AWARDS: 2014 Automobile Magazine All-Stars Road Trip

By - April 8, 2014
All Stars Group Louisiana Bayou
Every year, Automobile Magazine picks its All-Stars. There are no contorted rules, no categories—they’re just our favorite vehicles. This time, though, we’ve added a twist, bringing together this elite group and going on a road trip. To read about our journey from Detroit to New Orleans, read on. If you’d like to see a list of the ten All-Stars, click here.

Sunday: Detroit, Michigan to Indianapolis, Indiana

297 miles

Where is spring? Not here. I’ve just come off a trans-Atlantic flight and find nothing but freezing temperatures and gray skies. It’s the sort of Sunday afternoon you spend watching a movie or sleeping. That is, if there aren’t ten Automobile Magazine All-Stars waiting in a parking lot at Detroit’s Eastern Market. I climb into one of them, a searing orange Jaguar F-type V8 S, lower the top, and peel away. Let’s go find spring.
But find it where, exactly? Anyone who has planned a family vacation knows this is the hard part. Our family, the editors of Automobile Magazine, testily debates the best destination. California? Too far. South Carolina? Not far enough. New England? Too cold.
“Let’s go to D.C. I love D.C. in the spring,” concludes deputy editor Joe DeMatio after a protracted discussion, directing staff photographer Patrick Hoey to map out the best route. Hoey duly submits a map to New Orleans. “Why New Orleans?” we all ask, before deciding, why not New Orleans?
We have, thankfully, a more organized method for determining what cars to bring. We’re driving prime examples of our 2014 All-Stars—the Audi RS7, BMW 435i, Cadillac CTS VSport, Ford Fiesta ST, Honda Accord, Jaguar F-type, Mazda 3, Porsche Cayman S, Ram 1500, and Scion FR-S. It’s worth noting, however, that in more than two decades of selecting All-Stars, we’ve never until now hit the road in all of them at the same time. This journey will be an unprecedented test of our selections.
The most direct route would take us due south through Ohio. But we’re not looking for the quick route. We want to meander, to take our time, and to get lost (none of which means going slow). And so we start heading southwest, to Indianapolis, Indiana. Farms and factories, the aging backbone of America, line our route out of Michigan and through Toledo as we drive into the orange and purple sunset.
Our fleet reassembles in the parking lot of the Union Jack Pub, a well-established watering hole near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Like much of what surrounds the track, this pub, with signed photos of Indy racing drivers hanging from the wood-paneled walls, remains charmingly authentic. “It’s the sort of place drivers go after a race to tell lies to each other,” quips West Coast editor Michael Jordan.
The area’s quaintness becomes less charming when we arrive at our digs for the night, a small bed and breakfast that looks like a life-size dollhouse. Or a horror-movie set. Five editors pile into one upstairs bedroom as “Love Shack” by the B-52s wafts from the kitchen radio. Associate editor Greg Migliore finds a mattress on the floor while photographer Tom Salt, who flew in from Europe for this, snaps pictures of the curios that line the living-room wall.
Indianapolis B B Statue
Road test editor Chris Nelson, who booked the place, does his best to put a shine on things. “Hey, boxes of wine in the fridge!” He volunteers to take one of the other mattresses on the floor, then flips on the old television, which, it turns out, is receiving only one program: River Dance.

Trip Notes: Indianapolis

Eat

Union Jack Pub: Opened in 1981 but feels older (in a good way). Serves up staples like deep-dish pizza and fish and chips. Twenty-four beers on tap.
St. Elmo's Steak House: St. Elmo has been in the same downtown location since 1902 and has long attracted celebrities and VIPs. The famous horseradish shrimp is overshadowed by fantastic dry-aged cuts and a fabulous wine cellar.

Stay

JW Marriott Indianapolis: Located in the heart of Indianapolis, about five miles from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. You can take your chance with a bed and breakfast or a motel nearer to the track, as we did. Or you can be smart and stay here.

Play

Indianapolis Motor Speedway: Receives visitors even when Jim Nabors isn’t around. The hall of fame displays seventy-five cars, including the Marmon Wasp that won the inaugural Indianapolis 500 in 1911.
Brickyard Crossing: Play a round of golf in the shadow of the Speedway. Closed on race day.

