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Under the skin: The quest for perfection in EV battery tech

Details of the battery pack for Volkswagen’s ID 3 for 2020 reveal the latest-generation battery cell tech From lithium manganese oxide-based systems to lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide alternatives, manufacturers are constantly tinkering in search of more power and economy Not long ago, big powertrain news involved the launch of new engine plants like JLR’s Engine Manufacturing Centre. Now the attention has switched to battery manufacturing and the best way to produce lithium ion batteries for EVs. Som[..]

Analysis: 2020 is the year to take emissions targets seriously

Fewer models are being made as EU CO2 targets add pressure Dramatically reducing fleet average emissions is now the priority for car makers, if they are to avoid heavy fines This year will mark a revolution in new-car selling: for the first time, car makers will place the CO2 output of every model in their ranges at the top of their priority list, outweighing design, performance and other traditional sales points. The EU’s 95g/km fleet average CO2 regulation – under discussion in Brussels for a decade – mea[..]

Next-gen Range Rover Sport to be make-or-break model

New Range Rover Sport (rendered here) will have focus on eco-friendly performance Third-generation version of Land Rover's highly profitable Range Rover Sport SUV due on sale in 2022 Jaguar Land Rover is bouncing back from a tumultuous 18 months with development under way on what could be the firm’s most important model: the new Range Rover Sport. Fresh from the successful launch of the Defender, the order bank for which is already well above projections, JLR also returned to profit last year under the firm[..]

In pursuit of 800mph: How Bloodhound aims to break the land speed record

The current land speed record sits at 763.035mph; Bloodhound is going for 800 After storming to 628mph, the project has history in its sights. We sit down with its chief engineer and driver Right about now, the sleek Bloodhound land speed record car will be docking in the UK after last autumn’s high-speed test programme on a dry lake bed in the South African desert, where it hit 628mph in the hands of its driver, Andy Green. I say ‘high speed’ but, for Bloodhound LSR, it’s running on only two-thirds power. [..]

Bugatti's boss on Chiron variants, profitability and autonomous cars

We talk to CEO Stephan Winkelmann about the next steps for the ultra-exclusive car maker Bugatti's highlight of 2020 was the phenomenal 300mph+ Chiron speed run but now it's time for the next challenge, including the possibility of a second model in its line-up. We sit down with CEO Stephan Winkelmann and pick his brain on the future of the firm and wider industry. You recently achieved broke the 300mph barrier in a Chiron Super Sport 300+. What’s next? Being the spearhead of performance, it’s difficult to [..]

Autocar's guide to the best things to do in 2020

The best things to do in 2020 As part of our guide to the perfect motoring year, here are some top tips on what to fill your time with over the next 12 months We've already given you a comprehensive guide to all the new cars to get excited about in 2020 - but now it's over to you. There are plenty of ways you can indulge your love of cars this year, and it doesn't have to cost you the world. This, then, is your updated New Year's resolutions list, as compiled by Autocar writers. Buy a used 4x4 Whether it be[..]

Autocar's guide to what will happen in 2020

What will happen in 2020 As part of our guide to the perfect motoring year, here are our predictions for what to expect from the automotive world in the next twelve months We've kicked off January with a list of what to watch out for in 2020 with our comprehensive guide to exactly what new cars are due to hit showrooms over the next twelve months. But what about the things we don't know? The following might not be set in stone, but Autocar's writers have predicted what you can expect from the automotive ind[..]

Peugeot 508 Hybrid 225 GT 2020 review

Plug-in hybrid delivers swish looks, low tax and useful electric range, but rivals are bigger and better to drive This is the plug-in hybrid version of the Peugeot 508. You’re right, we’ve seen it before – driven a prototype, no less. But final touches have been made since then, in time to reach UK driveways, near enough coinciding with new company car tax bands that will benefit PHEV and EV drivers.But first the car. It features a 178bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine and a 108bhp electric motor on the front axle[..]

Volkswagen T-Roc R 2020 UK review

Golf R substitute arrives in the UK with almost identical hardware but an alternative persona There’s no question about modern Volkswagen's ability to build an extremely desirable four-wheel-drive performance hatchback.That car has a name, of course: the Golf R. But the proposition changed last week, because the Golf R officially went off sale (don’t worry, it will be back in Mk8 form) and the T-Roc R arrived to step into its 296bhp shoes.Individual preferences being what they are, the fact that the T-Roc R[..]

