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DRIVEN: BMWÕS GOLF GTI & 328i TOURING, AUDIÕS QUICK Q5

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Enzo pace, Jag grace: our ballistic first drive

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SEPTEMBER 2012 £4.40 ISSUE 602

FERRARI F12

NEW RANGE ROVER 14 AR

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reasons why Britain’s 4x4 will rule the world

SEPTEMBER 2012 I S S U E 6 0 2 £4 .4 0

WWW.CARMAGAZINE.CO.UK

HOT HATCH SHOOTOUT Twingo RS vs Swift Sport vs 500 Abarth RALLYING WITH VW The plan to beat Loeb? Steal his team

BRILLIANT USED BUYS

SUPERCARS WITH SIX-FIGURE SAVINGS


First Drives Featuring: Twingo vs Swift vs Abarth 500 SS / Volvo S60 Polestar / BMW 328i Touring / Skoda Rapid / Audi SQ5

EDITED BY: ben pulman

RENUALT TWINGO RENAULTSPORT 133 LoVE Its high-revving sweet spot HATE Sado-masochistic ride NoTE To RENAuLT Why the van-sized steering wheel? NoTE To SELF Who needs ďŹ llings? 38

CARMAGAZINE.Co.uk I september 2012


Twingo Renaultsport 133 vs Suzuki Swift Sport & Abarth 500 SS

Pocket rockets Size isn’t everything! But can this tiny trio really satisfy a keen driver? By Steve Moody

FIAT 500 ABARTH SS LoVE that turbo engine HATE that terrible ride NoTE To FIAT £18k?!? NoTE To SELF buy three mk5 Golf GtIs instead

SUZUKI SWIFT SPORT LoVE Operating this far under the radar HATE Nobody noticing NoTE To SuZukI pump it up, guys! NoTE To SELF Admit it, you’d buy one

electric windows. Cup spec doesn’t mean the twingo gets stripped down. After the lairy assault of the twingo, the suzuki swift sport is buttoned-up and inhibited. there are a couple of exhausts, but otherwise some fairly uninspiring alloys, a subtle rear spoiler and some fog lamps complete a look that can only be described as demure. Let’s hope there’s a little more kinkiness when it gets going… What you do get with the swift sport, though, is kit – and lots of it. Generally, when marketing types start acting like professional buckaroo players and hanging standard stuff such as bluetooth, keyless entry, auto lights, xenons and mp3 compatibility on a car, alarm bells should ring because it means they’ve got a guilty secret about shortcomings elsewhere. but on the face of it, a 134bhp 1.6-litre engine with uprated variable intake system, six-speed gearbox and discs front and rear suggest they’ve not ignored the mechanicals, either. We probably know virtually all there is to know about the Abarth 500 ss by now. It’s been three years since Fiat, in exchange for £2500, first offered to take a standard Abarth, upgrade the car’s 1.4-litre turbocharged engine power to 160bhp by the use of a remapped eCU and new air filter, as well as adding uprated brakes and springs front and rear, along with unique 17-inch wheels. You’d have to be a sado-masochist to live with the twingo. Its devilishly hard suspension batters your body, the tyre roar echoes through the cabin even at slow speeds, the drivetrain whines incessantly on lift-off and the engine produces the sort of unappealling industrial noise you might expect from a cement factory. 

