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This week in Autocar, Land Rover introduces the baby Defender, we drive the new Mercedes E-Class and take the Kia Picanto for a spin around Ireland.

News

Land Rover has given the green light to its long-mooted, highly anticipated ‘baby Defender’ – a rugged and compact 4×4 now inbound as a sibling model to the next-gen Evoque. 

Volkswagen is marking the 50th anniversary of the Golf next year with the introduction of the facelift eighth-generation model – we break down why it could make for the best Golf yet. 

Meanwhile, Toyota plans to replace the GR86 with a redesigned hybrid version using the same turbocharged 1.6-litre three-pot we see in the GR Yaris.

We also cover the new Hyundai Santa Fe, why EV uptake is slowing and much else besides.

Reviews

The Dacia Spring is being readied for the UK as our first sub-£20k electric car from everyone’s favourite value brand – we test it before it goes on sale next year to find out if this really is good news.

Mercedes is ramping up both the luxury and tech inside its new E-Class saloon, which we have on test in Austria – do you really need an S-Class?

Audi’s long-awaited Q6 E-tron comes as the electric sibling to the Q5 with efficiency written on its sleeves – we’ve got our hands on prototypes of it and the new SQ6 to find out how they perform.

For road test 5634, we’ve got the Mercedes-AMG SL63 to find out if a sportier direction for Stuttgart’s ‘old-timer’ is the right one.

We’re also testing the Skoda Superb Prototype, Hyundai Kona EV prototype, the electric Vauxhall Astra, the Honda ZR-V and Mercedes B200d.

Features

The Wild Atlantic Way is 1500 miles of sinuous roads with awe-inspiring scenery alongthe west coast of Ireland. Matt Prior explores its southern reaches in a Kia Picanto, and tells us why he’s already booked a return trip.

Donkervoort has never tried anything like the F22 before – a 622bhp per tonne jewel that keeps even the fastest supercars honest – Richard Lane visits the workshop for a test drive.

In a similar vein, the McMurtry Spierling astonished the motoring world with its Spéirling a year ago at Goodwood. It’s a 1000bhp, ultra-lightweight electric fan car, and now it’s going into production. Will Rimell meets the man in charge.

Opinion

Matt Prior stands up against unsolicited local views on the traffic congestion caused by the Goodwood Festival of Speed, before jesting that the best way to enjoy roads is by not telling others about them.

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