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5 American cars that are better than fireworks

Organized fireworks during this year's July 4th festivities will be as hard to find as a manual transmission. But the domestic auto industry has plenty of fireworks of its own. America suffers no shortage of pomp and whomp, and American muscle has reached steroidal strength with these chest-thumpers. While the lunatics at Dodge keep squeezing out more from an old V-8, the wizards at Ford and Chevy enhance their V-8s with great efficiency and power, and Tesla creates gut-dropping acceleration with electrons. Here's our way of saying happy Independence Day, 2020 style.

Chevrolet Corvette


If you haven't heard of the C8 Corvette's shift to a mid-engine layout, then you might be surprised to hear America's redesigned supercar is the fastest its ever been in base form and still starts at under $60,000. With the Z51 package, the 495-horsepower 6.2-liter V-8 with an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic rockets to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds. That's more impressive than the finest smoked meat from all the backyard BBQs.

Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

Mustang GT500

The most powerful production Mustang ever relies on a 760-hp supercharged 5.2-liter V-8 to push it from 0-60 mph in 3.3 seconds. But after 52 years of development, this Shelby GT500 carves up a track better than ever before. To eke out all the available performance, Ford expects buyers to shell out $18,500 for the Carbon Fiber Track Package, which brings the total to more than $90,000.

Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye

Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye

No other automaker has committed so wholeheartedly to the muscle-car mystique. For 2021, Dodge flexes all muscle, all of the time, by flicking the Dodge Grand Caravan to the curb and supersizing what remains in its aging, raging lineup. The 2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye echoes that primeval call. The muscle sedan gets the same 797-hp supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 as the Challenger Hellcat Redeye, thanks to the larger supercharger used in the Challenger Demon drag machine. It has a top speed of 203 mph, hits 60 mph in the mid-three-second range, and rakes a quarter-mile in 10.6 seconds. Full throttle drains 1.43 gallons of gas per minute, but just imagine how quickly you could get the kids to school.

Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

Speaking of hauling...the family, Dodge supercharges the Durango three-row crossover SUV for 2021 as well. It's no Redeye, but the Hellcat is no slouch with a 710-hp version of the supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 that shuttles the SUV to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. The other Durangos wear a new face on a decade-old bod and sport some fresh interior technology as well, including a 10.1-inch touchscreen. Good luck touching that at a top speed of 180 mph.

Tesla Model S Performance

Tesla Model S Performance

Had enough of gas-sucking V-8s and know their end is nigh? Time to go Plaid. Tesla's flagship Model S sedan takes a page from Dodge's playbook by dropping in larger and more powerful drive systems surrounded by an aging body. The Model S Performance has a 503-hp motor on the rear axle and a 259-hp motor on the front. Together, they launch the car from 0-60 mph in a scant 2.4 seconds. Rumor has it the switch from Ludicrous to Plaid mode is not just another "Spaceballs" reference; it can also drop the 0-60 mph time to 2 seconds flat. Let's see a firework beat that!

The Car Connection. May 31, 2021.
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