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MotorTrend September 2020

MotorTrend is the world's automotive authority. Every issue of MotorTrend informs and entertains with features on the testing of both domestic and import cars, car care, motor sports coverage, sneak peeks at future vehicles, and auto-industry news.

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United States
12 Issues

in this issue

2 min
motor trend

Editorial Editor-in-Chief Mark Rechtin @markrechtin Int'l Bureau Chief Angus MacKenzie @Angus_Mack Senior Features Editor Jonny Lieberman @MT_Loverman Detroit Editor Alisa Priddle @alisapriddle Features Editors Scott Evans @MT_Evans, Christian Seabaugh @C_Seabaugh Editor-at-Large Edward Loh @EdLoh Manager, Visual Assets Brian Vance Photography Asset Editor William Walker @MT_dubdub Associate Photographers Renz Dimaandal, Brandon Lim, Darren Martin, Jade Nelson Managing Editor/Advertising Coordinator Rusty Kurtz Senior Copy Editor Jesse Bishop @thejessebishop Copy Editors Claire Crowley, Keegan Pope Technical Technical Director Frank Markus @MT_Markus Testing Director Kim Reynolds @MT_Reynolds Road Test Editor Chris Walton Associate Road Test Editor Erick Ayapana @Erkayapana Road Test Analyst Alan Lau Art Creative Director Alan J Muir Contributors Correspondents Mike Connor, Randy Pobst, Derek Powell, Gretchen Sorin Photographers Wesley Allison, Dennis Ardel, Daniel Byrne, Jim Frenak, Evan Klein, Julia LaPalme, James Lipman, Kenny Nakajima, Steven Pham, Jessica Walker, Kevin WingArtists Avarvarii Illustration, Paul Laguette MOTORTREND Digital Director of Editorial Operations Mike Floyd Content Operations Manager Zach Gale…

3 min
reference mark

@markrechtin When MotorTrend first hit newsstands in 1949, discriminatory Jim Crow laws were commonplace in much of America. Although the 1964 Civil Rights Act outlawed segregation, institutional racism toward Black drivers persists in more insidious ways even today. The recent protests following the killing of George Floyd and others show that to be the case. This month, MotorTrend traces the history of Black motorists battling Jim Crow laws. This legalized prejudice banned them from driving in certain towns after sunset and dictated where they could (and couldn’t) lodge, dine, or pump gas. And, terrifyingly, if they got in an accident, which hospitals would treat them. Some of you will read this and say, “Stay out of politics. Stick to cars.” Like it or not, the automotive industry is incontrovertibly linked to politics. Laws passed…

4 min
2021 acura tlx

After launching the powerful NSX and winning races, Acura is taking the next step on its relaunch as Honda’s performance division. The second-gen Acura TLX ditches almost everything it had before and adds key ingredients to truly compete in the sport sedan segment. And not only is the new TLX going to herald a bolder design language, but Acura also will resurrect the Type S high-performance model. With a standard 2.0-liter turbo for the regular model and a 3.0-liter twin-scroll turbo V-6 for the Type S, Acura is doubling down on emotion. On top of that, the TLX brings a striking new design that borrows lines from the Acura Precision concept and the stunning Type S concept. The TLX’s proportions leap out. The long dash-to-axle dimension (7.8 inches longer than the outgoing…

4 min
2021 ford f-150

FIRST LOOK Believe it or not, the 2021 Ford F-150 XLT you see here is 92 percent new or revised, including every exterior panel. This is some Porsche 911–grade design evolution right here. Clearly, the unbroken stuff goes unfixed, as engineers instead concentrate on continuing the F-150’s unrelenting march upward in payload and towing capability. Also improved are the ride quality, stability, and interior refinement, all in the name of enabling the truck to better assist its owner in getting various jobs done. Most dimensions, the size and configuration of the three available cabs and boxes, and the powertrains (except for the axed six-speed automatic) are unchanged. Leading the roster of cool improvements is a new PowerBoost hybrid offering, which includes Pro Power Onboard. PowerBoost mates the Explorer Hybrid’s transmission-mounted electric motor…

3 min
2021 ford mustang mach 1

FIRST LOOK Replacing the Bullitt for 2021 and effectively replacing the GT350, too, is the reborn Mustang Mach 1. It’s to be the track Mustang for folks who can’t swing the note on a Shelby. As with the again-discontinued Bullitt, Mach 1 gets just one engine choice—the 5.0-liter Coyote V-8. We’re told it’s not identical to the Bullitt’s, though it is rated at the same 480 hp at 7,000 rpm and 420 lb-ft at 4,600 rpm. This one shares its intake manifold, oil filter adapter, and engine-oil cooler with the Shelby GT350. The Bullitt was only offered with a Getrag six-speed manual. The Mach 1 gets the Shelby GT350’s Tremec TR-3160 manual and short-throw shifter along with its auxiliary oil cooler, though the Mustang GT’s twin-disc clutch is used. Mach 1 buyers can…

3 min
2020 genesis g90

FIRST LOOK Since its debut last fall at the Los Angeles Auto Show, we’ve chronicled the remarkably comprehensive midcycle refresh of Korea’s S-Class, the 2020 Genesis G90. Now, we’ve had an opportunity to slap our test gear on it and take the full measure of its refreshness. Our rear-drive 3.3-liter twin-turbo G90 proved quicker than all four of the G90 3.3Ts we’ve tested to date, hitting 60 mph in 5.1 seconds (0.1–0.3 second quicker) and crossing the quarter mile in 13.7 seconds at 102.8 mph (0.1–0.2 second quicker and 1.7–2.9 mph faster). Sure, all four 2017 and 2018 G90 3.3Ts we’ve run were equipped with the 150-pound HTRAC all-wheel-drive system, but at least one of them weighed slightly less than this 2020 rear-driver. Those acceleration numbers are within a tenth or two of…