Autocar March 3, 2021

Autocar is the car nut’s weekly fix, delivering you a unique mix of the latest news, opinion, features, first drives of new cars and in-depth road tests – all complemented by the best photography in the business. No other magazine covers the subject you love with such enthusiasm, insight and quality every week of the year. Autocar stands for the highest quality in car journalism – and is rewarded with access to the best new cars and the biggest news stories before any of the opposition which we share with you, our readers, every week.

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51 Issues

in this issue

1 min
cause for optimism, even without geneva

IN A NORMAL YEAR, half the Autocar editorial team would currently be in Geneva reporting on the world’s biggest motor show, the other half back in the office creating the magazine and web pages to bring the stories and pictures to you. This year, there is no Geneva show. With that marks the first anniversary of sorts where the Covid-19 pandemic really entered our automotive world. Car factories and showrooms on the other side of the world in China being closed was one thing; Geneva 2020’s last-minute cancellation marking the start of what then followed for the industry quite another. Geneva is missed for so many reasons, not only the unveiling of so many great cars but also the chance to meet the great people who’ve made them, all in one place. Yet…

4 min
amg makes phev debut with 800bhp-plus gt73e

The new Mercedes-AMG GT73e 4Matic+ EQ Power+ 4-Door Coupé will pack “more than 800bhp” in a bid to position it at the top of the four-door sports car ranks when it hits UK showrooms this year. The range-topping performance saloon will be the first in a series of new plug-in hybrid Mercedes-AMG models to feature what is known within the firm as a “P3 plug-in hybrid” system, which should enable the GT73e to cover 0-62mph in less than 3.0sec and exceed 200mph. The new flagship model will rival the Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid and command a premium over the current, non-electrified GT63 – with prices likely to start upwards of £150,000. As well as representing the beginning of a new electrified era for AMG, the GT73e could also serve as a…

1 min
the original hammer

The Mercedes-Benz AMG 300CE Hammer made its debut at the 1987 Geneva motor show. Based on the 300CE, it swapped that model’s petrol straight six for the 5.6-litre V8 from the 560 SEL: the fabled M117. The original model offered 355bhp and 376lb ft. However, the legend wasn’t complete until Mercedes-Benz began offering a second output option, which upsized the M117 to 6.0 litres, with power increasing to 385bhp. The engine modifications were overseen by Erhard Melcher – the ‘M’ in ‘AMG’, and one of the performance division’s original founders. Key changes included a new four-valve cylinder head (in place of the standard two-valve set-up), reworked camshafts and lighter pistons. The 300CE Hammer was renowned more for its segment-leading torque output than outright power, and at 417lb ft it was prodigious for…

2 min
amg’s new c63e to tap into f1 tech and gt73’s phev set-up

MERCEDES-AMG’S NEW P3 plug-in hybrid system (see p6) is compatible with each of its existing combustion engines and will be paired with its latest four-cylinder powerplant for the upcoming C63e 4Matic+ EQ Power+, the hot, hybridised C-Class range-topper. Arriving in UK showrooms in the first half of 2022, the four-wheel-drive Audi RS4 and BMW M3 rival adopts a longitudinally mounted version of the turbocharged 2.0-litre engine used by the A45 S 4Matic+, with a 48V integrated starter motor in the nine-speed AMG Speedshift MCT automatic gearbox. The electric motor will drive the rear axle and a battery pack under the boot floor will enable electric-only running. This hybrid system has been developed to provide the C63e with a level of power and torque comparable with the outgoing model’s non-electrified, twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8.…

2 min
mercedes to scale back coupe and convertible line-up

Mercedes-Benz is committed to offering coupé and cabriolet models in the future, according to chief operating officer Markus Schäfer, but will trim back and refocus its line-up of such machines. The new C-Class has been launched in saloon and estate forms and would traditionally later gain coupé and cabriolet variants. But with Mercedes currently expanding its line-up of EQ-branded electric models – including a potential C-Class EV that could be launched in 2024 – Schäfer said the firm needed to rationalise and focus on higher-volume models. “We reached a portfolio of close to 50 vehicles last year and there’s more to come on the electric side with our EQ line-up,” said Schäfer. “We have some limitations in terms of what we can do in research and development. “Some of [our models] got quite…

3 min
volvo adds electric coupé-suv

Volvo has introduced its second electric vehicle: the C40 Recharge, a coupé reworking of the new XC40 Recharge P8 SUV. Due to go into production this autumn with first deliveries before 2022, the C40 is being launched in line with Volvo’s ambition for half of its global sales to be full EVs by 2025 and to be an EV-only firm by 2030. Built on the Swedish company’s CMA platform, the C40 is based on the electric version of the XC40, gaining a sloping roofline and a new rear light design. The front features a progression of the XC40 P8’s closed-off grille, which is “a new face for electric Volvos”. At 4431mm long and 2035mm wide, the C40 has the same exterior dimensions as the XC40, except it is 690mm shorter, at 1582mm, due…