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BTCC then and now: 2019 BMW 3 Series meets 1991 E30 M3

Power is where the 28 year difference shows most; the new M3 generates over 100bhp more than the old Past and present champions Tim Harvey and Colin Turkington swap their old and new 3 Series to see what's changed Tim Harvey nestles into the snug bucket seat and cracks that trademark toothy smile. He looks right at home, just as he should, because he’s sitting in the very BMW M3 E30 in which he won the final round of the British Touring Car Championship way back in 1991. Tim has changed in the past 28 years[..]

The Gaydon Triangle: Inside Jaguar Land Rover's tech HQ

JLR's new HQ is as spacious as is it high-tech. Jaguar Land Rover’s new £600m creative base could mark the start of a golden era for the company. We look around Volkswagen has its vast, brooding Wolfsburg and Fiat its magnificent Mirafiori. BMW’s Four Cylinder building beside Munich’s Olympic Park is considered so iconic that even though it opened in only 1973, it has already been preserved for posterity. And Opel’s Rüsselsheim base near Frankfurt is so vast that tour guides tell you it is “slightly larger [..]

Autonomous car trials: Are they smart or reckless?

Self-driving Leaf will navigate roundabouts, A-roads and motorways Live trials of self-driving cars, such as the Nissan Leaf's 230-mile trip to Sunderland, split opinion within the industry. We weigh both sides of the argument. Later this year, a Nissan Leaf will travel from Cranfield University to Sunderland, a distance of 230 miles. It will navigate roundabouts, A-roads and motorways, all through live traffic. Nothing unusual about that except that the Leaf will be driving itself. The journey, called the [..]

Flat out in McLaren's ultimate trio: F1 vs P1 vs Senna

All three of the McLarens are seriously quick. Their top speeds are all north of 200mph The McLaren F1 was arguably the first hypercar and laid down the DNA that runs through the equally mighty P1 and Senna. We gather all three The sight alone is enough to elicit involuntary laughter. F1, P1, Senna. All on the same slice of Tarmac, dihedral doors flipped up awaiting further instruction. They have been together before of course, most notably and recently at the Goodwood Members’ Meeting in the spring, but ne[..]

EV conversions slammed by classic car experts

Volkswagen recently revealed an electrified version of the original Beetle Removal of original combustion engine threatens status of historically significant vehicles A leading body has spoken out against the widespread electrification of classic cars, stating that removing a vehicle’s original powertrain renders it no longer ‘historic’. The Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens (FIVA) has issued a statement, in which it states that it “cannot promote, to owners or regulators, the use of modern EV[..]

Environmental bill could force expensive car recalls

Draft bill aims to force car industry to comply with legislation or face mandatory recalls Car makers that ignore environmental legislation will be forced to recall affected cars – which could involve millions of cars and cost hundreds of millions of pounds – if a new environment bill makes its way onto the statute books. A draft of the bill was included in last week’s Queen speech and is clearly intended to heighten oversight of the car industry in the wake of Volkswagen Group’s Dieselgate scandal as well [..]

Mazda releases more details on its first EV

Japanese manufacturer's first zero-emissions model is likely to be an SUV with up to 150 miles of range Mazda’s first electric vehicle, to be revealed at Tokyo motor show next week, will develop the design language first seen on the recently launched Mazda3 to reflect “futuristic values and changing lifestyles,” said the car maker. The model, which will go on sale next year, has a coupe-like cabin and “achieves a lightweight look by adopting a unique door concept”. Mazda added that the front face bears a “f[..]

Mazda to launch innovative diesel engine next year

Mazda’s Skyactiv-X technology was launched on the latest 3 Japanese car maker is committed to diesel despite the trend towards electrification Mazda will launch an innovative diesel engine next year as it seeks to broaden its approach to reducing fuel consumption and emissions. While many car makers, such as Volvo, have said they will not develop new diesel engines, instead favouring investment in electrification, Mazda will continue to improve its diesel and petrol engines alongside other powertrains such [..]

