Muscle cars roar back into spotlight at Detroit auto show

Visitors get glimpse of muscle cars at North American International Auto Show


DETROIT – Part of the appeal of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit is dreaming, and on Monday there was plenty of attention paid to the muscle cars.

Many visitors wanted to see in person the cars they might never be able to afford. There were plenty of fast, powerful cars at the Detroit auto show.

The Shelby Mustang has a distinct exhaust tone, and it reverberated off the Cobo Center walls.

Visitors had to look up to the ceiling as a cartoon helicopter delivered the Ford GT 500 from the Cobo rafters.

It's the most powerful street legal Mustang ever, on par with Ford's actual race cars.

Ford's Jim Farley provided auto show jargon for one big and loud muscle car.

"It delivers more than 700 horsepower through a dual clutch transmission," Farley said. "It changes gears in less than 100 milliseconds, so this GT 500 can go 0-60 in the mid-three-second range."

There is Japanese muscle at Cobo this week, too. It's got about half the Mustang's horsepower, at 340, but Subaru seeks to compete in this environment by bringing one of its bigger sellers to the United States: The WRS Sti S209.

"People want to be entertained," said Peter DeLorenzo, a self-described auto extremist. "They want to dream They can start here."

DeLorenzo said he saw something on the show floor that made his knees go weak: a custom-built Charger, as in the old Dodge Charger made modern by Fiat-Chrysler engineers.

"An old, fast, back body work," DeLorenzo said. "They lengthen it a little bit. They widen it a little bit, put a modern hemi engine in it, and it has a 1,000 horsepower hemi engine."

Toyota also brought back an old sporty name: the Supra. It's a mighty little sports car that screams out the old "Fast and Furious" movies and onto the Cobo Center floor.

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