The speed and agility of modern cars are wasted on too many roads. In same way that off-road vehicles can't be tested by peastone driveways, souped-up sedans can't be pushed to their limits on suburban cul-de-sacs. In order to drive – truly drive – a car, modern commuters have to head out of their way to one of the rare stretches of American asphalt designed to push vehicles to their limits. These winding, curving sections of tarmac not only give great cars a chance to show off the muscle under their hood, but also give great drivers a chance to remind passengers why the American road was once considered the purest embodiment of freedom.
La Ruta Panoramica (Puerto Rico)
Puerto Rico's famed touristic route, a series of lesser roads connecting villages and cities along a coastal circuit, is supremely beautiful all along its length, but it only gets attractive to daring drivers outside the western city of Mayaguez, where the road ascends lush hills to the the island's forested spine. The speed limits here are relatively conservative – never breaking 40 mph – but the switchbacks will still put even the best car through its paces. The climb up the Cordillera is the highlight for most island drivers, but the straighter segments through the coffee plantations higher up are memorably lovely.