Browse content similar to Muscle Cars. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Now on Top Gear: they're American icons,
but which is the best modern muscle car?
-Wow, that's fast!
-We'll find out as we flex them in every possible way.
The 1960s was the decade of the muscle car.
It was all about big engines, drag racing, freedom and rebellion.
But over the past few years, muscle cars have made a comeback.
In 2008, Dodge brought back the Challenger.
The Camaro SS arrived in 2009.
And then there's the Mustang, which has been bulking up since 2005.
But are these cars worthy of the muscle car name?
To find out, we each chose one and headed to LA.
This is the 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8.
It looks mean, it sounds mean, it's got more horsepower per dollar than any other car on the market.
This car was born out of the muscle car era of the '60s.
The formula is pretty simple. It's all about a big engine in a two-door car with four seats.
This car is the best retro muscle car on the market.
Eh? 2012 Mustang GT. Not only the nest modern-day muscle car,
the best muscle car ever.
-You can't just call it a muscle car by sticking a 5.0 emblem on the side.
-You know why I call it that?
0-60 - 4.3 seconds.
-That's how you'd describe the history of the Mustang?
-OK, fine, there was some dark areas.
-Mustang 2, terrible. I give you that.
-The four-cylinder Mustang?
-That was bad, too.
-The six-cylinder Mustang that every dude in Florida thought was a GT?
-Why do you focus on the negative?
-Well, we've got a Dodge Challenger. We got a Ford Mustang.
-They do not make the GTO anymore.
-Which started the whole thing.
-Which leaves Tanner with one option.
-Look - he's got the Barbie Chevy.
-You're even dressing like a girl!
-This is what Rutledge usually wears!
-It's a really nice shirt.
-I give you the 2012 Camaro SS... auto.
You know what? It's an LS motor, used in everything from aeroplanes to boats,
-modern suspension and the right size.
-Would you ever buy a Camaro?
-A new one?!
That's not necessarily the question. What is the best retro muscle car?
-How many horsepower do you have?
-Does your husband have one?
'Our first challenge was 20 miles away at the LA River, so we hit the road.'
Know what I like about muscle cars?
Rebellion. That's what it's about.
They were loud, they were brash. Big engine, light car, go fast, straight line.
This Mustang embodies the rebellious nature of a muscle car.
And the Mustang never went out of production, unlike the Camaro and the Challenger.
I love driving this car. I really do. This is the best muscle car because it does everything.
It's got looks, it's got performance, it's got the power.
That's what a muscle car is about. Making other people look over and go, "Wow! That's a cool car."
Look at that. The harder you hit the gas, the more you smile in this car.
That's a good feeling.
I mean, what does that Camaro say about Tanner? "I'm very boring." That's what it says.
I'm not saying I'm a huge Camaro fan as a whole.
I'm just saying it's a better choice than the other two for the challenge.
The SRT8 is a giant. When you see that it fits Rutledge's head proportionately,
you know something's wrong And the Mustang still has the same old school issues
it had back in the '60s - high centre of gravity, heavy front end.
The Camaro has stayed true to its original form. It's about the right size for a muscle car.
Oh, look who's here. The SS. Super Sassy.
Sure, the paint job is a little bit weak and it's an automatic
and the interior is beige... and it's an automatic.
OK. I'm screwed.
I bet I've seen the movie Grease a hundred times
and I have wanted to drive in the LA River since I was a kid.
Yeah! This is awesome!
-Do you see what I see?!
-There is a homeless dude
washing his body in the river. Oh, this is weird.
Not that, Rut! Those!
-Oh, look at that!
-No freaking way.
Look at that. Wow!
Oh, look at it.
1970 Boss 302. There is a god and he drives a Ford.
'69 Camaro SS. This is the reason I picked the Camaro - because that is bad ass right there.
-Excuse me. THAT is bad ass.
-So is that, by the way.
-Let's drive these things. Read the paper, let's go drive.
Gentlemen, pay attention. "In the 1960s, the highest form of youthful rebellion was drag racing."
-We're going to get to drag race these things!
"To see which of your cars is most worthy of the muscle car label,
"you will drag race on this dry river bed."
"You will begin in the original versions of your car, then switch to the modern versions at halfway.
"The first car to finish wins."
