With 2012 just days away from ending, we can only hope that 2013 will have as many exciting new cars as this year did. Here is a gallery of 22 cars that made a good first impression. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
McLaren MP4-12C Spider
This is without question the Ferrari 458 Spider’s arch rival, and with 625hp it is 55hp more powerful than the Italian drop-top.
The McLaren MP4-12C Spider also comes with a retractable hard top, and may be operated at speeds of up to 30km/h (19mph). The twin-turbo 3.8-litre V8 engine sends its power and 600 Nm of torque through a seven-speed SSG dual-clutch transmission, enabling the 1,474kg (DIN weight) Spider to get from 0-62mph in 3.1 sec (the same as the 12C coupe) and reach a top speed of 204mph (329km/h) – 3mph less than its coupe sibling.
Roush Performance always seems able to make an already exciting muscle car like the Ford Mustang just that bit better, especially when it’s accompanied by the sound of a supercharger. And here is the latest version – the 2012 Roush Mustang Stage 3.
The standard 5.0 litre V8 of the Mustang GT has been blessed with a supercharger pumping out 12psi of boost, enabling the motor to produce 540 hp and 465 lb ft of torque. The whine of the TVS R2300 supercharger won’t be the only sound to excite the driver; Roush’s off-road exhaust system has also been fitted and will no doubt spice up the driving experience.
As with all previous Stage 3s, the suspension has been modified. It now comes with new; front struts, rear shock absorbers, front and rear springs, front and rear stabilizer bars, jounce bumpers, and anti-wheel hop kit.
With the current hot Ford producing 550hp, and looking as good as it does, you would be forgiven if you have completely forgotten about the 2003 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra.
Introduced in 2002, it came in complete with a DOHC 4.6-litre cast-iron V8, with a roots-type supercharger helping it produce 390hp and 390 lb ft of torque.
But, as with a few other high performance Fords, those horsepower numbers would prove a bit convservative. Many Cobras were showing numbers north of 400hp when taken to the dynos. All this meant that it could do 0-60mph in 4.5 seconds and go past the quarter mile in the mid- to high-12 second range.
America's lead Muscle car has been given a few updates for the 2011 model year. Although thinner stripes and new wheels might be the elements that standout in terms of exterior differences, there are enough technical modifications made to expect a completely different animal to the 2010 GT 500.
The biggest change comes in the form of using an aluminium engine block which has its roots on the engine found the Ford GT supercar. The new 5.4l supercharged V8 features an improved block structure through the use of a unique bulkhead chilled process and six-bolt billet main bearing caps. The use of an aluminium block means that the Shelby has been saved of 102 lbs, which Ford claims to have also improved the fuel economy figures, now 23 mpg highway and 15 mpg city, up 1mpg for each figure meaning that it wont be subject to a gas guzzler tax.
Power is rated at a Ford GT matching 550 hp, while torque is 510 lb ft. The Shelby also comes with an optional SVT performance package which includes; a nice new set of Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperCar G: 2 performance tyres, lighter wheels, a higher rear axle ratio, and stiffer springs.
SVT engineers have carried over the stabilty control system from the 2010 model - AdvanceTrac - but they have gotten rid of the hydraulic steering system and replaced it with an elctronic unit called EPAS (Electronic Power Assist Steering).
In terms of noise/refinement, Ford have added additional sound absorbing and deadening materials in order to reduces road noise, while also promising more enjoyment from the exhaust note. The 2011 model comes with an aggressive 2.75inch sports exhaust system (see video below to hear it) which has played its part in the 10 extra ponies over the 2010 model GT500.
Ford have really added an extra level of excitement in the world of muscle cars, now if only Chevrolet would do the same with its Camaro. A modern day Z28 would be very nice indeed.
For those who follow drifitng, you know very well that it originated from the land of the rising sun. So drifting champ Vaughn Gittin Jr. decided to make his wish come true by taking his all new, souped up, 2010 Mustang GT to Japan. The video below is a must see for those of who enjoy seeing an American beast going sideways accompanied by the angry exhaust roar of a supercharged V8.
The Chevrolet Camaro is back and is hungry to show Ford's Mustang and Dodge's Challenger a thing or two of what a modern muscle car should be all about. Edmunds' Inside Line was quick to put the all new Chevy Camaro SS against the Mustang GT and Challenger R/T. The war of the Muscle cars is definitively on.