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CAR UK February 2020

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 the worst, no? That bit after Christmas and New Year but months before the respite of spring – just awful. True, the pleasures of January and February in the UK are not obvious. It’s easy to wonder why, with shots of balmy LA afternoons all over our Instagram feeds, we all haven’t sold up, loaded the few things we couldn’t live without onto a boat and started new lives under the unfailing California sun. Those canyon roads! A quick surf before work! The kind of long-lead, considered tan that takes years off you! Wonderful. But California offers no light and shade. (Figuratively speaking – in terms of actual light and shade it’s a paradise; just ask any of CAR’s freelance photographers.) When every day’s warm, dry and sunny, the wonder of…

6 min
gti is dead. long live peugeot sport

Electrification will unlock the firepower for the next generation of Peugeot hot hatches, performance cars and even hypercars, vows brand chief Jean-Philippe Imparato. This bold statement of intent will become reality in 2020, with the roll-out of electrified Peugeot Sport road cars and intense development of the company’s Le Mans endurance-racing hypercar. It’s not long before Christmas, and Peugeot’s expressive leader is detailing his world view to CAR at a Provence hotel. The big question: is electrification the sole route to performance Peugeots in future? ‘There is absolutely no alternative. Absolutely not,’ fires back the 53-year-old executive vice-president. ‘If you chose any other alternative, my friend, you are making a trade-off between pollution and profit, between health and being compliant. ‘Are you ready to explain to the world: “I have a car that…

1 min
peugeot sport’s powerful pioneers

All future hot Peugeots will wear Peugeot Sport badging, but it’s not the generic tag it might appear. Its origins date to the early 1980s, when Jean Todt (then rally co-driver, now FIA boss) and Guy Fréquelin (then rally driver, later Citroën WRC team boss during some of the Loeb era) founded Peugeot Talbot Sport. Its first car set the bar high in 1984, the mid-engined 205 T16 Group B rally weapon. Later just Peugeot Sport, it has seen success in WRC, sports car racing and F1 (as an engine supplier), and triumphed on the Dakar and at Pikes Peak. It last won Le Mans in 2009, with the 908, and in ’92 and ’93 with the 905 (below). The sell is that the motorsport team already worked its magic…

2 min
vw eyes the end of ice… dacia doubles down... renault joins coupe race

VW is war-gaming its 2030-2050 line-up – which should include the final generation of combustion engines. A key idea is K1: a totally flexible components set with one lead R&D team and a single production site. It could be used by Porsches, Audis and Bentleys using internal combustion, plug-in hybrid, battery electric and fuel-cell electric powertrains. An early manifestation of this thinking was a seven-seat Cayenne, but it was heavy, ungainly and deemed likely to damage the Porsche brand. Thinking has now switched to a replacement for the long-wheelbase Panamera Executive. Meanwhile, Audi is thinking laterally for its A8 replacement. Bentley and even Lamborghini are likely to get in on the K1 act. Dacia looks like it’s got a busy couple of years ahead. The big-selling Sandero is due for replacement, and could well…

1 min
‘thoroughbred’ suv plugs in for ferrari

1 THE NAMING GAME Ferrari has been explicitly avoiding calling its first highroader an SUV, instead nicknaming it an FUV: a Ferrari Utility Vehicle. ‘Purosangue’ means ‘thoroughbred’ in Italian, a confident name for a car that some devout Ferrari fanatics might not agree with, given its silhouette. The FUV’s design has been signed off and the team are confident it’s a winner. Obvs. 2 GENTLY BREWED An SUV has been on the table for years at Maranello, ever since the late Sergio Marchionne was in charge. Requests for more time from investors at the 2019 Capital Markets Day allowed Ferrari to get the formula right. As the Prancing Horse gears up for its debut, expect interior cues first seen in the SF90 (below) and performance specs to rival the Lamborghini Urus. 3 ARCHITECT’S DREAM Like…

2 min
supercar-market sweep

McLaren’s Sports Series as we know it is on borrowed time, with a new era just around the corner. And what better way to sign out than with a ‘Best of…’ masterpiece that involves mooching around McLaren’s Technology Centre with a big trolley cherry-picking all the really good stuff? Be clear, this isn’t McLaren’s 570S-based equivalent of Porsche’s 911 GT2 RS or Ferrari’s Pista. That was the 600LT (sold out as a coupe, still available as a Spider), a road car uprated to shine on track. The 620R is a racer (the 570S GT4) made barely road-legal and a new Sports Series high watermark. It’s more powerful than the 600LT coupe (611bhp versus the LT’s 592bhp; torque is the same) and, while marginally heavier (1282kg to the LT’s 1247kg), the R…