Car magazines do crazy things for money these days. Case in point: Automobile Magazine (and co-testers from sister mag Motor Trend) got roped into an interesting comparison test that you will not be reading in the latest issue. Why? The whole thing lives at 6versus8.com, a domain set up just to host this single comparison test that highlights the result of Lincoln's bet that its V6-powered MKS EcoBoost can beat some of the best naturally aspirated V8-powered sedans from Europe.
The test pits the 2010 Lincoln MKS EcoBoost against the Jaguar XF, Mercedes-Benz E550, BMW 550i and Maserati Quattroporte. As you might imagine, the test has to be un-leveled a bit for the MKS EcoBoost to stand a chance. The challenge is a 3.76-mile hill climb up Colorado's Loveland Pass... at 11,900 feet above sea level. Ah, there it is. The MKS EcoBoost makes the least horsepower and is the second heaviest car in this group, but at these elevations, the twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 will maintain its power level while the naturally aspirated V8 engines gasp for breath.
Pike's Peak champion Rod Millen was hired to drive, the Colorado State Patrol closed off Route 6 in 30-minute intervals for each car's run and a top notch film crew with a helicopter was hired to document the proceedings. Long story short, the grand production produced five videos (you can view them at 6versus8.com or after the jump) in which we see the Lincoln MKS EcoBoost claim second place behind the BMW 550i, though it did nab honors for the highest top speed during the hill climb.
So... back to the original point we were making. It seems to us that this is less editorial than advertorial. Automobile and Motor Trend say they rented the other vehicles for this test because, honestly, would you loan your sedan for a comparison test that was clearly tilted in your opponent's favor? And what did the magazines get in return? From what we can see, two double-page spreads in the current issue of Automobile (and perhaps MT) that we're guessing cost more than enough to cover the price of producing this elaborate "comparison test". And why does it not appear in the magazine itself? Probably because Automobile and Motor Trend don't think it's editorial either.
Follow the jump to watch all five videos for yourself and let us know what you think in the comments.
The Course and Driver
The Final Run