Volkswagen T-Roc R 2019 review

High-riding T-Roc R offers impressive pace and poise, and is arguably the best performance crossover yet. It’s not often that the Golf R has company, but it’s a fairly apt sign of the times that the newest member of the loftiest order of Wolfsburg’s high-performance family is SUV-shaped. This is the T-Roc R, and it joins the likes of the Audi SQ2, Cupra Ateca and BMW X2 M35i in the ever expanding performance crossover sphere.Like its SQ2 and Ateca relatives (not to mention the aforementioned Golf), the T-Ro[..]

Buy them before we do: second-hand picks for 18 October

The crown of the 6 series in full smoky glory The E63 6 Series coupé is a big-bellied beast with a fat appetite for fuel. But my is it fine. It’s well known that the E63 6 Series coupé that ran from 2003 to 2011 has a penchant for the black stuff, slurping it greedily and occasionally blowing it out through rocker cover gaskets, breather hoses and down cylinder bores. It sounds like a non-starter, but what the hell, we’re suckers for a big koop. A twin-turbo 3.0-litre diesel version will be cheaper to run b[..]

Matt Prior: resilience reigns supreme with classic car ownership

Directing a film isn't all that different from owning and fixing old bangers. Honest. A film writer and director is interviewed. He has made a movie, seen it released to widespread acclaim and is now kicking back, enjoying the spoils and thinking about the next one. He’s got ideas, plans, scripts various, and is thinking of locations, actors and themes. He’s visiting, talking, looking, writing, drawing; taking his time formulating a dream. For him, this is the best, most creative, most enjoyable part of the[..]

Vauxhall to bring back VXR sub-brand as all-electric range

Performance version of the corsa-e will be followed by an upgraded Vivaro-e electric van in 2020 Vauxhall’s revival of the VXR performance sub-brand will be as an all-electric line, with a variety of bodystyles planned, according to boss Stephen Norman. As well as a hot version of the Corsa-e, arriving first next year, there will be a VXR version of the Vivaro-e electric van in 2020. It’s expected that the VXR branding will be used on the upcoming second-generation Mokka in electric form, too. Autocar under[..]

Volvo targets becoming Electric-only firm within 20 years

Swedish firm committed to EV-only future, but timeline of switch will be determined by customers Volvo boss Hakan Samuelsson says the firm will become a fully electric car brand within the next 20 years – with the exact timeline will be determined by customer demand. The firm has just unveiled its first electric model, the XC40 Recharge, and is aiming for EVs to account for half of its sales by 2025. The firm will unveil one full electric car per year between now and then, while every new car it launches wi[..]

First drive: Mazda EV prototype

Just days before Mazda’s first electric model is revealed, we drive a CX-30-bodied prototype It’s fair to say Mazda hasn’t been quick off the mark for electrification, instead choosing to focus on improving the delivery of traditional fuels. One outcome has been the impressive spark plug-controlled compression ignition technology, introduced on the new Mazda 3, which promises to “combine the economy and torque of a diesel engine with the performance and lower emissions of a petrol unit”. Nonetheless, no mak[..]

Tesla gets final approval to start production in China

American company can now begin production of its Model 3 electric saloon in Shanghai as soon as possible Tesla has received final permission from the Chinese government to start Model 3 production in its $2 billion Shanghai Gigafactory. The Chinese industry ministry has added the American EV maker to a list of government-approved car manufacturers, Reuters has reported. This means that, although the factory has yet to be completed, Tesla is legally able to begin making cars and could do so in as little as a[..]

Land Rover Discovery Sport P200 2019 UK review

Refresh brings in-cabin improvements, but switch to mild-hybrid power can't offset this petrol version's poor economy This is the new Discovery Sport, refreshed after four years in the field not only with the obligatory mid-life makeover of revised bumpers and headlights, but the rather surprising renewal of its entire platform.That’s an expensive thing for a manufacturer to do, but makes more sense when you realise that the latest Discovery Sport has migrated to Jaguar Land Rover’s new Premium Transverse A[..]

Uniti One electric car available to order online from £15,100

50% deposit secures the British-built affordable electric city car, which is set to land in UK and Sweden by mid-2020 Fledgling Swedish electric car company Uniti has opened online orders for the Uniti One affordable electric car. The British-engineered compact EV will arrive in Sweden and the UK first in mid-2020, with a choice of battery capacities and prices starting from £15,100 including government grant. Three days after a customisation system went online, Uniti has added over one thousand potential c[..]

