We can kick and scream all we want — the truth is we’re reaching the end of pure internal-combustion power in new performance cars. Most of the big-ticket Euro hypercar builders are bolting electric motors to front axles, the Camaro as we know it will die next year, and there’s an all-electric SUV wearing pony badges.
On the upside, the Big Three in the States are going out with a bang, engineering their fastest and most powerful road cars ever. With today’s unveiling of the 800hp, widebody Mustang GTD at Monterey Car Week, we thought it was high time to see how some of the last dinosaur-burning heroes from Ford, GM and Chrysler stack up against each other.
Mustang GTD: 800hp
Starting with the new kid on the block, the Mustang GTD’s power figure will hover around 800hp courtesy of its blown, dry-sumped 5.2-litre donk. It pips the Shelby GT500 (until now Ford’s most powerful road-going car) by 40hp, and while there’s no weight figure yet, we can expect it to be a hell of a lot lighter thanks to its extensive use of carbonfibre.
You’ll pay around US$300,000 (AU$467,000) by the time the US-only cars arrive around 18 months from now. If you can get one, that is — Ford and Multimatic will only build 1000-2000 of the cars, with an application process for any keen buyers.
Chevrolet Corvette Z06: 670hp
While the GTD may pack heaps of race-worthy kit, as far as Italian supercar vibes go, the C8 Corvette Z06 probably has it beaten. The 5.5-litre flat-plane crank LT6 is good for 670hp in the top-spec car, which weighs around 1690kg.
Official pricing for the C8 starts at US$108,000, just over a third of what Ford will ask for the GTD. The Z06 is the only one of the Big Three that’s en route to Australia, but expect to pay over AU$300,000 by the time they arrive later this year.
Dodge SRT Demon 170: 1025hp
The third player is the SRT Demon 170, based on the elderly Challenger platform. There’s no mid-engine layout, active aero or corner-carving suspension to be found, but have a poke under the bonnet and you’ll find 1025hp and a mental 954ft-lb of torque from its force-fed 6.2 Hemi on E85. Weighing in at about 1950kg, it’s priced at US$96,666, meaning it has the best horsepower-to-dollar ratio by a long shot (and the lowest number of seats, with just a driver’s pew).
With a claimed 0-60mph of 1.66 seconds, it’s almost a second quicker than the C8 ’Vette, and the NHRA issued it a violation letter for running an 8.91-second quarter without a ’cage and ’chute. Coolest of all, it’s street-legal in the US. It’s no all-rounder though, and all 3300 of them will go to the American and Canadian markets. In other words, nothing for us.
So, who wins? Should we even be comparing three fundamentally different cars? Let us know what you reckon!
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