The Victor Crew goes to the NY Auto Show

Last week was the NY International Auto Show at the Jacob Javits center in NYC and the Victor Crew didn’t want to miss the chance! It was a pretty but slightly blustery day and the walk from Penn Station to the center wasn’t too bad. There were so many to talk about but this one caught our eye the most. It is the 2015 Dodge Viper 1 of 1. This one was customized with a striking striped paint job. At first you look at it from one side and think, “Oh what a pretty green and yellow” but then as it turned on the platform, a new pink and purple color emerge on the other side. This particular one went for $87,000. They are hand-crafted in Detroit and you can personalize with you choice of paint and other accessories.

2015 Dodge Viper




The Numbers Are In: Dodge SRT Hellecat Most Powerful Muscle in Town

Recently Dodge released some info about its supercharged 2015 Challenger SRT Hellcat, specifically that it would be powered by an engine that could produce an astonishing 707 horsepower. But they had withheld any performance numbers … until. Finally, we’ve got an official NHRA-certified quarter mile time.

The Challenger SRT completed its quarter mile in an amazing 10.85 at 126.18 MPH. This was done on street legal drag racing radial tires. As a point of comparison a Camaro ZL1 can achieve about 12.3 seconds at 119 miles per hour, while a Shelby GT500 can accomplish a pretty stunning 11.8 second run at a 125 miles per hour according to Car and Driver.

A 10-second quarter mile is a coveted time among drag strip junkies and it seems Dodge can deliver.

Joe Victor

Most Powerful Muscle Car … Ever!

Dodge recently announced some new information about it’s 2015 SRT Challenger—it’s 6.2-liter supercharged Hellcat V8 will produce an amazing 707 HP. Dodge had announced early to expect something like 600 HP out of the new Challenger. Coupled with a whopping 650 pound-feet or torque you’ll be ready to tear up the quarter miles between traffic lights and leave mom’s minivan in cloud of rubber smoke. All that power goes directly to the rear wheels and will be handled by an upgraded 8-speed automatic transmission.

Interestingly, the new Challenger SRT will come with two key fobs in black and red. This isn’t just for style, however. The black fob limits the driver to a “measly” 500 HP, while the black fob allows the driver to unleash all 707 horses. The fobs will also limit the torque output, but these numbers are yet to be released. Even with only 500 HP I would be wary of letting my teen borrow this car to drive their date to the prom! Pricing is said to be released in a month or so.

Ride on,
Joe Victor

For the economy-minded: Here are the 10 Coolest Cars under $18,000

Kelly Blue Book has a list of the 10 Coolest cars under $18,000.

  1. 2013 Chevrolet Spark
  2. 2013 Honda Civic
  3. 2013 Volkswagen Jetta
  4. 2013 Fiat 500
  5. 2013 Mazda MAZDA3
  6. 2013 Dodge Dart
  7. 2013 Honda Fit
  8. 2013 Kia Soul
  9. 2013 Ford Focus
  10. 2013 Hyundai Veloster

(When you go the Kelly Blue Book site (link above) you will be asked for your zip code so you will get the current pricing for your area.)

~ The Victor crew

Joe asks Jody Victor®: Best Cars for Summer Sports II

Summer is just around the corner so if you have a favorite activity you like to do all summer long you may want to choose your vehicle to match your sport. I aksed Jody Victor  to tell us more about it from an article by Claire Martin of MSN Autos and

Jody Victor: Hey Joe, it certainly makes your activities a lot more fun when the vehicle you use gets you there and back with ease. Here’s the last five that could make your weekend fun, even more fun!

Kayaking | Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen

The Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen is watertight, thanks to a special hot-wax treatment that fills in the tiniest nooks and crannies, which means no rust, even if you routinely expose your car to saltwater and sea air while traveling to your favorite kayaking destinations. Heavy-duty floor mats and a trunk liner keep your wetsuit and other gear from wetting down the fabric or carpeting after a paddling session. Roof rails accommodate an aftermarket kayak rack, and the panoramic sunroof lets your passengers keep an eye on your boat while you drive.

ATV Riding | Ford F-250 Super Duty

Few pickup trucks have beds long enough to accommodate an all-terrain vehicle without the tailgate down. The F-250 Super Duty, with an 8-foot bed, is one such vehicle. This allows you to load your ATV with several inches of room to spare. The F-250’s V8 engine also makes it well-qualified for towing, if that’s your preference. Telescopic rearview mirrors let you keep an eye on your trailer. A 6-speed automatic transmission helps you navigate the diciest of terrain as you make your way to sand dunes or desert flats.

