Autocar magazine 24 December - on sale now

Autocar magazine 24 December - on sale now



New Seat Leon hot hatch detailed, Audi RS Q8 super SUV driven, Autocar's 2019 road test yearbook and more

This week’s cover story reveals that a plug-in hybrid hot hatch will crown the line-up for Seat’s fifth-generation Leon, which is due to go on sale in 2020 following the arrival of its Volkswagen Golf sister car.

Evolutionary styling, tech-heavy interior and new engines are all due at the Geneva motor show in March, but we’ve got all the details on the 241bhp PHEV ahead of launch.


This week’s news section looks at Lamborghini’s plans to incorporate unique electric technology into its first hybrid supercars, using supercapacitors to store electricity in their bodywork. Meanwhile, McLaren has launched a new road-ready race-spec model. Christened the 620R, it is limited to only 350 examples and costs £250,000.

Elsewhere, things are hotting up in the already competitive compact crossover segment as Mercedes reveals a new GLA, while Toyota puts the finishing touches on the next hot Yaris.

And as 2019 draws to a close, we look back on an eventful 12 months, analysing everything from Tesla’s unexpectedly good finances to the industry-changing merger agreement between Fiat Chrysler and PSA. We then expand our gaze to the whole of the last decade, counting down the main changes since 2010.


The Audi RS Q8 leads the way in this week’s first drives. We first hitched a ride in Ingolstadt’s super-SUV after its record-breaking lap around the Nürburgring, but now we’re doing the driving. We also get behind the wheel of the equally rapid Radical Rapture to see if a road-legal race car can deliver oodles of fun on the track while still being usable away from it. Next, it’s the turn of the all-new Vauxhall Corsa, which gains an aggressive new look and a price bump, before the Volvo S60 T8 steps up to the challenge of the Autocar road test. The S60 aims to combine plug-in hybrid economy and performance saloon pace, but does this ostensibly promising combo yield fruit?


To mark the last issue of 2019, we reflect on the last twelve months of the automotive industry. Our bumper road test yearbook covers motor shows, new car reveals, industry shake-ups and, of course, every car subjected to the notoriously demanding Autocar road test. From chunky crossovers to lithe-limbed track cars, we’ve put a huge selection of classes and models through their paces this year, and now we get to look back to see what stood out the most.


It’s been another busy week for Steve Cropley, with a sit down with legendary engineer Gordan Murray and an evening of sophisticated motoring chat with the Bristol Pegasus Motor Club. Elsewhere, Matt Prior ponders the pleasures of a clean(ish) notebook.


Swapping a van for an estate car throws up a lot of choices, according to James Ruppert, with everything from a Saab 9-3 D to the Mazda 6 viable options. In our nearly new buying guide, we shine a light on the catwalk-ready lines of the 2016 Mercedes E-Class. Once £36,000, you can now nab a good one for less than half that. The Alfa 156 is another stunning car, but requires a thorough vetting before you pull the trigger. We steer you through the minefields of potential ownership in our used guide.

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