Pretend you have a pile of cash and you want to buy a modern American-made muscle car. What would you spend all of your loot on?
Well, you can buy a new Tesla Model S P100D and smoke ‘em all off of the line, but an electric sedan doesn’t sound as sweet as a beefy V-8 engine with a throaty exhaust. Or even a sporty V-6 hybrid like the Acura NSX.
This summer, I’d rather not plug in my car or wait for a charge so I can lay tracks in a Starbucks’ drive-thru. Instead, wait, hold my latte—I want a car that burns gas, shreds tires, and looks badass while doing it.
There are plenty of custom builders out there that can make you a four-wheel rocket, so I tried to narrowed my focus on production vehicles built in the U.S.—sorry Canada and the Ford GT—a 2018 Automobile All-Star winner.
This year, true to its name, the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye looks like our best contender since the Demon’s 840-hp retirement from race gas.
“Those dual fuel pumps will drain the tank in less than 11 minutes when the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye is driven at full-throttle. That’s 1.43 gallons per minute, though under normal driving, the car is rated 22-mpg EPA highway fuel efficiency,” reports Todd Lassa.
Now that’s what I’m talking about. I want to see dollar bills fly out of the window during that glorious 11-minute run. Hopefully, some fool will film it and post it online soon.
In the meantime, here are our top nine contenders that deserve your hard earned bucks.
9. 2019 Acura NSX
Unlike the original’s naturally aspirated 3.0-liter, however, the NSX uses a twin-turbo 3.5-liter unit—and supplements it with a trio of electric motors, two in the front and one at rear. The engine alone brings 500 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque to the table, while the motors raise that to a total of 573 hp and 476 lb-ft. This is your best option if you want a sporty coupe and want to avoid paying a gas-guzzler tax.
8. 2019 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE
“I could not use all 650 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque from the supercharged LT4 V-8 for more than a few seconds without reaching jail-time speeds. This is power enjoyed fully on a track, as the 1LE is a really big stick, and you can’t come close to using all of it on the street.” —Andy Pilgrim on this year’s model.
7. 2019 Ford Mustang GT500
You’ll have to wait until next year for a Mustang Shelby GT500, but Ford promises at least 700 ponies to pique your interest.
6. 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk
Got brats? A Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk SUV with 707 hp, 645 lb-ft and 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds with a top speed of 180 mph will shut them up. Well, for a few seconds anyhow.
5. 2019 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
The Charger SRT Hellcat seems lost in the litter here, but it still packs a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 that now produces 717 hp and 656 lb-ft of torque. Our in-house speed demons clocked a 0 to 60 mph sprint in 4.2 seconds for the 2018 model—not too shabby.
4. 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody
“Dodge claims the extra meat out back cuts the 0-60 mph hustle by 0.1 second to a brutal 3.4 seconds” wrote Conner Golden of the 2018 Hellcat Widebody, which gets a 10 hp and 6 lb-ft bump for 2019. “Hustling the Hellcat’s 4,500 pounds quickly is accompanied quite the soundtrack. That supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 emits a ferocious sound, a distinctive war cry far removed the classic caramel lope of the naturally aspirated 6.4-liter thumper found in its SRT and Scat Pack siblings.”
3. 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
“Corvette engineers were not content with the kidney-flattening supercharged LT4 V-8 that kicks out 650 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque in the Z06. The new ZR1 has a supercharged LT5 V-8 spitting 755 horsepower at 6,300 rpm and 715 lb-ft at 4,400 rpm. Certified top speed is 212.49 mph, which came from a two-way average (215 mph/210 mph).” —AP
2. 2019 Tesla Model S P100D
The Trackhawk looks meaner than a silly Model X and is my first choice for a monster SUV. You could also wait for a cheaper Model 3 to roll of a tent some day or you can get yourself a Tesla Model S P100D with 680 hp and 791 lb-ft on tap. You can dust the competition silently with a mighty 2.39-second sprint to sixty. Paint some flames on the frunk and start racing for slips.
1. 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye
Under the dual-snorkel hood, a supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V-8 engine cranks out a wicked 797 hp and a devilish 707 lb-ft of torque. It’s capable of a 203 mph top speed and a 3.4-second 0-60 mph sprint—and we are sold.