Monday: Indianapolis, Indiana to Nashville, Tennessee

340 miles

After a fitful night’s sleep, a few of us head over to the Speedway in the Audi RS7 and the BMW 435i to watch the sun rise over the Pagoda. Come Memorial Day weekend, Honda- and Chevrolet-powered Indy cars will be shrieking around the track, but on this clear winter morning, the largest sporting venue in the world is eerily silent—“save for the ghosts of the last 105 years,” says copy editor Rusty Blackwell. Patches of leftover snow and a watchful security guard ensure that we won’t blast out of the pits and plaster ourselves against the wall.
Indianapolis Skyline
We get an idea of what it takes to run for real here by touring the newest racing shop in town, that of Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing, a 40,000-square-foot facility complete with a CNC machine, a fully equipped gym, and a gleaming garage. Fisher, who has made the transition from driver to owner, says it costs some half a million dollars to field a car at the Indy 500. And this is a relatively small operation—Fisher says she’s still looking for a second driver.
None of us will ever qualify for that seat, but we’re happy with the ten we have. Like a jazz band coming into tune, we start our engines. The urgent flat-four thrum from the Scion FR-S’s TRD exhaust mingles with the relaxed rumble of the Jaguar’s supercharged V-8. Nelson hands everyone a two-way radio, presumably so we can share with each other what’s playing on our stereos, and we head onto the interstate. Our colorful convoy stands out like a school of clown fish swimming through a salmon farm.
This being the part of America that actually builds cars, we get a keen sense of what’s popular—semitrucks ferry brand-new Chevrolet Cruzes out of Ohio, Toyota Camrys from Kentucky, and Hyundai Sonatas out of Alabama. We don’t see too many Porsches, Jaguars, or, for that matter, Mazdas. In some cases, that’s understandable. Relatively few people have $89,000 to spend on any car, let alone one with two seats, like the Porsche Cayman S I’m driving. In some cases, though, the sales charts are difficult to comprehend. Like, why do more people buy Ford F-150s and Chevrolet Silverados every year than Ram 1500s? Jordan, perched up high behind the wheel of a V-6-powered Big Horn Crew Cab, is practically indignant.
“Chrysler doesn’t get the credit it deserves for what it has done in the truck segment,” he says. “First, it reinvented the way trucks look with its big-rig grille. Then it was the first to offer a cabin that held more people and more stuff. Later they made a chassis that would both steer and stop, and now they’ve delivered a great ride with coil—and even optional air—springs.”
The external temperatures steadily climb as we drive south through Indiana. First I turn off the Porsche’s seat heater, and then I dial back the climate control. By the time we get to Louisville, I have the windows down and can feel genuine warmth radiating off the Ohio River. While others grab food and photos, Blackwell and I explore the city, mad-dash-style, in the Audi RS7, which has the most horsepower (560) and, more pertinent, the best navigation system of the group. Did you know that a slightly defective Louisville Slugger bat costs just $20? Or that the Muhammad Ali museum has the champ’s Rolls-Royce parked in the lobby? Or that you can buy a gas mask from an old army-surplus store located on Main Street? Now you do.
2014 Jaguar F Type And Fiesta St Rear Three Quarters In Motion
And just like that, we’re on the road again. Instead of slogging through rush-hour traffic on southbound I-65, we take rural roads through cave country. Salt, who’s been asking us to slow down so he can take photos along our route, now encourages us to drive our normal pace. “Whatever that is,” he adds, unnecessarily. I pounce ahead in the Cayman, taking sweeping curves at 70 mph. The accelerator pedal is as smooth and progressive as the volume knob on a McIntosh amplifier. Even on performance winter tires—like most of the cars here—the steering is so precise that you feel as if you’re turning the car with your eyes. If you were to pick one car to demonstrate to someone what “driving dynamics” are, the Cayman would be it. Of course, in this group, there are several good options for that lesson—the Cadillac CTS and the Ford Fiesta ST stay glued to my tail the entire way. Up ahead, senior editor Joe Lorio is similarly delighted to be driving the BMW. “The six-speed manual is perfection, and BMW understands the importance of a proper driving position in a way that no other carmaker does. The latest 3-, ahem, 4-series has become a very convincing luxury car, but in the right spec and on the right road, it’s still the best driver’s car in its class.”
With the light failing, we arrive in Bowling Green, Kentucky, to pay our respects to our 2014 Automobile of the Year, the Chevrolet Corvette. (If you were wondering why the Vette isn’t with us, it’s because the reigning Automobile of the Year is not eligible to be an All-Star. It sits above all of them.) A woman in a Jeep Patriot is deeply interested in my Porsche’s red interior. At least, that is, until Blackwell pulls up in the Jag. She practically squeals. One downside of traveling with a bunch of All-Stars is that you have to share the spotlight. Other locals are less welcoming. “Do you want to get run over?” asks a crane operator as Salt crouches low in front of the Cayman with his camera. We are clearly intruders, and not just because we’re driving foreign sports cars through Corvette country. “Must we partake in their comestibles in order to use their lavatory?” Salt asks as we pull up to a Hardee’s.
2014 Jaguar F Type Front Three Quarters LEAD
We push on for another hour and reach Nashville, where none of us will have to sleep on the floor. Having flown across the ocean the day before, I’m desperate for some shut-eye.
“Nope, I bought tickets to a concert. Let’s go,” says Nelson, flagging down a cab. The Irish teenage blues rockers the Strypes are one of the loudest and most entertaining bands I’ve ever gone to see, and the beer—Miller High Life tall boys—is cheap. If the days on road trips are long, the nights are even longer.

