Tuesday, January 17, 2012 12:03
What’s the ultimate new car for real car guys and gals on a budget? Given that it has to work in every situation, including commuting to work and school and providing your back-road kicks on the weekends, it might be pretty tough to find a single car that does all of those thing well—and fits with your finances. But you can make a pretty good case that the 2013 Dodge Dart.
The new Dodge Dart started off this year with a vote of confidence from the editors of Autoweek, who named it the “Most Significant Vehicle” at the 2012 North American International Auto Show.
Underpinning the American-built Dart is a sport-tuned Alfa Romeo Giulietta chassis that lends a dash of European flair to its handling. The Dart’s powerplant combines fuel efficiency with performance, and with 10 airbags this sporty compact is a class leader in safety technology. More...
Friday, December 16, 2011 13:16
Speed Channel catches a lot of flack for the quantity of not-very-speed-related programming it shows, especially during the winter when all the major racing series have wound down until next year. But this weekend Speed has something worth watching, especially for Mopar fans, on the latest episode of “Test Drive,” featuring the entire 2012 SRT vehicle lineup.
Show host Tommy Kendall teams up with various professional drivers and personalities from the SRT brand and Dodge Motorsports, including Ralph Gilles, President and CEO, SRT and Motorsports, for driving exercises to show off the four benchmark American high-performance vehicles from Chrysler.
There are four segments in the 60-minute show. First, Kendall meets up with Kurt Busch at the Carolina Motorsports Park where the two take to the track in Dodge Charger SRT8s.
Next, Kendall goes to Fontana, California, where he and freestyle motocross athlete and Hart and Huntington Racing team owner Carey Hart drive Dodge Challenger SRT8s in a simulated movie chase scene.
Next up, the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 is shown on quaint village roads in Germany before taking a few hot laps around the famed 12.9-mile Nürburgring Nordschleife.
Finally, Kendall and Gilles hop in a Chrysler 300 SRT8 for some on-track and on-road excitement in and around the Motor City.
The show premieres at noon (EST) on Sunday, December 18, on Speed. Tune in, rev up, and take off. Check out SpeedTV.com for more details.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011 06:00
Progress has a tendency to relegate old designs to the scrap heap pretty regularly, but some ideas are too good to go away. One of them is big-inch performance cars, which is why Dodge is reviving an icon of high performance with the 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 Super Bee, and the just-introduced 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 Yellow Jacket.
The Super Bee’s sting comes courtesy of a 392-cubic-inch Hemi V8 with 470 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque. New 20 x 9-inch, five-spoke cast-aluminum wheels with black painted pockets developed specifically for the Super Bee provide a unique performance look, and available Goodyear F1 Supercar three-season, ultra-high-performance tires give the Super Bee tenacious grip on the road or track.
The Super Bee’s interior is a real honey, with a three-spoke contoured performance steering wheel, exclusive Z-stripe cloth performance seats with amped yellow and silver striping in both the front and rear, and silver accent stitching and embroidered Super Bee logos on each of the front seat headrests.
The exterior leaves no doubt about the car’s identity. Both front fenders boast “392 HEMI” badges , and flanking both rear fenders are the legendary round Super Bee graphics with the wording “Powered by SRT”.
The Yellow Jacket is based on the 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392, and has the same 470-horse 6.4-liter Hemi under the hood as the Super Bee. In addition it has two-mode adaptive-damping suspension tuning that adapts to the road and driver inputs, a heated steering wheel with paddle shifters, standard leather seats, and an eardrum-blasting 900-watt, 18-speaker Harman Kardon audio system.
The Challenger SRT8 Yellow Jacket features a Stinger Yellow body color and black grille surround to match the standard black body-side stripes that highlight the newly developed Yellow Jacket logo on the rear fender. Both the 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 Super Bee and the 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 Yellow Jacket will be produced in limited numbers.
Thursday, September 29, 2011 08:00
Usually, if a car manufacturer wants to snag some press for a new performance model, it sends one to the races. Recently, however, pretenders to the throne of speed go to a single race track, the Nurburgring in Germany, to prove their worth. Chrysler Group’s Street and Racing Technology (SRT) team, in conjunction with the ViperExchange by Tomball Dodge team and the Viper Club of America, took a pair of 2010 Dodge Viper ACRs off of Tomball’s showroom floor and headed for the track called the Green Hell with their sights set on the production-car lap record.
The Nurburgring, which is about 13 miles long, was once used in its entirety for Formula 1 races, but now a shorter version is used for F1 while the old long course is used mainly for testing. Letting it all hang out on the old course takes guts because the track is so long that you could be miles away from help if you crash.
The SRT last team went to the ‘Ring in 2008 and set a record of 7:22.1, which was broken earlier this year by a Lexus LFA Nurburgring Edition. For the shot at regaining the record, the SRT team shortened the Viper’s fifth gear for better high-speed acceleration, and tweaked the car’s bodywork for better aerodynamics.
The work paid off on September 14, when a Viper SRT10 ACR stopped the clock at 7:12.13, more than two seconds faster than the Lexus’s time.
Friday, February 11, 2011 05:13
According to the weather report, most of the country is shivering under a blanket of snow and ice. But the atmosphere is sizzling hot inside the Chicago Auto Show, where carmakers from all over the world are introducing their latest models to car enthusiasts hungry for news that doesn’t involve things freezing off of brass monkeys. Here are RCG’s top five picks from the show to keep you warm until the spring thaw.
VW Jetta GLI If you’re still tempted to yawn every time you hear the name Volkswagen, it’s time to wake up and smell the kaffee. The new Jetta GLI is breaking away from the staid image of its Jetta forbears, combining aggressive performance and handling in a package that should appeal to both automotive enthusiasts and more laid-back drivers.
The GLI’s wild side is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that puts out a claimed 200 horsepower and 207 lb.-ft. of torque, figures that VW says contribute to everyday drivability and sporty situations. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and a DSG automatic with paddle shifters is optional.
Ready for action whenever you are is the XDS cross-differential system, which helps prevent inside wheelspin in corners; track-tuned four-way Independent Performance Suspension; and disc brakes at all four corners with floating calipers.
The Jetta GLI comes standard with a host of safety features including electronic stability control to help keep you out of trouble, and VW’s Intelligent Crash Response System in case you get in over your head. The ICRS initiates automatic safety protection in some types of collisions, shutting off power to the electric fuel pump, unlocking the doors, and turning on the hazard lights. More...