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Road & Track

Road & Track March/April 2016

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

1 min.
wales rally great britain

CAPTURING THE LIFE AT SPEED The 2015 FIA World Rally Championship season culminated with the Wales Rally GB: Nineteen punishing stages of mud and mayhem across three days and 191 tangled miles. Seventy-eight teams of two men in a car versus the clock and the elements—maximum attack. The British have long embraced rallying and have hosted this race since the early 1930s, but it wasn’t until Colin McRae’s heroic 1995 run in a little blue Subaru that a British driver brought home the WRC championship. The victory made McRae a folk hero and put Subaru on the map. To mark the 20th anniversary of McRae’s win, Subaru sent seven-time Rally America champion David Higgins, an Isle of Man native who idolized McRae, back home to Britain to compete in a new production-class WRX…

1 min.
day one | sweet lamb

Much of the Wales Rally’s nearly 200 miles winds through dense forests, limiting fans to watching the event one corner at a time. At Sweet Lamb, however, most of the stage’s action takes place within a breathtaking natural stadium of pastureland. From atop the hill, spectators get a front-row seat as cars hurtle flat out down a 250-foot descent into the valley. You can track drivers visually all the way to the bottom before they climb the other side toward the next stage. French duo Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia (above) piloted their Volkswagen Polo R WRC to overall victory. Down in “the bowl,” with its trademark water crossing, mud chicane, and punishing finish-line jump, cars like this face-planting Škoda Fabia R5 (right) shrugged off abuse that would have decimated an Indy…

1 min.
day two | the enchanted forest

In the shadow of the mountains of Snowdonia, the forest stage at Dyfi demands a long walk to one of the isolated spectator areas. It’s worth every trudging step. The thick canopy provides shelter from the wind and rain, and the moss-covered, old-growth forest floor feels like it’s straight out of a fairy tale—one that includes boisterous Germans handing out bratwurst cooked on a grill that they hauled into the woods. CANON EOS-6D, 16–35MM LENS @ 16MM, ISO 400, 1/50 SEC @ f/2.8 After a full day of racing across seven brutal stages, crews had only 30 minutes in the Deeside service park to make repairs and ready the cars for two nighttime stages. An eternity compared with a NASCAR pit stop, a half hour is often barely enough time to undo…

1 min.
day three | the monsoon

“Is that where you’re going to stand?” That’s what the marshal said as I took my position, trying in vain to shield my camera from the rain blown sideways by 60-mph wind gusts. “Because sometimes,” he added, “drivers lose it coming over this crest. That wire fence stops sheep. Not cars.” Sure enough, the very next car over the crest lost it, bouncing from one tire to another across the narrow mud path, the far wheels flirting with the ditch. I held the shutter down and fired a dozen or so shots as driver Jari-Matti Latvala somehow wrested the VW Polo R WRC under control and flew past. Twelve frames equals one second—I wouldn’t have made it very far if I had needed to turn and run. Glancing at the camera’s screen, I…

4 min.

Dear R&T, Bob Lutz obviously has a vested interest in seeing Tesla fail [Go Lutz Yourself, November]. Tesla is out to change the entire model for transportation, from acquisition to usage and servicing, but Lutz wants it to just build a slightly better Chevy Volt. PETER WALLACK, SUNNYVALE, CALIFORNIA Lutz’s design recommendation to Tesla sounds a lot like the new Volt: “An entry-level model with a cheaper, rangeextended hybrid driveline. . . . Something that’s electric most of the time, say 50 or 60 miles, but can carry on under gasoline power.” For most people, that’s a more realistic choice than an electriconly vehicle at any price. ALFRED CAMPANELLA CHERRY HILL, NEW JERSEY I strongly agree that Tesla is in trouble if it doesn’t do anything amid lower gas prices. The new Model X crossover, although…

2 min.
editor’s letter

THE LAST THING I NEEDED was a 51-year-old Mustang. As much as I’d fallen for editor-at-large Sam Smith’s 1965 GT350 clone, when he told me he was selling, I simply didn’t know what I would do with it. The exhaust kickers vibrated my innards so violently, I lost my breath. The manual brakes required a huge shove. Air-conditioning? Not a chance. The charm, of course, was in the car’s incivility, but what does a guy with a wife and three kids do with such a machine of menace? Road trips? Ice-cream runs? And I already have my Formula Ford to play with. Even though Smith graciously gave me right of first refusal, I was inclined to pass. But then I casually mentioned the car around the dinner table that night. My…