Autocar June 30, 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.

United Kingdom
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51 Issues

in this issue

1 min
tough at the top but tougher in the middle

A DECADE AGO, it was predicted that the growth of premium brands at one end of the market and budget brands at the other would leave the mid-market brands, such as Ford, Vauxhall and Renault, gasping for air. Cast your eye over the UK’s sales chart for May and that day seems to have arrived. Audi outsold Ford, BMW outsold Vauxhall and Land Rover outsold Nissan. Hyundai-Kia outsold the combined efforts of Fiat, Citroën, Honda, Mazda and Renault. Premium brands have branched into more and more segments – and they’ve done so with rock-solid residual values that allow monthly finance payments to be kept within reach of those ‘stepping up’ from brands below. On top of all that, we Brits have become as brand-conscious and arguably as materialistic as they come. That squeeze…

6 min
ferrari arms new 296 gtb with 819bhp electrified v6

“The 296 gets from 0-62mph in just 2.9sec on its way to a top speed of more than 205mph” Ferrari has unwrapped the new 296 GTB as the latest entry into its Berlinetta sports car family, with an all-new hybridised V6 powerplant featuring in place of the traditional mid-mounted V8. The new model arrives to complement the F8 Tributo, whose production run will end in 2022 once all customer cars are delivered, making the 296 GTB Ferrari’s first ‘mainstream’ electrified car, after the LaFerrari and SF90 Stradale halo hybrid hypercars. Its numerical designation references its 2992cc V6 engine, while the Gran Turismo Berlinetta moniker establishes it as the latest in a long line of Ferrari sports cars stretching back to the mid-1950s. Ferrari’s switch from V8 to V6 power for its core sports car…

1 min
don’t bank on a v6 spoiling the fun

So the 296 GTB is arriving, yet it seems like only 20 minutes since we drove the 488 GTB for the first time. I was talking to a colleague about its engine. “Pretty good… for a turbo,” we decided. The introduction of the 488’s turbo motor ensured that the 458 Speciale, with its screaming naturally aspirated V8, remained a high point of Ferrari’s mid-engined supercars. But it didn’t affect the 488’s position as the number one choice among its competitors, whether they came with a turbocharged V8 or a naturally aspirated V10. Because the truth is it’s just as much about the chassis. Simply put, ever since the 458 arrived, Ferrari’s mid-engined two-seater has been the standout supercar. It has a balance, a willingness to change direction and a playfulness that you rarely…

1 min
mid-engined v8 ferraris through the years

Ferrari 308 1975-1985 Best known for its starring role in Magnum PI, the 308 packed Ferrari’s first mid-mounted V8, a 2.9-litre unit producing 252bhp in European specification. Both GTB (coupé) and GTS (convertible) variants were offered. Ferrari 355 1994-1999 An evolution of the oft-maligned 348, the 355 put Maranello firmly back on the map, blowing its Porsche 911 and Honda NSX rivals out of the water dynamically and bringing a V8 with more power per litre than the McLaren F1’s V12. Ferrari 360 1999-2005 Billed as a Ferrari you could use every day, the 360 was an altogether curvier, comfier and more capacious proposition than its predecessors. Pace remained a priority, though, and 394bhp was enough for 0-62mph in just 4.5sec. Ferrari 458 2010-2015 The final outing for Maranello’s naturally aspirated V8 engine, the 458 enjoys a…

1 min
jlr cracks down on reliability

Jaguar Land Rover boss Thierry Bolloré has pledged to solve the firm’s reliability and quality issues once for all. Bolloré, who assumed the role of CEO last autumn, says a lot of progress has already been made in what he describes as the first priority of his ‘Reimagine’ plan to turn the company’s fortunes around. “This is the first pillar of Reimagine, our transformation plan,” said Bolloré. “Our results have been unacceptable, but we know how to fix them. It’s not science, just hard work. Already the 2021 results are better, but we have more to do.” One of Bolloré’s first acts just a month after joining JLR was to appoint Nigel Blenkinsop to a new board position, executive director of company quality and customer satisfaction, reporting directly to the Frenchman. “We now have…

1 min
electric era to give jlr a clean slate

Thierry Bolloré recently estimated that quality concerns could be costing Jaguar Land Rover around 100,000 sales per year. Land Rover came bottom in the 2020 What Car? Reliability Survey, based on reports from owners of cars less than five years old, with Jaguar 21st out of 31 brands. According to Automotive News, Bolloré told investors earlier this year “dramatic improvements” had been made and acknowledged that “the dissatisfaction of our customers was really detrimental to our natural volume”. It’s expected that the relatively simple make-up of JLR’s EV and EV-capable next-generation platforms will help improve its reputation. JLR design boss Gerry McGovern said on the same investor call: “We’re reducing the complexity of our vehicles massively. The result will be fewer things going wrong, because the process will not be as complex.”…