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2015 Dodge Viper getting small increase in power

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2014 SRT Viper GTS

The Viper is used to being the most powerful car in the Dodge and SRT stables, but the arrival of the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat means that's no longer the case. The serpentine supercar is, however, reportedly getting a small boost in output for 2015, amounting to all of five horsepower.

The increase was uncovered by Road & Track courtesy of the SAE J1349 certification process to which Detroit's Big Three automakers submit themselves and which reports the Viper's output at 645 hp instead of the 640 it was rated at until now. There are a hundred factors that could have contributed to the relatively mild boost in output (best guess? nothing at all changed...), but we doubt anyone's going to complain about some extra horses under the hood.

The five-horsepower boost brings the Viper that much closer to the 650-hp Chevy Corvette Z06, not to mention the 707-hp Hellcat, but the Viper's impressive power-to-weight ratio ought to mean it'll have little problem keeping up in a straight line - which is just one of the reasons why Chrysler won't shoe-horn the Hellcat into the Viper: as R&T points out, the supercharged engine is too heavy and the blower makes it too tall to fit in the Viper's engine bay.

Chrysler's big-bore V10 engine has come a long way from the 400 horsepower it produced back in 1992, increasing displacement by only 24.5 cubic inches but power by over 60 percent over the past 22 years.

2015 Dodge Viper getting small increase in power originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Jul 2014 10:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ford, Ram in heavy-duty towing spat

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2015 Ford F-450

2014 Ram 3500Every pickup truck commercial has the brand trying to convince us that its model is the biggest, brawniest vehicle on the block. But Ford and Ram appear ready to really throw down the gauntlet and scrap over the towing figures for their heavy-duty models, and it could potentially end up in court.

The issue revolves around what it means to be best in class. Ford claims that its 2015 F-450 (pictured above) has a max tow rating of 31,200 pounds, compared to 30,000 pounds for the Ram 3500 (right). However, both companies market these heavy haulers as having the top towing in their class. According to Automotive News, Ford is threatening legal action if Ram doesn't back down.

The situation isn't as simple as just comparing the numbers, though. First, the two companies calculate their towing capacities differently. Ram adheres to the SAE J2807 rating, while Ford uses its own internal system. Although, as the company introduces new models, they are certified using the SAE standard. "When an all-new F-Series Super Duty is introduced, it also will use SAE J2807," said Ford to Autoblog in an emailed statement.

The second issue hinges on whether the F-450 and Ram 3500 are even in the same class at all. The "best-in-class" boast hinges on both trucks belonging to the Department of Transportation's Class 3 rules, stipulating that above a gross vehicle weight rating of 14,000 pounds, a model moves into Class 4. Ford claims that the F-450 has a GVWR of exactly that amount. However, according to Automotive News, the company removes the spare tire, tire jack and center console to reach that number.

Ford is sticking to its guns, though. "The 2015 F-450 pickup is a Class 3 (10,001 lbs. - 14,000 lbs. GVWR) dual rear-wheel, chassis-certified pickup truck," said the company in a statement emailed to Autoblog.

Although, Ram isn't changing course either. "Our best-in-class claim of 30,000 pounds of towing capacity for the 2014 Ram 3500 stands firm in the 350/3500 segment. Additionally, unlike our competitors, our new 2015 Ram 3500 will hold the title and weight capacity while adhering to the SAE J2807 towing test criteria," said Ram in a statement emailed to Autoblog.

Ford, Ram in heavy-duty towing spat originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 28 Jul 2014 18:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Dodge to sell off first Challenger SRT Hellcat for charity

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2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat VIN0001

Want to get your hands on a new 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, and can't wait to be the first to get one? Las Vegas will be the place to be on September 27. That's where Barrett-Jackson will auction off the very first example. And you'd better bring your checkbook, because the bidding is sure to be fierce with all the proceeds going to charity.

The supercharged Challenger with VIN 0001 has been hand-painted in Stryker Red (usually reserved for the Viper) and features special badging, documentation and accompanying memorabilia - not to mention, of course, that 707-horsepower, 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V8. The car will be on display this weekend as well at Barrett-Jackson's Hot August Nights auction in Reno.

