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.
Hooray, the Corvette turns 60 this year! And, according to sales figures, so are its consumers.
Despite lofty performance at a discount price, the Corvette’s consumer base is aging at a rate that is worrying General Motors—particularly because young people aren’t snapping them up either. Sales of the current generation have been less than those of the fifth-gen, despite increases in power and decreases in weight and price.
“Maybe we got a little complacent,” said Harlan Charles, Corvette product marketing manager,. “Maybe we need to tell the younger generation about just how special the Corvette is.”
Given the Corvette’s stereotypical denim-jacket status as a midlife-crisis car—rivaled only by, say, Floridan real-estate developers in base-model Porsche 911 Carrera convertibles—GM is launching a full-on media assault on television and other outlets including Facebook, which is supposed to be popular with kids these days. As the seventh generation Corvette is set to be due soon, this effort should hopefully sway kids into thinking that their dad’s cars aren’t just leaf-sprung, straight-line, pig-handling, automatic-transmissioned toupee transporters in the neverending “imports rule, domestics drool” battle.
Because they’re not.
[Source: Left Lane News]
A widespread outcry by race fans and Indianapolis residents has led to Donald Trump being given the boot from the Indy 500 pace car drivers seat.
Trump was scheduled to drive a 2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible at this summer’s race. While Trump claimed earlier that he would not back down from the opportunity, race organizers are apparently meeting to discuss how to prevent The Donald from taking his place at the Brickyard. Organizers discussed various options from replacing Trump with another celebrity, to changing the actual pace car and bringing in a new driver. Trump allegedly decided to bow out himself using the excuse of time constraints to justify his exit. Organizers say that a new driver will be announced later this month.
Unveiled at the 2011 New York Auto Show, the fastest Jeep packs a 6.4L Hemi V8 with 465 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque. 60 mph comes up in 4.8 seconds, and the Cherokee is also capable of pulling 0.9 G on the skidpad. Jeep’s traditional 4-wheel drive system is replaced with an AWD setup that can send 100 percent of power to one rear wheel if needed.
Hit the jump to check out the video of the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 revving its engine, and don’t forget to turn up your speakers.
According to a tweet from Ward’s Auto, Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionee has confirmed the existence of two new models in the pipeline, the Dodge Charger Super Bee and a Gucci-branded edition of the Fiat 500.
The last generation Super Bee was mechanically identical to the Charger SRT-8, although it came in unique pastel colors and was outfitted with spoilers and other extra bodywork, in a supposed nod to the Super Bee special editions of the 1970s.
Meanwhile, Italian fashion house Gucci will be lending its name to the ultra-chic Fiat 500, with Gucci motifs featured inside and out. Europe has already received their own Gucci edition, which features the brand’s signature red and green stripes, while the interior is appointed with the interlocking letter G synonymous with the brand’s clothing and handbags.
The Mustang is one of Ford‘s most iconic vehicles, and one of its most loved derivatives was the classic BOSS 302. Ford is certainly aware of that and is hence bringing the BOSS 302 back.
However, if you prefer the original 70′s model to the current day version, you’d be looking long and hard to find a proper original with matching numbers, that is in pristine condition. However, we have found just such a car. Be prepared to drool.
This 1970 example features a 5.0-liter V8 (302 cubic-inches) mated to a Hurst 4-speed manual gearbox, plus a 3.50:1 traction lock differential, so those rear tires won’t be wasting any grunt.
Finished in black vinyl interior, over red and with the Magnum 500 wheels, it looks truly menacing. Since the car is currently sitting at one of North America’s top restoration shops, Legendary Motorcar Company, you can be sure this car is in proper running order.
We love Mustang’s here at Autoguide, and would love to take this classic beauty for a drive. If you have $59,900 burning a hole in your pocket, this very car can be on your driveway. We’d be envious but really very happy for you.
With Chevrolet celebrating their 100th anniversary, the time is right for yet another special edition Corvette, and the bowtie brand is happy to oblige fans of their slow-selling supercar with the 2012 Corvette Centennial Edition.
Available on every trim level, from the base car up to the ZR1, Centennial Edition cars will get special badging, blacked out wheels and exterior paint and most significantly, Magnetic Selective Ride Control, which allows the driver to adjust shock damping from the cockpit.
