Can the hot new Audi RS3 change perceptions of compact saloons in the UK?
From Audi’s new 395bhp RS3 to Mazda’s revolutionary engine tech, catch up on everything that’s happened in the car world over the past seven days
A recurring theme on autocar.co.uk over the past week has been challenging conventional thinking.
Mazda has challenged the idea that electric engines are automatically cleaner than petrol, Audi has challenged the notion that UK buyers won’t warm to a compact saloon (in part by giving one 395bhp) and we heard how Land Rover design boss Gerry McGovern has built a career on challenging convention.
If you missed out on anything that has happened in the car industry in the past week, here’s our quick-hit essential round-up.
Most-read news story: Maxda Skyactiv-X petrol engines to be ‘cleaner than electric’
Mazda reckons the new generation of petrol engines it is developing will be cleaner than electric ones. It’s a bold claim that plenty of you took the time to read about – with a substantial number taking part in a lively debate in the comments too.
The company’s claim is based around a new range of engines that use compression ignition technology and looking at a car’s CO2 emissions on a ‘well-to-wheel’ basis – which takes into account the total environmental impact of a car from when it is built rather than purely emissions from the tailpipe.
It’s interesting timing, especially as people start to focus on how the National Grid will cope with increasing demand for EV vehicles. And it certainly challenges the notion that only electric engines can provide a greener future for motoring…
Other major news stories
Most-read review: Audi RS3 saloon
For the new RS3, Audi decided to take what was good about the previous 362bhp all-wheel-drive model and add an extra 33bhp – and the option to buy a saloon version.
Compact saloons have struggled for popularity in the UK in recent years, so can the RS3 (which is also available in more conventional Sportback form) be the one to buck that trend?
Other big reviews this week
Most-read feature: Land Rover’s design boss on the Range Rover Velar and the brand’s growth
Land Rover design chief Gerry McGovern isn’t afraid to speak his mind or offer controversial opinions. Which helps explain why this feature was such a popular read.
Steve Cropley met with McGovern at the Design Museum in London to talk about the styling of the new Range Roger Velar and the brand’s growth in recent years.
After you’ve read that, it’s also worth checking out our quick tour through some of McGovern’s creations from earlier in his career.
Other big features this week
Video of the week: Range Rover Velar review
Since we’re talking about McGovern’s latest creation, it seems a good time to check out our in-depth video review of the new Range Rover Velar. Matt Prior seeks to find out just how good the firm’s ‘road-focused’ SUV is and where it fits in Land Rover’s increasingly crowded range.
Check out our YouTube channel for hundreds more top videos, including our massive 4×4 off-road group test and a head-to-head battle between the Audi RS5 and Lexus RC F.
And finally… Infiniti to reveal vintage F1-inspired concept car
The upcoming Pebble Beach Concours d’Elégance is one of America’s biggest historic car events. So it makes sense that some of the manufacturers attending will show off concepts inspired by the past.
But we’ve been a little confused by the news that Infiniti will present a 1940s-inspired concept at the show – one that harks back to grand prix cars of the time. The firm says the idea is to make a car so authentic-looking it could have been a 70-year-old barn find.
Which sounds great, except for the fact that Infiniti was only founded in 1989 and has only been involved in Formula 1 since 2011 – and purely as a sponsor (first of Red Bull and, more recently, Renault). Infiniti does claim some heritage back to the Prince Motor Company (an earlier premium Japanese firm), and parent firm Nissan has been around since the 1930s).
Oh, and under the retro exterior will apparently be advanced electric technology. Not exactly authentic, then. That said, we’re always suckers for a good concept car, so we’ll be intrigued to see exactly what Infiniti has done.
In case you missed it