The term muscle car usually evokes images of classic 1960s and 70s cars such as the legendary 1965 Mustang Shelby GT350, or the 1968 Dodge Super Bee, but muscle cars didn’t end with the classics even if this period is still hailed as the golden age. Great cars were produced in the early 2000s, and with advances in automobile technology since the 1970s, they were arguably better designed than their counterparts from a previous era, albeit without the strong sense of romantic nostalgia. Here are our top 5 picks of the best muscle cars from 2003!
#5 – The Ford SVT Mustang Cobra
In 2003, Ford was reviving one of their much loved and iconic models in the Ford Mustang. The SVT Mustang Cobra was the top-of-the-range model that was released alongside the newly styled, yet less powerful, Bullitt Mustang and Mustang Mach1 around the same time. The SVT Mustang Cobra exhibited an impressive 390hp, did 0-60 Mph in a mere 4.9 seconds, and was the first Ford model installed with the impressively powerful Eaton supercharged DOHC 4.6-liter Terminator V-8 engine.
#4 – The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
Coming in at 4th place is the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, a car that was affectionately named the Evo. Rising to prominence after earning 4 consecutive WRC championship titles between 1996 and 1999, the eighth-generation Evo entered the fray as a direct competitor to the newly popular Subaru Impreza, and it certainly didn’t disappoint! Boasting a competition proven 4G63 2.0-liter engine, turbo-charged and intercooled, this beast could generate 271hp, but more impressively, it cranked out an assertive 273 lb/ft of torque at 3500rpm!
#3 – Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG
The Mercedes E55 AMG is certainly built for comfort, but also speed with an impressive 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds! While some may question whether this car should count as a muscle car, its 469hp at 6100 rpm puts it well ahead of most muscle cars of its time such as the Audi RS6, BMW M5, and the Jaguar S-Type. The luxury sedan design of this model is deceiving, so if you find yourself by one at a red light, be sure to think twice before initiating a drag race!
#2 – Chevrolet Corvette Z06
The Chevrolet Corvette Z06 narrowly misses out on our number 1 spot, but still boasted one of the most impressive sets of specifications on our list. With a massive 405hp and capable of doing 0-60 Mph in 4.5 seconds, this powerhouse of a car topped anything that came out of the 60s and 70s. What really set it apart from its contemporaries was its bold, sleek and timeless design, meaning you could own it for decades without it losing any appeal at all. It’s almost as if Chevy were a little too ahead of their time with this one and it’s no wonder this model has now become a major collector’s item!
#1 – Viper SRT-10
Dodge is renowned for doing nothing in half measures, and that was certainly the case with the Viper SRT-10! This raucous monster of a machine was like previous Vipers on steroids with loads of effort being made in making it their most power-efficient, streamlined and no expense spared model to date. Featuring a revised racing-style chassis, fully independent suspension, and a specialized aluminum space frame that cut down on overall weight, Dodge pulled out all the stops in making this car a true speed freak. To transport this super-light chassis, Dodge installed a whopping 8.3-liter 505 cube V-10 engine that punched way above any other car on this list with over 500hp! This attention to detail and no holds barred approach led the Viper SRT-10 to be capable of doing 0-60 Mph in 4.1 seconds – making it the undisputed number one in our top 5 muscle cars of 2003!