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Ask AutoGuide No. 41
Ask AutoGuide is our community outreach program. Drivers in need of car-buying assistance call on us and we respond with a helping hand, a kind word or a stern warning; if they’re lost we can provide a map and some direction. Usually we recommend sensible sedans, handy hatchbacks or miserly mini-models, but this week we get to have a little fun.
Fast for Less Cash
While it may seem that automakers are focusing more on fuel efficiency than performance these days, cars are actually getting faster and (in some cases) cheaper. If you’re in the market for a performance car under $50,000, you might be surprised just how fast they can get.
Taking a look at 0-60 mph acceleration times*, we have compiled a list of the Top 10 fastest vehicles available on today’s market for under $50,000 including destination.
Top 10 Track Specials Under $60,000
Driving is a mundane task for some people, but for others it’s a sport, and there’s no better proving ground than a track.
Automakers see that opportunity as well, and love to offer up cars that are designed specifically with track use in mind. Take a look at the latest offering from Subaru and Scion, the BRZ/FR-S twins. Both cars were designed with a priority on light-weight, and achieves an impressive weight balance. In true sporting fashion, it’s rear-wheel drive and can be had with a slick-shifting six-speed manual, or quick automatic with race-inspired paddle-shifters.
The FR-S isn’t the only car out there with racing in its veins. Here’s a list of factory-customized machines designed for time at the track.
10. Chevrolet Camaro ZL1: $54,095
Today’s cars all seem to be focused on delivering fun driving experience that’s still friendly on gas. Those two elements are often an important factor in a car purchase, but sometimes you just want to feral thrill of a big, loud engine.
10. Subaru WRX STI: 305-hp $34,095
One of the most wonderful sensations come when you command a whole handful of power just with the flexing of your right foot. Horsepower is an intoxicating element when it comes to driving, but that doesn’t mean that it’s saved for the most expensive vehicles out there.
It’s the SIM-LEI EV, built by the SIM Company, founded in 2009 at Japan’s Keio University. What separates it from the other EVs on the block is SIM’spreference to use four electric motors, one per wheel, rather than a central motor under the hood. The car should have debuted in March, 2011 but couldn’t meet that date after the earthquake devastation of last year.
Range is the biggest selling point. The SIM-LEI is said to last up to 206 miles in city traffic, thanks in part to the car having a minimal 0.19 coefficient of drag, which bests cars like the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i which ballpark around 100 miles.
Most people interested in buying an EV will probably agree that range is important and having double the capacity of the competition is pretty sweet, but there’s something else that makes the SIM-LEI even more interesting. It scoots from 0-60 mph in just 4.8 seconds. For some perspective, a 2010 Mustang GT does it in 4.9.
Sure, the 93 mph top speed isn’t going to do much to your heart rate, but having motors distributed to all four corners mean this car will feel like it’s got suction cups for wheels around tight corners. Say what you will, but that’s a lot of fun.
[Source: Left Lane News]
The Blue Angels-themed Mustang GT, built specifically to be sold at a charity auction, fetched a total of $400,000, making up a good chunk of the total $2.2 million raised at the annual EAA AirVenture benefiting the Young Eagles program. The winner didn’t just get himself a wickedly-built blue chrome Mustang GT either. He (or she) also got a Blue Angels flight helmet autographed by all the members of the current team.
The completed Mustang GT features a blue chrome paint job done by Creations ‘n Chrome with hand painted stripes and graphics. The front end comes from a Boss 302 while the custom rear wing does a fantastic job paying homage to the aviation team. The set of HRE 590RS wheels looks right at home on the custom Ford, and gives the car a very classy touch.
On the inside, custom Recaro seats can be found sporting Alcantara fabric, yellow stripes and stitching. The steering wheel gets a similar theme while a trio of gauges can be spotted from the dash. The yellow stripes and stitching theme also continues on the door panels and floor mats, while a Boss 302 Laguna Seca rear seat delete is painted a custom painted yellow.
And to prove that Ford isn’t in the business of just building flashy vehicles with no go, the Blue Angels-themed Mustang would make even those fast-flying pilots proud. Under the hood is Ford Racing’s supercharger system with all the fumes being expelled out of a Ford Mustang exhaust. Ford Racing’s handling package was thrown on to enhance the suspension while braking is now perfect with a set of Brembo front brakes and Ford Racing’s brake ducts.
GALLERY: Blue Angels Ford Mustang GT
[Source: Mustangs Daily]
Going to the highest bidder this year at the Young Eagles Auction will be this one-of-a-kind Blue Angels 2011 Ford Mustang GT. For the past four years, Ford Motor Company has worked in collaboration with the EAA Young Eagles Program to build a one-of-one aviation-themed vehicle for auction. This year, they’ll be honoring the Centennial of Naval Aviation by drawing inspiration from the Blue Angels for their Mustang GT.
Famous for their in-air antics, the Blue Angels aviation demonstration team clearly had heavy influences on this unique Mustang. The exterior features a unique blue-chrome finish, accented by yellow gloss accents and the infamous Blue Angels logo and crest scripted across the side. Under the hood is a 5.0L V8 supercharged powerplant that pushes out 500-hp. In addition, Ford also outfitted the Mustang with their handling package, performance exhaust, racetrack brake components and a fancy set of mesh wheels.
Check out a short video highlighting the Mustang after the break.
[Source: Mustangs Daily]
Back in October, we broke news of the WD-40 / SEMA Cares 2011 Ford Mustang GT that would be auctioned off with the proceeds going straight to charity. And now that the Mustang has been sold off at the Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Show and Auction, with WD-40 and SEMA Cares proud to announce they have generated the largest donation to date to SEMA Cares.
