Search The Virtual Driver
Tagged for Your Convenience
#PinkBeetle 1940 Ford Coupe 1961 F1 season 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 2012 Ford Explorer 2012 Jeep Wrangler 2012 Toyota Camry 2012 VW Beetle 2012 VW Passat 2013 Chevys 2013 Ford Explorer 2013 Ford Focus Electric 2013 Ford Fusion review 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2013 Hyundai Sonata SE 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo 2013 Infiniti JX AWD 2013 Lexus ES 350 2013 Lexus GS 2013 Mercedes GLK350 2013 NAIAS 2013 Nissan Altima 2014 Audi R18 e-tron quattro 2014 Detroit Auto Show 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee 2014 Kia Forte 2014 Kia Soul road test 2014 Lexus IS 2014 Mazda CX-5 crossover 2014 Mazda3 2014 Mercedes S-Class 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage 2014 NAIAS 2014 Toyota Corolla 2014 Toyota Corolla S 2014 Toyota Highlander 2015 Camaro 2015 Chevy Trax 2015 Chrysler 200 2015 Detroit auto show 2015 Ford F-150 2015 Ford Mustang 2015 Hyundai Sonata 2015 Kia Sorento SX 2015 Lincoln Navigator 2015 Mini Cooper 2015 Mustang 2015 Nissan Murano 2015 Porsche Cayenne 2015 Toyota Camry 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans 2016 Audi TT 2016 Chevy Camaro 2016 Chevy Volt 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum 2016 Honda Accord 2016 Honda Civic 2016 Hyundai Tucson 2016 Lexus RX 2016 NAIAS 2016 New York Auto Show 2016 Nissan Maxima 2016 North American International Auto Show 2016 Toyota Prius 2016 Toyota Prius unveiling 2016 Toyota RAV4 2016 Toyota Tacoma 2016 VW Golf SportWagen 2017 Acura NSX 2017 BMW 2 Series 2017 C-Class Coupe 2017 Chevy Camaro pricing 2017 Ford GT 2017 Ford Raptor 2017 Nissan Titan 2017 Subaru Impreza Achates Power Acura NSX Acura NSX aerodynamics adaptive cruise control affordable carbon fiber AIE rotary engine airbag technology Al Vinikour Alan Mulally Alfa Romeo Alfa Romeo 4C Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Alfa Romeo Giulia ALMS alternative powertrains AMG SLS E-Cell AM-RB 001 AP Racing Radi-CAL Apple Car ArmorAll AROnline Aston Martin Aston Martin DB11 Aston Martin Vulcan Aston Martin yacht Aston-Martin Atlanta Motorsport Park Audi Audi A3 Audi A5 Audi A5 Sportback Audi bicycle Audi Q7 TDI Audi R18 Audi R18 e-tron quattro Audi S8 Audi SQ7 Austin Powers Autocade automotive fuel cells automotive porn automotive safety systems autonomous cars autonomous vehicles Autorama Avocet Avro Vulcan barn find Beetle barn find Jaguar barn finds Barrett Jackson Battle of Britain Bell Pro Star Ben Bowlby Bentley Mulsanne Beverly Rae Kimes Big Bang Theory Bjorn Lomborg BMW BMW 2 Series Active Tourer BMW 3 Series BMW 7 Series Hybrid BMW i3 BMW i8 BMW i8 luggage BMW M2 BMW M4 video BMW M4 vs. Lexus RC-F BMW motorcycles BMW X4 BMW1 Series Bob Lutz BorgWarner Breitling watches Brembo British Motor Heritage BRM Brose e-bike Bryce Hoffman Buick Regal GS Buick Verano Cadillac ATS Cadillac CT6 Cadillac CTS Cadillac CTS-V Cadillac CUE Cadillac Escalade Cadillac Racing Cadillac XT5 Cadillac XTS CAFE standards Camaro Z28 Camaro ZL1 Camping World Truck Series Car Spy book Carroll Shelby Cars in Context Television Cars in Context TV CART Caterham Caterham Seven Center for Automotive Research CES Chapparal 2X VGT comncept Chevy Bolt Chevy crate motor Chevy Cruze diesel Chevy Sonic Chevy Trax Chevy Volt