By Carl Malek
For decades, Audi and all-wheel drive have gone together like an automotive peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Indeed, if one is to look at the current Audi lineup, all-wheel drive is available equipment on nearly all of the company’s current offerings with one big exception, the Audi A1. Originally launched as a front wheel drive only offering, the A1 was designed to be Audi’s response to competitors such as the Alfa Romeo Mito and the MINI Cooper. Its success against these competitors, however, has been mixed. Despite the models so-so sales numbers, Audi has been working on making the engine power go to all four of the A1’s wheels and has chosen the 30th annual Wortherseetour in Austria (which is one of the biggest annual gatherings of Volkswagen vehicle owners in the world) to give prospective buyers a sneak peek of what such a car would look like.
By Charles Krome
This one’s from the “you learn something new every day” department—or at least the “I learn something new every day” department. Because until I stopped to take pictures of this fascinating Ford sedan, I had never heard of the “Custom 300.” It looked like some interesting example of 1950s Detroit iron when I first drove by it, and although I’m no expert on this era’s cars, I figured I’d at least recognize the name of this one when I got close enough to see it. But as I said, no dice.
By Chris Haak
If you’re more than 32 years old, chance are that you’ve now been driving for more years than you have not been driving. I got my license at age 16, so I just passed the two-decade mark behind the wheel this past spring. I’ve naturally become a better driver during those 20 years, doing a better job of anticipating others’ actions, knowing how fast (or slow) to drive in various conditions, and becoming much better at understanding the physics of car control.
By Kevin Miller
“Comfy Throne, Cushy Ride.” Those are my first logbook phrases written about the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and they summed up my experience with the latest generation of Jeep’s flagship SUV. Entirely new for 2011, the Grand Cherokee benefits from Chrysler’s improved interior materials and design, lending the big truck a luxurious feel. That luxury is backed up by heated leather seats, infotainment system with navigation system and awesome sound, and an air suspension which gives a velvety ride as well as increasing ground clearance for off-roading.
By Carl Malek
Following the Boxster E program’s formal debut earlier this year, Porsche has revealed the official specifications of the three Boxster E prototype electric vehicles that are part of this advanced research program. The first two Boxster E prototypes are rear-wheel-drive and are powered by a single electric motor which produces 121 horsepower and 199 lb-ft of torque. As one may expect, the performance of these two prototypes is not exactly what one may call exciting, with a rather leisurely 0 to 60 time of 9.8 seconds, and an equally modest top speed of 124 miles per hour.