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Cars & Motorcycles

MotorTrend November 2020

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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United States
12 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
james hetfield

Guitar-shredding James Hetfield, the lead singer of Metallica, is known around the world for his music, but he’s also a passionate car customizer who recently donated most of his collection to the Petersen Automotive Museum. You can also see them in his new book, Reclaimed Rust: The Four-Wheeled Creations of James Hetfield. You have an enormously popular band. You have a fleet of custom cars. You have a family. You have a ranch. What made you think, “I should write a book, too”? I knew these cars needed to be seen by other people. I just wanted to have a book, basically kind of a yearbook, of all the cars that Rick Dore and I have put together. Having a book is a lot easier than having all these cars in a…

9 min.
your say…

Readers Respond to September’s “Driving While Black” I must commend you for including Dr. Sorin’s article on driving while Black in your September issue, and I would like to emphasize a few key points in response. As a Black motorist who has driven a car in each one of our 50 states over 30-plus years, so far I have survived numerous unwarranted traffic stops, and a white motorist once helped me avoid being lynched by a local mob when my water-cooled Volkswagen overheated late one evening while driving through rural South Carolina. Even so, I cannot afford to forget for a moment that many white people still feel entitled, in their hearts and minds, to serve as the judge, jury, and executioner of my body and existence at any moment. With Confederate flags…

17 min.
the great escape

SUPER SUVS FROM BMW, MASERATI, MERCEDES-AMG, AND PORSCHE LOOK TO PUNCH A TICKET TO BEST DRIVER’S CAR I earned my driver’s license among the pothole-pocked streets of Lower Manhattan, where “good” places to drive are few and far between. My suburban friends had twisty back roads and empty fields. At best, I had Brooklyn’s Second Avenue waterfront. The few times I could steal the keys to Dad’s Range Rover Sport, I would find myself bombing down Second Avenue’s cobbled road late at night. It wasn’t much of a driver’s road, but it was one of the few places in the city I could go without pedestrians or other motor-ists. It was my escape, the supercharged V-8 echoing off the barren brick-front warehouses, the click-clunking of the air suspension over disused railroad tracks,…

9 min.
three-row speed demons

Hot rod Euro SUVs are great fun and all, but what if A) you’re looking to spend about half the average base price of our five super-utes (say, mid-$60Ks) or B) you need three rows of seats? That kind of cash will only get you one of the smaller two-row Euro utes, like an Audi SQ5, BMW X3 M, or Mercedes-AMG GLC SUV. Audi’s three-row SQ7 starts at $85,795, BMW’s X7 M50i commands $100,595, and the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 surely won’t be cheaper than the outgoing 2019 ($126,150). So you’ll be buying American. May we suggest one of these two hi-po utes—the Dodge Durango 4 SRT 392 or the Ford Explorer ST? Note: A Ford Explorer ST with all the boxes ticked just tops $65,000, while the Durango 4 SRT 392 starts…

20 min.
holy turbo terrors!

As enthusiasts, we’re taught from a young age to view front-drive cars with contempt. They are flawed. Wrong-wheel drive. Plagued with torque steer if you give them any power. They are the product of corporations cutting costs to please shareholders. Like my fellow enthusiasts, I was indoctrinated in the scriptures of Zora, Carroll, and Ferry: the only performance cars that matter are rear-wheel drive. But things have changed a lot in the past couple decades. Front-wheel-drive performance cars are—dare I say—quite good. They are composed. They’re balanced. They’re equally capable of obliterating canyon roads and soaking up interstate runs. As a result, pocket rockets such as the Ford Fiesta ST have been segment standouts, even finishing a respectable sixth place at Best Driver’s Car, vanquishing the likes of the BMW i8 and…

7 min.
swan song

After 103 years, Lincoln is getting out of the business of making sleek, stylish sedans to concentrate on building the elephantine SUVs that everyone wants now. That’s sad news for car enthusiasts, but at least the brand is exiting the way it entered: with a high-end, coach-built special. Ask any automotive history buff which American automaker offered the most custom body designs in its catalog, and they’ll likely be surprised to learn it was Lincoln. We have Henry Ford’s son, Edsel, to thank for that. Immediately upon being placed in charge of Ford’s newly acquired Lincoln brand in 1922, Edsel set about enlisting the top custom coachbuilders in the U.S. to design bodywork for the brand’s technically brilliant Model L chassis. Over the years, Lincoln worked with nearly all the big houses: Brunn,…