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Most Underwhelming New Car of the Year
2005 Modern Racer Car Crazy Awards

2005 Modern Racer Car Crazy Awards

This category covers this year's new car releases that most of us had high expectations from, but failed to deliver.

2nd Runner-Up :
Nissan Altima SE-R
Everyone had high hopes for the Altima SE-R. The first car to were the SE-R badge outside of the Sentra range, Nissan promised a stiffly-sprung midsizer with gobs of horsepower. In actuality, it is a warmed-over V6 Altima with a little more juice, somewhat tighter suspension, a light body kit, aftermarket-style exhaust and fancy rims. It would be fine with us were it not for the price. At close to 30 grand, it ends up being more expensive than the Maxima. For that kind of cash, we would rather have the rear-wheel-drive G35 from neighbors Infiniti.

1st Runner-Up :
Chevrolet Cobalt SS
We are not talking about the likeable supercharged SS here. What we are disappointed by is the regular SS. With no body styling help that the supercharged version receives, the 170 hp SS is as boring to look at as the Cavalier it replaces. Also notice that the car has enough ground clearance to run with Hummers. While the performance truly is satisfactory for the market segment it plans to play in, it ends up looking like a Civic from the front while trying to emulate a Corvette at the back. The Japanese are in no danger from this one.

Winner :
Ford Focus ZX4 ST
The winner, or rather, loser in this category has to be the replacement for the excellent SVT Focus. While the Focus ST sedan is a fairly good car in its own right, it pales in comparison to the discontinued SVT, and now falls behind in the horsepower race with the likes of the Civic Si, Sentra SE-R or even the Neon SRT-4 chasing the street-racing crowd. A step backwards for Ford, the move to kill the SVT and bring in the ST was necessitated by the replacement of the old 4-cylinder engine with one from Mazda--a better engine for sure, but more of a cost-saving measure. All hail the accountants.


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2005 Modern Racer "Car Crazy" Awards
Annual Car Awards

Most Underwhelming New Car
Most Hyped New Car Release
Most Low-Budget New Thrill
Most Practical Performance
Most Outrageously Cool Design
Most Overwhelming New Car


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