Red Hot Hotrods header
<< Previous    1  [2]    Next >>

"The Need For Speed ..."


The Current Muscle Car Climate

In 2007, The North American International Auto Show recorded its 100th anniversary in Detroit. Domestic automakers shone brightly, with General Motors winning both the Car and Truck of the Year awards with the Saturn Aura and Chevrolet Silverado. 

Most of the media focus was on Detroit's hybrid, electric, alternative-fuel, and high-mileage vehicles boasting efficiency and reduced emissions. A side benefit of new technology is lots of horsepower, which was also in the spotlight.

500 HP had become the new baseline in a production vehicle. Now, Dodge raised the benchmark to 600 HP with its new 2008 model Viper.

The muscle cars of the '60s and '70s may be an era gone by, yet it seems the demand for affordable, high-performance cars will continue to influence auto manufacturers to provide thrills under the hood for discerning drivers.


Some Of The Recent  "Muscle Cars"

Although subject to the same controversy and disapproval as other gas-guzzling vehicles, Detroit is still satisfying our craving for performance. Consider some of these fine cars:

  • The Viper's truck-based V-10 engine was introduced in 1992, evolving over the years. The third-generation version was rated at 500 HP in 2003.  The 2008 Viper has the same architecture but almost every part has been touched. The displacement is now up to 8.4 liters due to a 1.0mm bore increase, but that's mainly so the V-10 can share the forged pistons and cracked connecting rods of the 6.1 Hemi V-8. The big power boost is in the cylinder heads and valvetrain. 
  • General Motors brought back the GTO in 2004 as a rebadged Holden Monaro imported from Australia. The new GTO only lasted three years, making 2006 the last model year for the current GTO. Hope you grabbed one while you had the chance!
  • GM is launching the Pontiac G8, an import made in Australia, and a rebadged Holden Commodore, which will also form the basis of the next-generation GM Zeta platform that will form the 2009 Chevrolet Camaro and 2010 Chevrolet Impala, built in Canada.
  • For 2003, Mercury revived its old Marauder nameplate, as a modified Mercury Grand Marquis. The "Terminator" SVT Cobra was produced by Ford for 2003-2004 and is generally regarded as a muscle car despite its pony car platform.
  • In 2005, a "retro" version of the Ford Mustang went on sale—this new model resembled an older model year Mustang.
  • Shelby has also released a new G.T. 500, followed by Super Snake and King of the Road editions. 
  • Saleen has introduced a special edition based on the classic BOSS Mustangs of 1970 called the "PJ" after Trans-Am race car driver, Parnelli Jones. 
  • In 2004 Chrysler introduced their LX platform, serving as the base for a new line of rear-wheel drive, V8-powered cars (using the new Hemi engine), including a four-door version of the Dodge Charger. 
  • Dodge has also revived two "classic" model names with the Charger: Daytona and Super Bee. The first was featured in 2006 as a Dodge Charger Daytona R/T and the Super Bee joined in 2007 as the Dodge Charger Super Bee.  Dodge has also been developing a new performance vehicle under the Challenger badge. 
  • Then there is Chevrolet's Camaro concept car as well, with plans to sell new Camaros beginning with the 2009 model year.      

For more fun and information, consider joining the Muscle Car Club, which is dedicated to the preservation, restoration and enjoyment of all American Muscle Cars. Their website covers "everything from Hemis, to GTOs, to Shelby's and a few Buicks for good measure."

Visit the Muscle Car Club website at


<< Previous    1  [2]    Next >>