Hooniverse Asks: What's your favorite vehicle built during this era of the Horsepower Wars?

The insanity of being able to walk into a Dodge dealership and spend well under $100,000 for a car with either 707 or even 840 horsepower is the good kind of insanity. These are wild times if you’re a fan of factory-produced horsepower. Ford is busy cooking up a new GT500 while Chevy has the monstrous 755-hp Corvette ZR1. We haven’t even dipped into the realm of super and hypercars that come bearing four-figure horsepower outputs.
My favorite car from this era is the Dodge Charger Hellcat. It’s the car I used to bring my daughter home from the hospital just over three years ago. This is a 200-mph-capable, five-passenger, four-door Dodge sedan that’s a nicely outfitted production car and not a conceptual wonder of track-only stripper. It’s truly a wild car built during wild times.
Of all the cars built during this age of increasing power output, which one is your favorite?

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24 responses to “Hooniverse Asks: What's your favorite vehicle built during this era of the Horsepower Wars?”

  1. Kevin Jonson Avatar
    Kevin Jonson

    The new M5 Competition is an absolute beast dressed in a fine suit.

  2. neight428 Avatar

    The 2013-2015 Mustang GT500’s. They are the bonkers archetype. To quote C&D, “…it just hauls mind-bending ass”

  3. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

    BMW X6M. Just because its so absurd. Let’s make a 2-1/2 ton SUV and slant the roofline so there’s no interior room. Then let’s give it 550 horses. Maybe if we computer-control the hell out of it, it won’t kill people instantly. What? It actually works well enough to go around curves? Well I’ll be damned.

    1. neight428 Avatar

      They are absurd, and I too am enamored with the idea. It’s bound to be the oddest example of corporate collusion ever that had M-B making the same crazy, unjustifiable vehicle at the same time.

    2. Maymar Avatar

      Deutschland Uber Alles, probably, but we have to be careful with that one.

    3. rovingardener Avatar

      Drove this at BMW Performance Driving School in Spartanburg and I was stunned how fast this thing was, even in corners. That is in no way a reason for me to ever want to own one but it is as quick as everything I have ever driven, and I’ve driven a Porsche Cayenne Turbo, and all the BMWs in 2012, c/o BMW.

  4. Zentropy Avatar

    I hate to sound like the old guy in the room, but if you look at any of the top (performance) trims of most cars, I’m likely to prefer a lesser one. Hellcat? Sorry, but no. There’s no way to use that performance on normal roads in a way that’s fun without being scary. Throw a rainstorm in the mix, and you’re white-knuckling it the entire drive.
    I personally think that roughly 100hp and 100 lb-ft per 1000 lbs of car is just about right for a fun drive. That means for me, the Charger R/T Scat Pack (485/475 and 4300) would be plenty. The Mustang GT (460/420 and 3700) would be WAY more than enough.
    The real winner of the horsepower wars is the insurance companies.

    1. P161911 Avatar

      Insurance is a weird thing. Sometimes the lesser performance versions cost more to insure, because those are the ones kids get and wreck. I know at one time in the early 2000s, insurance for a mid-late 1990s Mustang Cobra convertible was cheaper than a Cobra coupe. I seem to remember that the Cobra might have been cheaper than the GT. I know when we swapped my wife’s 1999 Honda Civic coupe (automatic, non-VTEC) for a 1996 Camaro Z-28 convertible, the insurance went down.

      1. neight428 Avatar

        Corvettes have been cheaper to insure than Camaros, or so I have read. That means Corvettes are more practical than a Honda Civic. See you at the Chevy dealer.

        1. P161911 Avatar

          I would have to go back and find the 15 year old paper work, but the sequence of events was like this:
          1. Got married in March.
          2. Wife quits job in May.
          3. Bribe wife to go back to work with purchase of new Trailblazer.
          4. Trade my 1994 Corvette in on a new 2004 Trailblazer in August.
          5. I drive her 1999 Civic to work until I am sick of it, about 1 day.
          6. Buy 1994 Z-28 Convertible in September/October.
          7. Sell Civic in October.

          1. Zentropy Avatar

            My sequence is much sadder.
            1. Have kid. Baby seat is tight in the back of the E30, but do-able.
            2. Have second kid. Sell E30. Buy minivan.
            3. Sell house. Buy bigger house.
            4. Have a third kid. Resign to owning a minivan for the next 18 years.
            5. Buy E28, but never have the time/money to work on it.

          2. bv911 Avatar

            But at least you have it; that’s a victory unto itself!
            I had a ’68 911 in pieces for at least ten years, while the kids grew up. Market exploded, now I have an ’87 I’ve done maybe ten track days in.
            Just convince everyone around you you need to hold on to it…

  5. GTXcellent Avatar

    Maybe not the hyper-hypo-horsepower of those already listed, but it’s the last dinosaur. A 400+ horsepower, 4 door with a MANUAL transmission.

    1. Zentropy Avatar

      That gets a big thumbs-up from me. Fits my equation perfectly at about 100hp/1000lbs. Bonus points for being a manual sedan. You did screw up the “under the radar” thing by buying red, though!

      1. outback_ute Avatar

        I’ve only driven the supercharged HSV GTS version and didn’t feel like the extra 150(?) horsepower was a hindrance!
        The bright green of the final GTS-R is crazy enough to work for me, rather than the ultimate W1 version that people were paying silly money for.

  6. smalleyxb122 Avatar

    GT350, please. The modern horsepower war era has us thinking of 500-something hp cars as mediocre. I’ll take that kind of mediocre.

  7. tonyola Avatar

    I’ll also be a contrarian – 306 horsepower is plenty for me, especially in a small and ultra-nimble package. As for the boy-racer looks, to hell with what people think. Let people gawk if they see a “mature” person behind the wheel.

    1. crank_case Avatar

      Still 4.6 times the output of the S660. 🙂

      1. Zentropy Avatar

        The fun thing about slow cars is driving them like you stole them, and still not breaking the law. It turns a mundane commute into an F1 race.

    2. Zentropy Avatar

      For a “puller”, it is a pretty impressive performance machine, and I respect that. However, I’m one of those that thinks it looks like a constipated Pokemon dressed as a samurai. My neighbor and good friend drives a prior-generation Si sedan that is admittedly more sedate, but with much more mature styling. I’m personally more tempted by the manual Accord Sport 2.0T.

      1. crank_case Avatar

        Genuine LOL at that description.