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april 2012 £4.40 issue 597

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the beast from bentley! SUV shocker laid bare

0 in 2

new golf gti >REVEALED

+ its razor-sharp new rivals: Focus ST and Astra VXR

> Lambo! Ferrari! Jaguar! Range Rover! This spring’s 15 hottest new cars a p r i l 2 0 1 2 issue 597 £4.40 www.carmagazine.co.uk

Formula 1 2012: 10-page preview HILL & COULTHARD ON JENSON vs LEWIS, KIMI, & SKY vs BBC

mitsubishi evo at 20: legends reunited, yours from £2k


20 ye ars of the mitsubishi e vo

Evolution of a rally icon

_ Yo u s a y y o u w a n t a n E v o l u t i o n … For 20 years the humble Lancer fused road with rally, becoming harder, faster, rawer and madder with each glorious evolution. Now, the reunion… Words: Chris Chilton I Photography: John Wycherley & Stuart Collins

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‘I DROVE CuRRENT FERRARIS TO GET A FEEL FOR THEIR CHARACTER. I WAS IMPRESSED. BuT THE FF WAS ONLY 60-70% FINISHED WHEN I CAME ONBOARD’ markku alén, rally legend

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Not because you’re likely to drive your FF like this, but because you need to know you could if you wanted to


extreme test

Ferrari FF

it back to make himself heard above the shriek. Ferrari’s recent fourseat V12 GTs have tended to sound slightly demure, but not this one. It’s suitably hushed at a cruise, but channels the perfect blend of intake and exhaust music into the cabin under load. ‘I first became involved with the project in 2010,’ Alén says in clipped, Finnish-accented English as he winds the pace down to around 70%. ‘I hadn’t driven a Ferrari for years, so I drove the current cars to get a feel for their character. I was impressed, but the FF was only 60-70% finished when I came onboard.’ If you’d told me 30 minutes earlier that I’d soon be clocking 80mph on little better than sheet ice, I’d never have believed you. But a couple of laps in, that’s exactly the speed I’m hitting on the long, undulating

straights. And of course, 80mph on ice with trees whizzing past the side windows fees like a whole lot more from the driver’s seat. The GT of the range it may be, but holy cow this thing is fast. And it’s little wonder, since its 6.3-litre V12 pumps out 651bhp and 504lb ft of torque, making it as powerful, and even gruntier, than the fabled Enzo hypercar. Fair dos, the Enzo weighed 1365kg compared with 1880kg for the FF, but that’s still an awful lot of poke for a coupe to take. And far from being an unbalanced pig, the FF feels deliciously manoeuvrable. Some of the test reports generated at the launch last year seemed to bemoan a slight lack of adjustability, a side-effect of having so much traction at both ends. But out here, I can’t imagine it feeling better. Just as Ferrari intended, the character is very much that of a traditional 4

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I ’ M A B ENTLEY D ES I G N ER , G ET M E O UT O F H ER E The man who did Porsche’s triumphant Cayenne now runs Bentley, and plans the same trick again to woo China, Russia and, presumably, the blind? WOrDs: Ben Oliver & Ben Pulman I PhOtOgraPhY: John Wycherley

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in the frame

Bentley’s Range Rover

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FIRST DRIVES FEATURING: Peugeot 208 / BMW M550d xDrive / Lotus Evora S IPS / Hyundai i30 / Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet EDITED BY BEN PULMAN


Peugeot 208 Supermini lightens up with an injection of sharpness and fun. Is Peugeot back in the game? By Tim Pollard

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SPECIFICATIONS PEUGEOT 208 1.6 e-HDi ALLURE 3DR ENGINE I 1560cc four-cylinder TD, 110bhp @ 3600rpm, 199lb ft @ 1750rpm TRANS I Six-speed manual, front-wheel drive 0-62MPH I 9.7sec TOP SPEED I 118mph MPG I 74.3 C02 I 99g/km SUSPENSION I MacPherson strut front, torsion beam rear LENGTH/WIDTH/ HEIGHT I 3965/1739/1460mm WEIGHT I 1090kg ON SALE I June 2012 VERDICT ★★★★

