total.

FOR ALL THE FACTS AND STATS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EVERY CAR ON SALE IN THE UK GO TO TOPGEAR.COM/REVIEWS

FORD-JEEP

KUGA


JEEP-LAND ROVER

CHEROKEE

LAMBORGHINI

After a leave of absence, the Cherokee is back to do battle with the Freelander. It’s priced well and looks... interesting. PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

2.0 MJet 140 £26,345 10.9 116 140 258 53.3 139 2.2 MJet 200 4x4 £37,245 8.5 127 200 324 49.6 150

RATING

6/10 6/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4623x1859x1669, 60-litre fuel tank, 714/1267-litre boot, 4 engines, 4 trims, 11 models in total.

GRAND CHEROKEE PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

SPEC

A...

PORSCHE PANAMERA

Jeep may be under Fiat's control, but no-one appears to have told the Grand Cherokee. Big, thirsty, pricey.

6.4 V8 SRT 3.0 CRD O’land

TopGear on Lamborghini: The supercar for those who don’t care about lap times. Or The Green Party. Or visibility. But like hexagons.

HOW TO

HURACAN Lambo’s riposte to the 458 and 650S. Smoother, slicker, but is still essentially Gallardo v.2.0. PRICE

LP 580-2 2 LP 610-4

LB FT

MPG

CO2

£65,995 5.0 160 461 460 20.0 328 £48,195 8.2 126 237 405 37.7 198

6/10 6/10

LP 700-4 LP 750-44 SV

→ Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.0 CRD 2,987cc → Jeep Grand Cherokee 6.4 SRT8 6,417cc (+3,430cc)

PICANTO A Kia cracker. Latest Picanto looks good, drives well, costs little and is warrantied to the max. LB FT

MPG

70 89

67.3 99 65.7 100

CO2

RATING

7/10 7/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 3600x1600x1480, 35-litre fuel tank, 200/870-litre boot, 2 engines, 7 trims, 11 models in total.

CEE’D Still a white goods car, but now it’s white goods by John Lewis. Build quality is a rival for VW now, as is much else. PRICE

1.0T-GDi GT Li’ 1.6T GT

0–62 MPH BHP

£20,220 10.3 118 118 £23,610 7.3 143 201

LB FT

MPG

CO2

26 57.6 115 195 38.2 170

RATING

7/10 7/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4310x1780x1470, 53-litre fuel tank, 380/1318-litre boot, 3 engines, 5 trims, 18 models in total.

SPORTAGE PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

113 130 114 134

LB FT

MPG

CO2

119 42.2 156 275 54.3 139

RATING

7/10 7/10

AGERA 0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

TBA TBA 1160 944

MPG

CO2

TBA TBA

RATING

TBA

8/10 9/10

Hyper-Aventador celebrates Ferrucio’s 100th with more power, rear-wheel steer and more carbon than a coal mine.

LP 770-4

PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

£1.7m

2.8

517

TBA TBA

CO2

RATING

TBA

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4924x2062x1143, TBA-litre fuel tank, TBA-litre boot, 1 engine, 1 trim, 1 model in total.

DATA IN NUMBERS: LP 770-4(0) → Lamborghini Centenario production total 40

LAND ROVER TopGear on Land Rover: A genuine UK success story with the whole range as at home on a field as the red carpet.

DISCOVERY SPORT Freelander gets a new name, and much more besides. Not cheap, but it’s what yummy-mummys will be driving this year. PRICE

TOTAL PRICE: £114,914

217 770

2.0 TD4 150 SE 2.0 TD4 180 SE

0–62 MPH BHP

£31,095 11.0 £32,795 9.4

112 150 117 180

LB FT

MPG

CO2

280 57.7 129 317 53.3 139

RATING

7/10 8/10

The best practical SUV on sale. Massive inside, thoughtful design, astonishing ability. Revised once again in 2014. PRICE

3.0 SDV6 Graph’ £47,505

0–62 MPH BHP

8.8

LB FT

MPG

CO2

112 256 443 35.3 213

RATING

9/10

LB FT

MPG

317 317

65.7 113 58.9 125

MPG

CO2

2.8 248+ 1480 1475 TBA TBA

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4560x2050x1110, 82-litre fuel tank, 150-litre boot, 1 engine, 1 trim, 1 model in total.

RATING

8/10 8/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4360x1960x1610, 60/70-litre fuel tank, 550/1445-litre boot, 3 engines, 3 trims, 12 models in total.

PRICE LB FT

CO2

RANGE ROVER SPORT

REGERA 0–62 MPH BHP

0–62 MPH BHP

2.0 eD4 SE 2WD £30,600 10.6 113 150 2.0 TD4 SE Tech £35,200 9.5 124 180

A prettier RRS would be a contradiction in terms, but the new one definitely comes with less thuggishness.

True to form, latest ‘Segg is maddest yet. Petrol-electric hybrid with a weird single speed ‘box. We can’t wait for this one.

£1.45m

Basic price: £91,788 (4S Diesel) Engine: 3956cc, V8 twin-turbo diesel, 416bhp, 627lb ft, 42.2mpg, 178g/km Performance: 0–62mph 4.3secs, 177mph Weight: 2,050kg Colour: Carmine Red (£2,808) Wheels: 21" 911 Turbo Design (£3,143) Trim: Black/Crayon leather (£515) Standard equipment: Park assist, twozone climate control, Connect Plus Options: LED headlights w/PDLS+ (£1,451), keyless entry (£791), Surround View (£1,005), rear wiper (£249), air suspension w/PASM (£1,541), Sport Chrono Pack (£1,344), adaptive sports seats (£2,352), F&R seat heating (£353), Burmester HiFi (£4,869), TV tuner & DAB (£987), adaptive cruise control (£1,718)

PRICE

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4293x2050x1120, 82-litre fuel tank, 150-litre boot, 1 engine, 1 trim, 1 model in total.

5.0 V8 T PHEV

RATING

A Range Rover for a younger, more stylish, more urban audience. One for fashionistas, not farmers.

The P1, LaFerrari and 918 are all well and good, but there is a fourth way. The Swedish way…

PRICE

CO2

17.6 370 17.7 370

RANGE ROVER EVOQUE

TopGear on Koenigsegg: Swedish purveyors of deeply outrageous supercars. Big and shouty - yes. But also quite clever.

PRICE

MPG

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4830x1880x1890, 84-litre fuel tank, 280/2560-litre boot, 1 engine, 4 trims, 4 models in total.

KOENIGSEGG

£1.27m

LB FT

DISCOVERY

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4480x1855x1635, 62-litre fuel tank, 491/1480-litre boot, 5 engines, 6 trims, 13 models in total.

5.0 V8 T RS

0–62 MPH BHP

£264,035 2.9 217 700 509 £319,073 2.8 217+ 750 509

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4599x1895x1724, 54-litre fuel tank, 195/1698-litre boot, 2 engines, 4 trims, 4 models in total.

Kias are normally somewhat pleasantlooking. This one isn’t. Good though, so don’t discount it.

1.6 GDi 1 £18,000 11.1 2.0 CRDi GT-Line £25,850 10.1

9/10 8/10

CENTENARIO

TopGear on Kia: Seven year-warranty-backed range of whitegoods with barely a duffer among ’em. We’re as surprised as you are.

68 85

RATING

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4780x2030x1140, 90-litre fuel tank, n/a-litre boot, 2 engines, 2 trims, 4 models in total.

KIA

0–62 MPH BHP

CO2

Murcielago replacement doesn’t disappoint. A hint of Audi has crept in, but the Aventador is still bonkers. PRICE

PRICE

MPG

AVENTADOR

RATING

DATA IN NUMBERS: AIN’T NO SUBSTITUTE

£8,345 13.9 95 £10,745 11.0 106

LB FT

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4459x1924x1165, 80-litre fuel tank, TBA-litre boot, 1 engine, 1 trim, 1 model in total.

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4820x1940x1760, 93-litre fuel tank, 782/1554-litre boot, 2 engines, 7 trims, 7 models in total.

1.0 1 3d 1.25 2 5d

0–62 MPH BHP

£156,575 3.4 199 580 398 23.7 278 £181,895 3.2 202 610 413 22.6 290

RATING

TBA

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

5.0 SVR £95,900 4.5 162 550 502 22.1 298 3.0 SDV6 DV6 HSE £62,700 6.8 130 292 442 37.7 199 3.0H SDV6 HEV £86,595 6.4 130 345 517 45.6 164

RATING

9/10 9/10 9/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4850x1983x1780, 80-litre fuel tank, 784/1761-litre boot, 6 engines, 6 trims, 8 models in total.

FOR ALL THE FACTS AND STATS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EVERY CAR ON SALE IN THE UK GO TO TOPGEAR.COM/REVIEWS


3-ELEVEN PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

5.0 SC Autobi’ £103,350 5.1 140 510 461 20.5 322 3.0 TDV6 Vogue £75,850 7.4 130 258 442 37.7 196 4.4 SDV8 Vge SE £89,750 6.5 135 340 517 32.5 229

RATING

8/10 9/10 9/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 5000/5199x2070x1840, 85/105-litre fuel tnk, 909/2030-litre boot, 4 engines, 4 trims, 11 models in total.

TOP 1O MOST ECO 7 SEATER

1

PRICE

IS 200t Sport IS 300h Exec

0–62 MPH BHP

Citroen Grand C4 Picasso 1.6 BlueHDi 100

74.3mpg

TopGear on Lexus: Angular luxo-Toyotas reverting back to hybrid slumberland after mad, intoxicatingly awesome LFA supercar.

Peugeot Partner Tepee 1.6 BlueHDi 7seater

68.9mpg LB FT

MPG

CO2

£28,995 7.0 143 180 258 39.2 167 £29,995 8.4 125 220 163 65.7 101

RATING

7/10 7/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4670x1810x1430, 66-litre fuel tank, 450/480-litre boot, 2 engines, 6 trims, 10 models in total.

3

RC

RC 300h Lux RC F

£34,995 8.6 £59,995 4.5

LB FT

MPG

CO2

118 477 391 57.6 113 167 450 384 26.2 252

RATING

6/10 7/10

4

Renault Grand Scenic 1.5 dCI s/s

68.9mpg

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4705x1845x1390, 66-litre fuel tank, 366-litre boot, 3 engines, 5 trims, 7 models in total.

RX Lexus takes NX and scales up. However good the RX is, it will almost certainly be better than the old one. PRICE

RX 200T S RX 450h SE

0–62 MPH BHP

£39,995 9.2 £46,995 7.7

5 LB FT

MPG

CO2

124 238 258 36.2 181 124 266 247 54.3 120

RATING

RATING

n/a

8/10

Maserati builds a BMW 5-Series. It’s available with a diesel engine. Well, they think it’s a good idea. PRICE

3.0 V6 3.0 V6 TT S 3.0 V6 Diesel

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

£53,590 5.6 163 330 369 29.4 223 £64,510 5.0 177 410 405 27.2 242 £49,165 6.3 155 275 442 47.9 158

RATING

6/10 7/10 6/10

QUATTROPORTE Noooo – what have they done? The old one was soul personified, this looks a bit... meh. Still, at least it drives better.

3.8 TT V8 GTS 3.0 V6 Diesel

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

£110,405 4.7 191 530 523 26.4 250 £69,565 6.4 155 275 443 45.6 163

RATING

7/10 6/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 5050x1900x1440, 90-litre fuel tank, 450-litre boot, 3 engines, 3 trims, 3 models in total.

GRANTURISMO

Toyota Prius+

PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

4.7 460 Sport £91,440 4.8 185 460 383 19.7 331 4.7 MC Stradale £110,765 4.5 188 450 376 19.5 337 4.7 GranCabrio £98,970 5.2 177 440 361 19.5 337

RATING

8/10 8/10 8/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4880x1920x1350, 86-litre fuel tank, 260-litre boot, 3 engines, 3 trims, 5 models in total.

6

TopGear on Lotus: Overlook shaky economics and turnip farmer jokes and you’ll find sports cars close to driving nirvana.

BMW 216d Gran Tourer

68.9mpg

MAZDA TopGear on Mazda: Remember when every single Ford was the best to drive in its class? Well, Mazda’s nicked that mantle.

