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Issue 310 July 2018

Welcome

066
Jaguar I-Pace

“We will see more change in the next five years than TopGear’s Guide to the Future of the Car as Far as We Can Currently
we’ve seen in the last 50.” This statement by GM CEO Understand It. Because It’s All a Bit Fluid at the Moment.
Mary Barra has become the mantra for the current Into this new and uncertain marketplace, Jaguar is launching the
[sorry] pace of change of the automotive industry. I-Pace – its first all-electric vehicle. To answer some of the BIG questions,
While there have been milestone moments, for the we took the electrified Jag on a week-long bootcamp which included
most part, the journey of the automobile has been driving it from London to Lands End on a single charge, taking it off-road,
one of steady evolution, not revolution. But the rise of the EVs has turned doing the schoolrun, and racing it against a dragster (obviously). Our
the industry on its head, and this new car landscape is incredibly complex test starts on page 66.
to navigate and often creates more questions than answers. Fresh from hypermiling in the I-Pace, Paul Horrell answers some of the
Questions like... where’s all the electricity going to come from? What biggest questions around the rise of EVs on page 98. Elsewhere we get
happens when the batteries need recycling? Will internal combustion exclusive access to Lamborghini’s vision of the future of hypercars, the
engines be banned, and what happens to all the classics? What happens if Terzo Millennio, we examine an all-new approach to car ownership with
I run out of charge? Is it really a brilliant idea to be beholden to a generation Lynk&Co and we drive the physical manifestation of a virtual racer in the
of cars whose batteries require raw materials located in the most volatile form of the Audi e-tron Vision GT concept.
areas of the world? What happens to petrol stations and pasty sales? While it’s fair to say that the pace of change in our industry is unlike
When the UK doesn’t have superfast broadband as standard, are we really anything we’ve seen before – on current [apologies] evidence, it looks like
capable of delivering an EV charging infrastructure fit for purpose? What Barra may have underplayed it – this issue proves that the future will be no
happens when the EV tax breaks end? Should I just buy a diesel? less exciting, vibrant or challenging than the past, and the team at TopGear
The good news is that we’re here to help... welcome to TopGear’s will be here, helping you navigate the road ahead.
Guide to the Future, or more accurately (but we couldn’t fit it on the cover) Enjoy the issue,

Charlie Turner E D I T O R - I N - C H I E F
@TopGearEditor / editor@bbctopgearmagazine.com

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 005
Contents
Harris
“The aero packages are
clearly reaching the peak
of some silly phase before
the engineers are all sent
to the naughty step” 023

Reid
“There’s a reason Porsche
has the Cayenne. And
it’s no coincidence
Rolls-Royce now has
the Cullinan” 025

082 the ten


009 Bollinger B1
014 Audi Q8
018 Porsche 911 GT3 R
066 Jaguar I-Pace 020 UberAir
This car is pivotal to Jaguar’s future.
So, will it stand up to the vicious drill Intake
sergeants of TopGear’s bootcamp?
032 Life in cars
082 Tesla Model 3 033 Top 9
Jack Rix takes Elon Musk’s newest 034 TG gadgets
brainchild to the streets of New York. 035 Insider report
Makes the traffic jams even worse...
037 TG watches

092 Lynk&Co Drives


Ever thought your car was like a mobile
phone? After reading about this
040 Aston Martin Vantage vs
Chinese car company, you will...

112
McLaren 570GT vs AMG GT R
vs Porsche 911 GTS
098 EV Q&A
046 Volkswagen Touareg
What exactly happens when the
battery runs out? And other essential 048 BMW M3 CS
050 Aston DB11 AMR
electric vehicle questions answered

102 Terzo Millennio


014 102 055 Volvo V60
059 Audi A6
Thank God for Lamborghini, which 060 Lotus Exige Sport 410
comes up with completely off-the- 062 Bentley Continental GT vs
wall numbers like this... Mercedes-Benz S63 Coupe

112 Max Verstappen Garage


Rounding up this issue’s futuristic
theme, will this wunderkind be king 123 What we’re running at TG:
of the Formula One podium? goodbye Cayman, hello Arteon

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 007
THINGS WE’VE LEARNT THIS MONTH

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 009
Bollinger is
bringing old-school
utility to the future
The antidote to endless cut-and-paste SUVs? An aerophobic electric truck
that would put a Land Rover to shame off-road. Time to break out the Bolli...

obart, NY is just the sort of place and there’s definitely a military chunkiness to it. And not bad for a man with no experience of the

H
you could do with an all-electric, no- Next door, through the glass partition, is an office car industry, other than a lifelong passion and a pot
compromise off-roader. Something occupied by Robert and three of his trusted of money, from selling his share of the John
to navigate the gnarly, snow-covered engineers. And a dog. It’s a boutique company. Masters Organics hair care business in 2009.
hills in, enough juice to reach Manhattan – 150 miles Boutique, but with big dreams. After toying with the idea of a sports car, the
south – to blow off some steam, and no pulsating “We just crossed 16,000 reservations online. vision of a brick-like off-roader came to him while
V8 to disrupt the peace. No coincidence this is We had the debut on a Thursday, then the truck tooling around his farm in a UTV. “The idea was
the home of Bollinger Motors, maker of the B1, the was brought back up on Friday, within three days how could you combine all the best of off-road
world’s most rugged, aerophobic, all-electric SUV. we had 4,000. It was crazy,” Bollinger explains. with the best of utility into one tool. It’s not about
SUT, to be precise. Robert Bollinger, the boss, OK, that’s a few clicks behind the Tesla Model 3, luxury; it’s about usefulness and crazy capabilities.
likes to call it a Sports Utility Truck. I’m standing and technically these are expressions of interest “Basically we want to do everything better
in front of the first and only prototype in existence, rather than money-down deposits, but not bad for than Jeep. I bought a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon to
jacked up in the small workshop where it was built, a company with a single prototype to its name. benchmark it against, and that was $58k. But guys

010 J U L Y 2 0 1 8 › TO P G E A R . C O M
Robert Bollinger.
Go on, guess his
favourite colour

Nothing to see in here.


No really, it’s sparse,
that’s the point...

take what is already a decent machine, and go crazy portal axles. Because it rides on fully adjustable, makes 360bhp and 472lb ft, which means this 2.3-
with aftermarket stuff. The idea is that this has all self-levelling, four-wheel independent, hydro- tonne SUV with the aerodynamics of a council
these capabilities, and more, as standard.” pneumatic suspension with ‘disconnectable’ anti- estate does 0–60mph in 4.5 seconds and 127mph.
Despite this prototype being a two-door, a roll bars, it can be adjusted by ±13cm on demand. The styling is not a tip of the hat to blocky
stretched four-door version will come first with a Weight balance is a perfect 50/50, the power Defenders and G-Wagens, but driven by necessity.
120kWh lithium-ion battery and a 200-mile range. steering is hydraulic and it’ll tow three tonnes. “The reason for the flat panels is that we could
The two-door’s wheelbase is just 267cm, and at a Being electric is a massive plus too, says bend and make them ourselves. You don’t have to
mere 381cm long it’s almost 120cm shorter than a Bollinger. “Electric is great for trucks, even better wait for a mould to be made that takes 10 months
Discovery, an indication of just how square the B1’s than sedans. The instant torque means when you’re and $2 million.” And there’s real detail up-close,
stance is – perfect for stability on tricky terrain. rock crawling and off-road, you don’t have to gun it like the chunky nose badge, milled from a single
Bollinger quotes approach and departure angles to get the full power right away.” piece of metal, that twists to open the grille, or the
of 56º and 53º respectively, with a breakover angle The B1 has twin electric motors. One each for removable roof and side panels for enjoying the
of 33º and 39cm of ground clearance thanks to the front and rear axles, for permanent AWD. It weather, or using your B1 like a pickup if you prefer.

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 011
Inside, it’s basic but riddled with thoughtful touches.
Things like the battery meter masquerading as an analogue
fuel gauge, and the drilled, rotating air vents that line the
top of the dash. A through-loading flap lets you use the
space under the bonnet – so the full length of the car –
while 72 sheets of eight-by-four plywood fit in the back.
That’s a lot of laminated timber.
The B1 is built to last, says Bollinger. “We have an
aluminium body and aluminium chassis to help with
both weight and corrosion, so the idea is you buy one
and have it for the rest of your life. If 10 years down
the road the battery technology takes a leap, you’ll
have an option to upgrade.”
Prices still to be What you’re buying into is one man’s dream. A
confirmed... Levitation
dream to produce something that’s forward-thinking but
mode optional
unflinchingly useful. Something designed by the need for
simplicity, but visually fascinating. And although that dream
isn’t yet fully realised, it’s inching closer. The plan from here
is to build a pair of four-door prototypes, before moving the
entire company to Detroit, closer to the suppliers, with a
target of building 1,000 a year, including right-hand drive.
Despite pressing, cajoling and low-level trickery, I
couldn’t get Bollinger to reveal a price for the finished
car, despite production starting in 2019. Our guess would
be something approaching $100,000, so not cheap, but
Bollinger let slip that Schwarzenegger – famously a
Hummer lover – has put his name down on the list.
If it’s good enough for the Terminator… JACK RIX

“72 sheets of eight-


by-four plywood
fit in the back”

012 J U LY 2 01 8 › TO P G E A R . C O M
A range-topping ‘Performance’ dual-motor
Tesla Model 3 ypassing the traditional press

wants to fight B release and champagne-soaked


reveal party, Tesla boss Elon Musk
version Musk claims has “better handling” than
a BMW M3, will “beat anything in its class on
took to Twitter, not to wind up track” and has the “second-best driving feel
the BMW M3 the internet for a change, but to tweet specs of any car in the world (apart from Model S).”
for new all-wheel-drive, dual-motor versions We shall see... what we do know is it will do
Elon announces all-wheel-
of the Model 3. The fast ones. 0–60mph in 3.5 seconds, and 155mph, but still
drive performance versions of
The standard all-wheel-drive option, he says, manage 310 miles on a full charge.
the 3. Commences trash talk adds $5,000 to the price of a regular Model 3 It will cost around $78,000 (£58,700 in a
(it’s $44,000 for the regular long-range version). direct conversion to pounds, £120 less than the
It manages the same 310 miles of range and M3), but Musk says that includes all options
140mph top speed of a long-range Model 3, except Autopilot. Deliveries should start in July
but drops the 0–60mph time from 5.1 to 4.5 in the US. In the UK? Lord knows. RHD cars of
seconds. The standard car (that’s the $35,000 any description are yet to come off the production
entry-level one) with its 220-mile range, does line, so it’ll be a wait before we can put those
it in 5.6 seconds. M3-slaying claims to the test. VIJAY PATTNI

Aston Martin will launch


a Lagonda SUV in 2021
All-electric, all-luxury SUV will be... bold

Aston Martin’s ultra-luxury, enjoy. The design will be an in 2009, the car was powered by
Rolls-Royce-baiting offshoot, evolution of the Lagonda Vision a 6.0-litre V12 and looked like the
Lagonda, has confirmed it’ll concept we gawped over at the lovechild of a whale shark and
unveil an all-electric battery- 2018 Geneva motor show. The a Rolls-Royce Phantom. Already
powered SUV by 2021... and last time the Lagonda name this looks like a commendable
given us this teaser sketch to appeared on an SUV concept, improvement. RH

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 013
Orange juiced.
Tangerine dream.
Insert citrus joke here

Audi Q8 joins the


coupe/SUV party
Another minuscule niche has been filled. Alderley Edge
ladies who lunch, ready your black credit cards

t was only a matter of time Engines are more important. And from launch

I
before Audi decided it wanted a the only one you’ll be able to get in the Q8 is a
piece of the fantastically pointless 3.0-litre V6 diesel – badged 50 TDI – making
coupe-slash-SUV pie and, like 282bhp and 443lb ft. Rear-biased quattro
BMW and Mercedes-Benz before it, resolved all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic
to give us a car that would combine the best gearbox are both standard – equating to
(or worst) bits of coupe and SUV. Traditionally, 0–62mph in 6.2 seconds and a top speed of
these things aren’t, as their manufacturers 144mph – as is a mild-hybrid system that
would claim, the best of both worlds. Not in uses a lithium-ion battery and belt alternator
our experience, anyway. They’re not as elegant starter to give engine-off coasting between 34
or good to drive as a conventional saloon or and 99mph and economy gains.
coupe, or as useful and good off-road as a A less powerful 45 TDI and a 3.0-litre petrol
proper SUV, yet somehow command higher 55 TFSI will follow. And as the Q8 is the “top
RRPs than either of them. Because that is SUV of the brand”, we’d expect some S- and
apparently what the people want. possibly RS-badged stuff in the not-too-distant
But, with any luck, the Q8 – a car that, future. Adaptively damped steel springs
you guessed it, “combines the elegance of a are standard-fit, but you can upgrade to air
four-door luxury coupe and the convenient suspension and, ultimately, four-wheel steering
versatility of an SUV” – might change things. for a comically tight turning circle. A gamut of
Like its competitors, the Q8 is based on the active safety tech is available too.
same platform as one of its maker’s conventional As for tech you can see and play with –
family SUVs. This time around, that’d be the the Q8 shares an interior with all
Q7 – only the Q8 is 66mm shorter (it only the big, new Audis. So you get two
has five seats, to the Q7’s erm… seven) and touchscreens – one of 10.1 and
27mm wider, giving it an appropriately bullish the other of 8.6 inches – and
stance that’s only amplified by the colossal the tried-and-tested 12.3-inch
“singleframe” grille that dominates its front end. Virtual Cockpit instrument
The Q8’s rear end doesn’t look as steeply cluster. The top touchscreen
raked as its competitors’, nor even that of does infotainment and
the concept that previewed it, giving a more navigation, while the bottom
conventional (and less insulting) profile than one takes care of the air-
we’re used to... or, indeed, were expecting. The conditioning and, when you’re
consequence is 605 litres of bootspace with the entering a destination into the nav,
rear seats erected, or 1,755 with them folded turns into a big keyboard/trackpad.
flat. That’s broadly on-par with the X6 and Sales start in Europe at the end
GLE but, predictably, quite a long way behind of July, so we won’t have to wait long
the cavernous Q7. to find out whether Audi has succeeded
But nobody who buys these things really in making something fundamentally
gives a toss about practicality. Or they’d buy unappealing even halfway desirable.
something, you know, genuinely practical. If anyone can… TOM HARRISON

014 J U L Y 2 0 1 8 › TO P G E A R . C O M
And to change it into a
van you simply lower
the seats thusly

Many screens. Not


pictured: greasy
fingerprints

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 015
Subtle, understated,
a sleeper... this is
none of those things

BMW can’t stop his is the new BMW M5 M5’s eight-speed automatic gearbox and

fiddling with T Competition. It’s a bit more


powerful, a touch stiffer and a
four-wheel-drive system, with switchable
rear-drive mode – remain unchanged.
bit more assertively styled than Prices are yet to be announced, but with
its M cars the standard M5. A car not known for lacking the regular M5 costing £89,645, expect
power, stiffness or assertion… this one to edge much closer to £100,000.
More power for the M5,
Its 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 is up 24bhp, taking Pretty subtle, then, all told, unlike a raft of
more stickers, wings and
it to 616bhp. Which is more than the Merc-AMG performance parts now available for the M2
carbon for the M2 E63S. While torque is unchanged – at 553lb ft – Competition. These include upgraded
it’s available over a slightly wider rev range, suspension and brakes, lighter 19in forged
slicing the 0–62mph by 0.1sec, to 3.3secs. alloys, a carbon-fibre bonnet that, for the
The Competition sits 7mm lower with 10 per first time on the M2, introduces the swollen
cent stiffer suspension, while the front wheels are central section so beloved of M cars, carbon-
more heavily cambered and the engine mounts fibre everything and a lighter and louder
are more rigid. You also get a louder M Sport performance exhaust. Oh, and stickers – don’t
exhaust system, but the fundamental stuff – the forget the go-faster stickers. VIJAY PATTNI

Honda’s Civic Type R


has an identity crisis
One-off pickup conversion for TG’s fave hot hatch

You’re not seeing things. This Engineering department at The rear doors, seats and
really is a Honda Civic Type R Honda’s factory in Swindon. half the roof. The rear wing
pickup truck. It’s called the They took a pre-production survives, and we’re promised is
Project P, and it’s the work of Type R, surplus to requirements, in fact “movable to allow direct
some presumably very bored then removed basically and unfettered access to the
fellows from the Product everything aft of the B-pillar. rear of the truck”. Nifty. TH

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Wonder if Ferrari would build
you a 488 that looked just like a
McLaren 720S? Too meta?

A 488 GTB has


mated with an F40
Ferrari’s latest one-off infuses a 488 with the
spirit of its turbocharged grandfather

elcome to the latest one-off from Maranello, for from the wing being 10 times too small and the cover

W when a normal Ferrari is far too affordable. The


SP38 – which uses the chassis and running gear
being opaque, not clear Perspex, and the lack of triple
exhausts, it’s a dead-ringer...
from a 488 GTB – was built for “one of Ferrari’s The slimline front bumper, meanwhile, harks back to the
most dedicated customers” who has a “deep passion for 308 GTB, and we’re promised the “strongly tapered nose”
racing”. And very deep pockets. and “muscular wheelarches” give the SP38 “potency and
Revealed at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este car show agility”. Overall, we’re fans.
on the shores of Lake Como, the SP38’s “general direction” We don’t know whether the new bodywork has had any
was inspired by another twin-turbocharged Ferrari, the effect on performance. But seeing as a regular 488 does
F40 – whose influence, Ferrari says, can be seen in the rear 0–62mph in three seconds flat and runs on to 205mph thanks
wing, engine cover, four roundel rear lights and gorgeous to its 3.9-litre, twin-turbo, 661bhp V8 and seven-speed DCT,
five-spoke alloy wheels. The former “creates a suggestive the SP38 ought not to be slow... or cheap.
frame surrounding the tail volume”, while the slatted engine As always with Ferrari’s one-off creations, the subject of
cover is a clamshell-type arrangement in carbon fibre. Apart money is too crass to be discussed. TOM HARRISON

OTHER FEZZA ONE-OFFS

SP12EC P4/5 F12 F12 SP P540 SUPERFAST 458 MM


TRS AMERICA APERTA SPECIALE

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 017
GT3 RS too soft?
Step this way...
Take one 911 GT3 RS and remove the need to make it drivable
on the road. This is the circuit-destroying result

Good news, if you’re of the deluded belief that the doors, side and tail sections as well as the rear diffuser and a bonnet with a giant crater in it
new 513bhp, 6m 56.4secs ’Ring-lapping Porsche lid and interior trim are made of featherweight suck the R to the floor. Other racy mods include
GT3 RS isn’t track-focused enough. It comes in the CF composite. And anything that’s normally glass a fixed-position seat, added carbon-fibre
shape of the GT3 R: a track-only, stripped-out has been swapped out for plastic. The GT3 RS’s Kevlar side-impact panels and, for the first time
racing 911 based on the new road-going RS but 4.0-litre flat-six is wound up to 542bhp and in a GT3-spec 911, air-con. Oh, the luxury. 
sandwiched between the 911 Cup and RSR racers. connected to a very serious sequential 6spd ’box Prices start at £404k plus taxes, so if you’re
That means more aero, less weight, more power. with electronic shift actuator for lightning changes. a track-day enthusiast and sick of wringing out
The GT3 R is built on an aluminium-steel chassis, Like the road car, there are the now-supersized an old Citroen Saxo, it’s time to buy a lottery ticket,
but the roof, front hood and fairing, wheelarches, slashes in the wheelarches, while a more defined and book a trip to Spa. ROWAN HORNCASTLE

01 8 J U L Y 2 0 1 8 › TO P G E A R . C O M
12 engineers and 62 bottles
of Tipp-Ex was all it took to
get the camouflage just right

Woah! BMW goes supersize with the X7


First drive in BMW’s apartment on wheels reveals a fondness for carpet

his is the BMW X7, BMW’s the X7 35d (the 3.0 diesel), the X7 40i (the

T biggest, most luxurious SUV. It’s


a decent chunk bigger than an X5,
a touch bigger than a Range Rover
3.0-litre petrol) and the X7 50i with a 4.4-litre
bi-turbo V8 petrol. All get the excellent eight-
speed auto ’box. There’ll be hybrid versions later.
(though not quite as massive as a Merc GLS), There are standard air springs with some
and can seat up to seven people in leathery, decent movement (80+mm from top to bottom,
technological comfort. depending on what you’re doing), and a
TopGear was invited to do some final mechanical locking differential with electric
shakedown driving before its proper launch later clutches as an option, that helps in both on-
this year, so the car is still in full camouflage, and off-road situations.
and the interior was covered in carpet, hence Initial impressions are good. The air springs
the Tron graphics and lack of interior shots. manage a decent middle ground between 7-Series
The chunky exterior dimensions certainly ride comfort and body control, and I actually
pay dividends on the inside. All three rows get really quite liked the active steering system. It all
plenty of space, although the boot is small when works: this is a very big car that feels smaller and
the third row is up – no surprise. There are three lighter than it is.
sunroofs, so it doesn’t feel claustrophobic, and All of the engines are more than powerful
you can get in and out of the third row easily enough, the 40i feeling and sounding like plenty,
enough, thanks to a neat flip for the middle row. and getting close to the bigger V8 petrol in terms
There’s a split tailgate with a small lower section of performance. The diesel is probably the sweet
which supports up to 150kg, so a useful shelf for spot, mind, especially as you don’t really need an
sitting on, and all the seats can be raised and SUV with sports-car acceleration figures, because
lowered electrically via switches in the boot – fold all it tends to do is make your passengers throw
them all flat and it’ll take on a Transit for volume. up over the rear entertainment screens. And yes,
There’s 7-Series levels of tech present, though it will manage more off-road than anyone will
we had to dig a little, because as mentioned, BMW ever actually use.
had covered the dash, door cards, centre console The X7 is going to be well up there with stuff
– in fact everything – with carpet. The engineers like the Range Rover and forthcoming Audi Q8.
even went so far as to put a stuck-on fake ‘starter Yes, it’s heavily aimed at the North American
button’ on the dash, which caused some confusion and Chinese markets, but its driving dynamics
when I wanted to, y’know, start the car. will please European tastes, too. The big question
The UK will get 3.0-litre bi-turbo straight- is what it will actually look like when the final
sixes in either petrol or diesel initially, followed production version is revealed in a few months.
by bigger versions of both fuel types. We drove Big, probably. TOM FORD

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 019
In the glorious future, buildings
will look like they’re falling apart
even when they’re brand new

Uber wants your next taxi to be a pilotless helicopter


Design proposals for UberAir Skyports are a slightly terrifying vision of our future cities

ber likes to disrupt the status quo. 2020, and though a human will pilot the first shown, which is a tad rich when the vehicles

U The ride-sharing app has become


modern shorthand for a minicab,
flights, the endgame is focused on making the
aircraft fully autonomous. You tap UberAir
themselves – apparently being co-developed
with NASA – don’t yet exist beyond computer
and among the most prominent on your smartphone, and from that action to the renders, and the driverless cars to take you to
standard-bearers for the gig economy. Yet, in moment you exit the aircraft at your destination the proposed Skyports are currently off the road
the face of gigantic financial losses, various Skyport, the only humans you’ll have interacted while the Arizona accident is being investigated.
personnel departures, dubious ethics and a with will be your fellow passengers, who’ll Nevertheless, Uber is confident it could start
so-far disastrous foray into driverless taxis hopefully not recline their seatbacks or bring operating UberAir by 2023, with a full service
featuring a pedestrian fatality while testing in bulky hand luggage for the ride. in place for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.
Arizona in March 2018, the company continues Obviously, these drone-copters will need Why LA? The start-up says it needs three
to forge ahead with its vision of reinventing somewhere to absorb riders and land, so Uber’s cities on board as guinea pigs for the testing
urban travel. Its latest idea is UberAir, the unveiled six prototype designs for the Skyports. phase. LA is first in line, with Uber purporting
“world’s first urban aviation rideshare network”. Broadly, they all feature landing decks that look that a current 80-minute journey on land would
PHOTO: HUMPHREYS & PARTNERS

That’s right, Uber reckons the next step in like conventional helipads, aloft platforms that take 30mins by air. Dallas is also on board, but
getting you to the movies or home from a hen save urban space by raising them above ground Uber is still seeking a third city to partner with.
night is to have one of its driverless cars drop level. The most visually arresting is Humphreys Still no word on the cleaning fee if things get
you off at a Skyport and let one of its four- & Partners’ proposal, which takes its organic a bit vomity in the back of an UberAir, but this is
seater, five-rotor electric aircraft take over for the inspiration from natural beehives. an incredible vision of future mobility. Whether
traffic-clogged sections. We’re told to expect the Uber says its shortlist was selected for the it’ll be a reality in our lifetime is an entirely
first prototypes to commence testing as early as “high degree of realism and technical feasibility” different matter. OLLIE KEW

020 J U LY 2 01 8 › TO P G E A R . C O M
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“The aero packages are clearly
reaching the peak of some silly
phase before the engineers are
all sent to the naughty step”

Is this a good or a bad season of Formula One, around there a few times, but Lewis’s pole
so far? I have no idea at the moment because, like position on-board doesn’t even look like the same
most other fans of the sport, I’ve been reduced to circuit. I thought for a minute they’d rebuilt the
the role of the two old men on The Muppet Show place, but no, it turns out that a 2018 F1 car
whose opinions vary from one extreme to the smashes its way through corners and munches
other. The moment things come alive, I cheer straights so effectively it actually makes the
and tell the poor sod next to me: “This is the geography of a place look different. A bit like
best year for, um, years!” One lap later, during Superman counter-spinning the Earth to reverse
some processional non-overtaking period, I’m time, but using MGU-K rather than superpowers.
immediately spouting shite about Gilles Villeneuve and DFVs And this is over one solitary lap. What really gets me is
and tearfully rueing the old days. The armchair F1 fan really how these gladiators manage to race wheel-to-wheel, buried,
is a schizophrenic lard-arse. as they are, down inside the car. Zero visibility, 1,000bhp, vast
In the most part, F1 has refound its mojo in 2018. There downforce and 18 other nutters bent on grabbing that space
are now six drivers who can realistically win each race, and you’d already allocated for your line into each corner.
a healthy midfield ready to pounce if matters turn feral. I find it mesmerising because I once had a go in a Formula
But for me it’s the cars that are making the spectacle. Yes, One car. It was cold and damp and many other things that help
they’re stupidly expensive and complicated, but they are when making excuses, but the one memory that lingers is going
now the fastest machines in the history of the sport, and backwards and my brain still just registering that there might
the technologies they deploy accurately reflect the stuff be a problem. It all happens so quickly. I know we acclimatise to
we will be buying over the next decade. Hybridity is the these things – but I will always be in awe of every driver on the
next step, not full electric. grid. Don’t allow yourself to chuckle at a Grosjean mistake or a
A 2018 Formula One car has around 1,000bhp. A thousand Stroll shunt – just keeping the thing on the circuit makes them
horsepower. I’ll say that again – A THOUSAND! And it weighs worthy of medals, in my book.
less than 750kg, which, in the history of single-seaters, is This year, we have the very best drivers, man-handling truly
naffing heavy, but it still leaves a set of numbers that are more monstrous machines on some of the very greatest circuits. The
NASA than car racing. The aero packages are clearly reaching technology of the sport reflects the cars we are driving now,
the peak of some silly phase before the engineers are all sent to and the manufacturers are using the sport to improve their
the naughty step and told to start again. The front wings and understanding of the next generation of motor cars. I’m sure
their blooms all look like they belong in some greenhouse at that Formula E will continue to improve, but, right now, if it’s
Kew Gardens. And the tyres are now vast, sticky a choice between Danny Ric and Verstappen knocking
Pirellis that allow drivers to push like crazy. chunks out of each other in a 2,000bhp duel or some
All of this crystallised for me in the strangest way wheeshing milk float mooching around a city centre,
– at Barcelona, normally a track I find about as I’m voting for the old school. Formula One has
interesting as peat. I’ve driven a fast road car never looked better.

