In a world of SUVs that’ve been softened by demand and suburban wusses, the 2015 Toyota 4Runner stands out.
The last of a dying breed of SUV
Logic Need Not Apply
225 kilometers an hour? It’s 0.62, right? Why the hell can’t I figure it into miles? So 124 plus like 14 or 16 or…shit-shit-shit time to brake. Turns out mental math is a lot more difficult when solved howling down the main straight at Summit Point Motorsports Park in the most powerful sedan ever made.
Beauty in the eye of every beholder
How do you take a spectacular Jaguar roadster that the world has anticipated for decades and make it divine? According to Jaguar you give it a hardtop and the option of a 550 horsepower V8. That’s what they’ve done with the 2015 F-Type Coupe ($65,000), which builds on one of our favorite cars this year, the 2014 F-Type convertible.
It’s an elegantly powerful ultra-supercar. It’s capable of crushing more expensive, higher-profile autos on tracks and streets alike. And it’s surprisingly rare. So instead of waiting around, GP went to the famous Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to try out the 2015 McLaren 650S.
The Nürburgring for Off-Road
The Baja 1000 is one of the most grueling races in all of motorsports. Running nearly the entire length of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula, drivers haul ass for 24 hours on motorcycles, production vehicles, trucks and buggies across some of the most varied terrain in the world. BFGoodrich’s original K0 tire was “born in Baja” — so it seemed like the perfect place to test their new version, the K02 All-Terrain tire.
A 'light truck' that's actually light
The Ford F-150 is the reigning champ of the truck world, having been the most popular truck in America for 37 years and — get this — the most popular overall vehicle for 32. Even more impressively, the 2015 Ford F-150 is not just miles ahead of the competition; it’s miles ahead of its former self.
Oh, I'd love to Drive an Oscar Mayer Wiener
We drove the Wienermobile, and it was awesome.
The GTI of GTIs
Why even talk about something we can’t have? Because when VW knocks on the door and hands over their forbidden fruit — the 2015 Golf R Euro-spec — no human of motoring integrity could say no; and we didn’t either.
An Angry Bird of Prey
Every motorcycle enthusiast dreams of taking off for an epic adventure. It’s no surprise, then, that adventure motorcycles are the fastest-growing segment on two wheels. Ducati has clearly tapped into that ethos with the design of the Multistrada GT.
Teaching an old dog new tricks, on two wheels
The prom queen is never chosen solely for her personality, and character actors don’t win People‘s Sexiest Man Alive. These are truths we’ve come to simply accept, and they extend to machines, too. Saying an item has “character” or “personality” implies it has aesthetic, ergonomic, or other flaws. The Moto Guzzi V7 Special ($9,290) has character.
(Sometimes) Longer is better
This year Infiniti released a new “L” variant of their Q70 sedan (formerly known as the M) in the States. An escape from the confines of New York City into the backroads of Jersey proved that the long wheel based car might just balance the ideals of comfort and performance perfectly while remaining a luxury car bargain.
The beautiful collision of technology and tradition
Riding in the back seat of a car often feels more like a punishment than a privilege. But the Bentley Mulsanne makes backseat desirable. Then again, it makes the front seat desirable, too.
From NYC to Maine in Toyota's big rig
When daydreaming of a classic summer road trip vehicle, a pickup truck is not what normally springs to mind — especially a massive 5,800-pound one that gets 17 mpg. However, seeing as the 2014 Toyota Tundra ($26,000+) could haul the space shuttle Endeavor across an LA freeway, I figured it could handle my family, a few bags and nearly 700 miles of road tripping.
The horse without the mane is just as wild
In the middle of a cool Chicago summer, sunlight bounces off the unmistakeable Rosso Corsa hood of a V8 Ferrari. A mere eighth of a depression of the throttle produces a sound I can only describe as a chorus of angels descending to earth on winged stallions. Against all odds, Ferrari’s delicious V8 458 Spider has won me over to top-down driving.
Confusing, a little odd... and molto bello
Featuring a slew of firsts, the Ferrari Dino 308 GT4 was wrapped in controversy, failed in sales and has been looked down upon by aficionados for years. Today there is a resurgence in the interest of this ill-fated groundbreaker. We talked to one proud owner to find out why.
We drove a Chevy Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel from New York City to West Michigan for a 2,000-mile round trip. Here’s what we learned.
The A Class we long for
If there’s a way to convey style and a touch of German class without flipping the bird to practicality and fuel-efficiency, it’s the A220 CDI, Mercedes-Benz’s paradigm-shifting hatchback.
A Great American SUV, Proven
The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel will haul you and your stuff for nearly 730 miles on one tank, all the while spoiling you with leather, panoramic roof, digital screens and tons of hauling capabilities. Is this the best American SUV ever made? After six weeks and a variety of tasks and duties, we think it’s certainly up there.
