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Sports Cars vs. Muscle Cars

Recently, MSN Auto writer Perry Stern wrote an interesting article on the 10 Most Popular Sports Cars, which caught my eye because I’ve been thinking about muscle cars ever since reading about the new 2010 Chevy Camaro over at Jalopnik (lots of awesome pictures and all the specs you’ll need!) and while there were some awesome sports cars to make Stern’s list, I was surprised to see a few muscle cars in the fold, like the Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger R/T.  As a personal opinion, I think there’s quite a difference between a sports car and a muscle car, so I was surprised to see what did and didn’t make his list. 

According to Stern (and based on readership at MSN Auto), the Ford Mustang ranks as one of America’s most beloved sports cars; it’s a popular car for sure and in the grand scheme of things, it’s certainly affordable – but is it a sports car or a muscle car – or both?

Also on the list is the always popular Chevy Corvette, not surprising since the Corvette has always been an exciting American icon and at 26 mpg on the highway, things can only get better from here.  To me, the Corvette is truly a sports car due to its’ sleek styling, agility and unquestionable ability to handle the road at high speeds. 

The Dodge Challenger R/T has made the list and yet, I can’t seem to warm up to it; perhaps because to me, the Challenger is simply a muscle car and not anything like a sports car at all.   Most of you know I’m an old school girl at heart and love the muscle cars of years past, but the design of this new Challenger leaves me wanting something more in the styling department and yet, I can’t quite put my finger on what that something more is.  Stern describes the Challenger R/T has having retro styling so you’d think I’d take to the Challenger like a horse takes to water, but something seems amiss.  The Dodge Charger once again what I would consider a muscle car – didn’t make Stern’s list, but I do prefer it over the Challenger.

Also on Perry’s list are the Lamborghini Murcielago LP640, Mazda MX-5, the Nissan 350Z, Porsche 911, Mitsubishi Eclipse, Saturn Sky and the BMW M3 and while I agree with some of his sports car picks, like the Porsche 911, Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 and Nissan 350Z, I think a sports car should handle well, hug the road at high speeds and of course, be fun to drive, so there were a few I was surprised didn’t make the cut, like the Cadillac XLR,  Chrysler Crossfire, Dodge Viper, Honda S2000, Ferrari F430 Spider and Ferrari 430 Scuderia.

Tell me what you think – can a muscle car also be a sports car?  Can a sports car also be a muscle car?

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8 Responses to “Sports Cars vs. Muscle Cars”

  1. I’d say they can be, but they need both power and handling. But in general, I have a hard time thinking of most modern cars as muscle cars.

  2. Good question. To me, the Corvette crosses both lines – muscle and sports. I interpret cars that are sleek and curvy with low profiles to be sports cars and meatier looking cars I call muscle cars.

  3. Melissa: Same here. You and I are thinking alike. :)

    Slinky: That’s just it – a true “muscle car” really is a thing of the past, isn’t it? I think so, too.

  4. Yeah of course, look at the corvette im planning onn buy it as my first car, it came out of the doors of the first factory a muscle car, and ever since then its evolved. The corvete today, preforms well on straight roads, like muslce cars, and hugs the road on turn like a sports car.

  5. Hi… I have a black 1970 Ford Mustang Coupe. My friend is getting the 2009 Challenger R/T as a present. We’ve been arguing about whose car is better. I wanted some opinions about whose is better.

    Btw my mustang is full of Mach 1 interior and has a brand new paint job with a 302 engine.

  6. I drove a toyota for 20 plus years, and just got a 2009 Mustang GT with a V8 engine. I put on a cold air intake, and it rumbles! It is definitely a “Muscle” car. There is a definite difference beween the sports car and muscle cars. Test drive them and you will feel the difference.

  7. the corvette is a piece a shit any new sports car is.Any thin after 1981 is a real mans car compared to the pieces of shit that they build today.

  8. Muscle cars are car that go straight fast but cannot take corners; or if they try they go off the road or flip over in trying. Super cars are cars that can handle corners and are made to do so. A corvette is a hybrid; that can do both. Camaros, Challengers and Mustangs are muscle cars. Ferrari and Lambos are supercars or exotics; they do both things very well.

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