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1936 Ford Fordor sedan
It’s the sixth day of AutoGuide’s Dream Car Garage list. Now it’s Associate Editor Craig Cole’s turn to share his 10 favorite vehicles, an eclectic, unexpected rundown of cars and trucks.
Even though the 1936 Ford was a couple years too late to service gangsters like John Dillinger and the crime duet Bonnie and Clyde, it’s got the look of earlier models, with an upright grille, gracefully arching fenders and those all-important running boards. It’s a classic design from the most graceful period of automotive history.
Under the car’s double-hinged hood sits a 221-cubic-inch wonder, the world’s first mass-market V8 engine. Ford’s famous flathead delivered a full 85 horsepower and belted out the Depression-era’s greatest hit, a syncopated rhythm controlled directly by the driver’s right foot.
That’s a laughably modest power rating by today’s standards, but Fords were the inexpensive performance cars of their era. Thanks to ample torque, low gearing and a curb weight that was considerably lighter than the competition, these cars were built to run. Advertised top speed was nearly 90 miles an hour. A terrifying figure for a car equipped with mechanically operated drum brakes.
When it comes to classic autos most people seem to prefer muscle cars. If they do have a soft spot for older iron they typically go for coupes or roadsters. Sedans – especially “Fordor” models – are almost sneered at, but I LOVE them, especially when equipped with suicide doors as this ’36. In fact I appreciate them so much I’m restoring one right now, so it’s mandatory to have an example in my dream garage.
Being an 80-year-old in a 28-year-old’s body goes a long way to explaining my affinity for ancient cars like this one, and you know something, it’s not always about performance…
Considering their prevalence today, it’s easy to forget that just five years ago we saw our first set of LED headlights on a production vehicle. Even back then car makers were putting LEDs on concept cars to dazzle show-goers and catch the eyes of the media. But today, LED (light-emitting diode) lights are no longer isolated to just one-off concepts or premium luxury vehicles.
According to findings from a 2009 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report, Audi’s S8 ranked as the most stolen car in the United States, with theft rates of some 8.81 per 1000 vehicles produced. It was followed by the Shelby GT 500, with rates of 8.61 per 1000, the BMW M5 (7.58 per 1000); Dodge Charger (6.47) and Honda S2000 (5.6).
However, in terms of sheer numbers of vehicles, the Toyota Camry ranks as the most stolen vehicle in America, in 2009 some 781 examples were lifted, though because of the car’s high production numbers, statistically, per 1000 units, its theft rate was significantly lower than the cars mentioned above.
However, despite thieves appearing to target luxury and performance vehicles, the overall vehicle theft rate was actually down in 2009, to an average of 1.33 per 1000 vehicles, versus 1.69 the previous year.
NHTSA believes a number of factors helped contribute to the drop in vehicle theft rates, including greater use of sophisticated immobilizers as well as increased public awareness and greater improvement in prosecution by law enforcement agencies.
[Source: Automotive News]
Set for its official reveal at the Frankfurt Auto Show in just two weeks time, Audi will launch an all-new S8. Discontinued in 2010 with its Lambo-s0urced V10, the 2012 model trades displacement for turbochargers, with a new twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 making an impressive 520-hp and 480 lb-ft of torque, an improvement of 70-hp and 80 lb-ft.
Using Audi’s quattro AWD and an 8-speed automatic transmission the new S8 can hit 62 mph in just 4.2 seconds. In addition, Audi claims a fuel economy improvement over the outgoing model of roughly 23 percent. This is due in part of a start-stop system, brake energy regeneration and a “cylinder on demand” technology that allows the engine to operate on just four cylinders when under light load.
For idea performance the S8 comes standard with Audi’s sport rear differential, distributing most of the engine’s torque to the inside rear wheel in a corner. Other handling and performance goodies include an adaptive ride air suspension and dynamic steering that are tied into the Audi Drive Select system with five driver-selectable modes: comfort, auto, dynamic, individual and efficiency.
