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First Drive: 2017 Acura NSX

More than the sum of its numbers.

by on Mar.14, 2016

A fully loaded NSX will nip $210,000.

Both feet planted firmly onto the floor, the engine revs up and holds, a resonant exhaust note echoing through the cabin.  Launch Control ready, I lift my foot off the brake and am rewarded with a neck-snapping lurch that even an aircraft carrier pilot could appreciate. A mixture of gasoline, adrenaline and G forces narrow my vision as we race down the track, past 60, 80, 100 mph, before finally slamming on the brakes again.

After a series of missteps and delays, the Acura NSX is back, and our first drive reveals it was well worth the wait. In an era of mind-boggling horsepower and performance numbers, the new two-seater is neither the fastest, nor most powerful, sports car on the market, but its exotic looks, breakthrough hybrid drivetrain and uncanny ride and handling make the 2017 Acura NSX a serious contender in a crowded market.

Performance News!

And with its combination of hybrid power and all-wheel-drive, the new NSX is a surprisingly easy car to handle, something that could even make it a daily driver for some buyers.

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First Drive: 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider

Getting caught in its web.

by on Jun.12, 2015

Fun Factor 9.5. Practicality 2.

The narrow blacktop twists and turns, rises and falls. It plunges into dense, dark stands of redwood, only to burst back out into fields of straw drying to gold in the bright California sun. The back stretch of Carmel Valley Road can stretch the limits for most drivers, and most automobiles – which makes it the perfect place to take the new 2016 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider for its first drive.

It’s been barely a year since the Italian automaker returned to the U.S., after a two decade absence, with the 4C Coupe. The little sports car is an eye-catcher, with the over-the-top curves of its SMC body enveloping an ultra-light carbon fiber platform.

Reviews You Can Trust!

Now, the 4C is going topless, and we jumped at the opportunity to test it out during a long drive along the awe-inspiring Big Sur coastline, on the challenging Laguna Seca race track, and then onto the back roads of Monterey County.

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First Drive: 2016 Mazda Miata

Forward into the past.

by on Jun.01, 2015

The 2016 Mazda Miata picks up the basic cues of the original MX-5 without any sense of retro.

As a child of the ‘60s, I grew up in an era when anyone looking to put a little fun in their driving had really just two choices: a Detroit muscle car or a British sports car. Either way, you knew you’d be spending plenty of weekends tinkering and tweaking to keep your wheels running. Friends with a Triumph Spitfire or MGB often would have two, one serving as a parts donor.

No surprise, then, that by the late 1980s those British 2-seaters had largely vanished from our shores, leaving a gap that was unexpectedly filled by a quirky little Japanese car company named Mazda. Best known for the rotary-powered RX-7 and an assortment of little economy cars, the Hiroshima-based automaker took a bold chance on trying something completely different, dubbing its new offering the Miata.

Review You Can Trust!

These days, It’s known by the slightly longer name, the MX-5 Miata, but whatever you choose to call it, our first drive in the all-new 2016 roadster brings to mind the way we described the first Miata a quarter-century ago: the best British sports car the Japanese have ever built.

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Nudging 253 mph in a Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport

From 0 to jail cell in less than three seconds.

by on Jun.14, 2013

A Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport at rest.

I’ve driven some really great cars in my lifetime.  Ferraris, Bentleys, Porsches, Mercedes – you name it, and chances are I’ve driven it.  That’s the life of an automotive journalist. But my head is still spinning and my heart is still pounding from a recent drive in what can be considered to the ultimate automobile, the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport.

It certainly is one of the most expensive, pushing $2 million.  And among the most powerful, nudging up towards 1,200 horsepower. And the fastest, pushing to speeds at which large jetliners would long be airborne. And the most exclusive, with production measured in the tens, not tens of thousands.

News from a Source You Can Trust!

The Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport is one of those rarities which, when given a chance you make sure to get behind the wheel.  But first, a little history.

The French car company with the Italian name (and now owned by German car company Volkswagen) was founded in 1909 by Ettore Bugatti.  Bugatti built some of the world’s most beautiful and successful cars, often raced against his main nemesis, Bentley.

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First Drive: Hyundai Veloster

Quirky little three-door’s fast styling hides fuel sipper underneath.

by on Jan.06, 2012

The Hyundai Veloster looks like a sports car and handles like a sports car, but it sips fuel like an econobox.

Where is it written that fuel efficiency has to mean boring? Why does saving money at the gas station mean conforming to normal? Why can’t a fuel sipper also be fun to drive?

Hyundai’s product planners must have asked themselves those questions. And they decided to say “no” to convention.

A Little Automotive Weirdness!

How else to explain this little bit of weirdness that Hyundai calls the Veloster? Even the name is a weird. The guys at the local Salvation Army looked at the back – with its very noticeable Veloster nameplate – and still asked what it was. Velociter? Velociraptor? And it has three doors. Not two doors and a hatch, but three actual doors. More on that later.

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