With all the excitement that the electric cars have generated, it might be easy to assume that this is their year and then overlook the high-performance cars. But this actually shouldn’t be the case as proven by some of the highlights at the Chicago Auto Show this month. Both the latest lithium-ion-powered vehicles as well as some of the most powerful cars got a lot of attention.
At the Chevrolet stand, the Volt made way for the new Camaro ZL1. This is a 550hp version of the reborn “pony car,” which General Motors’ design chief Ed Welburn described as the “the most technically advanced Camaro ever built.” In another stand, Dodge showcased a new, 465hp 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8. In fact, Ralph Gilles, the Dodge brand’s general manager, is one of the first in line for the high-performance sedan.
Mark Reuss, GM’s president of North American operations, has been quoted at several occasions to have said, “Performance is back.” There is plenty of evidence to support this claim.
For example, GM has poured much attention on the Volt but it has delivered considerably more muscle car models over the last year, including a variety of Camaros, and several new versions of the Cadillac V-Series, including the 550-hp CTS-V Coupe, says MSNBC.
It’s also notable that the Chevy Camaro (with an EPA fuel economy rating of 19 MPG in the city and 30 MPG on the highway) was one of the hottest cars of 2010. It even did better than the Ford Mustang -- the first time in 25 years.
And while Ford unveiled new battery-based vehicles (an electric version of its new Focus, and the C-Max Energi, a plug-in hybrid version of its new microvan) at the Detroit Auto Show, it has also been promoting the new 500hp Mustang GT500.