2

ELISE Still a joy, the current Elise offers visceral driving thrills in a relatively usable package. This is steering feel. PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

1.6 Sport £29,900 6.5 127 134 1.8 SC Sport 220 £36,500 4.6 145 217 1.8 SC Cup 250 £45,600 4.3 154 243

7 LB FT

MPG

CO2

118 44.8 149 184 37.7 173 184 37.7 175

RATING

8

£61,895 £73,115

MPG

CO2

4.6 172 345 295 28.7 229 4.1 186 400 303 29.1 225

RATING

8/10 8/10

9

Lotus’ track car has grown up and got heavier. But don’t worry, this makes it more usable. Deliriously good to drive.

10 LB FT

MPG

CO2

£55,900 3.7 170 350 295 28.0 235 £55,500 3.8 145 350 295 28.0 236

RATING

9/10 8/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4084x1802x1129, 40-litre fuel tank, n/a-litre boot, 1 engine, 3 trims, 4 models in total.

Kia Carens 1.7 CRDi

64.2mpg

EXIGE

0–62 MPH BHP

1.5 SE 1.5 Sport Nav

PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

£12,195 £16,095

12.1 106 75 8.7 124 115

100 60.1 110 109 56.5 117

MPG

CO2

RATING

7/10 7/10

3 The 6’s design language moves to the 3. So does the handling verve. After that we’re less sure why you’d have one over a Golf. PRICE

LB FT

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4340x1850x1220, 55-litre fuel tank, 160-litre boot, 3 engines, 3 trims, 5 models in total.

PRICE

Peugeot 5008 1.6 BlueHDi 120

65.7mpg

More power = good, more price = bad. 400 is astonishingly good to drive but an uphill struggle against Cayman and 911. 0–62 MPH BHP

The last 2 was a sleeper – it never set out to be sparky, but somehow achieved it. Same again. Just with a hint more polish.

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4060x1695x1495, 44-litre fuel tank, 280/950-litre boot, 4 engines, 4 trims, 12 models in total.

EVORA PRICE

Vauxhall Zafira Tourer 1.6 CDTi 136

68.9mpg

8/10 8/10 9/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 3790x1850x1120, 44-litre fuel tank, 112-litre boot, 2 engines, 3 trims, 3 models in total.

3.5 Sport 350 3.5 Roadster S

CO2

n/a

TopGear on Maserati: Ferrari’s moody cousin. Every model beaten in every way by German opposition, save for cachet, cool, and style.

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4890x1895x1690, 65-litre fuel tank, 453-litre boot, 2 engines, 5 trims, 7 models in total.

3.5 S 400

MPG

302

Muscular, pretty coupe that's more GT than sports car. Nothing wrong there and the MC Strad has bite if you need it.

68.9mpg

6/10 6/10

LOTUS

LB FT

MASERATI

PRICE 0–62 MPH BHP

174 410

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4970x1950x1460, 80-litre fuel tank, 500-litre boot, 3 engine, 2 trims, 3 models in total.

Fiat 500L 1.3 MJet

68.9mpg

Bit heavier than we hoped, but roaring V8 is sure to give BMW’s M4 a few headaches. Good thing, too. PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

£82,500 3.4

GHIBLI 2

3-Series drive too well for you? Then buy this, it’s worse. In other areas, IS gives the Germans a much tougher time.

PRICE

3.5 SC Road

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: tba, tba-litre fuel tank, 40-litre boot, 2 engines, 2 trims, 2 models in total.

LEXUS IS

The extraordinary Lotus 3-Eleven is a remarkable driver’s car with thrilling speed and mesmerising on-road talent.

1.5 SE 2.0 Sport Nav 2.2D SE

0–62 MPH BHP

£17,095 10.8 113 100 £22,170 8.2 130 165 £19,745 8.1 130 150

LB FT

MPG

CO2

110 55.4 119 154 48.7 135 280 68.9 107

RATING

6/10 6/10 7/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4465x1795x1450, 51-litre fuel tank, 364-litre boot, 4 engines, 3 trims, 17 models in total.

6 Handsome mid-size saloon with some clever engine tech underneath. Drives well, possibly a bit middle management.

Ford Grand C-Max 1.5 TDCi 120

64.2mpg

PRICE

2.0 Sport Nav 2.2D Sport Nav

£24,595 £26,395

0–62 MPH BHP

9.1 9.1

134 165 131 150

LB FT

MPG

CO2

154 47.8 135 280 72.4 107

RATING

6/10 7/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4870x1840x1450, 62-litre fuel tank, 489-litre boot, 3 engines, 3 trims, 13 models in total.

FOR ALL THE FACTS AND STATS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EVERY CAR ON SALE IN THE UK GO TO TOPGEAR.COM/REVIEWS

LAND ROVER-MAZDA

RANGE ROVER This is not an SUV. That’s too common a badge. Instead, think go-anywhere luxury car. Or GALC. Hmm, catchy.


MAZDA-MERCEDES-BENZ

MX-5

B-CLASS

S-CLASS COUPE

Ignore the stereotypes: the MX-5 is back and, crucially, better than it’s ever been before. Happy, simple fun.

This Volkswagen Golf SV rival remains oddly proportioned but has plenty of tech inside. Not to mention space.

Loads of tech, loads of power, loads of class, quite a bit of cash. New coupe is good enough to justify it all.

PRICE

1.5 SE 2.0 Sport Nav

0–62 MPH BHP

£18,495 8.3 127 131 £23,700 7.3 133 160

LB FT

CO2

RATING

111 47.1 139 148 40.4 161

MPG

10/10 10/10

PRICE

B 180d SE Electric Drive

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 3915x1735x1225, 45-litre fuel tank, 130-litre boot, 2 engines, 5 trims, 9 models in total.

0–62 MPH BHP

£23,245 11.6 118 109 £32,670 7.9 100 179

CX-3

C-CLASS Sleek and sophisticated C-Class takes the fight to the 3-Series. Better looking and highly desirable, especially the C63.

2.0 SE 1.5D SE

£17,595 £18,995

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

9.0 10.1

151 47.9 137 199 70.6 105

119 120 110 105

MPG

CO2

RATING

8/10 8/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4275x1765x1535, 48-litre fuel tank, 350/1260-litre boot, 3 engines, 3 trims, 12 models in total.

McLAREN

PRICE

AMG C 43 4M’ AMG C 63 S C 220d AMG L C 350e PHEV

6/10 6/10

PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

0–62 MPH BHP

£44,460 4.7 £67,450 4.0 £34,295 7.7 £38,900 5.9

155 155 145 155

LB FT

MPG

CO2

372 384 34.9 183 517 517 34.5 192 170 295 70.6 108 293 258 134.5 48

MPG

CO2

RATING

£126,020 3.4 199 540 399 25.5 258 £143,270 3.1 204 570 443 25.5 258 £154,015 3.4 204 570 443 26.6 249

TBA 9/10 9/10

TBA 9/10 8/10 7/10

SUPER SERIES PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

MPG

CO2

£195,305 3.0 207 650 500 24.2 275 £215,305 3.2 207 650 500 24.2 275 £285,470 2.9 203 675 517 24.2 275

RATING

9/10 9/10 9/10

MERCEDES-BENZ TopGear on Mercedes-Benz: More letters combos than a bath of alphabet soup. Slurp through that and the cars are very tasty.

A-CLASS Despite the bulbous drunkards nose, this is a conventional hatch. Watch the spec or you'll muck it up. PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

£40,695 4.2 155 381 £22,485 11.3 118 109 £25,850 9.3 130 136

LB FT

MPG

CO2

351 40.9 162 192 80.7 89 221 62.8 116

9/10 9/10

SLC An all-new name but not an all-new car – and you can tell. The V8 AMG is gone too. Prices keener to compensate. PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

SLC 43 AMG £46,360 4.7 155 367 384 36.2 178 SLC 250d Sport £32,995 6.6 152 204 369 70.6 114

0–62 MPH BHP

PRICE LB FT

MPG

CO2

RATING

9/10 9/10 9/10

RATING

6/10 6/10

CO2

RATING

7/10 7/10 7/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4631x1877x1314, 75-litre fuel tank, 364-litre boot, 4 engines, 3 trims, 5 models in total.

MAZDA-MERCEDES-BE

AMG GT LB FT

6.8 4.8 6.8 5.0

272 44.8 147 516 31.7 207 457 50.4 148 613 24.1 274

333 455 258 537

MPG

→ Price span, cheapest to dearest SL £99,505

0–62 MPH BHP

155 155 155 155

LB FT

DATA IN NUMBERS: PRICE RANGE

Meet the car that has single-handedly saved the luxury car class from the SUV incursion. Sublime in most ways.

£72,900 £90,525 £68,870 £165,730

0–62 MPH BHP

SL 400 AMG L V6 £73,810 4.9 155 367 369 36.7 175 SL 63 AMG V8 £114,115 4.1 155 585 664 28.0 234 SL 65 AMG V12 £173,315 4.0 155 630 737 23.7 279

S-CLASS

S 400 L Hybrid S 500 L S 350 L d S 600 Maybach

RATING

SL

£35,935 7.3 149 194 295 72.4 102 £38,430 7.3 149 194 295 72.4 112 £47,425 5.9 155 258 457 54.3 144

PRICE

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4512x1910x1199, 72-litre fuel tank, 145-litre boot, 2 engines, 2 trims, 3 models in total.

CO2

→ 585bhp S 63 AMG £127,675 → 630bhp S 65 AMG £185,480 (Cost of each extra bhp: £1,284)

Euro NCAP n/a LxWxH in mm: 4923x1852x1468, 66-litre fuel tank, 540-litre boot, 2 engines, 2 trims, 4 models in total.

LB FT

MPG

Perhaps the best all-round, usable hardtop convertible on sale today. Practical, fast, excellent quality and dynamics.

PRICE

Not a facelifted 12C, says McLaren, but an all new car. Has a P1 nose, more speed, is the car the 12C should have been.

LB FT

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4143x1810x1300, 60-litre fuel tank, 225/335-litre boot, 4 engines, 3 trims, 6 models in total.

Laden with tech and wonderfully calming. New E gets Merc back in the big exec game. Even if it does look like a C-Class… E 220d SE E 220d AMG Li’ E 350d AMG Li’

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4530x1910x1202, 72-litre fuel tank, 150-litre boot, 2 engines, 3 trims, 3 models in total.

0–62 MPH BHP

£98,050 4.6 155 455 516 30.0 219 £127,675 4.3 155 585 663 27.9 237

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 5027x1899x1411, 80-litre fuel tank, 400-litre boot, 3 engines, 3 trims, 3 models in total.

RATING

E-CLASS LB FT

PRICE

S 500 S 63 AMG

DATA IN NUMBERS: THE LONG TAIL

→ Mercedes-Benz C 200d 1.6-litre turbodiesel → Mercedes-Benz C 350e 2.0-litre turbo petrol

Meet McLaren’s bonny, bouncy baby. As if. 570S is as focused and fast as its siblings. Just cheaper.

A 45 AMG A 180d SE A 200d AMG L’

RATING

DATA IN NUMBERS: WHO KNEW?

SPORTS SERIES

650S 650S Spider 675LT Spider

CO2

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4685x1810x1447, 66-litre fuel tank, 480-litre boot, 9 engines, 6 trims, 99 models in total.

TopGear on McLaren: Hyper-clinical British outfit spinning ever more baffling model choices off its bi-turbo V8 and carbon tub.

540C 570S 570GT

MPG

184 70.6 104 250 N/A 0

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4360x1790x1560, 50-litre fuel tank, 488-litre boot, 5 engines, 6 trims, 57 models in total.

Because the Nissan Juke doesn’t have enough rivals already. CX-3 is pretty and drives well, though. PRICE

LB FT

MPG

CO2

RATING

9/10 9/10 9/10 TBA

AMG gets serious about hammering Porsche. Doesn’t quite have a 911’s finesse, but boy does it make you feel good. PRICE

GT GT S

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 5110/5250x1900x1490, 70/80-litre fuel tank, 510/530-litre boot, 7 engines, 5 trims, 21 models in total.

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

£97,210 4.0 189 462 443 30.4 216 £110,510 3.8 193 517 480 30.1 219

RATING

8/10 8/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4546x1939x1287, 85-litre fuel tank, 285-litre boot, 2 engines, 2 trims, 2 models in total.

