As a UK-based car journalist (working on CarGurus’ sister website, PistonHeads), my exposure to American cars has been limited. But the impression I’ve been left with is that those models just below the top of the range seem to be closest to European tastes. Cars like the Ford Shelby GT350 and Chevy Corvette Grand Sport provide the best compromise between performance and enjoyability, offering just the right amount of flair without overwhelming the driving experience with a surfeit of power.(more…)
Congratulations everyone, we’ve done it. The school year is under way, Halloween is long past, and we all made it through Thanksgiving and Black Friday with minimal bodily harm. Welcome to the holiday season. It wouldn’t be December without strings of Christmas lights, plenty of holiday cheer, and a few wish lists. We at CarGurus figured we’d get in the act, too, but rather than simply running through the latest sports cars or the best automotive-related gifts (those may come later), we thought we’d get into the eggnog and think outside the box a little. After all, why settle for something on the market when there’s a whole world of dream cars to imagine?
Dodge rocked the automotive world when it unleashed the fiery and sinister 707-horsepower Challenger Hellcat upon the earth.
Up until that point, an engine with 700 ponies was reserved for cars with exotic nameplates that had prices stretching into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
With the introduction of the Hellcat, Dodge managed to bring ungodly amounts of power to any mere mortal with a spare 60 grand and, not surprisingly, mortals have gobbled it up. Since dealers have no problems selling the Hellcat, the engine has migrated into the Charger and will next show up in the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
You read that right. Your friendly neighborhood family hauler might have a 707-hp secret. But that’s nothing compared with what could come after that:
A Hellcat-powered Wrangler.
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.
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.
This whole horsepower thing is officially out of control.
Before I really get into things, I’d like to point out a great irony: Automakers across the world are vying to create the most powerful street-legal cars ever available, with horsepower numbers and 0-60 times once reserved for only the most exclusive supercars. Five hundred horsepower was once the realm of fantasy but can now be had in just about any suburban garage across America.
At the same time, automakers are trying to sell the most fuel efficient hybrid and electric cars to econo-loving environmentalists. It’s the very definition of a double standard, yet we all seem to accept it.