Everything you need to know about cars this week: 16 May '21
All the big news and reviews from a week in cars, including our first drive of the M5 CS
Obviously Porsche’s new Taycan roof box can go 124mph
"The key stats are probably its 480 litre/75kg payload and the fact it can swallow three snowboards. The stat you actually want to hear is that Porsche has tested it at speeds up to 124mph."Advertisement - Page continues below
The new BMW M3 meets its 6cyl ancestors... and the M4
"An exhaustive family portrait would involve six generations of M3, the little E30 as dwarfed among them as an errant toddler in a football crowd. These are the last three six-cylinder M3s – perhaps the last if the G80’s eventual replacement goes hybrid or EV."
Is a £350k electric Bentley S1 the future of classic cars?
This isn’t your run-of-the-mill 1961 Bentley Continental Flying Spur by HJ Mulliner… this is the future. Welcome to the Lunaz electric Bentley S1.Advertisement - Page continues below
This is the new Subaru Outback estate
"The Outback gets the latest iteration of Subaru’s Eyesight driver assist system, which uses a plethora of cameras to almost double the driver’s field of vision, while new to this latest Outback is a fatigue detection system and a reverse parking assist that’ll bong politely if you’re about to reverse into oncoming cars."
Renault Sport has changed its name to Alpine
"On a practical level little will change – the 300-strong Renault Sport team still exists, only now it’s working under the Alpine umbrella. But it does appear that from now on, thanks to the name change, fast Renaults will wear Alpine badges instead of Renault Sport ones. No news on what that means for the existing Megane R.S…. "
This new Mercedes T-Class concept looks tremendous
"We can only hope the styling of the ‘near-series-production’ concept carries over into the ‘really-final-series-production’ van, because it’s very easy on the eye. There’s a big, flat, star-patterned face with sharp, narrow LED headlights, and good proportions in its overall silhouette."
Progress report: Toyota Celica GT-Four vs GR Yaris
"The Celica’s 2.0-litre four develops 239bhp and 224lb ft of torque, enough to send 1,440kg of Celica to 62mph in 5.9secs. Very quick in its day. The Yaris motor, half a litre and one cylinder down, develops 257bhp and 266lb ft of torque. We’ve timed the 1,280kg hatch to 60mph in 4.6secs, against a claim of 5.5. So no, the speed advantage lies with the new car."Advertisement - Page continues below
Review: Mini Hatch
"The newly-moustachioed Mini is an excellent grown-up hatch. Not the most practical though"
This company will give your new Defender rusty panels
"Dutch company Heritage Customs has developed a new metal spraying and binding technique that allows it to fit pre-rusted panels to your brand-new Land Rover Defender."Advertisement - Page continues below
Sabine's Frikadelli Racing team have taken a 1-2 win at the Ring
"Heart-warming news from the Nürburgring, where the Frikadelli Racing team of Sabine Schmitz and partner Klaus Abbelen have taken a one-two victory in the final rehearsal race ahead of June’s 24 Hours."
The BMW M4 GT3 has shown its face at the Nürburgring
"Hands up if you find the latest BMW M3 and M4 are actually a touch too subtle for you. We don’t see many hands. Those sheepishly sticking their mitts up at the back, though? Let’s hope you have a racing licence. Because the solution is here."
Gordon Murray is developing a lightweight EV architecture
"An investment of £300million over the next five years will see Gordon Murray Design develop a 'revolutionary, lightweight, ultra-efficient' platform for small EVs and delivery vans. The company will also set up a new R&D facility to pursue its goal of stripping as much weight and complexity out of vehicle platforms and manufacturing processes as possible."
The Subaru Solterra will be the brand’s first EV
"It will be built around the e-TNGA platform that Toyota has created for its upcoming EVs, effectively making it a twin to whichever production car is spawned from the Toyota bZ4X concept we saw last month."
Review: Zenvo TSR-S
"The car with the world’s most bonkers rear wing is crude, sure, but not without its charms"
Porsche’s Sonderwunsch scheme lets you design your own car
"Porsche has boosted its personalisation options and reinvigorated its Sonderwunsch programme for the bespoke supercar age. Established in the late Seventies (and translating as ‘special wish’), it’s been newly interpreted to essentially allow you – the customer with the overly fat wallet – to design your own car."
