Road & Track November 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

2 min

SPLITTING SECONDS The event commonly recognized as the first official motor race ran from Paris to Bordeaux and back in 1895. Émile Levassor crossed the finish line first, in 48 hours, 48 minutes. A key to his success: pit-stop management. Much about racing has changed in the nearly 125 years since, but precision in the pits remains as crucial to victory as anything that happens on track. Modern pit stops are choreographed, each move the subject of painstaking practice and considerable investment. Every fraction of a second counts. Tires and fuel are the lifeblood of racing and a pit crew’s constant obsession. Today’s Formula 1 teams can change four tires in as little as 1.92 seconds (refueling is not allowed). In IMSA sports-car racing (shown), it takes closer to half a minute…

4 min

DEAR R&T, I’M GOING TO PREEMPT THE ANGRY LETTERS ABOUT THE HIGH-BUCK CARS IN YOUR AUGUST ISSUE—BENTLEY, G-WAGEN, MCLAREN, FERRARI. I KNOW HOW TO APPRECIATE A $30,000 HATCHBACK. I BUY R&T TO EXPERIENCE, FOR A FLEETING MOMENT, 150-MPH OPPOSITE LOCK IN A CARBON-FIBER MISSILE. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK. MICHAEL D’ECCLESIIS, NEW ROCHELLE, NEW YORK BRUCE, AYRTON, AND JIM … The name of the McLaren Senna doesn’t quite sit right with me [“A New Breed”]. Ayrton Senna’s greatness seems so timeless that to give his name to a machine which, impressive as it is, will one day be outmoded and outstripped feels wrong. KEVIN STEINBACH DOWNERS GROVE, ILLINOIS Jim Hall must have a satisfied grin on his face, as his old rival McLaren Automotive has paid him homage with this modern presentation of his pioneering technology.…

2 min
editor’s letter

MANY NEW CARS HAVE BECOME eerily similar to one another, and so too have the auto shows, press launches, and races that promote them. Go to enough of these events and déjà vu can set in. All a bit predictable, not a lot of surprises. And then you attend an NHRA drag race, like I did recently. The sound, the speed, and the body-shaking fury of the cars immediately jolted me out of my been-there-done-that fog. As did the passion I witnessed among the crowd of enthusiastic fans. In a motorsports world that’s experiencing reduced numbers on many fronts, the sight of packed stands, families in the paddock, and more than 800 amateur and professional competitors was the eye-opener of the year. The effect on this self-admitted sports-car-racing guy was both…

5 min
alonso ex machina

SOME PEOPLE DON’T LIKE ALONSO. Some of their reasons probably even hold water, but I’ve never been able to make myself agree with them. Or maybe I just don’t want to. Fernando Alonso Diaz, 37. Formerly the youngest F1 driver to qualify on pole, the youngest world champion, the youngest double world champion. A widely acknowledged master of the sport who has spent the last four seasons stuck solidly midpack. There’s something about a man of extreme talent who suffers years of bad luck and bad equipment but keeps hammering when he could retire to some private island instead. But then, motor racing has always been a strange arena for outliers. Serena Williams would dominate with a thrift-store tennis racket, but ability in racing is nothing without tools. Deserving the top rung…

11 min
speed shift

BIOLOGISTS CALL IT “CONVERGENT EVOLUTION.” Two creatures, despite having different ancestors, end up looking similar. It explains dolphins and sharks, which strongly resemble each other in shape, proportion, and external features. Yet one is a warm-blooded mammal that breathes air and recognizes faces and plays in the ocean with its friends. The other is a blank-minded, cold-blooded killing machine from the nightmare seas of prehistory. The dolphin and the shark look similar because they adapted to the same general set of environmental conditions. The same can be said of the BMW M2 Competition and Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE. Somewhere along the way—maybe as early as 1984, when the 5.0 HO Z28 exceeded the raw cornering grip of the bespoilered 325es, or three decades later, when the fifth-generation Z/28 declared war on the…

9 min
the king and i

It began with two deliberate pops, as if the crusher were knocking politely. Excuse me, it’s Death, may I come in? The windows exploded. The car squatted; the spoiler flattened. Part of the driver’s-side mirror shucked to the ground. Dirt-splattered fenders crackled. Doors winced and buckled; the ground effects fell to their knees before collapsing entirely. It sounded vaguely like a mouth stuffed with potato chips. Contemplative silence followed. The crushing plate pulled back to reveal a geometric slab of pearl-white metal. From car to carcass in less than a minute. The car was a bone-stock 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Final Edition—2.0-liter turbo four, 303 hp, 305 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm, Brembos, Bilsteins, Eibachs, Enkeis, a redline-limited top speed of 146 mph. Just a few days before, I’d been tearing…