Rock Climbing | Subaru Forester

The Forester has just the right amount of room for ropes, carabiners, shoes and a cooler to store après-climb refreshments. The extra ground clearance is essential for when you tackle dry riverbeds or seemingly vertical mountain roads to get to the best climbing spots. The car’s symmetrical all-wheel drive (as opposed to a front-wheel-drive car with added rear-wheel capabilities, or vice versa) provides peace of mind along the way.

Sailing | GMC Yukon Denali XL

When you’re hauling boats, you need the extra horsepower of a vehicle such as the Yukon Denali XL. With a 6.2-liter V8 engine that provides 403 horsepower and 417 lb-ft of torque, you won’t have to worry about whether it can handle your diminutive Sunfish sailboat or a bigger yacht. With a cargo area that’s 81 inches long and that boasts 109 cubic feet of storage space, you’ll have plenty of room for your sailing gear and other accessories. An integrated trailer-brake controller helps you apply the appropriate amount of brake force when you have a boat in tow.

Fishing | Ram 1500

Fishing is dirty business. You need some serious cargo space for rods, tackle, buckets, bait and all the other gear for a day out on the water, and you want it to be ventilated — fish stink. And if you’re going fly-fishing in some remote locale, you’ll need something pretty rugged to find the most productive fishing holes and tackle the dirt roads leading to them. The Ram 1500 is perfect. It is one of the most versatile half-ton pickups on the market, with plenty of power from the all-new 305-horsepower Pentastar V6, which is 20 percent more efficient than previous engines, a smooth ride on or off road, and slick styling. Plus, Ram offers some cool truck-bed storage options.

Thanks, Jody! We’ll be sure to check them all out!

Joe Victor



Joe asks Jody Victor®: What Vehicle Is Best for Your City? II

Cities are cities, right? Not necessarily! While there are many similarities, the differences are what makes certain vehicles more useful to one area than another. I asked Jody Victor  to continue with the second part of the article by Erik Sofge of MSN Autos and

Jody Victor: Hey, Joe, here they are, the rest of the vehicles best suited for cities around this great country of ours.

City: Phoenix | Vehicle: Dodge Challenger SRT8 392

The criterion for a vehicle in a desert city is pretty simple: heat-bouncing, lighter-hued interiors. There’s nowhere to tow your personal watercraft, no sane reason to go camping and no weather to sully the long stretches of blacktop carving through the dunes. So you can drive whatever boring thing you want, or you can channel your inner Mad Max with the Challenger SRT8. It’s pure, vintage muscle on 20-inch, 5-spoke aluminum wheels. Its only shortcoming is that the 6.4-liter 470-horsepower Hemi V8 engine doesn’t punch right through the racer-striped hood.

City: Jacksonville, Fla. | Vehicle: Jeep Wrangler

Miami might get the attention, but Jacksonville is the bigger city (with more than 800,000 residents, more than double Miami’s population), and it is surrounded by more diverse day or weekend destinations. So, for transitioning from open-air highway driving to powering through swampy conditions to rolling right onto the beach, the venerable Jeep Wrangler just makes sense. It’s the only 4×4 convertible, becomes the ultimate beachcomber with the doors fully removed, and it can ford up to 30 inches of water. But remember, this is gator country — don’t go fording with the doors and roof off.

City: Boston | Vehicle: Subaru Outback

The unpredictability of New England weather is so bad that it’s long been a point of pride for local residents. It’s also why Subaru, and the Outback, specifically, have always been so ubiquitous in the area. And so it goes for Boston, where the Outback and its symmetrical all-wheel drive is as adept at gripping rain-clogged streets as it is at forging through mud-spattered New Hampshire trails and snow-swept Maine roads. The 3.6R, with its 256-horsepower boxer engine, isn’t a necessary upgrade, but the rumors are true: Whether in rain, sleet or snow, Boston drivers go fast.

City: Seattle | Vehicle: Volkswagen Tiguan

For rainy Seattle, we could have just as easily picked the Subaru Outback again for its proven performance on wet roads, but the Volkswagen Tiguan is a capable all-weather traveler. VW’s power-juggling 4Motion all-wheel drive, and an off-road drive mode that’s exclusive to this model, provide more precise torque control, improved braking on loose surfaces and automatic speed adjustments during hill climbs and descents. The Tiguan has room to spare for outdoor gear, but it’s also a relatively luxe ride, with built-in iPod connectivity, leather two-toned interiors and a hipper overall look than its competition at Subaru.

