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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Best in Show

In 1936, Eleanor Roosevelt said, ‘America is all about speed. Hot, nasty, badass speed.’ While this quote remains dubious, it did appear in the 2006 film ‘Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.’ So, as far as I’m concerned, it’s perfectly legitimate.

The American muscle car is built to accelerate, with absolutely no regard for fuel efficiency and handling, and that’s just the way we like them.

Two concept cars match up to the American ideal: the Ford Interceptor, and the Lincoln MKR.

The Ford Interceptor seems to be the replacement for the Crown Victoria, and could very well replace the Dodge Charger as America’s police automobile of the future.

Built on the Mustang platform a 400 hp, 5.0 liter V-8 Cammer engine is capable of running on E-85 ethanol. It’s a rear wheel drive with sleek 1960’s style windows.

The Lincoln MKR interior is about the size of a bowling alley. With a large interior, it’s reminiscent of Lincoln’s 1950’s models with muscle to spare. Under the hood is a twin turbo direct injection V-6 that runs at about 415 hp. The car, like most new concepts, is being built to run on E-85 ethanol.

Currently the American auto manufacturers are taking a beating from Toyota and Honda. The Japanese car market has just been making better quality sedan. By 2010, these two concepts will help put America back in the fight.

After seeing the great work coming out of Ford Motor Co. with the Lincoln and Ford brands, it was admittedly depressing to walk by the Mercury vehicles.’ Each one could be easily identified as a Ford model derivative, which begs the question: why Mercury?

Moving on to another domestic favorite, the Chevrolet Volt was shown in all its glory.’ When GM VP Frank Lutz first debuted the Volt a few months ago, it sent shockwaves throughout the auto industry. The Volt promises 100mpg as a plug-in hybrid.’ And get this: Chevy wants them on the roads by 2010.’ Caveat: that 2010 date is contingent upon the battery technology being up to snuff, which Lutz says is doubtful.’ The concept was amazing and captivating and beautiful, but the broken promises precluded us from getting too excited.

GM tested the waters this year with three concepts: the Groove, the Beat, and the Trax.’ The Groove is a boxy, Scion xB-esque compact, meant to resonate with the ‘youth.” All three of these concepts are.’ GM was trying to strut its street cred by giving us three concepts, implying that it will pick one to produce.’ We say, fat chance.’ The Beat is more geared as a mild off-roader, though will small wheels like that (15′?), nobody will be doing any offroading in a Beat.’ The styling is all too reminiscent of aesthetically-challenged Dodge Kahuna of years past.’ And the Trax is a traditional sharp-lined compact, the likes of which are popular in Europe and the emerging Chinese market.’ If Chevy’s track record is worth anything, the bland Trax has the best chance of making it to market.

Mazda continued to grab attention at the show with its wild Japanese concepts, one of which will hopefully become a compact SUV slotted below the popular CX-7.’ Kudos to Mazda.

There were a plethora of run-of-the-mill cars at the NYC Auto Show this year, none of which we would bother to bore you with.

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