A long-held misconception is that American cars are only good in a straight line. If your only reference points were exclusively Dodge press releases, that might be true. But Top Gear set out to dispel that rumor by taking three of the most-powerful, most-track focused American cars to Thermal Raceway in California to see how they stack up.
The trio includes the Corvette ZR1, the Camaro ZL1 1LE, and the Dodge Demon. Strangely, the track-focused Shelby GT350 wasn't a part of the mix. Combined, the three cars produce 2,213 horsepower (1,650 kilowatts), 2,175 pound-feet of torque (2,948 Newton-meters), and are each capable of sprinting to 60 miles per hour (96 kilometers per hour) in just about three seconds.
But how do they stack up?
Deputy Editor Jack Rix took all three ‘round Thermal Raceway in an effort to find out – and the result might surprise you. The first vehicle he eliminated was the Corvette ZR1. Rix said that the Corvette had too much a "whiff of midlife crisis." The second car he eliminated, unsurprisingly, was the Dodge Demon. The 808-hp (602-kW) coupe may be "the coolest car here," he says, but it was made for quarter miles, not corners.
That means the Camaro ZL1 1LE walks away the clear winner. Rix says it's the "only car I can actually imagine using in Europe." He even compares it to the Porsche 911 GT3 RS. Of course, the Camaro ZL1 1LE is the least-powerful option of the bunch. It produces just 650 hp (484 kW) and 650 lb-ft (881 Nm) comparatively, but it's able to sprint to 60 mph (96 kmh) in 3.4 seconds and on to a top speed of 202 mph (325 kmh).
The Camaro is also the most affordable option of the three. The Camaro ZL1 1LE costs $69,995, the Dodge Demon costs $84,995, and the Corvette ZR1 comes in at $199,995. Question is: which one would you choose?
Source: Top Gear / YouTube