New sketches show 2020 Skoda Octavia’s design

Skoda’s sales champion moves to a new generation with Superb-inspired design ahead of autumn reveal Skoda’s biggest-selling model will be moving to an all-new generation for 2020, and new design images reveal the car’s overhauled exterior. Skoda has released a pair of design sketches that preview the new look of the next-generation Octavia, due to be revealed and hit showrooms next year. The sketches confirm our initial suspicion, based on earlier spy shots, that the new car takes influence from the Skoda S[..]

Swindon Powertrain creates compact ‘crate’ electric motor

Ultra-compact unit is designed as a cost-effective electrification option for low-volume manufacturers Swindon Powertrain, the company behind the E-Classic electric Mini, is developing a ‘crate’ powertrain for manufacturers to electrify low-volume models. The 107bhp unit will facilitate the switch to electrification, the firm says, for “manufacturers currently frustrated by the lack of compact, high-power EV systems available to buy in low volumes”. The powertrain is being developed in partnership with elec[..]

Linda Jackson to be replaced as Citroen CEO, reports say

German automotive media claims Frenchman Vincent Cobee will take over from Brit in management reshuffle Citroën CEO Linda Jackson is set to be replaced by a former Nissan and Mitsubishi executive in a shake-up of the French firm's leadership, reports suggest. German automotive publication Automobilwoche cites sources that claim Jackson, the first English woman and only the third woman in history to run a major car maker, will be moved to another role within the PSA Group. What this will be is yet to be disc[..]

Updated: Linda Jackson to be replaced as Citroen CEO, reports say

French firm issues statement correcting Cobee's role but doesn't deny Jackson's departure Citroën CEO Linda Jackson is set to be replaced by a former Nissan and Mitsubishi executive in a shake-up of the French firm's leadership, reports suggest. German automotive publication Automobilwoche cites sources that claim Jackson, the first English woman and only the third woman in history to run a major car maker, will be moved to another role within the PSA Group. What this will be is yet to be disclosed, however[..]

Toyota to launch ultra-compact EV and new battery strategy

Two-seater is designed for elderly and young drivers in urban environments Tokyo-bound two-seater is designed for short urban journeys; company is revamping its battery leasing programme Toyota will display a new compact urban electric car at the Tokyo motor show, ahead of a planned Japanese on-sale date in late 2020. The as-yet-unnamed two-seater is referred to as an ultra-compact battery electric vehicle (EV) and has been designed “for short-distance travel with limited impact on the environment”. With a [..]

Kia pulls plug on Optima in UK with no replacement coming

Kia UK will wind down sales of saloon and estate imminently, while Stinger range is set to be slimmed down to just the V6 Kia UK will make significant changes to its large car line-up, with the Optima due to be axed imminently. The Stinger will also soon be reduced to one engine as part of model year updates. Although the Optima, which has been available only in Sportswagon estate form for some time, is still live on the firm’s configurator, a Kia UK spokesperson told Autocar that it would be winding down s[..]

Nearly-new buying guide: Dacia Duster

The Dacia Duster is a capable off-roader at an attractive price Dacia's family-friendly SUV is a pioneer of cut-price motoring. Perfect for the big car enthusiast on a budget Duster drivers are a hardy bunch. There’s a 2013-reg 1.6i Access in white, the most basic run-of-the-mill version you can buy, that’s done 141,000 miles, has had two owners and is being advertised for £2499. Think about it: two individuals have happily clocked up 70,000 miles apiece in this car, a vehicle so basic it doesn’t even have [..]

BMW 3 Series Touring 320d xDrive M Sport 2019 UK review

In Touring guise, the 320d continues to combine dynamism with practicality, performance and frugality better than any rival This is the estate version of our favourite compact saloon, equipped with what will likely be the sweet spot for the engine line-up here in the UK. The turbocharged, four-cylinder 320d has already proved as such in the four-door 3 Series, having been labelled the pick of the range for the vast majority of drivers when we road tested that car earlier in the year. Diesel might be increas[..]

