The News for July 4th, 2014

2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Welcome to the Hooniverse News! As always, this is a weekly recap of some of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. I just throw in a little opinion of mine because I can. In honor of American Independence Day, it’s a quick and predominantly American news roundup. To our American readers, enjoy the day however you can. To our friends elsewhere, uhh, happy Friday! This week:

  • Dodge Challenger Hellcat is now America’s most powerful mainstream car

  • Saleen teases all-new 2015 S302 Mustang

  • Ford to offer diesel power in the 2015 Focus ST

  • Mazda confirms when we get to see the all-new 2016 MX-5 Miata

Dodge Challenger Hellcat, the most powerful muscle car ever

2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Supercharged How else would I start a 4th of July edition of The News? Not with three-cylinder diesel plug-in hybrids or recalls, but rather a supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi Hellcat V8. The latter is the rapidly beating heart of the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat which was first announced several weeks ago with a parade of bald eagles and B-52 flyovers. Back then we were told that its new engine would be capable of “600+” horsepower, which this week learned to be a massive understatement. The official power output of the Hellcat’s supercharged V8 has been rated at 707 horsepower and 650 lb.-ft. of torque, Chrysler’s most powerful V8 ever which makes the Hellcat the most powerful production Challenger ever and “the most powerful muscle car ever”. I’m willing to believe that. To put that into perspective, the Dodge SRT Dodge Viper can’t even touch 707 horsepower. Neither can the new Corvette Z06 or the Shelby GT500. Even the Lamborghini Aventador makes a handful less than the Challenger SRT Hellcat. hellcat2 The power this Hellcat makes is so monstrous that Dodge isn’t willing to trust just anyone with it, which is why the Hellcat will ship with two different keys – one black and one red. The black key will restrict the Hellcat motor to just 500 horsepower while the red key will unleash the car’s full smoky burnout potential. For future owners, I suggest that the black key should be the one you keep within easy reach of your family; guard the red key like the Coca-Cola recipe. The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is launching with the freshly updated 2015 Challenger family and includes the all-new interior packed with new technology, available eight-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission (six-speed manual is still standard), and the updated exterior styling which is of course has been further tinkered with on the Hellcat. Pricing will be available closer to the Hellcat’s launch. Expect to see what may be America’s most ‘Murican car start rolling off its Canadian assembly line sometime in Q3 of this year. [News Source: Dodge | Image Source: Autoblog because Chrysler’s media site hates me]

Saleen Mustang S302 teased

saleenMustang Continuing the American muscle car theme this week is a Ford tuning house that we haven’t heard from in a while. Saleen has released a few words and a glorious teaser image of the all-new 2015 Saleen S302 Mustang, a new “legendary muscle car” of their own. Since the 2015 Mustang represents the most significant change to the Mustang since 2005, Saleen felt it appropriate to push their limits in design and performance with their newest model. What exactly that means remains to be seen. In fact, we really don’t know any more about the car than that it’s going to exist and that Saleen wants it to be the “next American exotic”. I’ll be sure to keep my eyes open for more info as it comes down the pipeline. For now though, just know that something epic (I hope) is coming… [Source: Saleen]

Ford to introduce diesel Focus ST

2015FocusST_06_HR Moving on from American V8 power to American diesel power, the Ford Focus ST will soon be available as an oil-burner according to a press release which for some reason is different than what I received last week when I first talked about the 2015 ST at Goodwood… must be my foreign last name or something. Either way, Ford revealed the Focus ST diesel [insert joke about acronyms for ST diesel and sexually transmitted diseases here] at last weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed and will surely speed into the hearts of enthusiasts in a puff of black smoke. The Focus ST diesel will share all the same underpinnings as the updated petrol-driven Focus ST which Ford also revealed at Goodwood. That means this diesel ST will take advantage of the freshly-updated exterior and interior design, its re-tuned sport suspension and steering, and re-calibrated chassis control technology while being offered alongside the petrol model to give buyers a very interesting and difficult choice. Ford’s first diesel Focus ST will utilize a 2.0-liter TDCi motor capable of 182 horsepower and more importantly 295 lb.-ft. of torque. Those pinning for a manual diesel will be happy to know that, like the petrol ST, the diesel ST is offered exclusively with a short-throw six-speed manual. Some important numbers are its top speed at 135 mph, 0-62 mph in 8.1 seconds, 50-75 mph in 9.7 seconds when you’re too lazy to shift out of sixth gear, and on top of it all it’s rated at 64 mpg (probably by Europe’s tests) which makes the diesel ST Ford’s most efficient performance car in company history. No word on pricing or launch dates yet so you still have time to figure out which engine you want in your ST. [Source: Ford]

Next generation Mazda MX-5 Miata announced

miataparty No more American car news for this week, but don’t worry, because Miata. Mazda has confirmed that the all-new 2016 MX-5 Maita will be revealed to the world on September 3rd, 2014. That day will surely be one to remember as the fourth generation MX-5 Miata will be revealed simultaneously on three continents: at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in America, somewhere in Spain, and Japan. To help celebrate the new member and 25 years of the lovable roadster, Mazda will help host this year’s Miatas at Mazda Raceway from September 5-7. The new car will be on display alongside a variety of heritage, concept, and motorsport-derived Miatas. Those who want to take part in the free and open event can register here. You can bet that as soon as we get details on the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata I’m practically dedicating that week’s edition of The News to it. Hopefully everyone will be cool with it… [Source: Mazda | Glorious Image Source: Autoweek]

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