Page 1


Gunning past Granny SR 92 east before Skyline April 22nd, 8:21:07 am


THE NEW SONATA TURBO


inside NOVEMBER 2010

Automobile

features

82

Maturity has its benefits.

52 2012 FORD MUSTANG BOSS 302

By Joe Lorio Ford resurrects its iconic Boss nameplate in two flavors: a street car and a limited-edition track star.

55 THE TEN GREATEST FORD MUSTANGS

72 DECISIONS, DECISIONS, DECISIONS

After nearly forty-seven years of nonstop production, the Mustang has seen many highs—and a few lows. Here’s our list of the top ten Mustangs of all time, plus the greatest Mustang moments in Hollywood and racing history.

By Eric Tingwall and David Zenlea While traveling the road of life, you don’t have to compromise a desire for performance against the demands of practicality. We gather three pairs of cars that will help you move up the automotive ladder in price and, more important, performance.

66 HYUNDAI EQUUS

88 RARE BREEDS

By Jamie Kitman Ready or not, the new Equus marks Hyundai’s inexorable rise to the luxury sedan segment.

By Don Sherman We drive four sports cars you’ve never heard of in Britain, where obscure car manufacturers abound.

AUTOMOBILE (ISSN 0894-3583) (USPS 000-934) (GST 135274306) Vol 25 #8 is published monthly by Source Interlink Media, LLC., 261 Madison Avenue, Fifth Floor, New York, New York 10016. Periodicals postage is paid at New York, New York, and additional mailing offices. Subscription rates for one year: in U.S. and possessions, $19.94; in Canada, $27.94. Foreign rates on request. For subscriptions, address changes, and adjustments, write to AUTOMOBILE Magazine, P.O. Box 420235, Palm Coast, Florida 32142–0235, or email automobile@emailcustomerservice.com or call 800–289–2886 (U.S.), 386–447–6383 (international). Please include name, address, and telephone number on any inquiries. AUTOMOBILE is a trademark of Source Interlink Magazines, LLC. Copyright © 2010 by Source Interlink Magazines, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is prohibited. Manuscripts, photos,and other material submitted must be accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope; AUTOMOBILE Magazine assumes no responsibility for unsolicited material. Printed in U.S.A. Postmaster: Send address changes to AUTOMOBILE Magazine, P.O. Box 420235, Palm Coast, Florida 32142–0235. Canadian Post Publications Mail Agreement No. 40612608. Returns to be sent to Pitney Bowes International Mail Services, P.O. Box 25542, London, ON N6C 6B2

4

Automobile | November 2010

COVER PHOTOGRAPHY BY TIM ANDREW


THINK ABOUT IT. If your day had its own highlight reel, would your commute be on it? With the Sonata 2.0T it might. In fact, those few seconds when its 274-hp, 34-MPG turbo engine kicks in just might make your top five. Find out more at Facebook.com/SonataTurboFace.

THE NEW SONATA TURBO


inside NOVEMBER 2010

Automobile

departments

12

ignition 12

NEWS

22

BY DESIGN

BMW’s M100 concept turned supercar; tiny electric-car upstarts; a conversation with the founder of bringatrailer.com; acrostic poems for automakers—and ourselves.

Automobile

MAG.COM

>>visit us online

By Robert Cumberford

The original pony car—the 1964½ Ford Mustang—was the right car for the right time.

17

24

NOISE, VIBRATION & HARSHNESS By Jamie Kitman

Celebrating the life of master mechanic Domenico Spadaro.

26

DYER CONSEQUENCES By Ezra Dyer

Mobile APP

Stay up to date with your favorite car magazine on both iPhone and Android smart phones for FREE!

With fatherhood comes big changes, including an appreciation for big cars.

28 32

LETTERS

Fodder for memories, Hyundai’s big whoop, and the Jerkmobile Special.

driven 32

FORD EDGE AND LINCOLN MKX

Is it more than just sheetmetal that differentiates these two crossovers?

43

HONDA ODYSSEY

48

SCION tC

106

Still the one.

Strong enough for a man, but made for a young woman.

RUMORS

Rumor Central is the place you’ll find the latest news on the industry. Want to tell Automobile Magazine editors how you feel about a particular story? We welcome your comments.

upshift 96 106 111

FOUR SEASONS WRAP Despite a few annoyances, the 2010 Mazda 3 left us grinning.

FOUR SEASONS LOGBOOK

We take the road less traveled to test the off-road skills of our Four Seasons crossovers—Acura ZDX, Audi Q5, and Subaru Outback—and explain the four-wheel-drive systems of each.

111 COLLECTIBLE CLASSIC The 1990–91 Audi 90 Quattro 20V has room for five. Cylinders, that is.

116

114 AUCTIONS

Highlights from the heady mix of buyers, vintage cars, and money at the five auctions that took place during one eventful weekend in August on California’s Monterey Peninsula.

122 VILE GOSSIP By Jean Jennings

The automotive weekend of the year.

8

Automobile | November 2010

EDITORS’ NOTEBOOK

The Automobile Magazine test fleet is always changing, and we can’t possibly cram all of our driving impressions into the monthly print magazine. Read web-exclusive reviews on dozens of new cars in our Editors’ Notebook section at automobilemag.com/reviews.


1860

1916

1969

1860

Edouard Heuer founded his workshop in the Swiss Jura.

1916

First mechanical stopwatch accurate to 1/100th of a second.

1969

First automatic chronograph.

2010

TAG Heuer GRAND CARRERA Calibre 17 RS.

2010

1.866.675.2080 www.tagheuer.com


>WQbc`SBVWa

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Editorial

The Suits

PRESIDENT AND EDITOR-IN-CHIEF JEAN JENNINGS

SVP, GROUP PUBLISHER IRA GABRIEL

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ignition IT ALL STARTS HERE

the deep dive

b

MW’S STRIKING VISION

EfficientDynamics concept is headed for production in late 2012 or early 2013 as a 450-hp, twin-turbocharged halo for the company’s new environmental initiative. Theoretically at least, the production car, which may be badged M100 (shown here as an artist’s interpretation based on spy photos), has what it takes to eclipse its most serious rivals. Extensive computer simulation suggests that it will outpace the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, the Audi R8 5.2, and the Porsche 911 Turbo. Power will likely come from the twin-turbo in-line six that’s being cooked up for the next M3 and will be transmitted to the rear wheels via a dual-clutch automatic transmission. How can such a car be considered at all environmentally sensitive? Well, it will be available in slightly tamer, greener form, tentatively dubbed the i100 ActiveHybrid. More important, though, the new sports car scores green points by sharing its platform and composition with Project i, BMW’s ambitious range of

luggage, the top-hinged rear window lifts up. A second cargo receptacle can be found in the nose of the vehicle. Like other Project i variants, the sports car consists of a carbon-fiber passenger compartment fixed to an aluminum chassis. While the M100 will be rearwheel drive only, the i100 will feature an electric motor at each wheel, in addition to a smaller gas engine. What that engine will be is still up in the air. The engineers seem to favor a new 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder, but top management, fearful that sports car buyers will shy away from such a small powerplant, may still tip the scales in favor of a turbo four-cylinder. Altogether, the i100 should put out nearly 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. Lithium-ion batteries to power the electric motors will be tucked away in the center backbone and near the firewall. The plug-in hybrid version of the i100 is said to offer a zero-emissions driving range of ten to thirty miles, depending on conditions. The M100 ditches the batteries and

The fastest, most expensive minicars. In fact, the i100 and the front motors but will still get an M100 are a big reason why electric boost via supercapacitors. Project i needed to have a The supercapacitors, which are rear-mounted engine and smaller and lighter than batteries, rear-wheel drive. By moving the can store surplus energy from engine as close as possible to the regenerative braking and then rear wheels, BMW’s packaging send it to the rear wheels to by GEORG support full-throttle takeoff and wizards created something most sports cars cannot offer: two KACHER passing maneuvers. usable, if not quite commodious, The M100 should be the rear seats. Access to the second row fastest M car ever. In all likelihood, it will shouldn’t be a major issue, as the also be the most expensive. Prices are production car will feature the gull-wing expected to start at about $225,000, with doors from the 2009 Frankfurt show the i100 coming in at a more reasonable, concept car. To stow a limited quantity of but still very dear, $125,000 or so. AM

12

Automobile | November 2010

BMW & MERCEDES-BENZ ILLUSTRATIONS BY AUTOBILD/LARSON

BMW’S EFFICIENTDYNAMICS CONCEPT HEADS TO PRODUCTION AS A SCREAMING SUPERCAR—ONE EVEN ENVIRONMENTALISTS CAN EMBRACE.


VOICE FROM THE INSIDE: “We believe it makes sense to forge a link between our superfrugal city car and our high-performance sports car. By doing so, we define a terrain that offers plenty of opportunities for future in-between offerings.”

M vehicle ever. Find more of Georg Kacher’s insider news and web-exclusive Deep Dives at automobilemag.com/extra.

Volkswagen schemes to buy Alfa Romeo and return the Italian marque to its sporty roots.

Mercedes-Benz readies its next S-class and revives Maybach with five new V-12-powered models.

442

BMW plans a frontwheel-drive 1-series, based closely on the next-generation Mini Cooper, for 2013.

BMW’s internal name for the M100 project. It was originally referred to as “444,” until someone pointed out that in the Nazi era this stood for “Germany to the Germans!” The new code name shouldn’t offend anyone, but it might confuse Oldsmobile owners and soccer fans.

November 2010 | Automobilemag.com

13


ignition

start-up invasion

Electric Bubble

ZAPTRUCK XL

PHOENIX SUT

MYERS NmG (No more Gas)

A Chinese-market Mitsubishi imported to a factory in Ohio, where Coda will convert it to run on batteries.

A four-door electric hatchback—and the first real Chinese car for sale in the United States.

A two-seat, two-door hatchback that would look right at home on a shelf at Ikea.

A small, utilitarian pickup.

A small four-door pickup.

A miniaturized, single-seat Oscar Mayer Weinermobile that runs on lithium-ion batteries.

Vista, California

Santa Monica, California

Shenzhen, China

Fornebu, Norway

Santa Rosa, California

Ontario, California

Tallmadge, Ohio

2011

Late 2010

Late 2010, fleet only; late 2011, market-wide

Late 2010

Now

Late 2010

Now; a two-seater will arrive in early 2011

$25,000– $40,000

$35,000

$40,000

$40,000

$15,000

$50,000

$29,995

( estimated )

( estimated )

( estimated )

100 miles

120 miles

185 miles

100 miles

30 miles

70 miles

45 miles

90 mph

80 mph

87 mph

68 mph

25 mph

80 mph

75 mph

Staffed by Ford, ASC, and Saleen refugees.

Coda’s sales VP, Michael A. Jackson, was the top marketing guy at General Motors until 2007.

More like a Dubai connection.

Forget Detroit, baby: The NmG appeared in Austin Powers in Goldmember.

WHAT THE . . . ?

A three-wheel, two-seat electric vehicle styled after a bird flying through the wind.

HOME BASE

THINK CITY

ON SALE

BYD e6

PRICE

CODA SEDAN

start-up companies. Often consisting of little more than a California dreamer, some Detroit exiles, and a little bit of money—in some cases your money—any one of these ventures could become the next Toyota. Or they could all collapse tomorrow. For now, though, it’s all blue-sky optimism. Here’s a sampling, far from exhaustive, of green cars you’ve probably never heard of but can buy now or in the very near future.

RANGE

APTERA 2e

FISKER AND TESLA ARE only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to electric-car

DETROIT CONNECTION

TOP SPEED

( estimated )

SUGAR DADDY

14

( estimated )

BYD (short for “Build CEO Richard Canny is More like a Toyota City Your Dreams”) arrived a Ford veteran. connection: ZAP hired at the Detroit auto former Toyota exec show two years ago to Gary Dodd to derisive chuckles. establish a plant Time will tell if it has in Kentucky. the last laugh.

Applied for a Department of Energy loan for almost $200 million and is a finalist in the Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize competition for $10 million.

Applied for a $465 million DOE loan.

Warren Buffet has sunk $230 million in the enterprise.

APTERA 2e

CODA SEDAN

BYD e6

Automobile | November 2010

Lithium-ion battery producer Ener1, as well as Finnish supplier Valmet and the Applied for a $160 Norwegian million DOE loan. government. Also ZAP’s newest vehicle, applied for DOE loans the Alias (above), is for a U.S. plant. also an X Prize finalist.

THINK CITY

ZAPTRUCK XL

( see below )

Phoenix is a subsidiary of Dubai-based Al Yousuf LLC.

PHOENIX SUT

Applied for a DOE loan for an undisclosed amount of money.

MYERS NmG (No more Gas)


MEANS TRUE STRENGTH ON THE INSIDE.

TRUE STRENGTH. The kind that withstands the forces of corrosion on a positive grid doesn’t come from outdated, conventional positive grids. It comes from PowerFrame® grid technology. The only one that’s stamped for true strength. Which is exactly what you get on the inside of an automotive battery when you see the PowerFrame® label on the outside.

PowerFrame and PowerFrame logo are registered trademarks of Johnson Controls Inc. PowerFrame.com


ignition

q&a

The man who launched a

thousand trailers

a

s editor-in-chief of the vintage-car site bringatrailer.com, Randy Nonnenberg helps car guys start their day in an unproductive way with his daily morning e-mail.

HOW MANY PEOPLE GET YOUR DAILY E-MAIL WITH INFO ON VINTAGE CARS FOR SALE? About 8000 people get the daily Bring a Trailer e-mail. Others also get instant notifications and different services that we have, such as finding particular cars. WHEN DID YOU START BRING A TRAILER? Early 2007. HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? The site was started by me and a college friend, Gentry Underwood. He had a lot of expertise in the Internet, and I had the vintage-car knowledge. We had been ping-ponging e-mails back and forth with ideas about vintage cars to buy online. Eventually we thought someone might like to read that sort of commentary. PHOTOGRAPH BY JAMES CHIANG

HAVE YOU ALWAYS ALLOWED READER COMMENTS? We had that from the beginning. We wanted it because, while we have something to say about the cars, there are definitely people out there who know a whole lot more about a particular model, so there’s something to be gained by allowing them to comment. Sometimes previous owners of a car will be in the audience, and they’ll chime in and share their experience with it. And that makes reading about the car or purchasing it a richer experience. ARE MOST OF THE VEHICLES THAT YOU FEATURE ONES THAT YOU FIND OR CARS THAT PEOPLE SUBMIT TO YOU? It has evolved. As the audience has grown and become more enthusiastic, they’ve been leveraged

as search helpers, if you will. So, I’d say at this point it’s probably about fifty-fifty. We still do a fair amount of finding cars ourselves and digging around to make sure that we live up to our claim of finding the best of the best, but by sending in their tips, the audience has been integral in terms of letting us feature more cars. HOW MANY CARS DO YOU REJECT FOR EVERY ONE THAT YOU ACCEPT? For the BaT Exclusive cars, we feature only about one out of five. In terms of the general submissions, it’s really only one out of twenty or forty. WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR IN A BRING A TRAILER CAR? We want the cars to be something set apart from the rest. Price is the first component; rare models; cars with

an interesting history. We like cars of all different types—we like American stuff, we like Japanese cars, we like all the different European makes. The site isn’t patterned after a single-marque car show; it’s more like going to the paddock at the vintage races, where you see cars from all over the place and the variety is what makes the experience great. DO YOU SOMETIMES SCOOP UP A CAR FOR YOURSELF RATHER THAN POST IT? Frankly, I wish that we could buy everything that comes across BaT, but the reality is that we can’t. The gut check on whether we feature a car is whether it’s one that we would like to own and drive. — Joe Lorio For more information, visit bringatrailer.com

1717

November November 2010 2010| Automobilemag.com | Automobilemag.com


ignition

letters and numbers

Ford finds Kabbalah THERE’S A MYSTICAL FACTOR behind Bring a Trailer might be all about quality, but eBay Motors definitely wins on quantity.

1000

vehicles sold per day.

There have been 100,000 online sales to date of eBay Motors’ most popular car, the

Ford Mustang. 1966 is the most popular year, with about

10,000

sold.

Ford’s recent success. Harnessing the intrinsic powers of the letters F-O-R-D, someone in Dearborn fashioned the acrostic you see at left—and CEO Alan Mulally had it distributed to every Blue Oval employee. We can only assume that competitors are furiously at work on their own acrostics, but we offer these pro bono. (Feel free to construct an acrostic at home to facilitate your own success.)

your friends and tell C allthem we’re still in business. as anyone heard from Lee Iacocca lately?

H a brand now. R am—it’s the Caliber and the Sebring should have been Y es, much better. shall be worn at all times. S weaters L earn to speak Italian. should be listened to, not laughed at. E ngineers Ram is a brand now. We’re not sure why. R eally,

$

Average transaction price.

$

9000

1,150,000 Winning bid for a 2003

Ferrari Enzo, one of eBay Motors’ most expensive auctions. Others include: 1937 Alfa Romeo

$

1,200,000

1970 Plymouth Barracuda

$

899,000

1967 Chevrolet Corvette

$

850,704

3.9

vehicles sold, in millions, since eBay Motors went live in 1995.

18

Automobile | November 2010

T ell Congress to shove it. love us, so be O ldnicepeople to them. ago, we built sports cars. Let’s do that again. Y ears dashboards do not appeal to Prius buyers. O rganized not to bring up T ryunintended acceleration. Oops! interested in ordering Chinese food A nyone for dinner?

And we were so inspired that we did one for ourselves. pick the German car A lways in a comparison test.* at the end of the U nite month to put out a good issue. Cupcake T heStation downstairs has some tasty treats. Let’s get a dozen. proofreading to O wn make sure stories are error free. newsstand sales are M ore good for business. Go out and buy a dozen issues. is the best. OurOr50magazine at least in the top percent. you leave at the end B efore of the day, make sure the elevator is locked so hobos don’t raid our liquor cabinet again. new ways to feature I nvent the Porsche 911 and the Chevrolet Corvette. is tolerated, L ateness but only if you have a good excuse. Like you were buying cupcakes for the staff.

and Motors are really long words to use in G eneral an acrostic poem. are encouraged to M anagers switch jobs monthly.

E ntertain our readers. * We kid, we kid!


WHAT IF YOU COULD KEEP YOUR ENGINE AS CLOSE AS POSSIBLE TO FACTORY CLEAN?

TRY PENNZOIL ULTRA™: NOTHING KEEPS YOUR ENGINE CLOSER TO FACTORY CLEAN.* Your engine is in its most perfect state the day it leaves the factory. That’s why we created Pennzoil Ultra™ full synthetic motor oil. Piston at left shows the current industry standard Current Standard** Pennzoil Ultra™ for clean. Piston at right underwent the same test using Pennzoil Ultra.™ We think the results are pretty clear. No wonder it’s recommended by Ferrari. Go to pennzoil.com Not just oil, Pennzoil. ®

*Based on Sequence VG sludge test using SAE 5W-30.**Pistons from standard V6 engine in ASTM Sequence IIIG test. ©2010 SOPUS Products. All rights reserved.


ignition

bookshelf BLACK, RED, 1Motorbooks AND WHITE BOOKS has published a

For your reference Some of the most frequently used books in our library.

hugely informative, pocket-size series on the most popular cars in enthusiast circles. The Black Book is about Corvettes; the Porsche 911, the Ford Mustang, and Chevy SS cars are featured in separate Red Books; and the Chevy Camaro is detailed in the White Book. Honorable mention goes to the same publisher’s black-covered Ferrari: A Complete Guide to All Models, which utilizes a slightly different format but is nonetheless a great resource. ANYTHING BY 2 KARL LUDVIGSEN This author of more than fifty

S MUCH AS WE like to believe that we know everything there is to know about cars here at Automobile Magazine, we don’t, so we frequently consult our library in the interest of accuracy. That’s right, a decade into the twentyfirst century, we still have a room with shelves stacked with sheets of bound paper. They’re called books—perhaps you Wikipedia devotees have heard of them. (To be fair, wikipedia.org’s automotive content is surprisingly accurate in our experience, but by no means is it a bulletproof source.) Our collection numbers more than 2500 books. Some of the volumes are very rare and others are readily available, and they range in age from sixty years old to brand-new. Highly respected authors such as Griff Borgeson, Paul Frère, Beverly Rae Kimes, Doug Nye, Graham Robson, and L. J. K. Setright are well represented, and every single issue of Motor Trend, Car and Driver, and Road & Track magazines has also been archived. Here’s a brief sampling of some of our favorite (and most reliable) reference works. — Rusty Blackwell

For details on how you can get your hands on copies of these reference books (some of which can be pricey) and a list of other informative tomes from our library, visit automobilemag.com/ features/in_gear.

20

Automobile | November 2010

books boasts a wide-ranging and high-quality oeuvre, from our favorite book on Chevrolet’s most legendary product (Corvette: America’s Star-Spangled Sports Car, from Automobile Quarterly) to a brand-new look at Lotus’s founder (Colin Chapman: Inside the Innovator, from Haynes Publishing). THE BEAULIEU 3 ENCYCLOPÆDIA OF THE AUTOMOBILE

This two-volume set focuses on the histories of brands and companies rather than details about specific models. The British publication is full of obscure facts and includes large photographs of significant vehicles and miniature biographies on the people who created them.

CATALOGUE RAISONNÉS 4 Our library includes nine sets of Italian publisher Automobilia’s detailed histories on Italy’s carmakers and design houses, from Abarth to Pininfarina. It’s very easy to get sidetracked in these thorough, trilingual (Italian, English, and French) works. STANDARD CATALOGS 5 This series of books from Krause Publications is among the most frequently referenced in our collection. They are essentially encyclopedias of domestic and imported American-market cars and trucks, arranged by marque and model year, which contain vehicle specifications, pricing, history, photos, and more in six primary volumes. Marque- and theme-specific editions are built from the broader Catalogs. AUTOMOTIVE NEWS 6 and WARD’S These two independent firms have each been collecting data and reporting on the auto industry since the mid-1920s and produce annual compendiums that are essential to any automotive researcher. The 100-Year Almanac, which Automotive News published in 1996, deserves a special mention.


ignition

by design by ROBERT CUMBERFORD

1964½ FORD MUSTANG THE ORIGINAL PONY CAR WAS THE RIGHT CAR FOR THE RIGHT TIME. ET’S REVERT TO the slab stern and high luggage compartment, the nearly vertical rear window, the leather strap and ‘chunk of road machinery’ feeling.” That’s from a multipage document describing the need for an American four-passenger sports car, a text leading to one of the most successful product launches Detroit ever enjoyed, Ford’s April 1964 Mustang. Written in 1956, it was presented to—and furiously rejected by—Harley J. Earl, General Motors’ styling chief. Its author, Barney Clark, wrote Corvette advertising copy at the time. A few years later, working for J. Walter Thompson on the Ford account, he talked with product planner Don Frey about it. Lee Iacocca may be the “father of the Mustang,” but he got the notion via Frey and Clark, and thus indirectly from GM. Even the final 108-inch wheelbase

to the market that some 400,000 were snapped up in the first year of production, a record. The base price for a wheezing six-cylinder Falcon engine with a three-speed gearbox and drum brakes was $2368, but even when equipped with a high-performance V-8, the Mustang was a tremendous bargain. Joe Oros led the winning design team, and quite a lot of the classic 1961 Lincoln Continental shows up in the car, especially the fender profile with the slight rear kickup. The front end, with the high rectangular center grille, is closely patterned on the 1950s Dual-Ghia, styled by Chrysler’s Virgil Exner. Once again, nothing is simple in the car-design business. Don Kopka, who retired as Ford design VP in 1987, did the first Mustang restyling when he arrived from Chrysler. He told me he’d thought the Mustang was too flat and rectilinear, so he made the 1967 car rounder and fatter, but he eventually believed “the ’641∕2 was much better,” a handsome admission from any designer. When the project was first conceived at GM, Mustang was one of many “cowboy movie” names that were entertained, most of which have subsequently shown up on cars and trucks—Bronco, Scout, Pony, Palomino, and Pinto come to mind—but the now-iconic name didn’t really matter. It could have been called Cayuse or Silver, two suggestions not yet used, because it was the concept and the look that mattered, as proven by the Mustang II deviation. To quote another bit from Barney Clark’s document, “You could, in a sense, ‘style it and forget it’—there would be no necessity for yearly revisions or major face-lifts.” Today’s successful retro design just about proves that thesis.

The car was so perfectly attuned to the market that some 400,000 were snapped up in the first year of production, a record. was first determined by GM’s Anatole Lapine, who subsequently became Porsche’s design leader. Nothing’s simple in the car-design business. The Mustang came along at the right time, when the first of the baby boomers were coming into young adulthood and their forty-ish parents, about to be free of their offspring, could think about something other than four-door sedans and station wagons. So there were two generations that were ripe for buying something both financially accessible and sporty. The car was so perfectly attuned

22

Automobile | November 2010

FRONT 3/4 VIEW 1 The characteristic grille/air intake allows a long, flat hood, as in classic cars of the 1930s. 2 The line

derived from the grille corners separates the engine cover from the flatter panels between the hood and fender peaks. 3 Starting exactly at the edge of the headlamp-surround molding, the fender peak recapitulates the profile of the great 1961 Lincoln Continental. 4 This little kickup simply emphasizes the Lincoln look, subliminally making the Mustang feel more expensive than it actually was. 5 The real inspiration for the roof profile was the 1963 Pontiac Tempest, much admired by Ford stylists at the time, but it’s also consistent with the first Thunderbirds. 6 This nasty piece of chrome trim was meant to suggest rear brake-cooling scoops, but they were fake. You could pay extra to have them left off, and Ford threw in a paint stripe around the perimeter. 7 Remember “wind wings”? They actually looked good and were extremely useful before air-conditioning became quasiuniversal in cars.

8 Even the base models had full wheel covers—no cheap button caps for any Mustang. 9 V-8 cars got these badges, although sometimes they were left off. Production details were chaotic in the first eighteen months, when nearly 700,000 Mustangs—all listed as 1965 models—were made and sold to an eager clientele. 10 Despite the louvers, no air flowed through the headlamp hollow in the front end. 11 Lovely thinbladed bumpers were easily damaged but were adequate for most use.

REAR 3/4 VIEW 12 Notice the exemplary way the creases fade into plain surfaces. Very nice indeed. 13 One of the nicest surface details was the indent that surrounded the backlight, giving clear definition to the upper structure. 14 The rear fender peak is so subtly curved that it’s very nearly straight. All the emphasis in the design is on apparent length. Nicely achieved. 15 The fuel-filler cap carried the badge and was quite elegant.


1

2

3

11

10

9

12

18

16 The way the body turned under at the back lightened the whole composition visually and helped to avoid the blunt, clifflike rear ends that we’ve become accustomed to today. Altogether, the Mustang was a really good, simple design, which is why it lives on with very few changes.

4

8

7

13

14

17 Sill trim is pretty much an anachronism now, but it was thought to be necessary in the 1960s. 18 Apart from the silly chrome trim piece, the indented surface on the body side is particularly nice, again emphasizing length and with a dynamic angle on the section that

6

19

16

17

15

is covered by the chrome.

with the hue used on the faux-leather surround.

INTERIOR VIEW

21 The deep-dish

upper door panels with textured steel so it looked like leather was a clever detail.

steering wheel was very Detroit but not particularly sporty, despite fake lightening “holes” in the spokes’ trim pieces.

