Horsepower junkies get their fix

I always say there are three things in life you can't have enough of: Money is one. Good looks are up there too. And you can never have enough horsepower.

Here at the New York International Auto Show, there are gobs and gobs of the latter. You want it in a convertible? Sure. Try the new Cadillac XLR-V, a 440 horsepower roadster unveiled by GM at the show. Want a retro coupe? The king of that hill is the new Ford Mustang Shelby Cobra GT500. Auto industry legend Carroll Shelby himself stood by at the unveiling of the car today. It will have around 450 horsepower when it comes to market next summer.

Is a Mustang too brutish for you? That's OK. There are plenty of other options. Among them--the Ferrari 430. The latest from the prancing horse company, unveiled at the show, is a 430 Spider. Its convertible roof folds up and tucks away for wind-in-your-hair driving. It's got 490 horsepower. The price? Well, if you have to ask...

Not everyone is a horsepower junkie. In fact most people probably believe that anything more than 250 horsepower (about what most six-cylinder minivans and family sedans offer these days), is too much. For all practical purposes they're right. But as long as there's demand for faster, more capable sports cars, manufacturers will build them.

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by Drew Stearne