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Features
— Car and Driver
022
Car Meets Road
2017 FORD GT
vol. 63, no. 8
For most of the year, the bulk
of the Le Mans circuit is a
public road. We take the 2017 In this Issue:
Ford GT back to the streets
of la Sarthe, site of its 2016
“In this cuckoo-crazy,
class victory, to see how mixed-up world, nothing is
it copes with the real world.
by Mike Duff certain and the set order is
— up for renegotiation .”
030
Comparison Test
—J O H N P E A R L E Y H U F F M A N , “ B E H I N D T H E F I F T H D O O R ”

BEHIND THE FIFTH DOOR

030
Audi A5 Sportback,
BMW 430i xDrive Gran
Coupe, Kia Stinger AWD.
by John Pearley Huffman

039
10BEST TRUCKS
You loved 10Best Cars!
Now try this delicious new
truck variety!
by the C/D staff

058
First Drive
BMW M5
With 600 horsepower and
all-wheel drive, M’s big
sedan is quicker than ever.
But that’s not what the
M5 needed.
by Eric Tingwall

062
Feature
MR. MUSK AND HIS
EVER-EXPANDING EMPIRE
Its revenue is tiny, its market
share is even smaller, and
its profits are nonexistent.
So why is Tesla so loved by
Wall Street?
by Paul Tullis

On the Cover
The Ford GT returns to
Le Mans, again. But
this time, we’re driving and
the pit stops are at KFC.
photography by
Greg Pajo

F E B / 2 0 1 8 . C A R A N D D R I V E R . 003
Car and Driver
vol. 63, no. 8

010

On the Web

AUDI TT RS
Five cylinders, four rings,
three (point four)
seconds.
CarandDriver.com/

Departments 2018AudiTTRS

RANGE ROVER VELAR
P380 V-6
Columnists 014 . DRIVING THE SKY 083 . Tested Looks expensive, sounds
016 . JOHN PHILLIPS Flying cars are back. And still a LEXUS LS500 . Powered by less so.
Too late to not get political. long shot. gentle blossoms of turbocharged CarandDriver.com/
018 . DANIEL PUND 015 . PUMPED UP placidity. Let its tranquillity 2018RangeRoverVelar
These dummies were idiots. Automakers see big potential in envelop you. —
020 . EZRA DYER raising the octane of regular 084 . JAGUAR E-PACE NISSAN LEAF
How was God born? unleaded. F-Pace, size small. Stuffed with improved
— — 086 . 2019 PORSCHE CAYENNE hardware, now at a lower
Upfront Drivelines Everything is different, but price.
010 . Reveal of the Month 072 . JEEP WRANGLER nothing has changed. CarandDriver.com/
McLAREN SENNA Don’t. Screw. It. Up. —
2018NissanLeaf
A little weird-looking, but aren’t 076 . 2019 AUDI A8 . This Etc.
we all? technology flagship could be an 006 . BACKFIRES
012 . KEY PLAYER automated-driving breakthrough. Malcolm in the middle.
Car-subscription service Mobiliti Or maybe not. 088 . WHAT I’D DO
is sort of like a press-car fleet for 078 . PORSCHE 911 GT2 RS DIFFERENTLY
civilians. The most capable 911 ever is Giampaolo Dallara.
013 . Stuff We Drove explosively quick, massively
in the Office grippy, and . . . not at all deadly.
OPEN-WHEEL STEAL 082 . Tested
The Actev Arrow electric go-kart FORD MUSTANG GT . The middle
is for children. Like us. child of the Mustang brood now
deserves more attention.

004 . C A R A N D D R I V E R . F E B / 2 0 1 8
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Backfires:
The joyful noise of the
commentariat, rebutted
sporadically by Ed.

BLACKOUT on the subject for


Normally my day Malcolm Gladwell’s
brightens upon take [“What Happens
receipt of my latest When We Give Up
C/D. This month, I am Control?” November
faced with a depress- 2017]. Amazing
ing black cover insight and truly
[November 2017]. terrifying.
Okay, I get it. Autono- —Ken Petersen
mous cars will be the Edison, NJ
hammer to shatter
our automotive souls. By the looks of the
Still, you are neither November issue, it
Jay-Z nor Metallica. appears that C/D
Let’s get back to uti- has forgotten its title
lizing cover-page and reason for exis-
imagery of colorful, tence. Your subscrib-
enticing vehicles that ers are to believe
move our still- that you had nothing a momentary brain boring Car and Driver
intact souls. Please more car-oriented lapse. I thought I was magazine since the
go easy on the “Enter to present than 31 reading an article in early ’70s Vega and
Sandman” jokes. retro-textbook-look- the Atlantic or the Pinto tests. I don’t
—Greg Sandman ing pages of specula- New Yorker. This understand auto
La Grange, IL tion about not driving COF (certified old magazines pushing
[“auto no mo’ us”]? fart) now has some self-driving cars and
I read the November And the dark, type- hope for the future. electric appliances. I
cover and threw the only cover must be It was an outstand- think you allow your
issue in the trash. the most boring on ing, thought-provok- liberal staff writers
—Tom Stone any C/D ever. Just ing article, light-years too much control
South Pasadena, CA use a couple pages ahead of the norm. over directions of
to inform us of the Please keep it up. magazine interests.
INTO THE DEEP BLUE beneficial tech that —Frank Heppner America doesn’t
Wow! Great issue. will relieve us of haz- Wakefield, RI want electric “cars”
First time I’ve ever ardous, long hours of or self-driving pods.
used a highlighter and highway boredom and I imagine you’ve been I guess it’s too late
jotted down margin that will suffice. waiting to see how to tell you to stick to
notes in an auto- —Jerry Crump many readers are writing about cars,
motive magazine. Cloudcroft, NM old enough to know judging by the recent
Thought-provok- that the fine print in tests you love to do
ing. Please do more November 2017: the headers of your on minivans and
special editions like Worst. Issue. Ever. autonomous-vehi- SUVs. I realize people
November’s. Well, except for the cle feature channels threaten to cancel all
—John B. Farmer Prime Cuts piece on the lyrics from the time, but really: I
Richmond, VA the DSSV damper Radiohead’s “Fitter can’t read this stuff.
[“Spool Sample”]. Happier.” “A pig in a —Dave Mackey
I had never read an —Chad Barnhart cage on antibiotics.” Livonia, MI
article on autono- Johnstown, PA —John S. Postovit We thought hard
mous vehicles Ben Lomond, CA about putting our
because I was hoping I started reading Pablo, honey?—Ed. fingers in our ears,
that ignoring the the “auto no mo’ us” closing our eyes, and
problem would make article series in the Well, you’ve done it. saying “Lalalalala”
it go away. I’m glad I November issue and Your November 2017 while the rest of the
saved my first article thought I had suffered issue is the most media world was

006 . C A R A N D D R I V E R . F E B / 2 0 1 8
printing misinforma- in the Economist. To current state of the
tion about driverless have Gladwell edit the music industry. The
cars. But then we
reconsidered—Ed.
section imbues it with
a sophistication that
best part of that issue
was the 1977 Chevy
Explained:
belies its presence in Fleetside [ad] on Hybrid Power Ratings
The quality of the a car magazine. page 031. And what
discussion about For me, it justifies the hell happened Why is the typical power rating of a hybrid vehicle (example: the
autonomous cars was the annual subscrip- to Aaron Robinson? October issue’s Toyota Camry XLE hybrid) not equal to the sum
worthy of the Econo- tion price for this He vanished more of the gasoline engine’s peak power and the electric motor’s
mist, the Atlantic, or issue alone. quickly than a Veyron output? For the Toyota: 2.5-liter engine = 176 horsepower;
the New Yorker. Likely —Colin Tisshaw empties its fuel tank. electric motor = 118 horsepower; combined rating = 208 horse-
too long for the Econ- Coquitlam, BC —Matthew Guy power. Does the electric motor’s power output drop off for some
omist, but worthy. Halifax, NS reason as the gasoline engine reaches its power-peak rpm?
And some humor, Is it still a car if it’s Robinson left us —Frank W. Harold, Bloomfield Hills, MI
which is almost totally driverless? It’s more to start a new career
lacking in the other like an elevator oper- peddling old-car You can’t simply add the two power figures together
car magazines. ating in two dimen- insurance—Ed. because the electric motor and the internal-combus-
—Charles Tucker sions. Gladwell is tion engine generally produce peak power at different
Bishop, CA right when he opines Question: Given the rpm. The electric motor is typically spinning well
that we will sacrifice inevitable march of beyond its power peak when the gasoline engine hits
First thought upon obsession, addiction, progress ending with full output. With the exception of exotica such as the
seeing the November and identity [“Whither the mandatory use of Porsche 918 Spyder, engineers don’t optimize hybrid
cover: “What a bore. Car Culture?”]. I driverless vehicles, powertrains for maximum power. They use the motor’s
Yawn!” Second get the feeling that have you consid- low-end torque to complement the engine’s high-end
thought: “Rats, this the people who will ered what you’ll do power with a strategy that prioritizes efficiency well
takes away from road- welcome the driver- with the name of the above performance—Ed.
test pages.” I read the less car with open magazine? Car and
other articles and put arms will be the Passenger? Convey-
the magazine down same ones who will ance and Mindless
with a bookmark in embrace blow-up Troll? It’s not too soon hoff saying, “. . . Will a 10-year-old be
the autonomy section dolls as an alternative to schedule a strate- every technological able to input a desti-
and picked it up two to the real deal, all in gic planning session advance carries some nation and away we
weeks later. the name of safety to deal with this. risks of adverse side go? I think there are
As I got into “auto
no mo’ us,” I changed
and predictability.
—Eric Aserlind
—Mickey Skamangas
Fredericksburg, VA “YOU CAN effects.” So, when
I got to the section
a lot of issues to be
worked out. And to
my mind. This is
terrific stuff! Fascinat-
Coral Gables, FL
Wouldn’t know
We’re thinking of
cutting the cars
HAVE MY on how Level 5 cars
would change our
borrow a phrase: “You
can have my steering
ing! Well thought out anything about altogether and STEERING lives, I failed to antici- wheel when you pry
and organized! I am
now a big fan of Level
that—Ed. calling it Ed.
Illustrated—Ed. WHEEL WHEN pate my wife’s pre-
diction. When I had
it from my cold, dead
hands.”
4, where most boring,
commuting, stop-
What’s this bullshit?
You devoted an Your timely article,
YOU PRY IT mentioned to her how
many lives this tech-
—Dannie Fox
Arizona City, AZ
and-go urban driving enormous chunk of “How Safe Is Safe FROM MY nology will save, my
could be done without
my involvement, but I
November’s issue
to driverless cars,
Enough?” in the
November autonomy COLD, DEAD wife, who is a physi-
cian, said, “There go
I think most people
like to drive. It is an
could still drive when I
really wanted to.
capped off with Glad-
well’s meandering
issue, included a
quote by Profes-
HANDS.” all the organs avail-
able for transplants.”
essential part of the
American character.
—Philip Bradley ramblings about the sor Baruch Fisch- I guess the professor Your articles
Minneapolis, MN was right. addressing this
—Randall H. Field subject are welcome
Kudos on the recent South Lyon, MI albeit boring.
31-page section on I hope one day to —Joneen Nielsen
autonomy and the read the words “my Bradenton, FL
future of vehicular- wife” and not hear
mobility options. It Borat’s voice—Ed. It looks like the
is easily the most Save the Manuals!
comprehensive and If there is no steering campaign will have
detailed examina- wheel and everyone to be refocused from
tion of the near pos- becomes a passenger, just the transmis-
sibilities/probabili- will a driver’s license sion to the whole
ties that I have come still be required? How car. A long time ago,
across. Indeed, it is will the states react to self-driving cars
of the caliber that the loss of revenue? seemed like a cool
would merit inclusion A destination tax? idea, like flying cars.

Sic your dogs on us at:  editors@caranddriver.com or join:  backfires.caranddriver.com 007


Now that it may I don’t know about The autonomous
happen sooner than Silicon Valley, but section of the
some of us would like, here in Michigan’s November issue
it seems like a really upper peninsula, was hands down the
bad idea. we frequently get smartest writing on
—David Robinson hammered with the the subject I’ve read.
West Columbia, SC white stuff. Hopefully, I’m 59. I’m glad I still
someone is working have a chance to buy
So you’re sitting in on a fleet of robo- another manual-
a truly autonomous snowplows, should transmission Porsche
self-driving car. the winter of 2030 before the droids take
Big Tech Brother prove to be a snowy over. Please make
expects you to one. It will be inter- Gladwell a regular
do which of the esting to see how the contributing editor!
following? little robocars behave —Scott R. Lictus
1) Talk to your kids after the first major Sinking Spring, PA
2) Enjoy the scenery snowstorm. Perhaps I eighth grade. I am 72 Driverless cars =
3) Use your could pull them out of I finally had a chance years old and almost readerless magazine.
smartphone a ditch with my Ram to read through the every day I find a new —Dan McNeal
Obviously, 3 is 2500, but since there whole 31-page section reason to be very Portland, OR
the correct answer. is no driver, what are on autonomous cars. happy that I wasn’t
Self-driving cars are the chances of a beer- And all I could picture born any later. I think ACCORDINGLY
not about safety, an money tip? in my head while I’m going to take my Why did you guys do
aging population, or —Richard Flatt reading through it was MX-5 to some twisty a sound-level meas-
efficiency; they’re Engadine, MI the movie WALL-E, country roads and urement only on
about creating more What do you think where all the humans flog it mercilessly. the 2018 Accord
free time for the the passengers will are blobs who can’t —Steve Prater Sport [“Can This Car
human race to pay be drinking?—Ed. walk and get around Athens, GA Save the Sedan?”
for data. It explains on their autono- Makes you wonder November 2017] and
Apple’s and Google’s
vested interest in the
That is without a
doubt the most words
mous pods, with big
screens in front of Letter what Prater read in
1958 that was so
not the Touring? EX
and higher trims get
industry.
—Tom Ferrara
I’ve ever read in a
single issue of Car
their faces and Big
Gulps in the cuphold-
of the depressing—Ed. sound-insulating
carpet and acousti-
Pound Ridge, NY and Driver, and every ers. And sadly, it’s my Month: Driverless cars are cally laminated front
Preach, Brother one of them was cap- belief that’s where — only a future thing? windows.
Tom!—Ed. tivating. The sheer we’re going. Thank After reading By my observation, —Vig
breadth, depth, and you for following up the page fully 50 percent of Chicago, IL
Congratulations on quality of the content this section with a headings in cars on the road have We’ve since tested
your issue on auto- on driverless cars review of the Track- the 31-page been driverless for the Touring and
mated cars. I was rivaled that of the hawk [“It’s a Hellcat section “auto some time. found it to be one
delighted to read biggest news publica- Thing”]. Much less no mo’ us,” the —Paul Thompson decibel quieter at
such informative, tions. The entire staff depressing. Radiohead fan Clinton, IA 70 mph—Ed.
well-researched, and should be extremely —Kevin Dimitry in me thinks
thought-provoking proud of their work. Beverly Hills, MI you should Dear Popular Science, CROSSED UP
journalism (a very This was a halo issue, have subtitled I wanted to thank Sad that you did not
welcome break from for sure! I just finished reading it “OK you for the 31 pages include the Jaguar
the usual paeans to —Ben Grehan your excellent piece Commuter.” dedicated to driver- F-Pace S in the com-
600-hp cars with McGaheysville, VA on self-driving cars. It —Jerry Whittle less cars; someone parison [“Naming
stick shifts). Okay, whose is the most depress- Belleville, IL certainly did their Rites,” November
—Andy Faber mom wrote this ing thing I’ve read homework! You might 2017]. It’s similar in
Monte Sereno, CA letter?—Ed. since maybe the want to forward a five- cost and has the most
or six-page summary horsepower. I know
I found the series of to Car and Driver. It the 2018 model hasn’t
articles on driverless might be interested. changed much, but
cars in the November —Bill McDonnell it would have shown
issue both uninterest- Eagleville, PA there is another
ing and depressing. strong contender.
The subject is actually Fuck autonomy. That —Ed Lippert
antithetical to why I is all. Nothing witty. Arvada, CO
read Car and Driver in Oh, and tell Phillips A loss to the Macan
the first place. Sorry, he is inadvertently GTS in 2016 kept
just sayin’. my hero. the F-Pace out of
—Larry Grand —Matt Vail the running this
Flemington, NJ Sioux City, IA round—Ed.

0 08 . C A R A N D D R I V E R . F E B / 2 0 1 8
Editor-In-Chief Publisher and Chief
Just read your test professor of linguis- haven’t seen a much Eddie Alterman Revenue Officer

of the Audi SQ5, tics for 40 years, and better small wagon. Deputy Editor Felix DiFilippo
Daniel Pund —
the Mercedes-AMG a C/D subscriber long —Donn Granros Creative Director National Advertising Sales
Darin Johnson Director Cameron Albergo
GLC43, and the enough to remember Elk River, MN Technical Director General Manager, Hearst
Eric Tingwall Men’s Group Samantha Irwin
Porsche Macan S. reading about the first Managing Editor —
NEW YORK

You realize that BMW Range Rover. Never IN SHOCK Mike Fazioli
Design Director
East Coast Automotive Director
Joe Pennacchio
Nathan Schroeder Assistant Philippa Malloch
is releasing a new X3 have I imagined that How does invert- Features Editor CHICAGO

M40i with 355 horse- the three would meet, ing the strut on the Jeff Sabatini Integrated Sales Director
Senior Editors Rick Bisbee
power, don’t you? until today, when I Camaro ZL1 1LE Tony Quiroga, Jared Gall Integrated Midwest Manager
Reviews Editor Marc Gordon
Assistant Yvonne Villareal
Not including that read about the Range increase its stiffness Josh Jacquot
Associate Managing Editor DETROIT
Integrated Sales Director
vehicle in this Rover Velar [“Velar- [“Spool Sample,” Juli Burke
Mark Fikany
Copy Chief Assistant Toni Starrs
comparo is a joke. Oh!” November November 2017]? Carolyn Pavia-Rauchman LOS ANGELES
Assistant Technical Editor Integrated Sales Director
—George Patramanis 2017]. For those of Wouldn’t inverting the David Beard Anne Rethmeyer
Road-Test Editor C. Benn Integration Associate
Bettendorf, IA us professionally strut only change the Copy Editor Beth Nichols Michelle Nelson
Editor, Montana Desk Assistant Bryan Goonetilleke
We realize there’s a obsessed with the unsprung mass? John Phillips SAN FRANCISCO
European Editor Mike Duff Smith Media Sales, LLC
new BMW X3, but human oral cavity, —Eric Johnson Carolinas Editor Ezra Dyer William G. Smith
Staff Photographer DALLAS
there weren’t any in this word is an adjec- Larkspur, CO Marc Urbano PR 4.0 Media Patty Rudolph
Art Assistant Austin Irwin —
the U.S. when we tive referring to the An inverted strut Road Warriors Zeb Sadiq, HEARST DIRECT MEDIA
Sales Manager Brad Gettelfinger
conducted this test. soft palate. The sound adds a tube, concen- Maxwell B. Mortimer, —
Nathan Petroelje, MARKETING SOLUTIONS
When the X3 arrives, \k\, for example, is tric with the piston Harry Granito, Kunal Haria, Executive Director, Integrated
Kevin Moreno Marketing Dawn Sheggeby
we’ll reboot this a velar stop, found in rod, within which the — Director, Integrated Marketing
Contributing Editors Amanda Luginbill
whole thing, and almost all the world’s damper body slides. Clifford Atiyeh, Csaba Csere, Senior Manager, Integrated
Malcolm Gladwell, Fred M.H. Marketing Michael Coopersmith
someone will languages. What This tube increases Gregory, John Pearley Integrated Marketing Manager
Huffman, Davey G. Johnson, Sandy Ramos
complain about were these people the stiffness of the Peter Manso, Bruce McCall,
P.J. O’Rourke, Steve Siler,
Art Director, Group Marketing
Elena Martorano
that, too—Ed. thinking? strut, which experi- Tony Swan, James Tate, Marketing Coordinator
Dweezil Zappa Richard Panciocco
—Mark Aronoff ences significant — Director, Digital Marketing
Deputy Online Editor Kelly Martin
I’m an English major Port Jefferson, NY lateral and longitudi- Dave VanderWerp Senior Digital Marketing Manager
Executive Online Editor Lee Anne Murphy
and have been a Clearly, Land Rover nal forces as one of Erik Johnson Research Manager Peter Davis
Testing Director K.C. Colwell —
professional writer has an oral fixation, the links that locate Senior Online Editors THE BLEND LINE
Joe Lorio, Mike Sutton, Executive Creative Director
(software marketing) professor—Ed. the wheel—Ed. Kevin A. Wilson Maury Postal
Online Editors Alexander Production Director Tia Devlin
for 25 years. But I’d Stoklosa, Andrew Wendler Branded Content Editor Damien

never seen the word JUKE TELLER COUNTING Associate Online Editors
Joseph Capparella, Greg Fink,
Scott
Project Director Meagan Maginot
Tony Markovich Senior Manager, Media Strategy &
“banausic” before. So Reading your review In the“Grasping the Technology and Mobility Editor Planning Scott Topel
Pete Bigelow Accolades Manager, Media
I pulled out my trusty of the Toyota C-HR Olive Branch” sidebar Using Shell V-Power®
Environmental Editor Strategy/Planning Coordinator
NiTRO®+ Premium Rebecca Taroon
Merriam-Webster’s [“Space Invader,” in the November Gasolines and diesel fuels Bengt Halvorson
Consumer Editor David Muller —
appropriately in all ADMINISTRATION
and looked it up. Sure November 2017] issue, Jacquot states Car and Driver test vehicles Managing Online Editor
Scott Mosher
Advertising Services Director
ensures the consistency Regina Wall
enough, you used it made me happy to that he held it flat and integrity of our
Buyer’s Guide Executive Editor —
PRODUCTION
Kirk Seaman
perfectly. Ahh, I love own a Juke, some- in Turn 2 at Mazda instrumented testing Buyer’s Guide Senior Editor Production/Operations Director
procedures and numbers, Rich Ceppos Chuck Lodato
having my vocabulary thing I didn’t think Raceway Laguna Seca both in the magazine Buyer’s Guide Managing Editor Operations Account Manager
and online. Jennifer Misaros Elizabeth Cascone
expanded. possible. in a Viper. That’s the Buyer’s Guide Assistant Editors Premedia Account Manager
Drew Dorian, Eric Stafford, Zachary Smith
—Paul Bard —Ed Shaw Andretti Hairpin— Annie White —
Online Copy Chief CIRCULATION
Saint Paul, MN Key West, FL flat in a golf cart, Rusty Blackwell Executive Director, Consumer
Online Copy Editors Marketing William Carter
That Word of the Day maybe, but still Laura Sky Brown, —
Charles Dryer, Daniel Golson, Published by Hearst
calendar I got I still drive my 2009 doubtful. Paul Livingstone Communications, Inc.
Online Staff Photographer 300 W. 57th Street
Jacquot for Christ- Pontiac Vibe AWD —Josh G. Michael Simari New York, New York 10019

mas is the gift that and if I came up with Aptos, CA Online Production Manager
Luke Sellenraad President & Chief
keeps on giving—Ed. a need to replace it, Jacquot meant he Assistant Online Production Executive Officer
Manager Chris Haponek Steven R. Swartz
it sure wouldn’t be went flat through Buyer’s Guide Production Chairman
Assistant Cory Wolfe William R. Hearst III
TRACKHAWKISH with a C-HR. My Vibe Turn 1; definitely not Online Production Designers
Sarah Larson, Jeff Xu
Executive Vice Chairman
Frank A. Bennack, Jr.
An $86,995 base has a 2.4-liter engine, 2 or they’d still be Online Production Assistants Secretary
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Communications, Inc.
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HEARST AUTOS
I have been a car nut very quiet and is a bit West Branch, IA Copyright 2018, Hearst photographs, or manuscripts. President Nick Matarazzo
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Sic your dogs on us at:  editors@caranddriver.com or join:  backfires.caranddriver.com 009


Reveal of the Month

SENNA-SATIONAL
structure, but pretty much every other
part of the body is made of carbon fiber.
McLaren even pioneered an extra-thin
weave for nonstructural external parts;
the front fenders weigh just 1.4 pounds
each, compared with 4.9 for the moldings
on that wallowing pig, the 720S.
A LITTLE WEIRD-LOOKING, BUT AREN’T WE ALL? by Mike Duff
DESIGN AND AERODYNAMICS
If you accept Francis Bacon’s assertion
NAMING A NEW CAR after a famous driver takes a cer- The clear door panels— that “there is no excellent beauty that hath
the better for spotting
tain amount of corporate confidence. Naming one after apexes—are optional, not some strangeness in the proportion,”
Ayrton Senna, the man many consider to be the greatest as is an audio system. then the Senna is very beautiful indeed.
Keeping the Senna’s
racer of all time, takes Robert Mueller levels of chutzpah. The weight to a minimum Although it is street legal, it was designed
McLaren Senna will have to be brilliant to justify its moniker, and means forgoing both. primarily for track use, with the styling
it almost certainly will be. As the latest of McLaren’s range- The Senna’s wing department’s prioritization of aerody-
topping Ultimate Series cars, the Senna promises to outpunch the boasts seven square namics over aesthetics brutally obvious.
feet of surface area,
P1 without the weight and complication of hybrid assistance. roughly the same as a The elongated front overhang provides for
50-inch TV screen. an undertray and aero surfaces capable of
CHASSIS The center-lock producing downforce to complement that
McLaren boss Mike Flewitt previously has said he sees the com- wheels—a first for a generated by the huge rear wing.
McLaren road car in
pany as being in a weight race with rivals rather than a power this century—allowed
battle; the Senna is a carbon-fiber testament to the brand’s obses- designers to scrap
one spoke per wheel.
sion with shaving mass. McLaren quotes a dry weight of just 2641 With a five-lug hub,
pounds, 434 lighter than its claim for the P1. Like every other they would have used
10 spokes for the sake
McLaren road car, the Senna uses a carbon-fiber central tub; the of symmetry.
evolved Monocage III is said to be 40 pounds lighter than the
already svelte Monocage II. The engine is still mounted in an alu-
minum rear substructure and there is some metal in the front

010 . CAR AND DRIVER . FEB/2018


INTERIOR
The Senna’s mission to go
fast and weigh very little
means the interior has
been pared to an uncom-
promising minimum.
Seats are nothing more
than padding on light-
weight carbon-fiber
frames, cabin controls
run through a central
touchscreen, and the
engine start button and
the releases for the top-
hinged doors sit on a
panel in the roof.

