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  #1  
Old 02-20-2002, 05:50 AM
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JST JST is offline
A sudden sense of liberty
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A Renaissance for the American performance car?

Not long ago, the number of serious American performance cars looked in danger of dropping to three: the Mustang, the Viper, and the Corvette. At the same time, everyone has been spilling lots of ink about the Japanese sports car revival (led by the 350Z and RX-8). Over the past couple of months, though, a series of product announcements make it clear that the American performance car's rebirth is just as dramatic as anything from Japan. Consider:

-The most recent (and splashy) announcement that Ford will build the 500 hp GT40 as sort of an uber-Viper.

-The 390 hp 2003 SVT Cobra, which, though impressive in and of itself, is due to be replaced in 04 by a Mustang with an actual modern chassis. The 2004 Mustang has an impressive component set, from the engine to (finally) the suspension, and could be a big surprise for people used to thinking of the pony car as exclusively a 1/4 mile machine.

-The rumors (continued here) that GM is working to bring the Holden coupe to the United States. With RWD, a 5.7L V8, and a 6 speed, the Holden coupe is a damn impressive piece. As Lutz says, I want one sooner rather than later.

-The revelation to Lincoln Mercury dealers that Ford is planning a performance version of the LS.

-GM's acknowledgement that it is planning an AMG-type line of performance models for Cadillac, including a supercharged CTS.

-The Marauder, which is big enough and silly enough to be intensely desireable even to a Gen Xer such as myself.

-From the Dodge camp, the 215 hp turbo Neon and 500 hp Lightning-fighting Ram, along with the Crossfire (which is probably more show than go, based as it is on a CLK).


That's a lot of meat. The next couple of years are going to be very interesting.
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  #2  
Old 02-20-2002, 06:37 AM
in_d_haus in_d_haus is offline
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Saw the Detroit auto show on TV last weekend. It mentioned many of the things you detail here. Another was a Dodge ram truck with the Viper engine.

They reported the Neon as 205 hp not 215.
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  #3  
Old 02-20-2002, 06:40 AM
hts hts is offline
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Hey, you forgot one for us family-types: the new Chrysler Pacifica!!

What is it?
Chrysler Pacifica

What's special about it?
To cater to the "I want it all" needs of those who can't decide between a sport wagon, minivan or SUV, Chrysler's Pacifica concept supposedly offers the benefits of all three in one vehicle. Named after Chrysler's design studio in California, the Pacifica has a nose resembling a pumped-up 300M and a handsome profile with a strong BMW X5-like character line running along the side. Mercedes' influence can be seen in the side mirror-mounted turn signal repeaters. Beefy alloys wearing 255/50R19 Michelin tires enhance the Pacifica's stance.

Chrysler's workhorse 3.5-liter V6, sends 250 horsepower through a four-speed automatic that allows manual-style shifting. A choice of either front- or all-wheel drive will be offered. In concert with the powerful engine, an independent suspension all 'round should provide performance more akin to a sport sedan than a vehicle that can carry a full complement of six adults with room to spare.

The versatile interior design features three rows of seats. Bun warmers are fitted to the two front rows, and the second-row seats can adjust fore and aft. Second- and third-row seats are of the split/fold variety, offering an easy conversion from spacious sport wagon to cargo-hauler. Other interior refinements include adjustable pedals, a navigation system and hands-free communication. All the expected safety features are accounted for and the Pacifica even has side-curtain airbags for all seat rows as well as a tire pressure-monitoring system.

Why should you care?
You should care because this concept is not just a teaser on a turntable. Boasting that the Pacifica will be a "segment buster" and not one to waste time, Chrysler will be bringing the Pacifica to production for the 2003 model year. ó John DiPietro

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  #4  
Old 02-20-2002, 11:10 AM
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Of the cars listed, the only one that I would be interested in, is the supercharged CTS, provided that it's priced right, and handles well. Oh, built quality equal to Acura would be nice too, but we all know how likely THAT will happen!

Ed
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