Home Cars Muscle Cars That Smoke Most Supercars In The Quarter Mile
Cars

Muscle Cars That Smoke Most Supercars In The Quarter Mile

Vukasin HerbezNovember 15, 2022

Introducing muscle cars to the American market brought power and performance to the masses. However, the rise in popularity of sanctioned racing saw the need for more specialized cars in the form of factory drag racers. These cars were made in minimal numbers and weren’t street-legal, but they had unreal quarter-mile times. They featured unique technology, high-compression engines, and rear slicks straight from the factory. These vehicles weren’t advertised in magazines could only be bought if you were in the know.

Today, we looked back at 40 fantastic drag-racing muscle car specials. Very rare, extremely powerful, and brutally fast, these cars shaped the history of the muscle car segment and helped establish legends on the tracks and streets. So get prepared for a quarter-mile ride of a lifetime and check out these cars right here.

Photo Credit: Mecum

Pontiac Catalina 421 “Swiss Cheese” (1962)

In the early 1960s, Pontiac realized that racing helps sell cars and that the famous Detroit mantra “Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday” works. Pontiac had a sound basis for a fast Super Stock car in the form of a two-door Catalina and a potent 421 V8 engine, but it needed more. The model needed to add power and subtract weight (via Hemmings).

Photo Credit: Mecum

To do the latter, Pontiac’s engineers manufactured numerous aluminum parts like bumpers, fenders, hoods, and so on, saving 159 pounds from the heavy car. Moreover, the car got the nickname “Swiss Cheese” since they also drilled holes in the car’s frame to save a few more grams. With a high-compression 421 V8 engine and 410 HP, these Catalinas were lightning quick. The cars were used for two years, 1962 and 1963, and Pontiac built only 14 “Swiss Cheese” Catalinas, each given to notable drag racers of the day.

Photo Credit: Mecum

Dodge Dart 413 Max Wedge (1962)

The early ’60s marked Dodge’s entry to the drag racing scene with several models, the first of which was the brutally fast Dart 413 Max Wedge. The 1962 Dart was a mid-size family model with choices of six-cylinder and V8 engines and a long list of optional extras. It was a high-volume car with no racing pretensions until they shoehorned a big 413 Wedge engine with high compression and up to 420 HP (via Motor Trend).

Photo Credit: Mecum

Equipped with a limited-slip differential, heavy-duty suspension, and a lightweight body with a stripped interior, Dodge Dart 413 was a real muscle car bred for the drag strips. The 413 Max Wedge package was more expensive but still pretty popular with amateur racers who could finally take on the big boys and win.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Plymouth Savoy Super Stock 413 (1962)

Mechanically almost identical to the Dodge Dart 413 Max Wedge, the Savoy Super Stock was Plymouth’s version of a drag strip special. It featured a different design, but the platform was the same as the engine, the mighty 413 Wedge.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

The exciting fact was the automatic transmission, the favored option, was even better for launching off the line than the standard three-speed manual. In those early days, Chrysler didn’t offer a four-speed manual and the automatic was a better choice. The Savoy Super Stock 413 was the first car to break the 12-second quarter-mile time record for stock cars, and this was just the beginning (via Auto Evolution).

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Ford Galaxie 406 (1962)

Ford was present on the drag racing scene, but in the early ’60s, it lost ground to powerful Mopar models and Pontiacs. The biggest “Blue Oval” engine was the 390 V8, which wasn’t enough compared to the mighty 421 Super Duty and 413 Max Wedge V8. So, guys from Dearborn bored the venerable 390 and got a new 406 V8 for the 1962 model year.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

The new engine delivered 385 HP in standard trim, but with the optional “Six barrel” intake system, it pumped out a respectable 405 HP. Those G-Code cars were rare, but they found their way onto the race tracks and showed that Ford could defend its turf against Mopars and Pontiacs. But the best was yet to come from Ford (via Auto Week).

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Pontiac Tempest 421 Super Duty (1963)

The success of the “Swiss Cheese” Catalina showed that there was potential in putting the biggest engine into the smallest available body. In those days, Pontiac had the Tempest, an exciting compact car that was light. With some modifications, it could utilize a big V8. So for the 1963 year, a selected group of Pontiac engineers installed the fire-breathing 421 in six Tempest Le Mans two-door sedans, the lightest body they could find. To make things even more interesting, the front end, fenders, bumpers, and hood were made of aluminum to keep the weight down (via Supercars).

