May 9, 2012
GM engineers recently turned an 11.93-second/116-mph quarter-mile elapsed time run in a showroom-stock Camaro ZL1 automatic, equipped with its factory-issued Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar G:2 tires developed specifically for it. A Camaro ZL1 manual ran an 11.96-second ET at 117 mph. Only a few other production vehicles can run the quarter-mile as quickly as the ZL1. Fewer yet can also run 0-60 in 4 seconds, reach a top speed of 184 mph and lap the famous Nürburgring in 7:41.27 – all with the street-legal, factory-issued components and no time-consuming equipment adjustments at the racetrack, according to GM. “The ZL1 is great at everything and we’re very proud of that,” said Tony Roma, Camaro ZL1 program engineering manager. “You can take it to the drag strip and run 11-second quarter-miles all day long. You can also take it to a road course, where it’s balanced, handles well, and does exactly what you want – including lapping Virginia International Raceway’s Grand Course in under three minutes – and yet the ZL1 is sophisticated enough to use as a daily driver. It’s a supercar you can drive every day.”
The all-new, rear-wheel-drive Cadillac ATS compact luxury sport sedan with a 2.5L engine and six-speed transmission will be priced starting at $33,990, including destination charges. Highway fuel economy is expected to be well over 30 mpg. A mid-level model with a 2.0L turbocharged engine costs $35,795 including destination and will offer automatic and manual transmissions, and rear- or all-wheel drive. The top of the ATS range is equipped with a 3.6L V-6 with a preliminary rating of 320 horsepower, costing $42,090 including destination with an automatic transmission and standard content that includes CUE, leather 8-way power seats with memory, remote start and more. All-wheel drive will be available. The ATS goes on sale this summer.
Drivers in the U.S. can now place their order for the new Ford Focus ST, which Ford is calling its "first global performance car." The Focus ST will "integrate a collection of advanced and sport-oriented technologies previously unavailable to North American customers," according to Ford. The Ford Focus ST delivers an SAE-certified 252 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque from its 2.0-liter EcoBoost® engine with low-inertia turbocharger with overboost feature. The Focus ST is offered in available full-leather, six-way power Recaro® seats, unique interior treatment and an advanced three-mode, driver-adjustable stability control system. Early orders will receive GoPro® HD Hero2 Motorsports Edition camera pack upon delivery. Customers interested in Focus ST build and pricing options should visit: http://www.ford.com/cars/focus/focusst/.
Editor-in-Chief's Note: Our "Quick Take" this week has us in a 2012 VW Golf R. Having driven the TDI and GTI versions of this latest generation Golf, I will tell you right up front that this is one of my favorite vehicle packages out there. Superbly executed and well thought-out, I think the world of this latest Golf. And the R version is my clear favorite of all of them. Yes, it is pricey, and yes, the GTI is plenty good for as much as $8-$10,000 less, but for me the R has everything in one outstanding package, with the benefit of all-wheel-drive to boot. Interesting touches and details abound in the R, both outside and inside, including the dual exhaust shooters aimed straight out the back and the remarkably well-executed sport-oriented interior. But the driving dynamics of the Golf R are what really make it special. You know that True Believer enthusiasts were behind this machine the moment you get behind the wheel. Fire it up and drive it away, and your reaction is likely to be, "More, please." The engine is right now responsive and it has a wonderful snarl to go with it. And the steering feel, braking performance and gearbox are all exemplary. I notice some have objected to the fact that the R doesn't come with summer performance tires but I view that as a blessing. This is a well-rounded machine for enthusiasts who understand and appreciate the difference. One you can use and enjoy every day. I love the fact that you don't have to dick around with an option list for the Golf R too. You can just show up, plunk your money down, and have one of the most satisfying enthusiast driving experiences available in the business today. The Ford Focus ST will really have to be something to survive the GTI/R VW sandwich. - PMD
2012 VW Golf R 2-Door, $36,260 (Base Price, $35,490; Carbon Steel Gray Metallic with Titan Black leather interior; 2.0-liter, turbocharged, direct-injected 4-cylinder engine with 256 HP and 243 lb-ft of torque, 4MOTION All-Wheel-Drive, Six-speed manual transmission; 18" alloy wheels with all-season tires; Sunroof; Navigation; Keyless access with push button start - All included; Destination Charge, $770)
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