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Car and Driver March 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: or join the discussion at: ALL THE PRETTY HORSES I never thought I’d say this, but there is such a thing as too many ponies. Month after month there’s another Mustang on the cover. Is Hearst consolidating cover photos now? ALEX MOKAY GRAY SAUGATUCK, CONNECTICUT How can you battle it again and for the very first time? Your fourth-grade English teacher will not be happy. IGNACIO ITURBE BONITA, CALIFORNIA Oh, you know Mrs. Cunningham would’ve gotten that joke—Ed. MY LITTLE PONIES In the Ford Mustang and Chevy Camaro comparison [“Invasive Species,” December 2015], you mentioned the BMW M235i, which I drive. The M235i is an excellent sports car and would make a very interesting matchup against these two—Mustang and Camaro—over a course like Mid-Ohio. How about seeing how they stack up against a good sports…

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lexus nexus

CENTER OF GRAVITAS GET LOW — Keeping a car’s mass close to the ground and centrally located fosters agility. To that end, Lexus focused on keeping the LC500’s occupants low, the wheels out at the corners, and the engine behind the front-axle centerline. THE LAST TIME Lexus ran a supercar up its flagpole, people’s heads exploded. Well, the 500 LFA drivers’ heads did, but the rest of the 7 billion earthlings were merely confused. It was hard to see how the carbon-fiber tub or 9000-rpm 72-degree V-10 were going to trickle down to ES350s and RX hybrids. So this time, Lexus is cloaking its hi-po bellwether in, um, sheep’s clothing. Even Lexus’s language masks its intent with the LC500. The company is careful not to call this 2+2 a sports car, instead using…

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the lease they could do

THE LITTLE THINGS The most commonly leased cars are small luxury sedans. Leases soaked up 60 percent of these models. More than half of all luxury sedans of any size are leased. WHAT DO DRIVERS OF SMART Fortwos and Maseratis have in common? It’s not their propensity to park illegally, but a shared distaste for car ownership. Three-quarters of them lease, the easiest way to slide into any new car with the least commitment and typically less upfront cash. With help from analytics firm IHS Automotive, we gathered lease rates for 41 brands to see whose customers actually buy and whose merely lease. While only one-quarter of all new retail transactions are leases, luxury brands make the bulk of their profits from them. Turn in the old car, throw down a few…

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on the stick

SHIFTING GEARS IS one of the most satisfying things you can do in a car. But not always. A ropey shifter or a gooey clutch can suck the joy out of driving a manual and lend credence to Porsche’s position that its dual-clutch trannies render them obsolete. To learn the secrets of satisfying shifters, we interviewed the engineers for two of America’s biggest handfuls, the Dodge Viper and the Ford Mustang Shelby GT350. The ideal shifter has short throws, moderate effort, and a positive, unambiguous feel. Good clutch feel means satisfying, progressive weight with linear, easily modulated engagement. Ford defines the latter via 17 different parameters, including total pedal travel, pedal force, and the disengagement point. But the two key pieces of the puzzle are effort—both its peak and the linearity…

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concept 26: a dystopian utopia

The auto industry’s solution for distracted driving is to allow the person in the front-left seat to text or email unencumbered by vehicular responsibility. Named for the time, in minutes, of the average American commute, Volvo’s Concept 26 is a look at how the driver’s experience might change when he or she transitions to chief passenger. In addition to a drive mode, it has two autopilot settings that rearrange the driver’s furniture. In the optimistically named “create” mode, the seat and center console slide rearward, physically separating the driver from the controls—but not the centrally mounted tablet, which follows him rearward so he can do all the creative things one does on a tablet, but mostly create work emails. In “relax” mode, the steering wheel retracts, a cowl closes over…

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autonomy’s roadkill

AUTOMAKERS AND TECH COMPANIES alike seem to be pushing us toward an autonomous future in which streamlined, sustainable-bamboo-trimmed robotic taxis and luxury cruisers zip within inches of one another as they reel around turns and through crowded metropolises like pulses of light beamed through fiber-optic cables. The bots won’t crash as often as humans, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be infallible. The high-profile hacking of a Jeep Cherokee last summer calls attention to a particularly scary vulnerability in an interconnected web of self-drivers. And it’s not hard to imagine far bleaker worst-case scenarios: All vehicles make an immediate hard left when Doctor Evil presses CTRL+L, and so forth. But long before we reach that level of dystopia, autonomous vehicles will prove to have their own negative social impacts.Here are a few: JOB…