The Return of Muscle Cars

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For the last 30 years, muscle cars have been going downhill to the point where muscle cars are now know as legendary cars from the '60s and '70s. They have lost their names, and now the few that are still produced today are under rated. But, over the next few years, muscle cars are going to make a huge come back, and rekindle the legacy of american muscle. To give you guys a better idea of what I'm talking about, let me go through each manufacturer, and the V8 competitors they will be unleashing over the next few years.


CHEVROLET: Chevy has stated numerous times in numerous magazines that #1 they're still not quite sure they want to get rid of the Camaro line (despite horrible sales in the last few years of the 4th generation Camaro), and #2 they promise that they will have a worthy competitor for the 2005 Mustang (and they weren't talking about the Cobalt). Not to mention the vast amounts of rumors that Chevy wants to create the 5th generation Camaro in the image of it's late 60s ancestor (due to all the commotion created by the look of the new Mustang). It had been strongly hinted, and now confirmed, that GM was working on a sporty car for Chevrolet which includes a 5.3-liter V-8 engine, rear-wheel drive, and four-passenger capacity. And there are also rumors that a sporty Z28 will debut a year after the release of the next Camaro, with a potential 6.0 liter V8 (borrowed from the new Corvette C6) under the hood. Besides, how could muscle cars make their comeback without the legendary Camaro?

2006-2007 Chevy Camaro (Z28)
Engine: 400 hp, 6.0 liter V8
Performance: <5.2 sec. (if the 2002 had a 5.2 second 0-60, then the new one will most likely exceed that) (Z28 concept based on GM's 2007 Camaro concept drawing)

DODGE: Dodge has always had a good reputation of being a reliable providor of American muscle(ex. Dodge Viper, Ram SRT-10). But sources say that Dodge is planning on reviving one of the most legendary muscle cars known to man: The Charger. With Dodge/Chrystler's Special Racing Team (SRT) hard at work on the next Charger, there are three engine powerplants planned for the new Charger, the most promising of all being the 5.7 liter Hemi V8 (also seen on the Dodge Magnum and Chrystler 300C). But with a new 425 hp 300C SRT-8, the Charger may have a shot at a more powerful engine to mark the top of the line. Let's just hope Dodge uses it's head on this one. Either way, keep your eyes open, it holds tons of promise.

2006-2007 Dodge Charger SRT-8
Engine: 425 hp, 6.1 liter Hemi V8
Performance: <5.0sec. (if the 300C SRT-8 can speed to 60 mph in 5 seconds with an automatic tranny, imagine what a Charger SRT-8 with manual transmission will be able to accomplish!) (Charger Concept)

FORD: The Mustang is without a doubt one of the most well known muscle cars around. With the new body style hewing closely to the popular look of the late '60s Mustang, Ford expects to see good results from its next-generation pony. But the real deal comes a year later, when Ford's Special Vehicle Team (SVT) releases the new Cobra in 2006 as a 2007 model. The new Cobra is expected to have around 400 hp (100hp up from the new GT model), gunning for the new Corvette. Sources say its looks are to resemble the Mustang GT Concept from the Detroit Auto Show. Despite delays with the new Cobra, it is expected to be Ford highest-performing Mustang ever.

2007 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra
Engine: 400+ hp, 4.6 liter V8
Performance: <4.9 sec. (if the current SVT Cobra has a 4.9 second 0-60, then obviously the new one will be at least that fast with at least 10 extra hp and improved suspension) y.jpg (Mustang GT/SVT Cobra Concept)

PONTIAC: Pontiac has been receiving a lot of attention lately with the revival of the GTO (as well it should). But recently, Pontiac has just released an even newer GTO for 2005, with available hood scoops and twin dual exhausts. But it's not the new exterior modifications that make this GTO worthy of the muscle car badging, it's the new 6.0 liter V8 LS2 borrowed from the new Corvette C6. Boasting 400 hp (50 hp up from the current GTO), this new GTO has enough power to take on such cars as the Cadillac CTS-V or even it's cousin, the Corvette. It may not have the name "Judge", but this new GTO isn't just any upgrade, it's Pontiac's newest muscle car.

