Tesla Model S Makes the Top 10 Best Muscle Cars List, Expect an Outcry

Tesla Model S burnout 11 photos
Photo: Catalin Garmacea
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What is a muscle car? It's definitely a car, that much we can say without fear of error, but what about the muscle part? Are we talking seriously buff, like Schwarzenegger, or more on the athletic side, like, say, a gymnast?
It's probably neither – or rather a mix of the two. A human equivalent of a muscle car would need to have the physical presence of the former governor of California, but also be able to pull off a sprint and accelerate at a decent pace, something we doubt Arnie would be capable of. It's one of those things that are hard to define, and yet somehow everyone knows what they're talking about.

Some more than others, of course, and after hearing her resume, I think we can all agree that Elana Scherr is one of the competent voices in the field. Apparently, she studied muscle car science in college (can you actually do that?) and further honed her knowledge on the subject by working for the Hot Rod magazine. The article also states she's not one to shy away from a burnout (of the automotive ilk, not the bad kind), so maybe we should hear what she had to say in this Edmunds article.

The top ten starts straight with arguably the most controversial entry, and that's of course the Tesla Model S. Lay down your pitchforks, stop looking for Elana's home address on the web, and hear the woman out. She argues that a vehicle with 750-odd hp that can spank all other muscle cars in a quarter mile drag race deserves to make the list. So what if it's electric? With stats like these, it's OK to bend the rules a little. Plus, this could be the future, so it's worth being the first to acknowledge it.

Things get back on track with the ninth place (the 2020 BMW M8 and its V8 engine) only to derail once again with the inclusion of the 2020 Nissan GT-R in the eighth position. The Japanese sports car is famous for squeezing ridiculous amounts of power from its engine, which is great, but less so is the number of cylinders that pump inside it: six. Shudders.

But don't worry, the controversy isn't over. The seventh place is taken by two German models, the 2020 Mercedes-AMG E63 S and the 2020 Audi S8. The Merc makes some sense, but the inclusion of the Audi - a luxury sedan with very little sportiness about it - seems a bit forced. It does have a V8 engine, so at least there's that.

If this was an actual lineup, you could see the vehicle in sixth from a mile out. That's because it is the first and only SUV to make it: the 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. Not exactly muscle car material from a visual standpoint, but definitely checks all the other boxes. That's precisely the opposite you can say about the next car, the 2020 Lexus RC F. The Japanese is in here (in fifth) based strictly on looks because the 472 hp it gets from the V8 engine isn't quite what's required these days.

From here on is smooth sailing, with all the names you would expect to find on the list making their overdue appearances. First is the 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody sitting nicely in fourth and needing no introduction. In third, sandwiched between two Dodges, is their neighbor from Detroit: the 2020 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Next is the 2020 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye, which fails to make it to the top spot despite having the largest power output at 797 hp.

As for the first position, that had to go to a Mustang. Of course, the pick of the bunch is the 2020 Ford Shelby GT500 for its copious power, quarter-mile times, and insatiable thirst for gasoline. Not exactly very 2020-like, but extremely muscle car-like, and that's all that matters here.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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