We’ve had a lot of time behind the wheel of some impressive muscle cars this summer, and it had us all buzzing in the office. Finally, someone had to ask, “What’s your favorite muscle car?”
Here are your AutoGuide.com Editors’ picks for their muscle car of choice:
“Some may not consider the Dodge Charger a muscle car, but it checks off all the right boxes. Classic muscle car name, massive V8 power, aggressive good looks and, of course, rear-wheel drive. Yeah, I’m going to be stuck with an eight-speed automatic transmission, but I can think of 707 reasons the SRT Hellcat will quickly make me forget all about that.
Why am I picking a Charger over a Challenger, especially when the Challenger SRT Hellcat has a manual transmission option? Two reasons, really. First, with a newborn baby having just arrived, the extra set of doors makes getting a baby in and out of the car much easier. And being a full-size car, his rear-facing child seat fits without issue while not intruding on front passenger space. And then there is that massive trunk.
My other reason for the selecting the Charger is its sleeper status. Yeah, it looks aggressive and the hood scoop hints at its true potential, but anyone not in the know would ever suspect this family sedan of being a tire-shredding 707-hp monster.”
Dodge Challenger Scat Pack Shaker – Jodi Lai, Managing Editor:
“The Dodge Challenger Scat Pack Shaker is my favorite muscle car from the holy trifecta. Hands down. I like its retro looks better than the Mustang and the Camaro, and I also dig the retro driving dynamics. Seriously.
Sure, the new Mustang is a better car; it’s more modern and much more advanced. But there’s something about the Challenger’s raw, slightly unhinged character that really speaks to me. I like it when cars make me work for my fun, and the Challenger definitely doesn’t make it easy. The Challenger is just so much more engaging to drive. Just two levels under the almighty Hellcat, the V8-powered Scat Pack Shaker has all the power you’ll ever need. No one realistically needs the Hellcat’s 707 hp in a daily driver. The V8 still sounds demonic and people have come to respect all Challengers because of the Hellcat, so you get a lot of props for driving around in this retro beast.
The Challenger takes pride in its retro personality, and dollar for dollar, it’s one of the most fun and engaging cars you can buy.”
Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE – Sami Haj-Assaad, Features Editor:
“I know its heavy, hard to see out of, and the interior is ugly, but I can’t get enough of the modern Chevrolet Camaro. This isn’t exactly a new infatuation — I have a lot of admiration and respect for the old Yenko Camaros of yesteryear, but after taking a 1LE packaged Camaro around Gingerman Raceway in Michigan, I made up my mind, and the Camaro is where it’s at.
For starters, it looks like a modern piece of muscle. The sheetmetal is chiseled and tough, while those halo headlights give the Camaro a distinctive, sinister profile at night. But the 1LE package takes all the great tidbits from the highway rocket-themed ZL1 and applies them to the regular Camaro. It’s stiffer, more responsive and has more grip.
It was a blast on the track, especially thanks to that beefy 426-hp 6.2-liter V8. For me, if I had to buy a muscle car today, I’d make my first and only stop at the Chevy dealership. Well, maybe I’d get a mullet wig and leather jacket on the way.”
Ford Mustang GT – Craig Cole, Associated Editor:
“I’m a simple guy. I don’t need a lot of superfluous fluff. For me, the more clear-cut and straightforward things are, the better. Accordingly, my modern-day muscle car of choice would be a run-of-the-Flat-Rock-mill Mustang GT, preferably in Deep Impact Blue or Magnetic gray.
I don’t need a Shelby version of Ford’s famous filly. Likewise, an overhyped Cobra model or the like is too over the top. Just give me a fastback ‘Stang with five furious liters under the hood and I’ll be happy for decades, as long as it’s also equipped with a manual transmission.
Fill ‘er up with premium gasoline, and you’re treated to a 435-horse stampede and enough torque to roast the rears for miles. Toe into the throttle and the engine sings a siren song that could wake the dead. Driving one on a warm summer evening with the windows down, does life get any better?”
Dodge Challenger SRT- Stephen Elmer, News Editor:
“A muscle car should be an unapologetic machine built for straight line speed thanks to a big V8. Nothing fits that bill better than the Dodge Challenger. It may not be the most agile of Detroit’s muscle cars, but it packs loads of style and its presence is undeniable. Smoking the rear wheels is simple, thanks to a massive 6.4-liter V8, the motor I would take in the car.
Sure, It would be hard to turn down the 707-hp supercharged Hellcat V8, but I like my muscle cars naturally aspirated. Nothing beats that predictable linear pull of a big N/A engine. Stick a “fossil fuels are yummy” bumper sticker on it and I’m ready to leave some rubber on the road.”
Tesla Model S – Jason Siu, News Editor:
“I wouldn’t go so far as to say I hate American cars, but I honestly can’t see myself ever wanting one. Sure, the idea of a torque-filled V8 rumbling is exciting, but I just love technology and turbochargers that much more. So in my response about my favorite muscle car, I’m going to buck the trend and cause some controversy by voting for the Tesla Model S. Wait, what? That’s not even a muscle car! Yes, I know it’s not a muscle car, but it is an American car and the silly Ludicrous Mode makes it even FASTER than some muscle cars. Don’t get me wrong, I love how a Dodge Viper looks and performs, but how does an all-electric sedan that does 0-60 in less than three seconds not seem appealing?
But seriously, what’s up with the shoddy interiors in all those muscle cars?”
Those are our picks, which is yours? Tell us your pick in the comments below. If you want a closer look at the big names in the segment, then be sure to compare the three titans side by side: Compare 2015 Ford Mustang to 2015 Dodge Challenger to 2015 Chevrolet Camaro