CLS

GLA

One of the most competent cars in Merc’s range. It no longer defines cool like the first one, but it's all top drawer.

On paper little more than a pointless curiosity, but in reality a rather well judged crossover. Better than the CLA at least.

RATING

8/10 6/10 6/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4299x1780x1433, 50-litre fuel tank, 341/1157-litre boot, 5 engines, 6 trims, 57 models in total.

PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

CLS 350d £50,695 6.5 155 265 457 51.4 142 CLS 63 AMG SB £87,025 4.2 155 593 590 28.0 235

RATING

8/10 9/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4920x1850x1470, 580-litre fuel tank, 520-litre boot, 4 engines, 3 trims, 11 models in total.

PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

GLA 45 AMG £44,860 4.4 155 381 GLA 250 4Matic £31,455 6.6 143 211

LB FT

MPG

CO2

351 38.2 172 250 43.5 153

RATING

8/10 7/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4417x1804x1494, 50/56-litre fuel tank, 481-litre boot, 4 engines, 8 trims, 23 models in total.

FOR ALL THE FACTS AND STATS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EVERY CAR ON SALE IN THE UK GO TO TOPGEAR.COM/REVIEWS


TOP 5

Take one Merc’ C-Class Estate, add a bit of length, some height and a pinch of off-road ability. Et viola - the GLC. PRICE

GLC 220d GLC 250d

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

RATING

£34,950 8.3 130 170 295 56.5 129 £36,105 7.6 138 204 369 56.5 129

8/10 8/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4759x1890x1644, 66-litre fuel tank, 550/1600-litre boot, 2 engines, 8 trims, 16 models in total.

CROSSOVERS

1

GLE

Price £22,930 Specs 150bhp, 251lb ft, 0-62mph N/Asecs, VMax 126mph, 64.2mpg, CO2 114g/km

The ML’s got a new nose and a new name to go with it. GL for SUV, E for ‘the one in the middle’. Simple. PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

RATING

GLE 250d £49,285 8.6 132 204 369 47.9 155 GLE 350d £56,285 7.1 140 258 458 42.8 179 GLE 63 AMG Cp’ £96,575 4.2 155 585 561 23.7 279

7/10 7/10 7/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4932x1935x1796, 93-litre fuel tank, 690/2010-litre boot, 5 engines, 9 trims, 26 models in total.

Seat's first crossover, and one of the first VAG crossovers on the MQB platform. Sounds tedious, and is. But looks good, drives well and should be a success.

2

GLS

GLS 350 d

£69,110

0–62 MPH BHP

7.8

LB FT

MPG

CO2

RATING

138 258 458 37.2 199

7/10

Euro NCAP n/a LxWxH in mm: 5162x1982x1850, 100-litre fuel tank, 360/2300-litre boot, 2 engines, 3 trims, 3 models in total.

G-CLASS

Based on the same platform as the Qashqai, with an equally bewildering name. Bit bigger, bit cheaper, bit more Renault-y. Not sure if that’s a good thing.

3

Now 37 years old, still quite lovable in a weird sort of way. Only vehicle here with an optional third axle. Kinda. PRICE

G 350d G 63 AMG

0–62 MPH BHP

£87,815 8.9 119 245 £131,695 5.4 130 571

LB FT

MPG

CO2

4/10 4/10

MG

Quite good at most everything it attempts. But then, Nissan was the one that pretty much started this whole crossover thing, so it’d better be.

4

Z

TopGear on MG: Chinese-backed resurrection. Sells fewer cars annually than Ford shifts in the time you’re reading this.

MG3 After the startling success of the MG6, MG unleashes a supermini on the world. World can hardly believe its luck. PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

£8,399

10.9 108 106

101

48.7 136

RATING

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

9.6

185 46.3 139

118 166

HYUNDAI TUCSON 2.0 CRDi Price £24,545 Specs 136bhp, 275lb ft, 0-62mph 10.6secs, VMax 116mph, 58.9mpg, CO2 127g/km

Finally, MG Mk2 approaches relevance with a smart-looking, tidy-driving crossover that’s predictably cheap.

£14,995

Price £21,895 Specs 105bhp, 199lb ft, 0-62mph 10.1secs, VMax 110mph, 70.6mpg, CO2 105g/km

A genuinely interesting-looking crossover. This is the only time those words will appear in the same sentence as one another. Handles well, too.

5

GS

1.5T Explore

MAZDA CX-3 1.5D

5/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4018x1729x1507, 45-litre fuel tank, 285-litre boot, 1 engine, 4 trims, 4 models in total.

PRICE

NISSAN QASHQAI 1.6 DCI Price £25,060 Specs 130bhp, 236lb ft, 0-62mph 9.9secs, VMax 118mph, 64.2mpg, CO2 115g/km

RATING

443 28.5 261 561 20.5 322

Euro NCAP n/a LxWxH in mm: 4662x1760x1951, 96-litre fuel tank, 699/2126-litre boot, 2 engines, 2 trims, 2 models in total.

1.5 3Time

RENAULT KADJAR 1.6 DCI Price £23,295 Specs 130bhp, 236lb ft, 0-62mph 9.9secs, VMax 118mph, 65.7mpg, CO2 113g/km

The bigger, seven-seat version of the ML gets a new name and even more luxury. Meant for Americans. PRICE

SEAT ATECA 2.0 TDI 150 SE

MPG

CO2

RATING

TBA

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4500x1855x1665, 55-litre fuel tank, 2335/1,366-litre boot, 1 engine, 3 trims, 3 models in total.

New-age Hyundai at its best. ix35 replacement is stylish – comparatively – spacious and refined enough to compete with the class heavyweights.

MINI TopGear on Mini: New hatch uglier but more sorted. Pointless Paceman and two-seaters soon to die. Good riddance.

MINI HATCH Yes, it’s bigger, and no, that isn’t necessarily a good thing. Apart from that, the new Mini is predictably excellent.

One Cooper Cooper S Cooper D

PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

RATING

£13,935 £15,485 £18,840 £16,635

9.9 121 103 7.9 130 136 6.8 146 192 9.2 127 116

133 162 206 199

61.4 62.7 49.5 80.7

108 105 133 92

7/10 8/10 8/10 7/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 3821x1727x1414, 40/44-litre fuel tank, 211-litre boot, 6 engines, 6 trims, 12 models in total.

MINI 5-DOOR See above. And remove good looks. Not the nicest in profile, but handily bigger and only £600 more. Fills a(nother) gap. PRICE

Cooper 5dr Cooper SD 5dr

0–62 MPH BHP

£16,085 8.2 129 136 £20,235 7.4 140 170

LB FT

MPG

CO2

162 60.1 109 266 68.9 109

RATING

7/10 7/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 3982x1727x1414, 40/44-litre fuel tank, 278-litre boot, 6 engines, 6 trims, 12 models in total.

CONVERTIBLE Take Mini, lop the roof off, et viola. Mini Cab is exactly like you’d expect. Good news for inner-city estate agents. PRICE

Cooper Cooper S JCW

0–62 MPH BHP

£18,475 8.8 129 136 £28,635 6.5 150 231

LB FT

MPG

CO2

162 57.6 114 236 43.5 152

RATING

7/10 7/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 3821x1727x1415, 40-litre fuel tank, 215-litre boot, 4 engines, 5 trims, 5 models in total.

CLUBMAN No rear-hinged doors this time round. New Clubman is based on BMW’s 2-Series and shares its mediocrity.

1.5T Cooper 2.0 Cooper D

PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

£19,965 £22,245

9.1 127 136 8.6 132 150

162 55.4 118 244 68.9 109

MPG

CO2

RATING

6/10 6/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4253x1800x1441, 48-litre fuel tank, 360/1250-litre boot, 3 engines, 3 trims, 3 models in total.

MITSUBISHI TopGear on Mitsubishi: Hard to care now Evo is dead, but electro-Outlander actually Britain’s top-selling EV. Nope. Still not fussed.

OUTLANDER No-nonsense seven-seat SUV. Fair to middling. Plug-in hybrid version offered too. Green, but only gets five seats. PRICE

PHEV GX3h+ 2.2 DI-D GX3

0–62 MPH BHP

£35,304 11.0 106 164 £27,784 10.2 124 150

LB FT

MPG

CO2

244 156.9 42 280 52.3 140

RATING

6/10 5/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4655x1800x1680, 60-litre fuel tank, 436-550/1755-litre boot, 2 engines, 5 trims, 7 models in total.

FOR ALL THE FACTS AND STATS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EVERY CAR ON SALE IN THE UK GO TO TOPGEAR.COM/REVIEWS

MERCEDES-BENZ-MITSUBISHI

GLC


MORGAN-PEUGEOT

X-TRAIL

MORGAN

TOP 7

TopGear on Morgan: Idiosyncratic British sports cars designed to give you wood and a healthy exposure to the elements. Poop poop.

3WHEELER

SUPERCARS

Eccentric and impractical, but for putting a smile on your face, nothing this side of a Tiger Moth competes. PRICE

2.0 Bespoke 2d

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

RATING

£30,000 4.5 120 110

100

n/a

n/a

8/10

1

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: n/a, 40-litre fuel tank, n/a-litre boot, 1 engine, 2 trims, 2 models in total.

CLASSIC

2.0 Plus 4 4.8 Plus 8

0–62 MPH BHP

£36,290 7.5 118 154 £85,200 4.5 155 367

LB FT

MPG

CO2

RATING

148 40.4 164 370 23.0 282

6/10 7/10

2

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4010x1500/1720x1220, 50-litre fuel tank, n/a-litre boot, 4 engines, 6 trims, 6 models in total.

AERO 8

4.8 V8 Coupe 4.8 V8 S’sports

0–62 MPH BHP

£99,950 4.5 £126,900 4.5

170 367 170 367

FERRARI 488 GTB Price £183,964 Specs 670bhp, 560lb ft, 0-62mph 3.0secs, VMax 205mph, 24.7mpg, CO2 260g/km

Controversial, this. We doubted the 488 GTB could match the 458 Speciale for sheer, erm, specialness. It can’t quite, but that wouldn’t stop us from buying one.

Some ash still lurks in the frame of this sports car. Creaks a bit, but otherwise not as antiquated as you might think. PRICE

Price £259,500 Specs 675bhp, 515lb ft, 0-62mph 2.9secs, VMax 205mph, 24.2mpg, CO2 275g/km

A 650S made, in every conceivable way, a little bit better. And longer. The result is maybe the best McLaren since the iconic F1. Pity they’re all sold out…

The only car to look like a restoration when actually new. The reasonably new Plus 8 is a fearsomely fast thing. PRICE

McLAREN 675LT

LB FT

MPG

CO2

The X-Trail used to be a rufty-tufty thing. Now it’s been emasculated. As a result, we think it’s better. Fickle, us? PRICE

8/10 8/10

3

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4120x1770x1200, 57-litre fuel tank, 227-litre boot, 1 engine, 2 trims, 2 models in total.

NISSAN

McLAREN 570S Price £143,270 Specs 570bhp, 443lb ft, 0-62mph 3.1secs, VMax 204mph, 25.5mpg, CO2 258g/km

Since when did ‘entry level’ translate to 570bhp and a 200mph plus Vmax? Mighty 675LT excepted, this is the McLaren to buy. A bargain at £143K.

TopGear on Nissan: Bizarre Addams family of geriatric hatches, cash-cow crossovers and the mind-scrambling GT-R freak show.

JUKE

PRICE

1.6 94 Visia 1.6T Nismo RS 1.5 dCi Visia

0–62 MPH BHP

£13,995 12.0 104 94 £22,180 7.0 137 218 £15,895 11.2 109 110

4 LB FT

MPG

CO2

103 47.1 138 207 39.2 165 192 70.6 104

RATING

5/10 6/10 6/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4135x1765x1565, 46-litre fuel tank, 350/1181-litre boot, 6 engines, 5 trims, 17 models in total.

PRICE

EV Visia

0–62 MPH BHP

5

£26,030 11.9

90

109

LB FT

MPG

CO2

RATING

206

n/a

0

7/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4450x1780x1570, no fuel tank, 330/680-litre boot, 1 electric motor, 3 trims, 3 models in total.

