Cars & Motorcycles
Road & Track

Road & Track August 2017

Road & Track includes technical features on automotive subjects, wide-ranging feature stories, spectacular automotive art and standard-setting new-car photography, humor, fiction, travel stories, book reviews and the most comprehensive racing coverage offered by a monthly magazine.Bonus: iPad Interactive

United States
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in this issue

2 min.

SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF What makes supercars super? Expense? Exclusivity? Performance? Sure, but look closer: The louvers on a Ferrari 275 GTB/C. That famous gold foil lining the McLaren F1’s engine bay. Titanium suspension bolts laser-etched with Pagani’s logos on a Huayra. Supercars are playgrounds for design, their details dictated by imagination, not compromise. The details are part of why we lust over them, and why nobody ever hung a cutaway of a Chevy Citation on their bedroom wall. The triple-barrel exhaust of the Lexus LFA trumpets a 9000-rpm, v-10-powered song. Lexus worked with Yamaha’s musical-instrument division to pipe the sound into the cabin. PHOTOGRAPH BY MATTHEW LITTLE | SONY ALPHA DSLR-A100, MINOLTA 50MM f/1.7 LENS, ISO 100, 1/13 SEC @ f/2.0 ORIGIN OF SPECIES The Mercedes-Benz 300SL “Gullwing” pioneered the supercar’s signature feature—the unconventional…

4 min.

Dear R&T, I was all smiles to open the May issue. Sports-car racing feature with better-than-typical perspectives and photos, check. Artistic funk and color by way of Cuba, check. McLarens side by side, check. Green genie named Camaro, check. Alfa gem, Lambo brute, Bimmer eye candy, and an AMG vision of beauty, check, check, and double check! Thanks for the goods. DARRELL FIELDS, BEAVERTON, OREGON This is why I subscribe to R&T, for sports-car racing coverage. You will never have too much. I do not mind the lag time between event and print. Coverage of the so-called minor series is just as important for garnering a wider fan base and thereby supporting the entire sport. More, please, lots more. CHRIS GARRAMON CHOTEAU, MONTANA I hope your sports-car special, especially the excellent “Sports-Car Racing 101” spotter’s…

2 min.
editor’s letter

HOW LONG WILL AUTOMAKERS CONTINUE building our kinds of cars? Hardly a week goes by that someone isn’t announcing a better extended-range electric vehicle or new developments in selfdriving tech. While there’s no arguing with the benefits of saving the planet and, better still, saving people from their own poor driving, all this talk of EVs and autonomy begs the question: What does the future hold for people who still love to drive? The three massively anticipated supercars in this issue—the Ford GT (page 30), Porsche 911 GT3 (page 64), and Bugatti Chiron (page 48)—show that we shouldn’t worry so much. Each approaches performance differently, and each delivers a distinct driving experience. But they all strongly indicate manufacturers’ willingness to invest in pushing the boundaries of performance, design, and driver engagement. The…

5 min.
walk a line

IT WAS HOT AT LAGUNA. Or rather, it was hot at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, which is what they call the place on ticket stubs. Except you only use that name when you’re serious, just as my mother only calls me Samuel Procter Smith when she regrets having children. Laguna’s title sponsor helps the track stay afloat, and we should be thankful. (Unrelated editorial statement: Buy a Mazda Miata! Great car, bubbles joy into the world.) But when you’re dealing with old friends, you fall into shorthand. Which is a shock in itself. A first-name basis. Wow. Laguna is in California. I grew up in the South, thousands of miles away. It seemed hopelessly distant then, as the West Coast does when you’re young. I distinctly remember watching a Laguna CART race…

9 min.
mission accompl ished

IT’S A RACE CAR FOR THE ROAD.” You’ve heard that line many times, but it’s almost never true. There are plenty of viscerally fast performance vehicles, and several have symbiotic relationships with motorsport programs. The Chevrolet Corvette and Porsche 911, for instance, serve as the basis for efforts in multiple racing series and have variants (Z06, GT3 RS) that incorporate lessons learned at the track. But that doesn’t change the fact that they, along with nearly every new vehicle on the market today, were conceived and engineered primarily for you to buy in a showroom. Those racier versions range from heavily modified to completely reworked and exist largely to bolster the image of the entire model line. There’s nothing wrong with that. We don’t think less of the Corvette and 911 because…

9 min.
urge overkill

BITTERLY DISAPPOINTING. That was my take on driving the Bugatti Chiron. But it’s a perverse kind of disappointment. One you get having only managed 217 mph in a car whose speedometer is calibrated to 300. Let’s be clear: The Bugatti was game enough; only my diligence spoiled the fun. We could have gone faster if I’d carried on down the Portuguese freeway until the next exit. But if I’d done that, we would have missed our date with Jamie Lipman’s lens, I would have had to illustrate the feature by hand, and you might have mistaken this story for a retrospective on the ’61 Continental. How much was left in the tank’s tank? The Chiron’s electronically limited top speed, in its normal driving setup, is 236 mph. Insert a second key down…