Car and Driver April 2021

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

WICKED GAMES I loved your December 2020 cover. Brings to mind artist Ralph Steadman’s wild sketches done for Hunter S. Thompson’s books. If you’ve never had a lysergic acid trip, just look at Steadman’s offerings and you’ll have one. —Scott Randle San Luis Obispo, CA I was delighted to see a station wagon on the cover. On behalf of those who prefer wagons—all 47 of us—thanks! —Brad Hunt Albion, NY Clever title: “Evil, Genius.” But perhaps you should have featured a Hellcat or a Demon. —Todd Eddy Paxton, MA BOSS WAGON REDUX I was happy to see Audi’s blazingly fast station wagon [“The Devil in Disguise,” December 2020]. Your comment that the company would increase production “if it could find a bigger crowd of buyers willing and able to trade tall stacks of hundred-dollar bills for a rally family sport wagon”…

2 min
language barrier

Here is the number of self-driving cars for sale today: zero. And here is the number of privately owned self-driving cars that will be on the road if Tesla meets its goal to make its Full Self-Driving Capability operational sometime this year: still zero. Don’t get sucked into arguments with Tesla fans. They’re already online explaining why Tesla’s model—real-world drivers teaching computer algorithms to do a job that Tesla’s marketing department says the car is doing—is the same as self-driving tech. It is not. Self-driving means the car can make every decision a human can. When a car is in self-driving mode, the driver should be able to climb into the back seat and take a nice long nap. Anything less than that is driver assistance. That’s why Waymo, the Google offshoot…

3 min
tracking progress

The Porsche 911 GT3 changes, but it mostly stays the same. Since the 996-gen 911 began the dynasty in 1999, the GT3 has remained true to its original form with a high-revving naturally aspirated flat-six, a track-biased suspension, and a commendable lack of fripperies and needless ornament. A new iteration of Porsche’s most focused sports car doesn’t need to be different to earn enthusiasts’ attention and respect. Yet the GT3 has also made some major leaps as it has evolved. With the arrival of the 992-generation model, the GT3 jumps to an unequal-length control-arm front suspension. That makes it the first roadgoing 911 to eschew struts up front. The new setup is heavily influenced by the suspension that Porsche pioneered in the 911 RSR race car back in 2013. The arrangement…

5 min
the chrysler brand cull is coming

Like Mad Men’s fictional merger of clumsily surnamed ad agencies, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Peugeot S.A. (PSA Group) have united their agglomeration of brands to produce a new corporation: Stellantis. That name would have Don Draper reaching for his Canadian Club; it’s more redolent of erectile-dysfunction ads than of anything automotive. But in a world with a hard-on for mergers and shareholders, the new company—valued at $52 billion when formed—brings the same old problems. First, what to do about stragglers such as Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Lancia, Opel, DS, and Vauxhall. Some of these legacy brands, defenseless against nimbler rivals and electric disrupters, cannot survive. In a press conference on January 19, Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares—a former rally driver and PSA chief executive—insisted that no job or brand cuts…

2 min
formula woke

To describe Extreme E as an off-road version of Formula E would sell the new race series short. Wheel-to-wheel action on loose surfaces should make this EV competition more interesting to watch than that tightly fought but relatively slow open-wheel race series. Just be prepared for even more planet-saving rhetoric in Extreme E. The locations for the first season’s five races—Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Greenland, Brazil, and Argentina—were chosen to highlight threatened environments and the effects of climate change, and the rules call for each team to split driving duties equally among male and female drivers. Here’s what you need to know about Extreme E, which is scheduled to kick off on April 3. THE FORMAT In each race, four cars compete on a bumpy, jumpy off-road course about five miles in length.…

2 min
flying blind

Safety advocacy group says that, on average, about 50 children are killed and more than 3000 are injured every year in what it calls “frontovers,” where a driver rolls forward and hits someone hidden by the vehicle’s nose. As more Americans trade cars for utility vehicles, and as big and blocky come back into fashion, these rare but devastating accidents could become more common. Every vehicle has a front blind zone, but the wedge of roadway that’s obscured by the hood is significantly larger on models with tall, blunt front ends. We’ve been compiling data on forward visibility since 2015 and have found that vehicles within the same segment are similarly compromised, with the worst offenders being—shocker—pickups and large SUVs. For perspective, a 2020 GMC Sierra 2500 HD Denali’s blind…