10 Fastest Modern Muscle Cars
Modern American Muscle Cars at their finest
Although displacements in modern muscle cars’ engines have gone south compared to those from sixties and early seventies, some of them still pack a heavy punch. The problem is to determine which of the modern cars is eligible to qualify for the muscle car moniker. Things were much simpler back in the day when a car only needed a sturdy 300 plus horsepower V8 in order to be considered a fastest muscle car. Today, it’s more about turbocharging, and even supercharging, but the principle remains, more or less, the same. Modern muscles still pack plenty of heat under their hoods, and they’re still some of the most coveted cars around – to the right people, that is.
While compiling this list, we have decided to include only muscle cars featuring V8 engines. After all, that was one of the first rules in determining whether a car is a muscle or not. This means that the likes of the Dodge Viper (V10) and even the Ford Taurus SHO or the Nissan GT-R (V6) won’t make an appearance here. Furthermore, by fastest, we mean their respective acceleration and top speed combination; not their net horsepower. Finally, we have decided to limit the term “modern” to the last few model years. That means only the newest muscle cars (those you can actually buy with 0 miles on their odometers) will make it here.
10. Dodge Challenger SRT 392
As you’re about to find out (if you didn’t know already), Dodge’s dynamic duos comprised of various Challengers and Chargers are pretty much the same when it comes to performance. They are fitted with exactly the same powertrains, and only their size makes the difference. That said, Challenger SRT 392 is slightly faster than its Charger counterpart with max top speed of 182 mph (compared to 175 mph). 0 to 60 time comes to around 4.5 seconds, but we feel that 6.4L V8 with 485 hp and 475 lb-ft of torque should definitely fare better than that.
9. Chevrolet Camaro SS
Brace yourselves, for the trio of Camaros is coming! sixth generation, 2018 year models are still rather fresh, hence the SS is still the flagship model for now. Not counting the iconic ZL1, of course. It’s a much better performer than outgoing SS models, though, which is evident by its top speed of 165 mph and 0 to 60 time of 3.9 seconds. Well, 6.2L V8 LS3 tends to offer that kind of figures – especially thanks to updated power ratings which now amount to 455 hp and 455 lb-ft of torque.
8. Chevrolet Camaro Z/28
Z/28 is definitely one of the most coveted of all the Camaros, but its hefty price tag presents a huge obstacle for most people. Although available since the first generation, this iconic track Camaro is currently unavailable in the sixth. You can still get it as 2015 year model, and it’s as entertaining as it ever was. If top speed of 190 mph, 0 to 60 time of 4 seconds, 505 horses and 481 pound-feet of torque aren’t exhilarating enough, then I don’t know what is?!
7. Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R
While the Shelby GT500 lies dormant hibernating, the GT350R is the one currently reigning over Mustang’s famous lineup. Thanks to its 5.2L flat-plane crank V8, latest of the Shelby’s puts up 526 hp and 429 lb-ft of torque. Top speed of 175 mph doesn’t say a lot about it, but 3.7 seconds it needs to reach 60 mph certainly do. The GT350R is, however, much more than a tire-burning Shelby. It’s now stable and tight around corners thanks to improved handling dynamics. You can get yourself one for just north of $63,000, while it’s slightly slower R-less sibling can be had for just shy of $50,000.
6. Dodge Challenger SRT Demon
The mighty Dodge Challenger SRT Demon hit us like a lightning bolt when its details were first disclosed in 2017. A maximum of 840 horsepower and 770 pound-feet of twist were already mind-blowing to begin with. But Demon’s 0 to 60 and quarter mile times were even more staggering. Mopar’s most powerful production car ever accelerates to 60 mph in just 2.3 seconds while eating quarter-miles in high nines. 6.2L supercharged SRT Demon powerplant wasn’t tuned for high speeds, though. The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon “only” makes it to 168 mph.
5. Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE
ZL1 is slightly more affordable than the Z/28, but it packs even more heat. New 2018 year models feature 6.2L supercharged V8 powerplants capable of putting up no less than 650 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque. This is good enough for the top speed of 190 mph and 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds time. Even its 2015 model year predecessor the ZL1 was worthy of this list, but sometimes you simply have to move on. Outgoing models made 580 horsepower and almost 100 lb-ft of torque less than the ZL1 1LE.
4. Cadillac CTS-V
Unlike the aforementioned ponies, Cadillac’s nominee for this 10 modern muscle cars list is a 4-door sedan. This doesn’t mean it’s any less entertaining, though. To the contrary. Caddy now packs a 6.2L supercharged V8 with no less than 640 horses and 630 pound-feet of torque. The same mill motivating the aforementioned Camaro ZL1 1LE. With all that power going to its rear wheels, CTS-V is capable of hitting 60 mph from standstill in 3.6 seconds, and maxing out at 200 mph. Not bad for a luxury 4-door sedan.
3. Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Speaking of 4-door sedans, here’s the fastest one alive – sort of. Dodge has really done a great job with the SRT Hellcat engine which graces their pony Challenger as well. This supercharged 6.2L HEMI V8 yields incredible 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. Thanks to these figures, Hellcat-fitted Charger is capable of hitting 204 mph and accelerating to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds according to Car & Driver’s test.
2. Equus Bass 770
Where to even begin with this one? If you’re looking for the ultimate retro muscle car, this is the way to go – if you have $250,000 to spare, that is. Custom-built luxury muscle car features design cues from the Mustangs, Camaros, Barracudas, GTO’s, Challengers, Chargers, and many other nameplates of old. It also packs some major heat since GM’s 6.4L V8 LS9 helps it raise 640 hp and 605 lb-ft of torque. This should be enough for the top speed of 200 mph and 0 to 60 time of 3.4 seconds.
1. Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat
And, here’s the unofficial winner of fastest modern muscle car competition. Like the SRT Hellcat Charger – the Hellcat Challenger too packs 707 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque thanks to a supercharged 6.2L HEMI V8 engine. Top speed is estimated at 199 mph, while 0 to 60 time is close to the 3 second mark. Some sources state 3.4 seconds, but with the Challenger being slightly lighter than the Charger, we bet it’s pacier as well.
Update January 5, 2018:
The following have been surpassed by newer models. Original text and ranking position remain for comparison’s purposes.
10. Mustang GT Fastback
You just know the rest of the cars on this list are going to be fast and furious if Mustang GT is the one that starts it. 5.0L naturally aspirated V8 is capable enough of delivering 460 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. That said, fastest non-Shelby Mustang is capable of hitting 60 mph from standstill in 4.3 seconds, but its top speed is, sadly, governor limited to 155 mph.