The first Centennial Edition, a Z06 model, will be auctioned by Barrett-Jackson, with proceeds going to charity. No wonder on pricing, but you can bet that it won’t be cheap.
The “regular” (if one can even say that with a straight face) Shelby GT500 is already in the rareified world of cars with over 500 horsepower, but there are still an assortment of nutcases out there who need more power.
Shelby doesn’t seem to have a problem with catering to this fringe group either, and in next week, the famed Mustang tuner will be showing their new Super Snake, rumored to be capable of producing 800 horsepower from its 5.4L supercharged V8.
Like prior Super Snakes, the new car will undoubtedly have upgraded brakes, suspension, exhaust system and wheels. No specifics have been announced but one thing is for sure; this car is going to be a white-knuckle driving experience.
Dodge is preparing a special Mopar edition of its Charger sedan, similar to its Mopar ’10 Challenger, and has revealed a sketch of the car, shod in the familiar black-and-blue paint scheme.
Blue stripes run across the body of the car, and the Charger’s tacky hood scoops are also gone, making this car almost worth the price of admission. Chrysler hasn’t released any mechanical details beyond noting that the car will offer”…even more performance”, but considering that the Challenger was offered with a 5.7L Hemi V8 and a couple bolt-ons, we don’t think the changes will be too drastic.
Hit the jump to read the official press release
Donald Trump is set to join the illustrious list of Indy 500 Pace Car drivers when he slides behind the wheel of a 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS at the quintessential American motorsports event.
The Camaro SS Pace Car, announced earlier this year, will be a convertible model, and that gives us extra incentive to tune in. We can’t wait to see how the Donald’s hair holds up at triple digit speeds.
[Source: New York Post]
The perpetual tide of new Chevrolet Camaro variants keeps rolling in, with another new model set to be unveiled at Camaro5Fest. Details are scant but the event, a gathering for members of a 5th generation Camaro forum, should be a venue that will ensure an enthusiastic reception for Chevrolet.
The new model will be unveiled around noon on April 15th, and you can expect us to have first details of the newest member of the Camaro lineup.
Ford is serious about the performance of the new Mustang Boss 302, and they want the new owners to be able to get the most out of their cars.
So much so that Ford is now offering a full track day experience to those who have bought the track ready Boss 302. Called the ‘Boss Immersion’ track experience, this program has been put together by Team Mustang and Ford Racing. The events will take place at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah.
While you will need to cover your travel and hotel stay in Utah, Ford will pay for the track time and will even bring their own cars. The day before your track time, an evening reception will be held to get everyone acquainted with each other and learn more about the technical details of this normally-aspirated, 5.0-liter, V8 monster, which produces 440-hp.
Jamie Allison, the director of Ford Racing said, “There’s nothing like the experience of being behind the wheel of a high-performance car on a dedicated track. It’s the environment that breeds incredible machines like Mustang Boss, and for owners who want to experience all these cars are capable of, we can promise an unforgettable event.”
So if you weren’t decided about buying the new Mustang Boss 302, maybe this added track benefit will help make your decision a lot easier.
A tip given to Jalopnik states that Ford chairman Bill Ford Jr. confirmed that an Ecoboost engine will appear in the Mustang, although a timeline and engine specifications were not provided.
While speaking at Princeton University, Ford was asked by an audience member about the possibility of an Ecoboost Mustang. Ford confirmed that the turbocharged engine would reach Ford’s pony car, but no further information was revealed. Ford current Ecoboost 4-cylinder is capable of up to 247 horsepower, while the 3.5L Ecoboost V6 is good for as much as 365 horsepower. While power is somewhat diminished compared to larger V6 and V8 engines respectively, fuel economy figures make up for the performance deficit.
It’s conceivable that either application could find its way under the hood of a Mustang. A 4-cylinder Ecoboost would be a potent competitor to smaller engined cars like the Hyundai Genesis (and certainly the Mustang V6 is now a legitimate performance car in its own right), while an Ecoboost V6 could bridge the gap between the regular V6 and the 5.0 V8. Jalopnik has suggested that the “SVO” trim, which used a 2.3L turbo 4-cylinder in the 1980s, could return, but there’s little evidence to back up that notion. Then again, Ford did revive the 5.0 badge, and with children of the 1980s now in a position to buy a Mustang, it might just happen.
