February 20, 2009 by Evan Acuña
America has long been known for its muscle cars. For several golden years beginning in the 1960's, the U.S. developed a wonderful knack for cramming big power into relatively small packages. With these testosterone-infused machines, a new genre was born. Quickly developing a reputation for their devastating speed, raw power, and brash good looks, muscle cars were the most coveted vehicles the U.S. had to offer a generation of Steve McQueen wannabes. Their popularity couldn't last forever, though.
Fuel crises, power-sucking emissions standards, and progressive safety legislation all spelled the end for the genuine muscle car. Americans traded in their barges for dinghies, making the Mustangs and Camaros that once looked so small next to their land yacht counterparts seem bloated and fat. The American performance car was dying.
Some of the only vehicles to survive this mass extinction were Ford's Mustang and Chevrolet's Corvette. All others vanished, leaving a void in the hearts of American muscle diehards. A reemergence had come of late, though, brining back such legendary names as Challenger, Charger, and Camaro. Carroll Shelby has once again injected his racetrack-borne steroids into the Mustang, and a reverence for the American performance heyday has brought back many great designs for a new line of 'retro' muscle cars clearly inspired by their old namesakes.
Muscle cars are hot again, and you can now order your Corvette with over 600hp. Perfect. We're back to an age when America knew how to build its own brand of performance car. There are a couple of problems, though.
These new cars offer no sort of progressive values. We're watching a repeat of 1970, only the high school football hero that used to cruise Fridays in his ‘Stang now has back problems and a bald spot. To make matters worse, the Big Three are in Big Trouble, so there's no way to tell how long this trend will last.
Few companies have been brave enough in the past to stray from the American Muscle path towards the road to a true sports car or supercar. Sure, there's Saleen, but don't forget how that company made its first foray into the auto industry: building go-fast parts for Mustangs.
Teritius D. Fortune and his company, FortuneSport, are gearing up to offer the U.S. automotive scene a new take on American performance machinery. This fresh outlook will be a welcome one. The FortuneSport will combine the philosophies of timeless engineers from around the world who were able to change motoring forever.
From Colin Chapman and his Lotus marque, FortuneSport derives its belief in the power of lightness. From Enzo Ferrari and the masterpieces that bear his name, FortuneSport has borrowed the conviction that a true supercar should be uncompromising. Like Ferrari, Fortune values an automotive design process that involves building street car qualities into a package that is essentially a racecar from the beginning, instead of attempting to build sportiness into a basically pedestrian car.
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Though the Rt.S is the only road car in FortuneSport's projected future, the model has a track day counterpart with even more menacing numbers. This evil twin, dubbed the Rt.R, is expected to deliver 500bhp from its V8 in a package that weights a scant 1,650lbs. That's substantially less weight (about 400lbs) than the 240hp Lotus Exige S 240, which is already rocketship fast. Looks like someone's trying to one-up Mr. Chapman.
Fortune offers the following advice for distinguishing between the Rt.S and Rt.R: 'If you think of it as the Rt-Street and Rt-Race, you'll be on the right track. The Rt.R is developed for the track-day enthusiast and is not a stand-alone vehicle.' As part of a special development program for the Rt.R, customers can stretch their cars' legs at 6 special track events per year with support from FortuneSport. As the intent of this track time is to better and further develop the Rt.R, FortuneSport will offer to buy back the cars after 6 years for the full purchase price excluding maintenance and repair costs.
The FortuneSport promises to provide a substantial portion of the American Muscle that has always been at the heart of our automotive culture. With a big V8, it's at least sure to sound the part of our good ol' boys. The influences from other parts of the world are obvious, though, as well as necessary. Combining all these traits in a package engineered and built in America could help to change the American performance reputation.
Enhancing the global qualities of the FortuneSport will be its streamlined body. Emre Husman, a Canadian, penned the lines of FortuneSport's future. As the vehicles are still in development, no photographs are yet available to the public. The sketches are promising, though, and show an attractive vehicle with an appearance somewhat akin to a Bugatti Veyron on a leaner diet.
Teritius Fortune has been working on this project for years, and he excitedly awaits the release of his cars. According to him, the Rt.R is 'ready for order immediately,' and the Rt.S will be introduced in September, 2010 as a 2011 model.
The rest of America should be just as excited for the unveiling of these new cars as Mr. Fortune himself. High-performance automobiles have grown stale in the U.S. Change is needed, and FortuneSport's propositions promise to be refreshing reminders of just what the American car industry is capable of when the people behind it are, like Fortune, genuine, caring aficionados with gasoline in their veins and passion in their hearts.
Information for this article provided by FortuneSport Vehicle Engineering Systems, based in Georgia. Visit www.FortuneSport.net for more information on the company.
Combining American ambition, British simplicity, and Italian flair into one package is one of the best concoctions of globalization that anyone could have created. The specs of the Rt.S, the street legal model planned for release by FortuneSport, prove the worth of this mixture. With a 6.0L V8 producing 350bhp strapped amidships and an incredible projected curb weight of just 1800lbs, the Rt.S should have no problem meeting its estimated 0-60 time and top speed, which are 3.7 seconds and 175mph, respectively.