As with the Ford GT [see “La Ford in are also two movable elements within POWERTRAIN
La France,” page 022], the Senna gets a the air intakes at the front of the car that There are fewer surprises in the mid-
suspension system that can compress can vary the aerodynamic loads to keep mounted engine, which is an evolution of
its springs to reduce ride height. In the the car in balance. McLaren refuses to the same flat-crank twin-turbocharged
extra-low Race mode, it drops by two disclose an exact downforce number V-8 that has been the prime mover of every
inches, tucking the tops of the rear wheels until closer to the car’s release date, but McLaren since the MP4-12C. As with the
inside their arches. The rear wing can tilt we would be surprised if the peak total updated 720S engine, it displaces 4.0 liters
forward to increase downforce or can flat- weren’t a significant percentage of the but has been turned up to a claimed 789
ten to improve straight-line speed. There car’s modest weight. horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque.
Although that’s less than the total 903-hp
system output of the hybrid P1, McLaren
promises that the Senna will be quicker
around almost any racetrack than its pric-
ier predecessor was.

HOW MANY? HOW MUCH?


McLaren will make only 500 Sennas and
says that all were spoken for before it had
even confirmed the car’s existence. Ameri-
can buyers lucky enough to make the cut
likely paid close to seven figures. The
Senna will, however, be cheaper than the
other Ultimate Series car that McLaren is
working on, the so-called BP23 three-
seater, which is expected to be more of a
luxury grand tourer with more power and
straight-line speed than the Senna. Only
106 of those will be made, matching the
production run of the original F1 (includ-
ing dedicated race cars), and we’re told
that many of those buyers opted for a
Senna as well. It must be fun at the top.

011
Subscription Department inability to love and maintain a monoga-

KEY PLAYER
mous relationship with a car. But for a
dealer, signing on with Mobiliti seems like
a no-brainer. Cars enrolled with the service
stay on the lot and can be listed for sale
until they’re rented; there’s no charge to
list them; and instead of just taking up
space, they’re out on the road—depreciat-
ing with every mile driven, yes, but making
CAR-SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE MOBILITI IS SORT OF money to offset both the depreciation and
LIKE A PRESS-CAR FLEET FOR CIVILIANS. by Jared Gall the dealer’s floorplan, or inventory-financ-
ing, expense. The length of time and num-
ber of miles that a subscriber may keep a
TECHNOLOGY IS FORECAST to so thoroughly trans- car are up to the dealer, and new and used vehicles can be offered.
form the automotive landscape that not even the idea of Mobiliti is aiming to amass a pool of 200 cars for its launch in
ownership is expected to survive the next generation or Austin, Texas, early this year, with Detroit to follow. While any
two unchanged. The latest twist: the car subscription program. dealer can sign up, we’ll know the idea has staying power if the
With this model, rather than making payments on a single car, you company starts signing major dealer groups. Mobiliti’s depen-
pay a monthly fee to have access to a pool of vehicles. If your needs dence on idle inventory could keep the hottest models from being
change, so can your car. Taxes, insurance, and maintenance are listed with the service, but as long as the company can bring on
generally included. Cadillac and Porsche were the first carmakers enough dealers, given the sheer volume and variety of stock most
to launch such programs [see “The OEM Approach”], and others carry today, it seems that choice will be all but guaranteed.
have announced their intent to follow suit.
Then there’s Mobiliti, a third-party sub-
scriber service affiliated with no particular THE OEM APPROACH
brand. Instead, Mobiliti is partnering with
dealerships that will list vehicles from their
—While Mobiliti is horizontal in orientation, allowing users to move among brands
inventories. Monthly fees will vary but will be for each vehicle swap, Book by Cadillac and Porsche Passport are vertical,
keeping subscribers moving within their lineups. Cadillac’s program has one flat
based primarily on a vehicle’s cost to the rate; Porsche’s offers two levels of subscription: Launch and Accelerate.
dealer and the customer’s intended mileage,
driving record, and credit history. It’s free for CADILLAC PORSCHE LAUNCH PORSCHE ACCELERATE
dealers to join, $199 for subscribers. Mainte- Monthly cost: $1800 $2000 $3000
Initiation fee: $500 $500 $500
nance and property-damage insurance will be Vehicles: ATS-V, CTS-V, CT6, Cayenne; Macan, adds Cayenne S
included. Mobiliti won’t provide liability coverage CT6 PHEV, 718 Boxster, 718 and GTS, Macan
Escalade, XT5 Cayman (including GTS, Panamera
but will help users obtain it. One swap per month S models) (excluding Turbo),
will be allotted, with extra swaps costing $99. 911 cabriolet and
coupe (including
From a customer perspective, the appeal of a sub- S and 4S models)
scription service is dependent upon a number of fac- Markets: Dallas, Los Angeles, Atlanta Atlanta
New York City
tors: personal finances, aversion to ownership, the

012 . CAR AND DRIVER . FEB/2018 illustration by T A V I S C O B U R N


Stuff We Drove in the Office

OPEN-WHEEL STEAL
THE ACTEV ARROW ELECTRIC GO-KART
IS FOR CHILDREN. LIKE US. by Josh Jacquot

IN A WORLD WHERE CHAIRS ARE APEXES, shelving


units are chicanes, and cubicle partitions are Jersey bar-
riers, C/D’s Ann Arbor headquarters becomes the
Monaco Grand Prix of electric karting. We know this because we
tried it, inserting ourselves into the Actev Arrow then slicing
through the lobby sideways like the Gilles Villeneuve of cube
laborers. And guess what? It was awesome.
Actev Motors, a Silicon Valley–based company, released the SMART CAR
Arrow in 2016 to fill a gap in the children’s electric-car market, 2018 ACTEV —Actev refers to the Arrow as a “Smart-Kart”
which lacked a vehicle appropriate for five-to-nine-year-olds. ARROW because it designed the kart with the com-
(It’s officially rated for only 130 pounds, but we took some liber- VEHICLE TYPE: mid- puting power and connectivity of a mobile
ties with that.) The Arrow is a 73-pound kart stuffed with tech- motor, rear-wheel-drive, gaming platform, according to CEO Dave
1-passenger go-kart Bell. Use of a CAN bus permits expanded
nology. Its maker claims a 12-mph top speed, which is just right AS-TESTED PRICE: functionality as Actev invents new features.
for kids outside. We verified that its top speed occurs only in $1410 Among the possibilities are downloadable
BASE PRICE: $1000 engine sounds and a Formula 1–style steer-
brief bursts but suspected even the 11-mph pace it frequently MOTORS: 2 permanent- ing wheel incorporating an LCD display, push
achieves was too quick for indoor use. Erasing any doubt, deputy magnet DC; combined buttons, haptics, and Bluetooth connectiv-
output, 1.0 hp, 4.4 lb-ft ity to support games or STEM educational
editor Daniel Pund early-apexed Turn 4 of our in-office course, BATTERY: air-cooled projects. Electric power steering using a
triggering yet another call to Oxford Property Management’s lithium-ion, 0.17 kWh computer-controlled servo might even
TRANSMISSION: enable a remote-controlled, if not fully auto-
crack drywall team. “She’s loose on turn-in,” groaned Pund, 1-speed direct drive mated, Arrow.
DIMENSIONS
extracting himself from the machine. WHEELBASE: 33.5 in
LENGTH: 55.5 in
WIDTH: 29.5 in
Though we didn’t use all the kart’s
HEIGHT: 23.5 in safety features, Actev thought of nearly
CURB WEIGHT: 83 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
everything: The accompanying free app
ZERO TO 10 MPH: allows parents (or co-workers) to limit the
5.3 sec
1/4-MILE: 83.1 sec
Arrow’s top speed as well as stop it
@ 11 mph remotely. A front-collision-avoidance sen-
TOP SPEED: 12 mph
sor works at speeds below 9 mph. And par-
ents are able to build an invisible boundary
to contain the Arrow with geofencing.
Actev asks $1000 for the naked Arrow
and another $200 for either red or silver
bodywork (which adds 10 pounds to the
curb weight). Drift rings, hard plastic cov-
ers that fasten over the rear tires (all four
are pneumatic), cost $60. A double-capac-
ity battery, good for run times up to 45
minutes in our hands, is $150.
Fire up the Arrow by pressing the but-
ton on the back of the seat, and it sings a
synthesized Ferrari V-12 growl, the volume
of which can be adjusted from the app. And,
for better or worse, it’s all electric, which
means its braking (regenerative only) lacks
the ability to hold the kart stationary on
a hill, a “feature” sure to surprise your
six-year-old, as it did this author’s. None-
theless, the Arrow’s instant steering,
near-violent transitional response, and
four-inch-high seating position cement its
status as an authentic kart—albeit one
tuned for those not fully developed.

photography by M A R C U R B A N O 013
Whisk-y Flight

DRIVING 002

THE SKY
FLYING CARS ARE BACK. AND
STILL A LONG SHOT. 005
by John Pearley Huffman

FLYING CARS USED TO 003


be not much more than
Ford Pintos with wings.
Now they’re “sky taxis” and
“roadable aircraft” and a hundred
other cute names that promise the
dream of streaking over traffic
instead of crawling through it.
They’re ideas that never result in
much but just won’t die, and the
rise of hobby drones has given the
concept a new plausibility (they
can probably make those things 004
big and sturdy enough to ride in,
no?). We’re still skeptical, but
some of the science projects below 001
have actually flown as prototypes.
And now there are billionaires
pursuing this faraway dream.
001. AEROMOBIL
Floating out of Slovakia with a reported
$1.3 million price tag, the AeroMobil packs
foldable wings and a mid-mounted 300-hp
flat-four engine into a slick carbon-fiber
structure. When the engine isn’t turning
the rear-mounted propeller, it powers a
generator for the electric motors driving
the front wheels. remote-controlled version successfully 005. KITTY HAWK AND ZEE.AERO
ODDS OF SUCCESS ........ 1 50:1 flew last April. The company reportedly Meet Larry Page, Google co-founder.
raised $90 million in September, much of Forbes says the 44-year-old is worth
002. TERRAFUGIA it coming from China’s Tencent Holdings $47.7 billion, as of this writing. What does
Terrafugia has been developing its flying as well as investment firms controlled by the 12th-richest dude in the universe do for
car, the Transition, since 2006, and proto- founders of Skype and Twitter. fun? He throws more than $100 million at
types have been in the air since 2009. The ODDS OF SUCCESS ........ 76:1 his two flying-car projects headquartered
company does have an FAA waiver—oh, down the street from Google in Mountain
and money. China’s Geely, the company 004. VOLOCOPTER View, California. Looking like an exercise
that revived Volvo, also bought Terrafugia Flying with 18 tiny rotors spun by individ- bike attached to a couple of pontoons, the
last year. ual motors, the electric two-passenger Kitty Hawk Flyer got airborne last April.
ODDS OF SUCCESS ........ 100:1 Volocopter 2X is intended to be the Zee.Aero is more secretive, but a proto-
“world’s first autonomous air taxi.” The type in line with 2013 patent drawings
003. LILIUM company recently raised $30 million from has been seen hovering around the airport
Based in Munich, Germany, Lilium is investors that include Intel and Daimler. A in nearby Hollister. Worst-case scenario,
developing the world’s first electric verti- prototype has flown around Dubai, but Page blows 99 percent of his fortune
cal takeoff and landing jet. The prototype if the operation comes up short, it could chasing the dream. Which leaves him only
uses 36 teensy little engines to reach a top always be repurposed as a food processor. $472 million to scrape by on.
speed of 186 mph, and an unmanned ODDS OF SUCCESS ........ 75:1 ODDS OF SUCCESS ........ 47:1

014 . CAR AND DRIVER . FEB/2018 illustration by R Y A N O L B R Y S H


PUMPED UP
Fuel’s Gold

91-octane premium in the U.S. and on par


with the baseline gasoline found through-
out much of Europe. Researchers say a
driver could expect a roughly 3 percent
improvement in fuel economy from vehi-
cles designed to take advantage of the
higher octane. Older cars would run the
AUTOMAKERS SEE BIG POTENTIAL IN RAISING new regular fuel without problem,
THE OCTANE OF REGULAR UNLEADED. by Eric Tingwall although they would receive no benefit in
efficiency or performance.
It would likely take a regulatory man-
IN THE UNRELENTING PURSUIT date to facilitate the production and widespread distribution of
of a more efficient internal- any new fuel, and such a mandate is improbable under the current
combustion engine, automakers presidency and without the endorsement of Big Oil. The American
are hoping that their dealer will help wean Petroleum Institute declined an interview request for this story.
them off the very drug they’re hooked on. RON PALL
John Farrell, who manages the Department of Energy’s
If the oil industry raised the octane rating
of regular gasoline, engineers could There’s more than

Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines program, says that there are
two viable methods for raising the octane rating of gasoline, and
increase compression ratios, improving one method of both come with economic disincentives for oil companies. Alter-
determining a
fuel efficiency and cutting CO2 emissions. fuel’s octane ing processing methods would require large capital investments
It’s an idea that’s gained the support of rating, which and higher production costs. Mixing more ethanol into gasoline,
indicates its resis-
Honda executives as well as the United tance to knock, around 20 or 25 percent compared with 10 percent today, “would
States Council for Automotive Research, a the improper be beneficial from the standpoint of [oil companies] deferring,
combustion that
technology alliance among Fiat Chrysler, can destroy an or not even having to make, large capital investments,” Farrell
Ford, and General Motors. engine. Tests for says. However, reducing the petroleum content of the fuel also
the research
But few have been as vocal as Dan Nich- octane number, cuts the volume the refiner is providing, with a commensurate
olson, GM’s vice president of global pro- RON, and the reduction in revenue.
motor octane
pulsion systems, in arguing for what’s number, MON, “This is a tough sell,” GM’s Nicholson admits. “It’s very doable
certain to be more expensive gas. Nichol- vary enough that from an automotive OEM and a propulsion standpoint. But the
there’s no direct
son says a well-to-wheel analysis of CO2 correlation real issue is the political will for all the stakeholders to come
emissions suggests the optimum societal between the two together.” Even if automakers can entice regulators and oil com-
ratings. American
benefit comes from a fuel with a 95 or 96 gas pumps display panies to take up the effort, change won’t come quickly. Nicholson
research octane number, or RON [see the anti-knock imagines the new regular gas would be phased in over a 10-year
index, which aver-
“RON Pall”]. That’s roughly equivalent to ages a fuel’s RON period, similar to the switch from leaded to unleaded.
and MON. The
RON method is
widely considered
the most relevant
measure of

EXTRA!
octane for deter-
mining a fuel’s
—Relative to today’s suitability for
modern engines.
regular gas, it would
cost oil companies an
estimated three to
five cents more to
produce 95-RON fuel.

7%
THE POTENTIAL
for a turbocharged gas engine
EFFICIENCY GAIN

6% designed to take advantage of


5% higher-octane fuel:

4%

3%

2% 25% ETHANOL
1% 10% ETHANOL
0%
92 94 96 98 100 102
R E S E A R C H O C TA N E N U M B E R ( R O N )

photography by R O Y R I T C H I E 015
The Columnists by all but at the behest of politicians wear-
ing tall boots. By the way, Porsche is also

John Phillips // As statistics go, credited with one of the first gas-electric
hybrids. He called it the Overloaded Ferry.

here’s a knee-buckler: The cost of Half of that is true.


I could go on. I will. Would Tesla be

one minute of automobile manu- Tesling without federal assistance? Would


GM’s upcoming mid-engined Corvette be

facturing in the U.S. is $460,706. aborning sans bailout? I remember when


Toyota sold its millionth Prius in the U.S.,

So says Ultimaker, a supplier of something that wouldn’t have been possi-


ble without federally offered tax incen-

3D printing tools. (Question: Once tives. If you like interstate freeways,


repeat after me: “I like Ike.” Right now,

you have a 3D printer, can’t you let’s all try to conjure any consumer prod-
uct less often pummeled by political

use it to make another one?) appendages pushing, shoving, and occa-


sionally kicking in the buttock region.
Last summer, an oversize TV mouth
I love when massive stats like that are insisted that NASCAR’s plunge in viewer-
broken down to the last dollar. Were those ship was due to the government shaping
final six bucks invoiced for, say, a ham on modern cars into something enthusiasts
rye in Hamtramck? If you wonder why don’t recognize. Oh, brother. For how
politicians flock to auto plants for photo many years have buyers—all by them-
ops, refer to the statistic above. In a book I selves—been resisting sedans, the very
just read, it’s said that polar bears can Fusions, SSs, and Camrys running circles
smell humans five miles distant. Big deal. in the Monster Energy series? Also, when
Politicians can smell money all the way a racing series annually televises 40-some
from the Potomac. multihour shows, doesn’t it run the risk of
I mention politicians because right cheapening the product? And there’s this:
now I’m all puffed up over the likelihood Between 1983 and 2014, the percentage of
that EPA administrator Scott Pruitt will hormonal 16-year-olds with a driver’s
reverse Obama’s fuel-mileage standards license fell from 46 to just 25. The feds
for 2025. This from a man who just nicked didn’t do that. Time dedicated to Snap-
taxpayers to the tune of $24,570 for a chat, Brother Zuckerberg, tattoos, and
soundproof booth so that no one could hand-ripped jeans did that.
hear his phone conversations. It’s like ask- Please don’t get upset, but it strikes me
ing the other Scott Pruett—the champion that—considering all the government’s
racer—to rewrite IMSA’s rulebook just automotive intrusions—it’s tricky to pin-
before climbing into his Lexus at Daytona. point which has been a full-on cow pie
Isn’t a sudden change in fuel-economy in the craggy face of reason. Seatbelts?
standards a sucker punch in the schnoz of named after a U.S. senator. The ratings on Rollover standards? I originally thought
engineers toiling late into the Ambien your tires’ sidewalls are political. As are CHMSLs and DRLs were little more than
hours to invent yet more efficient inter- your seatbelts, your airbags, all your emis- mandatory Christmas lights, but safety
nal-combustion engines? How’d you feel if, sions equipment, the crash beams in your studies suggest they also brighten Easter.
for the previous six years, you’d labored doors, the type of headlights you can use, Okay, the chimes warning that your seat-
over fuel-flow rates on a compression- your shatter-resistant glass, the escape belt is unfastened—that was a mistake.
ignition gas engine only to have your boss latch inside your trunk, the aftermarket I just read a piece in the New York
say, “Hey, Jimbo, never mind”? What if parts you can legally attach, the strength Review in which it’s alleged that roughly
that engine had been destined to become of your bumpers and roof, the text of the 2 percent of projects partly financed by the
the car-enthusiast meat in a Miata sand- ads from your dealership, the type of paint federal government have tanked. That’s it.
wich? Isn’t there value in cheering for a manufacturer can spray, not to mention And, yes, Mr. Doubtfire, that includes
the most efficient internal-combustion mandated ABS and stability control. Even Solyndra. From what I can tell in matters
engines possible, especially in the face of the guys who build your car—in their union automotive, our government has gotten it
automated 12-passenger commuter pods? brawls—are longingly, obsessively politi- right more often than wrong. I mean,
And for the love of heim joints and the cal. And I’ll bet all the assembly robots think how considerately the feds have usu-
wrath of Ferdinand Piëch, do not castigate are Marxists. ally left us to our own vehicular mayhem.
I L L U S T R AT I O N B Y F L O R I A N N I C O L L E

me for bringing up politics. Your car’s fuel When were cars not political? You’d Two words of proof: Dodge Demon. I was
economy is hugely political. The Mon- have to ask Karl Benz. Or Ferdinand going to say “LaFerrari,” but I don’t know
roney sticker on your car’s window was Porsche, a man who invented a car beloved if that’s one word or two.

016 . CAR AND DRIVER . FEB/2018


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The Columnists I’m pretty sure that number is effectively
zero. Maybe less than zero. And I don’t

Daniel Pund // When BMW recently


even believe in negative numbers.
In primary-seatbelt-law states (where

and “voluntarily” issued a stop-sale


police can pull you over for not wearing
one), usage was up to 92.1 percent in 2016.

order on its i3 electric cars for fail-


So why are we going through the effort of
protecting a small percentage of people

ing a crash test, the first comment


who have apparently no interest in protect-
ing themselves? Why are carmakers

heard ’round these halls was, “Wow,


obliged to design interiors and safety sys-
tems in part for people who won’t use the

the BMW dealers must be relieved.”


easiest and most effective among them?
Lest you think me callous, understand

That was not nice and it’s mostly


that I have an interest in the well-being of
such mini females. My wife and one of my

untrue . . . probably . . . maybe.


daughters are roughly fifth percentile.
NHTSA said in 2000 that it continues
with the unbelted crash tests because,
Beyond instructing dealers to deliver while seatbelt usage rates were rising,
to customers none of the 1159 new i3s cur- 54 percent of drivers in fatal crashes were
rently in dealer inventory, BMW also unbelted. By 2015, that figure had dropped
pointed out that delivering one of the vehi- to 44 percent, owing to ever higher seat-
cles would be a violation of federal law and belt usage.
that “substantial civil penalties apply to The IIHS does all its testing with
violations.” That wasn’t really nice, either. belted passengers on the premise that it’s
Also, all 29,383 BMW i3s that were more beneficial overall to encourage vehi-
already “retailed” over the model’s four- cle improvements that maximize safety
year run have been recalled until the for the 90 percent of people who wear
repair is complete. What’s the repair? belts. And further, the insurance-com-
Well, it was still under development when pany-funded group worries that rating
we went to press. vehicles with unbelted dummies may
To characterize any failed crash test as encourage vehicle changes, such as more
a small problem might sound a bit cold- aggressive airbags that could actually put
hearted. But in the grand scheme, that the people at higher risk in a crash.
i3 has come to a screeching halt amounts About five years ago, BMW of North
to almost nothing. It’s a curious little box America petitioned NHTSA to be allowed
riding on four pizza cutters, upon which to fit its cars with a seatbelt interlock fea-
BMW appears to have focused more atten- ture that would limit the vehicle’s function
tion on its carbon-fiber bits than the per- if front-seat passengers didn’t buckle up as
formance and range of its powertrain. And an alternative to the unbelted-crash-test
little doesn’t just describe the i3’s dimen- belted frontal crash tests performed by requirements. The petition was denied.
sions or sales numbers, it also describes IIHS. Why should you care about such an And who exactly is still going unbelted?
the dummies that set the recall in motion. edge-case scenario in a car that so few peo- Well, some of them live in New Hamp-
Specifically, it’s the dummies that stand ple care about even when it’s not crashing? shire, the only state in the union where
(or sit) in for fifth percentile female Because these dummies were idiots. These there is no seatbelt law for adults (minors
humans that triggered this. For reference, dummies were not wearing seatbelts. are required to wear belts). Not surpris-
a fifth percentile female is about five feet Unbelted crash tests? How is it that we ingly, New Hampshire has the lowest rate
tall and weighs in at a wiry 110 pounds. could still be doing unbelted crash tests? of seatbelt usage in the country, at 70.2
In NHTSA’s frontal-impact rigid- According to a NHTSA study, seatbelt use percent. The tagline on the state’s license
barrier crash testing, with the vehicle trav- was up to 90.1 percent in 2016. So it would plates should read Live Free and Die!
eling 25 mph, the little dummies got their seem that only 9.9 percent of people would I don’t particularly like being told what
necks tweaked by the steering-wheel- like to demonstrate their freedom from to do, either. For example, I like to drive as
mounted airbag. BMW notes that the government oversight by being thrown quickly as I want to drive, anywhere, and
allowable force limit was only marginally clear. Now consider how few of that 9.9 under any circumstances I see fit. Indulg-
exceeded in NHTSA’s test and adds that percent of drivers and passengers would ing that kind of thinking resulted in my
fall into the fifth percentile female weight
I L L U S T R AT I O N B Y F L O R I A N N I C O L L E

when the company performed its own sim- driver’s license being restricted before I
ilar crash tests in the past, the forces to the and height class and how many would made it to the age of 17. Eventually I wised
dummies’ necks were well below the limit. choose to buy an i3. While I have not con- up. Most of us do. Somewhere around 90
The i3 scores a “good” rating in the sulted with our tech department on this, percent of us, I reckon.

018 . CAR AND DRIVER . FEB/2018


BUILT
FOR THIS

Performance is the result of driver and machine working


together as one. Response to a driver’s demands
becomes instant and instinctive. You no longer think
about asserting control, but instead, you feel it.

Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ is the


latest result of Acura’s constant quest to deliver that
feeling. With boundary-pushing performance born
from uncompromising engineering, our all-wheel-drive
system is arguably the world’s most advanced. The
system consists of a twin-turbocharged V-6 engine and
three high-output electric motors that together produce
a hairpin-punishing 573 horsepower. Pair that with a
rapid-shifting Dual-Clutch Transmission (DCT) to deliver
dynamic acceleration and intuitive handling, and the result
is a sensation of being one with the car and the road.

This is the Acura NSX. And this is how we make it.

Check out the NSX at your local Acura dealer,


or build your own at nsx.acura.com/build.

©2018 Acura. Acura, NSX, Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™,


and the stylized “A” logo are trademarks of Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
The Columnists There’s an Iso Grifo, a Ferrari 360 Spyder,
and factory entries from Acura, Maserati,

Ezra Dyer // Under normal circum-


and Porsche. Jeff Lane, proprietor of the
superb Lane Motor Museum in Nashville,

stances, a road trip with young kids


shows up in a Renault Megane, which is
probably the 117th-weirdest car in his col-

is an undertaking to be endured
lection but likely one of the most reliable.
We head off into the hills, trailing a

rather than enjoyed. My kids are


black Porsche 911 GT3. I try to keep it in
sight, because following the route book

five and seven, ages when a two-


seems impossible—over the course of
the day, the route covers 252 miles and

hour drive represents a dispropor-


includes 101 directions. Somehow, we stay
on track well enough that when the GT3

tionate percentage of their lives.


makes a wrong turn ahead of the morning
mountaintop autocross, we don’t follow.

