ZINIO logo
Cars & Motorcycles
Road & Track

Road & Track March 2015 - April 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

Read More
United States

in this issue

4 min.

Dear R&T, I loved November’s Motown Mile showdown between the Alfa 4C and Jaguar F-type R, two enchantingly beautiful (and potentially brand-saving) cars. I must say, though, the Alfa would be my pick. Being 2.4 seconds quicker on your track isn’t worth the extra $50,000 for the F-type. In time, aftermarket support could surely help the little 4C best the big, bad Jag around the Mile. DAN ILIKA, TORONTO, ONTARIO PONTI-YUCK I’m no fan of the Pontiac Aztek, but the amount of hatred heaped on that car is unwarranted [Go Lutz Yourself, November 2014]. Considering GM’s dull lineup at the time, it’s remarkable that such a distinctively styled vehicle made it to showrooms at all. Everyone faults the Aztek for being ugly, but nobody mentions its corporate sibling, the Buick Rendezvous, which was much…

2 min.
editor’s letter

AFTER 12 YEARS ON THIS EARTH, the time had come for my son to learn the cathartic efects of tool throwing and swearing. So I asked for his help wrestling the engine from our recently acquired race car. He got a good lesson that night. Despite the seeming simplicity of my 1978 Formula Ford—welded steel tubes, wheels, and an engine—I could not fgure out how to separate the transmission from the motor. The kid enjoyed my incompetence—and the resultant antics—so much, he volunteered to join me again the following night. Editor-at-large Sam Smith and I caught Formula Ford fever more than a year ago, after we attended a vintage race and drooled over the open-wheel cars of the Sixties, with their slender fuselages and delicate suspensions. This, to my eye, is…

1 min.
dakar 2015: grit and glory

CAPTURING THE LIFE AT SPEED DESOLATION ROW Three countries. 5600 miles. 14 days. This is Dakar, the most brutal of-road race on earth, and we’re obsessed with the resulting photographic spectacle. For 2015, the route ran west from Buenos Aires across Argentina, up the Chilean coast, over the Andes into Bolivia, and back. Of the 406 entrants, 186 failed to fnish. It’s the sheer magnitude of the rally that grabs you, the biblical scale of it all. Then you consider the elemental wrath encountered along the way, heat and dust and darkness. Fear, too, because South America isn’t a predictable place. With its 12,000-foot altitudes, 30 percent gradients, and 120-degree afternoons, Dakar’s about as hospitable as Tyburn gallows. Out here, when you’re vulnerable and alone, it’s easy to get disoriented or stranded.…

9 min.
fenced in

FLOATING AROUND ON A CRUISE SHIP, eating and drinking all day in a Hawaiian shirt is all very well, but I’ve always wanted to take a real ocean liner across the North Atlantic specifically to go somewhere. I’d rather face the cruel sea of World War II convoy fame in a sturdy steel ship that cuts through heavy weather unfazed than sit around the pool with a nice umbrella drink in my hand. And so we did, just a few months ago, in a long-delayed retirement trip. Barb and I few from Wisconsin to New York, boarded the Queen Mary 2 (a stunningly beautiful ship in all respects— and fast!), sailed past the Statue of Liberty, and arrived seven days later in Southampton, England, in the early morning. Naturally, I had…

3 min.
derriere deceit

EACH TIME SOMEONE LEARNED that my 2015 Dodge Challenger wasn’t a 707-hp Hellcat, he let out a sigh loud enough to drown out the fathead V-8s screaming down the drag strip. The Challenger was “just” a Scat Pack with 485 hp, but as I continually pointed out, I had also recently driven a stick-shift Hellcat—and this automatic Scat Pack felt just as fast. I was full of it. The Challenger Scat Pack ran the quartermile in 12.7 seconds at 110.2 mph. Impressive, especially at Sonoma Raceway’s uphill, into-a-headwind drag strip, but nowhere near as quick as a Hellcat. The last one we tested did the quarter 0.7 second sooner and a staggering 14.6 mph faster. Either my derriere-dyno was totally out of adjustment, or something else was going on. I poked at…

12 min.
nowhere in particular

IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A ROAD TO NOWHERE IN particular, you can hardly do better than Route 165 toward Carbonado, Washington. The narrow twolane firts with the Carbon River for a few miles before vanishing into Mount Rainier National Park. The road grows tighter, hugging canyon walls that were cut by the river below over eons. The S3 is nervous over the uneven pavement, skipping and bouncing across bumps and dips. Seattle and the surrounding country is an oil painting in earth tones, a world hung in muted greens, blues, and browns. The S3 fts in like a frecracker, its blister-red paint shouting at the wan clouds in an inanimate act of madness. The dirt splayed down the car’s fanks looks like a half-hearted attempt at camoufage. I’m here because the Pacific…