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...
Tuesday, December 20, 2011 05:12
Here’s what the Real Car Granddaddy wants for Christmas: A mobility scooter powered by a supercharged 140 cubic centimeter gasoline engine. Granddads Unser, Andretti, Allison or Waltrip would all be jealous.
I figure it’s gotta make 20 horsepower. Maybe 30. Unless it’s Granddad Force’s or Kalitta’s and they’re mixing in some nitromethane. Then it should be around 60 hp—but only for five seconds.
According to bbc.co.uk, this scooter was built in the U.K. and includes kart tires for extra grip. Good thing it has four wheels so Granddaddy doesn’t tip it over and break a hip. I’d like a rollcage, a six-point harness and a helmet with a HANS device. Brits have always been a bit eccentric—but they call us “cowboys.”
Local residents resent the noise and says it “scares wildlife.” I wonder how many wild animals they interviewed to determine their level of fear. And are tame animals okay with it?
An aside: Know what’s a chick-magnet in an assisted living facility? Same thing it was in high school: A driver’s license and a car. Some of those blue pills that match your girl’s hair and you’re ready.
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, November 3, 2011 08:00
Ever since Dodge discontinued the Viper V-10-powered Dodge Ram SRT-10, truck fans have been waiting for its replacement. Well, the wait might be over. The new Ram 392 Quick Silver debuts at the SEMA show this week (November 1-4), and it looks like just the truck to take back the title of the world’s fastest pickup.
Under the Quick Silver’s aluminum hood is a very quick engine, a 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 that puts out a claimed 470 horsepower, more than enough to haul just about any payload short of an oil tanker. Standard equipment includes a cold-air intake, a cat-back exhaust system, and headers with an electronically controlled cutout (Hey, everybody, wake up! I’m home!) Brakes are by Brembo, and feature 15-inch rotors and six-piston calipers.
The Quick Silver is painted––what else?––silver, with a gloss black roof and red anodized wheels, mirrors, and grille inserts. All exterior lights hide behind tinted covers, and the suspension has been modified for an additional 2 inches of ride-height reduction.
If the Quick Silver turns out to be anything like its first iteration, that “World’s Fastest Pickup” trophy will be on its way back to Ram HQ very soon.