More Muscle From Detroit!

The annual North American International Auto Show in Detroit (January 13-26) is the largest event of its kind, with journalists from around the world flocking in to see all the latest products from the global automakers. Of course, what made this show so huge were the dozens and dozens of grocery getters and mommy cars on display. So just as you would, we cruised right past all that boring stuff and lasered in on the latest gearhead machinery.

The biggest news on the enthusiast scene in Detroit was the introduction of the '15 Corvette Z06. Breaking tradition, this latest Z06 sports a supercharger, and while the output ratings are not yet formalized, Chevy is promising better than 625 hp when the car hits the showrooms early in 2015. Transmission choices include a seven-speed manual and the brand-new 8L90 eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters. (Visual identifiers on the Z06 include fender flares, larger cooling vents, and a big fat hood bump to clear the blower.) Pricing wasn't announced, but if Chevrolet keeps it in line with the previous model (MSRP on the outgoing '13 Z06 is $75,600) and doesn't jack the price too high, we could see the most bang for the buck ever in a production car.

Sharing the stage with the Z06 was the latest factory Corvette racer, the C7.R, which will run in the new United SportsCar Championship and at Le Mans. The high-tech racer has an all-new aluminum chassis that's 40 percent stiffer, as it steps up against its latest competition in endurance racing, the factory SRT Viper.

Speaking of Vipers: The centerpiece of the Chrysler exhibit was a stunning '14 Viper GTS with hypnotizing satin gunmetal paint. Now in its fifth design generation, the Viper now boasts 640 hp from its venerable LA-based V-10, and the car now sports enough convenience features to be considered almost civilized. Almost.

Fresh from its global media launch a month earlier, the '15 Mustang was on display at Detroit in two versions, GT coupe and convertible. But to be honest, what really tugged at our heartstrings was the original '62 Mustang I prototype. Priceless and irreplaceable, the petite two-place sports car seldom leaves its permanent nest at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, and it constantly drew an adoring crowd at the entrance of the Ford exhibit. —Bill McGuire

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Sound Off!

Cleveland Rocks!

I very much appreciate your coverage of the 351 Cleveland and am looking forward to Cleveland Buildup, Part 2. As a big fan of the Cleveland though, I do want to point out: 1) The Cleveland was made for five years, not four (1970-1974, count 'em). 2) The big valve award goes to the '69 Boss 302 with a 2.23 intake. The '70 Boss 302 also had 2.19-inch valves like the 4V Clevelands. 3) The Windsor is not the "modern" design, the Cleveland was. The Windsor and its oiling system goes back to 1962. Granted, it was a superior oiling system. Thanks again for the Cleveland coverage.

Neal Karlsen
Battle Ground, WA

Thanks for the clarification, Neal. Trick Flow Specialties has made a huge investment in the Cleveland engine family with their new line of cylinder heads and intakes. They're betting there's a lot more guys like you out there. For those who missed last month's conclusion of our 408ci hydraulic-roller Cleveland stroker buildup, it made 621 hp (6,400 rpm) and 523 lb-ft (5,400) using Trick Flow's PowerPort 225cc heads and Track Heat intake.