STUART COLLINS

F DAMON ALBARN was right and modern life is rubbish, perhaps we can blame the surfeit of choice that now deluges our lives. My television now has 95 channels and CAR’s GBU data pages list 24 different superminis on sale. Rewind to the mid-’80s and there were but four terrestrial stations and around half a dozen small cars. Life was simpler back then. It’s back to that golden age of small cars, unencumbered by multiple choice and those pesky Korean imports, that Peugeot is harking with its new 208. And in doing so, of course, there’s the small matter of the fabled 205 to live up to. It’s not just the feisty GTi that weighs heavy on minds in Paris; the cooking versions sold in extraordinary numbers, notching up 5.3 million sales between 1983 and 1998. The 206 and 207 haven’t exactly been flops (the former actually outsold the 205) but they never achieved the kind of critical acclaim enjoyed by Gérard Welter’s masterpiece. So the newcomer has been given an extreme workover. Like so many small cars, Peugeot’s new hatch has shrunk – to the tune of 7cm shorter, a range average of 115kg less heft to lug around and a 34g/km drop in CO2. Bravo. That svelte constitution is matched by one of Peugeot’s snazzier designs of late, an indication that this is a company on the rebound. It’s fast-forwarding away from the wilderness years – the something-oh-seven cars which left us cold. Newer models like the RCZ and 208 suggest that Peugeot is veering

THE STEERING WHEEL IS SO TEENY-TINY YOU FIND YOURSELF PLAYING F1 DRIVER WITH QUICK WRIST-FLICKS THROUGH CORNERS APRIL 2012 I CARMAGAZINE.CO.UK

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INSIDER

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THE EURO CRISIS HOW EUROPE’S CAR INDUSTRY WILL HEAL ITS WOES P.32 AUDI’S MOTORBIKE DREAM WHY DUCATI IS IN AUDI’S SIGHTS P.34

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Edited by Georg Kacher

Four of Europe’s biggest car makers lost a combined £1 billion last year What are these bosses going to do about it? Gavin Green reports

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M AG A Z INE

CAR’S FIRST iPAD APP IS HERE!

It’s

FREE! Downlo from iTuandeit app store s

INTERACTIVE VERSION OF CAR’S BMW BOOK NOW AVAILABLE Download from iTunes app store. Search for The A-Z of BMW in 2012

Stuffed with extra features: VIDEO: exclusive M5, 1-series M and i car videos MORE PICTURES: extended image galleries MORE CONTENT: from circuit maps to concept cars to art cars

WIN A YEAR DRIVING BMWS FREE!


loving it!

The new Honda NSX

TWO GOOD ThE NEXT GTI

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Photography: Jamie Lipman

ThE yEARWhy OF ThE REASONS hOT hACTh WON’T WALK IT

Words: Ben Oliver I Photography: Greg Pajo

Senna famously fettled the original NSX 22 years ago, and it duly scared socks offinFerrari. Nowbut Honda’s supercar legend is back The new Golfthe GTI lands May 2013, it’ll have its work cut out to

MOTOR FOReCAST/R VARICAk

beat this summer’s Focus ST and Astra VXR. Ben Barry explains why

VW, FORd ANd Vauxhall’s hot-hatch rivalry dates back to the very early ’80s and spans multiple generations, and right now we’re on the cusp of the next chapter: over the next year all three brands will field fresh contenders in the shape of Golf GTI, Focus ST and Astra VXR. If you still want your performance kick but you’ve just had your performance bonus snuffed out, this matters. The basic recipe hasn’t changed much over three decades – these hatches are still front-drive four pots with decent helpings of practicality – but the technology packaged within has changed drastically compared with even a few years ago. That’s why we’ve interviewed the key people behind these projects to discover just what’s in store for hot-hatch fans. How’s the Golf lost weight? What does Ford’s first global performance programme mean for the Focus ST? What’s got us so excited about the VXR’s differential and suspension (yes, really)? It’s all here…4 APRIL 2012 I CARMAGAZINE.CO.UK 65 MARCH 2012 I CARMAGAZINE.CO.UK 109


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first drive

Mercedes-Benz SL500

On days like these

Imagine this is your winter, these roads your commute and your car actually massages you as you drive along. Ben Barry lives the Mercedes SL dream PHOtOGrAPHY: Greg Pajo

