What to Know Before Buying a New Muscle Car
So you want a muscle-car, eh? So does everyone and their grandma. Ever since the Hellcat came out two years ago, and with the Dodge Demon coming in the future, we can’t blame you. Not all muscle-cars are for everyone though, and not every engine will make you feel the G’s. Sometimes, it’s just a well-built muscle-car.
Take the Dodge Challenger for example. Sure, the Hellcat and SRT 392 are tempting, but the R/T, even the SXT, are still good trims. They’re still a Dodge Challenger, still great cars, but they cost less and won’t take off like a rocket. Here’s a couple of things to keep in mind when shopping for a beast on four wheels.
May as well get this one out of the way because it’s what any potential muscle car owner is thinking about. Horsepower, or how fast it goes, is the number one thing muscle cars are known for. They usually also come with a lot of torque, but that’s more important with trucks and SUVs planning to tow a large load. If you’re not a race car driver or don’t have a season pass to the local track, it’s a better idea to go for half the horsepower of a Hellcat (707-hp), and try something easier like the 2017 Dodge Challenger R/T with 375-horsepower and still kicking it hard from 0-60 mph in 5 seconds.
Is the car just for one person? What if you have a hot date? Or want a friend to videotape your escapades? With a small muscle car, it would be a tight fit, and with the upcoming Dodge Demon, impossible – all passenger seats are literally taken out.
The Dodge Challenger has two doors and the Dodge Charger has four doors – both can seat up to five people. So how often do you plan on carpooling, if ever? Do you usually ride around with more than two people, because that’s how frequently someone will have to get out of a car with two doors. Think about it.
When talking about Dodge cars and their heritage, they go pretty far back. The new Charger Daytona and Challenger T/A series are a shout out to Dodge heritage, reviving old, but legendary models. Now, we’re not saying a potential muscle car owner should get a vehicle with a lot of history … but it’s better than getting something with no history. Who wants to take a shot in the dark when dropping thousands of dollars? Know what kind of car you’re getting and find out what people have to say about it.
Fuel Type and Fuel Economy
What kind of gas will that muscle car require? You can bet that it most likely will not be taking regular. If it does, then maybe it’s one of those lower trims. Otherwise, do the math and calculate the annual cost of high octane gasoline, say premium, with how frequently you’ll have to fill up the car based on its fuel economy; also factor in a marginal difference for changes in the price of gasoline.
Powertrain and Safety
Take a look at the underside of the muscle car in question, do some research. Aside from its history and what people have to say about it, how is the transmission and brakes? Does it have enough braking power to stop it when going full throttle? Not immediately, but how much time does it need to reach a full stop when going 60 mph? Can you match that reaction time?
Plus, consider the airbag deployment system and restraint system. Yeah, everything isn’t strapped down just cause your guts are inside a fleshy shell. Also find out if there’s any advanced safety features like forward collision warning or advanced emergency brakes so you don’t find yourself in a collision due to a temporary distraction.
This can be a tricky one and multiple sources will say differently. A sports or muscle car is said to get high insurance rates due to their color, traffic citation frequency, etc. Well, color can be debunked – most auto insurance companies are color blind when it comes to rates. The stereotypes though, even if your driving record is clean, are still there, and even if you don’t get a single ticket, your auto insurance will still be high. Serious bull, right? Sad fact, but true.
All of these are good things to consider when looking at a muscle-car. Do your research, learn about the car, and run it by your auto insurance to get a quote. Until then, feel free to check out our inventory of Dodge Challengers and Chargers.