2005 Pontiac GTO
Engine: 400 hp, 6.0 liter V8
Performance: <5.0 sec. (estimated)

So that seems to be the line up for now, who knows what the future of muscle cars has in store. I myself am looking forward to the new SVT Cobra the most, but that's just because I'm a Mustang guy. Everything I have just stated here is information from magazine and internet articles I have read in the last year or so, so all of it is assumed to be true. Just wanted to throw that out there, but it sure is cool that the muscle cars are finally making their come back!

posted by  STi Guy

Just wanted to comment the Mustang was never really considered a muscle car, but rather a pony car. Some can argue the 428/429 Mustangs were, but they still really weren't..not an intermediate/large car.

posted by  thunderbird1100

It looks like a bright future for muscle cars! :clap: The 2005 GTO sounds really sweet! A new Camaro based of the 60's model is a great idea for Chevrolet. And the Charger will definitely get a lot of attention! I'm excited! :mrgreen:

posted by  moostang104314

What!!! The Camaro is coming back? The Dodge Charger too? YES! The 2005-2010 semester of cars is gonna be great! Oldschool is here to stay! Just wait till honda brings out that new CRX, this is a great time to be a car enthuisiast....

posted by  DSMer

At this point Chevrolet has no plans for a new Camaro. They shut down that plant that made them I heard (up in Canada) ...

posted by  thunderbird1100

"muscle cars" weren't limited to intermediate/large bodies. The mustang WAS an intermediate sized car. Basically an intermediate sized car was any small body with a V-8 option. Yes it was a pony car, but by the late 60's, they were muscle cars. The rims/tires were widened, the supsension was upgraded, more room was made under the hood for larger engines, there were more transmission and rear-end options as well as more engine options. Tell me the solid lifter hi-po 289 or the boss 302 weren't respectable small blocks for that era and I'll just know you're silly then.

posted by  Sick88Tbird

time for some pre-emptive (sp?) :pop:

posted by  SuperJew

That's still highly debatable. Some enthusists will agree with you and some just won't. I don't, but in this case classifying a muscle car is really just left up to the person, arguing about it is like trying to convince a conservative to become a liberal and a liberal to become a conservative. The Mustang was made as a pony car and always remained a pony car in my opinion. No changing that.

I agree though the 4bbl 289 HiPo and Boss 302 engines were kickers.

posted by  thunderbird1100

well, i like the new gto and mustang. I'm not sure how much i like the new charger though.

posted by  philsshon

I cant wait for the CRX, I love them so much. I'm more excited about it then the V8 crew coming our way.

posted by  Zalight

I think the Jazz is now our CRX....sadly enough.

posted by  thunderbird1100

To hell if it is, I don't even know why they are bringing that tiny ass pos over to America. We don't like small cars. Take that shit to Britian or something. I'm getting my CRX dammit....

posted by  DSMer

its funny i keep reading on these posts about how a muscle car has to have a big frame and a big block in order for it to be a muscle car. thats BS! i have seen no frekin rule book on muscle cars. if you want to get technical most big cars with big blocks were incredibly SLOW. its when you have a small car and alot of horsepower that you have a really fast car. power to weight ratio. here is what classifies a muscle car for me. american made with a v8 ......big or small block. yea camaro and a mustang are pony cars. but you cant seriously look at a 1st and 2nd gen camaro and mustang and tell me they are not a muscle car.

posted by  Pac127

I have always liked Camaros. Those have been my favorite muscles cars. If GM brought back the Camaro I would be one of the first people to buy one. I definitely wish I could afford the 05 GTO when it comes out. MONEY PROBLEMS SUCK ASS!!

posted by  Rogue97GTP

Got a question for you. What about the 2-gen chevelle's (i believe 1969-1971)? Espectially the ones that came with the 454ci engine. That car had 450hp and 500 ftlb of torque off the factory floor. they did 13.7 in the quater mile stock. Now don't tell me that is not fast. They just beautiful.

posted by  Coffin Type R

the true definition of a muscle car in my opinion is a car that idles like crap, has trouble keeping tread on the rear tires, has practiclly no luggage room, but could destroy any ricer out there with it solid torque and insane power. much like any 60's mustang or camaro. if you have ever driven a tiny car with a masive hopped up big block you will know what i mean. :driving:

posted by  freeze

Yes, now that is what i am talking about. :clap: :thumbs:

posted by  Coffin Type R

Nicely said! I couldn't agree more! :thumbs:

posted by  moostang104314

man i cant beleive that thunder bird would say that... a mustang was never considered a muscle car?!?!?!?! look man, you must not know to much about muscle cars or you would know that any late 60 model mustang were meant to be hooked up.even 70 model mach 1's.. look man you can take a 429 and drop it about any old mustang. then sup it up or you could get a 351c and have it stroked which would make it a 351m which would perform like a 429. :cussing: ...then you got supercharger, blower, cams, headers, exhaust,etc......

posted by  351ci-mustang

If you can back your answers up with facts(wich as I can tell from your VW vs 351 post you rarley do) then I'll denounce all the stupid claims you have just stated above. Seeing as that there are no words written in stone what a muscle car is(there may be but you sure as hell aint quoting them)your argument is based solely on your opinon, wich might I add is very biased. So you arguing a subject of something that does not have a definite answer is just as stupid, if not more, as me asking what the greatest mucle car is.

With that being said, bring some facts or written articles for credited sources desrcribing what a Muscle car is. Then maybe, just maybe I can take your answer for more than just a random series of nuerons firing and triggering the muscles in your finger to force out that nonsense you stated above.

