Car and Driver’s Hottest Car Photos of 2018

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2017 BMW M2

For the visual summary of our 40,000-mile long-term test of the 2017 BMW M2, we placed it amongst a gaggle of gray BMW SUVs to highlight its distinction within the lineup as one of the automaker’s last true driver’s cars.

Marc Urbano – Car and Driver

2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon JL

What else do you do with a new Jeep Wrangler besides getting it very, very dirty? Here, the stick-shift, V-6–powered four-door Wrangler Rubicon splashes around in our local rock quarry.

Chris Doane Automotive – Car and Driver

2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

In our first test of Chevrolet’s ultimate front-engine Corvette, the 755-hp ZR1, we felt it necessary to determine how quickly we could wear down its rear tires. We also entered it in the Texas Mile, to see what speed it could achieve in a standing mile.

Anton Watts – Car and Driver

2018 Luxury Station-Wagon Comparison Test

Station wagons are coming back-or at least, that seemed to be the case in 2018. Just look at the expanded offerings in the luxury segment. We gathered three of them for a comparison test: The Jaguar XF Sportbrake, Mercedes-Benz E-class, and the Volvo V90. Any photo containing this much wagon is, by default, hot.

Marc Urbano – Car and Driver

Alfa Romeo Giulia vs. 164

A nostalgia-soaked trip down memory lane to the last remaining Blockbuster video franchise in the U.S. required an appropriate automotive allegory, so we paired up a modern Alfa Romeo Giulia sedan with an ’90s-era Alfa 164 for the trip. That led to this photo of the two sedans parked in front of a video store that’s largely been absent from American strip malls for years. But what does it mean . . . ?

James Lipman – Car and Driver

2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 and 2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS

This year saw the introductions of new, 700-hp-plus versions of both the Chevrolet Corvette and Porsche 911. Naturally, we pitted the 755-hp Corvette ZR1 against the 700-hp 911 GT2 RS to see which of the longtime sports-car rivals is best.

Greg Pajo – Car and Driver

2018 Battle of the Beaters

In our latest beater challenge, our staff purchased several Geo Metro hatchbacks sight unseen from a single seller in South Carolina and raced each other back to our Ann Arbor, Michigan, headquarters in them. Few parts of this endeavor went smoothly, least of all our violent send-off of the surviving Geos. Here, a Metro is sent off of a tall, steep ledge at a local off-road park with a brick on its accelerator pedal.

Andi Hedrick – Car and Driver

2018 McLaren 720S

A feature on tackling a great road in a great McLaren supercar deserves a great photo. This is it.

Greg Pajo – Car and Driver

2018 Audi RS5 Coupe

Without giving away the findings of our instrumented test of Audi’s newest RS5 Coupe, the car’s available Sonoma Green paint color proved to be one of its more popular aspects. The extremely hot color is presented very well here by photographer Chris Doane, who colorfully captured the screamin’ green RS5 in front of a colorful mural.

Chris Doane Automotive – Car and Driver

2018 Mercedes-Benz G550 4×4 Squared

The Mercedes-Benz G550 4×4 Squared‘s name may defy most text editors-the “Squared” part is supposed to be represented by the superscript “2,” like an exponent in a math equation-but its reason for being is easy to describe: With insane ground clearance, massive tires, and portal axles, the G550 is designed to make a splash-both literally and figuratively.

Michael Simari – Car and Driver

2018 Honda Civic Type R and 2019 Hyundai Veloster N

Two hot hatchbacks compared, two hot hatches shown. What better angle is there to shoot the new Honda Civic Type R and Hyundai Veloster N than from the rear? Both high-powered hatchbacks sport huge exhaust outlets (the Civic has three to the Veloster’s two), tall wings, and plenty of real (and fake) vents.

Marc Urbano – Car and Driver

2019 Cadillac XT4

From this angle, Cadillac’s first-ever subcompact luxury crossover, the XT4, sure looks imposing, doesn’t it? In reality, it’s a fairly small SUV designed to go head-to-head with BMW’s X1, Audi’s Q3, and the Mercedes-Benz GLA-class.

Roy Ritchie – Car and Driver

2018 Sports Car Comparison Test

To determine which was best among the 2019 Aston Martin Vantage, the 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT C, and the 2018 Porsche 911 GT3, we drove all three down to Richmond, Kentucky, where the greenery was stunning. Need proof? Look at the trees and the foliage framing the road in this photo.

Anton Watts – Car and Driver

2018 Ford F-150 Raptor SuperCab

There is something slightly jarring about this photo, which places an immaculately clean Ford F-150 Raptor SuperCab in a flowery field. Typically, Raptors are depicted doing any number of dirty things they’re designed to handle, from jumping sand dunes to crawling down off-road trails, to sliding around in the dirt at high speed like a trophy truck. Consider this image a strong candidate for non-sequitur of the year.

Chris Doane Automotive – Car and Driver

2017 Ford GT

The Ford GT squandered its hopes of achieving a top time-and then some-at its second showing at our Lightning Lap track test this year. The same GT we ran between formal Lightning Lap outings at Virginia International Raceway last year-and that set the since-toppled fastest lap time in Lightning Lap’s decade-plus history-came back for the formal session in 2018 and performed worse. Not only that, but three other cars beat its previous top time.

Michael Simari – Car and Driver

2018 Lamborghini Huracan Performante

Lamborghini’s new Huracan Performante, the ultra version of the Huracan supercar, performed strongly at Lightning Lap this year. (This orange model is the Lightning Lap entrant, photographed at Virginia International Raceway.) A different Huracan Performante (a green one) fared even better in its instrumented testing back at our Michigan offices, where it posted a 2.3-second zero-to-60-mph time, the quickest we recorded all year.