Trip Notes: Louisville

Eat

Garage Bar: Located in an old mechanics’ garage, with a wrecked Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird out front for good measure. Get a flight (yes, a flight) of ham before downing a flight of Kentucky-batch bourbon.

Stay

21C: A little bit of Brooklyn in downtown Louisville, the 21C is an art-themed hotel whose offbeat decor isn’t there to distract you from subpar comfort or service. The bar, Proof, and restaurant are excellent.

Play

Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory: There are a number of worthwhile museums downtown, but this one’s obligatory. Don’t leave without taking a picture next to the world’s largest bat and buying a smaller one to take home; you can say it’s for the kids.
Muhammad Ali Center: The main museum space chronicles Muhammad Ali’s life and career, while temporary exhibits focus on social issues like women’s equality. A must-see if you’re a fan of the Greatest of All Time but worth a visit even if you’re not.

Trip Notes: Nashville

Eat

The Row Kitchen & Pub: An open-air bar, live music, and more french fries than you can eat.
Noshville: A deli in Nashville sounds like a terrible idea, but Noshville pulls it off. The bagels come straight from New York.

Stay

Hutton Hotel: Located fairly close to all the downtown attractions, the quiet, modern facility provides a welcome respite from Nashville’s kitsch.

Play

Broadway: Steel guitars and drunks of all ages abound in this district. If you don’t like the live music in one bar, walk on to the next.
Lane Motor Museum: An eclectic collection of motorcycles and small European cars crowd an old bread factory. It is, with little doubt, the only place in Nashville that you’ll find a Tatra (or twelve).

