Speeding: An Ode To Our Favorite Form of Civil Disobedience

P.J. O’Rourke on Speeding

Many are the blessings of the automobile: independence, mobility, freedom. But the greatest of these is freedom! While going too fast. READ MORE ››

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2018 Lexus IS In-Depth Review: A Different Type of Sports Sedan

2018-Lexus-IS-01-PLACEMENT

The Lexus IS looks fast—faster than it is. But once on the move, its athletic, refined chassis confirms its sport-luxury aspirations. Those enticed by its extroverted styling will enjoy a host of standard high-tech assists and a choice of several powertrains. The rear-wheel-drive base model is powered by a turbo four-cylinder, and V-6 versions are available with all-wheel drive. An optional F Sport package features a more aggressive appearance and a handful of performance tweaks. The IS could be quicker and its infotainment system better, but its purposeful design and engaging driving character make it a worthwhile alternative in the highly competitive entry-luxury sedan class. READ MORE ››

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2020 Porsche 911 Interior Revealed—It Has a Real Cupholder!

2020 Porsche 911 (spy photo)

Predicting the future of the Porsche 911 is about as easy as forecasting what Coca-Cola will taste like years from now. But for the first time in the model’s 54-year history, the next 911 will finally secure a Coke bottle without spilling it all over the carpet.

These spy photos of the 2020 911 interior are more upsetting to Porsche convention than the Mission E electric sedan is. In the center console, there is an honest-to-God, deep-dish, American-size cupholder.

2020 Porsche 911 (spy photo)

Among German automakers, Porsche has held out the longest against installing real cupholders in its flagship sports car, instead offering two flimsy, shallow pieces that pop out from the passenger-side dashboard that none of us dare to use, fearing that our oversize beverages will topple out of them. Who would have thought this day would ever come?

Ahead of the Dunkin-approved cupholder we see a stubby, Prius-like shifter that needlessly complicates gear selection compared to the tried-and-true PRNDL format. It creates yet another reason to choose a manual 911. Elsewhere, the 992-generation interior echoes that of the latest Panamera, with its wide infotainment touchscreen, dual LCDs flanking an analog tachometer, and new steering-wheel controls and column stalks. The blacked-out portions flanking the shifter may be touch-capacitive switches that illuminate on startup, or they could be temporary blanks in this particular development car. There’s an attractive row of knurled toggle switches above the central air vents, which don’t copy the Panamera’s nifty but gimmicky electronically controlled vent.

What else can be said? It’s clearly a 911 interior, which is an enviable place to be—a place that soon will be considerably less stressful for owners pulling away from the drive-through.

2020-Porsche-911-spy-photo-Reel

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2020 Porsche 911 Interior Revealed—It Has a Real Cupholder!

2020 Porsche 911 (spy photo)2020 Porsche 911 (spy photo)2020 Porsche 911 (spy photo)2020 Porsche 911 (spy photo)2020 Porsche 911 (spy photo)2020 Porsche 911 (spy photo)2020 Porsche 911 (spy photo)2020 Porsche 911 (spy photo)2020 Porsche 911 (spy photo)2020 Porsche 911 (spy photo)2020 Porsche 911 (spy photo)2020 Porsche 911 (spy photo)2020 Porsche 911 (spy photo)2020 Porsche 911 (spy photo)2020 Porsche 911 (spy photo)

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2018 Lexus IS – In-Depth Review

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2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo First Drive: The One with Everything

2018-Porsche-Panamera-Turbo-S-E-Hybrid-Placement

We have rooted for the return of the station wagon in the United States despite the body style’s limited success here in recent decades. While wagons remain popular in Europe, American consumers now embrace slightly taller, rugged-looking hatchbacks (i.e., SUVs) that do essentially the same job. (Although this is increasingly becoming the case even abroad.) READ MORE ››

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2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo – First Drive Review

2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo

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Buy a Car, Get a Trip: How European Delivery Works

Audi factory delivery

European delivery presents a rare win-win proposition that lets buyers pick up their new car directly from the factory, often saving enough in the process to fund a European vacation. The details vary from one manufacturer to another, but the basics are the same: You order the car from your local dealer, fly to Europe to pick it up off the line, tour the factory, and take your new ride on a road trip around Europe. Then you drop it back off, fly home, and pick it up again at your local dealership several weeks later.

So why doesn’t every customer take advantage? For starters, you have to pay for the car in full or have financing arranged before it’s even built. There’s generally a lead time of up to 12 weeks between ordering and taking delivery. Also, not every automaker offers such a program, and the ones that do are typically for more upmarket shoppers. Here are details on the five automakers that make European delivery available:

Audi forum preview

Audi

Audi offers a discount of 5 percent on most models, along with a one-night hotel stay, ground transportation, and breakfast and lunch on the delivery day. Customers can pick up their car at the Audi Forum in Ingolstadt or in Neckarsulm. Both include a factory tour, but Ingolstadt also includes museum tickets. Fifteen days of insurance are offered, and the vehicle can be returned at any one of 17 locations.

