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Finishing Old Business on a 10,000-Year-Old Racetrack

Tom Hurley from Dallas has a 171-mph 1957 Chevy nicknamed “Old Stewball” that has a 632 big-block creation 1150 horsepower. The week before a annual Bonneville Speed Week this past August, his organisation evaporated.

One got in a motorcycle wreck; another bailed to stay home with an bum wife. Well, suspicion Hurley, what a hell, and he installed a automobile anyway, pushing solo and nonstop a 1300 miles to a salt flats nearby Wendover, Utah. I, too, was during home thinking, well, what a hell, so we hitched a float with friends from Hot Rod repository to that ancient salt playa where so many greats have trod. Upon arriving, we found tacked to a house Hurley’s handwritten pointer seeking for volunteers. we called a series and schooled that if we wish to work during Bonneville, we have to act fast. Hurley already had a man from Fort Worth, a man from a Yukon Territory, and folks from England, France, and New Zealand pitching in. Because that’s Bonneville.

Speed Week is 68 years old, though a past dual years have been washouts due to monsoonal summer rains that incited a five-foot-thick salt vessel into obsolete oatmeal. Every year, a salt rats wait out open and summer with fingers crossed, anticipating that a salt will be dry adequate to competition on by mid-August. Cancellation can occur during any moment, even a day before a eventuality if Mother Nature is feeling quite cruel. At a drivers’ assembly this year, we met Brenda Bowen, a University of Utah geology highbrow who has been study a sodium-chloride playa and a altering effects of meridian change and mining.

The 10,000-year-old salt flats are all about water, she said. In winter, they wish lots of it in a form of sea groundwater next and smoothing rainwater above, afterwards several months of hot, dry continue to bake a aspect into a tough membrane imitative white asphalt.

In new years, a rains have come during a wrong time, and a groundwater has left elsewhere, harvested by a blurb mining operation to a south. But a Southern California Timing Association has been operative with a miners and several supervision agencies to produce out a devise for a future. we approaching to find an American racing establishment on a verge of annihilation though over confident that a efforts to save it are real, if still wholly during a forgiveness of a changing weather.

Meanwhile, a salt rats were vivacious to be racing again, even if a membrane was usually a few millimeters thick in places. Danny Thompson, son of a late Indy 500 and drag-racing impresario Mickey Thomp­son, was perplexing to tie adult a lax finish dating to 1968. Back then, a elder Thompson was foiled by continue in environment a record with a twin-engine Challenger 2. The 400-mph automobile went into storage for a past 4 decades, during that Mickey Thompson was murdered in a box that went unsolved for 19 years. Danny eventually motionless to empty all his secular resources to reconstruct Challenger 2, transfer in $2 million and a smattering of private contributions, including a donated draw rig. And Danny did it on day two, environment a category record during 406.769 mph and essay a Thompson name henceforth into a 400-mph club, that now swells to only 15 members.

Troy Trepanier, of Rad Rides by Troy, walked us by his new coffee-colored streamliner for a Mariani brothers, dual California almond farmers and zealous salt-­flatters. The artistic perfectionism that has lifted a cost of winning inhabitant hot-rod shows into a mid-six total is now conversion Bonneville, a 900-hp Mariani streamliner being an masterfully purify appurtenance packaged within a skeleton of beautifully fish-mouthed tubing.

We bumped into drag-racing royalty, Don “the Snake” Prudhomme, walking a starting line. He told me, “It used to be a large understanding to get into Car and Driver,” and we wish it still is. As a Snake examined a black lake­ster with projecting pipes, a organisation arch leaned into a cockpit and whispered to a man who was about to go some-more than 250 mph, “Don Prudhomme is checking we out!” The motorist seemed pleased.

Down in a pits of Speed Demon, a fastest automobile this year during 436.959 mph, famed engine wizard Kenny Duttweiler showed us a mechanism traces from a final run, including a ideally block tabletop combined by 68-year-old owners George Poteet mashing a accelerator during a line and not lifting until a chutes. “We only have to build a traction control around George’s pushing style,” Duttweiler said.

Later, we rode with Duttweiler in a pull truck. At around 40 mph, dual shrill bangs from a pipes of Speed Demon’s twin-turbo 368-cube small-block indicated that Poteet was on it. The golden, finned syringe simply jetted off and disappeared. Still accelerating during over 400 mph, however, a engine let go. Blown conduct gasket. Dutt­weiler was philosophical. “It’s got 5 runs on it,” he said, definition a circa-$50,000 V-8 had lived a long, useful life of roughly 8 minutes. Because that’s Bonneville.

