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Autocar

Autocar

May 20, 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.

Pays:
United Kingdom
Langue:
English
Éditeur:
Haymarket Media Group Ltd
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1 min.
a new design era is under way at jaguar

“IT’S TRUE SOME people in my position get misty-eyed and protective, and reluctant to move things forward. But we’re not going to be like that.” The welcome words of Jaguar design director Julian Thomson, almost a year into the job after succeeding Ian Callum. Callum’s impressive era moved Jaguar’s design into the future, with critically acclaimed designs such as the original XF, the XJ and, most radical of all, the I-Pace. Seemingly unbreakable rules were broken by Callum and the results were fantastic. But however good Callum’s cars are to look at – and to drive – sustained commercial success hasn’t followed. Jaguar has remained a relative minnow on the world stage; Tesla sold more than twice as many cars as Jaguar did last year. Despite Callum’s work, Jaguar still hasn’t shaken…

3 min.
porsche opens up the 911 range with two new targas

Porsche is continuing its five-decade love affair with the Targa roof design, revealing the eighth generation of the semi-convertible 911 variant. The new 911 Targa picks up where the last generation model left off – with a fully automatic system that stows the hard-top roof panel behind the rear seats. When operated, the entire rear deck and screen lift up to allow the roof section to fold into the space. This leaves the car’s characteristic central roll-over bar in place of the B-pillar behind the door. The mechanism is able to open and close the Targa roof in 19 seconds – seven slower than the fabric-roofed 911 Cabriolet, which was launched last year. Porsche describes the Targa as offering “open-top driving in a cabriolet paired with the sleek convenience of a coupé”. It…

1 min.
q&a frank-steffen walliser, sports cars head, porsche

With other VW Group brands reducing variants, do you really need to offer a cabriolet and a Targa? “Our colleagues are constantly asking this: ‘Don’t you think if we don’t offer a Targa, people will go for the cabriolet and we can save money?’ But looking at the sales figures, there is a big percentage that just go for this shape and iconic design. And for me, it’s part of the 911 story to offer something not going the way everyone follows.” Is there a solid long-term business case for making convertibles? “Fifty per cent of our sports cars are open: this is very solid. If we consider only Carrera and Carrera S, 17-18% are Targa, which is a pretty big number.” Are you going to bring back the Speedster format for the 992…

1 min.
is this the last 911 targa?

It’s a funny old thing, the 911 Targa. Porsche wasn’t the first to use the removable roof panel system, but it was the first to trademark the Targa name, on the 1966 911. Its purpose was to offer 90% of the wind-in-the-hair feel of a traditional drop-top, but without the structural floppiness and potential roll-over peril. It was a successful formula, one that rival Ferrari also embraced from the 1970s through to the 1990s. But developments such as pop-up roll-over bars and better structural engineering diminished any objective benefit. Only Porsche and Mazda offer both cabriolet and Targa variants of their sports cars today. Porsche now doesn’t mention any structural or handling benefits for the 911 Targa over the cabriolet, and with fabric roofs more refined than ever, arguably the Targa’s biggest…

3 min.
new dbx models on the way

Aston Martin has confirmed that it plans to add more “derivatives” of its new DBX SUV in 2021, thanks to a healthy book of orders for the standard car. The announcement was made as part of the firm’s first-quarter financial report (see below), in which new executive chairman Lawrence Stroll said the Porsche Cayenne rival’s launch plan remains on track despite shutdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Stroll said: “With St Athan reopened safely last week, I’m extremely pleased that the DBX remains on track for deliveries in the summer and has a strong order book behind it extending into 2021. “Based on these successful initial orders for the DBX, we plan to unveil future derivatives starting from 2021.” While CEO Andy Palmer has been open about plans to introduce a hybrid version of…

2 min.
aston martin loses £118.9m in first three months of 2020

ASTON MARTIN LAGONDA Limited posted a pre-tax loss of £118.9 million for the first three months of this year, with sales falling by nearly half, mainly due to the pandemic. The British manufacturer sold 578 cars from January through to the end of March – a 45% drop from the 1057 in the same three months of 2019. Notably, the average selling price of each car was £98,000, compared with £160,000 in 2019. Aston Martin attributes this to it not having any limited-run special models on sale in the quarter. Aston Martin was hit hard by coronavirus-induced lockdowns in China and other Asian countries for much of January and February. Sales in the region fell by 74%, with those in China down 86%. In the UK, sales fell by only 3%, due to…