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CAR UK May 2019

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

3 min

It’s not often that, in the course of a casual Saturday morning drive and a chat, you find yourself facing an unpleasant truth you’ve been avoiding for years. I had planned to sit in the passenger seat of ‘my’ BMW M850i and simply ask reader Andy Cole what he thought of the car. (The story’s in Our Cars, on p126.) But then things got a bit heavy. Like us, Andy’s an enthusiast. Like me, he’s moved by a good Bavarian straight-six; they do something to him. Or rather, they did something to him. ‘I think I’m over internal combustion engines,’ Andy told me, matter of factly. Ridiculous, I thought to myself. One does not simply ‘get over’ combustion engines. But over the next couple of days it dawned on me that, like…

3 min
the storm before the calm

Selling dreams – not the cold, hard process of building cars – is Ferrari’s real business. Most of the planet dreams of driving Maranello’s sports cars, even if only a monstrously privileged minority ever will. And if banging down a deposit on a new F8 Tributo is pretty dreamy, imagine the level of pinch-me-this-is-nuts associated with commissioning, from scratch, your own one-off Ferrari. Last year, with the SP1 and SP2 Monzas, Ferrari launched its Icona programme: a series of big-money, tiny-volume machines designed to boost revenue without seriously inflating production volumes or damaging brand equity. But the car you see here, the P80/C, is not an Icona car – it goes beyond even that rarefied level of Ferrari ownership, to one at which your car is unique and exactly as you want…

2 min
ferrari’s fightback plan

1 The hybrid cometh Ferrari’s first hybrid since the LaFerrari is imminent. In March, Maranello debuted the F8 Tributo, successor to the 488 GTB and Ferrari’s last non-hybrid V8 supercar. ‘It’s unfair to say the F8 Tributo will be the last non-hybrid V8 Ferrari supercar,’ says Enrico Galliera, Ferrari’s chief marketing and commercial officer. ‘But it’s correct to say that the next [V8 supercar] will probably be hybrid. This will come very soon – a couple of months from now.’ 2 Full electric? Not just yet… Despite the proliferation of EV hypercars, Ferrari’s in no hurry to ditch petrol. ‘This technology is not mature enough to talk about a Ferrari with only electric power,’ says technology officer Michael Leiters. ‘With Ferrari we are talking about sound and weight – these are key. For…

2 min
bmw and merc buddy up… audi’s radical plans for transition to electric…

BMW and Mercedes have gone public with their plans to pool resources as they tackle some of the big challenges of mobility: ride hailing, car sharing, charging, parking and the role of public transport. But there may be much more afoot: over a year ago the rival German companies started discussing how to work together on underpinnings for some of their cars. So far no agreement has been reached, but the matter may evolve into something concrete even before Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche steps down in May. If it happened, it could result in shared elements for the 2025 1-series and 2024’s follow-up to the Mercedes A-/B-Class. Savings would run into the billions of euros. But, adds a BMW engineer who’s on the joint task force: ‘Such a deal is of course…

2 min
why wait for an electric 911?

AUDI’S PATH TO 650BHP After this year’s e-Tron SUV and Sportback, 2020 will bring a production version of the e-Tron GT concept (above). Expect 575bhp from two electric motors, with 0-62mph in 3.5sec. But 2022’s still-secret GTR is expected to have more than 650bhp from a solid-state battery, offering a 0-62mph time closer to two seconds, wireless charging and a range of 300 miles. PORSCHE PLUS EXTRA PRACTICALITY Audi’s foreseeable future does not include a single sports car that’s pure Ingolstadt. Get used to it – the EV age will see more, not less, sharing of ideas and hardware. In any case, the R8 has always had a healthy dose of Lamborghini in its DNA. In the case of the e-Tron GTR, the key donor is Porsche: the Taycan’s J1 platform will be…

3 min
staring into the abyss: ford’s 8-point plan

1 Embrace the problem Operations specialist Stuart Rowley, who led Ford’s US turnaround, has ben parachuted in to help salvage the European division. It lost $398m in 2018, and Ford’s European market share has dived by 2.5 per cent since 2009. GM pulling out of the region has made the unthinkable thinkable – so it’s do-or-die with this radical plan. 2 Prune the dead wood Loss-making cars such as the Ka+ and C-Max are being culled, and the Mondeo’s future looks bleak as the US won’t invest in new saloons. Options lists will be simplified, and customers lured into higher-margin trim lines ST-Line, Titanium and Vignale. 3 Yet more SUVs Only one in five Euro Fords is an SUV. The Ecosport has better margins than a Fiesta, so Ford is doubling down with a new…