Everything you need to know about cars: 10 Jan '21
Singer's latest creation, Nismo GT-R vs winter and a road-legal Lambo racecar
Our Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning review
"A hugely capable device. Not cheap, but it should be easy to run. By, y'know, jet fighter standards"Advertisement - Page continues below
Do you know the histories of these 12 car badges?
"You know what they say about a man with a big estate?
"No? Well actually, despite the similarity to the male gender symbol, the Volvo logo doesn’t have anything to do with that. It uses the chemical symbol for iron to symbolise the ‘strength and power’ of its cars."
There's a new Bentley Bentayga Hybrid
"This is the newly updated Bentley Bentayga Hybrid. On the face of it, it’s big news: a notable step towards Bentley being fully hybrid by 2026, and an electric-only brand by 2030. But in truth it’s a simple update of the plug-in hybrid Bentayga launched in 2019, with a big restyle and a handful of new features."Advertisement - Page continues below
This wild Zyrus LP1200 Strada is road legal
"It’s called the LP1200 Strada and still features twin turbos, although the power figure stands at a piddly 900bhp to use on the road. Not to worry though – with the help of a smartphone app you can dial it right back up to 1,200bhp when you reach a circuit. Make sure to remember your big kid pants for that. "
The McLaren Sabre is a 218mph hypercar, for the US only
"Looking like a more voluptuous take on the Senna, it’s a US-only special, of which just 15 highly personalised examples are being built. It’s produced by McLaren’s MSO division, rather than being pumped out from the ‘regular’ Ultimate Series line that’s recently borne the Speedtail and Elva."
Hurrah! The Aspark Owl is now officially on sale
"It’d be fair to say that many thought the Owl would never make production, but in the past year or so we were told that it’d have 2,012bhp and 1,475lb ft of torque, would cost €2.9m, would hit a limited top speed of 248.55mph and would be built in Italy by MAT."
VW’s made a cute mobile charging robot
"Conceived as a more cost-efficient way of electrifying existing parking infrastructure, the idea is the cute little robot hauls a mobile charger to your car, plugs it in, then returns later to pick it up when you need to leave (or your battery’s full)."Advertisement - Page continues below
Does this retro EV make you want to go electric?
"Curious looking thing, the Alpha Ace Coupe. It looks as though it was designed for a Pixar movie, or perhaps the next Grand Theft Auto game. But no – it’s an actual car that you can actually buy. Well, these appear to be some renders of a car you may one day be able to buy, at any rate."
It's the cult of the Honda Motocompo
"Meet the Motocompo, the smallest scooter Honda ever made. Which is no accident, because what you’re looking at is a bike designed specifically to fold up and squeeze into the boot of a car."Advertisement - Page continues below
Wow, Singer has reimagined a Safari 911
"Built at the request of one long-standing customer who wanted an air-cooled 911 that could “compete in off-road racing and demonstrate all-terrain exploration capabilities,” the ACS is Singer’s first toe in the water of competition cars, and as such was designed in partnership with historic 911 rally expert Richard Tuthill and built as his Oxfordshire base, in good old blighty."
Toyota has built a targa-topped A90 Supra
"Until now, the new A90 has only been available as a coupe - its BMW Z4 half-cousin covering off the convertible bit - and despite what you see in the images above, that’s not going to change any time soon. Sorry."
Inside Alvis, the carmaker you mightn't have heard of
"Continuation models. A newfound phenomenon of the car industry and a prickly talking point for monied collectors. You may’ve noticed a load of them sprout out of factories in the last few years, normally for crazy prices; there’s been continuation Jaguar XKSS and lightweight E-Types, a Bentley Blower, Aston’s DB4 GT, Zagato and even James Bond’s DB5 complete with gadgets.
"It doesn’t stop there: Range Rovers, Lister Knobblys and Shelby Daytona Coupes have all been dragged out of the grave and sold as new-old cars. But there’s one you might not have heard of. And a proper, bona fide continuation to boot: Alvis."
Toyota’s first EV is a two-seat, 12bhp ‘mobility option’
"Whereas the Ami makes do with just 9bhp and a 5.5kWh battery pack, though, the C+ gets a huge 12bhp and a 9.06kwh lithium-ion battery for an impressive range of 93 miles. Its top speed of 37mph trounces the Ami’s 28mph too, although the Toyota does weigh almost a third more than its French counterpart at 670kg."
