Opinion

Remembering Clive Sinclair and the launch of the C5

Posted in CAR NEWS on September 17, 2021
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Sir Clive Sinclair, courageous inventor of the pocket calculator and home computer who has just died, is best remembered in the car business for one of his more spectacular failures, the Sinclair C5 pedal-electric tricycle.  I was around when the C5 was launched in January 1985, and apart from the singular experience of actually driving the vehicle (which I tried half a dozen times and found rather appealing) I remember two outstanding things — the Read More »

Matt Prior: if you want to keep a low profile, don't drive a BMW i8

Posted in CAR NEWS on September 16, 2021
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The small roadster is a hairdresser’s car. The big SUV with heavily tinted windows is a drug dealer’s car. There are some unfair and unkind stereotypes in motoring, which were never funny, aren’t accurate and often come with troublingly prejudicial undertones. So fair play to West Midlands Police for smashing one of them by releasing a video of a car chase from last year that resulted in the arrests and convictions of two drug dealers Read More »

Opinion: British rallying is going green again

Posted in CAR NEWS on September 16, 2021
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The extended shutdown led to some pundits hailing the end of the sport – but they couldn’t be more wrong, despite the obvious environmental issues that forest rallying has to face. Graham Hopewell, clerk of the course for the Woodpecker, confirmed that the landowner, Natural Resource Wales, was supportive throughout the process of running his event. However, he still had to redesign it to run solely in Wales, as English forests will remain largely out of Read More »

Racing lines: Surrey's gentle hillclimb is a Shere Delight

Posted in CAR NEWS on September 15, 2021
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It’s easy to imagine the obstacles that Warner and his chums faced. First, he had to win over sceptical and even hostile resistance from the residents of West Horsley, just down the A246, while closing a road for a car-based event was always going to face all kinds of prejudice that a cycling race for the biggest sporting occasion in the world wouldn’t be subjected to. But Warner comes across as one of those sorts Read More »

Steve Cropley: Choosing between an Alpine A110 or Porsche 718

Posted in CAR NEWS on September 15, 2021
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Some interesting lessons from this, though: there are too few safe pull-off areas beside our country’s roads; ordinary alloy wheels weigh a ton; and tyre specialists never have the tyre you really need. Luckily, the pleasure of driving is as great as ever. Thursday Despite all, many of us recall the tortured years of British Leyland, Austin Rover and Rover Group with abiding fondness – and with a heightened awareness of their multifarious achievements – Read More »

Opinion: Why it's good that the Goodwood Revival is back

Posted in CAR NEWS on September 14, 2021
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We missed it last year. Hell, we missed everything, didn’t we? But for UK motorsport fans, September just wasn’t quite September without the Goodwood Revival. The return this weekend after the Covid hiatus once again promises to be the highlight of the racing season. What is it that makes the Revival so popular? The time warp to some sort of make-believe historical mash-up that mixes wartime jive with 1950s rock ’n’ roll and ’60s mod Read More »

James Ruppert: Looking for versatility? Here's what you should buy

Posted in CAR NEWS on September 14, 2021
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Let’s stick to petrol and go for a 1.6 Titanium X Navigator, again with an automatic gearbox, one owner and just 12,000 miles, all for £12,400. Some of the big old flat-pack estates are worth a go, such as the Vauxhall Carlton, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Volvo V70. However, you have to make sure that the front passenger seat will recline all the way. From around £1000 you can get a double bed in the back, Read More »

Inside the industry: Renault pushes for electrification delay

Posted in CAR NEWS on September 12, 2021
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Such is the apocalyptic outlook for the future of our planet that I had come to think it was nigh-on impossible to resist any environmental initiative – especially for car makers, widely seen as the devil’s work post-Dieselgate. You can imagine my eyes popping out, then, when the Renault Group’s director of R&D, Gilles Le Borgne, used the Munich motor show to calmly outline why the EU’s proposal to “cut vehicular CO2 emissions from current Read More »

Matt Prior: The answer to ‘Should I buy one?’ is never simple

Posted in CAR NEWS on September 9, 2021
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‘Should I buy one?’ It’s a simple question that appears at the end of Autocar’s first drives online, but it’s not, alas, a question to which I want to give a simple answer. The quest for a plain answer is an inevitable demand, though, in a world that’s desperate for decisions and opinions. Yes or no; in or out; left or right; dogs or cats. Modern life loves a culture war in which everything is Read More »

Too many cars are too fast

Posted in REVIEWS on September 8, 2021
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"Slow cars fast" are a dying breed. Too few cars anymore shine based on their handling merits alone, and too many dynamic cars can't be enjoyed to anywhere near their fullest on public roads. I love driving the Mazda Miata. Not because it’s a convertible — I actually don’t particularly care for droptops, but I’ll save that for another opinion piece. I love it because it’s an engaging car to drive, one where man and Read More »

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