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 023
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“There’s a reason Porsche
has the Cayenne. And it’s
no coincidence Rolls-Royce
now has the Cullinan”

The rise of the sports utility vehicle is complete. the Cullinan. That’s why for every Ford Fiesta there’s
Once derided the world over for their propensity to a Ford Fiesta Active, a Mercedes GLA for every
guzzle gas and fall over at the first sign of a corner, A-Class, and a Panda Cross for every Panda.
SUVs are now flavour of the decade. They’re Manufacturers are cashing in, sure. But these cars
everywhere – every high street and housing estate wouldn’t exist if the people didn’t demand them, and
is littered with them and their smaller cousins, I’ve begun to rationalise the shift towards SUVs as
the crossover. They’re so ubiquitous that it’s now a good thing. Their popularity has proved how far
impossible to visit a supermarket or drop your kids engineering and technology has evolved, with most
off at school without a six-year-old violently opening delivering excellent fuel economy and good driving
the sharp-edged door of an Evoque into your paintwork. dynamics. I’m driving a Bentley Bentayga V8 at the time of writing
I’m OK with that. Not the chipped paintwork thing – that sucks this and, yes, it might have the dimensions of a barn, but it’s actually
– but I’m OK with SUVs. I think they’re cool. If this season’s fashion brilliant – more so than any Bentley saloon I’ve ever driven.
is the SUV, or the SUV-shaped crossover, then so be it. Why wallow I’m keen to see how manufacturers differentiate their crossover
in the past? Let’s enjoy the current designs and allow ourselves to offerings. Ford has pledged that after eliminating sedans, it will
dream of what may eventually take their place. create new vehicles that combine elements from cars and SUVs in
Many of you will question my sanity. But I’m not the only one original ways. Bring it on. Given the choice between that concept
willing to let the evolution of cars play out according to consumer or clinging on for yet another Mondeo, I know what I’d rather see.
demand. Ford North America has vowed it will cease production of Of course, there will always be those who disagree with SUVs
all cars except the Mustang and one version of the Focus gussied up and crossovers, and that’s fine. They can take solace in the fact
to look like some form of crossover. The sedans, hatchbacks and that all things will eventually come to an end, including SUVs.
station wagons on which the company built its name will go the way Ten, maybe 15 years down the line, people will be bored with
of the dodo, and it surely won’t be long before others follow suit. the things, and saloons and hatchbacks may have a renaissance.
Just look at Jaguar. It’s spent nearly two decades perfecting the Maybe, when our roads have ground to a standstill, we’ll need to
saloon formula, honing the XE, XF and XJ to near-as-damn-it best invent new modes of wheeled transport that look nothing like what
in class status... and the result? Tumbleweed. The minute Jaguar we see today. Imagine a road network full of autonomous Renault
makes an SUV, however, its fortunes change dramatically, with Twizy-looking scooters. Or maybe wood-panelled station wagons.
F-Paces deservedly flying out of showrooms. Hell, maybe things go full circle and Ford Model T-inspired designs
Jaguar’s next two SUVs, the E-Pace and I-Pace, will sell well too, become dominant once again? Stranger things have happened.
turning it into an SUV company that also makes the odd F-Type. I’m cool with it. Give the people what they want. There’s no
The same applies to most other manufacturers. There’s a reason point denigrating one style of vehicle just because you prefer the
Porsche has the Cayenne. It’s no shape of another. What a boring world this would be if every car
coincidence Rolls-Royce now has on the road was the shape of a Vauxhall Insignia or VW Passat.

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 025
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“The most significant
change we need to see is
not technical; we need to
make efficiency profitable”

#17: Hugo Spowers, Founder of Riversimple

“We are called to be architects so this reduces margins that are already tight. And the industry
of the future, not its victims” – invented built-in obsolescence – if you sell cars, you make more
Buckminster Fuller. money by selling more cars. If we want to increase efficiency and
There never was a more conserve resources, this combination is unfortunate; I don’t
mischievous optimist than US believe that we can ever have sustainable outcomes if we reward
inventor and architect Buckminster industry for the opposite of what we are trying to achieve.
Fuller, and I share his belief that the Arguably, the most significant change we need to see is not
future is something we can design technical; we need to make efficiency profitable. At Riversimple,
rather than suffer. I would like to see a transport ecosystem that we are focusing not only on a highly efficient hydrogen powertrain
affords people the independence and fun without costing the and lightweight vehicle design but also on a business model that
earth. Sustainable cars are possible, but we won’t get there with justifies it, encouraging both energy and resource efficiency.
a near-term focus on gradually reducing environmental impact. We will be offering our cars as an all-inclusive service, including
Less unsustainable is still not sustainable. fuel and insurance. The longer the cars last, the more reliable,
Forecasting is how we tend to do things, but it’s like following the more efficient they are, the more materials we can recover
your headlights at night; you can stay on the road, and you’re at end of life, the stronger our business.
going roughly in the right direction, but you really don’t know In the UK, the Automotive Council’s Roadmap plots a route
where you’ll end up. You need to buy a map, define a destination incrementally from where we are now, forecast from the
and then plot a route; this is backcasting, and the longer the industry’s comfort zone; it may be called a map but it is really
journey, the more adrift the fellow following his headlights will just a case of headlights on full beam in the fog. We were really
be. If we want sustainable cars, elimination of environmental excited when the banning of the sale of ICE cars by 2040 was
impact has to be our goal and a thoughtful strategy our route. announced, but there are already signs of ‘get out of jail’ cards,
I M AG E : I N N OVAT E /A DA M GA SS O N

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To with consultation continuing on the actual wording of the ban;
change something, build a new model that makes the existing a hybrid with a 50-mile electric range is not much of a stretch.
model obsolete.” Buckminster Fuller, again. Autonomous vehicles present a fork in the road. Down one fork
Offering customers a highly desirable proposition around are the nose-to-tail commuters who want tele-transporting to
clean cars, and increased profitability, are both prerequisites for their destination. Down the other fork are people who choose
addressing our automotive obesity crisis. Streamlining access to independence and personal autonomy over the loss of it. Which is
cars that are fun to drive, without a price premium, is critical. the dead end? Autonomy allows for more densely packed traffic
It does cost more to make cars more efficient, and but is the solution to our congestion problem zero-occupancy
customers always discount future cost savings, journeys and more cars? Where’s that map again?

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 027
ack in the Eighties, you couldn’t move there was Knight Rider, featuring a car that could it – they perform a similarly mesmerising ‘dance’ of their

B for TV shows about all-American


crimeighters, battling ‘bad guys’
with the help of technologically
advanced transport. Remember
Airwolf, a supersonic helicopter
with stealth capabilities? Or Street Hawk, that guy
on a 300mph all-terrain, attack motorbike? And then
talk. Petrolheads will primarily remember that show
for its bonnet-mounted, anamorphic equaliser.
Not ringing any bells? he bar of red lights that
scanned left and right, and was just unbelievably cool.
hirty-ive years on, the new Audi A7 can pull a similar
trick. At the rear, it has 292 light bulbs stretching the
full width of the car and – when you lock or unlock
own. It is magniicent to watch (especially at night), and
something we don’t believe you could ever get bored of.
But there’s more to this new Audi. Some of
the ictional tech from those Eighties shows was
pure fantasy but some of it is anything but far-
fetched today. Audi’s new A7 Sportback may not be
pyroclastically laminated to withstand 400ºC, for
WATCH
THE VIDEO AT
topgear.com/brightideas

example, but, let’s be honest, it doesn’t need to be. latest Audi can also be specced with dynamic
It is loaded with some seriously state-of-the- all-wheel steering and adaptive air suspension.
art kit, though. Like dash-mounted, interactive But you know what? As impressive as all of these
touch screens, a series of external cameras to help innovations are, guess what pushes our buttons
show what’s around you, an emergency braking the most? Yup. It’s those lights. And you can take
system, and myriad driver safety systems. a look for yourself, because Audi has made a video
hen there’s the technology that even to show off just how impressive this car really is.
Hollywood producers never dreamt up: this Watch it now at: topgear.com/brightideas.
EVERYONE
LOVES
THAT
FAST CAR
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Intake
EDITED BY JACK RIX

Faces. Retro. Entertainment. Car Culture. Every month

PIC OF THE MONTH

LA COOL J
Monozukuri. Not a Studio Ghibli movie, but a Japanese word that, quite literally, means the ‘making of things’.
A theme that LA’s Petersen Automotive Museum intends to explore via the medium of the Japanese car and its
influence in the States. In an exhibition titled ‘The Roots of Monozukuri: Creative Spirit in Japanese Automaking’,
the museum has corralled a host of cars that best embody key tenets of Japanese design philosophy. A second
display called ‘Fine Tuning’ focuses specifically on LA’s fascination with Japanese cars, and the customisation
of them. Things like this 1974 Mazda RX3 fitted with a 400bhp triple-rotor 20B engine. You’re welcome.

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 0 31
M
y family has a transport business, so I grew up
around trucks and the truck yard. I had a motorbike
for the field at a very young age and went karting at
11. Even before that, I remember sitting on my dad’s
lap at kart races – he’d do the pedals and I’d do the steering.
I turned 17 at the end of March and I passed my driving test
the first week of April, but I didn’t have my own car until I
was almost 18. We had a Mercedes 508D karting van: it had
bunk beds in the back of it and karts in the very back.
When I eventually got a car, it was a Renault 5 Turbo –
oh, I was big time – but I’d been driving a van for a year, so I
deserved to step up. I was racing in Formula Ford and won
both the championships, so it was a treat. I had a great time
in that car; the seats reclined all the way back, which was
handy as a teenage boy. It doubled up as somewhere you
could, erm, well, you know what I mean...
Then I moved to England to drive for Paul Stewart
Racing, Jackie’s son’s team, so I borrowed my mum’s BMW
318i. I was meant to have it for a week, but managed to eke it
out for three or four months. I didn’t actually buy a car for a
while because I had a Ford contract with Jackie and had an
RS2000 on rotation, then a Scorpio with the most godawful
body kit on it. Then, briefly, an Escort Cosworth with the big
rear wing – that was proper boy racer. That got stolen outside
The Point in Milton Keynes when I was in the cinema.
When I became a test driver at Williams, I went to a
Renault Laguna automatic, just as a means to get to the track
and back, really. Then I actually paid for my first car. I was
23 and bought a 1971 Mercedes 280 SL, the same age as
me, which I still have today. Our son will inherit the 280
when he’s old enough to drive, on the basis that under no
circumstances can he sell it on.
Then I didn’t buy anything for a while. I was at McLaren
so I had a run of Mercedes including a C63 AMG wagon. My
wife is an Aston fan, so a few years back I bought her a DB9
convertible, which she still has. We also have a 1984 G-Class
280 short wheelbase with no roof on it. It looks amazing.
It was white when I bought it, but I had Mercedes respray it
in gunmetal silver and move the seats back, so it’s a proper
five-seat restaurant car for the South of France. I keep it in
Monaco where there’s a whole bunch of Brabus and AMG
G-Wagens, but nothing looks as stripped and as cool.
I’m not like Jenson, who’s quite a buyer and seller of cars,
but I have on order the Aston Valkyrie and the Mercedes
Project One, both of which should come through in 2019 or
2020. The reason I can afford Adrian Newey’s Valkyrie is I
was lucky enough to drive racing cars he designed, so it’s a
tip of my hat to him. Project One: I’m still a Mercedes guy,
and it’s such a unique proposition, I don’t think anyone will
do something like it ever again. But the car I drive more than
any is my little Smart Convertible – every ex GP driver in
touch with their racing spirit should have one of those.

03 2 J U L Y 2 0 1 8 › TO P G E A R . C O M
TOPGEAR TOP 9

ECO CAR
FALSE STARTS

FISKER VOLKSWAGEN RIVA


KARMA GOLF ECOMATIC G-WIZ

DC’S CARS

SMART GM OLDSMOBILE
FORTWO CDi EV-1 DIESEL

Renault 5 Turbo

Ford Escort Cosworth

Renault Laguna

HONDA DETROIT AUDI


Mercedes 280 SL FCX CLARITY ELECTRIC A2
I M AG E S : R M AU C T I O N S
P O R T R A I T: I A N D E R RY

Aston Martin Valkyrie

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 0 33
GADGETS

TYRED AND EMOTIONAL


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tyres. Made for all the best supercars in sizes of over 19in and customisable in any colour you could ever want, these Joseph-
and-his-Technicolor-lacquer-coat rubbers average at £3,000 per tyre. Pirelli has also announced the Connesso upgrade –
a smart tyre with an embedded microchip that monitors pressure, wear, temperature and longevity, even offering Pirelli
Concierge to find approved dealers via a smartphone app. Price and release date TBC, so you’ll have to stick to the entry-
level rainbow ones for now. From £1,800 each; shop.pirelli.com

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Overheard on the internet,
so it must be true...

Felipe Massa has


confirmed a three-
year contract to
race in Formula E
from next season. In
related news he’s also
attempting a world
record for the most
retirement parties
held by any human
ever. Except Elton John
INSIDER REPORT #7
Having crammed 666bhp
into an F-Type to create
the Lister Thunder, Lister is
now trumpeting its tuned CALIBURNUS :
THE DEMISE
F-Pace as “the world’s
fastest SUV”. See, Lambo?
You needn’t have bothered

T
he dream is over. Caliburnus’s brave bid When the dust has settled, I imagine many
A Belgian Opel Astra has
dodged a hefty speeding to build Wales’s – and indeed the entire people will stop me in the street to ask what
fine after a faulty automated world’s – first 300mph car has bravely advice I’d offer to anyone wanting to start
camera recorded him
fallen at the final hurdle. Yes, after their own supercar company. To which, after
travelling at 432mph (696kph)
in a 50kph zone constructing a holistic customer experience a long draw on my cheroot and a wistful gaze
centre, printing two thousand branded polo at the setting sun, I shall offer them these four
shirts, and installing a state-of-the-art coffee pearls of wisdom.
Alfa Romeo is planning machine with chocolate sprinkles function, One: never take no for an answer. Even if the
a 641bhp Giulia-based only the very last piece of the puzzle evaded question you’ve asked is, “Well, what if I asked
coupe to nuke the BMW us. Actually building a 300mph car. Or indeed you to blow into the bag first, officer?”
any car at all. Two: fake it until you make it. And, when
M4, assisted by a hybrid-
Turns out it’s deceptively difficult, and it becomes increasingly apparent that “making
boost motor and inspired surprisingly expensive, to engineer a car it” is financially and indeed physically
by energy-harvesting F1 from scratch. Especially when you refuse to impossible, keep faking it until the bailiffs
tech. High-performance compromise on performance criteria, nor having actually turn up at your door.
Alfa electrics. What it upholstered in the hides of baby Javan rhinos. Three: as Oscar Wilde said, what seem to us
Well, sorry for having ‘standards’, the World bitter trials are often blessings in disguise. For
could possibly...
Wildlife Fund! example, if it weren’t for the precarious financial
But we didn’t half give all the big boys a situation of Caliburnus, I’d never have learned I
Diesel Porsches might scare. Only last week I had a message from was so good at hiding behind items of furniture
not be dead after all. the official Bugatti Twitter account, asking me when the bailiffs turn up at the door.
An engineer told TG that to – and I quote – “Stop tweeting defamatory Four: it is better to have tried, and
customer demand for messages about our chief executive and his failed, than never to have tried at all. Sadly
“posh horsebox towing” Weimaraner”. Hide behind your corporate jargon the Caliburnus shareholders and HMRC both
I M AG E S :G E T T Y

means there might be all you want, Bugatti. I know we had you worried. violently disagree, which is why I’m changing
a TD V6 destined for When they hear Caliburnus is out of the picture, my name to Giselle Cochinelle and relocating
the latest Cayenne I imagine the sighs of relief will be audible in to Sumatra with immediate effect. Selamat
the Molsheim corridors. tinggal, suckers!

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 0 35
This year, the
world’s greatest car
magazine celebrates
its 25th anniversary

HISTORY BOYS

PLAN B
Across America in the Focus ST. No interstates allowed
Issue 232 – this month in 2012

C
oast to coast, LA to NY, although he was suffering from them but they’re a grey blur,”
2 5 TH A N N I V E R S A R Y 3,300 miles all in, five days “Guantanamo Bay-grade sleep reported an increasingly grey Sam.
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to do it and interstates – deprivation” at the time. Turns out the scenery wasn’t the
you know, those multi-lane It all started so well, cruising only repetitive element: “We ate a lot
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fast bits – were not allowed. This through the deserts in the West, a of jerky. I discovered an exclusively

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was the imbecilic challenge we set flying visit to the newly paved Pikes jerky-based diet does dreadful
ourselves in the new Ford Focus Peak, a race with a train along Route things to your insides.”
ST. Turns out, America is bigger 66, an encounter with the Mega Suddenly, JFK airport and the
than we thought. Canyon. And then there was Kansas, torture was over. “Ten minutes
turn to p64 for
First things first, the car was a storm of biblical proportions to spare. I got a bit teary.”
more details
immense. “We feared Ford might and the kind of “flat, featureless Sam’s advice if you fancy it
have lost its chassis magic with the landscape” that sapped our will to yourself? “Give yourself more than
MkIII Focus, but I’m delighted to live... still there was 1,700 miles to go. five days, watch out for cops, avoid
report it’s still there. This car is Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, the jerky and do anything – anything
touched by genius,” said Sam Philip, Pennsylvania: “I know we crossed – you can to avoid Kansas.”
WATCHES OF THE MONTH

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 0 37
Taken on a Canon EOS 1D X
GET THAT
PERFECT SHOT
Whatever the setting, beautiful cars make for
an endlessly fascinating subject to shoot, so
why not shift your automotive photography
up a gear with Canon?

 
ome cars are so good- your frame. If you’re shooting on the public
looking that they shine road or at a closed track, you’ll always find
from any angle, in any level road markings on the tarmac and various
of light and in any setting, other lines and objects that you can use to
but if you’re chasing the frame the car. Landscape features – like
ultimate shot of your prize machine, Canon a straight road framed by tall trees – can
is here to make that happen. totally transform a shot.
Light is obviously a vital ingredient that When it comes to the subject of your
will dictate the nature of the shots you photography, keep an eye out for any
end up with. The light is at its softest and interesting details, such as screens, buttons
warmest around sunrise and sunset, but and metallic flourishes, as they make great
don’t let that stop you shooting at any time. close ups. The edge of a door or a window
Whatever the light level, make sure when will also provide a useful natural frame for
you position the car that the light flows the subject. With a macro lens you can make
naturally down its surfaces and angles. some pretty interesting and abstract images
In terms of perspective, shooting from from everyday elements and details.
low down adds an extra element of drama, Canon’s camera range is decked with
whereas a shot from higher up gives a more great features to make it all happen. Most
detailed view of the car. In reality though, Canon DSLRs, such as the EOS 77D, have
there is no hard and fast rule to identify a dedicated autofocus button on the back
the best angles, but a good starting point of the camera to take over focusing duties,
is the approach angle – the angle you leaving the top shutter button for taking the
walk towards the car at – as most cars are actual picture. TV mode works brilliantly for
designed to appeal from head height. panning – select a shutter speed of 1/125th
Equally important for the overall of a second to begin with (use auto ISO too,
look is location. Ask yourself: Does the if this helps), and change to your camera’s
environment and theme make sense with maximum frame rate. Put your autofocus
the car you’re shooting? It makes sense to into AI Servo setting, as this will lock onto
show a sports car on a racing track, less so a target and automatically re-focus the lens
on a mountain top, the natural environment as the target moves. Remember to smoothly
for a 4x4. Sometimes it’s even more effective rotate your hips for the perfect pan!
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EDITED BY OLLIE MARRIAGE
Group T
aken in isolation, the new
Aston Martin Vantage is a
terrific car. But no car operates

therapy
in isolation. They compete.
On power, price, philosophy,
bootspace, brand, looks, layout – you name
it. Because, being capitalists at heart, we’ve
Aston Martin Vantage learned that competition improves the breed.
£120,900 Bottom line? The Vantage is competing for
your money. Aston Martin wants you to invest
in it, over and above all the other cars you could
WE SAY: GT OR SPORTS CAR? put your £120,000 into. And there’s a lot of
WHATEVER, IT FACES SOME them about, as £120k is now the sports car/
supercar bridging point: Audi R8, Mercedes-
VERY STIFF COMPETITION...
AMG GT, various Porsche 911s, McLaren 540C,
BMW i8, Jaguar F-Type SVR, Lotus Evora
GT430 – they’re all there or thereabouts.
Price would be the conventional way, the
capitalist way, to sort this out, but it wouldn’t
have told us enough about the Vantage. Instead
we wanted to use rivals to frame it, to give us
the best picture of what this car is, what it does

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 041
July I 2018

Red and yellow and


pink and green and hang
on we forgot the pink

Just another
uneventful, low-speed
corner in the GT R

04 2 J U L Y 2 0 1 8 › TO P G E A R . C O M
“Every touch of the
throttle triggers an
overreaction from the V8”

and how it does it. So the most natural rival (the are poor. The 570 GT has also managed to get to
Jaguar F-Type SVR) gets left out. No matter. The the far end of the motorway having averaged
Aston would have had it for breakfast. 30mpg, joining the Aston (31mpg) and Porsche
The Aston is front-engined, rear-drive and (34mpg) on the healthy side of the divide.
features an AMG-sourced twin-turbo V8, just like From here on, we’re not going to worry about
the AMG GT R. OK, a GT C (30bhp and £15,000 economy, because roads like this aren’t conducive
down, less track-hungry) would have been a to hypermiling. I’m still in the McLaren and
closer match, but let’s see how far Aston has loving how special it feels. Upward swinging
pushed the aggression and excitement. The doors and heels-dragging-on-tarmac seating
Vantage is aiming to team sense of occasion position, the road experienced through a deep
with a measure of practicality and British windscreen with a low scuttle. This not only
craftsmanship, so step forward McLaren’s creates a sense of speed, but a sense of supercar-
570GT. And lastly it wants to be a bang-on daily ness that none of the others can match.
driver, which brings it into contact with the And as for the way it tackles roads… it’s light
Porsche 911. Here it’s the C4 GTS, the car Aston (McLaren and Porsche both weigh significantly
admits it’s benchmarked the Vantage against. less than Aston and AMG), you sit a long way
These cars don’t line up on power or price – forward, out where the front wheels are turning.
the 444bhp, £100,781 Porsche (the least powerful That creates an immediacy and connection
and cheapest) has 133bhp less than the Merc- before you even turn the small, shapely, firm-
AMG, and costs £56,219 less than the McLaren, rimmed steering wheel. And when you do, you
but as a group of cars to test the mettle of the find it’s an accurate reflection of the way the 570
new Aston Martin, it’s about as solid a defence GT drives. This one wears the £4,900 Sport pack
as you could wish for. with stiffer springs and it dances with the road.
A long motorway haul is as good an The word that keeps coming to me is ‘intimacy’
introduction as any. West Wales is the – it flows and glides, treading lightly, narrow
destination; 200 miles of motorway the first 225-section front tyres scudding over potholes
test. None cruises silently, a reminder that these that the Merc stomps through.
are sports cars, not GTs. Tyre noise is the most The Merc is a stomper. Initially you feel
significant intrusion in all of them but, once detached because the front end is so far ahead,
you’re used to that, it’s the Merc that continues but then you realise that, unlike the McLaren,
to demand the most of you. Wearing the fattest it’s much more important to stay on top of what
tyres here, it is the most distracted by camber the rear end is doing. So there you are, sat where
and rut, the intimidation factor ramped up by the axle squats, in exactly the right place to
the letterbox view out over the cricket pitch- experience just how close the connection is
length bonnet and the V8’s rumble and roar. between right foot and rear axle. Every touch of
The Aston is more relaxing – you sit noticeably the throttle triggers an overreaction from the
higher and more centrally in the car’s wheelbase, V8 that instantaneously manifests itself as an
behind a shorter bonnet, but it doesn’t neutralise exhaust snarl, rear axle wriggle and leap forward.
small suspension movements as ably as the It’s exuberant and amusing, but behind that
Porsche. Even with the adjustable damper thumb there’s a steely-eyed focus, too.
P H OTO G R A P H Y: M A R K R I CC I O N I

switch left unpressed, there’s a little vertical jiggle That front end is remarkable, not only for
in the ride. The 911, easy to see out of, easy to get its grip, but the trust you quickly have in it.
on with, basically a lower-slung VW Golf (it does The steering doesn’t have the McLaren’s clarity
look a bit mainstream inside), hums through and feedback, but the quick rack is sharp and
miles. The McLaren makes more fuss, but it accurate, eager to turn. Given where you sit,
controls its movements beautifully. Shame the you’d have thought there would be a delay
standard seats are a little firm in places. Best between front-end turn-in and rear-end power-
long-haul chairs belong to the Porsche, but none out, but the balance at that midpoint of the

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 0 43
July I 2018

corner when it’s all loaded up and you’re from a point somewhere slightly to the west of
neutral on the throttle is great. It’s a your left hip. It drives how it looks: short and
boisterous, addictive charger. wide. Width means there’s grip to lean on (and
And it makes the Aston feel rather tame. the Vantage isn’t afraid to lean a little), while
This was to be expected. The GT R makes the brief wheelbase heightens the sense of
everything else feel tame. But beyond that, immediacy and is well-matched by the quick
the Aston only really comes to life when you steering rack (just try to ignore the weird
go quite hard in it. Trundle about and you square steering wheel).
get the sense you’re not quite scratching It comes across as energetic. But it needs
the surface of it – it’s not as satisfying to to hunker down into the tarmac a bit more –
just drive as its rivals. The Porsche’s fluidity, you want it to get down and dirty, but you
the McLaren’s clarity, the AMG’s pomp and sit a fraction high and the suspension is a
aggression: all have clear, strong personalities. little aloof. This is what the 911 does so well.
The Aston isn’t laid bare in the same way – it It’s a small car and wraps around you, and has
takes more unearthing. a real hunger for driving. There’s a bit more
The harder you go, the better it gets. The movement in the dampers than the others,
problem – if you could call it one – is that the and if you were being super-critical it gets
Aston is so composed that it doesn’t appear slightly hazy around the limits of grip and
to be working hard. It gets itself down a road the gearing is too long, but as a piece of gritty,
without much apparent effort. tough, rewarding machinery – something with
It’s firmly sprung and accurate in a way ability way beyond its familiar looks and four
no Aston has been, ever, and while it doesn’t seats – it’s a superb car.
have the snap and bite of the AMG, its natural And because it doesn’t weigh much, the
balance is better, the Vantage seeming to pivot power deficit is no issue. It’s a fast, effective car,

SPECIFICATION ASTON MARTIN VANTAGE PORSCHE 911 C4 GTS MCLAREN 570GT MERCEDES-AMG GT R
Price/as tested £120,900/£141,915 £100,781/£120,924 £157,000/£186,040 £143,245/£153,960
Engine 3982cc, V8 twin-turbo 2981cc, flat-six twin-turbo 3799cc, V8 twin-turbo 3982cc, V8 twin-turbo
BHP 503bhp @ 6000rpm 444bhp @ 6500rpm 562bhp @ 7500rpm 577bhp @ 6250rpm
Torque 504lb ft @ 2000–5000rpm 405lb ft @ 2150–5000rpm 443lb ft @ 5000–6500rpm 516lb ft @ 1900–5500rpm
Transmission 8spd auto, RWD 7spd PDK auto, 4WD 7spd twin clutch, RWD 7spd twin clutch, RWD
0–62mph 3.5secs 3.6secs 3.4secs 3.6secs
Top speed 198mph 195mph 191mph 204mph
Kerbweight 1650kg approx 1515kg 1486kg 1630kg
Power to weight 304bhp/tonne approx 293bhp/tonne 378bhp/tonne 354bhp/tonne
CO2 230g/km 192g/km 249g/km 259g/km
Economy 27.4mpg
8 33.2mpg
9 26.6mpg
9 24.8mpg
9
the 911. Be lovely if it were naturally aspirated, same depth of quality as the Germans. And
911 is a beacon of of course, as there is a bit of turbo lag, but that rear shelf is more for show than storage.
understatement in a
sea of shouty sports cars
there’s more lag in the McLaren, whose engine The Aston feels cramped inside – not just for
has a plainer note than the guttural 911’s (at space, but layout. It’s like all the dash features
least until it hardens towards the top end, but have been gathered in the middle of its face,
by then all you can think about is the scorching so it appears to be gurning back at you. It’s
acceleration, which nothing here can match). ergonomically confused, and struggles to
For real aural entertainment, it has to be justify the asking price.
the feral AMG, a whipcrack V8 that sounds like As I said at the beginning, the plan here
it’s towing its own thunderstorm. The Aston’s was to frame the Vantage against cars that
noise all comes from in front – only when you reflect on it in different ways. That it’s not
stick it in Track mode and lift off do you get any as aggressive as the GT R, or as intimate
contribution from the exhaust. It’s a gentler and tactile as the 570 GT might be mildly
application of the twin-turbo engine, and Aston disappointing, but it isn’t surprising – they’re
has done a good job of making it feel and more expensive, specialised cars with a
behave in a way that suits the car. The gearbox narrower focus. Against the 911? It doesn’t
could – should – be snappier, especially on have the Porsche’s bandwidth. You have to go
downchanges; the others are all more eager. digging to get the best from the Vantage, and
A quick word on cabins. The Porsche is even then it doesn’t quite connect to the road
the benchmark for habitability, ergonomics, as solidly nor saunter through the daily tasks as
usability. The Merc matches it for quality, kit easily. Instead it treads the boundary between
and infotainment, but the high centre console sharp sports car and good-natured GT without
wedges you in. It’s intimidating. The McLaren coming down on one side or the other. I suspect
is more open, but isn’t underpinned by the that’s what Aston buyers want. OLLIE MARRIAGE

“You have to go digging


to get the best from
the Vantage”

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 0 45
July I 2018

Going off
off-road
Volkswagen Touareg
£50,000 approx.