Opinion: can Volvo succeed where governments have failed?

Volvo now offers an electrified version of its entire range The Swedish firm believes that it can take a lead on tackling climate change through bold actions Shortly before Volvo revealed the XC40 Recharge, its first full electric vehicle, it showed a series of vox pop interviews with young people talking about climate change – in stark terms. They referred to the “climate crisis”, about the damage being done to the environment by the automotive industry. That the actions of car firms have significantly dam[..]

Opinion: The future of the V8 is once again under threat

New C63 V8-hybrid switch may be part of a larger transition as manufacturers struggle to limit CO2 I’d be exaggerating if I said I had to pull myself off the floor after first learning about Mercedes-AMG’s plan, but it certainly came as a shock. We’ve always known the race to meet the 2021 95g/km fleet average CO2 regulations would bring about widespread downsizing, but so far, much of the performance market has been unaffected by this. The bombastic V8 in today’s C63 is an integral part of the model’s char[..]

Next AMG C63 to ditch V8 for hybrid four-pot

But the new, four-wheel drive Mercedes-AMG C63 is expected to retain 500bhp-plus when it goes on sale in 2021 Mercedes-AMG will send a clear message that it is adapting to modern demands with the upcoming third-generation C63 by forgoing its long-standing V8 power in favour of an advanced four-cylinder hybrid drivetrain that develops more than 500bhp. The new C63 will be the first in a number of new AMG models earmarked to receive an electrified version of Mercedes’ new turbocharged 2.0-litre M139 engine wh[..]

Racing lines: Remembering Jim Clark

With his flashing smile, dapper dress sense and reliably unreliable Lotus, the Scotsman was an icon that transcended motorsport The Jim Clark Motorsport Museum has just welcomed through its doors its 10,000th visitor, which isn’t bad going given they only opened in July. But should we be surprised at the numbers? Not really. Fifty-one years after his death, Scotland’s double world champion remains an unblemished sporting icon around whom a cult of affection will always thrive. Clark was gone long before I w[..]

Volvo to offer free electricity to plug-in hybrid buyers

Volvo XC40 plug-in hybrid Customers will be offered cash incentive to use Swedish firm's PHEV models as efficiently as possible Volvo will offer buyers of its plug-in hybrid models a year’s worth of free electricity to promote them to use their cars as efficiently as possible. The deal will apply to all of the firm’s PHEV models - which will now carry the new Recharge badge for electrified machines - sold from today onwards in most markets, including the UK. The cars will record the total level of charge pu[..]

Volvo reveals XC40 Recharge as first full electric model

New EV version of popular SUV produces 402bhp from twin motor set-up, with more than 248 miles of range Volvo has unveiled the XC40 Recharge as its first full battery electric model, with the SUV featuring a 402bhp twin motor set-up and a claimed range of more than 248 miles. The new EV will join the petrol engined and plug-in hybrid variants of the small SUV when it goes on sale in the UK late next year, with pricing expected to be close to £50,000. The XC40 Recharge will be the first of five fully electri[..]

New Nissan Rogue hints at styling of next X-Trail

Spy shots reveal Juke-inspired changes to upcoming Rogue, which are likely to be adopted by new X-Trail The new Nissan Rogue, spotted testing ahead of its 2021 US launch, hints at the design of the fourth-generation X-Trail. These images of the Rogue also suggest a heavy styling influence from Nissan’s recently revealed Juke, as the manufacturer seeks to implement a familiar look across its model range. The new Rogue appears bulkier than its predecessor. The grille is more prominent, while large wheel arche[..]

Land Rover Discovery Sport D180 AWD SE 2019 UK review

Well-mannered, spacious, practical, well-finished and now slightly more economical, but D180's high weight dulls performance and economy Not long ago, this version of the latest Discovery Sport would have been decisively the biggest seller of the range. We all know why it will sell more slowly these days, but the fact remains that a fat 317lb ft slug of torque served early is just what an off-roader, a family seven-seater and a tow car need to best deliver on their mission. The Discovery Sport is all of the[..]

