2015 Mustang GT350 Vs. Challenger Hellcat Vs. Cadillac ATS V: New Muscle Showdown!

Dodge Challenger Hellcat Vs Cadillac ATS-V Vs Shelby GT350 Mustang
Dodge Challenger Hellcat Vs Cadillac ATS-V Vs Shelby GT350 Mustang Dodge, GM, Ford

Earlier this week, fans went wild when Ford finally unveiled its latest and greatest 2015 Shelby GT350 Mustang. Everyone knew that the new halo 2015 "S550" Mustang was going to be something special, but the magicians at Ford's SVT performance group really delivered a surprise for us when they unveiled their rad flat-plane crankshaft V8 engine, code name "Voodoo," in the Shelby. However, Ford isn't the only automaker that recently unveiled a new performance car-- Cadillac has introduced its long-awaited ATS-V as well. Finally, who can forget the straight-out-of-hell Dodge Challenger Hellcat?

Pitting the three cars in a comparison hardly seems fair. For one, the 700 hp supercharged 6.2 liter engine in the Dodge Challenger Hellcat seriously overpowers both the Caddy ATS-V and the Shelby GT350. In fact, the Shelby GT350's projected 550 hp power output is also 100 hp more than the 450 hp Cadilllac ATS-V. So why did I even bother to pit the trio against one another? Well, because variety is the spice of life. And because there is more to each car than just the sum of its parts. Power is merely a portion of the performance equation and pure horsepower alone doesn't necessarily make a car better than another (though muscle car enthusiasts would beg to differ). In 2014, the new era of muscle cars must be studied holistically before drawing a conclusion.

When it comes to speed, weight can be power's greatest enemy. It doesn't matter if a car has 1,000 horsepower if it weighs as much as a brick house. Unfortunately, this is exactly the problem that holds the Challenger Hellcat back. Despite its 707 hp power output, its 4,400 lbs. curb weight means that some of that power is being used to get out of its own way. As for the Shelby GT350 Mustang, SVT Group claims that not only is the new flat-plane crank V8 the most powerful and most responsive V8 Ford has ever made, the engine is also extremely light thanks to the lighter mass compared to a cross-plane crankshaft. According to Torque News, the Shelby GT350 is expected to be about 100 lbs. lighter than the standard Mustang GT, which possesses a 3,500 lbs. curb weight. This effectively makes the GT350 a staggering 1,000 lbs. lighter than the might Challenger Hellcat as well. Last but not least, Cadillac spokesperson Brain Corbett estimates that the new ATS-V will tip the scales at 3,700 lbs.

Unfortunately, the Cadillac ATS-V is no lighter than the GT350 despite being the least powerful car of the trio. It may seem as if the ATS-V has prematurely dropped out of our comparison, but the performance technology in the new Caddy does boast a higher level of sophistication over the more old school approach of the other two. Since inception, the Cadillac ATS was intended to deliver formidable competition as a global compact luxury sedan that can seriously take on the BMW 3-Series, the category's dynamic benchmark. The top-of-the-line ATS-V is a serious machine that boasts an overall increase in stiffness by 25 percent. What's more, the Cadillac ATS-V also features GM's third-generation Magnetic Ride Control system, which is capable of adjusting to road conditions in milliseconds. GM claims the system is 40 percent faster than gen-2. Working in harmony with the Magnetic Ride Control system is the vehicle's Performance Traction Management system and e-diff to make the Cadillac ATS-V one of the most composed sports cars on the road at any speed. Six-piston Brembo brakes squeeze 14.5-inch brake discs in the front, while four-piston brakes bite down on 13.3-inch discs in the rear. 

The new Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang features a high-tech magnetic ride suspension as well. However, the system is closer to the one found it the relatively older Chevy Camaro ZL1, which is less sophisticated than the latest third-generation system in the ATS-V. That said, we're confident that the suspension set up in the Shelby GT350 Mustang is more than enough to deliver a confident driving experience in the lighter car. Additionally, according to Motor Authority, the GT350 will also feature six-piston Brembos. Last but not least, while the Challenger Hellcat does not possess any of the fancy magnetic ride suspensions, but does offer an aggressive three-mode Bilstein setup that features "track," "sport," and "street" settings. Apparently, Dodge is fully aware of the Challenger Hellcat's weight as well, and slaps on some heavy duty 15.4-inch six-piston Brembo brakes to stop the car, the biggest of the three. 

For the final part of the equation, let's throw in price. First, the Dodge Challenger Hellcat starts at $59,995. The Cadillac ATS-V and the Shelby GT350 have yet to arrive on the market, but analysts expect the price of both cars to be within the high $50k ballpark as well. Well, it seems like the Cadillac ATS-V, Shelby GT350 Mustang, and Dodge Challenger Hellcat have much more in common than we thought!

Now it's your turn. Which car would you want on your driveway? Let us know in the comment section below!

What do you think?