This week: BMW 5 Series upgraded, Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid road tested, Daniel Ricciardo on the upcoming F1 season, and more
27 May 2020

The BMW 5 Series will receive a veritable smorgasbord of upgrades as the German marque seeks to fortify the flagship line-up.

Not only that, but BMW has also revealed official pictures of the new model. And, as usual, Autocar has all the details of the model that will take the fight to the newer Audi A6 and the recently facelifted Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

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As well as updating the 5 Series, BMW has extended its X2 line-up with a four-wheel-drive xDrive25e plug-in hybrid model, although fans of the 6 Series will be disappointed to learn that the saloon’s Gran Turismo variant will be taken off sale in the UK due to sluggish demand.

Meanwhile, in Stuttgart, Mercedes has revealed the facelifted E-Class Coupé and E-Class Cabriolet, Alpina has unleashed a 613bhp V8 take on BMW’s X7 and Renault could be locking horns with the French state, which seeks to stop the French manufacturer from closing its factories. Renault has also revealed pricing for the?Clio Hybrid and Captur Plug-In Hybrid.

To the UK now, and an update on the fortunes of Jaguar Land Rover, which is expanding its performance division, SVO, after a 64% jump in sales. Mini - British in origin, though now owned by BMW - will be hoping to follow suit. The iconic marque has updated its Countryman model, bringing more efficient engines, additional technology and aesthetic tweaks to one of the brand’s sales leaders.

Hyundai is readying a family of radical electric cars. Elsewhere, Porsche has poured water on the possibility of a turbo-free 911 Carrera.

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Car review
BMW 5 Series

The BMW 5 Series has been the go-to mid-sized executive saloon, and G30 generation brings 7 Series luxury limo quality to the class, but is it still the best?

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Finally, in our analysis section, we talk to Volkswagen’s sales boss about the role of cars in the economic fightback against Covid-19.

Reviews

Tuning experts Mountune are no strangers to fast Fords, but what can it do with the new Fiesta ST - something of a cut-price hero already? We get behind the wheel to find out if some fettling can only sweeten the deal further.

Next, we get a taste of the most powerful X7 variant BMW makes, the M50i. A 523bhp V8 makes for impressive performance for such a large luxury SUV, but can it compete with premium rivals? We also sample the latest Vauxhall Astra in 143bhp guise, to see if the most potent petrol in the range will be a treat for private buyers.

Then it’s the turn of the latest Porsche Cayenne to take on the demanding Autocar road test. The Turbo S E-hybrid is the most powerful variant in the range, with supercar-like pace, ample room and a comfortable ride, but is it the pick of the line-up?

Finally, we turn back the clock to 2017 for our weekly Road Test Rewind, to when our timing gear and test track first got to sample the uncompromising Porsche GT2 RS.

Features

It would be foolish to think the ongoing Covid-19 crisis hasn’t impacted the automotive sector - but just how much effect has lockdown had on the British car industry? This week we take an in-depth look at every facet of the automotive world to see how companies are coping in the wake of the biggest downturn in new car sales since World War II.

Buy any Jaguar or Land Rover today and it will have been refined by Mike Cross and his team of vehicle engineers here in the UK. We head to the company’s headquarters to find out on which roads, and why they’re the best for tuning some of our most recognisable automotive exports.

With environmental change forcing through new legislation all the time, the emergence of ultra-low emissions zones, or ULEZ, has made buying a car that little bit trickier. You don’t have to buy new to avoid paying a charge, though, as our second hand expert James Ruppert explains.

We also test drive the new US-spec Toyota GR Supra?without leaving home, with the aid of an eerily accurate driving simulator?that you can buy?for your games console.

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Daniel Ricciardo shook the F1 world earlier this month when he signed for McLaren, completing a series of moves that will see a significantly changed grid for the 2021 season. We spoke to him before the announcement to get his views on his performance, the rest of the paddock, and the value of experience in a field increasingly filled with young drivers.

Opinions

Steve Cropley opines on the death and resurrection of the city car, which will likely survive in electrified form but see prices shoot up to account for all that new technology, and considers which EV he’d buy now Motorsport UK has announced rules for grassroots racing with battery-powered cars. Elsewhere, Matt Prior enjoys clear roads (though not Grand Theft Auto-mimicking drivers) as he embarks on his first batch of road tests post-lockdown.

Deals

Bangernomics champion James Ruppert isn’t a fan of the PCH deal, a practice he lovingly dubs “personal fleecing” - especially when you can buy a luxo-barge for buttons if you don’t mind shopping used. He scours the classifieds and finds plenty of second hand examples that will cost you less.

We look at the Volkswagen Arteon in our nearly-new guide, detailing the quirks and foibles of VW’s sleek saloon that makes for a great used buy once someone else has taken the depreciation hit, then turn our attention to the BMW M3 in our used car buying guide. The E36-generation?isn’t the most well-regarded M car, but that just means they can still be had for sensible money.

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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.

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Comments
9

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.

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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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