Many would have probably have thought of this as a highly unlikely feat when the 580-horsepower Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 was unveiled back in 2011, but not even four years later, the model has been outgunned by a Dodge. Actually, strike that, it has been completely obliterated by the most powerful production muscle car in history, the 707-horsepower Dodge Challenger Hellcat. Naturally, huge horsepower and torque numbers aren’t everything for some, so in order to put the record straight, Motor Trend’s Jonny Lieberman decided to pit the two cars against each other.
Choosing what is probably one of the most scenic roads in Northern California and with the local police providing a traffic-free play area, the two most powerful production muscle cars were let loose on each other. The results were pretty much as expected, especially since the event mainly consisted of spirited driving on a curvy back road and not a true comparison on a circuit.
Nevertheless, with Motor Trend actually staging a road race between the two cars, the overal time difference was less than a second, despite the fact that the Hellcat has a 127-horsepower and 94-pound-foot advantage over the ZL1. Sure, the Challenger is also about 500 pounds heavier, but on a mainly straight road that shouldn’t be a major issue. The Camaro sported a manual transmission while the Dodge had an automatic. All in all, this was not the most fair comparison one could have staged, but nobody should be mad about two muscle cars torturing their rear tires on a deserted road, right?
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Unveiled in 2014 as "the most powerful muscle car ever," the Hellcat will probably be single-handedly responsible for creating an all-new generation of muscle-car guys in the near future. Just hearing 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque in a production car should make your knees tremble, which is probably why the Challenger Hellcat comes with two ignition keys: one of which limits the engine’s output to a more manageable 500 horsepower.
Introduced at the 2011 Chigaco Auto Show as a MY2012, the ZL1 is the most powerful production Camaro in history. Powered by a more amped-up version of the supercharged, 6.2-liter, LSA V-8 first used in the 2009 Cadillac CTS-V. No less than 580 horsepower and 556 pound-feet of torque deliver supercar-like acceleration numbers, but unfortunately they are not enough to win over a Challenger Hellcat in a straight line.