Jeep Gladiator 2020 video review: How good off-road is the new Jeep pickup?

Jeep's latest pick-up truck promises the go-anywhere ability of a Wrangler, plus the practicality and towing ability of a flat-bed. How will it cope in the wilds of New Zealand? For decades since the 1940s, Jeep made a pickup truck. And then, all of a sudden in the early 1990s, it didn't. But now the new Jeep Gladiator is here to change all that. Like a mullet (remember: business at the front, party at the back, '80s haircut fans) the Gladiator is a Wrangler for its front half, but features a chassis and bo[..]

Tesla previews small electric car for China

American firm posted design sketch as it announced that it's setting up a research and design centre in China Tesla has shown a design sketch of a small car for China and revealed that it's looking to set up a design and research facility in the country. The American electric vehicle (EV) maker posted the image of a compact hatchback with Model 3-inspired styling via its official account on WeChat – China's biggest social media network. The announcement was primarily a call for job applicants, some of whom [..]

Suzuki Jimny 2019 long-term review

Suzuki's unpretentious 4x4 is lovable in short doses. Will its charm wear thin over six months? Why we’re running it: To see whether the modern-day Jimny is as worthy as its iconic predecessor Month 3 - Month 2 - Month 1 - Specs Life with a Suzuki Jimny: Month 3 City slicker heads to the countryside, laden with precious cargo - 15th January 2020 Living with the Jimny in London has been a breeze, most notably because of its dinky size and brilliant visibility. But a trip to my parents’ home during the holida[..]

New Ford Galaxy and S-Max hybrids arriving in 2021

Firm invests £36 million in its Valencia factory to produce batteries for new electrified MPVs Ford has invested £36.7 million in preparing its production facility in Valencia, Spain for the introduction of hybrid versions of the S-Max and Galaxy. As part of the investment, the factory will gain two new assembly lines for the production of lithium ion battery packs for the electrified MPVs and hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants of the new Kuga SUV. The new versions of the Galaxy and S-Max will use the same [..]

Alpine A110 S 2020 UK review

A110 gains power and handling precision, but do these traits improve the recipe or merely alter it? You might imagine the only question that really needs answering is whether the new Alpine A110 S is 'better' to drive than the basic A110 of five-star-road-test fame. And fair enough. Initially it seems as though that is very much Alpine’s intention for this fresh variant of its lightweight sportscar. The ‘S’ moniker, the 40bhp power bump, the firmer, shorter springs and stronger anti-roll bars, the larger br[..]

Land Rover Discovery Sport

Can the overhauled Discovery Sport revitalise Land Rover's fortunes? Jaguar Land Rover has been in the wars of late.Abroad, troubles in the Chinese market in 2018 catalysed a sales nose-dive, while back at home the simultaneous public flogging of diesel cars and the uncertainty surrounding Brexit did their best to add two black eyes to the firm’s already bloodied nose. This axis of misfortune, along with a £3.1 billion write-down in the value of company’s capitalised assets, saw this storied British manufac[..]

Buy them before we do: second-hand picks for 17 January

It doesn't like wet weather, but for an icy £9995, a 2012-reg BMW M135i is a no-brains buy An M135i for less than £10,000? Tempting, especially considering the 2012-reg car has done a reasonable 75,000 miles and has full BMW service history, faithfully recorded in its iDrive system. It’s the rare manual version, by the way, and being the three-door, it looks sportier than the practical five-door version. So it’s all looking good, and in case you’ve forgotten, its 3.0-litre straight six produces 315bhp and 3[..]

Grey rules the roost as UK’s favourite car colour in 2019

SMMT figures show the hue keeps its number one spot from 2018, adorning more than one in five new cars The UK’s favourite car colour is grey for the second year running, according to statistics from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The hue was the most popular shade on new cars sold last year. More than one in five new cars (22.6%) driven off forecourts were painted grey, while a total of 521,273 grey cars were registered in 2019, an increase of 5.3% on the year before. The runner-up c[..]

