"The Need For Speed ..."
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
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
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
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
- 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
- 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
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