Chicago Auto Show China Auto 2012 Chip Foose Chrysler Chrysler Hemi Clarion C-Max Hybrid CNG Cobra Jet Mustang Cobra watch Controlled Power Technologies cork surfboard Corvette C7 Corvette C8 Corvette Racing Corvette sinkhole Craftsman CTX tractors Cunningham C3 Dale Jr Dallara GP2 hillclimb Dan Gurney Dan Wheldon De Lorean Denise McCluggage Derek Warwick Detroit Auto Show Detroit Electric diesel engine Dieselgate Dodge Dodge Avenger Dodge Challenger Dodge Dart GT domestic energy Donald Trump donuts drag racing Dragon software DRB-Hicom Dream Cruise driver alert Ducati Ducati 899 Panigale Ducati Monster Ducati Museum Ducati Scrambler Ducati Testastretta Eagle GB Eagle Indy cars Eagle Speedster Eddie Rickenbacker Edsel Ford electric bike electric vehicle demand electric vehicles Elemental Rp1 EPA Evanta F-150 SuperCrew federal bureaucracy Federal-Mogul Ferdinand Piech Ferrari Ferrari 488 GTB Ferrari dog kennels Ferrari F12 Ferrari F12tdf FerrariGTC4Lusso FEV Fiat 124 Abarth Fiat 500 Abarth Fiat 500 furniture Fiat 500X Fiat Chrysler business plan Fiat S76 Fiat-Chrysler Fod Kuka robot Ford Ford at Le Mans Ford BoxLink Ford e-bikes Ford Edge Ford Explorer Sport Ford F-150 EcoBoost Ford F-150 Tremor Ford F-350 Ford Fiesta ST Ford Focus RS reveal Ford Focus ST Ford Fusion Ford GT Ford GT Mk. IV Ford GT40 Ford Ka+ Ford Mustang Ford Mustang GT Ford Mustang GT350 Ford S-Max Ford Transit Ford Transit Connect Ford Transit Connect Titanium Formula One Formula One rules Forza Motorsport Fq hybrid braking Frankfurt Motor Show FR-S vs Miata Geneva Motor Show Global RallyCross GM GM engines GM recalls GMC Canyon Denali Goodwood Festival of Speed Google car graphene ground effects Group Lotus HANS device Harley-Davidson Harley-Davidson Breakout Harley-Davidson LiveWire Harley-Davidson Seventy-Two Harley-Davidson SuperLow Harley-Davidson Switchback Haynes Owners' Workshop Manual healthcare Honda ATVs Honda Clarity FCV Honda CVCC Honda endurance engine Honda motorcycles Honda NSX Honda Pilot Honda RA272 Honda RC213V-S HondaJet hot hatch Husqvarna hybrids Hyundai Hyundai Accent Hyundai designers Hyundai Elantra Hyundai Elantra GT Hyundai Genesis Hyundai Genesis Coupe Hyundai Motorstudio Hyundai Veloster Hyundai Vision G Coupe Indianapolis Motor Speedway Indy 500 IndyCar Infiniti Infiniti Q50 Infiniti QX56 Infiniti VC-T inflatable child seat internal combustion engines iPhone 6 J.D. Power and Associates Jabuar Jaguar Jaguar C-X16 Jaguar E-Type Jaguar F-Type Jaguar luggage Jaguar XE Jaguar XJL Jeep Cherokee Jeep concepts Jeep Renegade Jeep Renegade Latitude Jensen GT jet prropulsion Jim Clark John Bereisa John Krafcik Juan Manuel Fangio Kia Forte Koup SX Kia Optima Kia Rio Kia Sorento Kia Soul L.A. Auto Show LaFerrari convertible Lamborghini Lancia Delta Integrale Land Rover LR2 Land Rover pedal car Las Vegas Le Mans lead-acid batteries LED headlights Lego Technic book Lexus ES350 Lexus GS350 F Sport Lexus hoverboard Lexus LS Lexus LS concept Lexus LS460 LExus LX 570 Lexus NX 200t F Sport Lexus RC 350 Lexus RC F Lexus RX 450h Ligier LMP3 prototype Lincoln MKC Lincoln MKX Lincoln MKZ Lincoln Motor Company Lincoln Navigator L Lincoln's future Lingenfelter LiquidPiston Lister Knobbly Lister Stirling Moss edition Lola LMP1 Lotus Lotus Evora 400 Lotus Evora Sport 410 Lotus Exige Sport 350 Lotus SUV Luca Montezemolo Lucire Lyonheart