American muscle cars have been around ever since we figured out how to put more power to the wheels and make them spin nearly out of control. These cars gives us the exuberance we want and the power we crave to put that churning of the engine through our bones just before we drop the hammer and take off. The challenge isn’t so much of whether or not you should drive an American Muscle car (of course you should), but which one would you choose to be the right car for you to drive and show off.
Here we have two cars that show up with extremely different builds, different dynamics but with similar agendas. Both cars offer you the power that makes you love them, but they do so in different ways and with the drive that is completely different for each one. The two cars we’re talking about are the Chevrolet Corvette and the Dodge Challenger Hellcat in its base trim. Although it might not seem fair to compare the entry level Corvette to the top level of the Challenger, the Corvette at the top end would be the clear winner, so we had to find something that would work.
The Dodge Challenger Hellcat is the simple “in your face” type of muscle car. This car even looks like the original muscle cars of old and gives us the massive power, immense weight and the raked back end that we’re used to. This car loves to ride on huge tires to give you the immediate blast off the line. This is a car that gives you all the excitement you want off the line, but when you head out to the track you’ll notice the rear end is loose and nearly out of control more than it should be when compared to the Corvette.
As for the engine, which is what we really love to talk about, the Hellcat is a massive 6.2-liter monster V8 that pumps out 707 horsepower and 650 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine uses either a six-speed manual transmission or an eight-speed automatic to put the power to the pavement in a way that will make you scream for joy and wonder if you’ll get out alive. The Challenger Hellcat has been considered one of the most affordable high powered cars on the market today and it can absolutely make your driving dreams come true.
Now on to the Corvette; the darling of the American muscle car world. The Corvette at the top trims has so much power and insane speed it is considered a super car, but at the base model, it still has a lot of rough and tumble to it, keeping it in the muscle car range. This beast will eat up the track and handle curves and turns in a way that makes it feel like there’s no effort at all. This is a huge difference for this car from the Challenger and in a race that takes turns on the track, the Corvette will come out on top every time.
Looking under the hood of the Corvette you find a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine that pushes out 455 horsepower and 460 lb.-ft. of torque. While the Challenger is more powerful, the Corvette is lighter making the power more useful in the Chevy. This engine is mated to either a seven-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic transmission and the overall price of this car is about $9,000 less than the Hellcat, putting the Corvette squarely in the lead for performance, price and prestige. Of course the Hellcat wins on power and both these cars are certainly models you want to drive.