Everything you need to know about cars this week: 2 Aug '20
Lambo's new track-only hypercar, plus we test the new BMW M2 CS
Suzuki Swift Sport Hybrid review: revised hot hatch tested
"Seeing as the Suzuki Swift Sport has only been on sale since 2018 you’d have to say it’s a bit early for a full-on facelift – the update for the 2020 model year is more like the Swift has started drinking red wine and listening to Radio 4. It’s trying to be a bit more grown up."Advertisement - Page continues below
Watch and weep as Ken Block drifts the 1,400bhp Mach-E
"Despite admitting his brain couldn’t ‘calibrate’ to the throttle, the big man does his level best – while keeping the world’s best poker face – to set each and every tyre on fire."
Number crunch: Murray T.50 V12 vs Aston Martin Valkyrie V12
"Both companies knocked on the door of British auto engineering firm Cosworth seeking a naturally aspirated, lightweight and power-dense V12. Two spectacular-sounding powerplants have resulted. Neither the Valkyrie or T.50 is finished yet, so while we wait, join us for a spot of number-crunching."Advertisement - Page continues below
You must spec your AMG GT Black Series in MAGMA orange
"If you are considering a £330k machine that pushes every possible boundary concerning road-going performance, you must option it in the wildest colour possible. If the performance promised - and indeed the sound of that V8 - doesn’t wake you up, MAGMA certainly will."
Mitsubishi won’t introduce any new models for Europe
"Following a board of directors meeting today, the Japanese carmaker said it has 'resolved to freeze the introduction of new models to the European market', though 'sales of existing models will continue'."
Is this the world’s most hardcore off-road van?
"Set to cost the equivalent of little over £50,000 when it goes on sale later this year, specced properly the Terrastorm can wade through up to 820mm of water (that’s almost as much as the new Ford Bronco, and more than a Jeep Wrangler) thanks to its 290mm of ground clearance and heavy-duty BF Goodrich all-terrain tyres."
Toyota Corolla Trek review: a very zen estate car
"It’s the Toyota Corolla Trek, effectively a shrunken Audi Allroad-rival with hybrid power. Toyota may be the most SUV-obsessed carmaker out there, with 14 different models sold across the globe (at last count), but thankfully it’s still seen value in the rufty-tufty estate sector that pleases people like us a bit more."Advertisement - Page continues below
The old boss of Renault is the new boss of Jaguar Land Rover
"Previously CEO of Groupe Renault, and before that at automotive supplier Faurecia (and before that at Michelin), Bolloré will begin his duties as the head of the UK’s biggest car manufacturer on 10 September 2020."
Confirmed: BMW is building an all-electric 5 and 7 Series
"Yep, the 5 and 7 Series are about to go fully electric, as BMW pushes to cut CO2 emissions by at least a third per vehicle by 2030. It’s also aiming to cut emissions from its factories and facilities by 80 per cent, per vehicle produced, to less than ten per cent of what they were in 2006."Advertisement - Page continues below
Are these BMW M5 Performance Parts cool or not?
"On the ‘probably quite welcome’ side of things, we have a more assertive exhaust system and newly tough suspension, which can drop your M5 another 20mm and perhaps help it edge the almighty Mercedes E63. The new, 20in forged alloys look pretty damn good in matt grey, too."
F1 will race at Portimao
"Joining Mugello in making its F1 debut in 2020 is Portimao in Portugal, a circuit you many well remember from last year’s spectacular TG24. The 2.9-mile track in southern Portugal opened in 2008. It has hosted F1 tests, but never a full-on race."
Six things you need to know: Lexus’s 1,200bhp RC F drift car
"That venerable 3.0-litre sixer, tuned to within an inch of its iron-block, now churns out an absurd 1,200bhp and 1,080lb ft of torque. That power is harnessed through a four-speed sequential gearbox, carbon-fibre driveshaft and a competition clutch. Pity this clutch."
Kia XCeed PHEV review: yet another hybrid crossover tested
"This thing is a marketing department’s dream. It’s a small crossover (which folk just can’t stop buying at the moment), it has the obligatory plastic arches and tech-filled interior, and the plug-in powertrain means it can claim massive mpg figures – 201.8mpg on the WLTP cycle if you’re interested, with 36.6 miles of all-electric range if you spec the smaller 16-inch wheels. It also offers another chance to make yet another ‘Ceed’ pun. Very clever, Kia."