Nearly the entire Audi lineup (in U.S. spec) is eligible—except the A3 e-tron and the Q5—for the discount, but the full price applies to the R8 and RS models.

BMW delivery

BMW

For European delivery, BMW offers up to 5 percent savings off a vehicle’s base MSRP, a discount that ranges from $1740 for a 230i to $7835 for an M760i. Airfare and accommodations aren’t included, but airport transfer is. Handover takes place at BMW Welt—the brand’s flagship showcase in Munich—and includes a tour of the factory and museum. Fourteen days of insurance and registration are included, after which the customer can drop the vehicle off at any one of 12 locations.

Availability is extended to the 2-, 3-, 4-, 5-, 6-, and 7-series models as well as the X1, the i8, and a range of M and Alpina performance models. Note that the X3, X4, X5, and X6, all made in South Carolina, are not included, nor is the i3, which is built in Leipzig, Germany.

Mercedes delivery

Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz offers up to 7 percent off the purchase price for European delivery and waives the usual $925 destination charge. It also includes a $200 airfare voucher, one night’s hotel accommodations, airport transfer, a meal at the Delivery Center in Stuttgart or Bremen, and a tour of the factory and museum. Road insurance is provided for up to 15 days, along with a full tank of fuel. At the end of the trip, customers can drop off their vehicle at one of 11 locations for transatlantic shipment.

Eligible models include the C-class (coupe and convertible), E-class (coupe, convertible, sedan, and wagon), CLA and CLS four-door coupes, SL roadster, and GLA, GLC, and GLC coupe crossovers. The C-class sedan and GLE and GLS crossovers are made in Alabama, so picking one up in Europe isn’t an option.

Porsche Experience in Atlanta

Porsche

Porsche is the one automaker that offers no discounts for European delivery. It does, however, offer airport transfers, a night at a hotel, 16 days of insurance, and a free lunch (and here we thought there was no such thing). Customers can pick up their cars in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, where the 911 and 718 are made, or Leipzig, home to the Panamera, Cayenne, and Macan. Zuffenhausen includes a tour of the factory, while Leipzig offers a chance to drive the on-site test track—although in a “like model,” not the customer’s own new purchase, according to Porsche spokesman Frank Wiesmann.

Dropoff can be made in Leipzig or, for a fee, at one of 16 additional locations across Europe. Porsche customers needn’t fly all the way to Europe to get the experience, though. The Porsche Experience Center (PEC) in Atlanta includes a tour, lunch, and a 90-minute track session for an extra $400 or so, depending on model. Porsche is now also accepting orders for delivery in 2018 at its new Porsche Experience Center in Los Angeles. The customer can choose between delivery at either of those facilities or at the German factories—but European delivery cannot be combined with PEC delivery in the U.S.

Volvo factory delivery center

Volvo

The only automaker outside Germany offering European delivery is Volvo. Discounts vary by model, but you’re typically looking at about a grand off the list price, and Volvo waives the destination charge. The Swedish automaker throws in two complimentary round-trip tickets, one night’s accommodations, and a factory tour. Fifteen days of insurance are included, after which the customer can return the vehicle to the factory or, at added cost, to other locations around Europe. Every model in the Volvo lineup is eligible, and each has its own pricing scheme unique to the program, with the upcoming XC40 freshly added to the list. Volvo’s Overseas Delivery program also offers some European colors, options, and accessories not otherwise available in the United States.

Other Considerations

With all the programs, the final purchase price is negotiated between the U.S. customer and U.S. dealer. Some of the participating manufacturers allow the European-delivery pricing to be combined with additional promotions, while others do not. The discount is offered by the manufacturer, and its application varies. BMW applies it to the base MSRP, excluding options. Audi and Mercedes apply it to the total MSRP, with options.

As for Value Added Tax (VAT), that double-digit-percentage levy on consumer goods in the European Union? Audi and Porsche collect it up front but refund it as long as the vehicle is returned when the contract specifies; Mercedes-Benz and Volvo say that the VAT will be charged only if the vehicle is kept in Europe past the period specified in the contract. BMW says the customer is not required to pay VAT up front.

In the end, the biggest reason that more customers don’t opt for European delivery is likely because they don’t know it’s available. But if you’ve gotten this far, consider yourself in the know.

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Kiss Me, I’m in an Autonomous Car: Rinspeed Snap Concept Is for “Cuddling”

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2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Driven: Sporty Looking, Not Sporty Driving

2018-Mitsubishi-Eclipse-Cross-PLACEMENT

Mitsubishi has a plan to break out of its current austerity mode, during which the brand’s occasional sparks of edgy design and performance-oriented engineering have remained in a deep slumber. The 2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is the first fruit of that effort, and it’s intended to signal a course correction toward a more compelling lineup. READ MORE ››

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