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Yesterday, 02 January 2017

Hyundai seeks sales lift after first fall since 1998
The two carmakers plan to boost vehicle supply to China and the US

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Peugeot 3008 1.2 Puretech - Autocar's favourite cars of the year
We're running through our favourites of 2016 - Alan Taylor-Jones has chosen the Peugeot 3008 1.2 Puretech As tempted as I was to put all manner of high-performance machinery as my favourite car of 2016, I’ve picked something far more sensible, the humble Peugeot 3008 1.2 Puretech. It may not be able to bury the back of your skull into its headrests or entertain with a mobile rear end, but it has far more real-world appeal. For a start, it looks significantly better than the bloated outgoing car from the outside. For seconds, the little turbo three-pot combines decent fuel economy with enough punch for the vast majority of situations. Thirdly, it has a good ride and handling balance - it’s not a vast amount of fun, but it’s tidy enough and is very comfortable over long distances. All that makes for a decent car, but not a favourite one. No, the main reason why I love the 3008 so much is the interior. Admittedly, I have a massive soft spot for squishly old-school French cars and their slightly unhinged cabins, but the 3008 combines avant-garde style with genuinely impressive usability.  Even poverty-spec 3008s get

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Formula 1's Jolyon Palmer on his hopes for his second year with Renault
After a mixed debut season as a full-time Formula 1 driver, Jolyon Palmer has high hopes for his second year with the works Renault team Among armchair Formula 1 experts, familiar questions surround Renault’s British driver, Jolyon Palmer, son of UK circuit supremo and former grand prix driver Jonathan. They’re the ones that always follow young racers with famous fathers. Did the name help? Is he quick enough? Does he deserve it? Damon Hill and Nico Rosberg know all about it. The irony is that by the time any young driver gets to F1, the questions have long been answered – especially in Jolyon Palmer’s case, when the rising star has already been champion of F1’s ferocious feeder formula, GP2. Palmer doubtless benefited from the fact that his dad runs the UK’s best racing school – just as Michael Schumacher learned wheel-to-wheel racing on the family kart track – but the truth is that no one reaches F1 without an abundance of talent. After a variable start to his debut season as a full-time F1 driver this year, Palmer settled down and raced harder and more effectively than his team-mate, Kevin Magnussen, previously known for giving Jenson Button a hard time at McLaren in 2014. The upshot is that, for 2017, Palmer enjoys a new status: he has been chosen on merit to drive Renault’s all-new car beside Nico Hülkenberg, the German veteran of 117 grands prix who was hired in October to increase the team's

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Does Drift Mode make the Ford Focus RS more agile on track?
We take a Focus RS to Bedford Autodrome to see how its lairiest setting influences its on-track ability; with video If you've seen a video of a Ford Focus RS in Drift Mode, you'll know just how sideways it can get. Drift Mode is unquestionably effective at creating big yaw angles, but I’ve been wondering for some time now - can it also be used more delicately to make the RS extra agile on track? The question first came to my mind way back in the spring, when I took an RS to Spa-Francorchamps for a track session the day after the World Endurance Championship (WEC) round. I asked Ford’s racing drivers for advice on tackling Spa, and all recommended using the drift setting for a quick lap. “I’d use Drift Mode all the time,” was the advice of Ford GT racer Billy Johnson. “It’s more fun and agile that way.” Inspired as I was, the following day I never managed to test Drift Mode at Spa, firstly, because I didn’t fancy the prospect of swapping ends halfway up Eau Rouge, and secondly because I didn’t want to embarrass myself in front of the pros. I decided to leave the car in the less lively Race Mode, albeit with the electronic stability programme (ESP) off, and that proved to be highly effective. Watch the video below to see for yourself. Spa onboard