Photo Credit: Pinterest

The result was a drag strip missile weighing just over 3300 pounds. Under the lightweight hood was specially-prepared 421 V8 with 12:1 compression, revised heads, camshaft, and pistons. The power output was 405 or 420 HP, but most people knew those engines delivered north of 500 HP easily. At first, Tempest Super Duty was slower than expected. Still, when Pontiac made necessary changes to the rear axle and differential, those little two-door sedans recorded extraordinary quarter-mile times.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Chevrolet Impala Z-11 (1963)

Pontiac wasn’t the only GM division involved with drag racing on a full scale in the early ’60s. Chevrolet was pretty active too. In 1963, Chevy introduced a very limited but highly influential Z-11 option on two-door Impalas. The idea behind the RPO Z-11 was to present the best street/strip technology in one model, and the first order of the day was to shed weight by using aluminum panels, grille, hood, and fenders (via Auto Evolution).

Photo Credit: Pinterest

The radio and heater were gone and the interior had lost all unnecessary luxuries. The second was to add power with the new 427. The power output was close to 450 HP, but some claim it was closer to the 500 HP mark. Z-11 Impalas were regular 11.2-second quarter-mile cars, so they had a lot of power.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Dodge 330 Ramcharger (1963)

For 1963, Dodge and Plymouth presented a new design and upped the power of the legendary 413 Max Wedge motor to 426 CID displacements. Dodge introduced a plain-looking Ramcharger version of their two-door 330 model, a bare-bones two-door sedan with a bench seat and 426 cubic inches of pure power in the front (via Supercars).

Photo Credit: Pinterest

The 413 had a bigger stroke, different valve train, larger ports in cylinder heads that allowed more power, 426 cubic inches, and an insane 6500 rpm limit. Chrysler claimed that the new 426 Max Wedge engine has 415 HP with standard 11.0:1 compression and 425 HP with an optional 13.5:1 ratio. However, most experts claim the actual power output is much higher and closer to 500 HP. In 1963, this was one of the quickest cars in the world.

Photo Credit: Auto WP

Plymouth Max Wedge 426 (1963)

To complete the Super Stock class domination in the NHRA championship, Plymouth introduced its version of the Dodge Ramcharger with the same crazy 426 Max Wedge engine and specifications.

Photo Credit: Auto WP

For most buyers, regular 11.1:1 compression was more than enough since the 13.5:1 compression engines were tough to use for the street, even with high-octane leaded fuel. For professional racing teams and wealthy enthusiasts, Plymouth offered an option of aluminum panels, bumpers, and other lightweight components to lower the weight and maximize the performance (via Hemmings).

Photo Credit: Auto WP

Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt (1964)

In 1963, Pontiac, Chevrolet, and all of GM were out of factory-supported racing; Mopar dominated the strip with Max Wedge. But that was about to change when Ford introduced a factory-built drag racer called Fairlane Thunderbolt for the 1964 season (via Auto Express).

Photo Credit: Auto WP

Built using a plain Fairlane two-door sedan body and removing all but the essentials, the Thunderbolt was all about ample power. The interior was spartan, the trim removed, and Ford realized that van-sourced bucket seats were lighter than the standard bench, so the Thunderbolt had two small seats in the front to save some pounds. Under the hood was the new 427 V8 FE with a factory output of 425 HP. However, experts think the actual output was closer to 600 HP.

Photo Credit: Auto WP

Ford Galaxie 500 Lightweight (1964)

Although the Thunderbolt got a lot of attention for its radical approach and success in the NHRA championship, it wasn’t the only drag racer Ford produced that year. The other was the Galaxie 500 Lightweight made in two versions. One for drag racing and the other for the NASCAR series (via Factory Lightweights).

Photo Credit: Auto WP

The drag racing version got lightweight treatment in the form of a lightweight hood, fenders, chassis, and characteristic hood scoop like the Thunderbolt. Under it was R-code 427 high riser V8 engine underrated at 425 HP. There were no back seats, floor mats, radio, or heater in the interior. Ford made only 212 models.

