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HM’s Favorite Modern Ford Muscle Cars

The last thirty years have seen the Ford Motor Company create one of its most diverse lineups of muscle cars. The company has launched everything from nimble compacts and sport sedans all the way up to lightning-fast pickup trucks. Ford even created the Special Vehicle Team (SVT) in 1991, which focused on creating unique, niche vehicles to arouse those who were passionate about the driving experience.

Those SVT creations, as well as several others, have captured our attention and provided many adrenaline rushes over the last several years. Here are some of those modern Fords that stood out from the crowd and led the pack. These are just a few of the cars we’d love to have in our garage. Check out our favorite modern Ford muscle cars.

1999-2004 Ford F-150 SVT Lightning

How many trucks can you count that can go from 0 to 60 in 5.8 seconds and tow a 5,000-pound trailer? Not many we suspect. During its short production run, the 1999-2004 SVT Lightning was the fastest production truck on the road. Under the hood was a supercharged V8 with 380 horsepower and 450 lb.-ft. of torque. This definitely wasn’t your father’s F-150.

2003-2004 Mercury Marauder

Like a ghost from its past, Mercury brought back its legendary Marauder nameplate and bestowed it on the Grand Marquis. The 2003–2004 Mercury Marauder came out at a time when the muscle car was in a bit of a slump. The Camaro and Firebird were history and it would be three years before the Dodge Charger would be available. This 4,200-pound beast was fairly nimble with a 0 to 60 time of 7.5 seconds. If you wanted an American performance sport sedan, the Mercury Marauder was the only game in town.

2016–2019 Shelby GT350/GT350R

Getting to thrash a GT350 around the track during the Shelby GT350 North American Track Tour was a blast. The track is where this pony shines and there is no place better to see the capabilities of this car. To say the GT350 performed flawlessly is an understatement. The car definitely did not disappoint. Our day at the track getting to know the GT350 was quite an experience. This car is truly amazing and we really appreciated the opportunity to drive it like it was meant to be driven. We came away feeling that as great as the car is to drive on the streets, it was clearly made for the track.

2016–2018 Ford Focus RS

We’ve driven sport compacts like the Subaru WRX and the Mini Cooper S, but none impressed us like the Focus RS. This pint-sized hellion produces 350 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque from a 2.3-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine. And with a combination of all-wheel drive and Michelin Super Sport tires, this car can hold the road like no other. With a 0 to 60 time of 4.8 seconds and quarter mile times of 13.6 seconds, the Focus RS’ performance rivals many 8-cylinder supercars. Our time spent with the Focus RS was something we won’t forget. Yes, the car truly is that good!

2020 Shelby GT500

Seeing this car unveiled for the first time in Detroit was nothing short of monumental. The 2020 Shelby GT500 will be the most powerful production car Ford has ever produced. Its supercharged 5.2-liter V8 produces 700-plus horsepower and is capable of running from 0 to 60 in the mid-three-second range. This car will not only shred the rear tires, it will shred the competition when it’s unleashed later this year.

2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt Edition

A little over 50 years ago, a movie called Bullitt wowed audiences with one of the most intense car chases ever filmed. Steve McQueen’s name may have been on the marquis, but the real star of the show was his 1968 Mustang fastback. Over the years, Ford has recreated modern-day replicas of that classic fastback, but none seem to have the spark as the latest iteration. Aside from the GT350, the 2019 Bullitt is the most fun we’ve had driving a Mustang. The Bullitt is a solid performer and we feel is a pretty good bargain considering all the standard equipment Ford built into it. It’s not a gussied-up GT with a green paint job and some pretty wheels this time around. It’s a car Frank Bullitt would be proud to drive. The third time really is the charm. At least that’s the case when it comes to the Mustang Bullitt.

1992–1995 Ford Taurus SHO

The early to mid-1990s was a time when American performance sedans were making a comeback. Ford’s second-generation Taurus debuted in 1992 and came standard with a Yamaha-sourced V6 with 220 horsepower. It was also a decent performer with a 0 to 60 time of 7.5 seconds and a quarter mile time of 15.4 seconds. The Taurus SHO came standard with sport bucket seats, leather wrapped steering wheel, and 8,000 rpm tachometer.

2012–2013 Ford Mustang Boss 302

After a 43-year wait, the Boss returned as a street legal racer that’s equally at home on the track. It was powered by a naturally-aspirated 5.0-liter DOHC V8 with 444 horsepower and 380 lb.-ft. of torque. It could go from 0 to 60 in 4.3 seconds and sprint the quarter mile in 12.8 seconds at 113 mph. There was also a Laguna Seca version available with improved aerodynamics and chassis enhancements. Just like the original, Ford produced the Boss 302 for only two model years.

Ford’s legacy of creating great muscle cars goes back several decades. From collaborations with Lee Iacocca and Carroll Shelby to create the GT350 to the upcoming GT500. This heritage of producing world-class muscle shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. Isn’t that the way it should be?



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