2024 Mustang vs. 2023 Challenger: Showdown

Ford Mustang

For several years now, enthusiasts of American V8-powered, rear-wheel drive cars have had a variety of options, including the Chevy Camaro, Dodge Challenger, and, of course, the Ford Mustang. However, this landscape is rapidly evolving. The sixth-generation Camaro will bid farewell after the 2024 model year, leaving behind a collector’s edition without a clear successor in sight. Likewise, Challenger production is coming to a close, though there are hints that it may resurface as an electric vehicle or undergo a complete transformation in the future. In contrast, the 2024 Ford Mustang marks the dawn of a new era for this iconic machine, and Ford is committed to keeping it on the market with a V8 engine for as long as possible, with a hybrid option appearing more likely than a full-fledged electric variant. In a recent comparison test conducted by MotorTrend, the 2024 Ford Mustang has emerged victorious over its long-standing rival, the 2023 Dodge Challenger, perhaps for the last time. 

Ford Mustang

The most recent head-to-head battle between these enduring adversaries featured a 2024 Ford Mustang GT equipped with the Performance Package and a six-speed manual transmission, pitted against a 2023 Challenger Shakedown R/T Scat Pack Widebody. Thanks to its active exhaust system, the Mustang GT boasts an impressive 486 horsepower and 418 pound-feet of torque from its 5.0L V8 Coyote engine. Meanwhile, the Challenger’s 6.4L V8 generates 485 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque, which, in this case, is sent to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. 

Ford Mustang

Right from the start, the 2024 Ford Mustang triumphs in the pricing department, with a final as-tested price of $61,775 compared to the limited-edition Challenger’s $68,800 sticker price. However, despite carrying an extra 400 pounds in weight, the Challenger outpaces the Mustang in a straight-line showdown, achieving a 0-60 time of 4.0 seconds compared to the Mustang’s 4.3 seconds. In the quarter-mile race, the Challenger crosses the finish line in 12.5 seconds, though the Mustang matches that time – it’s important to note that the Mustang’s slower-shifting manual transmission makes this comparison less straightforward. 

In other performance metrics, the Mustang clearly comes out on top, requiring only 99 feet to come to a stop from 60 mph compared to the Challenger’s 102 feet and delivering 0.80g on the skid pad versus the Challenger’s 0.76g. At the end of the day, MotorTrend observes that, while these two cars currently represent very different approaches, there’s an undeniable winner between them. MotorTrend notes, “The Mustang GT feels like a product of the 21st century, with modern, tech-forward features, yet it still maintains a delightful anachronistic touch with its choice of powerplants, especially considering that most of its current competitors have switched to turbocharged four- and six-cylinder engines. While it seems somewhat torn between the muscle and sports car categories, it stands as the last car standing for now. Fortunately, it’s also the one we find more enjoyable to drive.” 

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