Car and Driver January 2021

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

9 min

ORANGE CRUSH Did you guys really have a Halloween-orange Ford Bronco in a dark parking lot full of spooky-looking cars or do we have Thomas Knoll to thank for your October cover? —Mike McDonaldKitchener, ON It’s the real deal—Ed. NEWEST IN NEW Noticeable omission in your showcase of 2021 cars [“New Cars for 2021,” October 2020]: the redesigned Nissan Rogue. I am super excited about its upcoming release, and it was surely missed in your article. —Chad SextonKnoxville, TN Your excitement blinded you. Look again—Ed. It seems Detroit automakers are as bereft of new ideas as Hollywood. Ford’s big news is the Bronco, a reborn version of a 55-year-old SUV. GM is giving us the Trailblazer with a glorified snowmobile engine. And the geniuses at Ram have installed a gas-guzzling Hellcat engine in their pickup. It is just…

2 min
inside the bubble

There’s a lot of talk about bubbles these days. Who’s in yours? Is there room in theirs? Is it possible to move one to the beach for a different view and warmer weather? A few months ago, the Car and Driver staff had a chance to emerge from our bubbles and gather in Pinckney, Michigan, to test cars and trucks for our annual 10Best awards. It quickly became my favorite two weeks of 2020. We hadn’t seen one another in ages. We hadn’t gotten to compare notes in person or have the kinds of conversations and debates that spring up naturally in the office. It wasn’t an NBA-style bubble, where everyone is tested and isolated from the rest of the world. But when you’re inside the 10Best universe, it’s easy to…

1 min

Recent comparos have shown cars as having two different final-drive ratios [“Lite Speed,” October 2020, and “Cheap. Quick. Good,” November 2020]. Assuming there are no great honking cast-iron transfer cases oozing fragrant final-drive lube on their unsuspecting owners’ driveways, there has to be an interesting explanation for it. —William Payne, Tucson, AZ Front-drive transaxles are squeezed for space in the narrow area between the engine and front wheels. To make the trans more compact, the internals of manual and dual-clutch transmissions are packaged in such a way as to have two paths and thus different gears to drive the differential. The steps between the overall ratios—the product of the individual gear and the final-drive ratio—are similar to what they’d be with a single final drive, so there’s no real difference between a…

4 min
2020: watts to freedom happened?

If, like us, you have trouble remembering the past twelve months, let us refresh your memory: You likely woke up on January 1, 2020, after a night of revelry (remember revelry?) to learn that former Nissan CEO and then prisoner of Japan Carlos Ghosn had escaped house arrest by hiding in a very large box and hitching a ride on a private jet to Lebanon. You also may have thought at the time, “Well, this has to be the craziest thing that’ll happen this year.” How wrong you were. Within a week of Ghosn’s daring escape, Mercedes unveiled an electric concept vehicle based on the 2009 science-fiction movie Avatar, a film about a mining colony attempting to wipe out an indigenous species and its culture. But before that settled into our…

1 min
2020 by the numbers

Reservations for the Ford Bronco in the U.S. and Canada 190,000+ 80,000 NUMBER OF VENTILATORS produced by Ford and GM 8.6% PEAK RISE IN USED-CAR PRICES DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC 47.8% Market share of domestic automakers in April, the highest PEAK since September 2006 Cost of automotive production lost to COVID-19 factory shutdowns in North America $107 billion $38,723 Average new-vehicle price in September 2020, up 2.5% from a year earlier 14.4 million Projected U.S. new-vehicle sales in 2020, down from 17.1 million in 2019…

1 min
the year in tweets according to elon musk

Carlos Gone • January 1 A Tesla works as a boat for short periods of time, as an electric car has no air intake or exhaust to block & battery/motor/electronics are water-sealed. Submarines are just underwater EVs. • January 25 Just wrote a song called “Don’t doubt yer vibe” • January 30 The coronavirus panic is dumb • March 6 Coachella should postpone itself until it stops sucking • March 10 Based on current trends, probably close to zero new cases [of coronavirus] in US too by end of April • March 19 We have extra FDA-approved ventilators. Will ship to hospitals worldwide within Tesla delivery regions. Device & shipping cost are free. Only requirement is that the vents are needed immediately for patients, not stored in a warehouse. Please me or @Tesla know. • March…