It hasn’t been since the early 1970s that car buyers had the choice between a new version of Detroit’s three most famous muscle cars.
While the availability of the 2009 Dodge Challenger, 2010 Chevy Camaro, and 2010 Ford Mustang might not have the greatest timing, few will argue the significance of having new models of all three at the same time.
Here’s a brief look at what CarGurus has to say about about each:
Muscle cars were never practical, and Dodge’s stylish, retro-classic Challenger fits that mold. The V6-powered SE trim attempts to break out by offering better mileage at a substantial power penalty, but the Hemi-powered R/T and SRT8 provide plenty of tire-smoking power at the expense of efficiency.
A V6 and a V8 in two configurations power the upcoming Camaro, depending on transmission chosen. The V6 is a 3.6-liter engine, whose basic design has been employed in other GM models such as the Cadillac CTS, and produces 300 hp with either the six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The V8 is a 6.2-liter and gets a bit of a power boost when equipped with the manual over the automatic, 422 hp versus 400 even, respectively. Due to GM’s active fuel management cylinder deactivation, the V8 is estimated to be capable of up to 23 mpg on the highway – the V6 is capable of 26.
Additionally, the Camaro’s price point puts its top-tier version at just over $30,000, which places it squarely under that of its competitors, sadly in both price and performance.
This is the best Mustang we’ve seen since the revision in 2004, with more power, an improved suspension and chassis, better quality, new styling, increased sound dampening, and more. You can get outfitted with a V8 GT for less than $28,000 or get a Premium V8 Convertible GT for $35,000. Sure, it’s not the same Mustang it was back in 1965 – it’s better.
Even as these tough economic times wreak havoc on the auto industry, I’m thrilled to see these three modern classics have a shot to duke it out. While I’d certainly take any one of them, it’s the Mustang that has won my heart.
Which would you rather own: a new Camaro, Challenger, or Mustang?
UPDATE: The EPA released today their mileage estimates on the 2010 Camaro, surprising everyone (GM included) with a 29 mpg highway rating for the V6 and 25 for the V8. Does that news change any of your preferences on these cars?