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9/3/2011 4:39:00 AM
Running the Copperstate 1000 Road Rally
Running the Copperstate 1000 Road Rally - Automobile Magazine
The sounds of violence.

Throughout history, people have ventured great distances for the simple pleasure of hearing appealing noises up close. From the sounds of babbling brooks and roaring waterfalls to whale songs and the twittering of rare birds, from the esteemed opera companies of cosmopolitan cities to Madonna's I'm Fifty-Two Years Old Yet I Still Don't Wear Enough Clothes Tour: we go not only to see, we go to listen. And, with that in mind, there's nothing like the sound I recently traveled thousands of miles -- all the way to Arizona -- to experience firsthand: the mellifluous strains of a vintage 427-cubic-inch engine hard at work in a Chevrolet Corvette.


Photo Gallery: Running the Copperstate 1000 Road Rally - Automobile Magazine


9/2/2011 7:39:00 PM
2012 BMW 1 Series M coupe
2012 BMW 1 Series M coupe - Editors' Notebook - Automobile Magazine
No doubt about it, the 1-series M coupe is just as good as Jason Cammisa claimed it was in our first drive report in our August 2011 issue, and it is clearly going to enter the history books as one of the most exciting performance cars to debut in 2011.

No doubt about it, the 1-series M coupe is just as good as Jason Cammisa claimed it was in our first drive report in our August 2011 issue, and it is clearly going to enter the history books as one of the most exciting performance cars to debut in 2011. We're well familiar with this N54-series twin-turbo in-line six-cylinder engine, having driven it in both the 3-series and the Z4 roadster, but never before has it been installed in a car with such a keenly tuned chassis. Throttle response, brake pedal modulation, brake performance, clutch pedal take-up, gearshift action, steering precision and feel: all I can say is yum, yum, yum, and double yum again. No surprise on those fronts, since much of the chassis is taken straight from the BMW M3.


Photo Gallery: 2012 BMW 1 Series M coupe - Editors' Notebook - Automobile Magazine


9/2/2011 2:39:00 AM
2012 Volkswagen Passat SE
2012 Volkswagen Passat SE - Editors' Notebook - Automobile Magazine
The all-new Passat hails from Tennessee; is it up to snuff?

Much has been said about the 2012 Passat: It is the second of Volkswagen's new "Americanized" cars and the first to come from its all-new factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The new plant seems up to snuff in the initial-quality department, with panels all screwed together well and with reasonably tight panel gaps. I say "reasonably" because Fisher Price-grade plastics can fit together only so tightly. While the cabin may be attractively designed, there are few soft-touch plastics to be found and too many that are reminiscent of the little red-and-yellow buggy many of us had as children.


Photo Gallery: 2012 Volkswagen Passat SE - Editors' Notebook - Automobile Magazine


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