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2004 - 2009 Cadillac XLR

2004 - 2009 Cadillac XLR

The luxury Corvette that Chevy never built

Introduced in 2003 for the 2004 model year, the XLR was a two-door luxury roadster. A spiritual successor to the Cadillac Allante (1986-1993), the XLR was based on the C6-generation Chevrolet Corvette. Discontinued in 2009 due to low demand, the XLR is Cadillac’s last roadster as of 2019.

Essentially a luxury alternative to the Corvette C6, the XLR had many premium features over its Chevy-badged counterpart. Some of them were optional on the Corvette, but most of them weren’t even available. The XLR also had a design of its own, borrowing many cues from the CTS and STS models of the mid-2000s. Cadillac also produced a higher performance XLR-V version and launched an update for 2009, the vehicle’s final model year on the market.

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1996 - 2004 Porsche Boxster (986)

1996 - 2004 Porsche Boxster (986)

A 911 droptop for the everyman

Although it might look like Porsche is at the top of its game these days, the Stuttgart brand has seen plenty of rough spots over the years. For example, back in the ‘90s, Porsche went through a period of stagnation and financial difficulty that very nearly killed the brand, but luckily, Porsche managed to put together just the right recipe to bring it back from the brink of bankruptcy. It’s called the Boxster..

Framed as a more accessible entry into the Porsche lifestyle, the Boxster 986 was the first model to carry the Boxster nameplate, with the first-gen lasting from 1996 to 2004. The name itself is an amalgamation of the words “roadster,” a nod to the car’s body style, and “boxer,” which is a nod to the car’s engine configuration. Equipped with classic Porsche styling, faultless handling characteristics, and a rev-happy powerplant, the Boxster was a smash hit for sales, and it is now credited with playing an integral part in Porsche’s late-‘90s renaissance.

Continue reading to learn more about the 1996 - 2004 Porsche Boxster (986).

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2004 - 2011 Ferrari 612 Scaglietti

2004 - 2011 Ferrari 612 Scaglietti

Bridging the gap between the 456 and the FF

In 2003, the Ferrari 456 was discontinued after 11 years in production. The grand tourer, which had been updated to 456M specs in 1998, was then replaced by the 612 Scaglietti. Designed by Ken Okuyama and Frank Stephenson, the 612 Scaglietti was bigger than the 456, and thus it was a true four-seater rather than a 2+2 GT like its predecessor. Named in honor of Sergio Scaglietti, who designed many Ferraris in the 1950s, including the 250 Testa Rossa, the 612 also pays homage to the 375 MM that company director Roberto Rossellini had commissioned for his wife, Ingrid Bergman, in 1954.

Unlike its forerunner, the 612 was an all-aluminum vehicle and the second following the 360 Modena. Developed with Alcoa, the space frame was later used in the 599 GTB. The GT also came with a redesigned engine. While the 456 used a 5.5-liter V-12, the 612 received the larger mill from the 575 Superamerica. While the "612" badge suggests a 6.0-liter engine, the displacement was actually 5.7 liters. Produced at the Carrozzeria Scaglietti plant, the 612 was taken to Maranello to have its interior and V-12 put in. A total of 3025 cars were produced until 2011 when the 612 was replaced by the FF. Ferrari also produced a series of limited-edition model, but more about that in the review below.

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2004 ACAT Global Ferrari 575 by JBR Motorsports

2004 ACAT Global Ferrari 575 by JBR Motorsports

Typically the words “eco-friendly” and “performance” don’t mix together well, but sometimes they pull it off. A great example of a successful attempt is the ACAT Global Ferrari 575 by JBR Motorsports. ACAT Global specializes in making less expensive and lighter catalytic converters, whereas JBR focuses on building bad-ass race cars; a match made in heaven. This modified Ferrari 575 is set to take on one of the largest challenges in the world, and that is to overtake the world land speed record – in the Grand Touring class, of course – at the Bonneville Speed Flats.

JRB and ACAT have been tight lipped about what this Ferrari 575 has behind the rear seats, but we are 100 percent certain that it is a little more than the standard 515-horsepower 5.8-liter V-12 that the stock 575 boasts. Granted, that engine is good, but certainly not enough to beat out the Ferrari record of 232 mph.

The exterior of the Ferrari 575 is draped in a coat of French Blue Ferrari Racing paint with graphics by custom-graphics-extraordinaire, Troy Lee, but the remainder of the exterior modifications are still unknown at this time. We are certain that the Ferrari will boast a lower ride height to help with aerodynamics and a series of diffusers on the rear to help reduce the drag on the rear of the Ferrari.

As we approach the August 11th debut of the Ferrari 575, given it passes its 3-day testing phase, we will learn more about this super-fast Ferrari. We will pass information along to you, as we receive it.

