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MotorTrend December 2019

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MotorTrend is the world's automotive authority. Every issue of MotorTrend informs and entertains with features on the testing of both domestic and import cars, car care, motor sports coverage, sneak peeks at future vehicles, and auto-industry news.

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12 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
from down under to up over: hot takes and flying ’vettes

Hard to believe this is our 12th edition of Best Driver’s Car. Some may recall the original concept, Best Handling Car, and all of the sensors, stickers, and other gear we attached to the season’s hottest sports cars, all in the name of determining what makes great-handling cars so great. Over time, we moved to a more human-centered approach, looking beyond yaw angle and step steer to the full driving experience, from canyon roads to track modes and the transitions in between. BDC tests both human and machine, as it marks the beginning of our most grueling, test-heavy part of the year. This year, the bulk of BDC spanned eight straight days, 8,000 total miles driven, 80 tires scorched, and 40-degree temperature swings endured. To maximize time for photo, video, hill climbs, and…

4 min.
trend 12.19 ford v ferrari

There are facts, and then there are Hollywood films inspired by facts. Ford v Ferrari, releasing on November 15, is an example of the latter. But don’t be dissuaded. Viewed through a documentarian’s lens, there’s a great deal missing or wrong with the movie, directed by James Mangold and based on a true story. For instance, Carroll Shelby was a head taller than Matt Damon. Having met Carroll twice, I never bought Damon as Shelby. It should’ve been Vince Vaughn. He’s a more appropriate 6-foot-5, does a great Southern drawl, and even has curly brown hair. Moreover, there wasn’t a single blonde female pictured on Shelby’s arm, a glaring inaccuracy by all accounts. Also, Denny Hulme, Ken Miles’ co-driver at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans, was barely on screen. The biggest…

1 min.
rear view

50 December 1969 PRICE: $0.50 Talk about foreshadowing. Back in December 1969, we dreamed of a Chevy vs. Ford mid-engine supercar battle. The cars were the Ford Mach 2 and Chevy Astro II, both of which we expected to go on sale by 1971. The Ford was built with lessons learned from the GT40 and featured a 302-cubic-inch V-8 and a Lotus-tuned suspension. The Chevy had a 427-cubic-inch V-8. The Detroit mid-engine battle would have to wait until 2020, with the latest incarnation of the Ford GT and Chevy building a mid-engine Corvette. 30 December 1989 PRICE: $3.50 Nothing really sums up MotorTrend in the ’80s better than wedge-shaped cars and models with big hair and high heels, so it’s fitting we said goodbye to the decade in a spread of scantily clad women draped over bad…

4 min.
frankfurt show favorites

With supercars, EVs, and visions of the future, this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show had something for everyone. We’ve selected the six most interesting production cars and concepts to drool over. Ferrari 812 GTS and F8 Spider Ferrari is going topless in a big way, with two new convertibles just announced, one of which was completely unexpected. The 812 Superfast now adds a sibling, the 812 GTS, the first production V-12 Ferrari convertible in 50 years (the last being the 365 GTS/4 Daytona, not counting a few one-offs). Fitting the folding metal top required quite a bit of restyling out back and added 165 pounds, but hey, it has 789 hp. If an 812 is just too much money, Ferrari also rolled out the F8 Spider with “only” 710 hp from a twin-turbo…

2 min.
mt confidential

Jaguar Land Rover looks like it’s zigging as its rivals zag. The platform developed for the Jaguar I-Pace will be a one-hit wonder, according to sources in Coventry. Next-gen Jaguar Land Rover EVs, including the XJ, will be built on the company’s new Modular Longitudinal Architecture, which is designed to accommodate mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains in addition to a BEV powertrain. In industry-speak, MLA is called a convergence platform, and although it offers benefits in cost and manufacturing flexibility, it also means future electric Jaguars and Land Rovers might not have the packaging efficiency or range as rivals built on skateboard platforms. Design compromises also mean a convergence platform is likely to be heavier. JLR’s move comes as VW Group and Daimler are working on bespoke BEV platforms.…

4 min.
reference mark

Content wants to be free, so goes the saying of the internet world. Except that good content like MotorTrend ’s Best Driver’s Car costs a small fortune to produce. Sure, we could pile in a few cars, drive around for a day, then kick back and write a couple snarky blogs. But if you want something that actually adds value to the lives of your subscribers … well, that takes cubic dollars. So as you read through this magazine (which you or your dentist paid for), you are going to see several teasers to videos that only reside on MotorTrendOnDemand.com. And as MTOD is a subscription service, you’ll need to pay the equivalent of a caramel macchiato for a month’s access to binge-watch an endless stream of thrilling Best Driver’s Car video…