Road & Track February 2018

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
dear r&t,

My dad always says it’s more enjoyable to watch someone else drive a sports car than to drive one yourself. I vehemently disagreed. But after reading “The Great Escape” and drooling over the winding roads and vivid Porsche and Mercedes drop-tops in the Alps, I think I’m starting to come around. RON AMMAR, PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY RINGMEISTER Thanks, Jack, for the best story yet on the Ring [“Master’s Program”]. Having nearly 100 laps under my belt over seven trips, all in one of RSRNurburg proprietor Ron Simons’s cars, I agree with all your conclusions. In May, after overhearing a conversation about my recent purchase of a used Cayman S, Ron asked if I had time to ride along as he took the first laps in his freshly broken-in 718 Cayman S. Um, yes,…

2 min
editor’s letter

FRESH OFF OUR PERFORMANCE CAR OF THE YEAR ISSUE, where cars packing 500, 600, and even 700 hp surprised us with their ungodly speed and everyday approachability, I flew to the Los Angeles auto show to get an early look at next year’s crop of power hitters. I wasn’t disappointed. Autonomy and EVs make for catchy headlines, but in 2018, horsepower is still king. Chevrolet and Porsche kicked things off with a bang, bringing a pair of trackday crushers, the Corvette ZR1 and 911 GT2 RS, that’ll comfortably exceed 200 mph. BMW was there with its sixth-generation, 600-hp M5, reminding us that ultrahigh performance need not be restricted to just two-doors. And Mercedes- AMG showed up with a hybrid—the 1000-hp, F1-derived Project One hypercar. Not to be outdone by the big names,…

5 min
typed up

I BOUGHT ONE. Had to sell a bunch of stuff, then dig through every couch in the house, mining for nickels. Then I had to talk to my wife and agree to eat ramen noodles for months, to put some slack in our household budget. I have even begun eating cut-rate versions of said noodles, because I am now patronizing stores that give a discount on bulk noodles, but only because I was unable to find any reputable noodle manufacturers who would sell to me direct. All for a car. I feel stupid. Also wonderful. Consider the Acura Integra Type R: front-drive. A manic, 8400-rpm, 195-hp, 1.8-liter four. Body like a rounded doorstop. More horsepower per liter than a Ferrari F355. The first Type R Honda to officially come to America—Acura is…

13 min
the unbeast

LET’S REFLECT ON THE ABSURDITY of the moment: Late last year, this magazine sent your narrator to Europe for the launch of a 700-hp, rear-engine, two-wheel-drive, turbocharged Porsche. Three laps into the day, your narrator found himself casually doing 170 mph on the front straight of the Algarve International Circuit. (Big place, ballsy corners, used for F1 testing, Portugal.) An hour or so later, at that same track, your narrator was choogling over that same pavement, hurtling into Turn 1 in a sudden rainstorm, let’s say maybe hypothetically perhaps experimentally with stability control off. And maybe then your narrator, a competent driver but by no means a genius or some kind of Hamilton-Alonso-Schumacher, started executing tidy little drifts. Almost to his surprise. In this 700-hp turbo Porsche. In the rain, at speed,…

5 min
forward thinking

THE GT2 RS IS WITHOUT A DOUBT the fastest, most mind-bending production 911 ever built. Yet as obscenely capable as it may be, in the rarified air atop the 911 food chain, the latest RS model still lives in the shadow of another, more extreme 911—the RSR. Porsche’s fastest, most pure 911 race car exists to do one thing: win races. However, it represents much more than that. It’s a distillation of six-plus decades of Porsche GT racing know-how into a single, ruthlessly efficient instrument of speed. It’s easy to look at the RSR and see just another 911, a car that has raced around the globe and still competes in a range of international series. The silhouette remains unmistakable, albeit accompanied by a massive, top-mount wing; a splitter under the…

16 min
big daddy and the demon

IT’S A BRIGHT MORNING at Gainesville Raceway, muggy, like most fall days in Florida, like the state is midway through a dishwasher cycle. The stands are empty, the facility populated by little more than a magazine photography crew and a handful of track workers. But the place is full of noise, valves springing and exhaust flowing and induction inducting. One car, a Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, is ripping off passes on the drag strip. Behind the wheel is a small man in a black crash helmet. The words “Big Daddy” are stenciled across the front in chunky white letters. The car is a rakish nightmare, narrow tires up front and oil-drum semislicks out back; the latter cast off bales of smoke whenever the Demon rolls to the starting line. With every…