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CAR UK July 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

‘If the BMW engine in the new Supra really bothers you, the 2JZ engine fits’ My hairdresser’s boyfriend is a card-carrying, loyal-to-the-end Toyota Supra fan. He ticks every box. He grew up with the Fast and the Furious franchise, taught himself spannering, fills rooms of their house with in-progress engine rebuilds (much to his girlfriend’s consternation) and owns a wildly modified A80 Supra with a turbo the size of a snoozing greyhound and lag measured in months, not milliseconds. Despite being fairly confident of the answer, last week I asked if he’s a fan of the just-launched, all-new Supra. He is not. Put simply, the hardcore don’t consider the new Supra a true Supra at all. This is, in part, because the new Supra is a BMW collaboration – but this is only…

5 min
rule book? what’s that?

Change is in the air at Maranello – how else do you explain an all-wheel-drive Ferrari flagship with a V8 engine in place of the V12 that ruled through the F50, the Enzo and the LaFerrari? The SF90 Stradale might be four cylinders short of a dozen but electric power more than makes up the deficit. Yes, the SF90 – a bombastic new halo car for Ferrari’s rejuvenated range and a nod to the Scuderia’s 90-year anniversary – is also Maranello’s first-ever series production plug-in hybrid, not to mention its first-ever all-wheel-drive supercar. ‘One of Enzo Ferrari’s great lessons was not only to know how to read the times, but to anticipate them,’ says Ferrari CEO Louis Camilleri. ‘But the speed at which change is happening doesn’t frighten us; we exalt…

1 min
second opinion

Perhaps more than its new technology, the SF90 shows just how far Ferrari’s – and presumably its customers’ – philosophy has shifted since I last drove the LaFerrari hybrid hypercar in 2015. In fact, it’s actually moved towards the McLaren P1, LaFerrari’s contemporary. First, adoption of a twin-turbo V8 engine is a big shift in a market traditionally hooked on V12s, though no doubt its lower weight and more compact dimensions help offset the bulky hybrid hardware, and there is an F40/288 GTO bloodline. Then there’s the plug-in technology, allowing SF90 to glide briefly about town. Ferrari always argued that its drivers wanted to hear their V12. The truth is an e-mode helps social acceptance and – as P1 proved – offers occasional welcome respite for the driver (pity the…

2 min
bmw draws up hit list of doomed models… new x8 signed off… new i3 looms

BMW has become highly cost-conscious, as profits slide at the same time as investment in EV production ramps up, so it’s drawn up a hit list of less-profitable models that won’t be replaced. They include the standard-wheelbase 7-series, the Z4, the 2-series Gran Tourer and cabrio and the 3-series GT. The ungainly 6-series GT looks a good bet to survive because Norbert Reithofer, chairman of BMW’s supervisory board, is a fan. Since Reithofer was replaced as chairman of the board of management in 2015 by Harald Krüger, shares have dropped from 122 to 65 euros. Nobody’s blaming Krüger for the state of the economy, or for the sabre-rattling between the US and China that’s prompting some new-factory building. But it is raising questions about whether his contract will be extended…

2 min
truly silent luxury

FUTURE-FACING STYLE We’ve already seen a hint of how the EQS will look, in the shape of the F 015 concept (above and right) from 2015. Mercedes designers are understandably cagey about their future EV flagship’s form this early in its gestation. But our sources suggest the EQS will be a quite different partner to the classically dynamic-looking S-Class limo (not peas in a pod like the GLC and EQC). HEAD OF THE FAMILY As part of Mercedes’ plan to unveil 130 electrified cars by 2030, the EQS flagship will be the biggest and most expensive of 10 full-electric models set to debut before the end of 2022, joining the EQC tested in this issue. It’ll sit alongside an EQA hatch, EQB SUV, EQE saloon and full-size EQG 4x4 in Mercedes’ battle for…

3 min
mercedes g-class, baby!

By stretching the A-Class’s platform to the absolute limits, Mercedes has finally created the baby G-Class that’s been rumoured for years. Its new, chunky GLB is the exact opposite of the ungainly, not-that-practical and long-in-the-tooth GLA tall hatch. It might even take the shine off the new (and actually quite good) B-Class by offering the option of two more seats, that hip SUV shape and a wheelbase some 100mm longer. Some of the outrageous details from the concept – namely the integrated overhead foglights and 17-inch off-road tyres –have been whisked away. But the boxy dimensions are a stark differentiator from the rest of Merc’s sleek and rounded small car range. The lofty glasshouse makes for plenty of headroom and, at 560 litres, the five-seat version has a larger boot than…