Off the record. What in the hell does a cars ability to be aftermarketly modified have anything to do with the class or labeling of the car in its STOCK form? And you even had the audacity to call vwhobo a dumb "fu*k". Haha people these days....

posted by  DSMer

ive seen pics of the 05 Pontiac GTO (we call em monaro's here). I dont like the fog lights and the nostrils. the nostrils are purely for show anyway. apparently theres some new gearbox changes, make it more of a quick starter or something . not sure about the american variety but the new design was US orientated. we also get a smaller 5.7L engine. poop.

I want the new caprice tho, too bad i dont have 100 000 around in my bedroom.

posted by  Bleaaargh


posted by  The_Wheelman

An incomplete simple definition of "muscle car" would be an north american made performance oriented car with a large V8, RWD, 2 DR, cheap in base price, room for 4-5 passengers.

You wouldn't consider that the following vehicles are muscle cars:

1) Pontiac Grand Prix (Luxury)

2) Chevrolet Corvette (Sports)

((**Most of this information comes from**))

posted by  The_Wheelman

i had a feeling muscle cars were going to come back. i mean c'mon, all those auto shows on tv now? not to mention all the damn choppers i see on the road now. stock 400+ hp coming back to the average sports car... :wink2:

posted by  crazy88

Technically, you could call any car with a high output engine a "muscle car." But these definitions here are pretty much right on the money.

Muscle Car Definition


Perhaps the most common question people have is what exactly is a muscle car. The term wasn't even used until the late 1970s, in the 1960s there were often called "Super Cars" if called anything at all. Therefore, the actual definition of a muscle car, or which models were muscle cars, is a topic that is often disputed. Here is the general interpretation of what is a muscle car and what cars qualify, and which don't.

Vehicle Muscle Car? Classification Notes
AMC AMX Yes Pony Car Even though it only has two seats, because it is based on the Javalin, it is a muscle car
AMC Javalin No Pony Car Only the AMX variation or big block V8s are considered muscle cars
Buick GS Yes Intermediate Muscle Car Based on Buick Skylark
Buick Riviera No Personal Luxury Car Too expensive and big
Buick Skylark (non-GS) No Intermediate Car Only GS versions are considered muscle cars
Buick Wildcat No Fullsize Car Too large
Chevrolet Camaro Yes Pony car Only SS and Z28 models are considered muscle cars
Chevrolet Chevelle SS Yes Intermediate Muscle Car Only SS versions are considered muscle cars
Chevrolet Chevelle (non-SS) No Intermediate Only SS versions are considered muscle cars
Chevrolet Corvette No Sports Car The two seats, fiberglass body, and high price make it a sports car.
Chevrolet Impala SS Yes Fullsize Muscle Car Only SS versions are considered muscle cars
Chevrolet Monte Carlo No Personal Luxury Too expensive
Chevrolet Nova Yes Compact Car Only SS versions are considered muscle cars
Chrysler 300 Letter Cars No Personal Luxury Way too expensive and luxurious
Dodge Challenger Yes Pony Car Only R/T versions are considered muscle cars
Dodge Charger Yes Intermediate Muscle Car Only R/T versions are considered muscle cars
Dodge Coronet Yes Fullsize Muscle Car Only R/T versions are considered muscle cars
Dodge Dart Yes Compact Only Darts with 383 or 440 engines are considered muscle cars
Dodge Daytona Yes Specialty Muscle Cars -
Dodge Super Bee Yes Intermediate Muscle Car -
Ford Fairlane / Torino GT/Cobra Yes Intermediate Muscle Car Only GT and Cobra models are considered muscle cars
Ford Galaxie Yes Fullsize muscle Only Galaxies with 390 engines or larger are considered muscle cars
Ford Mustang Yes Pony Car GTs, Mach 1's and Boss Mustangs are considered muscle cars
Mercury Comet / Cyclone Yes Intermediate Only GTs and Cyclones are considered muscle cars
Mercury Cougar Yes Pony Car Only GTs, Eliminators, and Boss engine models are considered muscle cars
Oldsmobile 442 Yes Intermediate Muscle Car -
Oldsmobile Cutlass No Intermediate Only 442 models are considered muscle cars
Plymouth Barracuda No Pony car Only 'Cuda models are considered muscle cars
Plymouth 'Cuda Yes Pony car 'Cudas with 340s are generally not considered muscle cars
Plymouth Duster Yes Compact Muscle Car Only Dusters with 340s are considered muscle cars
Plymouth GTX Yes Intermediate Muscle Car -
Plymouth Road Runner Yes Intermediate Muscle Car -
Plymouth Superbird Yes Specialty Muscle Car -
Pontiac Catalina 2+2 Yes Fullsize Muscle Car Only Catalinas with 400+ cid engines are considered muscle cars
Pontiac Firebird Yes Pony Car Only Firebirds with 400 cid engines are considered muscle cars
Pontiac Grand Prix No Personal Luxury Too expensive
Pontiac GTO Yes Intermediate Muscle Car The first true muscle car

Strict Definition of a Muscle Car:

A muscle car, by the strictest definition, is an intermediate sized, performance oriented model, powered by a large V8 engine, at an affordable price. Most of these models were based on "regular" production vehicles. These vehicles are generally not considered muscle cars, even when equipped with large V8s. If there was a high performance version available, it gets the credit, and not the vehicle that it was based on.

