Autocar’s 2011 review: October
Exciting news of the radical Range Rover resulted in October hit the floor running. Styling cues in the Evoque, a brand new pressed aluminium monocoque chassis and elevated usable interior space were a few of the highlights forecast for that all-new 2012 Range Rover.
Another automotive icon made fall news headlines the same shape as the Honda NSX. The successor towards the Japanese maker’s most focused performance road vehicle was predicted to continue with the mid-mounted V6, two-seat, rear-drive layout from the original. It had been also tipped to possess a new 400bhp hybrid motor, lightweight aluminium body and perhaps a 2012 on-purchase date.
Peugeot had its very own historic icon to wrestle with if this was says their next-gen hot hatch, the 208 GTI, could be launched the coming year. Expected to utilize a 1.6-litre motor tuned for 154bhp in standard guise or 204bhp in hardcore form, it had been impossible to not expect towards the hot 208 without searching back in the 205 GTI and wondering if the new Peugeot hatch could finally compare to matching it to keep things interesting.
Meanwhile, Bentley confirmed it would place a 12-cylinder gas motor in the forthcoming luxury Sports utility vehicle because, based on Chief executive officer Wolfgang Dürheimer, it might “make obvious whose vehicle may be the boss”.
The company that actually drenched in the limelight in October was BMW. Official details and pictures from the new, sixth-generation 3-series were released, showing the compact exec’s all-new corporate BMW identity in addition to revealing that it might be faster, roomier, more frugal and provided with hybrid and 4-wheel drive options.
Further lower the launch process, the brand new 552bhp, twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 BMW M5 was facing its rivals the very first time. Getting set the benchmark within the performance saloon class because of its lengthy history, it came like a shock the M5 lost to the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG. Why? Because, even though the BMW was “faster, much more comfortable and fractionally more luxurious, the E63 is that rather more exciting they are driving around the right road”.
And maintaining your performance vehicle theme, our annual competition to locate Britain’s best-handling vehicle came round again. Some updated but familiar contenders have there been by means of the Renault Mégane 265 Trophy, Caterham Seven Supersport, Aston Martin V8 Vantage S, Lotus Evora S, Porsche Cayman R and Porsche 911 GT3 RS, as the McLaren MP4-12C, Mercedes CLS63 AMG and Vauxhall Corsa VXR Nürburgring had maiden appearances.
After deliberation off and on Rockingham’s tight national circuit, the podium places went, in climbing down order, towards the Cayman R, Caterham and Aston Martin. The 3 delighted in each and every situation for completely different reasons, but Porsche’s hot mid-engined coupé demonstrated probably the most rewarding over-all.
To include just a little variety inside a month full of the very most desirable and exciting sports cars available, Colin Goodwin required with a dirt pathways inside a Lada Niva – a 20-year-old Russian 4×4 being recently imported towards the United kingdom. Its its cold war austerity, the Lada’s insufficient rivals, the charmingly awful handling and the possibilities of the official snow-plough option won us over.