2017 Lincoln Continental Driven: Unfinished Business

A code named after a dear American president—and that once granted cars to presidents—is now looking to China for salvation. Following Buick’s proven path, Lincoln sees a Middle Kingdom and a flourishing ranks of status-obsessed nouveaux cache as a ladder on that it skeleton to stand behind to marketplace relevance. In China, Lincoln still is compared with Kennedy and Eisenhower and American glamour. There, Lincoln carries no disastrous container from decades of neglect. In China, a new Lincoln Continental hopes to make its—pardon a Lincoln pun—mark.

In a United States, where drivers are maybe a bit some-more discerning, a Continental lugs a round and sequence of Lincoln’s some-more new story and will have to infer itself opposite some really challenging competition. In that context, a automobile turns out to be, like Lincoln itself, a work in progress. The entirely fussed-over design, with masterfully beveled edges and poetic LED light bars in behind that give a seamless neon look, creates an commanding matter from any angle. And a interior takes Lincoln to heights that were unimagined when a code sole zero though bacon-wrapped Fords. But a car, notwithstanding a sales carrying begun already, is not nonetheless entirely finished. A few severe edges prove that Lincoln is not utterly prepared to kick Lexus or a German oppulance triumvirate, and it even has a hands full with a hard-charging Genesis sub-brand of Hyundai.

Whether we get a bottom front-wheel-drive $45,485 Premier or a installed all-wheel-drive $65,840 Black Label, this is a large machine, rather longer both in wheelbase (117.9 inches) and between a permit plates (201.4 inches) than a standard-wheelbase Lexus LS, itself a rather grand limo. Unlike a biggest Lexus (or a biggest Audi, BMW, or Mercedes-Benz), there is usually one Continental wheelbase during this point, so we can have any distance we wish as prolonged as it’s XL. Besides that, Lincoln gives we a choice of 3 transversely mounted V-6 engines—the Chinese get a fourth engine, a 2.0-liter turbo—and a choice of front- or all-wheel drive, unless we collect a many absolute twin-turbo 3.0-liter, that comes usually with all-wheel drive. (The other six-cylinders are a naturally aspirated 3.7-liter and a twin-turbo 2.7-liter.)

For a initial drive, Lincoln done permitted usually a 3.0-liter—boasting 400 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque—in a tip dual trim levels wearing scarcely each option, a $74,705 Reserve and an $80,260 Black Label. Besides a full bucket of facilities and trim upgrades, a latter comes with experiential extras including concierge use for collect adult and smoothness and an extended upkeep plan. They both had a full apartment of oppulance and reserve options, including the most heralded 30-way energy seats, rear-seat meridian controls, self-cinching doors, twin sunroofs, and blind-spot and lane-departure warning systems among a phalanx of electronic reserve gadgets.

Seat Yourself

Unlatch a doorway around a high-mounted handle, and a interior is simply permitted by large portals, both front and rear. Once ensconced behind a wheel, we notice immediately a soothing acquire of a broadly hugging front thrones, suggestive of those found in a industry’s stream and longtime bucket-seat champ, Volvo. The seats’ many adjustments embody dual vicious ones found on few cars: an eccentric upper-thorax member that articulates a top half of a seatback, and a headrest composition that puts a soothing pillow accurately where we wish it. Unlike many complicated seats, that bend divided from your top shoulders and neck and leave them swinging in passed space as partial of a cheaped-out involuntary anti-whiplash scheme, a Lincoln’s can be configured after a few moments of familiarization to grasp ideal spinal alignment. We usually wish a behind seats were as comfortable. There’s tons of legroom in back, though a behind dais doesn’t acquire or support we scarcely as opulently as a front, and a conduct of this five-foot 11-inch contributor was roughly touching a roof.

The interior trim on these grander-level models, from a extended swaths of timber veneer to a finely seperated orator grilles, can’t be critiqued though sounding petty. Lincoln no longer wants a products to be suspicion of as Fords with a opposite fascia, and a tie to other Ford products by a switchgear is blessedly faint. However, we didn’t see a reduce trim levels, and a choice of a low pellet settlement for a element jacket a dashtop and a seatbacks in a Reserve seems poor. Deep pellet has prolonged been compared with cheapness, and a smoother finish should have been selected. We competence also have asked for some-more options in a instrument arrangement screen. You can have a digital speedometer or an analog unconditional pointer, and nonetheless a arrangement is clear and conveys a data, nothing of a options are utterly exciting. Other brands have taken improved advantage of a switch from required gauges to TFT screens.

