The horsepower wars are tightening among the Detroit Three, as the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger are getting bigger, more powerful, and yes, more fuel efficient.
That came into sharper focus this week as more information was revealed about the most insane Challenger ever – the 707-horsepower Hellcat – followed quickly by Ford's in-depth showcase of the 2015 Mustang in Dearborn.
It's shaping up to be a golden age for enthusiasts, and what's under the hood is becoming more important than ever.
- Right now, the 5.0-liter Mustang GT has the lead among Detroit's V8 muscle cars in the power department, though there's a caveat. The 435-hp output of the 5.0-liter 'Stang is ahead of the 6.2-liter LS3 V8 Camaro SS, which is rated at 426 ponies. It's also better than the 5.7-liter V8 Challenger R/T's 375 hp.
- But, it trails the 6.4-liter V8 used in the 392 Challenger, which makes 485 hp. Blue Oval enthusiasts could argue the 392 is a sort of "Hellcat Lite," and not the GT's true competitor.
- The tables are turned in the torque department, as the V8 Stang summons 400 lb-ft, which is behind the Camaro SS (420 lb-ft), the Challenger R/T (410 lb-ft) and the 392 (475 lb-ft).
- Of course, we're just talking about the 2015 Mustang's competition, and since we don't know what's in store for the SVT-tuned example yet, we're leaving out any comparisons to the Camaro Z/28 and ZL1, as well as the previously mentioned, 707-hp Challenger Hellcat.
- Among V6s, the Camaro is the decided leader in power, boosting 323 hp, well ahead of the Challenger's 305 hp and the now-detuned Mustang, which dropped to an even 300 hp this year.
- The Blue Oval does pack the most torque among six-cylinders with 280 lb-ft, just ahead of the Camaro's 278 lb-ft and the Challenger's 268 lb-ft.
- Of course, we're referring to Ford's EcoBoost inline four-cylinder, which pushes out 310 hp and an impressive 320 lb-ft from a turbocharged 2.3-liter mill. Neither Dodge nor Chevy have anything similar in their current muscle car lines, and if there are any undecided potential buyers in this died-in-the-wool segment, it could prove to be a game-changer.
- The turbo four is also the lightest Mustang and the lightest car among these offerings from Detroit, weighing 3,524 pounds. The V6 'Stang is just two pounds heavier though, which puts it well ahead of the V6 Camaro (3,702 pounds) and Challenger (3,834 pounds).
- This trend continues among the V8s, as the Mustang GT is 3,705 pounds – just three pounds heavier than the lightest Camaro V6. The eight-cylinder Chevy comes in at 3,908 pounds, which is still lighter than the Challenger's weight of 4,082 pounds.