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  • List: Five Cars that Should/Could Be Better with New Parents (369 views)

    By Seyth Miersma on December 08, 2008 12 a.m.

    With great cars sometimes being products of an inspired idea, a singular vision, or a focused effort from a few dedicated people, it’s far too often that we see mismanagement or a loss of focus dim an otherwise bright star. For those vehicles (or sometimes whole brands) we can’t help but imagine what they would be like under more synergistic management conditions.

  • Driven: 2009 Ford Focus SES Coupe (1172 views)

    By Winding Road Staff on December 05, 2008 12 a.m.

    While the second-generation Ford Focus debuted last year, FoMoCo has gone and given the car some tasteful updates for the 2009 model year. A revised front end, larger wheels, and some minor chassis tweaks are enough to make this new Focus a bit better than last year’s car, though it might struggle when faced with the best of the import competition. Still, we were pretty pleased with our Focus’ behavior during its two-week stay in our test fleet.

  • List: The Five Most Muscular Cars You Can Buy (700 views)

    By Seyth Miersma on December 03, 2008 12 a.m.

    When it comes to getting customers interested in a vehicle of a performance oriented nature, one of the sexiest numbers an automaker has at its disposal is the horsepower figure. The other end of the power equation, that deliciously shadowed figure measured in foot-pounds, is too often obscured. So when engines like the free-revving unit in BMW’s M5 (for instance) make eye-popping 500 horsepower numbers, we tend to forget that their smaller displacement, frenetic characters also mean that torque (383 pound-feet in the M’s case) is in shorter supply.

  • Driven: 2009 Saleen Dark Horse (1160 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 (565 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 (74015 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 (1037 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 (804 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 (3092 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 (1601 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.