Shelby GT500 Takes on the 2023 Dodge Challenger Black Ghost in a Thrilling Drag Race Showdown

Jul 25, 2023 2 min read
Shelby GT500 Takes on the 2023 Dodge Challenger Black Ghost in a Thrilling Drag Race Showdown

And we all win.

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In the world of American V8 muscle cars, the battle for supremacy is fierce, and each contender seeks to prove its worth on the dragstrip. Recently, the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 faced off against the 2023 Dodge Challenger Black Ghost in an exhilarating drag race, pitting two powerhouse vehicles against each other.

Named after the infamous 1970 Dodge Challenger Black Ghost, the 2023 Dodge Challenger Black Ghost is far from a pushover. With an impressive 807-horsepower V8 engine derived from the Super Stock and Jailbreak models, this special edition Challenger packs a mighty punch. Only 300 units of the Black Ghost will be produced, making it an exclusive and sought-after muscle car.

However, one challenge the Black Ghost faces is its curb weight, tipping the scales at 4,476 pounds (2,030 kilograms). In the world of drag racing, weight can be a significant hindrance to a vehicle's performance, both in straight-line speed and handling through the twisties. Additionally, the factory-fitted summer tires on the Black Ghost may not be ideal for maximizing traction during a drag race.

On the other hand, the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 boasts a lighter platform, tipping the scales at 4,168 pounds (1,891 kilograms) according to Edmunds. While not as powerful as the Black Ghost, with 760 horsepower and 625 pound-feet (847 Nm) of torque, the Shelby GT500 makes up for it with a faster dual-clutch transmission and lighter body.

The showdown took place over two races, designed to test the vehicles' performance in various aspects. The first race involved a quarter-mile drag, followed by a braking zone, then a hairpin turn, and concluded with a dash back to the start/finish line.

In the quarter-mile drag, the Shelby GT500 showcased its power and acceleration, recording an impressive 11.7 seconds compared to the Black Ghost's 12.6 seconds. The gap between the two vehicles decreased to 0.9 seconds over the quarter mile, with the Shelby GT500 maintaining a speed advantage.

The hairpin turn revealed the impact of the Challenger's weight, pulling 1.14 Gs compared to the Shelby GT500's 1.35 Gs. Despite the Black Ghost's valiant effort, the Shelby GT500 ultimately crossed the finish line with a respectable time of 33.2 seconds at 143.3 miles per hour (230.6 kilometers per hour), securing the win.

As the drag race came to an end, it was clear that American V8 muscle cars continue to impress, even as the future brings increasing fuel and emission regulations. The third-gen HEMI engine family, including the Challenger's powerful V8, is bidding farewell, making way for new technologies and electric powertrains in upcoming models.

While the future may hold exciting prospects for American muscle cars, fans will undoubtedly cherish the legacy of these V8 beasts that ruled the dragstrips for decades. As we bid farewell to the third-gen HEMI engines, it's a testament to their enduring impact on the world of automotive performance.

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