The New York Auto Show played host to plenty of muscle cars as you can see from our coverage here. The Big Three showed up in a big way with their flagship models on immediate display, especially with the unveiling of the world-beater Dodge Challenger SRT Demon at center stage. Although the manufacturers put on a crowd-stealing show, a smaller boutique automaker named Trans Am tucked this beauty away in the corner but still managed to leave us in awe -- a 1,000 horsepower 7.4L LT1 tends to do that.
Trans Am has been building cars for several years, all based on the fifth generation Camaro platform. We even drove one of their older models, and as you can see from our reaction, it was loads of fun. The 455 Super Duty is their first to be built upon the much-improved Alpha chassis, shared with the sixth generation Camaro, and it's got the power to back up the added agility.
Take the size of the engine into perspective. Even though the saying "there's no replacement for displacement" is largely outdated, it still stands true with the 455 Super Duty. It gains its name from the 455 cubic inch engine, a whopper that equals up to 7.4 liters. It produces 1,000 horsepower from this ground twisting lump while pushing 14 pounds of boost from the 2.3L Magnussen supercharger, which is .5 PSI less than the Demon. It also produces 1,046 lb. ft. of torque, representing a 160 horsepower and 276 lb. ft. of torque increase over the SRT on 100 octane race gas. It was built with the help of a NASCAR engine supplier in the of Virginia, so it's got plenty of pedigree.
The 455 Super Duty resembles Trans Am models of old, throwing back to the original Pontiacs with modernized accents. Notably, it features the same split grille and fire-chicken logo sitting atop the hood, helping it to stand out against a field of other high power GM products.
"The new model is a complete redesign that features sleek body lines with masculine proportions and traditional retro styling,” said Tod Warmack, co-founder of Trans Am Worldwide, in a release. “We are also offering optional glass T-tops this year but perhaps the most notable element of this historical accomplishment is that we now join the ranks of an exclusive few who offer a 1,000-hp performance package in a production vehicle.”
The car has been lowered by an inch from its standard Camaro stance with meaty 305/35R20 Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires out back. Optional Brembo six-piston front brakes provide plenty of stopping power to bring the land missile to a halt, measuring in at 15.0 inches x 1.3 inches in the front and 15.0 inches x 1.1 inches in the rear. It looks every bit of 1,000 horsepower, and we couldn't dig it more.
Collectively, this is more than an homage to Smokey and the Bandit. It's a serious muscle car that rivals the likes of Hennessey with its power and attention to detail, developing it into a project that's worthy of your attention -- even while being outlined with big-name competition.