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The Power Wars Recap - 707 hp Challenger, Mid engine Corvette, AWD 300 hp Focus RS and more

Well, I have unfortunately found myself too busy to write once again for the last few weeks. Typically, whenever I don't write for a while (regardless of length) I overlook the period that I missed. Not this time though. Some announcements that were made in the last few weeks are so significant that it would be wrong for a driver's blog to exclude them so here's a quick rundown of what I think are the biggest announcements, starting with the obvious one..




Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat: It blew expectations on many levels. Dodge allowed it to make more hp than the Viper which many said it wouldn't. It allowed it to crest the 700 hp mark, 707 hp on tap to be exact. It comes with a full warranty, looks absolutely menacing and MSRP is just under $60,000, much lower than anyone expected. It's a HEMI. It's supercharged. It makes more than 700 hp and it has a warranty. The rest are just details. Yes, it's not particularly happy at the track but whoever expected it to be was just delusional and it handles great for its size and main purpose. It's a big bruiser and I love it.




Dodge Charger SRT8 Hellcat: Take all the above and turn the awesome factor a few notches, with the same drivetrain and power but double the door count. If only Dodge offered this with a manual..




Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z06: There are huge expectations for this car and I do not expect it to disappoint one bit. The (very pleasantly) surprising detail about it as that, despite making 650 hp which is more hp than the outgoing ZR1 and being expect it to match or beat all performance metrics, base price gets only a slight (relatively) bump to $78,995, keeping it under $80,000. This will put many cars on notice, as did the last Z06 and ZR1.

Mid-engine Corvette: There has been many rumours about mid-engine Corvettes over the years but, according to Motor Trend, this one will stick. A mid-engine Corvette is confirmed and coming so all we have to do is wait. The best thing is, it won't replace the traditional Corvette which will turn the Corvette nameplate into a sub line-up with front and mid engine options. There's something special about front-engine RWD layout in my opinion so I'm very happy that the traditional layout isn't going anywhere. However, a mid-engine layout will give the car much needed traction and stability to compete in the near-1,000 hp class and being a Corvette fan, that's always good. I would imaging there will be at least two models, one to replace the outgoing ZR1 and be one step up from the upcoming C7 Z06 and another to compete with hypercars in the 800-1,000 hp range. I'll certainly be looking forward to more details.

AWD Ford Focus RS: According to many sources, the next Focus RS will finally get an AWD drivetrain and have up to 350 hp. The best part about it is that it is likely to land on this side of the pond. With the next Dart SRT confirmed to be AWD, the Mitsubishi Lancer EVO and Subaru WRX and WRX STi will finally have domestic competition not from one, but two manufacturers (are you listening Chevrolet?). There has already been spy-shots of it testing so details should start rolling out soon.




Dodge Viper SRT: While I think the slow sales are a factor in dropping the price, I wouldn't be surprised at all if it really isn't the main reason. The main reason is probably the announced price of the new Corvette Z06. I really hope they aren't concerned about the slow sales and the future of the Viper isn't in jeopardy. I know if I had a $100k to spend on a car, I wouldn't easily go to the Z06 simply because the undeniable attitude of the Viper (and it isn't like the Viper is slow by any stretch of the imagination). If I had $200k to spend, I wouldn't hesitate about buying one of each.

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