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This month's evo, issue 139

ITALIA! The cars, the roads, the circuits and the people. 48-page Italian celebration. Ultimate hot hatch test, Merc SLS supercar and crashing the future

News
Just when we thought M was losing the plot, the engineers come up with the mouth-watering BMW M3 GTS and news of an M-spec 400bhp 1-series. Renault is also re-launching the Gordini name and we’ve got a few ideas for Christmas in Essentials

Driven
Lotus Exige 260 Cup, Aston Paramount 500, ABT R8-R Supercharged, Porsche 911 Turbo Cabrio, BMW Z4 SDrive 23i, Cadillac CTS-V, Alfa 159 1750 TBi, Renault Twingo Cup

Letters
The Porsche wins eCoty and people write to complain. The Porsche doesn’t win eCoty and people write to complain…

Cover Story: ITALIA!
Beginning on page 50, you can immerse yourself in our special celebration of everything that is wonderful about Italy. And it starts with a drive through Spain. Richard Meaden takes a Ferrari 599 HGTE to the extraordinary Ferrari World Finals where he bumps into a quick Spaniard. Back in Italy, David Vivian dons some sunglasses and drives the gorgeous Alfa 8C Spider. Then on page 74, just in case you’re still not sure why Italy’s great, we list a few things we love about it. Next up, Roger Green drives two very different but equally fun Italian race cars, before Chris Harris, on page 84, downloads his verdict on the technology-laden new Ferrari 458. Finally, we have a look back on all the Prancing Horse’s junior supercars, good and bad

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
On the same day but in a very different time zone, Germany launched their riposte to the 458. We drove the new Gullwing from the rollercoaster streets of San Francisco to the rollercoaster circuit of Laguna Seca

Megane 250 group test
Renault has a formidable history of producing great hot hatches so we threw its latest offering straight into a hellishly wet Wales to prove itself against the new SEAT Leon Cupra R, the hardcore Focus RS and the iconic Golf GTI

Ibiza Cupra v Clio Cup
Meanwhile, at the other end of the hot hatch scale, SEAT’s new Ibiza Cupra takes on our current favourite small hatch, the Renaultsport Clio 200 Cup

MonoTracer
We can’t even begin to explain what a MonoTracer is in the small amount of space allotted here. It could be a slightly retro laser handgun of the like wielded by Luke Skywalker. But it’s not

Subscriptions

Apparently the scene in Twilight: New Moon where the vampires and werewolves give up chasing the girl and read evo instead was left on the cutting room floor. Shame. Robert Pattinson almost certainly subscribes, though

Project Veyrog
Some say that Bugatti launched the Galibier just to distract attention from our wildly ambitious Audi TT project

Long-term tests
For only the second time in Fast Fleet history, a car leaves us having appreciated rather than depreciated in price. (There are no prizes for remembering the first)

Showroom
Has there ever been a more ridiculously feel-good car to live with than the Audi RS4? On some models the seats even give you a lovely hug when you press the Sport button

The Knowledge
A patchily damp track might not be ideal for lapping the Noble M600, but it was the only track we had on the day. And the time was still impressive, considering

Ask the Experts
Our gearchanging guru explains how to do it clutchlessly. We also tell you what to expect if you want to get into racing

Birth of an Icon: Alfa Romeo Alfasud
A little-known fact about the Alfasud is that John Barker once owned one. It was a late model with rubber bumpers, just in case you were wondering

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