Modern pony cars drive off in style, price

With summer approaching at a brisk pace (less than a month away, thank God), some of us will be looking for a car to enjoy during the summer, and perhaps after that as well (others of us who aren’t so fortunate may be stuck without a car, or even worse, with our parent’s minivan). With Chevrolet, Ford, and Dodge each having recently released or redesigned their signature pony cars (the Camaro, the Mustang, and the Challenger, respectively), those whose tastes run into the classic American Muscle car realm have plenty of reasons to be drooling at the mouth now. However, they have a tough call to make – which pony car is king?

The Ford Mustang is the only car which has been in continuous production since inception out of this group of pony cars – and is the reason for the name “pony” car. With the 2011 version of the Mustang set to come out this summer, Ford Motor Co. is ahead of its competitors. The 2011 Mustang GT features a 5.0 liter V8 engine which pumps out a massive 412 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque. When coupled with the fact that the Mustang is the lightest car in the group, that is enough to give it the fastest 0-60 time, making it in a brisk 4.6 seconds. Pulling a bit over .9 g on the skidpad, it is also the most maneuverable of the lot, and also gets the best gas mileage of the group, with EPA estimating 17 city / 26 highway mpg. Be ready to shell out about $33,000 for this car.

The Dodge Challenger, while having been out of the running the longest (since 1983), came back in 2008 with a bang. The Challenger features the most retro, hearken to the olden-days look out of the three pony cars. However, it suffers in performance. Even though 2010 Challenger SRT8 it features a 6.1 liter HEMI V8 which produces an impressive 425 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque, it is the heaviest car of the group, and this shows in its performance. The Challenger takes 0-60 in 4.9 seconds, pulls a bit less than .9 g on the skidpad, and has an EPA estimated mpg of 14 city / 22 highway. This pony car will cost you over $40,000 after the gas guzzler tax.

The Chevy Camaro is the newest returnee to the group, having just come back in 2009 with the 2010 version, and it shows. The Camaro SS features the most aggressive styling of the group, and with a 6.2 liter V8 that throws 426 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque, it rips from 0-60 in 4.7 seconds, and pulls right around .9 g on the skidpad. EPA estimates a 16 city / 25 highway mpg, and the SS will set you back around $32,000.

If you look at just the statistics, the Mustang is a clear winner, but by slim margins, as all these cars have very similar performance. However, pony cars aren’t all about quick quarter miles and crazy burnouts – they’re also about looking awesome, and this can be a deciding factor. In my opinion, the award for best looks goes to the Camaro SS, hands down, but many retro fans are willing to throw down the extra moolah for the looks of the Challenger SRT8 as well. Whichever one may be your favorite, any of these cars are sure to give you a thrilling ride.

You can also get any of the three with a cheaper, less powerful V6 in it (although a V6 can still pack some punch), if you’re on a tighter budget.  Courtesy of Google Images.

You can also get any of the three with a cheaper, less powerful V6 in it (although a V6 can still pack some punch), if you’re on a tighter budget. Courtesy of Google Images.

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4 Responses to Modern pony cars drive off in style, price

  1. MarkSpizer says:

    great post as usual!

  2. Great post on the new era of american muscle cars. I here you can get a pretty good deal on these at a number of auto auctions.

  3. I am amazed there are not more responses in here….please if somebody has other sights or points to bring out about the post i highly recommend you share as i am interested in the subject…..

  4. Steve Garcia says:

    Great synopsis of the muscle wars, but I think you failed to mention the real success for Ford – the 2011 Mustang V6. The picture only covers the the 2010, which IMHO is absurdly outdated with an iron V6 that had been in production for roughly 30 years. The 2011 model got the work necessary to compete with the foreign sport competition and the big guys back on the home turf. It sports an all aluminum block, new break system, the same tranny as the gt, more responsive steering and a sportier suspension (which if I may add, has no adverse affect to the ride quality)

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