Car and Driver December 2020

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.

United States
12 Issues

in this issue

11 min

CORVETTE STUNNER Oh boy. Cue the outraged “Porsche bias” letters from the Corvette mafia [“Rivalry Recentered,” September 2020]. As a self-aware Porsche fanboy, however, I can say I’d be over-the-moon happy with either of those machines in my driveway. And you really need to see the C8 in person to appreciate how stunning it is. Pictures just don’t do it justice. —Rob Gross Summerville, SC What a crock. Look at your own test results. The Corvette wins every significant performance category. Oh, wait, there is the “subjective” evaluation, like that it “feels cold next to its competition.” The Corvette is new, fresh, and beautiful. The Porsche is just old hat. It seems like this comparo was subsidized by Porsche and executed by a bunch of namby-pamby Porsche enthusiasts. The last Porsche I owned…

1 min

In your August-issue test of the 2020 Tesla Model Y, combined output is listed at 384 horsepower, but the Model Y has a motor with 212 horsepower and another with 272 horsepower. It doesn’t add up. —Richard Lasseter, Valdosta, GA In a multimotor electric vehicle, the total combined horsepower is often limited by what the battery can produce, not necessarily the sum of the individual motors’ power ratings. In the Model Y, the battery can put out 384 horsepower worth of juice. We list the individual power ratings because it is possible for the battery to send enough electricity to utilize the full power of each motor, just not at the same time—Ed.…

3 min
playing it cool

We all fantasize about our lottery garages and the liveries we’ll own when we hit it big. Let me recommend setting aside $15,000 of your fantasy winnings for a trip north of the Arctic Circle that will leave you exhausted and exhilarated and make you a far better driver. Before the coronavirus hobbled the globe, I flew to Levi, Finland, with Porsche to experience its Ice Force Pro driving school. For three days, I glimpsed the northern lights, witnessed the beauty of Finland’s long winter dawns and twilights, and left the program feeling like I could star in the next Fast & Furious film, provided it’s set on a glacier. My goal at any event where other journalists are present has always been to have fun and not to do anything so…

10 min
gift guide

TOOLS TO UPGRADE YOUR Garage Craftsman V20 Half-Inch Impact Wrench $200, If you’ve been using breaker bars, box wrenches, and ratchets for every shop job, an electric impact wrench will make you feel like a one-person pit crew. Craftsman’s 20-volt half-inchdrive impact wrench makes light work of tire swaps and suspension overhauls, breaking bolts free with up to 350 pound-feet of torque—more than your family crossover has. Its portability means you can bring it out on the trail or to the track or even stash it in your vehicle if you’re prone to getting flat tires. It uses the same lithium-ion battery as the rest of the Craftsman V20 family, which includes everything from an electric chainsaw to a hand-held shop vacuum. —David Beard TOOLS TO UPGRADE YOUR Garage QuickJack BL-5000SLX $1200, Every dream garage has…

2 min
minding the gap

The gaps between body panels are some of the most visible indicators of how meticulously an automaker assembles a vehicle’s 30,000 or so constituent parts. Building a vehicle with tight, even panel gaps requires incredible precision and attention to detail in the design, tooling, and assembly processes. To find out who does it best, we measured panel gaps on roughly 60 new vehicles at dealerships or on loan to us for review. Of the 26 areas we probed on each vehicle, the largest gaps were typically found along the bottoms of doors, where the leading edge of the hood meets the front fascia, or between a pickup’s tailgate and bed. We excluded those first two when compiling the accompanying results, as executions that entirely eliminate those gaps make comparisons inequitable.…

3 min
origin stories

As supply chains become more complex, it’s getting harder and harder to determine what it means to buy American. What if a car is assembled in the U.S. by a company that’s headquartered in another country? Or what if a domestic automaker builds a car here but sources the majority of its parts from foreign suppliers? Is that car American? Researchers at American University in Washington, D.C., have created a formula to determine the Americanness of the vehicle marketplace. It uses seven criteria, including the locations of an automaker’s headquarters and the vehicle’s final assembly as well as what percentage of the model’s parts originate in the U.S. and Canada. By this method, they’ve determined what they consider to be the most American—and a little Canadian—cars of the 2020 model…