Photo Credit: Auto WP

Dodge/Plymouth Maximum Performance A-864 (1964)

The biggest news for Mopar in 1964 was the return of the mighty and legendary Hemi 426 engine. Chrysler realized that other manufacturers had caught up with powerful 413 and 426 Max Wedge engines, and the only solution was to bring back the Hemi as the ultimate dragstrip weapon. This wasn’t the famous Street Hemi introduced two years later in 1966. This was race-spec Hemi that was not street-legal in most states and not sold to the general public (via RCN Mag).

Photo Credit: Auto WP

The 426 Hemi officially had 425 HP, but the real output was more than that. In 1964, Chrysler built just 70 copies, 35 as Dodge 440 Hardtops and 35 as Plymouth Belvedere hardtops. Most cars produced had an automatic transmission while some had four-speed manuals.

Foto Credit: Mecum

Chevrolet Chevelle Z-16 (1965)

GM imposed a racing ban in 1963, which immediately stopped all racing actions and put Chevrolet’s racing programs on indefinite hold. The independent racers used the Bow Tie cars, but there was no factory support. The solution was to introduce the Chevelle Z-16. It was a high-performance model, produced for one year and in just 200 examples. This is a scarce and valuable piece of Chevrolet’s history.

Photo Credit: Hagerty

It was a fully loaded regular Chevelle with a 396 V8 engine with Muncie four-speed gearbox, and a heavy-duty suspension. Some dealers weren’t aware that this option existed. And Chevrolet refused to market the Z16 for some reason, making this Chevelle kind of a secret model. Chevrolet thought that if it produced a unique and high-performance car, the racers would use it. However, the Z-16 package was more of a street performer than a disguised racing car and didn’t leave a significant mark on the drag racing scene (via Hemmings).

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Dodge Coronet/Plymouth Belvedere Altered Wheelbase (1965)

The FX (Factory Experimental) class in NHRA championship was a predecessor to today’s Funny car class. It was a place where factory-supported teams could race cars that only resembled stock vehicles with engines, drivetrain, or body modifications that would never be able on a street car. Chrysler decided to make 6 Dodge Coronets and 6 Plymouth Belvederes with altered wheelbases. They moved the floorplan 15 inches forward, shifting the rear axle just behind the driver. This helped the weight distribution and traction off the line (via Motor Trend).

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Those altered wheelbase cars were never street legal and featured numerous exciting combinations such as fuel-injected, supercharged, or turbocharged engines. Today, real altered wheelbase cars are extremely rare and present a valuable piece of muscle car history.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Ford Fairlane 427 Lightweight (1966)

Ford introduced the new 1966 Fairlane and the car was immediately a hit with customers in America. However, to ensure that Fairlane continues the tradition of a massively successful Thunderbolt, Ford produced 57 specially designed R-Code Fairlane 427 Lightweights and sold them to drag racers nationwide (via Hemmings).

Photo Credit: Pinterest

The 427 was the final evolution of Ford’s venerable FE block. The actual output was around 650 HP, and this version of 427 Medium Riser had a 13.2:1 compression ratio. This ensured big power but it had questionable street manners. Also, the 427 Lightweight benefitted from a fiberglass hood with a functional hood scoop, lightweight fenders, bumper, and stripped interior.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Plymouth Belvedere/Dodge Coronet RO/WO Series (1967)

After the crazy 1965 altered wheelbase cars, Chrysler returned to more stock-looking models for 1967 and produced a limited run of RO/WO Plymouths and Dodges for 1967. Some say that Chrysler built 100 cars to satisfy the NHRA rules for the Super Stock class, but the number seems high. Several 50 vehicles is more likely and some even claim that Chrysler completed as few as 32 cars (via Stock Car Market).

