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CAR UK December 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

‘Pointy, light, alive and addictive like Jaffa Cakes’ A week ago I drove Bentley’s 2019 Conti GT Pikes Peak record breaker, and my body’s just in the final phase of recovery; the hum’s fading in my ears, super unleaded is no longer ever-present on my palate and my heart rate’s just dipped back under 20obpm. If you haven’t yet treated yourself, search YouTube for ‘Bentley Continental GT Pikes Peak Record’. Rhys Millen’s time of 10:18.488 was fast – eight-seconds-under-the-previous-record fast – but such is the composure of the Bentley’s chassis and the effortless might of its twin-turbo 12 that the run looks calm and composed rather than wild and ragged. It is magnificent to watch; thanks to the car’s straight-through titanium Akrapovic exhaust system, it is also magnificent to listen to. Inside, the…

5 min
maserati: mc20 is just the start

First comes the thunder, then the lightning. After the bombast of the MC20 supercar’s reveal, now we see the full scope and ambition of Maserati’s re-re-re-rebirth plan. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles – soon to be positioned under one roof with PSA in a new holding group known as Stellantis – has committed itself to investing €2.5bn in what may well be the last attempt to make Maserati into a luxury performance brand fit to take on Audi, BMW and Mercedes. First up, the MC20. Designed by a young team led by FCA design boss Klaus Busse, the sleek two-seater doesn’t share a single nut or bolt with a Ferrari (but perhaps takes a few from the stillborn mid-engined Alfa 8C project). It’s an ambitious, high-tech flagship for new-era Maser, available with a choice…

1 min
audi to take control of bentley… luxury e-suvs planned... more sharing due

► Audi will take over managerial responsibility for Bentley within the VW Group on 1 January. It may sound like a book-keeping technicality, but the repercussions will be felt throughout the product line-up. Bentley had a stellar 2019, with growing sales and improved efficiency encour-aging VW to leave it to its own devices. But Covid has set it back, and a prospective hard Brexit isn’t helping. Group CEO Herbert Diess says: ‘Bentley is still not out of the woods. The marque must leverage its potential to speedily overcome the challenges this industry and the other members of our group are facing.’ Bentley is bound to be an additional burden for the team at Audi, due to the complex and delicate politics of the relevant steering committees in Germany, where timing, budget and…

2 min
new face of luxury: bmw readies electric i7

1 SMALLER KIDNEYS! The next-generation 7-series and visually similar electric i7 are penned by BMW design chief Domagoj Dukec. Rather than a prominent kidney grille, as featured on the latest BMWs, these limos get a simpler design, with a short front overhang, drop-shaped rear end and advanced aero. The 7-series is due in 2022, with the i7 a year later. 2 POWER SHIFT BMW is making great use of its flexible CLAR rear-and all-wheel-drive architecture with the 7 twins. The 7-series is expected to be available as a plug-in hybrid – with the V12 dropped from the line-up – leaving full-electric eDrive to the i7. BMW has confirmed its Dingolfing site will build all variants of the new 7, including the i7. 3 ENABLING THE FUTURE BMW has nicknamed its iNext electric SUV concept ‘the…

3 min
saving the best for first

Good things come to those who don’t wait. With the last-generation Golf GTI, the first Clubsport – widely agreed to be the best version – didn’t arrive until 2016, late in the Mky’s life cycle. VW is determined not to repeat that mistake this time around, so with the ink still wet on the speeding fines of the first GTls, here’s the lighter, sharper, more powerful Mk8 Clubsport. Its 2.0-litre turbo four produces the same peak outputs as the previous-generation all-wheel-drive Golf R: 296bhp and 295ft ft, which should be good for a sub-6.osec sprint to 62mph via front-wheel drive and a seven-speed DSG auto gearbox. Power delivery should be enhanced by the Clubsport having its electro-mechanical front differential newly linked to the Vehicle Dynamics Manager software. The order books open later…

1 min
the fiesta st’s worst nightmare

Like the excellent i30N that showed the world that Hyundai’s high-performance N Division means business, the new i20N is also aiming high. Where the 30 showed that it could share a ballpark with the class-defining VW Golf GTI, its smaller sibling is aiming for the quite brilliant Ford Fiesta ST. It’s no coincidence that the i20N Rally2, aimed at privateer rally drivers, was unveiled at the same time as the roadgoing i20N, emphasising how serious Hyundai is about its performance credentials and a reminder that the Korean manufacturer holds the WRC title. The i20N weighs 1190kg - the same as the rally car (and about 70kg lighter than the Ford). It’s powered by a 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine that’s new to Europe, with a bespoke turbocharger. It sends 201bhp and 203lb ft to the…