The rebirth of the American muscle car is about a lot more than retro. It's about pride. It's about recalling a time when Americans looked down the road to the future with confidence, and they wanted a great big V8 engine to get them there as soon as possible.
It's no wonder the 2008 Ford Mustang Bullitt has our respect. It's the best version yet of the 2005 Ford Mustang, the car that set Detroit on fire again with enthusiasm for good old American muscle. Maybe the fuel-guzzling muscle car won't save Detroit from the challenge to build cars that people need, but it's surely restored the domestic car industry's confidence in its ability to do so. And it's shown that Americans can build cars that are utterly unlike anything you'll find in Stuttgart, Shanghai, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur or any of those other places that economists think they're so clever to know about.
Now that the 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 is here, Chrysler is cracking the seal on its own Mopar-branded can of muscle-car whoop-ass to show that it understands what's at stake in the muscle-car sweepstakes. The Bullitt and the Challenger are the two coolest cars in America, and it's only natural to bring them together.
Challenger New vs. Old: Vanishing Point Revisited
"Our sole Challenger has just broken the ring of evil the deep blue meanies
have so righteously wrought — get through 'em baby, get through 'em." —
Super Soul, Vanishing Point 1971
It happens deep in the Nevada desert, just past Austin. On a long, straight
section of road with nothing to lose, our friends in the white 1970 Dodge
Challenger R/T finally put the hammer down. At once, the rawness and purity
of Kowalski's ride pulverizes the well-insulated interior of our 2008 Dodge
Challenger SRT8, shredding the peace inside the modern car's cockpit with
the same brute force Kowalski used to pierce a hole in the cool desert air
38 years ago. Even with my right foot buried, I see nothing but taillights
until they disappear into the desert.
In these few brief seconds, the 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 is clearly
defined by its soft edges and quiet Exhaust. Manufacturers don't let us feel cars
raw and unfiltered anymore. Hammering down a desert road with a thin-rimmed
steering wheel and pistol-grip shifter — that's raw. Four hundred and
forty cubic inches and a four-speed — that's raw. Powerslides unhampered
by electronic intervention — that's raw.
In 1970, when Kowalski drove this very road — U.S. Highway 50 through
Nevada — he felt it. And it was raw.
Camaro Fights Mustang and Challenger - Muscle Car Comparison
MORE MUSCLE CAR MADNESS @ INSIDELINE.COM:
In 2002, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second human being to set foot on the
moon, punched a guy in the face for accusing him of faking the moon
landing. Buzz was 72 years old at the time.
Go right ahead and question the existence of the 2010 Ford Mustang GT, 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T
and 2010 Chevy Camaro
SS and they, too, might just give you a knuckle sandwich in the kisser.
Like Mr. Aldrin, they bear names from long ago that have made a collective
return to the limelight. Like Mr. Aldrin, they are American heroes with
unparalleled legacies reaching across decades. And like Mr. Aldrin, they
have Ph.Ds in kicking ass.
Their makers may have proven that they have the financial acumen of a blind
yak. However, we submit these pony car icons as proof that the home team
can extract their craniums from their nether regions once in awhile and
knock the cover off the ball.
Fast New Shelby Mustang GT500 Full Test
FULL Mustang GT500 COVERAGE
It's something like trying to drive the 2010 Ford Shelby GT500 on a
roller-coaster, only there are no steel tracks to keep you from slithering
off the pavement and ending up in a flaming heap of 540-horsepowerMustang.
You can't even see where you're going, really. Hard on it, the GT500's rear
tires begin spinning just as you can see nothing but sky in the windshield.
You're on top of the hump at the entrance to Infineon Raceway's Turn 6, and
as your stomach and both right-side tires go weightless, you start a long,
long dive to the left, sliding sideways all the way down the hill and
around the 180-degree corner.
The Shelby GT500 is so torqued up with the cornering force from the
low-profile 19-inch tires and the drive from the supercharged V8 that you
can practically hear the welds popping in the chassis. But something is
different this time — palms are not slick with sweat, tires are not
threatening to let go at the most inopportune moment and steering left in
order to go right is a joy and not a reflex of self-preservation.
The 2010 Ford Shelby GT500 gets 2 mpg more on the EPA highway cycle this
year. The Ford engineers are really proud of this. But every time we make
another lap and slide down Turn 6, we have our doubts that fuel economy is
what this car is about.
Serving Our Inner Adolescent
We're behaving like adults as the Ford engineers tell us all about the 2010
Ford Shelby GT500, even as we hear a couple of the cars making shake-down
runs on the quarter-mile strip at Infineon Raceway a few hundred feet away.
And in many ways, the GT500 itself is trying to act more like an adult,
casting aside the muscle-bound character of the 2007 Ford Shelby GT500.
As the Ford people tell us, they started with the limited-production 2008
Ford Shelby GT500KR, the exclusive (1,700 examples built) and
revenue-enhancing (MSRP $79,995) Mustang produced last year. And aside
from a few fewer Shelby badges (the KR had many to spare), the GT500 is
like the KR in almost every way, except it's built at the Mustang plant in Flat Rock, Michigan,
rather than at the Shelby facility in Las Vegas.
You can tell as soon as you open the new GT500's hood, complete with
hot-air extractors. The supercharged and intercooled DOHC 5.4-liter V8 with
its truck-style iron block is still in place, but now it carries a conical
air filter in its own sealed cold-air box behind the left-side headlight,
an innovation that increases airflow while resisting power-sapping heat
soak. For the GT500, this new cold-air intake required the migration of the
iconic Cobra badge on the grille from the left side to the right side.
