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End May Be Near for Dodge Viper

Document sees production ending in 2017.

by on Oct.16, 2015

Dodge has tried everything it can to build demand for the Viper, including adding the ACR version.

(This story has been updated to include additional comments from Fiat Chrysler.)

The Dodge Viper SRT was intended to be one of the fastest cars ever produced in Detroit. But you couldn’t tell by the way it’s moving on dealer lots. Despite a big price cut, the two-seat sports car just can’t seem to build much momentum.

So, after launching an all-new version of the Viper in 2012, production is apparently set to wrap up in two years, at least according to a document provided to the United Auto Workers Union as part of recently concluded contract talks.

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The last Dodge Viper is expect to roll down the line at the special, low-volume Connor Assembly Plant in Detroit in 2017, the letter indicated, adding that, “No future product has yet been identified beyond the product life cycle.”


Back to Basics with New Porsche Boxster Spyder

Want a radio or AC? It'll cost you.

by on Apr.01, 2015

Porsche trims the Boxster down to its basics.

A funny thing has happened over the years. Manufacturers have rolled out an assortment of simple sports cars, only to see them steadily add more features and frills that, for many aficionados, actually takes away from the raw pleasure of driving.

So, Porsche is hoping to win over those motoring aficionados with the return of its Boxster Spyder, a back-to-basics design that even foregoes the speedy motorized convertible top for a manual cloth cover.

Your Basic Choice!

“Staying true to roadster DNA, the Boxster Spyder offers a traditional sports-car driving experience combined with truly exceptional performance,” Porsche announced as it rolled out the Boxster Spyder during a New York Auto Show preview.


Women Want Midlife Crisis Cars, Too

Less crisis, more celebration.

by on Feb.06, 2015

The Ford Mustang -- along with the new Chevrolet Corvette -- topped the list of midlife crisis cars.

It’s a rite of passage. Some folks change careers. Others draw up a bucket list. But for millions of Americans, there’s the midlife crisis car. But if that brings to mind a guy wearing gold chains and driving a flashy red sports car, think again.

According to a new survey, a full one in four American adults say they will at least consider buying a car to handle the inevitable midlife crisis. Notably, that includes both men and women, according to CarMax, the big automotive dealership chain that conducted the survey of 1,005 U.S. adults.

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The study also found that the type of car they’d like to buy doesn’t necessarily fit the classic image often portrayed in movies and television shows.

What’s true, said Cliff Wood, CarMax executive vice president of stores, is that “people envision marking this new stage of their lives by buying the type of vehicle they’ve always wanted.”


Mazda Fills in a Few Blanks About New MX-5 Miata

But some questions remain about new roadster.

by on Nov.19, 2014

Mazda confirms the US-spec 2016 MX-5 Miata will use an "ultra-high-compression" 2.0-liter I-4.

When Mazda staged its global preview of the fourth-generation MX-5 Miata last summer it left plenty of questions unanswered. As the roadster gets readied for its first public showing at this week’s Los Angeles Motor Show, the Japanese maker is finally filling in some – but not all – of the missing details.

Among other things, it says the new 2016 Miata’s SkyActiv design makes it not just lighter, but also shorter and narrower than the model it replaces. And U.S. buyers will be getting a 2.0-liter inline-four. But we’re still going to have to wait until closer to the MX-5’s launch date, it seems, to find out such necessary details as horsepower and torque.

Auto Show News!

Buyers in other markets will also have the option of a smaller 1.5-liter I-4 engine. The U.S.-spec car will be offered with a 6-speed SkyActiv manual gearbox, Mazda also revealed.


First Drive: 2015 Lexus RC F

When "F" is more than a passing grade.

by on Sep.11, 2014

The 2015 Lexus RC F takes some laps on the 3.6-mile loop at Monticello Motor Club.

Brand names are something like a word association game. Manufacturers go to great lengths to get potential buyers to immediately think good thoughts whenever they’re mentioned. Mercedes-Benz? Plush and luxurious. BMW? The ultimate driving machine. And Lexus?

Well, there’s nothing wrong with being reliable and offering a good value, but the Japanese maker would also like to associate the word, “passionate,” with the brand, something that’s not easy to pull off with products like the ES sedan line or the CT200h hybrid.

High Performance!

But you might just have to think again if you get a chance to slip behind the wheel of the new Lexus RC coupe – especially if its bears the single modifier, “F.” While that may be a failing grade for some, our first experience with the new 2015 Lexus RC F found it passing with flying colors and ready to give challenge to some of its better-known European luxury performance competitors.


Mercedes Unleashes its New AMG GT Sports Car

Porsche and Audi have been put on notice.

by on Sep.10, 2014

Mercedes sets out to take on the Porsche 911 Turbo with its new AMG GT S sports car.