I believe it was Albert Einstein who


As the drivers gather in a ski-area parking
lot for a timed run around the cones, Rhys
talks about the GT3’s directional blunder
said, “Time is relative, so if you’re going to anyone who’ll listen—including the
anywhere farther than two hours away, owner of the GT3. I counsel Rhys on the
definitely try to get your hands on a Chrys- importance of humility. “What’s that?” he
ler Pacifica, especially one with the rear- asks, just like most adults.
seat entertainment system that you always I tell him humility means you don’t
tell other people isn’t worth buying.” Man, make a big deal out of it when you totally
that guy was smart. crush everyone at the autocross with your
But I am dumb, so I nominate my older awesome GT-R, like we’re about to do. The
son, Rhys, to accompany me on a trip that’s teachable moment gets even more teach-
the opposite of minivan automotive anes- able when we don’t actually do that, on
thesia: entering a Nissan GT-R in a road account of my forgetting to use launch
rally in the mountains of North Carolina. control and then clipping a cone. Later, we
If you’ve never participated in one of these find ourselves beside an Acura-entered
events, it’s like a cross between a road trip NSX at a red light and I decide to redeem
and the chalkboard from Good Will Hunting. myself, cuing up launch control and exe-
You’re given a booklet scrawled with mys- cuting a violent clutch dump off the line.
terious runes and glyphs that could be We bask in glory for almost an entire sec-
either a drive route or a coded message ond, until I forget to upshift and stutter
about troop movements north of the into the rev limiter at about 35 mph while
Rhine. There’s an excellent chance that one the NSX glides past. I hope Rhys appreci-
of my kid’s earliest memories is going to ates all this humility I’m teaching him.
be of me screaming: “Is it a left on Cran- The next day, the drive continues to the
berry Lane or Cranberry Drive? Get your him being asleep or watching Wreck-It Tail of the Dragon and then down to
head in the game!” Ralph, and I’m not sure how he’ll handle Atlanta, but we trade the GT-R for a 370Z
The rally, the Drive Toward a Cure the crushing boredom of the highway slog. and head for home. See, when I made these
Great Southern Adventure, is a benefit for It turns out that four hours is about plans, I wasn’t sure how the kid would deal
Parkinson’s disease research. There are enough time for him to ask 40 percent of with all this car time, all this navigating.
two events per year—the California drive the things he’s been wondering. The drive Bringing him was kind of a risk, so I
is coming up at the beginning of May—and to Asheville is like taking the witness hedged my bets and signed on for only the
this one is based out of Asheville, near stand for a lawyer who’s not real sure first day. Which turns out to have been a
some of the tastiest roads east of the Mis- where he’s going with any of this. “Does mistake. Yesterday we hit all 101 steps and
sissippi. Nissan is a sponsor, and it asked if Santa ever die? What about Mrs. Claus? today he wants to keep going.
I wanted to drive an older model that you Does Tom Brady get haircuts? Are dogs I tell him we’ll do something like this
don’t hear about much these days, some- born with their eyes open? How does the again, and I mean it. But for now, it’s back
thing safe, with all-wheel drive and an bus driver close the door after he gets out on the highway. And back to the questions.
automatic. Perhaps the GT-R is no longer of the bus?” “He, uhh . . . Look, son, the About 20 minutes in, I’m hit with, “How
king of the ’Ring, but launch control will inside of the microwave is made of metal was God born?”
still give you a wedgie. but you can’t put metal in the microwave, You know, this was fun. I strongly rec-
I L L U S T R AT I O N B Y F L O R I A N N I C O L L E

I live about four hours from Asheville, so just ponder that for a while.” ommend taking a road trip with your kids
so the first challenge is getting there. I’ve The next morning, we muster the cars and making them active participants. But
never driven that far with Rhys without outside the hotel. It’s an impressive fleet: there’s something to be said for a Pacifica.

020 . CAR AND DRIVER . FEB/2018


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La Ford in

022
La France!
For most of the year, the bulk of the Le Mans circuit
is a public road. We take the 2017 Ford GT back to
the streets of la Sarthe, site of its 2016 class victory,
to see how it copes with the real world.
_by Mike Duff
_photography by Greg Pajo

W
hile the French do a healthy business
in shrugs and even, when equipped,
mustache twirls, they are for the most
part an undemonstrative people. Yet
the Ford GT’s abrupt transition to its
Track mode—the car dropping two inches as hydraulic
actuators compress its supplemental coil springs, the rear
wing rising with an equal suddenness—is impressive
enough to coax a collective sigh of appreciation from the
group of Le Mans corner workers and other informed
spectators watching as the car readies itself to head onto
the famous circuit.
Although we’ve brought the new GT back to the site of
its most celebrated racing win, the 2016 class victory
taken in its first entry to the 24-hour race, this is not an
exploration of what the car is capable of on a track. Our
photographic use of Le Mans’s short Bugatti circuit hap-
pens during a lunch break, and even though in France that
equates to two hours, access is on the condition that we
drive gently enough not to trip the noise meters.
The bigger question, and the one we haven’t been able
to answer so far, is how the GT deals with the real world
or, at least, the approximation of that given to us by
France. For that, we’d need to take the car on public roads,
and it just so happens that some of the ones we choose are
actually part of the classic enduro’s circuit.
The yellow car you see here lives in Europe but boasts
full U.S. spec, complete with red rear turn signals and a
navigation system that refuses to acknowledge the exis-
tence of anything east of Maine. Up close, the GT also
reveals the patina of a life lived hard, with swirling galax-
ies of stone chips on those parts of the lower bodywork
not protected by helicopter tape. The odometer admits to
just 6500 miles, but the technicians who delivered the car
to France and who are present to keep it in tune say the
vast majority of those were accumulated on racetracks.
(For reference, the No. 68 car that took class honors at
Le Mans in 2016 covered 2880 miles in 24 hours.)
Beyond France, we also extracted a full set of perform-
ance numbers from another GT in Michigan and later took
that car to Virginia International Raceway to see how its
lap time compared with some of the harder chargers [see
“2:43.0,” page 027]. With production limited to just 250
units a year, that means a respectable percentage of the
existing fleet has been employed to bring you this story.

FEB/2018 . CAR AND DRIVER . CAR MEETS ROAD . 023


Closest
thing to a
roadgoing Le
Mans winner,
hugely exciting,
makes rivals
seem tame.
Loud, crude,
expensive,
completely
impractical.

L
et’s start with the sticky subject of A stagger-
the numbers. Because while the GT ing achieve-
is hugely fast, its raw figures are not ment and a
as inspirational as they should be consid- future classic.
ering the price premium the car carries
over blue-chip rivals. We know it is churl- The GT’s minimalist ing all manner of exotica parked in the square outside, the GT is
ish to criticize any car capable of breaking interior is cramped,
but so are most Le still special enough to draw spectators as it is unloaded from the
60 mph from a standstill in three seconds Mans cars’. Fun fact: transporter and warms up just after dawn.
flat and turning in a sub-11-second quar- The dashboard’s main
beam is structural. While many supercars have been tucked and tweaked to
ter; yet the brutal truth is that those times spawn competition variants, the Ford GT is a race car that has
are only sufficient to put the GT below the been legalized for road use. The lack of practicality struck us when
median of its insanely rapid segment. Both the Lamborghini we first drove it briefly on a track [“Feel Lucky, Punk?” July 2017],
Huracán Performante and the McLaren 720S are significantly and two days of frequent ingress and egress make the point more
quicker, and each is more than $150,000 cheaper. clearly. The GT is a masterpiece of minimalism; apart from the
But then, those cars are practically mass produced when com- infotainment system, the cockpit contains nothing that is not
pared with the GT, which will leave Multimatic’s assembly plant either functional or necessary. At first, the cabin feels basic and
in Markham, Ontario, at the rate of no more than one a day. The frankly cheap, but we soon came to appreciate the simplicity and
Ford’s twin-turbo V-6 was also chosen for reasons beyond mere lack of distraction, from the rotary climate controls that would
horsepower, with GTE Pro regulations using a Byzantine balance barely have passed muster in a rental-grade Taurus 15 years ago
of performance calculation to wind back challengers with too to a digital dashboard that is a model of clarity and concision.
much firepower. The heavily reworked 3.5-liter EcoBoost gives the Getting in is an acquired skill, one earned at the cost of a few
GT a tangential link to the lower reaches of the Ford range and is bruises. The easiest technique is to sit on the fat sill and then
also compact enough to fit within the GT’s dramatically tapered effectively fall backward into the seat; there’s enough clearance
bodywork—a design dictated by the racing variant’s aerodynamic from the A-pillar to allow legs to be swung inboard. The seats
requirements. don’t move fore or aft. Indeed, they are little more than strategi-
The GT is certainly not lacking for theater. Our base in the cally padded carbon shells, and driver and co-pilot sit close
Pays de la Loire is the appropriately named Hôtel de France in enough to trade STDs. The tiny luggage space behind the engine
La Chartre-sur-le-Loir, around 30 miles from the circuit and pre- under the rear cover is practically filled by the two high-visibility
viously the encampment of the original Ford GT40 works effort vests that French law requires we carry. If a GT owner wants to
in the ’60s. Since then, it has become a magnet for race fans. Its take something on a trip, he will need to either wear it, strap it to
rooms are named after famous drivers, making it possible to have the roof, or send it ahead via FedEx.
an excellent three-course dinner with wine and then charge it to Just leaving La Chartre-sur-le-Loir provides some early
Derek Bell. Yet while the local population has grown used to see- thrills. The GT’s low-speed manners are fine, but its width and

024 . CAR MEE TS ROAD . CAR AND D RIVER . FEB/201 8


radically inboard driving position turn
narrow French roads and oncoming traffic
into a palm-prickling adventure. While
our support team has no shortage of tires,
it carries no replacement body panels.
From the cockpit, visibility is limited by
the shallow glassline and low wind-
shield—as you would expect in a car just
43.7 inches tall—so the apexes of shallow
right-hand corners have to be spotted
from around the rearview mirror. The
wind tunnel dictated the narrow cabin and
its compromises as much as the designers
did. The radical front-to-rear taper of the
cockpit keeps airflow attached to the body,
rather than roiling over the carbon-fiber
panels with drag-raising turbulence.
The mighty 647-hp V-6 is the GT’s
defining feature. It is its heart, its soul, and
its tinnitus-inducing entertainment sys-
tem—the feeble efforts of the four- house-trained supercars rarely are, and it more than offsets any
speaker factory audio are drowned out as Circuit on-paper performance deficit. We had rain for much of our time
soon as the car starts to move. It’s a con- de la Duff in France, which put the track-biased Michelin Pilot Sport Cup
stant reminder of the GT’s racing pedi- The circuit at 2 tires in an appropriately Gallic state of existential angst. Any
gree, idling with a brooding tone and, Le Mans is divided car that tries to spin its rear wheels at 4000 rpm in third gear on
between normally
although tractable under gentle use, occa- public roads half throttle is not short on thrills. But the GT didn’t feel scary
sionally stuttering and snuffling as it tries (white) and a even in proximity to its weather-reduced limits; it is one of those
permanent track
to clear its throat. There’s plenty of turbo (orange) that cars that pretty much always shouts encouragement at the driver
lag, replaced in short order by the rapidly includes the to try harder. On drier roads, the LED upshift lights integrated
Porsche Curves,
swelling sensation of arriving boost. Keep the front straight, into the top of the steering wheel goad one on, and getting even
accelerating, and the noises passing and the Dunlop the first green one to flare feels like an accomplishment. The blue
Curve. Part of the
through the rear bulkhead get angrier and track section is lights at the far end of the LED window might warn of the modest
darker. Dulcet, melodious, and tuneful are included in the
shorter Bugatti
just three of the adjectives that will never Circuit, which is MULSANNE CITY
be applied to the GT’s soundtrack. Taster’s used throughout
the year except, MULSANNE CORNER
notes included chain saws, Africanized ironically, during
bees, and hints of hurricane, with noise the 24 Hours,
when it is used for MICHELIN CHICANE GOLF COURSES
trapped and reverberating in the tight- truck parking.
fitting carbon-fiber box that is the cabin. Local amenities
include a KFC
Yet the GT’s sensory overload makes it and mini golf.
thrilling in a way that most modern-breed
MULSANNE STRAIGHT

INDIANAPOLIS CORNER
Public road
Private track

SHOPPING MALL LA MARE

HIPPODROME

KFC PORSCHE CURVES

KARTING TRACKS
PADDOCK
STADIUM
FORD CHICANE
N
N START/FINISH
Paris
GRANDSTANDS Le Mans
SOURCE: IGN DUNLOP CURVE FRANCE

CITY OF LE MANS 1 MILE


illustration by N I C O L A S R A P P URBAN AREA 025
an everyday pace without drama, but it
does not like to do so. Every part of the car
has been designed for higher speeds and
higher loadings. The carbon-ceramic
brakes grouch out their protest when cold,
and the pedal is light and hard to modulate
under gentle pressure, the brakes needing
heat to work properly. The dual-clutch
automatic doesn’t change ratios with the
snap and precision of, say, Porsche’s PDK,
7000-rpm redline, but getting them illu- and manual mode is selected by a fiddly
minated feels positively daring. button at the center of the rotary trans-
Although our time on the closed parts mission controller.
of the circuit is constrained, we have free Yet while the GT’s powertrain feels no
rein of the sizable section of the 24-hour less aggressive on the road than it does on
course that consists of public roads, most track, the chassis has a gentler side, a
famous of which is the 3.7-mile-long Mul- sense of lightness and delicacy in contrast
sanne straight, part of Route Départemen- to the brutality of the power delivery. Ride
tale D338. The straight is now curtailed by is firm in any of the drive modes, but both
two chicanes during the race but, in the Normal and the slightly stiffer Sport give
event’s heyday, was once the scene of some of the highest speeds Deux chevaux? Non, six damping compliance to cope with sur-
ever witnessed in racing; in 1988, a Group C Peugeot prototype cent quarante-sept faces that look as if they could shake the
chevaux, bub! Above:
set a Le Mans speed-trap record of 252 mph. The boosted 3.5-liter car to pieces. Credit goes largely to Multi-
There is no chance of a record today, or indeed of breaking the V-6 is big on lag, small matic’s spool-valve dampers, fitted here
on refinement. But
normal 90-km/h speed limit by any significant degree, thanks to that’s hardly the point. with an electronically adjustable element.
traffic, much of which is oncoming. Yes, the GT can be driven at Ford’s use of both a traditional coil and a

2017 FORD GT WHEELS AND TIRES


FINAL-DRIVE RATIO 3.67:1, helical-gear limited-slip
differential
WHEEL SIZE .................... F: 8.5 x 20 in R: 11.5 x 20 in
GEAR RATIO MPH PER MAX SPEED
WHEEL CONSTRUCTION ....................... carbon fiber
1000 RPM IN GEAR (rpm)
TIRES: Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2
.......... 3.40 ........... 6.5 ................ 46 mph (7100)

$525,750
1

PRICE 2 .......... 2.19 ............ 10.1 ............... 72 mph (7100)


F: 245/35ZR-20 (95Y) R: 325/30ZR-20 (106Y)
AS TESTED ...................................
BASE ............................................................. $453,750
3
4
.......... 1.63 ............ 13.7 ............... 97 mph (7100)
.......... 1.29 ............ 17.2 ............... 122 mph (7100)
EXTERIOR DIMENSIONS
WHEELBASE ..................................................... 106.7 in
5 .......... 1.03 ........... 21.3 .............. 151 mph (7100)
LENGTH ............................................................. 187.5 in
VEHICLE TYPE: mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 6 .......... 0.84 ........... 26.7 .............. 189 mph (7100)
WIDTH .................................................................. 78.9 in
2-passenger, 2-door coupe 7 .......... 0.63 ........... 35.5 .............. 216 mph (6100)
HEIGHT ................................................................ 43.7 in
OPTIONS: Dark Energy interior, $25,000;
gloss-finish carbon-fiber wheels, $15,000; CHASSIS FRONT TRACK ................................................... 66.7 in
REAR TRACK ..................................................... 65.4 in
gloss-finish carbon-fiber lower-body trim, $15,000; steel roll cage and carbon-fiber center section with
GROUND CLEARANCE ....................................... 4.7 in
Ingot Silver stripes, $10,000; Liquid Red paint, aluminum front and rear substructures
$5000; silver brake calipers, $1000; titanium lug
nuts, $1000
BODY MATERIAL: carbon fiber
INTERIOR DIMENSIONS
AUDIO SYSTEM: USB and Bluetooth-audio inputs, STEERING PASSENGER VOLUME .................................... 43 cu ft
TRUNK VOLUME ............................................. 0.4 cu ft
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay interfaces, 4 speakers rack-and-pinion with variable hydraulic power assist
RATIO .................................................................... 14.8:1
ENGINE
twin-turbocharged and intercooled Miller-capable
V-6, aluminum block and heads
TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK ......................................... 2.6
TURNING CIRCLE CURB-TO-CURB .............. 40.0 ft CAR AND DRIVER TEST RESULTS
BORE X STROKE ........ 3.64 x 3.41 in, 92.5 x 86.7 mm SUSPENSION ACCELERATION
DISPLACEMENT ............................. 213 cu in, 3497 cc F: ind; unequal-length control arms, coil and ZERO TO SECONDS
COMPRESSION RATIO ........................................ 9.0:1 torsion-bar springs, 4-position electronically 30 MPH .................................................................... 1.3
FUEL DELIVERY SYSTEM: port and direct injection controlled dampers, anti-roll bar 40 MPH .................................................................... 1.8
TURBOCHARGERS ..................................... Honeywell R: ind; unequal-length control arms, coil and 50 MPH .................................................................... 2.4
MAXIMUM BOOST PRESSURE .................... 25.0 psi torsion-bar springs, 4-position electronically 60 MPH ................................................................... 3.0
VALVE GEAR: double overhead cams, 4 valves per controlled dampers, anti-roll bar 70 MPH .................................................................... 3.7
cylinder, variable intake- and exhaust-valve timing 80 MPH .................................................................... 4.4
REDLINE/FUEL CUTOFF ................ 7000/7100 rpm BRAKES 90 MPH .................................................................... 5.2
POWER ......................................... 647 hp @ 6250 rpm F: 15.5 x 1.4-in vented, cross-drilled carbon-ceramic 100 MPH ................................................................... 6.2
TORQUE ................................... 550 lb-ft @ 5900 rpm disc; 6-piston fixed caliper 110 MPH .................................................................... 7.2
R: 14.2 x 1.3-in vented, cross-drilled carbon-ceramic 120 MPH .................................................................... 8.6
DRIVETRAIN disc; 4-piston fixed caliper 130 MPH .................................................................. 10.1
TRANSMISSION: 7-speed dual-clutch automatic STABILITY CONTROL ....... fully defeatable, traction 140 MPH .................................................................. 11.9
with manual shifting mode off, competition mode, launch control 150 MPH .................................................................. 14.5

026 . CAR MEETS ROAD . CAR AND DRIVER . FEB/2018 tested by D A V I D B E A R D in Chelsea, MI
torsion-bar spring at each corner allows the GT to assume a full-throttle exploration on a dry and empty patch of France’s
stiffer spring rate when it crouches down two inches into its low- high-speed toll highways leaves absolutely no doubt as to the
ered ride height. The same hydraulic actuators that compress GT’s ability to hit its claimed 216-mph top speed.
and lock out the coil springs in Track—a mode we are expressly

F
forbidden to select on-road—operate a nose-lifting system that or those without much supercar experience, the GT is a hell
deploys in approximately one second, faster than pretty much of a place to start in this segment. And if you’re expecting
any other. It pops the front of the car up, rather than drawing out a vehicle capable of doing normal carlike things, then you
the ballet. It’s effective, too: During two days and nearly 300 are sure to be disappointed. The GT makes a McLaren 675LT and
miles, we don’t grind the nose on any of the many speed bumps a Ferrari 458 Speciale feel plush and a bit tame; to own the Ford
we encounter. And it would be impossible to grow bored with the without plans for regular track work would be like owning a
steering, gregarious and alive with unfiltered feedback rather Gibson Les Paul Custom and leaving it hung on the wall.
than merely chatty. The fat-rimmed wheel relays bumps and So even if the GT can’t beat its obvious rivals on manners, per-
camber changes and even slight alterations in surface texture. formance, or value, it scores a decisive win on excitement.
The GT feels like it can be placed with an
accuracy of well under an inch. With a

2:43.0
fixed-ratio steering rack and an electro-
hydraulic pump providing the power
assist, responses are fast but not darty,
and it’s easy to keep the front end under
control as the rear considers slipping. Lightning Lap 11.5: The GT makes
Then there’s the small matter of
downforce. The GT isn’t the first road car
to offer a significant quantity of this, of
an off-schedule stop at VIR.
course, but the hand-of-God effect is The GT’s currency is speed, traded on
obvious even at a rapid road pace, press- the exchanges of ACO, WEC, and IMSA.
ing the car ever more firmly into the Based on the asking price, its brokers, the 1000
asphalt as speed rises, increasing both hand-picked applicants, should have the means
driver confidence and indicating its pres- to make a track day happen. Whether they choose
ence through a weightier steering load. Virginia International Raceway’s 4.1-mile thrill ride
The wing pops up at 71 mph in Sport is up to them. For us, it is the obvious choice. We’ve
mode, wiping out a fair percentage of rear been lapping cars there for over a decade; we
visibility when it does; it also slews down- brought the GT to VIR now because we couldn’t
ward to become an air brake under hard secure one to run in 2017’s Lightning Lap 11, and
braking. Speeds on the public roads of the we wanted to make this car part of the official
Le Mans circuit are limited by both traffic record. The GT at VIR is, in one word, fastest. As in,
and the likelihood of prosecution, but a fastest-lap-we’ve-ever-recorded fastest.
Take the GT anywhere else and you’d miss out on 163.6 mph down the front straight (sec-
ond-highest all-time speed); barreling into the Climbing Esses at 148.0 mph (a new LL record); and
160 MPH ................................................................... 17.5
a neck workout at 1.17 g’s in Turn 1 brought to you by the entertainment firm of EcoBoost, Michelin,
170 MPH .................................................................. 21.4 and Multimatic spool-valve dampers. Put it together and you get a 2:43.0 lap, fast enough to
ROLLING START, 5–60 MPH ............................... 3.6
TOP GEAR, 30–50 MPH ........................................ 2.3
dethrone the 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder as the LL king. And this was accomplished in one day with
TOP GEAR, 50–70 MPH ......................................... 2.3 the car. Given our normal three-day exposure, that time would drop, potentially by entire seconds.
1/4-MILE .................................... 10.8 sec @ 134 mph
TOP SPEED ........ 216 mph (drag limited, mfr’s claim)

HANDLING
ROADHOLDING, 300-FT-DIA SKIDPAD ......... 1.11 g
UNDERSTEER ................................................ MINIMAL COMPETITORS BASE PRICE,*
$ X 1000
SO
70 N D L
- M EV
U

BRAKING, 70-TO-ZERO MPH


PH EL
150

Loud, light, and grippy,


CR , dB
UI A

SHORTEST STOP ............................................... 145 ft the Ford GT puts on its


SE

LONGEST STOP .................................................. 158 ft best performance on a


AI H

300
CL MP
M)

22

FADE RATING ...................................................... NONE road course rather than


’S D,

0
FR EE

a drag strip.
(M P SP

WEIGHT
75


21
TO

450
0

CURB .................................................................. 3381 lb


FORD GT
80
20

PER HORSEPOWER ............................................. 5.2 lb


3.5-L V-6, 7-SP AUTO
0

ROADHOLDING,

DISTRIBUTION ............................. F: 40.7% R: 59.3%


600

LAMBORGHINI
85

300-FT-DIA
SKIDPAD, G
19

FUEL HURACÁN
0

PERFORMANTE
90

CAPACITY ......................................................... 15.2 gal 10.0 10.5 11.0 11.5


5.2-L V-10, 7-SP AUTO
OCTANE ......................................... 93 (recommended)
MERCEDES-AMG
SEC
ACCELERATION,
1/4-MILE

EPA COMBINED/CITY/HWY ............. 14/11/18 mpg 1.00 1.05 1.10 1.15


GT R
5

INTERIOR SOUND LEVEL 4.0-L V-8, 7-SP AUTO


3.

PORSCHE 911
39
150

IDLE ..................................................................... 63 dBA


00
0

TURBO S
3.

FULL THROTTLE ............................................. 100 dBA


3.8-L flat-6, 7-SP AUTO
37

70-MPH CRUISING .......................................... 85 dBA


00
5
2.

145

,
35

HT
00

*Includes
IG
0
2.

WE

performance-enhancing
140

LB URB
33

options.
00

C
0 – CC E
60 LE
A EC
S

135
R
AT
IO
N,

70–0 BRAKING,
FT

027
because the roof is now but 41.7 inches off the
ground. Headroom is an issue. Driving slumped to
avoid contact between helmet and the headliner
that hides the steel roll cage isn’t initially comfort-
able, especially when braking at 1.25 g’s on the
back straight accompanied by the thud-sursh of
the rear wing in air-brake mode.
We feared our day was done when we
dropped the right-rear wheel over the curbing at
The G.O.A.T. the exit of Spiral and destroyed an underbody
Lightning Lap started 11 years ago as our North brake duct; this item skims the tarmac with a
American parallel to Nürburgring lap times. mere 2.7 inches of clearance. But Ford’s
We have over 220 laps on record; these are the
data points for the three fastest contenders: mechanic referred to the scoops as “wear
VIRGINIA INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY
items.” He seemed serious and not concerned
GRAND WEST COURSE, 4.1 MILES with the reduced cooling. Then there was an inter-
START/FINISH
mittent hydraulic warning that turned out to be
Start of Sector 1
This Ford has a character that isn’t polished nothing but a software glitch. Also, right-hand
FRONT STRAIGHT smooth like a European exotic or sledgehammer corners induced fuel starvation. Ford can’t seem
subtle like an American V-8; it’s somewhere in to re-create the fuel issue, but on-site talent con-
NASCAR HORSE
BEND SHOE between. The 3.5-liter mill sounds like a truck firmed the stumbles. So we lapped with a full tank.
engine—very Viperish—but spins to redline as if The first time we took a crop of cars to lap VIR,
HOG PEN it were cast in the forges of Maranello, not Cleve- Ford’s ’06 GT was the quickest thing on hand. It
Sector 2
land. With the carbon-fiber wheels fitted, the was a retro take on a ’60s prototype, and its lap of
ROLLER SNAKE steering is very light on-center, and feedback 3:00.7 set an early high bar. The only thing that
COASTER from the otherwise perfectly weighted electro- car shares with today’s GT is a brake-fluid reser-
hydraulic steering is amplified. A rather aggres- voir. Unlike the friendly, effortlessly hurled ’06,
INFIELD sive tire stagger promotes limit understeer, and the new GT is brutally fast and forgoes nearly all
Sector 5
NORTH it’s easy to modulate the car’s cornering attitude comforts in its quest for speed and cornering
with the long-travel throttle. agility. The Competition Series GT weighs even
BITCH CLIMBING In its lowered Track mode, the chassis is less and likely will go quicker. We’ve already
ESSES
F O R D G T AT V I R P H O T O G R A P H Y B Y M A R C U R B A N O

stricter than a yardstick-wielding nun, who, coin- requested a three-day loan for when Lightning
cidentally, could measure the driver’s eye height Lap 12 rolls around. —K.C. Colwell
Sector 4

BACK
STRAIGHT SPIRAL LAP MAX. TURN 1 CLIMBING ESSES SPIRAL INFIELD HOG PEN
TIME SPEED, GRIP, g
MPH ENTRY AVG. EXIT MIN. EXIT AVG. ENTRY MIN. EXIT
Sector 3 SPEED, SPEED, SPEED, SPEED, SPEED, SPEED, SPEED, SPEED, SPEED,
MPH MPH MPH MPH MPH MPH MPH MPH MPH
2017 FORD GT 2:43.0 163.6 1.17 148.0 131.6 116.0 45.3 82.2 82.3 87.7 72.2 113.8
2015 PORSCHE 918 2:43.1 170.6 1.16 144.8 122.9 107.4 46.4 84.4 83.4 89.4 67.4 115.4
SPYDER (10/2014) OAK TREE

2018 MERCEDES-AMG 2:43.4 159.9 1.21 139.3 124.9 112.6 45.2 80.7 82.9 87.1 67.0 112.0
GT R (10/2017)
Lightning Lap all-time record.

