TopGear.com27 March 2014

Top Gear magazine – the supercar slayers

Featuring the Audi S1, BMW M235i, WRX STI, Merc A45 and Cooper S…. Out now!

At Top Gear magazine we love and celebrate the supercar. But we know, in truth, the chances of owning one, or even driving one is very unlikely for the majority of us. And even if that lottery win does come in, the reality of driving a supercar on a busy, wet B-road can quickly turn the petrolhead dream into a nightmare. So this month we bring you our pick of the real-world heroes, accessible cars that can give you that fix of fast fun and cope with any stretch of tarmac. Will our B-road blasters turn out to be supercar slayers?

Leading the charge is the all-new Audi S1. We take this feisty 4WD city car across the B-roads of Sweden and Norway to see if it can live up to the quattro legacy. Elsewhere in the issue, we also take a trip back to the 80s to meet the original, and still legendary, S1 Group B rally car.

Next we head stateside in the BMW 235i and Subaru Impreza STI to see what the US has to offer, far away from the 100-mile straights and monotonous interstates. And America’s diciest roads do not disappoint. Back home, we take the Golf R and Merc A45 AMG across the breadth of Britain, from east to west using only B-roads. And we conclude in Wales, where our reigning Car of the Year, the Fiesta ST, plays benchmark for the new Mini Cooper S…

Also this month, we attempt to break a world speed record… on a lawnmower. With the current record set at 96.53mph we were fairly confident of success, if not a tad scared at the prospect. Plus we go racing in part two of our Nan Prix, driving three small cars loved by grannies, the Hyundai i10, Skoda Citigo and Dacia Sandero, to a hilly race circuit to take on our tame racing driver – The Stig.

As half of the Caterhams sold in the UK are home-built in people’s sheds, we decided it would be a good idea to build one ourselves. But with a lack of shed we decided to build it in the office… After quite a bit of effort we were still an engine and gearbox short, so we enlisted the help of Caterham’s Formula One team (handily located not too far away) to finish it off. We then enlisted the help of their driver, Kamui Kobayashi, to take it for its first track test.

And we conclude our Laps of Britain by taking a McLaren 12C across the Irish Sea for a lap of the Emerald Isle.

In the news this month, we take a first-look at the new Audi TT, the Alfa 4C Spider and Maserati Alfieri. And we find out why the Hennessey Venom clocking 270mph hasn’t broken the Veyron’s World Record.

Plus we review all the latest new cars that matter, including the Mercedes C-Class, Kia Soul EV, BMW X5 M50d and Jaguar XFR-S Sportbrake.

Get all of this, plus the latest news, reviews of all the cars you need to know about and, of course, the usual thoughts/ramblings from Clarkson, Hammond and May.

The April issue of Top Gear is available in all major retailers and supermarkets now!

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