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82

‘You could put a car on square wheels and my spine still wouldn’t complain’

THIS WEEK

Issue 6444 | Volume 307 | No 2

NEWS

Honda Civic Type R Next-gen hot hatch shuns hybrid 6 Bentley’s EV plans CEO sets out electric ambitions 8 EV materials fear Europe could face supply issues 11 Kit car boom As sales soar, we look at seven top kits 12 Threat to aftermarket firms Will they be edged out? 14

TESTED

Nissan GT-R Nismo Supercar slayer made faster sti l l 18 Range Rover D300 Luxury in entry-level diesel form 22 Skoda Octavia iV PHEV with 43-mile electric range 23 Audi A3 40 TFSIe Plug-in hybrid impresses, but… 24 Porsche Taycan 4S Weediest one, with just 563bhp 25 AC Schnitzer Toyota GR Supra Potential unlocked 25 BMW M440i xDrive ROAD TEST 26

FEATURES New cars 2021 17-page guide to over 150 new cars 35 George Russell I s he really the next Lewis Hamilton? 55

OUR CARS BMW M235i Gran Coupé Final report on hot 4dr 60 BMW 420d Coupé New diesel i s set to get a gri l l ing 62 Porsche 911 Carrera Consider your options wisely 63 Ford Focus ST I t really i s better than a Mk8 Golf GTI 65

EVERY WEEK Subscribe Save money and get exclusive benefits 10 Jesse Crosse Coconuts, the secret to a smooth r ide 13 Jim Holder EVs always win on whole-life CO2 output 15 Steve Cropley Down and dirty with a Mazda MX-5 17 Damien Smith Formula E: on the rise or fizzing out? 52 Motorsport round-up Six must-watch 2021 events 53 Your Views How to pick the greatest car of al l time 58 Matt Prior Agony and ecstasy: back pain; GRYaris 82

DEALS

James Ruppert Think big, think diesel: his top buys 66 As good as new Scoop up a Tesla Model 3 for less 69 Spied in the classifieds £30k Stinger, £11k Esprit 70 Used buying guide Maserati Granturismo from £15k 72 New cars A-Z Key car stats , from Abarth to Zenos 74 Road test index Track down that road test here 81

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PORSCHE TAYCAN 4S: IS CHEAPEST BEST? 25

WHAT MAKES F1’S GEORGE RUSSELL SPECIAL 55

BMW M440i xDRIVE: EIGHTPAGE ROAD TEST 26

COVER STORY

❝TURNED OUT TO BE ONE OF THE LEAST LIKED CARS IN MY RECENT MEMORY❞

STEVE CROPLEY DELIVERS THE FINAL VERDICT ON HIS DEPARTING LONGTERM TEST CAR 60

ULTIMATE LOWDOWN ON OVER 150 NEW CARS 35

COMMENT

XJ DELAY FUELS CASTLE BROMWICH CONCERNS

BACK IN JULY 2019, Jaguar Land Rover outlined a transformation at its Castle Bromwich factory that was to be “the most significant in the plant’s history”. A huge investment converting it to build electric cars was backed up by a £500 million government loan guarantee.

First up from the new-look Castle Bromwich was to be the all-new Jaguar XJ in 2020. Then Covid hit, causing a pause on all non-essential spending. The XJ was one of the models affected.

Jaguar has said nothing offi cially since it released a preview image of the XJ in September 2019. The longer the silence on the XJ and Castle Bromwich goes on, the more deafening it becomes. We understand the project remains ongoing, but the number of test mules of the next Range Rover running around the Midlands versus anything else shows you JLR’s priorities and how close (or not) an XJ launch is. Until that happens, speculation about Castle Bromwich’s future won’t go away. It was the last JLR plant to get up and running after the Covid shutdown and the XE, one of only three models made there (alongside the XF and F-Type), has been taken off sale in the US.

Amid the delays, perhaps there is soul searching as to whether Jaguar needs a lower-volume large electric luxury saloon when there remain problems – but also opportunities – with the more volume end of its range. Mark Tisshaw Editor mark.tisshaw@haymarket.com

@mtisshaw

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