Tuesday: Nashville to Cookeville, Tennessee

263 miles

“Cookeville: the Paris of Tennessee,” crows Jordan. It is at the very least the Paris of Putnam County. But the real reason we detour eighty miles east of Nashville to this town of 31,000 is for the roads, which wend and weave through forests and around rocky ridges. We’ve been coming here for years to evaluate performance cars, to the point that many turns along our route—the banked switchback on Highway 30 or the downhill right-hander that exits onto a bridge—are as familiar as those on any racetrack.
All Stars Group Waffle House
Each car dances through them a little differently. The shockingly light, taut Cadillac CTS Vsport waltzes through the curves with mesmerizing fluidity, communicating every degree of camber through its steering wheel. In the heavier, faster Audi RS7, it’s more of a passionate tango—braking deep into a turn to keep the nose down and then relying on the magic of Quattro to help change direction and lead you out to the next straight. At the back of the pack, the Ford Fiesta ST and the Scion FR-S perform a frantic ballet, relying on their small size and finely tuned reflexes to keep up with a bigger and faster crowd. The family car of our group, the Honda Accord, steps on a few toes, but it does so with an enthusiastic smile, its powerful V-6 growling as I blip the throttle and downshift into second.
When we’re not speeding, we’re happy to slow down to a Southern pace. Hoey and Salt, traipsing around in the Ram, happen upon an old bus yard and meet its owner, Charles Dalton. “Europe has great roads, but you don’t discover things like this along them,” Salt says. DeMatio makes friends with his Waffle House waitress, Becky, who’s been working for the chain since 1997. The busiest day of the year, he asks? “Christmas.” In a parking lot, managing editor Amy Skogstrom finds herself on the receiving end of a lesson about the Civil War—“The War of Northern Aggression”—from a retired history professor. “I also learned that he has an uncle who’s younger than he is, because his grandpa was married three times; grandpa’s first wife died in childbirth while having Uncle Clarence,” reports the attentive Skogstrom.
I, meanwhile, discover a weakness for the convenience stores that dot our route. Krispy Kreme donuts, cowboy hats, Duck Dynasty–branded flashlights, Dr. Pepper–flavored licorice. It’s all here and can be mine at the swipe of a credit card. “Is there really demand in America for individually wrapped dill pickles?” asks Salt. Apparently so—I buy one of those, too.
Still, our biggest sources of entertainment are the cars. “It’s so refreshing and invigorating to turn off the satellite radio, disconnect the phone from Bluetooth, open the windows, and fully engage in the act of driving,” notes associate web editor Joey Capparella, who normally spends his days glued to Automobile’s Twitter feed and Facebook page. We chase each other along the ribbons of pavement that weave through the north-central portion of Tennessee, concentrating silently save for the occasional warning of “Dog!” or “Turkeys!” from leader Nelson over the two-way radio. “Repent or perish,” bids a sign at the end of a particularly brilliant stretch on Calfkiller Highway. Instead, we swap cars and run it again. (No calves were harmed in the process.)
2014 Ram 1500 Front Three Quarters With Bus

Wednesday: Cookeville, Tennessee to Birmingham, Alabama

365 miles

We’ve driven through four states to escape from winter, but now it’s chasing us. Rain soaks our cars as we return to our drive routes early in the morning. “Schools are closing back home—eight inches of snow,” calls videographer Sandon Voelker before we cross the Center Hill Dam. We picnic at the defunct Cookeville Speedway, where several seasons of rain have rutted the red-clay track and warped the wooden grandstands. Nothing lasts forever. We’ve enjoyed our little slice of driving heaven, but it’s time to continue our trek south.
All Stars Group Dam
Fortunately, the highway in much of the South is much more than just highway. DeMatio waxes poetic: “Think about the thousands of man-hours, the blood, sweat, and politics that went into laying down a particular swath of freeway—all so we can, in 2014, get into our amazing cars, sync our iPhones, and glide over the work of all these forgotten people.” It probably helps that he’s driving the Cayman. He races downhill on I-24 near Tennessee’s southern border, disappearing around a long, sweeping bend. Nelson, in the Ram, of all vehicles, speeds after him, using both lanes to keep pace.
I’m happy to be trailing behind in the Mazda 3. I’ve been hogging the hot performance cars through much of the early part of the trip (sorry, but I’m not sorry) and, silly as it sounds, am relieved to be in something that provides an elevated sense of normalcy. Long the most entertaining of compact cars, the 3 now also happens to be one of the nicest. The switchgear feels nearly as good as that in our 4-series—right down to the click-wheel controller—and, amazingly, so does the steering.
“Breaker oh-two, breaker oh-two,” crackles DeMatio’s voice over the walkie-talkie as we cross into Alabama. “Who wants Dairy Queen?”
After sampling the local soft serve, it’s my turn to chase the taillights of the Cayman. My theory, which I hope not to test, is that any Smokey hiding in the piney woods will be more interested in the bandit driving that streaking blue Porsche than the poor schmuck doing 103 mph in a Mazda. The highway dips and turns into Birmingham like a bobsled course, finally venting us out onto a surface street.
Birmingham Tunnel
There’s not much on this quiet Wednesday evening to keep us from turning in early, and yet we sit for hours together in the hotel bar chatting about where we’ve been, where we’re going, and, most of all, our cars. So far, I’m partial to the Jaguar F-type, if only for the exuberant reactions it garners. Several others favor the Porsche Cayman. “It’s the car I want to disappear in forever,” says Blackwell. Capparella touts the Cadillac CTS with near-religious fervor, and Voelker preaches the balance of the Scion FR-S. Overall, though, we’re impressed—and maybe a bit relieved—by the quality of our choices. “With this group of cars, you never feel like you’ve gotten the short straw,” adds Blackwell.
We also initiate Salt into another great American pastime: corn hole. He hits the mark on his third throw and decides to quit while he’s ahead.

