Side Exterior View - 2011 Ford Mustang 2-door Coupe Premium
As I've shared before, I'm a long time GM fan, which makes the Camaro an obvious favorite for me when it comes to American brawn. What has me thinking muscle cars can continue to excite us in the future while still being politically correct, however, is the new Mustang V6. Yes, I know Camaros come with 6 power-packed cylinders too, but Ford's latest 'Stang commercials have me seeing blue ovals. A 300hp+ car that boasts 31 highway mpg and looks that good? Oh this is getting interesting. Let's not forget the Challenger either. Its looks are stunning and its performance figures are far from disappointing. A three-way battle, decades old, rages on in the 21st century.
Here's where I see this going. The best case would be the long term survival of the V8, 400+ horsepower figures, and ever improving handling and refinement. All the while, the muscle car heritage is maintained through the styling and characters of these muscle car throwbacks. With each model update, the stakes are raised, and the bar set higher. Car fans continue to rejoice. In the worst case, the V8 will eventually die off, thanks to efforts to lower emissions and trim weight. From there, the V6 will become king of the horsepower hill. This may not be as bad as it sounds. Think about how much the V6 has changed in the last decade. We are seeing 10-year-old V8 performance figures in the V6s of today. I can only expect those specs to continue to improve. Add to that the fact the weight reduction is fast becoming a highlight of new vehicle development. This all adds up to faster, more nimble cars. Remember the tuners too. Companies like Hennessey won't hesitate to take these cars to the absolute limits of performance, no matter how tame they may be when they leave the factory.
I'm confident that the muscle car war will continue to be fought for years to come. The weapons and tactics will surely change, but the prize remains the same.