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Car and DriverCar and Driver

Car and Driver May 2017

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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ISSUE AT HAND Groan. Another Car and Driver with a truck on the cover [“Raptor!” February 2017]. But then, my disgust turned to delight when I read the first five Backfires letters complaining about the “Best Crossovers and SUVs” cover on the November 2016 issue. At least you guys are honest about your irony. Bravo! —Kevin Risdon High Point, NC When I received the February issue, my first impression was that this was your annual April Fools’ edition with the Ford F-150 Raptor on the cover and the other cover lines emphasizing the testing of the Lincoln Continental and Maserati SUV. Then I noticed the February 2017 date on the cover! I have been reading Car and Driver for more than 35 years and plan to continue to do so unless there is…

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explained: lowversus highrange acceleration in the ford raptor

I got buried in the specs page for the Raptor and was wondering if you had ever run the acceleration test on this vehicle using the low range in the transfer case. It would be interesting to see if running through seven shifts in low range to get to 60 mph was quicker or slower than the two shifts required for high range. And how much of a gain is pulled right off the line with a stronger launch. The advent of quicker-shifting and multispeed autos, together with turbo motors, is an interesting advancement. After we got your letter, we tested another Raptor and found that it takes an extra 1.3 seconds to hit 60 mph in low range, leading us to conclude that some of the extra time is due…

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editor's letter:

This used to be the ultimate sporting gent’s car and the white-hot core of its storied brand. Symbolically speaking, the SL was as important to Mercedes-Benz as the 911 still is to Porsche, as the Wrangler is to Jeep. Throughout its six-decade-plus history, it had no peer. No other car could dispatch long distances and long sweeping curves with equal grace; sidelong competition from BMWs as varied as the 507 and the 6-series convertible couldn’t unseat it as the king. And as much as it evolved—from the aero-influenced 300SL Gullwing and roadster to Paul Bracq’s Pagoda speedboat to the tech showcase of the R129—the car remained true to itself: everlasting, untouchable, and perfectly ahead of its time. Nowlook at it. Last year, Benz moved just 3700 SLs, compared with almost 14,000 a…

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the fast show

McLAREN MARCHES TO A SPEEDY TECHNO DRUMBEAT. It’s been only six years since the company’s supercar-making Automotive division launched its first product, the MP4-12C. McLaren gave that car what was essentially a heavy facelift—and a far less clunky name—just three years later, rechristening it the 650S. Now the mostly new 720S is here, based around a substantially advanced version of the 650S’s carbon-fiber tub and a turned-up-to-11 twin-turbocharged V-8 mounted amidships. McLaren, a brand we don’t associate with hyperbole, claims on-track performance will make that of the 650S feel almost leisurely. Certainly looks that way. CHASSIS McLaren has stuck with commendable adhesion to the plan it announced when it launched its road-car division back in 2010. That is, to use the same core architecture to create a family of models graded thusly:…

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comfortably dumb

IF THE DOMINANT NARRATIVE holds and autonomous cars do colonize our roads, there will be no more mental calculations of time, distance, and speed. No best-guessing what that idiot in the left-turn lane will do instead of turning left. Not even any more weighing whether to grind your teeth, honk the horn, or flip the bird. Which doesn’t sound all bad. But will turning on an autonomous vehicle turn off a driving mind? Will relinquishing control and responsibility make us dumber? Intelligence means different things to different scientists. It’s not solely a question of whether or not self-driving cars will make us stupid, but which brain cells are threatened with dying off. Jonathan Schooler, a professor of psychological and brain sciences at the University of California, Santa Barbara, is interested in…

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haulin’ juice

TREVOR MILTON WANTS to do Elon Musk one better in the field of zero-emission transportation. With his Nikola EV semi-tractors, he hopes to disrupt the market for the largest commercial trucks on our roads, just as Tesla did for luxury sedans. His business model even borrows the inventor Tesla’s first name But Milton, who made his fortune developing heavy-duty natural-gas powertrains, is embracing hydrogen for his Class 8 longhaul trucks. “People are taking a lot of intermediate steps, and I think that’s the wrong way to do it,” he said of the slow crawl toward a hydrogen infrastructure. He plans to develop a network of refueling stations along the nation’s major shipping corridors concurrently with the introduction of his trucks. Milton’s Nikola One is the supercar of sleeper cabs. Four 800-volt electric…