Testing a car on a race track is a patently different experience than testing on back roads. It’s true—there are some details you simply can’t derive from a track test. It’s difficult to gauge how the car’s suspension will handle rough pavement (poorly paved race tracks are, thankfully, few and far between) or how the car’s mirrors will mitigate blind spots (if you’re checking your mirrors on a track, you’re doing something wrong). But for each closed circuit’s shortcomings, it offers one major benefit: With today’s powertrains, the only place you can legally find the limit of a car’s power, its grip, or its brakes is on a track.
The Chevrolet TrailBlazer, from 2005-2009 at least, was a pretty darn good SUV. Yeah, it developed squeaks and rattles over time, had mediocre materials inside the cabin and didn’t exactly handle like a BMW SUV, but it had powerful engines, a solid build and a comfortable ride.
It also had a nice fanbase and has proven itself on the highways and snow-covered backroads across the country. GM discontinued the rig after the 2009 model year and replaced it with the more upscale and refined Chevy Traverse.
Our own tgriffith’s heart will be broken when he reads today’s news that the outrageous Porsche 918 Spyder will officially go on sale in November at the price of $845,000. After he recovers from the cardiovascular consequences of learning this, he may take heart.
We don’t yet know the price of BMW’s new (2012) 650i (above), but it’s got to be way under $100K, which means he could likely buy nine of ’em for the cost of one Spyder, a machine not meant for public roads in any case. The 6 Series has great style, performance, and comfort, while the Spyder is a show-off, oil-sheik, ultimate toy kind of thing.
As a family man, tgriffith will be happy with the gorgeous and spacious interior of the 6 Series coupe, which his kids can trash, and he will get his kicks from the stark 400-hp, 450 lb-ft/torque twin-turbo V8. Gas mileage in the mid-20s ain’t too shabby either for a car like this. It has every kind of technological tweak you could want, described in 14 pages of press release.