In this week’s bumper double issue: Audi Sport goes electric, Mercedes-Benz GLE driven, Christmas cars of the year road trip and much more
11 December 2019

An exclusive story leads this week’s news section: Audi Sport is set to finally embrace electrification, with its first ever electric model, the E-tron GT RS, expected to debut next year.

With roots in the E-tron GT concept unveiled at last year’s LA motor show, the sister car to the Porsche Taycan could be joined by as many as three electrified RS models in the future. Find out which ones in the bumper double issue, on sale from today.

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE

Audi isn’t the only brand plotting a new performance model: McLaren F1 designer Gordon Murray is preparing a production version of his revolutionary T50 hypercar concept. Featuring a pathbreaking giant fan to improve downforce, the T50 promises to revolutionise the hypercar landscape, and looking mightily attractive while doing it when it arrives in 2021. We’ve got the technical details.

Morgan has chosen innovation over tradition, swapping its traditional ladder-frame chassis for an all-new platform after 83 years, and BMW has reaffirmed its commitment to a controversial recent style shift. We also broke the news that billionaire Lawrence Stroll is eying a major stake in Aston Martin.

Our Verdict

Audi E-tron 55 Quattro 2019 road test review - hero front

Zero-emissions, all-paw SUV leads Germany’s charge to electrification

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Reviews

Two high-riding Mercedes-Benz SUVs are the stars of this week’s first drives section. The GLE 350de Coupe was a late entrant to an increasingly competitive class, but an eye-catching design and strong electric-only range mean that it has plenty to make rivals think about. Those wanting power will want to read our first impressions of the AMG GLE 53 Coupé.

We also drive the diesel version of the eighth-generation Volkswagen Golf, which benefits from new technology and a welter of TDI torque, then get sporty with Audi’s RS Q3 Sportback, finding a lithe-handling crossover that more than justifies its RS credentials.

Features

It’s an extra thick festive issue this week, which means doing things a little differently for the traditional Christmas road test. This year’s unusual test subject? The world’s fastest tractor. The JCB Fastrac is big, yellow and does 150mph.

But that’s just the starter of a bumper feast of features. We got the party started with… the road tester’s Christmas party. Our festive testers are reunited with their favourite cars of the year, before arguing who brought the best one over a decadent table of grub. Then, James Ruppert goes in search of the perfect Yuletide used car - anything goes as long as it’s good value and has a sizeable engine.

While our resident Bangernomics guru is scouting out the market, Colin Goodwin has been granted a day of leave. Editor Mark Tisshaw gives Goodwin 24 hours to go wherever and drive whatever he wants: join Colin in a Chevrolet Camaro for his grand day out.

Not to be outdone by Goodwin’s travels, Richard Webber plots an odyssey of his own. Charged with building an alternative Christmas hamper, our man tours his 5 Series from Edinburgh to London in search of the perfect spread.

Elsewhere, Rachel Burgess and Ben Summerell-Youde team up to design Santa a car-themed sleigh, while Jesse Crosse also samples a different style of driving - he’s profiling the cult of Tamiya, legendary makers of remote-controlled cars.

Also in this issue: we drive a tank, make glasswork with Volvo, round up our snappers’ favourite photos from 2019 and a whole lot more.

Opinions

Steve Cropley rounds up another year spent on the automotive frontline, counting through his stars of 2019. Aston CEO Andy Palmer, entrepreneur Mate Rimac and fellow hack Andrew Frankel all make an appearance, not to mention his loyal readers. Elsewhere, Matt Prior tips his hat to the latest Fast & Furious film, but can’t resist a moan about the durability (or lack of) of modern tyres.

Deals

When not hunting for big-engined performance thrills for his Christmas special, James Ruppert has been turning his gaze to hybrids, which are gaining in popularity on the used market. Saloons woo his attention in particular, with the S-Class and 5 Series the pick of the bunch. In our nearly-new guide, it’s the turn of the stylish and spacious Renault Captur. Okay, so it’s no driver’s car, but the French SUV makes a strong good as new buy. Meanwhile, we sniff out a 993-generation Porsche 911 in our used guide. A serviceable 933 is a grand prize, but be sure to do your homework before buying.

Where to buy

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Comments
10

5 April 2018

As usual, this week's edition (dated 04APR2018), is a very good read, and well worth the investment. The road test of the eighth generation of Roll-Royce Phantom - with its "mahogany panelling" - illustrates that moneyed wealth, should NOT be confused with good-taste!

The sales pitch for next week's issue (to be dated 11APR2018), whets our appetite with the Used Buying Guide  . . .  "Mercedes-Benz CLS. Can't afford the new one? Then read our guide to Merc's original style icon".

The original CLS certainly was a style icon, with all the svelte elegance of a Parisian - or Italian - chic designer item.

That streamlined elegance was lost when the original's "facelift" incorporated the bluff, Teutonic, more upright, corporate Mercedes radiator grill.

The new, current, incarnation of the CLS (page 29, of this week's magazine), shares all the style, delicacy, and substantial "presence" of a rugby prop forward!  It is not a case of "Can not  AFFORD  the new CLS?".  More a question of why would anyone wish to purchase such a vulgar and brutish vehicle?

It is (again) a reminder that the ownership of wealth, is NOT the same as the possession of good taste.

RCT(V)

 

 

 

 

289

18 July 2018

....totally agree!

19 July 2018

Why the GT2 RS isn't  a five-star Porsche?

Well, according to the German car magazine Sportauto the McLaren 720 S is the better supercar.

The 720 S is razor sharp and yet poised, while the GT2 RS is a bit unhinged.

22 July 2018

Good overall read this week, except for the iPace vs Tesla review, which is a biased storyline developed clearly ahead of the cars being reviewed.  Essentially, the premise looks to convey an analogy between two passenger jets and how the second to market - the Boeing 707 - went on to lead it. Unfortunately, much like his story, he apply's 20th century motoring thinking to a 21st century ownership problem. In other words, he clearly doesn't get what the shft to electric is about. Not only that, many of the facts are just incorrect, like 0-60 time that amongst the others if they had been published correctly, would make the reader question how the author could possibly have reached such a conclusion. This disregards the fact that the iPace is better compared with the Model 3 (same size). Not only that, but the test cars were over 25% apart on costs - with the iPace being more expensive. Really dissappointing journalism. 

8 August 2018

Oh good... Another JLR product takes the cover spot.  Must be at least an issue or two since the last one. 

8 August 2018

Oh good... Another JLR product takes the cover spot.  Must be at least an issue or two since the last one. 

3 September 2018

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