City: Denver | Vehicle: Range Rover Evoque

The Evoque is a renaissance Range Rover, equally at home charging up and down the Rockies as it is cruising through downtown Denver’s LoDo neighborhood. This crossover won’t even ruffle the feathers of the famously environmentally active locals, with a fuel economy that is a rather commendable 19 mpg city/28 mpg highway. It’s not the rugged outdoors vehicle that other Range Rovers are, but it’s a snowy-weather road warrior, and the most stylish SUV on the market.

Thanks, Jody! We’ll be sure to check these great vehicles out!

Joe Victor

Joe asks Jody Victor®: 12 Cars We Can’t Wait to Drive III

The annual North American International Auto Show in Detroit can induce serious sensory overload. For a true car nut, it’s like being a kid in a candy store – drooling over all that tasty sheet metal. I asked Jody Victor  to tell us about 12 of them (in 3 instalments) from an article by Kirk Bell of MSN Autos, and

Jody Victor: Hey Joe, can’t wait to see and drive some of these fantastic vehicles. Here’s the third batch.

Lexus LF-LC Concept – Though the LF-LC is just a concept, the hybrid sports coupe signals a new design direction for Lexus. If the luxury car brand gets positive response here in Detroit, it might be inspired to build the car, which would be super. Ideally, we’d like it to possess the handling prowess of the automaker’s celebrated LF-A, come in a rear-wheel drive platform and have the turbocharged V6 hybrid powertrain pump out between 450 and 500 horsepower. Now that would be a world-class sports car.

2013 Mercedes-Benz SL – In Mercedes parlance, SL stands for Super Lightweight. But the SL roadster hasn’t stuck to that philosophy in recent years. The 2013 SL550 gets back to those roots. With a body and structure rendered in almost all aluminum, the new SL is 242 pounds lighter than its predecessor, the equivalent of a good-sized middle linebacker. That should translate into improved handling for this grand tourer, as well as make the new turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 engine’s 429 horses all that more effective. Add in Mercedes’ responsive Direct Steer variable steering ratio and available active body control, and the new SL should be sportier than ever.

Mercedes-Benz E300 BlueTec Hybrid – Hybrids aren’t usually the objects of passion for auto enthusiasts. They are, after all, usually underpowered and bland in the handling department. But we appreciate the compatible technologies involved in the E300 BlueTec Hybrid. Diesel engines offer great highway fuel economy and hybrids do the same for city efficiency, so combining the two is only natural. Mercedes has said the E300 BlueTec Hybrid will be offered only in Europe, at least initially, so U.S. fuel-economy numbers aren’t available, but we expect 50-plus mpg. Hopefully, Mercedes will see fit to bring this efficient car to these shores in the future. It’ll offer Prius-level efficiency in a fun-to-drive luxury package.

2012 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet – The last generation of the Porsche 911 was a model of precision and agility. With its longer wheelbase, wider track and lighter weight, the all-new 911, code name 991, is even better. We’ve driven the coupe and it is more refined, more efficient, more luxurious and even more agile than the outgoing model, which was outstanding. The 2012 Cabriolet, shown here, gets a lighter top thanks to a new design that incorporates magnesium bows. Give us the 400-horsepower 911 Carrera S Cabriolet with the 7-speed manual transmission, a winding road and a clear summer day, and we’ll be in automotive heaven.

Thanks, Jody! We can’t wait to check ’em out!

Joe Victor

Joe asks Jody Victor®: 12 Cars We Can’t Wait to Drive II

The annual North American International Auto Show in Detroit can induce serious sensory overload. For a true car nut, it’s like being a kid in a candy store – drooling over all that tasty sheet metal. I asked Jody Victor  to tell us about 12 of them (in 3 instalments) from an article by Kirk Bell of MSN Autos, and

Jody Victor: Hey Joe, can’t wait to see and drive some of these fantastic vehicles. Here’s the second batch.

2013 Dodge Dart – It’s not too often we look forward to driving a mass-market compact car. They’re usually pretty vanilla. The 2013 Dodge Dart is a clear exception to that rule. With its Alfa Romeo Giulietta roots and extensive use of high-strength steel, the Dart should have a nimble European driving character. We want to see how much Chrysler Group has improved the 2.0- and 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engines, and we are intrigued by the new turbocharged 1.4-liter four sourced from Fiat. Perhaps most impressive, though, is the interior. With extensive use of soft-touch materials, the Dart’s cabin looks worthy of a luxury car.

