The Muscle Car vs. Tuner Cars: A Comparison Guide

January 27, 2012

People in search of a powerful and compact car often decide between a muscle car vs. tuner cars. These vehicles are, in many ways, quite similar on the surface. However, there are a number of factors that separate tuner cars from muscle cars, and it's important for anyone considering the purchase of either to know full well how these vehicles are different and similar to each other. This knowledge will help you to pick the best tuner car or muscle car for you, depending upon your style preferences and the exact needs you have for your vehicle.

Muscle Car Overview

Muscle cars originated in the 1950s. They have two primary design goals, and these goals have been relatively consistent for the entire production of this unique line of vehicles. The first of these is to be as powerful as possible. Muscle cars have long utilized the most powerful and largest engines available for standard vehicles. The first muscle cars used some of the very basic prototype designs for V8 hemi engines, and the motors in muscle cars have continued to be at the forefront of technology in terms of power and horsepower capabilities.

The second primary goal of a muscle car is to have a body and frame that are as small as possible in order to support that motor. These vehicles rely on a lightweight and compact body to be able to accelerate as quickly as possible and to reach a high top speed.

Muscle cars generally are grouped together with classic cars and are considered collector's items. They are oftentimes packaged in very particular trim models and types are are difficult to modify. Collector's usually purchase older muscle cars without the intention of driving them.

Tuner Car Overview

While a muscle car receives a higher power-to-size ratio than a tuner car, tuners are still designed to deliver a punch in a small vehicle. These cars are most often imported from Asian countries. They are designed to be especially high performance versions of standard vehicles. Therefore, tuner cars are occasionally slightly bigger than muscle cars.

One of the most important characteristics of a tuner car is to be relatively easy to adjust. The "tuner" in the title of this category of vehicles refers to the process of tuning and adjusting a car to meet the owner's specifications. Thus, tuner cars are designed to provide a solid foundation for a vehicle that can later be adjusted and modified in any number of different ways. Some of these ways include the addition of supercharged or turbocharged engine capabilities, adjustments to the interior and exterior design of the frame and more.

If you have additional questions about either tuner or muscle cars, consult with owners of these vehicles or with dealers in your area. Auto body and custom shops can also be helpful sources of information.

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