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CAR UK April 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
oddly, the world seems to be coming to this most british of brands

Working out who you really are is the central tenet of most self-help books; as if acknowledging the truth that, like most people, you’re a vaguely competent human being who dreams of bagging a lottery win, becoming a Jedi and one day winning the F1 driver’s title despite your advancing years will somehow bring inner peace and great success. I don’t know if Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark feels calm (or whether he dreams of being a Jedi) but you sense Bentley has worked out exactly who it is, as the new Bacalar (page 98) suggests. And with that crystal clear sense of identity is coming success – the VW Group’s luxury outpost made money in 2019 (a big improvement on ’18), and the low profile that comes with turning a profit…

7 min
vw: keeping its head

And relax. If you were worried that electric-obsessed VW was about to do something weird with the Golf GTI, you can breathe again. Here it is, in production form, ready to go on sale this autumn for around £32,000. And it couldn’t be more in keeping with Golf GTI tradition, from its red-lined headlights via its tartan seats to its twin tailpipes. Powered by a 242bhp turbocharged petrol four, the Mk8 GTI will be joined by a hot diesel GTD and a plug-in hybrid, the GTE. A similar spirit, and much of the same hardware, will also be available on a slew of other 2020 hot hatches from around the VW Group: Skoda Octaia vRS, Audi S3 (driven in prototype form in this issue) and, most notably, the new Cupra Leon. If…

2 min
sun’s out, fun’s in: merc’s 2021 sl

Factfile POWERTRAIN 4.0-litre V8, optional e-motors (SL73), rear- or all-wheel drive CHASSIS Aluminium monocoque DUE 2021 1 GOING SOFT ON TOP The new-generation SL will return to a soft-top convertible roof instead of the folding hardtop – ‘Vario Roof’ will be binned. Why? That’s down to the all-new aluminium structure; so light and strong is the SL’s new structure that a much more torsionally rigid hardtop isn’t required. And, of course, the soft-top will save weight, too.o. 2 SUN’S OUT, PLUG IN Along with plans for Euro-7 compliant V8s, an EQ Power plug-in hybrid SL could be part of the mix, badged SL73. The powertrain is expected to make its official debut in the AMG GT four-door later in 2020, combining the 630bhp M178 twin-turbo V8 with e-motors on both axles for around 800bhp(!) in total. 3 DOING THE MATHS Convertible and…

3 min
‘lewis hamilton is not god’

RED BULL WILL SPOIL MERCEDES’ PARTY By the end of the 2019 season there was nothing to split Red Bull and Mercedes. The big difference was grunt, but Honda reckons it’s made big progress over the winter. If that’s the case then we’re game on for the closest fight of the hybrid era: Mercedes versus Red Bull; Lewis Hamilton versus Max Verstappen. Verstappen is the perfect foil for Hamilton. He’s quick and super-confident, to the extent that he isn’t intimidated by anyone. ‘Lewis is definitely one of the quickest out there,’ says Verstappen. ‘But he’s not God. God is with him, but he’s not God…’ Yep, this is the battle we’ve been waiting for. SEBASTIAN VETTEL: FIZZ OR FIZZLE? You’re only as good as your last race, or so the racing adage goes. Never…

2 min
2020: your runners and riders

Red Bull Racing Drivers: Champion-in-waiting Max Verstappen and the meteoric Alex Albon Car: Already a handler, if the RB16 gets real grunt from Honda it’ll be mighty Likely plotline: Verstappen being really combative, both with his car on track and his mouth off it McLaren Racing Drivers: The Carlos Sainz/Lando Norris bromance rolls on Car: The noticeably more shrink-wrapped MCL35 Likely plotline: Cementing ‘best of the rest’ status Scuderia Ferrari Drivers: Embattled German veteran Sebastian Vettel and the ferociously talented/handsome Charles Leclerc Car: 2019’s pace-setting SF90 gives way to the SF1000 – send Maranello a calculator Likely plotline: Desperate bid for glory before the hard regulation reset of 2021 Renault F1 Team Drivers: Daniel Ricciardo and the returning Esteban Ocon Car: The evolutionary RS20 Likely plotline: Bickering, and endless hand-wringing from paymasters Renault at the lack of results Mercedes-AMG Drivers: Lewis ‘The Terminator’ Hamilton and the…

3 min
2020: shaping up nicely

Porsche 911 Turbo S The 992-generation 911 Turbo sticks with the formula that’s worked so well for generations, mixing high performance and long-distance comfort. The new 3.8-litre boxer six, based on the Carrera’s, has bigger twin turbos than before and makes 641bhp, up 68bhp, with torque up by 37lb ft to 590lb ft. Top speed is still 205mph, but 0-62mph is trimmed by 0.2 seconds to 2.7. It’s 20mm wider at the rear arches, and the new active aero improves cooling and downforce. NEED TO KNOW What is it? Wider, more powerful and better equipped ultra-rapid grand tourer Tech specs Twin-turbo 3.8-litre six, all-wheel drive, rear-wheel steering Aimed at? All-day-long fast driving When and how much? Now: £155,970 for the Coupe, £165,27 for the Cabrio, both up by £8.5k Hyundai i20 The new i20 sticks…