Photo Credit: Pinterest

The RO/WO cars were identical to Dodge or Plymouth body styles. The front end was lightweight, and all cars had limited slip differentials, heavy-duty suspensions, and stripped-down interiors. Chrysler delivered them only in white color so racing teams could put their decals and numbers. The heart of the car was, of course, the Race Hemi. With 426 cubic inches and over 600 HP in race trim, it was still one of the craziest power plants on the scene.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Ford Mustang Cobra Jet (1968)

The legendary 428 Cobra Jet debuted in 1968 and Ford immediately put it in the Mustang. The Mustang 428 CJ was a mid-year introduction. And it was for drag racing, which is why Ford sold it in modest numbers. But the real drag racing special was 50 Wimbledon white Fastbacks. It had a 428 CJ engine, a close-ratio four-speed transmission, and a heavy-duty suspension designed and produced to satisfy the NHRA rules.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Ford rated the new 428 Cobra Jet at 335 HP, and everybody knew that the new big block produced far more than that. The actual output of race-prepared white Fastbacks was closer to the 500 HP mark. Even with less power than some competitors, the Mustang won races since it was smaller, lighter, and better balanced than Mopar cars (via Motor Trend).

Photo Credit: Mecum

Dodge Hemi Dart LO23 Super Stock (1968)

As one of the biggest forces on America’s drag strips in the ’60s, Chrysler always looked for ways to improve performance, introduce new concepts, and break records. After years of fiddling with mid-size platforms, for 1968, Mopar guys shoehorned the Race Hemi in the smallest platform they could find – the Dodge Dart (via Street Muscle Mag).

Photo Credit: Pinterest

The actual fabrication of this beast was a tough task. The Hemi Darts were assembled almost by hand using regular 383 Dart. Installing the big Hemi in the small Dart’s engine bay was challenging, and tight fit. But Chrysler engineers managed to produce exactly 80 cars. Of course, none were street legal, and they all went to racing teams, painted in primer and ready for race decals and stripes.

Photo Credit: Mecum

Plymouth Barracuda Hemi (1968)

The 426 Hemi engine was a regular production item in the Barracuda in 1970. Still, for the 1968 racing season, Plymouth produced 50 drag racing specials using the Barracuda Fastback bodies and 426 race-spec Hemi engines. The actual manufacturing was shared with the Dodge Hemi Dart in Chrysler’s Hamtramck, Michigan plant.

Photo Credit: Mecum

Like the Hemi Dart, Barracudas came as pure racing, non-street legal vehicles to be sold only to racing teams. Of course, they too were painted in primer and ready to be personalized by racers (via Motor Trend).

Photo Credit: Pinterest

AMC AMX 390 SS (1969)

The AMX was built on a shortened Javelin chassis and featured better equipment, more powerful engines, and many other options. The Javelin and AMX enjoyed considerable success then, but there was one scarce and unique version – the AMX SS 390.

Photo Credit: Auto WP

This car was built in cooperation with Hurst, a famous company from the era. And it featured many modifications and the biggest AMC engine, the 390 V8 with 340 HP. This may not sound as much as some other muscle cars of the period. But the AMX SS 390 was very light, compact, and fast. They only made 52 of them, most of them in red, white, and blue machines that went to drag strips, where they beat much more powerful cars with ease (via Hemmings).

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Chevrolet Camaro ZL-1 (1969)

In the late ’60s, Can-Am was a famous racing series that featured prototype-class cars with V8 engines. Chevrolet wanted to purpose-build a power plant for this championship, and they produced an all-aluminum 427 big block called ZL-1 in 1969. It was a high-revving, 7.0-liter V8 with around 550 HP in mild tune (via Supercars).

Photo Credit: Mecum

Chevrolet made around 200 of those engines, and while most of them went to Can-Am racing teams, 69 of ZL-1 were installed in C.O.P.O Camaros and sold to drag racing teams. The Camaro ZL-1 was the same as a regular 1969 Camaro on the outside, but it was so fast it was barely street-legal.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Ford Mustang GT Cobra Jet Drag Pack (1969)

In 1969, Ford introduced the second Mustang redesign and three brand-new performance models. However, while the car community lusted over Boss 302, Boss 429, and Mach I, there was a secret and exciting option for true drag racers for the street and the strip. Drag Pack was a $147 option for cars equipped with 428 Cobra Jet engines (via Automobile Catalog).

