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Thread: Muscle Car Shootout - Comparing Performance Figures From All Years

  1. #1
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    Muscle Car Shootout - Comparing Performance Figures From All Years

    I am starting this new topic which you are reading in order to post performance figures for muscle cars from different years. I had promised Eric in a previous post I would compare 1980s muscle car figure's to those from the 1960s and early 1970s, so after some thought I think I will expand it to all years.

    The format of each post in this topic will consist of a shootout between two or more muscle cars in different performance categories. The reason for this topic is to show how Muscle Cars from different or same periods compare against each other.

    As always anyone is welcome to reply to any of these posts with comments, questions, etc. And anyone can put their own comparisons on this topic. I think it will be a fun experiment with some interesting results.


    I will start off first with a comparison between a 1970 Dodge Charger and a 2006 Dodge Charger (as compared by Muscle Car Review - 12/05), I posted this in another forum post:

    Shootout #1:

    Battle Of The Chargers.


    2006 Charger R/T - Slalom Speed: 62.2 mph, 60-0 mph braking: 110 ft., 1/4 mile: 14.23 sec. @ 98.78 mph

    1970 Charger R/T - Slalom Speed: 58.3 mph, 60-0 mph braking: 144 ft., 1/4 mile: 14.45 sec. @ 97.36 mph


    Winner: 2006 Charger R/T



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    Re: Muscle Car Shootout - Comparing Performance Figures From All Years

    Shootout #2:

    Battle Of The Mopar 360: Is The 1998 Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited Worthy Of Honor?


    With the advent of the popularity of the SUV by the 1990s, Jeep one of the innovators of off-road vehicles since the end of World War II, decided to up the ante and not only produce a SUV that had great off-road capabilities but make it perform like a muscle car from yesteryear. This SUV was the Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited, and it packed a powerful punch. The 1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee got a surprise option, a 5.2 liter V8 (318) rated at 220 horsepower. This marked the first ever V8 in a midsized SUV, within a few years even Ford and Chevy offered V8s in their midsized SUVs. To put this in perspective a 1993 Mustang GT with the 5.0 (302) V8 produced 205 horsepower. For the 1998 model year Jeep and the engineers at Chrysler threw in as a 1998 option on the Grand Cherokee, a high performance 5.9 liter (360) V8 which was rated at 245 net horsepower and 345 lbs/ft of torque (the 5.9 liter V8 was borrowed from the full size Dodge Ram pickup). Unfortunately it was a one year option, since the Grand Cherokee received a redesign for 1999 and the 5.9 liter along with the 5.2 liter were replaced by the new SOHC 4.7 liter V8 as the only V8 engine option for the 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

    So just how fast was the 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited? Well let's compare it against the '78 Dodge L'il Red Express Pickup truck which is legendary among Mopar and pickup truck fans. The '78 and '79 L'il Red Express pickup trucks were the among the fastest America vehicles produced for these years. So if one were to have back in the day, a L'il Red Express Pickup Truck, it was feesable on a good day for one to beat a 1978 Corvette in the 1/4 mile. The 360 CID (5.9 liter) V8 under the hood of the Lil' Express Pickup was the most powerful engine in the Mopar arsenal back in the late 1970s. It produced 225 horsepower. It also had the added advantage of having dual exhausts and no catalytic converter (catalytic converters were not mandatory for '78 and '79 for pickup trucks, as they were for cars).


    1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.9 (360 V8) Limited (245 horsepower):

    0-60 mph: 6.8 sec., 1/4 mile: 15.2 sec. @ 88.7 MPH (MotorTrend 1/98)



    1978 Dodge L'il Red Express Pickup 360 V8 (225 horsepower):

    0-60 mph: 7.2 sec., 1/4 mile: 15.71 sec. @ 88 MPH



    This match-up was not as close as one would think. The Grand Cherokee has a 20 horsepower advantage but the Grand Cherokee also has a curb weight of almost 400 lbs more (Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited: 4218 lbs vs. L'il Red Express Pickup: 3,855 lbs) which should tilt the scales slightly to the L'il Red Express Pickup's favor. Any Hot Rodder would probably take almost 400 lbs less in weight than 20 extra horsepower if given the choice. So my guess is that the horsepower of the '98 Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited was a little underrated. Another factor could be that the Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited does have a full-time 4 wheel drive system which may have assisted traction some.

    Winner: 1998 Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited



  3. #3
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Muscle Car Shootout - Comparing Performance Figures From All Years

    Here's something I'd like to see:

    A dyno test of a stone stock W72, "T/A 6.6" 400 such as the one in your '79 Trans-Am to find its real horsepower output. As you've pointed out before, it's likely this engine's 220 hp rating was low-balled considerably given the low 15 second (even high 14 second) quarter-mile times these (very heavy) cars were capable of, stone stock.


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    Re: Muscle Car Shootout - Comparing Performance Figures From All Years

    Eric,

    I'll see what I can do to get my '79 TATA to a speed shop with a rear wheel and fly wheel dyno. I like to get both measured on the car, I believe my car would be a perfect candidate, since it has around 30,000 original miles with ac delco plugs and wires (and stock ignition). It also has a rebuilt 17059263 qjet rebuilt to exact stock settings, factory original exhaust system (original dual resonators and original catalytic converter). I'll check around and see if I can find a place to have a dyno done.

