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‘It looks like Mike Tyson in a tutu turning up at ballet class’

TH

THIS WEEK

Issue 6450 | Volume 307 | No 8

NEWS

McLaren Artura Full details of new PHEV supercar 6 Porsche 911 GT3 Mighty track-focused two-seater 10 Lotus endurance racer Study shows 2030 vision 12 Charger network Should the government step in? 14 On the buses UK bus industry looks to EVs for a l i f t 16

TESTED

Ruf CTR Anniversary A 911 , but not as we know i t 20 Xpeng P7 Electric family saloon bound for Europe 24 Volkswagen Golf GTD Hot diesel driven in the UK 25 Kia Rio Revised Ford Fiesta r ival in f lagship guise 25 Skoda Octavia 2.0 TDI vRS ROAD TEST 26

FEATURES Porsche 911 vs itself Or how to spec the perfect 911 36 ‘Airbnb’ for EVs Driveways with chargers for rent 42 La belle époque Bright new era for two car giants 44 Renault 5 GT Turbo Hot hatch that time overlooked 48 Star quality Stellantis brands’ greatest hits (so far) 52 Andrew Jordan Why he’s closed the door on BTCC 57

OUR CARS Renault Zoe Final report: was i t better than a Clio? 62 Honda E No ICE but lots of ice – and curtailed range 65

EVERY WEEK Jesse Crosse The challenge of designing an EV tyre 15 Jim Holder How and why car sales will bounce back 17 Steve Cropley What Ford’s boss has built at home 19 Damien Smith UK’s Alex Lynn on Formula E in 2021 54 Motorsport round-up F1, BTCC, WRC, Indycar, WEC 55 Your Views EVs, wheel sizes, daft ‘innovation’ ideas 60 Subscribe Save money and get exclusive benefits 64 Matt Prior The 956 and what i t says about Porsche 82

DEALS

James Ruppert Surfer seeks estate for board game 66 As good as new Smart time to buy a Jaguar E-Pace 69 Spied in the classifieds Five must-have hot hatches 70 Used buying guide Mk2 Smart Fortwo from £1500 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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VA VA VOOM: RENAULT’S BRAVE NEW WORLD 44

VA VA VOOM: RENAULT’S BRAVE NEW WORLD 44

WHO’LL FUND CHARGING NETWORK GROWTH? 14

FULL ROAD TEST: SKODA OCTAVIA vRS 26

COVER STORY

❝IMAGINE AN AIR TANKER DROPPING NOT WATER ONTO A BLAZING FOREST BUT KEROSENE❞

RICHARD LANE IS SET ALIGHT BY THE NEW 700BHP RUF CTR’S ACCELERATION 20

WHY THE ARTURA IS A NEW KIND OF McLAREN 6

COMMENT

ARTURA IS JUST WHAT McLAREN HAS NEEDED

SAME ENGINE, same styling, same-sounding names… However exciting and brilliant each car McLaren makes is in isolation, there has become considerable overlap in the line-up and a lack of distinction between models as the firm has grown. Yes, McLaren Automotive is barely a decade old and growing pains are to be expected. But its ambition has perhaps seen it try to do too much with too little, as the recent GT has revealed. Trying to turn the constituent parts of a supercar into a true Bentleyrivalling luxurious grand tourer proved beyond even the talented designers and engineers at Woking. The all-new Artura (p6) is McLaren’s emphatic response to show that it really can do and be different – and evolve.

It brings with it a new engine, new plug-in hybrid technology that allows it to run on electric power alone, a new chassis built in a new factory, new styling, including a vastly overhauled interior, and a new name that leaves the alphanumerical nomenclature of other McLarens behind. While it’s out with much of the old, that famed McLaren accessibility, usability and wonderful performance remain.

All of this makes the Artura as significant a launch for McLaren as the MP4-12C at the firm’s birth and – most crucial of all – a car that at last gets McLaren back on the front foot. Mark Tisshaw Editor mark.tisshaw@haymarket.com

@mtisshaw

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17 FEBRUARY 2021 AUTOCAR.CO.UK 5

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