20 Door trim panels were simple inserts and could be color-coordinated

22 The doublebump cowl was a nod to British sports cars like

19 Stamping the

5

20

25

21

24

22

23

the MG TD—and it worked well.

copy of the Lotus Elan’s seats.

23 There was nothing sporty at all in the instrument cluster—no tach and minimal gauges. But you could buy a “RallyPac” to get what you needed. Or thought you did.

25 This lever is for the optional four-speed gearbox, which had a nice reverse lock-out trigger. Mustangs were very easy to drive, with decent ergonomics.

24 Front buckets

were an overt, and acknowledged,

■ Read GM’s original

1956 four-seat sports car proposal at automobilemag.com/extra

November 2010 | Automobilemag.com

23


ignition

noise, vibration & harshness by JAMIE

KITMAN

LIFE OF A SUCCESSFUL GARAGISTE.

w

HEN MASTER MECHANIC Domenico Spadaro died last year at the ripe old age of eighty-nine, hundreds of loyal customers turned out to pay their respects. That his wake and funeral were standing-room-only affairs underscored the depth of his clientele’s affection for him, unusual in itself, for while many might wish their mechanics dead, few actually want to attend their funerals. Or, more remarkably, lay plans to keep celebrating their garage man’s memory for years to come. Yet just the other week, the First Annual Domenico Spadaro Memorial Rally drew more than 150 customers for a motorized tribute to this Sicilian super wrench, known to most patrons—at least those who didn’t come from the old country—as Domenick. His shop, Domenick’s European Car Repair, of White Plains, New York, has been an old-car mecca since it opened in 1961. So it was only fitting that after some strong Sunday morning coffee, like he might have served himself, a parade of more than seventy-five classic cars set off along the winding lanes of New York’s Westchester County and southern Connecticut. Following the triumphal spin, a gargantuan buffet was laid out at the spacious and exceedingly gracious digs of one of the shop’s customers, with high-performance meatballs made from an old family recipe supplied by Domenico’s wife of fifty-six years, Tindara. Yes, Domenick was well loved. He tolerated the Americanization of his name but not his ways. Coming of age in war-ravaged Italy, an environment of scarcity where wideranging mechanical skills were not just ideal but essential, his bias was to fix, not replace, and to keep the machine running, not throw it away. Locating hard-to-find parts did not upset him. At a time when plugging in modules is most common, making parts remained an option for this gifted machinist and his skilled offspring. Gracious interaction with the customer—talking, eating, scheming, dreaming—was his standard, making his busy shop as much a destination as a place to get your car fixed. A successful garagiste in Roccalumera, Sicily, Domenico one day picked up and moved to America. Fifty-some years later, the shop he founded is running stronger than ever, thanks in large measure to his sons Frank and Santo, who’ve been joined more recently by his daughter, Vera, who keeps the organization organized. Jam-packed with an ever-changing but always mind-bending assortment of older, name-brand thoroughbreds (Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Maserati), obscure racing machinery (Stanguellini, Dagrada), so-called etceterini (Abarths, ASA, Siata), and random orphans (er, my Triumph Dolomite), the shop is a little grimy, which puts off some white-gloved supercar types. But what price sterile efficiency when old cars are the game? Domenick’s musty catacombs are filled with obscure parts, its basements crammed

24

Automobile | November 2010

with parts cars and future restoration projects, all organized to the old man’s inscrutable specification. It remains a tight and orderly ship where fine work is done at fair prices. The memorial tour brought out not just the Italian confections that were the shop’s first lifeblood, but the offbeat assortment of Jaguars, Mercedes-Benzes, MGs, Austin-Healeys, BMWs, Minis, Aston Martins, and Volvos that now just as often find their way to Domenick’s. Like a doctor who has one standard of care for all his patients, rich and poor, Domenico, who wore a sport jacket to work and, in later years, a beret, showed all machines the respect and patience they deserved. While he could lay hands on priceless old Colombo V-12s and banks of Webers like few others, he saw the beauty in everything. Although he’d not worked on the 1963 Dodge Dart GT convertible in attendance at his memorial (carpeting halfway up the door panels made it a GT, owner Rob Moore explained), he probably would have, had he been asked. European Car is just the name of the shop. One of the great things about Domenick and the many who’ve worked their way up in his shop, in the classic European apprentice tradition, was his holistic view of automobiles, the ability to see the interconnection between their many systems. He had no patience for blindered technicians who fix one thing while ignoring others, such as replacing an unevenly worn tire without addressing

ILLUSTRATION BY TIM MARRS


the cause of the wear—or noticing that a nearby brake hose was weeping or the steering gear was dry. I first met Domenick in 1995 when I bagged the Lancia Fulvia I’d long been pestering vintage racer Harry Reynolds to sell me (see Automobile Magazine, December 1991 and May 1996). I coldcalled an officer of the American Lancia Club, seeking a recommendation on whom to entrust with recommissioning my new charge. He set me straight. A former official Lancia sales point back in the 1960s—when all it took was a few brochures and the ability to place an order with the factory in Italian— Domenick’s no-frills premises would hold the knowledge, the parts, and the interest. That spoke to me, as someone whose old-car experience included numerous instances of being chased off garage forecourts when wheezing into sight in something old and funky by mechanics afraid they’d never get rid of, say, my Rover 3500S. As a bonus, Domenick’s was only a twenty-minute drive across the

Hudson. I hoped he’d do a bang-up job on my Fulvia, and he did. Little did I know that over the next fourteen years, along with Frank and Santo, he’d work wonders on everything I own, from Triumph Dolomites to old Saabs to Ford Lotus Cortinas. Turned out they were great with Rovers, too. Although he smoked like a chimney, swore like a professional, and did not suffer fools gladly, Domenico was indeed a gentleman. He outlived many of his patrons, but the Spadaro tour drew customers who’d been with him since the 1960s, with memories of him throwing his three kids into the back of the family’s Ferrari 330 for jaunts up to the grand prix in Montreal. While I was visiting his shop one day in 1996, Domenick complained of a shooting pain in his arm and disorientation. I ran to get his sons, and an ambulance was called—he’d suffered a stroke, which temporarily took him out of commission. But Domenick’s race wasn’t run. In time, he’d return to the shop he loved, brilliantly rebuilding complex engines and operating machine tools with his eyes closed, but speaking less. For a while, he even forgot he’d been a two-pack-a-day Winston man. One morning he woke up, however, and asked words to the effect of “Where the f--- are my cigarettes?” A man from another time, he smoked happily for years to come. Domenico Spadaro is gone now, but it’s safe to say that his flock are not done memorializing him. First Annual implies Second Annual, Third Annual, and so on. We celebrate him and honor what he stood for, and that will never get old. AM

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25


ignition

dyer consequences by EZRA

DYER

NO KIDDING.

a

FEW YEARS BACK, MY

sister-in-law had her second kid, and the arrival of baby number two brought a vehicular change as well. Out went the Nissan Pathfinder, in came the Chevrolet Suburban. At the time, I mocked her for SUV overkill. I was one of two kids, and our parents always had Subaru wagons. Back then, we didn’t need rear-facing child seats. Or air bags. Or shoulder belts. Or ABS. Or much protection from rollovers or side impacts. Come to think of it, it’s amazing that anyone born before 1980 ever reached adulthood. Our ’69 Chevy C10 pickup was even more dangerous. The interior was made entirely of jagged metal, and it took until about 1990 before truck designers thought to put a barrier between your skull and the rear window. Truck cabs were so lethal that kids were often relegated to the safety of the cargo bed, where impacts might be cushioned by a bale of hay or a fat schoolmate. My point, and I have one somewhere, is that our changing mores toward safety helped dictate ever-larger vehicles, along with child seats of such size and complexity that they look like they could eject from an F/A-18. If you’ve never used one of these devices, just get in your car and adjust the front seat as if Albert Haynesworth is sitting behind you. Then move your seat forward a few more inches. Then, when the steering wheel is nestled between your lungs, you could almost fit a rear-facing child seat behind you. That example, by the way, is based on a BMW 750Li. Anything smaller than that and you might actually have to hire an off-duty jockey as a chauffeur. Parenthood has reshaped my big-car snobbery. I now understand my sister-inlaw’s move to the Suburban; in fact, if you have one kid, you need a Suburban. If you have two kids, you need a long-wheelbase Dodge Sprinter. If you have three kids, you need a Ford E-450 airport shuttle that’s

26

Automobile | November 2010

towing an E-250 Econoline. Four kids: probably something made by Prevost. And with five kids and more, you should only visit places served by heavy rail or deepwater shipping lanes. Before Kid, I talked a lot of game about how parenthood would never change my priorities. If I want a Corvette, I’d say, I’m gonna get it, and the kids can go in a trailer or on a roof rack. Well, I recently drove a BMW M3 convertible, which I figured would be an excellent venue to give the young ’un his first exposure to the soothing sounds of a V-8 at 8000 rpm. After all, the M3’s back seats will fit adults in a pinch, so I thought they’d be fine for a baby. Not so. The M3 discourages you from even trying to install a child seat, since the anchors for the seat are hidden behind spring-loaded plastic doors that play killer defense. After a half hour wrestling with the mammoth seat platform, you realize that M3s hate babies. I still hung my awesome new Baby On Board sign in the back window, though. Just so people would know to drive extra carefully around me. Even if I somehow managed to fit the progeny in the back of the M3, there would’ve been no room for any of his accoutrements— the various “portable” strollers and cribs that, through an elaborate system of finger-amputating struts and hinges, neatly fold down to only 87 percent of their original size. And you must get this stuff into the car—all of it. As one fellow dad told me, “You never know which piece of crap that you bring will be the thing that makes your life a lot easier.” We’ve taken one trip so far as parents, and we filled a Mitsubishi Outlander. And a Jeep Grand Cherokee. Which was towing a boat. Which also had stuff in it. People say that having kids changes your entire worldview, and that’s absolutely true. You realize that you’ll subjugate your needs to those of the child. And that really sucks when you’re as selfish as I am. Perhaps I need a minivan, but I still want 500 hp. And so, among all the other shocks of fatherhood comes this one: I actually understand what Mercedes was thinking with the R63 AMG. AM

ILLUSTRATION BY TIM MARRS


ignition

letters

FODDER FOR MEMORIES, HYUNDAI’S BIG WHOOP, AND THE JERKMOBILE SPECIAL.

LOOKING BACK AND LOSING SENSE I HAVE BEEN READING YOUR MAGAZINE for many years

and am impressed by your high standards. The photography is always excellent, but from my point of view one thing really stands out: your writers put Automobile in a class all by itself. The writing is informative, straightforward, witty, easy to read, and as comfortable as a conversation with a dear friend. I’m a fan of each and every one of the writing staff. In fact, I have considered telling my grandchildren to read the magazine to learn the art of writing. I just finished reading the article “My Father’s Footsteps” by Joe DeMatio in the September 2010 issue, and I plan to read it again—probably more than once, because it brings back memories. I spent three years in France as a U.S. Airman and had an opportunity to drive a Chevrolet on a trip that went through Munich. On the way back the car developed some issues, so we took the train back to the base in Normandy. I can’t remember if the car ever made it back, but I do remember the trip! Twenty-some years ago I arranged to meet my son in Europe. We stopped briefly in Munich, which was more fodder for memories. The upshot is that I enjoyed the photos, and I think it would be great to own a Caddy, but it really is the combination of father and son that had me reliving some very good times. Good writing will always bring joy into my life. Thank you. LARRY ROERIG

“Humble and Hungry,” September]. Of course, since that averages out to an 82.5-hour work week, year in and year out (diligence), I imagine that their home life suffers a bit. That is, if they have one. And they get paid on the basis of a 40-hour week (frugality). Having worked with a number of skilled Korean R&D engineers in the past, I can attest that they live in fear of displeasing their managers (harmony) and that their stress level and burnout rate is phenomenal. It chills me to see this kind of employee exploitation held up as an admirable example to American workers. Oh, but they get a “free” supper. Whoop-de-do. CLAUDE GALINSKY VIA E-MAIL I ENJOYED YOUR STORY ON

HOW NICE FOR HYUNDAI that its engineers work from

Hyundai very much. I was one of the first people in Tulsa to own a $4995 Excel back in 1986. I bought it from the local Lincoln Mercury dealer, which was selling Hyundais out the back door of the dealership about a mile from my house. It was going to be a five-year “throwaway” car. Well, I ended up keeping it for about nine years, and the only reason that I sold it when I did was because I bought a Ford pickup and something had to go. Other than routine maintenance and a timing belt ( just to be on the safe side), a clutch, and a muffler at about 50K miles, the Excel never had any problems and was always reliable. The new Sonata is tempting, but for now I’ll stick with my two Toyotas, especially since I have a reservation in for a Nissan Leaf. WARREN COX

7 a.m. to 10 p.m. five days a week and on alternate Saturdays

TULSA, OKLAHOMA

SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS I JUST RECEIVED MY SEPTEMBER ISSUE with a 556-hp

Cadillac CTS-V coupe on the cover. Have we all lost our minds? With all the environmental, economic, and political ramifications of increased petroleum consumption, car manufacturers continue to build and buyers continue to purchase these behemoths. How quickly do I need to get to the next stoplight? On the German autobahn, they drive 200-hp, 2.0-liter turbos in excess of 200 kph [124 mph], and in North America we drive 556-hp, 6.2-liter CTS coupes 113 kph [70 mph]. Like I said, have we all lost our minds? ANTON SOVARI VIA E-MAIL

JEERS AND CHEERS FOR HYUNDAI

28

Automobile | November 2010


IT MADE MY DAY TO READ THAT

Hyundai is on track with a new sports car. At least one major carmaker realizes what is important to a fifteen-year-old. Sadly, the cars that keep young, octane-blooded gearheads such as me drooling are slowly disappearing. No more Toyota Supra, Pontiac G8, Dodge Viper. I’m feeling kinda defeated. So, Hyundai, build the Speed—I will buy one. After all, kids will one day rule the world, and perhaps we’ll all own Hyundais. JUSTIN SMALL VIA E-MAIL

HONDA CR-ZZZzz CAMMISA IS RIGHT ABOUT THE

CR-Z [“Identity Crisis,” September]. There were pedestrian CRXs—those were the ones that sucked. We CRX Si pilots dismissed the lesser models as lowly “Civics” not worthy of the lofty CRX designation. However, at least the CR-Z gets a stick, which gives me hope that all the performance guys at Honda aren’t working on that dorky ASIMO robot or figuring out how to add about eight more cupholders to a freakin’ minivan. Back in the day, legend had it that Honda’s engineers built their own F1 car out of spare parts. Maybe those same guys can get together and impart some high-rpm mojo on this stunted Civic. Meanwhile, consider a name change that reflects its performance figures by adding a few more Zs to the end. BRIAN TARBUCK READFIELD, MAINE AFTER ANTICIPATING THE NEW

Honda CR-Z as a possible replacement for my 2009 Civic EX-L coupe, I am left pretty much dumbfounded by Honda’s marketing strategy for it. I can only conclude that this sporty-looking but slow, complicated, overweight, and pricey two-seater is meant to dominate the market niche abandoned by the Suzuki X-90. ALDEN STEVENS SARANAC LAKE, NEW YORK

JAGUAR XF VS. INFINITI M LIVING IN A CAR-JADED AREA

probably affects the way I look at cars. That said, the Jaguar XF has cachet and the Infiniti M has none [“Sensual Sedans,” September]. Also, the most important performance number for a sedan, the 30-to-70-mph passing time, goes to the


THREE NEW WAYS TO

SHOW OFF

Jaguar. BMWs and Benzes are fairly common here, and I believe they diminish their brands by continuing to offer ever-lower-priced versions. After shopping BMW, Mercedes, Cadillac, and Lexus (no Infiniti dealer), I ultimately bought an XF. Not only did I feel that the Jaguar was the best-looking of the bunch, but it is also more uncommon and the brand is no longer diminished by the X-type. Performance is more than adequate for a luxury performance sedan, and it is the size I was looking for. When I want to go crazy fast, I drive my sports car. JOHN MASSA SALINAS, CALIFORNIA

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GORILLA TOUGH ON A ROLL.

Conundrum” diagram in the September issue [Ignition] entertaining as well as unbelievably accurate, at least in my case. First, the bike looks exactly like the one I own, so much so that I was wondering where you got hold of a picture of my bike. Then I looked at the cars, and the most appealing one I found was the Audi Q5. So I started following the diagram down from the bike, and sure enough, I ended up with the Audi! MILAN VIT CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS

LOCKED AND LOADED FOR THE PAST SIX YEARS, I HAVE

used a CG-Lock for auto slalom, track days, and daily driving in my Honda Civic Si [“The Inventor,” September]. Those of us in the grassroots motorsports ranks have known about this excellent, high-quality gem since its release. Not only is the CG-Lock invaluable at the track, but it is also key to long-distance driving comfort, keeping the hips positioned comfortably and securely. Hockey moms and track-day enthusiasts alike will find the mechanism more easy to adjust than their radio. It’s too bad the media took so long to recognize Bruce Mather’s invention. DARCY WINCH

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Dyer’s essay on car doors [Dyer Consequences, September]. A few years ago, I was shopping for a sports car. My wife and I had just come from driving a Porsche Boxster, and I decided we should z


at least look at a Corvette. At that time, the C6 was just making it to dealers. After wending our way through balloons and a hot-dog roast that the local Chevy dealer was hosting, we sat in a new Corvette convertible. My wife spent approximately ten seconds in it before she decided that the doors were too long and then spent the next ninety seconds explaining why the Germans had better door designs. That same day, we were driving the Mercedes-Benz 560SL that has been in the family since it was new and had never shown any ill will toward us or any other car in our household. I pulled into the garage and shut off the engine. My wife opened her door . . . and smacked it right into my Ferrari, putting a dent in the rear fender. She looked at me and said, “See, that’s what I meant about big doors.” Now a Porsche sits in our garage—and my wife gets out of the car in the driveway. ANDREW SINGER KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE

LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT WHEN MY WIFE WAS TWENTY

years old and our first-born was two, she spotted a Lotus Europa [Collectible Classic, September] and it was love at first sight. I bought her a used yellow S2 for $3600 in 1973. That car could corner like it was glued to the ground. With two 3.5-gallon fuel tanks (one on each side of the car), it could make it from Los Angeles to Fresno without a fuel stop. My oldest would sit on the console between us—she loved her own little seat (what seatbelt?). We kept the Europa for only three years and sold it for $4500. The next time my wife had a case of love at first sight was when she spotted a Dino 246GT for $15,000. I wish I hadn’t talked her out of that one. RON HUMPHREY BELLFLOWER, CALIFORNIA

YOU CAN’T PLEASE EVERYONE

week for a car payment, then keep it up. If you’re targeting the average Joe, you’re just selling fiction. BIG “A” HERMIDA VIA E-MAIL I DON’T KNOW IF YOU ALL

decided to take a break for the September issue or if you’re still jet-lagged from your summer vacation, but it was by far your worst issue yet. You all seem infatuated with Hyundai. It seems as if Hyundai has been mentioned in every issue this year. Who cares about Hyundai—well, besides you guys? I got my subscription to read you all’s outstanding articles on cars I can only dream of owning, not on something that I wouldn’t consider in a million lifetimes. And what’s the deal with this Robert Cumberford guy? Is he really on the payroll? I can’t believe you had the audacity to actually put that in print—his comments that the new Saabs should be like the old Saab 92.001 prototype. When, where, and on what planet was he born? I wouldn’t be caught dead behind the wheel of that car. I guess, though, it’s good he has a job with you, because if he worked as the chief designer for Saab, they would’ve been in the can decades ago. That car looks like something a jerk’d drive. I could see Cumberford behind the wheel of a Saab 92.001 Jerkmobile Special—limited edition—driving to and from work in Jerkville. Besides the 2011 Bentley Continental Supersports convertible, the Volvo S60, and the Z06 Vette, the only other exciting highlights of the September issue were the World Class Driving and Porsche Cayenne Turbo ads. With all due respect, I’m going to continue to read you all’s magazine because I enjoy it ( just not this issue), plus I still have another year and some months left on my subscription to look forward to. DEEZY SMITH MAGNOLIA, ARKANSAS

YOU GUYS HAVEN’T LEARNED.

ERRATA

Our economy isn’t slow only because of lack of employment, but also because Americans are spending their money a little more wisely. Yet you continue to feed into the bigger, more-money-is-better attitude. Folks aren’t going for that anymore. Most of the cars you feature are well into the $45–50K mark. I’m talking every car. If you’re targeting readers who don’t have a problem shelling out $200 a

The body shell pictured on page 28 of the September issue was actually that of a ’69 Mustang, not a ’67. Several dozen sharpeyed readers wrote in to let us know about the error. Perhaps this month’s feature story on the ten greatest Mustangs of all time will help to temper your disappointment in us. Write: Letters, Automobile Magazine, 120 E. Liberty, Ann Arbor, MI 48104 E-mail: letters@automobilemag.com


Ford Edge & Lincoln MKX N sheetmetal, New h t t l interiors, i t i and d engines i mean a more clear l distinction between platform siblings—or do they? ANN ARBOR

f

ORD HAS SMARTLY SHARPENED its product

portfolio in the past few years, but the same can’t be said for the Blue Oval’s supporting brands. Just this past June, Mercury was put out to pasture after decades of carbon-copy engineering, and Lincoln’s lineup suffers from virtually the same indifference. For 2011, Dearborn delivers us two new crossovers—the Ford Edge and the Lincoln MKX—that hint at the future of Ford’s two remaining brands: meaningful differentiation. The 2011 MKX is the first of seven new or significantly revised Lincolns that will arrive in the next four years. We’re told that the new models will bring genuinely distinctive

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Automobile | November 2010

bodies—not just fascias and soft points—on top of parts-bin mechanicals, much like Lincoln’s three-row MKT is to the Ford Flex it’s twinned with. The new MKX doesn’t deviate from the old formula, but it does stand to build Lincoln’s visual identity by trading the old egg-crate grille for the brand’s signature winged waterfall. The Edge’s face-lift imposes a larger, more sculpted chrome grille and sleeker cat-eye headlamps. Both of the outgoing models were weak in cabin design, so it’s no surprise that Ford spent more time and money changing things inside. Passenger room and cargo capacity were already competitive with other vehicles in the segment, so the dimensions remain unchanged, but everything one touches and

PHOTOGRAPHY BY MATT TIERNEY


sees has been completely redesigned to meet consumer expectations. In the Ford Edge, the appealing, soft-touch dashboard takes clear cues from the Fusion and the Taurus, with a colorful LCD instrument panel and a center console that gracefully flows down between the front seats. The Lincoln has similar organic shapes but tops the dash with leather, uses aluminum for the trim, and includes the buttonless MyLincoln Touch center stack as standard equipment (see sidebar). MyFord Touch is optional on the Edge. Neither vehicle is the definitive style leader, but both are tasteful. The Edge easily sets a new benchmark for quality in its price range, while the Lincoln’s cabin is a pleasing fusion of Lexus quality with Cadillac modernity. To set apart the two cars mechanically, the Ford’s volume engine is a 3.5-liter V-6 now making 285 hp and 253 lb-ft of torque, while the MKX’s sole powerplant is a 3.7-liter V-6. That 3.7-liter is shared with the Mustang and produces 305 hp and 280 lb-ft. Edge buyers can have the 3.7-liter engine if they opt for

They still share a chassis and a body, but Ford is looking to differentiate the Edge and the MKX with more expressive styling and less powertrain overlap. Future Lincolns will receive unique upper bodies to further separate the two brands.

the Sport model, a trim that previously was little more than an aesthetics package. Along with the more powerful mill, the Sport also adds a tighter suspension, a piano-black grille, different lower bodywork, and twenty-twoThe Specs // inch wheels. In FORD EDGE early 2011, Ford ON SALE: Now will introduce a PRICE: $27,995 ENGINE: 3.5L V-6, third engine for the 285 hp, 253 lb-ft Edge, a 2.0-liter DRIVE: Front- or turbocharged 4-wheel four-cylinder that should produce LINCOLN MKX ON SALE: Now about 240 hp. Both PRICE: $39,995 brands use ENGINE: 3.7L V-6, six-speed automatic 305 hp, 280 lb-ft transmissions and DRIVE: Front- or 4-wheel offer front- or all-wheel drive. Predictably, front-wheel-drive models transmit a noticeable but palatable amount of torque steer to the driver’s hands under brisk acceleration. A day of driving the six-cylinder models through some excellent if very damp back roads finds that the Edge doesn’t set any brilliant new standards in terms of crossover driving dynamics. To wit, the class-leading power is largely offset by the class-topping curb weight. At nearly 4300 pounds in all-wheel-drive form, the Edge is a tad heavier than a Nissan Murano and some 200 pounds chunkier than a Honda Accord Crosstour or a Toyota Venza. Still, there are a few pleasant surprises. New dampers and wider wheels, along with some adjustments to the rear antiroll bar and

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Driven rear bushings, have tidied up the Edge’s body control through sharp bends. Braking performance has been improved by using the Flex’s larger rear calipers, but the pedal is still difficult to modulate. For better or worse, we weren’t able to notice much difference in the Sport model, aside from a bit more punch off the line. And as ridiculous as twenty-two-inch wheels might seem to be, they at least rode decently over wellmaintained pavement. To improve the formerly numb and vague steering, engineers reduced friction in the steering gear and swapped in a hydraulic power-assist pump from the European Mondeo. The result won’t scare a BMW X5 but is nonetheless quite good for the segment, with decent feel and consistent feedback. From a chassis perspective, the Lincoln can claim only minor differences from the Edge, like a retuned powersteering curve and slight suspension modifications, but both changes are almost imperceptible. As such, the MKX boasts a nice ride and better steering than a Lexus RX350, but that Asian competitor is lighter on its feet. Taken as a whole, the MKX comes off as a convincing luxury crossover—not a rebadged Ford, but something that shows true sumptuousness inside, a cosseting driving experience, and a bit of flair on the outside. This is Lincoln’s best product. And that speaks to the quality of the Ford. The two brands still have a way to go to create truly distinct vehicles, but when the Ford DNA is this good, Lincoln has a solid starting point. — Eric Tingwall

The MKX now has Lincoln’s familial face. Only the aged Town Car and Navigator continue to hold out.

The Edge and the MKX share the same interior structure: with MyTouch screens flanking an analog speedometer (below, Edge) and a dashboard with a tiered, waterfall-like center tower and console (left, Edge). The Lincoln (below left) steps up in materials and finish, and it features touch-sensitive bars to control the audio and climate systems.

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Automobile | November 2010

Touch, but don’t look. s it is today, Ford’s Sync system encompasses so many functions that it’s a challenge to comprehend its many abilities until you’ve spent time in the car. With the next generation, that becomes even more difficult, as new features and a fresh interface create new ways of interacting with the car. Sync will continue to exist without a touch screen in some vehicles, but the headline product is now “MyFord Touch powered by Sync” (or “MyLincoln Touch . . . ”) centered around an eight-inch display with four core functions: navigation, phone, entertainment, and climate. Below that screen, Ford has replaced the traditional physical controls with touch-sensitive nubs. That affords designers increased freedom in how they style the center stack, but in our experience it also comes with a few drawbacks. Using a button doesn’t provide the satisfying haptic feedback of a physical detent, and you can’t hunt for buttons by feel (unless you’re willing to hit six other buttons in the process), forcing you to take your eyes off the road. Touch-sensitive sliders in Lincoln vehicles have replaced fan-speed and volume controls, but trying to execute fine adjustments, particularly with the volume, is often difficult. What was so wrong with the tried-and-true knob? Consolation comes in the form of steering-wheelmounted controls and improved voice command. There are two five-way controllers on the wheel that control the 4.2-inch LCD screens that flank the central speedometer. The left display shows vehicle functions, such as the trip computer, fuel economy, or a digital tachometer. The right screen functions as a redundant display of the center monitor, allowing access to the four core functions. There are also dedicated steering-wheel controls for the audio system. The more sophisticated voice-recognition system now has a larger vocabulary and fewer menus to wade through. Passengers connect their devices through Bluetooth or the media hub with its two USB ports, an SD card slot, and a set of RCA connectors. The vehicle can also connect to a Wi-Fi hot spot when parked, or you can plug a USB modem into the car to create a mobile Wi-Fi connection for laptoptoting passengers. – ET

A


CRUZE C O N T R O L

Chevy’s new compact is endowed with mid-size virtues.