Five months after delivering word it would unleash an all-new high-performance sports car, Mercedes-Benz has lifted the covers on its new AMG GT S.

The new model comes shortly after the Teutonic maker ended production of its SLS supercar. But the 2016 Mercedes AMG GT S isn’t a direct replacement. At around $120,000 or less than half the price of the SLS, the new 2-seater will be targeting such German competitors as the Porsche 911 and Audi R8.

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“We are venturing out into a challenging sports car segment with its top-class competitive field,” proclaimed Mercedes’ R&D chief Thomas Weber. “This is an incentive and motivation for us at the same time to prove to sports car enthusiasts around the world the kind of performance that AMG is capable of.”


Desperate Dodge Slashes Viper Price

More power, better mileage, $15,000 cheaper.

by on Sep.08, 2014

Dodge hopes to kickstart demand for the 2015 Viper by offering more - power and mileage - for less.

If you were one of the relatively few folks to have bought a Viper in recent weeks you might be muttering angrily when you discover Dodge has slashed the price of the 2-seat muscle car in a desperate bid to boost sagging sales.

The 2015 Dodge Viper SRT will start at $84,995, or $15,000 less than for the 2014 sports car – though dealers will not give a similar discount on leftover models.

Power to the People!

The drop in price comes even as Dodge upgrades the sports car. In 2015 trim it will get an extra 20 horsepower, boosting the pony count to 645 – or just short of the 650-hp under the hood of the Corvette Z06 Chevrolet will bring to market early next year.


2016 Mazda Miata Revealed

Wider, lower, lighter, but plenty of questions go unanswered.

by on Sep.04, 2014

The new 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata makes its debut.

When it first rolled out a quarter century ago, the original Mazda Miata delivered the sort of shock the auto industry needed, a sleek, small roadster that reminded us that cars didn’t have to be bland, boring and utilitarian.

Though sales have slowly dwindled in recent years, the MX-5 Miata has remained an icon for the Japanese brand, so Mazda clearly knew it was taking some serious risks when it set out to redesign the 2-seater, all the more so when it agreed to enter into a joint venture with Italy’s Fiat.

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“There was a lot of pressure to do a great car,” recalled Mazda Design Director Derek Jenkins, admitting there were times when he worried “I hope we don’t screw this up.”

Miata fans can now finally judge for themselves, Mazda pulling the wraps off the 2016 MX-5 Miata during a global preview that featured simultaneous unveilings in Monterey, California, Barcelona, Spain and back home in Japan.


GM Unleashes its Most Powerful Production Car Ever with 650 HP Corvette Z06

Maker claims more punch than a Porsche 911 Turbo S or Ferrari F12.

by on Jun.06, 2014

GM Product Chief Mark Reuss reveals the Corvette Z06 at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show.

We’ve always been told to “err on the safe side,” a good mantra for automakers who have, over the years, had a habit of over-promising and under-delivering when it comes to performance numbers.

The folks at Chevrolet clearly wanted to under-promise and over-deliver, it turns out, when they suggested the new Corvette Z06 would deliver “at least 625 horsepower” during the sports car’s Detroit Auto Show debut last January. It turns out that the newly released numbers for the Z06’s LT4 engine stretch all the way up to 650 hp and a full 650 pound-feet of torque. To save you the effort of looking that up, this is the most powerful production car General Motors has ever delivered to the public.

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“The LT4 Small Block sets a new benchmark for power and torque at GM,” said Steve Kiefer, vice president, GM Powertrain Engineering. “The engine also puts the new Corvette Z06 on par with the most powerful supercars offered in America, while delivering performance with impeccable manners that make it suitable for daily driving.”

By comparison, the “base” 2014 Corvette Stingray makes “only” 450 horsepower – boosting that to 460 hp with the Z51 performance package – and 465 lb-ft of torque.


Trident Lays Claims to World’s Fastest Diesel Sports Car

Iceni Magna and Venturer models can hit 190 – and deliver 57 mpg.

by on Apr.29, 2014

The 2-seat Trident Iceni Magna.

If your idea of a diesel hasn’t evolved from the 1980s, when “oil burners” were notoriously noisy, smelly, shaky – and slow – the little British sports car manufacturer Trident is set to challenge your assumptions.

It’s launching two new models that are laying claim to being the world’s fastest diesel-powered sports cars, capable of reaching speeds in excess of 190 mph. At the same time, Trident boasts that new “torque multiplication technology” will permit its Iceni Magna and Iceni Venturer models to deliver as much as 2,000 miles of driving on a single tank of fuel.


“We have worked extremely hard to reach this point and the whole Trident team is thrilled to be bringing the world’s most fuel-efficient diesel sports cars to market,” says David Monaghan, co-founder of Trident Sports Cars, Ltd., which has been working on the Iceni project since it was formed in 2005.