August 26, 2016: Just when we think we have the Editor at Large figured out, he does something different. This week’s Virtual Collection is not a group of cars, but a group of people. Race drivers, to be more precise, that he met during his career, including Buddy Baker, Benny Parsons, Dale Earnhardt and Bill Alsup. But the one driver who both fascinated and confounded him the most was the meteoric Tim Richmond. It’s a fascinating account of the psyche of a potential superstar by a man who looks suspiciously like the infamous Ted Bennett. Last weekend, the folks at Lister introduced a new continuation model at Pebble Beach, the Stirling Moss edition. Based on the car Moss drove at Silverstone in 1958, the $1.0 million magnesium-bodied racer is limited to a total of 10 copies. Elsewhere, recent events gave us the opportunity to drive Toyota’s Tundra, Nissan’s mid-duty Titan XD and the new half-ton Titan. The Tundra is comfortable, the Titan XD is LARGE, and the half-ton Titan is surprisingly good. Just how good will have to wait for a longer test, but the initial prognosis is very promising. We did spend quality time with Audi’s S6 quattro, A3 quattro and the VW Golf R, however. The S6 is an incredibly quick and luxurious sport sedan, the A3 is an upscale sedan version of the exemplary VW Golf, and the Golf R is – in this group – the performance bargain of the decade. Finally, we take a look at Infiniti’s production-ready variable compression ration turbocharged four-cylinder engine — literally. Rather than waste words describing the concept, set to debut at the Paris Motor Show, we have reprinted the graphic Infiniti sent out to explain the system, hoping for a more detailed explanation of the concept to become available at that time.
August 12, 2016: BMW introduced its latest 7 Series model, a hybrid. But this isn’t just any hybrid, it’s powered by a four-cylinder with twin-turbos and an electric motor integrated into its eight-speed automatic transmission. You have to wonder how buyers in this league will respond to having such a small engine under the hood. Continuing with the German/electric theme, Audi announced a new active shock absorber concept that brings back lever-arm dampers. Only these units are connected to electric motors that harvest energy from wheel movement, and use it to control the suspension’s damping rate. Stretching the electric thread to the breaking point, Actev Motors has an electric go kart with all the features helicopter parents could want for their pampered offspring, at a reasonable price. Chevy, meanwhile, set pricing for both the Camaro ZL1 and the 1LE package, but will it be enough to revive the Camaro’s softening sales? The Editor at Large liked his quartet of cars in the last Virtual Collection that he decided to stick with that theme. Instead of Ford GT40s, he’s found a flock of Dan Gurney’s Indy Eagles that would complement any collector’s garage. One of those cars introduced a new take on ground effect aerodynamics that was used on the DeltaWing, as well as Nissan’s BladeGlider concept. That 1+2-seat electric sports car was thought to be scrapped, but Nissan has produced a new version of the car that it is using at the Rio Olympics. And while we didn’t get invited to Brazil, we did make it to Flat Rock, MI to drive BFGoodrich’s latest all-season performance tires. Almost as surprising, BAC, makers of the Mono single-seat track car, is moving beyond carbon fiber to the use of graphene. This light, strong material is currently used on the Mono’s rear fender, but could spread to other areas of the vehicle. Finally, TMB Art Metal is offering cufflinks made from the metal of an actual Bugatti Veyron road wheel, proving that material recycling has its artistic uses.