028 . CAR MEETS ROAD . CAR AND DRIVER . FEB/2018


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Timepieces International Inc, 12800 N.W. South River Drive, Medley, FL 33178
3317
KIA STINGER AWD
Price: $42,200
Power: 255 hp BMW 430i xDRIVE
Torque: 260 lb-ft GRAN COUPE
Weight: 3845 lb Price: $53,885
C/D observed: 19 mpg Power: 248 hp
Torque: 258 lb-ft
Weight: 3852 lb
C/D observed: 22 mpg

AUDI A5 SPORTBACK
Price: $51,050
Power: 252 hp
Torque: 273 lb-ft
Weight: 3718 lb
C/D observed: 23 mpg

030 . C O M PA R O . C A R A N D D R I V E R . F E B / 2 0 1 8
Behind
the Fifth
Door
Audi A5 Sportback, BMW 430i
xDrive Gran Coupe, and
Kia Stinger AWD in a battle for
coupelike supremacy.
by John Pearley Huffman
photography by James Lipman

031
032 . C O M PA RO . CA R A N D D RI V ER . F EB/2 01 8
2018 AUDI 2018 BMW 2018 KIA
A5 SPORTBACK 430i xDRIVE STINGER AWD
GRAN COUPE
PRICE AS TESTED
BASE PRICE
$51,050
$43,575
$53,885
$46,095
$42,200
$35,000

DIMENSIONS
LENGTH 186.3 in 182.7 in 190.2 in
WIDTH 72.6 in 71.9 in 73.6 in
HEIGHT 54.6 in 55.3 in 55.1 in
WHEELBASE 111.2 in 110.6 in 114.4 in
FRONT TRACK 62.5 in 60.7 in 62.8 in
REAR TRACK 61.7 in 62.7 in 64.8 in
INTERIOR VOLUME F: 52 cu ft F: 53 cu ft F: 53 cu ft
R: 41 cu ft R: 39 cu ft R: 43 cu ft
CARGO BEHIND F: 35 cu ft F: 46 cu ft F: 41 cu ft
R: 22 cu ft R: 17 cu ft R: 23 cu ft

In this cuckoo-crazy, mixed-up world, noth- POWERTRAIN


ENGINE turbocharged DOHC turbocharged DOHC turbocharged DOHC
ing is certain and the set order is up for 16-valve inline-4 16-valve inline-4 16-valve inline-4
renegotiation. For decades, the four-door 121 cu in (1984 cc) 122 cu in (1998 cc) 122 cu in (1998 cc)
POWER HP @ RPM 252 @ 6000 248 @ 5200 255 @ 6200
sedan was the sensible choice, the vehicle TORQUE LB-FT @ RPM 273 @ 1600 258 @ 1450 260 @ 1400
that sober, serious grown-up types bought REDLINE/FUEL CUTOFF 6750/6500 rpm 7000/7000 rpm 6500/6600 rpm
LB PER HP 14.8 15.5 15.1
to show just how sober and serious they
really were. But crossovers have toppled DRIVELINE
TRANSMISSION 7-speed dual-clutch 8-speed automatic 8-speed automatic
the establishment, and now four-doors are automatic
struggling to retain relevance. So squash DRIVEN WHEELS all all all
GEAR RATIO:1/ 1 3.19/5.5/36 1 5.00/5.4/38 1 3.96/5.1/34
the roofs, pack in the tech, add a practical MPH PER 1000 RPM/ 2 2.19/8.0/52 2 3.20/8.4/59 2 2.47/8.1/53
hatch for the camping equipment, and MAX MPH 3 1.52/11.5/75 3 2.14/12.5/88 3 1.61/12.5/83
4 1.06/16.5/107 4 1.72/15.6/109 4 1.18/17.0/112
voilà—the sedan is king again. Only now 5 0.74/23.6/127 5 1.31/20.5/127 5 1.00/20.1/132

they’re four-door coupes. Got it? 6 0.51/34.2/127 6 1.00/26.8/127 6 0.83/24.2/132


7 0.39/44.8/127 7 0.82/32.7/127 7 0.65/30.9/132
The quasi-coupes under examination 8 0.64/41.9/127 8 0.57/35.2/132

today are Audi’s A5 Sportback and BMW’s AXLE RATIO:1 4.27 2.81 3.73
430i xDrive Gran Coupe, with the Kia CHASSIS
Stinger here to do its own renegotiating of SUSPENSION F: multilink, coil F: struts, coil F: struts, coil
springs, anti-roll bar springs, anti-roll bar springs, anti-roll bar
the set order. The Audi and BMW lead R: multilink, coil R: multilink, coil R: multilink, coil
with, and are enabled by, their heritage. springs, anti-roll bar springs, anti-roll bar springs, anti-roll bar
BRAKES F: 13.3-inch vented F: 12.3-inch vented F: 12.6-inch vented
They’re tweaked expressions of long-es- disc disc disc
tablished brand identities. Kia is relatively R: 13.0-inch vented R: 11.8-inch vented R: 12.4-inch disc
disc disc
new to the premium realm and has yet to STABILITY CONTROL fully defeatable, fully defeatable, partially defeatable,
produce a hit there. The Stinger could be it. competition mode, traction off traction off,
launch control launch control
So here are three more or less medium- TIRES Pirelli Cinturato P7 Pirelli Cinturato P7 Bridgestone
size hatchbacks, all equipped with longi- 245/40R-18 93Y All Season Run Flat Potenza RE97AS-02
225/45R-18 91V 225/45R-18 95V
tudinally mounted turbocharged 2.0-liter M+S M+S
four-cylinder engines, each making about
250 horsepower, that feed automatic trans- CAR AND DRIVER TEST RESULTS
missions with at least seven forward gears. ACCELERATION
They all have all-wheel drive: The BMW 0–30 MPH 1.8 sec 2.0 sec 2.2 sec
0–60 MPH 5.1 sec 5.7 sec 6.1 sec
and the Kia are otherwise laid out as con- 0–100 MPH 13.5 sec 14.9 sec 16.2 sec
ventional rear-drivers, and the Audi, as is 0–120 MPH 21.6 sec 23.2 sec 25.2 sec
1/4-MILE @ MPH 13.7 sec @ 101 14.3 sec @ 98 14.7 sec @ 95
its wont, has its engine hung out ahead of ROLLING START,
the front wheels. 5–60 MPH 6.0 sec 6.8 sec 7.4 sec
TOP GEAR, 30–50 MPH 3.0 sec 3.6 sec 3.5 sec
There are no high-performance preten- TOP GEAR, 50–70 MPH 3.8 sec 4.3 sec 4.5 sec
sions here. The turbo four-pots are base TOP SPEED 127 mph (gov ltd) 127 mph (gov ltd) 132 mph (gov ltd)
engines in these models. Above them, the CHASSIS
S5 Sportback, 440i Gran Coupe, and BRAKING, 70–0 MPH 164 ft 186 ft 182 ft
ROADHOLDING,
Stinger GT all feature turbocharged sixes 300-FT-DIA SKIDPAD 0.93 g 0.89 g 0.88 g*
making over 300 horsepower. But the fun 610-FT SLALOM 44.9 mph 43.6 mph 43.9 mph*
stops at that level. There is currently no WEIGHT
RS5 Sportback, M4 Gran Coupe, or V-8– CURB 3718 lb 3852 lb 3845 lb
%FRONT/%REAR 54.8/45.2 50.5/49.5 52.1/47.9
powered Stinger. Pity.
There’s leather on the seats and wrap- FUEL
TANK 15.3 gal 15.8 gal 15.9 gal
ping the steering wheels. We’ve got some RATING 91 octane 91 octane 91 octane
room on our credit cards and Southern EPA COMBINED/
CITY/HWY 27/24/34 mpg 27/23/33 mpg 24/21/29 mpg
California is in flames. So let’s slalom C/D 500-MILE TRIP 23 mpg 22 mpg 19 mpg
around the infernos and rack up some
Marriott Rewards points in sensational SOUND LEVEL
IDLE 38 dBA 40 dBA 39 dBA
Bakersfield and luxurious Lancaster. FULL THROTTLE 72 dBA 73 dBA 73 dBA
70-MPH CRUISE 64 dBA 65 dBA 65 dBA

tested by D A V I D B E A R D in California City, CA *Stability-control inhibited. 033


In general layout, the Stinger’s suspen-
sion is similar to the BMW’s, with struts
in front and a multilink system in back.
The base Stinger’s suspension tuning is
straightforward, well considered, and not
plagued by the indecision found in the
Stinger GT’s electronically controlled
dampers. And the electrically assisted
rack-and-pinion steering reports to the
driver with more linear predictability than
the BMW. But its 225/45R-18 all-season
Bridgestones have lower limits than the
Audi’s wider, summer-only unfair-advan-
tage-spec treads [see “Re-tired, Retested,”
page 036], and so the Stinger doesn’t have
that car’s lightning turn-in and it noses
into understeer earlier. That’s reflected in
the slalom performance where the Stinger
slid through at 43.9 mph—behind the Audi
by 1 mph but ahead of the BMW by 0.3
Kia Stinger AWD Muscle-car presence, roomy, bargain mph. While the ride is comfortable and the
priced. Not that quick, lousy outward visibility, big car lopes along the highway unperturbed
enough to overwhelm its own chassis. One small step for Kia, at 90 mph, the trip is accompanied by a bit
one giant leap for Kiakind. of tire roar, which can become annoying
on extended drives.
2(Tie). Kia Stinger AWD Rated at 255 horsepower with a consis-
Kia’s Stinger is the brawler of the group. tent 260 pound-feet of torque between
With its thick shoulders, blunt nose, and 1400 and 4000 rpm, the Stinger’s engine
muscular stance, it’s all pugnacious atti- reveals some noticeable Optima SX Turbo
tude. But in this octagon of ultimate fight- grind. And the eight-speed torque-con-
ing, it plays Conor McGregor against old verter automatic is lazy. There’s some
Floyd Mayweather and another, younger frolic to be found using the paddle shifters
Floyd Mayweather. Like McGregor, it com- in the lower five gears, but the top three are
petes better than expected and fights for all cruising overdrives. The modest, third-
less money. place 6.1-second zero-to-60 time reflects
The Stinger is the largest car here. Its the transmission’s lack of urgency rather
114.4-inch wheelbase outstretches the than a power deficit.
Audi’s by 3.2 inches and the BMW’s by 3.8. There’s a muscle-car-throwback vibe
It’s also longer overall and wider, with to the Stinger’s interior, from the 1969
wider wheel tracks. Surprisingly, it weighs Mustang-like T-handle shifter to the hur-
in seven pounds lighter than the BMW, ricane airflow from the three massive eye-
even if it’s up 127 on the Audi. ball vents at the dash’s center. There’s also

The Kia’s steering reports to the driver with more linear predictability than the BMW’s. Let that sink in for
a moment. Even with the test’s highest horsepower rating, the Stinger is the slowest among the three.

034 . C O M PA RO . CA R A N D D RI V E R . F E B/2 01 8
The BMW 430i Gran Coupe’s steering is frustratingly inconsistent but, as is usually the case with BMW,
its engine is truly excellent. The upright BMW does the least convincing impression of a coupe.

a lack of rearward visibility that’s pure ’69 market and developed a blizzard of niche
Mach 1. The front seats are less supportive vehicles, some of its thing has dissipated.
than the Germans’, but the Uber-friendly BMW’s model names have grown obscure,
rear seat is the roomiest of the bunch, with weights have risen, core driving values
the best cargo room behind it. However, have been compromised, and the steering
this is the one car that, as equipped, lacks is in crisis.
a power-closing rear hatch. With its numb on-center feel, twitchy
This is also the only car here that uses reactions to initial input, and overly light
a touchscreen infotainment system, and delivery, the 430i’s steering isn’t so much
it’s an eight-incher that the driver needs bad as it is frustrating. There are moments
to stretch to reach. Honda and Volvo do when it feels great, as when pushing the
screens better, but the Stinger’s is at car hard, but those moments never last.
least more straightforward than the input Why can’t all BMWs steer like the M2?
devices that BMW has devised—if not as Despite riding on the shortest wheel-
sophisticated. base and being 3.6 inches shorter overall
Kia is reaching with the Stinger in gen- than the A5 Sportback, the 430i wallows at
eral, and some of the effort shows. It’s a bit a porky 3852 pounds over its 225/45R-18
overdecorated on the outside, a touch
stark on the inside, and the whole car feels BMW 430i xDrive Gran Coupe Great engine, easygoing interior,
a quarter-turn of the nut looser than its occasional hints of BMW brilliance. Unfathomable steering,
competitors. But its $42,200 test price is a not sticky enough in the corners, a long and stupid name. Fills a
spectacular $8850 below that of the Audi market niche instead of striving to reach ambitious goals.
and $11,685 below the BMW’s. That’s
about a 20 percent discount for a prestige-
free Kia that competes ably with two of the
luxury market’s acknowledged standard-
bearers. A Kia that ties with a BMW—
that’s dogs and cats sleeping together.

2 (Tie). BMW 430i xDrive


Gran Coupe
BMW still has a thing. The instruments
still glow orange, the switches still operate
with obsessive precision, and the exhaust
still trills. It’s all uniquely BMW, all reas-
suring and familiar. A new BMW’s cabin
even smells different from other new
cars’—but pretty much like how every
other new BMW’s ever has. All of that is in
the 430i xDrive Gran Coupe.
Alas, as BMW has microsliced the

035
FINAL RESULTS

BM
W
43
0i
AU

xD
M

DI

RIV

KIA
ax
im

A5

EG
um

ST
SP
po

RA

ING UPE
in

OR

NC K
ts

ER
TB
av

O
ai

AW
AC
la
bl

D
e
RANK 1 2 2
VEHICLE
DRIVER COMFORT 10 9 8 8
ERGONOMICS 10 7 7 8
REAR-SEAT COMFORT 5 2 3 4
REAR-SEAT SPACE* 5 4 4 5
CARGO SPACE* 5 1 5 3
FEATURES/AMENITIES* 10 8 10 6
FIT AND FINISH 10 9 9 7
INTERIOR STYLING 10 8 7 8
EXTERIOR STYLING 10 9 7 8
REBATES/EXTRAS* 5 1 1 0
Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Run Flat tires. RE-TIRED, RETESTED. AS-TESTED PRICE*
SUBTOTAL
20
10 0
15
73
14
75
20
77
That a four-cylinder derivative of the 3-series —
wound up weighing this close to two tons is Sinister conspiracy mongering is POWERTRAIN
1/4-MILE
astonishing. fun, but all we know for sure is that ACCELERATION* 20 20 17 15
FLEXIBILITY* 5 3 2 2
Fortunately, the BMW turbo four does a the Audi A5 Sportback used for FUEL ECONOMY* 10 10 9 6
credible imitation of a BMW inline-six. Rated this comparison showed up on ENGINE NVH 10 9 8 8
TRANSMISSION 10 10 8 7
at 248 horsepower, which is four ponies Pirelli Cinturato P7 summer tires SUBTOTAL 55 52 44 38
behind the Audi and seven back from the Kia, while the BMW and Kia competi-
the BMW engine has a generous torque curve tion wore the requested all-season CHASSIS
PERFORMANCE* 20 20 17 17
with consistent production of 258 pound-feet compromise rubber. So 10 days STEERING FEEL 10 9 6 8
BRAKE FEEL 10 9 7 8
between 1450 and 4800 rpm. That broad after initial testing, C/D retested HANDLING 10 10 6 7
torque spread results in a forgiving playful- the same A5 Sportback on Pirelli RIDE 10 9 7 7
SUBTOTAL 60 57 43 47
ness so that, even if the driver picks the wrong Cinturato P7 All Season tires in the
gear for a corner, there’s enough grunt to pull same 245/40R-18 size at the same EXPERIENCE
FUN TO DRIVE 2 5 23 20 20
through it. And there are a lot of gears from venue but with a different driver.
which to choose. Senior editor Tony Quiroga TOTAL 24 0 205 182 182
The first six of the eight forward cogs in stepped in for assistant technical *These objective scores are calculated from the vehicle’s dimen-
the automatic transmission are tightly spaced editor David Beard. sions, capacities, rebates and extras, and/or test results.
and can be rapidly called upon using the pad- Scoring for this comparison is
dle shifters behind the steering wheel. Sixth based on the original testing with
itself is a direct-drive 1.00:1 ratio with seventh the Audi on summer tires, but we 1. Audi A5 Sportback
and eighth as overdrives. Left to shift on its wanted to confirm that a tire with Funny thing about physics: It usually wins. In
own, the transmission operates almost invis- less grip wouldn’t change the fin- this test, the Audi A5 Sportback carries the
ibly and doesn’t seem obsessed with reducing ishing order. We repeated our least weight, its engine delivers the most
engine speed. braking and skidpad tests on torque, its brakes are the largest, and it wears
Given that expanse of torque and the the all-seasons but skipped the the widest tires. So it’s no surprise that it’s the
smart transmission, the 430i overachieves in slalom, which is the most driver- quickest, handles the best, grips the skidpad
acceleration despite its weight. The trip from variable and least repeatable. at 0.93 g, brakes in the shortest distance, and
zero to 60 mph takes 5.7 seconds and the quar- Despite the similarity in gets the best observed fuel economy. This one
ter-mile steams by in 14.3 seconds at 98 mph. names, there are significant differ- wasn’t even close, folks.
This is a drivetrain in search of a lighter car. ences in performance between the But there are tire issues. The A5 was the
BMW keeps calling this car a coupe, but of all-season and summer Cinturato only car that showed up on summer-spec tires
the three vehicles, it looks the most like a P7 tires. In our follow-up test, skid- despite C/D’s request for all-season rubber.
sedan. The nose is relatively long and droops pad grip dropped from 0.93 to It’s an advantage, but not one so great that it
at its leading edge to meet E.U. regulations 0.89 g, and braking grew from 164 wholly explains the Audi’s dominating
that protect jaywalkers. It’s the tallest of the to 189 feet. If those new numbers performance. Take a look, again, at the side-
three, with the most generous greenhouse were used in the scoring, the Audi bar to see how the car performed on all-
and the best outward visibility. The roofline would lose a point and the BMW season rubber.
drops back to a shortened decklid that barely and Kia would gain three. So the The A5’s provocative skin is carved around
keeps the car from being a true fastback. margin of victory for the A5 drops the sinew of its chassis; it’s sensual where the
In the final analysis, there’s nothing about from a dominating 23 points to a two others are sort of brutal. It’s a happy
the BMW 430i xDrive Gran Coupe that merely overwhelming 19. —JPH medium—longer and lower than the BMW
wouldn’t be better if it weighed less. and closer coupled than the Kia. The price for

036 . C O M PA RO . CA R A N D D RI V E R . F E B/2 01 8
that style is a more, um, intimate interior,
with the rear seat particularly compro-
mised in headroom. So don’t sit back there.
Instead, sit up front and face the most
modern cockpit of the three, with a 12.3-
inch configurable digital instrument clus-
ter that can display brilliant Google Earth
images. The 7.0-inch center screen is con-
trolled by a clickwheel with a touchpad
built into the top. It works well. The A5 also
includes standard Android Auto and Apple
CarPlay integration. But a larger, current-
gen touchscreen might be better.
Forget electronic “connectivity”; what
the Sportback does best is connect
mechanically. The thick steering wheel
attaches to the 245/40R-18 Pirelli Cin-
turato P7s with a directness that is felt in
the driver’s ulna and radius bones. Dive
into a corner and the A5 turns in with a
kind of alacrity and confidence the two Audi A5 Sportback Sweet handling, sweet engine, sweet
others don’t approach. Some credit goes to transmission, great brakes, supermodel looks. Tight interior, the
the no-nonsense 15.9:1 electrically assisted tires are an unfair advantage. Smart engineering will
steering rack and the multilink front sus- always be state of the art.
pension that keeps the front tires planted.
That mechanical confidence expands amid a river of thrust. With the best
with the use of the seven-speed dual- weight-to-power ratio here, the A5 took
clutch automatic transmission. The gear- a scant 5.1 seconds to go from zero to
box responds instantly to paddle shifts 60 mph, and the quarter-mile flashed past
and blips the throttle for perfect down- in 13.7 seconds at 101 mph. It was the only
shifts. The transmission makes every one one of the trio to break into the 13s.
of the 273 pound-feet of torque usable About the only demerit for this engine
from the 1600-rpm start of the peak up to is that it uses an iron block and that the
4500 rpm. Not only does the A5 dive into mass hangs over the nose. When the
corners more aggressively than the others, Sportback finally exceeds its adhesion
it’s also the easiest to set up properly and it limits, it plows like a Clydesdale.
pulls through most entertainingly. Under the limit, the A5 Sportback is
Rated at 252 horsepower, the turbo quick, elegant, and agile. It is the best non-
2.0-liter engine is ubiquitous throughout performance-but-still premium, compact-
the Volkswagen corporate range. It shines to-mid-size four-door coupe on the
best in this application, where it purrs, market. It makes taxonomy a chore, but
growls, and snarls without a burp or fart it makes physics fun.

The A5 Sportback’s combination of a smooth and torquey engine, a quick-shifting transmission, rela-
tively low curb weight, and beauty inside and out made it the runaway favorite, despite what tires it wore.

037
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10Best

Trucks
and SUVs
Yes, we are aware that the cover of this magazine reads
Car and Driver. We’re the ones who put it there, you know? Yet here are
11 pages glorifying trucks. We still advocate light, responsive vehicles, but
as pickups dominate sales charts and SUVs are increasingly the de facto
American family vehicle, we are obliged to find the best among these
beasts. What follows is the best of them, arranged by class, covering
everything from carlike trucks and trucklike trucks to a few that aren’t sure
which bathroom to use. Sincerely, Truck and Driver.

F E B / 2 0 1 8 . C A R A N D D R I V E R . F E AT U R E . 0 39
Kia Soul // In the battle
of the box versus
CHICKEN
the ball, the box wins.
DINNER!
We’ve been fans of // B Y D A N I E L P U N D
many recent Kia
designs, but none
hits the mark quite Beyond a sensible price, a nicely designed Kia Soul
as charmingly as
the Soul. and outfitted interior, and a generally VEHICLE TYPE: front-
engine, front-wheel-
agreeable driving demeanor, the Kia drive, 5-passenger,
Soul—winner of our smallest SUV class— 4-door hatchback
BASE PRICE:
has a secret advantage over most of its $16,995–$23,695
competitors: volumetric efficiency. No, we ENGINES: DOHC
16-valve 1.6-liter
don’t mean the volumetric efficiency of inline-4, 130 hp, 118
any of the Soul’s three available four- lb-ft; DOHC 16-valve
2.0-liter inline-4, 161 hp,
cylinder engines. We’re referring to the 150 lb-ft; turbocharged
volumetric efficiency of the box versus the and intercooled DOHC
16-valve 1.6-liter
ball. Passenger and cargo space are prime inline-4, 201 hp, 195 lb-ft
reasons for buying an SUV, even a tiny, TRANSMISSIONS:
6-speed manual,
hamster-pimped one such as the Soul. 6-speed automatic with
Note that the Soul’s 101.2-inch wheelbase manual shifting mode,
7-speed dual-clutch
is identical to that of the shapely Mazda automatic with manual
CX-3 cute-ute. But the tall, rectilinear Kia shifting mode
CURB WEIGHT:
packs 101 cubic feet of passenger room, or 2774–3205 lb
61 cubes of cargo space with the rear seats
folded. With spherical shapes in its roof- C/D Test Results
ZERO TO 60 MPH:
line and hatch, the CX-3 offers only 6.3–9.1 sec
88 cubic feet for passengers and a max of 1/4-MILE:
15.0–16.9 sec
45 cubic feet for your junk. And for snow TOP SPEED: 115–129
duty, we’d choose a front-drive Soul (the mph (drag limited)
BRAKING, 70–0 MPH:
only driveline available) wearing winter 159–177 ft
tires over an all-wheel-drive competitor ROADHOLDING,
300-FT-DIA
rolling on all-seasons every time. SKIDPAD: 0.78–0.84 g*
FUEL ECONOMY
EPA COMBINED/CITY/
SOUL SURVIVOR HWY: 27–28/24–26/
Coming late to the cubic-vehicle game, the Soul 30–31 mpg
not only outsold the others but also is the only one
still on sale. Highest annual sales: *Stability-control inhibited.
Honda Element 67,478
Kia Soul 147,133
Nissan Cube 22,968
Scion xB 60,529

040 . 1 0 B E S T T R U C K S A N D S U V s . C A R A N D D R I V E R . F E B / 2 0 1 8 10Best photography by J O H N R O E


S I D E WAY S
It’s odd for a BMW,
but the X1’s trans-
BEST
versely mounted
SUBCOMPACT
engine is a boon
SUV
for packaging.

BEST
SUBCOMPACT
LUXURY SUV

X3 MINUS 2
Unlike the first-generation
X1, which looked like a
jacked-up station wagon,
the current vehicle
resembles a slightly
shrunken X3.

BMW X1 // Setting the


standard for small
TRUCKLET
It might be a
stretch for some
luxury sport-utilities.
to consider the BMW X1
front-wheel-drive- // B Y D A V I D B E A R D
only Kia Soul an VEHICLE TYPE:
SUV. But the front-engine, front- or all-
residents of Let’s face it: The junior-luxe-crossover class is mostly a collection of oddballs and mis- wheel-drive, 5-passenger,
Toontown have no 4-door hatchback
such quibbles. fits. It includes the maxi-Mini, the Countryman; the cramped and funky Infiniti QX30 BASE PRICE:
$34,895–$36,895
and Mercedes-Benz GLA; and the Predator-mawed Lexus NX300. Only the second- ENGINE:
generation BMW X1 gets the class right, setting down a blueprint other carmakers would turbocharged and
intercooled DOHC
be wise to follow. This pleasantly handsome subcompact SUV offers engaging driving 16-valve 2.0-liter inline-4,
dynamics, a crisp-shifting eight-speed automatic, and one of the best turbocharged 228 hp, 258 lb-ft
TRANSMISSION:
2.0-liter inline-fours on the market. The X1 also 8-speed automatic with
maximizes interior space, critical in this small- manual shifting mode
CURB WEIGHT:
est of crossover classes. Riding on the same 3650–3721 lb (C/D est)
UKL2 platform as its less successfully realized
cousin, the Countryman, the BMW feels a full C/D Test Results*
ZERO TO 60 MPH:
size up on the ’man. The two ride on the same- 6.3 sec
length wheelbase, but the X1 is longer and taller. 1/4-MILE: 14.9 sec
@ 94 mph
This provides a class-leading 101 cubic feet of TOP SPEED: 129 mph
passenger volume, four more than the Country- (governor limited)
BRAKING, 70–0 MPH:
man offers. The X1 also provides more cargo 170 ft
room than anything in its segment: 27 cubic feet ROADHOLDING,
300-FT-DIA
with the rear seats up and 59 with them folded. SKIDPAD: 0.87 g
And it’s the grippiest and most efficient among FUEL ECONOMY
EPA COMBINED/CITY/
its peers. In the compact-luxury-crossover seg- HWY: 25–26/22–23/
ment, the contest isn’t even close. 31–32 mpg

*Test results reflect all-wheel-drive model. 041


Mazda CX-5 // Beauty is in the
eye of the beholder of this
BEST
COMPACT
SUV

handsome family runabout.


