Bangle was a visionary, but Bangle's ideas worked far better in concept than as translated to production. If the 6-Series had looked like the Z9 concept it was based on, that would have been a lasting beauty. As it is, the E63 looks great from the front three-quarter view, but 30 years from now we'll still be saying… » 11/28/14 12:54pm Today 12:54pm

The current Z4 is remarkably wooden and disconnected-feeling to drive, and not as nimble as you think it should be. The steering doesn't carry as much information as you'd like, less than an E90 and way less than prior-gen Boxster (but admittedly more than the current Boxster/Cayman, which is like holding a giant… » 11/26/14 3:43pm Wednesday 3:43pm

OK, Corvette experts: It looks like he has traction control off at the launch, but it sounds like electronics saved him from looping it entirely after the tank-slapper. Is this how Corvette chassis computers work nowadays? » 11/26/14 2:33pm Wednesday 2:33pm

Well, last year I bought a Volvo white-block with a seized water pump that had taken out the timing belt and the valves. It happens to foreign cars, too. This Volvo had 196k miles on it, so prior owners got their money's worth.

The lesson, I think, is if you're buying a non-running "mechanics' special," pull the spark… » 11/25/14 4:58pm Tuesday 4:58pm

Spec Miata rules require a hardtop roof, a window net, and a net down the center of the car as well. This would have been a safer situation if this UK series ran by similar rules. But there is the potential for injury in any wheel to wheel racing - there's a reason why they call it "Spec Piñata." » 11/24/14 10:32pm Monday 10:32pm

Well, now there's legit technology for that: http://www.onbeep.com

I'm going to try it out in our next Lemons race. FRS radios always seem to lose signal just when you need them, and the big RF headsets cost much bucks. The OnBeep device may be the best of both worlds. » 11/24/14 8:27pm Monday 8:27pm

This is basically exactly what my local Mercedes dealer tells me. The number of people who send their assistant/bodyguard/accountant/whatever down to the Mercedes dealer to "get the best one, whatever that is," is not large, but it's large enough to swoop up every single S65, with dealer additional markup included and… » 11/24/14 6:40pm Monday 6:40pm

+1 on this. I have a close neighbor who runs a livery service with several GMT900 Escalades and Suburbans, and they get over 200k miles of brutal urban stop-and-go with minimal maintenance. They'll tow long distances without complaint, too, and they accelerate and handle far better than anything that size should. It… » 11/23/14 1:02pm Sunday 1:02pm

Heads up re: rules for convertibles. That Boxster may not be eligible because its roll bar is (1) too low, and (2) not a 4-point bar. All the organizations have their own rules about roll bars on convertibles; some will allow a stock Boxster, but many won't. Some tracks impose more stringent rules, too: That red… » 11/20/14 11:01pm 11/20/14 11:01pm

There's going to be some sort of pulled punch like this: "The ATS is the rorty funhouse ride you'd expect from the company that built the Corvette. All of our drivers said it was the one they'd prefer for a spirited drive on a great road, and probably the one they'd pay their own money for if magazine publishing paid… » 11/20/14 8:35pm 11/20/14 8:35pm

Magnetic ride control + manual transmission + fancy diff = awesome to drive, most likely. But I love the look of the base ATS coupe, and this craziness going on up front makes the V look a lot less tasteful to me. I do not need my daily driver to look like a Gundam robot to prove that it's fast. That rear spoiler is… » 11/19/14 4:20am 11/19/14 4:20am

What would the regulation try to optimize for? If we're trying to clean up the air and also reduce fossil fuel consumption, then it seems to me that the EU regs, which tax based on CO2 emissions and also put a tax per liter on gas, are correctly targeted. There's wide variability of both fuel consumption and emissions… » 11/19/14 1:14am 11/19/14 1:14am