A few quick items to whet your salivating appetites for automotive news – some good, some bad.
First off, Motor Trend reports that Chevrolet has a massively hung Z/28 version of the Camaro pretty much ready to tear up the streets – but the car’s on hold indefinitely, as GM’s powers-that-be contemplate whether releasing an even-more-steroidal muscle car looks like a good use of taxpayer money in this day and age. (That is to say, they’re worried how they’ll be able to explain it to the Senate should they be subpoenaed.)
In my view, they ought to just build the damn thing, and if anybody in D.C. complains, take them for a lap or two around the nearest racetrack in the Z/28. Besides, it’s only the politicians complaining – the people want ridiculously powerful cars. Anyway, the Z/28 features the 556-horsepower 6.2 liter supercharged V8 from the Cadillac CTS-V, dances from 0-60 in 4.1 seconds and tops out at 193 miles per hour. If we’re lucky, we’ll see it on the streets and making rednecks jizz their pants come next year.
In better news, Mazda revealed the prices for its new Mazda3 sedan, and they haven’t climbed too much. Base models start at $15,045, up from $14,690; mid-level “i Touring” models go from $17,995 to $18,350; higher-level “s Sport” sedans bump from $19,085 to $19,540 while 5-door hatchbacks go from $19,575 to $20,030. (All prices are for automatic transmission-equipped versions, except for the base model.) However, those living near the oceans can expect to see some of that cost deferred by driving into the ocean and using the car’s maw to refuel with plankton instead of gasoline.
In other fuel-saving news, Nissan revealed that its upcoming electric car will have a 100-mile range when it hits our shores in fall 2010. The compact car, which, like Oscar-worthy movies, will be appearing only in select areas upon arrival, will supposedly be capable of carrying five people, and “filling the tank” will only cost about 90 cents. (However, it will take four to eight hours to charge up, as opposed to the five minutes at the pump – so no electric road trips anytime soon.) Exact pricing wasn’t discussed, but expect to see it somewhere around $30,000 before being knocked down by a $7,500 federal tax credit. (From the Detroit Free Press)
Finally, Automotive News reports that Fiat is hoping its deal with Chrysler goes through so it can begin bringing adorable Fiat 500s and the not-yet-released Alfa Romeo 940 sedan to our shores sometime in 2010. In what seems like a very strange turn of events, the cars will be sold though Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep dealers (what, like they couldn’t find any empty dealerships to buy up?), so we can expect to see mousy 500s sandwiched between Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Rams. The Fiat has received a lot of good press; however, it remains to be seen how Americans will take to this new model, given that we haven’t had Fiats for sale here in decades.