The Most Powerful Muscle Cars this Millenium
Updated May 26, 2018
Muscle cars are as American as apple pie. They have been in the fabric of our culture since the 1960s. Over the last couple of years, muscle cars have been experiencing a resurgence among the car buying public and American automotive manufacturers.
The term muscle car is used to refer to a group of American-made 2-door sports cars with powerful engines designed for high-performance driving. Most muscle cars had large V8 motors fitted into a two door, rear wheel drive passenger vehicle. Most of the early muscle cars were mass produced and moderately priced, considering the performance that the buyer received. Muscle cars at the time were built for street use and occasional drag racing.
Muscle cars were largely a product of the 1960s and 70s when gasoline was plentiful and prices were low. Several years ago, prices for muscle cars from the 1960s and 70s skyrocketed. Around that time, American automobile manufacturers began bringing back the muscle cars of years past. The Dodge Challenger and Charger reemerged using the same design DNA from the muscle car era. Design cues started to show up in new versions of the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro and became available with high-performance V8 engine options.
Since that time, the benchmark of performance for muscle cars has been increasing at an ever faster rate. Modern muscle car engines put out double or more power than their predecessors are more efficient and dependable overall. Every system making up the modern muscle cars has been improving every year.
While there is more than one way to define power, we are going to use raw horsepower for the purposes of this list. The focus of this list fits the definition of a classic muscle car in that the vehicle will need to be mass produced. While there are several specialty muscle car manufacturers putting out amazing vehicles that are amazingly fast, their vehicles are available to only a select few with very deep pockets. As a result, their vehicles are not included in this list.
What are the most powerful modern muscle cars? Without further ado, here is the list.
Dodge Hellcat – 707 HP (2015-2016)
In 2014 dodge shocked the muscle car world by releasing the Dodge Hellcat.
The most powerful muscle car in production, the Hellcat produces a whopping 707 horsepower and 650 pound feet of torque. This enables the Hellcat to go from 0 to 60 in 3.5 seconds, accelerating all the way to a top speed of 199 miles per hour. The Hellcat can rocket through a quarter mile in a scant 11.2 seconds. At this rate, the Hellcat burns through gas at a rate of 1 .5 gallons per minute. Performance-wise, the Hellcat offers performance on par with cars from Ferrari and Lamborghini, albeit at a much lower price.
Shelby GT 500 – 662 HP (2013-2014)
The Shelby GT500 is the best of what the Ford Mustang has to offer. The GT500 has a 0 to 60 time of 3.5 seconds, accelerating all the way to a top speed of 189 miles per hour. Producing 662 horsepower and 631 pound feet of torque, the GT500 can tackle the quarter mile in 11.5 seconds. The heart of the GT500 is of 5.8 liter supercharged engine.
Chevrolet Corvette ZO6 – 650 HP (2014-2016)
The Chevrolet Corvette z06 is powered by a 6.2 liter V8 engine producing 650 horsepower and 650 pound feet of torque. This is enough to propel the vehicle from 0 to 60 and 3 seconds. The Z06 is available either a 7-speed manual transmission or 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. As would be expected, the Corvette shatters the quarter mile in an impressive 10.95 seconds at 127 miles per hour. The Z06 equipped with an automatic transmission rockets through the quarter mile in 11.2 seconds, also at 127 miles per hour.
Dodge VIPER – 645 HP (2013-2016)
The only muscle car on the list that does not come with a V8 is the legendary Dodge Viper. Powered by and 8.4 liter V10 engine that generates 645 horsepower and massive 600 pound feet of torque, power is put into motion through a Tremec 6-speed manual transmission. As would be expected, performance is breathtaking: 0 to 60 miles per hour is attained in 3 seconds with the quarter mile in the low 11s. 0 to 100 and back to 0 happens in less than 12 seconds. Top speed depending upon your aerodynamic aids is between 177 and 206 miles per hour.
Chevy Camaro ZL1 – 580 HP (2012-2015)
The best of what the Camaro has to offer is the ZL1. The ZL1 is powered by a 6.2 liter supercharged V8 that produces 580 horsepower and 556 pound feet of torque, accelerating to a top speed of 184 miles per hour. This is sufficient to go from 0 to 60 in 3 .9 seconds and rush through the quarter mile in 12 seconds flat.
Camaro z28 – 505 HP (2014-2016)
The legendary Camaro is on the list twice, first with the ZL1 and secondly with the Z28. Powered by a 7.0 liter LS7 V8 engine, the Z28 produces 505 horsepower and 481 pound feet of torque. This is sufficient to propel the vehicle from 0 to 60 in 4 seconds flat and complete the quarter mile in 12.2 seconds.
Challenger 392 – 485 HP (2011-2016)
The Challenger 392 is powered by a 6.4 liter V8 engine producing 485 horsepower and 470 pound feet of torque. The 0 to 60 time of the Challenger is a quick 4.2 seconds.
Challenger SRT8 Core – 470 HP (2013-2014)
The Challenger SRT8 Core is a special treat for the hardcore challenger enthusiast. While not the fastest challenger, it is near the top. The Core edition comes in specialized colors associated with MOPAR during the muscle car era. Colors include Orange Pearl and Plum Crazy Pearl. The SRT8 Core scoots from a standstill to 60 miles per hour in 4 seconds flat runs through the quarter mile and 12.5 seconds.
Charger 392 – 470 HP (2011-2016)
Like the Charger, the Challenger makes another appearance on this list with the 392. The Charger 392 is powered by Dodge’s 6.4 liter V8 engine producing 470 horsepower and 470 pound feet of torque. This is sufficient to propel the vehicle from 0 to 60 in 4.2 seconds and rocket through the quarter mile and 12.6 seconds.
Mustang Boss 302 – 444 HP (2013-2013)
Mustang’s Boss 302 comes to the game with a 444 horsepower 5.0 liter V8 engine producing 380 pound feet of torque. The Boss 302 rockets from a standstill to 60 miles in 4 seconds flat and manage a quarter mile in 12.3 seconds.