Not only is Dodge donating the vehicle, but Barrett-Jackson is waiving all its consignment fees and commissions so that 100 percent of the winning bid - which is sure to be mega - will go directly towards Opportunity Village, a non-profit that works to serve the needs of the mentally handicapped and their families. Check out the press release below for all the details.

Continue reading Dodge to sell off first Challenger SRT Hellcat for charity

Dodge to sell off first Challenger SRT Hellcat for charity originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 27 Jul 2014 18:35:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Weekly Recap: New bosses try to jump-start Cadillac and Lincoln

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Cadillac and Lincoln

Both of America's domestic luxury brands seem to be stuck in neutral.

It's ironic that Cadillac and Lincoln got new bosses within days of each other this month. It's also a commentary on the fact both of America's domestic luxury brands seem to be stuck in neutral.

Cadillac has received barrels of good ink in recent years, thanks to its sporty, fun-to-drive cars with gaudy horsepower figures and eye-catching designs. The problem is sales have been uneven, and this year they've fallen 1.9 percent to 82,117 vehicles.

Enter Johan de Nysschen. You know him from such roles as the head of Audi in the United States and more recently, as the global boss of Infiniti. Both brands have somewhat underdog status compared with segment leaders Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Lexus, and de Nysschen was lauded for his work at his previous stops, overseeing sales and product successes.

Cadillac went out and got a "name" with a proven track record. The 54-year-old South African brings strong leadership and industry credibility to a brand that needs both. He'll be tested right away, as 554,328 Cadillac CTS and SRX models were recalled in June in the United States for ignition switch problems. More recalls involving Cadillacs and other General Motors vehicles for a welding problem was also announced in July.

He's taking over for Bob Ferguson, who had been dividing his time between Cadillac and handling GM recall response on Capital Hill. Ferguson moved to a full-time role as GM's top public policy and government relations executive in July.

Meanwhile, Ford tapped a relatively obscure engineer, Kumar Galhotra, to lead Lincoln. He's replacing an industry star, Jim Farley, who's giving up the reins at Lincoln to focus on his other job - overseeing Ford's global marketing efforts.

Galhotra doesn't have as much name recognition as Farley or de Nysschen, but that means nothing. Lincoln needs momentum, and the only way Galhotra will ultimately be measured is through increasing sales and strengthening the product portfolio.

Continue reading Weekly Recap: New bosses try to jump-start Cadillac and Lincoln

Weekly Recap: New bosses try to jump-start Cadillac and Lincoln originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 26 Jul 2014 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Coal-rolling Ram dually does tandem beer-shooting burnout with ATV in bed

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A Coal-Rolling tandem ATV burnout

Sometimes a video comes around that just makes you shake your head in disbelief. Take for example these guys from Nebraska in their dually diesel flatbed Ram, doing a smoky burnout. Lighting up the tires is nothing new, but these folks take things a step further by having another guy on an ATV in bed that is also smoking the tires. Finally, people are sitting on a couch in the bed taking the whole show in, as beer cans shoot out of the stacks.

There have been several stories recently about the scourge of rolling coal, i.e., diesel trucks modified to lay down a thick, black smoke screen, sometimes for vaguely political reasons. Whatever your opinion is on it, breathing in this much nasty stuff isn't exactly great for your health. Of course, it turns out that burning rubber is pretty awful, too. Both diesel and tire emissions contain cancer-causing Group 1 carcinogens. Combine them with the cigarette smoking here, and these guys are an oncologist's nightmare. Scroll down to take it all in for yourself. Warning, there is a little explicit language.

Continue reading Coal-rolling Ram dually does tandem beer-shooting burnout with ATV in bed

Coal-rolling Ram dually does tandem beer-shooting burnout with ATV in bed originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 25 Jul 2014 20:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat in the works

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2015 Dodge Charger

In Autoblog's recent First Drive of the 2015 Challenger SRT with the 707-horsepower Hellcat V8 we found its engine to be as brutally powerful as the numbers would suggest, even if it wasn't the best handler. However, the muscle-car-styling just isn't right for some buyers that need four doors and proper rear seats to haul around the family. It appears that Dodge has their backs, though, because the Hellcat is very likely on its way into the Charger in the near future. Imagine the looks on your passengers' faces when you stomp down on the throttle.

