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Here Are All of the New Muscle Cars You Can Buy in 2021

Those tires aren’t going to burn themselves.

Despite the threat of an electric-car takeover (maybe) looming on the horizon, it's a fantastic time to be a devotee of internal combustion. Specifically, the American V-8 continues a healthy level of production and innovation, even as the eco-minded walls appear to be closing in. In the spirit of highlighting all that is V-8, here are all the American muscle cars you can still buy in 2021.

This is the bread and butter of the modern American muscle-car space. With near-endless breadth to dress-up or dress-down depending on budget and taste, each 2021 Ford Mustang GT comes with a 5.0-liter, naturally aspirated V-8 good for 460 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque, routed to the rear wheels through either a six-speed manual or 10-speed automatic transmission.

Think of the 2021 Ford Mustang Bullitt as a GT Plus. Like previous Bullitt special editions, the present car darkens the exterior and adds a few aesthetic touches, including edition-specific wheels, badging, and interior appointments. Power still comes from the 5.0-liter V-8, now pushed out to 480 hp, and is only available with the six-speed stick.

Picking up the track-ready baton dropped by the dearly departed Mustang Shelby GT350, the new 2021 Mach 1 is the new Mustang pack leader if natural aspiration is your forte. The Bullitt-spec 5.0-liter has the same 480 hp with either the six-speed manual or the 10-speed auto, but the chassis is the real story. Everything from the brakes, suspension, steering, and tires are revised for the Mach 1, making this the pinnacle of the 5.0-liter lineup.

The GT350 might be gone, but the mack-daddy 2021 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is here to stay for at least a few more years. That's great news, considering the 5.2-liter, supercharged "Predator" V-8 is one of the most violent and deliciously vicious V-8s we've ever driven. Its 760 hp and 625 lb-ft spin the rear tires through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, returning a 0-60-mph sprint of somewhere in the mid-3s, and an electronically limited top speed of 180 mph.

Penny pinchers and budget minders, this is your sled. Chevrolet has remained strangely quiet about the new-for-2021 Camaro LT1, but that shouldn't stop you from heading to your local dealer and putting down a deposit for this American muscle car. Think of the LT1 as a de-contented Camaro SS, or maybe a V-6 Camaro with two extra cylinders to play with. However you rationalize it, the 6.2-liter V-8 thumper in the LT1 is good for 455 hp and an equal 455 lb-ft routed through your choice of either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic. Not convinced? With a starting tag of right around $35,000, the LT1 topped our previous list of the cheapest horsepower per dollar at just $76.91 per pony.

Like the Mustang GT, this one needs no introduction. With the mighty 6.2-liter LT1 V-8 roaring away with the aforementioned 455 hp and 455 lb-ft, this Camaro makes an incredible play for claiming the title of best all-around American muscle car. Really, when you compare the 'Stang and the Camaro, it all comes down to brand preference, though we'd probably pick the slightly sharper Camaro for a blast down our favorite canyon road.

It's rather strange how little you hear of the Camaro ZL1 anymore, despite it remaining in production for the foreseeable future. Think of this as a C7 Corvette Z06 "Lite," though there's not much "lite" about the ZL1's supercharged, 6.2-liter V-8 with 650 hp and 650 lb-ft. On the fortunate occasion when we get to drive a ZL1, we're reminded of how GM excels at chassis and steering development. Bonus points if you get your ZL1 with the six-speed manual, and more still if you opt for the ultra-hardcore 1LE package that allows the ZL1 to crack the Nürburgring in an impressive 7 minutes, 16 seconds.

Before we get started on the Challenger and Charger, know there are simply too many special edition permutations to handle in one list, so we're dealing with just the powertrains here. At the bottom of the pack is the R/T with its 5.7-liter V-8. Bigger than the Mustang GT's 5.0  and smaller than the Camaro SS' 6.2, the 5.7-liter is less powerful than both at 375 hp and 410 lb-ft if you spring for the six-speed stick (you should). It's not the quickest or sharpest of the bunch, but a 0-60-mph run in the low 5-second range means all that caramelly sound shooting out the rear is backed up by at least some straightline go.

The Scat Pack is genuinely one of the most charming cars made today. With a thick and delicious 6.4-liter, naturally aspirated Hemi V-8 churning out 485 hp and 475 lb-ft, the Scat Pack is excellent value for money. It sounds and looks the business, especially when outfitted with the optional widebody.

Here's the Challenger that kicked off the modern horsepower wars in earnest back in 2015. With a supercharged, 6.2-liter V-8 putting out 717 hp and 656 lb-ft of torque through either the six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic, the Hellcat is still one of the quickest and most violently accelerating American muscle cars you can purchase, six years on.

We're trying to stick to just the basic cars and avoiding the small permutations, but the Redeye is too much to pass up. In place of the pathetic 717 hp from the standard Hellcat, the Redeye sublimates the rear tires and your nearest straightaway with 797 hp and 707 lb-ft. Even with 305-wide rear tires, it can be a handful—don't say we didn't warn you.

What's all that power and slip-slidey fun good for if you can't bring your friends along for the ride? Even the Challenger's smallest V-8 is good for 370 hp and 395 lb-ft through an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Everything we said about the Challenger R/T Scat Pack applies here. Great engine, great power, great value. We'll take ours in Hellraisin with the Dynamics pack, please.

Again, what's not to love? Your family, friends, and young kiddos will never be the same after a few dinner runs in your new 717-hp and 650-lb-ft American muscle car supersedan.

Speaking of supersedans, the Charger gets the wild Redeye treatment as well, with the same ridiculous 797 hp and 707 lb-ft of torque as the Challenger variant. Good gracious.