Some MMasterful, All MMagnificent
Over the decades, BMW’s iconic M3 has only grown in power, performance (and in most cases, weight), going from niche sports sedans to one of the most popular performance-focused automobiles in the industry. The best part? There are five generations of them, all with scintillating, unique details and the underlying similarities of greatness.
Odds and Evens Make A Great Whole
The slightly slick track at Wisconsin’s Road America has me wondering just how little effort it would take to spin the 425 hp German monster I’m driving. The truth is that the M4 I’m helming isn’t working nearly as hard as it can with its 425 hp (and more importantly) its 406 lb-ft of torque and shaved corpulence. 174 pounds. That’s the equivalent weight of two average male German Shepherds drooling on your fine leather sport seats and the same amount of poundage the new 2-door M4 has dropped over the M3 Coupe it replaces. But the all-new BMW M3 and M4 are so much more than more power and less fat.
Back and better than ever...or is it?
Longer, wider, lighter and with brand new tech, the Mk VII Golf GTI goes head to head…with past versions of itself.
One 577-hp wagon. One dry lake bed.
The 2014 MB E 63 AMG S 4Matic Wagon has more horsepower than a Ferrari 458 and gets to 60 a full second before a Porsche 911. And it has room for your family, their luggage and the family dog. We turned off traction control and let it loose on a dry lake bed.
Utter Beauty and Supreme Brawn
The four fat rubber circles that attach both you and the Huracán to the road were chosen to be worked very, very hard. So were the 601 horses that shriek from its 5.2-liter V10 power plant. There’s an extra incentive behind each of these Italian supercar’s facets: it’s not enough for this car to move like Usain Bolt or look like Elisabetta Canalis. The Huracán is Sant’Agata’s replacement for the monumentally successful Gallardo (huge shoes to fill) and frankly, it makes its predecessor seem rough and antiquated — even a bit homely. The mechanical shaming of the Gallarod tells you just about everything you need to know about the Huracán. It’s next-generation Lamborghini.
If the Cloud rode a motorcycle, this would be it
After testing out Zero’s do-anything DS last year we were sold on electric motorcycles. We wanted more, and we got it with a chance to cruise around on their torquey 54 horsepower sport bike, the 2014 Zero S.
Pikes Peak, Monster, Panigale, Streetfighter and Diavel
With free reign on development (and deeper pockets) thanks to new ownership, Ducati’s built a lineup that’s billed as faster, sexier and more nimble than anything they’ve produced before. After spending a day piloting five models (Multistrada Pikes Peak, Monster, Panigale, Streetfighter and Diavel) through the Catskill Mountains, it became clear that this may be their finest vintage yet, at least for the majority of their models.
Vanquishing miles of road and years of your salary
Aston Martin has been putting cars on the racetrack, in movies and on teenage boys’ walls for more than 100 years; no wonder even people who don’t care about cars can recognize them in an instant. The 2014 Aston Martin Vanquish Volante ($296,000) is just another prince in their royal lineage.
Not your neighbor's crossover
Perhaps the most enjoyable car to drive in 2014 is one you wouldn’t even stop to admire in a parking lot. The 2014 Audi SQ5 ($59,400) doesn’t have ostentatious styling; its idling engine wouldn’t wake a sleeping babe; it can seat a family of four comfortably with room for luggage. Yet it’s an absolute powerhouse.
The Jaguar of today is no bespoke joke. Now under Tata ownership, Jag’s turned into a luxury automaker that cares about its drivers. The Italian Racing red paint, imposing rear wing and juggernaut 550 hp and 502 lb-ft of torque of the 2014 Jaguar XFR-S ($99,000) are evidence of that fact. It’s not a car for the British dandy. Instead, it’s the business end of Jaguar’s quest to make a beastlier brawler out of already imposing XFR.
The Asian Phaeton?
Kia has far surpassed expectations in a relatively short time frame, shifting from a producer of poorly designed, poorly built econo-boxes to well-made, adventurously styled cars that square off with practical Asian stalwarts like Honda and Toyota. Recently they set their sights on the European luxury market with their 2015 Kia K900 ($59,500 base). We grabbed some seat time in a powerful, VIP-trimmed $65,000 Kia to decide for ourselves if it was worth the price tag — and to decide if the Germans should feel threatened by this Asian invasion.
Concept cars, by definition, push the limits of automotive invention. But even in a field of enigmas and paradigm shifters there can be standouts, vehicles that make competitors look like toys. This is the realm of the new Audi Quattro Concept Mini, which calls to mind an R8 V10 Spyder designed by a Lilliputian Frank Lloyd Wright. It’s whole-heartedly future-thinking in its indoctrination of a new and entirely untapped target market. Watch the video for our review.