Autocar September 22, 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
public has had enough of smart motorways

AN ALARMING Telegraph investigation last month revealed that staff at National Highways dubbed the computer systems controlling smart motorways ‘Die Now’ after they crashed three times in four days. The report was pretty sobering, and any remaining confidence a reader might have had in the ‘smart’ bit of smart motorways – ie the technology that instantly detects the need to close a lane when a vehicle becomes stranded in the absence of a hard shoulder – would have been eradicated. Not fit for purpose, then, the technology that’s meant to keep you safe and save lives. A government review in the spring concluded that smart motorways were safer than conventional ones and their roll-out would continue, but not before new radar detection technology was installed for live monitoring of lanes to improve…

5 min
porsche mimics mid-engined balance for electric 718 duo

GOT A STORY? Email our news editor The next-generation Porsche 718 Cayman and Boxster, due in 2022, are set to adopt a bespoke electric sports car platform designed to mimic the current combustion cars’ mid-engined characters and which could go on to underpin future Audi and Lamborghini models. Using a novel battery arrangement referred to as the ‘e-core’ layout, Porsche’s entry-level sports EVs will offer as low a seating position and centre of gravity as possible, in line with their dynamic billing. The Stuttgart firm recently revealed the Mission R concept, which officially previews a potential one-make racer and also strongly hints at styling details and dimensions of the as-yet-unannounced electric Cayman and Boxster. Porsche has admitted that the Mission R reflects work being done in parallel in the firm’s design studio on future…

1 min
718 ev’s biggest challenge

Two-seater sports cars are among the tightestpackaged vehicles, so it makes sense that Porsche is thinking about supplanting the weight and bulk of a combustion engine with a drive battery pack for its electrified 718. It isn’t a new idea: both Caterham and AC are going the same way with their allelectric models, as did Lotus more than a decade ago when it engineered Tesla’s original Roadster using its own mid-engined Elise as a starting point. In those cases, an existing ‘platform’ chassis was converted to electric drive, so it no doubt made practical sense to fill the space vacated by the engine with a battery. But even with an all-new electriconly platform, following the same philosophy gives you the best chance of retaining the dynamic character of the car you’re…

2 min
new tech gives “more freedom” to develop electric 911

PORSCHE DESIGN CHIEF Michael Mauer has hinted that he has already conceived how the design of a future electric 911 could work, but insisted such a model is unlikely to appear before 2030. The Stuttgart firm has long played down talk of an electric version of the classic 2+2, insisting it would be the last Porsche model to go electric due to the emotions attached to its petrol engine and the extra weight of a battery-electric model. When asked about the challenges of producing an electric version similar to the rear-engined 911, Mauer said: “The silhouette of today’s 911 is so iconic, and that has to stay. We’ve proved over the years that the new 911 is always a 911 – but it’s a new one. “Listening to the engineers now when we…

4 min
major facelift for ford fiesta

The perennially popular Ford Fiesta has been restyled and updated as part of a mid-life facelift aimed at keeping it near the top of the B-segment sales chart. Revealed before customer deliveries start in early 2022, the rejuvenated supermini will be priced from £16,670 in its entry-level form – a very small increase over the current car. The visual refresh is centred on the front end, where the 2022 car is distinguished from its predecessor by way of slimmer headlights (now LED as standard or optionally matrix LED) and a markedly different grille design, which varies slightly according to specification. The bonnet has been reshaped as well, to give a higher nose profile, while the Blue Oval emblem has been moved from the bonnet’s leading edge to the grille, which is said…

1 min
murat gueler, design chief, ford of europe

How has customer and media feedback directed this redesign? “Shortly after we launched this Fiesta, some people were saying the B299 [the previous Fiesta] had a bit more character, more edges, while the new car was very well sculpted but a bit soft, especially on the hood [bonnet]. As a designer, you’re always up to speed on how things are developing, so three years after the launch of the old car, we started to see opportunities to give the car more personality.” How were the styling changes influenced by the Fiesta’s engineering? “The car that is always slightly challenging is the ST because the engine needs quite a lot of air for the intercooler, so while you’re designing the STLine – which is basically an ST with different grille inserts – you have…