DATA IN NUMBERS: RANGE EXTENDER → LEAF max battery range, highest 30kW spec 155 miles

NOTE

6

PRICE

PRICE

£9,995

0–62 MPH BHP

13.7 106

80

LB FT

81

MPG

CO2

60.1 109

RATING

5/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4100x1695x1530, 46-litre fuel tank, 411/1495-litre boot, 3 engines, 4 trims, 9 models in total.

QASHQAI PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

1.2 DiG-T Visia £18,545 11.3 114 115 1.6 DiG-T n-Con’ £23,280 9.1 124 163 1.6 dCi N-Con’ £25,060 10.5 118 130

LB FT

MPG

CO2

140 50.4 132 177 48.7 138 236 64.2 115

RATING

8/10 8/10 8/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4370x1800x1595, 65-litre fuel tank, 430-litre boot, 4 engines, 4 trims, 19 models in total.

LAMBORGHINI HURACAN Price £188,000 Specs 602bhp, 413lb ft, 0-62mph 3.2secs, VMax 202mph, 22.6mpg, CO2 290g/km

Not as sharp as a McLaren or as punchy as a Ferrari, but perhaps better than either at making passers-by stop and take notice. Worthy successor to the Gallardo.

RATING

8/10

LB FT

MPG

CO2

RATING

7/10 7/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4250x1850x1320, 72-litre fuel tank, 235-litre boot, 2 engines, 3 trims, 3 models in total.

GT-R MY17 Cheap at twice the price, the GT-R is an uber-techy, violently capable, ruthlessly rapid speed machine. Drive one. PRICE

Pure Track Edition

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

RATING

£79,995 TBA 196 570 469 23.9 275 £91,995 TBA 196 570 469 23.9 275

9/10 9/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4710x1895x1370, 74-litre fuel tank, 315-litre boot, 1 engine, 4 trims, 4 models in total.

NOBLE TopGear on Noble: Yes, it’s from the home of pork pies. Yes, the engine’s from a school-run bus. Doesn’t stop Noble being a supercar force.

M600 Powered by a twin turbo Volvo XC90 V8, the old school M600 is epically fast and amazingly supple. Major want.

4.4 V8 T 650

LB FT

MPG

CO2

RATING

£248,184 3.0 225 650 604

0–62 MPH BHP

n/a

n/a

9/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4360x1910x1120, 68-litre fuel tank, n/a-litre boot, 1 engine, 2 trims, 2 models in total.

PAGANI TopGear on Pagani: The greatest exponents of artistic Italian pageantry and Hulk-spec power the world has yet seen.

HUAYRA

6.0 V12

The normal 911 may not be a 'supercar' in a conventional sense, but the Turbo S surely is. It's the right money, plus it's maybe the quickest accelerating thing here.

7

Nissan started the Qashqai craze, so the new one is predictably safe. It’s better than ever for, you know, family stuff.

0–62 MPH BHP

Price £248,184 Specs 650bhp, 604lb ft, 0-62mph 3.0secs, VMax 225mph, n/a mpg, CO2 n/a g/km

Price £145,773 Specs 572bhp, 553lb ft, 0-62mph 2.9secs, VMax 205mph, 31.0mpg, CO2 212g/km

CO2

3.7 V6 Standard £27,860 5.3 155 326 269 26.9 249 3.7 V6 Nismo £38,050 5.2 155 344 274 26.6 248

The name is what you exclaim when you nail the throttle in this twin turbo V12’d, active aero’d hypercar.

PORSCHE 911 TURBO S

MPG

236 57.6 129

370Z

NOBLE M600

Built in a shed in Leicester with an old Volvo engine. Doesn’t sound too promising, but the Noble is as scarily scintillating as nude mako-wrestling, yet friendly, too.

New nose, same commodious cabin. Otherwise precious little to tempt Doris out of her Jazz.

1.2 Visia LE

Price £134,520 Specs 610bhp, 413lb ft, 0-62mph 3.2secs, VMax 205mph, 22.8mpg, CO2 289g/km

You used to be able to get an R8 with a V8. And a manual gearbox. Now you can’t, because the new one is V10 and auto only. We’d care more if it wasn’t so mega.

LEAF The first mass-produced leccy car. It’s impressive, but our infrastructure needs sorting before it really makes sense.

AUDI R8 PLUS

LB FT

Z still looks great, but where’s the firebreathing manliness of the old one, Nissan? GT86 has highlighted its shortcomings.

PRICE

Clever little SUV crossover that looks like... well, looks like nothing else we can think of. Very nice, if a little odd.

130

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4643x1820x1695, 60-litre fuel tank, 135(550)/1982-litre boot, 1 engine, 4 trims, 14 models in total.

RATING

370 23.0 282 370 26.0 256

0–62 MPH BHP

1.6 dCi 130 Visia £23,745 10.5 117

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

£990,000 n/a 230 730

PRICE

811

23.5 300

CO2

RATING

8/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4610x2040x1170, 85-litre fuel tank, n/a-litre boot, 1 engine, 1 trim, 1 model in total.

PEUGEOT TopGear on Peugeot: Chassis bods have refound their mojo with 208 GTi and RCZ R. Design needs to be more Onyx, less ordinary.

108 Now more refined and comfortable. Can be had with a 1.2. Have the 1.0. That’s the one Toyota made. PRICE

1.0 69 Access 3d £8,495

0–62 MPH BHP

14.3 99

69

LB FT

70

MPG

CO2

68.9 95

RATING

6/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 3475x1615x1460, 35-litre fuel tank, 196/780-litre boot, 2 engines, 4 trims, 12 models in total.

208 Congratulations Peugeot, it’s only taken you 25 years to reimagine the 205. 208 is light, likeable and French. In a good way. PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

1.0 Access ac 3d £12,065 14.0 103 68 1.6 THP GTi £19,515 6.5 143 208 1.6 B’HDi Allure £16,815 13.3 106 75

LB FT

MPG

CO2

66 64.2 102 221 52.3 125 169 94.2 79

RATING

6/10 7/10 6/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 3970x1740x1460, 50-litre fuel tank, 285/1152-litre boot, 6 engines, 7 trims, 39 models in total.

FOR ALL THE FACTS AND STATS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EVERY CAR ON SALE IN THE UK GO TO TOPGEAR.COM/REVIEWS

FOR ALL THE FACTS

NISSAN-PEU


ND STATS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EVERY CAR ON SALE IN THE UK GO TO TOPGEAR.COM/REVIEWS

EOT

911 0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

1.6 GTI 270 £28,455 6.0 155 270 1.6 B’HDi Active £20,345 9.7 122 120

PRICE

243 207

47.1 139 91.1 82

CO2

TOP 5

RATING

8/10 8/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4253x1804x1457, 53-litre fuel tank, 470/1309-litre boot, 11 engines, 6 trims, 27 models in total.

CHEAPEST 8CYL

1

Ford Mustang GT Coupe

508 LB FT

MPG

2.0 B’HDi Active £24,325 9.8 130 150

273

67.3 109

CO2

RATING

5/10

2

Chevrolet Camaro Coupe

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4830x1853x1456, 72-litre fuel tank, 473-litre boot, 5 engines, 4 trims, 17 models in total.

£37,020

RCZ Peugeot’s stunning coupe marks a renaissance. Good-looking, fun to drive, tolerable value. Now go buy an Audi TT. 0–62 MPH BHP

3 LB FT

MPG

CO2

Vauxhall VXR8 Maloo

RATING

1.6 THP 156 GT £24,750 8.3 133 156 177 44.1 149 1.6 THP 200 GT £27,500 7.6 146 200 206 42.1 155 2.0 HDi 163 GT £26,600 8.7 137 163 240 53.2 139

7/10 7/10 7/10

£54,520

2008

Infiniti QX70 S Premium

High-rise supermini that's increasingly popular in the wake of the Juke. A little mash-up which just about works.

£55,270

0-62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

1.2 VTi Access ac £13,615 13.5 105 82 1.6 BlueHDi Allu’ £18,865 11.3 112 100

87 187

57.6 114 76.3 97

CO2

5/10 6/10

5

Vauxhall VXR8 GTS

£55,550

5008 Large seven-seat MPV that looks pretty good and does everything a family might want, although it’s less brilliant to drive. 0–62 MPH BHP

120

PRICE

4.8 V8 GTS 3.0 V6 Diesel S E-Hybrid

LB FT

MPG

221

65.7 114

CO2

5/10

1

Mercedes-Benz S 300 CDI Hybrid L AMG Line

£74,250

TopGear on Porsche: Irritatingly great to drive, even when it’s a 4x4. There’s a reason every sports car is dubbed ‘911-fighter’…

2

718 BOXSTER 0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

170 300 280 38.2 168 177 350 310 34.9 184

Alfa Romeo 4C Spider LE

8/10 8/10

3

Volvo XC90 T8 Inscription

£64,555

718 CAYMAN Still the world’s best sports coupe, but now in spite of its dulled four-pot turbo, rather than because of a sonorous six.

2.0T 2.5T S 2.5T S PDK

0–62 MPH BHP

£39,878 5.1 £48,834 4.6 £50,756 4.2

4 LB FT

MPG

CO2

170 300 280 38.2 168 177 350 309 34.9 184 177 350 309 38.7 167

RATING

DATA IN NUMBERS: CAYMAN S VS S → Porsche Cayman S (prev gen) £48,783 → Porsche 718 Cayman S (current gen) £51,105 (+ £2,322)

LB FT

MPG

CO2

RATING

7/10 6/10 6/10

MACAN Porsche’s Range Rover Evoque is a tidy looker that has image by the bucketload. Thus, soon to be everywhere...

S Turbo S Diesel

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

£45,945 5.4 157 340 339 32.5 204 £62,540 4.8 165 400 405 31.7 208 £45,942 6.3 142 258 427 46.3 159

RATING

8/10 8/10 8/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4684x1923x1624, 65-litre fuel tank, 500/1500-litre boot, 4 engines, 4 trims, 4 models in total.

Sporting SUV that’s very capable and now better to look at. It no longer has a ride that ruins your spine, either. PRICE

S E-Hybrid Turbo S Diesel

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

£64,512 5.9 150 422 435 83.1 79 £94,063 4.5 173 527 554 25.2 261 £65,495 5.4 156 383 626 35.3 209

RATING

7/10 6/10 8/10

RADICAL TopGear on Radical: Super-fast, super-intense range of Nürburgring-humbling race cars. Wait – what, they’re road-legal? Oh my.

SR3 PRICE

2.0 245 Std

LB FT

MPG

CO2

RATING

£69,850 3.4 160 245 265

0–62 MPH BHP

n/a

n/a

8/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4100x1790x1130, 50-litre fuel tank, n/a-litre boot, 1 engine, 1 trim, 1 model in total.

Now here’s a trick: Radical’s second road car has much more power and a roof, but is far tamer to drive. PRICE

3.7 V6 3.5 V6 Turbo

LB FT

MPG

CO2

RATING

£94,500 2.8 175 350 320 £107,500 2.6 185 454 500

0–62 MPH BHP

n/a n/a

n/a n/a

8/10 8/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4300x1960x1127, 50-litre fuel tank, n/a-litre boot, 2 engines, 1 trim, 2 models in total.

BMW X5 xDrive40e M Sport

£56,705

TBA 8/10 8/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4379x1801x1295, 64-litre fuel tank, 150/425-litre boot, 2 engines, 2 trims, 4 models in total.

0–62 MPH BHP

£93,391 4.5 179 400 368 25.4 260 £65,289 6.8 150 250 405 43.5 172 £82,439 5.5 167 338 325 91.0 71

RXC

RATING

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4379x1801x1281, 54/64-litre fuel tank, 130/275-litre boot, 2 engines, 2 trims, 2 models in total.

PRICE

9/10 9/10 10/10 9/10 8/10

Few are as extreme, and few cope as badly with British roads. A car for dry, smooth, clear tarmac. Such as a track.

£67,050

Gasp – flat-six engine becomes boxer turbo four. More speed, economy but less aural satisfaction. Er, sound good? PRICE

RATING

199 204 296 308 212

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4855x1939x1705, 100-litre fuel tank, 670/1780-litre boot, 7 engines, 7 trims, 7 models in total.

RATING

PORSCHE

£42,094 5.1 £51,105 4.6

CO2

32.5 31.7 22.2 21.2 31.0

420 420 500 500 580

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4970x1930x1420, 80-litre fuel tank, 445/1263-litre boot, 8 engines, 8 trims, 9 models in total.

