First Drives

  • 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt first drive

    I want to be a hero. A hero reminds me of the best versions of me, especially when I can hardly muster enough courage to get out of bed in the morning. The 1968 Ford Mustang fastback sprayed in Dark Highland Green wasn’t a hero when it rolled off the line in January 1968 and onto the screen in the motion picture “Bullitt.” One of more than 317,000 Mustangs sold that year, the pine-colored car fitted with a white cue ball shifter was more remarkable because of its concept than the oily bits and bolts it held together for a short time. DON'T MISS: The story of the other...

  • 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class
    2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS first drive review: Stylish, safe, and comfortable

    Growing up in Sindelfingen, Germany, as the daughter of a Mercedes-Benz engineer who worked on three generations of the E-Class, Jennifer Schefczik heard the same thing over and over. “Child, the E-Class is always about style, safety, and comfort,” her dad told her. Some 20 years later...

  • 2019 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera
    2019 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera first drive review: Dead serious, dead sexy

    Twelve-cylinder engines are an endangered automotive species. Only a handful are left: Mercedes and Maybach share one, and so do BMW and Rolls-Royce. Ferrari has its holdout—and it’s impossible to leave out Bentley’s W-12, though its offbeat cylinder layout makes it an outlier...

  • 2018 Lamborghini Huracan Performante Spyder, Napa Valley, July 2018
    2018 Lamborghini Huracán Performante first drive review: Admission to an exclusive club

    Getting behind the wheel of the Lamborghini Huracán Performante Spyder is like knowing the secret handshake for an exclusive club. You have to be able to afford the price of entry, know the strange rituals to simply operate the car, and understand the dark art of the ALA active aerodynamics...

  • The Keen Project Safari 911 No. 2, photo by Alex Bellus
    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...

  • 2019 Genesis G70
    2019 Genesis G70 first drive review: Getting the details right

    While I wait 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...

  • 2018 Nissan GT-R Track Edition, Gingerman Raceway, May 2018

    Like a pilot preparing for takeoff, I flick a few switches before heading out. I reach down to the base of the center stack and push up on the transmission, damper, and stability control switches to set them to Race mode. It’s time to see what Godzilla can do on the 11-turn, 2.14-mile Gingerman Raceway road course in western Michigan. Every GT-R is a bona fide performance monster, but the range has a hierarchy. If the GT-R Nismo is Godzilla at his deadliest, the Track Edition is one step down, the monster with only a slightly better attitude. It combines elements of the Nismo and the...

  • 2018 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S wagon
    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...

  • 2019 BMW X4
    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...

  • 2019 McLaren Senna, Portugal Media Drive, June 2018
    2019 McLaren Senna first drive review: Ultimate street-legal performer

    In the age of YouTube, an exotic carmaker needs exciting overhead tracking video of its latest automotive thunderbolt to thrill online fans. McLaren Automotive ran into unexpected difficulty getting that shot. The McLaren Senna’s extravagant wings, spoilers, splitters, vents, and ducts so...

  • 2019 Audi Q8, Atacama Desert, Chili, media drive, June 2018
    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...

  • 2018 Lexus LC 500h
    2018 Lexus LC 500h first drive review: 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...

  • 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class (C43 sedan)

    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 what the rush of Mercedes sedans all means, if the local cud wasn't so obviously tasty. We snake through in a bullwhip of C300 and AMG C43 sedans, coupes and cabriolets, through towns where hopping preserves the last bits of local culture...

  • 2018 Porsche 911 GT3
    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...

  • 2019 Volvo V60
    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...

  • 2019 Aston Martin DB11 AMR
    2019 Aston Martin DB11 AMR first drive review: continuous improvement rings true

    I awaken at the Dorint Hotel on a cool, dewy May morning. The surface of the famed Nürburgring-Nordschleife rests just a few feet outside my window, and it, as well as the plentiful surrounding greenery, is shrouded in a pea soup fog. Mid-May shouldn’t be this cold. The temperature...

  • 2018 McLaren 720S
    2018 McLaren 720S first drive review

    It launches to 60 mph quicker and weighs less than a Ferrari 488 GTB. It slays the quarter mile faster than a Bugatti Veyron. It'll take on all comers on a road course. And it’s from an automaker that got its start in earnest in 2010. We took the 2018 McLaren 720S to California’s Ortega...

  • 2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS first drive
    2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS first drive review: fighting for attention

    Born into a prizewinning family, the 2018 Porsche 718 GTS may never be the champion of anything—not in the Porsche lineup at least. That doesn’t mean it’s not a winner. The 2018 Porsche 718 GTS adds 15 horsepower and 8 pounds-feet of torque above the Cayman S or Boxster S, cuts...

  • 2018 Porsche 911 Carrera T first drive

    The scene in the rearview mirror of the 2018 Porsche 911 Carrera T is remarkably clear. It’s all high-definition vineyards and crystal-clear coastline, for as long as I dare look back. Why it’s so clear: Engineers fitted thinner rear and side windows that are not only 6 pounds lighter, but also skip a defroster and the unforgivable clutter of those thin hot wires. The road winds through Napa Valley, and it’s one of its good days (Editor's note: Are there bad days in Napa?), when the trees and rows of chardonnay grapes individually glint, fresh from a morning mist. The ribbon...

  • Volkswagen California Ocean Red
    2018 Volkswagen California first drive review: forbidden fruit you can live in

    Our ideal garage is full of weird French hatchbacks, Japanese kei cars, German wagons, and Volkswagen vans. But as North Americans, we’re stuck admiring these wondrous oddities from afar. Aside from the tragic Volkswagen Routan, the U.S. hasn't seen a new VW van since the Eurovan disappeared...

  • 2018 Ford Mustang GT Peformance Package Level 2
    2018 Ford Mustang GT Performance Package Level 2 first drive: making it a real sports car

    The Ford Mustang was born a pony car, but it’s worked tirelessly for most of the last decade to move past its roots. To become a true sports car. The reintroduction of the Boss 302 in 2012 came close, but only in 2015 did Ford finally ditch the Mustang's solid rear axle for modern technology...

  • 2019 Bentley Continental GT, Austria 2018
    2019 Bentley Continental GT first drive review: The stuff of dreams

    The day begins in a Sequin Blue 2019 Bentley Continental GT at the exclusive Kitzbuhel Country Club in the Tyrolean region of Austria. Set against verdant rolling hills and tooling through storybook villages, it would be easy to think one is lost in a fairy tale. This car’s cabin is outfitted...

  • 2019 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid
    2019 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid first drive review: Porsche’s case for electrification

    An air of practicality sweeps over Porsche these days. It’s not unlike the strong winds coming off the Mediterranean Sea on the warm spring day when I find myself behind the wheel of a 2019 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid pushing toward the French coast from hilly Provence. This warm, humid breeze...

  • 2018 Aston Martin DB11 Volante
    2018 Aston Martin DB11 Volante video road test

    The 2018 Aston DB11 Volante just may be the grandest of today’s grand touring cars. A 2+2 convertible with a sensuous shape and 503 German horses under its clamshell bonnet, it’s a beautiful means of getting you wherever you want to go. We drove the DB11 Volante on the California coast...

Follow Us on Instagram @motorauthority