Skoda to expand Octavia vRS lineup with full-fat PHEV

The hot Octavia will be sold in both front- and four-wheel-drive forms. Here's how Autocar thinks it will look First vRS plug-in hybrid option should create nearly 250bhp and as much as 300lb ft of torque Skoda is planning its most comprehensive Octavia vRS line-up yet, with sources at the company hinting that the new models will be the fastest and most focused to wear the vRS performance badge so far. Standard versions of the new-generation Octavia were unveiled late last year, but the new vRS-badged perfo[..]

Matt Prior: Whatever happened to the Tata Nano?

Nano: a car with a great future behind it In 2009, our man backed the wee Tata to conquer the future. Little did he know... Morning. How much are you enjoying the future? I must say I’m finding the absence of anti-gravity cars and self-tying shoelaces slightly frustrating. This is not the 2020 we were sold by past versions of ourselves, is it? We’re all still using wheels, turning our own lights on and off and dropping bombs on each other, and our grand contribution towards having the kind of lifestyle prev[..]

Skoda to expand Octavia vRS lineup with hot PHEV

The hot Octavia will be sold in both front- and four-wheel-drive forms. Here's how Autocar thinks it will look First vRS plug-in hybrid option should create nearly 250bhp and as much as 300lb ft of torque Skoda is planning its most comprehensive Octavia vRS line-up yet, with sources at the company hinting that the new models will be the fastest and most focused to wear the vRS performance badge so far. Standard versions of the new-generation Octavia were unveiled late last year, but the new vRS-badged perfo[..]

Ionity to launch new pricing structure as EV charger rollout continues

EV charging network switches to kilowatt hour-based scheme on Jan 31st, while CEO says it is “on track” to have 400 chargers live by 2021 Ionity will introduce a new, kilowatt hour-based pricing structure at the end of the month across its 200-strong network of rapid electric car chargers. The company, formed as part of a joint venture between BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Ford and the VW Group, used to operate a ‘pay per vend’ system with a flat fee of £8 per charging session in the UK. As of 31st Jan the new system[..]

BMW introduces new mild hybrids in line-up reshuffle

Diesel models gain electric tech for smoother starts and improved economy; 1 Series hatch gains new 120d option A range of BMW diesel models will be equipped with mild hybrid power systems as standard from spring, promising improved fuel economy and reduced emissions. All 320d models, including the four-wheel drive xDrive variants, the X3 xDrive20d and X4 xDrive20d – powered by the same 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine – will gain a 48v starter-generator and additional battery for an 11bhp power boost, [..]

Jaguar Land Rover invents car seat that makes you think you’re exercising

New seat moves to simulate walking, intended to reduce health risk of sedentary lifestyles Jaguar Land Rover has designed a new shape-shifting car seat that aims to stimulate your muscles as if you were walking. The seat, which is being trialled by JLR’s Body Interiors Research division, moves to mimic the motions and stresses of movement and is intended to reduce the health risks of sitting down for too long while driving. It automatically adjusts to suit every driver and passenger. While JLR shared no ext[..]

Jaguar Land Rover invents car seat intended to simulate walking

JLR says innovative seat makes you think you're exercising and hopes to address sedentary lifestyles Jaguar Land Rover has designed a new shape-shifting car seat that aims to stimulate your muscles as if you were walking. The seat, which is being trialled by JLR’s Body Interiors Research division, moves to mimic the motions and stresses of movement and is intended to reduce the health risks of sitting down for too long while driving. It automatically adjusts to suit every driver and passenger. According to [..]

New VW Golf GTI confirmed for Geneva motor show

Mk8 Golf GTI is one of four hot Golfs launching this year, alongside GTD, GTE and R models The highly anticipated, eighth-generation Volkswagen Golf GTI will be revealed at Geneva motor show in March, the car maker has confirmed. Volkswagen will have a grand total of four hot Golf models in dealers before the end of 2020 - with the R going on sale a few months after the GTI, diesel GTD and plug-in hybrid GTE. Following the reveal of the GTI and GTD at Geneva motor show, the R version will be shown in July a[..]

