Ford Shelby Mustang GT350R

The original muscle car was the Oldsmobile Rocket 88, which hit the streets in 1949. While there have been some periods where it looked like the muscle car was going extinct, they’ve always come back stronger than ever.

Let’s look at 3 of the best modern muscle cars available right now.

What Are Muscle Cars?

While the first muscle car debuted in 1949, the term itself wouldn’t show up until the 1960s when Pontiac described the 1964 GTO as a “muscle car.” The term quickly caught on and was used for all brands of vehicles.

At its core, a muscle car is an intermediate-sized vehicle with a powerful engine, usually a V8. Traditionally, muscle cars were American-made but there’s some debate over that point.

One of the nice things about muscle cars is that you can easily get parts from a source like That’s just not possible with a lot of “supercars” with this kind of performance like Porsche or Ferrari.

  1. Ford Shelby Mustang GT350R

The Mustang is one of the original muscle cars and Carroll Shelby’s versions were even higher-performance than the factory models. Ford and Shelby had their ups and downs since then but they’ve been working together again for several years.

The modern GT350R is one of the most powerful Mustangs to ever hit the pavement. Its 5.2-liter V8 generates 526 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque. The “R” in its name means it was designed for racing, with carbon fiber components throughout. The combination gives it a 0-60 time of 3.8 seconds and a quick 12.5-second quarter-mile.

  1. Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

We couldn’t mention the Mustang without including its arch-rival, the Chevrolet Camaro. The Camaro is another genre-defining vehicle from the 1960s.

The modern ZL1 version sports a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 that generates a whopping 650 pound-feet of torque plus a matching 650 horsepower. It bests the Mustang GT350R with a 3.5-second 0-60 time and only 11.4 seconds for the quarter-mile.

  1. Dodge Challenger SRT Demon

To complete the trifecta of the big three brands of muscle cars from the 1960s, we’ve got the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. Dodge has several high-performance versions of the Challenger but the Demon is the most extreme muscle car to ever come straight from the factory.

The SRT Demon sports a 6.2-liter turbocharged engine that’s also equipped with a 2.7-liter supercharger. The combination produces 840 horsepower — enough to need a special type of drag radial road tires.

This monster can go from 0 to 60 in only 2.3 seconds and runs the quarter-mile in only 9.65 seconds, hitting 140 miles per hour in the process.

Modern Muscle Cars Might Be the Best Ever

While purists might tell you the 1960s were the golden age of the muscle car, that’s definitely up for debate. Modern muscle cars are faster, more powerful, and more comfortable to drive than anything in those early years. That’s pretty hard to beat.

Check out the rest of our site for more articles about muscle cars — modern and classic.


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