Cars & Motorcycles

Evo December 2017

Produced by world-class motoring journalists and racers, evo communicates the raw emotion of owning, driving and testing the world’s greatest performance cars. Bringing together informative car reviews, vivid photography, exciting track tests and dramatic drive stories in glorious landscapes, evo is considered the bible for performance car enthusiasts.

United Kingdom
Dennis Publishing UK
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12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
ed speak

WALKING THE HALLS OF THE FRANKURT MESSE IS not for the fainthearted or those who value style over substance when it comes to footwear. As with every Frankfurt motor show, the home manufacturers ruled the roost this year, or rather they would like you to think they did. And while the remarkable achievement of AMG turning Lewis Hamilton’s 2015 F1 car into a road car can never be underestimated – where on Earth do you start with such a project? – the ‘me too’ approach to product planning by filling every niche with a crossover was beyond tiresome. However, away from the Mercedes cathedral, the VW Group’s hanger and BMW’s new town, there were as many, if not more, interesting stories percolating throughout the other eight halls. None more so than…

4 min.
the good

HONDA Should evo readers be excited by a small electric hatchback? Because that’s exactly how we feel about Honda’s Urban EV Concept, which appeared from nowhere to become one of the Frankfurt motor show’s biggest stars. As a design exercise alone it’s worth a look – for reference, it’s based on the original, 1972 Honda Civic rather than the Mk1 Golf or Peugeot 205 that some see in its details. Given the styling of recent Honda road cars has been challenging, the retro-inspired but undoubtedly modern Urban EV feels like taking a breath of crisp Fuji air after a decade of Tokyo gridlock. The details are beautiful too, from the bonnet shut-line that’s continued under and around the side windows and ends with a small electrical plug detail, to the glowing Honda emblem…

5 min.
the bad

SEAT We need to talk about SEAT. Specifically, about Cupra. Once upon a time, SEAT’s sporting brand could be relied upon to do something a little different – something brightly coloured, boasting more power than its Volkswagen Group equivalents and fizzing with a Balearic vibe that gave SEAT a youthful customer base the envy of every other company in the industry. The Leon Cupra R presented at Frankfurt had barely a hint of that, despite its wider arches and a promise of real carbonfibre components, stiffer engine mounts and a revised chassis. Where are the bright colours? (The choice is black or grey.) Where’s the Golf R-crushing power output? (The SEAT matches the VW on 306bhp – and then only if you take the manual gearbox.) Where’s the price tag to undercut…

2 min.
the ugly

SUVs We go on about how the unimaginative drive to produce endless crossovers and SUVs for every conceivable niche is an ugly blot on our industry. The counter argument is that they are what customers want: high seating positions, the sense of safety implied by size, and the misconception that they offer greater interior space and practicality for our ‘active lifestyles’. What’s conveniently missed from these arguments is the inefficiency of a crossover or SUV compared with a conventional saloon, hatch or estate car and how, because of their size, weight and high centre of gravity, they are little safer, and sometimes no safer, than a regular car. And this is before you take into consideration the damage they can do to any third-party object they’re in a collision with. You could respect…

2 min.
brawn again

THERE’S NO TURNING BACK FOR TVR now. Les Edgar and the consortium of well-heeled enthusiasts who brought the much-loved sports car firm back from the dead have revealed their first new car – the Griffith. With a 480bhp, 5-litre V8 crate engine from the Ford Mustang, a claimed 1250kg kerb weight, a six-speed manual gearbox and rearwheel drive, there’s no denying that TVR DNA – as defined by the late Peter Wheeler – is all present and correct. And that engine has enjoyed a small amount of attention from Cosworth, too, in that a bespoke flywheel, clutch and dry sump have been developed for it. Beneath the body – designed by David Seesing of Gordon Murray Design (GMD) and featuring carbon-composite and aluminium panels – is the latest development of GMD’s iStream…

1 min.
evo track evening

WE RETURNED TO OUR HOME TURF FOR THE penultimate evo track evening of 2017, the pitlane at Bedford Autodrome once again playing host to a brilliantly eclectic collection of cars. Standing out this time were a rarely spotted Lotus 3-Eleven, an Ariel Nomad (complete with frame-mounted spotlights) and a hot hatch legend: a Renault Sport Mégane R26.R. The 2.8 miles of the South West Circuit and its mixture of corners provided their usual challenge for cars and drivers alike. The left-to-right flick through New Pif-Paf proved the hardest to master for many, along with the tight turn of Bank Complex immediately afterwards. A skyborne cauldron of grey threatened throughout the session, releasing a brief shower with a well-defined rainbow as compensation. Many sought temporary refuge in the pit garages before heading back…