Cars & Motorcycles
BBC Top Gear Magazine

BBC Top Gear Magazine May 2019

Top Gear is the worlds most exciting Car magazine bringing you up to date news, the latest drives and stunning features.

United Kingdom
BBC Worldwide Limited
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13 Issues

in this issue

2 min.

@TopGearEditor editor@bbctopgearmagazine.com Electric beats petrol. As headlines go, those three words carry huge significance, an impact I’m well aware is amplified when placed on the cover of the world’s largest monthly car magazine. It’s clearly a controversial statement but, such is the pace of change in our world, that a claim that only a matter of years ago would have been fanciful is now a reality. While electric cars have beaten their traditional combustion-powered rivals in a number of key parameters since their inception, no EV has delivered pure driving thrills to match the heartland performance-car heroes. So when Elon tweeted that the “dual-motor, all-wheel-drive performance Model 3… will beat anything in its class on the track”, we felt duty-bound to go and test the claim. The results will surprise many, irritate some…

4 min.
ferrari’s p80/c

WHO KNEW? As it’s not road-legal, there are no headlights. But there are ‘ocular’ apertures, so that the car doesn’t look blind This is the P80/C, the latest in Ferrari’s client-driven one-offs, and we’ll stick our necks out and call it the best yet. Sure, any new Ferrari will provoke a debate so fierce it can get more heated than the sun, and these totally bespoke SP (special project) cars are often very personal interpretations of a theme. Former Ferrari CEO Amedeo Felisa says that the SP clients “effectively embody the marque, and go beyond just being a collector”, and they certainly need to have the funds to back up the vision of designing their own car. Previous examples include 2009’s P540 Superfast Aperta, a gold tribute to one of Federico Fellini’s…

1 min.
coffee break

What we’re watching/listening/doing, while we should be working Formula 1: Drive to Survive We’re streaming this Netflix series about 2018’s ups & downs – “It makes F1 way more enjoyable”. SPOILER ALERT! May contain swearing from Haas Six-hour Britpop playlist It’s spring… Wake up Boo! Foals – Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1 The Brit guitar band’s new album has been getting us in the mood for going to press This Time with Alan Partridge Alan’s back at the Beeb! The series will have finished by now, but that won’t stop us watching endless repeats on BBC iPlayer Off Menu with Ed Gamble and James Acaster podcast Who knew food could be this funny?…

2 min.
diary of a test driver

When TopGear’s editor asked me if I’d write a diary of my life as a development driver, I immediately said yes, even before he got to the bit about not being able to pay me on account of recent budgetary restrictions. Firstly because I hope that, in some small way, my story might inspire schoolkids to consider a career in the exciting world of automotive testing. But also because I have been stuck in Finland’s frozen Kokapu testing facility, on my own, since September. The wi-fi went down six weeks ago. I need something to pass the time or I fear I may go crazy. My friend Niiko agrees. Niiko is an elk. Growing up, I dreamed of being a development driver, risking my life to push the fastest new supercars to…

2 min.
a3 goes hands free

Audi doesn’t specify exactly when you’ll be able to summon this AI:ME self-driving city car to pick you up from bingo, probably because (as Paul Horrell explains on page 39) our driverless promised land is constantly slipping further into the future. However, it does paint a very clear picture of what its autonomous version of the Audi A3 will look like, once technology and legislation catches up. Unlike the 2017 AIcon concept (AI is Audi’s autonomous sub-brand), which focused on long-range journeys and ditched the steering wheel altogether with Level 5 autonomy, the AI:ME is aimed specifically at urban driving. It’s Level 4, so equipped to handle hands-off driving in designated parts of cities, but has a steering wheel and pedals to hand back control elsewhere. It’s rear-wheel drive, all-electric with…

1 min.
welcome to kuga town

If the headline didn’t contain the word Kuga you might not have spotted it, but this is the new one. Ford’s sucked it like a lozenge, smoothing off the edges, and the result is… well, a bit drab. What’s more exciting are the power options. Top of the bill is a plug-in hybrid. The electric-only range is 31 miles, enough to net it some handy tax breaks. Overall power output is 225bhp when everything’s pulling together. There’s also a standard hybrid, good for 50mpg, but that won’t arrive for over a year. And just as you thought diesel had gone to hide under a rock, here it is. Ford has added 48-volt mild hybrid tech so you’ve got 59mpg from the 1.5-litre and 50mpg from the 2.0-litre, which can also be had…