2013 Ford Fusion m– Midsize sedans are the best-selling cars in America. With the release of the 2013 Fusion, Ford may vault to the top of that important class. The looks are sure to attract buyers. With its sweeping lines and Aston Martin-like grille, it will be one of the prettier cars on the road. The Fusion will also boast class-leading fuel economy for both its turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder base engine and its hybrid model, and it will offer a highly efficient, plug-in hybrid Energi model, too. Ford also promises improved handling, safety technology worthy of a luxury car, and a richer interior environment.

Honda Accord Coupe Concept – Honda has underwhelmed us with dull styling in recent years. But if the Accord Coupe Concept is true to form, the automaker might be back on track. It’s the most aggressively styled and best-looking Accord in years. Though this car is only a concept, Honda promises improved power from its 2.4-liter 4-cylinder and 3.5-liter V6 engines, as well as class-leading fuel economy and an available plug-in hybrid. A shorter wheelbase may give the car a sportier feel, but Honda says it will lose no space inside. Interior materials are still a matter of speculation, but let’s hope Honda ramps up the quality in light of improved new offerings from Ford and Chevy.

2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe – The more the merrier, we always say, especially when it comes to power. The extra ponies are even more welcome when they come under the hood of a rear-wheel drive sports car like the Hyundai Genesis Coupe. Although we don’t necessarily like the 2013 edition’s styling changes, the modifications made to turbocharged 2.0-liter engine increase the power output by 64 horses without sacrificing fuel economy. Hyundai also gave its already powerful 3.8-liter V6 a boost by increasing its output by 42 ponies to 348 horsepower. Hyundai says the increased power will help the Genesis Coupe 3.8 reach 60 mph in the low five-second range and on to a top speed of 149 mph.

Thanks, Jody! More next time!

Joe Victor

Joe asks Jody Victor® – Best Bang for the Buck: Horsepower

All sports cars are not the same – they look different, smell different, drive different, oh, yeah, they all cost different, too. I asked Jody Victor  to tell us more from an article by Matthew de Paula of

Jody Victor : According to this article the power of a sports car is not always proportionate to the cost. Here’s the second half.

5. 2012 Chrysler 200 Touring – Price: $23,165 | HP: 283 | $/HP: $81.86 – The Chrysler 200 replaced the Sebring and we’re glad for that; it is a marked improvement in many ways. As twin to the Dodge Avenger, the 200 has the same new Pentastar V6, but in SXT Touring trim it’s more affordable than the most affordable version of the Avenger that comes with the V6. That’s why it ranks higher on this list. Although they’re mechanically the same, the Chrysler and Dodge sedans have different characters. The 200 is more sophisticated, while the Avenger goes for a sporty, younger feel.

4. 2012 Dodge Charger R/T RWD = Price: $29,995 | HP: 370 | $/HP: $81.07 – Dodge drastically improved the Charger R/T for 2011, and the good news for 2012 is that the company is holding the line on pricing. That means you can get a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engine for just less than $30,000. No other automaker sells a car like the Charger in the United States at the moment: a large, powerful, rear-wheel-drive sedan at an affordable price. Although 370 horsepower sounds like a lot, the Charger is big and heavy, so it ends up being just enough power for good acceleration. Still, this is a lot of car for the money.

3. 2012 Dodge Challenger R/T – Price: $29,995 | HP: 376 | $/HP: $79.77 – The Dodge Challenger is the Charger’s 2-door sibling. It has six more horsepower under the hood. Most people won’t be able to tell the difference. The reason to get a Challenger over a Charger is styling versus practicality: It’s sleeker but not as handy, with two fewer doors than the Charger. Compared with the Chevy Camaro and Ford Mustang, this big coupe feels fat and flabby. But it has a comfortable ride and the Hemi makes it entertaining enough. Upgrading to the pricier SRT8 version on either the Challenger or the Charger brings more power, but it isn’t as good a power value.

2. 2012 Chevrolet Camaro Coupe SS – Price: $31,850 | HP: 426 | $/HP: $74.77 – If we were ranking cars based on attitude per dollar, the Chevrolet Camaro would win hands-down. Its aggressive appearance is intimidating. Drivers hustled out of its way when they saw us approaching in the rearview mirror. And both young and old exclaimed how impressive it was when they came across it on the street. The SS version gets a power boost with a 426-horsepower V8. That’s supercar power at a fraction of the cost of a Ferrari or Porsche. The Camaro is a well-rounded performer, even though it doesn’t feel quite as lively and tossable as a Ford Mustang.

