Cars and Crustaceans: Another Successful NEMPA Ragtop Ramble

ramble_opener

With perfect blue skies overhead and a couple cups of coffee in our stomachs, a CarGurus team made its way to the Larz Anderson Auto Museum yesterday in Brookline, Massachusetts, for this year’s Ragtop Ramble and Crustacean Crawl. The objective: mingle with automaker PR folks and New England auto journalists, check out a bunch of cool cars, capture footage, snap photos, and eat lobster.

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Could GM Build a Hellcat Slayer?

2015 Holden Commodore Chevy SS

The Hellcat has proven wildly popular and can officially be declared a runaway success. The 707-horsepower Charger and Challenger Hellcats have sold out for the 2015 model year, and FCA could have sold many more if it could’ve made them.

The massively powerful Hellcat engine will make its way into other products, most recently the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk Hellcat, which we mentioned yesterday.

Obviously the market for ultra-powerful semi-affordable American muscle is red-hot… either that or people have simply fallen in love with the word “Hellcat.”

If the former is true, why haven’t other automakers capitalized on the 700+ horsepower market?

Maybe, just maybe, General Motors will be next to burn out our eyeballs with a Hellcat competitor.

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You Can’t Park a Voucher in the Garage

Shelby Super Snake Ford Mustang GT 2015

About 900 customers who ordered a 2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat or Charger Hellcat and never received their 707-hp muscle car will have to get back in line.

Late last month, Dodge cancelled unfilled orders, because dealers accepted more orders than the factory could fill. One dealer alone took deposits on about 200 Hellcat orders, knowing full well it would never receive so many of the limited-run cars.

All is not lost for the customers who had their orders cancelled, though. They will receive a voucher that allows them to buy the more-expensive 2016 version at the 2015 price. That won’t satisfy the people who were hoping to get a first-run 2015 car, which could increase in value as it becomes a collectible.

For customers who aren’t stuck on the Hellcat brand, there’s a deal on a certain 850-horsepower Super Snake that is available now.

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How Much Is Too Much Horsepower?

2015_bmw_m5-pic-1944578703047994224

707 horsepower.

640 horsepower.

Numbers like this used to represent the hottest, most expensive supercars on the planet. Today they describe the output of cars obtainable by middle managers and financially savvy blue-collar workers.

The Challenger Hellcat (707 hp) and the upcoming Cadillac CTS-V (640 hp) are examples of supercars for the masses; cars with power so great they border on dangerous.

Is all of that power necessary, or is it the result of thoughtless engineering meant only to upstage the competition?

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Dodge Wants to Be Pontiac, But Why?

CHARGER VS CHALLENGER HELLCAT

I like to live in a world that makes sense, but sometimes that’s just not in the cards. An article over at Automotive News ran with the headline, “Can Dodge Rebuild Pontiac Excitement?

The headline alone leaves me with three questions:

Why would Dodge want to rebuild from Pontiac’s ashes? Did Pontiac even have any real “excitement” after the 1969 GTO? Pontiac failed. Shouldn’t Dodge chart a new course?

The point of the article is that General Motors left some holes in the market when it shuttered Pontiac and Hummer, and FCA is primed to fill them with Dodge and Jeep.

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Hellcat Opens the Gates of Possibility

New Buick GNX?

New Buick GNX?

Hellcat is the coolest and most intimidating name ever given to a car.

The Dodge Charger and Challenger Hellcat twins live up to the name and offer over 700 horsepower of fire-breathing evil. Plenty has been written about the ferocious beasts, and I think we can all agree that they’re pretty much the most impressive muscle cars ever produced.

While proudly owning that crown, the Hellcat probably won’t be the last to emerge from the now open gates to the underworld.

Another famously evil car could return, this one once associated with the dark Empire run by one Lord Vader.

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