Can the modern 392 hold its own?
Cadillac has gotten quite a lot of attention in recent years for the creation of such cars like the CTS-V, which had a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 making an astonishing 640 horsepower, and the newer CT5 and CT4 Blackwing models. The Blackwing in particular is set to show the world what the designers over at GM can do when properly motivated. However, this focus on the new has largely allowed the Cadillac past to slip out of the minds of the younger car enthusiast crowd. Some people say it is better to leave the past behind and forget about the Caddies of old. However, this car aims to do nothing of the sort.
The car ready to go is a 1959 Cadillac Series 62 which originally kept a 390 ci V8 under the hood which allowed the driver a total of 325 horsepower. However, this was no were near enough power for the owner so he decided to bless the old girl with an engine from the new world. That's right, under the hood is a supercharged LSA powerhouse that was pulled directly from a 2013 Cadillac CTS-V. That beastly engine is producing 556 horsepower and 551 ft/lbs of torque to the rear wheels. Mated to that beautiful engine is a 6L90 automatic transmission which is perfect for drag racing as it is intelligent, efficient, and provides smooth transitions between gears allowing for the lowest possible quarter-mile time.
Today the Cadillac will face a competitor with similar power and an intense road presence that would shake anyone brave enough to pull up next to it. This opponent is a 2021 Dodge Challenger 392 Widebody which boasts a beefy 485 horsepower. While the Challenger has 71 fewer ponies in its stable it is a bit lighter at “just” 4300lbs as compared to the 4500lb monstrous Cadillac.
As the two cars pulled up to the light a certain tension could be felt in the air. Finally, the tree lit up from red, then yellow, to green. Both cars snapped off of the line like a couple of cobras racing to catch the last mouse. It was a close race but in the end, the Challenger took home the win with an 11.96 second quarter mile time compared to the Cadillac’s of 12.95 seconds. This outcome was largely unexpected as Dodge rates the Challenger 392’s quarter-mile time at 12.10 seconds. All in all, this was an incredible race and it is always interesting to see two legendary cars going head to head for the title of “Fastest Car”.