Dodge‘s trademark cross-hair grille, the front end treatment that has been the hallmark of the brand’s styling for years, will become the sole domain of the Ram truck brand, as the Chrysler division moves toward a new look for future products.
“It takes time. We will evolve the products,” Ralph Gilles, CEO of Dodge and Chrysler’s design chief, told Automotive News. “We did as much as we could with the split cross-hair grille,” he said. “We had to be careful because the cooling work was pretty much done when we decided to rebrand the vehicles. That will continue evolving over time.”
No plans were divulged with regards to Dodge’s new look, but with cars like the new Charger leading the way, and attempting to target a different kind of buyer, perhaps a more mature look is in line for the brand as Chrysler moves upscale, and Dodge has been seperated from Ram Trucks, which understandably needs to project a macho image.
[Source: Automotive News]
Taking a page from the Ford Mustang playbook, GM is set to launch a torrent of Chevrolet Camaro special editions on a bi-annual basis. After the Camaro ZL1 will be a special edition Camaro based on the car set to appear in the newest Transformers movie, followed by a replica Indy 500 pace car, and then a Camaro Synergy model, which will give V6 buyers all of the V8s performance upgrades sans the small-block mill – sort of like the previous Camaro RS models.
Those new models should carry the car through to 2014, but after that, it’s anyones guess. While so many variants may prove to be distracting, it’s also a cost effective way to keep the Camaro fresh long after the novelty of the car has worn off, and “early adopters” have snapped up the car during the initial excitement.
[Source: Automotive News]
The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show, is expected to have a base price of $47,000 when it launches in February, 2012. While it undercuts its chief rival, the Ford Shelby GT500 by about $2,495, a base Corvette, which has a 0-60 time of under 4 seconds, but only 430 horsepower, retails for $48,950. The Corvette also avoids the gas guzzler tax, which will likely plague the Camaro ZL1 and bring the effective price up to $48,500.
Of course, this begs the question as to why one would buy a ZL1. Obviously, the potential customer is heavily invested in the idea of a Camaro, and the Magnetic Ride Control and 550-horsepower supercharged V8 are a big draw. But with the Corvette being significantly lighter than the Camaro, and designed from the ground up as a sports car, the two are effectively within spitting distance of one another, and we can’t wait for the inevitable performance shootout.
[Source: Car and Driver]
It’s pretty hard to make the Dodge Challenger even more eye-catching, but a new color, dubbed “Green With Envy”, should help it attract the attention of bystanders and the ire of other motorists.
Available on the R/T Classic (white black or white stripes) or the SRT8 392 (black stripes only), the new getup is supposed to recall the glory days of Mopar muscle, when V8 bruisers were available in every hue of the Hi-Liter rainbow. For our money, it’s hard to beat the all-American white/blue stripes combo, but someone suffering from a bad mid-life crisis is bound to go for the green.
With only 352 days to go before the Chevrolet Camaro Z28 goes into production, you still have ample time to take up chewing tobacco and get acquainted with the music of Whitesnake.
The information comes from a dealer who just attended a national dealer meeting where Chevrolet officials described the product in detail. The name “Z28″ was never officially mentioned, and the car was instead called the “HP Edition”. Equipment for the car in question includes a supercharged 6.2L V8, magnetic shock absorbers, massive tires front and rear (285 width up front and 330 in the rear) and some cosmetic alterations to the bodywork.
More surprising is that the Camaro managed to unseat the Mustang despite the lack of a convertible version. A droptop Camaro won’t bow untill mid-2011. Despite Ford’s far superior driving dynamics, build quality, and well…everything…the Camaro has somehow captured the hearts and minds of Americans, and the upcoming ragtop, not to mention the Z28 range-topper will only help keep the streak going. Now if only they would stoop to the 1980′s nostalgia of the 5.0 and introduce an IROC package.
In the glory days of the muscle car, Chevrolet dealers would sometimes manipulate GM’s centralized ordering system to whip up some crazy concoctions with performance parts not normally available on regular production cars from the Bowtie brand. Nowadays, the COPO cars (as they’re known, in honor of GM’s Central Office Production Order system) can bring in huge bucks, as collectors strive to snap up the remaining cars built by Yenko and other notable dealerships.
