AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Will the Real SS Please Stand-Up?
I am a bit of a Camaro guy. As the previous owner of a 1996 Camaro, I still have visions of once again owning a Chevrolet pony car.
So when GM brought back the Camaro in 2010, my excitement to get behind the wheel was understandable. But when the time came to finally pilot a shiny red Camaro SS, I was disappointed.
Despite having over 400 hp, the car felt under powered, heavy, ponderous and quiet; not good traits for an American sports car. In the three years since that drive, Chevy has been working hard to enhance the Camaro and introduced the awesome ZL1 and the upcoming track-special Z/28. Problem is, both of those cars are expensive. Really expensive. What is the average Joe to do? The easy answer to that is the 1LE package. This is the car the Camaro SS always should have been right from the start. Here are five reasons why.
Three muscle cars icons battle it out
We are back with this week’s installment of AutoGuide’s newest, interactive weekly feature ‘Commute, Toy or Destroy’.
The 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 might not have the wedge shape of a European supercar, but its 202 mph top speed puts it in a rareified world of hand-built Italian exotics.
SVT engineer Jamal Hameedi told MustangsDaily that the GT500 recorded a top speed of 202 mph during testing, thanks to the improved power figures and some apparent aerodynamic changes. Hameedi also said that while Ford was doing suspension testing at the famed Nurburgring, they didn’t record any times for the GT500, avoiding the typical Nurburgring bragging rights contest that so many automakers fall prey to.
Chevrolet has announced pricing of their 2012 Camaro Zl1 at $54,095. Chevrolet claims that the car compares favorably to more expensive cars like the Audi R8 GT, Mercedes-Benz SLS and Maserati Gran Turismo, which cost between $122,800 and $196,800 based on available performance.
Of course, that suggestion is laughable, as those cars would never be cross-shopped and their respective demographics likely have a mutual enmity. By comparison, rivals like the Ford Shelby GT500 and Dodge Challenger SRT-8 392 retail for $48,645 and $42,780 respectively. The ZL1 will also hit 60 mph in 3.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 184 mph.
The big surprise here was the announcement of the Fiat 500 as the Hottest Sport Compact, despite a relatively small presence at the SEMA show. The Hyundai Veloster seemed like a far more likely candidate for the award, given the ubiquity of the new Hyundai hatchback.
Check out AutoGuide’s SEMA coverage here
Vintage car lovers who live in fear of terminal oxidization now have a last resort in the fight against rust. Ford displayed a ’65 Mustang body shell at the 2011 SEMA Show that was stamped from entirely new steel that OE supplier Dynacorn International (producer of bodyshells for Ford) says is far superior to the steel used on the original cars.
Dynacorn’s bodyshells are far from cheap at around $15,000 a pop, but it’s hard to argue with the value of having an entirely new, high-grade steel bodyshell for one’s muscle car project. Furthermore, the bodyshell can be combined with a full suite of Ford performance parts to create what is technically a brand-new Mustang that can be configured like a ’64.5, ’65 or ’66 Mustang. Aside from the philosophical conundrum of whether this is technically a “new” or “vintage” car, those who opt for this route will have to register their vehicle as a kit car, a lengthy and involved process in many jurisdictions.
Nonetheless, we think that the reproduction bodies are a very cool idea that can save one a lot of time and effort on the road to a high quality muscle car project.
Check out AutoGuide’s SEMA coverage here
Gallery: ’65 Ford Mustang Convertible Bodyshell
The glory days of the muscle car era may be long over, but die-hard fans of V8 powered American iron don’t have to spend countless hours restoring oxidized hulks of decades-old metal anymore.
Ford will be showing off a brand new ’65 Mustang bodyshell – yes you read that right – at the 2011 SEMA Show starting Monday, October 31st. Dynacorn International, an independent contractor used by Ford to stamp body shells, also creates brand new bodies for Ford Mustangs Chevrolet Camaro and Chevelle models as well as Dodge Challenger and Chevrolet Pickups.
With the new bodyshell (which costs around $15,000) and Ford’s authorized parts dealer network, one could basically build an all-new vintage Mustang, configured as an original 1964.5, a 1965 or 1966 model. Such a car would be subject to various kit car laws, and would have to be assigned a special VIN number by one’s local government, but for the hobbyist that wants the absolute best muscle car going, there’s really no better option.
[Source: New York Times]
Today’s total nonsense rumor comes from Chrysler fansite Allpar, which is reporting that the 2013 Dodge Viper will get an 8.7L V10 and doesn’t cite any source, anonymous or otherwise.
