MUSCLE CAR MANIA AT NEW YORK AUTO SHOW

Hopefully it’s a further sign that the American economy is lifting clear of the mess caused by the GFC, because we were most impressed by the number of high-performance muscle cars that were introduced at the New York Auto Show we attended last week. Here’s a look at some of the best of a great bunch of fast cars.

Jaguar XKR-S GT
A wit at the show suggested this ultra-hot Jaguar has so many letter in its name that the badge on the back aided the body’s aerodynamics by keeping the XKR-S GT pinned to the ground! Talking of aero aids, these include a carbon-fibre front splitter, dive planes, extended wheelarch spats, an elevated rear wing, rear diffuser and an aluminium valance. It all looks stunning.

Jaguar XKR-S

Jaguar XKR-S

In this hi-op iteration, the Jaguar’s supercharged 5.0-litre V8 engine produces a sensational 550 horsepower (404 kW) of power. It pushes that through a six-speed transmission and active electronic differential that gets the big cat to 60mph (97 km/h) in a lightning fast 3.9 seconds on its way to an electronically limited top speed of 300 km/h.

Chevrolet Camaro Z/28
Mark Reuss was president of Holden in 2008 and 2009, so Aussies in the audience when the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 was unveiled at the New York motor show were disappointed when he didn’t make any mention of the downunder work done on the track-ready high-performance machine. These days Reuss is the boss of General Motors in North American and was visibly delighted when he talked about the Z/28.

2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z28

2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z28

The 7.0-litre, 427-cid V8, is a throwback to the stunning HSV 427 and in its latest format produces around 500 horsepower (a car like this doesn’t deserve to have kilowatt conversion done, so we won’t…). Transmission is by six-speed manual and there’s no auto on offer, as we said ‘track-ready’. Added performance is gained by stripping around 150 kilos out of the car. Even air conditioning is an option so only serious drivers should apply.

Subaru WRX concept
Subaru is calling it a concept, but hopefully this WRX will reach Australian roads some day. Ours is one of the biggest of all markets for these ultra hot Subarus.

Subaru WRX concept

Subaru WRX concept

With more than a hint of the ultra-successful Subaru BRZ around its tail, plenty of clues to previous WRXs in the flared guards covering the 245/40ZR20 Dunlop tyres, this concept is all stance and aggression.

Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG
The new Mercedes-Benz A-Class is already selling like hotdogs worldwide in its standard formats, and the world premiere of the CLA 45 AMG in New York seems likely to further fuel the fire. The CLA is, of course, the four-door coupe version of the A-Class and the 45 AMG is the hotrod in the range.

Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG

Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG

Though the engine displaces just 2.0 litres its high-boost turbocharger and numerous semi-race modifications lift it all the way to 265 kW (360 hp) with stump pulling maximum torque of 450 Newton metres. Mercedes-Benz tells us it’s the most powerful four-cylinder unit in series production in the world. It’s driven through all four wheels as a front-drive system would have been overwhelmed by all that grunt. The auto is seven-speed Speedshift sports unit.

Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8
Though the ultra-extravagant Jeep SRT8 was launched in Australia late last year, we couldn’t resist crawling all over, under and into the big ‘n’ brash off-roader. Because we were at the NYAS as guests we were given more access to it than the other journos at the Show – Yahoo!

Jeep_Grand_Cherokee_SRT8

Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8

The input from Chrysler’s Street and Racing Technology (SRT) team is significant, resulting in a huge vehicle that leaps from a standstill to 100km/h in just 5.0-seconds, it can cover the quarter mile in the ridiculously quick 13-second bracket.

The all-new 6.4-litre Hemi V8 delivers 440 horsepower (344kW) of power and generates 90-percent of its 625 Nm peak torque between 2800 and 6000 rpm. Fuel consumption? Forget it … however, Jeep has included some fuel reduction technology, which is pleasing to see.

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