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Cars & Motorcycles

Autocar January 15, 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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₹ 313.09
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51 Issues

In this issue

1 min.
class-best puma sets the scene for a new era of brilliant fords

BY ITS OWN admission, Ford has been tardy in keeping up with the seismic shift towards small SUVs for European buyers. The original Ecosport was so far off both the pace of the class best and the standard set by the likes of the Fiesta and Focus that you’d have thought it had come from another car maker. Although enhanced since, it still offers no outstanding reason to buy one over fast-improving – and increasing – competition. Yet while immensely popular with buyers, none of those small SUVs can claim to be truly exceptional. Which is where Ford comes back in, because it has finally delivered a small SUV really worth getting excited about in the Puma. As Matt Prior declares (p26), the Puma is the best-driving small SUV yet seen. Although Ford…

3 min.
new qashqai key to nissan’s three-pronged suv assault

Nissan will reinvigorate its ageing line-up by introducing three new models in the next 18 months. A new Qashqai and a new X-Trail are due to be revealed this year and an all-new electric SUV will take on Ford’s Mustang Mach-E in 2021. The significant product overhaul comes at a crucial time for the Japanese maker, which has recently suffered dwindling profits and job cuts and is still reeling from the fallout from the arrest of former CEO Carlos Ghosn. New CEO Makoto Uchida, himself barely a month into the job, is implementing a product plan with renewed vigour, ensuring the manufacturer’s global best-sellers are brought up to the class standard in good time. Following the recently launched, second-generation Juke, three more new SUVs are at the core of the plan to restore…

1 min.
x-trail is nissan’s first priority

Autocar understands the X-Trail will be prioritised for an unveiling before its smaller Qashqai sibling, possibly in the summer. Prototypes have been seen testing in the US, where the X-Trail and Qashqai are sold as the Rogue and Rogue Sport respectively. Nissan sells significantly more Rogues in the US than X-Trails in Europe. It’s also more popular than the smaller SUV in both the US and China, so Nissan will want it to be the centre of attention in these markets. The US test cars provide a clear glimpse of the upcoming X-Trail’s exterior styling. Spy shots also reveal a significantly overhauled dashboard design dominated by a large, free-standing central display that’s flanked by traditional knobs and shortcut buttons rather than touch-sensitive items. There is a separate, small screen for the climate…

4 min.
hot octavia gets hybrid power

“The plug-in hybrid should be good for nearly 250bhp and as much as 300lb ft” Skoda is planning its most comprehensive Octavia vRS line-up yet, with sources at the company hinting that the new models will be the fastest and most focused to wear the vRS performance badge so far. Standard versions of the new-generation Octavia were unveiled late last year, but the new vRS-badged performance models are due to make their debut at the Geneva motor show in March, with a plug-in hybrid variant set to join the vRS range for the first time. The new PHEV version promises to offer the most potent version yet of the drivetrain already seen in the Volkswagen Golf GTE. As before, there will also be 2.0-litre petrol and diesel vRS models, with the former promising…

1 min.
renault adds e-tech clio, captur

RENAULT HAS ANNOUNCED details of two new electrified powertrains added to the Clio and Captur ranges, while also confirming that a plug-in hybrid Mégane will soon be launched. The two new models both feature ‘E-Tech’ branding but have substantially different takes on the hybrid powertrain. The Clio uses a ‘full hybrid’ system – an innovative take on the proven parallel hybrid set-up – that Renault says is protected by about 150 patents. It’s based around a multi-mode dedicated hybrid transmission, which controls a naturally aspirated 1.6-litre petrol engine and two electric motors either simultaneously or independently. The battery pack is a small 1.2kWh, meaning the car weighs just 10kg more than an equivalent diesel Clio. Renault says the Clio E-Tech can spend up to 80% of the time in electric mode on urban roads…

1 min.
panda and 500 are first electrified fiats

THE 500 AND Panda have become the first electrified models in the Fiat line-up, ahead of the electric 500e arriving later this year. The city cars use a mild-hybrid powertrain that Fiat says reduces CO2 emissions by up to 30%. Replacing the 1.2-litre engine, it comprises a 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine, a 12V belt-driven electric motor and a lithium ion battery. It produces 69bhp and 69lb ft of torque. The cars use a six-speed manual gearbox that allows the engine to switch off entirely by shifting into neutral at speeds below 18mph. The powertrain will first appear in Hybrid Launch Edition models, which get recycled plastic upholstery.…