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This Sunday, the 103rd Indianapolis 500 will be contested by 33 nearly identical cars. It’s a derby of conventional wisdom vs. wise conventionality, combined with restrictive rules and mandated equipment. In many ways, that’s for the good; it maximizes the role of both driver talent and pure luck. But I miss the cheating.

Cheating not in the sense of breaking the rules, but in undermining them. Finding a loophole and keeping the nefarious plans quiet until the moment it’s sprung upon the unsuspecting competition, after it’s too late for them to do anything about it. Something so sneaky and underhanded that, even going in, you know it’s going to be banned immediately after the race. And 25 years ago, Roger Penske, Mercedes-Benz, and Ilmor Engineering found and exploited the most gaping loophole in the history of the race.

It was, of course, the infamous purpose-built Mercedes-Ilmor 500I pushrod V-8 engine that dominated the 1994 Indianapolis [...]

By meteorological reckoning, the official first day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere generally lands in the month of June. Here in the heartland, however, the season kicks off with Memorial Day weekend and the Indianapolis 500. The 103rd running of the Indy 500 is scheduled for Sunday, May 26, 2019 (Monday is the rain date). And while the action at the Brickyard offers more than enough incentive for most to make the trip, the Hoosier State also offers numerous automotive and offbeat roadside attractions worthy of a look. To help you plan your trip, we’ve gathered 11 of our favorites here for your consideration.

Dallara IndyCar Factory

Address: 1201 Main Street, Speedway
Distance from IMS: Less than one mile

[map]

Located less than a mile from the Brickyard, the Dallara IndyCar Factory is a perfect stop for race fans who don’t wish to stray [...]

Mustang or Camaro? Z4 or Supra? 3 Series or C-Class? With tough competition in the sports car segment, consumers have plenty of options to choose from. But how do you know if you’re making a smart financial decision? Our partners at IntelliChoice have made the following recommendations on sports cars for 2019.

IntelliChoice analyzes five-year ownership costs, taking into consideration depreciation, maintenance, repairs, state fees, financing, fuel, and insurance. The vehicles with the lowest cost of ownership in their segment are ranked the highest.

Are you looking for the sports cars with the best value? Here are some award-winning options.

Read about more IntelliChoice Best Overall Value Winners here:
  • Which Trucks Are the Best Values?
  • 2019 IntelliChoice Awards Best Family Cars
  • 2019 IntelliChoice Best Overall Value Awards
  • 2019 Best Overall Value Awards from IntelliChoice
  • 2019 Best Overall Value SUV Winners

Ford Mustang GT Coupe—Best Overall Value Performance Car

 

The Ford [...]

UPDATE 5/23/19: The Cadillac CT4 will make its official debut May 30, and it will first be shown in CT4-V form. This high-performance version of the new compact sports sedan should either be powered by the ATS-V’s twin-turbo 3.6-liter V-6, or by a version of the twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 found in the CT5 and CT6 sedans.

What It Is: Cadillac’s new CT4 compact sedan, the replacement for the aging ATS. Like its counterpart, the CTS-replacing CT5 sedan, the CT4 will be smaller than the car it supplants in the Cadillac lineup. These spy photos are our first look at the car, and even though it is still covered in heavy camouflage (including a fake Dodge Charger–like taillight panel), we can see an attractive greenhouse, proportions similar to those of the ATS, lights with vertical and horizontal elements, a wide grille, and a set of tailpipes.

Why It Matters: The ATS was always a little too [...]

Mount Bikes

BUY NOW $70, amazon.com

Leaning them against a wall just won’t cut it (even with a kickstand). This steel rack, which comes in sizes big enough for a family, installs in minutes.

Monkey Bars Prepare for Pets

Make the mudroom work harder, too. This house added a soapstone sink for washing the family’s dogs, who go in and out through a louvered dog door at the base of the floor-to-ceiling cabinets.

