What’s The Drive Driving?
Subways are overrated. Let’s take the Lambo.
Wherein we show you what our writers and editors are pushing around the block—or around the world.
2016 Aston Martin DB9 GT Volante
If you're going to endure 24 hours in L.A. in late September, navigating hundreds of miles on clogged highways in the unrelenting 88-degree sunshine, there are far worse punishments than being given the crystal key fob to a $217,000 Skyfall Silver Aston Martin DB9 GT Volante.
1) Drop the top and crank up the A/C. There is no point in attempting to be parsimonious in this vehicle, equipped as it is with a 540-horsepower, 6-liter V12, a motor that rewards gluttonous runs into the upper register of the rev band like few other power plants. I will build a permanent memorial to this engine in my bedroom (or my mind) if our planet's very necessary crackdown on emissions causes its disappearance from this earth.
2) Got Wood? The unvarnished burl veneer on the waterfall center stack makes the over-polished book-matched planks on a Bentley Continental GT convertible look like the Ethan Allen credenza in my sister-in-law's basement. So much texture and warmth and richness.
3) Aston Martins are delightfully anachronistic. The chassis underpinning this car dates to the 20th century. A six-speed automatic transmission is a bit boggy in its transitions. But when you're driving it, it makes it feel less like a fantasy, and more like a car you might actually own. Or one you've owned for a very long time. I felt that it suited me quite well.
4) If you're taking a couple friends out for dinner, and one member of the couple is small, and it's a nice night, you can cram that person in the tiny, high-mounted back seat. At this elevation, they act as a wind deflector for the front seat occupants.
5) Ordering street tacos on L.A.'s east side while your Aston Martin DB9 GT Volante idles nearby is both reprehensible and one of life's great pleasures. (Hint: Tip well.)—Brett Berk, writer-at-large
2015 Lamborghini Huracán
Hurricanes aren’t usually welcome in New York. But I was thrilled when the Lamborghini Huracán—named for a stormy Spanish fighting bull—blew onto my Brooklyn doorstep with its 610-hp V-10, 2.5-second rip from zero to 60 mph and 202-mph peak. I lost count of how many people asked to take a picture of the car, and I surprised them by taking their cameras and insisting they get in the frame. But that’s what a carnival ride like the Huracán is all about: making people happy with its sheer, swirling improbability.—Lawrence Ulrich, chief auto critic
2016 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
Prior to collecting this ’16 model equipped with the Z51 Performance Package and a 7-speed stick, I’d never driven a Corvette. After cantilevering my body into the driver’s seat, I wish I could say my first impression was one of, “Faster Stingray, kill kill!” It was, lamentably, “I think I might be sick.” The interior was redolent of drying epoxy, a perfume that may arouse the ‘Vette faithful but did nothing for me. My wife loved it, but she also likes huffing the bleachy solvents used to scrub subway platforms. Take that as you will.
The Stingray also gifted baby his first upshift to 7th gear. If it only accommodated upshifts into 2nd as gracefully; the gate seemed to have a minder that denied me entry 50% of the time. It was O.K., though, because as The Drive west coast editor Chris Cantle observed as we traveled the tail end of this journey, you can drive the Stingray in 3rd all day. (Your fuel economy will suffer mightily, though. Then again, you’d be smiling a lot.)—Jonathan Schultz, deputy editor
2016 ATS Coupe
The Cadillac ATS Coupe is so smooth, Frank Sinatra might just come back to life and drive one. But it’s pretty fast, too, so that might kill him again. Cadillac has made a fantastic car here, proof that the once-great automaker has re-entered the realm of luxury-cars-to-be-reckoned-with. It wasn’t just that the car looked good, sounded good and blasted down the highway like a supersonic hovercraft. Thing is, it’s not a BMW, Audi or Mercedes-Benz. It’s proudly American and has every right to be.—Benjamin Preston, writer-at-large
2003 Subaru Outback
My old beater, a 2003 Outback, never fails. This baby has been across the country, up and down the East Coast, all over California from top to bottom and to innumerable ski mountains in the snow. It's ugly and dirty, but it kicks ass and I love it.—A.J. Baime, editor-at-large
Check back next week for more of what The Drive is driving.