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Cobra Jet owners who invested in this option got an excellent deal since Drag Pack included a traction-lock differential. It also had an engine oil cooler, a modified crankshaft, a flywheel, and a damper. Those improvements transformed the already potent and fast Mustang Cobra Jet into a drag monster. Which became quite respectable on the street. However, respect didn’t translate to sales. Although Ford did produce many Cobra Jet-powered Mustangs in 1969, it delivered only a small number with an optional Drag Pack.

Photo Credit: Motor Trend

Yenko Nova 427 (1969)

The Yenko family started a Chevrolet dealership in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, in 1949. In the late ’50s, when Don Yenko began to manage the business, the company slowly turned to the performance car market. They started with a series of race-prepared Corvettes, which Don raced himself, and then with full conversion jobs based on various Chevrolet models (via Motor Trend).

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Yenko became famous for its 427 conversions and the number of Camaro and Chevelle models with recognizable paint schemes. However, its craziest and most dangerous creation was the Yenko Nova 427. Produced for just one year (1968), only 38 cars were made, all powered by tuned 427 V8 engines producing north of 425 HP. It was extremely fast and “almost lethal,” as Yenko best described it. The car was one of the fastest street-legal machines you could buy but a relatively rare sight on the strip due to low production numbers, sheer danger, and high price.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Plymouth Hemi Cuda (1970/71)

Two of the biggest Chrysler legends from the classic days of muscle car culture are the Barracuda and the 426 Hemi engine. All through the ’60s, those icons of the industry didn’t mix, at least not in street-legal cars. In 1970, Plymouth offered this legendary engine in Barracuda body style. This immediately created one of the fastest and most desirable muscle cars ever made (via Old Cars Weekly).

Photo Credit: Pinterest

The mighty Hemi engine was an expensive top-of-the-line option for 1970 and 1971. It was available in coupe or convertible form. It cost around $900 over the price of the standard Barracuda, and Chrysler installed it in just about 600 coupes and only 17 convertibles during a two-year production period. The power was 425 HP, but everybody knew that the orange monster delivered more than 500 HP. Although it wasn’t a specialized drag car, it was the basis for many successful drag racers.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Baldwin Motion Camaro (1969 – 71)

If you think Yenko was the only classic Camaro tuner, think again. The business had several well-known names, but the most extreme was Baldwin Motion. Their 427 conversions for the early ’70s models were simply the best (via Silodrome).

Photo Credit: Mecum

Baldwin Motion installed numerous special performance parts and dyno-tuned the cars. They also delivered them with a written warranty that the car could achieve 10 sec quarter mile times and produce 500 HP. Imagine how dominant those cars were on the streets. Today, Baldwin Motion Camaros are highly sought-after and valuable pieces of muscle car history.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Buick GNX (1987)

The ’70s and the ’80s are the dark ages of muscle cars and American performance, but there were a few bright moments. One of the cars that restored faith in the muscle car movement in the ’80s was the mighty Buick GNX.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

The first model was the Buick Regal T and then Buick Grand National with a bigger engine and more power, jumping from 175 HP to 200 HP and finally to 235 HP. However, in 1987, the ultimate version called GNX (Grand National Experimental) was released. It featured the same 3.8-liter turbocharged V6 but with 275 HP and a 0 to 60 mph time of 4.7 seconds. The car was expensive, but some owners managed to pay the monthly installments by street racing at night.

Photo Credit: Auto WP

Pontiac Trans Am 20th Anniversary (1989)

In 1989, Pontiac celebrated the 20th anniversary of its favorite muscle car, the Trans Am. What better way than to introduce a limited run of 1500 cars to commemorate the occasion?

Photo Credit: Auto WP

But the anniversary editions have to have a twist and not be just another decal and paint job. Pontiac decided to install Buick’s 3.8-liter turbo V6 from GNX and create the fastest Trans Am of the decade. The white commemorative edition could accelerate 0.1-second faster from 0 to 60 mph than the GNX at 4.6 seconds (via Top Speed).

Photo Credit: Pinterest

GMC Syclone (1991)

Even though this is a compact pickup, not a coupe, which is a default muscle car form, we have to list it since it was a drag strip terror. In 1991, GM took an ordinary S10 body shell and installed a 4.3-liter V6 with a turbocharger. It was good for 280 HP, a unique four-speed automatic sourced from a Corvette, and performance-based all-wheel drive (via Car Scoops).

