Autocar June 2, 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
why the new £20m rolls-royce matters

IT’S TEMPTING TO dismiss cars like the Rolls-Royce Boat Tail (p6) as an irrelevance in mainstream motoring terms: a coachbuilt, hand-crafted niche within a niche for the uber-rich. But that shouldn’t detract from what it represents. This is Rolls-Royce flexing its muscles as a true luxury maker and genuinely pushing the realms of automotive possibilities. Up close, the Boat Tail is stunning, with an incredible attention to detail and level of craftsmanship, from the hand-formed bodywork to the custom-designed champagne fridge – or, yes, the built-in sun umbrella. It is gloriously extravagant and wonderfully overblown. And, in doing so, it pushes forward the possibilities of car making. Not in a direct sense, of course: the future Ford Focus is unlikely to feature a pop-up parasol. Instead, imagine the Boat Tail as you…

2 min
alex innes, head of coachbuild design, rolls-royce

How did the design process work over the four years? “We followed a normal design process: we built full-size clay models and invited the clients in to see them at differing stages. “When some brands talk about bespoke, it’s very much after the fact and they’re guiding clients towards predetermined options. For us, such was the strength of the relationship that we were comfortable bringing them into the studio when the project was in its absolute infancy; and we didn’t have a crystallised view of what it would be.” How similar will the Boat Tail cars be to one another? “The bodystyle is the only similarity between the three. If we wanted to do a modern Boat Tail, it needed to be more than one: when you look back at coachbuilding in the late…

9 min
rolls boat tail is world’s most expensive new car

Rolls-Royce has revealed a new £20 million ultra-exclusive bespoke model that will spearhead the expansion of its coachbuilding service into a distinct business. The most expensive model yet produced takes the name Boat Tail. Last used for a series of coachbuilt Rolls-Royces in the 1920s and 1930s, it refers to a distinctive rear end that mimics a J-class yacht’s hull. A bold and imposing two-door, four-seat grand tourer, the car is 5900mm long and has a removable ‘canopy’ roof. Three examples have been hand-built, heavily customised to the desires of their buyers, who were involved throughout the entire design process. Rolls-Royce Coachbuild Design boss Alex Innes called the creation of the Boat Tail “a unique collaboration” between Rolls-Royce and its clients. He added: “The clients were totally empowering and encouraging for us to project our…

2 min
audi e-tron set for major upgrade

Audi plans to upgrade its E-tron and E-tron Sportback electric SUVs with a new-generation battery, affording them longer ranges, as part of their facelifts during the latter half of 2022. The update is aimed at extending the shelf life of the flagship siblings until at least 2025, when they’re set to be replaced by an all-new SUV, possibly called the Q8 E-tron. Along with the new battery, the E-trons are earmarked to receive more efficient electric motors and an upgraded electronics system that will enable greater energy recuperation among other enhanced functions. Autocar has been told by sources inside Audi that the upgrades to the powertrain will boost range to more than 373 miles for both variants. By comparison, the 95kWh battery currently used delivers a maximum range of 249 miles. The first two…

1 min
lancia group b rally legend reimagined for modern era

THE FORMIDABLE LANCIA 037 Group B rally car has been reborn with substantially more power and updated styling, courtesy of Italian motorsport company Kimera Automobili. Called the Evo37, the road-legal restomod is based around the central chassis section of a Lancia Beta Montecarlo, with new tubular frame sections added at the front and rear, adjustable shocks from Öhlins, modern Brembo performance brakes and Pirelli sports tyres. A heavily modified version of the 037’s turbocharged four-cylinder engine makes 498bhp and 406lb ft, which should be good for a 0-62mph time of around 4.0sec and a top speed in the high hundreds. Kimera has yet to confirm the final kerb weight of the Evo37 but claims a power-to-weight ratio of 1hp per 2kg, suggesting that it tips the scales at around a tonne. Visual tweaks include…

2 min
consortium bids €7.5bn for lambo

The Volkswagen Group has received a €7.5 billion (£6.49bn) offer for the purchase of Lamborghini, as revealed by Autocar. A letter of intent sent to the German giant last month set out terms for the purchase of the Italian manufacturer (including all of its facilities in Sant’Agata) by newly established Swiss holding company Quantum Group. Quantum has partnered London investment firm Centricus Asset Management with the aim of creating a “technology and lifestyle investment platform” under the working title Outlook 2030. Quantum is represented in the acquisition offer by Rea Stark Rajcic, a co-founder of Piëch Automotive, the nascent Zurich-based company behind the Mark Zero electric coupé concept that was unveiled at the 2019 Geneva motor show. Piëch’s other executives include Anton Piëch (son of former Volkswagen Group boss Ferdinand Piëch) and ex-Porsche CEO…