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CAR UK July 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

2 min

‘While Palmer’s ambition was admirable, the challenge was dizzying’ I told you so? Hardly. As Andy Palmer leaves Aston Martin and AMG man Tobias Moers takes over, prattling on about how the clues were there all along would be disingenuous. I sat down with Palmer in early 2019, to have him talk me through Aston’s bold move onto mid-engined turf, and I came away pretty convinced, if also a little confused. Convinced? Because now the V12 Valkyrie hypercar made sense, to help the world get its head around a mid-engined Aston Martin. Convinced because Palmer was proposing relatively affordable aluminium for his 488/F8 rival (the Vanquish), rather than terrifyingly expensive carbonfibre. Convinced because the new hybrid V6 would future-proof Aston in a world moving rapidly away from big V8s and even bigger…

5 min
aston martin gets its superman

CARS, PEOPLE, SCOOPS, MOTORSPORT, ANALYSIS � THE MONTH ACCORDING TO CAR It was just over a year ago that Tobias Moers, then running Mercedes-AMG, was set on the path to becoming Aston Martin’s new CEO. On 22 April 2019, Markus Schäfer was appointed chief technology officer of Mercedes-Benz. His role swiftly mushroomed to include responsibility for all cars. That closed the door to the top R&D position Moers longed for, despite 25 years at Daimler and an immaculate track record running the high-performance AMG division. So as Andy Palmer, mastermind of Aston Martin’s current product range and figurehead for the company’s disastrous 2018 stock market flotation, headed towards the exit door, Moers was known to be a strong contender to take his place. What kind of personality will take over at Aston?…

1 min
andy palmer at aston

2014 October–Palmer starts work at Gaydon, inheriting a firm selling about 4000 cars a year and losing money. He previously ran Nissan product development, but left after Carlos Ghosn quashed his hopes of running the show. 2015 DBX concept is a statement of intent. ‘What would you rather have: a bankrupt Aston or a crossover in the range?’ Palmer asks CAR. 2016 pt 1 DB11 shown at Geneva, the first of seven cars in Palmer’s ‘second century plan’. ‘If this plan works, it will be a greater transformation than the DB9 and Vantage brought,’ he tells us. ‘They didn’t transform Aston into a viable company.’ 2016 pt2 Plans are announced for a new factory in St Athan, Wales. A technical partnership is established with Red Bull, one that will yield the Valkyrie hypercar, co-designed with Adrian Newey. 2017 Palmer’s…

1 min
hybrid r8 could be co-developed with porsche… electric tt on the cards?

‣ Dropping the TT and R8 was one of the last announcements made by departing Audi CEO Bram Schot, who handed over to Markus Duesman on 1 April. But just weeks into his new job, Duesman is said to be reconsidering that decision. Encouraged by the reportedly friction-free and fertile co-operation with Porsche on the all-electric PPE platform, Ingolstadt top brass is looking with fresh interest at the possibility of keep TT and R8 alive as the brand’s emotional spearheads. If all goes to plan, we should see results in 2023. ‣ Current thinking is not to use PPE but instead to resurrect the on-off MTP (multi-traction premium) idea, turning it into a plug-in hybrid sports car platform jointly developed and separately marketed by the two brands. It consists of three…

2 min
2022’s e-macan: porsche’s next electric step

1 IT’S OFFICIAL! Porsche made the announcement in February 2019 that the next-gen Macan will offer an electric derivative. A production line at its Leipzig facility has been earmarked for e-Macan production, with R&D board member Michael Steiner saying the e-Macan will even have Turbo and Turbo S badging. 2 PPE (BUT NOT THAT KIND OF PPE…) While a different kind of PPE is more relevant right now, it is Porsche and Audi’s joint Premium Platform Electric that will provide the foundations for the e-Macan. Designed for larger cars and SUVs, PPE employs 800-volt electrics (for faster charging and slimmer, lighter power cabling) and can be configured with one or two motors, for rear- or all-wheel drive. 3 CROATIAN INFLUENCES Instead of using the Taycan’s battery, Porsche board member Lutz Meschke told CAR that the…

2 min
cruising, now with added drifting

If you like your two-door Mercs to balance dynamism with luxury, and if you hate surprises, then the entirely predictable facelift for the E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet will be right up your dynamic yet luxurious street. The 2020 upgrade involves mild styling tweaks, a revised engine line-up and some assistance-tech upgrades. Put it this way: the biggest change is a new steering wheel… Oh, and the hottest version now has a Drift mode. The visual changes are mostly at the front end, where there’s a new grille and a new housing for the LED headlights. The LED tail lights have also been subtly evolved. There are new paint choices, more aerodynamic wheels available, revised seats and some new interior finishes. The engine line-up has a mix of petrols and diesels, including one…