For folks waiting for the next Shelby GT500 to hit the market, there’s both good and bad news. The good news is, the GT500 is still coming; the bad news is, it won’t arrive until the 2020 model year. In brief, you’ll have to wait a bit longer for a 700-horsepower offering from the Ford performance team.
But muscle car enthusiasts who aren’t waiting around for that particular strain of Mustang have options (excellent options, in fact). While the original pony cars offered 120 horses or so, these days you can buy 10 different models that top 450 horsepower and hit 60 miles per hour in less than 5.0 seconds.
Indeed, you should consider the current stock from Detroit an embarrassment of riches. Here are the 10 fastest muscle cars heading to market for the 2019 model year. (Note: Performance times come from verified tests or automaker estimates and can vary by several tenths of a second, depending on the driver.)
10. Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack
- 0-60 mph: 4.3 seconds
- Quarter mile: 12.4 seconds @ 112.4 mph
You know you’ll be dealing with an obscene amount of speed when the “slowest” car on the list blasts to 60 miles per hour in 4.3 seconds. That’s exactly what the Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack ($39,995) does with its 6.8-liter Hemi V8 (485 horsepower).
Its quarter-mile run times of 12.4 seconds at 112.4 miles per hour will blow away most cars on the road, and having four doors doesn’t take away from that one bit. Under the control of the right driver, it will outrun other models on this list.
9. Chevrolet Camaro SS
- 0-60 mph: 4.1 seconds
- Quarter mile: 12.5 seconds @ 115.2 mph
Chevy continues to amp up performance in its Camaro SS ($37,000), which also got a facelift for the 2019 model year. But we’re here to talk about performance, and the SS gets plenty out of the 6.2-liter V8 capable of 455 horsepower and the same amount (in pound-feet) of torque.
Motor Trend testing got the same powertrain to just 60 mph in just over 4 seconds from a stop. The quarter-mile run lasted 12.5 seconds (115.2 mph).
8. Ford Mustang GT
- 0-60 mph: 4.0 seconds
- Quarter mile: 11.83 seconds @ 119.5 mph
Seeing what Chevy had done with its latest Camaro, it was only a matter of time before Ford responded, and the automaker did so with the 2018 Mustang GT. After adding power and tweaking both automatic and manual transmissions, the 5.0 became capable of 460 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque.
With the Performance Pack added on, a 2019 GT model ($35,355) will continue the tradition of hitting 60 miles per hour in 4.0 seconds or less and the quarter mile in just over 11.8 seconds. Testers have done worse, but you’ll have to judge for yourself.
7. Ford Mustang Bullitt
- 0-60 mph: 4.0 seconds
- Quarter mile: Not tested
For the 2019 model year, Ford mostly left the GT alone but brought out a new special edition: the throwback Mustang Bullitt. Using an enhanced version of the 5.0-liter V8, this Steve McQueen tribute can produce 480 horsepower.
Ford said that gave the 2019 Bullitt ($46,595) a considerable edge over the base GT: This one can hit 163 mph. That’s 8 mpg faster than the stock models you’ll find in dealerships.
6. Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320
- 0-60 mph: Not tested
- Quarter mile: 11.7 seconds @ 115 mph
Dodge has been busy pushing its muscle car lineup to new heights throughout this decade, and things got especially crazy in the past two years. For the 2019 model year, consumers get an updated version of the R/T Scat Pack model named “1320.”
That figure is a reference to the length of the quarter mile (in feet), and it’s the specialty of this debut model ($45,980 including automatic transmission). Dodge says the 1320 will get there in 11.7 seconds at 115 mph, and to show you it means business the 1320 will only come with a driver’s seat.
This model should arrive in dealerships by the first quarter of 2019.
5. Ford Mustang Shelby GT350
- 0-60 mph: 3.9 seconds
- Quarter mile: 12.2 seconds @ 119.5 mph
As Shelby fans wait on the GT500, Ford is bringing out an updated GT350 for 2019 that will arrive early next year. This model will maintain its obscene power quotient (526 horsepower, 429 pound-feet of torque) while improving aerodynamics and adding downforce.
Ford says the ’19 GT350 will be faster on the track, and that’s saying something given the current performance specs. We’ll see how it play out in future tests, but expect it to stay in the top five — if not move up on this list.
Pricing had not been released at press time, but the 2018’s starting price ($57,240) should be a good place to start estimating.
4. Dodge Charger Hellcat
- 0-60 mph: 3.7 seconds
- Quarter mile: 11.8 seconds @ 124 mph
Anyone who thought Ford and GM had the last word on muscle car power thought again when the Dodge Hellcat lineup emerged. These cars run on a supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V8 that produces 707 horsepower and nearly as much torque (650 pound-feet).
That massive force propels the Charger Hellcat (yes, a four-door sedan) to 60 miles per hour in 3.7 seconds. Motor Trend ran the quarter mile in this car in 11.8 seconds while topping 124 mph. The 2018 models start at $67,995, so pricing should be available by October, when the ’19 editions begin arriving in dealerships.
3. Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
- 0-60 mph: 3.5 seconds
- Quarter mile: 11.4 seconds @ 127 mph
Camaro ZL1, Chevy’s top entry in the Detroit muscle car wars, continues charging into the 2019 model year with its 6.2-liter supercharged V8 and choice of 10-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission. That powertrain produces 650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque.
You’ll find only tech and style upgrades in the 2019 ZL1 ($63,200 including gas-guzzler tax), but this model’s performance was settled long ago. It hits 60 mph from a stop in about 3.5 seconds and can run the quarter mile in less than 11.5 seconds at 127 mph.
2. Dodge Challenger Hellcat
- 0-60 mph: 3.7 seconds
- Quarter mile: 11.2 seconds @ 127 mph
With about 100 lbs. less weight and a more imposing powerplant, the 2019 Dodge Challenger Hellcat performs significantly better than its four-door counterpart. In fact, this model’s 717 horsepower bumped its performance specs well beyond the Charger.
Dodge says a “standard” Hellcat will run the quarter mile in 11.2 seconds at 125 miles per hour and hit the top speed of 199 miles per hour. That upgrade comes with a significantly lower starting price (over $5,000 less) than the current model.
The 2019 Challenger Hellcat starts at $61,745 and will begin arriving at dealerships in late 2018.
1. Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye
- 0-60 mph: 3.4 seconds
- Quarter mile: 10.8 seconds @ 131 mph
Dodge went absolutely berserk with the Challenger Demon in 2018, and for the new model year the automaker is bringing out a follow-up in the 2019 Challenger Hellcat Redeye ($72,745 including gas-guzzler tax and destination). We can talk about all the specs we want, but there’s one eye-popping figure that stands out: 797 horsepower.
This car can blast to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds, which is faster than any muscle car in production. Likewise, the Redeye is the fastest GT car in production with its quarter-mile time of 10.8 seconds at 131 mph and top speed of 203 mph.