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14 July 2015

Horiba snaps up auto testing group Mira
Test facilities are used by global manufacturers for cars, buses, trucks and motorcycles

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If potholes are run off the road, what will keep us on our toes?
There are entire social groups formed by their mutual loathing of potholes. If they're all filled, where is one to turn one's vitriol?

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1968 Dodge Charger long-term test: collection day
The time has come to drag the Charger from its resting place. Will the daylight reveal any nasty surprises? Buying a car is, without a doubt, usually a bit of a nerve-wracking experience. Doubly so when you’ve not had a chance to inspect it in daylight, or to drive it. Triply so when you’ve sunk everything you’ve got into it.That said, I was surprised to find myself comparatively unfazed by the purchase of this '68 Dodge Charger, during which I’d ticked all of the above boxes. Sure, I’d made transactions like it before – but at most they were for a third of the value. Positive waves were keeping me afloat; it looked, felt and sounded like an honest, solid car.Well, that was what I dearly hoped, at any rate. It was somewhat of a bold assertion, given that I’d not even seen the car in the cold hard light of day. Fortunately I’d had the foresight to engineer in a little safety net: although I’d agreed to buy the car, I’d only done so on the basis that I could give it one final inspection once we’d got it out of the garage.My reasoning for that, besides not really being able to get a clear look at the underside, was that the car was pinned against one wall. Consequently you couldn’t see much of the passenger side at all, let alone anything underneath. I wasn't looking to get into a weldathon, so it needed to be as clean on that side as it appeared on the other. I didn't think that getting the Dodge out into the daylight was going to be the work of a moment, though. It just about ran, sure, but the brake pedal had zero effect on th

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Dzien Dobry! Is Jaguar Land Rover heading for Poland?
Jaguar Land Rover is looking for more overseas production facilities as it expands its model range While JLR remains tight-lipped, there's a public scrap going on to convince the British to invest in eastern Europe In the past few months there’s been a flurry of news about Jaguar Land Rover’s expanding production base.The company has already opened a factory in Changshu, China, with local partner Chery. The Range Rover Evoque and its sister car, the Land Rover Discovery Sport, are being built there, and, eventually, the long-wheelbase version of the new XF.However, the capacity of Changshu is limited to around 130,000 units at the moment and the localised production is mostly needed to avoid China’s significant import taxes.Work on building a small plant in Brazil is also under way; this should start producing Discovery Sport models in 2016. The plant is quite modest, however, with an initial capacity of 24,000 units a year.In addition, JLR has just signed a deal with Austrian company Magna to build vehicles under contract. Based in Graz, Magna has been building the Mini Countryman since it was launched and also builds other cars, including the Mercedes-Benz G-Class.The British company won’t say what will be made at Graz, but the new Evoque Cabriolet is one of the most likely candidates.There have been reports that JLR is considering a factory in Mexico. Although there's no confirmation, Mexico’s low wages and the North American free trade deal make it an ideal country from which to export to the US. Indeed, it has just been announced that Ford is moving production of the Focus and C

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Driver caught watching Masterchef at wheel of car
Driver confronts woman who he spotted watching Masterchef on a tablet on her dashboard

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Tramontana to bring 710bhp supercar to Salon Prive
September launch for Spanish supercar brand, which will offer its, V10 and V12-powered cars for a starting price of around £300,000 Spanish supercar brand AD Tramontana will officially be launched in the UK this September at the Salon Prive concours event at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire.The company is bringing its closed-top Tramontana R to Salon Prive as it marks the official start of sales in this country.Although it's road legal, the Tramontana is pitched as a track-focussed special. It will be powered by a choice of two engines in Europe, with the entry-level Tramontana R featuring either a Mercedes-sourced twin-turbocharged 5.5-litre V12 with up to 710bhp or an Audi-sourced naturally aspirated 5.2-litre V10 with 592bhp, depending on specification.  The V12 powerplant also features two power modes, allowing drivers to select between 542bhp and 710bhp outputs. A top speed of 186mph is promised, along with a 0-62mph sprint time of less than 3.6sec.The mid-range Tramontana XTR also features the V12 engine and is geared more towards pure track performance. In this form, the Tramontana has a top speed of more than 202mph and can reach 62mph in less than 3.3sec, the company claims. The top-level XTR-GT gets another power boost, taking the V12 engine's output to 838bhp.Power is sent to the rear wheels through a six-speed sequential transmission, although the company says it plans to offer an eight-speed sequential option in the near future. Based around an Italian-made lightweight carbonfibre tub, all three Tramontana models have a dry weight of 1350kg. Each car is built to customer specifica

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Mitsubishi ASX range updated with new 1.6 diesel
News 14 Jul, 2015 Mitsubishi's mid-sized crossover gets new diesel engine and styling tweaks

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Enhanced Ford EcoSport priced from £14,245
News 14 Jul, 2015 Updated Ford EcoSport crossover ditches rear-mounted spare wheel and adds cleaner, more powerful engines

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Volvo joins fast lane with Polestar deal
Swedish marque aims to sharpen image and embrace need for speed with performance unit

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2017 BMW M5 spied testing for the first time
The performance version of the next-generation 5 Series has been spotted out and about The 2017 BMW M5 has been seen testing for the first time, with the disguised prototype giving several indications as to the look of the performance version of the next 5 Series.The M5 was only seen doing the one lap of the Nurburgring, where the camouflaged car appeared to have a new front end with extra air intakes. The front bumper in particular features several small air inlets, while the main air intake is wider, similar to the current M5.The front end is also lower than that of the standard 5 Series, which has also been seen testing on roads and tracks ahead of a predicted launch towards the end of 2016.At the rear, the M5 test car has the typical dual exhausts, while large, perforated discs can be seen through the wheels.The photographers spoke of the V8 sound of the M5 prototype. The production version is likely to come with a further-developed version of today’s twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8, running a more advanced direct-injection system that is claimed to provide improved combustion and take output close to 600bhp, 38bhp up from today’s 562bhp.When it goes on sale, the latest version of the M5 is planned to be offered with the choice of either rear-wheel drive or optional ‘xDrive’ four-wheel drive for the first time.Get the latest car news, reviews and galleries from Autocar direct to your inbox every week. Enter your email address below: