• 2015 Subaru WRX STI, the boy racer grown up: Motoramic Drives

    Subaru has been on a quest for a more buttoned up WRX STI, and the all-new 2015 model not only succeeds, but also delivers world-class rally-bred performance that has defined the brand.

  • 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA 45 AMG, the lux hot hatch: Motoramic Drives

    When Europe turns to winter, we testers who live here start getting invitations to go tear across various swathes of rural Spain, and on Spanish tracks, in cars that are entirely too fast and flashy for either a journalist’s budget or the evening church social. I’ve tried to transport a large hot…

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  • 2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 S, lettered excess: Motoramic Drives

    I’m not really sure why the term “stretching its legs” was ever applied to cars — cars don’t have legs—but, for lack of a better term, I guess, that’s what my co-driver and I were doing with the Bentley’s new 521-hp Continental GT V8 S as we bombed down a lonely California highway between the…

  • 2014 Mini Cooper, the half-size BMW: Motoramic Drives

    One of the best brand launches ever was of the new Mini back in September 2000 at the fancy Paris Motor Show. That situation was so potentially delicate and could have fallen flat on its pudgy cute face. But BMW Group nailed it and, to date, over 2.5 million Minis have been delivered to an [...]

  • Nissan 370Z Nismo is a boy racer with a grown-up price: Motoramic Drives

    Considering the motorsports pedigree of Nismo, which includes racing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the Batman-inspired DeltaWing, Nissan’s performance arm never enjoyed the same mainstream respect as Mercedes-Benz’s AMG or BMW’s M division. And no wonder: Instead of producing sports cars on…

  • 2015 Kia K900, a grand bargain: Motoramic Drives

    There are two things everyone should take away from this review: The 2015 Kia K900 is a true luxury car, and yes, it is a Kia. And no, those two things are not mutually exclusive. The big K900 sedan is the most opulent car Kia has ever built. It’s essentially an Americanized version of the [...]

  • 2015 BMW 2 Series, proving size matters: Motoramic Drives

    BMW’s "New Class," a line of small cars produced between 1962 and 1977, included charmers like the 1500 and iconic 2002. But as cars began to grow in size, just like our nation's waist size, it wasn’t until seven years ago that we saw the return of the small Bimmer stateside in the form of [...]

  • 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C, a lusty Italian: Motoramic Drives

    Italians always notice a unique something about a car. Kids to grandmothers turn, point, and make comments. Seeing as the car this day was the new Alfa Romeo 4C coupe, they had every good excuse to come gather round whenever I stopped to pose in some piazza. The 4C (pronounced “kwah-troh chee” by…

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  • 2015 Subaru WRX, the sharper tool: Motoramic Drives

    There are cool cars, and then there are cult cars. Cool cars — like, say, the Volkswagen GTI — are admired by the masses. Cult cars are loved — obsessed over, really — by a fanatical few. And as far as cult cars go, few can top the Subaru Impreza WRX. Crafted from the econocar [...]

  • 2014 Chevrolet SS, mixing with the best: Motoramic Drives

    The last time Chevrolet sold a proper rear-wheel drive sports sedan was the Impala SS, 17 years ago. But back in February, Mark Reuss, head of General Motors North America, unveiled a new Chevy sports sedan – one with rear-wheel drive, sensible rear seating and a 6.2-liter Corvette V-8 that boasts…

  • 2014 McLaren P1, driven to the limit and beyond: Motoramic Drives

    McLaren has only just begun shipping the first of its 375 P1 hyper cars, each a 903-hp plug-in hybrid costing $1.15 million, billed as a successor to the McLaren F1, one of the greatest supercars of all time. Getting a chance to drive one is a big deal; McLaren has let only a few select

  • 2014 Nissan Rogue, thinking things through: Motoramic Drives

    Let’s face it: Compact sport utilities generate as much excitement as a DMV appointment line. It is a highly functional yet aesthetically challenged suite of vehicles — the overalls of the automotive world. But it is also massive, shifting some 1.8 million units last year, with growth of 6.5…

  • 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder, the $1 million green monster: Motoramic Drives

    It's the dawn of a new age of supercars. That’s the drama I sensed as I made the various connections to Valencia, Spain, and the off-season test circuit used by Formula 1 squads where I would drive the Porsche 918 Spyder. It's the first of an evil trio of wild exoticars emerging from Europe in

  • 2014 Aston Martin Vantage V12 S and Vanquish Volante: Motoramic Drives

    Let’s set the record straight on a couple of old saws about Aston Martin, the storied British marque that has been rather explosively blowing out the candles on its 100th birthday cake this year with a wholesale refresh of its entire array of sultry coupes, convertibles, and sedans. First, we would…

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  • Volkswagen Design Vision GTI, a 503-hp fantasy: Motoramic Drives

    As car enthusiasts, we don’t need much cajoling to get behind the wheel of Volkswagen’s charismatic GTI, a car that VW has more or less perfected over three decades. With its turbocharged four-cylinder engine, flawless transmissions, and delicious handling, VW’s perennial hot hatch puts an…

  • 2015 Audi A3 e-tron, plug-in wagons ho: Motoramic Drives

    This car you see is clearly a new-generation Audi A3 Sportback. Yawn. But look closer and you’ll see the fancy decals that set this Sportback apart from the usual Bavarian five-door herd. “E-tron” is Audi’s sub-brand for all plug-in electric hybrids, and this A3 Sportback e-tron will be the first…

  • 2014 Cadillac ELR, the electric luxury mashup: Motoramic Drives

    Pop music inevitably leaves older generations behind, but I find myself enjoying more of it lately through mashups, those unauthorized remixes that feature, say, Snow Patrol playing with Sting, or show that Taylor Swift's breakup lyrics fit perfectly within Weezer's breakup power chords. The best…

  • 2014 SRT Viper TA, when too much is just enough: Motoramic Drives

    Readying for action at the Willow Springs racetrack in Rosamond, Calif., the message from SRT, Chrysler’s performance arm responsible for the fearsome Viper, was simple: “We’re not trying to compete with the Corvette.” It seemed ironic; given the track-focused Viper TA was rushed into production…

  • 2014 Honda CR-Z, seeking a wilder mild hybrid: Motoramic Drives

    I’ve always loved what the CR-X stood for: a nimble economy car that’s all smiles when squealing the tires at the speed limit. So when I first drove the hybrid CR-Z from 2011, it felt like a betrayal of its predecessor; a close cousin of the gutless Honda Insight, it neither offered the sprightly…

  • Ferrari 458 Speciale, the king of speed: Motoramic Drives

    Creating an encore to the Ferrari 458 Italia is like trying to blow U2 off a stadium stage: It’s one tough act to follow. But rocketing the new 458 Speciale around Ferrari’s historic Fiorano track in Maranello, Italy, it’s clear that company engineers have a $298,000 triumph on their hands. They’ve…

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