PRICIEST 4CYL

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4530x1837x1638, 60-litre fuel tank, 679/2506-litre boot, 3 engines, 2 trims, 4 models in total.

2.0T 2.5T S

MPG

369 369 339 552 552

191 189 193 200 205

CAYENNE

RATING

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4160x1740x1560, 50-litre fuel tank, 360/1172-litre boot, 6 engines, 4 trims, 14 models in total.

PRICE

LB FT

4.3 4.2 3.3 3.8 2.9

Four-door, four-seat family Porsche. Very fast, quite hard to fall in love with, apart from the rather outrageous GTS model.

PRICE

4

1.6 B’HDi Active £23,720 12.2 114

0–62 MPH BHP

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4490x1800x1300, 64-litre fuel tank, 135-litre boot, 5 engines, 12 trims, 17 models in total.

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4290x1850x1350, 55-litre fuel tank, 309-litre boot, 3 engines, 3 trims, 4 models in total.

PRICE

£85,857 £90,843 £131,296 £136,901 £145,773

PANAMERA

0–62 MPH BHP

PRICE

PRICE

3.0T Carrera S 3.0T C4S 4.0 GT3 RS 4.0 R 3.8 Turbo S

£34,995

Peugeot’s replacement for the 407 is actually quite nice in an average sort of way. Facelift helps. A bit. PRICE

Styling is evolutionary and cabin shared with Panamera, but this is Porsche proving it's the world’s best sports car builder.

RENAULT TopGear on Renault: Still a pervading sense of flimsiness about Renaults. We hope the ageing RS Megane isn’t the end of an era.

TWINGO 5

Toyota Land Cruiser 2.8 D-4D Invincible

£54,905

Rear-engined, rear drive, it’s a mini-911! Only it’s actually a cheeky little city car. Turbo is only one with any nous, though. PRICE

0.9 TCe 90

0–62 MPH BHP

£11,695 10.8 103

90

LB FT

MPG

99

65.7 99

CO2

RATING

7/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 3595x1646x1554, 35-litre fuel tank, 188/980-litre boot, 2 engines, 3 trims, 4 models in total.

FOR ALL THE FACTS AND STATS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EVERY CAR ON SALE IN THE UK GO TO TOPGEAR.COM/REVIEWS

PEUGEOT-RENAULT

308 Well, knock us down with a feather, out of nowhere, Peugeot gives us a hatch good to drive and own. Gobs smacked.


RENAULT-SEAT

TWIZY

PHANTOM S2

God knows what’s got into us, but we badly want a Twizy. Mainly to sneak up on other cars in electrical silence. PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

RATING

13kW EV £7,595 n/a 50 17 42 n/a 0 7/10 Technic Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 2340x1240x1460, no fuel tank,

TOP 1O FASTEST ACCELERATING N/A

31-litre boot, 1 electric motor, 3 trims, 3 models in total.

ZOE

1

This could be the point where electric cars start to prove themselves. The Zoe looks great and costs little. PRICE

EV Expression

0–62 MPH BHP

£18,445 13.5 84

88

2.8secs LB FT

MPG

CO2

RATING

162

n/a

0

6/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4090x1730x1560, no fuel tank, 328/1225-litre boot, 1 electric motor, 3 trims, 3 models in total.

2

CLIO 0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

0.9 TCe Dyn Nav £14,675 12.2 113 90 99 62.8 104 1.6T RS Trophy £21,780 6.6 146 220 207 47.9 135 1.5 dCi Play ECO £15,225 12.0 112 90 162 88.3 82

3

Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4

→ Percentage of Clio range with standard sat nav 75%

4

CAPTUR

£14,575 12.6 106 £16,275 12.6 106

90 90

MPG

CO2

99 56.5 115 162 76.4 95

7/10 7/10

New Megane takes cues from Talisman and Espace, neither of which we get in the UK. Early impressions are good. 0–62 MPH BHP

£16,600 10.6 122 130 £20,400 11.3 116 110

Audi R8 V10 Plus

5

LB FT

MPG

CO2

151 52.3 120 192 76.4 96

Aston Martin Vanquish

WRAITH If the Grand Tour still existed, this is how the aristocracy would get to Vienna. A majestic symbol of Britain.

6.6 V12

RATING

TBA TBA

Aston Martin V12 Vantage S

132 112

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

4.2secs 8

LB FT

MPG

CO2

151 50.4 126 192 74.3 99

RATING

6/10 7/10

ROLLS-ROYCE

Chevrolet Camaro Coupe

4.4secs

TopGear on Rolls-Royce: Wheeled pleasure yachts that’ve seen off the challenge of Maybach and offer more charm than Bentley.

PRICE

6.6 V12

LB FT

MPG

575

19.9 330

CO2

RATING

9/10

TopGear on Seat: Supposedly the sporty arm of the VW Group behemoth. So why does it make a seven-seat MPV, then?

DATA IN NUMBERS: 6 SEAT-ER

Don’t go expecting loads of Spanish flair here. VW doesn’t permit that. This is just a very sensible Up-based city car. PRICE

1.0 SE Eco 3d 1.0 75 FR Li’ 3d

0–62 MPH BHP

£10,570 14.4 100 £11,065 13.2 106

60 75

LB FT

67 70

MPG

CO2

68.9 95 60.1 108

RATING

7/10 7/10

IBIZA Looks sharp, and pricing is good, but hasn't quite made the leap that the Leon has. Ride could be better. 0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

118 67.3 98 236 47.1 TBA

RATING

6/10 7/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4030x1690x1430, 45-litre fuel tank, 284-litre boot, 9 engines, 5 trims, 34 models in total.

LEON PRICE

10 LB FT

MPG

CO2

576 20.8 327 576 20.6 329

RATING

9/10 9/10

Euro NCAP n/a LxWxH in mm: 5399/5569x1948x1550, 82-litre fuel tank, 490-litre boot, 1 engine, 1 trim, 2 models in total.

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

1.4 EcoTSI FR £20,525 8.0 134 150 184 60.1 110 2.0 TSI Cupra SC £28,380 5.8 155 290 258 42.2 156 2.0 TDI FR SC £23,045 7.5 142 184 280 67.3 109

RATING

7/10 8/10 7/10

ATECA Aston Martin Rapide S

Seat’s first crossover is so good you’d think it was an old hand. Handsome, well built, and it’s not another Qashqai, is it? PRICE

1.0 TSI S 2.0 TDI SE

A car for the junior plutocrat, since his boss will clearly be in a Phantom. Wave at him - he needs your pity. 0–62 MPH BHP

0–62 MPH BHP

£264,000 4.9 155 563

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 5285x1947x1502, 82-litre fuel tank, 244/295-litre boot, 1 engine, 1 trim, 1 model in total.

4.4secs

GHOST S2 PRICE

9/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4260x1780x1460, 50-litre fuel tank, 380-litre boot, 7 engines, 5 trims, 37 models in total.

9

£222,888 4.7 155 571 £253,944 4.8 155 571

RATING

Seat has really upped its game with the all-new Leon. Super-hot Cupra is rather tremendous.

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4449x1836x1607, 55-litre fuel tank, 864/1620-litre boot, 3 engines, 4 trims, 14 models in total.

6.6 V12 6.6 V12 EWB

CO2

DAWN

PRICE

7

Thankfully heaps better than Renault’s last crack at a big crossover – the Koleos. Qashqai rival with genuine appeal.

119 113

MPG

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 5269x1947x1507, 82-litre fuel tank, 470-litre boot, 1 engine, 1 trim, 1 model in total.

1.0 EcoTSI SE 5d £13,975 10.4 119 95 1.8 Cupra SC £18,100 6.7 146 189

KADJAR

£18,495 10.1 £20,395 11.9

LB FT

155 624 590 20.2 327

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 3560x1640x1480, 35-litre fuel tank, 238/951-litre boot, 2 engines, 5 trims, 12 models in total.

3.7secs

→ Renault Megane 1.2 TCe 130 Expression + £16,600 → Volkswagen Golf 1.2 TSI 85 S 5dr £18,280 (+£1,680)

1.2 TCe Exp’ + 1.5 dCi Exp’ +

0–62 MPH BHP

£235,416 4.4

SKODA-SUZUKI

3.6secs 6

DATA IN NUMBERS: BARGAIN HUNT

0–62 MPH BHP

9/10 8/10 8/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 5830/6090x1990x1640, 100-litre fuel tank, 460-litre boot, 1 engine, 1 trim, 4 models in total.

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4359x1814x1447, 47-litre fuel tank, 384-litre boot, 4 engines, 7 trims, 15 models in total.

PRICE

RATING

MII

RATING

MEGANE PRICE

CO2

→ Number of model variants in Seat range 6 LB FT

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4120x1780x1560, 45-litre fuel tank, 377/1235-litre boot, 3 engines, 4 trims, 10 models in total.

1.2 TCe Exp’+ 1.5 dCi Dyn’ S

18.9 349 19.1 347 19.1 347

3.2secs

Renault's take on the Juke that's, perhaps unsurprisingly, more style than substance. Clio for us, please.

0.9 TCe Exp+ 1.5 dCi Exp+

MPG

531 531 531

SEAT

DATA IN NUMBERS: GOOD DIRECTIONS

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

3.2secs

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4060x1730x1450, 45-litre fuel tank, 320/1200-litre boot, 5 engines, 6 trims, 20 models in total.

PRICE

PRICE

This is how you do luxury in 2016. Not just a car, but a practically unbeatable luxury experience.

RATING

7/10 7/10 6/10

0–62 MPH BHP

6.75 V12 EWB £373,824 6.1 150 453 6.75 V12 D'head £367,632 5.8 150 453 6.75 V12 Coupe £347,256 5.8 155 453

PRICE

Ferrari F12tdf

2.9secs

A return to form for Renault. Clio 4 is good-looking and drives well. Just avoid the gutless lower-powered 1.2 petrol. PRICE

Lamborghini Aventador LP750-4

Luxury British land-yacht which manages to drive as well as it soothes. Cars come no more opulent than this.

Lexus RC F

4.5secs

0–62 MPH BHP

£17,990 TBA 113 115 £22,930 TBA 125 150

LB FT

MPG

CO2

148 54.3 121 251 64.2 114

RATING

TBA 8/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4363x1841x1615, 50/55-litre fuel tank, 510-litre boot, 4 engines, 4 trims, 11 models in total.

DATA IN NUMBERS: POWER TO WEIGHT → Ateca 1.0 TSI 115 bhp per kg 11.1 → Ateca 2.0 TDI 150 bhp per kg 9.4

FOR ALL THE FACTS AND STATS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EVERY CAR ON SALE IN THE UK GO TO TOPGEAR.COM/REVIEWS


FORFOUR Same front end as the car above. Concerning. Otherwise, it’s a decent city car. But our eyes hurt.

PRICE

2.0 TDI SE

0–62 MPH BHP

£28,965 10.2 126 150

LB FT

251

MPG

CO2

PRICE

RATING

55.4 132

1.0 Passion

7/10

0–62 MPH BHP

£11,620 15.9 94

71

LB FT

MPG

CO2

RATING

67

67.3

97

6/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 3495, 1665, 1555, 35-litre fuel tank, 185/975-litre boot, 1 engine, 4 trims, 4 models in total.

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4850x1900x1720, 70-litre fuel tank, 267/2297-litre boot, 4 engines, 4 trims, 8 models in total.

SKODA

SSANGYONG

TopGear on Skoda: Supposedly the cheap’n’cheerful arm of the VW Group behemoth. So why does it make a £30k barge, then?

TopGear on SsangYong: Still mired where the rest of the Koreans languished decades ago. Very cheap, for very good reason.

CITIGO

TIVOLI

Of course you recognise it – the Citigo is a lightly altered VW Up. Which makes it a very fine city car indeed.

Neat-looking crossover is SsangYong’s more practical take on the Nissan Juke. Storming value but not bad to own either. PRICE

PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

1.0 Green SE 3d £9,495 14.4 100 1.0 Gre’ SE L 5d £10,815 13.2 107

60 75

LB FT

70 70

MPG

CO2

68.9 95 67.3 98

RATING

7/10 7/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 3560x1640x1480, 35-litre fuel tank, 251/951-litre boot, 2 engines, 4 trims, 12 models in total.