Hyundai and Kia invest £85 million in British EV start-up Arrival

Delivery firms including Royal Mail have expressed an interest in Arrival's electric van Korean car makers will use London firm's skateboard platform for a new line of electric commercial vehicles Kia and Hyundai have invested €100 million (£85.4 million) in London-based electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Arrival, making it one of the UK’s most valuable start-ups. Through the new partnership, the Korean car makers plan to “introduce competitively priced small and medium-sized electric vans and other product[..]

Nearly-new buying guide: Nissan Leaf

The Leaf isn't the vehicle for thrill-seekers, but gives great bang for your buck Popular family EV can be had for £4000. We plug in to the used market The Nissan Leaf was the first mainstream family-sized electric car to hit the UK when it was launched in 2011. Today, with over 25,000 Mk1 and Mk2 versions sold, it can also claim to be the first used EV to be available in significant numbers. In fact, one leading sales site lists more than 1000 of them, half being Mk1 models, the generation under review her[..]

Racing lines: F1 pulls in the public; car makers? Not so much

With Honda only contracted to Red Bull till 2021, and Renault's future equally shaky, the fate of manufacturers on the grids is uncertain The Formula 1 world championship will hit 70 this year and appears to be thriving. Under Liberty Media’s maturing patronage, F1 continues to mesmerise a global audience of a size far beyond any other form of motorsport, and judging by the second half of 2019, even the racing spectacle compares positively with so-called ‘golden’ eras. But under F1’s pristine veneer are rus[..]

Bentley Continental GT V8 2020 UK review

Super suave GT goes on sale here with a V8 under its bonnet. Question is, could it be even better on UK roads than the W12 flagship? Ask Bentley what this car represents and they’d probably tell you it is the entry point to the Continental GT range, a way of immersing yourself in the deep waters of Bentley design without getting entirely carried away and going for the full fat W12 version.Because twelve cylinders are clearly better than eight and, by the same reasoning, six litres must best four. Surely? We[..]

Porsche 718 Cayman and Boxster GTS bring back six-cylinder power

Six-pot 718 uses a detuned variant of the GT4's 4.0-litre engine, available to order now as coupé or convertible Porsche has brought back six-cylinder power to the standard 718 Cayman and Boxster line-up in the form of new GTS 4.0 variants. They’re available to order now, with first deliveries due in March, and are priced from £64,088 for the Cayman GTS 4.0 and £65,949 for the Boxster version. Replacing the outgoing 718 GTS models, which used a 361bhp 2.5-litre flat four engine, the new GTS 4.0 has – as the[..]

New entry-level Toyota GR Supra launched in Europe

Turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine offers 258bhp and improved dynamics; no UK launch for now Toyota will bring a new entry-level variant of its GR Supra sports car to Europe, powered by a 258bhp four-cylinder engine. The model has made its first public appearance at a Toyota event in Amsterdam, where it is being shown in limited-run Fuji Speedway trim, which features a bespoke metallic white paint finish, matt black alloy wheels, and red interior and trim elements. Like the 3.0-litre straight six a[..]

New Toyota GR Yaris: 257bhp hot hatch shown in Europe

Toyota GR Yaris Rally-derived, four-wheel-drive performance machine revealed at Tokyo Auto Salon will reach UK this year Toyota has shown the final version of the 257bhp GR Yaris hot hatch, the second model in its GR sports car line, in Europe for the first time. The machine, which was developed based on knowledge from the firm's World Rally Championship programme, was revealed at the Tokyo Auto Salon in Japan earlier this month and has now been shown at a Toyota brand event in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. T[..]

Toyota to reveal new small SUV at Geneva motor show

Toyota has revealed a sketch of its new small SUV for Europe Yaris-based model is set to rival Nissan Juke, promising distinctive styling and city-friendly dimensions Toyota will launch a Yaris-based small SUV for Europe as it moves to capitalise on the ongoing popularity of compact high-riding models. The as-yet-unnamed model, set to be unveiled in close-to-production form at the Geneva motor show, was announced at a company showcase event, where Toyota revealed it would use the same TNGA-B platform as the[..]