K M1 Concourse magnesium wheels marble Ducati Martin Winterkorn Maserati Levante Maserati Quattroporte Maserati Tipo 250F replica matte-finish film Matthew McConaughey Mazda Mazda chair Mazda Miata Mazda Miata RF Mazda Miata versus Ford Fiesta ST Mazda2 Mazda6 MazdaPro series McLaren McLaren 570GT McLaren 675LT McLaren MP4-12C Spider McLaren P1 McLaren P1 interior Mercedes Mercedes 4Matic Mercedes CLA Mercedes comic book Mercedes diesel pistons Mercedes GL Mercedes GLA Mercedes GLE Coupe Mercedes pickup trucks Mercedes van Mercedes-AMG Mercedes-AMG GT Mercedes-Benz 300SLR recreation Mercedes-Benz E-Class Mercedes-Benz furniture metal matrix composite brakes MG wrist watch Michael Horn Michael Schumacher Mike Hawthorn Mini Mini Clubman Mini Clubman ALL4 Mini Cooper S 4-door Mini Countryman Mini Coupe Mini Roadster Mini Vision Mitsubishi Monterey Mopar shaker hood Morgan EV3 multi-modal transportation muscle cars Mustang hybrid MyFord Touch NAIAS nanoslide coating NASA Mustang NASCAR NASCAR heating scandal new Prius New Shelby GT350 New York Auto Show Niki Lauda Nissan BladeGlider Nissan Leaf Nissan Pathfinder Nissan Rogue Nissan Skyline history Nissan Smart mirror Nissan titan Single Cab Nissan Versa Note Nnissan Quest Nurburgring Nurburgring Nordschleife OnStar FMV Opel GT Page Not Found Alerts Pebble Beach Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance Peter Wright Peugeot 108 Pininfarina Pininfarina Coke machine Pocket Classics police chases Pope Benedict XVI Porsche 911 Porsche 911 Turbo Porsche 917 Porsche 918 Spyder Porsche 919 steering wheel Porsche 988 Porsche Cars North America Porsche Cayman Porsche P1 EV Porsche Panamera powertrain technology Prius c Prius v PSA Group Quixx racing Ram Ram 1500 Ram ProMaster Ram Promaster City Range Rover rebuildable batteries Renault Alpine Renault F1 engine Renault Talisman Renault Twingo restomod Ricardo Engineering Rnage Rover Evoque Convertible road repair funds Roger Penske Rolls Royce Bespoke Rolls Royce SUV Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Ross Brawn Rush movie Saab safety technology Saleen S7 Sammy Hagar Santa SBU V3 Scion FR-S Scion iA and iM Scuderia Ferrari self-healing tires Sir Malcolm Campbell Siri smart Solid Oxide Fuel Cells spare tires Speed Speed Duel sport sedans Sportster Star Wars Steven Tyler Subaru BRZ Subaru Forester Subaru Impreza Suzuki GSX-R1000 Suzuki SX4 SYNC 3 tailgating Taurus SHO Team Lotus TechShop Tesla Model 3 The Aresenal of Democracy The Mitty The Virtual Collection Tim Richmond Tokyo Motor Show torque vectoring touchpad technology Tour de France Toyota Toyota 4Runner Toyota hybrids Toyota iRoad Toyota Prius c Toyota Sienna Premium Toyota Tacoma Toyota Tundra Toyota Venza Toyota VenzaMcLaren MP4-12C Tracks novel Triumph Speed Triple TRW TRW touchpad Turbulent Jet Ignition TVR U.S. Air Force Museum UAW Udvar-Hazy Center Ulysses S. Grant unionization Uniroyal tires vaporware vehicle restoration Vehreo fabric Visteon Volkswagen Volvo Volvo 40 series concepts Volvo Drive-E Volvo S60 R-Design Volvo XC90 VW VW Beetle Convertible VW Beetle Dune VW Beetle TDI VW Golf VW Golf R VW Golf SportWagen VW GTI VW Jetta GLI VW Jetta Hybrid VW MQB VW Passat TDI VW scandal VW Touareg TDI VW troubles winter driving Wirth Research Xcar video XPEL Yamaha Yamaha anime Yamaha sports car Zenos E10
Friday
Feb122016

