Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Varoom, Varoom

The decline of the big North American automakers is well known. I recently saw a top ten list of fuel efficient and hybrid cars, nary a big-three car among them. It's hard to feel sorry for the big-three plight, when they seem to be consumed with re-introducing "muscle cars". Don't get me wrong, the Challenger was a neat car, but where is the focus fellas:
The Chrysler entrant in the North American muscle car wars will roar out of Brampton, Ont.,

DaimlerChrysler Canada Inc. announced Tuesday that the Dodge Challenger will be assembled in its Brampton plant about a year from now.

"Quickly bringing desirable new products such as the Dodge Challenger to market is critical to keeping our plants humming and our dealerships busy," Reid Bigland, president of DaimlerChrysler Canada Inc., said in a statement.

The Challenger made its re-entry to the Chrysler world at the 2006 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, but it was overshadowed by the return of a rival, the Chevrolet Camaro from General Motors Corp.

Hmmm, do I want the 425 hp V8 Hemi with a 6-speed Manual or the 350 hp V8 Hemi with a 5-speed AutoStick option. Don't worry, fuel efficiency has improved:
With its 4,100 pound weight, it can do 0-60 in 4.5 seconds (with 20 inch wheels on front and 21 inch wheels on back), and runs the quarter mile in 13 seconds flat; top speed is 174 mph (limited by wind resistance), while gas mileage is estimated at 14 city, 20 highway, very good compared with the original Challenger and roughly the same as today's smallest, most underpowered Hummer.

Small and Hummer seem a strange pair. While the big-three conduct the battle of the "muscle car", other companies pour all their energy into preparing for the new reality. No foresight, now playing catch-up, distracted with silliness. Poor Buzz, he must know he rides the titanic.

UPDATE verbena19 has a related entry, with a telling link.

1 comment:

Mark Dowling said...

Presumably the plants making these are ones who got money from the McGuinty government? That money should have been tied only to hybrids.

I did see in the Metro that some hybrid trucks will be made soon but only as many as the market demands. Let's hope the cities start buying hybrid trucks in addition to Priuses for the likes of David Miller.