Two of the biggest Chrysler legends from the classic days of the muscle car culture are the Barracuda and the 426 Hemi engine. All through the â60s, those icons of the industry didn’t mix, at least not in street-legal cars. In 1970 Plymouth offered this legendary engine in the Barracuda body, immediately creating one of the fastest, most desirable muscle cars ever.
The mighty Hemi engine was an expensive top-of-the-line option for 1970 and 1971 available in coupe or convertible form. It cost around $900 over the price of the standard Barracuda. They installed it in about 600 coupes and only 17 convertibles during its two-year production period. The power was rated at 425 HP. But everybody knew the orange monster delivered more than 500 HP straight from the box.
As an economy brand, Plymouth was active and successful at the lower end of the market starting in the early â60s with the Valiant. But by the late â60s and early â70s, the compact market had grown, so Plymouth introduced the Duster 340. This model was a junior muscle car. It had a smaller 340 HP engine they rated at 275 HP.
Plymouth never anticipated the success the Duster 340 achieved, so they doubled the production in just a few months. The 275 HP engine moved the light body to respectable 0 to 60 mph times of just over six seconds. The car may have been half the size of some of the heavy hitters of the era, but it was almost as fast. Also, it cost just under $3,000, which was extremely affordable. After the original muscle car era ended in 1974, Plymouth continued to offer the Duster 340.
Despite being an economy brand in the Chrysler Corporation, Plymouth had a surprisingly large number of muscle cars during the â60s and â70s. Their luxury muscle car was the GTX, but in 1970, the Fury GT debuted as the biggest model on offer. The Fury GT was a two-door coupe version of the Fury sedan.
In GT guise, it was a full-size muscle car with the perfect combination of looks and power. Under the hood was a well-known 440 V8 with a three-carburetor setup and 375 HP on tap. Buyers could choose between the 727 Torqueflite automatic and a four-speed manual. However, despite its power and looks, the Fury GT wasn’t a big performer because it was such a heavy car.
The muscle car era affected the truck segment, which resulted in a few special versions and more powerful engines. However, nothing changed the truck industry more than when Dodge introduced the Lil’ Express Truck in 1978 as the first full-size muscle truck in the world. The secret of the Lil’ Express Truck and its importance lies in the strict rules of the late 1970s, which robbed V8 engines of their power. But Dodge found an interesting loophole in the current regulations that declared pickup trucks didn’t need catalytic converters. This meant Dodge could install a more powerful engine and allow it to deliver more punch than previous models or competitors.
Dodge took a standard D Series short bed truck, added a 360 V8 engine, and put big truck-like stacked exhaust pipes right behind the doors. They also installed a more durable automatic transmission. This wild-looking special model had a 225 HP engine, which was considered powerful in those days. Thanks to a revised drivetrain, it was the fastest accelerating domestic vehicle in 1978. It was faster than muscle cars like the Mustang, Camaro, and the Corvette. Today, these cool-looking Dodge trucks are highly sought-after and command high prices
While Europe was embracing the hot hatch class and developing it further in the mid-’80s, America seemed uninterested. The Golf GTI sold well in the states, but domestic manufacturers weren’t producing any hot hatches until the legendary Carroll Shelby teamed up with Dodge to introduce his version of the compact Omni model. Dodge called it the Omni GLH, meaning, “Goes Like Hell.”
It was one of the best affordable performance models money could buy. Nobody expected Dodge could produce a hot hatch that could beat the European competitors. With Shelby’s help, it did just that. Shelby took the 2.2-liter four-cylinder and added a turbocharger. This gave the Omni GLH a total output of 175 HP and a 0 to 60 mph time of less than seven seconds. Dodge gave the GLH some suspension modifications and other upgrades so it could handle all that power.
Produced from 2004 to 2006, Dodge Ram SRT-10 is one of the craziest pickups ever produced. Just look at the specs. The 8.2-liter V10 engine with over 500 hp, a 0 to 60 time of fewer than 5 seconds, and a fuel economy in single digits. Top it all out with a crazy bright red or yellow paint job and two racing stripes, and you’ll get the idea of what the SRT-10 is all about.
It was something you couldn’t miss if you saw it on the street. Of course, with the price tag of over $45,000, the SRT-10 wasn’t exactly a sales hit but they did produce a decent number in its three-year production run.
Despite the fact that the Charger went away in the late ’80s and Chrysler retired the nameplate, the legend of the glorious Mopar muscle car model never really disappeared. During the ’90s and the rise of the SUV market, Dodge presented several concepts that kept the fire burning and Mopar fans hopeful their favorite muscle car would be reincarnated. And it was in 2005, but in a four-door guise which raised a few eyebrows.
