Who knows who will take the Oval Office come 2009, but it won't take much for the next commander-in-chief to surpass his (or her) predecessor's ghastly 30 percent approval rating. The rules aren't much different in the walk of designing street machine suspension components, either. Although their effectiveness may suggest that the covenant between Newton and the gods of physics has been amended, much of why aftermarket bits seem so great is due to the unbelievable lameness of the antiquated stock hardware. That's not to say the aftermarket doesn't build fine suspension products. However, merely increasing the thickness of a sway bar is a far cry from actually raising the bar.
At least that's the ideology that motivates XV Motorsports, whose goal is building B- and E-body Mopars with the ride, handling, and civility of a modern supercar. While that's a great mission statement-or a pitifully unoriginal marketing ploy-lines like that are just so clich these days. Fortunately, the scope of engineering involved here goes far beyond standard aftermarket convention. XV teamed up with Multimatic Motorsports, builder of race-winning Daytona Prototypes, to completely re-engineer the underpinnings of the most revered Mopars of all time. Off-the-shelf items just aren't part of the equation. Virtually every suspension component, from K-members to control arms, are all custom built from the ground up. This approach allowed correcting flawed suspension geometries and significantly reducing mass through extensive use of aluminum.
The '70 Challenger presented here is the first in a line of turnkey '68-70 B-bodies and '70-74 E-bodies XV Motorsports will produce. The decision to specialize in rare Mopars is a very deliberate one. "I'm not a brand loyalist, but Mopars were some of the fastest and most aggressively styled cars of the musclecar era," explains owner John Buscema. "Although they're among the most valuable collector cars around, there really aren't any serious performance parts available for them." In addition to the aforementioned suspension upgrades, customers can pick between 5.7L or 6.1L fuel-injected Hemi motors, five- or six-speed gearboxes, and four- or six-piston big brake kits. Depending on the body style and how they're outfitted, prices will range between $130,000 and $250,000. That's not cheap in anyone's book, but these cars will surely precipitate a gridlock of wire transfers from those blessed with fat bankrolls. Fortunately, even not-so-wealthy hot rodders can get in on the action, as XV Motorsports will individually sell just about every component that goes into their supercars.
The PlayersTo achieve his ambitious goal of building the best handling and most functional Mopars in existence, John Buscema recruited the best players in the business. "We wanted to do this the right way with no expenses spared, and not like some average Joe out in his garage with his chopsaw," says John. Having sold a very successful financial management firm, sparing expenses wasn't an issue for John.
In order to sort out the critical chassis details, John hooked up with Multimatic Motorsports. The Canadian operation is perhaps best known for building the wildly successful Boy Racer Mustang for Ford that dominated the Grand-Am Cup series in its debut season. Multimatic competes at the highest levels of endurance road racing as well, routinely campaigning entries at the 24-hour races in Le Mans and Daytona with cars it builds for Panoz and Ford Racing. Their in-house dream team includes chassis engineers, professional race car drivers, and OE-caliber test rigs and simulation software.
The engine program is headed by mod motor guru and avid road racer Sean Hyland. John got to know Sean during his days of open road racing his '97 Mustang Cobra, which averaged 205 mph at the Silver State Classic thanks to Sean's stout engine package. "Everyone involved with the development of these cars has some kind of racing background," explains John.
XV Motorsports took full advantage of Multimatic's four-post ride simulator to develop its