This Week in Motoring: Cadillac tries to stem the tide, the making of the Hellcat, a China-only McLaren, Audi gets the driverless nod and much more.
This Week's News On Wheels
This Week in Motoring: Hamilton cuts it close at F1 Singapore, which states have the rudest drivers, Cadillac finally goes big again and much more.
No Compromise, Plenty of Style
If you think the only thing about hybrids that’s advanced in the past decade or so is technology, think again. No longer the ugly stepchild of the automotive world, many hybrids have also arrived in the department of style and even take the kind of risks manufacturers wouldn’t dare impute to their gas-powered children. We’ve helmed three stylish hybrids that run the range of prices and designs. They’re all pleasing to the eye as well as to the environment and give us hope for the future: one without hybrids that look like lozenges on wheels.
Affordable Ways to Your Fuel-Lovin' Heart
Your buddy’s Rosso Corsa Red Ferrari makes your blood boil with envy. Unfortunately, your better half won’t let you mortgage the house so you can buy one yourself. Though they may not have the prancing horse on the grille or elicit gazes from the bold and the beautiful, these 10 affordable driver’s cars still delight with great driving dynamics and the kind of motoring spirit that makes you feel like a kid again.
Five reasons to start a family
There’s no question about a minivan’s utility. But until someone comes up with one that doesn’t at least partially emasculate red-blooded men, we choose to drive these other vehicles — ones that offer up utility, a semblance of driving pleasure and better aesthetics than a toaster oven.
To drive or ogle? That is the question.
The beauty of classic automotive design is often in direct struggle with modern safety and fuel economy standards, not to mention the latest in technology. But there are still a number of shining examples around today, ones that echo the past and ones that break new ground but don’t break the rules of good taste. These ten prove that less is more and that automotive design is not on the rocks.
From Good to Great
Some car models start out great but then topple from grace — the Nissan Maxima comes to mind (as much as we try to push it out). Then there are those automobiles that have only gotten better with time, tweaks, and tender loving care. Some have evolved gracefully, while others desperately needed a hefty dose of attention. Here are five models basking in the glow of recent changes that have brought them into their primes.
Purity in Motion
2013 has been a great year in our motoring lives. We’ve hit the tarmac and the dirt track, tossed around Ferraris and Lambos, captured the ultimate camera car and two-wheeled it through the streets of London and Los Angeles. That’s a hell of a lot of burnt rubber — and we relished every moment.
We loved ‘em all, sure, but it’s high time we selected Gear Patrol’s Best New Car of the year, a tough task amid the fierce competition of some of the best vehicles we’ve seen in a long time. That field is packed full of cars from diverse manufacturers, each deserving of vehicular accolades of the highest order. But there can be only one winner — and to us, that winner is clear. The best car of the year is the 2014 Porsche Cayman S. But before we wax poetic (and we surely will), there are plenty of counterarguments to be made and bridesmaids to applaud.
The Caddy that wows
The CTS Vsport ($59,995) takes a big step forward in Cadillac’s new era of design and driving excellence. The car is more elegant than the previous model thanks to a leaner profile; the front grille is smaller but no less noticeable; the faux vents aft of the front fenders from the previous car are, thankfully, gone. This clean-up is part in parcel of a smoother and more unified countenance that’s attractive and less busy. The result is the first Cadillac that elicits automotive desire a la BMW, Mercedes and Audi — and we had a chance to get behind the wheel.
Oli’s Jean Corduroys By Oliver Spencer Is there a more appropriate material for the autumn than corduroy? Could there be a color better suited to the season than burgundy? These modern, English-bred cord trousers are slim fitting but cozy, as they’re made of a mid-weight, thin-wale cord, and are perfect with a sweater, a button…
Think of your family, and yourself
Dodge isn’t the only one that can boast about a Power Wagon — a few of today’s wagons haul as much ass as they do family members. If you’re about hitting the apexes and dragging sports cars after you’ve finished toting the kids to their sports practices, you have several options. Do you spend north of six figures for the big German rocket or significantly less for home-grown wagon speed?
