Home Cars Future Stars: The Best Modern Muscle Cars To Invest In

Future Stars: The Best Modern Muscle Cars To Invest In

Vukasin Herbez March 3, 2023

Photo Credit: Ford

Ford F-150 Raptor

Since modern trucks come with more powerful engines, 4×4 drivetrains, and tougher suspensions, it was only a matter of time before someone would offer a proper off-road performance truck. Ford answered the call for one in 2010 with the first-generation F-150 Raptor. But nowadays, there is a new and even better Raptor with fantastic performance. This Raptor has a 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 with 450 HP and 510 lb.-ft of torque. It also has a 10-speed automatic transmission with sub-five-second acceleration times. Although the figures suggest it’s an exotic supercar, it is a full-size pickup truck with room for five people and a regular truck bed. But this is different from your ordinary pickup.

Photo Credit: Ford

The Raptor is the closest thing to a complete Baja 1000 racing vehicle. Everything started in 2010 when Ford introduced the first-generation SVT Raptor (via Edmunds). The truck-purchasing public didn’t expect such a move. But they were fascinated by the truck’s looks, performance, and capabilities. The idea behind the Raptor was to construct the fastest off-road truck. Ford did just that, installing numerous chassis and suspension upgrades in addition to a powerful engine. The best thing about the Raptor is that Ford also prepared an extreme off-road truck with a customer warranty. You can take this truck rock crawling, desert crossing, or mud dipping. Of course, it is still a normal driving everyday truck. But Ford did a great job in combining the toughness of an extreme off-road truck with the usability of a regular modern pickup.

Photo Credit: Stelantis

Dodge Challenger GT AWD

What’s the definition of a muscle car? A two-door coupe with a big V8 engine and rear-wheel drive? Well, Dodge had a different vision. For decades, muscle cars were rear-wheel drive-only vehicles. But in 2016, Dodge introduced a special model in its Challenger lineup called the GT AWD (via Dodge).

Photo Credit: Car and Driver

The car is a Challenger with recognizable styling, retro charm, and an aggressive stance. But underneath the cool-looking body, there is a V6 and an intelligent all-wheel drive system. There are no more smoky burnouts and rear wheels on fire. Instead, now there is 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, and Ford and Chevrolet don’t have anything similar for the Mustang or Camaro. Unfortunately, Dodge offers the GT AWD only with the V6 engine. Even though the V6 is pretty powerful at 305 HP, we still wish it were available with a proper Hemi V8.

Photo Credit: Ford

Ford Mustang Boss 302

Ever since the first retro Mustangs appeared in showrooms across America, Ford fans asked for the return of the Boss 302. For those who don’t know, the Boss 302 was born in 1969 as a racing car homologation special intended for Trans-Am races. 43 years later, Ford revived the Boss 302 with a new 5.0-liter Coyote V8, which delivered 444 HP and 380 lb.-ft of torque. Again, this was almost a pure racing car with no back seats, a factory-installed roll cage, and a host of other major modifications (via Motor Trend).

Photo Credit: Ford

As you’d expect, the performance was better than the regular Mustang GT. The 2012 Boss 302 could accelerate to 60 mph in 3.97 seconds and top 155 mph. Until we see the future version of the Boss 302, the 2012 model is one of the best modern muscle cars and deserves a place on the list.

Photo Credit: GM

Chevrolet Camaro SS

Camaro fans were disappointed when Chevrolet decided to retire the nameplate after the 2003 model year. It looks like Mustang had finally won the muscle car battle since the Firebird was also discontinued, and Mustang was the only domestic pony/muscle car still on the market at the moment. However, it turned out that Chevrolet was waiting for the right moment to return the Camaro to the market in a redesigned and re-engineered form. That moment came in late 2009 when a brand-new fifth-generation Camaro arrived on the market (via Edmunds).

Photo Credit: Which Car

After a few years of concept cars and design renderings, Chevrolet finally introduced its modern interpretation of the classic Camaro with brand-new and highly advanced engines. The 2010 Camaro was a triumph of retro-futuristic design and engineering. GM’s Zeta platform was highly sophisticated and gave the new model sports car-like road holding and driving dynamics. The base engine was a V6. But right from the start, fifth-generation Camaro buyers had the option of the SS model with a 6.2-liter V8 engine and 426 HP. That powerplant made the 2010 Camaro SS one of the fastest domestic cars at the time. With an advanced chassis and brutal performance, the Camaro SS was far better than the Mustang GT of the same vintage, which helped Chevrolet beat Ford in the sales war.

Photo Credit: Stelantis

Dodge Challenger SRT Demon

If for any reason 707 HP from the Hellcat package is not enough for you and you want the ultimate modern muscle car, then the Demon package is just your thing. With standard fuel, it will deliver an insane 808 HP. But if you use high-octane stuff, it will pump out close to 840 HP (via Top Speed).

Photo Credit: Stelantis

The rest of the Demon package is equally insane, from the particular transmission, suspension, and brake to the wide-body stance and exterior details. The acceleration from 0 to 60 is less than three seconds, and the Demon will accelerate with 1.8 G force under full power. The car can cover a quarter-mile sprint in less than 10 seconds straight from the box. If the reports are accurate and Chrysler is considering discontinuing the Hemi engine lineup, Charger fans should buy these now.

