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CAR Condensed: your weekly news briefing

Published: 18 January 2019

 ► The week's biggest car news
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In this weeks CAR Condensed we’ve once again rounded up the most important automotive news from the last seven days. The past week has seen three of the industry’s most important vehicles share the limelight, and we’ve driven two of them already.

Of course, headlines were dominated by the long-awaited and often teased arrival of the new Toyota Supra. Still looking similar to its FT-1 concept beginnings, the new Supra coupe shares many components with the new BMW Z4 roadster – and was at the centre of the most drawn-out marketing campaign we can remember in recent years. Throw in the equally anticipated drive of the new Porsche 911 (992) – yes we promise it’s new – and the world premiere of the divisive BMW 7-series, as well as spyshots of the new Land Rover Disco Sport, and it’s been a super-busy week that’s kept our traffic analytics spinning furiously.

Keep reading for the most important automotive stories of the past seven days.

1. Porsche 911 (992) review: Stuttgart’s new flagship finally tested

For the past few months, we’ve reported on the development of the new Porsche 911 – and this month we finally got to drive it. The 992 has been captured by our spy photographers countless times in the run-up to its launch at last autumn’s LA show, but now after all the jpegs, prototype rides and spec data we can finally deliver our full verdict on the new Stuttgart flagship. So, does it deliver – and does it move the sports car game on in any meaningful way? Well, you’ll have to read editor Ben Miller’s full review of the Carrera S to find out.

2. Toyota Supra: it’s finally here

The new Toyota Supra was revealed at the Detroit motor show this week, to precisely no one’s surprise – but that hasn’t stopped it being our biggest story of the week. Based on the FT-1 concept’s exterior design, and based very much on the new BMW Z4 underneath, the new Supra is finally here – and we’re pretty exhausted about it, to be honest. But look past the marketing build-up and teaser campaigns, and the Supra has all the ingredients to be a cracking sports car. We say that because we’ve already driven the prototype. Step this way for the full rundown on all the performance, specs and pricing for the new car – as well as the additional spin-off Supra models we’re expecting in the future.

3. BMW 7-series: look at that supersized grille!

‘That can’t be real,’ was the overriding reaction of the CAR magazine office to the new BMW 7-series, but alas, it was. BMW’s new flagship saloon is here, and it looks as though it’s eating its own face. Do your best to get past the 40% larger grille, and the new big Beemer has more tech to compete with the Mercedes S-class and the Audi A8, too. The back looks nice, actually. Read our full analysis on the new BMW 7-series here.

4. McLaren 600LT Spider: the Longtail goes topless

McLaren is all about the convertibles now, just in time for summer 2019. After the launch of the rather stunning 720 Spider, the brand from Woking has revealed the all-new 600LT Spider, and it looks just as good as the Coupe. Interestingly, it’s also just as fast from 0-62mph as the tin-top Longtail, and it only loses a little ground despite its increased weight. Oh, and McLaren engineers have retained those rather fabulous top-exit exhausts, so it should sound amazing. You’ll find more details of the new McLaren 600LT Spider here.

5. Land Rover Discovery Sport snapped: entry-level Landie gets a refresh

We’ve already spotted the new 2020 Land Rover Defender testing, but now we’ve seen the new Discovery Sport too – and it’s set for a styling upgrade in summer 2019. CAR magazine’s fresh intel reveals a new wardrobe, a Velar-style refresh inside and out, new hybrid and plug-in versions and a host of tech translated across from the updated Evoque sibling. You can find more about one of JLR’s most important cars here.

6. New BMW M3 scooped: expect a RWD drivers’ edition with a manual ‘box

In the same week BMW revealed the rather divisive 7-series, we also published fresh intel on the next BMW M3 in our February 2019 issue – and the signs are very, very good. You can read more about BMW’s plans for the next M3 hotshot here, but it looks like Munich’s most-balanced sports saloon will come in several variants – including a RWD-only, driver focused ‘Pure’ model. More info this way.

7. Toyota RAV4: the unusual family SUV, driven

Toyota’s big-selling SUV returns for 2019, and this time it relies solely on hybrid power. We’ve driven the family crossover at length, and while it’s still an interesting prospect, it’s a tougher sell against its rivals than before. Read our full verdict here.

8. Hyundai i30 Fastback N: first drive

We loved the i30 N – especially when we ran it as a long-termer for six months. And while it may not be the fastest hatchback we’ve driven (especially compared with the Honda Civic Type-R also on the fleet), it’s a great start for Hyundai’s N division. We’ve now driven the second N model, a stretched-out, Fastback version of the hatch. But does it keep the five-door hot hatch’s firecracker thrills? Or has stretching the bodystyle messed up the the ingredients? Read our full review to find out.

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's online editor and racing-sim enthusiast