By Don Armstrong
Main-stream automakers have been turning out performance vehicles since the 60’s but today’s factory racers are hotter than ever. Here are a couple examples that should get your blood pumping just looking at them.
Ford F-150 Raptor
The Baja 1000 is one example of extreme off-road racing and is where Ford’s F-150 Raptor was developed.
Power comes from a twin turbo, 450-horsepower V-6 engine. No, not a V-8. A new 10-speed automatic transmission handles the gear changes to its computer-controller 4-wheel/all-wheel drive system – when the tires are on terra firma. Controlling the Raptor’s rough and tumble suspension are Fox Racing shocks at all four corners, also adjusted electronically. Because of the extensive power and traction, tires tend to rotate on the wheels, so Ford has optional bead-lock rims available.
The interior gets special body-hugging seating, with Raptor Easter eggs throughout the cabin – in case you needed to be reminded that you are not in grampa’s old grocery getter.
The minute you climb up, strap-in, hit the ignition and put it in gear, you know you are in something like no other. The ride is solid and takes on big city potholes like they don’t exist. The power curve and transmission shifts are confidence-building adrenaline rushes.
Pricing starts at $53,205
Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack 392
It’s not the Hellcat, with 707 supercharged horsepower, but it does have 485-horses and it’s not nearly as expensive – $38,995. That’s $20,000 less than the Hellcat.
The naturally aspirated R/T Challenger 392 Scat pack comes with many of the same “bad boy” body cues as its more powerful Hellcat brother. And let’s face it, that’s just as important as horsepower. You know – walk-the-walk.
What really draws our attention is the options list. With no fewer than 11 colors, a Wide Body variation, choice of manual or automatic transmissions, myriad of graphics, wheels, tires, spoiler and more, so creating a Challenger 392 Scat Pack that is unique to you is a cinch.
The Uconnect Infotainment system is simply the best on the market and the “Performance Pages” within will have you selling your PlayStation.
Some may dismiss this car as an old heavy weight, but there is something to be said about feeling safe in this rocket ship. Owning a Scat Pack will not only satisfy your need for speed but will tell everyone else, “get out of my way.”