Here we see a 5th-gen Dodge Viper take on a Mustang GT350R tuned by Hennessey to produce 850 horsepower.
It’s been almost two years since the last Dodge Viper rolled off the assembly line, but it’s legend lives on today. An 8.4-L V10 remains one of the biggest naturally aspirated motors every slotted inside an engine bay, and the sound that it makes remains an iconic note. A 6-speed manual transmission somehow manages to corral all 650 horsepower to the rear wheels and allow the Viper to launch from zero to sixty in just 3.5 seconds.
Its opponent for the day is a Shelby Mustang GT350R, but this is no ordinary Mustang. It’s been tuned by Hennessey Performance to produce 858 hp thanks to a 2.9-L supercharger attached to its 5.2-L Voodoo V8. A new throttle body, high-flow fuel injectors, and a new cooling system allow the Mustang to reach such an astronomical power figure and propel it from zero to sixty in just 3.3 seconds.
The two cars are quite well matched, so Hennessey decided to host an impromptu performance test by pitting these two cars against each other in a rolling race. Getting either car to hook up on an unprepped surface would just result in a lot of smoke and squealing tires, so a rolling race is a better option than a proper drag race.
We’ve got a lot of respect for the Viper, but it’s down over 200 horsepower, and the Mustang’s greater bulk isn’t likely to hold it back for long. Although both cars are equipped with manual transmissions, so there’s always room for driver error in this race.
Of note here is the way the HPE850 Mustang shudders on each shift as though it’s 6-speed manual is struggling to handle all that power. The Viper, meanwhile, has a much smoother time getting into the redline before each gear swap. Note the Viper’s glowing cobra head gauge as it gets close to 7,000 rpm.
We suspect the Mustang is the clear winner here, but for style, it’s hard to beat the Viper.