United States Car Maker

If all goes as planned, the Fisker Karma ( www.fiskerautomotive.com ) will cover 100 miles on a gallon of gas or diesel fuel and 620 miles on a single tank, partly by traveling the first 50 miles on...
Mustang with the Most Horses. Although I cannot quite put my finger on it, something about the shape of the S302 Extreme seems familiar. Seriously, though, Saleen’s extreme modifications have...
Speed Demon. Among its fellow contestants, the Dodge Viper is probably the fastest around a racetrack, if racing victories at Le Mans—in pretty much stock form—are any yardstick. But the difference...
"This is not just a show car," proclaims Alfred DiMora, founder and CEO of DiMora Motorcar, a boutique automaker in Palm Springs, Calif. "In essence, we are bringing Silicon Valley to Detroit by...
Victory Motorcycles has introduced an impressive array of big American cruisers over the past decade; the Hammer, Vegas, and Kingpin bikes each displayed a fresh design and distinctive flair. Now, on...
The 16,000-square-foot workshop that houses Matt Hotch Designs is an oasis of calm in the rough section of Fullerton, Calif., a working-class city located about 20 miles south of Los Angeles. There...
Steve Saleen is obsessed with speed."Roll into the throttle," the former Bob Bondurant racing school instructor commands me as I navigate a makeshift test track, which consists of the public roads...
Harley-Davidson’s Screamin’ Eagle Road King embodies a paradoxical combination of rough-hewn attitude and couturelike individualism. Built by hand in limited numbers by the Custom Vehicle Operations...
Big Dog, another company in America’s heartland—Wichita, Kan., in this case—also straddles the fence between pure custom and mass production. Within its dramatic, 9-foot-long profile, the Big Dog K-9...
The first BMW X5 ( www.bmwusa.com ) introduced drivers to the concept of an SUV that behaved like a sports sedan. (BMW calls the X5 an SAV—for Sport Activity Vehicle.) Redesigned for 2007, the X5...
The noise will not surprise the folks toiling in a strip of auto repair shops here in the San Francisco suburb of Burlingame, Calif. But as Ian Wright eases his vehicle out of his garage and into...
Many U.S. Vehicles are masterpieces of compromise and elasticity—virtuous qualities in the realm of realpolitik but fatal flaws in that of automobile design. These mediocrities often come to us...
Anglo-American litterateur T.S. Eliot—no doubt inspired by the incessant reinvention of Britain’s Austin Seven and the many mutants thereby produced—once argued that tradition is worthless if it...
For the owner of this Marine Turbine Technologies Y2K Turbine Superbike ( www.marineturbine.com ), it was not enough that his gas turbine–powered motorcycle would roar like a fighter jet; he...
In the early 1950s, General Motors designer Harley Earl, fresh from watching world speed records being set at Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats, conceived the Pontiac Bonneville Special. His vision of jet...
When the Tesla Roadster goes into production less than a year from now, it will come with a Lotus chassis, a $100,000 price tag, and a zero-to-60-mph time of four seconds. And unlike any other car...
Three-quarters of a century after Ford installed a V-8 engine in its 1932 Roadster, a car that the So-Cal Speed Shop has re-created, the quest to coax higher performance out of mass-produced vehicles...
The 2007 Cadillac Escalade dem­onstrates that General Motors remains capable of producing a world-class vehicle. This completely redesigned full-size luxury sport utility has a number of impressive...
The rapture’s menacing appearance is no accident: Paul Yang and Larry Nagel of Dreamcraft Studios wanted to evoke a futuristic war machine with this prototype bike, which they debuted at the Los...
Patterned after m-wearing BMWs and AMG-badged Mercedes-Benz cars, V-Series Cadillacs pack more performance than the average Caddy. In building the STS-V, the hot rod version of its stately STS sedan...
Like its poor reptilian namesake, the Dodge Viper is a misunderstood creature. Regarded by most of the judges as a brute beast lacking the manners befitting a civilized motorcar, the raucous coupe...
Those not familiar with former BMW designer Henrik Fisker or his Irvine, Calif., company, Fisker Coachbuild (and many of our Car of the Year judges were not), can think of him as a kind of custom...
Here was the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 joining Seabiscuit, Jim Braddock, and the ’55 Brooklyn Dodgers as an underdog but sentimental favorite. Most of the judges were willing this snapdragon yellow,...
It is easy to overlook the subtle design elements that distinguish the Corvette Z06 from other new ’Vettes. But as minor as they may appear to be—functional air inlets, wider fenders, discreetly...
At one time, a luxury automobile was distinguished more by the rarity of its appearance than its price. In the early part of the last century, owners of such cars often would purchase a chassis and...
The Chrysler 300, as proven by multiple sightings of black, white, and blue variants on the roads of Napa Valley, cannot claim exclusivity as one of its trademarks. While only several dozen fortunate...
Commonly referred to as the C6, the sixth-generation Corvette had been the subject of much speculation over the last few years. ’Vette enthusiasts may not be as fanatical in their devotion as those...
Equating a Cadillac with one of GM’s economy marques might seem like slander, but Car of the Year participant Bill Harlan intended it as a compliment when he dubbed the CTS-V a Pontiac in disguise. “...
If the decision is left to a team of eight MIT graduate students, the first hydrogen-powered General Motors vehicle will be available for purchase in 2010, and it will not be a minivan, SUV, or...
“Mira, señor,” says Eugenio, taking a moment from other distractions to demonstrate how the Caddy’s power seat—a slick, blood red Naugahyde bench on which I have been sliding around—still rises and...

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