July 27, 2012: Chris Sawyer is back from Atlanta where he drove the 2013 Cadillac ATS across the back roads and up and down the roller coaster that is Atlanta Motorsport Park. Read what he has to say about the car, the track and the eye-opening drive. While Sawyer was in Georgia, Al Vinikour was driving through New Mexico in Mercedes’ new GL-Class SUV. Al put it through its paces, and was pleasantly surprised by the technology — and the fold-flat second-and third-row seats. Having lived through the 1980s, we’ve heard of nose candy, but hose candy? See what it is and how it can dress up under the hood of your 1965-1969 Mustang. If that’s not enough, perhaps a little noise is in order? Check out a new cat-back exhaust system for 2012 Dodge Challengers from the folks at CORSA. Ever wonder where the idea for airbags came from and where the technology is going? We take a look at the past, present and future of inflatable restraints. Finally, Al takes issue with parents who lock their kids in the car on hot days. It’s not a pleasant subject, nor does Al mince words, but he wonders if there isn’t a technology that could prevent future tragedies like this from occurring.
July 20, 2012: Recently Al and Chris were at a drive event for the Hyundai Veloster Turbo, Elantra Coupe and Elantra GT. That’s when the idea hit: Why not share a byline and write a Point/Counterpoint on the Elantra models? (Al covered the Veloster Turbo in an earlier issue.) Though we’re not sure Sawyer will ever agree to do this again, we think you’ll find the resulting article very enjoyable. Elsewhere, the Virtual Rider, Scott Bowles, is back, this time with a review of Ducati’s Monster 796. And Al puts forward a theory about what it really takes for a foreign automaker to be successful in the U.S. market.
July 13, 2012: McLaren introduces a retractable hardtop version of the MP4-12C. We take a closer look. The Rumor Mill is back and filled with information, from Renault’s potential move into the upper luxury market to the truth behind the DeltaWing to Toyota’s craziest project yet. The Editor reviews Griff Borgeson’s seminal work on the early years of the American race car, and comes away impressed by the men, the machines and the book. Husqvarna introduces a pair of single-cylinder bikes for both on- and off-road. We give you the details. Finally, Al is reminded about his age, and proceeds to prove that he’s forgotten more than most young people remember — or ever knew!
July 4, 2012: With both freedom and time becoming more precious every day, the staff of The Virtual Driver are taking this week off to catch up with friends and family, and to appreciate the freedoms that often are taken for granted.