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  2. Kia e-Niro rival arrives in the UK early next year with EV-specific underpinnings, vRS performance model Skoda’s first bespoke electric car, the Enyaq iV, has entered production at the firm's factory in Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic, ahead of UK deliveries commencing in May. The first model based on the Volkswagen Group’s MEB electric car platform to be built outside of Germany, the EV will be produced at a rate of up to 350 units per day. It'll go down the same production line as the combustion-engined Octavia and Karoq; the first time MEB and MQB platforms will be assembled together. T
  3. The Hyundai Kona Electric earned five stars, achieving top marks for clean air, energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions Manufacturers accused of forsaking “simple but effective” technology to reduce emissions of hybrids Euro NCAP bosses have said it's “disheartening” that some hybrid manufacturers are forsaking “simple but effective” technology that could make them more environmentally friendly, following the publication of the latest Green NCAP ratings. Launched last year, the Green NCAP assessment is designed to demonstrate how environmental friendly new cars are, using the result
  4. Do the numbers stack up in the government’s 2030 petrol and diesel ban? The Government’s announcement that it wants to end the sale of all but the longest-range plug-in hybrids by 2030 is certainly ambitious. But it might also be impossible, according to a group of scientists working in a group called SoSMinErals. The group wrote to the government Committee on Climate Change in June 2019, expressing great concern that the raw materials needed for the UK’s switch to Electric Vehicles might not be available in the volumes needed. One of the authors of the letter was Prof Richard Herrington, t
  5. Firm to turn factory into mobility research site in 2024, ending production of Zoe and Micra there Renault has defied union and government pressure by announcing that its factory in Flins, France, will be converted into “Europe’s leading circular economy factory dedicated to mobility”. Workers at Flins and the nearby Choisy-le-Roi reconditioning facility will be retrained, with the aim of employing more than 3000 people at the new Flins site – which will be named the Re-Factory – by 2030. Currently, the facility produces the Renault Zoe EV and Nissan Micra supermini. Renault claims the r
  6. Local concerns may hamper progress on the EV firm's German factory, although officially it remains on track Tesla’s planned German battery factory will eventually be "the largest in the world", CEO Elon Musk told the recent European Battery Conference in Germany, but local media reports say its construction is running into significant opposition from locals and environmental campaigners. The hold-ups come at the same time as Tesla’s market share in a booming European EV market is faltering. According to a 12-month rolling sales report by EV analyst Matthias Schmidt, Tesla Europe sales flatte
  7. New 808bhp hybrid hypercar spawns a matching Diavel 1260 motorcycle from Ducati The new Lamborghini Sián - a hybrid hypercar packing 808bhp from an electrified V12 - has been shown on the move for the first time as subsidiary company Ducati unwrapped a matching version of its Diavel 1260 sports motorbike. Limited to 630 units, the Diavel 1260 Lamborghini is finished in the same Verde Gea and Oro Electrum livery as the Sián and swaps a number of standard components for lightweight, performance-focused items, including forged wheels and carbonfibre bodywork elements. Hexagonal exhaust tips an
  8. This is an appealing proposition despite being a crossover Okay, so small SUVs may not be the sexiest form of transport, but they can be practical, eminently good value used and, if you pause for a moment and consider the car photographed here, actually quite handsome from certain angles. The T-Roc, which was introduced in 2018, has certainly jazzed up Volkswagen’s range: it’s undeniably more stylish than the Polo and more rugged and raised-up than the Golf. Indeed, it seems to offer pretty much all of what they do: there are four turbocharged petrol engines and a diesel to choose from, for
  9. Evocative six-cylinder drop-top gets Porsche's seven-speed automatic. Is it an upgrade over the manual? What you’re looking at here is likely to be the best-selling version of what is arguably the highlight of the Boxster and Cayman line-ups: the GTS 4.0.Until now, this sublime six-cylinder has only been mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, which gives it spot-on sports car credentials but is less of a draw in the showroom, where PDK tends to be king. So here we have a GTS with the familiar seven-speed version of the always snappily titled Porsche-Doppelkupplungsgetriebe transmission.At £230