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION


MISSION:

NOT AT ALL IMPOSSIBLE Move over Civic and Corolla.

t

he import brands—especially Honda and Toyota—have done an excellent job providing small-car buyers with good basic transportation. Now it’s Chevy’s turn to prove that there is life beyond Civics and Corollas. The new Chevy Cruze is the small car with greater aspirations. The Cruze delivers the essentials—an attractive price, low operating costs, and impeccable durability—with attributes that both the Civic and the Corolla lack.

• So much extra interior and trunk room that the EPA lists the Cruze in its mid-size category. • Ten air bags, antilock brakes, and StabiliTrak stability control are all standard for maximum safety. • Standard OnStar and XM radio with trial subscription. • Exceptional highway fuel economy, plus a special Eco model that gets 40 mpg on the highway. • A wealth of options such as DVD navigation, leather


FRUGAL POWER PROVIDERS Two new engines give the Cruze exceptional fuel economy and lively performance. An Ecotec 1.8-liter four-cylinder is standard on the Cruze LS, and an Ecotec 1.4-liter turbocharged engine powers the LT, LTZ, and Eco models. Both are engineered for maximum durability and minimum maintenance. Dual-overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, variable valve timing, and hydraulic lash control are all standard. The LS’s 136-horsepower engine has a two-stage intake manifold to deliver 90 percent of peak torque (123 lb-ft at 3800 rpm) from 2400 to 6500 rpm. The 138-horsepower Ecotec turbo cranks out 148 lb-ft of torque from 1850 to 4900 rpm. Both engines are covered by a 5-year/100,000-mile transferable powertrain warranty.

trim, a Pioneer nine-speaker sound system, Bluetooth connectivity, a handy USB audio interface port, ultrasonic parking assist, and 18-inch aluminum wheels. Chevrolet’s confidence in the Cruze rests on the fact that more than 330,000 of them are already on the road in 60 countries. Prior to its U.S. introduction, the Cruze will have logged more than 4 million test miles.

With the goal of providing the compact class’s smoothest, quietest ride, 30 acoustical treatments were developed, including body cavities filled with sound-absorbing foam, a five-layer headliner, and reinforced door structures. Limiting the gaps between exterior panels to less than an eighth of an inch yields a long-lasting, top-quality appearance. The Cruze’s claim to fame will be providing superior value as the best compact car not much money can buy.


t

he Cruze is a compact sedan with the passenger volume and trunk space of a mid-size. That means more shoulder room than a Honda Civic and more headroom than a Toyota Corolla. The Cruze’s cargo capacity tops both the import brands by more than 20 percent. The dual-cockpit interior design is also a cut above the compact-car norm. Premium materials abound and flawless attention to detail is obvious. Knobs and buttons are

surrounded by chrome accents and backlit with ice-blue illumination. The center stack flows elegantly into the console to place climate control and entertainment gear within easy reach. Such essentials as air-conditioning, an AM/FM/CD stereo system, remote keyless entry, and split-folding rear seatbacks are standard in all Chevy Cruzes. Stepping up from the standard LS model to the LT and LTZ sedans


BLUE BUTTON BUTLER OnStar—now in its ninth generation—is standard in every Chevy Cruze, with a six-month trial subscription. This state-ofthe-art driver’s assistance system provides several useful functions at the touch of a button. OnStar can direct you to the nearest gas station or guide you to any destination. If you’re accidentally locked out, OnStar can unlock your doors. To help locate your vehicle in a crowded parking lot, an advisor can instruct your vehicle to toot its horn and flash its lights. If your car is stolen, OnStar can pinpoint its location and aid the authorities in recovery. No other system comes close to providing the same ease of use and peace of mind as OnStar.

adds a six-speed automatic transmission, five-spoke aluminum wheels, French-stitched leather trim, heated front seats, and cruise control. There are several convenient option packages. The connectivity package for the LS adds Bluetooth, a USB port, and steering-wheel audio controls. A driver convenience package for the LT sedan includes a remote starting system, rear park assist, and a six-way power driver’s seat.

The RS package that is available for LT and LTZ models includes a rear spoiler, fog lamps, rocker moldings, distinctive fascias, and an uplevel instrument cluster. A power sliding sunroof, a 250-watt Pioneer audio system, and a DVD navigation system are freestanding LT and LTZ options. A sport-tuned suspension and four-wheel disc brakes are standard on the LTZ, and they can also be added to the Cruze LT.


CONFIDENT

CRUZING

Major strides in safety and technology.

t

he Chevrolet Cruze has been engineered to score top marks in all government collision and rollover tests. To achieve that, it has a robust body structure, full-length underbody reinforcement rails, a cross-car beam to stabilize the A-pillars, and tubular beams welded inside the doors. In addition, there are ten air bags—two frontal, one side air bag at each of the four outboard seating positions, knee bags for the front occupants, and side-curtain inflatable restraints protecting outboard occupants. To help avoid collisions, the Cruze has electrically assisted power steering, antilock brakes, traction control, and StabiliTrak stability control standard on all models. If a serious accident does occur, OnStar’s Automatic Crash Response with Injury Severity Prediction signals an advisor that assistance is required. The Cruze’s chassis is designed to provide the best available ride with agile handling. An isolated engine cradle attaches to the unibody through special hydraulic bushings. The front suspension has an efficient strut design, and a clever Z-link design is used at the rear. This configuration combines the virtues of a compound crank suspension (light weight, compactness, and constant wheel camber) with additional stability attributable to the superior lateral location provided by the Z-link. The Cruze’s electrically assisted power-steering unit mounts directly to the rack to maximize road feel. Because it provides steering assist

ECOnomics 101 The Cruze that gives Honda and Toyota the willies is the Eco model, which delivers 40 mpg on the highway. The technology behind this remarkable fuel efficiency includes a 1.4-liter Ecotec turbo engine, a six-speed manual transmission with special gearing, ultra-low-rolling-resistance tires mounted to 17-inch forged-aluminum wheels, and a wind-tunnel-tested aerodynamics package. The drag-reducing features are a lowered ride height, a front air dam, a rear spoiler, smooth underfloor panels, and a grille shutter that automatically closes at speed. The Eco begs the obvious question— why bother with an expensive hybrid when 40 mpg is available at an affordable price?

only when actually needed, it is a boon to fuel efficiency. The Cruze’s light, stiff body structure is tuned for refinement and quietness. The front-of-dash panel is cloaked with sound-deadening material on both sides. Hollow portions of the body are filled with nylon noise-blocking baffles. In the trunk compartment, sound insulation material made of recycled denim helps absorb tire buzz. All four doors have triple seals and fiberglass blankets that act as barriers to water, wind, and noise. The Cruze’s doors latch with a solid, luxury-car sound. Six-speed wide-ratio transmissions are standard equipment on the Cruze. The LS and Eco models have a smoothshifting manual transmission as standard equipment. An automatic is optional in those models and is standard in the Cruze LT and LZ.


AMERICAN

IDOL

To see video of the new Cruze, visit

WWW.AUTOMOBILEMAG.COM/SHOWCASE/CHEVROLET

FIFTY-FIVE YEARS AGO, Chevrolet rocked America with one of the most beloved cars ever created. The ’55 Chevy’s magic came from its classic styling, hot V-8 engine, and affordable price. Now it’s the Chevy Cruze’s turn to uplift the American psyche with a breakthrough combination of compact and mid-size attributes. The Cruze is the best thing that’s happened to small cars since the Eisenhower years. The Cruze’s specialty is that it surpasses wide-ranging expectations. Those who prize dependability and reliability are well served by the most extensively tested car in Chevrolet’s history and the class’s longest powertrain warranty. Existing compact owners will enjoy gains in interior room, gas mileage, and amenities. Engineered to earn top marks in all five collision categories, the Cruze provides peace of mind for those to whom safety is of paramount importance. Like the ’55 Chevy that made the bow-tie brand an American icon, the 2011 Cruze is ready to earn friends and impress owners with its innovative design and can-do spirit.

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION


Driven

Honda Odyssey

Still the one.

SAN DIEGO

i

T WAS DIFFICULT, as we arrived in balmy San Diego,

to drum up much excitement over the drive that lay ahead. Not because we were about to drive a minivan, mind you, but because that minivan, the Honda Odyssey, is already so darn good. The current iteration, which dates back to 2005, is still the best in its class. By a good margin. What drama could there be regarding the new one? How about this: in an attempt to draw younger families into the shrinking segment, Honda is proclaiming the new Odyssey to be “the minivan redefined.” To which our natural response is: redefined how? And why? Was Honda about to ruin a good thing in order to attract customers who would otherwise purchase one of the brand’s four crossovers? As if that’s not enough, we learned that engineers had the audacity to retune the Odyssey’s steering for less effort. (Cue foreboding music.) OK, cut the music. In actuality, the Odyssey hasn’t been redefined at all. More like reinvigorated. Take, for instance, the styling, which deviates very little from the concept that debuted at the Chicago auto show last February. Unlike some new-age people movers, including Honda’s own Accord Crosstour, there’s no ambiguity regarding the Odyssey’s purpose. Core minivan attributes such as dual sliding doors and a sloping nose remain in place. Instead, Honda follows the route taken by the The Specs // new Toyota Sienna, wrapping ON SALE: Now a traditional minivan in PRICE RANGE: $28,580–$44,030 sleeker and tauter sheetmetal. ENGINE: 3.5L V-6, 248 hp, 250 lb-ft Well, maybe not sleeker. The DRIVE: Front-wheel Odyssey rides between 0.4 and 1.6 inches lower on its larger seventeen- and eighteen-inch wheels (depending on trim level) but at the same time has grown about two inches wider and nearly an inch longer. The result can appear bloated and overwrought in photographs but in person comes off as fresh and upscale. Mechanically, there’s even less redefining going on. As before, the Odyssey comes solely with a 3.5-liter V-6, which gets four more horsepower, for a total of 248 hp. Cylinder deactivation, an

Honda has attempted to infuse some style into its minivan, with mixed results. Under the skin, though, it’s as functional as ever.

option on the last model, is now standard. We hope that the new six-speed automatic transmission will soon be standard as well. For now, it comes only on Touring and Touring Elite models. Even with the old five-speed slushbox, fuel economy improves to a best-in-class 18/27 mpg city/highway (six-speed models achieve 19/28 mpg), thanks largely to minor engine improvements, lower-rolling-resistance tires, a significant diet, and the more aerodynamic shape. Where the new transmission really makes a difference is in drivability, as five-speed models strain noticeably when accelerating up grades. With either transmission, the Odyssey feels slower and less refined than a six-cylinder Sienna, which enjoys an 18-hp advantage. That said, the Honda would still be our minivan of choice to drive on all but the

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Driven straightest, smoothest roads. The Odyssey retains its independent rear suspension—a rarity in the segment—and presses its ride and handling advantage with a stiffer unibody, softer bushings, and new bypass dampers that provide better body control over most surfaces but dampen large impacts. It doesn’t hurt that it’s lost 50 to 100 pounds (depending on trim). Through mountain switchbacks and on an autocross course—yes, an autocross course—the new setup provided predictable, controlled, and creak-free handling along with a slightly more isolated ride than the old model. As for the steering, we were unable ■

Outboard secondrow seats can be spread apart to accommodate three child seats. In two-passenger configuration, the seats slide together and the center backrest is folded to serve as an armrest/ beverage tray.

© 2010 Michelin North America, Inc.

to discern any difference in feel and effort save for in parking lots, where it is slightly easier to maneuver. Everywhere else, it’s still quick and precise enough to mask the vehicle’s size during spirited driving. Mind you, the seventeen-foot-long Odyssey is no Civic Si. But should you venture off the highway and get lost on an undulating, winding road, the kids probably won’t get carsick, and neither will you. If you’re in an upper-trim-level Odyssey, though, you probably won’t get lost—and the kids won’t care where you drive. Whereas the last-gen model relied on the same compromised navigation


system offered in a $20,000 Fit, the new Odyssey gets a much improved harddrive-based setup that’s easier to use and far better at scoping out points of interest. The fifteen-gigabyte hard drive can also store music from USB devices connected through a new port in the glove box. In back, an optional flip-down video player can now display two movies on one wide LCD screen. The top-of-the-line Touring Elite model, essentially an Acura minus the badge, adds a 650-watt surround-sound stereo and an HDMI input for the rear entertainment system. Aesthetically, the minivan is less ambitious. There are some more soft plastics—including a crucial piece atop the inner door panel—and the whole dash takes on the functional, if somewhat busy, design of the current Accord. It’s by far the most attractive, highest-quality cabin you’ll find in a minivan, but it doesn’t try as hard to impress as what you’ll find in most similarly priced crossovers. Of course, the Odyssey’s calling card has always been its versatility, and that hasn’t changed. Whereas competitors have ventured into clever gimmicks like card tables and reclinerlike seats, Honda has mined even more functionality and comfort from the tried-and-true minivan layout. Lead interior engineer Rudy Mayne takes us through the changes with all the exuberance one expects of a proud parent: outboard second-row

The pleasant, if somewhat busy, dash can house an updated navigation system. Fit and finish remain best-in-class.

seats now shift 1.5 inches sideways to make room for a third child seat in the center (for an overall baby-toting total of five); the third-row seats offer more legroom (best in class) and fold into the floor with greater ease than before; rear storage has been increased by relocating the spare tire beneath the floor between the first and second rows; and the removable center console now has a concealed storage area large enough for purses and features a flip-up ring on which to hang small trash bags. Cupholders? Fifteen, plus a cooler under the center stack that will store four bottles or six cans. As in previous Odysseys, the features all work as advertised and serve a clear purpose beyond advertising fodder. This functionality is ultimately what makes the new Odyssey worthy of its name and distinguishes it from the pack. It may wear more stylish threads, but rest assured—it’s the thoroughly engineered competence that makes this Odyssey what it always has been: the best minivan, period. — David Zenlea


THE NEW EDGE UNDERSTANDS 10,000 VOICE COMMANDS. ENOUGH SAID. It doesn’t just give directions, it takes orders. A whole lot of them. The 305-horsepower EDGE SPORT with MYFORD TOUCH.™* A voice and touch-activated communications system that puts your music, information and entertainment at your fingertips – while your eyes never leave the road. It’s an automotive first. All wrapped up in one thrilling ride. It’s quite possibly the world’s smartest crossover.

2011 EDGE SPORT fordvehicles.com

Simply open your phone’s browser and download the free app at gettag.mobi or text “MYFORDTOUCH” to 4FORD. Then follow the directions to snap this tag and see MyFord Touch come to life.** *Driving while distracted can result in loss of vehicle control. Only use mobile phones/MyFord Touch/other devices, even with voice commands, when it is safe to do so. Some features may be locked out while the vehicle is in gear. Certain commands abbreviated. See owner’s guide for complete commands. **Standard text messaging and data rates apply.


Scion tC Strong enough for a man, but made for a young woman.

SAN DIEGO

t

HE tC IS SCION’S biggest

success. Yes, it’s the brand’s all-time best-selling model, but that’s only half the story. If you remember, the whole point of Scion was to lure younger buyers to Toyota—and the tC’s buyer is the youngest in the industry. At twentyfour years old, he’s about half the age of the average new-car buyer. Or should we say, “she”? You see, even though the tC initially appealed to male enthusiasts, its buyers gradually skewed female, and the take rate for the manual transmission dropped steadily. So what? A buyer is a buyer, right? Not so, say the marketing folks. As it turns out, you can design a car for guys, and girls will likely buy it, too. But if a model is branded a “chick

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Automobile | November 2010


car”? Well, guys will run in the other direction. For its second-generation tC, Scion wants to get the stick-shift-buying enthusiast dudes back into the dealerships. And to do that, it put its sport coupe on an emergency lesstrogen program. With styling cues taken from the hypermasculine Fuse Coupe Concept unveiled at the 2006 New York auto show, the 2011 tC looks decidedly less cute and more aggressive. It remains instantly recognizable as a tC, which is a good thing, because it means that Scion learned its lesson from the xB, which alienated its young buyers when it grew substantially for its second generation. The new tC matches its predecessor in every exterior measurement except width, which has grown by a substantial 1.6 inches. No one

ever complains about a sporty car being too wide—and the increased The Specs // track (up 1.3 inches in front and 2.1 ON SALE: Now inches at the rear) helps give this tC PRICE: $18,995/$19,995 (manual/automatic) a more substantial presence. ENGINE: 2.5L I-4, 180 hp, Standard eighteen-inch wheels don’t 173 lb-ft hurt, either. DRIVE: Front-wheel The increased width also helps the interior feel more spacious. The contoured seats are still supportive but are an inch wider than before. A glass dual sunroof is standard, and—with the exception of a red LED clock that looks straight out of the 1980s—the cabin is modern and attractive. Unfortunately, the dashboard is a mishmash of hard plastics with three completely different grains, and the center armrest is rock hard. The steering wheel, on the other hand, now telescopes in addition to tilting and is a delightfully thick, leather-wrapped, flat-bottomed affair with standard audio controls. It’s easily the highlight of the interior and is enough to make up for a multitude of material sins. It’ll take more than a nice wheel to summon enthusiasts,

November 2010 | Automobilemag.com

49


Driven however. We wish we could report that the tC had made a surprise switch to the rear-wheel-drive sports car platform that Toyota is codeveloping with Subaru, but it didn’t. Nonetheless, the 2011 tC does come with some welcome underhood changes. The old 2.4-liter AZ-series four-cylinder has been replaced by the 2.5-liter AR-series, which adds variable valve timing on the exhaust side and a higher compression ratio (10.4:1 versus 9.8:1). Peak output grows by 19 hp and 11 lb-ft of torque, but despite a satisfying exhaust note, particularly at start-up and idle, this isn’t a standout four-cylinder. It’s certainly not a bad one, mind you, but it doesn’t beg to be revved, and its response to throttle inputs is leisurely. A 7500-rpm screamer under the hood would go a long way toward seducing car guys into Scion dealerships. Add a turbo, and the tC would be irresistible to the tuner crowd. The two-door’s manual transmission now has six forward gears, and the shifter’s throws are relatively short and light, with a vaguely Volkswagen-esque willingness to fall readily into the next gear. The numb clutch’s action isn’t quite as pleasing, but the tC is definitely fun to drive. It’s quick, too, with 60 mph coming in 7.6 seconds, according to Toyota. (The previous five-speed car managed the sprint in 8.2 seconds.)

z

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Automobile | November 2010

The new tC’s styling is sharper-edged than before. A trio of speakers is housed in both doors. A standard dual sunroof once again brightens the coupe’s cabin.

The optional six-speed automatic transmission gains two gears over last year’s slushbox, and the considerably taller gearing makes up for any fuel economy disadvantage inherent in its design: it matches the manual’s EPA ratings of 23 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. The penalty comes in acceleration— the dash to 60 mph takes 0.7 second longer than it does with the stick, and the gearbox includes neither a true manual mode nor steering-wheel paddle shifters. Still, the automatic changes gears quickly, offers smooth and timely downshifts, and generally doesn’t interfere with the fun factor. With either transmission, the tC suffers from no major torque steer, and the power steering, now electrically assisted, feels commendably natural. Not much feedback comes through that sculpted steering wheel, however, and the turning circle is a largish 37.4 feet. Happily, the stability control can be turned off completely—but the ferocious understeer can’t. Masking the front tires’ squealing is easy, since the tC is available with a choice of three stereo systems, all of which feature a tower of speakers in each door. The various head units range in functionality from mediocre to downright awful. Luckily, the dash opening is a standard double-DIN size, making it easy to install an aftermarket unit. Even though a USB port is standard, it’s mounted on the center console, so theft-deterring tC owners will have to unplug and store their iPods every time they leave the car. That’s a silly oversight, but the lack of standard Bluetooth is inexplicable. Since the tC is aimed at young buyers, Toyota’s engineers should have developed and installed the best Bluetooth system in the world. After all, when was the last time you saw a twenty-four-year-old—guy, girl, enthusiast, or commuter—not on the phone? Fortunately, Toyota should be able to add Bluetooth quickly and easily, and there’s no doubt that the company got the rest of the tC’s recipe right. This little coupe has big shoes to fill, trying to convince buyers of both sexes to hand over their recession-riddled paychecks for a new car. Still, if the last tC succeeded in attracting so many young buyers, this faster, better tC should have no problem remaining the brand’s biggest success. — Jason Cammisa


TM

A car like nothing else. Available nowhere else.

Begin your journey in a whole new class. Hertz is proud to be the only rental company that features the Mercedes C Series, GLK350, and the 2010 Motor Trend Car of the Year® contender, E Class. Every Prestige Collection car comes with NeverLost,® our in-car satellite navigation system, plus SIRIUS XM Radio.® And with Hertz, the car you reserve is the one you get. For reservations, contact your travel agent or the Hertz Prestige Collection at 1-800-654-2250, or visit hertz.com. There’s over 300 million journeys out there. One of them is yours.

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Prestige Collection vehicles available at major market locations in the U.S. and Canada. All vehicles may not be available at all locations. Hertz rental age, driver and credit quali⇒cations apply. SIRIUS and XM Radio are available at over 50 Hertz locations in the U.S. SIRIUS, XM and related marks and logos are trademarks of SIRIUS XM Radio Inc. and its subsidiaries; all rights reserved.


By Joe Lorio

FORD MUSTANG

In 1970, the Mustang Boss 302 was in its second year. Its 302-cubic-inch V-8 used cylinder heads from the 351 Cleveland V-8 and was rated at 290 hp. This pristine example, a numbersmatching car that underwent a rotisserie restoration earlier this year, is owned by Mike Friedlander of Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The 2012 Mustang Boss 302 resurrects one of the most legendary high-performance Mustangs from the past. This is the Laguna Seca version, a racier Boss variant that sports more aggressive aero aids, an even firmer adjustable suspension, and a two-seat cabin. The black-with-red-accents livery is one of two Laguna Seca colors, the other being silver with red.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY TIM ANDREW 1970 BOSS 302 COURTESY OF VINTAGE PERFORMANCE AUTO SALES AND RESTORATION

52

G

iven how enthusiastically Ford has mined the Mustang’s rich history, it was only a matter of time before we would see the Boss nameplate again. Well, the time has come: Ford rolled out the new Mustang Boss 302 (for static display only) at the historic races at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in California. The car will rumble into dealerships next spring as a 2012 model. The corral of high-performance Mustangs is get-

Automobile | November 2010

ting crowded. After all, the Mustang GT is newly fortified with 412 hp from its recently introduced 5.0-liter engine, and the Mustang Shelby GT500 pounds out 550 hp from its supercharged 5.4-liter V-8. So one might reasonably wonder where the Boss 302 fits in. The short answer is: between the two, in both price and performance. But the more in-depth answer is that this car isn’t supposed to be merely an intermediate step in a hierarchy of hopped-up Mustangs; it’s actually something racier, more hard-core, and really, really cool.


Like its 1969 namesake—which was essentially a street version of the SCCA Trans-Am race car—the new Boss 302 was designed with an eye toward the track. That’s particularly true of the Boss 302 Laguna Seca edition, a limited-production, streetable track version that tosses out the back seats in favor of additional body stiffeners and features an even more extreme chassis setup. Both the standard Boss 302 and the Laguna Seca move the Mustang away from a traditional, Detroitstyle muscle car that is focused on 0-to-60-mph per-

formance first and handling second. Instead, the dictum with the Boss was to create “the best-handling Mustang ever.” Mustang engineers also aimed to increase power output not with a heavy—though effective—supercharger, but instead by getting the 5.0-liter V-8 to rev more freely. They also wanted to give it more power in the upper rev ranges, consistent with how the Boss will likely be used on a track. Thus, changes to the 5.0-liter V-8 were not just to increase its output but also to alter its nature. Not surprisingly, the modifications are extensive. There’s a November 2010 | Automobilemag.com

53


new intake manifold and ported cylinder heads for better breathing. An engine oil cooler, a lighterweight valvetrain, forged (rather than cast) aluminum pistons, and forged connecting rods are designed to handle higher engine speeds. Ford engineers used the Boss 302R racing car as a development test bed, and, based on their experience at the track, they revised the road car’s radiator to improve engine cooling and added baffles to the oil pan to prevent oil starvation. The net result of all these changes is an engine redline that has Power output of the Boss V-8 increases to 412 hp and the redline rises to 7500 rpm. There are no back seats in been raised by 500 rpm the Laguna Seca version, and Recaro front buckets are standard (they’re optional in the regular Boss). to 7500 rpm and an increase in power output from 412 hp to 440 hp at upgraded. Brake lines have been stiffened Ford likes to say that the Boss isn’t just 7500 rpm—at a cost of 10 lb-ft of peak to improve pedal feel. The Laguna Seca ada sticker-and-wheel package. True enough, torque, with the Boss 302’s V-8 rated at ditionally receives front brake-cooling but that doesn’t mean that exterior graph380 lb-ft at 4500 rpm. ducts—they’re available as an accessory for ics have been ignored. Indeed, the huge One of the more interesting aspects of the standard Boss 302. C-stripe on the side is an unmistakable the Boss engine is its exhaust system. SupAs expected, the Boss features firmer homage to the original 1969 Boss. The plementing the standard Mustang GT’s springs, antiroll bars, and suspension bushstripe color (black or white) is repeated on dual exhausts are two additional pipes that ings, but the car takes the driver-tunable the hood and the roof. Additional exterior exit just ahead of the rear wheels. These racing aspect one step further with manudesign elements include a front splitter, a side exhaust outlets incorporate metal ally adjustable front and rear dampers. The rear wing, and a grille with blanked-out discs that keep the sound at legal levels— fronts are accessible from under the hood foglight holes (why not just design a new but they are removable, should the owner and the rears from in the trunk; drivers can grille?). Body colors are red, blue, orange, want something louder. The Boss is plenty use a screwdriver to select one of five stiffyellow, or white. The Laguna Seca gets red vocal even with the discs in place, as the inness settings. Position 1 is equivalent to a graphics, with additional color splashes on duction sound tube has been retuned and GT with the Brembo brake package, while the grille surround and mirror caps. Its eleven pounds of sound deadening have positions 2 through 5 are progressively base body colors are black or silver only. It been stripped out. stiffer. The Laguna Seca’s softest setting (1) also has more extreme aero aids, taken diThe engine sends power rearward via matches the Boss 302’s firmest setting (5). rectly from the 302R racing car. an upgraded clutch with a steel-backed The steering effort is also driver-adjustInside, the Boss’s look is subtle—at least disc and a short-throw, close-ratio sixable. Electric power steering was introin the standard car. (In the Laguna Seca, speed manual (no automatic is available). duced with the 2011 model year, and as in it’s hard to miss the giant X-brace where Whereas the Mustang GT has a 3.31:1 fithe Mustang GT, drivers can choose among the back seats used to be.) Recaro front nal-drive ratio, the Boss gets a 3.73:1 unit, three effort levels. Similarly, the traction buckets, from the GT500, are standard in with carbon-fiber friction plates in its limand stability control systems include a the Laguna Seca and optional in the Boss ited slip; a Torsen rear axle is standard on competition mode that allows greater drift 302. The steering wheel is wrapped in Althe Laguna Seca model and is optional angles, or they can be shut off entirely. cantara, and there’s dark metallic trim. (bundled with Recaro seats) on the regular The tire and wheel package consists of The Laguna Seca adds a gauge pack with Boss 302. nineteen-inch aluminum alloys for both water temperature, oil pressure, and a Any car expecting to see racetrack duty cars. The Boss 302 wheels, painted black, multifunction readout for quarter-mile needs serious brakes, and so the Boss upare nine inches wide in the front and times, lateral g’s, and such (the multifuncgrades from the Mustang GT’s 13.2-inch 9.5 inches in the rear and are wrapped in tion readout, at least, should be on the regfront discs to the GT500’s fourteen-inch Pirelli PZero rubber; the Laguna Seca ular Boss, too). There’s also a new gauge vented front discs and four-piston Brembo wheels are another half-inch wider in cluster with the tachometer redlined at calipers. The GT’s standard 11.8-inch rear back, are finished in orange and silver, and 7500 rpm and a 180-mph speedometer. rotors are retained, but the pad material is use R-compound PZeros. The latter is indicative of the Boss 302’s

54

Automobile | November 2010


10

GREATEST MUSTANGS

TANIA MALLET PHOTO: APIC/GETTY IMAGES; JERRY TITUS: DAVE FRIEDMAN

[ever]

higher top speed—155 mph (same as the GT500), versus 145 mph for the Mustang GT. Ford is otherwise being coy with regard to the car’s specific performance capabilities, except to say that the Boss 302 should be good for 1 g of lateral grip and the Laguna Seca capable of 1.03 g. We expect the Boss to shave a fraction of a second off the GT’s 0-to-60-mph run, since it weighs about the same but adds another 28 hp. But this car is more about track times than straight-line sprints, and one performance spec that Mustang engineers were not shy about touting was their claim that the Boss 302 can beat a BMW M3 around the Laguna Seca road course. If that proves to be true, they will have created a serious road racer that not only pays homage to the Boss Mustang legend but writes a whole new chapter. AM

MOVIES

MUSTANG RACING MILESTONES

I

n any endeavor that’s been ongoing for nearly fifty years, there are some highs and some lows. In the case of the Ford Mustang, there definitely have been some low points—the utterly emasculating ’74 Mustang II Ghia, the comically garish ’78 Mustang II King Cobra, the tragically wimpy ’81 ’Stang with its 115-hp V-8—but they’ve been outnumbered by the highs. Herewith are our picks for the top ten Mustangs of all time—a blatantly subjective call, we’ll admit. We tried to look at the cars in the context of their era, and thus our list has Mustangs from throughout the model’s history. That last point is testament to the fact that, through good sales periods and bad, Ford has never given up on the Mustang. After Ford created the pony car, the Mustang was deluged with competitors, but only the Mustang has been in continuous production right up to the present day, and it is stronger now than ever. That alone is something to celebrate.

