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It’s July, the month we celebrate the birth of our nation by lighting several hundred dollars worth of incendiary devices in the street -possibly under the effects of alcohol. In that spirit, Dish is offering up a whole ‘nother kind of firework: six all- 'Merican cars that should make your heart swell with pride and your right foot push to the floor. Okay, so maybe some of them are made in Mexico but hey, even those fireworks came from China.

2013 Ford Focus2013 FORD FOCUS
For years, the joke was Ford built great small cars, they just did not sell them here. Small cars like the European Ford Focus were class-leading but all we could do on this side of the ocean was content ourselves with the far-inferior American version. It was enough to make you wonder if we lost a war. Ford got serious in 2012, when it rolled out a Ford Focus for the entire world, the USA included. It wowed everybody with class-leading styling, handling, and fuel-efficiency. Available as a sedan or hatch, even a basic Focus equipped with their critically acclaimed manual transmission is the most powerful and fastest car in its class. The 2013 model continues to stand out among such worthy Axis powers competitors as the Mazda3 and Honda Civic. Pricing starts at $16,200

2013 Tesla Model S2013 TESLA MODEL S
Tesla is the electric car company started by Paypal founder Elon Musk, who wanted to use Silicon Valley know-how to produce mass-market electric cars. The Model S is its first car built bumper to bumper by the company (Its first car was an electrified Lotus-based roadster).

Although Tesla nearly closed up shop at one point during the S’s development, the company held on and is now working through months of orders for the incredible Model S. Not only is company paying back government loans nine years early, the Model S is a winner. The swoopy sedan is gorgeous inside and out, has up to a 200 mile range, and stands toe-to-toe against any gas-powered car in its class. Consumer Reports Magazine gave the muscular sedan a 99/100, only the second time a car has reached that rarified score in the august publication. The best part? From its engineers to its designers to the factory floor, the Model S is as American as George Washington feeding apple pie to a bald eagle. Prices start at $70,000, not including Federal and State tax incentives for electric cars2014 Cadillac ATS-V2014 CADILLAC ATS-V
The littlest ‘Lac, the ATS made waves last year by out-performing its worthy German competitors from Audi and BMW, showing the world the U.S. can put out a world-class small sports sedan. No doubt that success made an ATS-V a sure thing. That one extra letter means a host of sporty modifications to the already capable ATS. Expect big things: specifically, bigger wheels, a bigger engine pushing somewhere north of 400 horsepower, and a bigger smile on your face. Price not yet announced

2014 Jeep Cherokee2014 JEEP CHEROKEE
While the Jeep Grand Cherokee has been a staple of Little League games and mall parking lots for decades, the smaller, humbler Cherokee name has not graced a new vehicle for twelve years. The durable off-roader was replaced by the soft-edged Liberty (although the Liberty was sold as the Cherokee elsewhere on the globe). Cue the triumphal return music, because the Cherokee name is coming back, albeit with some new tricks and an unusual pedigree. The Cherokee’s new “Jeep of the Future" styling conceals a vehicle which gives up some of its off-roading ways for more comfort and convenience. Jeep intends this Cherokee to go up against more Honda CR-Vs and Ford Escapes than mountain trails, but outdoorsy types can order up the Trailhawk options package which adds a bevy of features designed to keep owners from walking home. With available colors like “Mango Tango Pearl” and “Anvil,” the Cherokee hints at its immigrant roots. It was built on a vehicle platform Jeep shares with Italian automaker Fiat, but hey, we are a nation of immigrants - well, except for actual Cherokee.
Price not yet determined, but expect numbers to hover in the mid 20,000s.

2013 Cheve Camaro Z282013 CHEVY CAMARO Z28
The usual formula for making a “sport” version of an already sporty car is something like the Cadillac ATS-V above. Give it a bigger everything, a longer list of features, top it off with a higher price tag, and grab a beer. The results to such an approach can be impressive (like the ATS-V), but true car aficionados know sometimes it is what you don’t add that makes a car a true track-day weapon. Every now and then a car company remembers this and produces a car that’s not about making you comfortable, or drawing attention, or having the biggest fold-down flat screen. Instead they make a car with one purpose:
Go faster.

The Chevy Camaro already has plenty of go-fast versions, but the Z/28 is a Camaro put on an athlete’s diet. From the one-speaker radio, to the nonexistent air conditioning, to the engine, every pound of the car has been scrutinized and weight shaved from every corner. Even the rear glass is thinner! Although thicker, stickier tires offset some of the savings, the result is a rowdy racer a full 300 lbs. lighter than other top-shelf Camaros. Price: TBA

2013 Chrysler 3002013 CHRYSLER 300
The Chrysler 300 embodies a classic American breed. The stylish, flashy, full-sized sedan respectfully nods toward the ghosts of tail fins past without laying on the nostalgia too heavily. Chrome touches decorate a full-sized beauty and solidly-built cruiser with excellent handling for its class. Well-equipped and rated for 31 mpg hwy, the six-cylinder versions are some of the best values in its segment. The V8 and SRT8 versions provide plenty of power to pull you back into the comfortable seats, while available all wheel drive (a rarity for this class) will keep you on the road. Price: Starts at $30,145

 

 

www.Dishmag.com / Issue 148 - September 3374
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