BEST
COMPACT
LUXURY
SUV

// B Y J O S H J A C Q U O T

Mazda CX-5 Porsche


Macan //
VEHICLE TYPE:
front-engine, front-
or all-wheel-drive,

A proper
5-passenger, 4-door
hatchback
BASE PRICE:

sports car
$25,125–$26,425
ENGINE: DOHC 16-valve
2.5-liter Atkinson-

posing as a
capable inline-4, 187 hp,
186 lb-ft
TRANSMISSION:

small SUV.
6-speed automatic with
manual shifting mode
CURB WEIGHT:
3450–3564 lb (C/D est)

C/D Test Results*


// B Y E D D I E A L T E R M A N
ZERO TO 60 MPH:
7.7 sec
1/4-MILE: 16.0 sec
Compact SUVs aren’t typically known for their comeliness. They @ 86 mph Squint hard—and we mean really, really
are practical, functional, and safe choices, beasts of (light) burden TOP SPEED: 120 mph hard—and you can almost see in the silhou-
(governor limited)
and not objects of beauty. Or, maybe we should say, they weren’t BRAKING, 70–0 MPH:
ette of the Macan those indomitable 953s
objects of beauty. Because what Mazda did with its CX-5 last year 175 ft and 959s with which Porsche won Paris–
ROADHOLDING,
was to create, finally, an achingly attractive compact SUV. 300-FT-DIA
Dakar rallies in the 1980s. The Macan is no
There’s still a basic two-box silhouette delineating the CX-5’s SKIDPAD: 0.82 g† conventional compact crossover. It’s every-
FUEL ECONOMY
proportions, of course, but it’s sculpted into something with all EPA COMBINED/CITY/
thing Porsche knows about all-wheel-drive
the inherent motion and elegance of a Brancusi. SUVs stopped HWY: 26–28/24–25/ systems, turbocharging, and chassis devel-
30–31 mpg
being tough when they started being the choice of soccer moms opment stuffed into something people who
seeking to avoid minivan stigma. Still, many manufacturers seem *Test results reflect own small dogs drive to hot yoga. This
all-wheel-drive model.
to think pseudorugged styling is the answer †
Stability-control inhibited.
thing deserves better than that. It deserves
IF 6 WERE 5
The shapely Mazda in this segment. Mazda has instead penned to be blasting roostertails across a rippling
CX-5 is the brand’s a shape that integrates delicate form and Saharan dune, its seven-speed dual-clutch
best seller, with attractive contours into a body style sought
112,235 sold in
2016. Mazda sold by the masses. Its granular steering feedback,
only 5328 of the sublime damping, and reactive powertrain
equally handsome
6 wagon in its are class-leading. Together, they make it the
best year. segment’s most fun-to-drive vehicle.
Coupling elegant form and unlikely func-
tion, the CX-5 triggers all the right emotions
CX-5 in this typically dispassionate segment.
112,235

6 wagon
5328

042 . 10BEST TRUCKS AND SUVs . CAR AND DRIVER . FEB/201 8


FA S T G L A S S PORSCHENESS
The aggressively Even the die-hard
angled rear window Porsche sports-car
signals that the fans among us
Macan prioritizes have to acknowl-
style over edge that the
practicality. Macan has the
moves and the soul
of a real Porsche.

transmission always in the right gear, the PA S M W I T H A I R S PRI N G S Porsche Macan S,


all-wheel-drive unit perfectly apportion- Standard on GTS models and optional GTS, and Turbo
everywhere else throughout the Macan
ing torque up, down, and across the vehi- range, the adaptive dampers (PASM in VEHICLE TYPE: front-
cle. Or crawling through some prehistoric Porsche argot) paired with air springs engine, all-wheel-drive,
are the key to this vehicle’s wide 5-passenger, 4-door
bog in Scotland with its optional air functional bandwidth. The Macan is hatchback
springs lifted to Paris–Dakar heights. The comfortable when cruising, and lower, BASE PRICE:
meaner, and more eager when attack- $56,450–$78,250
excellence of the range, spanning from the ing corners. PASM also makes the ENGINES: twin-
amply endowed 340-hp Macan S to Goldi- Macan look nastier turbocharged and
than your average intercooled DOHC
locks’s favorite 360-hp GTS to the David- crossover by 24-valve 3.0-liter V-6,
ian slingshot 400-hp Turbo (the base lowering it 0.6 inch 340 or 360 hp, 339
versus the sport or 369 lb-ft; twin-
model doesn’t share this award), means suspension; turbocharged and
this anti-crossover deserves to be on the GTS models get intercooled DOHC
an additional 24-valve 3.6-liter V-6,
10Best list for yet another year. 0.4-inch drop. 400 hp, 406 lb-ft
TRANSMISSION:
7-speed dual-clutch
automatic with manual
shifting mode
CURB WEIGHT:
4351–4565 lb

C/D Test Results


ZERO TO 60 MPH:
4.2–4.6 sec
1/4-MILE: 12.9–13.3 sec
TOP SPEED: 156–164
mph (governor limited,
mfr’s claim)
BRAKING, 70–0 MPH:
150–186 ft
ROADHOLDING,
300-FT-DIA
SKIDPAD: 0.82–0.91 g
FUEL ECONOMY
EPA COMBINED/CITY/
HWY: 19/17/23 mpg

CHANGE AGENT
How did Porsche make a crossover feel so much like a hot hatch? With Porsche
Torque Vectoring Plus, which uses an electronically controlled limited-slip rear
differential and lightly brakes the inside rear wheel to pivot the Macan through a
bend as urgently as possible. And yet the car’s steering feels natural and linear
in any transition. Neat trick, great tuning.

043
Mazda CX-9 //
A three-row
SUV that
balances the
prosaic and
the poetic.
// B Y E R I C T I N G W A L L

Mazda engineers started CX-9 develop-


ment with a hunch: Family crossovers
would benefit from low-end torque more
than top-end power. To test their hypoth-
esis, they calibrated, geared, and ballasted
a diesel CX-5 to simulate the torque curve,
transmission, and weight of the new three-
row crossover they had planned. Then
they drove to a local Southern California
school. While matching the speed and
acceleration of the luxury utes ferrying
kids home, the ersatz CX-9 rarely revved LESS IS To keep low-end responses sharp, the Mazda CX-9
past 3000 rpm. Theory validated. MORE 2.5-liter wears a relatively small turbocharger VEHICLE TYPE:
In a segment rife with wheezy natu- Since its split that causes power to peak at just 5000 rpm. front-engine, front-
from Ford, or all-wheel-drive,
rally aspirated V-6 engines, the Mazda Mazda hasn’t Here engineers saw opportunity, rather than 7-passenger, 4-door
CX-9’s turbocharged inline-four punches had access to a compromise. Keeping power and revs in check hatchback
V-6. So, for its BASE PRICE:
out 310 pound-feet of torque at 2000 rpm. rework of the reduces the engine’s cooling needs, allowing $33,105–$34,905
This 2.5-liter is perfectly matched to the CX-9, it built a engineers to shrink the spacing between ENGINE: turbocharged
turbo four-cylin- and intercooled DOHC
ebb and flow of suburban surface streets der that beats all cylinders compared with a turbocharged 16-valve 2.5-liter Miller-
and the pack-mule existence of a family the naturally engine with a conventional power curve. The capable inline-4, 250 hp,
aspirated V-6s in 310 lb-ft
utility vehicle. the class. shortened engine frees up space to increase TRANSMISSION:
6-speed automatic with
the maximum steering angle. The manual shifting mode
resulting tighter turning circle is but CURB WEIGHT:
4150–4336 lb (C/D est)
another example of how the CX-9
has been tirelessly tailored to its C/D Test Results*
natural habitats, such as crowded ZERO TO 60 MPH:
6.8 sec
middle-school parking lots. 1/4-MILE: 15.4 sec
See, it’s not always about han- @ 91 mph
TOP SPEED: 132 mph
dling and good looks for us. That the (governor limited)
CX-9 also excels in those regards BRAKING, 70–0 MPH:
168 ft
makes it a pretty easy winner. ROADHOLDING,
300-FT-DIA
SKIDPAD: 0.85 g†
T H E B U T T E R F LY E F F E C T FUEL ECONOMY
Mazda engineers sharpened the low-end EPA COMBINED/CITY/
response of the turbocharged 2.5-liter HWY: 23–24/20–22/
inline-four with three butterfly valves in the 26–28 mpg
4-3-1 exhaust manifold. Below 1620 rpm, the
valves are closed to accelerate exhaust *Test results reflect
gases through smaller ports, causing the all-wheel-drive model.
turbo to spool up quicker. †
Stability-control inhibited.

Butterfly valve

044 . 1 0 B E S T T R U C K S A N D S U V s . C A R A N D D R I V E R . F E B / 2 0 1 8
BEST
Audi Q7 //
BEST
MID-SIZE
LUXURY
SUV
Compelling
tech, beautifully
MID-SIZE
SUV

presented.
// B Y E R I C T I N G W A L L

Technology that’s not usable is wasted. And


there’s a glut of waste in modern vehicles.
Audi bucks the trend by backing its tech with
intuitive controls before packing it into the
Q7. The rich cabin in Audi’s three-row cross-
over blends bleeding-edge amenities with
stark, modern styling and quality that can be
felt. This, plus smart packaging and athletic
road manners, secures the Q7 a win.

Audi Q7
VEHICLE TYPE: front-
THE Q SHIP engine, all-wheel-drive,
The Q7’s exterior 7-passenger, 4-door
design does not hatchback
shout. Instead, BASE PRICE:
it speaks concisely $50,875–$57,375
and confidently. ENGINES:
ROOM WITH A VROOM turbocharged and
The CX-9 is not the roomiest three- intercooled DOHC
row SUV, but its blend of liveliness 16-valve 2.0-liter
and livability is awfully hard to beat. inline-4, 252 hp, 273
lb-ft; supercharged
and intercooled DOHC
24-valve 3.0-liter V-6,
333 hp, 325 lb-ft
TRANSMISSION:
8-speed automatic with
manual shifting mode
CURB WEIGHT:
4776–5080 lb

C/D Test Results


ZERO TO 60 MPH:
5.5–7.0 sec
1/4-MILE: 14.2–15.4 sec
TOP SPEED: 128 mph
(governor limited)
BRAKING, 70–0 MPH:
155–186 ft
ROADHOLDING,
SCREEN TIME KNOBBERY 300-FT-DIA
Audi’s Virtual Cockpit is Every knurled knob SKIDPAD: 0.80–0.90 g
most impressive when a in the Q7 rolls with FUEL ECONOMY
Google Earth map fills the same meticu- EPA COMBINED/CITY/
the 12.3-inch screen, but lous precision, with HWY: 21/19/25 mpg
the functionality is so even resistance and
comprehensive and well-defined detents
intuitive that you can that make fine
leave the central adjustment easy.
infotainment screen
lowered into the dash
and use the digital
instrument cluster for H A N D S TA N D
everything from The gear selector
scanning radio channels doubles as a perch for
to calling home. your palm, helping to
stabilize your hand as
you spin the MMI
(Multimedia Interface)
FINGER WRITING controller or swipe the
A track pad is a sorry excuse for a track pad.
rotary control knob. But in the Q7,
the track pad complements the
master knob as the most
natural way to program a nav
system in a vehicle moving at V E N T I L AT I O N A S D E S I G N
70 mph. Drawing letters with a Stretching from steering wheel to passenger door,
finger doesn’t require regular the panoramic dashboard vent transforms the
glances at a screen; pecking a functional into the artistic. The large center section
touchscreen or scrolling letter by in front of the passenger blows diffused air or can
letter certainly does. be closed with the push of a button.

illustration by C L I N T F O R D 045
Mercedes-Benz
GLS450 // An extra-
BEST
LARGE SUV

large dose of
Teutonic luxury. BEST VAN

// B Y J A R E D G A L L

Whereas we divide other SUVs into regular Mercedes-Benz


and luxury 10Best classes, we throw all the GLS450 4MATIC
VEHICLE TYPE: front-
big ones into the same pool. Vehicles this engine, all-wheel-drive,
big are all expensive. Case in point: this 7-passenger, 4-door
hatchback
year’s competition. The Mercedes-Benz BASE PRICE: $70,545
GLS450 was pitted against a $78,420 ENGINE: twin-
turbocharged and
Chevrolet, an $81,765 Ford, and a $78,390 intercooled DOHC
GMC. In this group, the $84,160 GLS450 24-valve 3.0-liter V-6,
362 hp, 369 lb-ft
is the only one that doesn’t feel like it’s TRANSMISSION:
been priced by the pound. 9-speed automatic with
manual shifting mode
The Ford and GM trucks look as if CURB WEIGHT: 5394 lb
they’d be as capacious as a hot-air bal-
loon—the actual balloon, not the basket— C/D Test Results
ZERO TO 60 MPH:
but don’t offer appreciably more passenger 5.7 sec
space than a minivan. In contrast, the 1/4-MILE: 14.2 sec
@ 98 mph
Benz boasts more space than it looks like TOP SPEED: 133 mph
seat offers 41 percent more legroom than a VA N VS . S U V
it should—critically, the GLS’s rear-most (governor limited) Chevy Tahoe’s. Long rear doors and second- Which has more
BRAKING, 70–0 MPH:
passenger space, a
186 ft row seats that tuck tight up against the front minivan or a large
ROADHOLDING, seatbacks make that third row easy to access. SUV? The minivan,
300-FT-DIA
of course, but not
SKIDPAD: 0.79 g*
Its ride is so much plusher than the rest of by as much as you
FUEL ECONOMY the competition’s that you might doubt the might think.
EPA COMBINED/CITY/
HWY: 19/17/22 mpg
GLS’s work-truck credentials, but its 7500-
pound tow rating is competitive for the class.
*Stability-control inhibited.
And with a 362-hp twin-turbocharged V-6, the Chrysler Pacifica
Mercedes is as quick as anything else in this 164 cu ft
year’s competition, boding well for its ability
to get out of its own way when towing a load.
It’s got capability and space to rival all comers, Mercedes-Benz
but in a field of premium prices, only the GLS GLS
provides a premium experience. 148 cu ft

GRAND LUXURY SUV


In a class full of glorified pickup trucks
and garishness, the GLS stands out
as a paragon of sophistication and
understatement.

046 . 1 0 B E S T T R U C KS A N D S U Vs . C A R A N D D R I V E R . F E B / 2 0 1 8
TOWING
A minivan might not be the
optimal tow rig, but the Pacifica
can pull up to 3600 pounds,
100 more than other minivans.

Chrysler Pacifica
VEHICLE TYPE: front-
engine, front-wheel-
drive, 7- or 8-passenger,
4-door van
BASE PRICE: $28,090
ENGINE: DOHC
24-valve 3.6-liter V-6,
287 hp, 262 lb-ft
TRANSMISSION:
9-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT: 4473 lb

C/D Test Results


ZERO TO 60 MPH:
7.3 sec
1/4-MILE: 15.6 sec
@ 90 mph
TOP SPEED: 112 mph
(governor limited)
BRAKING, 70–0 MPH:
164 ft
ROADHOLDING,
300-FT-DIA
SKIDPAD: 0.87 g*
FUEL ECONOMY
EPA COMBINED/CITY/
HWY: 22/18–19/28 mpg

*Stability-control inhibited.

Chrysler Pacifica // This minivan is the vehicle


you need, whether you want to admit it or not.
// B Y D A V I D B E A R D STOW ’N GO
Chrysler’s patented Stow ’n Go system, in which the
second-row seats easily fold into bins beneath the
Overshadowed by an endless parade of new floor, has been around for more than a decade.
SUVs, the trusty minivan remains the most Competitors still require owners to remove the
hefty second row, which is a back-straining
versatile, comfortable, and efficient family workout. Parents have enough problems.
hauler in the game. And Chrysler, progenitor
of the class, again builds the best one. The
Pacifica is easier to convert from carpool con-
figuration to max-cargo duty than any other
one-boxer. It’s more comfortable and easier to
operate, too, thanks to great front seats, an
excellent infotainment system, and intuitive
ergonomics. It looks a little more upscale than S TOW ’ N VAC
its competitors, and if you fancy clipping Though the Pacifica
is not the first to
every corner apex between the baseball dia- offer this feature, the R E A R - S E AT E N T E R TA I N M E N T
mond and the gymnastics barn, well, the Paci- available in-car In The Art of War, Sun Tzu, who was obviously a dad,
vacuum is a handy said, “The supreme art of war is to subdue the
fica’s well-tuned chassis won’t protest. Here tool when the enemy without fighting.” Chrysler allows you to
are a few notable features that help vault the inevitable toddler quell the mini-combatants in the rear seats with a
bomb of puffs and host of games and apps for the optional Uconnect
Pacifica onto the 10Best list: Os detonates. Theater system’s dual 10.1-inch touchscreens.

GEN 1 GEN 2 GEN 3 GEN 4 GEN 5 GEN 6


1984–1990 1991–1995 1996–2000 2001–2007 2008–present 2017–present

illustration by C L I N T F O R D 047
Honda TOWING/HAULING
A maximum payload of 1580 pounds is
midpack among mid-size trucks; though, at

Ridgeline // 5000 pounds, the Ridgeline’s tow rating


does trail that of most of its competitors. But
5000 pounds leaves plenty of flexibility.

Based on
the premise
that capable
doesn’t have Honda Ridgeline

to mean VEHICLE TYPE:


front-engine, front-

unpleasant.
or all-wheel-drive,
5-passenger, 4-door
pickup
BASE PRICE:
$30,605–$36,045
ENGINE: SOHC 24-valve
// B Y J A R E D G A L L 3.5-liter V-6, 280 hp,
262 lb-ft
TRANSMISSION:
It looks a little like a minivan. Let’s 6-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT:
just get that out of the way. But most 4300–4423 lb (C/D est) IN-BED TRUNK TA I L G AT E
of your time with a vehicle is spent The back seats of The Ridgeline’s dual-action
inside it, and there, the Honda Ridge- C/D Test Results* most pickups are tailgate can fold down like a
ZERO TO 60 MPH:
often used for storage. normal truck’s, allowing for the
line is a car when you want it, a truck 6.4 sec But if you want those hauling of longer loads, or it can
when you need it. Its unibody con- 1/4-MILE: 15.0 sec
three seats for swing to the side for easier
@ 93 mph passengers and still access to the bed and the trunk.
struction pays gigantic dividends in TOP SPEED: 112 mph
need dry storage,
interior volume, and the four-wheel (governor limited) there’s a lockable B A C K S E AT
BRAKING, 70–0 MPH:
seven-cubic-foot trunk Not only does the
independent suspension nets the one 182 ft beneath the Ridge- Ridgeline have the
minivan trait people do want in a ROADHOLDING,
line’s bed. It can also most capacious back
300-FT-DIA
serve as a cooler. seat in the business,
truck: ride comfort. And its cabin is SKIDPAD: 0.80 g but the seat easily
far comfier than any other pickup’s FUEL ECONOMY flips up and out of
on the market. That alone is enough EPA COMBINED/CITY/ the way, leaving an
HWY: 21–22/18–19/ enormous storage
to nab the win for the Ridgeline, but 25–26 mpg cavity. Even with the
then Honda goes and piles on all seat down, there’s
*Test results reflect space for a golf bag
these other clever features, too: all-wheel-drive model. underneath.

Ford F-150 // The value of taking a few chances


in an otherwise conservative segment.
// B Y J O S H J A C Q U O T

Traditionally, trucks aren’t a place where manufacturers inno-


vate. In America, pickups have been a balance-sheet certainty for
years. A place for power, durability, and securing your manhood.
But comfort, ease of use, and, wait, what’s that? Luxury? Not until
the 21st century. Heated and cooled front seats are now de rigueur
in pickups. In the Ford F-150, massaging front seats are an actual
thing. Sound like a weak-kneed excuse for a pickup truck? Possi-
bly you’ve forgotten about the desert-tormenting Raptor [see
right]. Plus, you’d likely feel differently on the third day of a cross-
county road trip. And with the SuperCrew cab, the F-150’s rear-

S TOWA BLE B OX- S I D E S T E P S PRO TRAILER


LOADING RAMPS Available for both BACKUP ASSIST
These ramps lock onto sides of the cargo box, Ford’s Pro Trailer Backup
the lip of the tailgate this side step deploys Assist takes the turn-left-
to assist in loading or with a kick of a button to-go-right confusion out
unloading your ATV or and is easily stowed of the trailer-reversing
motorcycle, thereby back under the bed equation and lets you
reducing your risk of with a shove of your steer the rig using the
becoming a YouTube foot. A tailgate step is truck’s backup camera
clip of the day. also optional. and a knob on the dash.

048 . 1 0 B E S T T R U C K S A N D S U Vs . C A R A N D D R I V E R . F E B / 2 0 1 8 illustrations by C L I N T F O R D
B A C K- S E AT
BETTER
The Chevy Colorado BEST
Chevrolet Honda is the only Ridgeline
Colorado Ridgeline MID-SIZE
competitor that PICKUP
45 cu ft 51 cu ft feels as if it were
designed in the last BEST
decade. Still, the FULL-SIZE
Colorado can’t touch PICKUP
the Ridgeline’s
rear-seat space.

Raptor Ford F-150


VEHICLE TYPE: front-
Perhaps the biggest risk Ford has engine; rear-, rear-/all-,
taken with the F-150 is the release or rear-/4-wheel-drive;
3-, 5-, or 6-passenger;
of its Raptor off-road variant. The 2- or 4-door pickup
current version, which uses a 450-hp BASE PRICE:
$28,675–$51,080
V-6 and offers 13.0 inches of front- ENGINES: DOHC
and 13.9 inches of rear-wheel travel, 24-valve 3.3-liter V-6,
290 hp, 265 lb-ft;
is in a class of one. It’s hard to not twin-turbocharged
win when that’s the case. and intercooled DOHC
24-valve 2.7-liter V-6,
325 hp, 400 lb-ft; DOHC
32-valve 5.0-liter V-8,
395 hp, 400 lb-ft;
twin-turbocharged
and intercooled DOHC
seat space is positively enormous, beating 24-valve 3.5-liter V-6,
375 or 450 hp, 470 or
the nearest competitor in legroom by 510 lb-ft
1.3 inches. That’s space that turns into an TRANSMISSIONS:
6-speed automatic with
equally practical and massive enclosed manual shifting mode,
cargo area with the rear seats folded. 10-speed automatic with
manual shifting mode
More significantly, Ford is ensuring the CURB WEIGHT:
F-150’s stranglehold on the pickup seg- 4300–5924 lb (C/D est)
ment by taking chances other manufactur- C/D Test Results*
ers aren’t, such as making the F-150’s body ZERO TO 60 MPH:
out of aluminum and challenging the V-8 5.0–6.3 sec
1/4-MILE: 13.7–14.9 sec
hegemony of the class by offering torque- TOP SPEED: 104–108
rich twin-turbo V-6 engines. So, yes, it’s mph (governor limited)
BRAKING, 70–0 MPH:
still a payload-swallowing, race-car-tow- 174–212 ft
ing (up to 13,200 pounds), body-on-frame ROADHOLDING,
300-FT-DIA
truck. But it’s also one you won’t regret SKIDPAD: 0.68–0.80 g
when it’s time to take your mother-in-law FUEL ECONOMY
EPA COMBINED/CITY/
shopping. Come to think of it, does she HWY: 16–22/15–20/
need a pickup truck? 18–26 mpg

*Test results reflect crew-cab, all-wheel-drive models with turbocharged and V-8 engines. 0 49
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TURNING
THE
With 600 horsepower and
all-wheel drive, M’s big sedan is
quicker than ever. But that’s
not what the M5 needed.
by Eric Tingwall
photography by Barry Hayden
Objectively, the outgoing BMW M5 cornered with absolute proficiency. If the new M5, internally known as
The driver’s intention traveled from the steering wheel down the column F90, is to stoke enthusiast fires, it must
through the pinion gear to the steering rack and tie rods, manifested as a lat- exhibit a certain . . . humanity. And yet,
eral force at the tires, and ultimately resulted in a predictable arc. Human if the M division intended to forge a
steered, car turned. Just like any other vehicle. stronger man-machine connection this
It was that last part that was the problem: “Just like any other vehicle.” The time around, it didn’t make any overt
fifth-generation M5 lacked that special something in the way it steered and peace offerings. This 600-hp sledgeham-
cornered. It failed to convey the nuance—the subtle loading and slackening of mer is the first M vehicle equipped with
the steering wheel, the early premonition of the tires’ grip waning, a clear read all-wheel drive (excepting the X5 M and
of the road surface—that once made M cars so exceptional. The last M5 didn’t X6 M SUVs). It’s also the first M5 that will
carve corners so much as beat them into submission with its glut of power. not offer a manual transmission.
We began to make amends on the old
Formula 1 track outside Lisbon, Portugal. You’ll saw at the steering wheel
as you balance the M5 at its cornering limits and the rear end wriggles
under hard straight-line braking. Trail-brake it toward the apex, balance
2018 BMW M5 the car on the throttle, tighten your line by lifting. The chassis listens
intently to the driver’s inputs and responds in kind, a welcome improve-
ment on the stoic and sometimes apathetic F10-generation M5.

