Driving a different car every week tends to have a disorienting effect – the way stalks function, pedals are spaced, accessories are controlled and even how the fundamentals like steering, ...
Sony has released the first trailer for their upcoming Gran Turismo 6 game, which will be released for the Playstation3 later this year. They haven’t released a ton of details, but we hope that this iteration goes back to the core of what made Gran Turismo such a great game in the first place. Gran Turismo 5 fell far short by trying to be too many things to too many people. Less gimmicks, more racing. More details to come.
Since its introduction, Toyota’s Prius has strived to be many things to many drivers – from fleet workhorse for taxi operators, to buck-stretching commuter car for normal working slobs, to eco status symbol for the planet-savvy or those who just aspire to be. Now, with the Plug-in Hybrid model, the Prius aspires to be…a Chevy Volt. Well, not really, but that’s the general concept: provide a full electric option for owners that have access to a wall plug, and a gasoline motor for everyone else. I spent a week with one to see how it fared in everyday commuting and city travel, and to see whether a plug-in hybrid is any use at all to a condo/apartment dweller without regular access to a garage wall outlet.
Photos/Words – Jennifer Stamps
Often called the Formula 1 series of motorcycle racing, the MotoGP series buzzed its way through Austin last week at Circuit of the Americas with the Redd Bull Grand Prix of the Americas. With newly (re)painted stars adorning the track, the fantastic new track welcomed MotoGP and its fans with open arms. To my surprise, the house was packed, with an estimated 131,000 people in attendance over the weekend. Race day alone drew a crowd of more than 61,000 eager and excited fans from all over the world, beating COTA’s own attendance estimates.
Lexus more or less invented the luxury crossover segment when it introduced the RX300 to the U.S. back in 1998, and has dominated the segment ever since. Pretty much every other luxury or near-luxury brand has rushed in to try to lift the sales crown off the RX’s head, with limited success. One could argue that the reason for Lexus’ success in the segment has been its measured, even restrained approach to comprehensively updating the RX. Only now in its third generation in as many different decades, the 2013 RX nonetheless manages to feel as fresh and competitive as ever. We spent a week with the F-Sport variant of the RX line, introduced last year, to see how well the luxury end of the crossover segment is represented in Lexus’ perennial sales champ.
Audi has announced a new long-tail variant of the hybrid R18 e-tron quattro, which will make its racing debut at the Spa 6 Hours on May 4th. Spa will be the first race in which Audi will be entering three R18 e-tron quattro cars, with two out of the three being the standard R18 e-tron quattro. Audi Sport Team Joest is using Spa as preparation for the 90th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans which will be held on June 22nd and 23rd.
The winning team of the WEC opening round at Silverstone, Loïc Duval/Tom Kristensen/Allan McNish, as well as the current WEC and 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans champions, Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer will pilot the standard e-tron quattros. The third Audi R18 e-tron quattro driven by the team of Marc Gené/Lucas di Grassi/Oliver Jarvis, is fitted with a new aerodynamic package which Audi say has been optimized for high speed tracks such as Le Mans’ Circuit de la Sarthe.
Rather than focusing on overall lap times, Audi Sport will analyze time differences between the cars on a sector by sector basis. This data will be reviewed to better prepare the team for Le Mans.
The Spa 6 Hours can be watched in its entirety on audi-liveracing.com on May 4th.
As much as we’d all like to believe that the trail-riding, rock-hopping, parked-in-the-pine-needles-down-by-some-deserted-lake image of “sport utility vehicles” we used to hold wasn’t firmly in the rearview mirror, reality seems destined to prove the contrary. In fact, typing out “sport utility vehicle” made me realize how long it’s been since I’ve even heard the term. The class has evolved, and at the same time spawned enough of its own orders, families, genera and species to muddy our roads with so many two-box designs that the notion of buying a sedan or coupe seems almost quaint by comparison. The common vernacular now points to “crossover” or “CUV” being the de rigeur label we associate with pavement-bound mall-roaders, and beyond that lies any number of different marketing terms fabricated by the automakers to splash up their wares.
Dodge’s Dart takes a rare position in the small car marketplace in which it plays – it seeks to win its customer’s hearts rather than their minds. It’d be easy for your head to dismiss the Dart based purely on its on-paper specs – particularly the trim level we’re driving, which is saddled with the smallest-displacement engine in its class (1.4L) and the highest curb weight – nearly 3,300 pounds on our tester. Hardly the combination car guy dreams are made of. Although Dodge couldn’t return the bundle parent company Fiat left on their doorstep – the chassis and turbo powertrain are hand-me-downs from the Alfa Giulietta–they decided to imbue the Dart with enough personality to overcome its spec sheet deficiencies instead.