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Road & Track

Road & Track November 2013

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

3 min.
editor's letter

Michael Mauer, Porsche's head of design, pulled a small Moleskine from his breast pocket. The corners were dented, the paper crinkled from heavy use. He cracked it open and let the pages flip through his fingers until he landed on one near the middle. On this business-card-sized sheet, there was an ink sketch of a car unlike any I had ever seen. It was short like a Ford GT40, but a little longer, with oversized wheels and a delicate, flowing character line from front to rear. I was mesmerized. "It's a car for maybe sometime in the future," Mauer said, in fluent but accented English. I stared at it until he turned the page. Wait, I asked—let me take a quick picture? He laughed, snapped the book shut, and stuffed it in…

4 min.
your turn: letters to road & track

Dear R&T, I don't believe your hype that the new Corvette is the sports car because it cured the C6's at-the-limit snap-oversteer problems. I think it has more to do with the C7's new supersticky Michelin tires than electric steering and a new differential. The outside of the new car is controversial at best, and the inside looks like a 1990 C4, just with better materials. The digital tach will look old long before the C8 comes out. Straight-line performance is pretty much the same as the old car, as the additional curb weight over the base C6 offsets the 25 new horsepower. Which leaves the $2500 competition seats as the only real improvement. For $70,000 with the must-have options, I expected a more exciting, lighter, and better-looking car. CHRIS GEUTING, Durham,…

2 min.
why so purty?: ford gt40

Everyone knows the story: Spurned by Enzo, an irate Henry Ford II (a.k.a. the Deuce) stabbed Ferrari in the heart at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans by taking the top three spots. The Blue Oval then owned the race for the next three years. Dearborn's contender, the GT40, was an evolution of the 1963 Lola Mk6 that borrowed heavily from the mid-engine 1962 Mustang 1 concept—small surprise, considering designer Roy Lunn was in charge of both cars. The GT40's muscular beauty was no accident; it was penned for looks as much as speed. Mark West explains why the Ford still makes our tongues wag decades later. "People think of design as a narrative. With the GT40, you have this incredible story: the Deuce, Carroll Shelby, Gurney, big American personalities…

3 min.
almost famous

SAAB SUFFERED AN IGNOMINIOUS DEATH IN 2012, ITS MANAGEMENT DESPERATELY grasping at funding throughout a protracted demise. But even as the end neared for the Swedish brand, former design director Jason Castriota—the mastermind behind the Ferrari P4/5by Pininfarina and the Maserati GranTurismo—was penning all-new designs, hoping the company could hang on long enough to birth fresh sheetmetal. Here, he takes us through the never-before-seen Saabs that nearly were.—AS TOLD TO JOSH CONDON The idea was that each production model would fall somewhere between two concept-car reference points: the Aero X that debuted in Paris in 2006, and the PhoeniX from Geneva in 2011. The Aero X was the epitome of cool geometric forms, while the PhoeniX was used to broaden our design bandwidth and explore a new youthful language. Larger, more…

3 min.
the business end: detroit by design

DETROIT-BORN FASHION DESIGNER JOHN VARVATOS HAS A HISTORY WITH CHRYSLER THAT DATES BACK TO A COUPLE OF COLLEGE SUMMERS HE SPENT WORKING IN A PENTASTAR FACTORY. MORE RECENTLY—AND NOTABLY—HE CREATED THE 2013 CHRYSLER 300 JOHN VARVATOS LIMITED EDITION. WE TALKED TO THE HIGH PRIEST OF ROCK-'N'-ROLL HIGH FASHION ABOUT THE LEARNING CURVE OF CROSS-DISCIPLINE COLLABORATION, STUDDED SHIFT KNOBS, AND THE GOSPEL OF MADE IN AMERICA. "Chrysler had run a Super Bowl ad with Eminem that was very emotional—Detroit pride, American pride, rebuilding. About a month later, we got a call asking if I'd be interested in doing the follow-up ad about my connection to Detroit. After that, they asked me to do a one-off show car for the New York auto show. I was really excited about that. That's how the…

3 min.
behind the screen: virtualosity

Think racing games are for kids? A title like Forza Motorsport 5 ($60, Xbox One) is years in the making and requires the work of hundreds of people, from graphics engineers to experience designers and even pro hotshoes. Think of it as an at-home version of the sims that modern racers use to train.BY JESSE WILL SKIN Building a production-ready version of a car for Forza takes about six months, and the game's developers only work with vehicles they can physically get their hands on—even if that means traveling to a far-flung museum, track, or private collection. With modern cars, the team often starts with the same raw manufacturing data that the carmaker used to create the real thing. Example: Because Forza's designers crafted their digital McLaren P1 (top) in the…