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Car and DriverCar and Driver

Car and Driver April 2017

This magazine is for automobile enthusiasts interested in domestic and imported autos. Each issue contains road tests and features on performance, sports, international coverage of road race, stock and championship car events, technical reports, personalities and products. Road tests are conducted with electronic equipment by engineers and journalists and the results are an important part of the magazine's review section. Get Car and Driver digital magazine subscription today.

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ALL OUR BEST Congratulations on the January issue. It is well conceived and beautifully written, building page by page to the big reveal, then closing with the delightful Fake Elon Musk interview. Perhaps the best issue I’ve seen in my 50 years as a subscriber. —Alec Pendleton Cleveland, OH This is the worst 10Best issue ever, and I have them all right from the very beginning in 1983. Where are the stats charts in the comparison articles? Is this the way it’s going to be, picking my way through wordy text overloaded with metaphors just to find zero-to-60-mph times, quarter-mile and fuel-mileage stats? And what’s with this 10Best judging? Has Car and Driver become the “safe space” for cars that don’t cut it? Does everyone get a trophy for participating? —Tom Gatchell Prescott, AZ I have…

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editor's letter:

We have been mostly merciless in our judgments against the new wave of hyper-efficient electrically assisted power-steering (EPS) units, bemoaning the way they sever and cauterize the nerves that, in unpowered or hydraulically assisted steering, reached from the steering-wheel rim all the way down to the front-tire treads. This is steering “feel,” as opposed to “steering weight” or “response,” both of which EPS does quite well. It’s much easier to program a perfectly linear steering-response curve in software; it’s a black art to do so with hydraulics. But it’s feel that really matters. Why? Often, we harp on steering numbness when we discover it in high-performance cars. We frequently pine for the way the “old one” steered, especially at the limit of tire adhesion, because it gave drivers ample information about…

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As a mechanical engineer who never designed an engine in his life, I don’t get the five-cylinder engine. It’s been said that the five has the power of a four, the mileage of a six, and the NVH of a blender full of nuts and bolts (okay, I made up that last part). But why start with something that is inherently unbalanced? Why go into something you know will take hundreds of widgets to make run right? Acura, Audi, Volkswagen, and Volvo all offered fives. It’s like that statement about the F-4 Phantom being proof positive that if you get a big enough engine, a brick will fly. Help? —Ken Morgan, Fountain Valley, CA The marketers would tell you that you have it backward, Morgan, that an inlinefive delivers the power of…

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stranger things

WITH THE DEBUT OF THE Q8 CONCEPT, Audi becomes the second lemming to chase BMW’s ungainly X6 coupe/ SUV over the edge of vehicular reason. Mercedes recently took the same plunge with the GLE and GLC coupes, and we’ve scratched bald spots into our heads mulling the logic of bulky SUVs with a lot of the useful space hacked out of them. Yet more keep appearing. Maybe it’s because they’re not hard to make. To generate the Q8, Audi will simply scalp the mainstream Q7 down to its running gear. The stylists handle the rest. EXTERIOR Exterior designer Andreas Mindt describes the Q8 concept as four door handles and a rear window wiper away from the actual production Q8 headed to showrooms next year. Next to its steroidal, hunchbacked peers from BMW…

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bringing the ’shine back

ADMIT IT, you like watching a good face punching. We all do. Monster Energy thinks we like it as much as we like NASCAR. Monster is the new entitlement sponsor of NASCAR’s premier racing series, now known as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, and it’s bringing its own brand of entertainment to the races beginning this year. That includes the possibility of freestyle motocross, gymkhana, off-road demos, and yes, even mixed martial arts fights in the pre-race show. “We built our brand on doing things people think are cool,” says Mitch Covington, Monster Energy’s vice president of sports marketing. “That won’t change here.” Americans, evidently, think caged combat is as cool as a three-car-wide, 200-mph territorial dispute. And because Monster brings with it MMA athletes such as Conor McGregor and Dominick Cruz—…

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hog calling

GORDON PLATTO JOINED FORD more than 25 years ago and has worked as a designer on everything from minivans to the Mustang. Since 2011, he’s been the chief designer for the F-series and the Explorer. Away from the office, he turns his eye to vintage motorcycles, with a collection that currently includes the 1948 Indian and the 1931 Harley-Davidson pictured here, as well as a 1978 Kawasaki KZ650, and more. C/D: You’ve certainly got the ends of the size spectrum covered. GP: Trucks and motorcycles seem to go together. A lot of the people we get rotating through the studio either have a motorcycle when they come in or end up having one when they leave. Willie Davidson [the former head of design for Harley-Davidson] actually did an internship at Ford. He…