The State of Italian Car Design
  • The State of Italian Car Design

    November 30, 2016

    In matters of automotive aesthetic mastery, there have been only two major influences. From about 1910 to 1939, the world looked to Paris, where the best designers worked their magic. After World War II, French leftist politicians intentionally destroyed the coachbuilding industry to punish rich clients who had sustained the business. This also killed great […]

  • 2018 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Mule Gets Wing

    Spy shots of the 2018 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 prototype reveal a serious aerodynamics package could be in the works. Previous images have shown us only the hardware mounts for a wing that was stashed inside the test mule. Now we know there are at least two variants — one sleek, low, and flat; the other […]

  • First Drive: 2017 BMW 540i M Sport

    November 29, 2016

    LISBON, Portugal – What fries are to McDonald’s and razors are to Gilette, the 5 Series sedan is to BMW. “We asked people, ‘What do you most associate with our brand?’ and 58 percent responded, ‘5 Series,’” says Klaus Fröhlich, head of BMW research and development. “Worldwide, we have sold 7.6 million 5 Series since […]

  • Materials of Tomorrow’s Cars

    November 28, 2016

    From large-scale suppliers to small, student-led research teams, groups throughout the automotive world are developing mind-boggling materials and systems to revolutionize car design. Here are seven of the most promising technologies that will likely impact how the next-generation automobile will look and work. Thin-Film Solar PanelsPhotovoltaic collectors are now so thin and flexible, they can […]

  • Automotive Leather: From Bulls to BMWs

    Leather interiors are both tangibly and intangibly appealing, offering aural and tactile sensations superior to those of cloth or vinyl interiors as well as a feel of warmth, worth, and that all-important air of achievement. Even today, when most cars on this side of a Mitsubishi Mirage offer leather interiors, buyers still appreciate and admire […]

  • Fashion Police: What Were They Thinking When They Penned These Designs?

    Steve Jobs is legendary for making Apple the corporate giant it is today, but the real credit should go to former General Motors president and CEO Alfred P. Sloan Jr. Way back in the early 1940s, Sloan angled to boost slowing sales by instigating annual model-year design changes to GM’s cars. It was a stroke […]

  • BMW 5 Series Gets M Performance Upgrades

    November 27, 2016

    The BMW 5 Series Sedan goes on sale early next year, but BMW is already teasing us with sporty, new M Performance parts and accessories. Upgrades for the upcoming 5 Series sedan include aerodynamic tweaks, substantial power increases, suspension upgrades, performance brakes, and fancier bits for the interior. BMW’s all-new 540i replaces the 535i and […]

  • Quick Take: 2016 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack

    Despite best intentions and a relatively low cost of entry, not everyone can utilize the small-ish proportions of the Volkswagen GTI, the cramped backseat of the Mustang GT, or the canvas roof of the two-seat Mazda Miata. There are very, very few “do-everything” cars on offer and no other cars have the same amount of […]

  • 2016 Ford Focus RS: The Ownership Experience, Part 3

    November 26, 2016

    My kids regularly ask, “Dad, can we go for a ride in the Focus RS and drive over some juice boxes?” It’s a frequent request, especially for my car-geek son. Activating sport mode and shifting the six-speed manual gearbox during heavy acceleration produces a lovely pop from the exhaust, hence the boxed liquid-crushing nickname. It’s […]

  • An Interview with the Man Who Helps Sell Porsches Around the World

    We recently sat down with Detlev von Platen, former president and CEO of Porsche Cars North America, now global sales chief and member of the executive board of Porsche AG in Stuttgart, to discuss Porsche’s current marketing strategies in America and abroad. AM: How does the brand Porsche resonate around the world? DVP: Porsche is […]

  • Quick Take: 2016 Volkswagen GTI

    The 2016 Volkswagen GTI is the kind of car you want to drive like you stole it. Decked out in Autobahn trim, the car’s full Performance Package is made for drivers who want to hit the road…with no speed limits. Last year’s model made our “2015 All-Star” list and if you can snatch a few […]

  • First Drive: 2017 Smart Fortwo ED

    November 25, 2016

    Automakers beware. As the Chevrolet Bolt begins rolling off transports and into dealerships, it’s becoming clear that there’s an electric-vehicle paradigm shift underway. If your battery-powered car doesn’t have a range of 200-plus miles and cost around $30,000, you’d better have a convincing alternative narrative. This is more than likely why Mercedes-Benz brought us to […]