Category: Enthusiasm

By on March 20, 2018

Jeep and Mopar have teamed up to create another round of concept vehicles for the annual Easter Jeep Safari. Now in its 52nd year, thousands of off-road enthusiasts will once again head to Moab, Utah, for a week of technical off-roading and dirt-related camaraderie. They’ll also get to see these 4x4s in the flesh. This year’s batch was a little less showy than the previous annum, but pursuing substance over style isn’t a terrible impulse when you’re planning on slamming a vehicle into boulders all day.

“Pushing the limit is something the Jeep brand is no stranger to and these seven new, exciting and capable concept vehicles are the latest example of that,” said Jeep head Mike Manley. “Every year, we look forward to introducing new concept vehicles and ideas to our enthusiasts. The Moab Easter Jeep Safari presents a unique and perfect opportunity to collect valuable insight from our most loyal customers.” Read More >

By on February 8, 2018

Image: FCA

While not a new or even recently refreshed model, the Dodge Durango is one of those vehicles that keeps its corporate parent happy through perpetually buoyant sales.

January saw the three-row midsize SUV’s sales rise 9 percent, year over year. Despite the current generation bowing near the start of the decade, and with its last refresh now four years in the past, Durango sales in 2017 rose 104 units over 2016. Along with the Challenger, it was a shining star in a lineup that saw its volume plunge 31 percent between this January and last.

For 2018, Dodge understandably wants to spread the sales net as wide as possible. A such, buyers of hotter Durangos must now ask themselves a question: “Can I pull off this look?” Read More >

By on February 6, 2018

It’s always risky naming a car or ship after a denizen of the dark underworld. You could run afoul of Christian groups, as Chrysler did in the early 1970s with its original Dodge Demon (later renamed Dart Sport), or possibly meet a much grimmer fate, as explorer Sir John Franklin did with his two ships, the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror.

On a happier note, the Dodge division saw mostly positive PR from its decision to turn its already potent 707-horsepower Challenger SRT Hellcat up to “11.” The 2018 Demon and its associated Demon Crate drag kit became instant collector items. And why not? The Demon was a full-size two-door sedan making 808 hp (on premium gas) that you could order with a single seat.

Despite repeated promises that the model would be a one-time-only thing, however, rumors exist about a 2019 run. Read More >

By on January 22, 2018

Corvette ZR1

The most gonzo of all current Corvettes, the ZR1, packs a 755 horsepower wallop from its supercharged LT5. Chevrolet, as it has in the past with other notable versions of popular models, offered up the first retail copy to the highest bidder at Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale.

Rick Hendrick, who is reported to already own a couple of Chevys, ponied up the cash and won the auction … despite not even being in the room.

Read More >

By on January 16, 2018

Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, Image: Ford/YouTube

Ford Mustang fans won’t have to settle for 526 horsepower for much longer. That’s currently the model’s headiest output, churned out by the 5.2-liter V8 found under the hood of the Shelby GT350.

In 2019, however, a new snake slithers into Dearborn. Rumored endlessly, the Shelby GT500 will return as “the most powerful street-legal production Ford ever,” the automaker claims. Read More >

By on December 12, 2017

2017 Ford Focus RS - Image: Ford

It’s not just scorched rubber that’s responsible for the clouds of white smoke surrounding some Ford Focus RS models. The model’s high-output 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder, credited with turning the staid Focus 5-door into a performance hatch worthy of fanboy lust, seems to have a serious flaw.

Numerous complaints of white exhaust smoke seen during cold startups has forced the automaker to admit there’s a problem with the FoRS. The 2.3-liter is not electing a new Pope, as TTAC’s Matthew Guy quipped this morning — it’s burning coolant. Read More >

By on December 7, 2017

Custom Silverado paint job, Image: Blake Greenfield Chevrolet Buick/Facebook

The Wikipedia page for Wells, Minnesota, tells us it’s the birthplace of Secret Service agent Larry Buendorf, best known for collaring Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme before the unhinged former Manson Family member could get the sights of her Colt 1911 on President Gerald Ford.

What the page doesn’t tell you is that the ’70s are back, baby, but only if you live (or take a trip to) Wells, Minnesota. The requirement for this time travel? Ownership — or the purchase — of a late-model Chevrolet Silverado. Read More >

By on December 4, 2017

The internet is a black hole filled with an endless stream of stupid thoughts and bad ideas. While it’s usually best to ignore it, every so often something breaks through the obnoxious drone of social media that is so egregious, you couldn’t possibly turn a blind eye if you wanted to.

