Autocar May 26, 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
ford vw deal is good for them - and buyers

TO BE CLEAR, the Ford that stars on our cover this week won’t actually be the new Focus – not least because it’s an electric SUV rather than a family hatch. But we’ve labelled it the ‘new Focus’ to highlight how significant it is for the Blue Oval, as a mass-market EV targeted right at one of the fastest-growing segments. What’s particularly notable is that Ford is building such a crucial car using a platform and powertrains produced by one of its biggest rivals, in the form of Volkswagen’s MEB platform. That would have been unthinkable not that long ago, but Ford and VW have realised the benefits of joining forces in the face of an increasingly disparate car market with increasingly disparate technology. With multiple powertrains, vehicle types and requirements, even…

4 min
ford’s first vw-based ev to be us-flavoured crossover

“Ford plans to deliver more than 600,000 MEB-plat-formed EVs between 2023 and 2029” The landmark car-making tie-up between Ford and Volkswagen will begin to bear fruit in 2023, when the US manufacturer kick-starts its bold European EV offensive with a locally produced and regionally focused crossover to sit beneath the Mustang Mach-E. Arriving in line with the Blue Oval’s ambition to fully electrify its European range by 2030, the crossover will be the first EV built at Ford’s $1 billion (£708m) Electrification Centre in Cologne, Germany. It is set to be produced initially alongside the Fiesta supermini, which is scheduled to end its current life cycle in 2024 or 2025. The new crossover will be the first Ford to use the Volkswagen Group’s MEB EV platform, as part of a long-term strategic partnership…

1 min
ford electrifies f-150 with lightning

FORD HAS REVEALED its most important EV yet: the F-150 Lightning pick-up truck, a battery-powered version of North America’s best-selling vehicle. Reviving a name that was previously used for sporty versions of the F-Series truck, the EV features a dual-motor, four-wheel-drive powertrain that produces 563bhp and 775lb ft – the most torque yet offered on an F-150 – for a 0-60mph sprint time in the mid-four-second range. After a headline-grabbing drive in a prototype before the unveiling, US president Joe Biden said: “This sucker’s quick.” Two batteries are available, offering between 230 and 300 miles of range on the American EPA test cycle, while 150kW charging capacity gives it a 15-80% charge time of 41 minutes. Crucially, Ford promises comparable utility to petrol variants of the F-150, with a payload of up to 2000lb…

5 min
cupra born is ‘game-changer’

The Cupra Born has been revealed in production form. It will be available with between 150bhp and 231bhp and offer a range of up to 335 miles. Previously known as the El-Born, the Spanish marque’s first electric car is based on the MEB platform of its Volkswagen Group parent. The Born will go into production in September at the group’s Zwickau factory in Germany. It is technically identical and closely related visually to the Volkswagen ID 3 but brings its own “stimulating design and instantaneous performance”, according to Cupra, along with a distinctive “dynamic character”. The Born is the first fully electric model to join the brand’s line-up and follows the introduction of plug-in hybrid powertrain options for the Leon and Formentor. a rear-mounted permanent magnet synchronous motor (rated at up to 16,000rpm)…

1 min
lighter new drop-top m4 packs more punch

BMW’S M LINE-UP continues to swell following the introduction of the new M4 Competition Convertible M xDrive, which is lighter and more powerful than its predecessor and has an extra driven axle. Based on the recently revealed M4 Competition M xDrive, the new M model swaps the previous-generation convertible’s folding hard top for a fabric roof, which is said to weigh around 40% less. As on the standard 4 Series Convertible, it can be opened or closed in 18 seconds at vehicle speeds of up to 31mph, and it minimises heat loss and cabin noise with the use of a glass rear window and panel bow structural elements. The M4 Convertible is priced from £81,915, a £3600 premium over the four-wheel-drive coupé, and will enter production at the same time in July. BMW…

1 min
stellantis teams up with electronics giant

STELLANTIS HAS partnered Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn to form Mobile Drive, a 50:50 joint venture in which the two firms will collaborate on infotainment and in-vehicle connectivity offerings. The resulting infotainment systems will be “seamlessly connected inside and outside the vehicles in which they’re installed”. They will also provide new revenue streams for Stellantis and Foxconn by offering instant over-the-air upgrades and optional vehicle features throughout the vehicle’s life cycle. All Stellantis brands will use Mobile Drive systems in their production vehicles, although it remains unclear which will be first. Stellantis software boss Yves Bonnefont declined to give further details but said: “We’ve identified a precise project and have started work almost immediately. Speed is of the essence.” Foxconn previously worked with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (now part of Stellantis) to create the radical Airflow…