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 / Cars & Motorcycles


January 29, 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.

United Kingdom
Haymarket Media Group Ltd
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51 Issues


1 min.
latest leon opens a new chapter in the seat success story

SINCE THE 2013 launch of the last Leon, Seat has been one of the industry’s most impressive success stories. It has a happy knack of making the right car in the right segment at the right time, and finding buyers for them in increasing numbers. Pre-2013, it was a very different story. In 2010, Seat’s then boss, James Muir, said the company was facing a fight for its very survival and a five-year turnaround plan gearing up for the launch of the Leon simply had to work as “the last attempt for Seat as a brand”. “If one would want to get rid of Seat, one would have to give the other party money to take it” was Muir’s frank assessment. Yet the plan worked. Last year, Seat sold 574,100 cars, almost…

5 min.
major tech gains and hybrid power for all-new seat leon

“The Leon plug-in hybrid will make 201bhp and has a claimed 38-mile electric-only range” Seat has brought its Leon model into the 2020s with an all-new generation, promising greater efficiency, a new technological standard and a greater emphasis on design than ever before. It’s also the first Seat to come with both mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrain options. Unveiled for the first time in both hatchback and estate forms, the new Leon will make its public debut at the Geneva motor show in March. It will be joined there by the new Cupra Leon performance model, itself available in both petrol and plug-in hybrid guises. First examples of the Ford Focus rival will arrive in UK dealerships the same month. The fourth-generation Leon continues a lineage that has accumulated more than two million…

2 min.
marcus keith, head of white vehicle development and chassis, seat

Which cars did you benchmark as the dynamic target for the new Leon? In regards to the chassis, we were benchmarking a sporty Ford [the Focus ST] and a sporty Hyundai [the i30 N] even for the standard Leon models. We don’t see them as competition, but also the Volkswagen Golf and Golf R and the Audi A3 and S3. Does this mean the Leon will feel firmer and sportier than the Golf? Absolutely: a sporty feeling is paramount. The behaviour of a Seat isn’t supposed to be comfortable, but still in among the sportiness we’ve made a very comfortable car. The FR model is 15mm lower and has adaptive dampers; if you want, you can take the needle from Comfort over to Sport. What challenges were brought by engineering the plug-in hybrid? Hybrid was…

3 min.
hybrid lifeline for focus rs

The future of a new Focus RS hinges on its engineers creating a high-output, full-hybrid powertrain that fits in with the new EU regime for average fleet CO2 emissions – a challenge that Ford bosses describe as “waiting for a solution”. A senior Ford executive told Autocar: “We are waiting for our engineering team to come up with a solution on the powertrain and that is not easy given the new fleet CO2 regulations.” Eighteen months ago, Ford was understood to be looking at a mild-hybrid 48V powertrain. To minimise CO2 figures, the firm now believes the engine has to be a full hybrid. “The mild hybrid is not enough,” said our source. The challenge of the new fleet average figure – set industry-wide at 95g/km, but varying according to a car company’s…

1 min.
citroën readies ford puma rival

CITROEN WILL REPLACE the axed C4 and ageing C4 Cactus with an all-new crossover – and the first spy shots of the new model have emerged. The newly developed model is tipped to make its debut in the latter part of 2020 before going on sale at the start of next year. It will sit on the PSA Group’s CMP architecture, allowing it to be the first model in its class to come with petrol, diesel and battery electric powertrain options, as confirmed by former Citroën CEO Linda Jackson last year. The spy shots offer a first look at the new car, which moves towards the fashionable SUV-coupé bodystyle, with a distinctly sloping roofline and raised tailgate. However, clear Citroën design cues remain in the styling of the front end – particularly…

1 min.
details of hot new golfs leaked

A LEAKED IMAGE showing the rear of the new Volkswagen Golf GTI has emerged and was quickly followed by a brand slide appearing to confirm the output of four hot new Golfs due this year. Set to make its official debut at the Geneva motor show in March, the Golf GTI (which follows on from the recently revealed GTE plug-in hybrid) will be joined by a high-performance TCR variant, a new diesel GTD and a range-topping R. The Golf R is expected to be unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this summer. The slide confirms the GTI’s previously reported output of 241bhp and shows a new TCR variant with an output of 296bhp. The diesel GTD has power upped to 197bhp and the flagship R appears to put out 329bhp –…