category_outlined / Cars & Motorcycles

Autocar March 20, 2019

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


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time for lotus to finally start delivering on its potential

IT’S ALMOST A decade since then-Lotus CEO Dany Bahar’s infamous Paris show launch of six all-new models, none of which ever got close to seeing the light of day. In fact, the trio of sports cars Lotus does make is the same now as it was before even Bahar arrived. The company’s morale has been low, its Hethel HQ run down and future plans always far enough away to remain a dream rather than an imminent reality. Yet when Geely took over Lotus 18 months ago, we thought the good times were set to finally arrive at Lotus. The Chinese giant’s guardianship of Volvo has been the industry’s standout success story of the past decade. Now there are similar positive signs at Lotus, too. Unlike Bahar, new Lotus CEO Phil Popham will only…

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model y tipped to outsell all other teslas combined

“The Model Y Performance gets 280 miles of range, a 150mph top speed and 0-60mph time of 3.5sec” The new Tesla Model Y, due in 2020, will offer “the functionality of an SUV, but ride like a sports car”, according to company boss Elon Musk. The new electric crossover is the company’s fourth mainstream model and can seat up to seven people. It offers up to 300 miles of range in its highest specification. The Model Y was unveiled at Tesla’s Los Angeles design centre and takes visual cues from both the Model 3 saloon and Model X SUV. It has a glass panoramic roof but does not retain the gullwing doors found on the more expensive Model X, instead using pillarless doors like the Model 3 and Model S. The crossover is around…

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tesla plays it straight for once

Elon Musk spent much of his time on stage at the Model Y launch focusing on how his company had reached this point, laughing with the crowd of employees and owners over his cheeky model-naming conventions and whether a Tesla would soon be driving on Mars. Unveiling the car itself almost seemed like an afterthought. For a company known for attention-grabbing features such as a Ludicrous performance mode and biohazard defence filters, the Model Y almost felt ordinary – but it also gave us a sign of Tesla’s maturity as a car maker, letting the metal speak for itself rather than distracting us with gimmicks. It’s very much a jacked-up Model 3, with a near-identical interior, similar performance and equally competitive price, but that’s all it needs to be. As demand for…

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ineos 4x4 gets bmw power

Ineos Automotive has confirmed its Projekt Grenadier will use BMW-sourced petrol and diesel engines in the first of a series of upcoming announcements about its new hardcore 4x4. The model – created by chemical company Ineos, which is owned by Britain’s richest man, Jim Ratcliffe – will be revealed in 2020 and go on sale in mid-2021, the firm has confirmed to Autocar. A host of different variants, bodystyles and wheelbase lengths for the new model are planned as part of its brief as a back-to-basics 4x4 to fill the void left by the original Land Rover Defender. Around 25,000 units a year is the ultimate production goal across its various derivatives. Ineos believes this spiritual successor to the Defender can be profitable at that volume even though Land Rover didn’t have a…

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dirk heilmann, ceo, ineos automotive

How has the project developed? “I’ve been here since the start, at the end of 2016. We had Jim’s [Ratcliffe] proposition and did a six-month feasibility study in detail with a company in Austria. All the risks were fully understood and a proposition was presented – with risks – and we decided it could be done. So it’s been a two-year journey. We’ve been quiet as we’ve had quite a lot to do.” Where is the project at currently? “We need to appoint key partners and to create a supply chain. When I started this journey, I didn’t think we’d get this far, as we’re reliant on those key partners. We’re a big automotive supplier already with chemicals and plastics for tier-one and tier-two suppliers, but we’re not known. But people like us…

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how to save the city car

The message was as bleak as it was clear. “If Europe is pursuing this legal target, there is no single business case for cars the size of the Up,” Volkswagen sales and marketing boss Jürgen Stackmann told Autocar at the recent Geneva motor show. These are words being echoed around the automotive industry, triggered by incoming legislation to reduce emissions and enforce higher minimum safety standards, both of which threaten to add significant cost to cars already being sold on paper-thin profit margins. The city car is facing extinction. One source Autocar spoke to estimated that the profit from the sale of some city cars is as little as £100 per car for the manufacturer and a further £100 for the retailer. Servicing usually nets another £100 of profit, but because the…