May has been a big month for American automakers. We have seen the arrivals of a redesign and new variant, and some tweaks to some of America’s most American cars, the Chevy Camaro, Dodge Viper, and Ford Mustang. No matter what your flavor of GM, Mopar, or Blue Oval there is something for everyone.
The most anticipated of the three is the unveiling of the all-new Chevy Camaro. While to the untrained eye it looks like nothing new, but, look closer and there are very parts that carry over. The design is sleeker, the body made of aluminum (allowing for 200lbs of weight savings), and the new base engine is a 2.0 turbo 4. That’s right. But this is no case of Chevy trying to keep up with the Joneses, instead, the turbo 4 produces less power than the V6 model at 275 hp and 295lb/ft. A V6 option remains available now producing 335 hp with the SS models borrowing the LT1 out of the Corvette making 455 hp and lb/ft. Six speed manual and eight speed automatic transmissions are available on all models regardless of what engine lies under the hood. A reveal event was held at Belle Isle, Detroit.
In 1999, Dodge first introduced the Viper GTS ACR. ACR stood for “American Racing Club.” The first ACR was the Scuderia or Superleggera version of the Viper only it was out before those Italians came to be. Since then every iteration of the Viper has gotten the ACR treatment. This is the new version. While the original ACR was only saw suspension and brake upgrades with a minor increase of power, the SRT10 version has taken on more of a race car for the road approach with a big wing and race inspires graphics. The new version has evolved from that. It too features a massive, adjustable rear wing, an extendable front splitter with complimentary dive planes, a rear diffuser, and of course the stripes. The new ACR also sees suspension and brake upgrades like before now coming standard with carbon ceramic brakes. Power only jumps to 645 hp, up from 640 hp, but, extra care has been taken to save weight. The stereo has a generous three speakers, the seats are manually operated instead of electric, and the carpet has been replaced with one that has a thinner weave. They say less is more. All this can be had for $117,895 but they will all be built to order, meaning the car will truly be your own.
Normally we wouldn’t cover simple trim level upgrades but in this case we felt a bit of nostalgia. You see, Ford is already making changes to the new Mustang. These changes include a pair of optional packages, the Pony Package and a return of the California Special. Thee packages are simply minor aesthetic changes and actually aren’t interested in those. What we are interested in is the turn signals. Yes, you read that right. Back in 1967 Ford offered a Deluxe package for the Mustang which included things like aluminum dash trim, different door panels, and hood mounted turn signals. It was a very popular option and the turn signals made their way over to other muscle car like the Dodge Charger (I even recently bought such a hood for Project Pony Up but more on that later). Ford is bringing these turn signals back. They will be mounted in the current hood scoops and will be standard equipment on the GT.