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18.03.12

F1 2012 PREVIEW 25.11.12

GETTY IMAGES

What next for Lewis? Can Kimi re-discover his form? How will new rules shape this season? We ask the BBC’s David Coulthard and Sky’s Damon Hill the key questions of 2012 FORMULA ONE is back, with 12 teams, 20 races and an unprecedented six world champions on the grid. The new cars have been built to a set of lightly tweaked – but significant – new rules, and during winter testing we learnt that the front-runners are reliable: the top five teams regularly racked up 130 laps in a day, so we go to Melbourne for the season-opener on 18 March knowing that performance, not breakages, will be the decider. Seb Vettel seeks his third straight title, but he’ll have to fight for it. Jenson and Lewis are quietly confident; Fernando Alonso is bullish (when is he not?), as is Vettel’s team-mate Mark Webber. What of returning champion Kimi Räikkönen? He was fastest at the final test in Barcelona. It’s all shaping up to be a classic. There’s also another key rivalry this year, that of the BBC and Sky TV and commentators David Coulthard and Damon Hill. The pair, once team-mates at Williams, will be doing their best to stop you switching over to their adversary’s channel in 2012. We talk to them about the key talking points of the season ahead…  INTERVIEW: Tom Clarkson I ILLUSTRATION: Andrew Franklin

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THE TRUTH ABOUT LOTUS CRASHES

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February 1971 Spare a thought for the Lotus F1 drivers of the ’60s and ’70s. In the 13 years before this article, four had died – Jochen Rindt, Gary Hocking, Ricardo Rodriguez and Alan Stacey. Mechanical failure was common: the shot shows Graham Hill surveying his wrecked Lotus 49 after his aerofoil collapsed, while Mike Taylor successfully sued Lotus after steering failure caused him to crash in practice for the 1960 Belgian GP. ‘Are Lotuses too fragile?’ we asked. ‘Does Chapman push drivers too hard?’

INTERVIEW: DEREK BELL

November 1985 At home with the 44-year-old Porsche sportscar driver, just weeks after Manfred Winkelhock and Stefan Bellof had died in World Endurance Championship races. ‘A racing driver’s life is very hard for his family, but it’s very hard to stop doing something you enjoy as much as I’m enjoying racing,’ said Bell. ‘I’ve had a bit of success… and people are offering me quite a lot of money to do various things… That’s hard to throw away when you can look back on lots of really lean times.’

FOREST FIREPOWER

February 1986 On the cusp of the amazing Group B rally cars being outlawed, Gavin Green drove the Metro 6R4 on road and stage. ‘The car feels just what it is: a Metro with the power of a Ferrari quattrovalve V8, the traction of a Quattro and the strength of a Land Rover,’ said Green.

THE PRIDE AND PASSION OF ENZO FERRARI

70s

August 1977 We spent two and a half fascinating hours with il commendatore in the summer of ’77. ‘Moss was perhaps the most complete driver I’ve ever known,’ he said, while ‘Nuvolari flirted with death in every race.’ Most striking was his attitude to sponsors. ‘I accept sponsors who bring something to racing… but cigarettes and prophylactics are just prostitution… their arrogant signs take away stands and block the spectators’ view.’

80s

90s

50 YEAR S O F

Motor racing has always been in CAR’s DNA. Here are a few of our

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LAST WEEKEND OF THE CHAMPION July 1994 CAR photographer Dario Mitidieri was on assignment in the Williams team’s pit on the weekend Ayrton Senna died. His stark images documented the last weekend of the champion.

LA 25EME HEURE DU MANS

I LOVE THIS PLACE, I LOVE FOOTBALL, BUT I ALWAYS KNEW I’D BE A RALLY DRIVER’

April 2000 Every wannabee footballer needs a plan B. It just so happened that Carlos Sainz’s plan B was the world rally championship. We took him to Real Madrid, scene of his football trial aged 16, and discussed the wisdom of pairing up again with Colin McRae at Ford, after the teammate’s tempestuous time at Subaru.

August 1998 When the racing stopped, this is what happened at La Sarthe.

WRITER PILOT

June 2000 It’s pretty difficult to put the thrill of driving a Formula 1 car into words. Who’s good at words, we wondered. How about novelist Iain Banks? He might be able to do it…

PRO CELEBRITY GULF

May 2006 Gavin Green joined a grid of celebrities and racers in Bahrain: Jay Kay, Steve Redgrave, Bruno Senna, Nick Mason, Rick Parfitt, Martin Brundle and soul singer John Legend, who could ‘only drive auto’. Green paired with rally driver David Gillanders who was recovering from a triple heart bypass. They finished fifth; Garth Tander and Steve Redgrave won, Legend didn’t.

THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH

August 1999 Mark Walton takes in the Indy 500, the largest single-day sporting event in the world, and a great excuse to ask a lady, over a loud hailer, to bare her breasts.