FABIA Only 9 per cent of the old Fabia was carried into the latest one. So it’s 91 per cent better, says TG maths. PRICE

1.0 S 1.2 TSI 90 SE 1.4 TDI 90 SE

0–62 MPH BHP

£10,750 15.7 99 £13,600 10.9 113 £15,600 11.1 113

60 90 90

LB FT

MPG

CO2

70 60.1 106 118 60.1 107 169 83.0 88

6/10 7/10 7/10

OCTAVIA 0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

£17,865 10.2 124 110 129 57.7 114 £24,460 6.8 154 220 258 45.6 142 £19,925 10.6 122 110 184 74.3 99

RATING

7/10 7/10 8/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4660x1810x1460, 50-litre fuel tank, 590/1740-litre boot, 9 engines, 8 trims, 45 models in total.

SUPERB Enormous Skoda catches Audi-itus. Styled with ruler, but we don’t care because it’s like an A8 for A3 money PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

1.4 TSI S £19,060 9.9 129 125 2.0 TDI SE £22,555 8.9 135 150 2.0 TDI SE L Est’ £28,985 8.1 146 190

LB FT

MPG

CO2

147 52.3 125 250 68.9 108 295 67.3 110

RATING

8/10 8/10 9/10

t’s the car that saved Bentley. OK, that’s a bit strong given that it was VW’s billions that did the legwork, but the Conti GT was - and still is - pitch perfect. It's all the firm’s brand values distilled into one consummate grand tourer. Bentley has created other cars since, but none of them sums up what a Bentley is as well as this, the plushest sports coupe of all. When it first arrived back in 2003, the Conti GT was a single model, powered by a 6.0-litre W12. Since then the range has expanded out to include a convertible and a less powerful V8 version, as well as more sporting models. It boils down to a choice of two for us: a wafty W12 convertible at £165,600 or the tauter, more focused £149,800 V8S coupe. Tough call, but we'd go V8.

I

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

£12,950 12.0 106 128

118

44.1 149

PRICE

2.2 e-XDi SE4

£17,500

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

9.9

295 48.7 152

115

178

MPG

CO2

OUTBACK More of the unfashionable same from Subaru, but that’s what owners love. New one is handily sized, very capable. PRICE

2.0D SE

£27,995

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

9.7

258 50.4 145

119 150

PRICE

1.6 DIT GT

£27,495

6/10

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

8.9

185 39.8 164

131

172

MPG

CO2

RATING

6/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4690x1780x1490, 60-litre fuel tank, 522/1466-litre boot, 1 engine, 1 trim, 1 model in total.

DATA IN NUMBERS: MPG CHOICE

PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

£28,995 5.2 159 300 300 27.2 242

RATING

7/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4595x1795x1475, 77-litre fuel tank, 460-litre boot, 1 engine, 1 trim, 1 model in total.

BRZ An entirely excellent small, sharp coupe that's not at all like an Impreza. In a good way. Rather like a Toyota GT86... PRICE

FORTWO

£23,995

0–62 MPH BHP

7.6

130 200

LB FT

MPG

151

36.2 181

CO2

RATING

9/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4240x1780x1430, 55-litre fuel tank, 245-litre boot, 1 engine, 2 trims, 2 models in total.

A doddle to park, a delight around town, but what on earth was Smart thinking when it signed off the design?

71 90 90

RATING

Yet another big estate from Subaru. Hard to see where it fits in, particularly with just a single petrol engine choice.

2.0 SE Lux 2d

0–62 MPH BHP

CO2

LEVORG

2.5T STi

7/10 8/10

TopGear on Smart: Best yet execution of a flawed idea. We’ll have the cheaper, mechanically identical Twingo, thanks.

PRICE

MPG

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4815x1840x1605, 60-litre fuel tank, TBA-litre boot, 2 engines, 2 trims, 3 models in total.

RATING

SMART

£11,125 14.4 94 £12,415 10.4 96 £14,555 10.8 96

5/10

→ Subaru Levorg and BMW M140i auto Both 39.8mpg

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4222x1793x1645, 55-litre fuel tank, 322/1760-litre boot, 4 engines, 5 trims, 21 models in total.

1.0 Passion 0.9T Prime 0.9T Proxy Cab

RATING

TopGear on Subaru: Ex-WRC legend rebuilding its brand with chunky, rugged 4x4s. Rally heritage lives on in old-skool WRX.

The Scooby turbo is back, minus the Impreza name but with the same huge wing and heinous thirst.

129 52.3 124 251 55.4 134

CO2

SUBARU

WRX STI

LB FT

MPG

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4410x1830x1710, 57-litre fuel tank, 486/1312-litre boot, 1 engine, 5 trims, 6 models in total.

Skoda's SUV-lite is a favourite of TopGear. It looks chunky, acts chunky and drives chunkily, too. Facelift spoils purity though. 0–62 MPH BHP

5/10

Bigger than the Tivoli and also less good. Still, not as offensive to look at as it could be: a lot of car of the money.

YETI

PRICE

RATING

KORANDO

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4861x1864x1470, 66-litre fuel tank, 625/1760-litre boot, 7 engines, 5 trims, 50 models in total.

1.2 TSI S £17,210 10.9 111 110 2.0 TDI SE L 4x4 £24,875 9.1 121 150

CO2

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4195x1795x1590, 47-litre fuel tank, 423-litre boot, 2 engines, 3 trims, 8 models in total.

RATING

Skoda, VW's practicality-obsessed arm, gives you all the car you’ll ever need. Provided you’re slightly dull. PRICE

HERO BENTLEY CONTINENTAL GT

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 3992x1732x1467, 45-litre fuel tank, 330/1150-litre boot, 7 engines, 5 trims, 34 models in total.

1.2 TSI SE 2.0 TSI vRS 1.6 TDI SE

1.6 eXGi SE

LB FT

MPG

67 83 83

68.9 93 67.3 97 65.7 99

CO2

RATING

6/10 6/10 6/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 2695, 1663, 1555, 35-litre fuel tank, 260/350-litre boot, 2 engines, 4 trims, 16 models in total.

SPEC Price £149,800 Engine 3993cc, twin-turbo V8, 521bhp, 502lb ft Performance 0–60mph in 4.5secs, 192mph, 26.4mpg, 246g/km CO2

FORESTER Lacks school run glam, but that’s not the point - this is rugged transport. Pity the 240bhp XT Turbo is so ignorable. PRICE

2.0D XC

0–62 MPH BHP

£26,995 10.2 118

147

LB FT

MPG

CO2

258 47.9 156

RATING

7/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4560x1780x1700, 64-litre fuel tank, 450/1610-litre boot, 3 engines, 4 trims, 6 models in total.

FOR ALL THE FACTS AND STATS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EVERY CAR ON SALE IN THE UK GO TO TOPGEAR.COM/REVIEWS

SEAT-SUBARU

ALHAMBRA One of the very best MPVs around. If you don't want an S-Max, this is a worthy alternative. Lots of seats, lots of space.


SUZUKI-VAUXHALL

YARIS

SUZUKI

A key car for Toyota in Europe. The engine choice is reasonable, the Hybrid is OK, but it's not as clever as it used to be.

TopGear on Suzuki: Only the lovable Swift Sport appears to have been fed the enthusiasm from Suzuki’s mental motorcycles.

SWIFT

PRICE

1.33 Icon 5d

By not trying too hard, this no-nonsense supermini succeeds in being really rather good. The Sport is thriving, too. Rejoice! PRICE

1.6 Sport Nav 3d £13,999

LB FT

MPG

8.7

118

44.1 147

136

CO2

7/10

BALENO

PRICE

1.8 Hybrid

LB FT

MPG

11.4 124

125

62.7 105

CO2

ECO HATCHES

Out with the SX4, in with the S-Cross. Same Qashqai-rivalling concept, same slight surprise at how decent it is. PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

111

120

LB FT

MPG

CO2

RATING

236 67.2 108

6/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4300x1765x1575, 50-litre fuel tank, 430-litre boot, 2 engines, 4 trims, 11 models in total.

VITARA This one caught us rather by surprise. Vitara is a perfectly good alternative to a Qashqai or Juke. Well done, Suzuki. PRICE

1.6 DDiS SZ-T

£17,499

0–62 MPH BHP

11.5

112

120

LB FT

MPG

CO2

RATING

236 70.6 106

7/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4175x1775x1610, 47-litre fuel tank, 375/710-litre boot, 2 engine, 3 trims, 7 models in total.

TESLA TopGear on Tesla: All-electric cars done properly. Model S is so good; you could almost use one as your one and only car. Almost.

The most credible alternative to the German execs yet launched. Fast, well designed and utterly silent. 0–62 MPH BHP

MPG

CO2

RATING

60 £53,780 5.5 130 298 325 P90D Ludicrous £101,480 2.8 155 770 713

N/A N/A

0 0

8/10 9/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4970x1964x1445, no fuel tank, 745/1645-litre boot, 4 power outputs, 4 trims, 4 models in total.

An SUV EV with Porsche pace. And ‘falcon’ doors. Very pricey, but isn’t this what the future was supposed to look like? 0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

RATING

£100,180 3.8 155 773

713

N/A

0

9/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 5036x1999x1684, no fuel tank, TBA-litre boot, 3 power outputs, 3 trims, 3 models in total.

1

Without serious flaws, and therefore easy to recommend. Most economical of the bunch, too.

Vauxhall Astra 1.0T Better all-round than the Focus - great tech and decent to look at.

Cheap but loaded with kit. New infotainment system is ace, bags of space inside.

3

Ford Focus 1.0T EcoBoost Old and feels it, but has no right to drive as well as it (still) does.

Much improved since the facelift of a couple of years ago, still the best thing here to drive.

DATA IN NUMBERS: XTRA FAST

Feels ancient despite Ford’s best efforts to keep it fresh. Interior and infotainment still disappoint.

→ Tesla Model X P90D 0-62mph 3.8secs → Porsche Macan Turbo 0-62mph 4.8secs

4/10

0–62 MPH BHP

£20,345 10.9 112

138

LB FT

MPG

CO2

105 80.7 79

RATING

6/10

It looks totally bizarre but the weird styling conceals a well-resolved hybrid. Note the economy: who needs diesel? PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

1.8h Active £23,295 10.6 112 1.8h Business + £25,995 10.6 112

99 99

LB FT

MPG

CO2

RATING

105 94.2 70 105 86.0 76

7/10 7/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4540x1760x1470, 45-litre fuel tank, 445/1120-litre boot, 1 engine, 4 trims, 4 models in total.

MIRAI Powered only by hydrogen and smugness, the Mirai is proof hydrogen cars are ready for the mainstream. Nearly. PRICE

Mirai FCV

0–62 MPH BHP

£66,000 9.6

111

152

LB FT

MPG

CO2

RATING

247

N/A

0

7/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4890x1815x1535, 5kg hydrogen tank, 361-litre boot, 1 powertrain, 1 trim, 1 model in total.

GT86 The best Toyota in donkeys (with a nod of thanks to Subaru). Light 'n' lithe coupe proves that 200bhp is enough. PRICE

2.0 Primo

£22,705

0–62 MPH BHP

7.7

140 200

FOR ALL THE FACTS

LB FT

MPG

151

36.2 180

CO2

RATING

9/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4240x1780x1430, 50-litre fuel tank, 245-litre boot, 1 engine, 4 trims, 4 models in total.

RAV4 Still a bit off the pace, despite a recent facelift. Petrol-electric hybrid’s a little like a cut-price Lexus RX. PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

2.5 Hybrid Bus’ £26,695 8.4

112

178

LB FT

MPG

CO2

155 56.5 115

RATING

5/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4570x1845x1660, 60-litre fuel tank, 410-litre boot, 3 engines, 4 trims, 9 models in total.

LAND CRUISER Happy in the hands of armed militia and jolly farmers from Lincolnshire. One of the most robust off-roaders ever. PRICE

3.0 D-4D Icon

0–62 MPH BHP

£48,405 11.7 109

171

LB FT

MPG

CO2

302 34.9 213

RATING

5/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4760x1885x1890, 87-litre fuel tank, 403/1695-litre boot, 1 engine, 3 trims, 3 models in total.

