‘It’s like giving Muhammad Ali a machete’
Issue 6569 | Volume 316 | No 10
Aston Martin DB12 New era of sports cars starts here 4 Range Rover Sport SV 626bhp, 0-62mph in 3.6sec 8 Future of Kia Small electric cars next on the agenda 10 Vauxhall reinvented Astra EVs complete turnaround 12 New Rolls-Royce Hydrogen It could be on the cards 14 The saviour of ICE? Closer look at viability of e-fuels 16
Pembleton T24 V-twin-powered period piece 24 Honda Jazz Updated hybrid in SUV-mimicking form 27 Volkswagen Amarok Sweet spot in pick-up range 28 Vauxhall Astra GSe ‘Hot hatch’ temperature check 29 BYD Atto 3 Design ROAD TEST 46
FEATURES Range Rover Sport vs BMW M3 Touring Same DNA? 30 Stripped to the ball joints Salvage yard like no other 38 Cheap exotica Ferraris and Porsches on a shoestring 40 Karim Habib Man behind Kia’s eye-catching designs 44
OUR CARS Citroën C5 X New arrival is four cars rolled into one 54 Ssangyong Korando E-Motion £20 for only 80 miles 55 Toyota Land Cruiser Big 4x4 aces off-road course 56 Audi E-tron GT Work of art discovered at Kwik Fit 58 Renault Mégane E-Tech Electric Which trim’s best? 59
EVERY WEEK Jesse Crosse Planet- and driver-friendly brake tech 15 Secret Source New column from our industry insider 17 Matt Prior Reacquainted with a long-lost Italian love 19 Steve Cropley For used gems, look outside the M25 21 Subscribe Save money and get exclusive benefits 22 Damien Smith The 24-hour race that time forgot 23 Your Views Road test read, CX-60 order cancelled 60 On this day Tata off-roaders weren’t always so posh 66 Slideshow Seven ways Mazda did things differently 74
Cult hero Remember Lotus as it was with an Evora 62 James Ruppert Seat Leon: a proto-family-banger? 65 Road test index Track down that road test here 67 New cars A-Z Key car stats, from Abarth to Zenvo 68
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FIRST DRIVE: NO, IT’S NOT A MORGAN 24
OPPOSITE SIDES OF THE SAME COIN? 30
WE JOIN DORSET’S DEPRODUCTION LINE 38
C O V E R STORY
EVEN INDIANA JONES MIGHT THINK TWICE BEFORE TAKING THIS ADVENTURE ON
BUT THE QUEST FOR THE TRULY AFFORDABLE EV HOLDS NO FEAR FOR AMBITIOUS KIA 10
ASTON FINALLY HAS THE WIND IN ITS SAILS
WHEN IT WAS launched back in 2016, the DB11 k ick-started Aston Martin’s bold second-century growth plan – a ‘flagship’ model in the truest sense. Seven years on, it’s fitting that the new DB12, which heralds the start of another new era for Gaydon, is an extensively reworked version of that car.
Aston’s financial troubles that led to Lawrence Stroll ’s investment in 2020 weren’t a reflection of the quality of its cars or its people. The proof is that the firm’s current product plan (the DB12 is the first of eight sports cars due in the next two years) isn’t a complete repudiation of what has come before.
It’s a refinement and refocusing, with new models that address areas the company has traditionally neglected (think interior tech) while putting even more emphasis on areas of historical strength (performance and handling).
It’s still early days, but with the DBX now a reliable profit line and in-demand models starting to appear, Aston seems to be on a stable footing and ready to thrive. Challenges remain, not least in making the jump to electric power. But the growing stake in the firm held by Geely, the Chinese giant that is proving to be a master of rehabilitating troubled brands, is a clear sign Aston’s doing something right.
James Attwood Acting mag editor email@example.com
Rachel Burgess is away
FIRST LOOK AT ASTON’S BOLD FUTURE 4
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31 MAY 2023 AUTOCAR.CO.UK 3