By Rusty Blackwell, Joe DeMatio, Joe Lorio, Evan McCausland, Mike Ofiara, and Eric Tingwall, with special assistance from Jim Campisano, the editorial director at Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords magazine

HOLLYWOOD HORSES: THE MUSTANG ON FILM Ford’s seminal pony car is no stranger to the screen, having appeared in countless TV shows and more than 500 feature films. Credit likely goes as m much to the car’s instantly recognizable shape as its historic importance. Here ar are five of the model’s most soul-stirring appearances. — Sam Smith

1965 NOVEMBER 28

SCCA divisional champions from all over the country assemble at Daytona International Speedway for the American Road Race of Champions. Seven of the entries in B-Production are R model versions of the Shelby Mustang GT350—factory-built race cars sold through Ford dealerships for $5995. East Coast stud Mark Donohue (in a rare appearance in a Ford) puts his GT350 on the pole, slower only than a full-boat 427 Cobra racing in A-Prod. But he blows a tire in the race and West Coast standard-bearer Jerry Titus gives the Mustang its first national championship. The GT350 romps to two more titles in 1966 and ’67. — Preston Lerner

Goldfinger (1964): You know it by heart: Pussy Galore, a gold-painted woman, and the world’s most famous Aston Martin. The Aston gets all the glory, but Goldfinger was the Mustang’s first appearance in a major motion picture. Tania Mallet’s Tilly Masterson used a white ’64½ convertible to trail Sean Connery’s James Bond through the Swiss Alps. Sexy, subtle, and more ’60s swagger than a Mad Men martini lunch.

November 2010 | Automobilemag.com

55


1965

M

SHELBY GT350

BASE PRICE: $4547 ENGINE: 289-cubic-inch (4.7L) OHV V-8

306 hp @ 6000 rpm 329 lb-ft @ 4200 rpm 0–60 MPH: 7.0 sec TOTAL BUILT: 521

[ 22,000

A

the number of Mustangs ordered on the first day the car went on sale

BASE PRICE: $3500 (1969) ENGINE: 302-cubic-inch

(4.9L) OHV V-8 290 hp @ 5800 rpm 290 lb-ft @ 4300 rpm 0–60 MPH: 6.9 sec TOTAL BUILT: 8641

1969-70

MUSTANG BOSS 302

fter promoting the development of the Camaro Z28 during his tenure at Chevrolet, Ford president (and GM turncoat) Semon “Bunkie” Knudsen insisted Ford needed a Mustang that could go toe-to-toe with his prior creation and compete in Trans-Am racing. Along with a beefier block, Ford’s 302-cubic-inch V-8 was treated to forged pistons and a high-rise intake manifold, and enlarged valves helped deliver additional high-end power. Engineers added wider tires, stiffer springs, heavy-duty dampers, and a larger antiroll bar in front (a rear bar was added for 1970), plus a quicker steering box. Designer Larry Shinoda (another GM expatriate) added a blackedout hood and deck lid, large C-shaped stripes, rear window louvers, and an aggressive chin spoiler. Ford launched the Boss 302—possibly named for its awesome power, wild looks, or as a nod to Bunkie himself—in the second half of 1969 and sold 1628 examples, more than enough to homologate the car for racing. Ford failed to clinch a Trans-Am title that year (it did in 1970), but Boss 302 customers were the true winners: with a few mild modifications, they owned a factory-built race car—albeit with a complete interior.

]

FEBRUARY 4

1968

RACING

56

Five factory-supported Mustangs show up for the Winternationals at Pomona packing brand-new 428 Cobra Jet engines—hi-po versions of the big-blocks found in Police Interceptors. Drag-racing legends Gas Ronda and Don Nicholson lose early, but Al Joniec beats Hubert Platt in an all-Mustang Super Stock Eliminator final while clocking 11.59 seconds at 113.06 mph, then shuts down a Mopar to take the overall Super Stock title. In ad copy, Ford dubs the Cobra Jet “the fastest running pure stock in the history of man.” Hyperbole? Maybe, but Cobra Jets are still winning drag races to this day. —PL

Automobile | November 2010

onths after launching the Mustang in the spring of 1964, executives had the itch to go racing with their new pony car. Early attempts to field the Mustang in the SCCA’s B-Production competition failed, so Carroll Shelby—who was already stuffing Ford engines into his successful Cobra race cars—was called in to help. Shelby’s team extensively reworked the chassis. For the front suspension, upper control arms were lowered to improve suspension geometry, and a thicker, one-inch antiroll bar, as well as a one-piece shock-tower brace, were installed. At the rear, new traction bars curbed axle hop. Adjustable Koni dampers all around completed the package. These measures were especially useful since the already potent 289-cubic-inch V-8, which normally churned out 271 hp, was tuned to 306 ponies by means of a new intake manifold, a large Holley fourbarrel carb, and tubular headers. Development work began on the car in August 1964, and production began the week before Christmas. In one week, Shelby American built twelve cars; in two, it had built 100 examples—enough for SCCA officials to sign off on the car. The GT350 quickly became a dominant player in the B-Production class, winning national championships for the next three years and helping establish the Mustang’s performance cred.


1968½

MUSTANG 428 COBRA JET

MOVIES

T

Bullitt (1968): Bullitt’s iconic chase scene lasts eight minutes and shows a Steve McQueen–helmed ’68 GT390 and a ’68 Dodge Charger R/T hammering across San Francisco. McQueen bounces off parked cars, catches air, and generally wreaks steely-eyed, burnout-ridden havoc. Type “coolest movie chase” into YouTube, and this is what you get. — SS

he Mustang may be an all-American muscle machine, but Ford’s Special Vehicle Operations team gave the pony car a European twist for 1984. Electing to improve handling instead of simply adding power, the group made a number of modifications to help the Fox-body Mustang dance, including stiffer springs and bushings, four-wheel disc brakes, and adjustable Koni dampers at each corner. To keep weight balanced, SVO ditched the traditional V-8 in favor of—believe it or not—a 175-hp, 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, which was paired with a five-speed manual gearbox. Die-hard autocrossers could also spring for the Competition Prep package, which stripped the car of air-conditioning, power windows and locks, and a stereo to shave weight. Car magazines

declared the SVO to be the best-handling Mustang ever built, but consumers barely budged, no doubt due to the lack of eight cylinders under the SVO’s hood. Ford dropped the price in 1985 and bumped power to 205 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque—nearly equaling the output of the 4.9-liter V-8—but the $6000 premium over a GT still stifled SVO sales. Only 9844 examples were built over three years, far short of the 10,000-unit annual sales rate Ford initially planned.

1984-86

BASE PRICE: $15,585 (1984) ENGINE: 2.3L turbocharged SOHC I-4

175–205 hp @ 4000–5000 rpm 210–240 lb-ft @ 3000–3200 rpm 0–60 MPH: 7.2 sec TOTAL BUILT: 9844

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Automobile | November 2010

MUSTANG SVO

RACING

1970 OCTOBER 4

The pony car wars achieve their apotheosis during the Trans-Am finale at Riverside International Raceway. With Mustangs campaigned by stock-car legend Bud Moore for Parnelli Jones and George Follmer, Ford has already clinched the manufacturer’s title over factory-backed teams from Chevrolet (Camaro), Dodge (Challenger), Plymouth (Barracuda), Pontiac (Firebird), and American Motors (Javelin). In the race, Jones is punted off course by a backmarker while leading. Rejoining the field in ninth place, he careens to a runaway victory in his savaged Mustang and takes the unofficial driver’s title from Mark Donohue, driving a Roger Penske– prepared Javelin. — PL

BULLITT: WARNER BROS./GETTY IMAGES

F

rom the era of glorious BASE PRICE: $3110 built.” Under the ram-air hood was a muscle-car excess comes ENGINE: 428-cubic-inch 428-cubic-inch V-8 whose special the 428 Cobra Jet. Intro- (7.0L) OHV V-8 features included low-rise heads duced in April of 1968, 335 hp @ 5400 rpm patterned after the 427, a variant of 440 lb-ft @ 3400 rpm the 428 CJ was the brain- 0–60 MPH: 5.5 sec the Police Interceptor intake, and a child of Robert F. Tasca, TOTAL BUILT: 2870 Holley four-barrel. Ford rated the an influential Ford dealer from Rhode engine at a demure 335 hp, but the Island. It was a drag-race winner from its first true figure was somewhere north of 400 hp. Power event (the NHRA Winternationals, in February front disc brakes, a nine-inch rear end, and a 1968) and is still winning NHRA Stock and Super heavy-duty suspension helped round out the packStock races today. And it’s been a legend on the age, which was offered on all three body styles. street since day one. After recording a 13.6-second Honorable mention goes to the ’69 Mach 1 with quarter mile at 107 mph in a test of a Cobra Jet the Super Cobra Jet option and Shaker hood, as it prototype, Hot Rod magazine proclaimed it “prob- is in our opinion the best-looking Mustang ever ably the fastest regular-production sedan ever and an equal performer to the ’681∕2.


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T

he 302-cubic-inch V-8 made famous by the 1969–70 Mustang Boss 302 lingered through most of the dark years of the 1970s and early ’80s, but the powerplant had been severely stifled by emissions controls. For the 1987 model year, however, Ford dutifully reawakened both the Mustang and the 302 (a.k.a. “five-oh”) with an aerodynamic face-lift and a 25-hp bump, respectively. The result was the LX 5.0 that countless Mustang fans covet to this day. Like the purest muscle cars of the ’60s, the 5.0 LX had a big engine in a compact, relatively affordable, bare-bones package. It lacked the fancier trim and bodywork of its upmarket GT brother, but it was also quite a bit lighter. True weight watchers, though, ordered their LX 5.0 as a BASE PRICE: $10,156 (1987) notchback, which was about sixty ENGINE: 4.9L OHV V-8 225 hp @ 4200 rpm pounds trimmer than a similar hatch300 lb-ft @ 3200 rpm back and a couple hundred pounds 0–60 MPH: 6.4 sec lighter than a convertible LX 5.0. TOTAL BUILT: 196,185 The highest-volume car on our list—and still the king of many a high-school parking lot—is highly modifiable, too. Stock or modified, then or now, the LX 5.0’s budget-minded straight-line speed harks back to the Mustang’s earliest days.

]

MOVIES Diamonds Are Forever (1971): Diamonds is the weakest of the early Bond films, a ’70s clunker that suffers from phoned-in performances and a predictable plot. Its saving grace comes when Jill St. John (below) and a graying Sean Connery elude the police in a ’71 Mach 1. At one point, the car traverses a narrow alley on two wheels, only to defy physics and leave the alley on the other two. Who needs reality—or good acting—when you’ve got a roaring V-8? — SS

1987-93 MUSTANG LX 5.0 SEPTEMBER 5

1977

RACING

60

The two top Ford drag racers of the era face off in the Pro Stock finals at the U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park—twice and future king Bob Glidden in a Pinto and Dyno Don Nicholson in a Mustang II motivated by a 351-cubic-inch Cleveland V-8. Nicholson usually concentrated on match racing; in match-race trim, his Mustang was the first Pro Stocker to dip into seven-second territory. But this year, he’s running the full NHRA schedule, and he outpaces Glidden at Indy to secure his only national title. Glidden goes on to win eight more Pro Stock championships—but none in a Mustang. — PL

Automobile | November 2010

1993

MUSTANG COBRA

T

he old Fox-chassis Mustangs, which debuted for 1979, weren’t known for their sophistication, but the 1993 Mustang Cobra began changing that. The car was developed by the true-blue enthusiasts at SVT (Ford’s Special Vehicle Team), who took a holistic approach in moving the Mustang away from its one-dimensional musclecar identity and making it more of BASE PRICE: $20,747 ENGINE: 4.9L OHV V-8 an all-around driv235 hp @ 4600 rpm er’s car. The sus280 lb-ft @ 3800 rpm pension was actu0–60 MPH: 6.0 sec ally softened, but TOTAL BUILT: 4993 it made the handling more progressive and the ride more refined. The steering and the clutch were reworked, the brakes were improved, and the tires—245/45ZR-17s on 7.5-inch wheels—were the largest ever fitted to a Mustang. Roush Engineering massaged the 4.9-liter V-8 engine with GT40 cylinder heads, imbuing it with 235 hp, enough to bring the 0-to-60-mph time down to six seconds flat. And the car’s newfound sophistication was reflected on the outside as well, where the SVT team stripped off four fake air scoops, creating the cleanest-looking Mustang of its era. The ’93 Mustang Cobra is easily the most collectible Fox-chassis Mustang and was the first real sign of the change in direction for the Mustang that continues to this day.

JILL ST. JOHN: UNITED ARTISTS/ARCHIVE PHOTOS/GETTY IMAGES

[ VIN 5F08F100001

The first Mustang’s serial number:


GASPAR PHOTOGRAPHY

1995

A

MUSTANG COBRA R

s you may have guessed, the R here is for racing, and although the Cobra R was actually street legal, this car was absolutely intended for track use. Ford was so serious about seeing the Cobra R on the track (rather than in collectors’ climate-controlled garages) that it required buyers to have a competition license. The fact that only 250 examples were built did indeed make the Cobra R collec- BASE PRICE: $34,999 tor bait, but the fact that the cars were seriously stripped-down ma- ENGINE: 5.8L OHV V-8 300 hp @ 4800 rpm chines made them true track stars. A comprehensive chassis upgrade 365 lb-ft @ 3750 rpm made the Cobra R race ready, and the car was factory-equipped with a 0–60 MPH: 5.2 sec fuel cell. In a further testament to its seriousness of purpose, Ford TOTAL BUILT: 250 axed the air-conditioning, the radio, the sound insulation, and the back seats. In place of the standard Cobra’s 240-hp, 4.9-liter V-8, Ford installed a 5.8-liter—better known as the 351 Windsor—in a Mustang for the first time since 1973. Output was an even 300 hp, along with a healthy 365 lb-ft of torque; the bulging powerplant was topped with a fiberglass hood. Reportedly, Ford made more money selling ’95 Cobra R fiberglass hoods and Cobra R wheels than it did on the 250 actual cars it produced.

A

2000

lthough the exterior styling of the 2000 Mustang Cobra R was questioned by the Mustang faithful, the massive rear wing and the front splitter are something of an icon ten years later. While some people remember the 2000 R for its looks, however, more remember it for its performance. Under the bulbous hood, Ford shoehorned a monster 5.4-liter DOHC V-8 into an engine bay designed for a 4.6-liter. No forced induction here: the normally aspirated engine featured forged aluminum pistons that bumped the compression ratio up the new-millennium R included stiffer from 8.8:1 to 9.6:1. With modified internals, Eibach springs, Bilstein dampers, rea larger intake system, and a free-flowing vamped bushings, and BFGoodrich perforside-exit exhaust, the engine kicked out an mance rubber. Bringing the 3590-pound impressive 385 hp and 385 lb-ft pony to a halt were Brembo of torque, which was good BASE PRICE: $53,900 four-piston calipers up front enough to rocket this beast to ENGINE: 5.4L DOHC V-8 with carbon-fiber cooling ducts. 385 hp @ 5700 rpm 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds. The overall package was exhilThe Cobra R also featured 385 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm arating, and we went as far as 0–60 MPH: 4.4 sec a six-speed Tremec manual TOTAL BUILT: 300 calling the 2000 Cobra R “a transmission and deep Recaro raw, exciting machine that is bucket seats. In true race-spec easily the best Mustang we’ve form, engineers removed the air-condi- driven” in May 2000. Only 300 units were tioner, stereo, rear seats, and sound-dead- produced, making this Cobra R one of the ening material. Chassis improvements on rarest Mustangs ever made.

MUSTANG COBRA R

RACING

1981 JUNE 14

After shunning motorsports for a decade, Ford returns to road racing in style. Michael Kranefuss, head of the new Special Vehicle Operations skunk works, imports a turbocharged Zakspeed Capri sedan racer from Germany and reskins it as a Mustang. At Brainerd International Raceway, German hot-shoe Klaus Ludwig torches a pack of Porsche 935s in the IMSA Camel GT race. Five months later, in another tube-frame Mustang at Sears Point—this one with a honking V-8—Tom Gloy gives Ford its first victory in the modern Trans-Am. Three years later, Gloy becomes Ford’s first modern Trans-Am champ— ironically driving a Capri. — PL

November 2010 | Automobilemag.com

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2001

MUSTANG BULLITT GT

A

t the 2000 Los Angeles auto show, Ford unveiled a concept version of its recently revised Mustang called the Bullitt, inspired by the 1968 movie of the same name starring Steve McQueen. In our two-page report on the show, we never mentioned the Bullitt, instead devoting ink to the likes of the Daewoo Korando, the Pontiac Aztek, and the Subaru ST-X concept. Thankfully, Mustang fans—both those old enough to remember McQueen’s Mustang GT390 dicing with a Dodge Charger through the streets of San Francisco and those younger ones for whom the Bullitt concept served as a cinematic and automotive history lesson—clam- BASE PRICE: $26,830 ored for a production version, and ENGINE: 4.6L SOHC V-8 Mustang engineers quickly got to 265 hp @ 5250 rpm 305 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm work. We were at the media preview 0–60 MPH: 5.6 sec held in—where else?—San Francisco TOTAL BUILT: 5582 in May 2001 and drove a green Bullitt GT on some of the same streets McQueen had thirty-three years earlier. Although we didn’t launch our Bullitt test car to the altitude seen above, the drive route through the city and to Santa Cruz gave us plenty of time to appreciate the advantages the Bullitt had over the stock Mustang GT, and they weren’t just cosmetic. The car rode 0.75 inch lower and had Tokico dampers, thicker rear and thinner front antiroll bars, and 13.0-inch front brake rotors from the SVT Cobra. The V-8’s output was barely changed, but the torque curve was flatter. A menacing exhaust note completed the picture of the coolest non-SVT Mustang to have come along in years.

Gone in 60 Seconds (2000): The movie that launched a thousand clones. Retired car thief Nicolas Cage is tasked with stealing fifty cars in twenty-four hours, one of which is an elusive ’67 Shelby GT500 known as “Eleanor.” The film was a remake of a ’70s picture that featured a similar Mustang, but the modern effort offered better eye candy and ferocious, ear-melting sound. — SS

MUSTANG READING

MOVIES

2011 SHELBY GT500

SEPTEMBER 1

1997

RACING

62

On a damp track, Tommy Kendall sticks his Mustang on the pole, clocks the fastest race lap, and leads the most laps at Mosport Park en route to winning his eleventh consecutive Trans-Am race and third consecutive Trans-Am championship. This remarkable performance puts a capstone on the equally impressive road-racing career of former Mustang drag-racer Jack Roush. After campaigning the ex-Zakspeed Capri in 1982, Roush creates a Ford-backed juggernaut that dominates Trans-Am and IMSA GT, scoring nine straight class wins in the 24 Hours of Daytona—usually racing Mustangs—before focusing on more lucrative pastures in NASCAR. — PL

Automobile | November 2010

Fast Mustangs. By Alex Gabbard; Gabbard Publications, 1990. Softcover, 192 pages. Out of print Fast Mustangs is a comprehensive guide to all forms of Mustang racing from 1964 to 1990. This softcover book provides an in-depth look at everything from drag racing to Trans-Am road racing, with designated sections that focus on the Shelby and Boss years. Complete with a full-color section featuring both street and racing Mustangs.


Mustang: Forty Years. By Randy Leffingwell; Motorbooks, 2003. Hardcover, 384 pages. $50 Leffingwell’s work features beautiful color photos and a thorough history of the Ford Mustang from its birth through 2003. Focusing mainly on street-legal cars, the book covers all special-edition Mustangs, including pace cars and police units, with great attention to detail.

I AM LEGEND: WARNER BROS. PICTURES

T

The Complete Book of Mustang. By Mike Mueller; Motorbooks, 2007. Hardcover, 348 pages. $55 This compilation is good for quick and easy-to-find information and is presented in a magazine-style format. Covering all Mustangs from a 1962 prototype to the 2007 GT500, it features large color photos, a brief what’s what about the nameplate, and complete specifications for each model, including original prices.

RACING

2005 FEBRUARY 4

he nine other Mustangs on this list have earned their places here—and in the hearts of enthusiasts— with timeless looks and serious capability for their day. Yet no Mustang endears itself to the right foot quite like the 2011 Shelby GT500, the pinnacle of pony performance. With modern engineering and a healthy respect for history, Ford has delivered a car that accelerates, brakes, and turns like no Mustang before while capitalizing on the car’s iconic styling. At the core of the GT500 is a supercharged, 5.4-liter V-8 good for 550 hp with 510 lb-ft of torque available at 4250 rpm ( jumps of 50 hp and 30 lb-ft versus the GT500 that debuted for 2007). Channeled through a tight, stiff, six-speed manual, the V-8 reliably churns out 4.2-second runs to 60 mph or two broad black strokes on the pavement—your choice. The arrival of the striped snake is trumpeted through a new exhaust configuration that accents the deep, uneven rumble on acceleration and the sharp cracks on overrun.

MOVIES

Ford: The Dust and the Glory, A Racing History. By Leo Levine; SAE International, 2001. Hardcover, 1108 pages (two volumes). $70 The book pictured above is the first of two volumes and revisits Ford’s extensive motorsports history from 1901 to 1967 (volume two covers 1968 to 2000). These must-have tomes are known for their coverage of Ford’s great successes at Le Mans, but they also cover every form of Mustang racing, from Trans-Am to IMSA to NHRA.

Blistering straight-line acceleration from today’s most expensive Mustang is a given, but the GT500’s best trait is its balance at the limits of adhesion. The newfor-2011 aluminum block strips 102 pounds from the nose, transforming the handling from sensitive to obliging. Yaw can still be readily controlled by throttle or brake application, but the 2011 Shelby GT500 is more forgiving when manhandled and more rewarding when properly massaged. Ford has lost its way more than once during its forty-six years of building the Mustang. In BASE PRICE: $49,495 fact, the original 1967 GT500 ENGINE: 5.4L was watered down from the supercharged DOHC V-8 550 hp @ 6200 rpm first 1965 Shelby. Much of 510 lb-ft @ 4250 rpm the $1000 premium went to- 0–60 MPH: 4.2 sec ward exterior embellish- TOTAL PLANNED: 5500 ments rather than mechanical hardware, and the vast majority of the early GT500s were built with automatic transmissions. Thankfully, the modern car is a manual-only affair, and the 2011 Shelby GT500 makes few concessions to noholds-barred performance. It is the bestdriving Mustang yet.

Like the GT350 before it, Ford’s latest factory racer—the FR500C— scores a victory right out of the box, in the Grand-Am Cup 200, when Tom Nastasi and Ian James hold off a second Mustang at Daytona International Speedway. The Mustang goes on to win the manufacturer’s championship, humbling BMW M3s and Porsche 911s, and then earns another title in 2008. Delivered as a body-in-white, the FR500C inspires a new generation of track-ready, factory-built race cars designed both for road racing (M-FR500-Boss R1) and drag racing (FR500CJ). And the M-FR500-Boss R is now the basis of the one-make Mustang Challenge series. — PL

I Am Legend (2007): There is one reason, and one reason only, to see this forgettable Will Smith end-of-days flick: Shortly after we discover that Smith is the last sane man on earth, we see him tear through a deserted Manhattan, foot to the floor, in an ’07 Shelby GT500. The supercharged V-8’s roar echoes off the island’s empty canyons. Chills. — SS

November 2010 | Automobilemag.com

63


TL SH-AWD shown. Š2010 Acura. Acura,TL, Advanced Compatibility Engineering and ACE are trademarks of Honda Motor Co., Ltd.


Notice how you can feel the impact all the way through your hand? That’s because your body naturally transfers energy from one part to another. This is similar to how the Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ ( ACE ™) body structure works. It enhances occupant protection in a frontal collision by transferring the crash energy throughout the front of the vehicle and around the cabin. This reduces the forces transferred to the passenger compartment — and the people inside it. The ACE body structure in the Acura TL. The most innovative thinking you’ll find, you’ll find in an Acura. To learn more, visit acura.com.