VAUXHALL TopGear on Vauxhall: Along with Ford, the bread and butter of British motoring. Thing is, Vauxhall forgets to put tasty fillings in.

TOYOTA TopGear on Toyota: Maker of many boring things. And the GT86. Which is so good, it almost makes up for the rest of ‘em.

ADAM They called it the Adam. They should have called it the Cheryl. Cute, but short of panache. Blame its upbringing.

AYGO Citroen C1 with added face fungus. Still cheap, still good around town. Now more capable elsewhere. PRICE

1.0 x-play 5d

VW Golf 1.0 BlueMotion Pricey but classless, and irritatingly good at everything it attempts.

1.0-litre engine isn’t as good as Ford’s or VW’s. Comfy, but the least engaging of the three to drive.

MODEL X

P90D

TEST 2

LB FT

PRICE

GROUP

Pricey in this company. Could argue it looks a bit staid alongside the swoopy Astra. We wouldn’t, though.

MODEL S PRICE

RATING

PRIUS

7/10

S-CROSS

£15,499 12.0

CO2

RATING

Euro NCAP n/a LxWxH in mm: 3995x1745x1470, 37-litre fuel tank, 320/756-litre boot, 2 engines, 2 trims, 4 models in total.

1.6 DDiS SZ3

57.6 114

98

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4330x1760x1475, 50-litre fuel tank, 435/1199-litre boot, 5 engines, 5 trims, 30 models in total.

0–62 MPH BHP

111

MPG

92

109

For people who want a Prius, but don’t want to be seen in a Prius. Possibly Britain’s worst driven car. Maybe.

Cheap and, thankfully, quite cheerful. Fivedoor only Baleno might look a bit odd, but delivers on the value front. PRICE

LB FT

11.1

AURIS

RATING

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 3850x1700x1510, 45-litre fuel tank, 213/562-litre boot, 2 engines, 4 trims, 10 models in total.

1.0T Boost SZ-T £12,999

0–62 MPH BHP

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 3890x1700x1510, 42-litre fuel tank, 347/768-litre boot, 4 engines, 4 trims, 11 models in total.

0–62 MPH BHP

121

£14,265

0–62 MPH BHP

£10,745 14.2 99

70

PRICE LB FT

70

MPG

CO2

68.9 95

RATING

7/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 3455x1615x1460, 35-litre fuel tank, 168-litre boot, 1 engine, 5 trims, 10 models in total.

1.4 100 Slam 1.0T Rocks Air 1.4T S

0–62 MPH BHP

£14,980 11.5 115 100 £17,625 9.9 121 115 £17,625 8.5 130 150

LB FT

MPG

CO2

96 53.3 125 125 56.5 115 162 47.9 139

RATING

7/10 6/10 6/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 3740x1680x1590, 45-litre fuel tank, 170/663-litre boot, 5 engines, 7 trims, 18 models in total.

FOR ALL THE FACTS AND STATS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EVERY CAR ON SALE IN THE UK GO TO TOPGEAR.COM/REVIEWS


ND STATS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EVERY CAR ON SALE IN THE UK GO TO TOPGEAR.COM/REVIEWS

TOP 7

Vauxhall revives Viva name, but only in the UK. Viva is called Karl elsewhere. Is quite cheap. Also quite cheerful.

1.0 SE

PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

£8,745

13.1 108

75

LB FT

70

MPG

CO2

62.8 104

RATING

6/10

POSH SUVS

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 3675x1595x1485, 32-litre fuel tank, 206/1013-litre boot, 1 engine, 2 trims, 3 models in total.

1

CORSA Lovely little 1.0-litre turbo, very refined and vastly improved all round. But it’s still a Vauxhall. Need we say more? PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

1.4 Sting 3d £9,745 14.9 101 75 1.0T 90 SE 5d £15,480 11.9 112 90 1.6T 205 VXR 3d £18,630 6.8 143 205

LB FT

MPG

CO2

96 55.4 118 122 65.7 104 180 37.7 174

RATING

6/10 6/10 6/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4020x1736x1479, 45-litre fuel tank, 285/1120-litre boot, 7 engines, 8 trims, 76 models in total.

ASTRA

Price £51,550 Specs 235bhp, 354lb ft, 0-62mph 7.4secs, VMax 137mph, 48.7mpg, CO2 152g/km

Old TG favourite becomes new TG favourite thanks to nut-and-bolt reboot. All-new platform is incredibly versatile, and seats seven with comparative ease.

2

PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

125 65.7 99 181 51.4 128 236 76.3 99

RATING

7/10 7/10 7/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4370x1871x1485, 48-litre fuel tank, 370/1210-litre boot, 8 engines, 5 trims, 41 models in total.

INSIGNIA

The large SUV to be seen in. Big Range Rover redefines luxury in the SUV class, to the point where it’s now a rival for the S-Class.

3

PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

170 325 320 25.7 249 137 170 295 60.1 124

RATING

6/10 6/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4830x1860x1530, 70-litre fuel tank, 530/1470-litre boot, 9 engines, 6 trims, 106 models in total.

VXR8

Little short of a transformation as the thuggish old RRS was replaced by one of the most multi-talented cars in the class. SDV6 is the one to have if you can stretch

4

6.2 V8 GTS

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

£55,500 4.9 155 584 545 18.5 363

RATING

7/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4940x1900x1470, 73-litre fuel tank, 495-litre boot, 1 engine, 1 trim, 1 model in total.

DATA IN NUMBERS: YOU RIPPER

5

MERIVA PRICE

We must be heretics – condoning a Porsche SUV, and a diesel one at that. But Porsche has the Cayenne nailed now –h it drives better than a Panamera.

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

9.9 122 136

236 64.2 116

MPG

CO2

RATING

7/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4290x1810x1620, 54-litre fuel tank, 400/1500-litre boot, 4 engines, 4 trims, 11 models in total.

6

There are many good little crossovers on sale. The Vauxhall Mokka isn’t one of them. Looks quite nice, though. PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

£17,524 £19,064

9.3 120 140 9.3 119 136

148 45.6 145 236 68.9 106

MPG

CO2

RATING

4/10 4/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4278x1777x1654, 54-litre fuel tank, 362/1372/663-litre boot, 3 engines, 5 trims, 17 models in total.

ZAFIRA TOURER

2.0 CDTi SRi

£25,555

0–62 MPH BHP

9.1

129 170

There may be something a bit generic about the latest X5, but fitted with the tri-turbo diesel engine it’s hard to have complaints. Mind-bending speed.

7

MERCEDES-BENZ GLS 350D AMG LINE Price £69,110 Specs 254bhp, 457lb ft, 0-62mph 7.8secs, VMax 137mph, 37.2mpg, CO2 199g/km

Who’d of thunk it? The words ‘Zafira’ and ‘desirable’ in the same sentence. Boomerang eyes are locked on S-Max... PRICE

BMW X5 M50D Price £65,240 Specs 381bhp, 545lb ft, 0-62mph 5.3secs, VMax 155mph, 42.8mpg, CO2 173g/km

MOKKA

1.4T 140 Tech 1.6 CDTi Tech

PORSCHE CAYENNE S DIESEL Price £65,495 Specs 385bhp, 626lb ft, 0-62mph 5.4secs, VMax 156mph, 35.3mpg, CO2 209g/km

Mini-MPV with rear suicide doors to ease child installation and ejection of drunks. Like a Black Cab, minus vomit.

LB FT

MPG

CO2

280 54.3 137

RATING

7/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4600x1850x1760, 65-litre fuel tank, 420/1420-litre boot, 5 engines, 5 trims, 22 models in total.

TopGear on Volkswagen: Quietly brilliant, thoroughly deserving of every accolade chucked its way. Up and Golf particular highlights.

UP A VW city car you want to own. Neat styling and packaging to shame Ikea’s finest, we like the Up. Recently facelifted. PRICE

1.0 Take 3d 1.0 TSI High 5d

GLS is quite big, but it’s mostly for Americans, so we’ll give it a pass. Great at cruising, massively capacious and leather-lined – surprisingly good.

0–62 MPH BHP

£8,995 14.4 100 £12,455 9.9 114

60 90

LB FT

MPG

70 118

64.2 101 60.1 108

CO2

RATING

8/10 8/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 3540x1640x1490, 35-litre fuel tank, 251/951-litre boot, 3 engines, 4 trims, 24 models in total.

POLO The Golf’s mini-me was facelifted for 2014. It’s safe and solid, and now has a (little) bit more soul. PRICE

1.0 S 3d 1.2 TSI M’tch 5d 1.8 TSI GTI 3d 1.4 TDI M’tch 5d

0–62 MPH BHP

£11,495 15.5 100 60 £14,705 10.8 114 90 £19,095 6.7 146 192 £15,770 12.9 108 75

LB FT

MPG

CO2

70 60.1 106 118 60.1 107 236 47.1 139 155 83.1 88

RATING

7/10 8/10 7/10 8/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 3970x1682x1462, 45-litre fuel tank, 280/952-litre boot, 9 engines, 8 trims, 32 models in total.

GOLF The best done better than ever. You need no other hatchback. So don’t waste your time looking. PRICE

1.4 TSI GT Ed 5d 2.0 GTI 5d 2.0 R 5d 1.6 TDI Match 5d 2.0 GTD 5d

LB FT

MPG

CO2

RATING

£24,870 8.2 134 150 184 £28,515 6.5 153 220 258 £31,840 5.1 155 300 280 £22,350 10.7 119 110 184 £27,975 7.5 143 184 258

0–62 MPH BHP

57.6 47.1 39.8 74.3 67.3

115 139 165 99 109

8/10 8/10 9/10 8/10 8/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4260x1800x1450, 50-litre fuel tank, 380/1270-litre boot, 13 engines, 9 trims, 48 models in total.

BEETLE A sportier Beetle? Does that make this a cockroach? Never mind, the retro VW now has a smattering of driver appeal. PRICE

1.4 TSI Sport

The last one had an image problem. This one doesn’t. Much better to drive than the old one, but not quite as clever inside as the Volvo. Dash is lovely, though.

→ Porsche 911 Turbo S max power 580bhp → Vauxhall VXR8 GTS max power 584bhp

1.6 CDTi Tech L’ £17,590

AUDI Q7 3.0 TDI 272 S LINE Price £54,540 Specs 268bhp, 443lb ft, 0-62mph 6.5secs, VMax 145mph, 47.9mpg, CO2 153g/km

No-nonsense Aussie saloon is back. TG cheers loudly. Particularly as it now has nearly 600bhp... Strewth. PRICE

RANGE ROVER SPORT SDV6 HSE DYNAMIC Price £67,900 Specs 310bhp, 517lb ft, 0-62mph 6.8secs, VMax 130mph, 40.4mpg, CO2 185g/km

The Vectra replacement that changed its name to avoid incrimination in past crimes. Good to drive, smart design.

2.8 T VXR SS £30,884 5.6 2.0 CDTi SRi ST £23,924 9.4

RANGE ROVER SDV8 VOGUE SE Price £89,750 Specs 344bhp, 546lb ft, 0-62mph 6.5secs, VMax 135mph, 33.6mpg, CO2 218g/km

Yes, yawn, it’s the new Astra. Trouble is, this one really takes the fight to the Focus. Onboard connectivity is superb.

1.0T Design £16,145 10.5 124 105 1.4T 150 SRi £19,045 7.8 134 150 1.6 CDTi Design £18,330 9.0 127 136

VOLVO XC90 D5 INSCRIPTION

VOLKSWAGEN

£22,760

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

8.7

185

48.7 134

126 150

CO2

RATING

7/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4640x1770x1480, 68-litre fuel tank, 510-litre boot, 5 engines, 4 trims, 20 models in total.

DATA IN NUMBERS: BARGAIN BEETLE → Entry-level Beetle £1,085 less than entry-level Golf

PASSAT The driver likes to pretend he’s an exec, when in truth he’s a rep that’s made his monthly bonus. Fine car, though. PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

1.6 TDI S £22,650 10.8 128 120 2.0 TDI S £23,775 8.7 137 150 2.0 TDI SCR GT £28,225 7.9 147 190

LB FT

MPG

CO2

185 70.6 105 251 70.6 106 295 68.9 107

RATING

7/10 7/10 7/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4767x1832x1456, 59/66-litre fuel tank, 586/1152-litre boot, 4 engines, 5 trims, 26 models in total.

