CAR UK December 2020

Every month CAR interviews the stars of motorsport, demystifies the latest in-car technology and shares our writers’ passion for car culture and car design. Discover the world’s newest and most exciting cars: join us to drive everything from supercars and hot hatches to family cars.

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12 Numéros

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5 min
maserati: mc20 is just the start

First comes the thunder, then the lightning. After the bombast of the MC20 supercar’s reveal, now we see the full scope and ambition of Maserati’s re-re-re-rebirth plan. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles – soon to be positioned under one roof with PSA in a new holding group known as Stellantis – has committed itself to investing €2.5bn in what may well be the last attempt to make Maserati into a luxury performance brand fit to take on Audi, BMW and Mercedes. First up, the MC20. Designed by a young team led by FCA design boss Klaus Busse, the sleek two-seater doesn’t share a single nut or bolt with a Ferrari (but perhaps takes a few from the stillborn mid-engined Alfa 8C project). It’s an ambitious, high-tech flagship for new-era Maser, available with a choice…

3 min
316mph the old-fashioned way

What’s that, Bugatti? You hold the record for the fastest-ever production car? Not any more. SSC North America has smashed the record with its V8 Tuatara. Driven by British racing driver Oliver Webb, SSC’s creation has hit 316mph, eclipsing Bugatti’s previous 305mph record. More concerned with extremely focused execution than radical innovation, the road-legal Tuatara is powered by a V8 engine that drives the rear wheels through a seven-speed automated manual. Its carbonfibre bodywork combines low drag with enough downforce for stability at speed. If neither SSC nor Tuatara means anything to you, a brief history lesson: the company was created by Jerod Shelby and was called Shelby SuperCars until a legal settlement with the estate of US automotive legend Carroll Shelby (no relation) put paid to that. The Tuatara follows on…

6 min
bugatti chiron pur sport gearly beloved

Driving the Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport on track forces you to recalibrate your brain. A stretch of tarmac that in any other car would feel like a long straight is in the Pur Sport just a pause for breath between two bends. That third-gear corner is now a fourth-gear one. Or you can stick with third and scare yourself silly when you open the taps as you exit the curve. Although the Pur Sport has been referred to as a Chiron with improved stopping and turning, the most vital difference is that Bugatti’s engineers have shortened the final-drive gearing by 15 per cent, a radical change that tightens up the intermediate ratios and puts seventh gear roughly where fifth gear usually is. The Pur Sport shares its 8.0-litre quad-turbo W16 engine with…

2 min
f1 loses honda, gains domenicali

1 STOP THE MASS MANUFACTURER EXODUS Honda are leaving at the end of 2021, dropping the manufacturer count to three (Merc, Ferrari, Renault). That alone is no reason to panic - there were only three OEMs as recently as 2014. But Honda’s reasoning is alarming. In effect, they’ve told F1 it’s too expensive and - being fossil fuel-based - no longer relevant. One option is to pitch F1 as the perfect promotional platform for performance brands; Ferrari, AMG (rather than Merc) and Alpine (rather than Renault). 2 BALANCE THE PAST WITH THE FUTURE The pandemic has resulted in a much- revised schedule and some very successful events at Mugello, Imola, Portimao and the Nürburgring. These old-school tracks have gone down well with fans and drivers alike. Domenicali will need to balance commercially lucrative…

1 min
the car’s the (unlikely) star

WALT’S WAS BEIGE So fundamental was the Aztek to Walter White’s character that the show’s creator had him lined up to drive one from day one. The colour, too, was no accident – Walt’s car was a suitably forgettable beige 2004 example. Believe it or not, a red Aztek like ours served as pace car for the 2001 Daytona 500. BROKEN SCREEN? In the series a broken windscreen becomes a recurring theme, with Walter first being pulled over for damage caused by falling debris from a plane. Walt rants to the lawman at the injustice of it all – we choose not to do the same in conversation with border patrol officers… PLASTIC-CLAD Grey ‘go-anywhere’ body cladding marks our 2001 car out as an early example – the Aztek switched to body-coloured cladding for 2002.…

1 min
those v12 special editions

1948 166MM Two-seat Touring-bodied roadster with a 2.0-litre V12 took its initials from the Mille Miglia, which it went on to win in 1949, as well as Le Mans. 1969 365 GTS4 Also known as the Daytona Spider, this was Ferrari’s last seriesproduction convertible with a front-mounted V12 before the 812 GTS. 2000 550 Barchetta Pininfarina Ferrari removed the 550’s roof to celebrate collaborator Pininfarina’s 70th birthday. Very much your glamping kind of fabric roof. 2005 Superamerica 575M with an electrochromic glass folding hardtop that has switchable opacity when closed. Hey presto, best of coupe and convertible. 2010 SA Aperta Just 80 of these open 599s produced, celebrating Pininfarina’s 80th anniversary. ‘SA’ is for Sergio and Andrea Pininfarina. 2014 F60 America F12-based F60 America built to celebrate Ferrari’s 60th anniversary in America. Wasn’t just a roof chop, either – nose, wings…