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MotorTrend November 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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12 Issues

in this issue

3 min
james hetfield

Guitar-shredding James Hetfield, the lead singer of Metallica, is known around the world for his music, but he’s also a passionate car customizer who recently donated most of his collection to the Petersen Automotive Museum. You can also see them in his new book, Reclaimed Rust: The Four-Wheeled Creations of James Hetfield. You have an enormously popular band. You have a fleet of custom cars. You have a family. You have a ranch. What made you think, “I should write a book, too”? I knew these cars needed to be seen by other people. I just wanted to have a book, basically kind of a yearbook, of all the cars that Rick Dore and I have put together. Having a book is a lot easier than having all these cars in a…

4 min
reference mark

A man envisions a future of electric cars, starting with a high-powered, six-figure, midsize super sedan, followed by a platform-sharing SUV, then migrating to smaller, more affordable vehicles in mass quantities. Sales will be mostly handled online (thanks to a virtual reality app), with a scattering of factory-run boutique stores in tony enclaves. Service will be via remote van. If it reads a little like Tesla’s playbook, it’s because Peter Rawlinson, the Lucid Motors CEO and CTO, was once Elon Musk’s engineering czar before venturing out on his own. He wants to build a better mousetrap. It’s also basic business strategy: You have to pay off your initial investors, and selling high-zoot luxury cars delivers larger margins than trying to pinch pennies to sell zillions of small, affordable EVs. It all sounds great…

7 min
swan song

After 103 years, Lincoln is getting out of the business of making sleek, stylish sedans to concentrate on building the elephantine SUVs that everyone wants now. That’s sad news for car enthusiasts, but at least the brand is exiting the way it entered: with a high-end, coach-built special. Ask any automotive history buff which American automaker offered the most custom body designs in its catalog, and they’ll likely be surprised to learn it was Lincoln. We have Henry Ford’s son, Edsel, to thank for that. Immediately upon being placed in charge of Ford’s newly acquired Lincoln brand in 1922, Edsel set about enlisting the top custom coachbuilders in the U.S. to design bodywork for the brand’s technically brilliant Model L chassis. Over the years, Lincoln worked with nearly all the big houses: Brunn,…

2 min
mt confidential

NO, MR. BOND, I EXPECT YOU TO BUY… Have a spare $3.3 million and want the ultimate addition to your toy box? Word out of Newport Pagnell is a handful of the 25 Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger continuation cars—brand-new James Bond DB5s with functional and faithfully recreated 007 gadgets—remain unsold. Insiders blame the pandemic but also note demand in the U.S. market has been softer than expected. SAVE THE V-12: The MRA2 vehicle architecture that underpins the seventh-generation Mercedes-Benz S-Class has been engineered to allow fitment of the 6.0-liter V-12. That’s the good news. The bad news: The V-12 won’t be available in the new S-Class. Only the closely related Mercedes-Maybach will get the V-12, sources in Stuttgart have confirmed. The new Maybach shares most of its hardware with the…

4 min
2023 cadillac lyriq concept

FIRST LOOK Cadillac enjoyed two years of increasing sales pre-pandemic, but MotorTrend hasn’t exactly been singing the praises of its heart-of-market XT4, XT5, and XT6 crossover vehicles. The brand hopes to change our tune with the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq (like a song’s words), by giving it dramatic proportions and a new face, plus Tesla-esque electric performance, range, and technology. Technically, the “show car” you’re seeing here is a concept, but Cadillac assures us it’s 80–85 percent production-ready. With the 2023 model year two years away, you can expect the final production Lyriq to look very similar. THIS IS A CONCEPT, BUT CADILLAC ASSURES US IT’S 80–85 PERCENT PRODUCTION-READY. Its Ultium EV platform will feature rear-or performance all-wheel drive, powered by an underfloor structural battery featuring nickel-cobalt-manganese-aluminum chemistry that supports 150-kW public DC fast charging…

4 min
2021 ram 1500 trx

FIRST LOOK Blame social media for coming up with the nickname. Ram execs swear “TRX” is not pronounced “T. rex.” They say internet forums made it up. Not like Ram is going to stop the chatter, because the false name makes a certain sense. As Jurassic Park taught us (incorrectly), Tyrannosaurus rexes lunched on Velociraptors back in the day. Frankly, we fret that this new TRX, powered by a 702-hp, 650-lb-ft supercharged V-8, might not feel sated upon devouring the current Ford Raptor, what with its comparatively puny 450-hp, 510-lb-ft twin-turbo V-6. It’s tempting to get greedy and wonder: Why doesn’t the TRX get the fully hellish 707-plus horsepower? Because it needs a deep-sump truck oil pan capable of guaranteeing proper lubrication at wild off-roady angles and new exhaust manifolds. To cope…