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‘I’ve got 82 of my own helmets. I tried to keep everything’

THIS WEEK

Issue 6448 | Volume 307 | No 6

NEWS

Lotus fightback Electric sports car, SUV, new Esprit 6 Tesla’s 200mph saloon 1100bhp for Model S Plaid+ 10 Pininfarina Battista We ride in the electric hypercar 12 Jaguar’s future Will it be mothballed, sold or saved? 14 Is this the year of the EV? Top execs give their view 16

TESTED

BMW 128ti Hot hatch has VW Golf GTI in its sights 20 Vauxhall Insignia GSi Defiant stand of a dying breed 25 Alpina D3 S Touring ‘D’ is for diesel – and discerning 26 Porsche Taycan Entry level, with an enthusiast twist 27 Toyota GR Supra 2.0 Four-pot version driven in UK 29 Jaguar F-Pace P400 MHEV Hot mild-hybrid SUV 29 Cupra Formentor 2.0 TSI VZ2 DSG ROAD TEST 32

FEATURES Porsche 911 versus Taycan Evolution or revolution? 42 Hometown glory Clevedon boy on town’s star car 48 Aston Martin’s Q division From Gaydon with love 50 Carzam exam We test out the online car retailer 58 Dario Franchitti Top racer, pundit, serial collector 65

OUR CARS Porsche 911 Carrera Final verdict on entry-level car 70 BMW 420d Coupé 200 trees in its boot. Yes, 200 73

EVERY WEEK Jesse Crosse Painting by numbers (all 1s and 0s) 15 Jim Holder Is hydrogen power smart or ‘stupid’? 17 Steve Cropley JLR, Lotus and a weird hybrid thing 19 Subscribe Save money and get exclusive benefits 40 Damien Smith How Formula 1 is shaping up for 2021 62 Motorsport round-up Extreme E, WRC, BTCC, F2 63 Your Views Is the VW Group slowly killing Seat? 68 Matt Prior Why we may eventually grow out of cars 90

DEALS

James Ruppert Do you deliver? Lockdown bargains 74 As good as new Current-shape Merc E-Class Estate 77 Spied in the classifieds Range Rover, Beetle, MX-5 78 Used buying guide Go wild: TVR Sagaris from £65k 80 New cars A-Z Key car stats, from Abarth to Zenos 82 Road test index Track down that road test here 89

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CULTURE CLASH: 911 AND TAYCAN COMPARED 42

FRANCHITTI AND HIS AMAZING MEMORABILIA 65

CUPRA FORMENTOR: ROAD TEST VERDICT 32

COVER STORY

❝AT TIMES, IT DOESN’T EVEN FEEL LIKE MAGIC BUT SOMETHING CLOSER TO WITCHCRAFT❞

PORSCHE’S EV HAS HAD A SPELLBINDING EFFECT ON ANDREW FRANKEL 42

IMAGE

LOTUS‘S BOLD NEW GENERATION OF CARS 6

COMMENT

LOTUS ENDS THIS ERA TO CHASE A BETTER ONE

SO CONFIDENT IS Lotus in its bold new future product plan that at the same time as announcing its first new sports car since 2009, it has also confirmed the end of its entire current model range. The Elise has been Lotus for the past 25 years. It has been the only constant among many a crisis, management change and false dawn. The Exige and Evora feel like they have been at Lotus almost as long, and however great and pure an experience each car is to drive, a viable business they do not make.

It’s a misconception that Lotus’s acquisition by Chinese giant Geely instantly paved the streets of Hethel with gold. The company’s management has been given the resources to operate day to day, but they’ve had to prove Lotus can be a viable business with what it had before it received substantial investment. While still loss making, those losses are under control and its sales actually improved in 2020. Now, off the back of that turnaround, Geely is ready to invest in Lotus’s future. Tears will be shed over the great cars it leaves behind, but time moves on. The world is ready for a new Lotus – and Lotuses – that retains the driving purity and lightness but that you truly live with every day rather than have to make excuses for. Much like Porsche in that regard, a great car company yet also a great car business.

Mark Tisshaw Editor mark.tisshaw@haymarket.com

@mtisshaw

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