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.
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!