Re: July 2009 issue
I agree with you, ASP, about the cover - the Porsche and Nissan should be enlarged. That way, it'll be easier to compare and contrast Ben Barry in the Porsche (white knuckles, intense stare) and the Nissan guy in the GTR (cool shades, completely relaxed). I don't know if this tells us more about the cars or the drivers.
While we're on the subject of the cover - I know the comments of us subscribers are prettly irrelevant - but I do see Car in the newsagent, and can see how it compares to other mags:
1. Way too much text. There's also an annoying combination of italic, bold and coloured text. I know there were several Nurburgring pieces, but the cover tag could be summarised: "Nurburgring World Exclusive: GT3 v SPEC V"
2. AutoExpress is famed for depleting the Earth''s resources of exclamation marks, but now Car wants to do the same thing with question marks. Well, there are 2 on the cover, anyway.
3. Two 911s on the cover? I woulld have deleted the forgettable green one at the top and made the Evora bigger. Tagline: "Plastic Porsche Killer" - or is that too Autocar?
4. "Sexier than Kate Moss naked". C'mon guys. I checked the magazine several times and there are no actual comparison pictures of the Infiniti and Kate Moss, naked or otherwise. Funnily enough, this week's Heat magazine does have a naked Kate Moss on the front cover, her modesty covered by a caption. And I'll tell you something - I'd go for the Infniti every time. Not a pretty sight. I'll stick with the airbrushed Moss, thanks. But it does raise an interesting question - is Kate Moss the first name that popped into the head of Mr Editor McNamara, or does Car Magazine's market research reveal that to be the name most likely to elicit an emotional respose in its target audience?
I seem to remember a few years ago, in the gaudy pre-Barlow era, most of the articles were about Porsches and contained obligatory references to priapism. It might actually have been one article about a Porsche with a single reference to trouser tenting, but it summarised what was wrong with CAR at the time. Thing is, I've got a nasty feeling it had a much bigger circulation back then. I might be wrong, but from 2003 to 2008, CAR's circulation dropped about 40% and has only just started climbing again. Maybe Bauer Media and the CAR guys know what they're doing. They certainly shouldn't take my advice. I'd buy Car if the cover was a picture of Stephen Bayley smirking. I just hope it doesn't go downmarket in the pursuit of readers.
Quite apart from the cover, the content of the magazine is great, btw. There isn't as much stand-out photography as I'm accustomed to, but the Evora launch was a wash out, and England in April isn't the best time to take pictures of cars outdoors. The Infiniti concept sort of makes up for it, but the art editor could at least have Photoshop'd Kate Moss over the bonnet. You know, like Top Gear Magazine digitally pastes Clarkson or The Stig on the cover, even if they've never been anywhere near the cars in question.