WE SAY: VW DITCHES OFF-ROAD CAPABILITY FOR A


TECH MAKEOVER TO BRING THE FIGHT TO ITS RIVALS

hen the Touareg was launched, two enormous screens stitched together to look
VW was bombarding us with like one big one. But you’ll forgive them, as the
W potty torque figures. Now it’s
tech. For its MkIII, the flagship
whole thing looks fantastic and is easy to use.
There’s also a tech artillery to back it up.
has sacrificed its off-roadiness to Hardware like Night Vision to detect humans
become more of a premium, hi-tech SUV. Using and animals in darkness via a thermal-imaging
the same MLB Evo architecture as the Cayenne, camera; Roadwork Lane Assist, to steer, brake
Q7, Bentayga and Urus, the car has increased in and accelerate for you up to 37mph; 4WS to
size but dropped 106kg thanks to aluminium make it feel nimbler than it actually is; active-
suspension, plus a body that’s largely aluminium roll stabilisation, to magically reduce body roll
too. Being 44mm wider, 77mm longer and lower
than the MkII, it’s a bit easier on the eye. The
and hide the porky 1,995 kg kerbweight.
For now, we’ll have to make do with a pair of
SPECIFICATION
2967cc, V6 diesel,
somewhat dumpy looks have been sharpened V6 diesels: 228bhp or 282bhp. Soon, we’ll see a AWD, 282bhp, 443lb ft
up with more powerful, svelte lines. 335bhp V6 petrol and a 415bhp 4.0-litre V8 TD. 40.9mpg, 182g/km CO2
But it’s inside where the engineers have The Chinese (its biggest market) have the option 0–62mph in 6.1secs, 148mph
gone to town. It’s one of the biggest cabin of a 362bhp plug-in hybrid version – although
1995kg
overhauls from VW in decades, repositioning it’s inconceivable it won’t be offered in Europe.
the Touareg entirely and bringing it bang in-line Shame, then, the variable steering rack is gloopy VERDICT: The

8
and even ahead of its fiercest competitors. Some and overly light leading to a lack of feel. And Volkswagen is just as
interior materials feel like they’ve suffered in you can no longer spec a rear locking diff. But, good as rivals, with a
high-tech interior plus
quality to help finance the “fully digitised fully loaded, it’s a proper tech powerhouse and a
Innovision Cockpit”, or as you and I would call it, flagship VW can be proud of. ROWAN HORNCASTLE
engines for all situations.
10

Mercedes-Benz S560 the same tech that got added to the big S-Class
last year (more active safety, cleverer adaptive
£103,715
cruise) and a toothy Panamerica grille for the
Engine 3982cc, V8 twin-turbo, RWD, 469bhp, 516lb ft AMGs, there’s nothing else to separate the ‘new’
Performance 0–62mph in 4.6secs, 155mph, Coupe from the car it replaces. But we’re not
34.0mpg, 188g/km CO2 Weight 2075kg
complaining. This is a car that’s every bit as
Few cars make you feel as warm and gooey inside capable a GT as a Bentley Conti or Aston DB11.
as the Merc S-Class coupe. And since the facelift it’s Sure, it’s not quite as special or satisfying to drive
got warmer and gooier still, thanks to a new 4.0-litre down a twisty lane, and it’s not hand-built by

9 V8, which in this S560 is as smooth and refined an


engine as you’ll find pretty much anywhere. Besides
Midlanders, but as a device, the embodiment
of 2dr Mercedes-ness, it takes some beating. TH

04 6 J U LY 2 01 8 › TO P G E A R . C O M
July I 2018

Another update for the BMW M3? It’s much firmer and less yielding than the Alfa;
Q & A It’s a whole new version. This is the BMW M3 CS, while you can slacken off the CS’s suspension
resplendent in matte blue and signalling the to help it breathe over bumpy B-roads, it feels
return of a name last used for perhaps the best at its most natural with all the Sport Plus modes

Even more E46 M3 of all. Whereas the old CS was a more


habitable version of the road-racer M3 CSL, the
selected and the stability control loosened a bit.
It’s a wilder ride for it, but there’s something very

betterer
new one is the hardest-cored M3 you can buy addictive about just how aggressive you can
new. While a regular M3 starts below £60,000, make the M3 feel. It sounds mighty as you home
a CS will set you back over £86k. You can put in on the red line, too.
some of that down to its limited run; of a 1,200- But it’s 86 grand...
BMW M3 CS
car total, just 100 will come to the UK. It is, and for something that’s barely lighter
£86,425 What’s different, then? or more powerful than the next M3 down.
There’s a lot of carbon-reinforced plastic to help Which remains the far more rational choice. But
cut some weight. The bonnet, roof, front splitter if history teaches us anything, limited editions
WE SAY: THE M DIVISION and rear diffuser are all made of the stuff, though like this are not to be sniffed at, and the price
RESPONDS TO THE ALFA the CS’s 1,585kg total is a mere 10kg lighter than a premium could repay itself in years to come.
ROMEO GIULIA QV stock M3, a figure not helped by the paddleshift And barring a surprise, M3 CRT-like special,
auto being your only gearbox option. Perhaps this is likely to be the toughest current-gen M3
more importantly, it’s around 150kg slimmer than we’ll see. STEPHEN DOBIE
a Mercedes-AMG C63S, its chief foe.
There’s more power though, surely?
Its uprated 454bhp 3.0-litre turbo straight-six has
30bhp over a standard M3, though only 10bhp
more than the M3 Competition Package, and it
remains significantly down on the 503bhp
produced by both the C63S and the Alfa Romeo
Giulia Quadrifoglio (its other big rival). BMW claims
the M3 CS is good for 0–62mph in 3.9secs and a
174mph top speed, mind.
How does it drive?
The chassis set-up, by BMW’s own admission,
is very similar to the M3 Competition Package’s. SPECIFICATION
Which, for this car’s additional £25,000, might 2979cc, 6cyl twin-turbo,
seem a bit cheeky. But the overall impression, like RWD, 454bhp, 443lb ft
last year’s M4 CS, is simply of razor sharpness. 33.2mpg, 198g/km CO2

0–62mph in 3.9secs, 174mph

1585kg

VERDICT: This is the

8
current M3 at its very
sharpest, but its
aggression comes at
a fair old price.
10

04 8 J U LY 2 01 8 › TO P G E A R . C O M
July I 2018

TG’ S O N E
M I N UTE E XPE RT

GOT 60 SECONDS SPARE?


READ THESE

7
Porsche Cayenne e-Hybrid
Unlike Volvo and The Cayenne’s

Corner shop
BMW, Porsche freakish cornering
has shunned 4cyl ability is blunted by
power for its hybrid the 130kg battery.
SUV. New Cayenne But it’s very quiet
Aston Martin DB11 AMR
gets turbo V6 and and comfortable.
£174,995 a 134bhp Why buy a
e-motor. Cayenne S...

Focused on ...when this is


WE SAY: WANT YOUR V12 DB11 TO ENJOY speed more £1k cheaper?
than economy. We got 38.7mpg
TWISTY BITS? YOU’LL NEED TO PAY...
0.9sec quicker over a day’s driving
0–62mph than the and a full 2hr
he DB11 AMR sounds like an the exhaust has more voice, the transmission old car. Its modes recharge. Reckon
mirror the 918 on 15 miles of
upgraded, more sporting version, more snap, the front anti-roll bar 0.5mm more
T right? Actually it replaces the width and forged wheels save 3.5kg per corner.
Spyder’s. e-range. Tax? £95.

standard V12. Why? That’s the The AMR drives keenly, with a sense of
Engine: 2995cc V6, 134bhp e-motor, 456bhp, 516lb ft
$64,000 question. Well, the £174,995 question. athleticism and more connection between front Performance: 0–62mph in 5.0secs, 157mph,
Here’s our best guess. The original DB11 didn’t and back ends. No sway on turn-in, and much 83.1mpg, 79g/km CO2 Weight: 2295kg Price: £67,128
drive as crisply as it should have done. It was fine better mid-corner precision, plus more ability to
if you were just cruising about, but when you leant use the power on the way out. It’s a big car, but
on it, the DB11 kept on leaning. The rear axle
was chiefly to blame – too much squidge and roll
gets itself down the road very effectively. Probably
no faster than the alarmingly capable (and 400kg
8
meant not enough precision on turn-in, and heavy heavier) Continental GT, but more engagingly.
rearward weight transfer on exit. Aston needed There’s more precision to the steering, more
to improve it, but not alarm existing owners, so control to the suspension and a new-found
moved the new car away from the old by making appetite for corners. It’s as dynamically capable
it more sporting, altering the cosmetics, giving it as the V8, which got most of these mods from
a new badge and more power. And £17,500 extra. the word go, but has 127bhp more to help
The twin-turbo V12 now develops 630bhp overcome the extra 100kg it carries around. Mercedes-AMG GLC 63S
(30bhp up). You don’t notice that. What you It has lost a little of its long-leggedness in the Merc’s fastest AWD but no Drift
do notice is what’s been done to the chassis. The process. You’re more aware of the exhaust, of how SUV has arrived in mode. But that’s
rear subframe is now more rigidly attached to the the car is riding the road, so it occupies you more. Britain, its sights OK. Switch the
extruded, bonded-aluminium chassis, the dampers Still, an Aston should have more edge than a set firmly on the ESP off and it will
have been revalved to be around 10 per cent stiffer, Bentley, and this one now does. OLLIE MARRIAGE Porsche Macan still do silly things.
and Alfa Stelvio QV. Talent/space/
It’s the same laws allowing,
money... that is.
SPECIFICATION
5204cc, twin-turbo V12, ...but it has Not as
RWD, 630bhp, 516lb ft one massive pointy as
24.8mpg, 265g/km CO2 advantage: the Alfa, and
0–62mph in 3.7secs, 208mph the engine. The doesn’t ride
I M AG E S : M A N U FAC T U R E R

same V8 as the quite as well


1870kg E63 and C63. as the Macan.
A tremendously But brawnier
VERDICT: The car the exciting thing. than both.

8
DB11 V12 should have
been from the start.
More sporting, but not Engine 3982cc, twin-turbo V8, 503bhp, 516lb ft
necessarily a better GT.
10 Performance 0–62mph in 3.8secs, 174mph,
26.4mpg, 244g/km CO2 Weight 2010kg Price £76,070

05 0 J U LY 2 01 8 › TO P G E A R . C O M
NEWLY HATCHED
Not only is the New
Renault Mégane R.S.
hat really strikes you when first driving the New Renault
Mégane R.S isn’t necessarily its performance, remarkable
though it might be, but the level of comfort. A stylish
sport seat (complete with embroidered R.S. headrest,
immediately one of the naturellement) offers a snug fit with side support around the
UK’s fastest and best hips, waist and shoulders, while the steering wheel’s adjustable ‘reach and
rake’ helps you achieve optimal driving position.
looking sporty hatchbacks, A nifty optional extra for an even more expert-looking seat is the grey
but its interior is a Alcantara upholstery with red stitching. Your driving position is further
complemented by the easy-to-reach gear shift paddles, manufactured from
standard-bearer for the aluminium (de rigeur in many modern-day competition cars) for both
latest in-car tech trends reliability and feel.
At the cutting edge See the light
At the central display is Renault’s high-end R-LINK 2 multimedia Where the R.S. arguably shines brightest are the small lighting
system with an optional 8.7-inch TFT screen. Th is is where the fun touches throughout. Ambient lighting around the centre console
really begins, as a touch of the R.S. Drive button brings up MULTI- and within the door panels can also be selected in a number of
SENSE, which offers a choice of five driving modes. Comfort, colours via Perso mode. Adding to that personal touch, the graphics
Neutral, Sport and Race remain, while an exciting fi fth option, and layout, information and colour can be configured on a funky
‘Perso’, has also been added. new dash display that uses a TFT screen.
The fi rst four allow a number of key parameters – engine response On the exterior, its mesmeric looks are enhanced by Renault
(via the pedal mapping), steering fi rmness and gear shift speeds – to Sport’s powerful multi-reflector R.S. Vision lighting system. LED
be adapted by the driver. And to suit the preferences of every type of lighting with the dipped and main beam is added to by the C-shape
driver, Perso now allows more adjustments to those settings or the cluster in the lower front bumper, which frames the car’s F1-style
option to de-activate them altogether for a truly personalised drive. blade. In a chequered flag pattern, this cluster combines cornering,
The R-LINK 2 tablet also boasts an all-encompassing palette of fog and secondary main beam lights all in one to provide increased
driving aids that assure, alert and assist. Significant among these levels of both vision and safety for the driver in all conditions. Not
technologies are active emergency braking system (AEBS), over- only that, but it looks pretty damn swish.
speed prevention (OSP) and hands-free parking. A new optional
function of Mégane R.S is the R.S. Monitor Expert system, which
captures data – including G-forces, braking input and acceleration
– that can be synced to video record to devices such as phones or
FIND OUT MORE AT
cameras and then shared on social media. RENAULTSPORT.CO.UK/CARS/NEW-MEGANE-R-S/OVERVIEW
July I 2018

een watching some lovely old emphasising the arches have more of a sweep to

Safe as B
Volvo-estate promo films. In
faded-Ektachrome colours, a
them than in the V90.
For the inside, the designers’ Scandi chill pill

houses safari-jacketed Swedish dad


takes the extended family for
a lakeside picnic in the PV444 Duett, American
still hasn’t worn off. It’s all soft materials and
colours in their characteristic furniture style.
And they still do terrific front seats. The stereo
team-moms do the school run in 240s, and of menu runs from good through great (Harman
Volvo V60 D4 Inscription Pro
course gundog-owning hearties and tweed- Kardon) to epic (Bowers & Wilkins).
£40,860 capped antique dealers fill their 760s. But the The dash is, as always from these people,
previous V60 wasn’t like that. It was a cute dominated by a big high-resolution screen. All
Focus-based ‘lifestyle wagon’. Chances of it versions have traffic-aware satnav. But the screen
WE SAY: VOLVO STICKS swallowing a chest of drawers or a retriever: zero. is called on to do slightly too many things. Menu
RESOLUTELY TO ITS Well, the new V60 is a proper Volvo estate. logic is pretty intuitive, but it’s over-hierarchical.
USPs. AND WHY NOT? It’s 10cm longer in the wheelbase than before. From the home screen it takes five finger jabs just
At 4.8m long, it shades the Merc C-Class and to adjust the stereo’s treble. CarPlay and Android
Audi A4 estates. That means oceans more Auto are optional. Climate-control is also
rear-seat and boot room. Prices start at £31,550. integrated into the screen, so even adjusting
Volvo estate: let’s talk boot first. It’s as air distribution or temperature has you setting
versatile as you’d hope. Hooks and lashing off into the menus.
points lie around the edge, and more storage Still, if the screen distracts you, the car will do
hides under the floor. An optional pack adds a its best to stop you crashing by deploying its vast
flip-up divider, stretchy net, powered folding range of active safety interventions. Volvo’s
releases, and a mains socket. But there’s standard City Safety doesn’t just detect vehicles,
nowhere to store the boot-cover blind when people and cyclists. Its sensors are now calibrated
you’re not using it. Duh. to react to large animals (since few of our cities
Having shifted to Volvo’s big-car SPA have roaming moose, know that it also works
platform, the V60 is a much more sophisticated beyond town limits). And, in a first, it’ll also do
car now. If you’re a spotter, the creases the very quick calculations needed to recognise

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 055
July I 2018

the rapid closing speeds of a head-on collision I took control myself. For that there’s a
and apply useful braking to soften, although not plus-minus gate on the lever, but no paddles
avoid, a ghastly crash. except in the R-Design version.
It’s all 2.0-litre, 4cyl engines. For the UK we Relax. the V60’s ride is decently supple
get two diesels (D3 and D4) and a 250bhp T5 and quiet, if perhaps not quite a match for a
petrol, all with FWD only. Air suspension is an C-Class’s unflustered consistency. It’s the best
option, but the cars we tested have the standard yet of these SPA Volvos because new engine
springs, with the £750 adaptive damping. mounts (to be rolled out to the bigger cars)
You’re not supposed to drive the V60 like control engine-shake over high-frequency
your hair’s on fire. Not that it complains if you corrugations more deftly.
do – it’s actually very well composed when you On the motorway, you can (if you opt for it)
press on. It contains its body roll well, there’s be assisted by radar cruise and the steer-helping
little understeer and the steering lets you place – but definitely hands-on – ‘Pilot Assist’ feature.
it with accuracy. But it doesn’t goad you on. It holds lanes more smoothly and tenaciously
There’s little of the engagement and interaction than when it was launched on the XC90. It’s
you’d get from a 3-Series or even a C-Class. It’s trying to help you. Very Volvo. PAUL HORRELL
about the sort of predictable stability that all
Volvos wear like an iron shield of invincibility.
You probably want to avoid the 150bhp
D3 tune. Even the 180bhp D4 struggles on V60 SPECIFICATION
A-road overtakes. But it’s quiet – quieter than 1969cc, 4cyl twin-turbo,
in the 90-series cars – and has a nice broad FWD, 190bhp, 295lb ft

powerband. The eight-speed auto, optional 60.1mpg, 125g/km CO2


in the diesels, is slow-witted and ham-fisted. 0–62mph in 7.9secs, 137mph

1730kg

VERDICT: Lovely interior:

8
roomy, useful, comfy –
and ridiculously safe. But
maybe you want a car that
isn’t quite so relaxing.
10
“You’re not supposed
to drive the V60 like
your hair’s on fire”

05 6 J U LY 2 01 8 › TO P G E A R . C O M
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July I 2018

Sensible
he BMW 5-Series, Mercedes-Benz more aloof than a 5-Series. Agile, thanks to the
E-Class and Volvo S90 are all four-wheel steering, but not as involving as a
T tremendously good cars. The BMW 5-Series or Jag XF. Not to worry. It’s superb on

shoes for the way it drives, the Merc for


its refinement and the Volvo for its serenity and
Scandi-charm. If you’re in middle management
the motorway, where the silence of its cabin and
refinement of its engines is most obvious. Rides
well, too – at least on the optional air suspension
Audi A6 55 TFSI and want A Good Car, you are not without and adaptively damped steel springs we sampled.
£48,000 est options. So the new Audi A6 can’t just be good Better than the A7, which suffers when you equip
– it has to be really good, and in pretty much it with the 21in alloys its aesthetic deserves.
every conceivable way, just to compete. There really is very little in it, between this,
And it very nearly is. Nowadays it’s based the BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo. Drivers
WE SAY: MIDDLE
on the same platform as the new A7 and A8, will want to stick with the BMW. But for the
MANAGEMENT IS
so it’s physically a bit bigger than the car it rest of you, this is an option well worth thinking
SPOILT FOR CHOICE... replaces (by 7mm in length, 12mm in width about. TOM HARRISON
and 2mm in height). But the main thing is
that it gets pretty much all their tech. So the
brilliantly tactile interior is dominated by the
twin-touchscreen MMI Touch infotainment
system, and the driving experience by some
39 driver assistance systems, all-wheel steering
(where specified) and a mild hybrid system
that allows engine-off coasting at up to 99mph,
whichever engine you choose.
Brits get three to start off with, all with
quattro AWD. Two 3.0-litre V6s – a petrol and
a diesel – and a new 2.0-litre, 4cyl diesel that
rivals Merc’s for silence and smoothness. Of SPECIFICATION
the other two, the petrol is the better choice – 2995cc, V6 turbo, AWD
335bhp, 369lb ft
it gets a cleverer gearbox (a 7spd DCT to the 42.2mpg, 151g/km CO2
diesel’s 8spd auto), is quieter, more refined
0–62mph in 5.1secs, 155mph
and feels lighter on its feet.
Not that we’d ever call the A6 especially 1835kg
sporty. For all Audi’s claims its new car is the
VERDICT: Quiet and
most dynamic in its class, the A6 still feels

8
comfortable, with a techy
interior that screams A8,
but others remain more
fun to drive.
10

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 059
July I 2018

SO, WHAT
E L S E I S N E W?

5
Volvo S90 T8 Twin Engine
What should I know?
It’s Sweden’s super-slick yet heavy
(2004kg) ‘twin-engined’ take on the
German exec saloon. But don’t think
there are two engines in there, it’s the

Middle of same petrol-electric hybrid from the


XC90 – all 407bhp and 472lb ft of it.

the road Should I care?


The S90 is still brilliant for going in the
opposite direction of its German rivals,
Lotus Exige Sport 410 and it’s got a cracking cabin. But
the hybrid drivetrain leads to soggy
£85,600 handling and a negligible mpg benefit
over a diesel. And it costs £57,705. RH

WE SAY: JUST LIKE RESTAURANT WINE, 6


GO FOR THE MIDDLE OF THE LIST...

he Exige range has got a bit OK, there’s no power steering – so parking
bamboozling over the last few years. is a pain. But you won’t care as soon as you’re
T But allow us to make it very simple rolling, as it’s so organic and pure. The grip is
Fiat 500S Twinair
for you; the new 410 is the one you tremendous. As is the engine. It summons a
What should I know?
want. It’s the last iteration of the MkIII Exige sort of earthy torque but reacts like something
It’s merely a trim level that puts a little
before we get a new one in 2020. Until then, the naturally aspirated, with zero lag and a properly emphasis on sportiness. But not so far
mid-engined lightweight will be divisible into urgent throttle. as to tread on the Abarth’s toes. Zero
three specs of hardcoreness; 350, 410 and 430. But how the 410 flows down a road on its to 62mph takes 10.0secs and you’re
The new middling £85k Sport 410 bridges clever and expensive three-way Nitron dampers, looking at £15,150 before options.
both the performance and £40k price gap between soaking up and communicating the bumpy braille Should I care?
the other two. The formula is classic Exige; a of British B-roads through the seat and steering Not at all. The 500 is the same car it’s
diddy bonded aluminium chassis with a 410bhp wheel – while never being deflected so you’re been since it arrived back in 2007.
Toyota-sourced supercharged V6. At 1,054kg, it’s toe-punted into the local scenery – can only Dynamically flawed, but able to offset
that by being cheeky. They’re best
the lightest V6 Exige ever and more of a softened be described as voodoo. It inspires confidence,
when they’re at their simplest. OM
off 430 (less downforce, less power, no traction allowing you to devour each gear from the
control) than juiced up 350. sublime and beautiful open-gate six-speeder.
It’s also quick. Not having to push much At £85k, it is expensive. And a pain to get
mechanical lard around is good for a 3.4secs in and out of. But Lotus has created something
0–62mph time, 180mph top speed and, with with tremendous ability. The 410 is a rarity
all those juicy carbon aero goodies, 150kg in the fact it’s a car that’s as happy on the track
of downforce. Something you can also now
enjoy with the roof off.
as it is on the road. And that is something to be
celebrated. ROWAN HORNCASTLE
8
Alpina B5
What should I know?
SPECIFICATION A BMW M5 with a twist. The 4.4-litre V8
3456cc V6 s’charged, here is shared with the non-UK M550i,
RWD, 410bhp, 310lb ft but fitted with new twin-scroll turbos for
26.6mpg, 240g/km CO2 600bhp and 590lb ft (9bhp and 37lb ft
more than the M5). It costs £89,000.
0–62mph in 3.4secs, 180mph
Should I care?
1054kg Massively. Alpina specialises in creating
versions of hot BMWs that are equally
VERDICT: If you’re into fast, but more relaxing to drive. Speed

8
light sports cars, there’s
without the aggression. The B5 rides
really not much that can
better it for the price. very well indeed, is quiet and although
Especially sans roof.
10 not as exciting as the M5, you can have
it as a £91,000 estate. Happy days. OM

06 0 J U LY 2 01 8 › TO P G E A R . C O M
# W A T C H B E Y O N D

BR 03-94 R.S.18 · Bell & Ross UK: +44(0) 2076 291 558 · Boutique: Units 48-49 Burlington Arcade - W1J 0QJ - London · e-boutique: www.bellross.com
July I 2018

Q U I CK T WI N TEST

Bentley Continental GT vs Mercedes S63 Coupe


WE SAY: TWO NEW, MIGHTY GRAND TOURERS. BUT WHICH SUITS HIGH-ROLLERS BEST?

The replacement for the 13-year-old Conti GT. About time. Same principles A midlife facelift for Merc’s flagship coupe. Tweaked nose outside, minor
What am I as before, but now 80kg lighter, 48V electrics with active anti-roll, cutting- rejig inside and a downsized V8 – now four litres instead of 5.5, yet more
looking at?
edge tech and, as buyers demanded, a greater focus on performance. potent. Doesn’t have the E63’s clever switchable 4WD – it’s RWD only.

