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CAR UK March 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

What a perfect mess. Did you hear the one about the engine-obsessed editor of a car magazine who developed an environmental conscience? Hilarious. Late last year, halfway home on a flight from Tokyo to London, I woke up and slid open the blind. I don’t know exactly where we were but it was beautiful; in a pinky-orange haze, a frozen and unblemished wilderness. From where I was sitting there wasn’t a single visible clue that the human race existed. The guilt hit like a punch in the stomach: me, up here, merrily contributing to the thawing and irreversible loss of environments like this one. At least this time I hadn’t caught flights with the sole purpose of driving a new car so that I might write about it. In Tokyo, I…

4 min
famine now, feast later

The past nine fruitless seasons of grand planning for Alfa Romeo could make a highly entertaining Netflix original. The story has everything: passion, high finance, a shotgun marriage and tragedy. And now a new hope. Flash back to 2011, when FCA chief Sergio Marchionne had promised the Alfisti a wealth of treats. A compact rear-wheel-drive model aimed squarely at the BMW 3-series, a new five-door Mito, a Giulietta replacement, the Giulia estate, the comeback of the Spider, the Stelvio and a second crossover model positioned above it, a large flagship saloon, and more. Propelled by these so-called ‘brand igniters’, the sales volume was set to increase from rock bottom to 400,000 units by 2014. We all know Marchionne got the timing, the portfolio management and the production projections terribly, terribly wrong. But…

1 min
patchy at best: alfa’s past partnerships

Deal with Nissan in the early ’80s crimped out the Japanese-designed, Italian-built Arna. Textbook failure to play to their respective strengths. First few new Alfas after Fiat’s 1986 takeover were no great shakes, but then came a great run: GTV, Spider, 145, 156… The Type Four platform was shared between Alfa’s 164, the Saab 9000 plus Fiat and Lancia sister cars. Alfa looked the different-est, did okay. GM’s Fiat Premium platform and Holden V6 annoyed Alfa fans in the 159; the former was stodgy, the latter weedy and uncharismatic.…

2 min
road rover mulled… aventador keeps its v12… huracan to go v8

The warm public reception given to the Vision Maybach Ultimate Luxury concept at the 2018 Beijing motor show has prompted premium manufacturers in Germany and Britain to work on their own variations on the curious ‘sports utility saloon’ theme. First of the luxury four-seaters into production could be JLR’s Road Rover, an idea that’s been mooted on and off for decades. It could be an EV and built on the same Castle Bromwich production line expected to be making the electric XJ replacement from 2021 onwards. Audi, Bentley and Porsche are all working on similar ideas, as is Daimler, whose offering – whether it turns out to be a Merc or a Maybach – looks unlikely to be with us before 2027. It could be built on the MMA2 architecture, which…

1 min
cute! it’s vw’s entry-level ev

1 BUILT FOR THE TOWN The ID1 will have a similar footprint to the 2020 e-Up it replaces, with a boxy five-door body meaning space inside but short overhangs for easy urban driving. Expect to see a few styling cues from the ID3 in the production version. A rugged Crozz version and e-Roomzz van have also been spotted on the drawing board. 2 SHRINK TO FIT It will replace the newly launched e-Up, which was created by adapting the internal-combustion original. By contrast, the ID1 is pure battery-electric.VW engineers have used a form of the MEB architecture, which underpins the wave of electric VWs that began with the ID3. Two battery capacities are expected – most likely 24 and 36kWh – to allow a lower price in return for a shorter range. 3 MAKING…

2 min
nsx: 30 baffling years

1984 THE DRAWING BOARD Having annihilated European superbike makers, Honda decides to terrify the supercar lot too, commissioning Pininfarina to design the 2.0 V6 HP-X, a mid-engined wedge concept with an opening roof for a door. 1989 THEY’VE ONLY GONE AND BUILT IT Now with sensible doors, a 3.0 VTEC-equipped V6, aluminium body and a chassis tuned with help from Ayrton Senna, here’s the real thing. NSX stands for New Sports eXperimental. It finally goes on sale in 1990. 1992 THE SKINNY ONE The Type R story kicks off in style with the NSX R. Only a modest 10bhp more, but a massive 120kg less. Limited to just 483 units, it’s incredible to drive, unlike… 1994 THE FAT ONE …’94’s wheezy NSX auto, which is powered by a 20bhpweaker soft-cam V6 and four-speed slusher that cripples performance. Sticking with the cruiser…