Back in the old days, the term ‘pony car’ was used to describe just about every single good-looking sporty car the masses could generally afford to purchase.
Now, it seems ‘muscle car’ has taken over completely. However, if you go back to the origin of the two monikers, which is what Car Throttle does in this video, you’ll find that they once stood for very different things.
A muscle car was a high-performance automobile (not necessarily sporty or flashy) designed with straight line speed in mind, adhering to a sort of hot rod philosophy.
Nowadays, muscle car seems to be used on just about any American-built two-door car with rear wheel drive, even if it’s powered by a relatively small engine, like the 2.3-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost in the Ford Mustang. That’s a pony car by all accounts…literally, since the term was invented along with the original Mustang.
And if you want to get seriously technical, today’s range-topping versions of the Mustang, Camaro, Viper and Corvette are more high-end sports cars, sometimes even borderline supercars, than anything else, designed to handle and ride well, while also setting records around the Nurburgring.
Of course ,in the end, it all depends on what floats your boat. Truth is, all these cars have sufficient “muscle”, especially the ones that also go by Shelby or GT or SS, ZL1, Z06 and so on.