While there are no doubt still a few purists who are grumbling about the two most recent generations of Dodge Charger being four-door sedans (though we have to wonder if they were this vocal when the last Charger before that – a four-cylinder, front drive hatchback – was being made), it’s hard to argue against the 21st century Chargers’ styling and performance, the latter being especially potent in SRT8 form. We’re especially fond of the new 2012 Charger, with styling that more closely mirrors that of the iconic 1968-’70 models and more powerful yet more efficient powerplants.
However, even the Charger SRT8 – packing a 6.4L Hemi V8 that makes 470hp – is a bit of a weakling by modern super sedan standards. Chrysler’s in-house performance parts and accessories arm, Mopar, isn’t taking this matter lying down. In fact, it has gone so far as to create a concept car for next week’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit, but there’s much more to this concept than a cat-back exhaust system and big wheels.
Though it’s been on the ropes for a while now, Detroit is still alive, and so are the three car-building conglomerates that call it home. And while the home teams have made plenty of fumbles in the past, each one seems to be clawing its way back from the brink with fresh products that appear to be competitive with the four-wheeled wares being peddled by the foreign nameplates.
And what better place to show off those new higher-quality cars and trucks than in Motown itself? Of course the domestics don’t have Cobo Hall all to themselves, and the imports have brought some pretty impressive hardware themselves. And considering competition drives innovation and motivates companies to work harder toward creating better products, it’s no surprise just about every automaker in attendance brought it’s A-game. But if we had to pick the absolute cream of the crop, it would be the following 10 rides.
Buick has been trying to capture a younger demographic and add some excitement to its brand for quite some time. With Tiger Woods in the doghouse and no hip celebrity endorser, what’s one to do to reinvigorate a brand that never seems to produce cars on anyone’s wish list? Well, that my friends, is where the new Buick Regal GS Concept comes into play. While GM has not given the green light for production, this car looks pretty much ready to go. Most of the major components are already being cranked out anyway. And with so many detailed specs available, this alone leads us to believe it is a shoe-in for showrooms.
Of course, the mass-market Regal CXL models will probably get a fair head start (this summer) before the GS drops, but we’ll wait patiently. The Regal GS is based on the Opel Insignia OPC, the model’s high-performance variant, which sports a turbo V6 good for 325 horsepower. But given that the Regal platform will use the same 2.0-liter EcoTec four-banger of which we’ve become quite familiar, GM’s engineers had to put on their tuning hats. As such, the reworked GS engine will reportedly pump out 260 horsepower. That’s a nice number but it’s really the 295 lb-ft of torque that raised our brows along with the fact that a six-speed manual will be offered.
The Mini Beachcomber Concept made its debut at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show today and made a big impression. Featuring an all-wheel drive powertrain, the Beachcomber is a throwback to the original Mini Moke sans doors and roof.
Some of you may remember the Moke (based on the ancient dialect name “donkey”) or may even have driven one while on vacation in the Caribbean, where these cars are used as beach buggies. That said, the original design was for a lightweight military vehicle, but somehow key essentials like ground clearance and appropriate tires were missing from the equation. It was therefore relegated to work duty as as cheap, utility vehicle with production beginning in 1964 and running through 1993.
After the long wait, the new 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe is finally here and it is an absolute beast. Looking like it just ate your neighbor’s M3, with a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine putting out 556 horsepower and 551 ft-lb of torque, it can probably dominate anything in your local municipality (unless you live in Newport Beach).
This is the most powerful engine Cadillac has ever offered in a production car and propels the vehicle from 0-60 mph in just 3.9 seconds. Transmission options include a Tremac dual-disc six-speed manual and a Hydra-Matic six-speed automatic with paddle shifters. The official introductions will comes next week at the 2010 North American International Auto Show taking place in Detroit.