New Seat Leon hot hatch detailed, Audi RS Q8 super SUV driven, Autocar's 2019 road test yearbook and more
24 December 2019

This week’s cover story reveals that a plug-in hybrid hot hatch will crown the line-up for Seat’s fifth-generation Leon, which is due to go on sale in 2020 following the arrival of its Volkswagen Golf sister car.

Evolutionary styling, tech-heavy interior and new engines are all due at the Geneva motor show in March, but we’ve got all the details on the 241bhp PHEV ahead of launch.

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE

This week’s news section looks at Lamborghini’s plans to incorporate unique electric technology into its first hybrid supercars, using supercapacitors to store electricity in their bodywork. Meanwhile, McLaren has launched a new road-ready race-spec model. Christened the 620R, it is limited to only 350 examples and costs £250,000.

Elsewhere, things are hotting up in the already competitive compact crossover segment as Mercedes reveals a new GLA, while Toyota puts the finishing touches on the next hot Yaris.

And as 2019 draws to a close, we look back on an eventful 12 months, analysing everything from Tesla’s unexpectedly good finances to the industry-changing merger agreement between Fiat Chrysler and PSA. We then expand our gaze to the whole of the last decade, counting down the main changes since 2010.

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

The Audi RS Q8 leads the way in this week’s first drives. We first hitched a ride in Ingolstadt’s super-SUV after its record-breaking lap around the Nürburgring, but now we’re doing the driving. We also get behind the wheel of the equally rapid Radical Rapture to see if a road-legal race car can deliver oodles of fun on the track while still being usable away from it. Next, it’s the turn of the all-new Vauxhall Corsa, which gains an aggressive new look and a price bump, before the Volvo S60 T8 steps up to the challenge of the Autocar road test. The S60 aims to combine plug-in hybrid economy and performance saloon pace, but does this ostensibly promising combo yield fruit?

Features

To mark the last issue of 2019, we reflect on the last twelve months of the automotive industry. Our bumper road test yearbook covers motor shows, new car reveals, industry shake-ups and, of course, every car subjected to the notoriously demanding Autocar road test. From chunky crossovers to lithe-limbed track cars, we’ve put a huge selection of classes and models through their paces this year, and now we get to look back to see what stood out the most.

Opinions

It’s been another busy week for Steve Cropley, with a sit down with legendary engineer Gordan Murray and an evening of sophisticated motoring chat with the Bristol Pegasus Motor Club. Elsewhere, Matt Prior ponders the pleasures of a clean(ish) notebook.

Deals

Swapping a van for an estate car throws up a lot of choices, according to James Ruppert, with everything from a Saab 9-3 D to the Mazda 6 viable options. In our nearly new buying guide, we shine a light on the catwalk-ready lines of the 2016 Mercedes E-Class. Once £36,000, you can now nab a good one for less than half that. The Alfa 156 is another stunning car, but requires a thorough vetting before you pull the trigger. We steer you through the minefields of potential ownership in our used guide.

Where to buy

Never miss an issue – subscribe to Autocar magazine today.

Autocar?magazine is available through all good newsagents. You can also buy one-off copies of Autocar magazine from Newsstand, delivered to your door the morning after.

Digital copies can be downloaded from Zinio and the Apple iTunes store

Join the debate

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)

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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.?

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