Trip Notes: Birmingham

Eat

Good People Brewing Company: Drinks are served in a large taproom—bring your own food. Friendly bartenders live up to the company name.
Dave’s Pizza (Homewood): Mountainous salads and elaborate pizzas (we got the onion-tomato-spinach-mushroom-bacon-feta pie).

Stay

Aloft Birmingham Soho Square: As the name indicates, the hotel looks like an industrial loft. Games in the lobby, including giant Jenga and corn hole.

Play

Barber Motorsports Park: Dairy owner George Barber invested $80 million to create one of the nicest motorsports facilities in the country. Porsche uses the hilly, 2.4-mile track for its driving school. The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum has some 1200 motorcycles as well as a collection of racing cars.

Thursday: Birmingham, Alabama, to New Orleans, Louisiana

419 miles

“The Jaguar F-type is a big, British Chevy Camaro,” says Lorio. That seems rather unfair. It is a retro-style head-turner, the clear people’s choice along our route. And, sure, it’s a bit overweight—the two-door weighs as much as the CTS sedan. But no Camaro has ever sounded like this. The Jaguar, in race mode, sounds as if it’s spitting out firecrackers as it leads our convoy through the George Wallace Tunnel (really) in Mobile. “That’s the best sound I’ve heard all week,” says Voelker.
All Stars Group Alabama Highway
Instead of a light at the end of the tunnel, we see a World War II–era battleship, the U.S.S. Alabama, bathing in the warm waters of Mobile Bay. “Too bad we can’t get close enough for photos,” says Migliore. “We’re at least within range of its guns,” responds Blackwell.
By now most of us have acclimated to Southern living. Bitter spouses are texting pictures of the snow back home in Michigan. We’re having lunch on an enclosed balcony at Felix’s Fish Camp Grill, coolly sucking down iced tea as members of a teenage soccer team excitedly check out the cars parked below. Why, yes, we would like to try the key lime pie, we tell our attractive waitress, Amanda. And the bread pudding, too.
Thankfully, Lorio remains cognizant that we still need to cover another 150 miles this afternoon. As we chat idly with Amanda about her Chrysler PT Cruiser, he interrupts: “Let’s go!”
After a pit stop in Mississippi—too much iced tea—we realize that we are, in fact, very behind schedule. I light up the tires out of every stoplight in the name of punctuality. Still, the sun is sinking below the tree line by the time we enter Louisiana, and we’re in a mad dash with Helios over the bayou. Salt sets up his camera alongside Lake Pontchartrain, opens his shutter for a long exposure, and asks us to be still. Mosquitos, delighted to meet our acquaintance, rise from the marsh and eat us alive.
“Still better than Michigan winter,” mutters Skogstrom.
All Stars Group Louisiana Bayou
Indeed, we’re all quite pleased with ourselves as we walk Bourbon Street later in the night in search of beignets (I have five), Sazeracs (one), and beads (alas, no one offers me any). The city is packed with tourists, including some 30,000 orthopedists. “They’re all drunk!” exclaims one. Most, no doubt, crammed themselves into tiny airplane seats in the name of getting here as quickly as possible. We, after five days and nearly 1700 miles, have found that it can be much better to take the long way. Especially if you’re traveling with the right people and in the right cars.

Trip Notes: New Orleans

Eat

Café Du Monde: A tourist trap, yes, but for good reason: the beignets are powdery perfection. Wherever you go for dinner—the options are nearly endless—stop here for dessert.
The Sazerac Bar: Seclude yourself from the daiquiri-slurping masses on Bourbon Street in this stately bar at the historic Roosevelt hotel. Yes, you should order a Sazerac.

Stay

Sheraton New Orleans Hotel: Close to the French Quarter but removed from the constant chaos, the Sheraton’s large rooms offer spectacular views of the city.

Play

New Orleans Museum of Art: After you’ve done the Quarter, check out this fine collection, which focuses on French and American art.
NOLA Motorsports Park: Like most racetracks named after cities, this one is located in the sticks—it’s half an hour southwest of New Orleans. There you’ll find very nice facilities and a challenging course. Good grits and shrimp from catering.

