With the sixth generation of the Mustang, Ford has made a purposeful move away from the retro lines of the previous generation and toward a decidedly more modern look. Fortunately for those that prefer the heyday styling of true 60s and 70s muscle cars, there's a new option. Michigan-based Equus Automotive combines classic muscle-car looks and power with luxuriously appointed interiors.

We've previously looked at the Equus Bass770, but the public premiere at this week's North American International Auto Show was the first chance we got to get up close. We're not all that sure there's much of a market for a US$250,000 luxe-muscle car, but if there is, it's sure to storm Equus' doors. The car has some serious presence.

While automakers like Ford and Dodge are focused on more of a "retro futurism," Equus has the courage to say without hesitation that the most imitable muscle car designs were the originals. So what if they're 50 years old, they still look good. We think car enthusiasts will agree as they look over the Bass770's flat face, round headlamps and fastback cabin, all of which look lifted straight out of muscle-car past without much modernization at all. Equus knows what it likes about muscle car styling and it's not afraid to emulate it.

In its quiet downstairs corner of the Detroit show, from a distance the Equus booth looked much more like a classic muscle car display than the home of a world-premiere sports car. It wasn't until you walked past the velvet ropes and popped the driver-side door that the car's true character came to life.

The interior is hand-wrapped in rich, colorful leather that is carefully matched to the exterior. Polished metal and modern instrumentation pop vividly against the leather backdrop. It's certainly a staircase beyond the transmission tunnel-divided bucket seats, floating dashboard and flagpole-sized shifter of a 60s-era Mustang.

Since the Bass770 hasn't changed much from its first appearance in September, we won't cover all the ins and outs, but we do feel obliged to repeat the meatiest specs. The 770 is powered by a 6.2-liter supercharged GM LS9 V8 that puts out 640 hp and 605 lb-ft of torque.

From a comfortable niche within the front of the aluminum chassis, that engine pushes the car to 60 mph (96.5 km/h) in 3.4 seconds before firing it up to a 200 mph (322 km/h) top speed, as the driver shifts manually between six speeds. Systems like magnetic selective ride control and performance traction management ensure all that brute power is put to work creating a tight ride.

Equus recently began production on the $250,000 Bass770 and told us deliveries will take about three to five months. It plans to work closely with each customer to create a bespoke machine hand-built to their specifications.

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