Southern Group Happenings: February 2024

During the month that was February 2024, Southern Group members continued to churn out a vast array of automotive news, features, reviews, and of course, a large number of Tweets. 

Early in the month, Audi revealed the new RS6 GT, an uber-rapid estate car complete with an enhanced chassis and a unique livery. In Italy, Fiat confirmed their first performance EV in the form of the new Abarth 600e ‘Scorpionissima’ launch edition, a 240 bhp electrified small SUV. 

SGMW Members Cars: Barry the Volkswagen T2 Westfalia Campmobile

British car makers were fairly vocal last month too, with the first drive reviews of the Range Rover Sport SV hitting the presses. A car that is both very fast, very impressive to drive, and very expensive starting at close to £170k. Aston Martin then wowed us all by revealing what could be one of the best-looking cars of the year with the arrival of an overhauled Vantage.

Finally, the Geneva Motor Show opened its doors to journalists late in the month, the first time the show has been held since the Covid pandemic. Although this time round, it was on a much smaller scale than previous years. 

These are the SGMW highlights of February 2024. 

SGMW digital round up:

Magazine Shoots. And Why You Should Do Them – Stu Bird

While photo shoots are the norm for magazine and web based car journalists, not everyone gets to experience them. Stu Bird took his Fiat X/19 to sunny Bedfordshire for an Auto-Italia shoot, taking a deep dive into the reasons why if you get the chance to take your own car on a professional photo shoot, you should. 

Read the Driven It article here

First Look: McLaren Unveils the New 700 HP Artura Spider – Tim Pitt

After last month’s Porsche road trip shenanigans, Tim Pitt continues the supercar theme with the full lowdown on the new McLaren Artura Spider. A model that boasts a potentially follicle rearranging 700hp from a hybrid twin-turbocharged V6 engine. 

Read the Robb Report article here 

First Drive: Volkswagen ID 7 Electric Executive Review – Phil Huff

The new Volkswagen ID.7 is the German brand’s lower-priced challenger to the BMW i5 and Mercedes EQE, and it’s the biggest model they’ve produced to date. But can the new electric VW tempt buyers away from more premium rivals? Phil Huff puts the new ID.7 to the test to find out. 

Read the Average Joes article here

Pacific Drive Review: Drive to Survive – Ben Griffin

Nearly all driving games revolve around the same format – race a car, win or lose and make progress. Pacific Drive does things a little different, as it combines driving like your life depends on it. Ben Griffin gets behind the wheel of Pacific Drive in his review. 

Read the A Tribe Called Cars article here

Refresh for Skoda’s best-selling Octavia – Maxine Ashford

The latest Skoda Octavia arrived only a few short years ago, and has remained the Czech brand’s best-selling model. Last month, Skoda took the wraps off the facelifted model, one which will undoubtedly continue to be as popular. Maxine Ashford runs through all the details of the updated Octavia. 

Read the CarJourno article here

Are Electric Cars Too Fast For Their Own Good? – Phill Tromans

Are electric cars too quick for regular drivers? I mean, anyone can now buy a normal Volvo SUV with 400bhp and a 0-60 time of around 4.0 seconds – but is this a bit too much for regular drivers? Phill Tromans explains why with great power comes great responsibility. 

Read the Car Throttle article here

SGMW Social Watch: 

Tim Pitt delivers the highly impressive (and vital) stats of the slightly controversial looking new BMW M2. 

Chris Rees speculates where the designers of the rather stunning Zagato AGTZ Twin Tail took their inspiration from. 

While browsing the Peugeot UK online configurator, Phill Tromans discovers that the brand’s latest sporting model that you cannot buy. 

Stu Bird recalls the time when a small fast Toyota hatchback made him realise that he is not a racing driver. 

In Porsche news, Tyler Heatley has taken up the hobby known as ‘playing with the Porsche online configurator.’ A pastime that everyone at the Southern Group agrees is a good use of time. 

Phil Huff took a photo proving that his Saab is still a sub-100k mile example for at least a little while longer. While also confirming that he was nearly out of fuel at the time.

To find out more about the Southern Group’s recent activities last year, read our report on the SMMT Test Day South.