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Toyota Celica GT-S Action Package

Toyota Celica GT-S Action Package
Base Price : $23,560
Engine : 4 cyl., 180 hp, 130 lb-ft
0-60 mph : 7.2 sec.
0- mile : 15.4 sec @ 91.6 mph
60-0 braking distance : 120 ft
200 ft skidpad : 0.82 g

The Celica Action Package by TRD, Toyota's performance arm, is available for both the GT and GT-S trims. The sad part is that the price of admission is $1590 for what amounts to nothing more than an aggressive body kit and larger wheels. If this isn't an issue for you, then go right ahead and purchase the package. The stock Celica in itself is a nimble performance machine with go-kart handling and a high-revving engine. The larger wheels should improve cornering grip and the aerodynamic enhancements will help high-speed stability, although it will also lower your top speed. The dirt on the Celica is that when it first came out in its current iteration in 2000, the engine could rev to 8300 rpm. The peak power rpm was so high and near the redline that engines were blowing up left and right from hard driving. So later models were rev-limited to 7800 rpm and now you can never reach peak power. Just some gossip for you. Oh, and skip the GT, get the GT-S.

Volkswagen GTI 1.8T 20th Anniversary

Volkswagen GTI 1.8T 20th Anniv.
Base Price : $23,225
Engine : 4 cyl. turbo, 180 hp, 173 lb-ft
0-60 mph : 6.5 sec.
0- mile : 15.3 sec @ 94.0 mph
60-0 braking distance : 125 ft
200 ft skidpad : 0.82 g

The Golf-based GTI is the car that started the hot hatch craze, and to celebrate its American debut, Volkswagen is offering a 20th Anniversary edition of the 1.8T model. Although power stays the same at 180 hp, enhancements include a six-speed manual tranny, vented disc brakes on all four wheels, a mild body kit, black-surround headlights, Monsoon sound system, Recaro sports seats, 18-inch alloy wheels, revised suspension and various random interior trimmings all over. Retailing at $23,225, it is limited to 4000 models for U.S.A. and 200 more for Canada. The cars will come in yellow, blue and black. Exclusivity does not come cheap, and you may think that for that much, they should've at least bumped up the power. But the stock-engined GTI is a very capable hatchback, leaving the likes of the SVT Focus and Civic Si in the dust due to its hefty torque output of 173 lb-ft, delivered with no noticeable turbo lag. It is also famous for its front-wheel burnouts!

Volvo S60 R / V70 R

Volvo S60 R / V70 R
Base Price : $36,825
Engine : 5 cyl. turbo, 300 hp, 295 lb-ft
0-60 mph : 5.4 sec.
0- mile : 14.5 seconds @ 98.0 mph
60-0 braking distance : 115 ft
200 ft skidpad : 0.85 g

This is Volvo's most exciting car ever. It combines the good looks of its S60 sedan with the power of a 300 hp turbocharged engine and a complicated all-wheel-drive system, on top of which an advanced variable suspension system and large four-pot brakes are added into the mix. A functioning rear lip spoiler, larger front air dam, twin stainless steel tail pipes and huge wheels differentiate the R from lower models. The gadgetry makes sure you cannot crash the car at high speed corners even if you drive well beyond your limits. All this gadgetry is available at an amazing 2 grand premium over the price of Volvo's front-driver 250 hp S60 T5 sedan. With a starting price of just over $36,000, you can choose between 17 and 18 inch wheels, and sedan wagon body styles. Colors include black, silver, gray, green, blue and red. The only catch to this amazing deal is that only 7500 will be produced for 2003, with only 3800 of those destined for U.S.A.

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