Cory Rai righ Composition 1 10-4-02 page 1 A New Family of Sports cars – Modern Horsepower Can you remember back to the days of the sixties and early seventies, when cars were purely about performance and horsepower? Lately in America, we seem to be experiencing some form of deja vu with some models of cars being produced. Within the past ten to twelve years, we are entering the fourth major car trend. The first big car craze started way back in the fifties, with consumer appeal, or looks, being the main focus of manufacturers. Chevrolet had the Bel air and the 210 models with their rounded design, and beginning fins. They also brought on the fin less Corvette in the late fifties. From the Ford side of things, the Fairlane, and the famous T-bird with its futuristic looks.
Now that we ” ve had that little history lesson, I’ll get to my main focus and objective here, along with a couple more history pieces. I was sitting there thinking about cars, and suddenly I realized that the automotive industry is making another major change. In the first era, the previously described fifties, the main goal was to have an elegant and classy look to the cars. The cars of this era were round, low to the ground, developed ever-growing fins, and had luxury-based interiors. Later, as the late fifties turned into the early sixties, several car companies, lead by General Motors, decided it would be a good idea to start putting engines with eight cylinders into their vehicles. This was the beginning stage of what came to be known as the muscle car era.
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it almost seemed as if there was some kind of competition to see how big of a motor they could put inside of a car. First, General Motors introduced the 283-cubic inch V-8, which would be built upon for years to come. Shortly after the 283, Ford beat it by six cubic inches, with the dawn of the short-lived 289, which was first found in the 65 Mustang. At about this time is when the muscle car era actually started. Companies started getting the idea to integrate horsepower into their whole big engine scheme. This was prevalent in the cars of the mid to late sixties, when Ford took the next step in engine development in creating the now famous 5.
0 liter 302. several versions of mustangs included more and less tuned up versions of this engine such as the Boss 302, and the Bull it. The GT model of the mustang kept this engine all the way up until 1996. Performance on this engine was rated in the neighborhood of 250 horsepower.
Of course, general motors was not to be outdone though, bringing out the 305, 5. 0 liter engine in different versions of the Chevy Camaro, and the Pontiac Firebird. G. M.’s engine boosted the power up to about 285 horses, so now they were in the lead. As the engine and power battle went on for a while, Chrysler decided that it also wanted in on the now booming muscle car market.
After a little bit of trial and error, Chrysler produced an engine that would change the rest of the musclecar future. This monster was called the hemi, which referred to the shape of it, hemispherical. The 426 hemi was quite possibly the best and most impact ful powerplant ever created. It somehow generated an amazing 450 horses from those 426 cubic inches. This special engine was offered in a special version of the Dodge Dart, rightly named the Dart hemi, and also Plymouth Roadrunner and Cuda.
Now I wont bore you with the rest of the play-by-play on the new engines and horsepower, because its really not important now that you have the general idea. This beautiful competition went on and on, sparking more different engines than you can shake a stick at, all the way up until GM took the final sportscar lead for this era sometime in the early seventies with a 454 cubic inch, 460 horsepower engine strategically placed in select models of the corvette and chevelle, and Pontiac’s 455 H. O. (high output) in special Firebird Trans Ams and the GTO Judge. The closest Ford ever came was in this era its 427, which was quite an attempt, but only put out around 370 horses.
... tubular frame work mounted on a one-horsepower, one cylinder engine. The engine was a refined version of the four stroke ... incorporated some qualities that our cars have today: electric ignition, mechanical valves, carburetor, engine cooling system, oil and grease ... Each designing and building the worlds first commercially successful cars. Both engineers working only seventy-five miles apart. Benz ...
Unfortunately, in the seventies, strict emissions regulations, along with rising gasoline prices brought an abrupt end to this era of mean machines and rubber vaporizers. This brought rise to a new kind of automobile, one created not for power or performance, but for economy and gas mileage. In this era, sometimes referred to as the economy era, cars started getting smaller and smaller, and as a consequence, so did engines and power. Im not saying that all cars transformed to fit this era, because there were still a few exceptions, like the Mustang GT, and the Camaro Z 28.
The vast majority of the cars switched over though. The regular models of the Mustang and Camaro used to have a V-8 in them, but Camaro switched to a base of a V-6, and Mustang went even lower, putting in a four cylinder. This was also the time when a whole bunch of completely new models were invented to become part of the new economy class. In 1973, the first Honda Civic was introduced, which would become very popular in America. This oversized go-kart featured a 1. 6 liter four cylinder engine delivering a whole 63 horsepower to not the rear, but front wheels.
This was another major change with this era. pretty much all of the cars from the muscle car era were rear wheel drive, to make for better performance. Since performance was not the objective of this new time period, the vast majority ended up switching the drive train to the front for economical purposes. front wheel drive cars can handle better in the snow, and help get better gas mileage by minimizing drivetrain distance.