2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-CLass It’s a car! It’s a wagon! No — it’s… it’s… a small crossover. Meet the Mercedes-Benz Subaru, a CUV for the wood veneer set. It’s small, sort of sporty, sort of rugged and it sort of looks like a cross between the current Benz lineup (that face!) and pretty much every vehicle…
5-Doors to your heart
The venerable station is no longer what it was: a dowdy people hauler that oftentimes “sported” less than favorable designs (faux wood paneling, anyone?). And though the American populace now prefers cross-overs, station wagons still survive in the domestic automotive landscape. With lower centers of gravity, sleeker profiles and (typically) better driving dynamics than their SUV counterparts, there’s plenty of reasons to love them. We certainly do.
It’s for all of the aforementioned reasons that wagons sell in much bigger numbers in Europe. With the hope of bringing the States around to how truly great they are, we give you five of the best wagons (and, sadly, some of the only ones left for sale here). Let’s just hope they never completely disappear.
Gatsby's Great Garage
Jay Gatsby had it all, except perhaps the presence of mind to dial down the drama so he could hold on to the good things, namely cars and bikes that would stand the test of time for unrelenting beauty and elegance. The art deco era, spanning over two decades, influenced design internationally — and vehicles were beneficiaries of this arty approach to industry. So much of what was built in the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s now only exists in the hallowed halls of museums and collectors’ garages as we drool upon this glorious motoring past. Gatsby’s greatness could’ve remained had he chosen to drive one of these beauties into the West Egg sunset, leaving Daisy behind in a cloud of rich exhaust. Fresh for Baz Luhrmann’s full throttle cinematic interpretation of the landmark Fitzgerald novel, we’ve collected 10 of the finest art deco cars and bikes ever built.
Starpower trumps horsepower
Weeding through Hollywood’s entire crop of iconic movie cars in the hopes of arriving at an agreed upon best of list is like trying to choose the sexiest Victoria’s Secret model — it can be grueling work, but the research isn’t exactly painful. Car guys are a picky lot, especially when looking to the silver screen: Some go weak in the knees when they hear an American V8 rumble to life slightly out of frame, while others are gaga for the svelte silhouette of a European exotic on a twisty backdrop. A select few believe the essential chase scene is the deciding factor, while yet another breed is only happy when the director has chosen an “appropriate” vehicle for the character driving, regardless of whether the movie was even watchable.
The GP Team’s collection of petrolheads put all of these variables into play, entered into
deep philosophical debate and eventually agreed to disagree so we could present you with our picks for the best movie cars ever. Gentlemen, start your arguing engines!
The 10 That Got Away
Some concept cars are the stuff of dreams, and some make a justified beeline for the crusher. But then there are the truly glorious ones: the concepts built just for show, never meant to be anything more than the Paris runway model of the automotive world, or those lucky few that see their design elements actually influence production cars, even if they themselves never make it to the street. Tragically, for many of the best, somewhere between an auto show debut and the fevered, hopeful dreams of auto enthusiasts, some kind of childhood-hating shutdown switch gets flicked by faceless bean counters. In honor of the fallen, we take a look at 10 of the best concept cars that only ever got to lay rubber on the auto show floor.
Time to meet the winners
Imagine spending years designing, redesigning, engineering and finally building a car — only to have public opinion weigh in on your baby. No pressure, right? Well, at this year’s New York International Auto Show, plenty of brands did a damn good job. We were tantalized by some of what’s to come: cars that will certainly hit production in some form or another (and thank goodness for that). From track beasts to practical and attractive sedans, we rounded up the cream of the crop, in our humble opinion. Take a look at the 10 best in show.
