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Exhaust Note #18: $117,000 Chevrolet, Anyone?

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It seems that VehicleVoice, along with most other publications, are becoming overindulgent with conversations on how skyrocketing fuel costs are destroying our lives. On my way in to the office Friday, I heard oil broke the $140 mark. The situation isn’t getting any better.
But, though I may be alone, I’m tired of talking about high gas prices. Really, really tired of the subject. Eye-wateringly-high gas prices are likely here to stay. We all know this, and new-car buyers are dealing with it. Most either by delaying a new-vehicle purchase or by buying something more fuel efficient, both options that add to the woes of a difficult industry, but the subject has been beat to death.

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Was a $100,000-plus Chevrolet inevitable?

I’m pretty sure we’ll talk about gas prices again, but this week we take a break from that painful subject. This week, Exhaust Note looks at the 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1, specifically at pricing of the supercar from America’s heartland. We haven’t driven it, but we can talk about pricing. This 638HP beast gets a base price of $103,300. Not including $1700 gas-guzzler tax but including destination charges. Really and truly. A Chevrolet with a base price above $100,000. And I bet you thought the Z06 had a notably significant base price when it launched for 2006MY at $65,800.


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Bugatti Veyron – 253 MPH and Still a Little Late

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For those of you who do not live in the Los Angeles Times sphere of influence, you may miss the writing of Dan Neil their Pulitizer Prize winning auto journalist. You can catch up on his reviews, Highway 1 editorials and podcasts at the LA Times website (http://www.latimes.com). This article on the upcoming launch of the Bugatti Veyron supercar is just one example of Neil’s writing.
By Dan Neil, Times Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, December 10, 2005
PALERMO, Sicily — At 200 mph, the Bugatti Veyron pounds a beautiful, howling hole in the sweltering haze hanging over the motorway.
This, the fastest production car in the world, is broad and low, an enameled ellipse in a spiffy two-tone paint scheme. By comparison, its now-vanquished supercar rivals, such as the Ferrari Enzo and McLaren F1, are all edges and blades and angles, like F-16 fighter planes or Japanese stunt kites.
The Veyron is not, strictly speaking, the fastest car I’ve ever driven, but the one that’s faster had a jet engine and a parachute. The guardrail to my right is blurred into a dirty stream of quicksilver. Houses fly by before my brain has time to register the word “house.”

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About nine seconds ago, I was dawdling at 100 mph. Then I squeezed the throttle. The seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox clicked twice, the engine took a huge lung-busting toke of atmosphere through its twin roof snorkels — and then things got interesting. Something slammed me from behind and I realize it was the seat. Captain, it appears we have fallen nose-first into a wormhole.
Two-hundred mph. And I’m not even in top gear.
… house….


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