Tag Archives: v8

SSL on the road: 2011 Mustang GT Coupe

It was just outside Route 411′s ‘Last Chance Beer & Fireworks’ at the Tennessee border that the Mustang I was driving nearly died on me. Not in the literal sense, mind you. Internet-fueled worries aside, the Getrag gearbox on this particular example did not lunch itself. The failure my car experienced was more of the existential variety, and it came to a head while cruising the byways of one of small-town America’s last great hamlets.

Any car enthusiast worth their salt knows all the particulars of the newest Mustang GT by now. A 4951 cc, 412 horsepower DOHC brute under the hood, 0-60 in 4.something and a $30 grand base. Among the best performance buys of the decade, and all that jazz. Some reviews have even suggested an almost Germanic quality that places it in the rarefied air of other 4-seaters costing nearly twice as much. But that’s a bunch of BS. Because more than anything, today’s Mustang GT is still every bit the American muscle car. And it’s also probably the last.

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Lord Byron — Yes*, it’s got a HEMI

Ray Wert, the Jalop of Jalops over at www.jalopnik.com, recently wrote a piece about the HEMI brand and the upcoming 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee. For those who aren’t scrutinizing the JGC’s launch on the same level as us know-it-alls, let me catch you up. Essentially, the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee will no longer have a 5.7L HEMI engine. Instead, it will have a 5.7L OHV MDS V8 with Variable-valve Timing… and an engine cover emblazoned with enormous, embossed “HEMI” branding.

It’s okay if you’re confused, but it boils down to this: Jeep will no longer feature the HEMI branding within its vehicle lineup. The same engine will be branded as a HEMI in other Chrysler Group LLC products (as Jeep Brand Marketing Head Honcho Jim Morrison put it, they’ll be leaving it to “the Dodge and truck guys”), but not in a Jeep.

But why? Mr. Wert proposes that this is green-washing–an effort by Chrysler to minimize the enthusiast value of their vehicles in front of an ever-more-environmentally-focused media. It’s not a poor argument. Just look around at the rest of the industry. Ford’s twin-turbo, 350+ horsepower V6 monster is dubbed “EcoBoost,” for crying out loud. If that’s not green marketing, I don’t know what is. But in the context of Chrysler, I think Wert’s assessment, while not unreasonable, isn’t quite on the mark.

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Road Tested: 2009 BMW M3 Sedan

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Is there such a thing as having your automotive cake and being able to drive it too? If you drive any one of the handful of available sport sedans, then it’s possible to get a slice. Sliding behind the wheel of the 2009 BMW M3 Sedan however, I received a face full of Funfetti cake and pressing the gas pedal further only spreads the frosting wider across my smeared, “why-so-serious” gaping maw.

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