2014 AUDI RS7

Base Price: $105,795
Price As Tested: $122,545
Powertrain
Engine: 32-valve DOHC twin-turbocharged V-8
Displacement: 4.0 liters (244 cu in)
Power: 560 hp @ 5700–6600 rpm
Torque: 516 lb-ft @ 1750–5500 rpm
Transmission 8-speed automatic
Drive: 4-wheel
Chassis
Steering: Electrically assisted
Front suspension: Multilink, air springs
Rear suspension: Multilink, air springs
Brakes: Vented discs
Tires: Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D 275/30R-21 98W
Measurements
L x W x H: 197.3 x 75.2 x 55.8 in
Wheelbase: 114.8 in
Track F/R: 64.3/64.0 in
Weight: 4493 lb
EPA Mileage: 16/27 mpg

2014 BMW 435i

Base Price: $46,925
Price As Tested: $57,225
Powertrain
Engine: 24-valve DOHC turbocharged I-6
Displacement: 3.0 liters (182 cu in)
Power: 302 hp @ 5800–6000 rpm
Torque: 295 lb-ft @ 1200–5000 rpm
Transmission 6-speed manual
Drive: Rear-wheel
Chassis
Steering: Electronically assisted
Front suspension: Strut-type, coil springs
Rear suspension: Multilink, coil springs
Brakes: Vented discs
Tires: Pirelli Sottozero 225/45R-18 95V
Measurements
L x W x H: 182.6 x 71.9 x 54.2 in
Wheelbase: 110.6 in
Track F/R: 60.8/62.8 in
Weight: 3618 lb
EPA Mileage: 20/30 mpg

2014 CADILLAC CTS Vsport

Base Price: $69,995
Price As Tested: $69,995
Powertrain
Engine: 24-valve DOHC twin-turbocharged V-6
Displacement: 3.6 liters (217 cu in)
Power: 420 hp @ 5750 rpm
Torque: 430 lb-ft @ 3500–4500 rpm
Transmission 8-speed automatic
Drive: Rear-wheel
Chassis
Steering: Electronically assisted
Front suspension: Multilink, coil springs
Rear suspension: Multilink, coil springs
Brakes: Ventilated discs
Tires: Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60 245/40R-18 97H, 275/35R-18 95V
Measurements
L x W x H: 195.5 x 72.2 x 57.2 in
Wheelbase: 114.6 in
Track F/R: 61.4/61.7 in
Weight: 3959 lb
EPA Mileage: 16/24 mpg

2014 FORD FIESTA ST

Base Price: $22,195
Price As Tested: $25,580
Powertrain
Engine: 16-valve DOHC turbocharged I-4
Displacement: 1.6 liters (97 cu in)
Power: 197 hp @ 6350 rpm
Torque: 202 lb-ft @ 4200 rpm
Transmission 6-speed manual
Drive: Front-wheel
Chassis
Steering: Electronically assisted
Front suspension: Strut-type, coil springs
Rear suspension: Torsion beam, coil springs
Brakes: Ventilated discs
Tires: Pilot Sport A/S 3 205/40R-17 84V
Measurements
L x W x H: 160.1 x 67.8 x 57.2 in
Wheelbase: 98.0 in
Track F/R: 57.7/57.0 in
Weight: 2741 lb
EPA Mileage: 26/35 mpg

2014 HONDA ACCORD COUPE EX-L V-6

Base Price: $31,415
Price As Tested: $33,190
Powertrain
Engine: 24-valve SOHC V-6
Displacement: 3.5 liters (212 cu in)
Power: 278 hp @ 6200 rpm
Torque: 252 lb-ft @ 4900 rpm
Transmission 6-speed manual
Drive: Front-wheel
Chassis
Steering: Electronically assisted
Front suspension: Strut-type, coil springs
Rear suspension: Multilink, coil springs
Brakes: Ventilated discs
Tires: Michelin X-Ice Xi3 235/45R-18 98H
Measurements
L x W x H: 189.2 x 72.8 x 56.5 in
Wheelbase: 107.3 in
Track F/R: 62.4/62.4 in
Weight: 3392 lb
EPA Mileage: 18/28 mpg