While Chrysler boss Ralph Gilles has said that the Viper will retain a V10 engine, we have a hard time believing that an 8.7L motor would appear during a time when everyone is downsizing. Sure, the Viper has never been about fuel economy, but there’s no reason for Dodge to go this route whatsoever.
According to General Motors’ PR machine, the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 set a Nurburgring lap time of 7 minutes, 41 seconds and 27 milliseconds.
For the sake of comparison that time is just a second and a half off the time released by the new 2012 Porsche 911 and is the same as the 997 Porsche GT3. The 2012 Corvette Z06 recently laid down a 7:22 lap time, while the current record holder for production cars is the Dodge Viper ACR with a 7:12 time.
We wish we were excited about this announcement, but knowing what a crock most Nuburgring times are, we’re remaining unmoved. The only accurate measure of its performance will be to actually drive the car, so until then, speculation on the ZL1′s performance will remain off-limits for us.
GALLERY: 2012 Chevy Camaro ZL1
Even though the accuracy of Nurburgring records has been debunked ad nauseaum, the low-IQ crowd still seems to take some stock in their veracity – or maybe they just need a lot of visual stimulation. Either way, the Dodge Viper ACR has apparently set a new lap record for the Nurburgring, and there exists video “proof” of this miraculous non-event.
The Viper Club of America has pandered to these folks by releasing video of the event (below the jump) which is really not all that exciting – although we do get some cool V10 sounds towards the end. Nonetheless, the slick production should hopefully convince any holdouts that these Nurburgring lap time runs are just contrived marketing ploys and nothing more.
Hit the jump to watch the video of the Dodge Viper ACR Nurburgring Lap Record
The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is one of the most highly anticipated models of 2012. This 580-hp, supercharged V8 monster will certainly be one of the fastest sportscars on the market.
Many enthusiasts are waiting to get their hands on this model, but if you want the very first one, get ready today. At the Barrett-Jackson Auction being held today in Las Vegas, a Chevrolet dealer will auction off the first customer ZL1.
While in actuality, this will be the 69th ZL1 built at the Oshawa factory, this carbon-black metallic example is a tribute to the 69 examples of the 1969 Camaro ZL1, but it will be the first one delivered to a customer.
The car is donated by Fairway Chevrolet in Las Vegas, with 100% of the proceeds going to the YMCA of Southern Nevada.
The ZL1 will be delivered to the highest bidder by next spring.
GALLERY: 2012 Chevy Camaro ZL1
While not everyone is a fan of the new Chevrolet Camaro, it appears that it actually has more admirers than one would think.
Not only has it been the best selling sportscar for the last two years, it is now also the most popular car on Facebook. With a fan-base of 1.8-million, the Camaro , it has out numbered any other car on this social media site.
The site also proves that the new Camaro is attracting a younger crowd, as 60% of fans are between the ages of 18 and 34. With fans uploading photo’s of their Camaro’s, its community is getting bigger and stronger with time.
It will certainly get stronger still when later this year, Chevrolet will launch the Transformers Edition Camaro, and the powerhouse Camaro ZL1, which features a supercharged V8 capable of producing well over 550-hp. A muscle car with muscle, we like the sound of that.
[Source: egm CarTech]
Chrysler has recently poured a significant amount of money into the 2011 model. The front and rear suspensions have been revamped and re-engineered to improve handling and ride quality. Furthermore, the new standard 3.6-liter V6 was implemented providing a 55-hp boost over the much criticized 3.5-liter V6.
You would think these changes would boost sales. Think again. Sales are only up by 15% over the bleak year-ago period. That may sound pretty good, but May sales actually dropped 11 percent.
Sadly, the Challenger is averaging just 3,355 cars sales per month, shocking figures for a car that just went through a redesign. So far this year, Dodge sold 16,777 Challengers. Compare that to Chevy moving 40,275 Camaros and Ford selling 30,206 Mustangs.
GALLERY: 2011 Dodge Challenger
[Source: Automotive News]
The Shelby has recently undergone testing at the Nürburgring featuring a very large intercooler, leading us to believe the car has been given even more power. However, nothing is official as of yet. Previous reports have suggested that the Shelby may adopt a new supercharged 5.8-liter V8 engine. The engine can easily produce 620-hp which means the 2013 model will have a 70-hp gain over the current model.
Styling changes look to be quite limited at this point. Since the new model is still very early in production more may change.
Stay tuned for more info!
[Source: World Car Fans]