Archive for the ‘Muscle Cars’ Category
Monday, July 11th, 2011
Ford FPV GT Black Concept
Ford Performance Vehicles or FPV, as it’s known in Australia, calls it simply the FPV Concept. Pulling off the wraps in Melbourne, at the Australian International Motor show, they might have come up with a more creative name, on the other hand, perhaps they spent every brain cell figuring out how to make this GT based car impossibly cool.
It’s interesting to note that while the rest of the world is figuring out how to emit nothing more than pine trees, and puppy dogs, Ford, Chrysler and GM appear to be continuing their war on horsepower. With the concepts supercharged five liter pushing 335kw, that’s roughly 450 bhp to you and me, the Falcon based sedan should be quick, but with the same motor making 500 bhp on this side of the pond, it’s apparent that ozone conscious Aussies are indeed turning the screws.
The “concept” car is FPVs first ever, and if you had to venture a guess on the likelihood of it actually making an appearance the chances are good. As a concept, the car is not much of a reach. The demographic that will post a picture of it on their wall might call it “murdered out”, but the gentlemen who actually put down the cash for one would more likely call it “collectively black”. If you took a standard GT and dipped it in black paint, well, you get the idea. FPV said that they ticked all of the boxes that consumers normally choose when optioning their GT so you get things like leather, in black of course, and a rear view camera as standard.
Other goodies include a track-tuned suspension, performance-spec six piston front, and four piston rear brakes with large, equally black, air ducts and a high flow stainless steel dual exhaust. You also get fashionable matte black paint on the hood, sides and wing. No one will be fitting aftermarket wheels to replace the gorgeous 19” forged alloy rims either.
In truth, this car is not all that different from the one you can buy right now, but what they have done is add some bits and pieces that you might really want. It may be a little hard to quantify the value of a car that is a foreign icon, but here in the land of Mustangs, and Camaros it’s not hard to wrap your mind around the value of rear tire destroying, oversteering madness. We may be 9000 miles apart, but we share the same ethos as our Australian brothers and sisters, even if it does leave a few kangaroos coughing in our wake.
Friday, November 5th, 2010
Pontiac, one of the most successful muscle car brands ever, has finally bitten the dust. General Motors, after watching Pontiac’s market share and profitability drain away over the last few decades decided last year that the brand was to finish, and one year later, its finally happened.
Pontiac came into being way back in 1926, and through the following years gradually built its iconic cars in to the epitome of everything a muscle car should be. Pontiac was responsible for several of the most memorable, and successful, muscle cars ever made, including the GTP, the Bonneville and of course the Firebird TransAm, made famous throughout the World by Burt Reynolds 1970′s movie Smoky and the Bandit.
Pontiac’s sales hit their peak way back in the 1960′s reaching almost 1 million sales in 1968, however those days were never to be seen again and over the following decades sales showed a continued decline and finally Pontiac was put out of its misery by GM after its much publicised financial meltdown and subsequent bailout.
Here though, we want to celebrate some of Pontiac’s finer moments, so here are a few of Pontiac’s best ever cars.
Pontiac Star Chief Convertible
A great looking 1950′s classic, the Pontiac Star Chief was one of Pontiac’s finer moments during its ascendancy, ever reliable and blessed with fantastic looks, the Star Chief was much sort after, and with a usefully powerful V8, the car never lack pace.
Pontiac Bonneville 1967
The Pontiac Bonneville was one of the longest running models ever, starting from 1957 all the way through to 2005. In hindsight Pontiac should probably have left the name for the great models of the 50′s and 60′s and then stopped using it, the cars baring the Bonneville name gradually got less desirable, and less attractive as the decades rolled on, generally the models of the 80′s onwards are best (and easily) forgotten, but the early examples will stay in the history of motoring as fine examples of cars of their time.
Pontiac GTO - The Judge
The GTO was one of the most striking cars to appear from the Pontiac stable. Blessed with powerful engines and styling to ensure you get noticed, the car was a major success. The model above is “The Judge”, a special version of the GTO released during the cars second generation era, and boasting greatly increased power, uprated handling components, and some not so subtle styling tweaks in the form of hood air scoops and tail spoilers. A classic, and much sort after, the GTO in all its forms remains one of the best looking cars to ever be produced.
Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am
Finally the Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am, this car more or less needs no introduction to anybody born in the early 70′s or before, its presence in the Smokey and the Bandit movie did a fair job of stealing the lime light from Burt Reynolds, and some would say the car overshadowed his performance and was the real star of the movie. Classic lines, awesome engines and the famous T-Top make this car one to remember and one that will always be towards the top of any muscle car list.
So there you have it, a few examples of what made Pontiac such a great car maker and a success for many decades before biting the dust, and while there will be no more cars produced with the iconic Pontiac name, its history and automotive successes will never be forgotten, RIP Pontiac.
Thursday, October 28th, 2010
2011 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350
Recently Shelby released the much anticipated specs for its 2011 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350. With initial hopes of 500hp being tossed around, Shelby have passed this marker with the supercharged version of the car developing 525hp, and totally blown the marker away with a special ‘R’ version of the model, set to produce 624hp.
