Automobiles

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...
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...
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...
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...
‘‘Now throttle! Fool! Fool! Fool!” Driving instructor Thierry Bouillon erupts as I slide a Bentley Continental GT sideways around an icy hairpin turn. Until this moment, I had been quite pleased with...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Porsche Cayenne The original porsche Cayenne was an astonishingly good car. It possessed solid SUV bona fides, and it established the class benchmark for on-road performance with its searing...
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...
A new series of private track events organized by Supercar Life ( www.supercarlife.com ) gives you a chance to test the limits of a Lamborghini Gallardo, Ferrari F430, Aston Martin DB9, Mercedes AMG...
The oversize, overendowed, and pretty much over-everything undertaking known as Maybach was supposed to supplant Rolls-Royce as the acme of automotive overindulgence. Mission not accomplished. The...
One writer damned the Quasi-Automatic Transmission in the otherwise smooth and affable Maserati Quattroporte for its mechanical hiccups and “up-shifts that are depressingly clumsy and slow.” Another...
The thin, dry desert air over the Las Vegas Motor Speedway often resounds with the noise of F-22 Raptors and B-2 Spirits running war games out of nearby Nellis Air Force Base. However, on a recent...
Yamaha’s YZF-R1 rarely has disappointed since beginning its fast-paced life nearly a decade ago. It might seem surprising then that the 2007 edition, priced at $11,700, represents such an extensive...
The Mercedes-Benz Concept Ocean Drive car has the underpinnings of the long-wheelbase S600 sedan, the V-12 engine and two-tone exterior color scheme of a Maybach, and a shape that bears a strong...

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