Pursuits | Unforgettable Experiences: In the Dust

At the Mint 400, a novice takes the wheel of an off-road race machine—and goes for the win. The buggies start in the dark. Out in the desert a half hour south of Las Vegas, a line of off-road buggies and tricked-out Jeeps stretches into the gloomy blackness beyond portable floodlights. This is the Mint 400 […]

Wheels: Now That’s Italia

Nothing really was wrong with the F430. If Ferrari only had tinkered with its V-8 two-seater for the next few years—maybe adding a couple horsepower or creating a Wolfgang von Trips special edition—no one would have complained. And yet, here we are with the 458 Italia, the F430’s thoroughly overhauled, thoroughly over-the-top replacement, which, by […]

The Toys of Summer: Showstopper

Like other personal-watercraft makers, Sea-Doo voluntarily limits the top speed of its machines to 65 mph. Still, the company’s latest top-of-the-line model—the $16,500 Sea-Doo GTX Limited iS 255—blows past the competition by setting high-water marks for comfort and maneuverability. Sea-Doo claims that the GTX, powered by a 255 hp engine, can reach 50 mph in […]

American Ideal

The American automotive landscape is littered with the broken dreams of aspiring carmakers. As the joke goes, the best way to make a small fortune in the car industry is to start with a large one. Even among those entrepreneurs who survive step one—building a prototype that stimulates consumer interest—few ever make a successful transition […]

Best of the Best 2008: Sport Utility Vehicles

The leather-trimmed cabin of the Acura MDX (www.acura.com) is a beautiful place to be, even more so when the world outside becomes ugly. Swiss-watch reliable, and laden with advanced safety features including the Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system, Acura’s $40,910 crossover may be the most stylish, comfortable, and confidence-inspiring means to move seven passengers. The […]

Best of the Best 2008: Sports Cars

Most Porsches, even the steroid-enhanced 911 GT2, display an air of Teutonic reserve—not sterility, but a certain degree of rationality. The Porsche 911 GT3 RS (www.porsche.com/usa), on the other hand, appears on edge, the one Porsche that will fly off the handle, grab you by the shirt, and throw you against the wall at the […]

Best of the Best 2008: Sports Cars: Ferrari 430 Scuderia

Ferrari is engaged in some dark alchemy these days. How else could the 430 Scuderia be both quicker and more drivable than the car on which it is based, the F430? Perhaps Ferrari’s engineers did not intend to make the 430 Scuderia a great street car. If not, then that is a happy consequence of […]

Feature: Bull Fight

Lamborghini’s cachet might be at an all-time high. After years of cash-flow problems and a parade of owners that has ranged from Chrysler to an Indonesian investment group, the snorting bull seems to have found its stride under Audi’s stewardship. At the factory in Sant’Agata, Italy, every car on the production lines is already spoken […]