Will muscle cars survive the electric frenzy?

Is this the end of the road for muscle cars?

1w ago

The (5th gen) Ford Mustang was the first American car I ever experienced and the first rental car I ever drove. It was amazingly underpowered, delivering only 210 hp from its 4.0-litre engine, tremendously under-engineered and surprisingly cheap to run. Possibly just because it was 2009 and petrol was a lot cheaper than it is right now. And I instantly fell in love with it. Three years later, back on US soil, I rented another Mustang, the upgraded M.Y. 2012 version, and while it was a bit better, putting out 305 hp from a 3.7-litre V6, it was still unnecessarily wasteful. And I loved that one, too.

Mustangs, like most pony/muscle* cars, have always been simple and analogue. The interior of the one(s) I drove looked like it was carved from a solid block of plastic - like a cheap business hotel room - it didn't handle very well and its V6 managed to turn air and petrol into noise and nothing much. But it felt wonderful.

Over the years, I've had the opportunity to drive a few pony cars, including the insane Challenger SRT Demon which happened to be the fastest-accelerating car in the world when it first came out around four years ago.

The Demon is actually another great example of what muscle cars are all about. Powered by a supercharged 6.2-litre HEMI V8, putting out 840 hp and 770 lb-ft of torque. First production car to run on 100+ high-octane fuel and it uses a supercharger that's actually larger than most European engines (2.7 litres).

I've driven several electric cars, and I liked most of them, and as global car makers pledge to ditch ICEs as soon as possible, certain types of cars will no longer exist. I don't think it's gonna happen tomorrow but it's probably going to happen at some point.

I think it was Dodge boss who recently said muscle cars are all about performance but I don't think that's true, muscle cars are all about unnecessary noise and V8s. You can have an electric sedan, an electric supercar or even an electric sportscar, but I don't think you can ever call an electric car a "muscle" car. I hope I'm wrong, but unfortunately I don't think I am.

*the term pony car usually refers to compact sports powered by a small-block V8 or a V6, muscle cars are usually slightly larger and with more powerful engines

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Comments (75)

  • No. Because then it’s not a muscle car. The whole concept of the muscle car is a big, brash, American car that guzzles gas and gets worse mpg than a fire truck. If it’s electric, it’s just a sports car.

      8 days ago
  • it is not a muscle car if it doesn't have a big V8 under the bonnet.

      8 days ago
    • Only at the moment. Muscles denote power and strength, not noise.

        8 days ago
    • Wrong. The muscle cars whole existence is in defiance to change. It’s got a big V8 and sucks gas. That’s what it is. If you take that away, it’s just a sports car. I’m all for EVs, but you can’t bullshit this and say it works.

        8 days ago
  • I don't think you can have an electric supercar either. Supercars are about theater, not numbers. Remove the noise and an earthquake rumble and what are you left with? An uncomfortably fast elevator.

      8 days ago
  • They'll be ok. There will always be enthusiasts for this noisy, boisterous slice of the motor car family tree and that's a very good thing. I also think there are enthusiasts out there for every kind of vehicle - so the aftermarket should tap into this new e-gearhead and start selling mods for their electric or hybrid cars.

      8 days ago
    • A home owner power station will be needed. Most suburban lots are not large enough to contain the needed Solar Panels. Maybe a diesel or a coal fired generator in every back yard will be come the norm.

        8 days ago
    • Nonsense. Your information is years out of date. 100 miles square of solar panels would power every electric vehicle and every home in the United States with power to spare, even if every vehicle was an EV. The new administration is setting...

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        8 days ago
  • If an EV takeover actually does happen in the next few decades, muscle cars would at least be one of the last vestiges of ICE cars.

      8 days ago