The Virtual Driver

Surprise — 2018 Buick Regal no longer a sedan

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(April 22, 2017) Buick’s new Regal lineup for 2018 is a bit of a surprise. Instead of selling just an Audi A4-sized sedan this time, Buick decided to drop the sedan altogether, and replace it with a hatchback with coupe overtones. And, if that wasn’t enough, it took the plunge and added a high-riding station wagon in the mold of Audi’s A4 Allroad to the mix.

Crossover comparison: Kia Sportage vs. Hyundai Tucson vs. Honda CR-V

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(April 16, 2017) Demand for small SUVs is very strong, with buyers moving up — and down — into the comfortably sized vehicles. This has driven automakers into a competitive frenzy, and given buyers unprecedented choice. Built off the platform of a brand’s C-segment sedan, these vehicles scratch an itch that has afflicted buyers like a trip through a poison ivy patch, allowing them to own a crossover without throwing thrift out of the widow or sacrificing amenities or style.

Tesla and the money men

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(April 9, 2017) If it hasn’t happened by the time you read this, Tesla’s stock price son will reach $300 per share. That’s an amazing number for a relatively low volume car company that continues to lose money. The latest uptick in price came when the company announced it had sold more than 25,000 vehicles in the first quarter of the year, beating analysts’ forecasts.

At last — An all-new Ford Expedition is coming this fall

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(April 3, 2017) In some ways it’s hard to believe that the Ford Expedition has been around for 20 years. Then again, the looks of the vehicle changed so glacially that it’s even more difficult to believe that this is the fourth generation Expedition. Which, if you do the math, suggests a new generation every five years.

Postcards from Sebring: The sights, sounds, and cultural oddities

By William G. Sawyer
Editor at Large, The Virtual Driver

(March 25, 2017) When the Editor of The Virtual Driver discovered that I was making a trip to Sebring for the 12 Hours along with my son, and ace photographer, Danny, he shrugged off suggestions for a spectator’s view of the race, claiming it would add nothing to the voluminous coverage that would follow on TV and motorsport-focused websites.

Dendrobium EV hypercar: The musical

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(March 20, 2017) In the movies from the 1930s and early 1940s, whenever the youthful performers got together to think of something to do, inevitably someone blurted out with great enthusiasm. “Hey kids, let’s put on a show!” Today that throw away line seems to be, “Hey kids, let’s build a hyper performance electric vehicle!”

2018 Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo — European 'shooting brake'

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(March 19, 2017) The production Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo broke cover at the Geneva show. Available in four versions — Panamera 4, Panamera 4S, Panamera 4 E-Hybrid and Panamera Turbo — the new model is every inch the sporting European “shooting brake” that combines attributes of a station wagon and coupe.

Volkswagen Arteon: A CC by another name still looks sweet

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(March 13, 2017) Volkswagen’s CC was designed to sit between the Passat sedan and Phaeton, but when VW’s luxury liner left the U.S. market, it became the brand’s top offering. The Arteon, which is built on the same MQB structure that underpins the Golf, Euro-spec Passat, and the Tiguan and Atlas SUVs, replaces the aging CC with a new range topper that swaps the old car’s “fastback with trunk” for a true hatchback. Think of it as VW’s answer to the Audi A7.

Saints and sinners: 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(March 4, 2017) For most vehicles, this is the picture you’d expect to see at the beginning of a story. An interesting background, decent lighting, and a clear look at the front and side of the subject. Nothing special. Nothing fancy. Nothing too exciting. In many cases it’s almost an afterthought taken on the day before the vehicle being tested is collected, or on the first day when the weather cooperates.

The American V8 — Undisputed master of inexpensive power

By William G. Sawyer
Editor at Large
The Virtual Driver


(February  19, 2017) DETROIT — Ever since Henry Ford popularized the V8 engine in 1932 it’s been the power plant of choice for everyone from bank robbers to teens drag racing on Woodward Avenue, and professional racers. Once Chevrolet introduced their 265 cubic inch small block engine in 1955 the floodgates opened and the American V8 took its place as the undisputed master of inexpensive but explosive power in a variety of applications.