Off-road muscle cars don’t really exist the same way they did long ago. Now it’s all about putting a large muscle V8 into an SUV that can do everything. This is not necessarily a bad thing because some of these SUVs are downright unbelievably capable. In this article, we are going to list the best off-road muscle car in 2023.
For starters, we are going to mention the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, a 707hp machine that is designed primarily for on-road use, but it can hold its own even at an off-road course. The Dodge Durango SRT is also capable of offering extreme power but can go off-roading as well.
The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon with a V8 is also a muscle car for off-roading as it offers enough power to tear down off-road trails. At to top of this list, we are going to mention the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG. Yes, the G63 is no muscle car as it isn’t even American-made, but no one can deny how muscle it feels, especially with that throaty V8 engine.
All in all, you really can’t buy a “true” muscle off-road car these days. Many people have converted existing muscle cars in order to make them more off-road-friendly, but that is not exactly something you can go right ahead and buy.
Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk
The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is the most powerful Grand Cherokee of all time. It features a 6.2L supercharged V8 engine with 707hp and 645lb-ft of torque. The Trackhawk drives and sounds like a true muscle car which means that it will literally tear your ears out if you come across one even with minor exhaust tweaks.
With AWD, the Trackhawk can even go off-roading even though it was not necessarily designed to excel in that regard. Even though the Trackhawk was never intended nor tested on a true off-road track, many owners have tried that with larger and beefier tires. Let’s just say that you are not going to have a hard time getting stuck with so much power under your foot at all times.
Dodge Durango SRT
The 6.4L HEMI V8 engine found in the Durango offers 475hp and 470lb-ft of torque which is more than enough to get you going on an off-road trail. Sure, the Hellcat Durango is even more powerful, but it isn’t as good on an off-road course as the “regular” SRT. It is a much more capable overlanding car than it is an off-roader, but if you do small adjustments, it can be.
Dodge says that the SRT does not have the necessary underbody protection as some other V8 SUVs from the factory, but when it comes to balance, chassis, and control, the SRT is just perfect. Either way, you will hear about Durango SRT owners going off-roading here and there which isn’t all that unusual considering that this is a 475hp AWD SUV that is inherently designed to go anywhere.
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon V8
A V8-equipped Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is a beast when it comes to off-roading. With 470hp and 470lb-ft of torque, it features the same engine you’d find in the SRT Durango. However, the Jeep is more of an off-road vehicle than the Durango which is what you want if you are serious about going off-road.
The Wrangler is great for Overlanding, rock-crawling, mud-trailing, dune driving, or whatever else you throw at it. It was designed from scratch to go anywhere which means that there is little that can actually stop it. All in all, the Wrangler Rubicon V8 is likely the most capable off-road vehicle on this list, maybe except for the AMG G63 AMG we are now going to discuss in the next paragraph.
Mercedes-Benz AMG G63
The mighty G-Wagon is not a muscle car by any means as it is as German as German cars can get. However, it does feature a V8 under the bonnet that feels like it belongs in a modern-day muscle car. With 577hp and 627lb-ft of torque, you are not going to feel any lack of power with the G63, no matter where you are.
With three locking differentials, the G63 is capable of traversing terrain only the Wrangler Rubicon can fathom out of all cars mentioned in this article. Besides being so powerful and so capable, the G63 is packed with the latest Mercedes technology and all the creature comforts you’d ever want.
Can muscle cars go off-road?
Not really. Muscle cars were predominantly designed for quarter-mile races and races of a stoplight. Afterward, they became more ordinary and started being luxurious and tech-friendly. True muscle cars were barebone and featured a huge throaty V8 that made the car extremely nose heavy which gave it that signature driving experience.
These cars are often having a hard time going straight on perfectly paved roads which is why they do not belong on any off-road trail. If you don’t believe me, just Google how many Ford Mustangs have crashed simply by exiting a cars and coffee event.
Do muscle car SUVs exist?
No, a “true” muscle SUV was never built as muscle cars were predominantly two-door large coupes with V8 engines, sharp looks, wide tires, hood scoops, and flared fenders. Even though SUVs like the Trackhawk do fit that description loosely, they are no true muscle cars as true muscle cars don’t exist anymore.
They belong in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, and aren’t available for purchase today. Sure, the Hellcats and the GT500s, and the ZL1s are amazing, but they are not really muscle cars in the same way those were back in the day.
Does Europe have muscle cars?
The muscle car name was and still is associated with US-made cars, but if we look at what made a muscle car, we can see some European models that fit that description. The old V8 Vantage by Aston Martin is a pure muscle car, just Google it if you don’t believe me. Many AMG Mercedes models such as the E55 or the C63 are also muscle cars.
The DeTomaso Longchamp and the Mercedes AMG “Hammer” are also muscle cars made by European carmakers.