Back in September of 2008, SLP Performance quietly handed out a few brochures for a new Firehawk, this time based on the Pontiac G8, what with the Firebird being dead and all. Some drooled, some fumed, and now SLP has announced that the Pontiac G8 Firehawk will go into production on April 1 –no joke. Like the Firebird before it, each G8 Firehawk will start life as a regular car, in this case a 2009 Pontiac G8 GT fresh off the line. It will then be transported to SLP’s shop in New Jersey to undergo its Firehawk transformation. While SLP originally announced that it would build special versions of every G8 trim level, the only car announced for production so far is the Firehawk Supercharged, which will pack 500 rampaging ponies under its flat-black hood. During the Firehawk-ification, the innocent G8 GT will receive an SLP TVS 1900 500-hp Series supercharger similar to the unit found on the mighty Corvette ZR1. Matched with an SLP Blackwing Cold Air Induction kit and an SLP … [Read more...] about SLP Reveals 500-HP Pontiac G8 Firehawk Supercharged, Is It Worthy of the Name?
Order new birth certificate
Chevy‘s new Malibu is a hit with auto-scribblers. We insiders are all a-quiver over its sleek and spare styling, engine and transmission stats, posh interior trim, and all the other attributes that Chevy’s P.R. machine has PowerPointed at us. But how’s it going to connect with regular folks who don’t live in Detroit or L.A.? Does this one really have what it takes to lure a once-bitten and twice-shy buying public? To find out, we’ll climb aboard this latest media darling and get out of our element. To “see the USA in [our] Chevrolet.” The world has changed a lot since Dinah Shore first warbled that lyric into living rooms on NBC’s “The Dinah Shore Chevy Show” in the late 1950s. Chevy and its domestic rivals took their collective eye off the ball, ceding the mainstream-sedan business to Asia. We’ve been promised durable, competitive, stylish Cam/cord rivals before and been disappointed. To test the Malibu’s mettle … [Read more...] about 2008 Chevrolet Malibu Across America: The 11,306-mile test
As we all know, building an old truck can present all sorts of problems, but you shouldn’t let selecting tires be one of them. It only takes a few minutes to learn the basics of tire manufacturing and figure out the right tires for your application, even though it’s one of the easiest places to make a mistake during your truck’s buildup. Some folks base their decision strictly from a budget standpoint, and end up using run-of-the-mill tires simply because they’re cheaper than specialty tires, like whitewalls. We’re not saying that’s a bad thing, but it’s still important to know what you’re dealing with before you take the plunge. Many of the trucks we feature were originally built in a time when bias-ply tires were the norm, but it’s not surprising that most folks upgrade to radial technology, simply based on the smoother ride and better handling. Knowing the characteristics of each form of tire manufacturing is a big step toward … [Read more...] about Choosing The Right Tires – Where The Rubber Meets The Road
Hellcat SRT Challenger: VIN 0001 To Be Auctioned Dodge is auctioning the very first ’15 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, VIN0001, during the Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas 2014 auction, which will be held just a few days after you read this on Sept. 25-27 at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Proceeds will benefit the not-for-profit Opportunity Village organization of Las Vegas. The one-of-one special edition ’15 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat (see our full coverage on p. 50) will be the only Dodge Challenger to have a Viper-exclusive Stryker Red exterior—hand-painted at the Dodge Viper paint facility—and it will include special Hellcat badging, specific VIN documentation, and one-of-a-kind memorabilia. The auction package includes a Hemi-orange painted presentation box with a VIN0001 electronic vehicle build book and video documentary, still shots, vehicle footage, an authentic Challenger SRT Hellcat embossed Laguna Leather iPad sleeve, a signed SRT Hellcat … [Read more...] about Mopar Scene – December 2014
Buy it for the hood, keep it for the 485hp HEMI. If you’re sitting low in the seat and flooring it, those are the two things you notice anyway. Outside, your street cred with ratchet up when the locals get a load of the body’s two-tone paint with heavy-metal metallic glam and Mopar badging. Go ahead, give them a burnout and a nice second-gear power shift. We did, and both impressed the yoga pants at the local Trader Joe’s and the moody Mopar cognoscente after FCA loaned us a Challenger Mopar ’17, a car designed as a nod to the 80th anniversary of Mopar. If you don’t know, Mopar started in 1937 as Motor Parts, selling antifreeze in the Midwest. In the 1960s, the brand evolved into performance marketing and sold speed parts under the name Mopar Performance Parts. Today, Mopar is a global brand selling everything from Fiat radiators to Hemi spark plugs. Part of that evolution is the Mopar Custom Shop program that provides a network of facilities located near … [Read more...] about Dodge has a New Mopar-Badged Challenger for 2017