Sticking the S8 to the road are standard 20-inch wheels and tires with big brakes. Carbon ceramic brakes are optional.
Outside the car is distinguishable by a platinum gray front grille with an aluminum-look font splitter, signature aluminum-look mirror housings, and the same paint treatment on the rear diffuser. Plus, look for S8 or V8T badges. And inside the S8 gets the usual array of sporty accoutrements, with Audi’s incredible level of luxury, as well as high-tech safety and convenience goodies like Audi’s MMI system, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, Audi’s new pre sense system that can alert the driver of an impending collision, or if he/she is dozing off.
Look for more on the 2012 Adi S8 when it debuts at the Frankfurt Auto Show on September 13th.
GALLERY: 2012 Audi S8
At this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, Audi will unveil four new S performance models, all packing a version of the brand’s new turbocharged V8 engine. Displacing 4.0-liters, this V8 can deliver up to serious power with improved fuel economy over past S versions.
In the new S6 sedan and Avant models, the engine will produce 420-hp and 406 lb-ft of torque, enabling a 0-62 mph time of 4.8 seconds. The same engine, with the same output will also be found in the new S7, which will deliver a 4.9 second 0-62 mph time thanks to a slightly heavier chassis.
All models will come standard with Audi’s quattro technology, while the S6 and S7 will get Audi’s S-Tronic dual-clutch transmission. The S8 will come equipped with an 8-speed automatic.
Audi is also touting fuel economy improvements, due to a lighter chassis as well as a new ‘cylinder on demand’ technology that will reduce the number of active cylinders to four under lighter loads.
We can expect some powerful figures for the next round of Audi’s S and RS models, thanks to the miracle of turbocharging in motion.
The Audi S8 will feature a twin-turbocharged V8 developed with the help of Bentley, churning out in excess of 500 horsepower. This is 50 horses more than the outgoing V10, but at 20% less fuel consumption. And as befitting Audi’s S-flagship, quattro four-wheel drive and an 8-speed transmission are standard.
The S6 and S7 are set to debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show later this year, and each will be packing no less than 440 and 470 horsepower (respectively). The S1 will join the fray next year to fight the Mini Cooper JCW, but no figures have been revealed for that yet.
Lastly, the almighty RS6 will drop in Avant form, making all of 580 twin-turbocharged horsepower—or 20 more than the new BMW M5. After all, like Simba, the Circle of Horsepower is just like the Circle of Life: unavoidable, and never-ending.
Destined for dealers some time in 2012, the Audi S8 could debut as early as the Frankfurt Auto Show this Fall. Along with what will no doubt be the largest grille ever fitted to a production car, the S8 will be powered by the company’s new turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine making an impressive 520-hp.
Past S8 iterations were less than impressive with a naturally aspirated Lamborghini V10 that was harder on your wallet than it was on the asphalt. The new high-torque engine with Audi’s new lighter chassis should make for an impressive turnaround for the car, especially when equipped with the usual S goodies, like larger wheels, upgraded brakes and a stiffer suspension.
Look for a sticker price above $100,000.
[Source: Car & Driver]
With Audi having just launched its all-new 2011 A8 luxury flagship sedan and fuel efficient diesel and hybrid models put on display at last week’s Geneva Auto Show, the next step for the big grilled saloon will be a high-performance model. That’s right, the S8 is set to return.
According to a report by Car & Driver, along with a few spy photos of the model caught winter testing, the S8 will forgo the Lambo-sourced V10 (which wasn’t all that impressive anyway) for a twin-turbo V8. Displacement for the new motor is set at 4.0-liters and while power will be about the same at 450-hp, torque will be significantly higher, resulting in much better low-end grunt.
The new turbo-eight will also deliver much improved fuel economy, while the reduced weight over the front axle should help make for a more dynamic driving experience, while keeping the luxo-barge’s overall weight down.
The S8 should arrive as a 2012 model, so expect a debut late this year or early in 2011.
[Source: Car & Driver]