Car and Driver November 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

9 min

VERSION 8.0 Having owned two VW GTIs, an ’86 and a ’15, I am a fan, but you can’t claim perfection without even driving the car yourself [“GTI,” August 2020]. Save the manuals, ha; save the drivers. —D. McCue Paso Robles, CA Perhaps you’re unfamiliar with the meaning of the hooked exclamation point that followed the word “perfection”—Ed. The new GTI has to be the ugliest car since the Pontiac Aztek. The genius designer gives the idiots who drive around with their fog lights on 24/7 the bonus of having five fog lights on each side. I look forward to going blind from looking at the GTI with all those lights coming at me on a clear night in Malibu. —Kevin H. Park Westlake Village, CA So let’s get this straight: Greg Kable goes for a…

1 min

The specs that accompany reviews frequently have the top speed labeled as a C/D estimate or manufacturer’s claim. Why not test it? Especially in the wake of this virus and with less road congestion, you guys should be able to get some track time in. Why not floor the accelerator and see what happens?—Micah Glick, Walnut Creek, CA We pride ourselves on flooring the accelerator and seeing what happens in every one of the 300-plus vehicles we test each year. And in about 60 percent of them, we test to the maximum velocity. However, the continued climb in horsepower and peak speeds means there are few test tracks in the world—and even fewer available to rent—where we can safely max out the really fast stuff. A quick 600-hp blast to a…

2 min
going nowhere

Sometime in the fall of 2003, I felt a tightness in my chest, as though the air were thinner, harder to hold in my lungs. I’d just had my second baby and was lucky enough to be taking six months of maternity leave. I’d made the most of my summer, bringing the littles to lakes and spending time in the sun and the shade. But as the days turned shorter and the nights cooler, I felt panicky. It was as if Ned Stark himself were whispering to me. So I did what any rational person would do. I declared I’d write a book about online support groups for moms. I loaded up my 1996 Ford Explorer with diaper bags and a playpen and hopefully enough toys to keep a toddler entertained…

4 min
back to the future

After a tough few years clouded by financial struggles, product malaise, and former chairman Carlos Ghosn’s scandalous departure, Nissan could use some good news. A sports car isn’t going to singlehandedly save the company—at least not from a business perspective. But a new Z is a reason for enthusiasts to start paying attention to Nissan again. The Z Proto shown here is a production-intent concept that foretells much of the real Z35-generation sports car, likely called 400Z, that should go on sale sometime next year. Since its inception in 1969, the Z has always been an important indicator of Nissan’s well-being. The original Datsun 240Z helped put the company on the map in the U.S. The 300ZX of the 1990s showed the breadth of the company’s engineering and design acumen. And…

2 min
motor bikes

Once you take away the effort, the sweat, and the Lance Armstrong cosplay, riding a bike starts to feel a lot like riding a motorcycle or even driving a car. The thrill of speed, the sense of possibility, and the freedom to roam give you a fresh perspective on your surroundings. That’s the experience riding a throttle e-bike, which still has pedals but can also be propelled with the push of your thumb or twist of your wrist. Legally, e-bikes are restricted to 20 mph when the throttle is in use and 28 mph when the motor is assisting the rider’s pedaling. Some companies are starting to test those boundaries, though, with high-speed modes intended for use on private property. These three e-bikes are a few of our favorites. Rad Power…

1 min

These days, it’s not enough to share parts across model lines and among an automaker’s brands. To succeed at modern manufacturing, you need friends. And sometimes those friends are also rivals. Carmakers around the world have woven a complex web of investments, alliances, development and manufacturing partnerships, and parts-sharing arrangements in their relentess pursuit of efficiency, as it’s far more economical to share the massive costs of vehicle production with one or more partners than to bear them alone. The chart here details some of the many ways the industry is currently interconnected.…