The standard supercharged model is expected to hit 60mph in an incredibly rapid 3.7 seconds, and run the quarter in 12 seconds dead at just over 121mph.
There is a normally aspirated version for those who cant stomach the cost, or speed, of the supercharged models, though even this version will still be developing 440hp, still enough to see you get to 60mph in around 5 seconds.
We don’t have performance figures for the special ‘R’ version of the 2011 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350, but with the extra 100 horses, and possibly a drop in weight, we have no problem imagining the car being able to hit 60mph in little over 3 seconds.
All versions feature uprated suspension and braking components, ensuring the Shelby GT350 will go around corners as well as it goes along the straights, and of course with so much power on tap, and rear wheel drive, its fair to say an over-zealous right foot (where allowed) will induce huge tail slides guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
Coming in at $27k for the normally aspirated version, and $34k for the 525hp supercharged version, on top of the price of the base car, its likely there wont be many spots available to pick one up, obviously Shelby has limited production capacity and there is little doubt demand will be strong for the model, and for those with the cash to spare, there can be fewer better ways to spend it.
Monday, September 6th, 2010
2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302
Ford has certainly produced some wonderful cars over its manufacturing years. Among one of the favourites for a lot of people, us included, is the Mustang Boss 302 that was produced in a short stint from 1969-1970. In fact, the vehicle actually had a great deal of success for a car of a 2 year life span, winning the Trans Am series in 1970.
Ford has finally made it official that the Mustang Boss 302 will have a new lease of life. They are developing a new version of the model, which will be based on the foundations currently set by the 2011 Ford Mustang GT.
Now, many Mustang enthusiasts already knew that the company would be producing a new 302. The difference is, the model that was already in the pipeline, was the 302R, which was being developed for racing only.
With that in mind, the 2012 Mustang Boss 302 will be much more of a day to day car. It will use some similar mechanical parts as the 302R and will actually look similar, but the differences are fairly substantial. For example, the emissions count and fuel consumption are much more reasonable on the 302, when directly compared to the 302R.
So what is so good about the new Boss special edition? Well, for a start, Ford has decided to incorporate a huge 5 liter engine, which has the help of 8 cylinders. This V8 muscle car engine is effectively an upgrade to the one used in the 2011 Mustang GT, and GT produces well over 400bhp.
The mechanics are some what spectacular. It features the likes of a fully re-designed intake system, which allows the engine to run a lot better when it is being revved high. This is also helped along by the fact that it incorporates a new camshaft timing setup, which keeps the car producing the power where it should, even when it is being driven aggressively around a track!
The combination of the re-designed interior components of the engine and some minor modifications means that this is much faster. In fact, the new engine produces of 29bhp more than the GT version, which means much more speed and better throttle response!
Unfortunately for Mustang enthusiasts, it is unlikely that this vehicle will hit dealerships before 2012.
Monday, August 23rd, 2010
2011 Corvette Stingray Concept Convertible set to appear in Transformers 3
With another Transformers movie also comes another great looking muscle car, this time around we get the Corvette Stingray Concept from the 2nd movie… only this time it’s a convertible!
Set to appear in the 3rd edition of the hit Transformers movie series (due for release in July 2011) in this convertible guise, this example yet again shows just how great car designers can make a car look when they have no restrictions set up on them by the bosses.
This Corvette Stingray convertible looks superb, and is sure to be a hit with all fans of the Corvette, and of course Transformers, we can only hope, along with all the other fans, that somehow some of this Corvette Stingray’s design cues make it through to a production model sometime in the future, it sure would make an awesome sight cruising down the highway and we are already salivating at the thought of something that looks like this actually being available in the showrooms.
Of course GM have given us no clues on when, or indeed if, this car or anything like it will ever be put into production, and our guess is most likely some styling elements from this Corvette Stingray Concept may may make it through to a production model someday, but the entire package is sadly never likely to be put together for the masses, but then who knows… they may one day surprise us.
The Corvette Stingray 'Sideswipe' from Transformers 2
Tuesday, July 27th, 2010
2011 Dodge Challenger
The release of the 2011 Dodge Challenger is nearly up on us, so we thought it fitting to take a look at the new incarnation of this classic and see whats new!
Obviously the retro style stays, and who would complain about that? Looks like the 2011 Dodge Challenger will be get a 6.4L boasting around 500bhp and be more fuel efficient than the 6.1L unit currently found in the 2010 Dodge Challenger. Other changes for the 2011 Dodge Challenger include the usual raft of minor cosmetic changes and some reworking of the mechanicals.
Check out a PR from the Dodge Challenger guys below for some more specifics.