Yes. But no more effortlessly than the last one. In extending the Conti’s Emphatically. The engine provides massive muscle and a great rumble,

Does it crush repertoire in a more dynamic direction, Bentley has merely maintained the yet it’ll cruise more frugally than the Conti (26mpg plays 23). Wind noise is
continents? status quo for long-distance cruising. It is astonishingly stable and secure, low considering that there are no B-pillars, and though it doesn’t smother
more steady on the road than its rival, if no quieter or more smooth-riding. the road surface quite as well, it’s more deft at riding on poor surfaces.

The interior’s craftsmanship and design makes the Merc’s feel bare and In isolation it is, but after the Bentley it feels a big step downmarket. The
It had better cheap, helping justify the £30k price uplift. The rotating screen may be materials are less tactile, the sheen of luxury is diminished and the seats,
be luxurious optional, the back seats only modestly sized, but as an interior to set the for all their functionality, don’t deliver quite as much comfort. Still, there’s
tone for the whole car and make you feel good, this is very hard to beat. a little more room for four of you and the 400-litre boot is 42 litres larger.

The changes have given the Conti a more assertive character. It resists Up to a point; it’s longer than the Bentley and feels it. Its 255 front tyres are
Does it handle roll and understeer, body control is taut and the power delivery is almost also less grippy, and being RWD it can’t get its power down as cleanly.
well, too?
unsuitably sudden until you get used to it. Then you can’t help but admire it. Drive it hard out of corners and the t/c light will be flashing vigorously.

Bentley Continental GT
£159,100 (£208,060 as tested)
9 10
Mercedes-AMG S63 Coupe
£127,515 (£155,960 as tested)
8 10

WO R DS: O L L I E M A R R I AG E /P H OTOS: R OWA N H O R N C A S T L E

VERDICT: Still sophisticated and VERDICT: Meet the hooligan. Loud,


5950cc, twin-turbo W12, 3982cc, twin-turbo V8,
mature. Now sportier and faster, too. proud yet mellow when necessary.
4WD, 626bhp, 664lb ft RWD, 604bhp, 663lb ft
1405mm

1422mm

23.2mpg, 278g/km CO2 31.7mpg, 203g/km CO2

0–62mph in 3.7secs, 207mph 0–62mph in 4.2secs, 155mph

2244kg 2065kg
4850mm 5051mm

06 2 J U LY 2 01 8 › TO P G E A R . C O M
M A G A Z I N E

2 5 TH A N N I V E R S A RY S P E C I A L O F F E R

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he reason people buy a Let’s begin with the noise. Put any notions

Excess

EDITED BY OLLIE MARRIAGE


w Lamborghini is 60 per cent of the Urus sounding like its mid-engined

Every net “T design,” Stefano Domenicali,


Lamborghini’s CEO tells us
brethren to bed right away, because where the
Huracán barks and shrieks, the Urus woofles
car tha
matters, all areas over a pasta dinner. I don’t
doubt him – if you want shock and awe, nothing
does the trick like a Lambo. But here we are in
and rumbles. It’s not an unpleasant sound, an
ominous thunder building to harder-edged
blare as you approach the limiter – it’s just a

rated or
the midst of an industry-wide SUV frenzy, and shame its siblings sound so damn good. There
Lamborghini Urus the goalposts have shifted. are cracks and pops on downshifts, a flare of
slated £164,950 There’s passion and flair in the Urus, the
world’s first self-proclaimed super-SUV and
revs on start up… you’ll get noticed – just don’t
expect hairs to stand on end.
Lambo’s first off-roader since the tank-like But, my word, is it fast. Yes, we’re all sad that
WE SAY: LAMBORGHINI: 1, LM002, but its task isn’t just to surprise and Lamborghini hasn’t plumbed in its psychopathic
PHYSICS: 0. PERFECT WHEN delight – it needs to double sales figures from V10 or operatic V12, but they will live on in the
YOU’RE REALLY RUNNING 3,500 cars a year to 7,000 and build a foundation replacements for the Aventador and Huracán,
CONTENTS from which future supercars can flourish. By we’re told, albeit with hybrid assistance. And

CREEPERS
LATE ON THE SCHOOLRUN
definition it’s a car born from intensive market let’s get some perspective here: a 4.0-litre
research, not a flamboyant sketch on the back twin-turbo V8 producing 641bhp and 627lb ft
of a napkin. Its basic chassis and technology of torque (from just 2,250rpm) is an able

JEEPERS
To conquer the USA’s supersized
is shared with the Q7, Cayenne and Bentayga, substitute. What it lacks in revs (the red line

scenery, you’ll need something


but to succeed we need real Lamborghini DNA. is 6,800rpm), it makes up for with rib-crushing

every bit as rugged...


BMW i8 Roadster

P H OTO G R A P H Y: M A R K R I CC I O N I
p44

WO R D S : TO M FO R D /
JEEP WRANGLER
Mercedes-AMG G63
p46

Bentley Continental GT
p54

Yaris GRMN vs 208 GTi


p60

McLaren Senna
p62
040 JUNE 201 8 › › JUNE 201 8 041 112 JUNE 201 8 › › JUNE 201 8 113

ROLLS CULLINAN

TOPGEAR TOP 9

COOLEST
MY LIFE INSTRUMENT DISPLAYS H I G H S O C I E T Y

IN CARS
Liam
Cunningham CITROEN LAMBORGHINI ASTON MARTIN
CX REVENTÓN LAGONDA
He landed in Game of Thrones via
Dublin and the African bush, but cars
and bikes have been a constant for
this Irish actor and F1 fanatic

LIAM’S CARS

FIAT AUDI LEXUS


500 VIRTUAL COCKPIT LFA

I
lived in a little house in a working class area of like Kenny Roberts and Barry Sheene were mobile phones back then, either. You could
Dublin, and a fella down the road showed up gladiators, and we’d watch, slack-jawed, the riders disappear very easily out there, it was so vast. We
one day in a Jensen Interceptor. I remember doing the Isle of Man TT. It’s an extraordinary part also had these thrown-together Nissans with wire
looking at it: a Saturn V rocket may as well just of the culture in Ireland, that and rally driving. I’m mesh fashioned over the side-exit exhaust. You
have landed on the road. currently working on getting a Ducati Multistrada. could tell who’d driven one because they had the
My first car was a Triumph 1300. My father was Memory can play tricks on you. Remember waffle scars griddled on their legs.
going to scrap it but I reckoned I could fix it up, so the Renault Fuego? At least they were having a I moved on to Citroens. I know, I know… self-
he gave it to me. The suspension was shot, and the go, they were doing something different. It wasn’t flagellation. I had, and still have, a thing for the
front wheels were pointing towards each other. I a Morris Marina. That said, I had a really early, DS. I owned a ZX while I was at the RSC. When
came home one day to discover that my dad had brown Austin Metro. It was all my socio-economic my children came along, I couldn’t afford a car
scrapped it – quite rightly, looking back on it – but bracket allowed at the time, but driving a car you and a bike, and I ended up with a Volvo V70. Not
neglected to tell me. He’d squashed a dream so I actually own is a beautiful thing. You’ve got a horse the biker’s friend. But it’s a great car. And I have
decided not to talk to him… for an entire year. He under you, it’s a primal thing, a rite of passage. a VW Golf. It’s bulletproof, has the DSG ’box.
was a tough man, a Dublin docker, and the olive I moved to Africa in 1984, and drove various I’ve driven the Aventador, a 488 GTB, and the
branch came a year later when he got another car
and said, “Do you want to park it, son?”
Land Rover Defenders –all over the bush in
Zimbabwe. The bosses pinched the Toyota Land
GTC4Lusso. When you get into the realm of Italian
supercars, it’s a different conversation entirely. It’s
TESLA
MODEL 3
TVR
CERBERA
BUGATTI
VEYRON It had to happen, didn’t it? Rolls has decided
I was an apprentice electrician, and I drove
vans around Dublin. But I was into motorbikes,
Cruisers! I looked after bore holes for wells, and
fixed high voltage power lines. Punctures were a
the difference between my paintings and Picasso’s.
There’s a 550 Maranello out there with my name
that the SUV is now worthy of its attention.
and I bought a Suzuki 250 ER. Another object of regular occurrence and you’d be lying on your back on it. I want to go in with a bowling bag full of Prepare yourself for the Cullinan... WO R D S : JA SO N BA R LOW / P H OTO G R A P H Y: A L E X H OW E
desire at the time was a Yamaha RD350 – it could in the pitch dark, and lighting fires to try to keep cash, and say, “I’ll take it.” Enzo Ferrari started
strip paint off a wall with the noise it made. Guys the animals at bay while you changed a tyre. No with 12 cylinders and that’s what I need in my life.

034 JUNE 201 8 › › JUNE 201 8 03 5 08 4 JUNE 201 8 › › JUNE 201 8 085

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066 J U L Y 2 0 1 8 › TO P G E A R . C O M
JAGUAR I-PACE

The I-Pace could change everything.


We put it through a five-point workout
to see if it’s ready for the real world
WO R DS: JAC K R I X , O L L I E M A R R I AG E ,O L L I E K E W, PAU L H O R R E L L /
PH OTO G R A PH Y: R OWA N H O R N C A S T L E

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 067
JAGUAR I-PACE

WILL _ I_WANT_
TO_TAKE _THE _
LONG_WAY_
HOME?
ar chat. It’s right up there with
football banter for immediate
alienation of anyone who doesn’t
know a double-clutch from a 4-3-3.

C But something is occurring. I’ve


spent two days with the I-Pace
and everyone – and I do mean
everyone – has a question or five,
strident opinions on the charging
infrastructure and, judging by the battered Micra they’re driving,
no previous interest in combustion-engined cars. Frankly, it’s
exhausting, but also a fascinating social shift – the electric car
hasn’t yet become personal transport for the masses, but it is
mobilising their minds.
In a world obsessed with food Deliverooed to your doorstep,
cheap taxis at your fingertips and the world’s music library in your
earbuds – convenience above all else – the electric car is a chewy
one. The environmental benefits are obvious – you can see them
not spewing out of the tailpipe… but owning, charging and
planning your life around one is a chore we could all do without.
One step forward, two steps back. Hence the hullabaloo.
Which is why it’s easy to forget that the I-Pace is still just a new
car: four tyres, a steering wheel, some seats surrounded by glass
and aluminium. Later, we’ll help you decide whether your life lends
itself to EV ownership, and if the I-Pace can handle the sorts of
things diesel SUVs take in their stride, but if anyone’s going to be
persuaded to cough up at least £58,500 (or £80,860 for the top-
spec-with-options car here), it still needs to go, stop, steer and
turn heads with panache.
It looks good, doesn’t it? Those are 20in wheels – standard
on our HSE model and blacked out to merge with the rubber – they
are probably the Instagram/ride quality sweet spot. But it’s the
proportions that steal the show: the snub nose that brings the
front wheels forward with it and the high, squared-off rear end
set the template, while the rear spoiler, vented bonnet and flush
handles provide the detail. Its beauty doesn’t slap you like a
botoxed Alfa, but eventually its bravery hooks you in.
JAGUAR I-PACE

Boot twice the size of a


VW Golf. Price tag three
times the size of a VW Golf

“The slick, flat


power delivery is
totally addictive”
Enjoying the acceleration?
Or just a massive Botox
overdose? We’ll never know
“OK, you’re George, I’m Dragon.”
“I want to be Dragon.” “You’re
a Beetle. You’re George”

Speed isn’t an issue, then, but individuality is, because,


Like a hungry diner, degrees of brain-curdling acceleration aside, all EVs feel
the I-Pace enjoys
a little roll
worryingly similar to drive. Strip away vibrations from the
engine, a ’box to interact with, intake and exhaust noise, turbo
rush or a rampant top end, and you’re left with something more
homogenous than in the past. So, there’s a new challenge afoot.
How do you differentiate your electric car when they all blend
into one? Jaguar has done it by pitching it as the first credible
Tesla rival, beating the Germans to market and challenging
convention with a radical design… others will find new ways.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m a fan of the I-Pace way. The slick,
flat power delivery is totally addictive: you’re never caught
in the wrong gear, never off-boost, always in the meat of it
whether waiting at the lights or hovering at 70. In many
ways, it feels too easy. Too easy to zap past a dawdling tractor
without pre-selecting the right gear, too easy to pick the
precise point in a corner you need the beans without allowing
Different story inside, because the interior isn’t nearly time for the turbo to spool, too easy to drive like a loon. If
as future-obsessed as a Tesla’s. You still have several acres of you thought modern performance cars with their sticky tyres
screen, split over three displays, but also physical buttons. and smooth gearboxes flattered the inept, you haven’t seen
Fancy that. A floating centre console jazzes things up, as does anything yet – this is the age of plug and play.
an inexplicable slab of old-school wood veneer in an otherwise Given the I-Pace weighs 2.1 tonnes, corners carry
cool oasis of red leather and brushed metal. Particular mention significant potential for understeer and general sloppiness,
for the Recaro seats: the driving position is spot-on and the but not so. A centre of gravity 130mm lower than the F-Pace
comfort levels higher than their skeletal backrest suggests. and the highest torsional stiffness of any Jaguar is a good place
Switch it on, and the screens do a dance but no noise. A to start, plus our test car had the optional self-levelling air
baffled delivery driver asks me how to turn the engine on. suspension (£1,100) with adaptive damping (£800). We can’t
Sigh. Some hours later, I’m following our long-term Audi RS4 vouch for the standard set-up yet, but the sensation here is
on the A360 towards Salisbury. As I stare at its Nardo Grey enough body roll to let you feel the weight transfer, but no
rump, it strikes me that both are fast family wagons, both cost more, allowing you to carve through corners with grip and
around £70k, both have near-identical boot space and both do confidence. The brakes are a blend of regeneration and
0–60mph in something starting with a four. mechanical friction, so you can forgive a mushy feeling at
Rowan reads my mind and gives it the full Schumacher the top of the pedal travel, before they really start to bite.
away from the next roundabout. The rear squats an inch as There are two ways to drive the I-Pace, then: like your
he rips through the gears, parping on upshifts. I extend my pants are on fire in Dynamic mode with more weight to the
right foot and leap forward, instantly attaching myself to steering and snap to the throttle, which is fine so long as you
the Audi’s bumper, which is where I stay, silently know a charger is nearby and you have several
and without fuss, until licence preservation kicks hours to spare; or like a saint in Comfort or
in. Blimey, 0–60mph in 4.5 suggested the I-Pace JAGUAR I-PACE EV400 HSE Eco mode, when you’ve got miles to cover and
would be quick, but RS4 quick? Price: £74,445 OTR/ don’t mind the remaining range burning itself
This is the standard car: no SVR fettling, £80,680 as tested into your retinas until your eyes begin to
no race-bred claims and, really, there’s no need Engine: Dual electric motors, sweat. More on that in a bit.
for a family car to go any faster. When it comes 90kWh lithium-ion battery, So whether mingling with the good people
to EVs, acceleration is cheap – how quickly you 394bhp, 513lb ft of Salisbury or flashing silently past diesel-
Transmission: 1spd, 4WD
choose to deplete your battery is down to your gargling tanks on the plain, the I-Pace
Performance: 0–60mph
ankle. Take Tesla: the slowest car they make is in 4.5secs, 124mph
succeeds. Test one complete – it’s rapid,
a $35k saloon capable of 0–60mph in 5.6 secs Range: 298 miles desirable, handles its mass and works as
– enough to keep a Civic Type R honest. Weight: 2133kg a car. But there are stiffer tests to come… JR

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 071
once lost a BMW X5 in Bucklebury
ford. OK, it’s not that deep. But it
was deep enough for the X5 to ingest

I water through the intake, and that


didn’t end well. When we arrive in the
I-Pace there’s a huge flatbed recovery
truck 100 metres up the lane, on its
back a 7.5-tonne truck with water dripping from it. Some
horses wade through. One of the riders reckons she’s helped
tow a dozen cars out of here in the last 10 years. We try to
work out if one of them was me.
Electricity and water are not happy bedfellows, but if
electric cars were vulnerable to ionised water they wouldn’t
be catching on so fast, would they? Even a Californian Tesla
driver must have encountered a puddle before. This is just

CAN_ IT_
TopGear taking it to the next level. Still, it’s with a certain
sense of trepidation that I nose the I-Pace down the ramp
into 18-inch-deep water – I remember how the shark was
offed at the end of Jaws 2. I watch the screen as water

LIFESTYLE?
bubbles up over the front camera and with a gulp I
tentatively head for the far shore…
Eight passes later, it’s a rather different matter: the
I-Pace bellyflops in, water fountains up. The car splashes
about like a toddler in a paddling pool and then goes off
for a run around the garden. Figuratively speaking. The
I-Pace certainly isn’t scared of water. Sure, I raised the
suspension up to off-road height, but the 4WD system
hasn’t lost traction, and aside from an undertray coming
loose – revealing a thick orange cable that would have
been totally immersed in water – the I-Pace has shrugged
off bathtime with ease.
I’ve really done this the wrong way round. Usually you
get dirty first and then head off to clean up. My next stop is

I-Pace carries every


accessory for the
acute midlife crisis

0 72 J U L Y 2 0 1 8 › TO P G E A R . C O M
JAGUAR I-PACE

“The car splashes


about like a toddler
in a paddling pool”

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 073
JAGUAR I-PACE

Exposed orange power cable,


several feet of water. Yeah, that’s
definitely going to end just fine

“There’s even
some axle
articulation.
Some”
the Wayfarer’s Way, an ancient byway. Let’s do a few miles It’s hard to know, I suspect on purpose, where the I-Pace
along it. It’s mostly rutted track where cars are permitted, fits into a conventional model hierarchy. It looks slightly like
but in places it deteriorates. The I-Pace isn’t an off-roader, a hatchback, but, inside, the 656-litre boot is twice the size of
but it has a low grip mode and AdSR. I’m not sure Adaptive a Golf’s and, outside, it’s well over 400mm longer. The driving
Surface Response, which adjusts motor and brake settings position is surprisingly commanding and when you step out,
depending on surface and conditions, was ever expected to your foot goes down further than you expect (unless you’ve
handle actual off-road. set the suspension to lower automatically). It’ll also handle
We get to a section where the grass is door-deep and four adults with ease. It’s a well-packaged, spacious car, and
the chalk beneath slippery. The traction control skitters that means it lends itself to an Active Lifestyle.
and clicks in the background, the motors whine a little, I have one of those. Mainly because I never grew out of
but momentum is maintained. Clearance and approach/ loving toys. So on goes the inflatable Handirack, and skis and
departure angles are good, as there’s no chunky internal paddleboard are strapped on. The Saris bike rack fits a treat on
combustion engine lengthening the nose and no vulnerable the tailgate, the straps feeding up under the rear spoiler. I drive
exhaust underneath. We already know electric car packaging to the top of a hill where pretty much the only hobby I don’t
(heavy batteries low down and in the middle, lighter motors currently have, paragliding, is taking place. Mostly the people
on each axle) is good for on-road dynamics, but now it poke fun that I’m in a place with no snow or water, but no one
looks like it works off-road, too. There’s even some axle says the Jaguar looks odd. Because it doesn’t. It looks right.
articulation. Some. A cross-axle section is too much to Adventure sports tend to be quite environmentally aware.
tackle, and we back out. Often they’re done by people wanting to make a point about
Still, the I-Pace has done well. Silent progress means the landscape, environment, how we’re treating the planet
ramblers have less to complain about, and the ride is and so on. Which is odd when much of what they’re up to
supple, rounding the edges off pot-holes. Slight niggle: when seems to be about removing themselves from the environment
crawling over obstacles – or even just reversing up a driveway in the most graphic way possible. Anyway, they’ll doubtless
– you sometimes have to give the throttle an extra prod, have arrived in an ancient fume-churning VW Transporter
so progress can be a bit jerky (switching Creep mode on van. How much better to roll up in something that treads
might have helped). But fair play, I-Pace, you have off- more lightly on the surroundings? A peace that the I-Pace
roaded and survived. is doing little to interrupt. OM

0 74 J U L Y 2 0 1 8 › TO P G E A R . C O M
DO_THE _
KIDS _DIG_ IT?
I-Pace’s front parking
sensor seemed a low-
tech solution

“Excuse me, sir. Are


you SURE you’re old
enough to drive?”

It would take three months


to remove the smell of
Lynx Africa from the I-Pace

t’s not so quiet now. I’m not sure system, and even discovered how to manually age, they just accept the future. It’s tech that gets
how many boys are orbiting the adjust the fan speed, which I’d singularly failed to them buzzing, just like it did when we were young.
I I-Pace because they won’t stand still do. You want a car destruction tested? This beats They love the touchscreen panels, the height-
long enough to be counted. One is the Nürburgring, hands down. adjustable suspension: “It can change between
plugging a charge lead into another’s ear, while This is the generation for whom electric cars an off-roader and a normal car,” one comments.
another lounges in the minuscule front load bay. will soon be the norm. These boys know cars, yet Able to seat three across the boot aperture, they
“Hey,” comes a cry from inside, “you can play not one of them mentions the fact that Jaguars think it’s big enough to cope with sports kit and
noughts and crosses on the ceiling.” used to have loud V8s or that one was called the musical instruments, but worry that the dog
Within five minutes the locusts have E-type. A Jag crossover, I ask them, is that OK? won’t be able to see out. I ask them how much
swarmed, discovered every nook and cranny, Bemusement. It’s the most natural thing in the they think it might cost. “About 75 thousand” is
been to the very depths of the infotainment menu world when there are no preconceptions. At this the reply. One of them knows too much. OM

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 075
JAGUAR I-PACE

Car with no conventional


engine takes on car with
ALL THE CONVENTIONAL ENGINE

CAN_ IT_ WIN_


OVER_ THE_
PETROLHEADS?
ven if an EV makes sense financially “like the Teslas they have here sometimes.” Small wonder
and practically, can it win hearts as popping ‘Tesla drag race’ into YouTube’s search bar yields
well as minds? That’s why the I-Pace over 617,000 results – twice ‘Dodge Hellcat drag race’.

E finds itself glued to Santa Pod’s Pro


Peak Performance start line. How do
We file towards the start line. Lots of attention now. The
consensus is that EVs have a big future in drag racing, “but
folks with metaphorical petrol in their only for juniors”. They’re quick, quiet, cheaper to maintain
veins and literal ethanol up their and way safer if your offspring has an off. But for seniors?
nostrils take to a battery-powered imposter? They’re married to their fire-breathing engines – for sport.
Cagily. I join the queue alongside a Mustang with headers Plenty are interested in an easy-going EV for everyday
sprouting through the bonnet like a mechanical tribute to mooching – and towing their prized racecars. In the ultimate
that scene from Alien. Picking my way down the line is cauldron of no-replacement-for-displacement, battery cars
mainly a hazard perception test, because no one who works are finding friends. Time to do the tech justice.
on a machine that’ll give your kidneys tinnitus expects a car But Santa Pod ain’t going quietly into that good night,
they can’t hear approaching. and my volunteer opponent is fan-favourite ‘Fast’ Freddy
A Mexican wave of amused frowns follows until I arrive Fagerstrom, in his 1966 Chevy C10. His supercharger alone
next to Simon Gough’s Racepak Camaro. Its driver looms swallows 600bhp, but that’s OK when the 8.5-litre V8
over, pokes his baseball cap through the open window, and develops 2,000bhp overall. Freddy, now 58, has been racing
delivers his verdict. “These are f**king brilliant for drag this truck since he was 15. It runs six-second quarters and
racing, I f**king love innovation.” “But do you reckon 1/8th-mile burnouts. Mind games engage. “I’ve got 4WD,” I
electric cars are the future – in drag racing?” A gurgling, remind the Swede. “I think V8 is still the future,” he shrugs.
burly laugh. “Hah! I f**king hope not, mate.” Dynamic mode, t/c disabled, aircon off… the Jag runs a
Early days. Ice broken, more interested parties surround respectable 12.8 at 106.5mph, impressing the locals. Freddy
the Jag. They’re taken with its stubby looks, and impressed screamed under the gantry at 220mph in a wall of noise ‘n’
at its long-wheelbase packaging, but to a man, everyone’s vapour five seconds earlier, to whoops from the crowd, after
disappointed when I reel off the spec – ‘only’ 400bhp and pebbledashing the Jag’s face with rubber marbles. We’re
0–60mph in 4.5 seconds. They’d hoped for under 2.0secs beaten, but not unwelcome here. Best of three? OK

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 077
JAGUAR I-PACE

HOW_ FAR_
CAN _ IT_
ACTUALLY_
GO?
miles

Paul regretted fitting


that ‘tailgating lorry’

miles rear window blind

Bringing a whole new Cornwall! It’s all downhill


meaning to the phrase
‘left foot braking’
from here! Apart from
the uphill bits! miles

Rowan and Paul drink


in the delicious fresh
air of a truckers’ layby

47mph. Scientifically
proven to be the best
speed to die of boredom

miles

*WORLDWIDE HARMONISED LIGHT VEHICLE TEST PROCEDURE, OF COURSE

he silence is ominous. I’ve just told a senior never be anywhere near the old and discredited NEDC
I-Pace engineer what I’m about to do with test. The new WLTP is supposed to be more realistic and

T his car. I was hoping for encouraging noises


and handy hints. Instead, dead air. Then,
at length, “The WLTP is just a lab test,
attainable. Er, but not, says my Jaguar man, that attainable.
Well sod the lot of ’em. TopGear is going anyway.
The Jaguar has slept overnight with an electrical umbilical
you know…” and a series of mumbled to the wall. I’ve never been more steely in my determination.
qualifications and excuses-in-advance about how real driving I adjust the electric seats and mirrors before unplugging. Then
can use far more energy. His heavy implication is that to set hand Rowan, the poor photographer who’s always assigned my
out on a real trip the same length as the quoted range is a fool’s endurance trips, a USB power pack so he won’t feed his phone
errand that’ll inevitably leave me stranded. from the car’s sockets. Those things would be a fraction of a
Which pops my balloon good and proper. London to fraction of a per cent, but everything counts today.
Land’s End on a charge – how great would that have been? Out through west London, the accelerator is a glass knife,
The WLTP* range of the I-Pace is 298 miles. That journey is the brake the pedal of last resort. I play loose with ambers and
291 miles. We’ve known for years your actual results would freewheel too brazenly into roundabouts. Sorry, people. Onto

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 079
the M3, I don’t so much gain speed as accrete it. I learned today, and I am glad. And then the passive speed limiter
from Jag’s man that the most efficient speed is 45mph. switch comes to life, so I set that to 47 and begin to let the
I donate myself some speedo error and settle on 47 max. road distract my eyes from the instruments.
It’s now getting busy, but not busy enough for commuters And on. And on. If you want to travel fast, you’ll find busy
to slow. Where the M25 joins the M3, all M3 traffic is roads. There’s always a car or lorry in front. Travel slowly
funnelled by new hatchings into the outside lane. I have and the roads are empty. The frustration is all behind you.
a stream of impatient German premium up my chuff. See! Look at the faces in the rear-view!
Meanwhile two lanes of nose-to-tail trucks are undertaking Now, the I-Pace’s spec shows a 90kWh battery, but the car
me. They are not inclined to give quarter. But neither, today, never allows itself all that, for the sake of the cells’ health. So
am I. Sorry again. for 291 miles, my average consumption has to be less than
Soon the day’s temperature soars. Without aircon – and that total available 84.7kWh divided by that target distance,
with windows shut for aero – the cabin roasts. Heat is moist. equals 0.291kWh per mile or (29.1kWh per 100 miles in
Heat is prickly. Heat is fetid. But heat makes batteries yield trip-computer units). So far our consumption has been too
more, so heat is good. I’m gazing at the power meter, trying damn high, and the available range readout has lagged
to keep it hanging steady – it’s not just speed but speed behind the satnav’s destination distance. And yet, passing
fluctuations that suck energy. The I-Pace has such urgency Honiton, Exeter, Okehampton… Tantalisingly, those
in its motors that it’s near-impossible to keep things super- numerical gaps slowly close.
smooth. I find a solution in jamming my left foot under the Crossing the Cornish border, we look set for victory.
accelerator, counterpressed by my right foot on top of it. Consumption is on target, and distance-to-go equals range
The adaptive cruise control is off. Radar uses power. at 76 miles. A layby. I ease to a stop and we fling open the
Normally you can’t turn the actual transceiver off; it’s on doors of this rancid pressure-cooker. For five joyous minutes
standby for auto emergency braking. But it’s on the fritz we swim in the Cornish air like a crystal lake.

