Ford, Chevrolet, and Dodge hit the drag strip for a 0-60 mile per hour competition and a quarter mile competition.
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American muscle began in the 1960’s and does borrow from a hot rodder’s mentality; put a big motor in a small car. Nowadays, the Ford Mustang, Dodge Challenger, and Chevrolet Camaro show modernized styling with a retro-look. What hasn’t changed, is the competition for the quickest and fastest on the drag strip.
took the 2016 Ford Mustang GT, 2016 Dodge Challenger R/T, and 2016 Chevrolet Camaro to the race track to see which muscle car trumps them all.
Conditions could not have been more ideal. Temperatures were listed as a high of 50*, which allows more cool, dense air to enter through the intakes. More dense air means more power. Traction additives were added to make sure the power could hit the ground.
The Ford Mustang GT was equipped with a 5.0 liter V8, capable of 435 horsepower. However, to make things more competitive on the drag strip, the GT included a performance pack, which adds on a shorter 3.73 axle ratio for quicker acceleration. Unfortunately, there were some issues with wheel hop. Other times, power would just cut out. But, with a 1-foot roll out time and moderated acceleration, they achieved a 0-60 mile per hour time in just 4.7 seconds with a quarter-mile time of 13.2 seconds at 111.3 miles per hour. A clean getaway would have likely earned a mid-four second time to 60 miles per hour, and quarter mile times into the twelves.
The Dodge Challenger R/T was loaded with the Scat Pack. The Challenger R/T Scat Pack is equipped with a 6.4 liter V8, capable of 485 horsepower. While there is a significant bump in horsepower compared to the Mustang GT, it loses out in the weight department. The Challenger has an estimated curb weight of 4,085 pounds, compared to the Mustang GT’s estimated 3,705 pounds. Despite the near 400 pound weight disadvantage, the Challenger scooted down the track to 60 miles per hour in 4.8 seconds with a quarter mile time of 12.9 seconds at 111.6 miles per hour. The estimated times and trap speeds are nearly equivalent to the Mustang GT with the Performance Pack, and the issues involved as well. Either way, it’s impressive for a car that weighs nearly two tons. The car even had power to spare. With the right tire size combination and tire pressure to widen the footprint, both the 0-60 mile per hour times and quarter mile times could have a few more tenths shaved off.
In the end, the Chevrolet Camaro was the definitive winner. With 455 horsepower coming out of the 6.2 liter V8, the Camaro cut the times of the Challenger and Mustang by 0.5 seconds, for a 0-60 mile per hour time of just 4.3 seconds. Quarter mile times were estimated at 12.3 seconds, with a trap speed of 114.3 miles per hour.
What is different about this test compared to other road tests, is that conditions were consistent for each vehicle. Each vehicle also had a manual transmission. While times and numbers aren’t mind blowing compared to other supercars and hypercars, each of them are still shockingly quick. On a track setting with an experienced driver, these times and trap speeds are easily achievable. All three of them had close trap speeds, acceleration times, and quarter mile times. But as the host noted, the Camaro was the easiest to launch and modulate consistently. I suppose if you want a stock drag strip king, the Camaro is the choice.
In the end, it’s about what you want as a driver. Fighting over tenths of a second is meaningless unless it’s done on the drag strip. If you love the muscle look, go with the Challenger. If you love the styling? Stick with the Mustang. If you can cope with the visibility and want an outright performer? Get the Camaro.
Most importantly, all of this was done on a track. Keep the speed where it belongs, and stay safe.