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  • Driven: 2009 Saleen Dark Horse (1158 views)

    By Winding Road Staff on November 25, 2008 12 a.m.

    For one reason or another, the Winding Road and NextAutos fleet has been graced with a whole lot of Mustangs over the past few months. Whether it be a simple GT, a stock Shelby, or a tuned up Roush, we’ve driven them all. However, nothing seems to compare to our latest Mustang iteration: the Saleen Dark Horse. This car boasts 620 horsepower, 600 pound-feet of torque, and a sub-four-second zero-to-sixty time, making it the baddest Mustang we’ve driven to date. Still, with a limited production run of only twenty-five cars, the Dark Horse will only be experienced by a select ...

  • Driven: 2009 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Supercharged (564 views)

    By Winding Road Staff on November 18, 2008 12 a.m.

    The Range Rover Sport is a vehicle that can go anywhere, do anything, and look trendy in the process. No, it’s not going to win any awards in within the Green crowd, but for the consumers who actually pay out for one of these (especially in Supercharged trim), it won’t matter. In our week with the Range Rover Sport, we found it to have more than ample performance, relatively good handling (for an SUV), and a pretty luxurious interior.

  • List: Top Ten 300 Horsepower Cars for Under $10,000 (73957 views)

    By Seyth Miersma on November 16, 2008 12 a.m.

    Not so many years ago, cars that produced 300 horsepower or more were considered rather rare and desirable things. Generally only the top tier of sports car or the very most posh boulevardiers had engines that could muster such prodigious output, and the price tags of the vehicles reflected it.

  • Driven: 2009 Toyota Venza (1035 views)

    By Tom Martin on November 03, 2008 12 a.m.

    When any manufacturer, but particularly an industry titan like Toyota, rolls out a new vehicle that they say is “in a new class”, well, the hairs on any journalist’s neck stand up a bit. That was certainly the case as we listened to Toyota’s executives and engineers roll out the new Venza. But after a couple of days of driving it, talking to Toyota about it, and reviewing the data, we think they have a point. It’s a subtle point, but a point nonetheless.

  • Driven: 2009 Roush Stage 3 BlackJack (780 views)

    By Steven J. Ewing on October 23, 2008 12 a.m.

    Since the dawn of the Shelby GT500 in 2007, the exclusive, supercharged Mustang experience is no longer just for the dedicated enthusiasts willing to shell out some extra cash to aftermarket performance manufacturers. Ford now offers 500 horsepower right from the factory, and with the Shelby’s starting price of around $43,000, some enthusiasts might find it hard to justify shelling out $56,000 for a Roush BlackJack—a special edition of the company’s Stage 3 treatment limited to just 100 cars for 2009. But for those who aren’t battling in a horsepower war, we think the Roush offers a bolder appearance and ...

  • List: Ten Cars That Looked Better Before Their Makeovers (3085 views)

    By Steven J. Ewing on October 22, 2008 12 a.m.

    Most of the time, when an automaker completely overhauls one of their models, it's a good step forward for not only the car, but for the brand it represents. However, there are other times where the design teams make some questionable decisions and the new products end up looking worse than their predecessors.

  • Driven: 2009 Mazda RX-8 GT (1595 views)

    By Winding Road Staff on October 21, 2008 12 a.m.

    The Mazda RX-8 continues to have us puzzled as to why more of these aren’t on the road. No, the rotary engine isn’t four-season friendly, and neither is the car’s rear-wheel-drive, but when the weather is right, the RX-8 really shines. For 2009, a re-worked exterior sports a slightly more aggressive fascia, and while our Grand Touring model doesn’t have all of the beefy visual add-ons found on the R3 (a new model for ’09), we still had a lot of fun throwing this Mazda into bends and revving the twin-rotor engine way up past 8000 rpm.

  • Driven: 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR (529 views)

    By Winding Road Staff on October 20, 2008 12 a.m.

    Over the past couple of years, we’ve noticed a trend that more and more performance cars are steering away from traditional manual transmissions in favor of high-tech dual-clutch setups. For 2008, the top-dollar Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR features a six-speed paddle-shift transmission, and while some of us would rather have a stick and a third pedal, there’s no denying that this tranny is really, really good. Still, at nearly $41,000, some of us would rather just stick with the softer Evo GSR, which has the same performance specs but at a lower cost.

  • Driven: 2009 Volkswagen Routan (942 views)

    By Tom Martin on October 06, 2008 12 a.m.

    Badge engineering. This is the common practice in the automotive industry of taking a vehicle designed for one brand, and tweaking to work for another. But is this a good thing or a bad thing? We all know examples of the Chevy that is also a Pontiac or a Ford that is also a Mercury with little but trim differences. That cynical approach to marketing has led to a tarnished reputation for badge-engineering, among the pundits at least. The term even sounds pejorative.

  • Driven: 2009 Hummer H3 (1364 views)

    By Winding Road Staff on October 02, 2008 12 a.m.

    The Hummer H3 is an interesting vehicle to drive in light of our nation’s fuel crisis. Off-road enthusiasts and Hummer loyalists appreciate the H3’s off-road capability and style, but the H3 is becoming tougher and tougher to see to new consumers and the automotive press alike. Our test car’s sticker price is just a notch below the $40,000 mark, and while that might seem like a bargain to some, we’d search elsewhere for our SUV needs.