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topCar August 2016

Topcar provides unmissable coverage of the wide world of cars in a monthly magazine loaded with beautiful images, in-depth analysis and unbiased opinion by a passionate team of experts.

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so you think you can drift?

Focus RS may look as aggro as a terrycloth Teletubby, but there’s drift in the DNA; catch editor Fisher’s attempts at power sliding on p76 Full size hatches get bigger as their engines get smaller - has the three cylinder turbo rewritten the laws of physics? Meet our champs on page 40 ‘The Alfa Romeo SZ was famous for being able to generate over 1G in a corner’ HERE AT TOPCAR we applaud the manufacturers that are using technology to turn cars into clever, sustainable machines that use alternative fuels, don’t pollute and even drive themselves. But we also applaud(possibly harder) the manufacturers who take similar strides and use those same technologies to turn their cars into weapons of mass entertainment.Obviously I’m referring to Ford and the new…

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family 40: down-sizing to hit the swede spot

VOLVO IS GETTING serious about small cars. From 2017 it rolls out its new 40 series, kicking off with a compact XC40 crossover aimed at the Audi Q3 and BMW X1. That’s to be followed by two further 40s: a successor to the current V40 hatchback and a yet-to-be-confirmed compact saloon sibling. As a warm-up, Volvo’s unveiled two concept cars built upon the 40 series’ brand-new CMA platform architecture, christened – with admirable logic – the 40.1 concept and 40.2 concept. Compact and future-proof: CMA platformNot the Country Music Awards but Compact Modular Architecture, Volvo’s small car structure is as flexible as its name implies, catering for battery electric, plug-in hybrid and models with conventional engine and both front- and four-wheel drive. It’s the first platform…

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one for the ages

After battling hard with the No.82 Ferrari, Ford took the lead in GTE Pro for the final time in the 20th hour and never looked back IT WAS HIGH drama and tears of sadness and jubilation at the 84th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans as, with one lap to go, a mere four minutes shy of 24 hours, the leading No.5 Toyota TS050 Toyota driven by Kazuki Nakajima ground to a halt just beyond the start/finish line suffering what appeared to be massive engine failure, handing the lead and victory to the No.2 Porsche919 Hybrid of Neel Jani, Marc Lieb and Romain Dumas who had been trailing by around 90 seconds. Worse still for the Toyota Gazoo Racing outfit, the No. 5 car, after restarting, would…

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vw to unleash 7 electric cars

BUDD-e concept showcased VW’s MEB platform. E-Bulli will finally move the microbus idea into production in 2020 Jürgen Stackmann: ‘the goal is an autonomous EV portfolio’ VOLKSWAGEN IS LOOKING to rebuild its reputation after dieselgate, by lovebombing upcoming motor shows with seven electric car concepts. ‘A key strategic goal is to develop a fully digital and autonomous EV portfolio,’ says sales chief Jürgen Stackmann. VW wants to shift 1m EVs by 2025, based on its flexible electric architecture, MEB. Axles, front and rear drive units, and the HMI platform are shared across models, to boost economies. Here’s what VW has in store. City car, Paris 2016Dubbed New Urban Vehicle, the first concept will be a fully connected zero-emission city car. It’s VW’s i3 rival, but made…

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gran turismo gets real

G RAN TURISMO IS a phenomenon. The PlayStation racing game series has shifted more than 76m copies, teaching 10-year olds across the globe how to oversteer 750kW GT-Rs since 1998. In November it returns, with Gran Turismo Sport the first new instalment since 2013’s Gran Turismo 6, and the first developed for the latest-generation PlayStation 4.Taking advantage of the PS4’s extra processing power, every car and circuit has been remodelled from scratch since GT6 with more uncannily realistic graphics than ever, but the big news is the introduction of an organised league of global online multiplayer Gran Turismo championships – recognised and regulated by the FIA, no less.That’s no joke. In Sport mode, the game’s eponymous main section, players will be able to enter a year-long calendar of online…

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and now for something completely different: rolls-royce vision next 100 concept

Who needs a steering wheel when you have AI capability Codenamed 103EX, it wears 28-inch rims, but how on earth will it turn corners? BMW CELEBRATES ITS centenary this year, so the BMW Group – of which Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is a part – has rolled out the ‘Vision Next 100’ project to investigate at the future of its brands’ products. BMW itself, and Mini, have also built concepts with the same title as part of the centenary-related developments.It’s an all-electric, carbonfibre-based autonomous coupe, with 28-inch wheels – ones that are assembled from 65 individual pieces of aluminium, at that.You won’t have to hire a chauffeur, either, or – heavens forbid – actually attempt to drive it yourself. Rolls-Royce surmises that the concept would be controlled by an…