Power and adrenaline: the two things most commonly associated with one of the specialties of American automakers. Companies like Ford, Pontiac, Dodge, Chevrolet, and others built their reputations through the 1960s and ’70s by crafting fast, aerodynamic workhorses that could blast down the road at unmatched speeds and ruled the streets long before many of today’s modern sports cars ever did.
The streets of America once served as the proving grounds for many of the world’s amateur racers, and these days, the races have moved to the track. Several of the cars of years past have been reincarnated into newer, faster, and more precise forms, ranging from Chevy’s Camaro to the Dodge Charger. Not only has the horsepower and speed been kicked up a notch, but so has the engineering and design.
Here, we take a look at the fastest modern muscle cars that have graced the U.S. market. While there are some glaring omissions, the list was limited to cars that we could find precise, reliable test data for, either from the manufacturer or from reputable publications. There are some that test data was not available for, including the Dodge Challenger Mopar and the Shelby Mustang 1000, which otherwise would make an appearance. Sports cars, including the Dodge Viper and Chevy Corvette, have also been omitted in order to stick closer to pure muscle car DNA. Notably, the Ford Mustang GT350 and GT350R have not yet been included, pending availability of data.
A few factors were taken into account to develop the rankings, including top overall speed, time from 0-60, and quarter-mile times. So without further ado, here are the thirteen fastest modern muscle cars that are currently available.
Source: Dodge - Credit: Sam Becker
13. Camaro SS
Chevy has put a lot of stock in its classic Camaro line, and the SS model is one of the company’s fastest. The Camaro SS clocks in with a quarter mile time just a hair short of 13 seconds, at 12.9 for the current generation. It can also make the sprint from zero to 60 miles per hour in 4.5 seconds — quick by any measure. For 2016, though, the SS creates 455 horsepower from its 6.2 liter V8 engine, along with 455 pound-feet worth of torque, so expect those figures to fall dramatically. Though powerful, it comes up short of some of Chevy’s other Camaro models that can handily outperform it.
12. Challenger R/T Scat Pack
Get used to seeing the Challenger’s name called over the course of our journey through the fastest modern muscle cars, as Dodge has thoroughly cemented its place in the new American lexicon. Of the smattering of available Challenger models, the R/T Scat Pack variant can scream to 60 miles per hour in 4.5 seconds, and race past a quarter mile in 12.4 seconds. The R/T Scat Pack Challenger brings the noise in the form of 495 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque, coming thanks to a 6.4-liter V8 engine which allows it to reach an overall top speed of 175 miles per hour. Fast, but not nearly the fastest Challenger on the market.
11. Charger SRT8 Super Bee
It may have a funny name, but this Dodge Charger iteration is no laughing matter. Performance stats include a 4.4-second 0-60 time, and a quarter-mile time of 12.8 seconds, which it gets done at 112 miles per hour. The Super Bee, which is no longer available, was outfitted with a 6.4-liter V8 engine, which produces 470 pound-feet of torque along with 470 ponies. There was also a limited-edition version of this car, dubbed the Yellow Jacket, which was painted yellow and black, along with fancy badges and stripes.
10. Mustang GT
Ford’s world-famous muscle car, the Mustang, has come in a variety of forms over the years, and the GT trim has long been among the fastest available from the factory. Sporting a searingly-quick 0-60 time of 4.3 seconds, and an equally as impressive quarter-mile time of 12.7 seconds, the Mustang GT earns itself a spot among the top ten fastest modern muscle cars. The 2015 GT redesign houses a 5.0-liter, 435 horsepower V8 engine that also comes with a side of 400 lb-ft of torque.
9. Charger 392
The Charger makes another appearance on the list, this time in the form of the 392. This variant outraces the Super Bee on all fronts; including a 0-60 time of 4.2 seconds and a quarter mile time of 12.6 seconds. The Charger 392 makes do with 470 pound-feet of torque, along with 470 horsepower supplied by Dodge’s ubiquitous 6.4-liter V8 engine. The 392 can also hit a white-knuckle top overall speed of 178 miles per hour, providing that dose of speed many car buffs require.
