These are the best cars that the US has to offer this year.
We could think of no better way to mark the Fourth of July then by listing the best American cars on the market. Some were either built or had development outside of the US, but the badges are all red, white, and blue American. The ideas, philosophy, design and engineering behind these cars are pure American, and when we see them on the street or discussed online, it makes us proud. So while you fire up the bbq and sink some cold ones, check out this list and delight in these awesome rides that were born in the USA.
The Ford GT may be the most legendary American car of all time. The GT40 was the first American car to defeat Ferrari at LeMans, and the new GT continues the legacy. The 2017 GT is the best supercar that the US has to offer and comes powered by Ford's EcoBoost V6 that produces 647 hp with two turbochargers. The is rockets the car to 60 mph in just 2.8 seconds. There are more powerful American models, but the GT is the only mid-engined car to rival European supercars like Ferrari and even Pagani.
The Dodge Viper may be going out of production, but we wanted to include this American icon on the list. The 2017 Viper ACR was the most extreme model that Dodge built with power coming from an 8.4-liter V10 with 645 hp. Unlike many American cars, the Viper ACR's most impressive statistics were not its raw power or straight line speed. The ACR holds 13 track records around the world, including a lap around Laguna Seca that was faster than a million dollar Porsche 918. The Viper ACR is a true icon of American track car prowess.
The Shelby GT350R shares a lot in common with the Viper ACR. The GT350 is not the most powerful Mustang that Ford ever built, but is the most track focused. This Shelby is powered by a unique 5.2-liter flat plane crank V8 with 526 hp. The flat plane crank design is typically found in European V8s, but the Ford Voodoo engine mixes this unique sound with a bit of American V8 rumble. The GT350 may be the best sounding car on this list and is one of the best handling American cars of all time.
The Corvette Z06 is not without its flaws, but we had to include this American icon on the list. Powered by a 6.2-liter supercharged LT4 V8 with 650 hp, the Z06 was the most badass American car on the market when it first came out, but has since been eclipsed by a few faster American cars (some even from GM). The Z06's overheating problems on the track have actually become grounds for a class-action lawsuit, but this car is still an amazing road car and an American icon.
The Corvette Z06 is an amazing car, but many of the people who can afford its nearly $80,000 base price may be looking for a bit more comfort. Luckily, GM takes the 6.2-liter supercharged V8 from the Z06 and puts it in the Cadillac CTS. The CTS-V is slightly detuned to only 640 hp, but this doesn't exactly make it slow. The 4,141-pound car can still hit 60 mph in 3.6 seconds and can be extremely civil on the road. The Cadillac CTS-V is a great example of a badass American luxury car.
There's nothing more American than the pickup truck and there's no more badass truck than the Ford F-150 Raptor. The 2017 Raptor ditches the old 6.2-liter V8 for a 3.5-liter V6. This may sound like a disaster, but this EcoBoost V6 produces more power than the old V8: 450 hp is sent through a 10-speed automatic transmission that was co-developed with GM. This is still the most capable pickup truck on the market. No other automaker has had the guts to build such a tough-looking and high-performing truck, which is why the Raptor stands in a league of its own.
The 10-speed automatic that appears in the Raptor is also found in the new Chevy Camaro ZL1. The 1LE is the most track-focused version of the ZL1 and is only available with a six-speed manual. The Zl1 is powered by the same engine found in the Corvette Z06, but the Camaro engineers have managed to fix the overheating issues of the Corvette. The Camaro ZL1 is a more usable car than the Corvette and is actually just as fast. We love to see the internal competition between the Camaro and Corvette. It shows how American automakers push themselves to the limit by building the best car possible without worrying about internal conflicts, like Porsche does with the Cayman and 911.
We love the Dodge Challenger and Charger Hellcat, but we had to put a Jeep on this list and the new Grand Cherokee Trackhawk was the ideal candidate. The Grand Cherokee was already a great SUV, but FCA went crazy and gave it the 707-hp 6.2-liter supercharged V8 from the Hellcat. In doing so, Jeep created one of the fastest and most powerful SUVs on the planet. The Trackhawk doesn't look much different from the standard Grand Cherokee SRT-8, which will make it even more impressive when you blow the doors off sports cars at a set of lights.
The Tesla Model S may not be what comes to mind when you think of fast American cars. A lack of a big V8 is one reason why. Still, the P100D model with Ludicrous mode is the quickest car that Motor Trend has ever tested. The P100D hit 60 mph in 2.27 seconds, which makes it faster than almost every supercar on the market. It may not have the sound of an American car, but the Tesla Model S is a masterpiece of American engineering.
The Dodge Demon took the world by storm with its 840-hp supercharged V8. The Demon is the most extreme version of the Hellcat and is built with drag racing in mind. The car can hit 60 mph in 2.3 seconds and run through the quarter-mile in just 9.65 seconds. It may be built in Canada like all Challenger models, but the Demon is the epitome of an American muscle car. It doesn't make much sense on the street and you have to sign a waiver just to buy one, which makes it the most extreme American car on sale today.