Camaro5 Chevy Camaro Forum / Camaro ZL1, SS and V6 Forums - Camaro5.com
 
Go Back   Camaro5 Chevy Camaro Forum / Camaro ZL1, SS and V6 Forums - Camaro5.com > Members Area > General Automotive + Other Cars Discussion

General Automotive + Other Cars Discussion Come chat about other cars.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 04-21-2008, 01:16 PM   #1
Tran
Administrator
 
Tran's Avatar
 
Drives: 2010 Camaro of course....
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: NE baby
Posts: 5,040
Arrow Top Gear - Dodge Challenger & American Muscle Cars

Reappearing Point

Name:  1.jpg
Views: 14712
Size:  78.5 KB


Richard Hammond
April 15, 2008

Name:  2.jpg
Views: 14578
Size:  16.9 KB


The new Challenger is a beast, and every hot-blooded male wants one. Why? Richard Hammond explains

There are those who don't like muscle cars, who can't understand their appeal and frown at them in confusion and bewilderment. They will not like the new Challenger. And we should pity these people - pity them, but not fear them, because they are spineless and have no soul.

If a car is a dynamic creature, if it's about taking you from where you are to where you need to be and making your hair tingle in the process, then a muscle car is the ultimate expression of that form. A muscle car is about, as the name might suggest, the muscle - it is there because of its engine. Yes, there are lots of other fiddly bits that keep the wheels on the ground, make the windows go up and down and tell people when you're turning left, but the engine is the living, beating heart of the thing.

And in a muscle car, the chassis, the wheels, the wires, electronic gizmos and you, the driver, are there to tend to the engine's needs - to nurture it, nourish it, flatter it and give it all that it demands to go about the business of firing you towards the horizon. Ideally without a big fire. They are about power. And power, in whatever form, has been perhaps the single most alluring thing for human beings since the moment we crawled out of the primaeval ooze and threw a spear at a mammoth.

Cavemen celebrated their power and achievements in cave paintings. These did not generally show them pottering about the place in a neatly pressed loin-cloth tending their herb garden. They showed them running, chasing stuff, killing stuff and mastering their world. We don't paint on caves anymore, we paint on film. And the films that have caught this power thing, that have communicated the muscle-car experience, are the films that have celebrated the muscle car's riot of noise and attitude and let us revel in the dumb-animal, head-down determinedness of the things.

'The original American muscle cars were created with the idea of generating myth and legend from the start'

They have not praised the cars' 'faint whiff of comforting lift-off oversteer' or their 'remarkable mid-corner adjustability'. They have set them free to charge across the world roaring at the skies and tearing at the ground. Bullitt's Mustang 390 GT pursued by black Dodge Chargers, the 'Eleanor' Shelby Mustang scaring Nick Cage to death in Gone in Sixty Seconds and, of course, the Challenger being chased by 'Blue Meanies' as it charges towards the horizon in Vanishing Point; the cars are legends.

They are the stuff of fable and myth. They are dragons. When they stalked the world, they stirred our souls, even if we were thinking about them on the way to school in an Austin Allegro.

Those original muscle cars, yes, the American ones, were created with the idea of generating myth and legend from the start. The names: Charger, Firebird, Challenger, Barracuda, Road Runner, all evocative, exciting names, names to pin legends to. They did not speak of efficiency or neatness, they did not whisper of practicality or predictability. They are names to savour, to roll around the tongue and slip into your dreamscapes. And they changed the world. Well, a bit, anyway.

We in the UK struggled to provide direct answers to these simple, powerful American brutes, but we tried nonetheless. The Ford Capri, the Vauxhall Firenza, these were our own, admittedly modest versions of the muscle cars. They lacked the power perhaps, but they brought the style, the passion and the affordability of the muscle car to a British audience.


