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The Hamilton Spectator - - WHEELS -

Tak­ing on all Chal­lengers: One­up­ping the mighty 707-horse­power Dodge Chal­lenger Hell­cat prob­a­bly seemed im­pos­si­ble, but there is another Chal­lenger. Lit­er­ally. The new De­mon uses a sim­i­lar su­per­charged 6.2-litre V-8, but with 840 horse­power and 770 pound-feet of torque (on 100-oc­tane rac­ing fuel). The in­ter­nal com­po­nents have been strength­ened to ac­com­mo­date the ex­tra grunt, while a larger su­per­charger pro­duces ad­di­tional boost. A “Power Chiller” also di­rects cool air from the air con­di­tion­ing sys­tem to help re­duce the power-rob­bing heat soak that oc­curs be­tween runs down the track. The De­mon loses, among other things, the front pas­sen­ger seat and rear bench, for a near-100-kilo­gram weight re­duc­tion (to about 1,950 kilo­grams). Zero-to-60-mph (96 km-h) takes 2.3 sec­onds and a quar­ter-mile time is 9.65 sec­onds at 140 mph (225 km-h). Ex­pect a $100,000 price tag when the lim­ited-pro­duc­tion (300 cars for Canada) car ar­rives this sum­mer. And yes, it’s cov­ered by fac­tory war­ranty.

Ru­mours of a four-door Corvette:

For Covette purists, the idea of their favourite car mor­ph­ing into a four­door hatch­back is heresy. How­ever The Sleuth’s sources claim that cer­tain Chevro­let big­gies are con­vinced that ex­tend­ing the Corvette brand to in­clude four seats is a vi­able way to in­crease in­ter­est and sales. They point to Porsche’s suc­cess with with the Panam­era (in spirit, a four-door 911 model) and the planned Mercedes-AMG GT four-door. So long as the Corvette sticks with a front-en­gine model, (a sep­a­rate mid-en­gine ver­sion is ru­moured) the pos­si­bil­ity looms large for a fu­ture sedan or even a wagon

What’s a Qashqai?: The Sleuth re­cently chat­ted with a se­nior Nis­san ex­ec­u­tive about the new Rogue Sport, or more specif­i­cally that the ve­hi­cle will be named Qashqai (pro­nounced Cash-kye) in Canada. The U.S. exec, who was for­merly based in Canada, was adamant in a pre­vi­ous dis­cus­sion that Cana­di­ans would ap­pre­ci­ate the Qashqai name be­cause it’s also used in Europe, and Cana­di­ans have a strong kin­ship with Europe. Now that the exec is based state­side, he seems less sure about that kin­ship. The Sleuth thinks that Cana­di­ans have a stronger con­nec­tion to the United States and that the Qashqai name means very lit­tle. Not to men­tion that if the name was Roque Sport in both coun­tries, the Cana­dian mar­ket, which watches Amer­i­can TV, could re­ceive many spin-off mar­ket­ing ben­e­fits.

Honda’s hot ones re­vealed: The Civic Si in both coupe and sedan body styles will ar­rive in dealer show­rooms by early June. Each comes with a tur­bocharged 1.5-litre four-cylin­der with 205 horse­power and 192 pound-feet of torque. That’s the same num­ber of horses as the pre­vi­ous Si, but torque has lit­er­ally been boosted by 18 pound-feet. The Civic Type R will ar­rive a few months later with a 306-horse­power 2.0-litre four-cylin­der (295 pound-feet of torque). Both the Si and Type R use six-speed man­ual trans­mis­sions to di­rect power to the front wheels. A unique nose graces the two mod­els, but the Type R’s rear spoiler is more ag­gres­sive.


There is al­ways risk in mar­ket­ing, but nam­ing the Rogue Sport the Qashqai in Canada seems like an un­nec­es­sary one.


The De­mon comes with spe­cial drag-rac­ing tires and no front pas­sen­ger seat. Buy­ers can add that back in.


Fans won’t have long to wait for the Civic Si, with the Type-R model fol­low­ing soon af­ter.

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