March 27, 2015: A big bruiser that’s about as subtle as a punch, Ford’s F-350 4x4 is a capable work truck, but more than all but a rancher or tradesman probably needs. Despite all appearances, driving a Jaguar C-Type at speed is all about subtlety, and planning ahead. Watch as Alex Buncombe takes Juan Manuel Fangio’s old racer around Monaco. Speaking of Jaguar power, the Lister cars has put the Jaguar-powered Lister Knobby back into production, building a short run of racers suitable for FIA historic racing. And as Amazing as these Jaguar-engined cars may sound, nothing compares to the symphony that comes out of Honda’s 1965 RA272 F1 car. Driven by Americans Richie Ginther and Ronnie Bucknum, it makes you nostalgic for a time when F1 cars sounded fantastic, and American drivers were thick on the grid and able to run with the best. Staying with the racing theme for a moment, Audi has updated its R18 e-tron quattro for the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans, and we take a look inside. Meanwhile, McLaren Applied Technologies and MTS have teamed up to build a simulator suitable for road or race cars. Intelligent Energy’s Motive division shows a 100 kW automotive fuel stack it is licensing to automakers globally. Opel/Vauxhall bring high-tech lighting systems to everyday cars. The AAA reexamines distracted driving among teens, and comes away with dire statistics and shocking videos that will have you wincing. On the plus side, Ford introduces a technology that could make speeding tickets a thing of the past, and our own Al Vinikour asks what pair of geniuses set speed limits on the nation’s roads.
March 13, 2015: Detroit’s other auto show was in town, and it was a record setter in more ways that one. Chip Foose took his fourth Ridler Award, a record, and attendance climbed yet again. The quality of cars on display continues to increase, and the scope of vehicles expands to include restorations, imports, trace cars and more. It’s a show everyone should attend at least once. The introduction of the Apple Watch comes as some automakers include smart watches into their technology plan. However, it was the introduction of the 12-in. MacBook that has the greater relevance to the auto industry. Speaking of computers, Honda’s new aero package for its IndyCar teams spent a lot of time churning through a CFD program, but the result is not only shocking, it’s bad for the sport. We also spent time on the road testing a variety of vehicles. First up is the Mustang GT, not the first choice for winter fun. But, shorn of its summer tires and Performance Pack, can the prototypical pony car measure up? Next, we get behind the wheel of Lexus’s turbocharged NX 200t F Sport. It has the potential to give Audi, Mercedes and even Porsche something to think about, but is it more show than go? Finally, we spend some time in the Toyota Yaris, the smallest, least expensive vehicle in Toyota’s lineup. Might it prove the old adage about good things coming in small packages? Finally, Al looks back to his earlier escapades to condemn freeways and drivers that aren’t in the Western U.S., and question the sanity of adaptive cruise control’s creators.