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Car and DriverCar and Driver

Car and Driver February 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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BLACKOUT Normally my day brightens upon receipt of my latest C/D. This month, I am faced with a depressing black cover [November 2017]. Okay, I get it. Autonomous cars will be the hammer to shatter our automotive souls. Still, you are neither Jay-Z nor Metallica. Let’s get back to utilizing cover-page imagery of colorful, enticing vehicles that move our still-intact souls. Please go easy on the “Enter Sandman” jokes. —Greg Sandman La Grange, IL I read the November cover and threw the issue in the trash. —Tom Stone South Pasadena, CA INTO THE DEEP BLUE Wow! Great issue. First time I’ve ever used a highlighter and jotted down margin notes in an automotive magazine. Thought-provoking. Please do more special editions like November’s. —John B. Farmer Richmond, VA I had never read an article on autonomous vehicles because I was hoping that…

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NAMING A NEW CAR after a famous driver takes a certain amount of corporate confidence. Naming one after Ayrton Senna, the man many consider to be the greatest racer of all time, takes Robert Mueller levels of chutzpah. The McLaren Senna will have to be brilliant to justify its moniker, and it almost certainly will be. As the latest of McLaren’s range-topping Ultimate Series cars, the Senna promises to outpunch the P1 without the weight and complication of hybrid assistance. CHAS SIS McLaren boss Mike Flewitt previously has said he sees the company as being in a weight race with rivals rather than a power battle; the Senna is a carbon-fiber testament to the brand’s obsession with shaving mass. McLaren quotes a dry weight of just 2641 pounds, 434 lighter than its…

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key player

TECHNOLOGY IS FORECAST to so thoroughly transform the automotive landscape that not even the idea of ownership is expected to survive the next generation or two unchanged. The latest twist: the car subscription program. With this model, rather than making payments on a single car, you pay a monthly fee to have access to a pool of vehicles. If your needs change, so can your car. Taxes, insurance, and maintenance are generally included. Cadillac and Porsche were the first carmakers to launch such programs [see “The OEM Approach”], and others have announced their intent to follow suit. Then there’s Mobiliti, a third-party subscriber service affiliated with no particular brand. Instead, Mobiliti is partnering with dealerships that will list vehicles from their inventories. Monthly fees will vary but will be based primarily…

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open-wheel steal

IN A WORLD WHERE CHAIRS ARE APEXES, shelving units are chicanes, and cubicle partitions are Jersey barriers, 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 Arrow in 2016 to fill a gap in the children’s electric-car market, which lacked a vehicle appropriate for five-to-nine-year-olds. (It’s officially rated for only 130 pounds, but we took some liberties with that.) The Arrow is a 73-pound kart stuffed with technology. Its maker claims a 12-mph top speed, which is just right for kids outside. We verified that its top speed…

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driving the sky

FLYING CARS USED TO 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 big and sturdy enough to ride in, no?). We’re still skeptical, but some of the science projects below 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…

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pumped up

IN THE UNRELENTING PURSUIT of a more efficient internal-combustion engine, automakers are hoping that their dealer will help wean them off the very drug they’re hooked on. If the oil industry raised the octane rating of regular gasoline, engineers could increase compression ratios, improving fuel efficiency and cutting CO2 emissions. It’s an idea that’s gained the support of Honda executives as well as the United States Council for Automotive Research, a technology alliance among Fiat Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors. But few have been as vocal as Dan Nicholson, GM’s vice president of global propulsion systems, in arguing for what’s certain to be more expensive gas. Nicholson says a well-to-wheel analysis of CO2 emissions suggests the optimum societal benefit comes from a fuel with a 95 or 96 research octane number,…