Autos

From Roadsters to Rocketships at the Indy 500

This year, for the first time ever, the Indianapolis 500, The Greatest Spectacle in Racing, will not be held in the month of May. Due to the global health crisis, Indy race fans will have to wait until Sunday, August 23, to hear the sound of Honda and Chevrolet race engines shrieking at 230 mph around the fabled 2.5-mile track. They like their tradition at Indy, from the yard of bricks at the finish line that is the only remnant of the surface Ray Harroun’s Marmon Wasp rumbled over en route to victory in the very first 500 in 1911, to the rousing rendition of Back Home in Indiana that sets the stage for the most famous command in racing: “Start your engines!” And that’s what makes the Indy 500s held from 1963 through 1968 the most fascinating of them all. See all 46...

Mazda’s RX-Vision GT3 Is the Off-Limits Rotary Sports Car You Can Now Drive in Gran Turismo

The Mazda RX-Vision concept is just too good a design to exist merely as a static object, a concept car without a future out on the road. Its long nose and dramatically swept-back cabin are simply begging to be viewed in motion. If you’ve been waiting for the day this low-slung sculpture on wheels becomes fire-breathing, rotary-powered, roadgoing thing, that day is here. Well, virtually at least. The Mazda RX-Vision GT3 Concept is now downloadable and playable in Gran Turismo Sport on PS4, and it is awesome. The Mazda RX-Vision GT3 Concept takes the already-hot RX-Vision’s original design and reimagines it as a full-blown race car (hence the “GT3” in the name). The fenders now walk that fine line between cartoonishly wide and GT racer flared wheel perfection. The RX...

Future Cars: 2021 and Beyond

They may be out of favor right now, but traditional three-box cars will never go away. To make sure, automakers around the world are pouring enormous resources into design and engineering to keep sedans, coupes, and convertibles as interesting and as compelling as possible. Whether they’re built for fun, luxury, a bit of both, or just to get you where you need to go, the cars of the near future will offer more style and technology than ever as they try to woo you away from joining the SUV herd. Cadillac Celestiq See all 13 photos What’s New: The Celestiq is a massive four-door, four-passenger, full-size electric car with big wheels and a hatch instead of a trunk. It will be a hand-built grand tourer with tons of executive-style space in the very wide back seat. A tinted glass r...

More Mini Prices: 2020 Mini Countryman Adds Cheaper Oxford Edition Trim

The Mini Hardtop Oxford Edition brings some of the model’s most desirable features to a low-cost trim. Now, Mini is offering the value-oriented package on the Countryman, and it drops the crossover‘s entry price by a considerable amount. Prior to the introduction of the Oxford Edition, an entry-level Countryman started at $29,250. The new trim, however, brings the crossover’s price of admission down to $26,750. The Oxford Edition is available in both Cooper and Cooper All4 variants. The latter includes all-wheel drive and raises the cost of entry to $28,750. See all 31 photos Countryman Oxford Editions get all the standard equipment of the Classic trim, including a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment display, leatherette upholstery, rear parking sensors, and a panoramic sun...

What’s New On the 2020 Mazda CX-9?

The current-generation Mazda CX-9 has been around since 2016, and it represented a critical step forward for the automaker. Based on the SkyActiv platform, Mazda’s midsize crossover got a polished look thanks to the new Kodo design language, making it more premium inside and out. Like with all Mazdas, the CX-9 is one of the best-driving SUVs in its segment thanks to its punchy turbocharged engine and well-tuned transmission. For the 2020 model year, the CX-9 got a midcycle refresh, and that includes important updates to its interior, as well as an increase in torque. More Videos Need to Know: Mazda CX-9 Signature 2015 LA Auto Show Mazda CX-9 First Test: 2019 Mazda3 From the Pressroom: the 2019 Mazda CX-5 2019 Hot Wheels™ Legends Tour: Charlotte 5 Cool Things: the All-New 2020 ...

Wait, Kramer Drove an Experimental Chevrolet on “Seinfeld”?

It’s no secret that Jerry Seinfeld is a car enthusiast. In fact, his namesake television show includes numerous nods to his automotive interests: Jerry’s fridge features a Skip Barber Racing School magnet; posters of Porsches line the walls of his apartment; and Kramer, Jerry’s across-the-hall neighbor, drives an experimental 1973 Chevrolet Impala. Yes, Kramer’s green Impala—the car that famously dons the license plate “ASSMAN” in the Seinfeld episode “The Fusilli Jerry“—is no ordinary Chevy, but one of 1,000 1973 Impalas that General Motors furnished with an experimental front airbag system dubbed the Air Cushion Restraint System (ACRS). How do we know? Well, take a look at the car’s interior in episodes such as “The Race” ...

