First Drive

2016 Cadillac CT6 First-Drive

Cadillac has hardly been conservative in its ambitions in recent years, but the 2016 CT6 arrives with even grander targets in mind. Its rivals - and its benchmarks - are the German trifecta of Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi, automakers with a legacy of not only supplying the luxury car segment, but shaping what's expected from it.

Continue Reading

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV first-drive – Prototype Promise

Making a luxury electric car is fairly simple. Making an affordable EV that will overcome the range anxiety of the mass-market is a very different thing, but General Motors thinks the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV has that X-factor. Production won't kick off until later in 2016, but GM invited us to test one of a couple of engineering prototypes at CES 2016 to get an early insight into how the Volt's baby brother is shaping up.

Continue Reading

Orange is the new F (Sport)

I’m sitting window on a CRJ200 to Palm Springs (CA) waiting for the crew to finish loading. I grab the American Way Magazine from the seat back in front of me and open to an anecdote on Sinatra and fashion. “Sinatra absolutely hated brown,” it said. “Orange was the happiest color,” he said.

Continue Reading

2017 Audi Q7 First-Drive

Audi isn't ready to let the public loose in its autonomous cars, but the robo-racers are donating safety tech en-masse to the 2017 Audi Q7. The new luxury SUV not only gains a sharp new suit and an interior borrowing heavily from the classy A8 sedan, but packs the sort of auto-braking, road-following, pedestrian-spotting gadgetry that not long ago was science-fiction.

Continue Reading

2016 Chevrolet Malibu First-Drive

You could argue that midsize sedans like the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu are victims of their own success. What's possibly the most mundane car segment around is also one of the most popular in terms of US sales; that makes price a key factor, as well as finding a package - design, specification, performance, and the rest - that's palatable to as broad a range of people as possible.

Continue Reading

2017 Mercedes-AMG C63 S first-drive

On road or on track, the 2017 Mercedes-AMG C63 S is ready to thrill the thrill seekers. It’s a beast - 503 horsepower does the trick there - but one that's also refined; more than track-capable yet finessed in so many ways that it could well be the perfect road-going sports coupe.

Continue Reading

Man vs Machine: My rematch against Audi’s new self-driving RS 7

Last year, I beat Audi's autonomous race car on the track. Robots might not have feelings, but that didn't stop Audi's engineers calling me back for a re-match with the latest, greatest version of the self-driving RS7s. AJ, Bobby, Jack, and now Robby all have two things in common: first, they’re named after famous race car drivers, and second, they've successfully driven autonomously on racetracks, on the autobahn, and on a cross country trip.

Continue Reading

2016 Toyota Prius First Drive: Eco-chic Gets Redone

Beloved by owners, bemoaned by automotive enthusiasts, championed by environmentalists, no car is as polarizing as the Toyota Prius. In California, it may be the only thing more abundant than sunshine. While other automakers have low-volume eco-friendly cars, or tout future solutions, the Prius delivers real-world results here-and-now.

Continue Reading

2017 Audi Q7 e-tron 3.0 TDI quattro first drive – Diesel redeemer?

Damned by diesel, or redeemed by electric? The timing seems ill-fated for Audi's brand new 2017 Q7 e-tron quattro, a plug-in hybrid that arrives under the NOx cloud of the VW group's ongoing emissions scandal. Though on paper it makes sense - the plentiful torque of a V6 diesel paired with the eco-peppy zing of a plug-in EV - the fuel's already patchy reputation in the US hasn't been helped by the recent "dieselgate" revelations.

Continue Reading

2016 Kia Optima First Drive

Fourteen years ago, Kia was last on J.D. Power's quality survey; today, it's second behind Porsche. That's a big deal, but what does it have to do with the new 2016 Optima? Turns out, pretty much everything, inside and out. It's Kia's best-selling vehicle for the past three consecutive years, not to mention its first model to top the 150,000 yearly sales mark, with demand up 480-percent versus 2010.

Continue Reading

Driving Fifty Years of Classic Mazda Rotary Power

In the early 1960s, Mazda was facing a crisis. The Japanese government, seeking to mold its nascent automotive industry into a powerful global force, had set in motion plans to combine the many different companies operating within its borders into three large conglomerates. Sensing that Mazda was on the verge of losing its identity and being absorbed into a faceless megalith that would be forced to produce only the specific vehicles deemed 'appropriate' for export by elected officials, its president, Tsuneji Matsuda, sent a group of engineers to Germany to investigate an intriguing technology developed by NSU - the Wankel rotary engine.

Continue Reading

Driving this electric Honda was more fun than the new NSX

You know something is up when a Honda engineer giggles while he's talking to you about his car. Turns out, the Honda "4-Motor Electric SH-AWD with Precision All-Wheel Steer" prototype - a clunky name for a heavily modified CR-Z - is enough to cut through the usual restrained enthusiasm of Honda Japan's handling experts, and turn them into squeaking fanboys. Then I drove it myself, and instantly understood why.

Continue Reading

1 2 3 4 5 6