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61

‘John Watson and I wrestled over an old-fashioned cable telephone’

Issue 6459 | Volume 308 | No 4

NEWS

Audi A6 E-tron First of a new era; plus new Q4 E-tron 4 Mercedes EQS Details of luxury electric flagship 8 Toyota bZ4X SUV concept previews EV onslaught 11 Nissan X-Trail New SUV gets innovative powertrain 13 BMW M3 Competition Now 4WD for the f i rst time 14 Dealership revolution Digital tech sparks big rethink 16

TESTED

Porsche 911 GT3 The most track-focused one yet 20 Hyundai Santa Fe Electrified and on a new platform 24 Mercedes S400d 4Matic L Limo driven in the UK 26 AC Cobra Superblower V8 supercharged to 580bhp 27 Isuzu D-Max V-Cross Pick-up chases lifestyle buyer 29 Volkswagen Golf 1.0 eTSI Entry-level mild hybrid 29 BMW M4 Competition ROAD TEST 30

FEATURES Bentley Bacalar Limited-run £1.5m roadster driven 40 Is this for wheel? 12 of the maddest steering wheels 46 Luca de Meo Exclusive interview with Renault’s CEO 48 Sorry about the weight Who wants heavier cars? 54 F1’s Ben Edwards Secrets of the commentator’s art 61

OUR CARS Seat Leon Final verdict on basic and plush versions 68 Volkswagen Golf I s i t as user-friendly as i t should be? 71 Toyota GR Yaris Rally refugee turns basic runabout 73 Bentley Bentayga The difference a tyre swap makes 73

EVERY WEEK Jesse Crosse Why superchargers are set to clean up 15 Jim Holder Spend, spend, spend – and everyone wins 17 Steve Cropley Shock: VW ID 4 matches Model T feat! 19 Subscribe Save money and get exclusive benefits 38 Damien Smith Has Rally GB now been lost forever? 58 Motorsport round-up F1, BTCC, Indy 500, Formula E 59 Your Views Touchscreens, Kia classic , EV charging 66 Matt Prior Smoking’s fun but it’s an expensive habit 90

DEALS

James Ruppert The used cars buyers are f locking to 74 As good as new Pay less for an Audi A5 Sportback 77 Spied in the classifieds £50k E-Type, £9k Saab 9-5 78 Used buying guide Bag an MG RV8 l ike an expert 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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THIS WEEK

AUDI A6 E TRON: NEW EV ON SALE IN 2023 4

RENAULT CEO LUCA DE MEO TALKS FRANKLY 48

BMW M4 COMPETITION: ROAD TEST VERDICT 30

COVER STORY

❝IF YOU SEE NEW OPPORTUNITIES AND USE THEM BEFORE YOUR RIVALS CAN, YOU WIN❞

RENAULT BOSS LUCA DE MEO SETS OUT HIS VISION TO REVIVE THE FIRM’S FORTUNES 48

WHY PORSCHE’S 911 GT3 EARNS FIVE STARS 20

COMMENT

RENAULT GOT THE RIGHT BOSS AT THE RIGHT TIME

IN THE AFTERMATH of Carlos Ghosn’s arrest in late 2018, the dizzying unravelling of the empire he’d created made you question the long-term future of Renault. So complete was his control over the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance and so shocking was his downfall that it was hard to see how anyone could repair the damage done to Renault, which by now was firmly ambling along to obscurity in the mid-market.

Poor Thierry Bolloré, Ghosn’s immediate successor at Renault, never stood a chance. Yet Luca de Meo arrived soon after, fresh from plenty of success at Seat and seemingly undaunted by a challenge similar in scale to that faced by Herbert Diess to transform Volkswagen after Dieselgate. De Meo has walked into Renault, quickly identified its problems and rapidly developed his hugely ambitious ‘Renaulution’ plan. But as you can read in Steve Cropley’s interview on p48, he’s done so with such charisma and enthusiasm that you don’t doubt it can – and will – succeed. That Bolloré, freed from Ghosn’s shadow, is doing similar things at Jaguar Land Rover is a reminder that success in the car industry isn’t just about making cars: it’s also about great leadership. And, in de Meo, Renault has one of the best. James Attwood Executive editor james.attwood@haymarket.com

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