I always relish the opportunity to test different iterations and trim levels of the same model, perhaps because it helps me determine whether the inherent goodness (or badness) of a given car is innate, or limited to a specific loaded-up example. In the case of the Dodge Challenger, my experience with the model line had thus far been limited to the full-fat SRT8 392 model with 470 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. I thoroughly enjoyed that car, loaded as it was to a near $50k price tag, but would its core values be retained in the 95-horsepower-tamer R/T Coupe? Only one way to find out.
Nissan’s been making waves within the automotive press lately with two announcements – first, that it’s developing a sports car to go head-to-head with the likes of the Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S, and second, that it’s slashing the sticker prices of 2014 370Z Coupes by up to $3 grand versus last year. The two statements seem to go hand in hand, considering the current 370Z’s been around since 2008 more or less unchanged. Dropping the price on the hardtop, which has seen some key new competitors come into the marketplace since then, will incentivize those buyers on the fence to make the move now. What remains to be seen is what, if any, effect that new sports car will have on the next Z car, or if perhaps a change in mission in fact means the next Z is that new BRZ/FR-S competitor.
Readers of this site with particularly strong memories will recall that I have a bit of a history with the latest generation of Mustang GT. I drove a few of the 5.0-liter cars when they came out back in 2011, and I liked them so much that I shelled out my own money for one – a Yellow Blaze GT Premium coupe with a 6-speed manual and the Brembo package; no other options. The test car on this page was more or less equipped similarly to mine, save for two crucial factors – its convertible top and a 6-speed automatic. Having never sampled a newer GT configured with either of those options, I was eager to grab the keys to one for a week.
Resto-modders, listen up: stop tearing apart perfectly salvageable classic muscle cars, fitting them with wide wheels and tubbed fenders, and instead go straight to your nearest Dodge dealer. There, you’ll find the Challenger SRT8 392, a classic 70s muscle car disguised as a brand new, modern five-seat coupe with a warranty. The Challenger looks as tough as those resto-modded vintage rides, hunkered down the way it is on its 20” 5-spoke wheels, a deep chin spoiler splitting the flies up front and a pair of over-the-roof vinyl stripes the only decoration on what is otherwise a totally throwback body.
As is the usual case when one of the major auto shows rolls around on the calendar, the news for the week was completely dominated by the releases, unveilings and debuts at the Geneva Auto Show. Geneva, in particular, carries a certain cache about it, as not only does it engender lazy references to 1970′s rock music, but the city’s reputation for European luxury and prestige – not to mention Switzerland’s lack of presence in the automotive game – means that it is the auto show of choice for all the ultra-high-end hardware from the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini, makers of less-famous but no less bespoke or impressive high-end European exotica like Koenigsegg and Spyker, and those that just wish to rub some of the magic sparkle that Geneva has on themselves.
It’s a Mustang-friendly month here at Speed:Sport:Life. Shelby’s Super Snake tuning packages for the 2013 GT500 were revealed yesterday, and after looking over the specifics, we like what we see. The biggest news in our eyes is that the Super Snake packages can be had with either the GT500′s stock 3.31 rear end or a 3.73. Depending on the power package you select, 3.73s may put you out of reach of the stock GT500′s 200mph top speed, but if you’re the type who likes a race track, be it of the straight or winding variety, the shorter gears may be to your liking. For a street Shelby, the 200mph bragging rights may trump absolute acceleration.
If $28,995 for the 662-horsepower package and $39,995 for the go-big-or-go-home 850hp variant sound reasonable to you, remember that these prices are on top of the retail-delivered GT500 that you’ll need before you ring Shelby. That said, there aren’t many 850hp turnkey cars out there for ~$95,000, so it’s still a bit of a bargain.
The full announcement is posted below, after the gallery from Shelby American. Enjoy.
In early August, Speed:Sport:Life teamed up with Effort Racing and MSR Houston to pit seven performance monsters against each other in the ultimate track day shoot-out. We’ll have those results for you soon, but in the meantime, we’d like to share some highlights of our weekend with a couple of American monsters. This week, we’re featuring the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500. Photos by Zerin Dube.
662 horsepower. 200mph. $54,995. Mustang. If that’s not enough for you to make up your mind about the 2013 Shelby GT500, then you’re one of few non-partisans in the ongoing battle between Ford’s refreshed Mustang and the entire known world of performance cars. Get comfortable then while I explain to you why you should appreciate the second-coolest car of 2013. Read More…
Ford pulled the wraps off its 2013 Mustang lineup today ahead of the debut at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show. Ford has restyled the entire lineup for 2013, added a plethora of technology upgrades and of course have made significant performance upgrades with some jaw dropping numbers as a result. The Mustang has always been a Speed:Sport:Life favorite and Ford has once again made us drool uncontrollably with the 2013 Mustang lineup. Read on to see how Ford plans to steal the thunder from Chevy and their new 550-horsepower Camaro ZL1.
We knew it wouldn’t be long before friend of S:S:L, John Hennessey, worked his magic on a Boss 302 Mustang. Check out this just released video of the car undergoing 1/4-mile testing. Keep in mind that the testing is being done in 102 degree weather here in Houston. Enjoy the sounds!
Photos by Zerin Dube & Ford Motor Company
When Ford resurrected legendary 5.0 engine with the 2011 Mustang GT, muscle car enthusiasts everywhere waited with bated breath for the seemingly inevitable return of the iconic Boss 302 nameplate. With Dodge heating up the muscle car wars with the Challenger 392 and the Chevy Camaro SS flying off the showroom floors, it only made sense for Ford to slot a higher-performance model in between the already competent Mustang GT and range-topping GT500 models. Enthusiasts didn’t have to wait long, as Ford proudly announced the return of the Boss 302 for the 2012 Mustang model year.