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Car and DriverCar and Driver

Car and Driver April 2018

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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THE BESTIES I have been a subscriber for more decades than either of us probably cares to remember. The January 2018 issue doesn’t just deserve to be on your 10Best list; it was, in my opinion, the best ever. —Tony Gray North Wales, PA I am disappointed. I used to read your mag from cover to cover without jumping back and forth. On page 018, what do I find? A Honda Accord advertisement with a 2018 10Best sign. Spoiler! —Samo Babnik Male Žablje, Slovenia Please tell your ad people to stop putting 10Best-winner ads before the 10Best articles. It’s happened the last couple of years and it ruins the experience of paging through the issue for the first time. I don’t want to know about the Honda Accord winning on page 018 when the final…

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explained: size matters

In “Cheap Chic” and elsewhere in the January 2018 issue, you guys refer to a “B-segment car” and a “C-segment car.” Although I’ve been a subscriber for about 40 years, I’ve never seen those terms. I quickly picked up your Encyclopedia Vehicula [December 2017] to look them up, but they’re not there. What’s a “B-segment car”? —L.J. Sklenar Baltimore, MD Popularized by Europeans, the alphabetized segments classify cars by size. The smallest are the A-segment vehicles (minicars), which are the size of a Fiat 500. Here are examples of each segment:…

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mini mean

THE FORD F-150 RAPTOR is one of the most entertaining vehicles on the market today, as much giddy fun in its element as a sports car is on a track. But it’s also surprisingly well rounded. It is simultaneously a toy, an effective tool for hauling as much as 1200 pounds or towing up to 8000, and, with its spacious cabin and cushy ride, a perfectly comfortable—albeit enormous—vehicle for daily use. Given the breadth of its skill set, the Raptor is also something of a bargain, starting at just $51,415. Now imagine it at a slightly smaller scale. Actually, you don’t have to. The Ranger, Ford’s dormant mid-size pickup, will relaunch in the U.S. next year, but ahead of the start of sales, Ford introduced the Ranger Raptor in Bangkok, Thailand.…

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designer genes

CAR DESIGN is far from a purely aesthetic pursuit. In addition to accommodating all manner of engineering needs, designers must work within tight regulatory constraints. In our hyperregulated modern world, the government dictates nearly every aspect of car design, from the size and color of the exterior lighting elements to how sharp the creases stamped into sheetmetal can be. If a designer is lucky, those rules are the same in the United States and Europe. Often, though, they’re not, leading to designs that adhere to the stricter stipulations of the two rulebooks. Because, as Joe Grace, head of concepts and innovation at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, notes, if a vehicle isn’t designed from the outset with both markets in mind, “even changing the plastic pieces can be expensive.” We also spoke…

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swab that saab!

THE SMART USED-CAR BUY is a vehicle into which the owner has poured his heart and soul. But whether it’s heart and soul, tender loving care, or outright neglect, every car receives something else from its owner: hair, skin flakes, fingernail trimmings, and worse. A used car can be like an accidental archaeological dig. A 2015 University of Nottingham study examined 15 daily drivers and found evidence of potential E. coli, a bacteria in fecal matter famous for food poisoning, and Staphylococcus, of which certain subtypes can cause serious skin infections. Another study conducted in 2016 by a microbiologist at the University of Salford, Manchester, concluded that our cars can be more than 22 times grodier than that smartphone you use to scroll through Instagram in the bathroom. To see for…

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lean on me

PHYSICS TENDS TO GET ITS WAY. And when it comes to cars going around corners, physics says this: They should lean. The tires grip, the outside suspension compresses, and the body lists. Reducing that list is what roll-stabilization systems aim to do. During cornering, conventional anti-roll bars—steel rods that act as torsion springs connecting the left and right suspension members—transfer some of the force compressing the outside suspension members to the inside ones, which limits droop and decreases body roll. But because the sides are mechanically linked, a single-wheel bump encountered while traveling straight affects both sides, reducing ride comfort. Innovations in roll-stabilization systems have tried to balance the competing priorities of flat cornering and optimal ride comfort by redistributing load between the outside and inside tires during cornering, and relaxing…