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Road & Track

Road & Track February 2015

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

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in this issue

7 min.

Dear R&T, Marshall Pruett's indictment ["Dear Auto Racing: It's Not You, It's Us. Also, It's You," October 2014] is spot-on. Is racing dead? Unfortunately, yes, or at least on its last legs. I'm in my seventies now and a lifelong fan, but I no longer watch motorsports on TV. What's next, robocars? I hate to sound like an old fogy, but the good old days are gone. I am lucky to have those memories. ROBERT BARKOFF, SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA Reasons I lost interest in motor racing: (1) Everyone uses identical (spec) cars. (2) Yellow flag, yellow flag, yellow flag, yellow flag … followed by yellow flag. It's that simple. THOMAS DEWS NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE The traffic jam NASCAR calls "keeping it competitive" has sucked all the excitement out of our sport. So, yes, we have stopped watching…

1 min.
capturing the life at speed

DIGITAL REVOLUTION The Chaparral 2X VGT, Chevy's Gran Turismo concept, debuts at the Los Angeles auto show packing a 671-kW laser-propulsion system. Think of it as a 900-hp wing suit—the driver is prone, appendages splayed to each wheel. Top speed? 240 mph. Because lasers. PHOTOGRAPH BY ANDREW YEADON CANON EOS 5D MARK II, 24–105MM F/4 LENS, ISO 100, F/22, 2.0 SEC FROM WOKING, WITH LOVE McLaren techs massage XP2R, a prototype of the 903-hp P1, before its Nürburgring shakedown. Production of the bigger, badder, 986-hp P1 GTR begins later this year, celebrating the 20th anniversary of McLaren's overall win at Le Mans in 1995. PHOTOGRAPH BY PATRICK GOSLING CANON EOS 1D X, 20MM F/2.8 LENS, ISO 320, F/2.8, ⅙0 SEC AIR APPARENT Rhys Millen does his best Dr. J impression at November's Global Rallycross season finale in Las Vegas. Ken…

5 min.
snow-blind: smithology

EVERY CAR LIVES. AS FOR DEATH, THAT'S UP TO YOU. ABOVE ALL, I REMEMBER THE DRIVE from California. A blizzard, I-80 in Wyoming, Ted Leo blasting from the speakers. Full throttle at the top of third gear and enough snow to drown a Sasquatch. It left the sky in a deathless gust, pinwheeling over the hood like confetti, blotting onto the windshield so quickly the wipers barely kept up. An old friend was in the right seat, quiet. Probably thinking I was going to crash and have us eaten by bears. I remember the steely look on his face, but also passing a plow truck in a fit of giddy opposite lock. What I don't remember is the last time I so totally, in-the-moment loved an automobile. The car's gone now. Last week,…

6 min.
rare forced air: enginerdy

WE DON'T LIKE THE TURBO," said the man with the Italian accent. Before I could stand up and cheer, he continued, "but it's the right way to reduce emissions without sacrificing performance." Oh. A rare moment of honesty, then a graceful slingshot into the same turbo spin we've heard from all corners of the globe. But this was the first time I'd heard a senior executive from a major carmaker admit that turbos are less than perfect. The fact is, every car company is being forced into forced induction, for the exact reasons our Italian friend gave. Since neither he nor the company he works for, Ferrari, can come out and say it, I will: Turbos aren't the best solution, especially for high-performance cars, and they don't always provide the benefits that…

8 min.
2016 mercedes-amg gt s: mercenary merc

YES, SURE, THAT'S ALL WELL AND GOOD, BUT … is it better than a Porsche 911? What a thing it must be, to spend four years bringing a new sports car to life—and not just any sports car, but only the second vehicle developed entirely in-house by supertuners AMG, with a bespoke new 503-hp, 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 and carryover bits from the company's F1 and DTM programs—and all anyone wants to know is whether it outshines the model that your competitor across town has spent 50 years perfecting. To be fair, AMG itself has been courting this comparison, discreetly or otherwise, since the model was announced. Normally it's the automotive media's job to stand at the edge of the playground screaming "Fight! Fight!" while a pair of automakers avoid eye contact and…

16 min.
the road & track test | 2015 chevrolet corvette z06: civil war machine

TO: Larry Webster, Editor-in-Chief FROM: Sam Smith, Executive Editor SUBJECT: Corvette Z06 Media Launch, Road Atlanta Larry, We've known each other a long time, so I assume you will trust me on what follows. I am writing this mere minutes after driving the 650-hp Z06 at Road Atlanta, because I do not want its sentiment dulled by time. If I bought one of these things, I would get dead. Not injured, not arrested, but dead. Not because the Z06 is hairy, but because it so effectively reclocks your street-car comfort zone that you end up at decisions you never thought you'd see. DO I NEED TO TRAVERSE THAT ON-RAMP AT A BUCK-TWENTY? OF COURSE. But society doesn't move at that pace. You would eventually have someone pull out in front of you and be traveling…