8. Challenger 392
Catching up with the Charger 392 is the Challenger that comes by the same name, with a 0-60 time of 4.2 seconds. The Challenger 392 gets the nod above its Charger brother in terms of 485 horsepower, from the same 6.4-liter V8 engine, which also cranks out 470 pound-feet of torque. It’s a tough choice when it comes to selecting the right 392 model, but for a slight edge in power and performance, the Challenger wins out over the Charger.
7. Challenger SRT8 Core
The Challenger SRT8 Core, a special-edition for hardcore Challenger enthusiasts, isn’t the fastest variant, but it’s near the top. The ‘Core’ model is a performance version released by SRT, and it also comes in specialized colors, including Orange Pearl and Plum Crazy Pearl. Not only is it very aesthetically pleasing, but it gets the job done on the road as well. The Core version can reach 60 miles per hour in four seconds flat, and get past a quarter-mile distance in 12.5 seconds. The Challenger isn’t the only model to get the ‘Core’ treatment, but it is the quickest.
6. Mustang Boss 302
It’s hard to argue with a title like ‘boss,’ and this Mustang iteration proves it. Ford’s Mustang Boss 302 brought the muscle to the streets in the shape of 444 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. It takes just 4 seconds flat for the Boss to reach to 60 miles per hour from a standstill, and it can manage a quarter mile in 12.3 seconds courtesy of Ford’s beloved 5.0-liter V8 engine. The 302 has since been discontinued, and but the 526 horsepower GT350 will be a more than adequate replacement.
5. Camaro Z28
The Z28 nameplate is legendary among Camaro fans, and the legend lives on to this day with the best and fastest Z28 ever. The Z28 can make the sprint from rest to 60 miles per hour in four seconds flat, and make the trip to a quarter-mile in 12.2 seconds, besting all but a few muscle cars on the market. After all these years, the Camaro still proves it can hold its own as one of the most aggressive vehicles available — but this isn’t even the fastest Camaro on the market.
4. Camaro ZL1
Even better than the Z28 is Chevy’s baddest and fastest Camaro yet, The ZL1 – a 580 horsepower monster, which will leave many bystanders slack-jawed in awe of its power (hopefully). The ZL1 is equipped with a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine that knocks out 556 pound-feet of torque along with all that horsepower and is capable of a terminal speed of 184 miles per hour. Even more impressive, it can jet to 60 miles per hour in just 3.9 seconds, and cover a quarter mile in 12 seconds flat.
3. Shelby GT500
The ZL1 Camaro demonstrates the top of Chevy’s game, and the Shelby GT 500 Mustang showcases the best of Ford. The Shelby GT 500 has the ability to tackle the quarter mile in 11.5 seconds, and also rocket to 60 miles per hour from a standstill in 3.5 seconds. The Shelby tops out at 189 miles per hour behind the power of 662 horses and a monstrous 631 pound-feet of torque, all courtesy of a 5.8-liter supercharged V8 engine.
2. Equus Bass 770
One of the less-known muscle cars on the market, the Equus Bass 770 is about to change the world’s perception for good. Seemingly a cross between a Mustang and a Challenger or Charger, the Equus Bass 770 brings serious speed and power to the table — for a price. Boasting a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine, borrowed from aCorvette ZR1, the Bass 770 makes 640 horsepower and 605 pound-feet of torque, all the while reaching a speed of 60 miles per hour in just 3.4 seconds. As previously mentioned, it comes at a price –$250,000, to be exact.
1. Challenger SRT Hellcat
The new kid on the block is also the most formidable. The Challenger Hellcat — perhaps the most aptly named vehicle ever — has quickly made a name for itself as the fastest production muscle car of all time. The Hellcat purrs out a hearty 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque, which allows it to spring to 60 miles per hour in around 3.5 seconds on its way to an overall top speed of 199 miles per hour, putting it in a class with other supercars from Ferrari and Lamborghini. The quarter-mile can also be done in a relative snap, as the Hellcat can get it done in a scant 11.2 seconds. Of course, it does burn through gas at a rate of 1.5 gallons per minute, so don’t plan on commuting with this beast.