UK lawyers claim VW dieselgate 'fix' is second defeat device

Pre-trial hearing for UK-based class action lawsuit against VW sees Slater and Gordon lawyers claim diesel emissions fix was another 'defeat device' in itself Lawyers for the 85,000 motorists bringing a class action in the UK against VW for its role in dieselgate have questioned whether the technical fix introduced in 2016 can be classified as a second defeat device, in a pre-trial hearing last week. Dieselgate damages: civil case against Volkswagen starts in spring Slater and Gordon, who are leading a cons[..]

Tata rules out sale of Jaguar Land Rover, but looks for partners

Chairman of Indian giant says it won’t sell JLR but will “always look for partnerships”, while sales begin to recover Tata has gone on the record to rule out rumours it would put Jaguar Land Rover up for sale, but has admitted it will consider partnerships to reduce costs. Speaking to Bloomberg, Natarajan Chandrasekaran, chairman of the Tata Sons Ltd, the holding company for the Indian giant that has Tata Motors under its wing, said “we’re not going to sell”. Despite admitting that the company will "always [..]

Volvo launches Recharge brand for electrified cars

Swedish firm will disclose average lifecycle carbon footprint of new models as part of bold plan to reduce emissions Volvo will introduce a new Recharge brand for all of its full electric and plug-in hybrid cars, and has vowed to show buyers the average lifecycle carbon footprint of each new model as part of a bold set of plans to reduce its carbon emissions. The new Recharge line will be introduced with the Swedish firm’s first battery electric vehicle, the XC40 Recharge, which will be unveiled later today[..]

Top 10 best superminis 2019

The best superminis have evolved from small-yet-practical cars to ones with real dynamic prowess, filled with the kind of luxuries found on larger cars. So which would we buy? The supermini segment is one packed with options for new car buyers, but it is no longer sufficient for a car in this class to simply be small, frugal and well-priced. To make our top ten list, a supermini needs to be so much more than a car that can seat a couple of adults and a couple of kids, carrying a decent amount of luggage. It[..]

Hot Yaris is on the cards as Toyota aims to forge racing links

European sales boss hints a performance version of the Yaris is forthcoming, linking in with the company's Gazoo Racing motorsport arm Toyota is highly likely to produce a performance version of the new Yaris, according to Toyota Europe’s executive vice-president Matt Harrison. The decision is part of a greater desire within Toyota to connect the brand’s Gazoo Racing motorsport activities to its road car range to help customers better understand the link. Harrison said: “This is the strategy of Gazoo Racing[..]

Hybrid-only Honda Jazz previewed ahead of Tokyo reveal

Preview image of the fourth-generation Jazz Next-generation of Honda's popular city car will only feature a petrol-electric powertrain Honda has released a preview image of its next-generation Jazz, ahead of its reveal next week at Tokyo Motor Show. The Japanese car maker said the new Jazz will “raise the bar in terms of comfort and driver enjoyment”. Honda has previously confirmed that the model will be launched in Europe with hybrid technology as its sole powertrain. Autocar first reported the move in Mar[..]

From the archive: A royal Rolls-Royce

In 1950, we detailed the new Phantom IV, which had been designed for Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh Two-and-a-half years after their wedding, Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, took delivery of the very first Rolls-Royce Phantom IV. Autocar reported details of the car on 7 July 1950, saying that while Rolls-Royce had longstanding relationships with high society, this was "the first time that a completely new model has been evolved specially for members of the British [..]

New 2020 Toyota Yaris revealed with ground-up redesign

Design overhaul combines with all-new platform, interior and powertrains - including a three-cylinder hybrid - as Toyota invests big in supermini game Toyota’s top-selling European model, the Yaris, is moving to a new generation next year – and the first official images and details have been revealed. The fourth-generation Vauxhall Corsa rival is set to go on sale in the UK in the middle of 2020 with customer deliveries commencing in September. It has been redesigned from the ground up, with a new platform [..]

Bentley Flying Spur 2019 review

Crewe’s third generation Spur is new from the ground up, but tech from Porsche Panamera and recent GT gives it the look of a winner Most people would assume that Bentley’s intention in basing the global launch of its all-new, third generation Flying Spur saloon in and around Monaco’s famous Hotel de Paris was to provide a suitable backdrop for a model the company suggests (without quite claiming) is the best car in the world.However, having attended the event and driven the car, I can report that this exoti[..]

