Muscle cars and special editions on display at Chicago

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Chrysler and Ford have unveiled new editions of their competing muscle cars at the Chicago Auto Show, which opened to the public February 12.

The Dodge Challenger is celebrating its 40th anniversary, originally making its debut in 1969 as a 1970 model. To celebrate, Dodge has produced two 2010 Dodge Challenger R/T Classic and Challenger SRT8 special edition models in "Furious Fuchsia" colors, complete with Pearl White leather performance seats.

"Commemorating four decades of Challenger performance, the new R/T Classic and SRT8 Furious Fuchsia editions modernize one of the most memorable hues from 1970 to create a modern muscle-car that exudes more performance, passion and even more nostalgia," said Chrysler’s Ralph Gilles.

Not to be outdone, Ford used the Chicago auto show to launch a performance version of its 2011 Mustang, the 2011 Ford Shelby GT500. Engineered by Ford’s Special Vehicle Team in collaboration with Shelby American, the GT500 offers a 10 horsepower increase (to 550 hp) from the 5.4 liter V8 engine, which is 102 pounds lighter.

"Cutting weight to improve performance is a tradition among hot rodders," said Carroll Shelby, founder of Shelby American. "It might not be as sexy as adding more horsepower or bigger brakes, but shaving pounds off of a car is the single smartest move you can make."

Nissan has also launched a 40th anniversary model, the 370Z Black Edition. There will be a limited edition run of 1,000 units to celebrate the 1970s launch of the Nissan Z series, now the best selling sports car series of all time.

Troubled automaker Toyota also launched a limited edition of its Scion coupe, the 2010 tC Release Series 6.0. Available only in "Speedway Blue," the 1,100 unit run will feature a "unique matte-black vinyl graphic that flows along the beltline and features the RS 6.0 logo on the rear quarter panel."

The Chicago Auto Show runs through February 21.

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