We are obligated to present to you a recent tweet from Vahid Kazemi, a software engineer for Google’s self-driving arm Waymo, and describe how it made us feel.  Read More >

By on November 28, 2017

NISMO Festival

Not long after promising to build new spare parts for the GT-R as part of its NISMO heritage program, the company threw a big bash at the Fuji Speedway circuit in its honor. More than 150 of its cousins showed up.

This is the 20th year for the NISMO Festival, which showcases the Nissan GT-R and the NISMO brand. It’s as if someone sprinkled fairy dust on an old Gran Turismo game and it sprang to life.

Read More >

By on November 18, 2017

Singer/Williams Porsche DLS

Singer Vehicle Design, builder of meticulously re-imagined Porsches, has partnered with the advanced engineering arm of UK’s Williams F1 team. Together, they’ve created an incredible commission for a well-heeled classic Porsche enthusiast. The sales commission was probably pretty good, too.

With a focus on keeping the weight down, this “Dynamics and Lightweighting Study” has resulted in the beautiful machine you see here, cranking out 500 horsepower and weighing less than 2,200lbs.
Read More >

By on November 9, 2017

zr1 leak

With the Corvette ZR1 currently off the table, Chevrolet has eased the existing Stingray into a comfortable 450 to 650 horsepower. While that might be enough to trounce just about anything you might encounter on the daily commute, it doesn’t have the necessary might to embarrass a Lamborghini Aventador with total assurance.

That’s unfortunate, as one of the Corvette’s best attributes is being able to bully European exotics sitting at a much higher price point. While America does have a handful of muscle and pony cars that can do the job, the majority would have trouble accomplishing that feat going any direction other than straight. So, with Dodge’s Viper now absent from the automotive landscape, we could really use the ZR1 right about now.

Fortunately, it’s coming soon and it’s bringing 750 horsepower with it. Read More >

By on October 30, 2017

2016 Dodge Challenger SRT with the HEMI® Hellcat engine - Image: FCA

This should lead to more than a few odd pairings. Mopar, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ performance and aftermarket parts division, will now offer a Dodge SRT Hellcat engine — the company’s 707 horsepower, supercharged 6.2-liter V8 — minus the car.

Dubbed the “Hellcrate,” the warranty-backed engine and associated kit was unveiled Monday ahead of this week’s SEMA show in Las Vegas. This means Mopar fans looking to own a 707-hp beast have other options than just visiting an FCA dealer and signing on the dotted line for a new vehicle. Read More >

By on June 30, 2017

EcoBoost Mustang Burnout, Ford Motor Co.

In a move that will make my next rental car choice slightly more difficult, Ford has decided to equip the entirety of its Mustang lineup with electronic line locks as a standard feature. While the technology has become almost ubiquitous among V8-powered American muscle cars, it’s a welcome addition to the smaller-displacement models.

Now, more hooligans can undertake longer, safer, more glorious burnouts without abusing their rear brake pads — be it while warming the tires at the drag strip or just showing off for dumb friends in a parking lot. Hopefully, the good people at Avis don’t mind losing a little tread on the rear tires.  Read More >

By on June 8, 2017

2018 Subaru WRX STI Type RA, Image: Subaru of America

It’s a lot of letters, but not a lot of extra horsepower. That’s the synopsis of two limited edition performance models revealed by Subaru today.

We already knew both were on the way, and indeed the models seem well equipped to trounce the handling dynamics of their regular-production stablemates. The appearance, too. Festooned with every measure available to enhance downforce, braking, body stability, and traction, the 2018 WRX STI Type RA (“Record Attempt”) and BRZ tS are instant collector’s items for Subaru superfans.

Is there more power to be had? Are both the revamped WRX and BRZ faster than their corporate siblings? Short answer: yes, and…maybe? Read More >

By on June 5, 2017

2017 Honda Civic Coupe Si – Image: Honda

Not everyone was blown away by the new Honda Civic Si’s 205 horsepower, especially after a year of rumors suggesting output could fall in the 220-hp range. While the hotter (but not hottest) version of Honda’s 10th-generation Civic possesses the same horsepower rating as its predecessor, albeit with significantly less displacement, many Big H aficionados had hoped for more.

Nah, you don’t want that, Honda says. The Si’s massaged 1.5-liter turbo does offer increased torque (192 lb-ft) compared to the previous 2.4-liter model, but the automaker claims the addition of more ponies would have harmed the model. Read More >

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