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Car and DriverCar and Driver

Car and Driver September 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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—Blaise Pascal THE AIR UP THERE There is one quality of a turbocharged engine you didn’t mention that influenced the car my wife and I recently bought [“To Blow or Not to Blow?” June 2016]. I had a Subaru WRX and found that there was no discernible power loss at high altitude. We regularly travel between Texas and New Mexico. I can always feel the difference with a naturally aspirated engine. So when my wife was in the market for an SUV, we went with a turbocharged engine, knowing that it would still be strong at 7000 feet. —Richard Wheelus Austin, TX To sum up your naturally-aspiratedversus-turbo showdown: 1. Observed mpg: no difference in the match-ups 2. Three-quarters of the wins went to the naturally aspirated vehicle Remind me again why automakers are moving to morecomplicated engines…

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explained: turbo reliability

Early turbochargers were typically air or oil cooled, and high temperatures often caused the oil to coke and harden, impeding lubrication and causing bearing failure. Today’s gas-engine turbos are universally water cooled to better manage temperatures, and modern oils better resist coking. Cooling circuits also use the thermal siphoning effect (or, on some cars, an electric pump) to keep water flowing past the turbocharger bearing housing after the engine has been shut down, preventing extreme heat soak. Equally important are the advances that have come with the rise of computer-aided engineering. “The designs and the geometries we have go through several iterations before we tool anything. They are inherently more reliable before we ever do the first test,” says Gavin Donkin, VP of product development at Honeywell Turbocharger Technologies. Freight-truck manufacturers now…

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editor's letter:

Meanwhile, the small SUV has picked up the slack, growing from 10 percent of the market to 14 percent over the same period. The reported causes seem pretty obvious. Historically low gas prices are back, but the retrograde notion that all SUVs drive and perform like trucks is fading. Also pushing the shift: Higher ride heights give drivers more confidence on the road; bigger vehicles offer more storage space and a greater feeling of safety; and more-efficient powertrains have reduced the mpg delta between cars and SUVs, even if gas prices aren’t the overwhelming consideration they were three years ago. There’s something else at play, though. The nascent aspect of the crossover gives designers more leeway to experiment. The mini-crossover segment, for example, is a riot of forms and styles and…

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20 questions for 2017

NO FINGER PULLING. GUARANTEED! 1) WHAT’S UP? CALLING THIS OUR “NEW CARS ISSUE” is a little redundant. Every month, Car and Driver is a new cars issue. We rarely write about anything else. We exist to celebrate the best, to expose the worst, and to keep our readers apprised of where the car market stands. The auto industry is regularly assailed for being an elephantine lump that stubbornly resists the changes the world demands of it. But to cast it as such is to greatly underestimate what this enormous establishment is and does. Tech companies make gadgets. Clothiers define fashion. Home-security providers peddle protection. The automotive industry does all that. It’s a vast and necessary interweaving of physics, aesthetics, engineering, chemistry, computer programming, and psychology, plus economics, a touch of black magic, and…

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john phillips

Back before the Cuyahoga River caught on fire, when caring for the environment meant dumping your used motor oil on rural gravel roads, my father would drive our black VW Bug to the Olentangy River, near Delaware, Ohio. We’d head for the middle of the river—never more than about eight inches deep—where my father would wash the VW and I’d hunt for albino box turtles. When I think about truly new cars, I think about autonomous cars—the L5s that require no human input. And you know what? I don’t think they’re gonna allow any river soirees. In fact, this whole subject is a festival of question marks. For instance: Let’s say you’re on a ramp trying to merge onto an interstate. You glance over your shoulder and see two 18-wheelers side by…

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aaron robinson

My friend John Lacey and I were strolling a car show a while back when we spotted a 2003 Volvo S60R with its hood open. For five minutes I recalled to John the launch of that car at the Circuit Paul Ricard in France. The Volvo engineers were very proud of the hydroformed aluminum air pipe that bends and twists its way over the top of the engine from the turbo. It was a pleasant little memory. John said that going to car shows with me was unlike going to car shows with anyone else. I guess that’s a compliment. You know you’re getting on in this business when new cars you covered as a rookie start appearing at shows as proto-classics. My very first words in this magazine, besides a…