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CAR UK December 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

Italy has la bella macchina , and its population’s spontaneous and heart-on-sleeve worship of the automobile is surely unmatched anywhere else in the world. I once stopped in a hillside village to three-point-turn a V12 LaFerrari. If I hadn’t happily paused to let the old man get a picture of his grandson with the Ferrari, he’d have surely leapt in front of it to leave me no choice. They were spellbound. But if Italy leads, Japan is a more reserved but barely any less passionate second. Wander Tokyo’s streets, preferably on a fine autumn day with the sun on your face, and the nation’s love for the combustion engine and the joy and freedom it brings is impossible to miss. Being a cramped city blessed with plenty of congestion, two-wheelers (and three…

5 min
japan’s great electric u-turn

MAZDA’S FIRST EV, THE MX-30 Mazda’s MX-5 is a sports car; the new electric MX-30 is not… But Mazda says the MX name is apt on both since they share the same pioneering spirit. LEXUS’S LF-30 CONCEPT ‘LF-30 is a glimpse of our future design language,’ says design boss Ian Cartabiano. ‘Lexus is only 30 years old so we can be forward-thinking. We also wanted to avoid the trap of doing a traditional luxury car that just happened to be electric…’ LEXUS TAKES FLIGHT ‘Air is twisted and rotated as it flows past the headlights and through the wings,’ explains Lexus design’s Ian Cartabiano. ‘They’re effectively actual wings – a nod to Akio Toyoda’s statement that maybe some day Lexus could move into aircraft.’ WEDGE OF SPACE ‘It’s a wedge; sleek and fast at the front, peaked…

1 min
x8m imminent and all-electric phantom proposed as bmw faces the future

Some gems are shining through the murk of BMW’s ever-evolving product plan. There will definitely be an X8M, an SUV-coupe rival to the Porsche Cayenne Coupe and Audi Q8. And there will be the polar opposite: a small electric car jointly developed by Mini and Great Wall. Not so clear elsewhere. Current thinking at BMW is to focus on two relatively affordable (due to using high-strength steel and not anything more exotic) sets of architecture, both of which are flexible about powertrain type and can be scaled up or down. FAAR WE is for smaller front- and all-wheel drive; CLAR WE is for larger rear- and all-wheel drive. Expect FAAR to bring a new X1 and iX1 in 2022, and CLAR a new 7-series and i7 in 2023. The i3 will also…

1 min
2022 range rover: the icon plugs in

1 TWINNED WITH NEW JAG XJ Land Rover’s all-new, fifth-generation Range Rover will use the versatile MLA platform, set to see duty first in the new XJ, Jaguar’s rebooted limo. Set to introduce some handy economies of scale across JLR’s portfolio, the platform can house a range of powertrains, from plug-in and mild hybrids to zero-emission battery-electric systems. 2 THE ELECTRIC OPPORTUNITY Range Rover’s electrification fits with the company’s ‘Destination Zero’ emissions pledge, but also promises to raise Range Rover’s already lofty off-road game. ‘On the road, the increased refinement and silent running [of an electrified powertrain] excites me,’ says JLR vehicle line director Nick Collins. ‘And off-road, you get peak torque at zero revs together with much more accurate control.’ 3 KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON JLR’s first full EV, the i-Pace (which doesn’t…

3 min
which future do you fancy?

Turns out fuel-cell cars don’t have to be ugly Toyota’s trailblazing hydrogen fuel-cell Mirai is back, and this time it’s way less ugly. Despite the infrastructure challenges, Toyota remains convinced the technology is the future (zero-emissions EV power but with refuelling as fast as petrol). And now the Mirai’s been reinvented as a handsome sports saloon that looks a bit like a Lexus, it might actually stand a chance of being bought in some numbers – and of saving the world. TOYOTA MIRAI CONCEPT: NEED TO KNOW What is it? A preview of Toyota’s second stab at a hydrogen fuel cell production car Tech specs All-new platform underpins a lower, sleeker car that’s 85mm longer than before. Range is increased by 30 per cent Any rivals? Honda’s Clarity When will it be real?…

2 min
volvo’s silent revolution begins

Volvo’s first pure electric car, the new XC40 Recharge, may have been a long time coming. It’s arrived more than seven years after the Tesla Model S and six years after BMW’s i3, and won’t actually go on sale until late 2020. But now Volvo’s electric floodgates are set to open. No mainstream car maker is more electro-ambitious than Volvo. Over the next five years, Volvo will launch a fully electric car every year. By 2025, half of all Volvos sold should be pure electric cars, according to Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo’s CEO. Volvo is already a leader in plug-in hybrids. Ten per cent of all the cars it sells now have a plug – way more than its German rivals – and every model has a plug-in hybrid option. By the…