Updated: 2020 Geneva motor show

Europe's biggest motoring event returns for 2020 with groundbreaking launches planned in every segment With less than two months to go until the doors open at Geneva, Europe's biggest and most important motor show, manufacturers are already dropping hints at what's set to appear. In something of a break from convention for motor shows of late, electrification and combustion look to share the limelight in Switzerland, with new electric models roughly equal in number to their conventionally fuelled counterpar[..]

New Toyota Mirai fuel cell vehicle makes European debut

Toyota Mirai Second-generation hydrogen-powered vehicle, set to go on sale later this year, shown in production form The dramatic new second-generation Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle has been shown in near-production form for the first time in Europe. The machine, which is due on sale later this year, was first displayed in concept form at the Tokyo motor show last year. Toyota has now revealed the latest version at a brand event in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The Japanese firm promises the new Mir[..]

Citroen and DS get new bosses in PSA reshuffle

Linda Jackson Brit Linda Jackson, who has led Citroen since 2014, has taken on new role studying brand differentiation Linda Jackson, who has been the boss of Citroën for the past six years, will move to a new role within the PSA Group to lead a study on brand differentiation. The Briton will be succeeded as Citroën chief by Vincent Cobee, a former Nissan and Mitsubishi executive who is currently deputy CEO of the brand. The move was first reported last October but has now been made official as part of a wi[..]

Volkswagen Touareg 2020 long-term review

Large diesel SUVs are getting a bad rap. Can we help redress the balance? Why we’re running it: To see if Volkswagen’s re-engineered SUV is a fitting flagship – and how well it can do diesel Month 2 - Month 1 - Specs Life with a Volkswagen Touareg: Month 2 Less than a clear view - 24th December 2019 The Touareg has been doing a great job of paddling through salt and slush, doing up to 1000 miles a week aided by superb LED matrix headlights with the bonus of washers that work. What doesn’t work very well, th[..]

Kia Ceed Sportswagon and Xceed plug-in hybrids revealed

Kia's new petrol-electric PHEVs start from £29,995, with first deliveries expected in April Kia has revealed UK spec details of its first plug-in hybrid models, based on the Ceed Sportswagon and Xceed crossover. Available to order now, with first deliveries expected in April, the Sportswagon PHEV is priced at £29,995 in its sole 3 trim level, while the Xceed starts from £30,695 with a choice of 3 or First Edition trims. The Xceed and Ceed Sportswagon are both powered by a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engi[..]

Hyundai i10 Premium 1.0 MPI​ 2020 review

Third-generation city car arrives to dispel the rumours of the class’s demise The new Hyundai i10 shouldn’t exist. The petrol-engined city car has been declared dead, you see, sparking an ongoing ‘whodunnit’ to determine whether it was low profit margins, prohibitive emissions legislation or changing consumer tastes that delivered the final, fatal blow.And yet, in an improbable plot twist, here we have an all-new i10, looking fresh, relevant and, indeed, very much alive and well. Who saw that coming?This th[..]

Government minister wants to double UK fast charging network by 2024

The minister of state for future transport planning says growing EV infrastructure is key to achieving net zero carbon goal The government minister in charge of future transport planning has targeted doubling the number of electric vehicle rapid chargers available in the UK within the next four years as a key way of promoting the take-up of electric vehicles. The Government has set the goal of phasing out the sales of pure petrol and diesel-engined cars by 2040 and is currently looking at whether that targe[..]

2020 Aston Martin DBX video review: prototype driven on and off-road

First SUV in Aston Martin's storied 107-year history gets driven for the first time ahead of customer deliveries later this year Aston Martin will hope to get its 'Second Century' expansion plans back on track by launching the 542bhp DBX in spring 2020 - the first SUV in the company's 107-year history. The £158,000, five-seat 4x4 has been in development since 2015, and aims to take a sizeable chunk out of the premium SUV market with its familiar, AMG-sourced 4.0-litre turbocharged V8. It's built on an all-n[..]

Special-edition Plus Four marks Morgan’s platform shift

Limited-run model gets platinum finish, black detailing and gold-painted chassis to mark 70 years Morgan is launching a batch of 20 uniquely specified Plus Four roadsters — priced at £60,995 each — to mark both the 70th anniversary of the model’s 1950 debut and the fact that the steel ladder chassis it has always used will be superseded this year by the new CX bonded aluminium platform, already launched in the Plus Six. The 20 cars, officially dubbed Plus Four 70th Anniversary and painted platinum metallic [..]