The 2018 Ramona-Benz S650 Maybach has a certain ring to it, don’t you think? If not for the order of four names on the birth certificate of a baby girl born in 1889 — Mercedes Adrienne Ramona Manuela Jellinek — it could very well be so. The Mercedes-Benz brand has come an infinitely long way from the heady, 19th century roots of Mercedes Jellinek and her father Emil. Mercedes has come a long way, even, from the introduction of the first car to inspire the S-Class in 1954, the W180 “Ponton” sedan. Now, some 45 years since the introduction of the W116, the first car to be officially designated an S-Class, Mercedes-Benz is rolling out the latest version of what has become a time-tested benchmark of the luxury full-size sedan segment — the 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Replete with all the semi-robotic functions you’d expect in a 21st Century gadget of six-figure proportions, the 2018 S-Class doesn’t disappoint, despite not being all that … [Read more...] about First Drive: 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class
In 2016 the car-making industry saw its seventh consecutive year of record sales in the U.S. with 17.55 million purchases in all. So far in 2017 the numbers seem to have finally plateaued, with analysts forecasting a final total closer to 17 million—still not too shabby. Various social, political, and economic factors are driving the slight decline, but don’t blame it on a lack of interesting, exciting, and appealing new vehicles designed to grab our attention. Indeed, the following is filled with more than 100 cars, crossovers, SUVs, and trucks that are either on sale now or will be within a few years. Even so, this lineup is not exhaustive in terms of everything coming down the pipe. It is composed of the top 100-plus machines that pique our interest as the automotive world continues to change on a seemingly daily basis. Although there might come a day when, as some predict, we will see a sad end to our celebration of No Boring Cars, the good news is—as evidenced on … [Read more...] about New and Future Cars for 2018 and Beyond
Wired.com is reporting that the state of California has abruptly tabled legislation that might have allowed RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chips to be embedded into the state’s drivers’ licenses. Privacy activists are hailing the suspension of this plan as a victory against government intrusion in people’s lives and believe that these chips, which are actually tiny radio transceivers that can be accessed over the open airwaves without the consent of the person carrying the document, will eventually be used to track people’s movements without their knowledge. Currently, three states, Michigan, Vermont and Washington, already have RFID chips in their licenses and are already sharing information collected by the DMV, including basic identity data and photos, with the Department of Homeland Security via a national database. Scary, right?To understand what the Department of Homeland Security is doing with this data, you need to know that since June 1, 2009 the … [Read more...] about RFID Enhanced Driver’s Licenses: Big Brother Or Brighter Future?
The engine quit with a sudden un-dramatic snap, and the little Golf TDI began to slough off speed. Reflexively, I bumped the gearshift lever into neutral, flicked on my signal and began moving towards the left edge of the expressway. My exit was less than a mile away and, rather than stop alongside the highway, I used my momentum to coast up the off-ramp and over the small knoll that stood between the expressway and the toll plaza. I stopped there, on the back side of the hill where the road widened on the approach to the toll booths, to avoid blocking traffic and dug out my cell phone to call for a tow truck. I didn’t know it then, but it was the last time that I would ever sit behind the wheel of the little car, never mind the fact that it would follow me again around half of the globe.I had purchased the dark blue VW diesel new before heading to Jamaica and the car had carried me faithfully, but not entirely without drama, during the two years I lived … [Read more...] about TDI Troubles In The Land Of The Rising Sun
Over a year has passed since my quest to regain my license began. A lot has happened since then.For starters, I left Seattle for Louisville, with a brief stop in Columbus, Ohio. From there, I moved into a resident art gallery called OPEN Gallery as its writer-in-residence. I also wound up as its de facto publicist, then became its administrative director late in October, a post I will hold until March 2017 at the earliest.Another post I’ve acquired? The title of editor-in-chief of an online lifestyle publication called Tab’s View. When I first learned of the publication, I thought all I would ever do was write for them like I do for Dispatches Europe (an online publication aimed at English-speaking expats living in Europe), Insider Louisville (an online news publication focused on business and culture in Louisville) and, of course, TTAC. In fact, I was brought aboard the new publication to contribute a twice-monthly automotive column under the following guidelines:I would … [Read more...] about Highway Star Rising, Act 2: Roadblock in the Bluegrass