Like most people under the age of 40, I never read car magazines. Actually that’s not true. I’ve been stealing copies of Auto Motor und Sport from my dad for years. Even after its long trip across the Atlantic, the anal-retentive German’s anal-retentive car magazine still manages to scoop the American mags on many of the most compelling industry developments. But the real draw is the mag’s road testing, which really confirms every stereotype of Teutonic attention to detail. No metric is too mundane to be measured, graphed and scored… think Consumer Reports for people who actually like cars and think OCD medication is for the weak. On the other side of the equation is evo magazine, which is hands-down the best enthusiast-oriented car magazine.
In contrast to AM und S’s technical dissection, evo splashes gorgeous photography across the classiest paper stock in the business. Sure, a year’s subscription costs $100 when delivered to the US, but each issue looks and feels like the Sultan of Brunei’s own in-house car catalog. And, as an unabashed enthusiast mag, evo’s mission is to find real enthusiast options among new and used cars, from major OEMs and cottage industry wackos alike. These two magazines exemplify two approaches to automotive print journalism that really work: the high-end enthusiast bible and the on-point news/analysis monster. And yet none of the US buff books have been able to work either of these proven lines of attack. Like profitable automakers, good car magazines exist… just not in this country.