-OK, so it's there and back.
Done. Oh, my gosh!
Gentlemen, are you ready? All right. Here we go.
two, one, go!
-Come on, baby! Bite!
-I'm even with the Challenger!
-Oh! There I go!
-The Challenger is so fast!
Rutledge is gone!
Oh, this thing is a rocket ship!
-Oh, this thing doesn't brake very well.
-Braking early! The big pansy!
Wow! That is sketchy.
Oh, I almost hit him! Holy sh...!
-Seatbelt on, start the car.
-Aww, I'm in the water!
-Oh, I'm still in second.
Come on, come on.
Here comes Rutledge! Go! Come on!
Aww, you're kidding me!
Beaten by an automatic Camaro! No-o-o-o!
That was terrible.
-I thought I had absolutely no chance at that.
-I am ashamed right now. I'm ashamed of myself.
I'm ashamed of how much power that Challenger had.
-We were dead even and you just horsepowered by me.
-And then I realised I had to stop.
And I hit the brakes and there was almost nothing there, which is why I slowed WAY down.
The two faster cars got smoked by the Camaro. That's a lucky win, but I'm going to take it.
Oh, God. Do you smell that aroma? That smells like...victory!
That's what victory smells like? Tyre smoke and Old Spice?
Welcome back to Top Gear. We're trying to find the best modern muscle car.
So far, it's a little bit of awesome. Camaro took first place, even being an automatic. You suck.
-I'm just saying.
-I like it a lot in black. The paint job you had, my friend, was fabulous!
-It was fantastic!
-Whatever. I am one up, you guys are at scratch and there's more where that came from.
Our next challenge was 60 miles away at a drive-in movie theatre in Riverside, California.
In the 1960s muscle car heyday, there were 5,000 drive-ins across the country.
Our challenge was to do a slow circuit in the parking lot, a 360-degree turn around the flag
and then race back to the finish line, but there was a catch.
"To give you a flavour of the twitchy handling of the originals,
"you will race while connected to an electronic muscle stimulator. Fastest time wins."
-Where would you put it?
-I'd put it on him.
-You go first.
-Pecs and I go first?
-Mount 'em up.
Drive-ins have humps throughout the parking lot to raise each car up for the best view of the screen.
This terrain would definitely be a handling challenge.
-I got the electrodes...
-You wanna hook that up?
-Yeah. To my pecs.
-Want me to hold that?
-Hell, no! Not to anything attached to me.
-What are you going to set it at?
-Controls go to 8. 8 will kill you.
So we'll go to 7.
Ahhh! That was 3 and it's scary. Ow! Ow!
-Let's see 5.
I don't wanna do this any more! OK, get in the car.
-Leg up, leg up.
-This seems incredibly safe.
-It's like being stung by bees.
-One of the worst ideas ever.
-This is twisted right now.
OK, give me a countdown, fellas.
-Just got to get the...
-Let's look like we're talking about the stopwatch, but make him sit.
-Oh, but look at the stopwatch.
-Are you ready?
Ow! Ow! Yeah. Ow!
-Is that bright? Did I get you in the eye?
-Right, fellas, let's go!
-Wait. Hold on.
-Ow! It hurts!
-Oh, he is just...
-He is going for it.
-Tweak, tweak, tweak. Oh!
-Nice little hop there. Wow, I'm impressed.
-Kind of keeping his composure considering...
-Oh, that looks bad.
-I spoke way too soon.
-360 around the blue flag.
Now let's kick around.
Is he going to crash into the flag?
That's close enough to the flag.
-Let's just get back a little bit.
Oh, that hurts.
-How did I do?
-Here's the thing that's freaky. That thing seems to make you a better driver.
'So it was decided Adam should always wear an electronic muscle stimulator while driving.
'48 seconds was now the time to beat. Rutledge was next and connected it to his stomach.'
Oh, gosh! That is really... That is really working!
I'm gonna poop. I'm pretty sure I'm gonna poop my pants!
-That sucks! This is a bad idea.
-Get in there!
OW! That is so painful. I am definitely going to throw up.
Ah! I'm ready, let's go!
Three, two, one, go!
-There he goes.
-Oh, gosh. That's hurting my stomach. Holy crap!
He's getting out of control! He's got elbows and asses everywhere!