... fuel tank to supply gasoline to its engine. Gas-powered cars dominate the streets in this era. They are well-liked by the public ... is maintained. It consists of a gasoline engine smaller than those of gas-powered cars. The engine uses advanced technologies to reduce emissions and ... , the mileage would increase- a hybrid car can go 20 km or more to a liter. Second, it is more environmentally friendly ...
Of course though, as with anything, there were a few exceptions such as the once again mentioned Mustang and Camaro. Most of the cars now produced, however, were small, with small engines and front wheel drive. Some examples of these compacts are: the Volkswagen Rabbit, the American Motors Hornet, the Mazda RX-2 and RX-3, the Ford Pinto, and The Chevy Citation. Along with these emissions controls, there was also a ban on using lead as an octane booster in gasoline, which made gas prices even higher.
This created even more fuel efficient cars, and even brought up the idea of some of the things we see today, like the electric, and fuel cell cars. Another discovery that was made was that manual transmissions helped increase gas mileage, so most of these compacts became sticks. As this progressed into the early eighties, car manufacturers must have realized that this would be around for a while, because about fifty new models of economy cars hit production. This compact era also seemed to be just the thing that the japanese companies were looking for, because they hopped on it like a hobo on a ham sandwich. Honda came out with many versions of the Civic, and also added the accord which had a slightly larger 1. 8 liter flat four cylinder engine producing 74 horsepower.
Mazda came out with the Proteg’e, which was a mix between economy and luxury, with a 2. 0 liter four cylinder, and about 100 horses. toyota invented all kinds of different things such as the Camry, Corolla, and Tercel. Of course the American cars still lead the way in sales though. Ford produced several versions of what they called the Escort, along with a Pinto and a Festiva. GM operated through Chevy, with the Chevrette, the Citation, and the first economy pickup truck, the Luv.
They also Came up with a new make, Called Geo, which had the Metro and the Storm. Chrysler had the Plymouth Horizon, which strangely resembled the Escort, and the dodge Omni, which strangely resembled the Plymouth Horizon. Now, by this point, you may know everything and more that you ever wanted to know about the history of automobiles, and may even be asking yourself where my point is in this whole thing, and what this paper has had to do with the title so far. Well, the correct answer to that question would be not very much as to this point, but here is where my big history of cars lesson starts to turn into my “Whats Happening” topic. Meanwhile, back in the car industry, gas prices started to drop and level out, as this new thing settled in. By this time, we are in the late eighties, approaching the nineties, and it seems that car companies started to realize that the gas prices were going down, and we didn’t need a whole bunch of this economy, good gas mileage stuff.
... the engine to operate in its narrow range of speeds while providing a wide range of output speeds. Without a transmission, cars would ... , some cars have a mechanism that locks up the torque converter so that the output of the engine goes straight to the transmission ... . In this transmission, when overdrive is engaged, a shaft ...
By the time the early to mid-nineties came around, we were well on our way to a new era of car. it started of subtle, with things like the Toyota Supra, moving up only to a V-6, but a high-tech, high-output V-6, with the same manual transmission. The stick shift just seemed to drift perfectly from the previous era right into this one, because race cars are also manual, and are much faster when in the hands of a skilled driver. As time progressed, more and more sports cars were going back on the market, but in new forms. Most of these arent exactly muscle cars, but they are a modern imitation. There are two main categories, the tuners, or rice burners, as some people like to call them due to the fact that most of them are of oriental descent, and the modern muscle.
The concept of the tuners is to have an affordable car that gives you a taste of the performance of a mild sportscar. these can be and often are, however, modified to the going of blowing away muscle cars, and a few of the more expensive ones can do that right out of the factory. some examples of the tuner class are the Honda CRX si, which is a mild sports car with a 1. 6 liter engine. also by Honda, the s 2000, which will blow away quite a few V-8 s with its 2.
4 liter, 240 horsepower four cylinder engine. Toyota has the Supra turbo, and Twin turbo models, which are quite fast. Nissan has the 300 ZX, which has a twin-turbocharged 3. 0 liter V-6, and close to 300 horses. Of course, there are a few American tuners also. Ford made the Focus SVT, which puts out around 165 horses from its flat four.
GM made the Chevy Cavalier Z 24, with a 2. 4 liter inline four and about 145 horsepower. Chrysler, however, has the lead in the american tuners, with the Dodge Neon SRT-4. This neon on steroids has a turbocharged 2.
4 liter DOHC (dual overhead cams) inline four that cranks out 225 horsepower, and 250 ft. /lbs. of torque. Now this finally brings us to the last class, and the topic of the paper, the modern muscle. The big start of these, and probably still the best, was when Chrysler dreamed up and produced the Dodge Viper in 1996. This was, and still is an amazing piece of machinery.