Photo Credits: CAS

Chevrolet Camaro Z/28

The legendary Z/28 version returned for the 2014 model year in an exciting and extremely capable package. Once again, the Z/28 was a track day car, a road racing-oriented Camaro with brakes, suspension, and steering dedicated to precision and driving dynamics (via Top Speed).

Photo Credits: CAS

Under the hood was a 7.0-liter V8 from the Corvette Z06. It has 505 HP and provides more than enough power and grunt, but the rest of the car follows that in the quest for precision. Stiffer shocks, thicker anti-roll bars, unique wheels, brakes, and an even 300-pound lighter body all helped Z/28 to achieve better numbers at the race track. With its supercharged engine, the Camaro ZL-1 was faster in a straight line. But the Z/28 was a better all-around performer and a perfect track day vehicle.

Photo Credit: GM

Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE

The base Camaro SS is one of the best muscle cars around with its 6.2-liter, 450 HP V8 engine, loads of torque, and perfectly balanced chassis. However, the 1LE is even better. The engine is the same one as you would get in a Corvette, which means it has 460 HP. The suspension is even more focused and slightly revised to give the driver a better driving feel and sharper response. Imagine driving this perfectly tuned machine on a long road trip with every mile bringing you more driving pleasure (via Cnet).

Photo Credit: Car Magazine

Also, the aero package was new, and the 1LE is the best car if you want an all-around sports machine. It’s a capable road car, comfortable enough to be used every day and for long drives, and sharp enough to be a track car that will provide tons of fun on the race track. Besides the SS V8 1LE, for $10,000 less, you can get the V6 1LE which is less powerful and slower but still a perfect sports car.

Photo Credit: GM

Cadillac CTS-V

For years, Cadillac was without a proper performance series needed to compete with BMW or Mercedes. Then finally, the V-Series was born. It was all that Cadillac lovers dreamed of. It had powerful engines, world-class handling, and exclusive production. Even the competitors took notice when Cadillac rolled out the brand-new V-Series model (via Motor Trend).

Photo Credit: Top Speed

Arguably the most successful was the second-generation CTS-V model. Under the hood was a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 with 556 HP making the CTS-V the most powerful performance sedan on the market. The suspension and the rest of the drivetrain were advanced and up to the task, so CTS-V was considered a full package and one of the best driver’s cars available. Cadillac produced three body styles. The CTS-V was available as a sedan, a coupe, and, interestingly enough a wagon. With a 556 HP LS9 V8 engine and 0 to 60 mph time of just 3.8 seconds, the second generation CTS-V was one of the fastest four-door vehicles on the planet and a true muscle car sedan.

Photo Credit: Ford

2021 Ford Mustang Mach I

Even though 2020 wasn’t the best year in the car industry because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ford was still able to introduce new products and designs. That includes further expanding the Mustang GT range. One such product was the brand-new 2021 Mustang Mach I. This model marked the return of the legendary Mustang nameplate used periodically from 1969 to 1973 and from 2003 to 2004. This Mach I is better than ever and has more power and performance than its predecessors. The 2021 Mach I is a step up from the regular S550 Mustang GT and GT Performance Pack II but a step below the Shelby GT350 and GT500 (via Ford).

Photo Credit: Ford

Interestingly, Ford discontinued the Shelby GT350 in 2021 since Mach I and Shelby aim at the same market and have similar price tags. Under the hood is the same 5.0-liter Coyote V8 but with a few Shelby and Bullitt parts, which results in 480 HP (same as the Bullitt). Car fans hoped for a 500 HP rating. But for some reason, Ford decided to keep it to 480 HP using already existing components. However, the 2021-3 Mach I come with special body parts, a handling package, special paint, decal trim, and a host of unique details to enhance this special version of Mustang’s identity. It’s a limited-edition model so its price will only go up.

Photo Credit: Which Car


Although the car industry is inevitably going in the direction of electric and/or renewable energy sources, it’s good to know that the people at Dodge are still interested in good old gasoline. How else can we explain the newest and greatest addition to the extreme truck class – the 2021 Ram TRX? If you don’t know what the TRX is, let us put it this way – it’s a cross between the Ram Rebel and Dodge Challenger Hellcat. It is an all-terrain beast with a supercharged Hemi under the hood and a bad attitude (via Ram Trucks).

Photo Credit: Auto WP

With a starting price of $69,000, it isn’t cheap. But it is an extremely capable, fast, and durable vehicle whose sole aim is to beat Ford’s Raptor. That’s why it has a 702 HP engine under the hood. It also has a specially tuned chassis, suspension, and gearbox. It’s the new king of the hill when it comes to extreme off-road trucks you can get from your local dealer.

Photo Credits: Pinterest

Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 (2020)

The 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 is a car of superlatives. This Mustang is the most powerful car in the long lineage of powerful machines and the first Mustang with an MSRP of almost $80,000. That can quickly inflate to nearly $100,000 if you tick a few boxes. Affordability was one of the critical points of Mustangs throughout the years, and we can’t call 100k cars affordable. But despite the whopping price, this car is worth the asking price. Here is why (via Car and Driver).

Photo Credit: Cnet

Under the hood is a supercharged 5.2-liter V8 with 760 HP with a 10-speed automatic. The 0 to 60 mph is possible in 3.5 seconds, making it the quickest production Mustang ever. However, this isn’t all. The 2020 Shelby GT500 is full of intelligent components, carbon, and lightweight materials and has a unique aero package and revised suspension and braking. It is genuinely a supercar-beating Mustang, but also adequately priced.

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