We told you last month that driving America’s best muscle
cars needed to be one of your key New Year’s Resolutions for 2014. The
selection of pure American muscle motor on the roads today is better than it
has been in decades. We present the cars you’ve got to test-drive before this
calendar year is up. Just don’t ask us to rate them—that would be far too
As much as we love the wickedly fast Viper, there is something about a big engine in an unassuming package that keeps us grounded when it comes to the ever-evolving Dodge lineup. The funky but powerful Dodge Challenger SRT embodies this ideal, and despite living in its brethren’s shadow, we all know from Chevy’s Vette-Camaro relationship that siblings have the added benefit of great family genes—engineers, in this case. The 2014 SRT holds its own with its 392-cubic inch HEMI which musters its giant 6.4-liter V8, pumping out 470 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque while still managing an exceptional 23 mpg highway rating. If the power, awe-inspiring growl and retro looks don’t get you, the under $40K price tag will.
We love novelty, but sometimes it’s nice to reflect on the tastes and styles of yesteryear—in this case the outgoing Ford Mustang’s injected behemoth, the Shelby GT500. While we’re torn between saying goodbye to this no doubt collectible and welcoming the new ’Stang (see below), the GT500 impressed us with its vicious styling, a classic homage to the late Shelby’s early vehicles, and pure brute power. Containing an aluminum 5.8-liter supercharged V8, the GT500 produced an unbelievable 662 horses of power and 631 pound-feet of torque. This vehicle contains the most powerful production V8 in the world. Permission to drool granted.
Joining Chevy’s performance lineup as the first RWD sports
sedan in 17 years, the SS isn’t your typical muscle car. Moving in on the
Challenger’s turf, cool dads who manage to get away with buying one of these
sick puppies will be treated to a 6.2-liter V8 that produces a respectable 415
horsepower and equal amount of torque. Not bad, considering it’s closing in on
the Challenger. We love the aggressive design and bold styling Chevy has put into
the SS, and considering it shares the same track-proven platform of the Camaro,
we know it’s going to handle the ridiculous amounts of tomfoolery you’ll want
to subject it to. Leave the kids at home.
It’s finally here. Like a kid on Christmas
morning, we’ve been counting down the seconds until our Best of Show choice
from the 2013 New York Auto Show—the next-gen Z/28—made its ceremonial
landing in showrooms across the country. The most track-capable Camaro of its
kind, the Z/28 features 1.05 gs of cornering acceleration with an equal amount
of stopping power due to the precision-tuned Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes. The
massive, naturally aspirated 7.0-liter dry-sump LS7 V8 engine provides 505
horses of power and 481 pound-feet of torque. The first production model sold
last weekend at the Barrett-Jackson charity auction for a cool $650,000, but
you’ll be able to pick one up for a joyride starting at $75,000—steep by some estimations,
but a guaranteed collector car that will give you hours of endless adrenaline?
We’re betting on it. Oh—and it’s three seconds faster than the current flagship
ZL1. Need we say more?
Ah yes, last but definitely not least stands the incredibly
hot new 2015 Mustang Fastback. While we are still as torn as we were last month
at its unveiling over the convertible variant, we’re sure that the wide-open
Route 66 will eventually win us over on the merits of losing the top on special
occasions. Radical, sexy and streamlined, the new American muscle legend—not to
mention Ford’s poster child—is an absolute dream arriving 50 years after the
inaugural model was first released. With three engine options up for grabs, a
V6 (300 hp), Turbo V4 (305 hp) and flagship V8 (420hp), the Mustang range is
well equipped to be affordable to the masses while providing lavish style,
pride and nostalgia. Of our five cars to drive this year, we’d recommend