The mention of muscle car probably brings you back to the good old days of the Mustangs and the GTOs and Super Bees. However, just as modern technology has put a computer in everyone’s pocket in the form of a smart phone, it has also improved what you would consider the classic muscle car. With a mix of “brain” from the new computers and “brawn” from the good old engines, today’s modern muscle cars have the best performance of any yet.
The Ford Mustang marketing manager, Steve Ling says that “the muscle car was once about going fast in a straight line. With the sophisticated Mustang Bullet, Boss 302, and Shelby, we’ve been on a different trajectory. Having the personality of a muscle car is great, but braking and riding well are also important. The 2015 Mustang is an evolution of that journey.” This spring the Mustang changed the game of muscle cars when Ford introduced the 300 horsepower V-6, 305 hoursepower turbo-four, and 420 horsepower V8 engines. They also threw in a standard independent rear suspension. Competitors of Ford have also been working towards this goal on a similar ‘trajectory’ as Ling identifies. Chevy Camaros have 323 horsepower V6, and the SS models really move with a 426 horsepower V8. It is a great example of combining brawn with brains as the Camaro ZL1 has a supercharged V8 that pumps out 580 horsepower and can go from 0-60 in just under 4 seconds, but there are also carbon ceramic brakes, aerodynamically-tuned body which handles road courses with great grip. Chevrolet is also working on a smart muscle car and recently introduced the SS sedan with a 415 horsepower engine. The president of SRT Brand Motorsports and Chrysler Group, Ralph Gilles says it best, “The modern muscle car is becoming a very intelligent machine. The combination of adaptive suspensions, electronic stability control and tire technology enable cars that have racecar like handling combined with daily-drivability.”