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Dodge and Ford To Produce New Muscle Cars

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By Dave Ashton

While it may seem like the whole car industry has ground to a halt in our times of lockdown, the top muscle car makers have been quietly beavering away on their next projects. The big news at the moment is the return of Ford’s iconic Mach 1, while Dodge are rumored to be birthing a Challenger ACR.

Ford Mach 1

Any recent mentions of the ‘Mach’ name in Ford circles has been concerning their Mustang inspired, all electric SUV, the ‘Mach-E.’ No matter your opinions on the latter crossover SUV thingy, Ford have announced that they will be bringing back the Mach 1 nameplate in 2021 as a special edition to replace the Mustang Bullitt.

Prototype shots of the 2021 Mustang Mach 1 have started to emerge, with standout features being the two large circular areas on the front grille. The placement of these openings is very similar to the driving light placements on the original 1969 Mustang Mach 1. But, at this stage of the game their use is unclear, most likely being areas for lighting units or intakes.

Other standout features include a new front fascia, rear wing and diffuser setup, Brembo brake package and large exhaust tips. Power wise, the engine will be a 5.0L naturally aspirated V8, producing 480HP. Other details about the powertrain have yet to be revealed, but Ford promise the most track focused Mustang yet featuring this version of engine.

ford mustang Mach 1 Image

Other Mustang variants are also in the works, such as a Mustang Hybrid. But, this model is more likely to emerge after a possible redesign total redesign of the Mustang in 2023.

Ford Mustang

Dodge Challenger ACR

Most of you will be familiar with the ‘ACR’ name from the mighty track focused Dodge Viper variant, adorning the special edition for many years. The ‘American Club Racer’ name was also used for the very sprightly front wheel drive Neon back in the 90s and now it’s the turn of the Dodge Challenger to adopt the name.

Rumors of this new model first came about in 2019, but with very little information at the time on specs and performance. Now, two new models may emerge, featuring a possible 392 Hemi V8 with 485 horses and the Big Brother model having a supercharged Hellcat V8 producing 797hp, possibly straight from the Challenger Redeye.

dodge challenger acr Image

As ACR models have traditionally been the focus of the track and racing, it will be interesting to see how Dodge reduce the overall heft of the Challenger, reducing the overall weight to at least under 4000 pounds. Lots of carbon fiber is predicted for both the outer shell and many of the components, along with the Viper ACR’s huge rear wing and possibly suspension setup.

Just like previous ACR models, this will be a limited run of vehicles, just like the original Viper ACR, for those who want a more track focused vehicle. But more importantly, the Dodge Challenger ACR will have some big boots to fill concerning lap times and performance.

The Dodge Challenger is unapologetically a straight-line specialist, thus will need a good degree of fettling and tweaking to turn it into the same agile beast as the original Viper ACR. For instance a 2017 Dodge Viper ACR holds the 10th fastest time around the Nürburgring with a time of 7:01.3, utilizing the Extreme Aero Package. Only beaten out by the likes of vastly more expensive supercars. If you want to read up on other fastest laps produced by the Dodge Viper ACR, check out

This could just mean that the Dodge Challenger may be listed in future years with top track times. Imagine that, a Challenger muscle car that can carve up the track as good as the rest, along with frightening straight-line speed.

Update – At the time of writing June 3, 2020, Dodge have confirmed that there isn’t going to be a Challenger ACR model for the foreseeable future. Shame though as it was a dam good idea.

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