Autocar lunchbox: Mazda’s rotary connection, the 400-car collection and more

It’s everyone’s favourite part of the working day, lunchtime, and you’re no doubt craving a hefty dose of car-related content. 

So we’ve revived our Autocar Lunchbox feature to bring you our favourite videos, stories, photos, quotes and more all in one place. 

Here are today’s picks:


JLR ramps up EV drive

By the end of 2021, Jaguar Land Rover will be producing three brand new EVs at its Solihull and Castle Bromwich factories. The company’s new MLA electric vehicle architecture will underpin the all-electric XJ saloon, the bold J-Pace SUV and a compact new ‘Road Rover’, as the company invests £1bn in preparing for the electric era. 

Jaguar Land Rover to invest £1bn in three new UK-built EVs​


Nissan bloodline

Who doesn’t love the R34-generation Nissan Skyline? Driving enthusiasts of all ages will be familiar with its circular taillights and blocky profile, and many will even have driven it – thanks to its inclusion in the hugely successful Gran Turismo videogame series. But how does it compare to its descendant, the R35 GT-R? In this episode of Autocar Heroes, we hit the twisties to ponder the virtues of a screaming straight-six, and consider what an R36 might look like…

Nissan R34 Skyline meets Litchfield R35 GT-R | Autocar Heroes​


What goes around…

Another Japanese motoring legend here, this time from Mazda. The original RX-7 was a sporty coupé with attractive styling, tight handling and one of the strangest motors of its era: the rotary engine. Now that the firm is plotting a revival of the wankel, we’re looking back at what made the RX-7 so great, and seeing if a well-used 1983 example has stood the test of time. 

Mazda RX-7 revisited – driving the rotary-engined king of spin


An eclectic mix

“As well as his 420 cars, Rodger also has around 65 motorcycles in his collection. Some are rare and some are less so – and then there’s this unique 48-cylinder Kawasaki.”

That pretty much somes up businessman Rodger Dudding’s approach to vehicle ownership. This vast private collection houses some of the rarest and most coveted vehicles money can buy, as well as many it cannot. We went for a virtual tour and highlighted some of the most jaw-dropping inclusions.


Virtual Tour: inside a 400 car personal collection​ 


Autocar’s slowest triple test

In November 1990, our road testers undertook what was, although they didn’t know it, one of the last ‘commie car’ group tests. Before the disintegration of the Soviet Union had fully taken place, we rounded up the Skoda Favorit, Lada Samara and Yugo Sana to see which represented the best value-for-money and, dare we say it, most dynamically pleasing package. 

“None of these cars will be bought for its performance,” we said, “but all will provide adequate mobility for the family and none can be considered underpowered.” 

Throwback Thursday 1990: Skoda Favorit vs Lada Samara vs Yugo Sana



Rover over

You might not know about the so-called ‘Phoenix Four’, but these were the men credited with saving, then destroying, the storied Rover marque. Steve Cropley considers the British brand’s lengthy and predictable demise. 

Remembering the infamous Phoenix Four

Are you as passionate about cars as we are? Get all the best car news, reviews and opinion direct to your inbox. Subscribe to the Autocar newsletter now.

Haymarket Media Group, publishers of Autocar takes your privacy seriously. You can unsubscribe at any time using the unsubscribe mechanism on any email you receive from us. We will use your information to ensure you receive messages that are relevant to you. To learn more about how we use the information you provide to us please see our Full Privacy Notice.