Road & Track November 2019

Road & Track includes technical features on automotive subjects, wide-ranging feature stories, spectacular automotive art and standard-setting new-car photography, humor, fiction, travel stories, book reviews and the most comprehensive racing coverage offered by a monthly magazine.Bonus: iPad Interactive

United States

in this issue

4 min
embracing trucks

WE GET EMAILS. Some are addressed to the wrong car magazine. Some are complimentary. Some replace the ampersand in our name with the word “and,” a capital offense. (To be clear, we’re Road & Track, or R&T for short. Our sister publication is Car and Driver, or C/D.) Many of these emails have one specific typo: the writer calls our publication Road & Truck. Muscle memory during typing—a u laid down in place of an a—is probably responsible for the majority of these, but regardless, it’s the most frequent error we see. We decided to embrace that misnomer for a whole issue. Before you write that angry email, let me explain. Yes, Road & Track has been the sports-car magazine of record since 1947. But the car world is changing. Pickups, SUVs,…

5 min
smash hit

DRIVING THE first Jeep Grand Cherokee up the steps of Detroit’s Cobo Hall and through an enormous plate-glass window to enter the 1992 North American International Auto Show has to be one of the most memorable vehicle-introduction stunts in history. As president of Chrysler at the time, I was behind the wheel, with Detroit’s “mayor for life” Coleman Young in the passenger seat. The image of the new SUV smashing its way into Cobo in a shower of glass appeared in all major media. The feat created major awareness for the new vehicle for a fraction of the cost of a conventional advertising launch. But the stunt was not as reckless as it appeared. We had to obtain permission from the managers of Cobo Hall, who had justifiable concerns about safety.…

5 min
jessi combs, 1980–2019

BORN IN South Dakota in 1980, Jessi Combs grew up in a family that loved off-roading and motorsports of all kinds. She graduated at the top of her class from WyoTech in 2004 with a degree in custom automotive fabrication and launched her career soon after. She hosted automotive TV shows, including Overhaulin’, All Girls Garage, and MythBusters, building numerous cars and motorcycles along the way. She raced King of the Hammers, that baffling off-road brawl, winning the spec class in 2014, and had a Class 10 podium finish in the Baja 1000 in 2011. In 2013, she broke the land speed record for “fastest woman on four wheels” at 398 mph. Combs died on August 27, 2019, piloting an F-104–based jet car known as the North American Eagle Supersonic…

3 min
ode to a cummins

THE NISSAN Titan XD Cummins is dead after four years of production. Starting in 2020, the Cummins turbodiesel 5.0-liter V-8 will no longer be available in Nissan’s full-size pickup. It’s part of an effort to stanch the brand’s bleeding. Nissan reported a 44.6 percent drop in operating profit from 2017 to 2018, and through the first six months of 2019, Titan sales were down nearly a quarter from those months last year, at slightly more than 18,000 units. In the same period, Ford moved nearly 450,000 F-Series. We spent two months with a 2019 Titan XD Cummins Pro-4X, living with the pickup through the heart of the summer. It’s easy to fall for a vehicle then, when there are seemingly infinite hours to point a hood at a highway, drag a…

1 min
bombproof watches

LUMINOX NAVY SEAL 3601 Luminox’s CEO encouraged us to run over the 3601 with a truck to prove the watch’s mettle. What else do you need to know? + $495 LUMINOX-USA.COM ROLEX SEA-DWELLER Don’t let the flash of gold fool you; the Sea-Dweller is as robust as they come, able to survive depths of 4000 feet. + $16,050 ROLEX.COM GRAND SEIKO SBGJ233 Tough, light titanium combines with a blue ceramic that’s nearly impossible to scratch. Looks like a samurai’s knuckle-duster. + $13,700 GRAND-SEIKO.COM CASIO G-SHOCK DW 5600BB-1 There’s a genre on YouTube dedicated to torture testing this rough-and-tumble icon. For good reason: it’s hard to kill. + $99 CASIO.COM BREITLING NAVITIMER B01 TWA The Navitimer is validated by more than 75 years of use in the cockpit in both peacetime and war. + $9160 BREITLING.COM…

3 min
believe it

WATCH VIDEO of Ayrton Senna or Gilles Villeneuve, and you have to wonder if there really is a limit to how fast a car can travel around a racetrack. Sure, the laws of physics apply, but how do you explain that Villeneuve was 11 seconds faster than the entire field, in the rain, during U.S. Grand Prix qualifying at Watkins Glen in 1979? Eleven seconds! Some of his competitors got out of their cars and walked to Turn 1 to watch him. They must have wondered when the laws of physics were going to kick in. Senna’s 1993 drive in the European Grand Prix at Donington Park is another example. In the rain, on the first lap, he moved from fifth to the lead, making Michael Schumacher, Alain Prost, and Damon…