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JAMIE LIPMAN

HIS BRITISH summer has predominantly been about three things: sporting prowess, incessant rain and cute little things begging to be given a good spanking. In which case, these three cars fit the bill perfectly. the twingo renaultsport 133, suzuki swift sport and Fiat 500-based Abarth 500 ‘essesse’ are all sold by their respective makers as cars that offer decent value, compact dimensions and the ability to expose the driver to a more thrilling world of squirty acceleration, nippy handling and fun, without too much fear. shame, then, that we’re attempting this group test in the face of an unending conveyor belt of rain under a sky that’s, ahem, 50 shades of grey. but with all entrants front-wheel drive, on relatively skinny tyres and pocketfuls (rather than bucketfuls) of power, they should still prove pretty entertaining. the twingo is a heavily refreshed version of the previous car, although mostly it’s surface gloss as those wise Frenchmen at renaultsport have chosen not to change its saucy underwear, which means stiffer dampers, trick exhaust manifold, wider track and quicker rack. the 131bhp naturally aspirated 1.6 motor remains, as does the five-speed ’box, which might be a gear light. renault’s new, beaky ‘Angry bird’ nose makes an appearance on the twingo and, with four lamps at the front and a lower blade redolent of the Alpine concept, it certainly is a funky, purposeful little thing. Our twingo comes with the optional £700 Cup chassis which features still stiffer springs, while all models – Cup or not – get bluetooth, cruise control and speed limiter as well as air con and


reasons why the new Range Rover will rule the world

Lighter yet bigger, faster yet more efficient, more reliable yet cleaner than a Prius? Pure XXX

CARMAGAZINE.Co.uk I XXXXXXXX 20XX


cover story

New Range Rover

Words: Ben Pulman

he Range RoveR. It’s legendary, the most significant 4x4 of all time. And Land Rover has completely reinvented it. The styling might be gently evolutionary, but what lies beneath is a genuine revolution: it’s the world’s first aluminium SUV, weighing 420kg less than its predecessor. It will be better onroad and off-road as a result, faster and more efficient too, and inside, the peerless cabin has been further improved with Bentley-beating quality and S-class levels of legroom. CAR has been shown the new Range Rover (codenamed L405) in Land Rover’s studios by design director and chief creative officer Gerry McGovern, and we’ve compiled a full dossier on everything you need to know about this new fourth-generation icon. It stands to be the greatest Range Rover ever, ready to capitalise on the upper echelons of an SUV market that will grow by 40% by 2020. And Land Rover’s biggest and best will need to be awesome with the likes of Aston Martin and Lamborghini readying their own luxury utility vehicles too… 4

T hype, or could this be the greatest car ever made?

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DRIVEN

Ferrari F12berlinetta

NEW BALLS, PLEASE

It’s got 730bhp. It’s faster than an Enzo. Time to man-up for Ferrari’s epic F12 WORDS: Ben Barry I PHOTOGRAPHY: Mark Fagelson


THE CAR INTERVIEW

Frank Williams

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Chevy Camaro vs Nissan 370Z

Chevrolet to

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AMERICA FLEXES ITS MUSCLE AT JAPAN

import 200 new Camaro muscle cars into the UK. Nissan’s europhile roadster lies in wait…

Words: Ben Barry I Photography: Jamie Lipman SEPTEMBER 2012 I CARMAGAZINE.Co.uk

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NEXT MONTH CAR’S 50th BIRTHDAY ISSUE


BIGG 5 EST 0 EVER ISSU E LE B RA CE

IN

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NG 50

YEARS

62

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OF THE PAST 50 YEARS ON SALE 19 SEPTEMBER


THE CAR INTERVIEW

Frank Williams

THE TEAM MANAGER

THE CO-DRIVER

Francois Xavier Demaison, veteran of touring cars, F1 and WRC, working with Loeb. ‘I wrote a book on how to build this Polo!’

Julien Ingrassia, has been navigating for Ogier since 2006, and followed him from Citroën. His pace notes are key to success

Loeb is the greatest rally driver of all time, an eight-time winner of the WRC with Citroën. Now Volkswagen is going rallying, hoping to beat Loeb in a Polo driven by his protégé… WORDS: Ben Barry XXX

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PHOTOGRAPHY: Jamie Lipman

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THE CAR INTERVIEW

Frank Williams

THE NEXT CHAMPION? Sebastien Ogier, driver spotted by Loeb but too good to be number two. ‘I don’t just want to beat Loeb, I want to beat everybody.’

THE CAR WRC Polo with 1.6-litre turbo four-pot, four-wheel drive, six-speed sequential gearbox. Podiums in year one, victories in year two?

