Modern American Muscle: Murica’ sticks to supercharging

We know about conservation, and we know the benefits of hybrid power. If this is truly the case, are only backwards people still buying supercars? What about large SUVs?

The crux is that if our organic groceries don’t travel on electric-powered vehicles, with that power sourced from renewable sources, we are still hurting the environment. The essence then is on consuming within limits, and minimizing our carbon footprint.

To save the day, we have new contenders for the fuel-efficiency crown, the Ford Shelby Mustang GT500, the Dodge Challenger Hellcat, and the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Yes I am being sarcastic, and yes I am jubilant that such creatures still exist on our roads.


The old Lamborghini Murcielgao SuperVeloce LP670-4 was a genuine hypercar producing 670 hp. That kind of power, once only available at the cost of sprawling beachfront property, is now heavily discounted. The Shelby mustang GT500 produces 662 hp from its supercharged 5.8L V8, and 631 lb-ft of torque. This translates to monstrous speed, if questionable handling. These factors clearly make is a muscle-car rather than a sportscar or supercar.

The Shelby faces fierce competition from Chevrolet’s offering, the Camaro ZL1. Featuring the customary detuned Corvette engine, this supercharged 6.2L v8 falls short by 82 hp and 73 lb-ft to the Shelby. It makes up for this with sophisticated customizable dampers, and sophisticated suspension. With more traction that the GT500, it makes up for straight line performance with increased agility. A more track focused edition in the Camaro Z28 allows the Zl1 breathing room to be more muscle car than track car, a luxury not shared by the GT500 which has the GT500 Super Snake taking the place of ultimate muscle car. The Super Snake is out of the price range however, while the Hellcat, ZL1 and GT500 all hover around the $50,000 USD mark.

Ford Shelby GT500 Super Snake


The most recent entrant, and most publicized is the suprising Dodge Challenger Hellcat. With the largest body and lardiest weight it needs the 707 hp and 650 lb-ft  to remain relevant. With an automatic transmission it hits 60 mph in 3.6 seconds, 1 tenth slower than the GT500, but half a second faster than the ZL1.

The Hellcat is unique in that an identical package is offered with he 4-door Charger Hellcat, creating a muscle car variant not offered by its North American Rivals.


Challenger Hellcat(Left) and Charger Hellcat (right)

The Charger hellcat pushes itself into a dogfight with luxury branded Cadillac CTS-V, E63 AMGs, M5/M6 gran coupes, and many more. The niche of a high powered American four-door is clutch however, and will likely go down as a far more unique and desirable vehicle than its Challenger brother.


So is there a winner? No….fortunately all three serve the market well. The GT500 is the most trackable mustang, while the ZL1 is the Camaro’s ultimate muscle car cruiser. The Hellcat challenger owns the big numbers game at this price level, but is also the most unwieldy and lowest quality in this comparison. As we said, the Charger Hellcat is unique and competes as a more budget entry in the world of hot sedans



1 thought on “Modern American Muscle: Murica’ sticks to supercharging”

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