Auto et Moto


October 28, 2020

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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1 min.
electric suv is not a step too far for lotus

PURISTS BEWARE: turn the page and you’ll be greeted by the latest on the forthcoming Lotus SUV, which is now fully electric and set to be made in China. It may trouble those who feel a big, electric SUV is fundamentally opposed to the lightweight design philosophy of marque founder Colin Chapman. But I’m not sure an electric SUV is a step too far for Lotus. For one thing, Chapman was a brilliant innovator, always pushing the boundaries of possibility. Surely, then, Lotus should be pushing the boundaries of electric possibility today, as the Evija hypercar and SUV are both trying to do (albeit in different ways). Chapman was also a businessman. He pioneered sponsorship in Formula 1 and used his road car and engineering skills as a way to help fund…

1 min.
this is the lotus that lotus needs

Lighter than its competition: that’s all a modern Lotus can be. Electric cars are heavy, SUVs are heavy and practical cars are heavy, so the idea that an electric Lotus SUV can be really true to Lotus’s super-lightweight roots simply can’t happen. Instead, then, it will just have to be lighter and dynamically superior to the other SUVs you can buy. Many of which, let’s remind ourselves, wear the badges of other historically important sports car firms, such as BMW M, Mercedes-AMG and Porsche. Each of those brands and more have used their badges to expand their ranges and make more money. Lotus hasn’t done that yet. And here’s the thing: the others haven’t diluted enthusiasm for their actual sports cars while doing so. A modern BMW M car, Porsche or ‘real’…

1 min.

LYNK&CO IS GEARING up to launch its unique car subscription service in Europe, but the Geely-owned Chinese brand has no immediate plans to offer its home-market saloon or other SUVs here. “We want to stick to the 01, in line with our ‘brutally simple’ business model,” said CEO Alain Visser. “A second car would be electric. We’ve chosen the hybrid now, because we think that’s currently the more accessible technology given the limited infrastructure for electric cars. We won’t offer the 02 or 03.” REVIVED MOTORSPORT outfit Brabham intends to follow up the recent launch of its road-legal BT62R hypercar with further road cars “accompanied by homologated GT3, GT4 and/or GTE” models, the company told Autocar. The next Brabham model was said to have “hypercar performance with the core DNA of…

2 min.
how high-definition radar may advance self-driving vehicles

THINGS THAT MOST people can take for granted, such as the elevation of an object (for example, a car on the ground compared with a bridge or gantry overhead) isn’t so straightforward for some sensing systems. The idea is that fully autonomous cars will need a fusion of data from different sensors, like radar, cameras and lidar. It’s the last of these that presents an issue, because it’s still a very expensive technology. Lidar is a kind of laser-based radar (light detection and ranging, as opposed to radio detection and ranging), and a lidar unit contains arrays of sensors that enable it to build a detailed picture as a ‘point cloud’. The downsides of lidar, apart from cost, are that it, like cameras, can be affected by the weather. Radar, on the…

2 min.
inside information

NO MATTER WHICH side of the divide you stand on, there can be few doubts that the Brexit vote – from 52:48 decision to today – has been a blight on the health of the UK automotive industry, subsequent currency swings robbing many operators of profits and buyers of lower-cost car deals, as well as hitting consumer confidence. It has also coincided with a collapse in investment in UK automotive, although Brexit is just one of many pressures at play. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, which exists to promote the interests of the industry but can be relied on to tread a numerically factual path, estimates that an average of £4 billion a year was being invested in the sector from 2012 to 2015, but only £1.1bn from 2016…

3 min.
my week in cars

MONDAY Anyone whose eye occasionally falls on this page will know that I’m forever plotting what car to buy next. Most proposals are frivolous, and my serious inner soul has learned to ignore them. But now two proper contenders have bobbed up, one at the start of the week and one at the end. Both are cars that I haven’t considered before and both fall into the £40,000-plus budget that I consider respectable for a serious car. The first is an original R8 from Audi UK’s own collection (I mentioned it here last week), which impressed me enormously by mixing mid-engined ‘specialness’ with practicality and refinement. Our own Andrew Frankel unwittingly inflamed things by admiring it greatly and pronouncing it “the best Audi they’ve ever made”. That’s clearly not a comment he…