Women and fast cars fuel Max Power's relaunch

Payne, left, is upping the attitude and humour in the new-look Max Powe

Max Power has re-launched with a new look and a bit more “naughtiness” in a bid to turn around its circulation decline.

The move includes a new 24-page section, Max Nation, featuring readers’ cars, shorter articles and a more risqué and humourous tone. It will also include an increase in the cover price from £3.95 to £4.25.

Staff have been working on the revamp since former deputy editor Roger Payne took over as editor last September. The title has carried out extensive reader research, prompting changes to the content and design.

Payne said the magazine had become alienated from its 15- to 24year-old core readers and needed to adopt a more realistic approach. “The magazine was featuring dream cars that were far too advanced for our readers to aspire to. So, we have introduced Max Nation, which is all about real people and real cars. We are going out, meeting people and encouraging readers to send in pictures of their cars,” he said.

Max Power is also hoping to regain some of the attitude it had when it launched. “It was known for being quite naughty and close to the knuckle and for publishing stuff that was quite risqué. We are not looking to get pulled off the shelves but we want to reintroduce some attitude and humour – the things people really liked about Max,” Payne said.

The focus groups also revealed readers preferred shorter articles that they could scan through, rather than a trawl through a traditional 1,000-word feature. “We haven’t completely abandoned the idea of running copy but we have looked at breaking it up a lot more,” he told Press Gazette.

Payne said Max Power suffered a sales fall around Christmas as a result of its main rival, Fast Car, ploughing a lot of money into cover mounts. It has also been hit by fresh competition in Scotland with the launch of Fast and Modified magazine. Payne added that there were no plans to launch a Scottish edition of Max Power, despite the “scenes” being quite regional.

“I think our forthcoming ABC results are going to be a little disappointing but with all this stuff in place it will reinvigorate the market.”

by Ruth Addicott

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