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Archive for the ‘Muscle Cars’ Category

Ford Muscles Up its “Entry-Level” Mustang

New EcoBoost High-Performance Package could give Mustang GT a run for the money.

by on Apr.15, 2019

On a curvy track, Ford estimates, the Mustang HPP could match the performance of the GT.

Gone are the days when Ford would offer a version of the Mustang derisively known as a “secretary’s car,” a coupe that was all show and no go. These days, even the base version of the pony car has some real kick.

And the automaker is planning to step that up a notch with the launch of the new High Performance Package, featuring a specially modified version of the turbocharged-four engine in the “base” Mustang. The higher-revving 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine will make 330 horsepower – 20 more than the standard turbo-four package, and 350 pound-feet of torque.

Performance News!

With a 0 to 60 launch of 4.5 seconds, the High Performance Package, or HPP, will be able to give the Mustang GT a serious run for the money, especially in the corners considering the four-cylinder package is about 200 pounds lighter than the GT.

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It’s Official! Really! GM to Reveal Mid-Engine C8 Corvette in July

GM President Mark Reuss releases barely camo’d pic.

by on Apr.12, 2019

The mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette is finally out in the open and set for a formal July reveal.

To misappropriate a quote by Humphrey Bogart from “The Maltese Falcon,” “It’s the stuff dreams are made of.”

For decades, General Motors has sniffed off rumors that it was developing the sort of mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette that proponents said was needed to turn the classic American sports car into a true world-beater. In recent years, rumors have been rampant, along with sightings of prototypes caught with less and less camouflage. But, time and again, the automaker has refused to comment or commit.

Breaking Product News!

Until now, that is. Late Thursday, GM President Mark Reuss put his official stamp on the clearest image yet of the C8. Specifics are scarce, but for the two most important details. His tweet declared it “The Next Generation Corvette,” and announced that the C8 will make its official debut on July 18, 2019.

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Used Car Sales Tracking at Record Pace as New Car Sales Fade

Higher prices on new vehicles, large number of off-lease cars spur move.

by on Mar.22, 2019

Used vehicle sales are on the rise and appear likely to set a new record again in 2019.

New car sales are on a very slow decline in the U.S., part of that decline is the appeal of used vehicles which are expected to hit a record of more than 41 million units in 2019, after setting a new record last year of 40.2 million.

What’s driving trend? Increased prices on new cars is making them less appealing, plus the interest rate hikes are pushing folks out of the new car market. However, they can certainly afford a used vehicle that comes with a much lower price tag that offsets the higher interest rates charged for used over new cars.

Business News!

On top of all that, according to Edmunds.com analysts, the industry is expecting a record number of lease returns this year will give shoppers more options than ever in the used market. (more…)

First Drive: 2019 Dodge Challenger SXT AWD

Brand produces a modern-day classic.

by on Mar.19, 2019

The 2019 Dodge Challenger SXT is part of the group of muscle cars that have led to the renaissance of the segment.

Muscle cars have a durable appeal that survived the shift to Asian and European imports despite the reputation for quality problems that seemed to hover over American-made cars for years and even the ongoing shift away from passenger cars generally to utility vehicles and light trucks.

Moreover, in an era when electric and autonomous vehicles are threatening to remake the automotive landscape, American muscle cars have gone through something of a renaissance with the re-emergence of cars such as the Chevrolet Camaro, huge upgrades to the Ford Mustang and the splashy revival of Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger.

Reviews You Can Use!

Even with its lonely two doors, the Challenger, with its eye-catching exterior design and powerful V8 engine, could well be the epitome of the muscle-car revival. But the rebirth not only includes a sleek, sophisticated remake of the of the exterior sheet metal and a more efficient version of the traditional V8 but also a complete overhaul of the running gear that makes the ride and handling much better.   (more…)

Mustang Electrified?

Ford counter-programs debut of the Tesla Model Y and hints of a high-performance CUV to come.

by on Mar.15, 2019

“Hold your horses,” or so said Ford Motor Co. in a tweet not-so-coincidentally timed to reach the social media world just as Tesla CEO Elon Musk was getting ready to debut his company’s new Model Y battery-electric SUV.

The Ford post featured that short blurb and a blue version of the Mustang logo against a black background, nothing more. But it does hint at several projects that Ford has already confirmed are in the works. That includes both a hybridized version of the pony car, as well as a Mustang-influenced all-electric SUV that Ford announced during the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Electrifying News!

An early player in the electrification field, Ford has fallen behind not just Tesla but conventional rivals like General Motors and Volkswagen, both investing heavily in long-range, battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs. Ford officials say they are going to make a push to catch up and have confirmed that the first entry into next-gen electric technology would be a performance-oriented crossover tentatively named Mach 1 and due to market about when the Tesla Model Y hits the street about a year from now.

