AutoGuide.com’s new cars section saw a mix of browsers researching performance and practicality this week.
Those in the performance tier ranged from precise and lightweight to heavy with brute force. What were they? The 2013 Scion FR-S and Dodge Challenger. Both offer budget performance, but they go about offering that through completely different avenues. Where the Challenger can come with a 5.7-liter HEMI V8, the FR-S focuses on a low center of gravity, a 2.0-liter Boxer four cylinder and manageable handling.
Most recently, Dodge announced that it will offer the Redline package on the HEMI V8 Challenger this year. The package debuted last year on the V6 model and came with a more aggressive axle ratio. That won’t be the case in the V8 package, but buyers still get 20-inch wheels, special pain, a stiffer suspension and bigger brakes — all for about $2,000.
Meanwhile, the FR-S isn’t slated for any changes, but a convertible version of its Toyota GT86 sibling is said to be bound for the Geneva Motor Show in March.
On the less exciting front, the Honda CR-Z, Kia Optima and Hyundai Tucson were also popularly searched this week. The CR-Z gets a little bit more power for 2013, moving from 122 to 134 hp. There isn’t much new about the Hyundai Tucson this year, but it gets a little more standard equipment including automatic headlights on the GLS trim.
Similarly, the Kia Optima doesn’t really change for the 2013 model year, but much of its styling cues will carry over to the 2014 Forte compact sedan.