February 2016

February 26, 2016: What do Pony cars and the Prius have in common? Nothing yet, but as fuel economy regulations tighten that will change. We take a look at why the next-generation Mustang and Camaro may go hybrid. Automotive supplier GKN is readying its own plug-and-play hybrid technology, including an axle design that could make driving a hybrid more fun. With the Geneva Auto Show just around the corner, automakers are leaking information about vehicles that will make their debut at the show. First up is a thoroughly revamped Bentley Mulsanne that adds an extended wheelbase model to the family. Next up is the Levante, the long-awaited SUV from  Maserati. It’s joined by an equally unconventional vehicle, the McLaren 570 GT. Developed to be an everyday/grand touring supercar, the 570GT is a hyper fast hatchback. Speed was also on the minds of the folks at Lotus who took out some weight, added some horsepower and torque, and created the Evora Sport 410. Mercedes did much the same thing, creating an all-alloy four-cylinder diesel for use in everything from vans to the S-Class. Infiniti, meanwhile, released a short animated film that outlines the highlights of its new 3.0-liter V6 turbo motor, while engineers at Nissan produced their own film on how they created self-parking office chairs. We evaluate Cadillac’s gargantuan Escalade to see if substance has finally caught up with style. And we compare and contrast two affordable sports cars, the Mazda MX-5 Miata and Scion FR-S to see which one comes out on top.

 

February 19, 2016: It is with great sadness that we report the death of our own Al Vinikour. After a lengthy battle with cancer, Al passed away peacefully in the presence of his wife and family. We extend our condolences to them as we think back on the life of a man who made this world a better and, at times, a thankfully less serious place. Click here to read our rememberance of a man who made this all fun.

 

February 12, 2016: Located in the heart of a major city, and within an hour of every local automaker and Tier 1 supplier, M1 Concourse is a different take on your typical automotive country club. We tour the facility with  the man behind this automotive experience, and find out what makes it unique. Ferrari’s replacement for the four-seat FF would be perfect for the M1 Concourse track, but its name is as awkward as the car is beautiful. Hagerty released its latest Hot List of future collectibles, and we add our two cents to theirs. Though they may not be future classics, the recent death of the Scion brand is not the shock it’s been made out to be. In fact, we argue it’s death was inevitable. Speaking of shocks, we look at Bjorn Lomborg’s analysis of EVs versus internal combustion-powered cars. The results are thought provoking. So is the latest product from Rand McNally, the people who brought you the road atlas. Kia gives a closer look at its HUV — Hybrid Utility Vehicle — while Nissan rebadges its Patrol SUV to replace its aging Armada full-size SUV. On the other side of that same coin, we drive the diminutive Chevy Trax crossover, and preview the updated 2017 model. And Al Vinikour tells us why children should not be “smoked”.