Man, the Georgia is coming out of Rutledge!
-It hurts! It's so hard to concentrate.
-And around the flag.
-He's completely missed the flag.
-Ah, that's close enough.
-Oh, that's so hard to do!
-Here he comes.
Almost there! Stop! I'm gonna throw up! Sonofabitch!
Holy...! Now, turn that off.
-How did he do?
Rut wasn't able to beat my time. Race Boy was up next and since he is a professional driver,
we had to keep it even. So I found a special place for his electrodes.
You look so sad, like a lost puppy.
Oh! What is happening?! What is... Go!
Here we go! Three, two, one, go!
Where's that handbrake? Aaah! Aaah!
-Look at that!
Oh, gosh, look at that!
This is so awesome. You hope this will happen to your friend and when it does, it feels so much better.
-Round the flag.
Nice. Nice full circle. That's quality right there.
-Oh, God! Finish line! Finish line!
-Here he comes. Oh!
Get this damn thing off of me!
-It looked faster. It was slower.
'So Adam took the challenge.'
-Why are you so angry?
-You look miserable.
I can smell my teeth right now.
We're in the middle of trying to find the best modern muscle car,
but that seemed more sadistic torture. How does sticking electrotherapy pads
and shocking electricity through your brain test muscle cars?
The important thing about that whole challenge was I won.
Crazy. Somehow being electrocuted makes you a better driver.
It makes you a better everything. I'm wearing them right now!
All right, so the Mustang won the handling challenge, but to show Adam what Mustangs can really do,
Tanner and I took two new souped-up versions, not your girlie one,
and we put them to the test out in the Old West.
This is Dead Horse Point in Utah.
Its desolate canyons and brutal terrain make it almost impassable.
But there is one thing that still rules this frontier -
Back in the mid-1800s, the Pony Express rode across these wild expanses of land.
But today... horses have gotten a lot faster.
But I wanted to know just how much faster.
So to find out, we were going to take on two horses in an epic race
from Dead Horse Point
down to the mighty Colorado River.
All we needed now was to get ourselves some serious ponies.
The 2012 ROUSH Stage 3 Mustang. 540 horsepower.
Supercharged five-litre V8. 60 grand.
I'm not normally a Mustang guy, but for this race there was only one choice.
The 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302.
It's basically a rolling tribute to the original '69 Boss,
the first Mustang muscle car.
It's got a five-litre V8 pumping out 444 horsepower,
which hopefully is enough to beat one horse.
We had the cars, we had the horses. Now it was time to race.
So the challenge today is can we, with our new school technology, beat their old-school horse?
But over this kind of nasty terrain, they can go straight there. The roads go all the way around.
The horses could cut straight across country to the finish line seven miles away,
but they would be going across some of the roughest terrain in America.
Our cars would be travelling on paved roads, but have to travel a full 46 miles to the finish.
In keeping with the spirit of the Pony Express, where riders handed off mail-filled satchels mid-gallop,
we'd be using leather saddlebags for our relay race.
I would begin the race in the Boss and then hand off to Rutledge in the ROUSH at the halfway point,
23 miles down the road. The second rider was also staged halfway there,
waiting for the hand-off from Buzz and Johnny Cash 3½ miles away.
The starting line was on a perfectly straight stretch of road,
but tragically the speed limit was 25.
Three, two, one, go!
And that's 25. It's all I can do.
And off he goes.
'While I was stuck at 25, Buzz and Johnny Cash galloped off,
'heading straight across the grass to the edge of the mesa 3 miles away.'
25 miles an hour on such an epic road.
'Buzz and Johnny Cash had already covered a mile and were just 2½ miles from the hand-off point,
'but the Boss was about to be unleashed because just ahead was
'a 75-mile-an-hour zone.'
OK, here comes my line.
Sounds like the engine is right, basically, between my feet.
It's really a nice sound. The shifting is super-positive. It really is fast.
What you notice is how composed it is. There's no drama. Even when the engine picks up its speed.
'I managed to make up time as I took advantage of everything modern technology had to offer.
'We were back in the game.
'Buzz and Johnny Cash were recreating the past at 10 miles an hour.
'For the first time in this race the Boss had the advantage.
'Then the road began snaking down to the valley below.
