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25 Modern Muscle Cars That Make Drivers Forget The 1960s

Vukasin HerbezJanuary 24, 2020

8. Pontiac G8

Pontiac thought a rear-wheel-drive sedan would help them fight their European competitors. The G8 was a good idea with a redesign, and with a small-block V8 engine it was an effective performance sedan too. The base engine was a solid 3.5-liter V6 producing 256 HP. But the real deal was the G8 GXP with a 6.2-liter V8 producing 415 HP.

Also, the G8 came with high levels of standard equipment as well as a long list of optional extras. Unfortunately, the G8 came too late. Most drivers weren’t ready to accept a G8 performance sedan that could beat the overpriced European models. After years of anemic, front-wheel-drive economy cars and minivans of the ’90s, Pontiac had lost its performance image. Only a handful of buyers remembered what it was known for and capable of achieving. So when they finally presented a car capable of reclaiming the title of the performance brand, they had run out of time. In two years, Pontiac sold just over 30,000 G8s.

7. Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

The swan song of those SVT supercharged Mustangs is the 2013 Shelby GT500. This glorious muscle car had a 5.8-liter supercharged V8 pumping out 662 HP and 631 lb-ft of torque. At the time, this was the most powerful American-made V8 and a proper beast of an engine. When Ford installed it in RWD, the live axle platform became infamous as a tire smoke generator.

But besides its burnout and show potential, it was also a serious performance machine. In fact, a 0 to 60 mph sprint took only 3.5 seconds, so the $50,000 Mustang could embarrass a $250,000 Ferrari at any stoplight drag race. Buyers loved this overpowered Mustang, so despite being discontinued, it’s still the king of the hill among Mustang fans.

6. Pontiac GTO

The first year for the modern GTO was 2004 when the car met universal praise from car buyers and the automotive press. The design wasn’t exactly new or aggressive, but the GTO had a muscle car style and street presence. Under the hood was an LS1 5.7-liter V8 with 350 HP giving it enough performance to be one of the hottest American cars for the 2004 model year.

The 2005 model year saw the introduction of the 400 HP 6.2-liter engine and even better performance numbers with 0 to 60 mph time of just 4.6 seconds. However, sales started to decline to 11,000, and for 2006, the final model year, Ford only sold 14,000 the GTOs. So what was the problem with the 2004 to 2006 GTO? The car was just fine, but it failed to excite car customers like the original GTO did.

Simply, the design was restrained and not particularly aggressive. Although the car was fast, and the performance was convincing, as an overall package the new GTO wasn’t as appealing to new customers. This was the main reason for its early demise and relative market failure. However, most people still feel this car is one of the best modern muscle cars ever.

5. 2020 Shelby GT500

It seems that every new generation of the Shelby GT500 pushes the envelope even further. Each model delivers so much power, it’s hard to comprehend. Just look at the latest 2020 model. From the outside, it looks like a menacing Mustang with a new front fascia, scoops, spoilers, special paint, and carbon wheels. But the real surprise lies beneath the metal.

The massive 5.2-liter supercharged V8 engine delivers 760 HP and sends it to the rear wheels through an intelligent 10-speed automatic. This interesting combo makes the new GT500 the perfect combination of old-school muscle and modern technology. The result is even more astonishing. It takes just 3.3 seconds to get to 60 mph with a 180-mph top speed. Of course, such firepower comes with a hefty price tag. In this case, it costs almost $100,000 fully loaded.

4. Ford F150 Raptor

Derived from an ordinary Ford F-150 truck, the Raptor has an almost supercar performance and unmatched ability to go practically anywhere. It comes with a 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 producing 450 HP and 510 lb-ft of displacement. Also, they gave it a 10-speed automatic transmission and it provides a sub-five-second acceleration time.

Remember, this is a full-size pickup truck with room for five people and a regular truck bed behind the driver. Despite being able to jump dunes and run through the desert, this truck and its immense capabilities make it a stoplight terror as well.

3. Ford Mustang Bullitt

The regular production Mustang GT is a capable and rewarding car, so Ford scored a hit when it introduced the current generation in 2015. The Performance Pack 2 and Shelby versions showed the real potential of the IRS-equipped platform. However, Ford decided to widen its appeal, and not by adding more power, but by adding more style and a touch of Hollywood legend.

The third Bullitt special edition is the 2019 model Ford based on the GT. This means the Bullitt Mustang has the same 5.0-liter V8 with 460 HP but only came as a six-speed manual. Also, the Bullitt has a unique paint job, wheels, and interior trim to copy the legendary 1968 Bullitt Mustang Steve McQueen drove in the car cult classic, Bullitt.

2. Dodge Durango R/T

Do you need a small school bus for when your kids are late for school and you need to get them there in a hurry? How about an SUV that goes from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds? That’s the Dodge Durango SRT with 475 HP and the ability to carry seven passengers and their gear, too. With a 6.4-liter Hemi, the Durango SRT is a pure Dodge muscle car in an SUV package.

In contrast to the other vehicles on this list, which are mostly useless as real SUVs, this Dodge is a capable car. Not only it is among the biggest with three-row seating, but it can also carry and tow the biggest loads, too. That makes the SRT practical and usable in real life. Best of all is its price, which starts at just $64,000.

1. Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

Just when drivers thought Chevy had abandoned adding more power to the C7 Corvette and was concentrating on holding the already powerful car, Corvette creators surprised them with the insane 2019 Corvette ZR1. This version of the C7 Corvette has just been released.

It features an improved Z06 chassis, suspension, and drivetrain as well as an absolute beast of an engine. The 6.2-liter heavily supercharged LT4 engine pumps out 755 HP and 527 lb-ft of torque. It sends all that power to the rear wheels through an automatic or manual gearbox, making the Corvette ZR1 a beast for the streets.

This list proves you can forget ’60s muscle cars in favor of the insane cars being produced in the past 15 or so years. Real muscle car performance is happening now as these 25 modern street machines can prove. The hardest part is to pick which one you want to put in your garage.

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