Name:  3.jpg
Views: 54629
Size:  51.4 KB


Fuel prices, pollution concerns and rising costs of the cars themselves eventually killed off the muscle cars. It didn't stop us loving them though, like characters in the Terminator movies - er, sort of, anyway - even if we went 'underground' to nurture our passion and beliefs.

To do my bit, I bought a lime green Dodge Charger. It was bigger than the village I tried to keep it in and would not, technically, fit into any of our major towns. I am still paying for the petrol it used during its 12-month tenure with me. I adored it then and adore it still. Driving it, I felt as though everything but the engine was transparent and invisible, that it was reduced simply to a massive V8, rumbling and growling its way along the roads. I was subservient to the engine, and happily so.

I replaced the Charger with a Mustang. It's a 390 GT, the same year and model as the Bullitt car and, originally, in the same Highland Green. I treasure it more than my legs, despite it recently forgetting that it should have brakes and depositing me in the field opposite my drive. And now, with the arrival of the Challenger, a new generation can embrace the muscle car and feel the power.

Chrysler got it right. The Challenger uses the platform from the 300C. Not a bad thing to base a muscle car on, but ultimately, who cares? At the front, it's got a massive 6.1-litre Hemi V8, and it puts out the same 425bhp as the original.

That power charges through a five-speed automatic 'box to the rear wheels via a limited-slip diff, which should handily remove the need for a steering wheel. I have a limited-slip diff in my Mustang and find the best way to park it is to drive up perpendicular to the parking space and apply a massive amount of right boot, encouraging the tail to slither round, slotting the car in and making cool marks on the road.

'All I want inside is a wide rear-view mirror for those Vanishing Point shots of the road receding behind'

There are some suspiciously sophisticated features about the place: independent rear suspension - rather than the more traditional cart springs - and coilover gas-charged dampers at the front.

These are not, strictly, in the tradition of the muscle car - they smack a bit too much of *****footing about the place trying not to trip over, rather than running into the saloon and kicking people's heads in. But owners don't have to tell their mates about these things - they can be a dark secret under the surface. What they will not be able to hide is the look of it; and it is bang on.

How a modern car manufacturer has managed to create such a long, low, lean and sinister shape and still adhere to the pedestrian safety laws and regulations that have everyone else turning out cars with big squashy bonnets five feet off the ground and bumpers like wheelie bins strapped on front and back, I just don't know. And I'd rather not - the more mystery the better.

The interior is terrible, and so it should be. I hope they have the sense to do a black plastic option with a vinyl dash. All I want inside is a super-wide rear-view mirror for those Vanishing Point shots of the road receding behind. There's probably room in the back for a couple of passengers, but who cares? It will have a boot, you can put stuff in it, so what? There will be a 3.5-litre V6 version next year, for idiots to buy. Why would you want that? It's like popping into the dragon shop for a pet and coming out with a poodle.

In the States, the SRT-8, with the proper 6.1-litre Hemi is going to cost $37,995, which is 25p. It won't be officially imported to the UK, and there won't be a right-hand version. There will be a lot of them on our roads very quickly though. If there's any hope left for us at all.
Tran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2008, 11:41 AM   #2
Muscle Master
SS Lightning
 
Muscle Master's Avatar
 
Drives: An SRT8
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Cinnaminson, NJ
Posts: 2,306
cant wate to may, when I get my srt8, still looking for a super charger
__________________

Quote:
The first rule of modding something that's not American is to not try to compete with modded V8 cars that are American. Really, they can run insane power with little investment. It's not even a fair fight.
Camaro 2SS RS, IBM, White Rally Stripes, custom fuel door: Status: going to the dealer: soon
Muscle Master is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2008, 11:47 AM   #3
The_Blur
Jayhawk USN
 
The_Blur's Avatar
 
Drives: 6.2L of AWESOME! 2011 L99 2SS
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: NAS Whiting Field
Posts: 14,306
Send a message via AIM to The_Blur
It really is a beautiful machine.