'I know Mustangs are great in a straight line, but on the corners I had my doubts.'
That felt pretty composed. It felt pretty balanced.
I've got to be honest with you. This is all feeling quite good.
That was so fun!
Come on, 3G.
'Meanwhile, Buzz and Johnny Cash had reached the cliffs, a few hundred yards from the head of the canyon
'where the second rider waited for the hand-off.
'Their hand-off was perfect
'and if Rutledge and I were going to have a chance, ours would have to be the same.'
Hey, Rutledge, you ready?
Rutledge, do you copy? Rutledge?
-Yeah, where are you?
-There you are! Get in your car!
Get in your car! What are you doing?
Go, go, go! Come on! I'm gonna do a 180
-and then just come up next to me. Copy?
-What are you talking about?!
-What are you doing?! You're going the wrong way!
-I can't go over the line!
Just throw it! Throw it to me! Throw it! I got it!
That's a terrible throw!
Rutledge! I'm getting in there!
'Our hand-off couldn't have gone worse. It was clumsy, slow and I was stuck riding shotgun.'
What took so long?!
Whoa, whoa, whoa! 30 zone.
-I'm going to go with the speed limit. I don't want to get a ticket.
-You're going 22!
-It says 30.
-It's a 30mph zone. That means speed limit. You go under that.
You're almost going 47(!) Careful. You might hit the LIMIT.
That's the highest you can go.
'Rutledge's driving was making me lose hope,
'but thankfully our four-legged competition was reduced to a slow walk to recover from the gallop.
'This was our chance to get back in the lead.'
Yeah! I like it. Right?
Good. Ease off. Feet on the power again. We are going to brake before the turn.
Full throttle and release. Ease off. A little more gas. Stay in your lane. Full throttle.
I've driven a car before, you know.
'This was going to be a close one.' Really? Short shifting at a time like this? Awesome(!)
Hammer down. Hammer down. 'Ricky and Slinger were in full gallop with just 100 yards to go.'
You gotta go fast. There he is!
'Losing was not an option.' Go! Go!
No - hammer down!
'100 years of research, design and engineering would all be for nothing if we couldn't beat one horse.'
Watch out for the rocks. We're gonna die.
Go, go, go! Come on! Hammer down, Rut!
-Aw, come on!
-Do you know what this means, Rutledge?
-I'm pretty sure this means we've lost.
Nice work. Good work.
-I just can't believe we got beat by a horse.
-It seems wrong. We had hundreds of horsepower and they had two.
Luckily, we have somebody to push every car we drive to the limit. His name is the Stig.
So which one of these is going to be fastest around our track?
Dead even off the line, although the ROUSH has an advantage in acceleration.
The Boss looking very composed and very balanced on that top part of the screen.
Dead even as they come through the chicane.
Stig and Stig together on the same screen. A little bit of a drift from the ROUSH
as they come into the teardrop. This will be the Boss's advantage,
but the back straight away has to be given up to the ROUSH with its higher horsepower.
Both cars just screaming down the back straight away.
135 miles an hour. By the tyres, the Boss has a slight edge.
Into the braking zone we go.
Cameraman's Corner. Is the Stig driving them differently? No.
Exactly the same in both cars. The only difference here is one car to the next.
The Boss makes it through the last corner. It's too close to call.
And across the line.
-I have got to say...
Those were some impressive-looking laps. Before we get into the times,
-how much more is this car? Sticker price.
-15 and change? 16?
-It's got to be.
-That's a lot more car.
-100 more horsepower, though.
-Want the times?
Well, the ROUSH, with all of that money and fancy horsepower came in with 1:28.9,
which puts it right above the EVO.
And the measly Boss, basically stock...
Boss 302. It IS a mean car.
Smaller block. ..came in with a 1:28.2! The Boss takes it!
Ties it with the V12 Vantage.
-Incredible. It just goes to show it's not all about horsepower.
If you find the right balance, get the right brake and steering feel and combine it all...
Exactly. All of those things are why you should buy a Dodge Challenger!
'We'd set out to find what the best modern muscle car was.
'Dodge, Ford or Chevy?
-'So far, Tanner's bitchin' Camaro had won the drag race...'
'..and with the help of a performance enhancer, Adam's Mustang took the handling test.'
