Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 vs. Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye vs. Chevy Camaro ZL1 1LE - Drag Race
- What do you do when you have a Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, a Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye and a Ford Mustang Shelby GT500? A muscle-car drag race, obviously. And one that features over 2,200 horsepower combined.
Full 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 Review: www.edmunds.com/ford/shelby-gt500/2020/?Ford%20Shelby%20GT500%202020%20Comparison%20Video
In this video, we pit these three super muscle cars against one another for quarter-mile bragging rights. Which one is the quickest? Watch to find out.
Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
The Shelby GT500 is a high-performance version of the Mustang coupe available in a single trim level. Essentially a track-ready, street-legal Mustang, it has many performance features not available on the standard-issue car.
When you're the top horse in the stable, expectations are high. And nothing short of world-beating performance is expected of the new Mustang Shelby GT500. Since Ford ended production of the previous-generation GT500, Dodge has normalized pony-car extremes with its Challenger Hellcat variations, and Chevrolet has set new records on the crucible of test tracks, Germany's Nürburgring, with its Camaro ZL1.
The Shelby GT500 appears well equipped to reassert itself as the top horse in the stable. Ford developed a new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission specifically for this engine and fitted huge 16.5-inch-diameter front brake rotors clamped upon with six-piston calipers. The adaptive suspension can adjust to various modes, including settings for track-day heroics or drag-race showdowns.
Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye
There aren't a lot of vehicles we consider to be muscle cars. The 2019 Dodge Challenger, with its outlandish horsepower and classic styling, certainly qualifies. Muscle cars are also known for their lack of practicality, but the Challenger bucks that trend by making fewer sacrifices in everyday usability thanks to its large trunk and relatively spacious rear seats.
The new 797-hp SRT Hellcat Redeye is basically the retired Demon but with a slightly detuned V8 and less drag-race-specific hardware. There are also some changes in the supporting trims. All-wheel drive is now available on the base SXT, the Widebody treatment is offered on the R/T Scat Pack, and a new dual-snorkel hood increases the Hellcat output by 10 hp. Some trims also come with fewer standard features and corresponding price drops.
Even without these latest changes, the Challenger would have remained one of our favorite vehicles in any class. It doesn't have the corner-carving chops of the Camaro or the Mustang, and we're quite fine with that. Not many cars have this kind of sinister style or performance that won't break the bank or overtly compromise your daily drive.
The Challenger may not be as quick or as responsive as the Mustang or the Camaro, but it's always a hoot to drive. The Dodge's sheer size makes in-town maneuvering a bit tough (the wide-body fenders don't help), but the meaty tires and upgraded suspension aid handling and body roll.
Full 2019 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye Review: www.edmunds.com/dodge/challenger/2019/srt-hellcat-redeye/
Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
The 2019 Chevrolet Camaro has been refreshed, with new fascias, front and rear lights, and some tweaks to trim-level equipment lists. But the only quality-of-life improvement is the upgrade to Chevy's newest and quickest infotainment system, the aptly named Chevrolet Infotainment 3. Nothing that makes the Camaro a tremendous performer and rewarding car to drive has changed, but nothing that makes it an unappealing choice for daily living has changed either.
Spend any time behind the wheel of a Camaro, and you'll quickly realize it's sharper and more purposeful than its American muscle-car rivals, especially when equipped with the 1LE package - an assortment of performance upgrades meant to improve handling, steering and braking. For 2019 models, Chevy has expanded the 1LE offering, making it available with all three engine options, including the turbocharged 2.0-liter.
In many ways, the Camaro feels like the odd man out in the American muscle-car trinity. The Dodge Challenger has stayed true to form and is basically a rolling couch you can equip with a 797-horsepower V8, while the Ford Mustang has turned into a solid all-arounder with broad appeal for coupe buyers. But the Camaro has become a true sports car with all the ups and downs that entails, essentially abandoning all the traditional muscle-car traits except high-output V8 engines.
Full 2019 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Review: www.edmunds.com/chevrolet/camaro/2019/
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