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CAR UK July 2018

Every month CAR interviews the stars of motorsport, demystifies the latest in-car technology and shares our writers’ passion for car culture and car design. Discover the world’s newest and most exciting cars: join us to drive everything from supercars and hot hatches to family cars.

United Kingdom
12 Issues

in this issue

1 min
this month on planet car

World Rally drivers commute, too Out driving the new Audi A6, Jake Groves caught up with Citroën rallyist Mads Østberg carving his way through traffic near Porto, ahead of Rally Portugal. Østberg’s congestion-dodging tactics (and subsequent police escort) were a stronger performance than his eventual sixth place at the following weekend. Still, better than (the sacked) Kris Meeke… Audi A6 first drive, p30 To the rough stuff! Er… Austria had a long, hard winter, like it usually does, and yet the roads around Salzburg were immaculate when managing editor Colin Overland drove the new VW Touareg there. In search of a sterner test of the 4x4’s air suspension and Off Road mode, he headed off piste up a narrow track to a mountain – but every inch of the way was better surfaced than…

1 min
the cs isn’t the m3 you need. but you might well want it

THE RELATIONSHIP between ‘need’ and ‘want’ is a spectacularly complex equation even Will Hunting would struggle with, scratching away with his stick of chalk on the corridor blackboard. Although apparently simple – buy what you need; want is almost by definition an unnecessary extravagance – the truth is actually a lot more nuanced. I just bought a new motorbike, a flat-twin BMW sportsbike. I definitely didn’t need another motorbike. And even if I did, there are many more affordable, practical and comfortable options than a 2010 HP2 Sport, a bizarre limited-run combination of highly-tuned air-cooled engine, carbonfibre bodywork and idiosyncratic engineering (oddball suspension front and rear; shaft final drive). An unnecessary extravagance, then. Undoubtedly: but I really wanted one. Georg Kacher’s driven the £86k BMW M3 CS and James Taylor the Pista…

6 min
insider ‘geely is the best thing that could have happened’

WANT TO KNOW the secret weapon in Lotus’s latest revival plan? It’s Volvo. For componentry to help underpin Lotus’s first SUV, for engines to power clean-sheet sports cars, for electronics to facilitate top-notch touchscreens. And for blazing a trail in successful turnarounds, from Ford reject in 2010 to the world’s fastest growing premium car maker today. Now Lotus shares its owner – Geely Holdings of China – with Volvo, it is bidding to replicate the Swedes’ success story. The man who’s steered Lotus to the brink of profitability, Jean-Marc Gales, is stepping down as Group Lotus CEO. He’s off to run JD Classics, the Essex classic car restorers, though he’ll remain an adviser to Lotus chairman Daniel Donghui Li. It’s his last major interview as CEO, and Gales is bullish about Lotus’s…

1 min
the chinese way

Insiders say the key to Volvo’s successful turnaround under Geely ownership is freeing the company’s talented designers and engineers to do what they do best, while Geely gets on with the business side of things. In 2009, its last full year under Ford ownership, Volvo made 334,808 cars. In 2017 it made 571,577. The target is 800,000 units a year around 2020. There’ll soon be a new Volvo factory in the US, and three in China, primarily to tap into the potential for huge growth in Geely’s home market. Volvo’s surging sales (revenue almost doubled between 2012 and 2017) and booming profitability coincide with the resurgence of its long-dormant creative flair, as manifested in the XC40 (above), and technical ambition: witness its commitment to electrification.…

2 min
build your own bugatti: how lego created its chiron

AT £329.99 and with a couple of inch-thick instruction booklets tucked away in its vast and gorgeous Apple-inspired packaging, the Technic Bugatti Chiron is the most ambitious Lego kit yet. A year and a half in the making, the Lego Chiron’s functionality includes moving pistons in the mighty W16 engine, a working eight-speed paddleshift gearbox, an active rear wing and a Bugatti weekend bag tucked away in the front storage compartment. Here’s how designers from Lego and Bugatti worked together to deliver everyone’s new favourite way to blow £330… Porsche, Mercedes, Klaas… Bugatti ‘The partners we work with and the projects we collaborate on are chosen for a number of reasons, but there is always a reason: that’s the key thing,’ explains Lego Technic’s Andy Woodman. ‘We want new ideas and unique features…

2 min
marchionne’s legacy: the winners and losers

IT WAS A PROUD SWANSONG, planned with precision for the anniversary of Sergio Marchionne’s appointment 14 years ago as chief executive of what was then the failing independent Fiat. The famously languid 66-year-old boss of what is now Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) brought industry watchers from around the world to Fiat’s R&D proving ground in Balocco to hear him set out his five-year plan. Marchionne will step down in early 2019 as master of a sprawling transatlantic empire and likely successors are jostling for position. A good time, then, to ask: what is his legacy? And what state is FCA in as he prepares to retire? 1 IT’S ALL ABOUT PREMIUM BRANDS Only four brands are granted global brand status in FCA: Jeep is the group’s cash-king and will get three new SUVs,…