Best Muscle Cars

The Best Modern Dodge Muscle Cars

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By Dave Ashton

Dodge can arguably be seen as single-handedly carrying the muscle car flag into the next decade. There are obviously custom muscle car creations out there, limited run builds and the obvious inclusion of the pony/sports cars from Ford and Chevrolet, but its Dodge who are most strictly sticking to the old school template.

This includes ridiculous horsepower levels, generally two seat models (excluding the Charger), rearwheel drive and all this G-force for a fraction of the price of a supercar. Okay, you don’t get the overlay bred, exclusivity of a supercar, unless you bought into the Dodge Demon, but the ethos of a traditional muscle car is something that should be obtainable for the average guy.

Which brings us to a shortlist of some of the finest Dodge muscle cars released in the last few years. There are of course standout examples produced by Dodge which are over a decade old, but for brevity, we are sticking to vehicles released in the past few years.

Dodge Charger Hellcat (2017)
Dodge-Charger-Hellcat Image

The Dodge Charger Hellcat almost seems commonplace by now, but back when it was first announced in August 2014 and unveiled at the 2014 South Florida International Auto Show, the 707hp and 650 lb. ft. of torque almost seemed preposterous. Under the hood sat a supercharged 6.2L Hemi V8 engine and claimed to be the fastest factory four-door sedan up to that point.

With a touch of tweaking and fettling to iron out the initial teething problems, the 2017 model hit its stride, with not just amazing straight-line performance, but also a vehicle which you can live with day-to-day. The model has been built upon, with now a wide-body version and a possible Redeye edition in the future, making the Dodge Charger Hellcat not just one of the best modern muscle cars, but also a potent all-rounder.

Dodge Challenger AWD
Dodge-Challenger Image

Rear wheel drive vehicles haven’t traditionally been the best operators in snowy conditions, but that all changed with the introduction of the Dodge Challenger AWD.

It may not house a mighty V8 engine, rather opting for a 3.6-liter V6 which can produce 305 horsepower and 268 lb.-ft. of torque. The power is sent through an eight speed automatic transmission to all four wheels, with enough umph for everything apart from a full on dragstrip challenge.

The AWD version is also considerably cheaper than the Hellcat at just under $40,000. Which means you can have muscle car fun in all types of weather conditions.

Dodge Challenger Scat Pack 1320 Package
Dodge-Challenger-Scat-Pack-1320-Package Image

While the Hellcat, Demon or Redeye Challenger may be the most potent, for those who still want some V8 madness at a smaller price point, the Dodge Challenger Scat Pack 1320 Package is a strong contender. The 1320 package features a 6.4-liter Hemi V8, producing 485hp and 475 pound-feet of torque.

The car also has a bunch of drag friendly options, such as full drag racing suspension, 275/40R20 102W drag radial tires and a choice between a six speed manual and eight speed automatic transmissions. The 1320 Package also took some hints from the Dodge Demon, such as the line lock and trans brake systems. This equates to 3.8 seconds at 0 to 60 mph and a maximum speed of 155 mph. All this for the reasonable cost of $44,995.

Dodge Challenger SRT Demon
Dodge-Challenger-SRT-Demon Image

When the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon was revealed at the April 2017 New York Auto Show, even the worst dissenters of the muscle car took notice. The Demon came with a completely reworked 6.2-liter V8 engine and 2.7-liter supercharger, which produced a whopping 808hp or 840hp and 770 lb·ft. of torque with 100 octane fuel.

Weighing slightly less than the Hellcat at 4,254 lb, the Demon was every bit optimized for the drag strip, with a 2.3 seconds 0-60mph time, a quarter-mile time of 9.65 seconds at 140.09 mph and a limited top speed of 168 mph. When it was on its initial campaign trail, we also heard plenty about records such as the first production car to pull a wheelie, 1.8 Gs at launch, the $1 Demon crate and how it was basically the most scary muscle car as yet.

The only problem was that it was limited to 3,300 examples, with 300 going to Canada, making it a future collectors item. Dodge have since released the Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye with 797hp with some of the magic from the Demon’s workings. But, it’s the SRT Demon which is still the most frightening modern muscle car to date.


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