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Autocar January 27, 2021

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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.

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United Kingdom
Haymarket Media Group Ltd
51 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
if alfa can’t succeed now, then when?

THE CREATION OF the world’s fourth-largest car company was finally completed with the formal merger of PSA and FCA earlier this month, creating Stellantis. Tantalising ‘what happens next?’ questions are thrown up in every corner of its diverse empire, packed full of brands with rich histories but far from certain futures. Chief among them is Alfa Romeo. It’s had more comebacks than a 1960s rock band, none of which could be considered even a qualified success, and its best work is now years behind it. Stellantis boss Carlos Tavares has said a long-term plan for any brand does not yet exist, but he knows brands like Alfa are assets and “we have no intention to do anything other than support those brands”. The size and scale of Stellantis, through platform and component sharing,…

3 min.
fiery m5 cs sets new bmw records for pace and power

The new M5 CS is the most powerful and fastest-accelerating road car that BMW M has ever placed into production. The ultimate version of the acclaimed super-saloon will join the M2 CS, as well as upcoming CS versions of the latest M3 and M4, in adopting the range-topping Clubsport tag. BMW describes it as a “specialised performance model combining everyday usability with exceptional track performance”. Set for UK delivery in April, the M5 CS is priced from £140,780 – £38,455 more than the M5 Competition. However, the M5 CS features a number of upgrades over the existing M5 Competition. These include a more powerful engine, a reprogrammed four-wheel drive system, bespoke chassis tuning and a series of lightweight carbonfibre parts that contribute to a 70kg weight reduction over the M5 Competition. The M5 CS’s…

1 min.
new i4 saloon to get m treatment

BMW has confirmed that an M-badged electric performance model will be unveiled this year, bringing a “completely new manifestation of the distinctive M feeling”. In a press release detailing BMW M’s 2020 sales performance, the brand confirms it will be “presenting an electrically powered performance automobile for the first time” this year. Autocar understands this will be an M-badged variant of the forthcoming BMW i4 electric saloon. However, unlike the soon-to-arrive new M3 and M4, the i4 M is believed to be an ‘M-lite’ model rather than a fully fledged M product – a bit like the current M340i. The standard i4 will be fully unveiled in the coming months and go on sale in early 2022. BMW confirmed in 2019 that the Tesla Model 3 rival will offer a 523bhp powertrain, enough…

1 min.
m5 will turn phev after this

There’s a good chance the storming M5 CS is BMW M’s last hurrah for a non-hybrid V8-powered performance model. Although the twin-turbo 4.4-litre unit still has some life in it yet (otherwise Jaguar Land Rover wouldn’t be doing a deal for its use in upcoming models), it should be only a couple of years before the larger M-badged models move to plug-in hybrid. Will that dilute some of the fun? So far, few PHEV performance models have truly impressed (the Polestar 1 aside), but let’s not forget that the weight penalty associated with electric addenda and a hefty battery shouldn’t be felt too drastically, given that even the M5 is a near-two-tonne car as it is. The key to success for the electrified era will be in powertrain calibration and chassis tuning,…

4 min.
major update for mini models

The third-generation Mini hatchback lineup has undergone its most dramatic overhaul since being launched in 2013, ushering in new exterior styling, equipment upgrades and added personalisation options for all four variations of the brand’s core model. The 3dr, 5dr, Electric and Convertible each get a new front-end design, with a larger grille that’s framed by a new black hexagonal surround. In line with the Mini brand’s ambition to make the “central design features more apparent by means of reduction”, the low-mounted foglights have been replaced by vertical air intakes, the chrome headlight housings are now finished in black and the bumper’s centre section is colour-coded, rather than black. Elsewhere, the wheel arches have been reshaped for a refreshed side profile and the side indicators now use LEDs as standard. Similarly subtle revisions at the…

1 min.
lotus retires elise, exige and evora

LOTUS WILL END production of the Elise, Exige and Evora models soon as it gets ready to begin production of its all-new sports car later this year. The new car, first revealed by Autocar in March 2019 and given the development name Type 131, will go into prototype production at the British firm’s Hethel base. Lotus has invested £100 million to upgrade the facility and is planning to recruit 250 more staff to build its new car. While Lotus has provided no official details, we know it will be – as previously reported – a V6-powered super-sports car in the style of the classic Esprit. With the introduction of the new car, Lotus will phase out its long-running current line-up. The Elise first went into production in 1995, winning admirers for its lightweight aluminium bodyshell.…