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‘He has the f ingers of a brain surgeon and the hand speed of Wyatt Earp’

Issue 6607 | Volume 319 | No 11

NEWS

Range Rover Sport EV Plus all JLR’s other new EVs 4 Volkswagen Scirocco Cayman-based revival possible 8 Volkswagen ID 7 Tourer Exec estate to rival BMW i5 10 Dacia Spring EV set to reach UK in October for £17k 12 SV Rover Defender-inspired 1000bhp ‘hypertruck’ 14

TESTED

Mini Countryman Now bigger, but is bigger better? 20 BMW 5 Series 482bhp PHEV version of new saloon 24 Range Rover Sport SV Rapid SUV with a 4x4’s DNA 26 JIA Chieftain Electric and PHEV Rangie restomods 28 Peugeot 3008 Hybrid New SUV shows its priorities 30 Porsche Cayenne S ROAD TEST 46

FEATURES Car of the Year We test and rate every 2024 finalist 32 Luca de Meo Insights from the Renault Group’s CEO 38 Global car sales Deep-dive analysis of latest figures 42

OUR CARS Audi SQ8 E-tron Many miles in a hot EV start here 54 Citroën ë-C4 Comfort in a 4.5mpkWh package 55 BMW X5 Its part in improving a dog’s mental health 56 Renault Clio Why it is absolutely a fun hatchback 57

EVERY WEEK Jesse Crosse Hi-fi for an EV isn’t as easy as it sounds 11 Secret Source Cunning ruse to beat EU regulations 13 Matt Prior Who’s buying into Chinese engineering? 15 Subscribe Save money and get exclusive benefits 16 Steve Cropley Rare £1m Aston spotted on the road 17 Damien Smith Alpine’s new cars for F1 and the WEC 19 Your Views When a coupé-vs-SUV race went wrong 58 From the archive Lambo Countach test revisited 65 Slideshow Weird doors, fabric body: that’s Germany 74

DEALS

Second Chance Vauxhall Astra GTC VXR hot hatch 60 James Ruppert Head-turning saloons from £2500 63 Road test index Track down that road test here 67 New cars A-Z Key car stats, from Abarth to Zenvo 68

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THIS WEEK

COMMENT

LUCA DE MEO BACKS WORDS WITH DEEDS

NEW MINI COUNTRYMAN: FIRST DRIVE 20

CAR OF THE YEAR FINALISTS HEAD TO HEAD 32

LUCA DE MEO’S CAR MANIFESTO FOR EUROPE 38

❝ THIS GROWTH IS UNPRECEDENTED. WHAT TESLA HAS ACHIEVED IS SIMPLY REMARKABLE❞

PLANET EARTH HAS A NEW BEST- SELLING CAR – AND IT’S ELECTRIC 42 C O V E R STORY

WE DON’T USUALLY devote space in Autocar to lengthy opinion pieces that aren’t written by our staff or key contributors. But we have made an exception this week, with Renault Group boss Luca de Meo penning us an exclusive analysis of the state of the car industry. We hope you will agree that he is more than qualified to do so. De Meo is one of the most influential and outspoken automotive executives around, and offers a unique perspective on the challenges the European industry is facing, from electrification to the rise of Chinese brands. The timing of this piece is no coincidence, coming just before what looks set to be a disappointingly meagre Geneva motor show. Once the most significant automotive event in Europe, Geneva is clearly struggling to find its place in a changing world. Chinese brands will outnumber the Europeans there – but under de Meo’s stewardship, the Renault Group remains a staunch supporter of motor shows in general. De Meo is adamant that a European motor show is needed to showcase the industry and is back ing his words with action. Whether you agree or not, it’s reassuring to know people like that are leading the automotive world.

IMAGE James Attwood Acting mag editor

james.attwood@haymarket.com

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Rachel Burgess is away

ELECTRIC RANGE ROVERS LAID BARE 4

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