BMW 850i & CSL
Remember BMW’s coupe glory days? They’re back

BMW’s Midas touch, which gave the world the 3.0 CSL Batmobile, hasn’t graced its big coupes for years. Is the magic back in the new M850i? We drive both

THERE IS NOWHERE like Laguna Seca. First, you are in California. A pile of contradictions: desert and verdant, rich and poor, large and empty or small and crowded, depending on where you look.

Laguna itself lives in a dry lake atop a scrub-covered mountain, perched in the hills of Monterey county, 120 miles south of San Francisco. On a clear day, the place feels like a sandy snow globe, the ocean shimmering in the distance.

VW Design Group, One of The Most Important Car Designer in The World

VOLKSWAGEN HAS a massive tarmac- covered viewing space in Spain where Group head of design Michael Mauer meets with his 12 design directors – from Bentley’s Stefan Sielaff to MAN Truck’s Holger Koos – to ap- praise each other’s new proposals (in the form of full-size clay models) in broad daylight and total secrecy. The space is so big that Mauer’s team can even do ‘drive-bys’, so they can decide whether or not their latest headlamp design’s ‘down the road’ graphic really works, or if the grille of the new Skoda baby SUV looks too much like the one from Seat.

Inside G-Class HQ

MONSTERS, INC

An automotive icon, Mercedes’ G-Class can do it all: climb mountains, out-bling supercars, shrug of bombs and remain relentlessly relevant while barely changing. And this is the place it calls home

WE’RE BALANCED IN mid- air, a front wheel dangling uselessly from a drooped suspension arm a foot off the ground, the other three tyres squished firmly into the flinty mountainside at an improbable angle: 2.4 tonnes of metal walking a tightrope between see-saw and slip, weight transfer and traction.

Honda CR-V at 14,000ft High and Rising on Pikes Peak

HAVE YOU EVER been somewhere so cold your teeth hurt? The summit of Pikes Peak in Colorado is that cold. At 14,000ft every breath of Colgate-fresh air is like an electric current searing through your molars. But so astonishing is the drive up there, so endlessly challenging the serpentine tarmac climb, that by the time you reach the top the buzz is such that you won’t feel the cold. And because you chose to tackle America’s most famous hillclimb in a CR-V and not, for instance, an NSX, you’ll then be able to top up that adrenaline hit by grabbing your roof-mounted mountain bike and free-wheeling all the way back down. What better test for a lifestyle SUV, particularly one as important as the new CR-V?

The Hot Hatch Big Test Drive 2018

FROM A SLIDE-HAPPY NEW FIESTA ST TO A YARIS THAT THINKS IT’S A RALLY CAR, 2018 IS THE YEAR OF THE HOT HATCH. BUT WHICH IS THE HOTTEST OF THE LOT?

WE’VE NEVER HAD it so good. If ever there was a hot hatch golden age, it’s right now. From chilli-pepper city cars to superhero superminis, road-legal rally reps to Porsche-slaying hyper-hatches, brilliant driver’s cars occupy every corner of the modern hatchback kingdom.
A good excuse for a party if ever there was one, so we’ve brought together eight of the best, in celebration and with the aim of crowning a king.

The rules? There are no rules: size doesn’t matter, and neither does price – simply put, which is the best to drive? Which most comprehensively stuffs every mile with good clean fun? Replacement tyres at the ready, let’s go.

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