First drive: 2020 Aston Martin DBX prototype

New big Aston doesn’t try to be the biggest, fastest SUV on the block, and may be all the more appealing and successful for it It has been a challenging fifteen months for Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings plc since the company took its ‘second century’ business expansion plan public on the London stock exchange. I’d imagine a stock market analyst would probably choose a word other than ‘challenging’ to describe it, in fact; one preceded, perhaps, with an even more colourful term beginning with the lette[..]

What Car? Awards 2020 winners revealed

The annual awards celebrate the best of the best cars, ranging from electric cars to sports SUVs to hot hatches The Ford Puma has been crowned the What Car? Car of the Year 2020, with the model praised by judges for “being fun to drive, cleverly packaged and well priced”. The first Ford to use the Puma name in almost 20 years, the model also won the Small SUV category, seeing off competition from models including the Audi Q2 and Skoda Kamiq. Announced at What Car?’s 43rd annual awards ceremony in London, Wh[..]

Opinion: Why allowing EV owners to ‘roam’ could drive take-up

Ability to top up at any public charging point under just one service would be game-changing and a big help in popularising EVs Imagine how frustrating it would be if every petrol company used a different type of fuel pump system, requiring you to only be able to stop at one type of filling station or sign up to multiple different accounts. It would make the simple act of refuelling a combustion-engined car much more complicated - but it’s a situation that will be familiar to electric car drivers who use pu[..]

Major EV report calls for charging firms to allow 'roaming'

Government-backed EV Energy Taskforce proposes common charging standards and moves to promote smart charging Introducing common charging point standards, allowing ‘roaming’ between charging networks and a major campaign to promote the uptake of electric vehicles are among the key proposals from a government-backed taskforce on EVs. A total of 21 proposals, grouped into five themes and designed to help drive EV take-up in the UK, are contained in a report published today by the Electric Vehicle Energy Taskfo[..]

Toyota launches new brand to focus on mobility services

Kinto will spearhead Toyota's mobility initiatives New Kinto brand will lead Toyota's development of car sharing, subscription and autonomous transport services Toyota has launched a new brand called Kinto, which will focus on mobility services including car sharing, subscription services and autonomous transport systems. The new brand will be introduced in Europe as part of Toyota’s efforts to expand its business beyond making and selling cars by taking advantage of new technology, including connected cars[..]

Lexus UX 300e: more details revealed for first Lexus EV

Lexus UX 300e Further technical details confirmed for electric crossover ahead of UK launch in 2021 Lexus has announced further technical details for its first electric production car, the UX 300e, ahead of its launch in the UK in early 2021. The UX 300e, which was originally revealed at the Guangzhou motor show in China, will arrive with a front-mounted motor that produces 201bhp and 221lb ft of torque. Power comes from a 54.3kWh underfloor battery offering a claimed 249 miles of range on the old NEDC test[..]

Toyota RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid: UK details confirmed

New version of fifth-generation SUV will go on sale with 302bhp and a 38-mile-plus electric-only range Toyota has released new details of its new RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid, which will arrive in the UK with a 302bhp powertrain capable of more than 38 miles of electric-only running. The fifth-generation SUV was launched in 2018, but it was initially offered in the UK with just one powertrain option: a 2.5-litre petrol-electric hybrid producing 215bhp in front-wheel-drive form and 219bhp in four-wheel-drive models. [..]

New Bentley Mulsanne 6.75 Edition is final outing for iconic V8

Bentley marks end of 6.75-litre V8 production and Mulsanne itself with ultra-exclusive runout special Bentley has announced a final edition of the Mulsanne ahead of production ending this spring, with the longest-serving V8 in continuous production to die with it. The Mulsanne 6.75 Edition, created by Bentley's coachbuilding division, Mulliner, is restricted to 30 examples and is described as a “fitting send-off for a masterpiece of British automotive engineering and craftsmanship”. Bentley S2 meets Mulsann[..]