Best Modern Muscle Cars: Power, Speed and Thrill Redefined

Best Modern Muscle Cars: Power, Speed and Thrill Redefined

Modern muscle cars provide an incredible evolution from the original muscle car era to today. What are some of the best modern power machines?

The original muscle car era took place in the 1960s and 1970s, but modern muscle cars take things further than the original models ever could. Early cars used large-block V-8 engines and carburetors to produce as much power as possible. Modern muscle cars are a different breed. Small-block V-8s are the norm, along with cutting-edge technology, refined performance, and improved aerodynamics. Some of these modern power beasts have brought back classic styling to give us the best of both worlds.

Here are some of the best modern muscle cars.

Chevrolet Camaro Z/28

Top Speed: 172 MPH

High-performance versions of the Chevy Camaro aren’t new, but the 2014 Z/28 is one of the best modern muscle cars of this century. While it’s bested by the current ZL1, this car laid the groundwork for the existence of the current top model. The Z/28 nameplate is part of muscle car lore. Anyone who hears Camaro Z/28 knows the car is something special and filled with purpose-built racing qualities dating back to the 1967 version of this car. The massive V-8 engine under the hood of the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 is one of the last big-blog engines used. This incredible Camaro rounded Nürburgring in 7:37.47, besting some Porsche and Lamborghini supercars.

Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R

Top Speed: 174 MPH

In 2015, Ford released the Shelby GT350R to celebrate 50 years of the original 1965 Shelby Mustang GT350R. This car shows what a long-term partnership between Ford and Shelby America can produce and what it means. The GT350R brings true racing DNA to the market as one of the best track cars Ford ever built. In addition to impressive power figures, the GT350R also offers a full range of track-oriented upgrades to improve the handling and precision of this car. This Mustang has a few tricks up its sleeve with a specially tuned suspension system, MagneRide dampers, adjustable sway bars, and stiffer springs.

Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 S550

Top Speed: 180 MPH

The car that holds the title as the highest horsepower model from Ford is the 2022 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 S550. This amazing machine puts out an astonishing 760 horsepower, besting many supercars wearing Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Porsche logos. Unlike the Dodge muscle cars on this list, this Ford Mustang doesn’t rely on straight-line speed alone. This incredible car has the handling and suspension qualities to make it one of the most fun and powerful track cars in the modern era.

Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Top Speed: 198 MPH

The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 caught the attention of the supercar world as one of the fastest modern muscle cars to turn a lap at Nürburgring in 7:29.60. The incredible power coming from under the hood is matched by the impressive performance package that keeps this car glued to the track. Modern versions of this Camaro have only gotten faster and quicker than when it first appeared in 2012. The 2023 model can hit 60 mph in 3.7 seconds using the six-speed manual and 3.5 seconds when equipped with the 10-speed automatic and the 1LE Track Pack.

Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody

Top Speed: 203 MPH

Dodge created its modern muscle cars to rocket to the end of a quarter-mile stretch faster than any other car on the track. The 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody has the goods to finish a quarter-mile in 11.9 seconds at 124 mph: pretty impressive for a heavy muscle car. The latest versions of the Charger can be had with AWD, and one of the Last Call models, the Jailbreak Charger, packs 807 horsepower and 707 lb-ft of torque. Still, the Hellcat Redeye Widebody is an aggressive, powerful, and fast car on any road or track.

Dodge Challenger SRT Demon

Top Speed: 211 MPH

Can you get a Dodge Challenger that finishes the quarter-mile in less than ten seconds? If you have the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, the answer is “yes.” This incredible monster is good for a lightning-quick 9.65-second time in the quarter-mile, hitting 140 mph as it crosses the line. Until the latest batch of Last Call Challengers appeared, the Demon was the most powerful and fastest of the modern muscle cars. The new 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 brings the power figures to insane levels with 1,025 horsepower from the same 6.2-liter Supercharged Hemi V-8 engine that’s been part of Hellcat lore since the first version appeared.

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