The nation's dizzying gasoline prices be damned, judging by what was on display at the recent New York auto show.
The high-performance “tuner” divisions ofMotor Co., Group and Corp. launched multiple-warhead salvos of horsepower-enhanced production models, and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. chimed in with an updated version of its big-power Lancer Evolution.
GM's '06 Cadillac XLR-V roadster appears alongside several SS models from Chevrolet, all fronting horsepower as the drawing card. The XLR-V is Cadillac's third V-Series performance vehicle engineered by the GM Performance Div.
It will hit showrooms later this year with a 440-hp supercharged DOHC 4.4L V-8. The mill is mated to GM's all-new 6L80 6-speed automatic transmission — the first in a RWD configuration.
Chevrolet expands its family of SS performance models, including the first SUV, with the TrailBlazer SS midsize SUV, Malibu SS and Malibu Maxx SS hatchback.
The TrailBlazer SS is powered by 391-hp variant of the Corvette-derived LS2 6L OHV V-8. A 4-speed automatic transmission is standard, along with rear-wheel drive; all-wheel drive is optional.
The pulse for the '06 Malibu SS and Malibu Maxx SS is GM's 240-hp 3.9L VVT (variable valve timing) OHV V-6, which is paired with a 4-speed automatic. Yes, we said "4-speed," not five, six or seven.
's Special Vehicle Team (SVT) returns to the U.S. performance scene in the summer of 2006 with the Mustang-based Shelby Cobra GT500, carrying a supercharged 5.4L V-8, first seen in the low-volume, 385-hp '00 SVT Mustang Cobra R and revised with some engine components from the GT supercar program. Ford initially reports the vehicle is capable of “at least” 450 hp and 450 lb.-ft. (610 Nm) of torque, but promises increases before production.
injects its Jeep brand with Hemi magic in the form of the '06 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-8, powered by the new, high-performance 6.1L Hemi variant. For the Grand Cherokee SRT-8, there's 415 hp and 410 lb.-ft. (558 Nm) of torque. Jeep says it's all good for (apart from slurping gas) 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in less than 5 seconds — enough jump to demolish the Porsche Cayenne Turbo.
Meanwhile, Chrysler's Dodge unit isn't left out of the big-Hemi jackpot: the Street and Racing Technology team introduces the '06 Dodge Charger SRT-8 to join the juiced Grand Cherokee. For the Charger SRT-8, the 6.1L Hemi produces 425 hp and 420 lb.-ft. (569 Nm) of torque.
Jeep also unveils the Commander, the long-awaited Jeep that can seat seven. The Commander is based on the Grand Cherokee platform, and the three powertrain offerings — 3.7L SOHC V-6, 4.7L SOHC V-8 and the 5.7L Hemi V-8 — mirror the Grand.
Rounding out the New York show's performance brigade iswith its new Lancer Evolution IX. The '06 model features a 2L DOHC 16-valve, turbocharged I-4 that develops 286 hp and 289 lb.-ft. (392 Nm) of torque. In addition to engine upgrades, a 6-speed self-shifter comes with the trick MR edition.
Motor America unveils its new flagship-sedan replacement, dubbed Azera.
The '06 model will boast copious standard safety features quickly becoming part of the brand trademark. The third of the seven newmodels debuting in 24 months, the Azera boasts a 3.8L V-6 that produces an estimated 265 hp and 257 lb. ft. (348 Nm) of torque — more than the Ford Five Hundred and Buick LaCrosse.
Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.'s Lexus luxury division unveils its new GS 450h hybrid sedan, which features a 3.5L V-6 to go with its electric motor. Lexus says 0-60 mph happens in less than six seconds, plus combined-cycle fuel efficiency in the high-20 mpg range.
And's Scion brand unveils the t2B (“Tall Two-Box”), an important concept that rides on an all-new platform and boasts a 2.4L 4-cyl. mated to a 4-speed automatic. Scion officials will not say if the concept will be a replacement for an existing Scion or the fourth model in the brand's U.S. lineup.