    One thing I know for sure is that the T/A 6.6 (400) motor has more horsepower and more torque than the 350 TPI V8 which were rated from 210 - 245 horsepower and 310 - 325 lbs/ft of torque. The 200 - 220 horsepower and 325 lbs/ft of torque rating of the T/A 6.6 is a joke. Even with a '77 to '79 Trans Am weighing 400 to 500 lbs more than a 3rd generation T/A, Formula, Iroc-Z, or Z28 with the 350 TPI, the '77- '79 Trans Am still pulls a heck of a lot harder. I also estimate that the torque rating on the 6.6 T/A is probably around 350 lbs to 370 lbs.

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Muscle Car Shootout - Comparing Performance Figures From All Years

    Quote Originally Posted by Disco Man
    Eric,

    I'll see what I can do to get my '79 TATA to a speed shop with a rear wheel and fly wheel dyno. I like to get both measured on the car, I believe my car would be a perfect candidate, since it has around 30,000 original miles with ac delco plugs and wires (and stock ignition). It also has a rebuilt 17059263 qjet rebuilt to exact stock settings, factory original exhaust system (original dual resonators and original catalytic converter). I'll check around and see if I can find a place to have a dyno done.

    One thing I know for sure is that the T/A 6.6 (400) motor has more horsepower and more torque than the 350 TPI V8 which were rated from 210 - 245 horsepower and 310 - 325 lbs/ft of torque. The 200 - 220 horsepower and 325 lbs/ft of torque rating of the T/A 6.6 is a joke. Even with a '77 to '79 Trans Am weighing 400 to 500 lbs more than a 3rd generation T/A, Formula, Iroc-Z, or Z28 with the 350 TPI, the '77- '79 Trans Am still pulls a heck of a lot harder. I also estimate that the torque rating on the 6.6 T/A is probably around 350 lbs to 370 lbs.
    I agree - having driven all the cars you mention myself. Your '79 TA was (and is!) a faster car than a mid-'80s 350 TPI IROC-Z. Looking back, I'm really surprised the advertised hp claims made by Pontiac were never openly challenged.

    Think about this: a Ford Five Hundred's V-6 is rated at 200 hp (the same as the early T/A 6.6 400) and it weighs about the same; yet it needs 17-18 seconds to haul its heavy underpowered ass down the quarter mile!

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    Re: Muscle Car Shootout - Comparing Performance Figures From All Years

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    As you've pointed out before, it's likely this engine's 220 hp rating was low-balled considerably
    I may be misremembering this, but wasn't there a case where a manufacturer quoted a max torque/RPM value which actually worked out to a higher BHP figure than the quoted max power?

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    Re: Muscle Car Shootout - Comparing Performance Figures From All Years

    Eric,

    Excellent point, about the Ford 500 vs. the '77 W72 Trans Am, it proves how underated the W72 is. Also I remember a few old timers years ago suggesting that the base L78 400 in the '75-'78 T/As were also underated, the 180 horsepower figure was about 20 - 25 horsepower less than the actual figure according to them. And of course the '75 and '76 L75 455 was also underrated, I believe the 200 horsepower figure was about 40 horsepower below the actual figure. I know you owned a 50th anniversary back in the day with the L75, do you believe it was also underrated?

    Dave,

    I know several instances of cars with underrated horsepower and torque ratings, however none of the manifacturers got in trouble for doing this or faced any public outcry that I know of. However I do remember Ford took a tremendous amount of heat when it became apparent that they had overrated the horsepower in the 1999 SVT Cobra. Ford did admit its mistake and recalled the cars to replace some parts and recalberate the computers to increase the horsepower. You can read more on the situation with these links:

    http://auto.howstuffworks.com/1999-2...d-mustang4.htm

    http://www.muscularmustangs.com/2005/svtcobraslow99.php

    So as far as I know no manufacturer ever got heat for underrating the horsepower/torque of a given car, but Ford proved that overrating the horsepower/torque can get you in a load of trouble.


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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Muscle Car Shootout - Comparing Performance Figures From All Years

    Hi Pete,

    Yes, I remember the Ford/Cobra debacle very well!

    That car got "caught" in part because of the disconnect between its actual performance and the stated HP. But it seems that only becomes an issue when the car is slower than it ought to be (according to its advertised hp). In the case of my old Trans-Am, I believe it was the opposite. That car (according to many tests when it was new) performed about as well as your '79 TA T/A with the W72 400; low 15s/high 14s (depending on the driver. Now, I don't have the calculator wheel in front of me - but to get a 4,000 pound car down the quarter mile in the high 14 second/low 15 second range is going to require considerably more than 200 (or 220) horsepower. My old 50th Anniversary '76 felt quicker (and pulled harder) than mid-late '80s TPI 350 IROC-Zs I drove - though those cars were automatics and that may have caused them to feel less aggressive. Still, the performance (according to the published numbers down the quarter mile, as well as 0-60) were very comparable and the TPI 350 was, if I recall, rated at 230-240 hp. So I think that gives us a ballpark idea of the true output of both the L75 455 and your W72 400. I would put the actual ouput (as you have) in the 260-275 area....





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