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19 May 2007

First Drive: 2008 Infiniti G37

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First Drive: 2008 Infiniti G37

By Jason Cammisa Photography: A.J. Mueller

2008 Infiniti G37 Coupe Top

As revealed at the New York auto show in April, Infiniti is rolling out a replacement for the G35 coupe. The brand-new two-door takes the name G37 and is the sportier sibling to the redesigned G35 sedan that arrived last summer.

The new G35 sedan is more curvaceous and less slab-sided than its predecessor, and so, too, is the new coupe. It is a nice evolution of the current coupe\’s design and is clearly related to the new sedan, but the two cars share no body panels, chiefly because the coupe is wider than the four-door. Commendably, the G37 coupe is only fractionally larger than its predecessor–0.9 inch

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19 May 2007

2007 Hyundai Veracruz

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2007 Hyundai Veracruz

By Gavin Conway

2007 Hyundai Veracruz Front


2007 Hyundai Veracruz Rear Corner
2007 Hyundai Veracruz Interior

 

What do you think of when you hear the name Hyundai? Value for money? Great warranty? Lots of equipment? Lexus-rivaling interior?

Lest you snort cappuccino out your nose in reaction to that last one, let us assure you, it\’s no joke. From the soft-touch materials to the superb fit and finish, the new Veracruz seven-seat crossover has an interior that feels expensive and luxurious like no other Hyundai cabin ever has. And… Read the rest of this entry

19 May 2007

2007 Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera

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2007 Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera

By Georg Kacher Photography: Mark Bramley

2007 Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera Corner

2007 Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera Interior
2007 Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera Side

 

On paper, a 154-pound weight savings and a 10-hp increase in power are not exactly the stuff dreams are made of. The truth is, the benefits of the new Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera\’s high-carbon-fiber, low-calorie diet are not immediately obvious, especially given the nearly 20 percent surcharge over the $181,500 base Gallardo. And unlike the new Porsche 911 GT3 RS, the 2999-pound Superleggera (superlight) has no competition aspirations. That\’s a shame, because this car really needs a racetrack to fully deploy its potential. With the exception of the 0.2… Read the rest of this entry

19 May 2007

2006 Volkswagen Passat Four Seasons Review

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2006 Volkswagen Passat Four Seasons Review

 

2006 Volkswagen Passat Front

2006 Volkswagen Passat Backseat
2006 Volkswagen Passat Controller
2006 Volkswagen Passat Cornering
2006 Volkswagen Passat Fueling
2006 Volkswagen Passat Screen

 

For a very long time, the Passat sat on the sidelines of the American family-sedan playing field. It was seemingly content, in mid-1990s fourth-generation guise, to dangle its optional, gutsy VR6 engine in front of Volkswagen devotees and to snag a few four-cylinder buyers who got lost on the way to the Honda showroom. The mid-size-sedan segment belonged to the Honda Accord, the Toyota… Read the rest of this entry

19 May 2007

Euro Hatches Compared: Ford Fiesta ST, Renault Clio Renaultsport 197, and Skoda Fabia VRS

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Euro Hatches Compared: Ford Fiesta ST, Renault Clio Renaultsport 197, and Skoda Fabia VRS

2007 Euro Hatches Approaching Corner

2007 Euro Hatches Fiesta Interior
2007 Euro Hatches Fiesta Side
2007 Euro Hatches Fiesta Wheel

 

It\’s been raining for three days straight. Pouring rain, spitting rain, the flit-flit-flit rain that comes at you sideways, and the kind of rain that seems to fire up from the ground in short little bursts, defying gravity. It is endless, blinding, and above all, wet. By all rights, soaked and barely able to see, we should be miserable. But we\’re not.

How did we end up here, shotgunning through the deserted… Read the rest of this entry

18 May 2007

Garage: 2007 Toyota Tundra Limited

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I wanted to hate this thing. Toyota? Taking on the last bastion of red blooded American pickups? Yeah, right! The domestic manufacturers have kept cranking up quality, capability and refinement levels – who\’s this upstart think it is, anyway? Not only has the Tundra garnered a metric crapload of commentary, it\’s ugly. Okay, not to everyone, but it reminds me of that time I got sand in my eyelids. When a Tundra Limited Double Cab unexpectedly arrived wearing a rather appropriate shade of Herman Melville white, I was primed to register severe intestinal discomfort. Dang.

Gallery:

Garage: 2007 Toyota Tundra LimitedGarage: 2007 Toyota Tundra LimitedGarage: 2007 Toyota Tundra Limited

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Make no mistake, Toyota\’s not messing around; the Tundra is a serious truck. Its broad shoulders fit the same 79.9 inch suit as the GMT900s, while it stands as tall as the F150. The wheelbase options slot right in among the domestic competition, though there\’s been some… Read the rest of this entry

16 May 2007

2007 Porsche 911 GT3 Track Experience

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2007 Porsche 911 GT3 Track Experience

By Jason Cammisa

As journalists, we’re accustomed to hearing well thought out, carefully planned marketing spin from expertly trained PR professionals. And we’re usually very good at ignoring it. We smile at the nice PR rep, grab the keys, and formulate our own opinion.

Porsche reps don’t give us lines of BS, though – their company is one of precious few that sell their cars based on engineering merit, not marketing slogans. So when Porsche product reps speak, we listen. And when they say that the GT3 is the closest thing to a race car you can get for the street, they ain’t kidding.

We all know that the 911 is the quintessential sports car. You’ve heard us say it over and over

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16 May 2007

2008 Audi TT Coupe and Roadster: Is it a Sports Car?

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2008 Audi TT Coupe and Roadster: Is it a Sports Car?

By Jason Cammisa

2008 Audi Tt Roadster Front

There’s been a bit of buzz among journalists lately that the second-generation Audi TT might finally be a true sports car. So when Audi offered to let us drive the TT on some of Northern California’s mind-blowing twisty roads, we went along to see if the rumors were true.

They’re not. There, I said it. The second-generation TT is not a sports car.

But that’s not a bad thing. The TT is a fantastic car. It’s just not a sports car. Let me explain by defining the term:

The Driver’s Car – It’s hard to explain unless you’ve driven one, but there are cars in this world that are just as fun to drive at 15 mph

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9 May 2007

Exclusive First Drive: 2008 Volkswagen R32

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Exclusive First Drive: 2008 Volkswagen R32

By Jason Cammisa

2007 Volkswagen Rabbit R32 Front

This past weekend, I stopped by Willow Springs raceway to see what over a hundred Volkswagen R32s would look like. They look, well, like over a hundred R32s.

But the sound. Oh, the sound. See, normally when you pull up to the paddock of a hot racetrack, your ears are assaulted with the maniacal roar of pissed-off engines. Some sound fantastic (ever hear a Ferrari at full bore?) and some sound painful (ever hear a Ford Duratec at full bore?)

But when every car on the track is a mellifluous R32, there is no painful. There is no assault, there is no roar. Each car continually sends your ears a gift basket containing a warm, burbly, Pavarotti-gurgling-with-wine aria that is so unmistakably,

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9 May 2007

2007 Lexus LS600hL

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2007 Lexus LS600hL

By Joe Lorio

2007 Lexus Ls600hl Side

It would be easy to dismiss the Lexus LS600hL as the ultimate feel-good device, a literal limousine for limousine liberals, a $100,000 self-indulgence-mobile whose hybrid powertrain provides a veneer of environmentalism that allows its well-to-do owners to feel like they’re doing something for the environment when they’re really doing something for themselves.

But there’s more to this car than that. As the apogee of the Lexus line, the LS600hL tells us a lot about how Lexus sees itself. Although the LS sedan dates back to the first days of Lexus, it’s only now, with the fourth-generation car, that Toyota is bringing out a version to battle the twelve-cylinder competition from Europe. Tellingly, Lexus has not developed a twelve-cylinder model of its own. Instead, it attempts

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