'My Challenger had been shut out.
'I was determined to change that at a place I know well -
'the Auto Club speedway in Fontana, NASCAR's home in Southern California.
'This was the perfect place for me to prove that my Challenger was the best modern muscle car.'
Oh, man, I love this!
Ha ha ha!
-I can't believe we got this whole track to ourselves, fellas.
-Hey, what's that noise?
-Probably just some Camaro thunder.
That ain't Camaro thunder.
Yeah, I hear something.
-Boys, we got company!
Oh, you are kidding me!
We just got passed by real race cars.
OK, I'm going home. I'm good. I need a change of pants.
All right. Let's find out what we're doing here.
I tell you what, this day keeps getting better and better.
-Amen to that!
-All right. "The Stig has lapped your cars on this oval and achieved a top speed for each.
"To see which car best lives up to the muscle car legacy of high speed for the masses,
"you'll each attempt to get as close to that speed as possible.
"Closest top speed wins."
'If we were even going to get close to those speeds, we would have to make a few modifications
'to make our cars more aerodynamic.'
You didn't do anything. ..Really(?)
-You just made this car yours.
-What did you do? You made your own splitter.
-I believe that's garden edging plastic.
-It is hi-tech carbon fibre...
-No! I've seen that before. I used that on a Honda once.
-Yeah, it's gardening divider.
-Oh, you are kidding.
-How's that for NASCAR?
I'm at a total loss.
-You're up first.
-Gentlemen, pay attention.
-Really? That's how it just went down.
-What did the Stig do in this?
-So you need to go 153 miles an hour?
-You just get one shot at this.
-Once you leave this line, that's it. It is on.
So once you leave pit row, you are on the point of no return.
-Like a qualifying lap.
Thumbs up. Cue the burn out.
Patrick, have you ever been on a NASCAR track before?
-It's a bit intense.
It's time now for Big Star, Small Car and our celebrity today is Patrick Warburton!
-So how are you feeling? Ready to get out there?
-I'm not a great driver.
-I'm fearless and dumb behind the wheel. Let's see what happens.
-That's a good combo. Good luck.
See you in the hangar when we're done.
Right. Let's do this.
At the moment, Arlene Tur has the fastest time with a 1:42.4. Let's see what Patrick can do.
That's not good.
All right. Looks like he has a lot of speed going wide on the first turn. Nice coming into the chicane.
-Look at that. He downshifted! We don't see that there very much.
-That was pretty.
-A little squeal as he turns down towards the teardrop.
-Not very pretty.
Coming up towards the back stretch and look how quick he gets over towards the grass.
At the halfway point, Patrick is just half a second off our fastest time.
Oh, he is hauling the mail! Up stabs the brake, corrects it.
-Gets it to turn back in there.
-Smooth as silk.
-Really pushing it.
A lot of speed there through the Ss.
Coming up to the last turn. Nice and smooth and across the line.
Patrick, come on up!
-How are you doing? Have a seat, please.
Let me just say...
I am a huge, huge fan of yours.
You're the voice of Joe on Family Guy, Puddy on Seinfeld, you were The Tick.
-Man, I love you. So...
-I had to get that out.
This is going to surprise you. One of us has owned a Chevy truck jacked up on 44-inch tyres
-and it is not me.
-How did you end up in this mid-life crisis car?
This is what happened. I'm at the Pomona meet and there's this lone car, looking just like that.
And sitting there, it had 1,500 miles on it and, you know,
it was just a 30,000 price tag. So I knew something was up. It had been wrecked out of the box.
Somebody wrecked it. And I thought for fun, you know, I'd pick it up. I checked it out.
I got told "the welds aren't too pretty, but it ain't gonna break".
So then... So I say, "Cool, all right."
And at the very first light, you know, I'm 6'3",
my head sticks up about three inches above the windshield. LAUGHTER
I couldn't have felt more conspicuous and then I just started sinking in the seat.
-I'm like, "Oh, my God. I'm that guy."
-You're that guy.
But you went from that car to what I think is a real car. A '69 Charger RT with a 440.
I mean, that... that is a beautiful car.
-It's an interesting shot there. Looks like something for Fore magazine.
-Seems like you love golf.
I'm about as good at golf as driving. So...
-What would you name a car like that?
