Car magazine veterans get behind the wheel of new web-only venture

A group of motoring journalists long associated with Dennis Publishing’s Evo and Haymarket’s Autocar have left the titles to launch a rival online-only publication.

Drivers-Republic.com soft-launched several weeks ago and has been quietly increasing its presence through word-of-mouth marketing on online motoring forums.

Former Evo editor Richard Meaden, who co-founded the magazine before it was acquired by Dennis, said: ‘I’m still very fond of the magazine, but I thought it was time for something fresh.

‘It’s come to a sort of tipping point where you have to think quite hard – if you want to do something new, would you do another print magazine or would you do something online?”

Also on board are former Evo deputy editor Jethro Bovingdon and designer Neil Carey, and Chris Harris, who previously produced road test videos for the Autocar website.

Meaden said he was not expecting the site to replace the established motoring media.

‘Car enthusiasts in particular are notorious for buying multiple magazines and watching Top Gear – they’re hungry for content,’he said.

But he said the group believed it had an edge because of its online-only position, which leaves them free from the worries of cannibalising an established print product.

‘While print magazines have their own websites I do think there is a certain commercial compromise at the moment,’he said.

Meanwhile, Dennis Publishing is launching a fortnightly digital motoring magazine called iMotor on 17 July. It aims to bring together elements from print, online and broadcast media and is edited by the former news editor of Auto Express, Mat Watson.

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