... are just a couple domestic cars getting over 100 horsepower per litre and they have larger engines then most imports.A Pontiac Solice ... . But from the beginning the race was over, the American muscle car once again leaving the Rice-Rocket sucking its exhaust. This ... pavement, the eight cylinders power the 4000 pounds of Detroit muscle down the track. Beside it, the much lighter Japanese Rice ...
it features an 8. 0 liter V-10 that delivers 450 horsepower to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission. The viper remains the only american sports car that has never created a model with an automatic transmission. There were several different versions of this produced also, and one of them remains the fastest production car made to this day. This version was called the Venom 800. It had the base viper engine slightly tuned up, but the main difference was twin-turbochargers and intercooler’s.
This monster put out 833 horsepower, and 925 ft. /lbs. of torque. With sticky tires, it was capable of rocketing from zero to sixty in just 2. 43 seconds, and run the quarter mile in 9. 99.
Although never actually tested, the top speed was estimated to be around 240 miles per hour. Dodge also had another sportscar in the Stealth TT, which stands for twin turbo. Ford also has a few examples of modern muscle in the mustang GT, and Cobra. They also have a special one that was inspired by Chrysler.
They brought back the thunderbird in 2002, and actually went retro with it. it was designed to look like a futuristic version of the 1956 Thunderbird of long ago. Under the hood however, its very up to date as an already efficient powertrain gets a boost in acceleration performance, with a 280-HP, 32-Valve DOHC engine, and four wheel independent SLA suspension. The optional Select Shift transmission allows for gear changes like a manual transmission without a clutch. The 32-valve 3. 9 L V 8 has the free-breathing, high-output characteristics of four valves per cylinder, plus dual overhead camshaft design.
This car can also go from a hardtop to a convertible with the touch of a button, to completely change the look. GM seemed to catch on to the whole sportscar thing a little bit faster though, and produced a slew of them. There is the many Versions of the Chevy Camaro, a few versions of the Pontiac Firebird, the Corvette, and the Impala SS, and then GM’s retro car. Pontiac is bringing back the GTO in 2004, and it is going to be meaner than ever. it looks almost like a beefed up 2004 Grand Prix, but its far from it.
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Powering the GTO is a specially tuned LS 1 5. 7 liter 350 cubic inch aluminum block engine. This is the same engine code as used in the Corvette. The horsepower rating differs a tiny bit depending on where you read it. Factory estimated 340 horses measured at 5200 rpm. Some sources say it is 350 horsepower.
The engine has 360 lb-ft of torque measured at 4000 rpm. The formidable power is mated to either an electronically controlled Hydra-Matic 4 L 60 4-speed automatic transmission or a 6-speed close ratio transmission. The 2004 Pontiac GTO has a fully independent rear wheel drive suspension and limited slip differential providing a solid, well balanced driving experience. Last but definately not least, the one who inspired all of the retro cars, Chrysler. They hit the hardest with the Viper, but that wasn’t the first thing they did. Three years after the Viper, 1993, Chrysler created the first retro car under its Plymouth name.
It was called the Prowler. The Prowler was designed to look like an old roadster with a futuristic twist. Prowler has a 3. 5 liter high-output SOHC 24-valve aluminum V 6 – and for a lot of sound reasons: Packaging of people and roadability being the main ones. But this free-revving 60-degree design cranks out enough power (253 horsepower at 6, 400 rpm) and get up and go (255 pound-feet of torque at 3, 950 RPM) to get anybody’s attention.
It has an aluminum block with a forged steel crank bedded in the four main bearings. The heads and pistons are aluminum. It’s been dressed-up, and heated up slightly a less restrictive air cleaner, cast stainless steel exhaust manifolds that make tube-type headers look primitive, and EFI linear cam throttle body for surprisingly quick, crisp response, so stay awake. This baby is also very high tech for looking like something from the thirties. you should keep your eyes on the rev counter because when you make use of the AutoStick feature of the four-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission and forget to upshift, an engine management system shuts down the fuel supply at 6600 RPM. You will notice the transition.
You see this is the one automatic we install that doesn’t have a mandatory upshift built in. You select a gear in AutoStick (r) mode, you shift it up or down as you desire. They were discontinued in 2003 though, to help speed up the innovation of Chrysler newest creation, the Crossfire. This looks kind of like a cross between the Prowler and the PT Cruiser, and has a 240 horsepower supercharged V-6, rear wheel drive, and a six speed manual gearbox. With all these new sports cars and retro muscle cars coming back out, it makes me wonder what we will be seeing in the near future, and what the next era of cars may be. Now that Chrysler has brought back the hemi, I am sure they will be dying to drop it into something besides a truck.
Will we have a retro car era next? Or maybe even a supercar era? There is really no way to know, we ” ll just have to wait and see. Until then, we can check out all the sports cars coming out now, and make some speculations. I say we are heading into the retro cars with modern muscle, but thats just my opinion.