Top-10 fastest cars made in USA

Tesla.jpg10. Tesla P90D (155 miles per hour)

Yes, the P90D is limited to a top speed of “just”155 miles per hour, just like a full-size SUV from Mercedes. But unlike other cars in the 155 club (a common top speed for limited cars), the P90D has 762 horsepower and can sprint from zero to 60 in an eye-watering 2.8 seconds. Top speed be damned, the P90D is just plain quick.

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ZL1-derful: Chevy Prices Camaro with 650-Horsepower LT4 from $62,135

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The rumors are true: The 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1‘s 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 engine will produce a full 650 horsepower—10 more horsepower than Chevy initially estimated, and equal to what’s found under the hood of the mighty Corvette Z06. So much for hierarchical order, at least for a year until the Corvette ZR1 sets things right with more than 700 horsepower. In spite of the shared horsepower figures, though, Chevy isn’t betting on its most powerful Camaro beating the Z06’s performance figures. No surprise, really, given the Corvette’s role in the lineup and the Camaro’s additional girth, though Chevy claims it took 220 pounds out of the new ZL1. For what it’s worth, our long-term Camaro SS coupe tips the scales at 3718 pounds, or 188 pounds more than the last Z06 coupe we tested with a manual transmission. Regardless, expect the ZL1 to be one mighty quick pony car. Chevrolet estimates that, when it’s equipped with the optional 10-speed automatic transmission, the LT4-powered Camaro ZL1 coupe will reach 60 mph from a standstill in 3.5 seconds and will pass the quarter-mile pole at 127 mph after 11.4 seconds. Meanwhile, Chevy says its sticky tires are expected to help the ZL1 grip the pavement at a maximum of 1.02 g. (Quick note: Such figures are subject to the testing methods and to the diameter of the skidpad used; our own tests usually measure lateral grip on a 300-foot skidpad.) Compared with a Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat with an automatic transmission that we tested two years ago, these manufacturer claims for the ZL1 better what we pulled from FCA’s 707-hp coupe by 0.1 second to 60 mph, as well as 0.3 second and 1 mph in the quarter-mile. Although we’re hesitant to rely on Chevrolet’s maximum grip figure, it’s worth noting that our long-term Camaro SS tops the Hellcat’s maximum skidpad lateral-g rating by 0.06 g. Expect the ZL1 to be even grippier when it goes on sale at the end of the year with a base price of $62,135 for the coupe and $69,135 for the convertible.

 

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If the ZL1 is too scary-quick for your tastes or its price simply exceeds budgetary constraints, then consider the track-ready 1ZL package. Chevrolet is democratizing the package, previously limited to V-8 Camaro SS models, by offering it on both V-6 LT and V-8 1SS Camaros. You’ll need to be willing to shift for yourself, though, as the package is offered on manual-transmission Camaros only. In the case of the V-6, consumers will need to plunk down $4500 for the 1LE package. Doing so brings key Camaro SS suspension components, including its dampers, rear subframe mounts, ball-jointed toe links, and anti-roll bars. Staggered 20-inch wheels wrapped in sticky summer tires, as well as four-piston Brembo front brake calipers, auxiliary coolers for the engine oil and transmission, and a limited-slip differential with its own cooler round out the package. Adding the 1LE kit to the V-8 Camaro 1SS requires that customers fork over $6500. The extra money buys suspension components from the Camaro ZL1 and six-piston Brembo front brake calipers gripping 14.6-inch two-piece rotors, and it still includes the limited-slip diff and auxiliary coolers. Both cars wear trim-specific wheels and bodywork, including a black hood and a three-piece rear wing.

Mid-engine Corvette on sale in early 2019

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The Corvette of our dreams is reportedly coming

General Motors is moving forward with long-rumored plans for a midengine Chevrolet Corvette, marking the biggest engineering change in the venerable sports car since its debut in the 1950s, according to a report.

The Detroit News, citing multiple sources “familiar with the company’s planning,” reported on Thursday that GM plans to begin selling a midengine Corvette in early 2019.

