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Road & Track

Road & Track November 2014

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

Somewhere around half a billion dollars' worth of vintage Ferrari Testa Rossas stretched in one ungodly line. I've always found these cars overbearing and a little awkward in pictures, but in person, I saw the truth: They're the most perfectly proportioned race cars ever made. They looked smaller than expected but still overtly masculine. Contributing Editor Colin Comer flashed me a glance. Without speaking, I knew what he was thinking: Our task just got infinitely trickier. From among the significant and historic vehicles at the Pebble Beach concours—one of the greatest car shows of the year—we had to pick the car we'd most like to drive and award its owner the Road & Track Trophy. That is, I know, the definition of a first-world problem. But I feel remarkably lucky to have…

4 min.
your turn: letters to road & track

Dear R&T, Eighty computers in the Porsche 918, which looks like a diesel-powered clam eating a weenie, and more ephemeral doorstops from Ferrari and McLaren? This is alienation, not progress. I went out to my garage, fell to my knees before my 1967 Corvette and 2006 Miata, and thanked them for their service, friendship, and simple goodness. LOU MARINCOVICH, Palo Alto, California McLaren P1: can't afford it, not interested. LaFerrari: can't afford it, not interested. Porsche 918: can't afford it, not interested. IAN CRAWFORD, Vancouver, Washington Thank you for your insightful reviews of the LaFerrari, 918, and P1. They will be invaluable when it comes time to trade in my Honda. PATRICK J. KURKOSKI, Portland, Oregon As a kid, I loved your magazine for showing me all the best, most exotic, and expensive cars in the world.…

12 min.
fuel for the driven life [ r&t : 11 : 2014 ]

This time he's on your side. Really. Page 23 Alfa's new Italian dream 20 All eyes on distracted driving 23 Designing Cadillac's comeback 26 In praise of Pebble Beach excess 28 SURVEY SAYS… Mercedes F1 driver Nico Rosberg hit his teammate Lewis Hamilton at Spa. We asked the R& staff: racing incident or recklessness? Racing incident: 100% "Rosberg pushed, Hamilton was out of position. Kind of like their entire season." —MAX PRINCE, ASSOCIATE EDITOR Rear View Miscellany from the last month 1954 FERRARI 375 MM SCAGLIETTI COUPE Winner of the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance Best of Show. The first Ferrari to win Pebble's top prize, and the first post-World War II winner since 1968. The car was originally a wedding present from Roberto Rossellini to Ingrid Bergman. "The one person that knows what happened is possibly facing 10 years in prison. Is…

4 min.
smithology: head case

We were talking about Porsche 911s. It was one of those chats that goes nowhere but nevertheless accomplishes something—my friend James Tate bought an '85 Carrera, he sent me an instant message, and 30 minutes disappeared into vagaries and nonsense. Club Sport wing—you need a Club Sport wing. You paid what? Did you hold him at gunpoint? Etc. In a previous life, Tate was an editor at Sport Compact Car. We have an unspoken agreement to talk each other down from, or onto, various automotive ledges, abetting or preventing mistakes as the mood strikes. (Tate, when I said I intended to drive a 100,000-mile Jaguar home from California without any tools: "YES." Tate when I bought a Caterham 7: "EAT ME, SMITH." You can see why I love Tate.) At one point,…

4 min.
quick limey: onward & untoward

The words barely penetrated my waking consciousness, but something registered from the pages of a weekly British car magazine: "Bugatti Veyron replacement will have over 1500 hp and hit 290 mph." Whatever. I couldn't care less, I thought, as I went off to water the tomato plants. Ten years ago I'd have struggled to suppress my delight and frantically written a column fantasizing over the concept of 290 on a public highway. Not now. Why the ennui? Maybe I've just become an old fart. Maybe the memory of a sudden lane change at 227 mph in the original hyper-Bug hit me. But really, the very-high-performance car currently sits at a crossroads, and the Veyron replacement is on the wrong side. It's a faceless collection of numbers designed to appeal to the…

12 min.
the new, the offbeat, and the just plain cool

Acura TLX 42 Bentley Continental GT Speed 44 Cadillac ATS Coupe 46 Chevrolet Corvette Automatic 48 [ 2015 ] ACURA TLX FIGHTING WITH ENGINEERING, NOT ART. THE AUTOMOBILE IS A COMMODITY these days—suspension, powertrain, safety, and braking systems have all been whittled down to a few tried-and-true configurations. Nearly every component is available off-the-shelf from one supplier or another. Engage the left brain to choose and tune the right bits and voilà, you have a good car. But creating a luxury car instead of a regular one isn't as straightforward: You can't just add wood, leather, and seat heaters. The secret sauce in the luxury recipe contains an elusive, intangible ingredient: desire. Desire is a decidedly right-brain thing. Audi and Mercedes-Benz have that art down to a science, so to speak. Acura, on the other hand, has…