We’ve just received the sad news that today - 11 May 2012 - Carroll Shelby has passed away at the age of 89 after being hospitalized for pneumonia.
In tribute to one of the undisputed kings of American muscle cars, here is our story from Top Gear magazine published only one month ago, dedicated to a true automotive legend.
(Somehow our photo gallery and description disappeared from our post, which is fine by us…. It gives us a reason to blog the entire thing again.)
When the original Dodge Viper debuted over twenty years ago, it was known for being a beast of a car with a cheap, minimalist interior (watch Jeremy’s review from Top Gear Series 5). Well the new Viper, now by Chrysler’s SRT division and under Fiat ownership, has a new interior that’s being described as downright “luxurious.” Perhaps the new Viper is all grown up:
Well, sort of. There’s still an aircraft carrier-length bonnet atop a massive V10 engine, cab-back driving position and a side-exit exhaust. So far, so enjoyably juvenile. But the latest iteration’s lighter, stiffer, more advanced, easier to drive and also sight more pleasant inside.
There’s a carbon fibre bonnet, roof and boot lid, which has whittled weight down to 1455kg, some 55 kilos lighter than the old car, and a huge 50 per cent stiffer. And there’s an upgraded version of Dodge’s 8.4-litre V10 producing - in basic form - 640bhp and 600lb ft of torque. That makes it the torqueiest naturally aspirated engine to be fitted to a sports car… ever.
But inside is where there’s the biggest surprise - it’s actually luxurious. And not just ‘luxurious for a Viper’ either. The cow peelings are soft and sumptuous, the stereo is by Harman Kardon, the abundance of screens are TFT, there’s not a solitary centimeter of wibbly stitching. There’s also 40mm more headroom and 90mm more legroom. This is a car you could feasibly use every day, not just when you fancy peering over the edge of existence.
Thanks for sharing your favorite cars of 2011 with us the other day. While all of the cars in the TopGear.com roundup were special, for sure, your thoughts on the Audi RS3, Mustang GT500, and Subaru WRX were pretty spot on as well.
Well now that we’re a whole two and a half days into 2012, we might as well take a look at some of the cars TopGear.com is looking forward to in the new year.
The production Pagani Huayra, Porsche 918, Jaguar’s Cayman fighter, and a new Dodge Viper are all slated to see the light of day in the next 363 days. Additionally, we should get deets on the next 4 door Bugatti and the Alfa 4C should make it to the States. Even with all of that, we’re dying to see the next Mustang GT500 which is supposed to break the 200mph barrier.
We’ve selected some choice shots for the photoset above. Want to see the rest of the list? Click through.
Want to share your own favorite? Well isn’t that what the ‘answers enabled’ feature on Tumblr is for?