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CAR UK December 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

They used to race turbo F1 cars here?! Estoril is popular for circuit-based new-car launches, as is Portimao, but now and then someone goes somewhere else. For its long-awaited new Supra (the waiting goes on – this was a prototype drive) Toyota chose Jarama, which last hosted Grand Prix car racing in 1981. Like a slightly wider Spanish Cadwell, it’s nuts in a Supra. In a turbo F1 car with mighty boost? Terrifying. 2019 Toyota Supra prototype drive, p78 It’s a Z8, mate When you’re on the launch of the new Z4, spare time is hard to come by. But James nonetheless couldn’t resist a 10-minute blat up the road in a Z8, a car he claims he’d never been that ‘ enamoured of previously. ‘It was gorgeous,’ gushes James. It feels like a…

1 min
‘phones into boxes, sign the paperwork and then, boom!’

I’M SURE THE BLINDFOLDS were more about cranking up the sense of theatre than preserving secrecy, but isn’t a little theatre core to the hypercar experience? Certainly the Wednesday on which I first saw McLaren’s new Speedtail was a Wednesday like few others: drive to Woking, assemble at McLaren’s Thought Leadership Centre (or TLC, a cute if slightly wide-of-the-mark acronym for such a sheer, un-cosy piece of architecture) and, shortly thereafter, climb into The Apprentice-style black limos for a short and blindfolded ride through town to an anonymous warehouse. Phones into sealed boxes, sign the paperwork without reading it and then, boom, the cover’s whipped off a £1.75m hypercar with more power than Alonso’s Formula 1 McLaren, three seats, matching luggage and badges made of gold. (We could spend all day…

5 min
brexit: the hard truth

The UK’s automotive industry is under serious threat from the ‘wrong’ Brexit. So what could happen to car companies, to dealers and to the cars we buy when we exit the EU on Friday 29 March? Right now, unless the government somehow appeases everyone and scores a great deal from the EU, it’s looking pretty gloomy, especially for the 856,000 employed in the business across the UK. HOW COULD NO-DEAL CRIPPLE UK PRODUCTION? UK car manufacturers like borderless trading with the EU. Their web of supplier networks across Europe involves an estimated 1100 trucks crossing the Channel each day, bringing parts straight to the assembly line at factories in Sunderland, Cowley, Halewood, Swindon or one of the other 32 vehicle manufacturing plants in the UK. It’s a delicate operation that any border…

1 min
will our post-brexit air be dirtier?

One of the many Brexit unknowns is whether we’ll remain in Europe’s average CO2 agreement, which fines manufacturers that don’t hit targets for average emissions across their range. ‘If the UK dropped out there would be no reason for manufacturers to sell plug-in vehicles in the UK because they would no longer count to CO2 targets,’ said Greg Archer of green pressure group Transport & Environment (T&E). ‘That would create a shortage.’ Manufacturers might be more willing to sell us less-fuel-efficient engine options, some of which have already been canned, knowing it wouldn’t impact their overall EU score.…

1 min
what’s the best deal?

‘CANADA ++’ Boris Johnson’s keen on this tariff-free arrangement; Ford fears it won’t deliver a seamless parts supply. Likelihood ‘NORWAY FOR NOW’ UK stays in single market pending a bespoke deal. Little impact. Hard Brexiters hate it. Likelihood ‘SWITZERLAND’ Involves different deals for different industries. EU hates its deal with Switzerland so not keen to repeat it. Likelihood ‘TURKEY’ Turkey’s EU deal took nine years to agree. It’s overseen by the European Court of Justice, which we’ll shun. Likelihood…

1 min
x7 because ultimately more is more

IT WAS, with hindsight, blindingly obvious BMW was missing a trick. Way back, when we first pitched the then-new Discovery against its three key rivals, the X5 felt curiously tiny next to the likes of the Land Rover and the Audi Q7, like we’d inadvertently brought a Fiesta to a Golf group test when we meant to bring a Focus. An advantage on sinuous Welsh roads, particularly when indulging in the BMW’s very capable chassis, the X5’s paucity of sheer size has now been emphatically addressed with the significant X7. Significant? Significant because the X7 is something of a Munich flagship in these SUV-obsessed times. And significant because it measures 5150mm from front to back, bears three rows of full-size seats (spec the middle row as two comfort seats or three…