SIMON WATSON Stock a Paint Station

BUY NOW $70, wayfair.com

DIYing doesn’t seem so bad when all of the essentials have a dedicated place. This steel pegboard keeps brushes, rollers, and tape close at hand for tackling that paint project.

Wayfair Basics Add Color

Steal this idea from a mudroom: Accenting a wall in a fun color livens up the space, making it a room you actually want to spend [...]

A half-century later, it’s among the most indelible images in American sports. Mario Andretti, a 29-year-old two-time USAC national champion, had just won the 1969 Indianapolis 500 and pulled his turbocharged Ford-V-8-powered Hawk III onto Victory Lane. There, Andy Granatelli, the car’s owner and CEO of STP, looking like a ripe tomato in his STP blazer, planted a sloppy kiss on Andretti’s cheek. That kiss changed American racing.

“He was so dynamic and visible in every way,” Andretti recalls about the Dallas-born Granatelli. “And he certainly paved the way for other brands to follow suit, who saw what he did with a product that’s, you know, not 100 percent necessary. He created a euphoria about STP so that you could not do without it.” And he’d done it by using racing to raise the visibility of his product.

Mario Andretti's 1969 Indy 500 Win Changed Racing

Racing in the [...]

Over 115 years the auto industry in the east German town of Zwickau has lived through wrenching upheavals including World War II and the collapse of communism. Now the city’s 90,000 people are plunging headlong into another era of change: top employer Volkswagen’s total shift into electric cars at the local plant.

The world’s largest carmaker is creating its first all-electric plant and phasing out production of the internal combustion-engine cars built by generations of local workers.

The electric transformation raises questions about the long-term prospects of the auto industry, which employs 840,000 people in Germany and millions worldwide, as a source of jobs for communities like Zwickau, which gave the world both the luxury brand Audi and the communist-era Trabant “people’s car.”

Fewer workers will likely be needed, with different skills. And there is no [...]

Like the 7 Series, the new BMW X7 is big. Certainly too big to ever get the full M treatment. But even though it outperformed most of its competitors in our figure eight test, one thing still wasn’t clear: Was it too big to justify an M Performance version of the X7 xDrive50i? Today, BMW answered that question when it announced the 2020 X7 M50i.

Under the hood, the 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 gets a number of performance upgrades that BMW calls the M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology package. The result is an engine that makes 523 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque, an improvement of 67 hp and 74 lb-ft. Peak horsepower arrives between 5,500 and 6,000 rpm, while peak torque is available from 1,800 rpm all the way up to 4,600 rpm. With the eight-speed automatic [...]

The latest generation of the BMW X5 and its new larger sibling, the X7, have both been on sale for less than a year, but BMW already is changing up the lineup for the 2020 model year. Slotting above the 50i versions of both SUVs will be new M50i models that fall under the M Performance brand umbrella, just like existing models like the M850i and the M340i.

While the M50i’s engine is the same basic twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 as the 50i, the two are different enough to gain their own engine codes. The 50i uses the N63B44M3 unit, while the M50i uses the N63B44T3, the same version of the engine that’s found in the M850i and the refreshed 7-series. Both M50i models make 523 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque, increases of 67 horsepower and 74 lb-ft of torque over the 50i. Enhancements to the engine relative to the 50i’s unit include a block [...]

The black velcro strips you see on the doors and hood were previously used to affix extra camouflage to obscure the Corvette’s shape. Now that the car is officially confirmed, it seems the company has decided to let these prototypes breathe a bit more.

KGP Photography – Car and Driver

This model doesn’t have the same body kit as earlier prototypes, lacking a lower front splitter that we saw in earlier photos. This might suggest that it’s a base model without a performance package (which will likely keep the same Z51 codename) or any aerodynamic add-ons.

KGP Photography – Car and Driver

There’s also no rear wing on the back of this prototype, which gives us a better look at the shape of the decklid.

KGP Photography – Car and Driver

Don’t expect this exhaust setup to reach production; these dual pipes protruding [...]

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