You won’t have to succumb to gas guzzler guilt & buy a humdrum minivan or Prius. Porsche has just released another new hybrid in their lineup. The hybrid Panamera is now the most economical Porsche ever made. This model shares the same powertrain as the hybrid Cayenne, but less wind resistance makes the Panamera more efficient while still boasting a top speed of nearly 170 miles an hour. It goes on sale in June.
Dodge is keeping America’s muscle car tradition alive. These “performance” sedans from other countries have nothing on our Detroit steel. Do you see Acura, Audi or Saab trying to wedge 465 horses under the hood? Dodge has done it in the Charger SRT8, upping the output by an extra 40 horses for the 2012 model. Actually, do you see any other car on the market with a 6.5-liter V-8 and room for five passengers? Didn’t think so. Dodge, America thanks you for this beast. Sincerely.
Most likely you’re too young to know what the hell a 392 Hemi V-8 is. That’s okay, because Dodge has just released a new Challenger paying homage to their own 70s muscle car pedigree. The SRT stands for “street racing technology” and that’s basically what this monster variant is for. With stock 20-inch wheels & 470 horsepower, you’ll have a hard time not getting pulled over. The racing stripes aren’t gonna help, either.
Back in the late 60s, Dodge put some straight-up race cars on the dealer lot – dominating the burgeoning muscle-car category for the next decade. They brought it all back a few years ago and once again re-wrote the book on American-made consumer super cars. The 2011 Charger is a beast. With re-styled grill, shoulder-line & tail section, this is a nice visual update to compliment the legendary V-8 Hemi motor that pushes 370-horses.
Automobile paparazzi have spent the last 6 months doing surveillance at test tracks around the world, leaking images of the 2012 Nissan GT-R all over the web. Man…it looks good. Unfortunately, not a lot of performance specifics have leaked. What we do know – it features enhanced aerodynamics in the nose & rear and has shed some 350-pounds, making it leaner than its predecessor. But, the 3.8-liter twin turbo still packs nearly 500 horses, which is really heavy.
With its broad, flat grill and elongated hood, the body of the 2012 CLS is split between retro & futuristic styling. The shortened rear and stretched front recall the SL300 & early-60s racers, but everything else is purely modern. Styling on this new model is clearly more aggressive than in year’s past, putting this 4-door sport coupe more in line with its Bentley and Porsche rivals.
Audi is like Apple when it comes to releasing new products that people instantly love, covet & desire. Why is that? Well, the Audi A7 holds a few of the possible answers. It looks good – with angular lines, 20-inch wheels and that Porsche-like fastback rear end. It performs – with an available 6-or 8-cylinder engine to deliver juice to the all-wheel drive. Borrowing the best of the successful A6 & A8 models, the A7 logically looks to be another Audi ace.
If you’re dropping-in on a new Corvette, you obviously have enough testosterone to handle a trip to the Chevy engine plant in Wixom, Michigan to build your own motor. Tack a mellow $5800 onto your ’Vette’s sticker price & you can literally get your hands in the engine (with tech supervision) as it is custom-built for your car. Where else could you do this but in the good ole USA?
The fact this little jellybean wears the green oval makes the British motor press cringe. But the truth is, turning forty means middle age. And, Range Rover hasn’t hit this manufacturing milestone by always building ’em burly. They’ve leaned ever-more toward luxury. The people who never get their Rovers dirty are the ones who lease the new model as soon as it comes out – so, the Evoque, touted as the smallest, lightest & most fuel-efficient Range Rover ever, fits at forty. And hey…its still four-wheel drive.