“To ridiculous in-car


jubilation, we hit the
end of Britain with 11%”
JAGUAR I-PACE

But on restarting, the dash lights up news. Range has of the car. Rowan plugs in, then tracks down the owner to
crashed to 25 miles. All other numbers, including battery release me. We trudge off to find food. The nearest pub’s
percentage, are unchanged. Sweat turns to full-on hot flush. Thai veggie burger’s taste, texture and colour resembles a
Which number do we believe? We proceed with renewed puck of compressed-wood renewable fuel. Appropriate to
caution as Rowan scours phone-apps for chargers. our green mission but no reward for five hours in a slow-
We climb to the heart of Bodmin Moor at Temple Tor. My moving greenhouse and the dank scent of failure.
family has been back and forth here for generations. In the Phoning Jaguar again reveals the range-calculation
War, my grandfather was sent out by the Ministry to tell software is beta. Trust the charge percentage, they say.
farmers across Cornwall what to grow where, to best extract So, onward. More new bypasses. By Penzance an hour later,
food from every precious acre. My parents too endlessly we’ve recalibrated the goal: to do it using one total battery’s
crossed the county, and every road improvement saved time. worth. We’d added 10 per cent at that charge, so if we retain
As Dad neared his end last summer, my sister was visiting 10 at the finish, it’s a win.
one day. He fancied a trip out. Where? Could he see the We smell the sea, bathed in flaring Atlantic sunlight.
brand-new dual carriageway at Temple Tor, please? That was To ridiculous in-car jubilation, we hit the end of Britain
the last time he left the house. See, roads and cars bring with 11 per cent. That means 99 per cent actually used.
people closer. If future cars are connected and electric and We have attained the rated range. But only by crawling
near-autonomous, as this Jag is, well, I’m still all for them. along, denied heating, A/C, stereo, HUD, lane-assist, wipers,
But not like this: eyeing the feeble range, we struggle to headlights. Real-driving range is below 200 miles, I reckon.
a charger on an industrial estate. EV drivers get righteously This gap is not the fault of the I-Pace. It’s the fault of a new
indignant at normal cars thoughtlessly blocking these test that may be more realistic than the old, but still isn’t
lifelines. Yet here’s a Leaf, straddling two charger bays, so realistic enough. Which perversely makes today even more of
although I can drive into the remaining space, I can’t get out a TG triumph. Malodorous as we are, you may hug us. PH

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 081
3_THAT’S

082 J U L Y 2 0 1 8 › TO P G E A R . C O M
TESLA MODEL 3

THE _ MAGIC

NUMBER Once teething


issues are dealt
with, Tesla is hell-
bent on putting a
Model 3 on all our
driveways. Can a
car really change
the world?
WO R DS: JAC K R I X /
PH OTO G R A PH Y: J E R E M Y C L I F F

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 083
TESLA MODEL 3

A zombie
shuffles
in our
direction,
his glazed, lifeless eyes fixed on a glowing screen clamped to a within a week. Jaguar tried a similar trick with the I-Pace... and has
plastic stick. Overhead, a man fires off rounds from his Canon, kept the numbers firmly under wraps. Read into that what you will.
points hysterically and hops on the spot like a sugar-drunk four- There’s a reason why Tesla doesn’t operate by the rules. Because it
year-old. Stage right, a queue forms outside a glass temple marked doesn’t give a monkey’s about the rules. Musk’s mission isn’t to turn a
with the sacred T. In front of me, an average-looking saloon car. juicy profit – although that’s a necessary by-product – it’s to electrify
“A system of religious veneration and devotion directed towards the world, to turn us all onto the idea that electric cars can be fast
a particular figure or object” – that’s how the Oxford Dictionary and sexy and practical, too. If everything was to come crashing
defines a cult. A fair assessment, I’d say, of what Tesla and its all- around his ears next quarter – a not-inconceivable possibility – then
seeing eye, Elon Musk, have become. It’s certainly not a car company with attractive, long-range EVs from established manufacturers
as we know it. Car companies don’t burn through hundreds of about to flood in from every angle, it would still be mission complete.
millions of dollars every month, consistently miss production targets, But there’s no sign of any towel throwing. Not yet. To recap, the
keep shareholders at bay with a vague prognosis of turning a profit Model 3 is a foot-shorter, half-price (or thereabouts) complement to
later this year… and still find themselves the darling of the industry. the Model S and Model X; there are well over 500,000 deposits down;
Car-company bosses don’t take conference calls with Wall Street it’s the lynchpin of Musk’s mission to rid our roads of fossil fuels,
analysts then send stock value tumbling by calling their questions and it’s also the thing giving him a significant pain in the arse as his
‘stupid’ and ‘boring’, make April fools’ jokes about the company going company tries to ramp up production to 5,000 cars a week in the
bankrupt or tweet about Catherine the Great shagging a horse. But short term, building towards churning out 500,000 Model 3s a year.
then again, car companies don’t take 325,000 paid deposits for a car Currently the production number hovers at close to 3,000 a week.

084 J U L Y 2 0 1 8 › TO P G E A R . C O M
Its mission? To change the world,
one neatly executed parallel
parking manoeuvre at a time

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 085
TESLA MODEL 3

Back to the kerb outside the Tesla dealership in Manhattan’s


Meatpacking District. We have seven hours with the Model 3 and
I’m wasting it waving a key card in the general direction of the
B-pillar and waiting for the wing mirrors to unfurl. Bingo. Push and
pivot the handle with your thumb, yank it and you’re presented with
an interior that makes a padded cell seem disorderly. The dash is
nothing but a slab of wood across the entire cabin (less appealing
plastic on the base models), a full-width air vent and a 15-inch
Jot this down, touchscreen, landscape-orientated, rather than the larger portrait
screen in the S. Turn the 3 on by waving the key card somewhere
it’s going to get near the cupholders, pull the Merc-sourced column shifter down,
complicated... right pedal to move, left pedal to stop, steering wheel to turn. Easy.
We won’t patronise you with another recap on the cornerstones
of the EV driving experience; instead, let’s focus on the difference
between driving a Model 3 and the Model S... beginning with speed.
Even in base-spec 75D trim, the Model S covers 0–62mph in
4.4 seconds, while the P100D does it in a gut-warping 2.7 seconds.
With the Model 3 you have a choice of two versions at launch – the
$35,000 standard car (0–62mph in 5.6 seconds, 130mph top speed,
220-mile range) and a $44,000 long-range model (0–62mph in 5.1
seconds, 140mph, 310-mile range).
Here’s what you get as standard on the Tesco Basics $35,000
model: 18-inch alloys, 15-inch screen, on-board wifi, satnav, 60/40
split folding rear seats, LED headlights and tail-lights and a
reversing camera. Not bad, but you’ll have to be a staunch penny-
THIS ISN’T A CAR YOU FULLY UNDERSTAND pincher to resist the allure of a $5,000 premium bundle that adds
in the first five minutes. Like a new electrically adjustable, heated seats all-round, wood trim, an
smartphone, you need to commit
some time to learning the screen, the
shortcuts, locating the settings you might

“ For now, there’s no


need and engraining them on your brain.
The quarter closest to the driver is
dedicated to information and controls
you might need while driving, like a
visual representation of your autopilot
Ludicrous mode,
situation and shortcuts to the trip
computer, charge status, etc. The rest is but who cares?”
dominated by a map or whatever you
want to overlay, such as your radio or
music streaming, climate control settings
and phone status. Alternatively, you can
dive into the settings menu (best to do
this when stationary) and have fun
upgraded stereo, tinted sunroof and folding wing mirrors. Space in
adjusting the direction of the vents, the back seats is fine for anyone up to six foot, a bit cramped beyond
or the wheel for reach and rake with that, but it’s worth it for the endless view out through the full-length
the scroll wheels by your thumbs, or sunroof that wraps right around and behind your head.
tweaking your steering weight, or… We drove the long-range – the only model Tesla is currently
honestly, the list goes on. building before rolling out the lower-spec car, and faster, dual-
Once that’s done, you can have fun motor versions, later in 2018. For now, there is no adjustable air
exploring Tesla’s ‘easter eggs’ – modes
suspension, no four-wheel drive and no Ludicrous mode, but
that are there for no reason other than to
who cares? As we turn our back on the skyscrapers, glide onto the
make you and your passengers laugh
Hudson Parkway and point towards Bear Mountain, 50 miles north,
and prove Elon isn’t just an evil genius
determined to colonise the solar system.
the Model 3 never feels anything less than enthusiastically fast. The
Modes like the, er, Mars button that turns rush of acceleration is more 340i than M3, but because it’s perfectly
the map into the surface of the Red linear, no gearchanges are required and you’re never caught
Planet, or the Santa setting, which turns off-boost, it feels more lively than a 340i, more of the time.
your car into a sleigh, the road into a Rear-wheel-drive it may be, but there will be no skids here. In
rainbow and other road users into fact, the only manual adjustment to the traction control you can
reindeer. You will either find this fun make is a slip start – designed to get you creeping from a standstill
or excruciatingly annoying.
on low-friction surfaces. Beyond that, you can choose three weights
for the steering (we tried all three in the first five minutes, then left
it in the middle setting for the rest of the day)... and that’s your lot.

086 J U L Y 2 0 1 8 › TO P G E A R . C O M
Model 3 pounds the
streets of New York. Looks
so normal, no one notices

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 087
“On quick, sweeping
corners, you can hustle it
at quite hilarious speeds”

Tesla waits patiently


as its triple macchiato
is lovingly prepared
TESLA MODEL 3

Unsurprisingly, the steering doesn’t offer the last word in corner. Not ideal. The graphic for setting your maximum speed
feedback but, like so many modern racks, it counters with a on the cruise is also on the small side, tucked away in the corner
quick ratio and zero slack, so the whole car feels tight, alert of the screen – why not use the scroll wheels on the steering
and moves as a solid unit. Add to this the fact the battery pack wheel? An over-the-air update will sort that soon, says Tesla.
is in the floorpan, which gives the 3 an unusually low centre of A word on range: we spent the day crawling around
gravity, and there’s (whisper it) actual fun to be had here. Manhattan, cruising on the freeway to Bear Mountain, having
The Model S has long been criticised for having a vomit- some fun once there, then heading back into the city. A total
inducing turn of speed in a straight line, but lacking any real of 140 miles of very mixed driving, and there was still 100
emotion. The 3 moves things on. Push it too hard and physics miles in the ‘tank’. At no point did the range sweats kick in.
will take over, but it’s a whole league nimbler than the Model Without getting too carried away... it works.
S. On quick, sweeping corners, keep your inputs smooth, So, after spending a day in its company, do I want one?
your foot away from the brake and you can hustle it at quite Does it have the desirability to drag not just tree-humping
hilarious speeds. Alternatively, simply enjoy its 0–30mph environmentalists out of their petrol- or diesel-fuelled cars,
point-and-squirt potential around town. but the wider public too? The answer is an emphatic yes, and
The ride is firmer than in a Model S, but rarely crashy – and that’s because beyond the hype is a truly well-engineered car.
this is on the crumbling, weather-beaten tarmac in and around The way it drives is genuinely satisfying, more so than the
Manhattan. Chances are it’ll cope well in the UK, too. The Model S despite being several yards slower, which elevates it
sensation is firmness, but well-damped firmness, much like from an appliance to something worth investigating for the
the sporty German saloons it’s looking to eradicate. likes of you and me. There’s a refreshingly simplicity to the
So, the Autopilot system – a $5k option, $8k if you want proposition and a ripple of excitement wherever it goes.
to prepare the car with all the sensors and But it’s not perfect. Tesla’s production
cameras it’ll need for advanced autonomous woes are well documented, reports of shoddy
functions down the line. Wait for a small, build quality are hard to ignore (our test car
grey steering wheel to appear on the top left was perfectly well screwed together), the
hand corner of the screen. One tap down on TESLA MODEL 3 (LONG RANGE) 18-months-plus waiting list is daunting, the
the gear selector activates the active-cruise Price: $44,000 OTR/ Autopilot function is a work in progress, and,
control, a second tap lets the car steer for $57,000 as tested while slick, the decision to put everything
you between a set of defined white lines. Engine: Single electric motor, on one touchscreen is just as distracting as
On the right road, it works fine and lets 70kWh lithium-ion battery checking your phone. We admit, coverage of
you go hands-free for much longer than a Transmission: single- Tesla can get a bit frenzied, but credit where
speed, RWD
BMW or Audi does before bonging. However, it’s due, the Model 3 is an electric car you’ll
Performance: 0–60mph
apply too much pressure to the steering in 5.1secs, 155mph want to own and can probably afford. Here’s
wheel with your finger and it’ll deactivate Range: 310 miles to Musk clawing his way out of production
the auto-steering function, possibly mid Weight: 1610kg hell. If he does, it’s mission complete.

Jack takes a break to check


Twitter. Yep, the Tesla fanboys
are still angry about stuff

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 089
SPEED
Normally I’d reach for the
numbers and settle this in
the first sentence, but the
Jag EV400’s 0.6sec 0–60mph
advantage doesn’t tell
half the story. It’s a more
expensive car, for starters,
so you’d expect it to be
faster. It’s got four-wheel
drive, too; rear-wheel drive
for the Long Range 3. You’ll
also notice that Professor
Musk has just announced a
four-wheel-drive, dual-
motor performance version

DESIGN of the 3 for later this year


that’ll be a better cost match
for the £70k I-Pace... and
Nice easy one to start... Jag’s I-Pace has been smash 0–60mph in 3.5
conceived from the outset to be a design seconds. Want speed? You
statement, to challenge the establishment with
proportions that reflect the fact that this is
something new, for all of us. Inspiration came
can have speed. Currently,
the I-Pace is faster, but both
leap down the road in a way
INFOTAINMENT
from the C-X75 hypercar that never was, says Ian that is unlike even the most Remember the first time you had a play with an iPhone? It’s that
Callum. Hmmm, bit of a stretch that one, but it’s lag-free of combustion same sense of wonder when you sit in a Model 3... and stare blankly
still a hugely confident piece of design. Get it engines. So it’s not just at the screen, wondering where the buttons have gone. Operating
jacked up on its air suspension in off-road mode about the straight-line speed a Model 3 effectively is not the work of a moment, and the entirely
and it gets all a bit Jetsons. Brilliant. When all’s (in fact, that starts to tail off centralised interface with its endless sub-menus and hidden Easter
said and done, it’ll be this, not the F-Type, that quite a bit beyond 70mph) eggs can be highly distracting (seriously, how can this be legal when
Callum’s remembered for. it’s the accessibility of it. sending a text isn’t?), but it does work... and looks slick. And with
And then there’s the Tesla, inspiration from You needn’t know how to only a handful of physical buttons, Tesla can reconfigure, over the
a bar of soap. But can you blame them? The operate a gearbox, where air, at any time, what function lives where. Clever stuff.
mission is to slip under the radar and onto the in the rev band your turbo The Jag counter-punches with three separate screens and actual
driveways of millions of homes around the world comes on boost or the VTEC physical buttons where you want them. It’s refreshingly similar to
– anything too controversial would have been kicks in, you simply boot it ‘normal’ cars, with just the right amount of future. Problem is, JLR’s
prohibitively expensive or needlessly divisive. and giggle like a child. Close, latest infotainment tends to over-promise and under-deliver – the
Which is why the Jag walks it and gets off to a but second blood to the Jag, interface isn’t as intuitive as the Tesla – so half the time you’ll end
dream start. Britain 1, USA 0. Come on the lads. until the hot 3 arrives. up using the satnav on your phone. Model 3 takes it by a pixel.

I-PACE MODEL 3 I-PACE MODEL 3 I-PACE MODEL 3

THE_ELECTRICITY_BILL
090 J U L Y 2 0 1 8 › TO P G E A R . C O M
COSTS
Were the Model 3 to lose
this one, Musk might as
well book a rocket for one
to Mars, because its entire
remit is to bring the price of
an electric car within reach
of us all. UK prices are yet to
be confirmed, because UK
cars are yet to be built, but
a starting point of $35,000
translates to £26,264; that’s
less than the most pov-spec
318i. The I-Pace begins at
£58,995 after the £4,500
Goverment grant. Needless

BRAND to say, these are both very


much starting points; you
will want the longer-range
Two brands converging on the same point, but battery and autopilot on the
arriving from different worlds. One, a Silicon Model 3, and bigger wheels
Valley start-up younger than several jars of
chutney in my larder, driven by a humanitarian
mission to rid our roads of fossil fuels and
SPACE and decent seats on the
Jag... and and and. At final
calculations, our test cars
making the rules up as it goes along. The other The I-Pace carries a 125mm height advantage over the 3, but cost $57,000 (£42,773) and
steeped in a century of history, still trying to perhaps surprisingly, it’s the Tesla that’s 8mm longer and 35mm £80,860 all in.
unshackle itself from an olde-worlde image and wider. Even so, there’s only one proper family car here... The Then there’s running
needing to flog traditional saloons and SUVs in Model 3 scores points for its 85-litre frunk (there’s only space for them. Slap on the wrists
huge numbers while simultaneously sprinkling a 27-litre cubby in the Jag’s foreshortened snout), but loses many for Tesla because using
the whole company in the I-Pace’s green glow. more for the fact that it’s not a hatchback like the Model S or superchargers is no longer
It’s working, but not there yet. Model X. You open a traditional notchback lid to reveal a 340-litre free for Model 3 owners, but
When Tesla opened order books for the Model boot, but you can put the back seats down, something the internet the holiday had to end some
3, it took 325,000 deposits in the first 24 hours. points out creates the perfect square footage for a double blow-up time. There are cheaper EVs,
Jag tried to pull a similar trick with the I-Pace, mattress – Musk’s gift to the dogging community. Jag is especially but none with the tech geek
but is yet to show us the numbers. One of these fond of the line that the I-Pace offers Porsche Cayenne interior appeal and performance of
companies advertises; the other doesn’t feel the space for a Macan-sized footprint. All you need to know is that the 3. A last-gasp equaliser
need to. A valiant effort from the swashbuckling it’s a genuinely spacious SUV with roughly the same bootspace then... 3:3. Fair result, and,
I M AG E : G E T T Y

Brit, but Tesla isn’t just a car company, it’s a cult. (577/1453-litres) as a 3-Series Touring. Chalk it up, 3:2 to the Jag. just like that, EV buyers are
Good luck competing with that. Only the British could find a way to let it slip from here... spoilt for choice.

I-PACE MODEL 3 I-PACE MODEL 3 I-PACE MODEL 3

OK, so we didn’t drive them back to back... but using the


magic of memory, here are the scores on the doors
WO R DS: JAC K R I X

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 091
The future of car ownership is here, and
it’s subscription-based. TopGear uncovers
the automotive equivalent of Netflix
WO R DS: TO M FO R D / PH OTO G R A PH Y: M A N U FAC T U R E R & J O E W I N DS O R-W I L L I A M S

09 2 J U L Y 2 0 1 8 › TO P G E A R . C O M
LYNK&CO
THE

I SS U E
01 02 03

“We are not selling


cars. We are providing
personal mobility.”
So says Lynk&Co senior vice president Alain Visser, exuding vast warmth those city-centre offline showing-off shops in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin,
and confidence. “With these subscription models, it’s more like your mobile Brussels and London. It has also announced a homewear and fashion range
phone contract or Spotify than a traditional lease, much more flexible. There in conjunction with emerging-designer shopping site Tictail called the City
are services like it, but not quite the same…” Dweller Series, as well as a similar operation with Chinese designer JINNNN
We’re sat in Visser’s office in Gothenburg, Sweden, looking out over a that will produce a “series of cross-industry products following the megacity
frozen harbour at the glass and steel of a new business park, and pondering a design philosophy”. What that means is anyone’s guess, though this is a
new way of looking at car ownership. Or non-ownership. Because Lynk&Co is multi-headed hydra of a strategy, and Lynk&Co has started to put down roots
anything but traditional, even though its cars are based upon current Volvo and prepare for invasion. As a new brand, it is not, as they say, messing about.
bones. The office is buzzing, slightly chaotic, filled with dangerous amounts of The hardware is familiar, and good. As mentioned, all of Lynk’s products
fizzing young people with glowy skin as yet untarnished by disappointment. will be based on the same architectures as current Volvo stock, produced on
Pretty much the antithesis of the usual big automotive mothership. But that’s the same lines and to the same standards, of both safety and quality. A hugely
exactly the point: Lynk&Co is aiming at a new kind of consumer, targeted at reassuring starting point. The European cars will be focused on hybrid-only
people who don’t necessarily like cars. The workforce reflects that, culled from powerplants – the Chinese market preferring a gasoline engine – with
a wide variety of industries, throwing around the kind of on-trend phrases and three-cylinder versions (analogous to the XC40 T3 spec cars) coming next,
fashionable trousers that make me wince. It’s all very much how I imagine followed by full EVs. Indeed, Visser says “There will be no diesel, no manual
Google head office might be, or some Silicon Valley high-tech ideas incubator. and no ICE Lynk&Co derivatives in Europe. When we commence production
But Visser is the kind of man it’s hard to remain unmoved by. He’s the right in 2019, and sales starting from 2020, our range will be all about new energy.”
side of evangelical, willing to admit that even he doesn’t understand some of First impressions of the 01 indicate they are, as you might expect, perfectly
the motivations. Which is why he employs people who do. good to drive and exist in, without being overly sporty or satisfying to drive,
A little background is probably in order. Lynk&Co was launched as a new with styling that’s handsome and conservative rather than striking. But it’s the
entity by Zhejiang Geely Holding, the owner of Volvo, in 2015, promising a rest of the offering that really makes you wonder where this is aimed, because
“global connected and shareable mobility brand” rather than a car company. it probably isn’t at the kind of people who read TopGear.
It promises to do away with dealers – offering boutique urban stores in town Of course, you can buy outright, and just take advantage of the no-hidden-
centres (like Tesla), lose the idea of options lists, instead offering a extras pricing and subsequent service. But the subscription ownership is the
streamlined series of single-price collections, and provide the kind of first big deal, and it’s linked to the streamlining of the whole consumption
connectivity that will make anyone under 25 lose their wifi range anxiety. On process associated with a Lynk. You buy into a sub, with the opportunity to opt
17 November last year, its pre-sales event in China for the first XC40-based out with a month’s notice – unlike most mobile phone contracts, which tie you
small SUV, the 01, sold out in 137 seconds. Six thousand vehicles in two in for a year, or more. Cars can be swapped for different versions (think SUV
minutes, seventeen seconds, making it the fastest-selling car in the world. This for summer holidays, something a little smaller for usual commuting), and
year, it announced the 02, a lower, smaller crossover – still on the same Volvo Lynk plans a whole raft of models to cover every eventuality. There are no
CMA platform (Compact Modular Architecture) – confirmed production at dealers – you simply order online from that restricted number of collections
Volvo’s facility in Ghent, Belgium from 2019, and rolled out plans for a series of which consist of Clear, Louder, Inter and Hyper for the 01 at the moment

094 J U L Y 2 0 1 8 › TO P G E A R . C O M
LYNK&CO

02 is based on
the Volvo XC40.
Could be worse

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 095
“Pride of ownership
takes a back seat
to usefulness”

The Future: “Shall we get a


cab home?” “Nah, let’s just
use our Lynk&co subscription”

– which cuts the cost of manufacture as well as the money-sapping dealer personal car ownership and looking to Lyft and Uber. With new-car
process. Cars are delivered to your home or work (this goes for servicing, too), registrations falling, car companies need to do something to keep people
keeping the process convenient. The limited optioning also means that the buying – or rather consuming – cars.
company can carry centralised stock, so waiting times should be negated – But it’s also wise to note that none of this is, in fact, new. The concentration
no more lists. Servicing and lifetime warranties are included. on connectivity – in all its forms – is central to any manufacturer’s pitch these
And there’s more. Each car has the kind of connectivity that will plaster days, and Lynk&Co will definitely not be the only manufacturer with its
a grin on those next-gen consumers. From personalised services to an open corporate finger on the pulse. Similarly, subscription services exist all over the
API (Application Programming Interface) called Co:Lab, a dedicated app store place, though mostly being trialled in the US, from single-marque systems like
and the car’s own cloud service and wifi hotspot, the vehicles will customise Volvo’s own Care programme, to Porsche’s Passport scheme, to similar
themselves according to your downloads. With digital keys coded to your versions in the shape of Mercedes Flexperience or BMW’s Access.
mobile phone, cars can be shared with family members (or neighbours, Typically, these services offer app-based access to a raft of different
if you want), or even rented out in the same way as Airbnb. Delivery cars, with a concierge service that handles delivery and collection.
services could be sent one-time, boot-only opening codes, allowing Then there are the multi-marque versions – too many to list here
Amazon or a food delivery service to drop your order into the – where you simply book the kind of car you want, when you
boot of your car at work (Volvo has just announced the want, if at all. And while some of them simply seem to act like
AmazonKey on XC40 models via Volvo OnCall), and eventually, a fancy flat-fee lease with a few extras thrown in and no huge
when autonomy manages to jump its own hurdles, the car could be deposit, it proves that the automotive landscape is changing. Or
sent home during office hours, to be used by others. In the same way as at least the big automotive brands seem to think it is.
a streamed song or a Boris bike, you no longer own the hardware, but What is new is that the Lynk&Co brand has been conceived from
decide more precisely how you want to consume it, with the digital aspects the outset to take advantage of all of the options, to provide a starting
allowing each car to become your “own” as soon as it links to your mobile. point for the whole gamut of technology, unhindered by a powerful and
The car, then, becomes secondary to the convenience. Pride of ownership strident dealer network understandably looking at the sector with panic on
takes a back seat to usefulness, replaces the emotional satisfaction with its collective face. It offers the kind of free and easy, come and go ownership
utility. But is that really a bad thing? A petrolhead could subscribe to a models that appeal to commitment-phobic Millennials and eventually
Lynk-style service for commuting needs, and keep that special car for high Generation Z – stuff that they’ve grown up with. After all, recent studies have
days and holidays. With the cost savings from the lack of dealerships, the shown Millennials (those in the 22–37 age range in 2018), would rather give
monthly price of a base subscription is likely to be similar to a full-on home up their car than their smartphone. Which means that Lynk&Co might have
multimedia package – far short of a traditional hire-purchase or lease deal. hit the ground running at the perfect time. The future of car ownership? This
The kind of thing that would appeal to people who are shying away from just might be it. Even if you don’t actually own anything at all.

