Your 12 favorite cars, Verstappen takes Miami, Radford wants to rule Pikes Peak

2022 Chevrolet C8 Corvette exterior side profile driving Manifold Lede
Matt Tierney

The 12 cars you find most satisfying, ranked

Consumer Reports’ annual survey of the cars that readers are most satisfied with, in order:

  1. Chevrolet Corvette
  2. Porsche 911
  3. Kia Telluride
  4. Rivian R1T
  5. Ford Maverick Hybrid
  6. Hyundai Ioniq 5
  7. Polestar 2
  8. Subaru BRZ
  9. Toyota GR86
  10. Toyota RAV4 Prime
  11. Mazda MX-5 Miata
  12. Dodge Challenger

Exhaust: A few footnotes: This is the second straight year the Corvette C8 (2020–) has topped the list. As you likely know, the Subaru BRZ and Toyota GR86 are basically the same car. Also, it’s interesting that the Dodge Challenger, which goes out of production this year, is the only Stellantis product to make the list. And finally, Ford hasn’t remotely caught up with Ford Maverick demand—last weekend our local dealer put an extra $20,000 on the nose of a $24,000 truck. —Steven Cole Smith

Jenson Button wants his car to rule Pikes Peak

Radford Type 62-2 Pikes Peak

Intake: Radford, the small British sports car maker founded by former F1 champ Jenson Button and Ant Anstead, is to compete at Colorado’s most famous hill-climb race with a unique version of its Type 62-2. The car that will climb Pikes Peak “has basically nothing shared with the road car except for the design ethos and some components,” says Tanner Foust, who’s been enlisted to take the wheel. Replacing its aluminum chassis is a full composite monocoque which is some nine inches wider than the road car’s, with all-new front and rear subframes and suspension geometry. There’s an aerodynamic underbody, and the main bodywork has also been adapted for increased downforce. As befits any Pikes Peak challenger, a gigantic rear wing is installed as well. The 3.5-liter, Toyota-derived, supercharged V-6 engine now makes 700 horsepower and drives the rear wheels through a sequential paddle-shift transmission. Radford reckons the car takes just 2.2 seconds to reach 60 mph and tops out at 160 mph. Will that be enough to crown Foust King of the Hill?

Exhaust: The Europeans are coming to Colorado in force for 2023. Radford joins Alpine, Porsche, KTM, and Radical with serious-minded vehicles. Will one of these old-continent challengers will be victorious? We’ll find out on June 25. —Nik Berg

Verstappen takes Miami Grand Prix

F1 Grand Prix of Miami 2023 max verstappen wins
May 7, 2023. Max Verstappen of the Netherlands drives the #1 Oracle Red Bull Racing RB19 on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at Miami International Autodrome. Getty Images | Jared C. Tilton

Intake: Max Verstappen beat Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez in the second running of the Miami Grand Prix, which was a bit of a snoozer after we watched Verstappen march to the lead from his ninth-place starting spot. He led the rest of the race except for a brief period after a pit stop, when he had to re-pass Perez. The Mexican driver was a fan favorite; as we were told, 75 percent of the Miami households speak Spanish. American Logan Sargeant was last after an early forced pit stop to replace his Williams Mercedes’ nose and front wing. He finished one lap down. Third was Fernando Alonso in the Aston Martin Mercedes.

Exhaust: The Miami track seems to suit Verstappen’s style, which is our offhand way of saying every track seems to suit him. The Dutchman has won three of the first five races, and teammate Perez, the other two. F1 is next in North America for the Canadian Grand Prix June 18, then back in the U.S. for the U.S. Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas in Austin on October 22; in Mexico, on October 27; and in Las Vegas for the debut of that race on November 18. —Steven Cole Smith

Driverless cars confound first responders

waymo santa monica i-pace electric jaguar self driving autonomous
February 21, 2023, Santa Monica, California. Passengers ride in an electric Jaguar I-Pace car outfitted with Waymo full self-driving technology. Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Intake: As police and fire officials responded to a drug lab explosion in San Francisco, Automotive News reports, they had to contend with a driverless car that wandered into the middle of the scene. “Body-cam footage from February shows an officer yelling at the Waymo vehicle and tossing a flare to keep it from driving over fire hoses. Several weeks earlier, a firefighter reported having to smash the window of a driverless vehicle to make it stop approaching a fire scene. In March, firefighters said they had cordoned off a street to deal with wind damage, only to have two Cruise vehicles drive through the warning tape and become entangled in downed wires.” Automotive News says first responders have cited at least 15 instances of a Cruise or Waymo car interfering with an emergency scene.

Exhaust: Chalk this up to one more unseen obstacle autonomous cars will have to overcome. Read the original story in Mission Local for the scarily amusing details. —SCS

Lamborghini is 60 years young

Lamborghini 60th anniversary

Intake: Yesterday, May 7, marked exactly six decades since the formation of Automobili Ferruccio Lamborghini S.a.s. Now known as Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A., the company was founded in Sant’Agata Bolognese, which was picked by its founder because it was halfway between the towns of Modena and Bologna, places where he could recruit the best young minds and craftspeople in the Italian automobile industry. Lamborghini has been celebrating with Lamborghini Days for fans around the world including Suzuka, Japan, and Silverstone. A record 380 Lamborghinis gathered at the U.K. circuit. The next key date is May 24, when a 60th Anniversary Giro tour will take place in Italy, finishing four days later in Piazza Maggiore in Bologna with a concours d’elegance featuring 150 Lambos.

Exhaust: Hagerty is joining in the celebrations with a series of drives of the Raging Bull’s most iconic cars, starting with the 400 GT. Join us as we take the wheel of the Miura, Countach, Diablo, and more. —NB




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