2011 Dodge Challenger Convertible
The 2011 Dodge Challenger’s styling won’t stray from the basic concept introduced with the model-year 2008 revival of this MoPar muscle car. The long-hood, short-deck shape, wide grille, graceful roofline, and full-width tail lamps will continue to honor the 1970 Challenger two-door coupe. Dodge, however, probably has additional trim packages in mind for the 2011 Challenger. Indeed, it’s kept a steady drumbeat of optional dress-ups, including recent SE Rallye-package and R/T Classic editions with body stripes and chrome gas caps right out of Challenger’s pop-art past. Model-year 2010 brought another retro-appearance option that added a hood scoop, rear spoiler, “strobe” body striping, and T-handle gear shift. Even “Plum Crazy” purple paint is back. Expect the 2011 Dodge Challenger lineup to repeat with SE, R/T, and SRT8 models. Dodge shoots down rumors that it’s considering a convertible body style; Mustang already offers one and a Camaro ragtop is in the works. Challenger is essentially a two-door coupe adaptation of the 2006-2010 Dodge Charger full-size four-door sedan. Compared to the Charger, Challenger rides a four-inch shorter wheelbase — the distance between the front and rear axles and a determinate of passenger space — so it has less rear-seat leg room. But Challenger’s body length is just 2.4 inches briefer than the 2010 Charger’s, and it’s actually wider and heavier. Dodge boasts that both cars have the same voluminous 16.2-cubic-foot trunk. All this makes for a somewhat paunchy pony, and Challenger is significantly larger than the Mustang and Camaro. The payoff is the softest ride, widest cockpit, and roomiest rear seat in the class. In fact, Challenger is the only one of the three that has seating positions for five passengers instead of four.
The 2011 Dodge Challenger will retain its rear-wheel-drive layout but could well revamp its engine roster. The 2011 Challenger SE will continue with a V-6, but Dodge surely is tempted to dump its old 3.5-liter V-6. This single-overhead cam design is rated at 250 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. It comes only with a five-speed automatic transmission and never really generates the excitement promised by Challenger’s looks. Kicking in the stall is the company’s hot new 3.6-liter dubbed the “Pentastar” V-6. Debuting in the all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, it’s an advanced dual-overhead cam design with variable valve timing and is initially rated at 280 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. With the 2011 Mustang winning attention for a new V-6 with 305 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, and the V-6 Camaro clocking in at 304/273, Challenger needs the Pentastar to remain competitive. Making the SE available with a manual transmission would also keep it abreast of the V-6 Mustang and Camaro models. The 2011 Dodge Challenger R/T is likely to retain its 5.7-liter Hemi V-8, though a bump from 2010’s 376 horsepower/410 pound-feet of torque is possible. The Hemi is named for combustion-chamber ceilings that are hemispherical rather than flat or angled. This one links to a six-speed manual transmission or a five-speed automatic. Challenger R/Ts are fast cars, but only with the manual transmission does this two-ton coupe feel like a bona fide muscle machine. No such qualifiers for the Challenger SRT8 model, which has used a 6.1-liter version of the Hemi V-8. With 425 horsepower and 420 pounds-feet of torque, the SRT8 is a monster with either the six-speed manual or five-speed automatic. However, the SRT8 is Challenger’s premium-priced model, starting around $44,000. That’s some $10,000 more than the 400-plus-horsepower Camaro SS and the 412-horsepowr 2011 Mustang GT. Some Dodge watchers speculate the 2011 Challenger SRT8 could get a new 6.4-liter version of the Hemi V-8 said to generate 475-525 horsepower. Meanwhile, Dodge hasn’t relegated all of Challenger’s recent updates to cosmetic features. Model-year 2010, for example, saw R/T models made available with the Super Track Pack, which added special 20-inch tires as well as performance-tuned shock absorbers, axle ratio, and brake linings, plus an antiskid system recalibrated to promote controlled tail slides through turns.
Some reports suggest a modest expansion of 2011 Challenger features will include a sportier new steering wheel and a remote entry system that allows the driver to unlock the car without removing the keyfob from briefcase, backpack, purse, or pocket. Otherwise, all 2011 Challengers will again have four-wheel disc brakes with antilock management for better control in emergency stops, traction control to limit tire slip during takeoffs, and antiskid traction control to mitigate sideways slides. Head-protecting curtain side airbags for both seating rows will also be standard. Same for a manual tilt/telescope steering wheel, power driver’s seat, and a split rear seat back that folds to create a cargo-passage from the trunk. The 2011 Challenger’s five-speed automatic transmission will again feature a separate gate for manual-type gear changes, while the six-speed manual’s lever will again be topped with a 1970s-style pistol-grip handle. Other returning options will include a power sunroof, remote engine start for automatic-transmission models, and xenon headlamps and a functional hood scoop for R/T models. SRT8 models come with xenons, function hood scoops, leather upholstery, special sport bucket front seats, and dashboard readouts that track 0-60-mph acceleration times, lateral G-forces, and other lead-foot data. Leather upholstery will return as an option on SE and R/T models, accompanied by heated front seats and mirrors. Also available again will be a voice-activated navigation system with real-time traffic information; Chrysler’s Uconnect multimedia system that includes USB iPod interface and steering-wheel audio controls; and sound systems that range to a 368-watt setup with seven Boston Acoustic speakers.
2011 Dodge Challenger