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Cover heroes for family car money

FERRARI 575M TODAY: £45,000 IN 2002: £162,000 SAVING: £117,000

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These exotic supercars were the stars of CAR magazine covers ten years ago. Unattainable dreams back then, but borderline affordable now. Dare you?

BENTLEY ARNAGE T TODAY: £29,000 IN 2002: £167,000 SAVING: £138,000


bUying UseD

4 supercar temptations

PORSCHE 911 (996) TURBO TODAY: £25,000 IN 2003: £88,000 SAVING: £63,000

LAMBORGHINI GALLARDO TODAY: £60,000 IN 2003: £115,000 SAVING: £55,000

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words: Chris Chilton

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photography: Barry Hayden

odAy’s NEwspApER is tomorrow’s fish-andchip wrapper, the old saying goes. But what about cars and, in particular, the stuff we dreamt about a decade ago? In the process of gearing up for CAR’s 50th birthday celebrations we’ve been gorging ourselves on back issues and thinking again about our early post-Millennial cover stars. Too old for cover space now, too new for classic status, the cars we’ve gathered together here were once the preserve of Premiership footballers and lottery winners. Today, they’re as thrilling to drive as they ever were, the only difference being that depreciation has decimated their values, leaving them tantalisingly accessible to pub footballers and scratchcard winners. Buying a car like this is only half the story though. Repair and maintenance costs never fall to the same extent as list price, so you’ve got to be prepared for the occasional big bill. Club GT, owners of three of the cars pictured, can testify to that. An £8k gearbox swap and £5k+ cylinder head rebuild? They’ve been there, have the financial scars to prove it, and are perfectly placed to offer some salient buyer tips to try to save your wallet from the same fate. Turn the page and prepare to be seriously tempted… 4 SEPTEMBER 2012 I CARMAGAZINE.Co.uk

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driven

BMW M135i

The hoT haTch, reloaded

With the explosive 1M BMW exceeded the stated dose on the 1-series bottle. Lessons learned, here’s its perfect prescription for a hot hatch words: Chris Chilton I Photography: Mark Fagelson XXX

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AluE foR MoNEy isn’t usually BMW’s thing: this is a company that used to charge extra for a radio, ‘to give customers the choice’. But even at £30k this M135i is an awful lot of 1-series for the money. Trust me, it’s a modest fee for a 316bhp rear-drive rocket that’s about to turn the hot-hatch market, if not quite our memory of the fabled 1M, on its head. The M135i is not a successor to the orgasmically entertaining 1M, conceptually or dynamically. That was a BMW M3 masquerading as a 1-series coupe, hiding its bigger brother’s brakes and suspension under arches wider than a sailor’s bell bottoms. The M135i though, is a more conventionally uprated version of the latest 1-series hatch introduced last year. It is also the most affordable of BMW’s new M Performance

range, a collection of tweaked Beemers designed to bridge the gap between Munich’s organic granary bread and unsalted butter cars, and the M-mobiles proper. Almost as wide as it was long, the 1M looked like Hervé ‘Nick Nack’ Villechaize after a summer spent pumping iron between series of Fantasy Island. The M135i treads a more conservative path. Based on a new three-door shell, it’s not totally devoid of muscle tone, the bulging rear quarter panel shared with its lesser siblings drawing the eye to the rear driven wheels; the gaping front air intakes, standard 18in double-spoke wheels and black section of rear bumper suggesting that you might actually notice that rear-driveness from behind the wheel. But those insect eyes and canine skull profile mean it’s purposeful rather than pretty. 4 SEPTEMBER 2012 I CARMAGAZINE.Co.uk

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off-road icon

Mercedes G63 AMG

MISSILE SHED The Mercedes G63 aMG accelerates like a supercar but corners like a defender. Which is exactly why Chris Chilton loves it PHOTOGRAPHY: Greg Pajo 126

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OURCARS

The CAR fleet this month bids extremely reluctant farewells to the redoubtable VW Touareg and jolly useful Seat Alhambra, but there’s a brand new Mazda CX-5 to perk us up. We’ve had a racy month – our Lotus Evora went to Le Mans, the BMW M5 went to the Nürburgring, our Kia Sportage towed a classic Escort to a rally event and the Jaguar XF spent five hours not getting to the British Grand Prix…


