For most of the last century, American cars were largely considered inferior, especially when compared to European cars. For the most part, this perception was correct, as most American cars were known for poor designs, weak power plants, and generally poor build quality. Fortunately, that has changed in recent years.
Over the past decade, American automakers have built great cars that rival their European competitors in every way. From some of the fastest supercars to futuristic electric cars, menacing muscle cars and even pickup trucks, these are some of the best American cars of the past decade.
10 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon
The Challenger has always been one of the most popular muscle cars since its debut in the 1960s. Its fantastic design and power has made gearboxes come back, which is why it is still in production to this day.
Of all the Challenger models and special editions you can buy, the SRT Demon is the most extreme. The SRT Demon comes with a 6.2 liter supercharged V8 tuned to produce up to 840 horses, enough to make it the most powerful muscle car ever. With the ability to cover the quarter mile in just 9.65 seconds, the SRT Demon is one of the best drag race cars ever.
9 Hennessey Venom GT
When it comes to building great custom cars, few companies can match what Hennessey has accomplished over the decades. However, after years of working on other companies’ vehicles, the company decided to create the Hennessey Special Vehicles sub-brand to build its own vehicles from scratch.
The Venom GT was the division’s very first production car and turned out to be much better than anyone expected. The Venom GT is built on the chassis of the Lotus Exige, but has undergone many modifications to improve its appearance and performance. It’s powered by a monstrous 7.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 that puts out an insane 1,244 horsepower, enough for a top speed of 270 mph.
8 SSC Tuatara
In the late 90s, Jerod Shelby, who is not related to… the famous Carroll Shelby, SSC North America founded with one main purpose; to build the fastest car in the world. It wasn’t long before Shelby hit his mark, as the SSC Ultimate Aero TT broke the production car speed record in 2006 with a top speed of 256 mph. Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for Bugattis and Koenigseggs to obliterate this top speed.
So more than a decade later, SSC built the Tuatara to restore its dominance. Powered by a 5.9-litre twin-turbocharged V8 capable of producing up to 1,750 horsepower, the Tuatara can reach a top speed of 483 mph, making it the fastest car in the world.
7 Ford GT
If you’re a fan of Ford and its cars, you know that the legendary GT40 is one of the most important vehicles the Blue Oval brand has ever made. To honor the icon, Ford built the GT in the 2000s. Everyone fell in love with the GT, which is why Ford introduced a second-generation model in 2016.
The 2016 GT is a work of art. Like its predecessor, it features a GT40-inspired design and a powerful engine to match; a 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged V6 with 660 ponies.
6 Tesla Model S Plaid
The EV market in the US seems to be growing every day, with Tesla leading the way. One model that has helped Tesla climb to the top of the EV industry is the Model S, which debuted in 2012. The Model S has chic design, cutting edge technology, plenty of range, and if you have the latest’ Plaid’ version, it’s extremely fast.
The Model S Plaid adds an extra electric motor to the base Model S’ two, resulting in an insane 1,020 horsepower. With a 0-60 of under 2 seconds, the Model S Plaid can destroy some of the fastest muscle cars on a drag strip.
5 RAM TRX
Americans love their pickup trucks. In fact, pickup trucks have been the best-selling vehicles in the country for decades, and demand doesn’t seem to be slowing down. With so much competition in the pickup truck market, companies have created the performance pickup truck market to attract more buyers.
One of the best performing trucks ever made has to be the Ram TRX. Powered by a 6.2-liter supercharged Hellcat V8 that generates over 700 horsepower, the Ram TRX takes just 4.1 seconds to accelerate to 60 mph, which is incredible for a 6,000 lb vehicle.
4 Dodge Viper ACR
The Viper needs no introduction as it is one of the best American sports cars. Unveiled in the early 1990s, the Viper gearboxes quickly showed that Americans could also build a beautiful sports car with extreme power.
The Viper was in production for over two decades and spawned several fantastic special versions. The ACR is one such version. The fifth-generation ACR debuted in 2015 with an all-new carbon fiber body kit and a monstrous 8.4-liter V10 under the hood with 645 horsepower on tap.
3 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing
When it comes to American luxury cars, it doesn’t get any better than Cadillac. Cadillac has built many great models over the years that compete directly with the BMWs and Audis of this world, including the CT5-V Blackwing.
The CT5-V Blackwing has killer looks, a luxurious interior and a mighty 6.2-liter supercharged V8 that delivers 668 horsepower. A 0-60 of just 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 200 mph make the CT5-V Blackwing one of the fastest four-door sedans ever.
2 Corvette C8
The Corvette is the pride and joy of the American auto industry. Since its introduction in the 1950s, the Corvette has stuck with the same winning formula: a rear-engined sports car with great design, great driving feel, power and a much lower price tag compared to European equivalents.
In 2020, however, Chevy made a huge change to the Corvette’s formula when they introduced the eighth-generation model with a mid-engine layout† While many were initially skeptical, the decision turned out to be a huge success as the C8 is now considered one of the best Corvette models ever.
1 Hennessey Venom F5
After the huge success of the Venom GT, Hennessey Special Vehicles went back to the drawing board and developed another fantastic supercar to replace it: the Venom F5. Like its predecessor, the Venom F5 has great looks and plenty of power.
The Venom F5 is powered by a 6.6-litre twin-turbocharged V8 that spits out 1,817 ponies, giving it a top speed of 271 mph. Hennessey, however, believes the Venom F5 is on track to become the first-ever 300mph car soon.