096 J U L Y 2 0 1 8 › TO P G E A R . C O M
LYNK&CO

Bland meets nondescript...


THIS IS THE FIRST TIME ANYONE HAS segmented features. Inside, it’s comfy, it’s a car that treads a line somewhere
officially driven a Lynk&Co 01 outside of dominated by a huge central screen in the back of the mind, trying not to
China, or indeed on a public road, and and otherwise inoffensive, with decent capture your attention with anything in
it’s in Sweden, with the weather looking quality and plenty of kit, even though particular. Which, I guess, is the point.
decidedly noir. There’s a depthless this car is an early import from the The much prettier 02 has already
nothing of cloud wrapped around the Chinese launch operation. been previewed, and a saloon is
horizon, the temperature is moderate- Suffice to say, it hasn’t got the same coming, though neither will be
to-cold, and I’m stood on a beach next clean, crisp vibe of its sister car, the particularly sporty. But again, this isn’t
to a pier wondering what to make of it. Volvo XC40, missing the Scandinavian the point; the Lynk&Co cars are, for the
It’s not actively ugly, but it does appear visual twang – inside and outside – that moment, simply carriers of technology
to have influences from across the might suit the situation better. Still, it and experience – the expansive
board – in fact, cover up the badges drives nicely enough, humming along flatscreen telly through which you
and you’d be hard-pressed to decide A- and B-roads. Its 188bhp, 2.0-litre enjoy other forms of entertainment.
where on earth it came from. petrol and 7spd auto are a bit coarse
There are some nice details, but under its admittedly limited accelerative
overall it’s a little... generic – a small, urge, pitched somewhere on the firmer
five-seat SUV with a front end that looks side of the Volvo median. It’s not a
like a cross between a Ferrari 599 and sports car, and it’s not particularly
Chevy Camaro, one stacked on top of satisfying to drive, which makes you feel
the other. Those top lights, by the way, like it might have been better pitched
aren’t the main headlights – they sit in at the soothing side of things.
the horizontal bar in the midsection. The The steering is light but ever-so-
proportions are mini-Cayenne, the rear slightly vague, and the same could also
lights another broad horizontal graphic, be said of the other control surfaces,
featuring strange, interesting little handling and general demeanour –

Welcome to the glorious future


of driving. Grey, overtall and
broadly forgettable

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 097
WHAT_
HAPPENS _
IF_ MY_CAR_
RUNS _OUT_ *
OF_ BATTERY?
SIX CRUCIAL EV QUESTIONS ANSWERED
W E L L , S E V E N I F YO U CO U N T T H I S O N E . . . FO R T H AT A N SW E R T U R N TO PAG E 78

WO R DS: PAU L H O R R E L L

098 J U L Y 2 0 1 8 › TO P G E A R . C O M
TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 099
NEVER_
MIND_THE_
ADVERTISED_
RANGE,_HOW_
WILL_MY_CAR_ FAR_WILL_I_
BATTERY_ REALLY_BE_
EVENTUALLY_
BRICK_ITSELF_ ABLE_TO_GO? HOW_
LIKE_A_PHONE_
QUOTED EV RANGE HAS BEEN BASED
on the same unrealistic EU test as petrol
and diesel cars. The advertised range on the
FAST_
CAN_I_
new, more honest WLTP test will be less, but

BATTERY_ you’ll have a better chance of achieving it.


Long journeys using fast chargers make
it worse. Say you have a “200-mile” (WLTP)

ALWAYS_DOES?
CHARGE?
EV. You start at home, with the battery
at 100 per cent. Driving on a motorway,
at 160 miles there’s a rapid-charge station.
AIN’T. GONNA. HAPPEN. TRUST US. The next one is 30 miles ahead, and who’d
Nissan has made 300,000 Leafs, and some are risk that? You stop.
now in their eighth year. The number globally This charging is only rapid up to about
that have had battery failure is… three. 80 per cent, and after that the battery tops ROUGHLY, DIVIDE THE USABLE BATTERY
Degradation too is a vastly overstated off more gently. OK, take it to 80 per cent, capacity by the charger power, plus about
problem. A few Leaf taxis in Japan have or 160 miles’ range. Set off again, and again 10 per cent for charger inefficiencies. Using
dropped to sub-80 per cent capacity, after feel compelled to stop when the indicator a household socket is desperate. It’s 3kW or
spending years being rapid-charged three says 40 miles. In that leg you’ve covered less, so more than 13 hours for a new Leaf;
times a day (brutal) and doing more than only 120 miles between charges of your 30 hours for the (84.7kWh usable, 90kWh
100,000 miles. Batteries degrade with the “200-mile” EV. gross) I-Pace.
number of discharge cycles, especially A home wallbox is about 7kW, and too
deep-discharge. Future cars, with longer many public charge points are the same – too
range, will be less prone, as their charging slow for big-battery cars. Some AC points do
frequency will inevitably fall. 22kW or even 43kW fast charging, although
The market is realising they’re reliable. many cars can’t accept that power and
Two years ago a friend of mine bought a throttle the intake. Check the car’s spec.
three-year-old Leaf. He paid £9,000. Today, DC ‘rapid’ charging bypasses the car’s
three-year-old Leafs of the same mileage on-board charger rectifier, but after 80 per
and spec are £12k. cent the rate tails off. Motorway outlets
Also, there’s a growing demand for used are 50kW, giving the new Leaf 80 per cent
car batteries for renewable-energy storage. charge in 40 minutes.
Those packs don’t need tip-top energy density: From next year, there will be some
it’s OK if they have, say, 70 per cent of their 150kW DC sites, and 350kW with Porsche’s
original capacity. ‘Turbocharging’, taking a flat Mission E to
So at the end of the car’s life, the battery 80 per cent in 15min. Tesla’s Supercharging
isn’t a hard-to-recycle liability. It’s an asset. is 120kW DC, for 0–80 in about 30mins.

10 0 J U L Y 2 0 1 8 › TO P G E A R . C O M
WHAT_
HAPPENS_
IN_A_FEW_ WHEN’S_
YEARS_ THIS_ALL_
WHEN_THE_
WILL_I_BE_ TAX_BREAKS_ GOING_TO_
ABLE_TO_FIND_A_
STATION_THAT_
FINISH? ACTUALLY_
HAS_MY_PLUG_
FIRST, THE £4,500 SUBSIDY FOR BUYING
an EV will go. Maybe quite soon. Fair enough,
as the car companies are finding ways to build TAKE_
HOLD?
and sell EVs more cheaply.

ON_IT_AND_THAT_ But running them is a different matter


altogether. Taking duty and VAT into account,
the tax on petrol and diesel is about 170 per

ACCEPTS_MY_ cent, raising a staggering £30 billion a year


for the Exchequer (schools, the NHS and the THE TRADITIONAL MANUFACTURERS

PAYMENT_ army). Electricity carries no duty, and VAT


of just five per cent. Clearly, then, when
EVs take hold, there’s going to be a serious
expect about a quarter of new cars sold will
be electric within six years. Merc says 30
per cent of its sales will be EV by 2025; so

SCHEME? revenue hole. It would be political suicide


to shift the burden to non-motoring taxes.
It’s likely to be added to the electricity
does the VW Group. VW (just the brand)
expects to do a million EVs a year by then.
There will be plenty of choice. The VW
FIRST, YOU NEED THE RIGHT CHARGE price, but only the electricity for the vehicle. Group is talking of 30 no-engine models by
lead and plug. For slow and ‘fast’ AC After all, EVs are highly connected. It would 2025. They’re modular, with economy of
charging, your cable will have a plug for your be pretty simple for them to report their scale bringing down prices.
car’s socket at one end (Type 1 or Type 2, energy use to your supplier, which would We’ll need a robust widespread charging
according to the car). The other end of your collect higher-rate tax on that electricity, while infrastructure, including maybe chargers on
cable is best to be Type 2, as that’s most taxing the electricity for the rest of your lamp-posts so people in towns who have to
public chargers. home use at the normal rate. park on the street can still charge overnight.
For rapid DC, there are three kinds. The Government has said no more
Nissan has a thing called CHAdeMo. Most new combustion cars sold by 2040, but
other cars, if they accept DC, have an extra full hybrids will still be allowed. Anyway,
two prongs on the Type 2 plug, called think of what’s happened in the past decade:
Combined Charging System or CCS. Tesla the only EV on sale here as 2008 began
uses a Type 2 plug for Superchargers, but the was the G-Wiz. We can’t begin to imagine
electronics are incompatible with the others. the possibilities in the next 22 years before
You can’t just turn up at a charge post that deadline.
and pay. Oh no. There are several different
national networks, plus local schemes. You
usually need to be a member, signed up in
advance, or download the relevant app, sign
up and top-up your account for pay as you go
charging. This takes careful planning and is
currently a total arse.
It’s being sorted, but only gradually.

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 101
DO NOT PANIC! The future might be
looking increasingly electric, but
Lambos will still be Lambos

WO R DS: C H A R L I E T U R N E R / PH OTO G R A PH Y: P H I L I P P R U P P R EC H T
TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 103
n an automotive landscape littered
with radical concept cars and
vapourware that’ll never see the light
of day, it would be easy to dismiss the

I Lamborghini Terzo Millennio as an


irrelevant flight of fancy. The fact that
the specification includes a yet-to-be-
invented supercapacitor, energy
storage in the carbon fibre through
the use of nanotechnology, self-healing bodywork and propulsion
by in-wheel motors doesn’t help make it feel any more realistic. But
dig below the headlines and there’s method in the madness.
Lamborghini has a problem. The future, whichever way you look
at it, is going to be electrified, and, for a supercar manufacturer
whose heritage lies in vocal V12s, there’s work to do to preserve
the brand for the next generation. While the arrival of the Urus
has helped give the V10 and V12 a stay of execution (it’s been
confirmed that both will live on in hybrid form in the Huracán and
Aventador replacements), the future vision for Lamborghini needs
to be defined for the brand to remain relevant in an EV world.
Seeking this definition, TG headed to Lambo HQ for exclusive
access to the Terzo Millennio and the team who commissioned it.
While the project is being driven out of Lamborghini’s home in
Sant’Agata, the team has enlisted the help of some people with
seriously large foreheads to help think beyond the current
understanding of automotive performance. Rather than take
centre stage at a motor show, the car was revealed at MIT
(Massachusetts Institute of Technology) on 6 November 2017,
and the relationship with MIT’s department of oversized crania
is at the core of some of the more radical thinking.
We head deep into the bowels of Centro Stile, Lamborghini’s
Area 51. The first thing that strikes me as I approach the Terzo is
its proportions. The super-aggressive cab-forward stance, which
tapers towards the rear, has a pugnaciousness that would give a
Ford GT an inferiority complex. Then it’s the height, or lack of it,
that intrigues. Clearly, the ridiculous track-focused ride height and
arch-cramming tyres help the Terzo’s stance, but it looks barely
possible to fit two full-sized people in there.
As you continue to circle it, trying to absorb those hypercar
design staples – flying buttresses, the tapered keel, a clever use
of negative space – you notice there’s also some familiarity in
certain areas that make it a realistic vision of a future generation
of Lamborghini. If a key part of the brief was to create a car to
occupy the bedroom walls of hypercar fans, as the Countach and
Aventador did before, then it’s job done. You’ll find evidence
of this on Mitja Borkert’s (Lambo’s head of design) Instagram
account: in images of it being deposited outside a local Bologna
school and being mobbed by enthusiastic seven-year-olds.
“I brought the car back here and asked if we could do a lap
around Sant’Agata. I wanted to photograph it in front of cool

10 4 J U L Y 2 0 1 8 › TO P G E A R . C O M
TERZO MILLENNIO

“It has a pugnaciousness


that would give a Ford GT
an inferiority complex”

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 105
“This car’s role is
about more than
shock and awe”

LAMBO WITCHCRAFT
1 SELF-HEALING BODYWORK
Leave your Terzo Millennio in
supermarket car parks without
fear. Any dings will magically heal

2 PANELS ARE BATTERY SYSTEM


No need for heavy battery packs,
ingenious bodywork allows
panels to store charge

3 VIRTUAL ASSISTANT
Computerised systems hold your
hand on circuits and make you
a bona fide driving god

4 ADJUSTABLE PLANES
How do you get your Lambo to
sound less droney than a Prius?
Turn it into a musical instrument

5 SUPERCAPACITOR
Able to hold up to 100 times
more power than a ‘normal’
battery. Now you’re talking

6 IN-WHEEL MOTORS
Lambo’s trademark 4WD,
but with infinite torque-
vectoring capability
TERZO MILLENNIO

places,” says Borkert. “One of the most enjoyable moments “We started to look at what’s available on the market
ever in my career was when we brought it out in front of the in terms of batteries, in terms of single cells, in terms of
school. All the kids were freaking out… it was super.” electric engines… and we discovered there was nothing
But this car’s role is about more than shock and awe, it’s a able to fulfil our wishes.
statement of intent to be a tech leader. Given we’re about to “So we started to discuss internally, if we had a project
deep dive into nanotechnology and I failed my physics GCSE, starting from scratch, a totally clean sheet of paper, was
we need an articulate guide. Fortunately, Lamborghini chief it possible to have a huge quantity of batteries without
technical officer Maurizio Reggiani is on hand. penalising the weight or packaging of the car? To restart our
“The project started from a discussion about way of thinking, we decided to head back to the laboratory,
electrification in Lamborghini, if Lamborghini could have because in the laboratory you are not contaminated by the
an electric car. The specification was clear: we needed to normal development process.”
be able to reach 300kph, but also complete three laps of Current trends see a new EV hypercar arriving every few
the Nordschleife. That means that you need not only a months that promises to propel its millionaire occupant
peak of power, but also an extensive range of high power. from 0–60mph faster than the internet eye candy of the
Why three laps? Because if you really made three hot laps previous creation. Look into the spec, and they’re all based
of the Nordschleife, you’d need to replace the tyres anyway,” around the same basic “skateboard” layout, a development
he says with a smile. of the technology as we understand it today, deployed in

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 107
“The ideas challenge conventional
thinking so dramatically it’s easy
to deride them as pure fiction”

Terzo’s bodywork will


create sound. This bit
plays ‘Barbie Girl’ by Aqua

“Doorhandles? Doorhandles?
Of course we remembered
to fit doorhan – damn”
TERZO MILLENNIO

everything from the Tesla Model 3 to the Aspark Owl. talk with you, to give to you feedback about what you can
Technology that Reggiani describes as “evolutionary, not achieve with the car, how far you are from best performance,
revolutionary”. The Terzo is designed to leapfrog the current and what you need to do in order to improve – a kind of
thinking in all aspects. So, with no traditional battery pack, autonomous supporter. This is our idea of autonomous driving.”
how and where do you store the energy? So while others are concentrating on autonomy to get you
The somewhat technically challenging answer is to use the home from the pub after a night out, Lambo’s virtual assistant
bodywork. By working with MIT, Lamborghini is exploring ways will be able to overlay your pitiful efforts around a track with
of using nanotechnology to thread millions of copper anodes and the absolutely optimal lap, then dial up the correct level of
cathodes into the carbon weave, turning every body panel into assistance to help you find your inner driving god.
part of the battery system. The three-year project with MIT is While this future-gazing technology pushes every element
focused on developing this radical new technology. According to of our current understanding, possibly the biggest challenge
Reggiani, MIT has already tested it successfully, so the task over for any current supercar manufacturer grappling with the EV
the remaining 18 months of the deal is to deliver a solution to put future is how to deliver a soundtrack worthy of the brand with
it into production. “The laboratory at MIT already proved it can precisely zero cylinders and no exhaust. The Terzo Millennio
work on a small scale,” Reggiani claims. “The big job now is in tackles this head-on. Not content with working on finessing the
what way we can industrialise it. In research, you have to be shaping of the e-motor’s drive gears to deliver a soundtrack (à la
flexible, to change the scope of the goal. It’s research and I-Pace), the team is currently in the process of signing another
innovation, not development.” soon-to-be announced deal to examine how to harness the
While it sounds fanciful, if MIT can deliver it, the technology airflow across the bodywork, using the form of the Terzo like
would be transformational. And the wizardry doesn’t stop a musical instrument. To heighten the sound and optimise the
there. The panels will also have self-healing properties – aerodynamics, the two air-separator planes on the side of the
an idea in development in the aerospace industry, where fuselage move subject to requirements.
a combination of nanotechnology and polymer chemistry As with most of the Terzo Millennio, the ideas challenge
actively repairs any small structural damage. our conventional thinking so dramatically that it’s easy to
Harnessing the body-panel energy and delivering the deride them as pure fiction. But every giant leap in automotive
target performance will require another huge leap forward technology has come from radical thinking. Until relatively
in technology. Again, Reggiani’s team is working with MIT to recently the thought of using a woven fabric of carbon fibre
develop a supercapacitor fit for purpose. The main advantages to create bodywork, let alone the whole chassis of a car,
of supercapacitors compared with standard batteries is their was fanciful; now it’s ubiquitous in the hypercar space. As
ability to store up to 100 times more energy, their capacity to Reggiani says, “I think the credibility of Lamborghini is to
accept and deliver charge much faster and to tolerate many look forward, not to look backward.” The Terzo Millennio
more charge and discharge cycles. In short, they’re lighter, looks a very long way down the road and, by doing so, by
more energy-dense and would meet the criteria set out for challenging every aspect of current EV thinking, Lamborghini
the Terzo Millennio’s three-lap max-attack assault on the is providing a fascinating insight into the future extremes of
’Ring. But use of the technology at this scale is in its infancy EV performance. If Lambo can deliver it, the future of the
in the automotive world, something Reggiani is keen to solve. supercar is in safe hands.
“We have this guy that has a brain 10 times bigger than my
brain. He’s looking into what exists today in the market and has
discovered something exceptional. To give an impression, what
we have found with MIT is an element that is able to deliver
4.5V, this means you can have three times more peak energy
[than current options] that you can use in every condition,”
says Reggiani with a glint in his eye. “I’m confident that this
will be possible by the end of this project.”
If you’re tackling battery technology and weight distribution
issues with nanotechnology circuitry, current drivetrain
technology must look positively arcane. The Terzo team’s
solution was to allow each of the wheels to be driven by an
in-wheel motor, allowing for individual torque-vectoring and
fly-by-wire steering, braking and acceleration. And there’s an
autonomy play too... but with a unique Lamborghini flavour.
Reggiani: “You buy a Lamborghini for yourself. I cannot
imagine somebody that buys a Lamborghini leaves a computer
to drive the car. What we want to do in a car like this is to
create a kind of human or virtual interface that is able to

Terzo features clever use of


negative space. Or ‘big ol’
holes’, as the rest of us say TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 109
1 TORQUE 2 CHARGING

KEY

Tesla Roadster

Rimac C_Two

TOP_TRUMPS
Two almost-real EV
hypercars clash in 10 WEIGHT 9 BATTERY

a war of numbers
we have no way n/a kg
Batteries are heavy though
200kWh
of verifying. Fight!
WO R DS: TO M H A R R I S O N /
I L LU S T R AT I O N : S E A N R O DW E L L 1,950kg 120kWh
4 INTERIORS

3 BRAKES

n/a but presumably


it will have some

390mm Minimal, with a


carbon-ceramic chopped Knight
Rider-style steering
wheels and big
central screen. Roof
panel lifts out, can
be stored in boot

No key – facial
recognition is
enough to unlock/
start the car, which
can also read your
mood. Stowage in the
back for two helmets

6 RANGE
620 miles*
403 miles (NEDC)

7 0–60 mph
Rimac’s claimed
0–100mph time is

1.9secs a tenth slower


than the Tesla’s.
One front,
two rear

1.85secs 4.2 plays 4.3…


*on the industry-standard MUSK CYCLE

5 MOTORS

8 POWER

“The new Tesla


Roadster will be
the fastest car ever
made, period. And
this is the base
model.” Musk, at
the car’s reveal Two on
each axle

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 111
Does Verstappen have the mixture of genetic advantage
and raw ability to own F1’s future podium?
WO R DS: JA S O N BA R LOW / P O RT R A I TS: DA R R E N H E AT H & V L A D I M I R RYS

11 2 J U L Y 2 0 1 8 › TO P G E A R . C O M
THE

I SS U E
THE

I SS U E

Max’s dad refused to buy


him a new pair of jeans until
he tidied his bedroom

11 4 J U L Y 2 0 1 8 › TO P G E A R . C O M
MAX VERSTAPPEN

In Malcolm Gladwell’s when he first sat in a kart, began competing when


he was seven. “My dad had a karting team. My
friend, still one of my best friends now, was three
2008 book Outliers: when he started. I saw him on the track, and said,
‘I want to do that.’ My dad was still in F1 at the
The Story of Success, time, so I asked him. He said, ‘Wait until you’re
six.’ I started crying and didn’t stop for days and

the author attempts days, until my mum called him and said, ‘I think
we need to buy him a kart now.’”

to decode high The precocity was quickly rewarded.


“I definitely got the genes, and the karting
went well,” Verstappen says with masterful
achievement. understatement. “But that’s no guarantee because
we’ve seen many karting talents drop away, or guys
How much is down to natural aptitude versus opportunity repeatedly knocking? who weren’t that good in karts excel in cars. It’s
He cites two prime examples: The Beatles and Bill Gates, both of whom surfed tricky. But I always had the right guidance. My dad
to gargantuan success off the back of a unique confluence of possibilities. But was hard on me; I had to help clean and maintain
they also racked up 10,000 hours of hard graft. Nobody is born a genius. the karts – it wasn’t a playground, you know? He
You might want to add Max Verstappen to the list. He remains the knew what it took to become an F1 driver, so I think
youngest driver in history to start a grand prix, and also the youngest to win he was preparing me for that from a very young age,
one. When Red Bull promoted him from Toro Rosso to the A-team in 2016, even if I didn’t like it much in the beginning.”
just four races into the season, what looked like a calculated leap of faith No pain, no gain. Verstappen’s gifts saw him
was immediately repaid by that debut win. win 68 out of 70 kart races he took part in, regularly
There were two more victories, in Malaysia and Mexico in 2017, but it trouncing older kids.”My dad kept telling me, ‘You
was Verstappen’s drive through the field from 14th to third place in the 2016 know there will be a moment where somebody will
Brazilian GP that had even the most phlegmatic observers falling over their beat you.’ And I always thought, ‘How will that feel?’
superlatives. In biblically awful conditions, he was conjuring grip where none There was a race where I came second, when I went
seemed to exist. If Senna and Schumacher are Formula One’s greatest off the track and came back… it didn’t feel nice, I can
outliers, this was surely Verstappen’s application to join the club. tell you. But it had to happen.”
Of late, though, he’s looked less celestial. Verstappen weathered his Red Inevitable it may have been, a regular
Bull’s unreliability last year, but compounded a luckless streak with some occurrence it was not. Max was a prodigy. School?
dodgy moves of his own. F1’s future boy suddenly looked vulnerable. TopGear “Boring,” he says.
is meeting Verstappen four hours before qualifying for the Azerbaijan GP; the But surely he missed out on things… a normal
next day, he and team-mate Daniel Ricciardo will commit the cardinal sin of childhood interrupted. “No. No. [firmly] For me,
crashing into each other. This lap 40 contretemps was precipitated by a snarky, what I loved was being at the track. Being at school
wheel-banging race-long battle, and left both drivers looking uncharacteristically meant being trapped. It’s a big risk to step out of
diminished. Now F1’s best driver pairing are really digging deep. education, of course, but luckily it worked out.”
Rewind. Max, it turns out, matches his on-track confidence with an easy- I ask Jos Verstappen how he would have
going manner some way short of the blunt self-possession you might expect. reacted if his son had suddenly lost interest and
He’s still only 20, already into his fourth F1 season, but is less guarded than gone down the pub. The former Benetton and
Lewis, more genuine than Vettel, infinitely more engaged than Räikkönen, Arrows F1 driver, and a man not renowned for his
and easier to read than Alonso. To name but four. He and Ricciardo have infinite patience, almost snorts with derision.
been on a sponsor ‘activation’ in Lada Nivas, in Gobustan National Park.
Verstappen still actually enjoys this stuff. “There were a few moments where
they couldn’t see what we were doing, and we were flat-out,” he remembers.
“I had Daniel right beside me, and we were drifting the cars. Sometimes
when you go back to basics – it’s really fun. It’s old-school shifting, and I
grew up basically only driving automatics, but it was good fun.”
Are you saying you don’t know how to drive a manual?
“I do, I do. I just don’t really do it very often. So the first 10 metres I’m Max was rendered
thinking, ‘Oh, I do still remember how to do it…’ Then it comes back to me.” speechless by Jason’s
shadow puppet medley
The son of ex-F1 driver Jos Verstappen and Belgian karting star Sophie
Kumpen, Max was never going to become an accountant. He was just four

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 115
MAX VERSTAPPEN

“I would have been disappointed. But he was in love with motor racing, – everybody has an opinion. [calmly] At the end of
so I never really had to think about it.” From running his own kart team, Jos the day, it doesn’t make me sleep less.”
soon realised what he had on his hands and turned his attentions exclusively For his part, Jos is even more resolute than
to his son. For any ambitious parent – or indeed child – it’s proof that the his son. “I like Max’s style – he’s a fighter. For me,
path to outlier-dom is tough; everything else is left simmering on a distant he doesn’t need to change. Lately, it’s a bit more
back burner. “I was only interested in motor racing. I didn’t really care about difficult. But he’s very cool about it. ‘This is how
the rest,” Verstappen Snr says. “I was always racing with him – my social life I am, this is how I race.’ He’s right. And I think
was basically not there. I was his mechanic, van driver, engine tuner, seven the luck will turn.”
days a week. It was more like a job, 8am until 10pm, I was hardly at home. I Max insists he’s generally “quite calm, relaxed”.
think I made more sacrifices, preparing everything.” So he wouldn’t have responded the way Vettel did
So while Max might still be young, the pressure of F1 is of little consequence. in last year’s race in Baku [he smacked wheels with
Genetic predisposition is one thing, but the self-belief comes from some other Lewis Hamilton]? “Those things can just happen
place. “I just jump in the car and go as fast as I can. The mental thing, it comes very quickly. That’s a four-time world champion.
naturally. I don’t need to think about which state of mind I need to be in when I You suddenly lose it, driving on the limit, in heated
get into the car. As soon as you get your helmet on, you get into a different zone.” moments, as a person it can be on/off sometimes.
Ross Brawn always credited Michael Schumacher with an amazing ability I don’t think it’s a bad temper – it’s a desire to win.
to race with a big chunk of mental capacity in reserve. “That depends on the He was very motivated to win, and he thought
situation you’re in,” Max says quickly. “If you’re in a car that’s a second faster Lewis had brake-tested him and destroyed his race.”
than the others, you can play ping pong on the back straight. When you have that We talk about his Aston Martin DB11 (“It has
margin compared to the others, you can drive at 90 per cent and still be faster. If orange stitching on the seats and orange brake
your car is a bit slower than the best one, you have to work harder to get close.” calipers”), and the Porsche 911 GT3 RS he also
I wonder if he’s drawing on some extra mental strength right now, given owns, not a car your average 20-year old has access
his current dip in fortunes. Isn’t this when we all find out what he’s really to (“The insurance bill is not nice,” he admits). His
made of, himself included? He shuts that one down instantly. eyes still widen when I ask him to describe how
“I wouldn’t call it a dip. If it’s a dip, you’re just slow. Every year so far I’ve an F1 car feels. “In a fast corner, you think at first,
been improving in terms of pace. Looking at every race I’ve been very quick, ‘No, this isn’t possible.’ It’s fascinating how the car
just a bit unlucky with the result or the outcome of an incident. Of course, sticks to the track. Even when you go down in fuel
you learn from those things, and I always try to find the positive. We’ve been by 30kg, the difference on turn-in is incredible.”
quick. That’s the most important aspect. The other thing is an easy fix.” The glimmer of the karting kid is suddenly
Has anyone asked him just to… back off a bit? visible. The talent, though, is transcendent. Jos
“I definitely don’t need to be a hero in every move, but that’s also not Verstappen, taskmaster, mentor and father,
my intention. Some of what’s happened, like in China for example, will make remembers watching in the Red Bull garage,
me a better driver. The thing is, I knew how to do it last year, I knew how in Interlagos, in 2016.
to do it the year before… at the moment it’s just not working out for me. It “I had seen it before, in a kart. But to do it
doesn’t mean I need to change.” in an F1 car, in very difficult circumstances…
Mention that stellar drive in Brazil, and his reply is bracingly honest. “It I was wondering why other drivers didn’t try
was good, but luck was also involved. It was 50/50. I look like a hero now, but other lines. But it’s a gift to know where to go,
there could have been a shunt, and people would have said, ‘What a waste.’ to look for the grip, having the feeling. When we
Now, so far this year, I’m on the other 50 per cent. This year just hasn’t worked were karting, if it started to rain, everyone else
for me, like the move on Lewis in Bahrain. That could have been, ‘What a hero, was packing up, but I put the rain tyres on. We
I overtook Lewis Hamilton.’ In China, I made a miscalculation. There are walked on the track, and he learned so much. He’s
things that are on the fine edge between being brilliant or… loser. It can be like confident, in himself, in the car, with his braking.
that in racing. You have these keyboard warriors criticising you, and it’s fine Taken altogether, he’s very special.”