Examples: Buick GS, Chevrolete Chevelle SS, Dodge Charger R/T, Ford Torino/Cobra, Plymouth GTX, Plymouth Road Runner, Oldsmobile 442, Pontiac GTO

Fullsize Muscle Car:

The strict definition only includes intermediate size vehicles. In reality, performance oriented intermediate size vehicles didn't appear until 1964. Before then, manufacturers took existing fullsize vehicles and added extra performance to them. Because of this, the early fullsize performance vehicles are generally considered muscle cars.

Examples: Chevrolet Impala (SS only), Ford Galaxie (with 390 + cid engines only), Dodge Coronet (R/Ts only), etc.

Pony Cars and Compact Cars:

In addition to fullsize and intermediate muscle cars, a number of smaller vehicles started appearing on the automotive performance scene. These new "pony cars" and compact cars are generally considered muscle cars only if they have the top of the line performance engines and options.

Examples: Chevrolet Camaro (SS and Z28 models only), Ford Mustang (GTs and Boss only), Plymouth 'Cudas (no Barracudas), AMC Javelin, etc.

Personal Luxury Cars and Luxury Cars:

Although there were several personal luxury vehicles with performance engines and options, their heavy weight and high sticker prices went against the low cost performance definition of muscle cars. Therefore, they are not considered muscle cars.

Examples: Buick Riviera, Chrysler 300 Letter Cars, Pontiac Grand Prix, etc.

Two Seat Sports Cars:

Two seat sports cars such as the Chevrolet Corvette and the Ford Thunderbird are not considered muscle cars due to their high price and specialty nature. The only exception is the AMC AMX as it was relatively cheap, and was based on the AMC Javalin pony car.

Examples: AMC AMX, etc.

All material © Copyright 2003 by

posted by  03Mach1

I like the description of the Pony Car.

In addition to fullsize and intermediate muscle cars, a number of smaller vehicles started appearing on the automotive performance scene. These new "pony cars" and compact cars are generally considered muscle cars only if they have the top of the line performance engines and options.

Keep in mind that Mustangs also come in 6cyl and (back in the day) 4cyl versions as well. I wouldn't necessarily call those Mustangs "muscle cars."

posted by  95sn95

american muscle needs to come back, those imports with turbos and nos make some very impressive horsepower no torque though. Import guys brag how fast there cars are with big turbos and whatever thet got, lets bring back american muscle for instance the mustang with the 4.6 liter v8 then lets turbo that like the ricers. Imagine this v8 with turbos, imagine the horsepower with a torque curve to match. That would be insane.

posted by  dmills27ny

No Replacement for Displacement :clap:

posted by  speedy266

Man all those defenitions above are a bunch of whootnanny. A Musclecar is nothing but a generalization or stereotype. Not all stereotypes are true or depict that particular class of car accuratley. If you're car is American(new or oldskool), and you throw an American made, high output V8 in it, it could be considered a muscle car. Hell anything American with a generally high output motor, iregaurdless to size, seating capacticy, or engine displacement could be considered a muscle car.

So if I'm pulling up to the staging lights in and that guy is in a modified V6 Mustang, hes packing heat and hes American Muscle. Point being that he's going down.... You can call a Muscle car whatever you want, but American Muscle is anything thats got a powerful engine, thats made in America....

That inlcudes, but not limited to : Corvettes, Vipers, Mustangs, Camaros, Cavaliers, Cobalts, Magnums, Lightnings, Monte Carlos, Cutlass`, Impalas, Grand Nationals, Tourinos, Cobras, Chevelle, Super Birds, Road Runners, Old Skool low riders n hotrods, Chargers, FireBirds, Grand Prixs, and finally but not last the GTO

posted by  DSMer

Do Cavalier's really have a high-output engine? a 2.2L Ecotech I4 with 140 isn't neccessarily high-output to me. Now the Cobalt SS, definitely fits the muscle car of your description.

posted by  moostang104314

I don't care whose opinion or standards it is, the Cavalier and Cobalt SS are by no means muscle cars. They're just American rice rockets. Yeah, that's right, America makes rice rockets too. Sad but true.

posted by  STi Guy

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