Hyundai Equus

IN GOOD

COMPANY

Hyundai’s inexorable rise to the LUXE segment . | By Jamie Kitman

nearly $60,000 Hyundai that will compete with the likes of the BMW 7-series, the Mercedes-Benz S-class, the Lexus LS, and the Audi A8, which all cost considerably more? Laugh if you must, car guy, and then start mentally preparing yourself for the apology you’ll want to have handy once you start seeing Hyundai Equuses shuttling their well-heeled owners around town. They laughed when Lexus sat down, too. We’re not here to tell you that the vaunted German and Japanese giants have been displaced as the mother ships of luxury sedan brands. We are saying, however, that the inexorable rise of Korea’s Hyundai—from maker of entry-level economy cars to serious Accord/Camry competitors to proud parent of the BMW 5-se-

66

Automobile | November 2010

ries–sized Genesis, 2009’s North American Car of the Year—continues apace. There is, save snob appeal and the occasional touch of design bravery, not much in the new Equus for most buyers of large luxury conveyances to miss. Except cost. You can’t be too rich, but ostentation is not always a plus these days, as the continued sales and residual-value strength of Hyundai’s most recent move upmarket (the one some said would never work), the Genesis, have shown. The Equus—with its rear-driven wheels, leather-lined cabin with vast expanses of wood, and big 385-hp V-8—fits the upper-luxury mold to a tee: fast, quiet, capable. Four-wheel drive and more power come later, but for now it’s spacious, comfortable, and well screwed together. And did we mention that it’s large, with acres of rear-seat legroom? Its exterior lines, the handiwork of the company’s California design studio, are


Drivers won’t be disappointed, but the Equus belies its Korean heritage with its emphasis on the comfort of rear-seat passengers, which in most ancient societies means the rich guy paying the bills, not the kids. Exceptionally complete controls highlight the console served up for the pleasure of those riding in the back.

highly sculpted yet on reflection strangely anodyne. You’ll not be faulted here for thinking it the product of another company, although you’ll be more likely to guess Lexus than Audi, with which brand it shares none of the spasmodic futureforward design sensibility, inside or out, nor the interior tactility. Even compared with a Mercedes or a BMW, this is one cold, sober ride. At least, unlike the firstgeneration Equus (a joint venture with Mitsubishi that debuted in 1999 but never made it to America), this all-Hyundai effort isn’t a study in ugly. Most at home on the open highway or sitting in traffic, where its massaging seats can be considered in earnest, the Equus still managed to acquit itself well on the mountain roads outside Palo Alto, California. Large though it is on the outside, the big Hyundai seems to shrink when you’re behind the wheel. With good grip, acceptable levels of body roll, and an agreeable

six-speed automatic, the Equus driver never feels like a sea captain. Of the automatic, it must be said that, while it helps the heavy car serve up 24 mpg on the highway, it comes up short compared with the class-leading eight-speed ZF found in some of its expensive competition. A lack of paddle shifters underscores the Equus’s sedate mission. Shaving 25 percent out of the price of a major luxury conveyance has to cost something. But its low cost, plus an unobtrusive demeanor and especially its spacious accommodations—available with a reclining rear seat with leg rests in the Ultimate package—make the Equus an obvious candidate for black-car service. Indeed, although the company claims that it is not interested in the airport-limo custom— yet—a Hyundai executive admitted that one New York Lincoln Town Car dealer

A valet service, engaged by iPad, laptop, phone, or carrier pigeon, will arrange for the dealer to collect your car from you, leaving a Genesis or an Equus loaner in its place.

assured them he’d take their entire anticipated first year’s supply (between 2000 and 3000 cars). While worthy, the Equus is a resolutely conventional machine. By contrast, Hyundai, which has demonstrated a growing flair for salesmanship, is taking the opportunity of its new flagship’s debut to explore a few cutting-edge marketing concepts. Quality hardware and a full complement of electronic gadgetry at competitive prices will draw some to this car, as will a best-in-the-business, tenyear/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. But Hyundai claims it will reel in a younger and more switched-on customer base than its competitors. How? For one thing, Equus owners’ manuals won’t be printed, they’ll be an iPad application to be used on the free iPad given to every buyer. You’re welcome, Steve Jobs. A related benefit, beyond the iPad hookup, will be the ability to arrange all service and repair work online. Indeed, Hyundai says that once you buy the car, you’ll never have to go back to the dealer if you don’t feel like it. (Roughly 250 of the company’s 800 dealers are authorized to sell its top-of-the-line Equus.) A valet service, engaged by iPad, laptop, phone, or carrier pigeon, will arrange for the dealer to collect your car from you, leaving a Genesis or an Equus loaner in its place. We can only wonder what car thieves will make of this iPad experiment. They’ll have a much easier time boosting, and then fencing, the computer tablet than the Equus’s mondo, seventeen-speaker stereo system, assuming they’re able to pry it from the car. But one thing is certain: the fact that this luxury liner is a Hyundai won’t be their problem. It shouldn’t be yours, either. AM

Buyers specifying the Ultimate trim lose seating for a third rear-seat passenger but gain a substantial center console, along with a fully reclining right-rear seat with a leg rest similar to a business-class airplane seat, as well as massaging and temperature-controlled seating surfaces. November 2010 | Automobilemag.com

67


Ask about our Tire Road Hazard Service Program

Winter Tires

BRIDGESTONE BLIZZAK LM-60

R- 15 $96 R- 15XL 105 R- 16 108 R- 16 109 R- 16 103 R- 16 113 R- 16XL 109 R- 16 112 R- 16 125 R- 16 130 R- 17 116 R- 17 117 R- 17XL 118 R- 17XL 119 R- 17 122 R- 17 124 R- 17 128

Blizzak LM-22 235/45 R- 18 $169

Blizzak LM-25 4X4 285/45 R- 19 $198 275/45 R- 20XL 173

R- 17 $127 R- 17 145 R- 17 130 R- 17 134 R- 17 132 R- 17 142 R- 17 136 R- 17 150 R- 18 137 R- 18XL 140 R- 18 144 R- 18 144 R- 18XL 159 R- 18 155 R- 18 135 R- 18 156 R- 18 161

P265/70 275/60 P275/65 285/60 P235/55 P245/55 P255/60 P245/50 P245/60 P255/55 P265/50 275/40 275/45 P275/55 P275/60 285/50 P285/45

R- 18 $142 R- 18 163 R- 18 164 R- 18 170 R- 19 141 R- 19 177 R- 19 171 R- 20 168 R- 20 170 R- 20 155 R- 20 172 R- 20XL 204 R- 20XL 192 R- 20 174 R- 20 185 R- 20XL 186 R- 22 227

Blizzak DM-Z3 265/45 R- 21 $301 245/45 R- 18 $252 255/40 R- 20 367 285/35 R- 20 393

205/50 R- 17 $159 225/45 R- 17XL 192 245/50 R- 17 216

R- 17 $148 R- 17 153 R- 17XL 165 R- 17 173 R- 17XL 162 R- 17 177 R- 18XL 179 R- 18XL 177 R- 18XL 190 R- 18 192 R- 18 188 R- 18 198 R- 18XL 207 R- 18XL 209 R- 18 205

255/40 255/45 265/35 275/35 225/40 225/45 235/35 245/40 245/45 255/35 255/40 255/50 265/35 275/35 275/45

R- 18X$215 R- 18 214 R- 18XL 241 R- 18 242 R- 19 222 R- 19 212 R- 19XL 251 R- 19 241 R- 19 230 R- 19XL 277 R- 19XL 262 R- 19XL 236 R- 19 274 R- 19 285 R- 19XL 268

245/40 R- 20 $281 245/45 R- 20 267 P245/50 R- 20 252 255/35 R- 20XL 302 255/45 R- 20 278 255/50 R- 20XL 266 RFT (Runflat) 195/55 R- 16 $143 205/45 R- 17 165 225/40 R- 18 218 235/55 R- 18 227 255/40 R- 18 245 255/55 R- 18 255

205/60 215/70 195/60 185/55 195/55 205/50 225/55 235/60 235/65

R- 15 $83 R- 15 84 R- 16 86 R- 16XL 106 R- 16 106 R- 16 111 R- 16 114 R- 16 105 R- 16 101

205/40 215/60 P215/65 225/40 235/40 245/40 245/50

R- 17X$117 R- 17 115 R- 17 86 R- 18 156 R- 18 162 R- 18 168 R- 18XL 168

225/60 225/65 235/65 205/50 215/45 215/50 215/55 215/60 215/65 225/45 225/50 225/55

R- 16 $104 R- 16 105 R- 16 109 R- 17XL 125 R- 17 133 R- 17XL 141 R- 17 119 R- 17 109 R- 17 109 R- 17 145 R- 17 146 R- 17 124

225/60 225/65 235/45 235/55 235/60 235/65 245/45 P215/55 225/45 P225/55 225/60

R- 17 $114 R- 17 115 R- 17 156 R- 17 133 R- 17 120 R- 17 116 R- 17 166 R- 18 152 R- 18 147 R- 18 158 R- 18 137

Blizzak WS60 175/65 185/65 195/60 145/65 155/60 175/55 175/65 195/55 195/65

R- 14XL $80 R- 14 77 R- 14 78 R- 15 70 R- 15 77 R- 15 84 R- 15 77 R- 15 91 R- 15 70

175/70 175/65 175/70 185/60 185/65 185/70 195/70 185/60 185/65 195/55 195/60 195/65

R- 15 $82 R- 15 82 R- 15 87 R- 15 84 R- 15 89 R- 15 92 R- 16 112 R- 16 95 R- 16 98 R- 16 114 R- 16 99 R- 16 99

Blizzak LM-50 RFT (Runfl at)

Blizzak MZ-03

225/60 R- 17 $125

165/65 R- 14 $75

215/85 R- 16 $142 225/75 R- 16E 139 235/85 R- 16E 148

245/70 R- 17 $163 265/70 R- 17E 173

245/75 R- 16 $150 265/75 R- 16E 154 LT235/80 R- 17E 159

E

E

R- 13 $55 R- 14 65 R- 14XL 71 R- 14 67 R- 15XL 73 R- 15XL 72 R- 15XL 86 R- 15XL 74 R- 15XL 77 R- 15 76 R- 15 80 R- 15 76 R- 15 84 R- 15 81 R- 16XL 97 R- 16XL 87

215/55 215/60 215/65 225/55 225/60 225/70 LT225/75 235/60 235/75 LT235/85 245/75 255/70 LT265/75 205/50 215/45 215/50

R- 16 $106 R- 16 97 R- 16XL 95 R- 16XL 114 R- 16 101 R- 16 100 R- 16E 145 R- 16 111 R- 16 116 R- 16E 144 R- 16 109 R- 16 122 R- 16E 156 R- 17XL 120 R- 17 135 R- 17 128

215/60 225/45 225/55 235/45 235/55 235/65 LT235/80 245/65 245/70 LT245/70 265/65 265/70 LT265/70 LT285/70

R- 17 $114 R- 17XL 133 R- 17XL 126 R- 17 143 R- 17XL 135 R- 17XL 127 R- 17E 172 R- 17 133 R- 17 133 R- 17E 159 R- 17 146 R- 17 136 R- 17E 170 R- 17D 189

ContiWinterContact TS810 S 205/55 R- 17X$172

195/65 205/65 205/55 205/60 215/55 215/65 225/55 235/60 205/50 225/45 225/45 225/55 235/45

R- 15 $91 R- 15 93 R- 16 111 R- 16 117 R- 16 131 R- 16 116 R- 16 131 R- 16 134 R- 17 135 R- 17 158 R- 17XL 162 R- 17 149 R- 17XL 165

205/50 225/60 205/45 215/60 225/50 225/60

R- 15 R- 15 R- 16 R- 16 R- 16 R- 16

$96 109 126 107 137 118

245/40 R- 18X$255

285/35 ZR- 18X$293 235/35 R- 19XL 248 235/50 R- 19 209 295/30 ZR- 19XL 256 275/45 R- 20XL 139 RFT (Runflat) 175/60 R- 16 $139 195/55 R- 16 119 245/45 R- 18XL 270 245/50 R- 18 267 245/45 R- 19 265

205/50 R- 16 $115 P225/60 R- 18 159

PIRELLI WINTER 210/240 SOTTOZERO

R- 17 $145 R- 17 139 R- 18 199 R- 18XL 206 R- 18 201 R- 18 229

245/40 R- 19 $249 ROF (RunOnflat) 205/55 R- 16 $148 225/45 R- 17 189 225/50 R- 17 188

215/45 215/50 235/45 245/45 245/50 255/45

255/55 R- 18 $275

265/65 R- 17 $135 255/55 R- 19 212

Grandtrek SJ5 275/60 R- 18 $171

215/50 R- 17 $133 X

235/50 R- 18 $195 255/55 R- 18XL 268

255/50 R- 19 $291 265/55 R- 19 277

255/55 R- 18 $220

Latitude X-ICE

Latitude Alpin 245/70 R- 16 $132 235/60 R- 18XL 165

255/55 R- 18X$216 275/40 R- 20 223

225/70 R- 15 $116 P235/75 R- 15XL 119 245/70 R- 17 148

235/65 R- 17X$149 245/65 R- 17 156 265/70 R- 17 172

235/55 R- 18 $161

Latitude X-ICE Xi2 215/70 R- 16 $130 235/70 R- 16 124 225/65 R- 17 141

Pilot Alpin PA3 205/55 205/50 215/50 215/55 225/45 225/50 225/55

R- 16 $128 R- 17 167 R- 17 190 R- 17XL 171 R- 17XL 183 R- 17 188 R- 17 179

235/45 235/55 245/45 225/40 225/45 235/40 235/45

R- 17X$196 R- 17XL 192 R- 17XL 209 R- 18 207 R- 18XL 191 R- 18XL 218 R- 18 202

245/40 245/45 245/40 255/35 255/40 255/45 285/40

R- 18X$231 R- 18XL 235 R- 19XL 275 R- 19XL 298 R- 19XL 262 R- 19 227 R- 19 296

235/40 R- 18 $225 205/50 R- 17 153

255/40 R- 18 $242 265/40 R- 18 270

295/35 R- 18 $299

Primacy Alpin PA3 195/60 205/65 205/50 205/55 205/60

R- 15 $109 R- 15 113 R- 16 144 R- 16 132 R- 16 115

215/55 215/65 225/50 225/55 225/60

R- 16 $139 R- 16 127 R- 16 154 R- 16 151 R- 16 140

205/45 215/45 225/45 225/55

R- 17 $161 R- 17 166 R- 17 176 R- 17 159

R- 15 $96 R- 16XL 118 R- 16 132 R- 16 124 R- 16 109 R- 16 109 R- 16XL 135 R- 16 113 R- 16 107 R- 16 119 R- 16 123 R- 17XL 132 R- 17 148 R- 17XL 138 R- 17 141 R- 17 125 R- 17 117

225/50 225/55 225/60 235/45 235/55 245/45 215/45 225/40 225/45 225/50 225/60 235/45 235/50 245/40 245/45 245/45

R- 17 $139 R- 17XL 146 R- 17 133 R- 17XL 154 R- 17XL 151 R- 17XL 165 R- 18 151 R- 18XL 168 R- 18XL 167 R- 18 158 R- 18 159 R- 18 170 R- 18 169 R- 18XL 186 R- 18XL 185 R- 19 195

R- 15 $65 R- 15 65 R- 15 68 R- 15 68 R- 15 70 R- 15 59 R- 15 58 R- 15 74 R- 15 71 R- 15 62 R- 15 78 R- 16 85 R- 16 84

205/60 215/55 215/60 P225/50 225/60 215/55 P215/65 225/50 225/55 225/60 235/55 225/60

R- 16 $75 R- 16 88 R- 16 78 R- 16 95 R- 16 82 R- 17 93 R- 17 89 R- 17 117 R- 17 95 R- 17 94 R- 17 99 R- 18 101

P255/70 P265/70 P265/75 P235/65 P265/70 245/65 P245/70

R- 16 $82 R- 16 87 R- 16 80 R- 17 102 R- 17 91 R- 17 101 R- 17 84

LT245/75 LT265/70 LT275/65 LT275/70

R- 17E$145 R- 17E 155 R- 18E 128 R- 18E 172

205/50 215/45 215/50 215/55 215/60 225/45 225/55 235/45 235/55 235/65 LT235/80 245/65 245/70 265/65 265/70 LT265/70 LT285/70

R- 17 $99 R- 17 114 R- 17 110 R- 17 113 R- 17 107 R- 17 117 R- 17 113 R- 17 126 R- 17 122 R- 17XL 123 R- 17E 149 R- 17 122 R- 17 116 R- 17 135 R- 17 122 R- 17E 160 R- 17D 162

Primacy Alpin PA3 ZP 195/55 R- 16 $118

X-ICE Xi2 Scorpion Ice & Snow 215/65 215/70 225/70 235/70 245/70 255/65 275/70 225/65 235/60 235/65 245/65 255/60 265/65 275/55 235/55 235/60 235/65

R- 16 $92 R- 16 99 R- 16 109 R- 16 106 R- 16 112 R- 16 128 R- 16 150 R- 17 130 R- 17 149 R- 17XL 135 R- 17XL 166 R- 17 173 R- 17 163 R- 17 189 R- 18XL 166 R- 18 157 R- 18XL 179

245/55 245/60 255/55 255/55 255/60 265/60 235/55 245/50 255/50 255/50 255/55 265/50 265/55 275/45 285/45 245/45 255/45

R- 18 $165 R- 18 185 R- 18XL 167 R- 18 182 R- 18XL 192 R- 18 209 R- 19XL 182 R- 19XL 206 R- 19XL 195 R- 19N0 208 R- 19 214 R- 19XL 232 R- 19 249 R- 19XL 223 R- 19 243 R- 20XL 240 R- 20 256

255/50 R- 20 $268 265/45 R- 20XL 269 275/40 R- 20NO 274 275/45 R- 20XL 276 275/50 R- 20 291 295/40 R- 20XL 283 265/45 R- 21 305 295/35 R- 21 293 P275/45 R- 22XL 344 RFT (Runflat) 255/55 R- 18 $198 255/50 R- 19XL 263 275/40 R- 20XL 333 315/35 R- 20XL 364 285/35 R- 21XL 369 325/30 R- 21XL 409

175/70 175/65 175/70 185/60 185/65 185/70 175/65 185/55 185/60 185/65 195/55 195/60 195/65 205/60 205/65 205/70 215/65

R- 13 R- 14 R- 14 R- 14 R- 14 R- 14 R- 15 R- 15 R- 15 R- 15 R- 15 R- 15 R- 15 R- 15 R- 15 R- 15 R- 15

$77 79 81 87 86 83 83 98 92 90 103 93 96 97 100 94 102

215/70 195/55 205/50 205/55 205/60 205/65 215/55 215/60 215/65 225/60 235/60 205/50 215/45 215/50 215/55 215/60 215/65

Winter 210 SnowSport 195/50 R- 16 $118

Winterforce (studdable)

Winter 240 SnowSport 205/50 R- 17 $144 255/40 R- 17 192 225/40 R- 18 175

N

RFT (Runflat) 205/45 R- 17 $159

R- 17 $144 R- 17 158 R- 18 169 R- 18 145

RFT (Runflat) 205/50 R- 17 $164 225/45 R- 17 169

R- 18X$196 R- 18 221 R- 18 302 R- 18 272 R- 19XL 299 R- 19XL 239 R- 19 332 R- 19 318

265/35 R- 20 $355 285/30 R- 20XL 399 RFT (Runflat) 245/45 R- 17 $207 245/40 R- 18 219 245/45 R- 18XL 234 275/35 R- 19XL 359

235/40 R- 18 $195 265/35 R- 18 240 265/40 R- 18 229

Winter 210 Sottozero 195/55 205/45 205/55 225/55

R- 16 $98 R- 16XL 102 R- 16 90 R- 16 116

215/60 235/45 225/55 225/60

225/55 235/55 215/45 235/40 235/45 235/50 245/40 245/45

R- 17 $165 R- 17 171 R- 18XL 166 R- 18N1 195 R- 18XL 177 R- 18XL 209 R- 18 197 R- 18 193

245/45 255/35 285/40 295/35 245/40 255/40 285/35 285/40

205/55 205/60 215/60 205/45 215/45 215/55

R- 16XL $98 R- 16XL 99 R- 16XL 105 R- 17XL 131 R- 17 142 R- 17 142

225/45 225/50 225/55 245/45 245/40 235/50

R- 17X$139 R- 17XL 149 R- 17 145 R- 17 174 R- 18 180 R- 19 258

RFT (Runflat) 205/55 R- 16 $133 225/50 R- 17 177 255/40 R- 18 226

P155/80 175/70 175/65 185/60 185/65 185/70 P185/75 195/70 P195/75 205/70 P205/75 215/70 185/60

R- 13 $47 R- 13 49 R- 14 56 R- 14 61 R- 14 63 R- 14 52 R- 14 53 R- 14 58 R- 14 55 R- 14 57 R- 14 56 R- 14 58 R- 15 64

185/65 195/60 195/65 205/60 205/65 205/70 P205/75 215/60 215/65 215/70 P265/75 P205/50 205/55

Winterforce UV (studdable) P215/75 225/70 P225/75 P235/70 P235/75 P235/75 215/65

R- 15 $64 R- 15 65 R- 15 67 R- 15 70 R- 15 68 R- 15XL 69 R- 16 79

P215/70 P225/70 P225/75 P235/65 P235/70 P245/70 P245/75

R- 16 $71 R- 16 74 R- 16XL 68 R- 16 89 R- 16XL 77 R- 16 82 R- 16 78

Winterforce LT (studdable) LT215/85 LT225/75 LT235/85 LT245/75

R- 16E$125 R- 16E 126 R- 16E 133 R- 16E 138

LT265/75 LT285/75 LT235/80 LT245/70

R- 16E$139 R- 16E 146 R- 17E 143 R- 17E 147

Winter 240 Sottozero Serie II 205/50 205/55 225/45 235/50 225/40 225/45 235/40 235/40 235/40 245/50 255/40

R- 17X$140 R- 17 145 R- 17XL 153 R- 17 185 R- 18XL 155 R- 18XL 174 R- 18N1 195 R- 18N2 192 R- 18XL 188 R- 18 199 R- 18 209

265/40 275/45 295/35 235/35 245/45 255/35 255/45 275/40 285/40 295/30 255/40

R- 18 $222 R- 18 299 R- 18 272 R- 19 249 R- 19XL 250 R- 19XL 260 R- 19XL 300 R- 19XL 335 R- 19 325 R- 19 298 R- 20XL 366

285/35 R- 20 $412 RFT (Runflat) 215/40 R- 18 $205 225/40 R- 18XL 219 245/35 R- 18XL 279 255/35 R- 18XL 281 245/45 R- 19XL 297 275/40 R- 19XL 386 245/40 R- 20XL 415 275/35 R- 20XL 519

275/35 ZR- 20 $429 285/35 R- 20XL 449

295/30 ZR- 20X$477

185/65 R- 14 $68 185/70 R- 14 65

195/55 R- 15 $97 195/60 R- 15 75

225/45 R- 17 $140 225/55 R- 17 146

Winter Carving Edge (studdable) Ultra Grip Performance

235/55 R- 17 $187 235/65 R- 17 212

Latitude Alpin HP ZP RFT

Pilot Alpin PA2

Winter Carving (studdable) 235/65 R- 17 $125 255/60 R- 17 115 255/65 R- 17 127

Eagle Ultra Grip GW3

MICHELIN X-ICE Xi2

X

Winter 270 Sottozero Serie II

Ultra Grip SUV

195/55 R- 15 $101 205/60 R- 15 93

R- 16 $102 R- 16 91 R- 17XL 118 R- 17 120 R- 17 112 R- 17 104 R- 17 123 R- 17 111 R- 17 135 R- 18 159 R- 18 143

235/55 R- 17 $165 235/65 R- 17XL 149 245/40 R- 17XL 184 245/45 R- 17 163 255/45 R- 17 186 235/40 R- 18 205 235/40 ZR- 18XL 210 235/50 R- 18 228 235/60 R- 18XL 170 245/40 R- 18XL 223 255/40 R- 18 234 255/45 R- 18 235 265/35 R- 18XL 262

Grandtrek WT M3 ROF (RunOnFlat)

235/45 R- 20X$335 245/35 ZR- 20XL 398

245/70 R- 16 $113 265/70 R- 16 122 235/55 R- 17 155

225/55 225/60 215/45 215/50 215/55 215/60 225/45 225/55 235/45 225/50 225/55

Winter 210 Sottozero Serie II

ExtremeWinterContact 175/70 175/65 185/65 185/70 185/60 185/65 195/55 195/60 195/65 205/60 205/65 205/70 215/65 215/70 205/55 205/60

R- 15 $73 R- 15 79 R- 15 75 R- 15 81 R- 15 78 R- 16 85 R- 16 92 R- 16XL 85 R- 16 87 R- 16 98 R- 16XL 88 R- 16 87

Winter 240 Sottozero

Blizzak W965 E

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R- 13 $54 R- 14 69 R- 14 65 R- 14 73 R- 14 69 R- 14 65 R- 14 70 R- 15 71 R- 15 73 R- 15 83 R- 15 76 R- 15 74

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R- 14 $62 R- 14 65 R- 15 72 R- 15 70

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215/60 R- 16XL $99 215/65 R- 16 104 235/65 R- 17 137

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215/55 215/60 215/65 215/70 225/55 225/60 225/70 LT225/75 235/60 235/70 235/75 LT235/85 245/75 LT245/75 255/70 265/70 265/75 LT265/75

R- 16 R- 16 R- 16 R- 16 R- 16 R- 16 R- 16 R- 16E R- 16 R- 16 R- 16 R- 16E R- 16 R- 16E R- 16 R- 16 R- 16 R- 16E

$89 82 87 87 104 88 88 129 102 99 97 134 102 139 104 112 111 144

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©2010 Tire Rack


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Get a $70 Prepaid MasterCard® Card via mail-in rebate when you buy ANY set of (4) four new MICHELIN® brand passenger or light truck tires October 14 through November 15, 2010 and submit a redemption form. * VISIT WWW.TIRERACK.COM/SPECIALS FOR COMPLETE OFFER DETAILS. TIRES MUST BE PURCHASED FROM IN-STOCK INVENTORY BETWEEN 10/14/10 AND 11/15/10. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. THE CARD IS ISSUED BY CITIBANK, N.A. PURSUANT TO A LICENSE BY MASTERCARD INTERNATIONAL INCORPORATED AND MANAGED BY CITI PREPAID SERVICES. MASTERCARD IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF MASTERCARD INTERNATIONAL INCORPORATED. CARDS WILL NOT HAVE CASH ACCESS AND CAN BE USED EVERYWHERE MASTERCARD DEBIT CARDS ARE ACCEPTED. COPYRIGHT ©2010 MICHELIN NORTH AMERICA, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THE MICHELIN MAN IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OWNED BY MICHELIN NORTH AMERICA, INC.

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DECISIONS, DECISIONS, DECISIONS. WHILE TRAVELING THE ROAD OF LIFE, THE ENTHUSIAST D OESN’ T HAVE TO COMPROMISE A DESIRE FOR PERFORMANCE AGAI NST TH E D EMA NDS OF PRACT ICA LITY.  Photography by ROY RITCHIE

D

ESIRE ISN’T THE ONLY FACTOR THAT DICTATES THE CARS WE OWN.

Our most vivid, gasoline-fueled dreams are often sidetracked by more practical realities—financial, familial, and otherwise. Take heart, though, because there has never been a better selection of prodigious yet pragmatic performers. To suggest the way an enthusiast might ascend the automotive ladder in life, from his (or her) twenties to his thirties to his forties, we gathered three pairs of cars with increasing price tags and increasing capabilities. Then we turned the keys over to a gearhead who fits the target demographic and is ready to climb the ladder.

