By Lawrence UlrichPosted 05.29.2012 at 10:08 am 18 Comments
Detroit automakers have recently been locked in a competition straight out of the 1960s: a race to create the fastest and most powerful muscle car. This summer, Ford takes the lead with the 650-horsepower Mustang Shelby GT 500. To break the 200mph mark, engineers departed from the muscle-car tradition of throwing a truck engine under the hood and calling it a day. Instead they redesigned the engine with lightweight materials, refined the car’s aerodynamics, and installed driver-assistance systems that allow anyone to drive the Shelby as it’s designed to be driven—aggressively.
Car designers accidentally make themselves useful.
By Stephan WilkinsonPosted 03.29.2004 at 7:47 pm 0 Comments
When Chrysler stylists put a basket-handle "sport bar" atop the new PT Cruiser four-seat convertible, they intended no more serious duty for the hydroformed steel hoop than to add some stiffening and keep the car from looking like a rolling claw-foot tub. It was a cute but basically nonfunctional styling item--never intended to be a roll bar and not part of the convertible-top mechanism.