Friday
Jan152016

January 2016

January 29, 2016: FCA chairman Sergio Marchionne presented a revised business plan for the automaker, and confirmed that the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart will be replaced by crossovers. He also has big plans for Jeep, and new plans for Alfa. We assess the changes. Continuing with this theme, NASCAR announced the Chase format would extend to the Xfinity and Camping World series. But it’s the other change made to the truck series races that has us scratching our head. Recently, we had the opportunity to test the GMC Canyon and Toyota Tacoma, and spent some time in a Canyon diesel. We compare, contrast, and choose a winner. Nissan launched a raft of accessories for its Titan XD pickup, and we take a look at how you can personalize your Titan. Mini pulls the covers off the Clubman ALL4 station wagon, while Opel brings back a name from the past – GT – for a concept with seemingly little future. The same isn’t true for Ducati’s Scrambler concepts. These three were created by outside designers, and show how far you can stretch the entry-level bike. Goodwood’s Member’s Meeting brings ground effect F1 cars back to the track, while we tell how BRM almost beat everyone to the punch by nearly a decade. Also, Hyundai’s latest take on the Elantra goes live. We bring you the details along with a new feature that summarizes a vehicle in as pithy a manner as possible. Racers can look forward to a new ultralight throttle body setup matched to their engine, while GT350R buyers clamor for, and receive, a back seat kit for their two-seater track car. All this, plus Al Vinikour’s take on cockpit roominess.

 

January 15, 2016: As promised, we’re back with full coverage of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Hot on the heels of sales reports that broke volume records, the industry was ready for a celebration. However, a few storm clouds crossed the horizon, taking Jaguar, Land Rover, Mini and others off the show floor. Though last-minute substitutions were made, the show had a pall cast over it that only the most optimistic could ignore. Is this a portent of things to come, or will Detroit rally back? It’s too early to tell. A new survey of British drivers shows that demand for EVs may have peaked. With emissions legislation forcing automakers into the EV business, there may not be enough demand from buyers for the coming glut of electric vehicles. Finally, Al Vinikour takes an rather, uh, interesting look at drivers who follow their fellow motorists too closely.

Friday
Dec112015

December 2015

December 25, 2015: We are on vacation for the next few weeks, and will be live again with a report from Detroit’s North American International Auto Show in the New Year. In the interim, we’ve compiled a few past favorites for you to enjoy:

Al Vinikour did our first Lifestyle piece, a review of Steven Tyler’s autobiography. It’s a funny, heartfelt look at the aging rocker’s life, loves and addictions.

Our next item is a look at the Eagle Speedster, probably the most achingly beautiful – and expensive – Jaguar E-Type ever built.

The last of our Lifestyle picks is a perennial favorite: Andy Peace’s road worthy copy of the Maserati Tipo 250F F1 car. Powered by a BMW inline six, the “Masercopy” has to sit high on the dream list of every gear head.

We’ve also chosen an early Opinion & Analysis piece that looks back on how motorsport has changed, and not always for the better.

Next up is a look at the looming vehicle electrification process, and the deleterious effect it could have on water consumption, with little CO2 reduction. In comparison, gasoline and diesel look pretty darn good.

We close with a look at VW’s diesel scandal, and the real effect it might have on the environment, which is not much. Especially in light of the number of non-compliant cars being cut drastically, and the revelation that the vaunted MIT/Harvard “study” claiming the emissions from these cars will kill people was never presented for peer review.

On the technology front, one of the more interesting engines we’ve run across is Achates Power’s opposed-piston engine. The two-stroke motor is claimed to be capable of meeting Euro 6 and EPA 10 emission standard while returning fuel economy that’s 15% better on average.

Somewhat whimsically, our former Director of Web Development spent some time at Burger King and wondered why Pininfarina’s name was on the beverage dispenser. It’s an interesting story about the intersection of industrial design and fluid technology.