This reimagined 250 GT SWB is from England
"Always wanted a Ferrari 250 GT SWB but haven’t got a) tens of millions of quid or b) legs or feet small enough to safely or comfortably operate Sixties pedals? Well step this way, towards the RML Short Wheelbase. The Northants-based creators of the bonkers Nissan Juke R have turned their hand to pretty restomods."
Aston Martin's first pure-electric sports car will arrive in 2025
"Mr AMG is now Mr Aston Martin. Nine months into the top job, Tobias Moers is ready to reveal his masterplan to solve all Aston’s problems… again. We caught up with him to find out how it’s going."
The G70 Shooting Brake is the first Genesis designed for Europe
"Questionable use of the shooting brake moniker aside, it’s a very exciting thing. It looks fantastic, with a kind-of floating rear spoiler and those Genesis-signature quad LED lights front and rear. Worth remembering that Genesis’s design director is ex-Lamborghini and Bentley man Luc Donckerwolke."
Feast your eyes on the GTO Engineering Squalo’s 10,000rpm V12
"You’re drooling over the first renderings of the 4.0-litre naturally aspirated V12 that’ll power GTO Engineering’s bespoke retro supercar as inspired by the finest British and Italian exotica of the 1960s. The car, as we now know, will be called ‘Squalo’, which is Italian for shark. And this is what’s going to give it some bite."
The Ineos Grenadier has been delayed
"Production of the Ineos Grenadier, which was scheduled to start this year, has been delayed to July 2022. The company blames 'unavoidable delays through 2020', and claims pushing back the start of production will allow it to 'achieve its rigorous testing targets'."
Review: Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA
"Alfa's love letter to the fast saloon doesn't make rational sense, but it doesn't matter: it's very, very special"
Is the Ford Transit Britain's most important vehicle?
The trusty old Ford Transit van is the UK’s best-selling commercial vehicle. Could it be the most important vehicle in the history of Britain? In the latest episode of our retro mini-series, Top Gear magazine’s Jack Rix finds out…
The Volkswagen ID.4 just got a whole lot cheaper
"The City-spec ID.4 with the Pure motor is the one that’s eligible for the Government’s Plug-in Car Grant. At £32,150 it’s just under £4,000 cheaper than the next cheapest ID.4 (the City Pure Performance), and about £155 more expensive than the cheapest Skoda Enyaq. Said Enyaq has a bigger 58kWh battery, claims 256 miles of range to the ID.4’s 213 and does 0-62mph in 8.7 seconds. You’d have to really want the VW…"
The first Bugatti Baby IIs have been delivered
"Just 500 of these things will be built by Britain’s The Little Car Company (in partnership with Bugatti itself), the first of which have just been delivered to their lucky owners."
BMW M5 CS review: the most powerful M car ever built
"A lightweight version of a heavy car? I expect we’ll be seeing a lot more of this as we enter the electrical age. But yeah, the idea of the M5 CS didn’t sit easily with me. I couldn’t see the point of it, or more accurately, what BMW was trying to achieve with it. But then I drove it."
Top Gear's Top 9: notable Renault Sport road cars
"If you’d not heard the news, Renault Sport is being absorbed by Alpine. And as we blow out the candles on its retirement cake, it really would be impossible to start anywhere else. Renault could make cars until the world is finally ingested by the sun and this would remain its high watermark of cool and intrigue..."
The hybrid estate-off: Peugeot 508 PSE vs BMW 330e Touring
"Peugeot versus BMW isn’t a contest you’ll have seen often. That it’s taken the French maker’s most powerful and expensive car to draw the two companies together ought to illustrate the usual gap in allure between their cars. And yet of the pair, passers-by only have eyes for the 508 Peugeot Sport Engineered. Never mind drawing level with BMW in the desirability stakes, Peugeot’s leapfrogged it..."
Remembering classic games: The Need for Speed (1994)
"Rather formally titled The Need for Speed, this game instead focussed on supercars, or as they were known at the time ‘exotics’. Something that makes them sound less like cars and more like a breed of rare parakeet. The 90s has a lot to answer for..."
A flying* Lykan HyperSport from Fast & Furious 7 is up for auction
"It is, in the sense that it has all the badges and is moulded in the shape of that extraordinarily rare, Middle Eastern supercar. But also it very much isn’t, because it’s made out of aluminium and fibreglass and gets a 240bhp flat-six and was designed to be catapulted through buildings, not preen on a high street..."