Conti in Motion

In motion, a Continental is quiet; even a strong 3.0-liter creates a soft and apart V-6 hum. Lincoln was aiming for startling opening from this boosted-to-bursting engine, and a Continental delivers, with a smallest brush of a accelerator causing your conduct to snap. Indeed, a engineers were a bit assertive on a stifle calibration; a automobile rockets off with a gas pedal pushed hardly a third of a approach into a brief stroke. And that’s in a customary expostulate mode. Select a Sport mode by pulling a S button, located next D on a console (this competition environment being a usually other expostulate mode offered), and a stifle jumpiness becomes officious annoying. There’s no approach to be pointed in a Continental, no approach to merely rush past a slower car. You have to pass them as if we are perplexing to disparage them. Hey, some people like that prodigy of instant, large power, though in this age of electronic controls, Lincoln should give a motorist a choice of opting out for a some-more totalled throttle-control map.

The six-speed involuntary delivery valid another severe spot. It can change during peculiar times, and mostly it doesn’t work transparently, generally on mid-throttle roll-offs from a line. Occasionally it lurched into second rigging as if a automobile were hiccupping; once, it seemed to undo from a engine totally for half a second, afterwards slammed into rigging as if a automobile had been rear-ended, eliciting a dismayed pant from both motorist and passenger. We’re guessing that some-more superb powertrain calibrations will hurl out over time as customer feedback comes in.

The all-wheel-drive complement includes a torque-vectoring duty that, interjection to a gearset within a energy take-off, allows a outward behind circle to be over-run to assistance aim a automobile into a corner. Think of a dug-out with dual paddlers, a rearmost of that is paddling harder to a outward of a turn, and you’ve got a idea. Thus, a Continental’s steering is sharp-witted and discerning and really un-Lincoln-like, a weighting healthy and on-going as it turns off-center. It’s no difficulty to place this large automobile in a dilemma or to thread a slight space between, say, a pothole and a guardrail. The excellent steering, if not accurately respirating with a tugs and sags of a road, is maybe a Continental’s best energetic feature.

We gathering cars versed with both a 19-inch wheels wearing sincerely medium Michelin Primacy MXM4 all-season tires and a 20-inch wheels with some-more assertive Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric all-season rubber. With either, a float is utterly organisation and a hurl and representation good attenuated, though on a 20s, a Conti’s miss of cessation transport wears by any velvet veneer. The cessation clomps opposite a strike stops over severe cement that should be cushioned out in this, a rather stately oppulance liner. Lincoln eschewed fancier atmosphere springs or magnetorheological dampers in preference of adaptive startle valving, a cost-effective and arguable resolution though one with rather singular capability. Whatever a thinking, during a cost indicate where a Continental is playing, a cessation stairs usually a small too hard. (There also are permitted 18-inch wheels that are expected to offer a best float of all.)

At slightest a structure—in a simplest terms an upsizing of a Ford Fusion platform, done mostly of several grades of steel with a few aluminum outdoor panels—is stiff, holding a wallops though jolt a building or a steering column. But a chastisement is weight, with a lightest front-drive Continental entrance in during usually over 4200 pounds, according to Ford. No doubt that’s one reason a 3.0 manages an EPA total rating of usually 19 mpg. We usually tested an all-wheel-drive 3.6-liter Cadillac CT6 that weighed 4138 pounds and returned fuel economy tighten to what Ford claims for a identical though reduction absolute 3.7-liter V-6.

The Conti’s unbending float is maybe because a core console of one of a cars grown a determined prickly cheep somewhere around a confusion bin. When sensitive of this, an attending operative usually sighed, indicating that notwithstanding what have been (for Ford) recurrent efforts to lessen squeaks and rattles, it stays a dogging emanate in a early cars out of a Continental’s Flat Rock, Michigan, public plant.

As we said, a Continental is a work in progress. Some of a simple mixture are there, including a design, a excess of complicated amenities such as a entirely updated Sync 3 infotainment system—alas, still lacking a core control knob, so inputs are touchscreen or voice control only—and a accumulation of powertrain and driveline options to fit many needs. It usually needs polishing, a routine that has taken Cadillac and Audi, dual other reinvented oppulance marques, some 20 years to lift off. At slightest Lincoln has finally taken a initial steps.

