CAR UK November 2021

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.

United Kingdom
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12 Issues

in this issue

3 min

‘No rare earths… crystal glass… a magic carpet over the road…’ Well, thank God for that. BMW’s iX is superb. I can’t describe the sense of relief. (It’s right up there with getting the call from features man James Taylor to say that our Sports Car of the Year test – page 88 – had passed without incident. No Ferrari SF90s in the Irish Sea; no 911 GT3-shaped holes in the Welsh landscape; no calls to our insurance company trying to explain that, really, dangling a photographer from a sideways M4 is absolutely essential business, and had never gone wrong before…) Why so relieved that the iX isn’t a duffer? Because while every single BMW-affiliated soul I’ve spent time with over the last year and half has been very keen to tell me…

5 min
five lotus evs to end the dark ages

THE MONTH ACCORDING TO CAR Five years ago, car lovers would have scoffed at the dream of Lotus introducing five all-new cars in five years. But that’s the emphatic statement of intent from Lotus Cars and its parent company Geely Holdings, with key details outlined by managing director Matt Windle in an interview with CAR. Since car number one of the new model offensive – the mid-engined, petrol-powered Emira coupe – was revealed in CAR’s August issue, a wave of transformative developments has broken. There’s a £900m investment in a Lotus Technology R&D campus in Wuhan, China, also including a purpose-built Lotus factory. Lotus Cars has shown its lightweight electric sports car architecture, sharing key technical details. And Peter Horbury, a grandee of car design who transformed Volvo and Ford’s North American…

1 min
adding lightness – even for evs

‘The thing about EVs is they’re not light,’ wryly notes Lotus head of vehicle concepts Richard Rackham. But with Lotus’s forthcoming electric sports car architecture, they have to be. Rackham’s team have painstakingly finessed LEVA to get weight out. ‘Biomesh’ computer modelling the rear suspension enables sections to be scooped out to reduce mass, while calculations ensure the material still has sufficient rigidity. It leaves a beautiful aluminium structure with a finish resembling Swiss cheese. The rear electric motors don’t have their own subframe, but are bolted directly onto the cradle. Similarly the modular battery has no enclosure – that’s provided by the vehicle, once the battery tray is slid into place. The die-cast rear structure, made from a special alloy developed with help from Brunel University, is designed to pass US crash…

1 min
future of eq... dreamy electric halo car... new retro-futurist droptop planned

►You’d think the last thing on the priority list of top managers would be low-volume, high-end niche models. But halo cars are the salt in an increasingly thin soup of me-too products devoid of truly significant USPs. Mercedes is now actively embracing the category of future electric trend-setters. ►The one-off EQXX, bound for January’s Consumer Electronics show, will soon demonstrate what can be achieved when R&D is prepared to pull out all the stops, irrespective of cost and feasibility. Why? Because, right now, the focus is very much on EVs and thus on advanced batteries, software, drivetrains and design, even if the EQ prefix becomes dispensable at the end of the decade when most of Merc’s range is electric anyway. ►One of those new models is a two-seater designed to merge two…

2 min
the renault 4 returns!

Factfile POWERTRAIN 52kWh battery, single e-motor, 250-mile range (est) CHASSIS Steel and aluminium monocoque DUE 2025 1 BACK TO THE FUTURE Renault is looking forward as well as back when it comes to its new-generation EVs. While the VW ID.3-rivalling Megane E-Tech Electric is a thoroughly modern car, the planned 5 EV and the new 4Ever are distinctly retro in their design, aiming to draw in those who fondly remember what the originals looked like. 2 LOFTY GOALS Leaked patent images of the new Renault 4 show a crossover-like shape with a tall rear end, while the ‘face’ that comprises the headlights and grille-like panel has been compared to the Honda E’s. Chunky design cues and similar wheels to the Renault 5’s are expected, too. 3 MAKING IT COUNT Renault’s agonising over costs and weight to make its new EVs competitive. The…

3 min
a look into the crystal ball

Mercedes Concept EQG It was inevitable – even Merc’s G-Class is going electric. This one’s a preview, and is from the school of concept-car thought that reckons every electric car needs to look like it’s fresh from the set of some classic Star Trek. A glowing animated grille, blue touches everywhere and monobloc wheels all feature, as do illuminated beltlines. Merc says it’ll be good off-road but, as our European editor says, the weight of the ladder-framed G might limit range to around 150 miles. NEED TO KNOW What is it? A look at an electric G-Class Tech specs LED lighting EVERYWHERE, electric all-wheel drive Aimed at? Taking the rugged G ethos into the electric age When can I get one? It’s just a concept for now, but a production version will follow…