The Corvette, one of GM’s oldest nameplates, continues to attract mostly older buyers, the paper said, and the automaker is eager to switch to a midengine layout to attract younger consumers. Midengined cars typically have a weight advantage over front-engine cars in part because the drivetrain is more compact and placed more centrally in the car, improving handling during high speed driving.

Chevrolet declined to comment on the News report.

Bob Lutz, who retired as head of global product development for GM in 2010, told the News that company management approved plans for a midengine Corvette in 2007 but said the program was scuttled under GM’s government-led bankruptcy in 2009.

The latest plans for a midengine Corvette are being championed by Mark Reuss, GM’s current head of product development, the News said, citing a former GM employee with knowledge of the project.

There have been several reports in Car & Driver and other media outlets over the past two years speculating about revived plans for a midengine Corvette.

While the Corvette has been GM’s premier performance vehicle for decades, a switch to a midengine layout would entail a major overhaul of the current car, the C7. Almost no parts could be carried over because nearly all of the major components on a midengine car would in different locations.

Switching from a front to midengine layout would entail engineering a new chassis, creating a new transaxle — the transmission and axle — to drive the rear wheels, developing new cooling, air conditioning and suspension systems, and designing an all new body.

A midengined Corvette would give GM a true competitor to Ford’s upcoming GT Supercar which is midengined, as well as supercars from Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche.

The biggest challenge for GM would be to keep the car affordable. All midengine supercars have starting prices that top more than $100,000.

Car & Driver previously reported that a midengine Corvette would be priced around $80,000 and would use a version of the current Corvette’s V-8 engine.

If the C8 does move up in price and into a different performance bracket, the void could be filled by the latest generation Camaro ZL1, a high-end variant of GM’s pony car. That car is powered by a 640 hp V-8 engine and a 10-speed automatic transmission, which can reach 60 mph in 3.5 seconds.

Here’s How Many New Chevrolet Corvettes Have Manual Transmissions

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Even as it has embraced modern technologies like direct injection and automatic rev-matched shifts, the Chevrolet Corvette remains firmly old school as one of the few performance cars still available with both a big pushrod V-8 and a manual transmission. Now we know exactly how many Corvette buyers go for this wonderfully archaic combination, thanks to recently released data from Chevrolet. Last week, the National Corvette Museum published a detailed breackdown of 2016-model-year Corvette production, and it revealed that only 9249 of the 40,689 built came with manual transmissions. That works out to be a little under 23 percent of production, which is down by about 10 percent versus 2015’s manual Corvette production.

Interestingly, only 1241 droptop Corvettes were equipped with manuals, of which the Z06 convertible was the most popular, with 590 built. The Z06 coupe was the most popular manual Corvette of all variants, with a total of 3566 built. If these numbers seem rather low, there’s some hope they’ll increase with the 2017 model year. With the enthusiast-targeted Grand Sport finally available and expected to be the most popular variant, it’s likely we’ll see an increase of customers choosing to row their own.

In a perfect world, the take rate for manual Corvettes would be something much closer to 100 percent, but 23 percent isn’t too shabby in today’s environment. The take rate for manual transmissions among all U.S.-market cars typically hovers around five to seven percent, so nearly a quarter of all Corvettes sold is impressive. And as long as it stays high enough for GM to justify keeping the manual in production, we’re happy.

Will Chevy win over VW TDI buyers with a diesel Cruze?

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1.6-liter ‘whipser diesel’ sedan expected in 2017

Chevrolet will go after Volkswagen Diesel’s customers.

“There are a lot of diesel intenders and diesel-loyal people who are looking for a brand and vehicles to go after,” said Dan Nicholson, General Motors’ vice president for global propulsion systems.

“They tend to be more tech savvy than the average customer. And they won’t stop wishing for a diesel. And we’ll go after those customers,” he said on the sidelines of the Center for Automotive Research’s Management Briefing Seminars here.

Chevrolet, Nicholson said, will follow through with its plan to launch a new diesel engine in the Chevrolet Cruze. The car is expected to arrive in 2017 and feature a 1.6-liter diesel that is so quiet engineers call it “whisper diesel.”

Nicholson said he believes the U.S. market for diesel-powered cars and light trucks is still viable, despite Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal. “I think the U.S. is one of the few diesel growth markets on the planet,” he said.

