The word "performance" seems to be thrown around a lot in the automotive world these days. With increasing expansion and competition within the luxury sport sedan category, manufacturers are eager to drop statistics about horsepower, torque, zero-to-60 speeds, and other numbers to woo (and maybe even slightly intimidate) potential buyers. But specifications alone can't convey the true spirit of a car; as Aristotle said, the whole is more than the sum of its parts. So it makes sense that the ideal road test subjects the car to a wide range of variables: twisty turns of varying camber, … Read more
Over the past month, Motor Trend has been working on a test to find America's best-handling car. It has dribbled out videos of some exciting on-track driving at Laguna Seca, plus commentary by test driver Max Angelelli. Motor Trend published the results of this lengthy test in its article, "Track attack! We find America's best-handling car". We could take issue with the title, which suggests only American cars are tested. The only American car maker represented is Chevrolet, with the Z06 Corvette. For the titular criteria, Motor Trend merely means cars sold in America.
We could … Read more
Last week, the editors of CNET Car Tech attended a mini car show where we not only got to look at the cars, we got to drive them. Beyond a sedate on-road loop, we also took some of the cars over serious off-road terrain and raced others around the track at Laguna Seca. On the first day of the Western Automotive Journalists Media Days, we drove a Subaru Forester and a Mercedes-Benz ML320 CDI along a light off-road course, then a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon over a very technical course.
It's difficult to describe the smell of boiling brake fluid and barbecued brake discs. Or the sound of a BMW M6 being flogged to within an inch of its life, squealing for mercy as it hangs on to traction by the skin of its Z-rated rubber. We just got back from a day of track testing at California's Laguna Seca raceway, courtesy of the Western Automotive Journalist association, and can report it was by far the most enjoyable day's work we've done for a long time.
Among the cars up for grabs were many of the … Read more