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Car and DriverCar and Driver

Car and Driver December 2016

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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ON THE COVER So, I was thrilled to see what I believed to be one of my first cars on your September cover. It had been repainted cherry red, but it was definitely my long-lost Opel GT. I couldn’t find any Opel info in the issue, but the photo was enough for now. —Rick Paul Daytona, FL So, Mazda is bringing back the Opel GT? Cool! Will the company sell it at Buick dealerships, as it did back in the day? —Peter DeVore Yakima, WA I’m putting the Over/Under for Ford GT covers in 2016 at 5. —Chris Goslin Stamford, CT Please send your wager to—Ed. I must take umbrage with the front cover of the September New Cars issue, specifically with its promise of “Tons of Updated Model Info.” The whole issue only weighed…

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editor's letter

President Obama praised the effort in a recent Op-Ed in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, writing: “Automated vehicles have the potential to save tens of thousands of lives each year. And right now, for too many senior citizens and Americans with disabilities, driving isn’t an option. Automated vehicles could change their lives. Safer, more accessible driving. Less congested, less polluted roads. That’s what harnessing technology for good can look like.” Um, more cars on the road means less congestion? Sure, you’re the boss. The NHTSA policy package has four parts: 1) Vehicle Performance Guidance, with its multipoint plan for how automated vehicles should be designed and how they should behave; 2) Model State Policy (the obligatory but perhaps necessary landgrab by the feds); 3) Current Regulatory Tools; and 4) New Tools and Authorities,…

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rs kicker

MEET THE NEWEST OF AUDI’S GNARLIEST, THE 400-HP RS3. HORSEPOWER COMPARED AUDI OFTEN DENIES THE U.S. its juiciest fruit, especially when it comes to high-performance RS models. We were adjudged worthy of the RS4 sedan, RS5 coupe, and RS7 coupe-sedan, but not of the RS4 and RS6 wagons or the RS3. Until now. While the RS3 hatch (“Sportback” in Audi-ese) will remain in Europe, the sedan arrives as redress for these denials. This is an RS that’s been designed for our side of the Atlantic, and Audi figures 40 percent of total model sales will happen in North America. As apologies go, a 400-hp five-cylinder compact sedan certainly beats a muffin basket. CHASSIS When the official history of Volkswagen’s MQB compact architecture is finally written, it will top the best-seller lists in Germany. And the…

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a mighty wind

IT CAN BE AS LOUD as standing alongside a Boeing 767 at takeoff. And it’s about as irritating as having someone thumping on a bass drum in the back seat. Whether you call it wind throb or buffeting or just plain annoying, it happens when someone in the car opens a single window at speed and it stops when a second window rolls down. The phenomenon that produces this noise is the Helmholtz Resonance, the same principle that makes a bottle hum when you blow over its open top. It’s the interaction of the gas in a container with a single orifice and the other gases that are, um, passing over that orifice. In this case, the container is the car. The interaction between the two masses of air produces vortexes…

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patently absurd?

illustrations by TODD DETWILER AN INTERNAL-COMBUSTION ENGINE is still a metal box of pistons that slap up and down (or side to side). But improvements through the years have transformed cars from the retrospectively simple devices of the Tin Lizzie era into complicated, computer-regulated tech labs. Infiniti is soon to deploy the latest major internal-combustion innovation, the variable-compression-ratio engine we covered last month. And the breakthroughs continue, as there are still plenty of improvements to be made to today’s automobiles before we begin beaming ourselves across the universe with our Roddenberry guns. Here are three inventions currently in the works, as deduced from reviews of recent patent grants by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office: The Keytar COMPANY: Ford USPTO NAME: Increasing the number of cylinders in an internalcombustion engine in a virtual fashion WHAT…

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axles to grind

illustrations by ANDY POTTS AN INESCAPABLE COLLISION with a large truck is a driver’s worst nightmare. On August 25 in Binghamton, New York, a semi hauling a load of stone plowed through 10 cars stuck in construction traffic. One car burst into flames, and an SUV was so compacted that the semi’s front license plate was mashed into the back of the driver’s headrest. Luckily, onlookers pulled the driver from the flaming vehicle, there were no back-seat passengers in the crushed SUV, and no one in the incident died or suffered life-threatening injuries. It was just another in a recent uptick in truck crashes that is sounding alarms around the country. But pending legislation that threatens to undermine decades of progress could be what really reverses us into deadlier territory. Trucks were…