Engine size and horsepower output have been part of the American fascination with cars for over a century. The Ford Model-T, the first mass-produced car made in the United States, had an engine that produced 20 hp. Ford built a four-cylinder engine that raised that to 50 hp by the late 1920s.
The horsepower figures started to run into the hundreds in racecars. But these were not cars Americans could buy in dealerships. One of the first cars people could buy that had a horsepower output above 100 was the Ford Mustang.
By the 1980s, American muscle cars like the Pontiac Firebird hit the market with large 5.7L V8 engines that put out well over 200 hp. From there, these muscle cars raced toward having 300- and 400-hp engines. Introduced in 1991, the 10-cylinder Dodge Viper has one of the earliest 400-hp engines people could buy at a dealership.
Today, the most powerful cars available to the general public have engines with at least 650 hp. Dodge has created the Hellcat engine for both its Charger and Challenger cars. It puts out 707 hp. Tesla topped that with an electric engine in its Tesla Model S Performance (Raven) that puts out 778 hp. It can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in about two seconds, which is an unimaginable speed for a car anyone with a driver’s license can buy.
Dodge decided it wanted to move one of its cars to the top of the hp list. According to Motor Trend, the 2021 Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock has a 6.2-liter Hemi V8 that puts out 807 hp. The car is priced at around $90,000. It moves from 0 to 60 mph in about four seconds.
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