F E B / 2 0 1 8 . C A R A N D D R I V E R . F E AT U R E . 0 5 9
It’s not complete redemption, though. 2018 BMW M5 stability control before you can access that setting in the iDrive
Even if the chassis is more playful and VEHICLE TYPE: front- system. BMW calls it 2WD mode, but it just as accurately could
engine, rear-/all-wheel-
responsive, the M5’s steering is still largely drive, 5-passenger, have called it Drift mode, as Mercedes-AMG does with the E63 S
inert, particularly below the grip thresh- 4-door sedan 4MATIC. Smoky, tail-out antics come easily.
BASE PRICE:
old. With an overall ratio of 14.3:1, the rack $105,500 (C/D est) The new M5’s engine won’t tie your ankle tendons to the throt-
is even slower than the last-gen car’s ENGINE: twin- tle plate of a 500-hp V-10 as the E60 M5 did a dozen years ago. Nor
turbocharged and
relaxed 12.7:1 ratio. Compared with the intercooled DOHC will it worm its way into your psyche in the same way as the
immediacy and clairvoyance of the Alfa 32-valve V-8, aluminum free-breathing 4.9-liter V-8 from the E39-generation car. We’re
block and heads, direct
Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio’s steering, the fuel injection rapidly moving away from the era when factory hot rods are made
M5 turns in with all the urgency of a river DISPLACEMENT: using a warehouse’s worth of special hardware. The turbochargers
268 cu in, 4395 cc
barge. The switch from hydraulic to elec- POWER: 600 hp
and transmissions that grease fuel-economy tests for volume
tric power assist is largely hidden from the @ 6600 rpm models are the same building blocks for modern performance cars.
TORQUE: 553 lb-ft
driver in a nicely weighted calibration that @ 1800 rpm In addition to this M5, BMW sells 10 other models built around the
nevertheless does nothing to imbue the TRANSMISSION: following ingredients: a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8, an eight-speed
8-speed automatic with
helm with feel or feedback. manual shifting mode automatic transmission, and a rear-biased all-wheel-drive system.
The clutch-pack-controlled all-wheel- DIMENSIONS This includes the M550i xDrive, a 456-hp M5 proxy offered at a
WHEELBASE: 117.4 in
drive system technically could send equal LENGTH: 195.5 in
$30,000 discount versus the real thing.
amounts of torque to the front and rear WIDTH: 74.9 in Admittedly, the M5’s engine features a long list of changes
HEIGHT: 58.0 in
axles, but project engineer Axel Schramm PASSENGER VOLUME:
from the M550i’s version and has an entirely different engine
tells us the computers rarely issue such 99 cu ft code. An evolution of the S63B44T0 that powered the outgoing
TRUNK VOLUME:
a command. They almost always favor 19 cu ft car, the new M5’s powerplant wears new turbochargers making
the rear wheels, which is evident in the CURB WEIGHT: 4400 lb 24.5 psi of boost (up from 21.8 in the old M5) and sprays fuel into
PERFORMANCE
overtly rear-wheel-drive nature of the (C/D EST)
the cylinders at higher pressures. Its 600 horsepower represents
M5’s dynamics. In its 4WD Sport setting ZERO TO 60 MPH: an increase of 40 over the outgoing car, while peak torque rises
3.1 sec
with stability control in M Dynamic mode, ZERO TO 100 MPH:
from 500 to 553 pound-feet. That may not sound all that impres-
the M5 pivots neatly under power on cor- 7.1 sec sive in an era when there exist lunch-
1/4-MILE: 11.2 sec
ner exit. In every way, it feels like a well- TOP SPEED:
bucket muscle cars with 700 horsepower, The red button doesn’t
balanced rear-drive car—even more so 155–189 mph but the M5 launches down a highway on- turn the M5 into an M2;
it accesses saved
FUEL ECONOMY
than its predecessor, which actually is EPA COMBINED/CITY/
ramp with the authority and unrelenting drive-mode settings.
rear-wheel drive. HWY: 17/14/24 mpg thrust of a Saturn V rocket. We expect it to The seats look like a
field-dressed Baymax.
(C/D est)
This new M5 can be rear-wheel drive, clip 60 mph in 3.1 seconds once we get our That’s not right.
too, although you have to fully disable test equipment affixed.

060 . F E A T U R E . C A R A N D D R I V E R . F E B / 2 0 1 8
The turbocharged engine broadcasts a slightly hollow thunder New turbos, more torque with a sense of control. Electroni-
that sounds more convincing and complex than the bassy mono- boost, higher-pressure cally adjustable dampers offer three set-
fuel delivery, and—
tone of the last car. A pair of butterfly valves in the exhaust mod- bing, bang, boom—the tings, but we never found a good enough
ulate the tone, yet when you deactivate the exhaust’s Sport mode, 4.4-liter V-8 makes reason to leave Comfort, the softest set-
600 horses, 40 more
the audible effect is one of wires being yanked out of a couple of than the last M5. ting, for long.
low-fidelity speakers. BMW claims this new M5 is lighter
BMW developed the manual transmission of the outgoing than the F10, a remarkable feat consider-
F10-generation M5 specifically for the U.S. market, only to see ing the triple-digit weight penalty of the all-wheel-drive system.
fewer than 5 percent of buyers choose it. So while we lament the The savings come from a lighter body shell with a standard
loss of another Save the Manuals! evangelist, the stick shift is carbon-fiber roof and relentless attention to mass-shaving details
unlikely to be missed by most of those who will actually plunk throughout the rest of the car. Optional carbon-ceramic brakes
down the roughly $105,000 it will take to own an M5. In place of will save an additional 51 pounds and should be considered a man-
the outgoing M5’s seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, the new car datory buy for anyone visiting the track in this 4400-pounder.
uses an eight-speed automatic that is, in technical terms, flawless. Even with the carbon ceramics, the brake pedal quickly went soft
It shifts so rapidly as to mask any momentary, infinitesimal during our day lapping the Estoril circuit, although our braking
torque reduction and picks the right ratio at the right time. points on the track remained fairly consistent.
In 2018, the character of an M car stems not just from what’s M engineers, of course, must work with the base car they’re
added to the donor model but also from what’s removed. In the given, and so they’re powerless to do anything about the current
M5, there is no planetary gearset that varies the steering ratio 5-series’ long and wide body. Inside the well-trimmed cabin,
with vehicle speed, no active anti-roll bars, no rear-wheel steer- driver and passenger sit far enough apart that they might as well
ing. Those heavy-handed chassis technologies react to the road be in marriage counseling. At least that leaves adequate real
so the driver doesn’t have to, and in turn, they overmanage the estate for the sundry buttons that manage throttle calibration,
5-series into an indifferent and inert car. Their absence here transmission shift speed, steering weight, damper stiffness, and
makes the M5 a much purer sports sedan than the stock 5er, closer exhaust mode.
to M’s founding beliefs. The M5’s reinvigorated chassis dynamics suggest that the M
Instead, the M5 uses a simpler variable-ratio steering rack division is rediscovering the significance of driver engagement.
that’s common in the luxury-sports-sedan segment. The Active But M is, after all, an organization subordinate to the bigger
M electronically controlled limited-slip rear differential helped enterprise, and as such, the division’s complete redemption is
the optional 20-inch Pirelli P Zero tires on our car lay down only possible if the larger BMW brand can find its old religion.

061
062
I T S R E V E N U E I S T I N Y, I T S M A R K E T S H A R E I S E V E N S M A L L E R ,

A N D I T S P R O F I T S A R E N O N E X I S T E N T.

S O W H Y I S T E S L A S O L OV E D B Y WA L L S T R E E T ?

I N 2 01 3 , T WO F I N A NC E P ROF E S S OR S , Bradford Over the next six months, it would jump to $180. Less than a
Cornell of the California Institute of Technology and year later, it would reach $291. Ford’s stock wouldn’t hit $19
Aswath Damodaran of New York University’s Stern during this period, and GM’s peaked at $41. Fiat Chrysler flirted
School of Business, started to notice something screwy happen- with $8 but never quite got there. Meanwhile, Tesla’s market cap-
ing on the NASDAQ, the world’s second-largest stock exchange. italization—the price of the stock multiplied by the number of
Shares in Tesla (TSLA) were exploding, even though the fledgling shares issued—surpassed Fiat’s. (It would later briefly eclipse the
electric-vehicle manufacturer was selling fewer than 2000 cars a other Big Three automakers, too.) Trading volume spiked as well,
month in the 1.3 million-a-month U.S. auto market. For most of the with tens of millions of shares changing hands some days.
two-plus years since Tesla’s June 2010 initial public offering, the Many investors look at Tesla more as a technology company
carmaker’s stock had waddled around in the $22-to-$35 range. On than as a manufacturer, and tech companies are generally valued
March 19, 2013, TSLA began to go up—and it kept rising. more highly than carmakers. Still, Cornell and Damodaran set to
b y pau l t u llis • illustr ations by a rthur e. giron

F E B / 2 0 1 8 . C A R A N D D R I V E R . F E AT U R E . 06 3
unlimited amount of money if TSLA should go above his $500 call
price and stay there instead.
Zavislan maintains an unusual perspective on the question of
why Tesla’s price has become decoupled from all the metrics that
stock pickers have traditionally considered in valuing a company.
He’s not just a guy with an Ameritrade account; he owns a used-
car dealership in Pueblo, Colorado. So he’s not going to argue that
the stock’s price-to-book ratio is bad or give you his opinion on
whether the company’s supposed cost advantage in batteries is
going to last. He’ll tell you about how snow gets in the cabin when
the falcon-wing rear doors on the Model X open, or that dealers
have trouble valuing used Teslas when they hit the trade-in
market. “All these things that people don’t know yet are gonna
come out, and when they do, that stock’s gonna go down,” he says.
A Tesla spokesperson declined to comment on the company’s
valuation, the role of investor sentiment in its stock price, or the
resale value of its vehicles.
Zavislan points out that Tesla stopped guaranteeing a resale
value on vehicles purchased after July 1, 2016, a promise the com-
pany had initially said was “backed personally by Tesla CEO Elon
Musk.” This program was intended to assure buyers of a pricey
vehicle with no track record of reliability that they’d be able to
find out how market sentiment might be affecting Tesla’s stock unload their cars for a decent price after a few years. The move to
price. They looked at Tesla’s returns for every trading day lift the guarantee freed up some cash and improved Tesla’s bal-
between March 22, 2013, and February 26, 2014, as well as news ance sheet, making the stock more attractive, but it also meant
about the company during that period, including reports of how used-car dealers would have a harder time pricing the vehicles and
much money the company was making—or, as was most often the may be less likely to risk taking them off the hands of owners
case, how much it was losing. “If the market is rational and rela- shopping for a new car. “A lot of dealers don’t know how to handle
tively efficient, then the run-up in the price of Tesla stock . . . Teslas,” Zavislan says.
should be the result of information that arrives during that time Caltech’s Cornell also shorts Tesla’s stock but through the
period,” Cornell and Damodaran wrote in a paper they posted hedge fund he runs, SMBP, which has developed a computer pro-
online in April 2014. And yet, “there is no new-product introduc- gram to crawl Tesla’s website, recording the new and pre-owned
tion. There is no proposed acquisition or other transaction. There inventory listed there to speculate about its sales. “Xs and the
is no announcement of significant new technology . . . In fact, in Model S appear to be plateauing,” Cornell says, “both new and
several cases, the main news story was the rise in the stock price used.” Tesla, however, reported a 4.5 percent increase in third-
itself.” Tesla shares have not fallen below $141 since, reaching a quarter deliveries in 2017 compared with the previous year.
high of $389 in September 2017. Unlike every other volume carmaker, Tesla does not issue
“I have tremendous admiration for Tesla,” says Mark Yusko, monthly U.S. sales reports, but rather makes quarterly delivery
CEO and chief investment officer of Morgan Creek Capital Man- statements that include foreign sales.
agement, a financial consulting firm in Chapel Hill, North Caro- Finance pros have other reasons for believing TSLA can’t
lina. “Their products are beautiful; they created this brand of maintain its run. The traditional method of ascribing value to a
luxury. I have admiration for them pushing the technology. But the stock involves projecting the amount of cash the company is going
stock is one of the most egregious examples of overvaluation.” to earn and discounting that back to present value. That allows
For years, auto execs have gnashed their teeth over how a com- analysts to predict the company’s price-to-earnings ratio (P/E),
pany, which sells a volume of vehicles that amounts to a rounding which is the cost of a share relative to the company’s per-share
error in Detroit, has seen its stock rise more than 900 percent profits. The formula is expressed like this: P/E = stock price/
while the NASDAQ rose by 60. Ford’s stock is flat, while the Dow (company profits/number of outstanding shares). It’s a key metric
Jones and S&P 500 each climbed more than 130 percent. Even that stock pickers look at in deciding whether to invest in a com-
though GM, with the Chevrolet Bolt, beat Tesla to releasing a sub- pany or whether it’s time to sell.
$40,000 electric car that can go 200 miles on a charge—a thresh- The S&P 500’s historic P/E is around 15; today, it’s around 25.
old for EVs going mainstream—GM’s shares have also failed to Most of the time, Tesla doesn’t have a P/E ratio because the com-
keep pace with the broader market since Tesla first went public. pany has no earnings. But in those quarters when Tesla has been
TSLA has a few true believers in the financial industry who think profitable, its P/E has neared 1400. (Although the accounting prac-
it is fairly valued or could go even higher, but Yusko is just one of tices behind that “profitability” are hotly disputed among inves-
many portfolio managers, stock pickers, finance professors, and tors.) Selling only a few thousand cars a month, Tesla has weak
industry analysts at investment banks who balk at its valuation. cash flow. While other companies trade at many multiples of the
market average or else lose money, one of two things is generally
true of them: Either they have robust cash flow—a lot of money is
Mike Zavislan won’t say on the record how much money he lost last coming in, but they don’t turn a profit because they’re investing it
year betting against Tesla, but it’s a lot. Much more than you will back into the business—or their stock sooner or later falls back to
make at your job this year, probably. But he’s not worried. “I could earth. The prime example of the former is Amazon; for examples
give you a thousand reasons why Tesla’s overvalued,” he says. of the latter, think of any company that saw growth during the
Zavislan is so confident the stock is going to fall that he holds what internet bubble circa 1998–2000.
are known as naked call options, which expose him to losing an Cornell points out that analysts can justify any share price if

064 . F E AT U R E . C A R A N D D R I V E R . F E B / 2 0 1 8
they’re willing to tweak the numbers Late spring last year, Tesla’s market capitalization surpassed Ford’s and
infinitely. “If you project high enough then GM’s, making the upstart briefly the most valuable American car
profit margins for Tesla and enough sales company. Tesla’s shares have been on a roll since early 2013.
5 or 10 years down the road, you can ration­ 80
alize almost any value,” he says. Neverthe­ MARKET CAPITALIZATION
less, the exercise is typically more of an
effort to estimate the company’s potential
to generate revenue, and anyway, what an

VA LU E , B I L LI O NS O F D O L L A RS
60

analyst can plausibly rationalize eventually


reaches a limit. Yusko has calculated that
to justify a stock price of $350, Tesla would
40
need to have 100 percent market share in
cars costing $50,000 and up, which seems
beyond reckoning.
20

“Let’s kick it off with Mars, okay?”


The occasion was Tesla’s conference
call with industry analysts last February to 0

report earnings for the fourth quarter of 400


SHARE PRICE
2016. The earnings call is an invisible
TESLA
dance that execs at publicly traded compa­ GENERAL MOTORS
nies perform to please their patrons— 300
FORD
institutional investors who pour billions
into their stock—and analysts whose rat­
PRICE, DOLLARS

ings can erase billions in company value


overnight. The speaker was Adam Jonas, a 200

Morgan Stanley analyst and prominent


Tesla bull. Tesla had missed analysts’ con­
sensus earnings forecast by 60 percent.
Others, later in the call, took the opportu­ 100

nity to ask its execs why a software update


for the Model S and Model X had been
delayed and how the company intended to 0
increase production of the forthcoming 150
Model 3. But Jonas wanted to know TR ADING VOLUME
whether Musk would potentially be taking
time away from Tesla to focus on his aero­
space company, SpaceX, in the event that
the new administration is in favor of accel­ 100
SHARES, MILLIONS

erating a manned mission to Mars, which


NASA says isn’t happening for another two
decades. Yusko says that SpaceX lends sex­
iness to Tesla, helping its stock price. “A
guy who can talk about going to Mars and 50

not be roundly ridiculed, that’s impres­


sive,” he says. “People want to believe.”
It’s part of Tesla’s aura, which analysts
and academics agree is a significant driver
of its stock price. Musk’s uncanny ability 0
DEC/2012 DEC/2017
to generate news with his tweets is rivaled
only by Donald Trump’s. “Tesla is arguably
the most followed stock in popular media outside of maybe to cover their bets by buying shares, pushing the price up even
Apple,” says Brad Erickson, an industry analyst at KeyBanc Cap­ higher. Essentially, movement in price alters the behavior of
ital Markets. “People hear about it all the time on TV; Elon Musk market participants, lifting the stock in a reflexive cycle.
is in the news 14 times a day. It’s a very available narrative to fol­ So why might Jonas be interested in diverting attention from
low, and clearly that’s compelling a lot of people to buy the stock.” Tesla’s car business? Morgan Stanley is one of the companies that
Unlike the pros, “retail” investors—part­timers or hobbyists issued Tesla stock in 2016, generating significant revenue via
who manage their own portfolios, some even earning a living underwriter fees for the investment bank. Six months after the
doing it—tend to be more swayed by buzz than fundamentals, “Mars” earnings call, Morgan floated bonds to raise more cash for
market watchers agree. Their trading can initiate a phenomenon Tesla, bringing in revenue for the bank, too. (Morgan Stanley
known as “seeding the clouds,” where buying prompts computers spokesperson Euna Cook said, “Our research is independent of
that trade based on algorithms to get in on the action, driving the all our other businesses,” and declined comment on the intent of
price higher. Professionals who are shorting the stock then need Jonas’s question about Mars.) Because the business of selling

SIDEBAR DATA PROVIDED BY INTRINIO.COM; ADJUSTED VALUES USED; MARKET CAP CALCULATED USING WEIGHTED AVERAGE DILUTED SHARES OUTSTANDING 065
Teslas generates so little cash, the com- Lyft before 2019, with its automated
pany finances itself largely through the vehicles undercutting human-driven
sale of such bonds as well as through its ride sharing on price by 40 percent. Sim-
high stock price. ilarly, Deutsche Bank’s market research
Tesla’s boosters in the financial sec- division bumped its rating on GM from
tor give a lot of reasons why the stock is “neutral” to “buy” in November: “In an
worth $350 or even more. In August, Bill upside scenario, this stock could more
Selesky of Argus Research set a price than double,” wrote analysts Rod Lache
target of $444. “These guys could be and Shreyas Patil. Ford has also received
making serious money in 2021,” he says. market accolades: Standpoint Research
“My price target rationale is using a mul- recommends buying Ford, expecting it
tiple of 2020 earnings of about 20 “to be a leader in the growing electri-
times.” He thinks it makes sense, given fied-vehicle market.” (Standpoint, inci-
the changes that are coming to the auto dentally, rates Tesla stock as a “sell.”)
industry precipitated by automation.
Indeed, many market observers see
Tesla differently than other car manu- Even the strongest Tesla bulls acknowl-
facturers since its vehicles are designed edge that earnings need to come eventu-
with an automated future in mind. ally for the stock price to make sense.
Delphi Automotive’s chief technology “SCALING FROM The company’s boosters in the green
officer, Glen De Vos, recently gave a talk M AKING A FEW community have bought into Musk’s
explaining how the supplier was begin- REALLY, REALLY NICE vision of radically transforming our
ning to help OEMs transition to design- $100,000 CARS TO greenhouse-gas-intensive infrastruc-
ing cars as a software-defined platform, ACTUALLY M AKING A ture, putting a Tesla Powerwall battery
necessitated by the coming automation M ASS-M ARKET CAR– in every garage, connected to SolarCity
revolution. De Vos asserted that every IT’S REALLY H ARD.” roof tiles on one end and a Tesla vehicle
time an automotive feature is intro- — MARK YUSKO, MORGAN on the other. “Think AAPL,” as (at least)
duced—from the radio to anti-lock C R E E K C A P I TA L M A N A G E M E N T one Tesla investor put it on Twitter, ref-
brakes to telematics—traditional car- erencing Wall Street’s other darling,
makers simply tack on a new electronic control unit and connect Apple. Or maybe Tesla will succeed by licensing its automated-car
everything with a spaghetti of copper wire. With automated vehi- technology and battery-management software to companies that
cles, though, manufacturers need a simpler, more energy-efficient have a century’s more experience with what much of Silicon Val-
architecture to consolidate the vehicle’s computing power and ley regards as the mundanity of making things. (Tesla declined to
allow the software to be managed independently of the underlying comment on whether it has such plans.) At least there’s a model
hardware. “The company that’s closest to this, quite frankly, is for that: Qualcomm’s patents make possible virtually every cel-
Tesla,” De Vos said. “They’re demonstrating the power and value lular data transmission in the world outside of China. (Actually
of doing this type of architecture.” those, too, the company claims.) Or is the Tesla semi-truck Musk
A former GM analyst agrees with De Vos that Tesla will dom- unveiled in November more than sleight of hand, an actual har-
inate the automation revolution. David Keith, now assistant pro- binger of how the company will be like GE or BASF, less a consum-
fessor of system dynamics at MIT Sloan School of Management, er-facing brand than a supplier? Or will Tesla simply succeed at
sees the company as a tech disrupter that will flatten existing what hasn’t been done in half a century—starting a major car
operators in its field. “Incumbents struggle to survive when a dis- brand that lasts?
ruptive technology comes along,” says Keith, who drives a Tesla. For now, at least, financial analysts rely on huge sales of the
“I could give you any number of examples of this: Nokia and Black- Model 3 in their estimates to make their spreadsheets work. Jonas
Berry when the iPhone came along; Blockbuster with Netflix.” has said that by 2040, there will be 32 million Teslas on the road,
But market research and consulting firm Navigant Research so the valuation of the stock ought to be based on that. Yet the
recently put out a report ranking GM and Ford as far better company revealed in October that although it had hoped to be
“equipped to be the leaders in developing complete automated making 5000 Model 3s a week by the end of 2017, it had managed
driving stacks.” Tesla lagged Detroit’s behemoths in the sales, to manufacture just 260 in the entire third quarter, with reports
marketing, and distribution category, as well as in staying power indicating that the company was building them partly by hand.
and, surprisingly, technology. “I think Ford and GM are much “Scaling from making a few really, really nice $100,000 cars
more interesting investments,” said Yusko in August, as Tesla was to actually making a mass-market car—it’s really hard,” says
struggling to launch its new Model 3. Yusko. Cornell thinks there are just too many things that can go
He’s not alone. Analyst ratings as of December 1 were 11:2 wrong for Tesla to become a mass-market automaker. “They’ve
“buy” versus “sell” on GM and 5:2 on Ford, according to the Wall gotta get this Model 3 out, it’s gotta be as popular as everyone is
Street Journal’s rolling survey, and many of the Detroit bulls spe- hoping, they’ve gotta produce it at a good margin, they’ve gotta
cifically cite the dinosaurs’ potential to excel in electric- and auto- service it, they’ve gotta have charging centers,” he says. “There’s
mated-vehicle production. Asset management and investment just a million things that have to go right, and the market seems
advisory firm Guggenheim Investments upgraded its rating on to be so taken with the company that it assumes all of them are
GM stock to “buy” on November 20, citing the company’s confi- going to happen.”
dence in “launch[ing] a ride-hailing fleet of robo-taxis before If all these things do go right, the skeptics who shorted the
2020,” providing a “sizable earnings opportunity from mobility stock could be hurting. “All the stock really needs is for the
services for GM over the next 5 to 10 years.” Sure enough, 10 days Model 3 to be awesome,” says Erickson. “If that car is awesome,
later, GM announced it would become a competitor to Uber and the stock can probably continue to work.”