I'm glad Top Gear is so willing to credit the US with the muscle machine, especially with how much they love to joke about the US (not bitter, it's usually funny, I'm just observing).
The_Blur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2008, 09:08 PM   #4
DGthe3
Moderator.ca
 
DGthe3's Avatar
 
Drives: 05 Grand Am GT
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Niagara, Canada
Posts: 22,194
Send a message via MSN to DGthe3
I couldn't explain muscle cars any better.
__________________
Note, if I've gotten any facts wrong in the above, just ignore any points I made with them
__________________
don't believe a thing you read about the next gen Camaro -- as history has proven time and time again:

WE DO NOT TALK ABOUT FUTURE PRODUCT PLANS PERIOD FbodFather
__________________

Camaro5 Fest sub-forum
DGthe3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2008, 09:27 PM   #5
ihc95
 
ihc95's Avatar
 
Drives: BMW 335i E92
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: NJ
Posts: 649
Next to the Hamburger, the muscle car is the greatest invention ever!!!!
ihc95 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2008, 10:15 PM   #6
CaptianSam
Car Garage
 
CaptianSam's Avatar
 
Drives: 350z,A4,SRT8...see sig
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: north west
Posts: 832
i just hope my muscle car can turn as well as my 350z
__________________
2012 2SS RS Ordered
Black on Black 6 speed Coupe Artic Lid Stripes
Yes I Supercharge Everything

On My Ipad
Xbox McLovin1515
Ps3 McLovin1555
Current Autos:68z28,03viperSRT10,04escalade,05RangeRoverSport SC
Project Autos:80corvette350-500hp 6speed,06charger S'C 6-speed posi,74Firebird400blue,69chevelle572 707
New Autos:2012CamaroSSRS,09ChallengerSRT8
Past Autos:....too many to list

"i told you it was gettin' an LS3"
Go down deep enough into anything and you will find mathematics. Dean Schlicter
B.Sc. Hons. Mathematics
CaptianSam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2008, 10:32 PM   #7
2xtrbo
 
Drives: BMW 335 Cabrio
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Florida
Posts: 41
I owned a Dodge Demon 340. I knew I was inferior to every Z/28 around. And these unfortunate wretches driving the Challenger will know they play second fiddle to the new Camaro.
__________________
2xtrbo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2008, 11:23 PM   #8
Fenah
 
Fenah's Avatar
 
Drives: car
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: car
Posts: 53
At least one of the presenters understand The American Muscle car.
__________________
Fenah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2008, 11:48 PM   #9
wild_weasel
Ombudsman
 
wild_weasel's Avatar
 
Drives: Black 03 Jeep Liberty Renegade
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 90
I will say it once, I will say it again. Its an un-updated design and Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep has really poor quality. I like the look, but I would never buy one. I like that its got a big ole Hemi in it, but I would never buy one. I like that Dodge has been a big player in bringing back muscle, but I will NEVER buy one.
__________________
YGBSM

Eagles may soar, but weasels never get sucked into jet engines.

I want my 2010 Z28, and I want it now. Black Graphite Metallic please.

(Thanks to Mindz and Jinx for the avatar/sig pic respectively)

wild_weasel is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Edmunds hangs with a Challenger SRT-8 for the weekend Scotsman General Automotive + Other Cars Discussion 11 04-21-2008 01:04 PM
2009 Dodge Challenger Press Release (introducing model lineup) Tran General Automotive + Other Cars Discussion 8 03-20-2008 01:47 AM
Challenger Pricing LSxcellent General Automotive + Other Cars Discussion 31 12-03-2007 10:00 PM
Ontario to become home of the all-new 2008 Dodge Challenger Mr. Wyndham General Automotive + Other Cars Discussion 3 08-09-2007 03:54 AM
American Muscle: Ford, Dodge, and Chevy fierocamaro Off-topic Discussions 1 10-31-2006 11:43 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:20 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.