Click past the jump to read the press release regarding its record-setting attempt.

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2004 - 2008 Ford F-150

2004 - 2008 Ford F-150

The Ford F-150 was for a long time, America’s best selling pickup. Unlike the actual generation which can be considered both a life style vehicle and a work partner, the older Ford F-150 models were designed mainly as utilitarian work horses.

The 2004 generation was sold until 2008 and compared to the previous version it was built on an all new platform which gave it better driving dynamics and off road abilities. Apart from the upgraded underpinnings, the 2004 model had also received a set of exterior modifications the most obvious, being the adoption of the stepped driver’s window from the Super Duty trucks and the completely new front fascia.

The 2004 Ford F-150 was available in regular-, extended-, and crew-cab body styles. All versions have four doors and are 6 inches longer and 4 inches wider than their predecessors. The powertrain lineup includes two engine choices, namely a 4.6 liter and a 5.4 liter, both mated on an automatic transmission.

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2007 Acura MDX

2007 Acura MDX

Produced from 2001 to 2006 model years, the original Acura broke new ground in the emerging luxury SUV segment. Taking its predecessor’s best qualities and radically expanding them, the all-new 2007 MDX pushes performance and sophistication in the luxury SUV segment to new levels. Benchmarked against some of the best performance SUVs in the world and tuned on the Nurburgring racetrack in Germany, the new MDX clearly establishes itself as a driver’s SUV. Outfitted with Acura’s tenacious Super-Handling All-wheel Drive system and an available sport package with Active Damper System, the MDX yields a combination of handling and comfort that is truly on the cutting edge.

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2007 Acura TL

2007 Acura TL

The 2004 Acura TL attacked the performance luxury sedan market with its impressive styling, a luxurious and technology-packed interior, and its best-in-class horsepower.
Confronted with the new competition from Lexus, BMW, Infiniti and others, the 2007 TL has been impressively updated. Now the TL is available in two versions, the luxurious TL and the reintroduced high-performance TL Type-S, to crystallize its place as the standard representative in its class.

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2005 Acura TSX

2005 Acura TSX

The Acura TSX is a responsive sports sedan with front-wheel drive. The tip-offs for its sporty demeanor start with the name. Acura calls its sports-specialty vehicles the RSX, TSX, and NSX. Road cars are named CL, TL, RL. The TSX is Acura’s response to the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4.

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2002 Acura RSX

2002 Acura RSX

The Acura RSX debuted in 2001 as a replacement for the Acura Integra. From 2001 to 2004 it was offered in standard or Type S form. The standard RSX used the K20A3 four-cylinder engine that delivered 160 horsepower, while the Type S had the 200 horsepower K20A2. Both versions carried over unchanged until 2005. In 2005, the RSX went through a refresh that gave it new headlights and taillights, and an updated rear spoiler. The Type-S now came with 17-inch wheels as standard equipment, but the real change came under the hood. The standard RSX remained the same, but the Type-S got a K20Z1 powertrain that utilized the camshafts from the Japanese DC5 Type R, as well as the b-pipe, muffler and 4.77:1 final drive ratio. The standard RSX was offered with a five-speed manual or five-speed auto with sequential SportShift technology. The RSX Type-S was only available with a close ratio six-speed manual transmission.

The RSX had a short lifespan and was only produced from 2001 to 2006. Because of its similarity to the seventh-gen Civic, it became common to swap the Type-S’ K20Z1 engine and transmission into the seventh-gen Civic. Oddly, from 2001 to 2005, the RSX was offered with a number of exterior colors, but consumers were limited to either black or beige interior, normally dictated by the exterior color. The RSX wasn’t a bad car, and it was a suitable replacement for the Integra, but the seventh-gen civic was a bit of a flop, so it’s no surprise that the RSX didn’t last past 2006. With that said, let’s take a look back at the 2001 to 2005 Acura RSX and talk a little more about it.

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2003 - 2005 Infiniti M45

2003 - 2005 Infiniti M45

As the latest addition to the Infiniti lineup of performance-oriented front-engine, rear-wheel drive sedans, the all-new 2003 M45 is positioned between the flagship Q45 - with which it shares many major powertrain components, including the highly acclaimed 4.5-liter V8 engine - and the new Infiniti G35 Sport Sedan. The M45 performance sport sedan comes standard with class-leading V8 performance and a long list of world-class amenities, with a price competitive with other competitors’ 6-cylinder models.

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2002 Infiniti I35

2002 Infiniti I35

For 2004, the Infiniti I35 increases its impact on the mid-size luxury class with the addition of several standard luxury features including sunroof, power rear sunshade, side sills and pre-wiring for satellite radio. Also for 2004, the I35 receives a new exterior color - Desert Platinum. Remaining unchanged is the I35’s unmatched combination of refined luxury and exceptional performance.

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