2014 JAGUAR F-TYPE V8 S

Base Price: $92,895
Price As Tested: /$100,370
Powertrain
Engine: 32-valve DOHC V-8
Displacement: 5.0-liters (305 cu in)
Power: 495 hp @ 6500 rpm (est.)
Torque: 460 lb-ft @ 2500-5500 rpm (est.)
Transmission 8-speed automatic
Drive: Rear-wheel
Chassis
Steering: Hydraulically assisted
Front suspension: Control arms, coil springs
Rear suspension: Control arms, coil springs
Brakes: Vented discs
Tires: Pirelli Sottozero W240 255/35R-20 97V front; 288/30R-20 99V rear
Measurements
L x W x H: 176.0 x 75.7 x 51.5 in
Wheelbase: 103.2 in
Track F/R: 62.4/64.1 in
Weight: 3955 lb
EPA Mileage: 16/23 mpg

2014 RAM 1500 BIG HORN CREW CAB

Base Price: $39,445
Price As Tested: $43,990
Powertrain
Engine: 24-valve DOHC V-6
Displacement: 3.6 liters (220 cu in)
Power: 305 hp @ 6400 rpm (est.)
Torque: 269 lb-ft @ 4175 rpm (est.)
Transmission 8-speed automatic
Drive: 4-wheel
Chassis
Steering: Electrically assisted
Front suspension: Control arms, coil springs
Rear suspension: Multilink, coil springs
Brakes (f/r): Vented discs/discs
Tires: Goodyear Wrangler SR-A 275/60R-20 114S
Measurements
L x W x H: 229.0 x 79.4 x 77.5 in
Wheelbase: 140.5 in
Track F/R: 68.2/67.5 in
Weight: 5158 lb
EPA Mileage: 16/23 mpg

2014 PORSCHE CAYMAN S

Base Price: $64,750
Price As Tested: $88,745
Powertrain
Engine: 24-valve DOHC flat-6
Displacement: 3.4 liters (210 cu in)
Power: 325 hp @ 7400 rpm (est.)
Torque: 272 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm (est.)
Transmission 6-speed manual
Drive: Rear-wheel
Chassis
Steering: Electrically assisted
Front suspension: Strut-type, coil springs
Rear suspension: Strut-type, coil springs
Brakes: Vented discs
Tires: Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 265/40R-19 98V front, 235/40R-19 92V rear
Measurements
L x W x H: 172.4 x 70.9 x 51.0 in
Wheelbase: 97.4 in
Track F/R: 60.1/60.6 in
Weight: 3146 lb
EPA Mileage: 20/28 mpg

2014 MAZDA 3 S TOURING

Base Price: $25,890
Price As Tested: $26,185
Powertrain
Engine: 16-valve DOHC I-4
Displacement: 2.5 liters (152 cu in)
Power: 184 hp @ 5700 rpm rpm (est.)
Torque: 185 lb-ft @ 3250 rpm (est.)
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Drive: Front-wheel
Chassis
Steering: Electrically assisted
Front suspension: Strut-type, coil springs
Rear suspension: Multilink, coil springs
Brakes( f/r): Vented discs/discs
Tires: Pirelli Sottozero 215/45R-18 93V
Measurements
L x W x H: 175.6 x 70.7 x 57.3 in
Wheelbase: 106.3 in
Track F/R: 61.2/61.4 in
Weight: 3031 lb
EPA Mileage: 27/37 mpg

2014 SCION FR-S

Base Price: $25,455
Price As Tested: $28,642
Powertrain
Engine: 16-valve DOHC flat-4
Displacement: 2.0 liters (122 cu in)
Power: 200 hp @ 7000 rpm (est.)
Torque: 151 lb-ft @ 6400–6600 rpm (est.)
Transmission 6-speed manual
Drive: Rear-wheel
Chassis
Steering: Electrically assisted
Front suspension: Strut-type, coil springs
Rear suspension: Control arms, coil springs
Brakes: Vented discs
Tires: Dunlop Graspic DS-3 Dunlop Graspic DS-3
Measurements
L x W x H: 166.7 x 69.9 x 50.6 in
Wheelbase: 101.2 in
Track F/R: 59.8/60.6 in
Weight: 2742 lb
EPA Mileage: 22/30 mpg

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