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Automobile | November 2010


November 2010 | Automobilemag.com

73


STAGE

74

Automobile | November 2010


H O N DA C I V I C S i vs. VOLKSWAGEN GTI

The kids are alright

Even cheap compacts can let it all hang out on race weekend.

OR LONGER THAN JUST ABOUT ANYONE ELSE, VOLKSkeep everything consistent and to get some real-world input, we wagen and Honda have been filling the gap for the brought along our own twenty-eight-year-old racing driver, Tom twenty-something enthusiast. Starting with an emiForst. An industrial engineer from Ortonville, Michigan, during nently affordable small car, each automaker then drops the week, Forst spends his weekends tearing up Waterford Hills in a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine good for about 200 hp, raceway in a four-cylinder Fox-body Ford Mustang. swaps in a heap of suspension goodies, and adds a smatMuch like war and J. R. R. Tolkien novels, autocrossing features tering of spoilers and badges. Just like that, the ubiquitous Civic a few moments of heart-pounding action separated by hours of and Golf are transformed into the legendary Si and boredom—meaning we have a long time to wait. At GTI. Fun to drive, cheap to run, and tasteful enough least this gives Forst plenty of time to familiarize himTHE PARTICIPANTS to take to a job—a real job—both cars perfectly suit self with his two steeds. He immediately takes to the TOM FORST the up-and-coming, car-crazy young adult. But which GTI’s mature, refined interior over the Honda’s more White-collar wage slave is better? utilitarian (read: cheaper-looking) cabin. He does, howduring the week, take-no-prisoners racer To find out, we headed to Belle Isle in Detroit, ever, appreciate the Civic’s thickly bolstered driver’s on Sunday. where the Michigan Sports Car Club had turned a seat. “It’s really firm and holds you in place,” he says. HONDA CIVIC Si parking lot into a sprawling autocross course. RequirWe also get a chance to scope out the competiA bit long-in-the-tooth ing little investment from the driver aside from a heltion, who have parked in various demographic and but still provides great met, and posing little risk to the car, autocrossing is automotive cliques. There are the mostly gray-haired value—and an awesome sound track. an ideal gateway to racing for a cash-strapped young men easing Chevy Corvettes off trailers in the center person (although regulars find plenty of ways to inand a few young guns in heavily modified Dodge/ VOLKSWAGEN GTI Luxury-car refinement and vest obscene amounts of money). It also happens to Plymouth Neons near the Porta-John. There are also German sports car be the perfect venue for sorting out two compact cars plenty of VWs like ours, including a 2010 GTI piloted performance in that post nearly identical performance numbers. To by, surprise, an engineer in his mid-twenties. The compact-car clothing.

F

November 2010 | Automobilemag.com

75


STAGE ONE » H O NDA CIV IC S i vs. VOLKSWAGEN GTI

Civic guys, for their part, are sequestered in a far corner, smoking and looking tough. The bumper sticker on one late-model Si reads, “I love hatrs.” They also seem slightly younger than their German-loving peers, with one owner identifying himself as a twenty-two-year-old med student. Finally, after about an hour of crawling toward the starting position in the ninety-degree heat, Forst gets his chance in the Civic. He looks pretty smooth and, unlike some of the other drivers, doesn’t take out half the cones on his first go-round. His times, though, are a bit slow. Fourteen seconds off the lead in the

first run, a few ticks better in the second. Like any good racer, Forst blames the car. “The Civic pushes like a truck,” he grouses. And although the Civic comes with a limited-slip differential, not enough of its 197 hp makes it to the pavement, as the inner wheel squeals out of every turn (with the standard all-season Michelin tires, at least). Maybe this is why Mr. Hatr Lover is sticking to the parking lot. After some more waiting, Forst gets to take a run in the GTI. His times immediately improve by about two seconds. Then four seconds. More telling is the smile on his face when he finds his

At the end of the day, the Civic’s charm simply cannot overcome the German hatchback’s unyielding superiority.

PRICE (BASE/AS TESTED)

HONDA CIVIC Si » $22,955/$24,805 VOLKSWAGEN GTI » $23,990/$27,255

TRANSMISSION

DRIVE

2.0L I-4, 197 hp, 139 lb-ft 2.0L turbo I-4, 200 hp, 207 lb-ft

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Front-wheel Front-wheel

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76

Automobile | November 2010

HIT THE STREETS

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way over to our spot in the shade. “There’s a clear difference in the handling and feel of the car,” he says. “You can feel when the back end is rotating and where it is.” Clearly, the VW’s fat rear antiroll bar and clever use of ABS to control wheel spin exiting corners— the big advancements on the sixth-gen model—are paying off. However, it’s not all grim news for the Civic, which, it must be noted, is about $2500 cheaper than our GTI despite coming equipped with a navigation system. For one, it can be the more engaging of the two cars on the street, where its quick steering and howling 2.0-liter squeeze out more adrenaline than the more relaxed GTI and its lower-revving turbo engine. “The Civic is a fun car to drive—it just wouldn’t be the one I’d bring out here,” concludes Forst. The Si also showcases Honda’s continuing devotion to, and mastery of, the manual gearbox. The VW’s six-speed manual, by comparison, feels a bit rubbery and gives Forst considerable trouble on one run. At the end of the day, though, the Civic’s charm simply cannot overcome the German hatch’s unyielding superiority. There’s little doubt, in Forst’s mind or ours, that the GTI is the better choice for the up-and-coming twenty-year-old, both as comfortable, upscale transportation to work during the week and as a cone-slicing weapon on the weekends. — DAVID ZENLEA


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FORD MUSTANG GT vs. NISSAN 370Z

Dad’s night out STAGE

I

A sexy sports car is just the trick for escaping the responsibilities of one’s thirties.

F YOU’VE READ THIRTY-TWO-YEAR-OLD EZRA DYER’S

column this month, you’re fully aware of how the thirties can change the priorities of even the most devout car nut. (If you haven’t, he’s on page 26. Go ahead, we’ll wait.) The house, the kids, the job. They don’t seem to leave much time for indulging in cool cars. This, however, is precisely why vehicles like the Ford Mustang GT and the Nissan 370Z thrive. Priced beyond the means of all but the most spoiled of youths, they serve as perfect getaway vehicles from the crushing responsibilities of adulthood. The desire for just such an escape takes us to Detroit’s annual Woodward Dream Cruise in a grabber blue Mustang GT premium and a fortieth-anniversary-edition Nissan 370Z. With us is a real, live thirty-eight-year-old, Jay Caldwell of Shelby Township, Michigan. As the owner of both a local Meineke Car Care and a

78

Automobile | November 2010

pristinely restored 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle convertible, Caldwell certainly fits the bill as a car guy. But he’s also a busy family man with a two-year-old daughter and a car-crazy nine-year-old son. Racing? Forget it. “I’m too old for that. I’d rather go out for ice cream with my kids,” he says with a laugh. Good thing. Because not much racing is happening as we pull onto Woodward Avenue in Ferndale, just north of Detroit. Instead, clumps of Corvettes, Chargers, and Trans Ams are creeping along at no more than 20 mph, the air shimmering with big-block heat and unfiltered exhaust fumes. Even among this impressive crowd, our two rides stand out. The 370Z’s distinctly modern and, yes, Japanese lines provide a refreshing contrast to the vintage American muscle car overload around us. Even our model, which marks four decades since the 240Z’s arrival on our shores with special gray paint and unique interior touches, has few


overtly retro touches. “The Z has a ton of history, but driver’s seat and settles his hands on the perfectly THE PARTICIPANTS it doesn’t try to relive the old days,” comments positioned steering wheel. “You become a part of the JAY CALDWELL Divides his time among his Caldwell. And yet he’s also drawn to the Mustang, Nissan,” he says. business, his family, and which recalls the 1960s with every crease in its sheetFinally, as dusk descends and we edge past 8 Mile his 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle metal. He particularly admires Ford’s attention to deRoad, which marks the dividing line between Detroit convertible. tail, such as the sequential rear turn signals. The 5.0 and its northern suburbs, the traffic eases up. WelFORD MUSTANG GT badges don’t hurt, either, and drivers of lesser Muscome to Mustang territory. “This one’s just brute The pony car has grown up but can still lay down the tangs nod in deference as we pass. power,” Caldwell says as he gives the GT a bit of rubber, thanks to its The glorified traffic jam also gives Caldwell a throttle. The heavy police presence prevents us from fabulous 5.0-liter V-8. chance to take in how the interiors of the Mustang submitting to spectators’ calls to race, but our sepaNISSAN 370Z and the 370Z have matured with their recent uprate closed-course testing confirms that the 412-hp The Z is celebrating its dates. Caldwell at first seems to prefer the Mustang ’Stang owns the 332-hp Nissan by about a second fortieth birthday but doesn’t rest on its laurels. for practical reasons—he finds the stereo crisper and both in the 0-to-60-mph sprint and through the cleaner and likes the idea of having a back seat for quarter mile. And then there’s the sound. Whereas his kids. But he wavers when he sinks into the Z’s red leather the Z’s aging VQ V-6 is all noise, vibration, and harshness, the

November 2010 | Automobilemag.com

79


STAGE TWO » FORD MUSTANG vs. NISSAN 370Z

If we were going all out on a racetrack, we’d likely pick the lighter, more sophisticated Z. But here on the streets, the more comfortable, more refined Mustang seems like the smarter choice.

he notes. He’s reticent to pick a winner, but he admits that his son would have less trouble picking between the two. “I think Sam would like the Mustang.” We can’t help but agree. If we were going all out on a racetrack, we’d likely pick the lighter, more sophisticated Z. But here on the streets, where a real thirty-something will actually drive it, the more comfortable, more refined Mustang seems like the smarter choice. Ford’s V-8-powered pony car remains visceral and brutish enough to please any testosterone-addled teenager but has evolved such that it also meets the more demanding tastes of the thirty-somethings who can actually afford one. — DZ

PRICE (BASE/AS TESTED)

FORD MUSTANG GT » $30,495/$41,830 NISSAN 370Z » $31,160/$40,160

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80

Automobile | November 2010

ENGINE

TRANSMISSION

DRIVE

5.0L V-8, 412 hp, 390 lb-ft 3.7L V-6, 332 hp, 270 lb-ft

6-speed manual 6-speed manual

Rear-wheel Rear-wheel

HONE YOUR SKILLS

Go to a racing school, where a professional instructor and some time on a track will help you learn the fastest way around the pavement. SKIPBARBER.COM PHOTO COURTESY OF SKIP BARBER RACING

Mustang’s new V-8 is loud and menacing when it should be and nearly sewing-machine smooth the rest of the time. The Nissan wins some points for its novel manual gearbox, which not only has slightly smoother throws than the Mustang’s stick but also impresses Caldwell with its ability to match revs automatically on downshifts. “I do like that,” he confirms. Ride quality is mostly a wash between the two cars, save for when just the right frequency of potholes hits the Mustang’s live rear axle and sets its occupants bouncing. By 10:30 p.m., the party’s over, as police are demanding that the muscle-car-loving spectators go home. Plus, Caldwell needs to get back to being a family man. But he’s enjoyed the escape provided by each of these sporty cars, albeit in different ways. “I wish I could combine the best elements of both cars,”


Truly Unique

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STAGE

82

Automobile | November 2010


BMW M3 vs. MERCEDES-BENZ C63 AMG

Adults have all the fun

More power, more speed, and more fun in the most unassuming packages.

ITH THE BMW M3 AND THE MERCEDES-BENZ C63

we’re relegated to the parking lot while a Formula Continental AMG, perfectly adult wrappers mask the penchant driver shakes down his open-wheel car for the coming weekend’s for juvenile mischief, making these sport sedans race. “I’ve always been a manual guy,” Zamberlan pronounces. ripe for the professional who’s also a speed freak. “Certainly, I can see the appeal of a good automatic transmission, Four doors and their familiar body shapes probecause you immediately feel like Michael Schumacher with the claim “practical!” “upscale!” “stable!” when parked rev matching. But at the end of the day, I’d probably buy a threein the corporate corral. Yet the subtle styling cues are pedal car.” Only one car here—the M3—is available enough that anybody who knows a clutch pedal from with a manual transmission, and both cars we’ve THE PARTICIPANTS a brake recognizes that they’re looking at two credibrought to the track use automatics with seven forJIM ZAMBERLAN ble track cars. ward gears and paddle shifters on the steering wheel. A fan of German metal, manual transmissions, and We’re verifying that credibility at GingerMan Zamberlan takes off for another twenty-minute the occasional track day. Raceway in South Haven, Michigan, where we’ve laid session, this time in the Melbourne red M3, and reBMW M3 down a mere $60 for a couple hours of open track turns knowing he’s just driven the better track car. A veritable legend that has during a Tuesday night test-and-tune session. Our “It’s clear to me that, in the right hands, this is ultilong stood atop the automotive pantheon for driver is a serious German car fan, forty-six-year-old mately the more capable car,” he says, acknowledging its effortless speed and Jim Zamberlan. After his high-school graduation that the C63 understeers more readily than the BMW. rewarding feedback. gift—a Triumph Spitfire—was totaled in a parking lot, In addition to a more nimble chassis, the BMW offers MERCEDES-BENZ Zamberlan picked up his first Teutonic machine, an greater range in character with electronically adjustC63 AMG ’86 Volkswagen GTI. He currently owns a 2010 Audi able dampers, the ability to alter shift speeds in the It makes more horsepower and torque than the M3, A4 Avant and a 2004 Volkswagen R32 that he takes to dual-clutch gearbox, and the convenient “M” button but the C63 is the track a few times per year. on the steering wheel to activate your preferred setunquestionably the After Zamberlan runs his initial laps in the C63, tings. The Mercedes relies on passive dampers that underdog here.

W

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STAG E T HREE » BMW M3 vs. MERCEDES-BENZ C63 AMG

“If every day was a track day, I’d probably go with the M3. But in the real world, I just connected more with the C63.”

are tuned for a livable ride that’s still confident on the track. Mercedes-Benz’s $5950 AMG Development package stretches output from 451 hp to 481 hp, and the additional 2.2 liters of displacement over the BMW gives the C63 an additional 148 lb-ft of torque. That’s an absolute boon for daily driving, but on the track, we’re playing at the top end of the tachometer, and the BMW keeps up while humming happily and aggressively so close to its 414-hp peak at 8300 rpm. The C63 tops its massive torque with an intoxicating exhaust note, something that absolutely enchants Zamberlan. “To me, it’s so unexpected that the Mercedes would sound better.” The M3’s exhaust is decadent as well, but the graceful crescendo is more like that of a high-strung racing car than the deep, rowdy fracas of the AMG. Our M3 also emits a disappointing heat-shield rattle akin to what you’d expect from a modded mid-’90s Honda Civic every time it takes off from a stop. Peering through the passenger window, Zamberlan calls out the BMW’s nondescript cabin: “That does not look like a $60,000 interior.” The Mercedes seats also provide better lateral support than those in the M3, particularly from the bottom-cushion bolsters, reminding Zamberlan of the stock König buckets in his R32.

PRICE (BASE/AS TESTED)

ENGINE

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7-speed dual-clutch automatic 7-speed automatic

Rear-wheel Rear-wheel

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No race fan’s life is complete without a journey to attend one of the classic races. Try skipping the ovals of NASCAR and Indy and head for the world’s oldest endurance race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. LEMANS.ORG

LE MANS PHOTO COURTESY OF PEUGEOT

IF YOU HAVE TO ASK...

BMW M3 » $57,575/$66,775 MERCEDES-BENZ C63 AMG » $60,325/$77,105

“I just felt comfortable in the Mercedes, period,” concludes Zamberlan. “I would get more out of it faster.” And what about that automatic transmission? “If I’d driven an M3 with a manual, would I change my mind? I don’t know, but I will grudgingly admit that the Mercedes’ seven-speed auto was very, very good.” “If every day was a track day, I’d probably go with the M3 just because I’m fairly positive that, given time and familiarity with the limits of both, I could post a faster lap in the BMW,” Zamberlan suggests. “But in the real world, I just connected more with the C63 than I did with the M3, and while the Mercedes’ ultimate limits may be slightly lower in the hands of someone far more skilled, I enjoyed it immensely on the track.” — ERIC TINGWALL


MOTOR TREND

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YOUR FINGER CAN SHIFT IT, YOUR VOICE BUT YOUR RIGHT FOOT STILL HAS THE BEST


CAN DIRECT IT, JOB.

We gave the all-new Regal an interior full of advanced technology. Including a 6-speed automatic transmission with manual tap shifter, an available voice-activated 40GB NAV and entertainment system,* a 12- way power-adjustable driver’s seat and steering- wheel-mounted Bluetooth®** controls. But we saved the best technology for your right foot: the new all-aluminum direct-injected engine. Your other body parts will be jealous. The sport-injected 2011 Buick Regal. The New Class of World Class. Starting at $26,995.† *30GB NAV storage, 10GB music storage. Map coverage available in the United States, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Canada. **Go to †As shown, $31,780. MSRP. Tax, title, license, dealer fees gm.com/bluetooth to find out which Bluetooth phones are compatible with the vehicle. and other optional equipment extra. ©2010 General Motors. All rights reserved. Buick ® Buick emblem ® Regal ®


Rare Breeds Obscure British two-seaters you’ll want but can’t have, plus a three-seater you can assemble in your garage. By Don Sherman Photography by Martyn Goddard

RET NOT when another British sports car maker slips under the waves. Since England is the cradle of two-seat entertainment, whenever an automaker like Triumph or TVR succumbs, some up-and-comer arrives to fill in. In the land of fish and chips, creativity isn’t so hindered by balance sheets and business plans. To take the pulse of the enduring British sports car phenomenon, we targeted marques located at four points of the two-seater compass. Two have existed for decades, two are newbies, all are obscure. What these brands lack in notoriety, they more than make up for in originality.

F

The Bristol Fighter in front of Sherman’s Hall. The author’s ancestral family home in the village of Dedham was willed to a boys’ school in 1599. John Constable, a noted artist, studied there in the late 1700s, and the Dedham valley that inspired his paintings became known as Constable Country. Three Shermans departed from Dedham for the New World between 1633 and 1640. Philip Sherman served as Rhode Island’s first secretary. He and two uncles begat four notable Shermans: Roger (who signed the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution), William B. (Valley Forge survivor), Civil War general William T., and U.S. Vice President James S. Plus the technical editor and the photo assistant shown here.

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BRISTOL FIGHTER

T

he Bristol Aeroplane Company, now celebrating its centennial, diversified from war planes to automobiles in 1946. BMW blueprints, seized as war reparations, sustained the carmaking division for more than a decade, until antiquated six-cylinder engines were finally replaced by hearty Chrysler V-8s. In 1997, TOBY SILVERTON arrived with business acumen, self-taught engineering skills, investment capital, and the bravest ideas in Bristol’s history. The Dodge Viper V-10–powered Bristol Fighter—what the fifty-two-year-old chairman calls “the supercar that works”—was designed from the driver’s seat out. While answering the phone at Bristol’s Kensington (London) two-car showroom, Silverton explained that plant tours and press drives are unheard of at the last luxury maker still in private British hands. “We usually annoy the press,” he noted. That said, we were next in line after Rowan Atkinson for a few miles in the Creamsicle orange Fighter formerly owned by Silverton’s wife. Silverton detailed the features he and his engineering team put into the Fighter’s design. The car’s tall build and gull-wing doors provide easy entry and chairlike seating for Bristol’s large-in-stature patrons. A wraparound windshield eliminates A-pillar obstruction. A short, narrow footprint combined with 41 degrees of steering lock yields a tight turning circle. Six inches of ground clearance and a minimal front overhang make this the supercar that doesn’t have to tiptoe over speed bumps. The Fighter’s steel spaceframe,, clad with a mix of aluminum, carbon-fiber, and Kevlar body parts, yields

a curb weight of 3600 pounds. The 8.0-liter V-10 engines purchased from Chrysler are tuned to 525 hp in the base Fighter, 628 hp in the S edition, and 1012 hp in a twin-turbo T model. Claimed top speeds range between 210 and 225 (governed) mph. Prices start at about $350,000 and venture smartly upward with extra power and personalization features. Slipping into the Fighter’s wide leather seat is as pleasant as donning a robe and slippers by a winter fire, but don’t forget to pull the door down on the way in. The aircraft heritage is conveyed by a cockpit resplendent in engine-turned gauge surrounds. Only in a Bristol will you find a fuel-pressure gauge and an engine-hour meter. This is a gentleman’s express, so the Viper’s vicious hiss doesn’t live here. The sound track is powerful yet composed, thanks to well-muffled, three-inch exhaust pipes. Bristol’s redo of the Viper’s six-speed transmission trims shift effort and adjusts gear ratios yet still provides 60 mph in first with quiet sixth-gear cruising. Rocketing to illegal speeds on the motorway is no problem. The big surprise is quick, friction-free steering that gives the Fighter a willing nimbleness on the tight back roads surrounding the quaint village of Dedham, where my forefathers resided until 1633. The high seating and turretlike visibility take the anxiety out of sharp turns. Overall quality is exemplary except for the lack of a left footrest and hints of gear whine.. Silverton has no aspirations to spread Bristol’s reach to America. Those with the means to own a Fighter probably won’t consider that an insurmountable hurdle.

Toby Silverton may be the first Bristol Cars chairman not on a mission to annoy the press. Honoring long-standing tradition, Silverton created a modern Bristol blessed with prodigious American horsepower. A Viper V-10 heart (top) beats under the hood of every Bristol Fighter.

November 2010 | Automobilemag.com

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GINETTA F400

H Lawrence Tomlinson added panache to his lineup with the rescue of the Farbio GTS project earlier this year. Unlike other members of the Ginetta family, the renamed F400 is intended purely for road use, although this midengine coupe has the legs for an occasional track day.

90

ow did a svelte, mid-engine coupe with Italian-esque coachwork end up at a British firm known for affordable kit and race cars? Blame the global recession, which tripped the Farbio GTS just as production was about to begin. In 1958, six years after Colin Chapman founded Lotus, Ginetta Cars was established in the same vein: to supply road racers with cars they didn’t have to build from scratch. Graham Hill raced a Ginetta in 1964, and Nigel Mansell co-drove a Ginetta Zytek LMP1 racer with sons Leo and Greg this year at Le Mans. In 2009, F1 and motorcycle champion John Surtees drove an experimental electric-powered Ginetta G50 through the Eurotunnel to mark its fifteenth anniversary. LAWRENCE TOMLINSON, chairman of the LNT Group (construction, health care, real estate, etc.) and an avid racer, bought Ginetta in 2005 to tune up the product range. The stillborn Farbio GTS was added to the portfolio this year. According to Tomlinson, the rechristened F400 will serve as Ginetta’s supercar at a bargain price of less than $150,000. There’s obvious Lotus Evora flavor in the exterior, although the F400 is significantly shorter, wider, and lower. Where Lotus crams vestigial back seats, this car has luggage space over a transversely mounted Ford 3.0-

Automobile | November 2010

liter V-6 pirated, along with a six-speed transaxle, from the Mondeo. A steel-tube frame is supported by a 105.3-inch wheelbase and dressed in carbon-fiber bodywork. Ginetta claims a 2700-pound curb weight, some 400 pounds less than the Evora. While the game plan includes supercharging to boost the engine to the 400-plus hp touted in the name, that hardware was absent from the demonstrator we borrowed for a jaunt around Ginetta’s Garforth home base. Nonetheless, the 300 or so horsepower in our tester was enough to register a positive impression. Long doors welcome you into a spacious, beautifully orchestrated cabin. Equipped with a touch screen that handles audio, phone, climate control, and navigation functions, this Ginetta pays homage to no one’s kit car. Indexing door glass, LED exterior lighting, stunning metal interior trim, and French-stitched leather reflect serious attention to detail. Hints of carbon fiber and a small-diameter steering wheel support the supercar cause. The best news is that the F400 is quick and light on its feet. The engine feels and sounds eager to go, the steering and the brakes are well endowed with feedback, both ends of the car generate ample grip, and there’s no detectable body roll at street speeds. This highly competent platform should have no difficulty handling another hundred horsepower. The shift linkage could be more positive and the interior needs more padding at elbow and knee touch points, but, overall, Ginetta is lucky to have such a promising addition to its family.


C

olin Chapman envy runs deep in England, even twenty-eight years after the Lotus founder’s death. SIMON DICKENS, a forty-two-year-old former service manager and car enthusiast of humble means, has successfully taken the initial steps down Chapman’s well-trod kit-car path. Inspired by the Lotus Seven and Ariel Atom rudimentary roadsters, Dickens began sketching the car of his dreams five years ago while on vacation. Convinced that his brainstorm had merit, he hired two freelance engineers to solve structural and suspension riddles using modern computer-aided design (CAD) tools. The unorthodox one-plus-two seating is very versatile: the center driving position means the kit car is perfect for track days, while the plus-two seats accommodate thrill riders such as Dickens’s two children. A few V-Storms were made using motorcycle powertrain components before Dickens took the epic plunge. He quit his day job, ordered parts built to his blueprints, and set up SDR Sportscars operations at his home near Manchester. About a dozen kits have been sold, and Dickens was about to order parts for a batch of ten cars when we arrived at the two-car garage that serves as SDR’s engineering lab, warehouse, and parking space. Stripping off two fiberglass panels exposes a previous-generation Subaru Impreza WRX turbocharged 2.0-liter powerplant. A five-speed transaxle converted to two-wheel drive, twin radiators, an oversize intercooler, and a custom exhaust system complete the compact propulsion package. Dickens offers the stock

230 hp, the STI’s 280 hp, or up to 350 tuned horsepower to suit customer whims. Climbing aboard this 1650-pound four-wheel motorcycle is hassle-free—as long as the driver mounts first. The seat and steering column aren’t adjustable, so what you build is what you get. A Koso programmable instrument cluster combines tach, speed, and warning info in one unit. Since the cockpit in this test car suits Dickens’s build, tach readings below 4000 rpm and the immediate road ahead aren’t part of my view. That said, the center seating position feels natural, and watching the front suspension’s action over bumps is highly entertaining. The giant snorkel rising behind the driver’s head howls like Darth Vader snorting nitromethane. High on Dickens’s fix-it list is muffling the induction noise and uncorking the exhaust to enhance the WR3’s audio mix. Thirteen pounds of turbo boost blast this machine quickly to the redline, so my left hand was busy coaxing the high-mounted, slightly reluctant shifter through the first three gears. To 75 mph, the vestigial windshield is enough to deflect the wind (and rain) above your eyes, but above that speed a closed-face helmet is essential. The SDR’s balance is so good that 205/40WR-17 Yokohama tires suffice front and rear. The ride is supple, and there’s ample warning of an impending loss of grip. A quick flick of the steering wheel easily catches slides. The price of entry is about $23,000 for a complete kit plus another $3000 or so for the necessary Subaru parts. According to Dickens, assembly takes about 150 hours; his hired agents build turn-key cars for about $36,000. Gentlemen: start your torque wrenches.

The lack of a factory and a staff hasn’t hindered Simon Dickens from pursuing his entrepreneurial dreams. Working out of his two-car garage, Dickens has concocted all the clever bits needed for a Subaru-powered threeseat breeze machine.

