Car and Driver February 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

TRACKING US It is interesting to see how street-legal cars are achieving ever more remarkable times in Lightning Lap [“Lightning Lap the 13th,” November 2019]. It would be really interesting if you lapped VIR in a Formula 1 car so we could see the difference between a top-level race car and a street-legal car. —Jon Orloff Rockaway Beach, OR It would be vast—Ed. I am examining the Lightning Lap times and contemplating which car I want to buy and how much fun I’ll have driving it around. Then I remember my bad luck with speeding tickets. And traffic court. And arrests (well, actually just one). Why is it that cars are consistently getting more powerful and faster, with better braking and handling, but speed limits have not changed in most areas in decades? Why should I,…

2 min
10 minutes with markus flasch

C/D: How do you see electrification playing out at M? Hybrid, plug-in, EV? Markus Flasch: That’s to be decided. There won’t be one solution that fits all. We will have the appropriate powertrain for the segment. We don’t believe there is one answer for the entire M fleet. C/D: What are the goals of M-car electrification? MF: I can assure you that we will bring only technology that adds performance and character. C/D: Do you see manual transmissions staying in the lineup? MF: We will offer it as long as customer demand is there and as long as customers are willing to pay for it. They ask for it in the 2-, 3-, and 4-series, and I’m happy to supply it, even in future models. C/D: What's the demand for manuals like? MF: Pretty much flat. People…

3 min
fightin’ dirty

The ill will between President Donald Trump, a man with a penchant for bitter political conflict, and California, one of the nation’s bluest states, began almost as soon as he took office in 2017. The most recent tension, though, stems from the administration’s plan to roll back Obama-era federal fuel-economy targets. So far, that turmoil has resulted in lawsuits, a Justice Department investigation, and automakers being pressured to take sides. The proposed rule change, which would take effect this year, would not dial back fuel-economy standards from current levels. It would instead freeze the Obama administration’s ambitious ramp-up—which called for a 46.7-mpg fleet average by 2025—at 37 mpg through the 2026 model year. At a press conference in September, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao called Obama’s fuel-economy targets “reckless and unattainable.” MPG…

2 min
walking with dinosaurs

Hey, so this is awkward. But have you noticed it’s getting kind of hot out there? According to NASA, the average global temperature is 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than it was in 1880. That might be our fault. We’re talking about humans in general, yes, but also specifically about us at Car and Driver. As you might have guessed, we haven’t exactly been limiting our fossil-fuel consumption. From January through August 2019, we tallied 447,984 miles driven in 172 cars, with 20,182 gallons of gas burned, 302 gallons of diesel consumed, and 2295 kilowatt-hours of electricity pumped into plug-ins and EVs. That comes out to 1844 miles, 83 gallons of gas, just over a gallon of diesel, and nine kilowatt-hours of electricity a day, putting us on pace to produce 276…

2 min
faster route now available

Now that we all have hand-held navigation systems, road trips no longer inspire the kind of marital strife that has helped stand-up comedians earn a living. Modern GPS systems are peerless at keeping drivers on course, and they can even tell you when there’s a traffic jam around the bend. But how does your phone know about that overturned semi? Web-based navigation apps, including Google Maps and Apple Maps, draw much of their traffic information from users’ smartphone GPS trackers. Google and Waze empower users to report slowdowns, accidents, and police sightings. The Dutch tech firm aptly called Here, which supplies traffic and mapping information to Garmin and others, collects data from fleet vehicles (which spend an average of 10 hours a day on the road) as well as from select…

2 min
industrial light and magic

There are millions of Star Wars fans around the world, but while most can do a fair impression of Yoda, few can build his lightsaber. T. Jon Mayer is one of the few. By day, Mayer is the head of Volvo’s California design studio. In his spare time, he works from his garage-turned-workshop, where he painstakingly hand-assembles lightsabers more elaborate than anything ever seen on screen. Mayer’s sabers are primarily built from purpose-made parts, though some hilts come from the same 1940s Graflex camera flash handle that formed the base of the earliest lightsabers. The blades are polycarbonate tubes with LED light strips inside. Many of the detail pieces are 3-D printed and can be purchased online in DIY kits. Mayer has used brass rods, parts from model-boat kits, and even…