Michael Simari – Car and Driver

2018 Ferrari 812 Superfast

There is something undeniably upper-crust about front-engine Ferrari coupes. These GT cars tend to be fast, beautiful, and, yes, ridiculously expensive and exclusive. The 812 Superfast even ladles some ambitious naming over that GT-car aura-and backs it up by being, well, super fast. We could think of no better place to shoot this car than at an estate with an old-money vibe.

Michael Simari – Car and Driver

2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye

In case you’re failing to sense a trend here, we tend to annihilate the powered tires on 700-hp-plus vehicles we test. Case in point? The 797-hp Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye, which we took to the Milan Dragway in Milan, Michigan, for a photo shoot that quickly burned out. Get it?

Michael Simari – Car and Driver

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor SuperCrew

Remember earlier in this roundup, when we mentioned how the Ford F-150 Raptor’s natural habitat is someplace dirty, hilly, and filled with jumps? Here, our crew-cab Raptor SuperCrew was given a proper airborne send-off at the end of its 40,000-mile long-term test. We jumped it a lot during its stay with us.

Greg Pajo – Car and Driver

2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon JL

It is rather fitting that videographer Brad Fick chose to photograph one of the many new-generation Jeep Wranglers we tested this year, a bright orange Rubicon, at the old Packard plant in Detroit, Michigan. This decaying relic refuses to collapse or otherwise disappear, even in the face of Detroit’s nascent turnaround-kind of sounds like Jeep’s relentlessly old-school Wrangler, huh?

Bradley Fick – Car and Driver

2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody

Not every lap turned at Virginia International Raceway during our annual Lightning Lap track test is a hot lap spent gunning for a fast time. Sometimes, we get a little silly for the camera-such was the case here, when reviews editor Josh Jacquot obliged photographer Marc Urbano’s request for smoky, sideways action in the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody.

Marc Urbano – Car and Driver

2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

This photo from our 2018 Lightning Lap coverage generated a lot of comments on our website, some positive, some negative. To clear the air, no, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk didn’t roll over after this shot was taken. Nor, at any point during the exercise, did it feel as if it might. The two-wheeled dance was the natural result of pounding the 707-hp Jeep into Virginia International Raceway’s painted curbing lining the inside of the Oak Tree corner at high speed at the request of our photographers. We swear it definitely, probably wasn’t going to tip over.

Andi Hendrick – Car and Driver

2018 Honda Civic Type R

The rare Lightning Lap photo in which the driver wasn’t asked to do anything insane for the photographers. The sun shines on good decisions and Honda Civic Type Rs.

Michael Simari – Car and Driver

The 1,000,000th Porsche 911

In 2018, Porsche produced its 1,000,000th 911 sports car-and Car and Driver was the only publication allowed to test it. We also were allowed to photograph it outside of Los Angeles, where hazy vistas and green scrub brush delivered an appropriate dreaminess to the resultant images.

James Lipman – Car and Driver

2018 High-Performance Compact Luxury Crossover Comparison Test

In 2018, the phrase “high-performance compact luxury crossover” became viable thanks to the confluence of the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio, the Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S Coupe, and the Porsche Macan Turbo in the marketplace. We compared the trio to see which is best and will say only this: The least-powerful of this trio has 440 horsepower.

Marc Urbano – Car and Driver

2018 Subaru BRZ tS

This photo is actually an outtake from designer Jeff Xu’s nighttime fun with a strobe light, a Subaru’s BRZ tS, and a helper at Lightning Lap. We didn’t use the photo for any official purpose, but it was just too cool to avoid appearing on this website.

Jeff Xu – Car and Driver

2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport

Convincing drivers in cold-weather states to upgrade their tires to winter-ready rubber is a grinding, boring task. To spice up our argument, we took two sports cars-a Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport and a Porsche 911 Carrera-to the great white north and evaluated their performance using direct-fitment winter tires. Shod appropriately, neither two-door had any trouble getting around or posing for icy photos such as this one.

Marc Urbano – Car and Driver

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

During its 40,000 miles of testing in our hands, our long-term Chrysler Pacifica minivan saw plenty of action hauling people and cargo. To convey the van’s usefulness, photographer Marc Urbano used a long exposure, an active model, and even received some visual help from a flock of birds in the background. Funny, of all the things we schlepped around in the Pacifica, birds weren’t on the list.

Marc Urbano – Car and Driver

2017 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350

Next to its 5.2-liter flat-plane-crankshaft V-8, track-ready suspension, and Shelby badging, the Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 is also differentiated from regular Mustangs by its front end: The headlights, grille, and hood plunge lower than those on the regular ‘Stang. (And, after 2018, the Mustang received a visual refresh and a new face that wasn’t gifted to the GT350.) Here, photographer Michael Simari captures our long-term Shelby test car‘s aggressive nose perfectly.

Michael Simari – Car and Driver

One Fun Week in 2018

Believe it or not, but the Car and Driver office does not regularly overflow with supercars and exotics. It’s downright rare that we have anything with a prancing horse badge-let alone three other colorfully painted high-caliber automobiles at the same time. But this past summer, that’s exactly what happened in Ann Arbor, Michigan: By coincidence, we were sent a Ferrari 812 Superfast and a McLaren 720S the same week a Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 and a Porsche 911 GT2 RS battled one another in a comparison test. So, that was fun, and to commemorate the event, we snagged this shot of all four.

Michael Simari – Car and Driver

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