Posts Tagged ‘V8’

2011 Jaguar XJL

January 4th, 2011 No comments

More Than Just A Pretty Face

     The XJ hasn’t been a contender for years. Even when the last generation stepped forward with advanced aluminum intensive construction for the 2004 model year, a ho-hum base engine, tired styling and uninspired interior guaranteed it would never light up the radar of discriminating luxury sedan buyers. The XJ’s disastrous reception forced Jaguar management to sever its retro stranglehold and turn to maestro of design Ian Callum to develop a modern design language, which we first saw on the svelte, but still traditional, XF. For the flagship XJ Callum pushes the envelope even further and blesses the big cat with a distinctive presence that we think will finally draw curious consumers to Jaguar showrooms. After a week with a long-wheelbase XJ we’re confident they’re going to like what they find. Read more…

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2011 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Convertible

December 11th, 2010 1 comment

Chevrolet Packages Unbridled Spirit in a Corvette for the Country Club Crowd

      Appropriately built in Kentucky, a state whose license plates declare its ‘unbridled spirit’, the legacy of the Corvette is long, rich and detailed. A late addition to the 6th generation (C6) Corvette, the Grand Sport model finally allows the Corvette buyer to upgrade to the suspension and brakes available on the Z06 model without being limited to a manual transmission and fixed roof combination. The first question many ask is why bother offering a Corvette with an automatic? The reality is that many Corvette buyers are retired gentlemen who have waited much of their long lives to buy a Corvette. To them it is an image car that lets them relive their childhood dreams. Many of these customers have spent most of their driving years piloting the family car with an automatic and have no desire to relearn how to shift for themselves. They simply want something fast and fun combined with the appeal of the Corvette name. If it weren’t for these buyers, GM likely wouldn’t be able to draw enough volume to offer a Corvette at all, much less one with a genuine manual transmission. Read more…

2010 Toyota Tundra

November 1st, 2010 No comments

Big Ol’ Honking Pickup Truck

     We tried to lead with something more insightful, but that is pretty much the best way to describe the third-generation Toyota Tundra. It’s big. Very big. Every aspect of it seems purposely designed to out-scale the domestic competition once and for all. In fact, I don’t think the pictures do it justice (and I took the pictures!) It almost has the look and feel of a three-quarter-ton Ford Super Duty. It’s as if Toyota overshot the half-ton class and landed in a five-eighths-ton class of one. Clearly this Tundra makes up for Toyota’s last two half-hearted foray’s into the full-size pickup realm with girth to spare. But there is more to being a successful pickup truck than size. Has Toyota done their homework? Read more…

2010 Land Rover Range Rover Supercharged

September 16th, 2010 1 comment

All Things To All Men

      Our review of the 2007 Land Rover Range Rover Supercharged wasn’t exactly a glowing compilation of superlatives and conjunction. In fact, it emphasized several things that the Rover didn’t do well. So now that Land Rover has stepped out from the corporate umbrella of Ford Motor Company and into the tent of Tata, the manufacturer of the world’s cheapest car (the Tata Nano), does the proud Range Rover stand a chance of making it back to the position of its former glory? Read more…

AT’s Photo Spotlight

August 11th, 2010 No comments

      The 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, shown here at the 2010 NAIAS, may not be the polarizing supercar that the SLR McLaren was, but the SLR didn’t have gullwing doors! The SLS is the first car designed and developed by the AMG division of Mercedes-Benz. Fitting then that the engine under that long hood is none other than AMG’s own 6.2L V8, pumping out 563-hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. Each engine is hand assembled by one technician in Affalterbach, Germany. Everything from the routing of the wiring to the topping off of the oil is handled by the expert craftsman identified by the signature nameplate affixed to the enigne. Tipping the scales at 3,573-lbs the SLS is a lean machine capable (according to AMG) of hitting 60-mph in 3.7 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 197-mph. Try not to drool on the keyboard too much as you imagine yourself rocketing through all seven gears of the SLS’s dual-clutch transmission while being firmly planted in those red hand-stitched designo leather seats. Trust me, it gets messy!

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Ford PowerStroke Upgraded to 800 lb-ft of Torque

August 5th, 2010 No comments

Eat My Soot-Free Ammonia-Treated Exhaust!

       Talk about your one-up! Starting this week Ford will step out from behind that shadow the General was casting with its 6.6L Duramax V8. Ford’s new 6.7L V8 PowerStroke turbodiesel says I’ll see your 397-hp and 765 lb-ft of torque, and raise you to 400-hp and 800 lb-ft of torque. Ah, horsepower wars at their finest! Read more…

AT’s Photo Spotlight

June 2nd, 2010 No comments

      The 2007 Audi S6 had the grace and svelte of a German sports luxury sedan, and the heart of an Italian bull. The team from Ingolstadt shoe-horned a 5.2L FSI V10 from the Lamborghini Gallardo into the engine bay of an A6, threw in some fancy wheels, and lit up the front end with some rather handsome LED running lamps. In S6 duty the hoof-stomping nostril-snorting Gallardo V10 is detuned to 435-hp and 398 lb-ft of torque and routes its power to the ground via a 6-speed automatic and quattro all-wheel drive. A canyon carver the S6 is not, as nearly the entirety of that V10 hangs out ahead of the front axle. It will, however, pull away from a stop with authority! Click through for a more extensive photo gallery.   Read more…

AT’s Photo Spotlight

May 5th, 2010 No comments

      Hidden beneath this engine cover is a 4.4L Supercharged Northstar V8 from the 2007 Cadillac STS-V. Yeah the cover isn’t impressive, but the 469-hp and 439 lb-ft of torque that twisted out of this motor sure was!

2010 Chevrolet Camaro LT and SS

April 23rd, 2010 No comments

Let The Good Times Roll

     My second car was a 1994 Pontiac Firebird Formula with T-Tops and a lumbering LT1 small-block with enough torque to bring a smile to my face anytime I pulled away from a stop. Of course the steering was lifeless, the handling was nonexistent and the brake pedal felt like an air mattress foot pump. But none of that mattered because it looked good and went fast and it, along with its Chevy Camaro twin, hailed from the glory days of the Muscle Car. Both Living Legends to a young male with a horsepower fetish. So I was as sad as anyone when the F-Body was retired after 2002. But practically as soon as the last car rolled off the assembly line fans started to assume we’d see a new Mustang competitor soon. Several years passed until GM, keen to prove it was in the midst of a design renaissance, rolled a new Camaro concept onto the stage at the 2006 NAIAS. Personally I might have preferred a reborn Firebird, but this extroverted modern muscle car looks so retro right I couldn’t wait to get my hands on one. And now I have—two actually. Read more…

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2011 Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon (Preview)

March 29th, 2010 No comments

      It’s official! The CTS-V Sport Wagon exists in show car form and has been confirmed for production. The rendering above depicts the show car CTS-V Sport Wagon that will debut at the New York Auto Show. Aside from the extra cargo room and a few more svelte trimmings the Sport Wagon carries all the goods of its sedan and coupe stablemates. Even the 6-speed manual transmission will make the options list; good for putting all 556-hp and 551 lb-ft of torque from the 6.2L Supercharged V8 to the pavement. Another neat piece of trivia is that the New York show car will be bathed in the same Midnight Silver paint that adorned the graceful flanks of the Cadillac Sixteen showcar back in 2003. While we love the color, we assure you that will be the last thing on our minds once we get our hands on this smoking hot estate! Read more…