2017 Muscle Car Buyer's Guide
Merriam-Webster defines a "muscle car" as "any of a group of American-made 2-door sports cars with powerful engines designed for high-performance driving." But these days, a muscle car can be a little different. Some have *gasp* 4 doors, like the CTS-V or the Charger, and some are even *gulp* made outside of the U.S. When it comes to performance, the current muscle car line up is an embarrassment of riches — from those fine EcoBoosted Mustangs, to the slick ZL1 Camaro, to the jaw-dropping Dodge Hellcat.
We have the greatest problem a muscle car lover could have: which badass car to choose?! During our current muscle car rebirth, the truth of the matter is that our choices are better than ever.
Here are the best of muscle cars of 2017:
2017 Cadillac CTS-V
After selling out its CTS-V in 2016, Cadillac brings back muscle car for 2017 and makes it meaner than ever. This year the CTS-V comes with available launch control, new technology enhancements and a slick Carbon Black sport package. Also available is the factory Performance Data Recorder which allows drivers to record, view and analyze their driving using real time video, cabin audio and performance data. Sadly, the only thing missing in the 2017 CTS-V line-up is that rocket ship of a wagon. Maybe next year.
|BODY STYLES||4-door sedan|
|ENGINE OPTIONS||6.2L supercharged V8 (640 hp, 620 lb-ft)|
|TRANSMISSION OPTIONS||8-speed automatic with paddle shifters|
|PRICING||$85,595 - $106,375|
2017 Chevrolet Camaro
2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the quintessential Chevy muscle car. At the time of its release in 1967, the Camaro had a base price of $2,477, not including the whopping $57 upcharge for an AM radio. These days, the Camaro's sticker price adds an additional digit, but it does include a ridiculous amount of performance and technology. New for 2017 is the ZL1, which originally debuted in 1989 — only 111 were made that year. This modern ZL1 is the fastest Camaro ever, ripping from 0 to 60 in 3.5 seconds. Bitchin'!
|TRIM LEVELS||1LS, 1LT, 2LT, 1SS, 2SS, ZL1, 1LE|
|BODY STYLES||Coupe or convertible|
|ENGINE OPTIONS||2.0L I-4 turbo (275 hp, 295 lb-ft torque), 3.6L V-6 (335 hp, 284 lb-ft), 6.2L LT1 V-8 (455 hp, 455 lb-ft), LT4 supercharged 6.2L V-8 (650 hp, 650 lb-ft)|
|TRANSMISSION OPTIONS||6-speed manual, 8-speed automatic, 10-speed automatic (ZL1)|
|FUEL ECONOMY||20/30 (2.0L manual), 22/31 (2.0L automatic), 19/28 (3.6L automatic), 14/20 (6.2L)|
|PRICING||$27,300 - $73,350 (loaded ZL1)|
2017 Dodge Challenger
When an automaker claims "best in class," "class leading" or a "class first," it's tempting to ignore these claims. But when Fiat Chrysler claimed that the Dodge Challenger is the most powerful muscle car ever, very few could argue. This is because FCA can legitimize with just one word, and that's "Hellcat." The hair-curling 707 hp monster truly redefined what a modern muscle car could be. With the success of the Challenger and Charger models, Dodge now makes both of them in a baffling number of trims, yet each have something to excite. New for 2017 is the reintroduction of the Challenger T/A with chassis upgrades for better handling and braking.
|TRIM LEVELS||SXT, SXT Plus, R/T, R/T Shaker, T/A, R/T Plus/ R/T Plus Shaker, T/A Plus, R/T Scat Pack, T/A 392, 392 HEMI Scat Pack Shaker, SRT 392, SRT Hellcat|
|BODY STYLES||2-door coupe|
|ENGINE OPTIONS||3.6L V6 (305 hp, 268 lb-ft torque), 5.7L HEMI V8 (372 hp, 400 lb-ft), 6.4L HEMI V8 (485 hp, 475 lb-ft), 6.2L HEMI Hellcat V8 (707 hp, 650 lb-ft)|
|TRANSMISSION OPTIONS||6-speed manual (240 or 258 MM twin-disc), 8-speed automatic (845RE, 8HP70 or 8HP90)|
|FUEL ECONOMY||19/23 (3.6L V6), 15/18 (5.7L HEMI V8), 14/18 (6.4L HEMI V8), 13/ 16 (Hellcat)|
|PRICING||$27,190 - $71,970 (loaded SRT Hellcat)|
2017 Dodge Charger
Not to be outdone by its 2-door brother, the 4-door Charger allows the driver to burn rubber during the daily commute but still bring the kids to ballet in one piece. With four vastly different engine options, the Charger offers everything from mild muscle to full-on racked and ripped. Luckily, the gaping price differences also reflect these options. New for 2017 is the latest version of the Charger Daytona and the Daytona 392, which have been absent since 2013.
|TRIM LEVELS||SE, SE AWD, SXT, SXT AWD, R/T, Daytona, R/T Scat Pack, Daytona 392, SRT 392, SRT Hellcat|
|BODY STYLES||4-door sedan|
|ENGINE OPTIONS||3.6L V6 (292 hp, 260 lb-ft), 5.7L HEMI V8 (370 hp, 395 lb-ft), 6.4L HEMI V8 (485 hp, 475 lb-ft), 6.2L HEMI Hellcat V8 (707 hp, 650 lb-ft)|
|TRANSMISSION OPTIONS||TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission|
|FUEL ECONOMY||19/23 (3.6L V6), 16/25 (5.7L HEMI), 15/25 (6.4L HEMI), 13/22 (6.2L HEMI Hellcat)|
|PRICING||$27,995 - $76,110 (loaded SRT Hellcat)|
2017 Ford Mustang
The original pony car, the Ford Mustang is as iconic on current day streets as it was in the late 1960s. Now the 6th generation Mustang continues its muscle car reign by selling over 100,000 of these vehicles in 2016. Mustang love isn't just for Americans either, as Ford currently ships them to over 140 countries on six continents and features factory right-hand drive. In fact, the Mustang is currently known to be the best selling sports coupe in the world and currently Germany's most beloved performance car, beating out the homegrown 911. For the 2017 Mustang, most of upgrades went to the GT350, which received power sport seats versus manual Recaro seats and a standard track page. (Ford just released some details about the 2018 Mustang.)
|TRIM LEVELS||V6 Fastback, EcoBoost Fastback, V6 Convertible, EcoBoost Premium Fastback, Mustang GT Fastback, EcoBoost Premium Convertible, GT Premium Fastback, GT Premium Convertible, Shelby 350, Shelby 350R|
|BODY STYLES||Fastback or convertible|
|ENGINE OPTIONS||3.7L Ti-VCT V6 (300 hp, 280 lb-ft torque), 2.3L GTDI I-4 (310 hp, 320 lb-ft), 5.0L Ti-VCT V8 (435 hp, 400 lb-ft), 5.2L Flat Plane Crank V8 (526 hp, 429 lb-ft)|
|TRANSMISSION OPTIONS||6-speed manual, 6-speed SelectShift automatic with paddle shifters (optional), TREMEC 6-speed manual standard on GT350|
|FUEL ECONOMY||18/27 (V6), 21/30 (EcoBoost), 15/25 (5.0L), 14/21 (5.2L)|
|PRICING||$25,185 - $61,610|
No matter what your choice, chances are you'll have a lot of fun in any of these muscle cars.