066 . F E AT U R E . C A R A N D D R I V E R . F E B / 2 0 1 8
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Height Club
you look back a few generations that you recog-
nize how each short generational step has added
up to a hell of a long distance between then and
now. An early CJ looks like a Power Wheels toy
Taller and longer than before, and now with optional when parked next to the comparatively hulking
turbo power, Jeep’s new Wrangler still defines the mass of a JL Wrangler.
brand. _by Daniel Pund The new body is, in virtually every detail, dif-
ferent. Note its laid-back windshield angle, the
way its fancy headlights encroach into the outer
RULE NUMBER ONE IN DESIGNING a new Jeep Wrangler is: grille openings, its wide stance. It’s also larger. The two-door
Don’t screw it up. The second rule in designing a new Jeep Wran- model gains more than an inch in wheelbase and two and a half
gler is: Always follow rule number one. Rule number three in inches in length. The four-door version is even more biggified,
designing a new Jeep Wrangler is: Don’t screw it up by putting adding almost two and a half inches between axles and three and
rectangular headlights on it. a half inches to its overall length. These are small increases in the
Because, while the open-top off-roader isn’t the franchise any- grand scheme of things. But to the guy trying to ease his Jeep over
more (it’s typically not Jeep’s best-selling model), it is the spiri- a rock ledge, they matter. To the drivers of the Wranglers that clog
tual center of the brand. It’s the icon that lends credibility to the college campuses, increased size is no detriment and the extra
company in the same way that the 911 does to Porsche, even as the inch of rear-seat legroom in four-door versions will be welcome.
German company sells half as many sports cars as it does SUV- To compensate for the increased size, Jeep managed to tighten
type things. Jeep can sustain any number of failures, from the the turning circle of both two- and four-door models and gave all
bovine Commander to the pitiful original Compass (known versions of the Wrangler more ground clearance. For the Wran-
around these parts as the Swampass), and continue to truck along. gler Rubicon, in which we recently trundled around New Zea-
But screw up the Wrangler and things fall apart; the center cannot land’s Southern Alps, that increase (from 10.0 to 10.9 inches)
hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world. came largely from the fitment of larger tires. The JL Rubicon
This is why, at first blush, the new-for-2018 JL version looks wears 285/70R-17s, known to off-roaders by their outside diame-
pretty much the same as the JK version it replaces. It’s only when ter, 33 inches. The JK Rubicon wore 32-inch tires. In a bid for

072 . CAR AND DRIVER . FEB/2018


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all-around all-terrain performance, the Rubicon now wears well as the new turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four. The only sig-
­BF­Goodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2s—the same tire fitted to the nificant changes to the corporate V-6, apart from its now being
Ford Raptor. What they might give up in mud performance com- built in Mexico instead of Michigan, are a higher compression
pared with the old Rubicon’s Mud-Terrain T/A KM rubber is more ratio (11.3:1 versus 10.2:1) and the addition of a standard stop-start
than offset by their portfolio of generally agreeable attributes system. The aim was to improve efficiency. The engine still runs
including admirable (and quiet) dry and wet on-road perform- on regular. According to the EPA, the new V-6–powered Wrangler
ance and excellent off-road bite. Besides, figures Jeep, the guys with the automatic achieves 18/23 mpg city/highway—increases
who are serious about wheeling around on a particular kind of of 1 mpg in the city and 2 on the highway.
terrain are likely to swap out the stock tires for something more A large part of the improvement comes from the new eight-
specialized anyway. speed automatic that replaces the old five-speed, a relic from the
That larger body still rides on a steel ladder frame, but com- DaimlerChrysler days. The V-6 is also available with a new Aisin-
pared with the JK’s, it uses more high- built six-speed manual that replaces the old Mercedes-based six-
strength steel. This allowed Jeep to reduce [+] Not speed. Jeep says the Aisin is better isolated from vibration and
the number of crossmembers from eight screwed up, noise. Okay, maybe. But it’s certainly no more fun to operate. The
to five, saving roughly 100 pounds, accord- manual one we tried resisted slotting into gear and would not be rushed.
ing to the company. Despite that, Jeep says transmission Further, the clutch engaged with an abruptness that saw many
the new frame is more resistant to flex still available, experienced drivers stall the thing. As for the 3.6-liter, well, it’s a
than the old one. The body bolted to the improved fine engine but not ideally suited for this application. It lacks low-
frame is mostly steel but with aluminum steering, end torque.
doors and hood and a magnesium tailgate simplified For torque, buyers might want to wait for the turbo-diesel
skinned in aluminum. Jeep estimates that softtop 3.0-liter V-6 that will come in 2019. For now, the torque king is the
it saved another 100 pounds in the body operation. new turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four with a slight electric assist.
and powertrain. Soon we’ll get Wranglers [–] Diesel A hybrid Wrangler? Isn’t that like having your salsa produced in
of all stripes on our scales to confirm. engine not yet New York City? Kinda, yeah. But even iconic ruffians such as the
And by Wranglers of all stripes we available, Wrangler need to worry about fuel economy these days, hence the
mean every possible permutation of the weak-kneed focus on weight reduction, faster windshield angle, etc. Like Gen-
two- and four-door body styles, the four standard V-6, eral Motors’ eAssist system, the Jeep’s replaces the alternator with
trim levels (Sport, Sport S, Sahara, and new manual a motor/generator unit that can boost torque under acceleration
Rubicon), and the two available gas transmission as well as gather energy through regenerative braking. It also
engines: the familiar 3.6-liter V-6 that isn’t very good. allows the engine to be shut off when the vehicle is stationary or
serves as the base engine on all versions as coasting. How much boost the so-called eTorque system can pro-
vide and what fuel-economy gains it achieves, the company is not
yet willing to say. But the turbo 2.0-liter produces 295 pound-feet

074 . CAR AND DRIVER . FEB/2018


2018 JEEP of torque at 3000 rpm. The gas V-6 pro- No windows, no doors, low range standard. Buyers can even opt
WRANGLER duces 35 less pound-feet and then only no waiting. Above: an
unusually large knob. for a transfer case with a full-time all-
VEHICLE TYPE: front- when it reaches 4800 rpm. And this new Above right: BFGood­ wheel-drive mode, just like one of those
engine, rear-/all- or
engine boasts plenty of tech, including rich All­Terrain T/A new-fangled country-club utes. It’s
rear-/4-wheel-drive, KO2 tires are now
4- or 5-passenger, 2- or direct injection; a twin-scroll, low-inertia standard on Rubicons. optional on Sahara models, all of which
4-door convertible
BASE PRICE:
turbocharger mounted directly to the cyl- are four-doors.
$28,500–$33,500 (est) inder head; and a variable-displacement How’d it all come together? Well, in
POWERTRAINS:
turbocharged and two-stage oil pump. Other than filling the 4 Low, the JL feels pretty much like Wranglers always have—
intercooled DOHC cabin with the uninspired noise of a work- capable well beyond the intestinal fortitude of most of its drivers.
16-valve 2.0-liter inline-4
+ AC motor, 270 hp, aday four-cylinder, the engine feels great. On the road, the Rubicons that we drove acquitted themselves
295 lb-ft (0.4-kWh It’s plenty powerful enough to motivate a admirably. The electrohydraulically assisted steering is a major
lithium-ion battery
pack); DOHC 24-valve four-door automatic Rubicon. And the improvement over the old purely hydraulic arrangement, helped
3.6-liter V-6, 285 hp, eight-speed automatic is the only transmis- no doubt by the excellent KO2 tires. Braking performance is
260 lb-ft
TRANSMISSIONS:
sion offered with the new engine. adequate thanks to upsize stoppers. Ride quality and handling
6-speed manual, The rest of the driveline is largely are good for a vehicle with a high center of gravity and bound by
8-speed automatic with
manual shifting mode unchanged from the JK. The Rubicon big, heavy stick axles front and rear. As vehicular anachronisms
DIMENSIONS comes with electronically locking front go, this one is pretty pleasant not least because the newly
WHEELBASE:
96.9–118.4 in and rear differentials, an electronically designed interior is reasonably comfy and fully up to date.
LENGTH: disconnecting front anti-roll bar, and a And, yes, the doors will come off, any of the available roofs are
166.8–188.4 in
WIDTH: 73.8 in
4.00:1 low range for its part-time four- removable or retractable, and even the windshield still folds
HEIGHT: 73.6 in wheel-drive system. It also rides on down. Think about how unlikely a thing that is in the modern
PASSENGER VOLUME:
99–108 cu ft strengthened Dana 44 axles front and rear. world. Sure, lower or remove all that, and a weird-looking skeleton
CARGO VOLUME: This is tried-and-true stuff. There are no of bars and frames is revealed. But damn, if it doesn’t feel good
13–32 cu ft
CURB WEIGHT:
adjustable-ride-height air springs, no ter- to go alfresco.
4000–4500 lb rain-response system. Instead, the driver What’s more, the softtop no longer requires a decade of pack-
PERFORMANCE
(C/D EST)
operates as the terrain-response system, age-engineering experience to operate. The cargo-area side and
ZERO TO 60 MPH: choosing the range, the driven wheels, rear plastic windows slide out to form an oddly appealing bikini-
6.5–8.0 sec
ZERO TO 100 MPH:
which differentials are locked, and, well, top arrangement. In a hardtop Wrangler, the panels over the
23.9–25.0 sec pretty much everything else. driver and front passenger now require but a quarter turn of each
1/4-MILE: 15.1–16.3 sec
TOP SPEED: 115 mph
The value-oriented Sport and compar- of the latches to remove. The new front-fender vents evacuate
FUEL ECONOMY atively ritzy Sahara model come with underhood air to reduce hood flutter at speed. This is a carefully
EPA COMBINED/CITY/
HWY: 19–22/17–20/
lighter-duty axles (a Dana 30 up front; considered improvement, if not a wholesale rethink of the family
23–25 mpg (C/D est) 35 out back) with open diffs and a 2.72:1 jewel. In short, Jeep did not screw it up.

075
To Drive or Not to Drive
Loaded with tech, Audi’s 2019 A8 could be an automated-driving breakthrough. Or maybe not.
_by Josh Jacquot

AUDI STILL HASN’T SAID WHETHER ITS 2019 A8 —the first back, remains as it is in most other Audis: 2019 AUDI A8
car to offer Level 3 automation, which permits the driver to take laser-sight precise but lidocaine numb. If VEHICLE TYPE: front-
engine, all-wheel-drive,
his hands off the wheel and eyes off the road in certain condi- Audi could elevate its system’s responsive- 4- or 5-passenger,
tions—will actually be allowed to drive itself when it goes on sale ness to match its accuracy, it would have 4-door sedan
BASE PRICE: $89,000
in the United States this fall. But even if it won’t, the new A8 poses developed the magic bullet sought by ener- (C/D est)
a genuine threat to BMW, Cadillac, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz. getic pilots of every executive sedan. POWERTRAINS:
turbocharged and
It is taller, longer, and more isolated from the road yet better con- The A8’s new chassis is good—there’s intercooled DOHC
trolled than the A8 it replaces. It is a cruise missile for the wealthy, ample body control and isolation with the 24-valve Miller-capable
3.0-liter V-6, 340 hp,
flattening mountains and straightening freeways with a conspic- car’s standard air springs and adaptive 369 lb-ft + AC motor,
uous lack of effort. And even absent Traffic Jam Pilot, Audi’s dampers. Unfortunately, we didn’t drive 9 hp (combined output,
340 hp, 369 lb-ft;
name for its headline Level 3 feature, the the optional active suspension on the open 0.5-kWh lithium-ion
new A8 is quite likely the most technolog- A big fella road. That setup includes an electric battery pack); twin-
turbocharged and
ically advanced car in the world. who can dance, motor at each corner capable of raising or intercooled DOHC
At launch, the A8 will be available with superb ride lowering that wheel via a torsion bar 32-valve 4.0-liter V-8,
460 hp, 487 lb-ft + AC
one engine, a single-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 comfort and linked to the suspension, enabling it to fol- motor, 9 hp (combined
good for 340 horsepower and 369 pound- body control, low the contour of the road. While it was output, 460 hp, 487
lb-ft; 0.5-kWh lithium-
feet of torque. By the end of the year, a anechoic- impressive in the confines of a controlled ion battery pack)
twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 with 460 horses chamber silent. demonstration, just like with Traffic Jam TRANSMISSION:
8-speed automatic with
will follow. Both powerplants get a 48-volt Sober Pilot, we don’t know if it will be ready for manual shifting mode
motor/generator that, in addition to pro- styling inside the real world. DIMENSIONS
WHEELBASE: 123.1 in
viding light hybrid assistance, acts as an and out, The A8’s interior is a sober revision on LENGTH: 208.7 in
alternator and performs engine stop-start unfinished an already businesslike theme. Although WIDTH: 76.6 in
HEIGHT: 58.6 in
duties. EPA estimates aren’t yet available, tech? the cabin lacks flourish, the materials and TRUNK VOLUME:
but Audi didn’t make the A8 a hybrid so assembly quality are exquisite and comple- 18 cu ft
CURB WEIGHT:
it could be less efficient than the car it ment the modern, if subtle, redesign. The 4350–4800 lb
replaces, the most frugal variant of which was fitted with a super- new infotainment system’s 10.1-inch hap- PERFORMANCE
(C/D EST)
charged 3.0-liter V-6 yielding a combined 22 mpg. Both the V-6 tic-feedback touchscreen is the big change. ZERO TO 60 MPH:
and V-8 engines are paired with ZF’s paddle-shiftable eight-speed Below it on the center stack is a second 4.0–5.5 sec
ZERO TO 100 MPH:
automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive is standard. screen, which displays climate controls but 9.9–13.3 sec
As with the outgoing A8, the fourth-generation sedan will be can also be used for Google or navigation 1/4-MILE:
12.5–14.0 sec
available in the United States only in the longer of the car’s two searches via handwriting recognition. TOP SPEED:
wheelbases. The A8, which gained 1.3 inches in overall length with Pricing will increase for the A8, but 131–155 mph
FUEL ECONOMY
this revision, is sized to compete with the other German mega- Audi representatives say the bump will be EPA COMBINED/CITY/
cruisers; still, its wheelbase is 1.4 inches shorter than the Mer- modest. The current A8 starts at $83,475, HWY: 22–24/18–20/
29–30 mpg (C/D est)
cedes-Benz S-class’s and a significant 3.2 inches shorter than the so we expect the fourth-generation car
BMW 7-series’. to begin at less than $90,000. Few cars
We drove the eerily silent V-6–powered A8 in southern Spain, offer an escape from the chaos of modern
over mountainous terrain lined with two-lanes that lacked both driving as effectively as the new A8 does—
shoulders and mercy. Steering, despite efforts to improve its feed- even if it’s not driving itself.

076 . CAR AND DRIVER . FEB/2018


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2018 PORSCHE 911

Apex Predator
Porsche’s most capable 911 ever—the lightweight, rear-wheel-drive GT2 RS—is
explosively quick, massively grippy, and . . . not at all deadly. _by Mike Duff
GT2 RS
VEHICLE TYPE: rear-
engine, rear-wheel-
drive, 2-passenger,
2-door coupe
BASE PRICE: $294,250
ENGINE: twin-
turbocharged and
intercooled DOHC
24-valve flat-6,
aluminum block and
THE TERM “WIDOWMAKER” has been applied to lethally as much as 68 degrees Fahrenheit while heads, direct fuel
dangerous objects and activities since the 19th century, but in the mass-trimming Weissach package (a injection
DISPLACEMENT:
Germany, this compound noun is most commonly associated $31,000 option) adds magnesium wheels 232 cu in, 3800 cc
with the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter. That was the overpowered and a carbon-fiber roof, anti-roll bars, and POWER:
700 hp @ 7000 rpm
and frequently unstable Cold War fighter jet that, in the German end links—a weight savings totaling some TORQUE:
air and naval services, killed no fewer than 110 of its pilots. From 40 pounds. Porsche says the car, in its 553 lb-ft @ 2500 rpm
TRANSMISSION:
there, the nickname made the leap to the original Porsche 911 lightest possible configuration, weighs 7-speed dual-clutch
Turbo, an almost-as-twitchy on-the-limit companion, and has just under 3250 pounds, although that automatic with manual
shifting mode
been applied to pretty much every other turbocharged rear-drive means that in addition to ticking the DIMENSIONS
911 iteration since. pricey Weissach box, one must forgo both WHEELBASE: 96.6 in
LENGTH: 179.1 in
As the latest and most powerful of these, the GT2 RS should air conditioning and the infotainment WIDTH: 74.0 in
be the widow-makingest—and the most terrifying. The very system to get the car down to its sprinting HEIGHT: 51.1 in
PASSENGER VOLUME:
thought of a 700-hp rear-wheel-drive and turbocharged Porsche weight. Helpfully, Porsche already excised 47 cu ft
911 spikes our adrenaline; the 996-generation GT2, even before both from our car, proving the ill-advis- CARGO VOLUME:
4 cu ft
its power bump, managed to feel genuinely evil with 244 less ability of doing so as the cabin grew CURB WEIGHT: 3350 lb
horsepower. On the pavement, though, the 2018 model is a car sweaty in the modest heat of the Portu- PERFORMANCE
(C/D EST)
that can channel the fury of its scary ancestors while reproducing guese winter and as an old-fashioned ZERO TO 60 MPH:
almost none of their bad habits. aftermarket navigation system struggled 2.5 sec
ZERO TO 100 MPH:
The GT2’s position atop the corporate hierarchy is reflected to deliver guidance. Keeping both brings 6.1 sec
in both a price pushing $300,000 (before options) and the appli- a 42-pound weight penalty. 1/4-MILE: 10.3 sec
TOP SPEED: 211 mph
cation of some serious performance-boosting technology. Water Motorsport 911s are designed to deliver FUEL ECONOMY
sprayers mist the intercooler to drop intake temperatures by performance not luxury, with those bear- EPA COMBINED/CITY/
HWY: 18/16/21 mpg
ing the RS (for Rennsport) suffix clearly (C/D est)
designed for track life. GT development

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boss Andreas Preuninger says he ordered To reduce weight (and The engine fills the cabin with loud harmonics under even gentle
his engineering team to make the GT2’s comfort), order your
GT2 RS without A/C use, and Porsche’s decision to replace the suspension bushings
3.8-liter flat-six feel turbocharged rather or the infotainment with ball joints gives the sort of unforgiving ride that sets surplus
than follow the modern trend of trying to system. Above right:
The GT2 RS in its flesh wobbling over apparently smooth roads.
hide forced induction. In this, they have natural environment. Of course, the GT2 RS is designed for tracks rather than roads,
been entirely successful. The GT2 feels and Porsche took us to the Portimão circuit to allow for greater
laggy and slightly reluctant at lower revs, interrogation. This 2.9-mile-long track in the Algarve has enough
the turbos only starting to add boost beyond 2500 rpm. From corners and elevation changes to make it practically a Portuguese
there, things escalate quickly, with the sudden arrival of violent Laguna Seca, only scarier.
urge and the dreadful and thrilling sense of exponential faster- The GT2 remains adjective-strainingly fast. Porsche chose to
growing-faster acceleration that used to define turbocharged use a 918 Spyder as a pace car, and on Portimão’s straights, the 911
engines. The best is saved for the very top of the rev range, with is clearly gaining. Indeed, the GT2 RS recently became the first
peak power arriving just 200 rpm shy of the 7200-rpm limiter. Porsche road car to go faster around the Nürburgring Nord-
The car’s unrelenting and compounding sense of acceleration
is helped by Porsche’s decision to fit a shorter final drive to the RS
than that of other 911s (3.96:1 versus 3.44:1 on the 911 Turbo). tech highlight
Unlike the 911 GT3, this car has no manual-transmission option.
But even given a short straight, the GT2 rips through the ratios of CARBON COPIED
its seven-speed dual-clutch transmission According to GT development boss Andreas Preuninger, the GT2
Top-of- with a savage joy. We didn’t extract RS’s suspension—which uses ball joints in place of bushings—is
the-food-chain performance figures during our first drive much closer to that of one of Porsche Motorsport’s racing
track car, in Portugal, but Porsche’s claim of an variants than it is to a conventional roadgoing 911’s. Ride height,
time-reversal 8.3-second zero-to-124-mph time felt camber, caster, and toe are all individually adjustable for those
acceleration, plausible from the driver’s seat. The car is looking to tweak their setups, but the front and rear carbon-fiber
ridiculous grip. electronically limited to 211 mph. anti-roll bars and end links included in the Weissach package are
Lacks the While acceleration borders on comical, the star technological feature. Though performance is claimed
GT3’s enticing lateral grip levels are just as impressive— to be identical to metal parts, these elements shave 12 pounds
feedback, on dry pavement at least. Previous GT2s off the curb weight. And the anti-roll bars’ rates can be increased
brutal on the often struggled to find traction, but the or decreased through three different mounting points for the end
street. Dunlop Sport Maxx Race 2 tires on our car links. The racer’s edge, available at your local 911 configurator.
had seemingly bottomless reserves of grip
on the Portuguese asphalt. Steering
weight is light, but there is outstanding feel here, albeit mostly
through camber changes and surface textures. At street speeds,
even on some of the Algarve region’s tighter and greasier round-
abouts, there’s zero understeer to report. The GT2 RS can be pow-
ered into slight oversteer with stability control on, but the system
intervenes seamlessly to stop slip angles from building beyond
those sufficient to make the car feel edgy.
What’s lacking is finesse, especially when compared with the
more road-biased GT3. Road loadings never really wake up the
GT2’s chassis, and the huge grip masks many of the subtle mes-
sages that make driving the GT3 such a rewarding experience,
even at a five-tenths pace. Nor does the turbo engine have any-
thing close to the acoustic appeal of its sister’s naturally aspirated
9000-rpm scream; the GT2 RS sounds more brutal than operatic.

080 . C A R A N D D R I V E R . F E B / 2 0 1 8
schleife than its hybrid sister. As it costs
about a third as much, we should therefore
consider it a performance bargain.
While grip stays immense, higher load-
ings allow for a better exploration of the
RS’s Himalayan limits. It will understeer if
one carries too much speed into slow cor-
ners, and it will slide in response to an
optimistically applied throttle. But the
GT2 still feels remarkably friendly and
usable for something so powerful, tolerant
of the sort of mistakes its predecessors
would punish with unplanned forays into
gravel traps or barriers. The carbon-
ceramic brakes are worthy of special
praise. They grumble at low speeds, but at
Portimão, they proved to be tireless, haul-
ing the GT2 down from huge velocities PORSCHE 911
time and again without a hint of fade. The NO. 1,000,000
limiting factor for circuit use is likely to be VEHICLE TYPE: rear-
the astonishing speed at which the turbo- engine, rear-wheel-
drive, 2+2-passenger,
charged engine drains the fuel tank, the 2-door coupe
gauge needle sagging almost visibly. The ENGINE: twin-
turbocharged and
trip computer suggested a 5-mpg average. intercooled DOHC
The GT2 RS is, by some distance, the 24-valve flat-6,
aluminum block and
fastest and most thrilling street-legal 911 heads, direct fuel
to date and a car that can humble the most injection
DISPLACEMENT:
exotic of exotica on a racetrack. The only 182 cu in, 2981 cc
certainty is that, at some point, probably POWER:
450 hp @ 6500 rpm
soon, Porsche will create something even TORQUE:
faster and more exciting. Deciding
whether it is the best current 911 is a
harder question. The Turbo S is nearly
One in a Million 405 lb-ft @ 2150 rpm
TRANSMISSION:
7-speed manual
DIMENSIONS
WHEELBASE: 96.5 in
as fast, much more luxurious, and two- TO CELEBRATE THE MILLIONTH 911 PRODUCED, Porsche built LENGTH: 177.1 in
thirds the price. The GT3 is slower around a one-off Carrera S inspired by the first 911 owned by Ferry WIDTH: 71.2 in
HEIGHT: 51.0 in
a racetrack but more rewarding and far Porsche. Mr. Porsche himself took delivery of the third 911 off PASSENGER VOLUME:
richer in feedback, a scalpel to the GT2 the line in late 1964; 53 years later, the millionth example was 70 cu ft
TRUNK VOLUME:
RS’s chain saw. The correct answer presented to us for a drive. 5 cu ft
depends on what sort of surgery you’re Both the third and the millionth 911 wear Irish Green paint, a CURB WEIGHT: 3295 lb
intending to perform. nonmetallic color that was purportedly Ferry’s favorite (the family
loved those hunting hues). The color is still available through C/D TEST RESULTS
ZERO TO 60 MPH:
Porsche’s Exclusive program, but it’ll cost you $6960. Brand fetish- 3.4 sec
ists will obsess over the bits that the factory won’t mass repro- ZERO TO 100 MPH:
7.8 sec
duce: the vintage Porsche crests, the cloth houndstooth (Pepita in ZERO TO 150 MPH:
Porsche-speak) seat inserts, the proprietary 1,000,000th badges, 18.1 sec
ROLLING START,
the gold-colored accents, and the green ink on the gauge faces 5–60 MPH: 4.7 sec
that emulates the early cars’. The rest of the spec is available. It 1/4-MILE: 11.7 sec
@ 124 mph
encompasses the ’60s-inspired mahogany interior ($3425) and TOP SPEED: 193 mph
aluminum side-window trim ($400) as well as the 20-inch five- (drag limited, mfr’s claim)
BRAKING, 70–0 MPH:
MILLIONTH 911 PHOTOGRAPHY BY JAMES LIPMAN

spoke wheels ($1370) and the $12,350 3.0 S Powerkit that elevates 151 ft
the 420-hp engine to GTS spec, or 450 horsepower. ROADHOLDING,
300-FT-DIA
The message we took away from our time with the car: Even SKIDPAD: 1.03 g
special 911s should be driven. And driving this one feels, not sur- FUEL ECONOMY
EPA COMBINED/CITY/
prisingly, a lot like wheeling a 911 GTS, albeit one with an unex- HWY: 21/18/26 mpg
pectedly cool wood interior. If you’re willing to slip the clutch at C/D OBSERVED:
18 mpg
launch, 60 mph will fall in 3.4 seconds. The 1.03-g chassis strikes
the perfect balance between ride and handling, a 911 attribute
from the beginning.
People notice this Porsche, even Los Angelenos, impressed by
that rarest of things: one that isn’t black, white, or silver. Many 911s
are ordered by dealers who spec cars they think will sell. Ordering
your own ensures your 911 will be one in a million. —Tony Quiroga

081
TESTED

2018 FORD

Middle Raged
A new 7400-rpm V-8 and myriad performance options infuse the 2018 Ford
MUSTANG GT
VEHICLE TYPE: front-
engine, rear-wheel-
drive, 4-passenger,
2-door coupe
Mustang GT with serious capability. _by Tony Quiroga PRICE AS TESTED:
$49,670
BASE PRICE: $35,995
ENGINE: DOHC 32-valve
V-8, aluminum block
THE ARRIVAL OF the 2016 GT350 made Meaningful option also inverts the Stang’s front struts and heads, port and
direct fuel injection
the Mustang GT the middle child of the performance and tweaks the spring rates for greater DISPLACEMENT:
family overnight. We praised, doted on, improvements, lateral and vertical stiffness. 307 cu in, 5038 cc
POWER:
and rewarded the GT350, giving it two a more involv- Cornering grip rises slightly to 0.96 g 460 hp @ 7000 rpm
10Best awards. But we will admit that its ing driver’s car, (we saw 0.94 in the old model) thanks to TORQUE:
420 lb-ft @ 4600 rpm
exotic-sounding 8250-rpm 5.2-liter V-8 livable ride the GT Performance pack, but that’s just a TRANSMISSION:
made us a little neglectful of the rest of the quality. number. It wasn’t until we took the GT 6-speed manual
DIMENSIONS
brood. Here we are, in a Mustang GT A bold through the Angeles National Forest that WHEELBASE: 107.1 in
review, and we still can’t shut up about its $50,000 mile- we learned how it has adopted the stability LENGTH: 188.5 in
WIDTH: 75.4 in
big brother. Middle children hate this. stone for a pony and willingness of the GT350. Body roll is HEIGHT: 54.3 in
For 2018, Ford makes some changes to car, the GT350 tightly checked, the magnetorheological PASSENGER VOLUME:
83 cu ft
the GT that earn it more of our attention. still exists. dampers glue the tires to the tarmac with- TRUNK VOLUME:
Clearly we are gaga for high-revving V-8s, out brutalizing the ride, and the Michelins 14 cu ft
CURB WEIGHT: 3878 lb
so we love that the GT’s conventional give ample limit-adhesion warnings. Even
cross-plane V-8 now revs to 7400 rpm, 400 more than before and the electrically assisted steering reacts
a mere 850 short of the GT350’s. Direct injection joins port injec- naturally and has pleasing heft. C/D TEST RESULTS
ZERO TO 60 MPH:
tion, and the compression ratio rises from 11.0:1 to 12.0:1, bump- The GT starts at $35,995. One like our 4.3 sec
ing horsepower from 435 to 460, or 66 shy of the GT350. Torque test car—with the new digital instrument ZERO TO 100 MPH:
9.7 sec
rises from 400 pound-feet to 420. Other changes include the cluster, power leather seats, the latest Sync ZERO TO 150 MPH:
swapping of steel cylinder sleeves for a spray-in lining, a change infotainment system, MagneRide damp- 23.0 sec
ROLLING START,
that increases displacement from 4951 cubic centimeters to 5038. ers, and the GT Performance package— 5–60 MPH: 5.1 sec
Don’t worry; it’s still a five-oh. pushes $50,000. A GT350 is about $8000 1/4-MILE: 12.6 sec
@ 115 mph
In testing, our six-speed manual (a 10-speed automatic is more. Skip a few nonperformance options TOP SPEED: 155 mph
optional) matched the zero-to-60 time of the outgoing car at and you’d have a $44,000 GT, a car we’d (governor limited, mfr’s
claim)
4.3 seconds but opened 0.3-second and 3-mph gaps through the never neglect. BRAKING, 70–0 MPH:
quarter-mile with a 12.6-second run at 115 164 ft
ROADHOLDING,
mph. By 150 mph, the new GT was 2.4 sec- 300-FT-DIA
onds quicker. The extra power isn’t glar- g seeker SKIDPAD: 0.96 g
FUEL ECONOMY

SO LONG, STAGGER
ingly obvious, but it gives the GT barstool EPA COMBINED/CITY/
bragging rights over the 455-hp Camaro HWY: 18/15/25 mpg
C/D OBSERVED:
SS. Just know that if the argument spills Michelin’s Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, sized 305/30ZR-19 at every corner, 19 mpg
into the street, the Chevy is still quicker. are the centerpiece of the 2018 Mustang GT’s $6500 Level 2
An optional GT Performance package Performance package, which includes all the GT Performance pack
brings larger front brakes, a limited- bits plus 10.5-inch front and 11.0-inch rear wheels. They’re 1.5 inches
slip differential, and Michelin’s newest wider at both ends than the latter’s rollers. The Cup 2’s smaller
performance tire, the Pilot Sport 4S, sized outside diameter versus the 4S’s yields effectively lower gearing and
255/40ZR-19 up front and 275/40ZR-19 out lowers the car’s center of gravity. Springs and anti-roll bars are stiffer
back. Choosing the $1695 MagneRide with Level 2, and Ford retuned the MagneRide dampers to match the
quicker-responding rubber. “We hit the sweet spot where grip isn’t an
issue anymore,” says Carl Widmann, Mustang chief engineer.