SDR V-STORM WR3

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S

treet-legal formula cars are like the Loch Ness Monster: lots of hype with little tangible evidence of their existence. But myths of a oneplus-one-seater weighing about 1300 pounds, packing 575 hp, and wearing license plates are true. Say hello to Nessie, a.k.a. the Caparo T1. A former McLaren designer and engineer duo created this astonishing sports car in 2005. ANGAD PAUL arrived as the financial angel in 2006. His day job is serving as CEO of Caparo plc, a thriving British and Indian producer of steel and auto parts. Nurtured by Caparo Vehicle Technologies, the T1 evolved into a $460,000 car with a power-to-weight ratio twice that of a Bugatti Veyron. Aft of the molded carbon-fiber tub is a 3.5-liter Menard racing V-8 tuned for the road and a six-speed sequential-shift, magnesium-cased transaxle. This is a high-caliber, double-barreled son of a shot-

CAPARO T1

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Automobile | November 2010

gun with a real racer’s 200-mph-plus top speed, full wing and ground-effect aerodynamics, and more than enough g-joy to induce nosebleeds. The T1 can also be fitted with mufflers, street tires, air-conditioning, and a canopy for legal road use. Matt Cummings, a Virgin Atlantic pilot, accomplished racing driver, and Caparo T1 Cars director, explained that he had sprinted a T1 from 0 to 197 mph to 0 twice in the length of a one-mile straightaway. A T1 under cover in his shop would soon attack the Nürburgring Nordschleife’s absolute lap record of 6 minutes and 11 seconds, which was set by Stefan Bellof driving a Porsche 956 in 1983. Some begging persuaded Cummings to roll a T1 out for photos followed by a drive back into the garage—but no more. The affable director said that our visit caught him by surprise, but there are other reasons why Cap-


aro is nervous about journalists. Three years ago, a T1 prototype driven by a seasoned racer and television commentator erupted into a ball of flame . . . at 150 mph. Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson griped about understeer and an underbody panel coming adrift (although the Stig had no difficulty eclipsing the quickest car on Top Gear’s lap-time chart by seven seconds). I snuggled into the form-fitting cockpit without removing the carbon-fiber steering wheel but made no attempt to share the space with a co-driver. The smallish V-8 fires up at the touch of a button and revs with abandon, unhindered by flywheel inertia. Two large mufflers civilize the beast so well at idle that transmission gear rattle is the dominant sound. First gear slams home with sledgehammer efficiency following a pull of a steering-wheel paddle. The touchy

clutch pedal is used only to get rolling, since gearchanges, clutch dips, and throttle blips are all handled by air solenoids. Regrettably, no upshifts were necessary during my 100-yard drive. Understeer was not an issue. If anything, the T1 felt like it could use a touch more rear wing as it was hustled back to its safe haven. This experience suggests that the T in the Caparo T1’s name stands for tease. Not to worry; we have a plan. Communications are under way with the American owner of the record-attempt car. After its Nordschleife assault and trip to the colonies, we intend to revisit this cockpit with test equipment and a route at the ready. AM

The honorable Angad Paul uses the T1 to showcase the capabilities of his Caparo Vehicle Technologies division. This dual-purpose one-plus-one sports car can be configured as a dedicated track runner or as a street machine with a canopy top, mufflers, mirrors, and lighting equipment.

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odyssey.honda.com

VAN. MYTH. LEGEND. The best-selling minivan* in the land is now vanlier than ever. Available features like a Split-Widescreen Rear Entertainment System,† a hard drive that fits thousands of songs,** a USB Audio Interface †† and a leather-trimmed interior will have you riding in dazzling van glory. While a powerful and efficient 28 hwy mpg ‡ V- 6 engine will take you places you forgot existed. The van beckons. Like no van before. 1-800-33-Honda

*Based on R. L. Polk & Co. U.S. retail registrations, Minivan segment, 1/08–6/10. †A separate source device is required to use split-screen function. **Hard disk drive (HDD) 15-GB memory audio system standard on navigation-equipped models. ††The USB Audio Interface is used for direct connection to and control of some current digital audio players and other USB devices that contain MP3, WMA or AAC music files. Some USB devices with security software and digital rights-protected files may not work. Please see your Honda dealer for details. ‡19 city/28 hwy 2011 EPA mileage estimates for Odyssey Touring models with 6AT. Use for comparison purposes only. Actual mileage will vary. Touring Elite model shown. ©2010 American Honda Motor Co., Inc.


Introducing the all-new Honda


2010

Mazda 3 96

Automobile | November 2010

PHOTOGRAPHY BY A. J. MUELLER


four seasons wrap-up

Despite a few annoyances, it had us grinning, too.

t

HE OLD MAZDA 3 was already one of our favorite small cars. Twice an Automobile Magazine All-Star, the previous 3 was a cut above its contemporaries. When Mazda’s highest-volume car went in for a redesign for the 2010 model year, it emerged with a more powerful engine (in the “s” models, at least), an additional gear for its manual and automatic transmissions, a plethora of new luxury features, and new styling led off by a front end that West Coast editor Jason Cammisa described as “an anime gremlin wearing an I’ve-been-naughty grin.” But was the new 3 really naughty or nice? We were anxious to find out, so we ordered one for a long-term test. We skipped the base “i” model for two reasons: First, it’s available only as a four-door sedan, and we prefer the looks and practicality of the four-door hatchback body style. Second, the base car uses a carryover 2.0-liter engine, while the “s” edition has a new 2.5-liter four. In our car, the 2.5 was paired with a new six-

November 2010 | Automobilemag.com

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“It’s cheap enough that someone looking at an econobox could theoretically stretch to get it, but it’s also big enough and grown-up enough that a mid-sizesedan buyer should give it serious consideration.” ignition, satellite radio, and a compact navigation system (together comprising the technology package, for $1195). That brought the bottom-line sticker price to a still-very-reasonable $22,570. At that price, it’s hard to argue that the 3 is anything but a bargain. As assistant editor David Zenlea put it: “The 3 occupies the sweet spot in terms of both pricing and size. It’s cheap enough that someone looking at an econobox could theoretically stretch to get it, but it’s also big enough and grown-up enough that a mid-size-sedan buyer should give it serious consideration.” An important aspect of the little Mazda’s grown-up demeanor is its excellent chassis. From the logbook: “The suspension is incredibly poised, sopping up bumps with almost Germanic composure.” The steering actually provides some feedback, and we liked the overall effort levels. We also were digging the fact that Mazda is able to keep torque steer at bay, despite the big four-cylinder’s 168 lb-ft of torque. That ample torque, combined with the 2.5-liter’s 167 hp, was enough to move the 3056-pound Mazda along at a reasonable clip; we measured 8.1 seconds from 0 to

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3 GENEALOGY

speed manual transmission. We did show uncharacteristic restraint by staying with the Sport trim level rather than the Grand Touring, which has a fairly lavish list of standard features for a small car, including leather, a power driver’s seat with memory, and swiveling xenon headlamps. Still, we were hardly suffering in our Sport hatchback, to which we added a power moonroof, a ten-speaker Bose surroundsound audio system with a six-disc CD changer (the aptly named moonroof/6CD/ Bose package, for $1395), as well as keyless

T

he Mazda GLC debuted in America in 1977 as a rear-wheel-drive hatchback that shared many parts with the rotary-engined RX-3. It initially had a 52-hp, 1.3-liter four-cylinder mated to a four-speed manual. This GLC—for “Great Little Car”—was produced until 1980.

1978 GLC SPORT

The second-generation GLC, offered from 1981 to ’85 and powered by a 68-hp, 1.5-liter four-cylinder, switched to front-wheel drive and added a sedan to accompany the 1981 GLC SPORT

Many nice features are crammed into the compact 3, but lots of mismatching colors and fonts are present, too.

hatchback, although a rear-wheel-drive GLC wagon stuck around through 1983. The 323 replaced the GLC and jumped a class from subcompact to compact with the 1986–89 models. It was longer, heavier, and had more interior space than its predecessor. Power came from an 82-hp, 1.6-liter fuel-injected four-cylinder. In 1988, the racebred, all-wheel-drive 323GTX appeared with a 132-hp, 1.6-liter turbocharged engine. The early 1990s brought a redesigned 323. The hatchback retained its 82-hp engine, while the four-door sedan, now called the Protegé, got a 103-hp 1.8-liter. Although the two compact cars had similar faces, they didn’t share much else, as body panels and wheelbases were different. By 1995, the hatchback 323 was dropped, leaving just the Protegé. The second-generation Protegé debuted in 1999 and brought back the wagon body style in 2002 as the Protegé5. In 2003, the Mazdaspeed Protegé was introduced with a

1989 323 SEDAN

170-hp turbo 2.0-liter and other goodies. The first Mazda 3 hit the streets for the 2004 model year. Two four-cylinders were available in the sedan—a 2.0-liter and a 2.3—but only the larger engine was offered in the hatchback. The hatch also bore the Mazdaspeed 3 in 2007. That torque-steering monster produced 263 hp from its turbocharged 2.3-liter engine.

2003 PROTEGÉ5 2004 MAZDA 3

60 mph. In real-world driving, though, the Mazda felt quicker than that, partially because the engine is smooth enough that we enjoyed wringing it out, and partially because the relatively closely spaced gearing keeps the engine close to its torque peak. That engineering solution makes for a lively powertrain, but it’s not a formula for ultimate fuel economy. As copy editor Rusty Blackwell observed, “It seems that the highway mileage could be boosted significantly—and overall noise reduced at the same time—if Mazda made fifth and sixth gears a bit taller. Even with the optional engine, a compact car like this should be able to crack


four seasons wrap-up

The Mazda’s navigation system—controlled by buttons on the steering wheel—is remarkably affordable, but its screen is also incredibly small and doubles as the trip computer. Drivers enjoyed clear gauges and a slick stick shift.

30 mpg in EPA tests.” (The 2.5-liter 3 is at least offer the ability to make inputs rated at 21/29 mpg city/highway; the while keeping eyes on the road, but nearly 2.0-liter version earns a 25/33 mpg rating.) all functions—even simple map scrolling— We averaged 26 mpg overall. are locked out while the car is in motion. We might have gotten a bit better The price is relatively low compared with mileage with the automatic transmission most factory systems, but it’s still more (despite its having only five forward than you’d spend on a good aftermarket speeds); and we might have opted for it system, which would have a larger screen, had we known how much staffers would more functionality, and could also be used complain about the manual’s clutch by a passenger. The best anyone could say engagement. While most drivers praised about the factory unit is that it didn’t take the shift action of the gearbox itself, up a power outlet, leaving two for running nobody liked the high engagement point a radar detector and charging a cell phone of the clutch, which, in at the same time. concert with the overly On a more positive note, Pros&Cons sensitive throttle, became there was nearly as much + Fun to drive the most oft-repeated agreement on the little + Reasonably priced criticism of the car. Some Mazda’s seat comfort. After + Totally reliable drivers professed to logging 1800 miles in three – Mediocre fuel economy – Awkward clutch becoming accustomed to it days on a quick jaunt to the – Inferior nav system after several months, but, as East Coast, senior web associate editor Eric editor Phil Floraday Tingwall noted, “The excellent automatic deemed the seats “very comfortable.” transmission that many of us have Contributor Ronald Ahrens, who took the sampled in other Mazda 3s is a fine Mazda on a trip to southern Illinois, also consolation prize for those who can’t deal praised the “excellent ergonomics.” But he with this clutch.” demurred on some of the dashboard Right behind the clutch on the list of lighting, saying, “My personal preferences major-league gripes was the navigation preclude the garish garland of orange/red system. In a car this inexpensive, a factory lights on the instruments and accessory navigation system is an unusual option— controls.” At least we were able to although it’s becoming less so—and extinguish the gimmicky blue flashing Mazda’s approach to it is unusual as well. light that accompanied changes in sound The screen size is miniature, and the system volume (look in the “Audio Cont” display is in front of the driver rather than menu). Apart from the questionable in the center of the dash. The only controls lighting, the cabin is generally well for it are located on the steering wheel, so finished, if not quite as plush as that in the a front-seat passenger isn’t able to help Grand Touring trim level. with the programming. In theory, the We are always suckers for a steering-wheel-mounted controls should hatchback’s versatility, and that was the

2010 Mazda 3 RATING Overview BODY STYLE 4-door hatchback ACCOMMODATION 5 passengers CONSTRUCTION Steel unibody Powertrain ENGINE DISPLACEMENT HORSEPOWER TORQUE TRANSMISSION DRIVE

16-valve DOHC I-4 2.5 liters (152 cu in) 167 hp @ 6000 rpm 168 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm 6-speed manual Front-wheel

Chassis STEERING Electrohydraulically assisted LOCK-TO-LOCK 2.9 turns TURNING CIRCLE 35.8 ft SUSPENSION, FRONT Strut-type, coil springs SUSPENSION, REAR Multilink, coil springs BRAKES F/R Vented discs/discs, ABS TIRES Yokohama Avid S34 TIRE SIZE 205/50VR-17 Measurements HEADROOM F/R LEGROOM F/R SHOULDER ROOM F/R HIP ROOM F/R LXWXH WHEELBASE TRACK F/R WEIGHT WEIGHT DIST. F/R CARGO CAPACITY

38.1/37.7 in 42.0/36.2 in 54.9/54.0 in 53.7/52.2 in 177.4 x 69.1 x 57.9 in 103.9 in 60.2/59.6 in 3056 lb 60.1/39.9% 17.0/42.8 cu ft (rear seats up/down) FUEL CAPACITY 15.9 gallons EST. FUEL RANGE 410 miles FUEL GRADE 87 octane

Our Test Results 0–60 MPH 0–100 MPH 1/4–MILE 30–70 MPH PASSING PEAK ACCELERATION SPEED IN GEARS

8.1 sec 21.6 sec 16.1 sec @ 88 mph 8.9 sec 0.50 g 1) 32; 2) 53; 3) 79; 4) 106; 5) 118; 6) 100 mph CORNERING L/R 0.89/0.89 g 70–0 MPH BRAKING 170 ft PEAK BRAKING 1.01 g

November 2010 | Automobilemag.com

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four seasons wrap-up PRICES& EQUIPMENT Base price $19,900 Price as tested $22,570 Trade-in value $15,400* Standard equipment ABS; traction and stability control; air-conditioning; power windows, mirrors, and door locks; tilting/ telescoping steering column; cruise control; six-speaker AM/FM/CD/ MP3 stereo with steering-wheel controls; Bluetooth; foglamps; seventeen-inch wheels; front, side, and side curtain air bags

The 3’s hatchback design provided lots of readily accessible storage space, which could quickly be enlarged by folding the rear seats forward.

case here, too. Although the Mazda’s stylized hindquarters make for a less boxy shape, and therefore less cargo space, than in something like our recently departed Honda Fit, office vagabond Zenlea found that “the 3 offers plenty of room for your boxes, furniture, or, in my case, poorly packed Hefty bags full of clothing.” Finally, we must mention reliability. Our Mazda 3 rolled through 26,630 not-always-careful miles with nary a hiccup. Dealer service visits were routine in the extreme—just the way we like them. With this much poise, practicality, and punch packed into such a reasonably priced package, it was no surprise when this new Mazda 3 (together with its overachieving Mazdaspeed 3 sibling) ended up on our All-Stars list for 2010. “It strikes a smart balance between an enthusiast’s car and an easygoing daily driver,” said deputy editor Joe DeMatio. Or, as New York bureau chief Jamie Kitman concluded more emphatically: “This is the practical small car that America needs—with seating for five, room for gear, and a sure-footed chassis that entertains without abusing the passengers. After spending time with it, I no longer felt like I wanted to wipe the smile off its face.” — Joe Lorio

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Our options Moonroof/6CD/Bose package (242-watt Bose ten-speaker surroundsound stereo, moonroof, in-dash six-disc CD changer), $1395; technology package (compact color navigation screen, keyless push-button ignition, six-month Sirius satellite radio subscription, perimeter alarm), $1195; allweather floor mats, $80

Our reliable Mazda 3 rolled through 26,630 not-always-careful miles with nary a hiccup.

*Estimate based on information from intellichoice.com

RUNNING COSTS

“Handling is delightful for a front-driver—the 3 turns in crisply, and body roll is well controlled.” — ASSOCIATE WEB EDITOR EVAN MCCAUSLAND

MILEAGE: 26,630

SCHEDULED MAINTENANCE: 11,771 mi: $35.71 19,681 mi: $54.37

22,620 mi: Remount stock Yokohama Avid S34 all-season tires, $111.51

WARRANTY REPAIRS: None

RECALLS: None

OUT-OF-POCKET: 11,756 mi: Purchase, mount, and balance four Continental ExtremeWinterContact winter tires, $526.50

FUEL CONSUMPTION: EPA city/hwy/combined 21/29/24 mpg Observed 26 mpg

WARRANTY: 3-yr/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper 5-yr/60,000-mile powertrain 3-yr/36,000-mile roadside assistance 5-yr/unlimited-mile corrosion

COST PER MILE: (Fuel, service, winter tires) $0.13 ($0.41 including depreciation)


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What Matters to You? Today, America needs fresh leadership to lead us as a nation out of this economic crisis. Leadership must come not only from our political leaders but also from the average citizen. The exporting of American jobs is a trend that must be stopped and reversed. When I walk into my local hardware store, I typically find 85% of the goods for sale are manufactured 7,000 miles away. Recognizable American brands have been forced by shortsighted management and buyers at large national chains to build factories overseas just to save a lousy $.50 on a tape measure. To these ruthless buyers, it is all about the money. Rarely are product quality, the political system, human rights, animal rights and environmental costs to the planet considered, not to mention the cost to our society of exporting not only jobs, but an entire factory! At MacNeil Automotive, we are doing our part for the American economy and for our 300 million fellow citizens and neighbors. My philosophy is that if my neighbor doesn’t have a job, sooner or later I won’t have a job either. For example, we used to have our All-Weather Floor Mats manufactured in England by a company that used antiquated, inefficient equipment. They made a decent floor mat for us, but we thought we could build a better floor mat for our customers using modern American technology, American raw materials and skilled American workers. So in 2007 we transferred all of our floor mat manufacturing back to the United States. Today, we build the best fitting, highest quality automotive floor mats in the world, right here in America. Our machine shop is equipped with 17 CNC machining centers including four 4 axis mills and one 5 axis mill that produce between 30 to 50 injection and thermoforming molds per month. We have one shift of highly skilled American Journeymen toolmakers and apprentices, but our machines run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There is not a more efficient tool and mold making operation in the world - and guess what, it’s right here in America.

©2010 by MacNeil IP LLC

The Foundation of Our New American Factory

Site of MacNeil Automotive Manufacturing Facility Expansion Bolingbrook, IL


Furthermore, all of our CNC mills are manufactured in Oxnard, CA by Haas. Our 1,000 ton injection molding machines are made in Bolton, Ontario of American and Canadian components. Our thermoforming machinery is made in Carol Stream, IL. The raw steel and aluminum billets which make up our tooling are sourced from American steel and aluminum mills such as Vista Metals in Fontana, CA. The raw materials that make up our All-Weather Floor Mats, FloorLiners, Cargo Liners and Mud Flaps are manufactured in Bellevue OH, Arlington TX, Wichita KS and Jasper TN. Our forklifts are made in Columbus IN and Greene NY. Our warehouse racking is manufactured in Tatamy PA. At MacNeil Automotive, we are also very aware of sustainability and our responsibility to the environment. We are proactive in controlling waste and recycling all of the unused raw materials from the manufacture of our tooling and products including: aluminum, steel, rubber, TPO, TPE, paper and cardboard. As you can see, we are as dedicated to designing, developing and manufacturing the finest automotive accessories for our consumer and OEM clients as we are passionate about supporting the American economy, preserving the American industrial infrastructure, and keeping the “money” in our family, a family of 300 million people from all over America. Life is simple; be good to your fellow man, be kind to animals and the environment, and place building a quality product, supporting your country and your fellow American worker before profit. And, one last thing - let’s all do our best to balance family time with work time as our children are the future of America. Sincerely,

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Three for the (off )road We take three all-wheel-drive long-termers out to play in the mud.

c

ROSSOVERS HAVE BECOME SO commonplace as suburban

accessories these days that it’s easy to forget that they do have off-road capabilities. Or should. With that in mind, we gave our Four Seasons Acura ZDX, Audi Q5, and Subaru Outback a break from their grocery runs and slung them through an off-road-vehicle route in northern Michigan. Our intent was not to conduct a torture test in which the winner would be the one that didn’t need to be winched out, but rather to have an all-wheel-drive adventure that any crossover owner should be able to make without risking life and tailpipe. That said, we weren’t sure at the outset of our journey if all three vehicles—on stock tires inflated to normal pressures—would come through with fenders and dignity intact.

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four seasons logbook: fleet update

THE SPECS Acura ZDX SH-AWD Price: $56,855 Engine: 3.7L V-6, 300 hp, 270 lb-ft Ground clearance: 7.9 in Wheelbase: 108.3 in Approach: 20° Departure: 23° Breakover: 17° Normal torque split, f/r: 60/40% Max torque split, f/r: 90/10 to 30/70% Audi Q5 Price: $45,225 Engine: 3.2L V-6, 270 hp, 243 lb-ft Ground clearance: 7.9 in Wheelbase: 110.5 in Approach: 25° Departure: 25° Breakover: 18° Normal torque split, f/r: 40/60% Max torque split, f/r: 65/35 to 15/85% Subaru Outback 3.6R Price: $35,541 Engine: 3.6L flat-6, 256 hp, 247 lb-ft Ground clearance: 8.7 in Wheelbase: 107.9 in Approach: 19° Departure: 22° Breakover: 20° Normal torque split, f/r: 45/55% Max torque split, f/r: n/a

The ride started simply enough, with a slow climb up a narrow trail. Senior web editor Phil Floraday, the off-road expert of the group, wryly advised us to use “as little power as possible but as much as is necessary.” Easier said than done, especially in the Outback, which has a difficult-to-modulate throttle. The first true challenge arrived about fifteen minutes in, when the three crossovers met a murky puddle. After Floraday deemed it fordable, the three vehicles waded through one by one. No problem for the Q5, which kept its mouth above the water. The Outback wasn’t quite as comfortable. At the deepest point, water splashed up onto its hood, and the boxer engine sputtered briefly before the car chugged its way out of the muck. Clearly unhappy, the Subie belched some vile-smelling steam through its grille and flicked on a check-engine light that we can only assume means, “Don’t drive me through any more deep PHOTOGRAPHY BY A. J. MUELLER

puddles, you idiot.” It was the low-slung Acura, though, that made us the most nervous. Enough water sloshed into its engine bay to momentarily cut power. It fought through and emerged with no assistance, but the air-conditioning blew hot air for the rest of the day. The ZDX would regain a measure of confidence during our next obstacle—deep sand. Blessed with sophisticated torquevectoring all-wheel drive and defeatable traction control, it practically danced through the soft terrain, kicking up a rooster tail of sand in its wake. After the sand was churned and loosened, the Q5 and the Outback had more trouble, mostly because the electronic nannies insisted on intervening even when we tried to disable them, cutting momentum and the wheel spin needed to keep the treads clean. Our final hurdle was the most threatening—a steep slope November 2010 | Automobilemag.com

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techtonics: all-wheel drive Acura ZDX Acura uses two clutches in the rear differential to manage the front-torear torque bias. Each clutch, controlled by an electromagnetic coil, is responsible for sending torque to one of the rear wheels. With an electronically controlled system, the vehicle has to detect slip and actuate the clutches before torque is rerouted. It’s a slower response than Audi’s purely mechanical system, but with modern sensors and control systems, you won’t exactly catch the Acura napping. Plus, the ZDX can vary torque between the left and right rear wheels better than any other vehicle here. ELECTROMAGNETICALLY CONTROLLED CLUTCH

Audi Q5 Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive is based on a torque-sensing center differential, with the bias controlled by two sets of planetary gears and several friction discs. The system’s weakness is the open differentials on the front and rear axles. To prevent the Q5 from spinning its wheels helplessly, Audi doesn’t allow stability control to be switched off. Instead, an “off-road” mode that lowers the intervention threshold is engaged. To keep the Q5 moving forward if a wheel has no grip, the system applies the brake on that wheel to direct torque to the opposite side.

Subaru Outback So-called Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive isn’t necessarily symmetrical, as Subaru now has four all-wheel-drive systems, and only one has a base condition with a 50/50 split. Our Outback’s arrangement typically sends 55 percent of torque to the rear wheels. Torque is divvied up by a compound planetary gearset; when slip is detected, an electronically controlled clutch increases or reduces the friction between the two ring gears to change the front-to-rear distribution. A viscous limited-slip rear differential reacts to differences in wheel speed. The front axle uses an open differential. — Eric Tingwall

QUATTRO CENTER DIFFERENTIAL OUTPUT TO FRONT

DIFFERENTIAL

ACURA SH-AWD REAR DIFFERENTIAL

INPUT FROM TRANSMISSION

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OUTPUT TO REAR

SUBARU 5-SPEED AUTOMATIC WITH CENTER DIFFERENTIAL

For more Four Seasons fleet updates, go to Automobilemag.com


Notes: 10,011 miles “I was blown away by the ZDX’s prowess on the obstacles we tackled. It’s capable of far more than any sane owner would actually attempt to do with it.” — senior web editor Phil Floraday covered in the same deep, soft sand and pitted with ruts and drop-offs large enough to thoroughly trap any of the three vehicles. We were growing weary of the squealing pebble caught under its front brake caliper, but the Q5 was still going strong, making it up the hill on the first try. The Subaru seemed to be doing fine as well until a slight steering error by our least experienced off-roader—me—sent it into one of the drop-offs. (Note: when your spotters cry, “No! No! Stop!” heed their advice.) With some careful reversing and a push from road test coordinator Mike Ofiara, the Outback was freed. A second assault—with a new driver—made the route look easy. The ZDX made it up on its first attempt, but after we reran the climb and marred the trail, the Acura struggled the most. The heaviest of the group at nearly 4500 pounds—about a half ton more than the Outback—it needed a running start and a firm foot on the throttle to conquer the sandy step at the top.

