Road & Track Articles



Pontiac Solstice GXP

A lot of folks waited until the hot-engine GXP came out to put down a deposit on a Solstice, and it was a hard wait. The base Solstice looks so good it’s nearly too entertaining to resist. The wait was worth it, however. The direct-injection and turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder makes a lot of power, more than Audi's V-6 TT, or BMW’s 6-cylinder Z4s, or even Chrysler’s V-6 Crossfire, and the fat rear tires have no trouble putting that power to the pavement. The GXP comes with stickier tires, standard limited-slip differential and stability/traction control, as well as a slightly firmer suspension. Embroidered seats and ground-effects extensions on the front and rear are outward clues of the GXP over the non-turbo Solstice, as are the polished stainless-steel exhaust tips. more...



Chysler 300C SRT

Most onlookers can tell the 300C SRT8 from its lesser-powered siblings, which serves to reassure drivers why they spent $40,000 on a 5-seater instead of a loaded Nissan Z. At half the price of Mercedes’ AMG E63, the SRT8 is easy to justify. New this year is a terrific day-long driving school included in the price. Power delivery of the free-breathing 6.1-liter pushrod V-8 is smooth the moment you step on the long-travel throttle pedal. The suspension is firm and telegraphs every bump with a thump, but that racket is consistent with the controlled ride, and with the high grip of the huge 20-in. wheels and tires. The SRT8 performs almost as well with each of its five seats full, and you might want to send your passengers to the SRT driving school so they’ll enjoy the car as much as you do. more...



Cadillac XLR-V

If you’ve gotta have Zingana wood trim, you can’t get it in anything else but the XLR-V, the hot rod of the super-exclusive XLR retractable hardtop 2-seater line. This is the quickest Caddy ever — zoomier than the snorting STS-V — and it sells for an even hundred grand. That includes shipping. The 443-bhp supercharged aluminum Northstar V-8 is compact, light and propels the XLR-V almost as quickly to 60 mph as the V-12 Mercedes-Benz SL (about 4.5 seconds), and that’s because it weighs about 600 lb. less. This efficiency of acceleration is scarce, however: More people have been to the North Pole than have purchased the exclusive V-series version of the XLR. Because of the svelte mass of the XLR-V, the brakes feel like they’re overachieving. No options are available — or needed — on the XLR-V. more...


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