5 OTHER FUTURE F1 STARS

Charles Leclerc Lando Norris George Russell Giuliano Alesi Jack Aitken
Reigning F2 McLaren’s test and This Norfolk-born F2 Son of former Ferrari This London-born
champion, his pace reserve driver, his frontrunner is part of driver Jean, Alesi British-Korean was
in the Alfa Romeo- path to F1 has a Merc-AMG’s young is a Ferrari Driver recently announced
Sauber suggests a Lewis-esque feel to driver programme, Academy graduate as third and reserve
promotion to Ferrari it – he’s the youngest and is also Force (like Leclerc) and driver for Renault’s
could be on for 2019 ever karting champ India’s test driver making waves in GP3 F1 squad

11 6 JOUCLTYO 2B 0E1R8 2› T0O 1P 7G E ›A TRO. CP OG ME A R . C O M


THE

I SS U E

Four reasons why


Formula E isn’t as
boring as you think
WO R DS: TO M H A R R I S O N

1 Next year’s batteries can store almost twice as much


THE NEW CARS LOOK FABULOUS

energy as this year’s, so drivers will be able to power


through an entire race without having to stop midway
to swap cars. But racing without pitstops is tedious, so
FE’s bosses are busy thinking up ways to keep them, even
though super durable Michelin tyres and those batteries
mean they won’t be strictly necessary. Power is up to
around 335bhp in qualifying trim, giving a 174mph top
speed and 0–62mph in 2.8secs.

2 Audi, Jaguar, and DS already compete in FE, while


THERE ARE SOME BIG NAMES COMING IN

Mercedes, BMW, Porsche and Nissan have all joined


up for 2019. Whether it’s the comparatively low cost
of competing in this series versus other forms of
international motorsport or the potential for marketing
and developing their commercially available EV tech,
having so many big names lining up to enter can only
be a good thing for the spectators and sport alike.

3 You’ve heard of Felipe Massa. He’s signed a three-


THE DRIVERS HAVE BIG NAMES, TOO

year contract with the Venturi FE team, and in doing


so has become the latest in a long line of quite serious
drivers to eschew internal combustion. Nick Heidfeld,
André Lotterer, Lucas di Grassi, Nico Prost, Séb Buemi,
Neel Jani and Kamui Kobayashi have all competed in
FE. Good drivers equals good racing. In theory.

4 Quite literally, in some cases. Whereas F1 tends


IT’S ON YOUR DOORSTEP

towards sprawling, extra-urban circuits that require


a concerted effort to get to, FE sets up shop in the
very centre of major cities. They’ve raced in London,
Hong Kong, Paris, Berlin, Rome and New York among
others, bringing motorsport to a newer, supposedly
younger audience. The kind of people who don’t
see Fan Boost as an affront to the concept of fair
and proper competition.
AUDI E-TRON VGT
Your eyes do not deceive
you – the computer game
racer has come to life...
WO R D S : O L L I E M A R R I AG E /
P H OTO G R A P H Y: R OWA N H O R N C A S T L E

THE

I SS U E
Anyway, a power-to-weight ratio of 562bhp/
tonne puts this in the McLaren 720S league, and
Audi claims a 0–62mph time of 2.5secs. Neuberg
test track near Ingolstadt suits it well – lots of slow corners
for the e-motors to deliver instant shove out of, which they do
with a smooth, pin-you-back surge. But as we’ve found with
other such electric cars, after the initial punch of pace, the
acceleration starts to tail off.
That’s fine, because any more acceleration could have been
troubling. The ceramic brakes need real heat to work properly,
and on more than one occasion in the first few laps, I’m glad

around, but it’s a one-off. It’ll accompany the Formula E circus


around the world and then it’ll be off to gather dust somewhere.
But in the land of pixels and fast-twitch thumbs, the Audi
e-tron Vision Gran Turismo has a much richer life. One where
it can be bought for a million credits and raced against all the that those fat slicks have good bite into corners that I’ve
other virtually engineered cars from the likes of Bugatti, Hyundai, arrived at faster than intended. The front end may bite well,
Mercedes, Infiniti, Subaru et al, competing on amazing tracks in but there’s not a great deal of tactility or feedback. It’s all a
outlandish scenescapes. bit one-dimensional – again, it’s a one-off, so I doubt Audi
We’ve seen these VGT cars before. The difference is that has poured that much resource into it.
this is the first real-world Vision Gran Turismo car that shares Unlike the virtual car. The man driving the e-tron before me
an exact mechanical package with the car in the game. It’s was Kazunori Yamauchi. Yes, him, Mr Gran Turismo, “We’ve
all-electric, three motors (one on the front axle, two on the rear), never had an EV with a single front motor and twin motors at
each developing 272bhp for a combined 815bhp. Steel space-frame the back in the game before” he says. “So we had to adapt and
chassis, hefty battery packs, 1,450kg kerbweight. It’s padded out engineer our systems and, with 1,000 parameters to code, that
with various motorsport bits (DTM ceramic brakes and steering took about a year of work. And I have a feeling this isn’t the end
wheel, fat 305-width slick tyres) that lend it an air of credibility, of the e-tron – it might evolve further.”
while the batteries and motors are from, well, Koch won’t say: “All But only in the game. Where, it turns out, Audi hasn’t turned
I can tell you is that they’re from our development programme, its back on the internal combustion engine. There’s also a hybrid
not our Formula E car.” I doubt the VGT will have a secondary Audi VGT, featuring a 3.4-litre V6 and twin e-motors for a
life as a future tech test bed, but it does at least talk to Audi’s maximum power of 1,274bhp. More powerful. Needless to say
electric plans for the future (the e-tron lands this summer) that’s the one Luke had a go in. He was still right about the way
with tech that links the actual world with the virtual. it drives, though.

12 0 J U L Y 2 0 1 8 › TO P G E A R . C O M
AUDI E-TRON VGT
Spec your e-tron with ‘pallid
flesh’ steering wheel for that
sinister interior vibe!

Mr Grand Turismo. Or
Kazunori Yamauchi
to his friends
All-new TVR Griffith: the rebirth of a legend More aero than a plane – the 789bhp McLaren Senna
Aston Martin Vantage deep in the mountains of Morocco 911 GT3 vs R8 RWS in Snowdonia
Drag racing in the Dodge Demon Building a Bugatti Chiron

Also available for digital download


EDITED BY OLLIE KEW

TopGear’s long-term cars. Tested & verified

130Hennessey
Mustang

125 Skoda Karoq 127 VW Arteon 128 Porsche 718 132 Nissan GT-R
The Yeti’s replacement is in our garage As is a very swish Volkswagen But it’s back to Stuttgart with the Cayman And goodbye to the beast from the East
TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 123
July I 2018

You can’t
hurry love
Hello
BMW M5
£89,645 OTR/£101,900 as tested

OLLIE MARRIAGE

wo weeks after the M5 arrived an extrovert, this new M5. That’s the had a drive on this tiny, twisty road. And

T I took it to the Lake District.


This was an important
Merc-AMG E63. In this one you have to
want it to play before it’ll wake up. So all
it was a revelation. The engine packs such
a massive, instant punch, the 8spd auto
moment. Up until that point I’d been aware of for two weeks was that gearbox is remarkably snappy and, above
I’d spent a lot of time in it, but it had all the ride was a bit busy to be genuinely all, the body control is rock solid, fabulous.
been on motorways. To South Wales, down effortless and the Pirelli P Zeros kick up a Until that point I’d seen the M5 as a
to Exmoor to help out on last issue’s Fiesta little more noise than a 530d, but I wasn’t destroyer of autobahns; now I see it’s so
ST test, up to Liverpool to catch a flight to complaining because I had massage seats much more than that. Before it arrived,
the Isle of Man. One and a half thousand and soft-close doors. I’d been concerned because I wasn’t that
miles calmly done, but not much evidence This had made me a bit confused. excited about it. Ridiculous, I know, but
of personality, no real justification for the Why save a kilo with a carbon roof, only I saw it as too big, too heavy, just another
hefty £89,645 price tag (£101,900 with to throw every heavy, techy, luxury toy at autobahn barge. Now the next few months
options, making this a six-figure super- it? Answer: because BMW needed the M5 are looking considerably brighter.
saloon), no real idea of what happens when to look somehow different to a regular
you uncork 600bhp of 4WD M5. 5-Series and it wasn’t prepared to go to
What had happened? Why was the M5
not straining at the leash? Because it’s not
the expense of altering the bodywork.
They did on the M3 I ran a few years back,
SPECIFICATION
4395cc, V8 twin-turbo, RWD,
and that looked utterly terrific, had proper M1 button is passport
591bhp, 553lb ft
stance. New M5, not so much. BMW to instant driving 26.9mpg, 241g/km CO2
knows it’s a gentleman’s express, hence satisfaction. Good
0–62mph in 3.4secs, 155mph
the toy count. And the unobtrusiveness.
1855kg
And that’s how I’d been using it. But
then, late one starry night, M5 and I came TESTER’S NOTES One good drive and
across the A592 Kirkstone Pass. I pressed the M5 comes alive. Next month: more
the so-far-unpressed cherry red M1 button good drives must happen.

on the steering wheel (Sport dampers,


Sport Plus engine, Comfort steering) and MILEAGE: 4107 OUR MPG: 21.9

124 J U L Y 2 0 1 8 › TO P G E A R . C O M
Time to Karoq
Hello
Skoda Karoq
£28,415/£29,270 as tested

OWEN NORRIS

Put a
’Ring on it
Report 2
Hyundai i30N
£42,897/£52,435

STEPHEN DOBIE

ars developed for the

“C Nürburgring don’t
work on the road.”
Words probably all too
familiar, but they’re nonsense. This
month I’ve driven the i30N, whose
N stands for Nürburgring, back-to- he Yeti is dead! Long live heat-insulated glass to stop the kids
back with the Toyota Yaris GRMN,
whose N stands for… well, the same. T the Karoq. We loved the Yeti
at TG Towers. I remember
overheating, a double-sided boot mat and
rubbish bin. The other option of note is
In short, these are the two most the original concept; I loved a front passenger seat ISOFIX (£35).
boisterous hot hatches currently on the Tonka-toy looks and bug-eyed front Essential? I’ll report back what’s worth
sale. Yes, they ride firmly, but they end. It screamed utility. having later, but the one thing my kids liked
still soak up the worst of our roads So we welcome the Karoq with cautious more than any other were the fold-out tables
more than well enough. optimism. Has it retained the soul of its on the seat-backs. Easily pleased, my two.
Their best facet, though, is that predecessor? First impressions say not – We’ve got the peppy 1.5-litre petrol
they’re huge fun to drive. While it looks a VW Group copy-and-paste job – with DSG powering us along, and on my
honed on the circuit they’re named but maybe it’ll surprise me once I know it. first drive I noted that the relationship
after, neither was developed to set Our car is a top-of-the-range Edition 19in alloys come with
between throttle input and ’box is
a lap record there. Thus their limits spec, which comes packed with stuff. The the Edition spec. inconsistent, so sometimes we lurch away
are genuinely approachable, and choice features for me are the 19in Crater Nearly fill the arches with a nod of the head. Not ideal. Let’s see
they’re able to thrill whether you’re alloys that look so much better than any if that loosens up with some miles.
negotiating Mini Karussell or a mini other wheels available, smart green metallic I need to find out what a Karoq is now.
roundabout. Myth busted. paint, a huge 9.2in touchscreen, chrome Sounds like a Moroccan footballer to me.
roof rails, electric boot, LED adaptive
headlights and a panoramic sunroof.
SPECIFICATION Options we’ve gone for include the
family pack (£120), which includes rear
SPECIFICATION
1998cc, 4cyl turbo, 1498cc, 4cyl turbo,
FWD, 271bhp, 279lb ft FWD, 148bhp, 184lb ft
39.8mpg, 163g/km CO2 50.4mpg, 127g/km CO2

0–62mph in 6.1secs, 155mph 0–62mph in 8.6secs, 126mph

1429kg 1475kg

TESTER’S NOTES The i30N has digital TESTER’S NOTES We loved the Yeti
and analogue speedos. Their readouts so we’ll love the Karoq, right? Let’s
differ by about five per cent. Oops. find out with a thorough TG test.

MILEAGE: 3102 OUR MPG: 28.6 MILEAGE: 2580 OUR MPG: 35.6

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 125
July I 2018

Feeling
deflated
Ready Report 2
Citroen C3 Aircross
to deploy £18,845 OTR/£21,975

Report 4 ESTHER NEVE


Mercedes E350d AT
£58,880 OTR/£61,260 as tested
ne hundred and ten

TOM FORD O pounds. Yup... another


car, another puncture.
And £110 is the
replacement cost, but that’s because
I replaced like with like. There are
hings are picking up pace Mercedes catalogue used on base models. many cheaper options, so you could

T with the Mercedes E-Class


All-Terrain (Project E-AT)
Painted black, they look chunky and
useful, though polarising in design.
be looking at as little as £55 per
corner, which is good news if, like
in readiness for a little On the custom roofrack are mounted me, you seem to pick up punctures
adventure, so I should probably bring you four large PIAA LED 180mm spots, like other people pick up morning
up to speed. First, we’re going on a bear arranged in an homage to the Red Sow newspapers. Or Penguins.
hunt (with cameras, not rifles) on the AMG SEL 300 6.8, while two rectangular In other, non-puncture related,
Eastern Estonian /Russian border fairly LED floods support the front illumination news, the C3 Aircross has seen its
soon. This involves a large ancient forest and a series of worklights are dotted fuel consumption figures improve
and many muddy tracks, though not around the circumference. Also mounted to 39.8mpg. This is probably thanks
hardcore off-roading, hence the BF on the roof is a pair of 20-litre jerry cans, to my commute including many
Goodrich All-Terrains and pair of spares various tools (pickaxe, mattock, etc), a more motorway miles and fewer
– one on the roof and one in the back. ladder and jack. Inside the dropped boot stop-start trips across London.
Larger sidewalls necessitated a smaller floor is a motorhome leisure battery and Hopefully, the economy will even
wheel, though no less than 18 inch, thanks split-charge system (designed to enable out again and improve further –
to the AT’s large brakes, so I went with a silent camera charging), as well as an it’d be good to see if we can get a
little-known aero wheel from a German on-board compressor, power inverters and bit nearer the stated mpg.
Meant for a mission, small espresso maker. And yes, there is a
inspired by the Red
Sow. Be amazed...
minibar. I’ll reveal where in due course,
SPECIFICATION but for now, I need to go and stop the
tyres rubbing…
SPECIFICATION
2987cc, V6 turbodiesel, 1199cc,3cyl turbo petrol,
AWD, 258bhp, 457lb ft FWD, 128bhp, 151lb ft
41.5mpg, 179g/km CO2 53.3mpg, 119g/km CO2

0–62mph in 6.2secs, 155mph 0–62mph in 10.4secs, 124mph


I M AG E S :JA M E S A R B U C K L E

2010kg 1188kg

TESTER’S NOTES Bespoke roof rack TESTER’S NOTES Puncture sorted


looks properly cool and fits with my – quick and easy thanks to online
adventuremobile plans. ordering. Let’s hope this is the last.

MILEAGE: 5540 OUR MPG: 31.5 MILEAGE: 2100 OUR MPG: 39.8

12 6 J U L Y 2 0 1 8 › TO P G E A R . C O M
Art nouveau
Hello
Volkswagen Arteon
£40,305 OTR/£47,810 as tested

JASON BARLOW

he Golf is the universal that it gets a new name. But it is the CC’s leather seats, with ‘carbon optic’ side

T answer to about 90 per cent


of all motoring questions,
new identity that underlines fresh flagship
aspirations. The Arteon has VW’s new face,
bolsters. The Dynaudio ‘Confidence’
soundpack is a £1,010 option.
yet as a brand Volkswagen a look that stops short of Lexus’s wildly It’s a big car (4.8m long), with a huge
wilfully fails to get the blood pumping. overcooked ‘spindle grille’ but still manages rear compartment uncompromised by the
(Unless you are an American corporate to dodge tedious pedestrian-protection- sloping roofline (no doubt with an eye on
lawyer, but we’ll leave the ongoing dictated homogeneity. I reckon they’ve the Chinese market, where rear space
rumble of Dieselgate to one side for now.) landed on something truly distinctive. The denotes premium). This undermines its
The Arteon is the result of VW’s Grail-like bonnet is a big clamshell number, and the enthusiasm for what old people used to
quest for soul. We know that the sum of wheelarches take a satisfying bite out of it. Maybe there is a
call ‘press-on’ driving, but it has no end
its parts is pretty damn good – it’s a There’s a rising swage line, a nicely place for the diesel of grip. Great economy, too: the computer
Volkswagen – but can the Arteon be abbreviated fastback, and if the Arteon car after all... regularly shows 50mpg-plus despite its
greater than that? A perfect candidate concludes less imaginatively than it begins, weight. Diesel, y’see.
for the TG Garage treatment, then. overall it’s a very solid job.
Let’s start with its design. VW is so keen Happily, we got to spec the car, and
to distance it from the Passat CC – a car I
always thought really well proportioned –
although we don’t always end up ticking
every box, allowed ourselves to be nudged
SPECIFICATION
1968cc, 4cyl turbo, AWD,
in the direction of the range-topping 237bhp, 368lb ft
2.0-litre BiTDI 4Motion, in R-Line trim. 47.9mpg, 152g/km CO2
Turmeric Yellow is the colour Volkswagen’s 0–62mph in 6.5secs, 152mph
designers favour, and it’s also the least
1828kg
conservative. So we went for black (better
for resale, unsurprisingly). I wish we’d been TESTER’S NOTES VW tilts for
braver: at least we’d have avoided what premium glory with elongated
one wag described, rather unkindly, as the fastback, TG goes looking for its soul.

Uber Premium look. The 19in Montevideo


alloys are standard, as are the Nappa MILEAGE: 2340 OUR MPG: 46.7

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 127
July I 2018

Cayman Tom Harrison: What’s our Cayman


doing there? Have you gate-crashed some
sort of historic race meeting?

Go Stephen Dobie: A little bit. As a final


hurrah before the 718 left, I thought I’d
prove that four-cylinder Porsches are
Goodbye neither new nor anything to worry
Porsche 718 Cayman about. The 924 GTP and 356 racers you
£42,897 OTR/ see here both use four-cylinder engines,
£52,435 as tested yet still get an invite to the Goodwood
Members’ Meeting. Therefore any
STEPHEN DOBIE complaints about our Cayman being
& TOM HARRISON a flat-four are lazy or irrelevant. It’s a Porsche, seemed like a far more constructive
TH: Um, thank you. But my issue isn’t reader, but not comparison. Downsized turbo engines
as we know it...
that our Cayman is a flat-four. It’s that have made it to every performance car
it used to be a flat-six, and TopGear outside of top-end Italian exotica, so we
lore dictates that more is always better. just have to learn to love them. And, hey,
Porsche giveth and Porsche taketh away. 924s like the one below raced at Le Mans.
SD: Well, yes. Parking the 718 alongside If four cylinders was enough for them…
the last-gen Cayman would have teed up TH: I’ve learnt to tolerate it, but having
a foregone conclusion, which is why this experienced the old flat-six Cayman,

1 28 J U L Y 2 0 1 8 › TO P G E A R . C O M
I don’t think I’ll ever be able to love driving position make it a comfortable definitely stick with the standard manual
this one. Performance isn’t the issue – thing to do distance in. We haven’t had gearbox, as it’s superb, and until the
it’s plenty fast enough – but its whole any other issues though, right? Alpine A110’s arrival there wasn’t a more
character feels forced, a bit cynical. SD: Nope. The dashboard developed fun or involving chassis for £50k, either.
SD: It’s disappointing the 718 is not more a slight rattle towards the end, but As an ownership experience, still nothing
economical, I’ll admit. It’s averaged that’s it. You could probably fix the comes close to a Cayman for this money.
around 30mpg, and past experience tyre noise (and save £1,767) by binning Yes, even with a four-cylinder engine.
suggests the old flat-six would have the optional 20in wheels of our car and
still done high 20s. Porsche presumably Standard seats
sticking with the standard 18s or adding
downsized to lower its emissions, but it’s less pricey 19s. It wouldn’t have such
SPECIFICATION
PHOTOGRAPHY: GARY HAWKINS & MARK RICCIONI

comfier and lower


little greener or cheaper to run in real than optional buckets amazing stance, mind.
1988cc, flat-four turbo,
life. Which is a shame, because the rest TH: It looks fantastic, doesn’t it? RWD, 296bhp, 280lb ft
of the car is so ridiculously easy to live The spec is great, but I think I’d add 38.2mpg, 168g/km CO2
with. Superb interior, loads of bootspace. cruise control and the Sport Chrono 0–62mph in 5.1secs, 171mph
TH: It’s a much more efficient piece of pack, because I’m a tart and quite like
1410kg
design than a Jag F-Type. The one thing the stopwatch. But otherwise it’s spot-
that’s really irked me, mind, is road noise. on, even if it is a base Cayman. TESTER’S NOTES The flat-four isn’t
At 70mph there’s so much tyre roar you SD: I prefer the base 2.0-litre to the 2.5 as soulful. But that doesn’t stop the
have to turn the stereo right the way up, in the Cayman S and GTS. It sounds and Cayman being fantastic to live with.
just so you can hear what you’re playing. feels more natural, and 300bhp is a good
A shame, because the ride quality and amount for a British B-road. You should MILEAGE: 13,119 OUR MPG: 30.5

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 129
July I 2018

Shock and awe


Hello
Ford Mustang
$64,740

ROWAN HORNCASTLE

een viewers of TopGear Now, you’re probably aware that But think of this Mustang as triple-

K TV may recognise our latest


TopGear Garage recruit. It’s
the Mustang is now on sale as a right
hooker in the UK for the first time
distilled, as having been to Shelby after
Ford, it’s then been to a corrugated
the same Ford Mustang that in history. But you can’t get this one shed in Texas to be massaged by John
Matt opted for last series to take part in in the UK. Being a GT350 R, it’s Hennessey. Now an ‘HPE850’ GT350 R,
a triple-header across the States in order Shelby’s America-only hardcore there’s a new 2.9-litre supercharger,
to celebrate the sheer wonder that is the track-focused road racer. upgraded fuel injectors, a carbon-fibre
V8 engine. And now, somehow, it’s in our It’s got a unique flat-plane crank induction kit, a light engine remap and
garage in west London. Magic. 5.2-litre V8 codenamed Voodoo. Yes, a handful of other tweaks to take it to
This isn’t any Mustang, though. It’s Voodoo. How cool is that? Stock, it 858bhp and 673lb ft. Which is a lot.
a Mustang GT350 R. But not just any churns out 526bhp and 429lb ft of And did we mention it’s also one of the
Ford Mustang GT350 R. Oh no. A Ford torque as it rips around to an ear- angriest and loudest cars on the planet?
Eight hundred and fifty
Mustang GT350 R tuned by a man shredding 8,250rpm. Compared with No? Well, more on that next month.
eight horses shod in
called John Hennessey, that tune being the milder GT350, the back seats, semi-slicks. Giddy-up
approximately 850bhp. Which we’ll boot carpet, side glass, spare wheel
have to deal with in the wet. In the
UK. On semi-slick tyres. Yee-haw!
and most soundproofing have been
ditched, shaving a total of 59kg. Plus,
SPECIFICATION
5163cc, V8 s’charged,
there are special carbon-fibre wheels, RWD, 858bhp, 673lb ft
saving over 7kg per corner. That’s 32.1mpg, 200g/km CO2
all unsprung mass, too, which does 0–60mph in 3.3secs, n/a mph
wonders for ride and handling, but
1655kg
it’s a pricey fix if carbon meets kerb.
A £3,000-a-corner kinda pricey. But TESTER’S NOTES Our new exchange
the front rims are coated in the same student is loud, brash and quite the
ceramic plasma arc spray as the Space handful. Can it work on our roads?