Photo Credit: GM

The power figures don’t sound like too much these days. But the Syclone was able to sprint to 60 mph in just 5.3 seconds, making it faster than contemporary Ferraris. Suddenly, dragstrips had black pickups that produced way more than stock due to intelligent tuning and fiddling with the turbos.

Photo Credit: Ford

Ford Mustang Cobra Jet FR500C (2008)

To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the original Cobra Jet introduction, Ford presented the brand-new factory drag racer named FR500 C in 2008. This unique vehicle was not road-legal and intended only for drag racing teams for the 2009 season (via Supercars).

Photo Credit: Ford

Under the hood was a 5.4-liter V8 engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission. The car had drag slicks, a special body, chassis, and a host of other upgrades. It was a 10-second quarter-mile car straight from the box.

Photo Credit: FCA

Dodge Challenger Drag Pak (2010)

With the revival of the famous muscle car names came the resurrection of the Dodge Challenger and its Drag Pak model. Announced in 2010, the Challenger Drag Pak looked pretty ordinary. With a body-in-white and black hood and without any other visual signs that there was a monster underneath (via Auto Evolution).

Photo Credit: FCA

In the best tradition, it had a big hood scoop and a 6.1-liter Hemi engine underneath. Along with the Dana 60 rear axle, upgraded suspension, and brakes. It went through lightweight treatment by Dodge’s special vehicles department, which also showed in the interior.

Photo Credit: Ford

Ford Mustang Cobra Jet (2010 and 2012)

The redesign of the standard Mustang lineup inspired Ford to offer a new Cobra Jet model. The 2008 release proved very influential and successful, but there was a lot of room for improvement (via Car and Driver).

Photo Credit: Ford

For the 2010 and 2012 model year, Ford offered the Cobra Jet Mustang. It arrived with a supercharged 5.4-liter V8 but improved mechanics, performance, transmission, and modernized body. Those Mustangs were the fastest accelerating cars in the world, with a 0 to 60 mph time of just 1.52 seconds on drag slicks.

Photo Credit: FCA

Dodge Challenger Drag Pak (2011)

Even though the 50 Drag Pak cars Dodge produced in 2010 were tremendous and well-received, something was lacking – power. The 6.1-liter Hemi was great but wasn’t as powerful as the supercharged Ford’s 5.4. So, for 2011, Dodge prepared a real heavy-hitter (via Mopar Insiders).

Photo Credit: FCA

The 2011 Challenger Drag Pak packed a massive 8.4-liter V10, similar but not identical to the engine from Viper. The car was much improved over the 2010 model and featured much more power and stronger performance. The actual power figures are unknown, but those who drove those cars claim 700 HP is the exact number.

Photo Credit: GM

COPO Camaro (2012)

Chevrolet couldn’t let Ford and Dodge have all the fun, so in 2012, the modern-day COPO Camaro debuted. It was based on a regular Camaro but had several engine options. There was a naturally aspirated 7.0-liter V8, a 5.3-liter V8 with a 2.9-liter supercharger, and a 5.3-liter V8 with a 4.0-liter supercharger (via Top Speed).

Photo Credit: GM

With a base price of almost $90,000, it was expensive but well-constructed and astonishingly fast. Chevrolet made only 69 examples in 2012, with the number deliberately chosen to pay tribute to the original 1969 COPO Camaro, produced in only 69 examples.

Photo Credit: FCA

Dodge Charger Hellcat (2015)

In 2014, Dodge presented the Hellcat, and the car community went crazy. After all, the reaction is in order since the 6.2-liter supercharged V8 with 707 HP is a proper muscle car monster. It was probably one that shouldn’t be on the streets. But Dodge did just that, allowing the general public to buy one of the fastest and most powerful muscle car sedans ever built. Despite being overpowered in any aspect, the Dodge Charger Hellcat is surprisingly good to drive and can be docile at low speeds (via Edmunds).

Photo Credit: FCA

Only when you press the throttle and unleash the fury of 707 supercharged horses can you feel the brutality of the Hellcat package and the power delivered to the rear wheels. The 0 to 60 mph times are in the high three-second range, and the car can top 200 mph. The car is proof that the legend of the Dodge Charger as a muscle car is alive and well.

