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'Murica!

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I’m fresh from my trip to Monticello, NY, where I participated in the International Motor Press Association’s (IMPA) Test Days.

The event is an opportunity to drive, both on road and track, many new cars in a relaxed yet organized atmosphere. With no specific intention in mind, I ended up spending an inordinate amount of time driving domestic cars and only realized it afterwards.

In fact, it was during the track portion of the event where I could not keep my hands off a Fiesta, Camaro or a Mustang. I did take a Countryman JCW around the track twice, but I kept coming back to the three above-mentioned cars. There were plenty of imports on-hand such as an M6 Gran Coupé, E 63 and SLS AMG, RS5, and a few others but believe it or not, it was the Roush Mustang that had me coming back for more. The Camaro. The Fiesta.

Go ahead and click on the name if you want to read my review on the 2014 Ford Mustang Roush Stage 3. The review will give you an idea as to how good this car is. The other car that had my juices flowing was the 2014 Chevy Camaro SS with the 1LE package. For this car, I raise my hat to GM and say thank you for making it growl properly and look so damn HAWT!

The other car that got me excited was the Ford Fiesta ST. Although less “Murica!” than the other two, I couldn’t stay off the track very long without taking it back out there and making the brakes smoke.

At the Roush stand, the guys from the company that Jack started had also brought an SVT Raptor lightly done with a supercharger, good for 590 horsepower. A short and rather uneventful romp off the tarmac barely demonstrated 2% of what this loud and dominating monster Raptor could do.

So, what happened? I’m not sure. I won’t hide the fact that I’m a fan of what the Germans make but I’m thinking that the Americans are catching on with styling and performance. What’s more, I was imagining my dream driveway on the Friday drive back and it featured a 2014 Sierra and Camaro SS for daily usage, and Roush Mustang and SVT Raptor for weekend fun…

The one thing remains partially true is that these cars still suffer somewhat (tons in the Camaro) from shady ergonomics and cheapish plastics. My guess is that they’ll catch on here sooner rather than later.

Luckily, to level the playing field, I spent time with both a Porsche Cayman and Audi R8 last week. I’m still dreaming of that Mustang though…

2014 Ford Mustang Roush Stage 3 3/4 view
2014 Ford Mustang Roush Stage 3 (Photo: Mathieu St-Pierre)