TopGear.com12 September 2012

Brand new Top Gear magazine - out now!

This month: a hot hatch mega-test, the McLaren X-1 and the Le Mans-engined Peugeot Onyx concept

It's over to Top Gear magazine's Editor-in-Chief Charlie Turner for a few words on this month's spectacular new issue - out now!

It's a fair assumption that if you buy this magazine, you'll spend a fair amount of your time - both conscious and unconscious - thinking and dreaming about cars.

The special car you've promised yourself that you'll own one day, the garage project that offers escapism at the end of a tedious week, the stealthy company car that might fool the accountants and slip under their radar but delivers some daily fun. All of us live, breathe and dream about cars.

It's looking good for us, too. While a supercar is always the ultimate fantasy, the reality is that, on pretty much any given day, the newest generation of hot hatch will keep even the most serious sports car honest, and do so at a price accessible to us mortals - the dream taking one step closer to reality. This month, we take the four greatest hot hatches on sale in the UK and hand them over to the The Stig to decide which is the best. Ollie Marriage downloads The Helmet to deliver a definitive verdict. The result will probably surprise you.

For the lucky few, though, the dream still floats at a much higher, more rarefied altitude. Up there, it's all about being unique rather than just rare, and McLaren's X-1 project proves that the customer is always right - at least in their own mind. While the inspiration may have come from wildly random influences - an aubergine and Audrey Hepburn are both cited - you can't argue with McLaren's ability to deliver a quality of execution that dreams really are made of.

But why stop at one manifestation of the dream? Why not deliver a complete range? At Icon, Jonathan Ward's entire business is based on bringing dreams - and the cars America grew up with - to life, but with a twist: the style of the past, but engineered for the future. Associate editor Tom Ford spent some time in Icon's Bronco and came back babbling incoherently, his personal dream garage evidently swelled by one.

Keep dreaming, and enjoy the issue.

Video: a teaser from the hot hatch mega-test...

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