There is no denying the 2018 Tesla Model 3's importance. It is intended to be Tesla’s volume-seller, the car that will hopefully make luxury electric cars more accessible to more people, especially when the long-promised $US35,000 version hits the market. It is the key to Tesla’s future, the source of many of its struggles this year, and an EV—hell, a car, period—truly unlike any other.
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Does Bullitt still matter? Fifty years since it came out, is the detective thriller -- oozing with Steve McQueen's quiet, simmering brand of cool and famous for its groundbreaking centrepiece car chase scene -- relevant to the young buyers the Ford Mustang once had a monopoly on?
After a hot lap of San Francisco in the Ford Mustang Bullitt, I'm pretty sure it doesn't matter, because this car is an instant classic in its own right.
What can one person determine about the ultra-important Tesla Model 3 Performance with just an hour and a half behind the wheel? Probably not much, but this week we had the collective brain-weight of four Jalopnik writers who took turns inside the quickest and most powerful version of Tesla's compact car. And we walked away not only impressed, but wanting more.
Back in 2004, Mercedes defined the modern four-door coupe with the very first Mercedes-Benz CLS, which was basically an E-Class intentionally bent out of shape in a tragic styling exercise incident. Now there's a third generation with an exciting new straight six engine, and it's a hoot to drive and much easier on the eyes.
"It was like a bomb," Albert Biermann told me, describing one of the more, uh, experimental settings for the Hyundai Veloster N during its testing at the Nürburgring. Biermann runs Hyundai N, coming off of his old job running the alphabetically-adjacent BMW M. If anyone knows how to make a fully-realised performance car, it's Biermann and his team. But you don't get a well-polished car without it being rough at first, and I wanted to know how rough things had been.
The 2018 Volvo XC40 looks cool as a cucumber in the back of a fridge, inside and out. But after putting about 1,287km on one and living with it for a week, I have to say I found this car frustrating in a lot of little ways.
A quick glance at the speedo in the $1.3 million, 789 horsepower McLaren Senna showed I was knocking on 300 km/h, and quick brain math meant that was nearing 186 mph. My foot stayed planted on the gas. Then at the 200 meter board... I stood on the brakes to make turn one at Estoril. We lost over 100 km/h in no time at all.
I don't know what being sent to review a bicycle says about my driving abilities, but I got the last laugh for having the most fun with a vehicle review. Tearing through neighbourhoods, hills and city streets on an electric pedal-assist bicycle is living out your best unfulfilled grade-school speed demon dreams.
Take the religious following of air-cooled Porsche 911s, then reduce that to the community of folks who are evangelists for the four-cylinder 912, and you've got a group of seriously passionate people. Like most passionate people that I've met, they want to bring you into the fold and show you why whatever it is they love deserves attention.
I was appalled to learn that my colleagues, the Mikes Roselli and Ballaban, did not like the 2017 BMW M2. Too hardcore, they said. Too harsh and crazy and ill-suited to daily driving! I called shenanigans on that, and I'm thrilled to say I'm right and they're wrong.
I'm about to complain. Not about the 2017 Porsche Macan GTS, that thing is damn near perfect. I'm about to complain about my life, and you're going to hate me for it.
The 2017 Honda Civic Si is no revelation of automotive excellence. But it's easy to live with, encourages hard driving and has a little attitude without making you look like an arsehole. Messing around with this car is enough to lure anyone into driving for the fun of it, and that's exactly the point.
Yes, the Ford Focus ST is actually still around. It's the hot hatchback we love but faded into the shadows after its little sibling, the Fiesta ST, kicked its arse in the fun-per-dollar argument. It then totally lost everyone's attention when the almighty Focus RS arrived and decimated everything. It's still damn good.
It wasn't long before we crossed what had been the East German border, the prow of our borrowed black Rolls-Royce cutting a clean line through arterial highways out of Berlin. Highways turned into two-lanes, two-lanes into little village streets, until we pulled into an unassuming edge-of-town industrial lot. On a far building, on a corner, stood a little Porsche crest. This is the home of one of the most secret cars in the world, a hidden product of two men in a fit of reciprocating and all-encompassing madness.
When the United States was on the bottom rung of The Great Depression, looking for a foothold, desperately clinging onto any shred of hope, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt created The New Deal. Hand over hand, rung by rung, we sprung forward with innovative programs like The Tennessee Valley Authority, which still rests in my backyard today. No one got rich working a New Deal job, but it put a dollar in your pocket every day, and gave people a sense of pride. It wasn't much, but it was yours, it was honest, and you earned it.
Admit it: you've done this at least once. Curiosity on Craigslist has led you to search for one of the internet's most loved -- some would say overhyped -- used cars, the E30 BMW 3 Series from the 1980s and early '90s. And then you found a truly beautiful one. And then you saw that one letter at the end of its numerical name that serves as an instant disqualifier: e.