Six specific ways in which autonomous cars might help
"So far, car and tech companies have spent more than $16 billion on autonomobiles. And that’s quite the sum of money to solve the only problem that cars really didn’t have. If they’d used that money to make cars last longer, or be easier to fix, or just stop making that dinging sound when we open a door, we’d be on board. But instead, 16 billion freedom francs went to getting rid of the one thing in cars that tends to keep working for decades: the driver."
Lexus LC500 review: Limited Edition is a green on tan dream
"Now, my prior experience of driving the LC500 was around a sopping wet Knockhill Circuit, where it was so lively I emerged with biceps resembling post-Spinach Popeye’s (you can see Chris Harris demonstrating what I hoped to achieve below). It’s perhaps inevitable that on a dry road it’s nothing like as mad, behaving far more like its GT credentials would have you expect."
Donkervoort's D8 'Bare Naked Carbon Edition' is NSFW
"Developed after a request from a customer in 2018, Donkervoort says that the BNCE allows the customer to see what they’ve paid for – given that 95 per cent of the standard JD70 bodywork is carbon-fibre and that it costs around £141,000 before tax. Ouch."
Merc has replaced the AMG GT S… with an AMG GT
"It’d be fair to say that the AMG GT range was getting a little bit messy, particularly after the recent announcement of the mega-looking Black Series. Mercedes clearly thought so too, and promptly decided that the lower end of the range was the perfect place to start tidying up."
Woah, this is the 820bhp+ Lamborghini Essenza SCV12
"Nestled inside that monocoque is a 6.5-litre V12 featuring special exhaust pipes that help reduce back pressure, along with push-rod rear suspension bolted directly onto the gearbox. Which in turn is a sequential six-speeder mounted within the chassis. It’s rear-wheel drive (not four, like Lambo’s V12 road cars), and Brembo brakes will do their utmost to prevent any misfortune, while its 19in front and 20in rear magnesium wheels just look superb."
Spare million quid? Buy this glorious DB6 Shooting Brake
"As you’ll no doubt be aware, here in the virtual TG office we absolutely love a shooting brake. And it seems the world of super high-end auctions places a similar value on coachbuilt boot space, because this wonderful Aston Martin DB6 Vantage Shooting Brake is estimated to fetch between £780,000 - £930,000 when it crosses the block next month."
You can now get a manual ‘box for your E46 BMW M3 CSL
"The company bins the electrohydraulic bit of the SMG with a clutch pedal and proper six-speed gearstick, there’s a self-centring shift mechanism added, a new clutch and flywheel fitted and a recode of the ECU to tell it there is now a manual. In total, some 180 genuine BMW parts are fitted."
Here’s how big tech wants to destroy traffic
"Before this little contagion came along and sucker punched society as a whole, businesses and governments were already exploring options like working from home, four-day working weeks, staggered working hours and congestion pricing. The good parts of that sentence have ramped up for the lucky ones who a) still have secure jobs, b) work in an industry that allows flexibility and c) aren’t currently attached to a ventilator, but a great many workers don’t have the option of working from home or staggering hours."
Video: all you need to know about the Alfa Giulia GTA
"This is the Giulia GTA. Angry, innit? And the new vents and grilles are just the beginning of a wholesale diet and gym regime that promises to turn the Giulia QV into a proper track monster. And there’s a lot to learn about this hardcore 532bhp super-saloon, so let Jack Rix give you the lowdown..."
Ford Focus RS Mountune m520 review: mad 513bhp hot hatch driven
"Put your foot down in Mountune’s RS and… nothing happens. Literally nothing until about 3,000rpm, when it starts to think about doing something. To consider the possibility of, y’know, getting a bit of a shift on. The curious whiny, wooshy noises coming from under the bonnet get louder, and the crossover a few millimetres from your bumper starts to drop back. Then at 3,500rpm the world explodes."
Fisker wants to build an electric pickup truck
"By 2025, there’ll be – all things going to plan – four electric Fiskers, as teased in the image above. The truck you will notice, is tantalisingly covered up, but the others we know about."
Top Gear’s Top 9: the best engine start buttons
"A starter button on the dashboard? Zzzz. Somehow, it’s more interesting – more Italian – to locate it on the steering wheel."
Review: BMW M2 CS
"Everything you’d want from a modern M car– but tricky to argue it’s £25k better than an M2 Competition"