These are the most powerful American muscle cars
The V-8 isn’t dead yet. In fact, the horsepower wars are just heating up, especially now that Ford has released highly anticipated power figures for the upcoming Shelby GT500. The Big Three are all finding ways to pump out more and more power from their V-8 engines, keeping the muscle car tradition alive and well. Keep reading to find out where the GT500 slots among the most powerful American muscle cars on the market.
Dodge Challenger, Charger R/T Scat Packs
485 hp, 475 lb-ft of torque
Dodge bills the Scat Pack versions of the Challenger and Charger as offering the “most muscle for the dollar.” Both cars make 485 hp and 475 lb-ft of torque, and start at $41,490 USD. The base Challenger has a standard six-speed manual transmission that subjects it to a gas guzzler tax (included in above price), while the Charger comes with an eight-speed automatic.
500 hp, 553 lb-ft of torque
Cadillac’s large luxury sedan soldiers on despite slow sales. For 2020, there are two engine options: a 3.5-liter V-6 and the twin-turbo 4.2-liter Blackwing V-8 tuned to make 500 hp. Not only is the CT6 powerful, it is also comfortable—not something that every muscle car can boast.
Ford Mustang Shelby GT350
526 hp, 429 lb-ft of torque
It’s not as powerful as the GT500, but this Shelby sizzles on the track with its 526-hp and 429 lb-ft of torque doled out near its crazy 8,250-rpm redline. And unlike the new 2020 GT500 that is only available with an automatic, this pony has a six-speed manual transmission.
550 hp, 627 lb-ft of torque
Cadillac offered a limited run of CT6-V sedans with a 4.2-liter Blackwing twin-turbo V-8 tuned to make 550 hp. All 275 copies sold out within hours, but apparently, the automaker is bringing the model back for another round. Expect a price increase of $3,100 USD for the new model as it receives more standard features. Since the 640-hp CTS-V sedan is ending its run soon, and thus not included in this list, the CT6-V will soldier on as the defacto powerhouse of the Cadillac lineup.
Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
650 hp, 650 lb-ft of torque
The Camaro ZL1 is a bona fide drift machine, and it’s also quite the looker. Packing a 6.2-liter supercharged V-8, this sixth-gen Camaro makes 650 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque. It’s not the most powerful muscle car out there, but it’s quick, hitting 60 mph in 3.5 seconds in our most recent test. Buyers can choose between a six-speed manual and a 10-speed automatic transmission.
Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
707 hp, 650 lb-ft of torque
We had a blast driving our long-term Charger SRT Hellcat for an entire year. What was it like? “It’s a constant tussle between you behaving like an upright citizen and four-wheeled, tail-out, tire-shredding anarchy,” said Jonny Lieberman. For the 2019 model year, the Charger Hellcat receives a new grille with dual air inlets, an After-Run Chiller inspired by the Demon, and a few other upgrades, leaving its 707-hp rating unchanged.
Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat
717 hp, 656 lb-ft of torque
There are few cars that can put a bigger smile on your face than the Challenger SRT Hellcat. For 2019, Dodge injected 10 extra ponies into the sinister muscle car for a total of 717 hp. The model also receives a new dual-snorkel hood that maximizes airflow to the supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V-8.
Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 (coming this fall)
760 hp, 625 lb-ft of torque
Ford is about to introduce its most powerful street-legal model ever. Arriving in the fall of 2019, the 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 will make 760 hp and 625 lb-ft of torque from its 5.2-liter supercharged V-8. This output is quite an improvement from the last GT500 that offered 662 hp and 631 lb-ft of torque. It has been too early to conduct our own tests, but Ford estimates a 0-60 mph time of about 3.5 seconds and a quarter-mile time of less than 11 seconds. It is said to be so much quicker than the GT350 that it needs hood pins to keep its heavily vented composite hood locked down.
Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye
797 hp, 707 lb-ft of torque
Now that Dodge has ended production of the 840-hp Demon, the Redeye takes its place as the most powerful Challenger—and the most powerful muscle car on the market. We clocked this hotted-up Hellcat reaching 60 mph in a decent 4 seconds flat, and it ran the quarter mile in an impressive 11.8 seconds, just 0.3-second off a McLaren F1 LM. The Redeye benefits from a larger supercharger, increased boost pressure, and larger induction air box compared to the regular Hellcat, among other updates.