Once upon a time, there was a very definite recipe that all muscle cars had to follow. You’d take a car with frightfully primitive suspension, fit a monstrously powerful engine, say a little prayer, and send it on its way to be bought by an unsuspecting victim. Nowadays however, muscle cars range from the traditional, to the track weapons. And the nominations in the muscle car category are...

Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE

You see the canards sticking out so far they prevent it from being road legal in Europe, and it’s clear that this Camaro bears no resemblance to the muscle cars of the past. With 650bhp from a 6.2L supercharged V8, the ZL1 1LE combines power and handling into a package that - equipped with a 6-speed manual gearbox - proves to be a truly excellent driver’s car.

Dodge Challenger Hellcat

If however you yearn for a more traditional muscle car experience, then the Challenger Hellcat is what you want. The 6.2L supercharged V8 sends 707bhp to the rear wheels - or 797bhp in Redeye spec. There may be no handling sophistication to speak of, but the Hellcat represents the perfect antidote to the lap-time obsession that grips the automotive world today.

Dodge Challenger Demon

While the Hellcat does at least hold onto some vague cornering ability however, the Demon is the car that completely surrenders itself purely to the purpose of quarter mile drag times. Thanks to a larger supercharger, the 6.2L V8 develops 840bhp while on high octane fuel. When set up for the drag strip, a 0-60mph time of 2.2 seconds is possible, with the quarter mile happening in just 9.65 seconds. One dimensional, it may be - but my God, it’d be exhilarating!

Shelby Mustang GT350R

On precisely the opposite end of the spectrum sits the Shelby Mustang GT350R. The 5.2L normally aspirated V8 uses a flat-plane crank to rev all the way up to a spine-tingling 8,300rpm, and deliver 526bhp in conjunction with one of the most astonishing noises ever to be captured by the human ear. Combine that with fantastic handling, and a manual gearbox, and the GT350R is one of the all time greats.

Shelby Mustang GT500

Having only just made an appearance this year, the GT500 is aiming to combine the handling poise of the GT350R with a more muscular, supercharged and cross-plane version of that car’s 5.2L V8. The result is a staggering 760bhp - a figure that puts it up in the league of the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ. While a manual gearbox doesn’t feature, it manages to handle nicely and rip up the straights. And for the that, it’s a contender.

So then people, it’s time for you to make your voice heard! Cast your vote below for your favourite muscle car of the decade - the winner of which will go through to the final vote with the winners of the other 9 categories. Voting closes at 7pm GMT on Monday the 9th of December.

Written by: Angelo Uccello

Tribe: Speed Machines

Twitter: @AngeloUccello

Facebook: Speed Machines - DriveTribe

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