American muscle is alive and well, and arguably, has never done better. The race between the big three — that’s the Camaro, the Challenger, and the Mustang — has never been fiercer, and their respective engineers are pulling out all the stops to ensure that theirs reigns supreme in some capacity.
And while the drag strip was once home-sweet-home for these rides, their parent companies are finding that track performance is as important (or even more important) that outright speed in a straight line. But have no fear, the time-tested formula of big power up front and rear-wheel drive has been left largely intact. Perhaps most importantly, these cars offer exceptional performance for prices that are a fraction of what you would pay for a similarly endowed, more exotic vehicle.
As it turns out, all three players have made some ripples in the news cycle this week. Here are a couple of the headlining stories.
Chevy’s working on a new Camaro
Spy shots have surfaced that reveal that Chevrolet is hard at work prepping the next iteration of the Camaro, which could either be the next generation of the ZL1 (pictured) or the SS 1LE. According to Autoblog, the rear of the car has been smoothed and rounded out to an extent, and the quad-exhausts imply that whatever is under the hood means business. “A rear spoiler can be seen poking off the rear deck lid, while the hood sports what look like some cooling vents,” the site explained, adding that the new generation may likely soak up its first rays of spotlight later in 2015.
Ford unleashes the new Mustang’s power specs
The least amount of power you can have in a new Ford Mustang is 300 horsepower. The most, as Ford recently disclosed, is 435 — for now. That’s for the GT trim, and represents a bump of about 15 horsepower from Ford’s beloved 5.0 liter V8. Torque is also pegged at an even 400 pound-feet. The new kid on the block, the EcoBoost turbocharged 2.3 liter inline-four, produces a respectable 310 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. That puts it well ahead of the Camaro SS’s 426 horsepower and gives it a further advantage over the Challenger R/T’s 375.
The Dodge (FIATY.PK) Challenger Hellcat made some waves when it was first revealed, and even a storm when its official specs were published. But will those waves be large enough to capsize the good ships Mustang and Camaro? That remains fairly unclear now, but one thing is crystal: The Hellcat, at 707 horsepower, makes mincemeat of the Shelby GT500 and the Camaro ZL1 — at least on paper, and in a straight line. However, as cars like the Mustang and the Camaro Z/28 are becoming more track-focused, the Challenger runs the risk of being the king of an outdated empire — but when you’re hitting 199 miles per hour, burning 1.5 gallons of fuel per minute, and running quarters in 11.2 seconds (with street tires) for about $60,000, who the hell cares?