“I am very optimistic about the diesel market in the U.S. It has been abandoned by others and we are happy to step in and be the leader. Frankly that’s what we’d like to do,” he said. 

GM, Nicholson said, is seeing strong demand for the diesel-powered Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups. “We’re selling every one we can make and our sales targets are on track,” he said.

Last month, Hinrich Woebcken, CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, told Automotive News that VW won’t relaunch “clean diesels” as a core element of its brand identity in the U.S., where VW dominated diesel passenger car sales before being consumed by its nearly yearlong emissions-cheating scandal. He said VW would use diesels where they make sense until at least 2019, but then toughening emissions standards would make the fuel-efficient engine extremely difficult to certify for U.S. sale.

Volkswagen halted sales of diesel-powered vehicles last fall after regulators discovered VW used a defeat device to turn off emissions systems during testing. Parent company Volkswagen AG now has set aside nearly $20 billion to pay for legal settlements, fines and vehicle buybacks stemming from the scandal. Criminal investigations are ongoing in the U.S. and Germany.

2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will have 650 hp

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Leaked order guide shows the latest Camaro will actually have Corvette-level power

In a “leaked” order sheet for the 2017 Chevy Camarothe folks at Camaro6 — the sixth-generation Camaro forum — note that the supercharged 6.2-liter V8 found under the Camaro ZL1’s hood will apparently have 650 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque — the same output as the top-dog Corvette Z06.

The V8’s horsepower comes as a surprise since the folks at GM were saying it would get the same treatment as the slightly less-powerful 640-hp CTS-V. The moderately detuned 6.2-liter seemingly only exists to maintain the supremacy of Chevy’s top-tier Corvette.

Aside from the 10 extra ponies, the order sheet also shows some new interesting equipment like a carbon-fiber gas door, carbon-fiber dash inserts and embroidered floor mats — you know, just in case you forgot which model Camaro you bought. You can also splurge for the “50th anniversary” floor mats if that’s more your speed.

The bump in power is cool, but we’re really curious to see how the new 10-speed transmission matches up to the abuse from the now-more-brutal 6.2-liter engine.

If you’re champing at the bit to order your new Camaro, checking out the order form below might feed your need — at least for a little while.

Mid-engine Corvette: What we know; what we expect

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Latest spy photos preview long-rumored mid-engine layout for 2018, report says

Rumors of a mid-engined Corvette date back to the early years of the American sports-car legend — which happens to be celebrating its 63rd birthday today — but several recent developments suggest that we’re closer than ever to a ‘Vette with this layout.

The latest batch of spy photos, snapped from what appears to be the neighboring Wolf 359 system, clearly shows something mid-engined polishing GM’s Milford, Michigan, proving grounds in the company of a C7 Corvette and a Cadillac sedan. The photos purport to show a prototype with a long tail wearing some C7 Corvette body panels, sans the rear glass cover. The visible proportions, of course, suggest that this prototype keeps its engine just ahead of the rear axle, with the glass panel removed during testing to help cool the engine.

The last time anyone not working on that specific GM project saw a mid-engined mule was over a year ago, when a peculiar car with Holden commodore body panels and something in its long trunk was spotted by spy photographers. Even back then, the mule was suspected of testing components for a mid-engined sports car, with the list of candidate nameplates within GM’s lineup being short.

A couple publications have noted that the mystery mid-engined machine could also be a Cadillac, though circumstantial evidence does not favor this possibility. General Motors recently announced a $290 million technology investment for its Bowling Green, Kentucky, Corvette plant aimed at enhancing manufacturing processes. The automaker invested another $439 million last year for a new paint shop at the same facility. This, of course, does not eliminate the possibility that the mystery coupe could spawn a Cadillac version — there is precedent for that — though Cadillac is not believed to be working on a standalone mid-engined coupe that would not be shared with other GM brands. Cadillac’s next performance car, in fact, will be an all-new 2017 presedential limo.

The rumor mill has the next Corvette debuting at the 2018 Detroit auto show, packing an evolution of the current pushrod V8 engine. The C7 Corvette will reach a ripe old age of 5 when it will be replaced by the C8, which is expected to be offered for the 2018 or 2019 model year with a starting price of $80,000.