082 . CAR AND DRIVER . FEB/2018 photography by S E A N C . R I C E


TESTED

Nudged toward Nehan*


2018 LEXUS
LS500
VEHICLE TYPE: front-
engine, rear-wheel-drive,
The redesigned Lexus LS is now powered by gentle blossoms of turbocharged 5-passenger, 4-door
placidity. Let its tranquillity envelop you. _by John Pearley Huffman sedan
PRICE AS TESTED:
$102,950
BASE PRICE:
$75,950
ENGINE: twin-
ITS CABIN IS A PLACE FOR MEDITATION and reflection, a cap- equipped with technology designed to turbocharged and
sule into which the turmoil of life is sequestered. The soothing keep it planted in the correct lane under intercooled DOHC
24-valve Miller-capable
babble of torque and tranquillity, the oil-suspended-in-water anything short of an artillery barrage. V-6, aluminum block and
sensation transmitted by the car’s placid ride: These are the ele- The thick-rimmed steering wheel is heads, port and direct
fuel injection
ments that give Lexus’s new LS500 its serenity. It’s also a 4952- relatively small in diameter and the steer- DISPLACEMENT:
pound sensory-suppression vessel that accelerates to 60 mph in ing is precise, but there’s not much feel and 210 cu in, 3444 cc
POWER:
5.1 seconds while respecting cosmic constants. And it wears a the LS resists communication with its 416 hp @ 6000 rpm
spindle nose that combines mesmerizing mathematical modeling driver. Picking Sport S or Sport S Plus adds TORQUE:
442 lb-ft @ 1600 rpm
with the scene in any Oliver Stone movie where a character con- an edge to the experience—quicker throt- TRANSMISSION:
sumes peyote. tle tip-in and more steering effort—but 10-speed automatic with
manual shifting mode
This is the fifth-generation Lexus LS and the first without a the drive remains one of indomitable DIMENSIONS
V-8 engine. The regular-flavor LS500 sampled here is powered by vehicular will rather than nuance. WHEELBASE: 123.0 in
LENGTH: 206.1 in
a new twin-turbocharged, direct-injected 3.4-liter V-6 rated at “Luxury” long ago ossified to mean WIDTH: 74.8 in
416 horsepower. There’s an LS500h that combines a naturally wood and leather like you’d find in an HEIGHT: 57.1 in
PASSENGER VOLUME:
aspirated 295-hp 3.5-liter V-6 with a lithium-ion battery and two English gentlemen’s club when Great Brit- 97 cu ft
electric motors for a total of 354 horsepower. All-wheel drive is ain still managed a colonial empire. The TRUNK VOLUME: 17 cu ft
CURB WEIGHT: 4952 lb
available with either powertrain, but we tested a rear-driver. new LS edges away from that with more
The LS500’s turbo V-6 gives grunt while making barely a interesting textures such as art deco stri-
sound. Torque production peaks at 442 pound-feet down at 1600 ations across the dash and, optioned right, C/D TEST RESULTS
ZERO TO 60 MPH:
rpm and stays there until 4800 rpm. It feeds a 10-speed automatic cut kiriko glass accents and pleated fabric 5.1 sec
transmission that executes shifts detectable only with an MRI. on the door panels. It’s intricately Japa- ZERO TO 100 MPH:
12.7 sec
The oddly imprecise console-mounted shifter controlling that nese and unlike any other luxury vehicle. ZERO TO 130 MPH:
transmission is the only goofball engineer- Still, the command controls are scat- 22.4 sec
ROLLING START,
ing apparent in the LS. Thick tershot when more and more vehicles are 5–60 MPH: 6.3 sec
There’s an LS F Sport model that torque curve, leveraging touchscreens to minimize clut- 1/4-MILE: 13.7 sec
@ 104 mph
includes staggered tires and bigger brakes. intricate and ter. A trackpad to control a center screen TOP SPEED:
A Performance package (available only on unique luxury tunneled into the dash? Come on, Lexus. 136 mph (governor
limited, mfr’s claim)
F Sports) brings rear steering, variable- detailing, Also, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay BRAKING, 70–0 MPH:
ratio front steering, and dynamic anti-roll engineered are no-shows. This is not 2013. 170 ft
ROADHOLDING,
bars. But this Executive-package test vehi- tranquillity. Stretched 206.1 inches long over its 300-FT-DIA
cle has 245/45R-20 Bridgestone Turanza Numb 123.0-inch wheelbase, the new single-size SKIDPAD: 0.88 g
FUEL ECONOMY
T005 RFT touring tires at each corner and chassis, LS is bigger than even the long-wheelbase EPA COMBINED/CITY/
didn’t suffer much for it. Understeering blizzard-of- version offered in the last generation. In HWY: 23/19/29 mpg
(mfr’s est)
mildly, the LS500 stuck to the skidpad at buttons fact, it’s the largest sedan ever exported C/D OBSERVED:
0.88 g. Then it braked from 70 mph in a electronics, from Japan to the U.S. It has a more expres- 20 mpg
reasonable 170 feet with little fade. and a grille sive style than any previous LS, but all is
Wafting over road divots, the LS500 that’s an still relaxed, still peaceful, still a Lexus LS.
does a magnificent bullet-train impres- acquired taste.
sion. Like its competitors, it’s heavily * The profound peace of Buddhist enlightenment.

photography by J A M E S L I P M A N 083
Sister Act
2018 JAGUAR
E-PACE
VEHICLE TYPE: front-
engine, all-wheel-drive,
5-passenger, 4-door
hatchback
The E-Pace is Jaguar’s second crossover in less than two years. _by Jared Gall BASE PRICE:
$39,595–$48,245
ENGINE: turbocharged
and intercooled DOHC
16-valve inline-4,
aluminum block and
“IF IT FEELS GOOD, DO IT” is usually terrible advice. But mak- up with compatriots in the luxury- head, direct fuel
injection
ing money feels good, and Jaguar intends to do more of it. Jag subcompact segment. The lower-output DISPLACEMENT:
must have been feeling pretty dang fine after it introduced its first 2.0-liter promises to be capable of a fair, 122 cu in, 1998 cc
POWER: 246 or 296 hp
crossover, the F-Pace, in 2016. Immediately upon release, the uh, pace as well, with 246 horsepower and @ 5500 rpm
F-Pace was the brand’s best seller; not even two years after 269 pound-feet. The base engine swallows TORQUE:
269 lb-ft @ 1200 rpm or
launch, it routinely posts monthly sales figures one and a half to 20.1 psi of boost while the higher-flow 295 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm
two times better than anything else in the lineup. compressor wheel and upgraded turbo TRANSMISSION:
9-speed automatic with
So Jaguar has already whipped up another (smaller) two-row bearings help the 296-hp version gulp manual shifting mode
crossover based on the same underpinnings as Land Rover’s 25.9 psi. These being members of Jaguar’s DIMENSIONS
WHEELBASE: 105.6 in
Range Rover Evoque. Europe will have options for both diesel and new Ingenium engine family, even the LENGTH: 173.0 in
front-drive, but all E-Paces sold in the U.S. will be gas-powered higher-output version is far more civilized WIDTH: 78.1 in
HEIGHT: 64.9 in
all-wheel-drivers, at least for now. than the Ford EcoBoost–derived unit that PASSENGER VOLUME:
For this first encounter, we drove only Excellent preceded it in the Jaguar Land Rover port- 95 cu ft
CARGO VOLUME:
one of the two available turbocharged road manners, folio. It’s vastly more linear at partial 24 cu ft
2.0-liter inline-fours—the higher-output comfortable throttle, and the ZF nine-speed automatic CURB WEIGHT: 4200 lb
PERFORMANCE
version producing 296 horsepower and 295 for the driver is calibrated for quicker, smoother action (C/D EST)
pound-feet of torque. We found few oppor- plus one. than we’ve noted in recent encounters ZERO TO 60 MPH:
5.9–6.6 sec
tunities for full-throttle acceleration on Snug back with this transmission in Land Rovers. ZERO TO 100 MPH:
the narrow country lanes between London seat; no, the On the B-roads threading through pas- 19.0–19.8 sec
1/4-MILE: 14.5–15.3 sec
and Brighton, England, but with nearly electric one is toral southern England, we appreciated TOP SPEED:
300 horsepower in a 4200-pound wrapper, the I-Pace. the E-Pace’s compact size and nimble 143–152 mph
FUEL ECONOMY
the E-Pace should have no trouble keeping footwork. Brake-based torque vectoring is EPA COMBINED/CITY/
standard, but spec the more powerful HWY: 23–24/21/
27–28 mpg
engine and you’ll get a more sophisticated

08 4 . C A R A N D D R I V E R . F E B / 2 0 1 8
all-wheel-drive system. It offers the ability to
fully disconnect the rear axle for improved
fuel economy, and a pair of clutches on the
rear half-shafts allow true mechanical torque
vectoring capable of sending all rear-axle
torque to a single side. We can’t comment on
the efficacy of the system, as heavy traffic on
our drive route meant we spent most of our
time trying not to sideswipe a hedgerow or
an oncoming Scania semi.
Even on the 20-inch wheels that were fit-
ted to our example, the E-Pace rides well. The
wide range of wheel options includes a set of
21s, which might make the E-Pace the small-
est and lightest vehicle to offer wheels so big.
But on the 20s, there’s little impact harshness,
and even big road disturbances are well
damped and isolated. It rides so well because
the extensive use of aluminum suspension
components keeps unsprung weight down,
and engineers tell us the E-Pace’s body shell is
the stiffest in the Jaguar portfolio save the
F-type coupe’s. The variable-ratio steering is
quick and pleasantly light, but we did find the
brake pedal a touch too feathery and difficult
to modulate at low speeds.
The interior design is clean and simple—
modern mass-market Jaguar. The front seats
are comfortable, but the cabin is positioned so
far forward that the passenger will notice the
wheel well awkwardly intruding into his foot
space. The bumps affect the outboard foot of
both the driver and the front-seat passenger,
but on U.S.-market cars—we drive on the
other side of the road, remember?—the dead
pedal should mask the intrusion. The rear-
seat measurements look competitive on
paper, but most adult passengers will struggle
with kneeroom, even while sitting behind
average-size front-seat occupants. Twenty-
four cubic feet of cargo space, on the other hand, easily surpasses The greater similarity to Jeep is how Seem familiar? The
what most competitors offer. densely the E-Pace’s presence packs the E-Pace looks like a
plump baby F-Pace.
Even as Jag wades into the crossover game, Jeep is one of the Jaguar Land Rover lineup with small and Above: The E-Pace’s
last companies we’d expect it to draw inspiration from. But where medium crossovers. Jeep’s Renegade, clean, simple interior
design also mimics
else did Jaguar get the idea to incorporate the silhouette of a Compass, and Cherokee all fall within 16 that of its big brother.
mother jaguar and her cub into the shading at the base of the inches of each other, bumper to bumper,
windshield? Jeep has been hiding a silhouette of a 1941 Willys MB and are all available with the 2.4-liter
there for years. The E-Pace’s puddle lamps project the same Tigershark four-cylinder, but each somehow pulls its weight on
mother-and-cub image onto the ground, and in another FCA- the sales charts without stealing (too many) customers from the
esque Easter egg, a jaguar-spot pattern is molded into the center- others. The E-Pace is barely a foot shorter than the F-Pace and
console mats in HSE trims. falls between the Evoque and the Land Rover Discovery Sport.
Starting at $39,595, the E-Pace is within
$3500 of big brother F-Pace. Those with the
296-hp four will be branded R-Dynamic and
start at $48,245. There are already signs that
the Jeep strategy will translate to the luxury
market: Jaguar tells us that some 90 percent
of early E-Pace orders are from customers
new to the brand, and sales of the F-Pace, as
well as the Land Rovers abutting the E-Pace
in the lineup, are undiminished. If it feels
good, do it. Over and over again.

085
Formula SUV
The new Cayenne, much improved, stays faithful to the Porsche ethos. _by Tony Quiroga

IT TOOK PORSCHE 5 3 YEARS to sell a million 911s. In the 15 For an additional $17,200, Porsche will bolt its twin-turbo
years since the Cayenne’s 2002 debut, Porsche has sold 770,000 440-hp 2.9-liter V-6 into the Cayenne, conferring an S badge and
of the utes, and the millionth will probably be built in about three dropping claimed zero-to-60 times by roughly one full second
years. As much as we love the sports cars from Stuttgart, Porsche relative to the base model. Compared with output from the base
in the 21st century is the house that Cayenne built. engine, the extra power and the 405 pound-feet of torque imme-
It’s clear that Porsche didn’t want to mess with success, so the diately assert themselves. Passing ability is superb, and the Cay-
new Cayenne looks a lot like the old one. Flared and rounded fend- enne S gains an eagerness missing from the entry-level model. We
ers, gaping air intakes, Panamera-like headlights, a bulging hood, did notice that the twin-turbo V-6 has a louder and grittier growl
and the shape of the greenhouse are all clear Cayenne traits that from 3000 rpm to redline than the base single-turbo V-6. But aside
have carried through to the 2019 model. It’s fractionally lower from the sound of the V-6 working, there’s little else that gets into
than before, but this is not a redefinition of the Cayenne. Porsche the cabin; road and wind noise are kept to luxury-car levels.
certainly could have changed it up, as the new model is entirely For the moment, the top-caste Cayenne is the Turbo model,
new. No sheetmetal carries over, but a radically different Cayenne which is now up to 550 horsepower (30 more than before) and
makes about as much sense as replacing the 911 with a front- 567 pound-feet of torque from a 4.0-liter
engined sports car. (Cough—928—cough.) Handling, V-8. According to Porsche, the Turbo will
Base versions come with a turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 making speed, and outperform the previous Turbo S model,
340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque, an engine shared steering of a whose twin-turbo 4.8-liter V-8 made 570
with the Audi S4 and S5 as well as the base Panamera. Responsive sports sedan; horsepower. A claimed zero-to-60 time of
and quiet, the single-turbo 3.0-liter delivers 40 more horsepower luxury-sedan 3.7 seconds is astonishing. It’s no surprise
than the old 3.6-liter V-6 and feels appropriately powered to the interior; SUV that of the three engines, the eight-cylinder
approximately 4500-pound ute. Porsche claimes a zero-to-60- ride height. sounds the best. Graced with a smooth and
mph time of 5.9 seconds or 5.6 with launch control—numbers we SUV ride deep voice and a boomy exhaust, the V-8
will likely improve upon. The engine’s biggest problem is that two height, con- seems to pride itself on announcing its V-8-
more powerful options exist. servatively ness, but it never resorts to shouts or pops
restyled. like an AMG V-8 does.
The excellent ZF eight-speed automatic

086 . CAR AND DRIVER . FEB/201 8


replaces the Aisin gearbox used in the last- 2019 PORSCHE
gen model and now incorporates the front CAYENNE
differential to reduce mass and complexity. VEHICLE TYPE: front-
engine, all-wheel-drive,
The Cayenne’s MLB platform, shared with 5-passenger, 4-door
the Audi Q7 (among others), places the hatchback
BASE PRICE:
engine just ahead of the front axle, which $66,750–$125,650
contributes to the V-8–powered Cayenne ENGINES: turbocharged
Turbo carrying 57 percent of its weight up and intercooled DOHC
24-valve 3.0-liter Miller-
front, a very Audilike number. V-6 models capable V-6, 340 hp, 332
lb-ft; twin-turbocharged
are slightly less nose-heavy. and intercooled DOHC
All Cayennes are lighter than their pre- 24-valve 2.9-liter Miller-
decessors. Porsche has deployed alumi- capable V-6, 440 hp, 405
lb-ft; twin-turbocharged
num throughout for the body panels, and intercooled DOHC
32-valve 4.0-liter V-8,
floors, and most of the front structure, plus 550 hp, 567 lb-ft
a new lithium-ion battery saves 22 pounds. TRANSMISSION:
8-speed automatic with
Porsche staged the Cayenne’s launch manual shifting mode
on the Greek island of Crete, home to the DIMENSIONS
113.9 in
ancient world’s crossover, the part-bull, WHEELBASE:
LENGTH:
part-man Minotaur. There, our three test 193.6–193.9 in
86.3 in
cars—a base, an S, and a Turbo—were WIDTH: HEIGHT: 65.8–66.7 in
stacked with the following options: the PASSENGER VOLUME: enne’s handling a fluidity and ease that Everything is changed
Sport Chrono package ($1130), which CARGO 107 cu ft
don’t seem artificial. and nothing is differ-
VOLUME: ent. Like the last-gen
includes a launch-control function that 26–27 cu ft With this selection of chassis options, Cayenne, the 2019
CURB WEIGHT:
reduces zero-to-60-mph times by about 4500–5000 lb the Cayenne has the nimbleness and joy- model is fetching and
operates with admira-
0.3 second in each model; rear-wheel PERFORMANCE making potential of a good sports sedan ble precision.
steering ($1620); active anti-roll bars (C/D EST)
ZERO TO 60 MPH:
rather than an SUV. We’d like to try one on
($3570); three-chamber air springs 3.7–5.6 sec the steel springs—and without rear-wheel
ZERO TO 100 MPH:
($4160 on base, $2170 on S and Turbo); 9.1–12.0 sec steering or active anti-roll bars—to see how much these chassis
and summer tires. The S and Turbo mod- 1/4-MILE: 12.2–14.0 sec aids affect handling, but none was available at the launch.
TOP SPEED:
els also feature an electronically con- 152–177 mph As in all Porsches, the ignition remains on the left side of the
trolled limited-slip differential ($1500) FUEL ECONOMY steering wheel, a quiet salute to those parents who get their kids
and brake-based torque vectoring to help EPA COMBINED/CITY/
HWY: 18–21/15–19/
to soccer practice on time. Much of the interior design is pulled
direct the car through corners. With 22–25 mpg (C/D est) from the Panamera, including the touchscreen and the haptic-
nearly identical chassis setups, all three touch switches surrounding the shifter.
Cayennes felt remarkably similar when Capacitive-touch panels aren’t popular here at C/D (we prefer
hammered through the canyons. the predictable response of real buttons), but the buttons do give
The steering is this SUV’s standout feature. It is electrically slightly when pressed and provide a mild vibration to let you know
assisted, but Porsche has figured out how to do it right. Direct and you’ve done something. The large 12.3-inch touchscreen works
with the right amount of weighting as the front tires press into the without much hassle once you’ve learned the menu structure.
corner, the helm is quick and positive. Below 31 mph, the rear Feedback is quick, but it’s easy to miss the icon you’re trying to hit
wheels turn opposite to the fronts, neatly pivoting the rear end when the Cayenne is in motion.
through corners. Coupled with PDCC (electronically controlled Tall and wide rear doors ensure that it’s easy to climb into the
anti-roll bars) and the three-chamber air springs, the Cayenne back seat. Once inside, passengers will find the outboard elements
has effectively no body roll. That seems like a lot of electronic of the split-folding bench are more like bucket seats, offering
aids—and it is—but the systems work in concert, giving the Cay- sports-car-like lateral support. The middle seat is best left for
shoeboxes, watchwinders, children, or
adults you don’t really like. Cargo capacity
has increased slightly, and there’s a cutout
for a compact spare; our European test
cars lacked the spare, but U.S. versions are
likely to get it.
When the 2019 Cayenne arrives at
dealerships in July, prices will start at
$66,750; Porsche is asking $83,950 for the
S. The Turbo comes in the fall and will
open at $125,650. The new Cayenne
doesn’t deviate much from the original
recipe. There’s still ample power, sur-
prisingly deft handling, and a luxury-car
interior. The Cayenne now has a lot of
imitators, but the new model should have
no problem reaching a million.

087
What I’d Do Differently
believe he really wanted to race, something—and that took priority.
but then the company was so busy Three or four years ago, I realized it

Giampaolo Dallara, 81
developing the road cars. was now or never. I was close to
As technical director, you being 80, I could not wait.
were one of the team that engi- Are you prouder of the
The Italian racing engineer tells us about neered the Miura. Was it a Stradale or the Miura?
starting out at Ferrari; engineering the challenge to get the radical The Stradale is the car I always
mid-engine layout accepted? wanted to do, to make it light and
Lamborghini Miura; and building his In many ways, it was an easy super basic. My ideal was always
own road car, the Dallara Stradale. choice; Ford had already raced the the Lotus Seven. Colin Chapman
interview by M I K E D U F F
GT40 and shown the potential of a was my hero.
car with that layout. Lamborghini Above Enzo Ferrari and
always wanted to have a car more Ferruccio Lamborghini?
advanced than Ferrari, which is As an engineer, yes. I think he
why his first front-engined car had was the greatest. I remember
four overhead camshafts instead when he came to visit me with Jim
of two . . . But that was not enough. Clark. Just two days ago, I found
Ferrari was well known, and his car an old photograph that I took when
was recognized as the best GT. So they came to see the Miura.
when Lamborghini asked for Chapman liked it, he said.
something more advanced, we Any regrets?
suggested this and he immediately One mistake I made too many
accepted it. times was underevaluating the
Were you happy with the competition. I remember when
finished car? we did our first Formula 3000 car,
The shape was fantastic; the we used our first wind tunnel and
biggest part of the success was compared it with the March, which
because of the design of Bertone. was the winning car at the time.
One mistake was the tires, which Ours was much better, so we were
are the same size front and rear, happy, but we did not take into
although the car has most of its account that the March would
weight on the back. We were improve as well. It’s easy to believe
thinking, “What if you have a in the winter that you will be the
puncture?” There was only space best, then hard to recover when
in the front for a small spare. The you are not. Work harder in the
car behaved well close to the limit, winter, it saves a lot of problems!
but at the limit, there was strong
oversteer.
After a period with De CUSTOMER SERVICE
Tomaso, you started your own Visit service.caranddriver.com or write to
Customer Service Department, Car and Driver,
company building racing chassis P.O. Box 37870, Boone, IA 50037 for inquiries,
requests, changes of mailing and email
C/D: You studied aeronautical it was a mess, and I found a note for other people. Did the Ferrari addresses, subscription orders, payments, etc.
engineering; how did that turn from him that said, “Please, more 333 SP put you on the map? CAR AND DRIVER® (ISSN 0008-6002) VOL. 63,
NO. 8, February 2018, is published monthly, 12 times
into a job with Ferrari? order on your table!” Yes, Ferrari asked me if we were per year, by Hearst Communications, Inc., 300
West 57th Street, New York, NY 10019, U.S.A. Steven
GD: I was at university, and one You left Ferrari for Maserati; ready to do this type of project and R. Swartz, President & Chief Executive Officer;
William R. Hearst III, Chairman; Frank A. Bennack,
month before graduation, Ferrari how did you handle that? of course the answer was yes. Jr., Executive Vice Chairman; Catherine A. Bostron,
Secretary. Hearst Magazines Division: David Carey,
was doing some preliminary tests Not at all well! I did not know There were no papers, just a shake President; John A. Rohan, Jr., Senior Vice President,
Finance. © 2018 by Hearst Communications, Inc.
in the wind tunnel of the Polytech- that I still had a lot to learn, but I of hands. It was a real success, and All rights reserved. Trademarks: Car and Driver is a
registered trademark of Hearst Communications,
nic University of Milan, and [Enzo wanted to go to the races. At although we were in the shadow of Inc. Periodicals postage paid at New York, NY, and
additional mailing offices. Canada Post International
Publications mail product (Canadian distribution)
Ferrari] asked the professor if Ferrari, I was very junior, so the Ferrari, there was one driver, Andy sales agreement no. 40012499. Editorial and
Advertising Offices: 1585 Eisenhower Place, Ann
there was a young man who could only way to see the races was to Evans, who also had a team in the Arbor, MI 48108. SUBSCRIPTION PRICES United
States and possessions: $13.00 for one year;
help. The professor asked if I was pay for a ticket. Maserati offered Indy Racing League. When there Canada, add $10.00; all other countries, add $24.00.
SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES Car and Driver will, upon
interested. Of course, if you are me a job with the racing team and was the split [between CART and receipt of a complete subscription order, undertake
fulfillment of that order so as to provide the first
Italian and Ferrari asks you, then it of course I said yes. And at IRL], he suggested to the organiz- copy for delivery by the Postal Service or alternate
carrier within 4–6 weeks. MAILING LISTS From
is a dream. Maserati, I was involved in super- ers of IRL, “Why not go to Dallara time to time, we make our subscriber list available
to companies who sell goods and services by mail
How was your relationship interesting projects immediately, and see if they are ready to make that we believe would interest our readers. If you
would rather not receive such offers by postal mail,
with Enzo Ferrari? like the Tipo 63. cars?” Of course: Yes! please send your current mailing label or an exact
copy to Mail Preference Service, P.O. Box 37870,
He was at the top, and I was at So why move to Lamborghini? And now you have created a Boone, IA 50037. You can also visit preferences.
hearstmags.com to manage your preferences and
opt out of receiving marketing offers by e-mail. Car
the bottom, so I cannot say that I Maserati had financial limited-run road car, the Dallara and Driver assumes no responsibility for unsolicited
material. None will be returned unless accompanied
had much direct contact with him. problems, and they stopped Stradale. Why the long wait? by a self-addressed stamped envelope. Permissions:
Material in this publication may not be reproduced
I remember that every evening he racing. Then Ferruccio Lambor- We started work on this project in any form without permission. Back Issues: Back
issues are available for purchase in digital format only
would tour the factory, and he ghini was looking for people. The several times, but there was from your app store of choice. POSTMASTER Send
all UAA to CFS. (See DMM 507.1.5.2); NON-POSTAL
used to have a pen with violet ink. I first thing I asked him was, “Will always something more import- AND MILITARY FACILITIES Send address corrections
to Car and Driver, P.O. Box 37870, Boone, IA 50037.
had left a lot of papers on my desk, you race?” and he told me yes. I ant—a customer wanted us to do Printed in the U.S.A.

088 . CA R A N D D RIV ER . FEB/201 8 illustration by F L O R I A N N I C O L L E


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