Rolls-Royce Sells a Handbuilt Toy Cullinan SUV for $17,100 (Before Extras!)

Ever since long-term paramour Arbitrage Ken traded his plastic-fantastic Dreamvette for a bespoke Roll-Royce Phantom several years back, Bel-Air Barbie has found herself listless and indecisive when scanning her fleet of 1:8-scale conveyances. “Should I take the Trademark licensed Volkswagen New Beetle or Fiat 500? I clearly can’t be seen in one of those license-dodging quasi-brand cars, like the vaguely Jag F-Type ‘Convertible Vehicle’ or the almost-Wrangler ‘Off-Road Vehicle!'” And next to Ken’s car, that hoary pink plastic Corniche just won’t do. So, what about a Cullinan SUV? See all 9 photos Rolls-Royce making Bel Air Barbie’s dreams come true, with a 1:8-scale Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUV built to the same exacting standards as Arbitr...

Ferrari SF90 Stradale to Star in Remake of Classic Outlaw Driving Film

You probably already know the film C’était un Rendez-Vous (“It Was a Date”), which has been passed around online forever—and via videotapes for years before that. There’s zero dialogue, the car is never shown, and the plot is nonexistent. But it’s a legend, shot illicitly in 1976 by Claude Lelouch on the open but uncrowded streets of Paris early in the morning at high speed in order to arrive on Monmartre while his girlfriend walks up the stairs for a hug. Allegedly, he drove his own Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9, but the soundtrack applied is quite obviously a different car—it’s actually a Ferrari 275GTB. Like Climb Dance, a film about Ari Vatanen’s blast up Pikes Peak in a Peugeot, or Faszination am Nürburgring, RUF’s iconic film about its ...

What Is a Targa? A Very Brief History of an Automotive Staple

In the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s, the automotive landscape was awash with targa-top cars. Conventional convertibles required heavy mechanisms (or worse, motors or hydraulics) to work and got rid of a major structural component—ya know, the roof. That in turn sapped performance from sports cars by making them less rigid, heavier, and slower. There were also very real fears among automakers that the U.S. government would ban convertibles in the name of rollover safety in the late ’60s—even though that never happened, the automakers freaked. In fact, there were zero American convertibles built from 1976 to 1981. A solution for all of these problems was to ditch the folding fabric roof of a convertible altogether and replace it with a removable panel mounted to a sturdy roll hoop...

2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Price Commands a Premium

The 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is greatly improved from its predecessor. Not only does it boast a quiet ride and a tech-happy interior, but it’s also one of the most fuel-efficient sedans around. Hyundai has released prices ahead of the sedan’s release this June, and they’re pretty reasonable. The 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Blue starts at $28,725. At this price, the base Sonata Hybrid is more expensive than the base Honda Accord Hybrid ($26,575), but less expensive than the base Toyota Camry Hybrid ($29,385). The Sonata Hybrid carries a $4,150 price premium over the base gas-only Sonata. See all 37 photos While SEL models are priced from $30,875, you’ll pay $36,275 for a top-tier Sonata Hybrid Limited. In our recent Sonata Hybrid interior review, we praised the Limi...

2020 Honda Civic Type R First Drive Review: Now Even Sharper

Since its 2017 debut, 13,000 individually numbered Honda Civic Type Rs have found their way into enthusiasts’ embraces. We lived with a 2018 “CTR” for a year and didn’t want to give it back. A mild update occurred in 2019, but for 2020, substantive changes make our favorite hot hatch even better. To answer your first question: “Does the 2020 Civic Type R get a boost in power?” No, the 2.0-liter turbo-four makes the same 306 horsepower and 295 lb-ft, which is plenty. Yet the no-options singular-trim CTR gets a modest $695 price increase over last year, but that nets a host of hard- and software upgrades and an additional, exclusive Boost Blue paint job. Magic Carpet: the 2020 Civic Type R’s adaptive dampers See all 89 photos Honda reports that the s...

Michigan Flooding Destroys Local Fiero Repair Shop

It hurts to see something like this. From all reports, Fieros Forever was a work of love by a man named Tim Evans, and his specialty shop worked on, preserved, and displayed Pontiac’s sporty little mid-engined runabout. The shop, located in Midland, Michigan, was struck by floodwaters that were released when the Edenville Dam failed during immense rainfall this month. The floodwaters then crested the Sanford Dam, upstream on the Tittabawassee River from Midland, where Fieros Forever is located. As you can see, the result is heartbreaking. Of course, these are cars, which can—given time and money—be repaired. The human cost of the flooding will be harder to fix than a handful of Pontiacs. But what happened to this Fiero shop is just a slice of the unfolding tragedy in the Tittabawasse...