The genre: Magical realism, emphasis on the realism. There is functional magic, but it may only be applied in accordance with the laws of physics. (There's an earlier discussion over whether a person who can magically manipulate liquid can also manipulate glass, to give you an idea of the level of complexity.)
The quandary: I would like to blow up a car without having to premeditate the vaporization of gasoline. I know that it's virtually impossible to just make gasoline explode in its liquid state, and that though gas vaporizes easily it would have to coat a reasonable area in order to ignite in a fashion that resembles an explosion. The character in question intends this as an offensive maneuver during otherwise magical combat--bringing the reality in, so to speak.
Thus, I'd love to be directed to some realistic car explosions. Screw Hollywood. How does one cause an explosion in a stationary vehicle without installing a bomb? Ignite the gas tank? Other more vulnerable spots? I don't need the car to be in pieces (though some shrapnel would be nice), I just need the fire and the shockwave, and if possible the specifics for that.
The car: this sexy mofo, if that's relevant.
Searches run for exploding car physics, but it just keeps turning up links like the aforementioned indicting Hollywood.
Thanks so much, in advance!