Autocar May 12, 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
aston’s prospects are starting to look up

IT’S BEEN NINE months since Tobias Moers left his position as head of an ever-growing and ever-more successful AMG to try to turn around an Aston Martin suffering since a frankly disastrous IPO in 2018. Late last week, we met Moers in his new role for the first time. He revealed a logical product plan (p10) that’s focused in the short term on making more, sportier cars that at last are as good to drive as they are to look at, before a switch to electrification that, he believes, creates even more opportunities for Aston to thrive. The goal is simple: make Aston self-sufficient for the first time. Simple, but also lofty. Yet Moers is confident it can be done from 10,000 cars per year. (Aston’s all-time record was just shy of…

5 min
new audi a4 topped by electric and hybrid rs duo

Audi’s finalised plans for the all-new A4 include an electric-only four-wheel-drive performance RS model and a hybrid RS4 to top a line-up underpinned by two different platforms, according to well-placed Ingolstadt insiders. One platform will be used for combustion-engined hybrid variants and the other for pure-electric models. The sixth-generation A4 is due to go on sale in the UK in 2023. Volume-selling versions of Audi’s long-running BMW 3 Series rival will continue to be sold in saloon and estate (Avant) bodystyles based on a modified version of the existing MLB platform, which underpins a wide variety of other Volkswagen Group models. The new A4 will offer a range of upgraded petrol and diesel engines equipped with either mild- or plug-in hybrid assistance and offered in both front- and four-wheeldrive (quattro) layouts. Markus Hoffmann,…

2 min
a4 e - tron tech could give porsche a bmw i4 rival

Porsche is building a business case for a seventh model line that could allow it to challenge the Tesla Model 3 and BMW i4 with an electric fastback-style saloon closely related to Audi’s A4 E-tron. It is proposed that the new model will use the PPE platform developed in partnership by Porsche and Audi and sit beneath the Taycan at a starting price of around £50,000 in the UK. Details remain scarce, although there have been suggestions that the new model might take the Cajun name first trademarked by Porsche in 2011. Insiders have told Autocar that Porsche’s third pure-electric model has been earmarked to share key platform, driveline and battery components with the upcoming Macan EV – alongside which it is expected to be produced at Porsche’s Leipzig plant in Germany. One…

1 min
q6 and macane vs first with new electricplat form

The PPE architecture will underpin its first production cars in 2023 when Audi launches its new mid-sized Q6 E-tron SUV and Porsche the closely related pureelectric Macan. As was the case with the Taycan and E-tron GT, it is likely that Porsche’s SUV will arrive first, having now been officially shown at the start of its on-road development programme (below). Audi, meanwhile, has confirmed that the Q6 E-tron will be revealed next year but has yet to hint at its final form. The visual parallels will be kept to a minimum, but it is expected that both models will offer similar powertrain options, and be equipped with 800V charging functionality and a range of more than 300 miles. Each will also be sold initially alongside a combustion-powered counterpart. Porsche has confirmed the petrol-fuelled…

1 min
gordon murray, founder and ceo, gmg

Do these plans involve your iStream manufacturing principles? “Most definitely. We believe the EV era provides new iStream opportunities, using patents we already hold for integrating the vehicle’s battery into its structure. The advantages we’ve discussed are all still there: minimal stamping, low investment, green technology and great flexibility.” Do you see new lightweighting opportunities in the EVs you’re visualising? “Very much so. In fact, that’s one of the first challenges for Richie Sibal, CEO of our new electronics division, GME. He’s setting out to create components and find partners that result in more compact, efficient electronics, motors, batteries and inverters. We believe our B-segment design has the potential to cut current allup weights by about a third.” Will you sell your technology to other firms, as before? “We’re doing it a bit differently. Rather…

2 min
murray plots bold expansion

The Gordon Murray Group (GMG), founded by the eponymous British car designer, has detailed a bold £300 million, five-year expansion plan that will result in the Surrey-based firm substantially diversifying following the launch of its pioneering T50 supercar. Central to GMG’s growth will be significant investment into its Design division, which is in the process of developing a “revolutionary, lightweight, ultra-efficient electric vehicle architecture” designed for urban-oriented passenger and commercial vehicles. Official details remain under wraps, but Murray told Autocar this will take the form of “a highly flexible EV skateboard designed to form the basis of a B-segment vehicle – a little SUV with a compact delivery van derivative, for starters”. It will be less than four metres long, so likely to be comparable in size to the Volkswagen e-Up, although Murray…