BMW Brings Rolls Royce's Ghost Back From the Dead

Ian Robertson, a member of BMW's board of trustees and chairman of Rolls-Royce, is pleased with how the Ghost turned out. "What we didn't want to do was have anyone say that this Rolls-Royce was just a rebadged BMW in a different form," he says. "This is one of the greatest brands the world has ever seen, and it deserves to have its own personality and style."

Bentley and Alpina Hit the Road With Big Speed

Carmakers are in an endless struggle of one-upmanship to offer consistently improved performance and comfort in their flagship sedans. The car that ferries today's elite must be big, commanding, authoritative—a modern-day golden chariot—but without being too ostentatiously gas-guzzling.

Visiting Egypt's Newest Antiquities

King Tut is certainly more famous now than in his own time. The boy king died suddenly at the age of 19, before he could make a monument, or even a name, for himself. But just look at him now. He, or at least his stuff—the gilded masks, the lapis lazuli necklaces, the ornate thrones—is on a second blockbuster tour, traveling the world displayed safely behind glass in grand museums. Meanwhile, the pharaoh himself lies mummified in a decidedly unroyal-looking tomb in Egypt's Valley of the...

Exotic Cars Ramp Up the Speed

Homo sapiens have always coveted the sensation of speed. The Greeks invented competitive running games. U.S. Air Force pilot Chuck Yeager became a national hero the second he went supersonic. And Superman is admired for flying faster than a speeding bullet. But the best hope we mere mortals have of experiencing the same thrill is to drive a sports car.

The Road to a Racing License

There is no crying in sports-car driving, but I did it anyway. Tears of joy. After a decade and a half of reviewing cars for a living, I had decided to get my racing license.

France or Italy: Who Makes Better Sparkling Wine?

It's mid-September, fall harvest at the Veuve Clicquot vineyard in the ancient hamlet of Verzy in France's Champagne region. I am scooting along the impeccably manicured rows of chardonnay grapes, snipping the dense clusters of fruit and tossing them into a basket.

Porsche Keeps the Speed and Adds Some Room

What a very bad time to come out with a very good car. The top end of the luxury-car market is down 40 percent this year—even worse than the overall automotive business, which is off about 30 percent.

Learning to Drive Dream Cars

Showy you're not. You don't have the means or the moxie to cruise the Champs-Élysées in a super-flashy SLR McLaren. But secretly, you'd die to do it. Luckily there are ways to drive dream cars that don't require selling your firstborn.World Class Driving (worldclassdriving.com) tours the globe with a dozen exceptional sports cars, giving participants the keys and letting them rip on twisty back roads.

Exotic Cars for Middle Class Millionaires

The rough economy has spawned a new moniker for single-digit millionaires who still may not feel wealthy enough: middle-class millionaires. Most don't belong to jet clubs or wear bespoke suits.

Kitchen Equipment Worthy of a Professional Chef

When it comes to cooking, good equipment can make even the feeblest of talents great. I learned this six years ago when I bought a fancy gas range with burners spewing heat like some kind of wild Hawaiian volcano.

It's All for One at Michael Mina's New L.A. Eatery

Superstar chef Michael Mina's most vibe-filled restaurant yet opened this month on a buzzy stretch of the Sunset Strip. His 14th high-concept fine-dining spot in the United States, this gathering place for Hollywood A-listers is almost too groovy for its own good.

Automobiles: Move Over, Speed Racer

Low, flat and stable on curves even at very high speeds, the Mercedes SL63 coupe features a new 7-speed sports transmission. It shifts quickly and responds like a manual transmission, but with the smoothness of an automatic.

Hit Me With Your Best Shot

It's easy to find the perfect shot of espresso at a neighborhood café. But for those who prefer to drink their first cup of the day in PJs, home brewing is iffier.

Hit Me With Your Best Shot

It's easy to find the perfect shot of espresso at a neighborhood café. But for those who prefer to drink their first cup of the day while wearing pajamas, home brewing is a bit iffier.

Keeping Up With the Beemers

Audi's inner beauty nearly eclipses its fetching skin on this S5 coupe. For so long, Audi played catch up to BMW's performance machines; lately, it has pulled alongside—if not beaten—its Germany competitor.

Gaining Speed

There's a new game in town for thrill-seekers: a lightning-quick tear down an icy half-pipe. Eight Olympic bobsled tracks around the world are open to the public, allowing adrenaline junkies to pull up to five G's in as many as 20 turns taken at 113 to 129kph.

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