To celebrate 30 years of its M5 supersedan, BMW’s M GmbH performance division has cranked out the most powerful BMW production car ever: The “30 Jahre M5.” The name will be applied globally, including in the U.S.-you’ve probably figured out by now that Jahre means “years.” It will be fitted with a 600-hp take on the S63 twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8. Full power is available at 6250 rpm, and maximum torque is rated at 516 lb-ft and available on a plateau from 1500 to 6000 rpm. The prodigious output bests the regular M5 by 40 horsepower and 16 lb-ft and the Competition Pack–equipped car by 25 horsepower and the same 16 lb-ft of torque.
The power boost comes thanks to modified engine management and forcing the turbochargers to breathe harder. Unlike other U.S.-market M5 versions and despite its heritage theme, the only available transmission will be the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. Zero to 62 mph is said [...]
It is a certainty, death. And certainly, the automobile ranks among our favorite ways to court the Grim Reaper. Motor-vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for people younger than 35 years old in the United States, and they continue to rank high throughout adulthood, ahead of gun violence and most diseases.
But cars are not the most dangerous method of transportation. Both commuter airlines and mass transit pose a greater risk of fatality per mile traveled. Much less shocking is that motorcycles are the single most dangerous method of getting from point A to B. And if you’re looking for the lowest chance of meeting an untimely demise, a seat behind the wheel of a big rig—protected by all that mass and metal—is the place to be.
We culled the data that follows from the 505-page National Transportation Statistics report published by the Department [...]
Put aside for a moment that if you are wondering how drunk you are, the answer is essentially always some version of “drunk.” The precise level of your drunkenness is pretty meaningless. Further, let us say at the outset that if you feel compelled to test your blood-alcohol concentration (BAC), you should be immediately disqualified from driving. Nonetheless, the market is loaded with supposedly handy little devices of all shapes, sizes, and price tags to test the state of your buzz, ostensibly to make sure it’s under the legal limit of 0.08-percent BAC. Could they possibly work? How about one that comes with an app for your phone? One that comes as a key chain? One that costs $15? We gathered up four popular devices priced from $15 to $150 from three different manufacturers, reserved a corner [...]
A demographic shift looms: Some 76 million baby boomers will soon reach retirement age, crushing the health-care system and the social safety net with their massive numbers. But we have a greater concern: Who’s going to buy all their cars?
“I think that boomers are taking a more practical approach to baggage. We want to lighten our loads sooner,” says Charlie Kuhn, a 52-year-old collector from the Chicago area. “Guys not much older than me are selling because their kids aren’t interested. I’m already thinking about downsizing.”
The best estimates we have at the Hagerty Group, which sells classic-car insurance, peg the number of collector cars in the U.S. at roughly 5 million, of which 58 percent are owned by baby boomers, or those born from 1946 through 1964. Our data says that the median age of collector-car owners is 56 years. The oldest boomers are [...]
Generally, I hate museums. The conceit of cramming some facet of human or natural wonder into a building to be gawped at by shuffling herds, who won’t absorb much about the subject beyond whatever cursory blurb is written in dull mini-print (which they will scrupulously avoid reading so as to arrive more expeditiously at the gift shop and pretzel stand), is anathema to wonder itself. The world is not inert; it lives and moves and waits to be discovered. But museums stop it and stuff it for permanently embalmed display. They sprout from the concrete like weeds in any city claiming civic pride and enough rich donors to get the dirt moved. Art museums, science museums, car museums, and kids museums; museums for the police and fire departments; museums for every ethnic group and religion and [...]
The dyno’s rise in modern car culture is well chronicled on YouTube. Here, car guys while away hour after mesmerizing hour watching dyno pulls that depict unbelievable power, catastrophic consequences, or sometimes both. But the dynamometers that most enthusiasts have access to are crude instruments compared with what these machines are capable of. With the hardware and software to raise prices from less than $25,000 to more than $1 million, the dyno becomes a real-world driving simulator and a crucial development tool.
Vulcan death grip
Used for emissions testing, the Horiba Vulcan dynamometer illustrated here is one example of just how much an OEM’s or major supplier’s dyno differs from what you’d find at your neighborhood shop. The Vulcan is so precisely tuned that different finishes and textures are available for the rollers to simulate different road surfaces in various markets. An auto-pilot system is [...]
When I moved to Montana, I reluctantly bid adios to fast cars. Or so I thought. Last fall, I found myself in Missoula, renting a Jeep Liberty from Thrifty’s avuncular manager, Owen Kelley. He glanced at my signature and said, “I know you. You drive fast cars.”
“Past tense,” I corrected.
“That’s too bad,” he replied, “because I thought you might like to drive my 1967 Shelby GT500. I’ve owned it for 31 years.”
Ten months flew past before I took him up on the offer, and then only because he shamed me into attending one of his Thursday-night club meetings. I envisioned balding fat men encircling a sticky VFW table, discussing tedious rules of order and the names of members with unpaid dues.
Instead, the club meets at Gary Meuchel’s car-renovation shop, Cherry Lane [...]
Over the decades, a few Porsches have pumped me blind with endorphins, including my own 1974 911S Targa that I comprehensively blew up in Sylvania, Ohio. But none more electrified me than the three King Kong 935s raced by the John Paul father-son team in the early ’80s. They were the outlandish and outlaw-ish creations of the “old pirate,” as Paul Sr. was known for his black-bearded scowl and for the 100 tons of marijuana he smuggled into the U.S. in his yachts and shrimp boats.
The Pauls’ first famous 935 was the JLP-2, which began life as a Kremer K3 customer car in 1979. Paul Sr. painted it baby blue and yellow, though it might better have sported a skull-and-crossbones motif.
“We really modified that car,” recalls Paul Jr., now 53, “especially stiffening the tub [...]
In a singularly sagging season, give NASCAR credit for pluck. Or, at least, for hiring people paid to be plucky. Faced with criticism over perhaps the most deadly dull race in years, the Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July, the drivers came out swinging when backed into a corner by the press.
Even surlier than usual, Tony Stewart, who finished fourth, addressed complaints regarding the utter absence of passing. “Look up ‘racing’ in the dictionary and tell me what it says in the dictionary. Then look up ‘passing,’ ” he said. “We’re racing here.” Then he said this: “For some reason in the last 10 years, everybody is on this kick that you have to be passing all the time. It’s racing, not passing. We’re racing.”
From the September 2013 Issue of Car and Driver Total Number of Sales Here is is a color-coded look at how Americans’ car- and truck-buying habits have changed in the midst of global economic woes and an increasing emphasis on fuel economy. The bottom bar represents the market at its 2005 peak; the top bar projects how 2014 will stack up. Analytics firm AutoPacific provided the forecast.
As you scroll down, take note of each manufacturer’s projected 2014 market share (that’s the percentage next to the colored box), as well as the change from 2013 that number represents (that’s the number in parentheses).
2014: 15,820,400 (We’ve called out the most popular model and its sales percentage within each segment)