All of this may sound excessive, but our trio of crossovers did everything we asked of them, and none required more than a thorough cleaning before reporting back for daily duty (the Q5’s pebble popped out, the Outback’s check-engine light cleared, and the Acura’s air-conditioning returned, all on their own accord). We also have greater appreciation for how and why these vehicles differ from more carlike offerings. We better understand why someone might pick a high-riding Q5 over an A4 Avant. The Subaru’s soft ride, a constant complaint among editors, was a godsend for the way it damped the constant crashing of the rough trail. And the Acura . . . well, it still doesn’t make all that much sense to us, but it performed bravely for being so clearly out of its element. It also might look a bit better when covered in mud. Most important, we can now confirm that any one of these vehicles is capable of soft-road heroics with no modifications— but do try to stay out of deep puddles. — David Zenlea November 2010 | Automobilemag.com

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collectible classic

Audi 90 Quattro 20V

1990–1991

Room for five. Cylinders, that is. nce upon a time, when the German car companies had only just begun one-upping each other with continually increasing horsepower numbers, Audi’s 80/90-series was the 97-pound weakling of the small-sedan crowd. Its buffest competitors, the 158-hp Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6 and the 168-hp BMW 325i, boasted in-line sixes that made mincemeat of even the most powerful Audi 90—that is, until 1990, when the Audi 90 Quattro 20V showed up to challenge the big boys. Ten extra valves pumped up the power output from 130 to 164 hp, dropping the four-ringed contender right into the thick of the fight—and the 20V had something its rivals didn’t: four valves per cylinder and a tachometer that didn’t turn red until after it reached 7000 rpm. Of course, the Benz and Bimmer engine blocks had one thing the Audi was missing: a sixth cylinder. Thumping under the hood of the 90 was a five-cylinder—the divisive engine layout that seems to incite either love or disgust among critics. Some deride it as a lose/lose proposition that offers neither the smoothness of an in-line six nor the fuel economy of a four-cylinder. Others, upon hearing its gnarly, haunting exhaust note, are helplessly transported to a rally stage where a Group B Audi Quattro might pass a throng of frenzied spectators, creating thick clouds of dust as it claws for traction in full opposite lock. European bureau chief Georg Kacher clearly wasn’t feeling the rally-legend Michèle Mouton vibe when, in his October 1988 review of the Audi 90 Quattro 20V, he posed the question, “After all their diligent work, might the folks in Ingolstadt have better spent their time developing a smooth, torquey, potent in-line six?” Well, if they had, their work would have been in vain, because a look under the hood of an Audi 90 confirms that a six would never have fit. As it was, the five-cylinder engine was practically wedged between the firewall and the grille. Space was so tight that there wasn’t even room for a radiator up front—it had to be PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANDREW YEADON

Despite its 162,000 miles, this 20V has remained clean and mostly stock outside, with the exception of tinted turn signals in the front and black badges in the rear.

located to the side of the engine. Besides, everybody loves a good six, but a great five would play directly into the hearts of Audi’s rally fans. Sadly, those fanatical fans turned out to be few and far between on American soil. Audi wasn’t able to tell us just how many 90 Quattro 20Vs it sold here, but the number might not have even broken the four-figure mark. Finding one today is difficult—and locating a relatively unmodified example for photographs proved to be quite a challenge. Luckily, once we climbed inside twenty-year-old Janne Rapakko’s pearl white metallic 20V, we remembered why we’d spent so much time looking for one.

November 2010 | Automobilemag.com

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collectible classic THE SPECS

ENGINE 2.3L DOHC I-5, 164 hp, 157 lb-ft TRANSMISSION 5-speed manual DRIVE 4-wheel SUSPENSION, FRONT Strut-type, coil springs SUSPENSION, REAR Strut-type, coil springs BRAKES F/R Vented discs/discs, ABS WEIGHT 3180 lb

THE INFO The 90’s all-business cabin is pure Germano-functional luxury, with leather and wood and an automatic climate control system sourced, oddly enough, from General Motors. The interior also contains a trio of gauges made by VDO that were common to the era’s autobahn missiles, but closer inspection reveals two buttons that you’ve never seen in a BMW or a Mercedes: one to disengage the antilock brakes and one to lock the rear differential. Holy hairpin, Batman—what are those doing here? It’s safe to say that the 90 20V was conceived at a time when Audi was struggling to find its identity—the brand was still buzzing from its domination of the World Rally Championship, but it was also trying to make inroads into the luxury-car market. Of this existential struggle, there is no better example than the 90 Quattro 20V. Four-wheel drive wasn’t yet en vogue with American luxury buyers, so it’s not surprising that the original owners of this 20V aren’t typical American luxury-car buyers—they’re Rapakko’s Finnish parents. Finns, you’ll note, are a people obsessed with rally driving—and Rapakko volunteers that he spends a lot of time playing on mountain roads in his 20V. “I’m Finnish,” he says. “That’s what we do.” The 20V engine was paired only with all-wheel drive, a sport suspension, and a five-speed manual transmission, confirming

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Automobile | November 2010

Right: The center stack/ console includes a button to turn off the ABS, one to lock the rear differential, triple VDO gauges, and climate controls from an old Cadillac. What a combo.

this as the driver’s car of the 80/90 lineup. The 2.3-liter five-cylinder demands that you keep the tachometer needle aimed high, and its heavy flywheel requires a big stomp of your right Piloti to blip revs between gears. There’s a stiff spot in the accelerator pedal’s travel that tells you when you’ve begun to open the secondary throttle butterfly—and that’s when the real music starts. In a television interview, Michèle Mouton once said that if she had one emotion about rallying, “of course, it’s the noise of the Quattro. I mean, nobody can forget the noise. Even today, I think we miss this kind of noise.” We, the rally fans, most certainly do. But Kacher was right—luxury-car buyers clearly prefer smooth, torquey, lowrevving six-cylinder engines. The 90 Quattro 20V survived only two years, and when a high-output version of the 90 returned, it did so with a wheezing, twelve-valve, six-cylinder engine. A V-6, in fact, was chosen because its short length meant it could easily fit where no in-line six could. But in Audi’s book of heritage and history, there’s room enough for only one hot 90 sedan—the one with five cylinders, twenty valves, and an ABS kill switch. — Jason Cammisa

YEARS PRODUCED 1990–1991 NUMBER PRODUCED Likely fewer than 1000 for the U.S. market ORIGINAL PRICE $27,500 (1990) VALUE TODAY $1000–$3000 WHY BUY? The 20V was a highstrung, all-wheel-drive, 135-mph autobahn stormer that derived its coolness from Audi’s rally heritage. Sadly, that didn’t matter to luxury-car buyers, making this a very rare car indeed. The 90 Quattro 20V’s powertrain was also installed in the slightly more common 1990– 91 Coupe Quattro, which is heavier and more expensive.


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auctions

Monterey 2010 Monterey, California August 12–15, 2010

t

he events surrounding the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance never seem to stop expanding. The headlines tell us that the economy is stagnant, but you certainly wouldn’t have known that if you were on the Monterey Peninsula during the second week of August. On top of the historic races, new-car introductions, dinners, parties, and, of course, the number-one concours in North America, there were also five major auctions to attract your attention. This year’s auction results were substantially higher than last year’s depressed levels. The final numbers for the weekend were a hair short of $175 million. British-based auction house Bonhams reported sales of $18.6 million. Its event, held as a one-day sale in previous years, was expanded and held over two consecutive days this time around. Gooding & Company chimed in with sales just shy of $65 million. Its venue, up the hill from the Pebble Beach lawn, made the Sunday night of its two-day event the place to be after a day at the concours. Mecum’s total was $16.7 million, done without the help of a single multimillion-dollar sale (last year’s $7-million-plus Shelby Cobra Daytona was quite a boost to Mecum’s overall 2009 tally). RM Auctions had the weekend’s highest total, with sales of $67 million. This year, the host hotel, the Portola Hotel & Spa in downtown Monterey, was virtually rebranded as the RM Inn; there was no confusion about whose event was happening inside. Bringing up the rear both alphabetically and monetarily, Russo and Steele reported a bit more than $8 million for its Monterey event, which continued with an unusual all-reserve format. The group totals were up, and, more important, each individual auction house exceeded last year’s figures. In some cases, it took an extra day of sales to get there, but for now, the top end of the collector-car market remains strong.

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Automobile | November 2010

MECUM

By Dave Kinney

FEATURE CAR 1953 FORD CRESTLINE SUNLINER SOLD AT $25,970 SN B3LC114709. Sungate ivory with black top over yellow and black vinyl. 110-hp, 239-cubic-inch V-8; automatic transmission. Well-done paint, but the chrome has issues. Some fit problems, but the top is good. Has a continental-style faux spare-tire hump on the trunk lid, a period-correct accessory. The interior has correct materials and looks good. A driver that would need a lot to redo. This appeared to be both an honest and a steadfast example, well used but well loved at the same time. Way too nice to even think of restoring; forget the flaws and drive the wheels off it. With summertime fun that can stretch to three seasons, this car was worth the high bid.

1984 ROLLS-ROYCE SILVER SPUR SOLD AT $24,380 SN SCAZN42AOECX87. Georgian silver with gray vinyl top over gray leather. 6.8-liter V-8; automatic. 20,857 miles. Very clean, lowmileage example with no visible repaint or repairs. The Everflex top is as-new. Only light wear on the driver’s seat and a touch on the passenger seat. Excellent wood, dash, and carpets. To an American buyer’s eyes, the blackwall tires don’t help the looks but do give the Rolls a crisp appearance. This car isn’t exactly brand-new, but it is lightly used and appears to have been looked after well. You could spend more on a new Toyota, but then no one would think you just won the lottery. This was a fair price.

1986 CHEVROLET CORVETTE CONVERTIBLE SOLD AT $21,200 SN 1G1YY6787G5906811. Red with white top over red leather. 5.7-liter V-8; four-speed manual. Dealerowned, claimed 493 original miles. The paint is all factory-applied and as good as new. The top shows some dirt but will brighten with a good cleaning. Wear visible on the driver’s seat; perhaps this car sat in a place where people got in and out of it. We wouldn’t question the miles based only on seat wear, as cars occasionally get more interior “test drives” than actual ones. Pretty much a time-capsule car, but that time capsule goes back only twenty-four years. A great buy for the long-term investor. However, it will quickly become just another used car if driven.


1947 CHRYSLER TOWN & COUNTRY WINDSOR SEDAN SOLD AT $41,340 SN C455588. Burgundy over burgundy leather and tan cloth. 114-hp, 251-cubic-inch straight six; three-speed manual. In need of extensive recommissioning. Shiny paint has some flaws. Pitted, scratched chrome. Wood appears original and, if restored, would need lots of help. Worn, stained seats. Restorations can be expensive on any car; throw in massive wooden body sections and watch those figures go ballistic. Although this is likely to be one of the least-expensive woodies sold at auction this year, don’t mistake it for a best buy—it’s not. If someone wanted this as a fun cruiser and nothing more, they did fine. But don’t even think of starting a restoration unless you are a) very wealthy or b) a ship’s carpenter.

GOODING&COMPANY

1965 CHRYSLER 300L COUPE SOLD AT $17,490 SN C453263150. Silver over white vinyl. 360-hp, 413-cubic-inch V-8; automatic. High-quality repaint on what appears to be a straight body; some chips from road use. Good brightwork. Great shut lines and gaps. Original-style interior is lightly worn but still nice. A slice of midcentury Chrysler engineering, well done and with lots of options. Still, this car also represents quite conservative styling in a nonconvertible form—not the most eyecatching or smile-producing formula. Half the price of what you might expect to pay for the same thing in a convertible.

FEATURE CAR 1973 CITROËN SM SOLD AT $50,600 SN AC7300SD0707. Gold over dark tan leather. 190-hp, 2965-cc V-6; five-speed manual. 28,325 miles. Very good paint. Excellent panel fit. Good but not great chrome with some light scratches. Excellent glass. The U.S. side-marker lights have been removed, and European-style swiveling headlamps have been added to this U.S.-delivery car. Leather shows some wear and age. One of the few nice examples remaining, as most Citroën SMs seen at auction recently have been reprehensible and have struggled to bring $10,000 bids. Those days are close to being over, but these complicated French/Italian hybrids aren’t easy for mere mortals to understand, much less work on. If your idea of fun is French hydraulics combined with Italian mechanicals, you’re a brave person.

1957 PACKARD CLIPPER COUNTRY SEDAN SOLD AT $57,750 SN 57L3011. Light purple and white over light purple vinyl and mauve cloth. 275-hp, 289-cubic-inch V-8; automatic transmission. Excellent condition throughout. Show-quality paint. All trim is complete and excellent. First-class fit and finish. Interior has been done to the same level of care, with excellent seats, dash, and gauges. Expensive? You bet. But as the man says, “Find another one this nice.” For some reason, Packards from the final years of the company have been showing up on the auction circuit with great regularity. This Studebaker in drag is ready for its next show, and it makes quite a statement in these colors.

1933 ALFA ROMEO 8C 2300 MONZA SOLD AT $6,710,000 SN 2311218. Burgundy over black leather. 192-hp, 2866-cc straight eight; four-speed manual. Ex-Scuderia Balestrero; 1947 Italian sports car championship winner. Coachwork by Brianza. A factory-built third-series car. Gear-driven Rootstype supercharger sold with the car’s original 2336-cc engine block. Big-dollar collectors are looking for a number of things in their automotive investments. One is a well-known and unbroken chain of ownership history, another is event eligibility. This car fits both categories; its history is known, and the new owner is just about guaranteed entry into every historic race or significant concours he wishes to attend.

1995 McLAREN F1 SOLD AT $3,575,000 SN 062. Silver over black and gray. 627-hp, 6.1-liter V-12; six-speed manual. Three-seater. Less than 3500 miles. A two-owner, Californiaregistered car. Unmarked paint. All trim and glass is excellent. No signs of age or use wear, no fading. Inside has all-original equipment, with no out-of-place bits. Rumor had it that this car had met its reserve before the auction started and there were bids sufficient enough to sell it even before the auctioneer approached the podium. McLaren F1s are hot again; perhaps the news that production will start soon on a new series of cars has driven interest. Well sold for now, but this could be a new benchmark price.

November 2010 | Automobilemag.com

115


1959 FERRARI 250GT COUPE SOLD AT $187,000 SN 1301GT. Burgundy with silver top over black leather. 240-hp, 2953-cc V-12; four-speed manual. A barn find—paint and chrome show both use and age wear. Complete, but everything will need a thorough cleaning and/or repair and replacement. The barn-find phenomenon continues. At one time, the only interested people would have been those seeking to restore such a car. Now the pool of potential buyers includes folks who’d like to show the car in one of the many preservation-class events at various concours. Sold for a price where you can still find a decent example with good paint and chrome and no apparent needs. Warning for those of you at home: don’t try to understand this. 1963 CADILLAC SERIES 75 FLEETWOOD SOLD AT $26,400 SN 63R053755. Deep maroon over gray cloth. 325-hp, 390-cubic-inch V-8; automatic. About 35,000 miles. A few light scratches and one or two chips in the well-done paint. Very good chrome. Very clean interior includes all proper Cadillac parts. It might look like a limo, but it’s actually a stretched fourdoor sedan. The difference? For starters, this sedan carries no division window. Typical uses for the stretched sedan included highend airport transfers and perhaps corporate or funeral-home use. This example looks to have lived a pampered life so far. Well bought if you have a big family or a small blues band.

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Automobile | November 2010

BONHAMS

auctions

FEATURE CAR 1961 PORSCHE 356B SUPER COUPE SOLD AT $46,800 SN 120386. Red over black leather. 88-hp, 1582-cc flat four; four-speed manual. A ’62 model titled as a ’61. High-quality paint with only a few flaws. Excellent chrome and trim. Excellent interior is only lightly worn. Clean and well presented. Part of the Michael Amalfitano collection and a very appealing, if by no means perfect, example. Not just a 356B but also a Super coupe with a sunroof, which some people consider the best configuration possible. Count us among those who thought this car looked ready to take a cross-country trip. A minor bargain in today’s market.

1951 LEA-FRANCIS FOURTEEN ESTATE SOLD AT $22,230 SN 8582. Burgundy with black top over tan leather. 65-hp, 1767-cc in-line four; four-speed manual. Older paint exhibits quite a few signs of poor prep work. Some pits and a few dings in the brightwork. The wood appears original with matching grain, except for some places in the back with putty filler and touch-up painting. This car, from a company you’ve never heard of, has a serious case of the cutes. More fun to imagine as a small-town driver than to think about restoring. But keep in mind that the Fourteen in the model designation is the car’s taxable horsepower. Worth more in its native England.

1953 JAGUAR XK120 ROADSTER SOLD AT $39,195 SN S674081. Red over tan leather. 3442-cc in-line six; automatic. Very tired older paint with quite a few runs, hits, and errors; some mismatched colors on repainted panels. Trim runs the gamut from poor to very good. Older leather still has life left; decent dash. Why so cheap? Two reasons: First is the automatic transmission, which no one expects in a 1950s sports car. The most important concern here, though, is condition—this car has needs from bumper to bumper. Still, if this XK checks out and can be driven without costing a small fortune, it’s Jag fun for half price or less.

1959 CADILLAC SERIES 62 CONVERTIBLE SOLD AT $105,300 SN 59F104226. Light tan with tan top over dark tan leather. 325-hp, 390-cubic-inch V-8; automatic. 55,770 miles. No air-conditioning. Good paint. Most chrome is well above “good enough” but is far from show quality. Interior is worn and was refinished at some point. A driver-quality car. 1959 Cadillacs were once the darlings of the collector-car set; no garage was complete without their larger-than-life fins. Many collectors have since moved on, and they discovered that they can fit two decent-size collector cars where one ’59 Caddy used to park. Pricey for its condition, but everyone should own one of these at some time.


1967 JAGUAR E-TYPE SERIES 1 CONVERTIBLE SOLD AT $49,140 SN 1E14777. Red with black top over black leather. 265-hp, 4.2-liter in-line six; four-speed manual. 45,078 miles. An older restoration that appears to have been used since and is now in “driver” condition. Good paint has some flaws; good chrome; window felt is pulling out in places. The interior, although clean and correct, is aged and worn. Great period-correct Becker AM/FM radio. Late Series 1 E-types are now generally referred to as Series 1.5 examples. Occasionally, when condition absolutely meets price, you get a textbook example of a car that sells exactly at the number it should. This is a spoton, market-correct price.

RMAUCTIONS

1967 FIAT DINO SPIDER SOLD AT $46,800 SN 135AS0000698. Red with tan top over tan leather. 158-hp, 1987-cc V-6; five-speed manual. 82,823 miles. Very good paint but some orange peel near the windshield. Chrome shows some age, but most small pieces are excellent. Nice interior in places—poor wood but very nice seats and door panels. Never officially imported into the United States, the Fiat Dino came in both coupe and spider (convertible) versions. A Fiat with a Ferrari-engineered V-6, Dinos have proven to be popular collector cars. If no serious problems lurk within this example, it was well bought.

FEATURE CAR 2002 LINCOLN CONTINENTAL CONCEPT SOLD AT $56,100 SN N/A. Light blue over white leather. 414-hp, 6.0-liter V-12; six-speed automatic. Suicide doors. A Lincoln show car that can’t be titled or driven on public roads. This car doesn’t run, and the electronics have been disabled. The side windows are glass, but the windshield is made of light plastic. Rides on Continental-brand tires; someone at Ford with a sense of humor ordered the word “Lincoln” embossed on the tire sidewalls— right in front of the “Continental” logo. Four bucket seats with full console and tray tables in the rear. A rolling shell of a similar car, lot #126, sold for $15,400. Absolutely a Lincoln collector’s delight . . .  but after you get it home, just what do you propose to do with it? Part of a large collection of Ford Motor Company concept cars sold to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Children’s Center in Detroit, this was a great way for Ford to do good and clean out the concept-car closet. In the past, many concept cars have been destroyed to avoid potential liability issues.

1950 FORD ITALMECCANICA IT160 COUPE SOLD AT $143,000 SN 496252024. Metallic red/copper over red vinyl and ivory cloth. Flathead V-8; three-speed column-shifted manual. Older paint might be from the 1970s and has some issues, including scratches and dings. Dry gaskets, pitted chrome, but complete. Period interior with great gauges and dash. Offered at no reserve, the catalog estimate of $60,000–$100,000 seemed low. The bidders agreed, as this car brought $43,000 over its high estimate. Handsome and with a very 1950s Italian look, this Ford-engined, Italian-designed and -built car is an early example of someone’s desire for easy serviceability in an exotic package.

1948 TUCKER 48 SOLD AT $1,127,500 SN 1045. Navy blue over blue cloth. 166-hp, 334-cubic-inch flat six; fourspeed preselector manual. 609 miles. A few scars and dings in the paint. Big chrome pieces are all excellent, but some small bits have needs. Good glass and shut lines, but the doors need aligning. The interior shows well and appears correct, but there are dirt stains on the front seats and the door panels. This car makes a grand entrance into the $1 million club, even with some obvious needs. More money will have to be spent to bring it up to snuff. Don’t expect to find many Tuckers below the million-dollar threshold soon.

1953 STUDEBAKER COMMANDER PICKUP SOLD AT $52,250 SN 8351059. Mint green over light green and white leather. 200-plus-hp, 259-cubic-inch V-8; three-speed manual with overdrive. A coupe that has been converted to a pickup. High quality paint and chrome, great fit and finish. The full custom interior is also well done and in very good condition. The so-called Kart Hauler was first shown at the 1959 Oakland Roadster Show. It was displayed at Monterey with a go-kart in its shallow bed. It was the buyer’s lucky day, since this Studey was purchased for much less than it would have cost to restore.

November 2010 | Automobilemag.com

117


RUSSOANDSTEELE

auctions

FEATURE CAR 2005 FORD GT SOLD AT $155,100 SN 1FAFP90S15Y401910. Silver with black stripes over black leather. 550-hp, 5.4-liter supercharged V-8; six-speed manual. McIntosh AM/FM/CD stereo. BBS forged-aluminum wheels. No flaws in the paint or trim. The interior looks new as well. Very few cars end their depreciation cycle just when it has started. Ford GTs have proven to be the exception to the rule; they really haven’t gone down in value since their introduction, although it’s true that some owners paid a premium over list. New, in-the-wrapper Ford GTs are getting increasingly difficult to find. Just five years out, it’s clear that Ford created a vehicle destined to become a classic.

1937 FORD TUDOR DELUXE SOLD AT $35,200 SN 18-4164853. Black over gray cloth. 221-cubic-inch V-8; threespeed manual. Sale includes a two-year-old tandem-axle trailer. Excellent restoration appears recent. The paint and chrome, as well as all trim, are first-rate. Fresh gaskets, excellent glass. Converted to twelve volts. Offenhauser cylinder heads. Inside is every bit as nice as outside—very well-turned-out, great fit and quality. Closer to a gift than a sale, this Ford Tudor was among the best bargains of the week. Think of it as a $65,000 restoration that the new owner didn’t have to pay for. The icing on the cake was the trailer that came for free.

118

Automobile | November 2010

1980 FERRARI 308GTBi SOLD AT $38,500 SN ZFFAA01A1A0031673. Red over black leather. 2927-cc V-8; five-speed manual. 31,996 miles. Paint has plenty of high-quality shine. Excellent trim. Fresh Michelin tires on unscuffed wheels. Recently serviced. The very good interior is all original; only the driver’s seat shows any wear. Sadly, many 308GTBs fell into the hands of owners who could not, or would not, pay for their upkeep. There are plenty of 308s that aren’t good buys at $25,000. On the contrary, this car is worth every penny of its $38,500 sale price. As an obviously wellcared-for example, this is one thirty-year-old Ferrari that could actually appreciate from here.

1959 PORSCHE 356A COUPE SOLD AT $44,000 SN 106707. Red over saddle leather. Modified flat four; four-speed manual. Very good quality paint; chrome has some pitting. Lots of modifications to the engine and mechanicals, as this car was used for racing in the 1980s. The interior retains many original elements but also sports quite a few modifications. The 356-series Porsches are easily adaptable to many different competitive events. This car had seen some track time in its past. If the new owner intends to keep that tradition alive, this was a good platform to start with. If he has plans to restore it to stock, not so good. A decent buy for a narrow market.

1961 MERCEDES-BENZ 190SL SOLD AT $31,900 SN A1210401001103. White over black leather. 1897-cc in-line four; four-speed manual. Quite a few chips in the paint, especially at the leading edge of the hood. Some waviness in the body panels. Respectable chrome. Top appears new. Delaminated windshield glass. Clean interior, good door panels, very good seats and dash. Leaking coolant under the car is not a good sign. There’s evidence of a lot of money having been spent here, but it seems to have been done piecemeal instead of with a comprehensive restoration plan. Cheap in today’s market, but how much more will be invested before das Benz is in applestrudel order?


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Automobile | November 2010

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upshift

vile gossip by JEAN JENNINGS

a

S THRILLING AS the vintage races always are at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in mid-August, I’m glad I wasn’t there to watch Stirling Moss’s crash. It wasn’t as bad as it could have been, but after plunging three flights down his home’s elevator shaft last March, Sir Stirling, 80, had been pushing the boundaries of rehab to be ready to race his recently acquired 1961 Porsche RS61 during the big weekend. He seemed no worse for the wear when we caught up at MercedesBenz’s celebrity-laden Sunday party at the Pebble Beach concours. There was so much action on the Monterey Peninsula that, by Sunday, we were ready for that party. We start the weekend on Thursday with Mazda, which—for the tenth year in a row—leads a road trip to the golden peninsula. This year, we take Mazda 2s. Ours easily gobbles up the ridiculous amount of luggage my husband and I have overpacked. The little buzzbomb also holds its own on the freeway and twisty two-lanes heading west from U.S. 101. Friday begins with a Rolls-Royce breakfast at Sir Michael Kadoorie’s Quail Lodge (he also owns the Peninsula Hotel Group), then a stroll through The Quail, a very exclusive car/food/wine show on the grounds. Most of the luxury marques are here with mini-showrooms to catch the wandering dollars of the wealthy. For the third straight year, Michael Fux takes delivery of a bespoke Rolls—this year a luminous white-over-white, leather-lined Ghost. It is rumored to be at least the fourth car he’s picked up this weekend, including a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG and two Ferraris, a 458 Italia and a California. A squadron of old Bugattis roars in and there is Ellie Haga, widow of Camaro designer Hank Haga, in the 1924 Bugatti Type 35 prototype she and Hank bought forty-four years ago. She always did all the welding repairs and has continued, with her son, to drive and race the car. Ellie is

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Automobile | November 2010

Half of those bags that went into the Mazda 2 belong to Mr. Jennings, I swear. Old friend Ellie Haga in a jacket made of leftover hides from her Bugatti Type 35’s seat. The girls and the Drophead: Sue Spender, Patty Bryant, Erica Amestoy, author (in hat), and Karen Shocknek. 1932 Alfa Romeo Tipo B “Don Lee Special,” the first single-seater in grand prix racing. Legends Denise McCluggage and Hurley Haywood meet at the Concours d’Elegance. 1939 Indian Scout team racers, part of Pebble’s large bike display. Yes, Smokey Robinson. I can die now.

sporting a black leather jacket she whipped up from the Connolly hides she used to reupholster the Bugatti’s seats back in 1979. I’ve callously swapped the Mazda 2 for a stunning blue and stainless Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé that imbues me and the girlfriends I stuff into it with magnetism of mythical proportion. With the top down, we are instantly more beautiful, thinner, younger, richer, and infinitely more fascinating to all we pass. People in Carmel step from Ferraris and curbs with camera phones as we waft by. Two bucks for the valet to mind the chariot no longer seems sufficient. Over the hill, Lilli Bertone is the unofficial contessa of the packed Concorso Italiano. Mike Robinson, Bertone chief designer, has been on the Continent for some three decades and serves as translator with his charming, vaguely Euro-accented English. Saturday evening is cooking school with Mazda at Mary Pagan’s Culinary Center of Monterey. The cozy upstairs room is packed with journalists and their spouses, crackling with anticipation. For the food and fun? No, for the hotly anticipated appearance of Hollyweird’s nicest actor/heartthrob, Patrick Dempsey. He arrives, he hugs and kisses, he vamps it up on home videos with the wives, he eats, he drinks, and then he rushes off to the Russo and Steele auction (see page 114) to help pump up the bidding on his championship-winning Mustang race car. The journalists are left to ponder entertaining each other. The bar is suddenly crowded. The epicenter of the Concours d’Elegance is the MercedesBenz balcony at the Lodge at Pebble Beach, which hangs over the reviewing stand. Actors, racing drivers, and the usual press buzzards swill champagne as the day closes, on best behavior lest their mercurial host with the most, PR boss Geoff Day, toss them out (where the quality of the bubbly drops precipitously). Thomas Jane (Hung) wore shoes this year. So did I. AM

PHOTOS BY JEAN JENNINGS

The automotive weekend of the year.


2010 Automobile magazine nov 2010  

April 22nd, 8:21:07 am SR 92 east before Skyline THE NEW SONATA TURBO

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