Topo Athletic Running Shoes Topo Athletics thinks your body is a temple. Their shoe appropriately looks to “amplify” biomechanics through split-toe design (a Vulcan Salute creates a “unique anchor point”), open-toe box for comfort and stability, a zero-drop heel and lightweight welded seams. topoathletic.com Rollnband Last-minute packers, take heed: these elastic bands save space and…
Short of a polar bear club dip in frigid waters or a morning yoga session with a Victoria’s Secret model, nothing gets you started like a hot cup of joe… or 321 horsepower to the rear wheels. We at least imbibed in the latter two as we visited a couple of Chicago coffee spots in the new Cadillac ATS 3.6L Performance. Clearly an upgrade from the 4-cylinder turbo version, the V6 3.6-liter packs its own lunch and brings the dessert, too.
Guilty as charged
Given its lineage, we probably wouldn’t refer to it as a true “driver’s car”, but the completely new, super-aerodynamic Cadillac ELR 2+2 sure looks the part. That its design is edgy, futuristic, and alludes to strong momentum is no surprise given Cadillac’s direction as of late (and because we’ve told you about it before), but…
No, no. You're all wrong. This is overdoing it.
You’re the kind of guy who has a 50mm wristwatch that’s as thick as a hockey puck, your cigar of choice is a 60-ring gauge beast as big as a telephone pole, and you like your turkey drumsticks Medieval Victory Feast sized. So the standard Cadillac CTS-V Coupe’s 556 horsepower and 551 lb ft of…
Where its ATS
The 2013 Cadillac ATS is the much anticipated sports sedan from GM, about to make its world debut in Detroit. In development since the early 2000’s, the ATS project had the BMW 3-Series in its crosshairs. But will it be the 3-Series killer it’s intended to be? Cadillac thinks so, and the numbers seem right…
Cars and caffeine, an ideal pairing
Recently we found ourselves presented with a couple of problems. First. We were handed the keys to a deep blue pearl 2012 Nissan GT-R and 2012 diamond black edition Cadillac CTS-V at roughly the same time. Okay, maybe it doesn’t sound like so much of a problem but bear with us. In reality neither cars…
Pebble Beach is in full force and evidently, Cadillac is too. The Cadillac Ciel Concept (pronounced: C-L) ascends the mark’s design language with one hell of a bold statement. The four-seat convertible land yacht is appointed with appropriately nautical-themed elements: French doors, pillarless design, sweeping sheet metal and an interior bedecked in ambient lighting, analog…
Looks like things are getting electric at Caddy. The just announced Cadillac ELR (think: Chevy Volt goes to college) utilizes an electric propulsion system comprised of a lithium-ion battery, electric motors and a 4-cylinder engine/generator. Also, the aggressive look you’ve come to expect in modern-day Cadillacs makes its way to the ELR here in the…
Impressive. Most Impressive.
If Darth Vader had been born in Detroit, this just might be his vehicle of choice. The new 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Black Diamond Edition ($70,000). Uncannily timed with the release of a similarly adorned steerable rocket sled, the Porsche 911 Black Edition, this iteration of the already stunning CTS-V adds upgraded interior materials like microfiber…
Someone’s Finally Getting The Crossover Right This ain’t no Coupe De’Ville [click on image to enlarge] When it comes to Cadillac’s Science & Technology design scheme it’s either love it or hate it. But the men in Detroit are definitely finding a rhythm, what with the 2009 Cadillac CTS-V and Cadillac CTS Coupe Concept. For…
[click on image to enlarge] A car enthusiast worth his weight knows what this means: One Lap on Nurburgring – 07:59:32 For those of you that don’t, that means the car you see above, the 2009 Cadillac CTS-V, helmed by John Heinricy, did the infamous Nurburgring auto engineer’s hell in less than eight minutes. The…
[click on image to enlarge] We’ve been talking a lot about cars here on GP lately, but if you don’t know the 2008 Detroit Auto Show is going on right now and there are some cars you should know about. The Cadillac CTS Coupe Concept is one of them. We can’t recall the last time…