Making its debut at this year’s British International Auto Show is a vehicle billed as Mexico’s first-ever developed and built sports car. Called the MXT, the vehicle is being produced by Mastretta, a small Mexico City-based automaker. The rear-drive MXT was penned by company co-founder Daniel Mastretta to incorporate an "advanced look with classic stance and character." The small but muscular shape features a variety of functional scoops and vents that are said to provide significant road holding aerodynamic grip, as well as sufficient cooling to the mid-mounted, Ford-sourced 2.0-liter turbo Duratec engine. According to Mastretta, with only 1980 lbs to push around, the 240 horsepower Ford unit propels the MXT to sixty in less than five seconds on to a top speed of 150 mph — fairly respectable numbers for a first time sports car. Key to the car’s slim build is its all-aluminum semi-monocoque chassis featuring double wishbone suspension setups both front and … [Read more...] about Muy Rapido: Mexico’s Mastretta set to debut country’s first sports car
Fulco muy manero
Late-model Challengers are cars of many “est’s.” Sometimes this is a good thing, sometimes not so much. When parked next to a new Camaro or Mustang, the Challenger measures the longest, widest, tallest, and heaviest. No bueno. Nevertheless, with 392 cubic inches and 485 hp on tap, the Scat Pack Challenger upholds traditional muscle car values with the utmost conviction by boasting the biggest and brawniest naturally aspirated motor of the trio. It just happens to be wrapped in the prettiest sheetmetal, too. Muy bueno. The best way to add mas bueno to the formula is by infusing some more spice into the Challenger’s suspension. For the sake of Mopar pride, General Tire (a subsidiary of Continental) and Petty’s Garage teamed up to build the ultimate 2016 Scat Pack Challenger capable of whooping Camaros and Mustangs in battlefields both straight and twisty. At first blush, the brash graphic treatment here may look like a gimmick, but there’s nothing … [Read more...] about When Tires Need Burnin’, Petty’s Challenger Keeps Burnin’!
Car crafters have been hearing the same rehashed speed secret for years: For every 100 pounds you remove, your car will run a tenth quicker in the quarter-mile. But is this adage really true? In past testing we’ve had mixed results–sometimes a 100-pound drop in static weight (such as a steel versus a fiberglass hood) will make the car go two-tenths quicker, while other times it doesn’t seem to make a difference at all. However, racers claim that more important than reducing overall weight is the benefit from reducing rotating weight (like wheels and tires) or reciprocating weight (like rods and pistons). Furthermore, wheels and tires are unsprung weight, which is supposed to make an even greater difference in vehicle performance than sprung weight. As a result, we’ve heard that swapping on a set of lighter-weight wheels and tires not only improves acceleration but reduces stopping distances. We were more interested in dragstrip acceleration, so we tested … [Read more...] about Light vs. Heavy wheels
The inaugural Car Craft Summer Cruise–later to become the Summer Nationals– took place in 1995 at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in St. Paul. It served as proof that street machining is hotter than ever. In addition, it was evident that Car Crafters were going a step beyond the traditional means of hop-up by building radical rigs that are not only quick in the quarter-mile but also deliver great gas mileage and awesome driveability. The St. Paul Nats also proved that street machiners were ready for a change. Although there are dozens of street machine events throughout the United States, the Car Craft staff had been hearing that their readers wanted a new event, in a new location, with new cars that had never been seen. That’s exactly what the St. Paul Summer Nats brought. The number of entries at the event and loads of new, just-built cars in attendance were proof that St. Paul is the new place to be. In ’96, just the second year for the St. Paul Nationals, … [Read more...] about A Brief History of the Car Craft Summer Nationals
Chevy‘s new Malibu is a hit with auto-scribblers. We insiders are all a-quiver over its sleek and spare styling, engine and transmission stats, posh interior trim, and all the other attributes that Chevy’s P.R. machine has PowerPointed at us. But how’s it going to connect with regular folks who don’t live in Detroit or L.A.? Does this one really have what it takes to lure a once-bitten and twice-shy buying public? To find out, we’ll climb aboard this latest media darling and get out of our element. To “see the USA in [our] Chevrolet.” The world has changed a lot since Dinah Shore first warbled that lyric into living rooms on NBC’s “The Dinah Shore Chevy Show” in the late 1950s. Chevy and its domestic rivals took their collective eye off the ball, ceding the mainstream-sedan business to Asia. We’ve been promised durable, competitive, stylish Cam/cord rivals before and been disappointed. To test the Malibu’s mettle … [Read more...] about 2008 Chevrolet Malibu Across America: The 11,306-mile test