Autocar March 31, 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
how to get autocar magazine amid covid-19

AUTOCAR With more need than ever for engaging, entertaining magazines, we plan to ensure that Autocar will continue to be published in print every Wednesday. You should continue to find copies in supermarkets and other shops each week, so you can grab the latest issue while doing your essential food shopping. We have also prepared some special offers for both print and digital subscriptions to Autocar, so you can continue to receive every issue without leaving your home. For all our best subscription offers, visit To receive 13 print issues for £24.70, or a 13-issue print and digital bundle for £37.49, visit Autocar is available digitally on: • Apple’s App Store • Exact Editions • Google Play Store • Readly • Zinio Simply search for ‘Autocar magazine’ on your device. We remain committed to bringing you the best motoring magazine every…

1 min
fun-loving mini has a head start in ev race

OUR STORY CHARTING Mini’s rise and rise under BMW ownership (p52) recalls how those involved at the very start of its rebirth quickly realised how pessimistic they’d been about how big Mini could grow. They made some key strategic decisions, such as returning to the Oxford plant and quickly committing to other models, that the brand is still reaping the benefits from today. Yet Mini is a brand with its eyes firmly on the future rather than one dwelling on the past, a future that is unsurprisingly all-electric (p6). A frequently asked question about the future of electric cars is, with so many common architectures and largely homogenised drivetrains across multiple models and brands, just how different will they all really be to drive? There will be several brands and even more models…

6 min
mini to turn electric only and expand its line-up

Mini is about to undergo a major shake-up as its BMW parent executes plans to dramatically extend the British brand’s line-up and transform it into an electric-only maker by 2030. Between late 2022 and 2025, Autocar understands, Mini will launch a super-compact three-door electric city car just 3.5m long, before capping the new range with a bigger Countryman crossover and a spacious, long-range electric MPV. These last two models are expected to be at least 4.5m long, making them the biggest Minis yet. Today’s 3-Door Hatch and 5-Door Hatch will be replaced, as will be the Convertible and Clubman, Autocar understands. A step towards becoming a fully electrified brand has been taken with the unveiling of the one-off electric Mini JCW Pacesetter (see separate story, right), which will be used as a…

1 min
special electric jcw for formula e

MINI HAS COMBINED elements of its electric future “with the rich racing history of John Cooper Works” to create the Pacesetter: a radical one-off reworking of the Mini Electric, which will be used as a pace car in the 2021 Formula E championship. A toned-down production version of the Pacesetter is planned and Mini boss Bernd Körber said the car shows that “the message is clear: electrification and John Cooper Works are a good fit”. The drivetrain is carried over wholesale from the Mini Electric, so the Pacesetter makes 181bhp and 206lb ft, but “rigorous” lightweighting measures have resulted in a tangible performance boost, cutting the 0-62mph sprint time by 0.6sec to 6.7sec. Weight has been shed chiefly by removing the rear seats, as well as ditching the infotainment system and internal door…

1 min
why bmw has changed its mind

BMW had resisted pressure from the financial world to invest in a stand-alone EV ‘skateboard’ platform because it believed that genuine EV customer demand could be rather less than predicted and such a dedicated investment could be a dead end. By developing two multi-fuel platforms – FAAR and CLAR – it believed it could meet demand for hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure-electric vehicles within a single architecture. Jaguar Land Rover had a similar plan with the MLA architecture destined for the next Range Rover. However, at its recent results meeting, BMW unveiled plans for the ‘Neue Klasse’ EV platform. (The name is taken from the new line of cars produced from 1962 that saved the company from going bust.) Perhaps it’s no surprise. The wider financial world, and analysts especially, has been unrelenting…

3 min
prodrive desert hypercar is go

Prodrive, the Banbury-based race car builder and technology company, has confirmed that it has begun developing what it believes will be the world’s first ‘desert hypercar’ for private sale and aims to have a prototype running by the end of this year. When complete, the super-exclusive machine is expected to find buyers at more than £1 million apiece. David Richards, Prodrive’s founder and CEO, has confirmed exclusively to Autocar that the new car will be built at its HQ in Banbury by Prodrive’s own team of engineers and technicians, who have built many specialist and competition cars over the years and who are currently responsible for the Le Mans class-winning Aston Martin GT cars that race around the world. The new Dakar-derived hypercar project (likely to be sold as the ‘Hunter’) is…