  10. Kuga PHEV battery issue has cost Ford an estimated £510m While some car makers will easily hit their EU emissions targets, others are in trouble The enforced need to dramatically reduce the CO2 emissions of cars sold in the European Union and UK this year has led to expensive stumbles from manufacturers including BMW, Ford and Jaguar Land Rover as new electrified technologies faltered at the crucial moment. The task to reduce average CO2 emitted to the 95g/km required by the EU (although this differs slightly for each brand based on the average vehicle weight) was always going to be massiv
  11. Weak domestic and overseas demand responsible for heavy year-on-year decline New figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that UK car production dropped 18.2% year on year in October. Over the course of the month, 110,179 new cars left UK factories, compared with 134,669 in October 2019. The 24,490-unit shortfall is attributed by the trade body to domestic and overseas lockdowns subduing demand. A 19.1% drop in cars built for export amounted to a loss of 21,569 units, with shipments to the US falling 26% and the European Union 25.7%, while 2921 fewer cars we
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  13. You will see motley assortments of cars at most track days Few things are more fun for keen drivers, but many are anxious about doing their first. Here's why you shouldn't shy away There isn’t much good news around in these Covid-infested days, particularly from the beleaguered automotive sector, but there is one kind of business that has thrived since the lifting of total lockdown: track days. It’s easy to see why. Even before the pandemic, people were increasingly turning to track days, for two reasons. First, modern performance cars are so fast that it’s increasingly hard to exercise th
  14. It's a squeeze, but Evans just about fits A Skegness firm is fuelling a future generation’s four-wheeled passion with ride-along machines Among the raft of new electric vehicles arriving in the coming months is one based on no less a car than the ’57 Chevy, that much-revered star of road and track. To be built in the UK by Jolly Roger, based in Skegness on the North Sea coast in Lincolnshire, the electrically powered model will bring iconic 1950s American motoring to an emerging audience. Designed to withstand the harshest weather, the new vehicle boasts a tough glassfibre body reinforced
  15. The details surrounding EV charging and the cost involved are still hazy to some. We address the key questions here One of the many reasons for choosing to go electric is the potential cash saving on offer. In many instances, electricity is cheaper than traditional fuels such as petrol or diesel, in some cases costing over half as much for a ‘full tank of fuel’. However, it all depends on where and how you charge, so here’s our in-depth guide that’ll answer all your questions. How much will it cost to charge my car at home? According to the government-backed Go Ultra Low electric vehicle c
  16. Electrically driven front axle enables torque vectoring The hybrid Honda NSX is an interesting showcase of technology, but hasn't proved a trailblazer Given that it has been touted as the future of the fast car by more than a few industry commentators, it’s fair to say the formula of the mid-engined, four-wheel-drive hybrid supercar has yet to gain the traction that might be expected, considering how long it has been around. Leaving aside limited-edition models like the Porsche 918 Spyder, the first was the BMW i8, which limped off sale a few months ago, six years after it appeared to repr
  17. Our base 911 is shorn of frills but isn’t short on appeal. It’s time to have some fun Why we’re running it: Because this is the world’s most famous sports car in its purest form. How much 911 do you really need? Month 1 - Specs Life with a Porsche 911: Month 1 Welcoming the 911 to the fleet - 21 October 2020 Home working meant it had been six months since I’d met up with Autocar’s picture editor, Ben Summerell-Youde, and even more time had passed since seeing snapper Olgun Kordal, photographers being strangers to the office at the best of times. On our reacquaintance one sunny earl
  18. The former has strong roots in the US, too strong to let it permanently slip away, while Porsche is known for its resilience Like death and taxes, the boom and bust cycle of manufacturer-backed motor racing will always be with us. Fickle cars makers love to come, go and come back again – when it best suits them. And it’s not just Honda in Formula 1. Sports car racing has endured more than its fair share of booms and busts over the decades. The latest major player to pull the plug is the biggest of them all when it comes to endurance motor sport. Pressures wrought by the coronavirus have pu
  19. We invented the road test in 1928. Almost a century later, we've just ticked over test number 5500 There are several great reasons to treat yourself to this week’s issue of Autocar, among them our 5500th road test, which just so happened to be on the Audi S3 Sportback. Not the greatest hot hatchback, it’s fair to say; as you might well already have read. Nor, perhaps, is it even an anniversary worth celebrating. But if only to mark it, I spent a morning in our archive of old issues earlier this week jumping back in time 1000 tests at a time just to see what I would find. We’re a weekly maga