Daihatsu’s 2021 Tokyo Auto Salon concepts are wild
"Aren’t these little kei cars all incredible? The first and surely the most bonkers is the Hijet Sporza, which is based on the Hijet delivery van but has been turned into a ridiculously cool kei-speedster-ute thing. Want."
We review the 1980 Audi Quattro
"The car that did more to further the cause of the performance car than almost any other, Audi’s 4WD icon still has relevance today"
Meet the man aiming to bring Britain more Dakar glory
"We’re speaking to Sam Sunderland just before he flies out to start Dakar 2021, the rally raid we now find ourselves several days into. Sunderland, who hails from Poole, won the Dakar on his Red Bull KTM in 2017, making him the only British racer to ever do so."
This secret Porsche 550ne is the baby Boxster we deserved
"This Porsche tribute to the car appears to hail from 2008, according to the Instagram account of Walter de Silva, the Italian designer who spent the 2000s making Seats sexy, hitting on the idea of giving Audis giant singleframe grilles, and even coming up with the looks of the original R8. Peter Wauda, Christian Felske and Romi Rost also contributed to the 550ne."
Over half the cars sold in Norway last year were EVs
"Data from the Norwegian Road Federation (OFV) says that in 2020, 54.3 per cent of new cars sold in the country were powered solely by electricity. That’s up from 42.4 per cent in 2019 and just ONE per cent ten years ago. Meanwhile in the UK last year, 6.6 per cent of new cars sold were EVs, up from 1.6 per cent in 2019. "
What do you think will win Car of the Year?
"The shortlist for this year’s Car of the Year award is out. All the significant new cars launched in Europe in the past year, 29 of them, were eligible. From the Hyundai i10 to the S-Class Benz."
New TG mag out now: Mustang Mach-E vs Tesla Model Y
"Ford may have pilfered its Mustang heritage to give its first proper EV some gloss, but it’s a well-sorted family SUV that’s at least got us all talking. The real question is, though, how does it stack up against the only competition that anyone cares about – the Tesla Model Y?"
This is a brand-new Mk2 Escort rally car
"You’ve quite probably seen the Singer ACS and swooned. But if you’ve not got a seven-figure sum lying around to acquire one, perhaps your swoons are tinged with sadness. Well, the Escort you see may just be the solace you seek."
Meet the new Jeep Grand Cherokee L
"Jeep has unveiled its new fifth-generation Grand Cherokee. And it’s launched as a three-row, seven-seat model called the Grand Cherokee L, ahead of the standard two-row version and a new, electrified model named ‘4xe’ later this year."
Progress report: Renault Twingo vs Renault Zoe
"Believe it or not, when the Twingo first hit the floor of the 1992 Paris Motor Show it was considered a radical piece of design. Inspired by the one-box Espace people carrier, it had a similar objective of maximising the space available to its four occupants. In fact, one of the major selling points was that its rear bench slid backwards and the front seats fully reclined, thus creating a makeshift double bed. Handy after one too many vinos at your favourite Parisian haunt."
The new Mercedes EQS will have this vast all-digital dashboard
"Mercedes calls it the ‘zero-layer’. The idea is the most important, most frequently used functions are only ever one tap away, so the driver shouldn’t have to scroll through sub-menus or issue voice commands half as often."
The 2.0-litre Toyota Supra is finally on sale in Britain
"The chief advantage of the smaller motor is less and more evenly distributed weight. Toyota says the 2.0-litre Supra weighs 100kg less than the 3.0-litre car and that the engine’s mass is further back in the chassis."
Let us walk you around the Singer ACS rally car
"It’s safe to say that 2021 appears to be broadly picking up where 2020 left off. But when the car world’s first big reveal of the year is the Singer ACS, it appears to be doing its bit to ensure the light at the end of the tunnel looks very bright indeed."
Top Gear’s Top 9: Formula One game-changers
"F1 records are weird. Despite the first official race taking place just a year after the end of the Second World War (the Turin GP in 1946), there wasn’t actually a championship for manufacturers and teams, as well as drivers themselves, until 1958. British marque Vanwall won the first ever constructors’ title thanks to three wins each by Stirling Moss and Tony Brooks, though Moss lost the drivers’ crown to Mike Hawthorn, by a single point."
Nissan GT-R Nismo review: the £180,000 R35
"Think of the Nismo GT-R as a sparring partner. It’s on your side, but willing to jab you in the ribs to keep you alert. It doesn’t envelop you in a warm embrace of friendly grip and flattering electronics like an F8 or 911 will, but that’s not to say you’re left floundering. You have to work for its performance and tell the car you’re up for it by sticking it into its meaner modes."