CC Facelifted CC has dropped the Passat name, but not the underpinnings. Cheap, able alternative to the Merc CLS. PRICE

2.0 TDI 184 GT

£30,910

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

8.6

258 64.2 114

141

184

MPG

CO2

RATING

7/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 4800x1860x1420, 70-litre fuel tank, 532-litre boot, 4 engines, 2 trims, 5 models in total.

SCIROCCO Still great looking, but now resting on a platform two gens behind the Golf. Minor facelift isn’t enough to disguise this. PRICE

2.0 TSI 180 2.0 TSI 280 R 2.0 TDI 150

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

£23,065 7.4 140 180 207 47.1 148 £32,885 5.7 155 280 258 35.3 187 £23,730 8.6 134 150 199 67.3 109

RATING

7/10 8/10 6/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4256x1810x1406, 55-litre fuel tank, 312/1006-litre boot, 6 engines, 4 trims, 11 models in total.

FOR ALL THE FACTS AND STATS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EVERY CAR ON SALE IN THE UK GO TO TOPGEAR.COM/REVIEWS

VAUXHALL-VOLKSWAGEN

VIVA


VOLKSWAGEN-ZENOS

TOURAN

S90

New Touran sits on same MQB architecture as latest Golf. As before, a dull but capable way to ferry many people. PRICE

1.6 TDI SE

0–62 MPH BHP

£25,230 11.9

116

110

LB FT

MPG

CO2

185 64.2 116

RATING

6/10

TOP 1O CHEAPEST CONVERTIBLES

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4527x1814x1628, 58-litre fuel tank, 137/1857-litre boot, 5 engines, 4 trims, 11 models in total.

SHARAN

1

More VW MPV-ery, this time quite good. It’s comfortable, practical, seats seven easily and gets decent engines. PRICE

1.4 TSI 150 SE 2.0 TDI 150 SE

0–62 MPH BHP

£28,835 10.7 122 150 £30,465 10.3 TBA 150

LB FT

MPG

CO2

177 43.5 150 251 56.5 130

2

PRICE

0–62 MPH BHP

£28,005 9.3 127 150 £34,430 7.7 129 180

LB FT

MPG

CO2

251 58.9 125 236 38.2 170

3

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4486x1839x1632, 60-litre fuel tank, 615/1650-litre boot, 2 engines, 5 trims, 12 models in total.

If a large SUV can be inoffensive, this is it. Shares much with the Cayenne, except the price and cock-wafting image. PRICE

3.0 TDI SE 3.0 TDI R-Line

£43,900 £48,700

0–62 MPH BHP

8.7 7.3

Fiat 500C 1.2 Pop

MPG

CO2

128 204 332 42.8 173 140 262 373 42.8 174

RATING

4

6/10 7/10

Abarth 595C

DS 3 Cabrio 1. 6 BlueHDi Chic

£18,195 5

VOLVO

£18,475 6

Volvo finally pulls its finger out and gets serious about the premium hatchback. Now facelifted with an XC90 front end. 2.0 T2 Moment’ £20,255 9.2 118 122 2.0 D3 R-Des’ £25,345 7.9 130 150 2.0 D4 CC £26,405 7.3 130 190

CO2

162 51.4 127 236 74.3 99 295 70.6 104

RATING

TBA TBA TBA

7

8.1 7.1

130 154 143 190

Volkswagen Beetle Cabrio 1.2 TSI

LB FT

MPG

CO2

185 48.7 135 295 72.8 102

RATING

8

7.6

130 190

LB FT

MPG

CO2

RATING

295 62.8 117

6/10

XC90

2.0 D5 2.0 T6 2.0 T8

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

RATING

£46,250 7.4 137 228 347 49.6 149 £49,705 6.1 143 324 295 36.7 179 £60,455 5.3 140 406 295 104.6 99

9/10 9/10 9/10

TopGear on Vuhl: Thought up by a pair of Mexican brothers with a background in industrial design. 05 is a promising start.

05 PRICE

2.0T

£59,995

0–62 MPH BHP

LB FT

MPG

CO2

RATING

3.7

310

n/a

n/a

7/10

152 285

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 3718x1876x1120, 40-litre fuel tank, 70-litre boot, 1 engine, 1 trim, 1 model in total.

6/10 7/10

£19,545

LB FT

MPG

CO2

2.0 D4 Business £25,495 7.2 140 190 295 70.6 104 D6 Plug-in £50,175 5.8 143 220 325 155 48

DATA IN NUMBERS: LARGE CAPACITY → 120bhp V60 D2 engine size 2.0-litre → 190bhp V60 D4 engine size 2.0-litre

Volkswagen Golf Cabrio 1.2 TSI S

£22,880

RATING

7/10 7/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4628x1865x1484, 67-litre fuel tank, 430/1241-litre boot, 6 engines, 9 trims, 36 models in total.

ZENOS TopGear on Zenos: Upstart staffed by ex-Caterham execs. It shows – Ford-engined E10 is admirably well-executed.

9

Estate version of the S60, only Volvo insists it’s not actually an estate, but a ‘sportswagon’. It’s an estate, Volvo.

→ Vuhl 05 £59,995 → Zenos E10 S £29,995

Fiat 124 Spider 1.4 Classica

V60

0–62 MPH BHP

0–62 MPH BHP

DATA IN NUMBERS: PRICE POINTER

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4630x1860x1490, 67-litre fuel tank, 339-litre boot, 8 engines, 5 trims, 36 models in total.

PRICE

£34,360

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4630x1860x1490, 70-litre fuel tank, 495/1455-litre boot, 3 engines, 4 trims, 14 models in total.

At last, a BMW 3-Series rival that’s actually a 3-Series size. Good engines, nice interior, but no 3-Series to drive. 0–62 MPH BHP

8/10 8/10

Mid-size SUV stuffed with health and safety kit. It should come in fluoro yellow with a loud hailer as standard.

£19,495

S60

PRICE

RATING

Looks like a little British track thing. Isn’t. Mexican money, Italian design, Ford power. Good effort.

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4370x1857x1470, 62-litre fuel tank, 335/1032-litre boot, 7 engines, 7 trims, 87 models in total.

1.5 T3 Business £22,740 2.0 D4 Business £24,295

CO2

VUHL Mazda MX-5 1.5 SE

£18,495 MPG

MPG

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4950x2008x1776, 50/71-litre fuel tank, 397/1951-litre boot, 3 engines, 3 trims, 9 models in total.

V40 LB FT

LB FT

XC60

PRICE

Mini Convertible Cooper

TopGear on Volvo: Far removed from Volvo of old, and far more than just boxes on wheels. Even though they are boxy.

0–62 MPH BHP

0–62 MPH BHP

Everything we hoped it would be, and more besides. Superb safety systems, fantastic tech and practicality.

→ Price range: bottom to top of Touareg line £4,800

PRICE

8/10 8/10

DATA IN NUMBERS: SUPERB BOOT

2.0 D4 SE Lux

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4801x1940x1709, 85-litre fuel tank, 493/1555-litre boot, 2 engines, 3 trims, 5 models in total.

DATA IN NUMBERS: IN CLOSE RANGE

RATING

Euro NCAP n/a LxWxH in mm: 4936x1895x1475, 55-litre fuel tank, 723/1526-litre boot, 2 engines, 2 trims, 4 models in total.

PRICE

LB FT

CO2

→ Volvo V90 max luggage capacity 1,526 litres → Skoda Superb max luggage capacity 1,950 litres

£17,090

TOUAREG

MPG

2.0 D4 Moment’ £34,555 8.5 140 190 295 62.8 119 2.0 D5 Inscrip’ £44,055 7.2 149 235 354 57.6 129

RATING

7/10 7/10

LB FT

Big estates are back, and the V90 might just be our favourite. But we haven’t driven it in the UK yet, so we’ll get back to you…

£13,700

Smart-looking all-new Tiguan is bigger than the old car and now a much more able Discovery Sport alternative.

0–62 MPH BHP

V90 PRICE

TIGUAN

2.0 TDI SE Nav 2.0 TSI R-Line

Smart Fortwo Cabrio 1.0 71 Passion

7/10 7/10

Euro NCAP LxWxH in mm: 4850x1900x1720, 70-litre fuel tank, 300/2297-litre boot, 4 engines, 4 trims, 11 models in total.

PRICE

2.0 D4 Moment’ £32,555 8.2 143 190 295 64.2 116 2.0 D5 Inscrip’ £42,055 7.0 149 235 354 58.9 127 Euro NCAP n/a LxWxH in mm: 4963x1895x1443, 55-litre fuel tank, 500-litre boot, 2 engines, 2 trims, 4 models in total.

£13,265

RATING

Think XC90, only a bit lower and without the two extra seats. Much Swedish coolness thrown in for free.

E10 What do you get when former Caterham chiefs leave to design their own car? Um, a 21st century Caterham. PRICE

E10 S

10

Vauxhall Cascada 1.4T SE

£25,340

LB FT

MPG

CO2

RATING

£29,995 4.0 145 250 295

0–62 MPH BHP

n/a

n/a

8/10

Euro NCAP n/a, LxWxH in mm: 3800x1870x1130, n/a-litre fuel tank, n/a-litre boot, 1 engine, 2 trims, 2 models in total.

DATA IN NUMBERS: 10 OUT OF 10 → Zenos E10 kerbweight 700kg → Hyundai i10 1.0 kerbweight 933kg

FOR ALL THE FACTS AND STATS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EVERY CAR ON SALE IN THE UK GO TO TOPGEAR.COM/REVIEWS


o

N

11 FIAT MULTIPLA

he Matra Murena died in 1983 meaning that fans of three-abreast front seating had nothing to waste their money on, until the arrival of the Fiat Multipla some 15 years later. And when it did turn up, a long-overdue replacement for the original (and unbelievably cute) 600 Multipla of 1956, everyone promptly forgot the two-rows-of-three layout as they were too busy gawping at the thing. The ugliness of the Multipla trod that fine line the Ford Scorpio so 238"#0='",0&%83 4&340&'&087366='36,8,%2|81&"28+&=#39(+8,8 of course, but they did point. And often roared with laughter. Lots of little round headlights dotted the front end, and it appeared to have had the glassy superstructure of a Popemobile plonked onto the lower body of a supermini. It was daft, silly to look at and utterly brilliant inside. 7032("7=39;&6&2|88+&1,%%0&4"77&2(&6,28+&'632863;96& you had the best view out, but every time the driver changed gear =39(38&0#3;&%,28+&7831"$+3%"=,8;390%2|8#&"2,779&"7,8 would have been fitted with a paddly gearbox, but back then the passenger flinched every time the driver went for second, fourth or â&#x20AC;&#x201C; double flinch â&#x20AC;&#x201C; reverse.

T

Behind, though, everyone was having a high old time of things â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the back seats all slid, tilted, reclined and removed individually, and, if you %,%+3,$/8+&1"00398=39|%',2%8+&908,40"7+368&68+"28+&,"8 Bravo it was based on â&#x20AC;&#x201C; could swallow more tip-run paraphernalia than the Mercedes-Benz E-Class wagon of the time. Seats back in, the low scuttle meant the kids could see out happily (the other side of this is they looked quite vulnerable...), and, if they got bored and there was no one being elbowed in the stomach at that moment, that centre front seat folded down so they could once again 7&&.978+3;19$+8+&",6:&2878"$/033/&%0,/&"63#38|7+&"% In 2004, Fiat ballsed the whole thing up by facelifting the Multipla and giving it a sloping bonnet. Now what were people going to do when they were driving along at night and forgot what colour their $"6;"7w6&:,3970=8+&=|%.978#&&2"#0&83'0,41",2#&"132"2% the spot lights would illuminate the bonnet. No more. It was the end of an era. So, yes, the original was fugly, but it was also clever, 2&"8;&004"$/"(&%"2%"#3:&"0092,59&2%8+&6&|7238 enough of that about these days.

DEFENDING THE INDEFENSIBLE SINCE 2015

18 6

SEPTEMBER 2016 

TOPGEAR.COM

WORDS: OLLIE MARRIAGE IMAGE: MANUFACTURER

8&00=39 ,8|7"'9896& $0"77,$9=8+&1 23; ;+,0& 8+&=|6& (3,2($+&"4


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