According to Road & Track, when Dodge submitted the Hellcat for engine power certification to the Society of Automotive Engineers, the company included the Charger on the paperwork. That showed that the automaker wanted the engine checked out for the sedan, too. R&T reckons the 707-hp Charger would hit the road about a year from now, clearing the Challenger for a year of exclusivity with the powerplant.

When the Charger SRT Hellcat does hit the road, it may carry a very special accolade. Assuming nothing beats it in the meantime, it might be the world's highest horsepower production sedan. Think on that for a second. Even a Mercedes S65 AMG only has 621 horsepower, though a good bit more torque at 738 pound-feet to the Dodge's 650 lb-ft. So while the beastly engine is getting put into other models, where else would you like to see it? The Ram? Grand Cherokee? Let us know in Comments.

Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat in the works originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 25 Jul 2014 12:56:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mopar Custom Hood Decal for Your Jeep ® Brand Vehicle

Jeep Hood 494x370 Mopar Custom Hood Decal for Your Jeep<sub> ® </sub> Brand Vehicle  company  photo

Never forget your map at home again.

With the help of Mopar’s Jeep Performance Parts, the hood of your Jeep® brand vehicle can now be customized with a topographical map of the area of your choosing.

To start creating your vehicle’s decal, visit the customizer on the Mopar website. From there, you can select the map, style and border color that best fits your Jeep brand vehicle. If you don’t have a particular map location in mind for your decal, you can always use an infamous off-roading location option such as Hell’s Revenge or the Rubicon Trail.

hooddecal 494x361 Mopar Custom Hood Decal for Your Jeep<sub> ® </sub> Brand Vehicle  company  photo

 

Once you’ve selected your map and border, you can add a bull’s-eye or compass icon to pinpoint an exact location on your map.

After your design is complete, all you’ll need to do is submit your e-mail address to secure your design. Mopar will e-mail you a unique code that matches with your exact design. You can then take that code to your local dealer where they’ll be able to place an order for the decal as well as help you schedule an installation appointment.

The decals will be available for Jeep Wranglers dating back to the 2007 model, the Jeep Grand Cherokee dating back to the 2011 model and the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee.

Will your map include your hometown? Your favorite trail? Somewhere else? Start designing your personalized decal here.

 

The post Mopar Custom Hood Decal for Your Jeep ® Brand Vehicle appeared first on The Jeep Blog.

40+ cars that barely avoid the gas guzzler tax

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The Gas Guzzler schedule, with mpg ratings and charges that haven't changed since 1991, lays out which fuel-swillers owe what to Uncle Sam.

I started thinking about the "Gas Guzzler Tax" - considerably less well known as The Energy Tax Act of 1978 - when I was driving Dodge's new Challenger SRT Hellcat last week. Unsurprisingly for a car that can burn 1.5 gallons of gas per minute at max tilt, theoretically able to empty a full tank of premium in about 13 minutes, the Hellcat will be subject to the Gas Guzzler Tax schedule when it goes on sale.

Beyond knowing that it existed, and occasionally seeing a surcharge for it listed on the specification sheet for a press car I'd been loaned, I didn't really understand how the GGT worked or was calculated.

Thankfully, the Environmental Protection Agency makes learning about the GGT (and a lot of other stuff) pretty simple. EPA.gov has a clearly written explanation of the tax and the tax schedule. That schedule, operating with miles-per-gallon ratings and charges that haven't changed since 1991, clearly lays out which fuel-swillers owe what to Uncle Sam. Basically, if a car's combined fuel economy rating is 22.5 mpg or higher it's off the hook ­- trucks, minivans and SUVs are all exempt from the GGT - if the rating is lower, per vehicle taxes range from $1,000 to $7,700 for the very thirstiest.

