Car and Driver March 2019

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

14 min

FUTURE OF FRONTING FRONTING I am in awe of technological advances to cars today. The elapsed times for both the Hyundai Veloster N and the Honda Civic Type R [“Letters of Note,” December 2018] are way quicker than my 1969 Dodge Super Bee with the 383, hood scoops, Torque-Flite transmission, and 3.55 gears. My best quarter-mile time (pure stock) was 14.01 seconds at 102 mph on Firestone Wide Oval redlines. If anyone back then had told me that a 122-cubic-inch four-cylinder would outrun my Dodge and get twice the mileage, I would have laughed all the way to the gas station. I still won’t buy a Civic or a Veloster. I’ll keep driving my 2016 Ford F-150 that has more horsepower than my 1969 Dodge and gets 21 mpg on the…

1 min
explained: a gripping question

In the December “Snow Shoes” feature, you said that on dry pavement, the Corvette’s “big footprint was an advantage and not a detriment” compared with the 911’s contact-patch size. It’s not obvious to me why a larger contact patch would be a detriment on snow and ice. Can you explain, please? —Bob Woolley, Asheville, NC In winter conditions, the best traction is achieved by cutting through snow and ice in two directions: down toward the road surface and forward as the vehicle travels. A narrower tire acts like a sharper knife, whereas wider tires are more likely to plow through and float on the snow. Mounted on the same vehicle at the same pressure, different-width tires will have the same total contact-patch area, but the narrower tire’s longer contact patch improves longitudinal…

6 min
the cavalry has arrived

305/30ZR-20 —The new GT500’s front tires are the same size as the Camaro ZL1’s rear tires. IT HAD TO HAPPEN. You didn’t think Ford was going to sit around in Dearborn, Michigan, gnawing on chicken-shawarma sandwiches while its competitors built Hellcats and ZL1s, did you? Carmakers might be dumping increasingly large loads of money into ride-sharing schemes and electric cars, but meanwhile the big-boy pony cars are playing with 700-plus horsepower. Seven-hundred-plus horsepower. Think about that for a second. The Le Mans–class-winning, half-million-dollar Ford GT makes 647 horsepower. A $300,000 McLaren 720S only just crests the 700-hp summit. And the Porsche 911 Turbo S produces a paltry 580. So yes, Ford has launched the latest salvo in this power war with the 2020 Shelby GT500. It is what longtime Mustang designer Melvin Betancourt…

3 min
sportsmanlike conduct

PROFESSIONAL AUTO RACING IS the Rodney Dangerfield of athletic pursuits—it gets no respect. Many casual observers assume that the car is doing all the work. But behind every rubber-scuffing hot lap is a human body also being pushed to the limit. Temperatures inside the cockpit can reach 130 degrees and most race cars do not have air conditioning. Drivers can lose 5 to 10 pounds in water weight during any given race. And racers must reckon with lateral and longitudinal forces that can go from 3.00 g’s in turns (what an astronaut experiences during a rocket launch) to in excess of 5.00 g’s under braking (blackout territory for the untrained). “And that force,” says veteran IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe, “is applied to every inch of your body.” In the dark ages…

3 min
hearing is believing

ELECTRIC VEHICLES OFTEN LOOK and act much like the cars we’ve always driven. But there are nontrivial differences between the cars of the past and the mobility devices of the future, and among them is the EV’s near-total lack of powertrain sound. Audio company Harman has created a suite of products, called Halosonic, that claims to address two issues that have arisen with the proliferation of EVs. The first is safety: Cyclists and pedestrians are safer when they can hear cars coming. The second issue, according to Rajus Augustine, senior director of product strategy and planning at Harman Lifestyle Automotive, is that even EV drivers prefer hearing an engine. When EV drivers can’t hear an engine, they are more likely to notice other noises coming from their vehicles, such as…

3 min
odyssey of sound

HUMANS HAVE BEEN MAKING MUSIC since we climbed out of the primordial goop, and we’ve been driving since the late 1800s. But for many decades after Bertha Benz made her fateful trip, if someone wanted to listen to music while driving, he would’ve had to make it himself (or enlist passengers in the task). Now that personal entertainment and earbuds have all but killed the road-trip singalong, we’re taking a look at the evolution of in-car audio and how we got from a radio that cost half as much as some cars to “hand me the aux.” What a long strange trip it’s been. 1930 Galvin Manufacturing Corporation, later redubbed Motorola (a portmanteau of “motor” and “Victrola”), markets one of the first in-car radios. It costs $130—nearly $2000 in today’s money. 1936 FM broadcasting…