by Erik Sofge

April 15, 2009

Although the SMS 570 Challenger was officially unveiled at an invitation-only event in January, the custom-built muscle car’s more potent sibling, the 570X, made its first public appearance at the New York International Auto Show this week.
 
The first cars from legendary designer Steve Saleen’s new company, SMS Supercars, the 570 and 570X are essentially heavily modded Dodge Challengers with a ridiculous boost in power and performance. How ridiculous? The 570’s 5.7-liter V8 Hemi VCT engine delivers 500 horsepower and has a top speed of 180 mph. That’s impressive, but with Land Rover announcing two new supercharged models yesterday that break the 500-horsepower mark, and BMW doing the same with its X6 M "sport-activity vehicle," 500 is quickly becoming the new 400.
 
On the other hand, the 570X, and its 6-liter Hemi V8, develops up to 700 horsepower, and has a top speed of 200 mph. And while the new supercharged Range Rover Sport and X6 M can go from zero to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds and 4.5 seconds, respectively, the SMS 570 Challenger does it in just over four.
 
SMS Supercars claims that its patented supercharger and improved air intake, including those distinctive Red Butterfly hood injection vents, makes the 570 a bargain at $65,000, compared to anything else in the 500 horsepower range. The 570X starts at $85,000, and both cars are available to order now, although only 500 of each model will be built. SMS expects to ship the first 570 in the next month, and the inaugural 570X soon after.
 
 
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