-But no, no...
Any particular reason?
You know, dark, sexy, mean.
Sultry. Like Miss Angelina Jolie, see. And then the motor home is named...
The motor home is named Pammy, after Pam Anderson.
Just big, bodacious. So...
And also, too, it just kind of irritates the wife, so it's fun.
Have you ever thought about naming something after her?
I'd get less hell for it, but it's not as fun.
It seems like it would be awkward at times. "I'll be underneath Angelina if you need me."
"I'm sorry. I can't hear you. I'm in Angelina."
Yeah. Well, I want to hear, how did you feel like your lap went? Did you feel like you learned a lot?
The one thing that I can really recall is that you're cognisant of everything.
You know what you've got to do, but when you introduce adrenaline and really want to do well,
everything goes out the door. I don't know.
Let's look at the leaderboard. There's a lot of good times. Arlene Tur at the top. Kid Rock.
Where do you think would be a good spot in your mind?
I...I'm going to guess
that I am between... I hope that I'm between Ed and Rick. There's a good gap there.
-You think here? Ed and Rick?
-Between Ed and Rick.
-That is considered a good time to you.
But it's not the worst. LAUGHTER
Patrick, you did it in one minute
one point eight!
No way! Really? Wow!
Patrick Warburton! The top of the leaderboard!
I had no idea.
Our competition to find the best modern muscle car came down to this.
A high-speed lap at the Auto Club speedway in Southern California.
'The Stig had lapped our cars and reached the top speed.
'Our task now was to match it. I was up first and had to get to 153 miles an hour.'
I'm just listening for the crash.
Uh-oh! Scary time!
A little too fast. Little too fast.
-He's going fast, actually.
Don't die! Don't die!
-Hold on, hold on!
-Down the straight.
I can't look down any more! Coming to the turn.
That is waaaay faster than I thought he would go.
Ooh. Oh, these turns are scary!
That's good. That's good there.
Damn, is that fun!
-I understand this whole NASCAR thing now.
-How did you do? How fast?
-Last time I looked down was 141.
-I'm impressed, man. That's hauling it.
-OK, so that's 12 miles an hour slower than the Stig.
-And it would have been 138 without the stickers.
-Splitter, do your thing.
-Looks like a shark.
-A shark with an overbite.
'The Stig had gone 151 miles an hour in my car, which was fast,
'but I was confident that my state-of-the-art garden edging would make it even faster.'
All right, Stig. You and me, mano y mano. This is it.
-The lip fell off!
-What the hell was that?
-I think I lost my splitter. Let's go back for that thing.
-That counts. That's his lap.
-What did he say to me? "Once you leave pit row..."
-You'll have to call him on that.
-Just a quick fix.
-No quick fix.
-I just need a little duct tape.
-There's no duct tape. That's your run.
-Just put it...
-Stop, stop, stop.
-You left pit row.
-You said one shot.
-One shot once you leave pit row.
-How fast did you go?
-74! And what was Stig's top speed?
74. I'm not good at math, but I will tell you that you lost.
-Love you guys(!)
-'Tanner was out and I was up next.'
Oh, man, I love it when you climb up on the banking like that.
'If I was going to beat Adam, I was going to need to go at least 152 miles per hour.'
All right. Come on, Challenger.
-470 horsepower. We can do it.
-He's pushing it.
-Man, he's on it, huh?
-In NASCAR, they're hitting 205 going into this turn.
I'm doing 140 and it is scary as hell!
He is ripping down the back straight, away into turn three.
Holy crap! Oh, my gosh, I'm sweating!
Here we go.
I made it, I made it!
Holy...! Wow, that's fast.
All right. We'll see now where we're at.
-You won the drag race.
-I won the handling challenge.
-You went fastest in the circle.
-Very fast, thank you.
-It's not a three-way tie.
-We all won one event.
-The Challenger went the fastest on a NASCAR track.
They race that car in NASCAR. Therefore, I'm the winner.
Because muscle cars are about NASCAR? What are muscle cars about?
-Quarter mile. That is right. And that's what the Camaro won.
-It's a three-way tie. It's easy math. You won one,
I won one, you won one. And I am the last one to speak, so that is that. Goodbye! Thank you!
-"I'm the last one to talk, so I win"?!
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd