Posts Tagged ‘Mercedes CLS’

The December issue of TopGear magazine hits the newsstands today, and features an ear-splitting match-up between two of the loudest objects known to man: the Pagani Zonda R and the Jeremy Clarkson.

Yes, in the pursuit of Much Loudness, we crowbarred our very own JC into Pagani’s Nurburgring-destroying, in-no-way-road-legal Zonda R and donned earmuffs. “It screams like a psychopath stuck in a gin trap, hurls itself at the end of the runway and before you’ve stopped gurning, the speedo is reading 200mph,” reported our intrepid correspondent, shortly before his ears fell off. Trust us: this is one power test you really, really want to read.

At the very-slightly-quieter end of the spectrum, we get under the skin of Audi’s stunning Quattro concept, built to commemorate 30 years of four-wheel drive. Time to party like it’s, erm… (TopGear takes off shoes and socks and begins tortuous process of counting backwards)… 1980!

Argh! Cover your eyes! It’s the Xenatec Coupe, a terrifying two-door based on the bilious Maybach 57S. We take a good close look so you don’t have.

Seb Loeb has just won his seventh WRC title. Seven. Seven. We talk to the people who know him best – his co-driver, his team principal, even his osteopath – to find the answer to the million-dollar question: how the hell is he so good?

The original Merc CLS was a mighty car, a banana-shaped behemoth that spawned a generation of big, fast sort-of-coupes. And now there’s a new one. Can it improve on its predecessor’s stellar reputation – and deliver a kicking to the Audi A7 and Porsche Panamera? Jason Barlow finds out.

The Lexus CT200h is what a Prius looks like if you’re not (a) a Hollywood celebrity or (b) a boring old fart. That’s the theory, anyhow. The reality of the lumpy ‘sports hybrid’, as Paul Horrell discovers, is a little less convincing.

Budget-conscious road testers that we are, we’ve conducted a thoroughly and selfless investigation of the record-breaking 268mph Bugatti Supersports, and can happily report it is the ideal car for young couples or recent retirees. We also get to grips with the new Ford Mondeo, VW Passat, Hyundai ix20 and Renault Gordini Clio.

The R8 GT is Audi’s fastest, most committed road car. The Isle of Skye is a very, very long way from anywhere. Add one Tom Ford and that’s a potent recipe for a Big TopGear road trip. And lots of unwanted police attention.

Mini and Prodrive are heading to the WRC next year with this archtastic Countryman. According to TG’s Big Book of Racing History, it turns out that both these firms have a rather illustrious history of winning rallies. Paul Horrell plays co-driver on a slidey, sideways ride to find out whether 2011 will see a little bit of history repeating…

Ha! Look at this ridiculous car! So tiny! So tall! So orange! Oh, what’s that? It has 805bhp and does 0-60mph in less than four seconds? We strap into the Tango T600, the all-electric super-thing that makes the Tesla Roadster look like an underpowered golf cart.

Gran Turismo 5 – the latest, greatest instalment of the epic Playstation franchise featuring the TopGear test track – is nearly here. No, really, it is. In a world-exclusive preview, we meet its creator to find out how the sights, sounds and unidentified smells of Dunsfold were committed to the virtual world… and why the hell it’s taken to long.

Mexico, as you may have read on the news, is not the world’s safest country at present. Especially not if you’re driving the ‘Road of Three Thousand Curves’ – the twisting mountain pass winding through the heart of drug-war territory – in a Porsche Cayman S. Can TopGear survive the drugs barons, the 1,000-foot drops and, most terrifyingly, the Really Quite Spicy Food? Find out this – and far, far more – in the December issue of TopGear magazine, out now!

Top Gear magazine out now: new Lambo world exclusive.

BUY IT NOW

Friends, Romans, Mini Countrymen, lay down your keyboards. Step away from your computers, leave that colour-coded spreadsheet unfinished and stop watching The InBetweeners on 4OD. The November issue of TopGear magazine is in the shops, and it’s a cracker. It’s so damn exciting that it makes the Ryder Cup finale look like, er, a game of golf in Wales.

We’ve got a world-exclusive close-up with the Lamborghini Sestro Elemento, the full story behind Lotus’s possibly-insane Plan For World Domination and, oh, so much more.

So, that Lamborghini concept. The rest of the world was thunderstruck when the all-carbon Sestro Elemento was revealed in Paris last week, but – devious gadabouts that we are – TopGear had already stolen it away for an exclusive photoshoot and interrogation session with the most astonishing supercar concept of the year.

Six new models by 2015, a £770m investment, Ferrari-beating performance… as grand plans go, Lotus’s new strategy is the biggest since Alexander the Great said, ‘Goodness, Macedonia is feeling a bit crowded recently, isn’t it?’

Our man Paul Horrell gives you a comprehensive run-down of every new Lotus – including the amazing 620bhp V8 Esprit – and concludes with a thorough grilling of Dany Bahar, in which he discovers that the new Lotus CEO is not in fact a barking loon.

Jaguar’s C-X75 concept is an electric supercar with 780bhp, four-wheel drive and a pair of miniature jet engines. Now, you weren’t expecting that, were you? Tom Ford is your guide on an exclusive tour of the maddest thing to emerge from the Midlands since Noddy Holder.

But you don’t want a concept. You want something you can actually get your hands on, right? In that case… the Ferrari SA Aperta isn’t for you. The £350,000, 599 convertible is completely sold out, so the closest you’ll get to it is our preview of the 661bhp rag-roofed nutjob.

Kicking off our New Drives section this month is the Audi A7 Sportback, Ingolstadt’s answer to the bananatastic Merc CLS. Is it good enough to beat the mercurial Merc? And can it dish out a kicking to the base-spec Porsche Panamera? It might…

Also reviewed this month is the new Ford C-Max, a car that you really, really should care about, because it’s the first of a new generation of Focuses. And it’s great to drive. No, really it is. We’ve also got first drives of the Renault Fluence, new Nissan Micra, Volvo V60, Ferrari California Stop-Start and a whole bunch of other shiny new metal.

The Range Rover Evoque is gearing up to be next year’s must-have fashion accessory. Paul Horrell hoses through the Victoria Beckham-flavoured marketing fluff and gets right to the heart of the car that you don’t think you want, but you really, really do.

That’s the Local Motors Rally Fighter, a Dakar-style buggy designed and voted for by the good ol’ American public. Not designers. Not engineers. Plebs. And it’s tackling a 75-foot jump. With our man Pat Devereux in the passenger seat. Do you trust the American public?

And that’s the Peel P50, Clarkson’s office commuting tool of choice, in a shopping centre in the Deep South. Dan Read enrages small-town America (again) in a bid to discover whether James Caan’s money was well spent.

There’s all this and far, far more in the November issue of TopGear magazine, available in all newsagents of ill repute today.