  20. A price cut and power drop aim to make Volvo's plug-in hybrid estate more accessible The maturation of Volvo’s electrification strategy since its first forays into plug-in technology back in the late 2000s has been impressive to say the least.Those with longer memories will recall the C30-based ReCharge Concept from 2007: a ‘series hybrid’ that could travel as far as 62 miles in electric-only mode and which used a 1.6-litre petrol engine to charge the batteries that powered its four electric motors. Then there were the two diesel-electric V70s that Volvo ran as part of a joint research trial
  21. Hardcore still has little on the Renault Megane R26R, and it's now under £30K "Without a single hint of doubt, the most hardcore hot hatchback the world has seen.” That’s what we called the stripped-out, most track-focused version of Renault’s big-bum hatchback when it launched, and it’s not far off making that claim even now, 12 years later. You see, this was no mere styling package for the fearsome Mégane RS 230 F1 Team R26. The highly strung 227bhp 2.0-litre turbo four-pot was carried over unaltered, as were the Cup Chassis package’s Brembo brakes, stiffer steering and sports wheels, but
  22. Mikkelsen won Rally Hungary in a Skoda Fabia Rally2 The Norwegian rally driver has had a choppy career, but he's again proved his talent Andreas Mikkelsen has had a career bumpier than Ouninpohja and twistier than the Tour de Corse – and he’s still only 31. The Norwegian started precociously with a Ford Focus WRC in his teens – perhaps the most lavishly funded beginning for a rally driver recently seen. And he became the youngest driver ever to score WRC points in 2008 – just before the world went into financial meltdown and he was left on foot. Mikkelsen tried to build himself back up on
  23. £50k can stretch to some pretty exotic metal, including a tasty Ferrari 360 Modena Just how far does £50,000 get you in the hunt for a usable supercar? Spoiler alert: not very – at least if you factor in fuel, servicing and repair costs. But you can stretch to some surprisingly exotic metal if you have got 50 bags of sand to spend on an initial purchase. Take the Ferrari 360 Modena, now overshadowed by its increasingly potent F430, 458 Italia and 488 GTB successors but still a worthy bearer of the prestigious prancing horse. Built around a new aluminium spaceframe said to weigh around 40% l
  24. South England’s first special-stage club rally since March goes down a storm Even more than racing and speed events, special-stage rallying in the UK has been decimated by the pandemic, and there are precious few signs of a return to normal until well into 2021. Forest rallying has been out of the question since March, and the best guess is that restarting before next spring is unlikely. Given that Wales is the heart of UK forest rallying, the immediate outlook is bleak. A whole industry of preparers and mechanics is on hold. Some of the other venues used for rallying have become unavailabl
  25. Statistics reflect talent in Hamilton’s case, reckons Prior While it's obviously impossible to compare between eras, it's also impossible not to acknowledge Lewis's talent Who is the greatest ever? This question arose again when Lewis Hamilton surpassed Michael Schumacher’s score of Formula 1 victories recently, as it does whenever a racing record is broken. The Economist has published a statistical model analysing data from the dawn of the F1 championship to try to shed more light on it; CNN and the BBC’s excellent Andrew Benson compared Hamilton’s record against Schumacher’s; and there a
  26. Wagon puts on a growth spurt and adopts the eighth-generation hatchback’s tech There hasn’t always been a Golf Estate. In fact, it wasn’t until the third-generation Golf that Volkswagen decided buyers might warm to the added versatility of such a model.Since 1993, though, it has been a mainstay of Volkswagen’s line-up, growing ever larger and offering greater load space in each iteration.This latest one continues that theme, being 71mm longer than its predecessor, at 4633mm. The wheelbase gets 67mm of that extra stretch, the rear overhang the rest. It’s a moderate increase but rectifies one
  27. The eleventh-generation hatchback will be less aggressively styled, losing its angular headlights and spoiler Honda is developing the eleventh-generation Honda Civic for launch in 2022, and will show off the model's final production design with the unveiling of a prototype next Tuesday (17 November). The car will be shown in saloon form, which is not a body style offered in the UK but will give a good indiation of what to expect from the hatchback. A preview video (below) hints at styling influenced by the US-market Accord saloon, and confirms substantial tweaks for the front and rear end de
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