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‘A supertanker load of s*** has gone down since 2012, hasn’t it?’

Issue 6501 | Volume 311 | No 7

NEWS

Alfa Romeo’s fightback Tonale leads, more to follow 6 Mercedes-Benz CLE Coupé, cabrio, 500bhp AMGs 10 DS E-Tense Performance New 805bhp sports coupé 12 Aston Martin V12 How the f i rm plans to keep i t al ive 14 Bentley’s future CEO on the luxury f i rm’s next steps 16 Aye, robot New production tech can cut cost of EVs 18

TESTED

Dacia Jogger Sandero-based £15k seven-seater 24 Toyota Aygo X City car i s al ive and well as fun SUV 28 Porsche Taycan Sport Turismo Shooting brake EV 30 Mazda CX-5 Biggest revamp yet for l ikeable SUV 31 Kia Sportage 1.6 T-GDi Pure petrol: i s i t a winner? 33 Skoda Fabia 1.0 TSI 95PS SE Comfort ROAD TEST 34

FEATURES BMW iX vs Mercedes EQS Luxury EVs lock horns 42 Latest global sales figures Who’s sold what where 50 EV fire risk Investigation into EV battery fire issues 54 Seven ages of car What i s your car classified as? 56

OUR CARS Land Rover Defender Our 3 .0 - l i tre diesel 90 arrives 64 McLaren GT Newbie to McLarens tries i t for a week 65 Peugeot 508 PSE The perils of plug-ins in London 66 Renault Arkana Fully loaded long cross-country trip 67

EVERY WEEK Autocar Archive Access 125 years of issues for free 4 Jesse Crosse How to do origami with stainless steel 13 Matt Prior Canny way to keep the customer satisfied 15 Jim Holder BMW i3 : the r ight car at the wrong time? 19 Subscribe Save money and get exclusive benefits 20 Steve Cropley EV alternative to a short-haul f l ight 21 Damien Smith Daytona 24 Hours and Formula E 22 Your Views Fuel costs, EV charging, vegan materials 60 On this day Ford battles with GM and Ferrari in 1967 63 Slideshow Seven of the UK’s shortest-lived cars ever 82

DEALS

James Ruppert Espace, RX-8, Bravo and Tomcat 68 Cult Hero Mk5 VW Golf R32: V6, 4WD, now from £5k 70 As good as new Nab a sti l l -fresh Suzuki Ignis for less 72 Take it or leave it M760Li, Edge, Hyundai Coupé 73 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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THIS WEEK

ALL NEW SKODA FABIA: FULL ROAD TEST 34

DACIA JOGGER: VALUE SEVEN SEATER RATED 24

BMW iX TAKES ON MERCEDES BENZ EQS 42

COVER STORY

❝PUTTING OUT AN EV FIRE IS VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE. IT CAN ERUPT AGAIN EVEN WEEKS LATER ❞

JOHN EVANS INVESTIGATES TOXIC VAPOUR CLOUDS AND SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION 54

FULL DETAILS OF TONALE AND ALFA REVIVAL 6

COMMENT

BMW iX’S LOOKS DIVIDE BUT ITS ABILITY RULES

“READY TO SURPRISE with a remarkable range of dynamic qualities, plus first-class cabin ambience and space. More understated and likeable than you might think.”

So says our verdict line of the new BMW iX as it comes up against its Mercedes-Benz EQS rival (p42). The iX is BMW’s new flagship model and a blueprint for its future, yet so far the wider debate about the car hasn’t got any further than its ‘bold’ styling that’s anything but understated.

So polarising are the iX’s looks that I’m not sure it ever will. Indeed, the iX was revealed back in November 2020, and the passing of so much time hasn’t dulled the shock factor.

And that’s a real shame, because, as our extensive test reveals, the iX is a hugely impressive car that moves the game on significantly for BMW in many of the areas that will be key battlegrounds as the adoption of electric cars continues through the 2020s and beyond.

BMW’s new styling direction hasn’t harmed the brand’s performance to date. Perhaps it never will. Yet pushing things so far on the iX still feels an unnecessary and unfortunate distraction from what really counts: just how good this car is to sit in and to drive. After all, there can be no argument about that. Mark Tisshaw Editor mark.tisshaw@haymarket.com

Date: 28.Jan 2022 12:37:54

SCOOP 5 ALL-NEW BENTLEYS

W BENTLEYS

@mtisshaw

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