The final number came in at $225,000 with the vehicle itself receiving an online bid of $100,000. Another $125,000 in donations came from those who simply wanted to support the effort.
“We are overwhelmed and completely surprised with the results of the WD-40/SEMA Cares Mustang that was auctioned at Barrett Jackson,” said Mike Spagnola, president of Street Scene Equipment and SEMA Board member. “I am eternally grateful to Barrett-Jackson for their help with the auction, as well as the management staff at WD-40.”
The 2011 Ford Mustang GT features a 5.0L V8 that put out close to 600-hp thanks to Paxton Superchargers. The donated funds will be distributed between Childhelp and Victory Junction Gang Camp, both children’s charities.
The 2011 Mustang GT is here with its 5.0-liter engine and 412-hp, so if you’ve got an older model chances are it’s feeling a bit underwhelming lately. The solution might just be Turbonetics’ turbo kit, made specifically for the 2005-2009 Ford Mustang GT
Boasting a 50-state CARB legal EO # and delivering 550-hp, Turbonetics’ turbo kit offers smooth and efficient power output without sacrificing reliability.
It’s easy to install with no wires to cut, splice or connect. It utilizes all the factory accessories and sensors and a custom ECU re-flash (Diablo Sport Tuner) is included so no tuning is required. At the heart of the kit is a T4 custom ceramic ball bearing turbo while a Spearco front mount intercooler fills up the Mustang GT’s front bumper. Additional fuel comes from eight drop-in fuel injectors.
The turbo kit is only available for manual transmission models. Pricing has not yet been announced.
GALLERY: Turbonetics Ford Mustang GT Turbo Kit
We’ve been hearing through the rumor mill that Tjin Edition would be pulling off a trifecta of vehicles this year and so far we have seen the Fortune Motorsports / Tjin Edition Honda CR-Z and the Universal Technical Institute / Tjin Edition Ford Fiesta. Rounding off their SEMA projects is a brand new 2011 Ford Mustang 5.0 GT with an impressive list of modifications to really showcase what the potential of the new Mustang. Teaming up with Real Auto Works in Long Beach, California, the Tjin Edition team has their work cut out for them the upcoming months.
Once again Tjin has only released a teaser of what the finished project will look like, but Neil Tjin was nice enough to disclose some info on it. Under the hood, the Mustang will get a Vortech supercharger. But the power adders don’t stop there with a MagnaFlow exhaust and a set of American Racing headers. And for when the going gets tough, Nitrous Express will only be a tap away.
DuPont’s Cromax paint line will cover the exterior of the car, which will sport a completely custom kit designed by Gurnade and Tjin Edition and produced by Extreme Dimensions.
Air Lift will develop a full digital air suspension kit, allowing Tjin to give the Mustang GT a proper stance no matter where it is or what it’s doing. Under each fender will be a 20-inch Forgestar CF5 wheels, sporting a mean concave design and wrapped with Falken tires.
Last but not least, the interior will be completely revamped with Status Racing seats, Auto Meter gauges and a STACK cluster. And don’t worry, Tjin Edition has the in car electronics handled too thanks to Scosche, Metra, Pioneer and Image Dynamics.
This year’s SEMA seems to be shaping up to be an exciting one, so stay tuned as AutoGuide.com will have tons of coverage from this year’s show which takes place in early November.
The Roush Shelby Mustang SR-71 has finally been officially revealed, and the car looks, well, just like the concept renderings we brought you not long ago. With a supercharged 5.0L V8, full Recaro bucket seats, a custom paint job and a Ford Racing handling pack, this one-off Mustang is like nothing else ever produced. The vehicle will be auctioned off for charity Thursday, July 29th at 7:30 PM (Central Time) at the EAA Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. All proceeds benefit EAA’s (Experimental Aircraft Association) Young Eagles program, a foundation that Ford has supported for the past 15 years.
Gallery: Roush Shelby Mustang SR-71
Hit the jump to read the official press release
Motor Trend has all but confirmed one of the car world’s worst kept secrets; the Chevrolet Camaro will return in Z28 trim for 2012, likely packing the 556-horsepower LSA supercharged V8 used in the Cadillac CTS-V. The LSA engine makes just a touch more horsepower than a comparable Shelby GT500 (which has to make do with only 540 horsepower), and will be backed by a 6-speed manual gearbox.
The Z28s return was confirmed by Karl Stracke, GM’s Vice President of Global Vehicle Engineering, in an interview with Motor Trend magazine. Strecke, who likes motorcycles and drives a Corvette Grand Sport, is the kind of guy you want heading up the Z28 program. With the Shelby GT500 as the current king of the muscle car wars and the 5.0 going toe to toe with the Camaro SS, the Z28 needs to be substantially better than both cars to recapture the glory for Chevrolet. Now if they just bring back an IROC trim, the 80′s nostalgia will be complete.
[Source: Motor Trend]
Jay Leno’s epic car collection has a new addition to the “Ford section” (yes folks, he has a Ford section) of his garage, a brand-new 2011 Ford Mustang 5.0. The car in question, a Black coupe with a tan interior, has Michigan manufacturer plates, leading Left Lane News to suspect that something may be amiss with the situation, but more likely, this was a press car and Jay decided to order one, to keep his Ford GT, Shelby Cobra and Shelby Mustang GT350 company.
Driving impressions from what Leno are what you’d expect. The 5.0 is a big ball of fun and great value, according to Jay. Autoguide’s own Colum Wood is attending a Mustang event today, where he’ll be driving the V6, 5.0 and Shelby GT500 versions, so expect our driving impressions shortly. Hit the jump to check out nine minutes of big American V8 bliss, and Jay Leno’s sentimental musings on the fate of the muscle car.