1. 2012 Ford Mustang GT Coupe – Price: $29,310 | HP: 412 | $/HP: $71.14 – The Ford Mustang GT offers 14 horsepower less than the Chevy Camaro SS, but it’s less expensive. So it edges out its arch rival in this price-to-power competition. Numbers aside, Ford has fine-tuned this car to near perfection. Its Achilles heel is the interior, which, although much improved over that of past Mustangs, still feels cheap. Dynamically, the Mustang is a joy to drive on both road and track. It’s beautifully balanced, and the V8 engine in the GT version gives awesome acceleration. A slew of improvements are coming for 2013, including more power for the V8 in the GT model, and a 650-horsepower Shelby GT500.

Thanks, Jody! We’ll be sure to check ’em out.

Joe Victor

Joe asks Jody Victor® – Best Bang for the Buck: Horsepower

Numbers tell an interesting story when it comes to how much automakers charge for high-powered engines. Sports cars from companies such as Aston Martin and Lamborghini are best when it comes to performance and prestige, but throw price into the mix and the story changes, and not for the better. So which cars offer the best bang for the buck when it comes to horsepower? I asked Jody Victor to tell us more about it from an article by Matthew de Paula of

Jody Victor:  They decided to find out by calculating a simple price-to-power ratio using the manufacturer’s reported horsepower ratings and suggested retail prices. Here’s what they discovered in two parts.

10. 2011 Suzuki SX4 – Price: $13,499 | HP: 150 | $/HP: $89.99 -Talk about starting off in left field. It’s hard to imagine a more incongruous car when talking horsepower and performance. But the Suzuki SX4 Sport’s bargain-basement price and decently powered little 4-cylinder engine give it an excellent price-to-horsepower ratio when paired with the standard manual transmission. You do get what you pay for, however. The Suzuki’s quality and refinement lag compared with cars from Honda and Toyota, for example. On the upside, the SX4 Sport is a nimble little car. It’s still a far cry from a Honda Civic Si or Volkswagen GTI, but then so is its price.

9. 2012 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T – Price: $24,645 | HP: 274 | $/HP: $89.95 – Most Hyundai Sonatas come with a 4-cylinder engine, which is good for gas mileage but only adequate in delivering performance. But the 2.0T gets a turbocharger, which transforms this sedan into something more exciting, even though at its core the car will always be just another family hauler, despite what’s under the hood. Still, with 274 horsepower, the engine pulls strongly, and the handling dynamics aren’t bad. Since it’s a Hyundai, the Sonata is packed with features and comes with a great warranty, making it one of the best values around, regardless of the horsepower.

8. 2012 Ford Shelby GT500 – Price: $48,810 | HP: 550 | $/HP: $88.75 – This one’s no surprise. It’s a muscle car, and muscle cars are all about offering the most performance for the lowest cost. Now, $48,810 isn’t exactly cheap, but the Shelby GT500 is no ordinary muscle car. Its 550-horsepower V8 engine offers performance on par with sports cars costing at least twice as much. Unlike American muscle cars of the past, it can do more than just go fast in a straight line; the Mustang chassis on which it’s built is wonderfully balanced. And with its stiffer suspension, the Shelby GT500 handles corners even better.

7. 2012 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec Manual – Price: $26,750 | HP: 306 | $/HP: $87.42 – The Hyundai Genesis Coupe is a Korean muscle car: It’s sporty, it has rear-wheel drive, and it’s affordable. It comes in many flavors, too. The one with the best power-to-price ratio is the base version — called the R-Spec — equipped with a 3.8-liter 306-horsepower V6 engine and a 6-speed manual transmission. This combination gives a lot of performance per dollar. In concept, the Genesis Coupe is similar to American muscle cars, but in reality it provides a different driving experience than, say, a Chevrolet Camaro or Ford Mustang; it’s smaller and the suspension setup is firmer.

6. 2012 Dodge Avenger SXT Plus – Price: $23,995 | HP: 283 | $/HP: $84.79 – Chrysler has pulled off a miracle. It has systematically upgraded every vehicle across all of its brands — including Dodge — on thin budgets while preparing future products to replace the current lineup. The Avenger is competent and much better than before, thanks mainly to two things: a better interior with classier styling and materials, and the company’s new Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 engine. It puts out 283 horsepower while still managing to offer an estimated 29 mpg on the highway. Is it as refined as V6 engines from Asian competitors? The jury’s still out on that one.

Thanks, Jody! More on horsepower for your buck next time!

Joe Victor