Racing to 500 Horsepower: Mustang GT, Camaro SS and Challenger SRT8

June 28th, 2010

Dodge Challenger SRT8

There was a time, not too long ago, when I could count the number of 500-horsepower cars on my fingers.

Five hundred ponies was a magical number relegated to the Lamborghinis and Ferraris of the world. Today the 500 Club is filled with the likes of BMW, Land Rover, Mercedes and Porsche, with the club expanding down-market even further toward Chevrolet, Ford and Dodge.

A ridiculous amount of power is, or soon will be, available to nearly anyone who wants it. How long before America’s famous stablemates Mustang, Camaro and Challenger hit the 500-hp mark?

The Mustang has been no stranger to massive power since the modern Shelby GT500 was introduced four years ago, producing as much as 540 hp. That supercar-like grunt hasn’t filtered down to the 5.0 GT model yet, which for the 2011 model year sits at “only” 412 hp.

Our friends at Chevrolet are using GM’s 6.2-liter V8 to churn out 426 horses in the 2010 Camaro SS, which scoots to 60 miles per hour in about 5 seconds. That’s good enough for now, but sooner or later someone will come along and up the ante.

That someone could be Dodge. According to the folks at Allpar.com, the 2011 Challenger SRT8 will get tantalizingly close to 500 horses, with output jumping from 425 hp to 480, while torque will increase from 420 lb-ft to 460.

Think Ford and Chevy are going to sit back and let Dodge bask in the glory of the horsepower crown? Not a chance. Within a few model years, one of these American classics will throttle past 500 horses, bringing that once magical number to the garages of the masses.

Which car will be the first to reach 500 horsepower: Mustang GT, Camaro SS or Challenger SRT8? I think it’ll be the Camaro!

-tgriffith

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  1. | #1

    Ford definitely seems very strong these days, and since the Mustang outsells the Camaro, they’ve got more customers to please by breaking the 500-hp mark. Nice to see Dodge putting the pressure on with a 480-hp Challenger, but I think the Mustang will get 500 horses first.

  2. | #2

    unfortunatly i think that the camaro is going to hit the 500 mark first all they have to do is change out that engine and put in a different covette engine and there you go. i hope i am wrong and i hope that ford gets there first but i doubt that is going to happen

  3. randy
    | #3

    There’s no legitimate reason for any street car to have that much horsepower, but for those that feel a need for their artificial penis to be so over-endowed, I’d like to see the government impose a horsepower-guzzler tax on these engines, starting at around 300 HP. A nice round figure is about $100 per extra horsepower, so that ridiculous 525 HP engine will cost you an extra $22,500. Of course, to be fair, people should be able to buy the car without the penalty if it can’t be driven legally on the street, which will put such cars on a track where they belong. It seems a bit extreme, but most drivers are incompetent to drive such vehicles safely on the streets, and other drivers shouldn’t be exposed to the risk.

  4. Mike
    | #4

    Randy….you’re probably an anti-gun person too. You don’t want 500HP??? Don’t buy one. This is America. Freedom to choose…..remember all that stuff?????????

  5. Volomon
    | #5

    randy :
    There’s no legitimate reason for any street car to have that much horsepower, but for those that feel a need for their artificial penis to be so over-endowed, I’d like to see the government impose a horsepower-guzzler tax on these engines, starting at around 300 HP. A nice round figure is about $100 per extra horsepower, so that ridiculous 525 HP engine will cost you an extra $22,500. Of course, to be fair, people should be able to buy the car without the penalty if it can’t be driven legally on the street, which will put such cars on a track where they belong. It seems a bit extreme, but most drivers are incompetent to drive such vehicles safely on the streets, and other drivers shouldn’t be exposed to the risk.

    Welcome to America where we subjugate what our citizens can and can not do by taxing them to death. Go back to your hippie commune randy. We are adults, and whether our hobbies include driving fast cars, shooting at the range, or having casual sex. We have the individual right and liberty to decide for ourselves.

  6. Marty
    | #6

    Randy, dear Randy, you’re still being breast-fed, huh. You’ve obviously never ridden in a car near the 300 hp mark—please I beg you to try it. Go rent an SS or something, MANUAL (oh wait, you don’t know how to drive stick), and go on open road and feel the car—it’s an experience you’ll never understand yet will love. Pop the trunk, learn the engine (heck, perform an oil change for once in your life) to truly appreciate the masterful symphony of engine parts at work as you rev that monster. Are from San Francisco or something, sell that Smart car already, step into our world and buy a V8. You’ll find out how much you missed out in life.

  1. | #1
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