Fast forward a few decades, and two dealerships, DeNooyer Chevrolet in Albany N.Y, and NeSmith Chevrolet, which has two location Georgia, are reviving this trend by using parts from GM’s Performance Parts catalog. NeSmith’s car puts down 700 horsepower from an LS9 V8 (the same type used in the Corvette ZR1) but will run you $125,000. The DeNooyer car uses a GM crate engine, known as the LSX454, that puts down 620 horsepower.
[Source: GM Inside News]
Ford‘s Mustang FR500S died a quiet death recently, but the race-ready pony car is back in the form of the Boss 302S. While the Boss 302R is widely campaigned in Grand-Am sports car racing, the 302S is designed for club racers with deep pockets who want something they can take to an SCCA or NASA race, and be sure that they will walk away with a $5 plastic trophy.
At $80,000, the Boss 302S is probably a good deal, considering the parts and labor that would be required to prep a standard Boss 302 Laguna Seca edition, which starts at $47,990. The 302S gives you all that, plus a roll cage, a Recaro seat that’s compatible with a HANS device, an adjustable suspension, Brembo brakes and the massive front splitter/rear spoiler package. We’re also assuming that Ford has not only stripped the car entirely, but taken the time to make sure there’s no exposed wiring or sharp edges, unlike your local race shop’s foreman, who isn’t always thinking about quality control.
Only 50 will be available from Ford Racing, but if our home equity loan comes through, there may only be 49 by the time you read this.
Technically, the above headline isn’t true. You can buy a Ford Mustang Cobra Jet, but this pony car isn’t road legal, and is meant strictly for drag racing.
Specs on the 2012 Cobra Jet haven’t been announced yet, but they have been leaked by a Ford dealer in Puerto Rico. Big changes include a standard aluminum block for the 5.4L V8 engine, forged connected rods, beefed up braking components, revised spring rates and new Weld drag racing wheels with Goodyear drag tires. The full details are below for those who like to go fast in a straight line.
Hit the jump for the official specs
Chevrolet’s Corvette Z06 Carbon Edition will retail for $90,960 when it goes on sale in early 2011. Pricing hasn’t been officially announced, but Harlan Charles, GM’s Corvette product marketing manager let pricing numbers slip during an interview with Corvette Blogger, a leading Vette enthusiast site.
While the Carbon Edition shares the Z06s 7.0L LS7 V8, it gets some exclusive parts, namely carbon fiber body panels, Brembo ceramic brakes and Magnetic Selective Ride Control. Fully optioned, the Z06 Carbon should come it at just under $100,000, making it a nice bridge between a Z06 and a ZR1.
[Source: Corvette Blogger]
The Ford Mustang Boss 302 will start at a base price of $40,995, placing it between the already excellent Ford Mustang 5.0 and the over-the-top Ford Shelby GT500.
Buyers will be able to choose from options like a Torsen limited slip differential, Recaro seats and special paintwork. The Laguna Seca, package, which eliminates the rear seats and adds a number of track-ready modifications, will retail for $47,990.
While the Boss 302 is a lot of money for a Mustang, the sheer competence of the new pony cars leads us to believe that this one will be worth every penny.
Ford has announced that their upcoming Mustang Boss 302 will feature a special key that allows owners to change the engine mapping parameters and enable a launch control system to be activated via the steering wheel.
Dubbed the TracKey, one ford exec claimed that “From an engine management standpoint, we’ve done just about everything possible to give TracKey users a full race car experience.” Considering that most race cars have an systemic inability to idle at anything approaching low rpms, we wonder if we’ll be treated to a horde of TracKey using douchebags who must incessantly rev their Boss 302s at stoplights to keep the cars from stalling. More likely, the TracKey will provide a reasonable facsimile of the racecar experience.
Also of note is Ford’s offer of an advanced driving course at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah for Boss owners. Customers must make their own travel arrangements, but everything else will be comped by Ford. Again, we expect the take rate to be inversely proportional to the (high) amount of poseurs who purchase the seemingly capable Boss.
Hit the jump to read the official press release