Shuttle’s engine turbine blades, which


is military-grade Top Trumps ammo. MILEAGE: 9193 OUR MPG: 16.8

13 0 J U L Y 2 0 1 8 › TO P G E A R . C O M
Report 4
Honda Civic Type R

Browse the online Type R forums


and its squealing, shrieking brakes
occupy most complaint threads.
TG’s car’s Brembo stoppers yodel in
damp or cold weather or in traffic.
Honda says it’s a side effect of the
pad compound. So why don’t our
M5’s or Mustang’s brakes have the
same issue? Or any fast car I’ve
driven since the old Type R? OK

Report 3
Jaguar F-Pace
Ioniq order
Hello
Hyundai Ioniq
£29,295 OTR/£29,860 as tested

SAM PHILIP

The Jaguar’s boot is supposed to


power-open if you approach with am most excited about testing While the Ioniq isn’t a sporty drive
the key in your pocket and wave
your foot under the back bumper. I a plug-in hybrid, as I have
nowhere to plug it in. Hear me
by any means, I’m greatly enjoying the
sensation of whoosh-zooming silently
It’s an increasingly common feature. out. Like, I suspect, a whole lot through town on battery power alone,
Basically, it means that you stand of people for whom electric power should without the range anxiety of a true EV.
there doing some ungainly make sense, I don’t have a driveway. But And greatly enjoying reading ‘100mpg’ on
Dad-dance hokey-cokey at in every other regard, a plug-in fits the bill: Oh dear, slipping the dash. And yes, I know measuring petrol
beneath 100mpg. Must
the roadside. It’s idiotic, and a I do a stack of urban commuting, perfect economy in a petrol-electric car is basically
be giving it the beans...
preposterous decadence. PH for electric, but need something that’ll get a meaningless figure, and I could get
down to Cornwall without hours of breaks infinite economy by leaving it in all-electric
for recharging, so a pure EV is off the table mode and never going further than 30 miles
Report 6 for now. So does a plug-in make sense if between charges, but I don’t care. Still feels
Vauxhall Insignia you’re limited to charging up at work, or nice. As does only having to brim the Ioniq
from public charge points? Time to find out. with petrol once every few weeks.
The Ioniq employs a 60bhp e-motor fed Honestly, I’m not sure anyone’s ever
from an 8.9kW battery recharged from the been quite so excited to adopt a Korean
mains, with a 109bhp petrol engine as hybrid. Looking forward to this one.
back-up. It’s good for an all-electric range
of around 30 miles, enough to cover all the
urban and suburban bits of my commute,
which is where it’s really useful.
SPECIFICATION
1580cc, 4cyl petrol + electric,
20in diamond-cut wheels on low- FWD, 139bhp, 195lb ft
profile tyres. Look ace, but easy 256.0mpg, 26g/km CO2
to kerb. Also, more complex to 0–62mph in 10.6secs, 110mph
repair than a standard alloy
1495kg
which is why justwheelrepair.co.uk
had to leave the Insignia on jacks TESTER’S NOTES OK, so I’m getting
while they took the wheels away less than half the Ioniq’s ‘official’
to repair. That said, £75 + VAT per 256mpg, but I’m still feeling smug.

wheel is a fair price to pay for a


pristine motor. AW
MILEAGE: 1660 OUR MPG: 101.2

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 1 31
July I 2018

Totally
hen speaking to the GT-R’s that incorporated some of the best skiing

W head honcho, Hiroshi


Tamura, he told me that
in France, Italy and Switzerland.
A near-on 600bhp supercar should not

piste a GT-R had two distinct


natures. Or, more specifically, colours.
The first part of its name GT is known as
be the transport of choice when Europe
was facing one of its worst weeks of
weather in history. But that Beast from
Goodbye the ‘blue zone’ (comfort), while R is the the East was nothing when I had the
Nissan GT-R ‘red zone’ (performance). original Beast from the East on my side.
£83,875 OTR/ His predecessor – the GT-R’s father, Once the paranoia of two bright
£85,650 as tested Mizuno – chased the red zone. Tamura orange skis jettisoning off the roof and
has boosted the blue with better ride down the motorway had subsided, I
ROWAN HORNCASTLE comfort thanks to new suspension posted the GT-R into the Eurotunnel and
settings, a more refined gearbox and a made it to France. Now, on a cruise like
plusher, leatherier interior. There’s now this (especially when you’re driving in a
so much more squidge, Tamura believes snow globe), I did what no GT-R driver
it’s the most blue GT-R ever. ever does – knocked the driver control
To test this, I thought a leggy winter switches down, putting the transmission
Colour-coordinated
roadtrip was in order. So I spoke to skis: TG is serious in Save mode and suspension in Comfort.
SeaSucker, who supplied a stupidly about its style... Save is designed for slippery or snowy
sturdy suction cup ski rack into which conditions, giving you gears lower down
I fed some skis, then filled the deeply the revs, numbed throttle response and
capacious boot before lassoing a 1,500- calmer boost delivery. Comfort slackens
mile loop around the Alps in Google Maps off the dampers, which have been backed

132 J U L Y 2 0 1 8 › TO P G E A R . C O M
Wheel
deal
Report 2
Audi RS4
£72,175/£77,145

JACK RIX

r Charles Turner, leader

M of this parish, dislikes


the RS4’s 20-inch rims,
thinks they’re “too
blingy,” prefers the 968 Clubsport
‘Cup’ wheels on the RS2. Fair play on
the RS2 (and an excellent excuse to
borrow one – for comparison
purposes, of course) but too blingy?
Sorry, boss, you’re mad. Yes, it’s a
snug fit under those arches, but their
purpose isn’t merely aesthetic, each
is milled from a single billet of
aluminium. This not only gives you
off by 6.3 per cent front and 2.8 at the rear So, is the GT-R the ultimate winter something to bore your friends with
for the latest GT-R. weapon? No. It’s the ultimate weapon, in the pub, it also saves 2kg per
But it’s still thirsty. Which is expensive full stop. Even 10 years on, it’s still as corner compared with forged
when it baulks at anything less than 100 good as it was. Actually, better. And could equivalents. That’s an 8kg total
octane fuel. Even with my hypermiler hat probably go on for five more. Well, at least saving, for the mathematically
on I could never get it above 21mpg. And until everything goes electric. Which the impaired. Looking forward to
that figure plummeted when I started GT-R will eventually have to succumb seeing if such slim improvements
hammering around the Maurienne Valley. to, too. But until then, long live Godzilla! can save the RS4 from its 1,715kg
The GT-R afforded me the ultimate It’s easy to see why people get hooked. mass... if I still have a job, that is.
freedom of mobility – allowing me to
just follow the snow and resort hop. Even
with temperatures down at -15ºC, it just
cracked on and gave the same exciting
SPECIFICATION SPECIFICATION
3799cc, V6 twin-turbo, AWD, 2894cc, V6 twin-turbo,
and forthright driving dynamics. It would 562bhp, 469lb ft 4WD, 444bhp, 443lb ft
PHOTOGRAPHY: ROWAN HORNCASTLE

carve through the mountains sounding 23.9mpg, 275g/km CO2 32.1mpg, 200g/km CO2
like an industrial hoover but moving like 0–62mph in 2.8secs, 196mph 0–62mph in 4.1secs, 155mph
it’d been shot out of a snow cannon.
1752kg 1715kg
In Italy and Switzerland, it dumped it
down. But where the locals in their 4x4s TESTER’S NOTES Amazingly, after 10 TESTER’S NOTES Any criticism
were struggling for grip, the GT-R with years it’s still a benchmark. But where of the RS4’s looks will be met with
just a set of winters, intelligent 4WD and will it go from here? We’ll have to see. aggression. Now for some driving...

great balance (front-mounted V6 and a


rear transaxle) ploughed on. MILEAGE: 11,234 OUR MPG: 20.1 MILEAGE: 4089 OUR MPG: 23.8

TO P G E A R . C O M › J U LY 2 01 8 1 33
Going electric…?
The team behind TopGear mag tells it how it is

BEST RANGE

miles
[ ]

OW N I N G
N E W LI N G O

B E S T 0 – 6 2 M PH

[ ]

“Chademo is incompatible with CCS


chargers... yep, you need a whole new CH E A P E S T LE A S E
vehicular vocabulary for EVs”

[ ]

0 10

ELECTRIC GROUP TEST


UK’s best and brightest plug-in
cars, head to head

1 2 HOW IT

BAC-BMW
WORKS

Data
1 2 3 4

Tax bands Insurance groups

Every car on sale in the UK today listed and rated

NEW IN THIS ISSUE

COMPREHENSIVE DATA
Every car on sale in the UK
today listed and rated

TOP 10

SUPERMINIS
Pocket-sized, but so much more than a shopping car

WHAT WE SAY Mild styling changes hide an exhaustively reworked car.


LOW D OW N
And guess what? The Fiesta is still the best in this class

1 Ford Fiesta
From £13,165

W H AT YO U N E E D TO K N OW A B O U T S U P E R M I N I S
VERDICT

9 /10
0 35

GREATER ANALYSIS
The top 10 cars to buy
in every class

New issue on sale now


Data
Everything you need to know about buying new cars
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TA ILOR ED F I NA NCE
FOR STUN N I NG CA RS

Call one of our experts now for a competitive quote on


020 3813 7019 or visit jbrcapital.com
Finance and terms subject to status. Advances between £25,000 and £10m.
he most sought-after of modern factory effort – but leading the five-car charge was
supercars, its unicorn qualities are the Kokusai Kaihatsu Racing team, which used
T no doubt debated by an exceptionally
fortunate coterie of owners, Ralph
McLaren’s development chassis.
It was run by well-known McLaren figures Paul
Lauren, Nick Mason and Jay Leno among them. Lanzante and Jeff Hazell, while car no.59 was race
Overseen by Gordon Murray, and powered by a engineered by Graham Humphrys. He recalls a
6.1-litre, 627bhp V12 created by BMW’s engine less-than-perfect build-up to Le Mans when F1
genius Paul Rosche, the F1’s position at the top renegade JJ Lehto damaged the suspension after
table seems assured. he monstered the kerbs; worse still, the car needed
But it wasn’t always this way. It failed as a a last-gasp engine swap, while Lehto’s teammates
commercial proposition. Too few buyers were detected a gearbox problem.
prepared to stump up the £540,000 it cost new in In the event, all five of the F1 GTRs would
1994. Maybe the rampant single-mindedness of its suffer transmission glitches, a frailty that that

RACING
design philosophy simply put others off. How silly year’s wet race thankfully didn’t fully expose.
do they look now… You’ll hear different figures This particular win set a number of precedents:
bandied around, but only 64 road cars were made, not only had McLaren conquered Le Mans on its
and another 28 GTR race versions, several of first attempt, it was also the first win at La Sarthe
which were converted back to road-legal spec. for a Finnish and Japanese driver. McLaren also

LEGENDS
So although going racing was not initially part remains the only maker to have won Le Mans, the
of McLaren’s plan, in 1995 that’s what it decided to Monaco GP, and the Indy 500, the Holy Trinity
do. Rather successfully, too: for the first time since of motorsport. Nor was it simply down to good
Ferrari’s victory in 1949, a maker won the Le Mans fortune: F1 GTRs also finished third, fourth, fifth
24 Hours at its first attempt. and 13th. Up to 1998, the car continued to be

I M AG E : A L A M Y
When it decided to supply privateer teams with competitive, finishing second and third in 1997,

McLaren F1 GTR F1s for the BPR GT1 endurance championship, a


tilt at the world’s most famous endurance race was
fourth in 1998. 1997’s Longtail evolutions are
arguably the best-remembered versions of all.
WO R DS: JA SO N BA R LOW clearly on the cards. This wasn’t a full-blown The F1 was still racing a decade after its debut.

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M26 ARC £850 M28 CAT £I500 2573 DG £I300 M29 EMM £850 T9 GEF £I400 I999 HR £2600 SI60 JEN £850 J666 KEN £950 N2I LES £I500 M28 MAS £850 58I6 NC £I900 RAZ 575 £850 N23 SJB £850 57 URY £2700
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T222 BEN £II00 CON 6N £3500 JO07 DYS £850 75 FL £3700 HAL I5X £I300 L33 JAM £I200 N26 JON £I200 20 KU £3900 83I LS £3I00 P6 MLA £I500 200 OR £4400 ROD 5Y £5800 C8 SYD £950 YAL 66E £I500
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II BCP CHG I 9 DSE 9 EEL 5 FAP 6 GCC GMS 77 I8 HMM 25 JPD I KHC 839 LG MES 94 MWA 43 NV 9 3 PKH 98 RLB I SJJ 6 VA 60 WP
I ALG 9II BD I CKM DSH 43 5 EEP 6 FCM 6 GCP GMW I8 I HO 44 JPR I KHS I LGW I MFF MWD I5 OD I 3 PLJ I RLD SKT I I VAA I WRM
I0 BDB I CKS 6 DSN EF 3 I FEC 6 GDR GNM I 4 HPM 9 JRJ KJE 52 II LHG MFL 9 I MWG OOO 78 5 PLR I RLF I SKW VAF 88 I YD
97 MC I BDD
I BDF
5 CL
7 CLE
DTA I
8 DTL
8 EG
EGD 48
72 FJB
8 FJD
GE I
GF 6
3 GPA
8 GRG
5 HPS 8I JRR
IT I 8 JSE
KJG I
I KLD
LHP I MGD 4 78 MWP OY I 5 PLW
33 LJD I MGE MWR 26 94 PAJ 5 PMO I RLW
I RLK 94 SLA VAG 9
78 SLR 2 VAJ
I YH
2I YJ
I GLD 9 BDR CMK 77 6 DWE I EHB 99 FJE 3 GFP 4 GRJ 800 JA 53 JTD I KLP LJG 2I 40 MGF I6 NAJ 9 PCA 999 PN 3 RN 96 SLT I VAK YS 34
I BDS 99 CN DWG 23 45 EJ FJP I I GFW 6 GSJ 63 JAE JTP 46 KMW I LJL 34 I MGG 8 ND 3 PCF PNB I I RNC 44 SMJ I VAP 8 YT

ABB 333Y BAR 2R B2I5 TOL CIII NGE D2I VER FEII DER GRII EFF HOI2 ACE BI ANE MAR 623T MOP 3D PEA 25E RON 44N SPE I2S 72 UDY
OLE 42Y
NAMES AND WORDS WORDS NAMES WORDS

480 UL BAR 245S 820 GAN COB 80ID DII0 LEY FER I2Y G2I MES HOW I77T L42I SSA MAR II7N MOR 3I2A PEII DER 20 PER S74I NER TRII STS
A8I0 DUN BAR I20W B206 DEN COII LEY DUG 94N FI3I DER GRU I3B HOW IL LAR 2K M42I AND MOR 20W PEN 205E ROS I7N S74I NES TUC IK
VOG 4N A82 AMS BAR 724M BRII KER COL I50N DUK 5E FI66 GHT GRU II0Y HOW I37T L42 NER MAR 20W MOT 724M P60 PLE ROW 3IL STA IE TUL I37T
ADA 4N BA5I AFC BRO II2E COII TER DUN 574N FIII NCH GGU 35T HUII XXX LAII GHS M425 DEN MUII VEY PHO 3I3E ROW 33R S74 MPS TUN IIE
LAX 70N AAD 3L BEA 2D BI20 OME COM 83R DII2 HAM FLO 47S GUL 44Y HUN IIG LAU 23L MAI2 RSH MUN 20E PI76 HER ROX 4IIA S74 PLE TUI2 TLE
FAD I4N B34 RDS BRO II6H CON 3R DI YKE FIII ORA OGW 3N HUN 63R I4 WES MAR 2Y MUR 224Y PI4 GUE ROII YAL STE 2N TUR 70N
JAG 63R ADR 2I4N B387 LES 82 YAN CI0 RKE D7 SON FLO 2IN GWE IIT J43 GER LAW 2IE M422 ENA MUS I64L PLA IIN RUB IIIA STI2 RUP UTT IIIG
46 NES BEE 2IE 82 YCE COI2 NER EAD 3S FOO I2D HAB 600D JAM 4A LAY 606K MA5I COT MUT 770N SPI2 ATT RUB 7Y S724 KER V44 GUE
POW I3Y MAII LDA BEE 3S 82 YN COR 2R EAG 6IE FOR 63T H4II FAX JAN II6E LAZ 3333 MAS 553Y MYR 7IE PLE 4T RU 6 STR 4IID VAL I
ALA IIIN BEE 350N BUN 6H COI2 SER E4II ONN FRA 73R HAL IIIL JAN IIIA L3 ARY M47 TER NAD IIIE PI0 VER RUM 8IE S77 UMP VAL 32IA
I3 ENT ALB 32T
ALE 66C
I3 ENT
BER I2Y
BUII YAN
BUR 23IL
COS 73R
COU IIIL
EAR IIE
EI4 RLY
FRII DAY
FRY IIP
HAL IIIA
H4I5 ALL
JAS 94L
JAY 7IIE
L34 SED
L34 VES
MAY 7S
MCB 4IIN
NAR 6IIS
N47 LOR
POL I42D
PPO 773R
RII9 ERT
SAG 6E
SUE 4
SUII DAY
VAL 32IE
60 RGE
GI3 NDA ALT 74F
I AMY
BER 724M
BER 7L
BUR 20W
KBU 5H
COW 3IL
COW 3N
EAR 2P
EDW 420S
FUN IIG
GAB I3IE
HAII DES
H444 NDS
J62 OME LEG 3IID
JER 53Y LEM II0N
MCC 60Y
MCC 23A
NEA 7E
NII5 HAN
P24 SAD
PRII VET
SAK IIIA SU54 NNA
SAV 3I0Y TA66 ART
VAS 3Y
VEE IIA
NAN 5 AND 23S
ANII GEL
BES 55IE
BE5I ONE
BYW 473R
C4 DET
60 YLE
C24 VEN
ELC 606K
LEK 72IC
GAII DYZ
G420 NER
HAII SEN
HAR 83R
JEY 3S LEN 44A
JO63 LYN LEII SES
MCE I20Y
M63 WEN
NI TEH
NOI2 MAS
P206 TER
PRO 70G
SAY 6D
SCA IIIY
TAN IIG
TAN II3R
VEII OUR
W4 FER
ANI6 ELL BET 7E CAG 3Y CRE 3D ELL I77S G42 TON H428 OUR JOL IIIY LEN 70N MCG IIIN NO5I BOY PRY 6E SCO 23R TAII SEY W444 GER
B33 TON 4II TON GAM 88IE ECC I3S CRE 3W ELS 70N GAY IE H420 WRK JOW 37T LER 20Y M66I NTY NUR 55E PUG 55Y SCU 7T TAR I2Y W44 LES
A26 ENT 83 VAN CAII DYS C275 TAL ELW IIN GI47 NOR H42I AND JUS 7I6E LE5I BOY M66I YNN NII5 RAT PUII XXX S34 TON TAI2 TAN WAII LET
GUM 8S AI26 YLE BEY II0N C42 LEY CUR 7IN EMM 377T GEII DER HAR 220D K4I2 EEM LEV I55S MCG 247H OBE 2I PUII LEN SEE I3Y T4 UNT GWA I5H
ARII RON BHA 47IA CAR I7IE CUI2 WEN END 3R GEN 7T HAR 20ID K422 REN L333 XUS MCK I3E OKS 4IIA PUI2 VES SET 7H TEE 5S WAL I70N
MEE 50N 42 UNA BI6 FAX CI4 RNE DAII NTY EI2 ROL G302 GES HAS 5IE KAR 2IM II EEK MCR 43E OLD 3R RAG 637T SET 73R TEII XXX W4 NDS
ASA 2E BIII NGO C420 LAN VDA IE EUS 746E GER I2Y HAS 7E KAR 2IIN LOI4 DER MEA 4H OLW 6N RAH II4N ME5I EXY T3 NCH WAN I35S
WOL 70N ASC 607T BLA IIK CAI2 ROL D444 REN EVE II7N GHO 57IY HAT I6E KAY II3A LOC 6K MEH 24N OLW 7N RAII PHS SHA 42P TE57 EYE WAI2 DEN
ASH II6Y 8I4 NKS C4I2 SON DAI2 LOW EXE 73R GIII LAM H47 DON KEA 4Y II0 GAN MEII LON OMA 22R RAM 4A SHE 3A TES 73R W423 HAM
PAY IIE ATH I37E BLO 663R C4I2 VER DAW 83R EYL 3S GLO 2IIA HAY 35S KEE I3R LON 3R MEL 70N ONI2 ONS RAM 463E SHE IIIL TEX 7 WAR IIIG
ATT 23E BLU IIE CAS 3E DI3 ARY EI YRE GLO 558P HEA 4IY K3II RAN LOW 2IIE MEN 800M ORG I85 RAP I3Y SHE I70N THA 76H W33I DER
MAL 70N AUB I23Y BOL IT C45 UAL DEE 3I3Y FAC 7S GII OME H34 RSE KEII HAM LUD I4M MEP II4M PAD I3Y RAU IIL SHE 23E OPE 2A W33 DON
AUS 72IA I3 ONE C474 LAN DEE 2Y F4 RGO GOA IS SII3 ATH K3II ETT LUM 503N M3I2 CER P444 GAN REA 450N SHE 233N THO 2IIE W3I8 URN
HAR 7E AVE 2Y BOII ZOS CAII SER DEL IIE F42 HAN 60I DEN H36 TOR KEI5 ALL LUV IIE MER 2I6K P4I SEY REA 4Y SHII RTS THO I29E WES I3Y
BAG IY BOO 7S CEC 3IIA DEL I3R FAR I4A GOR 3E H394 RTY KEII SEY LYC 637T ME5I BOB PI4I MER R388 ECA SHO IIE THII MBS W357 LEY
REN 70N BAK 33S
BAII LDY
BOT 770M
BOII GHT
CII4 NCE
CHA 2D
DE5I ROY
DI5 CDS
F42 LEY
FAR 24H
GOR IIIG
602 TON
HEII GHT
HEII MUT
KER 3N
KER 2R
LYN 4S
L7II DON
ME5I COW
MET 64IF
P4I2 KES
P422 OTT
I2 EED
CRE 64N
SHO 2E
SII0 VEL
TOII LEY
TOII NER
WHE 444T
WI35 LAW
FI0 REY BAII TWO
BAI0 GUN
BOU ID
BOW 473R
CHE 3N
CHE 32IE
DIII XON
DOII NOR
FAR 23N
FAR 23R
GOS 5IIP
GI0 ULD
HEN 27K
HEW 37T
KET 7IE
KII3 RAN
LYN 377E
L7II SAY
MEW 3S
MII6 UEL
PAS 64L
PAS 5K
REL IF
R3II ATE
SHI2 UBB 70 VEY
WSII VER TOW 3IL
WIII COX
WON 6G
BAY 70N BAII HAM
B42 BER
BOW 3S
BOY I3S
CHI3 UNG
CHO 99Y
DOO I3Y
DOI2 MER
F457 DOG
FAT 73R
60 WN
G244 EME
HOG 683N
HOG 63T
KII3 RON M49 KAY
KII2 KUP MAG 90T
MIII ONK
MOB 8S
PAS 53Y
PAT 27K
REII DER
REP 7IIE
SI ACK TRA 6IIE
SLO 4IIE T247 NOR
WOO I64R
WOO 770N
B42 DEN BRA IR CII4 NCY DO5I BAG FEA I2N G234 VES HOL 3E KII2 TON MAH II0N MOC 6K PAV 3IL RI02 DAN HSM I7H TI23 ACY WOR 23IL
POII ETT BAR II4M BRA 2I3R CLII ARK DOW IIS FEA I20N G2 EET HOII LER KI76 HEN MAJ 357Y MOII ENT PEA 4K ROD 632S DI2 LAW TRE 3E W2 ENN
B42 NES BRI3 EZE CII4 UDE DOY IIE F347 HER GRE IIIG HOII TON KOU 54R MAII ARD MOII DAY P342 RCE ROD II3Y SON IIG TI2 OLL Y420 LEY
STO 88S 842 NEY B23 WER CI47 DEN D24 PER F3I LOW GRE 7Y HOII OUR LAM 832T M42 CEL MOO 53Y PEA 2S ROG 64N SI0 UPS T22 OUT YOU IIG

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Making it
happen Charlie Turner
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

DEP U T Y EDI T OR Jack Rix B R A N D M A N A G I N G E D I T O R Esther Neve


MO T ORING EDI T OR Oliver Marriage H E A D O F C O M M E R C I A L C O N T E N T Chris Mooney
ASSOCIAT E EDI T OR Tom Ford E D I T O R , T O P G E A R . C O M Vijay Pattni
BEHIND THE SCENES THIS MONTH CONSULTA N T EDI T OR Paul Horrell D E P U T Y E D I T O R , T O P G E A R . C O M Stephen Dobie
EDI T OR AT L A RGE Jason Barlow D I G I TA L E D I T O R AT L A R G E Rowan Horncastle
ROA D T ES T EDI T OR Ollie Kew S O C I A L M E D I A T E A M Simon Bond & Sarah Lawson
S TA F F W RI T ER Tom Harrison S U B - E D I T O R Tom Cobbe
EDI T ORIA L ASSIS TA N T Becky Wells D ATA S U B - E D I T O R Craig Jamieson

Creative team

CRE AT I V E DIREC T OR Andy Franklin D I G I TA L A R T D I R E C T O R Owen Norris


A R T EDI T OR Elliott Webb S E N I O R D E S I G N E R Peter Barnes
R E P R O G R A P H I C S E X E C U T I V E Chris Rowles

Contributing editors
Who: Jack Rix Who: Ollie Kew and Fast Freddy
Where: Woking, UK Where: Santa Pod, UK Pat Devereux, Chris Harris, Eddie Jordan

Sometimes there’s no option but to “You see? I whooped your arse Sam Philip, Rory Reid
channel your inner Brian Johnson: in the race because I have
“I’m on the highway to hell” 2,000bhp and balls of steel”
Contributing photographers

Webb Bland, Lee Brimble, Mark Fagelson, Rowan Horncastle,


Alex Howe, Jamie Lipman, Mark Riccioni, John Wycherley

A D V ER T ISING DIREC T OR Jason Elson R E G I O N A L B U S I N E S S D E V E L O P M E N T M A N A G E R Jemma Rossiter


HE A D OF PA R T NERSHIP S Phil Holland C L A S S I F I E D S A L E S E X E C U T I V E Hugo Gilligan
G R O U P T R A D I N G H E A D Dan Hellens I N S E R T S E X E C U T I V E James Law-Smith
SENIOR X- MEDIA S A L ES E X ECU T I V ES Liam Kennedy, D I G I TA L S A L E S P L A N N E R Isabel Burman
Kit Brough

DIREC T OR OF IN T ERN AT ION A L L ICENSING A ND S Y NDIC AT ION Tim Hudson


IN T ERN AT ION A L PA R T NERS M A N A GER Anna Brown
What: Model 3 roof Who: Paul Horrell
Where: New York, USA Where: Bodmin, UK S Y NDIC AT ION M A N AGER Richard Bentley
Water-resistant coating on Nothing says lunch-on-
the Tesla’s roof creates little the-go like a couple of GROUP P RODUC T ION M A N AGER Jo Beattie A D S E R V I C E S C O O R D I N AT O R S Tony Dixon, James Webb
pearls of aqueous beauty knickerbocker glories P RODUC T ION & REP RO DIREC T OR Koli Pickersgill I N S E R T S E R V I C E S C O O R D I N AT O R Sabeena Atchia
CIRCUL AT ION M A N AGER Gareth Viggers P R O D U C T I O N & A D S E R V I C E S D I R E C T O R Sharon Thompson

M A RK E T ING M A N A GER Tom Townsend-Smith F I N A N C E D I R E C T O R Stephen Lavin


M A RK E T ING E X ECU T I V E Amy Donovan S E N I O R M A N A G E M E N T A C C O U N TA N T Len Bright
SUBS M A RK E T ING M A N A GER Natalie London M A N A G E M E N T A C C O U N TA N T Davina Swampillai

P UBL ISHING DIREC T OR Simon Carrington G R O U P P U B L I S H I N G D I R E C T O R Alfie Lewis


C E O , I M M E D I AT E M E D I A C O . LT D Tom Bureau

M A N A GING DIREC T OR , T OP GE A R Adam Waddell

Printed by Wyndeham Group in the UK


Who: Ollie Marriage and kids Who: man and dog
Where: Woolhampton, UK Where: Salisbury, UK
Special prize to anyone who This canine experiment from BBC WORLDWIDE, UK PUBLISHING
can find a kid in this picture Porton Down has hypnotised its DIREC T OR OF EDI T ORI A L GO V ERN A NCE Nicholas Brett DIREC T OR OF CONSUMER P RODUC T S A ND P UBL ISHING
P UBL ISHING DIREC T OR UK Chris Kerwin Andrew Moultrie
who’s actually listening ‘master’ into doing the dogwork
UK P UBL ISHING COORDIN AT OR Eva Abramik

EDI T ORIA L A DV ISORY BOA RD MEMBERS Steve Goodman, Alex Renton, Katie Taylor, Tony Wheeler

UK.PUBLISHING@BBC.COM / WWW.BBCWORLDWIDE.COM/UK--ANZ/UKPUBLISHING.ASPX
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