Ford 2015 Shelby GT350R Mustang

The Victor crew found out that Ford is releasing the new 2015 Shelby GT350 Mustang, hopefully later this year. It claims to be lighter with better suspension. It has track capability. If it didn’t contribute to track performance, it was removed. Don’t expect air conditioning in the base model. The Shelby is part of the Ford Performance vehicle lineup.

It comes with a hearty 5.2L V8 engine that delivers over 500 horsepower and a 6-speed manual transmission giving more than 400 lb-ft of torque. They made the chassis more light-weight. It comes with Michelin® Pilot® Super Sport tires.

Ford Mustang Shelby GT350

Joe asks Jody Victor®: The 600-Horsepower Club II

It’s somewhat hard to imagine cars with over 500 horsepower let alone more than 600, just coasting down the road. I asked Jody Victor®  to tell us more from an article by James Tate of MSN Autos/msn.com.

Jody Victor®: Apparently, mega-horsepower is no longer to be restrained only to the racing circuit. Here’s the second half of the over 600-horsepower club.

 

5. Ford Shelby GT500, 650 horsepower – With the introduction of the 2013 Shelby GT500, the pony-car wars have officially gotten out of hand. Let it be clear we’re talking about a factory-produced Mustang with 650 horsepower. Likely created to one-up the fire-breathing ZL1 variant of its decades-old archrival, the Chevrolet Camaro, this Mustang and its supercharged 5.8-liter V8 engine is the most powerful Ford to ever roll off the assembly line, and by a large margin. Although it’s far from a barbaric muscle car, we can only hope the big coupe’s aging suspension design is up to the task of controlling this kind of power.

 

4. Ferrari FF, 651 horsepower – The Ferrari 612 Scaglietti was a curvaceous, high-performance luxury sports car. But it never really enjoyed success in the highly competitive exotic market. Ferrari’s response to this comes in the form of the polarizing FF. In many ways, this uniquely styled vehicle is a drastic departure from the tried-and-true prancing-horse formula. It offers four doors and all-wheel drive, as well as a “love it or hate it” shooting-brake body style. Luckily, its screaming 651-horsepower V12 engine does a mighty job of allaying concerns that Ferrari is forsaking performance and exhilaration, as it enables the 4-seater to rocket to 208 mph.

 

3. Lamborghini Aventador, 691 horsepower – Lamborghini has never been one to be timid with its vehicles, and its latest flagship turns heads with its flashy stealth-fighter styling and explosively powerful V12 engine rattling the ground. With 691 horsepower and years of performance engineering under its belt, the Aventador is more than ready to carry the torch into the next generation. Its paddle-shifting, single-clutch transmission, however, has a strikingly rough touch in a sea of seamless, butter-smooth dual-clutch units. Even so, it gets the job done. This replacement for the Murcielago is exactly what we were hoping for from the house of the raging bull.

 

2. Aston Martin One-77, 750 horsepower – British sports-car manufacturer Aston Martin is famous for creating svelte and sexy grand touring cars, and its crowning achievement, the One-77, is no exception. Although unmistakably an Aston Martin in design, this halo car puts a greater emphasis on outrageous performance and sports wilder, jaw-dropping style elements than its lesser brethren. Limited to just 77and already sold out, the One-77 boasts the most powerful naturally aspirated production-car engine ever made — a 7-liter V12 good for a roaring 750 horsepower. Take a good look at this athletic beauty, as it’s unlikely you’ll ever encounter one on the road.

 

1. Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, 1,183 horsepower – By now, the Bugatti Veyron is no stranger to automotive enthusiasts, as its superlative specs make it the uncontested king of sports cars. Its Super Sport variant cranks the wick even further, boosting output of its mammoth quad-turbo W16 engine from an already absurd 987 horsepower up to a “good God, that’s nuts” 1,183 horsepower. This insane power results in a possible top speed of 268 mph. Without question, the Veyron would satisfy even the biggest adrenaline junkie. With a price tag well into the seven digits, however, this uber-exclusive supercar is not for the financially faint of heart.

Thanks, Jody! We’d love to be able to test drive any of these vehicles!!

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 msn.com.

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 msn.com.

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