VW Touareg by Chris Chilton GOODBYE

Ups: 22k miles and one year in a great family wagon Downs: Struggling to imagine my next car being as satisfying

ND SO ends 12 months in the world’s best-kept SUV secret. Despite the slightly perilous global financial climate, LOGBOOK VW TOUAREG 3.0 BMW sold 5459 X5s in 2011, and Range Rover over V6 TDI SE 7000 Sports. Yet only 2500 of the 179,290 cars VW sold were Price £43,290 Touaregs. Live with one for a year, and that doesn’t seem fair. As tested £49,920 Powered by the gutsier of two available diesels, our 242bhp Miles this month Altitude TDI was quick (I recorded 6.9sec to 60mph on our VBox) 2077 Total miles 22,300 and tolerably economical, managing mid-30s mpg. The big surprise Our mpg 32.1 though, was just how much fun it was to drive, thanks to accurate, Official mpg 39.2 perfectly weighted power steering and great body control. How Costs £85 (valet by the original 19in Bridgestones looked so good at the end of our waxonwaxoff.uk.com) Fuel this month tenure is a mystery, because the thing invited vigorous driving like £418 no cooking SUV before it. Only over serious vertical undulations, or when getting on the brakes hard, was I reminded that the dampers were trying to strap down 2153kg of SUV. Some CAR staffers thought the impeccably screwed together cabin a bit short on flair. Maybe, but the upside was first class ergonomics, beautifully clear dials and a mercifully user-friendly satnav system that combined touch-screen technology with a rotary controller. But we all agreed that a Rangie-style opening glass panel in the tailgate would have been useful. Some negatives were simply a matter of spec. We stuck with the standard coil-sprung suspension to keep costs down, but a ride in European editor Georg Kacher’s own air-sprung TDI confirmed that it would have been £2k well spent. Same with the surround camera system. What it’s worth Had I known how little it would cost to run, maybe I’d Price new £49,920 including have splashed out. Despite racking up 22,000 miles in £9765 of options a year, the Touareg’s long-life maintenance plan meant it Dealer price £37,485 required only one service, and that was little more than an Private sale price £35,325 Part-exchange price £32,450 oil change. Total cost: £234. It was reliable too, the only Cost per mile 21.2p items needing warranty attention being a sticky blind for the (£1 inc. dep) essential panoramic roof (a £1150 option) and the removal of a bit of plastic that had come adrift in the filler neck, making refuelling a chore. In trying to make sense of our year in the Touareg, I keep coming back to the Range Rover Sport we ran before it arrived. That was a deeply flawed car, but one loved by absolutely everyone in the office. Yet in every objective assessment of the two cars bar serious mud-plugging, the Touareg makes the Sport look like a joke. The VW is faster, more efficient, and handles much better. It’s cheaper to buy, vastly roomier and much cheaper to run. Its controls and in particular, its multimedia system, are infinitely better, and it didn’t cut out or go into a 40mph limp-home mode on the motorway. Summing up the Range Rover a year ago, I admitted I’d fallen for it but couldn’t recommend it. I’d happily recommend the Touareg, but who’ll listen? It doesn’t have the Rangie’s charm, sense of occasion, or, more importantly, its badge. The same VW roundel that helps make a Golf much more desirable than a Megane or Astra ‘Son, just stay out simply doesn’t carry as much kudos when adorning an SUV faced of mischief while with rivals from BMW, Audi, Porsche etc. But if you’re in the market daddy has his picture taken’ for a luxury SUV don’t let snobbery stop you at least taking a look.

CARMAGAZINE.CO.UK/MAG

I admitted I’d fallen for the Range Rover Sport but couldn’t recommend it. I’d happily recommend the Touareg SEPTEMBER 2012 I CARMAGAZINE.CO.UK

JAMES LIPMAN

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