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The Battle of the Supercharged Pony Cars: The By-The-Numbers Comparison



Here’s how the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, and the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat compare on paper.

If you’re a fan of supercharged pony cars, then you’ll most likely drool at the sight of the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, and the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. They’re all magnificent monsters, and any of these beasts will do.

But you may think that a particular one is better than the others. That’s alright; you’re entitled to your own opinion. However, it may be best to compare the hard numbers of specs to really see which one is better.

So let’s take a look!

The Power of the Muscle

You’ll find a supercharged 5.2L V8 in the 2020 Shelby GT500. The precise numbers regarding the power output hasn’t been released yet, but Ford has said that it will be greater than 700 HP and 600 lb-ft of torque. The GT500 will be expected to take about 3.5 seconds to go from zero to 60 mph, and that’s just as fast as the 2018 Camaro ZL1.

However, the winner in this category is the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. It has a supercharged 6.2L Hemi V8 engine that crunches out 707 HP and 650 lb-ft of torque. That’s the standard Hellcat, but you get even more impressive numbers from the Hellcat Redeye with 797 HP and 707 lb-ft of torque.

This 700HP club hasn’t yet been joined by the Chevy Camaro ZL1, but that doesn’t mean it’s a puny weakling. You still get remarkable power figures with 650 HP and 650 lb-ft, thanks to the supercharged 6.2L LT4 V8.


With the Hellcat and the Hellcat Widebody, you can choose between a 6-speed manual and the 8-speed automatic transmission. The Redeye, however, only comes with the auto transmission.

The Camaro ZL1 also lets you choose between a 6-speed manual and a 10-speed transmission. For the GT500, you have no choice but the 7-speed twin-clutch automatic. So far, it’s not been available with manual transmission.

On the Track Performance

In general, cars like these are probably raced in drag strips rather than on the track. They’re all well-suited for drag races, and that’s especially true of the Hellcat. However, you may do well on track with the Hellcat Widebody, as it is 3.5 inches wider (hence the name). It also features 20×11-inch wheels and 305/40-size Pirelli P Zero tires.

With the Camaro ZL1, you should get more than good enough performance with the stock version. But get the 1LE package if you’re going to spend a considerable amount of time on the track.

The 1LE only comes in manual transmission, and it’s lighter than the standard version. The weight reduction is due to the use of the Multimatic DSSV spool-valve shocks. You also get an adjustable rear anti-roll bar along with adjustable camber plates.  There are also solid bushing all around and hard-mounted struts. The package uses Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3R tires, which are stickier and wider.

Even the aerodynamics has been improved with the 1LE. You’ve got dive planes and a large front splitter, not to mention a carbon-fiber rear wing. All in all, the ZL1 1Le ran the Nurburgring 5 seconds faster than the Ferrari 488 GTB.

As for the GT500, its performance on the track may be better than many of its competitors with higher HP specs. You have composite material for the hood and widened front fenders, for weight reduction. Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires are standard on all GT500 models and they all have electronically adjustable magnetic shocks.

Get the Carbon-Fiber Track package, and you’ll get more downforce with the adjustable carbon-fiber GT4 wing. Front-end lift is reduced due to the front splitter dive planes. The car profile is somewhat lower because of the special springs and anti-roll bars. In addition, you get unique damper tuning along with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires around the 20-inch carbon-fiber wheels.

Still have some money in your bank account? Get the Handling package too. The wing gets a Gurney flap and you also get strut mounts that allow for camber adjustments.


So how much will these cost?

The 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat price begins at $61,745 with the Redeye starting at $72,845. Get the Widebody package for either variant, and you add another $6,000 to the bill. The 8-speed auto transmission option will also cost another $2,995.

The ZL1 goes for $64,695 while the 1LE version will cost $72,195. You can get the 10-speed auto for the regular ZL1, but that will cost you $1595.

No one outside Ford knows how much the 2020 GT500 will cost, but it’s likely to cost a minimum of $70,000 for the top trim.

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