Tag Archives: First Drives

The Keen Project Safari 911 first drive review: a time machine for any adventure

Chad was running late, and we were already pressed for time. This entire plan was rushed and slapped together via a phone call and a few text messages over the weekend. The Keen Project Safari 911 build No. 2 by former race car driver Lehman Keen was in Minneapolis for a short time to celebrate Porsche's 70th birthday. As soon as I saw that my friends...

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2019 Genesis G70 first drive review: getting the details right

While I want for my turn to attack the track at Tamworth, New Hampshire's Club Motorsports in the 2019 Genesis G70, I notice some of the car's details. The diamond-quilted nappa leather upholstery looks like it was sourced from a Mercedes-Benz S-Class. I shut off the traction control and turn the driver selector to Sport mode; its knurled metal...

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2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon first drive review: the finest bagel hauler

In this SUV-crazy era, we don't see enough bankers' hot rods anymore, but the mad scientists at AMG have a machine to feed the few who desire one. The 603-horsepower 2018 Mercedes-Benz E63 S sedan is bonkers in the best possible way, but it has a sibling that is even stranger while being more practical. For those who need to haul the kids, the soccer...

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2019 BMW X4 M40i first drive review: the evolving SUV coupe

Greenville, South Carolina's Swamp Rabbit Trail shadows the Reedy River along 22 miles of a former rail line. It includes a section named for American Tour de France hero George Hincapie, who resides nearby and leads bike rides for dedicated cycling tourists. It is partially lined by seemingly impenetrable kudzu vine undergrowth that is synonymous...

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2019 Audi Q8 first drive review: the Q flagship

If a Hollywood studio wanted to fake a Mars landing, I'd strongly suggest sending a film crew to the Atacama Desert in northern Chile. The vast, empty stretches of reddish sand peppered with loose rocks form a convincing backdrop in which to embed UFO-related props. I'm not in an exploration rover, though, or in any kind of Rover for that...

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2018 Lexus LC 500h first drive: a glimpse into grand touring’s future

It's clear that the path forward in the auto industry involves electrification. No market segment will be immune from it, though some will take longer to hop on the electrification train. Toyota is the current king of hybrids, with its Prius and Camry models. The Japanese automaker's luxury division, Lexus, is no stranger to hybrids as well...

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2019 Mercedes-Benz C300 and C43 first drive review: subtle upgrades, big safety

A web of country roads casts a romantic net between the alpha world cities of Paris and Frankfurt. Where maps pare down to two-lane roads, the Moselle Valley unfurls vast expanses of lush green carpet, sun-spotted by a yellow haze of wildflowers, lidded by a cobalt-blue sky. Lucky steers and heifers bask against the Windows XP backdrop. They might wonder...

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2018 Porsche 911 GT3 first drive review: Country roads and chicken livers

There's one place where you can get great fried chicken livers on a Sunday morning in Georgia, before church is out. It's a low-ceiling kind of place, tacked on to a gas station, the hallmark of fine low-priced dining across the south. Over the first glorious spring weekend this year, I had just the thing to get there. And I knew the fastest way...

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2019 Volvo V60 first drive review: a matter of inches

As I sit in the 2019 Volvo V60's supremely comfortable seats and drive through a flash flood in Tarragona, Spain outside of Barcelona, I ponder just how much three inches really matters. You see, the V60 is a wagon—the kind of car that Americans don't like to buy—but it shares its Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform, its...

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