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Car and DriverCar and Driver

Car and Driver February 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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Sic your dogs on us at: Sic your dogs on us at: THE KING’S HORSES Aaron Robinson seemed more concerned with his cute alliteration, “prancing pinto,” than the confusion created by the mere mention of one of Ford’s worst models ever [“Knocked Flat,” November 2015]. Never have I heard or read of the iconic, galloping steed referred to as a Pinto! Heck, even the four-legged mustangs wouldn’t permit a pinto to run with them. KIT HOLDZKOM PALM DESERT, CALIFORNIA Intended Ferrari reference aside, from 1974 to 1978, this iconic, galloping steed was indeed a lame Pinto—Ed. Your November issue mentions that the new Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 is the first volume use of carbon-fiber wheels. The 1989 Shelby CSX, which you, incidentally, also tested, had Motor Wheel’s Fiberride wheels as standard. Were they carbon…

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editor’s letter

As the Volkswagen diesel scandal blankets the industry like so many, well, carcinogenic particulates, the doom has begun to encroach as far as my own garage. And I’m pissed. Careful observers of this space—Hi, Dad!—will recall that I spent my own dwindling funds to outfitmywifewith anAudiQ7TDI. Its 3.0-liter V-6,wewere told, was safe from scandal. But now the EPA is claiming, under its widening investigation, that 3.0-liter–equippedAudi,Porsche, and Volkswagen diesel vehicles are also noncompliant.While ourQ7used to be true blue, the soot-stained vultures are nowcircling. I shouldn’t get emotional about it. The EPA emissions tests are bitterly divorced from real-world behaviors; they are chiefly a way to control for key variables such as weather, speed, etc. All vehicles, whether diesel- or gas-powered, emitmore thanthese compliance testsmeasure. And I understand that the current American smog…

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miatas gone wild

THERE’S NOTHING SUBTLE about the Miatabased Speedster and Spyder concepts Mazda built for the 2015 SEMA show. The Speedster is a grab-the-Sawzalland-cut-your-way-to-lightness exercise that would make a gastric-bypass surgeon proud. The Spyder, for its part, achieves exotic status by flaunting its own impracticality. Neither car has side windows, and neither is an original idea; the previous-generation MX-5 spawned similar concepts, the Superlight at Frankfurt in 2009 and another Spyder at SEMA in 2011. Yet because they are Miatas and we are red-blooded auto enthusiasts, we cannot look away. EXTERIOR The Speedster quite obviously tips its hat to those racing machines from the era in which men actually wore hats. Gone are the A-pillars, windshield, and convertible top, supplanted by a carbon-fiber front deflector and a hard tonneau cover under which two helmets…

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extra, extra

WHEN MERCEDES-BENZ BROUGHT OUT THE CLA compact sedan for 2014, the company made a lot of fuss about how buyers could now get a sparkly new Mercedes for less than $30,000!* (*Not including the destination and delivery charge, natch.) But nobody was buying CLAs for even the $30,825 that a base model really cost. Optional powertrains, trim packages, and other extras are a tractor beam moving transaction prices further and further from the advertised base price. Last year, the CLA left dealer lots at an average price of $37,786. We got curious: Which other cars were also carrying big upcharges? With help from priceinformation clearinghouse TrueCar, we compiled a list of the car lines whose average transaction prices exceed their root car’s base price by the greatest margins. Then, because the…

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horse shoes

GT350R wheelmaker Carbon Revolution starts with carbon-fiber tow (thousands of twisted strands) long enough to lap Earth twice. It places fiber preforms and woven fabric inside a mold with foam cores to fill the spokes, then injects resin, applies a vacuum, and cures the composite in a pressurized oven. Center, lug, and valve-stem holes are drilled, followed by a second cure and painting. Finally, Carbon Revolution fits anodized-aluminum center and lug-seat inserts. AFTER FRED FLINTSTONE started us rolling, mankind advanced the cause of mobility with wheels made of wood, of spokes, and of metals. Now, thanks to the migration of composites from aerospace to motorsports to the assembly line, Ford’s Mustang Shelby GT350R is the first affordable car to fit carbon-fiber wheels as standard equipment. In doing so, Ford shaves 58 pounds…

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gurney in 2016!

Then editor-in-chief David E. Davis Jr. launched the campaign to elect Dan Gurney president of the United States with his July 1964 column. While popular with our people, Gurney never appeared on any ballots. He was only 33 years old at the time, and thus ineligible to be president. WHILE POLTROONS, charlatans, earnest amateurs, and fuzzy idealists vie for the presidency, in Southern California, Dan Gurney drafts proposals for a better internalcombustion engine. No, it’s not 1964, and we’re no longer stumping to send Mr. Gurney to Washington. But the 84yearold nonpareil racercuminventor refuses to retire. His latest work is the patented design of an internalcombustion engine intended for production vehicles. Called the MC4S, for momentcanceling fourstroke, it’s intended to be smoother and more reliable than the internalcombustion status quo. The design…