When people think of muscle cars, they have the tendency to think of the cars that were built during the 1960’s and even a few that came along during the 1970s. In reality, few individuals think about cars that were built after that as true muscle cars. However, there was a time after the turn of the century where many car manufacturers were working hard to bring back the legacy of the muscle car. If you look around at cars that are just rolling off the showroom floors today, you can still see it in cars like the Chevrolet Camaro and even the Ford Mustang. If you think that the era of the muscle car ended decades ago, you might want to read through the list below of the 10 best muscle cars of the 2000s.
2008 Chevrolet Cobalt SS
When you look at this car, the last thing you think about is a muscle car. It looks more like one of the economy cars from the early 1980s with a spoiler stuck on the back. As a result, it was completely overlooked when it was made. It didn’t help that it offered only 2.0 liter 4 cylinder engine. The thing is, that engine was married to a 5-speed manual transmission and some superior handling characteristics that made this car extremely fast on the racetrack. Looks are definitely deceiving in this case, as this car is capable of far better performance than you would ever believe just by seeing it with your own eyes
2004 Pontiac GTO
This car was flashy but it didn’t really look like a muscle car, either. With that being said, the earliest models were capable of 350 horsepower and the engine was later upgraded to provide 400 horsepower. You could also choose from a 6-speed manual transmission or an automatic version. Obviously, that choice had a lot to do with how fast the car actually was. The version with the manual transmission was certainly fast enough, but it didn’t really catch on with most people for one reason or another. Nevertheless, it’s still ranked as one of the best muscle cars of the decade.
2000 Ford F-150 Lightning
That’s right, the year 2000 saw a truck become one of the best muscle cars in existence. After all, this vehicle wasn’t called the Lightning for nothing. In a drag race, it was capable of beating just about anything out there, whether it was a car or another truck. In addition, it handled so well that it rivaled some of the faster cars on the racetrack.
2008 Ford Shelby Mustang
If you love muscle cars, there’s no way you can help but remember the Shelby Mustang from the 1960s. The 2008 version not only looked like the original, but performed like it as well. In all actuality, it actually performed better. When it was all said and done, it had about 40 more horsepower than the original Shelby and it was faster on the track.
2008 Dodge Challenger
This one looks more like a muscle car than anything on this list so far. As previously mentioned, looks can be deceiving. The particular vehicle in question wasn’t as powerful as a lot of the other vehicles that appear on this list and it was far less powerful than the current version of the Dodge Challenger. With that being said, it managed to do just fine in drag races, although it had a tendency to lag behind on a road course.
2004 Cadillac CTS-V
This is another car that couldn’t look less at home around other muscle cars. It had the stacked Cadillac grille that’s been around for years and it looked like a guillotine had chopped off the back of the car. However, it also incorporated a massive engine that yielded about 400 horsepower. It also handled well enough to take on just about anything that came up against it.
2009 Dodge Viper ACR
The car looked fast, to say the least. It also performed as good as it looked. It had an engine that was capable of producing 600 horsepower and it was coupled with a lightweight composite body that allowed it to virtually sprout wings. In fact, this car was so aerodynamic that it felt more like an aircraft than an automobile.
2000 Ford Mustang Cobra
Compared to the Shelby Mustang, this car was plain, to say the least. It may not have looked like much, but it performed just fine. The engine produced 385 horsepower but the thing that really set it apart was its independent rear suspension. The improved handling allowed it to get around corners faster than cars that had twice as much horsepower.
2005 Ford GT
When you couple a lightweight chassis and body with an engine that’s capable of producing more than 500 horsepower and a manual 6-speed transmission, you get a car that is blistering fast. When you put racing tires on that same car, the competition had better watch out.
2001 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
As performance cars go, this one was more economical than most. It also had an engine that produced more than 500 horsepower and a special suspension system that allowed it to take full advantage of all the torque it produced. The end result was a car that was faster than more powerful automobiles that cost a lot more.