Nissan Beats Porsche? 2009 Nissan GT-R (U.S.-Spec)
For a few seconds, you give in to the spectacle of driving a 2009 Nissan
GT-R. This car attracts its own entourage and then takes you along for the
ride. It's not just the Skyline mystique, either. It's the fact that even
in production sheet metal, the R35 GT-R looks like a one-off concept stolen
from a Southern California design studio. It has as many hard contours as a
Porsche 911 has soft curves. You have the key fob, and still you ogle it.
Soon, though, you point the GT-R down an on-ramp and plant the throttle.
The effortless brutality with which the 2009 Nissan GT-R gathers speed is
what you'll describe to your friends — once everyone's tired of talking
about the styling, that is.
What you won't tell them is that you suspect your supercar might be a
sociopath. It doesn't flow around corners like your E46 BMW M3 did, nor
does it transmit feedback through the steering wheel for the sheer pleasure
Instead, the 2009 Nissan GT-R bends asphalt to its will. When it talks to
you about tire grip, you get the feeling it's only bothering because you're
part of its great plan to break free of the Earth's orbit. Should it ever
achieve this, you imagine that its conversation will cease and it will
simply expel you into the airless void. Until then, though, you have the
MuscleCar Tuner Showdown: HPE650/SuperSnake/SpeedfactorySRT8
We've compared nearly every combination of modern American muscle cars on
the market. Now it's time for the ultimate showdown - Hennessey's Camaro HPE650 vs Shelby's GT500
Super Snake vs Speedfactory's Challenger SRT8. We head to the Dyno, the test track and the
racetrack to determine which of these tuned pony cars reigns supreme.
Read the story here:
Camaro is King! Mustang vs Challenger vs Camaro
We pit the much-anticipated Chevy Camaro SS against its strongest
competition: the Ford Mustang GT and the Dodge Challenger
R/T. Join as we head to the hills east of San Diego to find out which one
we liked best.
Shot By: Jim Gleason & Mike Suggett
Edited By: Jim Gleason & Mike Suggett
UPDATE: Since the question of price seems to be coming up a lot in the
comments, here are the confirmed prices for all 3 cars (base price / as
Camaro SS: $30,995 /
Challenger R/T: $30,945 / $38,270
Mustang GT: $28,845 /
Hot Rod Time Machine: Old vs New
Just How Good Were the Good Ol' Days? To find out, we've gathered three
modern high-spec ponycars and matched them with their glory days ancestors.
We're pitting a 2011 Camaro SS against the '69 Camaro SS396 that inspired its
design; a 2011 Challenger SRT8 meets the '70 Challenger it so faithfully
resembles; and a freshly minted Shelby Mustang GT500 convertible meets its
Read full story here:
Also find Motor Trend on:
Shot by: Jim Gleason and Gordon Green
Edited by: Jim Gleason
EXCLUSIVE: 2015 Ford Mustang Reveal with AmericanMuscle.com
Go Behind the Scenes with the crew from AmericanMuscle.com to the big 2015
Ford Mustang Reveal in New
York City! http://www.americanmuscle.com/2015-Mustang-news.html
We have All-Access Passes to the 50th Anniversary Unveiling of the Ford Mustang in the city where it
was originally unveiled at the World's Fair!
We talk to some of the head designers about their part in making the new
S550 Mustang more powerful,
lighter, better handling and all around a high-performance vehicle while
still maintaining the legacy and heritage of the iconic Mustang name.
Some of the points included the introduction of the new EcoBoost 2.3L Engine, the return of the 5.0L
Coyote GT engine with a nice Boost
Independent Rear Suspension, an all new Front Suspension, huge facelift and
Not only is the new 2015 Ford Mustang the most modern version of
the Mustang we've seen,
it's also the highest performing in alot of ways. It's lighter and roomier
at the same time thanks to what the engineers refer to as "shrink wrapping"
the car to maintain weight.
For all of the details of the new 2015 Ford Mustang, make sure to head over to
the AmericanMuscle.com Blog.
For all things Mustang,
keep it right here at AmericanMuscle...
Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 vs. Shelby GT350
Video of our muscle car showdown between the 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392
and the 2012 Shelby GT350. Only 1492 Challengers like this one will be
built, and Shelby has a cap of 2200, with only 500. Read the Dodge
Challenger SRT8 392 vs. Shelby GT350 photos and comparison test here:
2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 - First Test
The strategy for the 2011 Challenger SRT8 is simple: more power.
Read the full story here:
Also find Motor Trend on:
Shot by: Duane Sempson & Gordon Green
Edited by: Duane Sempson
Chevy Camaro, Dodge Challenger, and Ford Mustang
Watch our muscle car comparison with this video from Consumer Reports and
get more car info on our website:
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cars/index.htm Muscle cars are back! We
take a first look at the new Chevy Camaro, Dodge Challenger, and
Shelby GT500 Crushes Camaro SS! - Drag Race Showdown
When we first pitted the Camaro SS against the Mustang GT, Ford fans complained it
was an unfair race given the horsepower disparity. But
now Ford has tipped the scale way back in it's advantage with the top of
the line supercharged snake, the GT500. We head to the drag strip to see
how the underdog Chevy stacks up.
Shot By: Mike Suggett & Jim Gleason
Edited By: Jim Gleason & Mike Suggett
First Test: 2010 SMS 570 Challenger
Associate Editor Scott Evans is out at the Motor Trend test track to find
out how fast the all-new 2010 SMS 570 Challenger is.
Read the full story here: