Automobiles

The GT-R is to sushi and soy sauce what the Corvette is to apple pie and vanilla ice cream. Originally sold in 1969 under the Datsun brand, the model has long been revered by Japan’s driving...
"This is not just a show car," proclaims Alfred DiMora, founder and CEO of DiMora Motorcar, a boutique automaker in Palm Springs, Calif. "In essence, we are bringing Silicon Valley to Detroit by...
Appearing like a 911 coupe captured through a wide-angle lens, the Panamera is Porsche’s answer to Mercedes-Benz’s highly successful four-door, four-passenger CLS. The Panamera—named after La Carrera...
At various times in the previous century, Rapide —an exotic and evocative word—has denoted a fabric and plywood airliner (in the 1930s), a cycle-fendered roadster (also in the ’30s), and a European...
Victory Motorcycles has introduced an impressive array of big American cruisers over the past decade; the Hammer, Vegas, and Kingpin bikes each displayed a fresh design and distinctive flair. Now, on...
Ferrari’s recently retired Formula One champ Michael Schumacher was back behind the wheel of an F/1 racer, leaving trails of rubber as he slid the car around the corners of a test track. Not far away...
Many consider the 1934 Packard 12 to be the best car that the company ever made. Raymond Dietrich designed the vehicle, giving it a raked back, wide cowl, long hood, and tall radiator. Dietrich began...
The term muscle scooter might sound self-contradictory, but it aptly describes the Aprilia Sportcity 250 ( www­.apriliausa.com ). Aprilia, a unit of the Italian vehicle maker Piaggio, is best known...
In 1923, Walter Owen Bentley, founder of the car company that bears his name, determined that driving enthusiasts wanted a more potent version of the standard 3-liter Bentley. Thus were born the...
Nearly a decade has passed since BMW paid £40 million (about $65 million) for the rights to the Rolls-Royce name, a silver hood ornament of a gossamer-clad lady (commonly referred to as Nellie in Her...
The 16,000-square-foot workshop that houses Matt Hotch Designs is an oasis of calm in the rough section of Fullerton, Calif., a working-class city located about 20 miles south of Los Angeles. There...
With the notable exceptions of hearses and London taxicabs, everything on wheels seems to travel better as an open carriage. Even ordinary, invisible coupes become noticeable when their tops are...
Some men build cars that display a reminiscent fender flare here, an evocative shoulder swoop there, and maybe a grille that recalls an earlier decade, because they believe there is a future in...
Steve Saleen is obsessed with speed."Roll into the throttle," the former Bob Bondurant racing school instructor commands me as I navigate a makeshift test track, which consists of the public roads...
The vehicle’s two tons of elegance lope flat and steady at 140 mph on the banked oval at the Toyota Arizona Proving Ground (TAPG), the automaker’s vehicle-testing facility near Phoenix. Count Basie’s...
The sun is shining, a breeze is blowing, and the top is down as I navigate a dark blue 1960 Mercedes-Benz 300D onto a scenic road overlooking Newport Beach in Southern California. "In postwar Germany...
Big Dog, another company in America’s heartland—Wichita, Kan., in this case—also straddles the fence between pure custom and mass production. Within its dramatic, 9-foot-long profile, the Big Dog K-9...
American IronHorse Slammer Navigating the custom cruiser market can be more of a challenge than riding San Francisco’s Lombard Street on a high-neck chopper. At one end of the spectrum are extreme...
Kawasaki has been building big, 4-cylinder bikes for a long time, and all that experience and knowledge is apparent in the manufacturer’s latest flagship. The $11,899 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14 ( www...
Ducati 1098 S The ducatisti who were put off by the styling of the previous 999 model should agree that the new Ducati 1098 S superbike displays the Italian brand’s trademark charisma and glamour...
Even among Ferrari F430s and Porsche Turbos, a Brabus K8 ( www.brabus-usa.com ) will stand out like a rabid canine at the Westminster Kennel Club show. The reworked Mercedes-Benz CLS55 AMG strikes a...
The first BMW X5 ( www.bmwusa.com ) introduced drivers to the concept of an SUV that behaved like a sports sedan. (BMW calls the X5 an SAV—for Sport Activity Vehicle.) Redesigned for 2007, the X5...
Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG Since its introduction in 1956 as the company’s huge, luxurious, and unexpectedly fast flagship, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class has ranked high—some say highest—on lists of the best...
Koenigsegg CCX The latest top model from Scandinavia—the Koenigsegg CCX—could have taken the Best of the Best sports car award based solely on its sex appeal. Its lightweight carbon-fiber dihedral...
The Audi R8 ( www.audi.com ) may lack a long history, but it already has experienced plenty of racing success: The prototype that dominated sports car competitions for the past seven years went by...
First came the Maybach 62, introduced four years ago as an 18-footer for elderly businessmen and their chauffeurs. Next was the smaller Maybach 57, designed more for those who prefer to do their own...
The $59,890 Lotus Exige S ( www.lotuscars.com ) may look like a bantamweight in this company of heavy hitters, but make no mistake: This mid-engine racer swings a mighty punch. Key to its phenomenal...
Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano Turn the key of the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano, then press the red starter button on the steering wheel, and something magical—and mechanical—happens as 12 cylinders spring to...
Don’t be deceived by its color-coordinated saddlebags or upright riding position: The $15,599 Yamaha FJR1300AE ( www.yamaha-motor.com ) is a supersport bike trapped in the sharply styled body of a...
Harley-Davidson’s Screamin’ Eagle Road King embodies a paradoxical combination of rough-hewn attitude and couturelike individualism. Built by hand in limited numbers by the Custom Vehicle Operations...

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