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Topping 1,000: An Ultra-Exclusive Club Continues to Expand

This year’s Geneva Motor Show brought an array of new entries.

by on Mar.11, 2019

The Pininfarina is one of an assortment of 1,000+ hp models that debuted in Geneva.

This month’s Geneva Motor Show brought the debut of dozens of new models, from little city cars all the way up to mega-million dollar exotics. It also brought several new entries into one of the automotive industry’s most exotic clubs: vehicles topping 1,000 horsepower.

It’s been 14 years since the original Bugatti Veyron 16.4 captured a spot in the Guinness World Records by becoming the first model to deliver four-figure power. With the debut of models like the Aston Martin AM-RB 003, Hispano Suiza Carmen, Koenigsegg Jesko and Pinfarina Battista in Geneva last week the number of models topping the 1,000 hp mark is now over a dozen, with several other models reportedly in the works.

Performance News!

As you’d expect, the price tag for these products is equally astronomical. A special one-off version of the Bugatti Chiron last week was announced at $19 million. But, if you have the cash and access to a long stretch of pavement, here’s what you might want to check out:

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Aston Martin AM-RB 003 is a High-Tech, Hybrid Hypercar

British marque turns to Red Bull for F1 powertrain technology.

by on Mar.05, 2019

The Aston Martin AM-RB 003's F1-derived drivetrain is expected to top 1,000 hp in final trim.

After weeks of teasing its new hypercar, Aston Martin has finally pulled the wraps off the AM-RB 003 at the Geneva Motor Show, and it’s a high-tech hybrid that also happens to be insanely fast, its 1,000 horsepower drivetrain able to launch from 0 to 60 in less than 3 seconds.

The AM-RB 003 picks up where the earlier Valkyrie left off, “incorporate(ing) concepts and technologies taken directly from F1,” the automaker explained as it prepared to reveal the two-seater at Geneva’s PALExpo convention center.

Auto Show News!

The limited-edition model is the third mid-engine offering developed as part of a “long-term collaboration” and “extraordinary journey” pairing Aston with its Formula One partner, Red Bull Advanced Technologies, noted the British automaker’s CEO Andy Palmer.

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Mid-engine Corvette C8 Caught Testing in (Unexpected) Snow Storm

by on Feb.21, 2019

A pair of camouflaged C8 Corvettes are caught driving through heavy snow outside San Diego.

It never rains in Southern California, but singer Albert Hammond never mentioned snow in his 1973 hit. So, you can imagine the surprise for the folks from Chevrolet when they headed out for a long test drive of mid-engine C8 Corvette prototypes through the mountains outside San Diego only to be greeted with lots of the white stuff drifting down from leaden skies.

That clearly didn’t stop them from continuing their test drive, which was good news for us – thanks to the quick thinking of TDB friend and videographer Tom Voelk. He also was caught in the snowy weather on a long drive route testing another manufacturer’s vehicle when the convoy of Corvettes shot by. He grabbed one of his cameras and started shooting.

Breaking News!

Mssr. Voelk was kind enough to provide us with some still shots from the serendipitous shoot, and if you’d actually like to see the mid-engine Corvette C8 in action, you can check out his Youtube post by Clicking Here.

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Dodge Likely to Produce Hybrid-Based Hellcat in Future

CEO Manley says the days of an 800-hp beast are numbered.

by on Jan.18, 2019

Smokin'! The Challenger Hellcat Redeye's Line Lock lets you spin the rear tires before launch. Will the hybrid do that?

Hybrids have long had a reputation as slow, eco-friendly city cars, but recently automakers have discovered the benefits of slapping some electric motors on their high-powered gasoline-fueled sports cars to generate even more power.

Add Dodge to the list.

Product News!

There may be no brand more synonamous with fossil fuels that Dodge and its line-up of Hellcat-branded Challengers and Chargers. The Hellcat broke new ground pushing past 700 horsepower when it came out two years ago and its variants have since pushed past 800 hp. (more…)

No-Shows, But Tesla and Musk Still Have Strong Presence at NAIAS

But can California carmaker survive the new onslaught of competition.

by on Jan.17, 2019

Tesla CEO Elon Musk showed off a prototype Model S in 2010, the last time he attended the NAIAS.

Battery-electric vehicles may still account for less than 1% of the U.S. new vehicle market, but they have had a notable presence at this year’s North American International Auto Show – something that many credit to a manufacturer that was notably absent from Detroit’s Cobo Hall convention center: Tesla.

Cadillac made a major splash during the first media preview of this year’s show, when it not only revealed the new XT6 utility vehicle but announced that it will be the first General Motors brand to use the automaker’s new all-electric platform for another SUV debuting in 2021.

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Electrifying!

Throughout the show, automaker’s either revealed new battery cars and concepts or outlined their plans for an electrified future. Volkswagen, for one, announced plans to invest $800 million to add production of two new all-electric models at its plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

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