QOTD: Wishing for Something Hotter?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
qotd wishing for something hotter

Once upon a time, the vehicles populating high school and college student parking lots were a rangy mish-mash of beat-up hatchbacks, faded hand-me-down family sedans, the odd minivan (daughters beware!) and the obligatory Mustang or Camaro. Soon, it’ll be a sea of crossovers. Maybe it already is — your author, understandably, doesn’t make a habit of cruising by such locales at low speed in the interest of checking out rides.

As vehicular variety decreases, the need to stand apart from the crowd hasn’t. Maybe that explains this week’s Chevrolet Blazer SS thought experiment. Sure, a hotter two-row crossover, especially in Blazer form, might not turn your crank, but that doesn’t mean there’s no audience for such a vehicle.

Is this segment in need of more muscle?

Gone are the days in which a low-priced coupe or sedan could play host to a myriad of ever-larger powerplants, sending tooth-rattling power aft to the rear wheels through beefed-up trannys and differentials borrowed from the OEM’s parts bin. Beancounters took over. Then the public started demanding an alternative to coupes and sedans.

Ford’s Edge ST seeks to upset the idea that mainstream crossovers can’t be the object of desire for the go-fast crowd. Okay, maybe just for members with family obligations. Its 335 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque, retuned suspension, and bigger brakes seeks to entice the buyer who wants everything in one package. It isn’t crazy that some feel the need for a GM rival.

While Fiat Chrysler is more than happy to sell you a Dodge Durango or Jeep Grand Cherokee with monster V8 power, today we’re focusing on front-biased, high-riding unibodies.

Is there, um, utility in fielding a hot crossover? And, if you feel there is, which crossover on the market today would you like to see turned into a legitimate fire-breather?

[Image: General Motors]

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  • TheDutchGun TheDutchGun on Mar 21, 2019

    I literally just bought a 17 focus ST. I don't begrudge Ford for using the name on other models simply because they are ceasing north American sales of the 2 previous models to which the moniker applied. As long as said ST models are a true performance step up from the standard versions. A manual transmission would be nice, but I know I'm living in the past and the computers can shift faster than my slow inferior human motor function (pun intended).

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    • TheDutchGun TheDutchGun on Mar 21, 2019

      @Art Vandelay I went from a paid for 2015 5.0L F150 with 130,000 km on it and several minor quibbles/repairs to address to a 2017 focus ST with 20,000 km on. Zero regrets and am loving the manual transmission again. I will shed a tear when the final nail is put in the clutch pedal's coffin.

  • NeilM NeilM on Mar 21, 2019

    Of course there are already hot crossovers, albeit at a higher price point. A friend of mine just bought a BMW X3 M40i, which has the 3.0 L6 turbo with 355 hp and 365 lb-ft of torque, and does 0-60 mph in 4.6 secs. Hot enough? It does list for $56K though.

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    • Geo Geo on Mar 24, 2019

      @jatz Highway stoplights Empty highways Accelerating from highway shoulders

  • Nrd515 I bought an '88 S10 Blazer with the 4.3. We had it 4 years and put just about 48K on it with a bunch of trips to Nebraska and S. Dakota to see relatives. It had a couple of minor issues when new, a piece of trim fell off the first day, and it had a seriously big oil leak soon after we got it. The amazinly tiny starter failed at about 40K, it was fixed under some sort of secret warranty and we got a new Silverado as a loaner. Other than that, and a couple of tires that blew when I ran over some junk on the road, it was a rock. I hated the dash instrumentation, and being built like a gorilla, it was about an inch and a half too narrow for my giant shoulders, but it drove fine, and was my second most trouble free vehicle ever, only beaten by my '82 K5 Blazer, which had zero issues for nearly 50K miles. We sold the S10 to a friend, who had it over 20 years and over 400,000 miles on the original short block! It had a couple of transmissions, a couple of valve jobs, a rear end rebuild at 300K, was stolen and vandalized twice, cut open like a tin can when a diabetic truck driver passed out(We were all impressed at the lack of rust inside the rear quarters at almost 10 years old, and it just went on and on. Ziebart did a good job on that Blazer. All three of his sons learned to drive in it, and it was only sent to the boneyard when the area above the windshield had rusted to the point it was like taking a shower when it rained. He now has a Jeep that he's put a ton of money into. He says he misses the S10's reliablity a lot these days, the Jeep is in the shop a lot.
  • Jeff S Most densely populated areas have emission testing and removing catalytic converters and altering pollution devices will cause your vehicle to fail emission testing which could effect renewing license plates. In less populated areas where emission testing is not done there would probably not be any legal consequences and the converter could either be removed or gutted both without having to buy specific parts for bypassing emissions. Tampering with emission systems would make it harder to resell a vehicle but if you plan on keeping the vehicle and literally running it till the wheels fall off there is not much that can be done if there is no emission testing. I did have a cat removed on a car long before mandatory emission testing and it did get better mpgs and it ran better. Also had a cat gutted on my S-10 which was close to 20 years old which increased performance and efficiency but that was in a state that did not require emission testing just that reformulated gas be sold during the Summer months. I would probably not do it again because after market converters are not that expensive on older S-10s compared to many of the newer vehicles. On newer vehicles it can effect other systems that are related to the operating and the running of the vehicle. A little harder to defeat pollution devices on newer vehicles with all the systems run by microprocessors but if someone wants to do it they can. This law could be addressing the modified diesels that are made into coal rollers just as much as the gasoline powered vehicles with cats. You probably will still be able to buy equipment that would modify the performance of a vehicles as long as the emission equipment is not altered.
  • ToolGuy I wonder if Vin Diesel requires DEF.(Does he have issues with Sulfur in concentrations above 15ppm?)
  • ToolGuy Presented for discussion: https://xroads.virginia.edu/~Hyper2/thoreau/civil.html
  • Kevin Ford can do what it's always done. Offer buyouts to retirement age employees, and transfers to operating facilities to those who aren't retirement age. Plus, the transition to electric isn't going to be a finger snap one time event. It's going to occur over a few model years. What's a more interesting question is: Where will today's youth find jobs in the auto industry given the lower employment levels?
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