This week: Toyota's new Supra meets the competition, we drive Polestar's 600bhp hybrid, the Audi A2 gets a second chance and loads more
12 June 2019

Does the rise of the small-capacity, turbocharged engine get you down? You’ll be pleased that the team at Porsche’s GT division isn’t keen on following the trend.

The new 718 Cayman GT4 and Boxster Spyder were revealed this week, sharing a 414bhp naturally aspirated flat-six derived from the larger 911, and equipped exclusively with a manual gearbox. 

There’s been a shake-up further down the two-seater sports car segment as well, as Alpine reveals the new A110 S - a more powerful, faster and lighter range-topping variant of an Autocar favourite

Elsewhere, we’ve got everything you need to know about BMW’s new 8 Series Gran Coupé, the second-gen Renault Zoe and Peugeot 2008, and Ford’s decision to shut its Bridgend engine production facility.

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Reviews

Worried that the advent of electrification is encouraging a degree of ubiquity across the new car market? If so, the Polestar 1 should come as something of an antidote. We’ve driven the 600bhp two-door PHEV, and reckon that, although some won’t ‘get’ it, it’s a great to drive and well-engineered alternative to something more conventional like a Porsche 911

Like it or not, the performance SUV market is here to stay, and BMW’s not taking it lying down. The new X3 M Competition packs a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 that pumps out over 500bhp, but will have to prove that M’s famed handling characteristics can survive into the age of the SUV. 

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We also spend some time getting to know the new Mitsubishi ASX, Nissan Leaf E-Tekna and Skoda Scala 1.6 TDI, before slipping into something a little less comfortable in the form of the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ for a full road test. 

With a 0-60mph time of less than three seconds, a top speed of 217mph and a power output of 759bhp from a gargantuan V12, the SVJ could be the perfect blend of old-school Lambo ingenuity and modern technology, but needs to inject a degree of usability into the mix, as well. 

Features

Did you know there's a new Toyota Supra? It would have passed us by unnoticed as well, were it not for the tidal wave of online debate it provoked at its recent launch. But now it’s time to silence the keyboard warriors, as Gazoo Racing’s revived legend faces up to its two biggest rivals, the BMW M2 Competition and Porsche Cayman T, to decide which is the best-rounded sports offering. 

Off to China next, for a quite surprising tour of the Shanghai Auto Museum. The Chinese motoring industry didn’t even really exist until the 1950s, but the country has quickly caught up to (and overtaken) most other domestic markets. We take a look at the most pivotal models. 

You may remember that when Audi showed off its futuristic AI:ME concept in April, we were quick to compare it to the A2, a bubble-shaped city car that was so ahead of its time, people didn’t really get it. Now, it’s time to revisit Ingolstadt’s twenty-year old supermini to see how it predicted the future, and whether it now all makes sense.

We also pay a visit to the Royal College of Art’s Intelligent Mobility Design programme, to see how the conventions of car styling are being rewritten, before compiling an exciting list of motorsport-inspired second-hand bargains that could have you racing for your wallet.

Opinions

Matt Prior, this week, reckons styling will become more and more important as electrification makes it harder to tell the difference between rival models. Steve Cropley, meanwhile, gets to grips with the very ‘different’-looking BMW i3S and pays a visit to Aston Martin’s new St Athan production facility.

Deals

James Ruppert’s planning something of a Fiesta this week, and he’s inviting every variant of Ford’s seminal supermini he can find on the second-hand market. If you fancy a bit of Gallic charm, however, perhaps we can tempt you with a nearly-new fourth-generation Renault Clio

Elsewhere, we ponder a tidy E46-generation BMW M3, get all nostalgic with a Jaguar E-Type and can’t believe our eyes when a Smart Crossblade pops up for sale.

Where to buy

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Digital copies can be downloaded from Zinio and the Apple iTunes store

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Comments
41

5 April 2018

As usual, this week's edition (dated 04APR2018), is a very good read, and well worth the investment. The road test of the eighth generation of Roll-Royce Phantom - with its "mahogany panelling" - illustrates that moneyed wealth, should NOT be confused with good-taste!

The sales pitch for next week's issue (to be dated 11APR2018), whets our appetite with the Used Buying Guide  . . .  "Mercedes-Benz CLS. Can't afford the new one? Then read our guide to Merc's original style icon".

The original CLS certainly was a style icon, with all the svelte elegance of a Parisian - or Italian - chic designer item.

That streamlined elegance was lost when the original's "facelift" incorporated the bluff, Teutonic, more upright, corporate Mercedes radiator grill.

The new, current, incarnation of the CLS (page 29, of this week's magazine), shares all the style, delicacy, and substantial "presence" of a rugby prop forward!  It is not a case of "Can not  AFFORD  the new CLS?".  More a question of why would anyone wish to purchase such a vulgar and brutish vehicle?

It is (again) a reminder that the ownership of wealth, is NOT the same as the possession of good taste.

RCT(V)

 

 

 

 

289

18 July 2018

....totally agree!

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