John Bereisa’s isn’t a household name. The father of the Chevy Volt, he has a lot to say about electric vehicles, electrified powertrains, and the global governmental push to force these technologies on the public and the industry before they are ready.

 

December 11, 2015: This week, Volkswagen gave journalists an exhaustive look inside its investigation of its diesel emissions scandal, and the changes being made within the company. We examine the plan. Porsche announced that its Mission E show car from Frankfurt is headed toward production, and pulled the wraps off the 2017 911 Turbo and Turbo S Coupe and Cabriolet prior to their launch in Detroit. Plus, the company revised the names, pricing, and powertrains of the Boxster and Cayman. Toyota has accomplished a lot with its New MC platform, but is the platform accomplished enough to support cars from Scion, Toyota and Lexus? Ducati Scrambler, a Ducati sub-brand, signed an agreement with Italia Independent, and creates both a new model and a line of sunglasses. Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz showed the new E-Class interior, and puts most homes to shame in the process. Hyundai previewed its Prius fighter, but goes one better. Lotus launched a new Exige, but left the U.S. out of the mix. Rolls-Royce showed a hand-built, designer cocktail hamper that brings a whole new meaning to “limited edition” while Al Vinikour pontificates about car care and parental pride.

Friday
Nov132015

November 2015

November 26, 2015: This week’s issue is a day early due to the Thanksgiving holiday, and gives you something to read while you’re waiting for second helpings. First up is a surprising comparison of two Toyota hybrid sedans, the Camry and Avalon. Formerly the poster child for old age, the Avalon is now a slick four-door with luxury and style. Is it enough to see off the mechanically identical Camry? Motorcycle racers may appreciate this. Bell has introduced a new Pro Star helmet that is more than 20% lighter than other carbon fiber lids. Staying with motorcycles for the moment, Suzuki recently showed a new GSX-R1000 concept, a revised SV650, and an addition to the VanVan line. BMW channels Sammy Hagar and Montrose with its C 650 scooters. Then it ties up with an Indian company to build a new single-cylinder entry in the sub-500 cc. class. On the technology side of the street, Dan Gurney’s Mode Cancelling 4 Stroke engine may be laid out for motorcycle use, but it has many other potential applications. VW brings 3D glasses into its Wolfsburg assembly plant. Land Rover builds a bridge of paper, then drives over it. DuPont creates a new line of electronic inks for making circuits that are literally printed. Mercedes-AMG shifts production of its twin-turbo V12 in order to keep up with demand. And just before he entered a turkey-induced coma, our own Al Vinikour highlighted the one automotive technology he loves the most, while wondering why it’s not standard equipment across the industry.

 

November 13, 2015: There’s a lot to cover this week, so let’s get right to it. First up is a First Run review of the Lexus RX 350 and RX 450h. Gone are the conservative luxury  crossovers of yore, replaced by a pair of enthusiastically styled vehicles with more power, F Sport tech and handsome interiors. Is it enough to keep current buyers happy while attracting new ones? Meanwhile, Cadillac released some information about its replacement for the SRX, the XT5. Does it have what it takes to break through the clutter and challenge the Lexus RX? For that matter, can either claim the sheer impact of Range Rover’s drop top Evoque? Completing the crossover coverage, we take a look at Toyota’s revisions to the RAV4, which includes a new hybrid model and sportier SE. On the car side, our pal and Motorway America editor Jim Meachen brings us his review of the 2016 Honda Civic. Then we compare three separate VW Golf models to see how they stack up against one another and the competition. Chris Sawyer recounts his first encounter with the Saleen S7 as the remnants of that program go up on the auction block. At the recent SEMA show, Brembo introduced a pair of wild new caliper designs created for large cars and light trucks. We take a look at Controlled Power Technology’s new low-cost hybrid system, which promises large fuel economy increases. We’ve given Al Vinikour the week off, but added a new grouping of Internet stories worthy of mention, and round up some of the more interesting and relevant odds and ends.