Autocar July 14, 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
uk turns a corner on its road to making evs

WILL NISSAN PULL out of Sunderland? Will Stellantis close Ellesmere Port? Two of the most dominant clouds that have hung over a stuttering UK automotive manufacturing scene for several years have both been lifted in just a week, with the futures of each now secure. UK automotive production seemed to be on an unstoppable growth curve towards two million units a year until uncertainty after the Brexit vote put the brakes on, calling into question the future of some of the biggest vehicle plants in the UK. When Covid pushed production below one million units for a 26-year low in 2020, the future of UK vehicle manufacturing looked bleak. Yet “a window to attract investment” emerged in January, according to Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders boss Mike Hawes, following a Brexit…

7 min
audi a8 replacement aims to reinvent the luxury limo

“I asked our design teams not for their vision of an A8 successor but for something completely new” Audi has signed off the design of the high-tech Project Artemis electric car that will be launched in 2024 as the firm’s new flagship – and will preview it with a concept at the Munich motor show in September. The Grand Sphere will be one of three show cars that the German brand will produce in the next year to showcase its approach to vehicles equipped with level-four autonomous driving systems (allowing for unsupervised self-driving in certain conditions). The production version will succeed the A8 saloon as Audi’s luxury flagship. Audi design chief Marc Lichte told Autocar that the Grand Sphere will be “a very concrete teaser of the Artemis project” that will showcase “a…

1 min
autonomy in 2025? hmm…

The car industry has spent decades imagining how autonomous cars will look, and with a retractable steering wheel, reclining lounge seats and a radical dashboard within a ‘mobile living room’ interior, the Audi Grand Sphere is set to showcase a number of features seen on many fanciful concept cars produced in the past. The big difference is that the Grand Sphere’s designer, Marc Lichte, insists that it’s not a fanciful vision of a possibly imaginary future but a close preview of a new production car that will arrive in dealerships in less than four years. Given the focus on level-four (hands off, eyes off) autonomy, that might seem impossibly optimistic. Are we really less than four years away from being able to safely lie back and watch a film from the driver’s…

1 min
vw group’s radical future evs

Bentley EV 2025 Bentley’s first EV is set to be based closely on the work done for Project Artemis. However, Crewe’s technical team will also be heavily involved in ensuring that the model feels like a Bentley, with a focus on premium comfort and the use of plush, luxury materials to offer a distinctive feel inside. Porsche Macan 2023 To be sold alongside the current Macan initially, Porsche’s second EV will be the first production car to use the new PPE architecture that has been co-developed by Porsche and Audi. An evolution of the Porsche Taycan’s J1 platform, the PPE hardware has been designed for use in a range of performance-oriented EVs, including SUVs and saloons. Seat urban EV 2025 The MEB Lite platform is being developed to underpin a range of compact electric city…

4 min
new-era astragets phev tech

The radically restyled and mechanically reinvented eighth-generation Vauxhall Astra has broken cover, with its new-era design underpinned by a new platform and the option of plug-in hybrid power. The Mk8 Astra is the penultimate model in the Vauxhall line-up to move across to a platform developed by parent company Stellantis. It leaves the Insignia saloon as the sole remaining Vauxhall model to still use General Motors-developed mechanicals. The new Astra’s EMP2 architecture is also used by a variety of models from Vauxhall’s sibling brands, including the near mechanically identical third-generation Peugeot 308. This means the Astra, like the 308, is now available with a choice of two PHEV powertrains alongside a more conventional range of petrol and diesel motors. Each PHEV option mates a 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, with either 148bhp or…

1 min
evs not astra for ellesmere

Vauxhall has called time on 42 years of Astra production at Ellesmere Port in Cheshire, with the new car set to be built at Rüsselsheim, Germany, and one other mainland Europe location that has yet to be announced. The UK factory will now be converted to produce a range of electric vans and MPVs from Vauxhall and sibling brands Peugeot and Citroën. An investment of £100 million from parent company Stellantis will prepare the facility to produce the Vauxhall/Opel Combo-e, the Peugeot e-Partner and the Citroën e-Berlingo, as well as their passenger-carrying variants. The investment has secured 1000 UK jobs, following months of uncertainty over the plant’s future, and will fund the creation of a new bodyshop, revamped production line and on-site assembly facility for the batteries that will be imported from…