Photo Credit: FCA

Dodge Challenger Drag Pak (2016)

Sparking the drag strip wars, Dodge made another strong move in 2016 by introducing the 2016 Challenger Drag Pak model. This time, the mighty V10 was gone, but instead, Dodge offered two engines (via Allpar).

Photo Credit: FCA

The white and blue paint scheme signaled a 5.7-liter supercharged V8 under the hood. While the white and black examples naturally aspirated 426 Hemi V8. Even though the displacement suggests that it was the same 426 Hemi from the glory days of muscle cars. This was a modern version with unique internals, aluminum block, and heads.

Photo Credit: Ford

Ford Mustang Cobra Jet (2016)

With the new generation of Mustangs came the new Cobra Jet special model for 2016. It had a recognizable design and paint scheme but a new engine and even better quarter-mile times.

Photo Credit: Ford

The stock Mustang had IRS, but the 2016 Cobra Jet had a classic live rear axle. The 5.4-liter was gone; instead, a new, supercharged 5.0-liter took its place. Ford guaranteed eight-second quarter mile times and the new model was much faster than before (via Mustang Specs).

Photo Credit: GM

COPO Camaro (2018)

With a new design and engines, COPO Camaro returned for 2018 also with an eight-second quarter-mile guarantee. Chevrolet improved not only the design but also the mechanics and managed to shred some weight from the nose of this muscle car (via Cnet).

Photo Credit: GM

Under the lightweight hood, buyers found one of three engines. The naturally aspirated 7.0-liter, supercharged 5.7-liter, or 5.0-liter, which had high-revving capacity. Like the Mustang, COPO Camaro used a live axle setup for better traction and durability.

Photo Credit: FCA

Dodge Challenger SRT Demon (2018)

If for any reason, 707 HP from the Hellcat package is not enough for you, drivers can get the ultimate modern muscle car and the most potent street Hemi engine ever made with the Demon package. It will deliver an insane 808 HP with standard fuel. It can also pump out almost 840 HP if you use high-octane gasoline.

Photo Credit: FCA

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 three seconds. And the Demon will accelerate with 1.8 G force under full power, faster than being dropped off a cliff. 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, this is the best way to go (via Car and Driver).

Photo Credit: Ford

Ford Mustang Cobra Jet 1400 (2021)

The Cobra Jet 1400 EV caused a massive sensation amongst Mustang fans. The fact electric motors power it, and it has an incredible amount of power. It is not only a break from tradition but proof that Mustang’s future is bright since Ford closely follows the industry trends (via Motor Trend).

Photo Credit: Ford

This also proves that no matter what fuel will be used in the future, Mustangs will always be around in some shape or form. That’s still worth celebrating. Although this is still a concept car, it showed enormous potential.

Photo Credit: FCA

Dodge Challenger Drag Pak (2021)

Although Dodge had announced that Challenger would die, its legacy will live on through the specialty models like Drag Pak. For 2021, Dodge improved the well-known model with better components, tougher parts, and faster-shifting automatic transmission (via Dodge Garage).

Photo Credit: FCA

Under the lightweight hood is a sturdy 5.7-liter Hemi with a supercharger, aluminum block, and forged rods. Interestingly, Dodge also offered a body-in-white without the engine for customers who wanted to install their drivetrain.

Photo Credit: GM

COPO Camaro (2022)

Even though Ford has shocked the drag racing world with the Cobra Jet 1400 EV concept. Chevrolet stayed true to the original gasoline-powered formula for the 2022 COPO Camaro model. Once again, there are three engines on offer. But Chevrolet pushed the envelope further with the introduction of the massive 572 CID.

Photo Credit: GM

With a 9.4-liter displacement, this unit is naturally-aspirated, and the largest engine Chevrolet makes. The horsepower rating is unknown. But the smaller and supercharged 5.7-liter makes 580 HP, and the 7.0-liter, naturally-aspirated unit, which is also on offer, makes 470. We believe those are conservative ratings (via Chevrolet).

Advertisement
Advertisement
Please wait 5 sec.