Simple, right?

Continue reading 40+ cars that barely avoid the gas guzzler tax

40+ cars that barely avoid the gas guzzler tax originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 24 Jul 2014 12:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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MotorWeek proves ’90s were awesome with Supra, Stealth, RX-7, Corvette, 968, 300ZX comparo

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Motorweek 1993 Sports Car Test

Oh, the heady days of 1993, back when the Clinton Presidency was just getting underway, and it seemed like every hot new rock band was coming out of Seattle. Sports cars in the US had finally shaken off the shackles that slowed them during the '70s and '80s, and you could buy any number of legitimately quick vehicles again. MotorWeek recently went digging into its archives to find this six-model test from 1993 showing off some of the best semi-affordable performance coupes that money could buy at the time, and it's priceless.

Featuring the 1994 model year Toyota Supra in twin-turbo guise and MY 1993 versions of the Porsche 968, Nissan 300ZX TT, Mazda RX-7, Dodge Stealth R/T Turbo and Chevrolet Corvette LT-1, MotorWeek definitely covered all of the bases. One thing that might surprise younger readers is these cars' performance. The video only provides 0-60 acceleration times, but several of these vehicles would still be considered pretty potent today - over 20 years since going on sale. The Supra is especially impressive, hitting 60 miles per hour in just 5 seconds. Even today, that's nothing to sneeze at.

Given their performance potential and still-attractive looks, it's amazing that some of these coupes are old enough to drink now. The progress of interior design and safety equipment in the intervening years is pretty shocking, though. In most of these models, having two airbags is touted as a big deal. Scroll down to watch a Throwback Thursday blast from the past about some of the '90s best sports cars.

Continue reading MotorWeek proves '90s were awesome with Supra, Stealth, RX-7, Corvette, 968, 300ZX comparo

MotorWeek proves '90s were awesome with Supra, Stealth, RX-7, Corvette, 968, 300ZX comparo originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 24 Jul 2014 12:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The cars that won’t live to see 2015 [w/video] [UPDATE]

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Acura TL

Every year in the fast-paced automotive industry brings new models, but it also spells the end for some that have been less successful. This year will be no exception.

Japan's automakers make up the bulk of the list of discontinued models for the 2015 model year: Acura is replacing the TL and TSX with the new TLX sedan, Honda is bidding farewell to the Fit EV as the new Fit hatchback takes its place, and Nissan is saying goodbye to both the Cube and Murano CrossCabriolet. Both the Nissan Maxima and Mazda2 exit stage left before their upcoming replacements arrive, while Toyota is terminating the RAV4 EV and FJ Cruiser as well as the Scion xD, and Lexus IS C and IS F that are being effectively replaced by the new RC.

From our own domestic automakers, Cadillac discontinues the CTS-V sedan and wagon as the new CTS rolls in, Chevy is canceling the mild-hybrid Eco versions of the Malibu and Impala sedans, and Chrysler is killing off the 200 convertible as the new 200 sedan arrives.

German automakers are also well represented on the list, with BMW splitting the 1 Series coupe and convertible into the new 2 Series line, Mercedes reintegrates the CL-Class coupe into the S-Class family, and Volkswagen is finally killing off the Chrysler-made Routan. Elsewhere in Europe, the long-serving Gallardo is being replaced by the Huracán in the Lamborghini lineup, while Volvo ends production of the XC90 in advance of the new model's arrival.

It's a long list to wrap your head around, but our compatriots over at The Car Connection have summed it all up in the video below, and we've assembled the slideshow above with photos of each. The question is, which of these models will you miss the most? Share your thoughts in Comments.

UPDATE: An earlier version of this story stated that Infiniti is discontinuing the G37 that was already replaced by the Q50. While that's technically true, as we reported earlier this year, the G37 as we know it will continue to live on, and has been renamed Q40 for the 2015 model year.

Continue reading The cars that won't live to see 2015 [w/video] [UPDATE]

The cars that won't live to see 2015 [w/video] [UPDATE] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 23 Jul 2014 16:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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