00s

MOTORSPORT

favourite tales, but we could write a book on this stuff. Hang on… APRIL 2012 I CARMAGAZINE.CO.UK

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little test

Fiat Panda vs VW Up

up latin Words: Anthony ffrench-Constant I Photography: Mark Fagelson

It’s generally bad news for rivals when VW enters any market, so the new Up city car ought to strike fear into Fiat’s new Panda. Does it?

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BMW M5 by Ben Barry

HROUGH NO FAULT OF ITS own, life with the M5 got off to the worst possible start: a nail punctured a front tyre at 2pm the day before I was due to leave at 5am for last month’s group test. Only press-fleet M5s were in the UK back then; calls to local tyre depots confirmed none had the Michelin Pilot Super Sport we needed. A fraught call to BMW PR followed, and they rapidly dispatched a front tyre to my door. ‘It’ll be there by 8pm,’ they promised. But I still needed to get the car home. Step one was to get the emergency tyre foam out – there’s no spare wheel, nor even a jack or wheel brace these days – before it went dark. I attached the foam to its motorised pump and fired it in, and within a few minutes the tyre was inflated. Step two was to get to a ‘mushroom patch’ tyre repair. This took about an hour and cost £20. Step three was trickier: finding a mobile tyre-fitter who’d switch a tyre late at night. Luckily, I remembered seeing a van in my hometown with a distinctive AirTek logo. ‘They do mobile tyre changing!’ I thought. I called, explained my predicament and – yeeees! – they agreed to help. Phew, group test back on. Lucky I wasn’t Joe Public, though!

T

Ups: Getting the tyre fixed Downs: Having it punctured in the first place LOGBOOK BMW M5 Price £73,040 As tested £82,985 Miles this month 1330 Total miles 6469 Our mpg I 19.6 Official mpg 28.5 Costs £60 plus replacement tyre from BMW Month’s fuel £438.38

Follow me on Twitter @IamBenBarry

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OURCARS

BMW 1M by Chris Chilton GOODBYE

I

Ups: Forget the turbo debate, this is an M-car through and through Downs: Lacks that throaty bellow. And there aren’t enough tyres in the world

T’S HARD TO BELIEVE NOW, but some of us were a bit worried about the whole 1M thing. We loved the idea of a baby M car, but when BMW tossed us the keys to YH11 FXC it wasn’t exactly a screaming four-pot-powered successor to the E30 M3. It certainly looked the part, but what was that on the dash? A 7k redline? Someone seemed to have mistakenly fitted the rev counter from a 116i, and according to the spec sheet there was something called a turbocharger under the bonnet. Two of them in fact. Just what sort of M-car was this? Well 18,000 miles later, it’s clear that the cheapest M car of all, is actually one of the best. It’s a back-to-basics Motorsport coupe with none of the gadgets that seem to have literally weighed down some of its

bigger brothers, such as our M5 long-termer. You get M3 suspension and brakes, hence a wider track, and those correspondingly bulging arches, plus the all-important M-differential instead of the 135i’s pretend, ESP-based diff. But the dampers are of the old-fashioned passive variety, the sole gearbox a six-speed manual with a change so slick you can’t imagine anyone ever pining for the M3’s optional dual-clutch M-DCT transmission. Whether you prefer the 1M’s torqueheavy turbo’d six – lifted from the Z4 35iS – to the M3’s more frenetic, more charismatic but less flexible pukka Motorsport 4.0-litre V8, is down to personal taste. Certainly the 1M’s not much to listen to, its fury largely muted by the blowers. What noise the 1M does generate is mostly

a droney exhaust boom that can start to gnaw on long journeys for anyone stuck in the modest back seats. But it’s definitely not slow. According to the spec sheet, the M3 is a tenth swifter to 62mph, at 4.9sec, but here’s the reality check: while your M3 driver is rowing around in his ’box trying to find the right cog to get the engine stoked for a punchy overtake, the 1M has already sailed off on a wave of torque. Because while the M3’s V8 puts out 79bhp more than the 1M’s 335bhp six, it delivers 74lb ft less torque, doesn’t spread its grunt as evenly and is bolted to a 235mm longer, 85kg lardier car. You really feel that weight saving on the road, but original keeper Jethro didn’t think it was quite as much fun as the M3 he ran previously. The more miles the rest of us

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597 April CAR magazine  

New Golf GTi vs Focus ST vs Astra VXR. F1 10 page preview. Springs hottest 15 cars. Bentley SUV shocker. Mitsubishi Evo at 20! Legends reuni...

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