View Photos

View Photos

Toyota Prius Sales Stopped for Parking-Brake Recall



Toyota is recalling 91,585 Prius hybrids in a United States for parking brakes that might destroy to engage, according to filings with a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The emanate also has triggered a stop-sale for a renouned hybrid.

The 2016 and 2017 Prius have a foot-operated parking stop with a tragedy wire that might detach from a back stop calipers. Toyota initial detected a problem in May after a U.S. play reported a failure. Since then, Toyota has perceived during slightest 67 reports of parking-brake wire detachments though no injuries or accidents. Toyota pronounced a wire is quite disposed to relaxation over bumps in a road. The Prius C, Prius V, plug-in Prius Prime, and other Toyota and Lexus models do not share a same wire assembly, Toyota said.

About 19,500 of these Prius models are in play register and can't be sole until they’re repaired. Dealers will implement a shave during one finish of a parking-brake wire to secure it to a back calipers. Repairs are not approaching to begin until December.

Separately, Toyota is also recalling about 7100 Highlander SUVs in a U.S. to repair a away wiring strap that can invalidate a low-brake-fluid warning light. That remember will start in early November.

Bloomberg and Aspen Institute Announce Initiative to Help Cities Plan for Autonomous Cars

Toyota Prius Lyft automobile in San Francisco

Toyota Prius Lyft automobile in San Francisco

As unconstrained cars indicate and examination their approach toward a mainstream with a assistance of automakers and tech companies, it is apropos increasingly transparent that their attainment might obligate changes to a open infrastructure. While some automakers and cities are commencement to dally in car-to-car and car-to-X communication networks, softened highway markings, and a like, there’s been no high-profile, extended pull for vehicular and infrastructural preparedness for unconstrained cars—until now. This week, Bloomberg’s munificent arm and a Aspen Institute announced only that during a CityLab 2016 discussion in Miami.

The crux of a endeavor, dubbed a Bloomberg Aspen Initiative on Cities and Autonomous Vehicles, is to assistance mayors of vital cities rise “a set of beliefs and collection that participating cities, as good as cities around a world, can use to draft their possess paths forward” with courtesy to autonomous-car implementation. The implications go apart over special autonomous-car lanes or communication networks, however. Bloomberg Philanthropies and a Aspen Institute are coming this emanate from a socioeconomic and regional-planning perspective, collaborating with mayors and folks like John Zimmer, co-founder and boss of the Lyft autonomous-anticipatory ride-sharing service.

According to Bloomberg Philanthropies’ announcement, driverless cars have a ability to revoke residential separation by “connecting many low-income families to areas of opportunity.” On a other hand, Bloomberg noted, they could potentially intensify a emanate by permitting “higher-income families to live in some-more apart suburbs.” Thus, cities will need to adopt specific amicable and mercantile policies that take a self-driving automobile and a effects into account.

So far, a beginning has announced a initial 5 tellurian cities to participate: Austin, Buenos Aires, Los Angeles, Nashville, and Paris. Five some-more will be combined after this year.

2017 Mazda CX-5 Previewed: Yes, There’s Already a New One

2017 Mazda CX-5 teaser

2017 Mazda CX-5 teaser

If it seems like Mazda’s CX-5 crossover is as uninformed as a driven snow, it unequivocally isn’t. The stream model—which we still really, unequivocally like—debuted as a 2013 indication 4 years ago. That means it’s about time for a redesign, and Mazda has one in a wings for 2017 (we formerly predicted it would be a 2018 model, yet Mazda valid us wrong!). Oh, and the automaker is already teasing us with a darkened print of a new CX-5.

2017 Mazda CX-5 teaser

2017 Mazda CX-5 teaser

At initial glow it competence not seem as yet a new CX-5 crossover is any opposite from a aged one, yet demeanour some-more closely, and a new is revealed. (To assistance we daydream a changes, we’ve extended and lightened Mazda’s photo, above.) The fenders on a new indication are pumped up, Arnold style, to accommodate a wheels in some-more thespian fashion, while a hothouse is sleeker than before. Mazda clearly took impulse from a new CX-9 three-row crossover when conceptualizing a 5’s front end, ensuing in a prolonged hood and a clean grille flanked by squinty headlights.

So far, a picture above is all Mazda has supposing in terms of information or sum surrounding a new CX-5. To learn more, we’ll have to wait for a crossover’s 2016 Los Angeles automobile uncover debut. For now, we’ll contend things are positively looking good.