CAR UK February 2021

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 期號


3 分鐘

‘New cars 2021? I can’t wait for the AMG and the new Fiat Panda’ The 2021 new cars I’m most looking forward to? Tough question: 2021 is set to deliver an embarrassment of riches, from an all-new, all-wheel-drive BMW M3 to a McLaren hybrid much more affordable than the last two. (Not all that difficult, admittedly, when you consider that Woking’s first two hybrids were the £866k-in-2014 P1 and the £2.1m Speedtail… The Artura will cost around £200k.) But for me the big two are AMG’s One and Fiat’s new Panda. (A balanced diet is key to lasting health and happiness, as we know.) AMG’s One – like Aston’s Valkyrie and the Lotus Evija – is in danger of feeling both irrelevant and nonsensical at the same time. Like owning an island, it…

9 分鐘

An industry used to gradual change was poorly braced for the firehose of disruption that 2020 delivered. But as car manufacturers looked to rebuild after the havoc caused by factory stoppages during that first lockdown, something interesting happened. These heritage-rich brands acknowledged they’d become bloated, resistant to change and vulnerable to competition. One by one they (BMW, VW, Mercedes and Renault among them) stood up in front of investors (safely behind a camera) to declare the end of unprofitable volume-chasing, to promise drastic cost-cutting and to pledge a renewed focus on technology. In the US investors basically declared them dead, and made fantastic bets on new electric vehicle makers, many in their infancy. This year, however, could mark the revenge of the brands as they set out to prove that experience…

1 分鐘
moers’ aston plans... lagonda rethink... hybrid mid-engined vantage

► Running a premium car maker on a shoestring budget can’t be easy, but Tobias Moers and Lawrence Stroll are bullish about Aston Martin’s future. Encouraged by a slight recovery on the stock market, the team at the top recently said they were aiming to double sales by 2025, with a yearly profit target of £500m. Crucial to the plan is Aston’s agreement with Moers’ old employer, allowing access to Mercedes tech for all new models up to 2027. ► Progress will be slow for the first couple of years, with the real product fireworks starting in 2023. The new bosses are keen to make the most of the SUV craze by adding an even sportier five-door coupe to the DBX range. It will be up against rivals including the Ferrari Purosangue,…

3 分鐘
hail the hypercar king

‘Hypercars are very difficult. You’re inventing a lot of stuff’René Wollmann, Pininfarina’s director of sports cars Wollmann recently oversaw the Battista’s first high-speed handling tests at Nardo. ‘It’s unbelievable!’ René Wollmann knows a thing or two about electrification and ultra-high-performance cars. And now the German engineer has combined his expertise to deliver an ultra-high-performance electric car, 2021’s 1874bhp Pininfarina Battista, which has just moved a big step closer to completion by exceeding all expectations during tests at the Nardo proving ground. Wollmann, now Pininfarina’s director of sports cars, ended his AMG career leading work on the astonishing Project One. But the car he first worked on at Merc’s performance division was, if anything, even more remarkable: the SLS Electric Drive. THE SLS ELECTRIC DRIVE – REMIND ME? That car was a pure-electric version of the…

1 分鐘
jag’s digital racing distraction

With JLR’s finances in the doldrums, the newly-central-ised design team have turned their attention to crafting cars for Gran Turismo. First came the Vision GT Coupe and now this: the Vision GT SV. So, it’s not real? There is a physical model of it but, in its current form, it’s not going beyond that in the real world. Instead, it’ll be a playable car in the Gran Turismo racing game franchise in 2021. Jaguar does, however, say it’s a design study for what an electric endurance racer would look like, with a rakish profile and massive, adjustable rear wing inspired by the XJR-14 racer from the early ’90s. What powers it? A PlayStation. But, if we weren’t being so obtuse, Jaguar says there are four e-motors (one on each wheel) with a total of…

4 分鐘
‘the car plan has totally changed’

For a snapshot of how UK car buying tastes have changed, look no further than Renault’s performance. After a decade of brand-building with the ground-breaking Scenic mini-MPV, some epic hot hatches and the Papa and Nicole TV ads making the Clio shorthand for chic, Renault was the UK’s third most popular brand in 2004. Five years later the brand languished in twelfth place, registering just one-third of 2004’s volume. A decade later, in 2019, Renault’s volume was again roughly 60,000 – though budget brand Dacia has grown to 30,000 sales in that time. The only thing that’s been consistent about Renault’s strategy is its inconsistency. But UK managing director Vincent Tourette, heading for a landmark four years in the post, has prioritised consistency and patience in a bid to build long-term stability.…