The V6 Muscle Car

For the past... 48 1/2 years, the v6 option on a muscle car was always.. well.. awkward. Yes, it often accounted for a big chunk of sales, but the idea of owning something that looked like a muscle car but went like a Toyota? There has always been a certain type, or types, who owned the v6 muscle cars... and well... you wouldn't invited them to your son's pool party. And, excluding divorces, mid-life crises, and your teenage years (see - I said you would not invite them to your son's pool party), you would never have bought one either.

All that has changed.

The current crop of muscle cars are defined by modern, and rather impressive, v6's. They all have over 300hp, and let me tell you, that is a lot. A few years ago 300hp was only available for $50,000+. A few years before that, it was only available in Italian cars shaped like doorstops.

The Dodge Challenger was the latest to join the fray, ditching its old, 220hp unit for a thoroughly modern v6. Which gives this, rather amazing lineup:

Base Price Engine Size Horsepower Torque MPG Weight
Dodge Challenger $23,245* 3.6 liters 305 @ 6350 268 @ 4800 N/A*** 3819 lb
Chevy Camaro $22,680** 3.6 liters 312 @ 6400 278 @ 5200 17 / 28 3741 lb
Ford Mustang $22,145** 3.7 liters 305 @ 6500 280 @ 4250 19 / 31 3453 lb

So when it comes down to it, the Mustang is still clearly the best car here. It is the one that I would buy, it handles the best, and it is the best performer. Oh, and its the cheapest. That said, the other two are still pretty incredible deals, especially the Camaro which sits on the fantastic Aussie chassis which underpinned the GTO and Pontiac G8, before Pontiac was sadly left behind in the great car-brand graveyard. Unfortunately, the Challenger is still part of Chrysler, which means it was made on a budget of $500 and all-you-can-chew-double-bubble for the engineers. What that means is that though the engine is new, the rest of the car is really a '95 Mercedes E-Class... yeah...

Anyway, still a great time to buy an amazing muscle car. Get one of the 'base' models with a 6-speed manual (good luck finding one though) and you will be on your way to motoring nirvana (at least in the camaro and mustang anyway).

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