The brand-new Charger sedan debuted as a true American four-door with a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engine as a top engine choice. Immediately, this was a fantastic success since it combined modern technology with retro Mopar styling and Hemi power. It wasn’t what many Mopar fans asked for but it was a proper performance car. The engine choices started with 3.6-liter V6 and buyers could the new 350 HP 5.7-liter Hemi. But Dodge didn’t forget the burning muscle car market and soon after the introduction of the regular model, the Charger SRT-8 was released. Under the hood was a 6.1-liter Hemi with 425 HP and fantastic performance that connected with the Hemi Chargers of Mopar past.
If a driver were to need an SUV with 475 HP and the ability to carry seven passengers, or a small school bus in case your kids are terribly late for school, and you need to get them there in a hurry. The Dodge Durango SRT was your Mopar vehicle.
With 6.4-liter Hemi and 475 HP, this is a pure Dodge muscle car in an SUV package. In contrast to other vehicles on this list that were mostly useless as real SUVs, the Durango is pretty capable. Not only it is amongst the biggest and has three-row seating, but it can also carry and tow the biggest loads, which makes it practical and usable in real life.
Despite the fact that muscle cars are faster than European sports coupes, some Mopar fans still want a good old American muscle coupe with a roaring V8 and a lot of attitude. For those folks, Dodge has the Challenger, a retro Mopar muscle car with modern technology, and a fantastic Hemi V8 with 6.1 liters and 485 hp.
Our price limit doesn’t allow you to buy a crazy Challenger Hellcat with 707 hp and rear tires as wide as the highway, but you can still get the Scat Pack version, which is more than enough. The 0 to 60 mph time is in the 4.5-second range, which is decent, and top speed is close to 170 mph.
Ever since the four-door Charger was released it became a popular model. In 2011, the second generation was introduced featuring fresh design, more options but mostly unchanged platform and engine choices. Dodge kept the SRT model in the lineup, but Mopar fans knew the Charger was capable of much more. So finally in 2014, the Hellcat arrived and the Mopar community went crazy. After all, the reaction was totally expected since the 6.2-liter supercharged V8 with 707 hp is a monster that shouldn’t be released on the streets.
But Dodge did just that, allowing the general public to buy one of the fastest and most powerful muscle cars ever built. Despite being overpowered in any aspect, Dodge Charger Hellcats are surprisingly good to drive and can be docile at low speeds. Only when you press the throttle and unleash the fury of 707 horses you can feel the brutality of the Hellcat package. The 0 to 60 mph time is in the high 3-second range and the car can top 200 mph.
There were fast SUVs before Jeep introduced the Trackhawk, and there will be long after the Trackhawk is discontinued. However, this glorious machine deserves a place on our list for two reasons. First, the 707 Hellcat Hemi engine under the hood.
Second, with a 3.4-second 0 to 60 mph time, it’s faster than some supercars. The Trackhawk is a brutal machine that is highly unusual and influential. It is a proper Mopar muscle SUV. It just shows that a high horsepower Hemi engine can make anything a proper muscle car, even a full-size SUV.
What is the definition of a Mopar muscle car? A two-door coupe with a big V8 engine and rear-wheel drive? Well, Dodge has a different vision. For decades, muscle cars were rear-wheel drive only vehicles, and in 2016, Dodge introduced a special model in its Challenger lineup called GT AWD.
It’s a Challenger with recognizable coupe styling, retro charm, and aggressive stance, but underneath the body is a V6 and intelligent all-wheel-drive system. There are no more smoky burnouts and rear wheels on fire. Instead, now there are loads of traction even in the toughest conditions. At the moment, Dodge Challenger AWD is the only all-wheel-drive production muscle car ever built. Unfortunately, Dodge offers the GT AWD only with the V6 engine. Although the V6 is relatively powerful with 305 HP, we still wish it to be available with a proper Hemi V8.
If for any reason, 707 HP from the Hellcat package is not enough for you and you want the ultimate modern Mopar muscle car and the most powerful street Hemi engine ever made, then the Demon package is just the thing. With standard fuel, it delivers an insane 808 HP.
The rest of the Demon package is equally insane from the special transmission, suspension, and brake to widebody stance and exterior details. The acceleration from 0 to 60 is less than 3 seconds, and under full power, the Demon will accelerate with 1.8 G force. That’s faster than being dropped off a cliff. The car is capable of covering a quarter-mile in less than 10 seconds straight from the box. If the reports are true and Chrysler is considering discontinuing the Hemi engine lineup, this is the best way to go for Mopar fans.