Autocar’s 2009 review: November

In contrast to the disaster and gloom at the beginning of the entire year, things were searching up by November. Not just did we provide you with another drive from the Mercedes SLS – this time around an undisguised production version – but the scoop news of the £80k baby version pencilled set for production in 2013.

November 2009 in pictures

More excitement included our first opportunity to sample the 261bhp Scirocco R. Considering that VW visited the problem of getting the Scirocco to Wales for all of us to test, we thought it just appropriate to consider along a Nissan 370Z and concentrate RS to help keep it honest.

The shock result: the VW, despite offering 39bhp towards the Ford, will keep up on the deserted mountain road and, throughout time, it’s the more desirable vehicle. As Steve Sutcliffe place it: “Which often means just one factor, the VW beats the Ford overall and goes right to the top class. And that’s something I did not think we’d be writing for any very lengthy time indeed.”

However the highlight of November (possibly the entire year) was the launch from the Ferrari 458 Italia, a vehicle we’d seen the very first time merely a couple of several weeks earlier. For anybody searching in the Ferrari California and worrying that perhaps Ferrari was losing its way, the 458 provided a really obvious message: the boys and women of Maranello still know a factor or two about creating truly exceptional supercars. If this finally happens, Ferrari 458 versus Mercedes SLS versus McLaren MP4-12C is going to be one almighty group test. For now, a few more prosaic comparisons.

First of all, the brand new Vauxhall Astra faced four crucial rivals. GM’s latest was sufficiently good to outclass the Kia Cee’d and Mazda 3, although not the VW Golf or our champion, the Ford Focus. Matt Prior concluded: “We can easily see what Vauxhall is attempting to complete the Astra attempts to blend the dynamism from the Focus using the solidity from the Golf. Yet in some way it’s wound up less satisfying than either.”

Next we pitched BMW’s class-defying 5-series Gran Turismo against a Land Rover Discovery, Mercedes E-class, Audi Allroad and Lexus RX450h. Is the BMW gather know what’s even better disparate number of cars? Rapid answer wasn’t any. The marginally more difficult answer was that even though the BMW looked good in writing, used a little boot and uncomfortable ride allow it to lower.

BMW also figured heavily within our news coverage in November. The large story was the disclosing from the new 5-series, but there is also further speculation concerning the next M5. Strangely enough, BMW also released information on a 1-off, 550bhp version of the present M5. Development boss Albert Biermann described it as being the “M5 CSL we never built”. Sensing our disappointment, not much later BMW announced a restricted-run, lightweight form of the M3 – a thinly disguised road-legal race vehicle known as the GTS.

Jamie Corstorphine

Autocar’s overview of 2009: JanuaryAutocar’s overview of 2009: FebruaryAutocar’s overview of 2009: MarchAutocar’s overview of 2009: AprilAutocar’s overview of 2009: MayAutocar’s overview of 2009: JulyAutocar’s overview of 2009: AugustAutocar’s overview of 2009: SeptemberAutocar’s overview of 2009: OctoberAutocar’s overview of 2009: December

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