Opinion: Can the 2 Series Gran Coupe lure 3 series buyers?

It may be smaller than the G20-generation 3, but a front-driven platform could made the difference The latest BMW 3 Series, as with many cars, is notably bigger than previous versions – which has attracted much comment in our letters pages. There are many who think the latest 3, brilliant as it is, is simply too big. Well, if you dream of a smaller BMW saloon, could the 2 Series Gran Coupe be the answer? The four-door is slightly bigger than an E46-era 3 Series, and marginally smaller than an E90. Almost by[..]

New BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe squares up to Mercedes CLA

First small four-door coupé from BMW is set to challenge Mercedes in the UK next March from £25k BMW has crowned its expanded compact car line-up with the new 2 Series Gran Coupé, its first small four-door coupé – and it promises the machine has been developed with a focus on driving dynamics. Available to order now priced from £25,815, with UK deliveries in March, the new Mercedes-Benz CLA rival expands the 2 Series line-up alongside the existing Coupé, Convertible and Active Tourer – although it is built [..]

Porsche Macan Turbo 2019 review

Fast flagship version of the Macan has finally arrived, but does the extra performance justify its higher asking price? This is the long-awaited, top-of-the-range Turbo version of the Macan. Yes all Macans have turbo engines, but like the new electrically-powered Taycan, the big ‘T’ turbo badge now denotes a level of performance rather than any under bonnet shenanigans.Now, Porsche has been forced to drip-feed the flow of its new Macan models, the combination of the SUV’s popularity in showrooms and the rig[..]

BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe leaked ahead of tonight's reveal

Four-door Mercedes CLA rival posted on social media just hours before its planned unveiling BMW's new 2 Series Gran Coupé is due to be revealed later tonight, but official images have been leaked online to spoil the show. Posted by a South African vlogger Caleb J. Schroëter, the new shots show the four-door Mercedes-Benz CLA rival's exterior styling in full, with a distinct visual difference compared to the larger 3 Series and new 1 Series. While the front-end is recognisable from the 2 Series' hatchback si[..]

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 2019 review

First mid-engined Corvette feels like a huge step forward from its predecessors, but the critical question is whether its bargain price will translate to non-American sales The new, eighth-generation Chevrolet Corvette delivers many impressive statistics. But none is more remarkable than the one with the dollar sign in front of it.Persuade an American dealer to sell the base car at its official MRSP list price - unlikely for several months at least - and it will cost just $59,995. This for a mid-engined 490[..]

New Volkswagen Golf seen undisguised inside and out

Eighth iteration of popular hatchback will be unveiled later this month, but first shot of interior is leaked online prior Volkswagen's eight-generation Golf is now just a couple of weeks away from being revealed, but again undisguised images have been leaked online - this time showing the cabin, too. An unattributed post on a Slovakian VW fan site shows what looks like an early production model in low-spec form, judging by the size of the wheels. Of more interest is the interior, as this is the first time [..]

New 2021 Hyundai Tucson seen with exterior overhaul

Spyshots of Hyundai's next-gen Tucson reveal SUV model gets design rethink, with inspiration taken from Nexo fuel cell car Hyundai will move its popular Tucson SUV to a new generation in 2021, and new spy images give us a good look at its exterior design. Although covered with the usual prototype camouflage, we can now see the Nissan Qashqai rival's design in greater detail, revealing it shares little with today's model. With a totally new profile and lines, the new model will be one of the first new Hyunda[..]

Toyota unveils Copen GR Sport as hot compact convertible

Daihatsu’s lightweight Copen is given the Gazoo Racing treatment with chassis upgrades and styling tweaks Toyota has revealed a hot GR Sport version of subsidiary company Daihatsu’s Copen convertible. The compact two-seater, built to Japan’s ‘kei car’ specifications, receives a number of styling and chassis upgrades to create an entry point into Toyota’s growing range of performance models. Toyota’s modifications are primarily handling-focused, with the addition of a front brace and reshaped centre brace en[..]